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Tag:David Carr
Posted on: July 26, 2011 11:17 pm
 

Alex Smith returns to 49ers for $5 million deal

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For a guy who was nearly replaced in a Monday Night Football game last year by David Carr, 49ers QB Alex Smith is making out pretty well this season in what probably will be his last chance as a San Francisco starter.

ESPN, via the National Football Post, is reporting that Smith has reached an agreement for a one-year, $5 million contract with the 49ers.

The former No. 1 draft pick has been a major disappointment for San Francisco, which took Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick in the second round of the 2010 draft.

Unless Smith somehow has a breakout year, in his sixth season in the NFL, 2011 most likely will be the final opportunity for 49ers fans to gnash their teeth over him.

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Posted on: April 15, 2011 12:33 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: San Francisco 49ers

Posted by Will Brinson



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups



The 49ers were doomed almost from the very start of last season. After all, check out their schedule for the first five games – the Seahawks, the Saints, the Chiefs, the Falcons and the Eagles (all made the playoffs and combined for a 51-29 record while knocking off the 49ers) – but two weeks after running through that gauntlet, San Francisco fell to the Panthers also. So, that’s not too good.

Neither, for that matter, was coach Mike Singletary, who was fired after Week 16, and neither was much of anybody else. The offense ranked 24th in the league – almost a miracle considering Alex Smith and Troy Smith traded off starting QB spots and RB Frank Gore missed the last five games because of a fractured hip – and though the defense was actually slightly better than average, San Francisco just couldn’t put it together under Singletary’s leadership.




Quarterback Issues

When Singletary named Troy Smith as his starting QB midway through the season, you knew neither of them were long for their respective jobs. When Singletary replaced andinjured Alex Smith with Troy Smith in Week 10 and then switched back to Alex the next week (and then continued to switch the two throughout the rest of the year), there was almost no chance San Francisco would win consistently.

Actually, the trouble began earlier in the season during that infamous Sundayy Night Football game when the San Francisco fans booed Alex Smith and demanding to see the backup QB, and Singletary thought hard about replacing him with David Carr. Smith then led a near comeback attempt vs. the Eagles. Still, not a great sequence for San Francisco.


1. Patient History
We gave the patient history of this position in the section above, so now, let’s figure out what the 49ers will do about it. They actually could keep Alex Smith – they’ve already offered him a one-year contract – but it’s unclear whether Smith will sign it. But yeah, it might make sense for San Francisco to look for quarterbacks in the draft. And remember, Kevin Kolb and Donovan McNabb are still out there as well.

2. Jim Harbaugh
He’s got zero NFL head coaching experience, but 49ers fans have to be excited about the possibilities (considering his success at Stanford and because his brother, John, has done such a bang-up job with the Ravens), and considering he’s getting paid $25 million over five years, he’d BETTER have more success than Singletary. And don’t forget: San Francisco also hired Trent Baalke as GM in the offseason. So, the 49ers are kind of starting over.

3. Cornerback
Nate Clements is fine at one CB spot, but Shawntae Spencer didn’t have a great year last season. Which is why it makes sense for San Francisco to grab either LSU’s Patrick Peterson or Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara with the No. 7 pick in the draft.




The defense is good enough to compete. The 49ers LB corps with Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes (and maybe Manny Lawson) is pretty darn good, and the defensive line, led by Justin Smith, does a nice job as well. The problem here is offense, and not just at QB either.

Gore is coming off a bad injury, and WR Michael Crabtree still hasn’t broken out in a big way. Assuming Harbaugh can get the respect of his team right away – something Singletary struggled with last season – San Francisco could get back to 8-8. Which means the 49ers could contend for the NFC West crown.

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Posted on: February 26, 2011 11:45 am
 

Hot Routes 2.26.11: I cry for Keisel's beard



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio thinks the previous injuries suffered by former Colts S Bob Sanders were fluky and he doesn’t judge them to be a current problem. That's good news for the free agent Sanders.
  • I’ve been meaning to mention this for a couple days, but Adam Jones – you know him better as Pacman – got probation for his role in the 2007 Las Vegas melee.
  • Titans DE Jason Babin and the Tennessee organization haven’t spoken recently. Sounds like the Titans want to wait until a new CBA is finalized before they think about a new deal with the Pro Bowler.
  • Apparently, if Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara is available for the Lions with the No. 13 pick, they’d be happy to take him. If not, it’s not expected Detroit will take another CB instead.

