Maiocco: 49ers' Gore set, Rachal must earn spot


Maiocco: 49ers' Gore set, Rachal must earn spot

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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com

All but two of the 49ers' returning starters from a year ago participated in the two weeks of "Camp Alex" -- the offensive workshop sessions at San Jose State that took place in June.Although a lot was made of Michael Crabtree's level of participation, he sat in on seven of the eight classroom sessions. That was the important stuff, as quarterbackhead coachoffensive coordinator Alex Smith installed a sizable portion of the 49ers' base offense.Likewise, I attended seven of the eight days. Each day, I scribbled notes on which players attended and which players were absent during the offense-only get-togethers.Team player director Takeo Spikes cited that scrutiny as one of the reasons he did not like the idea of players getting together for workouts during he owners-imposed lockout."The next thing I hate about it is the fact that some guys legitimately they can't come," Spikes said last week on the 2 Live Stews radio program. "They can't come and so when you let the media come in and tape the workouts the first thing they are going to say is, 'Where is so-and-so?' From that point, on whether it is wrong or right or indifferent, the media guys will paint a picture to the public about a guy who can't legitimately come."He's correct. It was duly noted that running back Frank Gore and right guard Chilo Rachal were the 49ers' only returning starters who did not attend any of the sessions.Gore is reportedly 100 percent after sustaining a hairline fracture of his right hip Nov. 29 against the Arizona Cardinals. Gore chose to remain in Miami and continue to work at Bommarito Performance Systems, rather than disrupt his physical conditioning with cross-country flights.My take?It's not a big deal at all because of the player we're talking about. Gore might be the most intelligent football player I've been around. Smith told me that Gore only has to see a play once to "get it down cold." Former 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan once said he would consider hiring Gore as a scout once his playing career was over.It's amazing now to think that there were concerns when he was coming out of college about Gore's ability to digest an NFL playbook because of a learning disability. Of course, it has never been an issue.
Gore and Smith got a chance to learn a good chunk of the offense before the lockout. So with a pretty good grasp of the basics of the 49ers' offense, Gore chose to focus his attention on getting in top physical condition for the opening of training camp.Right guard Chilo Rachal is the only other returning starter who did not attend. Word was that he had a prior commitment for the first week of "Camp Alex." No explanation was readily available for his absence during Week 2.After the lockout, the 49ers will break into full cram mode as the coaches attempt to prepare the team for the start of the regular season, which is less than two months away.Assuming center David Baas re-signs, Rachal is the 2010 starter whose position for the upcoming season is the most tenuous. Adam Snyder, the backup at right guard a year ago, helped Joe Staley organize all the work for the offensive linemen during the player-led workouts. Snyder knows the terminology and line calls as well as anyone right now.My take?The door might open for some good competition at right guard this summer.

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.