Faces of the 49ers franchise by decade

This is my Sunday column.

Face of the franchise is an intriguing concept when it comes to the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners have so many faces of the franchise, you have to break the faces down by decade. Let’s arbitrarily start with the 1980s when the 49ers finally came into their glory.

And let’s not count coaches. Otherwise, Bill Walsh, George Seifert and Jim Harbaugh would dominate the list.

Let’s not count owners, either. Otherwise, Eddie DeBartolo Jr. would dominate the entire column.

This list is strictly players only.

1980s

1. Joe Montana. The face of professional football in the ‘80s, and the greatest quarterback ever. Roughly 10 years after Montana retired, Bill Walsh watched a tape of him and fell in love all over again, as if watching him play for the first time. “Every pass was perfect, exactly where it had to be,” Walsh told a reporter.

2. Jerry Rice. Not just the greatest wide receiver ever, the greatest football player ever. Owns at least 30 NFL records, including receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895) and touchdowns (208). In 1987 alone, Rice made 22 touchdown catches in 12 games. No one ever will match that accomplishment.

3. Ronnie Lott. One of the greatest competitors in the history of American sports. Earned a Pro-Bowl selection every season in the ‘80s except ‘85. After ’85, Lott had the tip of his left pinkie finger amputated to avoid a long recovery which probably would have forced him to miss games in ‘86.

4. Roger Craig. The first running back ever to gain 1,000 yards rushing and a 1,000 yards receiving in the same season. The 49ers’ leading receiver and best offensive weapon on the 1984 Super Bowl team that went 18-1 including the postseason. They drafted Rice the next year.

Honorable mention: Charles Haley. A Hall of Famer, and the only player in NFL history who’s won five Super Bowls. Probably a better player than Craig. But Haley never was the face of the 49ers. They traded him in 1992 to the Dallas Cowboys because he was known to create disturbances on the team.

1990s

1. Steve Young. A late-bloomer, Young spent the mid-‘80s bouncing from team to team. The Niners signed him in ’87, he sat behind Montana for four seasons while he developed his craft and, by ’92, Young had become the best player in the NFL. When he retired in ‘99, he was the most efficient passer in NFL history (96.8 passer rating).

2. Jerry Rice yet again. He spans the decades. Rice hit his prime in 1990 when he was 28. That was the first season he caught 100 passes. From ’93 to ’96, he averaged 110 catches and 14 touchdowns per season. In ’97 when he was 35, he tore his ACL and missed 14 games. The next season, he caught 82 passes and scored nine touchdowns – the third-best season ever by a receiver older than 35. Who had the two best seasons of receivers older than 35? Rice, when he was 39 and 40.

3. Bryant Young. The 49ers’ best player of the late ‘90s, even better than Rice and Steve Young during that time. In his prime, Bryant Young was one of the best players in the entire league. In 1998, he had 9.5 sacks in 12 games before teammate Ken Norton broke Young’s leg by accident during a game. It looked like a career-ending injury, but Young returned the next season, played 16 games and went to the Pro Bowl. He missed only four games the rest of his career.

4. Brent Jones. One of the best tight ends of the ‘90s. Great hands, great ability to get open and, once he had the ball, he was almost impossible to bring down. Having him was like having another wide receiver on the field, but big.

Honorable mention: Harris Barton. An All-Pro right tackle in ’92 and ’93, and a Super Bowl Champion in ’94, Barton protected Steve Young’s blindside. Most blindside pass-protectors play on the left side of the offensive line to protect a right-handed quarterback. Barton was unique.

2000s

1. Terrell Owens. After Rice, Terrell Owens might be the greatest receiver ever. He certainly belongs in the discussion. He was one of the greatest runners after the catch, a fearless player over the middle. As opposed to Randy Moss, who didn’t have the stomach to take the hits from linebackers and safeties.

2. Jeff Garcia. Maybe the most underrated player in franchise history. Along with Owens, Garcia carried a team with a poor running game, a poor offensive line and a poor defense. Still, Garcia became one of only a handful of NFL quarterbacks ever to throw at least 30 touchdown passes two seasons in a row. Neither Montana nor Young ever accomplished that.

3. Frank Gore. After Garcia left in 2004, the Niners had seven consecutive sub-.500 seasons. Their biggest (only?) bright spot during that period was running back Frank Gore. Every Sunday seemed like Gore against the world – 11 defenders on the other team selling out to stop one guy, No. 21.

4. Alex Smith. When you think of the 49ers’ brutal run in the mid-to-late-‘00s, you think of quarterback Alex Smith, the scapegoat for all the losing. Fans scapegoated him. Even his own coach, Mike Nolan, scapegoated him. Smith carried that burden with dignity. He was the perfect brave humble face for an era of disappointment.

Honorable mention: Patrick Willis. He played only three seasons in the ‘00s – the Niners drafted him in ’07. But he was great from the beginning, making a league-leading 174 tackles as a rookie.

2010s

1. Patrick Willis. In 2011, 49ers’ head coach Jim Harbaugh compared Patrick Willis to Willie Mays, the greatest baseball player of all time. According to Harbaugh, both were five-tool players. Willis could tackle in close quarters, tackle in open space, cover tight ends, run from sideline to sideline and blitz.

2. Justin Smith. The Cincinnati Bengals drafted Smith with the fourth pick in 2001. He never earned a Pro Bowl selection with them – he was a disappointment. The Niners’ signed him in 2008, converted him to a 3-4 defensive end and, from 2009 to 2013, Smith went to five straight Pro Bowls. He was so good he freed up teammate Aldon Smith who became an All-Pro player in 2012.

3. Frank Gore yet again. Gore broke his hip in 2010, an injury that can end a running back’s career. But it didn’t end Gore’s. He went to three Pro Bowls in a row from 2011 to 2013. He was the focal point of the Niners’ offense every season he was on the team.

4. NaVorro Bowman. As great as Willis was, Bowman might have been slightly better for three seasons – 2011, 2012 and 2013. Those years, when the Niners went to a Dime defense (six defensive backs and only one inside linebacker), they typically would leave Bowman in the game and bring Willis to the sideline.

Honorable mention: Colin Kaepernick. The only quarterback in franchise history to lose the Super Bowl. He has not improved since losing that game – he may have gotten worse. But he’s only 27, and it’s unclear how good he can become. Which might make him the perfect face for the 49ers right now. Their future is equally unclear.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

This article has 314 Comments

    1. Thanks for the BP piece.

      The Bowman section seems to have the word “forced” in the wrong spot.

    2. Agree with the storylines. I’ll add the developing offensive linemen.
      The talent of guys like Brandon Thomas overcome inexperience… or he won’t be able to play at all.

    3. I still think Armstead will be the starting 5 tech for the 49ers. I think they keep a leash on Bowman and slowly loosen it in November. Reaser is no fluke….

      1. My wild axe guess is that Armstead doesn’t show much before October. I’d be delighted to be proven wrong..

  1. Missing from honorable mention is Ricky Waters, Tim McDonald and who could forget Garrison Hearst.
    Not so sure about Alex Smith being the face of the team, but agree 100% with his class and dignity.

    1. What about Keena Turner? 4 time SB winner who made big plays when it counted the most. Became color analyst for the Niners and now is still with the team in some capacity.

    2. Agreed on Garrison. He was amazing. He straddled the 90s/00s, which maybe is why Grant didn’t find him a spot? Comeback player of the year after a horrible injury. He was the man!

        1. Great moment. I consider LOG Dave Fiore’s downfield hustle on this play to be one of the greatest individual efforts in Niner lore.

          1. D.Fiore was incredible on that play running almost stride for stride with Hearst.

            If there was a category for players who where on the cusp of stardom but for some reason failed to achieve it because of injury or other circumstance Fiore would be on that list.

            Here’s a few players who come to mind that would make my list.
            1. Paul Hofer
            2. Jeff Fuller
            3. Renaldo Nehemiah

            1. AES….

              Thanks for the reminder on Dave Fiore..helluva ball player…I would sub Bill Ring for Nehemiah though…’the bowling ball back from BYU’

  2. Quibbling, as usual:
    1/ agree with AES’ three
    2/ Excuse me, did I miss Fred Dean? No ’81 SB w/o Fred Dean. Fred Dean = Difference Maker.
    3/ (Deep sigh) we might not have got the monkey off of Steve Young’s back without Deion. I hate to admit it, but…..ya know….difference maker; like Revis; “Shutdown Gunslinger for hire.”

    1. Fred Dean is a great call. I would have mentioned him, but I took “face of the franchise” to mean players the public is is used to seeing talking alot off the field… players that talk to media alot. A reason why John Taylor is so overlooked.

      1. Agreed, John Taylor was an amazing player.While many might disagree, I believe he was better after the catch than Jerry or TO.
        I still remember the Rams game with thier owner dancing on the sideline, only to have Taylor ruin her night. Oh happy memories.

  3. “before teammate Ken Norton broke Young’s leg by accident during a game. ”
    —————
    Actually, it was a rams player sliding in to try and tackle Norton that hit Young’s leg and snapped it.

  4. I’m hoping Kaepernick can become the face of the 49ers. If he can achieve that, it would mean he’s elite, or close to it, which would likely mean a winning season.
    Joe Montana and Steve Young had Bill Walsh to guide them. I’m hoping Dennis Gile can provide the guidance Kaepernick needs. Gile appears to have made Kaepernick better this off season.

  5. Grant I don’t understand something. In a previous piece you wrote THIS YEAR, you clearly call out the SB loss and squarely blame it on Harbaugh. You reference the delay-of-game that was called right before the go-ahead touchdown in the Super Bowl in the 4th, you state that Colin Kaepernick is the only 49ers QB to “lose a Super Bowl”. Maybe I’m missing something but not sure how you can squarely blame a SB loss on a QB that didn’t even start that entire year. I guess I find the coaching staff MUCH more culpable than a not even 1st year starter.

    1. Well, Kaep did start the last 10 games, and he was the QB in the SB. I love Kaep and think he is the bees knees, but he will get some of the blame for that loss.
      Still, I agree that the coaches went brain dead that game.

      1. Harbaugh and #7 share the blame for the Super Bowl loss.
        Alex Smith should have never been the #1 pick. As soon as that happened he was destined to be the scapegoat. Every night before bed Aaron Rodgers should thank Mike Nolan for passing on him.

        1. If Rodgers was drafted by SF, he would have been gone within 3 years. Him and Nolan would have butted heads. Rodgers fell into a perfect situation, Smith was the right QB to handle the 49ers management and fans’ insanity.

          1. Instead of holding a grudge Rodgers should send a Christmas card every year.
            Alex Smith should have been gone long before Harbaugh took over. Then he should have been gone in 2011 if not for the lock out and should have been gone before 2012 when Harbaugh was trying to get Manning.

            1. Your name precedes you. It doesn’t matter who the QB was because they would have struggled just as badly with the incompetent way Nolan and then Singletary believed the offense should have be run. And then there’s the way the team put an emphasis on improving the offense.

