<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Sports News, Sports Teams, and Scores for the Sharks, 49ers, Raiders,Giants, Bears and More]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Sat, 29 Aug 2015 13:55:55 -0700 Sat, 29 Aug 2015 13:55:55 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[IndyCar Racer Justin Wilson Remembered at Race]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 13:11:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gettyimages-170552690-justin-wilson-dies.jpg

A moment of silence was observed in memory of Justin Wilson prior to the start of the NASCAR Xfinity race at Road America.

Wilson died Monday from a head injury sustained when he was struck by debris during an IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania.

Many drivers at Road America placed decals on their cars in memory of Wilson. The rear bumper of the No. 52 car driven by Joey Gase, an organ donation advocate, featured a large picture of Wilson and a testimonial from his brother and fellow racer, Stefan.

Justin Wilson's organs were donated.



Photo Credit: File - Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers' Vin Scully Will Return ]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 04:47:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/Screen+Shot+2015-08-28+at+7.49.21+PM.png

It happened in an instant, but it may just be the best news Dodgers fans have received in quite some time.

In between the top and bottom half of the second inning of the opening game between the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, team Owner Magic Johnson appeared on the jumbotron in a prepared video stating that he had an announcement for the fans.

Suddenly, Johnson's image gave way to ABC Late Night host Jimmy Kimmel who revealed cue cards that read, "Vin Scully will be back for at least one more season."

The crowd at Dodger Stadium immediately erupted as the Hall of Fame broadcaster was shown on the screen.

Scully, who turns 88 in November, has been calling Dodgers games since 1950 and next season will be his 67th with the team. Scully currently holds the longest streak of any broadcaster in all of sports to be with one team.

"I talked it over with my wife, Sandi, and my family and we've decided to do it again in 2016," Scully said. "There's no place like home and Dodger Stadium and we look forward to being a part of it with all our friends.

There was much speculation over the past few weeks as to whether or not Scully would return. Scully has taken a lesser role with the team in recent years, opting to not travel to the east coast and on most away games.

However, Scully has always said that if he was healthy enough to call the games and felt like he was still effective, then he would continue to remain in the booth.

Scully's year-by-year announcement means he will return to the booth in 2016, and beyond will still be in question. More than likely, Scully will continue to call games in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Arizona for SportsNetLA.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders' Police Escort Irks Napa County Sheriff]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 23:18:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/napa-raiders.jpg

Napa County officials are not happy with the “reckless” manner in which the Oakland Police Department led a motorcade of Raiders buses out of town last week – and they're letting them know about it.

In a letter sent to Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent, Napa County Sheriff John Robertson says on Aug. 21 Oakland police shut down busy wine country roads, including Highway 29, to escort Raiders’ team buses from training camp in Napa to Oakland.

The letter claims Oakland motorcycle cops, with lights and sirens on, led four buses through town as school children were trying to cross busy streets. American Canyon City Manager Jimmy Hong said the special treatment inconvenienced a lot of people.

“We certainly would like it not to happen again,” Hong said. “It’s inappropriate to be giving a code three escort to a football team through our town when parents are trying to get to their kids. It’s already crowded enough.”

Roberston says his department was never notified about Oakland's plans and called the motorcade “unbelievable.”

Attempts to reach Chief Whent for comment were not immediately successful.

The team has brand new practice fields in Napa to go along with an 18,500-square-foot building that features four times as much equipment as the old weight room, along with a turf field for walkthroughs and other exercises and a fuel bar designed by Gatorade to help players with their performance and recovery.

Work on the new practice fields began in May, with the fields raised 14 inches to improve drainage and new grass being brought in from Palm Desert. It also provides a more forgiving surface than the old one affectionately called "The Rock'' by players.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Michigan State Standout Rush Making an Impression]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 08:58:18 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/emmrushh.jpg

With Ahmad Brooks suddenly out of the picture for the 49ers – at least for a while – the linebacking corps will adjust for the absence of its most veteran outside linebacker.

For the time being, second-year player Aaron Lynch will start on the left side, with Corey Lemonier staring opposite him. Rookie Eli Harold, a third-rounder from Virginia, is also in the mix.

But there’s also a young, unheralded and undrafted rookie making his presence felt: Marcus Rush.

On Thursday, 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula told reporters that “Rush has been coming on.”

The 6-foot-3, 251-pound former Michigan State standout started a school-record 53 games at defensive end. He was considered undersized coming out of Michigan State and projected as a late-round pick or free agent, with potential as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, such as the 49ers'. His draft profile on NFL.com noted that Rush “improved with each year at (his) position.”

But while Rush flew under the radar heading into training camp, he’s been opening eyes on the coaching staff with solid, smart play.

On just the second day of camp, he showed his quickness in one-on-one drills with offensive tackle Trent Brown, getting around Brown with a nice spin move.

