Brent Jones

Brent Jones believes core of a 49ers playoff team already is in place

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AP

Brent Jones believes core of a 49ers playoff team already is in place

One season removed from nine consecutive losses to open the season, the 49ers may not be all that far from playoff contention, former tight end Brent Jones said.

“You talk about flipping it,” Jones said on the 49ers Insider Podcast. “It just shows me that John (Lynch) and Kyle (Shanahan) have a good plan and understanding that it’s still about talent development and talent acquisition that go toward building a playoff and, potentially, a championship organization.

“It’s been a pretty quick turnaround from where we started the season last year.”

Jones said he believes the 49ers showed promise in the team’s first two games of the season – a loss at Minnesota and a home victory over Detroit -- but must exhibit more consistency and avoid injuries to place themselves in position to compete for a spot in the NFC playoffs.

“We have some players that are going to be part of the core going forward four, five, six years from now,” he said. “I think the more consistent we get, the more possibilities we have to be a consistent playoff team. I think it starts this year.”

Jones is not at all discouraged by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s up-and-down first two games. He described the 49ers’ acquisition of Garoppolo as similar to obtaining a “fully loaded computer” after coming over in a trade from New England, where he learned from quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick.

“A fully loaded computer doesn’t mean you don’t have a software update every now and then,” Jones said. “But a guy who trained under arguably the greatest, alongside Joe Montana, and one of the greatest coaches to ever coach, just your awareness and your analysis of the game and defense, all those things, is so much different than drafting a quarterback and developing him.”

Jones played 11 seasons at tight end for the 49ers. He is a Pro Football Hall of Fame nominee who was selected to four Pro Bowls and played on three Super Bowl-winning teams.

He currently lives in Dallas and plays fantasy football. He has 49ers second-year tight end George Kittle on one of his teams, he said. Kittle leads the 49ers with seven receptions for 112 yards.

“I really do like George a lot,” Jones said. “He has really good route-running, smooth, nuanced receiving skills with the way he attacks routes and the way he catches the ball. With any young player, you’re looking for more consistency.

“He can explode and have six or seven catches and take it to the house from 60 yards, but he’s got to be able to focus and sometimes instead of getting up field, you got to look that ball into your hands and make the easy catches, as well as the tough ones. I think that just comes with playing time and consistency.”

Seven former 49ers nominated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019

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AP

Seven former 49ers nominated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019

Seven former 49ers were announced Thursday among the 102 modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019.

The list includes Jeff Garcia, who joins four other quarterbacks – Randall Cunningham, Dave Krieg, Donovan McNabb and Steve McNair – to be nominated. Garcia, currently an analyst on NBC Sports Bay Area, was a four-time Pro Bowl selection in his 11-year NFL career. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in three consecutive seasons with the 49ers (2000-2002). Garcia is the last 49ers quarterback to earn a trip to the Pro Bowl.

The other former 49ers to be nominated for the Hall of Fame are running back Ricky Watters, wide receiver Isaac Bruce, tight end Brent Jones, defensive lineman Bryant Young, linebacker Takeo Spikes and safety Tim McDonald.

San Francisco general manager John Lynch, a nine-time Pro Bowl player with Tampa Bay and Denver in his 15-year career, returns as a nominee. He has advanced as a finalists in the top 15 for the past five years.

There are four first-year eligible players among the nominees: tight end Tony Gonzalez, linebacker London Fletcher, cornerback Champ Bailey and safety Ed Reed.

Former 49ers running back Roger Craig, who is more than 25 years removed from his NFL career, is no longer eligible as a modern-era finalist.

The list of modern-era nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November. In January, the list will be narrowed to 15 finalists.

The 48-member selection committee will consider 18 finalists to be among the four to eight individuals elected into the Hall of Fame during a meeting on the day before Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta. The 15 modern-era finalists will be joined by the senior finalist, Johnny Robinson, and the contributor finalists, Pat Bowlen and Gil Brandt.

Modern Era Nominees

*Finalist in 2018; (Players and coaches must have last played or coached at least five full seasons to be eligible for nomination. Therefore, any individual who last played or coached in 2013 are eligible for the first time in 2019).

