Jerry Rice demonstrates how to practice like a winner, but the 49ers don’t follow his example

SANTA CLARA

This is what stood out to me during practice Monday morning.

THE AMAZING

1. 54-year-old Hall-of-Fame WR Jerry Rice. The 49ers invited Jerry Rice and Steve Young to speak to the players before practice. After they spoke, Young watched practice from the sideline for 15 minutes then left, while Rice joined the players on the field and practiced like he was a member of the team. Rice wore cleats, athletic shorts, wrist bands and special wide receiver gloves, and participated in drills with the other receivers. He practiced running routes with them. He practiced catching passes with them. He showed Marquise Goodwin how to run a double move. When the offense rehearsed plays it would run later during practice, Rice ran routes by himself. He didn’t stand and watch the action like all the other players who weren’t participating in the drill. When the offense and the defense scrimmaged against each other, Rice lined up five yards behind the offense as if he were one of the starting wide receivers. And when the center snapped the ball, Rice ran a route. He didn’t stand and watch like the players who were on the sideline. Rice constantly worked. He never took a rep off. He seemed like he was replicating his practice routine from 25 years ago when he was in his prime. He showed the other players what it takes to practice like a champion.

THE NOT SO GOOD

1. The discipline and focus of the players. Unfortunately, Rice’s tutorial didn’t rub off. The 49ers continued to play sloppy, unfocused football, just as they did last week during practice and Friday during the first preseason game. Joe Staley and Vance McDonald both committed a false start penalty on the same play. One member of the first-team defense jumped offside in the red zone. And four times, Kyle Shanahan had to tell players to run back to the huddle and start a play over because someone on the offense didn’t line up correctly. Three of these times, a starter lined up in the wrong spot, which is particularly troubling. Shanahan still hasn’t figured out how he’s going to instill discipline into his players. Having Rice show them proper practice habits was creative, but ineffective. Rice is retired. Shanahan must get players who are on the team and in their prime to lead and enforce a standard of performance. I’m talking Joe Staley. Pierre Garcon. Brian Hoyer. Kyle Juszczyk. Logan Paulsen. Tim Hightower. Ahmad Brooks. Elvis Dumervil. Earl Mitchell.

2. LB NaVorro Bowman. I don’t include Bowman in the list of leaders because he’s a question mark. He’s attempting to make a comeback from a brutal injury and players know it. Before he can lead, he has to complete his comeback. And he still has a ways to go. During the second-to-last play of practice, Bowman gave up a 30-yard completion from C.J. Beathard to running back Joe Williams. Williams ran a double move – a slant-and-go – and left Bowman in the dust. After practice, I asked defensive coordinator Robert Saleh what happened on that play. He said Bowman got beat because he “got tired,” and the “wind got the better of (him).” Poor excuse. Williams got the better of Bowman. Wind had nothing to do with it.

3. QB Matt Barkley. Barkley threw an interception, as he does almost every day of practice. Today, he got picked while playing against the third-team defense. He sailed a pass over the head of wide receiver Tim Patrick, who jumped and tipped the ball to free safety Adrian Colbert. I expect Shanahan will formally demote Barkley to third string by the end of training camp.

4. DE Aaron Lynch. Lynch left practice early with a right leg injury. Saleh said he didn’t know the severity of the injury. We’ll find out more about it tomorrow when the 49ers release their anticipated practice-participation report.

5. NT Earl Mitchell. Mitchell also suffered an injury. He walked off the field and watched the last few minutes of practice from the sideline.

THE GOOD

1. QB Brian Hoyer. Hoyer completed 19 of 23 pass attempts and threw four touchdown passes: One to Carlos Hyde, one to Pierre Garcon, one to Kendrick Bourne and one to Logan Paulsen. Despite the 49ers’ current issues with focus and discipline, I believe the additions of Hoyer and Shanahan will transform the 49ers from a two-win team to a nine-win team, similar to how the additions of Alex Smith and Andy Reid transformed the Chiefs from a two-win team to an 11-win team in 2013.

2. QB C.J. Beathard. Beathard completed eight of 14 pass attempts as the No. 2 quarterback. Toward the end of practice, he led two drives against the starting defense. He got intercepted during the first drive when he threw a pass over DeAndre Smelter’s head. But during the second drive, Beathard completed six of eight pass attempts and drove the second-team offense to the goal line before Shanahan abruptly ended practice. Shanahan should play Beathard during the first half of Saturday’s preseason game against the Broncos so he can face first-string and second-string opponents. He has earned that opportunity.

3. WR Victor Bolden Jr. The undrafted rookie wide receiver made the best catch of practice when he dove for a deep pass from Barkley, quickly jumped to his feet and ran to the end zone before any defender touched him. The Niners have two good undrafted rookie receivers – Bolden and Kendrick Bourne. Both are good enough to make the final roster.

4. FS Lorenzo Jerome. The Niners also have a good undrafted rookie free safety – Lorenzo Jerome. He played with the starters today and intercepted a pass while former second-round pick Jaquiski Tartt played only with the backups. Jerome almost certainly will make the team.

5. FS Adrian Colbert. The Niners drafted Colbert to play cornerback, but he played free safety with the third-string defense today and intercepted two passes. He seems much better suited to play safety than cornerback, because he covers a lot of ground in center field and thrives when he can keep his eyes on the quarterback.

This article has 255 Comments

  1. Bellichek has been with the Patriots 15 years.

    What if the 49ers than ran off those SuperBowls weren’t cherry picked by the rest of the NFL and kept Holmgren, John Gruden, Mike Shanahan, Denny Green and Pete Carrol

    1. Belicheck is a head coach and one of the best. That is why he has been with the Patriots for 15 years. You will also see Belicheck has lost a number of assistants during that time as all good teams do. All those coaches you list about were 49er assistants. When you have a susccessful organization as the 49ers had through the 1980s and much of the 1990s, other teams are going to poach your assistants for promotions. That is life in the NFL

      1. Grant, with Chanceller James out for the season, what’s the depth chart at SS? I thought Tartt was Reid’s primary backup at SS heading into camp, before Ward strained his hammy?

