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. McDonald: We knew that they were going to shift around, especially their front. And we knew they were going to play a hard box. It’s just all about execution and we could have done a lot better in execution.

Q: You think that was the main issue?

V. McDonald: Yeah, just guys taking care of their assignments, little things, little details all 11 guys aren’t doing on a given play. It costs you sometimes and gives the defense an opportunity to make a big play.

Q: Was that the main issue in establishing the run?

V. McDonald: That’s where it starts. You’ve just got to make holes for Frank and let him do his thing. We’ve got to do a better job of that.

Q: That was your first time in that environment. What was your impression of it and how did it impact you?

V. McDonald: The noise is always fun. It hyped me up personally. Give props to the Seattle fans. They’re pretty loud.

Q: Did it impact the offensive rhythm?

V. McDonald: Not at all. We were expecting it and we were prepared for it and we handled it well. We didn’t miss anything communication-wise.

Q: How did they handle you mostly defensively?

V. McDonald: They did the same thing we thought they were going to do. A lot of it was on Anquan and Vernon. It just didn’t work out like we wanted it to.

Q: How were they playing you specifically?

V. McDonald: They were just playing their drop coverage. They didn’t get into man too much.

Q: You had your one catch down the right side where you took out Richard Sherman. How did that feel?

V. McDonald: Good. My first mentality always is to run over anyone who gets in the way. I’m glad it worked out for me.

Q: Do you feel you’re ready to become a bigger part of this offense, become a bigger receiving threat?

V. McDonald: If that’s what’s asked, then I’m certainly ready and willing to step up and do it. I’m just taking it like I have the past two weeks – prepare, get the game plan down, know my assignments and go from there.

Q: How did they play Vernon?

V. McDonald: Just really tight. They did a great job the first five yards. Have to give it to them. They didn’t let him get the separation like we wanted to. That’s just something going in they game planned for and they did a good job.

Q: This week going against the Colts, what have you seen and what are you expecting?

V. McDonald: We’re game planning today, just doing baseline stuff right now. We’ll get more specific as the week goes on.

ME: How has blocking gone for you so far?

V. McDonald: It’s improved a lot. The big thing is you have all week long to know your opponent and know their emphasis and how they like to play. That makes it easier on game day identifying their fronts. It’s coming along.

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  1. Jim Harbaugh’s philosophy with a talent like Colin Kaepernick is all wrong, and it could create a Marty Schottenheimer type legacy for Harbaugh if Jim doesn’t stop listening to the Bo Schembeckler voice inside his head. The problem with this team isn’t on defense. Yes, we all saw Lynch run right up the gut, and we saw Nnamdi looking dazed and confused, but the problem with this team that doesn’t have an easy fix is the offensive voices inside Jim Harbaugh’s head.

    First Jim has Bo Schembecker in one ear: “You gonna have a nasty FB and TE with his hand in the dirt? Yeah? Good!” Then Jim has Chris Ault’s voice in another ear saying go with my spread Pistol offense that Keap liked so much at Nevada. Then Harbaugh has Bill Walsh saying, “I brought you to Stanford, punk. You better pass to se up the run.” The bottom line is, Jim Harbaugh’s offensive philosophy is confused, lost and creating a ton of false start penalties.

    Colin Kaepernick might be the best new NFL prospect to hit the NFL since Aaron Rogers. The big four qbs are Rogers, Brady, Peyton and Drew. Colin has already won shoot outs with Rogers and Brady. Colin is close to being in that same company. However, Jim Harbaugh’s mixed and muttled offensive philosophy is holding Kaep back. Rogers, Brady, Peyton and Drew all have a few things in common. They all pass to setup the run. They all have rings, and none of them have a power run game. If Jim Harbaugh doesn’t start designing his offensive scheme around Colin Kaepernick’s talents, Jim Harbaugh’s legacy could become that of Marty Schottenheimer. Always a bride’s maid, never a bride.

