In praise of Eric Mangini and his work with 49ers defense

This is my Saturday column.

For a while, Eric Mangini was a joke.

People called him “The Mangenius.” Said things like, “Oh look, the Mangenius is a nerd who can’t relate to his players. Ha ha ha,” or “Oh look, the Mangenius is a fraud who can’t coach without Bill Belichick. Ha ha ha,” or “Oh look, the Mangenius just got fired again. Ha ha ha.”

All of these comments were ironic, probably even sarcastic because Mangini isn’t supposed to be a genius. He’s a loser. Ha ha ha!

The joke ended. I’ve seen this guy this guy coach, and I admire him. You should admire him, too.

Look what he did Sunday. The 49ers’ defensive coordinator held the fifth-ranked Atlanta Falcons offense to 16 points, even though he didn’t have his top three cornerbacks — Tramaine Brock, Kenneth Acker and Keith Reaser. They were all hurt.

Mangini had to play fourth-stringer Dontae Johnson, and two corners the Niners called up from the practice squad just a few days before the game — Marcus Cromartie and Chris Davis. They shut down quarterback Matt Ryan, and the defense won the game for San Francisco.

Could former 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio have prepared those three backups as well in such a short amount of time? I don’t think so, and I consider Fangio the best defensive coordinator in the NFL.

Fangio specializes in coaching linebackers — he was a linebackers coach in the NFL for nine seasons. Mangini specializes in coaching defensive backs. He was a defensive backs coach with the New England Patriots for five seasons before he became their defensive coordinator for one season, and then became the head coach of the New York Jets, followed by the Cleveland Browns.

Mangini and defensive backs coach Tim Lewis have done a masterful job with the 49ers secondary this season. Most of the defensive backs are young players learning a brand-new system, and yet every single one — from corners to safeties to starters to backups to practice squad guys — has played well.

For the first time in a long time, the strength of the 49ers’ defense is the secondary, not Jim Tomsula’s front seven.

Is Mangini perfect? No, of course not. But, he has imperfect tools. He has no Justin Smith, no Ray McDonald, no Chris Culliver, no Perrish Cox, no Chris Borland, no Aldon Smith, no Patrick Willis. Could Fangio have done any better without this group of players? Could Fangio have held the Falcons to 16 points like Mangini did? Could Fangio have held the Packers to 17 points like Mangini did?

Probably not. Mangini deserves recognition.

This guy had to eat crow for years. Had to leave the league after the Browns fired him as head coach. Had to work for ESPN as a television analyst for two years. Had to work as a “senior offensive consultant” with the Niners for one year, whatever that means. And then, he got promoted to tight ends coach last season, not much of a promotion.

He worked back up from the bottom and kept his mouth shut. None of this eating crow destroyed Mangini. Now, when he speaks at press conferences he seems confident. He smiles. And he isn’t apologetic or embarrassed about his past. He faces it head-on because he has a head coach’s demeanor. Call it grace under fire.

No one else on the 49ers has a head coach’s demeanor. Certainly not head coach Jim Tomsula. He has a plumber’s demeanor. He has been miscast as a head coach. Until this season, his vision was limited to the line of scrimmage. Mangini sees the whole field.

Mangini has to work for a dysfunctional head coach, a dysfunctional coaching staff, a dysfunctional team and a dysfunctional organization. And yet, he is excelling. And not only that — he’s making the case he’s a good NFL defensive coordinator, and maybe someone who could be a head coach again in the near future.

Maybe he could be the 49ers’ head coach as soon as next season. At least he would have to be in the conversation if the Niners were to fire Tomsula. As opposed to offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, who’s in no conversation. Mangini forced himself into the conversation by the quality of his work.

It’s time to start talking seriously about Eric Mangini.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at

  1. I caught a bit of flak for trying to defend Mangini as a pretty good DC. I think you are premature saying how great a job he is doing (lets keep in mind where the D ranks), but he is doing a better job than he often is given credit for.

    In saying that, he has also drawn some fair crticism at times this season. His game plans against the Steelers and Cardinals were terrible. He exposed the secondary badly against the Steelers by constantly trying to have his safeties up near the LOS then bailing. They were out of position badly which was directly responsible to many big plays in that game. Against the Cards he severely over used the base 3-4 D, even against 3 WR sets, and the team gave up a lot of easy completions to the slot WR as a result. The D was demolished over the middle in that game, largely due to the poor game plan.

    He also was unable to find a way to stop the Giants underneath throws, though that can largely be attributed to issues in personnel as much as Mangini’s game plan.

    What Mangini has done well is evolve following those games against the Steelers and Cards. He deserves credit for changing what he was doing, and generally putting his players in better positions to succeed since the Cards game. There is still the personnel issues to overcome, and I expect there will be some more bumps along the road as a result, but he has the D playing much better than at the start of the season.

    1. I didn’t say he was doing a great job.

      Mangini did everything he could against the Giants. Mangini’s game plan was good in that game. He forced the checkdowns.

      1. You are right, you didn’t say is doing a great job, you said “he is excelling”. I figured by saying he is excelling you meant he is doing a great job. Would seem a logical assumption.

        1. You took that out of context. I wrote he’s excelling despite all he’s had to overcome. In the next sentence I wrote he’s making a case he’s a good defensive coordinator. Not great.

          1. You said “and yet, he is excelling”. Not “in consideration of these issues, he is excelling”. By saying “and yet”, you are saying that irregardless of anything else, he is excelling.

            Based on this subsequent conversation, it would appear the “and yet” was not what you meant.

          2. Also, someone can be doing a “great job” while making a case they are a good DC. I didn’t say you thought he was a great DC. Just that he is doing a great job.

            1. Great is a loaded word in football, which is why I didn’t use it. He’s doing a good job.

              “Is Mangini perfect? No, of course not.”

              I thought I was clear.

              1. As I said, your use of “and yet, he is excelling” is confusing if the message you are trying to send isn’t that he is doing a great job. Also, one does not need to be perfect in order to be doing a great job, either.

                Anyway, semantics time now. I think we actually both agree that Mangini is doing a pretty good job with the tools and situation he has, and a much better job than he is often given credit for.

              2. Grant – I agree with you down the line. You always add great insight and I never comment. Keep up the great work.

              3. Shawn, please do not kiss up to Grant so much. His head is big enough as it is.
                Using Grant and GREAT work in the same post is an oxymoron.
                To me, he has regressed into formulaic writing without the insights I gleaned from TC. He is a chip off the old block, and his negativity is predictable, and lamentable.

          3. You lost me with your “I consider Fangio the best DC in the NFL” statement. Seems every other article Grant, you have to make a statement that comes across as way over the top.

            Vic Fangio is a good DC, not the best the NFL has to offer.

        1. Agreed, this is crazy. The guy coached 2 good games. Have we already forgotten how often this D was torched this year through the air and on the ground? As for the Gaints game, the problem with getting paper cut to death is you’re still dead! You can’t lose a game because of check downs then say well we did good cuz they checked it down.
          We have also apparently forgotten that Fangio coached the 9ers to a dominate D when he had players and was still a top 5 D when guys were dropping like flies last year! So could Fangio have Done what mangini did, yes actually.
          Mangini’s systems get overly complicated. I’ve never seen so many breakdowns in coverage and multiple guys running wide open.
          I typically enjoy Grants writing more than I dislike it but this article is nuts!

  2. We may be trying to distract ourselves by talking football, but all I have to say is;
    Je suis un Parisien. Formez vos battalions. Marchon…marchon…
    Viva la France.

        1. Cela n’a pas d’importance, mon ami . . . La sympathie qui existe entre nous – c’est la chose le plus d’importante . . .


    Interesting read on Lynch.
    This particular part is of interest to CFC:

    “While Lynch operates from the shotgun or pistol 95.2 percent of the time, his passing scheme isn’t just quick-hitters and single-read throws. Sure, 23 percent of Lynch’s throws have been behind the line of scrimmage (typical of many college passing games), but he has the same percentage of throws from 11-20 yards.”

    1. I’ve watched a few more of Lynch’s games, and in keeping with the stats Zierlein provides, I must admit he does throw downfield more than I originally gave him credit for. There is a high percent of easy short throws, but they also push it downfield.

