How far can 49ers’ bold new offense take them?

This is my Saturday column.


Of course, we saw the 49ers win Week 1. But what did we really see? Who really mattered, and who really didn’t?

Like Anquan Boldin, did he matter? Is he still the 49ers’ No. 1 receiver and go-to guy on offense, or is San Francisco beginning to phase him out? He certainly seemed like an afterthought when he caught just four passes for 36 yards against the Vikings.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s talk about the people who figured prominently in the victory Week 1. Let’s talk about head coach Jim Tomsula and offensive coordinator Geep Chryst. What did we see from them?

We saw them discover a competitive advantage. On the first play of the game — a run play, during which running back Carlos Hyde gained 9 yards — the Niners used three tight ends.

Offenses almost never start games with three tight ends. Teams usually start with one tight end, two running backs and two wide receivers—that’s standard. What Tomsula and Chryst did to start Week 1 was unusual and creative, maybe even revolutionary.

And then they did something even more radical. They kept using three tight ends, used them 33 times — more than any team has used three tight ends in one game the past 10 years — and averaged 6.3 yards per play with those formations, according to ESPN Stats & Info. That’s an outstanding average.

The rest of the NFL is not prepared to stop the Niners’ three-tight-end sets. Tomsula and Chryst found a personnel grouping that works, a personnel grouping that no other offense uses extensively.

The Niners have to keep using it until some team stops it. And that’s what the Niners did Week 1. They shoved their three-tight-end formations down the Vikings’ throat. “Give us one reason to stop using it.” That was the message. The Vikings had no response.

“Maybe (we) didn’t have to get to other parts, other corners of the call sheet because we were having success with that,” Chryst said Thursday morning.

In other words, he called what was working. He didn’t outthink himself. He kept things simple.

His predecessor, offensive coordinator Greg Roman, was the king of outthinking himself. If he were calling the 49ers’ offensive plays Monday night, he probably never would have used three-tight-end formations. Or, if he did, he would have used them two or three times so he could save them for Week 10. Or he’d forget about them altogether. That was his style. He’d let opposing teams off the hook by not sticking to his most successful plays.

One quick example: Week 9 last season, the 49ers played the Rams. During that game, San Francisco’s offense averaged 8.6 yards per rush on “Counter” runs. But Roman, strangely, called only three of them, and the Niners lost 13-10.

A few days later, I asked Roman why he didn’t call more counters.

“That’s something you can always look back at and ask,” Roman said. “I’d say, generally speaking, down-and-distance situations may have taken us out of exactly what we wanted to do. But the point is well taken.”

The point was so well taken Roman is now calling playing in Buffalo.

Down-and-distance situations didn’t stop Chryst from using his best formation Week 1, whatever down-and-distance situations are. Isn’t every play a down-and-distance situation?

But enough about Roman and the past. Let’s get back to people who matter, like Garrett Celek, the third-string tight end who hardly played the past few years. Now, he’s an integral member of the offense.

“He’s a really good player,” Tomsula said Friday morning. “He runs. He catches. He’s smart. You can use him in a lot of ways.”

Celek’s playing time comes at the expense of fullback Bruce Miller, who used to be an essential member of the offense, but not anymore. He played just 11 snaps Week 1. He was an afterthought.

Miller is a fantastic fullback, but he doesn’t make catches downfield and the Niners can’t use him in multiple ways. He’s a lead blocker who makes an occasional catch in the flat. He’s highly specialized, and his specialization no longer fits the Niners’ varied offense.

Same goes for Boldin, perhaps a future Hall of Famer. But he is highly specialized, too. He is not downfield threat, not a fast runner. He’s a possession receiver. He’s a third-down go-to guy. He may be an anachronism in the new 49ers way of doing things.

His skillset doesn’t complement three-tight-end formations. Those are heavy running formations which invite opposing defenses to load the box and play close to the line of scrimmage. A possession receiver invites defenses to play even closer to the line of scrimmage, because he can’t beat anyone deep. Extensive use of Boldin could be counterproductive.

Niners’ No. 2 receiver Torrey Smith, an extremely fast runner, is a much better fit for three-tight-end sets, because can catch the long touchdown pass if the defense overcommits to stopping the run. Smith may become the No. 1 receiver as the season progresses, while Boldin may become the guy who plays just on third down.

What I’ve outlined could be the template for San Francisco’s three-tight-end attack. It is interesting and bold. The Niners certainly need to see where it takes them.

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

    1. Another good article with the exception of the cheesy shot at Roman’s intelligence…..insinuating you are smarter than he. Same as you did with Harbaugh and the “5 Things” article.
      It’s not a good look to take constant shots at guys now that they are gone. We get it, a jock stole your girl in high school and you have an ax to grind. And like Jed York, you always think your the smartest person in the room. But unlike York, you understand nothing about winning with class! Your still here, so you won be default. Quit destroying articles by taking shots at guys who are gone. It makes you look immature and petty. Very unprofessional. Take your own advice, stick to the guys that are here now. The guys that matter.

      As for Boldin, i agree. Smith fits better. But dont forget about Boldin’s toughness and ability to run block! And we have a deep threat in Vernon Davis

  1. The use of TEs adds a lot of versatility to the offense. I know they used 3 TEs a lot, but it is worth remembering that they didn’t always line up as in line TEs. Miller’s role was marginalised but they still used a lead blocker on occasion, having a TE play more as a H-Back. Davis and McDonald are also capable of splitting wider. In fact Davis was moved around quite a bit against the Vikings.

    The types of looks they can create with 3 TEs is an advantage. It also provides great flexibility regarding which players stay into block, and which go out in patterns.

    I don’t know if we’ll see them use 3 TEs as often as they did against the Vikings moving forward, but I think we should expect 2 or more TEs to be a staple of the offense. And Miller likely is the one that will continue to see his opportunities limited as a result.

    1. My gut feeling is that the Niners will act like they will trot out 3 TEs, then fool everyone, and especially the Steelers, with 4 Receiver sets.
      They might go with a 2 WR and 2TE setup, but with their versatility, they all could go out for a pass, flood a zone, and let Kaep choose the player who is open.
      Hayne, with his multiple skill sets, could morph into a Swiss Army Knife.

  2. I like the multiple TE sets. The TE’s are one of the great strengths of the team. They can help the line be a dominant power run team. Pound the rock, wear the defense out then shred Pittsburgh’s secondary once the D line and linebackers start start dragging their rear ends..

  3. Grant, I really enjoyed this article. I don’t agree with it 100%, but it has alot of good points.

    Remember the Colts game? The 49ers were had a great yards per run average, but abandoned the run in the 2nd half. Drove me nuts (and made me speculate Gore has an ongoing a mystery injury that occasionally limits his carries).

