The 49ers offense dekes Reuben Foster during his first practice with the starters


Here’s what stood out to me during practice Monday morning.


1. LB Reuben Foster. Last week, NaVorro Bowman described rookie Reuben Foster as an aggressive “downhill” linebacker. In this context, “downhill” means Foster wants to explode into the backfield and tackle the running back behind the line of scrimmage. This is a good quality for a linebacker to have, but also one the offense can take advantage of. And that’s exactly what the 49ers offense did today during Foster’s first practice with the starters – he replaced Malcolm Smith, who tore a pectoral muscle on Saturday and is out for the season. On the second play of practice, Brian Hoyer faked a handoff and Foster fell for the fake. He sprinted “downhill” toward the running back while Hoyer fired a pass over Foster’s head and hit Marquise Goodwin 15 yards downfield where Foster should have been standing. You can bet opponents will try to use Foster’s aggression against him during the regular season.

2. CB Rashard Robinson. Robinson appeared to injure his left shoulder early during practice. He walked off the field and disappeared inside the 49ers facility, presumably for treatment on his shoulder. He returned to the field shortly after, but watched the rest of practice from the sideline. The Niners can’t afford for Robinson to miss any time during the season. He is their best cornerback.

3. The entire offense during a hard-count drill. For the first time during training camp, Kyle Shanahan made the offense practice playing from its 1-yard line. During this drill, he made the quarterback use a “hard count,” which meant the offense was supposed to go when quarterback yelled, “Hut!” for the second time, not the first time. Apparently, this drill was too complicated for the 49ers offensive players. They committed four false start penalties during the first-nine reps. After the fourth false start penalty, Shanahan screamed at the offensive players and ordered them to start the drill over again, which they did. Then they committed two more false starts.


1. RB Carlos Hyde. Throughout training camp, Hyde has performed much better as a receiver out of the backfield than as a ball carrier. Today, he finally ran the ball well. He gained 37 yards on eight carries – 4.6 yards per carry. His longest run was a 13-yard gain through a big hole between the tackles when the offense was backed up against its 1-yard line. But his best run came during an outside-zone play to his right. Hyde quickly spotted a hole inside the tight end, cut up field without hesitating and gained eight yards. After the play Shanahan yelled, “There you go!” He had waited all offseason to see Hyde run that outside-zone play correctly.

2. TE George Kittle. Kittle missed the past week with a pulled hamstring, but today he returned to practice and immediately returned to the starting lineup. Kittle is the rookie to watch on the 49ers offense. He gets far more work with the starters than any of the other first-year players. He technically isn’t the starting tight end, because he doesn’t play when the 49ers are in 21 personnel (two running backs and one tight end). But he usually plays when the 49ers use 12 personnel (one running back and two tight ends), and he almost always is on the field when the 49ers use 11 personnel (one running back and one tight end). He is the offense’s primary pass-catching tight end. Don’t be surprised if he catches 60 passes this season.

3. TE Vance McDonald. McDonald caught two touchdown passes during a red-zone drill, and he beat strong safety Eric Reid both times. First, McDonald beat Reid with a quick out-route to the left. On the very next play, McDonald beat Reid with a slant route. McDonald seems to have lost his starting job from last season – he mostly plays with backups – but I doubt he will lose his spot on the 53-man roster. He clearly is the third-best tight end behind Kittle and Logan Paulsen

4. WR Jeremy Kerley. Like McDonald, Kerley also caught two touchdown passes during the red-zone drill. Both times, he beat starting slot cornerback K’Waun Williams, who had shut down Kerley most of training camp until today. Kerley beat Williams with a slant route and a comeback route.

5. DE Solomon Thomas. Thomas made two tackles for losses as the big defensive end for the second-string defense. I expect he will replace Tank Carradine as the starting big D-end by Week 1.

6. DE Arik Armstead. Armstead recorded a sack after he beat right tackle Trent Brown to the inside immediately after the center snapped the ball. Brown never touched him. Armstead also deflected a pass which Dontae Johnson intercepted and returned for a touchdown.

This article has 164 Comments

    1. The responses to that tweet are hilarious. Who wondered that? Well Grant and a few who post regularly in here but not many else.

  1. As long as every team we face trades for Trenton Brown the Monday before we face them, Armstead should have a great year. ;)

    1. He has his moments. Shanahan said when he’s on his game the D can’t get around him.
      He’s been on his game more often than not in OTAs and TC so far, but we focus on the bad. That’s fair; he needs to show more consistency
      We’ll see how he does in a game real soon.

  2. DE Solomon Thomas. …I expect he will replace Tank Carradine as the starting big D-end by Week 1.
    I should certainly hope so.

  3. I doubt they extend Hyde regardless, because the position isn’t worth making that kind of investment. Not when you’ve made a living off of late round running backs. Glad to hear the light is coming on when running outside.

    I hope Rashard doesn’t turn out to be Mrs. Robinson.

    Grant, if Beathard beats Barkley hard for the back up job, do you think they will carry just 2 quarterbacks?

    1. Re-signing Hyde will likely depend on two factors:

      Can he stay healthy and how well does Joe Williams play? RB’s don’t tend to command big dollars in FA anymore so a new contract for Hyde could be the way they go if he excels in this system the way I think he can. If Williams plays well and Breida becomes a player they can count on behind him, then they probably let Hyde go.

