The good and not so good from the 49ers’ 2nd open OTA of 2015


Here are highlights from the team drills of Friday’s OTA.


1. Keith Reaser, cornerback, second year. The best cornerback on field, considering starters Tramaine Brock and Shareece Wright didn’t participate. Reaser was the right cornerback for the second-team defense, and he almost intercepted a pass thrown by Blaine Gabbert. Reaser was covering Jerome Simpson, who broke toward the middle of the field. Reaser undercut the route and the pass bounced off his hands.

2. Jerome Simpson, wide receiver, seventh year. Clearly one of the two best wide receivers on the field (along with Torrey Smith), considering Anquan Boldin didn’t show up. Simpson made two terrific catches on Friday. One was a twisting, leaping catch over Antoine Bethea near the sideline, and the other a 60-yard catch over Dontae Johnson.

3. Kendall Hunter, running back, fifth year. Took the first handoff of 11-on-11’s and exploded around the left tackle, picking up 10 yards before a defender got a hand on him. If Hunter is healthy—and he seems healthy—he might be a better running back than Reggie Bush. Bush’s career rushing average is 4.3 yards per carry. Hunter’s career rushing average is 4.6 yards per carry.

4. Blake Bell, tight end, first year. Beat Jaquiski Tartt over the middle for a 15-yard gain. Two plays later, beat Craig Dahl over the middle for another 15-yard gain. Bell has been a tight end for just one year (he used to play quarterback), and already he seems to be a better receiver than former second-round pick Vance McDonald.

5. Garrett Celek, tight end, fourth year. Made the catch of the day – a one-handed running catch 30 yards downfield. Desmond Bishop was covering him. Celek also made a 10-yard catch in front of NaVorro Bowman.


1. Colin Kaepernick, quarterback, fifth year. Threw a few wild passes. Seemed to muscle up and over-stride on a couple of throws over the middle – one to Garrett Celek, one to Quinton Patton – and both passes sailed high. Also threw a deep pass intended for Dres Anderson that landed out of bounds.

2. Dontae Johnson, cornerback, second year. Jerome Simpson outran Johnson down the sideline and made a 60-yard catch. Undrafted-free-agent rookie turned Johnson around and made a 15-yard catch near the sideline, although he may have gotten only one foot in bounds.

3. Quinton Patton, wide receiver, third year. Shut out during team drills. Didn’t make a single catch even though he played with the first-team offense. Smith, Simpson, White, Anderson and Chuck Jacobs each made at least one catch.

    1. “…Reaser was the right cornerback for the second-team defense, and he almost intercepted a pass thrown by Blaine Gabbert…”

      *Who hasn’t ?* .. Beat me to the punch, Coffee ..

      To that, I can only add …
      ALMOST … doesn’t count.. except for
      horse shoes and hand grenades !

      Grant .. who threw those passes to the Bell-Dozer ?

          1. I’m actually not surprised MWN. After all, Bell showed a knack of catching bad or overthrown passes at Oklahoma.

            1. Yeah, I’ve heard that before, MidWest …
              Gotta tell you … I’m excited about this kid ..
              (Bell, of course .. not Gabbert)

    2. Joe Montana won a Super Bowl with Bill Ring (Undrafted-1980) and Lenvill Elliot as Runningbacks… We’ve got a Quarterback who did not throw a 4th quarter touchdown pass last year…Dare I say SuperBowl in our home stadium???…

      Montana had one of his best year’s enabling the 49ers to play the Superbowl in his back yard at Stanford University (1/20/85)…Maybe Kap will do the same this year enabling the 49er fans to enjoy a Home-Field-Advantage Super Bowl!!!

    1. If Simpson plays during the preseason like he played in practice on Friday, he’ll run away with the No.-3-receiver job.
      Once the pads go on and he starts facing defenders that are being physical with him then we’ll see the receiver that has played 5 seasons and has 145 receptions and 8 TD’s.

    2. Still not sold on Simpson. If he can keep up his play and stay out of trouble at the same time, then I might become a believer.

        1. Not so much unfortunately. As I said, he needs to keep up his play and stay out of trouble in order for me to become a believer.

          1. Grant can’t see into his soul or off field life, Mid. I’d be very surprised if he didn’t make the team. He’s been out of trouble for a while now, so may be OK in that regard.

            1. Grant can’t see into his soul or off field life, Mid.

              I know that Brotha and I’m not expecting him to. It’s just that this team has not done so well when it comes to signing troubled WRs.

        2. Grant, who threw that 60-yard pass completion to Simpson? For some reason, you forgot to mention that.

    3. Nice write-up grant.

      I’ve heard a lot of excitement and anticipation about Reaser since we drafted him. I keep hearing that if it wasn’t for the injury he could have went anywhere from the 2nd to 4th round. Does anybody have any reference for those projections. doesn’t seem to agree.

  1. Grant ..

    I hafta take issue with your poll ..

    Picking one diminishes the other ..
    They were both great …

    Now .. had you asked ..

    “..Who was meaner ..? ..”

  2. Bell is the kind of developmental player you want to draft. Someone who is new to the position and still has a lot of unfulfilled upside. Not someone like Vance who has been a receiver his whole career and still has trouble catching the ball.

  3. Still think vMac makes roster with bell to practice squad.I know everyone is low on vmac but in my opinion hard to judge or get better when u have 5 passes thrown ur way all last year.glad to see reader flashing some stuff

    1. Bell would be picked up by another team if the 49ers were dumb enough to make an attempt at putting him on the practice squad.

      1. Also, vMac fans the 49ers having worked with vMac the past five year decided to draft Bell for a reason.

        If Bell makes the team along with VD, Celek, Carrier the likelihood of the 49ers keeping an under performing MacDonald is zilch.

        As to the few passes that have come his way – btw, I have seen him drop certain first downs and significant gains routinely – the player needs to prove he can make a play.

        1. McDonald has only been with the team two years, not five, and he missed half of last season with a back injury, so your view is unsubstantiated.

          You have not seen him drop first downs and significant gains routinely because he has not been targeted routinely.

          I agree players need to prove themselves, but the point with McDonald is he hasn’t been given much of a chance. If you get 7 passes total thrown your way, it’s tough to stand out and prove yourself.

    2. VMac and Bell will both make it. Celek and Carrier will be battling for a 4th TE spot, or get cut altogether. They will likely put Anderson on IR for the year.

  4. Blake Bell, is going to be the surprise of this past draft. QB’s switching positions should not be that big of a deal. Usually QB’s are talented and intelligent athletes and seem to have a type of instinct that can translate to other positions such as WR, TE, RB. He very well could be the H back that has been missing since Walker. Good to see Simpson doing well and Hunter running well. No pads, really no big deal – yet.

  5. Today is Bradley Pinion’s 21st birthday. The 49ers front office has their boiler plate statement at the ready.

    1. What would you suggest they do instead of giving a generic statement? Is it that big of a deal for you that you felt the need to even create a post? What would you have done instead Mr. P.R. Hammer? LOL

  6. Bush’s career rushing average is 4.3 yards per carry. Hunter’s career rushing average is 4.6 yards per carry.
    I’m not defending Reggie Bush but you’re comparing the average of a guy with 3 seasons played to one with 9. I wonder if Bush’s extra 1000 attempts versus Hunter has had any impact on his career average?

    1. If you take the average of the only two seasons that Hunter has participated in all 16 games(and are the two seasons with his most attempts) his average is 4.4 ypc in those two seasons.

  7. Kaepernick]: “Threw a few wild passes. Seemed to muscle up and over-stride on a couple of throws over the middle.”

    Duhh! He is always inaccurate, especially during OTAs. He is smart and quick-thinking reading books, but not on the field. When has this ever changed? What we saw last year is what we saw the year before and what we will be seeing this year and the year after that. To put it simply, Kaepernick sucks! I am counting the days until the 49ers finally bite the bullet and move on from Colin Kaepernick.

  8. Grant,
    Have you been able to get a feel for the new offensive and defensive style? Do they lool improved?

    1. What makes you think anyone can tell you how the “new” offense and defense will look before three or four games into the “real” season?

