49ers-Falcons matchup could get ugly for the home team

This is my Saturday column.

Do the San Francisco 49ers have a legitimate chance to beat the Atlanta Falcons Sunday? Will Blaine Gabbert turn the Niners’ season around? Is this the beginning of the Gabbert Era?

This is what you need to know about the Niners’ Week 9 matchup.

1. No, this is NOT the beginning of the Gabbert Era

And there never will be a Gabbert Era. Gabbert is not the answer. He would have been the Niners starting quarterback Week 1 if he were any better than Colin Kaepernick.

Call this a trial balloon with a long tether. The Niners will let Gabbert play one game, then they’ll have a full bye week plus another week of preparation to evaluate exactly what they want to do with their quarterbacks the rest of the season.

It’s possible Gabbert will play better this Sunday than Kaepernick has played the past couple of months. But, that’s a low bar to clear. Kaepernick has played terribly. Gabbert may play slightly better, but do we really expect him to play well?

Consider this: the Niners offense ranked dead last in the league even when it had Carlos Hyde, Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis. Now, Davis is out — he’s a Denver Bronco. Hyde also is out — he’s nursing a stress fracture in his foot. And Boldin may be out — he’s nursing a hamstring injury, and is doubtful for Sunday’s game.

Gabbert also won’t have the backup running backs — Reggie Bush or Mike Davis. Those two had surgeries last week. So, the Niners will have three new running backs — Kendall Gaskins, Pierre Thomas and Shaun Draughn.

Good luck.

And we haven’t even gotten to the offensive line, such as it is. Right guard still is a disaster with Jordan Devey and Andrew Tiller splitting time. And the center, Marcus Martin, might be the weakest offensive lineman in the NFL. He won’t all of a sudden gain strength and stop getting blown back into the quarterback’s lap.

This is the worst offensive lineup in the league. Go get ’em, Blaine.

2. The Atlanta Falcons defense is NOT “weak”

Kyle McLorg of BayAreaSportsGuy.com broke this story when the 49ers benched Kaepernick. Here’s what McLorg tweeted:

“Source: 49ers were going to do this last week, but decided to wait so that Gabbert could debut against a weak Falcons defense at home.”

Weak? Oh, really?

McLorg must have had an inkling the 49ers’ front office believes that about Atlanta’s defense.

Does anyone in the Niners’ front office have a clue about what constitutes weak or strong in the NFL? General manager Trent Baalke struggles to draft players who even contribute on the field. His specialty is the inactive list and the Injured Reserve. Talk about weak.

Here’s what Baalke and the rest of the front office may not realize: The Falcons’ defense ranks 11th, and currently has six very good players — defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, and defensive ends Vic Beasley, Tyson Jackson and Adrian Clayborn.

Not to mention an excellent, young head coach who was the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks the past two seasons — Dan Quinn.

The Falcons are coming off a loss and need to win on Sunday. So, don’t bet the ranch on the Niners, even if the front office thinks the Falcons defense is weak. I’d be surprised if Vegas still has this game on their boards.

3. Even Geep Chryst does NOT sound confident

How do we know the Niners are going to lose this Sunday? Easy, just read through the transcript of offensive coordinator Geep Chryst’s Week 9 press conference. He paved the road for the outcome of Sunday’s game. Here’s what he said.

Chryst excerpt No. 1: “Reggie (Bush) went down. Mike Davis went down. So, guys had to step up. That affects what we’re doing in terms of the game plan for this week and who we have playing.”

Chryst excerpt No. 2: “I think that the vision that we had of what this offense would be or maybe how we would contribute to a victory was what we saw in the Minnesota game. And then one by one, some of those elements, take Carlos Hyde for example, which was a critical element, they’re no longer out there.”

Chryst excerpt No. 3: “As a coach, you know the hand you’re dealt.”

In case you haven’t noticed, Chryst was waving the white flag. Based on his comments, don’t be surprised when the Niners lose on Sunday. Chryst laid out a path where each stone along the way is another excuse or reason for losing. Sounds like a guy who knows he’s on his way out. Don’t be surprised if he gets fired after the Niners lose big this Sunday.

Chryst, an intelligent man, is setting us up. No matter what happens in the game, we can’t criticize him. We can only praise him and if he gets fired, mourn his passing.

Right. Good try, Geep.

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.

  1. I’m seeing Blaine go 3-3 maybe even 5-5 then a pick 6. Then many sacks, at least one strip fumble, and probably another interception. The defense will play good. I see a 17-3 game.