        I wondered if the 49ers ought to try Colbert at FS when they drafted him. He’s certainly got enough size to play either safety position, and his athleticism is very, very impressive. I believe he’s a four-year letterman in track & field, and was the Texas 3A state champion in the 400m. He has genuine 4.40 speed. Have you noticed him standout at all on ST? The 49ers appear to be in pretty good shape now at FS if Ward comes back strong. Colbert just might make this squad given his versatility. He’s certainly a strong PS candidate.

        I am concerned about Bow. I love me some NaVorro Bowman, but they way Alex ran right by him Friday was disturbing. He made Alex Smith look like Barry Sanders. Maybe Bow just took a bad step and was caught off balance, but it appeared like he got his boot stuck in the mud. I wouldn’t be surprised if Foster is the Starting Mike by week 4, with Ray Ray lined up next to him at Will.

        I know Coyle is likely a lock, due to his ST ability, but if you had to chose between one of these 2 guys for the PS, who would it be …… Newsom or DiManche?

  2. Just read a couple of articles about moves to contemplate before the end of training camp. Bowmen to the Raiders who need and LB and Staley to the Giants who need a left tackle to be a super bow. contender. both the Raiders and the Giants have the ability to reach the Super Bowl with the help of a couple of key players.

  3. A pity Rice isn’t interested in joining the coaching staff in some capacity. Even if it is just like Haley, coming down to assist some days.

          1. Thanks….just way too much ground to cover in a 4-3 esp. in this defensive scheme (drop back and lateral coverage). You basically need two safeties there and that ain’t Bowman.

  4. I’d find a spot on the coaching staff for The San Francisco Treat, and it’s a breath of fresh air embracing our history, and players of renown.

    Bowman has been a total liability in coverage, so anyone expecting anything different was letting their emotion get the best of themselves.

    I called Beathard doing it to Barkley in camp, and Grant identified him as the quarterback Shanny would have interest in the draft.

    I wonder what the record is for UFDA’s making a NFL roster, because it’s looking like maybe 5 do it.

    Grant, did King Solomon look any worse for wear?

    1. Solomon looked fine. I wonder if the plan is to use him only as a nickel interior rusher. Guess that will depend on Tank’s ability to defend the run. It’s never a bad idea to keep a rookie’s role simple.

      1. Solomon at the 3T could spark a Bryant Young 2.0-like career. Why is Saleh reversing the skill sets? He has our best two-gap defenders like Buckner at 3T instead of the Big End and has our best interior pass rushers like Blair and Thomas at Big End taking on two wasting their best skills. But hey, Tank is finally in the right spot. Oh the irony!

    2. Great players do not always make great coaches. I do get the sentiment of having Jerry on board. Rice was looking good, no doubt.

    3. People assume that former star players might actually want to become assistant coaches. Most do not. They’ve moved on to other things

      1. Most assume they have a choice when the owner calls you up, and says we need you. What will it take to get you in here?;>)

  5. Hey Grant , was wondering what role ,or title . Coach Katie Sowers will play with the team , if you have any information on this yet ,or thoughts, would love to here it. Any news ? I also agree that the team needs better practice habits.but us talking about it ,is good ,but fixing it would be better,any ideas or thoughts on this.

  6. Only could wish the best receiver,to play the game , would come to stay and teach what practice/ work ethic produces ,and there results, how many super bowls . Pro-bowl appearances . what it does for your teammates , the level of professionalism . That’s why he’s the greatest , day in and day out ,never saw that man quit. We can certainly use some of that . Good observation grant . Hope to hear your response , looking forward to it . Thanks

  7. Not so good.
    3. 3 as in 3rd string, I agree. Barkley is worthless. I’d rather see what Mullens can do in the preseason.

    Good
    1. “I believe the additions of Hoyer and Shanahan will transform the 49ers from a two-win team to a nine-win team…” I’m still saying 12-4, but I might lower that to 11-5 or 10-6 because of the secondary and every O lineman not named Staley. I totally agree that we will be much better and that Shanny and Hoyer will be a big reason for such an improvement.

    1. Shanny can triple our win total in year one, but expecting him to multiply it by five seems like a stretch to me. As Grant points out, Andy Reid was able to do it, but he was a seasoned head coach. Is it possible, sure. Probable, not really….

      1. That’s a fair take. But Shanny has a seasoned father to lean on. He also has a long list of former Niner greats at his disposal. Also, this roster is far superior to last years abomination.

          1. Charles Hayley, John Lynch, Jason Tarver, Jeff Zgonina, Demeco Ryans.
            There is a bunch guys there who have won, have a ton of NFL experience and young enough to relate to today’s player.
            He’s got plenty to lean on and to pick their brain.

  8. This on the 9er website… “Barkley threw touchdowns to Garrett Celek and Blake Bell.” Can you tell us anything about these plays?

    I’m not a Barkley apologist…just curious about the plays.

  9. Grant if my memory serves me correctly (it is suspect) first couple of days of training camp I do believe you said CJ was not going to cut it. You seem to have reversed course which is a good thing. You say he earned it – how so?

  10. They ought to hire Rice just to practice. He could wear a ninja suit and cleats and never say a single word. Just run all the drills like a bad a$$ ninja wide receiver warrior and then stare at the other receivers disapprovingly, shaking his head.

    They’d catch on eventually.

    1. Why would the team sign Cousins if their draft crush is already a #sign and its only tc?
      He can simply take over for Hoyer. Whether that be at the end of his 2 yr contract or mid season moving Hoyer to backup qb by wk 6 of next yr.
      The moresuccess Beathard has the slimmer the chance Cousins signs.

      1. Matt

        Cousins is a Redskin…why would we (niners) be trying to establish chemistry with Hoyer, Barkley, CJ Beathard and who-knows who else, and break the bank on Cousins ? He’s got no trophies….I like who we’ve got….

        1. We agree. I was one of the few who said Cousins wasn’t coming here, wouldn’t be a good signing, and that the team had moved on. He plays in a weak division with a stacked offensive roster. This year he lost Jackson and Garcon. He is overrated. He’ll resign in Washington because the Redskins have no other options.

  11. Lorenzo Jerome started at free safety against the Chiefs. Not Tartt. You can see Jerome clear as day running down the field when Robinson got beat on the first play of the opening possession.

