49ers addressing red-zone shortcomings at OTAs

This is my Wednesday column on the 49ers’ OTA.

SANTA CLARA – This is about the red zone and the loss of arrogance.

During practice, the 49ers have seemed arrogant since Jim Harbaugh became the head coach three seasons ago. Whenever the media is allowed to watch, the Niners usually do the same things. The basics. I’ve never seen Harbaugh focus a practice on one of the 49ers’ weaknesses. Watching them practice, you’d think they have no weaknesses and have won the past three Super Bowls.

Wednesday afternoon during the second day of the 49ers’ voluntary OTAs, I expected more arrogance.


Wednesday was the most pragmatic open practice of the Harbaugh Era. After the players finished stretching and warming up, they did a brief scrimmage session, 11-on-11. This lasted five minutes tops. Then, most of the team jogged to the north field to practice tackling, while Colin Kaepernick, Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd walked to the south field to practice red-zone offense.

Red-zone offense has been the 49ers’ biggest weakness. If the 49ers offense was better in the red zone, the Niners would have beaten the Seahawks in the NFC championship game last season and the Niners would have beaten the Ravens in the Super Bowl two seasons ago. Both of those games ended with the 49ers offense unable to score a touchdown in the red zone.

Wednesday afternoon, it looked like Kaepernick, Crabtree, Boldin and Lloyd were trying to rectify the end of the Super Bowl against the Ravens. Kaepernick floated pass after pass to the back of the end zone just like he did two years ago, except no defense was on the field. Crabtree dropped two passes during this drill even though no one was covering him. But Lloyd made this drill look easy. He scored imaginary touchdowns every time. After he scored, Kaepernick and Boldin and Crabtree would ask him questions and Lloyd would explain how he did what he did.

About 20 minutes later, the 49ers did a seven-on-seven drill in the red zone, meaning no linemen on the field. Kaepernick missed both throws he attempted. He telegraphed a pass to Kassim Osgood and Perrish Cox easily knocked the ball away. On attempt No. 2, Kaepernick overthrew backup tight end Garrett Celek who was open. Obviously, Kaepernick still needed work in the red zone.

Harbaugh noticed. He ended practice with an 11-on-11 drill in the red zone. Red zone, red zone, red zone. Kaepernick made the play of the day during this drill. He dropped back without staring down a receiver, and then he threw to Lloyd before Lloyd made his break. The pass was perfect. Lloyd made a sliding catch in the front-right corner of the end zone. Touchdown.

After practice, reporters interviewed Harbaugh next to the practice field. I asked if he’s emphasizing red-zone offense this offseason. He nodded. “We’re about 35, 40 percent operating in the red zone in these OTAs. I thought it was good, especially yesterday. Offensively, I don’t know if a ball hit the ground. Today, the defense surged back and had a better day.”

Shortly after Harbaugh’s interview, Kaepernick walked out to the practice field and answered questions.

“That’s something that we know we’ve struggled with here, the red zone,” Kaepernick said. “That’s something that we’re constantly trying to improve. (Lloyd) has had success down there. So, if there is something we can pick up from him – how he runs routes, how he sets things up – that’s something we want to take and try to make it ours.”

What’s so challenging about playing offense in the red zone?

“The confinement of space,” Kaepernick said. “When you’re playing from your own 30, you have 70 yards of field to play with. When you get inside the 10, you have 20 yards. Space is the biggest thing down there.”

Kaepernick is one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the NFL when he’s at his own 30 yard line. He threatens every square inch of the field with his speed and his rocket arm. When he gets into the red zone and there aren’t many square inches to threaten, he’s not so dangerous. His legs and his rocket arm can’t help him anymore.

I asked Kaepernick how he can improve his own play in the red zone. Last year, he probably would have deflected the question by saying he tries to get better at everything. Not this year. He knows exactly what he needs to improve.

“Clean up little things,” said Kaepernick, “Whether it is footwork, whether it is making quicker decisions – those are the types of things I want to improve on to make this offense more efficient.”

Ding ding ding! Perfect answer. When the field shrinks, he can’t wait for receivers to get open and then muscle passes to them. He needs to anticipate the openings. And Kaepernick knows it.

Good start.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for the Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

This article has 259 Comments

    1. Backhanded slap at Harbaugh though. Harbaugh always states he doesn’t want to share things with the media because he believes it gives him a competitive advantage. So the whole arrogance thing to start the article is just petty non-sense.

    2. I’m…….. SPEECHLESS!

      But I do agree on Grant’s analysis.

      Kaep HAS to get better in the Red Zone, I think he will because the Production there has been a low threshold the past 2 years. It should only get better.

  1. Hopefully they’ll keep red zone as an important part of practice through TC.

    I must admit I wasn’t that excited by the Brandon Lloyd signing, figured it was just another kicking of the tyres kind of deal (which it is), but from what I’ve read today he might still have a little something left to give. If he does he’ll likely be a better 3rd WR option that Johnson, as he does provide more of a deep threat despite not being a burner.

    Grant, if Lloyd does look good in camp, what do you think the 49ers do at receiver?

    1. Im still in the minority thinking the 9ers keep 6 on game days. Crab, boldin, stevie, brandon, Quinton, and kassim. Hes to important to our special teams. Again, just my opinion

          1. So you agree with the 6 WRs steele outlined, and you’d also keep Ellington? 7 WRs on the 53 man roster seems an awfully high number to keep for a team better known for using 1 WR sets than 3 WR sets on game days, even if one of them (Osgood) is really more a STs player than WR.

            1. My bad scooter i forgot about Ellington. 7 does seem like alot but with miller healthy, we use 2 tight ends and not 3. And with so many versatile o lineman maybe one of them become expendabl. Just my oopinion

              1. Kaepernick is very selective about who he feels comfortable passing to.They need to get him passing to everybody – no favorites.

      1. I took Lloyd as camp fodder. I agree with those six, unless a rookie steps up to replace Kassim on special teams. *D.Johnson

    2. If lloyd looks good or more likely if QP/ellington develop, crabtree and his salary get traded. it would be irresponsible to keep boldin , sj, and crab with their salaries especially considering the infrequency of 3 wr formations.

      1. That’s not irresponsible. Its the brain trust finally realizing we can’tcompete with run of the mil recievers. Our recievers have been crap outside of boldin and crab the past 3 years. And occasionally moss. But we don’t go 3wr because we’ve never had 3 go wr. We are going all in

        1. I think it is unlikely they keep all four of Crabtree, Boldin, Johnson and Lloyd, unless there is an injury to one of them in camp or both Patton and Ellington absolutely stink in camp. For starters none of those four guys provide STs value, so when all healthy one of them wouldn’t suit up on game day. Having 6 WRs suited up on game day makes little sense for this team, and having someone like Patton or Ellington as your #4 WR should be fine. I also find it hard to imagine any one of those guys being happy with being the #4 WR or being a healthy scratch. Don’t want another Boston or Jacobs malcontent on the sideline.

