49ers front office shift needs a bit of analysis

This is my Saturday column.

Wednesday, 8:14 a.m.

I get a phone call from the San Francisco 49ers’ vice president of communications. Not expecting the call. Never got a call from him this early in the morning. Hmmm.

I pick up the phone. The V.P. says he wants to give me a heads up Jim Tomsula won’t make his 10:30 a.m. Wednesday press conference. The V.P. says he’s telling me so I won’t drive down, wait around and waste my time. He values my time.

I say something like, “What’s the issue with Tomsula?”

The V.P. says, “It’s a family issue — please don’t dig into it. Please respect his family” — or something to that effect.

I say I will. I believe the V.P. He says, “Thanks, brother” — direct quote — and hangs up.

Cut to Thursday night, 9:18 p.m.

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News tweets this: “Getting word about some possible massive chaos in the 49ers front office. Massive.”


11:12 pm. Kyle McLorg, who broke the story of Colin Kaepernick’s benching a few weeks ago, tweets this: “Tomsula was a no show at the facility yesterday as a result of a growing discord with (49ers team president) Paraag Marathe.”

Hmmm. If true, this could mean the V.P. of communications misled me — unless of course when he said Tomsula was dealing with a family issue, he actually was referring to the 49ers’ family.

11:18 p.m. McLorg tweets, “I’m told 49ers PR was instructed to stay mum about Tomsula’s absence.”

11:30 p.m. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports Marathe has been reassigned, reports he won’t be the team president after the Super Bowl. Marathe, who used to be in charge of football analytics and the team’s day-to-day business operations, now is in charge of “outside business ventures,” like some soccer team in Sacramento.

11:35 p.m. McLorg tweets, “I’m told a significant bone of contention between Marathe and Tomsula was analytics.”

Cut to Friday morning. I’m sitting front and center for Tomsula’s press conference, which is scheduled to begin at 10:45. Tomsula marches in roughly 15 minutes late.

Maiocco asks Tomsula the first question about Marathe: “Do you have any reaction to the news of yesterday that Marathe would have a different role within the — ?”

“(The 49ers’ V.P. of communications) was just briefing me on that on our way here from the deal,” Tomsula says. “No, I don’t have any. I don’t have any knowledge. I don’t have any comment. I don’t have anything. (The V.P.) didn’t even tell me if it was a rumor or a fact. It’s an article or something. So, no, I don’t have any clue.”

Tomsula says all of this with a straight face, as if expecting us to believe he had heard about Marathe’s demotion just then and didn’t know whether the report was true.

Jim, we don’t believe you.

Shortly after the press conference, the V.P. of communications gives the media a copy of a memo 49ers CEO Jed York wrote and sent to team employees Friday morning.

“By now I am sure most of you have seen reports of some transition in our front office,” York wrote, “and I apologize that we were unable to communicate with you directly prior to certain information reaching the media. Our original intent was to formalize the transition following the Super Bowl.”


Back to the press conference. I say, “Jim, a report came out today that you didn’t show up Wednesday morning due to friction with Marathe. Is that true?”

“That is absolutely false,” Tomsula says, “and I was at work. What day was that? What day did this happen?” Totally serious, as if he expects us to believe he doesn’t remember leaving the facility and missing his press conference just two days ago.


“Wednesday — OK,” Tomsula says. “So, between 4:00 a.m. and 4:30 a.m, I drove through the gate. I was late for practice this week. I got there for the team periods. But, I have not missed a day of work.”

Oh, he remembers leaving the facility all of a sudden. Apparently, he returned in the afternoon during the portion of practice when the media isn’t allowed to watch. Sure, Jim.

I say, “A report also came out that you and Paraag butted heads on the topic of analytics.”

“Absolutely false. Un-true,” he says, drawing out the last word to show he really means it.

Jim, we don’t believe you. The following imaginary scene is more believable than your story.

Imaginary scene: Some time after Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, Marathe tells Tomsula the 49ers would have won if he had just done that thing Marathe told him to do based on statistical analysis. Tomsula flips, goes to Jed and says, “Let Paraag coach the team if he’s so smart. I’m gone.”

Tomsula storms out of the facility, and York has to choose between the football guy and the analytics guy. York chooses the football guy, then orders the V.P. of communications to call the beat writers and tell them Tomsula is away from the facility dealing with a family issue.

Then, my phone rings.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

This article has 205 Comments

  1. Could this be a tremor indicating an impending earthquake for this GM/Coaching staff should they fail to secure some wins?

      1. Without knowing who made the decision, it will be months before we see the implications manifest themselves….

    1. Tomsula is in solid with Jed. Bet he stays all season even with losses.
      Hope the leaks stop.

    2. As a PR person, Lange is a joke… and a jerk. He too needs to be realigned if an earthquake comes. And I just e-mailed and told him so.

    3. Great minds think alike…Damon Bruce echoing others, that the Marathe demotion is not a demotion, he’s just changing the title on his business card to manage more of the York’s outside business ventures, such as the Sacramento Republics downtown new 250 million dollar stadium, in which he and the York’s own interests/shares in.

  2. The only reason I says this is a cockamamie story is because why would Jed chose Tomsula over an executive who makes Jed tons of money?

    1. Guido is the guy that makes Jed money, not Marathe. Marathe’s first big deal as 49ers President, CK7’s deal. That has turned into quite a 7torm.

      1. Given the team can cut ties with Kaep with little salary cap hit so long as he can pass a physical, I’d say Marathe actually nailed that contract.