    2. I had the pleasure of watching Lynch last night. The kid seems like the real deal. He has height, speed, arm strength, and qb IQ. He might be a really good NFL QB. He seems very thin to me and that concerns me from an endurance perspective. I was excited to see him play and he didn’t disappoint. He’s a very good athlete but more importantly he’s a bonafide QB who’s a good athlete instead of a good athlete trying to play QB. Zierlein is a local radio guy and I respect his opinions on these things. His father is a very long time NFL o-line coach. Think he was with the Steelers for a very long time and is now with Arizona. Zierlein has been around the game and he usually nails his analysis.

      1. I keep seeing comments about his arm strength and I think those people must be watching a different player because to me the kid looks like he has plenty of zip on his passes.

        1. Arm strength is definitely not a problem with this kid. He threw a couple of ropes 25 yards down field on time and on the money. Seems like an NFL arm to me. Maybe not the very top end but certainly good enough.

        2. Physically he looks like he has it all no doubt about it. The only knock against him is the same one all the College QB’s have which is the system they play in. While he does go down the field at times, most of this offense is shotgun, quick short throws and YAC. He definitely has a lot to work with though.

        3. Frankly I was shocked when I saw the shotgun % because of the limited video I’ve watched of him the majority of it was him under center. Funny.

          My biggest concern is the level of competition he faces.

  4. Also, Grant, you and your father are genuinely unpleasant beat writers. It seems your only purpose is to write negative things about the Niners. This was finally something I was nodding my head along to, crediting Mangini for a job pretty well done, all things considered. Until you decided you had to dump on Tomsula.

    The circumstances that Mangini has had to deal with PALE in comparison to those of Jimmy T. I still think he has the potential to be a quality head coach. He absolutely has the demeanor of a head coach. Unwavering in the face of adversity. Happily bearing everyone’s crosses to free them to focus on their jobs. These are the qualities of a leader. Let’s remember that Bill Walsh went 2-14 his first season. I’m not saying Jimmy T is the next Walsh, just that a great coach doesn’t just win, no matter what. Is it Tomsula’s fault that Kaep didn’t know that Torrey Smith was uncovered? There’s a lot going on and it makes it hard to know who is to blame, but I don’t know how many QBs in the league would’ve been unaware of an uncovered receiver. That was pretty damning.

    Bottom line, buddy, try a little unbridled optimism. You’ll be happier.

    1. Lowell Cohn isn’t a beat writer. He is a columnist who covers a wide range of sports and personalities.

      Grant is sometimes a traditional 49er beat writer, and seems to be working toward being a columnist like his dad. He certainly inserts his own personal opinions and criticisms into his coverage of the 49ers more than a traditional beat writer would.

    2. By the way, I think Grant was referring to the criticism Mangini has dealt with since he left the Patriots, not only what he has experienced here with the 49ers. Your perspective may be too narrow.

      1. No, I wasn’t even talking about the Mangini aspect of this article. I thought that was good. I just don’t like that even when being positive about someone, it’s not a Cohn article unless he’s dumping on someone. The knock on Jimmy T was completely unnecessary. Didn’t add to the piece at all. Only made him look like a bully. I don’t like bullies.

        1. No problem there. It’s just that some fans expect the 49er beat writers to be fans and think they are either in the owner’s pocket or, like Grant, too critical.

          I’ve posted my opinion in their respective blogs when I think they are demeaning the people that they choose to write about.

          I’m old enough to appreciate objective analysis, both pro and con, of our local teams and their players. Silly old me. ;-}

  5. Gee, Grant, your attack on plumbers is unseemly. I just installed a main line into a house because the old one was rusted galvanized piping 40 years old, and their heartfelt thanks to be able to shower and flush the toilet from them just makes your comparison inapt.
    Do not diss plumbers. Like Tomsula, they are intelligent and resourceful. They can fix the leaks and deal with lots of Krap with a smile on their face. Some people would wither up and die if not for plumbers keeping things running.

    1. “The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.” – John W. Gardner

    1. Good list, agree with most of your commentary as well. One guy that could potentially be added to that list as Tartt. His performance the past two weeks has been highly impressive for a rookie, and could make the decision on whether to keep Bethea or not next year a bit easier.

    2. Geez, one game for Gabbert and his stock is up that much? One game! Against a team with 10 sacks on the year, second lowest in the league. One game, not even enough to create an average.

      Let the man come out of Seattle with less then 3 int’s and 6 sacks and then we can discuss his stock.

        1. Arik Armstead – From the moment his name was called he was considered by all but a few (Razor gets his call out here) to be a bust from the get go. He hasn’t been great but he’s been OK/good which is a mile better then any of us thought he’d be.

          I’d agree with Scooter that Tartt should be on there with one caveat and it’s more of a semantic one. He already had high stock considering his draft spot but I put him on the list for not disappointing against his original projected stock value.

          Bradley Pinion – Not because he’s such a great punter but because he hasn’t completely failed. He’s managed to make most stop hating him because of his draft spot. Although those that did have turned their ire to the proper person responsible. #firebaalke

          Garret Celek – Celek has been a nice if not inconsistent option so far. I have a feeling however that the longer Gabbert manages to stay upright behind that line that higher Celek’s stock will continue to rise.

          “Grant Cohn November 12, 2015 at 9:41 am
          We’ll see if Acker and Reaser can stay healthy. ”

          His stock might be up but wont matter if he’s on the life cycle during games.

          Has Lynch’s stock gone up that much? Again it’s a semantic argument but I wouldn’t say he’s been exponentially better then last year, his stock is up but maybe not as much as others.

          1. On the NN page I just read that Celek has nearly as many catches in this one season as McDonald has in 3 seasons. Celek has 3 TD’s and McDonald has none.

            The 2013 draft is rounding out almost as well as the 2012 did.

            1. Those two 2nd round choices and the 3rd round choice have all been very disappointing. Good chance all three are off the roster next season.

            2. I came into this season wanting to see what McDonald could do if he was healthy and was given a bigger role in the offense. I think I’ve seen enough.

  6. Now it would be nice to see Harold emerge so we can cut Brooks at the end of the year. Then we can focus on adding a building block type player in Wilkerson and maybe add an Alshon or Calvin at Wr once the lions cut him due to his 24 mil next year that he has owed. This team is closer to being competive every week then people think.

    1. I hate to burst that bubble, but Wilkerson and Jeffrey are both going to cost a lot of money separately, and I doubt Baalke will be willing to spend that much on just one of them.
      Calvin Johnson would be a nice addition, but I don’t think he leaves that division.

    1. He’s (Gabbert) not as explosive an athlete, clearly, as Colin Kaepernick, but he’s a better functional mover for the quarterback position and those are two different things
      Gabbert is a smart athlete he knows how to read defense, which kap isn’t one!

  7. One thing for me stands out about Mangini’s Defense. They have not thrown in the towel in any game this season. The Seahawks game at Levi’s.. They were out on the field nearly 40 minutes, never gave up and held the Hawks to 20 points.. That was impressive compared to the Niner Offense that game which was pathetic..

  8. Holy Mother of the Lord, Cohn, the stuff you’re smoking can’t possibly be legal.

    This defense got blown out of the ballpark in all but – what, two, three games – and starting young players is not by design, but by necessity.

    I’ve never really understood why the Niners, other than all 31 other teams as it seems, can’t get any production out of young players. They might do something wrong which other teams get right, but what do I know.

    And as far as Mangini is concerned, he might actually be the best 49ers coach – which is, considering that the other coaches go by the name of Tomsula, Chryst, Sparano, Foerster etc – hardly anything to boast about.

  9. I feel for all in France tonight. I do not support french language on this site, but I support French people and people of all ethnicities and nationalities on this and all sites.

  10. I respect Magini but Fangio would have the 49ers ranked in the top 5 AGAIN with the players we still have! Mangini had 2 leave his scheme after the 2 blowouts & we return 2 Vic’s scheme against GB (stopped all the blitzing & played coverage). Last week against Atlanta it was more of Mangini’s scheme. Vic Fangio did it not just for a week but year after year! From Rogers&Brown to Culliver&Brock to Cox&etc We stayed a Top 5 D!!!

    1. This year, Fangio’s defense has allowed 27 points per game and has allowed 4.6 yards per carry that has led to a 3-5 season. Fangio is not excelling.

      1. I wouldn’t knock Fangio that much.
        The defense he took over last year was terrible last year.
        Consider that last year in terms of yards given up, Chicago was ranked 30th. This year with Fangio scheming for them they rank 8th.
        In terms of pts given up the average is the exact same for average per game at 27.6. However, I would expect this to be lowered significantly over the course of the season, as the AZ game weighs heavily on the average at this point in the season.

