49ers training camp report, Day 3: The emergence of the third quarterback

SANTA CLARA – Here’s who stood out to me during the third day of training camp.

THE GOOD

1. WR Quinton Patton. The best wide receiver on the field today. Caught three passes during team drills (4 on 3, 7 on 7 and 11 on 11). Beat Jimmie Ward once with a quick curl route. Also beat zone coverage (Cover 2) once with a deep catch down the left sideline. Seems much more effective when he’s in space toward the edge of the field than when he’s in traffic over the middle.

2. CB Will Redmond. The backup slot cornerback during every team drill. Quarterbacks challenged him zero times in coverage for the third day in a row.

3. CB Dontae Johnson. Intercepted a deep, underthrown Colin-Kaepernick pass intended for Jerome Simpson during 1-on-1 drills.

4. OLB Tank Carradine. Broke up a pass intended for third-string slot receiver Bryce Treggs during 7 on 7s, and set a powerful edge against the run during 11 on 11s. Defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil was so impressed with Carradine’s run defense after one play, O’Neil ran onto the field and bumped chests with him.

5. RT Anthony Davis. Held his ground during 1-on-1 pass-rushing drills against the 49ers’ most powerful pass rusher – Arik Armstead. Davis won every matchup.

6. TE Vance McDonald. Caught five passes and dropped none during team drills while primarily running shallow crossing routes and deep corner routes. The Niners clearly want use his speed and get him into “space,” which is the smart way to use him. McDonald can’t catch passes in traffic.

7. TE Je’Ron Hamm. Caught four passes and dropped none during team drills while primarily running stick routes and seam routes. Hamm was by far the most reliable tight end today at catching passes in tight areas.

8. ILB Nick Bellore. Broke up two throws over the middle which Kaepernick telegraphed. Both times, Bellore stared at Kaepernick while Kaepernick stared down his intended target, then broke on the pass while Kaepernick still was going through his elongated windup.

9. QB Jeff Driskel. Completed 11-of-14 passes with the third-team offense and made the throw of the day. Torrey Smith was running a corner route against Cover 2 zone defense. Driskel threw the pass before Smith made his break, the ball floated over leaping cornerback Keith Reaser, who was covering a zone in the flat, and hit Smith’s hands before the safety could run over and knock it down. Perfect throw. Do you think Driskel will start a game next season?

10. QB Colin Kaepernick. Attempted 16 passes while playing with the starters, and completed 17 of his 25 throws during team drills. Completed a deep pass to DeAndrew White while taking a shot from DeForest Buckner, who knocked Kaepernick on his back. The coaches said nothing. They clearly seemed more interested in Buckner’s hit than Kaepernick’s safety. I wonder why?

11. QB Blaine Gabbert. Completed 17 of his 26 passes during team drills, including a deep touchdown pass to Torrey Smith. This was the second day in a row Gabbert threw a deep TD pass.

THE NOT SO GOOD

1. CB Rashard Robinson. Gave receivers too much cushion most of practice. Got beat once by Eric Rogers who was running a deep hook route, once Aaron Burbridge who was running a slant and once by DeAndrew White who also was running a slant. At one point during practice defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley walked over to Robinson to say something to him. Robinson seemed to blow him off and walk away.

2. CB Jimmie Ward. Gave up one catch to Eric Rogers who was running a deep out route. Gave up another catch to Quinton Patton who was running a quick curl route. And gave up a third catch to Torrey Smith who burned Ward with a simple post route. Ward seemed lost all day.

3. TE Blake Bell. Dropped two easy passes during team drills and caught zero. Has shown no improvement as a receiver since last season.

4. DC Jim O’Neil. Routinely made his outside linebackers cover wide receivers man to man downfield. On any given play you’d see Aaron Lynch, Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold, Corey Lemonier or Tank Carradine flailing around downfield with their backs to the quarterback. Using these players in man coverage is a terrible strategy, and a prime example of a coach sticking to his system instead of adjusting to the talents of his players. Sinful.

  1. Thanks, for the report, Grant. Agree wholeheartedly on O’Neill. If this is a major part of the defensive game plan, it’s going to be a long season for us fans.

    1. Last year Mangini did the same thing and the Cardinal’s feasted on the OLB’s in coverage with Fitz. I don’t really get the scheme these guys are trying to use.

      1. With Kelly we seem to have a reasonable chance of overcoming the loss of Harbaugh. Not sure we can say the same thing about DC.

  2. Took you long enough…..JK thanks for the solid reporting Grant

    By most reports looks like one of our biggest weaknesses, RT, became one of our biggest strengths with the re-emergence of T. Brown and AD. Fantastic news! I wonder how this play out in the future?

    Also good hear about Tank, I was really starting to get worried, he needs to keep that up.

    Grant, at what point will you eat crow about Redmond?

  3. “Do you think Driskel will start a game next season?” I hope not unless there is an injury. I am somewhat intrigued with this guy, don’t rush him.

