49ers training camp report: Day 5

SANTA CLARA – Here are the highlights from the 49ers’ second padded practice of training camp.


1. ILB NaVorro Bowman. Struggled in man coverage during OTAs and minicamp, but didn’t struggle in man coverage today. On the third play of 11-on-11’s Colin Kaepernick attempted a short pass to running back Jarryd Hayne. Bowman read Kaepernick’s eyes, dove in front of the pass and knocked it away with the tips of his fingers. Bowman wouldn’t have made that play a few months.

2. P Bradley Pinion. Blasted a 65-yard punt so high in the air punt returner Mario Hull had no choice but to call for a fair catch.

3. QB Dylan Thompson. Completed a 25-yard play-action bootleg pass to tight end Asante Cleveland during 11-on-11’s. Backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert almost certainly wouldn’t have attempted that throw – he rarely throws farther than 10 yards past the line of scrimmage. He’s timid, unlike Thompson.

4. TE Vance McDonald. Caught three passes and dropped none during team drills. McDonald has dropped just one pass during training camp so far this year

5. QB Colin Kaepernick in the red zone during 7-on-7’s. Attempted six passes during this drill, completed five and all five were touchdowns. Moved through his progressions calmly and quickly and always found the open receiver. Of course, he wasn’t facing a pass rush.


1. QB Colin Kaepernick in the red zone during 11-on-11’s. Not comfortable or confident during this drill. Dropped back three times, scrambled twice and threw an interception in the end zone. The pass was intended for Torrey Smith who had been open for a second or two before Kaepernick saw him. But by the time he threw the ball, inside linebacker Nick Moody had stepped in front of Smith and the pass was late. Moody picked it off easily.

2. TE Blake Bell. Falling behind McDonald in the competition to be the No. 2 tight end. Today Bell caught zero passes and dropped one, and the past three practices he has caught as many passes as he’s dropped – two.

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    1. That’s the first time I’ve seen you write something that puts Wright’s PFF or passer rating allowed grade in perspective. Good stuff. It is the same type of issue I had with people dismissing Bethea as no good in coverage when he was signed last season. Looking at how many completions they allow per snap is a very good indicator of how they hold up in coverage.

      1. I want to make sure I understand this. When compared with CBs who played at least 25% of snaps, he ranked very poorly. But if we look at CBs who played at least 800 snaps last season he did much better. Let’s see at about 60 or so snaps per game that’s about 1000 snaps per season. So we’re talking about CBs who play about 80% of the snaps. Do I have that right?

        1. Kind of, but Grant is looking at two separate grading systems there. PFF grades him poorly when compared to all CBs that played 25% ore more of the team’s snaps.

          But when you look at CBs that played 800+ snaps last season (i.e., starters) he was in the top 6 in terms of completions allowed. No word on where he ranks in terms of PFF grading for CBs that played 800+ snaps, but I would guess he ranks poorly there too.

          It just goes to show that PFF grading is not always a good guide. Mainly because they typically give a “wash” or neutral grade to any plays that don’t go the player’s direction. For a DB, if they have good coverage and the QB doesn’t throw their way as a result, they’ve done a great job. But I believe PFF would give that play a 0 (i.e. neutral grade), as far as my understanding of their grading system goes.

      2. After all the disrespect he threw his way using the same stat he just discredited and you’re praising him? ; > )

        1. Heh, yeah, but credit where credit is due – that’s the first time I’ve seen anyone provide some context like that.

          1. To be fair, more than once Grant said the Wright probably would be the starter and would play better than at San Diego, because the Chargers run defense was atrocius, and in San Francisco the run defense makes the secondary life much easier once they make the other team unidimensional and the DBs know a pass is coming.

            1. Actually, Grant has been saying that Wright is pretty rubbish, using PFF and passer rating allowed ratings as proof, and saying that while he’d open camp as the starter he’d lose the job before the start of the season (most recently he’d been saying he’d lose the job to Reaser).

              1. Not arguing that, Scooter.

                All I’m saying is that it’s not the first time Grant used those stats with some context. He wrote, at least two times I read, that because the Niners run defense is much better the San Diego´s Wright probably would be a lot better in SF.

                But most of the time he just bashed him.

                I guess he played both sides, so he´s covered no matter the outcome.

              2. True, but I think it is a bit different saying he was exposed at San Diego and should be improved at the 49ers vs showing a stat that indicates he actually performed favourably in some measures while at San Diego.

  1. Thanks for the report Grant.
    Conspicuously missing from the reports since the pads went on is D.White. Is DW working through something or is he a different player with pads on?

