49ers 34, Vikings 14: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are my grades for the 49ers in their 34-14 preseason win over the Minnesota Vikings.

QUARTERBACKS: B. Colin Kaepernick played 17 snaps and played well, although he failed in his first appearance in the red zone, getting his pass tipped away on third-and-11 from the 12 yard line. But Kaepernick succeeded in his second red zone appearance. On third-and-goal from the five, Kaepernick rolled right, spotted Quinton Patton running across the back boundary of the end zone and hit the receiver in stride for a touchdown. It was a beautiful play by Kaepernick.

Colt McCoy played two quarters. He was OK, scrambled around, threw some short slants. In the second quarter, he was terrible. His passer rating was 17.7. He threw an interception on a five-yard pass. But in the third quarter, he played better, leading a scoring drive. After the game, Jim Harbaugh said McCoy is Kaepernick’s backup. That may be, but McCoy is not a good backup quarterback option over the long haul.

Why did Harbaugh play McCoy for two whole quarters if Harbaugh is set on McCoy as Kaepernick’s backup? Here’s my best guess: Harbaugh is not set on McCoy as Kaepernick’s backup. Maybe another team expressed interest in McCoy before tonight’s game but wanted to see him play more, so Harbaugh left him in the game longer to market him.

Scott Tolzien didn’t play. Obviously, he’s gone.

B.J. Daniels played one series in the fourth quarter. He led a touchdown drive and made two spectacular plays. First, on third-and-11 he threw a perfect 22-yard pass down the left sideline, hitting Lavelle Hawkins in stride. The only other QB on the 49ers who could have made that pass was Kaepernick. On the next play, Daniels scrambled to the right and sprinted down the right sideline for a 20-yard gain. He probably is going to make the team.

WIDE RECEIVERS: A-. Quinton Patton was terrific in his first game as Niner, catching a team-high four passes for 35 yards and a touchdown. He even played with the first-team in the first quarter. He mostly lined up in the slot.

Marlon Moore was the starting split end. He caught three passes for 32 yards.  He’s a tough guy and will not give away the split end job. Someone’s going to have to take it from him.

If anyone takes it from him, it might be Jon Baldwin. He made two nice catches. First, he won on a slant route and caught a pass throw low and behind him. Next, he beat the cornerback down the left sideline for a 19-yard catch.

RUNNING BACKS: D. The only running back who played well tonight was Jewel Hampton, and he was facing the Vikings’ backup defense. Kendall Hunter had one good run, a 15-yard gain, but the offensive line deserves most of the credit for that play. They created a huge hole for Hunter.

LaMichael James was terrible, rushing 9 times for 15 yards and catching zero passes.

On the other hand, Anthony Dixon caught three passes for 33 yards and rushed for a touchdown. Dixon might be a better player than James right now.

TIGHT ENDS: B. Vernon Davis caught back-to-back passes. On both plays, he ran the same route – the Y-stick, and on both plays he was wide open.

Vance McDonald caught two passes for 24 yards and hurdled over a defender. He also made some terrific blocks in the running game.

Garrett Celek caught no passes and dropped one.

OFFENSIVE LINE: C. They created a couple of big holes for the running backs, but that was it. They mostly got dominated by the Vikings’ defensive line. Anthony Davis got beat by Brian Robison, who slapped the ball out of Kaepernick’s hand while he was throwing. Mike Iupati was flagged for a false start. Daniel Kilgore got destroyed on one play by Fred Evans who tackled James for a three-yard loss.

DEFENSIVE LINE: A. Adrian Peterson didn’t play, so this group wasn’t really tested. Still, they played well. Justin Smith ripped into the backfield a few times on running plays.

Ian Williams and Glenn Dorsey split time at nose tackle with the first-team defense and both guys played well, each recoding a tackle.

Tony Jerod-Eddie played especially well in the second half with the second-team defense, recording three tackles. Don’t be surprised if he makes the final 53-man roster.

LINEBACKERS: A. Ahmad Brooks was fantastic, knocking away a pass, forcing a fumble and sacking the quarterback on the same play. NaVorro Bowman was excellent as well, recording three tackles in the first quarter.

CORNERBACKS: B. Nnamdi Asomugha is beating Tramaine Brock for the No.3 cornerback job, Chris Culliver’s old job. Asomugha played with the first-team defense today and gave up zero catches. He knocked away one pass and C.J. Spillman picked it off. On the other hand, Tramaine Brock was flagged for pass interference.