In two exhibition games he’s been in on five tackles and has a sack, and he’s coming off a performance in the second exhibition game, against Dallas, in which he looked very good and very active. SB Nation’s James Brady called him “pretty darn disruptive” vs. Dallas. In his first game, vs. Houston, he also was active, making three stops.

This week, Matt Barrows, who covers the 49ers for the Sacramento Bee, wrote that Rush “might get the hustle award” for this year’s training camp and has worked his way into at least being a candidate for the roster with Brooks’ status now in doubt.

“He’s definitely undersized for the position and looks more like an inside linebacker,” wrote Barrows. “But Rush never stops attacking and has made a handful of notable plays this offseason, including a sack (against Dallas).”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Former Seahawk Smith Appears Primed to Start at Linebacker]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 08:50:03 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/eshawkksmythe.jpg

Earlier this week, Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio publicly voiced his concern that outside linebacker Sio Moore – who’s been a big part of the Oakland defense the past two years – was losing precious time in his bid to hang on to his starting role.

Moore, who’s been fighting through a hip injury that has put him on the sideline, now appears to have lost his job to Malcolm Smith, the former Seattle Seahawk who was signed as a free agent this offseason.

“I think right now (Moore’s) competing to be a role player somewhere,” Del Rio told reporters. “We’ve got to make sure he can do that. … The team, we moved forward. We’ll see.”

But given the strong play of Smith during this training camp and two games of the exhibition season, it seems possible that he might have beaten out Moore even without the injury.

New Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. was his linebackers coach in Seattle and at USC and believes in him. Plus, Smith has looked very good as the weakside starter. In limited play over two games, Smith has four tackles, plus he’s brought a winning attitude, experience, smarts and leadership to the defense.

“I have known Malcolm for a long time,” Norton told the media this week. “I recruited him in high school when he was a running back, so we’ve been together for a while. He’s really smart, an economics major at USC, knows the game. If you can tell, he’s a guy that is always around the ball. He has a rabbit’s foot in his pocket. Good things always happen to him.

“You want players on your team that are smart, hard-working and have good luck. Good things happen. So Malcolm is a type of guy that you want on your squad.”

Smith showed off that luck in Super Bowl XLVIII when he was voted Most Valuable Player after returning an interception 69 yards for a touchdown, recovering a fumble and being in on nine tackles in Seattle’s victory over Denver.

During this camp, Del Rio said Smith “seems to come up with turnovers every day.”

“He understands what we’re trying to get done,” said Del Rio.

He and the rest of the Raiders linebacking corps will have two more exhibition games to get ready for the regular season, including Sunday night’s matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Files Suit Against Bulls Star Derrick Rose]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:17:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/GettyImages-458331240.jpg

A woman has filed a lawsuit against Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, claiming he and two friends drugged and gang-raped her.

The unidentified woman, who says she dated Rose from 2011 to 2013, says she was drugged at a Beverly Hills home and later attacked at her apartment.

Rose denied the woman's claims in a statement he released late Thursday.

"I am just focusing on staying healthy and getting ready for the season," he said. "I am not going to comment other than to say - I know the truth, and am confident I will be proven innocent.”

The lawsuit, which was first reported by TMZ Wednesday and made public Thursday, says the incident took place in August of 2013.

Rose’s spokesperson, Lisa Cohen, said on behalf of his legal team that the lawsuit is “nothing more than a desperate attempt to shake down a highly respected and successful athlete" and called the claims "outrageous."

"Two years have passed since Mr. Rose ended the consensual relationship with the plaintiff, and her claims are as meritless now as they were two years ago," she said. "We have complete confidence that the case will be dismissed and that Mr. Rose will be vindicated."

Cohen also claimed this is the third attorney the woman has hired in an attempt to sue Rose.

The Chicago Bulls released a statement on the issue Wednesday.

"We just learned about this matter and do not know all the facts,” the team said. “It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Rose’s agent could not immediately be reached for comment.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Edwards Showing Raiders He Can Rush the Passer]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 08:45:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/168*120/edwyrdzmyrio.jpg

In one play against the Vikings, Mario Edwards Jr. showed what he can bring to Oakland in 2015.

The rookie defensive end from Florida State got off the ball quickly, pushing Minnesota’s offensive tackle into the backfield, before spinning inside to get his hands on Vikings quarterback Taylor Heinicke. At the same time, rookie linebacker Ben Heeney also got his hands on Heinicke, who lost control of the football. Defensive lineman Shelby Harris pounced on the ball for a Raiders turnover.

The strip and half sack by Edwards are an encouraging sign for an Oakland defense that wants to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks this season. If Edwards can produce more pressure – and the Raiders believe he can – the entire defense will benefit.

Head coach Jack Del Rio said the game performance was indicative of how Edwards has improved over the course of training camp.

