Kyle Shanahan: “Playing QB in this league is about going through progression, having to manipulate zones.”

Head coach Kyle Shanahan answers a question after the 49ers preseason game against the Vikings

Here is the transcript of Kyle Shanahan’s Monday conference call, courtesy of the 49ers P.R. department.


Do you have any update on T Joe Staley’s knee?

“Yeah, it was like we thought, came back good. He’s obviously got some tendonitis and things like that in his knee, some wear and tear. But, we feel good about it and we think he’ll be good by Week 1.”


What else jumped out at you about the start of that game, that first half especially, that gets you pretty confident going forward with your starting unit?

“I was happy on both sides of the ball and special teams. Just the effort and the energy we came out with. By no means was it perfect. I told you guys two weeks ago it felt real bad out there and you watch the tape and it wasn’t quite as bad as it looked. Early in the game it felt real good, then you watch the tape and there were a lot of good things. It’s always not quite as good as it feels, and it’s never as bad as it feels. I was happy mainly with the energy we came out and how hard I thought we played. I thought we were much more ready, we seemed more ready to play than the week before.”


You guys got an extended look at T John Theus. How did he do over the course of the game?

“He battled. He’s going up against a pretty good player in [Minnesota Vikings DE Everson] Griffen. He wasn’t great on all his protections, but he stayed in front of him and we were able to get rid of the ball. Did we take one sack? Yeah, I think [QB] Brian [Hoyer] only got knocked down once. The protection was not perfect, but I thought he battled in there and helped us get through it.”


ME: The two deep passes in this game were intriguing. Last week you said you called a deep pass and you didn’t get the right coverage to take a shot downfield. What were the coverages you got in this game that allowed Hoyer to make those deep passes? Can you take me through those plays?

“We got it versus a quarters defense. [Minnesota Vikings S] Harrison [Smith] had more run support and he just hesitated. Last week we got it versus quarter, quarter-half. When the weak side safety didn’t have run support, he just had half. So they stayed on top of him. That was the one that we ended up hitting [FB Kyle] Juice [Juszczyk]  in the flat last week for about a 25-yard gain. You can go back and look, it’s the same play. We just had a more aggressive safety in run support.”


I noticed on the touchdown to RB Carlos Hyde, when I was watching the replay there, Brian had a really quick hitch or a look toward WR Marquise Goodwin and that’s what caused the linebacker to get out of the way and open that window. I’m wondering if there were any other examples off the top of your head of Brian really manipulating the defense like that? And, has that been something that you saw with him your first time coaching him or has his skill set kind of developed through those little intricacies now the second time around?

“I think Brian’s always had that. It’s hard to be a drop back quarterback in this league if you can’t be like that. When you play against zoning coverages, that’s to me what playing the position is. Anybody with a big, strong arm can go against man to man. If guys get open it’s just about throwing to a guy. That’s really what you can see on air if they’re tough enough to stay in the pocket. Playing quarterback in this league is about going through progression, having to manipulate zones when you have the time to do it based off the pass rush and knowing when to check it down also because those zones close fast. I think one of the things that helps us is we got against a lot of zone defense in practice every day. When you go against three deep, four under every day you get pretty good at it. And you’ve got to be because their coverages are sound like that. So, he did a good job on that play. It’s a very tight throw. If you aren’t balanced and good with your eyes, you can’t make it.”


We’ve seen RB Matt Breida do well obviously all offseason and camp and through the exhibition season. Is he your number two running back behind Carlos Hyde going into the season?

“No, I’m not going to predict any of that until after the game this week. We wanted to give him a chance. He’s done a good job. We wanted to see him out there as little bit earlier in the game, especially against a good defense like Minnesota. I thought he did a good job. I thought the other guys did too. We’ve got some tough decisions here to make at running back, but we’re going to let it all play out. We definitely need this game on Thursday to see the other guys too. They’ve all made it real tough on us.”


You made a decision to release LB Ahmad Brooks early. Is the plan to wait until Thursday for the rest of the cuts or will it happen throughout the week?

