49ers aim to present more sophisticated defense next season

San Francisco 49ers strong safety Jaquiski Tartt (29) intercepts a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Chad Williams (10) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers believe they can improve their historically bad defensive backfield without changing it.

They brought back all five starters from a 2018 secondary that intercepted only two passes (a new NFL low), broke up just 39 passes (a league low in 2018) and gave up a quarterback rating of 105.4 (second-worst in the NFL). And yet, the 49ers insist those numbers will improve next season, because the 49ers will disguise their coverages and use quality edge rushers they didn’t have in 2017 or 2018.

“(Playing defense without good edge rushers) is like telling an offense to get by without a good quarterback,” defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said Wednesday after OTAs. “It starts with the (defensive) front. It’s a big man’s game. And our front has a chance to be special. It’s a very talented group. That will finally come to light because we’ve got the speed element (with Dee Ford), along with Nick Bosa’s power to fill out the edges.”

Last season, the 49ers’ primary edge rushers were Cassius Marsh and Ronald Blair, and they recorded only 5.5 sacks apiece. Neither scared opposing offenses or forced opposing quarterbacks to throw the ball quickly.

“When an offense changes the way they approach us and attack us, then I know we’re getting pressure on the quarterback and changing their entire philosophy,” Saleh explained. “Last season, the routes we were seeing were long-developing. The quarterback was able to go through his progressions and either throw it away or take a checkdown. Now, he can’t go to his next progression because if he does, he should be getting hit by somebody. That didn’t happen as frequently as we would’ve liked a year ago.”

Saleh believes the 49ers’ new and improved pass rush will force quarterbacks to rush in the pocket and throw the ball quicker than they’d like to, which will allow the 49ers’ defensive backs to play faster, better and more aggressively than they did the past two seasons.

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This article has 319 Comments

    1. Well don’t tell that to the 2011, 2012, 2013 Niners who generated a ton of pressure that made draft busts Carlos Rodgers, Donte Whitner and average talents in Terrell Brown and Dashon Goldston play like Pro Bowlers. The fact of the matter is that we truly don’t know how good Witherspoon, Moore, Tartt, Ward etc are. Without consistent pressure NO ONE is any good. I believe our secondary looks a lot more formable this year. IF Verrett can play most of the season it can be a very good secondary. Its a big IF I understand that. But the Niners front 7 will be very good. If they can catch a break in overall health.

      1. Rebuild, I don’t think this is an all or nothing argument. The front 7 will help the DB’s. And yet it won’t fix the blown coverages, missed tackles, poor communication etc. Some of those guys just plain can’t cover. It wasn’t uncommon last year for opposing players to be wide open because no one in the secondary recognized the formation or their responsibilities. Or some players playing zone while others are playing man.

        I would say Rodgers, Whitner, Brown, Goldson were better in many ways than the group we have. They didn’t often make coverage errors, miss tackles and have poor communication. They also had the skills to cover. Guys weren’t running free. It helped that we had pro bowl inside linebackers too. They could cover until the pass rushers got to the QB. They also had Fangio.

          1. CFC, hilarious. I am hopeful that Woods is better than Hafley on this issue. Also, wonder if making the scheme more complicated is a good thing for the DB’s on this roster?

              1. Sounds like the defensive responsibilities are being well defined and simplified to me.

              2. Seriously Razor, what’s giving you that impression?

                Using the safeties interchangeably is more complicated than playing a single safety position. Switching between to the wide 9 means the linebackers have different responsibilities in the run and passing game. If they switch from wide 9 depending on down that’s also a complexity.

                From Adrian Colbert’s mouth:
                “You would know who the free safety was. If you saw him in the middle of the field, you knew we were running Cover 3. Now, you don’t really know, because the free safety could be in the box and we’re showing different looks and moving around a lot more than we used to. We have way more (disguises) than we had the past two years.”

                More looks equals greater complexity right? I am not opposed to complexity as long as the players can make it work. Besides Sherman we haven’t had the players to run the cover three in the secondary or rushing the passer. The value of that defense was being able to stop the run and keep your DB’s on the field. You have to have special players to do that. It was the same with Fangio’s defense, it worked because he had great players to work with.

                I would say sometimes if you don’t have great players disguising your scheme can really help your team if they can execute it.

              3. The BS will come down and play the WLB when facing a quick passing attack such as RPO.

              4. “More looks equals greater complexity right?”

                Yes, along with a greater risk to be caught out of position.

                Also, as things become more complex players are forced to think. The result is guys aren’t able to play as fast. Simplicity of the scheme is a big reason why Seattle has been able to stay a top level defense even with the Legion of Boom moving on and others.

              5. Kocurek said he wanted to simplify things and play as fast and aggressive as possible.

          2. CFC – Post of the day. When I hear Saleh speak, I wonder if someone switched film with them and he’s watching another team.

            1. Saleh is so over his head in this job It’s not even funny. Good position coach, bad coordinator.

              It’s a common theme on this team. People in jobs they’re not suitable for. Our head coach is a great coordinator but a bad HC. Our GM is a great color commentator in the booth but a terrible scout and player evaluator.

              This is why well be .500 or worse again this year.

              1. I say the jury is still out on Kyle too when it comes to being a HC. He’s great at xs and os but no where near HC material yet. Personally I think that JL has been put in an impossible position as a GM subordinate to a HC who is still doing OJT. Most here miss the irony that we can’t get rid of Saleh because we can’t change schemes yet, but instead we hire two veteran position coaches who are…making significant changes to our defensive scheme. Go figure.

              2. Most miss that Shanny and Lynch were hired as a team because they shared the same vision, and could work well together. Lynch may become expendable at some point, but I doubt it’s before we see a turnaround….

              3. Shanny and Lynch will not be on the hotseat if they win 8 games, but next year the pressure will be on to make that next jump to the playoffs. 2020 is where I expect them to address the secondary with a high draft pick….

              4. To:Coffee and Whine
                Why do you think Kyle is a bad head coach? Or not head coach material???

                We all do OTJT…Gotta start somewhere…
                Walk before you fly type thang…

    2. “(Playing defense without good edge rushers) is like telling an offense to get by without a good quarterback,” defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said Wednesday after OTAs. “It starts with the (defensive) front. It’s a big man’s game. And our front has a chance to be special. It’s a very talented group. That will finally come to light because we’ve got the speed element (with Dee Ford), along with Nick Bosa’s power to fill out the edges.”

      This is coming from a coaching staff that said “you have to be pretty good to beat out Marsh!” Unbelievable! I have no more confidence in their assessment of their current secondary as I did of Cassius Marsh’s value.

      1. With the exception of Buckner, Marsh and Blair were our best pass-rushers.
        I know that’s not saying much, but it’s fact.
        I was hoping that Jullian Taylor would leapfrog Marsh but it never developed.

        In any case, it’s a different season and new pass-rushers. I much rather look forward than look back.

        1. AES,

          That was used to justify not getting pass rush help last year. This year it’s a new song and dance. I don’t buy it either.

          The lack of addressing the DBs is going to be an albatross around Saleh, Shanahan and Lynch.

    3. Technically, scheme was not the problem. It was executing a scheme that either was too complicated for these young players or wasn’t something that they could execute on game day. A wide open receiver in the flat could be the result of a missed assignment, once in a while. When it happens as often as it did last year, then it becomes a scheme issue or a personnel not-grasping-the-scheme issue.

    4. I’m starting to see a pattern with many of the fans who comment on here. Focus on partial information to form a conclusion while ignoring anything to the contrary. As my name implies I am no expert, but a simple look at all the information gives a different story to many of the opinions being expressed. The most important fact that is being overlooked is that the secondary had players in and out of the lineup weekly. They didn’t start the same group of players in the secondary for more than a handful of games all year. That is why mistakes are made; not because the players suck. You have to have continuity to achieve a level of success and the 49ers didn’t have that.

      The other obvious thing that is being missed here is that the number of Ints and QB rating are directly reliant on the pass rush which was not good last season. Even with that dismal pass rush, the 49ers were in the top half of the league in total pass yards given up and YPA which tells us that they were not getting burned for big plays as much as many seem to believe. They were often getting dinked and dunked to death because the pass rushers couldn’t get home and the secondary played way off in coverage a lot of the time to compensate. Getting better Edge rushers will have a major effect on the secondary as will having the same players available (hopefully) for the majority of the season.

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more pessimistic group of fans – some not all – in my life. The signs are there that if this team can keep some key players healthy they are a pretty good team. Obviously the injuries are disappointing but they even out. If they keep JG on the field along with the majority of starters across the board this team can compete for a playoff spot.

      1. If Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy existed, they’d make a pretty formidable wrestling tag team.

        If water was solid, we could walk to Japan.

        If I knew the future, I’d play the lottery consistently.

        See? This is why fans of this team are pessimistic. All the 9ers ever offer is “ifs and buts.” The fact that so many fans apologize for their losing ways means this abject failure of an ownership group never has to worry about being accountable.

  1. “The D-line was just wreaking havoc,” Saleh said. “If you really go back and dissect that tape, the back end (of the defense) just got faster and faster and faster as the game went on because it is tied to the (pass) rush.”

    I absolutely agree with this philosophy. Always have, always will. It starts up front!

    1. The Super Bowl Giants had it, and the Super Bowl Seahawks had it. Waves of rapid pressure forcing the qb to make decisions in 2 seconds flat….

  2. I think the thing Saleh said that most stood out to me was,

    “When an offense changes the way they approach us and attack us, then I know we’re getting pressure on the quarterback and changing their entire philosophy,”

    I had never thought about it this way, however it makes a ton of sense. There is a reason teams often look at pressure very differently and is something to keep in mind when looking at things like PFF stats.

