49ers

Kaepernick ready for the call

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Kaepernick ready for the call

If Alex Smith reported his concussion when it occurred during the second quarter of the 49ers' game Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, he would've been required to leave the game.And rookie Colin Kaepernick would've made his NFL debut.Sooner or later, its bound to happen. Only 12 quarterbacks in the NFL started every game last season. And only Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning and Sam Bradford attempted every quarterback pass from their respective teams a year ago.
The percentages say at some point the 49ers will need Kaepernick to perform. That point was driven home when Smith sustained a concussion and finally reported it to the teams medical staff after the game. Kaepernick remains one snap away from being called upon.And he said hes ready for that chance."The more you practice it, the better you feel with it," Kaepernick said. "I'm very confident in everything we're doing."Kaepernick, whom the 49ers traded up to select with the No. 36 overall pick, has remained on the sideline through the first two games while Smith took every snap. After his record-setting career at Nevada, Kaepernick has found it difficult to adjust to his role as a spectator."It's definitely tough to sit there and watch your team play and not being able to contribute in any way," he said. "Right now, I'm still trying to work hard and make sure I'm ready if my time does come. "Smith beat out Kaepernick for the starting job this summer. Kaepernick completed 24 of 50 passes (48 percent) with no touchdowns and five interceptions in the exhibition season. His passer rating was 23.9.Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said he is confident Kaepernick would play well if he's given a chance in a regular-season game."I think Colin is ready to go," Roman said. "He is on top of his assignments and just like any rookie quarterback, there's going to be a curve there. It's just a fact. He's getting tons of work in practice and really improving all the time. Very much on top of the game plan."Kaepernick is not getting as much practice time with the 49ers' offense as he did in training camp. But he is also taking the bulk of his snaps with the scout team, running the opposition's plays against the 49ers' first-team defense.Meanwhile, the third quarterback is Scott Tolzien, a rookie from Wisconsin the 49ers claimed off waivers from the San Diego Chargers after final cuts.Tolzien completed 25 of 40 attempts (62.5 percent) with one touchdown and one interception in the exhibition season for an 83.5 passer rating. Tolzien has been inactive for the 49ers' first two games. His only practice snaps have been with the scout team. He is still cramming to learn the basics of the offense, he said.And hes spending plenty of time on the job. Tolzien has put off his apartment hunting until after the team returns from their Cincinnati-Youngstown-Philadelphia trip. He is literally living at the 49ers practice facility, as he spends his nights in the players lounge.

49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles

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49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles

UPDATED: The 49ers announced Monday morning that Joe Staley has accepted a spot on the NFC Pro Bowl team. He will replace Dallas offensive tackle Tyron Smith.

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Veteran 49ers left tackle Joe Staley is expected to benefit from the Philadelphia Eagles’ trip to the Super Bowl.

Staley, originally chosen as an alternate, is expected to be named to his sixth Pro Bowl to take the place of Eagles Pro Bowl tackle Lane Johnson.

The Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, Jan. 28, in Orlando, Florida. Members of the Super Bowl participant Eagles and New England Patriots will not play in the all-star game. The Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 38-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

The other Pro Bowl offensive tackles representing the NFC are Dallas’ Tyron Smith and Los Angeles’ Andrew Whitworth, who replaced Washington’s Trent Williams.

Staley got off to a rough start last season as the 49ers opened on a nine-game losing streak. The idea of his career coming to an end began to creep into his mind, he said recently on the 49ers Insider Podcast.

But Staley said he had a talk with coach Kyle Shanahan that got him refocused for the remainder of the season. The 49ers finished with a five-game win streak to finish with a 6-10 record, and Staley played well down the stretch.

“I’m so far gone from where I was in that moment early in the year that I’m just focused on next year and, hopefully, years after that,” said Staley, 33, an 11-year NFL veteran. “I feel like I can still play.

“I think this last half of the season I played some of the best football of my career. I feel very confident in what we’re doing schematically with the people surrounding us, and it shows in my own play.”