            1. Um no. One of Rodgers main issues was his attitude coming out of college, and Smiths do-anything mentality. Do you not remember pre-draft, Nolan asked of them both to do stuff, Alex had no issues doing what was asked, Rodgers had attitude and a chip, he and Nolan would have butted heads as bad as Weber and Nelson…and we see how that turned out. Nolan was the Head Coach and GM of the team, he would have traded Rodgers before year 4.

              And lastly, you forget the DEARTH of talent on the team from 05 to 10. Look at those WRs, Johnnie Morton, Brandon Lloyd, Antonio Bryant, Arnez Battle, Darrell Jackson, Bryant Johnson, Ashley Lelie, Bryan Gilmore, Jason Hill…and so on. Are those qualtiy wrs, is any one of them Pro Bowl or All Pro caliber? The best WR Smith had (Antonio Bryant) was kicked off the team because of his attitude…that would have been Rodgers fate.

    2. NinerGM….

      Harbaugh didn’t throw one pass, gain or lose one yard rushing, no intercepts…nothing. Like all competitions, the blame or the glory happens on the field. Harbaugh couldn’t beat his brother…

      1. So Walsh doesn’t get any credit for the first 3 Super Bowl victories because the blame or glory happens on the field?

          1. Any coach that wins or loses a football game either shares in the credit or the blame. No matter how much we want to blame the current bum at QB.

            1. Excuse me, but Grant began his second paragraph with ” and let’s not count the coaches, otherwise Bill Walsh, George Seiffert, and Harbaugh would dominate ….”

            2. If the 49ers quarterback is a bum, I guess that would make you a classic heel. Wait, maybe not so classic….

  6. Great list. The only problem might be an honorable mention to Colin Kaepernick. I say this because if he has a year like he did last year, it will be his last in San Francisco. He would be an after thought like all the others QB’s who were great athletically, but never amounted to more than their legs and running style.

    1. I agree FDM. As much as the new coaching has an unknown attached to it, so does CK. He needs a bounce back year like no other. Otherwise you are right, it will be his last in SF!

    2. Most unlikely because they do not have a better option, and besides the contract is team friendly. I think they would draft one earlier than later in 2016 though….

    3. FDM,

      I say this because if he has a year like he did last year, it will be his last in San Francisco.

      I’ll say the same thing to you as I’ve said to the few others who have suggested this: it’s not going to happen. You are reacting emotionally and not rationally with a statement like this. Teams do not dump a starting QB who has gotten them to the playoffs and won games, while consistently placing middle of the pack at worst statistically. Cam Newton just got a monster contract and Kap had a better season than him across the board last year. Your view is unrealistic in so many ways not the least of which is there is no candidate to replace him.

      If you dump Kap then you are starting over from scratch, and hoping you can land a decent replacement in the draft, who will take a couple of years either way. I don’t think you realize just how hard it is to find a QB who can win consistently in this league.

      1. I don’t think it’s too unrealistic Rocket. If Kaep put similar or worse numbers in an offense catered to his strengths, then this could very well be his last year. What adds to that is this upcoming free agency could see some good stopgap options for the front office to sign while investing in a draft pick that will be ready a year or two down the road.
        Please note that I think this scenario is very unlikely, but I also didn’t think a GM would try to trade a coach coming off a Super Bowl run either. Every scenario, no matter how slim the chance of it happening, needs to be kept on the table.

        1. mid,

          Teams don’t dump QB’s who they have won a lot of games with. Heck, they don’t usually dump QB’s they don’t win with if they feel there is a lot of talent there. See: Cutler, Jay.

          First of all, a team has to ask themselves why they are getting rid of a QB, and then they have to have a suitable alternative. The Niners don’t have a good reason and they don’t have a viable alternative. Even if Kap has a year like last year, there really is no compelling reason to dump him. They won 8 games in 2014 and could have won more without the injuries and constant rumors of unrest, but the focus goes to the QB because he’s the easy target in a season where expectations weren’t met. Newton had a statistically inferior season to Kap last year, but because his team made the playoffs, he’s not only forgiven for it, but is awarded a massive contract. That’s what I mean about the unrealistic views of some fans. It’s like if the team has a poor season the fans expect massive changes without having a viable plan on how to replace the object of their venom. It’s ridiculous to expect a team to dump a QB who is middle of the pack in his worst year as a starter. The league doesn’t work that way because they know how hard it is to find a competent starter to begin with.

          1. Teams don’t dump QB’s who they have won a lot of games with.

            They generally don’t dump winning coaches either.

            First of all, a team has to ask themselves why they are getting rid of a QB, and then they have to have a suitable alternative.

            The argument could be made that Kaep has a much lower ceiling than first believed. Also the front office believes that it had upgraded the offense in terms of talent and catering to his strengths this offseason, so if Kaep puts up similar or worse numbers, then I wouldn’t be surprised if Baalke chooses to release or trade Kaep.
            I will have to disagree with you on there being no viable alternatives. As I mentioned, this upcoming free agency could have some good stopgap options at QB that would allow the team to groom a future replacement.

            They won 8 games in 2014 and could have won more without the injuries and constant rumors of unrest, but the focus goes to the QB because he’s the easy target in a season where expectations weren’t met.

            Not arguing that point, but Baalke and York could see things differently from you and I.

            1. Mid,

              The argument could be made that Kaep has a much lower ceiling than first believed. Also the front office believes that it had upgraded the offense in terms of talent and catering to his strengths this offseason, so if Kaep puts up similar or worse numbers, then I wouldn’t be surprised if Baalke chooses to release or trade Kaep.

              Kaps numbers compare favorably with Joe Flacco’s first few seasons. He’s also won playoff games on the road which is a pretty tough chore. You don’t tie the can to a QB who has done what Kap has unless you clearly have a better option or he completely falls apart. Just look around the league and tell me how many QB’s are a clear upgrade from him?

              I will have to disagree with you on there being no viable alternatives. As I mentioned, this upcoming free agency could have some good stopgap options at QB that would allow the team to groom a future replacement.

              Like who? When you say stop gap, you also have to consider the fact that stop gap is going to command a lot of money as well. Kap is not being paid over his performance level; he’s actually being paid under market for what he’s done. Then there is the little issue of finding the next young QB. This is not a good class of QB’s coming up in 2016 and certainly no elite options jumping out right now. There is no way Kap is not here next year imo.

              1. Kaps numbers compare favorably with Joe Flacco’s first few seasons.

                The difference between the two is that Flacco has won a Super Bowl. That’s splitting hairs, but sometimes that is all it takes.

                Like who? When you say stop gap, you also have to consider the fact that stop gap is going to command a lot of money as well.

                That could be the way Baalke chooses to go though Rocket, especially if he believes that stopgap has a better chance of winning the Super Bowl than Kaep does.
                As for who:
                Brees (if he is let go as expected after this season)
                Manning (growing rumors that Giants will go another direction)
                Bradford (if he remains healthy and has a good season)
                Wilson (if he can’t reach a deal with the Seahawks and Baalke wants to stick it to them)
                Foles
                Fitzpatrick

                All of that could change as the season winds down, but as of right now these guys are the QBs that will most likely be available in free agency.

                Then there is the little issue of finding the next young QB. This is not a good class of QB’s coming up in 2016 and certainly no elite options jumping out right now.

                They could trade for one if they like his potential.

              2. Mid,

                Baalke knows he can reach a SB with Kap because that has actually happened. He also knows this isn’t a SB caliber team right now. As for the options: Fitzpatrick ? Seriously? Kap is better than Foles and Bradford. Wilson and Manning won’t be going anywhere due to the franchise tag if a long term deal can’t be worked out. Brees isn’t going to leave Sean Payton to join Jim Tomsula and Geep Chryst.

                Who are they going to trade for? Give me some names that are better young QB options than Kap.

              3. If Kaep plays the same this season as he did last year the 49ers will still most likely keep him in 2016, but will likely draft a QB high for competition and potential replacement. I don’t see them releasing Kaep just to sign a stop gap QB who would fill the same role as Kaep would anyway (place holder while the rookie learns/ develops).

                The only reason I see for the 49ers cutting Kaep at the end of the year is if he flat out stinks this season.

              4. Baalke knows he can reach a SB with Kap because that has actually happened.

                Reaching it and winning it are two different things though Rocket. As I said, that’s splitting hairs but sometimes that is all it takes to make a team go another direction at the QB position.

                He also knows this isn’t a SB caliber team right now.

                No, he believes the previous coaching staff was what held the team back, and he wouldn’t answer any of the texts I sent him saying that wasn’t the case.

                As for the options: Fitzpatrick ? Seriously? Kap is better than Foles and Bradford. Wilson and Manning won’t be going anywhere due to the franchise tag if a long term deal can’t be worked out. Brees isn’t going to leave Sean Payton to join Jim Tomsula and Geep Chryst.

                First, the key word is ‘stopgap’ which doesn’t necessarily mean better than your previous option but can adequately fill in temporarily. Second, I’m only relaying the rumors that I have seen via social media or heard on NFL Network. And right now the current indication is that after this season Brees will be released, Manning will be allowed to walk, and Wilson will have a new home due to souring relations with the Seahawks front office. But as I also said, all of this could change as the season winds down.

                Who are they going to trade for? Give me some names that are better young QB options than Kap.

                I can’t answer that because I don’t know what Baalke’s ideal QB looks like. He could shock us all and sign Tebow on as the replacement or trade for Manziel. (And no I don’t want either guy. One is nuts and the other should stick to being a sports news anchor.)

              5. Mid,

                Kap was within 5 yards of possibly winning a SB and that is the difference between keeping him or moving on? I get what you are saying, but I don’t think the team is looking at that loss and saying “well Kap can’t get it done.” I think his wins in the playoffs are a big reason why they signed him long term. He’s shown he can perform on the big stage.

                No, he believes the previous coaching staff was what held the team back, and he wouldn’t answer any of the texts I sent him saying that wasn’t the case.

                Baalke isn’t stupid. He knows the mass exodus of players and Coaching changes have led to this team taking a step back. Jed York is the one who’s talking about the Championships and blah, blah, blah. Baalke as a Football man knows what the team is capable of and anyone can see this is not a SB contender, at least this year anyway.

                First, the key word is ‘stopgap’ which doesn’t necessarily mean better than your previous option but can adequately fill in temporarily. Second, I’m only relaying the rumors that I have seen via social media or heard on NFL Network. And right now the current indication is that after this season Brees will be released, Manning will be allowed to walk, and Wilson will have a new home due to souring relations with the Seahawks front office. But as I also said, all of this could change as the season winds down.

                My question is: why would you settle for a stop gap if you have a guy who is better than that and making fair market for the position? What’s the point in dumping Kap and bringing in a lesser player while hoping you draft somebody who can play in the long term? That’s what I don’t get about this argument for dumping Kap that some others have brought up. We have a guy we know can play and win, and yet because he isn’t elite the view is he has to go. It’s hard to find elite QB’s and I sure as hell don’t want to give up a good one for the hope of finding one. I’d keep Kap and draft somebody personally.

