Help Kyle Shanahan game plan for the Rams defense

This weekend, I posted five pass concepts the 49ers could have used to attack the Seahawks’ Cover-3 defense down the field. The Niners used none of those concepts. Some of you have said those concepts were impossible to execute for a variety of reasons.

I appreciate your candor and football expertise. Since you know what does and does not work, I encourage each of you to draw up one play you think the 49ers should use this Thursday against the Rams, and explain why your play will be successful. The 49ers need your help.


This article has 227 Comments

  1. Fun 49er defensive facts:

    Panthers #1 receiver Kelvin Benjamin was limited to one reception for 25 yards last week. Seahawks #1 receiver Doug Baldwin had six catches, but for a total of only 44 yards. At 6’1″ and 6’2″ after being covered by robinson.

  2. Line up Hyde deep in the I with Juszczyck in as the lead blocker, and establish the running game.
    Then do play action passes for deep strikes down field.

    1. Seb,

      Hoyer almost shocked the world . Bet you were on one knee praying to the almighty in the last 7 minutes for Hoyer to fail so you could call Kap the better QB.

      Oh, and Seb, it wasn’t the D, just like it wasn’t the Defense when Kap played.

      1. TrollD, I was hoping for Hoyer to succeed with 12 minutes left.
        Too bad he failed. I was ecstatic when the Niners took the lead with 7 minutes left. Too bad they settled for a FG, instead of going bold and getting a TD.
        I do not need to wish Hoyer to fail. He is doing that by himself. Hoyer is pulling a Gabbert.
        TrollD, keep rooting for a 59 QBR player. I like a 90.7 QBR player.

        1. Seb, Joe Montana already explained why Kap’s skill set isn’t suited for the NFL, unless teams want to structure their whole offense around a one player option based one.

          Joe Montana explains why Colin Kaepernick’s skill set doesn’t fit today’s NFL

          “The league has figured out how to defend it,” he continued. “If I’m playing defense, I want the quarterback to run so I can hit him. In the pocket, you can’t really hit him. So you look at Tim Tebow — he’s a great guy, does a lot of great things. But when you complete 40-something percent of your passes, even in the low 50s, you’re not going to make it.” ….Source:

          59.8 See that Seb, you can’t win with a career QBR in the 50’s.

          1. Joe Montana agrees with TomD, compares Tebow to Kap.


            Bet you wish you had my QB acumen. Remember my proposed trade of Tebow for Kap + draftpicks to Denver, when Kap was hot….You said it was ridiculous.

            Great minds, like Montana’s and TomD’s think alike.

            Guess what, Sebster, Montana just compared Tebow to Kap in their skillsets in my quote above….Afterall, Seb, isn’t that what a trade is, recognizing skillsets, and profiting from it if you can secure draft capitol.

            1. TrollD, I spit on your football acumen, because you wanted to trade Kaep for Tebow.
              Tebow is so bad, he is in the baseball minor leagues, and his accuracy is so bad, he threw a ball that hit a fan in his nuts.

              1. Seb,

                Video shows Kap more inaccurate than Tebow

                Moment Colin Kaepernick’s wild throw nails 49ers trainer in the face during ugly loss…

                The pass Kaepernick threw in the first quarter of his team’s 20-3 defeat to the Seattle Seahawks was so off-target that the unsuspecting trainer didn’t see it coming while working on the sidelines.

                Read more:

          2. So the 49ers totally made over thier roster when they went from Alex to Kap? I believe they also went to the Superbowl with that roster. And came back and was a contender until the team lost most of it’s roster in 1 off-season. So that is a bs assessment.

  3. The Rams are going to go all out trying to stop Hyde. They should take a play out of chip kellys playbook(as the rams were the only team he could beat) and Spread them out in the first half. Then once you have them on the ropes, hit them with the power running game and play action.

  4. For the 49er Offense, playing the Rams Thursday is going to feel like they are playing San Jose State. There is no comparison between the first two defenses the Niners met and the Rams. Save Aaron Donald, who is wheeling back in four days off no training camp, the Rams are soft on the run and soft in the secondary. Goff has few assets who can get separation or catch. If the Niner defense put similar pressure on Goff as they did Wilson and contain Gurley they will roll. Look for big plays on offense and a Ram offense that resembles us the first two weeks..

  5. At 6-2, 230, with Steve Young type speed, 49ers should hope Sam Ehlinger declares after his sophmore year and sign him…..Anyone see that game vs. SC—Darnold looked like a statue while Texas ran the option and I-Smashes with Ehlinger.

    But I like Browning also. Sent the 49ers the Browning story after Folsom upstet Los Angeles powerhouse, for the California D-1 state Title…Growing up between Sacramento and Sanfrancisco, I saw the Browning upset of State powerhouse on TV.
    He threw for over 500 yds
    Here’s video of that Championship game 1st half:

    Sam Ehlinger, Texas, Dual-Threat Quarterback – 247 Sports

  6. Heard , (somewhere) … Shanny should
    just go bold !!

    yeah… that’s it … just go bold … and
    the Niners will win out !

    (I’m a legend .. in my own mind …right ?)

    1. KS went bold and declared he did not need an OC.
      KS went bold and anointed Hoyer starting QB with little competition.
      KS went bold by going for it on 4th down by running into the teeth of the defense.
      KS went bold by declaring he wants to go in a different direction than Kaep. Now that KS is winless, I can see how Kaep, who wants to win, may have a different mindset than KS.
      The Niners will win out? I just want them to stop the losing streak.
      I do not need to call myself a legend. Grant himself named me that. ;p

      1. Prediction comes true again! You are too predictable!

        Stop bringing up former players who are irrelevant to present circumstances.