          If Lloyd proves worth keeping around I wouldn’t be surprised to see Crabtree or Johnson dangled as trade bait. Boldin’s signing bonus means he’s a 49ers this year regardless.

        2. Its the brain trust finally realizing we can’tcompete with run of the mil recievers.

          I’m not sure what you mean by “can’t compete.” Over the past three years, the 49ers have been to three NFCCGs and one Super Bowl and have lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion in a close game each time. They’ve been competing just fine. They’re not that far away from winning it all. If they improve the red zone offense and Kaepernick develops as a pocket passer, they should take that final step.

          But we don’t go 3wr because we’ve never had 3 go wr. We are going all in

          The fact that Harbaugh’s offense doesn’t regularly feature 3 WRs would seem to be a much better explanation for the team’s relative non-use of that formation. Although Harbaugh has indicated that they will tweak the offense and perhaps make more use of 3 WR sets, if you expect the 49ers to regularly employ 3 WRs, I think you are going to be sorely disappointed.

          1. Do you think Claude that to finally win it all and make teams prepare for that element of a passing attack ( #WR sets) that Harbaughs offense needs to incorporate it?
            My point is maybe the 49ers offense cant take it to the next level because they are so predictable and easy to play against. Stop the run, force 3rd and long and its an easy scheme to develop offensively.

            1. I agree FDM the 49ers offense has been that way for numerous years. Uncreative, predictable and too much of a run focus.
              Philosophy or not or Harbs way or not, it might be costing them a championship by being too stubborn.

  2. Grant,
    Thanks for the behind the scenes reporting.
    Let’s see if less arrogance equals a SB this coming season.

    Although Kaep’ answer came as a refreshing new demeanor, it’s no new revelation that Kaep/Harbaugh/Roman know that the red zone issues have been the bane of this offense since he became head coach.

    I like hearing that Lloyd is bringing his experience and skill to assist the in the red zone as well.
    I hope that Lattimore is at full speed by TC. I’m not sure if the team can wait a significant amount of time this coming season especially with Hyde waiting in the wings.

  3. Grant …

    Good column !! Some good insight there as well !

    Still … I woulda liked it better if you had your
    iPad handy, and posted your thoughts along the way..

    But.. hey … I’m not complainin’ !

  4. why is it arrogance for the Niners to not practice something more than the basics in front of the media???? Are they obliged for some reason to cater to you and set their practice schedule to impress you???

    Every year you’re going to have a calculated approach taken by a couple writers, especially when you’re doing well, to take the team apart. And they delight in it. They like to see you squirm, they like to see all of us squirm. If they could feel they affected us and we didn’t do well, they have won the war. It’s that simple. I guess we’re fortunate we don’t have more of them. If were in New York City or some place it would be eight or 10 of them doing this. But every year, the same guy locally, there’s a couple of them, will do anything they can to disrupt us. They can make it black and white, defense versus offense, coaches versus players, owners versus coach. They’ll do it every conceivable way, and they’ll get a formula and a plan and methodically work on it. And they work on it. They really calculate it. These guys are not simple-minded people. They’re very bright guys. Just find a way to deal with this stuff, because it will happen. We’ll have two or three things come up, we don’t even know what they are yet, but he’ll come up with something to try to break us. And nobody’s going to break us. Nobody’s going to take us apart.”

    -Bill Walsh

    *credit to Alex Carson for posting that quote on NN

    1. Thanx for reminding us affap ..

      Gee … I wonder if he was specifically speaking
      about someone in particular ?

      1. MW, LOL! Ya Think? I wonder what BW would think if he knew that someday in the future there would be two of these “someone in particulars”. The original and his clone.

        1. If that were the case why would he let that person spend an entire season with him and give access to coaches meetings, in the locker room, and traveling with the team?

          1. He has to. What’s worse — that guy’s sniping or charges of interfering with his First Amendment rights?

            1. “He has to.”

              No he didn’t. Walsh and no other sports team is forced to provide access into the coaches meetings or traveling with the team on their buses and basically being a fly on the wall with everything that goes on. Those are areas generally off limits to the media.

              The result was a very good read on the inner workings of Walsh returning to coaching.

              1. Jack, maybe I don’t understand something. Are you saying this was the only reporter given such access?

              2. Yes George. Walsh granted a particular writer access beyond what was available to the general press to chronicle his return to coaching at Stanford.

              3. George,

                Lowell Cohn was given unprecedented access to Walsh for a book he wrote about Walsh’s return to Stanford. Well worth the read, but it took place long after the quotes above from Walsh and long after he had left the 49ers.

    2. Grant:

      Would you care to explain how working only on the basics in front of the media equates to arrogance or demonstrates a belief that the team has no weaknesses?

      1. I guess Grant feels if they aren’t doing it when he’s there, they aren’t doing it at all. Just another example of the youthful ignorance of our Blog writer.

        Overall it was a good read though.

  5. When Lloyd first signed, I said he had a chip on his shoulder. I was all for the signing. Still am. I wouldn’t mind seeing our special teams possibly take a slight hit if it meant our offense moved up into the 5 or 10. Crabs, Boldin, Johnson, Lloyd, Patton and Ellington.

  6. “Whenever the media is allowed to watch, the Niners usually do the same things. The basics. I’ve never seen Harbaugh focus a practice on one of the 49ers’ weaknesses. Watching them practice, you’d think they have no weaknesses and have won the past three Super Bowls.”

    How arrogant does a reporter have to be to think that a professional football team plans an entire practice around media attendance so they only show their strong points? This is why the Kawakami thing was such a turnoff and why some of your writing is a turnoff. Incredibly arrogant writing. SMH.

  7. @Grant

    Nice article…You do point out the difference in arrogance, and that ever-so-sought after ‘swagger’. After the first day of OTA’s, it’s common to have the roster all thought out, but I want to see someone from the middle of the pack step up….he will, and we’ll all say ” I told you so….”

  8. I actually get what Grant’s saying, although I think a much better word than arrogance would be stubbornness. But, I also get why many readers would take offense to the way Grant laid this out. The wording reeks of a sense of entitlement. But all in all, a damn good job Grant. And for the most part the entire article is music to any Niner fan’s ears! If only the team had focused on this area more intently at this time two years ago. Oh, to think of what might have been…sigh. Well, its a new season and better late than never. My hopes are extremely high for this season. And, so are my expectations. Niners are going to rule! Go Niners!

    1. the whole concept of the article is just wrong. The implication is that the Niners NEVER WORK ON RED ZONE OFFENSE. Why, because they never work on it in front of the media???? To believe that an NFL team would not work on Red Zone offense at all in practice is moronic.

      Think about it, if you were the head coach and were forced to have some public practices, would you go out of your way to consistently practice things you weren’t good at? No you usually do that behind closed doors so that you can critique your players in private.