“I think he’s progressing very nicely, much improved week of practice, much improved outing in the game and definitely trending the way we want to see it go,” Del Rio told reporters this week. “Again, just want to see more, want to see continued effort and energy the way he provided it last week.”

Through two exhibition games, Edwards has two tackles and has shown a good power rush.

Edwards, who was considered somewhat of an underperformer in his Florida State career (just eight sacks in three seasons), said this spring that he’s out to produce in a big way for a team that took a chance on him in the second round.

Said Edwards: “They believed in me and they gave me an opportunity and a chance. That’s all I needed was an opportunity to go out there and prove myself.”

So far, he’s living up to his word.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Niners' Hunter Flashes Old Form vs. Broncos]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 08:36:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/huntkennrb.jpg

It’s been a slow road back for Kendall Hunter. Certainly slower than he had hoped.

After missing last year because of a torn ACL, Hunter predicted in the offseason that he would be 100 percent and ready to roll in training camp.

Yet he’s been mostly absent from summer scrimmages and missed the first two preseason games.

Now, however, it appears Hunter is getting closer.

This week, during joint 49ers-Broncos practices in Denver before Saturday night’s exhibition game, Hunter has come on strong. On Wednesday, he took snaps with the 49ers’ first-team offense and looked sharp.

Niners head coach Jim Tomsula obviously was pleased.

“Wasn’t he moving around really well?” he said to reporters afterward. “You know, it was great to see.”

Since joining the 49ers in 2011, Hunter has been a terrific element in the team’s rushing attack. He’s rushed for an average of 4.6 yards per carry and has given the offense a great change-of-pace back. He’s also averaged 9.9 yards per reception.

If Hunter is healthy, he’s a great complement to Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush and rookie Mike Davis.

The 49ers have been cautious about throwing Hunter into the mix – Wednesday’s practice against the Broncos wasn’t full contact – but Tomsula likes what he sees.

“You see him move, the burst and all that stuff,” he said. “Felt really good for Kendall. You know, and he’s been doing those things, but we wanted to get to this point here and then get him some more reps and get moving a little bit here.”

However, there seems to be some doubt about the 49ers carrying so many running backs. As Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle noted this week, it’s possible the 49ers may be forced to choose between Hunter and Davis – the first-year player from South Carolina who’s looked terrific in two exhibition games. He’s carried 11 times for 52 yards, a 4.7 average

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald Indicted on Rape Charges]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:03:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/th-may-25-ray-mcdonald-mug.jpg

Former San Francisco 49’ers and Chicago Bears defensive end Ray McDonald was indicted on Wednesday on one count of rape and on one count of violating a restraining order by a Santa Clara County Grand Jury, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

McDonald, who was signed by the Bears in March and released by the team after new domestic violence allegations surfaced against him a few months later, was accused of raping an intoxicated woman at a party in December 2014. The incident caused the 49’ers to release him, with the team citing a series of poor decision-making as the reason for the decision.

McDonald’s former teammate Ahmad Brooks was also indicted for his role in an incident at the same party, the newspaper reported.

If convicted on the rape charge, McDonald faces a maximum of eight years in prison, with another year possible with the restraining order violation charges.

]]>
<![CDATA[Grand Jury Indicts Ex-49ers Player Ray McDonald for Rape]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 18:45:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/raymcdonald2.jpg

A Santa Clara County grand jury has indicted former San Francisco 49ers lineman Ray McDonald on one count of rape of an intoxicated person.

The indictment stems from a Dec. 15, 2004 incident at McDonald's home.

The district attorney's office has also charged 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks with misdemeanor sexual battery. Authorities said the separate assaults occurred the same night against the same victim.

49ers General Manager Trent Baalke said on Wednesday that Brooks will not participate in Saturday's game against the Denver Broncos.

“The organization is aware that a misdemeanor charge has been filed against Ahmad Brooks stemming from a December 2014 matter," Baalke said in a statement. "We take any charge against a member of this organization seriously and are in communication with the NFL."

McDonald is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 25 at the Hall of Justice in San Jose and faces a maximum of eight years in prison. Brooks faces a maximum of six months in jail and will be arraigned at a later date, officials said.

The grand jury also indicted McDonald for a May 27 violation of the court’s domestic violence restraining order, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

The grand jury declined to indict McDonald on felony false imprisonment and other domestic violence misdemeanor charges stemming from a May 25 incident with another woman. The district attorney's office stated it plans to dismiss that criminal complaint.

More coverage on CSN Bay Area.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Still Seeking Depth at Safety]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 09:51:34 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/teemayzz.jpg

With two more exhibition games to play and the start of the regular season only three weeks away, the Raiders obviously aren’t satisfied with their depth at safety.

Veteran Charles Woodson, of course, is set at strong safety and free-agent addition Nate Allen is penciled in at free safety. The leading backups are Brandian Ross, Larry Asante and Jonathan Dowling.

