49ers film review: The outside-zone run game isn’t working


I just re-watched every 49ers run play from their Week 1 game against the Panthers. Here’s my breakdown.


Carry No. 1.
Play name: Outside zone.
Personnel grouping: 21 (two backs, one tight end)
Result: No gain. (No play — illegal formation)
Notes: Right guard Brandon Fusco misses a block on outside linebacker Thomas Davis, who tackles Hyde at the line of scrimmage.

Carry No. 2.
Play name: Inside zone.
Personnel grouping: 21 (two backs, one tight end)
Result: Gain of eight yards.
Notes: Left guard Zane Beadles and Center Daniel Kilgore create a hole by moving defensive tackle Kawann Short with a double-team block. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk leads Hyde through the hole and blocks Davis. Hyde isn’t touched until he is six yards downfield.

Carry No. 3.
Play name: Inside zone.
Personnel grouping: 12 (one back, two tight ends)
Result: Gain of 12 yards.
Notes: Beadles and Kilgore create a hole by moving defensive tackle Kyle Love with a double-team block. Hyde bounces off of safety Kurt Coleman in the hole.

Carry No. 4.
Play name: Outside zone.
Personnel grouping: 12 (one back, two tight ends)
Result: Gain of two yards.
Notes: Left tackle Joe Staley gets pushed into the backfield by defensive end Wes Horton. Kilgore gets pushed into the backfield by Love.

Carry No. 5.
Play name: Inside zone.
Personnel grouping: 21 (two backs, one tight end)
Result: Gain of 18 yards.
Notes: Beadles and Kilgore create a hole by moving Love with a double-team block. Juszczyk leads Hyde through the hole and blocks Davis. Hyde isn’t touched until he’s 16 yards downfield.

Carry No. 6.
Play name: Outside zone.
Personnel grouping: 12 (one back, two tight ends, Juszczyk in the slot as a tight end).
Result: Gain of one yard.
Notes: Beadles gets pushed into the backfield by Short.

Carry No. 7.
Play name: Outside zone.
Personnel grouping: 12 (one back, two tight ends)
Result: No gain (No play — illegal formation)
Notes: Kilgore gets pushed into the backfield by Short.

Carry No. 8.
Play name: Outside zone.
Personnel grouping: 12 (one back, two tight ends)
Result: Gain of two yards.
Notes: Tight end George Kittle gets pushed into the backfield by defensive end Charles Johnson. Tight end Garrett Celek gets pushed into the backfield by outside linebacker Shaq Thompson.

Carry No. 9.
Play name: Outside zone.
Personnel grouping: 11 (one back, one tight end)
Result: Gain of one yard.
Notes: Kilgore gets pushed into the backfield by Short. Staley gets pushed into the backfield by Horton.

Carry No. 10.
Play name: Inside zone.
Personnel grouping: 12 (one back, two tight ends)
Result: Gain of one yard.
Notes: Staley and Beadles create a hole by moving Horton with a double-team block. Fusco pulls through the hole, but misses his block on linebacker Luke Kuechly, who tackles Hyde.

Carry No. 11.
Play name: Screen with a lateral toss.
Personnel grouping: 11 personnel (one back, one tight end)
Result: No gain.
Notes: Wide receiver Pierre Garcon gets pushed into the backfield by cornerback James Bradberry, who was playing bump-and-run coverage.


Carry No. 1.
Play name: Jet sweep.
Personnel grouping: 12 (two backs, one tight end, Breida in the slot)
Result: Gain of two yards.
Notes: Tight end George Kittle misses a block on safety Mike Adams.

Carry No. 2.
Play name: Draw.
Personnel grouping: 11 (one back, one tight end)
Result: Gain of three yards.
Notes: Kilgore misses a block on Davis, who tackles Breida.

Carry No. 3.
Play name: Inside zone.
Personnel grouping: 12 personnel (one back, two tight ends)
Result: Gain of five yards.
Notes: Beadles and Kilgore create a hole by moving Short with a double-team block. Fusco pulls through the hole and blocks Kuechly.

Carry No. 4.
Play name: Inside zone.
Personnel grouping: 11 (one back, one tight end)
Result: Gain of one yard.
Notes: Beadles and Kilgore create a hole by moving Love with a double-team block. But the 49ers don’t use a lead blocker, so there’s no one to block cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, who bursts through the hole and forces Breida to bounce outside.


Inside zone: 6 attempts, 45 yards, 7.5 yards per attempt.
Outside zone: 4 attempts, 6 yards, 1.5 yards per attempt.


The 49ers may not be suited for the outside-zone run game, which is the foundation of Kyle Shanahan’s offense. The outside zone features a series of one-on-one blocks, and every time the 49ers ran that play against the Panthers at least one blocker got pushed back into the backfield. The Niners seem much better suited for the inside-zone run game, which features a two-on-one double-team block at the point of attack.

Shanahan shoulder consider changing the emphasis of his running scheme, so he can play to the strength of his personnel. That’s what good coaches do.

This article has 380 Comments

  1. What is unfortunate for the 49ers is that their offense is going up against the best 2 defenses in the NFC in their first 2 games of the season.

    1. Not true. Panthers were actually 21st in Total defense last year. They will be good this year but they won’t be one of the top 2 defenses in the NFC. Same for Seattle. They are a good defense but IMHO Vikings, Rams, and maybe the Giants will be better.

        1. So now we’re parsing it out to be run defense? It’s possible Carolina will have a very good run defense. They have a really good front 7, Plus 4 of their games are against the Saints and Bucs who have poor rushing offenses. I stand by what I said. The Panthers and Seahawks will not be in the top 2 in Total Defense in the NFC this year which is what Prime claimed in his post.

          1. I’m not in disagreement with you. The point I’d make is that the Niners offense, whose success is predicated on a serviceable outside zone running scheme, started against one of the top-three front sevens in the league. The exact rank of the D is not that important, IMO. I had penciled in the two first games as sure losses. With better execution, the Panthers game would have been much closer because Shanny had a good game plan in place.

    1. I thought the blog had just given up on the team. But that didn’t make sense, not without a few parting shots and shoulda signed Kaeps on the way out.

        1. I was thinking Seppuku after the champagne dreams and caviar wishes of the preseason met the cold reality of a rebuilding football team..

        2. A familiar pattern for me. I thought:
          Whoa, what did I say THIS time?
          Reminds me of an old song:
          “What did I do to pxxx you off THIS time, baby?”
          (Commander Cody, if I recall)

          1. for some of us, dodging the PMS grenades keep the adrenaline spiking often (“PMS grenade” concept– intellectual property of razor, I believe)

  2. Thanks for your painstaking analysis. They seem to have exhausted the availability of guards for outside zone, and this appears to be a project for next year. That said, a guy like Andrew Tiller, who has excelled in inside zone, is still available. But as you know, they haven’t brought him in. I trust their judgement, though, not mine.

    1. If were saying the same things 5 or 7 games from now, then I’m thinking we have problems.
      But given what real fans of this team have gone thru for many several years under Yoralke, were all beyond sick to death of losing…………
      But the fact is, were going to have to give it time. Shanahan was given an expansion team, virtually devoid of talent-maybe the least talent in the NFL. They have to learn a new system, such that they stop thinking and start playing instinctually. They made huge improvements with what certainly looks like a productive draft, –but they still need a couple more productive drafts and free agent signings. What Baalke and York did to this team is no different than what that Hurricane is doing in Florida. Improvements will come in fits and starts.
      Not entirely unlike what Walsh took over. His 1st year was 2-14.
      Look for small, measurable improvements–and it won’t hurt too bad!

          1. A Yelp review of Red’s…

            This can’t be true! REDS CLOSED! It is indeed a dark day that the likes of GM and Chrysler get new life and we all lose a place like Red’s. I have been going to this place for 15 years and would always turn people on to it if they happened to be traveling north from SF and they were never disappointed. This was the dive bar to end all dive bars. Sweet Dee and all the bartenders here were the absolute best that the industry has to offer. Open early for the BEST hand crafted bloody marys. Pool tables a plenty and always someone willing to test your skills against. I am speechless that I will never experience Red’s again. Thank you for all the fantastic times. You were a gem.

            1. Hahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              That’s the place!!!!!!!!!!!! Outstanding Detective Work!!

              I used to pass it every day………..I teased Seb about the place and he put his nose in the air. So then I teased him about “Marty’s Top O’ the Hill’–and he said it also closed down…………

              1. To be honest, tho, every one of those “Red’s Recovery” people were pretty friendly people. Just living their lives in that moment……………….a problem I have always struggled with.

      1. I wasn’t expecting a miracle but a more competitive game. What I saw was a sloppy team and an under prepared team with a rookie coach who looked like the game was a bit too big for him.

        Look, I’m not that worried because some of this is correctable but the OL and pass rush will be a season long woe. I mentioned this prior to and during the draft/FA period. We are starting to see why.

  3. Well, watched the game again and I have to agree with Grant that the game was at least within reach except for coaching mistakes.

    The decision to go for it on 4th down was really bad and not only took away scoring opportunities or at least the possibility to pin the Panthers in but also gave the defense a difficult field to defend. Additionally, the play calls during these downs seemed very poor choices from someone who is a mastermind.