        1. During practice, the 49ers have seemed arrogant since Jim Harbaugh became the head coach three seasons ago.

          Did I imagine this sentence as the first one to start the article?

          I’ve never seen Harbaugh focus a practice on one of the 49ers’ weaknesses. Watching them practice, you’d think they have no weaknesses and have won the past three Super Bowls.

          Did I imagine this sentence was part of the opening paragraph?

        2. the article would have been just fine….informative…if he had lopped off the first paragraph and next sentence. but he had to add his own personal whiny entitled sounding commentary.

            1. Grant, seasoned the “meat of the piece” and it provided an unappetizing flavor to an otherwise good piece of meat. It reflects poorly on the chef and restaurant. Obviously I’m not alone in my critique of the flavoring of the entree.

              1. AFFP,

                that BW quote is priceless. Needs to go into my vault of football quotes.

                Grant’s writing continues to improve, but he lapses into his former tendency towards presumptuous and puerile petulance a little too often.

              2. Grants got a different way of saying things. I don’t think “Arrogance” applies in this case, but then I didn’t think describing a 300+ pound RT as “squealing like a child”, fit the proper narrative at the time either.

                I chock them up to Grantisms.

        3. @ Jack,

          Are you trying to get the Cohn’s to help you launch a blog or get a job in the business? Your pandering is a bit sickening.

  9. Here is something I find very interesting and also very embarrassing as far as the ability of the Offensive Coordinator goes: Kaepernick said, “That’s something that we know we’ve struggled with here, the red zone. . . . (Lloyd) has had success down there. So, if there is something we can pick up from him – how he runs routes, how he sets things up – that’s something we want to take and try to make it ours.”

    Why is it, after three years of Roman, they need Lloyd to teach them how to take more advantage of their red zone opportunities? Shouldn’t the OC be able to do that? I just don’t understand how they can be so clueless.

    Am I being unfair to Roman? If anyone disagrees, please set me straight.

    1. Here’s a thought: If they decide Lloyd is the odd man out, see if he’ll sign on — for the same pay — as assistant OC specifically to work on red zone plays.

    2. ultimately? I suppose Roman and by extension Harbaugh.

      But from what we know, the Offensive Game Plan construction is:

      Roman: Architect (pieces it together) and Run Game
      Chryst: Passing Game & QB Coach
      Morton: Red Zone Offense and Receivers Coach

      So how a receiver runs routes is more on Morton. As well as supposedly red zone offense plays are Morton’s game plan contribution.

        1. Affp and Leo, I think that is correct. Its hard to know exactly what the players are gleaning from their position coaches, but I often hear about how the young WRs are looking to pick up how to play the position from the vets. Moss, Boldin, now Lloyd. Can’t recall hearing about how any of the WRs picked up something from Morton. I’m sure he’s teaching them the basics, but sure sounds like the young guys are picking up more from the vets.

          While I think any young player would look to learn from the vets at their position, given how the 49ers young WRs have failed to establish themselves leaves me wondering if Morton is providing sufficient tutelage.

          1. it’s hard to say Scooter. I too am skeptical of the Niner’s ability to ID and develop WR talent. Crabtree was a no brainer (unless you’re Al Davis).

            But the Niners passing offense is also known to be somewhat static with not a lot of adjustments required (by design) by the receivers. this is part of the over all offensive system beyond what Morton teaches at the position.

            Lloyd has been known to freelance and Johnson is known to have a “unique” way of routes.

        1. at OC or WR coach?

          I think the bigger question and one that Steve Young has posed is if the Niner’s current process for game planning, construction and play calling is cohesive and efficient enough for the NFL. The system in place is how they did it at Stanford. I don’t know to what degree offensive game planning is a collaborative process for other NFL teams. But Young and other’s reactions seem to indicate that it may differ to a significant degree. I can not imagine Sean Payton or Mike McCarthy with that many cooks in kitchen. And while I believe every team has some sort of collaborative game planning process. I think many other teams have an OC and/or Head Coach with a grand game plan that includes all areas of the game. The Niner’s seem to have a seperated structured system in place that might not be as cohesive…especially when it comes to play calling. So for instance, I do believe that in the red zone, it’s Morton’s voice that is the primary play caller (with Harbaugh’s and Roman’s approval of course).

            1. I meant at WR coach. But if they have three minds in charge of three segments, the question is why? Why not have one guy who does it all? It’s just a rhetorical question. I don’t expect you to know. By the way, they also had a fourth guy, Mangini, in his capacity of advisor to Roman. I wonder what York and Baalke think about this.

              1. Mangini is now officially the TEs coach.

                I have my own theory about Mangini.

                I think they’ve used him (when he was a consultant) as sort of an in house virtual opposing defensive coordinator to help their offense anticipate how defenses will defend and attack them.

                As to why he’s the TE’s coach? I’m hoping it’s to open things up by allowing the TEs and possibly slot receivers to run limited option routes. To run option routes, receivers need to be able to read defenses.

  10. The funny thing is, as bad as we all think the Red zone offense was, The Niners were tied with Seattle in Red zone TD percentage. The two best teams in the league were middle of the pack in Red zone TD’s, and also are two of the highest rushing attempt teams in the league. Hmmm I wonder if there is a correlation here. Maybe, just maybe, these teams are attempting to power the ball in too much in the Red zone instead of using the pass and formations more often.

    1. the problem with the red zone is that there are less ways to “manufacture” a reception because of the lack of space.

      much of the Niner’s passing game is scheme dependent on getting receivers open. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Using play action and passing concepts (coordinated route combos) to get receivers open and to help out your QB is a good thing. But you’re limited at the number of routes combos you can run and types of play action because of the compressed space in the end zone.

      Passing in the redzone takes a quick reading of defenses, knowing ahead of time who will be (relatively open) and anticipating that pass to where the receiver will be. Those are not Kaep’s strengths. He’s not the fastest reader of defenses and he tends to wait for receivers to get open. It’s not that he’s incapable of anticipating which receiver will be open and then throwing them open. He probably knows some plays better than others and can read some defenses and how the match up with the play better than others.

      1. Given all that, what do you think about Lloyd’s chances of making it? Do you know enough about Johnson to say if he’s as good in the red zone?

        1. both are crafty route runners, something Boldin and Crabtree are not.

          Boldin generally out muscles his defenders for the ball. If Boldin were 4 inches taller he’d be an unstoppable in the redzone banger like a 7′ foot basket ball center under the hoop.

          Crabs isn’t a bad route runner. He gets by with good routes, good quickness and aggressive hands.

          Lloyd (especially now that he’s old) and Johnson (he’s always been slow) have had no choice but to learn to be savvy route runners.

          I don’t know how Johnson is in the red zone. He’s put up pretty good TD numbers over the years. I don’t know how many of those were in the red zone.