    1. I wonder if Hayne would make a better Fullback/H-Back. A combination of Delanie Walker, Bruce Miller and Mike Alstot.

      1. How long do you think it would take a beginner in the NFL to learn to be a lead blocker – especially a beginner who’s greatest talent is that he is fast and elusive with good hands?

        1. i dunno, how long did it take a former Defensive End and CUSA Defensive Player of the Year to covert to Fulback?

          1. In that case one kind of hitting replaced another kind of hitting. That’s no where near what you’re suggesting.

      2. I see Blake Bell in the Walker role. I wonder if the new offense will emphasize the H-Back and fullback positions as much.

        I also think the body types and skill sets of TEs vary so much, its really like they play different positions.

        Vernon, McDonald, Celek are in-line tight ends. Carrier, Bell and former 49er Walker are the H-back types… though Bell’s size lets him do well at both if he improves strength.

          1. Of Davis, McDonald, Bell, Carrier, Celek, Anderson… how many of the six will the 49ers keep?

            If the 49ers keep 4, it means a training camp star at least one of CB, WR, DL likely gets the axe.

        1. based on his scouting reports, I think Rory “Bubba” Anderson is the best candidate to be an H-Back.

          Bell is more of a receiving type of TE. More in the mold of Jimmy Graham than Delanie Walker. Carriers also a receiving TE. Not much of a blocker, lead or inline.

          Who knows what the f#% to make of McDonald. He was a receiving TE that had to learn to block. Turns out he can’t be relied on to catch but improved as a blocker.

          Vernon to me has always been a stiff receiver. He used to be able to block inline but hasn’t been a good blocker for a few years now.

          1. I praised the Vance McDonald pick when he was drafted,. I told everyone “He’s huge, benches a whopping 31 reps, is so nimble he lined up in slot most of the time. All he needs to do is get in-line blocking down…”

            and it turns out he’s a good blocker but is stiff running routes and has clanker hands.

            I think putting Vance McDonald in the complex Delany Walker role slowed his development. Its a big leap from Rice to the 2nd most complicated role in the offense His body type screams in-line tight end. Simplify his role as a classic TE and see if his natural athleticism turns into productivity.

            I’m excited about Anderson. At 6’5″ I see him more as a “move” TE or even a situational red zone receiver. I think his tall angular stature might not fit the traps and whams required in the Delany Walker role. With a year of strength training he could develop as a nice in-line blocker.

            1. Its a big leap from Rice to the 2nd most complicated role in the offense[.]

              On that note, Blake Bell’s experience at QB should make him mentally suited to an H-Back/SAK/Walker role.

            2. Luke Willson (McDonald’s back up in college) didn’t have as much trouble jumping from Rice to the NFL.

              the Niners had the perfect blocker/receiver a few years back. of course the Niners cut him in training camp his rookie year. He became such a good blocker for a Super Bowl winner at both lead and inline blocking that he was used as a starting fullback when the starter went down.

              Remember Bear Pascoe? He was also 6’5″

              1. I think about the Luke Wilson vs Vance McDonald thing alot. Frustrating.

                Does Luke Wilson play Delanie Walker’s SAK role or a more traditional in-line TE role?

                My basic notion was the SAK-Walker role required a high understanding of the offense. Like learning two positions at the same time. It also helped not to be too tall. A quick mind and nimble feet really help pick up defenders shooting gaps, whams and traps.

                That’s why I’m advocating putting VMac on the line. Keep him there. Let him bully defenders. Leak him out for a gouge pass once in a while. Use someone else for SAK.

            3. Brodie,

              I don’t think we’ve seen anywhere near enough of Vance McDonald to decide what he’s capable of in the passing game. He had 7 targets before missing half of last season with a back injury. I don’t think there’s anywhere near enough information to draw a conclusion on McDonald because he simply hasn’t been given many chances. He was drafted where he was because he was a receiving weapon in College and a lot better than Luke Wilson. The difference between he and Wilson is opportunity.

              1. “I don’t think we’ve seen anywhere near enough of Vance McDonald to decide what he’s capable of in the passing game.”

                I am with Rocket on this one. I think VMac was playing the part assigned to him. It will be interesting to see if he is in the same role this season.

              2. JPN001, Rocket – I’m glad you are not with me on McDonald. I’m also not with me on McDonald. This makes no sense, but I’d rather make no sense then waste a 2nd round draft pick.

                In all seriousness… I think its both the complexity of the TE position and back injury that have delayed production. TEs can take a while to gel even under ideal conditions. And back injuries are just that. Everything in life seems to come to a stop.

                I hold out hopes this can be a breakout season for VMac. My brother has been ripping me a new one the last two years because I praised him so much when he was drafted.

              3. Brodie,

                The problem is there is little to no patience in developing players anymore. When you look at VMac, he’s played little to no role in the offense other than blocking, so the narrative immediately becomes he’s a bust. Then when you actually look at the opportunities or lack there of, you realize there’s no way to know what he’s capable of because they never throw him the ball. He’s gained this reputation for being stone handed but there’s no way to determine that based on how little he’s been targeted. The one catch he made last year was a 20 yard gain, but he fumbled at the end of it, went on IR not long after and all anyone remembers is the fumble. I remember watching this huge TE running like a much smaller man and thinking “why don’t they throw him the ball more often?” You never want to see a fumble, but for goodness sake he can be a weapon if they actually use him once in awhile. This was a guy who was the #1 receiver during his time in College and often lined up out wide. To say he’s under used would be an understatement.

              4. I don’t think we should be writing off anyone from the 2013 draft class just yet. Only entering their third season now (and for Tank, its really only his second season), and not many of them have really been given much of an opportunity yet. We’ll know a lot more about the 2013 draft class after this season.

              5. Rocket, I remember that play well. VMac caught a short pass and was rumbling through the secondary like a bull in a china shop. In a single play he was demonstrating why he was drafted. I was thinking “this is his breakout play” as he charged down field toward terrified DBs.

                Then as Bill Walsh once wrote… “big fumbles happen at the end of big runs.” I remember Vernon doing the same thing in his early years.

                TEs not named Vernon are under used in the passing game to be sure. So was Bruce Miller

              6. Scooter_McG – If we’re not careful, we might wind up with a pretty talented team.

                Seriously, national media has little idea how much depth the 49ers built up over the last few drafts. They’ll find out soon enough.

              7. Unfortunately, one of my most prominent VMac memories from 2014 was VD batting away a sure touchdown for VMac, and then Vance’s reaction. He knew it was a touchdown. Kap knew it was a touchdown. Only Vernon did not know.

              8. Scooter_McG – If we’re not careful, we might wind up with a pretty talented team.

                Or we could up with a pretty talented team that never realizes that talent. I hate to be the downer here, but that possibility must also be taken into consideration.

              9. Brodie: +1
                VMac has the physical tools to be really effective if used properly, and his drops from his rookie year were almost all contested catches on deep balls; too small a sample size to truly know whether it was bad luck or bad hands. His blocking was good. Now it’s a question of whether he’s fully back from the back injury (same with Vernon, btw) in addition to how good his hands are. Vernon, VMac, Celek and Bell would be nice, with VD likely moving on after this season.

          1. Yes. Easy to forget about Millard. I wonder how fullback oriented the new offense will be.

            The 49ers have become a team with few stars, but very good depth. Some of the players eventually released (or stolen off the Practice Squad during 24 hour waivers) will be close in ability to starters.

            Unless there’s a multiple players for picks trade, cut down day’s going to be the most painful in memory.

    1. There are a few seconds on Simpson. I have viewed him for a while as Baalke’s offseason acquisition of an experienced WR with a first round skill set.

      1. Your first round skill set has been a 2nd round bust so far. I hope WR’s that actually have 1st round skill sets are capable of more then 8 TD’s in 5 years.

        1. beb, your point is well taken, and I’m not arguing with that. But that’s why they could sign him for nothing. It’s another bet on potential, but that’s what any draft pick is. Hopefully it works out.

