49ers see runs of success in their quarterback’s future

This is my Sunday column.

Keep running him until he breaks down.

That is the 49ers’ plan for Colin Kaepernick next season. I can’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, but I can make a case.

Exhibit A: Mike Shanahan and Rob Chudzinski – the top candidates to become the Niners’ new offensive coordinator, according to reports. Shanahan was Robert Griffin III’s head coach in 2012 and 2013, and Chudzinski was Cam Newton’s offensive coordinator in 2011 and 2012. Both Shanahan and Chudzinski made the read-option running game the staple of their offenses to accommodate Griffin and Newton.

Exhibit B: The new offensive line coach — Chris Foerster. He was Shanahan’s offensive line coach on the Redskins. Foerster has coached a read-option running game since 2012.

Exhibit C: The general manager and the new head coach — Trent Baalke and Jim Tomsula. They keep talking about running the ball and what a unique athlete Kaepernick is. At Tomsula’s introductory press conference, Tomsula said of Kaepernick, “I think he can run, I think he can throw.”

Notice the order.

Tomsula went on: “More so than a traditional quarterback, (Kaepernick) does it with the lower body. Look at that, corral it and let’s accentuate those things as we continue to strengthen other areas.”

Translation: Jim Harbaugh was stubborn and used Kaepernick incorrectly, forced him to adapt to Harbaugh’s system, forced him to be a traditional pocket quarterback, which he isn’t. Kaepernick is different. Tomsula is different, too. Tomsula will do the opposite of Harbaugh. Tomsula will hire an offensive coordinator who will cater to Kaepernick and tailor the new system Kaepernick’s strengths — his legs. Notice the word “corral.” Tomsula talked like Kaepernick is a horse.

Is it good to emphasize Kaepernick’s running?

Yes and no.

Kaepernick is very good at running the read-option. That’s his background. He ran the read-option at the University of Nevada under the Chiefs’ current consultant, Chris Ault. If Tomsula seriously wants to run Kaepernick more often next season, he should find a way to steal Ault from Kansas City. Ault popularized the read-option and invented the Pistol formation, and he coached Kaepernick for four years. Kaepernick listens to him. Ault is the last good mentor he had.

But, here’s the thing. If a quarterback is a runner, he will take the career-changing hit and he will get hurt no matter how good he is at sliding. It’s going to happen. The more you run, the more hits you take. Cause and effect.

How many times do the 49ers really want to expose Kaepernick to injury? If he goes down, the Niners go down in flames. Kaepernick’s backups are Blaine Gabbert and Josh Johnson, who don’t compare even to Drew Stanton and Ryan Lindley, the Cardinals’ backup quarterbacks who had to play this season. Look how that worked out.

And look at Robert Griffin III. He was supposed to be the quarterback of the next generation. The Redskins’ read-option offense was supposed to revolutionize the NFL the way the West Coast Offense did 35 years ago.

Didn’t happen. Griffin lasted 16 starts before he mangled his knee and lost his speed and quickness.

Name one winning NFL franchise that uses a zone-read-option package as the staple of its offense. Don’t say the Seahawks. The read option is only a limited part of their offense. Russell Wilson rarely keeps the ball and runs when the Seahawks call that play. Wilson wants to pass. When he does run, he’s extremely effective.

That is the key — not the frequency, but the timing of when the read option is called. The Seahawks tend to call it late in a game when they need a big play. They wait until the opposing defense plays man coverage, when four or five defenders follow receivers and turn their backs to the quarterback. That’s the time to call a read option — when the defense isn’t expecting it. When an NFL defense expects the read option, it stops the read option.

Jim Harbaugh figured that out the hard way. He built the Niners’ 2013 running game around the read option, just like Shanahan and Chudzinski had done in Washington and Carolina.

Harbaugh’s strategy failed. The Niners’ running game stunk, and Kaepernick injured his foot during the second game of the season. After that, Harbaugh de-emphasized the read option, re-emphasized the traditional running game and the Niners won 11 of their final 13 regular season games in 2013.

I rest my case.

It was in the best interest of Kaepernick and the team to downplay the read-option. Re-emphasizing it only will accelerate the fall of the franchise and inhibit Kaepernick from learning to be a good pocket passer, a necessity in his line of work.

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 145 Comments

  1. Latest Rotoworld on Adam Gase:

    The Jaguars will interview Adam Gase for their offensive-coordinator vacancy.
    Gase is the seventh candidate to interview with Jacksonville. He continues to draw heavy interest as one of the top coordinators available. Gase has also been linked to the Falcons and Rams, and interviewed for the Broncos’ head-coaching job earlier this week.

