Goodell’s actions should end tenure as commissioner

This is my Thursday column on the NFL’s suspension of Tom Brady. Roger Goodell may have fired his final bullet. On Tuesday, the Commissioner of the NFL upheld his decision to suspend New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady four games for allegedly conspiring with team equipment managers to deflate footballs in the AFC Championship game. The NFL released a 20-page statement claiming Brady destroyed his cell phone “on or shortly…

July 29, 2015

After ‘Deflategate,’ Roger Goodell might go pfft

This is my Saturday column. Deflategate might be Roger Goodell’s Waterloo. He doesn’t know it yet. Napoleon probably didn’t know it, either. Napoleon probably thought France would crush the Duke of Wellington and the armies of the Seventh Coalition. And Goodell probably thinks he can take down the NFL’s most powerful franchise — the Patriots — and biggest star — Tom Brady. You can understand Goodell’s urge to fight this…

May 15, 2015

Tom Brady and Patriots claim the crooked crown from 49ers

This is my Wednesday column. The 49ers are off the hook. They can thank the Patriots. Until Monday, the Niners were the NFL team with the worst history of cheating and paying for it. Until Monday, the Niners had received the largest fine in the history of the league. The NFL fined owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr $1 million for “conduct detrimental to the league” in 1999. Gov. Edwin Edwards of…

May 12, 2015

49ers’ Colin Kaepernick rages against fan on Twitter

This is my Friday column. Dear Colin, Even though you are 27 years old and have been a starter in the NFL for three seasons, you still lack a quarterback’s temperament. It troubles me. You actually pick fights with fans on Twitter. You picked one on Wednesday. Let’s analyze what you did. This is a teachable moment. At 3:37 Wednesday afternoon, you tweeted the workout you did that day: “1000…

February 19, 2015

Patriots’ tactics deflate the game’s integrity

This is my Thursday column. I don’t trust Bill Belichick or Tom Brady. But, I don’t want to rush to judgment. Maybe Belichick and Brady didn’t defile the integrity of the league this past Sunday. Maybe someone else or something else deflated the Patriots’ footballs before or during the AFC championship game. We don’t yet know all of the facts. Here’s what we do know: NFL teams use their own…

January 21, 2015

49ers, here’s your man

This is my Wednesday column. I don’t get you, Jed. You say you know what you’re looking for and you still can’t find it. I asked you Monday what qualities the next head coach of the 49ers should have. You were prepared for that question. Right away, you said, “I want a teacher. I think what made Bill Walsh so successful is that he was a great teacher, whether that…

December 30, 2014

Kaepernick’s brilliance masks issues for 49ers

Here is my Monday column. Enjoy. SANTA CLARA – Let’s focus on the good after the 49ers’ Week 1 win over the Packers, a very good team, probably not a great team. THE GOOD After just 11 starts, Colin Kaepernick probably is the best quarterback in the NFL. You could say he singlehandedly beat the Packers. His defense gave up 28 points, he had no rushing attack and still he…

September 9, 2013

This won’t be a rehearsal, this is a game to shape the 49ers’ roster

Here is my Saturday column previewing the 49ers’ Sunday preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. If you expect the 49ers to treat Sunday’s preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings like a dress rehearsal for the regular season, you may be disappointed. Most NFL teams treat the third exhibition game like a dress rehearsal. The 49ers did that last season – Alex Smith played the entire first half. But, I’ll be…

August 24, 2013

Whitner explains what it takes for a first-round pick to succeed

SANTA CLARA – Donte Whitner spoke in the media tent Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said. Q: Does it put a strain on you when you’re working with a new free safety? WHITNER: It’s not really a strain, but I have to do most of the vocal stuff back there. When Dashon was here, he had his side of the football field and I had my side of the football…

August 5, 2013

Coach or QB? You make the call

Here is my Thursday column on play calling in the NFL. It won’t happen, but I wish it would: NFL coaches should throw away the headsets and let quarterbacks call their own plays. Football has become more like a chess match or a military campaign than a sport. Coaches orchestrate the entire game from the sideline or the coaches’ booth like generals at the U.S. Central Command, or like teenagers…

July 18, 2013

Which NFL quarterbacks will have passer ratings better than 95 this season?

