49ers chat wrap

April, 24, 2014
Apr 24
7:00
AM ET
Here are some highlights from our San Francisco 49ers chat, which was held Wednesday:

Brad G from Portland, OR.: Do you see V Davis' statement about needing to win a super bowl a good or bad thing? I mean the whole team is thinking it, but why put that out in the media?

Bill Williamson: I see it as a no-biggie. What else do we expect him to say? If the 49ers fall short this year, he can just say it again next year.

Tusylla from Niner Country, USA: Does the signing of Pryor by Seattle open the door for maybe releasing BJ Daniels and if so would SF be interested in bringing him back?

BW: He's been released by Seattle before and the 49ers didn't bite. The front office and staff didn't like him as much as fans did.

Jeff from Philadelphia: Where would Smith's money go if they don't sign him long term? Crabtree? Iupati? Or does it just get lumped in with Kap?

BW: I'd think Crabtree's chances of staying would increase, not that the odds of him returning are low. But that would likely help.
NFC: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South Predictions

Breakdown: We might as well fast forward to Turkey Day. The 49ers don’t play heated rival Seattle until a Thanksgiving night game at home in the 12th game of the season. What a delicious holiday treat. The NFC Championship Game in which the Seahawks barely beat the visiting 49ers in January was a classic. This game should be tremendous. The two teams meet in Seattle in two weeks later. So, the first 11 games of the season for both teams will be setup for these end-of-the-season showdowns. The 49ers should really like this schedule. There aren’t a lot of tough spots. They finish the by playing six games on the West Coast. Because one of those games is at Oakland, the 49ers will have to take just one flight late in the season -- to Seattle.

Complaint department: The 49ers really can’t whine much here. Yes, they do have stretch from Week 6 to 11 where they play four road games, including games at Denver and New Orleans. But they have a bye during that stretch. The toughest time will become when they go to New Orleans on Nov. 9 and then play the next week at the New York Giants. It won't make the team happy to know their two longest road trips are back-to-back. This could be an instance where the 49ers spend the week between in Youngstown, Ohio, where their ownership family is from. The 49ers worked out there in 2011 and 2012 when they had back-to-back road games.

Easier road slate: No NFL team traveled as much as the 49ers did in 2013. They traveled about 33,000 miles in the regular season, including a trip to London. Then, they logged about another 9,000 in three road playoff games. The 49ers played five of their final six games on the road. The road slate eases in 2014. The 49ers will travel about 19,000 miles. Their only game on the East Coast is at the Giants. The 49ers handled their heavy road schedule well last year, but are likely looking forward to easier road work this season.

Strength of schedule: 4th, .563 | Vegas over/under : 11

49ers Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 7, at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 14, Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 21, at Arizona, 4:05 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 28, Philadelphia, 4:25 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 5, Kansas City, 4:25 p.m.
Week 6: Monday, Oct. 13, at St. Louis, 8:30 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 19, at Denver, 8:30 p.m.
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 2, St. Louis, 4:05 p.m.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 9, at New Orleans, 1 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 16, at NY Giants, 1 p.m.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 23, Washington, 4:25 p.m.
Week 13: Thursday, Nov. 27, Seattle, 8:30 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 7, at Oakland, 4:25 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 14, at Seattle, 4:25 p.m.
Week 16: Saturday, Dec. 20, San Diego, 4:30 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 28, Arizona, 4:25 p.m.
When Brandon Lloyd took time away from the NFL in 2013 after playing in the league for 10 years, he knew he would miss certain things.

Lloyd
Of course, he knew he’d miss the tangible things such as the salary and fame that come with being a NFL receiver. However, as Lloyd sat out last season and concentrated on his passion of working the airplane metal industry in the Denver area, he released what he missed the most about being a football player -- “the struggle.”

“Money, fame, the adulation, all of those appetites are insatiable, everybody is going to miss those,” Lloyd said in a telephone interview Wednesday after participating in the 49ers’ offseason program. “But the competition, the relationships with the guys and fighting for the common fight we have, the struggle, and the reward of it, that’s what I really missed.”