    The clock management could also have been much better. We don’t notice it as much because of the challenges the team has had in the past but it was still not good.

    I think sitting Lynch was a mistake. If he was healthy he should have played. How does this staff get rid of their top two rusher for their opening game. And they generated almost no pressure (save for Buckner). Not a wise choice.

    These rookie errors need to be fixed if the team is going to improve.

      1. Grant is spot-on. The real disappointment in my mind was with Kyle’s odd lack of preparation and his inability to adjust. Let us hope things get better from here. Seattle is a better team than Carolina.

    1. EC,

      Other than the decision to go on 4th and 3, I don’t see any issues with how the game was called by Shanny. The play calls are always going to be questioned when they don’t work – that is low hanging fruit, but the reason they don’t work is usually execution and that was the case here. If the Oline keeps missing blocks how is that on the Coaching staff? If Hoyer misses a wide open receiver how is that a Coaching issue? We can talk about a sequence where they were late getting play calls in but they took one delay of game call total and it came when Shanny was yelling for a TO that wasn’t granted.

      The easiest and imo laziest type of analysis is to blame Coaching when a team doesn’t play well and loses a game. The Coaching wasn’t perfect, it never is, but for a first time HC overseeing a complete overhaul on both sides of the ball I’d say it was pretty good. I saw nothing that leads me to believe the team was unprepared and undisciplined as Grant suggested yesterday. It was a case of being outplayed on the lines and the Panthers taking advantage of more opportunities than the Niners did. They are the better team across the board so it shouldn’t have been surprised.

      I agree with you on Lynch. Makes no sense to have him inactive when you are struggling to mount a pass rush.

      1. Rocket, to your point.
        On KNBR one of the other beat writers made the statement the Hoyer held the ball 2 times for more than 3 seconds, once was a sack and the other was a missed throw when he couldn’t step up. I don’t know if that was based on his fact checks or a flippant statement but it certainly looked that way.
        Furthermore, exactly what advantages did the niners have when looking at position groups?
        DL – no
        OL – no
        WR – no
        RB- yes
        QB – no (but maybe so in this game)
        DB’s – I’d call it a push.
        LB – no
        TE – no

        But this loss was all on coaching;/smh

        1. Shoup,

          We know talent is going to be an issue this season, the media – Grant excluded apparently – knows talent is going to be an issue. Blaming Coaching after a team loses to a better team with no obvious Coaching mistakes is just plain lazy and/or an attempt to deflect from the truth of the matter which is that this team is lacking talent at key positions and is not going to win many games this year.

        2. The 49ers outplayed the Panthers in the first half. But Goodwin made a fundamental mistake when he took his eyes off a long pass that should have been a TD. Not a talent issue at all. Fundamental. Focus.
          The Panthers scored their first touchdown because Johnson played man coverage when the rest of the defense played zone. That’s a focus issue. Not a talent issue at all.
          The Panthers scored their next six points because Shanahan went for it fourth down twice near mid field when he should have punted.

          If the Niners didn’t make those mistakes, they would have led 7-0 at halftime. Instead, they trailed 13-0.

          1. You sound like a somebody calling into a sports talk show. This is such poor analysis it’s embarrassing. Are you seriously going to do this all season? If so I’ll check out now.

              1. Ok see ya.

                No point in wasting anymore time if this is the garbage that is going to be passed off here all year.

                Cheers everybody.

              2. Rocket:

                You don’t need to interact with Grant if you don’t want to – many posters don’t. I for one will miss your analysis. Just take a day or two off and come back after the next game. Regards.

              3. Grant happens to be more correct, a focus problem including the dumb penalties. Sure there’s talent issues but Grant point is spot on. It’s like they had a pre-season hangover game but they better get with it now with Seattle. Rocket is a little whiny. But he’ll be back, don’t worry.

              4. so, just to be clear, Grant, as well as the rest of us,are not being critical enough of team talent — just harping on the coaching?
                start focusing on the trenches, please…hence the run game focus of this thread/chum fest…

              5. Grant, I’m curious. Is this the way you are all the time or is an act you put on for your blog? You seem to enjoy claiming how superior your knowledge and opinion is as opposed to everyone else.

              6. C’mon Rocket! This site is not about Grant. I’ve been coming here two generations of moderators before Grant.

              7. Rockets Gotten Good at Goodbye

                What a rotten day this turned out to be.
                I still can’t believe he’d leave so easily.
                He just got all his things, threw ’em into a pile,
                Then he loaded his car and said after a while,
                He’d done this before, but this time he didn’t cry.

                That’s why I’m sittin’ on the front steps,
                Staring down the road, wond’rin’ if he’ll come back –
                This time I don’t know.
                After he packed, when he looked back
                There were no tears in his eyes,
                And that’s got me worried thinking
                Maybe my Rocket’s gotten good at goodbye.

            1. The dropped pass was a focus issue. But that’s on the player. It’s not like Harbaugh didn’t have this with his players some times. It happens, remember the Giants game… Or for Bill B. When Welker dropped the ball in the super bowl… or the multiple drops Rice had as a rookie under Walsh.

              The Blown coverage you could argue was coaching.

              The niners offense only scored 3 points, but coaching miscues were not the only reason for that only a potion of the evening.

              1. Rocket’s self imposed timeout doesn’t deserve defending.
                He antagonizes the author of this blog post after post. He made the mistake of thinking he was bigger than the blog.
                He will be back because quite frankly this is the best 49er discussion board on the net.
                He is smart enough to realize he was hasty in banishing himself. His departure was immature and not like him. Let him focus on the outside distractions first.
                The Rocket I know will be mature enough to realize emotions just got caught up here and he will be back.

              2. Yeah, right, andGrant’s barbs don’t count? Grant has always enjoyed arguing with Rocket; he thrives on it. Both got their blood up. There’s no obvious fault here, despite you choosing sides.

              3. they both need a dermal layer transplant so they can wither each others barbs without petulance….
                like the cut scene from Prometheus — the TED talk where Weyland recounts the T.E. Lawrence story of how he could put out matches with his fingers….Larry is quoted: “the trick is not minding that it hurts”

              4. I am not taking sides. The fact is Rocket let his emotions lead him to a self imposed ban. There is nothing to defend when someone says they are leaving.
                Tomorrow this blog will still be up and running. That is the point I was making. Not one contributor is bigger than this blog.

            2. Rocket
              Dude. It’s Chicken Little Syndrome. Not just from Grant; the whole place is in a barnyard disturbance. Perhaps shrug it off…..
              I’m in Sedona, Az and there exists a Great Gnashing Of Teeth and General Flagellation in this entire State.
              Those of us who go back to MM should keep it all in perspective amigo.
              (Betchya GC doesn’t invite Seb or Tom D to take a hike; his clicks, however vacuous, would drop by 67%. 40% from direct posts lost and another 27% from the incredulous reactions to them.)

              1. Sorry Grant, you are correct, you didn’t invite him to leave. I took your remark as being pleased by it, when, even in disagreement, the guy has had a positive contribution here for years.
                We all have always been able to vote with our feet (take it or leave it), but accumulated Chi has it’s value in the eyes of some.

              2. If anything Grant should give Seb a check.
                Between seb and his followers PrimeTime, TomD, Cassie he gets an additional 100 posts or so on every blog post.

              3. Grant,

                You can’t possibly believe that KS is primarily responsible for Goodwin’s drop and Beadle’s and other missed assignments.

                It’s like blaming the driving instructor if a kid wraps the car around a telephone pole.

                Like (manager) Yogi Bera once said, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him stick his f_____g head in it.”

                On the other hand, if we’re into year two and missed assignments are still too frequent, then you’ll have a point. Until then, not so much.

            3. Here is how to get rocket back:
              Which analysis are you calling poor?
              If it is the article / blog then I could not disagree more. Good research like the above (outside zone vs inside zone) leads to insights and postulations for us all.
              Me-thinks rocket’s hopes in opening game have been so gashed that analysis with facts is just pouring salt on open wounds.
              Truth hurts but don’t take it out on the messenger.
              Do I hear rockets firing…..

              1. Bruce Z,

                It seems like Rocket didn’t object to the facts that Grant presented, but rather the weird conclusion Grant drew from those facts.

                Grant correctly cataloged missed assignment, after missed assignment, but then things went horribly wrong. Grant inexplicably concluded the main culprit for the shoddy execution wasn’t the players, who were actually on the field blowing assignments, but rather HC Kyle Shanahan! Not the players missing blocks, dropping passes, etc., but the HC. OK, sure.

            4. Rocket, he does sound like someone calling into a sports talk show. And guess what, so do you. Because this forum is exactly like that, minus the hold times. A place to express opinions. Your issue (and not just yours) seems to be thinking your opinion is elevated into the realm of incontrovertible fact. With all due respect, get over it.

              1. Rocket is nasty, self-important , condescending, my-way-or-the-hiway, and cutting in his OPINIONS over anyone or everyone who doesn’t agree with him….It is only after you figure out that he is no more important than any other opinion on here that it is O.K. to deal with him…I have read his posts, respected some…laughed at others…his return…? I’ll respect his right to leave…no big deal one way or the other….

