During his first stint with the 49ers, Brandon Lloyd wanted to be a rap star. Now in his second go-around with the team, he wants to be a teacher, something for which – unlike his rap career – he is receiving positive reviews.

During his first stint with the 49ers, Brandon Lloyd wanted to be a rap star. On his second go-around with the team, he wants to be a teacher, something for which – unlike his rap career – he is receiving positive reviews.

Levi’s Stadium, which will get broken in Saturday when the MLS San Jose Earthquakes host the Seattle Sounders, will be the sight of an even bigger soccer match later this year. The 49ers announced today that the Mexican National Team, which has a huge following in Northern California, will play against Chile on Sept. 6. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Chris Cook had an interception in today's practice. That normally wouldn't be momentous enough news to lead off a notebook, except for the fact that interceptions have been Cook's nemesis thus far in his career.

The 49ers received a reinforcement to their dwindling running backs corps in the form of Alfonso Smith, who spent the last four seasons with the division rival Arizona Cardinals, typically entering games on third downs.

Eric Mangini may not have had experience coaching tight ends before the year began, but he already was quite familiar with his most prominent pupil.

See what The Bee's Matt Barrows had to say during Monday's a live chat focusing on the 49ers, who are in camp and in pads, beginning earnest preparation for the upcoming NFL season.

All offseason, Jim Harbaugh has talked about how the defensive line is a “position of strength” for the 49ers. That's been on display over the last two days of padded practice, including on Sunday.

Poor Jonathan Martin.

LaMichael James, who Sunday morning appeared poised to become the 49ers’ No. 2 running back because of Kendall Hunter’s injury, suffered a dislocated elbow in practice in the afternoon and will miss about a month.

LaMichael James, who yesterday appeared poised to become the 49ers’ No. 2 running back due to Kendall Hunter’s injury, suffered a dislocated elbow in practice today and will miss a month. Suddenly the 49ers, who had one of the deepest and most intriguing running-back groups in the NFL when training camp began Thursday, are thin at the position.

During Saturday's practice, Tramaine Brock showed why the 49ers felt comfortable moving on from long-time starting cornerbacks Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown in the offseason.

The 49ers activated two draft picks from injury lists -- outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, who suffered a hamstring strain in the spring, and center Marcus Martin, who rolled his ankle prior to training camp.

Marcus Lattimore has missed the first three days of training camp after taking part in practices in May and June. But 49ers general manager Trent Baalke insists the running back has not encountered a setback in his return from reconstructive knee surgery.

The 49ers expect Commissioner Roger Goodell to decide on a punishment for outside linebacker Aldon Smith before the regular season and perhaps before the team’s Aug. 7 preseason opener at Baltimore.

Earlier this year, the 49ers’ LaMichael James was pining to be traded from a team on which he received scant carries last season and had a glut of running backs.

Earlier this year LaMichael James was eager to be traded from a team on which he received scant carries last season and on which there was a glut of running backs.

Greg Roman says the 49ers work on screen plays in practice and they “always have them in our back pocket.” This year, there might be a better opportunity to move them from the back pocket to the play list.

Kendall Hunter suffered an ACL tear when he went down early in Friday’s practice, multiple sources have confirmed this morning. The fourth-year running back’s right knee buckled after catching a swing pass. It’s the second severe injury Hunter, who has been Frank Gore’s main backup since 2011, has suffered in as many years.

Eric Mangini may not have had experience coaching tight ends before the year began, but he was already quite familiar with his most prominent pupil.

Ask Jim Harbaugh about one of his players, and you get an avalanche of praise whether warranted or not. Ask Vic Fangio about a player, and you get a frank answer. Which is why the 49ers’ defensive coordinator’s response about first-round pick Jimmie Ward on Friday was worth noting.

The second full practice of training camp was marked by an injury to running back Kendall Hunter. After catching a quick swing pass from Blaine Gabbert, Hunter tried to juke incoming Perrish Cox, but his right knee locked up and Hunter went to the ground.

