Merril Hoge on 49ers: “This offense is the problem…You have to change the coach.”

Merril Hoge, Herm Edwards and Louis Riddick just discussed the 49ers on SportsCenter. Here’s what they said.

Hoge: “Here’s what I see. Let’s take a car. The car’s not running real well, and we keep rotating drivers out of it thinking it’s the driver. But really it’s the gosh-dang motor, which means it’s the system, and it’s your coach that has brought a college system in here.

“I watched the game yesterday. Look at this. This looks like you’re watching college. What is everybody doing?”

EDWARDS: “They’re looking at the sideline.”

HOGE: “We don’t know why we’re going to do it, but Coach is going to tell us what we’re going to do…We go to the next play (video shows 49ers offensive players standing, turning and facing sideline again). Hey Coach, what are we going to do again?

“The value of a huddle. This system is one-third of football. And if there are three-thirds that make a complete offense that you have to run in the NFL. You have to have more phases to your game. This offense is the problem.”

Q: “But the coach isn’t going to change his system.”

HOGE: “No he’s not, so you have to change the coach.”

EDWARDS: “You say change the coach, too?”

HOGE: “I say change the coach.”

Louis Riddick: “From the front office on down, everything is up for grabs in San Francisco come January.”

Hoge: “Including switching the driver.”

Herm Edwards: “After six games?”

Hoge nods his head.

Q: “Can you win in the NFL with this system…”

Hoge: “No.”

Q: “As it currently stands?”

Hoge: “No.”

Edwards: “Don’t know that yet.”

Hoge: “No.”

Edwards: “He won 20 games…”

Hoge: “No.”

Edwards: “Running this system.”

Hoge: “No.”

Edwards: “We saw it.”

Hoge: “No.”

Riddick: “I’m a big believer in complementary football, and I’m a big fan of Chip’s, but I’m starting to have my doubts in a big way.”

  1. Kelly is like a one-legged man at an @$$ kicking contest with this roster.

    Both of the QB’s are decent backups.

    His best running back looks to bounce outside way too often instead of sticking with the play.

    The WR’s and TE’s are terrible.

    The offensive line has shown no real improvement from a year ago.

    Add to that a defense that every week is carved up like turkey on Thanksgiving and it is just an all out clusterf••k in Santa Clara.

    The smartest guy in the room over there is Jed York. He figured out a way to get fans to help fund his new stadium and he’s making loads of dough now whether they use the tickets or not. Poor suckers.

    1. Agreed, Jack.

      Kelly’s system may turn out to be not good, but with the QB and receivers they have, who can tell?

      1. Even with the receivers they do have, there have been a number of opportunities for big chunks of yardage / TD’s missed by poor QB play. Has BG, and now CK, been missing throws because of the scheme?

        If the 49ers were hitting their share of those big plays, it would get the defense off the LOS a bit and open up the run and underneath throws.

      2. But whose idea was it to make some of the changes that were made? As bad as the GM is, it wasn’t all him. It wasn’t that long ago that the fact that Anquan Bolden didn’t fit in Kelly’s system, was being discussed. I bet Kelly would sure like to have him back now

    2. Couldn’t have said it better Jack.

      The easy analysis is to blame the HC. The problem is the system has worked at the NFL level so saying it can’t is simply wrong.

      It’s interesting to see the reactions to Kelly now that they have lost a few games. So many fans on here were pumped to get the offensive genius and now the same fans want an anchor tied to his ankle as they drop him in the bay.

      You need players in this league. It’s a league of parity and the difference between winning and losing is often based on who has the better skill position players or pass rush. The Niners have neither and feature a roster made up of backup caliber players with a few pretty good ones mixed in.

      I was not a fan of the Kelly hire. Made no secret of that, but suggesting we fire the HC, 6 games into a 5 year contract, with players who don’t fit his system, just makes no sense to me. You can’t keep firing Coaches and expect to have success. Look at the history of teams who did this (Raiders, Oakland) and what it did to their franchise. Coaches do not want to come to a revolving door organization. No Coach worth a damn would want this job if they fired Kelly after one season. About the only change they can make that might have some impact this season is firing O’Neil. You can change a defense pretty quickly and on the fly if you have to.

      This was not a team that was going to win a lot of games this year. That was evident if you truly looked at the roster and the situation, and now they are living up to the low expectations predicted by most of the talking heads and yours truly. It doesn’t mean you blow it all up and start over again. It means you find a way to build the talent level up and get players who fit what the HC needs to be successful. Kelly may turn out to be a terrible hire, I don’t know, but I do know we are going down a black hole if we fire another HC this soon.

      1. Baalke is the architect of this disaster aided and abetted by York and his Silicone Valley eggheads.
        Fire Baalke now!
        Get a new GM and start from scratch because nothing is working, our record since “parting ways with Harbaugh”? 6-19

        1. Did you know they pay approx $68M to coaches who don’t coach and there unspent cap is $50-$60M They are trying to recover there loss due raw incompetence

        2. Can’t fault the sentiment! But understand the situation … it’s worse than you may think. Realistically, do you think it possible that a competent GM candidate would even consider interviewing with the Yorks, much less entertain the idea of working for them? (Gamble? He was trained by Baalke … where is that likely to lead? How about more of the same under a different name?)

          People assume that good executives can be bought for the right price. That frequently is true for mediocre talent … and I include both Baalke and Kelly in that group. Competent people want to work for and with other competent people to achieve a common goal. That is not a possibility for the Niners under York ownership and “management”. The Yorks wouldn’t recognize competence if it ran over them. More importantly, competent people wouldn’t be interested. Accordingly, we will continue to see people like Donahue, Nolan, McCloughan, Baalke, Erickson, Singletary, Tomsula, Kelly, etc.