    1. Good point. That’s always been my problem with people talking him up during minis and OTAs. Its what he does with the pads on that matters. Running around in shorts is designed for small, quick guys like him to excel.

        1. He’s 5’11”. That is what he measured at the combine.

          As far as WRs go, that is considered small these days.

              1. Why? You are just spoiling for an argument. Doesn’t matter what I say you will just take the opposing view.

              2. Oh man, you give me way too much credit!
                I guess you just like to speak your views and label them as accurate. My apologies!

            1. Well, I guess results say 5′ 11″ and 192lbs is small for the NFL.

              Of the 32 WRs with most receiving yards in 2014, only 6 players were shorter than 6’0 AND ALSO had less than 195lbs.

              And NONE of them were undrafted.
              Actually, ONLY ONE of them was drafted after the 3rd round (Antonio Brown).

              Even Victor Cruz, who Grant named as a possible comparable player in a dream scenario, is well bigger than D. White.

              A UDFA that small have a extremely long shot of being a productive receiver in the NFL. His best target would be to become the next Doug Baldwin (or Wayne Chrebet if you want to consider the past decade)

              And that would be an extremly good outcome for the Niners.
              But for each Baldwin there are dozens of other WRs that don’t even make the PS.

              1. Thanks for that info. Provides some perspective. I guess I got caught up in the D.White hype. The pictures I saw as well as the multiple times he was mentioned as leaping high into the air to make a catch made me think he was quite a bit bigger. Not that that means he can’t be a good NFL receiver. I’m just going to temper my expectations.

              2. Shhhh Allan, don’t tell Prime. Also don’t mention that the average size for an NFL WR is around 6’1″, 210lbs. Or that of the 44 WRs at the NFL combine in 2015, White was in the bottom 25% in terms of size.

              3. Well apparently that’s what you prefer. Someone who agrees with everything you say. You know, kinda like the guy who talks to birds, your shadow puppet?

              4. Not sure where you are getting the idea I want people to agree with everything I say. Maybe its because I disagree with your opinion… a lot. I actually enjoy a good discussion with someone that of an opposing view. And I have absolutely no issue with people questioning my opinion. So long as they can back it up with something other than “Says who? You?” and can refrain from barbed challenges and insults any time someone provides a counter-argument.

                Every time we end up having one of these back and forth’s you will find you are the one that resorts to insults or barbed comments first.

              5. So basically your real problem with me is that you don’t like me posting my opinion in a manner that sounds like I believe I know what I’m talking about?

              6. So that is a yes.

                It is interesting, because here are some quotes from you in the past week regarding Lynch’s weight.

                “Running is the only way to lose weight for guys his size.”

                “Guys like Lynch need to be able to run to shed weight.”

                Sounds to me like you are talking about something you think you know a thing or two about. But then I loved it when you responded to my counter-argument with:

                “Basically, don’t act like you know why Lynch is out of shape.”

                Nice one. I’ll be pot, you can be kettle.

      1. It’s early and White still has time to impress, but it is a totally different game when the pads go on, which is why OTA reports of stardom are meaningless. I really want to see how some of these young guys respond in a game situation.

        1. Whether De. White is 6′ (as he is listed on the 49ers roster / 49erswebzone) or 5′ 11″ will make little difference if he can’t handle the physical impact of NFL hits. But if White can prove his mettle he could be a steal for us.

          Here is recent write up from Mike Torney of Sports News and Views:
          “It’s surprising that a receiver as good as White, who ran a 4.34 second 40-yard dash at the Pro day, wasn’t drafted by any of the NFL teams. What obviously hurt White was his lack of size for receiver position. He’s a shorter receiver and not heavy. He’s a speed burner and that may have scared the other NFL teams away from him. However, White is ideal for a team like the 49ers with Kaepernick, who has a gun for an arm. Kaepernick is capable of connecting on the longer throws deep down field to White.”

          Here’s a comment from Amari Cooper, White’ former teammate at Alabama:
          “Great athlete. Great route runner, and he’s getting better,” White’s former Alabama teammate Amari Cooper said, according to 49ers.com.”He’s always getting better, and he always wants to work. He’s driven, and he can go out and make plays. I’m telling you, he can go out there and make plays.”

          Although there hasn’t been much news on De. White since donning the pads, I’m hoping White can get it going and show the team that he can impress with the pads on like he did during OTA’s without pads.

          1. Me too AES. My comments weren’t to suggest White can’t or won’t be good, just that what happens in minis and OTAs in shorts is designed for smaller, quicker guys like him to excel. Little contact to work through.

            Lets see how he goes with contact in TC and pre-season, then we’ll have a better idea of if he’s a great find or not.