              2. Everyone has their perceived faults. He comes off as condescending, but sometimes I wonder if that realization escapes him. He’s an Iron Maiden fan, contributes good football content, and so I look past his faults, even though he’ll get under my skin with it as well. If he doesn’t come back, I wish him long life and prosper….

              3. Oregon, I always thought rocket would back up his opinions with solid reasoning. But he wasn’t the only one in a generally knowledgeable board. There’s room for other points of view, and if you are going to go all emo when challenged then maybe the internet is not the place for you. How about a sports call-in show instead?

              4. Grant-how is that different than saying it’s Walsh’s fault because Wendell Tyler would fumble the ball?
                These guys are supposed to be Pro’s-not just from the nose down…………..

            5. rocket,
              Dang dude! You are one of the few here that don’t Grant’ word as gospel.
              Need you to come back to keep things real around here bud.
              Hey, I’ll take a knee for you until you show up – but don’t wait to long because my arthritis acts up (lol).

          2. Grant, do you actually believe that “If the Niners didn’t make those mistakes, they would have led 7-0 at halftime.”
            If yes, do you also believe that Melania would be living in the White House [with Hillary] if Trump had lost the election?

              1. I don’t really understand what is confusing here. The logic seems pretty clear to me. I felt the same way. We shld have been up at the half. We kept shooting ourself in the foot. Self inflicted mistakes in a poorly coached game. I think Shanny can improve but it is what it is. I thought the analysis was spot on.

              2. Your opinion vs his, not sure why Rocket got so heated…. but hopefully he’ll be back, quality contributor.

                Grant can you piss off Seb instead?

      2. I didn’t say it was all on coaching Shoup. But the coach certainly made some rookie mistakes and play calling was among them. The coaches are supposed to put the team in a position to win and Shanahan behaved like an OC and not a head coach. His decisions to go for it on 4th down when the defense was playing pretty well put them in further binds. It is an opinion to be sure Rocket and I respect your view but think that this was a game that got away from Shanahan.

        Having said that, there were numerous execution errors. Some of this is on the players and some of it is poor prep (back to Grant’s points). Carolina was a beatable team that through poor execution, bad talent, poor coaching prevailed on Sunday.

        And the Lynch decision seems a bit of hubris on the new guys which I think bit them on the hind quarters. Hope it is not repeated.

        1. East,
          I don’t believe you stated it was all on coaching. I am just stating that there was much more than just coaching that lost this game for the 49ers.
          We had wide receivers getting open, but the OL couldn’t give the qb even 3 seconds to get rid of the ball… the Sack Fumble was one such play… the wide receiver was open but Beadles matador block blew it up. I wouldn’t trust any OC to sustain drives if the qb is constantly getting hit under 3 seconds.
          So I don’t think the coaches left 21 points on the field.

          The run defense improved and stopped the Carolinas rushing attack, forcing Cam to try and beat them… which he almost proved unable to do, missing wide open receivers consistently.

          Part of the reason we lost was poor coaching decisions yes… but part of the reason we lost was simply players making poor plays… one player, playing man while everyone else plays zone, Tartt missing a tackle to save the play, Beadles and Fusco failing to even provide the resistance of a turnstile, and Goodwin missing an easy catch. Everyone has to take a bite of that sandwich.

          1. Agree on all your observations but I would also add that there were some questionable decisions made at critical points by the HC which compromised field position/points. The 4th down run by Hyde was a disaster from the beginning and had no chance of success. It was obvious before the snap. The 4th and 3 was a poor decision. The wasted timeout opportunity. There were others but these were the most glaring to me.

      3. If Lynch is a healthy scratch again this week it’s only a matter of time before he’s traded or released. Only reason to sit on a player like that is to protect his health for a trade and/or the preventing from being on the hook for his salary if you ultimately have to release him.

          1. If the Steeler’s are having concerns over Dupree’s healthy they could be a possible candidate. Lions would be another team. At best I’d think they could get a conditional 6th that could become a 5th.

              1. Right, I usually think draft stock but OL depth wouldn’t hurt right now. Saints look like they lost a couple LB’s

              1. That is what it is looking like to me too Mood. I have to wonder if this crew doesn’t care about the actual games or they are still tinkering (Lynch move seems to indicate this). Wonder why they are doing this though?

              2. I’d like to think they care about winning every game they play. But I’d guess they care more about establishing a winning culture buy weeding out lazy players irrespective of their unrealized (unrealizable?) potential. The pace of weeding out will be moderated by the need to put a functioning team on the field and leveraging trade value, if any. They are clearly focused on getting their young players developed during the season even if it means losing games.

              3. Not sure if I classify Lynch as lazy. He played well during the preseason and came into camp with the weight desired.

              4. Thomas was a bad pick-he may end up a pretty good player but I don’t see a Von Miller/Joey Boss there at all and he had to be that to take 3rd or 2nd with the talent available and our needs.
                Made more sense to either draft Fournette who will be a HOF back IMO and trade Hyde….
                Or get Adams or a top corner.
                Or roll the dice on Trubisky.
                And…Witherspoon is God AWFUL
                That guy crumbles on contact like Dexter Carter…..

              5. Fairies wear boots and you got to believe me if you think Thomas was a bad pick. Nobody with a lick of sense expected him to be a Bosa or Miller. He was the top run defender in college, and that’s why, among other reasons, he was drafted. His pass rushing skills will develop along with getting stronger after a year in the NFL strength and conditioning program….

            1. I watched Lynch avoid tackles and loaf behind plays instead of hustling down the line to protect the cutback. Not a fan of his in the least. I also think he’s way overrated because he was the only mediocre player on a very bad defense. Having said that, Yeah, I think it’s a mistake to get rid of Lynch right now. They have zero playmakers on defense, especially now that Ahmad Brooks is gone. You’ve got to keep Lynch or management really is sending the message to all their players that they are playing for high draft picks to get a QB next year.

              1. I have no problem moving on from Brooks and Lynch but we need someone who is proven to take their place. The team has no one! Dumervil is the only one and he is older. Lynch is still effective at getting to the QB and causing disruption. If he is mediocre he is better than what we saw in terms of pressure Sunday!

              2. True. Kind of disappointed we didn’t see any kind of flash from Solomon Thomas. I would have liked to see any kind of play making ability from him but he was mostly invisible. I think it’s a fair comparison to gauge Thomas against Joey Bosa. Both guys were 1st rounders selected with the 3rd pick who play DE. Bosa had 10.5 sacks in 12 games last year. He showed up on the stat sheet with a sack and several tackles in his very first game with the Chargers even after he was a holdout. We got absolutely nothing from Solomon Thomas on Sunday. Obviously, time will tell but I’ve always had reservations about Solomon Thomas. I’m hoping he isn’t another Jamarcus Russell where 1 amazing bowl game after a decent but not spectacular college career over-inflated his value so a team picked him way too high.

              3. I’m with you on the Thomas front. I expect about the same level of production as I would a Bosa and don’t buy the fact he was away from the team. Foster was too and he was a beast in preseason and for 11 snaps. Thomas may improve but he isn’t what everyone touted by a long shot so far. And we needed that along the defensive line.

              4. Houston

                I think that you have a strong agenda against Aaron Lynch….I don’t know what it is about the guy….(You’re not alone) Check in with C4C …He Hates him. Maybe it would help to get a Dart board with his picture on it…for the sake of all of the niner (and Lynch) supporters, let’s not get rid of him until we’ve replaced his production////

        1. It sounds partially reasonable, but, if I were trading for Lynch, I would want to see how he’s doing in actual games and not just TC and preseason. Or do you think what he has shown is enough?

          Also, as a potential buyer I might be suspicious that there are ulterior motives for why Lynch is sitting and not just trying to keep him in bubble wrap. But you did say that they might release him.

          It all seems counterintuitive given how poor our outside rush is and the virtually zero possibility that we can pick someone up, at this late date, that would be better than Lynch.

          1. Healthy scratch tells you that the coaching staff doesn’t believe that he can contribute on the field over his potential value as a trade. Once a coaching staff has reached this point the player is as good as gone.

            1. Yep. To be honest I am surprised he is still on the roster. He’s got too much talent to be a healthy scratch in the NFL. I can only think teams weren’t willing to spend a draft pick on him prior to cuts thinking the 49ers would let him go anyway. But have to think he doesn’t stay on the roster much longer.

              Only things I can think of that would change that are (a) injuries and (b) really poor performance of the guys ahead of him on the roster, forcing the coaches hands to play Lynch.

              1. “Only things I can think of that would change that are (a) injuries and (b) really poor performance of the guys ahead of him on the roster, forcing the coaches hands to play Lynch.”

                I agree, if they have an injury before they make a move that could save his spot for the season.

              2. What’s your alternative match up?

                First thought is to say no but it depends on what your other choice is.

        2. Could it be that the Niners are still in “try outs” mode with respect to DL pass rushers?

          If so, maybe they are “holding Lynch” in case it’s true that he’s the best pass rusher with at least one hand in the dirt. I’m not sure that’s the case; but with zero inside pressure it’s going to be tough against better teams than the Panthers.

          I remember when they “did not need Brooks,” three years ago. It turned out they did need him after all.

