49ers 15, Chiefs 13: Grades

My grades for the 49ers’ 15-13 preseason victory over the Chiefs:

QUARTERBACKS: D. Colin Kaepernick completed one of two passes for negative three yards. He overthrew the one pass he attempted downfield.

Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien were horrible. McCoy threw an interception and Tolzien averaged just 3.8 yards per pass attempt. If those two keep playing like that, the 49ers won’t be able to trade either one for a draft pick.

B.J. Daniels played well in the fourth quarter. He led a 90-yard touchdown in which he completed six-of-six passes. He has to be the second-most talented quarterback on the roster, and he probably is the 49ers’ long-term backup for Kaepernick, but McCoy may win the competition to be the No.2 this season because he has more NFL experience. Still, Daniels should earn a spot on the 53-man roster this season.

OFFENSIVE LINE: C. The starting offensive line created very little running room, and Mike Iupati gave up a sack. Joe Looney played particularly poorly on the second unit. There’s a chance undrafted Santa Rosa native Al Netter could make the team over Looney as the eighth offensive linemen.

RUNNING BACKS: C. Frank Gore had one brilliant run, cutting back to the left in the backfield and breaking through the line for a 52-yard gain. But the 49ers’ running game didn’t do anything the rest of the game. LaMichael James gained just 17 yards on 5 carries. Jewel Hampton had a couple good runs in the second half on read option plays, but he had way too many negative carries and gained just 33 yards on 19 carries. He probably will not make the team.

WIDE RECEIVERS: C. Chad Hall, Chuck Jacobs and Lavelle Hawkins all played pretty well. They fought for passes and converted third downs. Jacobs scored the first touchdown of the preseason for the 49ers.

Kassim Osgood dropped his only target. A.J. Jenkins got dominated by the Chiefs’ starting right cornerback, Sean Smith. In the second half, Jenkins beat an undrafted cornerback on the Chiefs for a 21-yard gain, but Adam Snyder committed a holding penalty and the catch didn’t count.

TIGHT ENDS: C. Vernon Davis played about four plays. Garrett Celek played most of the first-half snaps at tight end and he struggled blocking. He caught two passes for just nine yards. MarQueis Gray made a 13-yard catch on a second-and-eight, and he tucked his head and ran through a defender at the end of the play.

DEFENSIVE LINE: B+. Both Justin Smith and Ray McDonald got into the Chiefs’ backfield in the first quarter. Ian Williams and DeMarcus Dobbs each made a tackle. Glenn Dorsey did not. He was a non-factor.

LINEBACKERS: A-. The starting linebackers hardly played, but the backups played very well. Nick Moody played especially well. He had 10 tackles. Nate Stupar had nine, including a sack. Wilhoite had three tackles and a pass breakup in the first half. The outside linebackers also played well. Parys Haralson, Corey Lemonier and Cam Johnson all had a sack.

CORNERBACKS: B+. The starters, Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown, didn’t play much and weren’t tested. Tramaine Brock got beaten on a post route, but the receiver dropped the ball. Other than that play, Brock played well. Nnamdi Asomugha also played well. He didn’t give up any passes. Perrish Cox played extremely well. He had two sacks on corner blitzes and he broke up a pass on third-and-four.

SAFETIES: A. The Chiefs were hardly tested them in coverage and they gave up no big plays. C.J. Spillman had good coverage on a deep pass in the first quarter.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D. They gave up a 104-yard kick return to Quinton Demps and a 52-yard punt return to Devon Wylie, but I give this group a D instead of an F because Haralson blocked a punt and Phil Dawson made two 55-yard field goals.

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    1. Actually, the only NFL player to ever record 10 sacks was 49er Charlie Powell, in his first game for the Niners as a starting DE. He got 10 sacks vs. Bobby Layne and the Detroit Lions for -161 yards. This was before the NFL officially started counting sacks and therefore does not stand as the league record. Powell was probably the best athlete to ever play for the Niners. The Harlem Globetrotters tried to sign him out of high school. He did sign a pro baseball contract with the St. Louis Browns before QB Frankie Albert convinced Coach Buck Shaw to sign Charlie. He also held the high school track record for throwing the shot put and ran the sprints. He ran a 9.5 in the 100, .2 seconds off the world record at the time. Oh, he also knocked out Nino Valdez, the #2 rated heavyweight in the world and finally lost to Ali in a title fight. There was only one Charlie Powell, the original #84.

      1. Charlie’s brother Art was a WR and he played on the Raiders in Al Davis’ 1st year as head coach in ’63. He led the league with 16 touchdowns and 73 receptions for 1,394 yards.

      2. Thanks guys for those recollections. I didn’t know about Powell. DE running 9.5 back then was fabulous.

      3. Kezar Vet,
        Awesome 49er history info regarding Charlie Powell.
        The old Kezar Stadium was also the stomping grounds of Ken Willard, Dave Wilcox, Matt Halzeltine, John Brodie, Gene Washington, Roland Lakes, Jimmy Johnson and Kermit Alexander.

        Also, many current 49er fans wouldn’t know it by it’s present size, but Kezar Stadium once held a capacity of 61,000.

  1. I think Daniels td throw bumps the Qb grade to a c but I am with you that colt and Tolkien struggled! D looks good, still think kap will be great this year!

    1. Sure like your attitude about Kaep, Rebel, but I wish I could see what it was based on. 1 completed pass for MINUS three yards? Did I read that right? One series that ended without a TD? I know the powers that be didn’t want him injured (good thinking!), but unless I missed something significant, he didn’t exactly set anything on fire.
      BJ looked encouraging as a #2, so at least we got that goin’ for us…

  2. Nick Moody had 10 tackles, not 10 sacks.

    Special teams deserves an A+ because Dawson made two 55 yard field goals which room to spare. This guy is going to win games for the 49ers. Any other play by our special teams was inconsequential.