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Posted on: January 11, 2011 2:10 pm
 

Baalke: 'Obvious' that 49ers don't have future QB

Posted by Will Brinson

The 49ers have handled two of their three biggest problems, by promoting Trent Baalke to general manager and hiring Jim Harbaugh as their new head coach. Well, they've addressed the problems; it remains to be seen if the gentlemen can actually handle the issues at hand.

One of those issues is probably the biggest problem held over from the previous regime -- no clear-cut starting quarterback on the roster. Alex Smith's the former franchise quarterback who's clearly not the answer. Troy Smith provided a glimmer of hope during the 2010 season, but he clearly can't handle a complex offensive system. And David Carr, well, let's not get into that. Baalke apparently agrees, as he told Mike Florio on "Pro Football Talk Live" that he doesn't think the Niners' have their

"We've got three ways that we're going to approach it," Baalke said. "Obviously, you've got the draft. You've got potential trades. And you've got free agency. Is the quarterback of the future on this roster? I think it's obvious that he isn't at this point, but things could change and they will change through one of those three vehicles."

Things could get complicated because of the labor negotiations though -- there's a chance that they won't have a chance to either a) sign a veteran before the draft or b) trade for a veteran or trade players to move up in the draft for a quarterback.

Which means that San Francisco will likely draft some quarterback when the weekend of April 28-30 rolls around.

And, on the bright side, at least Baalke's aware that the team need a significant upgrade at the position and that his first test in his new job's going to come soon.

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Posted on: December 21, 2010 3:45 pm
 

Singletary won't tell who he's starting at QB

Posted by Will Brinson

All year long, the 49ers quarterback situation has remained one of the most asinine starting decisions in the NFL. Picking the best available quarterback -- Alex Smith, Troy Smith or David Carr?!?!?! -- is like picking the healthiest meal off of This Is Why You're Fat. And yet, Mike Singletary is still trying to play games, refusing to name a starting quarterback for Sunday's matchup against the Rams ... even though he already knows who it is.

But ... but ... WHY?

"Because it's something I don't want to announce right now," Singletary said via CSN Bay Area.

Oh, well in that case, I'm sure Steve Spagnuolo won't care at all, since he's not spending his week preparing his team for whoever's starting.

"In all honesty, in terms of an advantage, the only real advantage that you can have is to go there and play well," Singletary said. "All the other stuff is cat-and-mouse stuff. I just think it's important for us to prepare well and be ready to go."

See, this is why Singletary is a bad head coach. (But an EXCELLENT position coach and motivator.)

He just got paddled by the Chargers on semi-national television, his quarterback stable is full of whatever the mutt version of a horse is, and yet, at 5-9, he's still inexplicably in the division title race.

What he should be doing is quietly going about his business, picking his quarterback and getting his players ready to try and save his job. What he should not be doing is calling unnecessary attention to himself. And, yet, here we are on Tuesday and he's like a parent, taunting a young child by putting wrapped presents all over the house and constantly reminding them not to open them until Christmas day. Unfortunately for Singletary, the strategy is moot, because everyone already knows it's an ugly sweater under that wrapping paper.

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Posted on: November 23, 2010 12:55 pm
 

Top Ten With a Twist: Biggest and best insults

Jeff Fisher and V. Young aren't exactly getting along these days (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Part of the reason we all follow sports is for all the insult material. I insult your team. You insult his team. You all insult my intelligence. There’s nothing better than a solid day of watching football and insulting all your buddies and having them insult you right back.

Unless it’s watching other people insult each other. Which happens ALL the time in the NFL. I’m not necessarily talking about players woofing at each other on the field, though that obviously has its place on any top-ten insults list. But I’m talking about the crowd insulting a player, a team insulting one of its own or a player insulting a coach in front of the rest of his teammates (psst, this last one might have occurred this past week).

So, let’s explore the best of what the NFL has to offer as far as metaphorically slapping people in the face. And if you choose to ignore this story, your mother wears Army boots.

10. Jonathan Stewart to Panthers offensive line: We’ll start it off relatively mild. After Stewart rushed for 30 yards on 14 carries vs. the Rams in Week 7, he complained about how his offensive line wasn’t opening enough holes. Sure, Stewart has a rushing average of 3.0, but unless Mike Goodson (220 combined yards in the past two games, 12 yards MORE than Stewart’s season total) is rushing behind a different offensive line, I’m not buying Stewart’s argument.

9. Thirty one NFL teams to Marc Mariani: The rookie, drafted in the seventh round this year as the No. 222 overall pick has been a breakout performer for the Titans. Listen, just because he played at Montana doesn’t mean he can’t hang in the NFL. Look at his stats as a punt returner. He’s third in the NFL with a 17.1 yards per punt average and his 87-yard TD return Sunday was his second score of the year.

