Draymond Green walks the walk

Here is my Tuesday column on Draymond Green. WARNING: This is a Warriors column. 49ers fans — feel free to skip this. OAKLAND – Tom Izzo told Draymond Green to shut up. This happened in a meeting halfway through Green’s freshman season at Michigan State. Legendary head coach Tom Izzo had asked his basketball team a question, and he wasn’t asking Green. “Coach Izzo would direct his questions to the…

February 4, 2014

Why mute Marshawn is wrong

This is my Thursday column on Marshawn Lynch. Should you care that Marshawn Lynch refuses to talk to the media? Yes, you should. He’s not honoring his contract, the standard player contract which mandates talking to the media. I understand not caring. Fans don’t like the media. If Lynch wants to bail on interviews, that’s his business. He earns $5 million per year. He can afford to pay the fine….

January 29, 2014

Get ready in the red zone

Here is my Friday column. The 49ers’ biggest need this offseason is not a player. Not a wide receiver. Not a cornerback. Not a safety. Talent isn’t the Niners’ problem – they might have the most talented team in the league. Sure, they could use a speed wide receiver, but they need something else. If they had what they needed, they would be Super Bowl champions already. They would have…

January 24, 2014

49ers need Kap insurance

This is my column for Wednesday. The 49ers need a new quarterback. This is not to say the 49ers should give up on Colin Kaepernick — with the right coaching he may still have a future. But they shouldn’t go all in with him, either. The 49ers should hedge their bets, draft a quarterback who could back up Kaepernick as a rookie and could eventually take over as the starter…

January 22, 2014

Why Harbaugh is so good

This is my Sunday column on what makes Jim Harbaugh a good head coach. SEATTLE — Serious question — what makes Jim Harbaugh a good head coach? Clearly, he is a good coach. His record reflects that. More than three wins for every loss as a head coach in the NFL. But Harbaugh doesn’t call his own plays like Bill Walsh or Sean Payton, and Harbaugh isn’t a defensive specialist…

January 18, 2014

Seahawks pass game in a funk

This is my Wednesday column on the Seahawks’ passing game. Don’t blame Russell Wilson. People say the Seahawks’ passing game is spiraling counter-clockwise down the toilet because Wilson is in a slump. No. It might be more accurate to say that Darrell Bevell, the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator, is in a slump. “His passing game appears chaotic and out of sorts,” said a former NFL offensive coordinator. “Some weeks, Bevell is…

January 15, 2014

It’s Panthers by a whisker

This is my Friday column on the 49ers upcoming playoff game against the Panthers. Before I write off the 49ers, I want to say I underestimated them this season. When Michael Crabtree tore his Achilles’ tendon during OTAs, I thought the 49ers’ season was dead. And when Aldon Smith drove his truck into a tree and the 49ers started the season 1-2, I thought the season was really most sincerely…

January 10, 2014

It comes to pass for 49ers, Panthers

This is my Thursday column on the difference between the 49ers and Panthers. SANTA CLARA – The 49ers face a version of themselves this Sunday. If the 49ers are a “Bob,” the Panthers are a “Roberto.” For the most part, the 49ers and Panthers are the same team: Excellent, hard-hitting defenses. Quarterbacks who run and throw. Offenses built around running the ball. And coaches who are the sons of coaches…

January 9, 2014

49ers’ weak pass rush gives Packers hope

Here is my Saturday column on the upcoming 49ers-Packers playoff game. GREEN BAY, Wis. — The 49ers can beat the Packers, have beaten the Packers, know how to beat the Packers, should beat the Packers and probably will beat the Packers on Sunday.But don’t count out the Packers just yet. A few factors work in their favor.The first factor is their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. That’s an easy one. He’s still…

January 4, 2014

Harbaugh keeps his focus

Here is my Thursday column on Jim Harbaugh. SANTA CLARA – It used to be so easy to get Jim Harbaugh to say too much. He used to love creating side narratives before big games. He was the side-narrative king, the Charles Dickens of football coaches. Maybe he didn’t like the 49ers’ chances of winning that particular game and he tried to even the odds by making the game about…

