49ers @ Texans preseason live blog

This is the live blog for the 49ers’ preseason game against the Texans. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from my living room.

4:41 Who thinks Anthony Davis will play?

4:53 Anyone?

5:06 Colin Kaepernick is not playing and neither is Frank Gore.

5:07 Kaepernick finishes the 2014 preseason having scored zero touchdowns.

5:07 Texans get the ball first. Case Keenum is their QB.

5:09 The only starting defender who’s playing is Ian Williams.

5:16 The Texans punt after getting just one first down on their first drive. Case Keenum completed a 14-yard pass to Keshawn Martin in front of Darryl Morris on third-and-11. Jim Harbaugh challenged the play thinking Martin got just one foot in bounds, but he got two and Harbaugh’s challenge failed.

5:17 Chase Thomas stood out on that drive. He made two tackles in the backfield on direct hand offs to the offense’s left.

5:20 Blaine Gabbert misses Stevie Johnson on third-and-5 from the 49ers’ 25. Johnson ran an out route and Gabbert threw too high and led him too far. Johnson dove and the pass tipped off his fingers.

5:24 Chris Cook bats away a pass intended for Martin on third-and-8. Cook touched Martin a few times beyond the five-yard mark but the officials didn’t call illegal contact. Maybe they’re dialing back how often they call that penalty.

5:25 Nick Moody made a nick tackle on a first-down draw play, stopping the running back after a two-yard gain.

5:29 Gabbert throws too high for Vance McDonald on third-and-2 and Chris Clemons drops the interception.

5:37 Keenum looks to throw deep into Kenneth Acker’s coverage on third-and-12 but Acker’s all over the receiver, so Keenum looks back to his right and throws over the middle to his second read and Dontae Johnson knocks the pass away. The Texans make a 41-yard field goal and it’s 3-0 Texans.

5:44  The first quarter ends as the 49ers go three-and-out. Daniel Kilgore was flagged for holding on first down. Joe Looney made a nice pulling block in the hole on a strong-side direct hand off to the left on third-and-24 from the 49ers’ 3 yard line. LaMichael James ran through the hole for 17 yards but the 49ers have to punt.

5:51 The Texans go for it on fourth-and-5 from the 49ers’ 35. Tank Carradine beats his man and hits Tom Savage as he completes a short pass to Devier Posey. C.J. Spillman and Shayne Skov tackled him before the first-down marker.

5:54 Nick Moody and Jimmie Ward made nice tackles on that drive. Tank Carradine was flagged for illegal hands to the face on third-and-three.

5:57 The 49ers go three-and-out again. Gabbert runs into a sack on third-and-six.

5:59 Gabbert has completed one of 5 pass attempts for 11 yards. Big night for him.

6:03 Savage badly overthrows a receiver on third-and-6. The Texans make a 53-yard field goal and it’s 6-0.

6:04 Savage has been Gabbert-bad, by the way. Who liked him before the draft?

6:21 Gabbert throws a 14-yard touchdown pass to Asante Cleveland. 7-6 Niners. Cleveland ran a quick out to the right, caught the ball near the sideline, a defender whiffed and Cleveland walked into the end zone. Gabbert converted a third-and-six by throwing a prayer into double coverage. Derek Carrier caught it for a 32-yard gain. Gabbert also converted a third-and-3 with a 4-yard scramble.

6:26 Jimmie Ward blitzes and forces Case Keenum to throw before his receiver turns his head. Chris Cook intercepts the pass and returns it to the Texans’ 13. Josh Johnson is the new QB.

6:27 Johnson completes a pass to a wide open Bruce Ellington in the left flat. Ellington sprints and dives into the end zone. 14-6 Niners.

6:30 The Texans run a couple of draws and the first half ends.

6:33 Cleveland’s catch was the catch of the half. It looked like Michael Crabtree’s catch to beat the University of Texas a few years ago.

6:34 Gabbert’s first-half line: 4 of 11, 60 yards (5.5 ypa), 1 TD, 0 INTs, 85.4 rating. The touchdown throw was a good short throw across the field.

6:43 Quinton Patton played well the first two weeks of training camp and mostly has played poorly since then. Anyone think he won’t make the team?

6:51 Johnson throws low and behind Lance Lewis on third-and-5 from the Texans’ 10. Phil Dawson makes a 28-yard field goal and the 49ers lead 17-6.

6:53 If the 49ers waive Josh Johnson would any team pick him up?

6:57 First play of the Texans drive, Savage drops back and telegraphs a pass to his tight end. Chris Borland, playing the Jack position, jumps the route, picks off the pass and returns it for a touchdown. 24-6 Niners.

7:03 Chase Thomas hits Ronnie Brown in the backfield on second down and the 49ers gang tackle him for no gain. Thomas pressures Savage on third down and Savage throws incomplete and the Texans go three and out. Thomas may not make the 49ers’ final roster, but another team probably will claim him if the 49ers waive him.

7:11 Josh Jonson drives the 49ers to the Texans’ 28 and then throws too far in front of L’Damian Washington on a comeback route. Andre Hal picks off the pass and returns it for a touchdown. 24-13 Niners.

7:17 The 49ers go three and out. Johnson overthrows Washington deep on third-and-4.

7:18 Kassim Osgood is the first one down on the punt coverage unit. He forces a fair catch.

7:19 The third quarter ends. The Texans face third-and-5 when the fourth quarter begins.

7:23 Ellington picks up the punt off the bounce and returns it 44 yards. Ellington is a better returner than James. No question about it.

7:27 Johnson play fakes, rolls left and throws an accurate pass to Kyle Nelson while taking a hit for a 5-yard touchdown. 31-13 Niners.