8. Carson Palmer to Chad Ochocinco: Palmer has found a new play toy with Terrell Owens – who’s got 12 more catches and four more TDs than Ochocinco. Partially, it’s because Ochocinco, at times, doesn’t run the most technically-proficient routes. Of course, Owens gives up on plays some of the time, but there’s little question Owens has been much more effective this season. And Palmer knows it.

7. John Fox to his bosses/fanbase: I’m not sure this qualifies as an insult because I’m not sure exactly what’s going on in Fox’s head. But here’s what I know: he won’t be back as coach in Carolina next year and he decided not to use backup QB Tony Pike and started Brian St. Pierre last week instead, although St. Pierre was a stay-at-home dad the week before. Pike, a rookie, probably wouldn’t have done much better, but this was an odd move.

B. St. Pierre made his first career start last week, even though he was a stay-at-home dad the week before (US Presswire). 6. San Francisco’s Week 2 MNF crowd to Alex Smith: When you call for David Carr to replace your starting quarterback, Candlestick Park crowd, you insult EVERYONE.

5. Michael Vick to dog lovers everywhere: This is an interesting dynamic. If you’re a dog lover, is it impossible to root for Vick? I love dogs, but I think Vick has paid his debt to society and he shouldn’t be scorned for the rest of his life. I also have friends who would like to see Vick ripped limb by limb by one of his former pets, and they always will hope for that moment. Is it me, or do people make a bigger stink about Vick than they do about, say, Ravens WR Donte Stallworth who pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter and then served only 24 days in jail?

4. Dallas Cowboys to Wade Phillips: Weird how, as soon as Jerry Jones pick-slips Phillips, Dallas suddenly plays some of its finest football of the season. Interim coach Jason Garrett probably should get a tiny bit of credit, but why suddenly are the Cowboys on a two-game winning streak? Probably because they all hated Phillips and wanted him to fail and fail hard (I kid, I kid).

3. Terrell Owens to Donovan McNabb: It’s beyond me why Owens would feel it necessary to comment on McNabb’s new contract with the Redskins, asking how the new deal could be justified while Washington and McNabb were taking a beating by the Eagles. McNabb came back and basically asked why a guy playing on a 2-7 (now 2-8) team was criticizing anybody. And it was a good point. A better point: why do we listen to Owens at all when he talks this kind of trash?

2. Vince Young to Jeff Fisher: Just one paraphrased quote when Young departed the Titans locker room Sunday while Fisher was giving his postgame talk said it all. “I’m not walking out on my teammates; I’m walking out on you.” The repercussions of that statement will be felt by Fisher and Young for years to come.

1. NFL owners/players to NFL fans: This one hasn’t happened yet, but it’s been hanging over the entire season like a low-lying storm cloud that’s ready to unleash hell at some point soon. Of course, I mean the impending owner lockout, which would stop all work in the NFL. I have a hard time believing the owners and players won’t work something out before the start of the 2011 season, but it’s entirely possible they could give you the biggest insult of all: no football.

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Posted on: November 12, 2010 11:37 am
 

Five Questions (or More) with Takeo Spikes

T. Spikes has had an outstanding career, but his teams haven't fared so well (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Takeo Spikes, the 49ers veteran LB, has been hugely effective in this league for more than a decade, mostly playing on teams that couldn’t break the .500 mark. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler, but he’s never been to the playoffs.

Though the 49ers are coming off their bye week with a 2-6 record, there’s reason for hope in San Francisco. The team is coming off a big win against the Broncos in London two weeks ago, and Spikes still feels like the team has a chance to compete in the NFC West.

We caught up with Spikes, and we discussed his worldliness, the team’s quarterback situation and how he continues to motivate himself.

Previous Five Questions (or More):

Nov. 5: former WR, current NFL analyst Keyshawn Johnson

Oct. 29: Chargers LS Mike Windt

Oct. 22: Bengals WR coach Mike Sheppard

Oct. 15: Redskins WR Anthony Armstrong

Oct. 8:
Patriots LB Rob Ninkovich

Oct. 1: Kent Babb of the KC Star

Sept. 24: Texans WR Kevin Walter

Sept. 17: former Bengals, Titans DT John Thornton

Sept. 11: Seahawks RB Leon Washington


1. CBSSports.com:
So, you got back from London before the bye week. Aside from the big win, how was the UK?

Takeo Spikes:
London was cool. I like it because it breaks up the monotony of the season. I’ve never been to Europe before. I’ve been to other places, but not to Europe. To go over there and see a different culture was cool. I’m a people person. I went to different restaurants and to see the different sights that you learn about in school when you’re in social studies. It was a great experience.