      I don’t see any way they go with two QB’s for the simple reason that Hoyer has struggled staying healthy in the past. There is a very real chance he misses a few games in which case they would need both Barkley and Beathard.

        1. Yep and may he continue to live the amazing life he does. Rob Halford’s is coming up soon too.

    2. But you better be really, really, really sure it’s going to happen. More than once the 49ers (never mind other clubs) has made that mistake. Like trading Delvin Williams for Freddie Solomon and after trading for OJ Simpson. Or when they let Ricky Watters go in FA with out having a proven replacement.

  4. During this drill, he made the quarterback use a “hard count,” …They committed four false start penalties during the first-nine reps. After the fourth false start penalty, Shanahan screamed at the offensive players and ordered them to start the drill over again, which they did. Then they committed two more false starts.
    SMH, unacceptable at this level. I would expect something of that from pop warner and high school players but for an NFL team that’s worse then an NBA player missing a lay up. Total lack of concentration and discipline and you know who that falls on? El Coacho.

          1. I can understand that defense have to practice hard count and that hard count drills will draw penalty from the defensive side of the ball.
            However, how the offense can have 6 false start penalty on a drill ? The count has to be given during the play call, which means either it is not (and that’s on Shanahan), or the players don’t pay attention of that part of the play call, or that they don’t know the play call yet.

            1. Or that the timing of the players is off in relation to playing with one another. That’s why they practice this stuff. It’s like a play, everyone might know their lines but they still have to work them into the flow with others who are giving their lines. Practicing together will help that.

              OL work as a cohesive unit and for a good one to develop it takes time and lots of practice together. Everyone anticipates the count. But getting that anticipation synced takes….

  5. Not so good.
    2. Agreed, we can’t lose this guy.
    3. Angry Shanny. He is his father’s son.

    1. “There you go.” Did Shanny say that to you or Hyde?
    Just kidding, but Hyde has adapted and Shanny will adapt by calling more inside zones.
    2. Great, add Taylor to the watch list.
    5. Solomon keeps getting better.
    6. It’s time for the Armstead haters (myself included) to give it up. He’s not getting traded or cut. He’s healthy, getting to the QB, and has improved against the run. I WAS WRONG ABOUT ARIK.

  6. I agree that Hyde just won’t be extended. The NFL undervalues the RB position and every year there is a younger fresher model available.
    Thomas is young. I expect the aggression. His true speed will come after about week 9 when he starts to recognize plays and can explode. His talent will help him overcome a few rookie mistakes. He is surrounded by some key Vets who will get him right.
    Do you think the team brings in a vet CB before preseaon game 2? It appears that is still the biggest need on this team.

  7. You are a joke, Grant. The team hasn’t even played it’s first preseason game – McDonald is the 3rd best tight end behind Kittle and Paulsen? Really, Paulsen is the 2nd best tight end on the team? No, Paulsen is not 2nd best tight end on the team, and neither is Kittle the best tight end on the team. Wait for a few preseason games to pass and then get your analysis right.

    Also, what is the hype about Rashard Robinson being the best cornerback on the team – if he is the Niners are in trouble. From all the reports up to today Robinson has been getting smoked consistenly.

    1. I disagree with Grant on a few things, but Vance Mcdonald is not one of them. I’d be surprised if he was even on the team past the last round of cuts. I think Shanahan likes TEs as outlets and sure handed guys but ones that can block, which would mean that Mcdonalds combine excellence makes little difference moving forward.

    2. Ya I agree McDonald is definitely the best TE on the roster. He willl be the leading Receiving threat out of the TE

  8. Really hope Bowman, Foster and Armstrong all make it through the year. All the injuries at ILB last year derailed our defense

  9. Armstead beat Trent Brown… does that mean Armstead was lining up at the big end? Has he been moving around?

      1. Been meaning to ask, WRT Armstead, from what I am reading it sounds like he is no longer just relying on a bull rush to get after the QB. Sounds like he has added a few things to his repertoire. Is that what you are seeing?

        The past two years he was effective at collapsing the pocket but had low sack #s because he rarely tracked the ball and after his bull rush wasn’t good at shedding blocks. If he has added some moves he may do a much better job of finishing plays this year.

  10. Good info Grant Thanks. I was coming around to your way of thinking regarding McDonald getting cut due to them wanting to hang onto Hikutini and now you throw a curve ball ;) Tough to say at this point as they probably would like Hikutini on the PS at worst but if McDonald plays well and they have to pay him anyway, he may get the last spot.

    I haven’t heard much in regards to how Dumervil is doing in practice. Are they just trying to preserve him and giving him limited snaps or none in some cases?

        1. Dumervil looks good. He has been the team’s best edge rusher so far. Lynch has not played with the starters yet.

  11. This team will likely be reminiscent of the 2000 squad. They went 6-10 that year with the 4th ranked offense and 29th ranked passing defense both in yards per game.

  12. Grant,

    How agressive has Saleh’s play calling been? And which LBs and DBs are being used to blitz the most?

    1. He blitzes a lot of third down. I’ve seen a gap blitzes with lbs, strong safety blitzes and slot corner blitzes. He mixes it up.

        1. blitzing on 3rd down is great when it forces the QB to throw hot where the hot throw cannot gain the yardage necessary for the first down. if the hot throw can gain the yardage for the first down, there is no point to blitzing to make the QB throw hot

          1. Blitzing to make the QB “throw hot” is only one factor. Ideally, we would get a sack or a tipped ball. If a team has a hot read that will get a 1st on 3rd down, they will probably make that pass with or without a blitz. Unless the opposing HC is Chip Kelly.