Vernon Davis made his offseason debut on Thursday, but the most prominent tight end on the field was his understudy. Vance McDonald had perhaps the catch of the day -- a leaping sideline grab over Antoine Bethea -- and looked solid throughout the session.

Ask Jim Harbaugh about one of his players and you get an avalanche of praise whether the player warrants it or not. Ask Vic Fangio about a player and you get a frank answer.

Here’s the transcript from Jim Harbaugh’s first press conference of training camp that was provided by the 49ers public relations staff. Apparently, he really enjoyed his own birth. The event was the first for Harbaugh in the team’s new spacious auditorium on the ground floor of Levi’s Stadium. -- Matt Barrows

'First impressions' was one of the themes of the opening practice of 49ers training camp today. And no one made a better one than first-round draft pick Jimmie Ward, who was coming back from a Jones' fracture (foot) this spring and didn't get on the field until recently.

Aldon Smith said Thursday he will meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in New York some time in the “near future” to discuss the incidents for which he was sentenced last week, but a date has not been set. Goodell will decide on any suspension for Smith, the 49ers’ top pass rusher, shortly thereafter.

Asked how he’ll deal with a challenge from a phalanx of young and talented running backs this year, the 49ers’ Frank Gore turned toward his questioner, smiled and said, “I’m from Miami, man.”

Jim Harbaugh said the 49ers “hit it out of the park” when it came to Wednesday’s conditioning test with everyone receiving a passing grade. But a number of players, including one prominent young player and four draft picks, didn’t take part due to injuries.

Aldon Smith today said he will meet with Commissioner Roger Goodell in New York some time in the “near future” to discuss the incidents for which he was sentenced last week but that a date has not been set. Goodell is expected to decide on any suspension for Smith, the 49ers' top pass rusher, shortly thereafter.

Vernon Davis’ training camp holdout ended before it began.

The 49ers kick off training camp with another stacked and established roster, and as usual few starting spots are in doubt. But there is at least some intrigue. Injuries and right guard Alex Boone’s holdout make the summer competition a bit spicier than in recent years. The first practice is at 2:30 p.m. today. Here are the top battles:

If Justin Smith wasn’t his usual havoc-causing self last season, there was a good reason.

Asked how he’ll deal with a challenge from a phalanx of young and talented running backs this year, Frank Gore today smiled and said, “I’m from Miami, man.”

Vernon Davis is in the building.

Where have you gone, 2011 49ers? New coach. Plucky attitude. Made-for-Lifetime-Channel story lines. But today, the 49ers report to training camp, and that levity is gone. It’s no longer fun; it’s business.

The competition between Marcus Lattimore and Carlos Hyde, both of whom were big-time running backs in big-time conferences, has captured the imagination of fans and fantasy football pundits alike. I know I've done at least two national radio interviews in the last week where that has been a hot topic.

The 49ers have built the first sports stadium in the country to be awarded LEED Gold status upon completion, owner Jed York announced on Monday via Twitter. A LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is recognized as the premier mark of achieving environmentally friendly architecture. The Ravens -- whom the 49ers will visit next month -- have the NFL’s only other LEED Gold building. They got it by retrofitting M&T Bank Stadium last year.

We continue to examine the 49ers’ most intriguing training-camp battles today with a look at what has been one of the most stable spots in recent years, the offensive line.

Over the next three days, I’ll try to hit on the most intriguing battles in 49ers training camp, which gets underway with a Thursday practice.

For the last 100 years, the Florida town of Pahokee’s most valuable commodity was thought to be its soil. The 49ers’ Anquan Boldin, a native son, believes its people will be its salvation. And the hope is that the kids who escape Pahokee and its poverty don’t leave forever but, like him, return to help lift it from the muck.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was sentenced Friday to serve three years of probation and to spend 11 days with a work crew after he pleaded no contest to drunken driving and weapons charges.

The 49ers placed Ian Williams, who began last season as their starter at nose tackle, on the physically-unable-to-perform list today. Williams was injured early in the second game of the season when he was cut block by Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy. The hit did not result in a penalty at the time, but it would this year after a rule was passed in the offseason that penalizes blockers from rolling up on the back or side of the legs of a defender.

