49ers midterm report card, Part II

San Francisco 49ers defensive end DeForest Buckner (99) pressures Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, right, during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Dear Jed York,

Here’s Part II of the 49ers midterm grades. Make sure you read Part I first.

DEFENSIVE LINE: B

DeForest Buckner is the 49ers’ best player. He is on pace to record 10 sacks this season, which would be a career high.

The 49ers finally may have found someone who complements Buckner, and that’s Ronald Blair. He recorded three sacks the past four games. He and Buckner could form a terrific interior-rush duo for the future.

Former first-round pick Solomon Thomas might be the worst pass rusher on the team. He has recorded just one sack and three quarterback hits this season. He is useless on third downs or whenever the opponent has to pass. He strictly is a run defender.

And the 49ers’ run defense is good. It has allowed just 4.0 yards per rushing attempt this season – eighth best in the NFL.

The 49ers’ defensive line is solid as a unit. To become great, it needs just a couple decent edge rushers. Cassius Marsh and Dekoda Watson aren’t good enough. They play well only against backups or injured offensive linemen.

Click here to read the rest of my column.

This article has 237 Comments

  1. The 49ers front office were the only ones to bring in Mullens for a visit. I find it odd that you fault the coaching staff for not starting him over Beathard, yet they identified and developed him into a successful performance….

    1. Maybe it’s not our scouting department that’s letting us down but it’s those who are taking their information and misusing it. Just saying. Really hard for me to visualize a scouting report that says to do what was done with CJ and Pettis.

  2. I think Blair is an edge rusher.

    The linebackers aren’t as good as advertised IMO. Warner makes too many mistakes which effects the entire defense (because in the Niner’s quest for youth they gave him the helmet radio). Rewatch some of the games. The linebackers are far too vulnerable to misdirection and cut back runs. They see ball flow to ball. If their read on the backs isn’t right then they’re out of position. They don’t appear to be reading plays or even uncovered linemen flow….just back flow like high school linebackers. Foster and Warner are about as fast as Willis and Bowman were (Bowman actually wasn’t super stop watch fast…he was explosive and instinctive with an early first step). Willis and Bowman were rarely ever beaten to the perimeter. Yet Warner and Foster either make a play if the read the play right or give up the edge if they don’t.

    Keeping Colbert out there was a mistake. He might be the best playmaker at the position they have. But he was pressing. Colbert appeared to be trying too hard to make a big play and forgetting about his job responsibilities. It would be nice if the FS position could line up and prepare the secondary. Sherman could do it but he’s off on one side playing Corner. If you don’t have a capable center fielding Free Safety…you probably should be playing a heavy single high coverage scheme.

  3. I wasn’t watching that closely…maybe he is lined up on the inside sometimes…… but I’m pretty sure Blair beat Colton Miller on one of the sacks (he didn’t get credit) and beat the other tackle (or fill in tackle) on the sack he was credited with.

    One of his earlier sacks a game or two ago was also off the edge….it showed him bending, clawing around the Tackle to get a sack…something I haven’t seen from a 49er’s pass rusher since Aldon Smith.

    1. Mike Shanahan was a hard a#$ed old school coach (in terms of coaching methods). He needs to go in there and whip Kyle and his staff in to shape and impose some discipline on the team.

      Obviously Mike Shanahan won’t do that. But would be nice if there was some of that hard a@#$ed intensity discipline going on with the team…like having a Fangio or Singletary drill sergeant type on the team.

        1. Players will follow hard a#@$ed coaching if they’re successful or feel they’re getting better. The coach earns the respect of the players and players continue to follow him to an extent. Gruden just went in steam rolled his team and then broke it apart and expected his players to fall in line with his hard coaching techniques and attitude. But he’s given them no reason to follow him. So it’s not the hard coaching it’s the coach himself being a jackhole.

      1. Might not be the best look if Kyle has to bring in daddy to instill discipline. IIRC, Mike has only been at one practice. The team has cut back on penalties and turnovers lately.

        1. There’s only one drill instructor that can get away with that style of coaching in today’s game, and that’s Master Gunnery Sergeant Belichick….

          1. well…to the degree that Belichick does…that’s true.

            But every team needs some degree of hard coaching discipline. A good coach knows how much to administer to which players and at the right time.

        2. The cynic in me think that the reduced penalties are simply because the Raiders beat them to the punch. If an O-lineman was going to false start….the Raider’s D-line one upped him by going off sides before he could false start. An illegal block in the back by a Niner? No a Raider was going to blatantly hold a receiver and get the call.

          1. “The cynic in me think that the reduced penalties are simply because the Raiders beat them to the punch.”

            Maybe, one can’t discount just how bad the Raiders are. But committing less penalties has been a trend for several weeks. Judging by the league leaders, we’re actually pretty disciplined.

            https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/penalties-per-game

            1. Tennessee 4.6
            2. New England 4.8
            3. LA Rams 5.0
            4. San Francisco 5.7, Last 3 games 3.3

              1. 49reasons,

                Looks like 80 is in support of Grant’s comment that the Niners are playing cleaner this year. Please look at his referenced statistics.

                2017: Niners were fourth worst in the league in penalties per game.
                2018: Niners are fourth best in league in penalties per game.

                Penalties are a real bummer for two reasons:
                a) They lower the probability of winning, duh.
                b) The perceived result of a play you see, as it is unfolding, may not be the actual result of the play; so fans really can’t cheer with confidence until all the flags are picked up, 30 seconds later. No immediacy of result in the NFL any more.

                Now the Niners are fourth best in the league, so far.

              2. Yet, in a couple of those losses, they had 10 to 13 penalties. That kinda defines undisciplined.
                .
                Glad they have improved, and have become more disciplined, especially in the turnover department. Guess Grant hammering away at them, produced results.

      2. There is no issue with discipline on the team. That is a tired and poor analysis that doesn`t fit what we are seeing on the field. As mentioned they have been among the best in keeping penalties down. There has been an attempt to link turnovers and missed assignments to a lack of discipline but that is a poor argument seeing as though Coaches can teach and try to reinforce what is being learned but the players ultimately have to do it on the field.

        1. penalties are not the only assessment of the team’s discipline. early on in the season it was an issue. and i was sort of joking about it in regards to the Raiders. But discipline can be measured by determining if the players are playing assignment sound football. keep in mind that is not the same as good football (in terms of results). a player can break from their assignment and make a positive play. but more than likely (especially for the 49ers) a player will either not know their assignment or simply disregard it and have it result in a negative play.

          1. I understand that, but it’s pretty much impossible for us to know for sure who is missing an assignment and when unless it’s obvious. That also doesn’t take into account the fact the player who doesn’t fulfill his assignment is acting on his own and is personally undisciplined. That is not the Coaching staff encouraging him to do it. There was an attempt made on here to link missed tackles, turn overs etc. with Shanahan being unable to keep his players disciplined. It was a poor line of thinking then and nothing has changed. Players make mistakes in this game. Happens on every team every week, but it’s not related to Coaching most of the time. Coaching at it’s core is game planning to react and then dictate what the other team is doing while putting players in position to have success. What happens after that is up to the players based on their ability to execute.

