Brandon Jacobs, the New York Giants' 6-foot-4, 264-pound running back, was called "a little soft" this week by Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice.Jacobs' response on Thursday?"I've grown up a San Francisco 49er fan," said Jacobs, who grew up in Louisiana. "I've loved Jerry Rice, I still love Jerry Rice, I give him a lot of credit for the game being the way it is today. I have nothing negative to say about Jerry. If he feels that way, he feels that way. I bet you he won't tackle me."Laughter ensued and the interview with East Coast reporters was done.But Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride had a more philosophical approach. After all, Jacobs' 571-yard rushing season was the lowest output of his career since 2006, and his 3.8-yards-per-carry average was the third-lowest of his seven-year career.Still, Jacobs, soft?"I think it's just because you see this big, powerful man and if he's not running over somebody every snap then people are almost disappointed," Gilbride said. "Unfortunately, the people that he's going against are big, strong men, powerful men as well. I think once he gets going, as you've seen, I'm not sure there's many people that like to get in his way. It takes him, as it does any back, an opportunity to get his feet underneath him and get through the hole. But once he gets going he's really, and I mean this in a positive way, a freak of nature."To be that big and powerful and to run as fast as he does, there are not many people that have that combination. So when he is in the open space you see people shying out of the way. Until you get by the line of scrimmage -- those guys are 300-plus pounds -- they're bigger than he is, too. Plus he hasn't had a chance to build up much momentum. But once he gets going he's a powerful guy."Jacobs' words were just as powerful earlier in the day, when he was reminded of the 49ers knocking New Orleans running back Pierre Thomas out of the game early on a hit by Donte Whitner."To get knocked out, that means they hit you on the head," Jacobs said. "I wish like hell one of them would try to hit me in my head. That means they're staying up, not trying to hit in the legs."That means they're staying high, they're not digging in the ground trying to make tackles at the shoestring."In the 49ers' 27-20 defeat of the Giants at Candlestick Park on Nov. 13, Jacobs rushed for a game-high 55 yards on 18 carries.The 49ers limited the Saints to 37 yards rushing last week, with New Orleans becoming decidedly one-dimensional after Thomas was knocked out and lost a fumble at the San Francisco 2-yard line."(Knocking players out is) not really a thing they do on purpose," Jacobs said. "Guys are out there playing off instincts. It just so happens it went that way. And everyone tries to set a tone for their team -- offense, defense, it doesn't matter. It's a bunch of guys playing for the right to go to the Super Bowl. (The 49ers) went out there and played lights out. I'm looking forward to that challenge this week."
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.”
NEW YORK — Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott was granted another legal reprieve Tuesday night in the running back's fight to avoid a six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations.
A New York federal judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the league's suspension, clearing Elliott to play Sunday at San Francisco.
U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty's ruling came five days after a federal appeals court overturned a Texas court's injunction that had kept Elliott on the field.
Crotty granted the request for the restraining order pending a hearing before the presiding judge, Katherine Polk Failla, who is on vacation.
The NFL was ordered to appear before Failla on or before Oct. 30 to argue why the suspension should not be blocked by a preliminary injunction — the next step in the legal process — until the court can rule on challenges the players' union brought against the suspension.
"We are confident our arguments will prevail in court when they are taken up again later this month," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
Elliott, last year's NFL rushing leader as a rookie, was barred from the team's facility Tuesday as players returned from their off week. The NFL placed him on the suspended list Friday, a day after the league's favorable ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
The 22-year-old Elliott was suspended in August by Commissioner Roger Goodell after the league concluded following a yearlong investigation that he had several physical confrontations in the summer of 2016 with Tiffany Thompson, his girlfriend at the time.
Prosecutors in Columbus, Ohio, decided not to pursue the case in the city where Elliott starred for Ohio State, citing conflicting evidence, but the NFL did its own investigation. Elliott denied the allegations under oath during his NFL appeal.
The suspension's announcement in August led to weeks of court filings, with NFLPA lawyers contending that league investigators withheld key evidence from Goodell and that the appeal hearing was unfair because arbitrator Harold Henderson refused to call Goodell and Thompson as witnesses.
In an opinion accompanying the ruling, Crotty agreed with the Texas judge who had backed the claims of Elliott's attorneys. Crotty wrote that Henderson's denial of testimony from Goodell and Thompson was significant because of credibility issues related to Thompson.
"In effect, (Elliott) was deprived of opportunities to explore pertinent and material evidence, which raises sufficiently serious questions," Crotty wrote.
Attorney Daniel Nash, arguing for the NFL, accused Elliott's legal team of seeking relief from courts in Texas to evade courts in New York and the effect of the April 2016 ruling that reinstated a four-game suspension of New England quarterback Tom Brady in the "Deflategate" scandal.
Nash warned Crotty that allowing the union to continue to delay the suspension would invite "every player who's suspended" to go to court for relief.
"They know under the Brady decision they have no chance of success. None," Nash said.
Attorney Jeffrey Kessler, representing the players' union, said the harm to a player's short career was serious when a suspension is served.
"He can never get that back," Kessler said, arguing that the irreparable harm — among issues of law considered before a temporary restraining order is granted — faced by a player is much greater than harm claimed by the league when a suspension is delayed. In his opinion, Crotty agreed.
Nash suggested during the hearing that the union was overstating its claims of irreparable harm.
"In their view, an NFL player missing six games is the end of the world," he said.
Brady managed to delay his suspension for a year through the union's court challenges. He served it to start last season, when the Patriots went 3-1 without him and later won the Super Bowl.
Elliott's case shifted to New York after the appeals court ordered the Texas court to dismiss Elliott's lawsuit, which Judge Amos Mazzant did earlier Tuesday.
A three-judge panel of the New Orleans court ruled 2-1 last week that Elliott's attorneys filed the Texas lawsuit prematurely because Henderson had yet to decide on the running back's NFL appeal.
Elliott's legal team indicated it intended to pursue rehearing before a larger panel of the appeals court while also filing for the restraining order in the Southern District of New York.
The NFL filed in the New York court after Elliott's NFL appeal was denied because the league considers it the proper venue as the home of its headquarters and the site of the hearings before Henderson. It's also where the NFL won the Brady case in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.