      2. Hey Sebbie! Shanahan isn’t thinking of bringing Kaep back. And Lynch isn’t either.

        Oh it’s a heartache, nothing but a heartache…

        1. Lynch has stated that he will be continually trying to improve the QB situation until they find their franchise QB.
          Lynch also has not burned any bridges, because he apologized to Kaep for the continued leaks.
          Sure am glad Lynch has kept that door open.
          Sure am glad they made an adjustment at LG. Now they need to make one at QB.

            1. The NFL is getting a black eye for Blackballing Kaep. Even Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and Tom Brady thinks he should play.
              The NFL should lean on the Niners to let him compete, since every other team does not want him, and the Niners need improved QB play.
              It would be a good opportunity for all of his detractors to be proven right, if Kaep is allowed to play and possibly fails like Hoyer. Of course, there is also the possibility for Kaep to shine, which will shut up the haters.

              1. Your interpretation of what they say is always very interesting. Brady praised what he did in the past and said he hoped he got another chance. Far cry from a ringing endorsement you seem to give.

              2. Sebbie… Recall your comment on blackballing? “I will not mind if Kaep is blackballed.” So, blackballing is conditional for you. Some stalwart supporter of justice you are.

                sebnynah says:
                August 27, 2017 at 6:18 pm
                If Hoyer can play like that, I will not mind if Kaep is blackballed. Looks like the defense is playing NINER FOOTBALL.

              3. Your not a 9er fan, Seb–your a Kap fan……………

                Nazi-like zealotry, pure and simple for all to see…………………

              4. Seb

                You refuse to acknowledge that Kaep HAS had the opportunity to play…five years worth of competing, and each one worse than the previous one…Gabbert beat him in the competition that you begged for (and got)…. and then you bellyached that it was an unfair competition. I think that it’s sad that you take this avenue to gain attention to yourself….You DO actually know better….

          1. Hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Hey Prime–you see that!

            Another one of Sebbie’s attempts at provocation!!!!!!!!!!!

            Those things are priceless!!!! I love them-you can see them from a mile away………..

        2. Sebb’s eschews crackers in favor of his hippie holistic health ganja cookies.
          Apparently he’s raising his daughter on them also, as they had a dustup with some
          ganja dealers recently….Just saying there could be more to that neighborhood fire than just a chainsaw spark.

        1. Hey EastCoaster…………

          You just got a dose of ‘ol Seb’s “Bait and Switch”! Like a politician, not addressing the point YOU made, but rather something else he would prefer!

          An old Sun Zoo trick……………………….

      3. Notice how Sebs still…STILL………..wont tell us what he knows about QB’s that KS does not? Just nitpicks from the edges……….where it’s safe.

        Kind of like……….”blahblahblah………..then…..”.and your no good!”

  7. I expect Hoyer to have a much better game… Lambs can be gashed on power runs up the middle which should help Hoyer and play-action. Long, time consuming drives should also help out our D since they’ll be feeling that Seattle game although I do expect them to dominate once they shutdown Gurley and make Goff beat them. Niners continue their dominance of the Lambs and get their first win of the year on Thursday.

  8. The Niners need to work up to the plays that take longer to develop. Get Trent Taylor on the quick slants and stuff that’ll get the ball out quick, along with a good mix of Hyde & Breida. Then here and there, throw in the play action pass. Our CB’s also need to be more aggressive and disrupt the WR’s within the first five yards. They give ten yard cushion too much and when they do play man, they don’t disrupt the route and timing very much or at all!

  9. The only play I have is replacing Goodwin maybe with a rookie waiting for an opportunity. Goodwin shows he lacks finer points of receiving the football and his blocking downfield also appears haphazard. I would put Goodwin in the penalty box for now let another player get a look.

  10. I say the 49ers should run those plays that work and avoid the plays that don’t work. The 49ers should execute their blocks to allow Carlos Hyde to go for 100+ yards and a TD. The 49ers should execute in the pass game so that Hoyer can throw for 300+ yards and 2 TDs. If they do those things they have a chance to win.

    Cmon Grant. Trying to determine single plays that will work is pretty obnoxious. If they work then you’re a genius. If they don’t use them but lose then you insinuate the team lost because Kyle Shanahan did not listen to a sportswriter who has never coached a down of football in his life. Kudos to you for taking the time to learn football since I don’t think you actually played the sport but give this arrogant, I told ya so strategy of yours a break. It’s silly.

          1. While you’re in the coaches tape, can you count the missed tackles Bowman had and the number of times he took an additional defender out of the play with his flailing?

          2. your suggested “cover 3 attack play options” should also undergo your own scrutiny as to their potential effectiveness– once you’ve digested the coaches tape.
            i think this will make your case more effectively than calling out your play calling critics on this blog, as you did in this thread’s title…

      1. Geepers Grant…. How about some context vs., the Rams before we start drawing up plays? See my post below concerning Rams DC Wade Phillips…

      2. Grant, I’m in Houston’s camp. Actually I think recommending plays (offense or defense) to professional coaches is a bit more than silly. It’s ridiculous. Look, I love you, and I take the better for the worse. Babble on about plays all you want. It’s your blog. But please respect there’s another side. Telling him he’s more comfortable criticizing than creating is unfair.

      3. Criticizing? Isn’t that what you do for a living?

        No, it’s not that a good football strategy discussion isn’t always a good topic. But drawing up single plays and then criticizing the coaching staff when they don’t run your plays does not take into account all the parts of the game pan. How do plays work off each other? Whats working or not working in the game? Is the defense taking away 1 part of your game so you have to attack in other parts.

        1. I drew five concepts and gave two examples for each. They are sound concepts against Cover 3, and I explained why. I criticized the coach because he didn’t take a single deep shot, not because he didn’t run the plays I drew up.

          1. Ok, I can live with that. I also thought the 49er offense he didn’t do enough to stretch the field. You seemed to indicate you didn’t like that the 49ers didn’t try to hit Kittle deep as you prescribed. I don’t think passes to Kittle will stretch the field though. Goodwin is your deep threat and they didn’t even try to hit him.