  12. PFF, for what its worth.

    http://www.49ers.com/news/article-2/Three-49ers-Named-to-Pro-Football-Focus-Team-of-the-Week/710c3c77-3ef8-40a7-84f2-806190b3e8d3

    Kendrick Bourne: 87.0 overall grade

    Matt Breida: 83.6 overall grade

    “Breida, who’s 26 snaps were the most of any 49ers running back, did most of his damage running up the gut of the defense. His six missed tackles forced were the most of any running back this week, and all of which were on attempts run between the guards, and out of his 40 yards rushing, 25 came after contact. Breida chipped in a couple receptions as well, and did not allow a pressure on his three pass block snaps.” 

    Erik Magnuson: 82.7 overall grade

    “The 49ers rushed for 188 yards as a team, thanks in part to Magnuson and his 85.4 run block grade. The undrafted rookie free agent out of Michigan played 39-of-79 snaps and was the only 49ers offensive lineman to finish with an overall grade above 72.0. Also, on his 13 pass block snaps, Magnuson did not allow a quarterback pressure.”

      1. Zuttah gets cut and then Magnuson plays well in the first game. Perhaps the staff saw something in Magnuson which made Zuttah expendable. Our coaches are on point.

        1. If he can be the Center of the future, I’ll be as giddy as a drunken man.

          If Beathard can be the QB of the future, I’ll be as merry as a schoolboy.

          If we win 9-10 games this year, I’ll be as happy as an angel!

          1. So will the 49ers get any compensation if Zuttah resigns with the Ravens? I’m sure they probably dont but I don’t keep up with how the comp picks work. Not a huge deal since it was only a swap of 6th round picks but if Zuttah resigns and plays for the Ravens this year then Ozzie Newsom clearly won that trade deal.

            Also, I haven’t been hearing much on Juszczyk. Tried to watch him against the Chiefs but he didn’t really stand out in any way. Whats the word on his performance? Did he grade out well in the Chiefs exhibition?

            1. I cannot answer your questions, but I’d like to comment on the FB position. I think Hyde will be the beneficiary of having him leading the way. Obvious, I know, but something to consider when evaluating Hyde’s performance thus far….

  13. Reid turned around a seasoned chiefs team. From players to coaches he didnt have a 1st yr gm with no previous GM experience. He didn’t have a dc who had never been a DC before. He wasmt implementing an offense that was difficult with a career backup qb. And here is my prejudice a strength and conditioning coach who has had 1 successful season in 20 and been unemployed 2 seasons.
    This is a team that spent big on two names. Lynch and Shanahan. They put the rest of the coaching staff together penny pinching and reaching for diamonds in the rough

      1. I believe Andy reid’s offense is less complicated and doesn’t include down field throws.
        Yes, Alex Smith is better than Hoyer. Jay Cutler is better than Hoyer. In my opinion even Bradford is better than Hoyer. Hoyer a backup mascarading as a starter

    1. The coaching staff was not put together penny pinching. Not sure how you came to that conclusion. Most of the staff are people that have ties to Kyle Shanahan. Look at the Oline Coach and Running Backs coach that have extensive NFL experience

  14. September 16th, SMU @ TCU might be a game some of you would like to check out. Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU is a player that could prove to be a legitimate number one. He’ll be going up against the top defense, 5 years running.

    CS’ 2016 statistics: 76 catches for 1,246 yards (16.4 average), 10 TDs.

  15. Thanks for the report Grant. Illuminating.

    I have to wonder which players are likely to step up and show leadership to firm up the discipline within the corps. Who do you see as likely candidates?

    1. It should be Bow and Staley since they’re captains. Bow has taken Foster under his wing, so he is showing leadership. Other vets like Garcon and Elvis could step up. Elvis has been teaching too. Of course the QB needs to be a leader.

      With regards to firing up the team, it will ironically be a rookie. Foster will be the heart of the defense if not the whole team. The guy just loves football.

      1. I see Foster as an inspirational type leader yes. Bow as a motivational leader. Perhaps Stanley as a teacher. Lott was an enforcer of team rules and culture as well as all the other stuff. We need someone within the team to step up and hold everyone accountable. I would like to know who may be the one that may be that candidate. Does Garçon have the disposition? I think Boldin did! I hope someone does because the team will need someone to do that.

  16. Grant. Question. Barkley. This on the 9er website… “Barkley threw touchdowns to Garrett Celek and Blake Bell.” Can you tell us anything about these plays?

    I’m not a Barkley apologist…just curious about the plays.

    1. Those were Barkley’s two TD passes during the red-zone drill. Beathard also threw TDs in the red zone — one to Raheem Mostert and one to Matt Breida.

  17. http://www.sfgate.com/49ers/article/Jerry-Rice-Steve-Young-talk-to-49ers-about-11818877.php

    Young, for example, shared that he always made sure a coach sent him the game plan a day early so he had extra time to prepare.
    “So now,” safety Eric Reid said. “I want to do that with my coach.”

    Before practice, Young relayed a story about Rice running routes at the facility … the day after a Super Bowl parade.
    Young “asked him what he was doing and he said ‘Man, someone is coming to get my job next year,’” Reid said. “So he’s fresh off a Super Bowl and he’s training for the next one. That’s why he was the greatest.”

    1. So happy the legends are perusing practice and infusing the atmosphere with their awesomeness.

      Can we get Lott to come hang out with the secondary?

  18. Beathard Really surprised me with his poise and pocket presence in the pre season game. I know that’s what he was know for in Iowa, but that’s Iowa. Vs NFL talent -even 3rd string- he showed some great skills that can be developed at this level. I’m glad he’s carried it into practice this week.

  19. Thanks Grant. Great job. Absolutely agree with your Rice observations. I don’t expect the players not in the particular practice play to line up behind the line of scrimmage like he was apparently doing and mix in with the play. That wouldn’t work obviously but the players should soak in the wisdom Jerry is trying to share with them concerning “attention to detail”, “work ethic” and “discipline”. Few have ever had what Jerry brings to the field every minute of every day. If they could all emulate half of what he does daily it would improve the team.
    Really happy with the Hoyer news. I’m really pulling for the guy, though I do get this feeling that he is the bridge to CJ. I think KS is more than super high on this kid. I hope your wish comes true and Beathard gets some first half time this next game. He is intriguing to say the least.