7:34 The Texans go three-and-out. Nick Moody blitzes and pressures Savage on second down, then Moody tackles Ronnie Brown for a loss.

7:35 Kassim Osgood blocks the punt and the ball bounces out of the back of the end zone. 33-13 Niners. If the Niners cut Osgood wouldn’t some team pick him up? He’s still so good on special teams.

7:38 Johnson throws a perfect 49-yard pass down the right sideline to Lance Lewis on the first play of the drive.

7:40 Johnson play fakes, rolls right and hits Kyle Nelson for a 2-yard TD pass.  40-13 Niners. Johnson has completed 14 of 17 passes and his passer rating is 114.8 despite throwing a pick-6.

7:42 Obvious that Johnson is better than Gabbert. What are the chances Johnson makes the final roster?

7:47 The Texans go three-and-out again. Savage tries to scramble on third-and-2 and Mike Purcell runs him down and sacks him.

7:50 Is Glenn Winston a better running back than LaMichael James. Looks that way to me.

7:55 Josh Johnson takes a knee, the clock hits zero and the 49ers win 40-13.

8:21 Jim Harbaugh just said Blaine Gabbert is having his shoulder x-rayed.

This article has 288 Comments

    1. go to firstrow1.eu choose am football. It’s annoying but just close all pop ups and you can watch any NFL game. You don’t have to download anything. Just a pain closing all the windows. Once they closed it runs fine

  1. Thats sad… Oh well i hope the 1st string shows us something whilr they are in. Hopeto read good things. Oh and ps, i think if vance can block and hold on to the ball, split davis out wide and he can bbe the 3rd receiver

    1. Can’t watch the game but as far as I hear we have none of our 1st stringers are playing except Ian Williams. Go away troll

      1. Sure you can. I use this for games my local station doesn’t carry. I also have NFL Total Access but as Razor said that doesn’t come on until late Friday. Also, I just updated my modem and the speed is great. I’ve used this site for 2 years. It’s a gambling site; I don’t gamble and they don’t care, I don’t login, never download anything ever — this is streaming — all the games are on here. I do have Malware Bytes and Tools Essentials and do scans with both once a week. Never had a problem. There’s a lot of traffic on here so you should scan frequently.


  2. Grant, is the poll question “How many games will the 49ers win this season?” the whole season, or just the regular season?

  3. Man Im happy with the last three seasons but is it just me or does every other teammake passing the ball look so much more easy than the 9ers? Im talking even in regulat season

  4. I think I’d rather watch the ATT commercial 100 more times than this offense. And I can’t stand that damn commercial.

  5. Someone needs to grab the challenge flag out of Coach’s pocket.
    Everybody sucks at something.
    Harbaugh sucks at challenges.

  6. Do have to say patrons reaction to that td is how I’d look on the field. I can’t beat coverage and would screw a lot of crap up but can’t match enthusiasm

      1. I liked that Coach said Josh and Duke made the mental adjustment. Arrows up.
        Pre#4 is bittersweet; fun to see young guys enjoying making plays, but “Phooey!” when they sign with Detroit/KC/whoever 10 days from now.

  7. Gabbert is bad. Ellington continues to look good. Tank is going to be dominant. La Michael continues to run hard….

  8. Patton hasn’t been that impressive this preseason, but talk of letting him go seems premature. What I have loved out of him is his effort, especially in blocking.

    But Ellington looks like a much better WR prospect. He keeps showing nice ability to slip coverage. Razor has said it a few times, if the #3 WR spot was based on what guys showed in these preseason games, Ellington should be the #3. He probably won’t be this year, but definitely something to be excited about for the future.

    I also continue to like what Winston is showing. Another one razor has been talking up this week. Looked good in the 4th qtr last game, so hard to get too much of a gauge. But he’s looked good again today. Also against backups of backups, but he can’t help who he’s playing against. He can just go out an execute when given the shot, and he’s done that. Might be a tough call to let him go.

    1. agree with you 100% .. scooter …but here’s a question for ya ..
      Based on this game …
      do you go with Gabbert .. or Josh as #2 ?

    2. Winston does not make this team. Every preseason it’s the same deal. There is a Winston type player on every team. Unfortunately for him this team is stacked at RB. still fun to watch.

        1. Based on what I’ve seen, if they keep James over Winston, I wouldn’t understand it. Maybe you could explain it to me…..

  9. After tonight its pretty clear Patton shouldn’t be the #3, and the Niners FO should take a deep look into whether or not hes even worth keeping. He just hasnt done anything at all this pre season. Johnson should have had a 70 yard TD on the first drive, and was open a couple plays later for a 1st if Gabbert was capable of throwing an accurate pass. Ellington is the only WR who has shown promise this pre season, I have a feeling he will be fun to watch in the years to come.

  10. On that Johnson scramble Winston makes two great blocks. He upends a blitzed just to get up and hit another defender to give Johnson the edge!

  11. Carlos Hyde is going to have fun eating Seahawks. Are you seeing what Latavius Murray is doing against the shehawks 1st stringers?

    1. Big Niner,
      Yup, the raiders looked good against the seagulls.
      But the score is a perfect example as to why I don’t put much stock in preseason games.

  12. Someone should send a memo to texans to stop running it out of the end zone. It hasn’t netted field position beyond the 20 a single time. In fact they are losing 4 yards each time.

  13. Looks like its prediction time.
    Who makes the 53? Some of the fan favorites Okoye – no, Skov -no, Winston – yes until Lattimore is activated, Josh Johnson – no…

    Anyone else want to through out there thoughts?

    1. Winston would replace lattimore who will never play. Unfortunately he won’t make team. Johnson could be headed to another team in a trade. Otherwise cut. Johnson or Gabbert same thing. Traded or cut.