    1. Looks like Gase’ appeal for a headcoach position is losing steam. Perhaps his initial interviews for a HC position didn’t fare well and the word around the NFL (among teams in search of a HC) is that he isn’t ready for such a responsibility just yet.

      I would be fine with either Gase, M.Shanahan, or Chud.

      I’m interested in seeing how former Cal HC Jeff Tedford does in the CFL. I always liked his innovative offensive schemes in Berkeley.

    1. They normally do. Statistically running qb’s dont get hurt at a higher rate than than their non running counterparts. I believe that sacks taken are a more accurate gauge of injury frequency if I recall correctly.

  2. Did Jimmy T say he was going to be exclusive to the read option? When did he say the offense would be predicated on the QB running?
    You know Grant the 49ers have their issues but lately you are making it out to be that they are the Philadelphia 76ers!

    1. The truth on all this speculation that another OC that the 49ers will hire won’t make any difference, because Kaepernick is not all there and he didn’t exhibit any good things to be a formidable QB in the NFL. There’s too many hole’s in his ability to throw from the pocket, he has issues in recognizing the other option receivers and he has a hard time reading the opposing defense scheme’s. This guy is so overrated, without his athleticism running with the football he’ll be just a below average QB in the NFL Yes, he can throw long but his accuracy is inaccurate and over throwing receivers when the defense rattle him. Let’s not blame the offensive line if he’s having trouble in the pocket. He’ll will get the next OC and HC fired as well. If Harbaugh can’t teach this guy how can the new OC have any success with Kap:-).

      1. “Over throwing his receivers when the defense rattled him” sounds like Payton Manning in his last playoff game. Dud over threw every receiver on every long pass he threw. Some of you people act like no other QB ever does that. Maybe because you don’t really watch a lot of other QB’s for entire games but just view their highlight reels.

      2. Your bias is showing. Kap threw for over 300 yds in the Super Bowl, is 3-0 vs. Rodgers, threw for 4 TDs in an away game beating Brady, set an NFL record of 181 yds rushing in a single game. He has 4 playoff victories already. Now take your hating behind somewhere that people enjoy listening to fools.

  3. My take away from the presser re: Kaep was similar to Grant’s. I expect they will look to utilise Kaep’s running ability as a weapon, why else would Tomsula make such strong mention of his running ability? Not sure in what form that will be.

    1. Is that a good idea though? Teams have been putting scouts on Kaep and his rushing numbers suffered because of it.
      If Kaep can hone his QB skill set under Warner and his buddies, then I think he’ll be in better position to run if need be. However what would definitely help the offense is if we get back to balanced football. Emphasize the run, but don’t overdo it one way or the other. That’s when this offense was clicking on all cylinders. It wasn’t flashy, but it got us close to a sixth title.

      1. Like I said, I don’t know what form it will take. If they try to use Kaep like a 2nd RB, then it is probably a bad idea. But its a weapon in his arsenal as a QB, one of his better ones, so it makes sense to make use of it to some degree.

        In terms of the number of runs, you probably don’t want him having too many more runs than he had this year. But from memory a lot of his runs this year were not designed. Need to get him more comfortable hanging in the pocket and letting plays develop. Using his running ability as an escape route at the first sign of pressure or if his first read isn’t there won’t help anyone.

        1. For starters, the Pistol is just a formation. It’s an alignment of the quarterback and running back, just like Shotgun or Under Center. Ault derived his Nevada offense from the I Formation, power running. He combined that with superb ball fakes and play actions, with some option in the mix. You can run from the Spread Pistol or the Double Tight Pistol. Hardly mentioned is the advantage of a tall quarterback like Kaepernick blocking the view of the linebacker to the crouched running back behind him. It’s just an optimal alignment for play action passing, but that’s not to say you wouldn’t be using it from other formations as well….

          1. Razor,
            One of my concerns about the Pistol offense is that the Center typically has to hike the ball 4-5 yards back to the QB.
            Unless the Center is very adept at getting the ball to the QB there could be exchange issues – especially if the Pistol is only used occasionally during a game because in this case, there is no continuity in commitment to the Pistol.

            Also, with Gore being a question mark going into 2015, is C.Hyde the RB who could deliver from a one back set without B.Miller’ lead blocks?
            The 2014 offense ran more consistent when Miller was on the field.

            The Pistol may help Kap, but at what cost if it does not fit other key players?

            I still believe that Baalke will continue to operate under the Bill Parcell powerball rule and will hire an O-Cord that could fall in line with that mindset.

            1. Shotgun ball is hiked same distance. You can align in the pistol and run power and counter. Just like the I Formation, in the Pistol the defense has no indication which way the play is going. Not the case in Shotgun. No matter what formation you’re in, it boils down to execution….

