NFL’s Hall of Fame voting process shrouded in secrecy

This is my Friday feature on the NFL Hall of Fame voting process.

Six-hundred-and-eight journalists were eligible to vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame this year. Thirty-seven of them didn’t vote at all.

Forty-six journalists vote for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

That’s it.

One voter represents each NFL city, and 14 voters are at-large. Once a year on the Saturday before the Super Bowl, they meet up at the Super Bowl city — this year they’ll be across a river — and they vote. They will meet Saturday in New York beginning at 7 a.m. local time.

Baseball voters do not meet up. They mail in a ballot from home.

In the 1970s and 1980s, every big newspaper and some not-so-big newspapers sent their beat writers to the Super Bowl no matter which teams were playing. It was easy for the voters to get to the Hall of Fame selection meeting. But some newspapers can’t afford to send their beat writers to every single Super Bowl these days. Some football voters pay their own way to go to the meeting. That’s how serious they are about their duties.

The meeting starts with presentations for the finalists. Frank Cooney, the voter who represents Oakland, will make a presentation on Saturday for former Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown, explaining why he should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Brown is the sixth-leading receiver of all-time, but he mostly played for bad Raiders teams and he’s been turned down four times. Some people consider his stats empty, inconsequential. On a bad team someone has to put good stats, no great honor in that.

“He played for a team that was in disarray,” Cooney said over the phone, making his case for Brown. “He didn’t have Terry Bradshaw throwing him the ball. He didn’t play with Hall of Famers. He had 19 different quarterbacks and 10 different offensive coordinators.”

Sometimes presentations are unnecessary. Like for Joe Montana.

Ira Miller, an at-large voter, gave Montana’s presentation. Miller’s first line to the committee was, “Do you guys want to take a bathroom break, or do you want me to talk?”

“There are no set criteria,” said Cooney. “Some voters are swayed too much by guys who made big plays in big games, like Lynn Swann. He was a finalist 14 times and finally got in. He was a conspicuous player on an extraordinary team. Me, I had to think that a player was a Hall of Famer when I saw him play. I don’t have to be convinced.”

The lack of clear criteria has led to controversy, sometimes concerning local candidates. Like Jim Plunkett. He is the only eligible quarterback who has won two Super Bowls and is not in the Hall of Fame.

Controversial.

Raiders head coach John Madden won one Super Bowl and is in the Hall of Fame, but Raiders head coach Tom Flores won two Super Bowls and is not in.

Controversial.

Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann won four Super Bowls and is in. Raiders receiver Cliff Branch won three, had 3,000 more receiving yards than Swann but is not in.

Controversial.

“Can you write the history of the game without this guy?” said Miller. “That’s my criteria.

“There is a preliminary ballot of about 100 people. Anyone can nominate anyone to be on the preliminary ballot. Then, we whittle it down to 25 with an up-or-down vote. Then we whittle it down to 15, then to 10, then to five. A candidate must receive at least 80 percent of the votes to get inducted. A minimum of four candidates must be inducted, and a maximum of seven — five modern-day candidates and two senior candidates.”

A senior candidate is someone who has been retired for a minimum of 25 years and was not inducted as a modern-day candidate.

And the candidates are not just players. Coaches and executives can be candidates as well.

“They should create a separate category for non-players,” said at-large voter Howard Balzer. “It’s hard enough to compare a tackle to a quarterback. Trying to compare any player to an executive is ridiculous and not fair.”

“The voting process can be improved,” said Miller. “There should be a larger number of people who vote. And they should move the meeting to another weekend when people aren’t so busy.”

Currently, the NFL has shoe-horned the meeting between the Super Bowl celebrations and the game. The weekend is about the Super Bowl, and the Hall of Fame meeting is an afterthought in comparison.

Some voters want the process to be more transparent. It is a secret who votes for whom. In baseball, it’s no secret. All voters must print and sign their name on their ballot. In football, a voter could smile and nod at the selection meeting, even say the player should get inducted, and then vote against him. No one ever would know.