                I can’t answer that because I don’t know what Baalke’s ideal QB looks like. He could shock us all and sign Tebow on as the replacement or trade for Manziel. (And no I don’t want either guy. One is nuts and the other should stick to being a sports news anchor.)

                You just answered the question. There is little out there to trade for and certainly nobody who is going to come in play at Kaps level. That is why I keep asking these guys what their plan is after dumping Kap. The answer is: there isn’t one other than a hope and prayer that they can draft somebody good. It’s simply dislike of the current guy and wanting him out with no solid reasoning for replacing him.

              6. He’s shown he can perform on the big stage.

                I’m not arguing that point, but I do have to wonder if Baalke or York will still believe that if Kaep has similar or worse results than last season.

                Baalke as a Football man knows what the team is capable of and anyone can see this is not a SB contender, at least this year anyway.

                I sincerely hope you’re right.

                My question is: why would you settle for a stop gap if you have a guy who is better than that and making fair market for the position?

                Why would you dump a winning coach simply because you can’t get along with him and that he was a hard @$$? Both lack logical thinking Rocket, but one has happen so we really can’t dismiss illogical thinking at this point. I get what you’re saying, but sometimes logic isn’t always used when it needs to be. Look no further than York as a example of this practice. He keeps talking when what he really needs to do is shut up and let Baalke and Tomsulsa do the talking.

                You just answered the question. There is little out there to trade for and certainly nobody who is going to come in play at Kaps level. That is why I keep asking these guys what their plan is after dumping Kap. The answer is: there isn’t one other than a hope and prayer that they can draft somebody good. It’s simply dislike of the current guy and wanting him out with no solid reasoning for replacing him.

                Actually I didn’t because I simply do not know what Baalke envisions his ideal QB to be.
                Would the release or trade of Kaep result in a ‘wing and a prayer’ situation? No doubt, but other GMs/HCs have made a similar move in some form or fashion (Kelly trading McCoy, Redskins trading 1st round picks for RG3, etcetera). I’d really love to dismiss the idea completely, but I can’t. That said, I will hold onto the belief that we’ll all be laughing at these conspiracy theories at season’s end.

              7. Scooter,

                If Kaep plays the same this season as he did last year the 49ers will still most likely keep him in 2016, but will likely draft a QB high for competition and potential replacement. I don’t see them releasing Kaep just to sign a stop gap QB who would fill the same role as Kaep would anyway (place holder while the rookie learns/ develops).

                The only reason I see for the 49ers cutting Kaep at the end of the year is if he flat out stinks this season.

                Exactly where I’m coming from on this topic. You can always try to improve at the position, but it doesn’t make sense to dump what you have unless you have something better.

              8. Again, I totally agree with you guys. But after the crazy off season we just experienced and becuase of the stupid owner we have in Jed York, there’s no way we can completely dismiss the possibility.

          2. Rocket… They have millions of reasons to “dump” him if he doesn’t improve.
            Teams start from scratch all the time. And two back to back 8-8 or worse seasons is a very good reason to wipe the salary books clean. He will NOT return if he doesn’t improve. Book it!

            1. Md,

              Where you been man?

              I don’t dispute that teams start over, but they rarely dump a QB who has had the kind of success Kap has had. It’s the hardest position to fill and finding one who is middle of the pack at worst is better than most of the alternatives. I can’t see the Niners walking away from Kap next year under any circumstance. His money is fair, he’s still growing in his maturity as a QB, he works his butt off. The only way they could even contemplate getting rid of him is if they get a trade offer that blows them away and really like one of the guys in the draft and feel they can get him. For the reasons I stated above to mid, I don’t see any way he’s not here next year.

              1. Rocket…. It’s summer time Brotha. And it’s my big 40. Slow on the football news and I have never been one for offseason talk, draft, and OTA’s.

                I can see your point also, but with this regime I can’t see them paying that much money for that kind of production. They are notorious for letting talent walk away that want big money. I have to think the structure of the ck deal furthers my thoughts on letting him walk if he doesn’t produce. I see the niners right now as a make or break team this season. Meaning with the losses they will want to see what the team and coaches look like and make the decision to tear it down and rebuild or continue to try and plug some holes up. To your point they have extra cash to spend which could help ck, but ck’s pay is only going to rise and multiple sources are saying this is a make or break year for him. I hope he pans out, I would rather see them plug in talent than rebuild. Remember this is a team who let a winning football coach walk away and did it ugly.
                I honesty think bowman and staley are the only safe bets as to staying for their whole careers.
                I would say aldon too, but you know that story.

      2. Ok Rocket, so be like the Panthers and settle for mediocrity? Maybe you are the one who is unrealistic and likes status quo. San Fran up until the last 5 years and 20 before that has always been about winning.
        If the QB cannot show progress or get to the next level, you think there is not a better alternative? That my friend is called loser thinking. There are always better options. The 49ers hands are not tied to Colin Kaepernick because he won a few playoff games.
        Bottom line is, if he cant read defenses, and if he cant play from the pocket and utilize the weapons given to him, he wont last in the NFL.

        1. FDM,

          So two NFCCG’s and a SB appearance is mediocrity to you? He has won, that’s the point here. Last season was his second full season as a starter and he flat lined, even regressed a little from the year before. It happens, but he wasn’t terrible, and he sure didn’t get much help in pass protection. However you and a few others are ready to move on. I heard this same nonsense about Smith when he didn’t win, meanwhile few took into account the reasons why he wasn’t winning, and instead just focused on getting him the hell out of SF. It’s too easy to single out the QB and want him gone. You’ve got to get past the QB blame game and look at the whole picture. Kap was a top ten QB before last year. Last season the offense changed for a number of reasons, the Oline is terrible in pass protection far too often and he takes a step back. Could those two things possibly have played a part in his regression? This year they will be featuring an Oline that will likely have 3 starters at new positions, no Frank Gore and a play caller who was bottom of the league the last time he had this job, but you are singling out the QB as the guy who’s gone if he doesn’t improve. It’s unrealistic and teams don’t usually operate that way unless there is a considerable period of poor play. If Kap completely falls apart and craps the bed, then sure maybe they move on, but having another season where he throws twice as many TD’s to Ints, has a completion percentage over 60% and is middle of the pack in rating? No chance they are dumping him because it would be idiotic to do so.

          Tell me your grand plan for what we do after cutting him loose? You are ready to dump a QB who has been top ten and won a lot of games because he dropped to the middle of the pack. Who exactly is the savior you believe is going to come in and do better? The reality is, most teams are lucky if they can find a QB who can win consistently, never mind contend for a SB. There are about 5-6 elite QB’s in this league and most have won few if any SB’s. Rodgers is the best I’ve seen in the past 20 years and he’s won exactly 1 SB in 10 years as a pro. It’s about the team; not just the QB.

          1. Rocket,
            I have carried the CK7 banner since day one, but to a small extent I don’t see the team being tied to Kaep if he flames-out in 2015.

            The only way the team keeps CK (if he has a bad year), if the restructure his contract between now and the end of the new season.
            The series of virtually one year contacts the Org has with Kaep gives them an out after the season if there is regression.

            Having said that, I don’t join the chorus of those wanting to see CK go even before he has a chance to show what if any, his time with the Warner Group has on his play.
            Oh, and yes, I completely agree with your question to those who go all Donald Trump and shoot from the hip in their obvious dislike of CK when you ask them for their grand plan on what to do after cutting CK loose.
            I see that so far you haven’t received any responses to your question. Looks like the non-CK fans haven’t given much thought to a plan B (lol).

            1. AES,

              Flaming out is a completely different conversation. FDM said if Kap has a year like last year it will be his last in SF. That means if Kap throws twice as many TD’s as picks, completes over 60% of his passes, and falls within the middle of the pack in QB rating, FDM believes he should be gone. That is what I disagreed with. If Kap falls apart and stinks up the field, that’s a different story. This is simply FDM wanting elite or moving on to the next guy.

              Their aren’t any responses because there aren’t any better options. It’s that simple. If it were easy to find franchise QB’s everybody would be dumping their starting QB’s unless they were elite. That doesn’t happen because the elite level QB’s are few and far between. What teams try to do is build around a good QB and hope the sum of the parts is enough.

          2. If after the 2015 season is over the club feels like Kaepernick has played under the value of his contract they will ask him to reduce it and if he refuses he will be traded or cut. It’s a business decision plain and simple. Either way the plan B is still the same whether they cut/trade him or reduce his salary. The team will draft a QB early in 2016 the only difference will be if they do cut/trade him it will be within the first two rounds and if they reduce his salary it’ll be in the third or fourth.

            If he plays well and justifies his contract then it’s all moot and everybody is happy. Wouldn’t that be something?

            1. Its worth keeping in mind the contract Kaep signed has built in de-escalators. He’s lost $2M for this year due to his 2014 season. If he has another year like last year he’ll lose another $2M. That would put him at around the 16th highest paid QB (for cap purposes) in 2016 based on existing contracts, i.e., an average starting QBs pay.

              While I know there are some fans (yourself included, CfC) that believe Kaep has been terrible the past two years, the reality is by just about any measure he has played at around an average starting QB level. So long as he doesn’t regress this year its not much of a stretch to suggest he’s earning his salary.

              1. To be fair Scooter I’ve never argued that he’s been terrible. I’m no fan but there certainly are worse QB’s in the league, just not a lot of them :) Seriously though I’ve griped on his inconsistency and what appears to be a lack of progression in his game. He makes bad decisions in clutch moments and far more often then I would like his accuracy and touch leave a lot to be desired. I’ve also banged that drum quite a bit which is probably why you think what you do of my opinion of him but again just to be clear on the subject I wouldn’t say that I believe he’s terrible. I’ve certainly called him worse at times but overall that’s just not my opinion of him.

                I’ve also said that I’m giving him a fresh start this year with an open mind to the possibility of seeing him improve.

                The only catch is that it could be possible for the offense to improve but not because Kapernick has actually improved as a QB and I can’t wait for those fun discussions next year.

              2. Scooter,

                Last year he was average. The year before he was top ten. That is part of what has me scratching my head over this discussion. The guy had one season of being average and now he has to go. I don’t get the logic in that.

              3. CFC,

                Fans that disparage Kaepernick have an agenda? That makes sense.

                Some absolutely do. Mainly the same guys who were fighting against the shots taken at Alex Smith while he was here, are now taking the shots at Kap.

          3. Rocket in one breath you label Kaepernick as having won and being an established QB, then in the other breath you say he is only in his 2nd full season. So what is it? Has he arrived or is there more to come? You make excuses for him while saying he is legit. Contradiction or what?