    1. Well…I was kind of young for the Madden Raider years. But based on what I know of him…I know that he’s also an old school drill sergeant kind of coach. He’s not an X’s and O’s strategist….I mean he knows his stuff but it’s not his primary coaching skill. I think back then more of that stuff was on Al who then had his coaches implement it. So from an organizational/culture style I’d say Madden was an authoritarian type of coach. However Madden was also a players type of coach in that he could relate to the players one on one. So he had to navigate being an authoritative disciplinarian for a team culture of Raider “renegade” types. He had to work with players one on one to manage them and get the most out of them. Madden had to deftly walk the line of letting players express their rebellious individuality while making sure they were ready to play. So while he didn’t completely prevent a player like Ken Stabler from going off and partying…..I’m pretty sure he had to at times send Raiders staff to go get Stabler from the bars the night before games from time to time.

      1. Cassie and Allforfun,
        There was an article on Madden in SI somewhere between 1969 and 1972 where anonymous players ripped into Madden. The article said players laughed at him to his face and called him pinky because when they laughed at him he would go into a rage and his face would turn pink.

  4. I wish to disagree with Grant.
    .
    The coaches do not deserve a D, they should get a C. KS was dealt a poor hand when JG went down due to a torn ACL. JG could have won many of those games, like the Chargers, Packers and Cards twice. They could have been 6-3, and in the playoff hunt. However, KS does deserve criticism for his assessment skills when it comes to his QBs. Grant said from TC that CJB was not accurate.KS seemed to be tied to CJB because KS demanded they draft him, and in fact, moved up to get him, while he was ranked in the 6th round.
    .
    That, and the stubborn insistence to refuse to hire an OC, makes me give the coaching a C instead of a B. The position coaches have generally done a decent job, because this last game showed marked improvement. 2 years ago, the defense was one of the worst in the league. They have improved, and seem to be learning from their mistakes. It does not help having all the attrition, either.
    .
    Another reason I think they deserve a C, even with a 2-7 record, is that KS is providing good leadership. The team is tight and bonded. There is not finger pointing or backbiting. They are playing hard, with no hound dog looks. Raiders are the exact opposite.
    .
    I with to differ with Grant about the front office. They are the ones that found George Kittle, Colbert and Taylor later in the draft. They found Mullens , Breida and Mostert in free agency. JL had JG fall into his lap, but he deserves credit for that, anyways.
    .
    How can I fault them for moving up to select a player they coveted, when I was giving them that very advice? Does not look like it worked out with Williams, but Garnett and Foster do have potential, and CJB is a gutsy, tough player.
    .
    I wanted them to move back one more time to garner more picks, and select Malik Hooker, because he was the closest player to Earl Thomas’s skillsets, but I could also understand why they went with Solomon Thomas, because they needed to shore up the run defense.
    .
    The McGlinchey selection then the trade of Trent Brown, was justified because JL was paying back Belichick for trading JG to them. Also, KS thought Brown did not fit into his OZ scheme. Kilgore asked to be traded.
    .
    JL overspent to attract decent free agents. Too bag Mckinnon got injured on the last play of TC. Juice is a solid contributor, and Sheman may be the best DB on the squad.
    .
    The front office is rebuilding from a 2-14 season two years ago, so they had many areas to upgrade. Next season, they should be poised to compete for a playoff spot.
    .
    Even with all the struggles, the FO deserves a B-.

  5. You need to … re-hire the only person who ever built a successful roster for you – Scot McCloughan.

    Reading this, I damn near fell off my executive chair. Literally.

    1. Me too. Just think: if the Niners had sponsored an AA chapter over the past 10 years, they’d still have Scot McCloughan, Aldon Smith, Bruce Miller, and god knows how many others still on the team.

      1. Scot McCloughan is truly a sad story. Such a talented guy who just can’t seem to fit in. Seems like we used to find workarounds better back in the day.

    2. 9ers in the glory days (the DeBartolo clan) did rather well in roster building–before Scott. Recall the Walsh/McVay era.

      By way of Wikipedia… “McVay moved on to an administrative position with the San Francisco 49ers in 1980. He collaborated with head coach Bill Walsh in one of the most successful dynasties in NFL history. As vice president/director of football operations, he presided over five Super Bowl-winning seasons. He was named NFL Executive of the Year in 1989. He retired from the 49ers in 1996.”

      So Grant… “re-hire the only person [Scott M.] who ever built a successful roster for you.” How fun!

      1. “re-hire the only person [Scott M.] who ever built a successful roster for you.”

        It’s hard to believe that Grant has any history with this storied franchise whatsoever!

        And guess what, Jon Gruden was once considered an excellent HC, and so was Jeff Fisher!

    3. McCloughan did have some good drafts with the Niners, but he also had terrible ones his last couple of years before being fired. Good scout for sure, but not somebody who can handle the GM job long term as has been proven many times now.

  6. On Tuesday, tight end George Kittle relayed a story about Shanahan and Mullens’ communication during the game against the Raiders.

    It seems when Mullens got in the huddle to call a play relayed to him by Shanahan, Shanahan kept talking in Mullens’ ear. Mullens asked Shanahan to stop talking.

    The only problem? It’s a one-way radio, so Shanahan couldn’t hear Mullens.

    “That’s really funny,” Kittle said, via Nick Wagoner of ESPN.

    Mullens verified the story.

    “George talks a lot,” Mullens said. “No, sometimes in the huddle, you hear the play call, and you’re ready to repeat it. And so yeah, I was just ready to call the play.”

    1. Maybe they should develop some hand signals. A thumbs up if he has received the call and understands it. An A-OK if he got the audible. A palm down hand wave if he wants quiet. A cupped hand to the ear hole in the helmet if he wants a repeat of the play call.

  7. Hey MWD – How’s it going? Looks like Grant’s piece on Trent Brown is on the Titanic with my thoughts yesterday. Why won’t you tell me where you went to college? Guy as smart as you should be proud no? I might seem like a dummy but my thoughts are original.

          1. You’re a real piece of work wherever you’re from. The definition of troll is: a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet. You break my balls for no good reason and then call me a troll. The only thing they forgot in the Wikipedia definition is “for example a person who uses the handle MidWestDynasty on blogs”. This started when I suggested that Trent Brown should not have been traded. Now that Grant has posted the same opinion are you saying he’s trolling his own blog?’ Get a life. If you were from the Bay Area the place is better off now.