          Harbaugh? Pure serendipity … his wife didn’t want to move and he wanted to try his hand at the NFL. Jed just happened to be in the right place at the right time to get him. Then, typically, Jed tripped over himself and fired Harbaugh when he wouldn’t cower to Jed’s bloated ego. And so it goes.

      2. The Niners need to clear house pronto, and that includes firing the head coach. No GM other than Gamble would want to keep Kelly.

        1. Grant,

          49ers going to eat Kelly contract through 2020? Plus Tomsula? Plus new, $5M/yr coach?

          You really believe Dr. John and Denise would underwrite all of that just to keep Little Jed from pouting?

              1. Very sad, Grant. This team is going to be in a world of hurt for quite some time I expect.

                Jack, not sure if that comment was directed at me or Grant, but if it was me than no, most definitely not. While I didn’t mind bringing him back into the fold as another mind to help out, I’ve never been a fan of the idea of him taking over from Baalke if they decided to sack him. They need to look outside the organisation in my opinion.

              2. It was directed at Grant. I remember a back and forth in which he basically gave credit to Gamble for “positive” changes instead of Baalke.

            1. You can’t hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree. Jed York is the tree, and Gamble is one of the roots. The tree must be cut down….

              1. Weird. I’d make that analogy the other way. Jed is the roots and Baalke is the trunk, and the coaches are the branches, and the players are the leaves. The leaves grow and then fall from the tree for new leaves to come in and grow. Occasionally you may need to cut down a branch that is growing the wrong direction or is too low. Everything on the tree starts with a healthy root system. Right now the roots are rotten, which caused the trunk to crack, and branches fall. As long as Jed York is running the show you can have the best GM and coaches but the root system will prevent them from being healthy over the long term.

        2. It is completely idiotic to suggest that Kelly should be fired after 6 games. Kelly and his scheme are not the problem. Every game his scheme has found ways to get mediocre players wide open for big plays but the QB’s have failed to hit them. A competent QB makes those throws and the offense is consistently making explosive plays and putting up points. Running game has been solid enough as well. You hit on the big plays that have been available and the running game improves even more. Lack of talent from the skill players is the problem.

          Defensively. the biggest issue has obviously been stopping the run, the biggest culprits had been the NT and MLB’s. Now that Purcell is no longer getting lions share of time at NT the issue will continue to be at MLB. In a 3-4 the MLBs are going to have many opportunities to make plays with the DL 2 gapping. Unfortunately, with no Bowman or Ray Ray (big loss as well) they just don’t have natural MLB’s to get it done.

          Bellore and Wilhoite constantly take false steps and can’t read a Guard to save their lives. They overrun the play regularly and are not physically talented enough to make up for it. They are routinely late diagnosing play and fail to shoot the gaps that are there.

          Hodges and Skov need to be given a shot. Hodges although undisciplined is much more gifted athletically to compensate. Skov is the only natural MLB on the team as he has played it his whole life and had success. Diagnosing the play correctly can compensate for athletic limitations.

          None of these can be remedied until next off-season unfortunately. Baalke will be shown the door but Chip deserves the right to have a fair shot.

        3. The Niners cleaning house means a ton of money owed to people no longer working for the team. If we allow for that, then the next step is: who hires all of the replacements? Does anyone trust that Jed can hire anyone competent at this point? The only way – and I mean the only way – this would ever work is if Jed hired someone to run the team for him. That means complete control of all football operations and Jed becomes nothing other than the guy who shows up at special events to smile and shake hands.

          I can’t see Jed ever doing that, as I also can’t see his parents eating 3 HC salaries and whatever is left of Baalke’s, along with the new GM. We can pretty much mark down Gamble’s name as the next GM along with Kelly for another couple of seasons as HC.

          1. The only way it changes Rocket is through empty seats. When Jed looks out from his press box and sees the 49ers fan base tell him we won’t pay for garbage football, then he will step aside, hire a competent President of football operations and finally they will get it right.
            I’m at the point where I can only watch till the 49ers are down 3 scores. Then I just start watching other games!
            This is the worst brand of football since the Jimmy Raye days!

          2. Unfortunately you are absolutely right … that is the only realistic thing that they can (and will) do. Alas, it will only perpetuate the suffering … it is simply a holding action.

            Will they ever do the right thing? I seriously doubt it … certainly not in the short term. Things are going to have to get worse (serious financial repercussions) before there is any hope that they will get better.

          3. A new vice president hires the new GM who hires the new head coach. It’s not rocket science, but it is the only way to fix this franchise. Kelly is a symptom of Jed.

        4. Well, since it’s probably gonna be Gamble and even if it’s not Jed isn’t gonna write off yet another coaching tab (although I would in a heartbeat to get Shaw – who might come if he gets enough power and Baalke is jettisoned), then looks like it will be more Chip next year at least. The big question will then become how much better will Gamble be than Baalke was?

              1. What gave you that impression? To me it was last week where the effort after that 4th down failure by Davis seemed to collapse the team and its effort to compete?

      3. You can have players and you can have talent but when you don’t have the right players to fit your system then you need to adapt the offense to fit what you have. The niners do not have talent but Chip needs to abandon his playbook until he has players that can run it. EX: Hyde needs to run North-South.