    Other thoughts…

    – Boldin has big situational value, even if he isn’t used as much.

    – I won’t rule out gap scheme runs to the left with Miller taking out the fullback (I won’t shut up about this)

    – Not all offenses labeled ” hurry-up” are the same. Last year’s offense in Denver is very different than what Kelly does in Philly. Chryst might have discovered the following… if hurry up passing offenses are hard to prepare for, can exhaust defenses and catch them out of position… why can’t hurry up run offenses do the same thing?

    – If CK fails to improve accuracy deep, teams will stack the line vs 3 TE formations. Sometime in the next one or two games, CK has to complete a long bomb. The key to the run game long term is hitting those long bombs.

    1. Another plus about Chryst’s clock chewing run offense… the defense only had to play 56 snaps. Just the ticket for flying across the country on a short week for a 10am game.

    2. Agree.

      The Vikings did a terrible job defending the run, with 7 in the box much more often than 8; and the “formula” the past couple of years has been 8 in the box until Niners prove they can pass longer than 5 yards.

      With the “hurry up and run again” offense the Niners were catching Vikings in the wrong base, but instead of forcing run stoppers to defend passes; they forced pass defenders to try and stop runs.

    1. Thanks Scooter. I think this shows how hard it is to put together a scouting report early in the season. The 49ers really haven’t shown a lot. It also looks like Steeler fans are worried that our offense is a bad matchup for their defense.

      1. That was my takeaway too Grimey. Steelers fans don’t seem to have a lot of confidence in their D, and were really quite complementary of the 49ers offense. One of the comments that stood out to me was the one about crossing routes being the Steelers-killer. Could see that used a lot.

    2. Thanks for the link Scooter. Even before I read the article, the first photo displays some simple math… Counting the Vikings two DBs, the 49ers have eight blockers vs nine in the box.

      Compare to last year when the 49ers usually had one TE one FB sets. They had seven blockers vs eight man fronts.

      Both situations left one unassigned defender to stop the run, but the three TE sets have an improved ratio of blockers and defenders.

      To exaggerate for demonstration purposes… In a fight involving equally skilled and armed combatants, 2 vs 1 is a huge advantage. 3 vs 2 is lesser advantage. 4 vs 3 is an even lesser advantage. 100 vs 99 almost no advantage… and so on.

      When it comes to running, 8 blockers vs 9 defenders may be better than 7 blockers vs 8 defenders.

      It also provides a match-up dilemma for the defense. A good TE should blow a safety off the ball, and blow past defensive linemen and plug linebackers.

          1. This comment is why nobody can take your “on the fence” comments seriously. You’re hoping he doesn’t succeed so you don’t eat crow! What kind of fans did they raise in the 70’s?

            1. In the 70’s I saw some sucky Niners teams, with bad QBs. So I know how to spot them.

              I think you fail to grasp that I wanted to trade Alex Smith for Payton Manning so we can get the ring and Kaep. Payton with that D would have been a great chance to win one, maybe two rings. I said it was worth the risk.

              When Kaep took over I’ve been consistent with my issues with him, especially last year, and as much as some of you don’t want to admit it, Kaep was not that good. We need Bay Area to come pull all my old posts and how I said he was inaccurate, would rather scramble and run and be the hero then throw to the other playmakers.

              So now after the first game everyone is happy how he shows signs of throwing to other players, managing the game, etc.

              It seems like now it’s obvious he wasn’t that good, so I don’t need to root for him to fail, he’s already proven not to be that great a QB, so now we can all get on the same page, admit he’s got things he needs to work on so he can be better.

              1. The niner line was built for the run not the passing game. Manning needs great pass protection since he is a statue back their. Manning also couldn’t function in the offensive scheme run by Roman. Why do you think Payton chose Denver. He is no fool he picked a team that fit his strengths. With Manning it would have put more strain on the salary cap and more top line players would have had to been released. Manning is no guarantee of a Superbowl win. How many did he win in his career. You think just because he is a pocket passer he is a lock. You are delusional.

              2. Yes! Damn kaepernick for leading this team to a super bowl and an NFC title game. And I must add. Some VERY bad calls and NO calls went against those teams in those two years. BUT I guess that happens in sports.
                Willtalk nailed it. Manning could have easily picked the 49ers to play for. The defense and running game was top notch. Be he knew it was a power run team and knew Alex smith got hammered in the pass game. He also knew he wouldn’t be calling the plays. I was for getting manning also. But looking back now there is no guarantee he wins a super bowl with those teams. He destroyed offensive records two years ago and was equally destroyed in the super bowl. I also believe Alex smith would have never delivered a super bowl. His best chance was in 11. Every aspect of the teams game was very good. Except the passing game. We can sit here and play the what if game all day, fact is we haven’t had a true game changer at qb. Game changer in passing the ball I mean.
                I was very critical of Alex smith. Just like you are with ck, BUT at least in my insults and disgust I wanted him to succeed at some point. I ate my crow when Harbaugh came and made him at least a game manager. I got flack for it and deserved it! But at least I was happy to be wrong. And supported the changes I saw. They were slow but after years of horrible play by Smith it was a start I recognized.
                You have no filter on your hate. In fact it’s hard to see a post that doesn’t not mention ck. and that’s your right as a disgruntled fan. But I have to call the latest posts of little optimism when 1 hour later you’re bashing fans for liking his progress no matter how little you may think it is.

              3. You’ve been around since the 70s. Big deal. I saw the first team in 1946. Kap has 4 playoff wins in 2.5 seasons. How many does Romo have? Alex? Give your ego a rest. Almost all the QBs have issues with the exception of Rodgers. Kap is way ahead of the game and now that Dunderhead and his little brother are gone, Geep and Logan are turning him loose. His improvement may have gone unnoticed with your advance QB brain, but it is apparent that he his improved across the board with his progressions and footwork. Your posts have deteriorated, however.

              4. No fan who was around in the 70’s says “sucky”. you are obviously just a pubescent troll mashing a keyboard in grandmas basement angry that you have no friends.

            2. I disagree. I don’t think he is afraid of eating crow. :-}

              I think Fansince77 is hoping Kaepernick fails so he can crow.

              It all started when he became a fan at a tender age in 1977. That was a year along with 1978 that probably warped Fansince77 for life. His first four years were 5 & 9, 2 & 14, 2 &14 and 6 & 10. He had Joe Thomas and then Bill Walsh, but he didn’t have any idea what Bill Walsh would turn out to be.

              Fansince77 gets his pleasure the only way he knows by scapegoating. There were plenty of scapegoats to choose from in 1977 – 1979.

              1. I missed trading Alex Smith for Manning. When would that have happened? Maybe before Manning was released by the Colts when no one knew if he would ever play again. Certainly not the first two years with Denver.

