Jim Harbaugh: “We don’t change the route depth or the timing based on where the sticks are.”

This is the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Monday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.

What jumped out at you on film of Washington before we move onto Seattle? What did you like, especially about that game?

“Several things. Probably the biggest thing is what our team’s accomplished over the last three games, winning three games and they’re as close as you can possibly have games be. And have our team prevail, I think it’s a great credit to the players.”


What does your team gain, you think, from playing such tight games?

“You make a deposit in the toughness account and you’ll be able to make withdrawals from that later down the road. We want to keep making those deposits. There’s a lot of great examples in the ball game. And we’ll start with special teams. I thought [P] Andy Lee had a tremendous effort, tremendous game. Was it five punts, six punts? 50.5 gross and a 48-point-something net, two inside the ten. Thought he really had an outstanding game. Another guy to mention is [LB] Dan Skuta, who played in five phases in the special teams and three were not on the menu – the field goal, the kickoff and the punt return. He was not scheduled to be in those two phases. He was supposed to be in the kickoff return and the punt. Pretty darn impressive and he stepped up and did a heck of a good job. And then the other guy, and this is rare for a guy to play in all six phases, was [LB] Corey Lemonier. There was lots of good efforts. Our secondary, I thought they played a really good game. We gave up a 32-yard pass, but this was also a team that leads the league in 40-plus-yard passes in the entire NFL. We gave up none of those. We let the one get out. Pretty darn good job there. Nice to see us getting pressure on the quarterback. The sacks. [LB] Aldon [Smith] had two. [DT] Ray McDonald and [DT] Justin Smith played extremely well in this game. Each had a sack, multiple hurries, played very good against the run. [LB] Ahmad [Brooks] played well. Really good there. Other guys just stepping up when they had to. I thought there’s no bigger three yards that were gained in the ball game than [RB] Frank Gore picking up the fourth-and-one. There he is. Frank Gore, again. Hall of Famer. And I’ll tell you another guy who’s inching very close to the Hall of Fame is Anquan Boldin. Nobody makes plays like that guy. And others.”


Did Skuta have to play those extra special teams phases because TE Derek Carrier was hurt?



How is Carrier and what’s the state of your tight end position going into this next game?

“We’ll see. Haven’t talked to Derek yet today.”


What about TE Garrett Celek? Is he close to being able to bring back to the 53? He’s an option this week?



The sequence at the end of the first half, you guys seemed pretty calm. Was that something that you guys have been working on as far as letting the clock go down, knowing to take the one shot on fourth-and-two?

“We work a lot of end-of-game scenarios. We had not worked on that particular, well, let me take that back. We have worked on that, yeah. But that particular sequence, we have end-of-the-half scenarios, but that was a particularly unique one. Just made a battlefield decision to – it’s fourth-and-two, let the clock run down to about 13. I thought I called a timeout at 13. I was shooting for 13 seconds on the clock. It ended up being 11. The idea was take our shot to get the first down and still had a timeout left if we happened to get enough yards, once we got a first down, to get a throw and a timeout in and get a field goal. The object was to get a field out of the half. The risk was leaving them the ball at their own 48-yard line with time to throw a Hail Mary themselves.”


But not allow them enough time to run a play and get a field goal?

“That was the idea. And it worked out good. We’re going to get our shot, they may get a shot but that’ll be the risk if our shot doesn’t work. Worked out. Players made it right.”


Do you remember being in that situation before and doing that?

“No. Think it was a first timer. Nice adjustment, [WR] Michael Crabtree and [QB] Colin [Kaepernick]. Michael adjusted his route and Colin really threw a beautiful, beautiful throw and one of Crab’s better catches. And staying in bounds was a great play. That were important points for us right there before the half in a tight scoring ball game.”


Aldon said postgame that he feels like he’s continuing to make good progress but left some plays —

“That was fun. I’m sorry, [Associated Press writer] Janie [McCauley]. That was fun talking football, talking situational football. Kind of a little back-and-forth there. We haven’t had a lot of that this year. It’s always been on other topics.”


Let’s do it again next week [laughter].

“Absolutely. I like those kind of [conversations]. Feel like we’re talking football. It’s great. Thank you for that. Sorry, Janie.”


No, it’s OK. I thought you were done with that thought. What strides can Aldon continue to make? He felt like he left a handful of plays out there that he should’ve made. Are you liking his progress after just two games?

“Yes, I am. As we talked about yesterday, from my vantage point and the defensive coaches’, felt that he played extremely well. Keep going. He’s a very talented player. He gives great effort and made plays. I thought he added 10 percent to our defense in creating that pressure and the sacks, the hurries. If he feels like he can bring more, all the better.”


He talked about how he popped his finger back in himself. Were you witness to that?

“No, I wasn’t a witness to that but heard about it after. That’s pretty cool. That’s pretty cool. If I did that I’d tell somebody, too.”


Have you ever done it?

“I did. I have done that before.”


Take us through that.

“I dislocated my finger and pulled it back in. That’s a good battle scar to have.”


Are you noticing other guys on the defensive front being put in more advantageous situations, matchups, with Aldon back on the field?

“They’ve been playing really well – Justin, Ray. You go back to the last so many weeks, they’re playing extremely well. I think better and better, too. Ahmad Brooks has been playing very well. [LB] Aaron Lynch has been playing very well. And they played very good in this game, the two. Yeah, I think it adds. It’s addition by addition, absolutely.”


Starting Thursday, you have this series of really formidable opponents, really good teams. Why are you confident that your offense can continue to get better or get better to be able to compete in these games?

“Excited about the matchups. We’ve been talking about how we’re playing these as playoff games for some time now. And we’ve played quite a few teams that are going to be in the playoffs this year, are projected to be in the playoffs. Now we’re going to be in a stretch of playing more of those type of teams that you project to be in the playoffs. Excited about that. If we’re good enough to be in it then we’ll know. We’ll know soon enough. So, that gets the motivation up, gets the energy up, gets the awareness going. Playoff-type of games against playoff-type of opponents. It’s as good as it gets. Let’s go.”


You added a couple of receivers in the offseason, WR Stevie Johnson, WR Brandon Lloyd. Do those guys give you something that you haven’t had going into a Seattle game? Do you have more at wide receiver and do you feel like that puts you in a better position to take on that defense?

“I feel good about the way our wide receiver position has played all year. I feel good about all of our wide receivers. The execution in the passing game I feel good about. So, yeah, glad we’re going through this stretch that we have a very healthy and productive receiving corps.”


You talked in the offseason about augmenting that group. Was the Seahawks part of that, beating them, beating that defense? Did you feel like you needed more at that specific position to get up, get over the hump against that team?

“I get the feeling like you’ve got the story already written here and you’re trying to get me to fill in a few blanks here. I feel good about our receivers. That was specifically to make our offense better. No more, no less.”


Was anything learned with LB NaVorro Bowman’s visit with Dr. James Andrews and what’s your plan for him this week?

“Yeah, (we’ll) take it week-by-week with NaVorro. And, this week will be another week of rehabilitation and continuing to do what he’s been doing. Don’t anticipate any practice for him this week.”


How do you feel about having two games against the Seahawks in three weeks and also one of those being a Thursday night game? Does it matter to you?

“Good. Feel good. Excited.”


As a scheduling quirk or whatever, they’re obviously trying to get you guys to play later in the season. It’s kind of cool you guys are playing two out of three weeks. But, I’m wondering as a coach if it’s easier or harder or if you’d rather have it spread out somehow?

“No opinion on it. Excited about the game. We’re taking it one game at a time, one play at a time.”


If you had your druthers would you play on Thursday nights?

“If I had my druthers would I or wouldn’t I play on Thursday nights? Everybody plays one Thursday night game a year.”


Do you like them?

“I do. I like them.”


What do you like about them?

Thursday night. Monday night. Sunday night. Sunday afternoon. Sometimes Saturday.”


Bring it.

“Yeah. Anywhere, anytime. Get to play football.”


I hate to ask what could be perceived to be a negative question.

“Why do you hate to do that?”


It hurts me a little.



Because I know it hurts you.

“Let’s see what your question is and then we’ll see.”


The last three games you guys have allowed two 100-yard rushers which is unusual. Obviously, you’re missing some key guys in the middle. As well as those guys have played, does that just speak to the absence of guys like DL Glenn Dorsey and NT Ian Williams and Bowman and LB Patrick Willis?