    1. Saleh’s statement does make a lot of sense. Unfortunately the 49ers historically have built their defense so that it takes away parts of their opponents’ game only to be exploited in another area. (Offenses take what the 49ers give them). When I think of Saleh I think of a guy who plans to scheme away problems rather than put a competitive group of players on the field. He doesn’t talk about individuals executing but instead talks about scheming. Other offenses will have to change? So what if they change to something else you can’t stop? For example, will the wide 9 expose a mediocre linebacker corps and weaken our run D? The thing I find very interesting is after hearing from so many here about how bad it would be to change Saleh’s scheme, here we are [drum roll] making major changes to Saleh’s scheme. The interchangeable safeties is priceless and should be received with a WTF? but instead it’s mostly silence. Got a weakness at safety? No problem – We’ll just confuse our opponents.

      1. In this system, the coaches (scheme makers) are the stars. The players are pieces of the puzzle, nothing more. I think until these coaches learn that the players matter (not merely their skills or virtues) we may be on the outside looking in.

        This may also explain why there have been Joe Williams type whiffs.

      2. Offenses take what the 49ers give them

        That’s an excellent point. The good offenses will do just that, and this is what makes football such a great sport. Not only are the good teams able to make adjustments throughout the course of a season, the good teams are also able to make adjustments on the fly, in game, and in real time.

        That said, I’d rather give up a bunch of short routes, thus limiting a team’s average yards per play, than give up a bunch of intermediate-to-deep routes, allowing teams to stretch the filed and pick up huge chunks of yards whenever they need them. The game has changed. It’s less about time of possession now, as compared to 10-15 years ago, and more about explosive plays and big gains. Rule changes have turned the NFL into a passing league, and if you can’t consistently pressure a QB and make him uncomfortable, it doesn’t much matter how much talent you have on the back-end of your defense.

        The term “it starts up front” has never been as true as it is today! Allow any one of the league’s decent QB’s to get comfortable in the pocket, and their routes to develop downfield, and you’re in for a long day.

    2. Yes, this is something most people don’t appreciate. Saying coverage is now more important than pass rush because teams can game plan to get the ball out quickly and avpid the pass rush. The whole idea that teams need to change their game plan to account for a good pass rush is a very good thing. Forcing teams to get the ball out of their hand quickly is a very good thing. Even if the team isn’t generating heaps of sacks, just having a pass rush that dictates what the offense is willing to do is a very good thing.

      1. Pass rush is important, but you shouldn’t be spending big money on edge rushers if you’re already spending big money on a QB, because you can find edge rushers who speed up the offense for relatively cheap (Ziggy Ansah, Justin Houston, etc.).

        1. I’m not debating cap management – at some point paying lots of guys premium money will hurt them. But I am a firm believer in the importance of having a good pass rush, even in the modern NFL where teams game plan around it.

          1. The Patriots just held the Rams to 3 points in the Super Bowl without dominant pass rushers. Teams can game plan around good pass rushers — that’s the point. It’s harder to game plan around a good secondary when it can take away the offense’s top targets and force it operate through third and fourth options.

            1. Only 3 teams made the playoffs that were in the bottom half of the league in sacks: Indy, LAC, NE.

              Indy and LAC had 1 sack more than the 49ers last year.

              New England has a great head coach, and he’s a defensive guy along with the best QB to ever play the game. They should be kept out of this discussion because Shanahan/Saleh/Garoppolo have about as much in common with Belichick/Brady as Trump has with George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.

              A good pass rush should help the defense, but that will also require guys to be winning on the back end too. That Raiders game a year ago was an anomaly. If they think they’re going to be close to that they must be planning on being the 85 Bears.

              What’s concerning to me, and I touched on this yesterday, is the changes to the scheme. You’ve just spent the first 2 years teaching and training a scheme that you preached would work. Now in year 3 you decide that you want to tinker with it. What this says to me is that you didn’t really believe in what you were doing.

              1. “What this says to me is that you didn’t really believe in what you were doing.”

                Hmmm, not exactly. It can just as easily (and probably does in this case) mean they have taken and evaluated the results of the past two years and come to the decision the scheme they believed in was not working.

              2. Their base scheme worked very good. What they needed to fix was their Nickel/Dime by adding rushers and cover guys.

              3. Jack

                “Their base scheme worked very good. What they needed to fix was their Nickel/Dime by adding rushers and cover guys.”

                That’s what I thought was originally was going to happen they started talking about the wide 9 inclusion. However, I was disconcerted to hear about its inclusion in base… it seems a bit odd.

                I would understand it if they gradually introducing it… seeing how it works with base from time to time. The complete switch seems a bit odd, when you are not sure how well it will integrate with the scheme.

              4. Patriots great head coach didn’t have an answer for the NYGiants in the 2008 SB.
                Try asking him and Tom Brady if the front line of Strahan, Tuck and Osi didn’t effect their ugly loss.
                I called that Patriots season the perfect loss.

            2. I’m also a firm believer you need a decent secondary. Basically if one or the other is very good and the other can then be decent. Decent (or worse) at both means a bad D, with few exceptions.

              If I am building a roster I go pass rush over secondary based on the idea/ my belief it is easier to find good pass rushers that are consistently good year to year (that may sound backwards, but when building a team you want to maximise the chances of your investments panning out). But that doesn’t mean you ignore the secondary.

              As for the Patriots, can we just accept Belichick is better than everyone else?

              1. Since the evolution of the PI/IC rules has made coverage essentially illegal, the choice defaults to pressure to defend the pass imo.

              2. Good points. The way I see it, the best DBs are cheaper than the best defensive linemen. So, I’d rather spend to have the best defensive backs on the market, and get by with defensive linemen on who are on their third contracts or their rookie deals.

              3. Big people beat up little people, so the big people are more valuable than the little people. That’s why they get paid more than anyone else except your franchise quarterback. Case in point, Uncle Buck will soon be making 20+ million a year….

              4. A quick passing game nullifies a good pass rush, but not a good secondary. The league is trending toward a quick passing game.

              5. When a defense can force an offense to stay in it’s quick passing game, the secondary can key on that and be much more aggressive in their coverage….

              6. Teams can win Super Bowls with play-action and a quick passing game. Ask the Patriots.

                Also, the rise of the RPO means teams will use the quick passing game even more frequently.

              7. There’s not one way to win a Super Bowl.

                The defenses have caught up to the RPO. Bring the safety down, and allow the lb to play pass.

              8. “The way I see it, the best DBs are cheaper than the best defensive linemen.”

                Yeah, this is actually kind of an anomalous result, but is based on teams mostly believing DL/ pass rush is more important than secondary. Some teams have exploited this in recent years to build their defensive roster around “cheaper” resources in the secondary rather than DL (such as the Patriots, surprise, surprise). But this market anomaly will correct itself in time. I still think the better long term strategy is to build around the DL. But the secondary is a position you should regularly be investing good draft resources and FA money into too. You need sound play at the back end to make the work of the DL useful… and vice versa.

              9. “You need sound play at the back end to make the work of the DL useful… and vice versa.”

                Totally agree. The question is how should teams allocate their cap dollars and draft picks. In 2019, I think spending big cap dollars on DL is a luxury teams can afford only if they spend very little on QBs. You shouldn’t invest heavily in the two most expensive positions.

                Here are the teams who are spending more than $60 million of their 2019 cap dollars on QBs and DL:
                1. Panthers
                2. 49ers
                3. Vikings
                4. Steelers
                5. Chargers

                The Steelers and Chargers might make the playoffs because they have Hall of Fame quarterbacks. The other three teams probably won’t make the playoffs.

              10. I take your point, but I think the market will correct itself soon enough as teams start seeing what the Patriots are doing and try to copy them. DBs, especially CBs, will start getting the big contracts again.

                Longer term I still think spending more of your cap on DL than secondary is the way I would go, but I would also consistently be adding talent through the draft in the secondary. Put your money where you more consistently get production and use a numbers/ volume approach at the other.

              11. A team can be loaded with talent, but bad coaching will squander that talent. e.g.- Rams.
                Good coaching is needed to get the most out of good talent.
                Great coaching will take a 6-10 team, draft a DB backfield, and win a ring.
                Last season, Belichick did not need a dominant pass rush, because his players knew their jobs, and were competent. Belichick also put them in their best positions to succeed.

        2. You want to write articles about questionable free agent decisions by the Niners taking flyers on injured players but you mention Ziggy Ansah as a worth while addition. That makes sense lol.

        3. Grant

          Perhaps a bit off thread, but do you have any updates on Tyree Robinson and how he’s doing in OTAs ? From what I’ve heard, he just wasn’t going to get a shot with Dallas…He was one hellacious Safety in college with his size (215 lb ) and his length ( 6’2″) ..Oh yeah, he was a Duck ‘hits big…

  3. I just don’t understand the 49ers strategy in the secondary. Tartt and Ward as the starters at Safety? Even if these guys weren’t Mr. Glass’s twin cousins, what has either one of them ever done to make people think they are actually good? I know Saleh likes Ward but when I’ve seen him play I just don’t see it. Then you have Witherspoon, who I believe is an awful CB, competing against Mr. Glass’s twin brother – Jason Verrett. At this point, Richard Sherman is living off reputation. The only reason QB’s didn’t attack him last year is because they didn’t to. Running plays against Air in practice was more challenging for NFL offenses than going against Witherspoon. IMO, the 49ers secondary is bottom 10 in the NFL and the 49ers literally did nothing to address it. I’m absolutely bewildered by this – Draft D-line and pray we hit the QB before he torches us – strategy.

    1. Houston I agree 100%…….if Bosa can’t see the field and they contain Ford to some degree, its the same crap different year….is Witherspoon going to magically become awesome? think not…the FO just doesn’t seem to get the holes in the roster when it comes time to draft…..If Colbert goes down who playes FSafety? and don’t say Ward he sucks as well….looks like another long year but hey, they got a punter….

  4. I am not a fan of interchangeable positions on defense………there was a reason they have named positions on the field….this is not soccer….

