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Tag:Jim Harbaugh
Posted on: March 7, 2012 2:23 pm
 

Baalke: 49ers aren't going after Manning

By Josh Katzowitz

While teams apparently are jumping into what should be an expensive sweepstakes to win the affections of Peyton Manning -- the Dolphins, the Redskins, the Jets, the Cardinals, etc. -- at least one potential landing place won’t be accepting Manning’s job application.

Latest news at Peyton's place
That is the 49ers, who apparently are content to re-sign Alex Smith rather than test the waters with Manning. That’s what San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke told KNBR radio (via the Sacramento Bee), saying, “We haven't had Peyton in here nor are we even talking about those things internally right now. ... Is he going to play? I don't know. That's for the doctors to make the decision on and for him himself."

Meanwhile, San Francisco is still trying to sign Smith, an unrestricted free agent who seemingly has coach Jim Harbaugh in his corner.

"We're working very hard on it like we are with all our free agents. I said this all along and I hate to be a broken record, but Alex is an important part of it,” Baalke said. “Carlos (Rogers) is an important part of it. All of these guys that were here last year, that are out there, that are free agents, we're trying our best to put the best package that we can together to keep as many of them as we can."

Maybe, though, the 49ers should take a look at Manning. As CBSSports.com’s Will Brinson recently pointed out, “If any team is ‘one guy away,’ it's the 49ers. And that's why you can't count them out.” Because who would you rather have: Smith or Manning (even if it’s a Manning that’s not 100 percent healthy)?

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Posted on: February 28, 2012 4:59 pm
 

Ahmad Brooks gets 6 years, reported $44.5M

Brooks will keep making tackles in a Niners jersey for some time. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The 49ers sported one of the top defenses in 2011. They'd like to repeat that success next year, and they took one step towards doing so by signing outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks to a six-year deal the team announced on Tuesday.

It's believed, according to a report from Matt Barrows, that Brooks deal is worth $44.5 million with $17.5 million guaranteed.

Brooks will be in his sixth year in the NFL in 2012, and his fourth with the Niners. He was claimed as a third-round pick in the 2006 Supplemental Draft by the Bengals and then off of waivers by the 49ers in 2008. Prior to 2011, Brooks was given a starter's role under the new coaching staff.

He blew up for a career-high seven sacks and 59 tackles and, according to general manager Trent Baalke, will continue to start opposite Aldon Smith in the Niners lineup going forward.

Brooks also posted three sacks of Saints quarterback Drew Brees in the 49ers somewhat-shocking playoff upset of New Orleans.

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Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:45 am
 

2012 NFL Combine Day 1: Winners and losers

Whatever you say, Mr. Ryan. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Forgive us for not primarily focusing on draft-related players in this edition of knee-jerk judgments. But on the first day of the NFL combine, there were relatively few players of note to talk to; none of the interior linemen made appearances with the media, there were some lonely kickers and punters present, and not all of the tight ends showed up.

Most of the media sessions were spent chatting up various general manages and coaches, every single one of whom was asked about Peyton Manning and/or Andrew Luck. Or their own quarterback.

Winners

Andrew Luck: Luck isn't even in Indianapolis yet (that we know of) and he's already getting swooned over, as Mike Freeman wrote earlier on Thursday. The only flaw that people can find is his arm strength, and even that's a stretch. More good news is that his former coach, Jim Harbaugh, thinks he'll handle the pressure of all the expectations surrounding him just fine. Don't expect the hypemobile to drop speed between now and late April.

St. Louis Rams
: On Thursday night, we told a St. Louis radio station that Jeff Fisher would be sitting back and smoking a cigar by the time Robert Griffin III finished running his 40-yard dash. That's because Fisher and the Rams will be holding an auction for Griffin, the clear-cut, second-best (if second ...) quarterback in the draft. Everyone in Indy's glowing about the kid and he hasn't arrived yet either. And everyone interested should get involved. If the Browns, Dolphins and Redskins don't get involved, they're doing themselves a disservice, because RG3 is going to good in the NFL. Make the move, pay the picks and reap the benefits. Fisher's willing to do just that.

