Blaine Gabbert takes — and makes — an impact

This is my Thursday column.

Take away the game planning, the choreography, the schemes, the brilliance — all the Bill-Walsh stuff — and football comes down to man on man. One player hitting another.

At a basic level, football is a game of manhood.

Even quarterbacks have to demonstrate manhood. They don’t give hits, but they have to be willing to take them, have to hang in the pocket and complete the pass play with mean-spirited linemen, linebackers and safeties trying to hit them hard. Football people call that “staring down the gun barrel” — seeing the hit coming, and delivering the ball anyway without flinching, and then taking the hit.

When a quarterback stares down the gun barrel, he takes a shot for his entire team. Shows his teammates he has courage and is there to win, not protect himself.

Offensive linemen don’t like blocking for a quarterback who plays to protect himself. A quarterback has to make it worth their while to block for him.

A quarterback also has to show his defense he’s tough. We often think of a football team as two teams — offense and defense. But it’s one team. The defense feeds off of the offense and vice versa. The defense rises up to protect the offense. The offense plays well and keeps the defense off the field.

Defensive players play harder for a tough quarterback. They may not mean to player harder, but they do. Just look at the 1980s Chicago Bears. Great defense, great running back, and Jim McMahon, a quarterback teammates admired. Not because he was great — he wasn’t. He was tough. A man’s man who took the hit for the team.

Joe Montana would take the hit — he once spent the night in a Manhattan hospital after he got knocked out by New York Giants’ nose tackle, Jim Burt. Steve Young would take the hit, too. How many times did he get knocked out?

Brett Favre definitely would take the hit — he was nuts. Philip Rivers takes the hit right now. So does Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning and Joe Flacco.

Taking the hit sends a message to the opposing defense: “You do what you do, I’ll do what I do, and screw you — I made the play.”

On Sunday, Blaine Gabbert took the hit. Stared down the gun barrel. Got blasted. Was forced to leave the game for two plays against his will. And then, he returned.

Gabbert demonstrated his manhood to his teammates and the world.

This is the big takeaway from his first 49ers win. He took the hit. This is a quarterback whose reputation, when he played for the Jacksonville Jagues, was NOT taking the hit. Had a reputation for being a pretty-boy, safety-first quarterback. A timid quarterback. A soft quarterback. The Jaguars ran him out of town.

Gabbert was their first-round pick in 2011. Colin Kaepernick was the 49ers’ second-round pick that same year. Gabbert was supposed to be better than Kaepernick. Gabbert was one of the biggest busts ever. He had to endure more humiliation than just about any other quarterback, other than maybe JaMarcus Russell.

In 2014, the Jaguars traded Gabbert to the 49ers, and he had to endure a year and a half of being a backup. He did his duty silently, like a man.

And when he got his chance to start, he seized it, like a man.

He took the hit in the fourth quarter, when he was facing second-and-10 from his 20-yard line. He dropped straight back to pass, and Falcons’ inside linebacker, Philip Wheeler, blitzed up the middle. No one blocked Wheeler.

Gabbert could have run away, or lay down in the fetal position and taken the sack. He didn’t. He planted his back foot, stepped into the throw, made the throw — it was incomplete — and got crushed helmet to helmet.

By staring down the gun barrel, Gabbert drew two penalties — defensive holding on the intended receiver, and roughing the passer. And he won over the team.

Kaepernick wouldn’t have hung in. When faced with pressure, Kaepernick tends to drop his eyes and looks for places to run. He deconstructs the play. If Kaepernick had been the quarterback when Wheeler blitzed up the middle, Kaepernick probably would have tried to run and gotten sacked.

NaVorro Bowman, a player who hits and appreciates pain, was giggling at his press conference after the game. He hadn’t been this happy all season.

“Did changing the quarterback give the locker room a different sense of energy?” a reporter asked.

“I think so,” Bowman gushed. “I think Blaine had to approach it free-minded so he could give it his best shot.”

“What were some of the things you were impressed with?” another reporter asked.

“(Gabbert’s) confidence,” Bowman answered. “He went out there and executed what the coaches asked him to do throughout the week. Expectations came from the teammates more than the outsiders, and I definitely think he led us and played for us.”