  14. My favorite draft pick so far is Ellington this kid can play..This looks to be the most solid draft in years..Im done with LMJ get a 6th for him and #3 is our new returner

  15. I’m neither a big fan of Gabbert or Josh Johnson, but it would be a shame to see Gabbert get the nod over Johnson as the backup especially given better preseason performances by Johnson.

    If Harbaugh goes with Gabbert it has to be because he feels that Gabbert has a better upside than Johnson that just needs to be tapped into.

      1. Matt,
        I certainly can’t debate your take on the money angle, but again, though I’m not a big fan of Gabbert I believe that Harbaugh feels that he can make Gabb a viable NFL QB.

        I see a little of Alex Smith (hey, that’s just my own take) in Gabbert. A young QB that was thrown to the wolves before he had time to mature his game.
        Like Alex pre-Harbaugh, Gabbert has shown a few flashes and likely needs to have a good QB coach build him up – more on the psychological side of the game.

        I can’t say I’m happy about Gabbert as a backup to Kap, but Harbaugh has had his eye on Gabbert since he came out of high school so there is some affinity there.

    1. The longer he is here the less a fan of Harbaugh I become. If he keeps Gabbert it will be because he doesn’t want to admit publicly that he and the front office made a 2 mil mistake in trading for him. What upside does Gabbert have-he has been in the league long enough to show what he has. It’s not like he is a rookie.

    2. AES- its as I stated before. The Niner’s need a back up QB that can step in now not a developmental QB with upside. Even if he does develop he is not under contract and would cost the Niner’s more than a back up deserves. The idea behind trading for him was so he could be ready for and useful this season.

      1. The idea behind trading for him was so he could be ready for and useful this season.

        It was? Funny, I don’t remember anyone on the 49ers providing any such explanation. Perhaps Baalke told you while you were treating him for his OCD.

        1. Claude— I can not believe I even have to explain this to anyone. What do you think a back up QB is supposed to do. I am not talking about a developmental QB but a back up. You know the guy that is supposed to be ready to fill in when the top guy gets injured. Gabbert was brought in to back up Kaep this season which is what they could not trust McCoy to do effectively. No one should have to explain that it’s common sense. Put two and two together and you get four. The problem that some of you have is that you are too dense to even comprehend that you are dense so you make jokes about what escapes you.

          1. Willtalk:
            I don’t agree that these guys are dense,as you call them.
            However, I agree with you that a backup QB is expected to go in at a moment’s notice.
            Having any developmental QB as your #2 is flirting with disaster.
            The question is…is Gabbert a developmental QB?
            I don’t consider him to be any more developmental than any other QB they could add in FA.
            He just isn’t comfortable in the offense yet.
            He may continue to suck, who knows?
            But who’s to say how much Harbaugh even influenced picking him up?
            While I’m sure he always has input, Baalke is in charge of those moves, not Harbaugh.
            So maybe you should reserve your ire for Baalke…as it pertains to Gabbert anyway…

    3. “If Harbaugh goes with Gabbert it has to be because he feels that Gabbert has a better upside than Johnson that just needs to be tapped into.”

      You are dreaming. It’s about Gabbert having 2 million guaranteed. The 49ers made a contract mistake. Johnson is better but it won’t matter. The $2,000,000 matters. Football is a business and this will be a business decision.

  16. So….we CAN’T cut Kassim Osgood. I mean there’s very little room for him on the roster, but man his coverage is always on point!

  17. Johnson has shown great poise pocket presence escapability and good decisions. His pick six was an open receiver he just missed the throw on. Defender trailing and was able to make the play. I am not a jj fan but I agree it would be a shame if he is cut for Gabbert. Team might go 3 QBs just because Johnson so cheap. Move him to number 2 and Gabbert to 3

      1. +1 lol

        Looks like you’re right about lmj. Ellington took his return job. Wish Winston would take his RB spot but I think team goes 3 QBs and osgood gets James spot. Look for wr Johnson to be gone with Lloyd and team to let Patton go as well. No carries left for Winston in SF but Indy could use him.

        1. It has appeared so to me for some time and seemed very obvious this game that LMJ has lost a lot of his speed and quickness in order to get stronger. You can tell the difference when you compare him to Ellington. LMJ just looks slow in comparison.

    1. They should put Gabbert on the practice squad. No one is going to pick him up. Johnson will get picked up. He should be the #2. Unfortunately Baalke must have been drunk when he signed Gabbert to the two million dollar contract and now we are stuck with a stinker.

      1. Mike–Gabbert isn’t eligible for the practice squad. It seems that TB and often Harbaugh will make decisions that do not reflect their overall intelligence. Ok Claude and Hammer whats your explanation for that inconsistency.

        1. “It seems that TB and often Harbaugh will make decisions that do not reflect their overall intelligence. ”

          Well, the reason for this is obvious. They are both afflicted with OCD. No wait,
          the entire front office suffers from OCD…

        2. This is not Claude or Hammer but I’ll chime in. They take educated high-risk high-reward bets with Jed’s money. Sometimes they hit home runs, sometimes not. Like their bet on JMartin. Don’t forget that off-season acquisition. What 7th round rookie could step in and make the OL? That’s the way that strategy goes, is all.

  18. It’s clear to me Ellington should make the squad ..
    and Winston over LMJ, as well, too

    but, it might just be wishful thinking

  19. Gabbert 4/11. This guy should not be in the NFL. I’d seriously take Tim Tebow over Blaine Gabbert, how bad is that?

      1. They’re both bloody inconsistent but if both players are hot which one would you pick? I’d take Tim Tebow on a good day vs JJ’s good day.

  20. I think Johnson has outplayed Gabbertt by 2 million dollars. I don’t care what his salary was, cut him and lick your wounds. Better back up qb > slaray hit!

