Chip Kelly’s offense plainly a problem for 49ers

To read my Thursday column on Chip Kelly’s offense, click here.

This article has 207 Comments

  1. Don’t even have to read this to know it’ll be drivel. If I could lay down the internet on the floor for house breaking, this might be where I start.

    Grant, why is it you and some of your ilk (Bob Fitzgerald for example), expound to know so much about a sport, yet you aren’t working in said sport. If you all are such wizards and can see the flaws and feel you have a better understanding than these pro’s…why work for some 2nd rate press making ~50k a year when you could be in the pro’s or college making millions?

    I wonder…

    1. Well stated, MJ! Same thing goes for Tim Kawakami and Ray Ratto. I read the titles of their article and I already know it will be drivel – driven only to get negative responses that agree with these so called sport writers. They write like they are privy to the info coming out of these organizations, and then stated as their sources.

      1. MJ and cotoman

        Correctly stated….I wonder if they (publications) send out circulars seeking out Spiro Agnews “Nattering Naybobs of negativity” when interviewing for sports journalists ?

        1. The whole fallacy with this article, and his thought process behind it, is Grant based it ALL off a disgruntled ex-player. It’s like talking to ex-lovers of your current bf/gf and being surprised when they only speak negatively. Its stupid.

          And we haven’t seen ONE snap yet and already they have a problem.

          Child please.

            1. You took criticism and held it up as gospel and took praise and twisted it to criticism in an effort to blast Chip Kelly. How about we let Chip actually coach his first practice before you label his offense a “problem” for the 49ers.

              Why are you so negative? If I were to play amateur psychiatrist I would say you have a need to destroy others to feel good about yourself. You consistently blast men who have been in the football business longer than you’ve been alive. You try to paint them as imbeciles for using strategies you dislike and you frequently try to hold yourself up as smarter than these men. I honestly don’t get it. I hope you find a way to say one thing positive about someone some day.

              1. To be fair, they are legitimate concerns. Two successful seasons in the NFL does not silence those concerns, and they have some validity. There’s no question that Kelly will have to take a different approach after his self evaluation, and I expect he will….

              2. Many of Grant’s concerns about Kelly’s offense are similar the the criticism of Kaepernick’s play that comes from the same folks getting on Grant’s case. It’a a legitimate concern.

                So is what Kawakami points out about trusting the “word” of Baalke and Jed.

      2. Ray Ratto is unreadable.Kelly had two good seasons and perhaps he has learned from some of his mistakes. It’s not like we had array of top talented Head Coaches to choose from.

  2. In 2014, the Raider defenders admitted they knew what play was being called just by looking at the formation. This last year they did not need to know because the Niners were so incompetent.
    Chip should have the Niners line up in a basic set, and run multiple different plays out of that one formation so the defense is not tipped off.
    Maybe they should run the Zone Read Option on first down so the defense must defend against both the run or pass.
    The Niners, when they played the Eagles, had Bethea diagnosing the play ahead of time, so they were in position to stop them. Chip must stop telegraphing his plays ahead of time. He must be more deceptive and unpredictable.

    1. Seb

      If I were you, I wouldn’t count on Chip paying much attention to your suggestions any more than Tomsula did last year…and what if he did ? why, all of our opponents would not have to watch tape or send out spys…they’d only have to read your comments on Grant’s blog…(loose lips sink ships )

      1. Oregon, I advocated that the Niners run the no huddle with quick snaps. I also said that the Niners should shape the defense by spreading them wide, attack the edges, or gash them up the middle.
        Guess what? Chip will do those things because I was just advocating what Chip does. He does not need me to tell him to do those things because he already does them.

          1. I just did. I said they should line up in a basic formation and run multiple different plays out of that formation so they cannot ascertain beforehand what play will be run.

            1. Seb, you’re just repeating what I and others have already said. Kelly’s offense can run or throw out of the same formation and personnel grouping.

              I actually think two things will stall Kelly’s offense. Not being able to run the ball out of a spread formation or power formations. And teams giving a look pre snap and jumping the routes the the QB expects to be open. Fangio was the master of changing the scheme or playing everything out of the same scheme because he had the talent to do so.

          2. OK, how about this? The Niners should invite the blitz, then burn them by targeting the area the blitzer just left.
            That is exactly what Pittsburg and Arizona did to the Niner defense last year.

            1. Seb

              that is called a trap play and has been an arrow in EVERY teams quiver as long as I can remember. That’s NOT original…

              1. No duh, yet the Niner offense did not seem to know of that play. They were the lowest scoring team in the league.
                Chip himself said that he did not invent any plays, that they were thought up long ago. However, maybe the Niners will someday utilize those concepts so I do not feel the need to puke over their putrid offense.

            2. This is just more of the same things you’ve been saying for the last few years and has nothing to do with Kelly’s offense.

              1. Seb is a one trick pony like his hero #7.
                All I hear from Sebnnoying every post is spread them wide, dont run into the teeth of the defense, use no huddle, deception. Second verse same as the first.
                I swear this guy is 15 yearsold!

              2. Prime, I am glad you have memorized my points. That is why I repeat them, They are now imprinted in your psyche.

    2. People who think Kelley’s offense is so predictable should . read on Niner’s
      Nation, David Neumann’s ” Chip Kelley’s Offense Resource Page”.I’ve read just the
      running game section and it makes my head hurt there is so much info.

      As for 2014, I believe Jim Harbaugh was the coach. So he ran a predictable offense
      too? Most coaches do run a predictable offense, The question is, is the defense
      good enough to stop them?

  3. I hope Chip puts a man in motion. That way, Kaep or Gabbert can read the defense’s reaction.
    The man in motion should sometimes be used to allow the TE to pinch in the DE so the QB can roll out. The MIM can also allow a WR to be at full stride at the snap of the ball and will negate the chuck at the line of scrimmage.
    The MIM could also be used for fly sweeps, end arounds and reverses.
    The good thing is that I have seen Chip use the MIM many times, so he is smart enough to utilize that strategy. Hopefully, he will not put a MIM, then have the player stop, thus eliminating the advantage a MIM gives the offense.

    1. Seb did you read the articles on Kelly’s offense on ninersnation? If you did you’d see that Kelly’s passing offense relies heavily on post snap reads and flooding areas of the field where the defense can’t cover all the receivers. The QB from the play call should be able to predict which routes can’t be covered. He does put a man in motion on some plays but that’s not how they diagnose what the defense is doing.

      Kelly’s games plans work from inside running from a spread formation, and the personnel on the field for runs looks the same as the personnel for passes. He’s making the defense guess and not the other way around.

