49ers 20, Cardinals 23: Grades

These are the grades for the 49ers’ 23-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

QUARTERBACK: B+. Colin Kaepernick committed no turnovers in his return to the site where he threw four interceptions and two pick-sixes last season. Also posted a passer rating of 89.6 and tied the game with a four-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.

RUNNING BACKS: F. Carlos Hyde usually starts dancing in the backfield during third quarter. Today, he wasted less time and started dancing during the second quarter. Time to bench this bust. He gained 14 yards on 13 carries.

WIDE RECEIVERS: C. Jeremy Kerley, the best receiver on the roster, caught seven passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. Torrey Smith, the worst receiver on the roster, caught two passes for 26 yards and dropped what should have been a game-tying catch in the fourth quarter. No wonder the 49ers couldn’t trade him at the deadline. Who would want him?

TIGHT ENDS: B-. Vance McDonald would be the 49ers’ best skill player if he could catch the ball consistently. Today, he caught four passes on six targets for 50 yards. His backup, Garrett Celek, caught no passes and committed a holding penalty.

OFFENSIVE LINE: D. Gave up three sacks and created hardly any holes for the running backs. Daniel Kilgore also committed a holding penalty that knocked the Niners out of field goal range.

DEFENSIVE LINE: A+. Held Cardinals running back David Johnson to just 2.9 yards per carry simply by covering the guards and using a 46 defense instead of a 3-4, just as I suggested. More on this adjustment below.

LINEBACKERS: B. Ahmad Brooks and Eli Harold both set edges beautifully against the run, and Gerald Hodges picked off Carson Palmer, who needs to retire. This group would get an A+ if Nick Bellore hadn’t played. But he did play for some reason, and gave up a 3-yard touchdown catch to Johnson in the first half, and a 12-yard first-down catch to Johnson in the fourth quarter with the game on the line. The Cardinals went after Bellore every time they needed a big play.

SECONDARY: D. Jimmie Ward, the best corner on the team, was flagged three times for 48 yards — 48 percent of the team’s total penalty yardage. Together, this group gave up 376 yards through the air just one week after giving up 323. That’s 699 the past two games. Is that good?

SPECIAL TEAMS: A. Phil Dawson never misses.

COACHES: B. Chip Kelly managed Kaepernick perfectly. Started the game calling short, safe throws to build Kaepernick’s confidence. And by the second half, Kaepernick was as confident as we’ve seen him in years.

Jim O’Neil deserves credit for taking my advice and switching the defensive alignment to a packed-in 46, otherwise known as a “Bear front.” Sure, he had eight games to figure out this adjustment by himself, but at least he listened when I told him what to do.

I don’t ask for a lot, but I think he owes me a nickel.

Unfortunately for O’Neil, I forgot to tell him how to cover David Johnson when he splits out wide. O’Neil gave the task to Nick Freaking Bellore, who had no chance. Obviously, the Niners should have covered Johnson with a defensive back instead.

My bad, Jim. I got you next time.

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 203 Comments

  1. With the exception of Monday night openers Hyde is not good. Harris is the more productive back and deserves more opportunities.

      1. Why? Because Hyde and Harris are good? We don’t have a good HB. If you want to tank, then yes keep playing Hyde and Harris. They will continue to struggle.

        Remember the running game was supposed to be good under Kelly. Kap out rushed Hyde and Harris. The OL, Chip’s scheme, plus Hyde and Harris are a disaster.

        1. 80, now that the defensive line is looking better, The Niners were actually in this game, even going against the number one ranked defense.

          Kaep played better than expected, but Bellore was a liability.

          It was hard to go against a stacked box, but I thought they were going to do that, and dare Kaep to beat them with the pass.

          It was nice to see a competitive game, instead of a blowout.

          1. They did dare Kap to beat them and he could not deliver. Why? When in doubt roll your coverage to the middle of the field and force Kap to make throws one on one on the outside.
            Go back and watch the 2nd half and see how many times the Cards forced him into throws outside the numbers.
            The results are abysmal!

          2. seb,

            I agree on all points. I said in my post that Harris should start the next 3 games. Let’s see what he can do. If he struggles, see what Taylor can do. I’ve seen enough of Hyde, he is more show than go. And then there’s the durability issue.

            Kap played way better than anyone here expected, except for you of course. I was most impressed that he had zero TOs. He also got Kerley involved. I said that was key yesterday.

            Patton has actually been respectable with Kap at QB. He has always been a good blocker.

            Vance looks like a poor mans V Davis. That’s not a compliment. He has too many drops like VD. But he doesn’t have the strength and speed.

            Torrey looks bad.

            The OL would be better without the Kelly offense.

      1. Though it is worth noting that Grant made this suggestion yesterday. Something tells me O’Neil didn’t install this as of yesterday. Grant gets credit for identifying a better formation. Not for O’Neil listening to him.

          1. He said they would rack up 200 yards rushing if they stuck with their system. Not if they switched to the 46, like he recommended. So credit where credit is due.

      1. Yup. The Niners should play very close attention to what Grant says. He was spot on.

        Next they should abandon the Zone read with Hyde. He is not suited for it. Ideally, he should line up deep in the I and build up a head of steam before he hits the line of scrimmage. Then he can choose the hole to run through. Like Grant says, dancing behind the line is counter productive.

  2. Kaepernick did get a Chip on his shoulder as he came to the sideline, along with some words of encouragement. Something to the effect of, “At a boy, Kap!”

    I thought Reaser had some good plays to go along with Ward.

    O’Neil should at least take you out to dinner, Grant. Maybe, House of Prime Rib?

  3. I did see a lot of 4 man fronts on the DL very often. Should do this every time now. Try different looks with Dial, DFB, and Lynch when he comes back.

    Hopefully draft Garrett/Barnett and put them on 4 man front with DeFo, Armstead, and Lynch while rotating with Dial and Blair.

    Nice to see Kap play decently in a place that could have haunted him and ruined him altogether. Was nice to see him bounceback.

    Turnovers killed SF in the last game and penalties killed SF in this game, but both were winnable games in which SF shot themselves in the foot.

    Nice to see SF play better since the bye week athough no wins. At least they look respectable and thats all us fans can ask for from SF for this year at least.

    Myles Garrett come home to SF!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!

  4. ^ “The Man” is right. You mention at least one player in each personnel group by name, except for QB. You got some beef with Kaep, Grant? It’s okay, we are here to talk about feelings.(btw I agree with your assessment of Hyde being a bust, time to give someone else a shot)

      1. Because we need a TE. I assume we will have a new young QB next year. Bennett would be a nice security blanket. If Baalke actually drafts a WR he will be Jenkins-esqe.

