49ers review: Offensive player-by-player

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49ers review: Offensive player-by-player

The Dallas Cowboys had just pulled to within three points and the 49ers took over with 6:55 remaining in regulation.This was an opportunity for the 49ers to string some first downs together and either put the game out of reach, run out the clock or chew up enough time to make it more difficult for the Cowboys to get into position for the game-tying field goal.Instead, the 49ers experienced a complete meltdown that contributed to their eventual 27-24 overtime loss.Things started well enough. Alex Smith hit Josh Morgan for a 13-yard gain. Then, the 49ers fell apart.Backup offensive linemen Alex Boone and Adam Snyder reported as eligible receivers for a run formation. Inside the 49ers' coaches booth, they recognized that the 49ers came out in an illegal formation and they frantically got the sideline to call a timeout.The 49ers kept the same personnel on the field. This time Vernon Davis lined up on the left side to cover up tackle Joe Staley, making the formation legal. With a full timeout to prepare for this formation that included no wide receivers, the Cowboys stopped Frank Gore for 2 yards.On second and 8, the 49ers chose a strange time to leave outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware unblocked. Not only that, the play called for Smith to roll to Ware's side. What resulted was the easiest sack Ware might ever get in his career. That went for an 8-yard loss.Before the third-down play, offensive coordinator Greg Roman and coach Jim Harbaugh were late getting in the play call to Smith. The delay of game made it third-and-21.With the clock stopped, the 49ers still barely got off the next play. Smith rolled right to the short side of the field and had few options. He took the best one. He slid in-bounds to keep the clock moving. The 49ers punted the ball back to the Cowboys, who took over with 4:03 remaining.Here's the player-by-player review for the 49ers' offense:Quarterback
3-Scott Tolzien: Inactive.
7-Colin Kaepernick: Did not play. (Follow on Twitter @Kaepernick7)
11-Alex Smith: Completed 16 of 24 passes for 179 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for a passer rating of 99.1. He gained 21 yards on three scrambles. His best play was a perfectly thrown 12-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Williams. He also did a nice job of recognizing a mismatch and getting the ball to Delanie Walker on a 29-yard score. . . His two worst plays came back-to-back in the third quarter with the 49ers leading 14-7. On second-and-8, he missed Walker at the sideline wide open that would've been at least a 13-yard gain. Then, on the next play, he threw an interception with Vernon Davis and Josh Morgan in the vicinity. He had a clean pocket from which to throw on that play.Running backs
21-Frank Gore: Started at running back and played 53 of the team's 54 offensive snaps. There wasn't much room for him to operate. He gained 47 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. But do you want to know why the 49ers like him so much? His pass-protection was outstanding. He leveled blitzing safety Barry Church off the right side to allow Smith to complete a 21-yard pass to Braylon Edwards . On 49ers' second drive, cut-blocked DeMarcus Ware to the ground to allow Smith to hit Ted Ginn 14-yard gain. . . . Also caught three passes for 17 yards.
24-Anthony Dixon: He got on the field for two plays of offense, He gained 6 yards off the right side on a third-and-1 play in the on the final snap of the first quarter. . . . He was credited with one tackle on special teams.(Follow on Twitter @Boobie24Dixon)
32-Kendall Hunter: He did not play any snaps on offense. But he was the up man on kickoffs. He fielded a short kickoff that deflected off Will Tukuafu's hand. He bounced it to the outside and returned it 43 yards.
44-Moran Norris: Started at fullback and played 16 snaps in the game but just four snaps in the second half. He was seen wearing an orthopedic boot Monday on his left foot. His availability for Sunday's game against Cincinnati is not known. . . . Had a pancake block on linebacker Keith Brooking to enable Gore to pick up 3 yards on a third-and-1 in the first quarter. . . . Made block on cornerback Alan Ball on third-and-1 play on which Dixon gained 6. . . . Got block on Brooking on Gore's 1-yard TD run. . . . Sean Lee tossed him aside to drop Gore for a 1-yard loss in second quarter. . . . Whiffed on third-quarter block of outside linebacker Anthony Spencer and Gore was stopped for no gain off the right side.
49-Bruce Miller: Played solely on special teams and recorded one tackle. (Follow on Twitter @bmiller_49)Wide receivers
10-Kyle Williams: He entered as the 49ers' third receiver after Braylon Edwards' injury and played 16 snaps for the most extended playing time of his career, Williams' second career catch was a touchdown. He made the finger-tip grab of a 12-yard pass over Michael Jenkins and tapped both feet in-bounds for the TD. It was the only pass that came his way in the game. (Follow on Twitter @KyleWilliams_10)
15-Michael Crabtree: Inactive with a left foot injury. (Follow on Twitter @KingCrab15)
17-Braylon Edwards : Started and played the first three snaps of the game before leaving with a right knee sprain. He caught a 21-yard pass from Smith, and immediately stuck his right foot in the ground to redirect up field. That's when it appeared he sustained the injury. GM Trent Baalke said Edwards is "day to day." (Follow on Twitter @OfficialBraylon)
19-Ted Ginn: Entered in place of Edwards on the first drive. He caught four of the seven passes directed his way for a team-high 38 yards. Ginn played 43 snaps in the game.
84-Josh Morgan: He started and played 52 of the possible 54 snaps in the game. He caught three passes for 35 yards.Tight ends
46-Delanie Walker: Played 26 snaps as the 49ers' second tight end. . . He exploited his matchup against outside linebacker Anthony Spencer down the right sideline for a 29-yard scoring play late in the third quarter. (Follow on Twitter @Dwalk46)
85-Justin Peelle: Did not play.
85-Vernon Davis: Started at tight end and played every snap. Let Spencer get past him too quickly before releasing into pattern. Spencer was on Smith for the 9-yard sack on first play of second quarter. . . . He caught just two passes for 18 yards, and was kept in to block on 10 of the 49ers' pass attempts. (Follow on Twitter @VernonDavis85)Offensive linemen
59-Jonathan Goodwin: Started at center and played every snap. . . . Got out to second level to block Keith Brooking on 9-yard run for Gore in second quarter. Had a high snap that got past Smith in the second quarter. He was able to get it back and throw it into end zone, where there was a pass-interference penalty. . . . Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff beat him for a costly sack in overtime.
62-Chilo Rachal: Started at right guard and played most of the game. . . . Did not stick with Sean Lee, who angled down line of scrimmage to stop Gore for 1-yard loss on opening series.
67-Daniel Kilgore: Inactive.
68-Adam Snyder: Entered the game at right guard for a series in the second quarter and another in the fourth quarter. . . . Got clubbed aside by Jay Ratliff, who stopped Gore for a 1-yard gain on a third-and-19 draw play in the second quarter. . . . Was used on a few second-half plays as an extra blocker. He tried to report as eligible receiver, and could be seen motioning to the umpire (not the referee) after breaking the huddle. But he was called for illegal formation to wipe out a 5-yard gain in the third quarter. (Follow on Twitter @ASnyds68)
74-Joe Staley: Started at left tackle and drew the assignment of blocking DeMarcus Ware for most of the game. He generally did a good job on Ware, though Ware got to the outside once to drop Smith for a second-half sack. . . Got double-team block on Marcus Spears to pave way for Gore's 1-yard touchdown run. . . . Spencer got past him to drop Gore for 1-yard loss in second quarter. (Follow on Twitter @jstaley74)
75-Alex Boone: He got on the field for two plays as an extra blocker, though one of those plays was nullified because of an illegal formation.
76-Anthony Davis: Started and played every snap at right tackle. . . Found himself matched in pass protection only three times against Ware, and held his own each time. His pass protection was generally very good. Defensive end Kenyon Coleman tossed him aside to stop Gore for 2-yard gain in third quarter. (Follow on Twitter @AnthonyDavis76)
77-Mike Iupati: Started at left guard and played every snap. . . . Got double-team block on Spears on Gore's TD run. . . . On an early third-quarter sack, he allowed defensive end Jason Hatcher to get between him and Staley for a sack. . . . Did not get as much push as the 49ers expect from him in the run game.
78-Mike Person: Not active.