              2. That would be Fansince46, but I didn’t get to see them play because Kezar was way to far from Sunnyvale for an eighth grader to go to an actual game. It was all radio for me way way back then.

                BigAl actually made it to see them play!

      1. More players grouped on LOS = more gaps to defend and less over the top protection. In theory, if you can break through one of the gaps there’s little left between the runner and the House. But like Yogi Berra said: “In theory there’s no difference between theory and practice but in practice there is”.

          1. Yogi also supposedly said: “I never said most of the things I said”. What’s your bet on whether or not he said that smart guy?

  4. Niners will show the running game, and tab Davis to become active, then activate DeAndrew White and line up 4 receivers, then torch the secondary.
    White can help in the return game, and provide another weapon to attack the weakness of the Steelers. I am hoping for 300 yards in the air.

    1. How will the 49ers get four receivers, two running backs, and three tight ends into the game at the same time? If they manage that then they will replace the Patriots as the team with the reputation for finding new ways to cheat. :-}

      1. I guess they could play with a center and QB along with four receivers, three tight ends, and two running backs. Maybe they could line up in such a way that no one could figure out who the eligible receivers are. That is one of the Patriot tricks — to know the rules better than their opponents know the rules. Everyone knows that top athletes play better when they aren’t thinking.

        If anyone is taking this rambling seriously then don’t! :-}

  5. I enjoyed this article on the 49er offense, Grant. It’s a nice complement to how I believe we’re going to beat the Steelers on Sunday: We’ll probe the Steelers’ defensive line for holes and will no doubt have a harder time finding them than we did against the Vikings, if for no other reason than because the Steelers will have detailedly studied the film of our Week 1 game and gotten the message: we can run the ball. They’ll have practiced all week to stop our run. Of course, if we find they can’t stop it – well, yeah, baby! – we’ll run all day, just like we did last week. But that, I think, ain’t likely. Instead, knowing the Steelers are going to have to be wary of the run, we’ll use the hesitation, the uncertainty created by that wariness to set up the pass. Vernon Davis will not be a decoy. The coaches will expect him and our other tight ends to have a big day. They will receive passes of between 5 and 20 yards. Torrey and Anquan will be used for passes 12 or more yards long. In other words, we are going to drive the Steelers’ linebackers and cornerbacks crazy all day. They will be caught between the “rock” of our awesome running game and the “hard place” of our improved passing game – and that will open things up for our tight ends – and for Carlos and Jarrod out of the backfield. Cruel, I know. But better them than us :-) Defensively, we’re going to blitz. Yes, Big Ben has a lot of experience in picking up the blitz and evading it. But, man, did you see the speed of our blitzers last week? These guys are fast! And here I agree with you, Grant: Many of the blitzes will be right up the gut, over the center or between the center and guard on both sides. Expect Navarro to have a multiple sack day. Expect our secondary to have at least two interceptions.

  6. Grant,
    This 3 TE offense was taken from this video game called All Pro Football 2K8. I used to play it online and it was the goaline type offense run by a bunch of cheeses! APF2K8 gave you the ability to pick old HOF RBs like Walter Payton, Earl Campbell, Barry Sanders, etc. The Goalline offense was practically unstoppable when a team had one other really good skill player, like a TE or WR. It did exactly why Geep Chyrst envisioned when he played the game against his son or nephew. Ask him! I but he stole that play from that game!

    1. Its not just Mitchell. Will Allen is also a problem for them, and their CBs are pretty dreadful too. It really is one of the weakest secondaries in the NFL atm.

      1. He was supposedly an upgrade over Clark, bigger, stronger, faster and younger. The problem with him is he looks to deliver the big highlight hit instead of playing gap integrity, and disciplined, sound assignment football. He takes really poor angles along with poor decisions. He’s probably a better fit at SS. I look for the 49ers to exploit him repeatedly….

  7. Grant,

    Didnt you one week ago write an article about how much better the Vikings would be in all facets of the game than the 49ers? My advice… Pick another team to write about bro, we don’t want or need your opinion. Niners loose this week all you will talk about is how they will lose in Arizona, Niners win this week and you’ll just post an article to gain fan support. You continue to do what you’ve done for years and thats drift with the tide versus finding your own way.

    Go write about the Raiders…. They do what you love…. Suck!

  8. As you said Grant till teams stop it and they will, that’s when adjustments will be made hence the WR. I think we only saw a small portion of what is coming from the Niners offense. Something keeps nagging at me like, you haven’t seen nothing yet.

  9. With Davis as one of the three TEs, isn’t it more like 1 1/2 Wide Receivers, 2 1/2 Tight Ends? Or is that the most unwieldy sitcom title ever?

  10. Good article. Interesting that the multiple TE sets may have been planned since last winter; remember 8 TEs on the Camp roster?
    I’m not sure how predictive this is of use going forward as Scooter mentioned. Yes, but how much? A game plan decision I’d guess.
    Grant, May I digress for a moment with a suggestion meant to be helpful? In reference to your question with Roman about his play calling, an old timer like me thinks it would be more professional to use the third person than the first person. Some have accused you sometimes of being inappropriately self-promoting. I think the third person approach avoids that. Just a thought.

    1. As long as the TE’s are multi-skilled, I think 12 and, even more so, 13 personnel opens up a lot of play calling flexibility.

      If the defense stays conventional alignment, the TE’s can be kept in line to optimize run blocking, with one or two DB’s could be facing a powerful, yet athletic blocker.

      If the defense brings in personnel more geared to stop the run, the TE’s can be split out to get mismatches on slower, less athletic defenders.

      Additionally, 12 and 13 personnel allows for a lot of formation flexibility, as well.

      If VD moves on next year and Busta develops, the 13 group could be even more flexible in 2016 (yes, I think Busta has the potential to be a better receiver than VD).

    2. Here’s an open question to the group:

      Are there any position groups that are worse this year than last? I’m not talking about theoretical talent, I’m talking about the players that actually played and only considering the way they played. No going back to the 2011 versions of Gore, Willis or the Smiths (as so many on here seemed to have done when assessing the 49ers chances this year).

      Here are the categories with my takes on each:

      QB equal or better, looks like at least a little better, so far – with more improvement possible
      RB I love Frank Gore (see the avatar), but Hyde >> Gore. Sorry, Frank, see you in the HOF
      WR equal or better in absolute value, clearly better as far as scheme / need fits go.
      TE 2015 VD, Celek and VMcD >> the 2014 versions. Whatever Bell brings is a bonus.
      OL equal or better, looks like better.

