49ers

Report: 49ers free agent linebacker to visit Seahawks

Report: 49ers free agent linebacker to visit Seahawks

Michael Wilhoite is an unrestricted free agent.

The linebacker will visit the Seahawks, according to a report.

Wilhoite has been with the 49ers for the past five years.

He started all 28 games he appeared in over the 2014 and 2015 campaigns, and played in all 16 games last season (six starts).

Wilhoite turned 30 in December.

Andy Reid praises Alex Smith's willingness to help Patrick Mahomes

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AP

Andy Reid praises Alex Smith's willingness to help Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City coach Andy Reid felt no rush to get quarterback Patrick Mahomes onto the field because of the learning that was taking place daily during his rookie season.

Some young quarterbacks learn more from playing and experiencing through game action. But Reid determined the right path for Mahomes’ future was to observe and learn behind veteran starter Alex Smith.

“He was able to sit in that room and see how Alex goes about his business as a pro, and a successful pro,” Reid said Wednesday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “Patrick wants to be good. But that example to have that is important. It’s invaluable. He’s very lucky to have that.”

Mahomes, 23, is in his second NFL season and his first as a starter. He has gotten off to a hot start and appears to be one of the game’s bright young stars. On Sunday, he will make his first home start, taking on the 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium.

And Reid gives a lot of the credit to Mahomes’ early success to Smith, who began his career as the No. 1 overall pick of the 49ers in 2005 before he was traded to Kansas City in favor another young, promising quarterback.

“Not everybody does it like Alex, that’s the thing,” Reid said. “I’ve been doing this a couple of years, not everybody goes about their job as thorough as Alex does. And Alex is a very intelligent guy, on top of all of that. You combine those two things, that’s why he’s been successful.

“And for Patrick to see that, Patrick is also very intelligent and he wants to be good and he’s humble, and he wasn’t afraid to learn from Alex. As a coach, we can tell you to do this and that, but to have a guy like that come in and be able to follow somebody that does it perfect in preparation, that’s a special.”

The Chiefs were 50-26 in the five seasons Smith started. Last season, he achieved a career-high passer rating of 104.7. But in the offseason, Kansas City moved on from Smith, trading him to Washington, to clear the way for Mahomes.

It is not difficult to believe that Smith was just about the perfect teammate for Mahomes, whom Kansas City selected after trading up to No. 10 overall pick in 2017.

Smith was in the same situation with the 49ers when the 49ers moved up for Colin Kaepernick in the second round of the 2011 draft. Smith was the quarterback for the 49ers during a run to the NFC Championship game while Kaepernick remained on the sideline as a rookie.

But in 2012, in the midst of a career year, Smith left the lineup due to a concussion in the middle of the season. When Smith was cleared to play, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh decided to stick with Kaepernick. The 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl, losing to the Baltimore Ravens.

Then, Smith was shipped off to Kansas City for two second-round draft picks in the offseason.

Mahomes and his father, Pat, a former major-league pitcher, in an interview with Peter King for Football Morning in Americacredited Smith for being so willing to share his knowledge and mentor the gifted young quarterback.

“How to prepare, mostly,” the Chiefs quarterback told King. “He taught me how to make sure I was ready for any situation that presented itself in a game. I owe him a lot.”

The elder Mahomes said not all veteran professional athletes are as helpful as Smith was to his son. He remembered being a young player in the Minnesota Twins organization and approaching future Hall of Famer Jack Morris.

“That’s what’s so admirable about what Alex did all season for him,” Pat Mahomes said. “I know how it was when I came up. I remember one time that year asking Jack Morris how he threw his split-finger fastball. He said, ‘Get away from me, you little MF. You’ll be trying to take my job next year.’ ”

Reid said his focus has been on continuing to get Mahomes prepared weekly to face another opponent and not to get caught up in the publicity his incredible start has generated.

Through two games, Mahomes has completed 69.1 percent of his pass attempts, averaging 291.0 yards with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating is 143.3. Reid said he believes Mahomes has the right approach because his dad was a professional athlete and he has been around locker rooms his entire life.

“He doesn’t get caught up in that,” Reid said. “I’m sure he has a lot of examples of people who did and it didn’t turn out so well.”

NFL QB Power Rankings Week 3: Derek Carr passes Jimmy Garoppolo

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AP

NFL QB Power Rankings Week 3: Derek Carr passes Jimmy Garoppolo

Victories and inspired performances (and, in one case, a stunning fashion statement) in the first two weeks of the regular season have Ryan Fitzpatrick, Patrick Mahomes and Ryan Tannehill shooting up the charts in this week’s NFL QB Power Rankings. Here are this week's rankings, and if you don’t like them, just wait a week . . .