          Lloyd is still a longshot IMO. usually a 4th WR needs to have some special teams value or some upside.

          1. Affp, many of Johnson’s TDs came in the red zone. He’s not really known for the long TD bombs, his best work comes in the short to intermediate areas.

      2. AFFP,

        The scheme is part of it, but it’s also the playcalling imo. Often we will see the offense get inside the ten and run the ball twice before being forced to throw on 3rd down. Seattle has the same issues as I pointed out in the comparison. I think it’s because the team relies on power football too much at that point instead of getting creative in the passing game. Kap needs to improve on the areas you mentioned, but I don’t think you can pin it all on him when they are running the ball a high percentage of the time. They have to make the offense go through Kap more in those situations imo.

        1. it’s sort of a chicken and the egg type of issue with Kaep and the red zone offense (or the entire offense for that matter).

          is the red zone offense held back because the lack of pass plays called in the red zone?

          or is Kaepernick and the receivers the reason that less pass plays are called in the end zone?

          both Seattle and San Francisco have young and still developing QBs in common. So it’s no wonder that they have red zone efficiency in common.

        2. Every time I see them get in the Redzone its seems like they completely change their mentality from attack mode to play it safe mode. They are completely content taking 3. But I think that’s just Harbs style. He knows his defense is good and all he has to do is produce some kind of points.

          But it does get frustrating on our end

          1. I hear you Leo, but would you rather be a Detroit Lion’s fan whose team has been one of the best in the redzone for the past 3 yrs, or a Niner fan the last 3 yrs? :)

    2. Good point, Rocket. I don’t have the numbers and correct me if I’m wrong, Seattle’s red zone offense in the playoffs wasn’t impressive at all. Against NO, 49ers and Denver, the way I recall it, it looks like the Niners were better in the redzone this year and even last year compare to Seahawks numbers this yr. Can someone lookt up the stats?

        1. Thanks, Jack. But I meant just the redzone numbers only in the playoffs. I’m asking because I believe that Seattle had won a superbowl in spite of having a worse redzone efficiency than the Niners. The consensus around here is that Niners redzone woes has been their Achilles’ heel, but Seattle has proven (i think) otherwise.
          No, I’m not saying that the Niners should not improve that part of their game. I just think that there are other things that need to improve to get that #6.

          1. Ricardo,

            What you’re looking for is right there in rhe second column. The Seahawks scored TD’s on 25% of red zone possessions in the playoffs. The 49ers were just over 36%.

            1. Jack thanks for that link. I have to admit i was surprised, I assumed that the 9ers were far worse than #15 and only apprx 5% away from the top 7. It sure puts Grants article in different light. Arrogance? I do’nt see it. Maybe the arrogance lies with the writer and not the coach. How dare Harbaugh not spend more time working on what Grant deems the teams greatest weakness instead of preparing his team the way he feels is best.

              1. Old coach, look at the numbers in 2012. The Niners in the playoff had almost 70% completion rate in the redzone, but after losing in the superbowl, that’s what a lot people around here were talking about.

              2. IMO, the issue isn’t weather or not the Niners should be working on red zone offense. Sure they should try to get better at it. It’s the entitled expectation by Grant that they should do it in front of him.

              3. “It’s the entitled expectation by Grant that they should do it in front of him.”

                lol… best line so far today.

              4. Coach,

                Through the first 15 weeks of the season the 49ers had scored touchdowns on 58% of their trips to the red zone. At that point it was the 5th highest percentage in the NFL.

  11. To change the topic a bit:
    Seattle extended Doug Baldwin:
    Seahawks signed restricted free agent WR Doug Baldwin to a three-year, $13 million contract. Baldwin gets $9 million over the first two years. Not a bad haul for the former undrafted free agent out of Stanford. Baldwin (5-foot-10, 189) plays bigger than his size would indicate and has become a favorite target of Russell Wilson’s. He has reliable hands and is coming of a 50-778-5 line in 2013. Entering his age-26 season, there isn’t much room for statistical growth for Baldwin in one of the league’s run-heaviest offenses. With Percy Harvin also returning to health, Baldwin is more WR4 than WR3. He should play every down, though. At OTAs, Baldwin is practicing at Z receiver with Harvin in the slot.

    1. $9M for 2 years is an awful lot for a 4th WR without much expected statistical growth. I’m guessing the Seahawks feel differently?

      1. allforfunnplay: WR Doug Baldwin’s deal: 2 year extension/ 3 year deal for 13M with 9M in the first two yrs.

  12. I really can’t get too excited about how veterans look during OTAs. Ask me when they do this when it counts.

    1. Kaepernick floated pass after pass to the back of the end zone just like he did two years ago, except no defense was on the field. Crabtree dropped two passes during this drill even though no one was covering him.

      But Lloyd made this drill look easy. He scored imaginary touchdowns every time. After he scored, Kaepernick and Boldin and Crabtree would ask him questions and Lloyd would explain how he did what he did.

      So Lloyd was able to make catches against imaginary defenses and make it look easy. and then Kaepernick and Crabtree asked him how he made those catches with no one covering him?

      Am I missing something here? Maybe there’s some context to the practice that wasn’t included?

    1. He’s already one of the higher paid TEs in the league. I don’t think he wants an increase in salary. I suspect he wants a 2-3 year extension with more guaranteed money.

      I think if I’m the Niners, I’d want to see if Davis can play more as a classic Tight End. One that can find holes in defenses and box out defenders to make contested catches. Right now as a receiver he’s almost like a stiff jumbo WR who’s game is mostly to get by linebackers and safeties with his speed. But he’s 30 or approaching 30 so going forward you’d expect some decline in speed so you’d like to see growth in other aspects of his game.

      1. You make a good point. I wonder if Baalke is starting to lick his chops over this one. Let’s say there’s good trade interest in Vernon. Potentially, this would make their decision at WR easier.

        1. as with any trade you have to have a solution in place for what you’re trading away.

          I may knock some aspects of Davis’ receiving skills. But he’s still a valuable match up piece. He can block so he can be left in on run plays which helps the play action game. And he’s still a valuable chess piece as a match up advantage against some defenses. And right now, Davis is still the only known commodity as a deep threat in the offense (he and Kaep still aren’t too good at deep ball plays but it’s still there).

          If the Niners got rid of him, right now I’m not sure they have anyone who could replace him. Or even an adequate combination of players to replace him.

          1. I don’t even want them to be thinking about replacing Vernon. The man scored 13 touchdowns last season! We lost every game he missed. Nuff said…

          2. I’m trying to think outside the box. You are right, of course; he would have them in a corner if he threatened to hold out. At the same time, they own him for the next two years. So if they showed they were prepared to move on without him, the leverage would shift. There’s MacDonald and Boldin they could fit in on the line, and there’s Ellington as a deep threat, no?

