49ers OTAs show confident, effective Blaine Gabbert

Click here to read my Friday column.

      1. Would he have kept drives alive? He didn’t do a good job of that last year.

        High completion % is great and all, but if he isn’t capable of moving the chains with those completions it is fools gold.

        1. It’s tough to tell how successful the short throws and screens would have been because there was no contact.

          1. True, true. I was thinking more in terms of were they running the plays based on down and distance, situation football? And if so, was he still throwing short of the first down marker on 3rd down situations?

            1. I didn’t see a down and distance marker until the end of practice when they did a third-down drill. He threw a nice eight-yard pass to Dres Anderson on third-and-7. Also threw a nice deep ball down the seam to Vance McDonald which McDonald let fly through his hands. Other than those plays, Gabbert either scrambled or threw short of the sticks on third down. To be fair, Kelly or Modkins called screens a good number of third-and-longs. Gabbert only checked down once in the third-down drill.

              1. Thanks.

                “… which McDonald let fly through his hands.”

                Urgh. Just try and trade him already.

              2. RB’s caught over a 100 passes in Philly last year so the Niner RB’s will definitely be seeing a lot of throws come their way.

                I like that they are giving TS a look at Flanker. He’s the best WR they have and he should be the top target as much as possible. Will be interesting to see how he does when they put the pads on.

                I think the ship has sailed on McDonald as a downfield threat. He doesn’t seem to see the ball well enough when he’s running seam routes. The ball going through his hands is what happens most of the time.

                Any other CB’s stand out to you Grant?

              3. RBs caught a lot of passes in Detroit as well. Theo Riddick caught 80 passes. Modkins was on that staff.

                McDonald always gets his head around late on the seam pass.

                Brock, Johnson, Acker and Reaser all played well and broke up passes. Rashard Robinson gave up a 7-yard catch to Aaron Burbridge on third-and-6, then broke up a pass intended for Burbridge the very next play.

              4. Good point about Modkins.

                Did they use Reaser in the slot most of the time or was he playing outside?

        2. We had no offensive line, wide reciver seperation or coaching staff. Sounds like Gabbert was the problem lol.

  1. I am a Chip Kelly fan because he makes football fun again. He does things different than the norm and I like to watch how easy some plays look and ask myself how does that happen, knowing that the defense was set-up for that play. Anyway, he’s a winner wherever he lands if things can be done his way. No I am not a 9ers fan; BEARS fan to be exact, for over 40 years. Not an Oregon Ducks fan either; OSU Beavers all my life. In my opinion, if Kap can get his head out and belong to the team and believe in the system, Chip’s offense will make him a super star, but that depends on all the other players buying into the system of winning the coaches way as well. Hope the 9ers beat the Sea Chickens.

    1. No telling what Seb will attempt when the 2nd of his two man crushes is jettisoned by the 49ers (last year Hayne was benched).
      This year Gabbert wiil start…Will the Sebster be escorted from team facilities in a roster dispute with the coach?

      1. TrollD, first you accuse me of breaking into gun vaults and creating nightmares, now you are anticipating me being escorted from the team facilities.
        You really are a piece of work. Maybe you are projecting your own delusional fantasies.

          1. TrollD and I go way back. Maybe you could appreciate the ‘fun’ we have been having if you experienced it yourself. I would be happy to oblige.

  2. ” THE GOOD

    1. Jimmie Ward.

    Started at right cornerback in the base defense, moved to the slot in the sub-packages and intercepted two tipped passes during team drills. Also gave up one deep catch down the seam to Garrett Celek. Ward’s coverage was not so good on that play.”

    So was Jimmie Ward the RCB not part of the “good” in this article?

    1. Good question. Ward’s two picks came when he was at nickel. In both cases he caught balls other players had tipped. He’s a playmaker when he’s facing the line of scrimmage.

      1. Regardless of whether they play him at RCB during the season, do you think his time spent training there will help him develop his cover skills?

          1. That’s what I am thinking. As you noted, if he has a weakness in coverage it is when he has his back turned. Getting him reps on the outside where he has to do this can only be helpful, I would imagine.

            I do think, however, that he is the most athletically gifted DB they have. He’s very new to playing outside, so I would expect a learning curve. But he may just be a good option for that spot.

          2. Great article, Grant. Your knack for putting us right there beside you is developing well.

            Wouldn’t you think that if Ward is the truly exceptional player Baalke is touting him as, he’ll take coaching well enough in the coming 3 months to play that outside position with aplomb?

      2. Thanks Grant….. I figured that’s what you meant. I doubt he stays there, if we playing a whole lotta man press I would think Johnson seems to fit the bill at RCB, I’m worried Brock will be exposed in this system.

        1. I also think Johnson will be the starter at RCB, but I think Brock still is the best corner on the team.

          1. “Brock still is the best corner on the team.”