  2. “Later on Friday, Albert Breer had a report talking about Kap’s reliance on Geep Chryst.

    As multiple sources recounted it, Geep Chryst, now the team’s offensive coordinator, was often on shaky ground as Harbaugh’s quarterbacks coach. In fact, on two occasions, the Niners were close to reassigning to him to another position. What saved Chryst? As it turns out, the quarterback he just benched. Colin Kaepernick, according to those who were there, went to bat for Chryst to stick as his position coach, and Harbaugh and Co. listened, in the name of keeping the quarterback happy. One source says that Kaepernick “begged” Harbaugh not to move Chryst. Then, when the Niners were having trouble finding a coordinator to replace Greg Roman on Jim Tomsula’s staff, Kaepernick’s affection for Chryst played into the decision to promote him. The underlying theme here: The Niners’ actions over the last couple years indicate that they were, indeed, all in on trying to get Kap turned around.”


    1. “This whole situation is such a mess. People are leaking information every which way to make someone look better or worse. The 49ers have become a train wreck of a football team, and these leaks are just more of an example of it.”

      Paraag Maratha at work again?

      1. Time to jump into the old time machine and say the following to the Morabito family members… “Don’t sell the team. Juts hire that assistant with young assistant with the Browns, Bill Walsh. Be patient. Spend on players he recommends. Watch sucess (and cash) roll in. But for heavens sake, do not sell the team to those Ohio people.”

        1. He also runs all the 49ers analytics and works closely with Baalke on all football operations. I think you’re letting the salary cap piece weigh too heavily and not considering the title president and the leadership duties and influence that go with it. People are slinging mud everywhere looking for someone to blame for the mess, eventually its going to land at the president’s desk. Accountants work with the IRS and balance expenses, they don’t lead football operations.

        2. Political apparatchik with a disproportionate influence on the royal court vis a vie his job discription. There are veiled stories that he went all Dick Cheney after getting thrown out of Harbaugh’s office. Some say he poisoned Jed’s attitude on Harbs and leveraged the problem. Rumors, but echoing from several directions.

        3. Paraag’s “metrics” play a heavy role in the draft and in who is resigned or made a free agent. For the same reason he is influential in which free agents are signed.

          The aspect of his cap influence that effects who is on the field is that they sign a few players early to extended contracts and let the other veterans go without paying more that a price that’s probably set, in main, by Paraag.

              1. I brought up almost a year ago that Paraag was overstepping his bounds. His strengths are salary cap and contracts, but he has minimal football knowledge. That said, if he has analytics related to football drafting, free agents, injuries they can be presented for consideration; BUT IN NO WAY should the draft and free agent decision makers be forced to use these. As a consultant myself I will admit to occasionally overstepping my area of expertise. Now that I have more experience, I check myself when I see that I might be doing that. But it is a problem with consultants especially if they have advanced degrees; they feel they can pick up any subject in a fairly short time. The truth often is that they know just enough to be dangerous.

              2. Mexicanniner you’d sure hope he knows. I think that’s some of the source of some fans contentions with Marathe. He works behind the scenes and influences things with the strategy. He pulls the strings others live with the consequences.

              3. Cubus, I’m a consultant too, and that’s a good point you raise. Paraag’s analytics are a fine tool in and of themselves, but they should only be seen as a tool, not the answer. And he should not have anything remotely like final say on roster decisions. If he does he is over-stepping his field of expertise.

              4. Well I collect welfare and root on my hawks.
                So I know about keeping right books on spending.
                For instance
                My check comes in and the first thing I must do is shop for food and pay the bills for the basement.
                Now electricity only soars when a new game for Xbox comes out and I’m playing it for hours on end. I save for that. I then proceed to my local wal mart (which I love)
                And get my snacks and sodas lined up for a good month of video games, witch curses and Seahawks games.
                My mom doesn’t ask for rent because unlike Paraage she doesn’t over step her boundaries and knows that I can curse her at any moment with a cancer cell. This is a perfect life for a troll like me. Maybe PM can take some pointers on how to stay in his area and manage the cap.
                He could also learn from our guy who obviously is running the greatest franchise in NFL history.
                GO HAWKS!!

        4. Paraag is Jed’s best friend and leaks whatever Jed approves. He’s power hungry and was a big reason McCloughan, Yu & Harbs are gone. He’s much higher up the org chart & loved by the Yorks than many realize. Cross or disagree with him & you’re gone…

          1. If your description is correct, then there’s a lot of stuff that won’t get fixed. I doubt there are too many insiders around the league that aren’t aware Paraag Cheney’s influence on the Jed and the Niners. Even if the FO stumbled across the right candidates to fill positions, recruitment could be problematic.