    A SS knows his job and FS knows his……trying to confuse an opponent is just going to create an excuse to confuse your team…..

    1. Agree oneniner, but even in high-level soccer, each player is trained for a position. A player that is trained to be a striker, for eg., cannot simply be plugged into a wing position on the same line, and be expected to play to his potential.

      In this case, I think it’s extremely risky to go this route. Almost like the FO and coaching staff are taking the lazy way out.

      1. In fangio’s defense it was obvious Donte Whitner was the SS…….everyone knew this including the opponents who were avoiding his hits,……

        Your SS sets the tone after 5 yards….if all you have are safeties just arm tackling – you lose the fear aspect…..

        Our defense was above average when we had a tone setter in the secondary……

        Donte Whitner
        Tony Parrish
        Lance Schulters
        Tim McDonald
        Carlton Williamson
        Mel Phillips

  5. I’m excited to see T. Moore at safety. With his athleticism he could be special at the FS spot, can’t wait until the first preseason game. My 2 sleepers at camp are going to be Moore and Street.

      1. If neither foes, nor loving friends can hurt you.
        If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
        And treat those 2 impostors just the same.
        If you can fill the unforgiving minute,
        with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run.
        Yours is the earth and everything that’s in it,
        And- which is more- you’ll be a Man, my son!

  6. Ward and Tartt have done absolutely nothing for 4 years … it blows my mind that the FO keeps trotting them out there like they’re magically gonna turn into Ronnie Lott I don’t get

    1. NYNINER yes same can be said about Witherspoon and DJohnson…the two worst graded CB’s in the league….shhh
      If the FO had any balls they would have reached out for TMathieu but he prob would have stayed away from this dumpster fire.

      1. The only justification I can come up with is they’ve been paid so much they’re just trying to get something out of the investment

      2. TMathiew? That’s your answer to improving their defense? Good g_d, you’ve got to be kidding! I was all for signing “The Duece” to a short term deal, to shore up the back end of this defense, and I was disappointed that they were unable to do so. The Honey Badger though? Good grief, NO!

        I firmly believe a good defense always starts up front, and we’ll find out soon enough if this philosophy still holds true in today’s NFL. I think it does still hold true today, more so than ever before. We saw what the Broncos were able to achieve a couple years ago, even with a washed up QB. It’s all about pressuring a QB and making him uncomfortable, while having all 11 defenders on the same page. If you can do these 2 things consistently, which the 49ers haven’t been able to do over the last 4 seasons, you’re going to put your team in position to win a lot of games, as long as you can score some points of your own.

        The 49ers offense should be much improved as long as Garoppolo is healthy. If Ford, Buckner and Bosa are as good as advertised, and Sherman is back to at least 85-90%, I can see this team winning as many as 9-10 games this year.

        I will admit, there are no more excuses left to be had. The unusual injury bug was a legitimate excuse last season, but even that needs to change. Postseason or not, the 49ers must start winning games. And I expect they will as long as Garoppolo stays healthy, and the defensive front 7 live up to expectations, and I think they will.

  7. I had a funny conversation last night with an ex-49ers PR guy. Was there during the SB days and managed PR for linemen. Told me that the most despised writers inside the 49ers organization are Grant and his dad, Lowell. Hands down. Tim Kawakami is next. Mentioned that the PR department absolutely monitors these sites.

    In regards to this article by GC. Yes, a good pass rush will improve any secondary. A great pass rush will improve it dramatically. We will have to wait to see which one we have. Regardless, our defense will be better.

    1. Interesting. If the PR department actually does monitor these sites, it shows clearly why it is foolish to always give the team the benefit of every doubt and manufacture excuses why they continue to fail. Also, if true that GC and LC are/were despised, it is proof that the PR department is not truly concerned about putting a quality football team on the field but only maintaining the illusion that they are operating a competent operation. Instead they are solely concerned with maintaining the profitability of Jed’s cash cow. At the end of the day, whatever Grant and Lowell write makes absolutely no difference as to the quality of the team’s play – and that’s a fact. They call it shooting the messenger.

      1. Yup, and guess why Edward J Debartolo Jr., the best 49er owner ever, and a HOFer, allowed Grant to interview him? Eddie knew the Niner ownership and FO did not like Grant, so it was like kicking them in the teeth.
        Eddie then showed why he was the best. He acknowledged that Lowell pushed their buttons, but publicly stated that he did not read the papers. Then, years later, he admitted to Grant that he read every word of Lowell’s. This showed that Lowell was a master of motivation, to make Eddie and Bill more motivated to prove him wrong. It showed how humble Eddie can be, and he gave kudos to Lowell with his story.
        If the Niners truly despise Grant, It just shows why they are such 4-12 losers. If a journalist can make them upset, imagine what an opposing HC would do? KS already whined about how negatively Grant’s articles are affecting his players. Grant is just doing his job, and doing it well. Shooting the messenger sends a bad message.
        I have already stated that any PR division would be derelict in their duties if they do not closely monitor the sites. The biggest satisfaction I have is seeing JL do 8 out of 10 things I advocated in the 2017 draft. The only 2 he did not do, was avoiding the red flagged players ( J Williams, Foster), and avoiding the unforced errors(Trading up for Foster, CJB and JWilliams). Also trading away a pick, which the Saints used to select Alvin Kamara.
        The most ironic thing is that JL is actually following my advice, when it comes to interviews. I advocated that he should do interviews with Tom Tolbert, because TT would keep it light. Tolbert also learned a lot from the Razor(Ralph), and his questions during his interviews, display his insights learned from a past master.
        No wonder JL refuses to allow Grant to conduct an interview. The animus against Grant is palpable, but so wrongheaded. If JL wants to turn around the culture of the Niners, he will not be churlish and petty. Granting fluff pieces with the Matts sound good, but it all blows up in their faces when they go 4-12.
        I thought JL had more character. He should not be afraid of Grant. Bill Walsh acknowledged that one had to be on top of their game, because journalists are very smart, and can see through the smoke. Until JL does allow Grant to conduct an interview with him, I will continue to say that he is afraid of making a mistake, and cannot stand the heat. Well, heat tempers steel, and an untempered knife gets dulled easily. JL should relish the challenge, not shy away and hide. If JL wants to be the GM, he should act like one. Conducting a tough interview will show that he is not afraid of the heat, and that he can withstand tough questions without looking churlish, petty, or crumble. He is acting like a 4-12 GM, not a playoff bound GM.
        OMG, I just called out JL. I wonder how he will respond. Since they do read these posts, JL should just bite the bullet and get it over with. Then I will heap praise on him for being so upright and having such a strong character. If JL wants to change the culture of the team, it starts at the top.

    2. Of course the PR Dept monitors what Grant writes. We all know the coaches listen to Grant’s advice on game strategy and play calling. How else are they going to provide the coaches with Grant’s insights so Shanahan can make the necessary adjustments.

    3. Public relations was started by the Rockefellers who helped create modern PR, when they hired Ivy Lee as their master of spin control and corporate cover up. PR is nothing more than HR for public consumption.

  8. Sorry to disagree but all this focus on the “big guys up front” is misguided IMHO. To me its like a baseball GM saying we just need more sluggers to hit it out of the park. Way too much emphasis on the DL and pass rush. (And I agree that the wide 9 will expose the fact that our LBs may not be first rate and will degrade our run D ) It’s a team game and what the film showed me time and again is that they don’t play football well to begin with and they played very poorly together. I hope I’m wrong. Let me try to summarize what I heard Saleh say: “This year we’re going to throw a lot more $hitt up against the wall and see what sticks.” Good luck with that.

  9. They seem to have same mindset with Solomon Thomas. Let’s keep moving things around and see where he fits.

    Sort of like creating a new final picture so that the pieces of your puzzle fit. I tried that once; doesn’t look pretty.

  10. Using a lopsided win against a bad team that was on a very short week as an example of what you think will work moving forward is kinda funny.

    Trying to say the pass rush made Carlos Rogers is funny too. He was far better even in DC than any of the guys in SF last year. Same with Whitner coming from Buffalo.

    1. Whitner was a good player, but wasn’t Carlos Rogers considered a bust in Washington, and didn’t he bust again right after he left the 49ers? And didn’t Dashon Goldson’s career take a serious nosedive just as soon as he left the 49ers?

      Carlos Rogers – was the 9th overall pick for the Redskins, but he was considered a bust during his time in Washington. He averaged less than 2 INT’s per season during his 6 seasons in Washington. Rogers recorded only 2 INT’s over his final 28 games in D.C. He was signed by SF the following season and was named to the Pro-Bowl in his very first season with the Niners, after recording 6 INT’s and 18 PD’s. For the record, Rogers also lasted only 1 more season in the NFL after leaving the 49ers.

      Dashon Goldson – was named All-Pro for the 49ers in 2012. He made 9 INT’s over his last 2 seasons with the 49ers. He left the Niners in free agency in 2013, and it was all down hill from there for him. Goldson recorded only 2 INT’s in his 4 seasons after leaving SF. The Bucs signed him away from the Niners with a huge deal, but he lasted only 2 seasons in Tampa Bay, while recording 1 INT over those 2 seasons, and then he was traded to the Washington Redskins, along with a seventh round pick, for a sixth round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Goldson was released by Washington after just one season with the team. On August 28, 2016, Goldson was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to fill a backup role due to safety Keanu Neal injuring his knee. In four games, Goldson made one tackle, coming in a 24–26 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 6. On October 19, 2016, he was released by the Falcons. On December 20, 2016, he was re-signed by the Falcons. Goldson was inactive for the Falcons’ 28–34 overtime loss to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

      1. Rogers was called a bust because he was a top 10 pick. Same thing happened to Justin Smith in Cincinnati

        1. And yet Rogers was better at Corner than many of our current players and his stats are far superior. Yes I remember people calling him a bust, but he would be an upgrade to just about any of our corners. Same is true for Whitner!

