49ers

Halftime report: Vikings 17, 49ers 3

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Halftime report: Vikings 17, 49ers 3

MINNEAPOLIS -- It was the Christian Ponder show in the first half, as the Minnesota Vikings' second-year quarterback picked apart the 49ers' defense with his arm . . . and his legs.Ponder made a fantastic 1-yard touchdown throw to tight end Kyle Rudolph on a bootleg under pressure from Dashon Goldson. Then, he scrambled 23 yards up the middle for a touchdown midway through the second quarter.The Vikings led the 49ers 17-3 at halftime.Ponder made the vaunted 49ers' defense look ordinary. Ponder completed 15 of 23 passes for 143 yards in the first half. The 49ers did a good job of keeping Adrian Peterson in check. He gained just 29 yards on 14 rushing attempts.Meanwhile, the 49ers' offense converted some third downs but could not finish its drives.David Akers kicked a 29-yard field goal, but his second attempt (43 yards) was blocked as Vikings lineman Letroy Guion got penetration against left guard Leonard Davis.The Vikings took over and set up kicker Blair Walsh for a 52-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.Quarterback Alex Smith tried to get the ball to Randy Moss, but overshot him high three times on incomplete passes. Moss was making his first appearance in Minnesota as a visiting player. He received a loud reaction -- mostly cheers -- when he was introduced as part of the 49ers' starting lineup. Moss got his first starting assignment with the 49ers on Sunday.Moss had two catches for 15 yards in the first half, but he could've had a lot more.Smith had Moss open for what could've been an 18-yard touchdown, but the throw was high. Moss had one high throw glance of his hands. Another time, Smith had to get rid of the ball quick to beat the blitz and Moss had yet to turn and look for the ball.Smith completed 13 of 19 pass attempts for 90 yards. Michael Crabtree had four catches for 27 yards. Frank Gore rushed for 32 yards on six attempts.49ers play time
RBs: Frank Gore 24, Bruce Miller 7, Kendall Hunter 4.
WRs: Michael Crabtree 26, Randy Moss 14, Mario Manningham 13, Kyle Williams 8.
TEs: Vernon Davis 29, Delanie Walker 16.
Extra blockers: Daniel Kilgore 1.

49ers add former first-round draft pick

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49ers add former first-round draft pick

Former first-round draft pick Datone Jones has signed with the 49ers, he announced on social media late Monday night.

“I’m very thankful & honored to be joining the 49ers,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “Thankful to be back home in California.”

Jones, 27, a Compton native whom the Green Bay Packers selected with the No. 26 overall pick in 2013, started just seven of the 59 games in which he appeared for the Packers over four seasons.

Jones (6 foot 5, 288 pounds) recorded 73 tackles and just nine sacks while seeing action at defensive end and outside linebacker.

The Packers declined to pick up the fifth-year option for Jones, making him a free agent this year. He signed a one-year contract with Minnesota in March and remained with the Vikings until he was released off injured reserve in September after sustaining a shoulder injury.

He signed with the Detroit Lions on Oct. 10, but was released just eight days later after not appearing in any games.

Jones started the final 28 games of his college career at UCLA and moved up draft boards with a 12.5-sack season as a senior in 2012.

Mailbag: Are 49ers trying to win or develop players?

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AP

Mailbag: Are 49ers trying to win or develop players?

After five consecutive close losses and some reason for optimism, it all came crashing down for the 49ers on Sunday.

Rookie Trent Taylor fumbled a punt just one minute into the game. Ninety seconds later, the Dallas Cowboys scored.

And it was over.

The Cowboys steamrolled the 49ers, 40-10, providing a slap across the face to anyone who believed this rebuild of the franchise was trending consistently upward without any complications.

The team appeared to be moving along harmoniously. But on Sunday, there was an incident in which Jaquiski Tartt, Ahkello Witherspoon and Ray-Ray Armstrong were seen jawing at each other. Things got heated. The optics in a home blowout loss were not good.

There are plenty of questions, and here are some of the questions from The Day After that were submitted on our Facebook page:

What is the philosophy? Are we trying to win or develop players? Cause it seems you can't do both? (Frank Vega)
The 49ers are definitely trying to develop players. They are also trying to evaluate players. They are looking to the future, and they are not deploying a win-at-all-cost approach this season. They do not want to win an extra game or two this season at the expense of possibly making the team worse for the future.

That is why the 49ers, almost invariably, went with younger players at any position in which there was competition . . . Eli Harold over Ahmad Brooks; Trent Taylor over Jeremy Kerley; Raheem Mostert over Tim Hightower; etc.

It’s why the 49ers made the decision two weeks ago to part ways with NaVorro Bowman, who had expressed dissatisfaction over his reduced role. Bowman was still the 49ers’ best linebacker at the time. But he would not have been on the team next year, so the decision was made to release Bowman now and go with the other less-accomplished players. (The Raiders, by the way, say 'Thank you.')

Rookie C.J. Beathard is now the starting quarterback. Cole Hikutini has moved into the No. 2 role at tight end behind fellow rookie George Kittle. Ahkello Witherspoon is being weaved into the action at cornerback, splitting time with Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson.

The 49ers did not want to create a mirage. They did not want to win any games this season that would be the result of a veteran rent-a-player approach. In that respect, the 49ers have succeeded. The 49ers will be picking near the top of every round in the 2018 draft.

The risk, of course, is that the young players get beaten down so badly that they lose their confidence and their edge.

What do you make of Eric Reid’s move to LB? Is his time with Niners nearing the end? (Peter Chan)
The 49ers no longer use a “nickel” defense. They go straight from their base defense to six defensive backs whenever the opposition puts more than two wide receivers on the field. It’s not a true linebacker position Reid is playing. It’s considered more of a “big nickel," designed to give the 49ers more speed on third downs to cover and run to the ball.

Reid is no longer a starter. What it shows is that the 49ers are sold on Jaquiski Tartt being a long-term answer for the 49ers secondary. The 49ers view Tartt and Jimmie Ward as the starters for 2018. All things being equal, Reid will have a chance to go somewhere else next season and be a starter.

The 49ers are not committed to re-signing him on a deal that extends beyond this season.

Is it a coincidence that the two worst teams in the NFL have the most cap space? (Gary Staebler)
That is no coincidence at all. It is the very reason the Cleveland Browns and 49ers are the only two winless teams in the NFL.

The Browns have $61.6 million in cap space. The 49ers are currently $61 million under the cap. Next year, with carryovers of unused space, the 49ers and Browns are projected to both have more than $117 million in cap room, according to Overthecap.com.

Bad teams do not draft well.

Teams that do not draft well, do not sign their draft picks to lucrative second contracts.

Therefore, teams that do not draft well cannot spend a large portion of their cap space to retain their own players because they have no good players worth retaining.