49ers

Bowman joins Willis as first-team All-Pro

634548.jpg

Bowman joins Willis as first-team All-Pro

San Francisco 49ers leading tackler NaVorro Bowman, who was not chosen to the NFC Pro Bowl team, was voted as a first-team Associated Press All-Pro selection in a vote of 50 media members.Bowman joined Patrick Willis as first-team selections at inside linebacker, as the 49ers had five players chosen to the All-Pro first team. Defensive lineman Justin Smith was a first-team selection at defensive tackle with 35 votes. He also received nine votes as a first-team selection at defensive end.Kicker David Akers and punter Andy Lee were also first-team selections.CSN's Raiders Insider Paul Gutierrez was one of the 50 voters chosen by the AP across the country.ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-PRO VOTING
Quarterback
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, 47.5; Drew Brees, New Orleans, 2.5.Running Backs
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville, 40; LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia, 29; Ray Rice, Baltimore, 24; Arian Foster, Houston, 3; Frank Gore, San Francisco, 1; Matt Forte, Chicago, 1; Darren Sproles, New Orleans, 1.Fullback
Vonta Leach, Baltimore, 42; John Kuhn, Green Bay, 6; Marcel Reece, Oakland, 2.Tight End
Rob Gronkowski, New England, 44.5; Jimmy Graham, New Orleans, 5.5.Wide Receivers
Calvin Johnson, Detroit, 49; Wes Welker, New England, 23; Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona, 15; Victor Cruz, New York Giants, 9; Steve Smith, Carolina, 2; Jordy Nelson, Green Bay, 1; Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh, 1.Tackles
Jason Peters, Philadelphia, 27; Joe Thomas, Cleveland, 19; Duane Brown, Houston, 11; Joe Staley, San Francisco, 11; Eric Winston, Houston, 10; Jake Long, Miami, 5; Jermon Bushrod, New Orleans, 3; Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati, 3; Bryan Bulaga, Green Bay, 3; Michael Oher, Baltimore, 2; Jared Veldheer, Oakland, 2; Tyron Smith, Dallas, 1; Anthony Davis, San Francisco, 1; Jordan Gross, Carolina, 1; Michael Roos, Tennessee, 1.Guards
Jahri Evans, New Orleans, 29; Carl Nicks, New Orleans, 27; Marshal Yanda, Baltimore, 17; Logan Mankins, New England, 10; Brian Waters, New England, 5; Chris Kuper, Denver, 4; Davin Joseph, Tampa Bay, 3; Chris Snee, New York Giants, 2; Evan Mathis, Philadelphia, 2; Mike Iupati, San Francisco, 1.Center
Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh, 13; Ryan Kalil, Carolina, 11; Nick Mangold, New York Jets, 11; Chris Myers, Houston, 7; Scott Wells, Green Bay, 7; John Sullivan, Minnesota, 1.Kicker
David Akers, San Francisco, 32; Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland, 14; Rob Bironas, Tennessee, 1; Matt Bryant, Atlanta, 1; Matt Prater, Denver, 1; Josh Scobee, Jacksonville, 1.Kick Returner
Patrick Peterson, Arizona, 33; Devin Hester, Chicago, 10; Darren Sproles, New Orleans, 3; Ted Ginn Jr., San Francisco, 2; Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh, 1; Joe McKnight, New York Jets, 1.Defensive End
Jared Allen, Minnesota, 49; Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants, 34; Justin Smith, San Francisco, 9; Jason Babin, Philadelphia, 7; Elvis Dumervil, Denver, 1.Tackles
Haloti Ngata, Baltimore, 38; Justin Smith, San Francisco, 35; Geno Atkins, Cincinnati, 9; Richard Seymour, Oakland, 5; Vince Wilfork, New England, 5; B.J. Raji, Green Bay, 1; Calais Campbell, Arizona, 1; Henry Melton, Chicago, 1; Mike Patterson, Philadelphia, 1; Sione Pouha, New York Jets, 1; Jay Ratliff, Dallas, 1; Ndamukong Suh, Detroit, 1; J.J. Watt, Houston, 1.Outside Linebackers
Terrell Suggs, Baltimore, 47; DeMarcus Ware, Dallas, 42; Tamba Hali, Kansas City, 4; Von Miller, Denver, 4; Clay Matthews, Green Bay, 2; Sean Weatherspoon, Atlanta, 1.Inside Linebackers
Patrick Willis, San Francisco, 32; NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco, 16; Derrick Johnson, Kansas City, 16; Brian Cushing, Houston, 13; London Fletcher, Washington, 8; Ray Lewis, Baltimore, 3; Brian Urlacher, Chicago, 3; Daryl Washington, Arizona, 3; Lance Briggs, Chicago, 2; DQwell Jackson, Cleveland, 2; DeMeco Ryans, Houston, 1; Lawrence Timmons, Pittsburgh, 1.Cornerbacks
Darrelle Revis, NY Jets, 48; Charles Woodson, Green Bay, 19; Johnathan Joseph, Houston, 18; Carlos Rogers, San Francisco, 10; Champ Bailey, Denver, 3; Brandon Flowers, Kansas City, 1; Charles Tillman, Chicago, 1.Safeties
Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh, 29; Eric Weddle, San Diego, 20; Ed Reed, Baltimore, 17; Earl Thomas, Seattle, 16; Kam Chancellor, Seattle, 5; Adrian Wilson, Arizona, 4; Dashon Goldson, San Francisco, 3; Jairus Byrd, Buffalo, 2; Bernard Pollard, Baltimore, 2; Roman Harper, New Orleans, 1; Tyvon Branch, Oakland, 1.Punter
Andy Lee, San Francisco, 29; Shane Lechler, Oakland, 20; Britton Colquitt, Denver, 1.