  11. tarvaius Moore will end up being the starter at safety. He is perfect for this defense. The size and the speed. Last year they didn’t try because they thought Colbert was the guy. It’s going to be Moore.
    Slot KW/DJR

  12. “Trying to say the pass rush made Carlos Rogers is funny too. He was far better even in DC than any of the guys in SF last year.”

    You are marginalizing here. Sure Rodger’ was better in DC than what we had last year.
    But he never got to the pro bowl in DC either. Trying to minimize the defensive front line by implying Rodgers success was soley his own making is also funny.

    1. “Sure Rodger’ was better in DC than what we had last year.”

      Yeah that was the point.

      Of course pass rush will help but he was a good player even before that. These guys, with the possible exception of Sherman couldn’t hold the jocks of Rogers, Brown, Whitner or Goldson.

      1. Tartt>Goldson

        Follow Follow @PFF
        K’Waun Williams allowed just 0.93 yards per snap in slot coverage last year – the 6th-best mark among qualified DBs.>Brown

        Verrett>Rogers based on talent, not on availability

        Witherspoon has the opportunity to have a great year, and I’m betting on him to do just that.

        1. Pretty much agree. I’m not a fan of Witherspoon and have said so a number of times. Still, I hope the young man proves me wrong and has a great season! I suspect, though, this will be his last chance.

      2. Different time, different compliment of players surrounding Rogers, Whitner, Goldson and Brown, Jack.

        This is obviously hypothetical, but I can’t help but wonder how they would do with our current compliment of players.

        I mean, all you have to do is look at their careers post 49ers.
        Try looking at the whole picture regarding the defense (front 7) rather than dissecting Rodgers and Whitner’ efforts. They had success because it starts up front.
        It’s obvious that Saleh believes in this philosophy, hence Ford and Bosa. And so do I.

        1. “Try looking at the whole picture regarding the defense (front 7)”

          You might want to take your own advice.

          Last year the 49ers had 37 sacks.

          During Rogers time in Washington the Redskins got more than 35 only once, yet he managed to perform better than Witherspoon.

          Same with Whitner in Buffalo, where they managed to get over 32 only once.

          These guys were good players who made plays even without the benefit of a pass rush. Meanwhile the 49ers backfield as a group managed a total of 2 interceptions and 39 passes defensed. They were abysmal by comparison and had a front that recorded more sacks than what Whitner and Rogers got.

          1. If we’re just talking about pure ability, Sherman and Verrett are in the top 20. K. Williams has generally been pretty good at manning the nickel CB position. Witherspoon and Johnson are/were poor.

            I know he was a 6th round pick, but I have high hopes for Tim Harris. His highlight reel looked like that of a 1st round pick (yeah I know it was a highlight reel, but it just really left me with the impression that he could be something special after some time under his belt).

          2. Yup, there’s no argument about their number pre 49ers.
            My position is that their play was improved when they played with the 49ers. And much of that had to do with a strong pass-rush which you are ignoring.

            Again, I believe that our secondary will also be improved and benefit with the play of Ford, Bosa and our star Buckner. Ford and Bosa are a much better compliment than what we had last year.

        2. What’s different is the illogical hype surrounding our current DB’s. Someone actually said Tartt was better than Goldson. Tartt can’t even stay on the field. Our current DB’s are all stars in potential but have a lot to prove in execution. By the time all those players left the 49ers they were past their primes.

          My point was did you see Rodgers, Whitner, Goldson and Brown letting people run free in the secondary? Blow coverages? Play the wrong scheme when the rest of their team is playing a different one? Rarely did that happen. Those things can’t be blamed on the front 7. That’s all on the secondary.

          The DL will help but it won’t fix their short comings.

          1. Actually, I found that somewhat surprising last year. I figured with Sherman in the lineup, there would be better communication and DBs would just know their assignments better. Here’s hoping Woods can help fix these problems.

          2. That somebody was me, and Tartt is a better safety than Goldson was. He was a one hit wonder, and cashed in with the Bucs. I think he lasted 2 years, and ended up falling flat on his face like we all knew he would, and ultimately washed out of the league a year or two afterward….

            1. Razor, Tartt has never even gotten up so he could fall down. He has potential but has yet to be consistent. I like Reid much better than Goldson. I like Goldson better than Tartt. Maybe he will have a career year this year?

              The 49ers got rid of Goldson at the right time. But let me know when Tartt has two pro bowls and an all pro selection to his name.

              1. Goldson 4th round draft pick, and one dimensional.
                Tartt high 2nd round draft pick, and multidimensional.

              2. In just about any measurable way Goldson was better than Tartt, sometimes not by much but still overall better.

                Through 1st 4 years Tartt:
                Games – 47
                Started- 30
                INT- 3
                TD – 0
                PD – 11
                Solo Tackles- 156
                TFL – 14
                FF – 1

                Goldsen through 1st 4 year:
                Games – 51
                Started – 34
                INT – 5
                TD – 1
                PD – 15
                FF – 4
                Solo T – 168
                TFL – 3

                So aside from Tartt being a good run defender, he is behind Goldson. And this is with him playing really only 2 years while Tartt has played some all his 4 years. Difference is availability in games. Also Godson still was ascending. His best year was still to come.

              3. You guys are so wrong. Goldson was surrounded by a complete defense with Donatell and Fangio. As soon as he left he got exposed. Tartt has not had that luxury, but he’s one of a few candidates that I have primed for a breakout season….

              4. So even though you cannot give any facts to support your position (since Goldsen’s stats are all up to 2010 (and before the glory years and Fangio) you insist on your position. You are flat out wrong. But that is nothing new for you.

              5. It’s ok to disagree. I’ve watched both players, and there’s no question in my mind that Tartt is the better Safety. He’s more athletic, versatile, faster and smarter….

              6. “Goldson was surrounded by a complete defense with Donatell and Fangio.”

                Goldson was already an established player by the time those guys arrived in 2011. In his first full season as a starter he recorded 4 picks, forced 3 fumbles, with 2 sacks. He backed that up with another solid year and then came 2011.

                Tartt may be more athletic, versatile, faster and smarter, but he’s not a better football player.

              7. Goldson’s style of laying the wood was being phased out by the NFL, and the evolving defenses were changing to interchangeable safeties. I don’t remember all this love for Goldson when he left and was seamlessly replaced by Reid….

              8. Reid is another overrated safety. He was slightly above average with a score of 67 last year, while Tartt scored an 86 in 2017. He was one of only three players on the roster to have achieved a PFF grade of over 85.0 for that season (DeForest Buckner and Reuben Foster being the other two). That’s why he sent Reid packing….

              9. See trying to shift the argument. Goldson is better than Tartt. You have nothing to build on so you try a redirect.

              10. You’re manufacturing an argumentative shift because you cannot deal with Reid replacing Goldson, and Tartt beating out Reid….

  13. According to 90% of the people posting on here, the team is so bad we should just concede a 2-14 season and not even watch. Tear it all down and start anew (again).
    Every team has “if’s” not just the Niners. Every team has injuries. Every team has their opinion on what will make them better.
    Here’s what we know. The team is better on paper than they were last year. Dee Ford is better than Cassius Marsh, right? Can we all agree on that? Bosa was the consensus best player in the draft by the majority of experts. Sure he has some concerns with regards to health, but I think we all know he’s pretty good at football.
    MOST corners, with a few exceptions (J. Ramsey, P. Peterson) take a bit of time to develop. A.K. isn’t perfect, but everyone loved him at the end of year one, and he started playing better towards the end of last year. Let’s give him a chance. A pass rush should help a bit, right? We can all agree that it’s easier to cover someone for 2-3 seconds than it is for 5-6, right? Verrett is a baller when he’s healthy. No one will complain about the signing if he plays 16 games and he’s lights out. It didn’t hurt the team bringing him in.
    Solomon Thomas may not have lived up to the billing of a number 3 overall pick, but I think we can all agree that what happened in the off-season last year, would be tough on ANYONE, let alone a developing player. Let’s see what happens when he’s got a better mindset, a little more support and starts playing in his natural position.
    Jimmy G has got some skills too. I think we can all agree that a healthy Jimmy G can play some football. Is he Aaron Rodgers? No, but with some new weapons and some emerging talent, they’re probably going to be better on offense.
    Two seasons ago the Niners lost a lot of games by three points or less. Last season, they lost a lot of games in the 4th quarter when they couldn’t close it out. A better pass rush and Jimmy G should help that. This team is better and they should at the very least compete and be fun to watch.
    All this griping that the team isn’t perfect, remember two years ago? The team that KS and JL inherited was ATROCIOUS.
    Let’s see how it plays out.
    That said, they should move on from Tartt and Ward, like now. Moore and Harris are the future! You heard it here first.

    1. 90% eh?

      Most people that I have heard are saying somewhere between 6-8 wins. There’s another group saying 9-11 wins.

      I think if a lot of things happen perfectly the season could go really well. But the list is really long.
      *If Bosa stays healthy and has really productive rookie year?
      *If McKinnon’s knee is healthy and can return to form?
      *If Garapolo’s knee is healthy and can return to form?
      *If Garapolo can stay healthy period?
      *If Kwon Alexandar’s kneee is healthy and can return to form?
      *If Jason Verrett can return to form and stay healthy?
      *If the defense can execute this new defensive scheme?
      *If Jalen Hurd’s knee is healthy?
      *If we can keep safeties healthy?
      * So many more injuries to Fred Warner and other important players.

      This isn’t being negative, it’s dealing with the real facts. Dee Ford is great and so is our DL talent. Kittle is great. We have more pieces than we’ve had in a few years. Do they all work together yet? I hope so, but a lot has to go right.

      1. Wilsonm,
        “We have more pieces than we’ve had in a few years. Do they all work together yet? I hope so, but a lot has to go right.”