  20. A leader is a leader, his “comeback” should have nothing to do with it. He has already done enough in his career to earn those players respect.

  21. Grant, how much of Hoyer’s success in practice do you put down to Hoyer/ the offense being good vs the defense (in particular coverage players) being bad?

      1. That’s what scares me about Hoyer. He’s a good QB when it’s scripted. But when the pressure is on and the talent matters, he’s Brian Hoyer.

        This regime made a huge mistake thinking they could mask their way at the QB position for the 2017 season.
        I’m sure this will be a weekly comment on the blog this year.

        1. Well said, that’s mostly what I was trying to convey in the last blog. Maybe my delivery was a bit off……we have zero viable qb option. U guys predicting double digit wins are high as a kite, double digit losses is what we are in store for. Almost 20 penalties the other night, sloppy play in practice and games…..KS and Hoyer battery far from a proven commodity.
          Do any of you think for a second that out brass will give the okay on a bidding war for Cousins? We can all agree none of our current qbs are the answer, maybe the rook but he won’t truly be ready until next year. I’ve made by stance obvious, I think Kaep at least deserves a shot. Sorry to beat a dead horse gentlemen…….let the he’s not a good fit comments commence.

          1. Let me make sure I read this right. “We can all agree none of our current qbs are the answer, maybe the rook but he won’t truly be ready until next year.”

            If the rookie is ready next year, why would they sign Cousins? The rookie would start. That is why the team drafted him. He wasn’t drafted to be the career backup. The plan is to develop him and, gasp… start him. If he’s ready next year, that is great! If he isn’t, Hoyer is signed for 2 years. Regardless the two could switch roles at any point this season or next and the team would be set at both starting QB and backup QB.

            Asking Kaepernick to run this system is like asking someone who only speaks French to teach Spanish. It is a better choice to have the Spanish speaker teach the class.

        2. Hoyer is a stop gap. But I am not sure what they could have done this year. Baalke left them with nothing to work with having failed to address the QB position despite the need to address it the past several years. The draft is the place to find your franchise QB. They could have tried to make a deal with NE for Garapolo but that would have come at a steep price and we’ve seen the history of NE QBs going elsewhere. This was a weak draft class.

        1. It’s exactly like the Alex Smith situation where play calling has to basically be 100% dialed in for him to be successful.

          When it’s time to improvise, or make something out of nothing,he’ll throw picks or take sacks.

          1. Exact same situation, well except the fact thatHoyer will never sniff a Pro Bowl. The suggestion that he’s comparable to AS is a complete farce, not on his best day. Basing that comparison off of the past year and half is laughable, last year’s playoffs performances by those 2 couldn’t have been anymore contrasting.

            1. You just said, being compared to Alex Smith is a complete farce.. 😂😂😂. Woo, thanks for the laugh. People sleep on Hoyer because of that playoff game, understandable, but I’d take him over Captain checkdown anyday. Alex protects games. I want to Know my qb is going to do whatever he can to win games, not protect them by throwing 3 yard checkdowns, when he has a man open 15 yds down field. Hoyer is in no means a top flight QB. But year after year people watch Smith ride the coat tails of a strong defense, and as long as he has that, he’s relevant. But to try to put him in this certain qb comparison wheel, is a farce.

              1. Capt checkdown is a probowl qb, and btw I didn’t originally throw him in this qb comparison……Mr.Cohn did. Your welcome for the chuckle.

              2. Point is I didn’t start that comparison. There is no comparison to be made. Hoyer isn’t on par with AS or Kaep.

  22. Sure is nice to see a connection to the Glory Years. It is like a breath of fresh air.
    .
    Wonder if Ward practiced, or even worked out.
    .
    Wonder if Boldin can handle kickoffs.
    .
    Will this mean Barkley gets cut and they go with only 2 QBs, and save a spot for Bourne or Boldin.

  23. The problem is that no one is afraid of losing their job. This season is a wash, so why not fire the next idiot(s) that dog it during practice? Once one of the veterans gets released, then maybe it will start to sink in. Walsh was a disciplinarian, not a “player’s coach” (nice guy). Landry, Shula, Lombardi, Belichick, Knoll, and Halas were all disciplinarian coaches, and that’s why they WON!

  24. Grant – this was a good synopsis of the day’s activity and I enjoyed reading it. The 49ers have not had a “leader” on this team since Patrick Willis retired. The problem with the players you listed is that none of them – from what I have read and can remember – have been leaders on their previous teams. It will take some time and a turnover of personnel to bring the high level of standard that you allude to. One thing I found bizarre about your article was the prediction of nine wins. At best, they are three to four win team. Anything more will show the coaching talents of Shanahan. Let’s hope they don’t overachieve – we still need impact players and we won’t get those drafting in the middle of the first round.

  25. If we are waiting for Hoyer to enforce a standard of excellence, gonna be waiting a long time……I just don’t see what some of you guys do, hopefully we get a good luck at him next game. KS should have him getting as much work in games as possible, like maybe the first half…..honestly I think he pulled him so quick last game so dude didn’t get his fragile confidence broken in the 1st preseason game. Can’t hide him forever tho…..

    1. Reed, you obviously know my position, but I will not go there because it tends to go pyrotechnic.
      .
      I will say that KS, as HC, should be allowed to direct the team the way he wants to. If he wants Hoyer, I will respect his decision. I will root for Hoyer, and maybe Lynch has improved the running game,O line and WRs enough to mask the limitations of the QBs. If Hoyer can hand off and win games, I will be a happy camper. If the running game is so effective, and the defense has to key to stop the run, then the play action passes down field may be also effective. Of course, the O line has to step up its game, but after the last 2 seasons, I will consider anything to be an improvement, since they are ranked last in at least one category.
      .
      I will also not hold my breath over Hoyer, and maybe if Barkley can reduce the interceptions, he may ultimately become the starter. Even with last game’s performance, I will not anoint CJB as the second coming of Joe Montana, even if he also was a third round pick..
      .
      I will just expect Hoyer to pull a Gabbert, and bench himself. However, until he does play that way, KS has anointed Hoyer as the starter, and if he is leading the team, I will root for him to lead the Niners to victory.
      .
      I guess I am hoping for the best and expecting the worst.