          2. I suggested that the 49ers concentrate on TPS, an excellent point which you made. I believe that it was the most significant factor in making the game competitive until the end. As far as your let it rip passing game, I believe their TPS would have gone in the crapper with the weather conditions that they faced, and KS was wise to be conservative. I think we are going to have to be satisfied with incremental progress which I am seeing. Never forget Bill Walsh’s first year record of 2-14 and that was followed by 6-12 with most of the pundit class calling for Walsh’s head at the beginning of their Super Bowl year. I side with Houston and personally any HC that would see a play from me and seriously consider using it, I would want nothing to do with. I trust KS and second guessing him is your job, not mine.

      4. Touchy, techy, touchy!

        No, Iggy, the Niners don’t need advice from writers or fans. They need lots of help but not from any of us.

  11. Memo to Saleh: Just make sure your defense comes out playing jacked to the nines and the offense will take care of itself Thursday night…

  12. We will be competitive in many games this year because teams are no longer able to run down our throats. It is so good to see a young defense that can stop the run. I am hopeful for continued growth. Cautiously optimistic regarding Thursdays game.

  13. There’s a reason Hoyer has played for 6 different teams. He doesn’t get it done. He doesn’t extend plays, and holds on to the ball too long. He is what he is. He’s an NFL has been, another teams discarded trash. I would start Beathard and open up the passing game. I would put Goodwin on the inactive list this week and see how many passes he drops on the sidelines. Why they let Kerley go is mind boggling. He made great catches last year. I guess Shanahan wanted his own guys. Well, his guys aren’t getting it done. And where was Garcon yesterday? Shanahan needs to hire an OC and quit trying to be a hero. He needs someone upstairs who can see the entire field. Sherman was nursing a hamstring injury. I would of thrown his way all day. A great defensive effort wasted because Shanahan refused to pull “his guy”.

    1. My wife went to High School with Kerley. He graduated the year ahead of her at Hutto. I was excited when SF kept him and was disappointed to see him cut. I wouldn’t wish him back in SF due to the lack of loyalty the FO has.

  14. If Beathard can make all of the adjustments, I’m all for it.

    Bill Walsh would put Montana only in positive situations before starting him such as on the other side of the 50 or vs. the weak sisters of the NFL…The Rams certainly qualify as that.

    The Tomlinson for Beadles move shows Shanny’s not afraid to make changes

  15. I didn’t comment on Grant’s designed plays. I would like to see more deep passes if the protection is good enough. Also some constraint plays to counter charging defensive lines. Draw runs and screen plays counter heavy pass rush. Reverses counter teams charging the wide zone too hard

  16. Fans,

    Goodwin certainly did not help Hoyer, as did other recievers, dropping 1st down drive extending passes….

    I think it’s time to start players people laughed at TomD about (if you can believe it, made fun of TomD for his prediction that these players would make the roster):

    Last week people poked fun at TomD for saying Tomlinson would start.

    Listen to me, Shanny, start the below players…Time to get in the win column

    Matt Breida, WR, Bourne, WR Boldin………Time to start them vs. Rams.

    Chris Biderman‏Verified account

    #49ers need Marquise Goodwin to stop dropping key passes

  17. There was the coach, Kyle Shanahan, on the field, all wet. His team in the red zone, once again the boy genius could, not get his team a touchdown.

  18. Seems to me Kyle called plays not to lose, rather to win. He knew he was playing an elite team and didn’t even expect to be in it at the end. He just didn’t want Hoyer to make any mistakes against their D.

    Those 2 defense will be the toughest we’ll face all year, I think Kyle will loosen the reins on the passing game and we will start to see a better offense going forward. If the D continues to play well I see this team pulling out a few in the coming weeks.

    1. Leo, one of the things I note around here is that if we watch the regular broadcast its really hard to tell who’s open down field when the camera’s are on the QB. I think aside from Garcon I think we’re still a bit weak at WR. I honestly don’t know if Kyle called to lose or win or if Hoyer couldn’t find open targets. Grant’s sure that Kyle called short plays. If he’s right I am disappointed.

      I think you missed that the Texans, Cardinals, Jags, Bears, Eagles and Giants all had top 15 defenses last season. We still have a lot of tough defenses to play if those teams perform like they did last season.

    2. Agreed I expect Hoyer will look a lot better in the next 3 weeks. No QB looks good against Seattle in their house add pouring rain and it gets even tougher.

  19. Tackle eligible quadruple reverse flea flicker hook and lateral. Be daring. Do this fantastic play on the goal line or pinned back close to your own goal line.

    Quarterback sneaks on 3rd and 15 would blow their minds.

    Fake audibles with the quarterback yelling “riboflavin” in a Jerry Lewis voice.

  20. Matt Maiocco‏Verified account @MaioccoNBCS 14h14 hours ago
    Replying to @MaioccoNBCS @PFF

    #49ers LG Laken Tomlinson allowed two QB hurries and finished with a much better overall grade than Zane Beadles in Week 1, per @PFF.

    Thank you, Martin Mayhew !

  21. Joe Montana agreeing with TomD that Tim Tebow and Kap have similar skill sets when I suggested trading Kap for Tebow + draft picks (draft capitol for the future) to Denver.

    sebnynah says:
    September 18, 2017 at 10:40 am
    TrollD, I spit on your football acumen, because you wanted to trade Kaep for Tebow.

    I WIN , when Seb spews profanities.

  22. With as fast as Kittle is and a play I haven’t seen run in years, why not the Tight End around? I also like the fake double reverse with Victor Bolden Jr. Screen pass both Hyde and Breida.. And if you are gouging the defense with the run definitely the flee flicker..