            1. Get over yourself Whiner. You presented a Swiss cheese argument about competition that Rocket, Razor, and I (and Shoup in a later thread) were able to prove as nothing but a fallacy. What’s more, you provided evidence that supported what we were saying and claimed it supported your pitiful argument. Then, in order to distract from the fact that your argument had crumbled into utter waste, you asked where I went to college. Asking that added zero support to your argument or weakened the rebuttals from Rocket, Razor, and myself. In fact, it offered nothing to the discussion. Finally, you and Oneniner chose to insult me and jump to your own ridiculous conclusions about me with with absolutely no provocation on my part or any evidence to back said conclusions; only pathetic internet trolls do that.

              1. +1 Mid…
                Btw has anyone taken a look at the youth in college these days?
                Nothing to brag about.
                Common sense isn’t a stronghold for the youngsters today.

              2. If this blog just blocked ad hominem attacks on other posters, which is the stock and trade of trolls like you, the rest of us would not have to put up with you. You don’t know how stupid your claim is that your amen choir has decided all important issues and that alone bars any dissent. You are the very definition of a troll but apparently think that the sole deciders of that issue are You, Razor Rocket and Shoup. I asked where you went to college to try to understand how someone could be so lost from reality as to not understand that the person who you accuse others of being troll is right there in your own mirror. Trading Trent Brown and signing Weston Richberg. a center who was given up on by his own team and who Grant describes correctly as weak and not up to NFL pass protection standards, is something I not only see with my own eyes but agree is a proper criticism and I don’t give a spit if Razor, and Rocket and Shoup and, for that matter Bro Tuna ( who is usually very knowledgeable but has decided to cease posting ostensibly because of dummies like me). Keep preaching to your amen choir and patting each other on the back and I will do what the rest of us should do and scroll by your nonsense. I’m not going to have a fit and cease posting here like one of your amen choir has done but I will continue to post what I see with my own lying eyes. BTW – Your responses and evasion of my question as to where you went to college only serve to make me believe that Oneniner is correct, even though I actually believe it is not. I have no idea what your relationship with Razor, Rocket and Shoup is and, not having heard directly from them mean them no disrespect – for my experience is that they respond with their differences of opinion without generally resorting to ad hominem attacks. Go ahead and get the last word and I will scroll over it and let the others you personally attack defend themselves. BTW my handle has nothing to do with whining about the 49ers and nothing in anything I posted on this exchange has any resemblance to whining.

              3. Good grief, go to your safe zone and suck on your pacifier Whiner. You’re just upset that your claim was thoroughly debunked. Nothing more.
                Once again, I will say that I avoided your question about my collegiate background because it had no form of merit towards the discussion. Would it have altered the fact that Brown and Kilgore were traded during the off-season? Absolutely not! Would it have changed Shanahan’s and Lynch’s thought process on the rebuild? About as likely as Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump being current lovers. In other words, there was absolutely no point to you asking the question. This and the fact that you started a thread aimed at throwing verbal insults at me with no provocation from me at all says just shows your true colors.
                Sorry, but I am done with your trolling crap. I have better things to do and more intelligent conversations to have with people that are not channeling their inner $hit.

  8. Bruce Irvin has, unsurprisingly, cleared waivers. Will now be interesting to see if any playoff contenders make a play for him.

      1. Irvin took less to play for his former coach Dan Quinn, and return to his home town.
        .
        Falcons are desperate at 4-4, and want to return to the playoffs.

  9. If Mullen can continue to look good (i’m still 50/50 on his success) the 9ers may be able to score a few high draft picks in a couple of seasons. Does anyone here know how long before he becomes an unrestricted FA?

    1. Everybody is talking about potentially trading Mullens. If he turns out to be pretty good, I would rather try to keep him as the backup for as long as reasonably possible (reasonable means within the salary cap). This team is extremely dependent upon good QB play. Perhaps more so than most teams because of KS’ complex offense. If Jimmy G goes down again in the future, you can probably kiss that season goodbye unless there is a good backup available.. I’d like to see the 49ers have a strategy where they are continually developing new backup QB talent. They try to keep a good backup as long as they can and then when that’s no longer possible, hopefully have a third QB who can step up and be a decent backup. Easier said than done, but imo a necessity.

      1. Cubus

        this all sounds too familiar…I suggested two weeks ago that we bring back Jack Hennighan for work on the PS. I’m somewhat of the idea that if you do well in TC, you get pushed to the back of the deck…and then we go out and find a om Savage who HAS had several chances…

    2. He is not on the list of 2019 Niner Free Agents, so I assume he is signed through 2019. Maybe restricted FA in 2020.
      .
      However, I would agree with Cubus, they need a good backup, and Mullens looks like he is better than CJB. If anything, they should try to trade CJB.

      1. If it turns out he is a very good NFL QB, I believe they should hold on to him until one year prior to him becoming an unrestricted FA then trade him for a 1st and a couple of other picks.

        1. Wow, if they could get a first round pick for Mullens, they should take that in a heartbeat. If anything, I was hoping for a second or third round pick. CJB could garner a 4th round pick for a QB needy team.
          .
          Still, they should have a competent backup before trading him away.

          1. “If he turns out to be a very good NFL QB” that is still a huge if and wont be truly answered until his 3rd season at the earliest.

            1. Yes, he will be severely tested against the Seahawks, since the Niners play them twice.
              .
              Bears will also be tough, with that Fangio defense.
              .
              Rams, maybe not so much, since they may sit Donald, looking towards the playoffs.

    3. OldCoach,

      This will likely be his first accrued season – 6 games on the 53 man roster – so he’ll have another 3 seasons after this before reaching UFA.

      I think we are jumping the gun a bit in regards to dreaming about what we can get for him in trade though. One game against a terrible defense is not enough to go on. He faces a bad Giants team this week and then another one in TB in two weeks. He’s getting a chance to play against some of the worst teams in the league so we likely won’t get a true idea about how legit he is until they play the Seahawks at the beginning of Dec.

    1. It’s been reported he has substance abuse issues.

      Wikipedia… “In January 2015, McCloughan was hired as general manager of the Washington Redskins. Despite helping build to the team to two straight winning seasons since his hiring, McCloughan was fired by the team in March 2017, again allegedly due to his issues with alcoholism. Following his departure from the team, McCloughan returned to running his scouting agency. In February 2018, he joined the Cleveland Browns as a consultant for the 2018 NFL Draft.”

    2. Scot McCloughan built that Niner team that went to 3 straight NFCC Games.
      .
      If he can do that drunk, imagine what he could do if he were sober.

  10. Mullens keeping it “light and loose” in the huddle.

    David Lombardi

    @LombardiHimself
    · 18h
    Best Nick Mullens anecdote: He has a one-way radio in his helmet through which he hears Kyle Shanahan’s play calls. Mullens was so ready to call plays vs. Raiders that, according to George Kittle, he kept saying “does he ever shut up?!” in the huddle while Kyle was still talking

    David Lombardi

    @LombardiHimself
    Kittle said that the entire 49ers huddle exploded in laughter whenever Mullens jokingly “talked back” to Shanahan in the radio (but since it’s a one-way radio, Shanahan couldn’t hear him).