        1. The 49ers should try to keep Kap. He is improving steadily and I think after 1 year with Chip Kelly he will be a decent starting QB

          1. You are joking right? Improving? Hahaha!
            Yes he played well today but there are always parts of the passing game he cannot execute because he is still limited in particular throws.
            Anything outside the numbers is a dead throw!
            Now we can devise an offense that features throws inside the numbers and designed roll outs, but that’s basically like bringing a knife to a gun fight!

            1. I agree he is not there today
              But you have to admit that he is showing improvement week by week.
              if I look at his progression I am hopeful that he can get there

              1. Personally I can’t see a scenario where Kaep is on the roster next year. No one disagrees on theTOTALl lack of talent we have now. The team needs what money it has to spend spread around so that some real talent can be brought in. Number one priority has to be filling in the defensive holes. I think you have to assume that Kaep would have to take a huge pay cut if he has any chance staying on the team next year and I don’t think that’s likely. Regardless of the phantom “improvements’ some see from Kaep, who in their right mind would start off the re-building process by putting aside $14 million for him? The York’s are tight with a buck and that won’t change so whoever does the rebuilding is going to have to spend it wisely and re-signing Kaep is just plain nuts.

          2. You, sir, are very astute. Relying on an unproven rookie is not a sure bet, and Kaep showed today why Ariens said Kaep was scary.

          3. No.
            We played a banged up D, were given 4 turnovers and managed to score fewer points than last time. Getting excited over a close game doesn’t mean the offense played well.

            1. in the Arizona Republic this morning: “The Cardinals did their best Sunday to lose another winnable game”. They took the day off. The team doesn’t like the York’s threatening the Bidwells solid reputation as the worst owners in professional sports.

            2. Sure is a lot better than getting blown out. Every defense is banged up. Niners sure missed IW, Bow and Ray Ray.

              Still lost, so the quest for the number one pick is still on, but I liked how they played hard and were competitive.

              With more familiarity with his receivers, Kaep will do better.

              1. We didn’t win the game because we couldn’t run the ball. We back to back penalized our way out of one score and Torrey Smith dropped a big play that could have led to a score.
                If Kelly comes back next year, he will not start over at QB, he will keep one of the three to groom the young QB he brings in. He’s already anointed Kap his guy. I see Kap being his guy next year.

        2. If Baalke is doing the draft next year, we are all going to see more of the same.

          But he does keep the payroll expenses down, and that looks good on the ledger.

          1. Yes, I believe that will be Baalke’s undoing, if York gets some balls and fires him. With Baalke, it’s always been about the ledger sheet as THE BLUEPRINT, not a guideline.

            He HAS to go, if the franchise is to have any chance.

    1. The argument was not that he was not touched on the way down so he was not down by contact :/. In this case the ground cannot cause a fumble.

  5. I think you’re being a little to easy on the LB’s and little too tough on the Secondary. The 49ers continue to struggle getting pressure on the quarterback and in this league, I don’t care who’s in the backfield covering, your going to give up a lot of big plays if the QB has all day to throw.

    Once again, the opposing QB had all day to find the open receiver. Poor Linebacker play is what is KILLING this team. Along with the TIRED zone-read.

  6. Holy Crap Grant!
    There is only one other ‘guy’ on this blog who thinks the coaches follow his advice…..
    Are youse the same person??

    1. No, I am unique.

      However, if you did read my post just before the game I said they should roll him out more. Maybe they were oblivious to my posts, but they did exactly what I said they should do.

        1. Prime, you haunt my posts, so you know I said that Kaep should take advantage of the 2 DBs who were down, and hopefully use his legs to score a TD. That roll out and score sure made my day.

          My prediction was not too far off. Previously, I said they should go bold, and not settle for Field goals. If they had gone bold and scored a TD instead a FG, they would have hit my exact prediction.

          I said Niners 24-23. I missed by 4 points, the difference between a TD and FG.

          1. When you have a SEB, why would anyone need a Lombardi……….Rockne………..Walsh……….Knoll………….Shula………….even a Landry………Bellicheat………etc. etc. etc.

              1. Is that what I said? Or did I say the league has improved and its an exciting brand to watch. No where did I say it compares to the NFL. Nice try though Poe! Pack your bags in 6 weeks, you are moving to a new NFL team with your hero! Good riddance!

            1. Saw, I said that before the season, if Kaep started, they may win up to 8 games, 10 and a chance at the playoffs if the planets align.

              Obviously, Gabbert started, so that prediction was moot.

              Then when Bow went down, I said that they would struggle to win 6. I sure did not expect to see the defense play so horrendously. They set records in futility.

              Its OK, I will admit when I was wrong. I also will crow when I am right. Rolling out Kaep makes me look prescient when they score 2 TDs when he rolled out.

              1. Yeah but when Kap took over you predicted old wind up to win 8 out of the next 10. I think you made a boo, boo!

              2. I do not think I said that he would definitely win 8 out of 10. I said that they may do that, with a kinder schedule.

                Remember, I was the one who said that the Niners have a team that is 45 mil less talented than most other teams. No matter what, it was a daunting challenge.

                As a faithful die hard Niner fan, I hope they will win every game, but with this squad, it will take a miracle to win. Only the Bears, Jets and Miami may be winnable this season.

              3. Its easy how you forget what you say Seb. Maybe because when your sphincter talks all the time, its hard to remember. 6 weeks guy!

  7. I found myself cheering and having fun watching a real football game. I did not check out at the half. Progress? Not much. But probably that best we can hope for now.

  8. B+ for Colin, laughable. The guy threw into double coverage a lot. Do we just ignore those? How about the sacks? This was a C level performance at best.

    If it wasn’t for the 2 ints and 2 fumbles, this isnt even a close game.

  9. When you let players politic and do whatever they want, you get a 1-8 team. I’ve never said this about any 49ers team during any season, but I hate this team. From the front office to the politicking QB to our college coach. I’m over these fools.

  10. Wilson’s last TD pass:
    Did you see? The worst possible passer mechanics you could imagine, and the ball was PERFECTLY placed. Perfect. RW is like a Shortstop who can throw pills from off balance platforms. Impressive.

  11. OK
    So D played hard, but we need pass rush. Especially interior pass rush. Dial played very hard. DBs in decent coverage got beaten on fab throw/catches. At least in fair position.
    Colin showed a step forward. Under intense pressure, he didn’t wilt. He did have some nice throws. His first half numbers were great. He’s not my guy going forward, but he helped his own resume and his team a bit. I seem to get that Chip might be ok with his return, but I don’t predict it.
    Kelly had some decent play calls.
    I thought the Team seemed just fundamentally more competent. Lost on last play; not last play of 2nd Quarter. False remission? Maybe.

    1. Agree with you BT. They played hard on both sides of the ball so they haven’t quit which is good to see. This was actually the best game I’ve seen Kap play in a long time. He stood in the pocket and took hits to throw the ball. Looked calm and in control which was nice to see. He didn’t always throw it well, but He was on target more often than not in this one against a pretty good defense.