    3. The Niners are 100% in rebuild mode
      The need to draft QB, WR, LB, and then do it again. The first 6 picks should be 2 of each. There is some talent there. Both lines and the secondary are loaded with talent. Don’t forget the key injuries. Ward, Tart, Williams and Bowman are arguably our 4 best defensive players.
      Fire Balke, put Gamble in. Kelly needs to add some wrinkles to his play calling, then the Niners can be competitive

    4. Hammer,
      Hear, hear!
      That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

      I’m starting to think that the new stadium is a curse. I still have an issue with the team moving away from the city (although officially Brisbane) that John Brodie, Ken Willard, Dave Wilcox, Gene Washington, Jimmy Johnson, Roland Lakes, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice, John Taylor, Randy Cross, Roger Craig, Tom Rathman and Brent Jones built.

      I’ve been to the old Stick when the team was awful and there was still a nice vibe in the stadium. I’ve been to Levi’s and something is clearly missing.

      Ok, now I’m sounding like I’m blaming Levi’s Stadium for our sad team – nope, it’s definitely lack of talent at the skill positions.
      But I’m still irked that SF didn’t make a more concerted effort to keep the team where it really belonged.

      1. What’s missing are the fans that used to sit where the corporate seats are now located. If they show up, they spend most of their time watching the game on TV in one of the “elegant attractions.”

    5. In the NFL, no organization will come out and say…”we are rebuidling” but that is exactly what the 49ers are doing. Balke is still on the hot seat because his moves are more important than ever.
      With the massive retirements and aging stars they had, what else could they do.
      This explains why they are not spending free agent money, and they seem to be content sacrificing wins, evaluating the current young players.
      The roster has some talent. Kelly can coach. A talented NFL level QB and some play makers at the WR position would make a huge difference. Both lines are in good shape when healthy, especially after a year of development for Armstead and Buckner as well as a healthy Ian Williams.

      I hope the Niners take the best pocket passer and do not worry about athleticism as much. Someone who can make all the throws should be the #1 priority.

    6. Merril Hoge should be thanking his lucky stars that he played before internet so he wasn’t opened up like todays NFL. The bloggers are free to blast away at the coaches, players, management, and even the hot dog venders as he is doing in this piece. If I remember correctly, ole’ Merril has torqued on us before…he don’t like niners….Well, he was a heck of a running back in his day, but I don’t recall his name on anyone’s short list for Head Coach…Does anyone else ? Herman Edwards might continue as a broadcaster a lot longer than Hoge because he looks at the bigger picture….and Hoge thinks that ‘Chip’ is stubborn…? Merril doesn’t even know what the players are looking for. Too bad your ‘day job’ went away 20 years ago….

    7. Agreed. Also the savior so many wanted in jackson is winless in Cleveland.
      This team isnt the team Seifert inherited, harbaugh inherited, or anywhere near an nfl calibur team.
      Doesnt really matter who leads this shipwreck it’s just as you said. Plain and simple.
      Kind of like this blog. Doesnt matter who is writing the dribble, it’s the posters who make or break it.

    8. Agreed with most of what you said. But I think the o-line is an iprovement from last season. Now they were very bad but I think it’s improved. The scheme doesn’t fit them. The delay isn’t in them. Between the tackles smash mouth running is. Kelly’s system doesn’t call for that.

    1. It’s really not a very good analogy unless you’re only considering the 2016 49ers. What his analogy grossly ignores is that we’ve changed the motor 3 times now. Roman to Chryst wasn’t the drastic change that Chryst to Kelly was but we’ve still had 3 different motors with the same two drivers. He’s ignoring the past two coordinators and the fact that the exact same complaints were levied against them as well.

      1. You could plug any QB across the league in this offense and it would not make a difference. But you also have to admit the play calling on Kelly’s part has been terrible as well.

  2. Some posters say Hoge dislikes the 49ers. However, he might be onto something, but I will take a wait and see approach. This team has so many soft spots from ownership down how can any “expert” pinpoint “the” particular area in need of change? The 49ers drama gets increasingly interesting as the year grows longer and longer.

    1. I don’t know if Hoge is biased against the 49ers, but it sure seems that he’s biased against anything new. He loves old fashioned, smash mouth football. He’s a good analyst and is often right, but he doesn’t like new and different.

  3. Grant,

    Thank you. Great post.

    A month ago Steve Marriucci made the same observation as Hodge, but it was so subtle it went over everyone’s head (the viewers).

    When asked prior to the season on the NFL Network if he thought Kelly’s offense would succed in the NFL Marriucci stated: “A college offense will have to work hard to succeed in the NFL.”

  4. Baalke’s bad drafts and poor judge of talent has caught up with this team, but I don’t blame Baalke as much as I blame Jed York for keeping Baalke around. Jed should have fired Baalke after 2014, when he also got rid of Harbaugh. When none of your drafts picks are around from the 2012 draft, mind you that was only 4 years ago, and you continually spend 2-5 round draft picks on injured players who have not developed – walla! You get the 2016 Forty Niners.

    I feel bad for all the fans who bought PCL’s and season tickets who have to got watch that garbage of a team that Baalke constructed. There are no play makers on defense, and not much else on offense.

    I agree with Merrill Hoge about Chip Kelly – as Chip mostly runs between the tackles and the opposing defense know this, but yet Chip keeps doing what doesn’t work.

    What a disgrace of a football team you – Jed York – have allowed to be put together by that clown Baalke!

  5. His return to the field was more belly flop than kiss of a bicep.

    When asked how poorly Kaepernick played, one anonymous Bills player didn’t hold back.



    “More a distraction than a contributing member of the team.”

  6. Lol the offense is the problem? Week after week you have receivers streaking down the field open so something seems to be working. The Niners defense is just none existent, 300 rushing yards to the Bills!?