In other words, Gabbert didn’t play to make himself look good — he played for his teammates. He stood and delivered. And he won.

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

This article has 160 Comments

    1. Grant is bragging how good Gabbert played against the Falcon’s. Lets see about Seattle before we pass judgement. Remember a couple of weeks ago when Grant said Bowman wad done and that 49ers should trade him and get whatever draft choice they could get. I heard he had his best game this year last Sunday.

      1. Grant must have forgotten the hits Kap took and bounced back from.
        Then Grant talks about how much the players respect tough QBS and play harder for them. Bowman didn’t say one word about Gabby being a tough guy.

  1. Blaine Gabbert at the podium live:

    Are you kidding me? Where are we at in the NFL today? Come after me! I’m a man! I’m 26! I’m not– I’m not a kid. Write something about me, or our coaches. Don’t write about Kaepernick, no one works harder, his heart’s broken, and then Grant said he was scared. That ain’t true! And then to say that we made that decision because Vernon Davis threatened to kick his ass. That’s not true! So get your facts straight.

    And I hope someday you have a little Cohn and somebody downgrades him, and belittles him and you have to look him in the eye and say, “You know what? It’s okay. They’re supposed to be mature reporters, but they’re really not.” Who’s the kid here? Who’s the kid here? Are you kidding me?

    That’s all I’ve got to say. Makes me want to puke….

    1. I think that Razor is more or less saying don’t kick someone when they’re down.

    2. This macho BS is just too much. In the Art of War, if a general took an unnecessary hit, he would be mocked as a fool. A masterful general would accomplish his goal without incurring a single hit against him.
      Kaep was sacked 5 times in the Seahawk game. He took a lot of hits. Do not disparage the courage of Kaep. Kaep is plenty tough, and has endured 28 sacks. That is more per game than the 52 sacks he suffered in 2014. Grant should spend a few seconds behind Devey while a 300 pound lineman tries to rip him in half.
      Razor, you tell it like it is. I agree 100%

  2. Grant makes some fine points that I agree with. Football players admire grit, even in their QBs. It is also true that taking that hit was important to his team mates and coaches because he had the reputation of someone who couldn’t or wouldn’t;
    Mr. Chuck & Duck. BG showed leadership and confidence.
    I don’t think Colin is “chicken”; just not poised enough to react with mental calm sometimes under pressure.
    One point on which I differ from Grant is that this is a necessary trait of all NFL QBs, or at least for their entire careers. Ever see guys fold or flop faster than Peyton and Brady? Both those guys took their lumps and proved themselves as young players, but these days they drop down faster than The Wicked Witch of The West in a shower.

    1. It’s not enough to praise Gabbert for how he played. It’s also important to keep pilling on the scapegoat. It feeds the mean streak that Lowell was lamenting in some of his “fans” today. He was called an “old man out of touch” by enough readers to get a rise out of him even though his talent makes that nonsense. The scapegoat was seen to be rude to both father and son. Now it’s a lack of courage in addition to tattoos, hair, hats, earphones and unresponsive answers.

      If the throw is there a good QB makes the throw and takes the hit. If the throw isn’t there, or it’s not crucial, a good smart QB hits the deck if he has too. In this case Gabbert felt he had something personal to prove so the fact the pass was incomplete didn’t make any difference.

      If Gabbert keeps getting hit in the head like that, he won’t be completing a great number of passes. He’ll be on his knees looking for his marbles.

  3. Meh… CK’s first start as a Niner is a lot more impressive. We shall see if BG will keep “hanging” in there when he’s getting hit over and over.

    1. I think that is a fair point you make Ricardo. Gabbert looked a lot better than Kaep under pressure against the Falcons. But how much of Kaep’s issues under pressure come about from having lost faith in his OL over time? And will Gabbert be able to keep performing under pressure in the long term or will his confidence also be beaten down over time?

      1. “And will Gabbert be able to keep performing under pressure in the long term or will his confidence also be beaten down over time?”

        Scooter, hopefully we are going to see a different BG than the one who took a beating when he played with the Jax.

