49ers

Shanahan: York has been supportive of 49ers' building project

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AP

Shanahan: York has been supportive of 49ers' building project

SANTA CLARA – After moving on from Jim Harbaugh following the 2014 season, 49ers CEO Jed York fired back-to-back coaches Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly after just one season apiece.

First-year coach Kyle Shanahan is a lot more secure despite the team’s franchise-worst nine-game losing streak to open the season.

Shanahan said he speaks with York after games and, typically, on Monday evenings. He said their conversations are open and honest and they plot a course for future seasons he believes will result in more wins than losses.

“He’s somebody you can be honest with,” Shanahan said. “I don’t really beat around the bush with him. I’ve kind of told him direct how I feel about everything since the first day we met. I think that’s why we can get places together.

“We don’t try to hide things from each other. He knows what I’m expecting. I know what he’s expecting. He’s been great to me – very supportive.”

Shanahan said it has been difficult after every game to face 49ers ownership as the losses continue to mount. The 49ers’ roster was not strong to open the season. It is even more thin now due mostly to injuries to key players.

"It's hard after each game to look at the owners and say, 'We're sorry. I know we didn't do it again,'" Shanahan said. "That is very tough on me. I wish I could make this look better for him right now. I know it isn't there right now, but I know it will be. He's been great with that and understanding of that, too. They've really let us do our job.”

Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have some time to get things right. Both men signed six-year contracts to replace Kelly and fired general manager Trent Baalke.

“I believe in the people here,” Shanahan said. “I believe in this organization. I believe in the resources we have to improve. People win in this league because you make good decisions, you’re committed to winning, you spend money in free agency, you make the right decisions for the short term and the long term, you don’t make (decisions) based off perception just to get people off your back.

“I know we haven’t (won) here in a while. I’d love to change it right away. But I do believe we’re in the process of changing it. I know the record doesn’t show that, so actions are much stronger than my words, but I’m extremely confident we’re going in the right direction and we’ll see that over time.”

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

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LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

LeBron James is an avid football fan. He's now an even bigger Colin Kaepernick fan than the sport. Following the Cavaliers' practice on Sunday, James opened up on Kaepernick and his absence from the NFL. 

"I've commended Kap, and for him to sacrifice everything for the greater good for everyone, for what he truly believed in, the utmost respect to him," James said to ESPN. "Obviously he had a vision like Martin Luther King and like some of our all-time greats that people couldn't see further than what they were doing at the point and time. And Muhammad Ali and things of that nature."

James believes the masses don't truly understand what Kaepernick was doing when he first took a knee as a protest against social and racial injustices in America. For his actions, James respects Kaepernick choosing his beliefs over his sport.

"When it's something that's new and it's something that people are not educated about or don't understand what your beliefs are all about, people are so quick to judge and people are so quick to say that what you're doing is wrong," James said. "For him to sacrifice the sport that he plays and to sacrifice the things he's done his whole life because he knew what he believed in, I salute him. I salute and respect that."

Add James to the list of those who believe Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL for taking a knee last season. The more games he watches, the more James sees the evidence on the wall. 

"I don't represent the NFL. I don't know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing, I do know that," James believes. "Just watching, he's an NFL player. He's an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he's been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that."

Kaepernick, who recently turned 30 years old, appeared in 12 games for the 49ers in the 2016-17 season. Through the air he completed 59.2 percent of his passes and ended the year with 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Kaepernick also added 468 yards and two more scores on the ground. 

"The only reason I could say he's not on a team is because the way he took a knee," James said. "That's the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night. I see all these quarterbacks -- first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks -- that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let's just be honest."

For his career, Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 yards and 72 touchdowns to 30 interceptions. With his speed as a dual-threat quarterback, Kaepernick has also gained 2,300 yards rushing and 13 more touchdowns. 

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

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AP

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.

Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.

Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.

Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.