      Buckner had a really good game on the defensive side although he missed a sack on the final possession that allowed Palmer to complete the big gainer to Floyd. If he’s able to get Palmer to the ground the game is likely going to OT. Dial had a nice game controlling the LOS as well. I’m not going to put all the blame on Armstead, but they are better against the run without him in there.

      The Oline was not good in either area. I see everybody dumping on Hyde, but the guy was getting met in the backfield half the time. Kap was sacked three times and could have been sacked another 3-4 times if he hadn’t been able to escape the pocket. Just way too much penetration being allowed to blow up plays before they get started.

      Great job against the run defensively. They did go to the 4 man line quite a bit, but they also played the same look they have previously, and were able to tighten things up in that alignment too. Clogging the middle and stringing out off tackle plays? Who were these guys? Hodges especially was excellent in run support today.

      At the end of the day it was another loss, but at least it was entertaining to watch and showed a competitiveness that hasn’t been there in a long time.

      1. Rocket:

        Tightening up the line and running four man fronts was certainly an important factor, but I also think having Dorsey in at NT makes a big difference. Dial has not been effective at NT (he is too tall imo). You might say, that they had a similar alignment against NO. I’m not sure what the snap counts were for Dorsey. However, besides having more 4 man fronts and not lining up as wide, it might also be that Dorsey, Buckner and Dial needed more playing time together. We’ll have to see how it looks the rest of the year.

        1. Cubus,

          Yeah it could be a case of the 3 guys playing better off of each other as much as anything. After watching a second time, the looks overall weren’t all that different than in previous games. There were quite a few 4 man lines, but I went back and watched a couple of other games and they were doing it before as well. This was about the effort and positioning up front more than anything. They were tying blockers up and allowing the LB’s to move cleanly to make tackles. It’s not a hard concept, it is all about execution. It also shows how badly Armstead was playing against the run.

          1. During TC, wasn’t the OL saying that Armstead was virtually unstoppable and wasn’t he identified by Staley as clearly the best DL. If that’s the case, then the shoulder injury must have really affected him. Should we be contemplating trading him as I’ve seen some here mention?

    2. BT,

      I’m confident that Kap understands that if he can’t start for Kelly’s team, his chances of starting in any other offensive system is pretty dim. Maybe he’s fine with a back-up role as long as he can leave the Niners. It’s also possible he will OK with retiring from football altogether if he can’t get a starting job elsewhere.

      1. Kap is not sending out very good signals if he is thinking about a future elsewhere. Blaming his poor play on coaching changes, new systems and then saying his days of working on mechanics are past. I try to imagine who would really get excited about having him even as a backup.

  12. I guess I’m alone on this, but an offense that is given 4 turnovers should walk away with more points. We actually managed to score less than we did against them last time with the added benefit of 4 turnovers.
    To me that is demoralizing, a banged up, below average football team gives us 4 extra possessions and somehow we still manage to lose!

    1. Considering that the Niners were tied in the 4th quarter until the last 3 seconds, and were not blown out, I think they did a good job against the number one ranked defense.

      At least the run defense was not pathetic, and they were competitive.

    2. Shoup,

      We scored 1 less point this time. In the first game we were down 31 to 14 when Gabbert got his signature “garbage” TD. Kap was down 7 and tied the game late while on the road.

      The team and Kap played better today. They showed fight today. They didn’t quit after falling behind early.

      1. #80,
        Ok so lets take out the garbage touchdown. Now we have an offense going against a banged up D, that had the benefit of getting 4 turnovers, scoring 6 more points, and this is marked improvement???
        Hey, maybe if we get 6 turnovers we can finally hit 30 pts.

        The only good thing I take out of this game is we didn’t give up another 100 yard game to a RB.

        1. The QB play was better. The D was better against the run and got TOs but they got lit up through the air. The D, while better coughed up the game on the final drive.

          The O tied the game late. That is a positive under any circumstances. Do you remember how ugly the first Az game was? You admit we scored 6 more points if you take away the garbage TD. That is an improvement.

          After the first TO they got the ball at the Az 49, good field position but they didn’t score. They got a FG after the second TO. After the third TO we got the ball at the Az 40. Back to back penalties knocked us out of FG range. After the fourth TO they scored the final TD.

          That’s 10 points off TOs. It’s not like they did nothing. It would have been 13 if it weren’t for the penalties. Those holding penalties could be called on every team on every play.

          1. “You admit we scored 6 more points if you take away the garbage TD. That is an improvement.”

            No, its not. They were going against a D missing 2 of its better players, were given the ball 4 additional times and managed a total of 20 pts. Last time they played a healthy D, were not given any turnovers and scored 21 pts. If you take away the Garbage TD, we managed to score 6 additional pts. Taking that into account the only improvement I see offensively was the fact that we had fewer turnovers.

    3. Shoup,

      The Cardinals were giving up on average 10 points a game at home. They held Seattle to 6 total points in their last home game. The turnovers were helpful, but none came deep in AZ territory so expecting points on all of them is unrealistic, especially considering what we’ve seen from the Niners for most of this season.

      They played their best game since the opening night game against the Rams. It’s still a loss but at least a step up from the garbage we’ve been witnessing for most of the season.

  13. Kaepernick 53 comp%, 187.6 YDs per game, 5 TDs 2 INTs, 11 sacks, 82.2 rating. 32 rushes 228 YDs 7.1 avg. 1 TD 1 fumble.

    Gabbert 58 comp%, 178 YDs per game, 5TDs 6 INTs, 10 sacks 69.5 rating. 39 rushes 172 YDs 4.4 avg, 2 TDs no fumbles, 1 rec -16 YDs.

    1. This is most depressing… is Johnny Manzel available, maybe we can get one more qb that’s allergic to completing a forward pass.

  14. Kap will opt out of his contract end of this season to get away from this toxic environment he helped create and get a fresh start elsewhere. His improved play on this 1-8 team only helps improve his FA value…it does nothing for the future of this franchise. He being out there playing is a complete waste of time for this team at this point as the team looks to rebuild for next year. Kap will choose to leave next year..guarantee it.

    1. I hope you are wrong. The Niners should work with him to try and keep him. I know Denise York likes him, and Yorks have been supportive over the last few weeks. If Jed York makes an effort to engage him and talk to him, I think the Niners have a decent shot at keeping him

        1. Kizer’s team lost to Stanford last year on a game ending 28 second field goal drive, and Kizer flopped on the ground pouting. A coach had to demand that he get back up on his feet.

          That’s your idea of an NFL star in the making?

            1. Stanford beat them in their house again this year 17-10. Kizer stayed upright but couldn’t carry his team against a weak Stanford team. He’s not ready to be “… a star in the making.” Maybe later.