Staley would join fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who was the only 49ers player named to the Pro Bowl when the teams were announced last month.

Foles frenzy: Eagles fly over Vikings to meet Patriots in Super Bowl LII

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Foles frenzy: Eagles fly over Vikings to meet Patriots in Super Bowl LII

BOX SCORE

PHILADELPHIA -- Hey Philly, maybe it's time to forget Carson Wentz. Nick Foles might be good enough to win the Eagles their first Super Bowl.

Foles was on fire Sunday night against the stingiest scoring defense in the NFL. Philly made big play after big play on both sides of the ball in a stunning 38-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings for the NFC championship.

Next up after their most-lopsided playoff victory: the Eagles' first Super Bowl appearance since 2005, against the team that beat them then, AFC champion New England.

Foles replaced the injured Wentz in Game 13 and finished off a rise from last place to first in the NFC East. There were plenty of doubters entering the playoffs, but the former starter in Philadelphia (15-3) under another regime has been brilliant.

His best work might have come against Minnesota (14-4) and its vaunted defense that was torn apart in every manner. Foles threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns, showing poise, escapability and moxie in going 26 for 33.

In doing so - helped greatly by the Eagles' domination on defense and a spectacular weaving 50-yard interception return TD by Patrick Robinson - Foles ruined the Vikings' hopes of being the first team to play in a Super Bowl in its own stadium

Instead, the Eagles will seek their first Super Bowl crown in Minnesota on Feb. 4; their last championship came in 1960.

OVER AT HALFTIME: Minnesota made it look easy at the outset, driving 75 yards on nine plays, each of which gained yardage. The payoff was a 25-yard throw from Case Keenum to Kyle Rudolph well behind linebacker Najee Goode as Philadelphia's defense looked confused on the play.

That didn't happen again for Philly.

Defensive end Chris Long had a huge hand in Robinson's 50-yard interception return. Long burst in from the left side and got his arm on Keenum to disrupt the throw for Adam Thielen. The ball went directly to Robinson, who sped down the left side, then made a sharp cut to the right and got a superb block from Ronald Darby to reach the end zone.

Inspired, Philly's D forced a three-and-out, the Foles led the Eagles on a 12-play, 75-yard masterpiece of a drive. LeGarrette Blount showed all his power and escapability on an 11-yard surge up the middle for a 14-7 lead.

Turnovers, something Minnesota rarely committed with an NFC-low 14 during the season, hurt again and not only ended a solid drive, but set up more Philly points. On third down from the Eagles 15, Keenum was blindsided by rookie Derek Barnett, and the ball bounced directly to Long.

It was only the second strip-sack the Vikings have been victimized by all season.

A blown coverage - another rarity for Minnesota - on third-and-10 allowed Alshon Jeffery to get wide open for a 53-yard TD, and Philadelphia tacked on Elliott's 38-yard field goal to make it 24-3 at halftime.

DANCING IN THE LINC: Fifty seconds into the final quarter, with the score 38-7, Eagles players on the sideline and waiting to kick off on the field were dancing up a storm and fans were chanting "We want Brady."

They get Tom Brady and company in two weeks.

BACK TO THE BIG GAME: Long won the Super Bowl last year with the Patriots, as did Blount. Now they return on the other side.

QUICK DRIVE: Philadelphia got the ball with 29 seconds remaining in the first half at its 20. Foles hit passes of 11 yards to Jay Ajayi, 36 to Ertz and 13 to Ajayi before Elliott's field goal to end the half.

THIRD DOWNS: Minnesota was the league's best team defending third downs and was third in converting them. Yet Philadelphia went 10 for 14.

NEXT UP: Minnesota returns home to watch two other teams play at its stadium for the Lombardi Trophy.

With the entire stadium singing "Fly Eagles Fly" during the NFC trophy ceremony, Philadelphia can look forward to facing New England in Super Bowl 52 on Feb. 4