49ers line coach Solari a man of common reality and uncommon results

Here is my Friday column on Mike Solari.

SANTA CLARA – You need to know about the 49ers’ offensive line coach, Mike Solari.

You may not even have heard of him or seen his face – the 49ers’ position coaches don’t get much pub under Jim Harbaugh, rarely talk to the media. But if you’ve studied the sideline during a game and seen a coach with a thick, full gray beard, a coach who looks like the Dos Equis man – the world’s most interesting man – that’s Solari.

Solari may be the best offensive line coach in the NFL, may even be the best coach on the 49ers’ staff, an exceptional staff. Solari’s track record is beyond belief:

From 1987 to ’88, Solari was the Cowboys’ assistant offensive line coach and assistant special teams coach under Hall-of-Fame head coach Tom Landry. From ’90 to ’91, Solari was an assistant coach for Hall of Fame college coach Gene Stallings at the University of Alabama. And from ’92 to ’96, Solari worked with legendary 49ers offensive line coach, Bobb McKittrick. Remember McKittrick because I’m coming back to him.

Solari is a Bay Area guy – he grew up in Daly City – and a normal guy, like offensive linemen tend to be. Here’s what I mean.

I meet Solari outside the 49ers’ locker room at 4:30 on Tuesday after the 49ers finish a walk-through. I walk over to him to introduce myself, but he beats me to it, extends his arm and asks me what my name is.

He suggests an empty office for the interview. He even asks the first question: “How long have you been in the Bay Area?”

I tell him I’ve lived here my whole life, except the four years I spent at UCLA. Solari gets excited.

“I went to El Camino High School, then I went to the College of San Mateo,” he says, “then San Diego State. I went down to Southern California like you.”

Solari shares the same reality as you and me, and makes that clear up front. That’s what offensive linemen are like. Joe Staley is like that and Mike Iupati is like that and Jonathan Goodwin is like that. Regular people. People who would lend you a jumper cable. Trust me, wide receivers and quarterbacks are not like that. They’re stingy with their jumper cables. They don’t even have jumper cables.

“Growing up in Daly City, the San Francisco 49ers represented an outstanding football team,” Solari says as we sit down in an office. “Those days, it was John Brodie and Gene Washington and Cedrick Hardman and Tommy Hart.”

Solari is the only 49ers coach who has worked with Jim Harbaugh and George Seifert and Bill Walsh – Seifert was the head coach during Solari’s first stint with the Niners, and Walsh became a consultant in ’96. Solari is the embodiment of the 49ers’ tradition.

Solari was the tight ends coach and assistant to McKittrick, who was Bill Walsh’s run game coordinator in the ’80s and one of the greatest 49ers ever. “He was a tremendous technician and a great guy to learn from and to watch work,” Solari says. “Bobb always said that leverage was so much more important than weight in being able to win with fundamentals and technique. It’s something I carried on and emphasized throughout my coaching career. It’s carried over here with Jim and the coaching staff. We’re looking for big, athletic offensive linemen. Guys that can move in space. Guys that can pull and make adjustments in space. Hard to find, but that’s what we’re looking for, that athleticism.”

Think Mike Iupati – a 6-foot-5, 331-pound battering ram. A wonderful freak.

“Some things have changed,” Solari says. “You’re looking for bigger offensive linemen than the days with Bobb. The defensive linemen have gotten so much bigger, you have to keep up with the mass, the size. You need big people. You win with the big people. You have to hold up on the line of scrimmage to win.”

“Have the rules changed?” I ask Solari.

“There is much, much more leniency with your hands,” he says. “You can use them more in grabbing and holding. Before, you had to have your hands inside and it was more about leverage.”

These days, it is more about pushing and pulling – not a McKittrick tactic. Solari had to adapt to changing times. Linemen have gotten so enormous they can’t bend like linemen could in McKittrick’s days. The 49ers’ current right guard, Alex Boone, is 6-foot-7 and 300 pounds for crying out loud. Randy Cross was 6-foot-3 and 265 pounds in 1985.

Solari has become the McKittrick figure on the 49ers’ current coaching staff, the veteran position coach who shares his knowledge with younger assistants. Solari shares his job with Tim Drevno, a newcomer to the NFL – this is his third season. They are co-offensive line coaches.

