Five 49ers whose roster spots look to be in jeopardy

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  1. Jeopardy! This UDFA rookie with no OL experience, supplanted 49ers veteran, Marcus Martin. Who is Alex Balducci?

    1. Razor

      In that I had seen no answer to your question “Who is Alex Balducci,?” I thought I’d try to help….Actually, his name is ‘Banducci’, the son of Russ Banducci , offensive lineman off the ’66 UCLA rose bowl champion.. The most interesting fact I found was that his grandfather was Guard/ Center on the San Francisco 49ers on their initial team in ’46 to ’54 with 5 All Pro years came off the Stanford campus with Frankie Albert….Thought you might want to know….

  2. Grant – disagree about Brandon Thomas, Mike Davis and Kenneth Ackerman. Thomas’s ACL is a two year injury. Not everyone comes back in 18 months. Recall Thoas played left tackle in college. He’t not 6-8 but can be a versitle lineman. Mike Davis needs another year. Draughns and Harris were out on FA market for good reasons. Acker has special team value and has game IQ again way too early to judge. IMHO… IMHO Ahmed Brooks is on the bubble. Bad attitude, blown assignments, came in out of shape last 3 camps. DL Tony Jerrod-Eddy is also in trouble. If SF thought highly of him, then why are more linemen coming in. Bruce Ellington, looks great in shorts, and one sidelines. He can stay healthy. As far as scheme, Kelly signed power runners in Philly…

  3. I agree on Patton, Martin, and Davis. I think Thomas will stick due to the team not having enough quality depth at the OG position. Theus and Cooper could supplant Thomas, but they need to get stronger before that can happen. Ackers will probably also stick as a backup behind Brock or Ward.
    The two players I could see with their roster spots being in jeopardy are Brooks and Reaser. Harold could easily make Brooks an old and expensive backup, which is never a good thing, and Reaser needs to beat out Johnson and Davis for the NCB position. Another potential player on the bubble is Purcell. Ramsey should be healthy enough to now compete for a roster spot, and Blair’s quickness and versatility are not things that can be taught.

    1. I think Ward’s backup will be Dontae Johnson, and Brock’s backup will be Rashard Robinson.

      The Niners probably will keep two centers. I think the other seven offensive lineman will be Staley, Beadles, Kilgore, Garnett, Pears, Brown, Theus and Cooper. Both Pears and Brown can play guard.

      1. Robinson needs to get better at reading an offense and put on some weight before he is a backup to anyone. In a year he may be ready to contribute, but he’s not going to this year.

          1. Being over 6′ and under 200 lbs. is never a good combination. He’s not going to be able to get away with the pushing and grabbing he did during the few starts he had at LSU.

            1. Not saying he will, but I am saying the coaching staff probably will prefer Robinson over Acker because Robinson has experience playing press-man coverage.

              1. That’d be ridiculous of them to do so what with Robinson being so technically raw as he is, not starting that many games, and being out of football for an entire year. No, Robinson will most likely “suffer” that will keep off the field for the 2016 season.

              2. I think the coaches probably would prefer Robinson get experience while the team is bad.

              3. It’d be better if they showed him how to better read coverages while getting stronger. I cringe at the thought of Robinson being the backup to an injury-prone CB like Brock.

              4. Johnson will be the first outside corner off the bench, and he probably will be followed by Robinson. They won’t be asking him to read coverages in zone. They’ll be asking him to press a receiver and chase him around the field.

              5. That’s essentially saying he going to get beat and pushed around. A lot.

              6. Grant, think Ward might be used in a Carlos Rogers role… Starting at outside CB, moving to slot vs 3 WR sets?

              7. The Niners may want to groove him into one spot (right corner) as he makes this transition. Plus, they want Redmond to be the slot corner as soon as possible.

      2. Theus and Cooper need some time in the gym while Brown is reportedly out of shape.

  4. Baalke is not going to cut two 3rd round picks he made just two years ago. They may deserve it if they play poorly, but no way he will admit two whopping mistakes like that in the same cut down.

    I could see Davis and Acker not making it due to numbers.

      1. He could, but it would be a huge black mark on his reputation to cut two players drafted in the 3rd round because they can’t play for the new HC he hired. He would look terrible if that happened. I just don’t see him doing it.

          1. Who will Kelly say that to — you or maybe Jed? Telling Baalke that won’t force Trent to do anything he doesn’t want to do.

          2. So if Thomas is out why is he playing with the 1s right now? They could be in jeopardy but it seems like they’ll get every chance to make the team due to their 3 RD selection. I can’t imagine the late round picks being any better.

            1. Maybe they are showcasing him to enhance his trade value, and he is just keeping Garnett’s spot warm until he graduates.