      4. Rocket,

        I completely agree with you. I was very disappointed yesterday with Grant’s column. He inferred that Goodwins missed catch was a result of poor coaching. Every kid who has ever played any sport involving a ball quickly learns that you have to watch the ball all the way in. You shouldn’t need a coach to tell you that but I’m sure many coaches have emphasized that to Goodwin. To call,that a coaching problem is rediculous. Goodwin was 100% responsible for that muff.

            1. I agree PT and said so during the game blog. As a professional he’s probably too embarrassed to use that as an excuse, but the field shadows don’t lie.

          1. some might say focus & fundamentals problems are in the remit of the coaching staff….at least to the extent the staff can address these issues…just sayin….

          2. It was a focus/fundamental problem…because Goodwin has talent and even the talented can not focus at times no matter how much the coaching gets on you, more a personal problem.

          3. He’s made a career out of being fast with bad hands. When we signed him, I pointed that out. In four years in Buffalo all he did was tease and get injured while averaging fewer than 2 catches a game. In his best year he never ranked better than 84th in effectiveness.

            We’d have been better off keep Torrey Smith. Kelly didn’t have a clue how to use him, but if he was used as a proper deep threat (with an accurate QB), he kept coming Top-20 in effectiveness (7th his last year in Baltimore, 14th in his first year with the 49res) even though his yardage stats weren’t overly impressive and he suffered from a limited route-tree.

    2. I was fine with the fourth down calls. This team needs as many possessions as possible. They would have only gained 20 or so yards on those possessions. Besides let them play. They are not going to win a playoff berth this year.

      1. They converted how many third downs and they are going for it on fourth?! That is not playing the percentages! You will lose often that way! You punt or kick a field goal and live to fight again. This formulation is used because it works. Boy wonder has found it hard to score lately in games. That is a bit troubling. I expect similar results in Seattle.

            1. Some great McKay quotes…

              “Kickers are like horse manure. They’re all over the place.”

              “We didn’t tackle well today but we made up for it by not blocking.”

              “If you have everyone back from a team that lost 10 games, experience isn’t too important.”

  4. well….looks like inside zone success might be holdover from Oline play under Chip?
    if more Inside runs are used, Hyde will be beat up, like last season, as good as he is, he seems to try to impose his will on the bigger lineman and LB’s, where he should have a clear path thru those levels where he can then steamroll the backfield…less punishment on his frame this way, but he’s not a DL/LB steamroller like Marshawn Lynch…

    it may be down to a few more ugly games till Fusco, Zane, and Kilgore start building those “diagonal-to-sideline” running lanes/walls…hope Hyde holds up. IF this does work eventually, and Hyde does start breaking thru to the backfield, then we can see the speedsters (Breida, Williams, Mostert) start their run…after Hyde softens up the LB’s and DB’s.

    we’re starting to see the frustration in press and fans– just like ATL in 2015…hold on for the next 3-4 games, we might be 0-5 before the machine starts working.

    1. Actually, in 2015 Atlanta started 6-2 during the first half of the season and went 2-6 during the second half.
      But we are far from having the Falcons’ roster with us.

          1. as a holdover from previous system(s)….were there any significant OL injuries around mid-season 2015 for ATL? (actual question– I’m not aware of any)
            I suggest they didn’t start fully running outside stretch/zone till later half ’15.
            it might help if we knew of OL personnel changes for whatever reason in ATL OL in ’15

    2. tjf……

      I would be willing to bet your exactly right. We’ll know a whole lot by mid-season. By then, things will start clicking and we’ll be competitive again.

      1. Maybe, but the OL and DL have to improve a whole lot for that to occur. What I saw Sunday and on replay does not inspire confidence.

  5. Good thing we will change our OLinemen soon.

    But seriously, the 49ers OL needed 2 years to switch from a power run scheme to an inside zone run scheme and not be constantly terrible at it. Expecting them to move in one offseason from an inside to an outside zone isn’t realistic.

    1. it might have been realistic IF more resources were spent on OL this past offseason, and by more resources I do mean substantive free agent/trade $$

      now we must take our beatings on offense…hope Hyde and Hoyer hold up.
      buckle in for an ugly stretch of games coming up….

  6. Grant, I don’t understand why they would neglect the OL so much given how important it is to Kyle’s system. Can you give any insight on this? I know they brought in Zuttah but they knew he wasn’t panning out and didn’t do much to bolster the line when they knew that Garnett’s injury was more severe. What gives?

          1. It didn’t seem to help their run game much. They had 25 rushes for 57yds good for 2.3ypc. Maybe it helped their pass protection?

              1. I think it was a case where they figured they picked up so many interior OL with starting experience (Zuttah, Fusco and Barnes) that between them and the guys they already had they must be able to cobble together a serviceable unit. Hasn’t worked out that way though. And losing Garnett also didn’t help.

              2. True. Shanahan did the same thing in Atlanta with Levitre, Mack and Chester. Probably figured he could do it again.

              3. I suggest overestimation of C/OG positions in the extreme!
                whiffing on 3 OL free agents a bad way to start new regime,
                let’s cross all available crossable appendages for any sign of OZ run improvement @ SEA, but I’m gonna assume KS will stick with it for at least the 1st half b4 he switches up to IZ….he needs to see OZ struggle again for him to change run mix.

      1. Thanks Grant. Once again you are right on point!

        This is my biggest gripe, my biggest concern, and my biggest disappointment. It all starts up front. You’ve got to start with the OL when you’re rebuilding an offense. I honestly question now whether this group of offensive linemen will ever be capable of running Kyle’s outside-zone schemes, even the OT’s. I kept hoping they would improve as the preseason went along, but I haven’t really seen any improvement. And here you’ve got it in black and white, as clear as day.

        How did they decide to go this season with 2 washed up Guards (plus Garnett, and now Tomlinson, who definitely don’t fit this scheme), and a Center who has at times been solid, but never great, and has been slowed by injuries throughout his career?

        Now it’s back to the drawing board for 2017 ….. literally! Kyle’s got to make some serious adjustments to his playbook because the outside-zone simply isn’t working now, and I don’t see it working at all this season with this current roster. The only reason I’m not suicidal is because I never expected the 49ers to make the postseason this year anyways, regardless of their offensive line play. And the more games they lose, the better position they will be in come draft day.

        It’s far too early to put together a mock draft, so I’m not even going there right now. But suffice to say, upgrading OG and Center have to be the number one priority in the coming offseason, even ahead of addressing the QB position, although it’s going to be awfully tempting to draft a QB if the 49ers are drafting top 2 or 3. The 49ers have a boatload of money to spend in 2018, as well as what I would guess would be a favorable draft position. The Cowboys have put together a blueprint for offensive success, and ShanaLynch would be wise to emulate what the Cowboys have done recently.

        The WR, and CB positions are going to need to be addressed as well, but the 49ers need to build an offensive line that is fit to run Kyle’s offense, and young enough to use as building blocks (or bricks) to lay the foundation for Kyle’s offense moving forward!

          1. The test of Shanny genius starts now. Can he adapt to the players he is given? Better yet can he come up with some unique hybrid zone running scheme the likes of which has never been seen before by defensive coordinators?

            1. Are you kidding? The reason he was hired was because of his past success with his system and the plan is to acquire players who fit this system. This will take several years at least and now you expect them to abandon their entire plan after 1 game. That’s nuts. The way players get better is thru repetition and the way a team gets better is a hiring guys who fit the system.

              1. So let me see if I understand you.
                You are saying sacrifice the next two seasons and, oh by the way, a number of talented players along the way to get to that magic Shannahan plan. Brilliant coaching is building schemes around players not the other way around.

          2. Surprisingly effective, considering the ILB and NT talent that the Panthers have. Could it be because the Panthers were scheming the outside zone so much?

              1. So did the 49ers try to go to the outside zone in the second half then? Or did they pretty much abandon the run completely? I was streaming the game and it was coming in and out and I was keeping my eye on the hurricane updates (trying to decide whether to evacuate to a shelter.) Thanks for the film review!

        1. Here’s my fantasy for the 2018 draft. If the 49ers are picking in the top 3, there will be a few QB’s targeted for those picks by other teams. If Hoyer gets hurt, there’s a good chance that the 49ers will pick 1st or 2nd. (Hell, they might, anyway!) I’d love to see KS target a “sleeper” QB, a la Russell Wilson or Zak Prescott. Then they can trade out of their top pick, (and there should be a bidding war.) and get a bundle. Maybe trade back 1 spot at a time from 1 to 4. We could acquire a boatload of picks, and when you consider that we already have 5 picks in the first 3 rounds….. Remember. I said here’s my fantasy! One thing for sure is that if the 49ers don’t have to use that 1st pick on a QB, it will set them up for a good haul.

      2. Here’s what I think you guys are missing……………if they patch one hole, it will be “why didn’t they patch this other hole”?
        Remember, this is not a new inner tube were talking about. This baby had an infinite amount of old patches and small leaks.

        1. The OL and the DL are fulcrums by which both the offense and defense operates. To neglect one or the other is tantamount to suicide, in my opinion.

          It seems we have not addressed the lack of pass rush adequately nor the OL. This is not good for any head coach.

      3. Should they have really done what the Browns did? I know you implied that subsequently, Because I don’t the Browns were all that terribly smart in what they did.