            I don’t disagree. But he’s no shutdown CB and he’ll likely be asked to play like one often against the opponent’s best WR.

  3. Grant sez :

    “…..but Gabbert looks like he’d been running Kelly’s system forever…”

    I’d wait a little while before handing Gabbert the keys
    to the Cadillac …

    (at least until after we see how he does
    with 300 lb Defensive Linemen .. in his face)

            1. Yeah, and I bet we also agree that the Walsh Champion Niners were better than the Harbaugh Champion Niners, too.

  4. WR depth chart Week 1, my best guess:

    Z: Torrey Smith, DeAndre Smelter
    Slot: Bruce Ellington, DeAndrew White
    X: Eric Rogers, Quinton Patton

    1. man that is bleak….

      I’m imagining even more throws to RBs than in Philly just due to the lack of talent on the outside…. I’m gonna wait and see on Rogers.

      1. I think before fans consider our WR corps “bleak” they should actually see them play. I get there’s not a lot of experience beyond Torrey, but that doesn’t mean a number of others like Rogers, Smelter, Cajuste, Ellington, et al can’t and won’t play well.

    2. I wonder if they’ll give Smelter some snaps in the slot. Kelly liked the big WR in that role often in Philly, but then again he had Matthews which he doesn’t have here.

      1. Smelter is a good runner after the catch (or at least was pre knee injury). One of the reasons he is being looked at as a punt returner. I think he’d be a good option in the slot.

        1. Did he ever line up in the slot in college? He lined up exclusively at Z on Tuesday, although that position lines up in the slot in twins and trips formations.

          1. I don’t think he did, but then again he was playing in the triple option at GT. I’d like to see what he could do if given the chance.

          2. I read somewhere else that Smelter was lining up at every WR position at various points, and he said this in his media session “I’ve been moving around from left to right to slot. So, mainly, in this offense, you really need to know what everybody does. The more I know the better.”

            Sounds like this isn’t what you saw?

            1. He was a Z on Tuesday, and the Z does move around a bit. Sometimes he was in the slot on the left side of the formation in trips or twins.

          3. I thought DS said in his video interview that he expects to play slot, and that he had played a little there at GT.

    3. Coffee’s for Closers® January 18, 2016 at 9:39 am
      LWR: Torrey Smith

      SWR: Bruce Ellington

      Reply
      Grant Cohn January 18, 2016 at 9:51 am
      Does Ellington fit Kelly’s mold for slot receivers?

      ———————–
      Apparently.

    4. Why Rogers over Patton? I think Patton has a great chance to be a big contributor in this offense. Are you seeing something that leads you to believe Rogers is better than Patton?

    5. Good stuff Grant. I always appreciate your camp reports.

      Few questions:

      – You like the UDFA DeAndrew White over this years WR draft pick, Aaron Burbridge, in the slot? Interesting. I always pictured white on the outside with his straightline speed.

      – Is it really fair to state that Jimmie Ward is unable to play CB on the outside, after one practice? Might be jumping the gun a bit on that one.

      – Does Tank Carradine look agile enough to play OLB at his new weight, or do you think he’s still better suited strictly as an edge rusher at the 5 Tech, who can move down inside to 3 Technique?

      Thanks again Grant, I really do enjoy hearing your camp observations.

  5. CB depth chart Week 1, my best guess:

    LCB: Tramaine Brock, Dontae Johnson, Rashard Robinson

    RCB: Dontae Johnson, Kenneth Acker, Keith Reaser, Will Redmond (probably will start season on NFI).

    1. I shudder at Will Redmond playing a single down in 2016. Smelter was injured in November 2014, Redmond in November 2015. Is Redmond superhuman?

      1. So…are you discounting what Daniel Jerimiah and Mike Mayock had to say about him? Jerimiah’s a former scout and nobody spends more time around players prior to the draft than Mayock does.

        1. Frank

          No, I think he will be an exceptional player once he’s fully healed, but I fear that if he rushes his recovery, he may tear his other ACL or re-injure his reconstructed ACL. Neither Jeremiah nor Mayock is an orthopedic surgeon.

      2. While I understand your worries, and week 1 may be too soon, I don’t see any reason he won’t be healthy enough by mid-season, having him available if Ward or who ever else wins a spot at nickel corner get’s injured.

        I know Baalke is talking training camp, but I get the feeling that’s absolute best case scenario, if he continues to heal at his current pace without any setbacks whatsoever. I think Baalke is being a little too optimistic with that time frame, but who knows, some guys just heal faster than others, and some of it has to do with the condition, and extent of the ACL tear. Not all ACL tears are created equal. Look how fast AP got back onto the filed.