“The first time Bob Hayes was on the ballot, I presented him,” said Cooney. “We had serious, honest conversations all day Saturday and into the night. We never heard anything negative about him in the meeting, but he didn’t make it.

“Silent assassins were in the room.”

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.

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  1. Good article Grant.

    The HOF voting process has been criticized for a long time and will continue to be. There are so many players in the Hall that don’t belong there and that is why you have so many problems now. The WR glut is because of allowing players like Swan and Art Monk in. They don’t have near the numbers or accolades many non members do, but it became a case where after sitting on a waiting list for many years, voters took pity on them and finally voted them in. If you can’t find a reason to put them in the first time, then what exactly happened many years later to make them worthy? This is one area where Baseball has it right and Football doesn’t. Baseball’s hall of fame is for the elite and is hard to get into. The Pro Football HOF has become the Hall of Fame…and pretty good.

    1. +1 MidWest ..

      For years … I have been voting for
      Roger Craig to get in the HOF …
      (can’t stand how many times he’s been snubbed)

      Even though it’s been a fruitless effort ..
      I’ll continue to vote for him..
      ’till it finally happens …

      Grant .. any tips ?

  2. I think more transparency is needed for the HOF, and the compensatory formula. Since we know that player salaries are, more transparency for the NFL team’s books would tell alot too.

    1. Brodie …

      I dunno … but 9 – 1/2 Billion (with a “B”) .. dollars
      would buy a lot of sautéd books …

      I’d love to hit the Lotto..too .. but like the idea
      of transparency with multi-billion dollar ..
      multi-national corporations goes …

      It ain’t gonna happen ! :)

  3. KNBR-AM (Kaep interviewed in New York)
    [wearing a scarf.... looking chic] Ah hah.
    When asked about facing Richard Sherman,
    Kap says yes, I would throw that pass again.
    I do not play this game in fear… of anybody. Okay.

    Then, a short while later, when asked about why
    he was not doing more open field running earlier
    in the season, he admitted such plays were avoided
    due to fear of possible injury. So which is it, rookie?
    FEAR…..OR……NO FEAR? Please advise.

    For now, the Super Bowl monkey remains on your back.
    big statistics + no Lombardi trophy = … a new tattoo, maybe?

    1. never forget … Mud …

      Alex Smith didn’t become decent .. ’till …

      .. after

      he spent a year and a half .. learning

      from Harbaugh

      1. Alex’s mom…aka Mud…will never admit that Harbaugh is the reason Alex Smith improved as a quarterback the last three seasons…ever…it’s sad that he (it?) has to hijack an article about the Hall of Fame and its discrepancies to continue his (its) anti-Harbaugh, anti-49ers agenda…

      2. FFs stop responding to it and it will lose interest. every single time even one person gives it attention it feel validated and continues to infect this blog.

        Please stop feeding the troll.

      3. actually that is not true. smith began his career upswing in the eagle game where fans chanted we want carr…he finished that game big and his numbers started to upswing thereafter, under direction of Michael Johnson, who had replaced jimmy raye earlier in the year

  4. Every HOF voting process is debatable. Sure the process can and should be tweaked. The process should be an evolutionary thing that is always seeking to be better.

    1. Never understood the HOF process. Been up there 2x though. Once for the induction of Art Monk. Roger Craig should definitely be a HOF.

      In terms of maneuvering cap space, we will see how well 49ers handle and Seahawks do. It is always tough to say goodbye to key players though necessary for long term health and competitiveness of the organization. None of us want 10+ dry years to win now a few championships. Caution, deliberateness and a bit of luck (drafting WRs especially) will be key for future. I like that we have some young studs who could be game changers going forward. I hope they fulfill expectations. If we could get a few players like John Taylor, we would be well on our way.

