49ers

NFL draft: Could Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky be an option for 49ers?

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USATSI

NFL draft: Could Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky be an option for 49ers?

The 49ers signed former Packers punter Justin Vogel to fill the void left by Bradley Pinion’s departure but there could be another option available for the team in the draft: Utah’s Aussie punter Mitch Wishnowsky. 

In 2015, the 49ers selected Bradley Pinion in the fifth round as the 165th overall pick, after they moved on from Andy Lee. Nathan Chapman, Wishnowsky’s Australian punting coach believes that his protege is good enough to go as high as the fifth round as well. 

The 49ers only have six picks in the 2019 draft so the likelihood that they take a punter is low, but Wishnowsky could be worth a look. Chapman believes he has many of the qualities that coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch look for in a player. 

Injuries ended Chapman’s own nine-year career as an Australian League fullback. When he decided to give the NFL a try as a punter, he had a stint with the Packers but never made it past training camp. In 2008 Chapman started Prokick, a training program to assist Australian Football League players transition to the NFL. 

Chapman believes that if the knew then what he knows now, things would have been much different for him. He shares that knowledge with the young candidates in a year-long program that has punters training three days a week down under. Chapman worked with Wishnowsky helping him earn a roster spot as a Ute.

“He’s an outstanding athlete,” Chapman said of Wishnowsky. “He is composed under pressure and has all of the kicks a punter is now required to do. He has been one of the best at being able to place the ball inside the ten, so he is extremely accurate and his hang time is in the elite bracket. 

“He just has a super all-around ability to get the ball where it needs to be.” 

Chapman has four graduates of his program already in the league, one in the NFC West. Michael Dickson hails from Australia and was drafted in the fifth round as the 149th over pick by Seattle. 

Part of Prokicks’ curriculum is a summer tour of colleges around the United States. This entails Chapman and a few chaperones traveling with 28 players in five vans caravanning from campus to campus. He not only builds relationships with the institutions but touches base with players he has already helped place in the States. 

Chapman believes Wishnowsky is set to succeed in the NFL, not only for his on-field talents but for his off-field mentality as well. 

“Off the field, Mitch is a workhorse,” Chapman said. “Every time I went to the US he made it a priority to come and train, no matter where I was located. He’s very low maintenance and is not driven by fame. He just wants to be the best he can.” 

[RELATED: 5 things to watch during 49ers offseason program]

Chapman says there might be only one thing Wishnowsky loves one thing more than football, and that’s coffee.

“He drinks a lot of coffee,” Chapman says. “He LOVES coffee.” 

49ers featured in 15 of NFL's '100 Greatest Plays,' including No. 2

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AP

49ers featured in 15 of NFL's '100 Greatest Plays,' including No. 2

With another NFL Sunday just hours away, why don’t we take a little trip down memory lane?

As the NFL continues a year-long celebration of 100 years in existence, the league released its “100 Greatest Plays” from the first century of action.

The 49ers are featured prominently on the rankings, as they are involved in 15 of the top 100 plays, including the iconic moment occupying the No. 2 spot.

While many of the moments have a positive outcome for San Francisco, several may bring up some painful memories, including one involving a player who now dons a 49ers uniform every Sunday.

Check out each of the clips below, and get your popcorn ready.

[RELATED: Five to watch in Week 3: 49ers fans look to Jimmy Garoppolo for their cues]

What a play to finish off the thread, as I’m sure every 49ers fan who was watching that game live remembers exactly where they were when Dwight Clark made “The Catch.”
 

Former 49ers receiver Antonio Bryant trolls Patriots over Antonio Brown

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USATSI

Former 49ers receiver Antonio Bryant trolls Patriots over Antonio Brown

No, not that AB.

Former 49ers wide receiver Antonio Bryant has been hit with a barrage of attacks on Twitter over the past month due to users assuming the 38-year-old is embattled free agent Antonio Brown.

The mistake is easy to understand initially, as Bryant uses his initials "AB" for his name and the handle "@ab89" is very similar to Brown's "@AB84". 

Bryant hasn't exactly shied away from the trolls, as he seems to enjoy engaging with the many who hop into his mentions to criticize Antonio Brown's behavior.

With the news of the Patriots releasing Brown on Friday, Bryant took advantage of his opportunity to take a shot at New England and the (briefly) former Raiders wideout.

The younger AB has not been quiet on social media himself, as he continues to flaunt his wealth despite now finding himself on the unemployment line.

[RELATED: Antonio Brown's swift release highlights true nature of 'Patriot Way']

Antonio Bryant last played in the NFL in 2009 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bryant signed a four-year, $12 million deal with the 49ers back in 2006, but was released after just one season following reported issues with former coach Mike Nolan and a suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.