Jim Harbaugh: I deserve a medal for lasting so long under 49ers ownership

Jim Harbaugh: I deserve a medal for lasting so long under 49ers ownership

In Kyle Shanahan’s first breath after being introduced as 49ers head coach on Feb. 9, he mentioned Jim Harbaugh, along with Bill Walsh, George Seifert and Steve Mariucci.

The head coach of Michigan was listening, and he appreciated the gesture.

“It was very flattering that he said nice things about us at his news conference, and I appreciated that,” Harbaugh said on "The TK Show," a podcast from Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group.

“Now, I don’t think I was there long enough to be compared with Bill Walsh or Coach Seifert, etc. But I think did – and correct me if I’m wrong – I think we did set a record for coaching there the longest under the present ownership, if I’m not wrong.”

That is correct.

Since John and Denise York took over control of the 49ers in 2000 from Denise’s brother, Eddie DeBartolo, the 49ers have employed eight head coaches. Mike Nolan was fired after seven games of his fourth season. The two coaches who followed Harbaugh -- Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly -- were fired after 5-11 and 2-14 seasons, respectively.

Harbaugh’s teams advanced to the NFC Championship Game in each of his first three seasons, including a Super Bowl appearance. He and the 49ers “mutually parted ways,” the club announced, immediately after the team finished with an 8-8 record in 2014.

“I take pride in that,” Harbaugh said. “Maybe there should be an endurance medal, a courage medal, for that.”