Lloyd said he is excited to return to going “inside the huddle.” The 49ers are gladly ready to give him the chance. Last week, San Francisco, for whom Lloyd began his NFL career with, signed Lloyd to a one-year deal. He will turn 33 in July.

Lloyd is not a sure thing to make the roster in San Francisco because the 49ers will likely add a draft pick early. However, if he does make the team, he has a chance to help. He had 74 catches for New England in 2012, and he led the NFL in receiving yards in 2010 while with Denver.

Lloyd speaks as if he is simply trying to show the 49ers he can still help.

“I have to show the players and coaches here, I belong,” Lloyd said. “I want to get an invite to training camp, and then we talk about roles.”

Though Lloyd is not getting ahead of himself, it is clear he is excited about having another chance in an NFL setting.

NFL Nation Buzz: San Francisco 49ers

April, 23, 2014
Apr 23
10:00
AM ET
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ESPN.com San Francisco 49ers reporter Bill Williamson talks about the potential in-house replacements for Aldon Smith.
Please join me Wednesday to chat about the San Francisco 49ers. It will be held at noon PT. I look forward to it.
We are hours from knowing the 2014 NFL schedule. The schedule will be announced at 5 p.m. PT. Let’s look at some key things to look for as far as the San Francisco 49ers are concerned:

Home schedule:

Arizona

St. Louis

Seattle

Philadelphia

Washington

Kansas City

San Diego

Chicago

Away schedule

Arizona

St. Louis

Seattle

Dallas

N.Y. Giants

Denver

Oakland

New Orleans

Week 1 in Seattle? There is a chance the 49ers could open the season at Seattle on Sept. 4. As the defending Super Bowl champion, the Seahawks will kick off the NFL schedule on a Thursday night. The 49ers are one of the more likely opponents. The Seahawks beat the 49ers in the NFC title game in Seattle in a last-second thriller.

Breaking in Levi's Stadium: The 49ers are expected to play their first game in their new home, Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, on Week 2. It has been reported it will be the Sunday night game.

Please check back this evening for complete coverage of the 49ers’ 2014 schedule.
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The NFL released its 2014 schedule Wednesday, so let the fun begin.

It starts in the West. The Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl but play in a division that could have four teams with winning records. That makes things tougher for the AFC West, which had three playoff teams last year but faces the NFC West this year. Last year, Denver, Kansas City and San Diego piled on for 11 wins in 12 games against the NFC East.

From Peyton Manning playing against Andrew Luck to Lovie Smith coaching against Chicago, there are plenty of fascinating matchups.

Here are the five games I'm looking forward to most:


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Vernon Davis: Must win Super Bowl

April, 22, 2014
Apr 22
5:10
PM ET
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While the San Francisco 49ers have endured a rocky offseason, star tight end Vernon Davis says the franchise needs to accomplish one goal for the upcoming campaign.

"We must win a Super Bowl title," Davis said in an interview with Pro Football Talk. "You play this game, that's what you play this game for. You play the game to go to the Super Bowl and that's the only reason why we play -- to win and make it to the Super Bowl. So anything short of that would not be acceptable and I think my teammates know that, as well.

"I mean, we've had multiple opportunities to make it and to win it. When we were playing back in New Orleans we played the Ravens, we had a great opportunity in front of us but we just didn't seize the moment, but you know what the unique thing about it is we get another chance. We still have the same chemistry, the same guys that are back in the locker room but we have another chance to do it again."

The 49ers have come close to claiming the Lombardi Trophy, losing two NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl over the past three seasons.

After last season's loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC title game, the 49ers have endured their share of off-the-field drama that could make things a bit tougher.

Star quarterback Colin Kaepernick and receiver Quinton Patton are part of an ongoing investigation in a "suspicious" incident involving a woman in a Miami hotel. The police have yet to name any of the three as suspects in a criminal case.


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In an Insider piece, Mel Kiper Jr. reveals his top 100 players.Insider That is an interesting number as far as the San Francisco 49ers are concerned. They have six of the first 100 picks in the May 8-10 draft. No other team has as many.