“We’re going to go over all that tonight. Basically, this whole day, after we recovered a little bit this morning from getting back so late, we’ve been going through all the game. With the coaching staff we went all morning and we just finished with the players about 40 minutes ago where we put it to bed. When I’m done with you guys I’m going to eat some food and we’re going to all get together and go over exactly who’s playing in this game, who we’re not going to allow to play at all. Once we know exactly who’s not going to play in this game, we’ve got to see all the people we need to play in this game. If there’s a number of people that we don’t feel have a chance to make the team and we don’t play on playing them on Thursday, then we will let them go, give them a chance to go somewhere else. But, I won’t really be able to decide that until later tonight.”


Where does RB Tim Hightower fit into that mix? Is he a guy that you kind of already know what you have or do you still need to see more from him moving forward?

“Tim definitely should get some more carries here on Thursday. I have a great feel for Tim. I’ve coached him before, got to play against him the last two years with him being in New Orleans. I see what he does in practice every day. I’ve seen him in NFL games. The game is not too big for him. It’s unfortunate for Tim, he’s only got two opportunities, which is always tough because you’d love to show everyone who’s watching on T.V.  and show your fans and stuff. But, we’ve got a pretty good idea of what Tim can do. That’s why we’ve brought him here. Definitely going to give him more opportunities Thursday. He’s definitely in this mix. We just had a bunch of guys that we haven’t seen before and we’ve had to get some of these rookies more opportunities because you never know what you’ve got with them until you see them in NFL games.”


ME: Last week you said Carlos Hyde left some yards on the field. How’d he do in this game carrying the ball?

“I thought he did a good job with the holes that he ran to. I actually just watched it with him. There was one run that I thought he made the wrong cut on and he ended up getting seven yards on that run. Couldn’t fault him too much for it. There was one run I didn’t think he hit the exact right hole and he ended up getting one of our bigger gains on the day on it. So, I know Carlos would love to have better stats. I know he really would love to get that big play, but he’s got to let the game come to him. We’ve got to get him some better looks and we’ve got to get him a few more opportunities. I think that will happen for him eventually.”


After getting a chance to go back and see LB Reuben Foster last night on the film, I know it’s only been a month of practice where he’s been full-go, but how far has he come just in terms of being assignment-sound and doing the things you want him to do on a consistent basis?

“He’s come a long way. I think that’s what’s been real exciting about Reuben. Missing all of OTAs, not playing in a system this way in college, not being the MIKE linebacker down in and down out like he was in college, and really not being able to go through it in OTAs. I did have a lot of worries about it, knowing it would take some time. I think he’s ahead of schedule. He’s a very smart person. He works at it. He loves football. He gets a lot out of the meetings, gets even more obviously out of practice and games. He is further along than I anticipated in terms of the X’s and O’s part. I think last night was the first time we all saw him really cut it loose.”


ME: How would you assess the pass coverage? Minnesota Vikings QB Sam Bradford completed almost 80-percent of his passes, but most of those were short.

“I thought we did a real good job. I want to say we gave up one explosive in the first half and that was an off-schedule scramble that was the last play of the first half where I think they threw it to [Minnesota Vikings WR] Adam Thielen, 19, and I think they got it inside the five and ran out of time. Besides that play, I want to say we didn’t have one other explosive in the entire first half. Obviously, we gave up some big plays in the second half which got them back in the game. We definitely have to tighten that coverage up, get the pass rush going a little bit better. But, I was happy with the coverage in the first half.”


On the offensive end you’ve obviously got WR Pierre Garçon, Brian, WR Aldrick Robinson, those are all guys that you’ve worked with before. Yesterday obviously that first team was really sharp offensively. How much of that would you attribute to the fact that they’re familiar with your system and how has that helped you install it quicker here during training camp?

“I think that’s an important part for any coach. Whether you’re a head coach or a coordinator, you’d always like to have guys who have been through it before. That’s the way guys learn, through reps and doing it over and over again. Succeeding. Failing. Then succeeding again. That’s how you get better at things. The only way you can do that is by going through it. Whenever you can have guys who you’ve gone through the battle with it makes it easier because they get the adjustments, they get the learning curve. They know step A, but they also know step B too. It makes it easier, but those guys also have to still be able to play. Those guys are competing just like everyone else is here to make this team. We’ve got some tough spots for a lot of people.”


Joe Staley’s knee is obviously a preexisting thing. What happened last night? Was it just a case of him just aggravating it and it felt funny?

