49ers 13, Texans 16: The good and not so good

San Francisco 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt (29) flips after tackling Houston Texans tight end Ryan Griffin (84) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/George Bridges)

Here’s who and what stood out during the 49ers 16-13 preseason Week 2 loss to the Houston Texans.

THE GOOD

1. QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Perfect on third down. Threw a touchdown pass in the red zone to his third read – Trent Taylor. Also threw a 40-yard deep pass up the sideline to Marquise Goodwin.

2. Marquise Goodwin. Smoked Texans starting cornerback Kevin Johnson to make that 40-yard catch.

3. WR Trent Taylor. Caught the touchdown pass from Garoppolo and made a five-yard catch on third-and-four. Still Garoppolo’s favorite target, along with Goodwin.

4. TE Cole Hikutini. Caught a 14-yard pass from Garoppolo on third-and-2.

5. NT D.J. Jones. Recorded a tackle at the line of scrimmage. Forced a fumble. The best nose tackle on the team. Should start over Earl Mitchell.

6. LB Fred Warner. Recorded five tackles, recorded one tackle for a loss and recovered a fumble. The best 49ers rookie on the field.

THE NOT SO GOOD

1. QB C.J. Beathard. Completed 59 percent of his throws and averaged a pathetic 4.8 yards per attempt. Has not improved since his rookie season. Doesn’t deserve to make the team. The 49ers should have drafted a quarterback.

2. QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Threw an interception over the middle. The pass was high. Dante Pettis tipped it.

3. WR Dante Pettis. Jumped and extended his arms to catch the high pass over the middle, but sensed a safety running toward him and braced for the hit. Should have made the catch. The ball hit both hands. Throwing to Pettis over the middle is a dangerous proposition.

4. OL Erik Magnuson. Injured his hamstring and left the game. Magnuson is the 9,134,825,129,432,206,354,023 49ers player to injure his hamstring since training camp began.

5. C Weston Richburg. Made one good block, but was the main reason most of the 49ers run plays didn’t work during the first quarter. Got manhandled five or six times, committed a holding penalty, then mouthed off to the referee and committed a personal foul. The worst player on the field for the first-string offense.

6. The run blocking. Awful all preseason. Running backs have had nowhere to run. In this game, the longest run by a running back was six whole yards.

7. The pass rush. Not a factor. Never touched Deshaun Watson.

8. The secondary. Adrian Colbert set the tone by missing a tackle and giving up a 37-yard gain on the second play from scrimmage for the defense. Jimmie Ward gave up a 7-yard catch to Sammie Coates on third-and-6. Ahkello Witherspoon gave up a 10-yard catch to Coates on third-and-1. And Jaquiski Tartt gave up a two-yard touchdown catch to former 49ers wide receiver Bruce Ellington. Tartt was in zone coverage while every other player was in man-to-man coverage.

9. Penalties. Committed 15 for 140 yards. Made the same sloppy mistakes as last season. Where’s the leadership?

This article has 131 Comments

  1. Never get the sense that there’s any hot blood running through the veins of the defense. Maybe they’re saving their Chi for the regular season, but they feel soft on D.

    1. Colbert seems to have declined from last year. I agree withGrant that we need to see some leadership on this team. maybe Sherm can be that leader.

  2. I would not put JG in the not so good category, because like you said in number 3, Pettis got both hands on the ball.
    .
    Maybe the Pettis holdout was counter productive, since JG did not have any opportunities to get in sync with DP.
    .
    In number 9, you ask where is the leadership. I ask, where is the coaching?

    1. What the hell, Pettis never Held out, i guess when you hate the pick in the draft you grasp for straws to justify your dislike for the guy…geeesh

      1. Yeah, what holdout are you talking about?! You don’t need to resort to making stuff up in order to excuse any shortcomings of Pettis, Jimmy G, etc.

      2. I’d personally leave Pettis and Jimmy G off the “not so good” list, that was a football play, both guys were just a fraction off, with 6 DB’s on field. Pettis also should have had a long TD catch if Beathard wasn’t so bad. Pettis is a keeper, and Jimmy was very close being absolutely perfect Saturday Night!

        Other than that, I’d say you’re pretty much spot on Grant.

        I have to mention Joe Williams, as a big let down for me. And CJ Beathard, obviously. In fact, I see no growth in Beathard whatsoever, he looks like he’s taken a step backwards, if anything. Poor timing, occasional panic, poor ball placement, bone-head plays like passing the ball after you’ve already past the line of scrimmage by 4-5 yards? Say what CJB? Aweful! Joe Williams is just off. This is not The Utes – Joe Williams, This Joe Williams is just off, period. Kid is really struggling! I like McNichols over Williams!

        Bright spot is the OL seems to be coming together. I saw something out of Garnett last night, finally. He played his best NFL football, by a lot last night, and was at one point fired up after getting after his opponent, and whooping him. That was encouraging, and Jonathan Cooper is definitely working himself into game shape. If Garnett and Cooper continue to ascend, that’s great news. This offense may just be humming by mid-season if not sooner!

        1. Pettis is a stud. Just ask DeAndre Hopkins.

          Hopkins went out of his way to tell the 49ers rookie, Dante Pettis: “I like your game, man. I like your game” Hopkins thoroughly impressed with the way Pettis plays WR, and he made it clear he was very, very impressed with the kid this entire week. Pettis could be special.

          My gosh, the 49ers have offensive weapons everywhere, and Jimmy G simply knows how to find the open guy, and deliver the ball with lightning speed and accuracy. His pinpoint play will hopefully help open up the running game, with McKinnon and Breida back in the fold.