      I always see the draft as a crap shoot. Some players work out, others don’t and it is hard to predict. Part of it is system, work ethic, desire, temperament and just development. TB has been pretty good at finding talent in free agency. This is good for filling in pieces, let’s hope the draft with all it’s picks delivers. We have a lot of hope going forward though with McDonald, Reid, Tank, Lattimore, Dial and Okeye. I, for one am grateful for a great season, where the 9ers were competitive with everyone and a few good calls and a little luck would be NY right now. I was also grateful I got to see a playoff game against Carolina this year. Opportunities like that do not come too often for those of is in Tobacco country.

  5. Ive been trying to devise a better plan for the voting for HOF and its not coming all that easily. The current plan of having reps from each market does make some sense to me, and allowing for extra for two-team-cities I’m ok with. Should they double or triple those voting spots to broaden the base? That’s a partial solution.
    Then I heard an off-hand comment that the members of the Hall should vote, and there’s plenty I like about that idea. Perhaps that would give too much weight to the players in terms of influence. So the question is how to weigh the votes. Maybe Sportswriters’ votes count 50% and HoF Members 50%? That’s just kind of a starting point for one way to think about it.

    1. Every single college student in the US and Canada could be charged with this, including me about a million times. What a joke….this is what we pay outlandish policing costs for? To bust guys doing the right thing and walking home from the bar?
      *angry non-49er superbowl moment*…

      1. Agreed. DWI is stupid and dangerous. Drunk & Disorderly, well OK if there’s a fight or vandalism. But just for being drunk and avoiding driving? Child, please!
        The comic’s name escapes me at the moment, but he did a great riff about talking to the cops after getting thrown out of a bar. “Drunk in public? I was drunk in a bar and they threw me in public!”

    1. Yeah, but not until after the Super Bowl that they’re playing in on Sunday. This name calling does not show class.

  6. Grant you say writers put their name on their ballots for the baseball hall of fame. Is who an individual voted for available to the public or to the media?

  7. ya gotta wonder….
    with Daniel Kilgore’s alcohol-related arrest,
    were he and Aldon Smith in the same locker room?
    Which one of you genius sports fanatics
    is gonna tell me that neither one of these players
    will still be facing substance abuse challenges
    when and if they arrive in training camp in 2014?
    How effect have/will either Harbaw or Kaep been
    in dealing with such issues? Tell us more about
    leadership and character … something greater than
    40-yard dash time and vertical leaping ability, huh?

  8. I think it should be a question of ‘Was the player dominant in the era that he played”? numbers are great but shifts in style have led to the skewing of numbers (Wes Welker has twice the catches of Lynn Swan) for instance Fred Taylor was never better than 5th or 6th best RB for the time that he played yet through longevity and being very consistent in production he ammased some HOF worthy numbers. By contrast “flash in the pan” types like Terrel davis or priest Holmes, Shaun Alexander who were “the best at their positions” but only for a brief time should be excluded as well. With the game shifting to passing, i wouldnt be surprised if APeterson finished with numbers inferior to some RB not in the HOF but AP is no doubt a HOF because he was the most dominant RB of his generation

    1. The Clash song was actually ” Should I stay or should I go” Jack. ;)

      I can’t see them bringing Whitner back unless he takes a below market offer. They showed last year they are willing to let a good S go and replace him with a young player. I also think there are 4-5 Safeties that could come in and start right away.

      Unless Boldin asks for a raise, I can’t see them letting him go. He was too valuable on and off the field this year.

      Dawson is a no brainer and like you said, I think he’ll come back for the same money.

    1. I don’t need a chart to know not to draft a WR from USC. Are you able to access that chart with any potential wide receiver in the upcoming draft?

      1. @Coffee,
        The Bills are a better team than they get credit for. They have a tough defense and their offense is on the verge of popping and becoming one of the better ones in the league. If EJ Manuel didn’t get hurt year they would’ve easily grabbed the last AFC playoff spot this year because their offense was rolling right before he went down. Robert Woods is going to be a really good receiver if he stays on track. He can become a true number #1 WR with EJ throwing to him.

