Blaine Gabbert on facing the Browns: “The ball’s going to be in my hand a lot…I’m going to have to deliver the ball.”


This is the transcript of Blaine Gabbert’s Wednesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.


What’s the first thing when you get back to work this week that you look at to maybe tighten up or improve going forward?

“Just watching the film. Being a little more consistent. Like we said kind of last week, we knew it was going to be a battle. Last week, being that consistent throughout the game versus maybe that shell coverage and it tested us. But the thing that we took out of that film was we kept fighting throughout the game regardless of the situations that we put ourselves in and came out with the victory.”


After you scored the touchdown on the run, all the teammates mobbed you. Obviously, you did the same with WR Torrey Smith. What’s it mean to you to have your teammates support? When’s the last time you felt that joy among teammates?

“Yeah, that was a lot of fun. I think when we won the game in overtime, the whole team was down there in the end zone. That was a lot of fun. That was a special moment and hopefully we can have a lot more of those here. But, it was just something that we enjoyed. We had a great time in the locker room after the win. It’s always good having a happy flight home.”


Is it a lot easier to be a leader at 26 than a 20-year old at quarterback?

“I would say it’s the same. I would say I’m a better leader now from the experiences that I’ve had the last five years being in the NFL. But, like I said all along, being a quarterback, you’re in a position of leadership and it’s what you do with it. I think we’re handling my leadership well as a football team right now and we just got to keep moving forward with it.”


What lessons did you learn that taught you to be a better leader and a better player?

“I think just fighting through the ups and downs. You got to be the same guy everyday at work. Come in with the same mindset, the same work ethic, the same attitude so your teammates see that on a consistent basis. That’s what I’ve tried to do the last four weeks being the starting quarterback and hopefully I’ll continue to do that.”


When you look back at this, you mentioned the shell coverage they played. When you look at it, do you think you guys managed it right from a standpoint of taking what the defense gave you or could you have taken more shots?

“I think we handled it the right way. I would have liked to see myself personally get to the backs a little bit more, a little bit quicker. But, for the most part, we did take what they were giving us for the majority of the game and when we needed a big play, we got one. They were just kind of a polar opposite defense then we played Arizona the week before. We had a lot of explosive plays that week but that’s what they were giving us. And our guys did a good job that week breaking tackles in man coverage and this week, it was more of a dink and dunk, sit in the zone, stay in second and third-and-manageable.”


With that being said, what is Cleveland trying to do? What are they trying to force the offense–?

“They attack the box. They try and stop the run with seven, eight, nine guys. So, the ball’s going to be in my hand a lot and our guys are going to have to go out there and make plays and I’m going to have to deliver the ball.”


You mentioned the running backs and it just seems like you had a near instantaneous chemistry with RB Shaun Draughn. Is that the case? Have you guys really worked on third downs and outlet passes and things like that over the last couple of weeks?

“Yeah. It’s something that we’ve worked on daily. You guys see us during the individual period throwing routes to the running backs and that’s something that you have to build over time. With him coming in four weeks ago now, it wasn’t there overnight. It was something that we’ve had to work diligently at and I say we’re getting better at it on a daily basis.”


How good is he as a target? He seems like he makes himself known to you.

“Yeah, he is. He’s awesome at catching the ball out of the backfield. He’s made some tough catches in some tight windows. What really stands out is what he can do after the catch. Breaking tackles, making guys miss, turning five-yard gains into 15, 20-yard gains. And when you can do that out of the backfield, that’s just another dimension that we have on this offense.”


I kind of imagine quarterbacks in the NFL are a tight fraternity anyways. What do you think when you look over and see kind of the trials and tribulations of what Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has gone through early in his career?

“It’s kind of the deal. Those experiences, you learn from. You grow up as you’re in the NFL. He’s kind of in that maturation process right now. Every quarterback goes through it. Every player goes through it.”


Do you see any of yourself in him as far as being a young guy kind of thrust into it or–?

“I think everybody’s a different person. Everybody has their own personality. So, I would go that far at all.”


What do you see in him as a playmaker though, as a playmaking quarterback?

“He does a lot of good things on offense. Runs around, makes plays but recently he’s been delivering the ball from the pocket and was doing a good job while he was the starter.”


You obviously had some rough seasons in Jacksonville. At 4-8, is the vibe on this team any different from what you’ve experienced before?

“I think we’re just looking at it as a four game season. That’s kind of how you’ve got to focus. It’s each and every week is kind of a mini-season and that’s the only way you’re going to improve and stay focused at the end of the year. We’re worried about the Cleveland Browns right now. We’re really worried about having a good practice today.”