      1. Wilson, I have been advocating that the Niners flood a zone and let the QB throw to the open man for years, but I am only advocating what Bill Walsh said in many of his chalkboard talks.
        Chip does seem to have strategies that target zones and mismatches, but when former players say the offense was too vanilla and predictable, maybe Chip should take those comments into consideration.
        Usually, when they put a MIM, and the defender shadows him, it means they are in man to man coverage. If they only shift, it usually means they are in zone. At least, that is how Bill Walsh described it.
        All I am saying is that Chip needs to be MORE deceptive and unpredictable, not that he is never deceptive and way too predictable. I am extremely pleased to watch the Chip Kelly offenses, and see that MIM. He gets it.

        1. Seb you advocate for lots of things, what does that have to do with Kelly having an offense that regularly does it? I’ve heard some good football commentary about offense lately from players. They were saying you know before the game what a team is going to to. You’ve seen it all on film. So its not a matter of being surprised, its a matter of execution and their players beating your players. Sometimes coaches can catch teams out of position or in the wrong personnel formations. Sometimes new QB’s enter or a new scheme enters the league and it takes a while to catch up and they do. But the idea that something is vanilla, or that they need to be more deceptive doesn’t understand how the NFL works.

      1. Trent Baalke’s comments don’t guarantee anything for Colin Kaepernick. April1, still a long way to go, at this point anything can change. The 49ers might come to their sense before hand. Kaep salary will be around 16.5 million and Blaine Gabbert will come cheap at 2.5 million and Gabbert showed he can run this offense without good pass protection.

        1. Please document:

          “The 49ers might come to their sense before hand. Kaep salary will be around 16.5 million …”

          Me thinks your fingers are doing your thinking for you.

          1. After reading your other posts, it seems that you meant that Kaepernick’s cap, not his salary will be $16.5M. What will his cap hit be if Kaepernick is cut before April 1st. Could it be four or five million?

            In that case keeping his is an $11.9M cost.

  4. The Time is Now to address the 49ers real Problem that their endless coaching searches have never solved. Haunting the 49ers, like Don Quixote searching windmills for foes, Ponce de Leon treking his men on exhaustive searches for the fountain of youth, or General George Armstrong Custer forcing his men to march from the Dakota’s to the east coast to love his wife, 49er ownership similarly drags its fans along with their own brand of mania.
    Rod Serling could write a Twilight Zone episode on this mania at the intersection of imagination and reality, a concept whose idiosyncracies can only be explained in a double feature The Twilight Zone.
    Dr. York and Denise would be the puppeteers, shouting instructions to Trent to never hire an ex-coach hired by Eddie D.; Trent would play the loyal soldier simply following orders;
    and the audience would be Superbowl winning coaches applying for a job with the 49ers and all have great Defensive coordinator connections who could run that end of the job…In the middle of the application process, a time warp is encountered, and suddenlty 15 years has got behind ownership, none of the successful coaches were hired, the fans were dragged through a barren wasteland, and in the final episode, PSL holders realize the particular brand of mania: Worship our legacy at the expense of a proven idea…Keep worshiping….

      1. Silicon

        Whew ! Thanks for the interpretation…I sort of got lost somewhere between the Dakotas and Eddie D
        . buying into a casino….

      2. There it is. So after saying Kaepernick will “absolutely” be on the roster come April 1st, Baalke goes on to say that “you can’t predict tomorrow,” basically giving him an out for the absolutely comment. The expectation is he’s on the roster, but hey, things change man.

        “Obviously, we have two quarterbacks now who have proven they can go into NFL games and play and play at a high level,” Baalke said. “There’s no working knowledge of either of these quarterbacks in respect to the new staff. All of these guys are going to be competing for their positions.”

    1. If Kaepernick is still on the roster April 1st, his 2016 salary of $11.9 million becomes completely guaranteed. That number is actually larger in terms of cap space, and would cost the 49ers $16.8 million in that regard. So, naturally, with the signal caller’s future with the team a little cloudy these days, it was expected that general manager Trent Baalke would be peppered with questions at the scouting combine about whether or not he expects Kaepernick to be on the roster. His answer?


      Now, if you took this response at face value and didn’t read much into what he said afterwords, I think you’re going to be surprised in the coming months.

  5. Grant that’s a lot of speculation from a player in the Bronco’s vanilla offense who’s bitter. The Eagles under Kelly were 2nd, 5th, and 12th. That vanilla offense was better than anything we’ve had in SF since Jeff Garcia or Steve Young. Kelly could be terrible here. I don’t argue that. I think Mathis’s quotes are given to much credence as compared to their production on the field.

    1. 49ers management lied about Jim Harbaugh, lied to themselves and lied about Jim Tomsula and lied or muddled up the information on just about every other significant part of this team in recent years.

      Right? At some point? No?

      (For more, just check in on the Santa Clara stadium/political secrecy issue these days. I know big Jed fans and national reporters don’t like to know about stuff like that, but just ask a few people around the city council and see how the ones who aren’t controlled by the team have learned to view any and all 49ers management statements.)

        1. Kaepernick a $12M guaranteed base salary, too?

          No matter what? Or that Kaepernick is super-willing to talk about lower his salary to accommodate the whims of 49ers management, if they come to him and ask?

          You buying all that? Then you’ll buy that Kaepernick is guaranteed to be on the team in 2016.
          T. Kawakami, above

        2. Kawakami calling them liars???? say it isn’t so.

          Seriously the guy is negative about everything. why let him drag you right down with him?

          1. Ultimately, I think San Francisco will end up working out some kind of trade for Kaepernick, although the when and where’s of that are beyond me. There are just too many questions and too much has transpired to continue this marriage. I also believe that, regardless of what they say publicly, the front office knows this is a rebuilding situation. With that notion being front and center, it makes sense to draft a quarterback you can develop over time, and let him grow in Chip Kelly’s system.

    2. Wilson

      It only goes to show what a problem Chip had at Philly…Evan Mathis was part of “the boys Club” They wanted Chip to allow the prisoners to run the prison….

      1. You’re right Oregon. Chip did have a problem and he’s not tolerant of players who aren’t on board no matter how talented. He could be worse than JH that way. JH’s players mostly liked him. Kelly could wear out his welcome quick if we don’t win.

  6. Grant

    We all lambast you regularly, but as you’ve seen recently, I ain’t bout that. I think your article is really timely, actually, because it challenges common perceptions league-wide.

    Almost everything you said about Chip’s offense was said about Harbaugh’s offense: simply put, it uses different formations to run essentially the same offensive plays. If you can see through the diversions, it’s fairly simple. The main difference is that Harbaugh’s offense was mainly heavy, employing a lot of TEs, while Kelly’s is mainly light, employing lots of WRs.

    This shift in personnel usage must, of course, require a different mindset from Baalke. Instead of gathering slow, lumbering OL and seeking explosive TEs, Baalke may need to look for more athletic OL and better WR depth. To be sure, the offense will rely heavily on RBs, so Carlos Hyde is likely to have some “blue chip talent” to share the backfield with.