      2. The Bills are one QB away from being a competitive team. Can EJ Manuel become that guy? We’ll have more of an idea in 12 months.

    2. His 2013 season was less than stellar, of that there is no doubt. However, one does have to remember:

      - He was hampered by a knee injury all year which sapped him of some his speed and explosiveness
      - The QB play was poor last season. With Matt Barkley at QB he posted 73 receptions (1,143 yards, 11 TDs) as a freshman and 118 receptions (1,721 yards, 14 TDs) as a junior
      - He was the subject of a lot of attention from defences last season, as they went wholesale to stop him

    3. A lot of College WR’s are now catching the majority of passes from behind the LOS to about 5 yards past it including Watkins, which is why it is hard to gauge how well he will perform in a pro offense.

  9. The single most important change they should make to HOF voting is separating the wheat from the chaff. The players should be completely separate from non-players. The process is fundamentally flawed until this is fixed. Also they could open up the voting to people in the media that are actively covering the NFL, whether for a paper, the internet, or TV. But when they stop covering the sport, get them out of the process. Baseball has a huge flaw in allowing people to continue to vote even if they haven’t covered the sport in decades. As others have stated, you should know whether a player is a HOF immediately upon hearing their name. If they don’t get in within the first few years they are unworthy, around 5 years should be the maximum amount of time to stay on the ballot. Also, get rid of limits on the numbers. If 10 guys are worthy, then 10 it is, if only 2 are worthy, then that’s all. Clean up the backlog and get these people in.

  10. got the jet (surprise, surprise)
    got the tickets (not in the endzone)
    got a betting favorite (still going West Coast, okay?)
    however, I am feeling left out. Reason?
    no Niners in the Super Bowl.

    Talk to us, Mister Harbaw, willya…?
    or are you too busy taking a little cue from
    Smith and Kilgore (drowning your sorrows)…?
    It didn’t work in San Diego; it still doesn’t, okay?

  11. Grant suggestion on your next article; When it comes to finding the one or two decent players that Baalke has picked in the past three draft did he just get lucky? When you look at the preponderance of questionable/bad picks he’s made compared to how many have really contributed to the team it appears that his good picks could simply be luck.

    Secondly how are all of these “wasted” picks handicapping the future of the team?

    1. Scratch that. Serious case of morning before superbowl that we aren’t in grumpiness and a bit of myopia on my part. 2012 was a total disaster of a draft but I know better to give 2013 more time and 2011 wasn’t a total waste. Coffee kicking in…feeling a little better.

      1. Completely agree …Most of the solid picks on this team were from McCloughan….Now in Seattle…I think Baalkes is over rated as hell..He’s definitely blown a couple high picks…I mean a Jenkins is an obvious one ..wasted a second round pick on James and McDonald…2nd round picks should be contributing. .

  12. Even as someone who knows very well that there are some nice shorelines and farm country in south and southeast NJ, if my team is going to miss the Big Dance, this might be the one to not be tooooooo sorry about. North Jersey, open air stadium in Feb with 6pm start, and the normally over-priced NY Metro area going bonkers and tripling the cost of everything. Pffft!
    How was that? Convincing? Nah; weak. I thought I’d give it a try. We’d all be ecstatic if the Niners were playing even if the game was in Buffalo.
    PS: No offense intended to upstate New Yorkers or North Jerseyites, just personal preferences. There are places here in the Bay Area that I would and others that I wouldn’t choose to live in.

    1. Ya, not one vote! I think it’s payback for the 9ers being tight lipped with the media. Not exactly sure who does the voting but that makes sense!

    2. Purely pathetic. It tells me that the idiot writers only paid attention to the players that ESPN and NFL Network chose to glorify.