  13. Not surprised Foster bit on play action. Encouraged by Armstead and Thomas making plays.

    The biggest concern is lack of secondary depth. Ward’s missing valuable reps at a new, key position. The backups might become good players some day, but in the mean time the Niners better have great health luck.

    1. Derwin James might be a consideration with the 7th or 8th selection in next years draft, if Landry is off the board.

      1. Don’t know about James, but a quick google says he’s 6’3″ 212. A good start.

        If the Niners don’t have a screaming need to draft a QB, they will have a lot of leverage with the extra 2nd and 3rd round picks. I’m rooting for the Bears and Saints to have bad records.

        1. Make sure you watch September 2. Alabama vs. Florida St. That will allow you to assess James, and at the same time, Francois. Bucky Brooks described James as a cross between Foster and Adams….

      2. I would love that Razor, but current indications are that James will not fall past the fifth pick.

        1. MWD, if you recall, there was a similar sentiment regarding Buckner. Not saying you’re wrong, but you never know. There’s three players in the top 10 that I think could end up being perennial Pro Bowlers. Landry, James and Barkley. Barkley being the most likely to still be on the board at 7 or 8. He may not be a fit in this offense, as he’s more of a power back….

  14. Grant Cohn @grantcohn
    The 49ers have been pumping up Carlos Hyde to the media ever since Gregg Rosenthal said they might cut him. Hmm.

    Grant: Are you still implying they will cut Hyde or is there a meaning here that I’m not following?

      1. I don’t know what the Broncos needs are, but they seem like an ideal trade partner. Two whole days of joint practices . Lynch-Elway connection.

        I wonder if the Niners could frontload contracts like McDonalds and pay him off to make trades with cap tight teams happen. Basically trading cap space for draft picks (or a player).

        Off the wall trade: McDonald (+ pick or player) for Paxton Lynch.

  15. So, the Dolphins considered CK, then moved on to considering Orton and Tim Tebow.
    Biscotti trying to swallow signing CK and Nessa posts a meme of Biscotti as a slave owner; ……thereby killing any chances there. Dolphins pass on Castro apologists.
    Who is the idiot? smh

    1. Nessa is one clueless twit . And Kaep is a fool for getting involved with her. I though he said he learned his lesson about destructive females after his experience in Florida with that crazy gal. Some people go out of their way to create disruption and Nessa seems to be that type. Really playing loose and free with someone elses career.

      1. People like her don’t care. She’s just another Reverend Al Sharpton. A grifter who latches onto something to enrich himself.

        1. She is using him to further her own agenda. Before her, he was apolitical and did not even vote. Becoming a social justice warrior and not voting is obtuse, since change best happens when it is done peacefully at the ballot box.
          People have died for the right to vote, and he cynically derides the whole system. He needs to become better informed, and listen to better advice.
          I hope he can talk to people like Dolores Huerta, and listen to how she is effectuating positive change.
          I hope he dumps his agent, because he got bad advice. I hope he reaches out to Leigh Steinberg, who would advocate giving back to the community.
          I hope he can sit down and explain his positions better, and accept responsibility for his misguided actions. He is against rogue cops, but wearing pig socks paints a broad brush.
          I wish he could have an in depth interview with Grant. Grant would be hard nosed and confrontational, and make Kaep admit that his message was misinterpreted by his actions, which offended lots of people. He may say that they should not be offended, but the reality is that he has become a pariah, and he really needs to think things through before acting. He should be allowed to protest, but do it in a way that is positive, and does not alienate a large segment of the population.
          Grant could wring an apology from him for offending people. Kaep needs to ask for forgiveness, but he needs to show the proper amount of remorse and contrition. He should just state that he will concentrate on football, and only do the social undertakings during the off season. He still can do a lot of good during the offseason, but being a distraction is causing him to be unemployed.

          It was interesting to note his comments on his trip to Africa. He sounded like his roots were in Africa, but he is half white, so maybe he is repudiating half of himself. I do not know for sure, but maybe his mother’s ancestors owned slaves.
          Still think that the blackballing is giving the league a black eye, and it will drive more people away. Intolerance and persecution are not admirable traits. Some team is going to have a need, and some teams will want to win so much, that they will take Kaep, warts and all.
          The problem is, Delilah has cut off his hair, metaphorically speaking.

          1. seb,

            The Daily Caller is reading your posts.


            “Shortly after the 2017 offseason began, Kaepernick parted ways with XAM Sports — the agency which had represented him since he entered the league in 2011 — and The DC’s source added that Kaepernick’s girlfriend, outspoken radio host Nessa Diab, appears to be a driving force behind his negotiating tactics.”

            “Two days after Baltimore first expressed interest, Ravens legend Ray Lewis posted a cryptic video telling Kaepernick to focus on football not activism. Nessa Diab then compared Lewis and Bisciotti to a slave and master, and negotiations stalled.”

