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Golden Nuggets: Practice day in Sin City

Your daily San Francisco 49ers news for Wednesday, February 7th, 2024

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Nguyen: Inside 49ers-Chiefs Super Bowl matchup: What to watch when KC has the ball (paywall)

““Bosa is good at everything. Against pass pro, he’s able to win in any manner,” Schwartz said. “He has a pass rush plan but he also is reactionary so he can make a tackle wrong based on their set, even if that’s not his initial goal. The Chiefs’ tackles got beat inside a lot against Baltimore, so I’m guessing Bosa might have an idea to power through them inside but then again, it’ll be a coaching point for the Chiefs. And also, you have to be sure you don’t just open the door for Pat (Mahomes to break the pocket).”

The outside runs will make Bosa think twice about getting upfield but the Chiefs also will chip him every time they call a play with routes that need time to develop and they’ll come from different players in different positions. They’ll roll away from him or cut him when they roll in his direction. They will account for him every time they pass. In 2021, Reid had an extensive game plan designed around neutralizing Bosa. Bosa still had a sack and drew a holding penalty but Kansas City neutralized him for most of the game.

“The idea that you make him wrong at every turn,” Schwartz explained. “Like I said, if he wants to be aggressive up the field, you run jet sweeps, tosses, and screens by him. You make him the backside defensive end on zones that is responsible for the cutback lane. You condense formations and always have someone aligned near enough to him that the threat of a chip, seal, or down block is always there. You allow the tackle to mix up his sets as much as he can by calling different forms of pass plays and pass timings. Just a constant barrage of uncertainty.”

Is 49ers’ Brock Purdy the next Drew Brees? We asked an expert — Brees himself (paywall)

He said he paid special attention to Brees’ feet. Brees was a full head shorter than everyone around him but never seemed lost in the pocket. He had a knack for finding just enough space to throw. His feet were always in sync, which meant his passes came out quickly and accurately. He generated power by keeping his cleats planted on the ground when he threw. In short, he was someone who was always in control.

“If you’re a guy who’s on top of your footwork, I don’t know why, but I feel like that separates you,” Purdy said. “You know the plays, you know the concepts. Your feet are tied to the plays you’re running. So there’s never a play where he was doing something chaotic. He was always on top of his stuff. You can tell he was a very disciplined guy, he knew what he stood for and believed. And I respected that a lot in him.”

Brees said there was a saying he used with the Saints: Let your feet talk to you.

“Your feet are your clock,” he said. “A lot of times, I can just look at a guy’s feet and tell you if he’s in rhythm, what progression he’s on, if he’s throwing the ball to the right guy. It tells you everything.”

“Brock? Oh, he has great feet,” he said. “He has great balance. I think a lot of it is the footwork in that offense, these play-action passes that are all married up to the run game. Because it’s such a great zone run game.”

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49ers’ defense won’t let mistakes continue in Super Bowl

“That’s something that never needs to be coached,” San Francisco safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. said. “That’s something that never needs to be addressed. ... Obviously, everybody on that film can at some point on one of those plays point themselves out and said, ‘Man, I could have played with better effort on that.’ ... That film was hard. You had to see that and you had to hear some choice words, because that’s not our brand of football. We are a lot better football team than that. It’s nothing I’m worried about moving forward.”

Because of those effort issues, the days after the NFC Championship Game were predictably intense. Niners defensive tackle Javon Hargrave said the entire unit “put our heads down” because it was so disappointed by what it watched and the accompanying angry words from Wilks. Coach Kyle Shanahan also called out his defense for what he considered poor backside pursuit on Detroit run plays.”

Hutchinson: 49ers Notes: Team will practice on spongy field, and cause for optimism with Chase Young’s effort

“But that acute criticism, as well as Young acknowledging it Monday — saying, “I can’t have that” — provide a cause for optimism. The 49ers have clearly been blunt in their assessment of that effort.

Young, who is heading into free agency, will have every reason to want to put out some elite tape in the Super Bowl. Given that the Chiefs will likely slide most double teams and chips (which they rarely employ) to Nick Bosa, Young will have a great opportunity against a subpar tackle in Donovan Smith.

Assistant defensive line coach Darry Tapp provided a direct, but encouraging assessment of Young when I asked him about how to maximize his impact.

Tapp said Young is acutely aware of what he put on film, and said that earnestness is the best path in getting buy-in from himn.”

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Kyle Shanahan eager to exorcise Super Bowl demons like dad Mike

“Shanahan’s dad, Mike, was the Broncos’ offensive coordinator in two Super Bowl losses before he got his first ring as the 49ers’ offensive coordinator in January 1995.

Mike Shanahan went back to the Broncos as head coach and ended up winning two consecutive Super Bowls in 1998 and 1999.

“All football games are hard to lose,” Shanahan said. “Each week you put so much into it and the more you coach, the more you realize that when you win, you’re just kind of relieved so you can get right to the next one and get ready.”

