A year after trash talk, Robinson and Goodwin no longer adversaries


A year after trash talk, Robinson and Goodwin no longer adversaries

SANTA CLARA – Cornerback Rashard Robinson was prepared to face a deep threat when the 49ers traveled to Buffalo last season in Week 6.

Afterward, he did not seem all that impressed. He posted a photo on social media of himself covering the Bills wide receiver. Robinson wrote dismissively about the assignment on his Instagram account, “They said he was a deep threat guy.”

Goodwin had just two receptions for 22 yards in the game. Robinson’s post got his attention. He responded on Twitter, “Truth be told, you can’t cover me & couldn’t all game.”

Less than a month later, Goodwin signed with the 49ers as a free agent. They never revisited their social-media feud, according to both men.

“I was trying to make a point,” Goodwin said. “But I honestly stepped out of my character. I shouldn’t even said anything back. I should’ve just waited until we faced each other. But I did, so I had to hold my end of the bargain when I got here.”

Said Robinson, “Once he got here, we were like, ‘Hey, you ready? Let’s go.’ And we’ve been like that ever since.”

Now, they’re working together to be part of the reason they both enjoy breakout seasons.

The 49ers might not have more promising playmakers on either side of the ball than Robinson and Goodwin.

In Buffalo’s offense, Goodwin disappeared for long stretches of time. He is running a wider variety of routes with the 49ers, which should make his deep speed even more dangerous. If Goodwin remains healthy, it would be a shock if he does not post career-best numbers in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

Robinson, who has a rare blend of size and speed, started six games as a rookie and is clearly the team's top cornerback.

On Day 2 of 49ers training camp Saturday, both players provided glimpses of why the coaching staff has such high hopes for them.

Goodwin took advantage of the split second it took the 49ers’ defense to make an adjustment in coverage to get behind the secondary for a long touchdown pass from quarterback Brian Hoyer. (Shanahan spoke in depth about the play after practice.)

How Robinson responded after that play gives a good indication of what the 49ers like most about him.

First, Goodwin was not Robinson’s responsibility. Yet, Robinson held himself accountable for not doing something to prevent the long pass play.

“I do put some of that on me because I could’ve been there,” he said. “I was on the field. I should’ve been there or at least help make the pass harder.”

A short time later, Robinson ran stride-for-stride with Goodwin to break up a deep back from Hoyer.

“Sometimes he might get me,” Robinson said. “Sometime I might get him. At the end of the day, we’re just trying to make each other better.”

--Defensive lineman Solomon Thomas lined up with the second-team defense -- behind Tank Carradine and bumping Ronald Blair to the third unit – in his first practice since signing his rookie contract on Friday. Thomas batted down a pass and had a quarterback pressure against veteran right tackle Garry Gilliam.

--Goodwin, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert and Victor Bolden returned kickoffs. A day earlier, Jeremy Kerley, Bruce Ellington, Trent Taylor, DeAndre Carter and Bolden returned punts.

--Rookie running back Joe Williams fumbled on his first carry of the day.

--Receiver B.J. Johnson sat out practice with a left hamstring injury. Rookie center JP Flynn sustained a leg injury during practice. There was no immediate word on his status.

--Taylor dropped a pass early in practice but then had five receptions, including a deep pass down the middle of the field that quarterback Nick Mullens dropped over safety Chanceller James.

--Rookie cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, a third-round draft pick, surrendered deep passes to Aaron Burbridge and Kendrick Bourne.

--The 49ers will hold their first padded practice of training camp on Sunday. Said veteran pass-rusher Elvis Dumervil, “When the pads go on we start to separate the men from the T-shirt guys.”

--Undrafted rookie safety Lorenzo Jerome showed his range to roam from the middle of the field to the sideline to intercept a Matt Barkley pass late in practice.

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'


Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem


Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”