      2. With time, conditioned reflexes, built through reward or punishment, can be established. A good QB has to anticipate as many of his throws as possible. On the other hand, it’s hard to anticipate an open throw, when your brain is anticipating a crushing blow. Since 2005 crushing blows have been the 49er norm with the exception of 2011-2013.

        The last crushing hit that I remember Kaepernick taking was along the side line and his reaction was to bounce right up and head to the huddle. Gabbert was hit in the head and remained down just long enough to need to be tested. They both have plenty of NFL courage.

        1. I blush. ;-}

          But it is obvious that they’re courageous isn’t it. Alex Smith too, when Nolan implied that a “real man” could be effective with his passing arm dangling from his shoulder.

          1. Precisely HT -neither AS or CK lack grit, to imply otherwise is missing the mark. BG ‘s fortitude was called into question early in his career and for him to display the right stuff was an important event, no need to denigrate his peers in doing so.

  4. I can understand that the team likes to see the QBs grit and willingness to take a hit. But it’s a fine line since QBs are the highest paid members on the team. I don’t think that a QB should play a game with the idea that he’s going to absorb all the hits and not protect himself. Of course this sounds crazy, yet we all want to see the grit and willingness. It’s a fine line.

    I suspect too that the teammates of Rogers and Brady would rather they didn’t take the hit, because if they go down it’s pretty much over. As BT said, these guys have already proven themselves to their teammates. Blaine is doing that now, but I don’t think he should make a habit of it. Live to fight another play.

    1. cubus, I find it funny when someone who has never played competitive football questions someone’s courage on the field. I remember when Charles Barkley was asked if he would had played football. He says he did but didn’t like the physical nature of the game. Everybody knows that Sir Charles is one the toughest and most physical basketball player to ever played in the NBA, but even him wouldn’t touch football. He marvels and respect football players and boxers because he knows the mental toughness required to even compete on those sports professionally.

      1. Ricardo: Not sure I’m understanding you correctly, but in no way was I questioning someone’s courage on the field. All I’m saying is that as a strategy it is better to live to fight another play. If a starting QB goes down to an injury, most teams will not recover and can kiss their playoff chances goodbye. While the teammates appreciate that a QB is willing and at times does take the hit, they also know that if the starting QB gets injured it’s over with regards to the playoffs.

        I mentioned that as a newcomer “taking the hit” will endear a QB to his teammates, but surely you can see that is not a good season-long strategy. Or am I misunderstanding you?

        1. cubus,
          My apology…

          I should have started my post like this – “cubus, I completely agree with you and…”

          Now you know who am I talking about when I said, “I find it funny when someone who has never played competitive football questions someone’s courage on the field.”

          It’s definitely not you my friend. :)

  5. “On Sunday, Blaine Gabbert took the hit. Stared down the gun barrel. Got blasted. Was forced to leave the game for two plays against his will. And then, he returned.
    Gabbert demonstrated his manhood to his teammates and the world.”
    ~ Grant

    Although I agree with the subject matter that the team likes to see a courageous QB that can man-up, let’s not be to quick to crown Gabbert with any courageous man of the year awards just yet.

    I love that Gabbert absorbed the shot from Wheeler and came back after a couple of plays later. But we’re talking about ONE HIT here, not the countless hits like he was taking in Jacksonville that had him curling up in a fetal position whenever he saw a defender getting off the bus.

    Gabbert took good advantage of an opportunity last Sunday, and that’s it. As far as I’m concerned the defense should get the same amount of credit for the win especially given the fact that we had Marcus Cromartie and J.Tarrt clocking significant playing time.

    I’ve been around long enough to see great and courageous QB’s eventually lose courage and start to look for defenders instead of WR’s because they had lost complete confidence in their porous OL.
    Right now it’s hard to make out if fans are all in with Gabbert because he had a win, or their just more excited to have CK on the bench.
    In any case, I’m happy for Gabby and hope he continues to get help from our OL.