SAFETIES: A-. Eric Reid started at free safety and played well. He didn’t give up any long passes and he made two good tackles. Later, Trenton Robinson jumped a short pass from Christian Ponder and would have picked it off if it hadn’t been a ground ball.

At the end of the game, Michael Thomas let an interception bounce off his chest.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A. The punt and kickoff coverage was terrific, Lavelle Hawkins returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown and Phil Dawson made a 50-yard field goal that would have been good from 60 or 65 yards.

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  1. McCoy hasn’t played with boldin and veron Davis I think he can do better with the starters? No qb can do anything with chad hall in the lineup! Chad hall and Scott tolzien don’t belong in the nfl

  2. Colt’s playing time was curious but hardly unexplainable. JH could be playing this any of several ways, including actually keeping CM as his #2. It’s too early to bury Scot, not that I think he’ll for sure make it.
    Wallace > Show Me.
    BJ: I’m just a jive Fan, but I keep him. Oh, Yeah. I said that.

    1. I’ll have me some jive turkey gobble gobble too. Daniels looks like a real talent.

      The young receivers were encouraging also. Hawkins one headed penalties were annoying but the coaching staff will fix that.

  3. Scott tolzien should be cut on Tuesday and not even considered for the practice squad! He has two years in the system and is still easily the worst and least talented qb on the roster right grant?

  4. A few thoughts

    - LMJ HAS to limit drive killing negative yardage plays.

    - Kaepernick displayed a new skill I’m thrilled about. We all know Colin’s great at sprinting wide to throw. Now he also “takes few steps” to buy time until WRs uncovers. A big step in CK7′s development. Tossed a TD to Patton that way.

    - Love how Patton works to get open. Totally blue collar.

    - McDonald threw some nice inside blocks. Not crushers, but effectively sealed off pursuing defenders. He looked like he knew what he was doing.

    - Williams is the starting NT.

    - Brooks looked great. Hope it carries to regular season.

    - Okoye caved in the pocket on one play, then got easily blocked the next because he plays so high.

    - What as Joe Looney thinking on that low block?

    - Can they stash Hampton and Gray?

    1. I think those blocks should be flagged. Diving at a guys knees on a peel back is bush league. Blow him up in the chest.

      1. Watched every snap of Kaepernick’s great game vs Boise State. Then viewed his youtube highlights in the weeks before the draft, hoping the 49ers would grab him.
        He’s great throwing off the full run. Dilfer mentioned last year he was the best he ever seen throwing off a full sprint. But I saw little of those Rogers style 2-7 step slides to buy just a wee bit more time… until last night. That pass to Patton was a break though. The biggest plus in the game for me.

      2. he’s always been a mobile pass-first quarterback. If you think that is a new skillset for a mobile pass-first quarterback, then idk what to tell you.

    2. Good stuff B2W. LMJ is always going to be a boom or bust back – when the coaches pick his spots well he’ll be great but he’s not every down ready at this point.

      Is it just me or does CK have a lot better touch on the short passes this year?

      I missed Looney’s block – from around the web it sounds like it was a dirty shot.

      1. Yes, it was a cheap shot. There was no need to do so, when he could have stood up the guy, blocked him above the waist. However, that is what happens when you play your starters against 2nd-3rd stringers who are battling to make the team. These guys are scrapping to get noticed, good or bad, just to show that they don’t quit on a play and have the guts to do what it takes to win…

        Just to clarify: it was not an illegal block, but a cheap shot.

    3. They can stash Hampton but not Gray. I bet Gray would be gone within minutes of hitting the waiver wire. A lot of teams are looking for a 2nd TE.

      1. I bet Gray would be gone within minutes of hitting the waiver wire.

        Based on what? His 1 reception for 13 yards in the preseason? While Gray seems like a promising talent, I doubt that any team values him enough to give him a spot on the 53 man roster. He simply hasn’t played enough in preseason games for another team to conclude he is worth it.

      2. This stuff with Gray is another case of fans over valuing the local player. Every team has a group of their own guys they want to keep first.

      3. I wonder if Harbaugh has seen enough from Gray to warrant not playing him. Perhaps that is how they intend to stash him on the practice squad.

      4. Matt:

        I too thought Gray’s lack of playing time last night was a sign that the 49ers were planning to put him on the PS.

      5. CB any time my thoughts align with yours, I know I’ve hit a knew high and there is some credibility to my thought. Great Archer Reference below too!

      6. I’d be curious to know how other teams know that there is a certain training camp buzz revolving around certain players like Gray. Especially when preseason stats don’t stand out.
        Do lack of stats make him a well kept secret or not?