  23. Cam Inman @CamInman 41m
    #49ers Carlos Hyde coming off 124-yard game … in Seattle

    J.B. Long @JB_Long
    #Rams allowed 179 yds rushing **before contact** yesterday, their most since Wk 1 of 2011. Chance to make amends vs Carlos Hyde & SF on TNF.

    TomD’s Take: JB, you really don’t want some of Tomlinson and Hyde right now.

    1. Jb, we’ll be playing at home w/o 12th man interference with our audibles and WR’s in the lineup who can catch this week—I fully expect Shanny to insert Boldin Jr. and Bourne, just as I predicted Tomlinson would start last week.

  24. Jennifer Lee Chan‏Verified account @jenniferleechan 16h16 hours ago
    More Jennifer Lee Chan Retweeted Kendrick Bourne Poly
    Inactive feelings…No doubt Kendrick Bourne will be a contributor for the #49ers soon!

  25. “Since you know what does and does not work”

    Let me fix that for you.
    Since Grant knows what does and does not work.

    Cross Country Dagger play action out of the I. Hit Garcon on a dig route, or Juice on a screen if Garcon isn’t open.

    You could even throw deep to Goodwin. But only if,
    (A) He gets open.
    (B) The Rams don’t bring extra help on Goodwin.
    (C) You trust the OL.
    (D) You trust Hoyer’s arm.
    (E) You trust Goodwin’s hands.

  26. I do not know how to draw up plays, so I am not going to even to and pretend that I can. Instead, I will say that I want to see Kittle and Juice be more involved in the passing game, especially the latter. Maybe use both as a deep threat.

  27. With only 23:02 in offensive possession, it could be a really long season for the defense. If the Rams give as much yardage as they did this week (Good find Tomd) they should use Hyde and Brieda in generous doses. Its the best way to keep the defense fresh, healthy and effective. If we leave them on the field for nearly 37 minutes eventually NFL offenses will find a way to wear them down.

  28. Everybody line up that is not Hoyer and be in on the play aside from Hoyer….and when the ball is snapped lay on the ground and let the defense all knock Hoyer down like a bowling pin ? and getting him knocked out cold.
    This strategy then allows for Bethard to start.
    We then put super glue on Goodwin’s hands before every play he runs in for and hope for the best.
    Top that one monkeys ?

  29. Marquise Goodwin. FOCUS and just catch the damn ball BEFORE you turn and run. CONCENTRATE, MAN!!! Despite being a young team, it doesn’t make sense that we haven’t scored one expletive touchdown yet. The Cleveland Browns have even scored a couple TD’s!! That’s just bad!

    1. see it; catch it; tuck it, then run…….quote from #25 of the Oakland Raiders…..some guy named Biletnikoff whose bust happens to be in Canton…….

  30. Channel the great one, Bill Walsh, and use the passing game to set up the run. I’m talking about 4,5, 6 yard quick hit slants. Also use TE drags across the middle and running backs in the flat. Once the Lambs have to cover that go Hyde, Hyde, Hyde, Breida. Smash them in the mouth. Our O line has been offensive and if Hoyer takes too many more of the hits he has taken during the first two games he won’t be hurt, he will be dead for Gods sake. The ball needs to be out of Hoyers hand in 2 seconds or less. IMHO

  31. Today the Rams opened as a 3pt favorite at SF….I believe you could make some money here and IMO the 49ers should win straight up.

  32. I saw Bowman run into his own teammate in the first quarter on 3 and 8. Then in the second quarter on 2nd and 8. Both times whiffing on the runner and giving up the 1st down. Then with 3:29 left in the fourth on 1st and 10 he just completely missed the tackle as he lowered his head like he was just trying to spear the runner.
    Bowman is a liability to say the least. You want to game plan, take bowman out.

    1. Haha no he is not, he had 10 tackles and looked solid.

      These guys practice all TC together with a particular player (Foster and Bowman) and they get their communication down, get on the same page, and get to the point where they are comfortable together. Now you throw in a whole new LB and they just do not quite have their communication down and are still learning each others tendencies after only playing together for about a week.

      1. I will link some highlight to the game here for you Hog. I think Bowman is incredibly talented, but in yesterday’s game, he was simply not good. When the game matter with 3:29 left in the Fourth, Bowman blew up the gap, launched himself at the runner, and missed the play entirely. That gave Seattle a 1st down and led to them running out the clock.
        Bowman misses: 13:50 in the 1st. 3 and 8. It is an open field tackle the runner picks up the first down.
        -2nd quarter 6:36 1st and ten Bowman runs into Wilhoite giving up the first down to the TE Luke Wilson who hurdles the defender.
        Obviously I already included the 4th quarter miss. Here are some of those highlights though.

        1. That’s like pointing out the 40% missed passes for a QB who connects on 60% passes. Despite the cries emanating from the nattering nabobs of negativity, one should consider that Bowman is still a little rusty after the long layoff from the Achilles. Based on his comeback after the ACL/MCL disaster, I think he will be much better in run support as the season goes on. I can see Saleh using Tartt instead of Bowman in dime packages…

  33. Jeff Deeney‏ @PFF_Jeff 48m48 minutes ago
    Top interior defender grades thru Week 2:
    1. JJ Watt 90.2
    2. Suh 89.7
    T-3. McCoy 89.5
    T-3. Atkins 89.5
    5. Buckner 88.4

  34. Hey Grant, your writing is very refreshing and is much appreciated!

    I am a die-hard 49ers fan from Arkansas and just starting posting, but have been reading for awhile. I am also an Arkansas Razorbacks fan and all our media only will write positive articles on the Hogs and never do their part of holding the coaches accountable by asking the tough questions at PCs. This is extremely annoying and bad for a fan base because every offseason they always get our hopes and expectations up, and then we are a lot more surprised and angry when we suck (like we do this year). I wonder if it is different because it is collegiate athletes vs professional athletes and coaches and may not be the right practice to call out college players and coaches?

