49ers

Broncos coach Vic Fangio fondly looks back on four-year 49ers run

Broncos coach Vic Fangio fondly looks back on four-year 49ers run

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – During the 49ers’ run of three consecutive trips to the NFC Championship Game and one Super Bowl appearance, Jim Harbaugh’s teams were led by a talented and disciplined defense.

Four years after the 49ers passed over their defensive coordinator on those teams, Vic Fangio, for a promotion to head coach after Harbaugh’s departure, the Denver Broncos came calling.

Fangio, who is in his first summer as head coach of the Broncos, is leading his new team into two practices sessions against his former team before Denver and the 49ers square off in an exhibition game Monday night. He said he looks back with mostly fond memories on his time with the 49ers.

“We had great success there, so it’s always good to be part of good teams playing in meaningful games in the regular season and I think we had eight or nine playoff games while I was there,” Fangio told NBC Sports Bay Area following practice on Friday.

“They are all great experiences. I look back on that time as mostly with nothing but positive memories.”

The 49ers’ defense ranked in the top-five in the NFL in yards allowed with such All-Pro players on the unit as Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman from 2011 to 2014.

“We had great players, No. 1 – guys I really liked working with,” Fangio said. “I had good relationships with a lot of them. Still stay in touch with a lot of them. And they played good and hard together. They did what we asked them to do. For the most part, it resulted in good results. I look back on those guys with a lot of fondness.”

Despite being Harbaugh’s top assistant, Fangio was passed over for the 49ers’ head-coaching job in favor of defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, who proved to be overmatched with the responsibility.

Fangio said his experience with the 49ers and being interviewed for the head-coaching job in January 2015 all were part of the process in the steps he took to land his current job with the Broncos. He spent the past four seasons as Chicago Bears defensive coordinator and developed his unit there into one of the best in the league, too.

[RELATED: 49ers camp report: Defense continues practice-field dominance vs. Broncos]

Fangio, who will turn 61 next week, is a straight-shooter who clearly is doing it his way with the Broncos after all the experiences he has had from coaching professional football every season since 1984 -- with a one-year stop at Stanford to be on Harbaugh's staff in 2010.

“You pick and choose from everybody you work with,” he said. “I don’t take notes or anything like that. I just know what I’d do in the same situation and go with it.”

George Kittle's strong run-blocking skills for 49ers proved by stat

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USATSI

George Kittle's strong run-blocking skills for 49ers proved by stat

"George Kittle, not really a blocker ... "

We didn't say this, but FS1's Doug Gottlieb sure did. And he heard the comments from his statement essentially saying he didn't know what he was talking about.

If you needed numbers to back it up, we have that covered for you courtesy of Next Gen Stats:

He certainly has a presence, and the numbers show that. 

Kyle Shanahan has praised Kittle's run-blocking game before which only adds to the evidence proving sometimes, it's best to watch him continue in his greatness -- no comments necessary.

[RELATED: Kittle was key success in run game vs. Ravens]

To add to it, in the 49ers' Week 13 20-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the tight end received an overall 72.9 grade from Pro Football Focus and a 78.1 run-blocking grade.

That was the best grade of the season from anyone.

A complete list of the 49ers' injury situation with three games remaining

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MATT MAIOCCO

A complete list of the 49ers' injury situation with three games remaining

SANTA CLARA – Three front-line starters who have contributed to the 49ers’ 11-2 start have been lost for the remainder of the season.

And the club is expected to be without two other starters and at least two other rotational players for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons at Levi’s Stadium.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said on a Thursday appearance on KNBR-680 that nose tackle D.J. Jones will be going on season-ending injured reserve. The 49ers are likely to activate defensive lineman Kentavius Street off injured reserve to take Jones’ spot on the team’s 53-man roster.

The 49ers have three games remaining in the regular season before heading into the playoffs, and they will have to rely on their depth to get through a time when their depth chart is being tested.

Cornrerback K'Waun Williams did not practice on Thursday as he is working through the concussion protocol, but he has a chance to be able to play Sunday.

Here’s a look at the 49ers players who are not expected to play Sunday but could be available at some point before the end of the regular season and playoffs:

CB Richard Sherman

Cornerback Richard Sherman sustained a right hamstring strain in the 49ers’ win in New Orleans. Shanahan said on KNBR that Sherman will not play against the Falcons. Sherman appeared to be striding well in rehab work on the practice field Thursday. Sherman said he expects to miss only one game. Ahkello Witherspoon and Emmanuel Moseley will be the 49ers’ starting cornerbacks against Atlanta.