              1. If he doesn’t make it here with such an under talented OL he won’t have any trade value.

  5. No way you cut a RB that had 35 total snaps in his rookie year, especially when two of the other RBs are nomad players on their 9th teams. Baalke isn’t cutting a 4th rounder after one season (has he ever done that?).

    Acker is the only person on that list that IMO might not be on the team come the regular season…they drafted 3 CBs and are looking for more man to man and his more of a zone CB.

    1. Running Backs are a dime a dozen as far as I’m concerned and can always be cut unless some idiot drafts one in the first.

  6. Interesting but I’d have to say that Lemoneir, VMac, Simpson, Anderson, and Bellore are more likely cuts. I think that Patton, Davis and possibly Acker make the team. Martin will be given one more year unless he stinks it up so bad that he is among the last cuts. I agree that Brooks may be on the bubble, though the cap money would be high. Not sure about TJE or Thomas. Purcell may also lose a spot given the infusion of youth.

    1. East, I agree, those players you mentioned seemed more on the bubble. Another is Bruce Miller, because the TE position is crowded.

  7. Acker will make the team. He’s not as bad in man coverage as you make out. A lot of his struggles last year seemed to come playing zone coverage where it looked like there was confusion as to where the support was coming from, and who was meant to pick up who. He played a lot of off-man in college and did it well. He just needs to learn how to press.

    CBs will be Ward, Brock, Johnson, Acker, Robinson and Redmond. Ward will be the slot CB, backed up by Redmond. If Redmond isn’t ready to start the season, Reaser or Davis will make the roster initially.

    1. Mangini used a lot of man coverage Week 2 against the Steelers, then was hesitant to use it the rest of the season because of how badly Acker got burned.

      1. Did he? He brought his safeties up to try and disguise coverages but looked like they played zone a lot that game.

        If you want to bkame someone for Mangini using zone you should blame Brock. Talk before the season was how he’d move all over the field to match up against the opponents best WR. But he was getting killed the first few weeks so that plan got scrapped, and Ward came back in at slot CB.

        1. Acker got beat six times for about 100 yards in man coverage in Pittsburgh and the next game in Arizona Mangini used zone almost exclusively.

          1. Just rewatched the highlights and you are correct, Acker did get beat mostly when playing man coverage that game. Ugly.

              1. The best WR in the NFL. But he was beat very easily.

                It was a bad scheme Mangini ran that day, but I had forgotten just how poorly Acker played.

              2. Acker essentially was in his rookie season last year, so I don’t think we can really hold it against that he was smoked by Brown on a constant basis. I think we need to see how Acker does with the new coaching staff and in the new system.

              3. Dick Sherman is 6’3 / 195

                You’re silly, don’t you see you’re saying Robinson shouldn’t play because he’ll get pushed around, but that Acker should play even though he has already shown he can’t play man.

                You have a strange allegiance to a proven mediocrity and a strange refusal of a guy whose talent is elite. Why not get the big, fast, long, aggressive, confident guy on the field immediately? Don’t answer. Your bias is already apparent.

              4. Stop trying to make comparisons that don’t work E. The only thing in common with Robinson and Acker is they are both 49ers. If you want to make a smart comparison, then compare Acker to Ward, both of whom weren’t very good during their rookie seasons. He could turn it on in his second season like Ward did, or he could flame out. We have to wait and see. Meanwhile, Robinson needs to work on getting stronger and more able to read offensive schemes. Throwing him out to just chase a certain WR all game is wasting the kid’s potential. Unlike you E, I’d rather see him sit for a year or two in order for him to realize his full potential instead of inserting him into the rotation because of his high ceiling.

              5. I didn’t compare Robinson to Acker, I compared him to Sherman. You’re the one who said a proven mediocrity (Acker) should play over a guy with elite traits.

                Robinson is an inch shorter and 10 pounds lighter than Sherman. Of course Robinson needs to keep growing, and at 20 years old, he should be expected to develop man strength. He’s also the most talented CB LSU had, and is being touted as a potential shutdown corner, more than Acker is expected to ever be. Why not let him play? I don’t understand this strange fear to allow rookies to develop. It’s a big factor in what created this whole mess to begin with.

              6. It was a bad comparison either way. Sherman also has two inches on Robinson, not one.
                There’s a huge difference between developing a rookie and feeding them to the wolves. Talent can only get a player so far. They have to know how to harness and utilize that talent.

              7. You’re such a Jed guy. Loser mentality, arrogant donkey.

                It’s a “bad comparison”? Who TF are you to say that? And why are you saying he’s 2″ shorter than Sherman? He’s listed as 6’1/6’2/6’3 depending where you look. You’re just wrong. Why bother putting a marginal player on the field when a potential superstar can get time developing? Why? Because you’re a gaping vag and don’t understand anything about competition. If Acker isn’t any good at man coverage, let him go. Robinson, playing his first college game ever, basically shut down Mike Evans, a gigantic senior WR who is now a dominant NFL WR.

