San Jose Mercury

Giants get chuckle from Newberry's boast
January 02, 2003
By Dennis Georgatos
Mercury News

49ers center Jeremy Newberry wanted to make sure the New York Giants got the message, so he gave it to them again.

``I think we're going to kick their ass,'' Newberry said Wednesday. ``That's what I feel every week when we take the field. If you ask me next week after we beat the Giants, I'll tell you the same thing. I think we'll kick whoever else's ass we play, too.''

Newberry first made the vow Monday after a 31-20 loss in St. Louis and word soon reached the Giants, who will face the 49ers at Candlestick Park on Sunday.

``That is something we're all aware of here,'' Giants quarterback Kerry Collins said. ``It was just something that was said and we'll just leave it at that.''

Coach Jim Fassel feigned fright when asked in a conference call about Newberry's remarks.

``I thought you said he was going to kick my ass. Heck, I'm not going to get on the plane to go out there. I need to settle down. My heart is beating,'' a joking Fassel said.

Coach Steve Mariucci said he wasn't worried about the ruckus over Newberry's trash-talking.

``If you don't get up for a playoff game, if you need something like this to get up, then you are in it for the wrong reasons,'' Mariucci said. ``It's just Newberry getting all excited.''

49ers comeback?

Vinny Sutherland might soon be back with the 49ers.

The 49ers' return specialist last season, Sutherland was released in August after losing a training-camp battle with Jimmy Williams.

But with Williams out because of a knee injury and his backups, Cedrick Wilson and Jason Webster, sore from ankle sprains suffered Monday, the 49ers brought Sutherland in for a workout Wednesday.

Mariucci said the team would wait a day or so to get a better read on the condition of Wilson and Webster before deciding whether to sign Sutherland, who has been out of football except for a one-game stint with Chicago. Wilson is probable and Webster is questionable for Sunday's game.

``At one point in our game against the Rams we had no punt returners,'' Mariucci said. ``We don't know what Jason's status is right now. Ced practiced but he's limping around a little bit. We need to consider having another return man on the roster active for this game.''

The 49ers are tentatively slotted to draft between 24th and 26th overall, subject to the playoffs. Currently pegged at No. 26 after tiebreakers, the 49ers could move up one or two places if the teams immediately ahead of them, the Giants and Indianapolis Colts, win their playoff games. The 49ers could fall to the 31st or 32nd overall selection if they reach the Super Bowl.

Safety Zack Bronson practiced and defensive coordinator Jim Mora said Bronson will start Sunday. It would be his first action since breaking his left foot Oct. 14 at Seattle.

While the order and dates have yet to be set by the NFL, the 49ers know who they're playing next season. Besides home-and-away games with NFC West rivals, the 49ers will play Chicago, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Pittsburgh at home and hit the road to play Green Bay, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Cincinnati.

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