  3. If this is case where owner and accountant run team like a business and not football operation, it’s never going to get better

    1. That’s right unless the owner brings in a top level football guy and gives him the power to run football operations without constraints from Paraag. Likely? Probably not given the fact that the Yorks have never wanted that type of guy in the operation.

      Check out the Raiders. They may be coming out of the hell that Al’s extended senior moments put them in years ago.

  4. Is it Praage or Baalke or Tomsula or Kaepernick or Chryst or that horrible O-line or…???

    Little Jed needs to hire an experienced outside football mind to evaluate the team from top to bottom. One with no agenda. Either as a consultant, or in a permanent John McVay type capacity. A buffer between the impulsiveness of the Debartolo-Yorks and the GM who’s not afraid of losing his job.

    1. edit: A buffer between the impulsiveness of the Debartolo-Yorks and the GM. A guy who’s not afraid of losing his job.

  5. Oh, Look at Grant pick a fight with Kyle McLorg. How cute.

    Grant’s just jealous that an legitimate blogger/journalist gets actual scoops from the team, whereas everyone, players and management, hates Grant.

    Waaaa. Waaaaaaa.


  6. Judging from the wonderful discourse above, we have a few strong candidates ready to run the 9er PR Department once management is fired and the place hosed out…

  7. At 5/1 odds, Tomsula is only behind Jim Caldwell of the Detroit Lions (1/2 odds) on the list of most likely coaches to not finish out the 2015 NFL season….

    1. I keep going back to Jed’s statement
      about being ..”held responsible” for
      the “product” on the field …and ..
      seems to me ..

      the “responsible” thing
      to do at this point, is to clean house ..
      from Parag down ..
      (keeping Rat-man, of course) … but ..
      I doubt Jed has the cajones to even
      consider such a bold move …

      and .. on the other hand …

      I’m wondering .. (now) .. if the “product”
      Jed was referring to… was
      Wrestlemania … and Taylor Swift ?

      1. “cojones”. Constantly spelled wrong on sports blogs, in my observation. Almost as bad as the “their-they’re-there” swamp.

    2. How can Caldwell get fired? There’s no one else left. The 90 year old owner will have to grab a headset and pace the sideline in her heels.

      1. Brian Billick is so desperate to get back into coaching that he’d personally charter a jet and would be on the sideline before kickoff today.

  8. I posted before the season began, if Baalke wanted to run a run-based,stoneage offense, and not take advantage of rule changes favoring the pass, he better draft quality running backs. This is because running backs take more hits than most positions, and are constantly drilled after a tackle, while on the ground in a vulnerable position by last second tacklers trying to beat the whistle. RB’s get no respect from the ref’s. Watch any game and see, the hits they take have to be obviously late, or the game would take forever, with all the flags being thrown…In short, Baalke’s offense is predictable, and if McCloughan hadn’t drafted Frank Gore, we wouldn’t be having this conversation because Baalke would have been fired due to a predicatable offense with the opposition taking numbers to put a shot on our RB, and therefore our season.

  9. dont forget no one on this blog knows anything for sure.99% of what you read here is rumor and speculation.take everything with a grain of salt

  10. There’s a bit of irony in the head wagging articles in the media about the spate of destructive leaks coming from 4949. The media live for leaks, they thrive on leaks. Scoops are born of leaks and little else.

    1. BT,

      You’re not saying that some in the local media might be a little bit bitter about not getting included on the leak distribution list, are you?

  11. Plan A

    GM Caserio or Wolf
    HC McDaniels or Clements

    Plan B

    GM DeCosta or Gamble
    HC Payton or McAdoo

    Plan C

    GM Will McClay or Duke Tobin
    HC Linehan or Jackson

    1. THose guys don’t matter if the niners get a good qb they’ll be good. Look at the raiders they had some talented pieces but now that derrick carr is very good they are very good. Same with the pats Tom Brady overcomes all their weaknesses and mistakes. Its very hard to do but we must pray that we find a qb that is our future and nurture him. Remember when Carmen Policy had us in tons of cap trouble in the 90’s. We were still very good becasue of Steve Young and of course Jerry Rice. All in all a good qb can overcome poor mediocre coaching and talent around him.

      1. I think a good/great veteran QB can overcome a lot of deficiencies; however, I would expect far less from a rookie QB who was good/great in college. Of course there are exceptions, but I think it would be a risky strategy to assume that getting a great college QB will makeup for other problems that could also be fixed (such as new GM, coaches and free agency and drafting moves to shore up the OL).