              1. Razor,
                Shotgun, I Formations and Pistol have similarities, but I’m not crazy about eliminating B.Miller from the scheme.
                Those formations also take into account that the QB is a viable weapon as a runner.
                If CK goes down for any reason, our current QB’ do not have the same running threat. JJ Johnson might be more adept in a pinch to operate in those formations but not for a long-haul.

              2. Kaepernick is smart about protecting himself, and he’s big and tough. You have to be aggressive and not scared to run your offense. You can keep Miller involved whether you’re in the pistol or not….

      2. MidwestDynasty – This is the most logical response I have seen thus far. Too add to that, I think a balanced scheme such as their 2 tight end set where they can pass or run out of their formation. Last year, anybody could tell when they were going to run or pass, which takes the deception aspect away and makes it much easier for a defense to defend.

  4. This article is stupid. Running quarterbacks are no more at risk than pocket quarterbacks. If you actually watch Kaepernick run he takes far fewer hits then RGIII because he’s smart when he runs. Hr gets down and gets out of bounds. I wish he would’ve ran more this past season, he might’ve taken LESS hits. I think you don’t force him to be a pocket passer, you let him learn and develop into one with experience through playing. It might be a lengthy process but in the meantime let him rip off 90 yard touchdown runs. I didn’t see him get hit there

    1. The 90 yard touchdown run came off a pass play.

      The main point of the piece is that if the 49ers force the read option they will fail. I think that’s accurate.

      Kaepernick has shown over the last two seasons that his legs are most dangerous when used to improvise.

      1. I agree with that and that the Seahawks wait for the defense to severely over play the run and use the read option as a surprise. Having the Beast doesn’t hurt that strategy.

        Montana’s injuries came in the pocket, and Steve Young’s career was ended in the pocket. Kaepernick takes a lot more punishment in the pocket than he does running, but it’s the spontaneous runs that are a real killer for the defense.

      2. Exactly. I would only add that his passing from a scramble was now and then devastatingly effective, too. (I’m thinking especially of those spectacular passes to Gore and Boldin.) Now, if we can only find a coach clever enough somehow to integrate improvisation into scheme . . . I wonder, e.g., how having a few plays run from an unbalanced line would effect a defense unprepared for it?

    2. Kapernick is just lucky so far. One of this days opposing D lineman will drill this guy and lights out for him. If you watched some his games his very fortunate, and nobody in the NFL will evade them hits and soon later they will be right there to put the big hit hit.

    3. People seem to forget that RG3 was damaged coming out of college. He also never slid instead took hits. Kaep has excellent instincts when to run, when to run out of bounds and when to slide. They just didn’t allow him to use them much this or early last season. They kind of forced him to go against those instincts and thats where the indecision about running or not running stiffeled his natural instincts. When they let him loose he was a different player. It even improved his passing accuracy.

  5. The article makes some valid points, but the Read-Option isn’t the only way to use Colin’s feet in the run game. He can also make plays in the passing game out towards the edges. Rogers tends to make spontaneous plays outside, but some 1/2 down design plays could be worked in for CK.

  6. Kap plays great with his instincts..thats how we were 5 yards away from a SB 2 YEARS ago..when he is forced to throw from the pocket he struggles..let KAP play with his instincts n we will be fine…OH N please get a FAST wr

    1. Maybe he can learn to throw to himself. lol. Seriously you are right on about his instincts. A person who acts on instinct struggles when forced to go against them. It creates hesitation and indecision.

      1. When we look at Kap, he seems to overthink things when doesn’t rely on his instincts, and his passes are thrown too late.

  7. Are there any stats available that support the notion that running QBs get injured more often than pocket QBs? I think that there are hard to quantify factors such as:

    1) Does the running QB do a good job of protecting himself by sliding
    2) Is the pocket QB good at sensing the rush particularly from his blind side.

    Of course NFL QBs do both, it’s just a question of degree. So the QB, who is identified as a running QB, might get injured from a hit taken on his blind side, while passing. Even the pocket QB occasionally runs (in some cases very rarely) and they might get hurt from a hit taken as a runner.

    Still if anyone knows of any stats, please let us know. Thanks.

  8. I hardly see why it matters since there are two likely conclusions to this story. The first is that he’ll get hurt and that’ll be the end of his scrambling. The second which is far more likely to happen first is that he’ll continue to be average at best as a passing QB and he’ll continue to make bad decisions and the team will be forced to move on to a new signal caller.

    Either way, we’ll only have a running QB for a little bit longer.

  9. In last year’s NFC championship game, there were a number of designed running plays for Kaep that yielded more than 15 yards per play. I thought for sure we would see more of those this past year. If I recall correctly these designed runs seemed to come off of a handoff fake to the RB and not from the zone read.

