Talkin' QBs -- 49ers and around the NFL


Talkin' QBs -- 49ers and around the NFL

Like most NFL teams, the 49ers kept three quarterbacks after their cut to 53 players.The 49ers gave it a long thought before deciding to part ways with veteran Josh Johnson while keeping Scott Tolzien as the No. 3 guy behind starter Alex Smith and backup Colin Kaepernick.RELATED: Video -- Matt and Mindi finalize the 49ers roster
"I won't delve into every aspect because really there was a lot of body of work," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "There was a lot of thought that went into it. I think about the quarterback position in some form or fashion every day."I can't tell you how close it was. It was a dead heat. Both those players made a great argument for both of them to help our team win on any given Sunday. It was close in the beginning, it remained close all the way through and it was a tough decision."In the NFL, a tie generally goes to the younger, less-expensive player. And such was the case here. Tolzien is 15 12 months younger than Johnson, and his appointment on the roster, instead of Johnson, saves the 49ers nearly 300,000 in salary this season.Following is a listing of each team's active quarterbacks:ARIZONA
Kevin Kolb, Houston, 6
Ryan Lindley, San Diego State, R
Starter: John Skelton, Fordham, 3ATLANTA
Dominique Davis, East Carolina, R
Luke McCown, Louisiana Tech, 9
Starter: Matt Ryan, Boston College, 5 BALTIMORE
Starter: Joe Flacco, Delaware, 5
Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech, 2BUFFALO
Starter: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harvard, 7
Tarvaris Jackson, Alabama State, 7
Tyler Thigpen, Coastal Carolina, 4CAROLINA
Derek Anderson, Oregon State, 8
Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame, 3
Starter: Cam Newton, Auburn, 2CHICAGO
Jason Campbell, Auburn, 8
Starter: Jay Cutler, Vanderbilt, 7 CINCINNATI
Starter: Andy Dalton, TCU, 2
Bruce Gradkowski, Toledo, 7CLEVELAND
Thaddeus Lewis, Duke, 2
Colt McCoy, Texas, 3
Starter: Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State, RDALLAS
Kyle Orton, Purdue, 8
Starter: Tony Romo, Eastern Illinois, 10DENVER
Caleb Hanie, Colorado State, 5
Starter: Peyton Manning, Tennessee, 15
Brock Osweiler, Arizona State, RDETROIT
Shaun Hill, Maryland, 11
Kellen Moore, Boise State, R
Starter: Matthew Stafford, Georgia, 4GREEN BAY
Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, 1
Starter: Aaron Rodgers, California, 8HOUSTON
John Beck, Brigham Young, 6
Starter: Matt Schaub, Virginia, 9
T.J. Yates, North Carolina, 2INDIANAPOLIS
Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois, R
Starter: Andrew Luck, Stanford, R
Drew Stanton, Michigan State, 5JACKSONVILLE
Starter: Blaine Gabbert, Missouri, 2
Chad Henne, Michigan, 4KANSAS CITY
Starter: Matt Cassel, Southern California, 8
Brady Quinn, Notre Dame, 6
Ricky Stanzi, Iowa, 2MIAMI
Pat Devlin, Delaware, 2
David Garrard, East Carolina, 9
Matt Moore, Oregon State, 6
Starter: Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M, RMINNESOTA
McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Sacramento State, 1
Starter: Christian Ponder, Florida State, 2
Joe Webb, Alabama-Birmingham, 3NEW ENGLAND
Starter: Tom Brady, Michigan, 13
Ryan Mallett, Arkansas, 2NEW ORLEANS
Starter: Drew Brees, Purdue, 12
Chase Daniel, Missouri, 4NEW YORK GIANTS
David Carr, Fresno State, 11
Starter: Eli Manning, Mississippi, 9NEW YORK JETS
Greg McElroy, Alabama, 2
Starter: Mark Sanchez, Southern California, 4
Tim Tebow, Florida, 3OAKLAND
Matt Leinart, Southern California, 7
Starter: Carson Palmer, Southern California, 10
Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State, 2PHILADELPHIA
Trent Edwards, Stanford, 5
Nick Foles, Arizona, R
Starter: Michael Vick, Virginia Tech, 11PITTSBURGH
Charlie Batch, Eastern Michigan, 15
Byron Leftwich, Marshall, 10
Starter: Ben Roethlisberger, Miami (Ohio), 9ST. LOUIS
Starter: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, 3
Austin Davis, Southern Mississippi, RSAN DIEGO
Starter: Philip Rivers, North Carolina State, 9
Charlie Whitehurst, Clemson, 7SAN FRANCISCO
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada, 2
Starter: Alex Smith, Utah, 8
Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin, 2SEATTLE
Matt Flynn, Louisiana State, 5
Starter: Russell Wilson, Wisconsin, RTAMPA BAY
Starter: Josh Freeman, Kansas State, 4
Dan Orlovsky, Connecticut, 7TENNESSEE
Matt Hasselbeck, Boston College, 14
Starter: Jake Locker, Washington, 2
Rusty Smith, Florida Atlantic, 3WASHINGTON
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State, R
Starter: Robert Griffin III, Baylor, R
Rex Grossman, Florida, 10Note: According to the NFL, the five rookie quarterbacks who will debut as starters is the most since at least 1950. The previous high was three in 1968 (Dan Darragh, Buffalo; Greg Landry, Detroit; and Dewey Warren, Cincinnati) and 1969 (Greg Cook, Cincinnati; James Harris, Buffalo; Roger Staubach, Dallas).

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