                But yeah, go with the guy who’s already shown how mediocre he is.

                I can’t wait until all the guys on this website who are trashing Robinson finally get it through their thick fkn skulls that OMG WE JUST FOUND OUR OWN SHERMAN!!! And then they’ll crow that they saw it all along. Just pathetic, all of you.

              8. I need to remember that I can’t chat with someone as utterly arrogant as you E. If someone’s opinion doesn’t match yours, then they’re obviously in the wrong. -_- You result to name calling and a whole bunch of other sheer stupidity in order to show how much better you are. It’s pathetic, and I no longer want to be a part of it. Get over yourself already.

              9. JC,
                Robinson shutting down Evans is a vast overstatement. It holds true only when looking at the stats.
                Watching the film however is a different story.
                Evans beat Robinson repeatedly but Johnny Football missed a wide open receiver no less that 3 times, 2 of which would have been easy touchdowns if they were playable.
                Evans had a drop on easy reception and got away with PI in the end zone and one on a 20 yrd out.
                Statistically it may look like he was shut down but the tape tell a different story.

              10. JedYork

                There’s no name calling. I said you were a Jed guy, and then said he has a loser mentality and is an arrogant donkey, and that’s the guy you remind me of. That’s all. Kenneth Acker. Lol.

              11. Shoup

                I watched the same video you did, and RR used the sideline and his makeup speed to disrupt all Evans’ routes. He shut him down. Say whatever you want about the rest of RR’s career, bonehead, skinny, whatever, the dude made a statement in his first game, playing against a top NFL receiver.

              12. JedYork

                Oh yeah, the gaping vag comment. Yes, that was a little over the top. But seriously, get over yourself. Your opinions are just those. I’ll not be reprimanded by a JedBot such as yourself. Feel free to call me an arrogant dick. It’s cool. Rashard Robinson is the shizzle, and when he blows up on Sundays, I fully expect you to come around and start singing his praises, and pretend you liked him all along.

              13. Then what exactly is this E?

                You’re such a Jed guy. Loser mentality, arrogant donkey.

                I want to see this blog get back where fans can have discussions that will be heated at times but don’t resort to any name calling, bigotry, or any other form of inexcusable behavior. We have enough crap going on with the 49ers; we don’t need anything like that on here.

      2. In the Steeler game, it was Reid who was burned so bad, IICRC.

        It is amazing how a decent pass rush will make the DBs a lot better. Hopefully, the Niners have improved with Buckner and Blair.

        1. McDonald caught 23 passes and 3 TDs on 35 targets in 7 games with Gabbert at QB. Over 16 games that would be 52 catches and 7 TDs on 80 targets.

          1. That’s assuming McDonald could keep that up. The current evidence has shown he’s not capable of doing so.

            1. He had at least 60 yards and a touchdown in 3 of the 7 games he played with Gabbert. Pretty good for a tight end.

              1. He also had two passes that he juggled into an opposing player’s arms. Pretty bad for a tight end.

              2. He’s late locating the ball in the air, but he probably will put up good numbers next season.

              3. To be fair there was a write up on McD that made the same projections from a fantasy point of view and compared him favorably to the others of his draft class. We may judge old Manos de Piedra a bit harshly.

              4. The same things were said about other receivers in the past. Two that played for the 49ers come to mind, and both were acquired in a trade.

              5. Good Ol’ flip floppin’ Cohn…

                So now you’re thinking Vance sticks around and contributes???

                Which out of Bell, Mac, and Celek finish with more receptions?

                How does any of it change if Kap starts over BG?

                Also has anyone seen Brotha Tuna around?

              6. How did I flip flop?

                Mac will finish with the most receptions. He will be the starting H back. Celek will be the starting tight end. Bruce Miller will play some H-back as well.

              7. Which out of Bell, Mac, and Celek finish with more receptions?

                Miller.

              8. I don’t have time to find it but there were plenty of times you bad mouthed the guy. I thought you may even have left him out on a few 53 man predictions. And now he’s “Pretty Good”?

              9. His numbers were pretty good when Gabbert was the quarterback, and Gabbert seems to like him. McDonald will put up numbers on a bad offense.

              10. Grant Cohn on May 25, 2016:

                THE USUAL

                1. TE Vance McDonald. Pulled a Vance McDonald.

              11. “His numbers were pretty good when Gabbert was the quarterback, and Gabbert seems to like him. McDonald will put up numbers on a bad offense.”

                That’s why my other question was how does this change if/when Kap is starting.

                I think Bell takes the H-Back role and doesn’t look back.