    So again, either way, it is very refreshing to have a 49ers reporter call it like it is.

      1. ok Grant, specific question for your coaches tape study…was Garcon being doubled, picked, bumped, juked, chip blocked, or any of the myriad other ways SEA DB’s get away with their assaults on rcvrs?
        I submit Garcon was held in check a lot of snaps, and hence Hoyer & KS’ holding back on even mid routes?

          1. well, we’ll all just wait here, no prob…..till you’ve got the coaches tape….to look into Garcon’s effectiveness vs. how SEA dealt with him each snap he was in…if he was held/bumped/mugged, etc., this could’ve been a big reason why KS held back.
            And….it might be nice for a report based on how you see your “Cover 3 pass attack” plan’s potential after seeing the pass snaps…

              1. I also wouldn’t be shocked if Kittle was mugged a lot as well by SEA safeties and LB’s…SEA effectively keeping Garcon & Kittle off kilter would be a huge factor in lack of 15+ yard attempts…

  35. Aaron Smith destroys Seattle O-Lineman ( see the 6th post from the top).

    Jennifer Lee Chan‏Verified account @jenniferleechan 2h2 hours ago

    #49ers Aaron Lynch, lined up in front of K’Waun Williams (#24), just manhandles the SEA O lineman at the beginning of the game.

    (Another holding call the refs blew)

    1. Jeff Deeney‏ @PFF_Jeff 6h6 hours ago

      Trent Brown is one of only three tackles to play two full games and not allow a pressure. 86.8 overall grade ranks 2nd among tackles. #49ers

    1. Another Seattle O-Lineman destroyed and another ref blown call–ie you can not block a man who’s already engaged: 4th post from top

      Arik Armstead got called for holding on this play but look at the push that Solomon Thomas gets. He’s lined up far right (top of the screen)

      Jennifer Lee Chan‏Verified account @jenniferleechan

          1. Prime,

            Did you see how livid Sebster became when I quoted Joe Montana’s comparison of Kap to Tebow . I requested a trade 2 years ago between Denver And SF + draftpicks and have said the 49ers would win the trade because both QB’s have similar skill sets.

            Seb went berserk when I showed that great minds think alike—mine and Montana’s.

            1. I did see that and nothing surprises me with that little dweeb.
              Anyone who openly admits he says things just to needle his detractors is a bioch in my opinion. He is a low life and hopefully the blog figures out his deal and ignores his sorry a$$!

            1. CassieBaalke + 49

              Sorry, forgot the shiv to the ribcage before they (Commudus and Russell Crowe) fight…..Prime, are you reading this before you engage Seb (he likes to carry hidden weapons and fights from the gutter).

              1. CassieBaalke,

                Did Commodus and his sister have children, I seem to remember them in a scene and suddenly have become worried about Seb’s daughter?

            2. Commodus… “I searched the faces of the gods for ways to please you, to make you proud. One kind word, one full hug while you pressed me to your chest and held me tight, would’ve been like the sun on my heart for a thousand years. What is in me that you hate so much?”

            3. as far as whomever Seb considers himself to be, this subject is closed now due to doctor/patient confidentiality rules — Dr. R has been silent since last night.
              Seb must have complained to the N.Cal. Board of Psychiatry….

    1. Thanks for the post Mid. I will not question anything other than the 49ers addressing the QB position. That to me seems to be the head scratcher this past offseason. Its what has been the biggest glaring need between the first 2 games.
      If Hoyer plays 20% better yesterday, we win that game.

  36. Not sure about what the game plan should be on offense, but just want to talk about Jimmie Ward for a moment.

    I thought he was very impressive for a guy that’s not 100% and missed TC. But what really stood out to me, and has done since his first season, was his tackling. He may not be a big hitter, but he’s got excellent technique and really did a great job coming up quick and cleaning up with 1-on-1 tackles. Just what you need at the back end.

    1. Your 100 percent correct Scooter. He looked excellent. They found something there. He really flashed his nose for the football. I was impressed.

    2. Yes I agree Scooter. He is a dynamic player but he has to be able to be on the field. We need a guy like that on the backend as he can make plays and change the game.
      Ive never been a fan because he is always hurt. Its not fair but the best ability is availability.

    3. He’s always had what Tartt does not, and no it’s not pop. Football instincts, and I agree, Scooter, Ward is a tackler. I’m looking for him to make a play, and pick off Goff….

    4. Niners will probably try to lock Ward up on a long term contract that is team-friendly. If Buckner and Armstead excel this season as I expect they will, Niners will need to invest a lot in their front 4 in signing them to long term contracts pretty soon. So Niners will try save money on DBs except at FS. Speaking of DBs, I thought that the corners did OK and are continuing to mature despite occasional hiccups. Lucky for them that they are getting some mediocre QB play early in the season.

        1. You haven’t noticed Buckner? Seriously? He has easily been the best DL for the 49ers this year. He may not have the sacks but he is definitely the most disruptive by far. I have been very impressed with how he has played.

          1. Sorry, I have not. He might have a had a sack against Carolina? Cant remember. Maybe my expectations of 1st round dlinemen is a too high.
            I know for sure Dummervil has not done a thing. Double AA looks good as does Mitchell.

            Solomon had a nice tackle for a loss but the pressure overall is lacking. They are stout against the run but have not gotten to the QB enough.

            1. Weird. For mine AA was anonymous against Carolina. Buckner was the only guy that generated any kind of pressure. Against the Seahawks the DL generated heaps of pressure, and Buckner was the main one doing so. He has also been good against the run. He just doesn’t have a sack.

              I think this is a case of if it doesn’t end up in the box score it didn’t happen, because otherwise I really am not sure what this is based on/ you have been watching (and I don’t mean that in an offensive way, just to me Buckner has clearly been the dominant DL for the 49ers and I am really struggling to understand an opposing viewpoint on that).