1. Drew Brees, New Orleans: He takes his turn atop the list with his gaudy 81.3 completion percentage. (Last week -- 3)

2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay: The very rule that was enacted to legislate against a repeat of Rodgers’ injury of last season ends up costing the Packers a victory. (1)

3. Tom Brady, New England: He was out-dueled by Jaguars QB Blake Bortles, but at least he can figure on having recently-acquired Josh Gordon as his No. 1 wideout for 11 of the Patriots’ next 66 games. (2)

4. Philip Rivers, L.A. Chargers: Despite the apathy in the stands when the two L.A. teams meet, it should be plenty entertaining on the field. (4)

5. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota: The Buffalo Bills are coming to town, which means it’s time to pad those statistics. (6)

6. Jared Goff, L.A. Rams: There’s no reason for him to apologize for being surrounded by so much talent because he’s playing as well as anyone. (11)

7. Alex Smith, Washington: A trip to Green Bay means more stories about the order the quarterbacks went off the board in the 2005 draft. (7)

8. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati: Unbeaten, in charge of the NFC North, and steamrolling toward a first-round playoff loss. (14)

9. Russell Wilson, Seattle: He’s as good as ever, but he has no chance with an utterly pathetic group of players around him. (5)

10. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh: He’s even having difficulty keeping wide receiver Antonio Brown happy with too many passes and yards going to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. (8)

11. Matthew Stafford, Detroit: He would’ve had about 100 yards more against the 49ers if the ball hadn’t slipped out of his hands due to excessive drool while looking at wide receiver Marvin Jones running alone down the field. (9)

12. Cam Newton, Carolina: If he keeps feeding the ball to running back Christian McCaffrey, there’ll be a third member of the NFL’s 1,000-1,000 club with Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk. (10)

13. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay: Through two games, he is the best QB in league history and the most interesting man alive. (17)

14. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City: His film study to face the 49ers will undoubtedly point him in the direction opposite of cornerback Richard Sherman. (23)

15. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia: Upon his return from a devastating knee injury, he has to work his way up from a ranking in the middle of the pack. (Nick Foles, 22)

16. Ryan Tannehill, Miami: He’s gotten off to a good start, but he has not had to face a pass-rushing disturbance like Khalil Mack before this week. Wait! What? Mack no longer plays for the Raiders? (24)

17. Deshaun Watson, Houston: Not bad, just not nearly as good as the beginning of his rookie season. (12)

18. DEREK CARR, RAIDERS: OK, we can all agree after Carr completed a remarkable 29 of 32 pass attempts that he is not the problem. (21)

19. Matt Ryan, Atlanta: Vast research has uncovered there appears to be a difference in his production with Kyle Shanahan and Steve Sarkisian as his offensive coordinators. (13)

20. Joe Flacco, Baltimore: He can’t even pretend to not be disgusted when rookie Lamar Jackson enters the game to run trick plays at QB. (15)

21. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville: He rolled up 377 yards and four TDs against the Patriots. That is all. (26)

22. Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants: They like Saquon Barkley, but the only who was truly happy the Giants didn’t draft a QB is Manning . . . and the Jets. (16)

23. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis: Underrated or overrated? Let’s give him another week or 14 to decide. (18)

24. Dak Prescott, Dallas: The bad news – only one TD pass in two games. The good news – no interceptions. (19)

25. JIMMY GAROPPOLO, 49ERS: For a guy coming off a 118.4 passer rating, there’s still a lot to clean up. (20)

26. Sam Darnold, N.Y. Jets: He’s still on the rise, entering a riveting Thursday night matchup against the Browns. (27)

27. Case Keenum, Denver: The Broncos might be one of just seven 2-0 teams, but this QB is least responsible for the wins among all the guys who are unbeaten. (25)

28. Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago: His average of 5.4 yards per attempt means head coach Matt Nagy is certainly not putting too much on his plate. (29)

29. Marcus Mariota/Blaine Gabbert, Tennessee: Gabbert got the start last week and will probably start again. History has shown, the more he plays, the worse it gets. (30)

30. Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland: No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield, you can start warming up. (31)

31. Sam Bradford, Arizona: Rookie Josh Rosen, you can start warming up now, too. (28)

32. Josh Allen, Buffalo: Hey, give the kid some credit. He could have easily decided to retire at halftime. (32)