    O’Neil – not sure what to think about him or his system. Going to be watching the defense with great interest this preseason.

  4. Grant, you should apply to be the 49ers next DC. Maybe you are better at that than your are at writing smartass “pieces”.

    1. Calm, it’s an interpretation by a reporter. We don’t know what actually transpired. Perhaps he was angry with himself for his poor play for all we know.

  5. Lots of good info in there Grant, thanks.

    Great to have AD back. He is easily the best RT by a wide margin, even after sitting out for a year, and that is why I couldn’t understand the sentiment to cut him so many expressed on here. It’s fine to not like the guy for some stupid tweets, but at the end of the day, you want the most talented players you can find on the field. Davis is a huge upgrade for this team and can really be a difference maker this year if he can stay healthy.

    I’m not a Driskel fan and I don’t see him as QB of the future, but I’d be happy if he proves me wrong. Long way to go but encouraging none the less.

    Good to see Redmond taking regular snaps after missing the offseason. Amazing how quickly these players can recover from knee surgery these days. Joseph in Oakland has done the same thing. Just remarkable.

    4. DC Jim O’Neil. Routinely made his outside linebackers cover wide receivers man to man downfield. On any given play you’d see Aaron Lynch, Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold, Corey Lemonier or Tank Carradine flailing around downfield with their backs to the quarterback. Using these players in man coverage is a terrible strategy, and a prime example of a coach sticking to his system instead of adjusting to the talents of his players. Sinful.

    I’m sick of this guy already. I didn’t like the hire and reading stuff like this along with all the negativity in Cleveland, just makes me wonder why he has this job? Could Chip really not find anyone better?

    1. I agree that this strategy by O’Neill is sinful. But I’d like to explore why supposedly experience coaches like Mangini and O’Neill would use these strategies. Is it so they can blitz more with CBs and Safeties? That’s about all I can see as a possible advantage of such a strategy. But as we saw last year it was mostly a disaster.

      1. Cubus,

        Deception. It’s about trying to stay vanilla and then adjusting just before the snap. We saw Mangini do it last year and more often than not, it didn’t work. Reid moving up and then running out to the edge to cover a receiver at the last second was a prime example.

        There was discussion about this a couple of days ago but to echo what I said then: It’s the first year under a new DC. This is not the time to be putting in complicated coverage schemes or run fits. This may not fall under that heading, but this core of players has to be given the chance to play in the system and get used to their assignments before the misdirection comes in. You want these guys to know what they are doing so they can play fast. I understand an OLB has to cover at times, but you absolutely do not put them in a position where they are following a receiver downfield. Covering the flat or shallow middle in a zone is fine, but opposing offenses will eat an OLB in man alive most of the time. Especially when they are the size of DE’s.

        It just seems like O’Neil is trying to be the smartest guy in the room at the expense of his players. Keep it simple to start and gradually install the more elaborate formations as the players become comfortable. There is something to be said for mastering simple and basic so you can play fast. Seattle has done that for a number of years now.

        1. This is why Fangio was so good.
          He was known as a guy that wanted to blitz a lot, but when he was given a 49er team with a great defensive line, he didnt get cute. He played a very simple defense and didn’t dial up many exotic blitzes which allowed his teams to just line up and play fast. It was one of the reasons Philly didn’t give his D many problems.

    2. You don’t know what works until you try it. For goodness sake, it’s PRACTICE, you’re experimenting. Trying stuff. R-e-l-a-x!
      Sheesh!

      1. This is exactly what I was going to say. He’s seeing what prices he has. If he does this in week 1 and it’s not working, then we can complain.

  6. Grant,

    I wouldn’t panic on the linebackers covering. Preseason. We have got to evaluate the talent in difference scenarios. Chill, Winston :)

      1. Agreed Cubus,
        The concern is not that he did this in practice its that he has a history of over complicating his defenses leading to blown assignments.

  7. I wonder if Robinson’s big cushion was working on off coverage… not his strong suit.

    I hope its Robinson and the OLBs just working on weaknesses and not part of any scheme change.

    1. ITs been noted that O’Neil by Grant likes to have OLB’s in coverage. Its fine if its a TE but WR’s seem like a sure fire way to get beat.

      1. One thing that needs to be kept in mind is that this is install time. If Kelly is installing his base offense, which typically uses 3 WRs, it doesn’t mean O’Neil will always be using sub-packages. He may be trying to install the base D, which will put an OLB against a WR.

        During a game he would be unlikely to do that.

        1. I get what you’re saying Scooter, but wouldn’t it make more sense for O’Neil to use his sub packages when facing 3 WR’s? You want your Nickel/Dime defenses to get work against these position groups so why practice with your base against it? It’s not like it helps the offense either as they won’t face a base defense with 3 WR’s on the field. They need to practice against a look they will see.

          1. If Kelly practices 3 WR sets as often as he uses it in games, the base D would barely see the field in practice. How are they then meant to perform during the season?