    3. Neal,
      I wouldn’t make a big deal about Kuechly winning, but the fact that N. Bowman did not receive even 1 vote is a complete joke.
      Is there some kind of NFL conspiracy against the 49ers?
      Just saying.
      No Eddie D, and Charles Haley in the HOF.
      Not one vote for Bowman… hmmmmm? (lol)

      1. AES,

        I am not making a big deal about Kuechly winning, however Bowman was the better player and the Niners had a better season.

  13. Here’s a quote from an ESPN writer talking about how Peyton would approach Richard Sherman:

    “…….. it’s highly unlikely that Denver quarterback Peyton Manning will spend the bulk of his time challenging a talented defender like Sherman. Manning didn’t get this far in his career by being reckless or dumb.”

    1. Isn’t that the same guy who had a fumbled, threw a pick-six and an interception in OT in the playoff last year? but hey, he’s got 5 MVPs.

  14. Kuechly wasn’t even the best defender on his own team(Hardy) let alone the best defender in the league. What a joke

  15. Honestly,I will never care about this. The most important players on a football team are the offensive lineman. They are rarely the focal poor of hall of fame discussions.

    1. Not altogether disagreeing that winning in the trenches counts for a lot, but two questions:
      > Are there some OL being left out of the Hall? There are a bunch in there, and none that don’t deserve it. Kramer, Gregg, Otto, Shell, Upshaw, Munoz, Mathews, Sinclair, Delomiliere, Hannah, Kuchenberg, Webster…
      > Would Randy Cross make it without Montana/Lott/Rice?

  16. Posted on June 30, 2013 by Grant Cohn
    Last season, 10 quarterbacks finished the regular season with passer ratings better than 95.0. Which quarterbacks do you think will have passer ratings better than 95.0 this upcoming season? Here is my list. I’d be interested to read yours.

    1. Rodgers
    2. P. Manning
    3. Brees
    4. Romo
    5. Wilson
    6. Ryan
    7. Brady
    8. Roethlisberger
    9. Kaepernick
    10. Newton
    11. Luck
    —————————–
    5/10 Grant.
    Here is how it turned out. Of the QB’s that attempted more then 100 passes or more the following had greater then 95.0 ratings:
    (these are not in order of rating)
    Rodgers
    P.Manning
    Brees
    Romo
    Wilson
    Foles
    McCown
    Rivers

  17. Who will win the game today?

    - Seattle has the better overall roster… but Denver has the better QB in a league with rules customized to favor passing.

    - Seattle has depth at pass rusher, a formula that beat Marino in a previous Super Bowl… but Manning gets rid of the ball on average 2.3 seconds.

    - Seattle’s defense plays an intense, violent NFC West style… but refs are more likely to call roughing the passer penalties if the QB’s is a big name pro-set player (Brady, Brees, Manning).

    - Seattle’s defense gets off the ball quickly… but the game will not be played in their acoustically engineered machine noise. Seattle’s D won’t seem quite so quick.

    Summary: Seattle was cheated out of a Superbowl when a ref (admittedly) “booted” several calls that gave the game to Pittsburgh. This tends to happen when a “left coast” team is breaking the script by beating a team from “Real America.” Its not intentional bias. Its more like an electrical storm happens in the refs brain when his notion of all that’s good and right with the world is about the be turned on its head by a left coast victory.

    Seattle is the better team, but I don’t see the refs letting Seattle’s DBs grab this time around. Who ever wins will do so by a big margin. Denver 31-17

    1. If Denver can get an early 10-14 point lead then I think they can run away with it. If they get into a grudge match and keep it close early then Seattle can wear them down and pull it out in the 4th.

      1. Don’t wanna jinx it, brodie .. so..
        I’m not gonna stick my neck out.. but ..
        to give you a hint ..

        I ain’t rootin’ for Sherm

    2. Manning’s quick release frustrates a pass rush, but can his receivers beat the press in 2.3-2.7 seconds? Maybe Welker here and there.
      Can Denver get their running game going? If I’m Pete I think I try to get the front to penetrate for quick pressure (particularly up the middle) and to disrupt the runs.
      Denver’s D has looked good, can they slow down Lynch and contain Wilson?
      Fox and Manning will have good enough plans, but the reality along the LOS will carry the day.
      Both teams are capable of making plays on ST.
      Turnovers? Always count.
      Penalties/Refs’ calls? I think the ‘Let them play’ ethos prevails.
      If I have to choose I’ll guess Seahawks, and a prime tipping point for me is the memory of how they shut down SF’s run game.