CBS:
I’ve been to your hometown of Sandersville, Ga., and I know it’s a small town. When you were growing up there, did you ever think about exploring the world? Did you think the NFL could help you do that?

Spikes: I always knew that I wanted to go places. But I never knew I’d go as many places as I’ve been. Football has allowed me to experience much more than I could have even fathomed.

2. CBS: Let’s talk about the win against Denver. How big was that?

Spikes: It was a great win for us. Knowing what we’ve been through during the entire eight games. Just looking back at the last couple weeks, we’ve noticed a lot of improvement. We’ve gone out the last three games, and if you look at the film, we’ve gotten better. We got a much-needed spark with Troy (Smith at QB) coming in. To be able to display what we displayed in London in Wembley Stadium, it was great. The fans were unbelievable. A lot of guys figured it was like playing in college again because there were 85,000 people there.

CBS: You guys went straight from Carolina to London, while Denver spent a couple extra days at home. Do you think it helped that the 49ers flew out early to let your bodies adjust?

Spikes:
I think it helped. To be honest, we got there Monday morning, and we didn’t recover until that Thursday. That’s when everybody’s bodies were back on schedule. I can’t even imagine doing what Denver wanted to do and expect them to feel well-rested and alert. I know for us, even on Wednesday, I still couldn’t go to sleep on time.

CBS:
Could you tell during game that Denver wasn’t as well-rested?

Spikes:
That, I don’t know. I had good intention to ask those guys. I talked to them when they got off the plane on Thursday, and they said they felt fine. But damn, it must have been tough.

3. CBS: What did Troy Smith give you? I know quarterback has been a problem area. You could really see it in that Monday Night game against the Saints when the crowd started chanting for David Carr. But now you go with Troy Smith, and suddenly, it clicks. Why?

Spik
es: Just with Troy’s presence. He’s a guy who’s not only confident in his abilities but he makes everybody feel confident about themselves and what he’s about to do when we step on the field. I know it’s only one game. But if he’s going to continue to be the quarterback, I liked his performance. He made plays down the line when we needed plays to be made. That’s big for us, because as a defensive unit, we know you can only hold up for so long.

CBS:
I think it was surprising because Smith had never shown that before when he was in Baltimore.

Spikes:
It’s about timing and opportunity. When you get the timing and the opportunity, you have to take advantage of it.

4. CBS: You know, your career is fascinating to me. You’ve played at such a high level for so long, but you’ve only been on one team that’s finished with a winning record. After 12 years in the league …

Spikes:
Thirteen years.

CBS: After 13 years, how do you still get excited about football, even when the teams you’ve played on haven’t been so good?

Spikes:
I walk on faith. I think that’s the bottom line. Back in the day, early in my career, you don’t know anything about how a team is supposed to feel, and not understanding the reasons why we’re paying quarterbacks $10-12 million per year. If you have a good quarterback, you’re able to go out and compete no matter how bad your defense is. That’s a fact. Earlier in my career, I didn’t understand that. I thought the defense could do it all. But you still need help. Now, how do I keep myself going? I’m surrounded by a great group of guys, and it’s an even push. They push me all the time. I know what we can be. I see us working toward that as a defense.

5. CBS:
You guys must feel the NFC West is still ripe for the taking. 

Spikes: No doubt about it. This division is still ripe for the taking. We finished the first hard part of our schedule. All the time in this league if you start the season off good, you’re going to go through adversity at some point. The true test is how you come out of it. We have a shot, and it’s no pressure on us. Nobody is expecting anything from us anyway.

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Posted on: November 4, 2010 3:06 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2010 3:31 pm
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: We Talking About Stamina

Posted by Will Brinson

On Sunday, Mike Shanahan inexplicably pulled Donovan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman. Were it not for Randy Moss and Brad Childress, that's all anyone would have talked about Monday and Tuesday.

To counter said distraction, Shanahan and the Redskins brought in Jamarcus Russell for a tryout.

As much as all of that reads like an Onion Sports story, it's the truth, folks -- and as such we have some sort of a quarterback controversy going down with the 4-4 Redskins.

Well, perhaps "controversy" is too strong a word. After all, Grossman isn't as good as McNabb, and Russell, who weighed in at 286 pounds, might have trouble making a Lingerie Football League team. (Actually, he might have an easier time getting on an NFL squad than that, but you see the point.)