Green Bay Packers: There seems to be a lot of speculation about teams wanting Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn around Indy right now. (The Browns, Dolphins and Seahawks could all be interested parties.) Now that Green Bay's locked up Jermichael Finley for two more years, they can, if they want, apply the franchise tag to Flynn and then trade him for the best offer they get from one of the interested teams. As long as they get more than whatever the compensatory pick would be, they win in this deal.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Shortly after Kevin Colbert stated that he wanted wide receiver Mike Wallace to retire as a Steeler, Pittsburgh managed to restructure Ben Roethlisberger's contract. Making Ben more expensive in the future might not help in the future, but it means right now the Steelers can keep Mike Wallace. The No. 1 wideout in Pittsburgh's gotten flak as the heat's cranked up on the possibility of him leaving, but the fact remains that he's the team's best wideout. Antonio Brown is a stud -- the only guy who we know that loves Brown more than we do is fantasy expert Dave Richard -- and he'll keep improving. But Brown doesn't become team MVP without Wallace keeping top cornerbacks away from his side of the field.

LaRon Landry: Holy muscles, Batman. Did he hijack Ryan Braun's FedEx package or something? We kid, we kid. (But no, seriously: we're joking.) On the first day of young football playing fellas flexing their muscles for the public, Landry stole the show with his ripped Twitter pics.

Losers

Jonathan Martin: Forgive us for not loving everyone out of Stanford, or for not giving Martin credit for having confidence. But the athletic offensive tackle won't be participating in most of the drills at the combine, because of food poisoning. (We asked him what he ate, and he didn't remember, but said it was in Arizona. Fear not, consumers of spicy shrimp cocktails.) Martin also repeatedly said he's the best tackle available in the draft, and said "without a doubt" he's better than Matt Kalil. Competition is fun, and confidence is good, but we're not sure why he's talking a big game if he's not participating in the drills.

Mark Sanchez: As Clark Judge noted, "Sanchez should be worried." That's because Rex Ryan came out and made no bold guarantees (a staple of the combine for Ryan) regarding the job security of his starting quarterback. It's OK for Rex to downplay the interest the Jets could have in Peyton Manning; Manning's not a free agent yet, and there are roughly 25 NFL teams that will at least discuss what Manning could do to their franchise. But the lack of guarantees for Sanchez during a tumultuous offseason should be concerning for the Jets current starting quarterback.

Kevin Kolb: Like Sanchez, Kolb didn't exactly get ringing endorsements from the guys who cut his checks. Ken Whisenhunt and Rod Graves didn't explicitly say they'd think about dumping Kolb (due a roster bonus on March 17) if Manning became available, but they sure didn't slam the door on the idea. 

Tight Ends: This is the new position that's redefining the NFL, right? Well, um, here's the problem (as also noted by CBSSports.com's own Pete Prisco): where were these guys during their big combine day? Rob Gronkowski was the story during the Super Bowl, and for a week after. Jimmy Graham shattered records. Vernon Davis was the guy who made Alex Smith great. And Orson Charles, the third-rated tight end by NFLDraftScout.com, said he's happy to sit and learn behind someone like Tony Gonzalez?Love the attitude. Love it, and Gonzo's the man. But if you're a coming into college and someone tries to steer you away from playing tight end in college, don't listen to them. Or listen to them and stop playing basketball?

Stevie Johnson: We've thought he'd get the franchise tag from Buffalo at minimum. But in listening to Bills head coach Chan Gailey, that's just not happening. Or it might; but Gailey's description of Johnson was quintessential "we're sorry to lose Stevie." He said he wouldn't miss Stevie until Stevie was gone and then cited the "business" of the game. Those aren't the words of a coach who's pumped to be celebrating a new contract for his franchise wideout.