Now several reports indicate that the team is signing free-agent veteran (and former 49er) Taylor Mays to add to the mix.

Mays, a second-round pick by the 49ers in 2010 out of USC (where he was a three-time All-America), would give the Raiders more depth and experience at the position. Mays recently was released by the Detroit Lions after playing four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.

With Cincinnati, Mays appeared in 50 games, with four starts. In one season with the 49ers, he started six games in 2010.

Bill Williamson of ESPN.com, who covers the Raiders, noted that Mays will join Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., who was on the coaching staff at USC when he was at the school.

Meanwhile, one young player in the Raiders’ safety group is starting to impress coaches with his play – and could earn more starting time in 2015.

Dowling, a seventh-round draft choice in 2014 from Western Kentucky who played seven games as a rookie (mostly on special teams), is coming off a solid game against the Vikings this past weekend.

Dowling made his first interception as a Raider while playing with the team’s second defensive unit. He’s also looked good in training camp this summer. In two exhibitions, he’s been in on two tackles.

In college, Dowling was a playmaker. The 6-foot-3 safety had a nose for the football. He had nine interceptions in 2012-2013, eight forced fumbles and 20 passes defensed. As he gets more snaps and experience this summer, he could earn more playing time in a secondary that’s still evolving.

He’ll get his next chance to make another good impression this Sunday night against the Arizona Cardinals.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Niners Excited by Jaquiski Tartt's Play and Potential]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 08:35:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/174*120/tarttsumrr.jpg

Jaquiski Tartt is unlikely to start at safety during the 2015 season. But after two exhibition games, it’s evident the second-round draft pick from Samford will make an impact on special teams and in a backup role with the 49ers.

In San Francisco’s 23-6 victory over the Cowboys this past weekend, Tartt played significant time at safety, recording two tackles and making a big hit on former 49ers receiver A.J. Jenkins.

And, as Oscar Aparicio of SB Nation noted this week, Tartt received a strong grade of +1.6 from the analytic website Pro Football Focus for his performance against Dallas, when he played roles as a traditional safety and as a hybrid safety/linebacker – near the line of scrimmage – in the nickel defense. Against Dallas he showed his versatility and intelligence, coming up to make stops while also breaking up a deep pass.

The week before, against the Texans, Tartt had six tackles, including one for a loss on a blitz.

Tartt also has been an eager special teams performer this summer. Recently, he told a writer for the 49ers website that he’s competing with L.J. McCray, another young safety, to see who can record the most tackles on special teams.

Eric Reid and Antoine Bethea will be the 49ers’ starters this season, with veteran Craig Dahl, Jimmie Ward and McCray also in the mix for playing time.

Tartt says he’s been picking the brains of his veteran teammates and trying to learn as much as he can. Before the Cowboys game, he said he’s just “grinding” this summer, learning the game and trying to improve.

He said playing in his first preseason game against the Texans gave him a feel for the NFL, which plays at a much faster pace than college football.

“It was the speed of the game,” he told Taylor Price of 49ers.com. “Going out there and scrimmaging in camp, I thought my first preseason game was going to be like that. But when I got into the game, it was a lot different. I feel like I adjusted towards the end.”

Before the draft, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report labeled Tartt as “an old-school hitter with impact potential … a monster at strong safety.” And Todd McShay of ESPN said Tartt is exceptional against the run, adding: “He gets in the box and drops the hammer.”

Tartt already is showing those qualities, which are likely to loom large in the rugged NFC West this season.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ESPN Pulls Former Red Sox Star From Air After Posts Compare Muslims Extremists to Nazis]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 07:50:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/138886369.jpg

ESPN has pulled Curt Schilling from the air after the former Red Sox and Phillies star posted a photo comparing Muslim extremists to Nazis on his social media accounts.

The photos, posted Tuesday, were deleted and Schilling apologized. ESPN announced that the company has removed Schilling as a broadcaster for the Little League World Series "pending further consideration.”

"Curt's tweet was completely unacceptable, and in no way represents our company's perspective," ESPN said in a statement.

Schilling issued an apology on Twitter, saying he understands his suspension and that the situation is "100% my fault." 

 

 He has also apologized to some online commenters individually.



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Niners' Offensive Line in Flux]]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 10:08:05 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/pearsaz9er.jpg

The 49ers came into training camp knowing their offensive line was a work in progress.

With the departure of left guard Mike Iupati, an injury to center Daniel Kilgore and the retirement of right tackle Anthony Davis, the Niners had some questions to answer.

For most of this training camp, former right guard Alex Boone has manned Iupati’s old spot, Joe Looney has been at center and Marcus Martin has been at right guard, alongside Erik Pears.

But after two preseason games, that lineup is looking shaky as a pass-protection unit. The 49ers are blocking well for the run, but not the pass.

