Tag:San Francisco 49ers
Posted on: March 1, 2011 9:07 pm

Yonamine, first Asian-American player, dead at 85

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You probably have never hard of Wally Yonamine before reading the first part of this sentence, but his impact on the NFL history books cannot be denied.

Yonamine, who died Monday night from prostrate cancer at the age of 85, was the first Asian-American to play in the NFL when he lined up at running back for the 49ers in 1947. That particular year and that particular city are all the more poignant because many citizens of Japanese descent had just been released from internment camps after World War II had ended.

His participation in pro football that season provided excitement for an Asian-American community that had been through hell in their chosen country of residence.

Yonamine wasn’t just a football player. In fact, it sounds like football wasn’t even his best sport. That was baseball where he played for the Yomiuri Giants in the Japanese league as he became the first American player to play across the Pacific since the end of WWII. He was inducted into the Japanese baseball hall of fame in 1994.

“One day, I was surprised by an unknown caller on the telephone,” 49ers owner and co-chairman Dr. John York said in a statement. “Wally Yonamine reached out to me and asked that I present him into the Japanese American Sports Hall of Fame, in 2002. That phone call introduced me to a wonderful new friend and a man that is very important in 49ers history, the 49ers first Asian American player. Wally will be sadly missed by me and those with a love of 49ers history.”

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Posted on: March 1, 2011 12:49 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2011 12:50 pm

Patrick Peterson impresses at combine's final day

Posted by Will Brinson

Patrick Peterson is the consensus top cornerback in the 2011 NFL Draft class, and the top-rated player on Rob Rang's big board.

He's such elite prospect that he aimed for a 4.2 40 and no one really questioned whether or not he would do it. He didn't, but that's okay -- he still ripped off two really fast runs of 4.32 and 4.37 on the final day of the combine.

Peterson also impressed with a 10'6" showing on the broad jump and a 38" vertical -- there wasn't a ton of upside to what he could do in terms of showing at the combine because of his already-high ranking, but he certainly solidified his standing as the top cornerback in this year's draft.

Peterson's position in the draft is particularly interesting, because the Panthers need help in lots of areas and the Denver just locked up stud veteran cornerback Champ Bailey for four more years, but both teams could conceivably pull trigger on a cornerback at the top of this draft.

If they don't, a cornerback-needy team with an early-round pick (San Francisco?) is going to be very pleased with their first-round haul.

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Posted on: March 1, 2011 10:40 am
Edited on: March 1, 2011 10:42 am

Amukamara puts to rest issues with his speed

Posted by Will Brinson

Prince Amukamara, CBSSports.com's second-highest rated cornerback and 10th-overall prospect, was the unquestioned star of the early defensive backs who ran the 40, posting an impressive (albeit unofficial) pair of times on Tuesday at the combine. On Amukamara's first run, he ran the 40 in 4.37 seconds, and in the second attempt, 4.44.

The biggest knock on Amukamara was his speed -- that probably shouldn't be a problem anymore.

As Chad Reuter notes, there are "still concerns about his recovery speed" but "in the right system" Amukamara will be a star.

Currently, Rob Rang has Amukamara being drafted by Dallas at ninth overall, while Reuter sees him going 11th to the Houston Texans.

If he continues to perform like he did this morning, there's a decent chance he won't even last that long -- someone like San Francisco could certainly make a play before he falls to the Texas teams.

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Posted on: February 16, 2011 9:50 pm

Gore says hip is completely healed

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Less than three months after suffering a season-ending hip fracture, 49ers RB Frank Gore said he’s completely healed, and he’s been cleared to begin running Feb. 28.

Gore "I will be better," Gore told CSN Bay Area. "I will take it one day at a time. I'm just happy to say that my injury healed perfectly. And right now I'm trying to get some strength, and in another week start running."

Before he got hurt, Gore was having a strong season, gaining more than 1,300 yards of offense while scoring five touchdowns.

New San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh has said he wants to get backup RB Anthony Dixon more playing time, but he also realizes he can’t place Gore on the bench very much. Because, frankly, that would be rather foolish.