        That holds true for any team in a rebuilding process. This is what Lynch meant when he said “brick by brick”? I took that to mean that this was not going to be an over night fix.

        The pieces are players like Warner, Kittle, Pettis, McGlinchey, McKinnon, Coleman, Breida, Garoppolo, Goodwin, Dee Ford, Deebo Samuel, Jalen Hurd, Kantavius Street, Kwon Alexander, Richard Sherman, Wishnowsky, Lee and the other supporting cast members that make up the building process.

        Last years injuries to key players hurt the “brick by brick” process, but this is a new season with better players and some of our injured players coming back.
        Yes, I agree with you that a lot of things need to go right. But the pieces are looking much better.

          1. Wilsonm,
            Yes, 10 wins might be a stretch. I’m going 6-8 which is an improvement. Anything over 8 is a bonus.

        1. AES exactly!
          They have some really good pieces in place now, and they made good moves, and they are trending up.
          All you can really ask for from one season to the next.

      2. Ok 90% was a bit hyperbolic, but this thread has been pretty negative.
        And yeah, a lotta “ifs”, but that’s every team.
        My point is, the off-season moves were pretty good. Not perfect, but circumstances don’t always allow that.
        This team is better than they were last year.
        Verrett was a flyer.
        Kwon was one of two LB’s worth their salt that was available. He’s still young and should have a full recovery from the ACL.
        Warner had a scope. Very routine and common surgery.
        Mckinnon should be fine, and they have lots of backs to share the load.
        Jimmy G is probably the biggest IF, but what were the other options? Paying Foles a mint? Spending the #2 on a QB? Drafting Drew Lock in round 2? Of course not.
        If it was easy to build a championship team in one offseason everyone would do it.
        I think given all the circumstances they made great moves and this team will be fun to watch again, finally.
        Maybe I’m wrong, but I sure hope not.

        1. Bebsie, I really like Kwon and Verrett. Both of them healthy will be awesome. I like the Coleman pick up too. I think one big question is if Gould doesn’t’ show up. He accounts for a lot of points. That’s a big deal. We’re making progress. Like AES says 6-8 wins is an improvement. More turnovers, greater QB pressure and more success in the red zone will help us win close games. I think Warner, Alexander and Smith at LB could be really good.

          I think they will be more competitive this season meaning more fun. I want to see this team compete in the playoffs. It’s ok if people aren’t realistic in their fandom. They just need to leave room for people who want to be realistic. It’s so easy to get polarized.

          1. Absolutely agree.
            Except that the polarization cuts both ways in this house.
            You’re either a fanboy and a homer. Or you’re a chronic complainer about the entire organization.

            I don’t see that changing until the team starts winning. But I could pretty much guarantee that if the team starts to lose again, we’ll be back to the fandom battles.
            It’s what we as fans (regardless of the side you take) do. As long as it’s done in fun 😉

  14. I think most fans have concerns about the DBs. However, If Ford, Bosa and Buckner can pressure the QBs this will have a positive impact on the play of the secondary. As great as the 81 secondary was; Lott, Wright, Hicks and Williamson it was the trade for Fred Dean that really made the difference to the pass defense.
    If the sack totals and the pressure on the QB in general can increase to the point where the pressure is noticeable and consistent the play of the secondary should improve and there will be more turnovers IF they can stay reasonable healthy. The interceptions total last year was pathetic. With the improved pass rush the team should be able to increase the number of picks so they are in the middle of the pack and not at the end.

      1. Naw, I would have drop kicked Chucky across the street.
        What is to be afraid of? TrollD maybe would wet his pants, but not me.
        AES, just more desperation.

        1. Seb,
          I wasn’t laughing at the thought of you in the video. I was actually laughing at the reaction of the people being punk’d.
          Very funny.

  15. Grant,

    Is the secondary just disguising their shells better or are they going to move away from their heavy reliance on a Single High coverage….particularly Cover 3?

    Moving the SAM backer off of the line of scrimmage makes the back end more flexible. In the traditional Under defensive scheme the in the box Safety (ROVER) rotated over opposite of the SAM backer to provide containment on his side. But if the WILL and SAM are mostly interchangable and the Ends have primary containment duties…then it doesn’t matter which of the two safeties comes up as secondary force run support.

    1. I find this issue of disguising the coverage interesting. Initially, the idea was to mimic Seattle’s defense. To the best of my knowledge, Seattle never tried to disguise their secondary when Thomas was playing free safety. If the 49ers now feel that they have to disguise the coverage, is that an admission that, unless you have a guy like Earl Thomas playing free safety, you can’t successfully implement the single high safety scheme.

      1. There’s probably some truth to that.

        I’m curious if more than just the shell coverage is going to change. Otherwise, simply changing the look over the coverage shell isn’t quite as effective if the offense knows you’re nearly always going to be in Cover 3….the only question is which safety is going to be deep.

        1. Yesterday, Kocurek said that the wide nine defense would be more like a wide six defense on 1st and 2nd down. Do you think this helps to reduce the likelihood that the defense will get burned when offenses run between the tackles? Or do you think it’s not enough of a “tightening” to significantly help the LBs who would seem to mostly be tasked with stopping running between the tackles.

          1. It depends on how they line up the interior D-linemen . Will they still be lined up at 3 and 1 techniques or will they be 4i types of DTs? But yes lining up in the 6 techs will shrink the bubbles on the inside.

            If they really do intend to mostly run the Wide 9 on 3rd down or passing downs….then it’s as most of us initially thought…a defensive line alignment for the Nickel package. So interior run defense isn’t going to be as big of a deal.

      1. With the increase in RPO’s, it would make sense. It gives you a +1 vs. the qb running game by cheating the mesh point, and the back sets. Body presence, and cautious aggression defeats RPO’s….

        1. If they’re lining up as 6 techs on the ends, then they’re not likely containment players anymore either. As Wide 9 Ends they would be containment players and have to keep everything on the inside. If you make them spill players, those ends will have an easier time getting to the QB/mesh point since they don’t have to worry about keeping the runner to the inside of them.

      2. They used more 2 high “looks” (shells). And I think they may have run some actual 2 high coverages (Cover 2 and 2 Man). But they talk about disguising coverages this year….which is great….but are they going to run anything other than the predominant Cover 3 that they’ve been running for the past 2 years? Otherwise it’s like hiding something but you already know what’s hidden.

  16. All this talk about the secondary.
    I don’t care who the team is, without a pass rush that scares teams, no secondary will look good.
    This is a rebuild and great teams always start with their front 7.

    What makes anyone in here doubting this process think they won’t be going secondary and o-line next season?

    The sad part is most of the whiners on here know a strong front 7 makes the secondary’s job easier and makes them look better.
    Quit whining, because when they start winning and those turnovers and sacks start coming you will be called out.
    It would be wise to critique after they’ve played the games.

    1. I have said as much for many years now, however, you don’t ignore positions of need, period. You build all your team not just portions at a time, unless you expect everything to go as you plan, which never happens! That’s why so many that try this are always on the outside looking in. This is true in any sport.

    2. Someday you may be wise enough to realize that complaining about whiners is whining. I doubt I will live long enough to see it. People who live in glass houses…well, you know. Next thing we’ll see whiners who whine about the whiners who whine about the whiners who whine.

        1. Or they actually produce a decent team instead of fans saying “we are SB bound” even before the season starts. Being realistic isn’t whining. What you two are doing is.

        2. Razor,
          We could win a game 49-0, and some will complain that our kicker missed a point after attempt.
          Whiners are going to whine.

          1. Back in the day I remember someone calling my team the 40 Whiners, and I never understood the correlation until 9 years ago when I started frequenting this blog….

            1. Check your hearing aids, it was the 40 Winos. Because of our Italian heritage mixed with the way they played. Che fai Bruto? The fans…now that’s another story.

      1. Says the guy with whine in his name.
        Difference in pointing out whining and actually whining.
        Nice try though.

        Sour…. teams aren’t built in a day.
        Money and a certain amount of draft picks kinda put some halt on things.
        Point is when you only have a certain amount to work with you start with the front 7.
        Again we don’t know how good they could be when they’re chasing receivers around for 5 minutes.

        1. He’s a very good safety. The 49ers extended him for a reason, while they let Goldson walk and fail.

          1. 😂 You’re using the FO moves (of a losing team) as an argument? 😂

            I’m guessing Tartt is on the cusp of a Pro Bowl?! 😂

            1. Tartt could very well earn a Pro Bowl this year, despite your hilarity. FO>You. Might be time to get over yourself bud….

              1. On another thread someone posted about how the 49ers PR department monitors all the blogs. Come on Razor, you willing to swear you aren’t on Jed’s payroll? You got the perfect cover. Bill Walsh for your avatar, Italian like the 49ers lineage, loves to gang up with all the posters from everywhere but the Bay Area, and so on and so forth. If the 49ers bus broke down and they never made it to the game you would be posting all the legit reasons why it’s part of the secret plan. If you can’t find anything wrong with this team, I just gotta wonder.

    3. Agreed, md. As great as the ’81 secondary was, I challenge anyone to convince me they would have still made the SB had they not signed Fred Dean mid-season.

  17. A CBs best friend is a 245 man breathing down the qbs neck.

    I expect our offense to be much improved -especially in the redzone which will put more pressure on the opposing teams offense. A good Niner’s O which scores a lot of points benefits the Niner’s D.

  18. The 49ers will be better when they spend more time fixing the problem instead of fixing the blame,

  19. Problem is just as the poster above stated,alot of ifs.Seems alot of fans are putting alot of faith into players who up to this point have consistently failed to produce.If you go to the horse track and bet the long shot everyday for a year you will hit every once in a while,but playing the odds will make you more.This team is literally oozing with long shots

    1. You seem to have already thrown in the proverbial towel, my friend.

      “This team is literally oozing with long shots.”

      That’s what they said about Buster Douglas when he fought Mike Tyson.
      It’s called “on any given Sunday.” Are you willing to give this team a chance or have you mailed this season in already?