“You can see it a little bit on the tape. I think it was on the touchdown pass. I think he was just running real hard and cleared out the pocket for us to throw that deep ball to Marquise. You could tell he just caught it a little bit on the turf. I think it scared him more than anything and I know he’s got some stuff in there. I know he wanted to fight through it and I’m sure he could have, but he landed a little awkwardly on it. You could see it if you saw it on the end zone copy. We just wanted to be safe with him and we’ll take it safe with him this whole week up to Carolina, make sure he’s 100-percent when we start that game.”


Since you spent a few years in Houston, and I know TE Vance McDonald is from just outside of there and you have a lot of coaches on your staff, do you have any thought on what’s going on down there?

“Yeah. I’ve been updated on all of it and you know my prayers are with them. I have spent some time down there in Houston and in Austin also. Tons of good people out there. It’s a great town. I know they’re going through a lot of stuff now, just even talking to guys like [defensive quality control coach] DeMeco [Ryans] and [defensive line coach Jeff] Zgonina. [Special teams coordinator] Richard Hightower has got a home down there. I know it effects a bunch of our coaches whose families have been evacuated. I know there’s a number of players like Vance and other guys on our team. So, our prayers are with them. It’s a tough situation and hopefully we can find a way to do our part to help.”


Will you play any of your starters on Thursday night?

“We plan on sitting a number of guys. Not saying that’s going to be all starters. There’s certain people we need to see more on that we’re trying to figure out who this 53 is. There’s some guys we want to rest to just make sure they’re healthy because they are a little banged up. Especially playing last night and having to get ready for an NFL game on Thursday. So, we’re going to go through that tonight. I know for sure we’re going to sit a number of people, most of the starters, but it’s always hard to sit all of them.”

This article has 111 Comments

  1. Not surprised that downtown striker was the same play. His playbook is so diverse, that it allows him to call plays in preseason that aren’t likely to be used in the regular season.

    His quarterback requirements are exactly why he wasn’t interested in Kaepernick.

    I think it is wise to sit starters like Staley.

  2. Wonder if Grant will pepper his analysis with quarters lingo now that it was mentioned?

    I can’t help but think some coach may have made mention how the best backs get “skinny” in the hole and he’s used it since. I think it’s amusing that I never heard the term in reference to Frank Gore in the past.

  3. Grant, next chance you have, ask why the DBs can’t seem to be coached or learn to turn and look back toward the ball in coverage. There will be lots of PI penalties when the games count if they don’t pick it up soon. This is one of the weakest parts of the team.

    1. when in tight coverage and in the proper position against the receiver if you wait until he raises his hands, presumably to make the catch, that is a pretty good indicator the ball is nearing so that would be the time to turn your head while still maintaining the proper leverage and raise your arm in an attempt to deflect the pass and/or to rake the arms of the receiver, keeping the upfield arm and hand free.

  4. That deep pass was set up by a WR running as if to take a reverse. I think they were looking to stop that possible play and they let Goodwin run past them. Good use of deception.
    Glad to see KS being professional and not only letting Grant ask probing questions, but also answering them fully.
    Hmmm, I noticed his answers were shorter. Glad we are past the inquisition, burbling and motor mouth responses of the past coaches.
    I wished one of the questions would have been about how they reduced the number of penalties. That was a huge improvement, and the coaches instilled some discipline, and had them well prepared.

  5. Nice to have a competent QB, coaching staff and FO. This young team will have its struggles but they’re certainly on an upward trajectory… For the first time since Harbaugh the season should be fun to watch.

    1. I love that we are now calling Hoyer a competent QB. :)
      I think he will prove to be our best QB since Jeff Garcia. And yes I think Jeff was better than A.S. or C.K… But that’s just one man’s opinion.
      Shanahan is one of the best play callers in the business and I couldn’t be happier to have such a bright mind on the sidelines.

    1. This is the fun part…wading through 1,100+ released players…

      “The 49ers, who currently have 89 players on the active roster, must be down to 53 players by 1 p.m. Saturday. That will allow them to keep most of their starters and older veterans out of the finale vs. the Chargers but will cause a mad scramble as teams try to evaluate 1,184 (or so) castoffs over the weekend.”

      I’d expect the 9er personnel department to be busy.