Against the Cowboys Sunday, Martin gave up a pressure that led to a sack and Pears allowed a defensive lineman to get by on his inside, forcing quarterback Colin Kaepernick to throw the ball away.

When the starting unit has been on the field, Kaepernick has been under pressure. And, as Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee noted this week, the pressure primarily has come from the right side against Martin and Pears.

But head coach Jim Tomsula told reporters this week that the makeup of the starting offensive line is still to be determined. The coaching staff still wants to plug in players at various positions to see how they do.

“I like where they’re going, but I don’t want to tell anybody we’re settled,” Tomsula said Monday.

Martin will still get a shot to play center and Brandon Thomas, Joe Tiller, Ian Silberman and Jordan Devey (recently acquired from the Patriots) remain in the mix for a guard spot.

Said Tomsula: “We are not settled there (on the line). We’re getting closer. But you saw some guys, as we played there with the first two groups – even the third group.”

The 49ers will continue their shifting and experimenting on the line this week as they prepare for their third exhibition game, a matchup with the Broncos in Denver Saturday night.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trent Richardson May Not be a Raider For Long]]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 09:54:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/trentrichoakraid.jpg

When Trent Richardson signed with the Raiders this offseason, he was hopeful of getting a fresh start.

But after just two exhibition games, it’s looking more likely that he won’t get any start at all.

Richardson, the former Alabama All-America running back, is with his third team since 2012, when he was the No. 3 overall pick of the NFL draft. Though he was a punishing ballcarrier for the Crimson Tide, he’s fallen flat in the NFL, traded away by the Browns and released by the Colts.  In 46 pro games he has 614 carries for 2,032 yards – a 3.3-yard average. His longest run from scrimmage has been 32 yards, and that was in his rookie season.

Richardson, a 5-foot-9, 228-pounder, worked out hard this offseason to get lighter and quicker. He knew the Raiders might be his last chance to prove he’s an NFL running back. He vowed to win a starting job and be a longtime Raider.

“Hopefully, this is my last stop, and I’m going to do whatever I can to make this my last stop,” Richardson said when he signed with Oakland in March. “Until I’m ready to walk away from the game, I don’t want to leave here.”

Yet so far in training camp and two exhibition games, Richardson still looks like a slow back who’s lost his quickness and burst. Against the Vikings this past weekend, he had five carries for 5 yards. Against the Rams in Week 1 he had five rushes for 18 yards. That’s a 2.3-yard average on 10 attempts.

Meanwhile, his competition for a roster spot, former Auburn standout Michael Dyer, is looking terrific. The 5-foot-8, 218-pound rookie has been quick and effective in practices and games.

Against the Vikings he carried 12 times for 45 yards. The week before he had five rushes for 11 yards. He’s averaging 3.3 yards per attempt.

But Dyer is making an impression beyond his stats, according to head coach Jack Del Rio.

“Michael did what he has been doing,” Del Rio said after the Minnesota game. “He runs hard and is very determined. He has a little juice to him. He is showing up, making people miss and accelerating through some tackles and doing a pretty good job. He has come an awful long way from when he first came in here in the spring as a late addition. We’ll see. We’ll just keep working.”

Dyer has put the heat on Richardson. Unless Richardson starts showing some improvement – beginning with Sunday’s third preseason game against Arizona – his days on the Raiders roster appear to be numbered.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Files New Argument in Tom Brady Appeal]]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 03:47:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tom-brady-patriots-nfl.jpg

The NFL filed a new argument Monday in the Tom Brady appeal.

The letter, sent to Judge Richard Berman, questions the NFL Player's Association presentation during a hearing last week in which the NFLPA submitted a list of 19 examples of rulings in which a court vacated an arbitration award.

The NFLPA suggested those cases set legal precedent for the judge to throw out the NFL's decision to suspend Tom Brady for four games in response to his alleged role in Deflategate.

The NFL says those cases are not similar to the Tom Brady case.

Another hearing is set for next week in Brady's appeal. 



Photo Credit: WHDH]]>
<![CDATA[49ers Give Tour of Levi's Stadium Medical Facilities]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 17:48:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/49ERS-MEDICAL-TOUR-PKG---00002325.jpg Responding quickly to injuries on the field is critical. That's why, at every game, the Niners say they have at least 27 medical experts on the sidelines. Marianne Favro reports.]]> <![CDATA[Olympic Gymnastics Coach Suspected of Molestation]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 16:55:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-149434037.jpg

An Olympic gymnastics coach was arrested early Monday morning in Indianapolis on suspicion of child molestation, a spokeswoman for an Indiana prosecutor's office told NBC News.

Marvin Sharp has not formally been charged, said Marion County Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Peg McLeish, adding that her office is sharing its investigation with federal authorities.

NBC affiliate WTHR reported that the investigation began with a complaint from a female gymnast at Sharp's Gymnastics Academy, and that USA Gymnastics is cooperating with the investigation. On Sunday evening, detectives searching for child pornography removed computers and other electronic devices from Sharp's home, the station reported.