    1. I’m expecting Mullens to relieve the pressure of starting a game-winning drive on MNF by nonchalantly pointing to the sidelines while breaking the huddle and saying: “Guys, look it’s famous sports humorist Grant Cohn standing there watching us…”

    1. Kinda like Grant’s blog. No drama, no controversy, no under-the-bus throwing. We treat each other with great respect. We care for each other, and we will do anything for our dear leader, Grant. Yeah baby!

    2. Credit to Lynch for creating the correct locker room culture. For stealing the best TE in the class, and taking a chance on a quarterback that no one else cared about.

    3. Shanalynch has obviously done a good job on many counts while making some rookie mistakes for first-time GM- coach tandem. Those mistakes have been minor. Since they are flexible and smart individuals who make their ego subservient to their desire for success, I expect them to learn from those mistakes and not repeat them.

    4. That comment from Sherman is exactly what I want to here. The key to this season once JG went down was to see how the team would react and play out the rest of the season. It would be easy to mail it in and go through the motions but they haven`t and that`s a testament to the character and Coaching on this team. While Grant continues to criticize things the Coaches have no control over, the team has continued to play hard for Shanahan and have cut down on the stupid penalties dramatically. That’s why I see this team competing for a playoff spot as soon as next year if they can have a season without injuries to key players.

      1. Yep. Sherman strikes me as the kind of guy who doesn’t sugarcoat things, so his view is probably pretty accurate and representative.

      2. Rocket, don’t you think that is jumping the gun some. We do not know what we have in JG just yet, and our RB is an unknown too! Players can also regress or get injured and this team is paper thin. And very very raw!!

        I think that we should see how the season plays out, FA and the draft before prognostications for playoffs.

        1. EC,

          It’s my view of what this team is capable of if they remain healthy. I have an idea of what they can be in these systems if they continue to play the way I’ve seen them play previously. Anything can happen you are correct, but based on what I’ve seen from the players that are on this roster, if healthy I think they can challenge for a playoff spot next year. That doesn’t change the fact they need upgrades at a few spots, but the core is good enough to contend for the playoffs if healthy imo.

  11. Giants will look at the tape, and see that Mullens destroyed the Raiders when he rolled out.
    .
    Bet they scheme to contain him in the pocket,and put a spy on him to prevent the bootlegs.
    .
    Niners need to spread them out even more, then gash them up the middle with possibly Morris, or maybe Wilson, if he is activated.

    1. Seb,
      If they put a spy on him KS should be able to shred their D. Using a spy takes a defensive player away from either your pass rush or your coverage schemes. Either way a good play caller should destroy a D using a spy.

        1. However, if they do not employ a spy, I hope the Niners roll out Mullens a lot. Glad he can throw on the run.
          .
          Out in open space, there were no passes knocked down, something that plagued CJB.

        2. The niners wouldn’t have to use Mullen’s as a decoy. He would occupy the spy regardless. Hence what OC said.
          However, I can’t see any coach using a spy on Mullens. He’s ok as runner but not a game breaker ala Cam, Marietta, RG3, CK.

      1. OC,

        They only called 4 boots the entire game so I doubt the Giants go to those extremes to contain Mullens. The boots worked effectively because the running game was working and the Raiders overplayed them. The Giants aren’t very good against the run so they will have to respect it and the boots will likely work against them as well.

        1. true that rocket, but losing Mostert at a time when he was really ascending, and looking very explosive (unlike Morris, who is clearly a plodder compared to Breida and Mostert) is unfortunately likely to be another injury that negatively affects the 49ers running game. Watching Mostert suffer a gruesome broken arm during what had to be his best game as a pro, was really par for the course, the way injuries have derailed a once promising season!

          In fact, fingers crossed (and knocking on wood) that I’m wrong but … I kind of expect Mullens to suffer some kind of injury before the final whistle is blown this season. I hate to say it, but I thought the law of averages would have already caught up to this team, yet unfortunately their shocking streak of serious injuries shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

  12. Sebnynah,
    Lets wait until next Tuesday before we declare Mullens the heir apperant, If the 49ers beat the Giants then I will jump onboard. Still remember Mullins performance in the preseason one good game then fell flay on his face the next game

      1. Sebbie is supremely confident in his intellect, and his ability to ascertain abilities in a millisecond. Once he locks in…done! Until he changes his mind. You go Sebbie!

  13. Nick Mullens had a great interview with Erin Andrews, and was clearly emotional. Good for him, it was a special moment and he succeeded beyond expectations.
    .
    However, I hope he does not make that a habit. He should be less emotional, and act like he has done after game interviews for years. I was going to advise him to practice public speaking, by allowing Gary Radnich to interview him. Gary would keep it light and fun, and help Mullens be more like a grizzled veteran. Lo and behold, I just found the Mullens interview on the Gary and Larry podcast. Smart move.
    .
    One other tiny bit of criticism. I hope Mullens does not spin like a top while running, when he celebrates. He does not need to risk an ACL injury, celebrating.
    .
    I am glad KS came to his senses, and named Mullens as the starter, and I hope he starts for the rest of the season.

    1. So Sebbie… How long will Shanahan stay with his senses? He came to them (your grand assessment), will he remain with them?

      1. Just as long as he starts Mullens, even with some setbacks.
        .
        Glad CJB is taking his demotion with grace and humility. He is a good team player.
        .
        KS fooled no one, except maybe you…….

  14. The reasoning provided for the grades, mostly accurate, reminds me of how entertaining Madden was on NFL when the Niners were winning and how frustrating Madden was on MNF when the Niners were losing. Accurate criticism stings.

    On the coaching and front office grades, I’d bump them up at least a – to + for the following reason:

    The Niners are actually entertaining at times. We no longer have the “chipster” at the helm. Clock management is not as $$$$ed up as before, with predictable pre-snap timeouts because they couldn’t call plays in time (Jimmy H).

  15. Matt Maiocco

    @MaioccoNBCS
    The #49ers went hard after DE Bruce Irvin, according to a source. Irvin, whom the Raiders released on Monday, received interest from about 10 teams. He signed a one-year deal this morning with the Falcons, which means he will be available as a free agent in March.

    1. Its what I thought would happen. Not at all surprised 49ers went hard after him and I can ony assume offered a multi year deal. They can try again in the offseason.

  16. The funny thing is that both Staley and McGlinchey are both currently playing at a higher level the Trent Brown.
    That said, they probably should have kept Brown for 1 more season regardless. I would guess Staley will retire after this season and the 49ers will need another tackle either this year or next and this is not a great season for FA tackles.

    On the plus side, this seasons FA class has several solid Edge Rushers Lawrence, Clowney, Ford, Ansah and Clark. Picking up one of these players, might allow the team to trade back and pick up an OL and a lesser Edge rusher in the draft. If they had kept Brown, they might have been able to get an Edge and DB then picked up their replacement tackle in two years.