      1. Brotha Tuna, it might go just as you say. I don’t think it will be a close no matter who wins.

        Seahawks shut down SF’s run game because they have good defensive players in a good scheme… because the 49ers lack deep threat WRs that can loosen the box… and because the acoustically engineered stadium noise slows opposing offensive lines ability to get off at the snap.

        Not expecting Denver to run alot, but the spread offense will loosen the box and their O line will be able to hear snaps counts. They might be able to run enough to be effective.

        SeAdderal is the better team. Much of it comes down to officiating and that could tip things towards Denver early.

    3. Did I say 31-17 Denver? Um… I meant 31-17 SeAdderal.

      The game is sure making the 49ers look good.

      Many wrote about the “shock” teams feel when they play NFC West defenses for the first time. I can imagine Denver is in quite a shock.

  18. Crap, lost Phillip Hoffman apparently. This saddens me, he was of a group of actors that I would watch anything he was a part of.

    1. Stunned. He was great from the very beginning. Going all the way back to Boogie Nights. There was no one like him.

  19. Sick of hearing of Peyton Manning walking on water. Take him down!

    And..that whole black page on this blog when you send..still not fixed?

    Or is that program that discourages certain IP addresses?

  20. I really like Russell White as a man and as player, actually more then Kaep, however as a Niner fan, I will root for Denver, similar to being a Giant fan, I would never root for the Dodgers. Go Peyton and Bronco’s.

    1. I agree Neal, Russell White was one heck of a RB. That game he had against Washington in Strawberry Canyon was amazing.

      1. Not a touch of arrogance with White, and he looks for outside advise, when he asked Bradshaw on how to win a Superbowl and others, the way Kaep acts, he thinks he won 11 Superbowls.

  21. For those who don’t like Colin’s fashion and tats, did you see Joe Namath STILL wearing fur coats?

  22. Ready for the big game from New Jersey? That is, laying odds on when guv Chris Christie is gone.

    Oh, there’s football too?

  23. Man I hope this broncos defense can handle Seattles Offense, not a good sign they are moving on them this early.

  24. I picked Seattle…the team that defeated my team has to be my new team. Or my real team is 3rd best. They aint.

  25. I hate Seattle but Denver has very little chance in this game. Seattle is just too physical for Denver.

  26. I love it. All the talk about CK and his lack of pocket presence but the future hall of fame QB with a historical performance this season looks like a rookie!!! Colin K played much better in the first half at least by leading his team to a much better start. We will see what happens but future looks bright for the 49ers.

    Its shocking how some of the top QBs in this league could not do anything against the Seahawks but all we hear is how Ck can not win in seattle!!!

    Every QB that has played in Seattle this season struggled and that is credit to the Seahawks defense. As a football fan i would like to congratulate the Seahawks fans for a great season and you deserve to be here in NY. GO NINERS

    1. Agreed Kap looked awesome against these guys …Manning looks sub par..The thing that worries me is Seattle is a lot better then us in coaching and on the field..I have no faith in Baalkes he wastes to many picks while Seattle capitalized on them..

  27. as you can see this defense is to fast for check downs. You must be able to run the ball and keep them honest and then use play action to go for chunk plays.

      1. im sorry they played against poor quality teams all season and never faced NFC West Quality Defense. if our team made it the results would be the same.

  28. Here you go again Payton Manning the amazing QB with excellent pocket skills and throwing skills looking like a rookie. LOL

    TWO INTS, ONE FUMBLE so far. Seahawks defense is for real.

