Streater adds another deep threat to 49ers' passing game

Streater adds another deep threat to 49ers' passing game

ORLANDO, Fla. – Wide receiver Rod Streater has shown he is capable of producing big numbers when he remains healthy.

After all, the caught 60 passes and averaged 14.8 yards a reception for the Raiders in 2013 when Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin and Matt Flynn were the quarterbacks.

On Sunday, Streater got his first opportunity to show what he can do with the 49ers after Quinton Patton was sidelined with a concussion. Streater caught four passes for 46 yards in the 49ers’ 31-24 loss to the Miami Dolphins. And he demonstrated the speed that he had only shown on the practice field when the board in Miami registered his speed on one play at a blistering 21.9 mph.

Streater said he was just waiting for his chance to step up, as he continues to work with Colin Kaepernick in practices to create timing and chemistry. The 49ers acquired Streater in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs just prior to the start of the regular season.

“It’s been consistent. We work at it practice and work at it, and we connected a couple times in the game,” Streater said of Kaepernick. “He brings a lot of energy and juice to the game. He can do it all. He can run, throw, he’s out there making plays for us.”

Streater’s speed gives the 49ers another deep threat opposite of veteran Torrey Smith, who has mostly been known for his deep routes through his six-year NFL career.

“I feel like we bring speed to the game,” said Streater, a fifth-year player. “We’re both vets. Torrey had a couple more years in the league than me, but he brings that speed to the game. And I bring whatever I can bring. The physicality, the size, the speed, everything. We try to complement each other and go out and make some plays.”

Smith has not been utilized much since coming to the 49ers last season. Smith ranks sixth on the team with just 20 catches for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Smith has experienced success with the “go” route, including a walk-off touchdown against the Chicago Bears in overtime last year. But he has not seen that pass come his way in a game this season.

“We just haven’t thrown them,” Smith said. “That’s kind of what I do, but it’s not that he hasn’t called them, but for whatever reason, it just hasn’t come my way, yet. I don’t think I’ve had a single one thrown to me.”

Said 49ers coach Chip Kelly, “He’s faced some good corners and they’ve done a good job against him and we haven’t been able to connect with him. That would be nice if we could do that, but we haven’t been able to do that.”

Frank Gore returns home for his 14th NFL season


Frank Gore returns home for his 14th NFL season

Frank Gore is returning home to, in all likelihood, finish his professional football career.

Gore, 34, signed a one-year contract to enter his 14th NFL season with his hometown Miami Dolphins, the team announced Friday.

Gore grew up in Coconut Grove, Florida, and attended Coral Gables High School before playing collegiately at the University of Miami.

He played the first 10 NFL seasons with the 49ers and is the franchise’s all-time leading rusher. Gore ranks fifth in NFL history with 14,026 rushing yards – just 75 yards behind No. 4 Curtis Martin.

After rushing for 11,073 yards and 64 touchdowns with the 49ers, the club declined to offer him a multi-year contract following the 2014 season. Gore played the past three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.

Gore remains one of the most popular players in 49ers history. When asked recently if he would be willing to “retire” as a member of the 49ers after his final game, Gore reacted enthusiastically about the possibility.

1, Emmitt Smith 18,355
2, Walter Payton 16,726
3, Barry Sanders 15,269
4, Curtis Martin 14,101
5, Frank Gore 14,026

49ers increase competition for starting guard positions


49ers increase competition for starting guard positions

The 49ers are the fifth team to give Jonathan Cooper a chance after he arrived in the NFL as the No. 7 overall pick of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 draft.

Cooper, 28, caught the attention of the 49ers with his career-high 13 starts last season with the Dallas Cowboys. The 49ers signed him to a one-year, $4.95 million contract this week.

“We signed him to compete for one of the guard spots as a starter,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said Thursday at Stanford's pro day. “He played very well in our minds for Dallas last year and kind of resurrected his career. He’s battled injuries, but we really like the way he played, and we think he’s a very good fit for what we do. So we were pleased to add him.”

The 49ers plan to take it slowly this offseason with Cooper, who underwent surgery after tearing the medial-collateral ligament in his left knee during the final game of the season. The 49ers report for the offseason program in mid-April.

The 49ers are certain to have at least two new starters on the offensive line. Former New York Giants center Weston Richburg was signed to replace Daniel Kilgore, who was subsequently traded to the Miami Dolphins. Brandon Fusco, who started 16 games at right guard, signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an unrestricted free agent.

Laken Tomlinson has a chance to hold onto a starting job. Acquired shortly before the start of the regular season in a trade from the Detroit Lions, Tomlinson quickly moved into the starting lineup at left guard and started the final 15 games. Tomlinson was a first-round draft pick of the Lions in 2015.

“Laken played very well the longer he was there,” Lynch said. “I think people forget with Laken, he came here in Week 1. He was kind of force-fed. We didn’t have many options. But we saw a guy get better throughout the season. He’ll get his opportunity.”

Joshua Garnett, a first-round pick of the 49ers in 2016, spent last season on injured reserve due to an a knee injury sustained in training camp. The 49ers challenged Garnett to get in better physical condition. He has been cleared for football activity.

“Joshua Garnett has been working extremely hard, so he’ll be in that mix,” Lynch said. “He did a great job embracing the time he has last year to improve as a player. He remade his body and we're looking forward to see him get after it in the offseason.

“I think he’s excited about it. He’s feeling sexy, as he says.”

Erik Magnuson, 24, won a spot on the 49ers’ roster after signing as an undrafted rookie from Michigan. Magnuson could enter into the competition at guard. He displayed unique versatility in his first season, starting two games at right tackle before sustaining a season-ending foot injury. He can also serve as a backup center.

And, perhaps, the 49ers are not finished adding to the competition. The team owns the No. 9 overall selection, and Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson could be on the radar in the unlikely event he is not selected within the top eight picks.

When asked if the 49ers could also add another player to the mix with a draft pick, Lynch answered, “We’ll see. We’re always looking to get better there.”