    1. Joe just got a raise and is signed through 2019, plus he’s been re-energized by the new regime. I think he fulfills his commitment, and waits to call it quits after 2019. The 2019 offensive line draft class looks pretty good, so assuming the plan is for McGlinchey to take over for Joe in 2020, that would mean they could draft an OT/OG to compete with Gilligan for the future opening at RT.

      As for answers at edge, realistically I think Clowney won’t be made available but Ford, Ansah and Clark will be. Of those 3, I’d prefer Ford.

      In the 2019 NFL draft, FS might be the most pressing need for the defense to take a step forward and they can answer that with their first pick by taking Deionte Thompson. Readdress the edge position in round 2 given the depth there, followed by WR in round 3. Find that OT/OG in round 4 to develop for 2020….

      1. I doubt Clark will become available Razor. The Seahawks are expected to have at least $58 million in cap space , and I would be surprised if they chose to let him and Thomas walk.

          1. Saw that play in the highlights reel I watched on YouTube. It was a thing of beauty.
            Btw, if the Seahawks do let Clark walk, I think the 49ers should go after him hard. 🏆

              1. Well…there was that sucker punch to Ifedi’s head in training camp last year but he probably had it coming. 👊

            1. Yep, if he is available they definitely should go hard after him. And same goes with any good edge guy that hits FA!

            2. “I think the 49ers should go after him hard.”

              They go after everyone hard if you believe the reports.

              #pebblebypebble

              1. There is no real way of knowing unless we were a part of those conversations. It is possible that the 49ers did go after pass rushers like Mack and Irvin but fell short due to the decision by Gruden and Irvins’ preferences.

              2. “There is no real way of knowing unless we were a part of those conversations.”

                Where did I state anything other than that if you believe the reports they are going hard after everyone?

              3. Take it easy Jack. I wasn’t challenging your statement, but it came across as such, then I apologize.

      2. As to what free agents will be available, its doubtful that even half of those listed will be signable for SF. Teams don’t let pass rushers walk away if they can help it.
        The point was, if the 49ers lose Staley a year early, this years FA crop doesn’t have many viable replacements. In this scenario the team would have desperate needs at Safety, CB, Edge Rusher and LT… and right now, Edge is one of the position groups that has some free agents available to fill the hole.
        That said, if I were running the franchise (especially if Staley returns) , I would double down on edge rushers. Obtaining them either through the draft or draft and free agency… and it may sound crazy but I would not be opposed to taking an edge rusher with both of our top picks.

        1. I agree. If a FA is good enough, he will be retained. They only let FAs go if there is a flaw, or there are cap considerations.
          .
          Irvin illustrates why getting an elite FA will be hard. He took less to go to the team of his choice, and he wanted to go to a potential playoff team. Falcons made the playoffs last season.
          .
          Very few players will want to play on a cellar dweller. That is why so many FA players flee the Browns.
          .
          Sure hope Staley plays for a couple more seasons, and retires as a Niner.

    2. The run blocking would have suffered if the team had kept Brown. While I do think the 49ers were fleeced in the trade, it was the right move in the end because keeping Brown would have caused the 49ers to miss out on on addressing the need in advance, delayed the inevitable departure of a player who did not fit the offensive scheme, and potentially required them to address LT and RT at the same time if Staley retired in the same off-season that Brown departed in.
      Most of the edge rushers that you mentioned are likely to be hit with the franchise tag this upcoming off-season. The only two that stand the best chance to become free agent are Ford and Ansah, but Ford has not been a consistent pass rusher, and Ansah has experienced a combination of declining productivity and ability to stay on the field.

    1. Gotta say, I am a bit surprised the team didn’t put a waiver claim in for him given the obvious need for another RB due to injuries. I thought Mayhew would want to bring him in.

      1. His 40 yard dash is 4.60 which is on the slower side.

        If there is one unifying theme in the RBs that this regime likes, it is the speed.

        1. Marcus Allen’s best 40 time was a 4.68, so 40 time is not always a great indicator of one’s potential for success. Fred Biletnikoff, Steve Largent and Howard Twilley among others were not “burners” either and they had pretty good careers. There’s more to the game than just speed, or Jimmy “Oops” Hines, Renoldo Nemeiah and other track “phenoms” would have lit it up during their days.

  17. Grant I would give the coaching a C plus. This team with all its problem is in every game except a couple. This is a team fielded because of injuries a practice squad team. No consistency with player from week to week. Different O line every week. We loose someone every single game. Coaching still have these playing every game.

    1. The architects of the rebuild didn’t want him bad enough. If they did they would have put in a waiver claim and he’d be a 49er.

  18. OT but the SF Giants Hired Zaidi as head of baseball operations.
    .
    He said all the right things, like his first ball game was at the Stick, and saw Candy and Clark homer back to back.
    .
    One thing for sure, he is smart. I hope he gets some bats. He mentioned Chris Davis. I wonder why?

  19. I do not think the RB situation is so dire. The Niners should use Morris more, and the fullback dive might be effective if they spread them out. Hope Breida can start.

  20. Doggone I like that McGlinchey. He is just getting better by the week…Is he all pro material this year? Is he already the best run tackle in football? Is he the Niners best number one pick since Willis? To early to tell……..butbutbutbut…….

    1. Nope. He’s a bust. We heard it here first from the experts.
      Same folks who year after year claim Staley is crummy, even though he gets plenty of Pro Bowl votes each year.
      Scot McC? CK? Comedy Central.

      1. Negativity drives the clicks. When things are good and they win there isn’t as much to disagree about which is why there aren’t as many posts this week.

  21. “.@49ers @mmcglinch68 #FightingIrish #Irish hunting some Raider meat 52 yards down field. I know a lot of OT’s who never leave their phone booth. #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/WxxC1KQ7js”

    — Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) November 7, 2018

  22. Niners are 4th in rushing, so they need to attack the 23rd ranked Giants with misdirections, counters and reverses. They should line up Morris deep in the I, with Juice lead blocking, let Morris build up head of steam, then let him choose the hole to run through. Wonder if they could let Garnett play a series, since he did well run blocking in the preseason.
    .
    Hope Mullens works on his deception by doing pump fakes, and looking off the safeties. His play actions and bootlegs look good already.
    .
    On defense, Barkley is a threat running the ball, but he may be the bigger threat catching the ball. Looks like they are trying to get the ball to him in space, so he can break off a long run. Barkley accounts for a third of their offense, so Saleh better scheme well against him. With OBJ, maybe Sherman should shadow him with safety help.
    .
    Giants did not play last weekend, so they should be well rested. Thankfully, the O line is deeply flawed, so Eli may still struggle.

    1. Where’s the flea-flicker?

      Say, do you think Mullens could improve his release by tossing darts with his buddies–in a competitive setting of course?

        1. Darts include a flick of the wrist, accuracy, strategy, and processing info quickly.
          .
          Those factors could all could help any QB.