    Alex Smith looked like a stiff out there. Man, the 49ers made the right call re Kaepernick.

    The league has to do something about these exhibition games. Just have the teams scrimmage other teams more and you could get rid of exhibition games completely or maybe have just one or two at the most.
    The Niners play on the 25th then on the 29th! The game on the 29th will have about as much contact as the Pro Bowl.

    1. The Chiefs receivers had 3 balls bounce off their hands/chests or the #s for Alex would have been better.

      1. See how far the “Alexcuses” extend, Jack? All the way to the NFL network on Sirius. It’s a vast conspiracy, I tell you!

      2. if kaepernick had had 3 drops (and not the one over throw he did) im sure the alex smith haters would be blaming ther receivers

  3. Those grades pretty well hit the nail on the head Grant. I pray that none of our starters on offense (especially Kaep) get injured or we could be in deep trouble this season.

    1. I agree, Grant hit the nail on the head with this preseason game GPA. But Mid West I think you hit the nail that is the big take away concern from this game and pre season to this point.
      Right now we have no proven back ups at QB and tackle. Kapernicus, Staley and Anthony Davis need to stay healthy this season, period and exclamation point. And both positions are hard to find quality on the waiver wire after final cuts.

      Then there are the Jenkins and Looney sagas – are they two draft picks from last year that are crashing and burning before our eyes? Yet as hard to watch as much of that game was, I actually left with some optimism.

      I now feel a lot more positive about the Niner defense. I thought both the first and second team DBs looked very good against the first team KC offense (and Alex). We may not have superstars in the back field but we have a lot of solid depth back there. In fact there seems to be a lot of depth across the board on the defense and that will take a team through a long hard season and into the playoffs. Note: Some good players on this defense are going to get grabbed by other teams after the final cut.

      And I am a little more optimistic about the back up QB thanks to this impressive rookie Daniel’s debut. In Buffalo they are all excited about a guy showing a similar skill set during preseason (Manuel) who they, by the way, drafted in the first round.
      Yes Daniels played against KC’s second and thirds but lets also remember that he has spent much of training camp learning to be a WR, a RB, a TE and oh yes a long snapper. No wonder he has been a slow learn at QB I’m guessing he has not gotten near the QB grooming that Manuel has. I give him an A for his first NFL showing and I say make him your number 3 QB now and start him on a crash course for the number 2. And do not try to sneak him on to the practice squad – guaranteed to fail.
      From what I saw tonight, Daniels has the look of having a Kapernick like upside. Where as it seems Tolzien has (sadly) reached his ceiling. Colt’s ceiling might be glass to be broken by Harbaugh – that is still a work in progress and question to be answered at a later time.

  4. “Nick Moody played especially well. He had 10 sacks.” I’m assuming Grant meant 10 tackles.

    Surprised the frequently praised Looney did not play well.
    The O-line falls apart once the starters leave. This may be part of a roster design. The 49ers keep a few quality multi-position backup O-linemen. In order to fill out a complete 2nd string, they throw in training camp nobodies. The whole offense falls apart. Still, its hard to evaluate the skill positions when these camp polukas are playing after the first series.

    1. Oh, um Grant, don’t forget to use the new coversheet with your TPS reports. Mmmm kay?

  5. The scary part of the offensive line play tonight is that there wasn’t much difference between the starters and the backups.

    Daniels looked good in the 4th quarter playing against a bunch of scrubs while throwing to Hawkins and Collie, both with 3+ years experience in the league. The TD pass to Jacobs was right on the money though.

    Really like Nick Moody. He’s a nice late round pick up.

    LaMichael James has run the ball well between the tackles with the first team oline the first 2 weeks.

    Jewel Hampton failed to impress running behind that same line grouping.

    The defense as a whole played particularly well. There was little drop off from the starters to the backups.

    Can someone please tell Tim Ryan to quit whining about how long the Chiefs starters were in the game and how unfair it was to the 49ers offense? In reality the Chiefs did the 49ers a huge favor there. It showed exactly how poor their backup QB situation is, and other areas they need to work on before the season starts.

    As for AJ Jenkins, when does Northwestern show up on the schedule. Poor guy couldn’t get off the line. On one 3rd down play Smith never let him get 5 yards down the field. So much for all that offseason work.

    1. Jenkins doesn’t really have any type of passion in his game. I am starting to agree with you and others that this guy should be cut and maybe placed on the practice squad. Hopefully that would make me realize that he needs to bring it every day.

      1. As much as he’s been tanking for us, Jenkins would never make it to the practice squad. Never. Someone would take a chance and snatch him up for their WR needy team. If we don’t keep A.J. it’s better to at least try to trade him (Taylor Mays style) for a sixth or 7th round pick if possible.

    2. I seem to recall last year the Texans played their starters longer and the 49ers looked bad and there was much wailing and rending of garments.

      Then the real games started and we all remembered that preseason is a joke.

      1. Your memory is faulty. The problem was that, with the Lock-Out, the 49ers had barely a week to install the Offense and had not even installed the Blitz pick-ups. The Saints (who were returning the same Defence they had played for years) sent the House after them on nearly every play. Perfectly legal, but a bit of poor sportsmanship.
        After beating them in the regular season, Roman sarcastically thanked the Saints for putting all their blitz packages of film for him.

    3. I am surprised by how many people think this offensive line has regressed so much. The line appears to be the same line as last season. It was great with run blocking and struggled with pass protection. Kaepernick didn’t break off 50 yards runs because all his receivers were covered. He broke off runs because the protection broke down. Same squad, we just don’t have Kaepernick running 50 yards to the endzone to slow down that pass rush.

      1. Matt,
        What 50 yrd runs are you referring too?
        Yes, you are right in saying that CK broke off runs when the blocking broke down, but many of his long runs were completely by design.

        CK is a special talent (as has already been established), and allowing him the freedom to run when either the blocking breaks down or by design is utilizing one of his attributes wisely.