        I wouldn’t put all the eggs in one basket.

    1. Whisenhunt would be a terrible choice for this team because his blocking schemes would find this offensive line guilty of premeditated murder instead of the lesser charge of manslaughter….

      1. Coach McKittrick was considered a miracle worker with the OL in ’81 for getting the most out of a sketchy line. But compare, that group had 3 future Pro Bowl players in Farnhorst, Cross, and Quillen. Ayers was a solid journeyman, and only Audick was sub standard.
        I’m not sure what spells a coach can cast to get good performance from this bunch. The left side isn’t performing up to their ability, the right side is hopeless, and the OC, the ‘pivot’, the “QB of the OL” reduces the effectiveness of the others with his incompetence.
        A great HC, OLC, and QB made up for one under-performer out of five. Compensating for 3 of 5 (or 5/5, depending on your view) would’ve been a feat even for the 3 virtuosos I mentioned above.

      2. Yep. After being fired for leaving Watt blocked 1-on-1 throughout the game, I’m not sure he’s the guy to bring in.

        Of course, one could argue his OC may have been more responsible for that decision.

    2. Ken did fine when he had a good veteran quarterback and a good OL. Oh my, look what happened when he didn’t. That’s standard for the NFL. There are no past clues that Ken can find players and shape a powerful offense.

  12. I just turned on the Stanford – Colorado game.

    I’m wondering, if it were possible, would it make sense to consider a Shaw(HC) – Hogan (draft QB selection) strategy for the 49ers. In other words, is there a synergistic effect from pairing a reasonably successful college QB with his successful college HC at the NFL level.

    1. I should have added that the thinking behind this idea is that the 49ers could select Hogan in the 2nd round and use their first round pick on a pass rusher like Bosa (assuming we have a top 5 selection).

      1. I like LaremyTunsil OT, or Ronnie Stanley, and Bosa or Nkemdiche.
        If Baalke is still around (hope not). Myles Jack is a lock

      2. Until the York’s get a real football man in the President’s seat, Paraage is going to be disrespected by any coaching staff the 49ers hire…Nobody with a lifetime in football wants a non-football guy in the Flag Challenge booth challenging plays like the York’s had Paraage doing.
        Also, what kind of organization is it when Paraage is critiquing football people…It’s why hospitals refuse to have nuclear physisists conducting annual reviews of the chief surgeions.

  13. Is it to early to start putting up draft needs?
    Well here is my super early attempt.
    1. Paxton Lynch, QB. my first choice (top 5 pick) perhaps 1st yr starter
    a. Jarred Goff, QB. my 2nd choice (top 10 pick) perhaps 1st yr starter
    b. Christian Hackenberg, QB. my 3rd choice (2nd rd pick) 2nd yr starter
    c. Carson Wentz, QB. my 4th choice (3rd – 4th rd pick) 2 – 3 yr starter.

    1. Jack Conklin, OT. first choice
    2. Le’Raven Clark, OT. 2nd choice
    3. Jerald Hawkins, OT. 3rd choice
    4. Germain Ifedi, OT. 4th choice

    1. Shilique Calhoun, 3-4 OLB. first choice
    2. Yannick Ngakoue, 3-4 OLB. 2nd choice
    3. Joe Schobert, 3-4OLB. 3rd choice.

    1. Jake McGee, TE. first choice
    2. Jake Butt, TE. 2nd choice
    3. Darion Griswold, TE. 3rd choice

    1. DeForest Buckner, DE. first choice
    2. Sheldon Day, DE/DT. 2nd choice
    3. Jonathan Allen, DE. 3rd choice

    These players (for now) represent my first 5 areas of need. Some of these positions such as DE and TE can be interchangeable, but with so many holes to fill on this team this is my starting point.
    After the first 5 picks the team can choose PBA to fill out the rest of their 2016 draft board.

    This is far from my official mock draft with the season only half way over. Just call a little Saturday morning musing.

      1. Mexicaniner,
        I’ve always had some concerns about picking a QB in the 1st rd, but given our current QB situation we may not have a choice.
        I think that there are some capable QB’ in this draft from the 1st thru the 3rd rd. if either Lynch, Goff, and even C.Cook are not in the plans for our 1st pick, I like Hackenburg and Wentz in the 2n-3rd rds.
        Also, I’d like to see Dylan Thompson get a fair shot in TC next year as well.

        1. AES,

          Agreed on picking QB in the first round. It’s better for a team to draft a QB every year or two, depending on the level of development of the backup QB currently the roster.