              12. Maybe more Miller at H-Back if Kaepernick starts. I think Bell will be at the bottom of the depth chart.

              13. Grant

                Seems like you think Gabbert’s a shoe in? McD catches his passes pretty well, but he fails miserably trying to catch Kap’s missiles.

  8. And I have no idea how you have come up with the idea Balducci will earn a roster spot after seeing him in shorts during 2 OTA practices. Sure, its possible, but you now have him as the front runner ahead of Martin. That can only be based on the fact Balducci is not Martin, ergo he must be better.

    1. Balducci played center in high school, he played under Kelly as a freshman in college and is a better athlete than Martin who is sluggish and weak.

      1. How long has it been since he played centre? Are you telling me after two OTAs you can see Balducci, who hasn’t played centre for a number of years, is going to be better than Martin? C’mon. It may happen, but you are basing this on your thoughts of Martin’s talent level, not Balducci’s.

        1. I know Balducci is strong and athletic. The question is can he handle the technical aspects of the position. Ian Silberman could not last year, which was obvious. Couldn’t even snap the ball. Balducci seems comfortable at center. You can tell he has played the position before.

          1. Balducci, unless blows it up in TC, will be a PS if he shows the potential.

            Martin is a good scheme fit IMO, just needs to get stronger

            1. I don’t think strength is so much of the issue with Martin. Instead, I believe its his balance and technique.

          2. Until you see Balducci try and block someone in anger, you’ll have no idea how strong and athletic he is functionally. He was a NT for a reason, and it wasn’t because of his impressive athleticism.

            Martin can snap the ball too. Balducci being able to snap the ball is hardly an edge for Balducci, unless he is fighting with Silberman for the job.

            “The question is can he handle the technical aspects of the position.” Absolutely right. And you have no idea at this stage whether he can or not. Won’t know until TC/ preseason.

            It is worth keeping in mind that Balducci was so impressive as a HS centre that his current NFL HC decided to play him on the DL. Sure, Chip must have seen something in him as a potential centre for the 49ers to pick him up as an UDFA and switch him back there, but it isn’t for nothing that Chip first decided he’d play him on the DL.

            This really smacks of a flyer they think they could develop in time. Would be highly surprising if he made the 53-man roster, but can definitely see him landing on the PS. In fact, even if they think it is a very close call between Martin and Balducci, I think they keep Martin on the 53 and stash Balducci on the PS as it is also highly unlikely any other team will pick up Balducci if they waive him. Only reason they would keep Balducci on the 53 is if he plays very well in preseason.

            1. It’s not for nothing that Chip Kelly is saying that no one has a position locked down yet and that real evaluations wouldn’t start till training camp. Balducci isn’t a terrific athlete who may be smart and talented but we won’t know how solid an NFL player he is until he gets competition on the other side of the ball.

    2. Balducci is a project they will stash on the PS and keep developing imo. The game is very different once the pads go on.

    1. Of course he did. “Yes Mr. Baalke. I think that’s a fantastic idea Mr. Baalke. You want to use me as a mat Mr. Baalke?” That the yes man philosophy.

      1. Scooter

        You might also consider that the two ‘centers’ at Uof O preceding Balducci were All americans and are now in the NFL, and doing quite nicely….

    1. No he wouldn’t. He can’t beat man coverage anymore, which is why Rodgers had his worst season last year.

      1. Rodgers didn’t have a #1 WR last season due to Nelson’s injury along with Adams and Cobb failing to live up to their hype. It also didn’t help that Lacy chose not to show much interest in realizing his potential. Blaming the season on Jones is an example of ignoring the other problems the Packers offense had in 2015.

        1. Perhaps, but that doesn’t change the fact that Jones can no longer separate from DB’s, and I don’t see JJ as being a very good fit for Kelly’s offense at this stage of his career. The 49ers need to develop youth at WR this season, and, I’d rather have Boldin, if I was forced to choose between the 2.

          https://ninernoise.com/2016/06/01/the-san-francisco-49ers-should-pass-on-free-agent-wide-receiver-james-jones/

          @AlSacco49: “Whether it’s James Jones or Anquan Boldin, doesn’t make sense for rebuilding #49ers to sign vet WR. Have to see what they have in young guys”
          1:29 PM – 1 Jun 2016

          1. The problem with that is there are few WRs with experience on the team. It also doesn’t help that the 49ers have a GM that stinks when it comes to drafting WRs.

    1. Thanks for the post. This partially answers my question regarding Tarrt that I posted a few days ago. I’m not so sure that Tarrt is the “chosen” one to play a hybrid ILB/Safety role as many (including me) have assumed. As Wilson pointed out, Hodges, Armstrong and Wilhoite all have been safeties at one time or another.

