Friday, June 28, 2013

Some believe Reid's speed will upgrade 49ers' D

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Safety Eric Reid's speed may be a key reason why 49ers valued him so highly. Some see his greater range as a way the team's pass defense may be better in 2013.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

49ers' Okoye says football is 'hardest thing' he's ever done

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: British Olympic discus thrower and former rugby player Lawrence Okoye, signed by the 49ers this spring as a potential defensive lineman, says his transition to football player has been very difficult.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

49ers' Dahl is eager to contribute on special teams

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: The 49ers signed Craig Dahl as a safety to replace Dashon Goldson, but then drafted safety Eric Reid with their No. 1 pick. Now Dahl says he's fine contributing in any way, including on special teams.

Is Raiders' Flynn the worst starting QB in the NFL?

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: One NFL analyst says Raiders QB Matt Flynn is No. 32 among 32 starting NFL QBs. Former Raiders standout Rich Gannon doesn't agree at all.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Willis or Bowman? Some say young LB has passed Willis

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Patrick Willis is a six-time All-Pro inside linebacker, and he teams with NaVorro Bowman to form the best 1-2 punch of any set of inside linebackers in the NFL. Some believe Bowman may actually be better now.

Raiders hope 'green' receivers grow significantly

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Oakland's group of wideouts is young and inexperienced, but the Raiders believe several players will grow significantly in 2013.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

Rule No. 1 when planning your move: Do your homework on the moving company and make certain you're both on the same page

A lot can go wrong when making a move, which just so happens to rank as one of the most stressful things a person can do in life. But the move can be much smoother and worry-free if you take time to investigate the moving company and go over the move, step-by-step, in advance with the company before a single box is packed. Also, there are some ways you can cut costs significantly. My story on moving tips for U-T San Diego's Homes Section.

Will 49ers move Vernon Davis to wide receiver?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Does Vernon Davis' work at wide receiver during minicamp signal an impending switch for the veteran tight end?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Niners ranked No. 1 in power rankings for future seasons

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: A panel of analysts and experts at have come out with their annual list of team power rankings for the future (spanning three seasons) and rank the 49ers No. 1.

One analyst thinks Raiders are pointed in right direction

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Former NFL exec Gil Brandt believes 2013 will be rocky for the Raiders, but that the franchise's long-term future is brighter.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Luger Julia Clukey set to celebrate Olympic Day, one of more than 700 such celebrations across the U.S. this week

For the past four years, the U.S. Olympic Committee has worked with grassroots organizations across the U.S. to promote the celebration of Olympic Day, which was founded in 1948 by the International Olympic Committee. At one such venue, in Maine, luger Julia Clukey leads her 90-some campers in Olympic-style opening ceremonies and competitions. My story for

Are Aldon Smith's sack totals inflated?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: One analyst, after watching film of Aldon Smith in 2012, believes the 19 1/2 sacks total by Smith is a bit deceiving.

Raiders hope small-school pass rusher is big help

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: David Bass played defensive end at Missouri Western, an NCAA Div. II school, but the Raiders are hoping their seventh-round pick can be a big help in the pass rush.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

49ers' Lemonier making transition to linebacker

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: At Auburn, Corey Lemonier was a defensive end in a three-point stance. In the NFL, he'll be a stand-up outside linebacker ... which presents some learning challenges, he says.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Arizona's Brigetta Barrett, silver medalist in long jump at London, wraps up NCAA career with sixth championship in the event

Brigetta Barrett can do it all:  sing, act, win academic honors and be a world-class athlete. The Arizona senior recently won her sixth NCAA high-jump title, a record, after last year winning a silver medal at the London Olympics. Now Barrett sets her sights on a new path and new goals after college. My story on her for

Rookie tight end McDonald off to strong start

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Tight end Vance McDonald of Rice, a second-round pick of the 49ers, is showing fine pass-catching skills. But can he block?

Raiders coaches taking more flexible approach in 2013

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Offensive coordinator Greg Olson appears to be much more flexible in his approach than last year's OC, Greg Knapp.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Frank Gore fueled by skeptics (again)

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: At age 30, Frank Gore wants to show NFL skeptics that he will continue to be an elite running back for the 49ers.

Group of volunteers in San Diego is dedicated to rescuing parrots, finding them homes and educating people about these smart, social animals

The Parrot Education and Adoption Center in San Diego is intent on educating owners (and potential owners) of parrots about their birds, using positive reinforcement training. The group also rescues parrots, provides foster homes for them and helps find new families to take them in. My story about the group for U-T San Diego's Pets page:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Raiders need young receivers to make big gains

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: If the Raiders' passing game is to improve in 2013, the team's young receivers will need to make big gains this summer.

49ers' rivalries in NFC West heat up

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Niners' games with the Seahawks and Rams could be very spirited this coming season.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

49ers' Kyle Williams looks fit and ready to play

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Wide receiver Kyle Williams was running at full speed and cutting well in his first day at minicamp following offseason knee surgery.

Raiders' Burris will have to compete to win starting spot

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: After starting last season at outside linebacker as a rookie, Miles Burris faces stiff competition this summer to earn a starting spot.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

London Paralympic wheelchair sprinter Hannah McFadden, just 17, is on track for some very big things

Until now, Hannah McFadden mostly has been known as the little sister of Tatyana McFadden, America's No. 1 wheelchair racer and a star of the London Paralympic Games. Now Hannah is gaining speed and continuing to rise through the ranks of national and international competitors, with sights on the world championships and the Rio Games in 2016.

After crashing in Vancouver, U.S. moguls skier Patrick Deneen has rebounded, thrived with a different approach

American moguls skier Patrick Deneen was going for a win in the Vancouver Olympics when he tried to pull of a jump trick he hadn't yet mastered, then crashed face-first into the snow. Almost four years later, Deneen -- the fastest moguls skier on the planet -- has put together a remarkable two-year run of consistency that has him wishing the Sochi Games were already here. He looks primed to compete for a medal. My story for, the U.S. Olympic site:

Minicamp may help 49ers sort out receiver candidates

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: A.J. Jenkins? Quinton Patton? Ricardo Lockette? Minicamp this week may help team sift through receiver candidates.

Raiders like what they see in linebacker Sio Moore

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: So far, linebacker Sio Moore has been exactly as advertised.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The documentary film "Spirit of the Marathon II" captures the personal stories of seven runners who embark on a quest to run the Rome Marathon

Several years ago, New Jersey coach and teacher Cliff Scott found inspiration in Jon Dunham's documentary, "Spirit of the Marathon." He had no way of knowing that he would someday play a big part in Dunham's sequel, 'Spirit of the Marathon II'' -- or that the two movies would do so much to help him start living again after the death of his son. Dunham's new movie tells the very personal stories of seven people from around the globe who set out to run the Rome Marathon. My story on the documentary for's Endurance sports section:

Niners' fifth-round pick Dial is a 'plugger'

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Defensive lineman Quinton Dial is a run stuffer who could be a valuable defender for 49ers.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The game's hidden treasures are revealed in "Inside the Baseball Hall of Fame"

The Baseball Hall of Fame has more than 40,000 artifacts, 3 million documents and 500,000 images, but only 12 to 15 percent can be displayed at any one time. Among the many that never are put out on public display are some fascinating (and odd) pieces of history that tell some interesting stories. A review of "Inside the Baseball Hall of Fame" for U-T San Diego's Books section:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Niners' Greg Roman considering tweaks to offense

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Offensive coordinator Greg Roman, with a wealth of talent, is considering new surprises to add to playbook in 2013.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

49ers' kicker Dawson wants to leave nothing to chance

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Kicker Phil Dawson is a perfectionist, which is evident by his offseason kicking sessions at Candlestick Park.

Raiders hope 'under-the-radar' tackles can aid defense

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Pat Sims and Vance Walker hardly are household names, even to Raiders fans. But they may play a big role for the team in 2013.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Dorsey re-energized with new team, coaching staff

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: After five seasons in Kansas City, defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey is learning some new techniques with a new coach and teammates and feels like he's getting a fresh start.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Horticulturist at the San Diego Botanic Garden credits long-ago trip to SoCal as inspiration for work

Dave Ehrlinger never set out to be a horticulturist. But once the Midwest kid came to San Diego after college on a trip to visit a friend, he was inspired by the new plants he saw to go back to school for new studies. The director of horticulture at the garden still learns new things about plants every day. My story for U-T San Diego in my "On the Job" series.