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Posted on: February 12, 2011 12:00 pm

Jim Harbaugh popping in the Bill Walsh film

Posted by Andy Benoit

Upon getting the Stanford head coaching job in 2007, John Harbaugh got an endorsement from the legendary Bill Walsh. Presumably, Walsh would be a fan of Harbaugh stepping in as the newest head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

Harbaugh plans to run a variation of the West Coast offense that Walsh first invented. According to Matt Maiocco of Comcast Sports Bay Area, Harbaugh will soon spend time watching extensive 1980s video of Walsh and his staff implementing the system. Maiocco writes, “The 49ers recently received a shipment of tapes and DVDs from NFL Films that contains videos of Walsh and some of his offensive coordinators through the years installing the offense. The 49ers' library of videos at the team's offices in Santa Clara had been decimated through the years with numerous coaches ‘borrowing’ the resources and failing to return them.”

Walsh taped all meetings during his tenure, and NFL Films backed up many of the tapes. "We're all very excited about that," Harbaugh said. "(Receivers coach) John Morton, myself, (quarterbacks coach) Geep Chryst, we're all kind oWf champing at the bit to get our hands on that."

Harbaugh has already reviewed every snap of the Niners’ 2010 season, and he has spoken with a majority of the players. He’ll spend most of his time working with the offense, as Vic Fangio will oversee the defense.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: February 9, 2011 3:08 pm

Hot Routes 2.9.11 football world carries on

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

Former Jets quarterback Ray Lucas is in rehab for an addiction to painkillers. He’s sharing his experience via Facebook.

America’s most prominent liars (White House party crashers) managed to get into Jerry Jones’ suite during the Super Bowl, only to be promptly escorted out.

Jim Harbaugh and Alex Smith have been spending lots of time together at the Niners’ Santa Clara facility. Their relationship is strictly platonic. Or business-related.

A Bill Parcells Hall of Fame debate is understandable. But Drew Bledsoe?

The Ravens will likely be looking for a new backup for Joe Flacco this offseason.  

The Buffalo Bills are getting new uniforms in 2011 (perhaps the old ones weren’t busy enough?). On Wednesday morning, the team devoted its entire homepage to the announcement. (Which is actually an announcement about an announcement, given that the unis won’t be revealed for another few weeks.)

Cornerback Renaldo Hill is reportedly getting a tryout with the Ravens. (What veteran corner HASN’T tried out with the Ravens in the past 12 months?)

Never too early to look ahead to next year – Super Bowl champions included.

Pro Football Weekly doesn’t think the Broncos will bring Kyle Orton back.

The Bucs recently hired two co-defensive coordinators (head coach Raheem Morris calls the shots on defense). One of them, Kevin Millard, received an endorsement from Warren Sapp. The legendary defensive tackle got on the horn with GM Mark Dominik.

Former Raiders linebacker Greg Biekert is now current Raiders linebacker coach Greg Biekert.

The Patriots are losing a few assistants. The guess here is they’ll still be fine.

Posted on: February 5, 2011 2:55 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 3:02 pm

Marisa Miller talks Super Bowl, Niners, NFL

By Josh Katzowitz

Marisa Miller is your dream girl. She’s beautiful – a supermodel who’s been a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl and a Victoria’s Secret angel – and she’s funny and sweet, and when she laughs and touches your arm, it makes you want to put on the pads and go out looking to smash James Harrison.

Plus, she’s a huge football fan. She’s been making the rounds at the Super Bowl this week for Captain Morgan’s First Mate Fund, and for every pose collected this week, Captain Morgan will donate $1 to help retired NFL players. We caught up with her late Friday afternoon, as publicists and her boyfriend buzzed around, and we talked about her favorite team, what sports meant to her growing up and how tough she thinks the Steelers are.

CBSSports.com: Tell me about doing Radio Row.

Marisa Miller: It’s pretty crazy.

CBS: I’m in the Media Center and trying to go out through Radio Row, and I’m tripping over The Situation, and it’s a crazy thing out there. I guess you’re constantly being moved here and there.

MM: I am.

CBS: What’s the experience like?

MM: Honestly, it’s actually kind of nice having everybody in the same room. It does give you the freedom to go to the next person, and there’s the energy of the room. It’s fun doing radio. I really like it.

CBS: More so then video or TV?