QUARTERBACKS (5) — Randall Cunningham, Dave Krieg, Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair

RUNNING BACKS (14) — Shaun Alexander, Tiki Barber, Earnest Byner, Larry Centers, Corey Dillon, Eddie George, *Edgerrin James, Darryl Johnston, Eric Metcalf (WR/KR/PR), Clinton Portis, Fred Taylor, Herschel Walker (also KR), Chris Warren, Ricky Watters

WIDE RECEIVERS (9) — *Isaac Bruce, Gary Clark, Henry Ellard (also PR), Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Derrick Mason, Sterling Sharpe, Rod Smith, Hines Ward

TIGHT ENDS (4) — Mark Bavaro, Tony Gonzalez, Brent Jones, Jay Novacek

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (15) — Willie Anderson (T), *Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Ray Donaldson (C), *Alan Faneca (G), Chris Hinton (G/T), Kent Hull (C), *Steve Hutchinson (G), Mike Kenn (T), Olin Kreutz (C), *Kevin Mawae (C/G), Tom Nalen (C), Chris Samuels (T), Richmond Webb (T), Steve Wisniewski (G)

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (7) — La’Roi Glover (DT/NT), Russell Maryland (DT), Leslie O’Neal (DE), Simeon Rice (DE), Richard Seymour (DT), Neil Smith (DE), Bryant Young (DT)

LINEBACKERS (14) — Carl Banks, Cornelius Bennett, Tedy Bruschi, London Fletcher, Seth Joyner, Wilber Marshall, Clay Matthews, Willie McGinest (also DE), Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Chris Spielman, Takeo Spikes, Darryl Talley, Zach Thomas

DEFENSIVE BACKS (18) — Eric Allen (CB), Steve Atwater (S), Champ Bailey (CB), Ronde Barber (CB/S), Bill Bates (S), LeRoy Butler (S), Nick Collins (S), Thomas Everett (S), Rodney Harrison (S), *Ty Law (CB), Albert Lewis (CB), *John Lynch (S), Tim McDonald (S), Ed Reed (FS), Dennis Smith (S), Troy Vincent (CB), Adrian Wilson (S), Darren Woodson (S)

PUNTERS/KICKER (3) — Jason Elam (K), Jeff Feagles (P), Sean Landeta (P)

SPECIAL TEAMS (2) — Brian Mitchell (KR/PR also RB), Steve Tasker (ST also WR)

COACHES (11) — Don Coryell, Bill Cowher, Tom Flores, Jim Hanifan, Mike Holmgren, Jimmy Johnson, Richie Petitbon, Dan Reeves, Marty Schottenheimer, Clark Shaughnessy, Dick Vermeil

Brent Jones takes jabs at Baalke, issues optimistic message to 49ers fans

Brent Jones takes jabs at Baalke, issues optimistic message to 49ers fans

On Sunday evening, the 49ers hired John Lynch to be the team's next general manager.

On Tuesday morning, former 49ers tight end Brent Jones weighed in on the move.

"The reality is it's never one guy. Even the greatest general managers of all-time -- they've got a director of college scouting, they've got a director of player personnel, they've got pro scouts ... it's about creating a team and not just one way of thinking," Jones told KNBR 680. "Now certainly, you need a leader when you have a team. And John Lynch is a natural leader.

[MAIOCCO: Cris Carter compares 49ers' hiring of Lynch to Detroit's failure with Millen]

"The more that I've thought about it -- I want a guy that's a football guy. Most likely, he's gonna be in the Hall of Fame this weekend ... here's a guy that is the greatest of the greatest character. Honest. Communicator. He's not gonna hide in the corner. He's not gonna shy away from the press. He's not gonna pick fights with players or he's not gonna leak to the media.

"He's not gonna draft receivers in the first round that can't catch or play. He's not gonna draft guys with ACL injuries and he's actually gonna work with Kyle (Shanahan)."

Jones is referring to Baalke's selection of A.J. Jenkins with the 30th overall pick in the 2012 draft.

He never caught a pass for the 49ers, was traded to Kansas City in August 2013 and is no longer in the NFL.

Baalke also drafted numerous players coming off significant knee injuries.

"I'm more positive than a lot of people are," Jones added. "But we all don't know at this point. But first and foremost, the greatest sign for 49ers fans, take solace in this fact: We got a true football guy leading football operations. He's hiring more people so we're not gonna be overloaded with business people.

"We're not gonna have the head of analytics out there. I hate to tell you, but there are no algorithms that tell you how good a guy is at football. So separate the analytics side -- you go run your numbers, don't be in the meetings, don't be giving us input unless we ask, and you worry about the salary cap.

"So the greatest sign for 49ers fans -- for maybe the first time in a decade, maybe longer -- we're going to have a pure loaded up football operations side of the equation, and push everything else to the other side of the building."