SS Jaquiski Tartt

Strong safety Jaquiski Tartt will miss his second consecutive game due to fractured ribs, Shanahan said on KNBR. The target for Tartt to return, if needed, is Week 17 against the Seattle Seahawks. Second-year player Marcell Harris will make his second start in place of Tartt.

DE Dee Ford

The 49ers want Ford to be ready for the playoffs after returning too soon from quadricep and hamstring injuries. Ford missed two games with the injury, then aggravated the condition while playing just four snaps against New Orleans. Ford is tied for third on the team with 6.5 sacks. The 49ers hope to achieve a first-round bye in the playoffs to buy him another week of rehab.

DT Jullian Taylor

Defensive tackle Jullian Taylor sustained ligament damage to his right elbow in the Week 13 game against the Baltimore Ravens. He will not be available to play Sunday at Levi’s Stadium but could be back as early as Week 16 against the Los Angeles Rams, if he is needed. He should be OK for the playoffs.

* * *

Here is the list of players who have seen action in more than a handful of games during the regular season who have been placed on season-ending injured reserve:

NT D.J. Jones

The loss of nose tackle Jones, who is ticketed to IR, is a big blow to the club. Jones started all 11 games in which he appeared and had turned into a force in the middle of the 49ers’ defensive line. Jones sustained a significant high-ankle sprain in the 49ers’ win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Sheldon Day, Solomon Thomas, Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner are among the players who can see action at nose tackle.

LB Kwon Alexander

Linebacker Kwon Alexander was placed on IR on Nov. 5 after sustaining a torn pectoral. He underwent season-ending surgery. Alexander started the first eight games of the season and recorded 34 tackles, four passes defensed and two forced fumbles. Rookie Dre Greenlaw has taken over at his position.

C Weston Richburg

Center Weston Richburg sustained a torn patellar tendon in his right knee on Sunday in New Orleans. He started the first 13 games of the season and was playing at a high level in both the run game and in pass protection. Veteran Ben Garland will take over as the team’s starting center.

DL Ronald Blair

Ronald Blair played in the first nine games of the season and was filling a significant role as a rotational edge rusher in nickel situations. He had three sacks on the season before sustaining an injury on Nov. 11 while chasing down Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. Blair was the team’s third defensive end in their sub package behind Nick Bosa and Ford.

TE Garrett Celek

Tight end Garrett Celek went on IR after an aggravation of the back injury that required offseason surgery. Celek did not look healthy upon his return to action on Nov. 11 after missing the first eight games while on the physically-unable-to-perform list. He had to pass receptions in his five games. Rookie Daniel Helm was added to the roster, joining other tight ends George Kittle, Ross Dwelley and Levine Toilolo.

WR Marquise Goodwin

Marquise Goodwin went on IR this week with foot and knee issues. Goodwin had fallen out of the team’s receiver rotation. He had just 12 receptions for 186 yards with one touchdown in nine games. He started the team’s first six games of the season. The 49ers re-signed Jordan Matthews to be the team's sixth wide receiver.

* * *

Here are the other 49ers on injured reserve:

DE Damontre Moore: He appeared in two games before sustaining a fractured forearm. The 49ers signed him Nov. 13 to replace Blair.

WR Trent Taylor: Had foot surgery in August and experienced complications to prevent his return this season.

WR Jalen Hurd: Third-round pick who caught two TD passes in his only preseason game before experiencing a stress reaction in his back and setbacks through the course of the season.

RB Jerick McKinnon: He missed his second consecutive season due to knee issues from a torn ACL in training camp of 2018.

CB Jason Verrett: He appeared in one game before going on injured reserve on Oct. 3 due to a knee issue.

OT Shon Coleman: He sustained a fractured fibula and dislocated right ankle in the exhibition opener.

CB Tim Harris: A seventh-round draft pick, Harris went on IR due to a groin injury.

WR Shawn Poindexter: The 49ers placed the undrafted rookie from Arizona on injured reserve on Aug. 22 with a torn ACL

OL Andrew Lauderdale: The 49ers placed him on injured reserve on Sept. 1.