  11. From Gholston to Reid, From Whitner to Bethea, without Bowman, Willis, A. Smith, McDonald & so on Fangio had us a top 5 D!!! (This post was continued from previous post)

  12. You have a three score lead and most teams will go vanilla and finish the game. So, holding the Packers to 17 really was only because they knew the 49ers were incapable of catching them.

    The Falcons have been on a tailspin since starting the season strong. So, no big deal there.

    The 49ers are in the bottom half of the league in all defensive categories. Comparing Mangini to Fangio is absurd. Fangio has taken one of the worst defenses in league to the number 9 spot this year in Chicago, while Mangini has taken one of the best defenses in the league and made it mediocre.

    There was a reason no one wanted Mangini before the 49ers brought him in. He hadn’t coached defense since 2007 before being made our DC. No one wanted to coach here after York/Baalke showed their true colors with Harbaugh, so Mangini got the job. But, to say he’s doing a great job completely ignores our record, and the success other teams have had against our defense.

    We have the Seahawks and Cardinals coming up. My guess both games will be a blowout similar to the first Cardinal game.

    Please, let’s start over next year with a completely new GM and coaching staff. Our HC, OC and DC are the jokes of the league.

  13. Grant,

    During the offseason you were steadfast in your belief that Mangini was not a good D Coordinator. What caused your change of heart?

      1. So despite the fact that Mangini’s background is as a DB coach, and the 49ers defensive backfield has been shredded for the most part by good QB’s he’s doing a good job?

            1. Probably would be ranked higher. Fangio probably would have done a better job in Pittsburgh and Arizona, but I don’t think he would have done a better job against Atlanta.

  14. Why the repeated shots at Fangio? Vic has done a hell of a lot more in this league than Mangini, and you apparently have forgotten that he led a ragtag group of players to a top 5 ranking last season despite most of his starters being on IR.

    Mangini’s defense has been bad a lot more than it has been good, and cherry picking one game, against a ridiculously overrated team that sucks on the road and just lost to the Buccaneers is pretty pathetic.

    You diminish Fangio’s ability to coach DBs, while willfully ignoring that he turned average (or worse) DBs into multimillionaires, only to watch them fail miserably as soon as they leave his team. And before you attribute that success to Ed Donatell, you’ll have to explain why Mangini can be credited with (one game’s worth of) DB excellence while his predecessor can’t.

    1. Leo, I wanted Fangio to replace JH as head coach, but the idol worship is just a little over the top. Fangio is a good DC, but the Niner personnel helped make his defense elite. When given the Bears defense, he is not doing so well.

          1. True, not arguing that. Just saying Seb’s statement of Fangio not doing well is a stretch. They get scored on a lot. We still suck on defense.

            1. “We still suck on defense”

              They are middle of the pack in points allowed per game despite having to back up a dreadful offense. That’s far from sucking.

              1. Pick your stat Jack. We’re 20th against the run, 28th against the pass, tied for 20th in sacks, 27th in yards allowed and 15th in points allowed. Except for the points allowed we’re not very good. Points allowed is a very important stat since its what matters most. Do you really think this is a middle of the pack defense?

              2. I think it is pretty clear the 49ers D got torched in weeks 2 and 3, and those two games skew the overall defensive stats. They have also had to be on the field for extended periods during Kaep’s meltdowns, which again has skewed the stats.

                It is a mostly young D, that had some major issues early in the season but has been much improved over the past 6 games or so.

              3. “Do you really think this is a middle of the pack defense?”

                Yes. They had 2 really bad games. Other than that they’ve been solid. It’s tough to play D when your offense has games with more 3 and outs than 1st downs.

              4. Not sure they just had two bad games. Looks like four good games and four bad ones. Yes the offense hurts them all the time. I think they’re improving. Lets see how the trend plays out. New QB, slightly better schedule on the back half. I don’t think they’re middle of the pack, rather just south of that group of teams. Next year possibly.

                From Skeptic.

                Points Against

                Home: 3, 17, 20, 20, 16 AVG: 15.2PPG
                Away: 43, 47, 30, 27 AVG: 36.75PPG

              5. Well, its been nine games Wilson. At home (5 games) they’ve given up a maximum of 20 points.

                Away, they had two terrible games (weeks 2 and 3), one game where they couldn’t stop the underneath throws (Giants) and one game where a couple of big plays sunk them (Rams). That Rams game was particularly frustrating because it really was a case of two very bad plays (Gurley’s TD and Austin’s TD) and aside from that they were pretty good the rest of the game.

                The D has definitely improved since week 3.

              6. I should have checked the stats for myself Scooter. My bad. I’m not a fan of the exception plays exclusion. It all factors in to them as a consistent defense. I do think they’ve improved each week and said lets see how they play out the rest of the season for consistency. I said below I’d like to see how Mangini’s system and coaching work out over the course of 3 seasons. IMO I still think they’re just outside the middle group of defenses.

              7. Yeah, with the Rams game I’m not wanting it to seem like I’m saying thy played well “except for”. Those plays happened, and they drag the defense down.

                However, it is more encouraging having that as a bad game as opposed to the Steelers and Cards games which were just woeful play after bad. The mistakes against the Rams were limited and for the majority of the game the effort and execution was pretty good. Just need to clean up and prevent those very bad plays.

              8. Thanks for the clarification Scooter. Maybe I misread. I agree, it was a step forward for a young team in a new system. They are getting more consistent. As I have reflected the whole unit has gotten better and are working better together for less of those big mistakes. Much of the early ILB struggles seem to have improved. My guess is they way they work with the DL is better or they are used to playing together more in the system.

              9. Considering the player losses, the Niners are doing well. Hard to lose Cowboy, PW, both corners and others without a drop off.

  15. The team sport of football requires interdependency amongst players. On D, lack of pass pressure makes DBs look bad or mediocre. Mangini’s safety up alignments left the corners exposed with the safeties late in getting back. He adjusted, to his credit. I think he’s finding a bit of a groove with his players and with his own play calling.
    Remember when Haley left for Dallas? The only change on the roster, same DC, no pass rush and all of a sudden our corners were bums.
    Remember when The Hot Licks were drafted?
    They were young and talented but raw and Seifert was trying to coach ‘em up. Then add Fred Dean; Voila!

  16. I guess Grant’s forgotten all those times Fangio had a great secondary without a shut down corner that he decried they needed. Or last year when Culliver and Brock were injured most of the season and Ward/Johnson (rookies) were on the field. Or when Brown and Culliver went down and Brock stepped up or when they made something of the discarded Carlos Rogers in the slot. How many times did Perrish Cox come in off the street and play well? I suppose those players did that all by themselves, it wasn’t the coaching.

    “Could former 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio have prepared those three backups as well in such a short amount of time? I don’t think so, and I consider Fangio the best defensive coordinator in the NFL.”

    Fangio’s done it repeatedly Grant. Taken players young and off the practice squad had them prepared to play. I thought Mangini would do well, I was embarrassed by his middle games, but he’s been improving steadily. 27th ranked in the NFL says something especially when you are standing by your 10th ranked Atlanta team.

    Cromartie played last season when we had injuries and D Johnson was a starter most of last season. Those guys played well last season under Fangio. Its not like these guys don’t have playing time.

      1. That was the #1 offense in the NFL and Manning set the all time TD record that game, they got torched, but one game doesn’t nullify the points that Fangio succeeded with young players all the time. How well did Mangini do with starters against Pittsburgh or Arizona? Or when his defense gave up 27 to the 31st ranked Rams offense? I would have been fine with the article save for your incendiary statement Fangio couldn’t have done it. Mangini did a nice job last week, it wasn’t super human or one of kind.

        1. “Fangio succeeded with young players all the time.”

          Fangio barely played young players unless he had to.

          Last season Fangio did a fantastic job given all the injuries/ suspensions. But he still had Culliver and Cox at CB for most of the season, Bethea and Reid. He also had Justin Smith and Ray McDonald for most of the season, and Aldon Smith and Patrick Willis for half the season. It was a more experienced D for the majority of the year.

      2. Some around here might say why the heck isn’t Donte Johnson playing more? His size makes him ideal for matching up with Julio Jones. Mangini could have stumbled into a matchup that was actually better than Brock, Reaser or Acker vs. J Jones.

  17. Grant gets paid to talk a lot about stuff he does not know. Must be nice. Lucky we dont have a Dez Bryant type to light him up on his BS.

