49ers all in with a new look

Here is my Saturday column.

Little differences.

Jim Tomsula wears a black 49ers tracksuit with red sleeves and a gold zipper on the upper left arm during Thursday’s OTA. He tucks the jacket of the track suit into his polyester pants.

Jim Harbaugh wore khakis, a sweater and a baseball cap during practice when he was the 49ers’ head coach. He looked like a giant kid who had sneaked out of parents’ house to play football with his buddies. Tomsula looks like Paulie Walnuts from The Sopranos.

Little differences.

Harbaugh put himself in the thick of the action during practice. He’d participate in drills. He’d turn his cap backward and kick footballs when the special teams practiced blocking punts. He’d run routes with the tight ends and he’d fall sometimes. He laughed at himself. He kept things light.

Tomsula does not participate in drills. He stands very seriously in the middle of the practice field while the individual position groups warm up around the edges. Stands with his arms folded across his chest, hair slicked back, a wad of tobacco in his mouth while he rotates in a slow circle, spitting occasionally like a lawn sprinkler.

Little differences.

Tomsula is an overseer. Bill Walsh was an overseer, too. Like God, they’re the ultimate authority watching over your every move.

When Tomsula speaks, he speaks in whispers to his top assistants, his prophets — offensive coordinator Geep Chryst and defensive coordinator Eric Mangini. They make the rounds to the various position coaches and whisper Tomsula’s whispers to them.

Tomsula rarely talks directly to players anymore. He used to when he was the defensive line coach under Harbaugh. Now, Tomsula delegates the talking. The position coaches teach the players, the ball boys call out plays for the offense and defense during seven-on-sevens and 11-on-11s, and a trainer blows an air horn between drills.

For the most part, Tomsula’s practices are quiet.

Occasionally, he yells. Early during Thursday’s OTA, he felt the quarterbacks and running backs took too long to start a drill. “You just wasted a minute and a half!” Tomsula yelled from 50 yards away.

Other times, he would yell, “Tempo!” as if admonishing an orchestra if he thought they were moving too slow.

Tomsula spoke above a whisper about three or four times total during practice on Thursday. If you weren’t looking for him, you wouldn’t have known he was there.

When Harbaugh led the Niners’ practice, no way could you miss him. He stood in the middle of huddles. He called out the plays. He called them, not the quarterback. Between every single snap, he yelled “left hash!” or “right hash!” indicating where the offense should spot the ball.

And he blew a whistle. Each whistle was a different command the players understood. He was the ringmaster of a circus.

Little differences.

Harbaugh coached an old-school, Big-Ten, 1970s offense. A power-running offense with sumo-style blocking. Grab the guy in front of you and push him back. Impose your will. That’s Harbaugh’s style.

None of that took place at Thursday’s OTA. During drills, five offensive linemen at a time would crouch into three-point stances. When Chris Foerster, the new offensive line coach, yelled, “Hut,” all five offensive linemen started sprinting to their right.

That’s zone blocking: outflank the defense and stretch them to create lanes for the running back. It’s a finesse style that requires fast offensive linemen, not powerful ones.

It’s the running game Mike Shanahan made famous. He used it when he coached the Denver Broncos and most recently when he coached the Washington Redskins. Foerster was Shanahan’s offensive line coach in Washington, and Foerster seems to be teaching Shanahan’s techniques to the 49ers.

One more little difference.

Tomsula is incorporating even more finesse into the offense. He’s bringing back the screen pass. The Niners almost never ran this play under Harbaugh, in practice or in games.

It was the first pass play the Niners ran Thursday afternoon. Colin Kaepernick threw a screen to Reggie Bush.

A screen is like a judo move. The offense doesn’t impose its will, it simply uses the defense’s aggressiveness against them, lets the defense rush wildly at the quarterback. Just before they hit him, he throws a little dinker over their heads to a running back.

It’s a classic Bill Walsh play that should never have left the 49ers’ playbook. Good for Tumsula for bringing it back.

The Niners have a new-look offense to match their new-look coach. Time will tell if little differences mean a lot.

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 260 Comments

  1. Grant, Uesful and informative column. Time will tell what it means but it served to portray the ambience/atmosphere. Thanks
    Arizona Niner Fan

    1. Maybe the 49ers will also incorporate some of those Roger Craig Patterns that Joe Threw to Roger in SuperBowl (23) vs. Cincinnati where their Texas patter (49ers send Rice on a Fly Pattern from left, and Taylor on long out on right, with Jones running a deep post in the center, causing the LB’s to drop, while Craig circles out of the back field to the vacated line backer positions; or the 49ers could run a simple swing pass, or that deep 40 yard touch pass Montana threw to Craig down the Right sideline…However that one requires the QB to loft the Ball 40 yards in the air, with enough velocity to beat the safety and also to drop in over the trailing cornierbacks head. If you fire the ball the DB will swat it down. It’s all in the game winning drive in the “89 Superbowl.

      1. Also on those passes you have to look the safety off so he does not blast your receiver.

      2. Old school Fineness, if we can get there on offense we will be fine, but run the ball too

      3. Maaaaan…. you’ve just made me smile during a very bad start to my working day….that drive….ohhhh that drive…..

  2. I would expect differences, if there wasn’t that would be a problem. There is different ways to skin a cat and come up with wins!

    1. Maybe I should of said there are different ways to inflate a ball and come up with wins.

      1. If u believe .002 of an inch deflation is the reason the pats won by 38 your delusional. My opinion but that joke is stale not funny. But your opinion is different

        1. Sorry bud I have zero opinion of why the Pats won the game. I was trying to keep it football related with the second statement. Relax nothing serious here.