    2. George

      I REALLY like the Barrows roster other than the omission of DeAndre Smelter…a good mix of veterans, UDFA’s, and draftees….I’m still baffled at 3rd overall ‘Saloman’ for six plays in a bowl game… and Garnett who appears to be gazing at the eclipse….

  6. This is an actual description of the person who uses the word irregardless from an actual dictionary:

    irregardless (by Urban Dictionary)

    Used by people who ignorantly mean to say regardless. According to webster, it is a word, but since the prefix “ir” and the suffx “less” both mean “not or with” they cancel each other out, so what you end up with is regard. When you use this to try to say you don’t care about something, you end up saying that you do. Of course everyone knows what you mean to say and only a pompous,rude a$$hole will correct you.

    sebnynah says:
    August 28, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Irregardless of Kaep…

    TomD’s Take: Seb, really sad. Not into words from year 1795, like your NFL offensive ideas. Please get help when inventing words.

    Irregardless is a word commonly used in place of regardless. Most dictionaries list it as nonstandard or incorrect usage, and recommend that “regardless” should be used instead.[2]

  7. Interesting. Paxton Lynch is injured, so that may open the door for Kaep.
    That would be a good landing spot for him, since they have good WRs and a stout defense.
    Maybe he will no longer be blackballed, and he can help them get back to the SB.

    1. Looked up the Seahawk roster. They have Garrison Smith, Mike Davis, Michael Willhoite, Marcus Cromartie, Demetrius McCray and Tremaine Brock.
      Hope the Niners do not waive Ronald Blair, because they just lost Frank Clark to injury.

    2. Sebbie… You no longer care if Kaep is blackballed, remember?

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

    1. Thanks for the update. (Link wouldn’t work on my PC).

      Schefter tweets 49ers traded McDonald+5th for Steelers 4th.

      Steelers are projected to have winning record, while 49ers projected to have losing record. Looks like Lynch could only get equivalent value of a mid-high 7th.

    2. Trading McDonald just to move a few spots from early 5th to late 4th signals another bad Baalke draft choice. The offer for McDonald during the draft must only have been a 7th.

    3. Guess everyone is going to have to redo their 53 selection. Not at all heartbroken with this trade. Like George said the ultimate tease.

  8. Jeez, SEB,

    Maybe instead of Shanny having the QB turn his head 15 deg. as you like Kap to do, Shanny did you one better, and had Hoyer deke the LB out of his passing lane to open it for Hyde’s TD……Never saw Kap Head fake an LB out of position, nor do I ever recall you saying, “nice head fake Kap.”…………………………Could this be another nuance of the QB position escaping you that Hoyer does every game (Joe, steve, Garcia, all masters themselves at it) and something I add to the mountain of skills Hoyer has making him superior to Kap ?….Can you accept defeat, little man ?

    I noticed on the touchdown to RB Carlos Hyde, when I was watching the replay there,
    Brian had a really quick hitch or a look toward WR Marquise Goodwin and that’s what caused the linebacker to get out of the way and open that window. I’m wondering if there were any other examples off the top of your head of Brian really manipulating the defense like that? And, has that been something that you saw with him your first time coaching him or has his skill set kind of developed through those little intricacies now the second time around?

    1. 10 things Kaep (Niner QB) should do on Sunday 1-17-14
      1. Run the no huddle with quick snaps to negate the crowd noise.
      2. Always put a man in motion, and read the defense’s reaction.
      3. Fake a handoff or pitch, and roll out the other way to befuddle the DBs.
      4. Invite the blitz and either roll away from the blitz or complete quick pass (to area the blitzer just left).
      5. Take advantage of defensive speed by doing counters, misdirections and reverses.
      6. Look off the safeties (or LBs) by facing one way while looking in another direction.
      7. Consider time outs to be precious, and saved for (legitimate challenges and) the last 2 minutes (of each Half).
      8. Shake hands, win or lose. Read IF, by Rudyard Kipling.
      9. After the game, go to the Niner fans in the stands and hand out autographed hats.
      10. Get the ball in Frank Gore’s (playmakers) hands as much as possible.
      I have advocated these things for over 3 years. Glad to see the Niner coaches finally implementing these kind of strategies.

          1. Shoup exactly. I find it baffling that he keeps reiterating this stuff over and over, then thinks Kyle’s is listening to him. Like some have said most of this stuff is basic to football. Even Grant guesses at what goes on in the locker room and team meetings from what he sees at practice and in games. Its just crazy to me to assume that these professional coaches, who are at the highest level in their profession know nothing or haven’t thought of these basic principles.