  7. Damon Bruce ‏@DamonBruce · 20h20 hours ago

    What’s kinda awesome … somewhere, Jim Tomsula & Joan in Payroll are sitting back and laughing their asses off. #49ers

    1. When When the Jiffy Lube Mechanic, Tomsula and Joan, in Payroll laugh at you, York’s, fans better learn to say:



  8. This commentary brough to you by Merril Hoge, the moron who claimed Jamarcus Russel was going to become a hall of famer. Pfffw

  9. I get the distinct impression that Hodge thinks the Niners would be better by the simple fact of having a huddle. I have no idea if Kelly’s way works or not in the pros but with this talent pool no coach would win. You can not win without a defense, the Niners don’t have one. You can’t win without a QB, the Niners don’t have one. Even if we had a QB you have to have receivers and a RB that can run. Hodge is old school and thinks a huddle is mandatory. There is no one more old school then me, not even HT, and I don’t have a problem with it. I was sick and tired of delay of the game penalties its been refreshing to see the team not have many penalties of any kind. We didn’t win a SB with Harbaugh and he is the best coach we have had since Walsh. Give Kelly a chance, remember no quality HC, OC, DC want to coach the Niners, after all would you?

    1. Third and twenty the Bills hand off the ball and get a first down!! Are you kidding me. Defense, defense, defense sure wish one would show up.

      1. Under,
        We can’t put all the blame on Chip.
        On many of the Bills runs, the defense just could not wrap-up and tackle.
        I saw a lot of arm tackling and that tells me a few things:
        1. you are out of position. 2. you are a step too slow. 3. you are not a good tackler.
        And many times it could be a combination of all three.

        Back to Chip.
        The one complaint I do have with Kelly’ system is that it puts a great deal of stress on the defense. We just don’t have enough talent on defense to compensate for the amount of time they are being asked to be on the field.

        We have some young players like Armstead, Buckner, Ward, Robinson that will develop, but the young players we were hoping to count on like Tank, Dial, Harold, Hodges and Purcell have yet to make any significant impact and for the most part are being pushed around.
        Sorry, but here it goes: “Blame Baalke!” (lol).

    2. You don’t need a huddle to be good. Looking over at the sideline for the play is pretty much like huddling. You don’t need to have a complicated offense to win. Wr are getting open, but the QB and/or offensive line fails the team. The Patriots are fairly basic on offense, but it works mainly because of an accurate QB.

      The defense is a huge problem. The Bills aren’t that great on offense. The 49er offense and defense fail at the same time; which is the second half of games. The defensive coordinator is total garbage.

  10. If we dont change ownership it does not matter what else you change.
    This ownership is forcing baalke to get bottom feeding players in FA and get rid of “expensive” players like Andy Lee.
    Baalke has whiffed on drafts and coaching seems to be subpar.
    The Yorks are the problem.

  11. Not sure why Baalke isn’t picking up waiver guys like Justin Hunter or Joe Callahan to try to get some diversity of skillset (tall receiver) and add some prospects to a dismal roster.

    1. Baalke should scour the other team’s PS to pick up a nose tackle, but no, he wants to lose for a high draft position.

  12. I am glad they up the fact that all the players on the field are staring at the side lines just before the play. That is pee wee football.

    They are freakin professionals, and should be prepared enough to know what play to run without having to look at the side lines. Glaring lack of preparation, and it is frankly embarrassing.

    Maybe they should take a page out of the Bill Walsh playbook and script the first 15 plays. Then maybe we would not see the QB hand off to an empty backfield.

  13. UnderCenter, Kelly runs the same inside runs play after play–def. of a college offense

    I studied Kelly’s offense and posted this last spring when hired by the 49ers:

    Pro Football Focus: Why the Eagles are failing on offense:

    “Dallas destroyed the Eagles’ (Kelly’s) run game – a strength of the team over the past couple of seasons – creating some completely farcical statistics. Sam Bradford was the team’s leading rusher … with nine rushing yards, all of which came on one scramble. DeMarco Murray had 13 carries … for two yards.

    Reports emerged after the Dallas game that the Cowboys sideline was calling out the Eagles plays before the snap. That’s obviously not good, nor is it some conspiracy or victory for incredibly sophisticated prep work or subterfuge. They were doing that because the Eagles are basically running the same couple of things all game long, and seem surprised when they’re still not working, in a kind of logic General Melchett would be proud of. “Doing precisely what we have done eighteen times before is exactly the last thing they’ll expect us to do this time!”

    Sam Bradford has admitted that he doesn’t even have an option (in a Kelly offense) to check off and get into a different play even when things are moving at a slower pace. The former No. 1 overall pick had that ability in St. Louis and needless to say the true stars at the position, like Aaron Rodgers, Brady, Manning and Brees, change things routinely.

    1. TomD,

      At first I thought you were overly negative. But why wouldn’t anyone be negative about this team? We are as bad or worse than the Browns.

      I like that you don’t make excuses for the front office and players. Excuses like, Baalke would be good if he could spend money. Chip would be good if he had an all star roster with speed burners. Kap would be good if he had good WRs.

      Please no more excuses. Baalke is terrible, Kap is terrible. Kelly is terrible. I will be posting less because my posts are getting more negative by the day and I don’t like being a hater. See you all in a day or a week or whenever there is something positive to talk about.

  14. *Above Source today’

    The stars of the position are conductors at the line of scrimmage, extensions of the coaching staff who can run the entire offense from the field, getting their teams out of bad plays and into good ones with an audible or even a hand signal. They can vary their cadence from play to play and often steal five yards in a key spot by drawing a too eager pass rusher offside.