            1. Boldin’s not a Tight End. He’s short (6’1″) for the position…though that’s not entirely prohibitive. But being a good blocking WR is different than being a good inline blocker (which Davis is). He’s also not going to stretch the field like Davis. He would be a good middle of the field banger receiver to contest with hard hitting defenses in the middle (something the Niners lack from the TE position).

              Ellington may or may not be a deep threat (my understanding of him is that he’s more of waterbug that gets open on shorter and intermediate plays and then gets down field…not a deep ball threat. But who knows at this point. But what Ellington isn’t is a Y receiver that lines up inline pass or run. So that when the Niners run play action the same player is in there ready to block or catch.

              McDonald is still a project. he’s working on blocking (which wasn’t his forte` in college…but apparently was a willing student when the senior bowl came around last year). I’m also not sure how well McDonald is comfortable in the offense. My last memories of him are of drops on short stick like routes.

  13. Nice column Grant, perhaps Kaep and Harbaugh will be less arrogant and address the problems. It still kills me that we did not use Boldin on the last drive of the Hawks game. He is made for snatching the ball away from smaller corners.

    1. what game and players are you watching?

      other than maybe weight, how is Boldin that much bigger than the Seahawk’s corners??? Boldin wasn’t going to out run any of them to get open that’s for sure.

      if you’re griping about the Hawk’s game, on the last play the ball should have gone to Patton on the left sideline to gain a good 5-10 yards which would have given the Niners another shot at the end zone with a higher percentage for success.

        1. it’s the right throw to make in certain situations. game situation awareness is an important part of QB decision making.

          Crabtree beat Sherman. But as he got to the end zone, he had to slow up because he was running out of room quickly. Sherman caught up. If that pass had been called from 50 yard line, I bet it’s a 40 yard big play (I’m assuming Crabs catches but is caught and tackled). But inside the 20 it’s a riskier decision. If you have game situation awareness and you know the defense being called (press cover/man 3) you’d know that the weakside flat would be open from the snap with Patton destined to be open.

    2. Real Neal:

      I think you have to be arrogant to be exceptional at anything, doctor, lawyer, NFL coach. I think Coach Harbaugh is a great coach BUT
      1. He’s wound kinda tight and could stand the help of a good PR team on how to present himself in the best light;
      2. He should take up yoga, running or walking; amazing how that can be a stress reliever, don’t I know; and
      3. I wish he would give more press conferences on how the team is doing. He doesn’t have to give out strategic info, just general. I know he can be charming; do it with a smile.

        1. Leo, I don’t know what you’re talking about :)

          I don’t know if I’ll be able to stick around when the season starts. I used to/and still do visit BR but when the 49ers had that first 2 game loss last yr. they all wanted to fire Roman and then the 2nd 2 game loss they wanted to fire Roman, Harbaugh and Kaep. It was a bit unsettling. I think some of the fans thought they could get a whole new set of coaches and still win the SB. Haha.

            1. A funny thing, Leo, is that there is no “Mary” posting over on the Field Gulls blog — or even on NinerNation blog. You know, the blogs she has been referencing since coming on to this 49er blog. Seems a bit odd to me, lol.

    1. Mary ..

      In the old days .. the “much hated” division rival was
      the Lambs …
      (cuz anything south of Fresno, was considered the enemy)

      but, today, ..?
      (how can you hate a team from St Louis ?)

      We’ve got the SeaChickens (now) to hate .. and the mess
      that Cheatin’ Pete left in place when he bolted from
      USC .. and Richard Sherman .. just adds fuel to the fire ..

      Strap yerself in, kiddo .. cuz I suspect a VERY l-o-n-g
      game of tug-a-war between the fans up in Sea/Tac
      and the Bay Area ..

      1. NWNiner:

        As Betty Davis said, “Fasten your seat belt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” Haha.

        Yeah, it’s going to be an interesting season and I’ll be a wreck. I think NFL predicted we we were going to lose the first game @ home w/GreenB. But what do they know.

  14. Everyone is reporting that Vernon Davis wants a new contract, bad enough that he’s letting $200K walk out the door by not showing up to OTA’s. Anybody have any insight on how this affects us. Especially since we have other big names we will be trying to resign.

    1. KY49er,

      I don’t believe half of what BR says. I take Profootball over them and I think I heard Harbaugh address that and they are voluntary. I’ll do a couple of quick searches.

        1. Mary, two players does not a mutiny make, but thanks for trying, lol. I see the Seahawk fan in you starting to show a bit. Of course, that is an inevitable thing. Start nice and friendly and then the little jabs start coming. I’ve spent too long dealing with Seahawk fans on other blogs not to know how it always ends up when the season starts.

    2. This isn’t exactly shocking as I mentioned this when talks about Kaep wanting to be one of the highest paid QBs came about. There are going to have to be some crucial roster decisions made and fantastic drafting executed in order to offset the potential talent loss if Kaep gets his wish.

      1. kee-rect, MidWest ..

        and the way these “stories” fly around..
        (especially during the off season) .. it seems if just
        one of the “genius” NFL talking heads says something..
        then other “expert” commentators pick it up as gospel..
        and run with it …

        I’m wondering why … any one of them
        don’t track Vernon or “The Rino” down .. and just
        ask them ?

        What.. ? ,,
        is that too logical ?

      2. Mid-West Nasty: Hmmm he’s a 9 yr vet. in a hard-hitting division. This is going to be a tough year on him. But, I don’t think it sets a very good precedent. It will be interesting to see what they do.

  15. Mary, I first noticed you appear here on the blog last week or the week before. Initially your posts led me to believe your were a Seahawk fan trolling a Niner blog.Then, your posts made me think you were a Niner fan living up there in enemy territory, which I respected cause I thought you were toughing it out. Now I suspect you’re a Seahawk fan again! I would wager I’m not the only one who’s waiting for you to just come out and state your allegiance. It is metaphysically impossible to be both a Niner and a Seahawk fan.
    So..who’s side are you on? Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

    1. Bar None ..
      no matter which way she answers … just
      don’t break into that song from
      The Wizard of Oz !!

        1. Space ..

          I was thinking of just one .. but I love the reasoning
          behind the two you mentioned …

          (also… I gotta quit sipping my coffee while reading
          stuff like that !)

    2. Bar None, didn’t she say Pete Carroll was her hero? That kind of convinced me she was a Seattle fan, lol.

      1. Space, Yes she did! I caught that too, I’m sure everyone did, a blasphemous statement like that was kind of hard to miss. Well since she hasn’t responded I guess we’re safe to pass judgement. Careful, everybody! The enemy walks (or types?) among us! Mary is NOT a trusted agent!

    3. Bar None:

      Do me a favor and put a follow-up reminder on your calendar and ask me that question after the 16th game.

      1. Mary …

        Does your son play ..
        “Guard on end Tackle” .. ?

