Q&A: What 49ers coaches are missing at Sr. Bowl

Q&A: What 49ers coaches are missing at Sr. Bowl

Jan. 26, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comMOBILE, Ala. -- Hundreds of NFL coaches, executives and scouts attended the first two days of practices for the Senior Bowl. After Wednesday, a lot of those folks will have seen enough.The on-field work decreases after Wednesday's practice, so most NFL onlookers feel as if they need only three days to properly evaluate more than 100 of the top seniors in the country who have gathered to prepare for Saturday's game.Let's go to the Twitter mailbag to answer some questions . . .

Q: So Harbaugh didn't go to the Senior Bowl? Any idea why? @RedGoldBleeder
My response: Jim Harbaugh, the new 49ers coach, and his staff remained in Santa Clara this week while the organization's entire scouting department traveled to Mobile to get a first-hand look at the players.Coach Hue Jackson and his Raiders coaches are in Mobile. A lot of NFL head coaches are here. But Harbaugh is not the only first-time NFL head coach who is not here. Cleveland's Pat Shurmur is not here, either.WATCH: 1 on 1 with Raiders head coach Hue Jackson
Still, it's the first time the 49ers' coaching staff has not attended the Senior Bowl in recent memory."Well, there's nothing to that," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. "If the coaches would've been on staff and ready to go, they'd certainly be down here. The reason they're not down here is because most of them just came in as of Monday and coach (Harbaugh) just felt it was a better opportunity to get them all together, get them working on the schedule for the offseason."Obviously, Harbaugh's opinion will carry a lot of weight when it comes to the 49ers' decisions at quarterback. There are six quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl, but Harbaugh will have plenty of time to evaluate those individuals elsewhere.MAIOCCO: Top prospects weigh in at Senior Bowl
Harbaugh can study all the film he wants. The 49ers' coaching staff will attend the NFL scouting combine next month in Indianapolis. Harbaugh also has the option of attending personal workouts and pro days.Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg told CSN Bay Area on Tuesday that all the information talent evaluators need can be obtained at personal workouts.Q: Why do people think one week in Mobile is more important than 3-4 years of college? @RoneFace
My response: I'm not sure anybody feels this week is more important than the bulk of a player's college career, but it is vital for several reasons.Especially in today's college game with the emphasis on the spread offense, these players are now getting NFL coaching. (Marvin Lewis' Bengals staff is coaching the North, while Chan Gailey's Bills staff coaches the South.) So for many of these players, it is their first exposure to an NFL-style of play.It is also a type of one-stop shopping. Scouts and executives are looking at NFL prospects at every position. Therefore, the consistent level of competition is the greatest these players have faced. The drills pit one NFL-caliber player against another, and that's something that does not happen on a regular basis in college practices or many games.RELATED: NFL Headlines
Another big reason the Senior Bowl practices are important is because this is the first opportunity for the NFL coaches to get out and look at players. Because NFL coaches are busy with their seasons and do not watch much college football, they are just now beginning the process of scouting the draft-eligible players. This event in Mobile is the first opportunity for them to see these prospects.Q: Do you have the link to the updated 49ers coaching hirechange article? @iamgenus
My response: Here you go . . .49ers coaching staff at a glanceHead coach: Jim Harbaugh (Stanford). 2010: Mike SingletaryJim Tomsula. (Singletary, fired on Dec. 26, was hired as Vikings assistant to the head coachlinebackers coach.)REWIND: 49ers get their man -- Harbaugh hired
Offensive Coordinator: Greg Roman (Stanford). 2010: Jimmy RayeMike Johnson. (Raye was fired Sept. 27; Johnson hired as offensive coordinator at UCLA.)Quarterbacks: Geep Chryst (Panthers). 2010: JohnsonJason Michael (hired as Chargers tights ends coach).Running backs: Tom Rathman. 2010: Rathman.Wide receivers: John Morton (USC). 2010: Jerry Sullivan, assistant Wendall Davis.Tight ends: Currently vacant. 2010: Pete Hoener.Offensive line: Tim Drevno (Stanford) and Mike Solari. 2010: Mike Solari, assistant Ray Brown. (Brown was hired as Panthers assistant line coach.)RELATED: 49ers plan for Drevno to work with Solari
Defense coordinator: Vic Fangio (Stanford). 2010: Greg Manusky (hired as Chargers defensive coordinator).Defensive line: Jim Tomsula. 2010: Tomsula.RELATED: Maiocco -- 49ers D-line was team's strength
Linebackers: Jim Leavitt (South Florida, 2009). 2010: Jason Tarver (outside LBs), Vantz Singletary (inside LBs). (Singletary was fired Dec. 26; Tarver is top candidate for Stanford defensive coordinator position, sources tell CSN Bay Area.)Defensive backs: Ed Donatell (Broncos). 2010: Vance JosephJohnnie Lynn. (Joseph was hired as Texans defensive backs coach; Lynn resigned late in the season for personal reasons.)Special teams coordinator: Brad Seely (Browns). Seely is also assistant head coach. 2010: Kurt Schottenheimerassistant Dave Fipp. (Fipp was hired as Dolphins assistant special-teams coach.)Head strength and conditioning: Mark Uyeyama (49ers assistant strength and conditioning coach) with assistant Kevin Tolbert (Stanford). 2010: Duane Carlisle (not retained) with assistant Uyeyama.

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


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

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 in last month.

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


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


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