          1. Paraag can be suspected of a lot of crap, but there is no way he was the one who thought extending Kaepernick was a bad idea.

          2. As lead contract negotiator, wasn’t his role to set the terms of the deal, not to justify whether the player was worth re-signing?

            1. Maybe you’re right. Maybe.

              If that’s what he’s best doing having him focus only in that area could be a good thing.

              1. I figure if they weren’t happy with the job he’s doing in that regard they would have stripped him of that role too. And in terms of contracts the 49ers have done a decent job avoiding massive dead money, so hard to say he’s done a poor job in that area.

  3. Or, maybe Tomsula found out who the leaker was who was dissing Kaep to drive him away. Tomsula really really really likes Kaep. He may have threatened to resign unless Marathe is gone, because he is a stand up guy who detests backstabbers. In fact, he was accused of being the JH leaker, and it caused enmity between the two, so once he found out Marathe was the leaker, he wanted him gone. The notion that the HC left the facility because he was upset that Kap was being stabbed in the back to drive him away, was just showing Jed that he meant business.
    Sounds like Tomsula won.

    1. he is a stand up guy who detests backstabbers.

      Hmmm. I wonder if Jim Harbaugh or Vic Fangio would agree.

              1. Grant I agree with you on that! JT just happened to be the one of the only coaches kept (yes Geep and Mangini stayed because we couldn’t get anyone else) on the whole staff AND promoted to HC after the Harbs debacle. He’s a weasel just like Paraag. I think this was a fine first step in cleaning house.

                I’m fine with a business man being in charge of business decisions like salary cap/FA negotiations. Leave football decisions to football minds….I hope JT and is crew of proven losers can be next out the door. Give me a young offensive mind!

              2. Sorry Grant, but your narrative about Tomsula leaving over analytics is weak. If Tomsula was against them, he would have just given Marathe the finger until they fired him. The fact that Tomsula walked out, and would not return until Marathe was out, totally fits the outraged over the leaker scenario. Marathe was the backstabber, and Tomsula was right to have him removed.
                Tomsula is a forthright upstanding individual. From his humble beginnings, he has never ever stepped on some ones back to get ahead. He has earned his promotions with his hard work and dedication. Tomsula accepted the HC job after Singletary was fired by York, then gracefully stepped down.
                You disparaged Tomsula, calling him a plumber, but I consider that a compliment. Plumbers fix things. Good plumbers install good systems. Sometimes plumbers are thwarted by meddlesome owners, and cannot succeed because he is forced to do things he knows wont work. Plumbers will deal with lots of Krap, and people are able to drink bathe and flush, yet give little thanks. Like a good plumber, Tomsula is honest as the day is long, and intensely dislike having to prevaricate, even though it is part of his job description. Those pressers are uncomfortable because you know he wants to tell the hard facts, but is restrained.
                Like a good plumber, Coach Tomsula fixed the leaks.

              3. Plumber? I’ve known some bad ones. Wow indeed. Got to give Tomsula some credit…could be Voldemort waiting to smite us all…except Seb of course.

              4. Wilson, he has not followed my best advice. Tomsula should not rely on couch potatoes to run the ball. Draughn ran 6 times for 12 yards in the second half last game. He should activate Hayne and allow him to help win this game.
                Also, he has only followed half of my advice. I told him to bench Devey and Pears, but he only benched Devey.

              5. Well, Cassie, as in real life, there are god ones and bad ones in every field.
                However, you get what you pay for. Going cheap will get cheap results. Your Dad is a good example.

  4. This to me appears to say a couple of things. First, Tomsula is the Head coach next season. Second, Trent Baalke may be promoted. This seems to be the best way to address the floundering draft choices and many other faults. Firing him would show that both he and Jed were wrong about Harbaugh. Instead, doubling down on TB by giving him a new title of Team President doubles down on their own agenda, “the brillance of firing Harbaugh.” Now, the new title will eliminate Baalke’s public draft choices, but by no means does that mean Baalke is not hand picking the draft. Instead, his choices are being protected by Jed.
    Third, the Janitor or an equivalent will be named to general manager. This will be a no name who has little say. They will find another “Yes Man” from the mail room to stand in as a body double for the incompetence coming from the top down.
    Fourth, this team and this organization are extremely dysfunctional with no end in sight..

    1. Or it’s possible we are reading way too much into this. Maybe it really is a lateral move in the organization for PM.
      In any event it does not mask the poor coaching this year and the lousy draft picks selected the past 3 years!

      1. I bet you a box of donuts that Marathe is not going to sit next to Baalke in the press box during games again.

  5. I don’t know why it’s taken so long , but Mike Purcell is friggin good…Tomsula being a DL line coach you’d think he’d notice this

    1. BIIIIINGO!!!! Been calling for more playing time since game 3. He’s a J Smith in the middle. I’d like to see if he can play end. Motor doesn’t stop.

  6. Regardless of what the circumstances really were, it certainly sounds like a power struggle was played out and Marathe lost.

      1. Disagree. It sounds more like Marathe was the next fall guy. The pattern that led to his ‘demotion’ is the same as what happened to Harbaugh and then Kaepernick- leaks of discourse followed by being ousted or ‘demoted’.

        1. Not really. Both Harbaugh and Kaepernick were subject to many leaks over a fairly lengthy period. This all escalated very quickly. Definitely sounds like a power play with Marathe the loser.