Do you believe that success at the end of one year can translate to the next or is there so much different and change in an offseason that–?

“I think it’s just about being consistent in your routine. Having success one year doesn’t mean you’re going to have success the next year. Not having a good year has no effect on if you’re going to go out and play well the next year. So, there’s some things that you want to build on in the offseason, but I think being consistent in your routine year in and year out is what really sets you up for your long term goals.”


What’s it like playing with a receiver like Torrey Smith? He doesn’t get the ball that much, but when he does, it seems like he can change a game.

“Yeah, and he changed the game last week, of course, with the game winning catch. Being a wide receiver, it’s just about having patience, taking what the defense gives you. Everybody wants to have to five, 10 catches for 200 yards every week, but in this business that’s not going to happen because the defense gets paid too. And they take speed guys away. They take certain guys away on certain coverages, certain down and distances but when his opportunity came in the game, he definitely capitalized on it. I think we can use that as a stepping stone moving forward and grow from that.”


You mentioned earlier about how the Browns like to stack the box. What does Cleveland Browns S Donte Whitner to as part of that? Is he a guy that you have to kind of look at and see where he is?

“He’s a hard hitting safety. Likes to stick his nose in there in the run game. You have to be cognizant of where he’s at on the football field. But, at the same time, we’re just going to go out there and focus on the things that we can control. Go out there and execute at a high level.”


You mentioned taking what the defense was giving you and I think you only had a couple throws, completions that went longer than 10 yards. Is that the next step for you in absorbing this offense and being able to be more aggressive on those throws?

“It’s all game to game. Like I said, the Arizona game, we had eight completions over 25 yards. Last week, we maybe had a couple. It’s so week-to-week in the NFL, predicated on what that defense is giving us that week. So, you can’t try and make something more than what it is. They were dropping eight guys in coverage, playing a high shell. So, they were putting me in a position to take underneath throws, where like I said, Arizona was a man coverage, blitz you, cover zero and gave us the opportunity to get big plays after the catch.”


How much has quarterbacks coach Steve Logan meant in your development and what you’ve done so far this year?

“He’s great, especially on game day. Kind of when he came here, he said his personality will never change on game day. It’s just another opportunity for him to go out and teach. He’s stayed true to his word week in and week out. He’s been a great sounding board for the quarterbacks when we come off of the field. He kind of asks us what we see, so we can all just diagnose it together when we’re looking at the pictures.”

This article has 192 Comments

  1. I’d like to know if they devote any individual quarterback drill time every practice to keep improving mechanics and footwork….

  2. Although it is not necessary for good qb play it is a delight to watch Blaine handle the media. He seems very assured and smooth, much like his play.

        1. Yea, I’m sure he can hook him up before he leaves. Maybe a Christmas present. I heard Gabbert is giving each of his offensive lineman Rolex Presidential Watches….

    1. I am rooting for Gabbert’s success with the 49ers. 49er fans will have the next season to see if Baalke can make anything of this squad, including personnel acquired via F/A and the ’16 NFL Draft and the win over Chicago guaranteed this staff stays together, with the possibility of an OC change.

      1. I have my doubts how far the above organization template will go next season due to my insecurities regarding Baalke’s offensive drafting skills…I mean, how much can a team be expected to achieve if its architects talent has never been reflected offensively?

          1. 49-unreasonable’s above post,

            Silicon Valley can’t speed dial enough Freud’s or Carl Jung’s to solve this mess:
            “The Silicon Valley Suicides,” Why are so Many Kids Killing Themselves , by Hanna Rossin, The Atlantic, Dec. 2015.

            And the York’s continuing romance with the Silicon Valley elite parading their martini’s through 49er locker rooms after tough losses will continue as well as their supposed cure-all, the analytic 49er Team suicide equation.

        1. I’m pretty sure you’re correct in that assessment, but I always enjoyed his answers to questions. He was actually very informative while at the same time not saying anything that the opponent didn’t already know….

        2. Both his middle line backers bailed toward the side line just as Blaine started up the middle. Then his safety planted his feet in concrete. There will be changes made.

      1. rocket,

        I can’t speak for anyone else, but I only took exception to the belief that the team is not showing improvement.

      1. He was a bum in SF. Always hurt, bad attitude, diva. Maybe he has grown up but he created all that turmoil in SF. I wish that guy nothing because he gave us nothing!

        1. I don’t agree with that. Crabtree was pretty darn good in the 2012 season.

          Perhaps I’m a bit biased though because he helped me get a free lunch from a bet.