            1. Well, perhaps I shouldn’t say it is “designed” for smaller guys to excel, just that it plays into their hands a bit.

              1. Scooter,
                I trust your football acumen and agree with your comments. Personally, I want to believe that De.White is not just an OTA phenom that flames out in TC.

                White’ numbers at Alabama were respectable given the fact that he played in the shadow of arguably the best WR in college football. Also, I’m leaning towards the hope that White practiced against some very good DB’ everyday who were on his own team.

                Ultimately as you say, TC and preseason will be the best measuring ruler.

    2. Here’s what Cam Inman had to say about DW:

      ” DeAndrew White, the undrafted rookie receiver from Alabama, was first up among the punt returners, and he made a fair catch on that punt. Later, he muffed a punt but chased it down in stride.”

  2. Here’s what Biderman had to say about Kap during 11 on 11s:

    Chris Biderman @ChrisBiderman
    Unofficial Kaepernick tally in full-speed 11-on-11s: he completed 7 of his 9 throws, was sacked once, threw a red-zone INT, no TDs.

      1. Yeah, I never had an issue with picking Pinion; just the fact that he was picked in the 5th round instead of the 7th. But it’s over with and I’m glad he’s proving out to be a good pick.

        1. Bill Walsh said that it did not matter what round he is picked just as long as he improves the team. Glad the Niners picked him when they did because NE picked a ST player soon after Pinion was picked.

          1. What Walsh was saying is for a given player it doesn’t matter where he’s taken.

            In the context of the team’s draft, there most certainly is an opportunity cost if a player is taken too early.

            1. But if he was taken just before another team who wanted or needed him, it is a bonus. The next pick, NE chose a ST player.

              1. True, I was only addressing the point in general, not Pinion in particular. I was one of the few whose head didn’t explode over the pick.

    1. I didn’t last long at practice tonight w my two young daughters in tow, but I was very impressed w Pinion…….. I saw 5, he boomed 4 of them and his “miss” still probably went 40 yards into the wind.

    2. I still don’t like a Punter in the 5th round. Kid has a big leg, but a Punter is a 7th round target at best imo.

      1. In general I agree with you Rocket. Now after the fact, however,I have to believe that the decision was already made before the draft that Andy Lee would be released primarily to save on the salary cap and further that Pinion was their man. Assuming that these decisions were made, I can see them selecting Pinion a bit earlier. Under this scenario, it would have been a real problem if Pinion was, for some reason, not available in the 7th. Apparently, Baalke, et.al. didn’t find any other punters suitable.

  3. Music to my ears:

    Joe Fann @Joe_Fann
    Another note from @TaylorPrice. Aldon and Dial beat Staley and Boone in 2v2 on back-to-back plays. Dial ate both blocks and Aldon came free.

      1. 16 would be fine with me, but the 20 figure may be more accurate. Dial will occupy 2 linemen because he is the Alabama AH. and Aldon will be free to make the sack.

  4. I think the sod problem could be solved by not over watering it. Wet soil gives more easily than dry soil. Of course, I would want to inspect the sod, but that is my assessment from looking at the videos. Maybe they should experiment on different parts of the field with that Kitty litter type of material that I see them spread over fields to absorb moisture.

  5. Pinion was mentioned. He boomed a kick thru the end zone, but I hope they practice Kick Offs where Pinion kicks the ball as high as possible, and aims to land the kick on the 5 yard line. If he kicks it high enough, the gunners will have time to get down field and be on the 10 yard line when he fields the kick. They should be able to pin the offense behind the 10 yard line. That would be preferable to booming it and letting them start on the 20 yard line.

    1. The Yahoo Sports story linked above is a study in irony. The author twists and manipulates Goodall’s words to match his own analysis of the situation just as Goodall seems to do to Brady’s statements. It is almost as if he (the author) is finding facts from the documents to fit a preconceived conclusion, hence the irony.

      However, the author’s own manipulation of statements and misunderstanding of the applicability of legal presumptions aside, the underlying issue addressed in the article is important. Investigations, even in a criminal law setting, are not governed by a presumption of innocence. Frequently, they are approached with a particular theory of culpability already in place. Facts are gathered to fit the theory as often as theories are formed based on facts (do not be led astray by TV dramas that paint CSI investigators using scientific methods as lead investigators – they are almost never in that capacity).

      This is a primary reason that the courts are independent of the investigation. The purpose of the court is to provide a neutral adjudication, one in which, in criminal matters, the neutral approaches the issue with a presumption of innocence. The presumption is to offset the nature of the investigatory process, which is to find evidence of guilt.

      Schema in which the investigatory and adjudicatory processes are conducted/overseen by the same entity are allowed in civil regulatory adjudications, but they are suspect to the degree that an independent appellate process is always available. That appeals process does not have to be neutral in all its phases, just the final phase.