        First they signed Kevin Zeitler, who has never made even a pro-bowl, for $60 million.. Of that $31.5 million is guaranteed. For a guard who is above average, but not elite and is, now, the highest paid guard in the NFL.

        They spent nearly $17 million on a back-up center who only started 11 of his 32 healthy games (out of a possible 64) that is routinely injured and has suffered multiple knee injuries. He was also beaten out by a Round 5 guy (when the guy was a rookie and is a guy who has never been more than a, more-or-less, average OC so it wasn’t like he was beaten out by some elite talent).

        Matt McCants is a nobody the Browns cut last year and resigned in FA this year after a brief stop with the Bears (among his many teams prior to the Browns). Cleveland also signed Marcus Martin on a one-year ‘prove it’ deal.

        So, I don’t think Cleveland is the model. I think they threw way too much money at Zeigler. The OC the signed didn’t light it up at Green Bay and is injury prone. The other two o-linemen are just plain bad.

        And, frankly, we both know it’s not so easy. NFL teams rarely let high quality players go in FA in this day and age. You’ll be lucky if there are a couple of bonafide stars, another ten good players with another ten that probably won’t embarrass you too much. The rest will be journeyman/back-up level players with various issues.

        Last, to be fair, pretty much every-man-Jack who is criticizing the o-line and what Shanahan & Lynch did to fix it was pretty **** excited to get Zuttah who was a pro-bowl alternate last year. Hundreds of posts waiting for Kilgore to be demoted or moved to guard while Zuttah took over as the Rock of the Line.

        Just saying…

          1. Moses,

            I wasn’t one who jumped on the Zuttah love train. I am restrained in my love for new players and not always eager to see older players ho as much as some around here.

            I agree that no organization should be modeled after the Cleveland Browns but our new FO gave a chunk of change to a fullback and brought in other FA while they only lightly addressed the OL. When they saw that Zuttah was a dud and Garnett was not going to be around they could have brought in a variety of players to look at but didn’t. In retrospect, it looks naive and possibly foolish.

          2. But if forecloses future options. That one player is 10% of the Browns projected salary cap next year. He’s a guard. An above-average guard. Not a special guard with a HOF resume. Just a guy who has stayed healthy, played well, and been above average.

            The year after, he’s 12.43% of their cap. That’s about 1/8th their total payroll for a guard. A guard. And the highest paid player on their team.

            1. I see your point, but Zeitler actually will account for a little less than 7% of the Browns cap. His cap hit will be $12,400,000 and the projected cap will be $181,000,000.

    1. EC,

      What options did they have when Garnett went down? Draft is over, nothing left in FA so what do you do at that point in your opinion?

      1. I actually think this issue started way before Garnett got hurt. They brought in used up discarded FA guys that weren’t stellar to begin with. I wonder why didn’t they work harder to secure people early in FA? They had to have seen on film how bad Kilgore and Beadles were. Garnett didn’t rate well last year either. Outside of the tackle position they could have revamped the whole interior.

        1. You don’t truly know what you have until you see them in person on the field running your plays. This season is really an audition for the players left over from the previous regime. They weren’t going to sign a bunch of high priced OL FA’s when the entire team had holes across the board. It’s year one of a rebuild. It’s painful but necessary to build long term success.

          1. But they did have game film on all the guys who are currently starting so they knew that they weren’t what they needed. Same is true of QB and WR. Yet they didn’t pull the trigger. Seems like a bad move.

          2. Yes, but Rocket they knew what they had in Beadles and Garnett as well as Kilgore. None of these guys were killing it and the tape shows it. They signed guys who had NFL film also were terrible. They didn’t need a bunch of guys, they just needed two guards.

          3. Shanny is offensive minded and knows what he needs. He knows the OL is the foundation and how important it is. He’s good enough to know not to use this entire season letting these guys audition for him, he had plenty of tape on the OL. He knows he needs a line good enough to run his type of O. Guys that would bust big holes, move the chains, run the clock and not have your QB on his back or fumbling after 2 seconds, even if he was a top 5 QB. He could of focused more and pulled the trigger sooner in the painful rebuild.

      2. In my opinion, they did try to address it and it just didnt work out. Its fine to say they knew early on that Zuttah wouldn’t work out but at that point the pickings were slim. Lynch and Shanny did an amazing job rebuilding this roster. The oline will just have to be a work in progress. I think it’s wrong to say they didn’t try to address it. They did but they didn’t do well enough.

        1. Hopefully, Tomlinson will be a diamond in the rough in, for him, a new system. You probably read this yourself but I’ll say it anyway, yesterday Shanahan noted that Tomlinson has never done OSZ, in college or the NFL.

        2. But you look at the roster and the third pick was not even dressed. Their hand picked RB was put on ice and he was really a disappointment. They hit on Foster, Kittle and maybe CJB draft wise. The other free agents are still raw and we will have to wait and see how well they fit the rigors of the NFL. Breida didn’t have an auspicious start. Now I’m not saying it’s terrible Houston just putting some perspective on what is going on.

  7. Grant,

    I’m a big fan of yours because you tell it like it is (rather than scoring points by telling fans what they want to hear – something Kawikami also refused to do and I suspect it cost him his job), but I’ve noticed that you increasingly tend to make broad and bold extrapolations from limited sample sizes. This is just one game. Isn’t it possible that the Panthers have a very good scheme and personnel set for attacking the outside zone run? Or that this is just growing pains for new players running a new scheme?

  8. Man it reads like the overly repetitive chorus line in that song you hate. Beadles and Kilgore, Beadles and Kilgore and Beadles and Kilgore.

    I think we saw this in the preseason and Hyde mostly got blamed while Williams shined against guys who are now watching on their couches. The offensive line is mostly responsible but it seems the WR’s and TE’s still have some work to do as well. Is it the players, system or have defenses started to figure out Kyle’s system?

      1. Yes it is, angst and despair. Do you think Lynch/Shannahan are hoping to build a team through the draft? I just don’t get why they wouldn’t bring in some talent with the cap space we have?

    1. I think it’s the players. This type of running game has been around a long time in a lot of different places and works when it’s done properly. It takes time and talent to get it to a high level though. Atlanta struggled with it in Shanny’s first year too.

  9. 4 years, 4 offensive line schemes

    2014 – Gap
    2015 – Zone
    2016 – Inside Zone
    2017 – Outside Zone

    There are similarities between the zone systems, but it still has to be a hairball for linemen.

      1. Tyrone Crowder OG Clemson, and Frank Ragnow C Arkansas are two players that could potentially make the interior of this offensive line more formidable….

        1. I agree, even when healthy this Oline is just plain bad.
          This match up is why I had Carolina winning by 10 points or more.

          It seems many don’t grasp the disruption that direct pressure up the middle causes. This has to get shored up before the niners can expect to be real playoff contenders.

          1. this needs shoring up before they can contend for a long drive, let alone an entire qtr.— “Playoff’s??!!! Who said anything about playoff’s!!”

    1. It typically takes 1-3 years for a line to “gel” in this system. All it takes is one lineman getting pushed back, and it seems they took turns…..Kittle too.

    2. Very good point, Brodie………………….this is just going to take some time. KS is going to make some mistakes in player/personnel, as did Walsh his first few drafts. Bottom line is, are they getting better? Are they headed in the right direction?
      Because Shanahan was asked to repair a fence that’s coming apart at every nail………………………

  10. Matt Barrows‏Verified account @mattbarrows Sep 10
    Creative: #Panthers have four staffers holding two shades over team bench.

    A picture of 2 panthers holding a 2-pole shade awning over the Carolina bench. About 60 posts down from top

    If Carolina only took 10 minutes into gametime to figure this out, why haven’t Jed and the Yorks spent one dime on their players comfort…..Just the other day I was walking under a building structure that resembled that glass a Levis and I immediately felt the temp. increase, like an insect under a magnifying glass…..That was when I realized how awful the 49ers players have it and how little management under Jed cared.

  11. Good breakdown. Matches what my impressions were on the outside zone runs, though I actually thought even more of the plays were blown up due to the interior OL failing to seal off a lane. The outside zone is going to be a problem all year because the interior OL struggles to get out in front of their defender and make the block to produce a hole for the RB.

        1. Haven’t seen enough of Magnuson to think he will be an upgrade. And Tomlinson wasn’t good for the Lions, so I suspect we are living in hope that he will fix the issues.

        2. I don’t think Laken will be ready to play against Seattle’s DL. If he doesn’t know the system he’ll get beaten soundly by them. I want him to play, I am not sure he’s going to be ready since its his second week and he’s never played this system.

    1. I think it’s even more fundamental– any confusion or second guessing b4 the snap will throw off the sync/coordination on the interior. Especially if they’re having trouble establishing the 1st contact and length of time to hold the block b4 next target in depth. A very closely synchronized series of blocks, with a time limit to get to next block assign.
      If the OG/C are being shoved back– pushed off line–not initiating the crash 1st, and losing the “torque” battle, then this won’t work.

    2. Exactly what I said would happen. Interior penetration would blow up the outside zone, so no surprises. Best case scenario is Tomlinson/Garnett blossom by years end. If they don’t, it will top the priority list in next years draft, and free agency….

      1. right about year’s end OL blossoming, if any…let’s get our rosary’s out and start the chant– just like those AM catholic stations in beantown…(yes, i’m catholic– do I have to tell a few catholic school jokes for confirmation?)