          1. Harbaugh was but not Kaepernick. Most of the time that he was in the media was by his own doing; it was only this year that reports started coming out of the locker room that he was ‘on an island’ and Davis had called him out during a team meeting.
            The length of all three really doesn’t make much of a difference because they followed the same route both times – leaks to the media of discontent or negative information pertaining to the party followed by a firing or demotion.

            1. Yeah, but Mid, those reports were surfacing about Kaep before he was demoted, and well before he will eventually be cut. The leaks are out there well in advance to justify why they release him at the end of the season.

              Marathe on the other hand went down very quickly. In the space of hours. There was no getting out ahead of it. Very different.

              1. But that doesn’t change how each one went down Scooter. They follow the same pattern, just at different paces.
                It’s being reported that the front office had made this decision much earlier and were waiting until after the Super Bowl to make the move. So it didn’t really hapoen in a matter of hours.

              2. If we are to believe Jed, then yes, the decision may well have happened previously, but the rumours only came out hours before it went down.

                If you do believe Jed, then this sounds nothing like what happened with Harbaugh or Kaep, as Jed is trying to tell us this is a decision about having Marathe focus on other ventures and nothing to do with football or the 49ers. The decision was made before the season fell apart, so it couldn’t be about saving face, like you suggest.

                However, if you don’t believe Jed’s version is 100% truth, and think there may be some shred of truth to the Tomsula vs Analytics rumours, then this all happened extremely quickly.

                And the timing is critical when it comes to a logical series of events. Previously the leaks have been designed (or at least had the appearance of being designed) to get out in front and create a narrative about a looming decision. This time around there wasn’t any time for the rumours to be molded into a narrative. Jed was forced to send a clarifying message to try and sell the story after the fact. This smacks of things going down quick, and has all the hallmarks of a power struggle that ended abruptly.

                Of course, it could just be that Jed is telling the truth and Marathe was going to be shuffled out to other ventrues all along, and that someone got wind without knowing the details and leaked misleading information. And it could be that Tomsula did have a family issue on Wednesday, that the timing of this was a coincidence and not related to Marathe. We’ll never know for sure.

              3. Jed Inc. have provided more than their collective share of evidence to question their truthfulness….

              4. Definitely razor. Given what has gone on the past two years I’m finding Jed’s version of events hard to swallow.

              5. It reminds me when Obama looked us in the face and said he didn’t know Uncle Reverend Wright had the views he did. Anything he said in the future I took with a grain of salt….

        2. And it is quite surprising because up until now Marathe has seemed to be the ‘Teflon Man’.

          1. Teflon’s non-stick properties will begin to lose it’s effectiveness when used improperly….

            1. That’s something the Yorks excel at doing – using something improperly.

  7. All of this just feels like the Yorks have a set list as to whom they blame for their own failings. First, they blamed Harbaugh and his coaching staff for not being over .500 last season. Then they throw the blame strictly on Kaepernick as to why the offense wasn’t doing so well (which does have some truth to it), and now reports leaked out that Marathe was the one leaking negative information out to the press which has led to his demotion. There’s too many fall guys showing up, and it’s something I expect to continue simply because the true cancer is still in power. That is the York family, and until they either sell or are forced to relinquish the team, I don’t expect this sad era for this once proud and fantastic franchise.

    1. Aren’t leaks a great medium. Leaking that the leaker is now “paralleled” out of activities inside the building — except for when he isn’t like contract negotiations and cap management.

    2. Don’t give them credit for having a list. They just react when events go bad. They’re not smart enough to assemble a list. Jed and crew would have trouble managing a truck stop in Winnemucca…

  8. On a non-football note, just found out one of victims on the San Bernardino shootings lives right down the street. Small, scary world.

  9. If analytics work why worry who the coach is. We’ll always be under the cap and winning Superbowls. All it takes is faith in the big A.

    1. Yes, just apply the ‘algorithm’ mentioned in ‘Captain America Winter Soldier’. Works like a charm! Analytics on steroids..

  10. Grant, it is my understanding that Paraag is the leaker, the assigned leaker that is.
    Maiocco and Kawakami are buddies with him. If they really wanted to get rid of him he wouldn’t be re-assigned another job. I think Baalke is orchestrating something to save his job….

  11. Is this a football column or editorial for TMZ? Come on Grant, you’re better than this (most times anyway).

    1. Unless one considers the slapstick comedy going on in the front office. Gotta tell the story somehow. If the material is there, how does it get reported?

      1. So because one is acting like a child we must all follow suit? I don’t agree with that. Stick to football. Talk about what players are performing, what players aren’t. There so much football to talk about than generating piece after piece that speculate and try to surmise crap based on rumor. Who cares! I really don’t care if Tomsula had a fight wit Paraag. Doesn’t going to affect how we play the Bears on Sunday.

  12. This organization is a disaster. I’m embarrassed to be a fan right now. I do not see an end in sight.

  13. They made the mess and keep making more mess this is becoming a sick joke this organisation if they really care and are not power licking idiots they would cann tomsula and his peewee squad because they flat out suck same with this GM.

  14. My theory is Jed is less in control than he appears. I think his mom is still calling all the important shots. She didn’t like Harbaugh and the criminal vibe of the team and told Jed to fix it. Now she doesn’t like all the negative publicity about 49ers management and embarassing banners being flown at games and the hostility of the fans. So something had to give. Firing Tomsula would only make them look worse, admitting they made a huge mistake in picking him. Firing Baalke would also be admitting to a huge mistake as they chose him over Harbaugh. Reassigning PM gives the impression they are shaking things up and maybe quiets everyone down a little bit. Denise owns the team. She wanted it when the family split up the assets. She is in charge.