    1. But kaepernick sucks and has tattoos and wears his hat back and doesn’t dress well and does too many commercials. ..

      1. Yes Big Niner, He is too tall, his hat makes him look like a hip hop generation kid and he can not throw in the pocket. I think all the ink on his body impacts his throwing mechanics. Lol

      1. Maybe Denver would like the QB that registered the largest comeback in NFL history. Funny how a small group of misinformed don’t know how good we have it.
        On a separate note, how many times will the Broncos fall for the fly sweep?

  29. Seattle’s biggest acquisitions were being able to get Avril and Bennett on 1 year deals. Their D line controls most games because they are so deep. They rotate so many guys in. They control the line of scrimmage.

  30. Kap is so much better then people give him credit for..even in this blog..I have a feeling Seattle owns this division the next 5 years until baalkes is fired..Then again I couldn’t think of a worse fan base to get a lombardi..

    1. now now Nor cal take it easy man. Don’t wish for changes yet you might get what you wish and it might be very ugly. I remember how we were so want Moochs head and then the whole hell broke loose.

  31. I know harbaugh has turned this team around but he is a curse..Look at all the ex niners and stand for players making plays…Harbaugh is an ego maniac..Combine that with a moron for a gm…game over..

  32. OMG, did you see that throw in double coverage that was almost picked on the 4th down!!! Is this Manning! what happened here

      1. Thanks but no, that safety shifted the pool big time. I could have had the seahawks scored a field goal before halftime.
        The Broncos need to get the ball back quickly and score. put the pressure back on Seattle to score.

  33. So Peyton Manning refuses to go the sf because he doesn’t want to compete against his brother. well, he probably wouldn’t have at all because Ny sucks!! now that being said, we’d be going for a back to back this year as kap sits and learns…..yes I do love kap but manning on our team would have made the difference; especially with our defense.

    1. I was wishing for him to come to the 49ers but i am telling you NFL is changing and you will need a QB that can be a multiple threat like Cam, CK and Russell Wilson. specially if you are playing a very good defense. In addition you need a running game.

      1. Also keep in mind Denver defense has been playing well toward the end of the year but today they look lost.

  34. Hate to say it, but I told you so. For the last time, can we dispense with the adjective ‘greatest’, when describing Mr. Manning.

  35. There are a lot of questions that the niners will have to answer this offseason.
    Do the niners need to find another running back? Gore is definitely winding down and Lattimore is question mark?
    Should the niners part with Whittner or Bolden? Its going to be hard to keep both.
    What should the niners do at Center and how can they improve thier pass protection? Its of the best olines but by most metrics they are below average in pass protection.
    Can the niners find another receiver to open up the field some more?
    And most importantly what should they do with Kap? Do they risk signing him to a big contract and hope he learns to go through his progressions or do they risk it as Baltimore did two years ago and potentially pay a contract that will gut the team?

    1. Shoupbj, we need to strengthen our defense. Specially our secondary to make them more physical. I am worried about our LB situation without Bowman. It really hurts to lose him and we will never know if he will be the same. We need more depth and bigger more physical players on the defense.

      1. I agree with that but… but our defense did a hell of job against Seattle. They gave the O short fields which were turned into field goals and they stopped Seattle when the niners O pinned them deep. They only had 2 really bad plays in that game the 4th down TD and the blown coverage on the scramble.
        3 turnovers in the 4th will kill and defense.
        Our offense… well it was Kaepernicks legs outside of that they did nothing.

      2. Those two td plays were huge plays!!! you can not allow a 30 plus td on a 4th and 7 due to penalty when Pete was just trying to get closer for a field goal. But the turn overs hurt us as well. you can see why their defense creates turnovers.

    2. If they think they’ll eventually sign CK, it would be cheaper to do it before he wins a ring. Who knows when that might be. Ravens waited, Flacco rode a good team to a too-big payday. So it’s just how much faith they have in his ceiling.