      1. I like Cook’s playing abilities, but I keep reading about how teams are very concerned about how he is perceived by his teammates, that he doesn’t get along with them. Not sure he’s the sort of guy you want leading your team.

        I’m not much of a Kiel fan. Much prefer Wentz.

        1. I like Kiel I just wish he was in a pro style offense. He’s the kind of QB that I would love to get in the 7th or as a UFA and develop for a few years.

          1. Oh, yeah, if they can get him late in the draft then I’d ba happy with that. I was assuming razor meant a lot earlier than that though.

            1. He’s still being listed relatively high on draft boards but this season has done very little if anything to suggest he’s ready to come out. When we get closer to the draft he’ll be 5th round and later discussion unless he has some kind of late season miraculous turn around. I’ve seen what I would call equally talented but more successful QB’s go un-drafted so If I was his adviser I’d be telling him to return for another year.

              1. Yeah, from what I have seen of him this season I don’t really like him as a high to mid rounder. I agree he’d be better served staying in college another year.

            2. Kiel will probably go 4-5 but the list is just my order of preference. Brissett has played well against top defenses, so I’d rate him above Wentz. I would not take a quarterback with the first pick. I’d probably go Tunsil, Bosa, or Nkemdiche….

              1. Brissett is an interesting option. Big arm, can move, and is willing to take shots down the field. But he can also be indecisive, miss open guys while locking onto receivers, and tuck the ball and run too soon. After Kaep, I’m kind of wary of taking someone like Brissett. I’d rather go for a QB that has a really good feel for the pocket and reads defenses.

        1. If Kiel came out this season right now he’s UFA material at best. He needs to stay in school a year to be considered a second or third round prospect and that’s after having a solid year.

          He has a very limited book of work and his recent display has been pretty poor.

    1. At DE, Robert Nkemdiche needs to be included as an option. I’d also include Kenny Clark.

      At OLB, Carl Lawson is a guy to keep an eye on. He’s had some injury issues, but when healthy he looks a better prospect than his two ex Auburn teammates Lemonier and Ford. He had a good game against Tunsil. The two OLBs for Georgia are worth keeping an eye on too.

        1. How can this team possibly justify using a first round pick on a DE. No matter how good he is. The second best OT has more valuable to us right now then the #1 DE.

            1. To me the 49ers are very much in the LT business with the suggestion that they were offering Staley up at the trade deadline. Does AD returning effect the LT spot? Maybe there’s a suggestion going around I haven’t heard yet. However usually when it’s known the team is willing to take a pick for it’s starting left tackle thats a good sing they’re gong to be moving on sooner then later. I don’t see a replacement left tackle currently on the team.

              1. Oh they are definitely in need of at least one OT. But they are also very much in need of a pass rusher. I highly doubt they get rid of Staley this offseason, and if Davis does return, I would suggest a pass rusher opposite Lynch is a bigger need than OT in round 1 (though an OT is still a need).

              2. I think when drafting lineman in the late rounds you want chose guys that play many positions along the line. More like than one spot

              3. I should say, I highly doubt they get rid of Staley unless they receive some impressive compensation in return, at which point they could probably take an OT and DE in round 1.

              4. The 49ers would be nuts to get rid of Staley. He’s been able to perform at a very high level this year, even with the horrible overall play on the OL (which is one reason that Boone’s poor play might be excusable, he’s playing next to Martin), his cap number is low, and he’s a good leader.

                They should still draft a T, but they should also keep Staley.

              5. I highly doubt they get rid of Staley this offseason,
                Why would you highly doubt it? If we pretend the rumor was 100% true then what does it say about where the teams stands with Staley if they were willing to move on without him in the middle of the season? When has a team ever offered a starter they had no intention of moving on from in the near future at the mid-season trade deadline?

                The very fact that he was available says the team is ready to replace him and the fact that they were willing to do that in the middle of the season shows even less attachment to him.

              6. See my second post where I expand on that comment. I think it unlikely unless they get some pretty hefty compensation as he is still their best OL and very difficult to replace.

                I have no idea how true the trade reports were. Lots of 49ers were apparently on the trade block according to various media. Only one got traded. What does that tell me? That if the 49ers were willing to trade some of these other players, what they wanted for them was more than what others were willing to pay.

                I heard one team was very interested in trading for Joe Thomas, but the Browns asking price was too steep. Don’t know what it was, but if Staley was available at a more reasonable price, why didn’t that team trade for him?