              1. I guess my interpretation and evaluation comes from the sack totals. I mean its great they are getting pressure but its not resulting in sacks or loss of yards too often.
                I was at both games in SF and Seattle so maybe I am not getting the play by play that TV does but what I see is both QB’s have had all day to throw. Wilson not as much but they didn’t do enough to stop him.

              2. Yeah, the game against the Panthers the pass rush was abysmal, no question. But as I said, Buckner was the only one that made some kind of presence on a few plays.

                Against the Seahawks Wilson didn’t actually have a clean pocket to throw from very often. The DL did a good job generating pressure but Wilson did a great job as he always does of moving around and extending plays, as well as dumping off or just running when he had too. Buckner spent a lot of time in the backfield, both on pass and run plays.

                While they only had three sacks, the pass rush was a big reason Wilson’s passing total was pretty low, despite a lopsided TOP.

              3. I think Wilson prefers to escape the pocket and throw out of it cause he cant see so not sure that was the 49ers doing or more so his intent.
                At the end of the day the defense has been very good. I’m not disappointed in their effort but when you spend 3, 1st round draft picks on the dline, I think the value does not meet the production from AA, Buck and Thomas.

            1. What a surprise from a moron like you who claps his hands at tackles from the 3rd overall pick in the draft.
              Lets have a coming out party for Thomas who makes two tackles for minor losses and say he is going to be a King. F me!

    1. Signed with Tampa. He is a Strong Safety so he wouldn’t fit with Niners IF you were wondering. Reid and Tartt playing well there.

  37. Seriously? Go deep? Go aggressive? The QB doesn’t have a good arm. The WRs he has struggle to get separation.

    So Hoyer’s not going to be gunning things down-field in some 1960s vertical attack because Shanahan wants to go all ‘Al Davis 1966’ and turn Hoyer into Daryle Lamonica! You may as well ask a chicken to be a peacock.

    That’s why Grant’s plays last week were well-meaning, but silly. That’s why all this ‘go deep young man’ stuff isn’t going to play. You can draw up all the plays you want, you can beat the deep-ball drum, but if your QB can’t make the throws without high INT risk, you may as well save the effort and the paper.

    If we’re lucky Hoyer will be able to, after Shanahan sucks the defense in on the short game and inside zone rushing attack, throw two or three deep balls in 30 attempts because he’s gotten a favorable match-up and the protection has held. We’ll be lucky if one of those low success works.

      1. Kyle is buying himself some time so he can put CJ in…. This has been the plan all along. He wants CJ to continue to develop as much as possible before putting him in…

          1. I don’t know Grant, that was the game plan considering the oline has not been able to hold up.
            Holding Shanny accountable to a game plan of short passes when he does not have the line to protect makes perfect sense to me.

            I think pointing the finger at Kyle Shannahan this early after playing 2 really good defenses is simply unfair.

              1. He didn’t. We ran on third down at least three times. We passed to Hyde, out of the backfield, at least twice.

    1. Moses ZD – you misinterpret Grant’s plays. Some of them were off of a 3-step drop with a pump, others were off of a 5-step drop…….yesterday Wilson faked a run play and hit Graham on a seam pass out of the shotgun, but the ball was dislodged on contact. Virtually the same concept with a different window dressing……… obviously don’t have the football acumen to understand………

      1. It wasn’t addressed to just Grant. And I’m addressing the point of ‘GO DEEP, YOUNG MAN! GO DEEP!

        But thank you. I should have been clearer as I assumed the context would carry the point further in. Obviously it didn’t.

  38. I think Shanny & Lynch agreed way before week 1, that this is not a year for a playoff run, but to implement the new system – a learning and developing year for everyone in the 2/3 new team. they have 6 years and the focus is clearly on a franchise qb next year. they would never say anything public or to their players, but the plan is a high draft pick and to find those players, they can really count on next year. if i were Shanny, my play-calling would rather test my players in my system, than looking for a win. learn the system and be competitve. well, Hoyer did everything he can to prevent a win, he might be part of the plan.

  39. Grant,
    Appreciate your suggesting the plays for last Sunday’s game. It stimulates football discussions. Although I had little time this weekend to comment on the plays (or the blogs in general) I studied them.
    With regard to Thursday’s game, I suspect there will not be much new game planning and a brilliant offensive mind like Shanny probably has a good plan which the offense needs to execute, However, I’d be curious to see them execute one of Greg Cosell’s chestnuts — the dagger route. Goodwin will run the go route from inside as a decoy, and Hoyer will throw to Garcon or Robinson running a dig route for a big gain.

  40. Pound the rock Grant. Run on first and second down, if third is longer than 3 yards, throw the ball down the field, nothing less than 15 yards . If it’s 3 yards or less, keep running. Goodwin’s a track guy. Have him go deep every play he’s in there . Too bad. That’s punishment for dropping two possible game changing plays in the first two games. Throw the ball down the field on third and long (4-10 or more yards) hope for a completion or a PI. Have at least two guys deep every third and long. If it’s intercepted it the same as a punt as long as you can avoid the big run back, or if it incomplete you punt and play field position, shorten the game and let the defense rest so their not exhausted in the fourth quarter. Forget the dink and dunk. At least follow this basic plan until the second half. If it’s working, then play action will open up thereafter. Don’t give up on the run. Run it down their throats. That’s my play.

    1. As Rockne (and Rudy) said… “We’re gonna go inside, we’re gonna go outside, inside and outside. We’re gonna get ’em on the run boys and once we get ’em on the run we’re gonna keep ’em on the run. And then we’re gonna go go go go go go and we’re not gonna stop til we get across that goal line. This is a team they say is… is good, well I think we’re better than them. They can’t lick us, so what do you say men?”

      1. Hmm, they tried that 21 times, and so far, they have not scored a TD.
        Maybe if they truly want to win, they should sign Kaep to a Prove It contract, and let him compete for the starting job.