    It brings up another question, which is, which teams are now running offenses that are not simple, vanilla offenses? I can definitely name the Patriots, who always seem to play against expectations week to week, and can seemingly play all types of offenses superbly. I can also name the Cardinals, who, in Arians, have another versatile coach whose schemes tend to mix power running and the deep ball with some WCO short route concepts. I can also reference the Steelers, who use the passing game to set up the run game. And I suppose you have to include the Broncos, since their season, by necessity, bore two distinct personalities reflecting the QB employed.

    So what is it about teams that have good offenses? Harbaugh’s offense was good in 2012; it was unexpected, so it had surprise. Kelly’s offense was good in 2013 & 2014; it had that pace, and was unexpected, so it also had surprise. But what is it about offenses that are sustainably good that makes them so good?

    I think the answer to that question is twofold: I think you need to have the personnel to match the offense (i.e., 2012 Vernon not 2014 Vernon, and DeSean Jackson not Jordan Matthews), but I think you also must have a commitment to principles, and principles that work if executed properly. In other words, the right mix of men from the punter to the QB to the special teams coach to the GM to the owner must all be aligned, in effort, vision, and communication.

    I think there are really strong parallels to be made between the fractious relationships between HC and FO in the Harbaugh Era in San Francisco and the Kelly Era in Philadelphia. For one reason or another (and I have some suspicions), shared visions became splintered in both cities.

    In San Francisco, Harbaugh came aboard promising to employ Walsh’s WCO concepts, but never left Schembechler, and presumably Baalke favored it, because it was more Parcells than Walsh. But I doubt Jed York liked it. He grew up, like all of us in the Bay Area, understanding that Montana was the best to ever play, and that Walsh’s offense was and still is the most potent scheme employed. While the 49ers were winning, the offense was lauded as innovative in the running game; Roman was a genius. But once it started to sputter, York became impatient with Roman, sought his termination by Harbaugh, was rebuked by Harbaugh, and that was the end of it. In short, once Harbaugh’s offense was sussed by the league, he failed to evolve.

    I can’t say what happened specifically in Philadelphia, but it seems as though there was a relatively similar hot then cold approach by ownership to Chip Kelly, but Kelly accelerated his demise not by failing to evolve his offense, but by cutting blue-chip offensive talent and involving himself too much in a process in which he did not belong.

    As the 2016 season approaches, it is easier to see the possibility of Kelly evolving than it ever was when Harbaugh was the coach. Kelly is understood by those who follow him closest (Saltveit) to be a mad scientist who is always seeking outside counsel to find the tiniest ways to improve. Harbaugh was a bully who, when questioned, would tell the owner of his team to leave the room, which was being used for a meeting of men at the time.

    As much as most fans love to return to the Harbaugh Era for all the wins and three straight playoff appearances, I prefer to return to the Walsh area, where wins were so much a given that fans could bemoan margins of victory while knowing that Super Bowls would come. I see much more of Walsh in Kelly than I ever did in Harbaugh, so I am just hoping that Baalke and York can evolve enough to allow him what he needs to succeed. Walsh was fired several times by Eddie D, but cooler heads always prevailed, and the 49ers were better for it. Chip will figure it out if York lets him. Gamble may be instrumental in this experiment.

    1. Sil, you nailed it. I really want to return to the Bill Walsh offense, and with the emphasis on passing nowadays, the time is ripe to return to the WCO. Bill Walsh acquired Steve young because he saw the advantages of a mobile QB, so he would like both Kaep and Gabbert.
      I think the most important thing is rebuilding the O line. More quick and nimble linemen may be the recipe for success. I am wondering if Brandon Thomas may have a role in the new system. With AD coming back to anchor the right side, the O line may have the right personnel, put in the right positions to succeed.
      I am hopeful. Chip may be the right guy to solve the offensive malaise.

      1. no one run’s BILL WALSH’S offense anymore. it’s just not viable in the modern NFL. 21 personnel with highly coordinated and timed patterns and steps which primarily set up various short and wide passing concepts.

        however, elements of the WCO exist in pretty much all NFL offenses. Even Chip Kelly’s offense runs some WCO passing concepts.

        1. AFFNP

          That’s what I meant. But Harbaugh avoided it like the plague, and it’s basic foundation is still what makes Tom Brady who he is: timing, precision, short routes, RAC.

          1. actually, Roman and Harbaugh did run WCO passing concepts and used WCO terminology in their passing game. But they tied it to a power run game and lots of play action. traditionally the power run game was married to a vertical offense. the reason being that defenders start to creep closer to the box which leaves the deeper ball more likely open. I kind of always felt that implementing a short passing game while the defense was already creeping up towards the line of scrimmage was kind of an uphill battle; you’re passing short and they’re already in the passing lanes. this was the problem when the run game was stuffed and play-action was no longer tactically viable. that left the horizontal passing game against a stuffed box.

            1. Thanks for clarifying. I don’t argue that Harbaugh/Roman didn’t state that they would employ WCO concepts or language, but rather that, as you point out, they didn’t actually employ them, because they don’t mesh well with power running and play action. I don’t doubt that Roman could have done it, but I do challenge the idea that Harbaugh was committed to the concept. And not only that, but Walsh’s WCO used short passing to set up running, but also explosive downfield passing. He also stayed committed to his concepts. He also had Montana, which is obviously the biggest factor. But even when Harbaugh had Luck, you saw a mutant Schembechler-centric offense that passed begrudgingly, mainly to TEs. Harbaugh is not a QB whisperer; he just isn’t all that interested in developing QBs, but more interested in limiting the damage that his QB can do to his own teams. Hence, his QBs always have low INTs, but rarely do they have big passing numbers or the highest completion percentages. Harbaugh chooses this. He chooses Schembechler over Walsh, he prefers to win games 20-17 instead of 48-35, and he has never won a championship.

              I say good riddance. The guy sought to minimize risk, and failed to win the only game that matters.

              1. Silicon

                I agree heartily…from the first time he mentioned Schembechler, I began screaming, and haven’t stopped yet….Why not Duffy Dougherty,…Fritz Kreysler, Hannibal crossing the Alps….

          2. the reason Brady can run a WCO concepts offense even in adverse conditions is because he can make quick decisions on where to go with the ball.

            and what I mean by adverse conditions are defenses squatting on short routes (because they know you’re going to throw it short) and offensive lines that don’t hold up.

            Brady doesn’t get happy feet. He delivers the ball from the pocket to where it needs to go. Unlike 49er QBs who either get flustered and flushed from the pocket, get sacked or make poor passing decisions (picks but also completing a ball 3 yards short of a necessary 3rd down conversion).

