49ers

Terrell Owens, 49ers GM Lynch among Hall of Fame finalists

to-hof-ap.jpg
AP

Terrell Owens, 49ers GM Lynch among Hall of Fame finalists

Wide receivers Randy Moss and Terrell Owens, who rank Nos. 2 and 3 in all-time receiving touchdowns, are among the 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

John Lynch, the 49ers' general manager, was also among the finalists. Lynch was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection at safety over the course of a 15-year career with Tampa Bay and Denver. He is a five-time finalist for the Hall of Fame and advanced to the final 10 last year.

The Hall of Fame announced the list of finalists who will be discussed by the 48-member selection committee on the day before Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis. Four to seven individuals will be inducted as the Class of 2018.

The list of finalists includes four players in their first years of eligibility: Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, and guard Steve Hutchinson.

Former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Everson Walls was voted as a finalist for the first time in his 20th and final year of eligibility as a modern-era candidate.

Former 49ers running back Roger Craig did not advance to the round of finalists in his final year of eligibility. Craig made it into the top 15 of the voting in 2010 – the deepest he ever got in the process.

Craig, who also played for the Raiders and Minnesota Vikings, remains eligible for the Hall of Fame in future years as a seniors candidates.

This is the third year Owens has been a Hall of Fame finalist. In his first two years of eligibility, he did not receive enough votes to be included within the top 10 among the candidates.

Owens ranks behind only Jerry Rice in NFL history with 15,934 yards receiving. Moss and Owens are second and third behind Rice in receiving touchdowns with 156 and 153, respectively.

Owens spent his first eight NFL seasons with the 49ers before playing two seasons with Philadelphia, three seasons with Dallas, one year apiece in Buffalo and Cincinnati.

Moss played for six different teams with two stints with the Minnesota Vikings. He played two seasons (2005 and ’06) with the Oakland Raiders and he finished his career with the 49ers.

Here are the 2018 modern-era finalists with their positions, years and teams:
Tony Boselli, Tackle – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars
Isaac Bruce, Wide Receiver – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers
Brian Dawkins, Safety – 1996-2008 Philadelphia Eagles, 2009-2011 Denver Broncos
Alan Faneca, Guard – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals
Steve Hutchinson, Guard – 2001-05 Seattle Seahawks, 2006-2011 Minnesota Vikings, 2012 Tennessee Titans
Joe Jacoby, Tackle – 1981-1993 Washington Redskins
Edgerrin James, Running Back – 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks
Ty Law, Cornerback – 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos
Ray Lewis, Linebacker – 1996-2012 Baltimore Ravens
John Lynch, Free Safety – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
Kevin Mawae, Center – 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans
Randy Moss, Wide Receiver – 1998-2004, 2010 Minnesota Vikings, 2005-06 Oakland Raiders, 2007-2010 New England Patriots, 2010 Tennessee Titans, 2012 San Francisco 49ers
Terrell Owens, Wide Receiver – 1996-2003 San Francisco 49ers, 2004-05 Philadelphia Eagles, 2006-08 Dallas Cowboys, 2009 Buffalo Bills, 2010 Cincinnati Bengals
Brian Urlacher, Linebacker – 2000-2012 Chicago Bears
Everson Walls, Cornerback – 1981-89 Dallas Cowboys, 1990-92 New York Giants, 1992-93 Cleveland Browns

In addition, there are two senior finalists -- Houston Oilers linebacker Robert Brazile and Green Bay guard Jerry Kramer -- and one contributor finalist, long-time NFL executive Bobby Beathard.

Those individuals will be voted on separately and must receive at least 80-percent of the votes to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Greg Cosell singles out 49ers player he believes is poised for a breakout season

kittlegeorgerunrams.jpg
AP

Greg Cosell singles out 49ers player he believes is poised for a breakout season

With the 146th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected...

George Kittle.

The tight end from Iowa had a solid rookie season -- racking up 43 catches for 515 yards and two touchdowns.

On the latest episode of the 49ers Insider Podcast with Matt Maiocco, Greg Cosell of NFL Films was talking about Kyle Shanahan and Rams head coach Sean McVay. And then unsolicited, pivoted the conversation to Kittle.

"You know, I think one player we should mention who I really liked coming out of college -- and I know he fought some injuries last year but I think that he has a chance to be a really meaningul part of this offense -- and that's George Kittle," Cosell said. "I think George Kittle is a really good tight end who can do a lot of things.

"He can line up and be a really good blocking tight end -- and obviously we know that Kyle's offense does start with the run game. I think he's more athletic than people probably give him credit for.

"I remember studying him coming out of Iowa and looking at some of his Combine measureables -- some were superior to those of OJ Howard from Alabama, and I think people would be surprised by that.

"In this offense he might not catch 80 balls, but he might average 14-15 yards a catch, and for a tight end that's pretty darn good."

Kittle had his best game in the season finale -- four catches for 100 yards at the Rams.

Why Greg Cosell believes Jimmy Garoppolo needs work on his 'quarterback feet'

jimmygredeyes.jpg
USATSI

Why Greg Cosell believes Jimmy Garoppolo needs work on his 'quarterback feet'

Greg Cosell, a senior producer at NFL Films, believes 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo “has a chance to be a top-level quarterback.” But there remains room for improvement from the player the 49ers awarded a franchise-record contract in the offseason.

Garoppolo has a quick release and can throw at a number of different arm angles to avoid oncoming pass-rushers. And while his accuracy underneath was unquestioned during his 5-0 run as the 49ers’ starter last season, most of the time, his deep throws did not reach the target.

Garoppolo completed just 4 of 16 attempts to targets 20 yards or more down the field last season for 134 yards and no touchdowns with no interceptions, according to Pro Football Focus.

[RELATED: Greg Cosell: Kyle Shanahan does one thing 'better than any coach in the NFL']

During the offseason program, Garoppolo appeared to struggle on his deep throws, too. Cosell, a guest on the 49ers Insider Podcast, spoke about Garoppolo’s mechanics.

“Because he has very quick feet, I think people just assume he has great feet all the time when he delivers the ball,” Cosell said. “There’s a difference between having quick, athletic feet and having really good quarterback feet. And I think he needs to work on the quarterback feet part.

“I think guys who have that kind of snap delivery, sometimes they don’t step exactly to their throw and they throw a little bit off-balance, and that could really impact your accuracy to a significant degree. So my guess is those are the kinds of things they’ve worked on. Those are tweaks. I don’t think it will prevent him from being a really good player.”

Garoppolo appeared in six games with five starts last season after the 49ers acquired him for a second-round draft pick in a trade with the New England Patriots. Garoppolo completed 120 of 178 pass attempts (67.4 percent) for 1,580 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions.

Cosell said it is important for all quarterbacks to use consistent mechanics when making throws from a clean pocket.

“Think of a major league pitcher,” Cosell said. “They theoretically should throw the ball the same way every time. So should a quarterback unless the defense dictates otherwise. If the defense doesn’t dictate otherwise, the throws should look the same.”