49ers' Arik Armstead raises over $100K for equal opportunity education


49ers' Arik Armstead raises over $100K for equal opportunity education

SACRAMENTO — Over the weekend 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead raised over $100,000 at his Charity Gala to provide the underserved youth of his hometown with equal opportunity education programs.  

Proceeds from the weekend will fund the Armstead Academic Project which provides multiple resources for young students in the Sacramento area where Armstead grew up. Not only does the organization fund supplies for students and schools in need, but they also provide interactive programs for students to work in smaller groups.

Armstead is not just a talking head. He has done his research and cited several statistics that he is trying to change: Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare. 85 percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate. 

One of Armstead’s programs is a creative writing workshop to help build the confidence of the participants. Armstead not only funds these programs, but he is also actively involved as a positive voice and role model. Last year some of the stories written at Armstead’s workshop were even published as a collection. 

Armstead’s cause was supported by several of his teammates, including Richard Sherman, DeForest Buckner, Ahkello Witherspoon, Ronald Blair, Jaquiski Tartt and Sheldon Day. Former teammate and current Raiders tackle Trent Brown, as well as Panthers linebacker and Sacramento native Shaq Thompson also attended. 

Several pieces of autographed sports memorabilia from Bay Area players were up for silent auction including signed jerseys from Steph Curry, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jerry Rice and Roger Craig. It was during the live auction where things got a little heated. 

Sherman donated a painting of his likeness which he autographed on site. He drove the price up by bidding for the item himself which got the crowd motivated and riled up. 

Another painting that featured Buckner and Armstead together as both Oregon Ducks and 49ers was an item that also had a flurry of bidding. Both players got up on the stage to help inspire bidders to open their wallets. 

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The following day Armstead hosted nearly 200 children in his youth football camp held at Pleasant Grove High School where he was a member of the football team. The campers went through both offensive and defensive drills while Armstead went from group to group giving one-on-one coaching. 

At the conclusion of the camp, Armstead spoke to the group and gave awards to campers who stood out both as teammates and with their work ethic. 

Armstead hopes to continue to raise awareness of how literacy affects the population in a positive way while providing opportunities for those with little or no resources. 

Bobby Wagner shares how Seahawks decoded Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers offense


Bobby Wagner shares how Seahawks decoded Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers offense

The 49ers attempted to spin their overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks as an opportunity to learn, make adjustments and, ultimately, become a better team.

The 49ers may have gotten an assist after the game from one of the Seahawks’ top defensive players.

“At the end of the day, it’s a good learning lesson for us,” 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman said following his team's 27-24 overtime loss to the Seahawks, his former team, at Levi's Stadium.

While the defense generally played well, the 49ers have plenty of room for improvement on offense. And their own self-scout might have received help from some observations coming from the other sideline.

Linebacker Bobby Wagner told Jim Trotter of NFL Media that he and veteran teammate K.J. Wright that they were able to decode Jimmy Garoppolo’s checks at the line of scrimmage.

“They’re a team that runs so many different things that it’s hard to get a tendency, but I felt like the last couple of times that we played them we were able to figure out what they were doing,” Wagner told Trotter.

Wagner said, “Because they run so many different things, it’s a game where you have to be disciplined and you just have to read your keys. It becomes kind of like simple football: Read your keys and it will take you to the football.”

Wagner said he and Wright were able to diagnose plays before they even developed.

“Once we started reading keys, me and K.J. started hearing the calls and picked up on the checks he was making, and it allowed us to break faster,” Wagner said.

With the knowledge Wagner shared after the Seahawks’ victory, coach Kyle Shanahan and his staff should be able to make all the necessary adjustments for the next meeting between the teams in Week 17 to close out the regular season.

The 49ers (8-1) own a half-game lead on the Seahawks (8-2) in the NFC West standings.

Why 49ers fans should be optimistic after Week 10 loss to Seahawks

Why 49ers fans should be optimistic after Week 10 loss to Seahawks

Raise your hand if you predicted the 49ers to have eight wins after their first nine games this season. You in the back, put your hand down. 

Entering coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch's third season at the helm in Santa Clara, the 49ers were expected to make a leap. But not this kind of leap.

It was reasonable to expect wild-card contention while competing in the NFC West this season, just months after owning the No. 2 pick in the draft. The 49ers, however, defied expectations to start the season and reeled off eight straight wins. After losing to a "real contender" in the Seahawks, 27-24 on Monday night, though, The Faithful has to take a deep breath. 

Analyst Peter Schrager said it best Tuesday morning on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football."

"The offensive line couldn't protect anything, the Seahawks were just crashing in on Garoppolo, they couldn't catch a ball and yet, a minute left in this game, they were in position to win," Schrager said. "They went to overtime, they were in position to win. I wouldn't feel so bad if I'm a Niners fan this morning.

"That was as bad of an offensive performance they've had all season long, and yet they were still in striking distance to win."

The 49ers took an early 10-0 lead on Seattle and looked to be in driver's seat of what might have been the biggest game in the history of Levi's Stadium. And then, life came at them fast in the worst ways possible. 

San Francisco already was dealing with the injury bug going into the game as they were without George Kittle -- perhaps the best tight end in the NFL -- veteran kicker Robbie Gould and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon. Once wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders exited early with a rib injury, the 49ers' offense sputtered. 

The inconsistency of the 49ers' wide receivers was on full display Monday night. Pro Football Focus marked the 49ers down for five dropped passes but it felt more like seven to nine. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's lone interception came right off the hands of receiver Kendrick Bourne. The INT was returned 44 yards and the Seahawks scored three plays later to take a 14-10 lead. 

Garoppolo was without his top-two options the majority of the game and constantly was under duress. 

Jimmy G also lost two fumbles and the Seahawks dropped at least two easy interceptions thrown by the 49ers QB. While the narrative turned to Garoppolo against Seattle QB Russell Wilson, San Francisco's signal-caller was shorthanded and the 49ers defense deserves credit for how they handled the MVP frontrunner. 

Robert Saleh's 49ers defense sacked Wilson five times and broke up five passes. Wilson threw just his second interception this season and had his lowest PFF grade of the year. The 49ers faced a superstar quarterback who has dominated them for years -- to say the least -- and actually held him in check.

[RELATED: Should 49ers have gone for tie late in overtime?]

Along with Sanders, center Weston Richburg, as well as defensive linemen Ronald Blair and D.J. Jones, exited early in the loss, and running back Matt Breida aggravated his sprained ankle. The extent of their injuries aren't yet known, though Breida is expected to get a second opinion and might miss time.

For the cards the 49ers were dealt, and having to lean on an undrafted rookie kicker who had a chance to win the game in overtime, San Francisco has plenty of reasons to be optimistic after its first loss. Now the focus turns to health and consistency with a tough remaining schedule.