            1. Wilson, like you said, Kelly’s offense was not good.
              I list those suggestions because I want the Niners to improve.
              Sure, if they were SB bound, they do not need any help, but 5-11 and 2-14 teams need all the help they can get, and since they kept on failing, with no clue how to stop the downward slide, I feel perfectly justified to make all the suggestions that I do.

              1. When Grant pointed out that Fangio figured out Kelly’s offense in his first season in the NFL and everyone else caught up to it, that was our issue. And that our defense was the worst in the NFL didn’t help either. Tomsula still had some quality players on his team but the offense was terrible there too.

                You can feel justified in whatever you want. Nothing you or I post here is going to help any NFL coach. They are never going to say “oh man, I never thought of what Seb said on that forum.” I encourage you to go watch some HS football practices. They’re doing everything you mention at that level. You just don’t have any comprehension of how complex or skilled the coaches are in the NFL.

              2. 2-14 teams do not have the luxury to discount and disparage any help.
                I mentioned before the first preseason game that they should play focused, disciplined and in control. I hoped the coaches had thoroughly prepared the team. I hoped they would avoid the self inflicted wounds.
                By golly, you are right, they totally ignored my suggestions. ;p

              3. Stop just stop. They don’t need your help. You’ve got to stop imagining that you know what they need. Its just in your head. You don’t have solutions. You self prophesy all the time. You say obvious things like “don’t get penalties” and then tell us regardless of how the team responds to penalties that you either were right and they listened to you or that you called it and they didn’t listen to you. Everyone, meaning everyone knows you need to clean up penalties. Most people don’t say it because its obvious. The rest of us don’t claim special knowledge on something so mundane.

                The clue to both the teams slide that you mention was deficient rosters and coaches. There was nothing they could do to win more until things changed. Those lousy NFL coaches forget more than you’ll ever know about football. More than I will ever know too.

              4. You just don’t get it. There’s nothing you could say that would help even those 2-14 coaches. Sadly everyone here realized that but you.

                Keep suggesting what Kyle should do. Why don’t you go visit him and see if he listens to you?

          2. Shoup, I have seen teams put a man in motion with quick snaps before, just as long as the man in motion is not going towards the line of scrimmage.
            I also know that a team should not only do quick snaps and nothing else. They should vary the snap count, so the defense cannot anticipate the snap. If they are ahead (Which was a very rare occurrence), they should milk the play clock as much as possible.

            1. “Shoup, I have seen teams put a man in motion with quick snaps before, just as long as the man in motion is not going towards the line of scrimmage.”

              That is true… it just defeats the whole point of having a man in motion. A defensive player in a zone can move with a player for a set number of paces before passing them off. Even the man responsibilities can be passed on to a different defender within an allotted area.

              Basically what I am saying is that unless you allow a player to pass through a certain amount of space it negates the whole idea of putting a man in motion. Which doesn’t work with a quick count.

              “I also know that a team should not only do quick snaps and nothing else. They should vary the snap count, so the defense cannot anticipate the snap.”
              This is called Pop Warner level shi#, there is not a team in football that doesn’t practice this, so lets not pretend like any coach in the nfl is not doing this.

        1. Wilson, yes, this is dated, and it was mainly to avoid getting delay of game penalties. It was also a tactic to negate letting the crowd noise build into a crescendo.
          Kelly’s offense also had poor pass blocking (and run blocking), with the worst ranked WRs in the league and once Hyde went down, no decent RBs.
          Still the Niners were 4th in the league in rushing, due in part to Kaep’s 468 yards.

          1. While delay of game penalties were annoying, its not why we went 2-14. The biggest issue was not having coaching or players that could execute in the NFL.

            Seb, what’s more effective, the QB running for 468 yds or or throwing for 4000?

              1. You didn’t answer the question. Kaep’s heroics didn’t elevate his teammates level of play. He made plays on his own. No matter what you say CK needed to elevate his passing game so that his offensive unit’s play could be elevated in their performance. Eventually teams figured out how to stop him because they just had to focus on him. Its where Hoyer is better, he will get his teammates involved more and elevate their play. It makes the whole offense better because they have to stop everyone. Hoyer will after 6-7 good games fall of the wagon. He’s not as talented or as athletic, but he can pass.