Shanahan mentioned Harbaugh during his opening remarks at the introductory press conference earlier this month:

“I’ve got to start out thanking Jed and the whole York family. Giving me this opportunity is, it’s a dream come true and it’s not just an opportunity to be a head coach, but to be a head coach at a place like this where you talk about Bill Walsh, you talk about George Seifert, Steve Mariucci, Jim Harbaugh and you can go down the line with the coaches.”

Said Harbaugh, “Just appreciated it. Appreciated it, and not just for me personally, but appreciated that for all the wonderful players we had and the wonderful coaches and the effort that was put in. People poured their hearts and souls into those years. It’s just appreciated that Kyle would make that comment.”

Harbaugh said he has deep respect for Shanahan and new 49ers general manager John Lynch, whom Harbaugh asked to speak to his Stanford teams during his four-year tenure as head coach.

“Yeah, I would’ve loved to have worked for John Lynch,” Harbaugh said. “He reminds me a lot of the athletic director we have here Warde Manuel, who’s also a former player and a teammate of mine. Common sense guys who are team guys, just the way they go about their business always speaks volumes.

“I thought John took note when they were going through the process. e didn’t want his name mentioned and I think that’s . . . I don’t know if a lot of people noticed that, but I think that’s a profound thing. I think that speaks volumes for who he is as a person. He wants to do a good job and it’s for the right reasons. He’s a competitor at the highest level, so I have great respect for that.”

Kawakami also asked Harbaugh about whether he believes quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still capable of being an NFL starter.

“There’s no doubt he can be an NFL starting quarterback,” Harbaugh said.

“I’m sure Kyle, the coaching staff there and John will meet on it, they’ll think about it, they’ll watch, much like we did when we got in there in 2011. And they’ll make the best decision they can for the team and the organization and it’ll play out the way it’s going to play out.”

Lynch's hirings of Peters, Mayhew left no room for Gamble

Lynch's hirings of Peters, Mayhew left no room for Gamble

During the month the 49ers had no general manager or head coach, Tom Gamble was the next-highest-ranking football official and was charge of the personnel department on an interim basis.

But CEO Jed York made it clear from the beginning Gamble, whom Trent Baalke promoted to assistant general manager just prior to the start of training camp last summer, would not be considered for a promotion to general manager.

John Lynch, with no front-office experience, was hired over Arizona’s Terry McDonough and Minnesota’s George Paton. Before Lynch’s introductory press conference, he hired two top lieutenants in the personnel department to usurp Gamble on the organization's power structure.

On Wednesday, the 49ers announced what had become inevitable: Gamble was leaving the organization.

“I must thank Jed, the York family and the entire 49ers organization for the wonderful memories they provided me and my family, but it is time I move on,” Gamble said in a statement. “This past month, I have had the pleasure of working alongside John Lynch and the talented staff he has assembled. The team is in capable hands and I wish them nothing but the best.”

Lynch’s first move as general manager was to hire Adam Peters away from the Denver Broncos to serve as 49ers vice president of player personnel.

Lynch worked alongside Peters when Lynch took part in Broncos meetings and prospect evaluations, which included a trip to the NFL scouting combine, prior to the 2013 draft.

“That month, month-and-a-half, I actually sat next to Adam every day,” Lynch told CSNBayArea.com. “Those are long meetings. I’d listen to him and we’d talk in between about players. I just saw way back then, he’s a guy who’s highly respected in the league. I firmly believe in two, three years, he would’ve been a GM. He was on that track, at least.”

During Lynch’s introductory press conference a week later, he announced the hiring of Martin Mayhew as senior personnel executive. Lynch and Mayhew were teammates in the secondary for Lynch’s first four NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Mayhew spent seven seasons as Detroit Lions general manager. Mayhew should be able to provide Lynch with valuable counsel as learns on the job after spending the past eight seasons as a TV analyst on FOX.

“Martin has sat in the seat as a general manager and his experience will play an integral role in helping us locate the type of football player we want representing this organization both on the field and in the community,” Lynch said.

Gamble recently completed his 29th NFL season and his 10th with the 49ers in two stints. After he was fired as Philadelphia Eagles vice president of personnel late in the 2014 season, and came back to the 49ers in the 2015 offseason.

While with the Eagles, Gamble was one of the few individuals in the front office who worked well with Chip Kelly. Gamble played an important role in speaking up for Kelly and bringing him to the 49ers last offseason.

Kelly and Baalke were fired after the 49ers' 2-14 season, and the 49ers promoted the ability to create a fresh start when a new coach and general manager. While the 49ers were expecting Gamble to remain with the organization through the draft, his spot with the organization was going to be tenuous with a new regime.

“He is a class act who has helped a great deal in this transition, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him,” Lynch said in a statement. “After working together over the last month, Tom and I agreed that it would be in both of our best interests for him to pursue other opportunities.”