      1. God is Lowell
        Grant is Jesus
        Wait, they’re Jewish.
        I dunno
        If I was from Jersey I’d know Bruce Springsteen is God
        If God is Beiber, I’m signing on with The Devil.

              1. I had to look him up. This man is dead, so how can he be God? God must be Grant, so now I get what you were saying earlier.

              2. I guess his mother, Mary, might have know somethin’. (I think Wikipedia said his mom came up with the name.)

              3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRrTiDfb5Io

                Prime time
                Nursery rhyme
                Did you see the teacher
                Black and white
                What she’s gonna to do

                They say eye for eye, tooth for tooth
                But don’t hurt your brother
                Cross-road, overload

                Oh, I, I testify
                They just showed me Mary
                She was stoned, stoned, danger zone
                There was nothing in her eyes

                And then there, there in the air
                Nailed to the cross was Jesus
                Cross-road, overload

                Now I lay me down to sleep
                Pray my soul to keep away
                From the holy spirit, holy ghost
                They’re hiding in the dark

                Oh, nightmare, electric chair
                You might not get to heaven
                Bad boys, shout for joy
                Watch him to cry

                Prime time
                Nursery rhyme
                Love just needs religion
                Cross-road, overload

  21. This notion that we are going to unleash this offense & tear it up is a little hard to choke down until they show us SOMETHING! Gosh I hope I’m over worried, but shouldn’t we have seen something? The broadcast finishes with assumptions about the offense, but evidence is lacking. I’m a total Homer; but an uneasy one.
    Go Niners!

  22. Well at least Josh validated my claim that he is a better QB that Gabbert and should be the backup on this team. It’s really jacked up that theNiners traded for a stiff with a 2 million dollar guaranteed contract. That is pathetic. Gabbert is atrocious. Josh should certainly be the backup but the 2 mil for Gabbert is the reason he will be on this team. We will all be sick watching Gabbert if Kap gets hurt. At least josh would be serviceable and I think he could win. With this defense against half the league.
    I like the idea that someone had. Trade Gabbert to the Rams for a 2017 7th rounder. I’m sure they’d be happy to have him as a backup to Hill.

    1. I think to trade Gabbert the Niner’s are the ones that will have to throw in the draft picks. Who would want to pick up his salary?

      1. Rams absolutely need a backup that could for Shawn Hill. That’s the only logical destination if the Niners really consider getting rid of him. Harbaugh said he played well but he hurt his shoulder and was having X- rays done.

        1. Jordan–Could put him on IR and save a roster spot. Perhaps he hit that TD pass because his shoulder was hurt. Most of his other passes were overthrown. The injury was just enough to weaken his throw. lol.

    2. No one will give the Niners a 7th rounder for Gabbert. He isn’t NFL quality. And JJ is barely NFL quality. He should have sliced up 3rd stringers all preseason. But he didn’t. He looked like a nervous rookie until last night.

      I do have a theory though. I think and hope that Harbaugh sees that when he puts CK and JJ on the move, roll them occasionally or roll the pocket, that they are more effective. Unless our offensive line gets better overnight, they are going to have to consider this in their play calling.
      Also running heavily early to set up the play action. If we are going to do that I really hope it’s not with heavy doses of Frank Gore. IMO, we have to determine early if our offensive line can dominate based on matchup. If it can’t, then we should see less of Gore period. I doubt anyone will dispute that Hyde is the stronger faster runner at this stage. He’s special. Special enough to split carries NOW. And we have to sprinkle in some LMJ with draws and screens and passes in the flat.
      There are no excuses at this point to feed the ball go Gore over and over just to see him average 2.5 a carry. Only to justify it later because he pops a long run that makes his ypc look acceptable.
      Aldon’s fate should be known soon. The offense should be better, but the fate of our season lies in our front seven doing what they’ve done the last four years…..

  23. Am I the only one who interprets Brandon Lloyd not dressing as an indication that he will indeed be cut before the season starts, probably to be re-signed after Week 1? Or is that just me viewing facts that are open to multiple interpretations in a way that supports my earlier prediction?

    1. Hmmm. Your prediction has some legs, but not sure the non-dress out necessarily supports it. Dangerous to try, but could pertain also to Osgood, Josh Johnson and others.

      1. Claude,

        Your read on things makes sense to me, when combined with the reports on Lloyd out of camp. If the 49ers do want to do what you’re suggesting, this would be a smart way to play it…

        Maybe Lloyd only wants to play for a contender and might willingly go along with the cut and re-sign move.

        One thing is for sure, some good players are going to be cut on Saturday.

        1. It might be too public an error for Baalke to stomach, but the thought of losing Osgood to keep SJ is a real disappointment. Sure, special teams plays are few and far between, but when they come about, they’re often 40yd+ swings (i.e game changers). Viva Kassim!

    2. It could also be an indication that the team saw enough of him and didn’t want to risk him getting injured during a meaningless game.

      1. Thanks Ricardo. Everything’s good. Kids just got a little too rough playing football in the backyard. Nothing some ice and bandaids can’t fix.

    1. Jack,

      I’m glad you mentioned LMJ as I was beginning to question if I really saw what I thought I saw from him after all the negative comments about him here.

      I was also impressed with Alphonso Smith last night. Did a nice job filling in at FB and seems like a decent ST player. That may give him a shot at making the 53.

      Ellington continues to be the best 3rd WR candidate imo, but that is based on not seeing much of the others. He had a great punt return, but that was a real risk to field it off the ground the way he did. Usually you stay away from those for fear of pulling a Kyle Williams. It worked out for him but I hope he doesn’t make a habit of doing that.

      I thought Looney was very good last night and did a great job at Center as well.