          1. Looking back, Crabs is one of those intangible WR you need. He’s not a playmaker — lift the lid off the defense – but a solid reliable possession WR. A third down WR that moves the chains.

    1. When healthy he was a good player for the Niners, so good for him on playing his way into an extension. I think he was severely misunderstood here, and some couldn’t get over the way his career started with the holdout, but I have always liked Crabtree and appreciate his style.

    1. Guys that know how to win in college usually end up with long NFL careers. Stats are fun but it’s the wins that define the player. I’d argue he takes care of the football better than Goff or Lynch. Someone compared his game to Alex Smith. I think he’ll end up being a better passer than Smith. In my opinion, Cook stands the best chance of long term success at the NFL level of the top quarterbacks, accuracy and leadership issues notwithstanding….

      1. I agree that production is very important, more so than measurables. But it is not the only indicator of future success, we should be reminded that Alex Smith knew how to win in college. Furthermore, it was Bill Walsh who said that accuracy is one of the most important skills for a qb to have.

        As we continue this discussion I am reminded of how difficult it is to draft a qb. There are no guarantees. Which is a further indictment of Baalke for not drafting a qb at least every other year if not every year.

        1. I’d point out that Alex Smith played in a spread offense for three years in an inferior conference, whereas Cook has operated in a pro offense for four years against superior competition….

          1. Razor

            Must disagree with you in that when Alex played for Utah, they beat several top teams from out of conference, (including Pac-12 and Big-10), completed an undefeated season, and won his bowl game over a team from a ‘superior’ ‘conference

    2. I agree with that take. He’s not going to be a guy who makes those around him better. He’s going to need solid pass protection, a good offensive scheme, play makers in the receiving corps, and a stout run game.

  3. A little off topic but what do you guys think the chances Boone comes back next year? Also what about Draughn and Celek? If Kaps money comes off next season, they will/should cut Brooks and Pears and will have roughly 60 million in cap room. If Baalke is in a win now mode, it will be interesting to see how the money is spent.

    Scooter-I agree Connor Cook is backup status

    1. IMHO, Boone is much more important to the niners success that either Draughn or Celek or both of them. Our offensive line must be addressed.

      1. Agreed.
        This is why I think the niners should prioritized the OL in Free Agency.
        They don’t need All Pros just good solid starters, which they should be able to sign for a reasonable amount, especially given their cap space.
        Shoring this up will allow them should help them sustain drives, which should lead to more points and better defensive play.
        Additionally it will allow them to evaluate what they have in any QB of the future properly.

      2. I would not be surprised if the 49ers sign Celek to an extension before free agency begins. Being on IR will not increase his market value, and the 49ers might be able to sign him for less than they would otherwise if he values job security and the certainty of a known situation over the uncertainty of free agency.

    2. With the contract holdout last year and some of the exasperated comments he’s made following games this year, I have a feeling Boone will do a Crabtree and get out of town even if the 49ers offer him the most money.

      1. Yea, if history is any indication, Boone is gone. If you hit free agency with this franchise, you’re not likely coming back….

      2. “even if the 49ers offer him the most money.”

        One thing you can rely on is that probably won’t be the case.

        1. The Crab contract offer was for a third less than he was paid the year before with no guarantees about playing time. Sounds like that was a lowball deal. Raiders offered him less but with incentives that would pay him more than the Niner contract if he met them, Well Crab has exceeded them with his stellar production, so he will make more than the Niner offer. Hence, the Niner contract was eventually lower than what he will earn this year.
          Guess I can talk myself blue in the face, but some posters dwell on the bottom line and do not see the whole picture. Crab will make more, but they still think the Niner contract was fair and better, when in actuality, with incentives and a guarantee for more playing time, the Raider deal was far superior.

        1. As we learned yesterday, to a mind not in touch with reality, any offer that is not an offer with the salary and all the incentives and assurances the player feels are deserved, is, by the very definition of the term, a lowball offer. However, for minds in touch with reality, lowball means something a bit different.

          So, let’s take a look at Boone’s situation. Boone reportedly believes he should be making offensive tackle level money even though he now plays guard. Now, to a rational person, this position is not supportable and a fair offer is what other similarly situated guards make. A lowball offer would only be one that was significantly below this fair market value. However, to a person not in touch with reality, any offer other than what Boone wants, both with respect to remuneration and playing time/conditions, would be a lowball offer and show disloyalty, even if it were the highest offer the player received.

          My hope is that Boone does not possess a mind out of touch with reality and signs for fair market guard value. However, I am afraid that Boone’s outlook may be more like a reality-impaired poster here than either the fans or the 49ers would like.