            1. As long as Kaep has Delilah, he will never work in the NFL again. She has destroyed his career.

          2. People who are abused tend to try to get the approval of their abusers- Stockholm syndrome. People who feel abandoned also try to get the love of those that have abandoned them or if they are not available their substitute. While his birth mother gave him away for adoption he was able to deal with that by rejecting her. Now he does not even know anything about his father other than that he was black His father represents the ultimate rejection factor in his life. He basically abandoned both him and his mother. Children tend to believe that the negative actions of their parents are their fault. They feel they must have done something wrong and often spend their lives trying to prove they are worthy to the very unworthy people. Kaep is doing exactly that. He spent a lot of time showing everyone he is black not white via his gansta style clothes. He then follows the same pattern that his father did when he rejecting his family. By his refusal to even see her it is obvious that his anger for that rejection is directed solely at his mother. He probably blames his mother for his father rejecting them both. He follows suite by rejecting his white side. It is on that same level that he is attempting to find justification for his fathers lack of responsibility by blaming it on ” White America”.

            In many ways Kaep pattern represents the early “Roots” movement. That was when american blacks tried to recover their lost heritage via the afro’s, changing their Christian names and religion to Muslim ones. They rejected the names/religion ( identity ) given to them by the people who bought them as slaves, and traded them for the people who raided their villages, killed their actual relatives and sold them into slavery. The similar pattern to Kaeps is striking. He is attempting to get the approval of an irresponsible guy who abandoned both his mother and him by putting all the blame on the mother. He hooks up with Nessie who agenda mirrors his own identity issues but on a macro national level. I could go on but that would end up as a chapter in a book.

            1. His mother never told who the father was, but I think he found out who he was. Do not think Kaep and his father are in touch, or very close, because of the fact that he was abandoned, like you said.
              His mother did give him up, but the adoptive parents tried to include her in his life. It was the birth mother’s decision to stop sending cards and attending birthdays, so Kaep felt abandoned by her. It must have torn out the heart of an 8 year old child to hear that he was not wanted by his birth mother.
              Only after Kaep became famous did she try to worm herself back into his life, but he was not so forgiving. Now that she is dissing him, and saying she is ashamed of Kaep, he feels even more justified in his rejection to her previous overtures.
              Being mulatto in America is tough. If he has a drop of black blood in his body, he will be considered black by many whites. Obviously, he may also be rejected for not being black enough, by the minority community. Sounds like he is trying to over compensate, when in reality, he just needs to accept himself, just as he is.
              Kaep should not revere half of himself while hating his other half. That will lead to confusion, self hatred, and self destructive behavior.
              I hope Kaep channels his energies into more positive directions without angering a segment of the population. When I first heard about his flag protest, I was incensed, because I revere the flag. I remember my uncle telling me how important that flag was to his survival when in the fog of war in Korea. He and many others rallied around the flag, and others defended it to their death.When the enemy was over running their positions, the flag represented the last bastion of security, and he flat out told me that he would not have survived without that flag. Protesting against the flag has led to Kaep’s blackballing and unemployment.
              While I finally calmed down and heard that several veteran posters did not mind his protest, I changed my tune, but I still think his actions were misguided. I wish he would effectuate change by not protesting against the flag, and not calling all police rogue cops. Yes, the system is broken, but working within the system in a peaceful manner is the smarter way to go. I hope he registers to vote, and supports candidates that mirror his beliefs.

              1. Seb-

                The system is no better or worse than it was for everybody 100 yrs ago. You partake in criminal behavior, your going to have cops messing with you.
                Kaps a mess and this Al Sharpton female has ruined his career.

                I would like to know, specifically, just what Kap knows–and what he THINKS he knows…………………….

            2. Saw, actually,it is a lot better than it was in the 60’s, when White Cops could beat blacks with impunity, there were colored fountains, millions were disenfranchised from voting and the Blacks had to sit in the back of the bus.
              Partake in criminal behavior? Like just by being black?
              We have come a long way, but we have far to go.

              1. Seb-

                At least give me credit for having one, maybe two brain cells——–would you really have me believe that inner cities do not have black folks committing crimes? All other ethnicities sure do!!
                This is not 1960 in Burmingham with Police Chief Bull Conner spraying water on black folks-no one-NO ONE- would put up with that. Quit clinging to the past as if it were the present. Take away the sins of the past, what would Sharpton, Kap and you do? you’d be looking for some other sin and saying “see, I told you so!”

              2. Sorry, Saw, I think your cranium is devoid of grey matter, because you seem to want to engage me ad nauseum.
                Profile much?

  16. Seems like the order of delivery has changed Grant, is that because you see a shifting in the fortunes of the team?

    1. Sebs–

      You always HAVE to try and get in the last snotty remark, don’t you? Bank on it-you do……..

      Whats that you like to say………”I win”? Well, on this one, I WON!!!!!!

  17. Grant, I appreciate the work you put into covering this team. Whether or not you are human and might have a natural bias here and there, you are doing a fantastic job, IMO.

    However, I would love to have you spend a little more the filling us in on what you’re seeing from our safeties right now. I know Ward hasn’t been on the field bit I feel like it’s our safeties that are ultimately going to determine whether this is a defense that is going to give opposing teams all they can handle this season, or whether teams will find ways to neutralize this potent front 7.

    My sense is that Eric Reid seems to be a good fit at SS in this scheme, but beyond a healthy Reid, there is a real question as to whether the 49era have enough talent at safety to stop loosing offenses this season, especially against veteran QB’s who can keep their poise vs a disruptive front 7.

    I’d love to get a little more information and prospective on, Lorenzo Jerome, Chanceller James, Reid, and Tartt (when he gets back on the field). Even when these guys aren’t showing up on the stat sheet one way or another, I’d still love to get more information about exactly what you’re observing from this group on a daily basis.