          3. Pork I continue to see you disparage Harbaugh about numerous things like not playing rookies (not true) and now that he didn’t run anything resembling the WCO and that is also not true. He actually employed, and still does many facets of the Walsh offense in both the run and the pass. He loves Schembechler and cites him as one of the great mentors in his life, but his offense is as much a WCO as what Schembechler ran during his time at Michigan. Harbaugh’s offensive style is and will always be run oriented, but Walsh’s was too for many years. I think you remember certain facets of the Walsh era and gloss over much of the rest.

            Read these articles and educate yourself:


            1. Rocket

              Yes, I will always disparage Harbaugh, and I’ve stated my reasons. You have responded by showing me an article that highlights that WCO concepts exist in his offense, but I can honestly say that Harbaugh underutilized them massively and stayed far too attached to Schembechler. I remember Walsh’s running game; it looked nothing like what Harbaugh employs. Perhaps Walsh’s running concepts don’t work anymore, but the success of the Chiefs and Patriots (when they decide to run) would probably indicate otherwise.

              Perhaps I should restate: it’s not that Harbaugh didn’t have it or couldn’t do it, it’s that he chose not to. That’s worse, in my book.

              1. I disagree Pork. Harbaugh used many facets of the WCO in his time here in both the running and passing game. Harbaugh is one of the few that still uses a FB in the running game which is a staple of the Walsh WCO. Not all the blocking schemes are the same obviously, but the play designs are very similar.

                I do have to commend you on your maturity though. You have started to discuss things in a more thoughtful way than you used to.

        2. I agree. The old WCO will not work, but they should take many of the concepts and incorporate them into a modern day scheme.
          The Bo Shem -3 yards and a cloud of dust offense should also be abandoned, and Chip’s Zone Read Option schemes are new and innovative.

          1. there will always be a place for 3 yards and a cloud of dust in the NFL.

            actually Chip’s offense also incorporates the Power Play and Iso type power run plays. he just usually does it from a 3+ WR personnel group and all spread out.

            1. Well, I have been very frustrated to see the Niners run into the teeth of the defense way too any times. They should run plays where the defense does not know where they are attacking so the RB can exploit the undefended hole in the defense.

        3. So what are some of the WCO concepts which will work today? During the superbowl week NFL network showed all the superbowls and I taped all the Niner ones. The ’84 one highlighted a number of clever plays and I don’t see why they wont work today. There was one where both guards pulled to the outside while Russ Francis setup for about a second as he was blocking. As soon as the defenders followed the guards to the outside, Francis released into the vacated space for a wide open 15 yard gain.

          The play in the ’81 super bowl on which Earl Cooper scored his TD is another one which should be successful today.

          1. all those concepts still work and are used. they’re just usually manned differently.

            lots of those WCO passing concepts where the back goes out into the flat (usually for a high low stretch concept); now a 2nd receiver or maybe another TE is used instead.

            another example, in many plays that require 2 pulling guards. Kelly usually pulls a guard and a center…I think because of the spacing..(unless a pin and pull call is made based on the defense’s alignment).

          2. I totally agree. Brady uses a lot of WCO concepts. He would utilize the short passes with the RAC.
            Maybe the Niners should study those Super Bowl wins and glean some nuggets on how to be successful.

    2. Yeah,” Baalke said when asked if Kaepernick will be on the roster April 1. “I don’t know where all the information (is) coming out, who it’s coming from, because it’s not coming from myself or anyone else in the organization. The No. 1 focus is on getting him healthy. And Chip’s excited to work with him just as he’s excited to work with all these guys.”

    3. I can go along with most of your points, but I’m curious to know how many explosive tight ends Baalke has found. One could also ask how many explosive wide receivers he’s found too.

  7. “Mathis knows what he’s talking about — he is an 11-year veteran who studies football. He knows what’s going on”

    Yes lets trust everything he says…. its not like he’s possibly holding a grudge for not receiving that new contract w/ philly and ultimately forced a take a pay cut with Denver.

    Good reporting Grant.

    1. There is, of course, an element of truth in what Mathis says. But he exaggerated his points and does have an ax to grind. The key to Chip’s success here will depend not on his game planning which he can do very well, but establishing and sustaining rapport with his key players.

  8. Sil you are right about the parallels between the two organizations and coaches. I must add that here in Philadelphia people feel as if Chip Kelly the GM got Chip Kelly the coach fired. It should be noted that Howie Roseman had been consolidating power in the Eagles Organization for years and getting rid of talented from office personnel who he deemed as a threat to his Job. He fired Tom Gamble while Kelly was away and that led to Chip having a Coup and taking over the GM job. Howie has the owners ear and remained in the organization even after Chip took his job. He undermined Kelly and throughout his tenure and eventually got him fired.

  9. Grant,

    you’re not wrong about Kelly’s scheme being “vanilla” to a certain degree. Kelly’s offense is more built on quick post snap decisions that make the defense wrong than presnap deception and confusion. what I mean by that is that the QB gets the ball, the defenses declares it’s self and then the QB makes a decision (run or pass) that makes the defense wrong. the offense isn’t really predicated on initially deceiving the defense it’s about making the defense zig and then you zag.

    secondly, it’s not earth shattering that a defense knows what’s coming. what I mean is that there are only so many offensive plays in the game of football. especially in the NFL where the more exotic plays aren’t typically run compared to college. everyone pretty much runs a variation of some of the the basic plays: power, trap, counter, iso, lead…etc…most of the rest is window dressing (personnel, formation, alignment, spacing, motion..etc…). Peyton Manning was famous for running the same 4 or so plays. His favorite: “Levels” play is pretty much another post snap make the defense declare and then make them wrong. A high low stretch in the middle of the field with 2 receivers running parrallel one 10+ yards deep the other maybe 7+ yards deep. If the defenders cover high you pass to the low man and if they defend low you pass to the high man; they zag.

    again you’re not wrong about the “vanilla” in the offense. and while it’s not a huge deal. it should be a concern to some degree. a really good and disciplined defense (uh…Seattle and Arizona come to mind) can adapt to the high speed of the offense and not be thrown off their assignments by the fast tempo. They prepare to mess up the key reads in the offense; essentially making the QB think you’ve zigged when you’ve set up to stop their zag. The other problem that can occur is when you’ve got some mismatches that you can’t account for; like defensive linemen that blow up the play…especially because they’re reading plays and blocks….really good defensive linemen…like say…the Rams? So putting your offense consistently in a predictable offensive play call can ruin any tactical advantage you may have had with a fast tempo simple scheme.

    The good news is that Kelly has been adding wrinkles to his offense since hes been in the NFL. His Eagle’s offense is more complex than his Oregon offense. He added “Pro” passing concepts and has used some (more?) man blocking run plays to mix it up in his run game. So it’s not as if Kelly is resistant to change and evolution. But he does have some key issues to address about his offense and his use of personnel. But I for one would be okay with some “vanilla” offense executed well. It would be a 10X improvement over what the Niners had last year. Then hopefully they can evolve and become more complex after they’ve been successful with the vanilla stuff.