      1. What was O’Neil’s scheme like in Cleveland? I will look it up but wondered if anyone knew how he used his ILB’s and what kinds of personnel he used.

          1. Ouch. O’Neil was panned by his defensive players. They also said that he played favorites, without consideration to merits. Some backup players felt like they were not utilized, even when all the veterans went down due to injury.

            Hopefully, he will learn from his mistakes.

            1. Seb what you’re saying is unsubstantiated here say. Its like letting LMJ or Brandon Jacobs define the coaching staff.

              Its brash to say they were mistakes. Back ups who don’t know their own competence often say these things when they haven’t proven they’re good enough to play. This is also hilarious considering how you supported JT who couldn’t even get the best 11 guys on the field.

              These articles are about his scheme. Did you read them? The author points out the drop in play was mostly due to injuries. The other thing that was pointed out is that he mostly played 4-3 with some 3-4 mixed in. Meaning there’s a good chance Tank Carridine will get to play his natural position at times.

              I like his schemes to this point. Lets see how well he coaches his players to perform in them.

              1. Wilson, I did support Tomsula, and think he was the fall guy. I also remember that he yelled -Tempo about a thousand times in practice, so he was trying to improve the game management.

                Alas, he did not survive because he had the JH debacle as a millstone around his neck, so he could not attract decent coaches.

                Tomsula was dealt a poor hand, when 11 out of 22 starters left, AD retired and Aldon imploded. He got a big payday, so he should not be complaining much, but I, as a faithful Niner fan, was appalled at how poorly he was treated. Tomsula became upset and left the team until the leaker was ‘reassigned’. He knew how important it was to support the starting QB, and knew the leaks were hurting the team. Baalke meddled with the line up, and tried to coach. He never should have been insulted by rumors leaking out that he would be fired just before his last game.

                That said, even though I supported Tomsula at that time, How the season played out is what doomed Tomsula. Even I could see that the insistence to keep playing failures just lead to losses, he did not have them prepared, too many unforced errors showed a lack of discipline and his schemes were too predictable. Hyde going down really hurt, Kaep became injured and regressed and the O line was putrid

                While I am skeptical about O’Neil after visiting the Browns website to get various opinions, I am hoping that we will see the 2014 O’Neil, who did well.

                I am just trying to counter balance the giddy optimism with a good dose of reality, but you are correct, it will have to be decided later in the season, if he is competent, or a bust.

              2. Where are you reading giddy optimism about O’Neil? All I have read is that it was a terrible mistake for the 49ers to hire him. He has some pedigree but lets see how he does. Reid and Bethea like him and have said his scheme is better than Mangini’s and easier to play in. So far the players like him. That’s something.

                JT would have been terrible with those 11 players as well. He didn’t fail because of all those excuses. He failed because he was a bad head coach. Yelling tempo sounds good but it takes a lot more than that to be a good head coach. To pull a line you used if he wanted to win why did he leave Devey and Pears in all the time?

            2. Seb the other thing you should take note of is that most of those whiny players got cut or traded from the Browns. As I was looking through what kinds of ILB’s and Safeties he used most of those guys are on other team now. Does that show you what the Brown’s GM thought of them? Not a lot of credibility there. They looked like pro bowlers vs. BG and the 49ers offense though.

  9. After reading this article, I was suddenly left wondering who will back up Staley if he goes down. Wasn’t it Boone last year? It looks like Beadles did play left tackle at Utah. I’m not finding any info on if he played left tackle with Denver or Jax.

    1. Hopefully it will be Brown if he can’t beat out Pears for the RT position.

      1. This is one of the main reasons I wanted the team to keep Boone – his versatility. “Hopefully it will be Brown” doesn’t engender a lot of confidence.

          1. Did you read some of Modkin’s presser today? He said there’s no rhyme or reason to where the players are playing right now. He said
            “you have to line them up somewhere.” He could be the back up LT. I don’t know. I think after TC and preseason all this padless speculation will become clear.

  10. Thx for the personnel updates. Always handy this time of the season. I too am a Rogers and Bryce Treggs fan. It’s been since the Walsh Era since the 49ers could threaten anyone with a special teams touchdown.

  11. I think you’re spot on with all your assessments in this article Grant. Since you’ve gotten up close and personal with the DB’s during practice the last couple years, what can you put your finger on as the reason Acker struggles so bad man to man? He’s got the strength and toughness. Is it his technique? Is it he’s too tight in the hips? A little of both?

    I didn’t see an honorable mentions list either.

  12. I don’t see how Brandon Thomas is not versatile. Sure, he’s a better fit at OG than OT. But he was a better college OT – by far – than Theus or Cooper. If we’re in a jam, I’d rather put him out there than one of those two other guys. And there’s certainly a chance that if he plays well in the offseason we’ll keep him as the starting RG and move the 29-year-old Beadles to the bench. Or off the roster altogether.

    1. Knowing Baalke, Beadles is a lock, like FA Pears was a lock last year. If beadles is cut, the entire 2016 FA acquisitions would pull another disappearing act like 2015.

  13. LeGarrette Blount was a Kelly guy. Kelly traded the shifty and elusive LeSean McCoy for the more downhill style running back in DeMarco Murray (not that it worked to too well). Point is that Kelly likes big guys that can mash to power his based offense.

    1. so if Mike Davis gets cut, it’s not because he’s not a Kelly type of running back, it’s because he isn’t producing.

      1. Agreed,
        Niners Nation has several articles regarding Chip Kelly’s run game. It is a very straight forward run scheme based around the inside zone. He wants his rbs to identify the hole quickly and go. A lot of their struggles last year were because his offensive line was really bad.

  14. I like the cuts except davis and acker,davis may not make it cause of taylor.but harris might get cut.also agree on vmac,hes gonna put up good numbers this year.just got a feeling hes gonna get his hands figured out this year.he also finally got some substantial targets last year unlike early in his career.

  15. at this point in time .. I’m kinda hoping
    Bell-dozer beats out V-Mac …unless
    V-Mac spends some quality time with the
    Juggs machine …and also ..
    Marcus Martin doesn’t inspire much confidence..
    either..

    1. I concur, if vmac doesn’t show significant improvement this preseason and the competition is close, I am all for moving on.

  16. Too early to establish which players are in or out. With the new regime it’s very possible that Kelly will look for the player types that fit his scheme, but to acquire these players may take 2-3 more drafts.

    I said back in the first week after Kelly’ hiring that this team is 3-4 years away from establishing itself as a playoff contender and the players that help put us in this position may not yet be on the team.

    If both Gabbert and Kaep fail to assert themselves we will be looking at drafting a QB with our number 1 pick next year. whether it’s Deshaun Watson or Brad Kaaya – they will need at least a year or two to grasp the nuances of the playbook and NFL defenses.

    What if Hyde goes down again. Then we are looking at perhaps drafting a RB. Leonard Fournette could be a very nice replacement.
    So many questions going into this season given the fact that only a handful of starting positions are locked in.

    This years draft pick may prove to be the veterans that join our future (yet to be drafted) players to that get us back in contention.

    1. 2 QB’s that are somewhat under the radar, but could be enticing to Chip Kelly:

      Luke Falk – If he can improve on his intelligence, I’d put him near the top of my list.

      Josh Dobbs – Played well last year, and I’m eager to see if he can build on that and take his game to the next level.

  17. MWNniner i agree to an extent on Bell and i feel he will get significant snaps this year.i belive celek is injury prone always something.also feel like Vmac was underutilized early in his career and didnt have a chance to develop also if he gets his hands together he is the most physically gifted te we have.

    1. eastcoast ..

      The thing I like about Bell is, the fact that
      he earned his moniker .. playing as
      a QB .. and not as a TE … so ..

      at the risk of sounding like a certain .. u-hh ..
      blowhard who (annoyingly) ..contaminates
      these threads .. I’d love to see Bell used
      in some sort of read-option type of play .. in which
      he lines up on the right … motions left ..
      takes the hand-off from Kaep .. while Kaep
      receives the Bell-dozer pass .. on the way to
      scoring a TD …
      after (nicely) placing Richard Sherman ..
      in the dirt… enroute ..

      Fantasy .. ??

      Yeah, I know … but ..
      at least I realize it as such

            1. Seb ..

              I don’t hate … anyone … but ..
              getting annoyed by someone .. ?

              That’s a horse of a different color .. and ..
              anyone with a modicum of perception ..
              could see that I’m not alone in this
              line of thinking …

              (could that be a hint ? )

              1. If you have noticed, lately, I usually post a few things, then respond to posts directed at me. Posters who ignore me seem to be doing just fine, but ones who engage (in a tag team approach) seem to get bent out of shape over something that they have no control over.

                Get over it. I am posting on this site. Posters who devolve into hurling asides and insults are the ones hurting this site. I will continue to be civil and respectful, but it is also a 2 way street.

          1. No other poster is being accused of being annoying, and bringing up the flea flicker. Snide comments will get a response, especially when my ideas are parroted.

        1. MJ ..

          Time will tell ,, but ..
          if you’re lookin’ for a miracle .. from
          Gabbert … I’d say … that’s a
          much larger fantasy

            1. I thought Balldinger presented a good assessment, was concise and was also balanced. I agree with everything he said.

          1. Here come the haters, 1, 2, 3
            It’s all part of their fantasy
            They hate the tattoos and they hate his Beats by Dre
            Booing from the stands, and dancing on his grave

            It’s all part, of their Blaine Gabbert fantasy
            It’s all part, of their Blaine Gabbert dream….