    But what’s Jim’s answer to showing his arse in Seattle? He brings in another FB. Unbelievable. Jim didn’t get the memo that his offense is too predictable and not fast enough. In Seattle, Jim’s passing attack featured Bruce Miller. LMFAO! Jim’s offense held Kaepernick to under 200 yards passing. Jim gets embarrassed because he’s offensive philosophy is all wrong and Pete Carroll even taunts Harbaugh’s scheme saying, “They threw everything at us and did nothing with their scheme.” Pete knows. Harbaugh started the game with the read option? In Seattle? That was the dumbest thing I have yet to see Harbaugh do in SF. I was amazed at Jim’s stupidity. And Jim Harbaugh didn’t even bring in Kendal Hunter until the 4th quarter. So the answer today is Owen Marecic? I think Jim’s in for a tough and painful next couple of years in SF.

    Jim needs to pass the ball to setup the run. All good coaches know you work around the skills and talents of your personnel. Colin Kaepernick is the future. Frank Gore is done. Gut the read option and the pistol. Put Kaep in shotgun and start creating great offensive passing plays. Forget the running creativity from Greg Roman. Ask Greg Roman to create passing creativity. And I don’t care if Roman doesn’t like to be a copy cat. Greg needs to start looking hard at Brady, Peyton, Aaron and Drew’s offenses collectively because running the ball to setup the pass is stupid with Colin Kaepernick. If Jim stubbornly keeps trying, he could get run out of town.

    1. You might have something there. Except Harbaough doesn’t seem to have an eye for receivers. I think they wanted to keep Gray but lost him by putting him on the PS. It was obvious he was going to be picked up. Then they tried to replace him with the Wr from Seattle. Celek is just taking up a roster space. They should have put him on the PS or cut him. I totally agree about Gore he is done. He started to really decline towards the end of last season but made short come back in the playoffs. If he didn’t have that week off he would have been done.

      They also wasted a large amount of time on AJ. Think of all the reps he got during camp and the preseason games. Those could have been used by some of the other receivers who were cut and never really got a chance to play with the first string. AJ was a long shot from the word go. The red flags in his scouting reports were just ignored.

      In defense of Harbaugh, I do believe he has a long term plan in mind. It’s just that not all the pieces are yet in place. Problem the pieces missing are critical db and wr. Now it seems like they might have a problem at rb too. They should have drafted Martin instead of AJ.

      1. You guys are funny. One week we throw over 400 yards and everything is peachy then the next week the offense struggles and more Harbaugh sucks and the season is over. Correct me if i’m wrong but wasn’t the same thing being said last year when NY blew us out on the home turf? We also got whooped by Seattle last year and still went to the super bowl. You type of crazy, hyper aggressive, over reactionary type of fans are why players have body guards and carry guns, one bad game and you might snap and murder somebody. Calm down, every good team will play a bad game. Loosen the whitey tighties a bit

      2. Well said NotEvenClose…

        I do agree that we have weeknesses that were exposed, but in order to expose those weeknesses you need Seahawks secondary

    2. Kaepernick has a crappy game so you throw Harbaugh and Gore under the bus. Brilliant.

      Didn’t we just finally get rid of 8 years of this nonsense?

    3. Yeah Harbaugh is confused. His team looked so perplexed and bafffled in those trips to the NFCCG and SB. For me, I hope Harbaugh stays confused.

      1. @NotEvenClose

        Couldn’t agree more with your Take.

        Who are these people who think the sky is falling?

        And where were they after the Packer game?

        Also,

        Did they not read McDonalds comments on why they lost?

        “EXECUTION”

        And I’m going to keep hammering this home….

        Specifically the O-Line Run Blocking. It was non-existent!

        You can go ahead & put Brees, Brady or Rodgers in that same situation that the 49ers were in up in Seattle with the Play of the O-Line’s Run Blocking and you would have the same results!

        WAKE UP! Nay-Sayers.

      2. Exactly Folslom and NEC. Take away the two penalities by Aldon and Ahmad that came after 3rd down stops and that 10-14 points off the scoreboard. Also take away Cox’s fumble and that’s another 7. The 49ers D played a pretty good game. They help Wilson to under 50% completion and had 1 INT (got to love how Reid is playing). The only qualms is the Nickel run defense. As for the offense, they had their chances. The tipped INT was huge, could have went up 7-0 right there and it’s a whole different ball game.