      1. well, there’s a difference in making quick “pro” passing decisions and quick post snap “key read” decisions that are made in Kelly’s Offense.

        In many NFL offenses such as the WCO is knowing your offense’s plays and the defensive schemes/coverages you’re facing. Knowing pre-snap and post snap how the play called; it’s routes attack the coverage all across the field. and if there are any site adjustments or option routes how those reads and adjustments are made on the fly. that’s a lot to compute all the while coordinating your footwork (drop back steps) with the developing routes. Steve Young has made the computer processing and dance step coordination/choreography analogies to running a pro offense many times.

        What much of Chip’s offense is based on key reads. For zone reads, you read a key player. In the passing game you make quick key reads of specific defenders…usually off of play action….is the defender high? is he low? the key read for these designed plays can be off of a safety or a linebacker…again usually off of play action or a package play (an option play: hand the ball off, keep it or pass to usually one guy). So it’s not that complex once you learn how to make those key reads. Kapernick was already doing much of this at Nevada and also with the Harbaugh and Roman. Blaine seems like a smart guy; I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t figure it out either.

        No the biggest question/issue with the QBs is that Kelly has said time and time again that more than anything…more than mobility…is that the covets accuracy from his quarterbacks. which of course isn’t one of Kaepernick’s strong suits. though at times it wasn’t Gabbert’s either. so it’ll come down to who’s flaws are the most correctable. who’s the most coachable.

        1. Considering that Kaep ran the pistol for 3 years at Nevada-Reno, he can do those post snap reads and decisions. What he does not need is some QB coach to tell him to throw the ball 15% slower, because that will lead to picks.
          It would also help for him to have an O line that could give him more than a nanosecond to throw.

        2. Always enjoy your posts AFFP-in trying to inform myself about Chips system and how it fits Kap’s strengths and weaknesses the glaring shortcoming for me is exactly the one you point to- accuracy. I like his attacking mindset and desire to win in or outside the play and further his obvious physical attributes however his accuracy and I’ll add another the underdeveloped ability to make full progression reads that incorporate the full field.In Chips system is read the progression aspect mitigated in your view?

          1. I think much of Chip’s system are simple key reads.

            what I mean by that are reads on (generally) players that indicate if you see this then do that or if you see that then do this…kind of thing. the zone read is the most obvious example. play action with reads is another; if you see defender X do this throw the ball to this receiver; if you see him do that then keep the ball…or hand the ball off. as I said in an earlier post: read the defender if he zigs you zag.

            the full field reads are sort of mitigate I suppose by trying to emphasize these simpler key reads. Harbaugh and Roman did this mostly with heavy reliance on the run game which is supposed to open up play action passes (which tend to have more pre-defined reads).

            But let’s be clear; like Harbs/Roman’s offense, Kelly’s offense is also heavily run based too. His just leans more towards key reads vs. straight gap blocking power plays (just as Harbs/Roman would mix in some read option and zone blocking run plays too). So it’s still the same run heavy philosophy in play here used to mitigate the need to rely on the pass as the primary way to move the ball.

            Both schemes utilize West Coast Offense passing concepts as well as some vertical concepts in their passing games. You have to have this full field passing component to the offense because there are times when down and distance makes passing the ball obvious (no threat to run the ball…so no play action or packaged plays) so you’re going to have to pass the ball. Also there are times when defenders simply shutdown your run game because the’re disciplined, better coached and are simply physically and skillfully better and therefore a mismatch. So you can’t rely on your primary run the ball and build up to the pass philosophy. This was the case with Harb’s/Roman’s offense…when they couldn’t run the ball..passing wasn’t easy and it will be the case with Kelly’s offense. Or another way to put it is when the run game isn’t working as the driver of your offense (which also includes play action passing) then at some point you need your QB to be the driver of your offense (which usually requires full field reads to pass the ball consistently).

        3. allforfunnplay

          Damn fine analysis ! probably the best ,most comprehensive I have seen on here so far. I will try to emulate you in my future posts….Thank you

    1. Affp,

      Good breakdown.

      Grant’s article is correct in that Chip’s system is simplistic in nature, it has to be to run plays as quickly as they do. However most offenses are fairly predictable a good portion of the time because teams watch film and learn about tendencies. You can only master so many plays and the biggest element in success is to execute your plays properly. It doesn’t matter if a defense knows what’s coming if every player on offense does his job and does it exactly they way it was drawn up.

      Chips problems in Philly last year were due to the poor play of the OLine; ironic that he dumped some players like Mathis and it came back to bite him in the ass. There was also a poor scheme fit with players like Demarco Murray. Chips offense can work, we’ve seen it, but at the NFL level you have to continue to evolve and figure out ways to disguise what you are doing. Formations are one way to do that, but defenses can catch on to trends over the course of a season so there needs to be even more attention to detail on providing multiple options from each formation and not settling on a small number that can be easily diagnosed in a film room.

      Chip has a built in advantage with the tempo he uses, but defenses are even starting to catch on to that. To be successful long term he has to incorporate more different looks and even slow the tempo once in awhile and audible to a better play that can take advantage of the defensive formation and not just who is on the field.

    1. He has been doing a pretty good job in college Razor and if I’m not mistaken he is graduating to play with a narrower ball.I’m not on a bandwagon with Goff just not getting the axe grinding here!?!

      1. In one of the few games Goff struggled in his college career, he completed just 3 of 6 passes for 11 yards in a rainstorm in 2013 as a freshman against Oregon. Later that season, Goff was confronted with stiff winds in a road game at Colorado, and struggled in a 41-24 loss.

        1. My comment was really intended in a broader context than hand size I’ve just been seeing a lot of your posts denigrating the kid and find it a curious thing.

        2. So we’re going back to his freshmen year to try and find a way to criticize him now? Mariota struggled in that game too and Goff has played in some lousy weather since then. I don’t know how big his hands are, but there is no disputing how well this kid can throw a football. If this causes him to slip I hope it’s all the way to pick 7.

          1. The 49ers have no plans to draft Goff at seven, and I’ve always doubted the Browns considering him over Wentz, due to their climate conditions….

              1. Just putting my money where my mouth is. The 49ers will not draft Goff with the seventh overall pick, and through all the Goff hype on here and there, I never did….

              2. Ultimately, I think San Francisco will end up working out some kind of trade for Kaepernick, although the when and where’s of that are beyond me. There are just too many questions and too much has transpired to continue this marriage. I also believe that, regardless of what they say publicly, the front office knows this is a rebuilding situation. With that notion being front and center, it makes sense to get a quarterback you can develop over time, and let him grow in Chip Kelly’s system.