  15. Heard on KNBR that there is a 96% chance of winning the game for a team that is +3 in turnover margin. Your Niners beats the odds yet again!

  16. Grant

    Now that Kelly’s staff is reading your columns for coaching tips, what is your next piece of advise (other than not playing Bellore) for the game against the Pats? After their loss against the Seahawks, Brady and Gronk will want to take out all their frustration on the hapless Niners. So your input is critical!

          1. I can see Grant (with Seb in tow) reporting weekly to a dimly lit Chamber of the Elders (Scooter, CFC, Jack, Razor, etc.) with his latest ideas on both defense and offense for the Niners….

      1. No, no, I give Grant full credit on the 46 suggestion. Being an insider, and watching the team practice, his insights are more relevant than some faithful fan.

        However, I will still advocate turning Kaep loose, and that TD run made my day, because it was exactly what I wanted for them to do. Rolling Kaep out so he could buy time and find the open receiver is also another savvy football strategy, and I can confidently say that no other poster has ever made that suggestion on this blog. Everyone else has been saying that Kaep needs to learn to deliver the ball from the pocket.

        When right, I get to crow, but just saw Oregon’s post. He also missed by 4 points the exact score, but he got the winning team right.

          1. Saw, this is a blog site. Things get said that may be wildly speculative, and is just our opinions.

            I am glad you acknowledge that I have not been mean to you, even while you attack ad hominem. I try to be calm and civil, even to my detractors.

  17. Didn’t get to watch the game live, but just watched the replay. My thoughts.

    – Kaep did a pretty decent job. I thought it was his best game this year so far. Nothing spectacular, but solid. Did a good job keeping some plays alive when protection broke down. Had some poor throws, but generally made pretty good decisions.
    – Hyde deserves some of the grief coming his way from fans, but I also don’t think he was given much of a chance. He had no running room all game. I can’t recall many runs where he wasn’t hit behind or at the line of scrimmage.
    – The OL was pretty rubbish all game. Run blocking was terrible once again. Pass protection was patchy. Not a good day for Kilgore.
    – The receivers were surprisingly decent. Kerley and McDonald the standouts. Smith is another I understand the grief he gets, and that drop wasn’t good, but he’s still the receiver opponents look to take out of the game because they know he’s the most dangerous receiver on the team. He needs a true #1 opposite him, but he’s still a decent player.
    – The D was light years better. Grant, well done, that was a great call to tighten up the gaps between the DL. Made a vast improvement as the OL wasn’t able to consistently wall off the DE and NT to create a huge gap. Which took the pressure off the ILBs to fill massive holes.
    – Buckner had his best game of his career. Looked like a first round pick. Dorsey and Dial were also good.
    – Hodges made a lot of plays too. Amazing how solid DL play helps the LBs look decent.
    – Although nothing seems to make Bellore look decent.
    – Ward was the best DB out there for the 49ers, making some great plays to break up passes. Even when he got beat he usually had tight coverage. But those penalties are killers. Can’t give that many penalties.
    – Reaser also made some good PBs, but was hit or miss in coverage.
    – Reid was poor. He started the season pretty well, but since then has really struggled.
    – Brock had a couple of PBs himself, but gave up too many big plays.
    – Brooks had a couple of decent plays, but other than that I thought the edge players were pretty anonymous.

    All in all, it was just nice to see the defense working hard, and stopping the run. They absolutely must build on this game. If they can play with that kind of intensity and integrity against the run there will at least look to be something to work with on D in the future. So for one week at least, I come away with a little bit of hope.

      1. Hodges is currently the best ILB on the 49ers active roster. As CfC says below, he can be a little hit or miss, as he does gamble a bit, but when he’s on and the DL are doing their job he is NFL starting calibre. Which is more than you can say for any other ILB currently on the active roster.

    1. “The receivers were surprisingly decent”. The receivers have been open all year long, that’s a testament to Kelly’s offense. Open receiver is something that we have complained about for decades. Now if we could run the ball we just might have something.

    2. Scooter,
      It’s surprising that you think that Reid played poorly. While I didn’t keep my eyes on him, I heard Matt Ryan specifically praise Ward and Reid in his post game analysis.

      1. I’m not sure why. Reid really struggled against the pass. He got beat a number of times when he was matched up 1-on-1, and also got sucked up to the LOS on the flea flicker which ended up being a big gainer to Fitzgerald right where Reid should have been covering. I can only assume because he had an INT (off a deflection, not because of great coverage) they were impressed.

        He was decent against the run.

    3. I saw the game pretty much the exact same way Scooter. Some good things to hopefully carry forward and at the very least, a more entertaining team to watch.

    4. Maybe, just maybe, Hodges isn’t as bad as some like to say he is. He’s pretty inconsistent but when he’s on, he’s a decent NFL LB, nothing special but decent.

  18. Agree on all grades just have 2 questions. Question 1: Why did Tiller get benched again?
    Question 2: Is this going to be the second year in a row to figure out that DJ should be getting more snaps at corner then what he has. If memory serves me he was matching up against big receivers few years ago and did jusr fine.

  19. “…using a 46 defense instead of a 3-4, just as I suggested.” “…at least he listened when I told him what to do”.
    I really hope someone from the Niners’ organization stumbles onto this blog today. I’m sure they could use a laugh. A twenty-something English major who never played a down of organized football in his life, telling professionals at the highest level how to do their jobs…and HE thinks they’re listening! Seriously Grant, get over yourself. If it weren’t for the comments section, at least 75% of us would NEVER visit this site.

    1. Tru dat.

      And what’s with the multiple clicks? I visit for 5 min and run up half a dozen clicks.

      I assume this is to con the newspaper into thinking the blog is more popular that it is. Kinda pathetic.

    2. I agree if a team was 7-2 and poised to make the playoffs, but this team is on an 8 game losing streak.

      If they want to win, they should reading everything to find some answers. Arrogance and hubris to think they do not need help after losing 8 games in a row is obtuse.

      They could use a laugh? No, they could use a swift kick in the heiney.

  20. Unfortunately, this is the type of loss that Jed probably feels good about while extending the 49ers careers of Baalke and Kelly… Thing is, the offense is predictable and stale. Watching Kaep make the same mistakes is old and if this team truly wants to compete they need to blow it up and start over. Everything about this team is finesse and while I applaud the run D for finally showing up, the secondary obviously suffered. Playing the Pats next week will be fun :/

  21. Hi Grant: Can you get us the details on Kap’s restructured contract. The way I read it, Kap got a potential guaranteed deal for 2017 in exchange for giving up the injury clause and the remainder of his contract beyond 2017. In other words, Kap can choose to become a free agent after this season, or he can exercise his option and remain on the team for 2017. Is that the way you understand Kap’s restructured deal? What, if any, leverage do the 49ers have vis a vis Kap after this season?