        It’s worth noting that doctors at the Richmond Bone and Joint Clinic in Sugarland, Texas, found in a 2010 study of NFL players who suffered ACL tears, 31 of 49 (63%) returned to play in the league an average of 10.8 months after surgery. Some recovered sooner, and some were held out longer than they needed to be, for precautionary reasons.

    1. If I recall correctly, you were the one saying after they 2014 draft that you thought Ward would be looked at as an outside CB. He didn’t play outside as you suggested his first two years, but now looking like they are considering making that move. Well done on seeing this possibility early on Mid.

      1. This is not a good sign. Is the coaching staff not impressed with him as a nickel CB so they are experimenting him at other positions?
        I personally think he was a reach for the 49ers in the 1st round and has been a liability in pass coverage. Yes he’s had a few glimpses but overall too slow and too small. He got exposed way too often against bigger WR’s.

        1. Um, he is still playing slot CB in nickel Prime. He was moving from RCB to slot in nickel, same spot he’s been playing the past two years. Playing RCB in base is an extension of what he’s been doing, and is actually a good sign.

          As for getting exposed, that is just your prejudice from his rookie season coming out. People can’t let go of the Chicago game. He played well last year, especially in the second half of the season.

          1. I know you like him a lot so not going to rehash our debate from last year.
            I hope he can be a 3 down player but his size is his Achilles. We’ll see.

          2. Grant’s right. Ward is a playmaker facing the scrimmage line, and I think he’s earned the right to get more snaps. Perfect example of draft and develop. Good call MWD!

          3. Scooter

            Well said Scooter….Marshall has broken-in..and sometimes just ‘broken’ young young CBs for quite a while…

        2. no, quite the opposite. they want him on the field more than the 70% time he’s there in the Nickel package. they want him to play outside Corner in the base package and then slide inside in the Nickel package much the way Carlos Rogers used to and Culliver would play on the outside when Rogers moved to the slot corner spot.

        3. Is the coaching staff not impressed with him as a nickel CB so they are experimenting him at other positions?

          How did you come to that conclusion Prime? He was top 10 easily last season and is entering his third NFL season. The more likely scenario is the team believes Ward has the capability to play both positions and plan on using him the same way when Rogers was with the team.

          1. Yeah I hope so. But there will some guys who won’t fit in O’Neal’s system.
            There is a reason why the 49ers drafted how many CB’s in this years draft?
            Maybe Ward is one of those guys who doesn’t.
            All I’m saying is it’s a possibility

            1. Duly noted. However, two of the CB rookies are extremely raw, so they are going to need to take at least a couple of seasons to develop.

  6. what kind of problems did Ward have specifically? usually playing on the outside is easier than playing in the slot. on the outside you can play with sideline leverage. in the slot the receiver has the entire middle of the field to work with. Did Ward have trouble with deeper routes? (I could possibly understand a slot guy not as experienced covering deep down the sideline).

  7. Music to my ears Torrey Smith looks to be targeted more. He was criticized for having an off year, but he just didn’t see the ball come his way. 49er QBs had a 117 rating when throwing to Torrey last year.

  8. I’ve never heard of a passing game described as 3 yards and a cloud of dust.

    Seriously though, throwing to the RBs is a sound strategy, on first and second down.

  9. This passing game may very well be one of the worst historically since the 1960’s.

    The NFC West and other great opponents we face with this schedule will get ahead early and force the 49ers to pass with this group of practice squad pass catchers with developmental Quarterbacks and remedial predictable play calling.

    This one could get ugly.

    120 yards passing per game.

    You heard it here first.

    1. I disagree. Even with the FO dysfunction, Chip Kelly is the key. He will fix the offensive malaise, and those first crisp, efficient, up tempo practices sound like he is starting that process.

      1. I agree with you. Kelly seems to know what he’s doing. Improvement in the oline, though, is key. I’m optimistic about them, but optimism isn’t a crystal ball. The last season was a crusher to the optimists.

        1. I think Flaherty may also be a key part of the Niner renaissance. he helped build O lines that won SBs.

          I may rag on the FO, but I am getting more optimistic about this team. If Baalke will stop meddling with the coaching, this team does have talent.

          1. I am getting more optimistic too. Another thought I had is that, although the stadium doesn’t give us a home field advantage, its location might if our offense is as fast-paced as Kelly’s appears to be. In the blazing Santa Clara sun, opposing defenses might get heat stroke. (I’m not kidding.) I know the offense might be subject to that too, but if they’re in better shape and used to the pace, it could work out for us.

            1. What blazing Santa Clara sun, its no worse than San Diego, Oakland, Kansas City, Jax, Miami, Tampa and Carolina, all of whom have similar climates and are open roof top stadiums.

              The sun somehow isn’t hotter in Santa Clara than it is anywhere else (unless there is cloud cover, etc).