          1. Wow…. Strategy even. And processing info quickly! Wonder what Hall of Fame QBs (and those destined for the HoF) would say regarding the football value of tossing 18-26 gram darts.

            What about ax/axe throwing?

            You’re a gem Sebbie….

            1. Cassie, guess you never played darts before. You have to be able to add and subtract, but I guess that is not your strong suit.

              1. Geepers Sebbie… I’m sure developing dart throwing skills would help QBs add and subtract with greater speed and accuracy… Something ALL QBs need improvement in.

                Can you name a currently active, high-performing QB who is known to excel in darts?

              2. Cassie, this is why I think you have little football knowledge. Throwing a football and throwing a dart have the same mechanics. Using a paddle on a small ping pong ball is not the same.
                .
                Please try harder.

          2. Darts include a flick of the wrist, accuracy, strategy, and processing info quickly.

            And the ability to down several pints in the pub before aiming said darts

  23. The Niners should look at how innovative BB was last game, and dial up a flea flicker. Juice used to be a QB, so he might be a good option.
    .
    Also, they should utilize both Staley and McGlinchey as pass catchers, to be creative.

    1. Is a great story. Fun times with Willard and Crow in the backfield as a teenager listening to the games on my nine volt transistor radio with Lon Simmons.

  24. Grades are about right. Reasoning is suspect as usual. The one thing I don’t get is why in the world would the 49ers go into this year thinking Colbert and Tartt would be adequate players. I think they are both subpar safetys who can hit occasionally. They both take the worst angles I’ve ever seen in coverage. They both are late in their reads which causes them to be late to every play. The team literally did nothing to improve the pass rush or the Safety play and it shows. On Defense, there are more team needs than team strengths. It’s an awful group.

    1. Houston,
      In terms of the safety position and edge rusher I completely agree.
      Reid could have easily been left a standing offer and retained, if only on a single year contract. As to the Edge Rusher, I’ll never forgive the statement by Lynch where he stated “you have to be pretty good to beat out the likes of Marsh and Harold” or whatever… it was BS and everyone knew it.

      Reid is not the final answer but this team needed depth and intelligence and given that he had so few offers they could have easily overpaid him on a 1 year contract.

      1. Too much B.S talk from the top…….i also won’t forget “CJB is the best QB in the building “……

        I get the maybe Mullens sucked in practice….but at some point after watching CJB and even going to the bench during the game to talk to CJB…..KS should have pulled the plug…..

        There was enough data including from last yr to have known CJB just didn’t have it…..

        1. Let’s cool our jets on the Mullens talk. He had a great game against maybe the worst defense of the past decade. He seems like a good kid and I’m very happy that one performance likely added years to his NFL career and quite a bit of money. If they do go with Mullens I think we will find out very quickly that Mullens is not the next coming of Rich Gannon. Think more along the lines of Chase Daniel, Nathan Peterman, or Brian Hoyer. IMO Beathard is better than Mullens and should be the starter for the rest of this year. He was drafted to be the backup so it makes sense to continue developing as the backup until Jimmy G comes back next year.

        2. In terms of CJ, he is getting ripped apart for what? Starting him one more game than he should have?
          CJ did terrible against the Rams which was expected. And terrible against the cards which was a major disappointment… in the 3 games prior to that he averaged 298 yards passing.. Yes, he was a turnover machine which sucks but he was showing something to work with. We fans tend to overreact.
          I thought they should play Mullen’s last week too but that was based on his play the week before.
          Now everyone is saying it’s obvious but how many people were calling for Mullen’s 2 weeks ago?
          Also, for those saying he should have seen it in practice… it’s much harder than you think. The starter gets almost all the reps. While the backup gets most of his reps running the scout offense.

          1. Note the argument that he should have known, would make more sense if Beathard was the starter from training camp.
            In terms of snap volume, think starter 70% , backup 25%, camp arm 5%.

      2. Reid is definitely better than the 2 guys they have now but I’m still not a fan. Reid’s best days are behind him. Not sure if he was looking for big money or not so that may have played into the 49ers decision not to bring him back.

          1. They did want Reid back on a one year deal because of the fact they weren’t sure what they had in the young guys, but it would have been for low money and Reid wanted a lot more than that.

            From Mike Garafolo back in April:

            “I know that the San Francisco 49ers talked about re-signing him, but earlier in the process, they wanted to do a one-year deal with him, because they got some younger guys with him or might look to draft a safety, they couldn’t make a long-term commitment for him. I am told he wanted a long-term deal, with a significant guarantees and the Niners weren’t in a position to do that. That’s why he didn’t return to San Francisco. And it’s also why, on a market that’s a little slim on money for the safeties that he’s had to wait a little bit.”

            1. Reid signed a one year contract with the Panthers for $1,000,000 plus a signing bonus and incentives. At the end of the year KS said they wanted him back very much but there were “business considerations” which he did not elaborate on. Everyone can draw their own conclusions but it is reported that he wanted a long term deal but then signed for one year and not a lot of money even as his grievance with the NFL goes on.

              1. Jack, everyone wants to start dude. And if they don’t, they aren’t worth signing …. period!

                What the 49ers weren’t interested in was paying Reid starter money. It came down to money, which is what Kyle was referring to when he said “business considerations”, aka a business decision. The 49ers felt like Tartt was the better option at SS and Colbert was a better fit for their system at the single-high FS position.

                I think Tarrt has a higher ceiling at SS, and as far as FS goes, in this system … I guess we will never know, will we?

              2. Thanks for that input. I must have missed that point. But Jack, you’re a football guy and I can’t believe you find it strange that Reid would make such a demand a deal point. In my experience, there are very, very few players who don’t have to compete regularly for a starting position and Reid must certainly know that he has been week to week for some time. I’m sure he’s week to week with the Panthers. Personally, I think what most people see and read, especially on this blog, is what others want us to believe. I said what I said – Reid signed a one year contract and I can’t believe that he just signed, walked out on the field and was guaranteed to start for the Panthers. That’s just not the way football is.

              3. WC,

                Kyle Shanahan was very clear that they were going with Tartt as the starter at SS and that Reid would have to accept being the backup.

                “If any really good player wants to come in here on a minimum deal and have a good player to be a backup, that’d be unbelievable. I don’t think that’s what Eric wants.”

                https://www.ninersnation.com/2018/8/21/17766096/eric-reid-news-49ers-backup-jaquiski-tartt

                “I’m sure he’s week to week with the Panthers.”

                Only if he plays very poorly or gets hurt. The Panthers places their starting SS on IR. They signed him during their bye week to be the starter and he did the next game.

                That was the difference between Carolina and SF. In SF he would have only started until Tartt came back and then would have been demoted to backup.

                This isn’t my take. It’s from someone who has connections inside the building, MM.

              4. “It came down to money, which is what Kyle was referring to when he said “business considerations”, aka a business decision.”