  3. Nice article Grant! Well written and gives us an understanding of how our new HC operates. Niners might have lucked into a very good coach. I think time will tell.

    1. Your prediction that “time will tell” is absolutely 100% certain to come true unless time stops. ;-}

  4. If they really are re-incorporating screens and starting to use zone blocking, I may faint with joy.

  5. Grant paints a good picture of practice.
    I do suppose that JimT whispers to his coaches when the media is present, and not otherwise.
    Mooch utilized screens even more than BW.

    1. Well, practicing techniques to incorporate into your offense isn’t necessarily changing scheme. Most teams use a bit of both even if they lean towards one more than the other.

      1. I would agree BT but from the way it was put; “Harbaugh coached an old-school, Big-Ten, 1970s offense. A power-running offense with sumo-style blocking. Grab the guy in front of you and push him back. Impose your will. That’s Harbaugh’s style.

        None of that took place at Thursday’s OTA. ”

        It sounds like it’s more then just a change in technique.

        1. I don’t want to get too out on a limb on this. It just reminds me of Spring Training; you drill fundamentals. Also consider that what was seen was what was allowed to be seen on media day. It’s not casual.

  6. One of your more interesting articles in some time Grant. Well done. Look forward to more like this one as we get into training camp. Speak softly and carry a big wad of tobacco in your mouth….

  7. Yeh grant,where is the old grant? This is a softer side of you. Did your wife write this?

  8. How long did it take Mangini to get the tobacco juice out of his ear after Jimmy T whispered his sweet nothings?

      1. Colorful in terms of the tobacco spit or the nice barrage of cussing coming from the result of the sweet nothings?

  9. “Harbaugh put himself in the thick of the action during practice. He’d participate in drills. He’d turn his cap backward and kick footballs when the special teams practiced blocking punts. He’d run routes with the tight ends and he’d fall sometimes.

    He laughed at himself. He kept things light.”

    So where do you think the idea that Jim Harbaugh ground the spirit out of his team came from before he mutually vacated the premises?

  10. A nitpick.. Bill Walsh rarely called the classic screen pass… that is, screens that allow defenders to charge the QB unblocked.

    Primary swing passes yes. Dump offs and check downs yes. Underneath curls, wheels, outs you bet. But rarely screens.

    His concern was if the running back was covered, the only alternatives were incompletions, sacks or INTs. Screens worked or blew up.

    1. Brodie,

      could be that it wasn’t a screen, but
      the “check down out of the back-field”
      Reggie was talking about ..

      Either way, though … I’m really liking
      the change

      1. I was responding to the article. Just a minor nit pick.

        Yes, I’m liking the emphasis on passes to backs. Hyde’s an excellent receiver. The new guy is too.

  11. Grant, good spot on the zone drills. I posted this question three weeks ago.

    Is this a zone or man drill? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hW1c6yZDxeQ

    I’m concerned Boone and Davis’ absence. Last summer Vernon and Boone’s holdout (and Hunter’s injury) messed up the installation of sweeps. A major waste of practice reps.

    1. Zone drill. Each OL is attacking the outside shoulder with reach blocks. Foerster kept yelling, “Outside shoulder!” during this drill on Thursday.

      1. I was wondering about the zone/man blend since Foerster was hired.

        Changing blocking schemes comes with risks. The Raiders had fits with the switch about 5 years ago. But I’m looking forward to more zone.

        When Man blocking works its a thing of beauty, full of mismatches and numbers advantages for the offense. But when it doesn’t, Gore’s dodging three guys before the line of scrimmage while both guards wander around at the “2nd level” blocking air.

        1. “……..while both guards wander around at the “2nd level” blocking air.”

          Noticed that quite a bit last season.

      2. Good report Grant,
        In keeping with the philosophy of “faster” vs “stronger” O-line, which current O-line starters do we have now that can transition to this style?

        Teams within our division have defensive lineman that utilize strength and speed. Harbaugh employed an offensive scheme that relied more on power at the LOS vs speed (on the O-line).

        Can Staley, Davis, Kilgore, and Boone provide the speed needed to employ such a scheme?
        Brandon Thomas looks like the odds-on favorite right now to fill the other O-line position, but he was drafted to fit Harbaugh’ scheme.

        I like the idea of creating a new offensive concept, but it will be interesting to see if we have the players to make it a successful transition.

        1. The 49ers have more guys who are a better with a zone blocking scheme than they do a man blocking scheme right now. Davis, Looney, Martin, Thomas and Kilgore all came out zone blocking schemes in college. Thomas and Martin in particular were thought to be prototypical fits for such a scheme. Staley is a very good fit as well. The only guy that is really left out is Boone and he doesn’t seem to want to stick around anyways.

    2. Im concerned also b2w but as long as Davis is not injured or holding out im good with him missing from anything voluntary. Boone on the other hand.

      Great article Grant, very original. Im excited for the new look offense, it’ll be nice seeing the backs utilized in the passing game for a change. Im also hoping ellington contributes some. But i do wonder how this blocking scheme fits our personnel.

  12. Tomsula should be fired for using chewing tobacco. Wake up Jim, it’s 2015. The dangers, and sheer vulgarity of it is well documented.

    1. Yeah, I think they’ve hired an Ettiquette Coach to try and refine the Hillbilly out of
      What the heck is the matter with you Shirley Temple? Do you lean towards Emily Post or Ann Landers for your Couture advice? You don’t wear white gloves after Labor Day do you? Please, please, PLEASE tell me NO!