            1. Scout teams. You have to do it during the season when preparing for your opponent, so why in the world wouldn’t you do it in TC? If you want to run 1’s vs 1’s then practice with what each side will do in that situation. The defense is going to be in Nickel 2/3’s of the time during the season anyway.

              1. Because it is TC. Guys are competing for spots, learning the playbook. Now is definitely not the time to be making the 2s and 3s be scout team players, doing something different to what the 1s are doing.

              2. Btw, the idea of installing packages against looks that aren’t necessarily what they’ll see/ go against during the season is nothing new. I recall Fangio being questioned about it previously too. You just have to do it at this time of year to make sure you install the system.

                If playing the OLBs in man coverage against WRs is what O’Neil does regularly during the season too, then sure, big issue. Right now, let’s just chill a bit.

              3. They aren’t just going to be practicing Scout team Scooter. It’s situational football drills and giving the offense or defense a certain look is part of the deal. Let’s also get real here. There are about 3-5 spots on this roster that are up for grabs. You have 40 players that aren’t going to make this team. Part of having that many bodies is so you have the flexibility to do a lot of different things.

                As for chilling out on O’Neil, if he didn’t have the history he does I would, but when multiple defensive players are calling out their DC, there is a reason for concern. Not saying this is you, as you’ve allowed for the fact it could go sideways, but I’ve never understood this optimism fans tend to have simply because it’s their own team a guy is playing or Coaching for now. Chances are if the guy in question had problems with another organization, it’s not magically going to go away because he came here.

              4. Its day 3 of TC and day one of padded practice. I do not expect the team to display an intricate and complex defense for the reporters to share with the NFL?

                I agree the scheme is foolish, but I think O’Neil is making small changes to what the defense already knows. I would be worried if this was week 4 of the preseason and that was the defense SF was moving forward with. Right now, the LBs and the CBs are practicing what they know. The tweaks will come later.

              5. There are only a handful of snaps available each day. They can’t afford to waste them by having players do something they weren’t installing that day, or to just give one side of the ball the looks they want. And trying to install multiple things on the same day dilutes the amount of teaching you can do. Bad idea for right now.

                And I completely disagree with the idea of having any players at this point effectively being told not to worry about learning the offense/ defense, and just be there to give the “real team” the looks they are after.

              6. There are only a handful of snaps available each day. They can’t afford to waste them by having players do something they weren’t installing that day, or to just give one side of the ball the looks they want. And trying to install multiple things on the same day dilutes the amount of teaching you can do. Bad idea for right now.

                You don’t need to learn a system to run a Scout team Scooter. Do you think the Scout teams are learning the systems they run during the season? You are overthinking it. It’s not that difficult to give the offense or defense the looks they need for whatever part of the scheme they are installing that day. You are not spending time teaching the Scout team a system. You are giving the offense or defense snaps against alignments they will actually see based on how they are lined up.

                Let’s look at it another way. How much does an offense or defense get out of practicing against a scheme they will never see? Chip Kelly is never going to see a base defense against his WR unit, so how does his offense get better if they are practicing against it? Grant described the OLB’s as flailing in coverage. That helps neither side in any way.

                And I completely disagree with the idea of having any players at this point effectively being told not to worry about learning the offense/ defense, and just be there to give the “real team” the looks they are after.

                Not sure what is up with you lately but this is the second time in about 3 days you’ve formed an conclusion that is not in line with what was said. It’s a fact that almost 40 of these players are not going to make the team. Part of having this many players in camp is so you can practice as many different scenarios as possible. I did not say they should not be taught the teams offensive and defensive schemes. They are fully capable of learning offensive and defensive systems while also taking part in group periods designed to give each side of the ball the type of look they will see when they line up in their respective formations.

              7. While those guys are off giving the right looks to the other side, they aren’t being taught how to play the scheme. Very limited number of snaps. Can’t be wasted. Just my opinion. You disagree, lets leave it that.

                “Not sure what is up with you lately but this is the second time in about 3 days you’ve formed an conclusion that is not in line with what was said.”

                Not really. The first time I realise where the misunderstanding occurred, but it wasn’t because it wasn’t in line with what was said. You said “Understood, Scooter” in response to my comment. I mistakenly interpreted this to mean you had understood my point prior to me needing to make it. An easy misinterpretation to make, which would have made my response valid. However, what you meant was you simply understood my point, following my making it, and your previous comment had been made without that understanding. Mia culpa.

                In this instance I also don’t see how I am drawing a conclusion that isn’t based on what was said. I may misinterpret what you mean, but you have clearly said they should use a similar concept as scout teams during the season, and that if we a re being “real” there are only a handful of spots available anyway, so have the flexibility to let a lot of the guys do other stuff. I can only assume while doing other stuff, they aren’t learning the offense/ defense being installed.

              8. Scooter,

                As I mentioned earlier, the players are more than capable of learning the systems and also giving Scout team looks. It is not that time consuming and teams do it all the time, but I will agree to disagree.