      1. Jack, what are your thoughts on using play action roll outs giving Kaep the option to pass or run depending on coverage?

        1. Heard all this the last two season, Kap with the option pass or depending on the coverage? You guys are wasting your time in your thoughts that soon later kap would turn to be an elite Qb. And goodluck to his new teacher he hired to show him to be intelligent in the football field:-)

              1. I agree Jack. I really couldn’t understand why they didn’t make more use of running out of 3 WR sets in particular, since they used them fairly often, and get the play action working out of the formation.

      2. Exactly, when I first posted I wrote “off of the play action”, but wasn’t sure if that was the correct way to phrase it. Why do you think we didn’t see more of that this past year?

        1. think it’s a combination of things.

          when anthony davis was out, we didn’t run the ball as effectively. vernon was slowed, leaving us w/o a deep threat. crabtree also seemed slower, making him inconsequential.

          a lot of d-coordinators seemed to have abandoned defending the RB vs Colin and have instead used that LB to watch Colin. as Colin has started more games, teams have picked up on his tendencies.

          part of it is just defenses having a better idea of how they want to defend the zone read & Colin. defenses play faster when they don’t have to think. 2012, they were almost exclusively thinking.

          part of it is Colin. he choked in the SB & in the championship game. doubt creeps in even at the highest level. that Bears game couldn’t have helped his psyche… maybe he started trying to check more defensive keys than he was ready to handle?

          i’m just glad he’s decided to work with Warner on quarterbacking instead of bodybuilding. every time my buddy (who was a CK fanboy) would send me ish in the offseason showing Colin working on his body as if he was a WR, i’d just shake my head & think that this was going to catch up with him (which irritated me b/c older guys like justin smith, frank gore, anquan boldin, vernon davis, joe staley, patrick willis, talents were being wasted).

          still think the biggest failure is on Baalke. Roman is best when he can disguise his run game with 2 TE and give Colin easily defined reads out of those looks.

          Baalke wasted all those above mentioned older guys with his “pick for next year” and “i don’t want to give Harbaugh Fleener or Ertz b/c they’ll be seen as his picks instead of mine so I’m going to draft AJ Jenkins and trade down for Tank Carradine & a 7th round pick”

  10. What shut down the read option was (partly) due to the competition committee making two changes.

    2013 – If a quarterback has the label “read option” or “running”, a defender can hit him several ticks after a hand off. This was already legal when the QB was faking a run on a read option play… but the committee made it allowable even from a pro set, standard hand off.

    For example: If Brady/Manning/Rogers/Breese hands the ball off, and is hit several ticks later, it’s a penalty.

    If RG3/Kapernick/Wilson run the very same play/formation, and is hit several ticks later, its not a penalty.

    Why? Because they have the “read option” reputation. Same play. Same formation. Different rules (if the QB has a “read option” label). This poorly defined distinction drove Harbaugh nuts.

    2014 – Pass Interference / Defensive Holding “Emphasis” benefited pocket passers in timing based passing schemes.

    The competition committee is comprised EXCLUSIVELY OF eastern teams with pro-set QBs. Chairman: Rich McKay (Falcons), Jeff Fisher, Stephen Jones (Dallas Cowboys), Marvin Lewis, John Mara (Giants), Mark Murphy (Packers), Ozzie Newsome (Ravens), Rick Smith (Texans), Mike Tomlin (Steelers).

    The message was clear. PPP (Pretty Pocket Passers) are a vital for the NFL’s revenue stream.

      1. Funny picture.

        I’m not thinking conspiracy. Its more like open bias. The NFL constantly tweaks rules to gain revenue or prevent potential loss of revenue. PPPs sell alot of tickets and TV ad time.

    1. You can’t just hit the QB based on his reputation for running. The change in rules was implemented for read option plays. It was put into place to lable the QB as a runner when he runs a read option play. They did this because providing the QB the same level of protection as a possible runner that he would receive in the pocket provides an unfair advantage, given his ability to option to the RB. If Manning, Brady or Rodgers ran the read option, the same rules would apply. They aren’t physically capable of moving like that, although Rodgers probably could run it.

  11. If By running more you mean running stretch plays or play action bootlegs basically like a Gary Kubiak or Mike Shanahan type offense, I’m good with that; but if you want him to run strictly off the read option, then go get Chris Ault to help scheme the right time and formations to run out of. I just hope the new OC adds the screen plays and more TE friendly routes. I’m tired of having our TE block so much; they’re usually the safety blanket for a qb along with a rb over the middle or in the flat. I want everyone to watch the Colts tomorrow. Coach Chudzinski, gives luck options. If all fails, scramble or dump it off to your rb. They usually get at least 3-4 yards off of that. That’s equal to a decent running play and it avoids 3rd and long.

