San Francisco 49ers

Stadium: Levi's Stadium | Coach: Kyle Shanahan
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense24th107.7 (14th)187.7 (25th)
Defense18th124.3 (23rd)214.7 (15th)

49ers report: Notes, quotes

The Sports Xchange
Notes, quotes · Strategy and personnel · Inside slant

--Coach Mike Nolan believes the 49ers not only upgraded at their starting receiver position but they also got two draft picks in the exchange.

The 49ers signed free-agent receiver Antonio Bryant to a four-year, $15 million contract to replace Brandon Lloyd, who was traded to the Redskins for a third-round draft pick this year and a fourth-round pick in 2007.

"I think we've gotten better," Nolan said. "We got someone who is more of a proven player than Brandon. I'm not taking anything away from Brandon, but those are the facts as far as the numbers they've put up."

Bryant caught 69 passes for 1,009 yards and four touchdowns last season with the Browns. Lloyd had 42 receptions for 667 yards and four touchdowns. The Browns' passing game ranked No. 23 in the league, while the 49ers were 32nd.

--The 49ers signed veteran cornerback Walt Harris to give them some experience in the secondary after releasing Ahmed Plummer because of cap considerations. Harris believes he will earn a starting spot with the club.

"I always see myself as a starter coming in and definitely contributing and helping the team get to where it needs to be," said Harris, who signed a two-year contract. "Anything less just wouldn't be up to par for me."

Harris, 31, entered the league as a first-round pick of the Bears in 1996. He realizes his influence on a young team will be about what he does in the locker room as much as what he does on the field.

"I think I've matured a whole lot," Harris said. "I sat down and really understood how the game should be played, how the game should be approached, how to carry yourself and not putting you before the organization. That is one thing I've learned. It's all about sacrifice. If you want to have a winning organization and be successful, it's all about sacrifice."

--K Joe Nedney, whom the 49ers re-signed to a four-year extension, stood out on a team that was devoid of star players and failed to send anyone to the Pro Bowl for the first time since 1980. Nedney shared team MVP honors with linebacker Derek Smith. The coaches vote for the award.

"Unfortunately we didn't do very well," Nedney said. "Four-and-12 is not necessarily a good season, but it made my performance stand out more because the offensive production was what it was."

Nedney made 23 of 25 field-goal attempts (92 percent) to set a club record for field-goal accuracy in a season. He also greatly improved the 49ers' kickoffs. With Nedney, the 49ers were third in the NFL allowing an average opponent start after kickoffs at the 24.9. The 49ers ranked tied for 27th at 30.7 in 2004 with Todd Peterson handling kickoff chores.

--Former Browns executive Lal Heneghan met again with 49ers officials in what was termed as a continuation of his interview for the club's high-level front office position.

Heneghan interviewed three weeks ago with 49ers owner John York and coach Mike Nolan. He returned to the 49ers offices to meet with 49ers vice president of player personnel Scot McCloughan, who was still at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis when Heneghan interviewed the first time.

The 49ers have formally interviewed four candidates for the yet-to-be-named position. Seattle's Mike Reinfeldt and Atlanta's Ray Anderson removed their names from consideration for the role. The club also interviewed New Orleans Saints senior football administrator Russ Ball two weeks ago.

"I know he's an, eager young man. He's a gym rat. I haven't met him. Hopefully, if I'm there and open, he'll find me" - 49ers newly signed receiver Antonio Bryant on quarterback Alex Smith.

Copyright (C) 2006 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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