Mariners downplay Figgins-to-A's trade rumors

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Mariners downplay Figgins-to-A's trade rumors

Jan. 29, 2011A'S PAGE A'S VIDEO

SEATTLE (AP) The SeattleMariners and third baseman Chone Figgins tried to quiet trade rumorsduring the team's annual fanfest celebration Saturday.Both Figgins and general managerJack Zduriencik downplayed the possibility of a deal that would sendthe speedy, defensive standout to the Oakland Athletics. The OaklandTribune , citing unnamed sources, first reported Friday the A'sinterest in acquiring Figgins."I've always said it's a greatthing to be wanted but I want to win here," Figgins said. "I'll alwayslove playing here and like I said before this is where I want to be.Until they force me out of here this is where I'm going to be."Zduriencik said the team isgoing forward under the assumption that Figgins will be theiropening-day starter at third base. The two had a conversation whereZduriencik explained the situation to Figgins, trying to ease anyconcerns he may have had."You have general managers talk,agents talk about players - I'm not referring to this particularsituation, but the next thing you know, someone is putting two and twotogether and coming up with five," Zduriencik said."That's where this whole thingis at," he added. "What it means, our plan when we open the season,Chone is going to be our third baseman."Figgins played second base forthe Mariners last season after signing with Seattle as a free agent andstruggled early, hitting just .235 at the All-Star break.He responded with a strongsecond half by hitting .286 to lift his average to .260 for the season.Figgins is moving back to third base after the Mariners traded JoseLopez to Colorado this winter."I think I was trying to do alittle more than I was expected to do. I really wasn't attacking thegame," Figgins said of his struggles. "Once the second half hit, Isaid, 'You know what, I'm going to attack the game.' The results end upbeing probably one of the best seasons I ever had, personally, becauseof the struggles I went through earlier."Figgins has a limited no-tradeclause that is thought to include the A's as one of his blockeddestinations. When asked if he would consider waiving the clause ifapproached, Figgins responded, "Like I said, I want to be here."

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Former NFL running back Brandon Jacobs spent one season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Jacobs only played in two games and gained seven yards on five carries. The results were nothing like his 5,087 yards and 60 touchdowns over eight years with the Giants. 

Apparently being pushed to the bench as a 31-year-old veteran running back didn't sit well with Jacobs. 

“Going somewhere where they don’t have route conversions into certain coverages was just absurd,” Jacobs said Thursday on the Tiki and Tierney Show. “They’re just running routes in the defense, getting people killed. Size and strength is what they had, and that’s why they won.

"Let’s be real. They had great assistant coaches, but Jim didn’t know what he was doing. Jim had no idea. Jim is throwing slants into Cover-2 safeties, getting people hurt. That guy knew nothing, man."

On Saturday morning, Harbaugh responded to Jacobs with a tweet to him. 

Harbaugh went 44-19-1 in four seasons as the 49ers' head coach. He also added five playoff wins and a trip to the Super Bowl in the 2012-13 season, the one that Jacobs played for him.

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

SANTA CLARA – The eldest non-kicker on the 49ers’ roster is learning a new position this offseason.

But Ahmad Brooks has plenty of experience adapting to new positions during his 12-year NFL career. He has played inside linebacker, outside linebacker in a 3-4 and defensive end in pass-rush situations.

Now, Brooks has moved to the strong side linebacker position -- the “Sam” -- in the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“He’s getting them (first-team repetitions) because he deserves them,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said this week. “Watching how he played last year and then going into this offseason, you never know when a guy who has been around a bunch, if they’re going to feel that they need the offseason like other people do. And Ahmad’s been here every day and he’s needed it just like everyone has anytime you’re learning a new scheme.

“But anytime you have a veteran like that, you worry that, hey, maybe they won’t think that they do need it. But Ahmad has and he’s been here. He’s worked at everything. He’s in good shape. He’s done what we’ve asked in the weight room with Ray and he’s done everything with the position coaches and coordinator on defense. So, I think he’s learning it and he should because he’s putting the work in.”

Brooks, 33, has entered the past three offseasons with his place on the 49ers seemingly in jeopardy. But the 49ers have not been able to find a younger, better player to replace him. Brooks has tied for the team-lead in sacks in each of the past four seasons with 27 sacks over that span.

Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson and undrafted rookie Jimmie Gilbert were the other players who lined up at the Sam position during the first week of 49ers organized team activities.

Brooks and Aaron Lynch, starters at outside linebacker for the 49ers in the previous systems, have the steepest learning curves in the transition to a new defense. Lynch has moved to the team’s pass-rush defensive end position, known as the “Leo.”

“I think techniques are totally different,” Shanahan said. “How you want to take on blocks, how you want to play the run. Ahmad has been around a little longer than Aaron. So he’s probably had a little bit more crossover, some similar schemes.”