Five former NFL players, including six-time Pro Bowl defensive end Neil Smith, are suing the union for not providing accurate information about the risk of head injuries.

The NFL will limit the number of underclassmen who can receive evaluations for the draft to five from a single school, although special exceptions will be allowed.

The 49ers on Thursday placed eight players on various injury lists, including seven members of this year's 12-man draft class. One name that was notably absent, however, was first-round pick Jimmie Ward.

The NFL draft is leaving New York after 49 years.

The 49ers on Thursday announced a two-year extension for tackle Joe Staley that will keep him in a red-and-gold uniform through the 2019 season.

Of the 49ers' two potential training-camp holdouts, one has a stronger argument than the other. Whereas Vernon Davis currently is the fourth highest-paid tight end in the NFL, you'd have to drop far down the list of starting guards to find Alex Boone's name.

Vernon Davis is now the fourth highest-paid tight end in the league. As expected, the Saints’ Jimmy Graham now leads the way at the position after agreeing to a four-year deal that, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, is worth as much as $40 million.

Reports last week linked the 49ers to Darius Lipford, a linebacker who played at North Carolina and who was among the players who went unclaimed in last week’s supplemental draft. Lipford (6-2, 255) may indeed end up signing with San Francisco, but first he will work out for the team, according to a league source. Lipford is flying to the West Coast today and will work out on Tuesday.

Aldon Smith will not be charged with making a bomb threat at Los Angeles International Airport in April. Instead, the 49ers linebacker is expected to attend a hearing later this month to explain his side and to receive advice on how to avoid similar circumstances in the future.

Aldon Smith will not be charged with making a bomb threat at Los Angeles International Airport in April. Instead, the 49ers linebacker is expected to attend a hearing later this month to explain his side of the story and to receive advice on how to avoid similar circumstances in the future.

As he has throughout the offseason, Jim Harbaugh last week discussed how the defensive line was a 49ers' strength in 2014. Then he ticked off the players who lined up there this spring.

The 49ers have the best inside-linebacker tandem in the game, they drafted an inside linebacker last year and they took one in the third round this year. The middle of their defense runneth over with linebackers, and still Shayne Skov chose the 49ers from the list of teams vying for him.

First the bad news for aspiring, young safeties on the 49ers: The team lost one safety during the offseason (Donte Whitner) while gaining two (Antoine Bethea and Jimmie Ward). That's difficult math to overcome on perhaps the most talent-laden roster in the league.

This is the first entry in a series on 49ers underdogs -- players who aren't household names but who have a solid, puncher's chance to land a spot on perhaps the most talented roster in the league.

Quarterbacks don't like watching their passes end up in the hands of a defender, but in this case McLeod Bethel-Thompson was happy to make an exception.

The spring semester is over for the 49ers and school’s out until training camp begins next month. Here were the top story lines for the just-ended sessions:

Minicamp is over for the 49ers, and The Bee's Matt Barrows is ready to discuss what was revealed about the team and its players during the pre-summer workouts. Join him for a live chat at 11 a.m. today for questions and answers.

At the close of the 49ers' minicamp yesterday, Jim Harbaugh began his press conference by praising LaMichael James, Kendall Hunter, Blaine Gabbert, Brandon Lloyd and Bruce Ellington for their efforts this spring. Then he went on to name just about everyone else on the roster.

SANTA CLARA – Michael Crabtree averaged 61 receiving yards a game and helped lift the 49ers’ foundering passing attack when he returned from his Achilles injury Dec. 1.

SANTA CLARA Coach Jim Harbaugh was in a charitable mood Thursday, ending his team’s final practice of the spring 35 minutes early and then handing out 59 certificates and T-shirts to the players who achieved perfect attendance during the 49ers’ offseason program.

Jim Harbaugh was in a charitable mood Thursday, ending his team's final practice of the spring 35 minutes early and then handing out 59 congratulatory certificates to the players who achieved perfect attendance during the 49ers' offseason program.