    1. Fans hostility? Lucky the Yorks don’t run a soccer team in Italy major league. Check what Bologna 1909 Fc hottest stadium groups did almost 3 yrs ago, if you want to see some creative and real fans hostility . Nothing to be considered violent or criminal, but The banner guys are richer and polite compared to “beata gioventù”. Ftom here…. I am keep rootin and hoping things to get better. Thanks Grant and all your blog followers to help me understand what’s happening in and out the field .

    2. Good post- not sure if it’s correct but better outside the box thinking.

      My 2 cents is that this is not a real demotion. Paarag will always have power in organization. Him and Jed are buddies. This is a title switch.

      I’m no longer the executive vp of business operations. I was promoted to the business operations executive vp! What?!??

      I think parang actually really likes the business aspect of things and not the football side of things and will be doing exactly what he wants to be doing for the 9ers and getting paid accordingly.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Penang was in on this whole thing and actually leaked the stories himself. Jed and panang use their social media leaking MO to make it seem like there is conflict between coach and paraag. They probably sent tomsula out to get cheese burgers for a couple hours to set it up.

  15. Hold up there rest assured there is more to come. The train wreck is smouldering and where there is smoke there is fire. Who will be next ?.

  16. Fall Guy du jour:

    The only thing we know for sure is that with Little Jeddy there will always be a fall guy. Someone else is to blame for the everything. “Hold me accountable” means I will never run out of people to throw to the wolves for this dumpster fire.

  17. Tomsula gets up there and does his “Well, you know, we’re just, we’re grinding, we want to, you know just keep keeping at it” routine, but what if it’s an incredibly shrewd Machiavellian power play? In the last year he’s apparently outmaneuvered Harbaugh, Fangio, and now Marathe. What’s next, he goes 0-16, adopts a sideline outfit of overalls and a straw hat and ends up owning the team?

  18. And newspapers wonder why they’re losing readership. This is a story totally made up in Grants fertile imagination. No sign of any investigation to prove or disprove. No interviewing, no research, no careful sifting of facts vs unsubstantiated rumors. All written from mom & dad’s dining table. The gosts of Bernstein & Woodward are rolling. This is pure garbage.

    1. Paraage + Management of $250 million New Sacramento Republic Downtown Stadium (Railyard is prime real estate that the Sacramento Kings have been trying to obtain, and now the York’ and Paraage are going to have shared interest/shares in that downtown location–has anyone noticed the skyscraper buildings next door, or the State Capital building a few blocks away?)…THIS IS A LATERAL TRANSITION….FOLLOW THE MONEY, FANS, PARAAG IS SIMPLY USING THIS AS AN INVESTMENT–A TAX WRITE OFF FOR YORK LEVI STADIUM REVENUE…..ANALYTICS IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE.

      1. Fan’s,

        Don’t underestimate the York’s as embecilic, they know exactly what they’re doing.
        You don’t get a 1.3 billion dollar stadium built in a new city, with new politicians, then another new staduium worth a quarter of that amount in the back yard of California State Senators, and State Legislators, right next door to their power center–a Limo and Martini ride away.

      1. Ha de ha.

        I didn’t say the story couldn’t be true just that young Grant hasn’t done a darn thing to get us closer to that. Just thrown more uninformed speculation onto the bonfire. Lazy whelp. I assume he’s paid next to nothing.

  19. All this talk about Tomsula and Parage and VPs of PR means nothing. The problems is the ownership. They are the one who hire these people, et the tone, and make all of the big decisions. This team is a mess because of the Yorks. Period. #FireTheYork #WorstNFLOwners

  20. this is the kind of writing that makes me leave this site for awhile.But the people on here always pull me back.Terrible writing great posters

  21. David Fucillo interviewing Adam Gase:

    NN: What do you all think of Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator?

    WCG: The players think Fangio is a genius (they’ve used that word a lot this season), and from an outsider’s perspective, it certainly appears that way.

  22. My understanding is the decision to alter roles in #49ers front office came months and months ago. Wanted to make it through the season.

    Ian Rapoport Verified account 

  23. 1:00pm ET: San Francisco 49ers (3-8) at Chicago Bears (5-6)- Let’s start with the obvious. The Bears need to win. You don’t make the playoffs by losing to the dreadful 49ers at home. The Niners are yet to win a road game and Blaine Gabbert is their quarterback. If the Bears lose to Gabbert, I don’t want to hear another Bears fan utter the word “playoffs” again this season- just don’t. I seriously doubt that happens, I think the Bears cruise to a pretty easy win (take the -7 if you’re a gambler).

    1. 49ers: only team w/o 1st quarter TD this year. ’08 Raiders are last team to go at least 11 games into season w/o 1st quarter TD @EliasSports

  24. Grant, I think Tomsula is a pawn with little influence over the FO and that Paraag’s “demotion” means nothing as far as the product on the field is concerned. Because it would be a stunning embarassment to dismiss Tomsula and Baalke now or at the end of the season, we are stuck with them for at least one more. And if Gabbert continues to play well and Baalke creates a more functional oline — not farfetched — they’ll remain here as long as they want. It’s all about selling expensive tickets, not about winning championships.