      7. SMH. Where does all this love for Marqueis Gray come from? As CB says, he’s made on catch in 3 preseason games and didn’t play last night. Forget the glowing practice reports when analyzing players. Other teams aren’t basing decisions on what Grant sees in a practice.

        Gray seems like a great athlete, but he’s learning to play the TE position for the first time. He’s not NFL ready, not even close actually. Players like Gray are tailor made for the practice squad. He needs to develop and learn the position.

        Every year a group of fans lock onto players they hear good things about and can’t fathom cutting for fear they’ll be claimed by other teams. Newsflash: every team has players like Gray. They will rarely claim another teams final cuts over one of their own. We see it every year. If a team doesn’t keep a young player on their PS, then that player will sometimes be picked up by another team, but to claim a developmental player on waivers means the claiming team has to keep him on their 53 man roster. Most teams have their final roster decided before the waiver process and are looking for PS candidates. If the Niners want Gray on the PS, they’ll have that choice.

      8. Celek isn’t going anywhere. With the amount of time he played last night and his superior blocking ability to every other TE but Davis, he’s the 3rd TE. Gray is PS bound.

      9. Rocket we’ll just have to see how Gray pans out. I disagree and think that Celek is gone. Of course I said the same thing last season so I’m 0′fer on that player.

      10. Matt,

        All you have to do is watch the games to know Celek is going nowhere and Gray is a PS candidate. If they wanted to dump Celek in favor of Gray they would be playing Gray as much as possible to get him game time snaps. He’s hardly been on the field which tells you everything you need to know. He’s a project that they will keep on the PS. Celek isn’t anything special but he’s improved as a blocker which will keep him on the roster imo.

  5. Before everyone complains about Hawkins, the second penalty was an overreaction from the refs. The tapping of helmets was an acknowledgment between two college teammates.

  6. All this hand-wringing about the 49ers receiving corps. It’s soooo much better than it has been in years. Boldin for Crabtree is a wash and now we’ve got so many young, up-and-coming guys like Patton, Baldwin, Moore, and Collie is still young too. Then with Manningham coming back. Plus Vance McDonald looks good. A great QB with tons of weapons, AND a great defense. Plus, Justin and Aldon Smith are healthy, Kendall Hunter is healthy (and could wind up as our #1 RB), and Dawson replaces Akers.

    This 49er team is head and shoulders above every other team in the NFL except the Seahawks who are close, but not quite as good.

      1. thats every team in the NFL. If Wilson, Brady, Bree’s, etc. get hurt all of their suck too. Need proof? Take a look at what happened to the colts when manning went down. They drafted 1 the next year.

    1. Not sure I would call Boldin for Crabtree a wash. Crabtree wasn’t fast but was sneaky and could create separation with his route running. Boldin struggles to create separation at this point but has exceptionally strong hands so qbs will throw to him even when he is covered. But the bad part with him, is when qb’s are throwing to him they are throwing into coverage which even with his strong hands is still a gamble.

      1. Crabtree has a long way to go to match Boldin’s career. Basically one good year vs a guy who’s averaged 1000+ yards a year.

  7. If they really like Tolzein, they may IR him with a foot “injury”. If you can trade McCoy, do it. Daniels can be #2, and Gray can be TE3 and QB3. Then pray kaepernick doesn’t get hurt.

    1. If they do really like Tolzien, this is a good, practical idea. Gray as QB3 makes a lot of sense. I’ve watched his highlights at Minnesota and think he has lots of ability.

  8. I thought McCoy played good. The Int was a bad read, and Celek didn’t help much with his drop on what would have been a nice gain.

    1. Jack,
      Bad read because Colt was fooled by the oldest trick in the book. I have just seen him get fooled like that to many times. I want to like the guy but……
      Cellek is too spotty for me. I would like to see him cut and groom Gray at number 3. Gray may not make it to the practice squad even though it seems they are trying their darnedest to hide him.

      1. The linebacker came in to rush, made contact with the line then dropped back. I think just about any QB would have been fooled on that play.
        As I remember, Kaepernick has thrown a few INTs. He nearly threw one last night. Luckily for the team, he throws harder than most safeties expect. As he gets more games in, those safeties will hold onto the ball.
        Last night McCoy looked like the only QB on the field who the team game planned with. He looked like the team prepped him for the game last night and game planned for him to succeed.
        If the team can’t get a trade for McCoy, he makes the team with Daniels backing him up.