              3. I’ll make a wager with you Jamaican Man. If the 49ers select Goff with the seventh overall pick, I will leave this blog and never return. If however, they do not, and Kaepernick wins the job as the 49ers starting quarterback, you and your Bucket Full Of Hate will recede back into the islands from whence you came, and not emerge until you’ve completed denial therapy….

              4. Razor, I might take you up on your wager. But what guarantee would I have that you wouldn’t change your name, if I win? That’s easy bet. How about something else? I’m very confident that i’ll win the wager:)

              5. I have a style of writing that is unmistakeable, besides I am a man of my word. You don’t have the GUTS to make the wager, otherwise your you wouldn’t allow your confidence to make excuses….

              6. Just my two cents but why are you guys making a wager like this? Razor is one of the best contributors on here and it would be silly to lose him because of a prediction on who the pick is at #7. Jam is not on here very much but gives a different side to the equation which is needed to keep this place interesting. Why don’t you just bet avatars or something?

              7. Rocket, I didn’t want to make that kind of a wager. But Razor didn’t give me any choice but to accept his offer. I hate to see someone like him go from this blog. He will be missed by a lot especially Grant himself, if he lose the wager:)

          2. Rocket,

            You think they are going to pick a QB at 7? I don’t believe in Baalke that Kaep will be on the roster after 4/1 and it is only being used as a trade ploy.. The bridge has been burned down..

            1. I think they could Neal. I don’t know if Kap will be on the roster by the start of next season, but I think the Niners know they need to take a possible franchise QB if one falls to them.

              1. The chances that Baalke drafts a QB first in this draft is about as high as it is that Jamaica would ever beat Razor at anything. Not happening, ever, under any circumstance.

  10. Grant forgets one thing. Mathis didn’t get a contract extension from Denver either. They gave him a one year deal for 4 million. Unlike Chip Kelly he is a free agent without a team.

    So apparently Chip Kelly isn’t the only one not willing to hand out a long term contract extension to a player who will be 35 years old this year.

    I do however find it humorous that Grant jumps on the gossip bandwagon all created by a letter written by a bitter aging player who really didn’t contribute at all to the super bowl win. The offensive output for Denver was abysmal in the super bowl.. 1 of 14 on third downs, 191 TOTAL yards, Peyton sacked 5 times for 37 yards lost.

    I guess Mathis really had that offensive line playing at its peak. Kelly didn’t give a long term contract to him because he is a washed up asshole.

    This story and Mathis intentional slamming of Kelly with his “letter” are both frauds.

  11. James Laurinaitis on Harbaugh’s offense in 2014:

    “They give you a lot of their personnel. Against the Cardinals, I think they went 12 GG, which means they put two O tackles at tight end positions, and then decided to run crack toss. They’ll give you formations where they have 22 G, where it’s an O lineman in there. 13 GG, and you know there’s just places where they put extra o-linemen in for tight ends in the game, and they want to run the ball. Kind of say, hey, here’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to run it, try and stop it. And they do that from multiple different looks. It’s just one of those things where you have ask yourself, what schemes do they like? Because you can’t say, “out of this personnel they like this, out of this personnel they like that”. You have to say, conceptually, what plays do they like to run over and over out of different looks. Where some teams, like last week the Eagles, they’re 12 or 11. So, 11 you like to run these plays, 12 you like to run these. I think we had maybe 9 or 10 personnel groupings, and you see similar runs showing up on all of them. You have to take what you can get when you’re studying these guys, and know at the end of the day, they’re coming downhill, and they want to see if you can stop them.”

  12. Kellys offense is simple in ways. But what you are missing are the plays are not 1 play and it’s set. Each play in his offense gives options for the QB. I understand running plays are specific plays but can be ran by the RB or QB, so they are not just cut and dry run plays. But each passing play may come from the same type of personnel package but there are 4-5 options the QB has once the ball is hiked. So to say it is a Vanilla offense is really deceptive and not accurate. Mathis is still pissed he got cut. He is happy to be where he is now but he is still just sour.

  13. “I don’t know what the narrative is that, ‘Is he on the team? Is he not on the team?’” Kelly said, via “It’s never been a question. I’m excited to work with Colin. I’ve never thought that, ‘Hey, I’m going to go to San Francisco and he’s not going to be there.’ I don’t know why everybody else looks at it that way, either. … Kap’s really good. He had the ball on the 5 yard line, taking the team in to win the Super Bowl. You can just look at the tape and know how talented he is. Our job is acquiring talent, not getting rid of talent.”

  14. “I don’t know what the narrative is that, ‘Is he on the team? Is he not on the team?’” Kelly said, via “It’s never been a question. I’m excited to work with Colin. I’ve never thought that, ‘Hey, I’m going to go to San Francisco and he’s not going to be there.’ I don’t know why everybody else looks at it that way, either. … Kap’s really good. He had the ball on the 5 yard line, taking the team in to win the Super Bowl. You can just look at the tape and know how talented he is. Our job is acquiring talent, not getting rid of talent.”

    1. Rocket, hand size is merely a component of the evaluation process. In no way did I infer it will make or break a players career. I’m sorry if I hurt anyones feelings by posting the information….

      1. You didn’t hurt my feelings razor, and I think you are making more of this “Goff hype” than there really is.

        There really is no hype in regards to Goff that I’ve seen. It’s actually been measured with the qualities he possess being held in check by the reality he will take time to learn and possibly be a good QB in the league. Where we seem to be at odds is in how you portray Goff as not being worthy of a high pick at all, giving assessments that are in conflict with pretty much every scouting report out there and this seemingly conscious effort to use hyperbole when discussing anything remotely negative about the kid. You are usually pretty fair in your opinions even when I don’t agree with them, but on this topic you are using tunnel vision imo.

        1. The Hype has been on this board and everywhere for Goff. I don’t mind being the one dissenting voice, but it seems to smoke your exhaust. I said, I think Goff will slide out of the top ten. I’m not sure why my assessment gets your ire, after all, I’m just a hack. You’re more than welcome to get in on my little wager. Shut me up for good, bro!

          1. Wow you are full of vinegar these days man. You’ve been knocking this kid for anything you can find and I pointed it out. Don’t take it so personal. We all have our opinions but on this one I just think you are going out of your way to be negative.

            1. I’m really not. There’s nothing I like about him. I see a game managing quarterback, similar to Alex Smith, Hoyer, Gabbert, etc….

        2. I think the hype is proportional to our desperation. Meaning Jamaican made the comment that Goff, Wentz or Paxton could possibly lead this team back to a SB in two years. That’s nonsense. I think on this board people are way too excited about Goff being a plug and play kinda guy. Professional commentators are sayig Goff should be worked in slowly. I don’t have any problem saying that he could be good. But like any group of QB’s that’s come out of the draft, lets see how they do on Sunday in the fall before declaring them a success in the NFL.