            1. Maybe they need a safe space where they won’t be offended by any mention of CK?

              Razor what do you think of the amount of hits either QB will take as reported in Kelly’s system? Seems if the reports are true one of them will get hurt and we’ll see the other by the end of the season.

              1. Kaepernick can run all day and not get winded, no matter the weather conditions. He’s also proven to be durable and smart, when he does pull it down. In fact, I would suggest to the room his injuries occurred in the pocket, where it’s supposed to be the safest place on the field for a quarterback. But to your point, we all know Gabbert will not survive a full season running the football. Colin has proven he can….

            2. Razor,

              For me it’s the unsteady mechanics and the lack of mental fortitude. His tattoos are not really an issue (to be honest I don’t like them, but Messi and Vidal have em and I shrug them off on these players). The headphones are not an issue either. His play in the field and his desire to be loved while bristling at criticism is what is suspect. Another player, different sport that has narcissistic tendencies Ronaldo, is among the top 2 in the world but his desire for adulation and his acerbic attitude is always a point of criticism when his play is not up to par. I think the same can be said of K. Brady would be similar, but he wins.

              1. I love it when people decide someone’s narcissistic when they don’t really know them personally. There’s been much discussion on his temperament on the boards. Most decided his response to the media comes from being a strong introvert rather than narcissism. I think listening to the press and receiving criticism from teammates and coaches is totally different. The press guess on what they know.

                By all reports he does well with his coaches input. I think people throw out this so they have more of a reason to not like him. In the end I won’t judge his personality. I don’t care, but he needs to prove it on the field with his play. Here in Denver people were raving about Sanchez’s press conferences and passing camp. We’ve heard that hear with Gabbert sounding great in the media. Games aren’t won in press conferences. Winning on the field is what matters.

          2. So Colin hasn’t been cleared to practice yet…he’s lost probably 20lbs of muscle mass…he hasn’t seen the field since October…and he’s not the long shot miracle?

            1. These are professional athletes they figure this stuff out. Does he need all that muscle? Is his athleticism suddenly going to disappear? Bowman came back after a much more serious injury. Gabbert came back after the same shoulder injury. Its time not miracles.

              1. +1 Razor. All of this speculation is white noise. Empty, hollow words that amount to zero once training camp begins. I, for one, have been looking forward to a real, genuine, training camp QB battle for what seems like decades. I’m counting the days!

  18. 5 starters who are playing their last season as 49ers:

    Glenn Dorsey- Old, oft-injured and in the last year of his contract. He won’t be re-signed.

    Phil Dawson-Old, 9th highest paid K based on avg salary, did I mention he’s old.

    Ahmad Brooks-I’ve been signaling his end for the past 3 seasons now but this is truly it. He’ll barely make the team this year and that’ll have more to do with the quality of his competition then his own skill. Next year the cap savings for cutting him will be 8m, nice knowing ya Ahmad. Actually, no, it hasn’t been.

    Joe Staley- I get this wont be a popular pick but I feel like the team want’s to replace Staley while they can still get something for him. He’ll be 32 in August and even his most ardent supporter can’t deny he isn’t the same player anymore. His contract will keep him on the team through 2016 but they will trade him when the 2017 season year begins.

    Tramaine Brock- I’m almost certainly a year early on this prediction but I’ll throw it out there anyway. Lack of competition has kept Brock a starter on this team. Baalke has been trying to replace him but he’s(TB) so bad at drafting that he keeps coming up short in finding anyone. I think that changes this year. Brock will begin the year as the starter but I see him bench by the end. It’s likely he’ll be retained for another year as depth given his relatively low salary but it’s also possible that if enough of the young talent finally steps up that they just go ahead and severe ties completely and save a few bucks.

    1. Coffee …

      Agree with most of your list .. but
      my sentimental sentiments grate, a little
      at the thought of losing Staley .. and.. say ..

      Who’s older …

      Dawson .. or Janikowski ? (sp ?)

      (just sayin’)

    2. Coffee,

      Agree for the most part with your list though I could see Dawson and Staley given an extra year. If the young corners emerge, I think the writing is on the wall for Brock. I would have put Dorsey on this year’s list but his cap hit is high and his leadership valuable with all the retirements.

    3. CFC,
      Nice list, but I still think that Staley can give us a few more years of value. At this time, Staley may be our only offensive player with pro-bowl potential. I would wait to see if anyone on the OL can emerge this season before entertaining a trade.

  19. My biggest bubble player is Lemonier. Maybe Chip can utilize his talents, but if he cannot get to the QB, he may be gone.

