Harbaugh: “I’m sure there were high fives at different grills across the country when that onside kick sneaked through there.”

Here is a transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Tuesday press conference courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.

 

So, what was last night like after the game? How long did it take you to kind of come down from that emotional win?

“Happy. Happy. Great thrill of winning. Wonderful feeling of victory. I was, and still am, happier than a pig in slop.”

 

How did you guys come out of the game health-wise? Did you have anybody of note get hurt?

“I think pretty good. It was a physical game though.”

 

Is CB Tarell Brown OK?

“Yes. I believe so. He got hit in the ribs again.”

 

You guys wrapped up a playoff spot, it’s Christmas week, you’re on the road. How do you motivate the team this week? What’s your message to your guys when they come back into the building on Thursday?

“I don’t know yet. The message.”

 

Do you see that as an obstacle, just all the emotion that went into this last game and where things stand in the season, getting them motivated?

“We’ll be tremendously motivated. Next game. Biggest game of the year. Most important game of the year.”

 

What’s your plan as far as what you do this week, as far as getting the team back out there on the field for practice? Is it a lighter week for you?

“Yes, in some respects it will be.”

 

In what respects?

“Playing the Monday Night game, they’ll be off today, tomorrow they’ll be able to enjoy Christmas during the morning and then we’ll bring them in at two o’clock for meetings and that’ll be meetings only.”

 

This was one of FB Will Tukuafu’s first games for this season as fullback. How do you feel he did in his first game?

“I thought he did well. I thought he came in, he had fresh legs, fresh mind. Was really good with his assignments. I thought he played well. I think we can build on that.”

 

You clinched a playoff berth and yet you say that next week’s game, the upcoming game, is the most important game of the season, how so?

“That’s just a mindset we have, mantra. The next game’s the most important game.”

 

Will you be watching the scores? What happens around the league with that 1:25 kickoff for other teams? Does that have any bearing on how you guys are going to play your game on Sunday?

“No. No, it doesn’t. Too much at stake. Too big of a game. I think somebody from the media asked me that last week, about would we approach Monday night’s game differently, and said no at that time. As you know, too many things can happen and there’s too much at stake.”

 

Have you already started looking at the Cardinals and maybe any differences from when you saw them earlier this season?

“Continuing to play very well. Very aggressive defense. Very stingy defense, attacking defense. Offensively, playing very well. Improving, ascending team.”

 

TE Vernon Davis said he got poked in the eye. Obviously, he came out for a little bit. Did that affect him? Were you able to talk to him and did that affect him during the game?

“Well, it affected him because he missed some plays.”

 

Right. Once he came back, his vision or anything?

“We made sure that, talking to him, that things cleared up before he went in.”

 

Why isn’t WR Michael Crabtree on your hands team for onside kicks?

“I think that’s probably someone that we could add, yeah.”

 

I know LB NaVorro Bowman was back in that same spot that WR Anquan Boldin was on on the other side. Has Bowman obviously demonstrated his hands?

“That ball took a bounce like it sometimes does being the oblong, spheroid that it is, it took a bounce away from him.”

 

When you watch the film of S Donte Whitner’s hit, what was the grade that he got for that play?

“What was the grade he got? Everyone saw it. It’s nationally televised. Was clicked back-and-forth many times.”

 

So he didn’t receive a negative grade for it?

“I’m not going to comment on the grade. I think everybody’s commented on it, everybody’s seen it across the country. No need for me to comment on it.”

 

Frank had said that he actually changed the play on his 1-yard touchdown run. How many veterans or how many players on the offense have that leeway or do you trust them all, that if they see something?

“Well, [QB Colin Kaepernick] Kap trusted Frank enough to change the play and as long as it works, then they’re right. So, how many have that influence with Kap, Frank Gore does.”

 

Do you encourage that kind of ownership?

“I like it when it works, definitely. And I think when a player feels strongly about something, we tend to agree with them unless we have evidence to the contrary. As a player, former player, I realize that when you put your opinion on the line like that, that you also make it work and they did again last night.”