      1. Run game should be decent, but sooner or later defenses r gonna focus on that and force Hoyer to beat them….can he do that? Like you I’m hoping so, but expecting a disaster. Even Chips offense was decent enough in Philly when he had playmakers, we all saw what happened without them. Hopefully KS can overcome the same dynamics…..

        1. Yes, the Niners should expect defenses to stack the box and dare them to pass.
          .
          It sure was nice to see them throw the ball downfield in the last game.

            1. Yes, the starters did not shine. They let the offense march down the field for a TD, and Hoyer was stymied. That was disconcerting.
              .
              Still, it was against a 12-4 team.
              .
              What was really heartening was watching the backup Niners go on a 7 minute drive, running it down their throats. If KS had done that during the SB, he might have won the game.

              1. Same applies to Harbs and our only super bowl loss, followed by a similar gaffe from cheatn pete.

        2. Why do you think the run game will be decent? The Oline was already one of the worst run blocking lines in the league and now they are switching to a system that they are even less suited for.
          Keep in mind that a lot of last years rushing yards were gained by the qb’s. The truth is for this offense to perform much better they, will need to do it through the air… and I expect them to do so.
          I expect them to gain at least 50 more yards passing per game and average about 24 pts… that will be be pretty nice improvement from last year.

          1. Personnel along the oline and in the backfield has improved a bit, Williams could be special. Unlike other positions, a rookie hb can step rt in day 1. As long as he can pass block of course…..Hyde has shown he can’t hold up as a everydown bk, I’d like to see him in only for obvious passing downs. Limit his touches, maybe he stays healthy and the rook gets a chance to shine and provide game changing plays that we won’t see much of from our offense I fear.

            1. How has the offensive line improved a lot from last year?
              Last year the Oline going into the season was Staley, Beadles, Kilgore, Garnett, and Brown.
              This year the Oline is set to be Staley, Beadles, Kilgore, Garnett (Fusco for a short period), and Brown and and the new outside zone scheme doesn’t cater to power blockers like Kilgore, Garnett, and Brown. This was evident when the starters were in, as Hyde was tasked with trying to avoid defenders in the backfield every time he touched the ball.

              1. Well, they moved Garnett to LG, his natural position, until his surgery. Fusco is an upgrade.
                .
                Also, having another season together will aid in cohesiveness.
                .
                There was a reason why Hyde struggled. He was going against a 12-4 team.

              2. Fusco is an upgrade over Garnett? I guess that is possible considering Garnett’s blocking resembles a matador. Only one guard in the NFL graded out worse than him pass pro. If only Fusco could stay health he’s only managed to finish the season twice in his career.
                And Beadles well he’s set to start but he graded out as the 3rd worst blocking lineman in the NFL.
                And then there is Staley who’s on the downside of his career and has been getting worse these past few years.
                As to the gel thing I normally would get behind that, but this year they are switching to a whole new blocking scheme… so i expect so they won’t have the instinctive understanding of where their teammates will be.
                Sorry to be debbie downer but its hard for me to be optimistic about this group.

  26. If a 50 yr old is outshining our wr corp on the practice field, that should speak volumes. I like some roster moves we made, particularly on def, but we didn’t do nearly enough at Qb or Wr positions. Lookn like the Dilfer and great Bucs def formula that Lynch was a part of, nothn like Shannys Falcons. Interesting strategy……..will it fly with our fan base that prefer a juggernaut off, only time will tell.

    1. I agree that we didn’t do enough at WR. I wanted us to draft Josh Reynolds because he’s a tall red zone threat and he stretch the field vertically. If we traded down to the bottom half of the top 10, I would have been thrilled to get John Ross. I also wanted to sign Vincent Jackson or Malcom Floyd. I really wanted Jeremy Maclin when he was available.

      We did improve the position though. Garcon is our best WR since Anquan. Goodwin is a legitimate deep threat, just as good or beter than Torrey who was a one route WR. Taylor has huge upside, too soon to say, but I think Taylor will be really good.

      Having said all that, I still think we should draft a WR in the 1st round next year, unless there’s a QB that is so good that we can’t pass on him. If we don’t take a WR in the 1st, we shoul pursue Terrelle Pryor to play Goodwin’s role. I would also kick the tires on Josh Gordon whenever the league reinstates him. He has worked with Shanny in the past and is a rare talent. If he is clean and in shape of course.

      1. I liked Zay Jones and Chris Godwin, but mocked Josh Reynolds a couple times.
        .
        I wanted Alshon Jeffrey as a FA acquisition.

          1. Pryor, Stills, Desean, Britt, or even Ginn Jr…..there was plenty of options. With a ton of cash to spend, it’s beyond me why they didn’t do more.

          1. I think Goodwin and Robinson will be enough of an upgrade to stretch the field, and Garcon can still be very productive. Overall, there is a huge improvement in the WR department.
            .
            Taylor will also be a player who seems to get open all the time.
            .
            Niners just need to start winning games, and the fanbase will come back strong. If not, you may be right.

            1. The last time the 49erz had this many relevant receivers, rice and Owens we’re still here. I don’t even count the year we wasted Randy Moss. Garcon was brought here to be a possession receiver. Which he is, we have 2 other guys that can stretch the top off, and a rookie slot, who just might be Julian Welker. (I made that up). I love this group. It’s diverse. We didn’t need all the high priced divas, because that list i saw above, were all me guys. Only one i would have even considered was prior. But being in Cleveland, he was their best and only weapon. He was on his way to diva status. But wasn’t quite there yet.

    2. Umm that 50 year old would outshine over half of the millenniel WR in the league. Not just this team. He’s the 🐐. They didn’t bring in jj Stokes. They brought in arguably the greatest trainer of skill in the history of the nfl. You can’t compare him to these soft azz millenniels. Grant calling out the team because of the work ethic of Jerry Freaking Rice. Grant is nuts. And so is everyone who bit on that headline.

      1. This might be the first time I’ve been on the same page with Grant. If Jerry Rice is running routes, while guys stand around he’s not only outshining them, but more importantly out hustling them.

        1. Rice is running routes to keep moving. Other guys are watching because they are apart of the Practice. Paying attention to detail, what to do, what not to do. Jerry Rice already knows what to do. He doesn’t have to pay attention to detail. Jerry Rice is living detail. If any of these guys were off on their own doing what rice did, then they would be getting chewed out to pay attention to what’s going on. They are being talked to by coaches, after routes and things. On what to do and not to do. Jerry Rice mastered that. So he stays focused by doing his thing.