        1. You heard he got passed over by all the NFL teams and is in the CFL or something. Another report had him throwing with the likes of Cook and Goff and it was reported he was by far the worst in foot work and accuracy.

          1. Wilson,

            Good point on the narcissism comment, though I would add that my point was that Ronaldo and he are similar st bristling at criticism. Ronaldo is most certainly a narcissist while I would concede that perhaps Kaepernick may not be, but his actions don’t always give the impression of an introvert.

            1. True, my larger point was that mechanics and mental fortitude seem to be a challenge for Kaepernick. I stick by that larger point on his game mechanics and don’t care whether he is an introvert or a narcissist. He isn’t a sound QB.

              1. Prime example of his mental fortitude was going into enemy territory, where conditions were -10 degrees, and contributing to facilitate a victory during a playoff competition game….

              2. Beating the Patriots in Foxborough is another one. Coming from behind in Atlanta. Throwing a pick in the SB and then rebounding in the second half. Last year he was awful that’s what people remember. Lets see if his confidence rebounds? It might not. People remember how Seattle is in his head. He can improve his mechanics and pocket presence.

            2. On Ronaldo I agree. CK could be I just don’t know for sure. He does a lot of charity work and seems to be a decent teammate. From our discussions here and what I understand about introverts I would say he lines up pretty well there. He’s immature at times, personality is no excuse to get in twitter battles or be gruff when its not needed. He can grow there. None of us really knows him so I won’t die on this hill.

              I also agree that he needs to keep working at his craft to get what he wants. Play on the field is important. People’s last memory was of him on a losing team in a terrible offense playing his worst football ever. He’ll have to over come that.

              On the other hand because of that people are over selling BG’s potential because he was marginally better to the eye test and somehow think he’s going to be the guy. He threw more picks, had more fumbles, took as many or more sacks, was way worse on 3rd down. He did win 1 more game improved scoring a bit and his teammates got behind him. He sounds better on TV.

              I think Chip will improve both these guys in his system. I actually think we’ll see both of them due to an injury or poor performance.

              1. Colin has shown tremendous capacity on the playing field. His win at Foxboro and at Green Bay ere impressive, no doubt. I saw Jeff Garcia, Alex Smith, Carson Palmer, Tim Tebow and others make some impressive wins too and am not about to the transcendent QBs. Something is lacking in CK and possibly our entire current class. Jeff Garcia had at least fire and resolve where he lacked raw skill. He was a competitive dynamo. Sometimes you see flashes in CK but it’s just flashes. I think he is a superior athlete to Russell Wilson and yet RW is a superior player in every way. He lacks the “it” factor.

              2. That’s where Chip Kelly comes in. He’s never had a quarteback like Kaepernick in the NFL, and it’ll be up to him to restore his confidence. If he can do that, all bet’s are off….

  20. ” Alex Balducci and Colin Kelly each botched a snap at center after rotating on the third-string unit.”

    Well there goes Grants predictions right out the window.

      1. Yup Razor that’s true. Plus he has all season long when he gets cut and gets put on the practice squad.

      2. Razor, that’s what I like about you you’re a half/full kind of guy. Let’s hope that Kelly is who we hope he is and not what many thought he was in Philly. I’m not sold, but I like what I’m seeing so far.

        Sobering note, ESPN has the team as underdogs in every contest this season. I suppose that’s good for the bettors, and to be honest I think we have a talented young squad, especially in defense. It may catch a few people by surprise.

        I don’t think the division is quite as strong as people think, and I believe we have improved. Our O line is better, our D is better, our wide receivers are no worse or may actually improve, our tight end situation is more stable VD free. Our QB play is at least similar and may improve under Kelly’s tutelage. A few things we can hang our hats on. Last year things looked dismal.

        1. ESPN does not have the team as underdogs in every game – CG Technology (mislabeled Cantor Technology in the ESPN piece; it used to be Cantor Gaming until the NV Gaming Commission fined them $5.5 million for accepting illegal bets, after which the name changed) has. CG Technology operates several casino sports books in Las Vegas as well as a shiny new mobile app based virtual sports book.

          And as several people have posted here several times, the sports books do not set the initial line based on which team they think will win but rather how they think the action will go (especially on such an early line as they have little information). They appear to believe that the action this early will be against the 49ers and have set the line to reduce the payouts if those bets are winners. If the books unexpectedly have a lot of bets placed for the 49ers, the lines on the games will change to help reduce the payouts should the bets for the 49ers win. None of it is directly correlated to predicting a winner, but rather to how the books pay out less in winnings.

          1. JPN I stand corrected. Even so it is an indication of how little the sports betting community thinks of the team.

    1. Well that’s what happens when you listen to Grants predictions. The guy had never predicted anything right. Just saids off the wall stuff. Hoping to get those clicks. Well his strategy works.

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