    4. Spitball is actually Grant Cohn’s alter-ego responsible for filling in the things Grant would like to say but won’t because the readers would know he’s fallen all the way off the edge of the cliff.
      Simmer down, Spitball. Football season is just two weeks old and it’s far too early in the season for you to be burying the Niners.

    5. Sure, man. So when we open up the offense, utilizing Kap’s “strength” in the shotgun (strength by telegraphing intent – smacks of Jimmy Raye, doesn’t it?), who do we throw it to? Our incredibly deep WR core? You know, the one with a #2 playing #1, a #4 playing #2, a released special teamer playing #3, a mid-round, untested, unproven rookie playing #4 or the psuedo-bust who doesn’t even dress up for games? How about if we throw to our straight-line, low-twitch TE? Or maybe the rookie who’s learning to block and the blocking TE who’s learning to catch, respectively? How about to our brick-handed backfield with the power running back, the guy not yet back from an achilles tear or the converted DE?

      Now you’re asking Roman to spice up the passing game; this is just unfathomably silly. You know he’s a run-first guy as evidenced by their play-scheming duties discussed so often, here. Maybe next year when Chryst takes over the OC role…. but that’s then, not now.

      Using the word “stupid” to describe Harbaugh is lazy and careless. It looks to me like he’s utilizing the talent on the team to do what they do best – a little bit of everything – like running different plays out of the same sets with the same personnel. Surely, we can (and do) take issue with the effectiveness of this approach, but advocating for a complete change of scheme at this point in time while deriding the football smarts of the coaching staff smells of a combination of high-emotion, knee-jerk reaction and low-brow, squinty-eyed dart-throwing.

  2. Vance plowing through Sherman was the highlight of the evening for the offense. I’m hoping for me 2 TE sets as the season progresses.

    1. Many of these players lack discipline and Aldon Smith showed us his lack on that play. It’s is playing with emotion that gets him to the quarterback too however. The kid needs to know when to turn it off.
      Kapernicus could teach focus & discipline classes to some of his teammates. He’s been very good at that. The others less so.

  3. Consider this. Harbaugh lets them get their arses kicked (staying vanilla), so that the rest of the season theyre looking up, working to get back on top. How many times have you seen a “top ranked” team go, 8-0, 9-0, 10-0 and then lose a close one and never recover?

    Its a BIG reach, I’m sure they didnt INTEND to lose, but I’m fine with the loss because I feel it can be the focus and humility we need.

    That said, if we dont start focus, and start honing the game we need to win it all, were gonna know in a hurry.

    Power run game, and play good defense. Its been NFC championship worthy for two years in a row. If it aint broke….

  4. Seattle showed the rest of the league how to play the niners. No respect at all
    for niner wr’s getting deep-, so get 8 on the line, stop the run and limit short passes. On defense our db’s are going to get torched by more then a few teams. Fisher in St. Louis is licking his chops right now!
    Baake will be blamed for not being for lack of deep threat wr’s and doing virtually nothing in the secondary.
    Weird thing is that John Harbough took advantage of both these niner weak spots during super bowl.

      1. That was so two weeks ago Clem. The Niners suck now and everybody is going to kick their ass using the Seattle plan. Try to keep up; things change quickly around here.

      2. Rocket,

        you can’t use the Seattle plan without the Srahawks personell. We just need to get our running game going. Like I said yesterday, if you’re not dong your job, sit down and let someone else play. I like how JH responded to Miller’s poor play.

      3. Its hard to stomach this fanbase sometimes. I swear a majority are bi-plolar. One bad loss and EVERYONE sucks and needs to go. Its ashame really.