              And just FYI, this year the 49ers first home game that has a 1pm start is October 2nd. First game is MNF at 730, next two are on the road.

              This talk of it being so hot at Levis is because you have a fan base who spent most of their times in chilly SF (even though I was at the dallas game in 2011 when it was 90s in Candlestick) and a bunch of media types who won’t let it die. As mentioned above, those other teams play in stadiums with the same amount of exposure to the sun and heat, don’t hear them complaining.

              1. MJ, I didn’t say it was hotter that some of the other venues you mentioned. I said that if our offense plays as fast as advertised, the location (heat) might give us a home field advantage. You can argue with that, but the concept is valid.

        2. George

          Nothing’s being said yet except behind closed doors…but the coaching community is just holding it’s collective breath just waiting to see what ‘Chip’ is going to pull out of his sleeve….THEY’RE SCARED TO DEATH !!!

          They all talk of how simplistic and easy his offense is and they pooh-pah anything new and creative….As a 49er fanatic….the next two seasons are going to be a lot of fun watching the team develop….Optimism Reigns !!!

    2. 120 yards per game? In Chip’s system? Laughable Todd. L.A.U.G.H.A.B.L.E.

      You best find a sport you know a little more about and leave this blog to football fans.

  10. Re Burbridge, I just viewed this video on NN tonight. It’s a reel of comments about him made by draft analysts before the Combine. Guys like McShay, Davis, and Polian. He reminds me of Patton and might be a more complete receiver. One analyst said Burbridge uses the complete route tree. But can someone who is 6′ with just decent speed make it in the NFL today?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEDMTlzzMUQ

  11. So, we can interpret a lot from a week of OTA practices with no pads and no hitting.

    Sounds like the last coaches were truly clueless about player assessment and which positions the players should be slotted at.

    Looks like they want to resurrect the WCO.

    If Draughn is the player who gets the most passes, the Niners are in a heap of trouble.

  12. Sounds like Gabbert is Alex Smith in his earlier days with the team! Dump offs,screens,and bubble screens seems to be Gabberts strengths. He should be decisive when he is doing what he do best! I notice that the Bay Area media is hyping Gabbert up now with competition. OTAs prove nothing is only the figure out process before Training camp.

  13. I bet if he got to wear the red ‘no contact’ jersey in games he’d appear confident and effective there too. It’s because he’s scared of getting squished that he gets rid of the ball as soon as possible to the first check down he can find.

  14. There are some people who interview well and you feel like you’re lucky you somehow found this diamond available to hire but after a month or so it becomes apparent of why they were available. That’s Blaine Gabbert. In practice he can do everything you ask him to and he can convince you he can do the job. Once he’s out on the game field though you’re reminded of why he was available in the first place.

    He’s a practice hero. Can only look good when he knows he isn’t going to get hit.

    1. I agree CFC. I still remember Gabbert pulling a Jim Everett and sacking himself in Jax. Going down because you don’t want to get hit is not leadership. It’s self preservation and players don’t forget that. The fact he just isn’t a very good QB is another reason, but lacking courage is a sure fire way to make sure players don’t follow you.

      1. Chuckin and duckin!

        I also remember last year when the Denver media was roasting Gabbert during those joint practices with the Broncos. So he doesn’t always look great in practice either.

      2. Good, go back to Jax instead of mentioning the memorable play last year for the 49ers when Gabbert stood in, delivered a perfect ball, and got demolished; then bounced right back up.

        1. We are a 4-5 win team with Gabbert as the QB. Last year he played OK will zero pressure on him. Meaning he had nothing to lose. No one expected anything from him. Different story this year if he is the starter. LONG SEASON

          1. He has zero pressure this year as well. Its a rebuild. Pretty clear that the team wants to see what they have at the QB position with both guys, that’s why they never drafted a QB in the first 3 rounds.
            Whoever is expecting the 49ers to win more than 5 games is dreaming!

            1. That’s were your wrong prime. He is playing for a second contract. He has one year left. One year to either salvage his career as a starter or be a permanent back up. A lot is on the line for him. If Kaep doesn’t get a chance here someone will give him a chance cause what he did in the past. Gabbert doesn’t have that.

              1. Good call. He is playing for a contract and that could mean a lot for him interms of pressure. At the very least he remains a good back up for someone if he can’t prove to be a starter. I didn’t know he had one year left on his deal.
                As for the team, there is zero pressure on the franchise to win more than 5 games.

              2. For sure prime we are Sh*t right now. Whoever wins the QB battle I hope surprises. I also hope Driskel develops and makes the 53.. We need a rabbit out of the hat steal in Driskel to turn this franchise around.

              3. It would nice to have a guy like Driskel become the next one. I’d say the 49ers are due a miracle considering the past 3 years!