      The released documents highlight a potentially problematic issue for the NFL going forward (and not just with Brady) – the issue that the investigation, the initial adjudication, and the appellate process are essentially one in the same. The CBA allows this, but there is already the Missouri case that suggests the courts may not, albeit that one is in a different context. The question at issue is whether the NFL has to provide an independent final appellate review or is recourse to the courts sufficient for due process (remembering that the due process requirements are those imposed on private entities by civil law, not the constitutional protections of due process that apply in criminal law and with respect to governmental takings). I think that if the NFLPA can show that all phases are really part of the same underlying process, they have a shot at the court finding the process is unfair.

      I was actually thinking about this last night, with respect to the pressure on the parties to settle. The NFL and even Tom Brady have incentive to settle, but the NFLPA does not. The NFLPA, which agreed to this adjudicatory scheme in the CBA, has had buyers remorse since at least the Saints bounty suspensions.

      When I first read the CBA and Player Personal Conduct policy, my thought was that the NFLPA had conceded near unfettered power to the league for discipline in return for player-friendly off season, training camp, and practice concessions. However, once the commissioner began implementing the adjudication and penalty process, I think the NFLPA realized exactly how problematic the scheme is. They have pushed every opportunity to challenge the scheme, and it is not in their best interest to settle this case when it has the potential to fundamentally alter the NFL’s adjudication process.

      1. Excellent discussion; you’re below follow-up as well.
        “….NFLPA had conceded near unfettered power to the league for discipline in return for player-friendly off season, training camp, and practice sessions.”
        Wow, I think that’s exactly on point. To the practical effects, there was pressure to come to a settlement and the Union was listening to membership’s loudest concerns with the practice issues, but a minority of members, notably the Steelers, weren’t ready to settle because they feared the authority being left to the Commish. They were out voted.
        Another side of the current CBA is the practice times are a bit too limited. The Union got too much. IMO this slows player development, and could conceivably open players to injury susceptibility, although that’s just my speculation. I suspect the Union will be willing in the future to loosen up on No Pads practice restrictions, but there will be a price, they’ll want something in return, and the appeal process is on their minds.

        1. Thanks, BT. I did not remember that it had been the Steelers who opposed the CBA based on commissioner discipline, but that makes sense.

          Also, I seem to remember that pensions were a big issue for the NFLPA as well.

          And I agree with Rocket below — player discipline will likely be a focal point in the negotiations for the next CBA, if it is not fixed sooner.

    2. The owners like Goodell, he’s overseen record earnings and stewarded them through a period of litigation involving former players, unprecedented changes to the safety of the game out of necessity, and some truly heinous actions by players that transcended the world of sports. I have little doubt that the next CBA will involve revisions to the scope of control and power the Commissioner will possess in regards to player discipline, but Goodell is essentially an employee of the owners, and I’m guessing they are pleased with his record thus far.

      What is likely to transpire in the future, is a separate disciplinary officer or panel that will oversee player transgressions. There is too much animosity developed when one person wields so much control.

      1. “What is likely to transpire in the future, is a separate disciplinary officer or panel that will oversee player transgressions. There is too much animosity developed when one person wields so much control.”

        I think so as well. Or, in the alternative, a separate appeals process.

  6. Well, I wanted RG to be fired for the Ray Rice fiasco, so I would not be bothered if he left.
    However, if RG leaves it would just let the lunatics run the asylum.
    RG should show leadership and raise Hardy’s punishment to 6 games, because hitting a woman is worse than deflating footballs, but he does not have the balls to do it.

    1. These are actually separate issues on a fundamental level, and are governed by separate documents. The league’s true priority (from a governance standpoint) is regulating competition. That is why the league exits. Its regulation of member (owners) and player conduct is secondary. Further, absent the collectively bargained personal conduct policy, the league would not have lawful authority to punish non-competition related behavior, whereas the punishment of competition related violations is contemplated within the structural documents of the league.

      Given the league’s primary function, regulating competition and punishing competition related infractions should take priority over ancillary matters. In that vein, prohibited behavior that is intended to gain an advantage in competition is more detrimental to the purpose of the league than off-field behavior, no matter how onerous the off-field behavior may be. Thus, the league can and should punish prohibited behavior that falls within its primary purpose separate and distinct from off-field behavior.

      So, while it is a PR nightmare, the reality is that within the purpose of the NFL, violating the rules to gain an advantage would be a greater offense than violent off-field activities. It is outside pressure that is trying to force a moral equivalency determination on an entity not intended to make such determinations, and further, making such determinations would inhibit the primary purpose of the NFL – the regulation of competition.