                I am not going to debate you on this. What would have been better Brady, Brees, Rivers, Stafford, Big Ben, Cousins throwing for 4000-5000 yds or a QB running for 639 and passing for 3369? Seriously, what’s more effective? Don’t forget CK relied on his defense to win. As does Russell Wilson.

              2. Wilson, I did answer, and stated that I would like a QB who can both pass and run. 3369 yards is not that far off from 4000.
                Sure, Kaep benefited from having a stout defense, but he also benefited from having Frank Gore, so he was content to let FG run, and not put up gaudy passing numbers.
                In 2012, in half a season, he threw for 1814, and ran for 415, but also made it to the SB.

              3. You avoided because you know the answer is a QB that passes and makes the entire offense a weapon. If a running QB was better every team in the league would be moving to QB’s like CK, but they’re not and the best offenses in the NFL have passing QB’s. It was novel while it lasted.

                Newton isn’t that great of a QB, he’s an awesome athlete, Tyrod Tayler isn’t that great, Russell Wilson is a performer and a gamer, but he struggles with consistency and leans on a good defense. Where are these QB’s excelling? Cam’s injured, Tyrod’s out and Wilson is always banged up.

              4. Sebbie… So long ago, so far in the rear view mirror… Yesterday, all Seb’s troubles seemed so far away…

              5. Rodgers, Mariota, Winston, even Prescott are all mobile QBs who will be the wave of the future.
                You are just assuming that a fast mobile QB will be an inaccurate one. I think that fast mobile QBs can win SBs.

              6. Cassie, if I wanted to delve into the archives, I could have brought up Fran Tarkington, Steve Young and Michael Vick.
                Joe Montana was a mobile QB and passed for over 300 and ran for more than 50 yards in a SB.

            1. Being mobile a QB and a running QB are entirely different. The difference one knows when to run and looks to pass first. The other doesn’t know and runs when he should be passing.

              The read option had its day and its fading. Young clearly criticized your idol about his lack of proficiency at passing and running too quickly.

              1. A question Seb avoids like the plague……….”Why don’t knowledgeable coaches just draft track athletes and teach them the QB position?” Thats all it takes to be a QB in the NFL..sprinter speed.

      1. Clever, Seb,

        I post above a defect in Kap’s QB skills–one that you never mentioned–and suddenly–WALLA, it appears in your post just below mine so you can claim you posted it…..Hmmmm

    1. Need to repost since my comment is awaiting moderation.

      “He played 13 games last season and five the season before, and in fact, has not played all 16 games in a season since his rookie year.”

      Sherman would seem to be a better pickup and for about the same money, I think. But Sherman has already said that he would only agree to a trade that involved a playoff contender.

      1. I’ll take 13 games with Haden.

        Get him out of the factory of sadness and put him on a team with positive energy and potential and I bet you start seeing a healthier Joe Haden.

        1. There’s no guarantee we’ll even get 13 games with Haden. He’s obviously injury prone like B. Ellington was and has already had two groin (?) surgeries. For 10 or 11 million a year? I’ll pass, quite sure we can make a smarter move than that one. Be patient a few more days, let’s see who gets cut, who else might be available.

  9. I don’t understand why San Francisco would throw in a 5th rounder. I wouldn’t have Vance for a 4th should have been enough!

        1. They liked him as a man good guy , good husband great charity work they like us did not like the drops. Of all active te ‘s in the last 4 years, most drops for ante, hope he does well for the streakers andngood to have a a higher pick for someone that could of been cut, Blake used a 2nd on him.

      1. This regime know what to do with 4th rounders…..Think trade up for QB in a QB class, or a pkg. deal for a go to WR in 2018 !!!

      2. Leo,

        On the contrary it appears the Steelers really wanted him because they aren’t usually a team that takes on other teams players, and certainly not at a high ticket price. I can see Vance thriving there with the way they use their TE’s.

    1. It was a contract dump which is why they got little in return. He was definitely overpaid, but I probably would have held onto him for how little they got for him. Not like they are hurting for cap space and the have a lot of question marks at the position now. That’s a business decision a team makes when they don’t believe they will win many games.