  18. 1).I think Foster is only going to get better with more reps,playing with the starters is only going to make the process faster.
    2).Hopefully Robinson is ok,really hoping d,Johnson steps up this year on the other side.
    3)unacceptable,but let’s get that out of the way now.
    On to the Good
    1).Hyde is going to do well this year,now that we have other backs who are actually decent and can actually be considered a threat and give him a rest.
    2).Kittle,I know everyone has been really in love with him.I personally fear he will be injured by mis season especially if we plan on using him as much as Grant suggests,at the end of the day he’s a rookie and this is his first camp,he hasn’t had time to put on NFL level muscle.he also has a questionable hammy.
    3).Mcdonald,the previous GM (no name needed)extended McDonald on potential not production.the reason being McDonald has a lot of upside if he can find consistency,still the only Te in the NFL to have 2 65+ tds in same season.That is why McDonald is the choice over Paulsen,Paulsen offers virtually no threat other than he’s a good blocker.
    We also know Shanahans offense tends to look the same run or pass,McDonald offers more flexibility scheme wise and not much of a difference blocking.thats why you keep McDonald.
    4).Kerly is going to have a career year this year in this offense.
    5).Thomas takes the starting job week 3 and doesn’t look back.
    6).Armstead is going to terrorize tackles and guards this year with his combo of speed,size,power. from outside with a head of steam. d line could be special the next few years.

    1. 1. yup
      3. Its what training camp is for
      1. Not much of a Hyde lover but if he is the best then you bet.
      2. Lots of love
      3. No matter how it turns out I think we are better at TE
      4. I like Kerly I think its going to be Taylor shortly into the season
      5. Thomas is going to fit right in.
      6. Most people underestimate Armstead he is going to rewrite the Leo position.

    2. “Thomas takes the starting job week 3 and doesn’t look back.”

      In today’s post-practice presser, Saleh was dismissive of the idea of “starter”, since he plans to rotate players in and out freely. To paraphrase what he said, if it’s really important to some guy that he’s on the field for the first snap, fine. But I don’t expect any of the front 7 to play more than 50% of the snaps in any game, barring injuries.

    1. Meh, national sports guys often get it wrong. I would trust the local guys before any national guy.

      1. Would trust local beat writers over a national writer any day, especially these days when the national writers are increasingly members of the Seagull School of Sports Journalism.

    1. HA! Now that was entertaining! Thank you for sharing. Any coach I’ve ever had would have lost his mind if we didn’t finish the last 5 steps faster than we started. I doubt I could do that drill today though, so I’ll give them a pass.

  19. The good:

    — Rueben Foster learned a valuable lesson that cost the team nothing
    –Kittle is the weapon we never had at the TE position in 2016
    –Seb’s infatuation list:

    1. Kap—ended his 49er career ingloriously with 3 attempts from the 1 yard line in the Super Bowl and was stuffed in those 3 attempts.
    2. Jarryd Hayne—Seb’s running back heart throb, yet another Baalkeesque AJ Jenkins or Chilo Rachel (2nd Rd Pick) bust, who was given a CYA (cover your as_ ) cover story of trying out for t he Olympics by Baalke so he could claim it wasn’t a bad FA discovery and forced to cut him in front of Jed.

    3. Seb’s latest infatuation: QB, Matt Barkley, who Seb claimed would beat out Hoyer, and now it’s looking like he’s having difficulty winning vs. CJ Beathard:

    So, under no circumstances let the Sebster stick the 49ers with another one of his roster losers…..It’s time to move on from this outrageous Raiders fan claiming to be a 49er fan…..Why else would he wish these losers on us:

    “The bad news is Barkley has been something of an interception machine during training camp, And according to KNBR 680’s Kevin Jones, Barkley has found himself demoted to the third-string unit.”

    1. TrollD, maybe you did not know this, but I changed my mind about Barkley, precisely because of his tendency to throw picks.
      Please catch up.

      1. Yeah, Seb, like you are worth keeping up with. You throw out so many scenarios that you are lucky to get something right.
        Its the theory that if you throw crap against the wall something might stick. How convenient.

        A storm should be here soon. I mean how many other teams with injuries at QB can pass on Kap? There seems to be no one left to come out of retirement right?

    2. Kaepernick may have failed in the Superbowl, but the loss was 100% Harbaugh’s stupid playing calling from 1st & Goal at the 7. Wrong players and plays on every call. I’m not sure if he could have done it worse on purpose. It’s funny how his reputation didn’t take the hit Carroll & Shanahan have taken in recent years.

      Baalke didn’t draft Chilo Rachel, that was when McCloughan was the GM.

      Jenkins, along with a number of other busts, were well-agreed upon by Harbaugh (or Singletary) prior to the selection. I know people want to blame just Baalke, but draft choices are by committee and, ultimately, between the GM and the HC in most organizations. The 49ers were no exception to this during the Harbaugh years.

      Why anyone thought Barkley would unseat Hoyer is a mystery to me. He didn’t do it Chicago last year. There was no reason to believe he would do it this year.


    “As expected, Brian Hoyer is listed as the starting quarterback while Matt Barkley, C.J. Beathard, and Nick Mullens are listed as his backups – in that order.”

    “The starting defensive line consists of Arik Armstead, Earl Mitchell, DeForest Buckner, and Tank Carradine with rookie Solomon Thomas listed as Carradine’s backup at right defensive end.”