                You’re wrong. dude.

                “You can’t give a lot of money to backups, and that’s what he would be if he came here.”

            2. Jack – I think I realized some time ago that the game has left me behind. I’ve written before that Miami had Frank Gore, Clinton Portis and Willis McGahey on the same team competing for playing time. KS talks the talk about competing for playing time frequently. But apparently in the NFL with the CAP, the new rules on practicing and all the new schemes it is nothing but lip service. (See CJB for example) Richberg is good at pass blocking but poor at run blocking so we sign him as a FA and over pay him. But Trent Brown, who is under contract for another year, is excellent at pass blocking but “not a good fit” for our run blocking scheme so we trade him for a ham sandwich and replace him with a rookie who has potential. The game used to consist of obvious play makers and guys who duked it out week to week (I was in the latter category). Tartt will be the starter….until he isn’t . What we’ve got now is Money Ball and we just have to look to the A’s across the Bay to see how that works out. Like I said, the game has passed me by.

              1. “They gave the starting SS job to Tartt before the start of 2017.”

                http://www.espn.com/blog/san-francisco-49ers/post/_/id/25750/with-jimmie-ward-out-jaquiski-tartt-steps-into-49ers-eraser-role

                “Up first is Jaquiski Tartt, a third-year pro who has previously looked to be better suited to playing strong safety but is considered the team’s third safety, regardless of whom he must replace.”

                “I’m always ready to go,” Tartt said. “I approach the game as if I’m a starter, so if anybody goes down, I’m ready to go.”

            3. Not only has the game passed my by but posting here has too. With all respect Jack. 49 Reasons is right on. Money Ball is what we have.

              1. This isn’t about money WC. He wanted an opportunity to start, and they weren’t going to give him that opportunity because they’d made the decision to go with Tartt as the starter.

                Shanahan said exactly that, and it’s also the reason that he chose Carolina over SF when both had openings after the season had started.

                If you don’t want to believe me, fine. All you have to do is google Eric Reid 49ers and you’ll find a slew of articles about how they wanted to bring him in as a backup. Not to compete to be the starter, but for a backup role.

                Do I agree with there move here? No.

              2. Jack – Before I posted anything I “googled it”. The first thing I saw is was this: “Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan had confirmed in November he wanted Reid to remain part of the long-term plan on defense but noted there’s always a “business aspect” of every decision.” That was in November of 2017. What you are reading are articles during July and August and later when there was no movement in negotiations because of “business aspects”. You expect me to believe that KS is so detached from reality that he seriously wanted to sign a former pro-bowl player to a back up contract on a “long term basis”. What happened is, as time passed, KS was put on the spot and told to choose between the two – a business decision and not a football decision. Of course I could be wrong but when KS spoke in November he was acting as a head football coach but later had a Come to Jesus moment with the bean counters. That’s Money Ball. They could have easily afforded Tartt (on a rookie contract) and Reid who settled for what he did with the Panthers, and let them compete. I’ll never believe that KS GAVE the starting job to Tartt in November 2017. That came way later when the bean counters took over. The article I’m quoting from was published September 2018 so there is no doubt that Shanahan’s words were in 2017.

              3. They gave the starting SS job to Tartt before the start of 2017.

                The only reason Reid was even on the team last year was because Baalke had exercised the 5th year option on Reid back in May 2016.

              4. “They gave the starting SS job to Tartt before the start of 2017.”

                No. Tartt was the starting FS in the first game of 2017, Reid was the starting SS. Tartt moved to SS when Reid got hurt.

              5. Jack – You’re playing a little fast and loose with the facts. Tartt started at FS replacing the injured Jimmy Ward (I think injured Jimmy Ward is redundant) on September 11, 2017. Reid is a SS and is playing as such for the Panthers. Reid apparently had some problems with Saleh’s new bend but don’t break until the 4th quarter defense. I give KS the benefit of the doubt when he says he wanted Reid for the LONG TERM before the business considerations were introduced. A long term SS who couldn’t beat out a FS is just not something you usually hear from a Head Coach. Kyle said he had a long term vision for Reid. You think it was as a backup for a guy who plays a different position. I really have lost touch.

            1. I don’t think it’s Money Ball. Not paying starter money to would be backups like Reid and McDonald is fine with me.

              I don’t we’re penny pinching either.
              We gave Staley a raise.
              We made JG the highest paid (at the time) QB.
              We will give Buck big money when the time comes.
              We were willing to pay Mack.
              Some think we overpaid for Jet and Juice.

              1. “Not paying starter money to would be backups like Reid and McDonald is fine with me.”

                McDonald’s cap number is lower than Celek’s so he really hasn’t been paid starter money.

              2. It was your Canes that had Gore, Portis and McGahey competing. That’s football. Deciding whose theoretically better and releasing the loser is Money Ball. The bottom line is that just like Harhaugh did not want to trade Alex Smith, Shanahan did not want to release Reid. Nothing has changed.

              3. And Vance’s cap number goes up to $5,827,500 next year, good luck trying to trade that.

                WC,

                My Canes were very fortunate back then. We recruited some of the best players in the region, and we got a lot of them. McGahee and Gore had to wait their turns. Money isn’t an issue in the college game.

              4. They could have tried to redo his deal after this year or simply cut him and the dead cap would be less than what they’ve paid for him last season and this season in dead cap.

                Moving McDonald was all about not wanting the player, not the contract.

              5. “They could have tried to redo his deal after this year or”

                Or they could have traded him last year. Agree that they didn’t want him. KS probably didn’t like the drops and his injury history either. They took what they could get for a guy that wasn’t in their long term plans. We didn’t get much for him, but it was that or nothing.

              6. “We didn’t get much for him, but it was that or nothing.”

                And they did end up with nothing, that pick was used on Joe Williams.

                In the end Shanahan got rid of a guy he didn’t want but could actually play in the NFL for a guy that he did want who couldn’t play in the NFL.

              7. “And they did end up with nothing, that pick was used on Joe Williams.”

                They’re not the first team to whiff on a 4th round pick. Pitt still had to give up what they did. That pick had value at the time of the trade.

              8. “They’re not the first team to whiff on a 4th round pick”

                No kidding. Teams whiff on picks in every round. In this case not only did they whiff on the pick they whiffed on the player they gave up.

              9. You sure do love Vance. Good for him “catching” that TD tonight. Looked like he didn’t have full control, but refs get it wrong sometimes. Looks like he’ll finally have a 400+ YD season, BARRING INJURY.

              10. He’s a good player that shouldn’t have been traded. Doubt he’s complaining though. Should be in the playoffs for the second year in a row.

      3. Its not just Reid. They had a guy on the roster already that they could have let compete for the FS role in Ward. But they were so convinced by what they saw last season from Colbert and Tartt they didn’t bother having any competition for either player this offseason. It was a big oversight.