              1. Ex,

                Nope. Want to make sure I’m not lowballing the Mrs. so it’s good to get the boys checked…..

              2. After the last couple of days, if I hear anyone, anywhere, ever again use the terms, low ball, low balled, low balling, or low baller, I’m going to crack up.

                Pure entertainment.

          1. JPN,

            I imagine how the negotiations would go if said poster with mind not in touch with reality was Boone’s agent:

            Baalke (Paraag?): So, here is our offer.
            Reality-Impaired Agent: You are lowballing my client!!!
            Baalke (Paraag?): What? How so? We’re offering more money than any other team.
            Reality-Impaired Agent: And that’s the very definition of a lowball offer.
            Baalke (Paraag?): Wait…WHAT????

            1. Or, Baalke to Boone- We want to compensate you fairly and keep the O line together to enhance the cohesion and timing.
              Just kidding. We will let you walk because like they said to another lineman 2 years ago, we can get rid of you and pick up a better replacement off the street. Some other team will value you too much, and I am so cheap, I will give you a token lowball offer that you will refuse forthwith, or maybe just pull a Frank Gore, and not even bother to offer you a contract, since Indy is rolling out the red carpet for you.

          2. Baalke is too cheap, cannot recognize talent, and will denigrate unit cohesion. Boone will probably not even be offered a contract, they will assume he is gone. just like Iupati.
            From the preseason, I have said that Boone should be the RT, and Baalke should pay him because they had the money to do so. But no. Pears is SO much better and Boone is a non factor in the future.

          3. JPN001

            I certainly agree with you about Boone, but I ask you, is his FMV that of a Guard, or the actual #2 Tackle on the team who upon occasion plays ‘swing’ when injury forces it ? I say pay him his FMV and some extra for the years that he was underpaid just to stay on the team…to the teams greater benefit….

            1. Paying for past performance is a trap. Organizations should only pay for expected future performance. Also, he was not underpaid in the past – he was paid as much as any team was willing to take on him given his background prior to the draft. He outplayed his contract, but that does not mean he was underpaid. He was paid exactly what he was worth to the team who was willing to take a chance on him at the time he signed the contract.

              As for tackle pay, I am not sure any other team will offer him #2 tackle money. He has shown himself to be a competent guard, but his playing time at offensive tackle may not been sufficient to show that he has enough value to grade out above starting guard pay.

              1. Do you think this issue of guard/tackle compensation is one factor in why the team did not move Boone to RT despite the poor play of Pears (and especially before Tiller secured the RG position)?

              2. “Paying for past performance is a trap.”

                Tell me about it. I still curse every time I hear the names Barry or Aubrey

      3. Scooter, some team will allow him to be a Tackle and pay him commensurate to what a good tackle usually makes. Niners would probably keep him at guard, and offer a guard salary. Sounds like they will lowball him, but according to others, Baalke is never ever that cheap.

        1. Go read my post from the other thread on this. You have no understanding of what a low ball offer is.

          What I can believe is the 49ers will offer Boone less than he can make elsewhere. But unless they are offering significantly below fair market value, that is not lowballing, no matter how much you want to think it is.

    3. By now Baalke must be shell-shocked by the play of his two recent high-round OL draft picks. A smart guy in his shoes (and he is smart) would conclude finding good olinemen is not that easy and so good FAs need to be paid. Moving Staley to right tackle, if it happens, would underscore that. What would also underscore that is if Davis comes back and they make him RG. So I think Boone will get his payday if he wants to stay.

    4. With the Yorks looking to cut expenses.
      I think Boone is gone. They will replace him with rookie or one of draftees from previous years. There is a possibility that Staley might be traded too.
      I would not expect the niners to draft a QB in the first round (too expensive)
      Baalke will not be allowed to open up the pocket books.
      I think Bethea/Brooks are gone and probably Boldin too unless he takes a big cut.
      Baalke is probably going to draft a PK to replace Dawson to save on his $3.5M salary.

      When Jed York said win with class. He meant win without spending money – now that is real class. Its going to be a long winter as long as the Yorks own the team.

      1. You probably don’t understand how the cap works, right?

        If they are looking to cut expenses, players sdalary is not the best place to do it.

    1. I’d agree with all those Grant, but Mr. Hyde broke his foot. I don’t think his running style contributed to that injury. Sure he runs violently, but it’s a violent game. Gore missed two college seasons with knee injuries. They happen. I don’t think you get rid of him. If we’ve learned anything from the Panthers, two starting running backs in rotation ain’t a bad thing. That’s why I wasn’t opposed to drafting Gurley had he been available….