        2. Oh and i highly doubt they were just “standing around”.. When things are happening, they are watching what’s going on, waiting their turn. They can’t go off on the side and run routes or play grab ass. They have to pay attention. Until they get their turn in the rotation. Not once did Grant say, while Practice was paused or at a stand still, rice was running routes while other guys watched and stood around and did nothing. Practice was going on.

          1. Steele, I watched the tape, and saw lots of players watching Rice. Of course, they were probably in awe, watching the GOAT.

            1. Seb i understand that, but still, these guys were at practice. Not warm ups. They were watching how to run routes by the 🐐. Still, they can’t just do their own thing. They have to participate in what they are supposed to be doing. Like i said, Grant comparing the work rice was doing to the Practice these guys were having is irrelevant. And also like i said. Jerry Freaking Rice is human detail. He’s the good of football. Everyone watches

          2. You may doubt they were standing around, in that case your beef is with Grants reporting not my comment. How exactly are u so comfy with this wr corp that doesn’t have a true #1? A possession wr by def is a #2.
            I’ve been part of plenty of practices, no need for a lesson on how they function…..

            1. Apparently there is need for a lesson. Grant and yourself, are comparing what Jerry Rice is doing on a practice field, on his own time. To the way guys are standing at practice waiting for there reps. Watching, preparing for when it’s their turn to step up. It’s ridiculous. Grant, walk up to one of these guys in the middle of Practice and say, you see what Jerry is doing, you should be doing that instead of watching your practice trying to learn. See how quickly you will be dismissed. Now if it’s on their own time during weight training or something else, then go to the field and work on your craft.

              1. Vernon Davis used to do the same thing Jerry Rice did yesterday. Davis constantly ran routes and caught passes during. He never stood still.

              2. Grant, so your saying, in the middle of Practice…. Vernon just left his position group, went on the side and ran routes by himself?

              3. Especially with Mike Singletary and Jim Harbaugh as coaches. I seriously doubt they let him do that. The same coach that sent that man to the locker room for being a me guy, let him run off on his own in Practice and do his own thing?

              4. Yes, during his own time. Not during team drills and one on one sessions. If there is a break between drills, understandable. But i doubt during actual team prep

              5. Vernon Davis always ran routes and yet he was still one of the worse route running TE in the league. That is a guy who always jumped when catching the ball and had alligator arms.

              6. Not so sure about that. Vernon greatly improved every year from his rookie year onward. When VD came in the league he couldn’t catch a cold and he became an adequate pass catcher. From everything I heard Vernon worked really hard at improving.

              7. Vernon greatly improved every year from his rookie year onward.

                Until Kam Chancellor laid eggs in his brain.

        1. Ha -that’s right it’s Rogers hill that jerry stole without giving Roger proper credit. & When is Roger getting in the damn HOF. It’s a shame he’s going in after Terrell Davis even though Craig was better with one more SB.

          1. I hope Roger Craig AND Keena Turner could get into the HOF. Roger has 3 rings, but Keena has FOUR rings.
            .
            Multiple SB rings should count for something, but I guess they will always be over shadowed by the other Niner Hall of Famers.

  27. Good morning grant ,any news on the position coach Katie Sowers will be filling , 2 any news on the trade front , 3 what way you think poppa Sanny can help little Sanny in teaching work ethic. ( Remembering Albert Hayesworth) ? Thoughts?

  28. This week’s practices with the Broncos should amp things up a bit. It’s not uncommon for mixed practices to spawn several fights and forge sharp attitudes. While many on this blog agree with Seb that anything resembling violence in football is abhorrent and should be banned, a testy series of practices may help get some focus on team discipline and camaraderie. Risk of injury is real, no doubt.

    Maybe 9er and Bronco RBs, TEs, WRs, and KRs could have a joint session on falling down.

        1. Sometimes a prelude to violence, anger has been known to elicit swearing, and it’s been proven that it helps build muscle strength and stamina.

        1. Well, I want Vance to concentrate on catching the ball, even if it means falling down to secure it. If he continues to have the dropsies, he may be benched.
          .
          Trying to run before catching the ball, and dropping it, is a good way to lose games.

        2. I hope they can be creative, and formulate deals that may benefit both teams. Maybe swap players to fill needs on both sides.
          .
          I expect both teams will benefit, because they will be battling an opponent, instead of their own players. Since both Lynch and KS have ties with Elway, they will direct the players to be on their best behavior.

  29. This year is not last year. I keep reading about comparisons to last year, what does last year have to do with this year? I will answer my own question – nothing. New GM, new HC, new QB’s, new scheme offense and defense, new WR, different schedule, different training camp. A few players are left from last years team and with maybe 11+ rookies and lots of free agents making the team which makes this is a completely different team.

    Now is this team better then last year, that isn’t hard to do seeing that the Niners only beat one team. With this current team, looking into the past year is a futile exercise of lowering expectations for this season. This is not a rebuild year its a complete overhaul of the Niners and along with that comes NEW expectations for success. Get over last year it has no bearing at all on this year.

  30. I am not too worried about fights at practice. Both coaches will tell their team that they are counter productive, and will hurt the team’s focus. I hope KS will tell the players to be physical, but in control. I hope he says he has an expectation that they be professional.

  31. I think it’s worth noting that ShanaLynch are treating this years training camp differently than next year’s training camp, and subsequent training camps and preseason games moving forward. I think your going to see a different formula moving forward. The first order of business for this new regime is player evaluation. The 49ers have turned over an almost unprecedented portion of their roster this offseason. And step one of this process is less about preparing this team for week 1 of the regular season, and more about establishing the core or foundation of this roster moving forward. When you are focused on such a drastic roster overhaul, you can’t be focused on immediate results. If they are going to do this the right way, their first order of business has to be finding the best 53 players, regardless of roster politics, and veteranship. Next season will be different. While I think this team will be aggressive again next offseason, I think it’s reasonable to assume they will have a much better understanding of what they have on this roster heading into training camp, and can spend less time evaluating individual players, and more time establishing the intricacies of the systems they have installed. And it’s because of this that I think the 49ers will likely start off slowly this season, which makes reaching 9 wins a long shot. That’s not to say they aren’t going to try to win as many games as they can, once the season begins, it’s just that next year’s approach to training camp and preseason will likely yield better results for the early portion of their schedule.