      Also, it is worth pointing out that Hardy’s suspension was decreased by an independent arbitrator who held the NFL to its policy at the time that Hardy’s offense occurred, not the later enforcement protocol that the commissioner issued (which is a non-binding protocol anyway as the commissioner can change it at his discretion) post Ray Rice video release.

      1. If RG raised to 6 games, he would just be following protocol because they established a policy of 6 game suspension for first offense.
        Personally, I think Hardy’s action were a lot worse than Ray Rices’, and RR is not even playing.
        RG should just do it for the good of the game.

            1. He does have immense power. However, if he withdraws from hearing an appeal and appoints a panel or arbitrator in his stead, the decision is binding on the NFL. Any change now would have to be based on new information, and even then it may not be permissible under the controlling documents (cf. Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension, which was lifted when it became apparent that the league likely had exceeded its authority and that a court would overturn the indefinite suspension).

        1. Hardy’s case also involves charges being dropped and no visual evidence of the crime. Ray Rice was convicted in the court of public opinion based on that video that surfaced, and the league reacted in kind to deal with the outcry that accompanied the footage. Hardy shouldn’t be playing, but unfortunately he used the tool available to people in his position to get off, and that is money. As soon as his accuser took the money and didn’t show up in Court, he was guaranteed to avoid the punishment his offence warranted. Ray Rice didn’t have that option.

          1. It is somewhat of a misnomer to say that the charges against Hardy were dropped. He appealed a bench trial conviction from a North Carolina District Court . A bench trial conviction means that the trial judge found the evidence sufficient to meet the burden of proof.

            In North Carolina, the District Court is a court of limited jurisdiction. The court can only hear non-felony criminal cases and cannot hold jury trials in those cases. Under North Carolina law, a misdemeanor conviction in District Court may be appealed to a jury trial in Superior Court, which is a court of general jurisdiction. The appeal is de novo, meaning that the case is heard anew under the appeal.

            The complaining witness refused to testify in the jury trial, at which point the case was dismissed on the motion of the prosecutor. That is different from dropping charges as it is a concession of the appellate process after charges were successfully brought in the lower court. Other than that, spot on, Rocket. ;)

            1. Thanks for your comments JPN.

              After I read Goodell’s statement about Brady’s testimony, and then compared it to two different accounts of Brady’s testimony, I wondered if the owners were capable of feeling serious embarrassment. It seems that there has been a stream of embarrassing actions by Goodell starting with Tagliabue over turning all player penalties in the bounty case with the Saints.

              If the owners can be embarrassed it follows that their other reasons for keeping Goodell might carry less weight going forward. For some reason I find that idea amusing.

      2. “…while it is a PR nightmare, the reality is that within the purpose of the NFL, violating the rules to gain an advantage would be a greater offense than violent off-field activities.”

        Exactly! If Brady deflated a football before a pick-up game on his front lawn, there would have been no punishment by the league.

        Conversely, if a player assaulted a team or league employee (that wasn’t a player during practice or a game), he’d probably be terminated immediately.

  7. Glenn Winston update (Rotoworld):
    Glenn Winston – RB – Browns
    Browns RB Glenn Winston underwent arthroscopic knee surgery.
    This leaves the second-year UDFA with little chance of making the team. It’s possible Winston will eventually be waived/injured, and spend the season on I.R. Duke Johnson (hamstring) and Terrance West (calf) are also on the shelf at Browns camp, allowing Isaiah Crowell to dominate first-team reps.

    1. Maiocco has an authentic style when it comes to inspirational pieces, and this one is no different. Well done! Anxious for Reasers’ first live game opportunity….

    2. Sorry, but I saw this story a long time ago, so Matt is just bringing up an old yet inspiring story. Grant tends to plow new territory. Although he does dwell on the negative to generate posts.

      1. Yeah, I recall reading a story about Reaser and his close connection with Sean Taylor either in the lead up to the 2014 draft or just after. Not exactly a new story. But still, its a nice story.

  8. From PFT:

    “A.J. Jenkins has been drop prone in Cowboys camp.
    It sounds like the 2012 draft bust has little shot at cracking Dallas’ 53-man roster. The former No. 30 overall pick is just about out of the league.”

    1. Man, I understand there are always going to be bad draft picks, its part of the business. But that pick of Jenkins goes down as one of the worst 1st round 49ers picks ever. Baalke really got that one wrong.

          1. CFC,

            You could also say that Terry Donahue makes Trent Baalke look like Trent Baalke.

            On another subject, how did you like Elliott’s last appointment with his shrink?

      1. The important thing to know is Baalke learned a valuable lesson. He recognized his mistake early and compensated for it as best he could….