        2. Go back to Jax? Lol, if you don’t like ‘Murica you can just leave it…You gonna build a wall so the ‘true’ 49er fans can be protected from us non-believers?

          Have fun defending mediocrity I’m guessing you feel it’s a kindred spirit.

          1. You can’t point out that Gabbert sucks because he was terrible in Jax without also conceding and then somehow explaining away that he also showed massive improvement last season, which included the willingness to stand in the pocket. You might as well also try to claim that Kap is an HOF QB because of what he did in 2012 & 2013, but then again, you’d have to also concede and then explain away why the last 2 seasons don’t matter.

            Either way, both our QBs have shown their light and their dark.

            It is dishonest to say Gabbert won’t stand in the pocket. It’s on film, more recently and more relevantly than whatever he put on film in Jax.

            1. There is that example of him taking a shot to deliver a pass Pork. There are far more examples of him turtling or throwing the ball to a receiver who has no hope of gaining a first down, in order to avoid taking a hit. He looked better last year than he did in Jax I’ll grant you that, but he still wasn’t very good.

              1. Ricket

                What was your agenda in just citing his Jax days without originally acknowledging that he improved in SF, though?

                Everyone is a hater. I don’t get it. We finally have a coach whose offense is proven, an OL that looks like it might actually be strong, and a scheme that will use receivers expansively. The spread offense that Kelly brings always makes QBs look better, and all 3 of our exceptionally athletic QBs have excelled in spread offenses. I don’t care who wins the battle, as long as the win is earned. No favoritism here, my man.

              2. Or let me put it in different terms:

                Until a boy first poops in the toilet, he has a 100% track record of pooping his pants.

                Let’s just agree that Gabbert is potty trained, so in the future he is more likely to keep his drawers clean.

              3. JC, I agree. Gabbert does have skills, and he can throw with touch. He also is almost as fast as Kaep and can out run the LBs.

                The Jax days are long gone, and I do not fault him from going into protect mode because he had D linemen wanting to rip his head off, and getting a running start to do that.

                Gabbert has improved, and if he can out compete Kaep, I hope Kaep takes his lesser role with humility and class, works hard, and prepares to go in if an injury occurs. Meanwhile, both should be professional and help each other for the good of the team.

                Of course, I expect a healthy Kaep to do well in the Chip Kelly system, and he will lead the Niners to victories.

              4. No agenda Pork, just calling it as I see it. There was an ongoing discussion about leadership from the QB position and the underlying fact that players don’t follow if they don’t feel they can win with the guy under center. BG committed one of the biggest violations a QB can make by going down with no one around him. That is something that sticks with you.

                Last season he did take that hit but far more often he did not stand in to make a play, instead choosing to dump the ball off and head to the sideline.

                I’m not a hater, in fact I hope I’m sitting here eating a mountain of crow about being completely wrong in my opinion of the team. I just look at things from an objective perspective, and that perspective unmasks some harsh realities. Namely that Kelly’s offense has been headed downward each season he’s been in the league and with better personnel than he has here. It will be better than the dumpster fire we saw last season but not enough to win games consistently imo.

      3. rocket/cfc
        If you look at the 49ers game against the Rams in the final game of the season, Gabbert had one horrible sequence in which he threw about a 5 yrd pass to the outside of Boldin. Boldin caught the ball but he was left vulnerable for a big hit by a Ram defender.

        On his next pass he underthrew a quick 7 yrd pass to Harris’ feet. Harris’ was running a little flare to the right sideline and his momentum was too fast for him to make an adjustment to the underthrown pass.

        The final pass in this ugly sequence came when Gabbert avoided an outside pass rush and ran a few steps forward and threw what appeared to be a little push pass that fell about 3 yrds short of the intended receiver.

        Point: If Gabbert beats out CK in TC, I’m not necessarily looking to Gabbert as our next great QB.
        I think that pretty much everyone here has agreed that Gabbert (and even Kaep) is the “bridge” for our eventual franchise QB whoever that may be.

          1. I think Chip Kelly can find a franchise QB. He recruited Mariota, right? And he makes every QB look better, right? Baalke is incompetent on the offensive side of the football, we all know that. The real question is the o/u on when Baalke is replaced.

          2. rocket,
            You have a point.
            Drafting a QB does not seem to be a priority in Baalke’ world. After drafting Kaep in the 2nd rd in 2011, Baalke has not looked to upgrade the position by taking a QB in the first two rds since.

            But some of this may have to do with our drafting position and Baalke not putting much faith in the 2nd – 3rd tier QB’s left on the board after the top QB crop has been drafted.

            We witnessed this in last month’s draft. After Goff and Wentz came of the board, Baalke still had a chance at Lynch, Cook, Hogan and Prescott and other 2nd – 3rd tier type QB’s but waited for Driskel in the 6th rd.