    1. “But we’re talking about ONE HIT here”

      AES, you didn’t know that CK never took a hit for this team? :)

    2. It was courage that made Gabbert appear better then Kaep, nor was it the defense, it was the skill set. Kaep is a runner first, and he’s slow to process what’s happening in the field. This has been the same problem since he took full time as the starter after the SB. The difference was he was able to make a few plays to make us forget the fundamental misses throughout the game.

      Gabbert isn’t a one game wonder. He’ll have a few bad games along the way for sure, but what he showed in the ATL was a skill set that the Niners can build upon. We still don’t know what we have in Gabbert, but we know that Kaep has either lost this locker room, lost interest, whatever.

      You can tell in body language by the other players. Even his buddy Patton was happy to get that pas from Gabbert. When you see the pass from the all-22, holy crap what a nice pass. Gabbert also had a lot of misses too, but at least he didn’t bounce any passes!

      1. “It was courage that made Gabbert appear better then Kaep”
        ~ Fann77

        It was courage that made CK win his first start against a vaunted Bears defense. It was courage that had CK winning in New Orleans when the Saints. It was courage that had CK winning against the Pack in the playoffs after throwing a pick-six.

        It was courage that had CK beating the Falcons in a comeback playoff game in Atlanta.
        It was courage that had CK beat the Packers on a frigid day in GB in yet another playoff game.

        And it was a courageous CK that helped bring the 49ers back from a big deficit to only lose the game on the last play in the SB.

        Not to sure where you gather your source of info when it comes to courage.
        If and when Gabbert can still hold up after taking as many hits as Kaep has, then you and Grant have will have a valid point.

        Right now you are getting caught up in a one game win.
        I like what Gabby did on Sunday but I’ll wait for a larger sample before crowning him.

        1. Now to answer your rant on CK:

          He had a great first season. He made some plays, but also had a lot of support on a team that was contending for the SB. Since you are so kind to list his acheivements — here comes his greatest hits of loser play!

          It was suckiness that he lost 42-13 against Seattle.

          It his sulkiness that cost us the 6th Lombardi trophy.

          it was lameness to lose to Seattle, then Indy, so that Harbaugh had to go back to leaning on Old Man Gore, where he Kaep was 5-14 for 90 yards in a win against Houston.

          It was lameness and suckiness in the NFCCG against Seattle.

          It was pathetic lameness and sulkiness — oh you get the idea.

          Blaine had a good game. I rather him than Kaep right now for sure. Is he the savior. Lord no. But at least he doesn’t flat out suck.

          1. Fan77,
            Yes, CK has sucked since last season no debate here. But I’d be a little careful in throwing the word courage or in this case, the lack of courage around when describing or comparing a player after one game vs. a player that has played for the better part of 3 seasons.
            No player can survive in this league for 3 seasons without courage. Like I said in my previous entry, let’s see if Gabby can still hold up after taking as many hits as Kaep has.
            One good game does not a career make – just ask Matt Flynn.

          2. Fan, I know you do not like Kaep, but he is one play from being the starter. Tomsula likes Kaep, and sees the value in him. He, like me, wants Kaep to improve so he can make those plays you want to see. Maybe sitting back and studying from the side lines may allow Kaep to learn and grow.
            I am glad you do not consider Kaep a coward like Grant does.

            1. I don’t hate Kaep. I think all players have courage to play the game.
              He didn’t the job done and failed to fulfill his potential dispute having everything handed to him.

              1. Fan77,
                I disagree (what else is new) that Kaep had everything handed to him.

                Kaep was working hard everyday at TC and during his rookie season before taking the helm when Alex got hurt. And he has continued to work hard at his craft long after becoming a full-time starter.

                Did, CK happen to land on a team that was among one the best in the NFL? Yes.
                Did he take over a SB worthy team? Yes. But a strong argument could be made that he helped the team get to the SB.

                Being drafted on a powerhouse team was not his doing. And taking over for Alex was not his doing as well.
                These two decisions were made by the coaches and agreed upon by the FO.
                Based on Kaep’ work ethic and his successful play in cameo appearances, the team felt comfortable to have him become the eventual starter.
                That is a far cry from having everything handed to him bud.