January 2, 2014

Kaepernick’s foot faults

Here is my Saturday column on Colin Kaepernick. Watch Colin Kaepernick’s feet this Sunday. The 49ers play the Cardinals in Arizona and the game means very little to the Niners. Win or lose, the 49ers will make the playoffs. They’ll be a wild-card team if the Seahawks beat the Rams, and the Seahawks probably will beat the Rams. And the 49ers probably will beat the Cardinals. You already know the…

December 28, 2013

Bogut is Warriors’ warrior

Here is my Friday column on Andrew Bogut. WARNING: This is a Warriors column. 49ers fans — feel free to skip this. A good thing happened to the Warriors this week. They embraced their inner Bogutness and became Andrew Bogut’s team. They had been Stephen Curry’s team. But being Bogut’s team is better. Curry is a great offensive player, but he’s not an Alpha Dog. He’s a side-kick. When you…

December 27, 2013

49ers have home field and motivation — will it be enough?

Here is my Saturday column previewing the upcoming 49ers-Seahawks game. I think the Seahawks will beat the 49ers on Sunday. But I’m going to make a case for the 49ers because they are a good team with a good chance to win. And it’s important to look at an issue from all sides. Almost everything works in the 49ers’ favor: The Seahawks could have an emotional letdown after Monday night’s…

December 7, 2013

Rams have made gains — enough to win?

Here is my Saturday column previewing the upcoming 49ers-Rams game. SANTA CLARA – If the 49ers lose to the Rams on Sunday, you can forget about the 49ers. The 49ers currently cling to the sixth and final NFC playoff seed. The 49ers can’t afford to lose to the Rams and fall behind in the race for the final Wild Card spot. The Rams have improved since the 49ers embarrassed them…

November 30, 2013

Redskins can be troublesome

Here is my column previewing the 49ers-Redskins Monday Night game. Sure, the 49ers should beat the Redskins Monday night, should blow them away. The 49ers are a good team fighting for a playoff spot and the Redskins are 3-7, going nowhere. I just can’t help noticing a few factors which work in the Redskins’ favor against the Niners. Take this one, it’s the craziest thing: During the Jim Harbaugh Era,…

November 22, 2013

Kaepernick’s season of regression

Here is my Tuesday column on Kaepernick’s season of regression. The following play epitomizes how inept the 49ers’ offense has become: Eight minutes left in the second quarter against the Saints. Play No. 2 of drive No. 6 for the Niners. Colin Kaepernick lines up under center and waves his left arm to silently signal the third-string tight end, Derek Carrier, to shift to the slot. Carrier isn’t looking. Kaepernick…

November 19, 2013

Time to mobilize the QB

Here is my Thursday column explaining how to improve the 49ers pass game. SANTA CLARA – What would you say Eric Mangini does for the 49ers? They hired him in the offseason to be an offensive consultant, but the offense keeps getting worse. I asked Jim Harbaugh what the Mangenius does and Harbaugh said, “Several things,” and listed none of them. So I assume Mangini does nothing. Jim, you need…

November 14, 2013

Roman holiday or horror story?

Here is my Friday column on the 49ers’ upcoming game against the Panthers. SANTA CLARA – I would feel confident picking the 49ers to win on Sunday, but offensive coordinator Greg Roman gives me pause. This is the kind of game he screws up. Roman has had extra time to prepare for the Panthers’ No.2-ranked defense because the 49ers are coming off a bye week. It’s the extra prep time…

November 8, 2013

The vanishing kickoff return

Here is my Sunday feature on kickoffs in the NFL. This feature appears in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s Sunday sports section. ALAMEDA — The most exciting and the most dangerous play in football, the kickoff, is disappearing. It used to be the kicker kicked off from his 30-yard line, 10 kickoff coverage players lined up way behind the kicker and took big running starts, the kick returner caught the…

November 3, 2013

How to stunt a QB’s growth

Here is my Wednesday column on how to stunt a quarterback’s growth. SANTA CLARA – Here is how you throw a quarterback under the bus: Last Sunday, the Raiders had an 18-point lead over the Steelers at halftime. In the second half, Raiders’ head coach Dennis Allen went ultra-conservative, letting his quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, pass the ball just six times. As you might expect, the Raiders scored zero points in…

October 30, 2013