  6. Grant,
    How do you reconcile these preseason offense performances against what you see in practice? The defense is playing well, so how can the offense complete passes (to anyone) in practice and yet look so miserable in preseason?

    1. Don’t worry little buddy, it’s only pre-season. Nothing to see here til Week 1. You think Harbaugh is going to show anything? That guy has paranoia running through his veins!

      1. I agree PT, Har-Har is only testing, he’s looking (and trying) for different things than we are.

  7. Midwestniner,

    That 104 yard kickoff means absolutely nothing.

    However, acquiring Dawson will prove to be the Niners best acquisition of the off season (yes, even better than Boldin) About half the games in the NFL are decided by seven points or less.

    Dawson will be All-Pro and and will get votes for the teams MVP.

    That kickoff return today will be remembered by no one.

    I repeat, Special teams gets an A+ and the Niners get an A+ for getting Dawson.

    1. That 104 yard kickoff means absolutely nothing.

      Your whole argument was destroyed by that one sentence alone.

    2. The ST players on that 104 kick off TD were the back ups to the back ups to the back ups. For God’s sake, Michael Thomas was the man containing the end, and got blocked out of the way by the shadow of the Chief’s player…easy TD for the Chiefs.

      1. not according to barrows.

        and you’re thinking of the punt return. the contain player was cam johnson, the only reason you thought it was thomas is b/c that’s who the broadcast showed coach seely talking to.

      2. Sorry Chess, the guys in on that play were primarily the guys that will be the starting kick off coverage unit in the regular season. On the plus side, Cam Johnson, who is believed to have been responsible for the gap Demps ran through, may not make the 53, and his spot on coverage would probably be taken by Wilhoite.

  8. The offence was horrible pretty much all game, until the end against the Chiefs 3rd stringers. Can’t really point the finger at any one group, as they were all bad, but it sure does make it hard for QBs, RBs or WRs to look good when the OL doesn’t hold up. Will be interesting to see which backup OL they keep after Kilgore and Snyder. Looney should have the inside track.

    Jenkins was rubbish again. Forget draft status, if he was being evaluated fairly he’d be one of the first WRs cut. He gets bullied at the line of scrimmage, falls over if the wind changes direction, and has displayed very little knack for creating separation through his routes. He does have the ability to make some nice plays, but they are very few and far between. In short, he’s a guy that if he was a late pick or UDFA he’d be in the fight of his life just to make the PS.

    Defence was superb, from the starters through to the 2nd and 3rd stringers. Lots of talent on that side of the ball. There will be a couple of decent players being let go come roster cut time.

      1. What ails Jenkins isn’t fixable. He is just too weak to play in the NFL. The only shot he has is as a slot receiver but that’s not what he was drafted to play. They drafted him where they did because they believed he could be an edge receiver to take the top off of defenses. He lacks the necessary strength to play that position.

      2. Right now they need to put Jenkins in a position to succeed. Hes having a hard time getting off the line. They should put him in motion more.

    1. Can we add that he’s a weak blocker? Btw, to those saying Baalke might release him and sign him to the PS if he clears, as you know they cannot have more than 8 on the PS. Wouldn’t you rather see Jacobs?

      1. Hard to justify to the squad how you keep Jenkins over Jacobs or any other WR on this team.

        Jenkins should be cut by the 27th…that would allow the team time to practice with the real WR’s..

      2. What organization would take a hit twice for the same player? That’s idea is just ludicrous If he was cut, he wouldn’t be on SF’s practice squad period.

        The team would take the cap hit for his contract after they released him and then you’d have us believe they’d sign the same bust for another hit against the cap for his practice squad salary? That’s unfathomable.

  9. I’m not so sure grading the preseason games is a worthwhile exercise. Coach has already said that they don’t really game plan for these first games, they just plan to see certain players get reps of certain looks versus a different opponent. If anything these preseason games point out how much the game of football has advanced and important scheme is in addition to talent.

    Now that being said we should certainly be discussing how some players look horrible in action.

  10. Grant – Like I’ve been saying, K.C. with Alex will not win more than six games. Baalke made a brilliant trade with K.C. except for that 8-8 bonus draft pick.
    I’ll give Trent a pass on the A.J. Jenkins 1st round pick. Even great minds screw up occasionally.

    1. Crab,
      Baalke has shown a weakness in evaluating WR talent. He’s solid otherwise and, hopefully, talent in other areas of the offense may allow the team to overcome shortcomings at WR.

      1. What if Patton turns out to be a stud? I think TB has only taken 3 WRs and only Jenkins near the top of the draft.

      2. Crab
        Ronald Johnson from USC, you cant really expect much from a 6th rounder but we were WR needy and Joe freeking Hastings and bret swain were better options at the time, too bad, im holding out hope for Patton

  11. Wow just amazed that Tolzien isn’t further along, he just didn’t look good and Colt barely looked a bit better due to scrambles. We are in bad shape if CK goes down.

    I don’t understand how these backups can be this useless.

      1. seriously jack? I know you know the answer, so what are you trying to do here? Expose me as a jerk-off? Backfired! You exposed one of us as a jerk-off.

        Omameh is the main culprit. That guy has been pissing me off for 2 weeks now! Scrub! Lord help us if he has to play meaningful snaps. The other scrub…..i believe is Bykowski. From what i hear, he has some potential. PS type guy….maybe.

      2. Omameh will be long gone once the meaningful snaps start as will Bykowski (probable PS guy).

        Last night they changed up the 2nd team oline a bit, moving Snyder from RG out to LT in place of Kenny Wiggins and moved Tribue to RG with the 2nd group.