    1. Varying cadences is also taboo in a Kelly offense. He feels the quick tempo is enough to fool everybody and like the York’s they are all the geniuses.

      All 49er fans remember when the game was semi close, even the Buffalo special teams signal caller varied his cadence and drew half of the 49er special teams defense off sides on 3-2, giving Buffalo a crucial 1st down from which they eventually scored.

  15. How can ownership now justify paying Tomsula another 3 years and now Kelly if fired and his entire staff, another 3 years? Then you have to go out and over pay a decent NFL coach to come to SF?
    I’ve been a fan now of the Niners for 25 years. This is the worst situation I’ve seen the team in.

    1. Prime,

      It’s a chilling thought…Visions of Jed and staff in their next coaching/GM caravan tour, being leveraged once again by potential pro or college coaches candidates, once word leaks out the 49ers are interested, only to see them sign a huge contract elsewhere.

      See Lane Kiffin, OC, University of Alabama

    2. Jed should fire Baalke and O’Neil and beg Tomsula to come back and be the DC. He is getting paid anyways, and Chip evidently has no interest in the defense.

      Jed should bend over before the whole team and let Tomsula give him a swift kick in the pants for the way Tomsula was fired.

      Then Tomsula can go back to coaching, something he has a passion for. He also led the D line that did not allow a 100 yard rusher or a rushing TD for almost an entire season. That is the kind of coach that the Niners desperately need.

      1. Tomsula has never been a coordinator in the NFL. That would be a terrible hire outside of the simple fact he was the mole who gave ownership info on Harbaugh!

        1. No. Baalke and Paraag were the JH antagonists, not Tomsula. Jed claimed that Tomsula said he could fix the game management problems, so Tomsula was used as the scapegoat to cover for Baalke and Paraag..He also was victim of the Peter principle, and was elevated to a position of incompetence. He should be the DC, because no one else would want to come here, and DC may be a position where he can excel.

          1. Seb says “He should be the DC, because no one else would want to come here, and DC may be a position where he can excel.

            Now we should hire unqualified retreads who could not get it right the first time just because the assumption is no one would want to come here?

            Seb, when you wonder why you receive the backlash and insults you do, its because of comments like this.

            1. Prime, just a few weeks ago, when I mentioned Tomsula as a possible coach, I was met with wide spread derision.

              Funny, now with O’Neil’s defense allowing 312 yards, no one else is questioning my opinion. Except you, which is predictable.

              Since you assume some DC would jump at the chance to come to the Niners, please tell me who they are.

          2. That’s not a good reason…let Tomsula be the DC when ‘no one else’ would come here to be DC. Would he excel? Maybe, maybe not. Let’s get someone who almost certainly can vs someone who might. Might take a couple years to realize that.

  16. I will give Kap an incomplete. he looked OK in spots in the first half, but missed on a number of potential big plays. The only difference from Gabbert was that we did not see any 3 yard completions on third and five. Kap was just as inaccurate as Gabbert has been. Let’s see if Kap looks better against Tampa Bay.

    The run defense is what has me baffled. Obviously we don’t have the personnel to play a 3-4. The two critical requirements to play 3-4 are a big nose tackle and two fast / mobile inside linebackers. This team is lacking in both positions. So why not switch to a 4-3. Put Armstead and Buckner at Defensive Ends. Have Dial and Blair line up as Defensive Tackles, and put in Nick Belore as the middle linebacker with Brooks and Lynch as outside linebackers. Go back to the old fashioned Steel Curtain defense of the 70’s Steeler teams. Of course we don’t have a Mean Joe Greene an LC Greenwood, or a Jack Wagner on this roster…Still a fan can dream can’t he..

    I am ready to give up on 2016. Tank the season and get the overall #1 pick. Unfortunately it looks like the Cleveland Browns have the same idea. If Browns get the first pick, we can kiss goodbye to the Deshaun Watson dreams..

    1. Sorry. Had a brain Cramp. I meant Jack Lambert the great middle linebacker of course. I don’t know where I came up with Jack Wagner. I must have been thinking of the actor Robert Wagner. I also vaguely recall a safety named Wagner who played on those great Steeler teams.

      Getting old sucks…

      1. Dont forget HOFs Jack Ham and Mel Blount.

        Interesting fact is that Dwaine Board was drafted by the Steelers, but could not crack the lineup, so he was cut and picked up by the Niners. The rest is history, and he helped win 4 rings.

          1. Maybe the Niners should poach DeAndrew White from the Patriots PS. Heard he was pretty good, and can be a return man, too.

  17. My suggestion was to clean house, including Trent Baalke/Chip Kelly/Tom Gamble, their merry band of misfits, and offensive scouts. Hire Will McClay as GM and hire Shanahan Jr. as HC. Open the windows and get some fresh air flowing through the facility….

    1. That’s fine and good Razor and I agree with you. The problem is unless Chip takes a college job he is not going anywhere. Which would mean that the ONLY person who would take the GM spot is Gamble. York will not eat the cost of Kelly+Tomsula… This is a Fing train wreck.. Only chance we got to turn things around is if Chip goes back to college.. I don’t see it.

  18. Yeah, the franchise is pretty much a wreck. Upon reflection, the only thing this org does right is rake in money. They excel at that.
    So what can we do about it? Nada. Sixty+ years of Faithful, we deserve better. I don’t care to continue to feel miserable about this team, I’ll be looking to salvage something from this season. We need to find a “Gallows Humor” angle to give us strength to carry on and ways to express our disaffection with the powers that be.
    Remember the ‘Aints’? Saints fans with bags on their heads. That’s been done, but we need a non-vitriolic form of expression that we can have some fun with while we poke the dopes in the FO and elsewhere for their epic fail. But let’s try to keep it reasonably clean, if not classy.
    “Who’s more disappointed than us?”