    If Kap has the ability to walk after this season, then I don’t understand why the 49ers are even playing him. It seems to me the better he plays, more likely it is that some team will come after him as a free agent. I bet Miami, New York Jets, or maybe even Arizona (Carson Palmer is close to being done!) go after him as a free agent.

  22. I think the Niners are pulling another Devey when it comes to Bellore. With his non stellar play on the field, he is hurting the team. They are still insisting that he play, but Grant succinctly points out that they are targeting Bellore, because he is the weak link in the defense.

    Skov is next on the depth chart, but I think even Willhoite would be a better option than Bellore.

  23. Gang,
    So here we have a team that has now lost 8 in a row, they have yet to score 30 points in a game.
    The QB talks about being more comfortable in the “new” offense as the team faces game 10…how many years has he been an NFL QB?
    The HC wants to see what he has in the QB, because he says he only can make a determation after seeing the QB with his with his own eyes…well let me help him out, this is what you get. Tantelizingly close but no cigar.
    I sat in Kesar 62 years ago for my first 9er game. Longevity is not an indicator of wisdom, but I have seen some football in the course of those years and my eyes tell me this is a bad team.

      1. WC,
        Kezar was a great place watch, Seagulls , bottles and football.
        The game was so different from what is on the field today.
        Was it better? It seemed to be more interesting, more compelling.
        Of course,everyone has always wanted a different QB.
        This just such a bad owenership, very disappointing.

  24. The defense did a turn around but one game does not mean much. Hyde is not the answer at RB, he needs to change occupations – dancing with the flops might be his calling. I see a gradual improvement of the offense, got to get the run game going.

    1. UC ..

      The run game cannot flourish .. unless
      the OL becomes adept at forcing their will .. and
      opening holes for the RBs … but ..

      so far .. we haven’t seen much of that …

      You are correct in saying
      Carlos ain’t the answer …
      He might be better suited for a stint
      on Dancing with the Stars .. or sumptin’

      Good news.. though ..

      This week … the “Fire Baalke” banner is
      supposed to fly ..

      Bad news.. though ..

      Patroits come to town

      1. MW – Agree whole heartedly with you. The one thing that is lacking on ‘both’ sides of the ball – “forcing their will” (attitude). Its my biggest complaint with this Kelly team. Got to have a take no prisoners kick ass attitude. Football at this level is more about mental then physical, its what separates greatness from the average.

  25. The Cards are stout in the middle of their DL, and we know they like to get upfield, but SF was completely over-matched there. For this game at least I’ll give Hyde a pass.
    Remember how AZ’s star running back was going to put up 400 yards as some of our trolls here predicted? So SF held him <100, does that make him a chump? A loser? Not IMO, so Hyde getting shut down should be seen in the same perspective.

    1. BT ..

      I dunno.. but it seemed to me .. that
      DuJuan Harris makes more things happen
      than Carlos does .. .. besides ..

      it might be prudent to surround Hyde
      in plenty of bubble wrap .. before sending
      him on the field ..

      1. Maybe I should watch again. I thought it was more fresh legs late with Harris, but it’s worth another look.
        I recall thinking that they didn’t run behind Trent Brown much. Were they worried about the rookie next to him?

        1. BT, you may grind your teeth, but I agree with you. Hyde did not do well against the number one ranked defense, but he still has talent.

          Coaches just are not using him correctly.

    2. Neither RB had much room out there. Hyde actually had some positive runs but then lost yards on others which made it seem like he didn’t gain anything. That’s why you can’t just look at a box score if you didn’t watch the game.

      Harris is not a guy who can handle a lot of carries. He’s a change of pace back and if the Niner Oline could block anybody, both he and Hyde would be a lot more effective.

      1. With Hyde I see a very undisciplined runner. How many times does he bounce it outside when he should just let the hole develop. And then if it does not, just burry your head right up the guards arse and fall forward for a gain of one. Instead he dances around, changes direction and ends up as loss.

        Its the same with Kaepernick. He breaks down his own pocket even before the pass rush gets there. Always looking to run the moment the rush happens instead of standing in, let the route develop, stand in and deliver the ball and you might have to take a hit. Sorry but that’s the job description
        Both guys are soft in my opinion!

        1. You are entitled to your opinion Prime, but I disagree with it.

          Hyde bounces plays outside because more often than not there is no hole where the play is supposed to go. If you’ve got access, go back and watch his carries again and see how many times he’s got someone in his face the moment he gets the ball. It’s ridiculous how quickly the Oline gets beat and allows penetration. They still haven’t adapted to the change in blocking systems and it’s killing the running game.

          As for Kap, I have no idea what you were watching yesterday but he did exactly what you just said he didn’t. He stood in the pocket and took the hit to make the throw repeatedly. He also didn’t panic and run into sacks. Every one of them was a result of the pocket collapsing and him having no where to go. That’s why I said it was the best game I’ve seen him play in a very long time. He wasn’t great by any means and is very inaccurate at times, but in terms of what we’ve seen from him the past year and a half, it was a step in the right direction.

          1. I guess with Hyde I’ve seen the bounce it outside routine too many times. It was not only yesterday. Between the durability issues and lack of development in his game, I think the 49ers have to seriously address the RB situation this offseason.

            As for Kap, same thing. At times he can stand in and deliver in the pocket but most times he would rather play outside the pocket or he hears foot steps early and flees.

            You can fault the oline as excuses for both players but in defense of the oline, those two guys are impossible to block for because all they want to do is improvise.

            Tiki Barber during the telecast made a great point about CK. If there was an offense that was similar to back yard football with your buddies, Kap would be in the HOF. Unfortunately no matter what, the NFL QB position for the time being, requires the QB to play in the pocket 90% of the time. The game has not changed much from that even though the NCAA is playing it differently. I saw so many throws from Kap yesterday in the 2nd half where he had to stand in and deliver the ball at or outside the numbers. Each one sailed wildly over the WR’s head. He is not the future.

            1. That was Ronde, not Tiki. Give the man his due ; )

              I agree with you on Hyde’s lack of durability, but there aren’t too many RB’s who are going to have success behind this Oline. The blocking is awful and forces the ball carrier to have to break a tackle or make somebody miss the moment they get the ball. I put the blame on the Oline far more than the RB.

              I’m commenting on yesterday’s game in terms of Kap Prime. Watching the game yesterday those were my observations. The history is just as you say it is, but yesterday was a game in which Kap looked better than he has in a very long time and did the exact things you mentioned in the above criticism of him. Still not enough to say he’s somebody you can build around or win with consistently, but compared to what we’ve seen out of the QB position going back two years, it was encouraging, at least to me anyway.

              1. I agree. Tiller at RG and Garnett over to the left where he is more familiar would be a better alternative imo. Garnett has struggled in pass protection but has been the only guy blocking half decently in the running game. I’d like to see him play where he is comfortable.