    2. Your ping-pong opinion of Bowman has been one of the most entertaining aspects of this season. After a poor outing this week he’ll be on next week’s list of most disappointing players of 2015. But not to worry because you’ll probably be nominating him for comeback player of the year the week after that.

      1. I have not vetted this information, but it makes me somewhat more optimistic about Gabbert’s upside: he only played four years of football before playing in the NFL. That’s a lot of missed reps, compared to most other QB’s (I would think, anyway). This according to Bucky Brooks on with Radnich and Krueger this morning.

        Any thoughts?

        1. Ex: Interesting about only playing four years before the NFL.

          I feel like I’ve seen Gabbert be able to do just about everything required of a good QB; however, he hasn’t put it all together for a complete game yet. This last game I felt he had regressed in the first three quarters, but he was clutch in the 4th. He had a long run for a TD and made a beautiful deep pass for a TD. His long passes were a question mark for me, but he showed he could do it. Now, I want to see more consistency and yet more variation within a game (short passes, hot reads, slants, deep passes, seam passes, timely runs for 1st downs, etc.). I think as his confidence builds, he’ll be able to continue to progress.

          1. Cubus,

            Having Gabbert right now is a little bit like getting a trial first round pick, at the cost of whatever they gave J’ville in the trade. He’s showing that he’s at least going to be a good enough bridge to the next QB and might be more.

    3. Last season Marcus Martin was not “good” center, but most felt he handled himself well for a 20 year old coming off a truncated camp.

      I’m shocked how bad he is. Do you think Martin regressed since 2014, or did many of us overestimate his 2014 play?

      1. Martin personally ‘kills’ two to three drives a game with his play. He’s the next coming of good old #62 Chilo and my goodness he’s slow. He needs some serious years on the practice squad.

  4. Even if Gabbert never becomes the quarterback we hope for, his play provides an ability to asses Chryst, Logan and offensive skill players in a way Kaepernick could never provide.

    With Kaepernick, it felt like the 49ers needed to replace pretty much all offensive skill players except Hyde, an Chryst/Logan too.

    Now we’re likely to have a little more clarity this off season. Do we need new blood? Yes… but we’ll have a better idea what kind of blood needs replacing.

    1. B2W

      Also, how MUCH new blood needs replacing…. there are players on the team who need to show how much better they are with Gabbert than they were with Kaepernick…like Vance MacDonald….I hope they get the chance…I’d love to see Jordan Devey after a training camp with the niners…

    1. I don’t think that is Fooch’s material:

      “This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation’s writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation’s writers or editors.”

      “Fooch’s note: There’s plenty of debate over this subject, so I thought this FanPost was worth moving to the front page.”

    2. It’s funny to see the same arguments getting played out in that forum.

      No matter what side of the debate you are on, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion the team will finish with at least 5-6 wins looking at what’s left on the schedule. So the possibility of a higher draft pick is likely over, as well as a change in Coaching or GM. At this point about all we can do is hope for continued development and improved play, and maybe luck out with Gabbert showing he can be a quality starter going into next year.

      1. “At this point about all we can do is hope for continued development and improved play, and maybe luck out with Gabbert showing he can be a quality starter going into next year.”

        rocket, you are so right about that.

      2. “It’s funny to see the same arguments getting played out in that forum.”

        When you see the same arguments about the same subjects along with the same points being made on either side one thing is invariably true: There is no definitive answer. Neither side is entirely correct. Both have valid and invalid arguments. What it all plays to is what I mentioned the other day; when you have so many arguments about whether a change has occurred what should be taken from that is the idea that there probably hasn’t been that much change if so many people have a hard time agreeing on what it was or if it happened at all.

        These kinds of arguments rarely have definitive answer either. As time plays out Gabbert may or may not end up as the starter and neither outcome will truly vindicate either side of the argument.

        1. The jury is still out on Gabbert for sure. I don’t think we’ll really know what he is in until at least next year. I don’t see his short-comings as limitations, just inexperience. He was way too young when he was the starter.

          Kaep came in, and was pretty inconsistent as well. The difference was that the Niners had a strong running game and defense, which hid his weaknesses. He was also replacing a starter that was playing well.

          Gabbert is going to go through some growing pains, so even though he really didn’t play well, it was encouraging to see his skills with the run, and his ability to read the defense and make the right play. Even if the safety was out of position, Gabbert got in synch with Torrie Smith, and made the throw. That was not a random, improv play. It was good execution.

      3. Rocket,

        Now that’s the optimistic guy I use to know! Glad you’re back to your old self!