“It’s great,” says Solari, “You could be emphasizing something with the older players and I’ll break off, and Tim will take the younger guys with him separately. So, it’s tremendous teaching and great reinforcement. We break up the group quite a bit so you’re getting more reps, better teaching, better feedback because you have two coaches watching and implementing. It’s a better teaching environment and a better developmental environment for the younger guys.”

I’m out of questions so I stand up and thank Solari for his time.

“Nice to meet you,” he says.

“Nice to meet you, too.”

And it was.

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.

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  1. Nice interview Grant.

    “Those days, it was John Brodie and Gene Washington and Cedrick Hardman and Tommy Hart.” For us old guys those names bring back fond memories.

    1. Undercenter there are so many 9er fans who think 9er history begins in 1981, its kinda sad. Those years in the early 70′s were fun and as much as i love the 9ers from 81 on my favorites will always be from the late 50′s to the early 70′s.

      1. I remember fondly the night the Gold Rush (Cedric Hardman, Jimmy Webb, Cleveland Elam and Tommy Hart) absolutely destroyed the Rams O line. They had the Rams QB screaming at his own players.

      2. Old Coach,

        My first season was in 1954 , loved Kezar… Just old guys remembering when football was a full contact sport. Would go to the Redwood City Rec center and watch them practice. Have many autographed hats/shirts/jerseys from the 50s/60s/70s/80s…Great times!

      3. Hacksaw you made my day cause now i know there is at least one person here older than i am. maybe i ought to challenge you to a race

      4. Come on you guys are missing the 60′s, when working class, blue collar fans could sit in the end zone seats for $10 bucks and throw beer bottles at the Niners leaving the field. They needed the Oline just to get off the field. Had to keep their helmets on. Yeah they sucked, but they were our team.

      5. Count me in with the old fart brigade,my father used to install my brother and I at Kesar and go have a few pops across the street with my uncle Harry before the game.No worries got YA and RC ‘s autographs.Nice article Grant!

    2. I agree, great article Grant. You sometimes forget how long some of these Coaches have been around and who their influences were. This Oline is nothing like the ones McKittrick had in size or style but it’s interesting to read how Solari incorporates lessons learned in that era when teaching his current players. He’s got a good resume for sure including his time in KC a decade ago where they were routinely among the best rushing offenses in the league. Niners do have some really great position Coaches without a doubt.

      1. Old coach ,
        I can certainly remember being quick but thats as far as it goes these days. How about just being the guys who carry the torch from the golden days for these young fans. At least there are a few of us who saw this game played as it was ment to be played!

  2. The poll needs to allow multiple picks because for me it’s a tie between Tomsula and Rathman.

  3. Wow Denver lost?
    Now everyone has a chance in the AFC,
    NE, CINCY, Heck even KC has a chance now that they’re playing as a complete team with better offense.
    Even in the NFC, it’s not crazy to think Philly can have enough offense to give Seattle problems. They put up 27 in a blizzard!

    1. IMO I think the Eagles have the best chance of all teams to beat the Hawks on the Hawks home field. Reason – play calling, one word is all that is needed to call their plays, and I feel that it helps to neutralize the noise that the 12th man brings.

      1. Never thought of that. Perhaps that’s why Bellichik spent time with Kelly when he was at Oregon. I posted a couple of weeks ago that no one wants to face Phillie in the playoffs. I am not a football brain but would not want to try to catch up with limited time as to what they might come up with. Lots of variables.

      2. Nick Foles is playing at a very high level. He’s only thrown one pick. They can run the ball with Shady McCoy, and Desean Jackson is a threat. Chip Kelley knows how to play in the NorthWest. It’s all about match-ups. I think the Niners match up better with the Eagles though.
        Really — it’s a broken record now, it all depends on how Colin plays. If they can be diverse and run a true balanced offense, the Niners can play with anyone. But if he stinks up the joint, the Niners D can only keep them in the game for a half.
        And we have no special teams big play threat, although Dawson has been clutch.

      3. You forgot to mention Riley Cooper who is having a great season after dealing with a tumultuous off-season of his own making.

  4. Grant, this is my favorite of your columns thus far. Thanks. I love this line, which is worthy of becoming a classic:
    “Trust me, wide receivers and quarterbacks are not like that. They’re stingy with their jumper cables. They don’t even have jumper cables.”