        1. I must say, I can’t recall the last time before that a team gave up on a first round pick before the start of their second season.

            1. Even he lasted two seasons in Denver. Getting rid of Jenkins before the start of his second season at the 49ers was pretty ruthless.

              1. You know, I get the sense Baalke realized his mistake soon after he made the pick and it was confirmed throughout the season….

              2. I can just picture him at the end of the first day of the 2012 draft, smoking a cigar, glass of win in hand, when a sudden realisation comes to him…

                “Oh dang, I meant JANORIS Jenkins!”

              3. I remember being really worried about that pick from the get-go. Someone wrote ‘ he doesn’t get open but he can make the catch anyway.’ I thought, not against NFL DBs!

              4. I have to admit I didn’t mind the pick as much as most at the time. I actually had him as a guy I hoped they’d look at in the 3rd round. Thought it was too early for him, but thought he had some talent. Whoops!

          1. Brain fart. That was Eric Davis. Of course, I remember the rookie DBs, Lott Wright Williamson and Hicks, but there was another eric wright recently.

            1. Oh, you’re right about the second Eric.
              But…..Dwight Hicks wasn’t a rookie when the other 3 got drafted.

  9. I am feeling pretty good. Just browsed an article about the ST coach, and saw he mentioned high kick offs to pin them deep. Then there is the buzz about Kaep leading the huddle. I remember postulating on making Kaep the field general so he could run the no huddle. Of course, many posters opposed my ideas saying that Kaep may not be experienced enough or sharp enough to implement my idea, but now I am hearing that Kaep will be unleashed with lots of authority.
    Now, if only they would move Boone to RT……..

      1. Hopefully he will get wide latitude to be the field general. Last year, there was too much disconnect between the QB and side line. JH should have let Kaep lead and play by the seat of his pants.
        He should be allowed to make quick decisions, quick corrections, quick adjustments and quick execution.

        1. Hopefully he won’t get that wide latitude. He hasn’t yet shown leadership skills to have earned that side latitude. Baby steps for him

          1. Hopefully he will get that wide of latitude, and from what I have been reading, he will get the cart blanche field generalship. He needs to be a field general to be able to run the no huddle with quick snaps. JH held him back. Tomsula will allow him to showcase his talents.
            Baby steps? He is a grown man.

      2. The whole idea of waiting to call the play and then hiking the ball after multiple shifts just made me grind my teeth. They should take a page out of the Bill Walsh playbook and script the first 15 plays. That way, they know what the play will be ahead of time and the delays will be eliminated.

        1. They did use scripted plays. Walsh also controlled the order in which the plays were called depending on game circumstances.

          1. True. I would also like to see contingent plays like running a certain play when it is second and 5 or third and 3.

            1. Have you noticed that big plastic covered sheet of paper that the coach calling plays from the sideline uses to cover his mouth when he’s talking to the QB? The print is very tiny because it contains all the different situations that are likely to come up in a game with selected plays for each situation. I expect that second and five along with third and three are on every teams situation sheet.

              1. Yet, opposing players knew exactly what the Niners were going to run just by looking at the formation. Dont believe me, just ask Shareece Wright.

              2. Is your point that their lists of plays for given situations should have been better? It sounded like you didn’t realize that all teams organize the plays intended for a given game into situational categories.

                For what ever reason, the plays could have been better in some dramatic situations. Harbaugh and Baalke too, wanted an offense that could be predictable and still dominate. It remains to be seen if Baalke has changed any of his offensive approach. It will be a few years to find out how much Harbaugh learned about his approach.

              3. There is also a term called sensory overload. Maybe that big sheet of plays was too complicated, and it was distracting to have to run through so many variables. Maybe it would be better to select a few plays and focus on doing them well rather than being scattered by too many options.
                Sounds like the new coaches are doing just that. Simplified and easily implemented.

              4. The play sheet is organized by situation which by definition reduces the number of plays that are considered at any point in the game. That’s what you were asking them to do.

                Simplification is a different topic, as is how effective the plays are. The defense also has a situational list of plays they expect their opponent to use.

                We don’t know exactly why it seemed to always take to long to get the ball snapped under Harbaugh. For his sake, I hope he is doing his own analysis before he comes back to the NFL.

              5. Bottom line, the plays were late, offense was slow and there was dysfunction that resulted in way too many DOG penalties and wasted time outs. The playbook or play sheet did not help, for whatever reason or organization.

    1. Good read, thanks Grant. Again, kudos on delving deeper into the numbers on Shareece Wright.

      Interesting to hear Vance McDonald has actually been looking pretty good. Has he been running with the first team when they go 2 TE sets?

