What roles for Moss, Jacobs, Ginn?

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What roles for Moss, Jacobs, Ginn?

SANTA CLARA -- Brandon Jacobs and Ted Ginn have not played in the 49ers' first two games of the season. And Randy Moss has played fewer than one-third of the team's offensive snaps.

That could change in future weeks, and coach Jim Harbaugh likes the mystery to build.
"There are a lot of possibilities there, and you like to have your opponent think about all those possibilities," Harbaugh said Monday, one day after the 49ers' 27-19 victory over the Detroit Lions.In training camp, it appeared as if Jacobs would be the 49ers' short-yardage back, Ginn would handle the return, Moss would be the No. 2 wide receiver behind Michael Crabtree.But after two games, Jacobs (left knee) and Ginn (right ankle) have been inactive due to injuries. And Mario Manningham, not Moss, appears entrenched as the starter opposite Crabtree.That's quite a departure for Moss, who ranks among the all-time NFL receiving leaders. Among the 49ers' receivers, Moss ranked fourth in playing time behind Crabtree, Manningham and Kyle Williams on Sunday nightRELATED: 49ers play time -- Moss was No. 4 receiver
"Nobody around here ever gets caught in 'The Guy' terminology," Harbaugh said. "It's about us. It's about the team. There's no evidence he (Moss) is concerned about 'The Guy' tag. He knows football. He knows the team that plays the best is going to win the game. He's about that."Early indications are that Jacobs might not be ready for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings. Ginn could be available to return to action, but it's not known whether he' will unseat Williams as a return man."We know what those guys can do," Harbaugh said of Jacobs and Ginn. "We know what their role is, and it is carved out. But at the same time, we're going to play the guys you feel each week that give us the best chance to win and are practicing better and whose ultimately is going to play better in the game. You also need to see that on the practice field."

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.”