49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

October 30, 2012
Reward for 49ers' 6-2 record: Seven days off


Jim Harbaugh played 'Let's Make a Deal' with his players earlier this year, and as a result they won't hit the practice field again for seven days.

On the way back from their win against the Jets this year, Harbaugh told the players they would earn an extra day off during their bye week for every win they had from that point forth. The collective bargaining agreement automatically gives players four days off during the bye. Wins over Buffalo, Seattle and the Cardinals earned them another three. Their next practice is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

"They were good for it, so we were good for it (the deal)," Harbaugh said.

Coaches usually fret when their players are away for extended periods. The 49ers players showed during the lockout and again during the most recent offseason that they don't require a lot of supervision. Defensive end Ray McDonald, for example, said he planned to go to the 49ers facility every day to work out.

Justin Smith said he might head back to Missouri, but that he'll be working out daily whether he's here or there. "Everybody on this team is going to handle their business," Smith said. "It's good to get a couple of days away, four five days away, reset and come back."

The first play of the fourth quarter is under review.

According to the official game book from Monday, the play is an eight-yard run by Michael Crabtree to the right side. Jim Harbaugh, however, today said that it was a pass to Crabtree.

Why is it significant? Because if it indeed was a pass, it would mean that Alex Smith would have 19 completions in 20 attempts instead of the 18-19 for which he currently is credited. The NFL only would recognize his achievement in passing efficiency as a league record if Smith had 20 attempts.

The bad news: It appears as if the play in question is indeed a run. It looks as if Crabtree takes a step backward before gathering in the pass, which, of course, means it was thrown behind the line of scrimmage.

If you're following Alex Smith on Twitter, you've been snookered. The 49ers quarterback does not have an account. And yet Smith was caught Twittering himself on the flight back to San Francisco last night.

Left tackle (and friend of Smith) Joe Staley, who does have an account, said he noticed Smith looking at some of the comments -- #AlexSmith was trending last night -- before the plane took off. "It was very out of character for him," Staley said. "He's never done that. He was feeling pretty good about himself or something."

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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