“I like the way our guys are playing up front. As I said, Ray and Justin Smith had very fine ballgames. [DT] Quinton Dial has added quite a bit. [DT] Tank Carradine’s getting snaps. And [DT] Tony Jerod-Eddie, he does a very good job, especially against the zone schemes. So, I’m excited about that. This is a good matchup for him. But, you don’t have to hate to bring up the negatives. Actually, we take it as a compliment. What this organization has accomplished, where it’s built itself to, is a credit to all of the men and women in the organization. Even if a win isn’t enough and there’s criticism or negativity associated with that, really we should take that as a compliment because we built it to where the expectations are very high. So, I think that’s a compliment to everybody in the organization.”


Well in that case …

“I think I’m out of time. Aren’t I?”


There were two third down, third and short, third and five and third and six, that passes were completed to TE Vernon Davis and stopped short of the first down. I know the second one was pretty darn close. But is it his job on those to know where the sticks are and make sure he gets beyond the sticks for Colin?

“No. We don’t change the route depth or the timing based on where the sticks are. We’re trying to execute the play and catch and if we call the route or play that’s going to be caught before the sticks then you’re hoping for the run after catch. Both of those were pretty darn close right at the sticks. But no we’re not asking him, or any receiver, because of where the sticks are to change the timing or the depth of the route.”


Have you been places where they do it when you were playing, is that common that you wouldn’t have a guy be cognizant of where he has to get to for a first down?

“I’ve seen it done that way and seen others done that way. I believe that is not something that you want to do to change the depth and the timing. That throws off that part of the execution. Others can do it differently. There’s probably two different ways to do it there. That’s my view of it, my argument on it.”


What stage is T Anthony Davis in in his concussion protocol?

“I believe he is still reporting symptoms today.”


So, his availability is still up in the air?



The Seahawks are known as just kind of playing their defense, it’s not terribly exotic. Is it easy them being a division opponent? And if that’s true about their defense, is it in that sense easy to prepare for them on a short week just because you’re fairly familiar with what they do?

“No. I would never associate easy, preparing for the Seahawks as being easy. I would never associate that. They’ve been more multiple in their scheme this year than in the past. But, no I wouldn’t associate easy with the Seahawk defense.”


When you guys were preparing to face the Giants I figure you saw the Seahawks tape on them from the week before. What jumped out at you about Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch? He had four touchdowns that game and just how he carries that offense.

“Great football player. ‘Beast Mode.’ I’ve heard him referred to that complimentary. He is a ‘football player.’ Hard. Aggressive. Tough runner. Talented.”


What are you going to eat on Thanksgiving after the game?

“I don’t know. Haven’t thought of it. We’re in discussion on that right now. We were watching the Sunday Night football game, Dallas and New York last night. We were planning on having turkey, but then they showed this piece where they were showing all the turkeys and everything and my son Jack and Katie and Addie, ‘Look at the turkeys. Look at all the turkeys there.’ And they were getting excited looking at the turkeys. And then the next shot was they had loaded the turkeys onto a truck and they were driving them away and the kids were like, ‘Where are they going?’ And we kind of thought maybe we won’t have turkey this year for Thanksgiving. So, we’re in discussion on that. We’ll have some tofu or something.”


Do you consider the Seahawks your primary rival or do you not categorize teams like that?

“You know, we’ve been categorizing them as every week. That’s the way we’ve got to play. However you look at it. If you look at it as this is your playoff game, think of it as your college rival what that felt like. Stanford versus Cal or Michigan-Ohio State or at LSU. The guys at LSU told me they’re Alabama and Auburn, etcetera. If that’s the way you think of it. If you think of it as a playoff-type of game. That’s how you’ve got to think of it though. I mean, every single week and that’s how we’ve been approaching it each week.”

This article has 211 Comments

  1. Let’s see if this team can put together a complete game in all phases against the defending champions. Focus like a laser….

  2. Worst fear could be what ultimatelty propels the offense to make needed strides down-the-stretch: down by 4-6 points in the 4th quarter and needing a TD to win. If this is the scenario, can Harbs/G-Ro/& Kap draw up something else than a prayer to Crabtree? This red zone offense has been awful for far too long!

  3. Grant see what I mean about good questions. You get good answers. Not talking about you per say, just reporters questions in general.

    “That was fun. I’m sorry, [Associated Press writer] Janie [McCauley]. That was fun talking football, talking situational football. Kind of a little back-and-forth there. We haven’t had a lot of that this year. It’s always been on other topics.”

  4. That headline quote by Harbaugh is borderline retarded. The man is so stubborn and dead set on doing it his way, logic and consequences be damned, it’s frakking obnoxious.

  5. I can get behind the assertion that you do not adjust route-depth/timing situationally because it would mess with the execution of the play. I get that, but in that case you have to have a better play call. I can also see relying on a player to YAC on first down, second down, and even third down (depending on the situation), but on 4th down you just can’t rely on YAC. You have to set yourself up to succeed, not to fail. All too often this offense is being set up to fail, and all too often they have completed the failure.

    1. That’s it MrTeebs. If you aren’t going to have the receiver adjust the route due to potential timing issues on 3rd down, then it would make sense to go with a play that uses different route depths, or is set up to let the receiver pick up YAC.

      1. @MrTeebs & Scooter

        Totally agree with both your Takes,

        I mean if you need 5 yds. to get a First Down than the WR needs to make sure he runs deep enough to GET the First Down.

        It’s Ridiculous,

        And for Vernon to be short TWICE?

        I was SCREAMING at the TV.

    2. “but on 4th down you just can’t rely on YAC. You have to set yourself up to succeed, not to fail.”

      Which is why the only time they called a pass on 4th down it was a 25 yard completion down the sidelines to Crabtree.

    1. There’s a few posters on here who will likely contribute to that cause:
      Fan77, OregonNiner, CfC, Mary, Mud, Darren, Pete Carroll, Anne Killion, Tim Kawakami, and The Cohn Foundation.

    2. If Harbaugh leaves, it makes sense for him grab the big college coaching bucks.

      He came to a 49er team that many described as “under-coached”… but packed with high draft choices, a good defense, and offensive talent that fit his Stanford scheme.

      How many NFL teams fit this description? It would be smart for Harbaugh (if he does leave) to make another splash in College, then cherry pick a talented but poorly coached NFL team 4 years from now.

      1. Pete the Cheat won a Super Bowl. Do you really think Harbs would skulk back to the college ranks and leave Pete one up? Come on man…

  6. Winner on thurs probably makes the playoffs and has a shot at the NFC west (cards are going to collapse like a house of cards). Loser gets to start planning their mock draft.

    1. They play each other again in 3 weeks. So what does this game matter if they split? The 9ers don’t need this game any less than Seattle does. This game is a measuring stick to see if the Niners are legit and can beat the playoff teams. And this means lately… I know
      They’ve beaten dal,Philly,KC. Different team then and the O wasn’t struggling as bad as they are lately

      1. This is a must win for the Niners. They lose this one with the prospect of having to go to Seattle, and the possibility of a playoff spot is remote.

      2. NinerMD, If we split with Seattle, Seattle has to lose to Arizona in order for us to make the playoffs if we finish with the same record. It gets even murkier because Ariazona would have to lose to us and another team, such as Kansas City or Saint Louis. It is much easier for Seattle to get into the playoffs with a split versus the Niners getting into the playoffs with a split. Please play with the Playoff machine on ESPN.

        1. There road is tougher than ours I doubt they don’t lose another two divisional games.
          This game to me will show of the Niners will go deep into the playoffs or fade out quick. A split with Seattle is very likely, but I still think we get in.

  7. 40Whiners need this win worse than the Seahawks, since they lost to AZ earlier this season.

    Bottom line, both teams badly need this next win.

    This should be the game of the year. I sure wish I had a ticket to this game.

  8. Time to call out another Niner — Trent Baalke. Just read an article on ESPN how this was one of the best rookie classes for WRs. The Niners had plenty of picks to trade and get an impact, dynamic player, and instead they sat back, decided Stevie Johnson and Ellington would be a better option. I like Stevie but he doesn’t play enough. Ellington, and Patton, are not even part of the rotation. Baalke should have gone for it.

      1. It was pretty obvious before the draft that this was going to be loaded with WR talent the likes of which hadn’t been seen in quite a while. It was the most opportune time for the Niner’s to pick up a quality receiver. The Niner’s have really done well picking up quality players late in the draft at almost every other position except WR. It was also a draft stacked with quality so that meant that later round picks had more value than normal. It was not a bad idea to use this draft to pick up quality players but I think they could have done both. Quality receivers that can stretch the field are harder to come by in trades and as free agents are generally over priced. They could have still taken Johnson but a quality receiver on a rookie salary for a number of years would have boded well for the future at that position. The odds of them being able to pick up any receiver in a less talented class with out them over paying in draft picks is highly unlikely. It’s about supply and demand. When the supply is higher there isn’t as much demand and the price is cheaper. They could have picked up a player like Ward easily in the later rounds. The drop off when he got injured was minimal if any at all. Over all it wasn’t a bad draft, but they missed a golden opportunity.