    I am sticking with my 7-9 record prediction for 2017.

    1. 49, I agree. I think the talent level has increased, and the Coaching has improved, too.
      .
      I am even more optimistic than you. With Baalke gone, I think they may have a non losing season. 8-8.

    2. Reasonable comment. Some players are lining up at the wrong places sometimes probably because they still don’t know the offense. Trent Taylor remarked on KNBR on the large increase in overall complexity in the offense compared to what he was used to in the air raid offense at Texas tech.

  32. Sitting down with a cup of joe, I wish to surmise how the Niners can reduce their unforced errors. 17 penalties are way too many. I hope they set a goal to have less than 3 per game. Zero may be unrealistic.
    .
    The O line needs to work on their snap count. It is inherently advantageous to vary the snap, so the defense cannot anticipate and get a jump.
    .
    The offensive line should work on syncing up. They should work on their internal time clock, and be able to count each second on time. Even before they get on the practice field, they could run this drill in their meeting room. The coaches should blindfold the players, yell Hut, and see if they can all raise their hands in unison at a predetermined time set ahead. They should vary the times, too. After they yell Hut, the O line should raise their hands at the count of 3, 4 or 5 seconds, depending on what they determined ahead of time. They should film the drill, and show each player if they had done it correctly.
    ,
    Another drill they should run is for the O line to line up, then wait and watch until the snap of the ball. Meanwhile, the QB will be yelling Hut, hut HUT, to try and draw the defense off sides. The center should snap the ball once a defender enters into the neutral zone, and that way, they could possibly get a free play which should morph from the original play called, to a deep strike down field.

    1. Sitting down with a bowl of Gorilla Glue, I wish the team would keep in mind that discipline is the bridge between thought and accomplishment….

        1. I haven’t dropped any Acid since the USMC, early 20’s. The last time I did any mind altering drugs from that family was in my early 40’s. My wife and I were in Amsterdam and did some mushrooms. We ended up lost while in the grips of a laugh attack….

          1. usually, you’re right…but Seb’s amazing powers of “ultra denial” and “pseudo knowledge” have re-animated them…especially my H.S. line coach– he would have made Seb do barrel rolls up and down the practice field for such a concept…blindfolded HUT yelling indeed…stopwatches too…could you imagine?

        1. Maybe they should take melatonin together at the same time and get their circadian sleep cycles in alignments too!! Lol. Clifford is a treasure trove of laughter.

      1. Beyond amazing. Seb is in his element…displaying his mastery of football technique. Seb’s delivery method leads one to conclude that Seb feels that none of these basic principles have ever been taught, much less attempted before…ever. Seb left out one important step, and that’s to ensure each lineman laces up his footwear.

          1. It’s addicting, like playing with a cat using a laser pointer. I shall try harder to be better disciplined. Horse poop attracts flies–the natural order of things.

        1. Considering all the false starts, I think they need all the help they can get.
          .
          Considering the 17 penalties, maybe you think they do not need to try and improve, much less even think of any way to do it.

          1. No doubt improvement needed. I trust the coaching staff will address the matter in a way they feel appropriate.

            I wonder how OL practice in the 80s played out through training camp? Always crisp and perfect? I think not. Then we didn’t have dozens and dozens of media types catching every shortfall and success, and sharing their observations widely daily (if not hourly). From the OL aspect, I’d think Cross, Fahnhorst, McIntyre, and others had their moments in preseason–less than flattering moments that didn’t generate ‘sky is falling’ reaction.

            Let’s see where we’re at early in the 3rd quarter of the game vs. Carolina.

            1. Cassie,
              Do you remember Steve Wallace he was constantly committing false start penalties so he lied to the media and told them he had scarlet fever as a child and was deaf in one ear. It kept the media off his back for years.

          2. I’m sure the O coach staff will use time tested and proven techniques, without resorting to:
            — Hut yelling,
            — blindfolds,
            — stopwatches,
            — or raised hands — whether in unison, individually, or in time delay sequences.

        2. Do you know if they blindfold the O linemen and test them on raising their hand at a predetermined time? If their internal clocks are out of sync, it just shows up as false starts, which they had 2 of in the practice.
          .
          Sounds like the coaches are coaching, but their instructions are not being assimilated and understood. Way too many mistakes is the fault of the coaches not preparing them properly.

          1. I trust the coaching staff will address the matter. We have no way of knowing where they’re at on the concern as of this moment (Tuesday, 11:21 Pacific).

            If we could see and know all about every player and position group today, we’d go nuts nitpicking everything they do/not do. Why haven’t we gone after Robbie G and the missed field goal?

      1. He’s what we call special. Probably why I don’t pick on him, and on occasion stick up for him against bullies like Prime Time. I know, I know, he brings it on himself. I’m just saying…;>)

  33. Football Outsiders with some summary information on Atlanta’s offense last year. I found some of the statistics interesting:

    It’s really interesting because Atlanta was one of the more unique offenses in football last season, so a decent chunk of that is going to carry over in San Francisco. Everyone’s using 11 personnel – that’s three wide receivers, one tight end and one running back – more and more; the league average was 60.4 percent last season, and it’s gone up year after year after year for the past decade. Not Shanahan, though! They only went three-wide 45 percent of the time, and led the league in good old-fashioned 21 – the old Pro set, with two running backs. And not the modern “oh, we have a running back lined up in the slot” method of getting two running backs on the field, either; they ran 212 snaps out of the I-formation last year.

    Shanahan’s teams almost always lead the league (or are close to the top) in play action, which plays really well into Brian Hoyer’s strengths. They had the highest DVOA in two tight-end sets despite the lack of a Gronk or a Kelce or a Graham; you can see why they put so much effort in drafting George Kittle and picking up Cole Hikutini as a priority UDFA.

    FO further says:

    “It’s an offense that bucks the general NFL trends, and one that’s consistently worked.”

    https://www.ninersnation.com/2017/8/15/16150954/kyle-shanahan-offensive-strategic-tendencies-football-outsiders-analysis

      1. What surprises me a bit is I thought that what kind of looks more like a “throwback” offense would use predominantly power running schemes and not zone blocking schemes.

