Tomlin: Roethlisberger requires less practice time


Tomlin: Roethlisberger requires less practice time

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Wednesday that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will not require a lot of practice time this week to be prepared to face the 49ers on Monday night at Candlestick Park.

Roethlisberg sustained a left ankle sprain Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns. He managed to finish the game, throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns in a 14-3 victory. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Roethlisberger sustained a Grade 1 high-ankle sprain (Grade 3 is the most serious). But his status is uncertain for Monday night"He can be ready to play on a limited number of snaps," Tomlin said on a conference call with reporters who cover the 49ers. "At the end of the week when we get into some situational football things, that's going to require some physical preparation in some form or fashion. But we're going to take it day by day. We're always going to be optimistic when it comes to Ben."Tomlin said Roethlisberger requires less on-field practice time to be ready for a game than, perhaps, another player at another position."I think it's different with the quarterback position, particularly when it's a veteran one," Tomlin said. "I think there's more of a chance of that happening at the quarterback position, particularly if you have a veteran one, then say some of the other position like wide receiver, running back or linebacker." What can you take from what the Ravens were able to do against the 49ers' offensive line and Alex Smith in the Thanksgiving game? (The Ravens sacked Smith nine times.)
"We don't look at that game any different than we do any of the other games that they played, from a break-down standpoint. It's just a window into some of the things, maybe, we're capable of. But, ultimately, we play our game and stay within our personality. We have great continuity on defense, and we tend to lean on that, as opposed to what we see others do."Would you think there could be any advantage gleaned from Jim Harbaugh spending a lot of time on the phone with his brother?
"He's a pretty competent and capable coach, as I'm sure (the 49ers) record indicates. So I'm sure they're talking about brotherly things when they talk. . . I really haven't thought about all that. I'm sure those brothers talk. To the level to which they talk, they're better suited to answer that than me. Why don't you guys ask them?"With the extra day before the game, the 49ers are not practicing Wednesday. The Steelers are practicing, keeping with their typical weekly routine.
"Really, it's a non-equation for us. It's a Wednesday. We do what we normally do on a Wednesday. We put base core components of our plan. In terms of how we practice, that's been prescribed by the league a little bit, in terms of whether it's padded or non-padded. We just prepare and ultimately play games and we're a pretty routine outfit. We don't look at some of those things."Do the 49ers change much defensively when Patrick Willis is out of the lineup?
"It doesn't seem that they're changing all that much schematically. Obviously, Patrick Willis is a special player, and I'm sure they prefer to have him. But, at least, schematically, they haven't changed very much at all.What kind of challenge is the 49ers' run defense on your guys up front and running back Rashard Mendenall?
"It's an enormous challenge. I think their statistics speak for themselves. They're first in the league versus the run; they haven't given up a touchdown this year on the ground; they're first in the NFL in red-zone defense; they're first in the league in turnover margin. They're a tough nut to crack, and we respect that. And that's kind of what we're doing this week, in terms of preparing ourselves for that contest. . . . They're a very good style defense, and one to be reckoned with. And we better be prepared and ultimately play well if we want to have a chance to win."How will your defensive scheme look different without James Harrison in there on Monday?
"Schematically, of course, it won't look very different at all. Of course, this isn't the first time we played without James. And this isn't even the first time we played without James this year. So we're going to try to make that a non-issue. Obviously, James is a good player and provides special plays for us, but ultimately the standard will remain the same, and we have some guys who are capable of doing the job and playing to the standard."Where do you stand on the NFL's decision to suspend him for a game?
"That's their judgment, and we have to take the necessary steps to respond to it. How we feel individually is irrelevant."Have you had a chance to look at 49ers rookie Aldon Smith?
"I have, and not only as recently as this week, but as far back as last spring in preparation for the draft. He's a special pass-rusher with unique talent. It's showing itself inside NFL stadiums. He's off to a great start. Obviously, we got to get him blocked when it comes to passing the ball, especially vertically down the field. He's got 10-plus sacks and he's not playing like a rookie."RELATED: Aldon Smith 2011 game logs
If Harrison doesn't play, who would be next in line?
"We got a couple candidates in Jason Worilds, who, of course, has been warm of late and been productive for us, getting an opportunity to play in place of LaMarr Woodley. And LaMarr Woodley appears to be ready to play, but we'll let the week dictate that for us from a practice standpoint. And of course, Lawrence Timmons, who starts for us at inside linebacker, has position flexibility and can play outside some already this year. So we're comfortable with the candidates we have ready to play outside linebacker. We'll get all of those men ready as we prepare this week and make some of those judgments as we get toward the end of the week. . . . It's not a major issue for us. It's something we can sort out as the week unfolds."What have you noticed from afar on the transformation of the 49ers with Jim Harbaugh?
"They're a good fundamental team. Some of the things I mentioned earlier are direct reasons why they're a really good team. They play good in the red zone. They make people kick field goals. They're good against the run. They're first in the league in turnover margin. They're running the ball extremely well on people. They're possessing the ball. I think they average 32 minutes a game, as far as time of possession. All of that is a good formula -- a good fundamental formula for winning, which is what they're doing. They need no endorsement from me."

