Monday Morning Mailbag: More of the 'Wolf Pack'?


Monday Morning Mailbag: More of the 'Wolf Pack'?

Colin Kaepernick's performance in the 49ers' first exhibition game grabbed the attention of New York Jets coach Rex Ryan.After Kaepernick had a 78-yard touchdown run in the 49ers' Aug. 10 exhibition opener against the Minnesota Vikings, Ryan had this to say:"Again, some people think the Wildcat has come and gone. No, it hasn't. If anything, it's just the opposite. I saw the kid from San Francisco, Kaepernick. He runs a 4.4 or something. I was really intrigued by him when he came out (of college). (The 49ers) drafted him before we could, but I was interested in him. He went for a 70-yard touchdown run the other day. You're seeing these guys and it's hard to defend some of that stuff. When you have the ability to throw, as well as run, it makes it tough."And with that, let's go to the 49ers' Monday Morning Mailbag . . .
Will they use the Wolf Pack more? (@WarriorSports)
Ah, yes, it's not the Wildcat. When Kaepernick, the former Nevada star, runs it, it's the Wolf Pack.The 49ers had the Kaepernick package in their game plans before, but this is the first time they've used it multiple times in the same game.In the past, it was something they employed under unique circumstance. The first time they ran the zone read option was just before the half against the Green Bay Packers, and Kaepernick gained 17 yards to help the 49ers get in position for David Akers' 63-yard field goal.No doubt, the opposition will now have to spend practice time and study time preparing for Kaepernick. And it only seems reasonable that 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman will sprinkle it in from time to time.On Sunday, Kaepernick took four snaps in the first half. There was another play in which he lined up wide with Alex Smith at quarterback. The New York Jets were thoroughly unprepared for that, and they had to burn a timeout.RELATED: 49ers play time -- Kaepernick makes the most of opportunities
Why has Alex Smith been missing open WRs? It seems like they're running good routes and getting open. (@mgarc747)
Smith had his best NFL season a year ago, and he connected on 61.3 percent of his passing attempts. Through four games, Smith is completing 67.3 percent. So he is better than he's ever been in that regard.On Sunday, the 49ers attempted more lower-percentage passes than usual as they tried to get the ball down the field against the Jets' aggressive coverage.

Smith and the passing game was off. He completed just 12 of 21 attempts, and the 49ers averaged just 5.6 yards per attempt. That, simply, is not good enough.The worst part was when Smith took back-to-back sacks in the second quarter to turn a potential 46-yard field goal attempt into a 55-yarder that David Akers missed.Expect Brandon Jacobs next week? (@Turnesaurus)
He returned to limited practice last week after sustaining a left knee sprain Aug. 18 in an exhibition game against the Houston Texans. It should be close whether he'll be able to play on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.He does not play special teams, and he'll be the team's No. 3 running back behind Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. So the 49ers will have to figure out how he fits into the 46-player active list and who they can deactivate to suit him up.

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.”