49ers and Adam Gase — good match or bad idea?

This is about gravitas and Adam Gase. Gase is the favorite to be the next head coach of the 49ers. Gase is the only coach the 49ers have interviewed twice so far this offseason — they interviewed him for a second time Tuesday, according to reports. Gase is 36 years old. He looks like a teenager. He has been an offensive coordinator for two whole seasons and has done impressive…

January 13, 2015

Raiders need to focus Mack’s role

This is my Friday column on Khalil Mack. WARNING: This is a Raiders column. 49ers fans — feel free to skip this. ALAMEDA When will the Raiders figure it out? They make the same mistake every week and it costs them wins. The mistake involves a rookie, Khalil Mack. Before we discuss the mistake, let’s talk about the problem. The Raiders have the worst third-down defense in football, allowing opponents…

October 24, 2014

Raiders fixed a symptom, not the source

This is my Tuesday column on the firing of Dennis Allen. WARNING: This is a Raiders column. 49ers fans — feel free to skip this. ALAMEDA — Unfortunately, Dennis Allen was not the Raiders’ biggest problem. Yes, he is a bad head coach. And, yes, he deserved to get fired. But he didn’t deserve to get hired in the first place. Allen had been an NFL defensive coordinator for one…

September 30, 2014

Rebuilding Raiders, a blueprint

Here is my Wednesday column explaining how to rebuild the Raiders. WARNING: This is a Raiders column. 49ers fans — feel free to skip this. TO: Reggie McKenzie, general manager, Oakland Raiders FROM: Grant Cohn Reggie, as a favor, I want to help you rebuild the Raiders’ roster. First, let me commend the job you’ve done the past two years tearing down Al Davis’ and Hugh Jackson’s expensive mess. You’ve made the…

December 18, 2013

49ers can’t catch a break when it comes to drafting wide receivers

This is my Saturday column on the 49ers’ recent history drafting wide receivers. By now, you’ve seen what I’ve seen from A.J. Jenkins the past two training camps: A wide receiver utterly overmatched by starting NFL cornerbacks. Friday night against the Chiefs, he faced their starting right cornerback Sean Smith and could not shake him. When Smith decided to press Jenkins, Smith swallowed him up. Jenkins couldn’t get past the…

August 17, 2013

The real reason the 49ers wanted Mangini

Here is my Monday column on Eric Mangini and the 49ers. Why exactly did the 49ers hire ESPN analyst and former NFL head coach Eric Mangini as an offensive consultant? Conventional wisdom says Mangini will help 49ers’ offensive coordinator Greg Roman game-plan against opposing defenses. That’s what an offensive consultant is supposed to do, and it couldn’t hurt the 49ers to have a fresh set of eyes on their offensive…

June 3, 2013

Boldin’s good work adds to Davis puzzle

Here is my Thursday column on the 49ers’ offense, sans Michael Crabtree. SANTA CLARA –Without Michael Crabtree, the focal point of the San Francisco 49ers’ passing attack last season, the 49ers need all of their receivers to step up – Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis, A.J. Jenkins and anyone else who can run and catch and breathe. At an afternoon OTA session this week, Boldin stepped up. He was unstoppable. He…

May 30, 2013

The joy of sacks and touchdowns

SAN FRANCISCO — Here’s an interaction between Aldon Smith and my dad that took place yesterday in the locker room after the Niners beat the Browns. Q: Aldon, what’s it like when you get a sack? I mean, you’re really good at it, but I’ve never done it. ALDON SMITH: What do you mean? Q: Like, when the play starts. What are you thinking, and then what do you see…

October 31, 2011