49ers defensive coordinator defends philosophy: Injuries are 'freak accidents'


49ers defensive coordinator defends philosophy: Injuries are 'freak accidents'

SANTA CLARA -- From the day he arrived as 49ers defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh stressed to his player that he wanted them to play with extreme violence.

And while the players on the 49ers defense has doled out a few shots along the way, it seems they have absorbed even more. In back-to-back weeks, starting safeties Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt were lost for the remainder of the season with sustaining broken forearms.

“I still think they’re freak accidents,” Saleh said. “We teach head-out-of-the-game, leverage side, shoulder tackling. If you watch real closely what happened to Tartt, he was coming in for that tackle and he had a shin to a forearm. I’m guessing the impact is what caused the break.”

Saleh said he could not determine how Ward sustained his injury while making a tackle in the game against Philadelphia.

“I couldn’t exactly see how it broke in the pile, but anytime you break something, especially in this league, I think it’s kind of a freak accident, in my opinion," Saleh said. "By the way you get rolled up on, these players are so strong. To break something, something goofy has to happen.”

There seems to be no common thread to the injuries. There have been broken bones, and torn ligaments and tendons that have accounted for 17 players currently on season-ending injured reserve entering the 49ers' game Sunday against the New York Giants.

“We've got to get through this week, and we'll have our bye week after that,” 49ers coach Kyle Sanahan said. “I know our guys have been playing real hard. We've been playing some long games and battling and some physical games, and injuries happen. I've never been a part of a team where it's been like this, but teams do have to deal with this type of stuff all the time, especially this time of the year.”

One of the 49ers’ most devastating injuries occurred before any games. Linebacker Malcolm Smith was lost for the season when the pectoral tendon tore while he was trying to rip the ball out during training camp.

“(That’s) something that is just fundamental teaching,” Saleh said. “So they’re freak accidents and you wish they don’t happen, but it did.”

Marcus Allen calls T.O.'s decision to skip Hall of Fame ceremony 'mind-boggling'

Marcus Allen calls T.O.'s decision to skip Hall of Fame ceremony 'mind-boggling'

Former Raiders running back Marcus Allen knows a thing or two about the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

August marks 15 years since his induction, which came six years after his retirement from the NFL. He told NBC Sports Bay Area's Kelli Johnson and Monte Poole during The Happy Hour on Friday that the honor's meaning was "hard to put into words."

Consider Allen surprised, then, that soon-to-be-inducted Terrell Owens will skip the ceremony in Canton, OH on August 4. 

"It's mind-boggling to me because I think there is no greater platform in the football world than the Hall of Fame to really sort of say 'thank you' to all the people that have helped you get there," Allen said from the American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Tournament in Lake Tahoe. 

"No man's an island. We didn't get there by ourselves," Allen continued. "My father [introduced me] and I wanted the world to know who supported me [along the way]."

Allen added that he thinks Owens will regret the decision in the long run. 

The former 49ers wide receiver will commemorate his induction on August 4 with a speech at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga at 3:17 p.m. CT (1:17 p.m. PT), hours before the festivities in Canton. The Hall of Fame won't mention Owens at the ceremony, but will maill him his gold jacket that day.

Jerry Rice emphatically (and profanely) makes his case as the G.O.A.T

Jerry Rice emphatically (and profanely) makes his case as the G.O.A.T

Legendary wide receiver Jerry Rice has a case as good as anyone as the greatest football player of all time.

He is a three-time Super Bowl champion, a 13-time Pro Bowl pick and a 10-time first-team All-Pro. He's the NFL career leader in receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895), and total touchdowns (208). 

But you don't need us to tell you. The former 49ers and Raiders wideout made the case for himself with some colorful language to Charles Barkley at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Lake Tahoe. 

We couldn't have put it better ourselves.