  41. Grant so you believe we need to see what CJ has this year so the Organization can make plans for the offseason and if they need to target a QB for the future. Beathard can’t be much worse than Hoyer. I have been really disappointed in Hoyer. I didn’t think he was our next franchise QB but i expected more than this.

  42. I apologize ahead of time for this long post, I think I just have a ton of pent up garbage from the past few years, it’s time to start letting it out. Thank you Grant for the if nothing else, interesting and controversial articles. I like that you will challenge things, and even just try to start stuff. Let’s keep ppl on their toes.

    Why does everybody talk about CK, and completely miss the fact that the real loss was trading Alex Smith? Yes, I am one of ‘those guys’, and believe we would have won the SB with him. It would not have been a choke on the goal line, with 3 straight fade passes to a completely overmatched Crabtree. Worst coaching and QB play I have ever seen, the moment was too big for them. Remember Mike Shanahan calling Steve Youngs naked bootleg plays? I wanted so bad to see CK roll left there, I really think they lost it under pressure. Good riddance. Anyone who thinks CK is an answer has conveniently forgot that heartbreaking sequence. It has been all downhill since that moment, and they finally now blown up the roster.

    The offense is devoid of talent, Hoyer is very clumsy in the pocket, rattled, unathletic. I’m not sure he’s even better than Gabbert. Garcon is a poor man’s Boldin, I do like him though, just not how I loved Boldin. Why did we not attack Sherman more??

    To attack the Rams, play action screens. Get Kittle involved, slants from the slot like against Carolina. (A safety cant guard him, and hes too fast for a LB)Get Breida the ball in space, manufacture shorter passes to Goodwin, see if it’s a confidence thing. Start building up Trent Taylor. Identify who is part of the future, and whose not. Brick by brick right?

    Anybody prescribing to the idea of tanking, is a loser. A player or coach who is not completely giving 100 percent on every single play is NOT part of a successful future. It’s about creating a culture of winners, not losers. Do you really think John Lynch is gonna allow losers on the team? I believe in Shanahan and Lynch, it’s gonna take 2 more years. 49ers can’t afford to miss on players though.

    I’ve been impressed with the defense 2 weeks in, like most. It’s hard to be worse than last year, didn’t we give up over 250 on the ground in Seattle? However, let’s not forget Seattle and Carolina left a lot of plays on the field. The one clown McIntyre dropped 2 passes for Seattle yesterday, a third down and in the end zone. Game wasn’t as close as it appeared, you can’t gain yardage when you don’t have the ball. 3rd down offense and defense were not good.

    Solomon Thomas had some moments yesterday, but not like a number 3 pick should look. Just my opinion.

    1. Since you bring up Kaep, I will just have to respectfully disagree. Yes, Kaep regressed, but last season, he had a 90.7 QBR, even with a turnstile O line and the worst ranked receivers.
      You may tout Hoyer as being superior to Kaep, but the film does not lie. Hoyer is pulling a Gabbert, and is imploding on his own. RW showed how a mobile QB can elude the pass rush, and gain first downs with his legs, just like Kaep did last season.
      I do not want the Niners to tank, I want them to win, so that is why I am advocating Kaep. No matter what, the Niners should draft a QB, but right now, Kaep would give them the best chance to win, even over CJB. He could be the bridge QB, but ideally, he could assume the leadership position, so the Niners do not need to spend a bunch of picks to get one of the elite QB prospects, and use 4 out of 5 of those first 3 rounds of picks to get some offensive weapons, and a stout O lineman.
      Trading away Alex was smart, because the Niners used one of those picks to get Hyde. Revisionist thinking will not guarantee that Alex would have succeeded at something he has continually failed at. Alex had a stout defense and good RB and WR, and failed to go to the SB with the Niners, and he has done the same thing with the Chiefs, even with a stout defense and good RB and WR.

  43. Agree King. You’ll never change the CK apologists though, so just a heads up. It’s everybody else’s fault. The coaches, the receivers, the refs, the cheerleaders, the gardners and the hot dog venders. He’s the greatest of all time. He can put his foot on the one inch line and take it 99.99 yards for the TD. He’s a duel threat. He’s accurate rolling out and throwing. He can shrug off arm tackles. He can analyze a defense in a split second at the line of scrimmage. He can go through his progressions. He can leap a tall building in a single bound. All that but somehow he couldn’t lead his team to a winning Super Bowl TD from 5 yards out in 4 tries. No doubt Alex would have. So would have Joe, Steve, Jeff, John, or YA. No question about it. I liken the trade of Alex away in favor of Kaep to the SF Giants trading Orlando Cepeda away for Ray Sadeki. Worst move in both organizations history. The guy is 11-24 in his last 35 starts and 19-32 in his last 51 starts besides choking g in the biggest game and moment of his mediocre, forgettable career, yet his worshippers insist he’d be the Niners best chance to win! I kid you not! I’m sure you’ll hear a rebuttal from the blogs supreme Kaep proponent. Don’t laugh too hard! It’s classic stuff!

    1. Juan, since you parroted most of what I would say, I do not have to repeat it..
      Yes, I, too was disappointed that Kaep did not get those last 5 yards, but it happened. I was also disappointed that he fell one pass short of returning, but at least he made the Niners relevant, and competing for a SB.
      Sadly, Alex has never won an NFCC Game or an AFCC Game, so you have to accept those facts, too. He has never made it to the SB, and probably never will. KC will have to defeat the Raiders, Broncos, Steelers Ravens or Texans, just to get the chance to be defeated again by the Pats. BB will not be defeated twice by the Chiefs.
      Touting Alex is just sour grapes, but if you really want some second guessing, the better move would have been to draft Aaron Rodgers instead of Alex Smith. Heck, the Niners might have won a couple more rings if they had done that. Alex will never lead the Niners to the SB. Kaep did,
      Some day, Alex Smith might learn to run the hurry up offense without huddling up.