Michael Crabtree averaged 61 receiving yards a game and helped lift the 49ers' floundering passing attack when he returned from his Achilles' injury on Dec. 1. But his teammates said that despite the near miraculous recovery – Crabtree completely tore the Achilles' on May 21 – he never was himself last season, including during his showndown with Richard Sherman in the NFC Championship game.

Some of you have asked whether, given that 300-plus-pound Lawrence Okoye is one of the fastest players on the team, he could land a roster spot solely as a special teams ace in the way that guys like Blake Costanzo and Bubba Ventrone have in the past. Here’s Jim Harbaugh’s answer to that question:

Vernon Davis isn't attending minicamp. And two of the 49ers' top three (expected) wide receivers – Michael Crabtree and Stevie Johnson – aren't taking part in anything beyond team drills. So it might be expected that the defense has the upper hand on the offense in mid June.

SANTA CLARA – Tank Carradine picked up a few things in the 49ers’ film room last season, and he learned some tricks of the trade from watching teammates such as Justin Smith, whom he’ll likely relieve at times this year.

Jim and John Harbaugh may live on opposite sides of the country, but the brothers will be seeing an awful lot of each other this summer.

Tank Carradine picked up a few things in the film room last season and he learned some tricks of the trade from watching teammates like Justin Smith, whom he'll likely relieve at times this year.

The 49ers just wrapped up Day 1 of their mandatory minicamp, and while everyone on the team (not named Vernon Davis and Alex Boone) was on hand, there were a number of players who didn't practice. Long-time veterans Justin Smith and Frank Gore, for example, continued their OTA habit of working out at the team facility but not going through practice.

Last year at this time, Vernon Davis was blowing past 49ers defensive backs and hauling in one deep ball after another.

Two of the no-shows at 49ers minicamp Tuesday – tight end Vernon Davis and guard Alex Boone – were expected. The third was not. “Eric Wright is not here,” coach Jim Harbaugh said of the team’s backup cornerback. “I believe he’s making a decision not to play football.” Later in the day, Wright, 28, filed retirement paperwork with the NFL

There were three no-shows for the 49ers mandatory minicamp today. Two of them – tight end Vernon Davis and guard Alex Boone – were expected. The third was not.

Will he or won’t he show up for today’s mandatory minicamp? Vernon Davis had been sending mixed signals, and as recently as last week he said he would take part in the 49ers’ three-day session. It turns out that the team’s tight end did not show up on time, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

SANTA CLARA Ah, mid-June in the NFL, when the newsiest items involve contract negotiations, courtroom hearings and more contract negotiations.

For the last few weeks, Vernon Davis' possible contract holdout was a bit fuzzy. After all, the only practice sessions he missed were voluntary (which meant it was not an official holdout), the only thing the tight end forfeited was a $200,000 workout bonus, and in a series of recent interviews he said he might, then he said he would, attend the team’s first mandatory session that begins Tuesday.

The 49ers are not one of the 10 teams who have inquired about cornerback Brandon Flowers, whom the Chiefs cut on Friday. Flowers was a six-year starter who made the Pro Bowl in 2013, but the Chiefs will save as much as $7.25 million in salary-cap space with his release.

There's been plenty going on this spring for the San Francisco 49ers, and The Bee's Matt Barrows had plenty to say about that and other issues surrounding the team.

There are plenty of rumblings that the United States could get a second crack at hosting the 2022 World Cup now that the decision to allow Qatar to run the tournament is under review. The U.S. finished second in bidding to Qatar, which is being accused of essentially buying the bid.

Investigators in Miami found no evidence that a crime occurred in 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s hotel room on April 1 in what turns out to be a bizarre case brought by a 25-year-old Atlanta woman who had to be sedated and strapped to a stretcher while screaming about devils.

Both Jim Harbaugh and George Whitfield have been called “The Quarterback Whisperer” at various points in the last few years. That alone says a lot about Harbaugh adding Whitfield to his staff as an intern this spring and summer. That is, some football coaches can be – loud cough -- a wee bit territorial. They want another coach tinkering with one of their players as much as a master painter wants another artist adding a few bold flourishes to their latest piece.

