Fangio: Great learning experience for 49ers' defense


Fangio: Great learning experience for 49ers' defense

SANTA CLARA -- A year ago, quarterback Matt Schaub diced up the 49ers for 180 yards in the first half as the Houston Texans scored 24 points on the 49ers' first-team defense in the third exhibition game.
On Sunday, the first-team defense did not offer much resistance to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.Playing without key defenders Aldon Smith, NaVorro Bowman and Chris Culliver, the 49ers had few answers for Manning, who threw for 122 yards. The Broncos scored 17 points on their three possessions against the 49ers.REWIND: 'Scary start' for 49ers defense against Broncos
"We just didn't play well enough on certain plays," 49ers defensive coordinator Fangio said. "I think it was a great learning experience for us. Some of the plays we broke down, we definitely could've played better. And in some instances, they just beat us one-on-one. We weren't able to win the one-on-one battles."This is still a great time to learn, perfect your craft (and) excel on your technique. We have to be able to do that. We weren't perfect on that the other night, by any means."With Culliver out, the 49ers turned to Tramaine Brock as the team's No. 3 cornerback. Brock sustained a broken finger a couple weeks ago, but it's nothing that is impacting his play, Fangio said.When asked for his evaluation of Brock's play, Fangio answered, "He's played better."Perrish Cox has seemingly surpassed Brock on the depth chart, and figures to find a role once the regular season begins. Cox is currently the No. 2 nickel back behind Carlos Rogers and a spare corner."The more three- and four-wide receiver teams that we see, the more he'll get to play," Fangio said. "If he keeps playing the way he's playing and becomes an expert at his craft, we'll find a way to get him in there."The 49ers might use a fourth cornerback in packages against teams that put four receivers on the field. Fangio said a third safety has yet to step up behind starters Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner, but he noted Trenton Robinson, Darcel McBath and C.J. Spillman are showing improvement. The 49ers' No. 1 defense has forced a punt on just one of their seven series in the exhibition season. The opposition has scored 26 points with four field goals and two touchdowns.Drives vs. 49ers first-team defense
6 plays, 59 yards, field goal
13 plays, 63 yards, field goalHouston
7 plays, 37 yards, field goal
3 plays, 9 yards, puntDenver
8 plays, 45 yards, field goal
9 plays, 83 yards, touchdown
4 plays, 24 yards, touchdown Tight enddefensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs was seen walking through the locker room Monday on crutches with his lower left leg wrapped. He declined comment.Receiver Ted Ginn, who left Sunday's game with a right ankle sprain, wore an orthopedic boot on his foot. He was not using crutches. His status for the season opener, Sept. 9 at Green Bay, remains in question.Also, running back Brandon Jacobs is showing improvement after sustaining a left knee sprain Aug. 18 at Houston. He is no longer on crutches, but he was seen walking with a limp. The 49ers are hopeful Jacobs will be available for the season opener.

49ers claim former Jaguars defensive lineman off waivers


49ers claim former Jaguars defensive lineman off waivers

The San Francisco 49ers' defensive line will have a new member coming off of the bye week.

The 49ers claimed defensive lineman Sheldon Day of waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday. The Jaguars waived Day on Saturday in order to make room for the return of rookie wide receiver Dede Westbrook off of injured reserve. 

Day, a 2016 fourth round pick, posted 11 tackles and two tackles in 22 games over the last two seasons with Jacksonville. He played fewer than 30 snaps in all seven games with the Jaguars this season. 

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead, defensive tackle Tank Carradine, and defensive tackle Chris Jones are all on injured reserve, while defensive lineman Aaron Lynch missed the 49ers' last game in Week 10.

San Francisco ranks 22nd in the league in sacks, 23rd in pass defense, and 31st in rush defense. 

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


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.