Photo Credit: File - Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[49ers 2015-16 Season Photos]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:39:03 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-485068262_594_screen.jpg Photos from the San Francisco 49ers 2015-16 season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Very Good Night for 49ers at Levi's Stadium]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 12:03:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/purcelltdvsdallas.jpg

There was much to like about the 49ers’ second exhibition game of 2015.

For starters, the Niners won Sunday night 23-6 over the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium, thanks in part to a pair of unusual touchdowns: a rumbling 37-yard interception return by big nose tackle Mike Purcell and Quinton Patton’s recovery of a blocked put in the end zone.

Plus, inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman – one of the keys to the 49ers’ defense this season – made his return to the field for the first time since the NFC Championship Game of January of 2014. Bowman, who’s coming back from knee surgery and a long rehab, was in for just the first three plays on defense yet was in on three tackles.

But for the second week in a row, Jarryd Hayne stole the show.

The former Australian rugby star – who was a sensation last week in his debut against the Texans – was terrific as both a punt returner and running back. He went into training camp as a long shot to make the opening-game roster, but now seems certain to be a part of the team in September.

He returned three punts against the Cowboys Sunday night, including one for 34 yards, and averaged 28 yards per return. On one, he made a great over-the-shoulder catch. Each time, he made defenders miss in space.

Then, he carried the ball eight times as a running back for 54 yards, including one 34-yard burst.

The excitement Hayne has generated in two games has been as impressive as his performance. His first 18 touches, noted Chris Wesseling of NFL.com, produced 235 yards and let the entire NFL know he has the speed, vision and moves to be extremely dangerous in the open field.

Last week, 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula counseled the media not to get too excited about him after just one NFL game.

But after two great performances, it’s probably OK for the 49ers and their fans to start thinking that Hayne could have a big, positive impact on San Francisco’s fortunes this coming season.

Wrote Wesseling: “Even if coach Jim Tomsula continues to tamp down the hype, the question has gone from whether Hayne will make the final roster to whether he will hit the ground running as one of the NFL’s most effective return specialists.”

]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Get a Glimpse of What Carr-to-Cooper Can Mean]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 06:30:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*124/carrvikessumr.jpg

The Raiders took a 20-12 loss to the Vikings Saturday night in their second exhibition game of the summer.

The game will be remembered not for the loss, however, but for two things: the lightning strikes that forced the game’s suspension before halftime and the 40-yard strike from quarterback Derek Carr to rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper.

For Raiders fans eager for more offense in 2015, the Carr-to-Cooper connection was a thing of beauty and a possible preview of coming attractions.

On the Raiders’ second possession late in the first quarter, they had the ball on the Vikings’ 48 with a first-and-10. Carr took the snap out of the shotgun, looked to the right and threw long to Cooper, loping down the sideline with separation from veteran cornerback Terrance Newman. Cooper caught the ball in stride and was forced out at the 8-yard line.

Two plays later, Latavius Murray scored on a 2-yard run to give the Raiders and early 6-0 lead.

Carr finished the night 4-of-8 for 78 yards, averaging 9.75 yards per attempt – a big jump from last year’s season average of 5.5, the lowest in the NFL among starters.

By adding Cooper, the All-American from Alabama, and ex-49er Michael Crabtree, the Raiders are hoping Carr will have the resources to throw deep more effectively in 2015 than they did last season.

Last week, Carr completed three passes to Cooper in his exhibition debut, and said it was “awesome” to have a receiver of his caliber in silver and black.

“I knew I wanted to get him some touches,” Carr said then. “I want to get him as many as we can in the preseason.”

Then, against the Vikings Saturday night, Carr and Cooper connected in a big way, for 40 yards.

Wrote Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith Saturday night after watching the big gain: “It’s been a long time since the Raiders have given their fans anything to be optimistic about, but in Carr and Cooper, they have the cornerstone of what could be a great offense for many years to come.”

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top Sports Photos 2015]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 05:12:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/topSports-AP_815986155748.jpg Click to see dramatic game action photos from professional football, hockey, basketball, baseball and more.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Pearl Harbor Vet Throws 1st Pitch]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 07:46:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/WW+II+Veterans+1st+Pitch.jpg

The oldest survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor threw the ceremonial first pitch Sunday before the San Diego Padres game at Petco Park.

Raymond Chavez, 103, who served on the U.S. Navy coastal minesweeper USS Condor, was joined by Jack Paris, who served on the U.S. Navy battleship USS Colorado and was on it in Tokyo Bay when Japan surrendered to end World War II.

Chavez threw his pitch to reliever Kevin Quackenbush while Paris threw his to coach Dave Roberts. The crowd of more than 30,000 gave both men a standing ovation for their effort and to thank them for their service.