        BTW, my comment the other day challenging your assessment that the

      4. It’s possible, according to Steve Young, to show improvement every year and never get out of the 7-9 to 9-7 range. He thinks that’s the team status that’s hardest to move beyond.

        1. It certainly can be. You don’t want to get stuck there for 4-5 years at a time because it means the team’s growth is stagnating and you likely have a lot of pretty good players (some that you are likely now overpaying to keep) but few true difference makers.

    3. Scooter, I wanted them to tank to make the Yorks look even more foolish than they are currently viewed, not because of draft position. But it’s Gabbert who has turned me around to your point of view. I really like the guy, and I really like the fact he was a young wash-out at Jacksonville who seems to have overcome that psychological trauma and turned himself into a functional NFL QB despite a weak oline and lack of running game. That being said, what happens next year depends mostly on Baalke. Rebuilding the oline is an enormous task. Boone’s probably leaving, Staley may have seen his better days, etc., etc., etc. Plus he has to add more to the pass rush. Is Baalke really up to this? I used to think so. We’ll just have to see.

  5. Gabbert mentioned that they like to stack the box. How to counter that?
    Shape them by spreading them wide with 4 receiver sets and do bubble screens to each side. They should also attack the edges by doing sweeps and reverses.
    Niners should target Ellington against Whitner by lining him in the slot and doing quick slants.
    Since the Browns run defense is suspect, The Niners should shut down Hyde for the year to protect him and allow his foot to heal fully. and elevate Hayne. If anything he would be a change of pace from Draughn, and if given the chance to catch the outlet pass, Hayne could make the first tackler miss for an explosion play.
    The Browns will be desperate for a win, so this should be a hard fought game. Gabbert should work on his deception, and put the defense out of position. Gabbert should throw the quick pass, then next time, do a pump fake to freeze the safeties, then heave it down field to Torrey.
    Above all, do not run into the teeth of the defense. Danny Shelton is big, but slow, so the Niners should run around him

    1. That is part of his job description. What else can he do? If he is not playing, studying is the only thing he can do.
      It is also confidential information that never should have been leaked, so the leaker has been ‘reassigned’.

  6. Silicon Valley can’t speed dial enough Freud’s or Carl Jung’s to solve this mess:
    “The Silicon Valley Suicides,” Why are so Many Kids Killing Themselves , by Hanna Rossin, The Atlantic, Dec. 2015.

    And the York’s continuing romance with the Silicon Valley elite parading their martini’s through 49er locker rooms after tough losses will continue as well as their supposed cure-all, the analytic 49er Team suicide equation.

  7. This is probably the best day of Blaine Gabbert’s life.
    He didn’t do anything special through the first 57 minutes of this game. In fact, it looked like he’d probably finish the game with less than 100 yards passing. But he didn’t turn the ball over and he tied the game with an impressive 44-yard touchdown run that made Vic Fangio’s defense look sloppy and confused.

    Go 49ers, stay on that course of no 1st quarter touchdowns this year (Elias Sports Bureau), redzone difficulties, and a do-nothing offense for the 1st 57 minutes of a game…It demonstrates how all that hard studing paid off leading up to each game.

  8. Tim Kawakami ‏@timkawakami · 16m16 minutes ago

    The “we’ve got it all figured out” mentality at 4-8 in mid-December is a classic sign of a bad team looking to justify bad decisions.


    The Crab contract offer was for a third less than he was paid the year before with no guarantees about playing time.

    contract with incentives and a guarantee for more playing time.

    Which is it Seb, a guarantee for playing time or no guarantee. Thank you for not being my agent….By Seb’s society on debating Dept.

    1. TomD

      December 10, 2015 at 9:35 am


      December 10, 2015 at 9:22 am
      The Crab contract offer was for a third less than he was paid the year before with no guarantees about playing time.

      contract with incentives and a guarantee for more playing time.

      Which is it Seb, a guarantee for playing time or no guarantee. Thank you for not being my agent….By Seb’s society on debating Dept.

      1. TrollD, if you could read, the implication was the Niner had a slightly higher offer,but with a demotion to the third WR position, and the Raiders contract that was loaded with incentives which he has mostly met, and he was guaranteed the Number two WR spot, so Crab will be compensated more than the Niner offer.
        In the end, the Niner offer was a lowball offer compared to the Raiders deal he signed. Crab also got a lot more playing time, which to him, may be more important than money at this stage of his career.