              2. Seb,
                I don’t hate or dislike Kaep. I just didn’t think he was going to be any good, long term. I had my doubts. First year in the SB, wasn’t really on him, because he was a rookie. Coaches put him out there.2nd year I do, because he played with a chip against Seattle but ultimately failed. Rest is history.

                CK become a starter on a SB bound team. He had all the pieces around around. Strong Defense, O-Line, RB.

                Russell Wilson was also in the same situation. He somehow makes the play when the team needed it most.

              1. Fan,

                Your rants are like Napoleon Dynamite. They think they’re cool, but they usually end up getting shoved into a locker.

      2. “Gabbert isn’t a one game wonder. He’ll have a few bad games along the way for sure, but what he showed in the ATL was a skill set that the Niners can build upon. We still don’t know what we have in Gabbert, but we know that Kaep has either lost this locker room, lost interest, whatever”

        Yup. Enough about the drama around Kap, management, coaches, etc. I just want a competitive football team. We don’t have the same personnel which allowed Kap the ability to succeed in spite of his limitations with pre-and post-snap reads.

        Gabbert showed a more effective, traditional skill set, plus more escapability than Kap. He hit more back shoulder throws in 1 half than Kap has all season. He’ll never run for 90 yard touchdowns, but he’ll also take far fewer sacks, throw better short checkdowns, and will keep the chains moving (and the defense will play better with more in-game rest).

        I agree with a lot of folks saying we won’t know if Gabbert is really an improvement until he plays Seattle and AZ, but I think it has less to do with the quality of the defenses and more to do with playing a D that has seen film and is prepared for him. Kap looked good for one game this season, then sucked outside of garbage-time catch-up against prevent defenses. Will Seattle’s press and trail technique stop the back shoulder options? Will AZ’s phenomenal secondary stop him from hitting the WRs?

        It’s all TBD, but I think the odds are better with Gabbert based on preseason and 1 game than I do in Kap after 3 years.

  6. This is the same Blaine Gabbert you thought might get beat out by Dylan Thompson in preseason? He played well. Let him play a bit before we crown him.

    1. don’t expect that from grant. grant likes to finish with a flourish. he likes to make statements like “this is THE guy”, “THIS guy is done”. he can change his position after one play and one game — easily influenced.

      1. I don’t expect anything in response, it won’t stop me from pointing out how badly he talked about BG in the preseason. BG could prove all of us wrong. I’d be ok with that.

  7. Had Gabbert sustained a concussion and had to miss a game or two, you would be calling him a fool. No QB should take a hit just to prove his toughness.

  8. I feel like you’re trying to sell me a wheelbarrow of cow manure while claiming that it’s actually full of apples Grant.

  9. I know the Neumann article on BG has already been posted. I found this statement interesting:

    “Falcons head coach Dan Quinn imported Seattle’s Cover-3 defense, and it’s a defense that generally wants to force short throws in front of the defenders so they can rally to the ball and make tackles. San Francisco is no stranger to that style of defense, of course, and Gabbert knew it was going to be important not to force the matter downfield when it wasn’t there.”

    I’ve seen all the discussion on how much better the Chickens defense is than Atlanta’s. But I’m wondering if BG might actually play OK against Seaadderall simply because he has already had a “dress rehearsal” by playing against the Falcons. Although Atlanta’s pass rush is rated as weak, there definitely were some “jail break” rushes which BG handled well for the most part.

    1. cubus,
      Hopefully that is the case. I personally think that BG will “look” better than CK against Seattle, but that’s not saying much since CK has been terrible against them, especially in the last few meetings with them.
      But, I still think, the success in the running game is the key to even have a chance to be competitive. If the Niners continues to struggle to produce in the running game, the Niners have virtually no chance of winning.

  10. Took a crack at next year’s roster for fun and to see what we need to address in the draft. I bid Bethea (contract escalation) farewell along with Kaep and Vance. I think we’ll have some cash for a decent free agent splash (TE?), but I didn’t project anything here. What do you guys think?