      1. No Claude it’s an opinion some 49er fans have. Some of us believe that Baalke should have moved up and got a WR. Now we are discovering it was one of the best WR classes.
        Then again what do you know about opinions? All you do is spew your piss and vinegar when people make one.

        1. You’re right. Some fans have that opinion. Some fans are ignorant.

          What you call spewing piss and vinegar, I call pointing out ignorance.

          1. Some can argue it was ignorant to make a switch at the QB position when the team was 6-2, thinking a 2nd year QB was polished enough to win a SB.
            Sure enough, it wasn’t his talent that cost the game, but his decision making.

            Others can argue it was a bold, gutsy move, which caught the league by surprise, and the team would have never made it to the SB without his skills.

            So which is it?

          1. Except it isn’t hindsight that this was a deep in quality draft for WR. It was widely discussed. Perhaps those of you who were so obsessed with drafting DB’s never really payed any attention to that fact. Nothing wrong with taking Ellington in the fourth or trading a fourth for Johnson- all good moves, but the Niner’s still lack a deep threat receiver. All they have are possession receivers. Perhaps they should have traded for Gordon while he was still under a season long suspension. They could have had him for a song. It was probable that they were going to cut that suspension down once the new suspension criteria’s were released. They just have not done that well in respect to acquiring receivers. Basically both Johnson and Boldin fell in their laps and they were no brainer deals to make.

    1. And there you have the dilemma and why Harbaugh’s probably coaching next season in the East Bay. He wants Baalke’s power or Baalke gone and Jed isn’t gonna let that happen or Baalke want’s Roman gone and Harbaugh won’t agree to that. Only another Lombardi can probably patch this up.

      1. Mark Davis doesn’t seem like someone I’d want to work for, and I don’t necessarily think JH is in an ejection seat, but it’s delightful, for just a moment, to envision the Bay Area Press’ dismay at ‘chasing him out of Santa Clara’ only to have him stay in the Bay! AND to turn that train wreck around. Snicker.
        Scenario #2: JH as HC of the Jets. Him and the New Yakk Press; oh yeah, there’s some fun.

    2. It took you reading an article from ESPN just now to find out this was one of the best rookie WR classes in a long time? That was well documented even before the draft.

      This has been discussed on here a lot already, and while it is easy to say they “should have gone for it”, it has been widely reported that to trade up and take one of the premier guys (Watkins, Evans or Beckham) would have cost a truck load of picks. And while they could have taken a Matthews, Robinson, etc at the end of round 1 instead of Ward, a nickel DB was a higher priority. If they hadn’t traded for Stevie Johnson I am sure they would have taken one of the WRs available in round 2.

      And people seem to forget the guys Baalke did get are performing well. Even the oft criticized Ward was playing pretty well aside from one game in week 2.

      1. Did you like the trade ATL made for Julio Jones? Probably not but the Falcons probably won’t have to draft another #1 WR for the next 8 years. They had the draft depth to do it and so did the 49ers.
        The depth is paying off this year for the 49ers. I attribute that to good coaching and surrounding talent. It’s no coincidence that Borland is benefiting from great play by the defensive line and Fangios scheme to free him up. It works if you can trust your coaches to make late round picks into productive players.

          1. Julio Jones was on the team when the ATL went to the NFCCG.
            The Niners could have given up their first and 2nd and a 3rd to move up.

              1. And why is that? Because they loaded up their offense and thought their head coach could develop a competitive defense. He has not.

              2. I’m sorry that your Julio Jones example is a failure. How about going with one that has been successful?

              3. The Falcons have underachieved dramatically since being in the NFCCG. Their roster didn’t suddenly get overhauled. If you think their downfall is because of one draft day deal, with all those picks they had since then, watch some of their games and see how Smith prepares his team. Have you watched may Falcon games since 2011?

              4. I’ve watched enough football to know trading away multiple picks for a WR is bad business, unless you care about fantasy football.

              5. Ill take that as a no you haven’t watched many Falcon games because if you did, you’d know that coaching has hurt them as opposed to one draft day deal.

            1. There’s enough talent on that team

              Except for the offensive line, defensive line, linebackers, safeties, running backs and tight ends, you’re right.

              1. That’s not true Claude, stick to the facts. That trade solidified their offense. They had plenty of firepower to win games. They relied on Mike Smith to put together the defense. They were not hindered by draft picks. After the Julio Jones draft they had 6 picks in 2012, 8 in 2013, and last year 9 picks.
                The only year they didnt have a 1st was 2012. My point is Smith was not able to develop those late picks. The 49ers do. Harbaugh has the staff to develop guys. Mike Smith does not. Like I said he should have been fired last year. Their not 4-7 because of a draft day deal in 2011.

              2. Prime:

                It’s absolutely true. Look at the roster and name one unit other than QB, WR and CB that is above average in talent. The lines are below average in talent. The Falcons are 4-7 because of a general lack of talent. They lack talent in large part because of the picks they gave up in the Julio Jones trade.

                I’d tell you to stick to facts, but you aren’t very good at that, are you?

              3. Claude any other unit you want to eliminate? How convenient of you!
                Their LB’s and DL are pretty good with Tyson Jackson, Sean Weatherspoon, Paul Soliai, Babineux, Osi, Corey Peters.
                Claude how’s that?

              4. The Falcons are a great example of why you don’t trade a bunch of picks to move up for a WR. No depth to deal with the injuries they’ve suffered, no pass rush, leaky Oline. Thanks for a great example of why the Niners shouldn’t have done what you wanted Prime.

              5. Once again Rocket you open your mouth just a day too late and follow along way too late in the thread.
                It would have worked for the Niners to move up because they have the staff to develop late round picks. ATL like I said could not because they don’t have the coaching staff. They still had numerous picks after the Jones trade since 2011. They just failed to make those guys productive.

              6. I wasn’t aware that responses were only allowed on the same day Prime. Thanks for pointing that out.

                I’ll now respond to the one you made just now if that’s ok.

                You are wrong Prime. No other way to say it. Atlanta is a Prime (pun intended) example of a team that made a bad trade to move up for a WR and now lack depth across the board and are dependent on a small number of players in order to achieve success.

                In order to move up and get Jones, they gave up two first round picks, a second round pick and two fourth round picks. That is a lot of potential players given up for one guy who just added to an already pretty good passing game in Atlanta.

                You don’t make a move like that because a WR’s success is directly tied to the QB throwing him the ball, and that QB’s success is directly tied to the Oline giving him protection and a running game giving them balance. The Falcons traded picks and moved to a spot that is only considerable if it is for a Franchise QB. You don’t do it for a WR and they are paying dearly for their mistake.

                Coaching, bad picks, FA busts are all part of the deal as well, but those 5 picks are a huge reason Atlanta is where it is.

              7. Prime:

                You think the Falcons have above-average talent at DL and LB? I thought you said you watched the games.

                I’m no Mike Smith fan, but he’s not the main problem with the team. It doesn’t have enough talent, particularly high end talent. You know, the kind of talent that’s easiest to find in the first and second rounds.

              8. I’ve watched all their games and yes they do have talent at LB and DL. Have you watched them?
                You say they lack talent because their high end talent is not there in the 1st and second rounds. That tells me you have no clue about the NFL game Claude because if you did you would know good teams find talent in the later rounds and develop them into first round talent. It’s saves them money and keeps their cap intact.
                You know kinda what the Pats have done for years and remain a competitive team for almost a decade now.
                You do watch other teams other than the Niners right? Your not just a box score guy like Bay or a stat geek right? If so, watch other games and see teams depth charts and look at where they were drafted. You learn a lot as opposed to just pointing out what you think is the obvious!

              9. Claude Balls not sure I agree with you. Every team wishes they had above average talent at all their positions. Unfortunately that is near impossible in a salary cap sport. Prime is right in that you have to develop your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and undrafted free agent picks.
                The teams that can do that stay competitive every year while teams that don’t have good coaches to do that rely on high draft picks. But you still have to develop them. Look at the Rams, Titans, Bills, Jets. A lot of top picks that are talented but nothing in between.

              10. Prime:

                I’ve watched most of the Falcons games. Their DL and LBs are below average. You and Thomas Dmitroff may be the only persons on the planet who think otherwise.

                And, yes, I understand that the better teams are usually the ones that can find talent in the later rounds and then develop those picks. In fact, his ability to find such talent is one of the things that makes Baalke one of the better GMs in the league.

                You know what else the better teams do? They refrain from packaging picks (including multiple first round picks) to trade up for WRs, especially in drafts as deep in talent as the 2014 draft.