      2. Yep, that’s definitely what happened against the Panthers. Admittedly Short is one of the premier DTs in the NFL, but I don’t really see the current interior OL as good enough to make it work consistently. Maybe Tomlinson can help, but he did nothing at the Lions to make me think so.

              1. then I submit we’ll be seeing lots of fastballs, at least thru the next 4-5 games…Hyde’s gonna take a beating….
                but 1st– more frustration @ SEA when he tries big % of OZ plays again…I don’t think he’ll throttle of the OZ plays till he sees it fail again this week….and fail it will.

            1. Outside zone run pushes some of the pass rushing to the outside giving the QB a more comfortable pocket to work in.

              Outside zone run can stretch the field laterally which can stretch out that feared defensive “box”. Then you can have lanes open up inside. Which begs the question, “why not both?”

              What else does the outside zone run offer a Shannahan offense?

          1. Yep, switch it up to play to the team’s strengths/ mitigate their weaknesses. They have 6 year contracts to build the team in their image over time. Get the OL they need next year to run outside zone.

            1. I think this is exactly what happened in ATL in 2015…KS might have kept new OZ play count low- running stuff the line was more familiar with, not to mention Ryan’s comfort level…then, latter part of season KS runs OZ more often, till OZ is dominant run mix, hence the calls for KS’ head.

  12. This Ann Killion tweet went viral regarding the empty east seats at halftime at Levis.

    49ers have temperature issues: Is a fix in store at Levi’s Stadium?
    By Ann KillionSeptember 11, 2017 Updated: September 11, 2017 8:10pm

      1. whaddya think? 8th army Basra campaign surplus umbrella hats selling for $20 at gates? Sounds like a “Jed kind ‘o deal” to me…

    1. With a project as large and as visible as the design of Levis Stadium, there must a have been more than two design options considered–at least one of which would have accommodated direct sunlight issues–just guessing. Somewhere near the top of York ownership the design that we see today (the beached oil rig look) was approved–meaning decision makers were quite comfy with it. So, a few seasons in and a modification is being contemplated, and it won’t be inexpensive. Someone should have their head examined. These are the big leagues, get it right the first time.

      Would love to see renditions of the designs that fell away…

      1. Well Cassie Baalke,

        That Glass structure on the West Side does have the look of a mini-sky scraper,

        just the sort of look that makes the suits that whisked Harbaugh out of town feel warm and fuzzy, like being in the financial district in SF, and with all the accoutrements for your laptop.

        I’m working up a lather just thinking of those glass panels.

        1. Of course,

          The suits that designed the Levis, sky scraper look, don’t have to play in it.

          They didn’t even have to improve it for 3 + years, until Carolina came to town Sunday and invented that 2-pole awning that was placed over their bench, shading their players, and then that picture went viral, embarassing the Yorks into making a statement to improve the heated conditions at Levis.

      2. and since you mentioned beached oil rigs….wonder when Mr. Legend will deign to hold court for his OL improvements and stadium modifications?

  13. Is Armstead another possible position fit issue? I was watching on a pub TV and didn’t get the best look at line play.

    2015 – Armstead the rookie was raw, but he could forklift guards into quarterbacks faces on pass downs.

    2016 – Armstead was the terror of training camp before the shoulder injury. Even one armed he was one of the better inside pressure defenders according to PFF.

    Last Week – How did he do? Was it a mistake to slim him down from 293 to to 270, moving him outside?

    I’d rather have position redundancy (depth) with Armstead inside at 290+ than having him out of position. I’m not writing him off as an outside defender. Just noting what a big gamble it is. If the position move fails it really hurts his development.

    1. Armstead is playing out of position and he may yet thrive but that remains to be seen. If he moves back inside what does that mean about our 3rd pick this year?

      1. I’m patient with rookies. Naturally I’m hoping to see him get some pressures and sacks.

        I’m for leaving Armstead outside this season. Give it time. But if he fails to thrive, move him back to 290+ for 2018. He can be a part of rotational inside pass rush depth. Sadly, only two 3-techs can play at the same time on pass downs, but its better than wasted talent. If there’s one spot I don’t mind redundancy is pass rush (inside or outside)

        Armstead was redundant as soon as we went 4-3. Even before the Thomas pick.

        It was a weird draft. The “Move the Sticks” guys said only 6 of their top 20 were free of injury or off field concerns. Garrett was the best of the “Clean Six” but he was gone. Hows does Garrett, Buckner and Armstead (290+ inside) rushing the passer sound? Thomas was the 2nd best of the Clean six, though not the best need fit.

        Some of the teams that picked from the dirty dozen will get draft day steals. I won’t fret about it. Some will be injury/behavior busts too.

    1. that’ll mean weird color on uni’s- I’m not down with new 9ers jersey clone of Nebraska’s uni….they need to add that 3rd sleeve ring.

          1. they’ve made the stripes much wider, so only 2 of them, as NFL now keeps sleeve markings up high on pads, so many teams stripes have been compressed (GB, WAS, DET, CLE, etc.). I say change the 2 x 1″ stripes to 3 x 3/4″ stripes,

            1. Sorry, I meant the stripes down the legs used to be much wider, and I think the owner should make them all wear the white cleats, looks much better with those unis.

  14. More fun… “The San Francisco 49ers announced on Tuesday that they have signed defensive back Jarnor Jones to the team’s practice squad and released linebacker Ben Boulware.

    Jones (6-3, 209) was originally signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent on May 1, 2017 and later waived by the team on September 1.

    A 23-year-old native of Lithonia, GA, Jones attended Iowa State University for two seasons (2015-16) after previous stops at North Carolina State University (2012-13) and Georgia Military College (2014). With the Cyclones, he appeared in 24 games (11 starts) and registered 78 tackles, 11 passes defensed, three sacks and one interception.

    Boulware (6-1, 235) originally signed to the team’s practice squad on September 5, 2017.”

      1. Cassie, thanks but no worries. Btw, how’s your jerk of a Dad doing? Stop him from joining fantasy leagues. He’ll embarrass himself.

  15. I don’t thin Boulware had ‘quick hips’ so Seb phoned 49er HQ and file a complaint.

    49ers News 24/7‏

    #49ers fans stay patient & stay loyal. This is the 1st game with literally a brand new roster, coaching staff and GM. #Patience#BrickByBrick
    4:08 PM – 10 Sep 2017

    1. OL was weak in this past draft. I think they played it as best they could given the amount of holes to patch. Now at this ridiculously early juncture, you could make the case that Elfein should have been the pick over Witherspoon, but only time will tell….

      1. so they whiffed on Zuttah, and I’m thinking likewise with Fusco too.
        you’da thunk some big $$+trades might’ve been thrown at ATL’s line?
        could have happened, no deal…

        1. What makes you think anybody would have been willing to deal? And you are also forgetting that the entire OL had a question mark on it. Where should the 49ers have started: at LT where the team currently has an aging and declining player, at RT where the play has been average at best, at C where Kilgore has been up-and-down but always counted on to get injured at some point, or OG? Can you also tell me what you wanted the team to skip addressing in order to fulfill the desire of the impatient fan base: QB, WE, TE, or the front seven? I will wait for anybody to attempt to answer this, and I advise you not to include Kaepernick in your discussion because that will destroy any argument you have.

      2. All the money we have and they didn’t address OL in FA. Huge mistake on John Lynch part. Inexcusable!!!!

        Razor how don’t you think we will end the season 4-12?

  16. I don’t think Shanahan will throw the Outside Zone Scheme out with the bathwater after one game. And I still don’t think the O line is as bad as they looked. Let’s see what they do up at CenturyLink this Sunday. I look for 17 pts from the 49ers Offense. The problem in this game is our Defense. Wilson will toy with the front 7 on scrambles. If Saleh doesn’t bring Safeties and/or Corners, Wilson will shred the 49ers. The 49ers don’t have a D lineman or a LB who can get closer than three yards to Wilson on a scramble. That’s the bottom line on this game..

    1. Saleh did exactly what Andy Reid did to the patriots, rush 3-4, and make em’ beat your coverage. Very Fangio like. That was the plan, and it worked.

  17. Grant’s correct. Mistakes and lack of focus doomed the team rather than lack of talent. That’s what you get in a rebuilding process. Look for more. Have patience and be happy that we don’t have Kaep back there pretending to be more than just a mediocre NFL quarterback. If he were there Sunday, we “might” have lost 40-3. LOL! Sorry, just trying to lure Seb out of that rusted out, run down garden shed in the backyard where he’s holding his water pipe hostage. I have a hankering for some good, intelligent, well thought out game analysis. ;>) Of course, besides yours Grant.

  18. Grant,
    Thanks for taking the time to review the film and offer this analysis of the offensive run game. Insightful and telling.

    Where do they go from here with a plan and its players of which the two don’t jive?

    Evoke BW ….
    …..and flex the plan to match the field.

          1. The question that has been assumed away is if a better outside zone runner could function despite our OL’s short comings. The failure to score on 4th and 1 was a well designed play that Hyde just plain blew. I continue to agree that Hyde will be gone sooner rather than later. We need a more patient runner who can go with the flow not a slam bam type like Hyde.