Last season, 10 quarterbacks finished the regular season with passer ratings better than 95.0. Those quarterbacks were: 1. Aaron Rodgers: 108.0 2. Peyton Manning: 105.8 3. Alex Smith: 104.1 4. Robert Griffin III: 102.4 5. Russell Wilson: 100.0 6. Matt Ryan: 99.1 7. Tom Brady: 98.7 8. Colin Kaepernick: 98.3 9. Ben Roethlisberger: 97.0 10. Drew Brees: 96.3 Which quarterbacks do you think will have passer ratings better than 95.0…

June 30, 2013

How does the loss of Hernandez and Gronkowski impact the Pats and the AFC?

Today’s discussion topic is the AFC in general and the Patriots in particular. With the Patriots releasing Aaron Hernandez, and surgeons cutting on Rob Gronkowski more than a stick of salami at the local deli, what are the Pats going to do at tight end this season? That’s question No.1. My best guess: They’re going to sign at least one tight end, maybe two. I wouldn’t be surprised it they…

June 26, 2013

Top 5 questions 49ers must answer this offseason

What are the top-five questions the 49ers must answer this offseason? I’ll give you my list, and I’d be interested to read yours as well. Can the 49ers’ defense improve? Once Justin Smith got hurt in the third quarter of the Week 15 game against the Patriots, the 49ers’ defense imploded. They went from elite to awful, giving up 34.4 points per game in five of their last six games…

February 11, 2013

Odds are against 49ers winning Super Bowl. Should they worry?

On Thursday, Steve Young said the 49ers may have missed their best opportunity to win a Super Bowl with Colin Kaepernick. Young believes NFL defenses will adjust to the Pistol formation and the read-option plays which Kaepernick executes so well. Is there anything to Young’s comments? NFL defenses may or may not adjust to the Pistol – we’ll find out next season – but history seems to support Young in…

February 9, 2013

Whitner on the Falcons’ offense: “When they come in the middle of the field, we’re going to be extremely physical.”

SANTA CLARA — Donte Whitner held court at his locker Tuesday morning. Here’s what he said about the Atlanta Falcons’ offense. Q: You guys have had success against the best quarterbacks – Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees. How will translate against Matt Ryan and the unique challenges he presents? WHITNER: First and foremost, when you play the top quarterbacks in the league, you have to understand that pre-snap is…

January 15, 2013

Steve Young on Kaepernick: “They cannot put him in a situation where he’s deep in a hole.”

Steve Young held a teleconference Wednesday and spoke about the NFL playoffs. Here’s what he said, courtesy of ESPN.   Q.  I wanted to ask you about Atlanta and how this team seemed pretty easy to dismiss or forget about, the Falcons and obviously they have not won a playoff game with Matt Ryan and they almost lost some of the easier games at home this year.  How do you…

January 10, 2013

Steve Young on Kaepernick: “He’s played five games. How much do you trust him? I kind of trust him!”

This is what Steve Young said about Colin Kaepernick Wednesday afternoon on KNBR. Q: What did like about Colin Kaepernick’s performance against the Patriots? YOUNG: I think more than anything, handling it. Everyone has a sense of how hard it is to play NFL quarterback and play really good NFL quarterback. It takes all of you, and you get challenged week-to-week in ways you never thought possible. We put another…

December 20, 2012

49ers biggest game of the year, a discussion

Mark Purdy wrote a column on Tuesday arguing Sunday’s game against the Seahawks is the biggest game of the season for the 49ers. Mark is a good friend of the Cohn Zohn, but I have to disagree with my elder in this case. Beating the Patriots in New England was the biggest game of the season for the 49ers, for a lot of reasons. First of all, that game very…

December 19, 2012

Harbaugh: “Whoever is open, that’s who the QB is instructed to get the ball to and that varies from week to week.”

SANTA CLARA – This is the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Friday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.   Have you guys made a decision on the roster spot yet? “Yeah, we have made a decision. Well, no it’s not a final decision.”   Will you fill it? “We may not. We may not. That’s kind of the way we’re leaning right now. But, that could change before game time. So,…

December 14, 2012