                Since you brought them up and held them out as a model franchise, let’s look at New England did in the 2014 draft. Their group of WRs isn’t as talented as the 49ers’, yet Belichick also didn’t package picks to move up to select a WR. Do you want to flip your position and declare that he also doesn’t know what he’s doing?

                Prime, you’re simply wrong in this one. An impressive group of commenters (Scooter, Jack, rocket) have tried to explain it to you. If you don’t get it now, I’d don’t think you ever will.

              11. FDM,

                That’s not what he said. He said it’s easier to find talent in the first couple of rounds.

                Prime is trying to say that the problem with Atlanta is not the picks they gave up but the Coaches inability to develop the later picks and I disagree. Your odds of finding talent are greatly enhanced by the higher you get to pick them. Giving up 5 picks in the first four rounds is a detriment to accumulating talent and depth. Saying a Coaching staff should develop 5th-7th round picks to make up for it is silly. It’s a crap shoot at the best of times never mind when you are talking about late round picks. As it is I think Atlanta has developed some late round picks that are key pieces of their team right now so that doesn’t make sense from the get go.

                This topic all comes back to a few on here believing the Niners should have packaged picks to move up for a WR and that strategy would have left the Niners without their backup RB right now, and the possible defensive rookie of the year, nevermind a first round pick next year and whatever else they would have had to throw in. In return they would get a rookie WR who likely wouldn’t be doing much more than the WR’s they have right now due to the system they use and the depth at the position.

                The players Baalke added with the picks that would have had to be used in trade, are far more important than a WR would have been imo.

              12. I don’t think I’m wrong nor do I think you are wrong Claude. And that’s your problem. You think everything on here is Judge Judy.
                The Niners would have been served well to move up last year because they had a lot of picks. They also have a lot of picks next year. It’s a draft strategy that teams should use if they have the resources to do it periodically.
                As for the Pats thank you for proving my point for me. They package their picks both to move up or back because they have the staff to develop players and prospects. That was my point with the Falcons.
                As for you declaring I’m wrong because you Scooter and Jack don’t agree with me? Don’t fladder yourself and stop pretending you are somebody on here. You are just a fan on here like the rest of us. Only difference is we have an opinion and all you do is pretend your Judge Judy sentencing people on them. Please!

              13. Rocket why do you think it is silly for a coaching staff in the NFL to develop late round picks and make them every down players?

                Saying a Coaching staff should develop 5th-7th round picks to make up for it is silly.

                In todays cap squeeze, Id say its a must.

              14. FDM,

                That’s not what I meant at all.

                I’m saying trading high picks with the belief that you can make up for them with low picks is not sound strategy. Your odds of getting better players is commiserate with how high you are taking them. Expecting to not miss a beat when you trade two #1’s a 2 and two 4’s because you expect your Coaching staff to develop starters out of late round picks is pie in the sky thinking. Yes it happens, but it’s the exception not the norm and for Prime to say what he did makes no sense.

              15. So asking your staff to develop late round picks is okay if you didn’t trade away your picks but if you did its pie in the sky thinking? Gotcha!
                Look man,coaches get paid to make nobodies into somebody’s wether that’s a 1st round pick or a UFA.
                Once OTA’s and training camp starts draft position is a after thought. It’s a job opportunity for everyone. Just because you are taken in the first round there are no odds that say you will be better than a guy off the street. You still have to compete and develop and that’s up to the player and the environment the coaches put them in. What’s this odds crap you talking about?

              16. “They also have a lot of picks next year.”

                They currently have 7, one in each round.

                There is a possibility of two compensatory picks which would likely be in the 6th and 7th, and if they get those they cannot trade them.

              17. FDM:

                rocket is right. I never once suggested that teams don’t have to develop later picks. But those later picks have to have some talent to be developed. Moreover, the odds of developing starters, let alone Pro Bowl caliber players, goes way down in the later rounds. Teams have a much better chance of developing such players with higher draft picks.

                The problem with the Falcons trade is that they gave up too much for one player, especially a player who touches the ball fewer than eight times per game. The gave up three chances at a high caliber player (2 firsts and 1 second) and two other picks.

              18. Prime:

                As for the Pats thank you for proving my point for me. They package their picks both to move up or back because they have the staff to develop players and prospects

                Now, you’re just being delusional. New England have never packaged a bunch of picks to move up for a WR like Atlanta did for Jones. Never. See what happens when you ignore facts?

                Scooter, rocket and Jack’s opinions are supported by fact, logic and coherent reasoning. Yours are not. That’s why your opinions are less valuable than theirs. Sorry, if that hurts, but it’s true.

              19. Just because you are taken in the first round there are no odds that say you will be better than a guy off the street.

                There are multiple studies which prove that very thing. Commenters have linked to those studies many times on this blog. Perhaps if you had bothered to read them, you wouldn’t keep making uninformed comments.

              20. Prime,

                So asking your staff to develop late round picks is okay if you didn’t trade away your picks but if you did its pie in the sky thinking? Gotcha!

                No trading high picks and EXPECTING your Coaching staff to develop late round picks to make up for it is pie in the sky thinking. There is a reason why higher picks make up the majority of starters in the league. The lower you pick the player, the less likely you are to find a contributing player, never mind a starter.

                Look man,coaches get paid to make nobodies into somebody’s wether that’s a 1st round pick or a UFA.

                Coaches are paid to get the most out of a player and put them in a position to succeed. They are not miracle workers who can get a marginal talent to play like a top prospect.

                Once OTA’s and training camp starts draft position is a after thought. It’s a job opportunity for everyone. Just because you are taken in the first round there are no odds that say you will be better than a guy off the street.

                Yes Prime there are actually. The percentage is overwhelmingly in support of players drafted higher becoming starters over lower drafted players or guys off the street as you say. Do you ever research anything you say or is it all just nonsense you pull out of your butt?

                You still have to compete and develop and that’s up to the player and the environment the coaches put them in. What’s this odds crap you talking about?

                The odds crap I’m talking about is the factual evidence that says you don’t package a bunch of picks to move up.

                Read this and also click on the link within the article which provides a 15 year study on the draft and the values in each round. Maybe we can educate you today Prime.


              21. rocket:

                Nice work.

                Maybe we can educate you today Prime.

                He has to want to learn. I’m not convinced he does.

              22. I’ve linked Prime to similar information in the past, rocket. It made no dent. Stats are lies, after all.

              23. The Falcons gave up 4 picks in the deal for Jones. Comparing that to the 49ers giving up 1 to move up for Reid or two picks for Kaepernick and Young is kinda goofy.

              24. Guys
                Prime will only listen to his own words on this so here they are:

                Nov 25 1:08 PM Prime says
                “Just because you are taken in the first round there are no odds that say you will be better than a guy off the street. You still have to compete and develop and that’s up to the player and the environment the coaches put them in”

                So what prime is saying is that: draft position doesn’t matter because its up to the coaches and environment and because of this the 9ers had to change their draft position (by trading up and giving up more picks) to draft a WR. Brilliant did you all get that. You can get a pro bowler off the street and because of that lets trade in to the first 10 picks (which have no better odds to be a good player than a street free agent)
                Prime that logic is air tight, good job

            2. Learn what and from whom? Two guys that think numbers tell more about football than actual results or that a draft strategy some teams employ periodically works?
              Comedy at its finest!

              1. Prime,

                I tried. Unfortunately Claude and Scooter were right in that you don’t want to accept information that differs from your opinion even when it clearly shows you are wrong in your thinking.

              2. Wrong in my thinking or my opinion? Give me a break in your ever so obnoxious righteousness for thinking its a good idea to trade up when your a contender and have multiple picks.
                You Claude and Scooter don’t get to determine who is right or wrong on this blog my friend.
                Maybe with your children but don’t bring that horse crap here.
                You think you can post a few articles and some stats and think it makes you right. It’s not a contest and people can share their thoughts any which way. Like I told Claude your not Judge Judy and get to decide outcomes of football conversations.

              3. No Mr. Cut & Paste, I just chose to disagree with you. Don’t be a rhymes with trick about it.
                I’ll wait for you to post an opinion and then pick it apart, oh wait, you don’t post opinions or thoughts. You find them useless.

              4. Prime:

                Not all opinions are created equally. Your opinion is fundamentally uninformed, unsupported by fact (and sometimes directly contrary to it) and illogical. Just because you stamp your feet and declare that it’s valid doesn’t mean that it is.

              5. When the Niners moved up to get Eric Reid was that uninformed, unsupported?

                When the Niners moved up to get Kaepernick was that uninformed, unsupported?

                How about when Bill Walsh traded a 2nd and 4th to TB for Steve Young, was that uninformed, unsupported?