The Padres have a longstanding tradition of honoring the Military at home games on Sundays.

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Padres 10-3, hampering their attempt to sweep their third series this season and second in a row.

]]>
<![CDATA[Watch: Swiss Cliff Jumper Laso Schaller's Epic Plunge]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 13:16:24 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/schaller.jpg

Famed jumper Laso Schaller made headlines for setting "a new cliff-jump world record" when dramatic video of him plunging nearly 200 feet into a pool of water was released on Aug. 18.

But a technicality will keep the Swiss 27-year-old out of the official record books — the feat is too dangerous for Guinness.

During the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, Schaller completed a 192.9-foot jump into a 26-foot-deep pool of water. Red Bull, which sponsors the event, said he set a record.

Guinness World Records no longer monitors that category “due to the obvious dangers involved and the inadvisability of sanctioning such a record,” a spokesperson said.

Though Guinness doesn't track cliff-jumping anymore, they do keep a record of who has the most Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series titles. Four-time winner Gary Hunt is the current record holder.

Red Bull, which sponsors the event, has not yet responded for comment.

Even with Schaller’s experience, there was a lot of extra preparation needed to make the jump.

His team built a platform that extended out from the top of the waterfall to clear a rock wall for the jump, according to a blog post from Red Bull. The team also explored the pool using scuba gear and placed six aerating tanks in his projected landing area to "soften" the water.

Schaller, a canyon guide and athlete by trade, regularly participates in high-dive shows, which involve jumping roughly 80 feet, 20 times in a day.


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Hayne Gets Another Chance to Put on a Show]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 11:36:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/jarrydedbuttt.jpg

There will be plenty to watch in the 49ers’ second exhibition game Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys.

But one of the most intriguing questions is this: What can Jarryd Hayne do for an encore?

Hayne, the 27-year-old former Australian football star in his first year with the Niners, had a dazzling debut last week with a big game against the Houston Texans.

He had 120 total yards counting kickoff and punt returns and carries from scrimmage – including a 53-yard breakaway.

He showed great open-field ability, a strong stiff arm and fearlessness.

After the game, 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula said he wasn’t surprised, especially by Hayne’s ability to make plays once he burst into the open field.

“He can play in space,” Tomsula told the media. “He’s a premier athlete in the world of space.”

Yet despite his breakout game, Hayne remains a bubble player. His place on the 49ers’ opening-day roster isn’t secured. Veteran running back Reggie Bush likely is the team’s best return man, and the running back corps is deep with Carlos Hyde, Bush, Kendall Hunter and rookie Mike Davis, among others.

Plus, the 49ers know Hayne’s performance came in just one summer exhibition. The coaching staff wants to see a bigger sample size, which will include Sunday’s 5 p.m. game vs. Dallas.

“He has a lot of natural ability, but let’s …. We have to be realistic, too,” said 49ers special teams coach Thomas McGaughey Jr. this week. “That was the first preseason game. So it’s not like we’re playing in Week 8 or going down the stretch. He’s got a long way to go, he’s doing some good things and hopefully he’ll continue down that path.”

If Hayne should again look dynamic against the Cowboys, however, it would be another indication that San Francisco has something to look forward to in the athletic, fun-to-watch Hayne – especially after a brutal offseason that included a change in coaching staffs and the loss of many key players through free agency, retirement and release.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Carr's 2015 Exhibition Debut Lacked Something]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 11:42:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/186*120/carrexhib2.jpg

In his first preseason game last week against the Rams, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr  didn’t play much.

In his brief time in the game, he looked mostly comfortable and efficient. He completed six of his nine throws for 43 yards, but was intercepted in the end zone on his final play, as he tried to force the ball into a receiver.

But as Carr heads into summer game No. 2 Saturday night against the Minnesota Vikings, there is one concern: Carr’s yards per attempt.

Last season as a rookie, Carr averaged an NFL-low 5.5 yards per pass attempt. Some critics contended Carr rarely challenged defenses with the deep ball. Some of that, of course, was attributed to his inexperience and his less-than-stellar receiving corps.

Yet against the Rams last week, Carr averaged just 4.7 yards per attempt.

This season he has standout rookie Amari Cooper and veteran Michael Crabtree as his starting wideouts, and in practices, Carr routinely has been connecting with each for big plays.

Though it’s only a preseason game in Minnesota Saturday, many Raiders fans likely will want to see evidence that this new-look Raiders attack under Jack Del Rio and Bill Musgrave will include more Carr taking shots down the field.

Certainly, the Raiders coaching staff believes Carr has the talent and arm strength to do it.

At Fresno State, too, Carr often stretched the field with deep throws. One NFL head coach, who watched a lot of tape on Carr before the 2014 draft, told a reporter that he loved Carr’s ability to throw long, saying he was “almost Elway-like the way he banged 50-yard throws. Man, he can spin the ball.”

