Why Smith was woofing at Saints


Why Smith was woofing at Saints

SANTA CLARA -- Let's get this Thursday before Championship Sunday rolling with a trip to the 49ers Mailbag:After celebrating with his teammates in the end zone (following that touchdown throw to Vernon Davis) quarterback Alex Smith seemed to turn and start barking at someone on the Saints. Do you know who he was barking at, why, and the gist of what he was saying? (Patrick B. Sharp)
Despite what the 49ers might have said publicly, there was a lot of animosity because of how the Saints approached that first exhibition game.
The 49ers were installing a new offense, and their offensive line was coming together and just learning the new protection schemes. Many with the 49ers thought the Saints' decision to blitz on just about every down on Aug. 12 at the noisy Superdome was classless -- and dangerous. Smith could've been injured badly in that game.The 49ers absolutely loved the fact that the Saints went all-out to flex their muscle in a meaningless game -- perhaps feeling as if there was no chance the teams would meet again. The 49ers truly got the last laugh, and that's what Smith was expressing.
Said Smith, "There was kind of talking going on throughout the entire game, not much by me. Obviously, just a lot of emotion (with) the last touchdown there to Vernon. Yeah, just a lot going on. I couldnt remember what was actually coming out of my mouth, but obviously I was pretty jacked."Does Alex Smith seem happy in this offense? Regardless of his abilities, it doesn't seem like a system that will ever get him pro bowl elite status recognition. (Jameson Metcalf)
He is absolutely thrilled.Jim Harbaugh, Greg Roman and Geep Chryst have put him in positions to succeed for the first time in Smith's career. What's not to like about that?RELATED: Alex Smith 2011-2012 game logs
Through all of the travails of his first six NFL seasons, Smith was a model teammate and citizen. The fact that the 49ers have gone 14-3 and advanced to the NFC Championship Game on Sunday against the New York Giants means more to him than any bloated stat sheet.How big of a boost would it be to see Delanie Walker back on the field this Sunday -- both for the game itself and morale for the team? (Michael Tavares)
Walker was the 49ers' leading receiver against the Giants on Nov. 13. He caught six passes for 69 yards. But, oddly, he then went six games without a reception before sustaining the fractured jaw on Christmas Eve.RELATED: Delanie Walker 2011 game logs
I fully expect him to be in uniform on Sunday. I'm not sure how much of a factor he can be on offense, but he can at least provide the Giants with matchup problem. Justin Peelle, who filled in as the No. 2 tight end, is more of a blocker. When Walker is on the field with Davis, the Giants have to account for him.And, yes, I think, Walker's return will mean a lot to his teammates. He is a very popular guy in the locker room. Not that the 49ers need any additional motivation, but I see nothing but a positive vibe coming from his expected return.From your 49ers & Giants Practice Report is there anyone on there that you think will not play? (Omar Zepeda)
I'd be surprised if wide receiver Ted Ginn is available for the game. I didn't think Ginn would come back from his right knee injury when he went out before halftime against the Saints.Ginn returned to action in the third quarter, played four snaps, and had to leave for good.Center Jonathan Goodwin (left calf) and safety Dashon Goldson (right ankle) both left Saturday's game but returned to action and finished the game. Neither practiced Wednesday, but I believe both will be available for Sunday's game.