              2. Yup, I like Tiller, too. Unfortunately, Baalke wants Beadles to play, because if he does not, his FA class would be a total bust.

  26. 3-13 with wins in Chicago and here against the Jets sounds about right.

    2nd overall pick spent on the run defense because there is no franchise quarterback out there.

    Baalke and Chip both keep their jobs and roster remains $70,000,000 under the cap.

    Colin returns mostly because no one else wants him.

    Grant Cohn named defensive coordinator and is taped to goal posts during training camp.

    1. They are required by the league to spend that money, so they will this off season. No point in getting someone this last year if he is overpriced. Spending money just to spend money is pointless, especially if you can save some of that money/capspace and use it the following season on someone really worth it.

      Say you go to the store on Monday with $20 bucks and go to buy a steak, all thats available is come skirt steak. Do you buy it since you have the money or wait until the next day when you will have $30 and there could be a filet minion? While you can get that skirt on monday and it will taste fine, you wont have the money on tuesday to get that filet which will be what you really wanted. Nor will your wife let you get steak 2 days in a row. This is why spending money on overpriced f/as in the nfl is usually a bad move. You lose money, cap space and a roster spot on someone less than ideal but had the team waited a year there might just be someone who is worth the money, cap space and roster spot…or do we not remember the Nnamde Asmuagah (?) f/a frenzy.

      1. While overspending in FA is a concern, there are a number of teams that have used FA effectively. In particular, the Seahawks come to mind. They had a number of years where they didn’t have a first round pick (example, trade for J. Graham). My problem is that Baalke has done little to nothing in FA. He insists on hanging on to poor draft picks where other teams (Seahawks for example) admit they made a mistake and move on. Green Bay is another team that makes few moves in FA and there’s been much discussion and consternation within that organization.

        IMO, there needs to be an integrated approach. But I definitely agree that you shouldn’t spend money helter skelter.

        Do you think we should have tried to trade for Jamie Collins? Third round pick doesn’t seem like that much for his talent and we have a huge need at ILB. OTOH, there are reports that he wants serious big money for the upcoming contract. The reality is that any time you try to get a big name player in FA you’re going to pay a lot. Targeting certain players can work and imo should be used as a supplement to the draft. Of course, it would help if we had a GM that could actually draft well. The loss of the entire draft class of 2012 has had an impact on our team.

      2. eMJay,

        Your analogy doesn’t make any sense because anytime you go into FA it’s going to be the same. You rarely have elite level talent making it to FA, so teams are always overspending in that area. The reason this past offseason was a little different was because there were some good young players going into their second contracts that were available which is rare. You are usually looking at players going into contract #3 in most FA cases, at least for higher end options anyway. Combine that with the fact this was the offseason in which teams were signing players from the 2012 draft class to second contracts which Baalke couldn’t do because he completely whiffed on the entire draft, and you have a team with a ton of cap space and little talent.

        There is no rational explanation for the 49ers to be sitting on this much cap room with the poor roster they have. None. This is a team in dire need of a talent infusion and they chose to sit out FA. Now they will be going into FA in 2017 with a ton of cap room and they same level of talent to spend it on, with few of their own to extend. All it means is they will overspend this coming season instead of last and their team looks even worse now to perspective FA’s than it did then.

        1. Who were these good free agents available that the niners should have signed?

          People always claim this but don’t provide anyone. I cant think of anyone off the top of my head that was as you described.

          1. I’ve put together a list multiple times in response to the exact question you have just asked. There were a number of players they could have signed that would have helped the talent level of the roster:

            Malik Jackson
            Kelechi Osemele
            Bruce Irvin
            Danny Trevathan
            Marvin Jones
            Lamar Miller
            Jaye Howard
            Damon Harrison
            Alex Mack
            Kelvin Beachum
            Mitchell Schwartz

            Is that enough or do you need to see some more?

            1. The problem with your list is that you aren’t accounting for the 49ers roster, most of them are at areas where the niners have depth and youth, especially before the injuries.

              Jackson had his greatest success playing de in denvers 3/4 scheme, but last I checked the 49ers have Armstead, Dial, and TJE, and ended up drafting Buckner as DE. Pretty deep unit. Also, what has Jackson done this year, all of 17 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Over paid, under performing.

              You say Osemele, a guard, niners seemed to go after that both in free agency and the draft and you know they will never overpay for a guard (bye bye Iupati and Boone).

              Irvin, outside LB when they have Brooks and Lynch. Also, 2 sacks and 23 tackles. Is he beating out Brooks and Lynch? Waste of money.

              Yeah Trevathan might have been good, but no one expected Bowman and Ray Ray to go on IR.

              Marvin Jones is a 2/3 wr…have the niners not made the mistake already signing a #2 and paying him like a #1? And does he fit Kellys scheme, I don’t know.

              Lamar Miller, RB, before the season that was presumed to be an area of strength especially with Hyde. Miller wanted to start, no way he’s coming to SF to be a backup.

              Howard resigned with KC, the only team he’s played with. Also, DE, doesn’t fit an area of need.

              Alex Mack, 30 year old center. Do they need 2 centers?

              Beachum, OT, again, is this an area of need with Staley and Brown, and at the time, Davis?

              Schwartz, OT…re-read the Beachum comment.

              So basically a lot of guys who aren’t doing much this year or are players at positions that the 49ers were strong at (RB/OLB/DE/OT). Wheres the true #1 WR, starting QB, CB? Are the guys you mentioned beating out the starters at the same position? The only one was ILB, but again, that looks bad now because of the injuries to Bowman and Ray Ray, had they both been healthy, that wouldn’t be a concern.

              And also, these guys get to chose where they want to go.

              Free agency is where you find quality backups, you don’t overpay or you become the Jags.

              1. You are living in dream land. Every one of these players would have been an upgrade to what we currently have. Having lousy depth or marginal starters does not mean you have answers at positions. You seem to be unable to admit that the team is in really poor shape personnel wise. It does not matter when a team decides to enter the FA market. You will overpay regardless, and that is the way the system is setup to work. If you honestly think they are better off for not signing anybody last year there is no point in discussing it any further. The roster is among the worst in football and they had tons of money to spend. This offseason they’ll have even more and it won’t change the fact they’ll have to overpay to get somebody. They simply wasted a year by sitting it out.

  27. LOL! I can’t believe there are people on this post who still believe Kap is or will be a good NFL quarterback, now or again! He’s not. Never will be. Never was. For Gods sake he will never be a GREAT quarterback! For sake of argument, lets just say he becomes a good quarterback. Big deal. The goal is to win the Superbowl. You need, in most cases, a GREAT quarterback to win, along obviously with a great defense and solid special teams. The team is years away from either of those, and that’s a whole other discussion. Yes, there are a few cases where a less than GREAT quarterback won the title, but nowadays the league is more than ever a quarterback centered league, and unless you are lead by a GREAT quarterback, your chances of reaching the promised land are few and none. So lets get past the Kap experiment. It’s just holding up progress. On the game yesterday, its good to see them show some fight and be competitive but lose. Perfect. That’s what we want, right? Why would you want them to win at this point? They won’t win another game this year. Secure the number 1 or probably 2 pick and move on from the Kap era. Have a nice day boys.