    I think Kap would explode in the west coast offense, especially if he improves his accuracy. It’ll be like Steve young on steroids.

    1. Big Niner – GREAT post. Totally on the mark. A well designed and practiced Walsh offense ALWAYS puts a QB in a good spot to succeed. Anyone can check the record on that from Virgil Carter onward. Mike Martz had a similar string of succeses with his system.

      1. I thought Harbaugh was going to bring something like that to the 49ers. That’s why I was so stoked at his hiring. I really felt a return to their successful identify, the WCO would work wonders for our team. Of course as we’ve seen, it was far from that.
        If they get a Shanahan type OC, they’ll probably not resign Iupati. They’ll need players that can run. I think everyone else fits that mold.

        Any time you put an offense in motion, it puts pressure on the defense. I like kap in motion.

        1. I agree with your points big niner. I remember a game when the 9ers played Denver and John Elway could not play because his knee brace(s) were lost by the airline when the Broncos flew in. The Broncos offense was also lost that day. Elway was not a runner but did experience some serious injury to his knee in his career. Becasue of his experience with Denver (lose you star QB, lose the game), Shanahan knows what happens when you lose your star quarterback and the risk is not worth it. RGIII solidified that point. I also don’t believe that Shanahan is a read-option proponent. (I think the owner made him go that way). Shanahan worked with Steve Young and the result was a more traditional quarterback and a Super Bowl. So Grant’s Exhibit A does not logically = a read-option system, and your points about putting the QB in motion to make him better are right on. As far as Chidzinski is concerned, I’m down with Kaep running a system like Andrew Luck is now. I think Grant is trying to understand something said by someone who has no clue as to what is really going to happen.

  12. Does anyone know if when a QB’s attempts are listed do they include thrown away and batted passes?

  13. Everybody hates on kaep. He is the best 49er QB since steve young. Does nobody understand that injuries and FO issues are the only reason we finished 8-8 instead of 11-6? Its not a coincidence our starting oline was hurt the whole year and kaep was the 2nd most sacked QB in the nfl. How can you blame kaep when he had career best in rushing yards, passing yards, and passes completed. Not to mention his team being in the top 10 for dropped passes. If it hits you in the hands you should catch it. Does any coach say different?

    He doesn’t and will never have to become a brady or manning like pocket passer. He will get better each year he is in the league. If you look at all the elite QB’s on the league they have a big down field target and kaep has nobody. As soon as the 49ers get another big deep threat for Kaep he will be able to play to his strengths by throwing the deep ball. The year he had Moss, Roman and the 49ers offense were able to keep the defense honest by throwing the ball deep down field.

    He made terrible decisions this year but so does Andrew pick 6 Luck. How many superbowls has he been to? For anybody who doesn’t like kaepernick, there are worse QB’s that are getting paid more than him next year. Drafting a legitimate QB for the nfl is hard to do. He is unorthodox in all aspects of his game and that’s why people despise him, not because he lacks talent.

    1. James

      You drink too much too early…..CK will be lucky to start 3 games next season without injuries. He won’t take a hit…he slides 3yards too early, he runs out of bounds at the earliest opportunity, he isn’t accurate, and every team in the NFL has made book on him

      1. Oregoniner you sound like a bandwagoner and you don’t sound like you don’t know what your talking about.

      2. Every QB in the NFL gets scouted, so your comment about “the nfl made a book on him” is insignificant. Your making a wild guess he will get hurt even though he is built better than any mobile QB.

        Say what you want. He is the best 49er QB since steve young.

        1. “Every QB in the NFL gets scouted”

          which is why so many QB’s who have success early on, but are not proficient from the pocket, begin to struggle as teams begin to understand how to defend said player. Vick, Vince, Tebow, Cam, RG3…

          if i watch enough film and notice you either don’t have the touch to make the pass to the rb consistently or you don’t bother to look at him, why should i have the lb cover him in the flat?

          once you get a significant sample size, you have a better idea of what throws a QB is good at and vice versa. Kind of like knowing where a shooter shoots best at.

          as a cover guy you adjust your technique to the scouting report. you no longer have to worry about certain things that you worried about when you didn’t know who he was. and have practiced this adjustment all week in preparation for this game. this is a reason you see back up QBs do well when suddenly inserted into a game.

          you also can’t discount what failing in the SB & failing in the NFC Championship has done to Colin’s psyche. that Bears game couldn’t have been good for it & the Rams game only compounded the doubt that has to have crept into his head.

          btw, who cares if he’s arguably better than Garcia & Alex Smith? The fact that you can even argue that Alex’s #’s are better under Harbaugh is a bad sign.

