Brady to face childhood-favorite team 49ers for first time in Bay Area

Brady to face childhood-favorite team 49ers for first time in Bay Area

Tom Brady grew up in San Mateo as a fan of the 49ers.

At 4 years old, he was in attendance when Dwight Clark made the leaping catch of Joe Montana’s pass to send the 49ers to Super Bowl XVI with a victory over the Dallas Cowboys in January 1982.

On Sunday, Brady will play the 49ers for the first time in the Bay Area in his 17 seasons in the NFL. He would have made an appearance at Candlestick Park in 2008, but he sustained a season-ending knee injury in the first week of the regular season.

The 49ers (1-8) carry an eight-game losing streak into Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, who are coming off a 31-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night.

“I think you always have hope,” 49ers coach Chip Kelly said on Monday. “I don’t think anybody just says, ‘Let’s take the week off because we can’t win.’ But we played this team last year when I was with Philadelphia and had a big victory up in Foxborough.”

The Philadelphia Eagles pulled off a 35-28 upset victory over the Patriots last season for one of Kelly’s six wins before he was fired in late-Decmeber.

“It’s an entirely different situation, but we’ve played them before and I understand the challenge of it,” Kelly said. “I think if you’re a competitor you get excited about playing in games like this. You don’t think of it as, ‘Oh my god, we don’t have any hope.’

“You get a chance to play against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. If that doesn’t get your blood boiling, then you’re in the wrong sport.”

Brady has played at a career-best level in his five starts after being suspended for the opening four games of the regular season. Brady is completing 72.9 percent of his passes and averaging 9.8 yards per attempt with a passer rating of 125.5 – all career highs.

The Patriots split Brady's two previous starts against the 49ers, both in New England. The 49ers beat the Patriots 41-34 in 2012, and the New England was a 21-7 winner against San Francisco in 2004.

49ers sign former first-round pick guard


49ers sign former first-round pick guard

The 49ers added some talent in the trenches on Tuesday.

Guard Jonathan Cooper inked a one-year deal, the team announced.

Cooper was originally drafted No. 7 overall by the Cardinals in 2013. After two seasons in Arizona, he spent time with the Patriots, Browns and Cowboys.

Last season, he appeared in 13 games for Dallas.

“Having started 27 games in four NFL seasons, Jonathan brings great experience to the interior of our offensive line. We look forward to him competing for a starting job at guard, while also bringing a veteran presence to our locker room. Jonathan is a welcome addition to our team,” GM John Lynch said in a statement.

Richard Sherman envisions making contributions to 49ers on and off the field

Richard Sherman envisions making contributions to 49ers on and off the field

SANTA CLARA – Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman believes he has a lot of good football ahead of him.

But he knows he is not coming to the 49ers after seven seasons with the rival Seattle Seahawks just for how he fits into defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s scheme. The 49ers signed Sherman to a three-year contract on March 10 -- one day after the Seahawks released him.

Sherman, who turns 30 on March 30, views his job description as being a major influence and contributor to the 49ers on and off the field.

“I think it’s probably 50-50,” Sherman said Tuesday in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “Obviously, I’m going to be asked to play at a high level, and that’s what I expect from myself and that’s what I expect to bring to this team. But outside of that, I think I bring an aspect of culture and a winning mentality.”

Sherman is a four-time Pro Bowl performer and three-time first-team All-Pro. He said the commitment to winning is all-consuming. It is a mindset he helps to share with his new teammates.

“It’s about waking up and doing things that will contribute to winning later, whether it’s your diet, your sleep habits, how you treat your teammates, how you converse,” Sherman said. “Do you go out tonight or do you stay in and get some extra studying? What are you doing to help us win the game on Sunday? Just that mentality will help a lot of these people.”

There might be no young player on the 49ers in need of a good role model more than Reuben Foster, who is set to enter his second NFL season. Foster was arrested this offseason for possession of marijuana in Alabama. A month later, he was arrested in Los Gatos for alleged domestic violence, threats and possession of an assault weapon.

On Tuesday, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said no decision has yet been reached whether to pursue criminal charges against Foster.

Sherman said he has not spoken to Foster but he will be willing to be a mentor to Foster and provide him with support. Sherman said he has heard a lot of great things about Foster.

“If I can help him, I’ll do my best,” Sherman said. “I look forward to meeting him and being a teammate of his, and helping him in any way I can. To think I can change everything he does, I’d be foolish to say I could. But am I going to try my best to help him and put him in positions to be more successful in the future? Yes, I am.”