  13. From Rotoworld:

    “ESPN’s Louis Riddick hears Reggie Bush is “looking very good” at 49ers OTAs.
    Riddick is a former NFL personnel man and presumably still has strong ties around the league. He adds that second-round S Jacquiski Tartt is looking good as well at early-offseason practices. Although many have written off Bush following an injury-plagued 2014, Bush did flash in the rare instances he was healthy. He should have a consistent role in the 49ers’ 2015 offense.”

    1. we’re gonna be fine, cubus …

      and the first pre-season game can’t come
      soon enough for me

  14. Very interesting article indeed. How will it translate to the field and game situations? How will our large linemen adapt to zone blocking. How will Tomsula’s delegation affect our clock management issues? What about our poor redzone play?

    It is interesting how football captures our interest in offseason more than any other sport.

  15. One thing is missing in your observations Grant.
    How are the assistants OC and DC taking NewJim’s directions.
    What’s the interaction like?
    Is it a team?
    Probably to early to tell.

  16. For those who didn’t get to come home, to live and laugh and raise families, you’re not forgotten by those of us who did. Om Shanti.

    1. Very succinct –well thought out, and
      to the point ..

      I couldn’t have said it better ..

      Thank you, BT ..

      and a Happy Memorial Day to
      everyone who frequents this blog

    2. I couldn’t have said it better even if I tried Brotha.

      Have a good Memorial Day everyone!

    1. He looked very good catching punts and passes. Seems to have good hands.

      1. Based on the little you’ve seen so far, what are your thoughts on the PR competition? Is Hayne a shot of making the 53 as a PR and STs player? Or does he need to show he can handle the RB role as well in order to make the team?

        1. Scooter,

          perhaps Hayne is destined for the practice squad ?

          I mean.. if he doesn’t make the final 53 ..

          Okoye is still hangin’ around .. isn’t he ?

          1. The 49ers lost alot of stars, but are still very deep. The roster cuts to 53 are going to hurt. Bush returning punts frees a scarce roster spot.

            I think Hayne’s on the PS even if he’s doing well. I doubt many teams will try to claim hour during 24 hr waivers. He’s a safe stash.

            On the other hand there will be alot of players like Millard, Rory Anderson, Dres Anderson, Acker that are not safe during 24 hr waivers.

            Add talented bubble players like TJE to the roster delima and its pretty clear that stashing Hayne on the PS makes sense.

            1. Next year when Pinion doubles as the Field Goal kicker as well as the Punter, freeing up a roster spot will benefit players like Hayne….

              1. I think the one-year contracts of Hunter and Bush will play a bigger role than Pinion.

              2. Having Pinion as your Punter and FG Kicker is huge in terms of freeing up a roster spot for many players on the cusp, not just Hayne. I’m pretty sure I mentioned that scenario when 99% of the people in here were complaining about the pick….

              3. Is Pinion a good enough FG kicker for that? My understanding is he was used for long distance FGs only. Big leg, but maybe not as accurate/ reliable as you’d like your kicker to be within 50 yards…?

              4. Clearly the thought that he could be capable played a part in the 49ers evaluation. TBD in 2016….

              5. Why do you say that? I haven’t heard any of the 49ers brass outline they thought Pinion could take over the regular FG duties. Long distance FGs only.

              6. Wouldn’t you still need to have someone, who could at least kick off and punt, on the starting roster in case Pinion got hurt during a game? In your scenario they might make a decision to not have someone as a backup field goal kicker and, if Pinion got hurt, only go for TDs and 2 pointers. Very risky given the niners historical offense.

              7. It’s been done before, the late Tommy Davis was a K & P for the Niners from 1959 through 1966….

            2. You missed my point Razor. Bush and Hunter are RBs so their likely departure would be the more likely reason Hayne could make the final roster. Pinion would probably only free up a space for another DL or CB since Baalke likes to stockpile those two positions.

              1. You miss my point. There’s only 53 roster spots and the 53rd would be a bonus player if Pinion can do what hasn’t been done since ’66….

              2. I just went back and looked at what you said. You didn’t limit your response to just Hayne so you are correct. My apologies Razor.

              3. No problem MWD, I enjoy and appreciate the banter, although I admit we can get a wee bit cantankerous at times. It’s all in fun….

        2. I would say he needs to handle the RB role as well Scooter. They were having him practice blocking after all and he was chided by Rathman when he hesitated.

          1. If he needs to show he’s capable and ready to go as a RB then I think his chances of making the 53 this year are very slim. If they don’t mind keeping a STs specialist (which they’ve done the past few years with guys like Osgood and Vetrone), I think he has an ok chance to make the team (though probably still less than 50%-50%).

            1. I’ve thought from the beginning he’s slated for the practice squad, and I wouldn’t expect to see a whole lot from him in preseason for that very reason….

            2. I never considered Hayne as a possibility for the final roster. To me, he is a PS player they likely want to work with for a year or two like Okoye and see if they can adapt him to the American game. If he somehow goes crazy in preseason as a return man, then they’ll have to rethink it obviously, but I have to believe the plan was to get him over here and groom him over time.

              1. If that’s the plan, and I believe it is, they won’t allow him to go cray cray in pre-sea….lol

  17. Jersey suggestions-
    I am getting one of the new black alternate jerseys, probably Bowman, but was curious what young player everyone might recommend, ie, who they think may make an impact/impression or who they are pulling for the most
    Last year I went Hyde……….. Patton, Tartt, Reaser, Armstead, Lynch, etc….. I am leaning towards Tartt if he lives up to the hype of punishing players.