              6. Prime,

                Again you are wrong in your thinking. I don’t determine who is right or wrong; the facts do, and the facts say you are wrong. You like to state your opinion but you don’t like to be called on it. Unfortunately for you this is a forum that allows others to question your opinion and understanding of what it is you are talking about.

                Claude is right; you prefer to reside in ignorance and argue for your right to state whatever you want to no matter how factually incorrect it may be, instead of educating yourself on the trends and data that would help you understand the subject matter better.

              7. Prime:

                Nice try, but no one stated has that a team should never trade up. Do you not understand our position or are you deliberately misstating it?

                In addition, none of the trades you mentioned even remotely resembles the trade you criticized Baalke for not making or the Falcons’ trade. None of those trades involved giving up multiple first round picks, let alone 2 firsts, a second and 2 fourths. None of those trades involved trading up for the chance to draft a WR. The Steve Young trade didn’t even involve trading up in the draft. Those trades also involved the 49ers giving up a modest amount to move up for something they needed, but didn’t have (starting free safety, talented back up QB/potential superstar QB). I’m not sure how they are relevant to what you keep harping on.

                Moreover, Bill Walsh had a established track record of talent evaluation and successful draft strategy. Baalke’s track record isn’t as long, but it still is impressive. Unlike you, I wouldn’t presume I knew more about talent evaluation or draft pick valuation than they did, and I certainly wouldn’t jump to criticize their moves unless I had some support for my belief that they should have done something different.

              8. In the 1985 draft Walsh gave up pick #28 and #56 to move up to get the #16 pick which turned into Jerry Rice. It took Walsh giving up a single pick to get perhaps the best wide receiver of all time.

                And we’re here arguing over if it was smart for Thomas Dimitroff to give up 4 picks to select Julio Jones. Enough said.

              9. Jack:

                Don’t kid yourself. Prime will have more to say.

                I must say that I was surprised he didn’t try to use the trade up for Jerry Rice to justify the Julio Jones trade and/or his criticism of Baalke for not trading up to draft a WR.

        1. Did you like the trade ATL made for Julio Jones?

          You mean the Atlanta team that is woefully short of talent at multiple positions because they gave up so many draft picks for Julio Jones? Thomas Dmitroff is likely to be out of a job after this season is over, and the Julio Jones trade will be a major reason.

          Chasing after shiny things may be what squirrels do, but it’s not what good GMs do.

        2. I didn’t and still don’t like the trade for Jones. You don’t give up that many top line picks for a WR, unless you have a surplus of picks or don’t mind fading into obscurity in a year or two. Too much talent being given up for one player that plays an offensive skill position that usually touches the ball less than 100 times all year.

          Could the 49ers have made a similar trade this past draft? Possible, they had the surplus of picks, though giving up a 1st rounder next year wouldn’t be ideal. But in the end the depth they got instead is proving to be important this year, more important than a young WR in a loaded 49ers WR corps, and should set them up for a while if those guys keep developing.

          Getting Beckham, Watkins or Evans could have given them a #1 WR for 8 to 10 years. But it looks like they may have locked up a bunch of other positions long term instead.

            1. To be honest I don’t mind the idea of trading up for a franchise calibre QB, as that is a far more important position and harder to fill. But RGIII is a good example of how making a bad evaluation on player talent can really set a team back if you trade a lot for that player.

              It is also easy to say now that Beckham or Evans are worth giving up a few picks for, as we’ve seen the success they are having. But before the draft it is all potential and projection, with risk attached.

              1. The Niners needed a #1 WR. This year and the next 8 years beyond that. He could have learnt from Boldin for the next 2 years. Crabtree walks after his contract . It’s not hindsight but a good plan for some help with your franchise QB and aging RB. Another dynamic weapon to take a little bit of pressure off the defense.

              2. When you look at the leading WRs in the NFL, you see a lot of WRs that were taken after round 1.

                When you look at the leading QBs, not many weren’t taken in round 1.

                WR talent can be found without trading a lot of picks. QB talent is harder.

              3. 2014 was a talent rich draft. There were a lot of good WRs that the Niners could have gotten with all the picks that they had. Mike Evans went 7th. A lot of people thought he would have solved the Niners Red Zone issues.

                If they wanted to make a bold move, this was the year to do it. They had the picks and there was plenty of good options.

                They didn’t have to mortgage the future to get a playmaker.

                Instead Baalke went for a RB, a good one, but a good WR can get you maybe 8-10 years. You only get 4-5 with a great back before they break down.

                Oh yeah – who is throwing the ball to Mike Evans? McGown and Glennon. does Roman suck that much that he can’t figure out how to teach Kaep to throw better then those guys?

              4. “Instead Baalke went for a RB”.

                No. To move up to get Evans would have cost a lot more than just a 2nd rounder.

                As you point out there were plenty of good options at WR. There were still plenty of good options available at #30, and also at the end of the 2nd round.

        3. The Niner’s have done really well drafting certain positions in the later rounds and coaching them up. But not with WR or TE. I don’t know who their wr coaches are or who scouts and advises them in the draft at those positions but they might think about making some changes there.

        4. Completely right Prime. Also I think that Balke understood that even if he drafted Odell Beckham he wouldnt get many minutes if he had the training camp injury and he wouldn’t be used properly

      2. I think they should have rolled the dice. Every draft you never know what you’re going to get, but the Niners never had a true #1 WR – case in point — Crabs.

        They have a chance to get a difference maker, whether Kaep can get him the ball is a whole never conversation!

    3. Baalke should recuse himself from drafting offensive players. His track record is less than stellar – AJJ, LMJ, Vance Mac. We burned a 1 and two 2s on those turkeys.

      Baalke should bring in outside help to assess offensive skill players.

      And yes, it hurts my heart to see rookie WR all around the league kicking ass.

          1. Nothing is wrong in Claude’s world according to the 49ers. Everything is as it should be. They say jump, he says how high. Company man!

          2. Some of us want to win another superbowl and recognize 13 points per game aint gonna cut it.

            Then it’s probably a good thing the 49ers score more than 13 points per game. Smh.

            Packaging a bunch of picks to move up for a WR wouldn’t have fixed the problems with the 49ers’ offense. It would have made it impossible, however, to provide the depth that has allowed the defense to thrive notwithstanding the absence of multiple Pro Bowl players.

            1. The ideas around here really amaze me sometimes. We have rookies from this class starting or playing key roles all over the place, and the arm chair GM’s in here are moaning about not trading picks to move up for a WR.

              Here’s some news for you guys: WR is arguably the deepest position on this team right now. Adding a first round WR was not remotely necessary,nor was it worth the amount of compensation it would have taken. Moving up for Benjamin would have given us a guy doing about the same thing Boldin is doing right now.

              Think through your ideas before posting them guys. This team’s offensive woes are not due to lacking WR talent. We don’t use the guys we have very much nevermind a rookie. The issues with the offense stem from all phases not playing well at the same time. If we could ever get a running game and passing game functioning together at the same time we’d have something. Alas, that hasn’t happened very often this year with different units taking turns playing poorly.

              1. But rocket, they should have traded up for Beckham or Evans and STILL drafted a nickel back, RB, ILB, OC, OLB and CB all capable of starting or filling in capably this year. If they needed to give up the picks they actually used on some of those guys, then Baalke should have used later picks (which he clearly wasted on late round guys that aren’t contributing yet) to get them. Its only reasonable.

              2. Some days I can’t believe what is said in here Scooter. Just amazing to read some of this stuff. It’s complaining for the sake of complaining.

              3. I think many fans (a) simply like to complain, and (b) like shiny things.

                The 49ers draft looks like it got some very good players, but not at sexy, highlight reel positions. The rookie WRs are providing plenty of highlights, so those are the guys the team should have drafted. Never mind that they probably wouldn’t be providing those same highlights on this team.

      1. Yep, Baalke does a horrible Job drafthing offensive players like Bruce Miller a 7th rounder who is a pro bowl caliber fullback. Check out all the first rounders that didn’t work out in the 80’s and become all world players: Earl Cooper, Jim Stuckey, Todd Schell and Terrance Flagler.

        The 1985 draft that brought Jerry Rice really only brought him. The ’86 draft brought players in later rounds.

        The idea that marquee names like Julio Jones and others Odell Beckham Jr. (who I liked a lot) would be difference makers is a hindsight arguement. Much of the draft is a crapshoot and often the skill positions don’t work out as planned. J. Clowney hurt himself, Bortles is not living up to the hype as is Ebron. On this board Marquise Lee was very popular. Would you trade Johnson for him now?

        It is easy for us to give up key picks for a splashy name, but then we would not have a Lynch, Borland or Dontea Johnson to contribute when key players went down. The Martin trade was seen as a bad move but he has filled in solidly on the line.

