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SANTA CLARA http://www.newyorkjetsteamonline.com/jachai-polite-jersey , Calif. (AP) — drop backs as he rehabilitates from a major knee injury that derailed his first full season as San Francisco’s starting quarterback.The process of coming back is going smoothly and Garoppolo hopes to be able to take part in seven-on-seven drills when the 49ers begin OTAs next month and be fully cleared by the time training camp starts in late July.Once the season begins Sept. 8 in the opener at Tampa Bay, Garoppolo believes the only difference will be the brace he will wear on his surgically repaired left knee.“I wore one initially as a rookie,” he said. “Then, I kind of got away from it. I think this year it’s a certainty. But, we’ll see how it goes down the road.”Garoppolo said he doesn’t believe the brace will impact his mobility a bit since the new ones are so lightweight that it’s almost “like you’re not wearing anything sometimes.”The 49ers are counting on Garoppolo being back to the player he was when they acquired him during the 2017 season from New England and he won his first five starts with the team to end that season.He was rewarded with a five-year, $137.5 million contract that offseason to be San Francisco’s franchise quarterback only to go down with the season-ending ACL injury in a Week 3 loss at Kansas City last season.“I think initially probably was the hardest part, the acceptance of everything,” he said. “The first couple weeks, really Chuma Edoga Jersey , you can’t put any weight on it with the meniscus and all that stuff. Probably the first month or two was the worst. But, after that, you get running and everything and you start to feel like yourself again.”Garoppolo was helped in his rehab by the fact that running back Jerick McKinnon tore his ACL earlier in September and was a good guide and partner during the process that has continued throughout the offseason.Garoppolo said it took some time to get the trust back in his knee, but now feels comfortable running and throwing the ball.“It’s encouraging,” he said. “Every day gets easier and easier. Able to make this throw better than I was a week ago. It’s small victories like that. Throughout the whole process, it’s all about small victories because you’re not going to jump out and be able to throw it 60, 70 yards again. Small victories.”Having a healthy Garoppolo and McKinnon will be key this season for the 49ers, who are coming off a 4-12 season in coach Kyle Shanahan’s second year with the team.Shanahan let the players know as they gathered this week for the start of the offseason program that improvement is necessary.“His big thing was the past couple of years we really needed to get the culture and everything,” defensive lineman DeForest Buckner said. “He feels like the culture is here and we have the talent. Now we have to go out and execute. We had setbacks on the way http://www.newyorkjetsteamonline.com/trevon-wesco-jersey , especially last year. We had big expectations for the team and we didn’t achieve those expectations and those goals.”Buckner was one of the few bright spots for the Niners last season with a career-high 12 sacks. The seventh overall pick in the 2016 draft proved he was a foundation piece for the 49ers.Now the team will have to start planning on how to keep Buckner. He is eligible for a contract extension this summer if the 49ers want to lock him up long term before he can become a free agent following the 2020 season.“We had conversations here and there,” Buckner said. “It’s very early. Just because I’m eligible for a new contract going into my fourth year, it’s still very early in the process.” GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Maybe someone at the Final Four will actually give Baylor a game.Four rounds into the NCAA Tournament, and the Bears have barely faced any resistance.Baylor cruised to its first Final Four since 2012 with its latest bracket blowout, this one an 85-53 rout of Iowa on Monday night in the Greensboro Regional final.“We’re getting up,” forward Lauren Cox said, “and we’re not letting people get back in the game.”Cox had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Didi Richards added 16 points and 10 rebounds and Chloe Jackson had 14 points.The No. 1 overall-seeded Bears (35-1) won their 27th straight game by shooting 53% Alexander Mattison Jersey , clamping down on All-American Megan Gustafson and her supporting cast and holding the nation’s best shooting team to a season-worst 32%.“We don’t know that we’re going to score this many points every night,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “What we do know is, we’re going to defend you. … That’s the way I was taught. That’s the way I believe. … Nobody likes to be guarded for 40 minutes. It’s work. It’s hard.”Their four tournament victories have come by an average of more than 38 points with none closer than 25. Now, it’s on to Tampa, Florida, for the school’s fourth Final Four and its first in seven years, when the Bears won their second national championship.The 6-foot-4 Cox — a third-team AP All-America pick selected as the region’s most outstanding player — and fellow twin tower Kalani Brown, a 6-7 second-team All-American, teamed up to dominate both the glass and the heavily hyped matchup with Gustafson http://www.minnesotavikingsteamonline.com/dru-samia-jersey , the nation’s leading scorer at 27.9 points per game.Brown finished with 14 points, and Baylor held a 47-26 rebounding advantage with 20 second-chance points to six for Iowa. The Bears also outscored the Hawkeyes 52-24 in the paint.“Baylor was obviously too much for us today,” coach Lisa Bluder said.Gustafson finished with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting, but was held without a rebound in the second half for second-seeded Iowa (29-7). Kathleen Doyle and Tania Davis each had 10 points.“We just tried to limit her touches,” Cox said. “She’s a good player. She’s going to get her points. We just couldn’t let that second or third player go off.”The Bears — who entered allowing their opponents to shoot a Division I-worst 31.4% — held Iowa way below its previous worst of 41.1% at Purdue on Jan. 10.BIG PICTUREIowa: The Hawkeyes hadn’t made it this far into the bracket since 1993 — when C. Vivian Stringer led them to their lone Final Four — but their worst shooting night of the year came at the worst possible time. That was, of course, mostly due to the Bears and their stingy defense.“I’m not going to define our season by the last 40 minutes,” Bluder said. “I don’t think we played our best game. Did Baylor have something to do with it? Absolutely.”Baylor: Maybe the Bears will face some game pressure in Tampa. They certainly haven’t so far in this tournament. They won their first three games by an average of 40.3 points, then turned the matchup of Cox and Brown against Gustafson into their latest mismatch.BLOWOUTLeave it to Baylor — which ranks second nationally with an average margin of victory of 27.2 points — to advance in blowout fashion. This one came after Sunday’s two regional finals produced tight Daniel Jones Jersey , tense games, with a pair of No. 2 seeds — Connecticut and Oregon — winning by a combined 11 points.STAR WATCHGustafson fell one rebound shy of setting an NCAA single-season record with her 34th double-double of the season. She’ll have to settle for sharing the record with two other players after she matched them with No. 33 in the Sweet 16. Baylor held her without an offensive rebound. “They had a little bit of a size advantage,” said the 6-3 Gustafson. “They were just throwing extra bodies at me.”KEY STRETCHBaylor held the Hawkeyes without a field goal for a key five-minute stretch shortly before halftime while building a 16-point lead, then gradually stretched it into the 20s after halftime with a mix of jumpers and layups. The Bears went up 55-35 on NaLyssa Smith’s layup with 5½ minutes left in the third — and at that point, the Hawkeyes had as many shots blocked (three) in the quarter as they had go in.UP NEXTBaylor faces Portland Region champion Oregon on Friday night in the national semifinals in Tampa, Florida.
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