          Colin (and Baalke) wasted Justin Smith, Frank Gore, Anquan Boldin along with Willis, Vernon, and Staley’s primes.

          They can still redeem themselves in our eyes, but if I were Justin, I’d be pissed to find out Colin was working with track athletes and at a bodybuilding clinic during the past offseasons.

          1. “Every QB in the NFL gets scouted”

            “which is why so many QB’s who have success early on, but are not proficient from the pocket, begin to struggle as teams begin to understand how to defend said player. Vick, Vince, Tebow, Cam, RG3…”
            ~ whatnot

            Your analysis seems to only target QB’ known for running. And while it holds true for the majority, let’s not forget that great pocket QB’ like Elway, P.Manning, Marino, and to some extent even T.Romo have been more successful when they have had a productive RB in the backfield to help carry the load.

            How much success would R.Wilson have without Lynch?
            K.Warner won a SB because he also had Marshall Faulk.
            Matty “Ice” Ryan and Matt Stafford are very good pocket QB’ but have had subpar RB’ that have not been conducive to getting them over the top (SB).
            Sure, there are many factors involved in QB’ that don’t make it to the SB, but putting blame on a QB because he is a running QB is not the sole reason.

    2. Besides the scheme, there were too many plays where he didn’t hit the right receiver and left points on the board. I too think Kaep has the Talent, but it is working on his craft and repetition doing QB things (in) the pocket that will ultimately make him successful. The problem is he spent all of his previous offseasons trying to do plyo and strength drills to increase his speed and durability rather than focusing on the subtle aspects of QBing. Also, lifting too heavy on the upper body constricts movement and can affect his accuracy and fluidity in throwing the ball……

  14. I’m guessing most of the replies will be in the form of “since the G.M. hasn’t changed nothing else has” but I still pose the question; Is it still as likely, if you thought it was before the hiring, that the team will draft a WR in the first round now that the new coach has announced a verbal commitment to focus on the run game?

    Has the chance that we select an OL gone up? Has the chance that we’ll select a defensive player first gone up?

    Will the draft change in anyway with the hiring of Tomsula?

    1. I think they’ll go best player available unless a stud WR or DB falls to them. If a beast like RB is there too like that kid from Wisconsin, #25 would become available, then get him. He’d be like another Jamal Charles. Running backs like that make your o lone better.
      We need a solid draft especially with aging players, free agents and expensive veterans.

      1. Coffee …

        We need BOTH O-linemen as well as
        a stud down field threat …

        Which order they draft ’em .. is anyones guess …

        In the mock I posted a couple threads ago ..
        the guy had the Niners going with a DT @ #15 ..

        Made me wonder if we already have plenty of those ?

        but … at any rate let’s see if we make a splash
        in free agency … (or not)

        I’m thinkin’ if it’s just a ripple …then maybe
        they go hog wild in the draft…

        and according to the list (above) .. thars plenty of FA’s
        to choose from, … however it begs the question ..
        “at WHAT price” ?

        1. but they invested 2 high picks in OL last year (Marcus Martin & Brandon Thomas) even though you could argue their best OL last season were a 5th rounder (Kilgore) and a UDFA (Boone).

          while the high draft picks, B. Thomas, M. Martin, Iupati (1st), A. Davis (1st), J. Martin (2nd), and J. Staley (1st) were either injured, underperformed, or were a Martin.

        2. Jerry Jones (whether true or not) has made overtones that the c-boys may not be able to sign both Murray and Bryant.
          If Jones is serious and if one of these players has to go which one would it be?

          I would be fine with either Murray or Bryant, but at what cost? If Adrian Peterson is released by the Vik’s could he be an option as well?

          Also, I would be interested in how much input Tomsula will have in the draft given the fact that the greatest needs are on offense.

    2. Good question. I think the OC and DC choices may have some bearing on it still.

      WR should still be a priority though (not necessarily round 1, but early). I know your thoughts on it CfC, but to me a guy that can stretch the field vertically, that teams fear can beat them vertically, is important for a running team.

      1. You know my thoughts on our QB Scooter and I make a lot of glib remarks about it that are mostly for the sake of riling people up.

        I’m not at all against a legitimate deep threat receiver.

              1. Going to have to be the first round, somewhere above the Eagles, Chiefs. You’re not going to believe me when I tell you I’ve already seen a mock draft with Devin Smith going in the first round. He was projected as a 4th Round prospect as little as 2 weeks ago. I like the kid, but c’mon….

              2. Yeah, that was Daniel Jeremiah. I tried telling you he wouldn’t last until the 4th round once scouts get more of a handle on him, but I highly doubt he’ll end up a first rounder either. I still think second or third rounder.