    1. Sure is, Bar None ..

      I mean… so what if he broke her phone ? ..
      He makes enough money to buy her a new one ..
      complete with all the bells n whistles !!

  9. For those who are down on Kap, think he’s overpaid, not good enough etc., I give you Cam Newton. Inferior numbers to Kap across the board last season, and just signed to a 5 year deal worth over 100 mill and 67 of it in the first 3 years. QB’s get paid in this league even when they don’t win SB’s.

    1. Reminds me of Jamarcus Russel money. rocket ..

      (well, maybe not the amount, of course… but .. you know)

      1. Terrible comparison. What is similar about Cam Newton and Jamarcus Russel? Or the contracts they received?

        1. Well, Grimey ..

          Seemed to me, both Duh-Rai-duhs and the Panthers
          paid big bucks for a QB that wasn’t worth it..

          Don’t get me wrong, though …
          While JaMarcus makes Newton look like
          a future HOF’er … still ..
          neither player is (was) the bucks they got

    2. So if Kaepernick matches his performance from this past season he deserves a $118 million contract, that’s very generous of you Rocket. I have a funny feeling the 49ers front office wont agree. At least I hope not, if Carolina wants to pay elite money to an average QB then let them.

      1. So, brownie … you think Kap is to blame
        for the fact that he had to play with Defenses
        in his face at every snap … and
        for the turnstile performance of
        Jonathon “The Bullied One” Martin attempting
        his best (but failing) to protect his QB ?

        Yeah, I’m near-sighted, too … but, at least
        I could see why Kap got hammered
        for most of those 50-something sacks ..

        1. Most but not all MWN. Some of those sacks were his own fault because he failed to sense the oncoming pressure, panicked too quickly, or tried to run if his first read wasn’t open.

          1. yep .. correct-a-mundo, MidWest ..

            which is why I used the word .. “most”

            But, when you don’t have but two seconds afforded
            to you by the likes of J Martin …
            You don’t have the luxury of locating your second read ..
            (very often)

            I mean… with Martin up front .. seemed to me
            (more often than not) ..
            …it was like a “Chinese Fire Drill” on most every down..
            Kap never looked very comfortable very often

            I’m pretty sure that’s the reason Martin is gone


          What’s interesting in PFF’s pressure charting though, is that Kap didn’t see an outlandish amount of pressure compared to the NFL average. He saw pressure on 34.7 percent of drop backs, and the NFL-average was 33.4 percent. That’s an increase of 6 pressures over the course of the season, based on Kap’s 577 drop backs.

          While Kap saw an average amount of pressure, he performed just slightly below average when pressured based on PFF’s charting.1 But Kap performed even WORSE when he saw no pressure at all.

          1. Forgot to add the bold to this gem of a line;

            But Kap performed even WORSE when he saw no pressure at all.

            1. Tell us all again about how Kaepernicks poor passing was because of the increase in pressure he felt this season?

              1. CFC,
                PFF’ numbers and stats can’t be disputed. But last I looked, every sport has a human element that numbers and stats cannot compute.

                CK was sacked more than any QB in the league. And yes, maybe some of those he created by running away from phantom defensive pressure, but the mental part of the game will never be in-numerated in stats.
                The mental part I allude to?
                How about the QB knowing that his O-line is almost in complete disarray. Or the QB wondering if he will receive the time needed to step-into a pass after taking a sack or two on the previous series.

                How about the QB having to worry if his WR’ will somehow get separation and then make a catch.
                Did PFF take into account that Kaep had at least 7 different O-line combinations or that a rookie was thrown on the field to play an important Center position.
                Maybe PFF noted that CK played with Jonathan Martin in the starting line-up – hmmmm.

                If you want to deny the mental aspect of the game and solely rely on PFF’ mechanical stats that’s fine.
                I still believe that the mental part is one that can’t be overlooked and ignored.

              2. Can’t say this any simpler, if a QB is worrying about any of those things out on the field or while running a play he has no business being out there to begin with.

              3. “PFF’ numbers and stats can’t be disputed.”

                Of course they can. There is a large amount of subjective evaluation that goes into those numbers (just see the footnote in the Niners Nation article if you can’t be bothered looking at the PFF method). Any time subjective analysis is used it is open to dispute.

              4. “Can’t say this any simpler, if a QB is worrying about any of those things out on the field or while running a play he has no business being out there to begin with.”
                ~ CFC

                Apparently Harbaugh (last season), Baalke and Jed York this season beg to differ with your opinion.

                I believe that Baalke and York know that they have a player that has already shown the ability to take this this team into the post season and beyond.
                Too many negative forces played a big part in last years 8-8 record – but if you want to target one player that’s your prerogative.

              5. Doncha know there would be some stat junkie
                over on PFF who could tell you on paper
                what my eyes didn’t see ?

                How can you argue with stats, Coffee ?

                Besides …

                it’s on the internet .. so-o-o …
                itMUST .. be true ..

                right ?

              6. AES, when I said “I can’t say this any simpler” that wasn’t meant to be condescending. I should have worded that differently. Just re-read that and realized it sounded very prickish, my bad.

            2. That’s the area that concerns me the most because some of those sacks and interceptions were avoidable.

        1. Well, Coffee .. I look at it this way ..

          The NFL took in 9.5 BILLION (with a “B”) ..last year …
          (dunno what individual teams pulled in, though..
          but I bet none of them were worried about their next meal)

          Then I look at someone like Jeff Fisher, and I realize
          these guys put their lives on the line .. for entertainment
          purposes .. and wonder what per centage of that
          9.5 BILLION .. (with a “B”) .. each player gets..
          and I bet if you do the math .. its something akin
          to flatulence in a space suit !

          If you wanna compare Cam Newton to Kap ..

          Well … Cam never played in a Super Bowl ..
          and Kap is apparently happy with his contract, anyhoo

      2. They don’t have to give Kap 118 million. He’s signed to a reasonable deal and that’s the point. QB’s get paid whether they win or not as long as they show an ability to play at a certain level.

        What this should enforce to everybody is that Kap was paid his market value or under on the contract he signed a year ago.

    3. That’s more of an argument for why player shouldn’t be paid like that when they haven’t done enough to be worth that much money.

      1. Mid,

        That’s what the market says the position should be paid, and I think Kap especially has done enough to warrant it.when you compare him to QB’s in the same contract status or above.

        1. You missed my point Rocket (probably because of my quick typing on a Qwerty that leads to bad grammar at times). I’m saying no player that is worth that if they haven’t done enough to merit a ridiculous sum of money.

    1. My understanding is its been Williams at NT, TJE at LDE and Dial and RDE. But there are still quite a few guys not participating (Dorsey, Armstead, Dockett), so not sure how much we can discern from who’s playing where right now.

      The interesting things there for me is it would appear TJE is still ahead of Dial in the competition for LDE. Unless they see Dial as competing for the RDE job, and that is why he isn’t at LDE. And Tank isn’t rolling with the 1s at RDE.

      1. Dial’s style of play seems closer to Smith’s than Carradine does so having him at RDE is probably a better scenario.

        1. I think Tank will be brought in on passing downs (i.e., 3rd downs and some 1st/ 2nd downs if they go nickel/ dime). Whether it be from 3 or 4 man fronts I don’t know for sure, but either way I think he’ll come in for those downs, rushing from the right side of the D.

          And I still think Dorsey will end up playing RDE on base downs. But looks like he’ll have competition from Dial for the spot, and who knows what the plan is for Armstead and Dockett at this point.

          1. Dockett is the one I can’t figure out. Why they even signed him is still fairly debatable. A one trick pony pass rusher who’s best days are clearly behind him. Frankly I don’t think it shows a lot of confidence from the office in the defensive ends we have, at least not in the pass rushing department.

            1. Yeah, not sure about that one either. It could be they see him as a candidate to play the LDT on passing downs (assuming they use 4-man fronts again this year in those situations – maybe LDE if they stick with 3-man fronts all the time). He played on the left for the Cards.