      1. I’ve myself mailed it in,it’s just my opinion.I have no faith in ownership or the front office and past results from watching the Niners since 84 is that since the York’s have been around not only has this team been horrible but downright disgusting..I’m not knocking anyone for being optimistic but I have given up on that,it’s exhausting watching drafts,prospects then free agents and year after year this team just wets the bed…It’s jmo…

        1. I am with ya Big Tone….I have been a fan since the 70’s .. Remember John Brodie to Gene Washington?…..the York regime has been pathetic at best, the only good HC he ran out of town= then they pay Kelly and Tomsula 6 years apiece to suck throwing good money at bad. Until they start showing signs of winning why bother praising what they do? At least Grant gives us a birdseye view of the team and we can take it for what it is or take a hike. I enjoy the honesty of the articles and periscope thanks Grant

          1. Remember John Brodie to Gene Washington?

            If you were around back then you would have torched Brodie and the team. 17 seasons that loser has been on the team and produced what? 5 playoff games. 0 championships.

            Get a little historical perspective. You talk like these last few years is unprecedented futility. Those ’60s-70s team weren’t called the manila folders for nothing. Sorry dude, if you are a fan you take the good and the bad.

  20. The Niners will sport a more sophisticated defense. Yes, all the coaches will wear formal wear to games, sporting lorgnettes, and speaking in Queens English British dialects.

  21. Here are some of the areas in which the team has questions. Ranked in no sequence.

    1. is Jimmy G. back from injury and how much will his mobility be hampered?
    2. Is Jimmy G. for real or a mirage?
    3. Will McGlinchey continue to improve or suffer a sophomore slump?
    4. Is Joe Staley too old?
    5. Is the offensive line up to snuff?
    6. Will the run game improve or falter?
    7. Are there too many cooks in the kitchen at running back or is it feast of plenty?
    8. Will a WR step up and become #1?
    9. Has RedZone offense improved or is it Shanahan’s Achilles heel?
    10. Can this team win on the road?
    11. What about injuries? Is it an anomaly, trend or a voodoo curse?
    12. Will the DL improve?
    13. Will ST become worthy of 3rd pick? Will Armstead?
    14. Will the new wide 9 expose hitherto unknown weaknesses?
    15. Will it be a staple or a situational alignment?
    16. Will the Linebacking core be any good?
    17. Who will be the DBs and will it matter?
    18. Is Sherman back or starting to fade?
    19. Is Saleh a gem or a dud?
    20. Can they stop teams on 3rd down?
    21. Can they stop people in the RZ?
    22. How many turnovers will the team take away?
    23. What about the kicking game?
    24. Was taking a punter in the 4th worth it?
    25. Does the team have enough depth?

    I think these questions need to be addressed for the team to be really special. Hopefully these will be addressed in the positive so that the team can flourish. If these are answered in a negative light, it may prove to be a difficult to sustain the team through the season (competition wise).

    1. Ha! Good for him! So annoying, and why would you pay $$$ for a ticket to watch it through your phone? Not me!

  22. The problem is they dont have any talent in the secondary. Nobody is going to be scared of Ward,Tartt, Colbert, witherspoon. Teams threw away from sherman and picked on the other guys. So you have a very bad group but dint add nobody n think by adding pass rushers it will change…..no. You still need to cover and make plays. Now Verrett could be the difference if healthy along with the slot CB but have to stay healthy. Safety is your last defense and if you dont have any good ones what do you think will happen.

    Then also we have LB hurt as well. If they can all play at least one time in the preseason togetheir then we can get a better picture on how they look.

    1. The defense allowed just over 5 yards per play which was good for 10th best in the league, which means they have the talent to win in the secondary. The focus this year needs to be on taking the ball away….

      1. The biggest improvement for the defense might be the offense and special teams not turning the ball over in their own territory or giving up long returns.

        1. You hit a nail on the head there, Hammer. I think the addition of The Big Wishnowsky could be instrumental in facilitating the special teams doing just that….

      2. Agreed Razor!
        Both Ford and Kwon are great at taking the ball away. So is a healthy Verrett.
        That combined with an improved pass rush should really help with takeaways.

        The Niners three biggest issues last year were a lack of takeaways, pass rush, and red zone scoring.
        Those three things were all specifically addressed this offseason.

  23. Now, It is easy to look back on Moore’s rookie season as a year the 49ers wasted on trying to convert a high draft pick to an unfamiliar position. Bullocks said he does not see it that way.

    “He understands what the corner is doing in a particular call,” Bullocks said. “He can piece it all together. He knows what the whole back end is doing, and that allows him to play faster.

    1. Razor,
      Watched NFL Network this morning and one of the commentators referred to Nick Bosa as the Bosa Constrictor.
      Time for you to get a copyright bud 😉

  24. All this blather and yadda yadda. Just be patient. Nothing matters til game 4 complete. You will know what you need to know about this team after the first 4 games.

    Then, games 5-16 will be about injuries for all teams. This is the nfl, the great war of attrition and who has what players scraping into the playoffs.

    Watch Kyle’s expression to start game 4 presser, that will tell you everything!

    1. Yes then the same homers that attack posters will change their tune or disappear… Till the next losing season that is

  25. I proudly wear my “homer” badge and dare anyone to knock it off.
    Another name for homer that I prefer is Faithful. The 49ers can depend on me being a fan in good times and bad.

    1. Same, and when I see something that I do not agree with, I’m never bashful about airing it out. I will wait and let it all play out, and make my assessments accordingly. I expect Jimmy to come out a little rusty, and the defense having his back the first 3 weeks. Weeks 4-6 is where I think we’ll see him begin to get his sea legs, and regain that steely eyed, confident leader we saw when he first got here; quickly distributing the football decisively and surgically. If he can develop that deep ball accuracy, play action downtown will be a welcome addition to the arsenal….

    2. Yup and when the team once again starts winning then you will see some tunes changed. Critique is beneficial, negativism is not. The band wagon will welcome those who are late to the party.

      1. UC – Forgive me if I’m wrong but I thought you were a Viet Nam vet. You remember the biggest problem we had? We hardly every knew who the enemy was. I know a guy who shot his daytime barber one night. Seems like a lot of guys here have the same problem. Criticism OK – Negativity No Way. But who decides where the line is crossed? A self appointed group of guys who think they know more than anyone? Some (like Razor) think the term “Faithful” means you give never ending excuses and keep kicking the can down the road. I have always been one of the Faithful and will never change. But from personal experience the term Faithful was earned by us who lived through years of incompetence and futility (like now) but never gave up. It has never and will never mean that you see the 49ers only with rose colored glasses and constantly give praise and excuses. According to Razor I’m the expert on whining. That’s BS. I am one of the true Faithful. They want to hear Kumbaya when they stink up the joint – it won’t come from me. I am not the enemy,

        1. Whine,

          It’s kinda like, “I can talk bad about my family but if someone else does, it’s on”.

          Are there reasons to be hopeful for this season? Absolutely. At the same time one needs to realize that a lot is being asked of guys who’ve never done it, and that starts with the QB.

          Last year was the first time Garoppolo entered the season as the #1 guy. Yeah he played the first couple of weeks one year in NE, but he knew it was a short term gig. End of 2017, nothing to lose in a lost season. Last year started off shaky, won 1 of 3 and it was almost 0 of 3 if not for a holding call completely away from the play.

          The RB’s, while explosive are injury prone. That’s why they have 4.

          The WR’s, same deal.

          Oline, were worst than the year before after swapping out 3 guys.

          Linebackers, 2 projected starters are hurt and will hopefully be back for camp. How does Alexander look after his knee injury.

          Secondary, Sherman is coming off the worst year of his career. Does he get some mojo back? Does it even matter if the other guys keep getting beat?

          Special teams, does Gould even report? If he doesn’t who is the kicker and is he as consistent?

          So many questions. 11 wins is very possible. That’s what I’ve said for a few weeks. But that’s based on everything playing out as it could and hoping it does.

        2. Absolutely correct whine we did not know who the enemy was and it was a huge problem. There is a group of guys on here that know a lot of football and each has chosen their own path of fandom. Me I am an experienced optimist, I am always all in but I understand s–t happens. Does Razor go over the top, you have to understand I have broken bread with Razor and find him and his family to be very gracious host, so my opinion might be considered tainted. I wouldn’t take anything serious about this blog. There was a time here when fandom was judged by owning season tickets or buying all the jersey’s or memorabilia. If you didn’t do this you were not a fan. I have never had a problem with Razor we have disagreed and left it at that. This blog has blown up numerous times because of the different personalities.

          Razor isn’t afraid to put himself out there and he has taken lots of insults and gives them out as well. Myself I don’t engage at all when the insults are hurled from a whole lot of people.

          1. I don’t have anything personal against anybody here. My point is always that we should be able to disagree about things without it having anything to do with the person we disagree with. I was only trying to point out that there is a very fine line between criticism and negativity that some here seem to not recognize and I think that it’s an unfortunate part of the way social media and the internet has impacted all of us. As I have said before, I have spent far more of my life having these conversations face to face and that alone brings a certain additional level of respect to the conversation. I just think we would all be better off if we paused a little to think whether what we write anonymously hidden behind the screen and keyboard is the same thing we would say face to face – and that goes for more than football. If that’s negative then I don’t know what else to say.

      2. “Critique is beneficial, negativism is not.”

        I have had my times of critiquing the team as well.

        But I usually wait until the season actually begins. Criticism of the team before a single game has been played is not critiquing, it’s ridiculous. It’s synonymous to criticizing a $50 dollar steak before taking a bite.
        Or complaining about a Lamborghini without ever driving one.
        Or… You get the message 🤔

          1. If you’d heard that $50 steak was one of the worst in town would you still order it?

            Depends on who I heard it from.