      In my roster cutdown I had Washington making the PS, but I might have to change that to Lewis who looked like the better player last night.

      The backup QB conundrum continues. While Gabbert’s numbers did not look that great, I see why the Coaching staff continues to give him chances. He has a great arm and when he just plays he is capable of making plays. He ran for a couple of first downs, took a big hit and came right back, and then made a tough throw to the outside look easy for a TD. He has skills to work with but it would have been nice if they had called some of the plays for him that they did for Johnson instead of just dropping him back all the time.

      Johnson was excellent last night. Did everything you can ask of him with the exception of throwing the ball too far inside on the pick 6. It will come down to whether they view him as a safer option or if Gabbert’s upside wins out. They could wind up keeping 3 but I don’t think they will.

      Then t

    1. “…Bortles finished the preseason with 521 yards passing and two touchdowns, along with zero interceptions.”

    2. Rams should have taken Bortles. For years to come they will regret not having a QB when they had their shot at Bortles. They could’ve had a choice of 2-3 other top O-linemen at 13th.

  24. “Is Glenn Winston a better running back than LaMichael James. ”

    Does it take much to be a better running back the LMJ?

  25. Interesting stat from ESPN. No team in the last 20 years has gone 0-4 and won the SuperBowl (Indy is 0-4). I guess it tells me that team depth is important for winning SuperBowl.

  26. Well there we have it. Gabbert is essentially cut with what will likely be IR and Johnson makes the team. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough footballs to give to Winston. I expect Indy to pick him up.

    Lloyd is not on this team. Contrary to what many have said on here, he is a locker room cancer that isn’t worth a spot. Just ask any patriots fan what they think of Lloyd. He doesn’t have the speed to get separation so he has to make circus catches. He probably won’t be on any NFL team this season unless Denver needs a body.

    Indy has the easiest schedule in the league. They will make the playoffs and more than likely the superbowl. They just won’t win it.

    I love that Seattle got exposed for back shoulder passes. I just don’t see Kaepernick being able to make that throw. Johnson yes. Gabbert No.

    It’s going to be interesting to see the cut list. Like every year there will be some face palms and what were you thinking. A few experiments blew up in Baalke’s face. Gabbert. Lattimore. Johnson. Jenkins. McCoy.

    1. Kaepernick can and does make that throw. Don’t read too much into the Seahawks getting beat by that throw in preseason. Again just like us they are playing vanilla and how hard were they pressing.

      1. I disagree Wilson Kaepernick doesn’t have touch on his passes. That pass requires finesse and touch. Two areas Kaepernick struggles in. I am not saying he’s never made that throw before. I am just saying like a hole in one, it very rare.

    2. Matt or anyone:

      “I love that Seattle got exposed for back shoulder passes. I just don’t see Kaepernick being able to make that throw. Johnson yes. Gabbert No.”
      OMG, thanks Matt. I guess I just assumed these passes/all plays happened somewhat spontaneously like most of America. I can see how the corner can’t defend it. I watched a video on NFL: “Anatomy of a Back Shoulder Pass” The main example was Aaron Rodgers. So I guess I’ll look for this in our first game.

      I mean I know WR routes are actually planned. So when the Seahawks have a “walk-thru” they actually try to game plan for each series they control the ball, Is that accurate?

  27. Did anyone else catch Ryan’s comments on the broadcast about the play calling being different when Gabbert was in compared to Johnson?

    1. Yep, and he is 100% correct. I mentioned this last week in regards to Kap as well. With Kap and Gabbert, it’s been straight drop backs and looking down field the majority of the time, whereas with Johnson, it’s been a moving pocket and a lot of short stuff. He did throw a beautiful ball to Lewis last night though.

      It seems like the Coaching staff is using more of a regular season game plan with the backups and 3rd stringers, while restricting the starters to more straight forward vanilla. It’s a way to experiment and work on the play calling without putting too much on film with the starters. I’ll have to go back and check, but I’m pretty sure most of the 3 and 4 WR stuff has come with the backups and 3rd guys.

      1. I appreciate the idea of a mobile QB and with that moving the pocket. The problem is if you do that more than 20% of your offensive snaps,you expose your QB and WR’s to a lot of blind side hits.

      2. While you’re rewatching, make sure you watch the blocking Winston did last night. He blew up a blitzer and then got right back up notice the play was coming back his direction and made a second block to give the runner the edge. I’d love your insight into whether he is just another Cory Sheets or a legitimate prospect.

        1. I’ll look into it Matt, but at first glance, he definitely looks like a legitimate prospect. Great size and runs hard with good vision. The question will be if they’ve seen enough against the bottom feeders to give him a roster spot. My guess is no, but he’ll likely wind up on the PS because there are a ton of RB’s around the league that have impressed this preseason which lowers the chance he’d be claimed on waivers.

  28. The only thing to take away from preseason is individual performances.
    As Harbaugh has shown in the past, systems, coverages and play calls will be as vanilla as possible. Give the opponent nothing to study.
    With that being said the following individual performances were what stood out to me:
    Jimmie Ward: most competitive DB and a good tackler.

    Aaron Lynch: would like to have seen him in more situations but rushing the passer was his best attribute.

    Tank Carradine/Quinton Dial: both have a great motor and will provide much needed depth.

    Vance Macdonald: looks like Roman will have certain plays called for the 2nd year TE.

    Stevie Johnson/Kaepernick: nervous, out of sorts but when it’s game time they will show up. Thought we would see more from CK but I’m guessing like last year, for every bad play, CK makes 2 more good plays to rectify it.
    Not worried about Stevie J, he’s a game day player.

    Ellington: the MVP of preseason.

