49ers

49ers' Roman sees Penn State as a 'lifetime job'

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49ers' Roman sees Penn State as a 'lifetime job'

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman, a finalist for the Penn State coaching job, said Tuesday his focus is completely on the 49ers' first playoff game.

"I've spoken with Penn State, had some discussions with them about a month ago and found everybody involved on their end to be extremely intelligent, extremely focused on finding the best person they could under the unique circumstances there at Penn State," Roman told 97.3 ESPN radio in South Jersey.

The 49ers open the playoffs Saturday, Jan. 14, in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs at Candlestick Park. Roman said he is studying possible opponents New Orleans and Atlanta. The 49ers have a better understanding of the New York Giants after facing them on Nov. 13.

"My focus is 100 percent on winning the next game for the 49ers," Roman said. "You got to win to stay alive now, and we have to be at our best."

Roman, a native of Ventnor, N.J., said the Penn State job is the kind of position that would be a job in which he could retire. Former coach Joe Paterno spent 46 seasons as head coach before getting fired over the handling of child sex abuse allegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

"I've coached in college at Stanford and in the pros for 14 years in the NFL, so it's more about the individual opportunity, the people you're surrounding yourself with," Roman said. "And a job like Penn State is a lifetime job. That's a job if I were to become the head coach there, I'd wouldn't leave there. I'd be back East, setting up camp, I'd be at the (Jersey) Shore in the summer. And that would be my routine.

"That's a very unique opportunity at Penn State, so that's something I'd definitely consider strongly. But I love where I'm at right now. I love the (49ers) organization here. I love how it's structured. I love how we interact. I love how we solve problems.

"Is it perfect? No. It never is. But we're trying to make it that, and in that pursuit of perfection you'll find excellence. Really, the lack of egos here and the commitment toward the common and greater goal of winning . . . I just feel like when you do a really good job and you're committed to doing the right thing, great things will happen. That's where I'm at."

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

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USATSI/AP

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

LeBron James is an avid football fan. He's now an even bigger Colin Kaepernick fan than the sport. Following the Cavaliers' practice on Sunday, James opened up on Kaepernick and his absence from the NFL. 

"I've commended Kap, and for him to sacrifice everything for the greater good for everyone, for what he truly believed in, the utmost respect to him," James said to ESPN. "Obviously he had a vision like Martin Luther King and like some of our all-time greats that people couldn't see further than what they were doing at the point and time. And Muhammad Ali and things of that nature."

James believes the masses don't truly understand what Kaepernick was doing when he first took a knee as a protest against social and racial injustices in America. For his actions, James respects Kaepernick choosing his beliefs over his sport.

"When it's something that's new and it's something that people are not educated about or don't understand what your beliefs are all about, people are so quick to judge and people are so quick to say that what you're doing is wrong," James said. "For him to sacrifice the sport that he plays and to sacrifice the things he's done his whole life because he knew what he believed in, I salute him. I salute and respect that."

Add James to the list of those who believe Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL for taking a knee last season. The more games he watches, the more James sees the evidence on the wall. 

"I don't represent the NFL. I don't know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing, I do know that," James believes. "Just watching, he's an NFL player. He's an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he's been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that."

Kaepernick, who recently turned 30 years old, appeared in 12 games for the 49ers in the 2016-17 season. Through the air he completed 59.2 percent of his passes and ended the year with 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Kaepernick also added 468 yards and two more scores on the ground. 

"The only reason I could say he's not on a team is because the way he took a knee," James said. "That's the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night. I see all these quarterbacks -- first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks -- that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let's just be honest."

For his career, Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 yards and 72 touchdowns to 30 interceptions. With his speed as a dual-threat quarterback, Kaepernick has also gained 2,300 yards rushing and 13 more touchdowns. 

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

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AP

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.

Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.

Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.

Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.