    Mangini had some choice in working on the offensive side of the ball. He wanted a better understanding of offenses, in an effort to self scout, evaluate, and evolve as a coach. Grant’s opinion sways as much as the uninformed public does on the quality of a coach despite his level of access. Does Belichek hire/employ bad coaches?

    1. Grant gets paid to talk a lot about stuff he does not know.
      Unlike the rest of us who are doing it for free? Makes Grant seem pretty smart in that light.

        1. Grant misses Jack’s free analysis. It was a perfect situation; Jack posted a link to his site on Inside the 49ers and the readers would take a look at it. Those same readers would then come back to the Inside the 49ers blog to argue with each other about it. Click, click. Lmao. Jack, did Grant use powder on his hand?

      1. CFC,

        I guess you’re saying Grant is smart for getting paid for writing articles that prove he doesn’t really understand what he’s reporting on, all while using a childish writing style. Yep, that’s something to proud of…

  18. DEFENSIVE BACKS: F. The Steelers absolutely abused second-year cornerback Kenneth Acker. Even when he had help from a safety, Acker could not cover Antonio Brown. So the Steelers lined up Brown across from Acker as much as possible. The Niners didn’t adjust until the fourth quarter, when Tramaine Brock got a chance to cover Brown. Brown beat him deep for a gain of 56. The secondary was helpless.

    DEFENSIVE BACKS: D. It’s hard to say which defensive back played the worst, because the Cardinals’ receivers seemed wide open all game. BWhatever defensive coordinator Eric Mangini was calling, it wasn’t working.

    DEFENSIVE BACKS: C. The Niners couldn’t cover Steve Smith, who caught one touchdown pass and dropped two in the end zone. If he had caught those passes, the Ravens would have scored 28 points, not 20.

    DEFENSIVE BACKS: D. Starting cornerbacks Tramaine Brock and Kenneth Acker each picked off Wilson once, but both picks were gifts – Wilson never should have forced those passes. He didn’t need to force anything Thursday night. Seahawks receivers were wide open almost every other play. Either Niners’ defensive backs were blowing assignments, or Eric Mangini’s coverage scheme stunk. Or both.

    DEFENSIVE BACKS: C. Gave up two big plays—a 66-yard touchdown to wide receiver Tavon Austin on a “bubble” screen, and a 49-yard catch to tight end Jared Cook. Cook was wide open over the middle after a 49ers’ blitz failed to reach Foles.

    Mangini specializes in coaching defensive backs.

    We’ved played 9 games and on 5 of them you gave the DB’s poor grades including two D’s and an F.

              1. It was a royal we.

                Besides it’s how us “fans” speak about our team. You’ve chosen your life of disassociation, don’t be bitter.

              2. C’mon. It’s called having a team, being a fan. Being a fan needn’t have any bearing on the validity of an analysis. Are you back to ridiculing fans? On a fan site?
                I have zero embarrassment at being a fan.

              3. I say “we” when the Niners do well. Sometimes I catch myself saying “they” when the Niners suck. Its a nasty habit I’m trying to break.

              1. Don’t you think of it as your team? Our team?
                Cfc’s slip doesn’t seem like a Gotchya moment to me. I don’t think he was taking credit or blame for anything. Grant is just feeling argumentative, but it’s a gentle poke I’ll agree.

              2. BT, it wasn’t a gotcha moment but enough to allow Grant to redirect the conversation away from all his own words about this secondary’s performances.

    1. Yeah Grant — what’s up with that?

      I actually agree with you that the DBs are going to be the strength of the team soon. They played hungry and Cromatre made some great plays. You would never guess he was on the practice squad. They’re going to make mistakes but there seems to be a foundation in place.

      If this is a rebuilding year, then there seems to be some pieces in place there. The ILBS will be fine when Bowman plays into shape, He’s still a leader.

      Lynch is solid and Armstead is coming around.

      What sucks on the team is the O. Gabbert is an improvement over Kaep. If they can get a pieces around the O-Line, draft a young QB, and Jed gets out of the way, the fall is not as bad as we think.

      1. It’s tough to criticize Mangini for the loss to the Seahawks. The defense played well in the second half, and the entire team came out flat in the first half, which was Tomsula’s fault.

      2. >the fall is not as bad as we think.

        Had both sides of the team showed up in games (offense in GB game, defense on the last drive of NYG game) we “could have won” and flipped those games to “should have won”, we’d (note the we, Grant) be looking at 5-4 instead of 3-6. Not great, considering the blow-outs in other games, but in the hunt, and doing just as well as with the vaunted coaching staff of last year.

    2. Everyone has the right to change their mind, but Grant does it to the extreme. The defense did a nice job against the Falcons but it shouldn’t change opinions on Mangini as a DC. If you thought he was good before you still do and if you thought he wasn’t this shouldn’t change that view. The Falcons came into this game struggling having lost two of their previous 3 games and the lone win being an unimpressive 10-7 score against the Titans.

      I’m not a Mangini fan and feel he hasn’t done a very good job this year, but I will give him credit for realizing what he was doing originally wasn’t working and adapting accordingly. They are playing better now that the subterfuge has been removed for the most part.

      1. It’s important to acknowledge reality. Mangini also was excellent against Green Bay. 18th in points allowed with these players and that offense is impressive.

        1. Their 25th in total offense and 13th in points. He had a good game plane against Rodgers. They’re a bit overrated this season. Mangini is improving considering his talent level.

        2. Acknowledging the defense played well in individual games is fine, but you took it over the top with the redemption story. Nobody is viewing Mangini as a HC candidate with what he’s done this season; at least they shouldn’t be.

          1. Says the guy who scoffed when I said the Niners should hire Del Rio, and scoffed again when I said Oakland would be better than San Francisco. :)

            1. You headed to O.Co tomorrow?

              The Raiders have a lot to be excited about. Cooper is a stud, and Crabtree has been reborn playing with Carr. He made a smart move going there.

            2. Guilty as charged. The Raiders and Del Rio have been a revelation this season. What is really impressive is what Musgrave has done with that offense.

          2. “Nobody is viewing Mangini as a HC candidate”
            I think one team might. He’ll have to move his office down a few doors though.

      2. That’s a fair comment rocket.

        We will have a much better idea of Mangini as a DC at the end of the season. This is the time of year they should be starting to gel as a group, playing better more consistently. If the Falcons game ends up as a blip, then he’s not doing a good job. If they build on that game and play pretty strong D for the rest of the year, credit will be deserved.

          1. Yeah, even as soon as next season.

            For mine the best thing Mangini has done is been willing to change the things that didn’t work in weeks 2 and 3, rather than belligerently stick with it.

            I will be interested to see over the next few weeks whether Mangini sticks with more blitzing (I believe they blitzed something like 2/3 of snaps against the Falcons) or if he backs off again.

        1. No doubt. If the defense plays well the rest of the year then I will owe Mangini some respect, but it is way too soon to write a story like this.

    3. CfC, I think that trip down memory lane actually highlights two things:

      – The DBs were exposed badly against the Steelers and Cards.
      – Grant was overly critical of the DBs in the other games.

  19. Grant, you seem to be a prisoner of the moment. Gabert get’s one hit and he get’s up and he is a American Hero and now Mangini coached a good game and now he is worthy of his job and could be a Head Coach soon. He coached several bad games too but those don’t count.

    1. I respect Greg Cosell, but he has a tendency to fall back on his biases rather than focusing on the individual performance. He kept mentioning how Gabbert didn’t face much pressure against the Falcons. Complete bull. Forget the stats, which showed he was pressured on over 50% of his dropbacks – all you needed to do was watch that game without a preconceived notion of the Falcons D to know Gabbert faced a fair bit of pressure on many of his dropbacks.

      1. Some folks around here like to use Cosell as Gospel. He’s cautiously bullish on BG, that’s ok and right on considering where we’re at as a team. I think the fact that the Falcon’s pass rush is weak is separate from how they performed against our OL. Just like our DB’s played well against the Falcon’s passing game. They performed over expectations.

        1. Wilson, if Quinn did not have a brain fart, and gone for it on the 2 yard line, Gabbert would have a totally different perspective. Winning cover up everything.
          Like being shut out in the second half and throwing that pick with the game on the line.
          Gabbert did well against that mediocre team. but the Seahawks are way better. I hope he survives the whole game.

          1. “Winning cover up everything.”

            For some, perhaps. I think David Neumann did a good and fair analysis of Gabbert earlier in the week. Gabbert wasn’t as good as some media have made out, he was just above expectation. He was competent. The best part of his game was his pocket awareness and quick decisions. However, he was fairly inaccurate with his passes (gave his receivers a bit of work to do) and he did make some bad decisions.