              7. It’s not infrequent that a deal that didn’t get hashed out at the deadline often gets revisited in the off season when there is more time to work out the details. The team can’t see him in their long term plans if they were willing to part with him even if it was going to take a strong deal to do so. When both sides have more time and as the draft get’s closer I wouldn’t say it’s highly doubtful that Staley still ends up getting moved. The team appears ready to live life without Joe Staley.

              8. Which is why I said I highly doubt it unless they receive hefty compensation. I made that amendment right after my initial post, as I realised I hadn’t been clear in my initial post.

                If they get good compensation for Staley (something along the lines of a 1st or 2nd rounder + 1 or 2 other picks), then sure they will need an OL urgently, but they can still take a DE/OLB very high too.

              9. I’m not trying to beat a dead horse here I don’t think we’re disagreeing either other then I would say that I think the high compensation that they were asking for at the deadline will come down in the off season and that they appear already ready to move on from the player which means it might not take quite the blockbuster deal that you are suggesting it will require to pry him away. Especially if they end up with the #1 pick and Tunsil is everything he appears to be, then Staley’s price will drop significantly.

              10. I think it would be foolish to let their best OL go for anything less than a high pick + some other picks. But hey, there’s been plenty of foolish getting done by the 49ers recently.

              11. When you say high pick how high do you mean? As Baalke, what would it take for you to let Staley go? Knowing where we’re going to land in the draft and the options in that range.

  14. @JohnMiddlekauff what happens if fans just stop paying?

    @JohnMiddlekauff image the fans that pay 60k or more for just the psl.

    iddlekauff Retweeted Josh Noble
    Imagine the Niners would come after people – banks need their money….. Could get ugly

    John Middlekauff ‏@JohnMiddlekauff · 47m47 minutes ago

    John Middlekauff Retweeted Dan
    Talked to someone yesterday who paid 40k a seat. Yorks have him by the balls for 8.5 more years

  15. Tim Kawakami ‏@timkawakami · 1h1 hour ago
    More detail: NFL source said John Morton ran QBs for one week last season but didn’t get along with Kaepernick, so Harbaugh switched back.

    Tim Kawakami ‏@timkawakami · 1h1 hour ago

    Tim Kawakami Retweeted Albert Breer
    2nd note expands on something I’ve heard–Harbaugh considered removing Chryst in ’14 but was swayed by Kaepernick.

    1. Another top sign of a blossoming dynasty–The suits telling the coaches what plays to run, and the quarterback performing quality control for the coaching staff when the QB, as of yet, has problems getting to his second read,or as the OC said, could have changed the play if he had spotted an uncovered Torrey Smith.

      Yeah, GO Niners, and this season, instead of operating behind the scenes, have the suits wear coaching uniforms and call the plays themselves–a real money saver!

  16. Former 49er Pro Bowler, Super Bowl winning RB, Ricky Waters:

    On Kap’s Benching:

    \When he missed Torrey Smith out there last week wide open, that’s Quarterbacking 101. The first thing you teach is the cadence. They look one way and call the cadence, ‘Blue 42’ or whatever, and you’re supposed to scan the field. He didn’t even do that, look to his left and see that his fastest receiver was wide open. I think when he missed Torrey that sealed his fate.

  17. In regards to the missed play to Torrey Smith. The CB had closed down but possibly(likely) because he recognized the play as a run. If Kaepernick had seen Smith open and changed the play there’s no way to say for certain that the CB wouldn’t have run back to cover Torrey as soon as he realized the play was being changed.

    1. Not sure why Kaep would need to change the play. Couldn’t he just take the snap and immediately throw to TS. Depending upon the play called maybe he needs to take a one or two step drop. The RB would see that Kaep has his back to him and is not dropping back to hand off the ball, so he should be able to avoid a collision.

      I’m just speculating based on what I’ve seen Tom Brady do in a few games. It seems like he called for an immediate snap and immediately passed the ball to the uncovered receiver at around the LOS. Of course, I don’t know if he changed the call or not, but the idea would be to not allow enough time for the CB, in the TS case, to adjust. The QB would want to take immediate advantage.

      Now, whether or not Kap could actually execute an immediate snap and throw is another question.

      1. Kaepernick has to change the play or at the very least tell the line it’s no longer a run because on a pass play the offensive line is not allowed to go down field otherwise they get flagged as an illegal receiver. On run blocking they will try to drive the defender back as far as possible and will get hit with that penalty. So if he was going to pass he needs to at least tell the line to not run block otherwise they risk that penalty.