  28. How does a QB get a B grade when he Has not won a game this year & has been garbage since his contract extension. Once you get paid you got to be a star. Simply not throwing interceptions does not make you get a B grade. Driving your team down the field to win a game like Palmer did even after throwing a pick & fumbling deserves a B grade. Russell Wilson last night is an example of a B grade. Kaeps is an example of his overall career grade–D

  29. And by the way, I speak from experience. I’ve personally been to 5 of the six Superbowl’s the Forty Niners appeared in and won, luckily missing the last debacle against Baltimore. In all of those games, I witnessed GREAT quarterbacks win the title. The losing quarterbacks were GREAT in three of the five games, (Anderson, Marino, Elway) , one very good quarterback in Esiason, and the exception of Humphrey’s for San Diego in ’94, who was just a journeyman good quarterback. So what is your goal as a fan for our team? Is it to win a game or two or win a title? Mine is to see at least one more Superbowl before I croak. I’m 60. Time is running out! If I am lucky enough to attend one more, it won’t be with Kap, I promise you. Juan out!

    1. “….The losing quarterbacks were GREAT in three of the five games, (Anderson, Marino, Elway) ….”

      Marino … ? … 38-16 !! … Great ..? … and

      Horse-Face ..? … 55-10 …

      C’mon.. man … even Kap din’t lose that bad !

      Both Elway and Marino.. weren’t even in the “great”
      conversation .. until …. AFTER
      they both faced Joe Cool !

  30. We’re talking careers, not one game silly. General consensus is those three quarterbacks are among the GREAT quarterbacks of my generation. I noticed you didn’t mention Kap!!

    1. There has been only 60 QBs to ever play in a SB. Kaep is one of them.

      I will defend Kaep because no one else will. Kaep is the new prototypical NFL QB, who can run and pass. He is a dual option threat. The era of the pure pocket passer is over. All the new QBs will be like Cam and Mariota. Kaep did throw a pick in the SB, but he threw for 300 yards and ran for 62 and a score, something only Joe Montana also matched when he passed for 331 and ran for 59 in SB XIX.

      Granted, Kaep did fail to win that SB, but the defense, ST, coaches and the officiating were complicit in that loss.

      Kaep, being a SB QB, showed that he has elite skillsets, but this season also shows why having a total team is necessary, too. Marino, being an elite HOFer, never won because the team surrounding him was limited.This Niner team is also limited, and the lack of FAs, coupled with an ACL draft strategy that selected no ILBs and only a QB, WR and RB in the 6th round, makes winning even that much more difficult.

      I am almost resigned to Kaep leaving, but thought that he would be gone before the draft, too. Glad I was wrong, because Kaep gives the Niners their best chance to win. I still hope for a miracle and Kaep stays, but will wish himgood luck if he decides to leave.

      Then I will be resigned to seeing the Niners miss out on an elite defender, select a QB, and keep losing for years. If Kaep will stay, maybe they can reload for a playoff run. If not, it is a full rebuild with a cellar position for the foreseeable future.

      1. Kap’s old news Seb. Time to move on to the 2017 draft.

        Jed will still be in charge and I imagine he can’t screw up a top 3 pick. For years the problem has been the personnel chosen in the mid rounds that surround this pick.

        Tim Kawakami Verified account 
        Said this before: Jed and Trent think they’re being stealthy by having ciphers speak for them but it’s the most transparent thing ever.

        GoldenBear96 ‏@calderon11 · Nov 11

        @timkawakami if York doesn’t in fact let Kelly go ….what coach in their right mind would wanna coach the Niners?

        Tim Kawakami ‏@timkawakami · Nov 11

        Tim Kawakami Retweeted John Middlekauff

        The Yorks don’t like the idea of interviewing outside candidates for GM. If it’s a political struggle, Baalke will usually win.

        Baalke knows where how 49er profits over players is by design.

        Tim Kawakami ‏@timkawakami · 23h23 hours ago

        But the Yorks have proven they can’t sustain success on the field because they’re too insecure to keep strong personalities together.

        @timkawakami what do you think it will take for Jed to do what needs to be done to fix the franchise?

        Tim Kawakami Verified account 
        Tim Kawakami Retweeted Richie

        First: Step aside and let somebody with credibility run all aspects of the team. Which he will never do. Not ever.

      2. Freekin seb……….

        You know, and I know you know, that several great teams have taken the QB along for the ride.
        Kap can run, in a straight line-not like Wilson. But he sure as he-l cant throw accurately on a consistent basis.
        Kosar will end up having the better career. because he had the art of being a QB down.
        Kap is nothing more than a great athlete who happens to play the QB position.

      3. Dude…Kaep is DONE…D…O…N…E.

        He can not play qb at any competent level in this league. Its so freakin obvious to anyone who isn’t in love, and I do mean IN LOVE, with the guy. He has horrific accuracy. He has no presnap vision or understanding. He can’t move in the pocket. He can’t scramble. The only thing he has going for him is that he can, if he gets past the LOS, move quickly in a straight line.

        And worse off, he has a piss poor attitude.

        You know who else started a SB…Rex Grossman, Matt Hassleback, Jake Delhomme, Trent Dilfer (won), Chris Chandler, Neil Odonell, Chris Humphries, Tony Eason, David Woodley, a 34 year old Craig Morton, Vince Ferragamo…and others. Starting a Super Bowl as a QB is not some elite membership.

        You need to let 2012 go, he wasnt nearly as good as you and others remember. He was an average qb that had 3 good games, road the defense, special teams and coaching of a Super Bowl ready (to win) team and he failed.

        1. Horrific accuracy? No, you are talking about Gabbert.

          Last game, I saw the ball being fit into tight windows. Ialso saw balls hitting the receivers in both hands and dropped.

          Can’t scramble? Obviously, you are not watching the games. I saw Kaep using his legs and mobility to elude pass rushers and make first downs.

          Piss poor attitude? I just saw a player who is trying his best to win. He cannot throw and catch the ball, too. He also cant play QB and block, too. Above all, he is not playing defense, which has cost the Niners games all season.

          Am I in love with him? No, I just want the Niners to win more rings, and Kaep gives the Niners the best chance to win. Dumping Kaep will just doom them to more losing.

          Posters do not realize that there have been very few rookie QBs who have taken their team to the SB. Took Joe 3 years. Took Brady 2 years. In his second season, it took Kaep starting only 10 games before he made it to the SB.

