49ers sign offensive lineman, waive offensive lineman

49ers sign offensive lineman, waive offensive lineman

The 49ers signed OL Andrew Gardner to a one-year deal, the team announced on Wednesday.

In order to make room on the roster, the team waived OL Josh Allen.

Gardner (6-6, 308) was originally selected by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round (181st overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. Throughout his time in the NFL, Gardner has appeared in 27 games (11 starts) in stints with the Dolphins (2009-10), Baltimore Ravens (2010), Minnesota Vikings (2010), Cincinnati Bengals (2010-11), Houston Texans (2011-13) and Philadelphia Eagles (2014-15).

Gardner appeared in 19 games (11 starts) in his two seasons with Philadelphia. This season, he spent training camp with the Eagles and was released from the team on August 28, 2016.

A 30-year-old native of Tyrone, GA, Gardner attended Georgia Tech where he started in each of his 48 appearances for the Yellow Jackets (2005-08) and earned First-Team All-ACC honors as a junior and senior.

Allen (6-3, 315) was claimed off waivers by San Francisco from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 12, 2016. He was inactive for the team’s Week 15 game against the Atlanta Falcons. 

San Francisco 49ers media services

George Kittle focused on 49ers win, not on missing Shannon Sharpe record

George Kittle focused on 49ers win, not on missing Shannon Sharpe record

SANTA CLARA — With 1,103 receiving yards through 13 games, George Kittle comfortably holds the record for a 49ers tight end in a single season. 

But he could have had more, so much more, in the 49ers' 20-14 win over the Denver Broncos at Levi's Stadium on Sunday. 

Kittle ended the day with 210 receiving yards, four shy of Shannon Sharpe's single-game record for a tight end. Then with the Broncos, Sharpe caught 12 of 14 targets for 214 yards on Oct. 20, 2002. 

What is unusual is that all of Kittle's yards came in the first half. He was targeted once in the second half, but did not come up with the five yards he needed.

Kittle said someone told him halfway through the fourth quarter how close he was to the record. Yet, he told reporters after the game the final score was more important. 

“The fact that we got a win is all I really care about at all,” Kittle said. “Coach Shanahan already apologized twice to me for not getting me the ball. I’ll just put the blame on him, it’s ok.” 

[RELATED: George Kittle wins fantasy football playoff games for 49ers fans]

Shanahan expressed regret Kittle was unable to break the record, and added that about seven different people told him just how close Kittle was. 

“I told him he needed to apologize for not getting 215 in the first half,” Shanahan quipped. “I’m just joking. Yeah, I definitely apologized to him. We were definitely debating on how we could do it there at the end. 

“I didn’t think it’d be a problem, but I wish he did get it because to have that all in the first half and be only five yards away. He had an unbelievable day and it sucked that he didn’t get it.”

Shanahan praised Kittle’s ability to create separation and make plays after the catch.

"When that ball is in the air, “ Shanahan said, “the play is just starting. He’s trying to catch it and he runs angry. He runs confidently and he expects to score on every look. I think that’s why it’s been easier to get him the yards he has.”

Offensive tackle Joe Staley said that they knew about the possibility of Kittle breaking Sharpe’s record coming in at halftime. Staley told reporters he's a fan of Kittle's unique skill set. 

“I don’t think there’s a tight end like him,” Staley said. “He’s really, really fast. Like deceptively, really fast, and he’s an unbelievable blocker in the run game. He’s not a one dimensional tight end. He’s not a receiving tight end. He’s dynamic in everything he does.” 

Staley also explained that Kittle is very similar to former teammate Vernon Davis, whose record Kittle broke. 

“I played with Vernon, prime Vernon,” Staley said. “They’re really similar as far as being complete tight ends. I think that Vernon’s skill set is his athleticism. George has every bit of that athleticism that Vernon has. 

“I think Vernon and Kittle are very similar to what you can do in the run game as well, and how they approach that stuff. That’s a good comparison.” 

In Kittle’s college career, he caught 48 passes for 737 yards in 25 games. But, he was known for his blocking in Iowa’s run-first offense. Kittle burst onto the NFL scene in his rookie season, when he caught 43 of his 63 targets for 515 yards and two touchdowns.

At this rate, his third season could be off the charts. 

Joe Staley describes his catch and celebration as 'stupid'


Joe Staley describes his catch and celebration as 'stupid'

SANTA CLARA – When Joe Staley caught a deflected pass in the first half, the 49ers’ longest-tenured player acted as if he had never been there before.

In fact, he had caught two passes previously in the NFL -- with far better results.

“That was stupid,” Staley said following the 49ers’ 20-14 victory over the Denver Broncos.

Staley admits that he should have simply batted down the deflected pass. Instead, he caught it and was tackled for a 5-yard loss. Then, when the crowd at Levi’s Stadium erupted his cheers, Staley celebrated with a skip back to the huddle.

“The crowd got me hyped up,” he explained.

Staley was recruited to play tight end at Central Michigan. He admits that his hands are bad, so Staley was moved to offensive tackle. Still, the temptation of seeing the ball in the air was too tempting for him to pass up.

“You’re not not going to catch it as a lineman,” Staley said. “It’s like telling me, ‘Hey, there’s pizza here. Don’t have a slice.’ I’m going to have a slice. Even though I know it’s probably not good for me, I shouldn’t be eating pizza, but I’m going to do it.”

Coach Kyle Shanahan said he could only hope that Staley’s fellow offensive linemen levy some kind of fine.

“When balls get tipped, we always tell the O-lineman to knock it down,” Shanahan said. “Their reaction is to catch it. So we always show what happens when they do catch it. They usually get their legs taken out and it’s not fun for them.

“But Joe refuses to fully believe he’s an O-Lineman. He’s always trying to show us how athletic he is and that was his time so he got excited. But he hurt us. We lost 5 yards. So it was not a smart play.”

Staley had better success on his previous receptions, both of which were designed trick plays during the Jim Harbaugh era to get the ball to him. Staley had a 17-yard reception from Alex Smith in 2011 and a 14-yard catch from Colin Kaepernick in 2013.