    1. Couldn’t agree more George. He’s a little naive politically for the situation. I can see him being well intentioned under JH as players complained about being worked too hard he certainly indulged their complaining and undermined JH’s standards. He probably provided ammunition to the FO, again well intentioned thinking he would help the team instead he found himself swept up in something that he was way over his head. It shows as he coaches that what he thought was the issues really had very little to do with JH. I would say to JT’s credit, the one thing they did fix was how slowly and convoluted the play calling was. He also didn’t realize JH had figured out how to use up clock every plan and keep their defense fresh by long drives by slow play calling. Any how you’re right, JT’s a pawn in way over his head.

  25. This next game will be a telling moment. If the Niners come out with fire in their eyes and play like there is no tomorrow, Tomsula will be proven right. If they come out like the Seahawk game after enduring a punch in the gut after learning Kaep needs surgery, then Tomsula may be the problem.
    Now that analytics is downplayed and gut instincts are tantamount, I hope they activate Hayne. Analytics benched Hayne, but Hayne possesses the skillsets and intangibles needed to win.
    In the Art of War, Sun Tzu emphasized the proper use of weapons at the proper time. The time is now. Sheathing a potent weapon just means they do not want to fight.

      1. or prosper weapons (a play on words if you like), and Hayne is no prosper weapon, fumbling as kicker returner has him benched. And Hayne can not be used as a RB because he misreads assignments…

    1. Tomsula’s incapable and won’t be proven right. Fangio will have his way with Gabbert and Chryst. The problem isn’t the analytics, its incompetent coaching and lack of talent. The biggest problem is a hostile unhealthy environment where conflict is handled via the media and rewards snitches and encourages backstabbing. Until the FO gets healthy this stuff will continue.

        1. If Paraag, as reported, is still in charge of cap management and contract negotiations, he has not left the building to concentrate on other York interests. There is no way that anything concerning Paraag had anything to do with Tomsula’s activities Wednesday. That’s not a showdown Tomsula would have wanted or that he would have won. Shadows, it’s all shadow play.

  26. Wonder what analytics say about the likelihood of crappy leadership fueling multiple playoff and Super Bowl wins? Go back 50 years and run the numbers…

    1. Analytics would have fired Walsh after his 2-14 season, but Eddie went with his gut feelings and kept him. The rest is history.

      1. You have no idea what you’re talking about. The west coast offense is designed around timing, probabilities, high percentage completion passes and plays as well as high probability match ups and formations. Walsh used data to build and offensive scheme that worked. Walsh may have had gut hunches but he used data to vet them.

        1. Wilson, Walsh was a genius, and his football acumen was unparalleled, but to say he was an unfeeling automaton just relying on computers to crunch the numbers is incorrect.
          To begin with, computers were rudimentary back then. I also did not say Walsh ignored analysis. Analytics is a recent phenomena akin to moneyball. Walsh would have used analytics, but he would also use his gut instincts. He also would have factored in the human element that analytics disdains.
          Finally, he was a master innovator and did the unpredictable. Study the play calling during drive before- The Catch. Cowboys were a superior team in talent, but Walsh ran plays they did not expect and Joe marched them down the field.

          1. You should read the whole post before writing stuff I never said. Seb says “but to say he was an unfeeling automaton just relying on computers to crunch the numbers is incorrect.”

            Wilson said:
            “Walsh may have had gut hunches but he used data to vet them.”

            Again you have no idea what you are talking about. Walsh scripted his first several drives on offense in every game based off what worked best against that team. That’s a fact and not the theory you like to support in which he drew up plays on a hunch during the middle of drives. Read some about Walsh’s play calling and tell me it was gut hunches and situational.


            A Walsh innovation was scripting the first 15 offensive plays of the game. Walsh went as far as to script the first 25 plays but most teams stop at 15. Since the offensive team knew that the first 15 plays would be run as scripted no matter what, they could practice those plays to perfection, minimizing mistakes and penalties. By ignoring situational play-calling and increasing the game tempo, scripted plays also served to confuse the defense and induce early penalties.

            Often, the quarterback has no time to think about the play and must act robotically, executing the play exactly as instructed by the offensive coordinator, who calls the plays for him.

            1. Wilson, you obviously have not read my posts. I have advised the Niners to take a page out of the Bill Walsh playbook and script the first 15 plays for several seasons because if they had done that, they could march up to the line and fire off that play instead of futzing around and waiting until the last second to get a play off before the play clock expired.
              When you say I have no idea what I am talking about, but ignore my past posts, it is you who should become more cognizant.
              We were debating analytics, but you used the strawman argument to say that I do not know anything about Bill Walsh. I said analytics would have fired Bill Walsh, not that Bill Walsh would never use analytics.

              1. I wasn’t straw manning you. I was pointing out Walsh would have been a fan and that analytics have nothing to do with coaches getting fired. The article says if you read it “all NFL teams script 15 or so plays and Walsh scripted 25 or more.” So if you know Walsh you would have known that. You prove yourself to be a straw man here by stating things that aren’t true about Walsh. I read your posts they’re very cliche at times like “taking a page out of Walsh’s playbook.”

                The point was that Walsh was very calculated in every thing he did. Like Fangio his diligent study of the details and probabilities made him very successful. This is the same ideology behind analytics. Analytics don’t get coaches fired, they influence play selection, formations, and game choices. Poor coaching gets people fired or disagreements with the FO.

                Yes you were talking about analytics getting Walsh fired. I was saying from what we know of Walsh he probably would have been a fan of analytics. Belichick is a fan and he is great at finding the right stat and coaching his team to exploit it. Walsh was very similar that way.