          2. Of course not. But I honestly can’t recall ever having a bad $50 dollar steak.
            If I find a great restaurant, I stick with it even if one visit wasn’t quite up to par.
            I could forgive one mistake because in my experience their food is perfect 99% of the time.

            If the restaurant continues to make mistakes, I will find another place. It would be ridiculous to complain and continue to find fault on my part if I’m dissatisfied with their food. The conversation here sometimes mimics my restaurant experience, except that the dissatisfied customers who complain and critique keep coming back.

            1. Right but the restaurant has to have a built up reputation. This one doesn’t and the fare so far stinks. And one talks for a long time about bad service and food than usually we do for good food and service.

          3. Poor analogy Hammer. Not ordering the steak means taking your business elsewhere. The equivalent of ending your fandom of a particular team, seeking out a different steakhouse.

            What you are doing here is ordering the steak all the while complaining loudly while devouring it, that you’d be a better chef than the one who supposedly ruined this piece of meat. If that annoying guy were sitting at the next table over from me, I’d tell him to STFU.

        1. What If the stake looks under/over cooked? What if it smells rancid? Do you simply say “I’m sure it is going to be delicious!” And take a bite? That’s pretty foolish!

          1. Kind of depends how hungry one is, rancid no, raw or dead eh ok. I suppose you could add some pepper, some salt and dress it up with some honey sauce and make the taste palatable – better do something for 50 bucks. Of course until digested do we know if that steak was good or are we in the toilet.

          2. SY,
            Most $50 dollar steaks are cooked by a professional chef, I have a hard time believing that they will serve the kind of product your’re describing. Especially when their reputation is on the line.

            1. And yet it happens. I have had really very mediocre meals served to me in high class restaurants too.

              1. SY,
                Rather than to constantly complain and critique that place of business, I would go elsewhere where I’m satisfied.
                My point is many complain about the product yet keep coming back – year after year.

                They give no hope for the future because they are critical and complain even before a single regular season game is played.
                That’s what find ridiculous, but that’s just me.

              2. Because we remain fans and want the team to win AES. We don’t simply say the steak is well cooked because we like the restaurant. We send it back to be redone!

    3. Here’s the thing…have any one of us declared that we would not cheer for the 49ers now? If we are such bandwagon fans wouldn’t we be rooting for the Patriots?

      The difference is that some of you guys are “we’ll get them next year…”while some of us are “fix the obvious”.

      If you are ok with a team that has had more losing seasons than winning ones in the last 15 years and you think that makes you “faithful”, then fine. Good for you. I like my team to win. And criticism of the team doesn’t mean I don’t love them, it simply means I am a fan with my eyes open.

        1. I have no issue with constructive criticism. I want to point out, however, that your own prediction of 11-5 indicates a pretty good season. By logical extension of that prediction, that would indicate that the team has most of the holes fixed.

          Can the team improve? Of course – I don’t think the so-called “homers” think otherwise. I personally don’t think the team should have taken a punter in the 4th round, but KS/JL have shown that when they really want someone they have no problem taking him a round early. Having said that, Maiocco’s latest tweet indicates that Mitch was outstanding in Wednesday’s practice (unheard of numbers and success inside the 10 yard line).

          1. your own prediction of 11-5 indicates a pretty good season.

            Cubus, read Jack’s postings more carefully. He has said they have the “talent” for a 11-5 season. However they will get nowhere close to that because they will “lose games they are supposed to win”. No doubt, with his constant drumbeat of of criticism directed towards KS and JG, he is positive coaching and QB play will play a big part in that losing. Correct me if I am wrong, Jack.

            1. Rib:

              The way I see it is that if a person states that a team has the talent for an 11-5 season, that indicates that the team has a good roster. Maybe not great, but certainly good since that record will almost always result in a playoff spot.

              I’m just talking about the roster that they have assembled. Jack’s disdain for KS is well known.

              1. That 11-5 prediction is even more bizarre given Hammers criticism of so many aspects of the team.

              2. “he is positive coaching and QB play will play a big part in that losing.”

                Coaching. This team has shown an inability to do the little things it takes to consistently win close games.

                “That 11-5 prediction is even more bizarre given Hammers criticism of so many aspects of the team.”

                That prediction is based off feeling that they let winnable games against LAC, GB, NY, Az (2) get away from them. The addition of Ford and Garoppolo back into the lineup is the reason for a 2 game improvement.

                The reason I am critical of just about every area of the team is the same as what I said above. They show unfulfilled potential.

                I’m not going to praise Tartt for being better than player X if he has never shown the ability to do so. That’s just one quick example because it was a talking point yesterday.

        2. You seem to have cornered the market on Hatetade.
          We’re both predictable, we just come in through different doors.

          1. Haterade! For not talking in glowing terms about a team that’s won 17 games over the last 4 years. Jed York loves you.

          2. We both predicted the same record! How is mine hate when I point some of the reasons why lofty predictions are not likely to be borne out?

            I don’t hate anyone on the team (though I have a strong aversion to the Yorks ownership). I have consistently stated tha Shanahan is unproven, and continues to be. His record is spotty at best and the comparisons to Walsh premature. In fact he had less head coaching experience than Walsh when he came on board, but it doesn’t stop the comparisons, as if this will be 1981 redux. I certainly wish it were true. Just don’t see it given what has transpired thus far.

            1. SY,
              My response was to Jack’ 10:22 comment.
              At the end of the day it’s just done in jest.
              I have never sensed that you hate the team, and hateraid is probably something that I shouldn’t have said to Jack.

              I hope that by now, the posters here know that I don’t dislike anyone here. I consider the posters as family, but with one caveat – the team comes first 🏈🏟️

              1. 😂 No worries AES. I happen to like Hammer’s take. Not that I always agree but he doesn’t let the team simply glide. I’m ok with that. In fact it makes me check my assumptions.

                I also believe we are family(and I have a big one – my brothers and I fought constantly, still do but more in jest). So I try not to take what is said to heart as we all pull for the same squad and want them to do well. The criticism is born of anemic success (or lack of it) over the years.

                Sometimes people go overboard (especially at the beginning of the season, but in the end we all want the 49ers to win.

              2. SY,
                “No worries AES. I happen to like Hammer’s take.”

                This may come as a surprise to you, but I like Jack’ takes as well. He is a wealth of football knowledge that I have gleened from over the years, and I have said so many times.

                And while (like everyone) he is certainly entitled to his oft times critique, it doesn’t mean that I have to agree.
                In the end we’re all fans.

        3. Well personally, I’ve been drinking the so called kool-aid since 1965. At times it’s been sour and well as sweet, but whatever the taste, I’m still holding up the light 😝😀🗽

      1. Sour, do you think you “fix the obvious” guys are going to make a bit of difference? You armchair GMs and HCs are just pi$$ing in the wind. When it comes down to it all we fans can do is “we’ll get them next year”

        1. It’s like watching a train wreck. You don’t like it but can’t turn away!

          Plus it’s the same with politics. You argue the position even though the outcome is generally already fixed.

          1. As small as the individual’s vote is in the political sphere, at least most have that. Sports, not even that.

            1. You vote with dollars spent in sports and by participation. Besides, you were arguing about outcomes once the outcome is set in politics, is it useless to be a Monday morning QB? Yes. But we do it anyway. Can a person do much after the die is cast, not really but we do it in all spheres anyway.

      2. SY
        “The difference is that some of you guys are “we’ll get them next year…”while some of us are “fix the obvious”.

        I know that I say that. I don’t deny it. Do I like when my favorite team loses? Of course not. Do I hope that they come back better improved next year? Of course I do. I might be wrong, but I always thought that real fans feel the way.

        I’ve been a 49er fan longer than some here have probably been alive. When we went through the dumpster fire of a few years ago, I could always find a little solice in rekindling the glory years of the past. And in doing so, I’m reminded that I’ve been through the lean years before hitting gold in the 80’s.
        So yes, my friend, I will always look forward to next year.

  26. Oh man. The Packers have hit the mother lode of all injuries.
    HC tears his Achilles.
    That’s some 2016-2018 49ers stuff.

      1. Maybe not the CBA but maybe the contract. Many years ago a player almost lost his scholarship due to a pick up game injury because it was part of the scholarship agreement.

      2. Steve Smith injured himself in a pick-up flag football game at the YMCA in Charlotte when I was living there.

  27. That’s a lot of wishful thinking by Saleh.

    The power element needs to stay healthy. Can the speed element repeat his production from last year? Or was that a fluke?

  28. Jay Glazer has confirmed my early speculation that Gurley’s knee is arthritic. His career is in the twilight, and it’s time we sent him into the night. I think the Rams are ripe for the takedown….

    1. Not me. If CJ Anderson can run behind that O line for big yardage, Darrell Henderson, with his 8.9 yard average will make people forget all about Gurley.
      DH is also a good pass catcher. He caught 19 passes for 295 yards, 3 TDs, for a 15 yard average.