            1. If the Niners had lost, Gabbert would have been eviscerated by the posters for being a loser, AGAIN. Dont say that 185 yards and 2 ints make him another Joe, but he did do well enough to score 2 TDs. After the futility of the previous games, I think that is a major improvement.

              1. Seb,

                One of those picks was on Simpson. BG had five passes dropped and would’ve given him about 100 more yards. You talk about what some would say if the 49ers had lost to the Falcons, what if BS’s stat line was 20 of 25, 285 yards, 2 TD’s and 1 INT? It just as easily could’ve been.

          2. Seb I’m not crowning BG in any area. Cautiously bullish is the words I used. I think even if we had lost BG would have received great press for not taking any sacks and as Fan77 says “he looked like a QB.” I thought Cosell’s statements that we should be cautious were humorous considering all the bickering around how good the Falcons D was vs. how good Gabbert is.

            If you look at the other thread you’ll see I think he’ll have a very different day agains the Hawks. The 49ers have 2 weeks to prepare and rest, it won’t matter much. Tiller will be an upgrade over Devey, but Pears and Martin still surround Tiller so the Hawks will be in the backfield and close the deal unlike the Falcons.

            The other thing I found entertaining was Cosell saying this “Look, it was just, in many ways, it was the same thing they had done with Colin. It was a very simple gameplan, just like they’d been doing with Kaepernick, but Gabbert just executed it at a higher level.” Flies in the face of Fan saying Gabbert played a much more complex offense. Its a simple offense for simple QB’s.

            1. I am on my knees praying that Killgore makes a miraculous recovery, and Tiller and Brown play more. Hopefully, the Cards beat the heck outa Seattle so they are not at full speed next week.
              I too am cautiously optimistic about Gabbert. He was fairly accurate. He is faster and more nimble than I expected. You know me, I love the QB roll outs.

              1. In the summer I posted BG’s combine numbers and caught a lot of flack for suggesting he’s a lot faster than people think. He runs a 4.61 40. He’s not Newton, Kaep, or Wilson but he’s really pretty mobile. You can see why he’s a tease. He’s a pocket passer that’s mobile and not the other way around.

                That Cards and Hawks game should be a good one. You kinda have to like Arians attitude. That dude is out to take no prisoners. The problem is if the Hawks lose a close one they could be out to take it out on us the next week. We’re not the imposing physical team we used to be.

              2. I hope Seahawks get whipped, and the Cards will give the Niners the blueprints on how to exploit their weaknesses.

      2. You watched the same game as the rest of us Scooter did it really look like Gabbert was “under pressure” half the time he dropped back. Like everything those stats are relative as well. What’s considered under pressure? If all he had to do was take a step or two forward and be fine that might be considered pressure but did it really have an effect?

        I guess I could take the time and re-watch the game to see how many times did Gabbert actually have to scramble or make a significant adjustment in the pocket before passing, that’s pressure and I know from watching the game that he didn’t face anything like that 50% of the time he dropped back.

        1. Guh, I’m done trying to point out what a walk in the park Gabbert faced. The effervescence of the win has had people wearing rose colored glasses all week but reality is about to come crashing back down when Gabbert has to be peeled off Seattle’s field with a spatula.

        2. Please. I am hardly being effusive in my praise of Gabbert. Just read my response to Seb. He was competent.

          I am also not saying that every time he was pressured he was under significant duress and did something amazing to avoid it. Haven’t even once tried to suggest it. There were a number of occassions where the pressure was a single free blitzer and he maneuvered in the pocket to avoid it. Simple enough stuff, but still a good job.

          There were, however, also a number of occassions where he had more than one pass rusher in his face quickly and he either did a good job avoiding it with his movement or getting the ball out of his hand quickly. Stuff that Kaep very rarely does. That is the one thing I have been “effusive” in my praise of Gabbert on, and only because a lot of people have tried to diminish that as just being because it was a poor Falcons pass rush.

        3. One of the main differences Gabbert will face against the Seahawks compared to the Falcons will be the coverage. Lets see how he goes against tighter coverage, taking away some of his outlet throws to avoid the pressure.

  20. I think Cosell has tempered his vitriol against Kaep, since he has proven right, so he probably does not want to rub it in. He seems to state the obvious, so I hope he throws out more locker room insights. Cosell does the standard yes, but, angle so he covers his bases, but I think he could give more depth and perspectives instead of humdrum statements.
    All in all, I do not love Greg like larry, but he does do his homework and presents his ideas in a logical manner. I may disagree with him, but I respect his acumen.

  21. Now this next wise crack is not directed at anyone in particular. I just came across it and liked it:
    “The fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion.” Attributed to Arnold Gasow.
    I think we can admit that when it comes to opinions, this room is a target rich environment.
    : -)

    1. BT, since you posted right after my post, I will make a comment. Thank goodness we have reams of tape on Cosell, and know what he has said many times.;p

  22. I want to preface this comment by clarifying a few things:

    1. I am not a Tim Kwakakami shill account
    2. I do not broadcast pirate radio shows about UFO’s or Government conspiracy theories

    that being said my question for Grant is,

    Did Jed meet you for lunch in person to suggest that you write this article? Or did he have one of his minions drop off the premise for the article and a few Benjamins in a manila envelope?

    1. You clearly don’t know much about the bay area sports writing landscape to ask that question. Jed isn’t going to seek out a Cohn for help, because he ain’t getting any from them (a good thing, btw).

      1. Im well aware of the perceived relationship between the Cohn Clan and the niners brass.

        Thats what makes the ambitious spawn of Cohn a perfect PR beard. Who better to plant the seeds of public opinion? Is that not the MO of the ownership? Transparent manipulation of the media in an effort to keep the new “shrine to denim” as tight a fit as possible?

        The writing is stitched into the back pocket for old JT…

        1. It seems your preconceptions are indefatigable Green-o.
          PS-Grant: Whatever our differences of opinion….this here, know.

    1. Many here got LOL’d a few weeks ago after Grant pasted a link about win/loss predictions from last spring… well before Aldon Smith, Anthony Davis and Daniel Kilgore were out. (Petty funny actually. All in good fun.)

      Many of us changed our pre-season won/loss predictions after Smith and Davis were officially gone, but that link wasn’t pasted.

      Live by the paste, get LOL’d by the paste.

  23. Have any of you watch Florida State play this year? What are your thoughts on Sean McGuire? As an FSU fan, I hate that they waited until this late in the season to go to him. He’s a junior but plays really well.

  24. So few reps this week in practice,
    and almost none with the starting O.
    He just cannot find an explanation.

    Colin. GO TO YOUR ROOM, Colin.

  25. Off topic: Holm beat the crap out of Rousey. Even before the knockout Ronda’s face was bloody and Holm looks untouched. People will say it was the head kick that knocked her out but it was the left jab to the jaw preceding the kick that ended Ronda’s night.

    Seriously though, she really beat the crap out of her. Total domination.

    1. I think women fighting is unseemly. I rate it just above dog and cock fighting.
      With all the domestic violence in this society, I just do not want a guy to use the excuse that he thought she could take a punch.

    2. Made her look like a beginner in a pro sport! In glad also. She’s been getting way to cocky. The hype machine built her ego. A foot to the neck may have destroyed that ego, and hopefully the hype. Now for those who really think she could have beaten Mayweather in the octagon will stop that nonsense.

    3. It was not the kick; the punch knocked her silly. She had a tough time trying to recover from the punch. The kick just solidified it.

  26. Found this interesting in an article linking Saban to the Colts:

    “As former Saban colleague with the Browns, the mysterious Ernie Adams, says at page 227 of The Education of a Coach, “The number one criteria for being a genius in this business is to have a great quarterback, and in New England [Bill Belichick] had one, and in Cleveland he did not.””

  27. Your comments about Mangini represent a shift from an assessment about him after a loss a couple of games ago. I recall some disparaging remarks after that loss (Seahawks game I think? Or other.) I don’t think your current assessment is wrong (Mangini’s good, not great). I just think that, as an obvious shift from your previous view you should be willing to go beyond your current evaluation and admit you might have been previously wrong about the guy.

    For what it’s worth, I think your other coaching and player evaluations (with the exception of your pronouncing Bowman all but finished a short time ago) are fair and thoughtful. You might consider being a tad less snarky in the future. Take a lesson from your Dad’s good friend Matt Maiocco. You can express every opinion you have without having to act like such a know-it-all $hit. Just my 2 cents.