      3. I love our roster! I think we have studs everywhere. At WR and CB, i think we have competent depth ( not stars, but guys who can contribute), but the depth on the O-line scares the crap out of me! Snyder is basically the back up at every position….he is a decent back up. But if we have to go deeper than him…..were in trouble!
        This ( O-line) is another position the new FO has whiffed on ( WR also). Kilgore…Looney…..not looking good

      4. coach Hammer! Are you ready to name Reid the starter yet? I think i am. He seems very intelligent, always in the right place, knows his assignments. I want to see him in deep coverage. I f he plays that as good as he plays everything else……we have a star!

      5. I don’t think Harbaugh is ready to start Reid yet jshaw. Dahl will start over the rookie until he either plays his way out or is injured. It’s the Harbaugh way.

      6. jshaw, I wouldn’t be too concerned with the backup OL. As Jack points out, the key weaknesses on the 2nd string OL – the tackles – will not make the final 53. Snyder and Kilgore are serviceable backups.

      7. I disagree jack, first of all, Harbaugh has not been in the league long enough to establish ” a way”. 2 years!? And in those 2 years we have seen more than a few players establish them selves and earn big minutes as rookies. Miller, Culliver and Aldon Smith contributed “starter type minutes” right out of the gate. Kap and Bowman went from backups to stars once thrust starting roles. Harbaugh isn’t afraid. Dahl is back up material. There is no secret there, lame duck if you will. It makes no sense to sit reid and allow him to lose valuable reps early on, when hes gonna be on the field with everything on the line come playoff time. Let him learn those tough lessons now so that he is seasoned once the “real season” starts, the playoffs!

        Evidence im right: he seems to be getting a ton of minutes in these pre-season games

      8. scooter, i agree those guys wont make the 53, but im not sold on Kilgore, witch leaves Snyder the sole competent back up to 5 guys (yikes!). Kilgore may be serviceable, may be not. I thought he was behind Looney in the pecking order, and looney looks like $h!t.

        The O-linemen are some of the toughest S.O.B’s on the team, they play with casts on if they have to. I just want to see that group infused with some good young talent. Remember our conversation about drafting guys a couple years before you need them….?

      9. You asked if I thought he would start. The only rookie to start a regular season game under Harbaugh is Miller, and that was only after an injury sidelined Norris. Harbaugh definitely has a track record of this, in 2008 at Stanford he went with Tavita Pritchard over Andrew Luck.

        Smith and Culliver definitely played big minutes, but that is irrelevant to your question since you asked about Reid starting. Same goes for Kaepernick and Bowman, neither of whom started as follies.

        Is Reid more talented with a higher ceiling than Dahl? Yes, I think he is. That doesn’t change my stance on who will start game 1.

        As for proving who is right, turn on the game week 1 against GB.

      10. I’ve no problem with Kilgore as a backup OC/OG. He was always ahead of Looney. He was ok against Denver starting in place of Goodwin. At this point I don’t know that I’d be happy to see him start 16 games if someone got hurt, but I wouldn’t be panicking either.

      11. “Remember our conversation about drafting guys a couple years before you need them….?”

        Right, and Kilgore will be the starting center next season. Looney will be the 8th lineman. The 49ers usually have 7 active on game day. Both of these guys are perfect examples of drafting guys a couple years before needed.

    1. fair enough jack, i think its a moot point though, as to who gets the start week one. I think we agree Ried will end up with job sooner than later. And i think he will hold onto it for a long , long time.

      1. Well jack since your the king douche bag on here that butts in and gives your 2 cents on every comment made on this blog, as if your the star, the creator and the only blogger that matters, i was wondering if you were impressed by the play of the rookie. But since “king jack” already anointed Dahl as the starter, i should have known better than to believe you capable of back pedaling and giving the rookie his due. This would be paramount to admitting you were wrong, which you are not man enough to do.
        Jack, ive tried extending the olive branch to you many times. I now realize your knowledge and your unparalleled participation on this blog is not worth your petty, childish egotistical personality. I will no longer acknowledge you and i would appreciate if you would do the same to me.

      2. Why would I admit that I am wrong when Dahl has in fact started both games so far?

        I’ve never said Dahl is better than Reid, only that he will start the season over him, and used historical facts to back up my take. If it turns out I am wrong come week one I will gladly admit I was wrong.

        I am sorry if you think stating factual information makes one a douche bag.

  12. I know he has guaranteed moola, but do we have to wait for Late Bloomer Jenkins to grow into a role? Around his fourth year? Jacobs fights for catches, don’t see AJ with that passion. Hoping we get to see Patton soon.

  13. Im not worried about aj jenkins at all colt mccoy and scott tolzien are horrible and the 2nd team o line are bad.

    1. He’s trying to raise the stock of the player he is about to sell to the other teams: “really, guys, he is worth every penny you are about to invest on him….I swear”

  14. Up until tonight, I was convinced that Tolzien would emerge as our #2 QB. Now, Tolzien is becoming my biggest disappointment because after two seasons in the Harbaugh regime I would have expected much more from him. Watching him tonight was like watching a player regress before my eyes.

    I like what McCoy brings to the table, but he’s not a long reliever (using a baseball term) if CK were to go down for an extended period of time. Also, having to use either ST or CM in a pinch may warrant having to make too many modifications to the offense because of their style of play.

    Frankly, I would feel more comfortable with a player like Josh Johnson (I know he’s no longer available) and given more experience, BJ Daniels simply because their style of play is more suitable for our offense.
    In any case, if McCoy and Tolz continue to struggle, I look for the team to sign a FA QB before the start of the season.
    Having said all that, BJ is a keeper!

  15. While Tim Ryan often talks too much, he does make good points from time to time. He pointed out that the coaches will make decisions on offensive players less on pre-season play against other teams, and more on how they practice against the Niners defense where they have been throwing a lot of defensive looks for the offense to handle. Now that camp has broken and practice will be held without the press peering over their shoulders, the coaches will probably step up their final evaluations.

    The big disappointment for me this preseason has been Joe Looney, the guy who I thought may replace Iupati if the Niners cannot re-sign the latter.