What rookie CB Ahkello Witherspoon did to earn role in 49ers' defense

ahkello-witherspoon-knee-49ers-chargers-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

What rookie CB Ahkello Witherspoon did to earn role in 49ers' defense

SANTA CLARA – Rookie cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon did not win the right to suit up for the 49ers’ first four games. Behind the scenes, he made it his mission to earn a contributing role.

“He really started to get better with his coordination with his feet from the bump-and-run coverage and from playing ‘off.’ There’s always a light that goes on,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “And we felt that for a couple weeks from Ahkello. Once he did that, he definitely earned the right to be out there.”

The plan was for Witherspoon to rotate into the action and share time with starters Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson. But he played just six snaps on Oct. 8 against Indianapolis before sustaining a concussion. Witherspoon returned to action last week and played 34 of the 49ers’ 74 snaps last week at Washington. He showed enough to coninue getting significant playing time.

“He’s earned the right to play,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “He works his tail off in practice. He’s so deliberate in his approach. Whether it was scout team, whether it was team reps, whether it was walk-through, it didn’t matter.”

Witherspoon, the 49ers’ third-round draft pick at No. 66 overall, had a pedestrian training camp. Taking his lumps in August showed him what he needed to do to get into real games in October.

“I really turned up my focus, my intent every day in practice,” Witherspoon said. “What I did in camp wasn’t good enough to be a starting corner in this league, and that’s what I learned.

“I really focused on being aware of what it takes. That’s something I implemented these last four weeks -- that every day focus and competing on every single ball, and taking the mindset that no ball’s caught on me. I think that’s really helped my game, and helped these coaches trust me, as well.”

Witherspoon expected Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins to attack him. But of the 25 plays he was in coverage last week, Witherspoon saw only three passes come his way. He surrendered two receptions for 33 yards, according to Pro Football Focus.

“Just being a rookie, I thought it was going to come, where they were going to be taking that one shot,” Witherspoon said. “I kept waiting for it to happen, but it didn’t happen. Going up against a smart quarterback, I know he saw me out there.

“There were a few times he looked my way in coverage. I wasn’t perfect in coverage, but I think he was looking. And I thought I did a good job.”

Witherspoon (6 foot 3, 195 pounds) is comfortable lining up on either side of the field, which he did during his college career at Colorado. He said he has not put on much weight but he has added more muscle, which has allowed him a better chance to compete physically against bigger NFL receivers.

Witherspoon fully expects to be challenged on Sunday when he is expected to see considerable playing time against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium. Witherspoon figures Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will be paying particularly close attention any time Dez Bryant lines up on his side of the field.

“They’re going to be looking at the ‘rook,’ ” Witherspoon said.

Said Shanahan, “They’re going to try to do that with all our DBs, so I don’t think it even matters who’s out there. They’re going to attack when we’re in single safety, which we are the majority of the time. They’re going to go outside and keep going out there until you stop them.”

* * *

EDITOR'S NOTE: Watch Kyle Shanahan's full sit-down interview with Matt Maiocco on "49ers Game Plan," which is scheduled to air Saturday at 9 p.m. on NBC Bay Area (Ch. 3).

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

pierre-ap.jpg
AP

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

The NFL fined 49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon $24,309 for unnecessary roughness in last week’s game against Washington.

Garçon, who was not penalized on the play, lowered his helmet and struck Washington safety Montae Nicholson at the end of an 8-yard pass reception in the second quarter.

In 2013, the NFL passed a rule that bans the ball carrier from initiating contact with the crown of his helmet in the open field.

Nicholson’s helmet flew off and he remained on the ground for a couple of minutes. He was evaluated for a possible concussion and shoulder injury. However, Nicholson was cleared and he returned to action.

After the play, Garçon and Washington safety D.J. Swearinger exchanged words, and Swearinger took a swipe at Garçon’s facemask. Swearinger was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The NFL fined Swearinger $9,115 for unnecessary roughness.