        1. In theory, if a guard was left uncovered, if he still thinks the play is a run when the ball is snapped he will launch forward and seek out the first LB he can find. Even with a QB with a fast release, which we don’t have, that guard is going to make it to the linebacker or at least close before the QB has released the ball. That is considered an illegal receiver down field and would be a penalty.

          The QB has to tell the line not to run block if he’s going to throw the ball.

          1. I’ve never really understood that penalty, so thanks for the explanation. Do you think a QB like Brady simply barks a command that causes both the ball to be snapped immediately and lets the OL know it’s a pass play? That wouldn’t work well in a loud hostile stadium where the offense is generally using a silent snap count.

            1. It probably depends a lot on the particular offense and the particular QB. If the system has a quick change in place then it’s probably a hot word or phrase like ‘Omaha’ or ‘Red Eagle.’ Something along those lines. Otherwise he most likely needs to have a way of telling the lineman to simply stay home and pas block without any special scheme and that again is probably going to utilize a special hot word or phase if it exists in that particular offenses lexicon at all.

              My guess is that, most offenses have a hot word that tells the line to simply stay at home and do basic pass block and that’s what Kaepernnick would have done. Likely the center would then bark either the same phrase or his own meaning the same thing to his line and Kaepernick would take this as confirmation the that command was received.

              1. They never mic up the o-lineman but it’s a shame because there is an entire world of conversation going on down there that you never hear in the broadcast. Now, the main reason you don’t hear that is because intermixed with all of the interesting o-line calls is all of the ‘colorful’ conversation that takes place between the defense and offense and well that’s not what you would call broadcast friendly. However each time the offense rolls up to the line the center primarily but other lineman as well are calling out the protection and which particular defender is going to blitz and so forth. You never hear that on t.v. but it’s pretty neat stuff.

          2. I thought linemen could legally block downfield if the pass was behind the LOS? When uncovered like Smith was, the play should automatically change to a naked screen.

        2. CfC, is “downfield” considered something like 5 yards of the LOS? Or is it they aren’t allowed to move forward from the LOS?

          1. “Ineligible receiver downfield is a penalty that is called when a forward pass is thrown and an ineligible receiver is beyond the line of scrimmage without blocking an opponent at the time of the pass.”

            1. That’s one description. Another that I found which fits more of what I’m used to teaching is that “a player that is not deemed a legal receiver can not be engaged in a block more then 1 yard past the line of scrimmage.”

          2. Cheers. It would have to be a very quick throw then.

            In saying that, I don’t believe any of the 49ers OL were uncovered on that play, from memory, and are far more adept at going backwards than forwards when blocking, so chances of them getting more than 1 yard downfield is unlikely!

            1. From what I’ve seen happen at the HS and below level, the refs usually recognize a offensive lineman that is pass blocking versus one that is actively moving forward trying to drive a player back. If the lineman appears to be trying to drive his defender back he’ll generally call the penalty. So the actual distance from the line is mere technicality.

        3. Good point Coffee. Our line always drives the defensive line down field at least five yards. That’s why we’re the most unstoppable power running team in the NFL.

    2. Why would he change the play call for a quick pass to the outside.
      Any qb would have called the snap quickly and thrown it out there asap. Whether it was run or pass T Smith would have been standing there waiting for that pass.

  18. Kaep already admitted he didn’t even look up to Torrie. News flash — This is not the first time that he didn’t do the most basic fundamental things a QB is supposed to do.

    What sealed Kaep’s fate was the 4 INT in AZ. He was feeling pretty good about himself because he was kicking butt during the garbage time in the PIT game.

    And then it fall fell apart after that.

    Oh those were the days. We’ll be writing back how much Blaine Gabbert sucks tomorrow.

    1. What I’m suggesting is that if the CB recognized the play being changed to a pass that he could have easily dropped down into a perfect position to snipe that for a pick 6. I’ll take Kaep handing off for no gain to trusting his ability to float a ball over a waiting defender.

      1. Even if the only result of Kaep looking in that direction (and Simpson’s way too) is that the two CBs stay wide, that would have been a good thing. Having the CBs come up didn’t change the result of the play, but it could have been the difference between getting the edge or not if the RB had been able to avoid the defenders crashing through the middle.