    Blaine Gabbert
    Rookie ***

    Carlos Hyde
    Mike Davis
    Shaun Draughn
    Rookie ***
    Bruce Miller

    Wide receiver

    Torrey Smith
    DeAndre Smelter
    Anquan Boldin
    Rookie ***
    Quinton Patton
    Bruce Ellington

    Blake Bell
    Busta Anderson
    Rookie ***

    Offensive line

    Joe Staley
    Brandon Thomas
    Daniel Kilgore
    Alex Boone
    Marcus Martin
    Rookie ***
    Ian Silberman
    Trenton Brown
    Erik Pears

    Defensive line

    Arik Armstead
    Glenn Dorsey
    Tony Jerod-Eddie
    Ian Williams
    Quinton Dial
    Mike Purcell

    Outside linebacker

    Aaron Lynch
    Ahmad Brooks
    Eli Harold
    Rookie ***

    Inside Linebacker

    NaVorro Bowman
    Michael Wilhoite
    Rookie ***
    Nick Bellore


    Eric Reid
    Jaquiski Tartt
    Jimmie Ward
    L.J. McCray


    Tramaine Brock
    Kenneth Acker
    Dontae Johnson
    Marcus Cromartie
    Keith Reaser

    Special Teams

    Phil Dawson
    Bradley Pinion
    Kyle Nelson

    1. I prefer to keep focusing on the next game. Through attrition, many players may not even be healthy enough to be on the roster. I rate this about as fascinating as speculating on Goff.

      1. Yet you took the time to respond twice. I guess some people just talk to hear their head rattle

        1. Rattle on, your roster makes no sense if you do not include who they drafted or what FAs are signed. its just a lesson in futility, and you, of course, assume Kaep is gone. I would rather see what you think how Gabbert will fare against the Seahawks, but whatever floats your boat. FYI there is 30% turnover on most rosters every year.

    2. I would have added Tiller under the OL and hope that Bam will be back. I think Boldin will be gone. Also, I expect Hodges to remain as an ILB.

      1. Yeah, I thought about letting Boldin go, but I think he’s pretty cheap next year and it looks like the following 2 are voidable according to Sportrac.

        In terms of o-line, I’m guessing Pears stays because they view him as able to play Guard and Tackle, though arguably he can’t play either. Boone gets resigned because of his versatility as well. Martin makes the roster as a guard with center experience, etc.

        Hodges over Bellore is totally plausible. I do think they need to draft some speed at ILB this year.

    3. I’d wait until the end of this season before doing that Eddie because you’ll have a much clearer idea of who should be here next season.

      1. No question, but I reserve the right to alter as the facts change. The exercise was meant to aid in thinking about the holes we need to address in FA and the draft. I guess it’s a little too early in the season for some of the faithful to stomach.

          1. Challenged? You took the time to post that you don’t want to think about it and that it was about as fascinating as draft speculation around Goff. You are intellectually challenged.

    4. Eddie D

      I really like it…Were you including Dylan Thompson in your QB slot AND a rookie ?
      same question as to your RB, WR, and TE rookie slots ? And would rookie also include FA’s ?

      1. I wasn’t including Dylan Thompson. The majority of teams these days only carry 2 QBs on their 53 man squad, and I was speculating that we would draft a QB who who beat out Thompson.

  11. And for the record again. Unless we can get a gore type performance out of our rb by committee squad. It will be a long day for Gabbert! Flashback to the prior 4 years and run between the tackles. Seattle
    Is weak there.

    1. Did you notice how on the first TD Marcus Martin gets a fantastic block on Bruce Miller? Admittedly it was only because he was thrown five yards backwards and to the side by Hageman, but hey, credit where credit is due!

      1. I can’t imagine wth Martin’s job was on that play because it looked liked like he was trying to pull and was so damn slow that the defender simply ran into him.

  12. Just a taaaaa~aad off topic………
    I just saw Kareem Abdul Jabbar interviewed on PBS. He’s written or co-written a book that’s a prequel to the Sherlock Holmes series, focusing on Holmes’ older brother. He’s apparently a lifelong follower of Conan Doyle. I imagine that’s a yawner for many, but I share Kareem’s keen appreciation of Sherlock Holmes’ observational and reasoning skills, and also Jazz.
    OK; as you were.

      1. Zackly. This fills in his earlier years. To me the modern SH action films are pretty lame, the Basil Rathbone films are far superior.

