49ers Blog and Q&A

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

December 31, 2012
49ers notes: Jets, Jags looking at Gamble; Alex Smith has sell-able stats


The downside to a team that's won its division the last two years and is the favorite - at least in Vegas (see below) - to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl? Other teams come calling for your assistants.

That's already been the case on Black Monday. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Jaguars and Jets will interview director of player personnel Tom Gamble for their vacant general manager positions. Gamble's job mainly is to scout other NFL teams - and other pro leagues such as the CFL, UFL, etc. - for potential prospects, and he is well respected in personnel circles.

Two assistant coaches, offensive coordinator Greg Roman and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, also might get interview requests. The 49ers finished 11th in total offense (4th in rushing, 23rd in passing) and 3rd in total defense (4th against the pass and 4th against the run).

Individually, NaVorro Bowman finished second behind Carolina rookie Luke Kuechly (164) with 149 tackles while Aldon Smith ranked second in sacks (19 ½) behind Houston's J.J. Watt (20 ½). Alex Smith, meanwhile, would have ranked third in passer rating (behind Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning) with a 104.1 mark, but he needed six more attempts to qualify.

The 49ers have not yet made any decisions at kicker. But if they are going to bring in a new player, they likely will do so quickly to get him accustomed to snapper Brian Jennings and holder Andy Lee (and vice versa). Some names: Billy Cundiff, John Kasay, Jeff Reed, Neil Rackers and Dave Raynor.

The 2013 schedule won't be set until April. But the list of opponents was set when the 49ers took the NFC West division yesterday and the Redskins took the NFC East.

Home games: Arizona, Seattle, St. Louis, Atlanta, Carolina, Houston, Indianapolis, Green Bay.
Away games: Arizona, Seattle, St. Louis, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville (London), Tennessee, Washington

The date of the 49ers-Jaguars game in London has been set for Oct. 27. It's a pretty safe bet that the game preceding it will be on the east coast. So I'm thinking the 49ers will visit the Redskins on Oct. 20 and fly to London that night.

According to Bovada.LV, a 49ers-Broncos matchup is the most likely Super Bowl pairing followed by Falcons-Broncos.

- 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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