              Or it could be they have very little confidence in Tank and want Dockett to take over Justin Smith’s spot on passing downs. Or worst possible scenario they see him as an every down player and don’t trust the young guys on the roster.

            2. I don’t think Dockett’s role is too hard to figure out. He’s a potential challenger to Carradine and a viable mentor as well.

      2. I’ve been doing some searches recently involving roster predictions and when you look at what other people are thinking about our line it’s odd to see just how often TJE is being picked as the LDE starter. I certainly don’t want to get into the validity of it all but I simply find it interesting that locally he’s seen as someone who’s a high chance to not even make the team and outside of the area he’s a viable starter. Wonder which side is more correct.

        1. I think the wildcard in all of this is Carradine. If he is able to win a starting position, then Jerod-Eddie goes bye-bye. If not, then Carradine will either be cut or traded.

          1. One pre-draft analysis on Carradine was less than stellar.

            Here is Pro Football Weekly 2013 Draft Guide report:
            > outstanding size
            > very good second effort production
            > bursts off the ball
            > flashes power
            > outstanding effort and desire
            > very hard worker

            > only a one year starter
            > very tight hipped
            > limited variety of pass-rush moves
            > raw hand use
            > see-and-go reactor
            > durability is a concern

            Although every analysis can be debated, a couple of negative points mentioned here concern me.
            1. His limited variety of pass-rush moves.
            2. His reaction time.

            Carradine will need to improve on these two areas of his game if he is to make a splash this year. The signing of Dockett, OTA playing time for TJE and drafting of Armstead may be a harbinger of things to come for Tank.

            1. Justin Smith didn’t exactly have a wide variety of pass rush moves. The way the 49ers have used their DL the past few years it is more about power and explosion than anything else, which would seem to suit Carradine based on that pre-draft report.

              1. Justin Smith didn’t exactly have a wide variety of pass rush moves.

                No, but he had enough of them and was solid against the run.

              2. How much more variety did he have than what Tank has? What he had was excellent technique, strength, smarts and understanding of his role. Technique and understanding of his role are the main things Tank needs to improve.

              3. Really looking forward to watching Tank this season. He’s looked quite impressive in his limited playing time.

              4. Me too, Jack.

                As Grant points out, his role will probably be mostly in sub-packages, but if he becomes a disruptive guy in the sub-packages that will be an important role he is filling.

              5. How much more variety did he have than what Tank has?

                That really doesn’t matter because of Cowboy’s functional strength. It also doesn’t change the fact that Smith was solid against the run while playing against the run appears to be Tank’s weakness and could very well explain why he’s on the second team defense.

              6. I put Tank in the same category as McDonald. There isn’t enough info to make a conclusion with. The analysis seems to focus on his playing time instead of what he actually does with it. We know he struggled learning all the nuances of the position last year but was playing more as the season ended. I wouldn’t read too much into who is playing where in OTA’s. I think they will emphasize more of a rotation this year, and It will all come down to who performs best when the pads go on.

              7. Mid, I hope you realise you are making an argument out of nothing here. I was only responding to AES’ comment about needing to add to his limited variety of pass rush moves and outlining it really isn’t necessary to have a huge arsenal of moves for the role Tank plays at the 49ers.

                I 100% agree with what you are saying about Justin Smith.

              8. I thought you were comparing Cowboy to Carradine. My apologies if that wasn’t the case.

              9. No, I wasn’t. I was just using Justin Smith as an example of not needing to have a vast array of pass rush moves to play that position for the 49ers. It was specifically in response to AES’ comment about his concerns regarding Tank having a limited repertoire of pass rush moves.

        2. Yeah its quite strange really. I have to admit to not being overly enamoured with TJE – I think he’s a good backup DL (better than Dobbs or Tukuafu ever were) but as a potential starter I remain quite underwhelmed. But maybe he surprises.

        3. TJE was the first off the bench. Dial only got on the field when multiple injuries were incurred on the defensive line. Carradine was lucky to get what time he had due to even more injuries on the line.

          I’m always amazed at how fans (not just 49er fans) view players. There seems to be no room in their reality for middle of the road players: talented backups/marginal starters. journeymen. players have to be super stars, above average/good or have potential if they’re not yet good. The reality is that Dial has only shown some good plays and Tank even less so (yes some flashes but also problems/limitations that probably contributed to their limited opportunities). Meanwhile TJE has been ready to play.

          1. “There seems to be no room in their reality for middle of the road players: talented backups”
            You can get by with a couple of those if the rest of the players are able to elevate the play of the line themselves. Do we have that group?

            1. at this point? no. the Niners don’t really know what they have on the D-line with the possible exception of Williams and Dorsey at Nose.

              But that doesn’t change TJE’s status among the D-linemen. after Dorsey and Williams he has the most game experience. Especially at End.

              So to me it seems that the more questionable (though probably more talented) players like Dial, Carradine, Armstead and Dockett (because he’s coming back from injury) have to prove themselves to move up the depth chart

          2. Every team has middle of the road starters, and guys that are backup calibre players that can start in a pinch. These are valuable players. But don’t mistake not being overly enthused with such a player as a starter as believing the player is rubbish.

            TJE to me is a good backup. He can start in a pinch if injury forces a team’s hand. But he’s not a middle of the road starting quality player, at least not from what I have seen. He’s a below average starter in my opinion.

            WRT to Dial and Carradine, it is obvious the previous coaches thought TJE was ahead of them. That doesn’t mean he’s more talented, just that he was further along, and they believed more capable of carrying out his assignments. Heading into their third season now, you’d like to think Dial and Tank are used to the NFL enough now to have caught up mentally.

  10. I told you and I’m still telling you all.
    The Belldozer is going to be a fantastic pickup. Reminds me of whitten… With a splash of B Jones.
    He’s got hands.. Power, and a knack to make plays. Whether it’s as a dozer in goal line or running patterns and making nice catches. His range is pretty wide and can make a bad throw look easy to catch.
    BOOMER SOONER! #sleeper

    1. I definitely liked what I saw of him on tape MD. Like MWN, I can’t wait to see him get on the field.

    2. Or a presnap shift where Kaep splits out wide and the Dozer ends up behind center.

      OK, that’s probably not going to happen, but I’d love to see it just once in the upcoming season.

      1. Actually I could see that happening. Kaep takes the snap, runs forward a little bit without crossing the LOS, lofts it back to Bell, then takes off running. Bell then can throw it either a big gain or maybe even a TD.

    1. A couple of typos (Carradine instead of Armstead on the cover slide, missing “end” in defensive end on the last slide about Carradine), but nice write up. Going to be fun seeing how these guys look through camp and pre-season.

      1. I missed those, Scooter .. good eye !

        But to be honest .. the only one I really
        read closely, was the slide on The BellDozer … lol

    2. Good write up Grant. What you said about Bell adds a little credence to my theory that McDonald could be on the chopping block.
      Carradine’s not playing on the first team defense is a disappointment considering that he should be beating out his competition. I have said before that I see Dockett’s signing as a possible negative for Carradine, and I’m starting to believe that even more.

      1. Mid,

        They aren’t going to cut McDonald. He’s arguably their best blocking TE, and has only played a season and a half of football here.

        Carradine is only going into his second year of actually playing the position. He showed enough at the end of last season for optimism, and I don’t see the pecking order in OTA’s as a reason to worry about is place on the team going forward. It will be a disappointment if he doesn’t wind up in a regular rotation, but I think he will based on the improvement I saw him make last season.

          1. If I recall correctly, PFF had VMD pretty highly rated in 2014 as a blocking TE – best on the team. I think this is where rocket was going.

            1. That may be so, but it still isn’t enough to justify keeping him. We drafted two TEs (one a natural pass catcher and the other a capable blocker) plus have five others already on the 90 man roster. McDonald is going to have to improve exceptionally in order to keep his roster spot if Bell shows he can block effectively and/or Anderson is able to stay healthy.