    1. Yeah that was hilarious but so true. I couldn’t even picture Kap or Crabs ever pulling over to help an average Joe on the side of the road, but I defeinately could picture Joe or Alex….pretty sad actually. I guess it has a lot to do with the celebrity that comes with the position.

      1. Actually a couple of years ago, Tony Romo helped out a motorist, I can’t see Crabs or Kaep doing that as well.

    2. “Trust me, wide receivers and quarterbacks are not like that. They’re stingy with their jumper cables. They don’t even have jumper cables.”

      That’s you dad’s style 100 percent…

  5. Grant i really enjoyed this article. I did’nt sense a bit of anger or resentment, keep it up you’re to young to be cranky like me or your old man.

    1. Bay – Bolts will beat Raidas and K.C. at home to go 9-7. They need some help to get to post season. Bolts are superior to K.C. at this time.

    2. Thanks. I don’t think SF’s #3 is far-fetched. Seattle is somewhat lucky to be 11-2, and we could be 11-2 if it were not for overly conservative play calling and a bad call in New Orleans. We play offense with one hand tied behind our back.

  6. Good poll Grant…Many good choices here. I voted for Tomsula (D-line is consistently great) but Donatell is doin a hell of a job with the secondary.

    1. gotta agree. It seems like we get these nobodies (UDFA, 6th-7th rounders, FA) and turn them into contributing memebers of the defense and potentially starter worthy (i.e. ian williams, jerod-eddie, RJF, etc). A lot of that has to be contributed to coaching.

  7. See what you can do Grant when you approach your job with humility instead of being confrontational? I viewed the Solari hiring by Harbaugh as more evidence that his ego did not need to be stroked. Unlike other leaders, he is not afraid to surround himself with football minds greater than his own. You should interview Wrathman next…..

    1. I think Solari was actually hired by singelterry before he left….but Harbaugh decided to keep him….just like Tomsula

      1. As I recall, it was York the Younger who kept Tomsula on the team for his performance in the last game of the season. Just sayin.

      2. Hacksaw it was Jed and i can remember certain writers ripping him for it, saying it was just the first step in him becoming an interfering kind of owner.

      3. Nah. It was more like the Colonel giving the Old Sergeant Major credit for background work. Loyalty; there was a touch of Eddie in that move.

      1. Yes, Ira Miller and Art Spander were some of my favorite reads back in the old SF Sporting Green section.
        Dickey pushed the envelop, but I liked him as well because he brought an edginess to the table. But he may not have been to popular with the players.

      2. It was Dickey. I severely disliked the guy. He always wrote negative pieces about Montana. Being that Montana was my childhood idol, that meant I hated Dickey lol.

      3. I think the story that broke the camels back was a piece on the impending birth of one of Joe’s children. Dickey agressivley criticized Joe about not planning his childrens birth around the season and how Joe was playing badly because he was worried about his wife who was having complications.
        Dickey’s take was when a team pays you as much as Joe was payed they had the right to be involved in choosing your childs birth date and you wonder why these players have such disdain for the media.

      4. Glenn wrote a piece in ’81 when the Niners had lost a couple early in the season that it was becoming clear that Walsh wasn’t going to work out as a coach. That’s when I began to skip his columns.

      1. Could’ve been worse if his name was Peter or Richard rather Glen……Imagine the crap Andy Dick must have took when he was a kid?

  8. “Solari shares the same reality as you and me, and makes that clear up front. That’s what offensive linemen are like. Joe Staley is like that and Mike Iupati is like that and Jonathan Goodwin is like that. Regular people. People who would lend you a jumper cable. Trust me, wide receivers and quarterbacks are not like that. They’re stingy with their jumper cables. They don’t even have jumper cables.”

    Great article. The above is perhaps the best paragraph you have written.

    1. I agree that you wrote a terrific article on Coach Solari and by far the best paragraph was the one with the mention of jumper cables and who’d lend you a set. . If it wasn’t the best paragraph of your young career it was damn well up there. Well done Grant!

