The 2005 NFL draft will forever be The Aaron Rodgers Draft. The most famous image from that day was Rodgers impatiently sitting in the green room until the Green Bay Packers took him with the 24th pick. And the most enduring story from that draft is that 23 different times teams passed on a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback. The team that most famously passed on Rodgers was the San Francisco 49ers. They took quarterback Alex Smith first overall. Smith hasn’t been bad, but he hasn’t been a multiple MVP or Super Bowl champion like Rodgers either. So many teams have regrets about passing Rodgers. The Washington Redskins are high on that list. The Redskins got quarterback Jason Campbell one pick after Rodgers. They could have taken Rodgers with the ninth pick, but selected cornerback Carlos Rogers instead. Rogers wasn’t bad, but he’s no Rodgers. By some accounts Washington would have picked Campbell anyway, even if Rodgers fell one more pick. Washington has been searching for a quarterback since, including trading a ransom of draft picks to get Robert Griffin III, who has had two bad seasons in a row. In related news, Washington hasn’t won a playoff game since January 2006. But 10 years later, there are more interesting tidbits from that draft than just Rodgers (though, we’ll talk about him more, so hang tight). It was a strange and interesting draft in many ways. Here are 10 facts from the 2005 draft: This draft was the first step toward killing running backs’ value In 2005 it was not uncommon to take a running back in the top 10. Three went in the top five of this draft. And none worked out. Auburn’s Ronnie Brown went No. 2 to the Miami Dolphins, Texas’ Cedric Benson went No. 4 to the Chicago Bears, and Brown’s college teammate Carnell “Cadillac” Williams went No. 5 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. None of them worked out. All three had flashes, especially Williams early in his rookie season. But they combined for two 1,000-yard seasons for the teams that drafted them: 1,178 for Williams in 2005 and 1,008 for Brown in 2006. Since then only three backs have been drafted in the top five (Reggie Bush, Darren McFadden and Trent Richardson) and now you can see the reasons teams will shy away from doing that again. It was also the Maurice Clarett draft View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on April 23rd, 2015
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I worry about the San Francisco 49ers this season. Jim Harbaugh, who was not welcomed back by the 49ers and went to the University of Michigan after last season, pushed that San Francisco team hard. Here’s what San Francisco guard Alex Boone had to say about it, on HBO’s “Real Sports.” “He does a great job of giving you that spark, that initial boom,” Boone said, via Pro Football Talk . “But after a while, you just want to kick his (behind) … He just keeps pushing you, and you’re like, ‘Dude, we got over the mountain. Stop. Let go.’  He kind of wore out his welcome. “I think he just pushed guys too far,” Boone said. “He wanted too much, demanded too much, expected too much. You know, ‘We gotta go out and do this. We gotta go out and do this. We gotta go out and do this.’ And you’d be like, ‘This guy might be clinically insane. He’s crazy. …  I think that if you’re stuck in your ways enough, eventually people are just going to say, ‘Listen, we just can’t work with this.’” It’s not a bad thing that Harbaugh was demanding. He came to a team that hadn’t been to the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons. His first three seasons they made the NFC championship game, winning once. Was he a tough coach? I’m sure he was. You know what else Harbaugh was? Extremely successful. Boone knew this. He said so last September. “So what’s the problem? I’m confused. Is winning not good? Is business not a’booming right now, boys? ” Boone told 95.7 The Game last September, via CSN Bay Area , when asked about possible locker room issues with Harbaugh. “As a matter of fact, I know for a fact that everybody loves Harbaugh,” And no, the 49ers did not get “over the mountain,” as Boone said. They got very, very close, losing a Super Bowl to the Baltimore Ravens when a fourth-down pass fell incomplete. That would probably drive a competitive person to push very hard, to actually get over the mountain. Here’s the problem I have with the 49ers going forward: They seem to value nice and easy working conditions over what Harbaugh brought to the facility every day. Why else would you get rid of a coach with a 44-19-1 record (again, eight seasons without a playoff appearance before he arrived)? Probably because they got sick of him being hard to work with. Harbaugh didn’t deny any of that, to “Real Sports.” “It must be true, yeah,” Harbaugh said, via PFT. “Sometimes I’d wear out my welcome. “They just don’t want to be around you after a while.” Jim Tomsula is in a no-win situation now. As the new coach, having just seen his old boss get run out for being too demanding, how hard do you think he’ll be on the players? Not too much, if he’s into self preservation. If you want to make the argument that NFL players, who are all grown men, don’t need to be pushed hard that’s fine. But then it’s also a coincidence that things happened to turn around for the 49ers at the exact moment the hard-charging Harbaugh got there. Tomsula feels like a substitute teacher for the 49ers. One of the 49ers’ best players is saying the old coach was “clinically insane” for how he pushed them. It’s a guarantee that life will be different around the 49ers now. Without Harbaugh around, the 49ers are going to have a much calmer workplace environment. Whether that translates to more wins than they had with Harbaugh, well, maybe that doesn’t matter as much to them. – - – - – - – Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on April 22nd, 2015
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The long NFL offseason seems a little more palatable when there’s a Week 1 opponent to look forward to. Each NFL team found out who it will start the 2015 regular season against, and the rest of the schedule too. [For a full look at the entire 2015 NFL regular-season schedule, click here.] The opening game of the season will be the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the defending champion New England Patriots on Thursday, Sept. 10 (a favorable break for the Patriots because the Steelers will be without All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell due to suspension). The first “Sunday Night Football” game of the season, on Sept. 13, will be the New York Giants traveling to face the Dallas Cowboys. As usual, the NFL has a doubleheader scheduled for “Monday Night Football” in Week 1. The Philadelphia Eagles, one of the most interesting teams this season after a flurry of offseason moves, play at the Atlanta Falcons in the first game. The San Francisco 49ers will host the late Monday night game against the Minnesota Vikings and running back Adrian Peterson … if Peterson is still with the Vikings. The NFL decided to go with three NFC vs. NFC games on Thanksgiving for the second straight season. The Eagles kick it off at the Detroit Lions, the Carolina Panthers will play at the Dallas Cowboys, and the third Thanksgiving game will be the Chicago Bears at the Green Bay Packers . That will be the Packers’ first home Thanksgiving game since playing the Hammond Pros in 1923. There will be rematches of each conference championship game from last season, and each rematch will be on “Sunday Night Football.” On Sept. 20, the Green Bay Packers will host the Seattle Seahawks on NBC, which is one of the most interesting games on the entire regular-season schedule. The Patriots will play at the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 18 in a prime-time game. There was also a welcomed change for the Denver Broncos in this year’s schedule. For years, a CBS conflict with the U.S. Open tennis tournament prevented the Broncos from opening the season at home in their usual late-afternoon slot. The U.S. Open is moving to ESPN this year. So the Broncos will open the regular season at home against the Baltimore Ravens in the late-afternoon time slot, in one of the best games of Week 1. The NFL’s regular-season schedule release has become a big day on the sports calendar, in many ways overshadowing the NBA and NHL playoffs. The schedule release was covered with two hours of programming on ESPN’s networks, and there was a three-hour schedule release show scheduled for NFL Network. – - – - – - – Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on April 22nd, 2015
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The Sunday night and Monday night NFL schedule is where your eyes typically start, right? When the NFL releases the season schedule in full, as it did Tuesday night, you’re naturally drawn to the night games — especially those on non-Thursdays. We expect great evening theater in our pro football. But some of those games tend to fall flat. Some now, when the schedule is brand new, and some later, after we’ve found out that everyone’s Super Bowl favorite is actually a crappy team. That can happen as soon as September. But the league does its best to please its media partners — in this case, NBC for Sundays and ESPN for Mondays. (We’ll discuss the Thursday schedule in a different blog entry.) Does it always work? No, which is why we feel we can point out to you where it falls flat. Here’s a look at the week-by-week prime-time games for Sunday and Monday … and which ones you actually should watch: WEEK 1 Sunday: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Monday: Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons; Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers Our take: Not a bad way to start the first week of football, but … maybe we expected a little more? Yes, we have a division rivalry with Cowboys-Giants, and maybe Odell Beckham Jr. (recurring theme alert) or Dez Bryant do something ridiculous; we’re in good hands with Al Michaels on the call there. And the next night, we have the wack-a-doodle Eagles, and I like my Chip Kelly after dark, so that’s good. But playing the Falcons? Kinda meh. And that’s the undercard? The nightcap is a battle of a Jim Harbaugh-less 49ers against a maybe Adrian Peterson-less Vikings? Consider us underwhelmed a bit. Verdict: We rank them thusly: in chronological order — Giants-Boys, then the battle of the birds, followed by that game out west. If you skip the last one, no one will question why. WEEK 2 Sunday: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers Monday: New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts Our take:  Oh, yeah. This is what we came for. A rematch of the NFC title game, but this time it’s in Green Bay. We’re already asking our bosses if we can go. This is choice stuff here, and yet it’s not a revenge — don’t be that fan. If the Packers win, it’s not going to make up for blowing a two-TD lead for a trip to the Super Bowl. Now that we have that out of the way … you wonder if the Seahawks’ banged-up secondary will be in top form this early in the season. Frankly, the Packers probably catch a mini-break getting the Seahawks this early in the season. As for the Monday game, this does’t look super sexy, especially with the Jets having a new coach and being rudderless (as of now) as QB. But think of it this way: A good Jets defense got better, adding Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, and a good Colts offense got better, adding Andre Johnson and Frank Gore. Verdict:  When we put it like that, the MNF game doesn’t sound so bad, eh? We know Sunday will be great. Watch both games. Trust us.  WEEK 3 Sunday: Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions Monday: Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers Our take:  Oh. Yeah, that’s our initial reaction. Look, these are four good teams on paper, and we could be treated to two very good matchups here. But Broncos-Lions in prime time? Hmm. We frankly thought this might be a Thanksgiving game or a Sunday game. We’re not complaining with a Peyton Manning night game in his possible swan song season. We’re not. It’s just … hmm. Same with the Monday game. Two straight at night at home for the Packers? Consider this: Many Packers fans make the drive up from Milwaukee, so that’s two weeks in a row with games on school nights. Verdict:  Yeah, we’re still watching both. They’re just … weird matchups, that’s all. WEEK 4 Sunday: Cowboys at New Orleans Saints Monday: Lions at Seahawks Our take:  We still love the Lions? They lose three-quarters of their defensive line and Reggie Bush and they get two early prime-time games early on. Just a feeling here that this one might flop. The Seahawks fans get geeked for night games, though, so there’s that. In the opening act, it’s no slouch. You have America’s Team heading down to the Big Easy — another town that loves getting well-lubricated before evening contests. These teams have had some nice battles in the past decade or so, so we can get behind that one. Verdict: If we’re being honest, we’re actually slightly more tuned up about the Cowboys-Saints game. WEEK 5 Sunday: 49ers at Giants Monday: Pittsburgh Steelers at San Diego Chargers Our take: Someone needs to explain this Niners thing to me. Are they going to be good? The Giants, we get — Beckham and Eli, and heck, I’ll say it: I think this is a better team than people realize. But the 49ers aren’t sneaking up on anyone, and we don’t mean that in a good way. This is not, we’ll safely predict, going to be up there with the 1990 NFC championship game or the 2002 wild-card madness game in this rivalry. Putting the Chargers on at night is dangerous. This could be the final season in San Diego, and that talk — moving to L.A. — could dominate the pre-game chatter, especially if Philip Rivers is not on the team. Maybe if Marcus Mariota becomes a Charger … Verdict: Check back with us after the draft. We’ll probably watch both, but we might need a decent reason why. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on April 21st, 2015
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Hall of Fame offensive tackle Bob St. Clair, a five-time Pro Bowler with a big personality who played all 11 of his seasons with his hometown San Francisco 49ers, died Monday. The Pro Football Hall of Fame, the 49ers and the University of San Francisco announced Monday that St. Clair had died. A 6-foot-9 right tackle known for his speed, toughness and uncanny blocking ability in the passing and running games, St. Clair was a third-round draft pick by San Francisco in 1953. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on April 21st, 2015
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There are a few ways to judge an NFL player’s popularity, but the amount of merchandise he sells might be the best way. And if you believe that to be true, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is the NFL’s most popular player. Again. For the second straight season, Wilson led the NFL Players Association’s player sales list. That takes into account all officially licensed products, including jerseys, Fatheads, ugly sweaters and bobbleheads. Wilson led all players in jersey sales and ugly sweaters (I had no idea NFL ugly sweaters was actually a thing until this list was released … and I’m glad I didn’t). Wilson’s rise to stardom is easy to track: He’s an exciting player, some fans probably relate to him overcoming odds to be a top quarterback at 5-foot-11, the Seahawks have won a ton with him and they have a fan base that loves to buy merchandise. Seahawks players like cornerback Richard Sherman (No. 7), running back Marshawn Lynch (No. 9), safeties Earl Thomas (No. 29) and Kam Chancellor (No. 30) also made the NFLPA’s list. No. 2 behind Wilson isn’t a big surprise; it’s Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (he led all players in bobblehead sales). Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant was the top non-quarterback, checking in at No. 6. Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, who wasn’t too impressive in two starts as a rookie last year, still finished No. 10 in sales. There are also a lot of people who bought LeSean McCoy’s Philadelphia Eagles gear only to have it rendered obsolete when McCoy was traded to the Buffalo Bills this offseason. McCoy ranked 14th on the NFLPA’s sales list. Here’s the entire top 50 from NFLPA, based on sales from the 2015 fiscal year of March 1, 2014, through Feb. 28, 2015: 1. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks  2. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos 3. Tom Brady, New England Patriots  4. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers 5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers 6. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys 7. Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks 8. J.J. Watt, Houston Texans 9. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks 10. Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns 11. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys 12. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints 13. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots 14. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles 15. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts 16. Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers 17. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys 18. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears 19. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions 20. Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants 21. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers  22. Eli Manning, New York Giants 23. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys 24. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers 25. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins 26. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles  27. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings 28. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs 29. Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks  30. Kam Chancellor, Seattle Seahawks 31. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers 32. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins 33. Victor Cruz, New York Giants 34. Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers 35. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears 36. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens 37. Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers  38. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers 39. Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers 40. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos 41. Julian Edelman, New England Patriots 42. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers 43. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers 44. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers 45. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals 46. Devon Still, Cincinnati Bengals  47. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers 48. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals 49. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings  50. Wes Welker, Denver Broncos – - – - – - – Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on April 20th, 2015
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San Francisco 49ers fullback Bruce Miller is not taking part in the team’s offseason program at team headquarters in the aftermath of his March arrest on suspicion of spousal battery. 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said Friday he met about the offseason with Miller, who is ”home in Georgia taking care of business.” The Santa Clara District Attorney’s office is still reviewing the case and no court hearing has been scheduled. The 27-year-old Miller, who received a three-year contract extension in 2014, was arrested March 5. Miller had 18 catches for 189 yards and two touchdowns last season for the 49ers, who went 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the first time in four years. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on April 17th, 2015
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Michael Crabtree’s wait to find a new team is finally over. The Oakland Raiders announced Monday night that Crabtree has signed with the team , which is flush with salary-cap space and in need of pass catchers. The deal is  reportedly worth $3 million  for one year with incentives available as well. Quarterback Derek Carr showed promise as a rookie but had precious few reliable targets, which Crabtree could provide if he’s healthy. The former No. 10 overall pick in 2009 played the entire 2014 season but did so through a painful foot injury following a bowl-out Achilles tendon. Although he averaged a career-worst 10.4 yards per catch last season, he did snag four touchdowns — actually the third-most in his career — amid a slew of offensive problems with the San Francisco 49ers. The 27-year-old Crabtree had a breakout season in 2012 as the 49ers made the Super Bowl, catching 85 passes for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns. But he couldn’t haul in a fourth-and-goal pass that would have given the Niners the lead late in the game, losing to the Baltimore Ravens at the Superdome. The following season, Crabtree was out most of the year with the Achilles injury. Crabtree joins James Jones, Rod Streater, Kenbrell Thompkins, Andre Holmes and a cast of unknowns at receiver in Oakland. The Raiders still could use more help at the position and do own the No. 4 overall pick, although they would appear not to need to take one there with this signing if they don’t choose to do so.  – - – - – - – Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on April 16th, 2015
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Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips is suspected of killing his cellmate in a Central California prison, officials said Monday. Phillips’ cellmate at Kern Valley State Prison was found lifeless early Saturday and later pronounced dead, prison spokesman Lt. Marshall Denning said in a statement. He played for the St. Louis Rams, until being released in 1997 for insubordination. He also played for the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on April 15th, 2015
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A former NFL running back for the San Francisco 49ers who was sent to a California prison for domestic violence, vehicle theft and other charges, is a suspect in the death of his cellmate, officials said on Monday. Lawrence Phillips, 39, was a suspect in the killing of 37-year-old Damion Soward, who was found unresponsive in the cell on Saturday and died at a local hospital the next day, Kern Valley State Prison spokesman Lieutenant Marshall Denning said in a statement. Phillips played for three NFL teams over four years in the 1990s, ending his career with the San Francisco 49ers in 1999. The statement said Phillips entered Kern Valley State Prison in the central California city of Delano in October 2008 and was serving a sentence of 31 years and four months for inflicting great bodily injury, corporal injury to spouse, false imprisonment and vehicle theft. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on April 15th, 2015
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