      DB Brock / Acker >> Culliver / Cox
      OLB equal or better
      ILB Bowman / Wilhoite >> Borland / Wilhoite
      DL Dial / Williams / Dorsey > RMcD under seige / Dial out of position / J Smith playing with one ar


            1. Grimey,

              Solid, yes, inexperienced, on offense a little, maybe, but not on defense. I think they have four former DC’s on defense, with mangini having been a HC. As for the offense, Sporano is a former HC & OC, Foerster is a well respected O line coach, WR coach Adam Henry is highly regarded. Logan and Chryst have some experience questions, perhaps, but they have a decent resumes.

        1. You’re right, Seb. Going into Monday’s game, the O Line was a question. That was a big oversight.

          After seeing the O Line against the Vikes, I feel like the O Line is at least as good, or better than last year (equal would not be a good thing).

            1. I don’t think there is a question any longer. This year’s o line is at least somewhat better than last. But before last Monday, there definitely was a question.

        2. Your telling me that you have no concerns over Kaepenick? Come on man!
          He is in a new offense, trying to perfect a new skills set and trying to find chemistry with new weapons around him. And yet that’s not a concern?

        1. I mentioned that in a post below the main one.

          Call me crazy, but this year’s staff looks better to me (after the Vikings game, before it was up in the air), than last year’s version of Harbaugh and co.

          I believe the doomsayers, both fans and in the media, were comparing the 2011-2013 versions of players and coaches who left this off season, to the team this year, when comparing last year’s edition of the 49ers to this year’s.

          I’m not saying this is a conscious thing, but rather subconscious.

      1. I would say this year’s coaching staff (after all of one game) shows signs of being hungrier to win games as opposed to PR battles, more creative, and more harmonious in their relations with all parts of the organization than the previous staff circa December ’14.

        1. You realize that Kilgore didn’t play the whole year, right? Center was a mess the second half of the season.

          There is no way on earth that the tackles were better last year. Jonathan Martin and Staley is a worker tandem. Martin was horrible.

          I’ll give you that the guards last year are probably better than this year, but I’m not entirely sure that road grader Iupati would be a great zone blocker and he struggled in pass protection.

          So, IMO, the O Line will prove to be improved this year over last.

      2. I really feel they quit last year. I think they were better than they played. The turmoil in the front office was an obvious distraction. So is this team better? I honestly couldn’t answer that. I will say so far they’ve already played with more heart and motivation. Still a big ? For me so far. Tomorrow will answer my questions on defense. Next week offense.

  11. Grant, don’t you have some crow to eat? You last article you claimed the niners would lose. What’s up bro not man enough to eat your crow I see.

  12. Hi Grant, this is implied in what you said, but to be more explicit, any of the SF Tight Ends could also be a receiver, and of course, Vernon Davis has wide receiver speed. So 3 TE sets could indeed become a substantial part of the 49ers’ passing game this season.

    The intriguing question is, if the Steelers had such a hard time defending one Gronkowski (granted, very talented and experienced) in the passing game, how are they going to defend one, two or three 49ers Tight Ends (pretty capable in their own right)?!

    1. Since Grant hasn’t responded, I’ll take a shot. I doubt that the Steelers will have 4 DBs defending 13 personnel, or at least they will replace one of their corners with a linebacker. I don’t know much about the LB depth of the Steelers. However, I think that we will see more 12 personnel than 13 tomorrow and try to create mismatches for VD.

  13. Not sure if the 3 TE’s is a staple of the offense but what I like is that they are using the strength of their depth at certain positions. RB’s and TE’s.

  14. A good read for the most part. This new Niner offense is certainly intriguing and from the early returns it would appear that this offense built around the strengths and versatility of the personnel, which is great.
    But, it is necessary to keep taking a shot at Greg Roman? He is no longer here, and some of us still remember how creative that offense was, at least the running game in 2011 and 2012. In 2012, that offense averaged 6 yards a play, hardly shabby.
    How about focusing on the positive changes that Tomsula, Chryst and Logan have introduced and letting the past stay there?


    1. A lot has been said about those uniforms. Where have you been?

      The plan was to use them twice, but maybe with you “shouting so loud” they will cancel the second appearance.

            1. Seb

              Sick in the head, soft in the mind has HTWaits become. Old and weak. When nine hundred years old you reach, sound as dumb, appear as curmudgeonly you will not.

    2. Only a raider fan would say they looked like the raiders. History says the first team in the bay had silver as their colors. Yep you guessed it. SF!
      Who’s trying to be like who? Lol
      It’s an alternate they’re only wearing them twice and the more people hate them the more I’m going to buy one and wear it to the games. :-/

        1. What about the cheerleaders matching black leather tights? What did everyone think about them? I thought they should have lost their pom poms and traded them for whips instead.

  16. Ex golfer, exactly what I have been thinking, the replacements are an upgrade over the older players who were not playing at the higher levels anymore. The o line is still a question mark, but not as bad as many predicted, I also think the 3 TE sets helped the line play.
    Grant, good article but I think they stayed with what was working, but I do not think Boldin and Miller are an afterthought, they just were not needed and they will be utilized more when the game plan is made for particular teams weaknesses. Why show more of your hand if what you are using in a particular game can’t be stopped

      1. HT,

        They would fare better than in the pre-season, but any o line will have some problems against Denver’s front seven.

        All I’m trying to point out, is that the floor for this year’s 49ers is at least slightly above last year, in overall talent. The only thing that could’ve been worse than last year, was be the coaching. I feel like they answered that question on Monday. Again, I don’t think being better than Harbaugh and co. (LAST YEAR’S version) is that high of a bar to clear.

        That’s why I’ve always felt 8-8 is the worst they could do (7-9 is possible if things go wrong, given the brutal schedule). 8-8 isn’t anything to crow about, but it isn’t the abject disaster so many we’re predicting. Plus, this team looks like it has playoff upside.

              1. Of course that would be a great match up and in the Superbowl we might beat them because of our front seven and a running quarterback.

    1. I think it’s time to phase out Boldin as well. I thought that before the season started. Right now he just seems like an average receiver. Especially now that they are using 3 TE. With Boldin it’s more like four WR.

      1. Did you see Smelter is running routes now. He seems to have potential, as well as the physical attributes to play. Not this year though.

  17. Let’s keep in mind we have seen **An Offensive** scheme from the niners. Barrows recently reported that Chryst said the niners have not displayed their full arsenal. Specifically if the steelers stack the box, he may have a few tricks up his sleeve in the form of intermediate and long passes.

    1. If the steelers stack the box and I hope they do. It will show how the coaches adapt or are prepared for it, and it will really show how for ck has come. This team has struggled over the years with that defense. In passing that is. If ck can beat them with his arm (which he’s done once in his career I believe vs GB)
      Then that gives other nemesis like arz, and Seattle something to think about. That will open up this offense to new heights we haven’t seen in a long time.
      This is why I think this game is so critical for Colin. I can’t see how Pitt can’t stack it and keep him in the pocket. I can’t see how minn didn’t do that. It’s no secret that’s where he struggled in the past. This game is bigger than we think IMO. If they win this game under those circumstances and ck has a big day passing. I will stamp a playoff birth and a division title.