  29. Looking at Saleh’s comments, he certainly looks like he is on the hot seat. He seemed uncomfortable answering a couple questions, and did not walk through some of the open ended ones, confidently and succinctly, especially Grant’s. I am hoping he can loosen up, show more confidence, and be quick with the jokes to disarm the room.
    Posters here wonder if the Niners warrant criticism, which can be taken as negativity, which devolves into pessimism, and a defeatist attitude. The main defeatist attitude, is rooting to tank for a high draft position. Jed thought that being rewarded for that was a good thing. I want the Niners to pick last every year. Being a Faithful Fan, those Glory Years will sustain me, and I sure liked the first 3 JH years.
    I put out constructive criticisms, I also present ways to improve. Some can’t handle that, but now we know they monitor these sites, I am glad that they are at least paying attention. Some may say that I have no business putting out my opinions that- JL should conduct an interview with Grant, KS should hire an OC, or at least promote some one within the staff, they should move Sherman to safety, try to leverage picks to gain multiple draft picks, and that they should avoid the red flagged players, and ACL /Medical players. A quarter of the squad not being able to practice is not something to aspire to. Full participation should be a central goal.
    The Niners are 4-12, not 12-4. They deserve all the criticism they get, and more, besides. KS is probably safe for another year, but they need to tank for JL to get fired, and have a losing season for Saleh to be on the hot seat. He is the easiest one to fire, because he used to be only a LB coach, with no DC experience. Bill Walsh succeeded because he had George Seiffert. Sean McVay made it to the SB with Wade Phillips. Saleh is learning on the job, and it shows.
    One of the biggest reasons to be optimistic, is because they fired Zgonina and Hafley, and hired Kocurek and Woods. If Woods can mold the DBs into a cohesive unit, the Niner defense can be a top 10 defense. Woods with his DC experience should help Saleh immeasurably. Coaching is so important.
    One reason to stay cynical, and be realistic, is the injury bug. JG must stay healthy, period. Glad to see him wear the titanium brace. I wonder if he should wear one on both legs, to protect them, if they do not hinder his mobility, as he claims. Another big question mark tied in with JG is the ability of the O line to protect JG, and open holes for the run game.
    It is interesting. I can predict the Niners double their win total from last season, and be called a negative doomsayer. Others are calling for the playoffs, because they refuse to see any impediments, or concede the potential of their opponents. I just see the Niners being confronted with a daunting challenge, since both the Rams and Seahawks were in the playoffs, and the Rams almost won a SB. Escaping the NFCW cellar should be a realistic goal.
    I think Saleh will be hard pressed to be able to stop the Rams and Seahawk offenses. Pete Carroll will run between the tackles, and the big challenge will be to see if the middle LBs can take on O linemen. Wide 9 sounds good, but I hope they can be versatile, and morph into various schemes flawlessly.
    I plan on posting 10 ways JH can improve, but it is still relevant to KS. These ideas are nothing new, and I fully admit Bill Walsh shaped my opinions. Maybe I should just say for KS to Channel Bill Walsh. He may not have needed an OC, but he also never imploded in a SB. KS is a 4-12 HC, and needs all the help he can get.
    I may be fatalistic about the ownership and the FO, doubt the capabilities of the players and distrust the coaching, but I still thirst for a ring. If the planets align and there is a blue moon, there is hops for the playoffs, but everything must go right, and nothing can go wrong. Glad to hear Kreuger talk about putting players into positions to succeed, in order to maximize their potentials.
    We can parse the nuances of the levels of fandom, but I just want to see them win and be relevant again. Declaring some one is a ‘hatemonger’, when all they are being is realistic, is counter productive. The Rainbow, Unicorn and Sunshine peanut gallery, just looks clueless, by ignoring realities.Only by acknowledging obstacles, can they overcome them. Until they learn from their mistakes, they will be doomed to repeat them. Glad to see the D coaches wanting them to think less, and react more. Playing smart, fast, focused and with discipline is a recipe for success.

    1. In and near the Bridger Range area north and east of Bozeman, Montana, in Gallatin County, about 27,000 feet of sedimentary rocks, from Beltian to Recent, is exposed. Strata of known Ordovician, Silurian, Permian, and Triassic age are not present. Middle Cambrian Flathead sandstone is underlain by coarse Beltian arkoses in the northern part of the area and by Archean (?) metamorphics in the southern part. The depositional edge of the Belt arkoses has been fault-controlled. The Sappington formation (Berry, 1943) is separated from the underlying Three Forks formation by a minor disconformity. The Big Snowy group is recognized in the Bridger Range for the first time. The problem of the Livingston formation is reviewed, and it is apparent that the andesitic phases of these Montanan, Lancian, and Paleocene sediments can be used to interpret the tectonic history of the Crazy Mountain basin and adjacent mountain areas.

      1. So, you’ve concluded that the 49ers are between a rock and a hard place. Why you gotta be so negative?

        1. 2 days ago, I went to the Buttermilks. They are near Bishop. They are made of Quartz Monzonite that can be taken for Granite, but Granite has more than 20% quartz, yet Monzonite has >5% quartz. The boulders are famous for the rock climbing, and were deposited by glacial action.
          I thought they were named for the huge boulders, which kinda looked like Buttermilk biscuits, which had the same coloring, but stopped at a plaque that stated there was a dairy nearby, and the cowboys and workers would stop in for a tall cool glass of Buttermilk.
          This igneous, intrusive, felsic rock is interesting, and better climbing, than the Quartz Monzonite at Joshua Tree. There, the crystalline structures were allowed to form slowly, before the magma chamber was uplifted, so there were large crystals embedded, which are sharp on the hands for climbers.
          Archean refers to the PreCambrian period which had no living organisms with a mouth, stomach and nerves, just stromatoliths.

          1. Tatooine is a lawless place ruled by Hutt gangsters. Many settlers scratch out a living on moisture farms, while spaceport cities such as Mos Eisley and Mos Espa serve as home base for smugglers, criminals, and other rogues.

      1. * Hope
        While watching the Warriors struggle in their Championship game, I had a beer in Las Vegas. It was a Haze…

        1. They will lose 8 at the very least and I think 10 if things go moderately bad. I’m shooting for 9 though.

          1. You interested in a little bet you take 9+ losses and I take 9+ wins and 8 and 8 is a push. loser for 30 posting days after season ends split there name and include in capital letter I was wrong. “1. Sour I WAS WRONG Yeast” and on the second day of posting you would replace the one with two so on and so on. I will do the same “1 under I WAS WRONG center”.

            1. Sure, sounds like fun. I was part of the clown avatar bet a few years ago, so this works for me.

              Just remember to remind me when/if I lose. Lol. Have bad short term memory.

              We should do it in April or May or something like that because just after the season, many take a short hiatus from posting (plus less articles) and we might lose the bragging rights to an unfilled theater!

            2. UC – I’ll take that bet if you’re willing but, believe it or not, I hope I lose. I say this because historically, no matter how good or bad the 49ers are, I lose when I bet either for or against them most of the time. My point is that I would do almost anything to see them become winners again. BTW, the Whine in my name has nothing to do with the 49ers believe it or not. (It’s a long story)

      1. This Twitterer (not sure what they are called) is hysterically funny. All her tweets are hilarious!

        And not for the feint of heart homer fan.

    1. Absolutely agree.
      Except that the polarization cuts both ways in this house.
      You’re either a fanboy and a homer. Or you’re a chronic complainer about the entire organization.

      I don’t see that changing until the team starts winning. But I could pretty much guarantee that if the team starts to lose again, we’ll be back to the the fandom battles.
      It’s what we as fans (regardless of the side you take) do 😉

  30. I think our secondary was 11th in total yardage given up. It was the TD’s, 31st I believe, that killed us. If we can shore that up, we won’t be Burning Up….

    1. Brittle and as breakable as glass they were.

      If we aren’t the worst at giving away touchdowns then we will do something! 😂

      Hammer also pointed out why this was the case earlier. Slippery fingers on offense in the wrong end zone.

      1. Sometimes I think they overestimate the WR and DB abilities because when they practice against each other they both look real good. This will also possibly be true when they evaluate our rushing the passer because our DL will be going against our OL, and it will be hard for our rushers to look bad. I’m not going to drink the Koolaid until we face other teams and I get to see for myself. We’ve waited years at a time for the turnaround. I can wait another couple of months before I start heaping praise.

    1. Thanks George. The article emphasizes how weak the NFC West rookie class from last year will be this year. The Rams did not have much of a draft and AZ traded their top pick away. Seattle has some decent second-year guys but really, it’s these 3 Niners and Christian Kirk. Speaking of Kirk, they had him and Pettis very close in potential for next year, but even though I love Kirk’s size and style of play better, I don’t know if he will do much with Kyler. I think Pettis can break out…

  31. Sebbie…

    Since you view the occasional 9er practice video, you’re likely aware of the music played during practices. With your nuanced approach to all things football–attention to tongues sticking out, DBs lifting receivers and carrying them out-of-bounds, etc.–how do you feel about the music played at practices? Is it distracting? Motivating? Should there be any music at all? Should there be a wider variety of music–rap, R&B, hip-hop, classical, 70s rock, 60s bubblegum pop, jazz, instrumentals from cultures around the world, opera? Audio books? Readings of various types?

  32. Cassie, I hope they do not play classical music. That is known to sooth the savage beast.
    I wonder if Day is a good enough QB coach to teach CJB to keep his tongue in his mouth.Believe me, sticking your tongue out to throw does not aid in accuracy.
    I do think that blasting music to simulate crowd noise will help them on the road.
    Sounds like the musical selection is done by the players.
    Yes, I do think that Woods is a good enough coach to make Maybin play the sideline for outside coverage, and keep the receiver in bounds to keep the clock moving. Driving a receiver out of bounds so he cannot get both feet in bounds is smart, except to you.
    I also hope they stop painting their faces with eye black. It just seems to me that players are concentrating more on how they look, than concentrating on make up, rather than making plays. Coaches should tell them to knock it off, and stop wasting time and energy because eye black will not help them that much. Then, when they lose, all that eye black just looks like clown paint.
    You know me, I would prefer some fast, uplifting Grateful Dead tunes.
    Jed should put all of Bill Walsh’s chalkboard talks on loop, so the Niner players can watch what he says about the Offense, Defense, and STs.
    I hope they read every book written by Bill Walsh, and The Art of War.

    1. Appears you don’t know your classical music…how about Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries??? Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights???

      You loved Shane Skov…Mr. Eyeblack….

      Reading? Perhaps the team could come together for story-time before heading to the parking lot at the end of the day.

      1. Cassie, after playing those 2 songs 50 times, the players would be crying for them to stop.
        Where did Skov end up? Out of the league. Another Baalke ACL player.
        Reading and studying should be standard procedure, but you try to make it out like they are children being read bedtime stories. So lame.

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