Division title significant achievement for 49ers

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Division title significant achievement for 49ers

SANTA CLARA -- The first year quarterback Alex Smith came to the 49ers, a banner hung on a wall outside the locker room."Win the West!"That was 2005. The 49ers, just two seasons removed from an NFC West title, were coming off a 2-14 season.Now, the point has finally arrived. With Smith still at quarterback, the 49ers can wrap up the division title with a victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at Candlestick Park.

"For anyone who's only been here, obviously, this is new territory for us," Smith said. "It's something we've talked about every year and to all of a sudden have it in our hands and a chance to clinch, it's great."Shortly after he was hired as 49ers coach, Mike Nolan had the banner displayed. It had helmets of the three other teams in the NFC West with a red "X" through each of them. But Nolan was not around to see the goal reached. Nolan was fired after recording an 18-37 record in 3 12 seasons. Fifteen players, including 11 current starters, remain from that era.
Nolan is currently the Miami Dolphins' defensive coordinator. The Dolphins declined to make him available for an interview."Organizationally, our policy is that assistant coaches (including our coordinators) only discuss our own players, and not players on other teams around the league," a Dolphins spokesman said.Mike Singletary followed Nolan as coach, and compiled an 18-22 record in 2 12 seasons. Thirteen players, including five starters, remain from the time Singletary was coach. Singletary, currently special assistant to the head coachlinebackers with the Minnesota Vikings, declined an interview request."Coach Singletary said he is happy for the 49ers organization but at this time he politely declines the request," said a Vikings spokesman.Jim Harbaugh, in his first season, has been able to take the 49ers where Nolan and Singletary could not. The 49ers (9-2) will clinch the NFC West with a victory or tie over the Rams. The 49ers can still wrap up the division title with a loss, as long as Seattle and Arizona both lose or tie."It's something we've mentioned this week, about the importance of this game," 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said. "But it's another game for us to go out and get better. It's a big game because it's an opportunity for us to do something we haven't done in a long time."Said Smith, "This is what you work so hard for. We put ourselves in a good situation and now we need to go out on Sunday and finish it."

Staley sits out 49ers practice with hamstring injury

Staley sits out 49ers practice with hamstring injury

SANTA CLARA – Left tackle Joe Staley, who has not missed a game since 2010, did not practice Thursday due to a hamstring injury.

The 49ers’ five-time Pro Bowl performer has the third-longest active streak among offensive tackles with 92 consecutive starts. Only Cleveland's Joe Thomas (156) and Oakland's Donald Penn (152) have started more consecutive games.

Staley’s availability for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets at Levi’s Stadium is in question after he was held out of practice on Thursday after going through the full workload on Wednesday.

If Staley is unable to play, the 49ers would likely move left guard Zane Beadles to left tackle and insert Andrew Tiller at left guard. Tiller started the first five games of the season at right guard before rookie Joshua Garnett took over.

49ERS PARTICIPATION REPORT
Did not practice
T Joe Staley (hamstring)
Limited
DT Quinton Dial (elbow)
DT Glenn Dorsey (knee)
RB Shaun Draughn (ribs)
LB Eli Harold (toe)
LB Aaron Lynch (ankle)
Full participation
DT Ronald Blair (hamstring)
C Daniel Kilgore (hamstring)

JETS PARTICIPATION REPORT
Did not practice
S Antonio Allen (concussion)
T Breno Giacomini (back, calf, shoulder)
WR Jalin Marshall (concussion)
DT Steve McLendon (hamstring)
RB Khiry Robinson (lower leg)
Limited
LB Lorenzo Mauldin (ankle)
S Calvin Pryor (concussion)
DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle)
Full participation
RB Matt Forte (knee, foot)
WR Brandon Marshall (knee, foot)
CB Nick Marshall (ankle)
DE Leonard Williams (illness)
CB Marcus Williams (ankle)

Pearl Harbor speech: Admiral calls out Kaepernick, others for anthem kneeling

Pearl Harbor speech: Admiral calls out Kaepernick, others for anthem kneeling

Wednesday was the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Although he didn't call out Colin Kaepernick by name, Admiral Harry B. Harris gave a speech that included a message intended for a certain group of athletes and/or entertainers.

“You can bet that the men and women we honor today, and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago, never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played."

Many of those in attendance gave the Admiral a standing ovation.

During the preseason, Kaepernick remained seated on the 49ers' team bench during the national anthem.

After sparking a national controversy, Kaepernick began kneeling as opposed to sitting.

After the 49ers' loss to the Bears on Sunday, Kaepernick said he will continue his demonstration moving forward.

"Today we have a precious opportunity to reflect -- to reflect on what it means to be a patriot, to reflect on what it means to be a nation tested by war, and to reflect on both the costs and the blessings of liberty," Admiral Harris added. "To America's World War II patriots here and watching at home -- we will never forget your courage under considerable fire and seemingly insurmountable odds.

"Because of you, our future remains bright. We owe you an immeasurable debt and we can't thank you enough for answering the call of duty when Lady Liberty needed it the most."