      1. The Steeler pundits and fans are saying they will stack the box and dare Kaep to throw. Great news. If they do that, the Niners should come out with 4 receiver sets so Vernon will be as wide open as Gronk.

      2. MD,

        I agree that the Steelers will likely stack the box and it will be interesting to see how CK reacts to that. However, the 49ers can roll CK out, even against a stacked box, and I think they will.

          1. Typed in he wrong email? Lol happens to me sometimes.

            I think it depends on the speed of the defense. I don’t know about Pitts speed. But arz and sea have good speed to contain the pocket. I would like to see ck break them down from within. He’s fast but not very elusive that has caused problems before with sea and arz

            1. I had the same thought on CK’s elusiveness, but he led the NFL in “Houdini’s” last year, according to Bill Simmons. Maybe he’s more nimble than we think?

  18. Brady took 2 seconds to relase the ball. Check out CK. He needs 29 seconds to do the same. Forget the long balls. He is not accurate at all. I would rather have him throw those 6-12 yards ball consistently. Use this to control the clock.

  19. Dres Anderson will be available from IR after week 6. This is a remarkable athlete and his 2014 highlights are available on youtube…Type in: Dres Anderson, University of Utah, Junior year highlights.

    1. Hey good to see u around. I hadn’t seen any of your posts? How is New York? We may need u to send water out here as it is bone dry here in California !

    1. But I guess for week 6 Kap will need some help.

      To defeat a Steeler stacked box, the 49ers will have to have help From Vernon Davis, WR’ and Kap.
      Basically the Steelers are saying: Kap, beat us, because we’re taking your run game away today.

      1. At some point during the contest, I’d like the 49ers to line-up Mike Davis and Hyde in a split-backfield, include DeAndrew White, B. Ellington, Torrey Smith and Vernon Davis at the WR’s positions.

        This would be an explosive package with every player listed on the field, capable of taking it to the house… Do not include Hayne in this package, because he is incapable of taking it to the house from distance.

            1. And, the coaches are using as a blocker, not runner, what does that tell you. In addition, he lacks the experience for the job because a true running back can make something out of nothing, Haynes lack of ability here costs the 49ers.
              As an ex-running back that’s a subtlety you are totally blind to, but unless you have worked in the industry, something you will never see.


                I invite you to go to youtube, type in, Mike Davis 2014 season highlights.

            2. Come on guys, quit engaging with this Troll.

              FYI, JARRYD HAYNE was borne Feb, 1988. That makes him 27 years old all season long, BOZO. He is absolutely in his prime.

              1. born 2/15/88. According to TrollD, 27 years of age is “an old man”

                Does that sound like an intellect worthy of this forum?

            1. Exactly Seb. This guy has no clue what he is talking about. Hayne competed in Australian Rugby League’s ‘FASTEST MAN” contest and ran second, beaten by a couple feet, to a 195 lb speedster.

              Hayne is a world class athlete and is faster and quicker than Davis. I like Davis a lot, but let’s keep our facts straight. Hayne doesn’t always run with the type of speed and quickness he is capable of but to call a world class athlete old, at 27, and slow, at 4.53 is simply pathetic, and clearly this guy, TrollD, is trolling this forum.

      2. The Steelers will TRY to take the run game away. They might make it tougher to run, but I don’t think they can shut it down completely. CK probably will need to have more success passing this week for the 49ers to win. I think he can do it and will be rooting for him to do so. Will you?

  20. Nice read Grant,
    AB will get his (3 TE set proved so successful early on that it was expedient to stay with it). I see AB getting more opp’s in Pitt because of their porous secondary.

    We could use 3 TE sets in Pitt but if it doesn’t work early on Geep may insert Miller or even Mike Davis to give the defense a different look.
    I want to see Geep’ adjustments in tomorrow’ game if something is not working.

    Roman DID overthink himself and it was obvious that he didn’t completely trust CK during crunch time.
    It’s only one game but I’m interested in seeing how Kaep reacts under duress.
    We may find out tomorrow.

    Torrey may start to earn his money tomorrow against Pitt’ secondary. If he and CK can connect early on it could be a 49er blow-out because it will open up other offensive opportunities all around.

    49er – 31
    Pitt – 17

    1. RB Mike Davis has more ability to take it to the house than Hayne from distance. The Steelers would be forced to stay close to the line of scrimmage with Hyde and Davis in the backfield , this would open up the deep ball vs. a porous Steeler secondary for Kap.

          1. People who are not in the industry can not understand the subtleties. As an ex running back I’ll explain.
            Hayne was not asked in Europe to decipher blocking combinations before they happen. So it’s not about speed. It’s about reading a block before it occurs, having the cutting abilty to take advantage of this.
            On Monday night, the holes the OL made were so large, any of us could have run through them. A good back takes it to the house, or gets many more yards.
            Hayne could only muster a few yards on those enormous holes

            1. May I direct you to Mike Davis, 2014 season highlights, youtube.
              He interacts with an OL firing out blocks simulstaneously, like hes part of the line itself…Hayne had no simulstaneous events as it relates to an entire OL and its interaction with the oppositions DB’s, Lb’s. or DL.

              1. If you are not aware of the above’s synchronization, it’s hard to set them up with a take it to the house move, isn’t it? And as Jerry Rice did, if you set someone with world class speed, and get behind them, even someone like us with 4-7 speed can take it to the house.

              2. To break it down further:

                A good running back from his backfield position already processes this info: is the defense in a two deep, zone, are they in man, is it one over the top, so he knows where the cutback lanes are before they occur.

            2. You’re describing the ability to get seven yards instead of two (e.g., Frank Gore), not the ability to “take it to the house.

              What separates skill players who can from those who can’t, is open field running ability. Hayne has that in spades.

              Football isn’t an “industry”, btw. And you don’t have to be a former RB to understand the need for a RB to be patient, set up blocks, pick the right hole, etc. It’s not that complicated.

              1. Of course, it’s not only about speed, but a player has to have at least decent speed to “take it to the house”.

                Please don’t try to say Rice was slow. He had game speed and was never caught from behind. That’s not only due to separation. He had speed.

              2. Exactly ExGolfer. How many times can one man get schooled by this forum before he gives up? It’s getting very entertaining, but at the same time, you almost have to feel sorry for this guy. He clearly has way to socially engage with people in person, probably low self esteem, and socially awkward. So he takes to a forum like this and says stupid things to get a reaction out of people. .