    “Opposite cornerback Rashard Robinson is Dontae Johnson, who has been getting work with the first-team defense during practices.”

    1. That’s not a coaches depth chart. That’s done by the marketing department, or some such, in the front office. So while it’s mostly correct because it’s obvious, there are also obvious errors in it when you consider who is getting snaps on what string level (1st, 2nd, 3rd.)

  21. Any surprises with initial depth stand out for any of you? For me Mostert is a surprise. McDonald on first team after Grant’s information also provides a glimpse of what the team values.

      1. It will be interesting to see with he new rules in play how this team, and others, maneuver for players as the cut down date gets closer. I imagine it will stimulate trades, but who knows?

      2. Or it’s just the fact these depth charts are not done by the coaches but by someone in the front office and always have errors in them. This happens every year.

        In 2015 Joe Looney was the starting OC and Martin the starting RG. Nick Moody was the starting ILB next to Bowman. Shareece Wright was the starting RCB. And here is your LDT list (in order!):

        LDT: Glenn Dorsey, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Darnell Dockett, Kaleb Ramsey, Arik Armstead Fifth string? Really?

        And OLB, laughs on both sides:

        OLB Corey Lemonier, Eli Harold, Shawn Lemon
        OLB: Ahmad Brooks, Aaron Lynch, Marcus Rush

        That one was worse than usual. But it’s like this every year.

  22. Well, That’s an hour I’m never gonna’ get back…..

    Vance McDonald will be our #1 TE
    Blake Bell will be our #2 TE
    Kittle will be our #3 TE
    Paulsen will be our #4 TE

        1. FOLKWOLF101

          Check their stats, Blake has better speed, hands, and reliability…He’s bigger faster, and is a good blocker…only Kittle might be better, and he’s untested…Hikitini to PS

          1. Hikutini will not make it to the PS. If the Niners cut him, some TE needy team will grab him.

          2. Blake is slow (4.80 – 41st percentile for TEs). He lacks explosion. He has a good catch radius due to his size (above average). Over all though he’s such a plodder that he’s ranked in the 21st percentile of all TEs. That is to say, 79% of all TEs are more athletically gifted.

            Kittle ran a 4.52 – 40 — 95th percentile
            Kittle’s agility scores were top NFL (100th percentile).
            Kittle’s catch radius is in the 94th percentile.
            His burst & speed scores were, respectively, 94th and 93rd percentile.

            McDonald is also athletically gifted (94th percentile). But not as gifted as Kittle (97th percentile) who is one of the most athletically gifted TEs in the NFL, But for the fact he only caught 48 balls at Iowa (with just one drop) he’d have been a Round 1 player.

            Which begs the question about how good NFL teams are at looking at true talent instead of over-hyped talent? Look at the TE the Browns drafted in Round 1. He was almost as athletic at Kittle, but with better stats because Miami threw him the ball a lot. But as a performer, he was not as good because he was a pass-dropper and lacks blocking skills.

            It’s like Kittle was just pigeon-holed and dismissed because he didn’t have a 150+ college catches. Much like Jason Witten (68 catches in 3 years) was as he was coming out of Tennessee.

  23. I am heartened to hear them practice varying the snap counts.
    I am not too worried, because it is a whole new system, with new coaches, with new players. Some disorganization is to be expected. Now is the time to fix the problems. I expect with time, and more familiarity with the system, they will get better.

  24. “McDonald seems to have lost his starting job from last season … but I doubt he will lose his spot on the 53-man roster. He clearly is the third-best tight end behind Kittle and Logan Paulsen.”

    So Grant, now you’re saying that Vance will make the team, and deservedly. Alas, your change of opinion will only last until next year when once again McDonald, Aaron Lynch, Ahmad Brooks, and NoVarro Bowman will all once again be on your hate train. These players have game and are here to stay for several more years, unless they get greedy for $$$ and play elsewhere.

  25. We need to keep Hyde and then see if we can acquire a running back, either through the draft or free agency, named Jekyll. That would be a heckava tandem. Jekyll and Hyde.

  26. My early look at 53. We have some young guys they won’t want to lose
    QB: Hoyer, Beathard
    RB: Hyde, Hightower, Williams, Breida, Juszczyk
    TE: Paulsen, Kittle, Hikutini
    WR: Garcon, Goodwin, Robinson, Taylor, Bourne, Bolden, Patrick
    OL: Staley, Beadles, Kilgore, Fusco, Brown, Garnett, Gilliam, Barnes

    DL: Thomas, Buckner, Mitchell, Armstead, Dumervil, Lynch, Carradine, DJ Jones, Chris jones.
    LB: Brooks, Bowman, Foster, Armstrong, Harold, Coyle
    CB: Robinson, Johnson, Reaser, Williams, Witherspoon
    S: Reid, Ward, Tartt, Jerome, James

    ST: Gould, Pinion, Nelson

    1. I think they will only keep 5 WRs, and save room to be able to poach a cut player from a playoff team.
      I have Bibbs over Breida because Bibbs is not PS eligible, and maybe Bibbs can handle KOs.
      Tough call, but I think I had Blair over Chris Jones.

  27. Apparently McDonald is getting some quality practice time. That is good it makes him more marketable when they trade for an established safety or corner.

    1. How ’bout a list of the “officially reported” “starters” and “main backups/potential starters” — but are actually the ones they’d like to move out– speeding the rebuild, using the “we really value ’em” ploy-

      1) Mc D
      2) Tank*
      3) Bell
      4) Celek

      * tank might surprise based on how much pro technique he can be taught over the next few weeks by Zgon– and, if Tank does surprise, and dominate (a stretch, I know)– Zgon & staff will get press– in a good way.

  28. George Kittle: 6’4″, 247 lbs., 4.52 40-yard dash, 7.00 3-cone, 38.5″ vert.

    Delanie Walker: 6’1″, 240 lbs., 4.53 40, 7.23 3-cone, 36.5″ vert.

    1. Another Shanny TE:
      Austin Hooper: 6’4″, 254 lbs., 4.72 40, 7.0 3-cone, 33″ vert.

      ’nuff of metrics and measurables. Let the games begin!

  29. We seem to have quite a few UDFA’s impressing in TC. I’m interested to see the S’s especially – Jerome and James – as there is a very good chance one or both will make this team depending on the health of Ward.

    The other one that is very interesting to me is the TE competition. I didn’t think they would go into the season with two rookies, but Hikutini may force them to do that if he plays well in the preseason games. McDonald appears to be doing all he can to get on the roster, but there are a lot of options for likely only 3 spots. Maybe they keep 4 TE’s in which case McDonald and Hikutini both make it, but with Yoosh being able to play FB and TE, it isn’t likely.

    Breida is somebody I didn’t expect to make the final roster and I’m still not sure he does, but I’m looking forward to seeing him play.

    1. It will be interesting to see how these rookie FAs stack up on a real game. I also have wondered what the TE department will look like in the end. Seems like they have some decent players and someone will be odd man out. Don’t think it will be McDonald though.

      The safeties are certainly in the best position to earn a spot, but I think the more versatile players will likely get the nod.

  30. Niners are really getting desperate for CB help now. They just signed Asa Jackson who has been suspended for PED’s multiple times.

    1. What may be lacking is leadership qualities and emotional maturity… Rosen badly wanted to play at Stanford but Shaw did not offer him a scholarship. Whispers were that Shaw thought he was all that “coachable” and would not adjust to team’s needs.

      1. I’m getting an inkling of Nolan and his reasoning behind choosing Smith over Rodgers, with regards to Shaw.

        1. Perhaps. The difference is that Nolan really had no idea what offense he wanted to run beyond ball control and Shaw has a very clear vision of his offense. There may be other reasons — Shaw may have thought that Rosen can be easily distracted and would not be be able to balance academics with football. See link below:

          Anyway, Rosen may turn out to be a fine NFL player (like Cutler?). He is the only college player in his class that I have seen on TV last year making all the “NFL throws”.

          1. That article is just referencing the one I posted above, but it shows he is very insightful. Not sure why Shaw wouldn’t offer him a Scholarship as he was one of the top recruits in the country but not a good decision by Shaw in hindsight considering what he has at the position now.

            Rosen did show up at UCLA with maturity issues, but he was 18 and by all accounts he showed up much more grounded and focused on leading in his second season. He is outspoken which seems to scare some people – even Shaw perhaps? – but I like that in a QB. He’s confident and brash which are good qualities to have if you are going to survive at the pro level.

            1. Considering Rosen and the Bruins are yet to beat the Cardinal , it’s debatable whether Shaw made the wrong decision :) He may win this year (UCLA is a more experienced team), but I’d bet on the Cardinal playing at home extending the winning streak over the Bruins to double-digits. (Sorry Grant!)
              It’s interesting that Rosen did not represent UCLA on the Pac-12 day:
              Still, I think Rosen has the highest ceiling of any of the rookie QBs next year.

              1. Mood,

                I would expect Stanford to beat UCLA again this year because they have the better overall team, but if Stanford had Rosen at QB they’d be a much better offense, you’d have to admit that.

        2. There was the Tedford QB problem:

          Trent Dilfer
          Akili Smith
          David Carr
          Joey Harrington
          Kyle Boller

          All high picks. All miserable failures. Tedford’s offense was a pseudo-WCO that gave the appearance of reads, etc., for QBs but was really just a one-read offense. So his QBs looked great in college, came to the NFL and didn’t have a clue. Rodgers was the exception to that.

          But back then (revisionism to the contrary) it wasn’t just the 49ers who feared picking Rodgers. Which is why he dropped so far even though many teams needed a QB.

          1. That is why you should never make a decision about a player based on the Coach he played for. You look at the individual and the qualities he does or doesn’t possess that fit the pro game. There is no College, HC or system that produces pro QB’s. That is why they are so hard to find.

            1. Yeah, yeah, yeah… Thing is, looking at the film and scouting were why all those guys were top picks… But when someone like Tedford makes an offense that ‘looks’ complex to the outsider, but is actually simple and doesn’t train the QB… It’s not so easy to tell.

              And that was the point that so many don’t get. They all LOOKED the part. But the skill-sets scouts thought were being developed weren’t. And not even the pros, never mind the fans, could tell until it was too late.