          I think people are giving up on Kaepernick to soon as well. Remember how many QB’s were in his draft class? Gabbert, Ponder, Locker, Dalton, Newton. Dalton’s had one good season and Cam has been consistent, but 59% completion rate isn’t stellar. Or think about the next year with RGIII, Wilson, Tannehill and Luck. None of these guys are killing it in the NFL. Wilson’s been the most consistent but he’s not Brady in consistency. So until they show me 3-4 seasons I am not ready to crown anyone like some here are doing. No college QB is going to solve our problems right now.

  15. A “A complete annihilation” is on the money. Fangio said it was one of the best defensive performances in his (long) coaching career.

    Eagles Offensive Stats vs 49ers Defense – Sept. 28, 2014
    Points – 0
    First downs – 11
    Total yards – 213
    Turnovers – 4
    Penalties – 10 (70)
    Third Down Conv. – 5-13
    Fourth Down Conv. – 0-2
    Total Plays – 56
    Time of Possession – 17:43 (49ers 42:17)

    The Eagles didn’t get past their own 43 yard line until after 6:35 left in the 4th qtr.

    Drive. Plays / Result
    1. 6 / Punt
    2. 6 / Punt
    3. 3 / Punt
    4. 6 / Punt
    5. 6 / Fumble
    6. 2 / Fumble
    7. 3 / Punt
    8. 2 / Int
    9. 3 / Punt
    10. 15 / Downs
    11. 4 / Int

    Chip Kelly’s NFL Head Coaching Record
    Before Fang munched the Chip – 13 W, 6 L
    After Fang munched the Chip – 14 W, 15 L

    Not suggesting Fangio killed the Chip Kelly offense from that point forward. Correlation is not always cause. Injuries and the well documented FO issues had alot to do with the fall off too.

    But that game does seem like a pivot point.

    Source –

    But there’s alot I like about Chip Kelly. I’ll note some of those below. I’m fairly optimistic about the 49ers.

    1. I’ve been listening in to Niners Nation podcasts to learn a bit more about Kelly’s offense.

      Chip Kelly’s Offense Resource Page

      Sometimes “simple” isn’t so simple. According to the NN guys, Kelly’s formations force defenses to “declare.” They simplify (speed) reads for offensive players because the route/play changes are keyed on a simple math question… “how many defenders are in your area?”

      Then there are “packaged” or “combination plays”, that work like post snap adjustments based on what the defense is doing.

      The Kelly hire is a gamble. It might come crashing down. But I have to give the 49ers props for not standing pat with the same-old same-old.

      Another positive… Kelly likes the same type of players Baalke does. I’m a big believer in philosophical continuity. Through the Nolan/Sing years the roster continued to improve and build towards a goal, even when there was coaching turn over. It finally pad off in 2011. So if Kelly fails, the 49ers can still progress (though it might not seem like it in the moment).

      1. I give them credit for pushing all their Chips in, and while I was intrigued by the thought of pairing Kelly & Kaepernick, that’s all it really was, a thought. I never seriously considered it, nor would I have had the GUTS to make the move. So, Kudos to York/Baalke for that. The perception of what could have been, say in Madden, is now becoming, perhaps, the reality….

  16. 49ers gave Kaepernick a $114M contract and he has 9 1/8″ hands. I don’t think Goff’s 9″ hands would preclude SF from drafting him. – Jeff Deeney at PFF

    1. Baalke’s antipathy toward drafting QBs high in the draft would suggest he will not draft Goff, especially in a year where the team needs are so much more pronounced at other positions, primarily on defense: DL, ILB, OLB, CB.

    2. I didn’t know anyone said it did preclude him from getting drafted. It’s obviously a sensitive measurement for some…; > )

    1. Could be. I think Dallas will fall in love with Myles Jack.

      If Jalen Ramsey gets snagged before pick 6, I can easily see The Ravens accepting a trade back offer to a QB needy team. The Rams have two 2nd round picks. The Jets and Texans are in play.

      1. There’s no way Jack gets past Dallas, unless Bosa is sitting there. I don’t see Jack or Buckner or Bosa or Ramsey or Tunsil or Wentz available when the 49ers are on the clock….

          1. Baalke will draft a Qb! Either Wentz or Goff but if both are not available Paxton Lynch is next on the line, the problem is if the 49ers draft him with their 7 pick in the1st rd, it might be to high, but why not take a chance on Paxton. But crazy things goes on the draft with NFL teams on draft day.:)

              1. Jamaican, Are either of these guys Luck or RGIII? Nope, Cam Newton? Either of them top overall pick? Huh? Will both of them be drafted too high because there are only 2 viable options in the first round yes? That’s a weak QB class.

              1. Silcon, the only one that will banish from this blog is you and Razor, when your boy gets traded to Denver, New York, Cleveland or Houston.. You kaeps fan boys love you guys full of hope for your hero.. Read the news your boy’s agent seeking for his client Kaep for a trade to the four teams I’d mentioned. heha

  17. This discussion about Kelly’s offense is real interesting and informative. A team needs a bright coach to succeed. But having one doesn’t mean much without the right players. Walsh’s offense wasn’t so hot with Steve (plays just well enough for you to lose) DeBerg it took Montana to make it work like it could. Kelly’s offense can work well, but the Niners need a serious upgrade in offensive players. The OL must get much better. We need a couple of playmakers to emerge; I think Hyde can be one, I don’t know who will be the other. And most importantly a QB who can execute the game plan. I hope this can be Kap. If he can quickly read defenses, throw accurately and throw on time he could be amazing with the running ability he has. But I have serious doubts that he can do all those things, because he hasn’t shown much of that ability to date.

  18. Chip says:

    “When I’m watching our film right now, I’m just analyzing skill sets,” Kelly said. “Like when I look at Blaine throw a check down, I don’t know what he was told to do and I don’t know what the play call was, so it’s hard for me to say, ‘Look at him, he’s wrong to make this decision.’ ”

  19. Rumor Mill from the world wide echo chamber… “Source: Kaepernick’s agents have requested permission from the team to seek a trade” – Rand Getlin of the NFL Network.

      1. They’re just messin with out heads. Two hours from now Baalke and Kaepernick will be seen riding a tandem bike while having a singalong.

        1. And then a dart will hit Kaepernick from out of nowhere causing Baalke’s blowup Colin Kaepernick doll to deflate.

      1. Not one bit. I’m fine with moving on from Kap. You don’t keep a QB who doesn’t want to be on the team (or probably any player for that matter).

          1. Assumption on my part based on his agent requesting a trade. You’ve got me curious, is there another plausible explanation, or why wouldn’t my assumption be correct?

            1. Negotiation tactics tend to be meaningless until a pass/fail point is reached.

              This is Kaepernick’s agent responding to the 49er ploy of the day — “we haven’t discussed Kaepernick not being on the roster April 1st.”

              Neither position means a thing at this point. See today’s Kawakami.