            1. Same here Allan. He’s the ultimate fan boy poster. No real analysis, just a lot of opinion loosely supported by some high level data on occassion. What I found really funny was when he did an “analysis” of the 49ers sacks in the first game against the Seahawks this year when Kaep was at QB, then David Neumann posted his article on Kaep’s play and basically completely de-bunked what Brady had said. Brady’s “analysis” is very superficial and basically is whatever jumps off screen on the first watch through.

              To be honest David Neumann is the only writer on NN I pay any mind too. Fooch can be ok too, but even he is more subjective opinion than objective assessment.

              1. Fooch is okay, especially on legal/contract issues, but he is sometimes a bit too fanboy for my tastes. Also, I think he likes to stir the pot a bit too much.

  10. Jeff Deeney
    Andrew Tiller’s +7.8 overall grade over the last five weeks ranks 10th among all guards during that span.

      1. PFF grades are subjective, but yes, it’s good. I personally think he’s played a lot better than Devey and lament how long it took our CS to recognize this. It makes me wonder what else they’ve missed.

  11. I know, I know, it is just an amazing coincidence that the offensive improvement coincided with the benching of Devey.
    Too bad it took til Kaep became injured before they wised up.

    1. It also helps when you have a QB that his teammates like and that is a true leader.
      The oline didn’t know how to block for #7 because he never let plays develop. He was a free lancer dancer in the pocket!

        1. As usual, you misinterpret what I said.

          All I intimated is that the offense improved following Kaep being replaced by Gabbert, and that is unlikely to be a coincidence. You are actually making my point for me.

        2. Seb with all your vast knowledge, even a football guru like yourself has to admit the offense looks to have a little more “pop” “flare” to it with Gabbert under center. It looks to have some evolution to it since the ATL game. Dont you think old wise one?

      1. Scooter,

        The amazing thing is that the offense stunk last year too. Even more amazing is that Gabbert’s ypa is 7.6, while Kaepernick was a full yard shorter this season and over half a yard shorter last season.

  12. I realize that this won’t be a popular opinion with most on here, but shouldn’t either, or both, Chryst and Logan get some credit for Gabbert’s progress?

    BG was terrible as recently as the 2014 preseason and now, at the very least, is a serviceable starting NFL QB. Someone, somewhere gets some credit for that, don’t they?

    I’m not saying that either, or both, Chryst and Logan should stay beyond this season, but at least one of them must’ve had something to do with BG’s progress, right?

    1. If Gabbert remains serviceable the rest of 2015, then my fearless prognostication is that Logan will get the credit and the OC position whereas Chryst will get the blame for Kap and the chance to see what the open market will offer him.

      1. JPN,

        Agreed. He’s the new coach in the mix, and he is the QB coach that has presided over BG’s improvement, even though Chryst is still involved, as OC. He’s also Tomsula’s friend from NFL Europe (at least I think I remember that).

      2. Sorry to disagree, but Chryst and his 31st ranked offense should have been fired weeks ago, but Tomsula is fiercely loyal and probably told Baalke that he would resign if they fired Chryst.
        I really want Chryst gone, but do not see that happening this season.

        1. Seb,

          You’re only disagreeing if you believe that neither Chryst, nor Logan deserve any credit for Gabbert’s improvement.

          In my last paragraph, I specifically said that whatever credit either of them get for Gabbert doesn’t necessarily mean either should stay.

    2. I remember that in training camp Logan had Gabbert reduce the velocity on his passes – they were trying to target about 80% of the previous velocity. The reason was to improve his accuracy, which improved year over year.

  13. Albert Breer ‏@AlbertBreer 54m54 minutes ago
    Raiders’ extension with WR Michael Crabtree (4 years, $34 million) includes just $10.25 million fully guaranteed. Pay-as-you-go deal.

          1. Just proves his Raiders deal was far superior because they promised to renegotiate if he did well. That Niner deal was a true lowball offer in comparison to the Raiders deal.

    1. Sounds like they value him and gave him a good deal that is commensurate to his worth. They definitely did not lowball him.

  14. Interesting game for the Niners this week. Looks like Kilgore starts at center. Last week Ricky Watters said it looked like Marcus Martin was on roller skates, so often was he getting pushed back. Could the center of the line now be solid? Would love to see how Brown can do in place of Pears. Cleveland loads the box, so, as Gabbert has said himself re this game, he’ll be passing more. This will be another challenge for him, Jesus (Chryst), and the oline.

    1. I should have added the receivers to that list. Celek out. McDonald out (?) This is the kind of game where Torrey and Patton could shine. Hope they give Simpson a chance to get out of the doghouse.