        Personally I think Tartt is fine, even though he had some poor games to start the season. He at least had shown ability over a decent smattering of games and he was rounding into form for over about a month prior to his injury this year. Colbert is the one I find truly baffling.

        1. I agree with this assessment. At the very least, they needed to have a competition between Ward and Colbert. I don’t think Lynch and Shanahan would have brought in any free agent safeties because, like the rest of the league, they probably didn’t view the market as worth looking into.

        2. Saleh is obviously trying to implement the Seahawks defense. They had Earl Thomas at Free Safety and Kam Chancellor at Strong Safety. It’s a complete fantasy to think Tartt could ever develop into Chancellor or that Colbert could ever develop into Earl Thomas. I’m not sure who tried to fit Tartt and Colbert into those roles but I would think any personnel man would have been able to see that would never be successful. Either change the defense or get better players. That’s what is in front of the 49ers.

          1. Not gonna change the defense. The plan could be grooming Harris to supplant Tartt, while in the upcoming draft they target Deionte Thompson to slot into FS. Then all they’d need to do is double dip at edge in F/A and in the deep draft class….

            1. With the Trent Brown pick, they selected Tarvarius Moore in the third round. He is a safety, but they want to convert him to CB.
              .
              They just re-signed Tarvarus McFadden to the PS. He may be another safety possibility.
              .
              They should have re-signed Eric Reid before the season, and just promised him a fair competition. Tartt takes bad angles, and so did Colbert.
              .
              If Saleh had been totally in on the Pete Carroll styled defense, they should have traded back in 2017 to garner more second round picks and selected Malik Hooker. He is the closest player to Earl Thomas, and they need start with the single high safety that can cover the field.
              .
              If they had not traded away Brown and not selected McGlinchey, they could have traded back with Buffalo and selected Minkah Fitzpatrick or Derwin James. With that extra second round pick, they could have moved up to get Harold Landry.

              1. “If Saleh had been totally in on the Pete Carroll styled defense, they should have traded back in 2017 to garner more second round picks and selected Malik Hooker.”

                Not bad. I know both you and rocket really wanted a Hooker that night. I would have traded down and taken the cleaner prospect in Adams. Adams, who could play either S position and LB.

              2. Adams is a beast. He has only one pick, but he has 145 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 16 tackles for loss, in his career.

    2. Houston,

      No argument from me on the Edge complaint. They didn’t address it well and predictably it’s the biggest hole they have on the team. As far as the S’s however, I think it comes down to the fact they liked what they saw in the second half of the season from those two as far as development and promise moving forward, and that you can’t fill every hole in one offseason. Part of the process is seeing what you have and giving them time to develop and my guess is that is how they looked at the secondary as a whole with the exception of signing Sherman.

      Personally I think the defense will be a lot better if they can add a couple of Edge rushers who can influence the game right out of the gate next year. Having a consistent pass rush makes a defense look much better at all levels.

      1. Personally I think the defense will be a lot better if they can add a couple of Edge rushers who can influence the game right out of the gate next year. Having a consistent pass rush makes a defense look much better at all levels.

        True, but I would like to see them sign or draft a FS as well. Colbert has missed too many assignments, and Ward has yet to prove that he can stay on the field.

      2. That will be, in my mind, whether this team ties the corner. If they get a decent pass rush, then the defense will improve exponentially!

        I am not entirely confident that they will do that though, as this has been an Achilles heal since cowboy got hurt and retired. We shall see.

        Additionally, i dont like the anointing of starters this past off-season. One of the things I liled when the regime took over was when they said everyone’s job was up for grabs. They dropped this and i think the team is somewhat hurt by it.

            1. Oh Seb! You’re a gem! So magnanimous! Perhaps you should just not correct anyone’s errors as people make mistakes and autocorrect can be a bit funky from time-to-time (my phone has been like that for a year now, and I’m getting close to breaking down and buying a new one – just hate that you have to spend close to $1000 [plus the contract] every couple of years just to make phone calls, text and browse the web). I think you will find that the correction of your orthographical errors (which is what we are talking about, and not really grammatical errors – which deal with something else in regards to language) will likely disappear entirely!

              1. East, so why the big deal about me leaving an e off the name of Fournette?
                .
                You seem so desperate to find fault in anything I write, then try to sound superior.
                .
                Maybe you should take your own advice.

              2. Sebbie doesn’t like when the tables are turned on him! Big surprise! You can always take your binky and go home Sebber!

                Like I stated, orthographical errors are not a big deal to me, and I do not make any characterizations of intellect based on them. However, you do! And you relish in correcting others, especially when they disagree with you!

                Irony rich with you these last couple of days, Seb. This season may be too much for you! Take a vacation!

              3. I use a- * , with the correct word. I do not exult that a name is misspelled, like you do.
                .
                You seem desperate. Maybe you need a time out.

              4. Try again Sebbie! The only desperate one is the one pleading here.

                I merely reflect what you do back on yourself. Try chilling out first since you often write about others lack of football capacity (acumen) or intellectual prowess (spelling…I mean grammar, lol).

                Heck, you’ve even boasted that you were a Superman for Archimedes’ little trick! You’re going to need an oversized binky today!

                Don’t drink so much Java! It makes you edgy and jittery!

              5. Anyone reading through the thread will see who is desperately trying. Seb, you old goat, some things aren’t quite as movable as you think they are.

                You will also note I only have corrected your errors, and you are the one crying foul. Can dish it but can’t take it. Poor Sebbie!

                Keep it up Quixote!

              6. No, you attack my football acumen because I left off an e in Fournette. That is definition of desperate.
                .
                I can take it all day from you, but you got your panties in a twist when I mentioned I did not correct you.
                .
                Quit leading with your chin.

  25. This tweet provides some of the answer to the question why the team didn’t know what they potentially had in Mullens (for last year at any rate):

    Jennifer Lee Chan

    @jenniferleechan
    Where was #49ers QB Nick Mullens last season at this time? Kyle Shanahan said he spent most of his time playing scout team safety.

    Yes, safety.

    Shanahan said they gave him a hard time because his back-pedal looked so horrible.

  26. christian mccaffrey really is surprising….i was one of those that question his draft selection at the time

    Never thought he was going to be this tough and durable….

    He really is a true football player…..he pretty much is 70% of the offense…..

  27. Shanny on Saquon Barkley.

    “We figured he wouldn’t be there by our pick. But, yeah, we still watched him pretty hard. It didn’t take too long to watch him to have an idea that he was pretty good, to have a pretty good idea that he wouldn’t be there.”

    On JG’s QB sneak from last year.

    “He selfishly got himself a touchdown instead of the running backs. But, it worked, I liked it. He scored.”

  28. Interesting. He lowered his head and impacted the crown of the helmet on his injured shoulder, but no call.
    .
    Panthers and Cam can’t catch a break.

    1. Yet, Eric Reid was ejected for grazing the helmet of BR. Then Vance juggles the ball out of bounds, but it is called a TD. Panthers are snake bit.

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