    1. Nice take, Prime.
      Something I noted was a good sign. The back 7 on D played well supporting each other when closing for a tackle. Several times as a tackler protected the sideline there would be a teammate in position to make the play when the receiver/runner turned in. Like good spacing in basketball. The tackling was crisp too. A well disciplined group.

    2. Agreed…
      I haven’t seen ck look good in pre season. Was just hoping to see the improved vision. Didn’t have the time most of his snaps, and still hasn’t produced “touch” on his passes. I’m a liiiittle worried about that, only because with two key players out to start the season we will need an explosive offense for our first 5 teams we face.

      Stevie J.. I was “hunching” he is a game day player. Read on how he and ck are having difficulties meshing and getting timing down, due to his funny route running.

      Going to be interesting seeing the offense this season, and if Roman really does hold a big playbook.

    3. That’s also true Brotha. Since Fangio has been here, the 49ers look to be a great tackling team. When Mike Nolan was here, they were terrible tacklers.

    1. You aren’t doing your job at Lineman if you aren’t holding. So the critique on the TD play seemed a bit hard.
      Also its deafening that Winston wasn’t even mentioned in the review. Sill a good read. Thank you

  29. It’s possible that D Carr would have been a better pick for us at the end of the first round than Ward. I like Ward, but Carr is second only to Bortles as a guy who can already make all the NFL throws with touch and accuracy.

    1. Why? SF has a starting QB. 49ers had an immediate need which is why they picked Ward. I think that was a better decision regardless of how good Carr plays.

    2. Carr’s deep touchdown pass to Moore was beautiful. Carr looked down the field to his left, then back to his right and hit Moore perfectly in stride. Kaepernick can’t do that yet.

      1. Didn’t CK made the same throw last year when he connected to Vernon on a touchdown pass? I believe it was against Tampa…

          1. “Carr looked down the field to his left, then back to his right and hit Moore perfectly in stride. ”

            Grant, I’m pretty sure that was exactly what CK did on that touchdown pass to Veron

            1. Totally different play. Kaepernick play faked and rolled out of the pocket to his left. Both of his reads were on the left side of the field and he stared down Vernon the entire play.

              1. Good play, but not what I’m talking about. Watch from the end zone angle on NFL rewind. He stares down the middle of the field to freeze the safety then he hits Davis. The play was designed for Vernon Davis all the way. If the free safety helped on Davis, McDonald was crossing underneath to the right side of the field. A half-field high-low read, but Davis was the primary target. He was in man coverage against Yeremiah Bell on the backside of a 3×1 formation, like Crabtree was on the final play of the NFC Championship.

              2. “Carr looked down the field to his left, then back to his right and hit Moore perfectly in stride. Kaepernick can’t do that yet.”

                “He stares down the middle of the field to freeze the safety then he hits Davis.”

                OK Grant, I know that they’re not exactly the same but now I’m really confuse when you say “Kaepernick can’t do that yet” because he obviously could make those type of throws.

              3. He hasn’t demonstrated that he can look downfield in one direction toward his primary receiver, quickly decide he’s not open, then quickly look to the other side of the field for his second read and hit him downfield. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t done that yet. It’s a question of seeing the entire field, not just half of it.

        1. Ricardo – Didn’t you hear the man??? Colin cannot do that yet, period. That was not an opinion, but a fact out of the “all-knowing’ Grant’s mouth. If he says it, it must be true.

          Know your place Ricardo.

          1. @Leo
            I noticed when I read his proclamation this morning that it didn’t even irritate me; we’ve come to expect it from Grant. A bunch of hooey? Well yeah.

            1. Haha….I still notice it….but I just react differently now….I just think its hilarious now….I feel like Grant’s lost a lot of his subtlety with his blatant dislike for this organization.

      2. Grant, your last sentence regarding Kaepernick’s ability is incorrect. Simple film study demonstrates that Kaepernick is inconsistent in doing this (as expected from a QB that is developing his NFL-level skills), but he can indeed do it.

          1. There are two throws that immediately come to mind. The first is a throw he made against the Cardinals in week 17 (2012). 8:10 to go in the 3rd quarter. It was made to Delanie Walker. Kap scanned both sides of the field and then hit Walker in stride down the middle for a big gain.

            The second is a throw he made against the Patriots in week 15 (2012). 7:06 to go in the second quarter. Kap scans the field deep left, then moves to the middle and then throws deep right to Walker for a huge touchdown. This one’s tricky because Davis was on the middle right seam and Walker was between the numbers and the sideline. Kap appears to only read two routes, but in reality he’s reading 3 routes.

            I argue with trolling Hawk fans all the time on this subject so I have to be prepared to show them why their trolling is wrong.

            1. Both of those plays involved Kaepernick pump faking by design to the first decoy read. That’s not what Carr did last night.

              1. That’s a distinction without a difference. And, I’m of the opinion the pump fake in the Cardinal game was a last second decision to not throw the ball judging by the hesitance of the move (i.e. not a true pump fake). The point is, you said that Kap couldn’t do what Carr did. You said and implied that Kap couldn’t make reads on both sides of the field and then throw deep accurately to the 2nd or 3rd read for a big gain while in the pocket. Both of those film shots I described refuted your claim.

                If you want to refine what you meant by “Kaepernick can’t do that yet,” please feel free.

              2. You can see on the coach’s film that Kaepernick pump faked toward a double-move in the Cardinals game, so it probably was a designed pump fake and a decoy read meant to move the safety toward the right sideline and clear the middle of the field for Walker’s crossing route. Not what Carr did. He looked deep to his left for his primary receiver then quickly looked back right and threw deep to his secondary receiver. He wasn’t trying to open up one receiver by pump faking to another one. He just went through his progressions quickly in the pocket.