    Interesting tidbit- was at a party last night and had a conversation with someone who coaches college ball in the East Bay and he previously worked with both Armstead and Peters – said he thinks Peters will be a pro bowl player but had serious doubts about Armstead- just putting it out there.

  18. Best wishes to all the families still waiting for their sons/daughters to come home that never will. In honor of who you are and what you did. We shall never forget!

  19. Well, it looks like the Niners made the right decision cutting Ray Mac. He’s been arrested for domestic violence again, per BR.

  20. There isn’t yet any solid reporting involved so hopefully for RayMac it’s BS…

  21. “I say this with the most humility, but I don’t think nobody has ever been who I’m trying to be. Nobody has the size, nobody has the speed, nobody has the arm strength, nobody had the intangibles that I’ve had. I’m not saying that to say I’m a one-on-one type of person that this league will never see another. No, I’m not saying that. Hear me out. I’m just saying that so much of my talents have not been seen in one person.” Cam Newton.

    I think Cam needs to look up the meaning of humility cause he isn’t getting it right.

    1. Coffee,
      A typical Cam Newton quote is something along the lines of “Cam just wants to be the best player that Cam can be. Cam needs to be the best that Cam can be. Nobody else can be Cam but Cam. Cam is unique.”

      I wonder what Justin Smith would do if he were seated next to a teammate talking like that…. I imagine his eyes lighting up in horror as the sound of a steam kettle whistling crescendos in the background. After about ten seconds, something would pop off of his uniform with such force that the ensuing ricocheting would knock out every light in the locker room.

    2. Not surprising considering he considered himself an Entertainer and Icon coming out of College. Good player but really full of himself.

    3. Has Newton ever found the answer to why he needed a suggestion box early in his career?

    1. Conor Orr – “At the moment, the team appears to field a defensive line of Dorsey, Tank Carradine, Arik Armstead and Darnell Dockett.”

      Had no idea Dial, Williams and TJE were off the team.

  22. More on Ray Mac from Rotoworld, although it’s still based solely on one guy’s tweet:

    “Bears DE Ray McDonald has been arrested on a domestic violence charge.
    This is the third time McDonald has been accused of violence against women in the last nine months. Details on this incident are still emerging, but there’s a possibility of child endangerment as well. McDonald previously escaped discipline from both the police and the NFL on the first two incidents, one of which was an alleged rape that occurred during a party and another alleged domestic incident of a pregnant woman. The Bears signed McDonald, formerly of the 49ers, to a one-year, non-guaranteed $1.05M contract in March. Expect him to be cut shortly as GM Ryan Pace tries to save face.”

    1. Weren’t some on here criticizing Niners for cutting RayMac? If they’d given him another chance and he got arrested again it would be a flipping national scandal for SF.

      1. The only thing I was criticizing was the timing, because it seemed like the niners could have saved some cap space by choosing a more appropriate time to release him.

        Speaking of that, I’m wondering about bonus money. If a player retires, a team can push to have the player return the “unearned” portion of the signing bonus (Borland, for example; maybe Smith, but I doubt it). But if a team releases a player before the end of his contract, they wouldn’t be able to go after the “unearned” portion of the signing bonus, right?

        1. I think there were four ‘audiences’ for what and when and how the Niners reacted:
          > McDonald. He was on notice
          > The other players; the team served notice and followed through for credibility.
          > The League
          > The Press & public
          By pulling the eject button immediately they demonstrated their resolve. The alternative would’ve been to suspend him and pay him to stay home watching Scooby.

    2. Maiocco – “According to the sources, he was arrested in 2222 Terra Nova in San Jose”

      NBC Chicago – “According to the sources, McDonald was arrested in San Jose at the home of retired 49ers defensive end Justin Smith.”

      “San Jose police sources told NBC Bay Area on Monday that they assisted Santa Clara police with the detention.”

      “Another source said he rents an apartment in Santa Clara on Carlyle Court for his ex-fiancee and baby.”

      Sounds like the incident happened in Santa Clara, and he was arrested at Justin Smith’s house in San Jose.

    3. Some guys just never get it. I don’t know the particulars, maybe he’s guilty, maybe he’s not, but one thing is for certain is that he puts himself in position to be a target. 49ers are well rid of him.

      1. It’s the old adage, “you’re always judged by the company you keep” Scooter. I presume you have a similar saying….

        1. There’s a reason some adages have staying power,,Razor. But he’s then later he’s hanging with Cowboy; who doesn’t have an arrest record, so yeah, I don’t get it. I guess he’ll be a Bouncer at some strip club before too long.

        2. Whether it is the company he keeps or he himself that’s the problem, he’s a distraction to the team and not someone you want as a “leader” for your young players.

          1. I read some Bears fans are unhappy they signed him in the first place. Apparently ownership balked but Vic vouched for him. Imagine Fangio’s heartburn when he heard the news.

            1. Not just because he vouched for him too – Ray Mac would have been an important (if under appreciated) piece for their new 3-4.

    4. I anticipate the 49ers and Bears to do a trade in the very near future.

      1. Interesting thought, Mid. Bears need DEs for their 3-4. TJE could be someone the 49ers look to move. Or maybe even Dial, if they prefer TJE…

          1. If all they can get is a late round pick, my guess is they’ll hold onto them all for now and let TC and pre-season play out. You never know if an injury is around the corner, or if the guy you are thinking of letting go now may outplay others in camp and change your decision on who to keep.