MM: It’s a different vibe doing radio. Obviously, it’s just your voice. It’s all about the conversation. It’s fun to talk football. I grew up watching football, since I was about 9 or 10 years old in NorCal. I was a big 49ers fans. That’s something my dad and I did growing up. That was like our bonding time. And this is my sixth Super Bowl.

CBS: None with the 49ers, though.

MM: [makes a sad face] No.

CBS: How did your dad get you into the game?

MM: I’m really close with my dad, and I was always really athletic, so naturally, I gravitated toward sports. I always wanted to hang out with my dad. I played volleyball and basketball in high school. I was just very active. I think football is such a great spectator sport. It’s so intense. It’s such a big part of my family’s social life on the weekend. On Sunday, everybody comes over, I cook a big meal, we scream at the TV. It’s really important to have that healthy competition in your life. I was a pretty shy, sensitive girl growing up. When I started playing sports, it gave me that support system in junior high and high school. That’s a really hard time in anybody’s life. It was nice to have that support.

CBS: The 49ers must have been good when you were growing up. Was that the era of Montana and Rice?

MM: Yep, one of my most vivid memories was watching Super Bowl XXIII with Cincinnati and the 49ers. It was the first time I was watching a game in a public space and not just with my family.

We went to our favorite family restaurant, and they have an upstairs restaurant/bar area with the big screen. It was my first time being in a room with other fans, not just my family. It was a really fun environment. I just remember it was 34 seconds left, Montana to Taylor wins the game and adults were on tables and jumping up and down. I thought it was the funniest thing, because I thought, ‘Wow, these adults can act like kids.’ It was like your license to go crazy and cheer for your team.

It was funny because after that Super Bowl, I was walking through the mall with my friend in San Jose and I passed by Jerry Rice, my childhood hero. I turn around and I had to stop him. I knew exactly who he was. I think he tripped out a little bit, because I was like 11 and he’s like, “How does she know who I am?” He was so gracious. I tore off a piece of my shopping bag, and he signed it. You always hope your childhood hero is as cool as you think they are. He really was.

CBS: What do you think about Jim Harbaugh?

MM: We need something (laugh). We need change. We have a lot of talent on the team. It’s always about working the dynamics, having the right leadership and having it come together. This is going to be a fresh start. I think it’s going to come together.

CBS: They still need a quarterback, though.

MM: (Laughs)

CBS: I don’t think anybody on the team is that guy.

MM: Yeah, we’ll see if anybody on the team steps up. But definitely. Now that we have the coach, it’d be nice to see someone … hey, they passed on Aaron Rodgers. Man, my dad and I talk about that all the time. I don’t think we’re ever going to let that one go.

CBS: Give me your prediction for the Super Bowl. I know you’re buddies with Aaron Rodgers, so don’t let that be a bias.

MM: The great thing about this Super Bowl is that we have two teams that have so much history in the NFL. Pittsburgh has won more Super Bowls than anybody, and they obviously have the experience on their side. They’re tough as s---. But having said that, there’s something about Green Bay that I really like, and they’ve had to win some tough games to get here. And they got some momentum. I don’t know. I really think they’re going to do well.

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Posted on: January 18, 2011 3:38 pm

Singletary heading to Minnesota as LB coach

Posted by Will Brinson

No one's ever questioned Mike Singletary's ability to motivate young men. In fact, he was highly successful as a linebackers coach with the 49ers, and it seems likely that he'll be highly successful as a linebackers coach for the Minnesota Vikings.

Because that's where he'll be coaching in 2011 -- Singletary told the "Waddle and Silvy" show on Tuesday that he accepted the position with Minnesota.

"I will be in Minnesota with Les [Frazier]," Singletary said. "I will be a linebackers coach/assistant head coach."

Singletary had previously been rumored to possibly land in either Carolina or Minnesota, where the new head coaches (Ron Rivera and Leslie Frazier, respectively) are former teammates of Singletary's on the 1985 Chicago Bears championship team.

Singletary previously worked as the linebackers coach with the Ravens, before accepting a position with the Niners as linebackers and assistant head coach (where eventually he was elevated to "interim" head coach and then head coach). He'll now take that same position in Minnesota.

Given the way in which he flamed out while he ran San Francisco's team, it's a pretty big win for him. And also a pretty big win for Minnesota, who should expect to see improved play from their already stout linebacker corps.

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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