Lessons 49ers can learn from Super Bowl teams


Lessons 49ers can learn from Super Bowl teams

My boss asked if I had any ideas on 49ers topics to write in conjunction with the Super Bowl.My first thought was, "How about something on what the 49ers can learn from the teams that made it to the Super Bowl?"It sounded like a great idea. But when a team, such as the 49ers, makes it to the conference championship game, the biggest lesson to be learned is . . . don't lose the championship game.

The 49ers lost in overtime to the Giants. A team that had a plus-28 turnover margin during the regular season, had a minus-2 margin in their season-ending game against the Giants.Of course, the 49ers' defense is good enough to win a championship. Defenses ranked 27th (Giants) and 31st (New England Patriots) in yards allowed made it to the Super Bowl.So does that mean that offense wins championships?The Patriots were second and the Giants were eighth in total yards on offense. The 49ers were 26th in the NFL on offense.The 49ers were ranked 31st in the league on third-down efficiency. The 49ers were particularly inept in the NFC Championship Game against the Giants, as they converted just 1 of 13 third-down attempts.Another bleak area for the 49ers was their red-zone offense. They were 30th in the NFL with touchdowns on just 40.7-percent of their trips inside the opponents' 20-yard line. The 49ers scored 35 touchdowns and kicked 44 field goals during the regular season. By contrast, the Patriots scored 61 TDs and kicked 28 FGs, while the Giants scored 47 TDs and 19 FGs.Cleveland, Kansas City, Seattle and Washington were the only other teams that had more field goals that touchdowns this season.There is little doubt the 49ers' offense, most notably their passing game, must improve. New England had the second-ranked passing attack. The Giants were fifth. The 49ers were 29th.So those are the lessons the 49ers can learn from the Super Bowl teams -- as if they hadn't already figured it out.

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'


Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem


Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”