            We may have to wait until next year to see if Baalke can draft our franchise QB.

  15. I am a big Utah fan and really like Drez. He plays bigger than he is. He had a couple bad drops but I hope he makes this team. Could character guy too

  16. Grant I watched on nfl network how az uses Buchanan in the hybrid LB role. Did you see any sign of Tartt or Reid lining up in that position?

      1. He is? Has he been arrested during his NFL career? He was a tremendous gamble. Such huge upside. See Mathieu.

        1. Please read my entire post without altering what I said. Also, Mathieu had a far more developed skill set on the field, so that comparison isn’t a legitimate one.

          1. MWD

            I didn’t alter anything. ESPN made a point that the pick of RR was appropriate for Rd4 because he has Rd1 traits but also has a checkered history. That’s why it’s a high-risk, high-reward pick. Mathieu was a high-risk, high-reward pick, with greater production, lesser (he’s slower and tiny) traits, and a similar checkered past, who was drafted a round earlier, I believe. It was an appropriate reference for the concept. Mathieu is the model for the “reward” side of the gamble. The 49ers badly need length on the outside, and RR brings it with height and long arms, and also happens to have tremendous recovery ability due to his elite speed. Deion was fairly slight when he came out, Richard Sherman was skinny, too. And while I’m at it with outside guys, AJ Green and Randy Moss excel on the outside despite being beanpoles.

            1. I didn’t alter anything.

              You purposefully ignored the ‘on’ part of my post stating that Robinson has question marks on and off the field hence you did alter it to your own liking.
              Your argument in regards to beanpole players doesn’t hold because tthose guys had the frame needed to add more meat while there is concern that Robinson does not after adding about 10 pounds to his weight.

              1. I’m saying his onfield performance and his elite traits make him a great boom/bust, risk/reward player.

                I just thought that was obvious. 6’2″ & 4.38 don’t come together often in a CB, and he’s got long arms. And he’s from LSU. And I still say skinny’s not a bad thing on the outside.

              2. I’m not denying that his ceiling is very high, but he’s also very close to the bust floor. It’s worrisome that Robinson may not be able to add more weight to his frame because it brings into question how capable he will be against the physicality of the pro game. He’s also very raw fundamentally. And it doesn’t show much promise when an SEC defensive coach essentially says Robinson doesn’t understand assignments. Whether or not Robinson can stay out of trouble off the field is problematic enough, but knowing that he needs a lot of work in other areas is gut – wrenching.

              3. PICK ANALYSIS:
                Robinson has just 8 career starts under his belt, but that tells you what the 49ers think about his upside. Robinson is a long, press corner leaking with talent. If he stayed clean off the field, he’s likely a top 40 pick. There are plenty of question marks, but he’s an early candidate for steal of the draft. –Mark Dulgerian

                Bottom Line
                He might look like he skipped “leg day” for several years, but his height, speed and man-­cover talent is undeniable. Robinson has the traits and talent to be considered one of the best press corners in this draft, but teams will have to weigh the character against the talent. Look for an electric combine which could create new buzz around the former LSU Tiger. Robinson has the raw ability to become a good NFL starter who can play on an island if asked, but I am downgrading his draft grade due to his character concerns.

              4. Sources Tell Us “I’m not sure he’s a bad kid, but I know he hates school. He’s really tough — ­typical south Florida kid. You know what you get. The interviews will work themselves out for better or worse, but you keep things simple for him and let him chase one guy around the field all day. He’s really good at that.” — Former SEC defensive coach

      2. Watch the video, if you want. I was surprised by how jacked the ESPN guys were with the pick, because I watched the draft on NFLN, which was less effusive in its praise.

              1. The more I watch that, the less impressed I get. Evans had a couple of passes that he should have caught, and Robinson mainly looked physical on plays where he clearly should have been flagged for pass interference or holding. Robinson blew a good number of assignments was pushed down or aside quite a bit. The talent is there, but he has a long way to go before his play matches up with it.

              2. With good coaching and hard work, talent always surfaces.

                There is a lot of positive buzz about him. I was surprised by your negativity, so I went searching for naysayers sharing your opinion on Google, and there is far, far more positive feedback about him than negative.

                Takes conviction to stump so hard from the minority, I’ll give you that.

              3. Too many people see the good and generally ignore the bad. I usually try to look at both sides of the coin.
                Good coaching is what Robinson appeared to ignore in college and hard work looks to have been avoided as well.

              4. “I first noticed Robinson at the Elite Scouting Services combine in late March. He measured in at 6’2″ and 165 pounds. That’s not particularly unique in South Florida, but his 40-yard dash time certainly was: 4.29 seconds. Hand-timed, obviously, but Robinson was flying and ran the time on grass in cleats. It was the fastest time of the day.”