      1. EX golfer:

        With your resume you would not make the cut.

        Is the defense in a a two deep, one over the top, zone, man? which is it. This is info a good running back processes in his position when he lines up before the ball is snapped. In this way, he knows where the cut back lane are before they occur..

        1. How do you know Hayne can’t pick that info up? It sounds like he’s already ahead of Davis in blitz pick up. Remember, one of the reasons the 49ers liked Davis is because he was seen as more NFL ready, coming from South Carolina.

    1. George,

      Nope, not for me. I think keeping Chryst might turn out to be a stroke of genius. I’m sure Gase is talented, but the offense would’ve been starting over. With Chryst, there was continuity.

      I didn’t love that Chryst was the OC, at first. Now, I’m liking it.

      The idea that because SD didn’t have a good offense when he was there means very little to me. He had to deal with Ryan Leaf. Who’s going to succeed with that kind of handicap?

      Plus, there’s the tacit assumption by those criticizing him that people don’t get better at their craft.

      What’s funny to me, is that those who hated the hire, also liked Harbaugh. Well, Harbaugh was going to promote Chryst to OC, if Roman had left (reportedly). Ironic.

      1. Ask the owner.
        When was the last time you looked at the size of Australia on the Globe. Is it a Continent or an Island…I suggest TV market share is the only reason Hayne is in the lineup.

          1. Don’t forget New Zealand, Europe, other areas such as South America who now will watch the “Soccer Player turned NFLer.
            How about the size of Brazil, or Chile?

          1. Are you really asking me this, as it is soccer related like someone who does not understand blocking schemes, can not put the soccer dynamic together?

        1. Pure silliness. You think York tells Tomsula who to play? Hayne was among the top running backs and punt returners in the entire NFL in preseason. Think that may have had something to do with his elevation? Besides, the Australian TV market is a drop in the bucket. Hayne is a very popular player with American viewers, yes, but that’s because he was the most exciting player in years in the preseason, plus a really cool story.

          1. Guys, really? Do we really have to engage with this guy? He clearly has very little understanding of American Football, Australian RUGBY LEAGUE, Soccer, lol, or any other professional sport. This guys is just making stuff up as he goes along.

            IGNORE TROLLD, and this forum will be a better for it. He simply throws a wrench into any smart conversation on this blog because just about everything he says is nonsensical!

      2. I wasn’t serious, Exgolfer. I like this comment of yours: “Plus, there’s the tacit assumption by those criticizing him that people don’t get better at their craft.” I remember Boldin saying after Chryst had a “great football mind” or words to that effect. It’s way to early to draw conclusions, though. Let’s see how we respond to Pittsburgh.

            1. And it is too early to draw final conclusions, but all arrows are up, right now. Of course, expectations were low, so…

              At least the predictions calling for six wins or less have pretty much been discredited.

  21. The biggest improvement by Chryst over Roman is a simple one: He goes with what’s working. As Grant pointed out, that was not in Roman’s repertoire. If the defense was stacking the line and Gore was averaging a yard per carry, he kept calling it. That kind of predictability made it very easy to defend the 49ers.

    And Harbaugh never pushed Roman to do anything different. That’s why I though that Harbaugh’s and Roman’s ultraconservative offense was disastrous and may have cost the 49ers a championship.

    1. I guess you did not see my comment on the size of Brazil, Chilie, Europe (UK)
      all will be watching soccer player turned NFLer, hoping one of their’s becomes the next player chosen

      1. The soccer fraternity is enormous…Hayne played against all competition… He will be watched by all of South America and Europe, and the 49er rating will be Ginormous.

        1. Maybe you should look at some Rugby Union game clips. It’s very hard to play soccer with an oblong ball. Try it. Hayne has never played professional soccer.

          1. Wait, I’m confused. I thought this was a Major League Baseball forum. I mean it’s like football isn’t it? They are both sports.

      1. Until then,we’ll have to be satisfied with an OL, busting its tail to open holes you can drive a truck through, but no one rewarding them..that will get tired in the clubhouse quickly.

  22. Brazil has a big population. Chile, not so much. You were the one who brought the Australian tv market share into the discussion. My point was, there aren’t that many people in Australia.

    BTW, since the NFL TV deal is negotiated collectively (at least for regular and post season), even if everyone in Australia watches every 49er game, the 49ers wouldn’t get any more tv money.

    1. The NFL stands to benefit, so the 49ers would as well. But the 49ers wouldn’t make much more money off of Australia’s fans than any of the other 31 teams in the league, because they share revenue.

      That said, it’s nice to have an entire continent rooting for your team.

      By the way, ignore trollD because, as they say in Australia, “he’s a bit walkabout”
      meaning, he’s lost, and will never get it.

    2. You seem to be focused on Austsralia, expand your horizons or Jeb will leave you in the dust. By now this is old new to Jeb, hes moving on to the other major cities in the world…SEE YA!…And those black uniforms were for only one game right…No profit from team memorabilia by those interested in the soccer cities…You sir, are not a business man by far, so do not ever endeavor to try anything business related.

  23. “Miller is a fantastic fullback, but he doesn’t make catches downfield and the Niners can’t use him in multiple ways. He’s a lead blocker who makes an occasional catch in the flat. He’s highly specialized, and his specialization no longer fits the Niners’ varied offense.”

    I totally disagree with this. Miller is exceptional as a pass catching fullback. They have referred to him as a swiss army knife.

    1. That was from 2013. Hayne fits the bill for being the new Swiss Army Knife.
      Miller is a great blocker and good pass catcher, but his forte is mainly blocking, not running the ball. Hayne has shown good pass catching skills, but also decent blocking skills.
      However, his running skills, where he makes players miss and his overall speed and quickness, is what sets him apart from the others.

    2. But rarely downfield. He catches swing passes and screens out of the backfield really well but he’s not great out on a route when being covered.

          1. It wouldn’t surprise me to see more of Miller in this game, where they might run more power gap and counter instead of the stretch plays….

            1. I am not saying we might not see more of Miller, just not running down field routes. Its not his thing and why we have TE’s. He does well catching out of the backfield without much coverage. He could be used more.

          2. Well, that is why Miller was on my trade list, because I thought the offense was going in a different direction. TEs make sense for versatility.

            1. Lets give Miller some carries and passes. Last year and the year before he has been good and he plays some key special team coverage.
              Why would we trade a young bruiser? He was great for Gore and he can be good for Hyde and #7.
              SF 23
              Pitt 17

              1. Prime why would we give him carries with Hyde, Davis and Hayne? He’s not a great runner either. When they do give it to him its often a surprise to the defense for short yardage. He runs those short routes into the flat great. He blocks well, running down the field and running the ball he’s not great. Other FB’s are better runners. We also have better playmakers at TE and WR and RB to throw to. He could catch people off guard like I mentioned earlier.