        We WERE NOT exposed. We played a bad game. You gift a team 5 TOs, you deserve to lose. You don’t capitalize in the red-zone and the other team does and you deserve to lose. What most ppl are forgetting is not every team plays in that stadium, with that secondary. No other teams gives us the match-up problems Seattle does. But as bad as we played there were opportunities in that game for us to seize control. CK missed a WIDE OPEN Kyle Williams on a slant route the play before he threw the int in the endzone. Looked directly at WR…didn’t pull the trigger. He also missed a open Patton in the corner of the endzone later in the game, when we had to settle for a FG. Point blank, no one played or coached well. But it doesnt mean the sky is falling and we are now doomed. Just means we have to prepare and excute better, under against the better teams in the league.

  5. dude ran over one of the leagues best corners on his first catch an wasnt even trying to. WHY THIS MAN WAS NOT ON THE FIELD MORE THAN A COUPLE PLAYS IS THE REASON WE WILL KEEP LOSING IF WE DO.

  6. Surprise! The sky has not fallen. Yes, it was a bad game. But the 9ers, with the penalties and turn overs, gave it away. It was close until all that started happening. It’s true they needed a quality cornerback and deep-threat WR in the draft and didn’t get any. That was frustrating. But they did get some pretty good quality generally. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  7. I love this guy’s mentality and potential, but until he becomes an effective blocker, he shouldn’t be a key component on offense just yet.

    1. Agree, but man he looks good as a Mack Truck in the secondary. Although I would prefer if he stopped trying to hop over the tacklers. I get worried he will come down and blow out a ligament or sprain something.

  8. Dashon Goldson is no longer suspended a game. He’ll need to play to pay that $100,000 fine. I still love the NFL letter to him. Classic Goldson. It’s a nice outcome for football though. I feel like the suspension would have completed the adaption to a flag football league if it were allowed to stand. Goodell 0, Players Union 2.

  9. Well, I’m certainly glad I checked in here to get straightensed out. Despite an old fashioned whupping Sunday night, I thought the Niners were a contending team with good players and a successful coach. Silly me.

  10. I also saw a tweet from Vernon Davis that his leg is fine. He won’t practice this week, but he’ll play on Sunday. We’ll have to see how that works out.

  11. The glass half full perspective on the Seattle game is that Yes the Seahawks exposed the Niners. As teams try to beat this team in the same way the team should be able to figure out a way to beat that strategy and thereby end this two game dominance by the Seahawks. Remember that the 49ers are missing two good wide receivers and must acclimate new receivers and a tight end into the lineup. I mean does anybody fear Moore, Patton, Williams, Mcdonald and Baldwin at this point. These guys have to step up and I think(hope)hey will. It’l either be really fun or really frustrating to watch.

  12. I think everyone needs to just remember that the game was close through the end of the 3rd quarter last week. Things fell apart in the 4th quarter, but we were looking at a 5-3 game (or closer) for most of the game (well into the 3rd quarter).

    I wouldn’t expect us to fall apart like this at home against Seattle and I certainly do not expect us to be down 12-3 at the end of the 3rd quarter at home.

    Seattle has a great team, but I think given both of our schedules, we are likely to have a better record against the rest of the NFL and still win this thing. As long as we beat Seattle at home we’ll be fine.

    1. Nice post Jack. Although not the focus of your article, it is notable that Seattle’s offense may be more dangerous with the potential return of Harvin. That adds to the need of our offense to find a way to be more explosive against Seattle.

  13. Its day three and its still chicken little all over the place, somebody wake me up when some sanity returns around here. I can see it now even if the 9ers blow out Indy this week there will be large number of you [Grant included] who will say that it does’nt matter how well they played they should have beaten Indy by 10 pts more then they beat them by. I understand Grant’s motivation, if it bleeds it leads but the rest of you are fans have a glass of wine relax its going to be okay. At least untill we have to play in Seattle again and deal with that noise level.

  14. Right now Seattle is ahead of the curve with their style of defense; DBs the size of small linebackers that can press cover man-to-man. I’m obviously no expert when it comes to game planning but it seems the way to combat this style of play might be to use motion to bunch receivers with crossing routes to create the space needed to catch the ball.
    Kap needs more touch on his passes; his progression reads will get better over time.
    I’m not saying they are as good as the Cowboys of the ‘90s, but their offense reminds me of that bunch with Lynch and company.

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