            If the Bears are desperate and willing to part with a mid round pick, that may change things.

            1. You mentioned Jerod-Eddie which is why I think a late round pick would make sense. The only player I see as a viable option to trade for a mid round pick would be Carradine, but I don’t see him being traded to a Fangio defense when he struggled to crack the starting rotation when Fangio was here.

              1. Yeah, all I’m saying is that I don’t think the 49ers would be all too inclined to accept a late round pick for TJE or any of their top 7 DL right now. Better off waiting, seeing what happens in TC and pre-season, and if a guy like TJE ends up surplus to requirements then look to offload him for a late round pick.

              2. I disagree Scooter. If Jerod-Eddie is indeed a bubble player, then they could very well flip him like they did with Cam Johnson a while back.

              3. Exactly Mid, just like they did Cam Johnson… at the end of pre-season. Like I said.

              4. Different depth at that position compared to the depth at DE right now Scooter.

              5. The 49ers had an abundance of OLBs the year they traded Cam Johnson for a 7th. They also traded Parys Haralson about a week prior to trading Johnson.

                They have an abundance of DL this year (for a 3-4). Its a very similar scenario. And like they did when they traded Haralson and Johnson, I expect they will hold onto the players until the end of pre-season.

                They’d look pretty darn stupid if they traded a DL now for a late round pick and then a couple of their top 7 DL injure themselves in camp. Why take that risk for a late round pick? Especially when there is a semi-decent chance they could still get a late round pick towards the end of pre-season from someone?

              6. Agree with Scooter. They could be dealing from a position of strength if they get through preseason unscathed and see improvement from some of the 2nd and 3rd year players. At that point it becomes just like the year they traded Haralson and Johnson. No point in dealing anyone before then unless they get a great offer.

              7. They didn’t invest in an OLB in the first round during the year they traded Johnson unlike this year with a DL. There’s also the fact that Jerod-Eddie may not fit the type of defense Mangini will employ if indeed it is more blitz heavy.

              8. Mangini comes from the Belichick Hybrid defensive scheme which isn’t predicated on blitzing, but confusion….

              9. Mid, the scheme that Mangini hails from calls for the DEs to play more 2-gapping techniques, not to be 1-gapping pass rushers. I think that suits guys like TJE and Dial.

                Regarding your comment about drafting a 1st rounder this year, another big difference is the year they traded Haralson and Johnson they didn’t lose their two starting OLBs in the off season. It would behoove the 49ers to let the competition play out this year along the DL, unless they get a great offer for one of their players.

              10. Not to mention they’re all cross trained across the defensive line. What do you think the chances are that 3-4 base looks like Armstead LE, Dorsey NT, Dockett RE?

              11. Definitely a chance, razor. But I think Dockett is best suited to the nickel/ dime D as a 1-gap penetrator, and I just think Armstead will struggle to nail down a starting role day 1. Maybe at some point during the year he takes over the role, but to start the season I don’t think he will.

                At this point I still think that Williams will be the NT, and Dorsey the RDE in base. The LDE will likely be one of TJE or Dial in my opinion.

                Dockett and Carradine really are the wild cards. I don’t see either guy as being great fits for the base end positions (assuming Mangini does use his DEs in more 2-gapping roles). But maybe they surprise, or maybe Mangini surprises and uses the DL a bit differently.

                As Maiocco has said, I think we should expect a lot of DL rotation this year regardless.

              12. Yea Scooter, didn’t he say no one player should expect to play more than 25% on the defensive line or something to that effect?

              13. I think it was around 50% – 60%, but yeah, basically the DL should expect to be rotated a lot.

              14. But they have solid replacements for them already Scooter. And although there is expected to be more rotation, that doesn’t exactly mean that Jerod-Eddie will even suit up.

                That confusion defensive style worries me Razor simply because of the youth on this team. It didn’t work out so well last time a DC attempted that style.

              15. Mid, this is getting ridiculous. They may have good depth right now, but that depth will look mighty thin if during camp one of their top DL injures himself. Especially on a DL that has lost two of its starters from last year.

                For clarity (though I am not sure how this would still be unclear), I am not saying they should keep all of them this season. Barring injury I think they will keep 6 of the top 7 DL guys currently on the roster (those 7 being Williams, Dorsey, Dockett, Tank, Dial, Armstead, TJE). But they don’t need to make a trade right now and risk having one or more guys get hurt in TC/ pre-season and then being caught short on capable players. Especially when you have three of those guys (Williams, Dorsey and Dockett) all returning from season ending injuries last year.

                Making a trade now for low level compensation would, in my opinion, be very dumb. The only reason it would make sense is if they already believe guys like Okoye and Ramsey are of an equivalent level to a guy like TJE. I find that hard to believe though, as they have not shown anything to warrant such lofty beliefs. If during TC it becomes obvious that TJE is being leap-frogged by one of those guys then sure, look to make a trade then. Otherwise, wait until the end of pre-season, and if everyone comes through unscathed, then look to make a trade.

              16. Mid, this is getting ridiculous.

                Especially since I haven’t said that would be a good move; I merely suggested the idea is all. Personally I wouldn’t make such a move what with the team being injury-plagued last season, but then I’m not Baalke. Just because it’s ridiculous doesn’t mean we should dismiss the possibility either.

              17. And all I have said (and I paraphrase) is that I think it is unlikely and would be a bad move accepting a low round pick for a guy like TJE right now (see my 3:24PM post).