              3. This is a form over substance reply, but I can see we aren’t going to agree. I’ve found that trying to change someone’s preconceived bias (over a non-real time chat medium, no less) is an exercise in futility.

                We’ll just agree to disagree then.

          2. In the end, Kaepernick is what he is. What he has yet to become remains to be seen. What is he? A winning QB who performs spectacularly on the biggest stages against the toughest opponents after only 1.5 years. Were it not for his heroics, we would never have beaten the Packers twice, the Falcons, the Panthers, or for 3 Q’s, last years SB Champions (who have the biggest home field advantage in US professional sports). I find it amazing how haters forget when he shines, but are so quick to point when he fails.

            1. I’ve argued the same thing repeatedly to no avail. What it comes down to is the fact a lot of fans simply look at the results and find the negative. The only time that will stop is with a SB victory. I remember Niner fans riding Steve Young unmercifully during an MVP season after he took over from Montana because if the team didn’t win the SB, it was Young’s fault. It just comes with the job.

              1. A week before this past draft, weren’t we all discussing the notion of taking a QB in case Kaep couldn’t correct the flaws that are keeping him from becoming elite?

                Obviously our team signed him to a contract that allows us to dump him each April (as long as he isn’t injured). That indicates that the team also has some questions about him becoming elite.

                That’s why I think Carr would have been an interesting choice at 30.

      3. Grant, bet you Carr will be starting QB by mid-season, at least against the Seahawks. They showed a couple of close-ups and he looked dazed and shocked. Seahawks are going to have to fix this.

  30. I think the longer Goodell takes to issue the suspension, the better it is for Aldon Smith and the 49ers. Suspensions are meant to teach and educate the individual and not meant to punish or penalize. Taking into account that Aldon Smith recognized his transgressions and addressed them with Rehab, I believe he will get credit for time served in this case. He will probably receive a “suspended suspension” in a sense. He will be credit for his 5 missed games, 2 for DUI 3 for Weapons, ordered to enter NFL treatment program, and any violations will result in an 8 game to 1 year ban.

  31. Thousands gather outside Vatican City NFL, anxiously waiting for the puff of white smoke that indicates a decision was made. The throng’s nerves are soothed by the confidence that the Supreme Commissioner’s decision will be based on fairness, unsurpassed reasoning and divine guidance.

    The Supreme Commissioner will meditate upon the following…

    – Aldon had illegal guns (minus). The guns are popular in parts of the country that are big NFL revenue sources (plus).
    – Aldon was discovered taking a nap in his car, while the car was crashed into a tree, while the wheels were spinning (minus). There is no viral video of the event (plus).
    – Aldon was ripped to the gills on a powerful mind bending drug (minus). A significant portion of the NFL’s revenue comes from the sale of this very same mind mending drug (plus).
    – The 49ers played Aldon the Sunday after the event (minus). The 49ers released vaguely worded statements few understand explaining… but not really explaining… why Aldon played (plus).
    – The 49ers did not fine Aldon (minus). The 49ers held Aldon out next five games, and released even more vaguely worded statements (plus).
    – The Supreme Commissioner suffered bad publicity from the light punishment for Ray Rice. A well planned overreaction against Aldon could sooth some of the bad publicity (mortal minus). A huge suspension for Aldon might make fans more aware of the NFL’s cynicism and warped priorities (plus).

    In the end, all will be right with the NFL world. No matter what the punishment, the chatter will reinforce the public’s increasing comfort with private entities assuming roles similar to civil entities. In a world governed by popsicle stands, can I blame them for thinking we are suckers?

      1. That should bode well. Goodell has been encouraging teams to be more proactive disciplining players. Coming down hard on Aldon run counter to that goal.

      1. Thanks. I thought I’d take a break from overreacting to preseason performances (I had Glenn Coffee the next Franco Harris) to have a little fun overreacting to the Aldon situation.

        Can’t wait for football to start. I’ll be glued to the TV for Green Bay vs Seattle Thursday.

  32. A few takes after a second go around watching the game:

    Dobbs was unblockable for the short time he was in the game

    Cook was excellent in coverage and came up and made a couple of tackles on runs outside

    Carradine had constant pressure most of the night but missed a sack by not rushing under control allowing the QB to duck under him

    The in the grasp call on Gabbert was terrible. I’ve seen far worse allowed to continue

    Chase Thomas was constantly disruptive from his OLB position, but has no chance of making this team due to the numbers

    For Matt, I didn’t see that play you referenced with the two blocks, but he did make a good block on a pass completion to Alphonso Smith in the 4th quarter. Most of the time they had him releasing into the flat as a dumpoff option or carrying out his fakes on play action which he did very well. He runs with a purpose and has good vision. On a couple of plays he bounced an inside handoff outside for good gains and on one, ran right through and attempted tackle. As I said before, I don’t think he makes the roster, but is a great candidate for the PS. He has a lot of potential.

    Both LMJ and Ellington played rolling punts which is usually a no no, and Ellington bobbled his, but you can’t argue with the result. He eats up a lot of ground in a hurry and is so smooth he doesn’t look like he’s running that hard.

    McCray jumps off the screen at times with his quickness and tackling ability. This may be a guy they lose if they try to get him onto the PS. Very impressive for a small College kid.

    I keep waiting for Patton to show something and I keep coming away disappointed. He doesn’t show the ability to get any separation and I’m starting to wonder if he is on the bubble. Ultimately I think they’ll keep him around, but he’s been the most underwhelming of the guys I was excited about coming into TC. He really needs to pick it up.

    Osgood is another guy that you want to see make it because he’s always the first one down on coverage, but there may not be room to keep him. The blocked punt was easy considering nobody blocked him, but he’s still a hard worker who makes plays on ST’s.