            “Tell me your grand plan for what we do after cutting him loose?”
            Well it’s clear the 49ers are in a transition phase with the exit of players, new coaching staff and a consistent emphasis towards the draft. Letting Kaepernick leave on a team that is not ready to contend hurts them how? Why can’t they draft a successor, take their lumps and move on? You act like there are no better options other then him. If that were the case no teams would ever try and get better. They would be the Chicago Bears and stick with a guy who never got better and is a cancer. Guarantee John Fox will not tolerate mediocrity from Cutler this year.
            This notion that there is nothing better out there and the 49ers are married to Kaepernick is loser thinking.
            The NFL remember stands for NOT FOR LONG. People like you put blame on everything surrounding Kaepernick. But what you fail to realize is that the QB could not effectively read the defense, make accurate throws and make people around him better. That’s not on the oline, that’s not on Roman, that’s not on Harbaugh, that’s on the individual himself. At some point, the player has to show progress and be able to play exclusively from the pocket. He has this year to prove it or, as much as you hate to admit it, the 49ers will move on from him.

            1. Acting is not a component of any option to replace Kaepernick at this time. He is the 49ers most precious commodity. Comparing him to Cutler is foolish….

              1. Rocket said giving up on a franchise QB like Cutler would be foolish. First of all neither guy is a franchise QB and its not giving up if they cannot perform at a high level.

              2. Yea, I’ve seen enough of Cutler and he reminds me of a Jeff George. Kaepernicks’ potential from just a leadership angle is more encouraging. I fully expect improvement from the 49ers gunslinger in the 2015 campaign….

              3. This potential thing you guys keep mentioning, is that suppose to trump last years performance? I mean the guy is 27 years old, been in the league 4 years, 2.5 as a starter and that is reason enough to keep him?
                I thought people kept their jobs because they were good at them not because they might get good at them.

              4. Players with higher ceilings are always preferred over those with lower ones. Case in point, first round draft picks. Kaepernick is a noob when it comes to the art of quarterbacking. He was and still is raw plutonium that is being weaponized with a newly designed offensive strategy and new tools with which to deliver them….

              5. I think people keep their jobs until there’s somebody who can do the job better. I like CK more than some fans do, but regardless, a quick look at the roster will tell you that SF doesn’t have a viable alternative.

              6. FDM,

                Rocket said giving up on a franchise QB like Cutler would be foolish. First of all neither guy is a franchise QB and its not giving up if they cannot perform at a high level.

                I said no such thing. This is nothing but you putting words together and trying to attribute them to me. Please highlight the statement from me that says this.

            2. FDM,

              Rocket in one breath you label Kaepernick as having won and being an established QB, then in the other breath you say he is only in his 2nd full season. So what is it? Has he arrived or is there more to come? You make excuses for him while saying he is legit. Contradiction or what?

              I pointed out last year was Kaps 2nd full year as a starter because it was. I also pointed out he’s won a lot of games because he has. Pointing out how many times he was under duress is not an excuse. It’s a fact, and he was among the most sacked QB’s in the league last year. 7 of those sacks were attributed to him by PFF. That means he was sacked 45 times because of other factors. If you expect a QB to put up big numbers facing that kind of pressure, you are living in a dream world. Nothing I said is a contradiction. I have clearly stated many times Kap is still a work in progress and has to improve, but I also take offense to people saying the team needs to get rid of him because it is a poor assessment when you look at the facts.

              Well it’s clear the 49ers are in a transition phase with the exit of players, new coaching staff and a consistent emphasis towards the draft. Letting Kaepernick leave on a team that is not ready to contend hurts them how?

              It leaves them with a void at the most important position on the field. It insures they will not be a contender for a few years, and it puts them in the precarious position of trying to find an elite level QB because that is what you have to find if you are going to dump a good one like Kap.

              Why can’t they draft a successor, take their lumps and move on?

              They can, that’s the easy part. The hard part is actually finding a successor who is better than the guy you parted with. Look at all the QB’s who have been drafted in the last few years and show me how many are clearly better than Kaepernick? There aren’t that many and even fewer who are elite level players. It’s easy to sit there at your keyboard and type this guy isn’t good enough and we have to find somebody else, but you don’t have a plan that makes sense because you want to dump a successful QB in the hopes of finding a great one. The odds are vastly against that happening which is why your viewpoint doesn’t make sense.

              You act like there are no better options other then him. If that were the case no teams would ever try and get better. They would be the Chicago Bears and stick with a guy who never got better and is a cancer. Guarantee John Fox will not tolerate mediocrity from Cutler this year.

              List the teams that have gotten rid of a QB that has accomplished what Kap has? The Bears haven’t dumped Cutler for the exact reasons I’m giving you for why dumping Kap is a dumb idea. Having a QB you believe you can with is better than hoping you find somebody better. It’s fine to draft a QB and hope he overtakes your starter. I’m all for that, but it makes no sense to dump your starter, start over with a stop gap and a draft pick, and hope it works out. What is the point of cutting a starting QB if you don’t have anyone better on your roster? I’m sure the Bears would love to part with Cutler as much for his attitude as his lack of success, but who are they going to replace him with? It’s not that easy. Kap is the anti Cutler, great attitude, works his ass off, continually tries to get better and has been successful. There is no valid reason to cut a guy like that unless you have a clearly superior option waiting in the wings.

              This notion that there is nothing better out there and the 49ers are married to Kaepernick is loser thinking.

              No, cutting a QB who has won a lot of games and is just entering his prime, without a better option to replace him is loser thinking. That’s kind of what happened when the Niners decided to go with Tim Rattay and moved on from Garcia. That worked out pretty well didn’t it?

              The NFL remember stands for NOT FOR LONG. People like you put blame on everything surrounding Kaepernick. But what you fail to realize is that the QB could not effectively read the defense, make accurate throws and make people around him better. That’s not on the oline, that’s not on Roman, that’s not on Harbaugh, that’s on the individual himself.

              This statement shows a glaring lack of understanding for how the game of football actually works. Success or failure in football is completely team oriented. There is no other sport on the planet where an individual relies as much on teammates to achieve success. If the Oline is not pass protecting well, the QB suffers. If the QB throws errant passes, the passing game suffers. If receivers drop the ball the passing game suffers. None of these statements are debatable. You don’t have success unless everybody is doing their job. I have never given Kap a free pass either. I have stated repeatedly that he has to become a better pocket QB, he has to be more patient and his fundamentals need a lot of work. What I don’t do is make blanket statements like “he can’t read defenses” or is “always inaccurate” because those statements are untrue. Kap was a 70+ percent passer on passes within 10 yards of the LOS last year, yet the narrative is he can’t throw short passes. The percentage that changed the most was in passes thrown within 11-20 yards of the LOS. They they threw 13 fewer passes in this area, but increased the number of 21-30 yard throws by 12. That means they increased the number of low percentage throws while reducing the number of a higher percentage throws and did that with shaky pass protection to boot. That was not a good strategy and that is tied directly to Coaching. The late breaking of the huddle was also an issue that affects the QB’s performance because it gives him less time to actually read the defense and puts the onus on him to get the ball snapped before he’s ready. That is why the Coaches were working on tempo so much this offseason. These are things that affect the QB’s performance FDM. It’s not this myopic view you have of Kap not being able to get it done.

              At some point, the player has to show progress and be able to play exclusively from the pocket. He has this year to prove it or, as much as you hate to admit it, the 49ers will move on from him.

              Up until last season he had shown progress, a lot in fact. He came from a system that looked nothing like an NFL offense and took over as the starter half way through his second year. He then proceeded to lead his team to a SB and NFCCG in back to back years. Last year his numbers weren’t that far off the previous year with the exception of YPA, but because the team only won 8 games, he gets put under the microscope and starts getting all the blame. Did you know the defense gave up 70 more points last season than they did in 2013? Do you think that could have played a small part in the win/loss column? There is a good reason for that with all the injuries they suffered, but it rarely gets mentioned around here. Instead it’s the “Kap isn’t good enough” narrative and I’m tired of reading ignorance like that which is why I post the info I do. I’m not an apologist for Colin Kaepernick, much like I wasn’t one for Alex Smith. I simply look at the facts and base opinions off what is actually happening instead of singling out a scape goat and making wild suggestions that have no rhyme or reason to them.

              If you can show me how we can get Andrew Luck or somebody as talented, then I’m all for kicking Kap to the curb. Sign me up. But if your idea is to dump the current starter because you are frustrated with the teams performance, and your strategy involves hoping to land a better option in the draft, then no, I’m not going to agree with you because it’s not a plan; it’s a prayer.

              1. What you said in about 10,000 words does not answer the fact the guy has not been able to read defenses, put the ball in tight windows and make the players around him better.
                I’m not gonna cut and paste and every word you say and debate it. The bottom line is, the 49ers cannot continue with him if he does not show remarkable improvement. What is the alternative, what is the solution? Its definitely not hanging onto to him because he won a lot of games. If the league has figured out his one dimensional skill set, then sorry pal, its time to move on in whatever fashion the organization deems that to be. Your thinking of you know what that is, is ignorant.
                2015/16 is pivotal year for him. Don’t look back Rocket, look forward and then determine a solution. His play moving forward is what is important. Not what happened 2 years ago as an unknown. Once teams had tape on him, the fall from grace happened pretty quick. Now lets see what happens week one against the Vikes.

              2. FDM,

                What you said in about 10,000 words does not answer the fact the guy has not been able to read defenses, put the ball in tight windows and make the players around him better.

                Not one of these statements is true. He has done all of the above. He doesn’t always do them consistently, but he has done it, and during his first year and a half as the starter, did them quite often.

                I’m not gonna cut and paste and every word you say and debate it. The bottom line is, the 49ers cannot continue with him if he does not show remarkable improvement.

                And you will continue to be wrong with this opinion no matter how many times you say it. If he puts up another season like he did in 2014, they may look to draft somebody and bring in competition, but they will not part ways with him.

                What is the alternative, what is the solution? Its definitely not hanging onto to him because he won a lot of games. If the league has figured out his one dimensional skill set, then sorry pal, its time to move on in whatever fashion the organization deems that to be. Your thinking of you know what that is, is ignorant.

                Again this opinion doesn’t make any sense. Why else do you hang onto players other than they’ve shown they can win games? There is also no evidence the league has figured him out. I don’t claim to know what the organization will do. I simply know what the logical course of action is based on years of watching how teams do business.

                2015/16 is pivotal year for him. Don’t look back Rocket, look forward and then determine a solution. His play moving forward is what is important. Not what happened 2 years ago as an unknown. Once teams had tape on him, the fall from grace happened pretty quick. Now lets see what happens week one against the Vikes.

                It’s a pivotal for the organization. Jed York dumped one of the most successful HC’s in NFL history and replaced him with the Dline Coach. They lost a number of players who contributed to their success under Harbaugh. This is a team that most feel is on the verge of a drop into the abyss. It’s a very pivotal year indeed.

                All Kap needs to do is keep getting better and make the plays that are there to be made. Sometimes he does and other times he tries to make the big play when it isn’t there. Contrary to what you believe, he isn’t that far away from being an upper echelon QB. He needs to focus on being patient in the pocket and using his legs only when there is no other option. He’s shown signs of being able to do that at times, but not consistently. If he gets decent pass protection, it will help the development a lot more.