                In this instance I also don’t see how I am drawing a conclusion that isn’t based on what was said. I may misinterpret what you mean, but you have clearly said they should use a similar concept as scout teams during the season, and that if we a re being “real” there are only a handful of spots available anyway, so have the flexibility to let a lot of the guys do other stuff. I can only assume while doing other stuff, they aren’t learning the offense/ defense being installed.

                There was definitely a misinterpretation. My point about 40 players not making the team is that the Coaches already know most of the players that will make up the final roster. You need to get those players prepared and learning the schemes, and a lot of these guys will get very few snaps in TC based on that. That is the reality of the sport. That is why it is so hard for the low round and UFA picks to make the team or even get noticed. That is amplified even more due to the fact new systems are being installed on both sides of the ball.

                A big part of having this many bodies to work with is the flexibility it gives you. Players can rotate in and out, both in team work and Scout team. As I already mentioned, they are not learning a system to play Scout team. They are simply being directed where to line up and what type of coverage to play so the offense or defense can run plays against formations they will see. It does not take away from their learning of the teams own system at all.

                The underlying message here is that running a base defense against a formation you would never call it against in a game, is pointless. It achieves nothing. It doesn’t help the offense because they will never see an opposing defense lined up like that in a game, and it doesn’t help the defense because they are playing a defense they will not play against a similar offensive formation in a game. It’s a complete waste of time.

        2. “During a game he would be unlikely to do that”.

          Not so sure about that, Scooter. The Browns had a defense that was in the top 10 of the league the year before O’Neil, to nearly the bottom of the league during his tenure. He needs big press corners and linebackers who can cover. The really troubling aspect of O’neil is he totally relies only on an overly complex scheme, and consequently needs a really smart Free Safety to make sure their lined up properly. He consistently forced his players to play away from their strengths. Case in point, his pass rushing outside linebackers, Barkevious Mingo and Paul Kruger, were constantly asked to drop into coverage against the slot. Didn’t work. After doing some more digging, he apparently isn’t very adept at making halftime adjustments either. O’Neil’s specialty is supposed to be pass defense, and it showed in how he approached stopping the run. His linebackers had to guess what technique the offensive lineman were using on the defensive lineman, because their is no gap integrity. Probably going to take at least another year to get the type of personnel he’ll need and for the system to take root. I think Jamie Collins should be a priority in F/A….

          1. When playing base 3-4 D, yes, O’Neil regularly has one of his OLBs go into coverage. But as I said elsewhere, that is par for the course. So does Fangio.

            Having the OLB go into coverage isn’t the issue. Its how you use him in coverage. Having him covering a wide receiver in man coverage is obviously a bad idea.

          2. That is not true Razor.

            CLE Def was 28 by DVOA in 2013.
            In O’Neill’s first year they were 23 and last year they went back to 29.

            Not encouraging results but CLE did not have a worse defense when he was their DC. You could say it was equally bad, but not worse.

      1. Thanks! (I had to look up press bail. They really do “bail” out of of press coverage.)

        Is it my imagination or are there alot of young “wince” players in this camp… players that are just good enough to make you wince if they get snagged off 24 hour Practice Squad waivers. Especially at DB, RB, WR.

  8. Is there any chance O’Neil is trying to see what lb’s can cover or trying to teach them to cover. Grants main gripe with bowman was coverage. No better time to teach it than practice

    1. Grant was referring to the OLB’s in this case. Bowman is an ILB and will regularly expected to drop back into coverage.

      1. Note* OLB’s will also drop back in coverage fairly often, but they should normally be dropping back into a zone with their eyes forward. Having them cover in a man technique is putting them in a position to fail

  9. Sending an OLB into coverage is par for the course. Most teams typically send 4 guys in pass rush, 7 guys in coverage as their base. Unless you want a DL in coverage, one of the OLBs is going out. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news for everyone that wants to crucify a DC for doing so.

    The ‘sinful’ element isn’t sending them into coverage. It is sending them in man-coverage. That is stupid. None of the OLBs on this roster are capable of holding up in man-coverage regularly. They’ll get eaten alive if O’Neil tries this regularly during the season.

    Of course, if O’Neil is also regularly asking his OLBs to go into coverage while sending DBs after the QB instead, that is also stupid. As a change up every now and then, sure. But doing it often just puts people out of there comfort zone too regularly, and doesn’t allow them to do what they are best at.

    1. I think this is what we’re talking about:
      “Of course, if O’Neil is also regularly asking his OLBs to go into coverage while sending DBs after the QB instead, that is also stupid. As a change up every now and then, sure. But doing it often just puts people out of there comfort zone too regularly, and doesn’t allow them to do what they are best at.”

      Not that they go into coverage but regularly in coverage.

      Grant’s take was what you said ” Routinely made his outside linebackers cover wide receivers man to man downfield. On any given play you’d see Aaron Lynch, Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold, Corey Lemonier or Tank Carradine flailing around downfield with their backs to the quarterback. Using these players in man coverage is a terrible strategy, and a prime example of a coach sticking to his system instead of adjusting to the talents of his players. Sinful.”

