York roots for Williams to have 'breakout' season


York roots for Williams to have 'breakout' season

When the 49ers made several offseason moves to strengthen their depth at wide receiver, the returning player who figured to be most negatively impacted was Kyle Williams.After all, Williams began last season behind Michael Crabtree, Josh Morgan, Braylon Edwards and Ted Ginn on the depth chart. Williams' two turnovers in the NFC championship game proved critical in the season-ending loss to the New York Giants.The team has remained overwhelmingly supportive of Williams, and that includes CEO Jed York.York answered questions on Twitter from some of his followers Sunday evening, including one that asked him who he believes will be the team's "breakout player."York responded...Hoping it is @KyleWilliams_10RT:@jjohl: @JedYork Who do you think will be the breakout player on the team this season? Jed York (@JedYork) July 16, 2012The 49ers might very well keep six wide receivers on their 53-man roster. But it is going to be difficult for anyone outside the top three to make much of a contribution on offense.Currently, Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss and Mario Manningham appear comfortable as the team's top three wideouts. The team's active No. 4 receiver will likely be the return specialist. Ted Ginn is the favorite for that role.Williams faces plenty of competition from a solid group vying for backup roles. Rookie A.J. Jenkins, the 49ers' first-round draft pick, figures to get a long look to see if he can work his way into the mix.But as the 49ers discovered last season with injuries to Morgan, Edwards and Ginn, there is a strong chance the 49ers at some point will need contributions from others.And, then, York just might get his wish.

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.”