    1. The sad part is ownership will blame Baalke this year and fire him at years end. Then they will appoint Gamble GM who will in turn keep Kelly.
      If he can go out and spend wisely in free agency and draft the next triplets, all is forgiven. Or we could be back here again next year saying, Kelly and Gamble didn’t do it enough, they need to clean house.
      End of the day, we are the worst team in sports!

    2. BT,

      We have to keep our sense of humor. At the end of the day it’s still football and not life, so that perspective is needed.

      On a positive note, I think they can win this week.

    3. Bro Tuna

      I salute you, my friend…but I think that “clean and classy” don’t fit this blog anymore. What I think you could find here, is an endless stream of volunteers for a lynch mob….

    4. Brotha,
      Well, Packers fans came up (on a positive note) with the cheese head wear. Perhaps someone creative can make a mini dumpster head piece with red and orange streamers coming out of it representing a dumpster fire.
      Just sayin’.

  19. from David Fucillo – 49ers offensive coaching staff: The team made no adjustments after halftime. Chip Kelly talked about it after the game, saying the run game was not turning in the performance the team expected. We’ve reached a pattern where the lack of halftime adjustments week in and week out are glaring.

    1. Well, previously, I said that the Niners should start the second half by doing something totally different, because we all knew that the defense was going to make adjustments.

      Of course, they never listen.

    2. Actually, our defense held the Bills offense in the 3rd quarter. We held them to quite a few 3 and outs. I’m thinking that maybe we did make some adjustments. Unfortunately, our offense was just as ineffective. Due to injuries, our lack of depth was exposed and eventually our defense wore down. Armstead has also been playing hurt. This being said, bottom line: WE SUCK!

    1. Thats easy. The Defense… 5 straight games where the opposing running back goes for 100 yards tells you all you need to know.

  20. Vision starts at the top:

    When your answer is to hire the guy (Tomsula) who looks like the guy who changed my oil at Jiffy Lube then fans are left with two thoughts:

    1. Ownership are idiots

    2. Ownership purposely hires guys like the Radio Coaching Disc Jockey, the Jiffy Lube Mechanic, OC–Hostler -2yds rushing one game, Nolan, Singletary, the NFL’s cheapest asst. coaches. because they’re financial bottom liners

  21. And to think, just a couple of years ago I recommended 49er coaching tree candidates whom 49er fans said were too old.

    This, from Damon Bruce:

    Damon Bruce ‏@DamonBruce · 19h19 hours ago

    Andy Reid (bye week bully) just undressing the #Raiders defense.

    0 replies 4 retweets 14 likes

  22. Another weird 49er record:

    ESPN Stats & Info ‏@ESPNStatsInfo · 21h21 hours ago

    Bills 45, 49ers 16
    Bills: 312 rush yards, their most in a game since 1992 vs Falcons (315)

     Buffalo Bills

  23. Bills’ highlights? Kaepernick was 5-for-18 for 52 yds in 2nd half….Accuracy. His rating was 39.6…..TomD

    Joe Hughes @VegasJoe680

  24. Grant,

    Reaching a bit, don’t you think? When you are using Hoge as a source to strengthen your narrative, you probably need to try harder.

  25. Bills players admitted they wanted to take away his running and force him to beat them with his arm. That is just another way to say they will stack the box and dare him to pass. Another indirect inference is that they wanted to contain him in the pocket.

    Chip SHOULD have let Kaep roll out of the pocket, but for some reason, he played into their hands. Instead of shaping the defense, he let the defense shape them. That is a recipe for failure.

    Chip did do a couple fly sweeps, and surprised me when he put a man in motion, but he still just plowed into the teeth of the defense, which resulted in Hyde getting injured.

      1. Carlos Hyde is not a feature back. He is injury prone, undisciplined runner and not a guy you can rely on in the running game. Ive said this a lot. The 2017 draft for the 49ers should go in this order till round 7: QB, WR, RB, OLB, QB, WR, RB. Never mind best player available. Address the positions this team needs!

        1. I’d consider fitting in an inside linebacker in there somewhere. We are bad at that position and not sure we can count on Bowman anymore.

          1. For sure Jerry, ILB is essential as well. I think between free agency and the draft addressing key needs at QB, WR, RB, ILB, and OLB can be achieved.
            I would never address QB and WR via free agency. We need to draft and develop at least 2 guys for each position at QB and WR.
            I have not looked at the free agency available players but with 43 million in cap space and what looks to be a high draft selection in each round, it does provide a glimmer of hope. Just depends on whos doing the selecting now.

        2. No. They need a DT, pass rusher and ILB, and spend 3 high draft picks to get them.

          They should spend money for a decent FA WR. Some one with experience and a proven track record.

          I guess they will need a QB, but relying on a rookie to save the team will just be a lesson in futility until they fix the defense.

      2. They should line up Hyde deep in the I, and let him build up a head of steam before reaching the LOS. Then he can choose the weakness to run through, instead of dancing around while going laterally.

  26. All this talk about firing the coach is just taking the focus off of the obvious. Vince Lombardi couldn’t win with this team. If the offense is so simple then the players shouldn’t have a problem executing it but of course they can’t. Chip has had a lot of success but few of the players have had much success. The Niners need to find a new GM and build up the team before they can evaluate the coach.

  27. I have my doubts about Kelly’s system but until the defense can hold teams on 3rd and 20 and give the ball back to the offense on a semi consistent basis I am not going to pass judgment. How many times did the Bills convert on 3rd down? That defense just couldn’t get off the field. So until the offense gets more reps with the ball, I really can’t see how anyone can say this is fault of Kelly’s system.

