49ERS-FOCUS ON SEATTLE
49ers prepare to stay composed in emotional game
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers are ready for some serious chatter coming from that brash, big-talking Seattle secondary.
So far, 49ers fullback Bruce Miller insists Richard Sherman and the playoff-bound Seahawks (11-1) have more than earned the right to speak up on the field. Yet the way emotions tend to run higher than usual in this heated NFC West, Miller, tight end Vernon Davis and their teammates are guarding against getting so hyped up it hurts the cause.
The reigning NFC champion Niners (8-4) still have plenty of work to do this month to secure their own playoff positioning, and a win against Seattle would help.
Enough of the 49ers caught glimpses of Seattle's Monday night rout of New Orleans to know a tall task awaits them this weekend.
Mariota will return to Ducks
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Quarterback Marcus Mariota has announced that he will return to Oregon for his junior season.
There had been speculation that Mariota might declare himself eligible for the NFL. Following Oregon's 36-35 victory over Oregon State in the Civil War last Friday, he said he hadn't yet made a decision.
But on Tuesday the school announced on its website that Mariota would stay, along with junior Hronis Grasu, a three-year starter at center.
Mariota has thrown 30 touchdowns this season for the Ducks, who finished the regular season 10-2.
7 transfers find their fit with No. 13 Ducks
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — With seven transfers new to the Ducks and two players serving suspensions, No. 13 Oregon is looking surprisingly cohesive.
Oregon swept the field this past weekend at the Global Sports Hardwood Classic tournament in Eugene to improve to 7-0 for the team's best start since the 2007-08 season.
Guard Joseph Young, who came to the Ducks from Houston, is the team's leading scorer with an average of 23.3 points, while Mike Moser from UNLV is averaging 13.7 points and 7 rebounds. The starting duo already has developed chemistry.
Adding to the mix is forward Elgin Cook from Northwest Florida State, forward Richard Amardi from Indian Hills Community College, guard Jalil Abdul-Bassit from North Idaho College, guard Jason Calliste from Detroit and forward Brian Crow from Sonoma State.
Seattle hires Wilson as minor league coach
SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners have hired former catcher Dan Wilson as the roving minor league catching coordinator for the organization.
The Mariners announced the hiring on Tuesday. Wilson will work with catchers at all levels of the organization beginning with spring training and continuing through the season. He will travel to each of Seattle's minor league affiliates to work with catchers.
The 44-year-old Wilson spent 14 seasons catching with Cincinnati and then spent the majority of his career in Seattle. He caught more games than any player in Mariners history and ended his career with the sixth-highest fielding percentage for a catcher in major league history.
Wilson was an All-Star in 1996 and was inducted into the team hall of fame in 2012.