                Your words when I said this were “I disagree Scooter” (see your 3:28PM post in response to my 3:24PM post). Seemed pretty clear cut that you either (a) thought it likely to occur, (b) thought it a good idea, or (c) both. Otherwise your comment of “I disagree Scooter” was, in fact, not true.

              18. That isn’t where I disagreed with you Scooter. This is where I disagreed with you:

                Yeah, all I’m saying is that I don’t think the 49ers would be all too inclined to accept a late round pick for TJE or any of their top 7 DL right now.

                If the price is right and Baalke has a replacement in mind, then he very well could pull the trigger in regards to a trade.

              19. Yes, so that was (a) on my list. If you disagree it is unlikely they would accept a late round pick for a DL, then you must think it is likely. In which case everything I said after that comment holds.

              20. How exactly is the word ‘could’ an example of me saying it is most likely to happen? Is it a possibility? Yes, but that doesn’t mean that I see it as being most likely to happen. You mention the team keeping 7 DL. Is that just a possibility you or one that you see as most likely happening?

              21. Good lord Mid!

                Look at what you have said. You have even gone so far as to confirm that when you said you disagreed with me, you were disagreeing with my comment about it being unlikely to happen for a late round pick right now (see your 7:42PM post).

                That is where you said it was likely. Right there. If you disagree it is unlikely, the inference is you think it is likely (one could argue that you could have meant a 50%-50% chance which is neither likely or unlikely, but given your comments this does not appear to be what you meant).

                If you think it is merely a possibility, as you are now starting to try and suggest, then you would not have disagreed with me when I said it was unlikely. Me saying it is unlikely does not mean I do not recognise it is a possibility. If I didn’t think it was possible, I’d have said so.

              22. Guys I’m confused and we haven’t even gotten into Manginis’ playbook….

              23. I disagree with you saying that the team wouldn’t accept a late round pick for Jerod-Eddie right now; I think they could if Baalke chooses to do so. I agree on the other DL simply because they are worth more than that. But Jerod-Eddie has been classified as having a limited skill set and a bubble player on here, and if Baalke thinks the same way as others have on here, then I can see it happening. Does that mean I see it as likely to happen? No, but it can’t be ruled out either. For the record, the scenario I see as most likely to happen is Carradine being traded if he fails to climb the depth chart. I just can’t tag unlikely next to anything given the GM we have in Baalke. Every possibility is on the table no matter how crazy or idiotic we see it.

              24. And here we have finally gotten to the bottom of the confusion. I never said they “wouldn’t” accept a late round pick. I said it is unlikely (or specifically, that I don’t think they would be all too inclined to do so). Is it possible? Sure. Likely? In my opinion, no.

                Ergo, when you said you disagreed with me, you were disagreeing with something I never actually said or intended.

              25. That also applies where you believed that I said it was likely to occur in my 7:42 P.M post. If I had just said very well, then you would be right. But I said very well could, which meant that I could see Baalke making such a move if he so deemed if he believed it to be the right one. That doesn’t mean I see it as likely to occur though but just as an option. And that option has the same chances (50-50) of happening as the others of happening.

      1. It’s extremely exciting for me having a quarterback that works as hard as Kaepernick, while also possessing the highest ceiling of any in the league. Tomsula is going to Unchain The Kap, so don’t tell me that the love is gone….

        1. Unchaining Kaep was never an issue. It’s been his quarterback play that has been. I’m hoping that Kaep is finally able to take the next step in his development this season.

          1. The read option plays increased last year yet Kaepernicks’ keep rate was slashed by nearly 50%….

            1. Which means what exactly? I understand that Kaep can run like a gazelle, but opposing defenses have learned to force him to beat them with his arm. They mostly kept Kaep in check last season because of that fact. Kaep will do more damage if he can hurt defenses with both his arm and his legs, with the latter being a secondary option.

              1. The ends were keying on Kaepernick and Roman didn’t diversify his blocking schemes, play action pass off read-option action, screens, or pop passes….

              2. How could Roman when there was little continuity on the OL? Both Martins were terrible, Boone stunk it up for the first half the season, and Iupati never really returned to form.
                Then there’s also where Kaep would struggle even when the protection actually held up. He would look at his first read then tuck the ball and run if that receiver wasn’t open.
                What it comes down to is this: the scheme can be changed to accommodate his ability to run, but it won’t amount to anything if Kaep’s still struggling as a passer.

              3. No what it comes down to is it can be a component of a bigger, comprehensive dedication to that style of play. If they can do that while developing the traits that lead to consistent offensive plays, I have no doubt Kaepernick will thrive….

              4. It won’t matter much if Kaep forgets to utilize his new compact throw or fails to get past his first read though. Defenses have already keyed in on that, and he needs that compact throw and being able to get past the first read in order to keep the offense on the field.

            2. I keep coming back to a Steve Young comment (Sorry, E!) where he said becoming a championship QB is like attaining a PhD. It ain’t for everybody, it ain’t easy, and it takes a bit.
              I don’t know how much of his potential that CK achieves in his career, but I’m still on board with his ceiling.

        2. Razor,

          I’m now into my 7th decade and I was eight years old for my first game , my love for this team is the same now as it was then!
          Just a comment on this QB’s status.

            1. Player Shoots His @$!/ing Career Down the Toilet 5000.
              Coming soon to a near you.

  23. I basically quit watch pro basketball dating back to the Sprewell incident and the league let him back in. However, for the first time in years I have been watching the playoffs and I must say the Warriors are a fun team to watch.