                “The Raiders are interested in the former LSU corner, and believed he could have competed as this year’s draft class’ best corner had he played the last two seasons at LSU.”

                “Teams are willing to reach on tall corners with speed, as they are considered a rare commodity in the league.”

                And there’s this, saying he ran 4.28 at LSU’s Pro Day:

                http://www.nola.com/lsu/index.ssf/2016/04/lsu_rashard_robinson_nfldraft.html#7

              5. Yeah, that’s not a good support since it comes from the same state Robinson played in.

              6. Only to you. Sites like that generally show a favorable bias with a player from their state.

              7. Everyone knows that clean talent is taken in the first 3 rounds of the draft, and concedes that Rds 4-7 are where there is far less talent available. Robinson has athleticism that instantly puts him in the top-1% of NFL CBs in that regard, so taking him with the 133rd pick in the draft was a great risk to take.

                Your point about localism is feeble. If that were the case, nothing written by anybody in California about Joe Montana would be reliable. It would mean Grant can’t talk about the 49ers. It would mean local reporters and publications are less inclined to know about the local stories, which is absurd.

              8. Oh, and the only piece that came from the NOLA web site was the report that he ran a 4.28 at LSU Pro Day. The more I look at reporting on Robinson, the more uniform that reporting is:

                His athleticism is elite
                His strength is deceptive
                His toughness is super
                He needs to be developed
                He was projected anywhere from Rd3 to Rd6
                He is exactly what teams look for in Rds 4-7

              9. I agree Robinson is the epitome of risk vs reward. Not one of my favourite picks of this draft, as I think the risk outweighs the reward, but no denying he has certain athletic traits you look for at CB. Like Aaron Lynch, he’s an easy guy to predict as someone that could be a steal as the talent is there to see.

    1. I would throw Williams, Dial, and Dorsey out there as guys who could be stronger. Although Williams and Dorsey are hurt right now.

        1. Wow, that’s crazy. When you see him he doesn’t look athletic at all. I think he just has that southern strength.

          1. Mid,
            I don’t see anyone (with the exception of a few here) that have jumped on the Kaepologist Bandwagon.

            We began to see Kaep’ decline in 2014 when Harbaugh was still here and he continued to regress until finally heading to the bench.

            I’m not making any excuses for CK, I’ve seen every game he’s played and like you have witnessed his decline. But if he is going to be a 49er this year all I ask is that he receives a fair opportunity in training camp.
            If there is fair competition, we’ll see where the Chip(s) fall.

          1. I agree with your assessment of the article. I’ve re-watched 2012 through 2015 skipping the losses, and all the bad traits are there from day one. With a good well coached team, Kaepernick will do well if the same elements are present — defense and strong running. Good special teams would help too.

            Over time he might even improve the easiest throws.

            Why did I skip the losses? That’s easy, I’m too old to watch them again. Once was more than enough.

        1. I have issues with the statement that Kaep cannot throw with anticipation. I have seen him do it many times, but it also may be a factor in the coaching. Kaep should take a page out of the Bill Walsh system and have him practice pass plays until he can do them in his sleep. Having a decent O line and elite receivers might help, too.

          Kaep does throw a fastball, that gets there quick. It may be more difficult to catch, but it does not stay in the air long, so it is also difficult to intercept. Better coaching will help. We all saw how throwing the ball at 15% less velocity turned out in the Cards game.

          Hopefully, Chip will design schemes that accentuate his strengths and hides his weaknesses. Those quick dump off passes in the flat will act as a safety valve, so maybe he will not get sacked 80 times again.

          Chip is the perfect coach for Kaep, and I am confident he will resurrect Kaep’s career. Chip may be hailed as a genius if he does that, but Chip will just say that it was an easy fix, considering all of Kaep’s skillsets.

          1. Sen

            I loved 2012/13 Kap, but I don’t remember him ever throwing a receiver open. It just didn’t happen, not ever. If you can find an example of it, I’d be thrilled to be able to agree with you, but it’s not going to happen.

            You’re absolutely right about the importance of having a good coach to help him sort through his recent issues, though.

    1. Not a good one, but it can argued that he should have received better help in coverage and the ball was mostly put where the WR could get it. He needs to work on his reads and tackling technique.

  17. The league is really making a misstep by putting a team in Vegas. Vegas’s population is constantly under flux, much more so then almost any other city. Few people make Vegas their life long or even long term home. With so many people coming and going there will be a small base of actual locals that will associate the Raiders as the ‘home team.’ Being a ‘newer’ city with an incredible amount of turnover there are a lot of residents that have already established followings to teams that they associate as ‘their team’ from wherever they likely moved from. A Vegas home owners average time of residence is only 12.7 years. The average renter who makes up 43.3% of the population only stays 5.3 years which means the average Vegas resident only lives there for 9.6 years.