        Perhaps one would rather have Beckham or Watkins or Evans, but I would rather have the current Niners record than trade the Giants, Buffalo or TBs.

        1. I think the reason they didn’t go for a WR in the mid 1st round is because eventually you will have to pay that guy 1st round dollars. They were willing to trade up to get Reid, because don’t demand the crazy money a top WR can ask for.

          1. This discussion is going to go on long after all of us are dead and gone…. How much better are the #1’s than the #5’s…etc. IMHO, There are about 10 to 15 players in the draft who have played head and shoulders above the rest, and from those , we end up with Gino Carmazzi, a bunch of Easter basket WR’s, and a pack of Olinemen that had it not been for Bobb McKittrick, would have been in the dustbin of NFL history.

            If I were to cunduct a draft, I would take the 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s, and swapped all the remainder for the ‘best player available’. Then I would go out and find all of the position players I needed out of the UFA’s that every year are left out in the cold, yet are as good (sometimes better) than the those on the top who got there because of their college TEAM’s record, or some other facet that will never translate to ‘NFL quality”. There are still a lot of them available from the last 2-3 years, training and hoping for a break. Some would play for food.

            There are only a few REAL #1 WR’s in each draft. Get your scouts working some overtime.

        2. Bit of a false equivalency here. I agree bruce miller is a good FB, but to suggest that drafting him makes up for ajj, lmj and vance is a mistake. We need to hit homeruns in the first two rounds. The 2012 hurt the niners organization. I acknowledge baalke is good if not exceptional at drafting defense. I said he stinks at drafting offensive skill players. Not sure how that can be in dispute.

          Also, it was possible for the niners to get a good if not great WR in the late first all the way through the 3rd – martavis bryant without trading up into the top 10.

          1. Last I checked B. Miller played offense. The first two rounds are important values, but what matters in a draft is getting value throughout. Baalke seems to do pretty well in this regard. QB and WR are among the biggest bust positions in drafts, especially in the early rounds.

            If we had picked a wide receiver, given that we couldn’t move up (and I’m presuming that the cost was way too high) Lee would more than likely have been that player. That is why I posed the question.

            I don’t think that looking at a particular player like Beckham (the closest one Baalke may have been able to move up for) after the fact works. Under those circumstances we may have had to trade Ward, Borland and Lynch. I wouldn’t want that, and I don’t think it would have provided as much value as the Johnson acquisition.

              1. In 2013, without Kelvin Benjamin, the Carolina Panthers passed for 316 yards per game. In 2014, with Kelvin Benjamin, the Panthers are passing for 327 yards per game.

                1st round WRs aren’t as valuable as you think they are. That’s especially true for Benjamin.

          2. They didn’t need to draft a WR once they traded for Johnson. As it is they drafted Ellington in the 4th which gave them a full slate at the position. Boldin is providing the same kind of production Benjamin would have or more due to the fact he wouldn’t have been featured here the way he is in Carolina. This team is not struggling because they didn’t draft a WR in the first round.

            I’m also shaking my head at the belief that McDonald is a bust. He’s turned into a pretty good blocker and they never throw to the guy so how in the world does anyone come to the conclusion that he’s a bust? If they threw to him regularly and he dropped a lot of passes, I could see some questions developing, but he doesn’t get any opportunities and the few he has, he’s caught. He fumbled against the Rams, but that was after a nice catch and run. If they’d use him more, we might see a good weapon develop.

            1. Completely agree on the WRs. There are only a couple of guys they could have drafted that I think may have taken some snaps from Crabtree or Boldin, and they were all gone by pick #12. This offense isn’t built to get a lot of production out of the 3rd WR, so they wouldn’t be contributing much this season anyway.

              Fair point on VMac, but they could easily have used a later pick to get their blocking TE. I think it is fair to say VMac isn’t producing as you would hope from a 2nd rounder, and at this point it appears they could have invested that pick more wisely.

              1. Scooter,

                I agree McDonald isn’t producing. My point is he really hasn’t been given much opportunity to produce in the passing game. I don’t think they drafted him with the intention of him being strictly a blocking TE which is why I’m puzzled they don’t use him more in the passing game. He was pretty much a WR at Rice, and while he did drop some passes, he was also their biggest and best weapon in the passing game. He comes here and is put in a blocking role and thrown to a handful of times a year. I don’t get it.

  9. Harbaugh doesn’t value receivers for their receiving skills FIRST. He evaluates them as blockers first. That’s why Crabtree and Vernon get so many snaps in spite of all their drops.

    1. If that’s so perhaps that explains why the offensive line play has declined. If he values receivers for their blocking skills perhaps the opposite is also true. Perhaps he has had the linemen spending most of their training camp working on catching passes.

  10. I can’t watch these pretenders on espn “breaking down” the Seahak Niners game. When they continue to say the Niners are 1-3 in the division this year. It was all about Seattle anyways. I doubt they even watch the Niners. Probably pull up stats and guesstimate what to say. And get up there and act like they know what they’re talking about. And of course the hot team and Super Bowl favorite is GB and yet they refuse to talk about their horrible defense. GB will get destroyed by SF, sea, or Arz in the playoffs.

    1. Why talk about the Niners? They didn’t win the SB. SEA did. Niners were the talk of the league in 2011 and 2012, but now they are old news.
      Want people to talk about the Niners? Then then need to play better on offense.

      1. Fan, the Niners were not the talk of league in 2011. In fact, most experts did not give the Niners any credit until they beat the NO in the div playoff game. But they were the talk of the league in 2013 because they “almost” won the SB the year before.

        “Want people to talk about the Niners? Then then need to play better on offense.”

        No. They just need to win.

  11. I like trades like Dallas made that got them three Superbowls in four years(93,94,and 96). Right now I can’t think of a big trade of several draft picks for one guy that paid off. I don’t recall what Denver paid for John Elway, but even that trade took a long time to get to a Superbowl win.

    I’ve never played Madden, but from what I read in this blog, every general manager and coach in the NFL should probably be spending more time playing it.

  12. Wow people have a lot of nerve to blame Balke when it comes to drafting or free agency.. His last draft was outrageously good.. This team doesn’t sniff 7 wins with all the injuries if Balke doesn’t have the draft that he had. Borland, Hyde, Martin, lynch, Ellington, Johnson are all future starters.. Ward was the starting NB until he got hurt on a very soild D.. People complaining about not drafting a WR instead of the likes of Borland and Hyde and lynch are beyond idiotic. Do you people realize that Balke drafted a mini clone to Aldon smith in lynch in the 5th rnd who looks quite a bit better then K Mack from Oakland that they took 5th overall? A potentially elite edge rusher late in the draft. People he took possibly A defense rookie of the year in Borland in the third. Which mind you people he will be most likely with in the next couple years replacing Willis.. A lot you fans really need to step back and approciate how good of a GM we have. He is the reason this team can compete for the next 5 years! Usually it takes 3 years to make a fair assessment after a draft but this draft he had and the 2011 are homeruns.. And by the way, haurbaugh is one to get rid of instead of Balke. This offense has not gotton better in 4 years.. This is the fault of the head coach who specializes in offense.. Hire fangio as the head coach and get a good offense coordinator and this team is better..

    1. As much as I will hate to see Harbaugh go, if he refuses to get rid of Roman – I agree with what you said. You do not let Fangio walk. No way.

    2. I think mostly everyone will acknowledge that this last draft was pretty good. How ever Ward could have been easily replaced with not much if any drop of in production. For what he produced a #30 was too high for someone they wanted to convert to a different position. Plus he was drafted already injured – damaged goods. Granted they have a lot of receivers this year, but next year Crabs will be gone and lloyd will be expensive and Boldin will be old. They still will not have a receiver who can stretch the field. Ellington is a good slot receiver who is quick and can get open, but even in college he was often caught from behind. He just doesn’t have break away speed. They will need a speed receiver especially since VD appears done. Granted it’s after the fact but it appears that going for a receiver would have been a better long term choice. TB will not have the option of going for IR players that he can get on the cheap. Nor will he have the option of going for best players available now that they have mulitiple needs to fill. Every pick will be more valuable.

      1. You willing to tell Boldin that to his face?

        Why do you think lloyd will be too expensive next year? He sat out last year and hasn’t been used much this year. If he gets hot and is a significant factor in beating Seattle twice, Arizona once, and San Diego once then he might attract too much interest for the 49er cap space. What are the chances of that happening. It would be great.