    2. I agree Jack. With the exception of the pick, I thought McCoy played pretty well. Before the pick he’d moved the team from the 2 to the 40. He led a 91 yard drive for a TD. He did what he had to do to solidify a spot on the roster imo.

  9. McCoy is without a doubt a trillion time’s better then.Scott tolzien! Now wanna argue Wallace or Daniels over McCoy makes sense but not a scrub.like scott tolzien

  10. Felt like the smartest guy in the room tonight thanks to Grant’s reports on Niner practices. Knowing about Q Patton’s route running work ethic and then his one handed catches, I felt confident in calling a break out performance.

    That said I did not expect it practically the moment he steps on the field and against the first team. Wow!
    This one guy might just make us all reconsider the Niner staff’s ability (lack there of) to find WRs.

      1. Because I had watched the Senior Bowl I thought they just might have gotten a deal in the draft on Quinton.
        Then he pays his way to show up ridiculously early to 49er HQ. Talent and heart is a recipe for success.

  11. Our receiving corps looks promising ! I think the dark cloud brought on by Jenkins bad play looks gone. The Baldwin trade looks huge! If I remember right it took Terell Owens three years to become a legitimate threat.

  12. I am beginning to think York JR is chip off his uncle Eddie D. Certainly listening to his uncle’s advice.
    You have to be impressed with Baalke this year so far. And Harbaugh looks like he is putting together a serious team again this year which statistics say is not supposed to happen after going to the Super Bowl.

  13. A few things I saw

    - CK looked good. Can’t wait until the season.
    - Daniels is too raw for back up job. I want to see Cult with the first team all first half next week. This means OL, VD, Boldin. I don’t care a out backs.
    - I think someone grabs Gray and Daniels if they are available.
    - Okoye might need time to develop but not on our PS. Haven’t seen or heard enough
    - Nice to see Patten step up.
    - Baldwin and Moore showed flashes.

    There is going to be trial by fire the first three games. We need our defense to hold and be patient while the O gets into a groove.

    1. Daniels is too raw? He is the only backup that has thrown for a TD all preseason. Oh, and he actually has multiple TD drives. Only one on the team with that. Also, i like the fact that he can make difficult throws. I think you are influenced by the dumbass commentary on the television and the fact that he was playing with the 3rd stringers. Kid is talented.

      1. I’m saying Daniels will get scooped by someone for a project. We might need to keep him on 53 or PS depending on final cuts. I don’t think a team will put him on 53.

    2. And your evidence that Daniels is too raw is .. what? He’s a rookie? Are all rookies by definition too raw? Should no rookie QB ever be kept on a team? Otherwise, he has played the best of any of the 49er QB’s. Two beautiful touch passes, one in the last game for a TD, this time leading Hawkins for a long gain. Wonderful stuff. And a great runner. The strongest arm on the team next to Kaepernick, and so far he’s been incredibly accurate in the two games. Now maybe in a longer stint he would throw interceptions or make dumb mistakes – or maybe he’s been inconsistent in practice – who knows – but the evidence of these two games is that he is a major find. I pray that Harbaugh and Baalke don’t try to stash him on the practice squad. That would be incredibly dumb – because somebody would pick him up and he’d have an excellent career for some other fan base.

    3. The whole point of signing Okoye was to develop him on our practice squad. The coaches knew what they were getting into. The guy’s never played football before.

  14. From Eric Branch, an extremely encouraging comment by Kap about Patton:
    “He’s a great player. He’s someone that just knows football. He knows how to get open. He knows how to make plays. I am looking forward to seeing what he can do for us.”

    Shows he’s already begun to trust throwing to him.

    1. Our receiving corps suddenly looks pretty darn good. Patton may be the guy we thought Jenkins was going to be. He looked fantastic. Boldin, Williams, Moore, Patton, and Baldwin – I think that’s a pretty decent group. Add Vernon and McDonald and in my opinion, the passing game is in good shape.

      1. Plus we have the advantage of having a really strong run game and O-line and if all else fails Kap can take off. Gives the opposition plenty to deal with and will further help the passing game.

  15. Eric Branch writing about Daniels:
    “But the main point is Daniels, who runs the read-option like a master, has a strong arm, a quick release and can throw a touch pass. Daniels must not have been that impressive at quarterback in the off-season because the 49ers were constantly trying to find another position for him. In retrospect, they should have kept him at QB and helped him develop. However, it’s not too late to do that now. . . . At the very least, Daniels is the team’s third quarterback. Could he now challenge for no. 2?”

    1. What I have been saying since the KC game. He got very little practice at QB because they were so busy trying him at other positions. And indeed he showed promise in those.
      However, I believe they did this mostly because of his height which is one inch off from Wilson of the North. Less so because he is “raw”!
      Raw; just look at his fundamentals and the way he handles himself. Perfect throwing motion, excellent footwork, good decision making, presence in the pocket, well timed on target passes. Match that with his innate speed and strong arm and you have (as somebody previously said) Wilson 2.0.
      So get busy and get the playbook in his head. And by all means don’t try to sneak him on the practice squad – that opportunity left the station.

  16. Celek looks like he’s on the wrong list. Not getting it done on any level. Daniels looks like he can really play at NFL game speed. He makes the throws, runs well and is an “option/pistol” natural, great athlete. This is the guy KC will wish they traded for.

  17. I think our WR core has real potential. Boldins rep speaks for itself. Moore and Patton did a good job of creating separation which is exactly what I wanted to see from both. Baldwin made 2 nice catches. I hope he is dedicated because he has some serious potential. Can’t teach size and this kids got it. I think we cam breathe a bit now in regards to that position. And once crab gets back we will be deadly.

  18. Independent film providers are proving that the key studios do not are the only real judges of the things the public want. When you add to that distribution on the internet, news flash, websites online, from gossip to complete motion pictures. It’s actually a completely new environment. A lot of it fantastic, some not.

  19. It was great to see Patton finally on the field and showing what he can do. And also good to see Baldwin look decent despite only being here a short time. But the WR that I was really pleasantly surprised by was Marlon Moore. We haven’t really gotten to see him previously, and he looked a better WR than I thought he would.

    I think the 49ers will be fine keeping just 5 WRs on the 53 to start the season – Boldin, Moore, Williams, Patton and Baldwin. I feel a lot more confident that, between them, those five guys can do the job for the 49ers. If a 6th WR is kept it will be for ST duty. Not sure what it means for Manningham once he’s fit.

    1. I agree with you Scooter. 5 talented receivers for Kaepurnicus to distribute the ball too. VD/VMac as well. Patton looks to have a knack for finding that opening. I expect the Kaepurnicus and Patton relationship to blossom as the season progresses.

    2. It’s looking that way Scooter. 5 WR’s allows them to keep an extra ST’s guy so that is likely the way they are leaning.

    3. Wow! Patton just steps right on the field and starts making catches and TDs…something AJ couldn’t do after being coddled for a year and a half. I know its only one pre season game but I love this kid already.
      Moore & Baldwin, two others with unknown qualities in our system looked like they can get it done as well.

      VMac and VD look like they can be a formidable combo at TE. Throw in Gray and I think Celek will be picked up by another team.

      The One’s on D looked dominant and Reid looks like the real deal.
      Oh, and our terrible secondary (according to some) looked solid.

      Rest the One’s next game and bring on Green Bay!

  20. I agree with Grant’s grades. It was a solid performance, nothing spectacular, but that is expected at this level.

    One area of concern is the running game. What will this roster look like after next week?

    A positive step in the WR and ST areas. A week ago the Niners were on crisis mode trying to solve their WR issues. Now it appears as the most improved area: Boldin didn’t even have to catch a pass. Patton is fearless, runs great routes, and blocks Ok. Baldwin will emerge slowly but I saw him throwing some nice blocks downfield. Special teams played well tonight, and seem to be coming together as a unit.

    The O-line played an uninspired game. I think Anthony Davis, who missed a couple of downfield blocks, has not reached this summer the level of play of his compadres in the line. Staley is a monster, and the game depends on his health and play.

    1. No worries with the run game Chess. Wait until game #1 with Frank in there and the O-line focused on a real game against GBs very average run D.

  21. Looks like our defense is going to be better than last year maybe better than 2011 but the difference between this year vs last 2 is it doesn’t need to carry the offense. our offense is going be able to put together long drives to keep the defense fresh.

  22. The most encouraging thing for me was how angrily and violently Justin Smith played. He played like he wanted to hurt everyone on the other team.

    I do not think he will not go gently into that good night.

  23. I guess im in the minority, but i still believe we need Austin Collie in our slot. I don’t know Marlon Moore, hell he might be great. But its something to that slot that Collie has proven that he can handle. Only my opinion but it would be a mistake to release him.

    1. Collie darn near took himself out of the game last night with that head first crumple into the ground. He doesn’t have the right form when he is being tackled. Instead of protecting his head, he leads it to the ground. That opens the door for knees to the head and multiple concussions. For that reason, he won’t make it through an NFL season and if he is on the team, I expect he’ll go out in time for Manningham to come back.

      1. Every receiver does that.. But every reciever hasn’t produced like Collie. He’s just a product of “an accident”. You can’t argue with NFL production. Collie has NFL production

      2. He’s still young and still has the fire to do this. This is the nfl, an accident or injury is just a hike away

      3. He shook himself up on the play and tried to walk it off. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gave himself another concussion. NFL receivers know how to go down in a tackle. They don’t face plant themselves like a pole vaulter’s stick into the ground.

      1. No need to figure it out or watch a stupid you tube video. I believe he should be our slot guy. U have a different belief. Good for you

      2. You completely missed the point of my comment. It was a sophomoric reaction to your use of the wording “need … in our slot.”

      3. No sir, i got it justperfectly fine. But i still stick with my word of “need”. Correct me if im wrong, but guys in your slot have to be shifty fast and tough. Collie gives you all of that. And like i said before, he has the background to prove it. That being said, he also has the injuries to prove nonfl team will trust him. Im not arguing with u claude, i also understood your phrasing comment. Its just i have the belief that collie would shore up a hell of a slot position for the niners.. once again just my belief

      4. Holy crap, are you missing my point on purpose?

        My comment had absolutely nothing to do with the merits of Austin Collie playing the slot WR for the 49ers. Instead, it was a reaction to your use of “need [a man's name] in our slot,” which sounds dirty to those of us who have a sophomoric sense of humor.

        The use of “phrasing” was a shout out to the TV comedy, Archer, which uses the term to great effect whenever a character says something that could be interpreted sexually. You obviously are not familiar with the show, so I linked to a video that included several examples. If you had bothered to watch the video, you would have learned this for yourself, possibly have been entertained for a moment, and saved all of us the pain of this exchange.

      5. Wth…. I told u i got ur point so u n dangle can hold hands and cunbya later… i was just reiterating my point.. i don’t watch archer, i didnt need to watch ur cartoon to know the point/joke of phrasing. I got it the 1st time…

      6. If you got it the first time, you wouldn’t have asked “What’s so Phrasing about it”. That question gave the impression that you didn’t understand the comment.

        Also, telling me that I have a different belief from you about using Collie in the slot and subsequently defending your use of the word “need” also suggests strongly that you continued to misunderstand my point.

        Clearly, I have offended you. That was not my intention.

      7. Steelematic, read the exchange again and see if you can see what CB was referring to. Hint: it has nothing to do with Collie’s place on the team; just a place period.

      8. Coincidentally enough I used that very same link in the Niners Nation live blog during the game last night, when somebody posted “I love Cox”.

      9. Steel and CB
        I know it wasnt intentional but i got a great laugh from this interaction. sophomoric? no doubt Entertaining? you betcha

  24. I saw a really strong team last night, one that will chew up and spit out a bunch of wannabes this year. Look better than the previous two years.

  25. So the Vikes’ OLT Kahlil (sp?) is a good blocker. He locked up on Aldon pretty well in the vanilla match-ups, but the dude’s a blockhead with his chippy dead ball fouls. That stuff can cost you a game down the line.
    Speaking of OLTs, Staley played well against a healthy Allen.

  26. Grant, any chance you get an interview with Mr. Leavitt? I’d like to know how he likes coaching that group of linebackers…

  27. Weeks 1-2 Playing with Jenkins, McCoy struggles
    Week 3 Playing without Jenkins, McCoy goes 11-15

    I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

    1. No coincidence at all! Plus he was playing a bit behind the #2′s. But you’re right…McCoy was throwing with more confidence yesterday and I think part of that was he actually thought he had receivers who could/would catch the passes.

    2. It wasn’t just Jenkins. Keep in mind Lockette was waived as well. Last 2 games, Jenkins & Lockette were there for a large percentage of snaps which could explain why McCoy did so poorly.

  28. Last night’s game left me very encouraged!

    First on offense:
    Kaep is already an excellent player, but he really does have the tools and opportunity to become legendary. This dude’s fire burns so hot it’s scary! Our WR corps has shaken out to be something serious! We are actually in a position in which Manningham may get traded when he comes off of PUP, either that or Moore gets traded. Either way, we’re talking about being in a position where we may NEED to trade a starting receiver to accommodate the talent on our team. Our O-Line is BEAST all-day! They made McCoy look serviceable. Did you see the holes that they were opening up for our RBs? We have depth at RB that can wear any team down, power, speed, receiving out of the backfield…TEs..V.Davis will finally have 1k yrd season, and Delanie who..? VMac is the BOMB! You don’t see guys that big move so fluidly and have hands like that. This year’s offensive strategy will be “pick your poison.”