  28. His direct quote: “That’s what the chart says to do,
    so we went with that.
    Playing the percentages.”
    If Coach Harbaw will go for a two-point conversion in public
    (when he is already leading by 25, in the third quarter),
    then what makes you think that his marriage % chart won’t
    cause him to start looking for wife #3 at any point in time?
    How many different NFL teams did he play for?
    University of San Diego… Stanford… Michigan….
    And here he is on college coaching slot #3… think about it.

    1. It’s the wrong part of the curve for JH to leave Michigan. He’s still in the “JH is our God” phase in Michigan. He needs to get to the point where he starts to wear people out before he looks to greener pastures. Think Billy Martin, without the drinking problem.

    2. I hope for his wife’s sake, that JH has a long tenure at Michigan, and they can raise their family in an established home and not be moving constantly.

  29. In looking ahead to the Sqwaks/Cards game, I’ll be interested to see how the Az OL holds up against inside pass pressure. They’ve looked swell so far in what little I’ve seen, and Palmer needs that room to step up. Like most QBs, early inside pressure troubles him.

    1. Almost 7 yards per play are what the Indiana state birds are averaging offensively. The only team even close to that is the Patriots. I think barring injury, they’re the team representing the NFC in San Francisco, and ultimately winning the Super Bowl….

  30. Grant says so much dumb BS- and I am disapointed no one pointed it out.

    The name “mangenius” was not ironic or meant as a joke. He got that nickname during his first head coaching job with the jets when he went 10-6 after being hired at 35. His reputation was that he was VERY clever with defensive schemes. If you look at his head coaching career- his defenses were always competitive, his OFFENSES and LACK OF A QB was his weakness- hence why he joined harbaugh’s staff as an offensive coordinator- he wanted to become better.

    The niners were always lucky to have Mangini as a DC. the guy likely had other offers to DC elsewhere and like Josh McDaniels- he is picking his spots.

    I really can’t believe grant has this gig… over and over it is proven that he doesnt know what he is talking about, his opinions are lazy, ugh….

  31. 49ers management should pretend that the Super Volcanoe beneath Yellowstone National Park’s over due explosion rate will happen tomorrow. The ashes blocking sunlight for two years could be their cue to jettisone some of their own uneeded hot air and plyroclastic flwo.

    #1 on the good riddance list would be RB, Hayne..He’s taking up valuable practice squad space when all he does is fumble the football during creating an “Unspecial Team.” #2. Carlos Hyde and Colin Kaepernick…Hyde gets injured too mluch doing the 49ers no good, and Kap is, well, Kap. Package both, as if the volcanoe explodes tomorrow, in a trade, hire Holmgren and Shannahan to GM and coach on an iterim basis until they can evaluate talented coaches of their own.

  32. FYI Seb:

    I have some info. on your favorite player, RB Hayne…While he was released no team claimed him…That should tell you something, while putting clues together pretending to be Sherlock Holmes, maybe you can follow this clue: Please do not apply for the Niner personnel positions opening next year.

    1. Info for Seb courtesy of Sac Bee and Matt Maiocco
      Will we ever see more of Jarred Hayne? (Lupe Daville)
      It’s pretty clear the 49ers do not believe Hayne has the requisite grasp of the sport to feel confident in him. The 49ers released Hayne two weeks ago, and no team claimed him. He remains on the practice squad, and available for any team to sign at any time.

      1. Tim Kawakami ‏@timkawakami · 56m56 minutes ago

        Tim Kawakami Retweeted Jerry
        Eddie D & John York have never gotten along. Some context from my podcast w/Carmen Policy:

        Tim Kawakami ‏@timkawakami · 1h1 hour ago

        Tim Kawakami Retweeted Jason La Canfora
        Just saw this. Qualifies as a wow, but as Jason says, not surprising if you know the York-DeBartolo dynamics.

        Jason La Canfora
        CBS Sports NFL Insider

        Follow Jason

        Former 49ers owner DeBartolo interested in Raiders ownership stake

  33. You’ll never believe this but Bradford just left the game with, drum roll please, a shoulder injury. Didn’t take a call into Miss Cleo to know that was coming.

  34. Looks like the Saints are in full implosion mode. Short of a miracle turn around ending with a trip to the SuperBowl I’d say today’s game will be the nail in the coffin on Payton’s coaching days in New Orleans.

  35. Why is Jeff Fisher of the Rams not in a hot-seat? His team is loaded with talents but underachieving. The NFC West is not as strong like it was 2 years ago but they’re not taking advantage of the situation.

        1. The big issue for the Packers has been the struggles in the running game. Lacy has been rubbish, Starks is only marginally better. The Lions have been terrible against the run all year but had little trouble making the Packers one dimensional.

  36. If Kaep is paying attention, then he facing a very
    bitter pill to swallow in the KC/Denver game;
    Alex Smith on his way to a win over Peyton Manning
    while his “replacement” is collecting splinters
    (in the butt… from sitting on the bench…).

    YOU HAVE BEEN BENCHED, Kapurnicus.

    1. Lmao! How did I know one of these idiot Smithers would give him credit for picking off manning 4 times leading to his benching. 5 fg’s and a late useless td. Smh

      1. RG3 isn’t playing-
        Luck has been erratic-
        Rogers in a slump-
        Peyton gets benched-
        CK gets benched-
        Bradford injured-
        Geno unreliable-
        Sanchez chokes in the clutch-
        All interesting.

          1. Says more about NFL offenses IMHO. OCs seem to be incapable of building a successful offense without an elite QB…and sometimes even with one. I seem to recall that Ohio State was down to their number 4 QB when they won the national championship. Miami had Frank Gore, Clinton Portis and Willis McGahee at the same time. The NFL now is a sport designed to make owners and a limited number of athletes a lot of money, not to bring a quality product to us fans. The way it is now going teams should be required to refund ticket holders money when the first string QB goes down. (For example see Dallas Cowboys)

            1. Whine I totally agree. The product the NFL is putting out there this year is as bad as I can remember in my over 55 years of watching pro football. Its mainly caused by a hard cap salary cap. I still watch my 9ers religiously but I watch far far more college football. Saturday night was a great example of why I love the college game so much more, flipping back and forth between Houston Memphis and Stanford Ore 2 great game with 2 great finishes both playing at the same time. There has hardly been 2 games that entertaining in the NFL all year long.

  37. See Alex run. Run, Alex, run!!
    (Smith sprints 17 years on 3rd & long).
    Keeping the drive alive… with his legs.
    22 – 0.. One more score will be the
    nail in the coffin. (Kaepernick?
    He is out tennis shoe shopping.)

    Remind him about the shave & haircut.

  38. can anyone remember the last time that
    Colin Kaepernick led the Niners to score
    points in all four periods?
    (as Alex Smith has done against Denver)
    today??? With Kaep, consistency =
    da Beats earphones and hip hop tunes.

  39. Upset weekend in sports.
    My Sooners smack #6 Baylor in their house!

    Rousey gets her cocky a** knocked out!

    KC picks off manning 4 times and blows Denver out with fg’s (lol) in Denver

    GB loses to Det at home and they own Rodgers!

    Tb with a minor upset over Dallas

    Mia beating Philly in philly.

    Chicago annihilating stl

    Wash the same vs NO!

    NYG driving in the 4th after a goaline pick of Brady. 4 min to go down by 1 what a weekend to have the ticket.

    Oh and the crapbag raiders lose again.
    That’s one game better right now? Easier schedule too. Pffft they’re not there yet!

    1. A win is a win regardless of how it happens. Chiefs are looking better since adjusting their OL, so maybe the switch to Gabbert could be what the 49ers need in order to make the playoffs.

        1. I’m at the point where I’m hoping Gabbert has taken the next step to being a very good qb. I doubt that will happen but right now I look at it as a huge need for this franchise. Not one who will not lose the game but one who will win you games.
          Next years draft and FA period will be huge for SF. So many needs and holes to fill. Not having to worry about a qb would be huge O-line DE and OLB are a must!

          1. Although I intensely dislike the Raiders on many levels, I have a soft spot in my heart because Jerry, Ronnie and many other Niners have played across the bay. I must grudgingly give them respect for building that O line into something respectable, giving Carr enough time to throw.They built it by getting the right FAs. Maybe the Niners should go the same route, because blue chip, cant miss, insert in the line up from day one- type O line men are hard to find in the draft. Sometimes it takes a few years of gaining muscle and XP before a line man really becomes a lock in starter.
            The trouble is, Baalke is too cheap (he let Iupati walk), and his talent evaluation is not too hot ( Devey and Pears). Hope they find an under performing, thus inexpensive, line man who will blossom in the Niner system

  40. I remember when Harbaugh came in and our team won game after game and raider fans were screaming easy schedule. Well they have a weak schedule and are under 500. Same ol raiders. Solid passing game. And that’s IT! Ha ha haaaaa!