    This is where I wish the NFL would make the roster sizes bigger because there are just too many difficult decisions to make to pare this roster down to 53. The CB’s especially are going to keep Baalke up tonight because they all played well throughout TC. After last night, it seems apparent they have decided to keep Cox as he didn’t play, and Cook has done nothing but play well whenever he’s been on the field. Johnson has grown over the course of TC to the point he may be an option in the dime and a stalwart on ST’s. It comes down to Acker and Morris imo and I had them keeping both on my roster prediction, but that’s a lot of CB’s to keep around.

    This is going to be a tough day no doubt about it.

    1. Rocket,
      And we thought last year was difficult, I believe this will be the toughest year yet to get to that final 53. Not only are their players in the second and third tier who won’t slip under that proverbial radar to the Niner practice squad, but compounding this is the backup QB dilemma. On that latter they may be forced to keep three QBs just because there is no clear backup thus eating up a clearly valuable spot.
      The Texan’s just to name one team with well demonstrated minimal depth will be looking carefully at Niner waive and sneak activity in the days to come. Rookie free agents, Thomas, McCray, Cleveland and Winston all likely not to make final 53 and all making great sales pitches last night. Then there is Nelson who also made a good case and could fill two positions to consequently open up one in this year where one spot is of high value.
      Get out the chess board Trent it will be a tough next couple of days.

      1. Mary how many games should Sherman have been suspended for getting off on a technicality for doing a banned substance? Be smart with your comments. You are a guest on a 49er blog.

        1. Bay — I’m entitled to an opinion, what is wrong with you. If Smith was a Seahawk I’d say the same thing. Get a grip.

          1. Mary,

            Yes, you are entitled to an opinion, just as we 49er fans are entitled to let you know when you are full of it.

            There is no way that Smith getting nine games makes any sense in the context of Rice getting two. If you can’t see that, then I just don’t know what to say.

      2. Marty, are you attention-deprived? Seems you like to get it whether negative or not on this blog. It would explain the real reason you are here.

          1. Family fight with family, but when an outsider gets involved, it’s a whole other level… Do you realize what it takes for me to take BayArea’s side on anything?

    1. When I hear “With all due respect….”, anything after that becomes horse manure. No one cares what your thoughts are on the matter, with all due respect!

    2. You guys are all shocked and outraged by the video of Hague kicking the dog in the elevator, yet when Rice knocks out his gf and drags/tosses her body off the elevator no one thinks this is worth a phone call to the Ravens . . .

      No judgment, I just think it’s an interesting observation.

      1. While I hate the team you support, I agree with your assertions. The dog video got talk of a boycott. The Rice incident got laughed off and is now the scape goat for Aldon’s lengthy suspension.
        How about the league just introduces a zero tolerance policy. 1 year automatic ban for domestic violence. 1 year automatic ban for DUI resulting in a crash. Doesn’t matter if injuries or not. Second offense on any of these is an automatic lifetime ban. I’d wager that we’d see a drastic drop in the nightlife of these athletes. Perhaps agents would have a vested interest making sure their clients actually abide by the law.

        1. Matt, I agree — this is the way the NFL is leaning — zero tolerance so everyone better get on board. If AS was employed outside the NFL he would have been fired long ago with very few job prospects.

          1. Mary,

            You are dead wrong. Oh, sure, if he was a UPS driver, a cashier in a grocery store, or some other job in which he was easily replaceable, you would be right. At least as far as being fire goes, after going through a treatment program and some time passing, he would find work, again.

            However, if he was commensurately talented in his chosen field, he would get chance after chance after chance, and if you think otherwise, you are very, very naive.

            So, please, knock off the crap. Yes, what Smith did was wrong, but no worse than what your beloved Marshawn Lynch has gotten away with. Actually, ;Lynch hit a pedestrian and ran in the nightclub district in Buffalo, if anything, it’s worse than what Smith did. And why do you think he did that, huh? Maybe because he, already having a DUI on his record, decided another one (especially one that resulted in him hitting a pedestrian) wouldn’t look so good.

            1. exgolfer — Let’s see if I have this correct, “I’m dead wrong” and “I should please knock off the crap.” I skimmed your lengthy response and everything else is apples and oranges. Just accept this ruling and be angry with AS.

              Now, I’m not the smartest person on the planet, but these 3 things I do know: If AS continues on this path (1) he will be in jail as he’s on 3 yrs. of probation; (2) he’ll be suspended for a year or life from the NFL; and (3) he’ll be dead or on the CFL.

              If I were Harbaugh I would have AS replacement hired ASP.

              1. Mary,

                Show me where I said I was happy with Smith’s behavior? Nope, never said that.

                My point, and what you have wrong, is that anyone supremely talented in their chosen field will receive chance after chance from their employer, especially in an industry that doesn’t have a commissioner dishing out punishment beyond that of the legal system. Please address. If you don’t, I will assume you agree that you had it wrong and move on. Thanks.

                BTW, I’m most definitely not saying that it’s right, just that it’s the way it is.

  33. Last night, I was toggling back and forth between Niner / Texan game and Chicago / Cleveland game. What quickly grabbed my attention and what ended up bothering me most was an inevitable Gabbert / Fales comparison.

    Fales was making his first NFL appearance. Gabbert is starting his fourth year. Yet it looked the other way around. David Fales showed good pocket presence, was making smart decisions and had precise passes. As an example, several times he and a third tier receiver beat my favorite rookie CB this year, Justin Gilbert. One was for a touchdown.

    This still bothers me!

  34. Looks like Ellington should be primary return man. Somehow Spillman was one of best gunners in nfl and now it looks like Osgood a beast as well. I wonder if they both make 53 roster just for special teams. Spillman over Dahl anyday

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