    On Defense:
    Who thought that we would have an upgrade at NT by developing an undrafted player? And the depth on the front 7 is amazing. Our #2′s man handled the Vikes’ #1′s. Lemonier is going to be a stud. Not to mention we still have Carradine and Dial on the IR. Imagine this, at the end of the season when teams are starting to wear down, we’re going to be adding two very talented and very hungry rookies that have something to prove. Our secondary is also shaping up pretty nicely. When it’s all said and done Reid will be an upgrade over Goldson. He’s much better in coverage and he knows how to wrap up. Asomugha is finally stepping up and may serve as a solid stop-gap until next year’s draft. Plus I’m excited to see Darryl Morris develop. There are very few holes on this defense in the short term, which means we have an opportunity to fill them all for the long-term.

    I don’t want to sound like homer (because there are some things that we need to clean up), but seeing the offense (both 1′s and to a lesser extent, the 2′s) turn it on at will and completely over-power an opponent is exciting. And watching the defense dominate throughout is very encouraging given the offseason’s storyline!

    1. Roc…. I don’t think this is homer speak at all. Its what we are seeing. We are strong. Front end and back end of our defense. Big boys up front and the skill position on offense. As long as injuries don’t mount up, we should have a strong season.

      1. At least I’m not the only one! I think we are the best team in the league and that everyone else should fear us!

    2. Our D-Line and LBs are looking like the SB Giants that Smashed Brady’s Pats. Waves of fresh, mean, ears pinned back angry men assaulting the QB and tackling runners in the backfield.

  29. Is there anyone else that might be skeptical about Harbaugh statement that McCoy is the backup? Reminds me of the saga of Peyton Manning. It could be true but I am not 100% sure.

    1. Yeah, I’m not sure it’s a coincidence that what Harbaugh said is consistent with maximizing McCoy’s trade price.

  30. Patton has potential to be a star.. Nnamndi looks like the lockdown corner he was back in Oakland. I dont know why Jim still said TBrock is battling him for the nickel its not even close. I wanted to see Lemonier more with 1st string as edge pass rusher but we are so loaded at linebacker its going to be hard for him to see the field this year. Spillman should replace Whitner on passing downs but that will never happen coaches love Donte for some reason even though hes slow in coverage.. Reid looked solid starting at fs. #57 looks like he could be a solid starter in this league. We have to have the deepest defense in the nfl. Even though Hawkins had those penalties you cant tell me you weren’t impressed with his speed. You can teach a player to be calm after making big plays you cant teach them to take a kick 100 yards to the house. I hope Harbaugh doesnt make an example and cuts him for that. Those are the type of players you want to go to war with when we play on the road at Seattle. Not the guys like Chad Hall who cant get open but have good character.

  31. Patton has potential to be a star.. Nnamndi looks like the lockdown corner he was back in Oakland. I dont know why Jim still said TBrock is battling him for the nickel its not even close. I wanted to see Lemonier more with 1st string as edge pass rusher but we are so loaded at linebacker its going to be hard for him to see the field this year. Spillman should replace Whitner on passing downs but that will never happen. Reid looked solid starting at fs. #57 looks like he could be a solid starter in this league. We have to have the deepest defense in the nfl. Even though Hawkins had those penalties you cant tell me you weren’t impressed with his speed. You can teach a player to be calm after making big plays you cant teach them to take a kick 100 yards to the house. I hope Harbaugh doesnt make an example and cuts him for that. Those are the type of players you want to go to war with when we play on the road at Seattle. Not the guys like Chad Hall who cant get open but have good character.

  32. I’m guessing that they will trade McCoy and cut Tolzien and go with Wallace and Daniels. McCoy’s extended playing time was for suitors as was Harbaugh’s comments about him having confidence in McCoy as their backup. Naming him the backup was to help build value and give them at least a little leverage in the negotiations. Tolziens lack of playing time didn’t say much for his chances of sticking unless they continue to see him as only their scout team QB. I think with the ugly situation out there regarding QB’s(If Colt McCoy still has trade value then it must be ugly) they wont risk putting Daniels on the waiver wire and he’ll be the #3. With McCoy traded and Tolzien probably cut that leaves Wallace as the #2. With tougher decisions in other departments I don’t believe they can afford to keep 4 QB’s.