                What I will say, though, is that some teams will prefer him as a deep threat to Sammie Coates.

          1. I saw a Mock that had White and Parker both available at #15. That would be a difficult decision for me. Similar dimensions, White is faster, Parker runs better routes, both have upside.

            1. Take away the foot injury and Parker is my #1 choice but because of it he’s a second day pick for me, too much risk for a first rounder.

              1. Yea, I don’t want anyone injured and especially a wide receiver with a foot injury in this entire draft. Draft all healthy best player available early….

              2. I’m not worried about the foot. He’s the second best WR in the draft in my opinion, and if he’s available at #15 they should strongly consider him.

          2. The lack of production until his senior year is still a big concern for me regarding White. He looks good on film, but why did it take so long to show? How long will it take him to get up to speed in the NFL? As a first rounder he won’t be afforded much time.

  15. From what I head Tomsula was not their first choice as HC. They wanted some one who was a teacher with Class who could help Kaep develop. The wanted to hire the teacher who taught Kaeps 5th grade Class, but she turned them down since she was retired thus already drawing social security and the salary of HC the Yorks paid would significantly reduce her monthly checks, so it would make any financial sense to accept.

    1. Willtalk,
      It may be a good idea to get some sleep bud. 12:22am does not seem to agree with you (lol).

  16. I’m going to have to read this board even more regularly than before. If Grant or any of you others can decipher what Trent and Baalke are saying while Tomsula’s lips are moving I definitely look forward to the insight. Harbaugh was tight lipped. I’m struggling for the words to describe the situation now. I wonder if it is even possible to forecast what the 49ers are planning, or what they will ultimately do, since I think no on one in the organization has a clue. My two sons are pilots and they say that we should pray the auto-pilot is engaged because there’s no one on the flight deck. Just a thought.

  17. I find it funny that Grant says you can’t use the Seahawks. The Seahawks use the read option the entire game. Wilson doesn’t keep the ba until late because most DE’s do not crash down early. They play their responsibility UNTIL Lynch gouges their defense. The DE’s by the the 3rd quarter forget their responsibility to help out, that’s when Wilson KILLS them. That’s how the read option is supposed to be ran, and the Seahawks run it almost flawlessly. They do the same thing on pass plays.

            1. Gonna light up a doobie for the next Tomsula interview. The face of the 49ers looked like a deer in headlights.

        1. I watched from Scottsdale on my Slingbox. Liked what you had to say and think you were right on both 49ers and Raiders. Will try to remain optimistic but am preparing for the worst. How ironic that East Bay Raiders have gone with conventional wisdom and the West Bay 9ers have adopted A’s Moneyball. If you were nervous you hid it well

    1. I have a feeling you’re off the York holiday card list.

      Cut that hair you hippy.

      1. He’s not the best route runner. He won’t be able to rely on just posting a guy up in the NFL. Doesn’t use his height to extend and high point he football consistently. He’s really good at those back shoulder fades along the perimeter and the drag routes in the middle. Not completely sold on him having that second gear to take the top off, but he has good acceleration….

        1. oh ok.. thanx …

          so .. do you like the other guy better, then ?

          Beckam ?

          (any relation to Odell ?)

          1. DGB is my chosen weapon of vertical destruction for Kaepernick. I joke that they’re cousins, but I do not believe they’re related….

    1. What about compensatory picks for our lost players in FA, like Iupati and Crabtree? Those should be 3rd Rd picks.

  18. I always thought the smurf was the luckiest quarterback I’ve ever seen play. He’s fumbled 12 times and either himself or his team mates have recovered. 12 for 12, unprecedented….

    1. Lane Kiffin would be an outstanding hire as OC of the niners. Perfect fit for kaep. As a HC of course not but as a OC defenitly. That would be a huge get.

  19. Listening to complaints of fans and reporters, it may be worth for teams to hire a PR man (e.g. a popular smooth-talking ex-player of the team) to placate fans with meaningless pablum with a smiling, straight face. Many fans appear to think that coaches and front office will actually share any meaningful football strategy with them, but saying sweet meaningless stuff works wonders (“we will install the WCO”, “we will turn Kap into an all-pro by developing his pocket skills”, “we will run to set up the pass” or “we will pass to set up the run”). Oh, also bow to Walsh legacy every other sentence. That may win over the crowds with pitchforks.

    The proof of the pudding will be in September. I don’t expect BaSula to be able to assemble a coaching staff anywhere as good as Harbaugh did, We’ll then understand how much of the Harbaugh-era success was due to Baalke’s personnel and how much it was for Harbaugh’s coaches,

    1. Well.. Jack ..
      I was hopin’ for the “double-upset” …

      Luck vs Rogers

      I mean… think about it …

      If Kaep can beat Brady (in his own house)
      doncha think Luck has a chance as well ?