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent


Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

If there is such a thing as being “due” in sports (and there actually isn’t, so you can probably stop reading now), the San Francisco 49ers had Sunday coming to them.
After all, the anomaly of being the “best winless team in football” based on margin of defeat lasts only so long until the “winless” part trumps the “best” part, because even the Los Angeles Chargers – the previous “best bad team in football” – aren’t the Chargers all the time.
So it was that the Dallas Cowboys exposed every weakness the 49ers have with the simplest thing there is.
The Cowboys did everything they wanted, but only whenever they wanted it, in a 40-10 dope-slapping that could actually have been worse than it was. The 49er offense was properly stymied (again), gaining only 290 yards (4.5 yards per play) and the defense was thoroughly Elliotted (as in Ezekiel-ed, who averaged 8.1 yards in his 27 touches). San Francisco’s warts were rubbed until they glowed, and if not for the fact that head coach Kyle Shanahan already knew where they were, he’d have been shocked to see how visible they were.
And therein lies the takeaway from another day at Not-So-Great-America. It turns out that the 49ers weren’t very good at much of anything before Sunday except just how far away they are from what Shanahan and general manager John Lynch believe is their destiny. C.J.  Beathard remained the rookie quarterback he is, and Carlos Hyde's hard-won 68 rushing yards led to no scores. Indeed, San Francisco's only touchdown came on a four-yard improv sprint from Beathard, who is by no means a running quarterback except in abject flight.

Next week in Philadelphia figures to be no less grisly, if you’re waiting for that magic moment when “0” becomes “1.” That is, of course, unless Washington exposes the Eagles as less than what they seem, which is very often the case in the new parity-gripped NFL.

But there are subsequent get-well games at home against Arizona and then at New York against the Giants the week after, so whatever dreams you might have about them running the table backwards and getting the first overall pick in the draft are still light years from realization.
This is, however, another healthy reminder that the job to be done is at least two more years in the undoing before the doing can actually begin. Not that the players or coaches needed another lesson, mind you – they know.
But maybe you needed it, just to keep your delusions in check. Maybe the people who were “due” were all of you.
But that’s unfair, too. You didn’t undo this franchise. All you did was believe, and there’s nothing wrong with that – as long you know there will be more days like this before your team starts handing out the 40-10’s.
In the meantime, there is beer.

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys


Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys

SANTA CLARA -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 40-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7 on Sunday:

1. A major step backward
So much for the 49ers’ somewhat-impressive streak of close losses.

There was nothing encouraging about what transpired in the 49ers' worst loss at Levi’s Stadium. It was also the franchise's worst home loss since Mike Singletary's team absorbed a 45-10 thumping against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 11, 2009.

Was there anything positive to take from this game?

“No, not right now,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It was disappointing. I think all three phases, players and coaches, we’ve got to play better than that, a lot better to give ourselves a chance to win.”

The competitive nature of the 49ers’ past five games was one thing. But with a big home loss on such an emotional day, it is fair to say that the honeymoon is over for Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. The 49ers looked like a team devoid of any leadership, and brings more scrutiny onto the organization’s decision last week to release linebacker NaVorro Bowman.

Now, the 49ers face a crossroads. With another cross-country trip ahead, the 49ers have to regroup in a hurry in order to avoid another embarrassing blowout against the Philadelphia Eagles.

2. Beathard’s first start
Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard certainly was not the reason the 49ers got blown out. In his first NFL start, he showed a lot of toughness, which was to be expected. He was sacked five times. But most of those sacks could have been avoided. He has to get rid of the ball quicker, especially on three-step drops.

Beathard also showed some promise, too. He let the ball fly deep for Marquise Goodwin, who caught four passes for 80 yards. Beathard completed 22 of 38 passes for 235 yards.

Beathard accounted for the 49ers’ only touchdown with a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. There seems to be little doubt it was in the best interest of the organization to begin evaluating what it has for the future with the permanent switch from Brian Hoyer to Beathard.

3. Dwight Clark’s Day
The 49ers, of course, did nothing to evoke any memories of the great teams on which Dwight Clark played. Well, they did look a lot like Clark’s first team with the 49ers.

The 49ers of 1979 lost their first seven games of the season. This year’s team matched that start for the worst beginning to a season in franchise history.

More than 35 of Clark’s teammates off the 1981 Super Bowl team were in attendance to honor a pay tribute to Clark, who is battling ALS. Now in a wheelchair and considerably lighter, Clark delivered some poignant remarks at halftime.

Clark, 60, told his old teammate, Keena Turner, who works as vice president of football affairs, that all he wanted was to see some of his old teammates.

“And the 49ers heard that and flew all these players in, so I could see them one more time,” Clark said.