      1. Hey Sebbie… It’s all in the rear view mirror–going on five–countem’–five years ago. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. It’s over. No SB victory for Kaep. Let’s not trot out all the other 9ers QBs over the last 30 years who coulda scored on four tries from the five–the likes of Bono, Grbac, etc.

        Speaking of sour grapes…you wallow in them–Kaep was stabbed in the back, everyone else was at fault (never ever Kaep). It’s over cupcake.

        1. Cassie, yes, Kaep was stabbed in the back, and Baalke twisted the knife.
          Sure am glad Baalke was kicked to the gutter where he belongs, but the stench of Baalke lingers, every time you post.

          1. Sebbie… Yes, Kaep was the victim. With your finger write that on your shower door every morning (or bathroom mirror)…assuming you shower every day. Believe it. Live it. Let it consume you. Kaep was and is the victim. Kaep has had zero responsibility for his play; why should he, he’s a victim.

      1. Sebbie… Do your eyes fill with tears as Rudy runs out on the gridiron for the last play? Do you wish you could have been a Rudy–perhaps at Cal State Sacramento?

  44. I agree with you on Aaron Seb, no question. Rogers will be a Hall of Famer. That was a giant swing and miss. That however doesn’t change the fact that keeping Kaep over Alex was the right move. It wasn’t. Where we will always differ though is I believe “the team” led Kaep to the SB and CG, not the other way around, and brought him all the way to within mere yards of victory in both games and then mistakenly asked him to do something that he wasn’t talented enough to do. To win it with his inaccurate arm and his inability to see the field. His two biggest weaknesses. Sad. I think Alex would have brought us that victory. In fact I have no doubt. No less than you have thinking Kaep would come back and lead a team to victories. I think are positions are settled. Of course, Joe agrees with me! ;>) Were the same age. Makes sense. Actually, I’m one month older! Steve does too by the way! Have a good night Seb.

  45. I am optimistic. This last game gave me hope. The Niners can compete for the playoffs, because the Seahawks are vulnerable, the Cards have Palmer, and the Rams just lost.
    If the Niners win this next game, they could be in the playoff hunt.
    If the Niners survive the first half of the season, they could string together some victories in the second half because the second half has lots of winnable games..
    Niners should scour the FA market to obtain a SB QB.

      1. Kaep was the first Niner QB in 18 years to play in a SB, and he gives them the best chance to return, Nothing is guaranteed, and it will make the next one that much sweeter, especially if Kaep can lead them back to relevance.

    1. I’d much rather see Beathard get some playing time vs bring back that running QB who opted out of his contract. Like I said many times over the last couple years, Kaep is done.

      1. Kaep is in the prime of his life and is patiently waiting. Attrition will open up new opportunities.
        Haters do not want him to play because they are afraid he might do well.

            1. Alex has gotten better every year since being drafted and playing at a high level now. Krap is unemployed and has regressed every year.
              The 49ers made a big mistake trading Alex and keeping Krap.

  46. I think Joe and Steve are retired, and probably aren’t on the free agent market. Mmmm, Trent Dilfer? Jim Plunkett? Troy Aikman? Terry Bradshaw? Is Brodie still alive? I would sign any one of them before Kaep, seriously, even at their age, especially Steve. He could strap a jock on right now and play better than the bottom 10-15 QB’s in the league, right where Kaep would be. Nobody is going to sign a QB that is 19-32 in his last 51 starts and brings along with him controversy, divisiveness, a gaggle of media hounds and an angry fan base. Not gonna happen. As for this season, my 9-7 prediction is still in play as I had them losing to Seattle but beating Carolina. They’ll have to steal one of my predicted loses to get back on track but your right, I have them winning 5 of 8 in the second half, including the last 3 games. As soon as the Niner coaches adhere to my game plan, the wins should start coming. Do you hear that Kyle? Grant? Listen to the Juan. :)

  47. You have to give Goodwin more opportunities to catch especially after a dropped pass.
    Goodwin needs to make some long pass catches in order to begin the process of gaining confidence.
    He already knows that no one can cover him long. The next step in his progress is to keep trying to put the ball in his hands and not give up on him after a couple of misses.
    O-line needs to tighten up as well.

      1. I agree he needs more opportunities but if a RB fumbles, is that not the equivalent of drops for a WR?
        If that’s the case, don’t you lose your touches?

  48. Grant,
    Your heading seems to imply that Shanahan needs our help. Hmmm, since when does a SB caliber Off. Cord need our help? Especially after just two games.
    Do you have an ax to grind given the fact that Shanahan ignored your offensive plays?
    Your writing style seems to change towards the coaches whenever you don’t get the answers you feel you deserve during pressers.
    C’mon Grant, have a cold one and calm down.

  49. One play the Niners should have considered is the Third Down Bomb.
    I said the Niners could have run that play with Kaep at the 25 yard line this past season, but with Hoyer, I saw an opportunity when they were near the 50 yard line. I think it was third and 4 yards.
    The Niners should put a TE in motion, and have him pinch in the DE, so Hoyer can roll out to that side. This will buy time and allow the receivers to get down field. Hoyer should throw the ball high and deep, and aim for it to fall on the 5 yard line. It would essentially be a Hail Mary pass, and a jump ball.
    The strategic advantage is that the defenders cannot interfere with the receivers, otherwise, they would be flagged for pass interference. If a receiver catches the ball, great. If he draws a flag, great. if it falls incomplete, they punt on 4th down. If the defender intercepts, all the receivers around him will prevent any return, and it would pin the other team down by the goal line. Hoyer should not throw it into the end zone, because if the defender downs it in the end zone, it comes out to the 20 yard line.
    QBs would not like this play because of the possibility of an interception. However, the risk/reward analysis makes this bold play an option to consider.

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