Silver: Explaining the 49ers’ soggy Super Bowl practice field problem and why it’s news (paywall)

“As the 49ers, along with some other well-meaning league executives, were quietly working to address the situation, the news of their displeasure leaked Monday morning, via a report by CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones.

I am staunchly against attempted source-outing, and I obviously can’t tell you where Jones got his information. However, the 49ers didn’t have a ton of incentive to inform the world of their displeasure, lest they look like nitpicky complainers who weren’t focused on the larger mission.

Did Goodell, and/or his minions, benefit from the leak? Well, the framing sure seemed convenient, given that it preceded the faux news conference he staged Monday afternoon at Allegiant Stadium — in advance of the Chiefs’ and 49ers’ appearances at the spectacle that is Opening Night, formerly Media Day.”

Chants for 49ers’ Brock Purdy and 6 things we learned at Super Bowl’s Opening Night (paywall)

“That’s been his theme whenever he talks to players: It’s critical to maintain focus through all the Super Bowl distractions.

“This game on Sunday — there are things around it that are going to make it seem bigger than what it is, but it’s still a football game, it’s still a three-hour game, it’s still the same rules,” he said. “Because a lot of guys come into this atmosphere and they try to make plays. And they have to remember that they just need to do their jobs and it will happen naturally.”

Just before training camp in July, Goldson, 39, was announced as one of the team’s coaching fellows for the 2023 season, and the former 49ers’ safety (2007-12) spent the year helping out the defensive backs. He said he wasn’t sure how he’d like coaching and whether young players would be receptive to someone who played nearly a decade ago.”

49ers’ Nick Bosa blamed Chiefs’ tackles for holding. What was their response? (paywall)

“Your thoughts, Jawaan?

“I mean, it is what it is, man,” Taylor said. “I’m just looking forward to the game on Sunday.”

Any response, Donovan?

“No,” he said.

For his part, Chiefs right guard Trey Smith, who was flagged twice in a win against the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game, smiled when asked about Bosa’s comment.

“I mean, I had two holding penalties last game,” Smith said. “He might be on to something.”

As 49ers’ Brock Purdy steps onto Super Bowl stage, his roommate’s there, too (paywall)

“At their first NFL training camp, Purdy learned that Zakelj grew up outside Cleveland with Purdy’s former Iowa State teammate, linebacker Mike Rose. Within weeks, Purdy and Zakelj were exploring the Bay Area together in Purdy’s Sequoia. By the time Purdy cemented himself as the 49ers’ first-string quarterback, they were close — so close, in fact, that Purdy has asked Zakelj to be one of his groomsmen at his wedding next month.

Zakelj won’t be the only notable member of Purdy’s bridal party. Blake Clark, the older brother of Iowa women’s basketball standout Caitlin Clark, is also expected to stand behind Purdy at the altar.

“Blake Clark is one of my best friends,” Purdy told reporters Monday. “He’s going to be in my wedding.”

Branch: Boomer Esiason expects spirited effort from 49ers’ called-out defense (paywall)

“I must add that I’ve picked him off multiple times. Multiple times. Not just once,” Gipson said. “I hope he gives me another one Sunday. That would make my life, I won’t lie.”

Gipson, 33, picked off Mahomes on Oct. 7, 2018, when he was a member of the Texans. He also had a pick on Oct. 13, 2019, when he played for the Jaguars. Gipson is tied for third among active players with 33 career interceptions.

“Sometimes when he messes up, he gives you a little gimme,” Gipson said. “He gave me a nice little gift with the bow on top … Obviously, when he does make those mistakes, which are few and far between, you have to capitalize. He is still human.”

Brock Purdy remains unfazed by rise from last pick in the draft to Super Bowl QB

“Scout Steve Slowik grew intrigued by Purdy’s poise and production as a four-year starter at Iowa State, putting him on the radar for the coaching staff. Assistant coaches Brian Griese and Klay Kubiak graded Purdy the best of the late-round options and coach Kyle Shanahan was sold, having put a mid-round grade on him.

But the Niners spent the early parts of the day of that draft adding depth to the trenches and secondary. Then it was time for the final pick — awarded to them as compensation for losing C.J. Beathard — in free agency — and San Francisco made the move that All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams has equated to winning the Powerball lottery.”

NFL Draft: 49ers add to offensive line in latest mock draft from ESPN’s Matt Miller

“With the No 31 overall pick in his mock draft, Miller selected Arizona Wildcats left tackle Jordan Morgan.

While protecting freshman phenom Noah Fifita, Morgan earned an All Pac-12 First Team bid. Morgan is coming off a strong performance in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl.

At Arizona under Jedd Fisch, Morgan earned an 83.5 grade from Pro Football Focus. Morgan allowed only two sacks and 11 quarterback hurries in 787 offensive snaps.

According to Miller, Moragn is a player that could thrive in Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme.”