 

I guess in similar terms, that was an all-out blitz. NaVorro said that he aborted the blitz. Can you explain what he was doing in that spot?

“Yeah, he was rushing. He was occupying the center and saw the ball released and then he tracked it and ran to the ball and made the play. In terms of football plays being made in a game, I think back to [DT] Justin Smith’s play that he made against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, where he was rushing the passer, they threw a receiver screen, receiver’s 15, 20 yards downfield. Justin is tracking the ball, running to the ball and then clubbed it out and secured a victory for us on the road against the Eagles in that game. I would equate this play to that. Now these are two football plays, just remarkable. It’s just so, so good that what makes a football player. Sometimes you see the ball released and you make a couple steps, but what makes him think in his in instincts, whether it was Justin or NaVorro in this case, his instincts that he can go get in on that play when it’s 10, 15 yards away. But, his training, his instincts, just makes him go. And he ran to the ball to make a tackle and then [CB Tramaine] T. Brock had snapped on that slant route and you couldn’t make a better play than what Tramaine made in breaking up that pass. And then the ball pops up like a lollipop to Navorro, but it’s the instinct and the training that he has to see the ball released and then track it to go get in on the tackle. I don’t know what the percentage of athletes that can do that or would do that, to have that kind of instinct and ability, but Navorro Bowman does and Justin Smith did a couple years ago. I don’t know how many kind of plays like that a coach has in his career. Probably so few that you’re going to remember them your entire coaching career. But that was one of those memorable plays.”

 

Was that an NFL Defensive Player of the Year kind of plays?

“It was a great play. I’ve said it before, I think he’s, it’s sure not going to hurt him.”

 

Did he feel a sense of redemption after the game?

“I think you could talk to him about that. But, he made a tremendous play and I’ll remember that until the day I die. I got it at 50. Couldn’t have had a better birthday present. Right at the halfway point. I’m shooting for 100, so I got it right at the halfway point. Happier than a pig in slop.”

 

When you talk about the Cardinals ascending, did you get to look at game film of them in Seattle at all?

“Yes.”

 

What struck you about that game? Cardinals QB Carson Palmer throws 4 interceptions, like you said with the defense, anything in particular about that game because everyone knows how hard it is to play in Seattle?

“Great fight by them. Great football fight by them. They fought right until the final gun, much like our team, what we’re most pleased by our team in this game. The fight that they had to win. The importance to give great attention to every snap and fight to the end.”

 

LB Patrick Willis had 18 tackles. He’d been dealing with the hand and the groin. Was that the healthiest you think he’s looked all season?

“Could be. Could be, yeah. He had a great game. Some big plays, some hard, rough tackling. Really good in coverage. Would say s typical Patrick Willis-type of game. Outstanding.”

 

Do you know if those numbers went up after the film review?

“I don’t know that. I don’t know. What else? What else we got? There’s other stuff it seems.”

 

I’ve got some other great questions.

“Oh good.”

 

Will Tukuafu and RB Anthony Dixon had a pretty much even split. Is that how you would maybe envision this going forward as far as a shared responsibility with fullback duties?

“Yes, they both did well. Anthony was in on some of the really big runs that we had, [RB] Kendall’s [Hunter] run, also Frank a couple times there. He did a great job adjusting, using his athleticism when he was in space to block linebackers. I thought Will was very good and physical and you can use both those guys. They both did very well and we can build. Now we can build, add to what each does going forward.”

 

Are they very different fullbacks?

“Yeah, one’s 290 and the other’s like 245. They’re different.”

 

Do they match the style of the running back? Does Anthony match Kendall’s style? Or Will the power fullback kind of matches more of Frank’s running style?

“No, I don’t think so. I think they both run similar plays. They both block similar plays. And then Anthony was in on a couple of Frank’s really good runs.”