                Right now analytics aren’t even getting Tomsula fired so its not logical to say they would have gotten Walsh fired. You do realize the 49ers had 5 losing seasons and 1 winning season before Walsh. The year before he took over they were 2-14, so he wasn’t any worse than the coach before him unlike JT. Back in Walsh’s era you got 2-4 seasons to build your team before you were fired. Now you get 1-1.5 seasons before you’re shown the door and its not because of analytics. Different era.

              2. After the 2-14 season. That was what should be emphasized. After the 2-14 season, analytics would have fired Bill Walsh.. maybe they did not need analytics, but analytics would have buried Bill Walsh after a 1-14 season. Sounds like we are talking past each other, but do not say that I do not know anything about Bill Walsh. I lived through those years and attended every home game he coached. Many times, I would bring binoculars to study Bill Walsh and his demeanor in the side lines. I did take a peek at the cheerleaders, but mainly I wanted to watch the master at work, so after watching the play, I would watch Bill just to see what rabbit he could pull out of his hat.

              3. Seb the president didn’t get fired. And what we see is mostly a media frenzy and wishful thinking. Even Maiocco got this one wrong. Stick to your argument even thought there’s no factual basis for it.

              4. Well said Wilson. You are correct. Maybe what you two are differing on is one sits in an office with his coffee and the other had mud and grass in his shoes. Big difference when using %’s and numbers in football.

              5. Marathe is not going to spend the game sitting next to Baalke in the press box. He is gone, and good riddance.

            2. Seb you have a reverent impression of Walsh. That’s different than knowledge or knowing someone. I shouldn’t have said you don’t know anything. That’s cool that you got to see all those games. Being at the games doesn’t mean you’re right or improve you’re “knowledge.”

              I disagree analytics would have fired him after one season, but Eddie isn’t Jed. Jed fired a winning coach. I guess Eddie had his issues later with winning coaches too. Why isn’t Tomsula fired yet? That’s not what analytics are for.

              1. Wilson, you bring a fresh perspective, I know my views are controversial, so I am sorry if you feel attacked in any way. Sometimes I do go overboard, but I hope we can keep it civil and respectful. We just need to agree to disagree.

  27. Oh boy, now we’re quoting Sun Tzu… “Victory usually goes to the army who has better trained officers and men.” Jed did say he wanted coaches who teach…

  28. When torrential water tosses boulders, it is because of its momentum. When the strike of a hawk breaks the body of its prey, it is because of timing. Sounds like Hayne!! Unleash Hayne, the 9er kraken!!

    1. If you watch Hayne highlights, it is obvious to see he has superb timing.
      In the Texans game, he had a tackler in his face, and made him fall down.
      Cant unleash a player when he is tied up on the bench.

      1. Seb it might be good if you compared stats. Hayne averaged 3.1yds a carry, Draughn 3.4. Hayne isn’t ready for the NFL and is another proof that this FO is meddling in the coaches choices of talent. He’s a tease with his talent but his understanding of the game is sub par. He needs a year on the practice squad. Draughn isn’t great, nobody is claiming that. Its total mismanagement by the GM with other backs like DeAngelo Williams and others on the market as reliable back ups our GM chose to back up Hyde with some guy who doesn’t understand the game and rookie in Davis who is terrible. Don’t blame Draughn or Tomsula, blame Baalke.

        1. Draughn has been given every opportunity to succeed. They have installed him as the starting RB so he has touched the ball a lot and had the opportunity to get into a rhythm. Hayne has gotten a handful of opportunites, and has had no time to get into the flow of the game.
          There was a reason that 8 teams have cut Draughn. He is not elite. Granted, he did have a 30 yard run, but that was because the tackler fell down. If you took away that run, and one 19 yard run, Draughn has averaged less than 2 yards a carry.
          Those swing passes that Draughn has done well with, I believe that Hayne could have just as well as, and even better because he is more elusive.

          1. I see you’re practicing Grant’s theory of if you take away…then. If you take away Hayne’s longest 9yd run he’s at 2 yds a carry. The 19yd play your talking about was a reception. He had a 30yd run I think that you’re looking for. Don’t you think if Hayne was consistently better he’d be in the line up? Who said Draughn was elite? He’s terrible except for catching the ball.

          2. Also if Hayne was so awesome why did he make it through waivers when he was cut? So that means 31 teams passed on him. At least Draughn got picked up 8 times and played in NFL games.

            1. Wilson, He was cut by the Browns. Have the Niners fallen so badly they have to stoop to get Brown rejects?

              1. Yes Seb they have. Baalke failed to secure good back ups. Baalke forced Hayne onto JT, in my opinion and put a rookie on the team with a washed up veteran (Bush) that most of us called it on him not playing more than a few games. Or JT is a bad talent scout and elevated Hayne on to the final 53 and wasted a needed spot for a real NFL RB. So the result, Bush, Hyde and Davis out for the season. Hayne to the bench and Draughn as your starter.

                Answer the question, why did 31 teams pass on Hayne?

              2. I will concede that Hayne was passed by 31 teams, but obviously, they did not want to take a chance on a rugby player trying to succeed playing football. They were not desperate enough when other veteran candidates were available.
                Still, if Hayne is given a fair chance, I think he will shine.

              3. Wilson, it is like asking why 31 teams passed on Tom Brady FIVE TIMES. They just did not recognize talent, and were wrong, just like I think 32 teams are wrong to not utilize Haynes’ talents and skills.