                I still have no idea where you get the opinion that he has had a fall from grace and teams have figured him out. There is no statistical analysis that supports that position. The only thing that was figured out was that the Niners couldn’t handle a good pass rush or pick up the blitz consistently, and when pressured, Kap looked to escape rather than keep his eyes downfield regularly. It’s a natural reaction to being pressured so much and sacked 52 times. You outta try it sometime.

              3. Rocket,

                +1, except the part where you said the Bears would be stupid to get rid of Cutler.

              4. ex,

                That’s not what I said about Cutler. I said the reason the Bears have held onto Cutler is because they likely don’t see any better options. If they are going to let him go then they have to have a plan in place to replace him with a better option. I agree that Cutler is not a great or even very good QB, but you have to put a team on the field and sell it to your fan base. The Bears haven’t been able to find a decent QB since Jim McMahon. Cutler looks like Montana compared to the dogs breakfast they’ve served up over the years.

              5. I think this is another clear case of fan expectations exceeding reality. The expectation is (and I’m exaggerating for emphasis here) the 49ers will have great QB play, and that great QB play means the QB never makes mistakes.

                Reality is the 49ers have a QB that has been a starter for just two and a half years, and came from an offense in college that is vastly different (and had vastly different requirements on the QB) than an NFL offense. There are growing pains. Yet despite the growing pains he has taken his team to two NFCCGs and a SB in his 2 and half seasons starting, and has a career passer rating of over 90.

                If the way Kaep played in the second half of last year becomes the norm, and he doesn’t get better as he gains more experience, then sure, at some point they have to move on from him. But even if he just plays more like the Kaep from 2012 to midway through last season on a regular basis, then it will be very hard to find a better stop-gap QB than him, or draft a guy that can come in and be better from day one.

              6. I would disagree with the expectation that the replacement would be expected to be better from day #1. If/when the team moves on from Kaepernick it won’t be because of “fan agenda” LOL or anything else that doesn’t have anything to do with his play on the field(barring legal trouble). So at that point it wont just be the non-fans that will be ready to see him go, there will be a ready-ness to move on from most, at least I hope. At that point if they go and use a first or second round draft pick on a kid I can’t believe that anyone that is a serious fan is going to expect him to come in and be better then Kaep from day #1.

  7. I see no reason why CK7 can’t have a bounce-back season in 2015.

    When Alex was finally surrounded by better coaching and a better O-line he begin to flourish.
    Some are saying that Tomsula will be a better coach than Harbaugh, and although the jury is still out on that if this turns out to be true than that will be a plus for Kaep.

    Kaepernick has thunder in his throwing arm but has had possession receivers over the last two season with no real wide receiver threat. Now we have Torry Smith and throw in Ellington and possibly D.White, D.Anderson or QP and suddenly we have respectable speed. That is another plus for CK.

    The O-line is sure to get much attention in TC and when the cloud settles, we should have a much more formidable group than last year. And C.Hyde and Reggie will punish defenses that want to overload the box.
    Yup, I ring that up as another plus for Kaep.

    So, as far as I can tell, all the ingredients for a successful comeback year for CK7 is in the offing.
    It’s up to him now.

    1. AES……

      Was this post expressly for me…and a few giggles ?After all, it’s what I have been discussing with you for three years running…how many years do you want for Kaep to succeed ? My take, is that no matter how much the OLine improves, how many all-pro WR’s we bring in….he will never be more than a mediocre QB in the NFL. Sorry to reopen this can of worms, but it’s true….

      1. If you’ve been having that discussion for three years then it started before Kaepernick started a game. As for the OL, it’s declined, not gotten better so that’s an unknown.

        What “current” All Pro receivers have the 49ers brought in going back to 1946?

        Which All Pro team did they come from.

        1 The Associated Press NFL All-Pro Team
        2 The Sporting News
        3 Newspaper Enterprise Association All-Pro Team
        4 Pro Football Writers Association All-NFL Team
        5 United Press International

      2. OREGON,
        Sorry Bro, that was not directed at you. We’ll have our battles throughout the season no doubt but for now I’m in non-contact drill mode (lol).

        Kaep will have a better situation with the points I mentioned in my earlier entry. It will be up to him to run the offense like the field general the team lacked last season.
        His series of basically one-year contracts only allows for him to get better, hence his motivation to work with the Warner Group this off season.

        But here’s where we respectfully differ; I’m not writing him off yet my friend.

    2. He wasn’t that good at any point in his career. Nothing better than average…he was just someone other than Alex and thats all the haters cared about….JT Osullivan, Shawn Hill, Troy Smith, We Want Carr, Nate Davis, Josh Johnson….

  8. Two things that have to get better for Kaep to succeed.
    Less sacks. 52 was over 3 per game. This new O line looks faster.
    Second half adjustments. No second half passing TDs? 30th ranked passing cannot help but improve by the loss of Roman.
    I am overjoyed to see the up tempo offense. The game management and play calling will be improved with better coaching. The Niners lost players, but the new players are bigger, faster and younger. It will be tough, with the 3rd hardest schedule and the NFC West opponents, but I see this team at 10-6 with playoff hopes.
    To me, this is a reload for another SB run, unlike the Raiders who dream of a non losing season, and 4 wins would be an improvement.

    1. In an era of limited practice reps, using this technology is a great idea. Good to see the team thinking outside the square for a possible advantage.

    2. Nice. Players can practice without injury. Still need the pads and on field practice, but they can learn more about the cerebral element of the plays.

    1. Thank god, too. Barrows has been out so long, I thought he might’ve met with foul play or something.

    1. Thanks for the memmories. That DL with Bryant young, Dana Stubblefield, Ted Washington at 6-6, 360 were incredible, and all started as rookies, as well as DB’s (“They call me the Blanket”) Tim Mckyer and Don Griffin…To a lifelong 49er fan it’s difficult hearing excuse after excuse by the current ownership’s mangagement about why they rarely get rookies coached up and on the field in their first year.

      1. Also Multiple Super Bowl winners, Larry Roberts and NT, Michael Carter (Olympic Silver Medalist in the shot put and I believe still the world record holder in longest shotput as a high schooler) were on that line. (A Wikipedia of Ted Washington, 375 lbs). Washington would have earned multiple Pro Bowls had a Dallas Cowboy lineman not dived on the back of his leg in the playoffs back then.

    1. Jerome Simpson is not underrated although that doesn’t mean he wont win the #3 job. What it does mean is that if he does win the #3 job that Patton is a bust and Ellington might be too. With this offense with this QB how hard is it to be the #3 QB and if a guy that sat out for a year who’s only had a mediocre at best(not even mediocre really) career can come in and win the job then that really says more about Bruce and Quinton then it does about Jerome.

        1. Carefull Grant. Don’t make me post a long list of sawed-off WRs who moved the chains in NFL history, LOL! My point is that guys that get open can be found by a QB. RC Owens was the master of the Alley-Oop, Jerry Rice brought something else. If Ellington gets open, his height is of little consequence. Big guys can gets catch even if they aren’t open (Megatron, Brndon Marshall), but there are other skillsets. I bet Ellington does make the team, and that Blakely, bless his heart, doesn’t.

            1. Coach Logan views on accuracy….

              “But I’ll still take the mobility at the sacrifice of accuracy,” he said. You can have the accuracy and lose the mobility, and now you’ve got Tom Brady. that’s good. But guess what, Rex Ryan, the Baltimore Ravens, go look at Tom Brady’s numbers against those two defenses, they fall dramatically. I still want a mobile quarterback.”

      1. Baalke just can’t pick WR’s to save his life. I’m pretty sure that if Smelter was healthy he wouldn’t be on the team.

    2. Grant… another nice crystal ball piece. Some thoughts…

      Marcus Martin – Last season he was only 20, missed alot of training reps due to a dislocated kneecap, and was thrown into action as soon as the knee got better. I’d take PFF breakdowns with a grain of salt.

      By all accounts Martin took seriously coaches orders that he’d (Tomsula) better be “the only fat guy in the room.” Martin looks to be a great shape. I’m expected a good season an C or G.

      Keith Reaser – I hear conflicting reports on his size. Some bios said he was 5’11”. Now I’m seeing reports he’s 5’10”. That could present matchup issues. At 5’10” he might be a (high end) situational player rather than the full time shut down corner many here have been pining for.

      McDonald vs Bell – Both are listed as TE, but its possible the 49ers see McDonald as a classic power TE, and Bell in the Walker H-Back role.

      Bell’s competing with Carrier for H-Back, while McDonald’s competing with Celek for backup TE.

      The 49ers may hope (but not necessarily expect) in 2016 McDonald starts at TE while Bell getting major snaps in Walker’s SAK role.

      1. Reaser is a shade over 5’10”. The 49ers list him as 6’0″, but its bollocks. He measured a bit over 5’10” at the NFL combine.

        1. Revis is listed at 5’11” and he covers pretty well. Maybe you don’t have to be 6’2″. Darrell Green was 5’8″.

          1. You are absolutely right Brotha. CBs don’t need to be 6’0″ to be good.

            I will say though that if Brock, who is around 5’10” himself, is starting on one side, the 49ers may be more inclined to go with a taller CB on the other side. I think that could work against Reaser. To win the starting job opposite Brock he will likely have to clearly outplay the others.

    3. The underrated shtick in regards to Simpson is getting old. The main problem with Simpson is that he can’t seem to stay out of trouble off the field. This led to him being suspended by the NFL for one infraction and then released by the Vikings after another was discovered to have occured during the off season. The suspension wasn’t completed before his release and the second infraction has yet to receive a form of punishment (which is expected by most analysts to happen shortly before the regular season begins. Even if Simpson does win the #3 WR position battle, he may not hold onto it if the one replacing him plays well while Simpson is serving his suspension.
      I also don’t beleive Davis is in any form of competition for a spot in the RB depth chart because he won’t get cut unless his play is beyond horrendous. The one I see in a competition for any spot is Hunter. He needs to not only stay healthy; he needs to show that having him aboard will make a difference in the running game as opposed to both Bush and Davis.

    1. Sebnynah…Good post..’wouldn’t be many Lombardi’s in the case without those guys…also I had almost forgotten Charlie Garner…generated a lot of power for his size

      1. They were not the biggest and strongest players, but they were quick and talented, and worked as a cohesive unit.
        They gave Joe enough time to work his magic.
        I liked CG, too. He was not as talented as Wendel Tyler or RW, but he had a lot of heart.

  9. I’ve been subject to Draft Crushes as much as the next guy. I recall that a number of us were enamored with Stephen Hill even acknowledging his rawness. Hill did squat.
    Then I and others talked up Justin Hunter. He hasn’t done anything on the field yet and his coach called him out publicly for underachieving and he’s currently sitting in jail charged with cutting or stabbing somebody in a bar brawl.
    I guess sometimes it’s ok if prospects don’t fall to us.