  9. “Regular people. People who would lend you a jumper cable. Trust me, wide receivers and quarterbacks are not like that. They’re stingy with their jumper cables. They don’t even have jumper cables.”
    This statement couldn’t be more true. You don’t get prima donnas on the offensive line. Guys who think they’re the shhh.

  10. From MM “Screens don’t fit as part of 49ers’ power game”

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/49ers/screens-dont-fit-part-49ers-power-game

    No surprises here. The O line is massive. The glowing training camp reports about CK’s improving short passing touch have yet to show up.

    Another thing I rarely see is passes to backs. Gore doesn’t have the best catch radius, but still… it would be nice to sneak a back past one of those 9-man fronts and toss a pass to him. The video on Lattimore shows natural receiving skills.

    As I recall BW didn’t call alot of screen passes. Screens either work or blow up completely. Walsh liked to give Montana options on every play.

  11. excellent piece and a great line about the jumper cables, Grant, definitely made me LOL. I wish the line – and the offense – had a bit more diversity, but the strategy to go this way seems to be working pretty well (touch wood).

  12. Regular people. People who would lend you a jumper cable. Trust me, wide receivers and quarterbacks are not like that. They’re stingy with their jumper cables. They don’t even have jumper cables.

    I’m calling b/s. We know Alex Smith would lend you his jumper cables. Hell, Alex Smith would lend you his car.

    I think Grant is taking a passive aggressive shot at Kaepernick.

    1. I don’t have jumper cables either. But that’s because of an incident with sparks when I was 16 and I’ve been paranoid about blowing up the car for the past 20 years.

      Not sure Grant was taking a shot this time. And thank you AAA for always being there.

  13. Excellent article and a great poll question as well. Thanks for sharing your interview of Solari with us.

  14. Grant,
    I didn’t know that Montana had a beef with your pop.

    “Aug. 16: Since leading the 49ers to the NFL title five seasons ago, Joe Montana has generally been treated like a conquering hero in the Bay Area press. Montana however thinks he and the team have been treated unfairly. In an advance copy of his soon-to-be-published book, “Audibles – My Life in Football,” Montana knocks several writers, specifically: Chronicle columnist Glenn Dickey – “A hit-and-run artist. He hits and hides like a phantom.”

    Grant, he also posted something about about your pop. Didn’t know that Montana and your pop had beef.

    1. Bay:

      You left out the money quote:

      Chronicle columnist Lowell Cohn – “a master of the low blow. … I have no respect for a person like Cohn, who enjoys kicking us when we are down and does it for a living.”

      1. I hope not, but it doesn’t help that it appears just below my jumper cable comment, which has great potential to be misunderstood.

      2. I believe that Joe has probably buried the hatchet with any writer he had problems with in the day. If you have met Joe away from football you would know he is truely a good person with a great family.

      3. Razor i’m with you i thought it was Haley but recently i’ve heard it was another player. Lets just blame Chilo Rachal

      4. Razor, old coach:

        Pouring paint wasn’t what Charles Haley did to cars. Ask Tim Harris.

        Jack:

        Funny how things can change after almost 30 years.

        Yeah, nobody knows how to hold a grudge these days. It’s a damn shame.

  15. Great article Grant. I think your best work is the are the articles that come out of your one on one interviews with players and coaches. These pieces really let your voice shine through in a positive way. Nice job.

    Tough poll question to answer. I had a hard time choosing between Solari, Rathman, and Tomsula. The 9ers obviously have a great staff to go with the great collection of talented players.

  16. Grant,

    Did you ask Solari if he had a hand in changing the pre-snap motion or the blocking scheme for the 97 G-Rub play? I was curious to find out if Solari has any run game coordination duties as Bobb McKittrick did way back when.

  17. Amazing that many of you are reliving and praising Solari and his connection to the olden day 49ers with his relationship with McKitrick when earlier this season posters were criticizing Solari for the lack of ability to get the o-line to open holes for Gore.

  18. Grant; reality nice story.
    Next time you see him remind him of Jimmy Johnson, and Ken Willard; two great 49ers of that era.

  19. Good one, Grant. Well written and brought an important character to light. I’d seen him on the sideline but didn’t know who was who. His resume is intriguing. Also explained the two coach approach on the OL.
    When Harbaugh was first hired I recall a few media types saying that he had a reputation for assembling a good staff.
    When you call Bobb McKittrick one of the greatest 49ers ever, I couldn’t agree more.