 

You mentioned the Justin Smith play from a couple years ago. I remember defensive coordinator Vic Fangio after that. He likened that to the defensive version of “The Catch” play. That to him was one of the best plays he had ever seen. Did you talk to Vic last night? And did you talk to the other coaches? And what were you guys talking about after the game?

“Everybody, high fives and all that. I think that’s appropriate. That’s the defensive equivalent to as good as it gets in a football game. Probably the best thing I’ve ever been associated with that happened to my team in a football game, that particular play. So, I liken it to anything that’s the best thing that’s ever happened to a team I’ve been associated with.”

 

Can you compare what happened to the opposing team that you thought, “if I was on that team that would have been pretty special?”

“Yeah, still, I was thinking about it a little bit this morning, ‘what else that’s ever happened that’s been that good.’ I can’t think of something that’s been that bad either. But, the situation in the game, you really have to imagine that, who knows how many people out there were rooting for us to lose the ball game. Rooting for the underdog or the team that gets redemption after last year’s NFC Championship. Or, teams that that affected their playoff implications. I’m sure that there were high fives at different grills across the country when that onside kick sneaked through there and then they hit a couple passes, and then all of a sudden T. Brock and NaVorro Bowman make that play.”

 

It seems like you could talk about this all day.

“We’ve got to get back onto the—onward! Moving onward to the Cardinals.”

 

This rates above Vernon Davis’ catch there, just to clarify? This does you’re saying?

“I’m not ranking anything, no there’s no ranking. I do compare it though to Justin Smith’s play in 2011. Great instincts, great determination and athleticism. To think that they could go make that play. I just don’t know the percentage of athletes that would first make that effort, believe that they could make the play, and then pull it off. I think that would be a rare pool you’d be drawing on.”

 

Is there anything about the first half that, you only had three points scored and I know that the team wants to start fast, but when you look at the first two quarters, just what strikes you about that?

“We had one possession in the first quarter and drove it for a field goal. Atlanta had two, a three and out and I think another, or not a three and out, they had a first down or two there. And we got the ball back to start the driving it again. And then we didn’t convert on the third and one, we tried to take a shot. Thought we had a play there that we could change the tendency and hit a big pass play. But, it didn’t work out and we had to punt. Then we had a couple series where we didn’t convert, and then we had four that did, all four that were long drives and scoring plays. So, first half, that first quarter, first quarter had the one possession, got a field goal. Second time we had the ball in the second quarter, drove the ball and didn’t convert a third and one. And then a couple were in misfire and that was the end of the half. Three or four possessions.”

 

There were so many ex-49ers at the game. Did you have time to talk to any of them afterward, beforehand or anything like that?

“No, just [former 49ers owner Edward J. DeBartolo Jr.] Eddie D. Talked to him a little bit before the game. And after the game everybody was kind of doing their thing. Would have loved to have seen [former San Francisco Giant Hall of Fame baseball player] Willie Mays. I did catch his interview and thought that was wonderful, wonderful. He looked great and had great things to say. ‘Hell, that was 40 years ago.’ I loved it. Would have liked to seen him.”

 

Does it make the 50th birthday better, one of your idols there watching your team win?

“Oh, yeah. A plus, plus. Good to have that one at the halfway point. Gives me something to look forward to the next 50.”

,
  1. Merry Christmas to all the faithful on here. Cheers to a great time with family and friends. And I hope none of you open a present that resembles Crabtree or Boldin’ sweater and shirt in the post game interview. Ouch! There are two couches from the 70′s that are missing some print. :-)

  2. How often have the Falcons broken Niner Fans hearts with a miracle finish? At least a few Hail Mary Plays; usually in Atlanta.

  3. Interesting comment by Maiocco in response to a chat question that I’m reproducing below:
    “Comment From mesaniner:
    how would classify aldon smith’s “motor?” he seems to give up on plays when his first move is unsuccessful.
    Matt Maiocco CSN:
    I can see that. And I also think he does not actively pursue the ball when it goes to the other side.”