              4. So Hayne = Brady? Sometimes teams do miss on talent. Brady spent time on the bench learning behind Bledsoe and under Belichick. I am saying Hayne needs that same time to learn to use his talent correctly. I was never arguing his talent, I have always stated he needs to grow in his understanding of the game. Hayne is where he belongs, learning on the practice squad till his time comes.

              5. Wilson, the Niners are 3-8. Desperate times require desperate measures. If the Niners were 8-3, I would whole heartedly agree that Hayne should sit and learn. However, I want Hayne to help win games, and you yourself admit that Draughn is not a game winning RB. Also, Hayne could be used for punt returns, and has previously shown good skills.

              6. Hayne’s ceiling is higher but its mistakes are more costly its why he’s not playing. He’ll actually make winning harder for the team. I hope you’re right on Hayne that he becomes successful eventually.

              7. Hayne should play. Not necessarily because he’d help the team win now, but with some experience, he could help the team win next year.

              8. I think the Niners waived Hayne on Saturday morning, after taking him with them to the game, in order to maximize the chances that all 31 other teams wouldn’t grab him and they could slip him onto the PS, which is where they always wanted him. If they had tried to get him onto the PS after his preseason someone would have grabbed him for sure. They had no choice but to put him on the 53.

          3. “There was a reason that 8 teams have cut Draughn. He is not elite. Granted, he did have a 30 yard run, but that was because the tackler fell down. If you took away that run, and one 19 yard run, Draughn has averaged less than 2 yards a carry.”
            ~ Seb

            Seb, even with Draughn being cut by 8 teams he still has much more NFL experience than Hayne’s.
            Hayne is a great athlete but his athletic ability has yet to translate to the NFL which is much different than Rugby as Jarryd is finding out.

            Hayne has two highly critical things against him:
            1. Lack of NFL experience
            2. Age 27.

            While Hayne is no stranger to the contact and physical aspect of the game, having to learn to play with equipment that could weight down someone who never done this before can sometimes be a daunting task.
            Also, it was the 49ers bringing on Gaskins to the 53 man squad that put Hayne’ on waivers and eventually on the PS not Draughn.

            1. AES, I accept your whole premise.
              I just want them to go bold. Hayne is bigger than Cadet and faster than Gaskins. He also has punt returning skills as were demonstrated in the preseason. If those other guys are not running the ball, why not Hayne?

              1. Seb,
                I believe that most of us got enamored with Hayne’ preseason play just like many did with Ball St. QB Nate Davis and BJ Daniels who also had good preseason games when they played for us.

                Nate Davis, I believe is trying to make a second stint on a Arena Football team in Texas, while BJ has gone from a QB to a WR with the seahags.

                Almost every team has their version of preseason darlings that never make the final team rosters or make the team but don’t have much success when the real games begin.

                Again, what Hayne lacks is experience and for a team that is desperate for players with NFL experience he will have an uphill climb to get back on the field. I would like to see him get another chance but the Org can’t afford to take another black eye if he fails again.

              2. Why? They are 3-8 and are not exhibiting excellence.
                Hayne may be the shot in the arm that could propel them back to winning.

              3. “Why? They are 3-8 and are not exhibiting excellence.
                Hayne may be the shot in the arm that could propel them back to winning.”
                ~ Seb

                In the NFL even tenured players who have been kicked around the league have a difficult time establishing themselves permanently on a team, how much harder would that be for one who has no football experience?
                Imo, the 49ers are doing Jarryd a huge favor by keeping him on the PS where he can get the experience needed to better his chances at playing in the NFL.

                The 49ers did the same thing for the UK Olympic star Lawrence Okoye, unfortunately he could never catch on. Perhaps with more experience Hayne can make the cut.

              4. Why again? The Niners lost to the Cards because they had no running game. Draughn had gained 12 yards on 6 carries in the second half. I would not complain so loudly if Draughn had been running well, but he is not helping them win games with a 2 yard average when the game was winnable.
                Maybe they want to lose. They sure are not trying to win.

    2. Beware of the Sebberwocky, the jaws that quote (Sun Tzu), be ware the jubjub bird
      and shun the frumious bandersnatch, waffling through tugley wood, vorpal blade in hand, oh frabjous day, calooh, callay.

  29. Catching my Sleeper QB Brandon Doughty (Western Kentucky) make a first half 14 point comeback on espn.
    The kid threw a pick 6 early in the game but he has confidently brought his team back to tie the game at halftime.

    I’ve got Doughty as my 3 rd draft pick.

    1. Trying to figure out how in the world Guido will have any impact on football from what you posted? I guess stopping the leaks is a start.

      1. wilson, my view is this wasn’t a football move, just a reshuffling of the Yorks’ business organization chart having to do with their sports investment in Sacramento. Regarding the leaks, they served the Yorks’ interest, so in the future if they think it will serve their purpose, someone else can do it.

        1. I agree but there may be a slim chance that they will bring in a top level football guy.

          Al Guido looks like an accountant recruited by the FBI with a name right out of “The Godfather”.

          1. I agree but there may be a slim chance that they will bring in a top level football guy.

            Slim Jim slim that is.

  30. Ruh-roh.

    Jeff Deeney @PFF_Jeff
    Pernell McPhee leads our Pass Rush Efficiency Rating for 3-4 OLBs. He rushes from the left nearly 3/4 of the time, so Pears will be tested.