      1. Yes, I wasn’t trying to contradict Grant. I just think there are some people that may believe having an OLB in coverage is the problem. It is not. Its how you use them in coverage.

        O’Neil using these guys in man coverage doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. But as I said in another thread above, it could just be he is installing the base D at the moment, which is matching an OLB against a WR. In a game you’d like to think he wouldn’t do that. Having an OLB in man coverage against a TE wouldn’t be quite so bad.

        1. So let me see if I understand what you are saying. O’Neill is trying to install his base defense against an offense that primarily uses 3 WRs. If he reacted to the offense, as he probably should, with a subpackage, then the base defense wouldn’t get enough practice.

          1. Correct, that is what I am saying. I can’t say for sure this is what is actually happening, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

        2. Scooter I appreciate your point about base defense. It makes sense depending on what their intent is for practice. Grant never mentioned this with regards to Fangio so something is certainly different in concept or implementation for practice. What that is we won’t know till the season.

        3. There should never be a base D that matches an OLB up with a WR, so I don’t know why he would be doing that in practice. Why practice something if you don’t plan to do it in a game?

          1. In a game the OLB would be matched up with a TE, most likely. Role would be exactly the same, player he is matched up against differs.

            You practice it because not every team will run 3 WR sets as often as Kelly. Its install time.

            1. Then run it against an offensive formation you will be in base against. That’s what happens during the week when the defense is running against Scout team. Running a base defense against a 3 WR set achieves nothing for either side.

              1. They have 90 players in camp. It’s not that hard to have the defense practicing base against a 2 wide formation, while Chip is running his 3 WR’s against a Nickel on another field.

              2. Nothing better than having the 2s and 3s learning something different than the 1s at this stage.

              3. It’s TC Scooter. Players are moved in and out regularly and are learning many different plays and formations. We always had our offense and defense practicing against what they would see against an opponent when I was Coaching. There is no point in practicing against something they will never see in a game. You get both sides of the ball ready by letting them see and react to what they will see in a game.

              4. Just for laughs:

                Maiocco
                Outside linebacker Tank Carradine dropped into coverage and broke up an underneath pass that Lewis intended for Bryce Treggs

                Who’d a thought Tank of all people would break up a pass.

              5. Tank has been playing out of position all along. He is really a Safety in a DL body. All kidding aside, I’ll take anything Tank does positively at this point.

  10. Thanks for your report Grant!

    Couple questions:

    I’m not sure why you would assume that O’Niell’s use of OLB’s covering WR’s man to man, downfiled, is a scheme he will utilize much during the regular season? For crying out loud Grant, it’s their first day practicing in pads during camp. Doesn’t it make sense that he’d like to get a look at his OLB’s trying to cover WR’s downfield, early in camp, to get a feel for how he needs to fit his schemes around his players? What were you thinking?

    What kind of point were you trying to make with this comment about Kap taking a shot from Forest?

    (Colin) Completed a deep pass to DeAndrew White while taking a shot from DeForest Buckner, who knocked Kaepernick on his back. The coaches said nothing. They clearly seemed more interested in Buckner’s hit than Kaepernick’s safety. I wonder why?

    I have absolutely no idea where you are going with this, and I have analyzed it from all angles. Can you clarify?

    1. Probably not. He also said that the best WR on the field today was Quinton Patton, who caught three passes despite Torrey Smith catching a deep TD pass.

      I wonder where this guy is going sometimes. He’s all over the road.

  11. Maiocco reported it was Gabbert who was intercepted by Johnson on a pass to Simpson in 1 on 1 drills, not Kap. Get it straight Grant.

    1. Curious. Grant and Ryan Sakamoto report that it was Kap who threw the interception. I’ve checked some other report and the authors didn’t mention it.

      1. Seems like Sakamoto is pretty critical of CK and Biderman loves everything he does. Everyone else seems somewhere in the middle.

        Maiocco reports “On Tuesday, Gabbert and Simpson tried to reenact their scoring play from a day earlier, but Johnson ran stride-for-stride with Simpson and made the leaping interception.”

        Interesting discrepancy Cubus.

        1. Yeah, I noticed that as well regarding Sakamoto and Biderman. Kelly said today that the QB competition would be settled in the preseason games.

          1. Barrows and Maiocco both posted some of CK using the read option with some success today. I wish we could watch some of this.

  12. Grant,
    I noticed that you didn’t mention Marcus Rush when you wrote about the OLB’s getting beat in coverage, was that be cause he looked good in coverage?

  13. Well, it looked like each reporter had his own perspective while they all watched the same thing.

    Nice to hear that Kaep is doing well, and making throws in tight windows. Nice to hear that Kaep is running the read option. Maybe Chip will utilize him properly.

    I thought that O’Neil may be the weak link, and Grants reporting confirms that. Hope they get back to playing Niner football.

    Glad that TC has started, but everyone needs to realize that if the offense does well, the defense did poorly, so there is always a good and bad result every play. Sounds like the players are playing efficiently and are focused.

