49ers

Terrell Owens thanks Jerry Rice in Hall of Fame speech

Terrell Owens thanks Jerry Rice in Hall of Fame speech

Terrell Owens does things his way. On Saturday, he celebrated his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction 600 miles away from Canton, Ohio. 

Owens went back to alma mater, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, to celebrate his induction. Over 2,500 fans packed the McKenzie Arena and chanted out "T.O.! T.O.!" as Owens wiped away tears. 

During his speech, the former 49ers star made sure to thank Jerry Rice, calling him "the greatest receiver of all time." 

On Friday, Rice paid his respects to Owens. When asked to choose between Owens and Randy Moss for the second greatest receiver of all time, Rice stayed loyal to his former 49ers teammate. 

"I would probably say Terrell Owens because I knew that if I went into an alley with this guy, this guy had my back," Rice said Friday on "The Greg Papa Show" when asked to choose between Owens and Randy Moss. "And it was an honor to play with him for so many years, and I got to know him. And I know exactly what he brings to the table.

“So, it would definitely be Terrell Owens.”

Why 49ers will win NFC West this season, according to USA Today writer

Why 49ers will win NFC West this season, according to USA Today writer

The 49ers have won 10 games over the past two seasons combined under head coach Kyle Shanahan. Could they win that many games this season alone? 

USA Today's Nate Davis seems to think so

Davis has the 49ers not only winning 10 games with six losses, but also winning the NFC West. Here is his explanation: "Recovered QB Jimmy Garoppolo may have just one premier weapon (TE George Kittle) but has plenty of capable options to leverage in Kyle Shanahan's scheme. Should be a joy to watch healthy group, which has consistently fought hard and remained highly capable despite dire circumstances of past two years."

With a healthy Garoppolo and the Rams suffering a Super Bowl hangover, Davis believes in the 49ers. Not that much, though. He has San Francisco (the No. 4 seed) losing to Chicago (the No. 5 seed) in the NFC Wild Card round. 

The 49ers haven't reached the playoffs since 2013 when they lost to the Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game. Since then, they've fired three head coaches -- Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly -- and gone 25-55 in the regular season. 

But the 49ers have a revamped roster, even outside of Garoppolo's health.

They added weapons through free agency and the NFL draft. General manager John Lynch and Co. gave Jimmy G players like running back Tevin Coleman plus receivers Deebo Samuel, Jalen Hurd and Jordan Matthews. On defense, they brought in edge rusher Dee Ford, defensive end Nick Bosa and linebacker Kwon Alexander among others. 

[RELATED: Five bold predictions for 49ers' upcoming season]

In the always competitive NFC West, 10 wins for the 49ers will feel like another Super Bowl victory in itself.

Former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has high praise for Kyle Shanahan

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USATSI

Former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has high praise for Kyle Shanahan

Jim Harbaugh's four seasons as the 49ers' head coach left him with a 44-19-1 record, three NFC Championship Game appearances, and zero seasons with a sub-.500 record. 

He's now on the sidelines at the University of Michigan as the team's head coach. But he doesn't forget his time with San Francisco and keeps tabs on current 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.

"I can tell you this: I like watching their tape, especially on offense," Harbaugh told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami. "A lot of creative things and kind of on a weekly basis. I enjoy trying to — I wouldn't say steal because, in football, you don't regard it as stealing things. You regard it as doing your homework. I do enjoy that."

He also credits Shanahan's offensive mind as it translates on the field.

"He's very creative in the game planning," Harbaugh said. "You see plays that work, that get somebody uncovered. That's hard to do, get somebody uncovered on a passing play or a blocking scheme where there's a big hole. That doesn't happen that often."

[RELATED: Five incredibly bold predictions for 49ers season]

He also said this mentality is something Shanahan is better at "than most of us."

Harbaugh told Kawakami that he's still in contact with some of his former players with the Niners as well. He still talks to Frank Gore and gets family videos from his former defensive end, Justin Smith. And in the coaching ranks, he's still keeping tabs on defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who was hired as the Denver Broncos head coach during the offseason. 

At least Shanahan knows there is always someone watching him.