      1. It seems the more likely reason is that they really want to keep someone else on the 53. Moving on from McDonald helped them do that and he was readily replaceable. Vance had plenty of time to show that he could be a reliable pass catcher.

        The team offloaded McDonald and his contract and came out slightly positive in the compensation, which makes me think it was a good move.

        1. Cubus,

          It remains to be seen if he was readily replaceable. For all the angst over his drops, McDonald was getting better in that area and had turned himself into a very good blocker. He was the best TE on the roster combining both receiving and blocking and the Steelers just took on his contract. I think you are underrating his ability. I don’t blame the Niners for trading him; just don’t see it as the good move some are trying to portray it as. It’s likely a small jump from the top of the 5th to the bottom of the 4th to save money and have a less talented and experienced TE group.

          A move you make when you know you won’t win a lot of games and want to clear the decks and start over.

          1. Rocket: You make some good points, but KS knows offense and he knows tight ends. So if he doesn’t want McDonald around, I’m sure there is a very good reason (perhaps what I posted or some other reason). We now have capable people running the team so I’m more inclined to try to understand why they did something (for my own edification) as opposed to thinking a move might be a mistake at first glance (but that doesn’t mean they won’t make mistakes just that they deserve the benefit of the doubt much more than Baalke ever did).

            1. Cubus,

              I don’t mean to imply it’s a mistake. Just saying this isn’t a move that moves the needle on the great transaction scale. McDonald was the best TE on the roster right now imo so trading him weakened the position. However I also understand that they are looking long term and don’t expect to be competing for a playoff spot anytime soon and that means you keep a lot of young players on the roster while clearing the cap for future seasons. They will take a 7 million hit on this years cap which is less they can rollover for next season, but get out of the rest of the deal.

              From the Steelers perspective, they get him for about 5 mill this year and can release him with a similar hit against their cap next season if it doesn’t work out so not much of a risk for them to move down a few slots.

              1. Rocket: Are you sure about the cap hit? lists the dead cap as $1.5 million, which is primarily the signing bonus.

              2. I forgot to include last year in the SB already paid. The rest of the SB will be charged to this year’s cap which is approx. 4.2 mill. He was going to count that much whether he was on the roster or not which is why I questioned cutting him when that was brought up awhile back.

  10. Jeff Deeney Retweeted

    Pro Football Focus‏Verified account @PFF 16m16 minutes ago
    No defender in the NFL registered more pressures this week than 49ers Aaron Lynch

          1. I thought so. It’s gonna be crazy as those 1100+ players become available over the weekend. Would think there’ll be a good amount of action over the next few days too–witness Vance.

  11. Interesting, I had given up any hope of off-loading Vance’s contract this season. Steelers must have been pretty desperate at TE position.
    Niners now have one extra pick in next year’s draft in rounds 2 thru 4. Good work.

  12. 2018 SF 49er Draft Status (includes McDonald trade for 4th Rounder)

    1 1st Rd. pick (own)
    2. 2nd Rd. pick (own)
    3. 2nd Rd. pick (NO Saints)
    4.3rd Rd. pick (own)
    5. 3rd Rd. pick (Bears)
    6. 4th Rd. pick (own)
    7. 4th Rd. pick (Steelers–via McDonald)
    8. 5th Rd. pick (own)
    9. 6th Rd. pick (own)
    10. 7th Rd. pick (own)
    11. 7th Rd. pick (still in play for Kenneth Acker trade to Chiefs)

        1. Awesome list Tom D, I thought maybe they had an extra 5 th from someone else. Appreciate your hard work, least if they,struggle we have picks and an organization now that is more proactive under lynch than with Balke!

    1. Goodness,

      Sure is lots of ammunition to attain Wyoming’s QB, Allen, USC’s , Darnold.

      In a perfect world, Beathard’s the 2nd coming and all we need is that go to WR next year********WISHFUL Thinking !

  13. 49ers tix
    Just an fyi really, my wife and I attend most games and sell a couple to friends, but as we have 4 seats and don’t always bring friends/business guests, there are occasions where I post tickets on NFL TicketExchange- that said, if anyone wants to save on fees, etc (up to 20%) and is a regular here, let me know (section 124, 1/2 shade)- the prices right now are down at face value- damn speculators and pessimists………… I bet the over and am going to double down in Reno next week.

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