            1. In terms of Pettis, or the OL Jack?

              Yes, to soon to pretend everything’s fine at RG. But, I did see positive signs Saturday night. And, the Texans are certainly deep at DL, the league knows that.

              There was all kinds of buzz surrounding Pettis in Texas this week. His ability to separate, and his refined route running for a rookie, really stood out from the crowd, from what I heard and read. DeAndre Hopkins couldn’t help but notice. All indications are Hopkins was flat out impressed by Pettis, simply because he stands out in a good way from the crowd, and he’s a rookie. We’ve heard the praise about Pettis from others, including our own Marquise Goodwin:
              “I just look forward to him this year because I just see what he does on the field and it’s not like anything that’s been in this organization before, I don’t think. The way he moves, the way he carries himself.”

              Goodwin went on to share what he finds unique about Pettis:
              “He’s a great young man transitioning from college to the professional level now,” Goodwin said. “His skills have been unmatched this offseason. He’s definitely grown as a receiver since he’s been here, grown as a player, and a person. I know he’ll bring a lot of great vibes and a lot of great plays to this team”.

              “His movements off the line,” he said. “You see how he gets off the line. It’s not like [Pierre Garçon], not like myself, not like anybody else. How he gets open, how he catches the ball, and his elusiveness. He’s kind of loose with his body and so the way he moves, everything about him. ‘Crazy legs.’ If you’re looking at them legs, you’re going to get cross-eyed.”

              1. In terms of the offense as a whole. The Texans sat Watt, Mercilus, Clowney, McKinney, Joseph and Mathieu.

          1. A few more players of mention:

            Trent Taylor is clearly rounding into form, and this kid is a dynamo in the slot, and only getting better

            DJ Jones has made HUGE strides going onto his 2nd year. He lost weight, which helped his lateral quickness, and now he’s just dominating. This kid can anchor and shed all day long, he is an absolute beast at 295 lbs!

            DJ Reed Jr looks like a late round steal, this kid is a dynamic nickel-back/ kickoff returner!

            Right Guard is rounding into shape, Garnett finally showed me something last night. He showed some real fight, and he was moving well, much better than he was post Jan. 2017. And Jonathan Cooper is definitely rounding into shape, suddenly the veteran Person seems like a worthy backup, giving them some possible depth there.

            Mostert and Burbridge both look like Special Teams ace’s. Those 2 guys always find a way to get downfield way before everyone else, and ridiculous penalty aside, don’t even get me started there, both those guys consistently make big plays, big hits, in kick coverage.

            Fred Warner looks like a steal in the 3rd round. This kid could be quarterbacking the 49ers defense for the next decade. He stands out as an all around high quality linebacker, who is super smart and very instinctive, always around the football.

            Tarvarius Moore is a physical specimen and seems to be growing into his new position. He still has a ways to go, but early signs are good.

            Pass Rush continues to haunt the 49ers! Period. I sure hope DeFo can find a way to dominate out wide. Is it time to bring back Elvis … Dumervil?

            Jimmie Ward, wow, what can I say. The kid was toasted all night long by the Texans. Jimmie Ward is a defensive liability …. PERIOD, and the Texans owned him Saturday night!

    2. Exactly…lol..The pass was a tad bit high, but not uncatchable. Especially considering the fact that as he said, Pettis got both hands on the ball. As far as Pettis goes, I have to see him in game more for myself. It’s documented how Grant felt about the pick of Pettis during the draft and I’ll be damned if I’m going to adopt an opinion about his willingness to go/catch balls over the middle based on the word of the teams biggest hater…

      1. Agree, I think Pettis is going to be an excellent player this season. About the pass that was missed, IMO even if he dropped a on the money pass, he will be a very productive player this year. Passes get dropped mistakes are made, a player can’t be judged on a single play good or bad.

    3. Sebbie… Pettis signed just before camp opened. And, he was present during team activities ahead of training camp.

      Go back to your Legos. Please.

    4. Seb — Pettis never had both hands on the ball. He was leaping and stretching for a ball that what thrown high and too the left of his body. I watched the game repay a number of times. The Back view was the most revealing especially in slow motion. Pittis just gets his left hand on the ball because of the angle the ball is coming to his body position. His right arm coming across his body can not reach far enough to even touch the ball. When the ball hits his left hand it deflects back enough to graze tips of his right hand. That is what made people think it went of the tips of his fingers. While it was possible to catch it would have been a world class reception because it needed to be one handed the entire way. He also would have needed a 14 inch hand to do so.

      To say that he should have made the catch under real scrutiny is absurd.

  3. For all of your insight Grant, why don’t you take on the lack of execution on the part of the defense? Do you think the lack of coverage, insufficient pass rush, and stupid mistakes fall on the players? Defo, Foster, Tartt, Thomas, Witherspoon, and Sherman should be enough. They’re not, because they’re not playing in synch. You need synergy to compete at this level. Coordinator may not be getting it right.

  4. For anyone still trying to argue that JG was “at fault” for the INT, even Shanny said Pettis should have made the catch. It wasn’t great ball location from Jimmy, but it was catchable. For someone that has gotten a bit of a stigma during TC for not making catches in traffic that play will do nothing to silence the critics.

    1. “For anyone still trying to argue that JG was “at fault” for the INT, even Shanny said Pettis should have made the catch. It wasn’t great ball location from Jimmy, but it was catchable.”

      Who’s arguing that? It was a catchable ball, but it was a tough catch to make.

      He extended himself to try to make the play. This isn’t like Moss in the SB.