  16. Tolzien just does NOT have an NFL arm PERIOD. He reminds me of Sean Hill but even Hill is better. Hill has fire & is a gamer. Both don’t have NFL arms but I’d trust Hill for a couple or maybe a 3-4 game stretch max. The hype on Tolzien being smart is probably true but he’s a 3rd stringer at best. McCoy is more talented & I think would look more solid if he had the same time as ST learning the Offense. YES the Staff needs to take a closer look at McDaniels. I’m thinking their thinking can he learn to be a sound QB & not just a freelance sandlot type like the black QB we had for a while who made some noise (forgot his name) & won us some games.

    Looney stands out to me too. He hasn’t showed JACK, NADA. Yes the 2nd string OL is horrible esp the guy with the African name on the right side (can’t remember if he’s the guard or tackle)

    On Jenkins I wish Roman would set up some simple short passes to him to build his confidence. Like the many creative short passes & screens Reid does for Smith overall. Just get him in the game & in the flow. Then after getting his feet wet you could start hitting him intermediate & deep later. Baalke made a mistake here & overdrafted the guy. If he got him say in Patton 4th Rd territory there would be less pressure & media focus on the guy & he could play more freely. We know the story on him now..late bloomer who does need his confidence built & for coaches & players to stay on him to focus & go after it.

    PLUSES? Lemonier looking good, welcome back Parys for quality depth, VMcDonald but he has to work on being more consistent..too many drops (IMO he should hit the jugs daily like VD), Wilhoite bigtime ++, Moody, & I hope IWilliams keeps it up. Dorsey made 1 good play getting penetration but missed the tackle (still he flashed which is a good sign)

    1. “On Jenkins I wish Roman would set up some simple short passes to him to build his confidence.”—They did. He was targeted in several plays, but he can’t break free from the CB.

      Maybe they ought to try him at punt/kick off returner.

  17. Have to say it again…Wilhoite LOOKS OUTSTANDING. I think even better than Larry Grant, though Grant was definitely solid. Excellent to have Wilhoite as a high quality backup at ILB. Is he on ST’s?

    Speaking of ST’s what happened tonite? Seely needs to polish that up & he will. I didn’t notice much SPEED on our ST’s tonite. I like LM James back there on kickoffs & punt returns. IMO we’ve rarely had that true burner & explosive returner on ST’s except when we had Alan Rossum. Cox might be a solid hands guy/won’t make a mistake but he’s slooow IMO

    1. Seely’s butt is in a frying pan right about now, all buttered up and the heat on high….

      1. He’s one of the top ST coaches in the NFL. ST will be fine come week 1 once the 40 scrubs on the roster are weeded out. Dawson & Lee are Pro Bowlers and we have some ST specialists on the roster for coverage.

  18. 58+ minutes of catch-up football will not cut it against any of the elite teams.

    Putting the ball in the hands of the opponent with two minutes remaining and a two-point lead is a bad idea.

    As MidWestNiner and others have pointed out, an injury to Kaep will be disastrous. What if Kaep goes the entire pre season without a single touchdown drive….? two weeks left, Coach Harbaw. Rescramble that omelet.

    1. Dude, you are not real bright…you really think JH cares about pre-season games other than looking at them as a try out for a few roster spots? He will show nothing, does no game planning and starters get only a few plays. If anything needs to be re-scrambled it’s your brain.

      1. Agreed Maui Dave,
        Preseason games are merely glorified practice games and a rip-off for paying fans.

        What they are is a barometer used by coaches to determine which players are make the team.

        After last years preseason games, it was decided that Scott Tolzien was worth keeping over Josh Johnson.
        I’m not so certain now, that the team made the right choice on that.

        Tolzien may have been a good fit if Alex Smith were still the QB, but our style of play changed with the transition to CK.
        Our #2 QB will likely be Colt McCoy, but I’m not sold on him just yet.

        BJ is a good fit, but he’s not NFL ready yet. CK must stay healthy for us to have a successful year.
        So far, that’s what is clear after two preseason games.

  19. Tolzien never was more than a 3rd string back up to run the scout team. That is why they kept him last season, not because he was better than JJ. Those fans who thought that he had a future weren’t listening to the staffs explaination as to why he was kept last season over Johnson. Everyone just assumed it was because Harbaugh thought the had potential.

  20. You are completely wrong about Tolzien as usual. He had no one in the OL doing their job. You cannot work if you are getting knocked down as soon as you have the ball in your hands. McCoy needs to go. It will be Tolzien and Daniels come final cuts.

  21. Could Looney be having a let down after falling behind Kilgore? If so, then he’s the wrong guy anyway.

  22. Its the second pre season game, eh sloppy all the way around with a few good plays sprinkled in the game. No coaching grade?

    1. How to grade coaching when they didn’t develop a game plan? They’re looking and evaluating.

      1. Brotha
        That was why I asked the question I was thinking the whole grading thing in pre season isn’t worth much. Its pre season and lots in here are panicking.

      2. I agrere BT, one way I would grade the coaching staff however……wait for it……..clock management! I only watched 3/4 of the game last night (did not set my DVR) and did not see anything that frustrated me.

        My only criticism with Harbaugh……..you could tell he was a player, and therefore left things like clock management to HIS coach. I think hes learning. On one play, 3rd and 3…..he notices we have too many men on the LOS and calls a time-out BEFORE we get a penalty…….clutch!! At the end of the game i like how he ran the clock ALL THE WAY DOWN and took the delay of game penalty. I think hes learning!

    1. Yeah that was quite the man-hug Kilgore gave that DL. Negated Jenkins’ 21 yard catch. I don’t recall the Adam Snyder hold mentioned in the WR gradings above and think it was a case of mistaken identity. But there won’t be any mistaken identities in the OL film session when they go over it tomorrow.