    2. Fan says:”Kaep already admitted he didn’t even look up to Torrie” This is the problem. Coffee is right about it not being as simple as just making a sandlot adjustment with Smith and we take it to the house. The issue is that for some unknown reason, we cannot install an NFL offense and we fans are left to guess what the reason is. As I posted above, a possible alternative would be a naked screen. Every offense has one in the book. The objective is to get a quick and shifty WR one on one with a CB and let him make a play. In this case Smith would have been one on none. So the question is how can a defense completely ignore one of our receivers and our quarterback does not even see it, let alone make them pay for it. Our team is not playing offense at the NFL level in terms of quickness and intensity and we are simply being overmatched. This could be caused by a number of reasons but I think that Kaep is high on the list. Even if it is not a walk in the park to exploit the fact that Smith was uncovered, the larger issue remains, why did Kaep not even notice it? From what I have seen watching much of last years and all of this years games, defenses are loading up on concentrated areas of our offense and leaving other areas very vulnerable or even, in this case, completely ignored and we are hardly ever making them pay. This is the subject that needs to be broken down and fixed. We’ re trying to play a team game like a bunch of individuals who just met each other.

  19. Bosa needs to lose 20 pounds to be considered for ILB, which is where he’s better suited for anyway. I understand that Lynch plays in the 260 range but Bosa doesn’t have half the acceleration that Lynch does. Bosa looks like a fantastic strong side ILB in the NFL.

    Calhoun on the other hand has the making to be a decent 3-4 rush linebacker.

      1. Pretty good break down of what he’s able to do. Kind of reminds me of Aldon the way he’s able to extend and keep players at bay….

        1. Razor, have you watched much of Carl Lawson? I’ve only seen his Louisville footage and his matchup against Tunsil last week. But boy, talk about a natural pass rusher. Constant penetration in those two games. He was giving Tunsil a very tough time. If it wasn’t for his injury history I think he’d be getting a lot more hype.

          Be interested to see how he goes against Texas A&M today.

          1. #55 right? I watched the game against Ole Miss and wondered who he was, and then found out about the surgery. He’s got talent, but aren’t you tired of drafting injured players? I’m watching the A&M game right now….

            1. I’m tired of having a bunch of decent players but no explosive playmakers. If he had an ACL injury heading into the draft then yeah, that would be annoying. But he’s back from that. The hip injury was frustrating, but not a long term thing.

              Its only limited game review, but he appears to me to be the most naturally gifted pass rusher that may be available in the 2016 draft. He has a nice combo of an explosive first step, natural ability to penetrate, and good hand use. Haven’t really been wowed by any of the others I’ve seen – he’s the closest to jumping off the screen for me so far.

              How’s he going against A&M?

              1. He’s not stood out. I notice he plays both sides. Kind of stiff in the open field, but I agree he’s able to penetrate, extend and shed, strong hands. I’ll keep watching him throughout the year….

                Scooter says: I’m tired of having a bunch of decent players but no explosive playmakers.

                What round do you think he’s apt to go?

              2. If he stays healthy the rest of the season, and declares, I think he can go anywhere from mid-late 1st round through end of 2nd round. A bit like Dominique Easley in 2014.

              3. He’s been getting downs off, not sure if it’s conditioning or they’ve got him on a snap count….

              4. Yeah, he’s out of shape. Prior to the Ole Miss game he’d been out since the season opener due to a hip injury.

  20. With the season in the toilet isn’t it better to keep Kilgore on ice until next year rather then risk another setback with nothing on the line.

    1. I think they view Marcus Martin as the future starter there. Once he gets stronger he will be a quality player. Mind you he is only 21. Kilgore was god awful when he was drafted but has been developed nicely. I do agree to sit him and Hyde for the remainder of the season.

  21. Jerry Jones absorbs two days of public criticism after the release of the photos of Hardy’s victim and Lo & Behold!, Hardy offers his first public apology “for what happened in (the) past”.
    JJ still doesn’t give a darn, he’s just squirming. A picture is worth a thousand words.

    1. “The 49ers were shopping much of their offensive and defensive lines, sources said, including left tackle Joe Staley, but did not get close on much.”

        1. CFC,
          If reports are true that Baalke tried to garner a trade (6th rd) for his number 1 draft pick this only validates Baalke’ total incompetence as a GM.

          Also, D-line coaches must be held accountable for Armstead’ lack of production and or not providing the motivation to start a fire under Arik to get him going.
          Trading our no. 1 pick for a future 6 rd pick smacks of a bust by any interpretation.

          1. Is it just me or does Aldon Smith look like an average (even below average) player at best.
            He is getting man-handled by the Steelers OL and is not close to being a factor thus far.

          2. CFC,
            If reports are true that Baalke tried to garner a trade (6th rd) for his number 1 draft pick this only validates Baalke’ total incompetence as a GM.
            Narp, I was making a jab at Baalke.

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