    1. Dennis, blaming Kelly is warranted. But you are right, this defense is and should be the main focus of blame. However, the play calling on offense is so predictable. That’s on Kelly. Also, as limited as the talent is on offense, he has yet to use the limited talent in ways to accentuate the minimal strengths they have. My point is for a guy who is known for being a offensive genius, he looks to be coaching these guys as if they are high school caliber.

      1. I agree on the predictability issue but what I see and like is the wide receivers seem to be open more often downfield than they have at anytime in the past 5 years. We just don’t have a QB that can hit them. I think the running game would look a whole lot better if they make those throws more often than they are.

  28. Chip is part of the problem, but the weak links in the coaching staff are O’Neil and Modkins.

    O’Neil needs to be fired yesterday. 312 yards rushing? That was more than the entire Niner offense.

    1. I don’t know if the coaches are a part of the problem or not. But I do know our backers missed tackles and were out of poisition much of the game.

  29. I don’t get it, this team wreaks of poor defense and what anyone wants to talk about is the offense. Defense, people, you can have all the offense you want but till the defense is fixed no sense worrying about the offense. By the secondary is not much better then the run defense.

    Tackling – “stop the forward progress of (the ball carrier) by seizing them and knocking them to the ground”. The Niners stink at this primeval art that is the most basic fundamental of football since conception.

    Quite frankly I have seen some bad Niner teams, mid to late 70’s mid 2000’s
    but what I saw on the field defensively yesterday was disturbing.

    This train wreck as some you describe the status of the team has very little to do with Chip Kelly. I see open receivers, I see running lanes, I also see QB’s who can’t hit the broadside of a train wreck. I see lineman (includes Staley) missing blocks. I see Hyde change direction on almost every running play. I see fumbles and dropped passes.

    Don’t expect Chip Kelly to change his offense, he isn’t. He is a system coach and he believes in his system. Just because he doesn’t adapt to players strength that doesn’t make him stupid. He would be stupid to try something that he isn’t prepared for.

    What is the common factor with the defense, offense, special teams, that hasn’t changed over the years. York – Baalkie. The blame for this demise rest solely in their hands, not Chip or the QB or any other person(s) that we fans decide to place our wrath on. This team has the PPT’s, piss poor talent.

    1. My reason Under for wanting offense to be drafted for is the defense has talent and potential. Sure we need a new LB unit but to me this defense is awful because of the coordinator, scheme and injuries this year.
      I think when you consider this organization as rebuilding, QB, WR, RB are number one in my opinion. We are not even close talent wise compared to other teams in the NFL. On defense you can mask a little more with the 49ers as they have some good building blocks from prior drafts. But offensively, we have zero big play capability.

      1. Prime I agree the offense is devoid of talent and needs to be addressed in the draft with high draft choices. My point is this defense sucks big time and does have some talent but it must be fixed pronto or there is no sense in worrying about the offense. I agree scheme is the main cause but where is the NT, ER, LB”s inside and out. Now couple that with the needs of the offense, QB, LT, WR’s, TE’s, RB’s, C and you should get what I mean by the team has PPT.

    1. Mid,
      Yeah, I read that piece from the Bills. But the best description about Kap came from LB Zak Brown that said they knew Kap would be playing for the first time and he would be rusty.

      All else, especially the comment about Kap being more of a distraction is subjective and personal opinion.

      I’m a 49er fan first and foremost, which (at least to me) means that I can roast my team and players, but don’t care much what the outside voices say.

  30. Hoge is a tool. The problem isn’t Kelly’s offense…it’s lack of skill players in the receiving and RB corps. We have the worst receivers in the NFL…just as Gabbert struggled to find an open receiver, Kap had a similar problem yesterday. Other than Hyde, we don’t have NFL-caliber RB’s. He’ll get hurt again because they don’t have quality depth. You’ve got to have the horses to run an offense like Kelly’s. It’s pretty obvious, the Niners don’t have ’em.

  31. It doesn’t matter if Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick or Christian Ponder quarterback the 49ers. This team is one of the worst in the NFL.

    The latest episode in a five-week meltdown came Sunday in a 45-16 loss when the Bills had more yards rushing (312) than San Francisco had on offense (300).

  32. Lowell Cohn refers to Tomsula as “The Butcher,” I refer to him as my Jiffy Lube mechanic.

    So who has a better record Chip Kelly, you ask?

    Lowell Cohn ‏@LowellCohn · 22h22 hours ago

    The Butcher was 2-4, Chipster is 1-5 with 5-game losing streak.

  33. Who cares what those three losers say? Chip has coached this team through six games and they want him gone? Considering the hand he was given, did anyone think it would be differently?

    Fire that Defensive Coordinator. He was a loser in Cleveland as well as the cheap SOB who runs the show who hired him. Putrid…

  34. lets b honest. in America we like being lied to…….. we vote for corrupt politicians and watch info commercials and believe the Media. why doesn’t anyone ask the people in Philly? His players hated him, the owner calls him liar and the opposing defenses say after the first year his crap doesn’t work. But as long as the Yorks use the nfl 30 million on their family and investments instead of the team ( under the cap for last 3 years) what do you expect? worthless GM, the qb is the Clown Prince of the NFL and the run defense is worse than under erickson , nolan , singletary and Tomsula. hold him responsible for firing Harbaugh, he should look in the mirror and see his incompetent face.