        (guards the water bucket on the end of the bench ..
        and tackles anyone who tries to get it )

          1. Just kidding, Mary ..but..
            on second thought .. do you tell him about
            some of the stuff mentioned here ?

      2. Grant, how about an IP check on Mary to see if she actually lives in Seattle? I have a feeling you will find out she doesn’t. Just a hunch. If I’m wrong I will get on hands and knees and beg her forgiveness and give the Seahawks props (when earned) all season long on Field Gulls.

    4. Actually, I have been visiting and reading comments for probably 4 months b/c I thought they were amusing and informative.

    1. Thanks for the link, Jack.

      I like Matt Barrows and I think it was a good interview, but this offseason has reinforced for me the notion that sports reporters are out of their depth on reporting on legal issues. What is most frustrating is that a modicum of research would have done wonders for his answers with respect to the status of Aldon Smith’s weapons and DWI charges and with respect to what has taken so long with the Miami-Dade investigation.

      A common error regarding the status of Smith’s weapons and DWI case is that he pled guilty (what Barrows said) and/or he has been convicted of any charges, felony or otherwise (various reporters and commentators). A plea of ‘nolo contendere’ was entered. Pleading ‘nolo’ is not equivalent to pleading guilty, nor is it as simple as the English translation of “no contest” might imply. A ‘nolo’ plea indicated that the defendant has chosen not to put forth a defense. The plea avoids the uncertainties of a jury trial on the felony charges while allowing the judge more leeway on sentencing as the judge may find that a conviction on a lesser charge or a lenient sentence to be appropriate given the facts and the nature of a ‘nolo’ plea. A guilty plea on felony charges with not provide the judge with as much leeway.

      A further interesting aspect of the ‘nolo’ plea is that prosecutors on cases for which charges have already been brought will often offer plea deals wherein the defendant agrees to plead ‘nolo contendre’ and the prosecution agrees to recommend conviction on a lesser charge and/or a lenient sentence. This is preferable (for several reasons) to withdrawing the current charges and recharging on lesser charges, which is what would have to be done if the prosecutor was going to reduce the charge at this point. For example, some judges are averse to allowing charges to be withdrawn without prejudice once a defendant has appeared on said charges.

      Given the change of plea to ‘nolo’, and given the time frame, it seems likely to me that a deal has been reached, and I would not be surprised if at sentencing the prosecution recommends misdemeanor convictions on all counts. The problem with any deal that is struck once the case had begun is that the judge may not approve the deal and may enter a conviction and sentence on the charges as brought. However, until such time as a conviction is entered and the sentence handed down, it is not appropriate to claim even that Smith was successfully prosecuted on felony charges (as Kawakami phrased it when interviewing Harbaugh), much less that he pled guilty to and/or has been convicted of felonies.

      The timeframe for the Miami-Dade investigation involving Kaepernick, Patton and Lockett is an even easier explanation – full toxicology panels usually take six to eight weeks. Law enforcement would not send the file to prosecution for review prior to issuance and law enforcement review of the toxicology report, regardless of other evidence or to what extent prosecution is already involved in the investigation. That is simply the process.

      A side note on the Miami-Dade investigation — given the case has been submitted for review by prosecutors, I would be surprised if there is any DNA evidence. DNA typing would require a sample to be collected from each the players. DNA collection would require voluntary consent or a warrant. A warrant would be a matter of public record, and the Miami-Dade police state they have not interviewed the subjects. Sure, it is possible they asked the three individuals to send DNA samples, or had them collected by local authorities in CA and WA, without an interview, but that is quite unlikely. Ergo, I do not believe any DNA evidence was collected.

      1. JPN,

        Yeah, the better way to phrase Kawakami’s first question would have been, “Aldon Smith pled no contest…”

      2. JPN,

        Quick question, as an attorney would you advise your client to enter a no contest plea if you felt you could avoid conviction through a trial?

        1. Probably not in most cases, but the correct answer to any legal question is always, “It depends.” Each case is different. Sometimes pleading ‘nolo contendere’ is the best way to quickly resolve a case – there is a value to many people in the quick resolution of a legal matter – while giving the judge the incentive and opportunity to be lenient.

          In Smith’s case, the law prohibiting the weapons in question is strict liability for a misdemeanor – merely bringing the prohibited weapons into CA is sufficient for conviction. The felony charge requires specific intent – going outside of California for the purpose of procuring prohibited weapons and brining them into CA. If I thought my client could beat the felony but not the lesser and included misdemeanor charge (which would be quite difficult to beat), I might still advise a ‘nolo’ plea IF we had assurances that the prosecutor would recommend a misdemeanor conviction.

          1. Do you think the ‘nolo contendere’ plea will have any impact on the lawsuit filed by the person who was caught in the crossfire at the party?

            1. No. The legality of the weapons used is not relevant with respect to the civil case (which I believe might have been settled). Even if Smith’s actions in firing his weapons were causal in the plaintiff’s injury (i.e. led to subsequent weapons discharge by others), the same harm would have been incurred by plaintiff if the weapons discharged were legal.

              1. No problem, Jack.

                I did want to follow up on a couple of points. NinersNation.com had a nice article last week on the plea change and possible informal plea agreement (http://www.ninersnation.com/2014/5/22/5740108/aldon-smith-plea-deal-no-contest-pr/in/4516891). The analysis and reasoning in that article match my thoughts on the subject almost exactly.

                I know you are not a fan of NinersNation, and I agree with you that many articles there are fanboy type articles, but both David Fucillo and SoCaliSteph are attorneys, and they do a nice job on the legal issues.

              2. Sometimes I dream about being smart. That’s how I sound in those dreams, the way NPN comments.

              3. JPN,

                That was an educational and informative breakdown of the Aldon Smith situation. I appreciate you taking the time to post that. Many thanks.

              4. Its been said before and I’ll say it again – very glad to have someone like you on this blog JPN. Great analysis of the situation, thank you.

  16. KNBR needs to update where Bee-Rows is ..

    Didn’t he leave the Sac Bee for CSN Bay Area a couple years ago ?

    Good podcast, though..

    Thanx, Jack

      1. ah… you’re right, Jack…

        I was thinkin’ about .. the other Matt..

        (it’s easy to confuse the two..cuz
        they look so much alike)

  17. Kevin Lynch on Kevin Greene, TE:
    Rookie free agent who stood out: USC tight end Kevin Greene caught the ball effortlessly and looked elusive at 6-4, 255. Greene side-stepped a tackle from Borland in a pursuit drill. Greene was born in Oakland and played mainly basketball at Sacred-Heart Cathedral Prep in San Francisco. After gaining a BA in communications, Greene is now working on a Masters’ in communication management at USC. He certainly did not look like a offensive novice.

    I like this kid. Ok, he’s probably headed for the PS. He’s tall, big-framed, does a sub 7 cone drill, and can run sub 4.4. I know, if he’s so good why wasn’t he drafted. Shoot me, I like to dream. Woops, shouldn’t say that around here!