      Also, do you think Moody has done enough at this point to keep his spot running with the first team once Wilhoite is back? Or do you think they’ll work Wilhoite back in there?

      1. Yes, McDonald has been running with the first team when they go to 2 TE sets.

        And no, I don’t think Moody has done enough yet, but he’s one his way.

    2. I expect some growing pains offensively early on however, the running game, defense and special teams are there to lean on until it’s sorted….

    3. The page 1 photo of the O-linemen could use a caption contest.

      “It would be alot easier to block if we didn’t have to hold these stupid rubber bands.”

      “We must, we must, we must increase our bust… for fear, for fear, we won’t fill our brassiere.”

      “I’m supposed to wrap this rubber thing around my what?”

      “The magazine ad said if I do these ten times a day, in six weeks the women at the beach will be all over me.”

      “Things are different around here ever since Mark Uyeyama had his nervous breakdown. At least we don’t have to lift weights anymore.”

      “I have it on good authority off duty Navy Seals use these to decapitate airport panhandlers.”

      “I’ve had to do this ever since Trojan stopped making Extra Large.”

    4. You said that this could be a career high year for Colin for Interceptions. While I agree due to the scheme change, he could do that and still have his most successful year. Not predicting, just ruminating. After all, Brett Favre will make the HOF; no question, and we all remember how he could cough it up.

  10. Levi’s open practice cancelled. I think the hot sun is keeping the grass from rooting properly. Since fans are getting over-baked as well, the only solution is to build giant shade flaps over the stadium.

    I won’t complain if the shade flaps look identical to Seattle’s rain covers and redirect noise towards the red zones.

    1. After going to a game there it was pretty clear that Niners front office was mostly concerned with the luxury box crowd. Placing the majority of fans in the direct sun and building a very open stadium that provides all the amenities but fails to hold any crowd noise are two examples of this.
      The niner v rams home game was one of the quietest games I’ve been to… If not for the loud speakers I might have been to high school games that were as loud as that. Welcome to the blight by the bay.

  11. I wish to postulate a scenario. I call it the third down bomb.
    The ball could be on the 20, but it could be up to the 50 yard line.
    It would be third down, short or long. Use this play sparingly, so maybe try it with 1 minute on the clock in the first half, so the opposition cannot mount a long drive with little time left.
    Kaep should do a controlled roll out to buy time, and then heave the ball downfield to the 5 yard line. It will essentially be a jump ball, and AB should jump up and tip the ball so TS can leap and grab it.
    There are 2 good outcomes. The ball could be caught, or they could draw a penalty. There are 2 bad outcomes. It could be dropped or it could be intercepted. If it is intercepted, the ball will be surrounded by players so there should be little chance of a return and the ball would be on the 5 yard line with less than a minute to go. If it is dropped, it is 4th down and they punt.
    If it is caught, it might be like a dagger in their hearts to allow a score just before the half. The defense must not interfere, so the WRs should be allowed to make the catch. If they interfere, it is a spot foul and the ball advances to the 5 yard line. The cost/ benefit analysis leans towards the positives.
    Finally. I made a similar post in January, but did not know Torrey Smith would be joining the team. So Torrey Smith might be the perfect player to implement this scenario because he drew so many pass interference calls.

    1. Since you like to evoke Sun-tzu, I’ll offer that sometimes your plans/suggestions are just too specific. It doesn’t allow for the unexpected response. Sun-Tzu loves a cohesive approach, but understands that improvisation within context wins the day. Another sage point of view:
      >The first casualty of war is The Truth.
      >The first casualty of battle is The Battle Plan.

      1. Well, I thought it was set up from the 20 to 50, so that is not specific, and it could be done on any third down. I just proposed the last minute just to make it more palatable to some fans. It should be done infrequently, and maybe only when they have a lead.

  12. omg are we already plotting desperation for Colins best options? what about sustained 7 min drives resulting in touchdowns…thats what gets 10 wins, playoffs,etc. Hail Marys will be fun when they work, but at that point 9ers are toast anyway.

    1. I know many posters will hate that play, but if Kaep can get the ball from the 20 to their 5, it would become a great scoring opportunity. That should help win games.
      I agree, sustaining long time consuming drives is ideal, but if they stack 8 in the box, it will be hard to plow into the teeth of the defense. Maybe the third down bomb should be implemented when the defense is crowding the line so every player will have to sprint down field and it will be easier to draw pass interference calls.

  13. Didn’t the 49er brass from the HC on up deny that the Wednesday night practice was ended early because of the condition of the field? Didn’t they claim that they stopped practice because they only had four middle linebackers?