          1. Yup, Horrible accuracy, declined every year, this year its 53%.

            He was also throwing into double coverage, and a couple dropped INTs.

            Yes, piss poor attitude…about life and playing.

            OMG!!! You can not compare the 1979 and 1980 49ers to the 2012 team! Those teams were not built to win SBs. The 2011 team went to the NFC Championship and were 2 muffed punts away from a SB berth (and win). The 2012 team was the damn favorite.

            Same with the Pats. The 2000 patriots went 5 – 11…not 13-3! You seriously have no idea about football.

            Kaep took over a team that was 6-2 (and led them to a tie). He then went on to go 5-2…but mostly because he was there, the run game, the defense are why they got to the playoffs and the SB, not his play…not his 140 pass yards per game, not his 32 rushing yards per game. The guy was averaging 172 total yards from scrimmage, there are BAD qbs who throw for more than that.

            If he truly gave the niners the best chance to win, why has he YET to win a game this year? Why has he not won a game since October 18th of 2015. Its been over a year and he has yet to win a game? So does he really give them the best chance to win? Obviously not.

    2. That ..“one” .. game .. was the Super Bowl..
      and … just how long was Horse-Face .. and
      Marion in the league … BEFORE .. either
      one went back and actually ..won the Big One ?

      For Marino … he has fond memories of
      feasting on that green Stanford turf…cuz he
      never went back …

  31. Niners Fix One Problem, Then Get Burned by Another

    In loss to Cardinals, San Francisco finally plays solid run defense but gets burned by Carson Palmer through the air

    By Doug Williams

    After nearly two months of futility against opposing running attacks, the 49ers defense held fast on Sunday.

    Unfortunately, in coming up big against the run, the 49ers failed against the pass.

    •United Pilot Bans Political Talk on Flight After ‘Scuffle’

    Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer completed 30-of-49 throws for 376 yards and a touchdown while also leading his team from its own 15-yard line to a game-winning field goal with time expired.

    Source: Niners Fix One Problem, Then Get Burned by Another | NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Niners-Fix-One-Problem-Then-Get-Burned-by-Another-401112585.html#ixzz4Q0VEZF7k
    Follow us: @NBCBayArea on Twitter | NBCBayArea on Facebook

    1. Another sign of bad coaching: Taking 2 months to fix a problem–calling all hands on deck to fix the run leak, only to have the pipes burst in the passing game sinking the USS 49er to the bottom of the standings.

      Call the 3 Stooges plumbing Co.–They’re better.

      Have you hired The Three Stooges to fix your Plumbing Problems

      David Garcia

      David Garcia


  32. Eight straight loss for the current ownership of the 49ers. If they lose next week it’s official.

    The York’s will own the largest losing and be crowned with the worst record in the 49er 70 year history of the franchise.

  33. nice to see us play tough against the run and play a full 60 minutes without too many glaring mistakes. long rebuild ahead, but maybe the boat has stopped taking on water.

  34. Grant, when are you going to start grading the officials? Kilgore shouldn’t take any heat for a bad call…at least the officiating was better in the NFL then is was in the colleges games on Saturday…

    1. Linebacker Nick Bellore. Enough said.

      Bellore had plenty of gaffes, and it’s a wonder why defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil continues to put him in coverage situations.

      On a critical 3rd-and-8 play late in the fourth quarter, Bellore allowed a 12-yard reception to running back David Johnson. This play was crucial in setting up the game-winning field goal for Arizona.

      San Francisco needs to experiment with other linebackers, like Shayne Skov or anyone else. Bellore isn’t cutting it.

  35. Tim Kawakami Verified account 
    Is Christian Ponder still dominating 49ers practices?

    Ed F ‏@EddieFreeman49 · 5h5 hours ago

    @timkawakami he won the practice superbowl with the 2nd team

    Tim Kawakami Verified account 
    I keep mentioning the Ponder thing because it is a prime example of the lengths 49ers execs will go to lie to themselves & their fans.

    Living Sacrifice ‏@MoonDunIt · 3h3 hours ago

    @timkawakami fans actually trying to convince folk Christian Ponder is an NFL starting QB is a testament to the terrible state of the @49ers

    Living Sacrifice ‏@MoonDunIt · 3h3 hours ago

    @timkawakami @49ers Christian Ponder is a poor man’s Tony Romo

  36. Paola Boivin Verified account 
    Wondered what that sound was in press box of someone yelling and pounding table during game. It was 49ers GM Trent Baalke (seriously)

    Tim Kawakami Verified account 
    Tim Kawakami Retweeted Paola Boivin

    I know of no other high-ranking NFL exec who does this. And Baalke does it often.

    ,Fabrizio TI ‏@magnaccione · 5h5 hours ago

    @timkawakami Dallas 8-1,Baalke’s 49rs1-8,Elliot/Prescott 8-1(all available to 9ers),a bunch of injured/useless players drafted by Baalke 1-8

     More

  37. Look guys, Kap is never going to be a HOF QB. He has flaws and is not technically a great thrower. Russell Wilson is a much better QB than Kap. I will give you all these points.

    What Kap has shown (in 2012 and 2013) is that if surrounded by a solid defense, above average running backs, and a couple of receivers who can go up and catch the ball, he can take a team deep in the playoffs. Now what would you rather do? Rebuild the team around Kap and hopefully get another three or four year window to get Super Bowl #6. Or, draft a hotshot college QB and put up with at least three or four years of losing , and then find that your hotshot QB cannot cut it in the NFL and start the weary process all over again.

    The history of NFL is littered with failed hotshot quarterbacks drafted in the first round. Just one example is Blaine Gabbert and the way he destroyed the Jacksonville franchise for years and years to come.

    I am not saying don’t draft a Quarterback of the future. But keep Kaepernick around until the new guy shows he is ready to take over. If, as it has so often happened before, the new guys shows he cannot cut it, then you have a competent QB who can win you your share of games until the next hotshot QB comes along.

    Look at Baltimore with Joe Flacco. Nobody can say that Flacco is a future hall of famer. But he is a competent QB who has won his share of games (including a Superbowl). You can do a lot worse than a Flacco or a Kap at QB if you have a solid team around them.

    Just saying..

    1. Kaep will never be anything in this league ever again. Even if he were playing for the Pats you’d see a big dropoff in that teams win/loss. The guy can not play the QB position at this level with any level of success. He and the zone read offense caught the league by storm, and the league adjusted, and Russell Wilson and Cam Newton adjusted and Colin & Bob Griffin 3 did not.

      If this were the 80s or 90s, he’d be out of the league in 2 years. His reworked contract guarantees he will be done soon, he will be gone from SF, fail as a back up somewhere else, and be lucky to be in the league when he’s 30.

      Just move on.

    2. Rick, you said it all. Posters will not realize how valuable a QB like Kaep is, until he leaves and takes the league by storm again.

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