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Posted on: February 23, 2012 7:54 pm
 

Harbaugh on Luck: 'He's got all the qualities'

Breaking news: Jim Harbaugh loves Andrew Luck. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- There's a weird bit of symmetry going on in Indy for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. He spent Wednesday night sitting on the bench with his brother-in-law, Indiana Hoosiers coach Tom Crean, and several of Harbaugh's former players at Stanford are prominent prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft.

2012 scouting combine coverage
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2012 NFL scouting combine More combine coverage
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Perhaps you've heard of one of them: Andrew Luck. Luck is, according to what one scout told Mike Freeman, "almost the perfect prospect." While Harbaugh wasn't quite as effusive with his praise of Luck, he's clearly enamored with the former Stanford quarterback.

"You ever play spades?" Harbaugh asked a confused-looking crowd of reporters. "It's a trump game? He's holding a lot of aces in a lot of suits."

Harbaugh, in case you're wondering, is having fun this week. He continued to have fun with the media, bantering back and forth with a group of reporters "looking for bullet points" about his former pupil.

"He's got all the qualities, really, mentally, physically," Harbaugh said. "He's really good? How about that one? He's got a lot of talent."

Hooray for platitudes! But, no, seriously, Jim. People are putting a lot of pressure on Luck, who's been deemed the best thing since Peyton Manning supplanted sliced bread (and Harbaugh himself, actually) as the greatest thing on the planet. Is it fair?

"Fair or unfair, it's the nature of the business," Harbaugh said. "And he's very equipped to deal with. He's very mature."

Luck's definitely mature. We spoke to him at the Super Bowl and even in a few minutes, it's clear just how measured he is in his responses, without being contrite in the slightest. That doesn't make his task -- which is almost certainly going to be "filling Peyton's shoes" -- any easier. But if anyone's going to be able to do it, it's Luck.

Just ask Jim Harbaugh. Or don't.

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Posted on: February 23, 2012 7:54 pm
 

Harbaugh on Luck: 'He's got all the qualities'

Breaking news: Jim Harbaugh loves Andrew Luck. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- There's a weird bit of symmetry going on in Indy for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. He spent Wednesday night sitting on the bench with his brother-in-law, Indiana Hoosiers coach Tom Crean, and several of Harbaugh's former players at Stanford are prominent prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft.

2012 scouting combine coverage
Draft prospect rankings
Latest mock drafts
2012 NFL scouting combine More combine coverage
Combine blog | On iTunes | Newsletter

Perhaps you've heard of one of them: Andrew Luck. Luck is, according to what one scout told Mike Freeman, "almost the perfect prospect." While Harbaugh wasn't quite as effusive with his praise of Luck, he's clearly enamored with the former Stanford quarterback.

"You ever play spades?" Harbaugh asked a confused-looking crowd of reporters. "It's a trump game? He's holding a lot of aces in a lot of suits."

Harbaugh, in case you're wondering, is having fun this week. He continued to have fun with the media, bantering back and forth with a group of reporters "looking for bullet points" about his former pupil.

"He's got all the qualities, really, mentally, physically," Harbaugh said. "He's really good? How about that one? He's got a lot of talent."

Hooray for platitudes! But, no, seriously, Jim. People are putting a lot of pressure on Luck, who's been deemed the best thing since Peyton Manning supplanted sliced bread (and Harbaugh himself, actually) as the greatest thing on the planet. Is it fair?

"Fair or unfair, it's the nature of the business," Harbaugh said. "And he's very equipped to deal with. He's very mature."

Luck's definitely mature. We spoke to him at the Super Bowl and even in a few minutes, it's clear just how measured he is in his responses, without being contrite in the slightest. That doesn't make his task -- which is almost certainly going to be "filling Peyton's shoes" -- any easier. But if anyone's going to be able to do it, it's Luck.

Just ask Jim Harbaugh. Or don't.

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 6:02 pm
 

49ers name Yu president, extend GM Baalke

The 49ers now have stability in the front office and at head coach. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Gideon Yu, a co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers who previously served as chief financial officer of both YouTube and Facebook, was officially named the team’s president and co-owner Thursday, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Kyle Bonagura.