      1. Thats the way it looks to me, I’ve seen Aldon make quite a few hustle plays as well when the ball goes the other way. Aldon is pretty much the main guy I watch when we’re on defense and I don’t see him take many if any plays off so I don’t really know where that question and answer are coming from.

  4. That was some good subterfuge on behalf of both parties, Harbaugh/Dixon. Willy T looked good for a guy off the street with an injury settlement….Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

  5. Niner faithful across the globe and everyone on this blog such as:

    Jackhammer, BigP, Brothatuna, my boy Crab15, bay, AES, MD, Neal, MW, Claudeballs, old coach, razoreater, primetime, scootermcg, coffee, Chewie, Ricardo, LSX, and Grant and so many others I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. If you don’t celebrate Christmas then happy holidays to you. Go Niners

  6. Grant I asked you a question earlier today but I don’t think you were around so i’ll try again. I read your Pops column this morn where he all but crowned the 9ers as this years NFC champions. I was wondering if the Cohm household is one with this pick or have you told your Dad that the game has passed him by and he should stand aside for the new generation of Cohn or more simply put do you agree or disagree with your Dad.

      1. Grant what a shocker that you disagree with your Dad, you are not a Niner supporter even if they were 15-0 right now, which is fine.

  7. Grant, BigP, Crab, Neal, Jordan, Bay, AES, Chicago, MWN, LSX, NinerMD, Brotha Tuna, old coach, Jack, undercenter, Claude, Razoreater, Ribico, E, Sean, Prime, MSClemons, Maui Dave, FDM, and even Alex Smith (blah blah) …

    Happy holidays and Aloha.

  8. Loving all the good Holiday Cheer. I’ll add a special shout-out to Neal during his tough moments; you’re in our thoughts, Neal.

  9. Week 17 wish list …
    1. Niner win
    2. Seattle loss
    3. Carolina loss

    This an unlikely scenario, however, will give SF the NFC West title and home field advantage in the playoffs

  10. Grant, in July you asked these five questions:
    1. Is Justin Smith vulnerable?

    2. Will Colin Kaepernick have a sophomore slump?

    3. How strong is the running back corps?

    4. Who will emerge as a deep threat?

    5. Can Greg Roman improve his play-calling?

    I didn’t include the explanation that went with each question but I was curious what kind of answers you would give them as the regular season draws to a close.

    1. 1. Vulnerable, no. Venerable, yes.
      2. Well, yes I guess so. But mostly slumped against high expectations.
      3. Adequate behind FG.
      4. Linda Lovelace was Deep Throat.
      5. Does The Pope Poop in the woods?
      Sorry, Coffee. You actually asked an intelligent question, but alas, you consort with Loonies.

      1. Thx, don’t worry you’ll come up with one eventually too, keep trying. Until then we’ll continue to put up with the rest of the crap you post here.

      2. Right. Sorry for sullying your serious scholarly dissertation. I’ll try to avoid being an Eddie Haskell in the future. Well, no I won’t, but I’ll leave your posts alone.

  11. Last night was amazing, magical and made me proud to be a 49er fan…Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and Happy Kwanzaa to all my fellow faithful…oh, and you too Grant

  12. Grant, do you mind if I revert to a comment you made in the course of assigning your grade to Kaperdini? You expressed concern about his throwing accuracy and somewhat exasperatedly wondered if he were being coached to set his feet. In my view, learning to set his feet comes close to the problem, but it’s more complicated than that. In Kaperdini you have a very talented guy, one who can throw on the run like no one else in the league; however, throwing on the run while at the same time setting your feet is impossible. The coaches, I believe, understand this and realize that what Kaperdini needs to develop is an intuitive, natural sense of knowing when to run and pass, and when to set and throw. That sense can be learned, but it cannot be taught: it comes only with experience – the experience of being in the fray and comfortably feeling a pocket about to collapse or comfortably feeling it will hold up and then comfortably acting accordingly. Colin will increasingly acquire this sense – that’s the hope, anyway – and with it will come increased discipline. Until this talent ripens, we’re going to have some exasperating moments to endure; once it does, though, we’re going to have years of watching our quarterback utterly frustrate defenses: the exasperation will all be on their side. It is, I think (and apparently so does our defense), worth being patient for – especially since even at this relatively raw stage it (and our defense) has taken us to the play-offs.