    3. Grant, nice piece. Thanks. That’s a disappointment about Carradine, but I’ve always liked Dial. He was a backup at Alabama probably because he was Juco. To play base defense on this team, you have to stop the run, which he does. Plus he’s country strong like Justin and can collapse the pocket. Good for him. I’m not concerned if he evolves into the better all-around player.

      1. I wouldn’t be too worried about Tank just yet George. People seem to forget that 2015 will pretty much be his second NFL season. And yes, I know technically it is his third season as the 49ers (stupidly) activated him in 2013, but he wasn’t able to do much that year other than classroom work.

        Same as Reaser, Acker, Thomas and Millard this year. Technically their second season, but really should be looked at as their first.

        1. Scooter:

          Help me understand why I should be worried at all about Tank, assuming that he’s a good pass rusher that could come in on obvious passing downs. Isn’t one of the mantras on this blog, and in fact, many blogs that “you can’t have enough pass rushers”.

          1. People appear to be worried about Tank because he didn’t play much last year (and not until there was a lot of injuries along the DL), and because he’s started the year in OTAs not playing with the first team unit.

            But as I said, I don’t think there is any cause for worrying just yet. He flashed some ability late last year as Jack mentioned, this season will effectively be only his second season.

            Personally I think people are too concerned with Tank being a like for like replacement for Justin Smith. Its unrealistic to think he’ll be as good as Justin (not many are). And he doesn’t need to be. If all he ever becomes is a good interior pass rusher in nickel he’ll still be a valuable player. A bit like Michael Bennett. And if he does develop into a good every down player then all the better.

            1. Yeah, I remember being impressed with Tank’s play at the end of last season. Something like 3 sacks in two games, if I recall correctly.

            2. “If all he ever becomes is a good interior pass rusher in nickel he’ll still be a valuable player.”

              Re my comment about Dial and Tank above, I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. I think they can both become above-average players for their roles. Because of Dial’s size and other measurables, he might become a better all-around player, which would say quite a bit about his value to the defense but would not disparage Tank’s value to the team.

    4. Grant,

      I think you accidentally wrote Carradine instead of Armstead in the last sentence of the paragraph near the bottom of the opening page.

    5. nice observations and analysis about Bell. Good to hear that he can get himself open and can catch.

      nice little comment about up right runners and zone blocking. If memory serves me, I think Terrell Davis was a bit of an upright runner too. I wonder if Hayne might be a better Fullback/H-Back type; a Tom Rathman or Mike Alstot type.

      1. Robert Smith carved out a very nice career for himself, and he was one of the most upright runners I’ve ever seen. Similar height to Hayne too, though Hayne is bigger.

        Larry Johnson was often referred to as having an upright running style too, though not as pronounced as Smith’s. Another tall RB.

  11. So you’re telling me Robert Smith’s black eye make up was really football eye black? Who knew! And he Troy Polamalu hair (just uncombed) before Troy was even born!

    1. Ha!

      Funny thing, the Vikings Robert Smith quit football to become a doctor… I gues he’s part of the Cure too now!

  12. Ahhhhh, I see The Vouce of Doom is back with links he’s posted several times previously. Anything negative is worth repeating over and over and over…………….

  13. Hey Scooter-
    Look on-line for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilborn on the Comedy Channel. The backdrop behind him on his set is a world wall map, but in an unexplained bit of antipodean fair play, it displays with South at the top. Oz-trailia hangs above his left shoulder. Since humor can be culturally influenced and is always personal I don’t know if you’ll find him funny. It happens that I do.

    1. Frankie wont be seeing that many 8 man boxes with Lucky’poo behind center. Wouldn’t surprise me if Gore has one of the better seasons of his career this year.

      1. Their line grades out better then Seattle’s in run blocking(-7.7 vs -25.4) and Lynch seemed to do Ok. The lack of production from the Colts run game was about the personnel in the running back group not the offensive line.

        1. The Colts running game will be much improved with Gore. Trent Richardson proved himself to be every bit the dog that people said he was when they made that trade.

          1. Sure, Frank got yards when the Niners’ OL didn’t block, he’ll get yards when the Colts don’t block also, and yes,he won’t be looking at 8Box as much.

            1. Frank is a good runner still. But he needs to get 20-25 carries to get going. Colts throw a lot. If Gore does not get the touches he deserves in his mind he will complain… This is Luck’s team. Gore was the Niners team.Thats a big difference. I’m predicting Frank does not reach 1000 yards this year.

              1. How exactly did you come to the conclusion that he needs 20-25 carries to get going? By the time Gore reached 20 (if even that many) the game will be all but over. And I’d be worried if he didn’t complain if he didn’t get enough carries.

          2. I’m surprised that when you see the list of top NFL busts that Richardson hasn’t made his way either on it or close to the top. He duped TWO teams out of first round draft picks. How many busts can say that?

              1. ” how exactly did Richardson dupe the lambs who selected him?”
                Try again.

                Selected in the first round of 2012 by the Browns and then traded to the Colts for their 2014 first round pick.

              2. Again, who and how did Richardson dupe anyone? It actually doesn’t make any difference who the player is. Why would you use the word dupe? Get it?

              3. I can’t tell if you’re intentionally being obtuse or honestly don’t understand the word usage because the context and meaning shouldn’t need explaining if you understand the meaning of the word.

          1. Gore used to be a work horse type a back. Got those tough yards as the game went further and further. He has never been the type of back that would thrive getting 10-15 carries a game. With the Colts they want him as a player that gets Max 15 carries a game. They also have Herron and Ballard coming back from an injury. I love Frank Gore. He is an all time great. In my opinion his best days are behind him. IF Hyde can stay healthy he will out produce Frank by a lot. Everyone is on the Colts nuts but I think there getting over hyped big time.

            1. He has never been the type of back that would thrive getting 10-15 carries a game.

              Gore’s career average in CPG is 16.5. His highest yearly average was 19.5 during his NFL sophomore year. His next highest was 18.5 during the year of the Singletary coaching era. Every other year (excluding his rookie year) saw Gore’s average number of carries within the 16-18 range.

        2. Best year was 312 attempts for 1695 which was good for 5.4 yards per carry.
          Next best was 258 attempts for 1214 which was good for 4.7 yards per carry.

          I don’t see him getting close to those numbers. I think it’ll be more in the neighborhood of 220 or so carries for around 900 yards….

  14. On Rotoworld (Matt Barrrows Twitter):

    “First-round DE Arik Armstead will miss 49ers OTAs and minicamp because he’s still in school.
    It was initially believed he’d be able to make June 9-11 minicamp, but Armstead said Wednesday he’s not permitted to join the 49ers until June 12. Missing all of OTAs and minicamp will put Armstead well behind the eight ball. He’s already an extremely raw project. Year-one production seems unlikely.”

    1. Similar defensive schemes with different nomenclature. He’s in the playbook learning and working daily. We’ll see how raw plutonium reacts in 9 days….

      1. Maybe he’ll get some game reps off the bench by mid season. If so he’ll have fresh legs to help out. Missing June camp will definitely delay his readiness, but I disagree that it wastes the entire season.

    1. Good stuff Grant. Another thing on those throws to the outside, the WR needs to get separation because the ball is in the air longer. That’s something they struggled to do.

      1. also, many QBs are taught to “read the square” post snap. and I’m guessing it may have been taught to Kaepernick by Harbaugh (who probably learned it from Lindy Infante..who originated reading the square).

        The most important area for determining secondary coverages is the middle of the field about 15 to 25 yards deep and about 2 yards inside of each hash. We call this area the “square”.

        We normally read the “square” in our drop back passing game. Reading the “square” becomes necessary when it is impossible to determine what the coverage they are in before the snap or to make sure of secondary coverage after the snap.

        Determining the pass coverage by reading the square

        So if that’s where Kaep’s eyes are post snap, it stands to reason he’s going to look their for many of his passes initially. If he reads Cover 2 he attacks between the safeties. If he reads cover 3 he may attack the seam. man coverage, maybe a crossing route?

        1. Old concept that still applies. That may impact the number of throws to an area of the field but not the results so much.