  13. Just jumping in and reading peoples conversations. As far as drafting wideouts, I wanted either Kelvin Benjamin or Martavious Bryant. Kelvin Benjamin was out of our price range. Martavious Bryant was a wideout we could have gotten cheap. He missed the first few games but is doing well for the steelers. Tall, fast, and has good hands. The biggest issue was he was inside the hype machine. He was on the same team as Sammy Watkins. We do need a tall WR sooner or later. Someone is going to have to take that deep threat torch from Vernon sooner or later.

    1. KY
      “has good hands” no he doesnt. He was allways inconsistent catching the ball and that followed him to the nfl. He was a size/speed guy who actually underwhelmed in college for all his physical tools. He is working as a deep threat for Pit but he was/is far from a sure thing

    2. KY,
      you are correct. We could have had Benjamin. If I were the GM and I could go back, I’d take Benjamin over Ward in a heartbeat. Trading up two spots wouldn’t have cost that much. The guy is better than I thought he was. Catches balls in traffic, big wing span.

    3. KY,
      I too felt that M.Bryant could have been a good pick for us because of his speed and size, but more tempting because he would have been available somewhere in the middle rounds.

      The Steelers got him in the 4th rd so my estimate of him going in the middle rds were not too far off.
      I made the case at the time that this was a raw but potentially good WR who was lost in the glare of Sammy Watkins.
      But having said that, I also said the Martevias would be a project that would take time to develop.

      Back to reality. I don’t see how anyone could possibly argue with Baalke’ recent draft.
      The 2014 draft class could propel this team to the playoffs for years to come.
      Hyde – is continuing to improve with each game.
      Borland – has NFL stardom written all over him.
      Lynch – has been a steal and diamond in the rough for us and will only get better.
      Ward – was improving before being injured and will hold down the position when he returns.
      M.Martin – will hold down the Center position for years to come.
      D. Johnson – has very good football size and instincts that will garner more playing time in the near future.
      Ellington – has the talent to make an impact once he learns to let the game come to him.

      Players like Millard, Ramsey, Reaser, and Thomas could potentially be productive next season. I’m looking forward to seeing a healthy Brandon Thomas, Kaleb Ramsey, and Trey Millard in 2015. If these guys succeed, the 2014 draft class will be gold.

      This was easily one of the best drafts in recent memories for the 49ers with a talented group of players that will become core players sooner than later.

      Seeing a player like Odell Beckam Jr. Sammy Watkins, and Kevin Benjamin perform can make me think that we had enough drafts picks to possibly make a deal for one of them, but then again that means that players like Borland, Martin, and Lynch may be playing on some other team right now.
      I’m more than happy where we are with our current draft class.
      Kudos to Trent Baalke!

      1. Trent Baalke 2012 draft class………………….. SKUNKED !!!
        Trent Baalke 2013 draft class………………….. One starter !!!

        1 30 A.J. Jenkins
        2 61 LaMichael James
        4 117 Joe Looney
        5 165 Darius Fleming
        6 180 Trenton Robinson
        6 199 Jason Slowey

        1 18 Eric Reid …………………………starting safety….YEA!!!
        2 40 Cornellius Carradine
        2 55 Vance McDonald
        3 88 Corey Lemonier
        4 128 Quinton Patton
        4 131 Marcus Lattimore
        5 157 Quinton Dial
        6 180 Nick Moody
        7 237 B.J. Daniels
        7 246 Carter Bykowski
        7 252 Marcus Cooper
        7 237 Cam Johnson

        1. Hey Mike,

          Do you think the fact the Niners, one of the most talented teams in the league, only had two picks in the first four rounds in 2012 may have had something to do with not getting much out of that draft? Yes the first two picks didn’t work out, but both were made up for with FA and the following drafts. Anything after the 4th round is usually a crap shoot to make a team this good.

          The 2013 draft features two starters – Reid and McDonald, two Dlineman that will get more and more playing time as the starters either retire or are not resigned, a good young WR who can’t get on the game day roster due to the depth they have, and a good ST’s player who can also play ILB.

          The problem I see with some of the views on this forum is some fans believe if a player doesn’t play right away or have an instant impact, then he is a bad pick. Carradine is a prime example. Last year was a write off due to his injury and that was expected. This year he comes in, has a nice preseason, and then doesn’t play much which somehow to some means he is a bust. Think about it for a moment and understand this is a team that plays 3 Dlineman at a time and most of the snaps are taken by the starters. How much of an impact do you expect a young player to have if he’s not getting much if any playing time? Be patient with some of these guys and understand that the reason they aren’t playing is because the players in front of them are all pros, or established starters who are playing at a high level.

          I’m really not sure where you think this team is lacking depth to the point you would complain about the past two drafts at all. 2012 was a waste, no doubt about it, but the picks weren’t there to make a big impression with from the get go and that failure was more than made up in the following two drafts.

        2. @Mike

          Count just how many of the players on your lists are still on NFL rosters, several as starters…perhaps we didn’t see what other people saw in claiming them from us.

      2. AES,

        A voice of reason. I am gobsmacked by the opinions on here about how Baalke should have packaged picks to move up for a WR.

        This was the draft teams should have been stockpiling picks for and using them. The Niners are a clear example of why that was the best strategy. They have multiple current and future starters out of this class already with more possibly to come. Anyone questioning this draft really doesn’t have a clue.

          1. As someone that was avidly promoting the idea of trading up for a WR before the draft (albeit only if it cost packaging a 2nd or 3rd rounder to do so), I was impressed with the way Baalke handled the draft. I was hoping Beckham would fall to the late teens so the 49ers might have a shot, but would have cost too much to move up to #12.

            Seeing the returns we are now getting from the players drafted just shows how Baalke’s draft strategy was a success this year.

            1. I agree Scooter. I would have been fine with them drafting a WR in the first if the board had fallen a certain way, but I was against trading picks in this draft from the start and my mind certainly hasn’t changed with how it’s worked out. I liked Beckham, Evans and Watkins as much as anybody, but there is no way I would be giving up multiple picks and a first next year to get one.

              This doesn’t even take into consideration whether teams were interested in moving down. You can’t move up if the team at that spot wants the player and won’t move down. The Armchair GM’s don’t seem to understand that side of the issue either.

              1. Another great example of why you don’t trade multiple first round picks to move up for a WR: Buffalo. Don’t have a good QB situation, Watkins has been ok but nothing special, and they likely wind up giving up a top 15 pick to Cleveland in next year’s draft while still not having a QB they believe in on the roster and now way to get one due to trading the picks they did.

              2. I’m not playing hindsight at all Prime. Manuel wasn’t even considered a first round prospect by a lot of analysts, and his rookie year certainly didn’t give the impression he was either.

                Watkins is a hell of a talent, but as we are seeing, WR’s are dependent on the QB and other facets of the offense to have an impact in the win column. As good as Beckham is, the Giants are one of the worst teams in the league, as are the Panthers and Bucs who not coincidentally took WR’s with their first round pick. They all have other problems, but it shows clearly that WR’s don’t come in and turn your team around or put wins on the board.

              3. But Rocket Manuel was drafted in the 1st round and according to you

                getting better players is commiserate with how high you are taking them
                odds of finding talent are greatly enhanced by the higher you get to pick them.

                Well there goes that theory then…..


              4. Good thing we don’t look at one player and make an assumption FDM. The odds are overwhelmingly in favor of players taken higher producing and becoming starters than late round picks.

                There is a huge difference in the percentage of starters and great players taken in the higher rounds than low round picks and UDFA’s. For every late round gem, there are many more high picks that become starters.

              5. Baalke was a mastermind by collecting 2014 picks, anticipating the abundance of talent. He bolstered quite a few position groups of importance. This was a very good team in 2013, but they also were a worn down group from three consecutive years of deep playoffs/Super Bowl appearances. Baalke is a proactive GM whereas most GM’s(Falcons) are reactive, and there’s the difference in rosters….

              6. Rocket, the Bills move for Watkins was a real head scratcher. With Watkins, Evans and Beckham still on the board, and picking at #9, they had to know they’d be able to get one of the premier guys.

                The Bills are a good example of bad scouting. They didn’t trust the talent at WR, and reached for what they thought was the only guy that could step in and be a difference maker at the position. And in doing so gave up a 1st rounder next year. Not a good move for a team that has been struggling for a number of years.

              7. Right on, razor. He moved out of the 2012 draft, which was talent poor, to pick up 2013 picks. He then used 2013 picks to accumulate 2014 picks. It is a sign of a good GM to try and accumulate picks in strong drafts.

              8. Razor,

                That’s exactly what Baalke did and it was a great strategy considering 2014 was considered to be the best draft in a decade if not more. We have seen already how good the talent haul was well into the later rounds for this team. These past two drafts have likely set the Niners up as contenders for the next 3-5 years minimum.