  23. Pretty much agree with the grades given. Jack’s point is correct about Reid playing his #1 troops for the first half being a good test for the Niners coaches to evaluate from. Nothing wrong with either Head Coach’s approach.
    Celek had trouble with in line blocking, and isn’t that his best asset? Looney disappointed. I thought Dorsey might flash something against his old team mates, but, uh, no. Cox impressed again. I liked the work Hall got early on. BJ had a nice outing and may have a chance; I don’t think we’ll be able to shed a tear when one of the other two gets cut. Wilhoite looked competent.
    The Niners need to remember that they’ve got big targets on their backs as SB players; the other guys aree bringing something special in terms of effort. I’d hope the team looks sharper in P#3.

  24. I just don’t see how Jenkins makes the squad. He’s the 7th or 8th WR. Boldin Moore Williams Collie Hawkins Patton Hall all should make the team over him. No rational scenario I can see where Jenkins makes the squad. Unless FO pride of not cutting a first rounder gets in way.

  25. I’ve got a hunch Mr. Leavitt had input with regards to bringing in Mr. Daniels. Good hire, and excellent example of how to take advantage of your opportunities by the kid. Mr. Jenkins should follow that example….

      1. To be honest Jack, I’d like to see him have a crack in the 4th just to see if he actually can take advantage of 3rd string DBs…

      2. Scooter,

        He took advantage of that undtafted rookie last night in the 3rd quarter for a nice play that was wiped out by a penalty. We already know he can play with those guys.

        As was mentioned on the radio post game show and by Barrows as well, if Smith could do that to him last night imagine what would happen in 2 games against Sherman and Browner.

        To this point I would say that Jenkins location when the 49ers drafted him is a perfect symbol of his play.

      3. Good idea Scooter. The kid needs confidence, and that would be a great way to get him some….

      4. We’ve seen he can compete against the 3rd stringers and win those match-ups as often as he loses – a vast improvement compared to what he’s done against starters and 2nd stringers but not good enough. I want to see if he can take advantage of them, dominate them. That’s where he should be at at a minimum to make the 53.

        If he goes up against 3rd stringers and only beats them for the occasional play, then that is the level he is at, and shouldn’t make the 53.

  26. Is Sean Smith KC’s #1 corner? I know he’s a starter. If he is their #1 he wouldn’t be on Jenkins in a real game. Good to see AJ vs that level competition to see what he’s got & almost has showed nothing. Only 2 catches to this point in both seasons counting real games & preseason. 1 fumble after catch & this catch scratched off by a holding penalty. (I agree with Harbaugh, thought it to myself during the game before Harbaugh mentioned it..Jenkins had a step on Smith. If the ball was thrown over the top Jenkins could’ve beat him & make the play which would’ve been impressive)

    At this point keeping his college tape in mind (looked real good) I see him having the talent/ability to be an elite #3 WR who should OWN the 3RD/Nickel CB’s. If he can gain confidence & if he’s truly talented I see his ceiling as a legit #2 TOPS. I think we all agree he’s NO #1, NO CHANCE. Too small & no passion/drive/as Gore would say no “dog” in him. (Not yet anyways until he starts getting some success & starts to take off.) Drafting a smaller WR high he better have an outstanding trait..ie. elite speed like DJackson, ultimate toughness & tenacity like the CB Antoine Winfield when he was young & in his prime (he still has “it” in his older age). Jenkins isn’t elite in anything. Has very good speed & hands. Haven’t seen too much but I believe he isn’t elite quick either like Welker/Amendola in the slot.

    Main point is for his real talent I think he should be given some slack if Smith is the #1 CB because AJ is NO #1 WR. He should OWN #3′s & it would be a surprise if he turns out to be a legit #2. IMO he’s a 3rd Rd’er maybe but more of a 4th Rd WR

    1. Smith is a pro bowl calibre CB, sure, but AJ didn’t even test him. That was a walk in the park for Smith last night. Those are the calibre of DBs AJ will face in the NFC West. He couldn’t handle Smith, so I don’t see how he can’t handle a starting job. Even as a #3 WR, if he lined up on the outside he’d still be going against guys like Smith that will just press him and take him out of the game.

      As a slot WR he’s really not shown the explosiveness in and out of his routes to beat the shiftier nickel DBs. Lets face it, if he is on the roster this season, he won’t be suiting up.

      1. Probably doesn’t suit up unless the WR core gets injured again OR he shows us something in the next 2 games & continues to grow

        Don’t know our Division’s #3 corners off the top of my head. If any of them have size & are physical sure I agree they would go after Jenkins well known weakness which is he struggles off press coverage. But do all the #3′s have size & excel at pressing? Many or most probably but not all I believe. It comes down to our best #3 WR vs your best #3 CB & I think this is AJ’s starting point where he needs to show something

        Our guy Culliver for example yes I think he can press & play off man. I don’t know Seattle’s, AZ’s, or St Louis’ #3 but this is where I’m envisioning AJ should be able to beat their #3. In this league I tend to agree the #3 should be solid but at the same time I don’t think ALL teams have that. For example teams that struggle & have low rankings in the secondary

        It would be good to research who the #3 CB’s are in our division & the top NFC teams (+ playoff/SB favorites) If I get time I’ll see if I can check it out

  27. On LMJames…the Niners are a power run team & they like their runners to run up the gut. Sure they use him on sweeps as their outside runner but I think they should use him more in space & spread out the field for him so he could show more of his talent out in space.

    Do what Sean Peyton does with Sproles in his scheming. I know the Niners want their RB’s to be tough & run inside & they’ve trained James to do that. I’d like to see Roman spread it out more for James. James has got better, I see the improvement. For some reason I thought he would be more faster & explosive having more “pop” in his runs. I still like the pick but would like to see more plays for him isolated out in space. Have the WR’s run their routes to one side or deep while scheming James to go 1 on 1 with a LB on the opposite side or shallow

    1. If G Ro plans on doing that (a good idea) with LMJ he won’t be showing it in the pre-season. Saving that for Packers & Seahawks.