  35. If you dont invest in talent, how can you expect to beat teams full of talent?

    The Niners run their team to net a big profit and only be average, not to win Superbowls… and they aren’t even good enough to be average, so tickets and merchandise will suffer, resulting in more drastic changes to try and only be average… It starts at the top! Sell the team to one of these tech Billionaires and watch them do whatever it takes to win. Hello Ellefson

    Im a long time Niner fan, enjoying the Raider games a lot more nowadays. Losing Crabtree was the fall of Kaepernick. He was good enough to go and snag his extremely inaccurate passes. Kaep was horrible yesterday and will throw a ton of interceptions if/when he plays against a team like Arizona. Their only hope for this season is to try Ponder and let him use his experience to try and pick apart defenses, like he did in the pre season. It would probably suck as well, because they lack talent, but it will be interesting and keep fans engaged.

  36. You bring up some interesting points but you lost me when you said Ponder can keep things interesting. That’s very laughable. Kaep has his issues but at least he is capable of making some incredible plays. He played great in the first and not so well in the second half. It’s almost been a year since he had had some real time. He deserves a couple more weeks to see if he can turn his career around. The moment Ponder takes over is the time that this franchise has become the worst in the NFL! Maybe we are already there….Your point is correct, it starts from the top! We us fans want to make a statement! STOP GOING TO GAMES!!!!!!!!

  37. Hoge is correct.. Both Kaepernick and Chip Kelly’s Offense have been solved by the NFL. These are pretty much the same guys who played last year and they are a lot worse this season.. The other part of the equation is the coaching in general. They have enough tape at this point to show these guys every mistake they made and how to correct yet they make the same mistakes week in week out.. Either they are bad coaches or this is the dumbest bunch off football players ever assembled..

  38. Man what else is there to say here? I don’t think this is about QB’s or DL’s any longer. This is systematic failure. Sure the players have to play and execute well but this is beyond all of that. This situation is pretty hopeless. We’re still paying two coaches and may end up paying a third. The GM doesn’t have the talent to compete in the NFL. The ownership is clueless. Watching Jed is like watching Michael Scott in the conference room. Its demoralizing because its so evident he out of his league here.

    I don’t delve into conspiracy theory but do you ever think we have so much cap room to cover what the York’s are paying out to our former coaches? Anyone watch Jed’s address to the fans?

  39. I do not think this team needs a complete reset like most are suggesting. The secondary and OL are two pretty solid units overall sans the safety positions and the need for an eventual replacement to Staley. I may even go as far to say the WR corps is only in need of a #1 WR. The rest needs to be gutted though, including the front office and coaching staff. However, none of this would be enough as long the York ownership continues to put money before the team and its fans.

    1. If I recall correctly, O’Neill said at the beginning of the season that “safety” was the strongest position on the defense.

  40. This reminds me back during time when we had to constantly adjust our TV’s. If one thing was out of adjustment it was much easier than if there were two or more things out. The problem was that if you tried adjusting using the wrong nob you might create more of a problem than already existed compounding the problem each time you tried to adjust.

    That seems to be where the Niners are today. They have so many problems that even if they fixed one no one would even be able to tell the difference. The last two seasons it was the offense- the most obvious being the 0-line. Well that is relatively better this season and the offense is still a problem. Plus now its the defense that also has multiple problems.The question is ” Where do you start” —-take your pick.Too many issues in too many places.

  41. Kelly is a so-so coach. Yes even in college, so so. What Kelly was good at was recruiting speed! With the help of Nike and their money, he recruited better than anyone west of the sec.
    However when facing a team with matching speed(top sec teams) in college what was his record. How does a great 95% win coach magically transform to a 50/50 at best coach? He doesn’t. That’s the coach he was all along just with better talent/speed than 95% of the teams.
    Now the NFL we see the same thing. A 50/50 coach who has no offensive pacing/balance and a defense which grows more depleted/worn as the game/season goes on. You will never have a good defense when they ave 35 min on the field every game. Remember defense takes more energy than offense because they need to react to every player then beat the offensive player to that spot with the ball!

    Kelly is the issue and needs to go. Baalke needs to go for his ignorance with the team the last 4 years. The 49ers are complete garbage!!

  42. Gamble will be GM by or at seasons end and Kelly will be niner coach at least 2 more years….100% guaranteed…..NO WAY Jed pays Tomsula, Kelly, and 3rd new coach for 2 years simultaneously…and no GM or decent new D coordinator will work with Kelly. We have a 5 year rebuild ahead of us minimum for competitive .500 football.

  43. This exchange at the end says everything you need to know about Hodge and anyone who would reference him:

    Hoge: “Including switching the driver.”

    Herm Edwards: “After six games?”

    Hoge nods his head.

    Q: “Can you win in the NFL with this system…”

    Hoge: “No.”

    Q: “As it currently stands?”

    Hoge: “No.”

    Edwards: “Don’t know that yet.”

    Hoge: “No.”

    Edwards: “He won 20 games…”

    Hoge: “No.”

    Edwards: “Running this system.”

    Hoge: “No.”

    Edwards: “We saw it.”

    Hoge: “No.”

    Edwards is clearly an intelligent open minded sensible individual and Hoge is a 7 year old with his hands crossed, lips pursed fervently shaking his head back and forth in denial.

      1. Nothing special, just what any offense needs to succeed. An intelligent, accurate QB that can see the field and can anticipate throws. An offensive line that can consistently provide protection to the QB on pass plays and lanes for the backs. Receivers need to be able to accelerate quickly, run clean routes and understand the defense in front of them.

        If you look at most successful offenses in the NFL they will cover most if not all of those bases. Kelly’s system isn’t exotic in it’s player requirements, they just need to be good at their job.

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