    1. Sounds like a logical argument to me, Max. There will be highs and lows ahead. Let’s all be patient and just enjoy the ride.
      We’ve got it so much better than most; how ever this season ends, we’ve got a bright future ahead… a talented, mostly young core of solid players, great coach, exciting quarterback who will get better with experience, a fist full of draft picks, and a world-class stadium to showcase it all. It’s a great time to be a Niner fan.
      I hope you too will catch the fever at some point Grant, and actually care if the Niners win or lose. I’m not saying you need to be a homer, but sometime the dry analysis can be, well… dry. A little passion and enthusiasm for the team most of us here love would make your articles more interesting and enjoyable. Just a thought.

      Happy Holidays to all my faithful brothers. May the new year find you all healthy and primed for a great post season. Thanks to so many of you who have taught me the nuances of the game, given me a place to celebrate big wins, and to commiserate tough losses.
      I extend to all of you a virtual high-five and a beer of your choice.
      (except for that poor fella who can’t seem to readjust to life without Alex Smith. He bugs me.)

      Red and Gold Forever!

    2. I think you are right. Kaep is an intuitive type of player. I think that was the problem early this season, in trying to get him to play conservatively they took away his natural ability to follow his intuition and that threw him out of sync. Now that it’s toward the end of the season and they are less concerned with him getting injured- it’s do or die now- he is back in sync and just playing better.

  13. Last night was a great win for the 49ers, and it did have a playoff feel to it. I think Greg Roman was trying some new things out – and that’s encouraging. Vance McDonald got some balls thrown to him that he didn’t maximize. People are already wondering if Vance is a bust. Don’t. Vance McDonald is a rookie. Remember Vernon? Remember Delanie? Some players come on strong immediately, others take time to develop. Vance will take time. The important aspect of the Vance McDonald drops was that Greg Roman was trying to see if Vance might be a trustworthy receiver down the stretch. I, personally, still think he is. If Vance had caught those two balls thrown to him, it would’ve made defenses think about him a little more going into the playoffs. With the drops (or stumbles) defenses might think Kaep won’t trust Vance and they might pay less attention to him. I say keep designing plays for Vance down the stretch.

    Patton also got some much needed playing time coming back from his foot injury. This is good news for one reason only – a spread passing attack. The key to the 49ers winning this year’s Super Bowl is Greg Roman passing to set-up the run. That’s all there is to it. Patton can run. Hell, even Osgood caught a ball.

    If we go into the playoffs, and more specifically into Seattle, with a run to setup the pass mentality, we’re finished. That was basically our attack during the first half last night and we scored 3 points. In the second half, we started to move the football by throwing all drive long and it resulted in quick scores. Now Atlanta’s secondary is basically chopped liver, and we won’t face that kind of easy competition from anyone in the playoffs. But that doesn’t mean run the football.

    Another interesting aspect of last night’s win was Mike Nolan blitzing Kaepernick all night long. There were two pass plays on Nolan blitzes that got an interesting overview, instant replay. Both plays showed 49er receivers on deep sideline routes, not looking back for the football while Kaep was getting heavily blitzed by Nolan and company. This is a huge problem for the 49ers, and it’s exactly why I think Greg Roman should be fired.