    1. Good read Jack, but I would replace your 5th question with this:
      Can Gore keep the momentum from up against Seattle going?
      The Bucs enter the game with the 8th ranked run defense in the league so it could be tough sledding for Gore in this one. The Niners want a balanced offense, but if Gore gets stifled, then the Niners will have to count on their passing game in order to win (which sans the Packers game hasn’t really been a great position for Kaep or the team this season).

  20. Good read, Jack … but..
    I’m guessing the Niners will
    score 28-31 points in this one ..

    All the Kaep nay-sayers won’t have
    anything to gripe about !!

    Thanx again guys for the gravatar info !

  21. Leo,
    Isn’t that why people buy their own jumper cables or have car insurance?
    So now some here want to create a scenario in which CK and Crabtree would not lend someone jumper cables? smh.
    Gee, it looks like some guys on our team just can’t do anything right, even someone’s imaginary world (lol).

    1. Don’t you think Grant was just making a conversational point with the jumper cables thing? I do. So for me the loterary device was fine, although no one wants to be portrayed as the bad guy.
      Now even on 1st read I kinda disagreed about CK not stopping; if it says KNBR on the van or has plates that read “CohnZone”, he might blow on bye, but otherwise when outside the limelight I’d guess he’s as ordinary as the rest of us.
      I did find it interesting that Crabs was the other one chosen to be aloof. I see both Michael and Colin as having a bit of personal shyness which typically gets interpreted as arrogance. I see this syndrome with people outside of the public spotlight also.

      1. * literary device. (duh)
        PS: for the record, Joe admitted that Jennifer was always on him for his road rage when people cut him off in traffic, so maybe his car manners were suspect.

      2. Tuna, you make a great point since we typically judge people base on our interactions without considering their personality profile. I wonder how many people have been educated on the DISC profile and how to interact with D, I, S or C personalities. This is a proven science.

      3. Brotha,
        What started as a nice/warm interview with coach Solari became a subtle negative on CK and Crabtree. Can someone tell me why Grant felt it amusing to drop CK’ and MC’ names in an article that had absolutely nothing to do with them?
        I wrote about media manipulation earlier in the week and this validates my post.

        Is it any wonder why CK and even Crab’s would rather avoid the press/media if given the chance?

      4. “Can someone tell me why Grant felt it amusing to drop CK’ and MC’ names in an article that had absolutely nothing to do with them?”

        Because the are the QB and WR.

      5. They are not exactly media friendly Jack. Although Boldin is, along with VD, who is like a wide receiver. Hey but Alex Smith has cables.

      6. I read in the post”Trust me, wide receivers and QBs are not like that. They are stingy with their jumper cables. They don’t even have jumper cables”
        Why do you think they are CK and MC and not some other WR and QB?

      1. Yikes. I have to root for the Jets and the Giants? I’d bet that Coughlin has enough grit to not quit and try to get a win, I’m just not sure about his team.

      2. Tuna, Giants is not going to just fold in this game and the weather is also a factor since they are expecting snow (50% chance and 27 degrees)!!! If the Giants defense can stop the running game and provide Eli a good field position then you never know.

    1. Midwest, this tampa game is going to be a tough game for us. Tampa has the ability to play very aggressive defense and if we do not show up to play a complete game the risk of losing is there. I hope Colin has a good game and we can find a consistent rhythm on the offense. Go Niners

    1. Limited practice and a questionable status suggest to me that he will be held out of this game with the intent of having him fully ready the following week.

  22. I am still a believer we can win the division, especially if the Refs, call the holdings plays on the corners, but I also believe the 9ers will can beat the Seacheats in Seattle, that would even be better.

    1. Neal, if the refs start calling even half of the mugging and holding, the Pete cheats defense will not be able to continue to play the way they have been playing this season.

  23. Chicago

    I am taking the Giants on this, this team still has pride, and I believe the Refs will call the holdings all day long, this will be a long game for the Hawks

    1. Neal, I picked the Giants with 7 points in my football pool. Fingers crossed. I would hope it snows so Russell Wilson is forced to stay in the pocket.

  24. Chicago ..

    I never did like Eli .. so ..
    for me to root for the Giants, this week, has me
    with mixed emotions ..