          2. UGH, Joey Harrington… Even Rodgers had to have bad “Tedford tendencies” exorcised from his mechanics by McCarthy.

        3. The Nolan to Shaw comparison– unfair to Shaw…
          Nolan ran the team like a narcissistic dictator (seems to be in vogue these days)…especially when he pushed his “grind-it-out-don’t turn-ball-over-keep-knuckles-off-ground” “offensive principles” on the team during games, and, of course, the suit….surprised NFL let that happen, with merchandising $$ at stake– the NFL brand, etc.
          I’m sure BW is watching new regime now, happy, having an “I told you so” moment (on a different plane of existence, of course)

      2. As far as being Coachable, I’d say that is not an issue considering he’s going to be playing for his 3rd OC in three years and hasn’t had a problem picking up new terminology or system. He’ll be playing for a pro play caller in Jed Fisch this year so that will be a real plus in preparing him for the NFL game.

  31. sebnynah says:
    August 8, 2017 at 8:48 am

    When I first heard about his flag protest, I was incensed, because I revere the flag. I remember my uncle telling me how important that flag was to his survival when in the fog of war in Korea. He and many others rallied around the flag, and others defended it to their death.When the enemy was over running their positions, the flag represented the last bastion of security, and he flat out told me that he would not have survived without that flag.

    TomD’s Take: You lose again, Seb….Spare us your heroic ‘I respect the flag because of my uncle’ stories…..

    If you had an uncle fighting in country and he you would have never deployed those phosphorus grenades with children at the local Sebastopol playground, or at the very least, you’d have stood your ground and stated: “my uncle told me never to deploy military ordinance….S oYour story of patriotism I find highly offense, and dubious at best.

    1. I would take Kap kneeling, any day, than dragging your uncle into this because Kap does not vacillate between a military crime one comits by igniting military ordinance, then explain it away by taking a stand in the opposite direction (hypocrisy at it’s worst).

      Kap never exploded military ordinance and stood for his beliefs, however ill-advised they were.

  32. Biggest concern according to Maiocco (twitter) is guard position. MM saying that Kilgore is clearly better than the other interior lineman and the team is trying to work him in at guard position with Barnes at center. MM says that Zuttah isn’t even in the picture! Zuttah is only playing center and hasn’t distinguished himself.

    1. Wowsers! Shortest route to a pocket QB is right up the gut. 6 wins seems like a hype dream.

  33. San Francisco 49ers: 5 trade candidates prior to Week 1, version 2.0

    No. 5: Tight End Vance McDonald

    “McDonald’s questionable hands and regular injury history have certainly indicated a failed investment from the 2013 NFL Draft.
    Logan Paulsen, George Kittle and Cole Hikutini make incumbents like McDonald somewhat of an expendable commodity.”

    No. 4: Wide Receiver Jeremy Kerley—“Taylor has been one of the bigger standouts from training camp, pulling off near-miraculous catches and setting the stage for an impressive battle for the starting slot receiver. The New York Jets lost their presumed No. 1 receiver, Quincy Enunwa, to a neck injury that will likely keep him out all season.”

    No. 3: Wide Receiver DeAndre Smelter—“Third-year wide receiver DeAndre Smelter has hardly sniffed an NFL game, appearing in just two games and posting one catch for 23 yards. in order to increase Smelter’s value, the Niners would have to feature him early and often during the preseason. The Chicago Bears could use some help at the position, especially after losing Alshon Jeffery to free agency and the injury concerns to free-agent pickup Markus Wheaton.”

    No. 2: Free Safety Jimmie Ward—Paying close attention to injury, Brown wrote:

    “Ward has been solid, but injuries have been as much a part of his career as his play on the field. Ward (5-11, 193) has missed 13 games through three seasons with various ailments, including a recurring Jones fracture in his foot and broken collar bone late last season. (By the way, it wasn’t an ACL gamble. At least it was a keeping up with the Jones’ draft gamble).
    Ward is already dealing with a hamstring injury in training camp — one that landed him on the PUP list to open up camp.
    But their safety tandem could use an upgrade, and Philly’s secondary ended up being the worst ranked heading into 2017, per Pro Football Focus.

    Armed with multiple picks in Round 3 and 4, the Niners could wind up making a move here if the price is right.”

    No. 1: Defensive Tackle Quinton Dial—First, Dial is not going to wind up starting this season. San Francisco’s multiple additions along the defensive line have all but assured that. As a backup, Dial is about as serviceable as it gets, and that’s the primary reason to keep him on the roster.

    But Dial is also due over $11 million in full salary the next two seasons — a lot of money for a backup.
    The Lions D-line has plenty of question marks — ones which Dial could help answer.

  34. Eric Branch‏ @Eric_Branch · 2m2 minutes ago

    #49ers announce LB Donavin Newsom did not sustain any cervical spine fractures, but did suffer a concussion. He remains at Stanford Hospital

  35. Kyle Shanahan’s meticulous planning keeps 49ers on their toes

    Ask basically any San Francisco 49ers player about something that stands out about coach Kyle Shanahan .

    “Why is this offense successful? Why is this player doing something different from what you may think he should be doing? He’s got an answer for everything.”

    It’s why players in all three phases of the game rave about Shanahan’s ability to watch a play and break down each individual’s responsibilities and why it worked or why it failed.

    Moments such as those are off limits to the media, but Shanahan’s focus on the small things can be seen in practice every day and heard in his meetings with the media afterward. For this camp, Shanahan spent plenty of time mapping out each practice, how long they’re going to last and which days the team will have off. That schedule has been set all the way up to Week 1 of the regular season with room built in to make adjustments on the fly.

    TomD’s Take: Now I no why Tomfoola, CowChip and Baalke were such dunderheads and the media complained about the I-Smash or CowChip’s inside zone being so basic as were their trainging camps.

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