Lott on the 49ers: “Did they really have the faith in understanding how to win a championship?”

Ronnie Lott spoke about the 49ers Friday on KNBR. Here’s what he said.

LOTT: “The fascinating thing about faith and champions and knowing what it’s like, which I think the 49ers have, is all of a sudden they know they can get back there. Then the question is can they close? Can they finish? That’s what I’m trying to look at right now.

“I’m looking at the characteristics of what I think it takes to close. Last year when you think about them closing, everybody thinks about the last four plays. When you look at the body of work of that game, did they really have the faith in understanding how to win a championship game? I don’t know that they had that, but I think this year they’re capable of getting it and taking it all the way and having the faith and understanding at the time how to execute in certain situations.

“I’m talking about this right now because it’s about the halfway point and these are things that they’re going to have to work on. They’re working on bringing out a lot of different things, changing their offense. They came out and did the Kaepernick last week. Now, it’s about understanding how to win moments, winning moments in games and having the faith to understand when you call it up, that play is going to happen. Certain plays that you dial up even though you haven’t practiced them, you can win it at that given time of any moment in any game. I’m trying to get them to see that that’s maybe where they’ve got to go.”

Does Lott’s observation hold water? Why or why not?

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  1. You’re damn right it does. He’s lived it. He knows what he’s talking about, and Coach Harbaugh should strategically invite Ronald Mandel Lott to speak before a critical game……

    1. Speak ? … that’s it ?

      Hell … if I was The Harbs … I’d sign the
      “ooh-hit” king to a coaching position !

      But then, with Brock making everyone utter the words..
      “Assumgua who ?” … Eric Reid playing lights out ..
      and Brown doing all right …
      its almost Dwight Hicks & the Hot Licks 2.0 !

      I’m lovin’ it !!

      1. fergot to also give a gold star for
        Donte Hitner ! …

        (sorry, Donte !)

        (He does the best Ronnie Lott impression,
        I’ve seen in quite awhile !)

  2. Lott’ observations about football and championships should never be questioned.

    I believe that the team is ascending is all facets and is primed to continue their rise on through to a Superbowl win this season.

    Yes, even if the c-hawks win the division and we ultimately have to play them in Seattle for the NFC title, we will be a much better team by then especially with key players back in the mix.

  3. Ronnie, is the ultimate 49er and one of the best ever, however this 49er team is not great, they are just good, sometimes brilliant and sometimes inconsistent,. that being said, their is no great team in the NFL playing right now, the Lombardi Trophy is up for grabs, I would certainty would not bet any significant money that the Niners will win it all this year.

    1. We’re at mid season. It’s like a marathon. Improvement in every facet along the way. If you listen closely, you’ll hear Sammy whisper, “Slow and sure, wins the race”……

    2. Maybe we will follow the 2011 Giants, everyone gets back healthy and we run the table. Although it still would be hard as a Wild Card team.

    3. What they are missing is a quarterback that can read defenses and doesn’t look like a deer n the headlights when it counts. At this point in his career CK is neither a Montana or a Young. That is what it takes to win Super bowls.

      1. Mavein 1,
        Oh boy you just bought yourself a few rants from the CK fan boys. Just remember that the term douchebag is sponsored by Summer’s Eve. Apparantly Lameareafanatic has a product endorsement deal with them.

      2. For a “deer in headlights” he did better than any other 49er quarterback has done in the playoffs in quite a long time. Some of the most exciting Niner football I’ve seen in my 30 years as a Niner fan. Get used to Kap, the 49ers aren’t getting rid of the kid any time soon…

    4. Mavein

      He has only played in about 18 games. He played about 8 games and he almost won a Super Bowl, Steve Young studied Joe Montana , the best ever, for a few years, CK did not have that option, yes he has a long way to go to be able to read defenses, however, with a couple of key wide receivers coming back, I expect to see some immediate improvement.

  4. In order to win a championship the athlete has to “Know’ that they will prevail. Knowing and faith are two different things. The athlete knows by prepairing and by expereince . That is why coaches prefer players from big schools with championships under their belt , the players have experience with winning those moments that make champions.

    1. Hacksaw,
      How many big name college’s do you know that have had perennial winning QB’ that have won a Superbowl’s after entering the pros?