          1. more throws to that area of the field…I’d assume equals more completions to that area of the field. that and throws to the middle of the field are generally considered easier than throws outside the numbers.

    2. A possible explanation regarding Kaepernicks third down proficiency is that it’s related to the OC’s play calling either on third or third and long situations that led to the QB’s greater success. OC’s generally don’t call money plays on first and second down, they’re generally calling 4-6 yard plays on the first couple of downs. Maybe the plays Roman called on third and long or third down in general better suited Kaep’s ‘skill set’.

      I’m also curious, where does Kaepernicks 8.4 avg and 90.5 rating on third down fall with the other starters in the league?

    3. “He’s actually more accurate on the run than he is with his feet set in the pocket, and the numbers bear that out. Amazing.”

      Not sure I’d use amazing; scary, disturbing, alarming, worrisome but amazing? Maybe if it’s about how it’s amazing that…oh never mind.

      1. when Kaep runs and throws, he can wait to see the receiver get open. that is much different than operating within the play and anticipating when and if the receiver gets open vs. the coverage. it takes a certain level of trust and confidence in your teammates, the offensive system and your own ability to execute. If the QB doesn’t have that trust and confidence it can screw up his timing with his footwork and other mechanics and lead to inaccurate throws.

        1. “when Kaep runs and throws, he can wait to see the receiver get open”

          Makes sense but at the same time he will usually be cutting down on the amount of field he has to work with. But the strength of his arm requires that DBs still respect his ability to throw a deep pass to the other side of the field like he did in one of the games at the end of last year (maybe somebody can recall that game; I think it was a 60 or 70 yard throw on the hypotenuse). But he can’t make that kind of deep throw on the run, can he. He had to stop and set his feet and then heave it.

        1. Explains their ratings, but not how they came up with the depth chart. They do however ask people to post a comment where it is believed they have made mistakes on the depth chart, so I think they acknowledge it is just their guess.

    1. They’ve got the two rooks on the right OL reversed by position. They show Curtis Martin still on the team. VD’s average TE?
      Hyde is average RB? Not enough info on Celek? Maybe , due to injury recovery, but overall not a trustworthy source with those other errors. Are they sure they know who is slot and who is WO?
      A bit skeptical.

    2. Yeah pretty interesting…. Dockett average huh? VD had a below avg to poor season but should be at least “good”. I’ll take Hyde as avg for now, but almost not enough info on him at this point.

      Reid is also questionable. Wilhoite is borderline average, but I think he’ll see a lot of improvement moving back to his original role.

    3. I’m surprised a bit to see Kilgore at center. Not that he isn’t possibly the better option it just seems unlikely that the 49ers have any thought outside of Martin at center, at least to begin the season.

    1. Great to hear he’ll be going back there in July to keep working on it. He needs to keep on practicing the new throwing motion every chance he gets.

      1. Not surprised given his reputation for work ethic, and perhaps an indicator the coaches liked what they saw….

    2. “It’s also helped his accuracy. Gile said Kaepernick made the biggest gains with his deep passes.”

      That’s huge. Much has been discussed about improving Colin’s short touch passing. Long passing is vital too.

      Look what Wilson does with his scramble bombs. Its a big chunk of Seattle’s offense. If Colin can replicate that and develop long accuracy in the offense will be scary.

  15. This is going to be an interesting season to watch for me. At this point pretty much all of the players that I admired and enjoyed watching are for the most part gone now. I’m not saying that there aren’t any good or even one or two possibly great players on the team but they aren’t the ones that I identified as my “favorites.” The only exception would probably be Staley. The new players that I’m interested in are either buried on the depth chart or on the pup and probably wont play until next year.

    Is it too soon to call for bringing back Frank Gore?

    1. Always sad when favourite players move on, but I also like the opportunity to find new players to really like and cheer for.

    1. Nice link B2W, thanks.

      A quick summary:

      1. The national media is making a big deal out of the loss of Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, and Frank Gore. The 49ers roster is actually pretty good despite the national narrative. He didn’t want to go out on a limb and predict 12-4 because he’s not a swami type, but he sees the talent on the roster. He said this is not a situation where you see the players practicing and think, “ok, it’s going to be a couple of years before they’re good again.”

      2. Cosell was in SF for 3 days to film a segment for NFL films on Tomsula and got to watch practice.

      1. Totally agree. He also praised the experience of the coaching staff.

        The 49ers biggest potential obstacles aren’t net player talent. The challenges this year are…
        – Colin’s development (or lack thereof)
        – The difficulty of schedule and division
        – Inevitable complications installing a new system under new coaches

        Other items national (east coast) media fails to note…

        – The 49ers aren’t replacing the 2011 versions of Gore, Justin, Iupati, Crabtree. They’re replacing the 2014 versions of those players. A much smaller mountain to climb.

        – The 49ers had 12 players on IR last year and still went 8-8. They are well prepared for turnover.

        – The 49ers drafted two cornerbacks and a converted safety in 2014. All three to play at cornerback.

        – They have been preparing for Justin Smith’s departure since 2011.

        1. I hope the media keeps hating on the 49ers. It could have a few positive impacts for this team:

          – Create an “us against the world” mentality for the players and coaches, with the team looking to prove everyone wrong. Could end up making the team bond closer than they otherwise would, and work harder for each other.
          – Potentially make other teams complacent against the 49ers. Even if only one team comes into a contest slightly over confident due to the national media writing off the 49ers, I’d see that as a positive.

          1. Teams take other teams lightly, even when they say they don’t. How many times have we heard players say about their next opponent…
            – “they are better than their record”
            – “this is the NFL. All teams are talented”
            – “any given Sunday so you have to be careful”
            – “we are not looking forward to next week vs [rival team name]. Sunday’s game is all we think about.”

            only to come out flat.

            In a 16 game marathon of a season, teams aren’t equally focused for all 16 games. NFL chatter (no matter how unqualified) does affect readiness.

          2. – Create an “us against the world” mentality for the players and coaches, with the team looking to prove everyone wrong.

            When have the 49ers ever NOT had that mentality during the good times? And I’m referring to the dynasty years up to now.

            1. Maybe a “siege mentality” is closer to what I mean. Lets face it, when times are good and people are singing your praises, its hard to feel like you need to prove people wrong… :-)

              1. True. I just know the media usually ignores us even when we are on a roll and tends to go for the hot commodity. A good example is when the Dolphins were favored to beat us in the Super Bowl.

              2. I think the 49ers encouraged a “siege mentality” since the days of Bill Walsh.

                Its gone a little haywire the last 10 or so years. Even the most innocuous question from friendly local press gets the cold glare. I remember when the KPIX 49er insider was ripped a new one because Singletary misunderstood a supportive question as a personal attack.

                Most teams coaching staffs are more open about whats going on with their team.

                Siege mentalities where local press and fans are inside the castle = winning. Siege mentalities where local press and fans seem to be outside the castle are counter productive, dampening fan enthusiasm.

    1. Grant, nice write up. The 49ers are so secretive about injury status, its hard to tell how deep the corner position is. Barrows even joked today in his chat about avoiding asking Baalke how Ward’s foot is doing.

      Last year I would have suggested that with the 49ers safety oriented system, the corners didn’t have to be super talented. As long as they were disciplined coverages worked.

      But Mangini sounds more like a gambler who will put corners on an island more frequently. And the corners don’t have the luxury of Willis/Bowman taking care of TEs so they can concentrate on WRs alone. We need healthy, talented corners this year.

      Depending on how things time out, minor tweaked body parts might be good for managing roster math. I have a sinking feeling at least 4 cut 49ers will see snaps on other teams this year.

    2. I don’t see a huge hole in the middle of the defense even without Bowman. Wheeler is an adequate strong side inside linebacker and Wilhoite must have the confidence of the coaches otherwise you’d have to believe that they would have either drafted someone or signed Lance Briggs by now.