    1. I quit watching when it was just one on one with somebody like Barkley backing down the defender and then shooting a short shot. Really enjoying the way the Warriors move the ball around and am enjoying watching pro ball again.

      1. I never quit watching but I agree with you. The game is the best it’s been in decades and getting better as more and more teams value pace, spacing and ball/player movement.

        Plus there are some extremely talented athletes whose exploits are incredibly entertaining.

        1. One thing I can’t get used to is the number of steps allowed before they call traveling. Also, when I played, your pivot foot really needed to be grounded to the floor and they would call you for traveling if it slid across the floor. When i watch now, I don’t know what traveling is.

              1. Cubus and Grimey,

                Agreed on the travelling, at least on the end of drives, but they seem to be calling travelling quite closely on the start of drives at times. Which I guess makes some sense.

          1. The rules that impede the flow of money to the NBA have never been enforced much. There has never been map of enforcement that matches high school, college, and the NBA.

            Our coach back in the late 40’s used to say that a hack in high school had to leave a red mark in college and draw blood in the pros.

    2. They’re more than fun to watch. They’re historically good. Enjoy it. I know I am.

    1. Did they give Gabbert any guaranteed money in his contract? Sure would be good if Thompson can beat him out. But realistically I think it is unlikely. And given roster math, I think there is a pretty fair chance they only keep 2 QBs, with someone like Blake Bell used as the emergency QB on game days. Thompson has an uphill battle to make the 53.

        1. I assume you think they’ll try to stash Thompson on the practice squad if he doesn’t beat out Gabbert.

          1. Something is telling me that he would picked up by the Seahawks before he made it to our practice squad.

        2. I’m guessing Kaepernick, Gabbert, Bell. Bell frees a valuable a roster spot.

          Is Dylan Thompson safe from 24 hr waivers if stashed on the PS?

      1. Just checked out Gabbert’s 2-year contract and it only has the $500K from the signing bonus he was given as guaranteed. So not a big issue financially if they decide to move on from him.

    2. Unfortunately we’ve heard this song and dance before. Thompson is most likely going to be on the practice squad for two or three seasons and then jettisoned. He has no hope of beating out Gabbert.

    3. I don’t hold out much hope for Thompson, but it would be great if he beat out Gabbert, if for no other reason than he will have some upside and be less expensive.

  24. Just about ANY quarterback that is given an honest opportunity to beat out Gabbert has hope of beating out Gabbert. It shouldn’t be difficult to out-play and out-perform the Gabbert we saw in last year’s preseason. Gabbert is just plain terrible. I cannot figure out for the life of me why he’s still on this team. There were other backup QB’s available in free agency and several were discussed here on this board as being better options for the 49ers than Gabbert. I can’t see Baalke being able to justify keeping Gabbert on the roster if he has another preseason like 2014’s, and I see no reason to believe he won’t. I think Gabbert’s damaged goods from his years of being a tackling dummy in Jacksonville. Thompson should beat him out easily as long as Baalke keeps it a fair competition and a level playing field.

  25. Just out of hospital recently so catching up,good thing we didn’t go with Conner Halliday (a guy I liked at QB) apparently he decided not to go pro and pulled out of Redskins signing.UDFA’s are intriguing -Dres Anderson WR in particular seems to be the subject of some discussions -uphill battle but does he push J Simpson out ?Should be interesting to watch that battle.

      1. Thanks Cubus ,starting to feel better but was pretty uncomfortable for awhile -if it hadn’t been for the prompting of my wife could have checked out -anyway thanks again.Good to be back and excited to see our team in action in a few months.

        1. Yeah, us old dudes usually wait too long to go in to see the Doc. Feel better, get your strength back so you can hoot and holler for the Niners.
          I’m reminded of the wording of an obit someone shared:
          ‘Mr. Jones passed away after a long battle with doctors.’
          It sounds like he put up a good fight.
          ; >)

            1. hightop,
              Welcome back bud. You are a longtime family member around these parts and it’s good to see you back.
              Hope you feel better each day because this has all the makings of a very interesting season and we will need you at full strength (lol).

    1. Just to mess with our heads, the 49ers have an army of rookie receivers with names that start with a D.

      DeAndre Smelter, DeAndrew White, Dres Anderson, DiAndre Campbell and Darius Davis. (and Issac Blakeney)

      My favorite Killer D is Darius Davis.

    2. All the best to you hightop. Sorry to hear you had to go through something, but you made it through and I hope all is well.

    3. Welcome back my friend, glad to here all is well enough to talk football. I’m not a fan of doctors either, and my wife made me go before too….

  26. Hey guys got a quick question one of y’all might be able to answer.this New punter we drafted was also the long distance kicker.correct?is there any rule that says u have to have a kicker and punter?basically what I’m thinking is what if he beat out Lee/Dawson Both we could use him as kicker slash punter and free up extra roster spot.I know its out there but have been pondering it the last few days… What u guys think?

    1. 2016 TBD on FG’s but I fully expect him to win the Punter job and kickoffs. As I indicated above, the late, great Tommy Davis was the last to have done it in 1966 for the 49ers….

      1. Razor are you saying that Tommy Davis was the last 49er to KO and punt or the last 9er to kick FG’s and punt?

          1. I’m asking you if you think he was the last to KO and punt or kick FG’s and punt?

              1. OK Razor here’s a little trivia for you. Who was the last 49er to punt and kick off?

              2. Ok OldCoach, you got me on that one, completely forgot about him. Thanks!

      2. Razor…

        Tommy Davis was also known as a pretty fair FB at LSU, and could be counted on for a fake punt or two every season for first down yardage….I believe that he had a 56 yarder (FG) straight-away kicking, a record in his day….