Report: Stubblefield taken into custody, booked into jail in no-bail case

Santa Clara Sheriff Office

Report: Stubblefield taken into custody, booked into jail in no-bail case

Former 49ers defensive lineman Dana Stubblefield is behind bars. 

According to the Mercury News, Stubblefield was led away from court to jail in handcuffs Friday after a judge found there was probable cause to hold him over for trial on charges of rape stemming from May 2015. 

Stubblefield is charged with raping an intellectually disabled woman on April 9, 2015 at his Morgan Hill home when she had gone to interview for a babysitting job. 

According to the same report, Stubblefield had been free on $250,000 bail for more than a year. But the judge ordered him taken into custody Friday after prosecutors formally added the allegation that Stubblefield used a gun during the assault, which made it a no-bail case.

Stubblefield has pleaded not guilty and publicly denied the five felony charges and gun enhancement that prosecutors say could lead to at least 15 years to life in prison if he is convicted.

Stubblefield played 11 seasons in the NFL, including the first five with the 49ers. He later returned to the 49ers in 2001 and ’02, before finishing his career with the Raiders.

Stubblefield, a first-round pick of the 49ers in 1993, was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording 10.5 sacks. He was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year with a career-high 15 sacks in 1997. He signed a lucrative contract with Washington in 1998.

Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts


Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

The 49ers recently re-signed eight of the 10 players who finished the season on the team’s practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, who was not among the first wave of 49ers signings to 2018 contracts, signed Wednesday with the Indianapolis Colts, ending his three-season association with the organization.

Smelter was one of general manager Trent Baalke’s redshirt draft picks. The team selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 draft despite a torn ACL that ended his final season at Georgia Tech.

Smelter spent his first season on an injured list. He was waived at the beginning of the past two seasons, finishing both years on the 49ers’ practice squad. Smelter appeared in two games in 2016 and caught one pass for 23 yards.

Last season, the 49ers signed wide receivers Louis Murphy and Max McCaffrey to spots on the 53-man roster instead of Smelter, who remained on the practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Carter, who also spent the entire season on the practice squad, was signed recently to the team’s 90-man roster.

Others who finished the season on the 49ers practice squad to remain on the team’s offseason roster are: quarterback Nick Mullens, tight end Cole Wick, offensive linemen Andrew Lauderdale and Pace Murphy, linebacker Boseko Lokombo, and defensive backs Trovon Reed and Channing Stribling.

The 49ers also signed fullback Malcolm Johnson, who spent last season on injured reserve with the Seattle Seahawks. Johnson appeared in 19 games over the 2015 and ’16 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He was a sixth-round draft pick in ’15.

Offensive linemen Cameron Hunt, who finished the season on the 49ers’ practice squad, remains unsigned. Guard JP Flynn is also unsigned. He sustained a torn patellar tendon in November and underwent surgery that was expected to keep him out up to nine months.