      Montana stands out for Notre Dame, but Brady hardly held on to a starting position at Michigan.
      P.Manning won one SB and brother Eli has won two, but does not having won another SB since mean that they have forgotten how to win?

      Sure there’s something to be said for players coming from big name and successful colleges, but that doesn’t guarantee success in the NFL just ask Matt Leinert and Vince Young.

      In the NFL you need good talent and good coaching to be successful. Ben Rothlisberger did not come from a big time college, but good talent and good coaching mixed with his abilities earned him a SB.
      I’m not thoroughly convinced that a player needs to come from a big name college program to be successful in this league.

  5. Mercedes Lewis vs The Beast should prove interesting in those conditions. Just make sure to not reinjure that groin…..

  6. I’m in agreement with all of what Ronnie said. (I’d be worried about me if I wasn’t!)
    The confidence/faith/mental edge is what separates champions from just excellent teams or individual performers. Unitas & Montana. Marino. MJ & Magic & Byrd. Ali.
    Heck: Sinatra. Jaggar. Hendrix.
    Faith that they could rise up and do whatever was needed.

  7. Sometimes, part of it is just luck. If the 49ers hadn’t had to call that timeout, when a QB sweep was called – if the officials had called pass interference near the end – and so on. If one of those had happened, and the 49ers won, would it mean that the 49ers knew how to win? Since neither of those happened, and therefore the 49ers lost, did it mean that they didn’t know how to win the big one?

      1. He was trying to say it was okay that he choked so often before the final weekend, because in his only final weekend he played well. Losers shouldn’t smirk like that.

  8. Hope we at least work out Jay Ratliff. Obviously crazy sh*t went down between he and Jerry Jones. And his teammates are mad at his quitting on them. But he was a top-flight NT before he got hurt.

  9. Well Grant, that’s a pretty good first half. Bruins LBs look good.
    Mizou good first half also. Michael Sam is da Man. Hmm, another Mizou DL for SF? LOL.

  10. I’m not one to note the wisdom in jocks’ words, but Ronnie has seen too much championship football from too close not to know what he’s talking about. I think he’s hit it on the head. The old Niners could whip out a play they hadnt practiced in ages and execute it at a key moment in the game. This Niner team does not – yet – look to have that ability, not even close. Certainly we lacked it in the SB. Kudo’s again to the man who makes me want to run thru brick walls*, ie Mr Lott.

    * His HOF induction speech was the most inspiring speech I have ever witnessed.

    1. Marino is in the HOF .. but the only thing he accomplished
      in the Super Bowl was ..
      to dine on the lush Stanford turf !

      Did he ever know how to win a championship ?

  11. setting aside penalties (dumb ones or just incidental)
    and fluke turnovers (fumbles, strips, tipped passes)
    here is the key question:
    will we see signs of coaching adjustments and
    general preparation (overall game plan) to indicate
    that James Harbaugh has what it takes to beat
    the New Orleans Saints in week #11….?

      1. No,the 49ers defense had 5 turnovers that day and Alex had a pretty poor day overall,until the last couple of minutes. We would have won by 2 TD’s or more if we would have had a good QB that day…and the next week.

  12. Tim..
    yes, I coulda said Alex played on a team that beat ‘em ..
    but it wasn’t what I was conveying ..

    In that game, Alex took advantage of those 5 turnovers ..
    and in the most opportune moment of that game ..
    threw “The Catch 3″ … to Vernon …

    … in the same spot on the field where Steve Young threw
    “The Catch 2″ …

    and that’s a fond “Candlestick Park” piece of history ..

    (even if it was Alex)

    1. Mark Bavaro rode him like a mule??
      You’re a Niners fan? Sure don’t talk like one.
      More like a lion bringing down a buffalo. LOL

      1. That would be the worst place for him. Mazzone’s spread scheme is terrible and predictable and getting Hundley killed. If Hundley were at Stanford they would be the No.1 team and he would be the No.1 pick. Hundley would light it up for the Vikings or any number of NFL offenses right now and he’s just 20 years old. There is no NFL talent on the UCLA offense besides Hundley and the offensive coordinator has to go.

      2. Grant
        That sounds like a lot of excuses. Hundley was 13 of 19 passes for 64 yards and threw two INTs. You can blame the spread offense, but some of the blame falls on his shoulders.

        UCLA isn’t good enough this year. The last two games have proven it and the QB is partly to blame for it.