    1. BT,

      Yep, and those that conclude that Baalke has an inability to draft any given position based on the few WR’s he’s drafted, are using a pretty small sample size.

      It may be that Baalke actually can’t draft WR’s, but one in the first and two in the fourth rounds aren’t much to base an opinion on (I’ve intentionally left Smelter and the late round picks out of it).

      1. Sebnynah,

        Of course, that would’ve been better.

        Having said that, check out redraft articles for any given draft, and you’ll see how I exact a “science” the NFL draft is.

        1. Which is why Baslke’s draft strategy of accumulating draft picks is the best way to maximize the chances for success in the draft.

      2. Imagine if the Niners had drafted Donte Moncrief or Martavis Bryant instead of wasting it on Borland.

        The thing is that most didn’t see it as a waste at the time Seb. And really it wasn’t. Borland wasn’t perfect, but he lit it up when he had the chance to. No one except maybe some team officials really knew that he was looking at possibly retiring due to reseasrching the impact of concussions on daily life.

        1. Since many fans were crying for an impact WR, those 2 would have fit the bill. They both scored TDs on their first catch.
          Borland had short arms and proved to be a liability in pass coverage, but still had a ton of tackles. His retirement was totally unexpected, and seemed to be illogical since he exhibited no signs of CET. Just the fear of possible injury does not make him a coward per se, but he should have been more forthright in disclosing his fears to the coaches ahead of time. He does not have to worry about money since his father is a financial specialist, but he bludgeoned the Niners with his late retirement announcement. The Niners would have been more aggressive during FA if they had known his intentions.
          Maybe he should not have been in the draft at all.

          1. Just the fear of possible injury does not make him a coward per se, but he should have been more forthright in disclosing his fears to the coaches ahead of time.

            We don’t really know if the coaching staffs were in the loop or not. All we can do is guess at that.

            The Niners would have been more aggressive during FA if they had known his intentions.

            The free agent market was weak at the ILB position as well as in the draft, so I don’t think a earlier notice would have mattered much.

            Maybe he should not have been in the draft at all.

            It was during TC that he suffered a concussion that caused him to reevaluate his career choice. He was fully committed prior to that. Health scares do tend to cause some to reevaluate their lifestyle.

      3. What has Moncrief done to warrant that comment? His main claim to fame is still blowing it up at the combine.

        They could have gotten Bryant instead of Ellington in the 4th round. But if the 49ers had drafted Bryant would we now be saying they should have drafted Ellington in the 4th? Boldin, Crabtree, Johnson and Lloyd probably would have been ahead of Bryant on the depth chart too. Lets see what Ellington can do this year before we start wishing they’d taken someone else.

        1. 32 receptions for 444 yds, 13.9 ave with 3 TDs. He ran a 4.4 forty, and is 6′ 2″ at 220 lbs. Sounds like a decent rookie season with lots of potential.
          He is way better than some one who just retired, because he could play for years.

          1. Well, if he´s that good maybe the Colts don´t agree because they already spent a first round pick in another WR this year.

  10. Replace Owens with Staley, Garcia with Willis, and Smith with Clements on the 2000s list.
    Others may disagree with that last one, but to me Clements epitomizes the failure of the franchise during 2000-2010. Here was a CB that was labeled as the best free agent acquisition and a sheer can’t miss. Well the 49ers front office took the bait and Clements went on to play well below his contract value. Yes he could match up with Fitzgerald pretty well, but he played like crap against other WR or did idiotic things that cost us a game. I will never forget that in back-to-back seasons we had a chance to win a game against the Falcons and in BOTH games he chose not to drop to the ground after securing the ball and wound up having it punched out, which both times ended up up costing the 49ers a win. His signing and overall average play makes him a face of the putrid 2000s, while the additions of Staley, Gore, and Willis offered us a ray of hope.

    1. Wasn’t Antonio Langham around this time as well? He was supposed to be a can’t miss up and coming corner, then he went from Buffalo to us and just was plain awful.

  11. To be a face of the franchise you have to be an undeniable pick by most of the fan base. I see a lot of names being mentioned but few are undeniable. It’s not about picking all the good players; it’s about picking those which are mentioned throughout the years when memories are expressed. That cuts the list down to a small amount. Montana, Young, Rice are obvious, but after that, it’s really about who your favorite player was.

    1. That could actually be argued Rocket as most have a differing viewpoint on who would be an undeniable pick. A good example of this is Young. Like you, I believe that he was an undeniable pick. But to others (E comes to mind), Young wasn’t even worth spitting on.

      1. E is a knucklehead. Steve Young was the face of the franchise throughout the 90’s and it’s not even an argument to rational thinking people.

        My point was, very few players can be called the face of the franchise. It’s usually the QB, and if not the QB, it’s an elite player at another position. The Niners had two QB’s as the face of the franchise over a span of nearly 20 years, with Rice as the alternate face for his time as a 9er. After that it becomes cloudy because the team sucked for so long. Gore and Willis are about the closest you can come up with during that time period.

        1. Steve Young was the face of the franchise throughout the 90’s and it’s not even an argument to rational thinking people.

          The key phrase there is ‘rational thinking’. ;-)

          It’s usually the QB, and if not the QB, it’s an elite player at another position.

          For me it has always been Jerry Rice that I have thought of first. No one can match him in terms of what he did and what he meant to the 49ers.

        2. Alex, hate it or not, was the face of the franchise as well during that same time period. Who was talked about more than him? Who was hated (unjustly) more than him? He was the #1 pick. He was the guy who led Camp Alex during the 11 off season. His injury issues in 2007 vs Nolan. His starting role with Singletary, being benched, not being benched. His “comeback” in 11. His concussion then discussion about his starting role in 12. And then his exit.

          Gore and Willis are potential HOF players, but they did their jobs and for the most part were out of the topic of conversation and fans eyes/mouth/head day to day. Alex was not. When you thought of the 49ers, you thought of Smith.

    1. Yet, how many of the other QBs can put their foot on the one yard line, then sprint past the CBs and safeties for a TD untouched? How many have run for 181 yards in a playoff game?

    2. It’s pretty fair, although ranking Bradford that high is pretty ridiculous considering he hasn’t played in two years.

      The ESPN rankings are similar with most of the 3rd tier guys ranked pretty closely. There’s really very little separating the QB’s outside the elite level down to about #20. It comes down to what they have around them and the defense they can lean on.

    3. My two cents: Smith and Carr should be a little higher while Manning, Bradford, and Dalton should be lower.

    4. That list is a joke…Really…Eli and Bradford ranked that high? And if anything, the last 2 seasons has shown that Alex is the better qb than Colin, stat for stat, especially when you compare supporting casts. Eli, Bradford, Tannehill, Kaepernick, Cutler, and Palmer should all drop below Smith.

      1. Alex Smith is a bum.
        And before anybody gets all huffy puffy so is the current QB #7. The 49ers would have won at least one Super Bowl in the past four seasons with a good QB.

        1. A bum doesnt take a team that was 2-14 one season and in his first season with them go 11-5. Does a bum have a winning percentage of 70% over the last 4 seasons? Does a bum have a playoff passing line of 9 Passing TDS, 1 rushing TD, & 900 passing yards?

          I’ll take that bum

          1. If I had to take one.
            I would take the current QB bum over the last QB bum.
            But seriously the 49ers had a good run with average QBs. What could have happened with a good QB. We will never know.

            1. At least the old bum was humble and not in love with himself…current bum loves to post pictures of himself doing power-cleans (Hello Jim Drunkenmiller) and favoriting negative tweets, gets real hard to like a guy who doesn’t produce and is also beyond defensive.

              1. Like I said #7 is a bum. But so was Alex Smith for the 49ers. They held on to that guy way too long. I’m afraid they are going to do the same with #7.
                Jim Drunkenmiller? Holy Fahrvergnügen. Your not c

  12. Gore was the face of the 49ers for the 00’s. Garcia was in SF from 99 to 03. Gore was from 05 to 2014. He’s the all time leading 49er rusher.

    Also, to say Steve Young bounced around is extremely inaccurate and calls into question you knowledge of the subject. Young started with the USFL, then played in Tampa and was traded to SF. He played for 2 nfl teams…hardly “bouncing from team to team”

    1. Lots of— will Kap stay or be traded talk. While I’m inclined to tip my hand as to who is right or wrong, for the sake of interesting blogs by all sides on the matter let me point out a few facts all should consider while crafting their arguement. (1) Joe Montana had mediocre stats in the 1981 NFC Championship game against Dallas, and the 49ers had 6 turnovers…But Montana had Walt Easly and Bill Ring at running back and for kickoffs, with no Jerry Rice so statistically not much help…Stats do not measure everything…Kap has Chryst who last coordinated in 2000 and did it badly. With an offense everyone’s figured out (no 4th QTR TD’s in 2014), what is he going to show Seattle, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, or others they haven’t seen already?…Factored in with Baalke firing Harbaugh, what is the Court intrigue going to be when Chryst fails to improve Kap this year???…My guess is the guillotine will fall on everyones head but Baalke and York.

    1. Regarding Chryst and getting the plays in faster, does anyone know how many DoG penalties his Chargers offense had?

      1. My gut feeling- a lot less.
        The DOG penalties occurred because the Niners did a bunch of pre snap shifts to try and create mismatches. The problem was that teams did not fall into that trap, and eventually, they started to shift at 5 seconds, which caused Kaep to call an audible with less than 5 seconds. Too many Time Outs were wasted to prevent a DOG, and DOG penalties helped kill many drives.

        1. Seb,

          The shifts didn’t help, but they would constantly break huddle late, due to the cumbersome play calling system Harbaugh had in place.

          1. I would be screaming to get that GD play off before the clock expired. My wife would become alarmed, thinking I might have a stroke.

      2. Scooter,

        Interesting question, but it makes me wonder, how meaningful would the answer be as an indication of what Chryst will be as an OC for the 49ers?

        It seems that some on here see the Chargers’ offensive numbers under Chryst and assume it was all his fault, even though the Chargers had subpar talent. It also seems that many on here also assume that Chryst’s hasn’t advanced his craft, since he was in SD. I’m not saying this is how you see Chryst, btw.

        I don’t think either of those assumptions are correct, and I expect Chryst to surprise, in a good way, this year.

    2. I think the bigger question is whether Chryst can run an effective offense or not. Getting the snap off quicker isn’t going to matter much if he can’t do that.

      1. Since Roman is gone, Chryst will do just fine.
        I hope Logan can help Kaep become the player we all think he could be.

        1. Chryst has been an OC before and that didn’t go well. He’s also been the QB coach for Kaep which hasn’t amounted to much either. I think the concern is legitimate when it comes to Chryst.

          1. Mangini will have big shoes to fill, but Chryst will only have to improve the 30th rated passing game.
            When you hit bottom, the only way is up.

          2. I acknowledge you have legitimate concerns, but with Chryst, I liken it to having a boss who was clueless (Roman), and not being able to change his mind.

