A recap of the day’s activities:
The 49ers. Really. On a day when Tim Ruskell stepped down as president of football operations/general manager, the players practiced and went to meetings and carried on with business as usual – even when it wasn’t on the floor above them at the team’s headquarters.
“I don’t know if anything changes for the guys in the locker room,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said after practice – a practice Ruskell watched from the sideline, as usual; before talking to the team afterward, which was not the norm.
“I wasn’t there when you guys had your press conference. We weren’t there. We were firing away. We had a meeting at 8 o’clock this morning where we were kind of told what happened. That meeting was about five, 10 minutes, and then we got right on to playing the 49ers.”
That would be Sunday’s opponent at Qwest Field – a San Francisco team that beat the Seahawks 23-10 in Week 2 and is a game ahead of the Seahawks for second place in the NFC West. It’s the first of what is now a five-game season, and it’s also another chance for the players to impress upon whoever might replace Ruskell that they deserve to be part of next year’s team.
“We all know what’s at stake,” Hasselbeck said. “Every single guy in that locker room realizes, just like every other year, how you play will determine your status for the next year – whether you’re in this league or not; or whether you’re starting or not; or whether you on this team or not.
“So that’s unchanged.”
The official report, as released by the team:
DID NOT PRACTICE
DE Lawrence Jackson (groin)
LB D.D. Lewis (knee)
DL Cory Redding (concussion)
RB Julius Jones (chest)
C Chris Spencer (thumb)
No changes from Wednesday, with Darryl Tapp working at right end for Jackson and Jones getting the starter reps after missing the past two games.
The Ducks and Beavers playing for the Pac-10 title and a berth in the Rose Bowl? That will be the case in a few hours, when Oregon hosts Oregon State in their annual Civil War game.
While the rookie duo of guard Max Unger and defensive end Nick Reed will be watching, the ex-Ducks wish they could be at Autzen Stadium.
“We almost had a charter flight down there, but at the last minute we couldn’t pull it off,” Unger said. “Essentially, this is our team. It’s very fitting that they get to play for the Rose Bowl the year after we leave.”
Wide receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Mike Hass went to Oregon State, but not as recently as Unger and Reed played for the Ducks.
“I’m picking the Beavers, absolutely,” Hass said. “There has been a little jockeying back and forth (with Unger and Reed), but there are no bets. It’s just kind of cool that it’s happening. I’m sure whoever wins will have a little more to say tomorrow.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“This is what happens in this business. You see a good guy like Tim who steps down because we as players are not getting the job done. It’s wrong for him to take all the blame and have all the stuff put on him. He’s not a player. We’re the ones on the football field.” – wide receiver Deion Branch on Ruskell