Let’s take a look at the players Kiper Jr. has ranked as they correspond with the 49ers' picks in the top 100 and see if they could be a fit:

No. 30 Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State:

Is he a fit? No. It would be a major shock if the 49ers use their first pick on a running back with Marcus Lattimore healthy and ready to start his NFL career.

No. 56 Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina:

Is he a fit? Yes. If he is available at this spot, I could easily see the 49ers taking him. They’ve scouted him extensively.

No. 61 Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee:

Is he a fit? No. The 49ers don’t have tackle needs. Their interest on the offensive line is at the interior positions.

No. 77 Billy Turner OT, North Dakota State:

Is he a fit? See above.

No. 94 Russell Bodine, C, North Carolina:

Is he a fit? Yes. The 49ers could easily take a center in the first three rounds. This could be a nice spot to do it.

No. 100 Terrance Mitchell, CB, Oregon:

Is he a fit? Yes. This is the 49ers’ biggest need spot. It is a strong possibility the 49ers use their first pick on a cornerback, but I could see them taking multiple cornerbacks. This Northern California native could be a great pick with the final choice of the third round.

49ers three-round mock

April, 22, 2014
Apr 22
12:00
PM ET
I plan on revealing a full seven-round mock draft for the San Francisco 49ers, who have 11 picks, on the day the draft commences.

For now, I am going to take a stab at the team's picks in the first three rounds; no NFL team has more. Yes, these choices are subject to change:

Summary: This is defense heavy, but with needs at cornerback and at pass rush, it may be necessary. Jason Verrett and Stanley Jean-Baptiste would be a strong cornerback combination for now and for the future. Verrett is a strong slot presence and Jean-Baptiste a bigger cornerback. Paul Richardson would fill the need for a speed receiver. Shayne Skov and Trent Murphy would be the first Stanford players taken in the Jim Harbaugh era. Harbaugh and 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio coached Skov and Murphy on the Farm. Skov could help fill in for NaVorro Bowman now and be a piece for the future. Murphy could be a developmental pass rusher to help the team navigate through the Aldon Smith situation. Ward is a potential standout at safety.
The San Francisco 49ers reportedly had interest in trading for Oakland Raiders backup quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

The athletic, but inexperienced, Pryor was sent to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night for a seventh-round pick. If the 49ers did in fact have any interest in Pryor, it wasn't enough to give the Raiders anything of note. The Seahawks sent the Raiders the No. 32 pick in the seventh round. The 49ers have three picks before that in the round.

Perhaps the San Francisco was only offering a conditional 2015 pick for Pryor.

Many around the league thinks Pryor can develop into a solid backup under the right circumstances.

The 49ers traded a sixth-round pick earlier this offseason to Jacksonville for Blaine Gabbert, the No. 10 overall pick in 2011. The team would still likely add to the position.

San Francisco may consider drafting a quarterback in the middle rounds of the draft Coach Jim Harbaugh has worked out several quarterback prospects this draft season.
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The San Francisco 49ers have begun the march toward the 2014 season and two high-profile players involved in offseason incidents were working alongside many of their teammates Monday.

The 49ers official website posted a slideshow of several players working out Monday, quarterback Colin Kaepernick among them. CSN Bay Area reported pass-rusher Aldon Smith was present as well.

Because the workouts are private and there is no media availability, the team does not confirm participants.

Smith was arrested April 13 at Los Angeles International Airport and booked on a charge of false report of a bomb threat. He has yet to be formally charged in the case. Smith has an April 29 court date in Santa Clara County, Calif. on felony gun charges and a drunken driving charge.

Kaepernick, along with 49ers receiver Quinton Patton and Seattle Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette, are part of an ongoing investigation in a "suspicious" incident in Miami. The police have yet to name any of the three as suspects in a criminal case.

Cornerback Chris Culliver, who was arrested last month on hit-and-run and weapons charges, was also shown in the slideshow released by the team.

Earlier Monday, ESPN.com confirmed through a league source that running back LaMichael James is not attending the workouts. He is reportedly on the trade market and is working on his own in Texas.


(Read full post)


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