    “The 49ers have cancelled Sunday’s public practice at Levi’s Stadium because of ongoing sod issues. ” … Cam Inman

    The grass seems to be a touchy subject since Harbaugh pulled his team off the field with fans in the stands.

    That’s two years in a row that fans have been invited and there was a grass no show in the works, but the big money concerts and other paydays roll on.

      1. Hey there. I’m working through some things. This is a tough one because Aldon is Baalke’s special project.

        1. Glad to see you on here Jack. Looking forward to your articles this year. I also wish you the best with whatever you are currently going through.

        2. Hey Jack,

          I too wish you the best with whatever you are working through.

          I think there are probably a lot of disappointed folks at 49ers HQ today. Tomsula just praised Aldon up and down the other day.

    1. Good thing Eli Harold can play and that our Dline looks good. Kid just can’t help himself. Anyone taking bets on how soon he’s released?

  14. Trent must feel like a jilted lover at this point with Aldon. The League SAP will kick in automatically after the legal,process.
    My Optimism At Levels Unknown To Mankind is weakening. The Dark Force………..

  15. They release him today. If it is that simple and there is nothing else tonthe story why do they wait? I am sure he has been told no more strikes. I don’t know if I should be upset and mad at aldon for being selfish dumb ass or feel bad for him cause obviously he has some bad bad demons…..

    1. I think both, Andrew. I feel some compassion for him as a man. The nature of his disease is ripe for setbacks, but he was no doubt warned of that risk and didn’t manage himself adequately. He let himself down. In life he can pick himself back up, but he’s certainly limited his personal opportunities going forward.
      He also let down his teammates and employer……..again. That’s professionally unacceptable. He needs to get his life in order as a man in order to be a player.

    1. Actually, I was thinking this as well. The 49ers should maybe try to even out the strength of the lines. Before the front seven were overwhemingly dominant, but now with Aldon gone …… Maybe use the extra cap space to strengthen the OL.

      Let’s see what Harold can do.

  16. From Matt Maiocco:

    “This is Smith’s fifth run-in with the law since completing his rookie season with the 49ers.”

    I lost count.

  17. What the 49ers or the League do may be irrelevant in the short-term. Even before new charges are adjudicated, or even if they are never brought, Smith will likely face a probation revocation hearing. Probation revocation hearings only require a showing by preponderance of the evidence that the probationer violated the terms of the probation. If he has violated, incarceration is likely.

    It is possible the court will wait until after the current matter is disposed to hold the revocation hearing, but I doubt it does.

    1. Thanks, JPN. I didn’t realize Aldon was on probation from an earlier offense or multiple offenses?? Anything else?

      1. He received three years probation last July. My understanding was that the probation was for the misdemeanor weapons conviction. My memory is that received the community service and 12 day sentence for the DUI but no probation on that. I am trying to find some more information on the terms as my memory is not clear.

        1. Fucillo over at NN reports the following:

          “The most important thing though might be the potential for jail time. Smith was given three years probation a year ago when he settled his legal issues. That probation included no alcohol. A conviction on these charges would seemingly violate his probation. If the DA’s office was so inclined, they could really throw the book at Smith and give him some serious jail time.”


          1. Yep, and I replied to his article because his DA comment is wrong. A revocation hearing is at the discretion of the court, not the DA, as it is based on an already adjudicated matter over which the court maintains control. The DA can recommend a greater sentence on the current charges based on the violation, among other aggravating factor, but the DA has no control over whether a court proceeds with revocation of probation.

            1. It is also important to remember that DUI does not equal alcohol. If he was intoxicated via prescription medicine, for example, the driving offense, as a crime, would violate his probation, but the use of the substance may not violate the express conditions of his probation, which would change the revocation hearing dynamic.

  18. Glad for the Aldon thing. That gets us just one step closer to blowing the whole thing up for next year!

    Despite not being listed as a top 10 pick in preseason, Jared Goff will be the best pro QB to come out next year. Can’t wait to see him in Niners colors!

  19. GD MF Freakin frackin blatherskate sonovabeach. Just got done praising AS for leading an exemplary life. Where was his support group? Who allowed him to drink? Who let him drink, then let him drive? Sounds like he needed a babysitter.
    I give up. Throw the book at him. He is done in the NFL. Baalke was smart not to give him a big deal. Niners need to move on. That Harold pick is looking like a shrewd pick, now.

  20. I was holding out of here until the season started. But Aldon had to go and be an idiot. He shouldn’t drink or smoke, i got it. But you’re a millionaire or at least you have six figures in the bank. Why can’t yo just lay someone to drive you around? I hope he wasn’t with his teammates. If so, I’m just as disappointed in the for letting him drive.

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