      3. Grant Cohn says:”Mazzone’s spread scheme is terrible and predictable and getting Hundley killed”

        Is it scheme that causes him to have bad footwork and miss wide open deep receivers?

        1. When did he miss a wide open receiver? Once?

          Kaepernick misses wide open receivers every game. It’s coachable. So is footwork. Hundley’s footwork is good. Footwork breaks down when a quarterback takes too many hits and expects pressure. He’s playing with three true freshman O-linemen and his LT is a guard.

      4. No his footwork hasn’t been good especially the last two games and my point wasn’t that it isn’t coach able but that it has nothing to do with scheme.

        “Kaepernick misses wide open receivers every game.” Well Kaepernick is a second year rookie that isn’t exactly blowing up the stat book at the moment.
        And you also point out his misses after each game so they must still count for something.

        I don’t have the exact moments of the game memorized but check the tape from yesterdays game and there were opportunities for big plays down field and Hundley just plain missed them.

        1. That’s because his O-line has been decimated the past two weeks and the O-coordinator still calls pass plays with only five blockers. It’s very much scheme.

          Hundley only missed six passes and that’s very good. The O-coordinator needs to get him in a rhythm and call more and better pass plays. Hundley’s first read never was open.

    1. Mariota definitely outplayed Hundley last night. Huntley had 64 passing yards, two big int’s and no touchdown passes. MM had 230 yards passing, zero int’s and a TD pass in a rough and physical game.

      Mariota has not thrown an Interception this year. Over 250 pass attempts.

      Mariota is still just 19 years of age though he turns 20 in a few days.

      1. Hundley scored two touchdowns, one passing and one running, and Mariota scored one. If they switched teams Oregon still wins by a lot. Name an NFL talent on the UCLA offense besides Hundley.

      2. Grant, I’ve been a huge Bruin fan for years. Hundley is extremely overrated. Inconsistent accuracy, average awareness, and good but not great athleticism. I know he’s being mocked high–but I will bet u he doesn’t get picked in the 1st round.

      3. Mariota impressed me with the way he was able to read the corner breaking on the receiver, and then throw open to his other receiver along the sideline where only he could get it.

        1. Mariota did nothing in the first half when UCLA’s defense was fresh. He would look worse than Hundley if he had to play for UCLA.

      4. I forgot, Hundley did throw a TD. My bad. But 64 passing yards in a critical game against a defense that was bullied in the first half is inexcusable. The duck D awoke in the second half and dominated but I was surprised that Hundley did not play better. He flashed on a run or two and a couple of nice passes but like I said Mariota clearly outperformed him during crunch time in the second half..

        Also those Duck receivers are not great NFL talents. Huff and Addison are good but not 1st or second day talents at this point in my opinion. Deanthony Thomas was a non factor in the game as it appears he re-tweaked his ankle. Byron Marshall is improving every week. Thomas Tyner is a work in progress.

        Hundley is going to go high in the draft when he enters it and so is Mariota. For my Yellow and Green money I will take Mariota. Hes developing into a great NFL prospect and like I said he is still just 19 years old. Turns 20 on Oct. 30th.

        1. Huff is a second round pick. Shaq Evans won’t get drafted. Oregon’s running backs are terrific and UCLA’s are pedestrian. Oregon’s O-line is terrific and UCLA’s is bad.

      5. One other thing to consider–Last week the WSU QB threw for 557 yards against the Ducks. Granted he had over 80 attempts but it puts into perspective Hundley’s 64 yards total last night.

      6. Mannion will have the best NFL career of any of the current crop of PAC 12 QB’s. He could come into SF and run this offense tomorrow.

      7. Grant

        I would be stunned if Huff went in the 2nd. I have watched him his entire career at Oregon. He a running back still learning to play WR. Hes developed into a good player for the Ducks but he is still unpolished. He could go to the combine and blow up and go that high but I guess we will have to wait and see.

        One of the things I like about UCLA is their defense and all that young talent. They bullied the Ducks for a half last night. The Bruins future is very bright for them. Even after all the Ducks recent success its still much much easier to recruit players to Westwood than Eugene.

        1. You can’t compare the Ducks and Bruins talent on offense. The Ducks have a bunch of future Day 1 and Day 2 draft picks around Mariota the Bruins have no one around Hundley. He should have played at Stanford instead. He has to carry the Bruins’ offense and take more shots than any other quarterback and then Mora throws him under the bus.