        1. I loved all the Sherlock Holmes books, along with all the Conans, Lord of the Rings and Sword of Shannaras….

            1. I love Bazil but Brett nailed it .The only modern version worth a salt is the Cumberbatch Freeman series but it is in a different context. My only bone to pick with the Rathbone series is Watson is made into a buffoon as a cinematic device,(footnote- KAJ has Watson as a man of African heritage in the Mycroft book).

            1. Love interest? There was only the one episode which is true to the Conan Doyle writings. I think you are confusing Brett with some other actor playing Holmes. Brett played the Sherlock Holmes produced by Granada and shown on PBS from the mid 80s or so till I believe the late 90s or early 2000s.

              1. The recent Sherlock Holmes movies and/or series had Lucy Liu play the role of Watson. That is what I was referring to. I did not know who Brett was and just assumed he was the one you were referring to.
                Those more recent takes still cannot surpass the Basil Rathbone films, IMO.

              2. Warning – no football content. :)

                I saw the Peter Cushing version of Hound of the Baskervilles when I was in third grade (I actually prefer Cushing to Rathbone, with respect to the older films), then read The Study in Scarlet when I was in fourth grade. I have read, and re-read, every one of the short stories and the four novels. I own over forty DVDs of various TV and screen versions of Holmes, and a set of vinyl albums of the Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes radio dramas.

                Jeremy Brett, by a large margin, best portrayed Holmes, and the Granada TV series and movies in which he starred are by far the most faithful to the source material. I have to admit that I have not watched
                either of the new series, nor the Robert Downey Jr. movies, but based on previews/commercials I have seen for those versions, I am very comfortable sticking with my Brett was the best world view. I do want to see Ian McKellen’s Mr. Holmes at some point, as I like McKellen, but I do not have high expectations.

          1. Considering Sherlock Holmes has been played by 70 actors in over 200 films, I must confess that I missed that series.

        2. BT, I agree. Basil Rathbone looked like Sherlock Holmes. Those were classics. The new guy is just a pretty face trying to act clever.

          1. Explosions and special effects in foggy old London town. Balderdash! Those old movies were better if you’d read the book or short story. The books really drilled down on the observational details.

            1. Actually Seb, you would’ve loved that interview. Kareem said he so admired the approach of the fictional Holmes that he tried to find ways of employing it in his life. He said he watched opponents closely in warmups and their bench when he could to pick up “tells”.

              1. The correct phrase is, “exactly, my dear Watson” which is uttered by Holmes in more then one story.

              2. I was referring to the Basil Rathbone movies.’ Elementary, my dear Watson’ is emblazoned in our conscience.

              3. Take that up with Sherlock Holmes himself. “Yes, I have a turn for both observation and for deduction. The theories which I have expressed there, and which appear to you to be so chimerical, are really extremely practical- so practical that I depend upon them for my bread and cheese.”

              4. Ok Seb, lets take that up with Sherlock himself:

                “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

                -A Scandal in Bohemia

                “Let me run over the principal steps. We approached the case, you remember, with an absolutely blank mind, which is always an advantage. We had formed no theories. We were simply there to observe and to draw inferences from our observations.”

                -The Adventure of the Cardboard Box

                The process of logic that Holmes uses is more accurately considered adbuctive reasoning. He uses observation to draw logical hypotheses and with sufficient observation is able to draw a conclusion as to the most reasonable sequence of events.

                Deductive reasoning takes one or more hypotheses and assumes them to be true, and makes logical statements based on these hypotheses being true. It is the complete antithesis of what Holmes says above.

                The reason for the common misconception comes from the following (and other similar quotes):

                “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”

                -The Sign of Four

                This is a form of logic using deduction. But it is NOT a form of deductive reasoning. Deduction is the process of deducting or subtracting – in this case eliminating the impossible. Deductive reasoning is, as explained above, the process of taking one or more assumptions/ hypotheses as truths to draw a conclusion.