This spring, Del Rio promised the Raiders passing game would be more daring.

“I think he throws a a great deep ball, and we didn’t throw that many here last year,” Del Rio said. “We’re going to throw some this year, so you’re going to have to cover the deep field.”

No doubt many Raiders fans are looking for a hint of that Saturday night against the Vikings.

 

]]>
<![CDATA[Women's World Cup Hero to Pen Book]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 06:57:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Carli+Lloyd+golden+Ball+Womens+World+Cup.jpg

World Cup soccer star Carli Lloyd, whose three goals in the 2015 final led the U.S. to a 5-2 victory over Japan, has a book deal.

The 33-year-old Lloyd is working on a memoir that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will release in fall 2016. The publisher announced Thursday that the book, currently untitled, will cover her rise from nearly quitting soccer in 2003 and her emphasis on physical and mental strength. An edition for young readers also is planned.

Earlier this summer, the midfielder and Olympic gold medalist scored six goals in seven women's World Cup matches, including a hat trick against Japan.

In a statement released through Houghton Mifflin, Lloyd says she looks forward to sharing her thoughts on a "long journey, sometimes rewarding, sometimes challenging, but worth every moment."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gymnast's New Routine for Rio '16]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 19:26:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/082015+danell+leyva.jpg

One look at Olympic gymnast Danell Leyva and you'll notice the changes.

"He's way better than he was in 2012," said Leyva's coach and step-father, Yin Alvarez.

America fell in love with the 20-year-old from Miami at the London Olympics, where he won Bronze in the Men's All-Around. But since then, Leyva's grown up, physically and mentally.

Now 23, and training for another Olympic run in Rio de Janeiro, Leyva is noticeably leaner, yet stronger. His teeth are adorned with braces. But maybe the most important change in Leyva, is that he's happier.

"Right after the games I was like, 'Man you have to do this, I need to do this, to prove to myself, to prove to these people,'" Leyva said. "And now I have a completely different mentality. I want to do this. I can't wait to do this."

Leyva finished a disappointing sixth at the P&G Championships last week, but was still selected for the U.S. National Team competing at the World Championships in Scotland in October.

And if you know anything about Leyva, who defected from Cuba to Miami at age one, you wouldn't count him out.

He trains six days a week at Universal Gymnastics in West Kendall, a gym owned by his parents. His face and the Olympic rings are all over signs greeting you at the gym. And he serves as an inspiration to the next generation of Olympic hopefuls who come from all over the world to train with Alvarez.

"It's always funny to see that initial reaction, when they realize, 'Wait that was you?'" Leyva said. "I'm like, 'Yeah it's me. They're like that's so cool, I saw you on TV.'"

Leyva said the youngsters inspire him too. He's increased the difficulty of his all his routines. He's also eating healthier now. The days of consuming big bowls of Reese's Puffs for breakfast are gone from his diet, though the 20-year-old Leyva loved them.

"It's not that I can't eat it, I can still put it down no problem," Leyva explained. "I just know it's not helpful, not good for me, so I choose not to."

After a shoulder injury in 2013, Leyva was off the team for the World Championships, but he bounced back. Now, he's confident he'll be there in Rio representing Team USA in 2016. 

But while Leyva isn't getting ahead of himself, his bombastic coach will.

"I [don't] believe that he's only going to be in Rio," Alvarez said. "I believe he's going to win the gold medal in Rio. This is his year. This is his time."

When he's not training in West Kendall, Leyva's spending a lot of time these days working on his next athletic endeavor: soccer. Leyva said he hopes to play professionally when he's done with gymnastics. A long shot? Sure, but Leyva's heard that before.



Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Ward Eager to Find His Spot in 49ers' Secondary]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 10:12:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/jiaywhardsafe.jpg

Jimmie Ward’s NFL career has hit a few bumps going into his second NFL season.

The 49ers’ surprising top draft pick in 2014, Ward – a safety from Northern Illinois – was projected as a slot/nickel cornerback by general manager Trent Baalke, and started his rookie season at that spot.

But his season ended after just eight games when he suffered a fractured foot. The resulting surgery and rehab also kept him out of most of the offseason team practices and delayed the start to his training camp participation.

Now Ward is back in uniform, practicing with the team as it gets set for its second exhibition game of the summer against the Cowboys Sunday night.

He began practicing Tuesday, with all of his work coming as a safety with the second- and third-team units, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

It now appears that Ward is most likely to be used at safety and on special teams rather than at nickel corner, where Tramaine Brock – the team’s No. 1 cornerback – is likely to play when the 49ers face three-receiver sets.

Ward says he’s not worried about that. He’s just intent on working hard to get back in shape, catch up and start producing when he’s on the field – wherever he is.

“It’s football. If he can take the spot, he can have it,” Ward told Barrows, of Brock’s competition at nickel corner. “I’m going to have to fit my way in somewhere else.”

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>