                I agree, I didn’t see the point either. I mean Watkins was a great player coming out, but this was a deep class of WR’s and trading next year’s first was crazy considering the Bills have many needs elsewhere and weren’t sure of their QB situation.

      3. No arguments about the way Trent drafts. We have the tools on offense. We just need someone to read the manual of how to use them

  14. Colin needs better receivers to throw to. If he played for Denver he would have better pass numbers than Manning and obviously way better rush yards too.

    1. I believe we only need one tall speedy receiver to take the top off. Just one to be a true threat. That opens everything underneath up for the short passing game and the run game.

      1. KY,
        It seems apparent to me that Harbaugh is not enamored with the long throw. Even when Randy Moss was here he was merely used as a diversion rather than a true downfield weapon.

        VD should have been our downfield threat this season because he is a matchup nightmare for most defenses, but VD has been a non-factor so far. S.Johnson and Lloyd have shown the ability to get open downfield but again, Harbaugh doesn’t seen to capitalize on their speed because this does not fit his MO.

        1. AES, I completely agree with you. There’s just this other side that wants to ask why, over and over like a child. It’s obvious teams walk safeties up to aid the run, it’s obvious teams do not fear the deep ball, and we all them to play us this way

          What you said is probably correct. It is just hard for me to make sense of it.

          1. KY,
            I have no problem with differing opinions from bloggers around here – reserving the right to voice your opinion whether right or wrong is what makes this blog interesting. I’ve certainly been on both sides of the ledger.

            But when it comes to the WR position, I agree with the posters who have said that there was no need to deal or package draft picks given the fact that the Org had signed Stevie J and BLloyd.

            As I said earlier, Harbaugh does not seem to be a fan of the long pass. With the type of WR’s we have it makes sense not to put the ball 30-40 yrds in the air because guys like Boldin and Crabtree are built to make the tough catch and gain YAC. I would add VD to that equation of receivers who should be able to gain YAC as well.

            The occasional long pass will come now again but certainly not at the high percentage that many are looking for.

            The best way to describe our present passing game is: “power catching”
            i.e. catching the medium pass with the intent to gain YAC.
            It’s not pretty, but it fits our WR’s style of play. It’s also safer because the ball is not in the air for 30-40 yrds that is more risky.

  15. Grant,
    can you once and for all take care of Fan77 double posting with my avatar. The quality of the blog starts and ends with you Grant.

    Grant I asked you six times over the last three weeks to expose the person double posting WITH MY NAME AND AVATAR and you didn’t do it. That told the room all we needed to know. That you care more about blog hits than you do about moderating your blog.

    For every action there is a reaction. Don’t get mad and ban me later when I retaliate. Just saying……

    1. Grant,

      Can you once and for all have an IQ test for the Village Idiots for your blog? Clearly you are lowering the level of intelligence for the dumbest person in the room, in order to get more blog puts. But enough is enough. Some of us would like to have intelligent discussions about the state of the Niners, and be free to post their opinions without the fear of being called a D-bag or labelled a hater, or worse, accused of stealing the idiot’s avatar. I suggest we raise the minimum IQ from 5 to 10, that way we don’t have to read these kind or moronic posts from — this moron — ever again.

      You run a great blog, I personally think you should forgo the idiot route to get your hits, and instead perhaps pursue corporate sponsorship to raise revenue. What’s that casino near the Press Democrat? They can use more business and have a great buffet!

  16. JH forgot to mention that one of the best solutions to ensuring a WR or TE does not catch the ball a yard or inches short of the first down marker and get tackled, leaving 4th and short, is to make sure the play caller is aware of the down and distance and calls a pass pattern from his game plan sheet that has the primary and secondary receivers at routes breaking beyond the sticks. It is understandable on a 3rd and 10 yards or plus situation where it might come down to the QB throwing the ball to an outlet receiver who gets tackled short of the yardage needed for the first down, but 3rd and 4, 5 or 6 should be easy to put at least 3 receivers beyond the chains.

    1. Amen to that, Mike. These are professionals, right? How hard is to call plays that account for down and distance-to-go?! G-Ro blows, but the disciple of Bo Schembechler (Harbaugh) is too stuck in his stubborn, mid-western football way’s to send him packing. His older brother sent Cam Cameron packing and the Ravens went on to win the Lombardi trophy. Learn from your older brother, Jim, who you haven’t been able to beat, either, with your antiquated, offensive thinking. How many times do we have to watch the field goal team take the field? Put the ball in the endzone you mopes!

  17. From back in May, “The 49ers will send the Bills a third-round pick (instead of a fourth-rounder) if Johnson reaches unknown production levels.” The 49ers are known to hold a few things back on purpose and this may be part of the reason we haven’t seen more of Stevie Johnson so far this season.

    1. Why would a team withhold a productive player down who could help them to save a draft pick?
      Are we all now on the 23jordan mindset pretending to know and see things that are from another planet. Wow.

      1. The 49ers own coaching staff has admitted to holding things back.

        “My post-New England mindset was to hold back and try to save things for the playoffs,” Roman says. “We did a bunch of [read-option plays] against New England, but you run into that question of exposure. The reality is that you’ve got to win playoff games. That was definitely part of the plan. Because NFL teams are too good — you start showing something and having success, they’re gonna find a way to stop it.

        “You don’t want to make a living on it. If you can win a game and hold that back, why not? I coached defense. I know what it’s like when you have to prepare for something like that. It’s all hands on deck. It’s mayhem.”


  18. Bring on the Seahawks, I can’t wait for Thursday. I’m expecting a close game. The 49ers D will shutdown Wilson, but Lynch will do some damage. 20-16 Niners

    1. I’m expecting big things from our dynamic due Lynch and Aldon. Stopping Marshawn will be huge, but also keeping containment on Wilson.

      1. Facing RG3 and Morris this past Sunday was as good as any practice that our Defense will have on trying to prepare for Wilson and Lynch. Of course, Wilson and Lynch are better players but I don’t think we have any in our practice squad that can emulate those two like RG3 and Morris.

        1. ricardo,

          I agree with you on Morris, but there is nothing gained from facing Bob Griffin III. He is not remotely comparable to Wilson. Wilson can actually be effective from the pocket and is very good on the run. Griffin is a statue that doesn’t appear to have a clue out there. When it comes to reading coverages he is Dexter Manley.

          1. You’re not kidding. So, what happened to RGIII? Did Shanahan ruin him, or did he simply recognize before everyone else that something was missing with the kid?

            Or can we somehow blame it all on Snyder? I’d really like to blame it on Snyder because that guy deserves all the crap that can be heaped on him.

            1. A fair share of the blame needs to fall on Snyder. He’s the one who pulled the trigger on a trade that cost 2 future first rounders and a second rounder. That’s a lot of good football players to give up.

              Then throw in the knee injury in the playoffs at the end of 2012 and Snyder pushing to get him back on the field.

              Sure let’s blame it all on him.

          2. I dont know why Wilson is so overrated. I mean the guys throws are mostly all behind the line of scrimmage. When he throws down the field its all play action to eight men boxes so scared of Marshawn. He runs a very simplified offense compared to CK and puts of decent numbers. People are mostly just scared of Marshawn Lynch who is a real beast. Wilson cannot beat us he isnt that good but Marshawn is the key to this game/./

  19. Jack ..
    if those, here, who say Crabtree will be gone
    next year .. are correct .. then, I have one wish for him ..

    and that is.. I wish Crabtree catches a long TD .. right
    in front of that big-mouth ..

    and ya know what would make it much sweeter ?

    If he does it in front of a National audience ..
    Like on Thanksgiving

    1. I can’t see what ricardo and Razoreater are referring to, but it sounds like this

      I’m no fan of Sherman, but more of this from athletes is refreshing. An athlete shouldn’t be forced to turn into an advertizing robot, and Thursday games show how false the NFL’s policies on player safety actually are.

        1. I know if there’s more then one link it won’t post, but I haven’t encountered links getting scrubbed from posts.

        2. Jack:

          Deleting your comment was odd. Unless I missed something, the video linked to contained no bad words or insults of Grant’s father, which are the two things that usually lead to the deletion of a comment.

      1. Another link I was going to post the other day

        Jim Harbaugh doing a quarterbacking clinic when he was at San Diego St. A few salty words. He hits on alot of the stuff that’s in the clinic Walsh and Montana did for NFL Films.
        – Footwork and drop backs
        – Making sure the hips and eyes are in the right direction when throwing out passes to the left so the QB sees underneath coverage
        – Ball Security
        – 1000 reps to fix bad habits
        – Throwing mechanics
        – Play action

        1. It doesn’t matter but Harbaugh was at San Diego University which is a small private Catholic university with no athletic scholarships.

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