Once most players had gone inside from practice on a hot day, there stood Antoine Bethea working to perfect a handshake with new 49ers teammate Demarcus Dobbs. ”It’s just building the camaraderie,” Bethea said. ”The handshake is just something, when you’re in training camp you’ve got to have fun, you’ve got to enjoy this moment then after that you have to go to work.” Caught up on San Francisco’s expansive defensive playbook at last, Bethea is busy making the rounds to personally get to know as many of his teammates as possible during training camp. Sure, Bethea is no outspoken Donte Whitner, the departed safety known for his pounding hits and big personality, and that’s just fine with everybody around the Niners. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on July 31st, 2014
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As Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tomy Romo recovers from back surgery, he is taking a measured approach to returning to game action. Romo indicated Wednesday that he might not play in the Cowboys’ Aug. 7 preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers, but he expects to see some action in exhibition games as he prepares for the regular-season opener on Sept. 7 against the San Francisco 49ers. “You’re constantly evaluating it and you’re constantly, I don’t want to say adjusting because you stick to the plan, but it’s a progression,” Romo said at the Cowboys’ training camp in Thousand Oaks, Calif. “It’s leading up to San Francisco. Romo practiced Wednesday and expects to be back on the field Thursday. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on July 31st, 2014
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Brandon Lloyd returned to the San Francisco 49ers to finish what he started. After taking a year off from football, Lloyd said he came back to the team that drafted him in the fourth round in 2003 because nobody else could offer what he wanted: a chance at redemption and a Super Bowl title. ”Now the team does have that, and San Francisco has always held a special place in my heart. I wanted to return to San Francisco and maybe bring a certain amount of closure to my career.” Lloyd has been a major addition through the first week of training camp, showing off a smooth route-running ability that teammates call the best among the receivers. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on July 30th, 2014
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The San Francisco 49ers claimed offensive lineman Michael Philipp off waivers from the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday. The team waived quarterback Kory Faulkner to make room for Philipp. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on July 30th, 2014
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have signed former Arizona Cardinals running back Alfonso Smith to a one-year deal. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on July 29th, 2014
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The San Francisco 49ers have gone from embarrassing riches at running back to a question about depth.
Following last week’s torn ACL suffered by Kendall Hunter, the 49ers watched LaMichael James go down with what’s being reported as a dislocated elbow. It appears that James will be out a month , which could put him in some doubt of being ready for Week 1.
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Yes, the 49ers still have Frank Gore and second-round pick Carlos Hyde, and there is an intriguing mystery man lurking in 2013 fourth-rounder Marcus Lattimore.
But Lattimore, who is on the non-football injury list with knee and hamstring issues, still hasn’t practiced and has yet to take a snap in the NFL after coming back from a horrific college injury at South Carolina. The only other running back on the roster currently is Jewel Hampton, who spent last season on the team’s practice squad.
With Gore not expected to handle much of a workload in the preseason (he never does), the team certainly could stand to add a little preseason depth. James was viewed as the odd man out in the offseason, but not getting rid of him now looks quite smart — even if he’s currently out of action.
Expect Hyde and Hampton to be featured prominently in the preseason, and Hyde should be able to carry that over into a significant regular-season role. He proved himself to be even more well-rounded in summer workouts than even the team expected.
Still, there’s a little bit of concern suddenly at a position we thought was as loaded as there was at one time in the NFL.
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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 July 29th, 2014
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If the New York Jets are going to go down, there are going with their egos riding high.
Shortly after Dee Milliner, who was roundly tested by opposing quarterbacks as a rookie, proclaimed himself the best cornerback in the NFL , his defensive teammate had some more boastful things to say.
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Calvin Pace was less about self and more about team, but equally as bold, when he told the New York Daily News that the Jets are owners of the best defense in the NFL.

“(Compared to) the rest of the defenses in the NFL? S—, man, we’re the best,” Pace said. “You ask anybody around the league, we’re not the team you want to see coming in, even in a down year.”

Pace might have been on vacation out of the country when the Seattle Seahawks made a mockery of the 606-point Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, one that we might add was played on Pace’s home field at MetLife Stadium this past February.
But for a moment, let’s give Pace the benefit of the doubt …
Even with statistics only telling part of the story, it is a fact that the Jets ranked 11th in yards allowed a season ago, which would be solid enough to suggest that — with improvement — the Jets could find themselves far closer to the top five this season. If Milliner and Calvin Pryor upgrade the secondary, and Pace and a capable group of linebackers play well, the Jets own a defensive line as talented as any in the NFL, even rivaling the St. Louis Rams’ devastating front.
Head coach and defensive savant Rex Ryan can work with this unit and do some very respectable things. Frankly, we can’t wait to see what Year 2 of the Muhammad Wilkerson-Sheldon Richardson duo up front, with scheme wrecker Damon Harrison — a starting-grade talent — coming off the bench. When you have those forces up front, it takes major pressure off the guys behind them and allows for some really creative pressure and coverage packages.

“There’s a certain type of aggression when we come … you know we’re going to come with a lot of stuff and teams don’t want to see that,” Pace said. “They want to see a vanilla defense, that just lines up and you know where they’re going to be.”

But now let’s return from dreamland …
Pace is wrong. Hey, if you’re of the mindset that players should be confident and believe they’re the best, I can get behind that. The Jets were always at their best under Ryan when they were boastful (when it didn’t ring hollow, or as being insecure) and carrying that bravado out on the field. 
But there’s just no realistic way to argue that the Jets, as thin as they are at a few locations and with a few passable starters on defense, can be the best unit in the league. They might have been 11th in yards allowed, but they were 19th in points against. Go ahead, Calvin — say what you want, but no statistic or unexpected slew of injuries to the Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs or whomever else will convince me otherwise.
Heck, you could make the argument that the Jets aren’t even guaranteed to have the best defense in their division. The New England Patriots have loaded up with (ouch, former Jets) corner Darrelle Revis, and the Buffalo Bills, even with Kiko Alonso’s injury and Marcell Dareus’ limbo status, sat higher in the defensive rankings a year ago.
Still, Pace remains undaunted and seems to have a sharper recall of 2009 or 2010 than he does of last season.

“We’re the benchmark when we’re doing well,” Pace said. “I’ll take these guys and Rex and this system any day.”

I won’t.
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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 July 28th, 2014
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Lawrence Okoye speaks as if he is hoping to win a contest for the Oxford University debate team. The rugby player turned track and field athlete turned football player has been accepted to the prestigious English educational institution, where he intends to study law, and has a spot reserved until 2017. Playing defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers is the latest of his engagements and he’s given himself over to sculpting his body into a precision instrument for the football field. ”Training is different in regards to weightlifting,” Okoye said. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on July 28th, 2014
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Training camp is not even a week old and already the San Francisco 49ers’ depth at running back is about to be tested. The 49ers said Saturday that reliable backup Kendall Hunter tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Friday’s practice, ending his season before it began. Hunter started training camp where he has been most of the last three years: as the No. 2 running back behind Frank Gore. The injury leaves LaMichael James, rookie Carlos Hyde and rehabbing Marcus Lattimore as the most likely candidates to fill the void in San Francisco’s running game. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on July 27th, 2014
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San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said Saturday that he expects the NFL’s decision on a possible suspension for linebacker Aldon Smith to be announced soon, perhaps even before the preseason begins Aug. 7. Baalke also stressed that he had not been told of any specific timeline from the league – just that Smith will meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell soon and a decision should come shortly after that. Certainly, this isn’t something that’s going to drag into the season and may not even drag as far as into the preseason games itself,” Baalke said. We’ve been in contact with the league, the league’s been in contact with us, but we don’t have a set date at this moment.” Smith was sentenced last week to three years of probation and to spend 11 days with a work crew after he pleaded no contest to drunken driving and weapons charges. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on July 27th, 2014
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