    Ya know … it’s like watching your
    mother-in-law .. driving over Devil’s Slide ..
    … in your brand new Cadillac

  25. The 49ers are a good football team this year, but to be a Super Bowl contender, Greg Roman really has to pull out all the stops in his preparation for Seattle in Seattle. It’s pretty clear the 49ers, provided they make the playoffs as the 6th seed, will play either Philly or Detroit. Both teams should be relatively easy for the 49ers to beat on the road. Teams and coaches preach not to look ahead, but for a fan who’s only concern is winning Super Bowls, if I was Jim Harbaugh, I’d be having Eric Mangini work on an offensive game plan for Seattle.

    I know that’s not Magnini’s actual job, and I know Magnini’s specialty is defense; however, to beat Seattle in Seattle, the 49ers will have to really have a great offensive game plan for week two of the playoffs. For the last two years, Harbaugh’s 49ers have gotten destroyed in Seattle. That suggests that Harbaugh and his staff are a long way from cracking the Seattle nut.

    I know that Frank Gore’s run against the Seahawks was really the turning point in our recent win against Seattle in SF, and that might suggest to some that to win in Seattle we need to run. However, the pass sets up the run. The knock out blow was delivered, much as it always is, via the part of the offense the defense isn’t or wasn’t necessarily defending against.

    To beat Seattle week two of the playoffs, I believe the 49ers need to forget the line adjustments and dictate to the Seattle defense with brilliant and surprising initial play calls, and more importantly, surprising formations.

    To combat the noise, Greg, Jim and Eric need to create a simplified offense. Part of the reason the 49ers don’t score in Seattle is because our offense, and our shifts at the line, is too complicated and the crowd noise limits the effectiveness of those shifts. So, to win in Seattle, we must simplify our offense, while also surprising the defense. We must go up-tempo. We must go with a spread offense, and we must make Jon Baldwin, Quinton Patton and Vance McDonald a huge part of our passing attack in the playoffs week 2.

    Think about this for a second. If the 49ers are always showing one formation early, and then switching into another formation with ten seconds left on the clock, wouldn’t it be logical for defenses to know this is coming? Wouldn’t a surprise or change of pace or smart move be to instead get to the line and go with the initial play call, without motion or shifts pre-snap? If the shift is designed to create confusion or catch the defense off-guard, but teams are prepared, wouldn’t a straight call without a shift create confusion? And it would also eliminate some of the crowd’s effectiveness.

    I say in Seattle go up-tempo, without letting the defense substitute, call one play only, script plays like Walsh used to do, get to line with smart and new PASSING plays designed and called, and attack Seattle’s offense with fresh material and fresh concepts that Seattle hasn’t planned for.

    If I was the OC, Frank Gore wouldn’t be playing much in the Seattle game even though Frank put the game away for us last week. I’d go into a hurry up offense, with four and five wide, empty backfield, short routes for blitzes designed as blitz beaters built into the plays without any adjustments needed, and I’d spread out the Seattle offense without letting them substitute much. I’d take the crowd out of the game by running an offense so simple it only required a hand signal or brief play call like “Red” or “Five,” that way Kaep could show five fingers or point to the color red. Overly simplified will beat the crowd and catch Seattle’s defense off guard.

    To run this type of offense, the receivers, both tight ends and wide outs, need to run all day, and they’d get exhausted fast, so I’d rotate the receivers, and I’d activate all of the receivers at my disposal.
    La Micheal James would run routes, Osgood, Patton, McDonald, obviously Vernon, Q and Crabtree would run a lot of routes as well.

    To hit Seattle with a fresh game plan requires weeks of practice, and nobody wants to be looking past the next opponent, particularly not now with the race for the 6th seed being so tight. But this game isn’t about showing well in the playoffs, it’s about Super Bowls, so if you overlook an opponent, while trying win a Super Bowl, even if the fans don’t see your efforts because you lose prior to the Seattle game, I say that’s okay by me. We can’t expect to go into Seattle in this year’s playoffs with the same offense that’s showed up scoring like 14 points in two games that last two years (in Seattle). We all know the definition of insanity. If we do the same thing again, expecting a different result, we’ll lose. But Pete Carroll isn’t stupid. He knows this as well. So the offensive game plan has to be beyond the scope of Carroll’s reasoning, and to do this, Greg Roman needs to be thinking outside the box with a plan that’s also reasonably easy to execute. That’s smacks of throw the ball, up tempo, spread, quick check downs, and a lot of pass pro. For me, that’s the only ticket to the Super Bowl I can fathom.