      1. Just have a look at the previous thread. Some people were trying to argue the INT was all on JG, not Pettis.

        As for your argument, yes, he at least tried to catch the ball, but his hands were hard and he was quick to get to ground. Those are signs of some tentativeness in traffic.

        1. “Just have a look at the previous thread. Some people were trying to argue the INT was all on JG, not Pettis.”

          I know that. That was hours ago in the previous thread. I don’t see anyone still trying to argue that here in this thread.

          “but his hands were hard and he was quick to get to ground. Those are signs of some tentativeness in traffic.”

          Grant himself said Pettis didn’t take his eyes off the pass until after he missed the catch. I would hope he was quick to get to the ground in a preseason game, don’t want any injuries.

          1. True! It certainly wasn’t important enough to risk injury to make the catch in a preseason game. QB’s also usually play different during the preseason. Pettis is not at risk to get cut so for what the play meant he did jump and extend. It was off the tips of his fingers. As it was the ball was not catchable. It could also be argued that the ball was thrown unnecessarily high. That is on Jimmy G. Hate to see Jimmy G turn him into a teflon player where bad decisions and throws become someone else’s fault like with Wilson up north.

            If that was Kaepernick every poster sans Seb would have railed on him for exposing Pettis by throwing so high over the middle

            1. Naw, I would have said that Kaep cannot throw the ball, and catch it, too. ;p
              .
              With the magic of replay, I watched the play several times, and it did not graze his fingertips. It hit him squarely in both his hands, and the ball popped high up in the air, to be picked off.
              .
              Most football pundits would agree that if the ball hits the receiver in both his hands, it should be caught. That is part of his job description. Also, Pettis was not touched while catching the ball, and no Texan laid the wood to him. JG did not expose Pettis to injury, because Pettis should have jumped up, caught the ball, and fallen to the ground so the defenders could not smack him to dislodge the football.

              1. Well I watched the replay of the game video several times and stopped the action multiple times . The ball Never hit both of his hands and only grazed the tips of his right hand when it bounced off of his left hand. I had initially thought it came off of the finger tips of both hands because I saw it come off his right finger tips.

                The angle of his body would physically prevent him from getting both hands on a pass that hit his outstretched left hand. Just lean your body to left and extend you right hand across your body and you will see that you right hand comes far shot of your left hand. That is exactly what happened. If you watch closely on a HD screen you will see the ball totally miss his left hand before it hits his right hand. His stretch to his left allowed his left hand to make contact but not his right.

                I also could not see any evidence that he didn’t make every attempt to catch the ball. I watched the video a few times before I even made my first posts. But I decided to go back and put in more effort and came away with a different perspective.

              2. Will, I never said that Pettis short armed the ball, or heard footsteps. He did try hard to catch the ball, and it would have been a difficult catch, but other WRs have caught similar passes. In many other cases, they dropped the ball. In this case, Pettis batted the ball upwards, and it was intercepted.
                .
                My point is not to blame JG for attempting to gain back some yardage after being put into a first and 35 hole.

          2. When I posted my comment it was just after this thread was started, so yeah, amazingly nobody had yet said anything on here about it.

            Good, he protected himself. Lets hope that is all it was. As I said though for a guy that has had comments from some areas about missing catches in traffic in TC (not just Grant that mentioned this btw) he did nothing to prove the doubters wrong with that drop.

    2. I did, and I still put it mostly on Jimmy.
      Could Dante have caught it? Yes, but that was a very tough catch and it was Jimmy’s ball placement that made it interceptable.
      Dante was open, he’s 6’1 and probably has a 30 inch vert or more, given his wingspan and how outstretched he was. I would say Jimmy hit the very edge of Dante’s catch radius. Think hitting the edge of a dart board when aiming for a bullseye he hit the board but was nowhere near the mark.
      If that ball is lower and its dropped, the chances of it being an interception are much lower. This is part of the reason for Jimmy’s high int rate, a lot of his passes tend to sail slightly which is fine on shorter passes but not so good on deeper crossing routes.
      Other than that 1 throw I would say he had an outstanding game, sadly that was his final throw of the game.

      1. Yes, the pass was not the best. But it is a bit unreasonable to expect every pass to be spot on. If Jimmy constantly put passes in tough to catch spots I would probably feel differently, but that’s not the case. He usually has good ball location. On this case he was a bit off target, but the ball was still put in a catchable spot. It is up to the receiver to make a play on that pass and help his QB out. It was a tough catch, but definitely catchable. Which is essentially what Shanahan said after the game about that play.

        1. Yes, the pass was not the best. But it is a bit unreasonable to expect every pass to be spot on.
          – So the counter would be, is it reasonable to expect every hard catch to be made?

          Oddly in this case, one could argue Pettis is at fault for the drop, while Jimmy is at fault for the int.

          1. If this becomes the aberration for Pettis then its not a problem. It absolutely is reasonable that not every tough catch is made by the receiver.

            The “problem” is that Pettis has already been noted as someone that has struggled making catches over the middle in TC. Thus this drop is of concern. I am not saying it means it is a problem, it was a tough catch. But until he starts making those catches in traffic most of the time he will be under the microscope.

            As for Jimmy being responsible for the INT, he contributed to it with the pass that was not well placed. But the INT is on both players.

            Last thing – if this becomes the norm for Pettis (struggling to make catches in traffic over the middle) then the end result will be the QB stops trusting him on those throws.

            1. If this becomes the aberration for Pettis then its not a problem. It absolutely is reasonable that not every tough catch is made by the receiver.

              – I don’t know enough about Pettis to say that at this point. And Grant is the only one pushing that narrative.
              When watching that play it certainly wasn’t a case of him of him being afraid, he was fully exposed with arms stretched out fully on a crossing pattern, which didn’t really jive with the “he’s afraid when he goes across the middle” line. He also turned and looked for the ball after dropping it from what I saw.

              It must be noted however, that this has been a consistent issue for Jimmy when he pushes the ball down the field. When he does that, the ball seems to sail a bit on him. This has accounted for most of his pics or near pics from what I have seen and it seems I’m not the only one who has noticed it.
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymIOgCfa9pY

              1. Grant may be the only one saying Pettis hears footsteps, but he isn’t the only one that has noted Pettis dropping passes in traffic. Thus why this is if concern.

                There are a lot of people that seem to want to defend Pettis here. Not sure why. Until he proves he can make those tough catches over the middle it should remain a question mark about his game.

                As for JG, yes, he can have his passes go a little high over the middle down the field. He isn’t perfect. Still catchable balls though.

              2. Scooter- I am defending Pettis in respect to this particular play because it would have required him to make a one handed catch while stretched out at a weird angle. While not impossible, it certainly would have been an all world grab. He never got both hands on the ball as many of you assumed. He only got his left hand on the ball and it grazed the tips of his right hands as it deflected off his left. Reach to your left and you will see that your right hand is not equal in reach to your left.

                I had to replay the HD game video on a large screen and stop it multiple times to be able to discern what really happened.

              3. “Grant may be the only one saying Pettis hears footsteps, but he isn’t the only one that has noted Pettis dropping passes in traffic. Thus why this is if concern.”

                I haven’t read any other reporters noting this as an issue. If so that would be concerning. Most other reporters I have read seem to think he has been exceptional.

                I’ll do a bit more research.

      2. I think JG tried to throw it over the LBs and in front of the safeties. That play had a LB fall down, so JG did not have to put so much air on it. Sure, it was not a perfect throw, but it did hit him in both his hands.
        .
        Interestingly, JG was critical of his 30 yard throw to Goodwin. While I thought he dropped it on a dime, JG claimed it was not perfect because some one touched his arm while he was throwing the ball.
        .
        Guess there is always room for improvement…..

        1. He did not get both hands on it. Replay the back view video and stop the action before and when it hits his hand and you will see what I am talking about. The ball misses his right hand entirely before it hits his left deflects and hits the tips of the right hand fingers before it goes through. Very difficult to see even at slow speed. But thats what actually happened.

      3. I also don’t think you’re taking into consideration the coverage underneath. Jimmy had to place the ball over the linebackers, yet in front of the safeties. It’s not an easy thing to do, especially with pinpoint precision. Yes the ball was a tad bit high, but I’d rather people say that it was a mishap period as opposed to looking to lay blame. Jimmy could’ve had a little bit better ball placement and Pettis could’ve held onto the ball. Fact is… we’ve all seen great receivers bail out a QB on a slightly misplaced ball since football began. Jimmy’s gonna make far more perfectly accurate throws than badly misplaced ones. And Dante will make far more catches than he will have drops. I personally don’t think either guy should’ve been in the not so good section…

        1. I replayed the game video on a large screen in HD and Pettis never got both hands on the ball. The ball was not only high but to his left so he had to stretch to reach it. Since it was too his left he was only able to get his left hand on the ball and the ball only grazed his right hands fingers as it sailed though. it would have required a one handed grab at a difficult angle to make that catch.

          The pass was not just a tad high but required Pettis to stretch to his left as well. This made it a very very difficult catch. I was not necessary to throw the ball that high or too the left of the receiver. This pass was on Jimmy G period.

      1. This play is an example of people being influenced by a preconceived perspective when the evidence is not visibly conclusive. This play is not an example of what Grant suspected this summer. In fact, on actual review it speaks to it’s opposite.

  5. Let me get this straight, the OL can’t block for runs and regressed? Will we miss Carlos Hyde? Will we miss Kilgore? Weren’t this crew brought in to help the famous Shanahan run Offense?

    The OL isn’t the only challenge, fortunately the front office has neglected the pass rush for several years, otherwise we might actually disrupt other QBs!

    1. There is nobody on Earth that can tell me Jerick McKinnon is a better running back than Carlos Hyde. Not everything is about system system system that’s what irritates me sometimes. Almost all our veterans have played for him in the past except a few. I would have kept building off Carlos Hyde and Matt breida no doubt.

      1. McKinnon is a better running back for this system than Carlos Hyde. There I said it and the last time I checked I was on earth. You probably would have done a lot of other things differently than Shanahan as well. Interesting you make your assessment based on one preseason series in the first preseason game in which the coach is certainly not going to run any of the plays McKinnon will excel in.

        I seriously doubt that nothing would ever convince you in respect to your preconceived perspectives. You will believe what you believe until the second coming.

      2. Carlos Hyde proved that he was not a good fit for the KS OZ run game, last season. McKinnon is very similar to Freeman in Atlanta.
        .
        McKinnon is also a far superior pass catcher than Hyde, who struggled last year in that facet of the game.
        .
        If KS ran the power running game, I would whole heartedly agree that Hyde would be better. However, he does not, and that is why they did not re-sign Hyde, and let him walk.

  6. I loved it….so it wasn’t picture -perfect…it’s still TC….I saw some life, and some very nice physicality….Go Niners ! Oh, and Josh Garnett…a step in the right direction….

  7. Only watched through the Garoppolo interception. 49ers starting o did good against Houston’s backups.

    McNichols is alright but doesn’t seem to see the cut back lane.

    Richburg got blown back a few times and on one stretch play to the right it looked like he should have gotten to the linebacker at the 2nd level instead of sticking on the NT.

    Can’t miss throws over the middle high, always an interception waiting to happen.

    49ers best defense this season will be their offense, because this defense just got torched for the 2nd week in a row on the opening series.

  8. Defense looks atrocious. No pressure on the QB, Can’t stop the pass, The run D looks below average to mediocre at best.

    This defense is supposed to be a mirror image of Seattle’s vaunted cover 3? Don’t see it.

    Where are the penetrating d-lineman? Where is the tight pass coverage? Why so many passes allowed over the middle? The cover 3 scheme that Seattle runs protects the middle of the field. Not this 49er squad. Other teams have copied the scheme well like Jax, LA Chargers and Atl.

    Not sure Robert Saleh knows what he’s doing.

    Gonna be in a lot of shootouts this season.

  9. You should add another category called – Sign of the Apocalypse. The only item on it should be the new Lower your helmet rule. The calls against Mostert & Attachu were absurd. If those plays are penalties then I’m out.

  10. Second game of preseason…some horrible, some okay.

    Liked Warner’s play. Yes, the RBs were taking a lot of heat last night on the blog–the OL did it’s part in stinking things up, no? Don’t see any RBs singled out by Grant in his good/not so good list. Is this an oversight by Grant, or acknowledgement that there were more issues in the run game than ripping a RB or two?

    The defense is being called out…and the opponent scored 16 points–winning by 3. If the Texans had won by 24 points or more, would we be more angry? Less?

    Yup, we have work to do with the penalties. Position coaches (and their leaders) need to get this nailed down.

    This is preseason.

  11. Agree 100% Grant…

    Basically the 49ers look like a team with a brilliant QB, a host of very good receivers and little else. A few good pieces on defense but not nearly enough to contend for the Playoffs.

    The O line could not run block at all. This was against a Texan Defense holding Clowney and Watt out.. Because Jimmy G is so good and has receivers the Niners will score points but without a running game they will be forced to throw it raising potential injury to Garoppolo exponentially.. And behind Jimmy is Beathard who, IMO, is a cut and Mullens.

    Defensively the line got pushed around by a Texan O line with three new starters…. The Niner secondary have a bunch of athletic young dudes but just learning how to play. They need help with D line pressure and are not getting it.

    Once again a team, two games into the season playing undisciplined, bonehead football. It was a penalty fest..

    Jimmy is great but needs a lot more help and better coaching..

    1. One last thing. I think the Pettis criticism is way, way over the top. The ball was high. He barely got his fingertips on it. The ball wasn’t remotely close to catch-able. Unfortunately he tipped it and a defender was in the right place at the right time. End of story..

        1. Sebbie… When did you change your mind about Shanahan’s competency? Now you’re using his statements to back you up? What a change.

          1. Cassie, I do like KS, and am rooting for him to succeed. I think he has a good football mind, and the rankings of the offenses of his teams have been consistently in the top 10. I was very happy when he did not start out the team with vanilla plays, and the unpredictable play calling allowed JG to march down the field to score. I was also very happy that KS considered time outs to be precious, and he saved them for strategic use at the end of each half.
            .
            However, he is not above reproach. People cannot declare he is a genius like Bill Walsh, when we all saw what happened in the second half of that SB. KS can improve. He can learn from his mistakes.
            .
            KS should be welcoming good advice. When Grant mentioned that Pettis should not be directed to make catches over the middle in traffic, now we have an example of that train of thought. Maybe Pettis will now be allowed to attack the edges, so they can accentuate his strengths, not expose his weaknesses.
            .
            I will also be critical of KS, when he deserves it. The amount of penalties is troubling, even with the refs biased incompetency, and whimsical interpretations. KS needs to prepare his team better. I may sound like a broken record, but they need to stop shooting themselves in the foot with all the penalties. Even KS mentioned he was upset over all the pre snap penalties. That is all on the coaching. They need to emphasize that penalties kill drives, and allow the opponents to sustain drives. Players need to be more focused and disciplined, and it is the coaches job to prepare them adequately. Richberg cost the team an opportunity to score. They went from first and 10 from the 16, to first and 35. That led to an interception, because it forced JG to throw the ball, so the defense could ignore the run, and put 7 in coverage. I hope Richberg improves, and I hope the coaches can help him to play smarter, with no penalties.

            1. Seb- Your review of this play was not detailed enough. Did you stop the action at the point of the catch? Well I did and Pettis never gets both hands on the ball. My review was more detailed than yours which is why i came to a different conclusion than you did. No offense because my initial perspective after just viewing the video a couple times was that the ball came off of his finger tips. That was in error he got one hand on the ball.

              1. Will, I relied on the TV broadcast. I am sure the Niners had all the angles, with zoom and stop action technology.
                .
                I will concede that it was difficult ball to catch, but that is part of the job description for an NFL WR.

          1. I replayed it 20 times. Pettis, who has a 30 inch vertical jump, did not get that far off the ground. It hit him in both his hands, not grazing his fingertips.
            .
            I will concede that it was high, and would have been a difficult catch to make, and he did not short arm it, but I bet even Pettis would admit he should have caught the ball.

              1. OK, I lied. At least 25 times.
                .
                I recorded the game, so I could replay it as many times as I want.
                .
                Wish I had slow motion replay, so I watched it over and over, and tried to stop the play just as it clanked off his hands.

              2. Seb– I also replayed the play many times. Slow motion would help but the real key was stopping the video at a specific points before during and after Pettis hand made contact. He never had both hands on the ball. It shows that it is only his left hand that is far enough to reach the ball until it bounces out and only the tips the right hand fingers are close enough to graze the ball. That is what gave me and others the impression that the ball was off his finger tips. It actually was a combination of both

              3. Will, KS was asked if he was too harsh on Pettis,and KS said that while it was a little harder to catch that ball than he initially thought, he expects Pettis to catch everything that touches his hands. His opinion did not change, and he was disappointed Pettis did not catch the ball.

  12. Game takeaways for me.
    McGlinchey – he didn’t play against the Texans starters but looked good and held up in pass pro.
    Richburg- ugh… He didn’t play well. He’s still learning the offense and went against a solid vet but he has to do much better. Are we seeing why the Giants had no problem letting him go in favour of a rookie?
    Dline – they are who we thought they were. Turns out you don’t have to be very good to beat out Harold or Marsh.
    Db’s – they didn’t do well but mostly because they dropped like 4 picks. Tartt was picked onheavily as well… If your going to be bad at least generate some takeaways.
    Wr- they looked good overall. Everyone seemed to get seperation.
    Rb – Williams needs to go he is fast but has little vision, wiggle or hot.

  13. Blocking for the run game…… I’ve wondered why it has been very pedestrian with our runs so I been watching tape. Mostly the problems have been with the tight end group and fullbacks not doing their job. Garret celek missed some blocks, first game hikitini missed blocks, against the Texans he did better but juice was totally aweful. Juice plays very soft. Tried blocking a man that was out of play instead of hitting the hole and seeking someone to clear out. Juice could have had a TD instead he let a DB take him down in the open field. Rathman would have ran that guy over. Wick missed blocks. Juice is making a crapton he better look tougher in regular season.

    1. What’s interesting is Garnett seems to have taken a step forward in his bid to claim the RG position after being called out by the coach for missing practice….

      1. However, Cooper did play in the 4th Quarter, so maybe his rehab is progressing well.
        .
        There are still 2 more games to see what unfolds.

  14. 1. Was it my imagination or was Garnett pretty adequate last night?
    2. Then again, he did not face JJ.
    3. I have a feeling every game will be a 40-36 shoot out.
    4. Despite the tip and interception, I am warming up to Pettis.

  15. I want Joe Williams to succeed, but he deserved to be on the Not So Good list this time. Another writer pointed out that Shanahan pulled Williams after he failed to convert a 2nd and 4 play in the first half where it looked like he should get the first down. Instead he ran out of bounds for just 2 yards instead of trying to reach for the first down. That shows no sense of urgency. I was disappointed with the entire running game, but especially Williams.

    1. Yep, I think Williams is the odd back out. Looks like it’s McNichols, Morris or Wilson fighting to be the 4th running back on a roster that may or may not carry that many….

      1. So now you agree with what I said before the game. 😁

        The writing is on the wall. Signing Morris rather than a no name camp body and giving most of the 1st team reps to McNichols is a strong sign the coaches aren’t happy with Williams. Shanahan should have listened to Lynch.

        1. Yea, I said Williams had to show something in this game and he didn’t. I was mostly in your camp, but I kept the door ajar in case he showed out….

          1. I feel for the kid. He’s got a sad story. But unfortunately the NFL will chew out anyone that isn’t 100% committed to making the most of the talent they have, or struggles with confidence. I am not sure what the real reason is for Williams’ struggles with the 49ers, but he clearly is struggling.

            1. The best thing for the team and for Joe Williams, is to cut him and try to sign him to the PS. If he doesn’t clear the waivers, so be it.

              It sends a wrong message to the other players, if Shanahan cuts another deserving person and sticks to the player he drafted.

          2. I have been telling several on this site for months that Joe Williams was a dud. Looked like cr*p last year when they put him on a phantom IR designation. He is not a natural runner. He is straight line fast but that’s about it. Guy is not good. Morris has a good shot to make the team.

            1. Maybe you are right that he will be cut.
              But one factor might prevent that from happening is that the Head coach has a tremendous like for this guy. So much so that he banged the draft table for him and like you said, put him on a phantom IR designation last year.
              He’s got 2 more weeks of practice and games to determine his fate as a 49er.

              1. Everything you wrote is true. Maybe Kyle thought he can get Joe to love football again. It sure seems like he doesn’t. There was a play where he had 4 yards to gain on a sweep play and he proceeded to run out of bounds after getting 2 yards. It was alarming to watch. He seems uninterested which I understand. He has gone through a lot. But sometimes you got to admit you have made a mistake drafting someone. I believe that’s the case with this guy. These two weeks will not just determine his fate with SF but his career.

      2. I’m guessing Wilson is not ahead of Williams, but the signing of Morris should have JW concerned. Wilson odd man out. Williams vs McNichols vs Morris vs Mostert for 1/2 spots.
        It’s still too early to know, nobody is safe.

    2. None of the backs can be fairly evaluated off one of the worst run blocking performances I’ve seen from any team all preseason.. The fumble is a fair criticism..

  16. Our team will be absolutely fine this year.. This is preseason football people. We will be getting into alot of shootouts with teams for sure.. But nobody can cover goodwin or Taylor. Now factor in garcon, kittle & bourne.. McKinnon coming out of the backfield. We are going to put up a lot of points per game this year and if our defense can play average.. we will be in the playoffs.

  17. Pettis is going to be a great player..but it is going to take some time for him to develop as evident from what we saw last nite. He should of caught it but wasn’t the best of throws. Williams is a dud.. Shanny needs to admit he was wrong and move on. If he can’t run against 2nd & 3rd stringers he will not succeed playing against starters. Imagine him trying to run against watt, clowney, mercilus…etc

  18. Wasn’t looking for much and wasn’t disappointed. Penalties, way too many with at least 3 at pre snap. Since the blame game is in full force, I blame the defender on the interception for being in the wrong place at the right time. The entire team from opening kickoff to the last whistle looked disjointed, and wasn’t really impressed with much. No major injuries and that is probably the best thing that came out of this game.

  19. Everyone calling for William’s cut (im rooting for him too), is right. He just doesnt run hard and play with urgency. Cut him…Mcnicholls is hot garbage too. Mostert is the least sexy of all our RB’s but seems to be the right choice to keep.

    Anyone that thinks that pick is on Jimmy G is on crack. Go attack the ball Pettis, you’re soft as charmin dude………. “awww But the poor rookie had to to jump to get it.!!?” ……Cmon man this is the NFL.

    Mullens has much more command of the offense at this point than Sunshine does. I’d feel better if he were the backup.

    And Houston9er I’m with you, they are literally taking HITTING out of the game. Its gonna be a sad day When the NBA and MLB allow more hard contact than the NFL.

  20. Since these new rules about tackling seem to have whimsical interpretations, and there is no consistency, the league should just allow those penalties to be challengeable. Mostert was flagged for a legal hit. He turned his head and hit the chest with his shoulder pad. If Attaochu’s penalty becomes the norm, we should just put flags on the players and play flag football.
    ,
    What upsets me more is the incompetence demonstrated by the refs. CJB got drilled with a lowered head, and it was a whole second after he released the ball. No flag.
    .
    I was astounded when I saw a ref pick up his flag, but maybe the refs did not want to be too blatantly biased against the Niners.

  21. I came away feeling a little better about the team after the game than before it.

    – Happy to see DJ Jones emerge. The Jones, Day combo fixed what seemed to be broken last week in run defense. Not sure because of what replay focused on, but Mitchel seemed to improve (Dallas offensive line is always a bear).

    – Joe Williams gets terrible blocking, runs with little instinct, or both. Could be rust from not playing football. He’s been coached to run decisively, hit the hole with little hesitation. Maybe he isn’t allowing cut back lanes to develop.

    – We can debate Pettis over the middle all day. The big picture shows we have a rookie receiver that seemingly gets open at will. Let “seemingly gets open at will” sink in for a moment. We have weapons. Lots of them. Now about that pass pro…

    – For the second preseason game in a row, Garoppolo had to throw for third down conversations with a defender inches from his grill. Another hard hit. The offense has been zilch without those high risk (to Jimmy’s health) third down conversations. That stops, or we finish the season with another quarterback.

    – Warner looked like he belongs. Wonder if we have a Foster/Warner duo starting game three?

    – T. Moore is athletic. Ward is a safety.

    – Draft edge rusher in 2019. Trade up if need be. Do it.

    – Kiffin holding off out his better stunts and games till regular season?

    1. B2W,
      “We can debate Pettis over the middle all day. The big picture shows we have a rookie receiver that seemingly gets open at will.”

      Absolutely agree. Why the debate on whether Pettis is timid (which is the crux of the debate) going over the middle?

      What stuck in my mind re Pettis is the overthrown pass that was a TD.
      We are a fickle crowd because had CJ been able to connect on the pass there’s a good chance the debate would have not had the same mileage.

      Pettis is going to help this team out and that’s what matters to me.
      McGlinchey will miss some tackles, McKinnon will have a fumble or two. Foster will miss on a coverage and Garoppolo will throw some int’s. Every player will make some mistakes, but they will also be responsible for pulling this team out of the doldrums.

      1. I watched the game again and I don’t see any timidness in Pettis game. In fact he is becoming one of my favourite players in that he can do so much as a WR and in special teams.
        All arrows up for that kid!

  22. This new helmet rule is absolutely redicoulous. I’m praying that there just being overly aggressive because its presseason. WTF is mostert supposed to do there? I don’t think he could of made a better/more clean tackle there. This has the potential to ruin games and that’s not fair to the players or the fans. I’ve always said that refs should be held accountable for making bad calls. Either suspend them for a game or 2 or fine them. Just like the players are disciplined when they make a mistake. That will definitely make them more cautious of what they call a penalty. Now onto beatherd..he’s absolutely awful to watch when he’s on the field. He’s like a 1980’s desk top computer with a virus back there trying to process information. Mullens is by far the better back up. Trade beatherd for a late round pick and move on.

  23. That pick to Pettis was partially on Richburg, when he mouthed off to the ref. If they only have to make up the yards from his hold penalty, I’m guessing a different play is called.

  24. The helmet rule is atrocious. It could ruin football as we know it. Lurking in the background are two upstart leagues and I seriously doubt they will adopt such a rule, in fact we know McMahon’s league won’t because they’ve already said so.

  25. The volcano in Hawaii has ceased flowing.
    Mount Seb, on the other hand, continues to spew nonsense and fantasies and falsehoods like molten manure across the landscape.
    “Pettis’ holdout”
    Please.

    1. Gosh, I am perfectly happy to admit I made a mistake, but you seem to get your panties in a twist over it.
      .
      Calm down, it is not the end of the world.
      .
      I honestly thought he missed the mini camp, and he did hold out until the last day before signing on the eve of the TC. Usually, players should be signed weeks before TC, but I assumed he did not practice with JG’s other receivers while he had no contract during the off season, as leverage to get his deal done.

      1. Sebbie… You knew Pettis was participating with the team during rookie drills and OTAs. Here’s a nice quote from you on 4 May…

        “Back to football. Hmm. so Pettis did not want to risk getting his head ripped off while extending for a pass? Smart man.”

        1. Cassie, when I said I forgot about a player over 3 months ago, it is logical to assume I forgot what was written . Guess I did know about Pettis, then, but forgot now.
          .
          All I did was assume a player who did hold out until the eve before TC, held himself out of participating in the mini camp, but now know I was wrong. I guess i am human.

          1. You were also wrong about Pettis getting both hands of the ball. But that is understandable because it was a very hard play to evaluate even with replays.

  26. Effective and enforceable safety rules generate little publicity.

    Absurd, impossible to fairly enforce safety rules generate tons of publicity. The public will think the NFL is “overdoing” safety. Perfect prep for future brain injury lawsuits.

  27. Grant…

    Please research and report on the 9er position coaches–their backgrounds, strengths and weaknesses, and fit within the broader offensive and defensive schemes the 9ers are installing. Having strong opinions and the willingness to share them come easy to you.

    So, tell us all about the position coaches. Any of them letting their players down? Any incompetent? Any brilliant and going on to better things?

    It’s easy to pick on players. Let’s take a whack at the position coaches. Spotlight the good and the horrible.

    Please.

  28. Still can’t get that Ahmad Brooks penalty against Drew Brees out of my head. That was the beginning of what may be the end when it comes to this new NFL. There’s nothing wrong with creating recognizable standards for clean hits and tackling. There is everything wrong with altering a drive, even a game’s outcome, on some ref’s pressured instinct to throw a flag just because it looked like a helmet was involved. Gotta stop.

    As for the defense,– love Jones’ play on the DL. Love Warner’s play. And I was quite happy with Brock Coyle’s play and decision making. Offense, — Jimmy G looks ready except for some timing and sync with Pettis and obviously the RBs. OL looked better, as everyone has already noted here. Can’t say I’m thrilled with any of our options after Breida. Mostert by default?

  29. Niners should look at RBs Roc Thomas and Michael Boone who are 4th and 5th on the depth chart for the Vikings.
    .
    They seem to play with passion, and broke tackles right and left.
    .
    If one of them is cut at the 53, the Niners should sign him.
    .
    Heck, he might even provide good intel…..

    1. Oh Sebbie…. Your fixation on intel is nauseating.

      Excuse me….rrrraaalllpphh…uuugggllraalpphh….ug…

      That tired, seductive fixation of yours.

  30. Would really like to see Morris get some carries early on Saturday. It seems to me like they need a back who is better in the zone scheme because they’re leaving yards out there in the running game.

    1. Wouldn’t surprise me to see Shanny alternate Morris, McNichols and Williams early with the first offense. Could we see that at RG as well, with Garnett, Person, and Cooper?

      1. Meh. It just looks like Williams and McNichols aren’t good fits for the zone scheme. Williams is always in a hurry and McNichols seems to press the hole too long before making a cut.

        Case in point, the first rush attempt for McNichols. If he just puts his left foot in the ground and cuts to the right there’s a huge hole with nobody until 10 yards downfield.

        1. McKinnon/Breida/Morris/Mostert going into game 3 looks to be a safe bet, if you are under the assumption that Morris would be their Allstate in Foster’s roster spot for those first 2 weeks….

  31. Houston D will be better when it gets all of its starters back, but conceptually they are sound and a good measuring stick. Our offense is promising, but that run blocking has to stabilize and gel. Including Juice and the TEs. Pretty good bet they’ll be decent. It’s a stretch to say they will be great. What is not a good bet is that the defense will fire on all cylinders. There is no flow, and there are readily apparent weak links on almost every play. Will it get better? Sherman will help both in savvy and leadership. Don’t know about his wheels yet. In general, we are not seeing performance that matches hype, and way to much value on big hits vs doing your job. Surely Lynch of all people, sees this. The Kool-aid is on the table. The label says Seattle Defense. It isn’t about a brilliant if slightly short armed rookie receiver(see Jerry Rice)

  32. Oh my… Check this from the NFL website–spotlighted as one of “NFL rookie risers: 10 value draft picks paying early dividends”…

    Dante Pettis, WR, San Francisco 49ers
    Drafted: Round 2, No. 44 overall out of Washington

    Pettis was easily one of the top route runners in the draft class. I saw him play live against Alabama two years ago, and he turned some very talented corner backs around in that college playoff game. Pettis has quickly emerged as a legitimate threat in the 49ers’ offense, and he brings remarkable value in the return game. He showed off his big-play ability against the Cowboys last week, logging a 53-yard reception.

    1. Oh yeah! I read this and remember thinking at that time, same could be said for Ritchie James, DJ Reed and Julian Taylor. We seem to find great value with late round picks.

    1. Tough times injury-wise. In Joe W’s case, the idea that “he’s got some issues too” appears ominous. He may be headed for IR again, or….

  33. Looks like it will be Staley, Tomlinson, Richburg, Garnett, McGlinchey, Person, Cooper and Gilliam will be the oline group to start the season.

  34. Some of you represent the idiocy of 49er fans. Seb comes off as a creepy loser who I bet money is on Megan’s Law. Not far behind is the punk ‘Cassie Baalke’. How do you name yourself after another man’s daughter? And then act like ppl actually care and respect your ‘insights’..
    “Hey Grant let’s do a homework assignment and…” Dummy do it yourself bro. Not hard to find out position coaches, u had no problem finding people’s family members punk.

    1. These insidious personal attacks do not belong on this blog. I hope you are banned forthwith. Vicious insults and calumny violates all norms of decency and respect.
      .
      I am a Die Hard Faithful Niner Fan. This troll is attacking a Niner fan who just wants to talk about the Niners, with fellow Niner fans. I cannot even cheer for my team without being insulted.
      .
      Grant, I respectfully ask you to deal with this problem.

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