The hemming and hawing of Shanny was the worst of it all -- he originally claimed that Grossman was better at running the two-minute offense (clearly a) a lie and b) patently wrong) and then decided that McNabb wasn't in good enough shape to stay on the field.

Regardless of why, Kyle Shanahan (yes, son of Mike) protege Grossman entered the game and immediately guaranteed the Lions a win with a fumble-turned-touchdown.

We understand now that there are locker room issues with Washington (I mean, duh, right?) thanks to Shanahan's decision, and that while he certainly doesn't have the problems of the aforementioned Childress, he's getting dangerously close to blowing up a Washington season that once had promise.

Will Grossman start for the Redskins the rest of the way home? We can only hope so -- after all, that means when the Vikings sign McNabb next year, Leslie Frazier will finally get the respect he deserves.

Whatever, that's a lot of projection, but is it really worth discussing whether or not Grossman should replace McNabb in the starting lineup? Of course it's not -- if the possibility of David Carr replacing Alex Smith in San Francisco a mind-boggling mishap of mediocrity (and it was, as I said and then we saw) then this is just a slap in the face to common sense.

Most coaches go out of their way to avoid quarterbacks controversies like these -- somehow, Mike Shanahan has managed to invite one, while also insulting his veteran leader and the only talented quarterback on the roster.

No amount of humiliation-based motivation is worth the obvious downside to this. And swapping out McNabb for Grossman at this stage would just be proof that Shanny had his brain surgically replaced with Dan Snyder's.

****


Speaking of the 49ers, Troy Smith did a pretty good job of making sure that David Carr won't be seeing the field as a starter (there are always injuries, and he'll seemingly always get a job based on just potential, sigh) any time soon.

But what happens when Alex Smith returns in a few weeks? At that point, Troy will have had multiple weeks with reps as the starter and possibly even more wins than Alex, in many less tries.

It's not like we're discussing someone off the street either -- Troy has the credentials to a degree (the Heisman Trophy has to be worth something, right???) and reasonable stats when he started. His accuracy isn't as good percentage wise as Alex, but he doesn't cough the ball up as much, and San Fran is very much a Frank Gore-based team.

Just saying we shouldn't be so quick to roll right back to Alex just because he was the top pick a few years ago.

****
Matt Moore and Derek Anderson will continue getting the nod -- both moves are the smart play, in reasonably similar situations -- both teams are equal at -65 in point differential, both have star wide receivers, both have a talented pair of running backs that are underperforming, both teams have rookie quarterbacks they believe to be the future, etc., etc. The only difference is that the Cardinals are in a crappy division. And given the way Jimmy Clausen and Max Hall have played, which is to say, "not good," it behooves both coaches to allow their youngsters to develop on the bench and learn while watching for a little while.

****
Pants on Fire (Hot Seat Watch)

- Brad Childress: If I fired Andy right now, no one would notice or care, but the bosses would probably say "um, why did you do that without telling us?" and then fire me too. (Just kidding, I don't have hiring/firing power. And if anything, I'm the Randy Moss of the group. You should see what happens when my coffee isn't premium brand.) Thin ice for Chilly.

- John Fox: Someone asked Sean Payton if he would be willing to hire Fox as an assistant next year, even though Fox still has a job (technically). That's an indication of something, insomuch as 1-6 is at least.

- Wade Phillips: At some point, the awkwardness of Wade's eventual firing will wear off. Thank goodness he doesn't have a primetime game this week!

- Jack Del Rio: Betting against Del Rio when his job is on the line is like betting against Michael Jordan these days. Still, the Jags are going to be hard pressed to make the playoffs in that division with that talent and you have to think Wayne Weaver will at least explore something new once the CBA gets sorted out.

- Mike Singletary: The bright side of eventually losing the NFC West race to the Seahawks and Rams is that he'll be immediately employed as a six figure motivational speaker.

- Marvin Lewis: No one's really talking about Lewis' job being in jeopardy because it's too easy to place blame on Carson Palmer for stinking. But there's a lot of talent on this team and they're underachieving badly.

- Josh McDaniels: The biggest problem for Pat Bowlen is that admitting he messed up with McDaniels is about as fun as Mike Shanahan admitting he messed up with Grossman. Which is like full circle or something, man.

- Norv Turner: A win against the Texans on the road would go a long way towards keeping Norvell safe, particularly with divisional games coming up and Vincent Jackson returning. He should also give Philip Rivers 10 percent of his paycheck for winning games with a receiving corps only outflanked in mediocrity by the Bolts' special teams.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com