    1. he’s only played one season at TE (he’s a former OLB/DE) so he probably needs work on route running and blocking.

    2. I just saw s 40 times…Wow! Almost has Vernon Davis type speed. Could be a good project, especially if he has natural hands

  18. If Kap can learn to throw with anticipation not just in the redzone, but through out his game he’s gonna elevate his game. Would also like to see him have better peripheral vision too.

  19. Marcus Martin signed today. Rookies signing isn’t news it used to be because of the rookie cap. I still think its noteworthy because I like this pick so much.

    I could not find his career highlights, but his epic battles vs Luis Nix are here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKJAY2zW1Hk.

    Marcus is a pup at only 20, a few years younger then Nix, yet he held his own. Had some sweet blocks where he shielded Nix, then released just at the right moment to wipe out a linebacker at the 2nd level.

    Moves really well at 320 lbs. Even pulls from the center position to block outside the tackle Randy Cross style. Needs some polishing (of course). If he learns to sustain blocks just a wee bit longer he will dominate.

      1. thanks for the link, Brodie! I think Martin has the potential to be not only the best of this year’s Niners draft class but in the entire 2014 draft class.

  20. Re: Brandon Lloyd

    Sure don’t want to burst anybody’s bubble, but (sigh) I listened to that radio program & heard the word “problems” or “issues” which led me to this article on Profootball.com. Article is short and make sure you read the comments as they are very revealing and I have never read anything like this b/4. I just don’t see this kid working out. You do realize you’ll be the 7th team drafting him.


    1. there’s no SPECIFIC info in the article or in the comments section as to why Lloyd didn’t work out in New England.

      all the old stuff about Lloyd (spats with teammates, focusing on his rap career) most Niner fans already know about.

      1. right .. affp ..
        and not only that… but
        (and correct me if I’m wrong here)
        wasn’t it the Niners in the first place who drafted
        him ?

      2. What do I know, but 49ers will be the 7th team he has been with. There’s a reason for that. And they are relatively short stints. I think he voluntarily took off last year. I’m unsure. Supposedly he has 0 YAC he just falls down per fan that watched all the games. Fan said he was surprised when he didn’t fall down. Just laid down there until after the whistle blew. I’m going to be following this guy.

        1. Actually, he had 2.2 YAC in 2012, the last season he played. That was 3rd worse in the league, so not very good, but not zero either. But, c’mon, you can’t use fan comments from PFT to support your claims. Maybe that flies on FieldGulls, but not on this blog, Marty.

    2. Mary, umm… ya can’t draft a player that’s already played 8 seasons in the NFL. But, the 49ers were the team that drafted Lloyd, in 2004.

    3. I can’t make you out Mary….it seems like you may be a hawk troll but you’re just really bad at it…but even then I don’t know if you’re purposely being awful at trolling….and so it continues

      1. Leo:

        I know what a troll is and truly I’m not here to disrupt your cohesive group. I said this b/4 I feel like your all very knowledgeable and I would like to learn more.

    4. Yes, by all means, make sure you read the comments on a ProFootballTalk article. PFT commenters are legendary for their intelligence and rational, fact-based analysis.

      1. I’m just being objective. But I did find the fans comments interesting.

        But the most telling is that he’s been with 7 teams now. I’m sure Harbaugh has a plan.

  21. @mikejurecki: #Cardinals LB Daryl Washington will be suspended for the entire 2014 season, still gathering all the details.

      1. I don’t know any details, but I would imagine drug related. Goodell really cracks down on the drug related cases. I think Aldon should be okay. I still say 4-6 games

        1. Yeah I would have to agree with that Leo. I can’t see them giving him a year for the assault charge that could be reduced to a misdemeanor if he completes his probation. The year probably means he tested positive again.

  22. Anyone concern with the Boone and Davis hold out ? I know it is only May, but it gets me to shake my head, that these guys still have two years left on their salaries and they may hold out. Of course if they were hurt or sucked, they would not be complaining. Davis blows away a $200,000 bonus for not showing up. Not the best of advise from the agent in my mind. Niners are at a disadvantage with the salary cap and also probably extending Kaep contract when Rodgers is off the books in June.

    1. Neal,

      Not concerned, more disappointed that two starters who should be leading by example are not, and instead are showing a me attitude instead of team attitude.

      I understand players have a limited career span and should be able to get as much as they possibly can, but if you sign a long term contract and have multiple years remaining on it, you have to honor it. Teams will tend to renegotiate a deal in it’s final year, but asking for that to happen with two years remaining is wishful thinking to the extreme.

      Davis really doesn’t have a case here anyway. He’s been paid very well and if he expects the team to give him a big money deal when he’s 30 and has two years remaining, he’s dreaming.

      Both of these guys need to suck it up, play the season under the terms of their current deals and then see if the team will do extensions in the final year.

      1. Yes I agree Rocket. Davis is paid well and I believe he plays great this season, he will be looking at some serious jack, but perhaps not with the Niners. Boone needs to suck it up, one more year, and then he should get a handsome raise.

      2. For Davis I don’t imagine it is about getting paid a lot more money, as he’s already getting paid well, but about having his contract extended. I can understand that – he’ll be 32 at the end of his current deal and he’ll likely struggle to command a big contract at that point.

        If he’s not asking for a big hike in pay then I think this is a deal that makes sense to do anyway – give him an extra 2 years, average of around $7M – $8M a season, while keeping his salary cap hit in line with current hits the next two years (which are around $7M for 2014 and 2015).

    2. They aren’t the only players missing the workouts. Until they miss time during the mandatory practices it’s a non-issue.

              1. Yes he was. He’s been working out at the team facility every day. He just doesn’t take part in the practice.

              2. Davis works out elsewhere, just like the QB. Not being at a voluntary practice in May is demonstrating a me attitude? Come on,

              3. Yes it is showing a me attitude. Davis hasn’t be there at all; everybody else with the exception of Boone has.

                The fact this is related to dissatisfaction with two years remaining on a contract makes it worse.

      1. agree, Jack ..

        besides .. I think it’s more like what Bee-Rows said
        in the podcast (posted above) …
        Vernon has a bunch of other stuff goin’ on ..
        and Harbs did say … this is “voluntary” !

        so-o-o .. are we making a mountain out of a mole hill ?

        1. It’s not a huge issue yet, I’m not saying that. What I am saying is this team is focused on a SB and a leader not showing up for the OTA’s sets a bad example and takes some of that focus away. I don’t buy the argument that he’s got too much going on. The OTA’s require a max of 6 hours of his time a day.

          1. Rocket, I agree completely. I love 85. He’s the Man! But he’s not passing up $200K because he’s got other things going on. I would give him the benefit of doubt if it weren’t for the 200 Large. That’s significant coin, even for these wealthy players. I’m surprised and disappointed with him. Those newbies aren’t going to buy into the “other things going on” BS either. In spite of what Gordon Gecko said, greed is not always good.