      1. They also have Desmond Bishop, who was a starter for the Packers and had over 100 tackles in both 2010 and 2011.

    3. “February 23rd, 2015 at 8:46 pm Grant Cohn
      Most of us agree wide receiver is the 49ers’ biggest need this offseason.
      Grant Cohn June 4, 2015 at 7:15 pm

      “If not, the 49ers will have one of the worst groups of corners in the NFL. The Niners didn’t do nearly enough to address their biggest weakness.

      Gonna try and say that there’s a big difference between their biggest need and their biggest weakness? Oh I’m sure at least one of the sycophants will jump in and try and make that case.

      1. Well, without wanting to be termed a sycophant, I imagine the signing of Torrey Smith and Jerome Simpson do need to be taken into account… Grant’s comment on Feb 23rd was prior to free agency.

        1. My bad, I just re-read your comment in context of Grant’s BR article. Yep, looks like he’s changed his mind on what the team’s biggest need/ weakness was in the off-season.

    4. One weakness you didn’t address was the play calling. Although I always put execution above scheme I never felt like Roman was either utilizing the strengths of the players or getting the most from them. Vernon Davis not being used more in the passing game specifically as a vertical threat is mind boggling. Now maybe it’s because he’s terrible at it and everyone in the organization is aware of this but on the outside it’s not so obvious. He’s always had questionable hands but what’s not questionable is how few attempts are made to see if he’ll drop another one or not. Why didn’t we run more screen plays? Why didn’t he roll Colin out of the pocket more often? Did he even have a money pass play to call on first down when the team is at their own 40 yard line?

      There could be very good answers to these questions that involve a simple lack of quality players to execute the plays mentioned above but I don’t think that covers all of it and Roman certainly can’t be left off the hook simply because the QB is mediocre. :)

    1. MidWest ..
      ya beat me to the punch !

      I found the story .. over here ..
      and was gonna attempt some witty preface to the post ..

      but …

      I don’t think I coulda topped your “WTF?” …

      (kinda sez it all, doesn’t it ?)

      1. My question (besides WTF) is what do they do with the fine money. Give it to charity?
        ‘Congratulations! We raised enough money thanks in part to Von Miller breaking wind one too many times! In essence: GAS MONEY!’

        1. Oh, that’s good, Grimey and MidWest …

          I love this time in the off season… a story
          like this pops up… and it’s open season
          on the jokes …

          Leave it to those folks up there in the Mile High
          to sniff out a good story, huh ?

          1. What are the odds Von Miller has caught
            a rookie or two on the old ..
            “Hey man.. pull my finger ..!” … line ?

        2. My question (besides WTF) is what do they do with the fine money. Give it to charity?

          “According to the NFL, all money collected from fines goes to charitable causes, including supporting its retired players.”

    1. Winning the first one was big. The Cavs are in trouble. Lebron went off, T. Thompson killed the Dubs on the glass and Kyrie scored 23. None of that was enough.

  16. The Warrior’s, came out jittery, didn’t play their best, took Cleveland’s best shot (I think), and still managed a win.

  17. My sister-in-law is in town from Seattle and she’s spent a lot of time being “gracious” about the 49ers. As in, how hard it must be to have no coach, m m
    C q

  18. , how awful it must be to have a roster decimated by FA defections and retirements, etc. she went on to say how hard it is in Seahawks fans to, because, now that harbaugh is gone, Tomsula is such s bumbling fool and the roster is so depleted, that it won’t even be fun to beat the 49ers anymore. Hearing this would’ve been irritating enough to hear if she was busting my chops, but she wasn’t. She really thought she was just stating how things are and commiserating with me over those facts. Yankee fans, Laker fans, cowboy fans, and now, Seattle Seahawks fans: most arrogant fans in the world.

    1. It’s the narrative out of the national media also. If the fellas don’t like it , they’ll have to do something about that between the lines. It makes no difference what we think or say thru TC, the Niners have to change perception with wins.
      I’ve found that about a third of Seahawks fans’ remarks I’ve seen, and three quarters of the Seattle players and coaches remarks suggest that they do not buy into the “Niners are toast, Tomsula’s a fool” theme. Pete Carroll looked incredulous when someone asked him if SF was yesterday’s news.
      But heck, turn that on the Bay Area fans reactions; at least a third seem to agree that JimT is a dope and that the team is phuqued.
      I don’t. It’s easier to forgive East Coast Bias and fans from other teams ignorance than the continued petulance of ‘Faithful.’
      So let them feel sorry for us and look down their noses. When the team rises up and whacks another team in the mouth we can say: ‘How you like me now?’

      1. BT,

        Yep, the only thing that really matters is what happens on the field. And if good happens on the field for the 49ers this year, you’re right, it will be even sweeter (I’m looking at you, national media, 2/3 of Seattle fans and Rocket – smiley emoji here).

      2. BT and Ex-Golfer:

        Interesting. I’d say the perception among Seahawks fans I encounter is more like 10% who don’t buy the “49ers suck” narrative. The 49er fanbase is about 60% who don’t buy it (and growing) as folks start to let Harbaugh go in their minds and look at what is actually here.

        Talking to fans of other teams is very illuminating. My experience is completely anecdotal but darn near 100% of non NFC West fans buy the national story line and tell me we’re terrible, we’ve lost so much and it’s really a very sympathetic situation. It really goes to show you how the major networks and “analysts” shape national fan opinion and how clueless it can sometimes be.

        1. It’s getting to the point where we really should hope for widespread national predictions of 6-10 or less and a top 10 draft pick in 2016. Take us completely off the radar screen please.

    1. I remember that was a concern of some on here pre-draft. Memories of Mr. Crabs’ problems. Since that was a pre-draft medical issue I had no opinion on it and left it to the team’s; but buyer beware.

    2. It’s too early to slap the Crabtree label on Parker. If he keeps having injuries, then it will be warranted.

      1. Rapoport via NFL website: “…the receiver is expected to begin training camp on the PUP list, but the focus is on the 2015 opener and indications are he’ll be ready when games count in September.”

        1. Also saying it was a precautionary move and that if it had been in-season he’d have been right to play.

          I knew this story would get some people’s attention, but really its a non-story at the moment. Sounds like its more of a clean up surgery. Not surprising given he came back fairly quickly from his previous foot injury – he likely didn’t let it heal fully.

          As Mid said, if he continues to have foot problems that prevent him from playing, then it will be a valid issue.

  19. Spoiler alert: non-football issue.
    ESPN has a blurb on the Bronco’s owner’s son being arrested for a domestic violence incident. Fortunately no serious injury, a shove and took away a cell phone mid-911 call, but totally inappropriate behavior regardless if the accusations are true.
    Here’s the thing for me; this arrogant, self- entitled punk thought he was above it all.
    He claimed to be the owner of the Broncos.
    He name dropped his daddy’s big shot lawyer as soon as the cops arrived.
    He denied doing anything wrong even while the gal was screaming behind him.
    She claimed he was high on alcohol and nitrous oxide ‘Whippettes’.
    I disdain anyone who’d push around a woman. But I also detest spoiled rich brats who think they’re above repercussions due to family connections. This punk works in the FO, so he’ll be subject to NFL sanctions as well as criminal. Elway’s son got arrested for A&B previously, and two FO execs got DUIs.

    1. “As the world (of football) turns”
      When will athletes, owners, and rich brats realize that they only have their significance because of the average fan who is willing to dole out money to support their product?

      If it wasn’t for my old 49ers legends like Montana, Rice, Lott, Steve Young, Bryant Young, and dating back to the days of John Brodie, Jimmy Johnson, Kermit Alexander, and Ken Willard, my taste for the sport would have soured over the last few years.

      Let’s see if young Jed York keeps his word of winning with class regarding the current roster.

  20. Was the Justin – Aldon sack connection exaggerated?

    We know how Justin Smith helped Aldon Smith’s sack totals. Those T and E stunts were a work of art. But the narrative that Aldon’s totally dependent on Justin for sacks seems a bit overblown.

    The narrative comes from the 2012 New England game. Justin got hurt, and Aldon didn’t have any more sacks for the rest of the season.

