Dixon lobbies for chance to play fullback


Dixon lobbies for chance to play fullback

SANTA CLARA -- Running back Anthony Dixon, who was a source of frustration for 49ers coaching staffs of the previous two seasons, has an uphill climb to retain his spot on the team's 53-man roster.He was the seldom-used No. 3 back a year ago behind Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. And this offseason, the 49ers added to the depth at the position with Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James, as well as special-teams ace Rock Cartwright.One of the knocks on Dixon in previous seasons was his reluctance to use his 235-pound body to his advantage. Dixon has typically done a little too much "dancing" in the hole.But Dixon is apparently willing to prove he can be physical. And he has asked if he can see some action at fullback.
"(Dixon) is really doing everything he can do to contribute to the football team, special teams, running back, (and) he has asked to be given an opportunity to compete at the fullback position, which we have done and we're very pleased with," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "Great idea by him. We'll take the best idea on the table. He's responding with a great focus. We've seen it all throughout the offseason and he continues to elevate that."Dixon was not seen taking any snaps during the first three days of practice at fullback. The 49ers' second padded practice is scheduled to begin Monday at 2:30 p.m.Bruce Miller, a defensive end in college whom the 49ers drafted last year, appeared in 15 games with seven starts as a rookie. Miller does not appear to have any serious competition for his full-time role.
"(We) certainly don't think of him as a defensive end with how far we've come in a year with Bruce," Harbaugh said. "I think he's one of the finer fullbacks in this league."The 49ers might keep just one true fullback on this year's roster, as the team can also use a tight end, such as Delanie Walker, or defensive lineman Will Tukuafu in that role. Undrafted rookie running back Jewel Hampton will not participate in training camp after recently undergoing surgery on a "lower extremity" to remove a bone spur, Harbaugh said. Hampton will likely remain on the non-football injury list into the start of the regular season, Harbaugh said. Harbaugh spoke at length Sunday about rookie receiver A.J. Jenkins, but it was another rookie who made a big impression during practice. Nathan Palmer of Northern Illinois was the 49ers' top target among the 49ers class of undrafted rookies. And he has not disappointed. It might be difficult for the 49ers to retain Palmer on the 53-man roster, but he is a strong candidate to bring back to the practice squad."He has done a good job here, learning the system," Harbaugh said. "He had an excellent day yesterday. That really stood out to all of us." Meanwhile, another undrafted rookie receiver, Brian Tyms, had a rough day. He upended rookie safety Trenton Robinson and then Tyms was observed taunting Robinson. Harbaugh ordered Tyms off the field."It was an incident, the way we do things, how we do them, it didn't meet that standard -- well below it," Harbaugh said. "And we addressed it, and we'll handle it better going forward." Veteran Leonard Davis has spent most of his time working at right guard, but he has also been seen taking a few snaps on the left side, too.When asked for his evaluation of Davis after three practices, Harbaugh said, "Good to real good right now, especially in certain areas we ask our linemen to do. Technique looks outstanding. Fundamentals look real sharp."It doesn't like like there's any rust there. He's been working real hard with (offensive line coach) Tim Drevno. The two of them are meeting extensively. Leonard is coming along real fast, getting up to speed with the system."

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine


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.

Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care


Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care

SANTA CLARA – In less than a year since a group of former 49ers players came together to form the Golden Heart Fund, the non-profit organization has provided valuable assistance.

“We’ve made some progress with the idea of knowing there are some people in need, so we’ve been able to make some grants to some of the ex-Niners,” Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott told NBC Sports Bay Area.

“We’ve been able to respond. This is more about us being able to give guys the ability to know they can have, as (former 49ers linebacker and Golden Heart Fund board member) Ron Ferrari says, a hand up not a hand out.”

The organization is in the midst of a fund-raising drive this week in conjunction with "Dwight Clark Day" on Sunday. The 49ers face the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium, and Clark will be the guest of honor. More than 35 players from the 49ers' first Super Bowl championship team are expected to be in attendance.

Clark played nine seasons for the 49ers and provided the most memorable play in franchise history with “The Catch” against Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship game, which propelled the organization to its first Super Bowl. Clark served as a front-office executive for a decade after his playing days.

In March, Clark announced he was diagnosed with ALS. He is scheduled to attend Sunday’s game and make some remarks at halftime from a suite.

“It’s unbelievable we are having an opportunity to celebrate an incredible day for this gentleman,” Lott said. “We can all say there was a moment in time in which we stood on his shoulders after making that catch. Now, we get a chance to lift him up a little bit and let him know how much we all care.”

Lott said Clark has been a champion of the Golden Heart Fund from its inception. Past and current 49ers ownership has supported the organization, which provides financial support for former 49ers players in times of physical, emotional and financial need.

“It’s the spirit of Dwight,” Lott said. “It’s more about the funds going in through his efforts. He’s paying it forward.”

--The public can made a direct contribution to the fund at GoldenHeartFund.org.

--Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle at Sunday’s game will benefit the Golden Heart Fund.

--Twenty-five percent of proceeds from the sales of Dwight Clark apparel purchased on game day will go to the fund.

--Half of all proceeds from admission to the 49ers Museum at Levi’s Stadium throughout the year will go to the charity.

-- On Sunday, Nov. 19, Levi’s Stadium and race grand marshal Roger Craig will host the first Golden Heart 4.9K Run with all proceeds from the event going to the Golden Heart Fund. Runners can register GoldenHeartRun.com.