          2. rocket ..
            I see your point, and while it is somewhat of a concern …
            in Vernon’s case .. I think there’s not much for him to gain ..
            at these voluntary workouts …
            It’s mostly used for the rookies and FA’s to get them up
            to speed …

            Dollars to donuts, he’ll be there when it counts ..

            Now “The Rino” .. ??

            I dunno what to make of his absence

      2. I agree Jack – not showing up for voluntary OTAs is not a cause for concern. While it would be lovely if everyone on the team was happy with their contract status and solely focused on getting together as a team to prepare for this season, it is rare for that to be case. It is not surprising that guys on a successful team want upgraded or extended contracts, and not surprising they would be feeling a bit of pressure to get something done soon with the pending deal for Kaepernick which will take a big chunk of the kitty.

        It only becomes an issue if they start missing mandatory team sessions. Until then this is about players wielding the little power they have to get the team’s attention without being in violation of their contract with the team.

        On Boone, I’ve seen some people say he should be grateful for the contract he has because the 49ers gave him a chance. He’s repayed that faith quite nicely the past few years, and quite frankly the 49ers were not doing him a favour, it wasn’t a selfless act to sign him – they saw a guy that could help the team if he sorted his life out. He was the one that did sort his life out, the 49ers didn’t do that for him. His contract does not pay him like a guy that has performed at his level the past two years – how long is he supposed to feel indebted before fans are ok with him being paid what he is worth?

  23. Don’t know if anyone caught Jim Harbaugh’ interview w/Murph and Mac on KNBR this morning.

    In speaking about Aldon Smith’ issues he said that he would not turn him or any other player away if they needed help.

    The one thing that stuck out was when JH mentioned that changes need to be made at the top regarding player’s off-field incidents.
    Maybe I’m reading too much into JH’ statement, but it sounds as if he is almost washing his hands on how the Org has/is handling player’s off-field issues.

    1. What get’s me is that this guy is a very wealthy dude.

      Celebrity Net Worth says he’s worth $12M and I believe the 2 years remaining on his contract are worth $17M.

      Another website says he’s worth $40.5M.

      Whatever, he’s a very rich guy and I don’t get it.

      1. “wealthy” is relative, Mary ..

        sure .. to you and me $40 Million is a lot .. but ..
        when you compare it to the $9.5 BILLION figure
        (what the NFL took in last season alone) ..
        you’re comparing flatulence to a hurricane !

        At least the players deserve any and all
        bucks they can get … after all ..
        each player is only one hit away from
        a wheelchair ..

        (see Jeff Fuller)

        1. Argue all you want. The agreement he made in 2010 seemed to suit him just fine. He’s greedy plain and simple. And as far as getting injured, choose another vocation.

          He sees this as a business opportunity. Let’s hold the team hostage and freak out the fan base that he’s necessary for a supper bowl run. No character – no loyalty. Fire him!

          1. Mary..
            you have a point ..but, the other side of that coin ..
            (and, remember .. there is another side)
            … is the fact ..
            that “negotiation” .. used to be a right, in this country ..
            (’till some people thought we’d be better off
            without that right)

            “Negotiating” can be done at any time …

            (on Thanksgiving .. the grandkids will “negotiate”
            some more turkey… before finishing the rest of the

            Vernon will there when it counts..
            Take that to the bank ..

            Bottom line ..?

            No harm… no foul

            1. MWNiner:

              It’s America, you have the right to ask for anything.

              It’s called salary Cap. And you have to stagger the contracts. BUT you give Vernon Davis and Boone money, you are going to see Harbaugh and Kaepernick walk and I wouldn’t blame them one bit. Other people are in line for raises b/4 those two.

  24. Leo:

    Don’t ever let me hear you talk like this again. Don’t let a few big words make you feel stupid. Attorneys are about 2 things and don’t kid yourself: adversity and billable hours. Learn to solve your own problems and you’ll be a happier person for it and have more money in your pocket.
    You want to improve your mind: there’s a website where ivy-league schools offer free course. I’ll dig it up and pass it on to you.

    1. you can actually hear Leo talk ??

      Guess I’m really “Last Century” ..cuz
      I’ve gotta read what he typed !

  25. A common fallacy is the belief that the house sets the initial line based on detailed (and even inside) information regarding a team’s likelihood of success. In reality, the initial line is set not based on which team the odds makers think will win a particular game or the championship, but rather on what odds ensure the least loss to the house if the favorite were to win. After the initial line is set, movements in the line are a result of the action (the bets placed) rather than any analysis by the odds makers.

    To set the initial line for the Super Bowl, the odds makers take into account both the relative probability of success of a given team (based mainly on last season’s performance) AND the projected volume of bets placed on any given team. Absent major changes to the team, the past year’s Super Bowl winner is almost always the favorite in the initial line both because the probability of continued success is high and because the bettors who bet on the Super Bowl winner this early often heavily favor the prior year’s champion. If an initial favorite does not sustain that status, it is not because of adjustments by the house based on any information; it is because the action lighter on the initial favorite and heavier on another team or other teams.

    In other words, the initial line is a poor predictor of success as it is based on the house’s agenda of minimizing loss rather than on predicting outcome. The subsequent line is an even worse predictor because it is set not through analysis of information but by the action of the foolish marks (or bettors, if you prefer).

    The same system is used when setting the line on individual games – the difference is that better data is available as the season unfolds, and the house is even better able to predict which odds are most likely to minimize the house’s loss.

    1. JPN: Super Bowl 49

      Thank you for that Vegas info but I’m really not a betting person. That was just a friendly jab for my 49er friends. Actually I am a stat person and no team has won consecutive years since NE in 2004/05 and not since salary caps. The odds for the Seahawks are not favorable. But I am an optimist. And after the game with the Broncos I’ll know if we’re on track. I expect to go into Levi Stadium with no losses.

      1. Mary ..

        Kaep was given the keys to Levis Stadium during
        the game with da Bears ..

        In its inaugural season .. I say ..

        Kaep will win … ONLY
        Eight games there …

        (in the regular season, of course)

        1. Oh I didn’t say the Seahawks were going to WIN at Levi’s Stadium. Haha. I only want to go in with no losses.

          1. Mary, Well, there’s no guessing about it now. You’re officially out of the closet as a Seahawks fan, which I’m pretty sure makes you a troll. I don’t get why a fan of the Niner’s sworn enemy would want to hang out on a Niner fan blog.
            Care to enlighten me?

            1. Bar None:

              Plain and simple I think you’re all good people and it doesn’t matter to me what NFL team you support.

  26. Well .. Cheatin’ Pete had as much luck at The Stick as
    the Niners had at the Clink… but rest assured ..
    that will change …

    This year …I bet you’ll see Niner fans in Sea /Tac ..
    holding brooms !

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