    Ever since the Super Bowl against the Ravens when the Ravens blitzed Kaep heavily on the goal line with under a minute to play, the rest of the NFL has seen that Kaep and Roman can’t beat the blitz with throws. Sure, Kaep might beat the blitz with his legs, but what’s absolutely crucial for us in the playoffs this year is for Kaep to beat the blitz with quick throws. This isn’t a Colin Kaepernick issue. This is a Greg Roman issue. If Greg Roman can’t see that teams are going to blitz Kaep heavily during the playoffs, especially on passing downs, Greg Roman needs to go. It’s so obvious teams are about to blitz Kaep time and time again in these up coming playoff games. It seems to me, Greg Roman is trying to beat the blitz by running on passing downs, but that’s not good enough, Greg. Beating the blitz is all about designing plays with quicker routes – some underneath, and some with quick adjustments. Personally, I prefer blitz beaters that don’t require line adjustments. Run drag routes over the middle, option routes like Victor Cruz and Eli Manning perfected the last couple of years (not this year). Run rub routes. Have our O linemen cut block to open up quick slant passing routes. Anticipate Kaep getting blitzed heavily in the playoffs, and have answers for those blitzes. If Roman has his wide receivers running twenty yard streaks without looking back at the qb, and defenses continue to blitz heavily, we won’t make much noise in the playoffs.

    And one more thing that really bothers me: Matt Maiocco claiming our O line isn’t athletic enough to block for screens. I really hope that’s Maiocco trying a little cloak and dagger with up-coming coaches who scout tendencies through the media. Our O line can pull and trap with the best of ‘em. Staley and Iupati can get around the edge and pull for long runs with an AARP running back, but they aren’t athletic enough for a simple screen? Give me a break.

    The reason screens don’t work is because Greg Roman doesn’t call enough back-to-back passing plays, and he doesn’t use Kendal Hunter enough. You call five passing plays in a row, and get the D thinking they need to rush the passer, you’ll get your screens set-up nicely. However, I just don’t think Greg Roman is good enough to figure that out.

    The last thing I’ll write about last night’s win is that in it’s most basic form, the game is still won and lost in the trenches. Our pass blocking last night wasn’t good. Jonathan Goodwin looks lost. Roman needs to pass more in the Cardinals’ game just to help evaluate our O line pass blocking. If you want to open up the offense (and the first half is a clear indication we need to open up the offense), then you better have guys who can pass block and rotate effectively to pickup blitzes. If Goodwin is lost, get him out of there. If you run all season long, you don’t know if Goodwin is lost when pass blocking. If you want to open things up in the playoffs, you have to start doing it down the stretch in the regular season, and we did somewhat last night. I wouldn’t mind seeing Kilgore in for Goodwin against Arizona need week.

    Our offensive line pass blocking wasn’t great, and our defensive pass rush wasn’t great either. The first key for the 49ers to win the Super Bowl is Greg Roman opening up the offense and designing passing plays to beat the blitz. But the second and third priorities are our O line doing a much better job pass blocking, and our D-line getting pressure on the qb. Right now, our lines aren’t getting the job done.

    Merry Christmas to all! Go Niners!

    1. One can agree or disagree with Fangio’s game planning, but rest assured it is carefully considered. The ‘lack of pass rush’ perception has to be viewed in the context of defensive play calling. We saw the short drop quick release emphasis, hardly novel this season, and therefore predictable. If Vic is expecting that, does he sell out with Pass Pressure and wear his guys out in a futile attempt to get sacks against a quick release strategy?
      It’s a tad more complicated than Madden, OK?

      1. Give me a break. Per Steve Young: “The magic elixir is pressure with four.” The means if you can get pressure with four, and you don’t need to blitz to sack the qb, you have a championship defense. That’s not the 49ers’ D right now. Justin, Ray, Glenn and either Brooks or Aldon aren’t getting the job done. It’s as simple as that. You want to win Super Bowls, get pressure with four.

      2. Puh-leaze! Max protect and getting the ball out fast simply prevents pressure to the quarterback on a consistent basis….The one thing this defense has to do, is get better communicating against no huddle offenses, and Vic needs to keep the starters fresh throughout the game with rotation.