    2. The Pats/Colts game was the tougher choice but I eventually settled on the same conclusion. GB/NE: GB wins.

    3. Based on the weather and Britt being out, I assume. Neither QB has lost a game b/c of rain. If Rodgers is indeed injured he may be more susceptible to slipping.

      1. Agreed. Seahawks will exploit Rodger’s injured calf and the Patriots will outduel the Colts what with Luck having no support in the run game.

    1. I’ll put that right up there with the reports that Gase was about to become the 49ers head coach. Until it happens not going to put much thought into it.

      1. Coffee ..

        out of all the names being bandied about ..
        I’m kinda hopin’ for ..

        (and I can’t believe I’m sayin’ this)


      2. If you use the head coach search template, then the next offensive coordinator for the 49ers will be one of the two retained offensive coaches. It’s a cinch.

  20. One thing Harbaugh had a habit of doing was really only forcing Kaep to run alot in games that really mattered. Games that meant they would make the playoffs or games inside the playoffs and in the Superbowl. Smart move really you don’t want your guy to get hurt in the first game.

  21. Leaning towards the Pats.
    I think Lynch goes off, maybe RW on the ground also. Too much for Cheeseheads I’m afraid.

  22. Hmmmmm. Rogers throws a pick to Sherman in the Endzone, and then calls time out on 1st down. Seems familiar, hahahaha. Oh, but there’s their TD, if it stands.

    1. AES, not really. Most folks are involved in their own teams. It is only here in this room that everyone freaks out when Kaep throws int’s or calls inapporpriate time outs.

      1. Hacksaw,
        My comment was in reference to “those folks involved with their own teams” who berate CK and give Wilson high praise. Today we’re seeing Wilson’ star being lowered a bit, with much less shine.

  23. Russel Wilson’s first half QB rating was zero. Will Grant throw it out of the Wilson data?

  24. Aaron Rogers settles for three field goals and has to burn two time outs to avoid delay of game penalties. Will Grant throw filter Aaron’s data too?

  25. Wilson’s last 2 passes shows what Kap is lacking.
    Kap is not a pocket passer, is not an accurate passer has the read-run as his only option.
    Those Wilson passes were right on the money, how many passes do you recall that Kap has made like that???
    Not too hard not too soft, not too far, not short, not too low, not too high?

  26. Dear grant, you act as though York moves are supposed to make logical football sense. ( see firing mooch or nolan instead of mcarthy or sing instead of carrol etc..) they fired Harbaugh for tomsula for goodness sakes. They have no f n clue what they are doing. Reports were if they hired shanahan ( fan favorite) they would have gotten kyle for the future and kept fangio ( player favorite)
    Then they would have had the fatherly teaching , who won with class, ran the ball, and set themselves up for the future while keeping the defense continuity. . The yorks and baalke are incredibly worse than Cohan and Rowell were for the Warriors.

  27. oh god Grant…here you go again…

    Audlt has nothing to add to the Niner’s understanding of the read option. They’re light years ahead of his offense. They’re only so many ways to run the read option…”A read option offense”…it’s like saying you have a play action offense. If anything, they need to look at Green Bay’s packaged pistol read option plays with a triple option (2 runs and a pass option).

    As for the RGIII example. Stupid. RGIII has absolutely no clue about how to protect himself from a hit. I’ve never see anybody look like they almost are looking to get injured by a hit when it would be simple to run out of bounds or slide. Kaepernick on the other hand rarely takes a hit while running and has shown a great ability to slide and get out of bounds. His worst hits are in the pocket, where he’s often hit because he has no pocket presence (or his line stinks at pass protection).

    Kaepernick needs to be able to learn to pass from the pocket and use the whole field. But being able to use his mobility for an advantage seems to be a no brainer. There are times to use it and times not to. Of course knowing when is the real secret magical coaching fix

  28. Somebody tell Coach Jim Harbaw that
    he needs to check the bottom of his shoe.
    (It seems that he stepped in it.) Huh?
    A sticky gob of “used” chewing gum…
    courtesy of winning Coach Pete Carroll
    (on his way to a second Super Bowl ring).

    Coach Harbaw: I suggest that you stay home
    and just watch it on television, okay?
    That way no one needs to see you cry, huh?

    gobble, gobble, gobble, baby.
    (pulling those olives out of that jar, hmm?)

  29. I get your points grant. Make sense, but at same time you admit Kraperpants isn’t a pocket passer. I don’t think he ever will be. He is not that accurate or aware. Tough to teach, so what are their choices if they want to win now? You have to exploit his strengths. Otherwise, baalke is gone, tomsula, and Kaep

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