  28. I really give it to Jenkins and the coaching staff for not tipping their hand at how good he actually is. I could be wrong on this one but I think they are going to have Jenkins continue throwing it in practice and games to limit any kind of scouting or media attention until the super bowl when he can be unleashed.

    +1
    +2
    I call this one. Mark it down.

  29. I’m not AJ Jenkins fan. I have noticed that receivers, no matter who they are, struggle in this offense. The #1 receiver is successful but behind that, there isn’t any success. They’ve had some vets here who didn’t produce. Moss. Edwards. Crabtree early.
    It makes me question Greg Roman and the responsibility of the #2, #3, #4 receivers and TEs. It appears the offense is only drawn up to get the ball to the first read or to run the ball.
    I use to blame Alex Smith. Then, I blamed Kaepernick’s lack of understanding of the offense. After watching all 3 QBs struggle last night, and rewatching the game now, there doesn’t appear to be a progression in the reads.
    So, is AJ the problem or is Greg Roman the problem? Moss couldn’t succeed here and Crabtree struggled early. Perhaps Harbaugh isn’t lying to all of us to sell AJ Jenkins. Perhaps the problem lies in Roman.

    1. You may have a point but I think the buck stops at Harbaugh. All he has to do is tell Roman to design plays for different players and then call them in the game. I keep harping on the fact that JH is only playing a few cards in pre-season as to not show his hand. This is a talented team with good coaches so let’s not put too much stock in a couple of meaningless exhibition games. Moss & Edwards are way past prime BTW, not great examples.

  30. I’ve been lazily following some of the rookies playing in the past two preseason games that I had on a few of my 49er mock drafts.
    These have been making a name for themselves.

    Of note:
    Tavon Austin (more in practice), Aaron Mellette, Zach Sudfield, E.J. Manuel, Tyrann Mathieu have made their mark during games.

    Drafting Austin would have taken some real legwork from the FO, but the other players I noted were there for the taking. Mellette and Mathieu would have been immediate upgrades.

    1. AES, good points, but I thought TB drafted pretty well this year:
      1(18). Eric Reid
      2(40). Cornellius “Tank” Carradine
      2(55). Vance McDonald
      3(88). Corey Lemonier
      4(128). Quinton Patton
      4(131). Marcus Lattimore
      5(157). Quinton Dial
      6(180). Nick Moody
      7(237). B.J. Daniels
      7(246). Carter Bykowski TBD
      7(252). Marcus Cooper TBD
      UDAs: Gray, Morris

      1. George,
        Not disparaging Baalke’ draft. I like what we did and how some holes were possibly filled.

        I’m a little uncomfortable with the WR, DB, and now the backup QB positions.
        Reid will eventually be our starter and has the making of a top-level player.
        Lemonier and Moody will help on defense. VMac and MarQuies look good and BJ might become the surprise of the 2013 draft.

        Other players like Patton, Carradine, Dial, and Lattimore will not be profitable until healthy.

        The players I mentioned earlier in my mock draft reference would have also been viable players for us as well.

        Just reported by NFL Network; EJ Manuel will have a minor knee procedure and be out the remainder of the preseason.

  31. The only concern I come out of the first 2 exhibition games with is, #2 QB. Tolzien and McCoy looked terrible again and Daniels looked good vs 3rd stringers who will never sniff an NFL roster. Daniels could develop into a quality #2 eventually but not for a couple of seasons. The D will be better than 2011. The O if CK can stay healthy will be top 10 and the special teams when we eventually put the roster together will end up top 5. I think we need to start combing the waiver wires for a BU QB.

    1. I’d bet the farm that SF doesn’t even think about bringing in another QB before week 1 barring injury. Last year we were all bemoaning the Kaepernick’s progress and even you said he was two seasons away from being successful. I think it’s been said so much it’s getting redundant. It’s the preseason. Coaches – and you should know- are just evaluating techniques and intangibles.
      Let’s put this evaluation on hold until 8/27 and 8/31.

    2. oldcoach,
      Good assessment.
      Daniels may be a year or two away from taking the #2 QB position. But then again, some people thought that CK was a two-three year project. So many uncertainties in football.

      What is emerging in seeing Tolz and Colt perform, is that they don’t seem to fit in our style of offense.
      Defenses will never plan and respect their ability to run like they have to against CK. Daniels, although still very green can provide the X-factor that the defense can’t sleep on.

      Right now, it looks like Daniels is surpassing Tolz for the #3 spot.
      McCoy will likely be the #2 QB because he offers more game experience and mobility than Tolz.
      But it would not surprise me to see the Org make a move in signing another QB, meaning Tolz could be a numbers casualty this year.

      On another note; has the team taken any action regarding the A.Brooks incident? I hope that they don’t try to sweep it under the rug in hopes we forget about it.

  32. The NFL is an awesome entertainment business. That being said these practice games are a ripoff designed to make money for the owners. Every other form of football (HS & College) coaches have try outs, practice, final cuts and then they play real games.
    Harbaugh probably already knows who makes the team. It is smart to hold back on playing your starters or showing any of your strategy in games that don’t count. I guess as a fan it is better than nothing, but we are all paying for the chance to view live scrimmages glorified and marketed as real games.

    1. I’m not paying a single dime to watch the preseason games, and I didn’t mind it even when I was a season ticket holder. While I paid an extra $100 for 2 preseason games, I also paid face value for marquee games while others were paying 2-3x that for most games.

      For season ticket holders it all balances out.

      1. agreed. Jim Irsay pointed this out via twitter a few days ago. Sadly, when billionaires are arguing with the common folk about money……it will never go over well. What a tool Irsay is! Just shut up already.Horrible example to his players. Twitter never fails to make people in the spotlight look stupid. Thats why smart players/coaches avoid it. Youd think an OWNER would be smart enough to do the same……or at least have some “no”people in their trusted inner circle.