  14. Basically it looks like the offense got a little better of the defense the first day pads came on, guess it’s not entirely too surprising and the D will adjust.

    Nothing to worry about just yet. Looks like the young players are doing what they are supposed to be doing. In contrast to last year when things looked bad and the reports from camp were also pretty bad I think we have some things to look forward to this year.

    I suppose we could worry about the DC sending OLBs into coverage without help but at the moment they are evaluating talent and I’m not too worried about things going forward. Now if I see this same tendency in the first and second preseason games then I’ll jump on the Rocket bandwagon.

  15. As the critiques of Kelly’s and O’Neil’s installation/teaching fly around here I’m reminded of player reactions when Chip was new in Philly. The guys said they’d run a play and expect comments or to be coached up between plays, but it didn’t work that way. They’d just run play after play in practice, and then there’d be discussions later in film session. This allowed Kelly to practice his uptempo pace and maximize on-the-field allowed time.
    It’s install time, they’re likely just rolling it out on Offense and D right now. The CBA limits on practice reps make Bosa’s rookie holdout in SD a pretty questionable strategy. Parsing reports of every practice pass and drill will likely drive us all ’round the bend as Jack Hammer said, and may lead us to conclude that 2+2+2= 222. It’s TC.

    1. And how!

      They’ve completed a total of 3 practices. Jumping up and saying that it’s “sinful” and complaining about the defense is just plain silly.

      None of us, the writers included, knows what they are working on right now.

    2. It’s great to see you back BT. You are always a voice of reason around here.

      I understand it’s early and we don’t know the reasoning behind what they are doing, but we know O’Neil’s history, and that is the concern for me. How do we give the benefit of the doubt to a coordinator who oversaw a terrible defense and had multiple players complaining about his system?

      We don’t really have a choice obviously, but you know I can’t just let it go quietly ;)

      1. Thx Rocket
        Just in jest, may I dub you “Negatron” this past year? You’ve been a bit of a pessimist. We’ve been blabbing together a bunch of years on here, so I noticed. ; >)
        Remember when Harbs and Fangio came aboard? Houston9er expressed his doubts about Fangio based on his time in Houston. So I do get the observations about O’Neil, but in the words of Bobby McFarrin:
        “In your life they’ll be some trouble,
        When you worry, you make it double.
        Don’t worry.
        Be happy.”

        1. It’s a slow day with no practice session.

          So, in the words of psychologist Daniel Amen:

          ‘Don’t worry be happy’ people die the earliest from accidents and preventable illnesses.

          1. There’s great reasons to be quite optimistic, AD is back, focused, playing well and has admitted that his offseason tweets were just trying to get leverage so that can be put to rest. Lynch is practicing and though he will be suspended it was due to too much water (bong water!) but hey! The young players seem to be responding and the DL seems to be much improved with the possibility of the return of Dorsey. Good stuff.

        2. BT,

          Negatron…yeah I guess I resemble that remark ;)

          No doubt I’ve been a pessimist, debby downer, peeing on the parade guy etc. etc. I’ve never hid from that since it began during Harbaugh’s final season. All I can say is I have to be true to myself and honest in my opinions on here. I rub some people the wrong way when I make negative comments. I understand that and accept it. It’s the way I operate. Honest opinions regardless of popularity. I remember some of the opposition to Fangio, but I don’t see any similarities here personally. O’Neil has little experience in his position and what he does have is not impressive. I have a hard time getting past his players complaining about his system and communication ability. I am probably making too much of info posted 3 days into TC, but it’s based on the track record of the individual more than the time period.

          I’m not completely down on the team as much as it may seem. I’m cautiously optimistic the Oline will be quite a bit better this year. The Dline has tremendous potential and we are set at Safety. CB has some talent that needs to be developed. I just continue to shake my head as to how quickly the team went downhill when it looked like they were setting up a long term contender, and how tough it is to rebound without answers at QB and the pass rush. It’s tough to accept and when I look at the long range outlook it’s tough to be optimistic. I will continue to hope for the best though.

          1. Negatron,

            It’s good to hear of your burgeoning optimism. I hope the team can justify more of the same.

            Having said that, I find it odd that a paragraph you start with a comment on how your not being completely down on the team, ends up as more of the same.

            Hey, you may be right and “winter is coming” and most of the rest of us just don’t know it yet.

  16. I hope the league, in their infinite wisdom, will make changes to the preseason. They should eliminate one preseason game, and use that week as another rest, or bye week during the regular season.

    They should schedule 2 games within a 3 week period for some teams, so they can play Thursday Night Football, and the teams can have 10 day rest periods between games. This will show concern for concussions, because scheduling games with only a 3 day rest period between games is dangerous, especially to any player showing concussion symptoms. Even with no concussion symptoms, the league is showing a callous disregard to the players by having only 3 days rest between games.

    Another way the league can help the players is by having the team designate 22 starters, and not allowing them to play during the preseason. This way, no starter will ever get injured over a meaningless game. It would also allow the 2nd and 3rd string players more playing time so the teams can evaluate those players better.

    Eventually, the league may drop another preseason game and make it a 17 game season. The players will not be for that, so the players should be paid 1/16th more, so their objections are somewhat ameliorated. I am against an 18 game season because that is too many, and the attrition rate will increase, unless they add more Bye dates so the players have more rest.

  17. THE VERY GOOD

    The 49ers’ first-team offensive line has not changed during the three days of practices.

    The first unit has consisted of left tackle Joe Staley, left guard Zane Beadles, center Daniel Kilgore, right guard Andrew Tiller and right tackle Trent Brown.

    The second O-line was Erik Pears, Ian Silberman, Marcus Martin, Brandon Thomas and John Theus.

    The third group was Colin Kelly, Fahn Cooper, Alex Balducci, Joshua Garnett and Anthony Davis.

  18. There’s an old saying(s):

    1. You dance with the one that brought you.
    2. A cat doesn’t change its spots.

    Fans, you better pay close attention to Grant’s reporting. He’s just giving you Oneil and Kelly’s M/O. In reality, it’s been known since his days in philly and Oneil’s tenure in Cleveland.

    Here’s some quotes so you can decide for yourself what to expect this season:

    “The oddest thing, however, is that the 49ers’ replacement for Eric Mangini as defensive coordinator had a unit that gave up significantly more points last season and barely gave up fewer yards per game. Put simply, Jim O’Neill is a strange hire as defensive coordinator.
    O’Neill, it should be noted, was not the 49ers first choice — Mike Vrabel turned the organization’s offer down. So, while questions must be asked regarding the wisdom of the 49ers hiring, questions must also be asked about the 49ers front office and personnel — is their defensive coordinator job really that bad of a gig? ”

    Instead, Kelly has hired an unknown, unproven, and largely unsuccessful coach to be in charge of the unit he is not an expert in. *****Jim O’Neill Hiring Grade: F *****

    From Article: Grading 49er coaching hires, Niner Noise

    49ers Make Big Mistake in Hiring Jim O’Neil as Defensive Coordinator

    By Chris Pokorny  @DawgsByNature on Jan 26, 2016, 7:49p 101

    http://www.dawgsbynature.com/2016/1/26/10837232/49ers-make-big-mistake-in-hiring-jim-oneil-as-defensive-coordinator

  19. Bill Walsh never used the “Buddy System” AKA The good Ol’ Boy network to win SuperBowls….However, it’s alive and well with chip

    1. In his two years with the Browns, O’Neil was viewed as Mike Pettine’s buddy who was suddenly given a title promotion as “defensive coordinator.”

    2..There’s a feeling that Jack Bicknell Gave Chip his First coaching job and in return has strong loyalty toward his son (Bob Bicknell)

    The Mystery of 4:

    49ers WR coach Bob Bicknell

    http://www.ninersnation.com/2016/3/30/11321530/chip-kelly-49ers-mystery-of-bob-bicknell

  20. Some Cleveland “Dawg Pound” Fans weigh in on the Jim Oneil Hire:

    I thought he’d be lucky to walk into a job as a position coach again, but to lock up a defensive coordinator position again?

    bnallappa ‏@bnallappa · Jan 27

    @JohnMiddlekauff -It takes a special person to be the DC for Chip Kelly!

    Justin Wembes ‏@wemboski49 · Jan 26

    @JohnMiddlekauff on a scale from horrible-10… How bad is this dc hire?

    Hue Program Nigga ‏@LeBronGOATarmy · Jan 27

    @wemboski49 beyond horrible. He absolutely sucks

  21. I wonder if AD comes back full force and wins that 1st RT spot, which I expect, do they give Brown a shot a RG while moving Garnett back to LG. May not fit the scheme but just imagine the sheer size and strength we’d have on that side of the ball, insane.

  22. Brian Billick talks a little bit about the 49ers QB competition. What I liked is that he provides some perspective with regards to the number of plays that are run during TC. Trying to split the snaps down the middle would not provide enough snaps even for teams that have a good starting QB (GB for example). The good news, he says, is that the offense was so pathetic last year that it’s hard to imagine Kelly can’t improve upon that..

    http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-training-camps/0ap3000000678923/Casserly-It-is-hard-to-have-a-quarterback-competition

    1. Why would they do that? Davis is still young and one of the best run blocking RT’s in the game when healthy. They aren’t going to get a high draft pick when he’s missed the last season and a half, and Brown is unproven. There is no upside to trading him.

      1. I’m still concerned about who is backing up Joe Staley. I see that Pears is getting work at LT, but, for sure, that hasn’t lessened my concern! This is why I wish they would have kept Boone, but that’s water under/over the …..

      2. There is upside in trading him. If Brown continues to progress you go with the young kid in a year where we are going to get our ass kicked away. Plus this guy quit on the Niners. He is a head case. He only came back for the pay check. With or without Davis we will be picking in the top 5… When you are rebuilding you don’t keep players like this on your team. Bad example for the young O lineman on this team. Move on.