    What’s overlooked is that Aldon badly injured his shoulder in that very same game. Both players rely heavily on hand-punch techniques. They had to play the rest of the season virtually one armed.

    Justin will be missed, but as one door closes another opens. Carradine and Docket can really hit the gaps. This will distract OTs to no end, and in many cases flush quarterbacks right into Aldon’s 80″ reach.

    I can’t wait.

    1. Aldon did appear to see more double teams once Justin wasn’t as dominant as previous. I think that is a valid reason for saying Justin was an important component in Aldon’s production. Its up to other guys to step up now and take some of the pressure off Aldon.

    1. Another shocker, though this gives some credence to those that said Davis didn’t appear too keen to come back after his concussion last season. Big blow for the team, but if he wasn’t all in it is for the best for both Davis and the 49ers. I wish him well.

      Welcome Trenton Brown.

        1. Indeed. Otherwise its Erik Pears…

          Unless of course they now bite the bullet and shift Boone to RT, where he’s clearly wanting to play anyway.

          I wonder if the 49ers were aware Davis was considering taking a year or two off/ retiring? A bit rough to wait until after FA and the draft to make this decision if he hadn’t even given any kind of warning he was considering it.

              1. I was a huge Boone fan but have since become quite disappointed in him. Would the 49ers consider offering him a new RT contract? Dunnno. The more weight Brown loses, the quicker his feet. I’d like to see him win the job….

      1. I hear ya’ Jack…

        now I truly understand the statement “hoping for the best, preparing for the worse” that fits perfectly with the theme of this offseason.

        Scoot, what do they lose if they move Boone to RT as far as talent and skill?

        1. I’ve not seen a lot of Boone at RT, so not sure how he’d go. At first blush Boone seems more mobile than Davis, so he may be a better fit at RT for a ZBS. But he’d want to get his behind into camp to learn the system.

          The 49ers would appear to have a few options with Martin, Silberman, Brown and Pears as the key backups prior to Davis’ retirement.

      2. That’s pretty much all we can do, laugh about it!

        If the 49ers are indeed going to a zone blocking scheme, an argument can be made that Davis may not have been best suited to the system anyway. Yes, trying to find a small positive somewhere in this…

        1. Wow. Well I guess maybe AD had some lingering symptoms that concerned him. His exit statement makes me think he’s at peace with his risk/reward decision.
          Good luck, AD.
          Damn, Baalke’s getting tested!

    2. Wow…. And we thought the national media was making a big deal before about our losses….just wow. Man this off-season has been one surprise after another; I thought last year’s was bad with all the arrests. Man it’s a tough year to be a Niner fan. This has to be unprecedented.

      That being said now what, do they possibly consider Thomas a RT, maybe Boone. That would leave an open OG spot. We could slide over Boone and plug Martin in at RG.

      Great way to start the weekend…. Can’t wait to hear Grant’s thoughts

      1. Thomas at RT could work. Marcus martin at LG. Its still a solid line.

        Its one thing to replace guards. Its a wholenuther thing to replace 25 year old talented RTs with many years remaining on their contract.

        My heads still spinning.

        1. Yeah I like BT at RT but we really need someone who can pull at LG, At least we did in our old scheme, could be completely different in the zone scheme.

          Baalke has taken a lot of heat over the years, some warranted some not, but his Thomas and Martin draft picks look like sheer genius now. Not saying we’re not screwed, but we have a little hope at least. I just hope Thomas is ready to go mentally and physically from day one.

          Barring any injuries on that line we still have a potentially average to above average line.

          Just wow

          1. I saw Marcus Martin pull nicely from the center spot at USC. Remember how Randy Cross used to do that? I think Martin should be able to pull from LG just fine.

            I think there will be less pulling with guards wandering around the 2nd level looking for someone to block… but there will still be some pulling.

            The difference might be (O-line experts help me here) that if the pulling guard doesn’t see anyone to block in his gap, he’ll double one of the linemen on the play side instead of wandering around in space.

    3. I’m stunned. Maybe its time to extend Boone and move him outside. Maybe not. I’m trying to wrap my head wound this.

  21. All I have done this off season long is tell people that we will be fine with these other retirements cause we have replacements. This offense is not close to being the same without A Davis. This is the biggest blow to date. I don’t think we recover quickly from this. This off season has been a Nightmare. Sad to say that Niner fans don’t deserve this but Jed York just might. We are in Trouble!

    1. A huge blow. The running game totally came to life when AD returned late last season.

      He’ only 25. Many years remained on his contract. This is a blow. Makes a huge dent in my expectations.

  22. I’ve been “Mr. 11-5” this whole offseason. I’m going to start taking these retirements personally.

  23. Gotta assume they will be looking at veteran free agents …….. I would certainly look to extend Boone at this point as last season proved they needed continuity. Unless they are truly smitten w Brown, but I can’t see that being the case already.

    1. Anthony Davis really stuck it to the 49ers and their fans with this unbelievably poorly timed “retirement”. What an AHole! He waits until AFTER FA and the draft and then decides to heal his mind and body? This is the straw that beaks the camel’s back I’m afraid. I’ve been cautiously optimistic on the team’s chances until now but knowing how poorly our offense and ground game was without Davis on the Oline versus when he was in there, I think it’s pretty hard to still see a silver lining now. This really has been an epic downer of an offseason to say the least. Un -freaking-believable! It’s almost comical now. If I didn’t care so much about the Niners I would laugh, but now I just want to cry. Lol. Wow…

      1. It may help if you don’t blame the guy with a concussion who took longer than you would prefer to make a major choice about his life. Also you don’t know what the 49ers knew or when they knew it.

  24. Verifies Grant’s reporting A.D. had long term injury concerns. I just thought it was a bad season. Only 25 years old. Wow.

  25. Anthony Davis ✔@BamDavis_
    I’ll be back in a year or so.. I’ll be 26 or 27 years old. Im taking this time to allow my Brain and Body time to heal and recoup.
    2:19 PM – 5 Jun 2015

    1. This move is an official “f-you” to Jed York and the dysfunction he has spawned. Davis will retire from this mess of a team and come back next year and play for another team.

      1. He can’t Nick. Niners have his rights. I’m not 100% sure of how long, but I think it is through his current contract, which is 2019.

        1. The only way a player can get out of their contract is to fulfill it. If a team doesn’t release a retired player, they own the rights indefinitely.

  26. I wish the best for Anthony Davis. I’ll miss his play and his entertaining tweets. Hope his long term health is OK.

  27. Fucillo over at Niners Nation is saying that the 49ers have the rights to Davis if he returns. It’s unclear how long that time period is, but he is currently signed through 2019, so that might be the date.

    This has been the offseason from hell. All I can say at this point is – “it’s a good thing I don’t have a weak heart.”

    1. Boone will have the upper hand and all the leverage now. I can see him missing all of camp again and then still getting a raise, just to return all rusty and out of football shape and suck for the first 6 games again…

  28. This is unreal. What an offseason. It’s hard to be optimistic about this season. Maybe we will have a bad ass rookie punter………smh

  29. So, I haven’t been paying close attention to who hasn’t shown up for OTAs. Is there anyone else, who hasn’t shown up yet, that we should be concerned about retiring???

    1. Breaking news: Baalke and Jed retire from the 49ers.

      Yeah, I know – wishful thinking on my part. What a joyful day that will be, though.

      1. It’s reported that John York is going to run the team as President/GM until this mess is straightened out.

  30. Each of the guys that has retired this year had fair reasons for their retirement. Long term health is nothing to scoff at. However, it does seem strange that it is the 49ers that have had two young guys with promising futures retire due to concussion concerns. Makes you wonder if there are other factors at play.

    And I’m not trying to lend any credence to some conspiracy theory over the players not being happy with ownership or anything like that. Makes little sense to retire and give up millions of dollars rather than push hard for a trade, if it was ownership/ management you were unhappy with. But it does make me think these guys may have lost some of their passion for the game…

      1. Also taking extra risks for a chance to win the big prize, makes less sense as the chance to win big diminishes.

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