    1. Oh, well, kinda expected it. Was hoping that he would forgive the slights, but he just figured he would get cut on the team bus, and did not want that to happen to him. Now we know why he was in Colorado. Broncos would probably love to have him. Niners did not promise his starting job back, so he said see ya later. Jed and Baalke just shot themselves in the foot again.
      Still think this team will do better than last year, but will be happy if they do not have a losing season. Niners might be forced to take QB, and miss out on those elite pass rushers.

  20. Buh bye CK!!
    Anybody who is butthurt for getting benched because he played like garbage can beat it!
    Knew a trade was in the works. Whenever a coach or GM say something positive it’s usually an indication that the player will be gone! He doesn’t want to be here.. So Adios!

    1. See this is what I’m saying. This is a rodeo with CK and mgnt. Niners need stability and focus. They need to part ways, fast!

    1. TomD

      There is no logic to your argument. Just because they trade Kaep does not mean they draft a QB in Rd 1. Kaep, for instance, was drafted in Rd 2. Montana in Rd 3. Brady in Rd 6.

      1. I’ve always enjoyed that Brady was New England’s third and final sixth round choice. That’s what I call fine tuned drafting.

  21. And the 49er lies begin again?

    On Wednesday, during his press conference with the media at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke stated that Kaepernick would “absolutely” be on the team on April 1st. Kaepernick is guaranteed his base salary of $11.9 million on that date and would count about $15.9 million against the 49ers’ cap in 2016.

    Chip Kelly:

    He’s never expressed to me that he doesn’t want to be here. He expressed to me that he was excited about

  22. My (3) FA Targets

    1. ILB, Danny Trevathan – Do we overpay for a young ILB stud to pair with Bowmen? Also we don’t have to gamble on a hurt rookie with #7 pick

    2. Richie Incognito – Chip guy, maybe a jerk but we need some jerk on the OL. This will allow our young guards to develop more and save a high raft pick for another position of need.

    3. Rueben Randle – Steps right in for Bolden or plays the #3. We can still use the #7 pick on a WR. Or we usethe second round on a WR and grab one of the top two OTs at #7. I think we need to sure up the right side and that person can replace Staley in a couple of years.

  23. Not sure how the contracts work, those in the know your comments are welcome.

    Lets say the 49ers wait until after April 1, and have to eat $12M of salary before a trade.

    That might make him easier to trade. The first two years with CK’s new team will be at $6M. If he’s on the new team in year three, it probably means they’re happy with his performance, thus worth his salary at that point.

    Basically, the 49ers trade cap capital some draft capital by eating the $12M.

    But do the contracts work that way? Would the new team be on the hook for this years $12M anyway?

      1. I’m assuming the fact that CK’s agents are seeing the trade means two things… His agents want Baalke to waive tampering restrictions… and are also asking to be free to discuss contract changes with the new team. A sign-n-trade.

        My eating the cap scenario was speculation, comparing two scenarios.

        1) Sign-N-Trade with new contract – 49ers get draft pick
        2) Straight Trade past April 1 – 49ers get a better draft pick (49ers eat CK’s 2016 salary)

        Something closer to option 1 is likely. I was mainly speculating on what it might not be as catastrophic as we think to do a trade after April 1.

        1. Ah, OK. Per my post below, I see it the same way. Niners eat some of Kap’s cost to the new team to make the trade palatable, but in return hopefully get a relatively high pick (2nd rounder).

      1. Looks like it is $7.4 million according to spotrac. So, let’s see if they were to cut Kap, that would be what they would pay. If they trade him they could negotiate something different.

        What if they traded him for a high draft pick and “ate” the dead money so that the new team would be paying less for him. So they could get a second round pick from a trade, that other teams might see as reasonable, rather than get nothing if they cut him. Not sure if that makes sense.

          1. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

            His agents have asked to seek a trade. They could be blowing smoke, but I don’t know to what end. But, perhaps they’ve had inquiries they feel are serious…

    1. Brodie,

      I believe in the scenario you alluded to it would be the same situation as if the 49ers released him. In other words, they would be on the hook for the remaining SB, but the team that traded for him would take on the base salary.

      That would mean the 49ers would have a cap charge of about 7.5 mill immediately, but nothing beyond that.

    2. If Kaepernick has his money guaranteed and is traded to another team, the whole contract goes with him unless he agrees to renegotiate the contract before the trade.

      Who might expect him to renegotiate after April 1st?

  24. As most of you probably know, if Kaepernick is still on the roster April 1st, his 2016 salary of $11.9 million becomes completely guaranteed. That number is actually larger in terms of cap space, and would cost the 49ers $16.8 million in that regard.

    It makes zero sense to me to keep a player who will count $16.8 million against your cap to “compete” for a position.

    1. I was hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.
      Oh well, next man up. I bet the Niners get screwed out of missing on Goff because Browns will take Wentz and Cowboys will take Goff.

      1. Seb, wrong again didn’t you read the news the Browns are interested with Kaepernick. It’s a done deal Kaep and the 49ers #7 pick to the browns and 49ers get Carson Wentz in the #2 spot. Everyone is happy 49ers got their Qb of the future and they still have 11 drafts pick left..

        1. Jam, Kaep has to OK the deal. He will just refuse to play for them. He does not want to go to an even more dysfunctional team.
          Kaep is holding all the cards, and the Broncos, Jets or Texans will be his preferred destinations. They will offer the Niners a 7th round pick, and the Niners will have to swallow the slight and take it. Otherwise, Kaep will just wait to get cut and sign his own deal with whoever he wants. Remember, he is no longer the starting QB, so a 7th is good for a backup. Since he was rehabbing in Colorado, I predict he goes to the SB champions who want another ring.
          Additionally, he cannot be forced to play for the Niners. He will just throw the ball into the ground until they give up and let him go.
          Jed deserves this. He kept Marathe, who was the leaker. He also kept Baalke, who probably leaked that Tomsula was going to be fired before his last game. Since Baalke was so low class to cut Hayne on the team bus, he is the most logical source of the Tomsula leak.

            1. Its like I tell Seb, why in the world would Cleveland want a player you don’t want for a pick and a chance a Goff or Wentz? Maybe Jackson would do that since he’s the GM too? Seems like a terrible idea.

  25. Our defense isn’t stacked enough to trust Blaine Gabbert to win games for us. I feel another long season coming. Pray to the football gods I’m wrong.

    1. Vegas is giving us 5 wins with Kaep. Come on Gabbert will be awesome. He’s the future remember he looks like a QB as long as you don’t expect him to throw to the sticks.

  26. Hmmm… Let’s see… The opinions of Darth Hoodie (Belichick) and Urban Meyer, or a petulant blogger and a disgruntled lineman… A tough call, but I think I would probably have to go with the 2 very highly successful coaches/football minds, both oh whom seem to think Kelly is pretty bright.

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