    1. Bradford’s injury does push the Eagles to the front of the list but I always remember this quote from Rex; ““Again, some people think the Wildcat has come and gone. No, it hasn’t. If anything, it’s just the opposite. I saw the kid from San Francisco, Kaepernick,” Ryan said, via comments distributed by the team. “He runs a 4.4 or something. I was really intrigued by him when he came out because I thought we were going to lose Brad. [The 49ers] drafted him before we could, but I was interested in him. He went for a 70-yard touchdown run the other day. You’re seeing these guys and it’s hard to defend some of that stuff. When you have the ability to throw, as well as run, it makes it tough.”

      If Tyrod Stumbles or gives them any reason to think they need to bring in competition don’t rule out Rex going to bat for his old crush.

    2. Good list, but no one is going to trade for Kaepernick unless the 49ers eat a good portion of his contract or he agrees to go to another team for a lesser deal.

    3. The Eagles do have an extra 3rd Round pick, and Kaepernick has shown he’ll bet on himself. I could see him agreeing to a one year, prove it deal….

      1. So, I thought if we trade Kap and get that extra 3rd round pick from the Eagles, for example, that his contract is part of the trade. I guess Kap could renegotiate after the trade, but he can’t do anything before the trade, can he? If I’m right, then the Eagles enter the trade with the expectation that they have picked up Kap’s contract.

          1. RG3 fetched the Rams 3 first-round picks and a second-round pick.

            The Rams are a great lesson in team building. No matter how talent packed you are, its hard have a winning record without a decent quarterback.

          2. “If RGIII is worth 2 firsts, so is Kaep.”

            The RGIII trade wasn’t made having the same information teams now have on him (or Kaep) in the pros. It was all based on projection. It turns out he was not worth such a costly trade up, and no team would give up that kind of bounty for RGIII now.

            Expecting a team to give up a lot of very high picks for Kaep now is extremely wishful thinking.

        1. Stumbled on to the answer while reading a Maiocco article. In answering a question on whether or not a trade of Stafford for Kap makes sense, MM writes:

          “But this particular trade does not seem realistic because of the amount of money both players are due for next season – and beyond. (In a trade, the team that receives the player also assumes his current contract.)”

          1. Plus, Stafford isn’t very good. His success has come mostly from having megaton in his prime. Now that CJ is in decline, Stafford has been exposed.

    4. I wonder how Roman would feel about CK. I think alot of OCs would feel hemmed in by Colin’s inability to see the field, and how long it takes to get rid of the ball.

  41. Funny that the criticisms of Wilson from Chris Collingsworth are those we have heard of Kap. Of all the “running QBs” of the last 5 years, it seems only Cam make the final cut to be a franchise QB.

    1. He makes a fair point, but Beckham isn’t blameless for relaxing and not tucking the ball to secure it before the DB knocks it out of his hands. Cocky, and it cost them.

      1. Actually he did tuck it, but like you said he relaxed when he shouldn’t have and extended his arms out.
        I still wouldn’t be surprised if the rule is revisited yet again with this play being the blueprint for more alteration.

        1. He brought the ball down and in, but he never tucked it into his body. And that was why the DB was able to knock it out of his hands.

            1. In rugby league and union, and I’m assuming its the same in the NFL (please correct me if I am wrong), tucking it means you tuck the ball between your hand, forearm and body.

              1. Yes Scooter. Coaches talk about 3 points of contact to secure the ball, and by contact they mean very firm pressure. Theoretically a chop shouldn’t strip the ball very often. A helmet or shoulder on the ball generally will dislodge it.
                I saw several fumbles yesterday in various games where guys were swinging the ball away from their ribs while making an evasive move. Even just a shake and bake move allows pursuit to get opportunities.

            2. When I say he brought the ball down and in, I mean he brought it down (it was an overhead catch) and in towards his body, but never actually tucked it away. He kept it in two hands and so when his motion brought his arms around it was easy for the DB to knock it out. If he’d had it tucked up between his arm and body it wouldn’t have been so easy.

              1. But wouldn’t Beckham have risked being ruled as not having posession of the ball if he had tried to tuck it? He was near the boundary line of the endzone and shifting the ball in order to tuck it could be ruled as him not having posession if he had went out of bounds.

              2. Maybe. Looked like he had the time and room to tuck it though. He brought the ball down as if he was going to tuck it, or secure it against his body at least, but then decided to extend his arms out again, giving the DB a chance at it. It was a mistake, plain and simple, and looked like he was more worried about his TD celebration than anything else.

              3. No, it wouldn’t have created a risk of the pass being called incomplete, unless he bobbled the ball while doing it. Receivers do it all the time, and he didn’t, and his body language on the sideline after the play indicated that he knew he blew it.

      2. That and Eli missing a wide-open OBJ in the end zone on 2nd and goal, and the easy interception on the 1st play of the last drive by the Patriots.

    2. The catch rule is a little confusing but what it comes down to is hold on to the damn ball and there will be no questions. If they change the rule to allow possession by just having two feet down, then the complaining will move to all the turnovers that will be created by that change. As strange as the rule is, there really is no perfect alternative.

  42. First we had to watch Dick Sherman eating turkey on our home field now we’ll probably have to watch the Cardinals play as the home team in our own stadium in the SuperBowl.

    Thanks Trent and Jed! You guys are doing a bang-up job.

  43. If Seattle loses, then they will be pissed and face another must win game. At the same time, this is a bruising game. AZ is physical. They will be worn out. If the Niners, who have a bye, can suck it up and not fall behind early, the have a chance.
    Game Manager time!

    1. Mid,
      1. Gabbert and Kaep might get a beat-down by this defense next week.
      2. Good game in Seattle – Cards aren’t going out w/out a fight.

  44. Seattle’ defense is ball’n in the 2nd half. Arizona’ OL (especially w/out Iupati) is starting to crack, Palmer is hearing footsteps all around him and his ears aren’t lying!

  45. Seattle is going to want to make us their whipping-boy next week.
    I think that we’re going to shock Seattle next week with a close win.
    Hey, if Rhonda Rousey can knock’d out, I gotta believe that we can do the same to the seahags.

    1. You have to be a bully. You have to match their bully.
      I don’t think SF can do that, but I’d be delighted to be proven wrong. SF isn’t going to sneak up on them, and they’re madder than hornets and in their own (Taco shell) house.
      But….wth? Ya gotsta to show up and mix it up. No mercy. No excuses.

  46. SeAdderall allows 39 points at home. Payton Manning a healthy 2nd half bench. If worms turning, I hope one is the 49ers.

  47. Well, Seahawks are hurting. Hope they do not take out their frustrations on the Niners.
    Brown snatching that ball out of Dicks hands was the play of the game IMO.
    Niners should spread them wide and attack the edges.
    Activate Hayne, and they might win.

    1. I hope SeAdderall comes out ready take out their frustrations on the 49ers, and the 49ers kick their patooties anyway.

    1. KY
      My feelings are the same on the talk of the HC and GM changing. To what?
      We had a saying in the service that no matter how bad your CO was, the next one could always be worse.

    2. KY, Bro T,

      That’s what happens when your team sucks. We all want change because the current setup is failing. What really hurts is most of us just went through nearly a decade of incompetent management of this team before Harbaugh arrived, and it appears we are going back in that direction. What else is there to do other than think about who takes over next? I sure can’t think about things remaining status quo or I’ll develop an ulcer.

  48. A little warning from Kaepernick to Newton:
    ya might wanna go easy on the TD celebrations.
    Your endzone dancing may come back to haunt you
    (as my biceps kissing routine did).
    If you fail to bring home the Lombardi trophy then
    people will mock you with your own “moves”….
    Leaves you feeling like a an over-eager chump.
    “celebrating too early”…. hmm?

    1. Throwing the ball and into the trainer on the sidelines — That’s Kaepernicking!

      Taking a Delay of Game penalty, running out of bounds instead of sliding to keep the clock running — that’s Kaepernicking!

      Bouncing the pass to the WR — That’s Kaepernicking!