    2. Start with the fact that he didn’t make a field goal in college and work it out from there.

    3. It saves a roster spot, but in the rare case of an injury you’d be down two positions.

  27. As we travel back in time 5 years, notice how well the DeLorean handles….


    He’s got a secret weapon punt he uses from midfield called “The Aussie”, it knuckles through the air and bounces backward. Dude was a field position hero in the locker room….

  28. (Htwaits)never looked at his stats.basically just wondering if there was a rule.also I didn’t expect him to win kicker just punter,with Lee’s salary.also you would think more teams would look in to this considering the extra roster spot it would create.thanks for the info razoreater didn’t read all the posts

      1. The personal protectors responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen….

        1. But it does happen, and with the added incentive of taking out the field goal kicker it’s a cheap fifteen yards.

          1. 15, ejection and fine, but Pinion is a big boy. If you sensed a kamikaze assault, you could always roll him out to punt. I’d like to see him earn the opportunity to win both jobs next year….

            1. Maybe he can play as a receiver in the red zone offense too. He did play soccer and basketball in high school, just nothing but kicking in football.

  29. Yeah see the point there tuna.it would definitely be a risk but like u said it’s fairly rare to see a kicker get injured not out of the norm but pretty rare.

    1. Man that list is amazingly long, that looks like a full team roster.

      Guys I’m most excited for are Reaser and Hunter, besides the obvious Navarro. I really hope Hunter can stay healthy this year, I’m glad they gave him another chance. I think will compliment Hyde very well. Reaser is a guy I see moving up the depth chart as the year progresses.

      I also watched that RB footwork drill video that Matt posted. 2 observations Millard seem really small for FB, and Reggie’s footwork is insane.

      1. That’s called his or the 49ers PR team telling him he might want to rethink his decision.

        1. I’m sure somebody told him he was an idiot. Sometimes that’s what it takes. It’s not that a big deal other than it shows how disconnected we are as a society.

        2. Yup, an insensitive and bad move by Kaep. His apology will do very little to soften the blow of his tweet.
          Kaep needs to hire his own personal PR/Damage Control people to help him think things out before tweeting.
          CK may have to send a tangible (large sum of monies, etc) gift as a better token of apology in this case.

    1. Things like this are the reasons why there is a good number of people that question your maturity Kaep.

      1. I agree. As I have said pointed out before, he seemed more mature when he was at Reno than he does now. I think Coach Ault kept him in line. Now, he seems to take one step forward, two steps back on maturity every off season.

        I have always enjoyed watching him play from the first game he started at Nevada, not withstanding a few truly ugly games in the last two years. However, he sometimes makes it difficult to focus on the things that are likable about him, both as a player and a person.

        1. Dirk Diggler steps in it again. Rarely has there been a man so likeable, charitable and giving his private life… yet so off putting and stupid in his public expressions.

          I suppose this is the new normal for off seasons… where almost all news is bad news.

      2. Bill Polian said that he dreaded Memorial Weekend and July 4th Weekend as a GM, because something ALWAYS happened with a player.

    2. Just a poor attempt at humor/self promotion. He saw the picture, posted his comment, then realized/was told how bad things were down there and apologized. Nothing to get bent out of shape about imo.

        1. Should he be more careful with his posting? Yes. Is is a big deal? No….

          1. “Is is a big deal? No….”

            They guy is an idiot, and tops it off by following up his apology tweet with a picture of himself “just living”.

            What a dunce.

            1. Idiot? Nah, more like an insensitive boob. I would argue Baalke and his daughter didn’t set a great example with the tweet about Roman….

              1. However #7elf absorbing the tweet, it’s not like he #7tuck a knife in his coaches back while while under fire….

      1. “It was amazing how many poor passes that he had to adjust to from Alex Smith. Even with the screens, he had to adjust back with his body to make catches.”

        Had to do it.

    1. It’s believed that the hot air released from Jerry Jones’ mouth will help A.J. Jenkins to finally win against his arch nemesis gravity.

  30. I wish A.J. well and hope he sticks on the C-boys roster.
    He may not get any more opportunities to prove himself as a football player let alone a 1st rd pick.
    Good luck A.J.

  31. Maiocco on Carradines possible role;
    “Carradine figures to see action at right defensive end on base downs, along with Darnell Dockett and Quinton Dial. Dockett and Carradine figure to be two of the team’s top inside pass-rushers in nickel situations.”

    If he was to win the starting job that would make Dorsey’s roll on the right side nothing more then depth which means Matt either see’s him as a left end or simply as a back up this season. Hard to imagine.

    1. Interesting. Flies completely in the face of what Matt Barrows has been saying.

      1. Time for a beat writer throw down Celebrity Deathmatch style.

        I thought it was pretty funny, goes to show how much is really known at this point. It’s all speculation until the week 1 defense takes the field.

        1. We should get a decent idea once training camps starts and all guys are participating.

    2. That may also explain why Haley was seen working with both Aldon and Tank the other day. Not just teaching pass rush moves, but maybe also instructing on how they can complement each other?

    3. This all would have been a lot easier if they had signed Ray Drew. :)

  32. Missed some of your well wishes yesterday -had to rest but thanks again to all very uplifting and heartwarming.

Comments are closed.