    The city that makes the most sense is Portland. Significantly larger TV market plus their population base is not only larger but they stay in the area on average for 21+ years. That’s actually long enough for people to start following and caring about their ‘local’ team. That’s long enough for a family to raise their kids and for those kids to latch onto the team they grew up with. For families that only live in a place for 10 years or less those situations are far less likely to happen.

    My guess is that the Las Vegas team will eventually move to Portland or maybe OKC. Whomever ends up in Vegas won’t last 10 years there.

    1. Really? Those stats are intersting. All their games will be sold out though because it will literally be the best show in Vegas 8 times a year.

      1. On Sunday, the biggest travel day of the week when most are either coming or going? If they aren’t winning it’ll be a short stay.

      2. Also remember that a lot to most of the shows you see in Vegas are only in Vegas. There are 31 other towns with NFL teams that you can see the same show 8 times a year. For the few that aren’t traveling on Sunday are they usually up and about at 1pm on Sunday or just going to bed?

    2. CFC,

      You make a great argument but it’s trumped by one thing: money. Vegas is going to pony up $750 mill in public funding if approved. That is why they are getting support.

      I don’t know how it will work out long term but the NFL has franchises in 3 of the smallest markets in the country so there is a prescedent to look at here.

      1. That still makes more sense for the Raiders then it does for the league. The league will certainly benefit more by having a team find a long term home.

        I’m assuming Green Bay is one of the 3 you mention what are the other 2 or 3 if GB isn’t one of them. I understand your point and even if the other two teams don’t have a special circumstance like the Packers you’re still talking a relatively small percentage of teams that are in a small TV market.

        1. Yep GB and also Jax and NO.

          I think the NFL is all for lavish new stadiums and game day experience. If Vegas can provide data supporting their belief they can fill it 8 times a year, the league will be all for it.

          1. I think the number of small market teams in itself makes the point but most those teams had a better chance of success then Vegas simply because their residents tend to stay longer. GB is completely unique situation, NO is similar to Vegas in that it’s heavily tourist driven but but those people(no that’s not what I meant https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPxs0Qh72kY) spend their entire lives there.

            Jacksonville better start winning or they might be the ones moving to Portland.

          2. I’ve always been Surprised that OKC doesn’t have an NFL team. Football is religion there.

  18. 49er power structure: Suits vs. Coaches:

    1.Big acquisition by small startup owned by ex-Facebook CFO, 49ers co-owner, Gideon Yu, by Silicon Valley TechFlash.

    Eva Automation is buying the majority stake of Bowers & Wilkins from its CEO Joe Atkins, who is becoming CEO of the newly combined company. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

    Yu will be executive chairman of the new company, which will adopt the name of the half-century-old, high-end speaker business it is buying.

    Ex 49er employee files a Federal Age discrimination lawsuit vs. 49ers:

    http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/news/49ers-employee-sues-claiming-age-discrimination/1f15sjz6ujr091tks088mg8trz

  19. RE: Jarryd Hayne

    “You can never have too many 28 year old rookies without any football experience–Bill Walsh

  20. Current View of York 49er ownership by many fans:

    Ask any ex-employee of 49ers if I’m way off about the Yorks and team management. If you find one that disagrees, I’ll happily report that.

    Gabe Glynn ‏@TechknowCEO · May 19  Millbrae, CA

    @timkawakami I know a former high ranking employee, who retired. With Eddie, first class. With yorks, counting dollars and cost always.

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    Tim Kawakami ‏@timkawakami · May 19

    @TechknowCEO Yep, that is what you will hear from everybody who departs there, pretty much.

    Arcellana
    ‏@RaidersReporter
    @timkawakami I kinda feel like people only need to ask a rational minded individual to see you’re being spot on lol

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    Paul ‏@RealPaulMadison · May 19

    @timkawakami I’m so tired of Jed/York supporters being babies. I’m sick of it. If they want you to praise them, do something praise worthy.

  21. The last 8 games last season, Gabbert was a fantasy QB1. He was a touchdown from out-pointing the No.9 QB during that stretch, Carson Palmer. Lot’s of upside with Blaine including throwing to another sleeper, DeAndre Smelter.. Big, powerful, very good at shielding defenders from the ball. Showed ability to separate from coverage. This guy might save Baalke and his Red Shirt mistakes..

    1. The last 8 games last season, Gabbert was a fantasy QB1. He was a touchdown from out-pointing the No.9 QB during that stretch, Carson Palmer.
      ———————
      Palmer threw 15 TD’s over his last 8 games of the season. Gabbert threw 10. Palmer threw 3TD’s for every INT he threw in that stretch. Gabbert threw 1.4 TD’s for every INT he threw.

      He was certainly more then 6 points away and one of those players is a QB1 but it isn’t Gabbert.

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