      3. I agree with Razor here, during the game so many times it appeared the defense was confused or they were trying to adjust to the formation! So the fast paced offense and audibles at the line put more pressure on the defense.

  14. Spit ..
    to strive for perfection is always the goal ..but
    that goal is as attainable as chasing a rainbow …

    We got the win ! … enjoy it !

    and Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah to all
    the Niner bros on this blog ..

    (I have no idea what “Kwanzaa” is .. no one ever
    mentioned it all the time I was growing up)

    1. I haven’t a clue what Kwanzaa is either, but it gets celebrated this time of year, so I threw it out there…happy holidays MWN

      1. It was created by a college professor in the middle sixties as an alternative for Christmas. It was also meant to return people whose ancestors came from Africa to an understanding of their roots. Not a bad idea except for the fact that choseing the same date as the Christmas celebration gave it another intent. It was also a move to create a separation between black Americans and white Euro peoples along with the religion they practiced. This was part of the same movement that encouraged the rejection of Western names and the taking of Moslem one’s. Very politically inspired.

    2. MW…. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed Greg Roman trying to set some things up for the playoffs, but there’s work to do (and a lot of it) if we’re going to the Super Bowl this year. Just trying to be realistic. Merry Christmas.

      1. Matt ..
        I always found Christmas & Hanukah to be
        adequate reasons to celebrate …

        “Kwanzaa” sounds like something your
        mechanic tells you needs replacing and will only cost you $450 ..

        (ya know .. like your muffler roller bearings)

        Spit ..

        No.. I hear ya … it’s just that .. I witnessed
        some real Candlestick Park “magic” last nite ..
        and when others just focus on
        all the negatives … it detracts from the accomplishment …

        Harbaugh and company .. did the 49er
        franchise proud, last night … and
        along with all of the other legendary magic
        moments which happened at The Stick ..
        we now have “The Pick”
        to tell our grandkids about …

        (I’m definitely not pessimistic about
        my optimism, here, either !)

        Merry Christmas guys …

      2. MW,
        I can appreciate a good win – an entertaining win – but we must always guard against complacency. I don’t look at it like optimistic or pessimistic. I look at it like what does this team have to do to win the Super Bowl? When you read my posts, just remember that I’m trying to assess or identify our weaknesses and trying to figure out how they can improve. Sometimes coaches and media alike have already assessed our team’s weakness and decided to work around that weakness in a certain way. Sometimes a weakness is covered up through spin and hyperbole. Actually, most of the time it’s through spin and hyperbole. However, the fact remains that our offense is ranked something like 24th overall potentially heading into Seattle (one of the toughest places to play in the NFL, against their darn good defense). If we want to win Super Bowl, our offense must get better. And the answer isn’t more Frank Gore. The answer is more passing, and more of a spread attack from Kaepernick with Roman creating much, much better passing routes to beat the blitz and our offensive line pass blocking a lot better than they have all season long. 24th overall in total yards is unacceptable with Vernon, Q, Kaep, Hunter, James, Frank, our last year widely considered the best O line in football, and new additions Patton, McDonald and now Crabtree and Manningham returned. 24th is something Greg Roman should be ashamed of.

  15. Merry Christmas to every body who comments here. I only post a couple of times a week ( I have never been one to talk just to hear the sound of my own voice), but I read all the comments on a regular basis, and I have come to consider all of you as my friends.

    Go Niners.

    1. Rick/sf9erfan – splendid to have you both here…..Ho ho ho …SantaCrab says Merry Christmas to everyone in here.

      Quest for 6!! Niner D has something to prove vz AZ Sunday. They know AZ has #1 rushing defense (on paper).
      Playoffs!!!

  16. Happy Holidays fellow Niner fans. There is a great deal to be thankful for this year indeed. Onward (or as the pranksters would say Furthur),go Niners!

  17. Merry Christmas to all who participate regularly here. It’s a real pleasure talking sports with you guys (and gals). And thank you Grant for the great info you provide us. Happy Holidays.