        1. formation shows that power run could occur, and may, — but D must also be prep’d for more likely (film study tendencies) zone blocking scheme too, so xtra stress on front 7?

    1. Setting up the RBs deep in the I and letting him follow the FB and choose the hole to run through, is music to my ears.

          1. Seb sez :

            “…I hope they use the FB like they did with Roger Craig and Rathman….”

            u-hhh … Rathman … WAS … the fullback !

            Well just back from vacation … and finished catching up
            on the threads I missed .. and found that not much has changed
            around here … Cassie.. is still funny … The 3 Stooges are still
            at it …and I’m still shocked this place
            hasn’t blown up… yet ! … :-}

            1. Yes, Roger Craig was a FB, and Rathman became the FB.
              .
              Roger Craig was the FB for Wendell Tyler in SB IXX.
              .
              I want the Niners to utilize a man in motion like they did with Roger Craig in SB XXIV. Craig went in motion a lot, and created mismatches.

  34. Grant, you are overreacting to the so-called sloppy play and lack of discipline. I’ll bet if you watched the other camps you would see the same thing. It may be more pronounced with the 49ers because they are learning brand new offensive and defensive systems. The whole purpose of the preseason is to iron out mistakes. You should wait until the regular season to judge; if the mistakes continue, then you have a valid point, but not before.

    1. Grant pointed that out during the practices, then we had that first preseason game.
      ,
      With 17 penalties, he identified the problem ahead of time. Now he is pointing out dysfunction in Monday’s practice.
      .
      It is salient and relevant, and needs to be addressed. Niners need to be more disciplined and focused. The coaches may have tried to correct the problem, but obviously, it is not sinking in.

    1. No, they need to save that second round pick, and Vance with his contact and penchant for dropsies, is never going to be traded.
      .
      Nice idea, but totally unrealistic.

  35. I would like to suggest how the 49ers could play error free football in my 10- PT plan
    (Seb, I invite you to implement my strategies into your 49er rule manifesto)

    1. Players s/b tested for sleep apnia before the season starts and receive treatment.
    2. Get a good nights sleep before any game this season.
    2a. In away games, 49er staff shall supply all players with tempur-pedic mattreses (NASA approved) .
    3. A hearty breakfast consisting of NASA researched astronautical foodstuff shall begin with a hearty glass of TANG.
    4. No caffeteria shenanigans (it only saps strength needed for the game).
    5. One game more game-day walk thru practice in the Hyatt GrandBallroom.
    6. Anyone punting or passin high enough to knock the chandelier down shall be assessed a team fine per Paraag.
    7. No snapping of towels once the locker room is reached (see #4).
    8. After locker room, suiting up, proceed to the playing field with properly laced sneakers (no more cleating in the NFL per Seb, the 49er new-hire health and safety director).
    10. During pregame practice, every position group coach his players gather under the genie-boom, atop which, Seb and his megaphone will anounce proper Hindu-stretching exercise.

      1. Seb,

        I was not trolling. I actually admired your 10 pt . 49er plan to greatness and thought I’d add some of my own to your list…..Do you see any you would like to pluck ?

        1. I guess your so used to being parodied for you ’49er do’s and don’ts’ list you think I’m joking….I’m as serious as a Ray Wersching’s 4 FG’s in SB XVI.

          1. Seb,

            I really think with your’s and my ideas, we package them, and bring them to 4949 Centennial for Jed’s perusal. Possibly you and I could work some season tickets from Jed and enjoy a nice beverage and a game together.

            Your friend, TomD

    1. but the San Francisco 49ers wide receiver said in a statement that he is no longer competing in track and field, so it doesn’t affect his NFL status.

      NFLPA

  36. Chris Biderman‏Verified account @ChrisBiderman 47m47 minutes ago
    More
    #49ers practice is a wrap. Biggest news: No apparent injuries before joint sessions w/ Broncos.

  37. Looks like Mike Shanahan followed my advice Seb, and went with two padless practices prior to the Denver scrimmage.
    FYI: Due to the # of injuries, I suggested to Shanny that he reduce his padded practices this week.

    1. Cassie Baalke,

      Maybe I’m your huckleberry. I’ve extended the welcome matt to Sebby by combining his and my 49er 10 PT plan to success for Jed’s perusal, hoping he’d give Seb and I seats together to enjoy a beverage.

      As of yet, no response……I’ve extended the olive branch before game 1, only to be rebuffed.

  38. http://www.espn.com/blog/san-francisco-49ers/post/_/id/25770/reuben-foster-solomon-thomas-closing-in-on-starting-jobs

    “Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, third round (No. 66): It has been a rough start for Witherspoon, who has twice been on the wrong end of a collision with a Niners skill-position player while trying to prevent a touchdown. He has shown signs of progress recently, recording a couple of pass breakups and his first interception in team drills last Wednesday.”

    “Joe Williams, RB, fourth round (No. 121): By his own admission, Williams reported to camp unprepared for the rigors of the day-to-day NFL grind. While he has begun to find a rhythm recently, it still looks like he won’t play much of a role right away. Carlos Hyde has a solid grip on the starting job, with veteran Tim Hightower looking the part of the primary backup. For now, Williams is battling the likes of Matt Breida and Kapri Bibbs for whatever playing time might be left over.”

  39. Gregg Bell‏Verified account @gbellseattle 24m24 minutes ago

    “Pete Carroll says “trying to figure it out, checking it out” with #Seahawks hosting FA CB Tramaine Brock on visit.”

    Pete the Cheat has no moral compass. From getting ran out of college, to his annual rules violations in Seattle, and now this. I know the charges were dropped, but I’d bet money that Brock really did abuse that woman.

  40. Some info on Katie Sowers.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/08/15/49ers-training-camp-three-things-we-learned-tuesday/

    “Sowers, one of at least four female interns this summer in the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Fellowship program, was back on the field Tuesday after driving the past two days from her Kansas City with her twin sister, Liz.”

    “We plan on her assisting with the receivers. Katie did a real good job for us down in Atlanta (last year), and she’s done a good job here,” Shanahan said. “She helps Mike LaFleur out with some rotations and helps our quality controls out with all they do.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *