Thursday, July 31, 2014

Stats indicate Kaepernick may flourish in coming season

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Even with a suspect cast of pass catchers, Colin Kaepernick's deep-throw numbers were among the best in the NFL in 2013. With better receivers now, his success rate could improve significantly.

Prediction: Raiders could go 12-4 ... or 4-12

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: The Raiders camp is full of optimistic reports these days, many of them seemingly justified. But it's hard to predict a complete turnaround ... yet.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Once-fractured U.S. skeleton team morphed into cohesive, caring group between Vancouver and Sochi Olympics

When the five Olympic skeleton athletes voted for their Athlete's Choice Award recently, the result was a five-way tie -- a reflection of the way the group came together over the past year. My story for

It's early, but Culliver appears fit and ready for big role

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Chris Culliver missed all of 2013, but 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio likes what he sees of the cornerback so far in camp.

"Ninja Assassin" will be on Raiders' side this season

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Defensive lineman Antonio Smith and his alter ego, The Ninja Assassin, will suit for the Raiders in 2014.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

49ers may have a hidden Jewel

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Injuries to Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James mean that Jewel Hampton, who spent all of 2013 on the practice squad, will get a chance this summer for 49ers.

Raiders' McFadden could go Hog wild again

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Raiders contemplating some read-option plays with Darren McFadden at QB.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hayden's injury opens door for Carrie and Chekwa

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Now that Oakland has announced cornerback D.J. Hayden will likely miss all of training camp, the way is clear for veteran Chimdi Chekwa and rookie T.J. Carrie to earn a larger role.

Is 2014 a make-or-break year for 49ers?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Niners training camp opened with typical enthusiasm, but is the window of opportunity closing for this team?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

One of triathlon's pioneers, Russ Jones, continues to push himself to victories almost four decades after his first race

Russ Jones is one of triathlon's pioneers, having won the second tri ever held, on San Diego's Mission Bay in 1975. Almost 40 years later, Jones continues to roll on. He's one of just four athletes to ever complete 500 or more triathlons and has done more than 1,000 triathlons, duathlons and road races. My story on Jones for's Endurance Sports section:

Champion triathlete Lesley Paterson is a 'pit bull' with a love of training, San Diego and ... cinnamon rolls

Lesley Paterson has a wonderful Scottish accent, two triathlon world championships and a wicked sense of humor. My Q&A with her for San Diego Magazine's August 2014 issue:

Aldon Smith has been a force; will he continue to be?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Aldon Smith begins his fourth 49ers training camp this week hoping to begin a new chapter in his NFL career.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Will Ian Williams rebound in time for 2014 season?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Ian Williams is determined to fight back from his devastating injury in 2013, but going into training camp he's been designated for the physically unable to perform list.

Raiders' owner Davis eager for training camp

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Raiders owner Mark Davis called this offseason "phenomenal" for roster moves, but he wants to see results on the field.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Janikowski working to be on target in 2014

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Sebastian Janikowski has put in extra work with his holder and long snapper this offseason to ensure a better 2014 with Raiders.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Healthy again, Ward now faces training-camp test

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Since being drafted by the 49ers, No. 1 pick Jimmie Ward has been sidelined by a foot injury. But he now has been deemed fit by doctors and is ready for training camp next week.

Raiders eager to see a healthy D.J. Hayden in camp

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Can cornerback D.J. Hayden regain the momentum he lost by suffering a sprained ankle this spring?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What are 49ers' options in Boone holdout?

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Alex Boone's holdout is understandable, given his performance on what was a contract for a backup player. But if his time away is extensive, who takes his place at right guard?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Niners take a look at ex-Tar Heels linebacker

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Darius Lipford, who wasn't taken in the recent NFL supplemental draft, has worked out for the 49ers, who may be interested in the athletic linebacker.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Olympic hockey's Lamoureux sisters mean business

After winning silver medals with the U.S. Olympic women's hockey team at Sochi, former North Dakota standouts Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux decided to open a business teaching hockey to kids. But because of Jocelyne's obligations, it fell to Monique to start the company and get it running -- and she had zero business knowledge. But now, after their first three-day camp in North Dakota, Lamoureux Hockey is off and running. And Monique is now a businesswoman. My story for, the U.S. Olympic site:

Gore left off ranking of NFL's most complete backs

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: In's list of the most complete running backs in the league, Frank Gore of the 49ers is notable for his absence.

Raiders' Woodson believes in Schaub as QB

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Veteran safety Charles Woodson has been around the NFL a long time, and from what he sees, Matt Schaub is ready to have a good season for the Raiders in 2014.

Passion for fitness and triathlons is helping fuel Jimmie Johnson's drive to be the best in NASCAR

Jimmie Johnson has won six NASCAR Sprint Cup season points championships and ranks at the top of his sport. But before he became the best race car driver, he was a high school swimmer and BMX cyclist, so he's loved being fit. Yet he never really tapped into his potential until he began training for triathlons a little more than three years ago. Now Johnson is in love with the sport and has big goals. But training and competing in triathlons is a tough thing to do with all his driving, family and business obligations. My story on J.J. for's Endurance Sports section:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Little receiver Ellington has big-time speed

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Bruce Ellington has shown great quickness in 49ers workouts since being drafted, and Colin Kaepernick loves his deep-route potential. But on this roster, how much of an opportunity will he get to play?

Friday, July 11, 2014

After offseason work, Baalke excited to see 49ers develop

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Niners GM Trent Baalke is eager to see the new players mesh with the old when training camp opens in two weeks, after what he calls a very good offseason.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Raiders' Mack reveals the things that motivate him

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Rookie linebacker Khalil Mack writes a story for Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback that shows how motivated he is to make a big splash for Oakland in 2014.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

"Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight": New biography, written by longtime friend Jay Barbree, reveals the very private side of first man to walk on the moon

By walking on the moon in 1969, Neil Armstrong became one of the most famous men in the world. Yet fame was something he never sought or enjoyed. A new biography, written by NBC correspondent and friend Jay Barbree, tells Armstrong's story. My book review for U-T San Diego:

Friday, July 4, 2014

Speedy Morris may have bigger future with 49ers

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Cornerback Darryl Morris, a special teams standout in 2013 and the fastest 49ers player, is in the mix for winning a cornerback job.

For San Diego's professional dog walkers, every day is a stroll in the park with a pack of furry friends

There are some downsides to being a pro dog walker, and there's not a whole lot of money in it, but for those who've done it for many years in San Diego it's mostly a pleasant, happy experience away from offices and bosses. My story for U-T San Diego:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

U.S. women's sitting volleyball team just misses gold medal at World Championships, says it's ready to shed the runner-up label at Rio in 2016

Heather Erickson says now that she's "over silver" after coming away with silver medals at the past four Paralympics or World Championships in sitting volleyball. The question is, how does Team USA get past China at Rio de Janeiro in 2016? My story for

49ers' Wilhoite, Borland on a collision course

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Rookie Chris Borland knows Michael Wilhoite is the front-runner to start in place of injured linebacker NaVorro Bowman, but it should make for a spirited duel in training camp.

Raiders' Schaub has legion of disbelievers

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Matt Schaub this week has twice been ranked among the worst starting QBs in the NFL.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Whitewater kayaker Michal Smolen having a breakthrough year on his route toward Rio in 2016

This year, Michal Smolen is having unprecedented success, winning the U-23 world championship and also a bronze medal on the World Cup circuit in whitewater kayaking. Still only 20, Smolen likely is America's best hope for a medal in the 2016 Olympics at Rio de Janeiro. My story for

Justin Tuck wants to be a leader with Raiders

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Ex-Giant defensive end Justin Tuck was brought in by Oakland not only for his skills as a player, but for his leadership qualities, and Tuck says he's eager to utilize both with the Raiders.

One former Dolphin: Foes will be out to get 49ers' Martin

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder says new 49ers lineman Jonathan Martin could be in for a rough season on the field, with opponents targeting him for his conduct in Miami.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

No worries, Vernon; Davis unlikely to hold out

Daily 49ers blog for NBC Bay Area website: Vernon Davis held out during minicamp, but his words now indicate he's unlikely to hold out during training camp.

Jones-Drew ready to flash old form in new uniform

Daily Raiders blog for NBC Bay Area website: Maurice Jones-Drew, who said he was ready to retire last season, now is fit and energized to play in Oakland.

Eight-time Winter Olympic medalist Apolo Ohno is transitioning from quick-burst short-track speedskating to becoming an Ironman triathlete

Apolo Ohno, who retired from short-track speedskating after the 2010 Olympics, is now on a much different path, training for the Ironman World Championship at Kona in October. After making his half-Ironman debut recently, it appears he's on the right track. My story for's Endurance Sports section: