49ers 21, Chargers 7: Starters’ grades

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers beat the Chargers 21-7 Sunday afternoon. Here are the grades for the Niners’ starters.

KAEPERNICK: D-. Fumbled twice and committed one turnover. Completed 50 percent of his passes. Completed zero percent of his passes in the red zone. Posted a 64.2 passer rating. Performed poorly in areas he needed to improve this offseason – accuracy, touch, footwork and red-zone passing.

RUNNING BACKS: C. Carlos Hyde popped a beautiful 20-yard run. Takeaway that play and he gained just 18 yards on five carries. Still, he ran hard and picked up yards after contact. There just wasn’t much room to run up the middle. LaMichael James was flat-out bad, gaining 9 yards on 7 carries.

WIDE RECEIVERS: B. Anquan Boldin caught two short passes and Michael Crabtree caught one. Stevie Johnson caught a 5-yard pass and was flagged for being offside. Quinton Patton was better than Johnson. Patton caught a 10-yard pass while taking a vicious hit to the head on third-and-10. Jim Harbaugh would not say after the game if Patton or Johnson will be the No.3 receiver when the regular season begins.

TIGHT ENDS: B+. Vernon Davis dropped a short pass Colin Kaepernick threw with no touch. Davis also caught a 16-yard pass on third-and-five, easily outrunning the Chargers’ starting strong safety Marcus Gilchrist on a crossing route. Vance McDonald made three catches – one was a touchdown and the other two were tough grabs. Once he spun around and caught a pass behind him. Another time he jumped and caught a ball over his head.

OFFENSIVE LINE: F. Allowed constant pressure up the middle. Mike Iupati was the worst, getting beat over and over again by Corey Liuget. Liuget also beat Daniel Kilgore, who didn’t play particularly well. The 49ers can’t be a power-running team if they can’t get push up the middle. The 49ers need Alex Boone back.

DEFENSIVE LINE: C. Allowed Ryan Matthews to average 5.5 yards per carry and Danny Woodhead to average 4.0 yards per carry. Generated zero pressure on Philip Rivers.

LINEBACKERS: C. Also generated zero pressure on Rivers. That’s two weeks in a row Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks have been non-factors against the pass. Smith played particularly poorly, missing two tackles in the backfield.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: D. The only pass Rivers didn’t complete was a deep one that Chris Culliver knocked away. Rivers completed 9 of 10 pass attempts and his passer rating was 135.4. He moved the ball at will against the 49ers’ defense. When he got to the red zone he immediately went after Craig Dahl, the 49ers’ weak link in the secondary. Dahl lost Antonio Gates in the end zone – what a surprise – and Rivers hit Gates for an easy touchdown.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B. Phil Dawson made both of his field goal attempts after missing two last week. Bubba Ventrone was flagged for being offside on a kickoff.

GRASS: F. Chunks of sod were coming up all game. LaMichael James said after the game that he twisted an ankle on the opening kickoff. The grass gave out under his foot as he tried to catch the ball.

This article has 331 Comments

  1. Hyde had three negative yardage plays in 183 carries last season.

    LMJ had two negative yardage plays in about 5 carries. That seems to be his average. Bad on a team like Denver. Dismal for ball control teams like the 49ers.

    Is there a fall off from Hunter to LMJ? Is a bear Catholic? Does a frog have a water tight a******?

  2. Grant,
    It seems like Kaepernick had a strong camp overall. But so far, we’ve seem him struggle some these preseason games. What do you make of that? Harbaugh doesn’t play the first stringers too much, so could that be part of the problem (at least on offense where rhythm and timing are more important)?

    I’m not too concerned at this point (if it continues into the regular season, then I will be), but I wanted to get your take on it.

    49ers’ starting offense continues to struggle

    Colin Kaepenick completed 6-of-12 passes for 59 yards in Sunday’s third preseason game against the Chargers.

    San Francisco’s first-team offense continues to struggle, as it’s produced just six points on seven series through three preseason contests. Kaepernick played four drives Sunday, and has gone 12-of-22 passing for 115 yards and no touchdowns or picks this preseason. He has QB1 upside, but won’t be able to realize it unless the 49ers become more aggressive on offense. Kaepernick is our No. 13 QB.
    Aug 24 – 5:27 PM

  4. No talk about Gabbert? He was pretty great, all things considered. The QB Whisperer is going to turn him into a more than serviceable QB. Colin is wilting under the pressure. That guy on defense — the guy from Florida his strength coach disliked — that dude kicks butt. Maybe better than 99 — the guy who is in trouble. The other guy — the runner — one who beat people up — he’s pretty outstanding too. Gonna be the kid from Oregon out. Isn’t it great to be old? -L- ;- 0

    1. Ghost,

      Don’t hurt your arm patting Gabbert on the back. He is who we on this blog think he is. He completed some passed but the guy was still very inaccurate. We need a serviceable backup on this team and if we go with Gabbert, we are on no better shape than we were last year with McCoy. We just have. To hope that Kap doesn’t get hurt.

      1. At some point we may have to say that Colin is who we think he is. He has a lot of potential but it doesn’t seem like it’s all coming together for him. It’s preseason, sure, but there are things he needed to work on. Just look at the other starters: Manning, Brees, Brady, Rodgers, Matt Ryan. They are in regular season mode. Kaep has had a good training cap but hasn’t look good in the preseason. At least with Gabbert, even though he set the bar pretty low, has shown improvement.
        First two games are against teams with so-so defenses, but what happens if the teams get in a shoot-out? Can Colin keep up? Right now Hyde, V-Mac, and Ellington look like good improvements. so there’s plenty of weapons now.
        Oh yeah — O-Line sucks!

        1. Fan77:
          “Just look at the other starters: Manning, Brees, Brady, Rodgers, Matt Ryan. They are in regular season mode. Kaep has had a good training cap but hasn’t look good in the preseason.”

          Yep, and of all the names you just noted, only one of them (Manning) took their team further than did Kap.

            1. Let’s change the name of the team from The San Francisco 49ers to the San Francisco Colin Kaeperners..That way u can be justified in everything bein Kap’s fault.. cause that’s all u see..U got Kaepernick on tha brain..

              1. Been saying this guy is a troll for two years now. At least now many more than just myself know it.

              2. You can drink the Colin Kaepernick Kool-Aid if you want. I choose not to. There’s plenty to like about the Niners, there’s a lot to like about Kaepernick too, but I’m not going to make excuses for him.

              3. Yeah fan..but im not gonna put kaepernick down every chance and turn I get.Marino was great,Jim Kelly was great..just cause u are great at your position..doesn’t mean anything is guaranteed or cant miss.brad Johnson,hostetler,trent dilfer,Jim McMahon got rings..

            2. Not yet, but is his career over?

              It doesn’t always take an elite QB to win a SB. Wilson is not elite in my opinion but his is strong from top to bottom.

              You want to see Kap dominate every game and he is not that type of QB yet. But until he gets there I’ll take a trip to the playoffs every year he has started.


                Unlike a certain tea kettle on this blog, I’ve rooted for the Niners regardless of who was at QB. From Spurrier, Plunkett, Deberg, Montana, Drunkenmiller, Young. Garcia, Rattay, Hill and even that dude during Mike Martz’s era, TJ Sullivan. I was not an Alex Smith fan and disappointed the Niners didn’t take Rodgers. Still I hoped he would do well and live up to that pick. Before Harbaugh, he showed some promise, but was too inconsistent. We all ripped on his check downs and lack of killer instinct. Harbaugh and company show up and in the first year it looks as if Alex Smith can ride the defense and running game and get us the ring. He had the game of his life during the playoffs with the Saints. In the First half against the Giants, he was playing well. The Giants adjusted and doublc covered Vernon Davis, and that’s all it took to shut down G-Ro’s offense.
                In 2012, Alex Smith got the Niners to a 6-2 record, played his two best games statistically and then got hurt, and that was that. In steps Colin, who played a great game against the Bears, and was up and down the rest of his starts. People forget some of the mistakes he made, like the games against the Rams and Saints. And those on this blog who hated Alex somehow aren’t “trolls”, and now love Colin and will now defend all his weakness, regardless if those weaknesses are holding the team back.

                Based on how Colin was inserted onto a championship caliber team, I’m not going to give him slack. He’s supposed to be the missing ingredient. Even in the Superbowl, he had a horrible first half. If it wasn’t for the black out, the game would not have been close.

                Last year we saw how the offense and had to be simplified, and we all now know about his one read. We saw great play, but also great mistakes. Especially against Seattle in the NFCCG. He was gifted a turnover on the first play of the game. Had a lead at halftime. And then HE gifted 3 turnovers to the Seahawks like he had money on Seattle. So pardon me for expecting and demanding more from this guy this year. He starts playing better on a consistently, and I’ll be a happy camper.

              2. Fan,

                The people who belittled Smith were wrong, plain and simple. However you are now doing the same to Kap. That’s what you don’t seem to grasp. Just as many placed blame on Smith for things beyond his control and ignored what he did do well, you do the exact same thing in regards to Kap. It’s obvious you still have hard feelings over Smith getting benched and ultimately traded but you have to accept it and move on. Kap has hardly been perfect, but he is a key reason they went to the SB and NFCCG last year. You can point to the turnovers in the 4th quarter but you also have to mention the fact he was the only offense they had and was the only reason they were still in the game to begin with.

                Just be fair and stop looking at Kap under a microscope trying to expose warts. Give him the same consideration you gave Smith. He’s not a finished product and has a lot of improvement to make, but he’s also led them to a fantastic record and deep playoff runs. Let it go and move on from Smith. I liked him too but it’s history now.

              3. Rocket,
                I’m not wishing for Smith to be back. My point is that I don’t want to lower there bar for Kaep. He’s done some great things, and is an exciting player. Just because others want to brand me a Kaep hater because I’m tough on him doesn’t make me less of a fan. As I stated, when he starts to improve I will be a happy camper.

            3. Fansince – none of those four QBs took their teams to the Super Bowl in their first three seasons, so playing the ring debate illogical

              1. Fan – who cares? You just created an imaginary metric to make Kaepernick bad. If you’re arguing that he’s bad because Ben Roethlisberger won a super bowl in his first three seasons, then you’re also arguing that Big Ben is better than Peyton Manning. Do you want to argue that?

              2. I merely stated for the past few years I don’t think Colin is as great as some people make him out to be. End of the day is about results. Some have defended him by saying he got the team to the NFCCG, or the Super Bowl. Some claim he’s great, even though he relies on a running game and defense.
                You tried to defend him by saying that no QB should be expected to win the SB in the first three years, when that’s not accurate.
                I don’t have to do anything to make Kaepernick bad. He’s not a bad QB, he’s just needs alot of work and to think otherwise is like saying California does not have a drought.

      2. umm, yeah, dude… you don’t hurt your own arm patting someone else on the back, you hurt your own arm patting yourself on the back…. its a reference to the awkward angle it would take to physically pat yourself on the back in comparison to the awkward social gaffe of talking yourself up too much.

        Gabbert played well, and deserves to credited for it.

    2. Blaine Gabbert did just what Staley and the team needed him to do. Now he can pack his bags and head to St Louis for a 7th rounder.
      The team is off the hook for his 2 million dollar salary and that freed up cap space can now be given more appropriately to Joe Staley.

      1. Oops I had staley on the brain. My apologies gentlemen. I meant Boone. Couldn’t haven’t messed that up anymore

  5. “Takeaway the……”
    Colonel Takeaway strikes again.
    There’s lots to complain about, but these grades are unfortunately typical for Grant. This is not an insightful take.

    1. That’s because Grant grades on results and doesn’t make a concerted effort to decipher why the play didn’t work. Giving Kap a D- while also giving the Oline an F, obviously doesn’t make any sense considering a QB can’t play well if the Oline is playing poorly. The Oline didn’t deserve an F either. 1 guy deserved an F and his name is Iupati.

    So here is how the division champ Seahawks did against the Chargers. A good comparison, to get a feel how the 49ers stac-up against the Seahawks.

    49ers 21, Chargers 7
    Seahawks 41, Chargers 14

    RUSSELL WILSON, ALL ABOUT THE BUSINESS !! Seattle obliterated the San Diego Charger.

    “The San Diego Chargers first and second team defensive units were both pushed around by a physically superior Seattle Seahawks offense.”

    1. 40whiner,
      Your method for comparing the seahawks scores with the 49ers against the chargers holds no water – especially in preseason.

      Preseason is a completely different animal than the regular season.
      The Broncos were (using your description) obliterated by the seahawks in the Superbowl and the Broncos recently beat the seahawks in a preseason game.
      Point: The seahawks loss in the preseason game against the Broncos was meaningless.

      Let’s at least wait until after 3-4 games in the regular season before jumping to any conclusions.

      1. @AES

        You’re making too much sense for the Simpletons my Man.

        Why is it that every summer many fans take Pre-Season as the Gospel?

        Should 49er fans be concerned right now?

        I guess a little bit but until the Regular Season starts none of us have any idea how the 49ers will perform once the Real Bullets start flying. I’ll wait to FREAK OUT then if they play at this level against the Cowgirls.

    2. You know the Lion’s smoked everyone in preseason then went on to not win a single game in the regular season? Preseason is for evaluating your rookies, 2nd year players, and filling in your last couple spots in the 53 man roster. No won cares about how much you win or lose by accept the media because there is nothing else to talk about.

      SF has been to 3 strait NFCC and a SB with basically the same team and no changes in coaching, why would they all of a sudden be awful? Seattle fans need to keep wishing….there will be plenty of time to hate during the regular season.

    3. Anyone else notice that there has never been a Seahak fan on here before? Wonder why that is…. Add the fact that it’s raving over pre season scores and you’ve got yourself the typical Seahak fan est in 2012!

    1. Completely agree. Nice post Jack. Its just too bad your daddy doesn’t work at the press dem.

  7. Niners pass rush has been less than stellar for some time now – especially if you take away aldon smiths sacks from the last 2 years.

    Did PD figure out the stadium? That was quick.

    Nice to seen LMJ involved in the passing game. Oh yeah Roman loves the short passing game to RBs.

    QP has earned the #3 WR role (AKA Kaps hat caddy). Stevie johnson should be released.

    Vance Mac had another good game. I have been critical of him but he has had 3 good preseason games.

    Are JH and roman holding back on offense? should we be concerned?

    1. They are holding back but that offensive line is as well… Unintentionally. They are getting destroyed! Pay Boone and get Davis ready. These backups are going to get Kap killed.
      I thought the center’s name was Kil- Gore. I was worried about that. However his name might need to be changed to Kil- Kap!

      1. Jordan: +1. Kilgore is living up to his last name. I can’t imagine he will hold up against the Rams or Seattle D-linemen. I’d hate to see what they would do to him.

  8. I’m a diehard niner fan but lettuce be cereal…The Hawks are going to STEAMROLL every team in the division including the Niners. Barring any catastrophic injuries from any key Seattle players they are going to repeat. Book it.

    1. There’s also the possibility of substance abuse violations so we still have an outside shot.

      1. I don’t think PED use would come from an established Seahawk. PC’s motto, don’t do anything to “hurt” the team. That’s why Brownier and Thurmond are gone. I’d be happy with 13-3, home-field advantage and no injuries.

    2. Rock, you’re moving waaaay too fast bro. Just remember that every they play will be a playoff game for all those teams. Seattle looks good. Just remember, it’s the preseason. Every team is undefeated right now!

    3. A lot can change between now and Thanksgiving. Always purchase travelers insurance when you book…..

    4. Lol Seattle doesn’t steamroll anybody outside of that stadium.
      They destroyed the broncos because they aren’t as good as everyone thinks. Seattle played manning perfectly. They took away his middle and made him throw outside. He’s great but he doesn’t have the outside greatness anymore. IMO one bad call and it would have been the Niners winning the Super Bowl. Not saying we got cheated, I’m just saying that’s how close these two are. Flip a coin close.

      1. Come on give the hawks some credit where its due. We were beat fair and square. Bad calls? Give me a break. Three turnovers from qb. But its all the refs fault right? Denver wasn’t as good as everyone thinks? Yeah ok. I’m a miner fan through and through but even I can admit they were the better team with a disciplined qb. Hard to hear maybe but give it up man. Stop blaming refs. Players play the game. Seattle played better. Yeah yeah we woulda beat them at the stick right? Well we shoulda won the division then. I look forward to a couple great battles again this year and maybe one in the playoffs. Hopefully in Santa Clara. Whoever wins it won’t be because if the refs.

        1. I see you like to take things to the extreme. Even after I said I wasn’t blaming the refs. THE bad call I will bring up is the non call on the Dixon TD. The next play we were without Iupoti. Didn’t run effective after he was injured. Or I could go with the biggest bad call of the season… The Bree’s hit. Cost is homefield and we all know Seattle doesn’t win in SF. The 49ers had their chance to win that game and came up short. I will not suck seattles **** like you no claim they will steam roll through this division. How about you give credit to the 49ers?

          1. Calm.down dude. You’re freaking weird. I understand you have you’re opinion and you’re entitled to it. Its just ridiculous. Niners lost you can’t say they would beat denver in the Superbowl. Kap threw that opportunity away. Not the refs.

  9. Wait a minute, we only gave up 7 points (while Dahl, the one non-starter got exploited) and our defensive grades were C, C, and D?

    Seems like the ‘D’ was a little more effective than Grant’s grades would suggest.

    All in all, though, I’d echo the negative sentiment about the team’s overall effort. We should look better. And at this point, my faith in Kaep is very questionable. I thought that any downgrades in this year’s defense would be made up for in an improved defense (you know, Kaep throwing to any one of 4 legit targets). I don’t get as alarmed as most, but I’m starting to consider something’s not right. And it starts with coaching (Roman?) and the quarterback.

  10. No grades for the coaching staff ? Here is something to consider, Not only do I think that Roman will ever get a NFL head coaching job, even if we win the Super Bowl, don’t think another team in the league would hire him as a offensive coordinator,

    1. Looks like I lost my icon. Can anyone give me the name of the company with the free 49er Icons ? thanks

  11. The most interesting aspects of today’s game for me were:

    – Patton got reps with the first team offense while Stevie Johnson didn’t (that I recall, anyway). Johnson may have played his way off the team. Lloyd didn’t play, would he have been the #3 WR ahead of Patton if he played?
    – Alfonso Smith went in ahead of Hampton, again. Hampton is a goner
    – Jimmie Ward continued to get 1st team snaps at nickel DB despite Cox not being 1st team CB. Looking more and more like he’ll be a week 1 starter
    – The starting DL finally got some snaps and the D looked much better as a result
    – The first team offense still needs some work, especially the OL which got pushed around
    – Hyde continues to look good. Will Gore finally see less carries this year?
    – Vance McDonald also continues to look good. Could be a break out year
    – Lynch cam in earlier than I expected (2nd team D) and looked very good, even though it wasn’t against 1st teamers. Did Skuta play?

    1. Skuta played, but maybe they trade him if Lynch continues his improvement. Ellington makes James expendable as well. Ward playing the entirety of every game, half the time at Nickel and have the time at Safety, leads me to believe Dahl might be nervous come final cut down day. If Boone returns and M&M is done for the year, Looney has to be the back up Center over Snyder and the rest I hope….

      1. I think they’ll keep Skuta for STs, but Lynch may get snaps at OLB/DE ahead of Skuta. Lemonier will likely stay ahead of Lynch on the depth chart, but if Aldon is suspended for any length of time I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lynch mixed in a little.

        Yeah, they are definitely getting Ward as many snaps as possible. But I think Spillman should be more nervous than Dahl about his spot. Dahl continues to see snaps before Spillman. It could be a battle between Ventrone and Spillman for STs.

        James didn’t look good today, but we don’t know how much his elbow factored in. I still think he makes the roster, along with Alfonso Smith, unless Lattimore becomes active. James will be the #1 PR and KR if he’s kept.

        1. It seemed as though they tried to spread it out more with James and the O-line couldn’t help him much.

          1. That’s true. It was good to see him get split out as a WR on one occasion (that I recall) too. The play of the OL hampered much of the offensive production.

            1. Winston looked physically more impressive as a running back than James or Smith. He had a nice burst to the hole too. I don’t get the love for James. He’s one hit away from another injury/and/or fumble….

              1. was he wearing the brace on his arm, today, Razor ..

                really, .. with Hyde and Winston ..
                I don’t see the need for Hampton and LMJ …

                It’s still preseason, though

              2. Winston looked ok, but he was playing against guys fighting to make the Chargers (or another team’s) PS. I’m leery of putting too much stock in what he did. He’s unlikely to make the 53.

              3. I don’t care who Winston(6-1 220lbs) was running against or how big the holes were. To my untrained eye, he passes the test whereas James does not. Ellington makes James obsolete…..

              4. I liked what I saw from Winston too. But…remember RBs of preseasons past: Clayton Thomas, Korey Sheets…even Anthony Dixon led in preseason yards at one time.

              5. Granted, I’m just a fan, but the runners you mention did not possess the talent of Winston. Boobie never hit the hole that fast, Thomas did not possess the vision Winston displayed. Sheets lacked size and power. One thing that can’t be measured are the intangibles of Winston who grew up in a tough neighborhood, made some mistakes and I believe his heart is full of desire to prove the naysayers wrong with his opportunity…..

              6. Razor,

                I love guys who I think can help the team in some capacity which is why I continue to support LMJ. I’m not sure how you can blame him for the lack of yards yesterday when he was continually hit 5 yards in the backfield due to poor blocking, but I look at the situation like this:

                The Niners have strong hard running backs on the roster in Gore and Hyde. Winston is the same kind of back and offers no change of pace. LMJ does and is also a KR. That is why you keep him over Winston. Not saying Winston didn’t look good, he did, but it came in the 4th quarter against scrubs and the holes were big enough to drive a truck through. He is a great candidate to take over Hampton’s spot on the PS imo.

                As we also know, pass protection is a big part of the RB’s duties and LMJ showed he was up to the challenge yesterday.

              7. Agreed rocket. Winston is a PS candidate. Either he or Hampton will be on the PS.

                Razor, lets not go labelling Winston a talent based on a handful of preseason carries, all in the 4th quarter against nobodies.

              8. Scooter, I can only base my evaluations on what I’ve seen. I like his power, no hesitation to the hole, burst/speed more than adequate, vision excellent, and at 6’1 220 the prototypical size for this power running offense. I think we as individuals know what they have in James, and Winston in my mind provides the greater upside in this offense. There’s no way in hell Hampton gets on the practice squad over him…..

              9. Yeah, I like what I saw yesterday too. I’m just saying we’ve only seen what, seven carries from him? And against nobodies. I don’t think you can judge whether he’s any good from that.

                I agree he’s a more likely candidate for the PS than Hampton. If Hampton was ever going to show something, it was going to be this year, and so far he’s not done much of anything.

          1. I can’t remember how many times I was yelling about how great that little T-rex was yesterday. Borland made a grip of excellent plays. I can see why he was so good in college.

    2. i don’t think certain players playing this game vs. previous games is necessarily and indicator of their status with the team.

      It could be that it was just their turn to get some reps. Hampton has had plenty of preseason reps, so it was someone else’s turn. Same with Stevie Johnson vs. Patton.

      I will say that Hampton really hasn’t shown much and Patton hasn’t show much either IMO. In fact I think it was Patton that wasn’t even looking for a pass that came to him from Gabbert…Patton was like his 3rd or 4th option so it’s not like Patton didn’t have time to run his pattern.

      1. Yea, in my mind, Patton is the last man on the wide receiver totem pole….

        Mr. Crabs

        That’s how I’ve got them ranked as of now….

        1. I thought Patton played pretty well yesterday. Easy to knock him for not being ready for Gabbert’s pass on that crossing route, he shouldn’t have given up on the route, but Gabbert was very late on it. Patton was open for a first down the whole time he was crossing his field of vision, which is when Gabbert should have thrown the ball.

          He got open a couple of other times, including on a route similar to the one Crabtree caught that would have been a first down and nice gain except the ball got tipped at the line. He also gave excellent effort in blocking.

          This was the third preseason game. This is the game they try and get the starters ready. I seems unlikely to me that having Patton in early and ahead of Johnson was simply a matter of giving a guy a chance.

          I like Ellington, I think he’s going to be good, but he’s not the #3 WR on this team just yet. But he’s definitely one for the future.

  12. Why do we have Seahawk fans on a 9er site…. That’s like asking the devil to admit Jesus is King of King and Lord of Lords. In other words 40Whiner go find another page to boast about your 1 SB win.

    1. it’s because… no matter how bad he Niners have looked
      so far this preseason … we’re in their heads ..

      big time

    2. How about 40whiner come out to the green lot 4 and wear all of his glow stick colors and talk that trash. If you’re gonna go troll, go all out troll! Chump!

  13. oneniner August 24, 2014 at 4:48 pm
    @ninermdumb – your boy shaun hill is leading the rams…….bet you are excited your fav QB is starting…..ha ha ha

    …….ha ha ha ha…rams are done!!!!

    What does he have to do with your hero throwing two picks yesterday in KC? Still mad that Hill beat out and out performed smith when they were here? You mad bro? “My boy” wears number 7 and plays in SF. And he can beat a playoff team. Now get back to the arrowhead addicts page.

    1. Md,
      end of the day we were right and they were wrong. The 49er org chose who they wanted. But the band of know it alls will tell you that they know better. It’s pathetic.

      1. Bay….. I can’t get back into the Alex smith thing again.
        I give the guy a compliment and onelame here just can’t leave me alone. That’s pathetic!!!! Lol

        You heading out to the stitch for game 1?

    2. I wouldn’t be laughing too soon. Hill might lead the Rams to a playoff and then won’t you look stupid.

  14. I get a kick out of the posters who try to use Kaeps 6 for 12 stats in this game as an example of bad play. Another poster on the other thread states Kaep has to hit a wide open McDonald. Just watched the highlight video and it show Kaep being hit by a D Lineman from the back left as he is in his throwing motion on that very play. Seems like a lot of posters are either blind, morons or are using this showing to promote their agenda’s. Kaep was hit alot in this game people. My respect for some of the posters on this site is falling drastically.

    1. My problem with ck is he doesn’t look like he’s improved on his second an third reads. It’s gotta be the system. I watched Alex smith stare down his first read, I’m watching ck do it, and I watched Gabbertt and J Johnson do the same. I wonder if we lead the league in batted balls. I know you’re suppose to lock onto your primary, but that long? You’re just asking for a batted ball.

          1. Honestly I’m not sure. I am hoping its still part of his learning process. Throughout his college career he relied heavily on the run and that may have been his go to when the first read wasn’t available. If so, I am confident he can progress and improve on his progressions. But what do I know. I just want to see him stay healthy and the niners win.

  15. There is only one thing to worry about on this team from a personnel stand point right now. The offensive line. It’s offensive. Goodwin was a liability last year, and so far Kilgore is a downgrade.

    Martin is out now so we don’t have to worry about him. Loony who knows. Our identity is taking a hit here. A power running team without the horses up front to carry it out. Grant ranked LaMichael James low for his stats today. Anyone with an ounce of experience that watched him saw the explosiveness he possesses. Unfortunately a bit difficult to rate the talent when he is being met in the backfield.

    Anyone who watched Kaep attempt to get comfortable and sit in the pocket today saw that his pocket disintegrated pretty quickly. Unless they solve this issue soon, all the work they did this training camp will be for not. He will regress and go back to what he does instinctively…. Using his legs.

    Instead of the usual Cohn knee jerk column, lets talk about the positives.

    V-Mac, the hard work is paying off. He looked great today. He ran a variety of patterns and caught a TD.

    Vernon looked fast…..

    Crabs is healthy….

    Hyde showed us some speed and a little bit of beast mode. Hyde also had a couple of two yard runs. On those runs he was met at the line. The good news about those runs is that the were the type of runs that Gore nets zero yards on because he cannot move the pile. Also saw Hyde bounce one out and showed a burst of speed to get outside.

    Also want to thank God for small miracles. Gabbert looked better. Serviceable. Things could be worse, we could be the Rams.

    This team is different. It’s got some new pieces. We will get better as the season goes on if we solve our Oline issues. Bet the house that we pick up at least a couple of discarded linemen after the first couple rounds of cuts.

    1. This is the NFL. Every pocket disintegrates quickly. The problem with the line wouldn’t matter with a qb that could get rid of the ball quickly to his second read when his first is covered. The problem is that they can no longer block for the run which is how this team was built in the past.

    2. Winston is bigger, fast and anyone with an ounce of experience could see he runs with better vision than James….

    1. As i mention to rj, nice post Jack. Its just too bad your daddy doesn’t work at the press dem.

    2. Jack:

      Thanks for the objective analysis. I’m not sure what game Grant was watching, but having the starting defensive line back made a huge difference.

      While I realize that Iupati was the biggest single problem with the offensive line yesterday, I still think Boone gained some more leverage.

        1. Exactly how is it obvious that Boone gained leverage? Isn’t he under contract for 2 years, lock, stop and barrel? Absolutely no leverage….

            1. Apologies. Do you have a list of the players you expect to be casualties of the first cut?

              1. Can’t help but notice you’re still here, wren’t you moving to another blog?

        2. You’re welcome Jack. Keep up the good work. Let me know if you need a proof reader/editor. I was an English major.

    3. Good breakdown Jack and good job with your blog yesterday. Hopefully you build up some more followers as you go along.

      I’m rewatching the game right now and will have more thoughts later but suffice to say Iupati had a game to forget both in pass protection and run blocking. That was an all time horrific performance from first viewing.

      1. Thanks rocket. I think Iupati should be the biggest concern. His play has been consistently subpar throughout the preseason.

    4. You know jack Grant must be a really nice guy to let you continue to piggy back HIS blog now for over a year. But do you have no shame in out staying your welcome? I mean are you the guy that has no dignity and maybe just try to make it on your own now? Talk about an annoying house guest that just does not get it.

      1. Grant is a good guy and can delete any post that he chooses. The only reason I come around is to talk ball with the guys, which is why I usually ignore you.

        1. That’s cool, but why post links to your work? Is that not promoting or advertising your work within someone else’s business. Forget the fact the that Grants a nice guy and can delete posts, you have taken considerable advantage of his generosity and maybe you should take your takes and develop them on your own. Just saying if your gonna make it this business, don’t ride coat tails. Its embarrassing for you.

          1. FDM:

            If it doesn’t bother Grant, why does it bother you if Jack links to his analyses? No one is forcing you to click the link.

            1. First of all I don’t read it. Put it this way, I coach within a college setting. I see so many of our young generation trying to go the short cut route, or plagiarize, use other people to get ahead. Now yes, maybe this is my personal pet peeve and has no place on this blog, but I still think Hammer fits into this taking advantage category.

          2. “why post links to your work?”

            The reason that I post links to my work is simple, I started writing a blog only because a couple posters here suggested it and then helped with getting it set up.

            I apologize to anyone that takes offense to the links.

            You can follow my work over at 49erswebzone or if you’re on Twitter check out @JackHammerNFL. I’ll post my links there as well.

          3. Links get posted on this site everyday to other writer’s blogs. I don’t see why it should bother you unless it is a personal issue.

            1. Space, you don’t see other writers posting their own on her? How plumbers, carpenters, electricians on other sites? Give me a break. Its cheap and inconsiderate.

              1. FDM, maybe another way to look at it is that Jack could either make a long, blog-eating post on here with the same information — or he can do what he does, which is to give you the option of merely skipping a link if you don’t care to read it.

              2. Its got nothing to do with whether people want to read it or not. The point is your trying to run your business through someone else’s business. Someone who went to school, studied in it, promoted himself, worked hard to achieve it, only to have some wannabe gain notoriety through it.
                I’m all about giving someone a chance, but the guy has been on here for over a year using Grant and the PD as a forum. Its not right in my opinion and Jack should have the courtesy to not promote through him anymore.

              3. FDM
                This is no more “grant’s blog” than it was maiocos or branch’s before him. If Grant should get a promotion and move to greener pastures this blog would not lose a beat since IMO its the posters that make this blog not the moderator who throws out a topic and we discuss (more often than not our discussions have nothing to do with the topic heading)
                And finally if you are making a blog tailored to 49ers fans you advertise your services where other 49er fans happen to be (HERE)

              4. You know what FDM,
                You’ve once again posted a whole lot of nothing on a site where people come to actually talk football.

                Jack actually does some pretty good writeups. If you don’t enjoy them, skip them. I am pretty sure Grant just sees Jack as adding value.

                FDM I thought you just had an issue with me. Now I see that you are just a Dbag in general. Carry on….

          4. FDM,

            Two problems I have with your take on this:

            1st, Jack is posting links in lieu of giving his opinion here. To me there is no difference in doing that as the ultimate goal is to get his opinion read. We all put our opinions on here so I don’t see what the problem is. Who cares if it links to another site.

            2nd, and even more important: how do you think Grant got this gig in the first place? He got a break due to nepotism and has never shown any resentment toward Jack for posting links to his Blog or articles at the Zone. Everybody needs a little help to get ahead and Jack is no different from Grant.

            Not sure why it would bother you considering you have no horse in the race anyway.

              1. FDM I don’t want to interact with you period. It’s not an enjoyable interaction. Based on that, why would I want to bet with you.

                Go bet with someone that you have good exchanges with on this site. Oh wait…..

            1. First of all Rockets its not Grants fault that his Dad happens to be a high profile journalist in the Bay area. If your relating his success to nepotism that’s clearly a slap in the face of to the degree he earned. He did go to school and has the credentials so I am sure some of his success is because of that and the fact he can write.

              You say:1st, Jack is posting links in lieu of giving his opinion here.
              Like I said, do you see other professionals trying to catch a break, posting here over a year? State your opinion but you cannot tell me he is not trying to drive traffic to his site? Like I said even if Grant does not have a problem with it, its cheap and inconsiderate to out stay your hosts hospitality.

              “Not sure why it would bother you considering you have no horse in the race anyway”
              Too many people nowadays taking short cuts to get ahead, not earning it. See my last comment.
              You also say “

              1. FDM,

                A lot of people have degrees and many have a lot more experience than Grant. He got the job because of his Father. I mean no disrespect in saying that; I simply state the obvious and did so because his situation is no different from Jack’s. He got help to start his career and by allowing Jack to post his links on here, he’s paying it forward.

                I see no reason to complain about somebody trying to get into the business and using whatever means they have available to further their cause.

              2. Rocket says ” He got the job because of his Father. I mean no disrespect in saying that; I simply state the obvious and did so because his situation is no different from Jack’s.
                Id say that’s pretty rude and ignorant considering you are not in the media and would have no idea of that is true or not. Even if it was, still a little tasteless Rocket.

                ” see no reason to complain about somebody trying to get into the business and using whatever means they have available to further their cause.

                Over a year Rocket. Any means necessary sure within the first 6 months to get off the ground, but over a year. Its a little much.

              3. FDM,

                Id say that’s pretty rude and ignorant considering you are not in the media and would have no idea of that is true or not. Even if it was, still a little tasteless Rocket.

                How is pointing out the obvious Ignorant, tasteless and rude? Before Grant got this job, the blog had been handled by older, more experienced writers who people knew from the paper before taking over the blog. Grant’s father works for the PD and you don’t think there is a connection between that and Grant getting the job? Please.

                I’m not trying to insult Grant at all. I’m simply pointing out a clear example of how he was helped and it’s no different for Jack to be posting links on here to help his endeavor along.

                You’re getting all bent out of shape over nothing and Grant has never had a problem with it before. This is solely about you.

              4. Exactly. We know where to find Jack’s stuff. Enough is enough, Jack. Stop spamming this website with your links.

  16. There is a lot not to like about this preseason. But one thing to like is the potential of the 2014 49er draft class.

    Jimmie Ward is gradually working his way into being a contributor this year and shows flashes of what is to come.

    Carlos Hyde has impact this year written all over him. Along with down hill speed and power he shows speed to the outside to stretch the field laterally – something the 49ers have needed.

    Marcus Martin was looking to be the backup center. Unfortunately he may be out for season? May end up banked for next year along with those others from this draft, Brandon Thomas, Trey Millard and Keith Reasor.

    Chris Borland has already found a place at back up LB and most likely a starter on special teams.

    Bruce Ellington has speed, guts, smarts and solid hands. Looks solid as special team returner and may end up to be number 3 WR before season is out.

    Dontae Johnson has just about played himself into backup CB. They will not be able to sneak him onto the practice squad.

    Aaron Lynch looks to have a huge upside as a pass rusher. San Diego will grab him if Niners try to sneak him onto practice squad.

    Kenneth Acker — other than one mistake in preseason has looked good. CBs are a premium in this league so he will most likely get grabbed by another team as well.

    Johnson, Lynch and Acker are real surprises to me as I thought all three likely busts in this draft. Now I would say at least one of them is going to turn into a real steal.

    I would get rid of Dahl to make room for one of these corners. I would even go so far as to sacrifice Lemonair for Lynch if there are no other options available.

    Then there are the free agent rookies. Of these Glenn Winston has just burst into the view finder. Can he block and catch as well as he runs?

    Finally there are the redshirts from last year. Of these Quinton Dial at the nose has been impressive this preseason.

      1. I think they keep 9 LBs in total. Aldon, Brooks, Willis, Wilhoite, Borland, Lemonier, Lynch, Skuta and Moody.

          1. I think they initially kept 10 last year, then traded Cam Johnson. I think Haralson was traded before final roster cut downs?

  17. 2009 preseason Glen Coffee Headlines and Quotes

    “Running back will make you forget Crabtree”
    “the peripatetic running back who owned the Oakland Raiders on Saturday night”
    “129 yards in only 16 first-half carries, including successive runs of 16, 18 and 35 yards with an 18-yard reception thrown in the middle for variety.”
    “He has really been exceptional as a rookie running back. He’s way ahead of the curve as far as a rookie back in pass protection, which is really unusual.”
    “rugged running back”
    “Rookie RB Glen Coffee steps in nicely for 49ers starter Frank Gore and runs for 67 yards vs. the Broncos”
    “Gore and Coffee: The San Francisco 49ers NEW Dynamic Duo”
    “Glen Coffee and Kory Sheets displayed a lot of great potential”
    “The story of the first half was Glen Coffee who is really standing out this preseason.”

    I like Hyde. Praised him the night he was drafted. Been bragging about him ever since. But lets stop short of making him better then Gore till he produces in the regular season.

  18. D line deserves a better grade. Take away Matthews longest run (on a busted play) and his average was crap. See what I did there?

  19. I feel that the only WR who’s shown he’s worthy of being the #3 wr is Ellington. He’s looked far better than Patton and Johnson. But I am positive that Johnson will be the #3 come game one. Too much invested in him. Plus we have seen very few 3 WR sets from the 1’s this pre season. I’m sure he’ll be much better with crab and boldin on the field with him.

    1. I agree Adam, but it’s kind of strange that Johnson hasn’t been on the field that much. Only 17 snaps yesterday all with the backups and 7 the week before. I have no idea what the thinking is here. I’d be playing him a lot to get some chemistry going.

      1. I was really excited when they traded for Stevie, but its not far-fetched to imagine a scenario where he ends up being a dud for the 49ers. A WR with some character/maturity concerns, an offense that lacks diversity and creativity in the passing game… it wouldn’t be all that surprising if he wasn’t the same guy (productivity-wise) that he was in buffalo. In past years I would easily have accepted the hypothesis that the coaching staff was “hiding” him for the regular season, but nobody is buying that these days.

  20. Well, I think there is cause for concern but CK is right, it is only preseason. The level of play with this team will be totally different at the end of the year. Jim Harbaugh deserves some credit for being a good coach. I’m still not sold on Baalke though. Some of these guys he’s brought in just don’t look like players to me. I don’t like Jonathon Martin all that much and I think Borland is way too small to play his position. Ward might be a good player. We’ll see how it all turns out but this team has a LONG way to go.

  21. Grant, please tell me that this question to Willis wasn’t from you:

    I know it might be different this season, the defensive front, but QB Philip Rivers, in his three drives, really was able to move the ball. When you look at the film, what are you going to be looking for defensively, how you can stop him, because he was 9-10 today?

    Yes, the Chargers looked good on the third drive, but it’s ridiculous to say that Rivers “really was able to move the ball” on all three drives. San Diego gained one first down on its first drive and no first downs on its second drive (which started on the SF 14 yard line.

    Or this question to Wilhoite:

    How was Chargers QB Phillip Rivers able to move the ball efficiently against the first team defense, even the front seven? What comes to mind, how was he able to do that?

    Someone had an agenda. Grant, please tell me you didn’t ask those

    1. >> didn’t ask those questions.

      I hit the wrong key and submitted the comment too soon. Sorry.

    2. Haha yea that sounds about right Claude.

      And you’re completely right, yes Rivers had the completions but only 1 TD on those 3 drives. We’ve always been a D that will give up the short completions but are usually there to make the immediate tackle.

      I like what I saw defensively. Offensively the O-line is starting to worry me a bit. I really think (and hope) Boone gets back soon, and with him back along with Davis’ return it should be a better result come week 1.

      Kap, I’m still not worried about. I think its ridiculous to really to try compare his stats for pre-season, he continues to get very limited snaps and is rarely allowed to get into any kind of rhythm. That should all change in the regular season.

    3. I’m guessing it was Grant, his Dad, or Kawakami.

      It’s funny how the first two drives are completely ignored in favor of the one where they actually did move the ball isn’t it? Another funny thing is that the questioner failed to notice or ignored the fact that the Niners were substituting regularly up front on that last drive to see how different players would perform in that situation. Case in point: on the play where Rivers escaped the pocket, moved to his left and threw the pass to Matthews, the 3 Dlineman were TJE, Williams and Dobbs. This is why I just shake my head when somebody tries to look at preseason as a serious indication of what lies ahead.

      This Coaching staff rightly or wrongly treats preseason as a time to experiment and not show to much on either side of the ball. It’s happened every preseason since they arrived.

  22. Looks like I predicted correctly that Gabbert would play decent enough to quiet people down. He looked solid. Still no deep throws (that I saw), but if we can mold him into an Alex Smith replica, we’ll be very solid behind Kap.

    Seems like our division is taking some hard hits on the injuries and suspension side. Rams no Bradford, and we are all aware of what the Cards lost on defense this year.

    Looks like us and Seattle are in the best shape, but Seattle is definitely in the best shape thus far.

  23. Say what you will about James, but he actually did a good job in pass protection. I’m disappointed in his running ability and what he did at Oregon hasn’t translated to the nfl, but he seems hell bent on creating value for himself.

        1. Dahl made some nice tackles and looked solid against the run I thought, but he’s a huge liability in coverage.

          Has Ward had any snaps at Safety so far?

          I would think if Reid or Bethea go down Ward may be the next guy up.

          1. Ward has been playing all game long in every game, splitting time in half at each position. Nickel/Safety. That makes the fan in me want to believe, Dahl could be forced into coverage rehab….

            1. I don’t disagree with you Razor, I just hope that some team sees some value in him so that he can be traded rather than cut.

              1. Man Matt, so far today you’ve brought up trading Dahl a player that no one would want, and you’ve brought up bringing in a cancer like Incognito knowing that the player he bullied is on our team….. 0-2 Matt…..

              2. Bay, I think you’re mixing up conversations. I was referring to James being traded. I don’t think Dahl has any value at all. As for Incognito, I think the team has a need that could be filled cheaply by a former probowler.
                I don’t endorse the guy’s antics at all, but it was an easy conversation starter on a slow Monday with no other real news.

    1. Please don’t compare what James did a Oregon to the NFL. It’s not even close to being the same type of football. The fields are different. Those wide hash marks in college make it easy to spread the field and defenses. It can’t be done in the NFL

    2. Matt,

      It’s hard to run when you are being met in the backfield. RB’s do not gain positive yardage if Olineman are missing blocks.

    3. Matt,
      Personally, I’m not giving up on LMJ just yet. He may be the only back that still gives us the ability to be a change of pace RB.

      LMJ is a quick-cut RB and I believe that the field hampered his cutting ability on Sunday. Also, he may have been a little protective of his recent elbow injury thereby running with limited confidence and all-out fervor.

      If G.Roman really wants to throw more passes to the RB’s this season he has two very good receiving RB’s in Hyde and LMJ.
      I’ve yet to see any offensive packages that put the ball in LMJ’ hands in the open field where he can run in spaces.

      1. Big niner,
        He was that bad up until yesterday. If he’s going to be our backup, I would hope that we see more efforts like Sunday then his previous two preseason games.

  24. Everyone keeps saying “pay Boone because the offensive line struggling.” However, the line struggled on the most experienced side (Staley & Iupati) and the main culprit was Iupati. The make shift side actually held its own yesterday. I’d be more concerns about whether or not we should pay Iupati top $$ right now. I know he’s coming off of a major injury, but yesterday was unacceptable. If the left side of the line doesn’t get cleaned up, we should start sounding the alarms. But make no mistake, the offensive line struggles haven’t given Boone any leverage…unless he’s asking for more money to take over Iupati’s job.

  25. So I got a D grade and am slated to finish in last place in a 12 team league. I don’t hate my team that much, I just waited too long to get receivers. How did everyone else grade out?

    1. Drafted #11 and got a B-.
      The RBs were crap by the time it was my turn so I went QB and WR first.
      Hoping Spiller comes into his this year and isn’t splitting carries with Jackson.
      And apologies to those who wanted FF players to avoid drafting Ray Rice because of the domestic violence thing.
      I HAD TO DO IT!!!

  26. Concerning Kaepernick throwing in the pocket, I saw the same thing last year; he doesn’t step into his throws when under pressure. Most people focus on Kaepernick’s tendency to scramble if his initial reads aren’t there. But when he does stay in the pocket, you never see him step up and step into a hit while throwing under pressure. I slowed down the DVR on two of his passes under pressure, and he was already leaning backwards before the hit came. Obviously what would help is if read the coverage and made his decisions a lot faster. But in general, I think he needs to learn to step in and take a hit in the pocket. He seems to be conditioned to avoid hits (which is reflected mostly in his scrambling ability….a good thing) but I think it’s effecting his pocket passing accuracy.

    1. Good observations, AFFP. I thought I’d noticed Kap throwing from the backfoot under pressure occasionally but I didn’t realize that it was more habitual.

  27. Man,
    did Iupati look like Chilo Rachal yesterday or what? Hope Anthony Davis is still on track. That will help a lot. Still think the Niners will be looking at other teams cast off offensive linemen.

    Frank Gore had only 1 carry for -2 yards. He was met by the defense 1 yard in his own backfield. However, this is how Grant Cohn would describe it.

    Gore – F
    Frank Gore was held to -2 yards on Sunday. We are beginning to see more negative yardage than positive yardage from Gore. He is running on tired legs and can no longer be considered the bell cow of this offense. Frank no longer has the burst, quickness or speed to contribute.

    1. On that run, I believe Mr. Hyde gets positive yardage. Frank lacked the burst to get to it imho, and I love Frankie….

    2. If you take away the 5 super bowl trophies, the 49er franchise has never won a super bowl.

          1. Statistical analysis by selective reduction of sample size. Must be a new course offered in the UCLA English department. Grant may be the most prominent proponent from his graduating class.

    3. Gore was trapped in the backfield on that play because, if I recall correctly, Jonathan Martin who was on the left on a overloaded O line play missed his block. That’s a lot of strong opinions about Gore based on a missed block :)

      1. It’s tough to see the entire eleven when evaluating a play. Most fans ignore viewing the whole, and pick one aspect to fail or pass the result.

  28. Richie Incognito might be an option to add some attitude to this run first O-Line…I know he’s 31 and a year out of football, but I am sure he comes pretty cheap. He was already punished by the Dolphins so the league can’t suspend him.
    That brings up an interesting point about Aldon Smith. Would the NFLPA file a grievous for Smith since the team suspended him last year for the infractions that the league is now looking at? Albeit the suspension was self imposed but at this point if I am SF, I sell the league on the suspension coming from upper management and not Aldon to alleviate the authority the league has in resuspending him.

  29. Incognito is cancer to a locker room. The Bucs can have him. There will be other mediocre o lineman available who aren’t dirtbags like him.

      1. Could be. I just know of Incognito’s rep since he’s been in the league. There’s a reason he still doesn’t have a job.

        1. Yeah I doubt he is. I’m sure the niners vetted the situation before making the sign and considering he play at stanford. Doesn’t seem like something harbaugh and co would tolerate.

      2. Yeah being quiet and not wanting any trouble is obviously going to cause problems in the locker room. Incognito is a perfect fit for Harbaugh’s team and his locker should be right next to Martin’s. It’s put up or shut up time.

        For those keeping score, Martin has been one of the top performers on the Oline in all 3 games. Don’t judge a man by what has proceeded him. He’s going to be a valuable player for this team going forward.

        1. Yes, he’s one of the 3-4 players on offense I’ve been watching this preseason and he seems to have improved overall even as he has has continued to regain strength.

        2. When they gave Miami a conditional 7th round pick for him, I thought they did so just to save face, given the positive things that Harbaugh had said in defense of him and that no one had wanted him. Now, it appears it might have been a good, maybe even a great, trade.

  30. Ryan Matthews popped a beautiful 14-yard run. Takeaway that play and he gained just 8 yards on three carries.

      1. It’s actually happens in reverse to other teams. He removes the shorter runs to make other backs appear better.

  31. Grades for the starting o-line:

    Staley +.3
    Iupati -2.4
    Kilgore -.8
    Looney +.4
    J Martin +1.3

    1. I chock that up to preseason apathy. He had a decent game against Denver.

      The bigger problem with Iupati is that he’s not good at pass blocking in general. His overall score in 2013 was a 2.6 but his individual scores are shocking; -7.9 in pass blocking offset by a 10.7 in run blocking. Out of 16 regular season starts he had 9 games with a negative pass block grade.

      1. In fact he’s never had a season with a positive overall pass block grade.

    2. I must admit to having been one of the doubters about JMartin. Happily eating crow these days.

      1. I wouldn’t put on that bib just yet, he had one Ok game after one not so Ok game and one that resembles what my dog leaves on the lawn each morning. He played 38 out of 77 snaps yesterday, what level of competition was he facing? He still didn’t have a good day of run blocking.

        1. He graded the best of our starting linemen, and the arrow is pointing up. He will only get better.

        2. CFC,

          No actually he’s been pretty solid in all three and has improved with each game. He’s shown he’s a viable swing tackle which further dilutes Boone’s case.

          1. To say he’s improved is true, to say that those improvements have been marginal at best would be even more accurate and we’re still only talking about a guy who’s taking 50% at most of the snaps in preseason action. He’s good for a couple plays a game to let someone have a breather but if we had an injury he’d be liability.

            1. Not sure what you are watching CFC but he’s more than held his own especially in pass protection. He didn’t give up one pressure yesterday nevermind a sack. I don’t want him starting full time either, but he’s been the least of the Olines problems along with Looney. Iupati has been far worse than both and Kilgore has struggled as well.

            2. “…to say that those improvements have been marginal at best would be even more accurate…”

              Actually, unless you’re the 49er’s O line couch, it’s purely subjective speculation on your part as a fan with very incomplete information.

    1. when I saw him allow that blindside hit to Kaep ..
      I was thinking of what other D-Linemen used to say .
      (way back when) ..

      “…The shortest route to Montana was HWY 77 ..”
      (Bubba Paris)

      Talk about some deja vu ?

  32. Grant your hatred of Kaepernick is unrivaled. Of his 6 Incompletions 2 he was hit as he threw, 2 were batted at the line and one was flat out dropped. Only the Vernon bullet can you definitively pin on kaepernick.

    1. Is it hatred? Or is it his job? We always new grant was no homer. If you want that just go listen to krukow.

    2. But I guess you’re happy with kaps play? At least you’re not using the no weapons excuse

    1. Yeah, I saw he can’t be put on PUP either which is a shame, but might be kept on 53 man roster like Patton was last year.

      I agree, he’s the long term answer at C. I haven’t been that impressed by Kilgore.

  33. Did you notice the squeak in Buck’s voice when he introduced Aikman in the booth at the start of the broadcast? Quite strange.

    1. He’d forgotten to acknowledge his partner, it’s standard protocol for them and he realized his mistake and then made it 1000 times worse by making it REALLY obvious.

  34. Lets simplify things, it all begins and ends up front. The 9ers O line has looked terrible. It is impossible to grade the other offensive positions when your O line is as bad as the 9ers is right now. The QB’s, receivers and RB’s effectivness are directly tied to the O line. You only embarrass yourself when you try to grade a QB when is O line is bottom 20% in the league. For those of us of a certain age we can remember OJ Simpsons first year, he was called a total bust. Then his second year the Bills put together a solid O line and he became a great RB. Did he improve that much between yr 1 and yr 2? No, it all begins and ends up front. Resign Boone get Davis healthy and things should start improving right away.

      1. Very tricky problem, yes. Possible solution: Boone switches agents and returns while the two sides renegotiate.

      2. Razor i’m not sure you can at this point. It comes down to business as usual and CK gets murdered or break with the norm and keep CK up right

        1. I think Boone is worth top 10 guard pay because he can play swing tackle. 49er management could actually be fine with this.

          The problem is Boone’s holdout could be reducing his long term value. If the 49ers yield now, whats to prevent Boone from holding out again in a few years.

        2. CK getting murdered isn’t part of the business plan. Boone has been given several examples of what’s possible if he carries out his contract. They will go on without him if he stays out.

    1. After Davis returns, I would like to see them try J. Martin in Iupati’s spot. Know they wouldn’t do it to his ego though.

  35. Kind of funny how pre season plays out. How many opinions are formed in such meaningless games. Gabberts the worst, LMJ is no good, Winston is good, CK hasn’t improved. All of this based on a very few plays which in turn is very vanilla. I am not disagreeing with the opinions nor I am agreeing with them, it just seems some fans place way to much value on the pre season games and rush to judgement.

    Its hard to evaluate your quarterback, running back, receivers when the offensive line is not doing their job. Hard to evaluate your defense when the offense cant move the ball which in turn forces the defense to be on the field more then necessary.

    The value I place on pre season game is simple, playing time, for the new players. Pre season is a place to try out new ideas, plays and players. We wont know what kind of team/players have till week 3 game has been completed.


    East – Eagles
    North – Packers
    South – Saints
    West – Seahawks
    Wild Card – Niners, Panthers

    Super Bowl – Eagles

    East – Patriots
    North – Bengals
    South – Colts
    West – Broncos
    Wild Card – Chiefs, Ravens

    Super Bowl – Colts

    Of course injuries can change everything.

    1. The problem with your comment is that this is not the first time the Gabbert has been graded the worst. It was said when he was brought it. Many felt that this was a serious mistake. It was said when he started at Jacksonville how horrible he was. All the preseason did was show that that assessment is still valid. But let’s ignore this to continue reading.
      LMJ is no good. Um, once again the previous season dictated that thesis. The team was even rumored to be attempting to trade the back, except no other team in the league saw any value there either.
      “CK hasn’t improved”. Well, he hasn’t. Regardless of game play, O-line blocking techniques, and play calling, CK was suppose to have found “touch” for his passes. He was suppose to have shown progress in reading a defense and making reads. You can try to blame the O-line for time there, but it still appears that Kaepernick makes up his mind presnap where he is going to throw the ball and executes accordingly.
      Finally, to say week three is the week that dictates the direction of an NFL team is outlandish. Teams have started 4-0,5-0, 6-0, then completely missed the playoffs. Teams have started 0-2, 1-2, and even 0-2-1 and still made it to the superbowl. In the NFL, each week is a litmus test for what the team is doing well and what it still needs to work on. That includes the preseason. The fans can get hypersensitive to preseason outcomes, but play in the preseason still holds merit when assessing a team.

      1. LMJ is no good. Um, once again the previous season dictated that thesis.

        He averaged 4.9 yards a carry Matt. He also was top ten in KR and PR. Get rid of him.

          1. No it doesn’t but it also flies in the face of what you are trying to pass off as well. He didn’t get many opportunities, why that is I don’t know, but he sure didn’t fail with the ones he did.

          2. Then, by your own statement, he can’t be evaluated on how he performed in 2013. Maybe it will have to be the coaches and GM who make the call.

      2. Matt

        Like I said I don’t disagree/agree with what people are saying. I am just saying that pre season games are not worth much towards an evaluation. After the 3rd game of a season is pretty much telling me, not you what the team is about. If it takes you ten games so be it. You are right tho some teams start out great and fold and some teams start out slow then ignite. So what you are telling me your quite able to evaluate players watching a pre season game, well I am not that good after watching football for 50 + years.

        My opinion on CK hasn’t changed much over the three years, I never have expressed any approval of the guy and I did question on how he became a starter. LMJ your going to have to do more then give me a rumor. Rumors can be found on this blog or on any site on any given day. LMJ can play ball, he is one of those players that are not a good fit in this system. Before you go off on that, I am not saying the system is bad, I am just saying the two don’t mesh at this point in time.

        So in essence what you have told me is that you cant figure out the team by three games into the regular season and yet you can evaluate a pre season performance – okay.

        1. Evaluating a team is different than evaluating individual players. You can not say a team that is 3-0 will win out as easily as you can point out that this individual player has progressed and improved in these particular categories.
          That is essentially what the preseason is. It’s an opportunity to access player growth. That’s why the ending score doesn’t matter.

          And Rocket, L James had 12 carries in 10 games. With your logic, we should go get Case Keenum because he rushed for 5.1 yards on 14 carries!!! And in 5 quarters of play he has over 600 passing yards and 4 TDs. The bottom line is L. James was inactive for several games. When he did finally get to dress for a game, he was a nonfactor as a running back. The most carries he got in a game was 4.

          1. Matt,

            The point I made was in response to you and others that say LMJ is no good. That is a simplistic opinion that is clearly not researched and quite frankly untrue. There’s a difference between being good or no good and not getting opportunities. The facts are pretty clear, in that he averaged 4.9 yards a carry with the few carries he did get which is good and he finished in the top ten in KR and PR’s.

            It’s pretty evident to me that the back lash against LMJ is due to his unhappiness with his role expressed on Twitter more than what has happened on the field. Coaches don’t make decisions on players emotionally like fans do, which is why he’ll likely make this team unless they decide to go heavy somewhere else and give Ellington the job.

            1. I actually liked him until he fumbled in the Super Bowl. Like an old wound, sometimes on rainy days it aches. He belongs in a zone read offense, not a power running offense. He can’t stay healthy in limited action. I don’t value him like some on here, but it’s all business and nothing personal for me…..

              1. Razor,

                The difference is you give a reason for why you feel the way you do. Whether I agree with somebody or not, I respect the difference of opinion if they form it based on what they see on the field as opposed to how they feel about the person. I think LMJ could be better used in this system if they actually gave him a role like Sproles, but that doesn’t exist in this offense.

                The injuries have occurred, but for the most part it’s been in preseason and he’s been available during the regular season.

                Hey I’m not saying the kid is star. I just have never understood why they didn’t come up with a role for him. Harbaugh sang his praises when they drafted him yet has never given him a chance to achieve anything. I just want to see what the kid can do with the ball in his hands once in awhile.

              2. I think you’re right. He’s too slight to be a running back on this team, he lacks the speed to be effective in the flat, and as you say, he breaks down. I cannot fathom why that draft class was so unworthy of TB’s other ones. It’s as if Schneider took over his body and made all the picks.

    1. I’m resigned to Iupati playing out his contract as starting left guard, even though I’m sorry they didn’t replace him last year. I think Looney will continue to improve and work out in the starting right spot. Stating the obvious, looks like MMartin’s development will be delayed, so Kilgore’s backup is Dillon Farrell. IMO, upgrading center is the biggest priority.

    1. thanx, George..

      you would think Iupati would know (by now)
      what it takes to play the position

      1. You make a very good point. Now that they are trying to throw more, his weakness as a pass protector is more evident.

  36. I am typically optimistic and I have little regard for preseason. Kaepernick looked better against the Ravens and Broncos and had he continued to play against either team, he would have put up more points. He looked bad against the Chargers in the first 2-3 series mostly because Iupati couldn’t keep Luiget out of the backfield. Kap also looked like he got into rhythm on the fourth drive. Had he stayed in another series or two, I bet he would have scored more points.

    Vance McDonald appears to have take a step forward. Many members of the 2014 draft class look good and like they’ll contribute soon. The starting DL looked good. Culliver looked good.

    I personally suspect we’ll start slow in Dallas, and then the offense will get in rhythm in the second quarter and we’ll win by two scores along with Hyde and James cleaning up the trash in the 4th quarter.

    1. I got the feeling that Vance had a problem getting a grasp of the playbook last season. That affected not only his route running and timing but also his confidence. He looks much surer this preseason.

  37. Dillon Farrell looks to be a good center. He only played a bit but looked like he knew what he was doing and played with some pop. He also LOOKS like a center…

    1. Ghost, assuming MMartin is gone a while, do you think he’s the 1st backup? I have no idea. Just seeing if you have an opinion. We’ll know soon enough.

  38. If the Niners win the Super Bowl, I guarantee you that Roman still won’t get a head coaching job. Maybe division 2.

  39. Some things never change with your “logic,” Grant…

    “Carlos Hyde was bad, because if you take away the good things he did, he was bad.”

  40. Not sure if this was mentioned. We havent seen Culliver play much this preseason, anyone else but me a bit relieved that he successfully defended a deep ball? I mean it was a bit underthrown giving him time to make a play on it. But it has to do something for his confidence coming back from his injury.

    1. It was encouraging, but if he turned and looked for the ball a tad earlier, he’d would’ve had a chance to pick it….

  41. well you have higher expectations of him than I do, lol … I was just happy he turned to look at the ball at all.

  42. All grades are by position, except for QB. Grant goes straight for KAEPERNICK with the grade :) Why stop there Grant? Just give him an F already.

  43. Eric Branch is reporting that Marcus Martin will be out 8 weeks due to a dislocated kneecap.

    1. Same injury, if I’m not mistaken, that he sustained against the Bruins. Do you know which knee he dislocated? If it’s the same one, it may be cause for concern as far as career. He’s got 10 weeks to take that Center job from Kilgore….

      1. Left knee, same injury and same knee. Both times requiring a vehicle to exit the field. Concerning….

    1. It will be interesting to see which one gets the IR designation to return, M&M or Dorsey….

      1. Oh man this is big, which guy gets your vote to come back? I guess its only possible to bring back one of them? Could they work it so both can come back to the team?

        1. M&M, because Kilgore is exactly what I thought, a back up. M&M will eventually solidify the middle of this offensive line if he can stay healthy….

          1. I think you’re right again. There’s just more proven depth at Dorsey’s position. Too bad. Then again, I’ve been thinking if it’s the same knee, the doctors might want to do surgery to correct the problem, although we don’t know it’s the same and I don’t know if there’s such surgery.

  44. Interesting PFF grades… Martin actually graded fairly high with a +1.3(+1.5 in pass block) and Looney also graded positively with a +.04. Iupati was obviously the worst with a -2.4 and Kilgore didn’t play well with a -.08 (although he did grade out positively at +.04 in pass block). Aaron Lynch was a beast +5.3 overall with +3.8 pass rush. Jimmie Ward also played well with a +2.7 overall, +2.6 pass cov and Darryl Morris(+2.1) and Lemonier(+1.5) had good games as well.

  45. I’ve had time to go back and watch the 4 possessions the starting offense played in the game, and broke each play down by result and what caused it:

    1st Drive

    1st play – Niners overload left side with Martin, Luiget beats Martin outside and stops Gore for 2 yard loss.

    2nd play – Kap gets good protection but air mails pass 3 feet over McDonald’s head.

    3rd play – Chargers bring blitz, Iupati gets beat inside but his man is picked up by Kilgore. Instead of picking up second rusher who is driving by his left shoulder, Iupati instead double teams guy who beat him with Kilgore. Kap is flushed from the pocket and ultimately fumbles.

    2nd Drive

    1st play – Chargers blitz but it’s picked up pretty well. Kap slides to his left and runs out of bounds with 5 yard gain. Defensive holding call gives an automatic 1st down.

    2nd play – Iupati pulls, Looney misses block on LB who meets Hyde in hold and holds him to short gain.

    3rd play – Iupati completely whiffs on block, Luiget comes through clean and blindsides Kap who then fumbles.

    3rd possession

    1st play – Staley gets pushed back into the pocket, then loses his man who hits Kap as he is throwing.

    2nd play – Martin and Looney double team DE, Looney is unable to get off that block which allows the SS to easily come through and stop Hyde for short gain.

    3rd play – Good protection, slant to Boldin for first down.

    4th play – run to the right, Iupati and Kilgore both miss their blocks on the backside and Hyde is stopped for one yard gain.

    5th play – Davis drops short pass

    6th play – Iupati is soundly beaten again by Luiget, who hits Kaps arm as he throws.

    4th possession

    1st play – Good push from the interior OLine, LMJ gains 3 up the middle.

    2nd play – Pass protection holds up well on completion to Boldin for first down.

    3rd play – Iupati misses block, LMJ gets hit 2 for 2 yard loss.

    4th play – Protection good, but Kap settles for short pass over the middle to LMJ for 7 yards.

    5th play – Snyder gets beaten, but Kap is able to make quick throw to Davis for 1st down.

    6th play – Quick slant to Crabtree for first down. Really tight window to fit ball in but Kap places it perfectly.

    7th play – Protection is good, but Kap checks down to Miller for 7 yard gain.

    8th play – Kilgore and Snyder both get good push up the middle, Hyde easily gets first down, but spins out of a tackle for additional yardage. Shows his strength and good feet on the same play.

    9th play – Quick pass intended for Patton knocked down.

    10th play – Staley and Iupati both ignore Luiget (great move considering the guy was blowing everybody up all half) and Snyder can’t get across on the pull fast enough to stop him from bringing down LMJ 4 yards behind the LOS. Problem is, Luiget brought LMJ down by sticking his leg out and tripping him. A blatant missed call by the officials.

    11th play – Chargers bring a blitz, entire Oline gets tied up with 3 pass rushers, leaving the LDE an unimpeded lane to Kap, and the blitzing LB clear access off of Staley’s left side which allows him to knock down the pass.

    That was it for the starting offense and what immediately jumped out at me was how poorly Iupati performed in every facet of the game. He didn’t protect well and didn’t run block well. He was beaten badly by Luiget repeatedly and was slow and confused often. No idea what has happened to this guy but if it continues, the team needs to think about replacing him. He was that bad.

    It was funny to listen to Buck and Aikman drone on about how Kap needs to take the next step, and how they miss Boone, meanwhile they were completely oblivious to how badly Iupati was playing, how well Looney and Martin were playing and how Kap didn’t have much of a chance to complete a throw during the first two drives with the pressure he was under.

    Make no mistake, there was one reason why the starting offense struggled yesterday: the play of the Oline, and in particular Mike Iupati and to a lesser extent Kilgore and Staley. No way the offense can move the ball with the level of play shown yesterday up front.

    Some other thoughts with less focus paid to them:

    Wilhoite had a nice game overall and has sewn up the starting job imo.

    Before getting injured, Marcus Martin was playing well.

    Patton was a mixed bag and I don’t know what to think about the WR depth chart now. Patton was on the field the entire game with the exception of the last half of the 4th quarter. I’m not sure if that is the Coaching staff wanting to see more from him and giving him a chance with every unit, or if they just wanted to give him playing time because he’s earned it. He had no catches with the starting unit and only one on the day total. Johnson was given snaps in the 3rd quarter and caught one pass, while getting only 7 snaps the week before.

    Not sure how to read it but Ellington, at least to me, has been the most impressive of the 3 and I don’t know if there is a competition for one spot between Patton and Johnson right now or if they are just giving Johnson minimal snaps to save him for the season. That wouldn’t make any sense to me, but I have no clear read on this right now.

    Aaron Lynch was a kid I was hoping could come in, take to his Coaching and show enough to remain a developmental player on the PS when he was drafted. A lot I know. He has earned a job on the 53 and could be Brooks’ replacement in another year if he keeps improving as rapidly as he has so far.

    Lemonier was also very good yesterday and constantly around the QB getting pressure. We have some pretty good young pass rushers in the system it appears.

    Ward continues to play solid and gets better with each game.

    Acker again had a nice day in coverage and on ST’s along with Morris. I don’t know how they choose between the two which it appears they might have to.

    Johnson has played well enough that he should be in consideration for dime duty.

    The second OLine unit put the starters to shame.

    Gabbert was much better, but was also given excellent protection.

    That’s all I have for now.

    1. Nice break down rocket.

      Iupati was terrible, no doubt, but Kilgore wasn’t much better in my opinion. He got pushed back a few times, and generally didn’t create any space for the RBs or set the pocket.

      The WR situation is a tough one to gauge. I find it hard to believe they wouldn’t use this opportunity to get Johnson in sync with the 1st team offense if they thought he would be the #3 WR this year. He apparently tweaked something during the week at the Levi Stadium practice that was cut short, but if he was still slightly injured, why risk him at all? Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but to me having Patton in with the 1’s while Johnson was held out until Gabbert came in strongly suggests he’s moved down the pecking order.

      As for Patton, it was a bit of a mixed bag, but overall I thought he did pretty well. A couple of plays he’d like back. At this stage I’m thinking Lloyd will be the #3 WR. Ellington has looked very good, but I doubt he gets the gig.

      One guy that hasn’t been mentioned who I thought did well for the brief stint he was out there was Chris Cook. I don’t think he gave up any receptions. Cox played well too.

      1. Thanks Scooter.

        I mentioned Kilgore struggled as well to a lesser extent, but Iupati was so bad, everyone else paled in comparison.

        The WR situation has me completely baffled. When they took Johnson out after 7 plays last week, I figured that was an indication he was going to be the #3 and they didn’t want to risk an injury. This week they give him 17 snaps, but all come in the 3rd quarter with the second unit. I have no idea what to make of it and am even more confused as to why they haven’t given him more snaps to make the decision than they have.

        Not the first time Harbaugh and co. have confused me and won’t be the last.

        I agree with you on Cook and Cox. I should have just mentioned the entire CB crew because they all played pretty well.

        1. Could they have left Johnson out there for the sole benefit of Gabbert? To see how effective he is with starting caliber position players?

    2. Forgot to mention McDonald as well. He looks like a completely different player this year. Confident and athletic and starting to become a factor.

    3. Yea, very nice. I sure would like to see the Duke as the number three wide receiver, because from what I’ve seen, he’s earned it…..

    4. Rocket,
      Thanks for taking the time to review and comment. I came back in blog time to see what I could find and unearthed this gem.

      Some thoughts:
      Buck and Aikman blaming the wrong guys had me missing Tim Ryan. I think this was there warmup for the Cowboys Niner game. They had rust all over them just like Iupati. Or maybe just drinking in too much of the new digs.

      Aron Lynch’s best success was when Dial was in to plug the inside which he did well. When Dial went out Lynch got caught on the outside when action went inside. Lynch and Dial looked to me like a Smith brother tandem for the future.
      Lynch makes a lot of mental errors right now but the upside that he shows is very impressive. Like you, I thought at best he would end up on the practice squad now I worry if they try to put him there.

      So LMJ was tripped, I thought it looked like a very strange tackle and had something to do with the temp. turf. Now I know the Luiget reason.

      The secondary was the big concern before this draft now not so much and might turn out to be a bright spot. Go figure…

      The WRs are a delimna right now. Ellington has shook it up leaving Patton and Johnson wondering… I hope Patton pulls it together as the kid who showed up too early to Niner HQ after his draft day.

      Blaine did not look like NFL Blaine but instead someone hearing whispers of hope and confidence. But let’s be careful hear as one whisper does not hush the boo birds.

    1. Iupati’s technique issue is all about staying balanced and moving his feet better.

        1. I agree Aloha. The guy is a pro bowler. Right now he is struggling with his balance and mobility. It’s not his technique.

        1. No. He just needs to keep a low center of gravity. He tends to get a little high, and the end result is that he has to reach more and loses leverage.

          1. When I first became aware of professional football, players had to work in the off season because of the low pay. Joe the Jet delivered milk. They also had to work themselves into playing condition during training camp. What they called in condition was nothing like it is today.

            Iupati’s fractured fibula took away a significant portion of his off season work. Staying low on a consisting basis for a guy like Iupati probably is significantly effected is he’s not in the best possible shape.

            It also seems to me that Harbaugh is a coach that doesn’t worry about dead legs or game planning in preseason. Carrol on the other hand, goes into preseason games with his team on fresh legs and with a game plan.

  46. Since the SeaHags acquired Tyrelle Pryor to back-up Wilson, former Niner QB BJ Daniels is likely to get cut. Does it make sense to cut Josh Johnson for Daniels? I thought Daniels was the best QB in preseason last year.

    1. Do you think that the 49ers can afford to keep three quarterbacks on the 53 man roster? I don’t. It’s not like the pre-cap days when Walsh could replace Montana with Young, and then replace Young with Bono and still have a very good chance to win.

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