      Also running for 90 yards — That’s Kaepernicking too but that only happens once every blue moon.

      1. Getting to the Super Bowl after 10 games. Kaep
        Setting playoff rushing records. Kaep.
        4-2 road playoff record. Kaep.
        Having to endure imbecilic coaching. Kaep.

        1. Sebnynah it is a what have you done lately type league. The guy hasn’t been able to lead a scoring TD drive in the 4th quarter for how long? I am tired of hearing what Colin Kaepernick did 2 years ago. Yes he lead them to a SB, but that was so long ago. You have to be able to show improvement in your play each and every year or even be consistent in your play year after year. He has not. If he gets a second chance I hope he can learn from his mistakes and develop into a better QB. But until then please stop with the past as if it matters today.

          1. Dude also lost the SB, the NFCCG.
            The goal is to win the big games.
            Somehow don’t ever give Alex Smith any credit for beating the Saints.

            1. Fan, I was ecstatic when AS threw that pass to VD, but the NFCCG let me down, and AS completed only 1 pass to a WR in that game.
              I did not hate AS, I thanked him for his classy way of handling a sticky situation, and wished him well.
              However, I also saw how Kaep is bigger, stronger and faster than AS, and he could throw the ball further than 20 yards downfield.
              Thank you for at least acknowledging the fact that Kaep can make 90 yard TD runs.

            1. Seb,
              People make a big deal of how he only made one pas to his WR. He also threw two TD passes to Vernon. He got snake bit with 2 fumbles by Kyle Williams. That was also the first year where the team that was a laughingstock came within just a few plays from going to the SB.

              The next year he did get the team to 6-2 and was putting it together before the concussion.

              What’s worse, a QB who only completed one pass to a WR, or a QB who had 4 turnovers in the NFCCG — and made the pass that killed the season?

              Bigger stronger faster — so what?
              I’ll take smarter any day.

              That’s all the in the past. I would be happy if Gabbert gets a 2nd chance and gets the job done.

              1. If that is the case, please put the Kaep slams in the recycle bin. Frankly, they are getting tiring. We get it. You think he sucks. Move on, please.
                I really think your other posts do have merit, but dumping on Kaep right now, is like kicking him while down.

  49. Peyton tore his plantar fascia. No wonder he looked bad. I never tore mine but I had Faciaitis for a bit and it hurts like crazy; knives in the bottom of your foot and heel. He can’t push off his right foot, so his mechanics are hopeless. I’d note that Antonio Gates’ facia problems have been chronic.

    1. I think the injury is pure bull pucky. They need a HoF face saving excuse for benching Manning at the end of his career. He’s done pure and simple and it has nothing to do with his foot.

      1. I had a PF tear a couple of years ago, it’s not fun. You can kind of warm up and stretch and it gets a little better, but the inflammation and pain return within a minute or two of inactivity. You have to go through that process every time you start moving again. Cortisone shots help but also increase the chance of further tears and infection.

        I’m sure he’s hurt but I also think it’s the perfect time for him to transition away from the game. He’s been beyond horrible this year.

        1. I’m sure he’s hurt but I also think it’s the perfect time for him to transition away from the game. He’s been beyond horrible this year.

          I concur, but I doubt it happens since the Broncos are a playoff contender.

          1. Mid,
            I agree with you. I wonder how his teammates, the coaching staff and management will feel if Osweiller plays well during Manning’s absence. Manning has 14 INT’s over his last six games and six over the last two. They have been winning despite his level of play.

    2. You can barely stand on a foot with a PF tear let alone go out and play football. Even if he only had a partial tear they never would have him out there knowing full well that it’s going to tear further under those circumstances. Pure bull pucky.

      1. I have to disagree Coffee because there are some people who can struggle through the pain without knowing they have the tear.

          1. CFC
            Tim Hasslebeck was talking today about playing through a partial tear. He missed some time, then slept with a special boot and was limited in practice dealing with the aftermath. A.Gates has gone long stretches w/o practicing and just toughing it through game days due to a chronic condition.

        1. Look rather then let this go in a direction it doesn’t need to just go watch the replay of the game. Do you see Manning favor his foot or limp in anyway? I’ve watched video’s of the game and from what I can see he never once acts like his foot bothers him. It’s one thing to go out on a partial tear and suck it up but there is no way you can do that without some kind of noticeable hindrance. It would have been very painful and you would have notice at times him favoring that foot. Never happens once.

          1. Hard to argue against that point, I guess, and I didn’t watch the game.
            I kept going to work, but I hobbled like Walter Brennan.
            I always wondered how Gates did it. Trainers shoot them up with a pain blocker?

          2. You don’t necessarily have to be favoring the foot Coffee. It all depends on your pain threshold.

          3. He wasn’t able to plant his right foot very well. I watched it several times. I don’t think his foot is the main issue though, he just isn’t physically capable of playing the position anymore. Arm, foot and neck injuries have taken their toll. He was done last year and took a pay cut so that he could get his records this season. He’s one of the all time greats but it’s not fun watching him anymore. The wheels have fallen off.

  50. Wow what a weekend. Crazy games all over the place and I got Ronda Rousey’d in the Pick Em. Thank goodness I didn’t have any money down this week.

    1. No you’re still very much in it. You’re Ronda in the first round, bloody but still fighting. If you have another weekend like this then that’ll be the kick to the chin that’ll knock you out.

      JPN has been steadily moving up the ranks.

          1. Martin was terrible giving up 3 sacks and the defense couldn’t get any pressure all game. Total snooze fest with Bye eeking out a 3 pt win.

      1. Sad but true. That’s the main reason I’ve told other 49er Faithful that boycotting the team would do absolutely no good.

        1. Mid,
          You’re right, boycotting won’t do any good (stadium PSL’ already paid) but I love someone’s suggestion that paying fans go dressed as Jim Harbaugh. Yup, a Jim Harbaugh day.
          Pretty sure little Jedie and Trent won’t like this being televised.

  51. Looking ahead to the Seattle game a couple things I think are important and looking forward to:
    1. Anything and everything Blaine Gabbert: can he outduel the hawks defense and possibly a shoot out if needed?

    2. Can Mangini finally be the guy to stop Wilson from the big play/broken play capability.

    3. After 10 days off, can Tomsula have the team ready to compete against the team who has the 49ers number?

    4. Will the 49er revert to being the early season 49ers, or have they found some life in the young guys leading the way?

    5. The offensive line. How much longer can we stay with the same inconsistent unit?

      1. Move Boone back to the right side at tackle. Tiller at right guard, Kilgore at centre if healthy, and maybe Martin at LG or try Brown at RT? I don’t know. Something better than what they have been fielding since week 1.

  52. Matt Barrows ✔ @mattbarrows
    Tomsula said Daniel Kilgore and DeAndre Smelter will start practicing this week.

    Glad to see this. I’d love to see Smelter replace Simpson on the 53 in 3 weeks.

      1. Just to clarify, that doesn’t add a year to his contract. It just means he doesn’t accrue an NFL season this year, which means at the end of the contract he will still be a RFA, not an UFA.

        1. Which generally leads to a RA tender and a 1-year contract, which Baalke tries to leverage into a cheap multi year deal…

          1. Yeah, if he thinks they are worth keeping. It is a good leverage to have if the player is unlikely to contribute as a rookie.

    1. The Tomsula 49ers (winless on the road so far) are looking pretty familiar if you remember the way the Singletary/Nolan/Erickson teams played on the road

      SJ Merc, T. Kawakami

  53. Baalke fails to exelcute injury settlement on Hunter so loses out!

    Bryan_Admin: Way to go Baalke:While Hunter is eligible to sign with any other team in the NFL, he is not allowed to rejoin the 49ers this season because the injury settlement -– believed to be four weeks -– was not executed within five days of the 49ers placing him on

    49er paradise

    1. No head coach in his right mind would ever take a job if he did not have control over his coaching staff. That is a sign of disaster as well as an organization that will not let you do what you want. Gase wisely rejected that proposal and the 49ers went with their in-house favorite for the top job.So yes, Tomsula is the 49ers head coach in what has been an awful season thus far. Yet, Jed York and his best bud Trent Baalke absolutely love the guy. He listens to them, is genuinely kind, and does not cause a bunch of drama — for them it probably is a lot smoother dealing with him than it was dealing with Jim Harbaugh. They just don’t win as much.

      1. Adam Gase didn’t take the job because Ballke insisted Tomsula be his defensive coordinator/head coach. My guess at least. They were close and once they got to personnel decisions, it blew up.

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