        1. We know nothing about Brown yet other than he was a late round pick and showed up out of shape for OTA’s. Maybe he’s a starter at some point, but that is a shot in the dark at this point. In Davis you know what you have and it’s a lot better than any other option brings to the table right now. He is definitely eccentric, but he did not quit on the Niners. He took a year off due to being concerned about his long term health. He has now come back to resume his career and he is still young enough to be part of the rebuild.

          If you are worried about bad examples I guess you feel they should cut Lynch then right? Not a good example for his fellow OLB’s.

          1. Barrows said AD looks light on his feet. Maybe Seattle’s Bennett won’t blow by him as easily now as in the past.

          2. If that’s the case then with your theory you should cut 90 percent of NFL players. Davis quite on the Niners. Lynch didn’t.

            1. The point was Davis is not a bad example for the OL. Taking a year off because of health concern is not quitting on the team. The guy has never been in trouble or suspended. He is quirky and doesn’t think through what he says sometimes, but he’s been a reliable player for them in the past and you are putting personal feelings ahead of what is best for the team with this suggestion.

    2. Speaking of trades, I hope the Niners could bundle players for as high a draft choice as possible. Make it conditional, if a couple players earn a starting job, or the team makes the playoffs.The other team could view that as a supplemental draft.

      I would target San Diego. They need lots of help and face a daunting challenge with playoff teams Broncos and Chiefs, and up and coming Raiders, who had a decent draft and strong FA signings, in their division.

      Niners should offer Patton, because SD just lost a WR due to injury. They should offer Miller, who will aid Melvin Gordon, and either Pears, Thomas or Martin to help protect Rivers and aid the running game. Patton, Miller and Thomas could easily command a second round pick, and would be a win-win for both teams.

      Do the trade now so the players are not picked up for free after the 53 cut date, since those players are on the bubble, but still have value. Looks like the Niners have adequate replacements, so they are expendable.

  23. The only reason Jim O’Neil got the job as the Browns Defensive Coordinator is because he went to high school with Mike Pettine and they have been buddies since High School coaching around the league together.

    Let me explain: O’Neill followed Pettine to the Jets in 2009, then he followed Pettine to the Bills, the Bills were more than Happy to let O’Neill go last year and quickly hired Jim Schwartz to run the Defense.

    Like Pettine, O’Neill has never lead a team, he has only helped with the secondary and corner backs, nothing of importance. This is why it wont be that hard of let down. He gave it his best, and he just cant cut it in the NFL as a Defensive Coordinator.

    This Defense is about as pathetic as it gets in the NFL right now and something needs to change on defense. So, it is about high time we call for some heads to roll at the defensive coaching positions.

    Remember, this is Pettines best friend from High School, he will not fire his best friend from high school…

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Browns/comments/2iol86/starting_a_petition_to_get_jim_oneil_the_browns/

    1. Yeah, Jed has spent lots of money on coaches…However, it’s the assistants he goes cheap on. Word is out in the NFL, and with Chips Warpspeed 3 and outs, Mike Vrabel avoided the 49ers like the plague!

      There isn’t a coach around the league who doesn’t know at least something of what it’s like to work under York’s watchful eye and Baalke’s meddlesome hand. The Mercury News’s Tim Kawakami

      Well, that’s how Adam Gase, Lane Kiffin and Chudzinski (among others) all can
      decide to pass on the 49ers.

      It’s in line with the York family’s history.

      The Yorks went from Steve Mariucci (Eddie’s hire) to Dennis Erickson (cheap — a college guy who wanted one more shot at the pros) to Mike Nolan (cheap — a coordinator who also served as the team’s GM until that idea proved disastrous) to Mike Singletary (cheap — no tangible experience besides looking and talking like a badass after a badass playing career) to Harbaugh (not cheap) to Tomsula (bottom-five-in-the-NFL cheap).

      “They don’t believe in paying coaches right now. The word around the league in talking to people who are both coaches and who represent coaches, San Francisco is not the place to go to make money.”…..Jason Cole, Bleacher Report.

      http://www.bayareasportsguy.com/jason-cole-49ers-coaching-search-going-on-the-cheap-jim-tomsula-jed-york-denise-debartolo-york/

  24. York Lies and the Real Story of “The Leaker” at 4949 Centennial:

    YORK LIES WILL CAUSE ANOTHER 49ER IMPLOSION:

    “Hpothetically (49ers) lie to themselves saying Marathe is doing all of the leaking…when its a York culture>”

    ***”Demote Paraag Marathe to show good faithe to the Kaepernick camp”

    ****”Hypothetically lie about Paraag doing all of the leaking.”

    “How is this tied to football?..This is a move we can see. It’s generally right there in front of us. And the York’s botched it so badly That we can pick it apart…Think about how badly that would work with other York/Baalke decisions from the Coaching staff to the rosters?”

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