    1. Thanks, Scooter. This is interesting. About how well Chicago ran the ball, I’m surprised Neumann and others never mention that Dorsey is gone.

    2. Neumann is the best over there, no question. But I don’t follow this statement:

      “In-game decision making represents only one small part of an NFL coach’s responsibilities (and one could argue it’s the least important part).” I’m surprised that he feels an argument could be made that in-game decision making is the least important. I suppose I need to be careful about the definition of in-game decision making. It may be that I’m including game strategy as well, which one would argue is a pre-game activity for coaches.

      1. I think what he means is that most of the in-game decisions are made by the coordinators. The HC in-game decisions are more limited. And as you say, most of the strategy is done before the game.

      2. I do not beg to differ, I vehemently disagree. The in game decisions are crucial and could be the difference between winning and losing. Game management woes which were so maddeningly frustrating during the JH years, seem to have been ameliorated under Tomsula.
        Coaching and decision making in game may be unimportant to some, but the quick analysis and adjustments to counter the opposition schemes just seem to be tantamount to good coaching.

        1. “quick analysis and adjustments to counter the opposition schemes just seem to be tantamount to good coaching.”

          Yeah, which is the job of the coordinators. They are the ones calling the plays. Some HC’s also get involved, but I don’t think Tomsula does outside of decisions to go for it, when to challenge, etc. It doesn’t appear that he is involved in the play calling aside from that.

            1. Right, so you think he’s telling Chryst which plays to call? Mangini? That’s interesting since he said back in September that he leaves the play calling to his coordinators. Don’t tell me you now think Tomsula is a liar…

              1. He is helping analyze schemes and formations,advocates strategies, counters the opposition tactics, discusses personnel moves, points out weaknesses, facilitates decisions and helps make adjustments. Play calling is a small part of coaching a game.
                Tomsula does not like to lie, just listen to his pressers. He cannot tell the truth on some matters, so he will bluster, bloviate obfuscate, hem and haw, and generally stammer to try and give an answer without saying the whole truth. Just part of his job description.
                Yet there are other times when you know he is telling the truth, just like as though he put his hand on a stack of bibles.

              2. Right. While I could quibble on some of those things, instead I’ll just point out that you have outlined a lot of responsibilities that aren’t in-game “decisions” as Neumann is discussing, and that when it comes to the areas that are decision making his role is more that of a facilitator and advocate (which you also pount out). He delegates the decision making for the bulk of the in-game decisions. As a lot of HCs do. And as he’s already said in the past.

              3. There are 20 coaches. 2 call the plays. The others just stand around with their hands in their pockets a spit every so often.

          1. I’ve read somewhere that Tomsula is fiercely loyal. I mean like fiercely loyal, and that he will threaten to resign at the drop of a hint from on high.

      3. in terms of everything a coach does, while in game decision making is important, the majority of the work a coach puts in is in preparation for a game. film study and coaching players during practice.

        “The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.”
        -Sun Tsu

  15. Speaking of coaching, I remember that I warned that Fangio had a pretty good idea what the Niners were going to do, so I advocated throwing out the playbook and starting all over. I said they should do something totally different, become more unpredictable and more innovative.
    Of course, some one said that my idea was the stupidest thing he had ever read, but after the futility of the first quarter, Fangio did have the Niner’s number, and his defense was schooling them.
    When I advocate them throwing out the playbook, I did not mean they forget all of the plays as if they never existed. They should keep the same plays, but the scheme and strategy how they are utilized needs changing. For instance, by running on first down every time, the defense can ignore the pass and concentrate on stopping the run. The Niners need to change things up, like doing a play action bomb on first down. Instead of walking up to the line and snapping the ball with less than 5 seconds on the play clock, they should run the hurry up offense, like they did in the second quarter with good results.
    Fangio wanted to shape the Niner offense by forcing them into bunched sets. By the 4th quarter, the Niners were spreading them wide and running the ball up the middle. Too bad one time they had a hole to run through, but Draughn fell down. In the end, they spread them wide and Gabbert gashed them up the middle for a TD.
    Cleveland will not present a daunting challenge like Fangio and the Bears, but they still are dangerous. They will be going all out because this next game will be their best chance to win compared to their other 3 opponents. Niners need to keep being unpredictable and more innovative.
    How to win? The first thing to do is jettison the analytics and go with their gut instincts. Tomsula needs to go bold, and not settle for field goals. Tomsula should go for it on 4th down while inside their 20, even 4th and 5 on the 18 yard line.
    The Niners should run the ball down their throat and attack the edges.They should use the receiver speed to do reverses and bubble screens. Above all, they should minimize their unforced errors.

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