      1. Could be a rough day for him. I don’t have PFF but was looking for his PFF ranking. This was in September so is he better or worse?

        Chris Biderman @ChrisBiderman
        The #49ers offensive line, after two games, has @PFF’s lowest pass blocking efficiency rating in the NFL. Erik Pears ranks 64th of 70 OTs.

        1. No. Pears was a Tomsula player since they both knew each other in Europe. However, when he grades out as 64 out of 70, Tomsulas’ loyalty to him is hurting the team.
          The worse signing was Reggie Bush. followed by Cook and Wright.

          1. To me either way its troubling. I know he was meant to be a back up behind Davis, but loyalty or not he’s terrible.

  31. At this point I’m not really surprised or moved by the inner-workings of this organization.
    After stories about leaks, scapegoats, differences between Baalke and Harbaugh and allowing players to leave because they didn’t want to pay them.

    This has been the season of discontent and the only thing left to see is if Gabbert can make a strong statement at QB to warrant a return as starter for 2016.
    Other than that (for me at least), there’s not much to see here.

  32. Many are onboard with Hue Jackson as the next 49ers HC. I got to thinking that pairing him with Conner Cook might create the same developmental success he had with Andy Dalton, given they’re similar quarterbacks….

    1. We need a stronger OL if we draft Cook because he tends to wilt under pressure.

      1. I’m all about the big uglies upfront, but Cook is pretty fast at deciphering which receiver the ball needs to go to….

        1. Razor,
          I like Cook too, but if we happen to be drafting in the top 5 there’s a chance we that Cook, Lynch, and Goff could be sitting on the shelf.
          My preference would be Lynch followed by Goff and than Cook.

          I all these guys are gone, I would wait until 2-3 rd to find my QB.
          Wentz, Hegenberg, Kiel, and my personal sleeper Brandon Doughty could be had anywhere from the 2-4 rd.

  33. Speaking of OT, what do you think about Spriggs from Indiana? He had some difficulty with Bosa, but I like him….

  34. I am on board w the banner campaign, but instead of “Hold Jed Accountable” it should spell out the accountability- I propose “No ticket price increase without playoffs”- a bit lengthy tho.

    I think Jed does want to win. My beef was with the inept way that they handled the Gase/Fangio package………. I like the Hue Jackson pick though. I am curious if they give him another year and bring in a new OC though……

      1. Darn good article. Thanks for passing that one on, MW.
        I agree with everything in it except I think Baalke needs to go when the house-cleaning happens. Just too many bad drafts.
        Blow this thing up and start from scratch.

  35. Re Hayne. Seb is on the mark with his comments. Hayne was not given enough playing time to show what he is capable of. He showed glimpses in the trial games.
    Having watched him over many years playing in the NRL Hayne has the ability to create time and space with his vision and his ability to change pace.
    Now is the perfect time to play him, it will give him more experience for next year. However with the coaching staff we have they would be made to look more stupid should he excel. So you can bet we will not see him again this year.

    1. I know “marketing” shouldn’t play into football decisions but Hayne provides fans (and a whole continent thereof) an additional reason to watch the niners. If he started producing like he did in the preseason maybe they’d start showing the games up here again.

    2. Jed could become a hero of a whole continent if he put his foot down and tells his coaches to play Hayne. Then he would have a sweet place to take a vacation in, and not get sworn at.

  36. This is very similar to the old TV series Get Smart. With the amount of leaks comming out of headquarters it seems like the cone of silence is still not working .
    I half expect Max Smart to start making executive decisions with the able support of the chief and agent 99. Hold on wouldnt this be a great improvement on what we have at present.
    If all else fails we could swap Jed Dork for Jed Clampet and Jethro, once again it could not be any worse and they have the money as well.
    Its sad they are not with us so many wonderful memories.

  37. OT, but is anyone watching the Stanford-USC game? Just saw a lateral flea flicker. Looked like a pure Jim Harbaugh play.

  38. The benching of Hayne led to the local channel stop their broadcast of 49rs games in Aussie.

      1. You are missing the opportunity to see a talented and electrifying player help win games for the Niners.

        1. Ah! … yeah …
          that’s what I thought .. but
          the way some, here, were talkin’
          I got the impression, he, too, was
          pullin’ pine splinters outta his butt !

          Yeah… it couldn’t hurt to actually
          see him in action ..and to get him on
          the 53 … they could release Pears
          and ..Jonathon Martin, as well ..

          (I mean Marcus, of course)

  39. praage is the scape goat, they are now leaking that he was the leak….. it looks good for York because it makes the appearance he is trying to do the right thing and that he was never at fault. ( must be going to politicians school) Tomsula may not be nfl or even college level coach but he isn’t stupid enough to not know winning and losing. this team , like the post mooch era, is built to lose. 2 years ago this team had more prowlers than our super bowl teams, now we are literally picking up ol, running backs and te off the streets. York is now leaking they may keep Kap…. right, he would pay millions to see him on the bench, while he wouldn’t pay a qb guru who took him to the sb? ( wanna bet?) they are trying to get another 6th rounder who need physical therapy . As long as we don’t lose 50-0 to every team we play york will say we are improving and keep minimum wage tomsula. Wins, the fans, pride, football are all secondary to milking the family cash cow. people will still go to the games ( see rowell cohan warrior misery) but they should not but food, paraphanilia, write blogs about boycotting levis, and pro york media. . Having his $ flow interrupted by complaining sponsors is the only way york will pay attention to the fans.

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