  18. Santa really made me a happy man this Christmas morning by giving me a signed autograph of Colin Kaepernick, # 7 San Francisco 49ers home team jersey. By far the best gift and a complete surprise. Lol, Now I have to be a true supporter of CK. Go Colin and the Ninerssssssssssssssssssss

  19. And Happy Boxing Day and Happy St. Stephens Day, which along with
    Kwaanza, are both being widely celebrated tomorrow on Dec. 26. And to
    those who don’t believe in the holidays, just be happy!

    1. “…I’m teaching a touch-football clinic at 11am to these 3..”

      u-hhh … “touch” … ?

      Hey Crabs …
      I’ll volunteer to be your water-boy !

      1. Midwest – Too late ….clinic lasted only 45 min……It was fantastic but there was a bit too much grab-ass going on during water breaks.

  20. Merry Christmas niner fans! You’ve provided another great year of football talk and assorted entertainment. Stay safe this new year.

  21. Dear Santa, I want for Christmas is
    - Vance McDonald to display the receiving skills I bragged he had when he was drafted
    - An injury free victory in AZ
    - Patton or Manningham to emerge as viable receivers.
    - A “Mobile Theme Off” button that actually works. Its almost as bad as the Auto-Refresh that was killing posts last year.

  22. Dear Santa, I want for Christmas is… Vance McDonald to display the receiving skills I bragged he had when he was drafted… An injury free victory in AZ… Patton or Manningham to emerge as viable receivers… A “Mobile Theme Off” button that actually works. Its almost as bad as the Auto-Refresh that was killing posts last year.

    1. … and for that “publication failed” message to appear only when they actually fail, so I don’t double-post.

  23. Man the game against Atlanta felt like a playoff game based on the effort from the falcons team and I promise you the next game in AZ is going to be a huge game for the Cardinals and they are going to be hungry to win. I hope we are going to pack the entire team since our offense must score points in this game for us to win. We need to start better. Go Niners

    1. Chicago ..

      it ain’t how we start …
      it’s how we finish …

      (just ask the Bo-man !! )

      Seriously ..though … me ??
      I’m not worried … “The Pick” showed me
      that there is still some magic in this team …
      and it will carry the Niners to the promised land !

      Hope Santa was good to you !
      (I got a foot of snow on the ground
      and a low of 14º )

      1. Thanks for the words of encouragement MW. Yes Santa was great to me:) and we got a few inches of snow here in the Chicago area but I love it specially on the Christmas Day. Go Niners

  24. It’s a little late but MERRY CHRISTMAS TO THE NINER FAMILY here on this blog. And Neal, I hope that you were comforted by God plus your friend and family this holiday. You are still in my thoughts and prayers.

    1. I think that Rex Ryan will still be there next season. My guess is that Roman will end up as the next coach of the Washington Redskins.

      1. Since we’re guessing, who is the next offensive coordinator for the San Francisco Forty Niners? I’d like to see Touchdown Tommy Wrathman give it a go……

    2. Good call MW-

      Does Chryst have any experience as an OC?
      I wonder if Harbaugh would take on more duties offensively if that was the case. I think if Chryst were to take over i think naturally we would see more pass attempts per game but we would still remain a power running team b/c of Harbs philosophy…its going to be one of the more interesting off-seasons next year….we have a lot of big names and big time contributors up for contracts or extensions

    3. Is’nt funny how all of these NFL experts GM’s , front office people covet Roman while many on this blog blame him for everything that doesn’t work with the 9ers including the bath rooms at the Stick. I hate to pop any ones balloon but if Chryst becomes the new OC don’t expect the play calling to be any different under Jeepbaugh than it was under Rombaugh.

  25. Jack sez:
    “…Chryst was the OC in San Diego in 99-2000, same time Harbaugh was a QB there….

    Jack ..
    you wouldn’t happen to know ..
    which “coaching-tree” is he from ? ..

    I mean .. who influenced him ?

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