      1. I’d try and sign him to $10 million a year before the season starts. What Kap brings to the party that Peyton doesn’t seems more valuable against the Seahawks defense…..Once Kap gets it, and he will….look out baby!

  36. My only concern is that the Broncos lay down, and the Seahawks steal the 49ers Super Bowl beat down record from 1989 against Johnny’s Broncos 55-10….

  37. Grant, how about those officials? Looks like that Seahawk defensive line matchup against the Broncos offensive line is the real difference…..

    1. originally id just say let the locker room cancer fester on that team, but with Sherman there, he fits in. We need to overhaul our secondary anyway. im tired of the seahawks receivers wiggling there way through the defense on lucky plays.

    2. Somebody needs to give Tim Tebow a NFL contract so that he won’t have time to be into those idiotic commercials.

  38. This gonna go down as a SuperBowl Blowout for the ages. They should of taken that FG so they can say they at least put up some type of points.

  39. just sorry. the best rated offense in the NFL is playing sorry guys. GRow looks like a genius now.

  40. I do not mean to take away any credit from the seahawks but they are holding all game long man. Too much contact and no call

  41. The Seahawks drafting has paid off..Look at Harvin value and we draft LMJ in the second round..Lol are bad drafting has come back to haunt us..Kap.admitted he was held back during the season with cost us home field in the long run…This coaching staff is to smart for our own good..With Harvin at full speed next year were in deep do doo…We have the same old players and same playcalls…Gore up the middle on first down…Wonder how many useless draft picks will Baalkes waste this year..Seattle is so superior in drafting and coaching..Letting go of McCloughan was a big mistake we will pay for for the next ten years…They have Cam Chancellor we have Eric Reid..Enough said Reid cost us the game with his poor tackling and then fell into Bowman tearing apart his knee..When will Baalkes be exposed for what he is? We just gave away a superbowl to the sorties franchise and worst fan base on earth that did it with a bunch of 49ers and Sandford players king Harbaugh deemed unworthy..That’s called Karma..Carroll owns Harbaugh and Baalkes gets credit for MCCLOUGHAN picks…Lol…Frauds..

    1. brutal man! Eric is a rookie Nor cal. He made mistakes but you can not blame the whole lost on him. It was a collective lost as a team. Defense, Offense and special team. oh and the coaching. Oh well cant wait to see what happens this off season.

    2. Seahawks defensive system is the difference. They have put all the pieces together for a great defense and plus they grab you to get under your skin as well.

    3. Could of been worse. You could have had Dahl in there and never sniffed the playoffs….Need another safety that can hit and cover. He’s big, he’s bad, he’s Calvin Pryor…

  42. Yes I did..They have Thomas and Chancellor. .We traded up for Reid..lol..yeah he’s a real gamechanger..He can’t catch balls right in his hand and broke our best players leg..oh not to mention he can’t tackle and is concussion proned.

    1. I must say of all the rants about certain 49ers players this is possibly one of the strangest I’ve seen. Reid played great for a rookie, made some big plays, and blaming him for Bowman’s injury is ridiculous. It was an accident, and they happen.

  43. If a team signs Peyton, they should have a good backup… in case they make the playoffs.

    For being so great, if you look at his post season numbers its not pretty… he will have a losing record after today, he has a 36-24 td to int ratio…. and the year he won the superbowl 7 ints and 3 tds.

  44. I remember when Joe put it on Elway in the SB I was dizzy happy but then it got embarrassing even in victory. Orange jerseys.

      1. One team that will be happy if the Broncos are shut out is the Miami Dolphins because they won’t be the franchise with the lowest scoring output in a Super Bowl anymore.

  45. The difference with us and Seattle by philosophy is when they get a lead, they add on. They try and blow a team out. Wilson is in there throwing the ball 29-0. With a 29-0 lead, we would be running up the gut on 3 downs and relying on our defense to the stop the other team from scoring.

  46. I think this is enough for me but calling it the night, i would rather go and read a book! Go Niners

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