    1. Spit blood, it would be nice to think about the future but we need to win the next three games before even think about any other game. Tampa, Atlanta and Arizona is not going to be just a cake walk. At least i hope we are not assuming that we have it in the bag. You have some good ideas but we first need to see what happens. I do still believe there is a possibility for Seattle to lose two more games! Go Niners

    2. Spit – Thanks….now I have a terrific excuse to use if Niners lose first round playoff game….They were preparing for the playoff game in Seattle.

    3. Nice fantasy Spitblood. This Coaching staff is pretty much the complete opposite in philosophy to that. You either need to come to grips with what this team does or give up the NFL and focus on the College game because that’s the only place you’ll see what you have been asking for all year as a base offense.

  26. I like some of your ideas but I would never go empty backfield against the Hawks. That takes away the biggest strength for the 9ers and the weakness of Seattle, the run. I would go four wide and run some quick slants and draws. For this to work the receivers have to beat the press or the blitz will get their first. I like the simple play calls. If Kaep needs to audible have five to ten preplanned plays that only need signals. They have to learn to beat the noise.

    1. Seattle is not weak against the run, and I think if you got four or five guys running routes we’d have a miss-match against their secondary – especially after their recent round of PED suspensions.

      L. Cohn just wrote an article that our staff needing to coach Kaep to Smith’s level. This is hogwash. Kaep went to the Super Bowl last year with a spread offense. Roman is a better fit with another limited qb like Smith. Roman and Smith were kindred spirits (both loved the run). Kaep is a spread ‘em out and gun sling or run qb. Kaep is taking a lot of heat but the reality is Kaep and Roman aren’t a good match. Roman either needs to change, or he needs to go. L Cohn thinks Roman needs to turn Kaep into Smith. Hell, if we had it so good, Lowell, why trade Smith? Coaches coach to their players’ talents – at least the good ones do. This team only has a chance against Seattle with a simplified spread passing attack.

      And Chicago49er, we can beat the Cards, Falcons, Bucs and Lions / Philly while working to create a new game plan for Seattle, in Seattle. Hell…. we were working on the atom bomb while the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor. It can be done.

  27. Jack Hammer says:
    December 14, 2013 at 9:28 am
    “Can someone tell me why Grant felt it amusing to drop CK’ and MC’ names in an article that had absolutely nothing to do with them?”

    “Because the are the QB and WR.”

    Hammer,
    Care to take a shot at the second question?

  28. This isn’t meant to tie to the debate about whether we should have tried to acquire him but I think it’s pretty interesting that in 3 of my fantasy leagues Josh Gordon has outscored every other offensive player (QB,RB,TE,WR) over the past four weeks. Impressive. Peyton is #2.

  29. C4C,
    Josh Gordon has become one of the best in the business. Michael Irvin has christened him the best in the league after the last few games and he may be right.

    But JG is still a high risk player because of past incidents with drugs.
    JG had three drug related violations while in college and has been suspended for the same reason since coming into the NFL.
    Cleveland may have the best WR in the game, but they also certainly have to monitor/babysit his every off field move.

    Although I must admit that it would be very tempting given with JG’ beastly talent, but I still don’t take that risk if given the chance to acquire him.

    Gordon was a supplemental draft pick for the Browns and I’m not so sure they knew at the time how good he would be.
    Hopefully the 49ers are doing their due diligence to find a WR (hidden gem) just like JG in the 2014 draft.

    1. AES ..
      if memory serves …
      wasn’t Michael Irvin the guy who couldn’t
      find the football field ..
      unless he followed the white lines ?

  30. I hope Boldin breaks off a long TD. Wonder if papi Cohn taught Sour Grapes the low blow technique? It seems to work for blog hits just saying.

  31. bringing my 49ers pride to Raymond James tomorrow I think its going to be a tough game the Tampa D scares me. It may rain tomorrow which could play into our favor.Lets Go 49ers.

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