  33. I think Grant needs a little credit for predicting Kaepernick’s success at the start of last season and AJ Jenkins being a bust.
    He got pretty beat up here for those two assertions.
    Grant Cohn says:

    August 31, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I’m not praising Kaepernick because of his stats. He’s done unique, impressive things.
    For instance – his TD pass to Jenkins. He had to drill it. I don’t know if any other QB on the team could have made it.
    Jenkins hasn’t had a “wow” moment like that. He’s played a lot of snaps and caught some passes and dropped some as well.

    1. Grant definitely deserves the credit. I know he wanted Fleener. But I see it this way: Not drafting Fleener left the door open to their drafting McDonald and, maybe, signing Gray. Also, I think the “Jenkins lesson” might have made TB a better evaluator of wide receivers. One of his first offseason signings was Moore. Then he drafted Patton. I realize Patton hasn’t proved himself, but he looks like a winner and was a 4th rounder. Time will tell about him. Just guessing about what he learned from drafting Jenkins. But smart success-driven people learn from their mistakes. With the exception of drafting James, that whole draft was a dud, and then TB hit the ball out of the park this year. It was as if he couldn’t do much that was right in 2012.

    2. I agree that Grant deserves two thumbs up. He isn’t afraid to call it as he sees it, even when that is unpopular.

  34. Every year I wish there was two or three additional spots that were untouchable for developing players. Like maybe expand practice squad by 2 players and make a total of three of them the teams untouchable players. Or make the final roster 55 or 56 players.

  35. The Cowboys are being their usual comical selves.

    Cards O looks as bad as the Chiefs but their D looks really good.

  36. The best remedy to get AJ’s confidence up would be to play him the entire fourth quarter of the next pre season game. Don’t put him on the field until then. This way he will go up against the opponent’s 3s & 4s and should beat them rather easily. And, if he fails at that level of competition then come up with a phantom injury and put him on IR where he won’t count against the 53. Or will he?

    1. He wouldn’t count against the 53 on IR, but does against the Cap, I believe. (Someone pipe up if I’m wrong on that.) But how does that phantom injury thing work? Does the team approach him on the QT? Get word back-channel to his agent who then advises an injury? The term Plausible Deniability would seem needed in that operation.

      1. True. The PUP list might work instead. In his case it would be a literal situation, not injury related. How much scrutiny do the names on the list get anyway? The CAP thing is a given. No way around it other than a trade. KC wants to get rid of Baldwin. Sounds like the story “Ransom of Red Chief” by O’Henry. Or Henny Youngman’s punchline: take my expensive mistake, please!

      2. Unfortunately being crap isn’t good enough grounds for making the PUP list.

        I agree though – I’m sure the 49ers front office would love nothing more than AJ to pick up an injury that would allow them to put him on IR and save face for a year. Maybe that’s the secret reason they are really giving him so many snaps in these pre-season games… :-P

  37. In last night’s coverage of the game. Early on, A.J.J. had a pass thrown his way and the announcer went on and on about A.J.J. losing his footing. They showed it on slow motion replay and Sean Smith had two fist-fulls of Jenkins Jersey. Why no mention of this? It was relatively obvious in slow motion.

    1. Exactly right. He was pulled down. Now maybe if he were stronger he would have shook it off, but saying that he slipped is incorrect.

    2. But AJ must play more physical and if not able to create separation then he must at least find the holes in the defense! I still hope the best but do not feel good about him at all.

  38. Poor Alex. He worked ten years to be accurate…studiously accurate even almost self consciously as rolls out… Then the Chief’s give him receivers with manos de piedra. Those Chief ball catchers are terrible. Alex looked good in red though..

    1. I was thinking the same thing when I saw those receivers drop ball after ball. Here it is again: Alex throwing and hoping the bunch of no name useless WR’s had from 2006-09 would catch it…nope.

  39. Ok, i just watched the game and here is the summary of my observations:

    The announcers: Trent Green and the budmeister or whatever his name was might as well played for the chief and their comments were completely one sided!

    Defense looked good! even playing against the first team offense the second team defense was impressive. Our pass rush should be better this year with more depth on the team.

    Alex looked like the same QB we all use to know! I wish him the best and hopefully KC has a good season so we get the higher draft pick.

    Our back up QB options scare me! We should have drafted a QB in a higher round. After a few years in the same offense, Scott T looks like a rookie, i would select Daniel over the other two qbs since he looks much more natural. in fact i would release Scott T!

    Our second team offensive line looks horrendous as well.

    The rookie TE, #46 looked very good and Moody the rookie LB was all over the place.

    Lastly, what is going on with the special team coverage! we are going to miss D Walker, Grant and TG on the special teams this year.

  40. The solid WR’s after Boldin to me are Williams, Manningham, & Collie who could really surprise once he gets back to NFL shape & learns/gets comfortable with the playbook AND CAN PROVE TO STAY HEALTHY. That’s a shaky IF. Collie is a wildcard & his being to stay healthy is the key to him having a solid to great comeback season with the chance to being a solid to heavy contributor to this team & our passing game (The same thing is exactly true about Williams & Manningham)

    I don’t know much at all about Marlon Moore.

    Lockette has been a disappointment after Harbaugh pumped him up & I heard the hype that he was really picking up the playbook while rooming with Kap. So far looks like Tarzan but he’s stayed in the trees. TOO FREAKIN’ BAD because I was salivating for his legit deep threat speed to stretch the D for all our receivers which I think would make our Offense unstoppable because of Kaps real firepower downfield

    Man I wish a real WR’ing deep threat would emerge like Lockette or Jenkins

  41. I am curious to see what hte final WR roster will look like. Somehow I don’t think the WR position is settled yet. I see the Niners scouring the waiver wire, hoping to land a speedy wide out, veteran, to stretch out defenses.

    1. you are right! Depending on what they feel about the WR they might just do that but we have so many good options on the team right now specially if Manningham comes back healthy! I would be looking for another QB option.

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