            1. That was a terrible play to run. Had no chance of success Whine! Running either inside or outside that play was dead.

              Alongside of Garçon Hyde was the best offensive player on the field Sunday.

              1. Maybe not the best call but Hyde went inside and Kuechly tackled him instead of the man assigned to him. Looked to me that he could have beat the man assigned to him to the outside. Instead he just headed straight up field where there was help. The play had 4 receivers and 4 coverage personnel and Hyde gave the Panthers additional defenders when it was designed to try to get Hyde’s defender tied up in the maze or if that fails it should be one on one with Hyde either outrunning the defender or making him miss. Maybe a bad call but definitely poor execution.

              2. I think the play had no chance of success from the beginning. The Panthers had that one sniffed out all the way. Hyde goes outside and he gets caught up in traffic and tackled for a loss. Inside he saw a seam and tried to exploit it. Didn’t work out because the play had no chance to start.

              3. Why I don’t post here much. No matter what you say, someone will argue with you. The play is designed to work a certain way and your back just improvises because apparently it’s ok if the Panthers have it “sniffed out”. Interesting take on football fundamentals. BTW. Daryl Johnston said of the play when it was re- played if Hyde had gone outside he would have scored. Specifically he said: “…if he stays outside he’s in the endzone.” Watch the replay. The three other receivers were locked up on the defenders like they should have been and instead of running away from his defender, Hyde ran towards him. Go ahead and get the last word. You are arguing with a person who was at the game in person, played running back in the NFL for many years and understands how this fairly common play is designed to work in the real world.

              4. Not only was it a TD, it was an easy TD. Big difference between Hyde’s vision and say a back like Cook….

  19. A couple of takeaways from the game, Goodwin might turn out to be Ted Ginn, all that speed and can’t catch the long ball. Why in the Hell was Aaron Lynch not in this ball game? And the only problem I had with the 4th downs were that the short yardage ones were obvious running plays. Which is fine but he ran up the gut, up the freaking gut where our guys get no push one on one and the Panthers dead eye on the run. That was STUPID. And it happened twice. Hyde didn’t stand a chance. Oh and the 3rd dumbest play of the afternoon, that stupid Hoyer pick. The tv guys talked Luke up like he did a great job. Hoyer threw him the Da## ball. I bet Luke felt like Keyshawn Johnson. It was disgusting.

  20. A huge question to answer this year will be if Joshua Garnett will be a serviceable guard or is he a bust in this system. Any word on when he might return?

    Also, does anybody with PFF have a grade for Bow’s performance on Sunday? I am curious. He looked like he was moving well, but I did not see much burst.

    One of the disappointing takes from Sunday’s game was the inability to get a pass rush. I’m not talking about speed edge rushing, I mean the big bodies collapsing the pocket. I have watched the game twice and did not see much movement and although the Panthers have a decent line it aint all pro.

    1. Ops, did not realize that Garnett was on season ending injured reserve. Sorry for him, but equally sorry we will not know the answer for another year. My fear is that he will not fit the outside zone scheme that Shanahan favors.

  21. *facepalm*
    Once again there is way too much whining from the fans about the the state of the team after one game. What part of the 49ers need to rebuild which will take time do you guys not get?!

  22. IMO the guard postion needs to be addressed , from what I’ve learned it took KS a little time to get the line needed in 2 places,not just Atlanta , but wash. Just throwing this out there . It takes about a year or 2 ,to get it implemented , the right player in the right position . We cannot set the bar as high. He has to replace the hole offence . Oh yeah the hole defense too . I’m thinking KS and JL , built this team with no Superstars on it so they could get it right , knowing how hard it is when you do have one or 2 that question what your trying to do .The only star players that will be on this team will be the ones they draft / were stars with him before. My thinking might be out of the box so to speak . But it is easier when you have avg players trying there best . The install gets a little easier. Maybe trying to do it the same way as in ATL , and he had something to work with there to start with . Now for all that talk about ks ,on them 4 th and whatever . Grant gave me this answer ( thanks grant ) We can all agree that the inside zone was working . Right ? Well if he makes one or two of them. Does it wear there great Dts down . Does it bring that strong safety up closer .does it mean his offense is out there trying to win , I believe the answer is yes . Your first year as a coach . Most of your team is young, or this year’s draft . Yeah take the shot at it . Give your team the thought that you believe in them . And your trying just as hard as they are . They have to believe in what they are doing ,and that’s how a young coach does it . Believe there was a guy that coached in Dallas ,jj . That did something very similar . If memory serves me correctly ,he went 1 -15 his first rebuilding year. No Superstars ( that came later) but a bunch of draft picks . So yeah ,gut check ,how far along are we . Ok we need more coaching , and I need a couple more players . Now adjust . What did we do well . What needs my attention , what players need help,and finally we get a win . I’ve only started to learn this computer , 4 months ,and learning how to participate on it is new ,I’m older and never thought of myself as a new guy on the block ,but here I am , trying this ,and learning a new system . Wonder if the team I love is dealing with the same thing . Are we learning . I think so . now we see if KS is. Got this feeling we going to have a good idea by the half way mark . Rome was not built in a day , and no Caesar ,no president ,ever made that leap in a day . So I guess patience is the word . Because without failure ,there is no success . We all know this . It’s life.

  23. I guess I’m seeing what he’s trying to do ,kinda . I hope . Sorry if I bore any of you . Oh yeah one quick note ,like the practice squad addition at CB , any thoughts on him , anyone got the dirt on him.

  24. This game shows that coaches like harbaugh don’t come around very often and when Yorks fired him they made a colossal mistake. Shanahan does not look like he will be a great coach. Jury is out on Lynch?
    Looks like another 4 years of 3-13 seasons

  25. We really need 1/4 if the season to see shat we have. Wait for the Game 4 post game press conference. At game 4, you can’t keep saying ” we have to see the film”. If the 9ers we see in game 1 are still there at 4….this is what we got, At that point finger pointing ensues. At that point, Hyde starts missing games as he prepares his IR exit strategy. At that point fans will scream to see CJ Beathard. At that point there will start to be many more references to Shanny’s Super Bowl debacle. At that point thete will be many more references to JL’s inexperience. At that point empty seats on the Fry’s Electronics side of the field will be empty. Fans will scream to hear from the Dough Boy (Jed). We can all assess his MPB at that point.

    It’s the classic 9ers playbook of last 3 years. We know it well.

    And so it goes.

    Game 4 folks. Until then, enjoy the flight….

    1. Releasing Theus is another of the niners stupid moves…Who will be the replacement for the replacement ? He is (was) a solid OLineman, and unless we’ve found a way to Clone Joe Staley…Theus was our best bet…two years of development, only to go to another team…tell me how this is smart….?

      1. I suspect they know Theus’ll be hanging out in s.bay with his iPhone handy…
        on call…in case the Williams Jr. project flounders a bit….

        1. Maybe the plan of moving Brown to LT when Staley is done, and inserting Williams Jr. at RT will come to fruition. Then you draft Clemson’s OG Crowder in the 2nd, and Arkansas’ C Ragnow in the 3rd. Voila, you’ve got a line that can grow together, and has a chance to become very good….

  26. Grant,

    Any way you can interview Kyle before he boards that jet to Seattle and suggest the inside zone with this as your starting 5 ?

    1. LT—Staley
    2. LG–Tomlinson
    3. C—-Magnuson
    4. RG–Kilgore
    5. RT—Brown

    I’ve suggested this lineup since Monday and stated during camp that if Kyle was to sacrifice his run game for more power, or as you stated (“inside zone as your FB and outside zone as your changeup”).

    I stated I believe he’d have to sacrifice the outside zone until next year when he can acquire O-Linemen for his system……Can’t fix everything in one year.

    Grant Cohn says:
    September 12, 2017 at 8:29 pm
    Thanks. Shanahan should embrace the inside zone. It was successful against Carolina.

  27. “University of Miami LB Sean Spence didn’t measure out well at the 2012 NFL Combine. His stats there paint a picture of a training camp body, not a third-round selection, where the Steelers took Spence in the 2012 NFL Draft.

    It makes me feel like I shouldn’t have played football. I should have just worked on the [NFL] combine and been a workout warrior.”

    Reports indicate Spence plays much faster than his 4.71 40-time indicates. Standing 5-foot-11 and weighing in at 231 pounds”….

    He finished his career with the Hurricanes as their all-time leader in tackles-for-loss, and developed a reputation as a voracious viewer of film. He rarely makes false steps as a result of that diligent film work, and appears to prepare himself well.


  28. Prospect profile: Donald Butler, ILB, Washington

    “Athletic ability: Is very athletic….Flashes athleticism to reach in front of the receiver to break up the pass or cut in front of the receiver to try for an interception. Accelerates to full speed in a flash and has the speed to chase down backs in pursuit”…

    “Against the inside run: Reads and reacts quickly to the inside run. Fills the hole to take on the blocker strong at the line. Can shed and make tackles in the hole. Is so quick to fill at times that he gets into the backfield before the blocker can get to him; blows up the play in the hole.”

    If a lineman locks up on him, he struggles to get free in time to make plays. Does a good job of reading run, can sift through traffic and has a good burst to the ballcarrier to finish tackles.

