In this new NFL, no practice makes imperfect

This is my Thursday column. Your favorite NFL team probably isn’t good. Ten weeks into the season, only 11 of the 32 teams in the NFL have winning records. That’s the fewest number of winning teams this late in a season since 1990, when the number was also 11. Then, the league had 28 teams, not 32. When did the NFL become so mediocre? Where have all the good teams…

November 18, 2015
Read More >>

Blaine Gabbert: “You just can’t press and try and force guys the ball.”

SANTA CLARA This is the transcript of Blaine Gabbert’s Wednesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. What did you do over the bye week? “I actually got a chance to go back to St. Louis. Hang out with the family a little bit. I got to see my little brother’s state semi-final game, so that was pretty fun.”   How did he do? “He’s a freshman so he’s…

November 18, 2015
Read More >>

49ers mock draft: Post first wave of free agency

These are the players the 49ers should take in the upcoming draft given the players they already have signed in free agency. Round 1: Andrus Peat, OT/G, Stanford Andrus Peat is the most athletically gifted offensive lineman in the upcoming draft. He’s tall (6’7”), he has long arms (34 3/8 inches) and quick feet. He has the potential to become a Pro Bowl left tackle, but his rookie season he…

March 16, 2015
Read More >>

Greg Roman: “Had a very productive morning today in meetings and looking forward to getting a bunch of work done today. Any questions?”

This is the transcript of Greg Roman’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ p.r. department. Opening statement: “Morning. Getting ready for a very good Seattle defense. I think these guys have gotten healthy the past couple weeks and are playing at a very impressive level. Very impressed at their Philly game and they certainly did a good job against us a couple weeks ago. I think we helped them…

December 11, 2014
Read More >>

Kaepernick: “If I threw the ball a foot farther, we’re playing this week.”

Colin Kaepernick gave the best interview of his pro career Wednesday morning on KNBR. Here is a transcript. Q: You look relaxed. KAEPERNICK: Once the season ends I can relax a little bit, talk a little bit more to the media. Q: Why are you shorter during the season and looser during the offseason? KAEPERNICK: To me, during the season the media is trying to find things to pick about,…

January 30, 2014
Read More >>

49ers need Kap insurance

This is my column for Wednesday. The 49ers need a new quarterback. This is not to say the 49ers should give up on Colin Kaepernick — with the right coaching he may still have a future. But they shouldn’t go all in with him, either. The 49ers should hedge their bets, draft a quarterback who could back up Kaepernick as a rookie and could eventually take over as the starter…

January 22, 2014
Read More >>

Stats to consider about the Seahawks

What do you make of these stats for the Seahawks? Passer rating allowed this season: Richard Sherman: 45.9 Byron Maxwell: 47.2 Walter Thurmond: 67.3 Kam Chancellor: 61.1 Earl Thomas: 78.4 Yards per carry allowed the past five games: 3.34 Yards per carry allowed at CenturyLink Field this season: 3.6 Points per game allowed at CenturyLink Field this season: 13.8 Yards per play allowed at CenturyLink Field this season: 4.4 Opponent’s…

January 14, 2014
Read More >>

49ers 19, Seahawks 17: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 19-17 win over the Seahawks. KAEPERNICK: D+. He was pretty good in the first half and awful for most of the second half until his 8-yard run to seal the win on third-and-7 at the end of the fourth quarter. That’s why I give him the “plus.” He missed wide open receivers all game and completed just 52 percent of…

December 8, 2013
Read More >>

Every great one meets a Ken Norton, and 49ers will have theirs

Here is my Friday column on how the 49ers are like Muhammad Ali. Of the 49ers’ remaining opponents, which ones have a defense that can cause problems for a 49ers’ offense with a spotty passing game? That is the key question. If a team can’t stop Frank Gore and Anquan Boldin, that team can’t beat the 49ers. But if a team has a good run defense and at least one…

October 18, 2013
Read More >>

Gore: “When we watch the film we see eight, nine men in the box. That’s one of the biggest things.”

SANTA CLARA – Frank Gore spoke at his locker Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he said. Q: You haven’t had much production the first two games. Are you frustrated about that? GORE: I’m frustrated about the loss, really. We’ve got to get better in the running game. We’ve got to get it done. A lot of teams are playing us with eight or nine men in the box. We’ve still got…

September 18, 2013
Read More >>

Vance McDonald: “My first mentality always is to run over anyone who gets in the way.”

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what Vance McDonald said at his locker Tuesday afternoon. Q: After watching the film, what did this offense learn? V. McDonald: First and foremost we’ve just got to take care of the ball. That’s the most important thing. Without the ball you can’t score points. Q: We all know that’s a very physical defensive front in Seattle. Did they bring anything different than you expected? V….

September 17, 2013
Read More >>

Harbaugh wants the 49ers “to make significant improvement this week.”

SANTA CLARA — Here is a transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Monday press conference courtesy of the 49ers.   Anything going on with NT Ian Williams? What’s his prognosis? “It looks like he’s going to be out for the year. Disappointing, he’ll have surgery today.”   It was a broken ankle? “Yes.”   After watching the play, any thoughts on just the block? “No, an unfortunate play.”   How do you…

September 16, 2013
Read More >>

Cosell says 49ers’ bunch formation is the key to Sunday night’s game in Seattle

Here is what Greg Cosell about the upcoming 49ers-Seahawks game on a Sports Illustrated podcast. Q: Last year before the Super Bowl, we talked a lot about the creativity that Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman implemented in the run game. This year, they’ve taken that creativity to trips and bunch, and the way they set Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis up in those multi-receiver formations was a thing of beauty….

September 14, 2013
Read More >>

49ers-Seahawks matchups: Boldin v. Seattle’s cornerbacks

The 49ers cannot line up Anquan Boldin at flanker across from Richard Sherman all game and expect Boldin to play well. Sherman will get the better of that matchup. Sherman got the better of Boldin two years ago when Boldin was a Raven and Sherman was a rookie. Boldin caught zero passes when he was covered by Sherman. Boldin only caught two passes total in that game. Brandon Browner shut…

September 12, 2013
Read More >>

Harbaugh: “I get a kick out of every week, watching our team compete.”

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh spoke in the media tent Wednesday afternoon. Here’s a transcript, courtesy of the 49ers.   WR Kassim Osgood is back on the team, what do you expect from him? “He is. I expect major contributions on special teams.”   Will he be a gunner? “He’ll be a core player.”   What weighed into the decision to put LB Nick Moody on short-term IR rather than…

September 11, 2013
Read More >>

Is Harbaugh correct about the new read-option rules being “flawed and biased”? Carroll says, “No, not at all.”

SANTA CLARA – Pete Carroll spoke to Bay Area reporters on a conference call Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he said. Q: What were your impressions of the 49ers’ Week 1? CARROLL: They couldn’t have been much more explosive in the throwing game. It was a fantastic day for the quarterback, a great breakout day for Anquan Boldin in the new uniform. Vernon Davis was no surprise, he did great. They…

September 11, 2013
Read More >>

Seahawks-49ers unmatched as rivalry

Here is my Tuesday column on the Seahawks-49ers rivalry. The 49ers and the Seahawks have the best rivalry in sports right now, and it isn’t even close. Here are the top five reasons why: 1. They are two of the best teams in the NFL. 2. They are in the same division. 3. Their head coaches hate each other. 4. Their players hate the other team’s coach. 5. Their players…

June 18, 2013
Read More >>

49ers vs. Seahawks: Which team is better right now?

Many of my readers have been comparing and contrasting the 49ers and Seahawks this week, so I thought it would be interesting to break down the two clubs by offensive, defensive and special teams units. In other words, at this point in free agency which team has the better starting QB? Which team has the better backup QB? Which team has the better group of running backs? And so on….

March 19, 2013
Read More >>

Prediction: Falcons will beat Seahawks

The Seahawks were my pick to win last week in DC, but I don’t see them winning this week in Atlanta. They have another long road trip, plus fatigue from their game on Sunday, and that injury to Chris Clemons – he tore his ACL and he is out. I think the heat really is on the Falcons, especially offensively. Matt Ryan is the toast of the town, but has laid…

January 10, 2013
Read More >>

Contrast in coaching styles

The 49ers and Seahawks’ offensive game plans were polar opposites Sunday night. Let me explain. The Seahawks did what the whole world expected – they ran at Ricky Jean Francois and they threw at Carlos Rogers. The Seahawks’ message was simple: We’re going right at your weakest links. Stop us. It was as basic as an offensive game plan gets, and it worked. The 49ers did the reverse. They over-finessed…

December 24, 2012
Read More >>