Sarah Harbaugh, who in January admitted to throwing away her husband's pleated, $8 khaki pants he bought at Wal-Mart, has gone a step further. Just in time for Father's Day, the wife of the 49ers' head coach filmed a PSA – a hilarious PSA – advocating Dockers for those families who have dealt with a bad-dad-pants situation like hers.

Veteran safety Antoine Bethea, who signed a four-year free-agent contract, will take over for departed Donte Whitner.

Here are the official numbers for Colin Kaepernick's new contract. The deal averages $19 million overall and $18.666 over the first three years. See where his average per-year-total ranks among quarterbacks.

Colin Kaepernick's new found wealth hasn't affected his attire – at least above the ankles. The 49ers quarterback arrived at his press conference today wearing a black 49ers t-shirt and gray workout shorts.

The 49ers and Colin Kaepernick have reached agreement on a record-breaking six-year contract extension that will lock in the quarterback through the 2020 season. The two sides met all day Tuesday as well as today in Santa Clara. The deal is worth as much as $126 million, according to two sources who have seen the contract. The $61 million guarantee is the largest ever in NFL.

The tall, skinny quarterback with the oddball delivery who didn’t get any attention from the big colleges coming out of Turlock signed one of the NFL’s biggest deals Wednesday.

Et tu, NFL?

Reading time, two minutes ....

Vernon Davis on Wednesday admitted he was watching Jimmy Graham's contract situation closely and was rooting for the Saints tight end, er, wide receiver to come out a winner. The Saints placed the franchise tag on Graham this year at the tight end rate. He argues that he should be tagged as a receiver, a figure nearly $5.3 million greater.

During OTA practices a year ago, Lawrence Okoye was a physical specimen. Today he looks more like a football player.

The catch of the day in Tuesday’s OTA session was turned in not by a wide receiver or a tight end but by a quarterback. Lined up as a wideout during seven-on-seven drills, Josh Johnson had a dazzling reception along the end line of the end zone on a ball he wrestled from rookie corner Dontae Johnson.

Blake Costanzo, the charismatic special-teams standout who became both a fan- and locker-room favorite in 2011, is back with the team after agreeing to a one-year deal. Costanzo left for Chicago as a free agent early in 2012, and the 49ers’ special-teams coverage units dipped that season.

The 49ers, who on Sunday received enough salary-cap relief to accommodate a contract extension for Colin Kaepernick, wasted no time reviving long-dormant discussions with the quarterback’s representatives.

The 49ers, who on Sunday received enough salary-cap relief to accommodate a contract extension for Colin Kaepernick, are wasting no time rekindling discussions with the quarterback's representatives. According to a source close to the situation, the two sides will meet this week in Santa Clara.

Blake Costanzo, a special teams standout who became a fan favorite in 2011, is back with the team after agreeing to a one-year deal, agent David Canter confirmed this morning. Costanzo left for Chicago as a free agent early in 2012 and the 49ers’ special teams coverage units dipped that season. They rebounded last year with a core of players that included Ray “Bubba” Ventrone, Kassim Osgood and C.J. Spillman.

At the same time the 49ers received a salary-cap boost that will allow them to handle a long-term extension for quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the Miami investigation involving Kaepernick and two other plays entered its third month. Police there said they are waiting on a key piece of information.

The Saints and former 49ers center Jonathan Goodwin reportedly have agreed on a short-term contract, multiple outlets out of New Orleans are reporting today. Goodwin anchored the 49ers' offensive line for the last three seasons but was not expected back this season. His former job likely will go to veteran Daniel Kilgore or third-round draft pick Marcus Martin this season.

Investigators in Miami are waiting on information in the investigation involving Colin Kaepernick, Quinton Patton and Ricardo Lockette before deciding how to proceed, a spokesman with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office said Friday.

MATTHEW 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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Note: The 49ers blog switched blog platforms in May 2014. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.


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