    Has the speed and burst to make tackles on outside runs before the ballcarrier can turn the corner.

    Blitz/coverage: Combines athleticism and intelligence to be productive in coverage. Is quick, smooth and fluid on pass drops. Reads the QB well, closes very quickly and can get in front of receivers to break up passes. Can flip hips (included this so Seb doesn’t complain to the F/O……Apparently last call he accidentally dialed Joan, in payroll and gave her an ear full before realizing she wasn’t a coach).

    Bottom line: Butler is a tough, instinctive, highly productive defender who is consistently around the ball making plays. Though he lacks ideal height, he is strong at the point of attack in taking on lead blockers. Butler is very consistent and makes plays all over the field. He really shined at the Senior Bowl, where he was clearly the best linebacker.

  29. Matt Maiocco‏Verified account @MaioccoNBCS 1h1 hour ago

    The #49ers worked out two LBs yesterday. Donald Spence already signed with Colts, and Donald Butler is not signing w/ #49ers, a source said.

  30. Tomlinson in consideration to take over in 49ers’ starting lineup
    By Matt Maiocco September 13, 2017 7:29 AM

    Guard Laken Tomlinson, whom the 49ers acquired in a trade two weeks ago, will get a long look this week in practice as the team prepares to face the Seattle Seahawks.

    “It’s pretty simple,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “What it comes down to (is) who we think at the time gives us the best chance to win.

    Current 49ers personnel executive Martin Mayhew, formerly the Lions general manager, was responsible for Tomlinson’s selection at No. 28 overall.

    Tomlinson is picking up the 49ers’ system quickly, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area, and it is apparent he has played in the NFL and understands what the team requires of its linemen. However, he has never before played in an offensive system similar to what the 49ers deploy.


    1. Excerpt from Razor’s articele:

      “I’ve been to Levi’s Stadium twice; I happened to move cross-country just weeks after the Niners lost in that wild NFC Championship against the Seahawks. I flew home for the first regular season home game against the Bears. It was a somewhat unremarkable game, other than Colin Kaepernick pi$$ing away the lead throughout the fourth quarter.”

      The 49ers spent $1.3 billion to build the new stadium and, incredibly, seem not to have thought to, among other things, assess just how hot it would be on the East side of the stadium during day games

      1. try using “wrangle’ instead of “poach” in these never ending requests for DAL OG’s….do their OG’s– any of them, mind you– seem a good fit for OZ scheme?
        how about their possible proficiency at the IZ scheme??

        1. Poach seems like an appropriate term, and I mention Dallas because they seem to have a very good O line, so maybe their backups are good, too.

          1. Dallas OL backups– good for what run scheme?
            and wrangle is a much better match to the cowboy meme then poach…memetically-speaking… of course…

  31. Thx, George—A little more on Lee:

    Raiders 2017 NFL draft profile: LB Elijah Lee

    –As one of the top defenders in the Big 12 last season, Lee has proven athleticism and versatility

    –Lee recorded 110 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two interceptions and three passes defensed last season en route to First Team All-Big 12 honors. He then capped off his 2016 campaign with a game-high 12 tackles in Kansas State’s victory over Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl.

    Lee is a little light for a linebacker and is likely best suited in a box safety/LB role.


  32. I’m going to make one last post both because there is a real misunderstanding over why I checked out yesterday and because I feel I owe the regulars I’ve conversed with here for years more than a one sentence goodbye.

    This is the culmination of a long run of poor observations Grant has made over the course of this offseason. Back when Shanahan was hired and a number of his former players were signed, Grant criticized it. A short time after that he completely changed his mind and decided that they signed these guys because they wanted to win now and went all in on that. This resulted in a prediction of a 9 win season and a belief this was a better team than people thought.

    I have been here a long time, argued with Grant extensively and know his style pretty well now. So much so, that I knew back when he was first pushing this narrative that when he was ultimately proven wrong, instead of admitting he had misjudged things from the beginning and didn’t have a very good read on the team, he would instead start a new tactic of blaming other factors like Coaching to deflect from the fact he just simply misread the situation. I said back then he would do this and sure enough after game one where they lost to a better team, the analysis is that it’s the fault of the Coaching staff because the team was unprepared and undisciplined and the only reason they lost was because of self inflicted mistakes. Nothing about the fact the Niners were less talented and playing a more experienced team. It’s simply that Shanahan didn’t prepare his team and thus players made mistakes and cost them the game.

    Anyone who has been involved with this game in any capacity knows that football players make mistakes. It doesn’t matter what team, what Coach, what system, players make mistakes. The Panthers made numerous mistakes of their own including missing wide open receivers for TD’s and fumbling on their side of the field. All teams take penalties, blow coverages, turn the ball over. This is not something exclusive to the 49ers. On a previous thread I gave examples of how the Patriots blew coverages for TD’s against the Chiefs and the Steelers took 13 penalties against the Browns. Is anyone seriously going to try and suggest those teams were unprepared and undisciplined? The reason I reacted the way I did to Grant’s theory is because it’s disingenuous. This was game one for a new HC and a completely revamped roster learning new systems on both sides of the ball. When you compare their mistakes to more established teams around the league, they were no worse and in some cases better than those teams. They made mistakes, the Panthers capitalized and they lost the game. That’s football, but it is not an indication that the players were unprepared and undisciplined. That is simply the story Grant is going to put out every time they lose to keep from admitting that he was way off on his analysis of the team from the beginning. I’m not going to waste time reading him spin that story every time they lose. It’s not worth it for me to keep arguing the same points every week, so I’m going to stop it now.

    I appreciate the long time contributors here, and thank those of you who said nice things here yesterday and even those who didn’t and will still read your thoughts when I can, but I it’s become very apparent to me that I’m not enjoying being here anymore and don’t respect the ideas and narrative being pushed by the Blog’s operator. Rather than continuing to argue and waste everybody’s time with the same stuff over and over, I’m going to walk away and let it go.

    Take care.

      1. Grant gets busted for arguing on this board. This place is an argument waiting to happen 24/7. Unbelievable. The only thing I have to say about his particular topic is that it is interesting to me that Grant changed from saying Hyde was not suited to the outside scheme to now it is the OLs fault. I continue to agree that Hyde is not suited to this system and is a short-timer and am not sure that I am ready to buy into changing the scheme just for Hyde. He has been hot and cold and injury prone throughout his tenure here and we have been able to run successfully even recently without him. Having said that, I will add that if Grant’s post of the day were nothing more than “OK Let’s get it on” arguments based solely on uninformed opinions would ensue on random topics.

        1. expect Hyde to get pummeled if IZ is predominant in SEA, and if IZ ends up majority of next 3-4 games…Hyde might break again….is Du Juan Harris on speed dial??

    1. Will miss you my friend, let us know if you end up at a new sight, would like to keep in touch. Enjoyed your points and views!

  33. One game and you come to the conclusion that KS “looks like he won’t be a great coach”? With all due respect Hawki, unbelievable! That statement doesn’t even rise to the level of idiotic. Come on! It’s the first game of a major rebuild. The first game! Really? 37 new players on the roster. What did you expect? The second coming of the 1989 Forty Niners? I honestly cannot believe the impatience and pure unadulterated fantasy coming from some fans. Take a deep breath, relax, smoke’em if you got’em, and give the team some time to gel. Jeesh! Rome wasn’t built in a day!! If your that down and out after one game, your in for a whole lotta grief!

  34. Rocket, please reconsider. You always bring an educated opinion to the site. Remember, everybody, even Grant, is just throwing their opinion out there, and you know what they say about opinions! We agree, we disagree, we tease, we occasionally go overboard, but it’s really all in just good fun. You will be missed, and that’s not necessary. Remember, were all just fans, which is short for fanatics! Stick around!

  35. I will miss Rocket, even though he disagreed with me a lot, and we had a pre draft kerfluffle. He was a worthy opponent. ;p
    At least he could frame an argument and defend his position with facts. I thought he enhanced this site, and he will be missed. That said, I also think we need new blood.
    Yes, arguing is tedious, especially if you do not respect the adversary. His take on Grant was a little over the top, but that is his opinion, and maybe he will find another place to be able to post with like minded individuals. I come here just to gain new perspectives, and counter arguments are more interesting than just continual agreement.
    Back to football.
    I started the preseason, thinking the Niners could go 8-8, since Lynch brought in so many FAs and hit a grand slam in the draft, and KS is an excellent coach. Compared to the last 2 seasons, this coaching staff is a huge upgrade, especially with no Brown’s DCs and DJ QB coaches. I expected the Niners would start out poorly with such a difficult first 6 games. I also expect this group to improve, and maybe even be competitive, if they can avoid injuries. This Seahawk game was never penciled in as a win. I just hope the Niners can take advantage of their weak O line.
    KS is young, and will make mistakes. Maybe he needs to spend less time studying film and more time devising schemes and strategies. The good thing is that reducing the unforced errors is an easy fix. and the team will learn, grow and sync up as the schedule gets easier. Hope he gets an OC, and everyone knows how I would improve the QB situation. I wish Hoyer well, but just think that he will pull a Gabbert.
    It really does not matter too much if it is an inside or outside, if the O line does not improve. They should cut ties with another Baalke player by trading away Beadles.

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