      8. OK, sorry Grant, but your cred just took a hit, LOL! McDonald’s apple pie? That’s bloody awfull. You’ll never live as long as your old man eating that c*#%, but your body will have a Half-life due to the preservatives.
        We’ll see later how Hundley turns out, but I guarantee you’re wrong on pie. Try Kowzlowski’s Farm pies out of Sebastopol. They taste great and you know they’re healthy because Sebastopol is a “Nuclear Free Zone” by City Council Decree. I ain’t lying, you can’t make this stuff up!

      9. @Jack

        Interesting you brought up Sean Mannion. His experience illuminates what both Maritoa and Hundley are going through in terms of growth, development and maturity. Mannion is 21 and a half years of age vs Marriota who turns 20 in two days and Hundley who turned 20 in June I believe. Mannion is a fourth year junior. Both Marriota and Hundley are third year sophomores.

        During the Stanford and Oregon State broadcast it was shown that this year, going into the game, that Mannion had thrown 31 TD’s and only 3 int’s. During his first two years of play he threw 31 TD’s but also 31 INT’s. Obviously the light went on for him after 2012 and that he has grown tremendously.

        The draw of millions of dollars is going to be a real pull on Mariota and Hundley after the season and they may not be able to resist but they both need at least one more year of college experience. I know that Mariota has improved not only as a college player in his second year as a starter but also as a pro prospect. Hope they both stay.

  13. Ron Lott knows more about being a champion than anyone, including me. Yet reduction of such a complex issue as winning a SB, to “you gotta believe” is simplistic. Certainly Walsh gave his guys reason to believe they could do whatever was necessary. They earned that confidence. Harbs needs to find some basis for the current 9ers to feel dominant. One more offensive weapon, VMac on a CB or LMJ out of the backfield should do the trick. There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing “they can’t stop us.”

  14. Ronnie Lott is the GOAT at his position, but that sounded identical to a Singletary speech, which is a big turnoff for me. Where’s the substance to what he said?

  15. With Goodell trying to sell the NFL to Eurorpe, expect lots of pass interference flags this game. The NFL will want a high scoring aerial assault.

  16. What they needed to do to be a champion was give Gore the FRIGGIN ball instead of throwing to Crabtree 5 times. Roman lost that SB for us… Gore would not have been denied.

  17. Not a partisan fan for either team, but come on Grant. Mariotta is clearly the better player right now and definitely a better pro prospect.

    1. I disagree. That’s a low-hanging-fruit take. Mariota never has pressure and he has a ton of talent around him. Let’s see how he does when he goes to a team like the Rams or Bucs. He’ll take shots and we’ll see how he responds.

      Hundley has had to take more shots than any quarterback in college football and that’s a function of the players around him and the scheme. The 49ers rarely expose Colin Kaepernick the way the Bruins constantly expose Hundley.

        1. Hundley outplayed Mariota in the first half despite playing on the road for a far inferior team. Mazzone called about 18 short passes and about one shot downfield. He calls about five plays total. He’s a bad play caller and his scheme stinks. It doesn’t protect the quarterback. Mazzone needs to go. Hundley should flea to the NFL. He’ll get better coaching and he’ll play for a traditional offense that protects him.

      1. The best QB by a mile coming out Is teddy bridgewater! It’s not even close! The kid u are referring to from ucla has played two good teams and has looked terrible!!! The kid from Oregon will be a top 3 pick as well! Hundley will return to school cause he is not even close to being ready.. This is kind of like your prediction Grant that you said last year that the niners would for sure draft a CB in the first 3 rnds cause there secondary is SO bad… That Rodgers can’t cover the rookie wr from the rams! Your prediction are becoming laughable! You do realize that there are people on your blog that pay attention to the NFL right? You talk out of ur ass you will get called on it!

      2. I thought Hundley played well yesterday, actually I came away from that game that the Bruins finally are a good team with some sound coaching. The Ducks had their worst game of the year and still won going away. The thing about Mariota he hasn’t thrown an interception yet this year, that in itself is an amazing stat.

        1. UCLA looks talented and well-coached on defense, and I agree about Mariota. I’m fascinated to see how he plays on a bad NFL team like the Rams next season.

          When is the Braxton Miller hype going to start? No one talks about him and he’s a stud.

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