              2. Pretty sure that 5-6 carries if either is a reception or run,is positive.
                Dont forget he’s a special teams ace!
                If Geep doesnt want to use him I think that’s an overall waste of talent.

              3. Not sure I see it as a waste of talent. Again he’s not a great runner, not great down field in passing routes, he blocks well and catches well out of the backfield. The waste of talent would be leaving our TE’s off the field who can contribute more to the game at times then he can. He has a limited role that suits his limited ability. He’s a fan favorite but people over look his short comings.

    1. I wonder how many soccer fans throughout the known world have heard of Hayne?
      I wonder how many of these fans in Sau Paulo, Rio, Santiago, France, Rome, London,
      Moscow, etc know how to order 49er uniforms on Ebay?

      1. Think Jed might be interested in these markets.
        Why do feel that the current bloggers could not understand business 101 or any other matters, business????????

          1. Logic is just not our bloggers strongsuit today

            By that logic, if you’re trying to have a Rugby player employed in the NFL you don’t know your business

            1. What would you rather have on your team, a running back pushing 30, Hayne, which, is old in the NFL (Avg NFL career=4years)

              or RB mike Davis, 22 years old?

            2. The logic of having soccer fans gravitate to the NFL via a rugby player is just asinine. But keep making that argument. Maybe the owners could get that soccer contingent by saying “look at our place kickers, they all use soccer style!”. That makes about as much sense as your loopy logic.

  24. Wow. Just wow. Bad enough when he was just sticking to commenting on his own posts, but looks like the troll has decided to infect every thread he can with stupid.

    1. Scooter, I realize yourself and Ribico would rather get back to your favorite reading material, The Cat In the Hat, but please, concentrate for one moment.

      Hayne pushing 30, Davis 22, can you answer who would you rather have on your roster if you had to choose, and why?

      1. And don’t forget , the 49er expended less energy drafting Davis in the 4th round, than you guys defending your man, Hayne, an undrafted free agent…You morons, who do you think the 49ers will keep.

      2. Inoperative question. From the limited display of their abilities we’ve seen so far, I’m glad we have both on the team. Or does that particular logic go over your head?

        And BTW, 27 is closer to 25 than it is 30. Math not your strong suit either?

          1. Good question, PT. I think he finally suffered from blog meltdown. I missed a lot of the post and offseason Inside the 49ers, but I think he was going after Grant pretty heavily. And that middle finger AV he was sporting last season probably didn’t endear himself to the PD staff either.

            1. That’s too bad. He was very good with Niner football talk and slapping Bayareafanatic around! Oh well! Let’s get another win tomorrow and go 2-0!

              1. Right. Balls was heavily promoting the Dunning–Kruger effect around here. A little too much maybe, after all we are all sports fans ;). He would have had a field day with Tom Thumb. Btw, bayareafanatic is MIA too. Ban-hammer fall on him also?

              1. I always viewed Claude as a kind of enforcer. He would quickly take posters to task if they just spewed opinions that lacked facts and logic.

              2. Yeah, I like when people do that. It means I don’t have to. People lacking facts and logic can cause a good discussion to go off the rails very quickly. Of course enforcement of that can also cause the discussion to go off the rails as well. It’s a balance.

              3. Grimey and Cubus,

                Yes to your take on Claude “The Enforcer”.

                Yes to “enforcement” or attempted enforcement going off the rails, also.

                Just a few weeks ago there was some guy on here trying to get Grant to see how ridiculous it was to say a ball went ten yards over T Smith’s head and how the ball wasn’t ten yards overthrown, but more like two. What a waste of time. What was that guy thinking of?

            1. I have. I can’t help it if I ignore hypothetical questions. Gee, would I rather have Brady or Kaep? Your question is about as useless as that.

        1. However, it’s not 25, is it, and the average NFL career is 4 years, 2 years for a running back and davis is 5 years younger than Hayne, and was drafted. I don’t see Baalke cutting Davis.

  25. On the eve of next game, I just want to make a couple observations about how to strategize for next game. In the Art of War,Sun Tzu wrote that victory in war is a matter of deception. Sun Tzu wrote that the best way to take a city is without a blow struck. He also wrote that head on assaults to take cities are costly in men, armament and supplies. I hope the Niners learn from that wisdom and do not attack the Steelers head on.
    Hopefully, they can avoid that mammoth front line and dash around them untouched. Kaep needs to unleash the aerial attack, and throw over that stalwart line, thus negating that strength. Kaep must get to the line quickly, because last game, the Steelers were caught out of position. If the Niners can do that, the ball carrier could run through the gap untouched, or get a free play because of 12 men.
    Last game, they let the defense over run the play, then cut back for devastating runs untouched. They should do the same thing, and invite the blitz to burn them.
    Other posters were discerning between random and unpredictable, but I have a different perspective. Instead of random, which is unpredictable and harder to defend than predictable, I want the play calling to be calculated.
    I want the Niners to think 3 plays ahead. I want them to use plays to set up different subsequent plays. In other words, I want them to set up success by setting up the defense. The Niners were afforded several plays that were 2nd and short. I hope the Niners will dial up an explosion play instead of running it into the line.
    Steelers will be desperate because they do not want to start the season 0-2. This game will be a lot harder than last game. Big Ben is a dangerous QB, and the Niners are fortunate to play them without 2 big playmakers. It may come down to a matter of field position. I hope Torrey and Hayne can get TDs. I expect Hyde to get one.
    GO NINERS !!!!!!

    1. This article only states what I’ve been stating all week and everyone here has read my posts by now. If Kap has a good game, 49ers win.

      I’ve even detailed an explosion play having Davis and Hyde in the backfield, with DeAndrew White, Torrey Smith and Vernon Davis or Ellington at the WR positions

      1. I think what you’re really suggesting is that Kaep have a mistake free game, to utilize the skill player around him.
        Normally when he is Mr. Do it All he puts up good rushing numbers and make some nice throws, but also a lot of inaccurate throws, and the his inconsistency cost the Niners.

    1. Fan,

      It has been all over the press, the Steelers are shutting down the 49ers run game, to see if Kap can carry the team.

      Kap’s a big boy, we’ll see if he can take the next stejp.

      1. 49ers (+6.5) over STEELERS: Assuming the Steelers remember to cover the Niners’ tight ends and don’t get outsmarted by a goal line defensive formation that is regularly featured in high school games (then claim it’s cheating), they should enter the win column against a San Francisco team that played over its head on Monday and is traveling east on a short week. Steelers win, Niners cover.

      2. The steelers allowed 80yds from a bunch of nobodies on the Patriots last week. Dion Lewis averaged 4.6yds per carry on 15 carries. The 49ers run game is better and 4.6yds per carry is hardly shutting anyone down. They didn’t need their run game because Brady threw for 281. I think the game will be harder but if Dion Lewis can get 4.6yds a carry expect our backs to have similar production.

        1. Our defense wont allow that but nice try.
          The Patriots offense is formidable. The Steelers defense was caught off guard with the all variations.
          At some point tomorrow the 49ers will need to throw or hand off to Miller. Hes going to start at full back and I would think every snap on special teams.

          1. ??? Our Defense? Not talking Defense Prime so nice try on your part. Talking that the Patriot’s #1 RB ran for 4.6yds per carry. Yes the Patriots are very good, but you’re missing the point.

            I never said they won’t throw so don’t make assumptions. I am just saying don’t believe the hype that the run game will be shut down. Hyde won’t go for 168yds. He’ll be more in the 80’s or 90’s. We’ll have to throw and there’s not much tape on the 49ers so its possible Geep still has formations that teams haven’t seen yet so they could be caught by surprise again. We’ll still key off the run game and throwing will be a more important part of the game plan.

            Also I never said Miller wouldn’t play, Seb was the one who wanted to trade him. He’ll play, it will be limited like last week unless Razor is correct and they run power gap stuff.

    2. Grimey, who was the guys last year who everyone kept saying was Darin that would post like Tom here about 100 times per thread? I can’t remember his screen name. It doesn’t really matter, but my observation is those types of folks are completely unaware how others experience them. They have obsessive needs to be validated and to prove their “intelligence.” And they have a complete inability to hear or consider another point of view because their self worth is tied to their argument. They also see their behavior as normal not recognizing how it impacts people. They also suffer from the delusion that they see and know more than everyone else can and it really baffles them why we don’t agree with them. This all leads to the conclusion on their part that if we don’t agree with them and their arguments we must be idiots.

    1. Similar thing happened around this time last year, and all it achieves is a bunch of good posters lose interest and leave. Hopefully PD get on top of it soon. As it is, it is now getting very hard to have a good discussion without crazy taking it over. Sad.

      1. Happy Happy Joy Joy,

        Then you’d have the Stepford wives or George Orwell’s 1984 site, fit for yes men and those with frontal labotomies

        1. Dude
          You hate the owner
          You hate the GM and FO
          You hate the coaching staff
          You scoff at the players
          You insult the blog host
          You don’t get along with ANY of the folks on this blog
          You don’t say anything anyone on this blog agrees with
          You don’t agreemwith anything anyone else on this blog has to say
          Soooooooo, tell us once again: WTF it is you’re doing here?
          No, really. You make yourself miserable with your Wendy Whiner angst, and trust me when I say:
          “How can we miss you if you won’t go away?”
          You’ve replaced epicly legendary Goblins and Trolls on this site and become the current Village Idiot. Are you so lost that you can’t feel the scorn and derision?
          I ain’t mad , dude, just shaking my head in wonder.
          Oh, by the way:
          Go Niners! SF all the way!
          Up at 6:00am tomorrow for the 7:05am Kickoff. Aloha.

      2. Scooter:

        I have a question for you. In the discussion that ex had with the troll up above he kept mentioning that Australia is a relatively small market for the NFL. Australia has about 25 million people compared to the 320 million people in the USA (I’m going to keep it simple and not include the 35 million in Canada.)

        However, I would think a better way to gauge the market is to include neighboring countries that might be interested as well. One way to perhaps gauge that entire market, then, would be to get an idea of how much interest there is in Australian (perhaps NZ as well) rugby in that region of the world. Since I know you’re interested in rugby as well as NFL, do you happen to have any idea what this number might be.

        I’d be surprised if the total is more than 20% of the US population, but I’d still be interested if you happen to know. Of course, I know that not everyone watches football or rugby, but comparing total populations might provide a reasonable gauge if about the same percentage of the US population watches football as the South Pacific population watches rugby; of course there’s another inherent assumption that rugby viewers would watch American football. Thanks.

        1. Well to give you an idea, last year the national rugby league grand final had nearly 5 million tv viewers in Australia and New Zealand.

          A rugby union test match between Australia and New Zealand typically gets an audience of around 1.5 million to 2 million.

  26. I hope VD’s pass catching improves in the second game. Against Minnesota, his pass catching was below his own average performance, which was never great in the first place.

  27. I fell for a troll technique today when I pointed out that Hayne plays Ruby Union and not soccer. A troll never defends such over the top ignorance of the topic at hand. By responding I fell into a troll trap.

    The only way to effect a troll is to never reply no matter how ignorant or irritating the troll’s current posts are. If you don’t read a troll’s post, it’s a lot easier to avoid replying. As Kipling might have said, “Be resolute!”

    1. I look it as walking on the street in a pre-automobile city. Avoid the troll like you avoid horse dung. Annoying, but you can still get to where you want to go.

  28. Bulaga is going to be out when they face the 49ers. Off the top of my head, that’s four teams missing at least one key component of their respective rosters, Vikings(Sullivan)Blitzburg(Bell/Bryant)Cardinals(Iupati)Packers(Bulaga/Nelson). This must be their year!

    1. Could be Razor. A little luck never hurts.

      From what I’ve read it looks like Iupati is pushing to return for the 9ers week 3.

      1. I hope he does. He’s not great as a pass blocker and rushing back from a leg injury. Perfect for the 49ers inside lb and safety blitzes.

        1. Yeah, and he blew some assignments last year as well. I think Mangini’s defense can force some miscommunications, get some early pressure, and pick off Palmer a couple times.

          1. I think the 49ers should be able to get some pressure on Palmer next week. You could be right about some opportunities for turnovers.

          2. Their WR’s are so fast and talented. It will be another test of our secondary. He’s familiar with our Dline so I wonder if there’s any advantage for our young players like Tank or Dial on that side.

  29. I’m watching the Cal – Texas game. The Cal QB, Jared Goff, is someone worth watching. Strong arm with good accuracy and he’s mostly a pocket passer. Goes through his progressions pretty well and distributes the ball. The Texas DC compared Goff with Aaron Rodgers. Weaknesses seem to be a tendency to throw off the back foot (did it this game but threw a touchdown anyway) and he has a high fumble rate when he is sacked (but doesn’t get sacked at a high rate) – he fumbled the ball after a blind side sack in this game. Only a junior so it’s not clear if he’ll declare after this season.

    1. Fun game , can’t believe the extra point was missed. I would love to have goff but looks like we will be better then I thought and no chance to draft. Be strong online and go red and gold!

  30. Been busy celebrating the Stanford win over USC. But its time for predictions — and nothing like like a combination of excess alcohol and boundless optimism to help the process along :) Niners will take care of business: 24-13 — GO NINERS !!!

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