            1. We could have that in Chryst as well Seb.
              My honest opinion is that the offense will be better this season, but the limited experience of Chryst and the results from that experience could be a recipe for disaster.

              1. The new cooks have a different recipe that they’ve all collaborated on. I can’t wait to try a sample….

              2. That doesn’t mean it will succeed though. A recipe from a collaboration of cooks always has a chance of tasting as sweet as honey or like you ate something that an animal left on the ground. We’ll have to wait and see which that is.

              3. I don’t believe I insinuated it would, just that I’m anxious for a serving. It looks good and smells good, so maybe it will be….

              4. Right now that’s all it is. We’ll know the true taste as the season goes on. Here’s hoping it is as sweet as a Lombardi Trophy.

    3. “Can Quarterbacks Coach Steve Logan Help Colin Kaepernick?” I hope so.

      Yes, they are working on short passes. Yes they look like involving the backs more in the passing game. I’m also expecting more splitting backs out wide too.

      But gleaming what I can from interviews (and listening to Logan’s WRAL videos) it sounds like they aren’t asking Colin to morph into a high percentage passer.

      It looks like they plan to feature explosion plays. In terms of what to ask from Kaepernick that’s right on track. High YPA + good TD/INT ratio worked well in 2012.

      Accuracy long is they key. If CK can’t improve ball placement and catch-ability on long passes, his strong arm has far less use.

        1. I didn’t have a number in mind. You would think winning the Super Bowl would merit it. BT below suggested getting to the NFCCG.

      1. Probably not. If the Niner’s struggle it will be: “uh-huh.” If they do well it will be: “he succeeded with the roster he inherited.” I think he’d have to get at least to the NFCCG to get many votes for COY.

        1. 10 games but it will have to include some big wins in prime time! Big wins against the Packers and Hawks on Thanksgiving and a playoff game would do it.

      2. To merit COTY, Tomsula will probably need to:
        Beat the Seahawks twice (if not thrash them)
        Win the division
        Go deep in the playoffs
        Win the Super Bowl

        1. Mid,
          If Tomsula can accomplish all this, I will strongly suggest that he throw in his name as a presidential candidate! JK, but stranger things have happened.
          I mean how many people had an inkling that the 49ers would win their first SB in 81 after going 6-10 the previous year.

          Last year was a glitch as far as I’m concerned, head coaching/Owner/GM tumult. Key injuries, TC holdouts, and suspended player slowed down the defense and offense (Boone/Bowman/Willis/Brooks/A.Smith) along with unsteady play at O-line and QB led to a underachieving season by our standards.

          With the current players hearing that the team may crash and burn with Harbaugh gone, I see that as a positive source of motivation for the team to show that they can win without Harbaugh.
          When all is said and done, this year may be much more about the players than about Tomsula. As long as we get back to winning I really don’t care who receives the credit.

          1. As long as we get back to winning I really don’t care who receives the credit.

            In the words of the famous Razoreater, “Hear, hear!”

    1. Great article, cubus! Thanks. The points he brings up are all encouraging. I would question the premise, though, that our DL is decimated. It’s deeper than I can remember. Also, Dial and Carradine are coming into their own, Dockett is a beast rusher, and Williams is underrated.

      Furthermore, the OLBs are also deep, and Aldon will start the year, and Lynch will be stronger and more seasoned.

      We may not be deep at ILB, but Bowman will be back. It shouldn’t be ignored that he was a top defensive player in the league before his injury.

      And then there are the CBs, another deep group. Brock will start, Reaser will play, as well as Dontae Johnson, about whom most have a short memory. The arrow was pointing up for him last year.

    2. Interesting thoughts. It could well be they are thinking of replacing the loss of some key ILBs in Willis and Borland with more use of extra safeties, using big nickel and big dime a lot.

      What they may lose in stopping the run could also be partially offset by having a base DL of Williams, Dorsey and Dial – three guys that are excellent run stoppers.

      1. Scooter_McG – Having three players on the line that all played nose tackle means all should have a good sense of pad level and leverage.

        It also frees Mangini to move Williams, Dorsey and Dial around depending on matchups.

        I’m hoping Dial’s snaps at NT last year helped prepare him well for the DE spot.

      1. I don’t know. Hayne has talent, but Bush, Hunter, and Adams are all good players, plus Bush can handle punts. If something happens to Bush in pre-season, I can see Hayne making the roster as a punt returner. Other than that, I think his making the roster is unrealistic. The same would be true if he were to be classified as a WR.

        1. Who makes the roster vs practice squad might hinge on which player has the highest likelihood of being taken during 24 hour waivers.

          This could mean Busta Anderson makes the roster, while Millard and Hayne go to the PS… even if they like Millard and Hayne more.

          I’m guessing Hayne goes to PS.

      1. They added another video him impersonating OBJr. Seriously though, look at the feet as he initiates the route….

      2. That second step might have been a little too wide, but I’m looking for some good production from this guy in Chrysts’ offense….

  13. I’ve said it before and will probably say it again the 49ers franchise did not begin in 1980. To have no understanding or appreciation of your teams history is just sad. I know I’m older than most here but I also enjoy the 9ers history that took place before I was born. I was only 5yo when the 9ers played the lions in their first playoff game in 1957 but I listened to the game being replayed around our extended family table so often that I could swear I was there.
    Lets remember the 49ers have quite a few more HOF players who played before 1980 than after. I know I must sound like the cranky old man of the board but someone has to speak for all those old 9er greats.

    1. You don’t sound like a cranky old man to me.
      .
      You sound like a true Niner fan.
      .
      Preach on OldCoach!
      .
      .
      .
      ~ALOHA~

    2. I hear you OC. The history of a team tends to be overlooked when it doesn’t measure up to more recent success. I think the Walsh era is where it begins for many fans because that is when the team became a truly dominant power in the league after a long run of mediocrity and bad football.

      Having said all that, I do agree with you that it shouldn’t be forgotten and there were a number of great players in the teams history before the 80’s. My Father was a big John Brodie fan, and I grew up hearing about how great he was and how it was a shame they didn’t put a better team around him. I remember being so excited when we traded for OJ, and then how disappointed I was when he washed out so quickly. Lot of moments from the 50’s onward that you probably remember and cherish and that is part of what makes the team special.

      1. Actually, the fans that had been adults following the team since 1946 thought the “new” 1980 fans were band wagon wimps. I was a kid at the begining, so I never saw the world that way.

    3. Before 1980 there were many very good seasons and some bad ones. The worst probably came in Eddie’s first two years.

      Reporting was a lot different in 1946, but as an eighth grader I would have taken it all in as gospel. There was no information directly from the fans if you didn’t go to the games.

      Brodie was the first QB that I remember being scapegoated by the fans. Of course there wasn’t much a fan with a grudge could do but throw stuff at the players as they left the field.

      There best years always ended in them not winning the “big one”.

      Now, all fans can pretend that they are the GM wielding great power.

      1. He is the guy who had four last minute shots at the end zone from the ten yard line to upset the Norm Van Brocklin Oregon Ducks as a Sophomore QB at Stanford(1948).

    4. The names Hart, Hardman, Webb and Elam are my original 4 faces, even if I can’t remember what their faces exactly looked like. The original gold rush.

      I was born in 61. TV reception was sporadic up in here in Santa Rosa. The big playoff game vs Dallas the cable also failed. Another radio game. There were fights at hotels from angry customers that drove up from The City to stay the weekend.

      But if the atmospheric conditions were tight, and our neighbor wasn’t running his power tools, we got treated to some glorious football 60’s-mid 70’s. The Niners weren’t a dynasty, but they were classy, extremely tough and made sure Kezar was not a fun place to be for opposing teams. They belonged to San Francisco.

      1. That was the only 49er game that I took my wife to. When Dallas recovered the on side kick she said to me, “They’re going to lose this game!”

        We heard the end of the “Immaculate Reception” game on the radio as we came into Candlestick. Bad day for Brodie and the defense.

        1. I love those old Niner stories.
          .
          I could listen to you guys talk for hours!
          .
          With regard to the so-called ‘Immaculate Reception’ however, I can’t think of a more inappropriate name for a play.
          .
          That should have been and should always be referred to as the ‘Lucky Catch’.
          .
          It was nothing more than that IMO.
          .
          Sure, it’s fun to remember the play and talk about it and I can watch it over and over again…but it was a lucky catch.
          .
          If you gave Franco a dose of truth serum, I bet he’d say the same.
          .
          ‘The Catch’ was much closer to immaculate, if there is such a thing.
          .
          .
          .
          ~ALOHA~

        2. Bad day for bay area football. Imagine what it would have been like had the 49ers-Raiders won those games.

      2. In 1976 Cleveland Elam, Cedrick Hardman, Tommy Hart and Jimmy Webb had 61 sacks in 14 games… in a time when teams passed far less than they do today.

        Some people tend to think 50-60-70’s 49ers were one big Joe Thomas-esque nightmare. But Thomas was a two year bad idea that crashed almost four years of football. The 49ers from inception to 1976 the 49ers were a tough out.

        1. Brodie,

          I wasn’t trying to insinuate there were no good years before the 80’s. It’s just that the 80’s are when the franchise became a power house and maintained it for nearly a 20 year span. There were some good teams prior to that, but nothing that could measure up to that run of success. There’s a reason why Joe Montana is the first image you see when the Niners are talked about historically.

          1. Oh, but they were dreadful before the eighties.They always seemed to lose to the Cowboys in the playoffs, so even though they had Brodie to Washington, and Bruce Taylor and Cedrick Hardman. the Niners never won it all. Then the bad times became worse times and the 2-14 season afflicted them. Even when BW came, they went 2-14 his first year. I was there for those horrid times because my bro in law took me because no one else wanted to go.
            With Deberg, I saw how Walsh and his system was producing results, and the Niners would have a lead in the 4th quarter, only to lose in the end. The 6-10 season ended with Montana as QB, and I was heartened by the miraculous comeback against the Aints. In that game I and a buddy would buy a beer after the Niners scored. In those days, vendors would pop bottles and pour beer into cups in the stands, so he just stood in the aisle and fed us. After the Niners won, we were delerious. Thank God we did not have to drive that day.
            Then came the SB season. The fans really got into it, not like the white wine sipping crowds after the third SB. The Stick would be rocking, and we were privileged to watch a master at work. Walsh would stand along the side line, not say much or be very demonstrative, but we could tell he was thinking 3 plays ahead. Joe was so cool, he looked like he was throwing darts, and Ronnie was a wrecking ball, so players feared to go over the middle.
            Ah, those were the glory years.

    5. A very odd coincidence I wrote this post earlier today about the 9ers first 35 years. Then on Comcast this afternoon Dave Newhouse was on talking about his new book Founding 49ers its about the 9ers before E. DeBartolo bought the team. It sounds like a must read for all 9er fans.

      1. It would be better served if he was replaced with someone even an ounce more competent. Just because mommy and daddy had him start working with the team in the equipment section, move up a section, then give him control doesn’t qualify him to be president. Sorry I’m a little bitter…..