“My whole career has led to this point," Yu said in a statement released by the 49ers. "My job here is the perfect mix of my passions for football, entrepreneurship, business management and technology. Being at my favorite team in my favorite sport is a dream come true.”

Forty-niners CEO Jed York called Yu "both a visionary and the 'go-to' guy who can lead us through the enormous opportunities ahead such as, the stadium construction, expansion of our brand and its businesses, and positioning the franchise for the future. We have more to do now than ever before, and Gideon is the right person to get the job done.”

Yu will handle the business operations while general manager Trent Baalke, whose contract was extended Friday, will be responsible for all football operations. Both men will report to York.

The 49ers are coming off a 13-3 season, the NFC West title, and a trip to the NFC Championship game. It was their first playoff appearance since 2002, when Steve Mariucci was the head coach and Jeff Garcia the quarterback.

First-year coach Jim Harbaugh exceeded everybody's expectations -- as did the previously much-maligned quarterback Alex Smith, who Harbaugh says he wants back in San Francisco for 2012.

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 10:27 pm
 

Harbaugh wants Smith back in SF as starting QB

Smith could be back.  (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Ryan Wilson

Jim Harbaugh has been an Alex Smith supporter at least as far back as last summer when, during the lockout, the first-year 49ers head coach announced that he wanted the then-free agent quarterback in San Francisco as his starter. This must've seemed odd to Smith, whose NFL career up to that point had been full of underachievement and disappointment (though, to be fair, it wasn't completely his fault; this is what happens when you play in an new offense virtually every season in an organization that lacked stability until recently).

Now fresh off a 13-3 season, the NFC West title, and a trip to the NFC Championship Game, Harbaugh wants Smith, set to be a free agent in March, back for 2012. Even though the team selected quarterback-of-the-future Colin Kaepernick in the second round of the 2011 draft. Smith finished the season with 3,144 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, and ranked 13th in Football Outsiders' quarterback efficiency metric ahead of Joe Flacco and Cam Newton.

Three days after Smith accepted the NFL Coach of the Year award on behalf of Harbaugh at the inaugural NFL Awards during Super Bowl Weekend in Indy, the two played golf together at a Pebble Beach charity event. (And via CSNBayArea.com's Matt Maiocco, Smith will serve as Harbaugh's caddie on Day 1 of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.) To hear the 49ers head coach, it sounds like he's in no hurry to break up the band.

"We're all in lockstep as an organization that Alex Smith is our guy. It's well-documented. You saw the way he played this year," Harbaugh told "Chronicle Live" host Jim Kozimor, according to Maiocco. "(He is a) tremendous leader on our football team.

"There's Alex and there are other guys, too, that are high priorities. We want our guys. There are guys who play like 49ers, and what they do is they play their hearts out for our team. So Alex and others, (it's) going to be a high-priority to get those guys signed."

Despite a career year, Smith understands he has to improve.

"For me, it's all about strengthening your weaknesses -- getting better," Smith said, "really analyzing where you need to get better and being honest with yourself, as a player and as a team. That's what will happen in the coming weeks."

The 49ers were a fantastic story in 2011 but the real test will be if they can sustain their success from one season to the next.

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 3:32 pm
 

Harbaugh wives on their NFL husbands, rivalries

By Will Brinson

One of the more enjoyable interviews we had at Radio Row before the Super Bowl was with Sarah and Ingrid Harbaugh, the wives of Jim and John Harbaugh. Not only are they wonderful women, but they complimented our video presence and brought us candy.

Skinny Cow candy, specifically, which is a) not as bad for you as normal candy and b) helping to raise money for Curesearch for Children's Cancer. (If you don't like eating candy to help prevent cancer in children, we don't want to be friends with you.)

Anyway, we caught up with them on Friday at Radio Row and chatted about what it was like being the respective spouses of two NFL coaches, how they spent Thanksgiving (during the Harbaugh Bowl), how they spent the Sunday of the Championship Games, and whether or not they were dreading the possibility of the Ravens and 49ers playing in the Super Bowl.



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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