  33. Anthony Dixon. Some people have alluded to his improvement here, but not a lot has been said. He’s really coming into his own, and it’s great to see. If Gore goes down, Dixon certainly looks capable of replacing him. Notice that they are starting to throw to him out of the backfield and that he’s showing good hands? Notice his nifty dive over the goal line? Many of you know that he was projected as a 3rd/4th round pick and that Baalke got him in the 6th. Give credit to the organization for being so patient with him.

    Pre-draft measureables
    Ht Wt 40-yd dash Wonderlic
    6 ft 1 in 233 lb 4.67 s 25

  34. When a team releases a player he first must clear 24 hour waivers before signing him to the practice squad. If they claim him off waivers does the team that claims him have to place him of the 53 man squad? If a team signs someone off the practice squad he has to be placed on the 53 man squad – correct? So I am assuming that if a player is claimed off waivers the team that does the claiming would have to place them on their team not on their practice squad and if they wanted to place that player on their practice squad he would have to clear waivers again? Am I correct in my assumptions? Anybody feel free to respond.

    1. undercenter,

      These are the rules after final cuts. Right now a team can claim a released player and keep him as part of their 75, but after next week, any player claimed has to be placed on the active 53 man roster. If a team then wants to place a player they claimed on their PS, he has to go through waivers again. This is why you rarely see young players claimed in the final cuts. Teams can’t afford to waste a spot on the 53 man roster with a developmental player.

      1. Rocket, isn’t part of that rule that when a team signs a player to their 53 after passing waivers, they have to keep him on their 53 for three weeks? After that, they can release him and if he again clears waivers, they can then sign him to the PS.

      2. I meant to say after being claimed by another team after being released, not after clearing waivers. Don’t know where that came from.

      3. Space,

        Yeah there is a time period they have to keep them for but I can’t recall off the top of my head. Whatever the case that player takes a spot on the 53 man roster, which is why few teams ever put claims in for young players on cutdown day.

  35. PFF grade highlights:

    Offense:

    Staley: +1.9
    Patton: +1.4
    V. McDonald: +1.4
    Snyder: +1.4
    Boone: +1.2
    Baldwin: +1.2
    Hunter: +0.2
    James: -1.3
    McCoy: -1.5
    Kilgore: -1.6
    Wiggins: -1.9

    Defense:

    Brooks: +4.0
    Aldon Smith: +1.6
    Jerod-Eddie: +1.5
    Cooper: +1.2
    Morris: +1.2
    Robinson: +1.1
    Asomugha: +0.7
    Lemonier: +0.7
    Justin Smith: +0.5
    Ian Williams: -1.1
    Tukuafu: -1.3
    Cox: -2.4
    Moody: -2.7

      1. He didn’t hit him very hard. Dirty play but Looney actually looked like he knew it was a bad idea and turtled more than he rolled into the guys leg.

    1. A bit surprised by Williams -1.1 I thought that he looked stout in the middle and rarelyt got pushed out of place. Ditto for Moore. Did he miss blocks? run wrong routes? i didnt see him drop the ball so i dont know how he warranted a negative grade

  36. I absolutley loved the 2013 draft the day after the draft and I love them more and more as i see them play and we have’nt even seen Carridine Lattimore and Dial yet. I believe that this draft class may end up being one of those classes that we will be talking about 20 yrs from now.

    1. Wow. I had reservations about his head, but talent is off the charts. I guess sconce the Bills are loaded and SB favorites…….oh, never mind.

  37. maiocco reports Niners shopping parys harlason–i think that would be a mistake…they should be shopping lamichael james…will niners want to suit up rbs among their game day 46….clearly gore and hunter suit up, and probably dixon too, for his special team play..

    .the only way you justify suiting up james is if he is your kick returner, but frankly (if the niners truly do value competition like they say) he has not won the kick returning jobs…perrish cox looks more quick and decisive, and he can add value on coverage units and as a dime corner that james cant…even a guy who wont make the team, hawkins, looked to be a better kickoff return guy

  38. Aaron Curry cut as well he has to be one of the bigger busts in the last 5 years. 3rd overall sucked at all stops out after 3 years and he didnt produce anywhere he was. Just goes to show the draft trully is a crapshoot whether at #30 or top 5

  39. Re: “Eric Reid started at free safety and played well. He didn’t give up any long passes and he made two good tackles.” – Grant

    This predraft note from NFL.com speaks to the mistake we saw from Reid on the TD pass the Niners gave up. Hopefully, he can correct it:

    ERIC REID – Weaknesses
    Gets overaggressive at times; will jump on short crossers, opening up the back half of the field.

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