    1. Truly a dummy. His problem is that he’s not controlled by a ventriloquist. He’s just as dumb as a sack of hair.

    2. The next time York is thinking about saying something in public, he should go find a dark quiet room and lie down until the feeling passes (Fred Dean said this was his method of dealing with the urge to lift weights).

    3. You guys take things so literally. There is not one thing wrong with what he said. He is saying that a culture change can be beneficial to a team, that a guy with no coaching experience CAN come in and improve on the team that had a “great” coach before, a coach that had turned the franchise around.

      Lighten up francis’

      1. There is something wrong with it, because it’s the owner trying to cover his ass and sell the fan base on a pipe dream scenario that occurred in another sport. Jed needs to shut up and let his new hand picked HC become the voice of the team.

        1. Why is it a pipe dream? Everything Jed said was dead on accurate. Kerr came in and made the guys believe. Not just in themselves but in winning it all.
          And note to self Rocket, when you are the owner/boss/billionaire of one of the most storied franchises, the media and fans will listen.

          1. And note to self Rocket, when you are the owner/boss/billionaire of one of the most storied franchises, the media and fans will listen.

            Yep, and most are saying York should shut up, sit down, and let GM and HC do the talking.

          2. Prime,

            It’s a pipe dream because unlike the Warriors who improved their lineup, the Niners lost a lot of good players and contributors. The Warriors also hadn’t gone to the Finals or Championship round with Jackson which is a reason why he was fired. The two teams and their situations are very different and it’s nothing but Jed grasping at straws to try and curb the negativity surrounding his teams off season.

            I can also make a pretty educated guess that Jed York is not a highly respected owner around the league. As you can clearly see, the majority of fans on this site who have weighed in on it, don’t want to hear from the guy.

            1. Yes it’s 2 different sports but the situations are very similar.
              It’s about bringing in a coach that’s going to get people to buy in and go through the wall for them. Harbaugh did it for four years but it wore on guys. Kerr did it in a year because he got guy to believe in him. The roster in both situations changed for the better and the worse. It’s up to the coach to make it work. That’s what Jed is hoping will happen.

        2. Looks like little Jeddie is trying to run on Donald Trump’ ticket as VP.
          If Harbaugh resurrects Michigan and Jimmy T wins less than 8 games little Jed will have some ‘splain’in to do.’

      2. MJ,

        I agree with you that Tomsula could end up being a good coach or better, but that not withstanding, there’s nothing to be gained and a lot to lose from Jed York’s comments comparing Tomsula to Kerr. Or maybe you can explain what possible benefit there could be from York’s comments.

        1. But he wasn’t comparing Tommy to Kerr, I read it as a statement to fans to shut up already, that they/we/us/you were not in the office day to day and saw how the situation was. Fans, and media to a lesser extent, just saw the results on the field and basically felt that it was insanity to part ways with one of the best coaches in the NFL, much like how warriors fans were pissed that they fired Jackson, showing how he turned the team around and they were pretty successful with him (albeit no championship). York is saying theres more on the field and fans were wrong for getting upset with the Warriors when at the end of the day it was for the better and this situation, in Yorks eyes, is going to be for the better.

    4. This was an example of the idiocy that I was talking about in my discussion with Rocket and one of the main reasons there is a slight possibility Kaep could be gone if he has another season similar or worse than the last one. Nothing is out of the realm of possibility with York the Dork in charge.

      1. I agree with this Mid. While Rocket makes a lot of good points, I think his analysis inherently assumes that York is a reasonable and logical person from a football point of view. I’m not sure that that assumption can be made. As I’ve said before, I think York likes to model his ownership style after the management style of silicon valley companies. When things go south for publicly traded companies, the management often needs to be seen as doing something for the sake of the stock price. Add in the PSL model and what I believe was the targeting of selling those licenses to well-off silicon valley workers. That need to do something by companies is generally within a lot shorter time frame than a similar situation with an NFL franchise might warrant.

      2. You guys may be right I don’t know, but I’m hoping Jed stays out of player evaluation and lets Baalke do his job.

    5. I know Jed’s comment didn’t go over well and Im not saying I necessarily agree with him. But I took it as more of a losse comparison about the culture rather than a direct one in regards to both coaches’ ability, styles, or circumstances. I mean I do agree that he’s partly saying it to justify the Tomsula hire, but in the cultural sense I can see what he means. I just wish he would have chosen his words a little more wisely. I think he could have made the comparison without looking like he was trying to save face.

      And I saw that Kawakami mentioned the idea of Jed’s quote ramping up the pressure, but I disagree. To me, pressure comes from expectations. The Patriots have pressure to perform well because people have very high expectations of them. For the 49ers, the expectations are so low to most people that even the worst coach could probably manage that. There’s really no pressure on them because nobody expects them to be good anyway. Was it unnecessary to say, probably. But I don’t think it added to any pressure because to me it doesn’t exist.

      1. Exactly, what expectations does this team have from its fan base, legitimate expectations? Everyone is predicting 4th in the NFC West, 4 to 6 wins at best. Tomsula goes out and wins 9 games and its a huge success.

    1. This shouldn’t surprise anybody. The narrative regarding Kap is that he can’t play in the pocket which is why he is ranked this low. Until he proves he can do it consistently, or they let him play the way he did in the previous two years, that’s how he’ll be viewed by some.

        1. I disagree Mid. In 2013, the Coaches tried to keep Kaps running to a minimum for fear he might get hurt. Once the playoffs rolled around, they let him go and it got them within 10 yards of a second straight trip to the playoffs. They did the same thing for the most part last year, while concentrating on multiple WR sets and pocket passing more than they had previously, and it didn’t work out too well both because Kap is still not a polished pocket QB, and the fact the Oline was terrible in pass protection far too often. That’s why I questioned FDM when he was trying to say the league had figured Kap out. They haven’t figured him out, the team simply doesn’t want to expose him too much until the playoffs, and that’s like forcing Kap to play with one leg. It’s not natural for him to sit in the pocket when he feels he can make a big play with his legs. It’s part of the maturation and learning process.

            1. They didn’t figure him out. It’s the same blue print they use to beat most teams: stop the run and make the other team one dimensional. Few QB’s fare any better than Kap in that situation. That’s why his running almost got them a win in the NFCCG. You have to be able to run the ball to have a chance against most defenses, never mind Seattle’s.

              1. You keep dreaming Rocket. I appreciate the loyal fan stance, but the reality is, Seattle, Chicago, Denver and even the Raiders made him one dimensional.

              2. Seattle makes the Niner offense one dimensional when they beat them Prime. If the Niners weren’t able to run the ball, they lost the game. If they were able to run the ball, either with the backs or Kap, they won or at least were in position to win. Seattle has made a lot of QB’s look ordinary including Rodgers twice last season.

                Has it come to the point the Kap bashers are going to single out individual games he didn’t play well in? That’s just a little desperate don’t you think?

            2. They’ve got some Pro Bowl players on their defense. Let me quote one, “That’s a special player right there”, Earl Thomas on Colin Kaepernick….

              1. What is he suppose to say? “we love playing against CK because we know in crunch time, he’s gonna gift us the game? Cmon man!

              2. Can’t have it both ways Mr. Sanders. You’ve provided no evidence to suggest Mr. Thomas was being disingenuous. Anyone who saw the interview knew he was being sincere and could tell he was particularly impressed by the throw to Boldin….

              3. Rocket I’m sure he has respect but he also knows CK has yet to beat them. The ultimate test CK has yet to pass. Until he does, the monkey still sits atop the shoulders!

              4. Still waiting on that evidence showing Mr. Thomas’ remarks as being disingenuous. C’mon man, it’s just your opinion, right?

              5. And I’m still waiting to see if you have half a brain. I guess neither of us will get what we want?

              6. I’ve been here all year Prime. You’ve reported out of shape. Without any evidence supporting your “opinion” that Mr. Thomas was being disingenuous, I think the safe bet is to take him at his word and leave it at that….

            3. Raiders had Rogers and Brown, but the Coaches did not factor that into the game plan. After the game, the Raider defenders admitted that they knew what was going to be run just by looking at the formation. My proof? First pass they jumped the route for a pick 6.
              Kaep could not win that game while hobbled and one hand tied behind his back. I totally blame the coaching for that loss.

  14. But…but…I have so many more stupid things I want to say! You can’t make me go to my room. *sits down and holds breath

  15. Once while walking in Limerick City I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump off one of the famous stone bridges.

    I said, “Don’t do it. You have everything to live for.”
    He said “Like what?”

    I said… “well, there’s sports. Do you like sports?”
    He said “Yes, in fact I do like sports.”

    I said “Great. I like sports too. American or European Sports?”
    He said “American Sports.”

    I said “Even better. Me too. Football, baseball or basketball? ”
    He said “Football is my favorite”

    I said “Wow. Football is my favorite too. College or NFL?”
    He said “I prefer NFL football.”

    I said “There’s hope. I prefer NFL football too. What team is your favorite?”
    He said “The 49ers.”

    I said “That’s incredible. The 49ers are my favorite team too. How long have you been a Niner fan?”
    He said “All my life, ever since I was a kid.”

    I said “Brother, I’m a lifelong 49er fan myself. Who’s the best 49er player in history?”
    He said “Joe Montana.”

    I said “Bull S**t. Its Jerry Rice. Jump you moron!”

    (joke blatantly ripped off Emo Phillips)

    1. Moral of the story… sports fans often rip each other over opinions of degree with the same conviction as opposing opinions.

  16. Although I agree with Jed on the premise, he should still keep a low profile and say as little as possible, because people will rip him every opportunity.
    My advice? He should enjoy life, be happy and stop putting a bulls eye on his back. He should be the owner and delegate unpleasant tasks to his employees.
    Jed should let Logan be his spokesman. Logan is a masterful story teller and his down home folksy manner is perfect for the fan base. Logan worked at a radio station, so he is an elocution specialist.
    Jed should not try to sound smart or justify his reasoning. People will just keep on ripping him, every chance they get. He should hunker down in the foxhole, instead of standing up and bending over.

    1. If you’re referring to Jed’s latest comparison of his change of head coaches and what the Warriors did then, he put the bulls eye on Jim Tomsula’s back.

      All Jim will have to do to match the Warriors season is set a record for wins and win the NFL Championship. The 49er’s win record is 17 out of 18 plus a win in the Superbowl.

      By the way, Jed, for the first time, indicated in public that he fired Jim Harbaugh. Of course, everyone already knew that.

      http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/

    1. Grant the 49ers GPA according to your article is approx. 3.00 or a B avg. A 2.00 or C avg would be equal to an 8-8 record or the average record of the league. By my guestimation a 4.00 gpa or a straight A would be equal to a 13 to 15 win season. A 3.00 or B avg would be equivalent to a 9 to 12 win season. So by grading the 9ers out as a B team are you predicting a 9 to 12 win season?

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