              5. Yes, many have parsed the terms abductive and deductive, and abductive may fit the definition better.
                However, it might include inductive reasoning, too.
                Furthermore, abduction is associated with kidnapping so maybe he stayed away from that word and its permutations.
                Just saying that Sherlock Holmes used deduction, so if you want to correct the esteemed Holmes, go ahead. Deduction works for me.

            2. I liked how he could use deductive reasoning to tell a person’s history just by looking at his watch.

              1. Since we are googling that phrase, I will go to its root.
                Deduce- Arrive at a fact or conclusion by reasoning; draw as a logical conclusion. Or; Trace the course or derivation of.
                Sometimes, 2 things may be correct, but interpreted in a different manner. Holmes did deduce,and his powers of deduction were extraordinary.

              2. Holmesian logic often does fit within abductive logic, but abductive logic is subsumed under deductive reasoning within the deductive/inductive dichotomy.

                Doyle used deductive as it was how one of his medical school professor characterized such reasoning, and it simply differentiates Holmesian logic from the inductive reasoning that Holmes so frequently criticized. However, given that Holmes frequently relied on probable premises rather than absolutely true premises, abductive logic is a more precise description of his method.

                By the way, Seb, the definition of deduce that you found and quoted is horribly simplistic and woefully inadequate.

                “Deduce- Arrive at a fact or conclusion by reasoning; draw as a logical conclusion. Or; Trace the course or derivation of.”

                The first part pertains to logic in general, not deduction. You should be careful in using dictionary definitions in such instances. Not only will they differ from dictionary to dictionary, they will differ in levels of complexity. Further, they rarely have a sufficiently nuanced definition for technical or more sophisticated usages. They should be seen as more of a guide than a definitive source, which is the irony of the modern use of dictionaries, of course. ;)

              3. Thanks JPN, better explanation than I gave. .

                Seb, does that clear it up for you? For someone as self-proclaimed “verbose” as yourself (btw, that is another word/ term that means something other than what I believe you think its does), I would have thought you’d like to know why Sherlock’s logic process is best described as abductive reasoning.

              4. Scooter, I did say that abductive may fit the definition better, but you ignore the fact that Holmes himself used deductive.
                Please, if you do not think I am verbose, we will never agree on anything. You yourself complain that I can talk a subject to death. Verbose, to me, can mean using a lot of words, or wordy in the vernacular.
                JPN is more erudite, or precise. At times, when he writes long spiels, he may be verbose, too.
                Finally, I wish to say that since I have been posting, the vocabulary and diction has improved on this site. I am pleased with the regulars, and their jocular banter. I even put up with the put downs, and do not go ballistic like I have in the past. I even like you, although you constantly challenge me. ;p

              5. JPN, I thought that the definition fitted my premise best, but Merriam Webster had a definition less definitive and more general.
                Deduce-To use logic or reason to form (a conclusion or opinion about something). To decide (something) after thinking about the known facts.

              6. I’m just teasing, Seb. You will note my initial comment about abductive vs deductive was with a ;-) at the end – it wasn’t meant to be taken as seriously as it was.

                And never fear, I do indeed acknowledge you are verbose. :-)

    1. Sounds like an interesting read Brotha. And it’s a good break from Grant’s idea of manhood.

      1. It looks like I bailed out on this thread too early last night! Thanks to all contributors. Scooter’s and JPN’s comments were stimulating for me.
        “…… To theorize before one has data. In sensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories…..”
        But wait! Isn’t that what we do here?
        ; >)

    1. I like Dontae Johnson and was pleasantly surprised by Cromartie’s performance… but I wonder if they benefited by going up against the Falcon’s big receivers? It seems like an ideal match-up situation.

      If they can do the same against the speedy Antonio Browns of the league, then you really have something.

      1. Considering the turnover of DBs these past few years, the Niners do not have them in their long term plans.

    2. Well done Grant and I’d venture to say Armstead will be in that conversation sooner rather than later….

      1. I agree. Armstead’s something to build around. In fact, I wonder if the 49ers might go after DeForest Buckner in a trade-back scenario. Wouldn’t be my first choice, but having two long, rangy 4-tech’s opens up alot of possibilities.

    3. I think rather than saying Dontae Johnson you should say the 49ers young CBs. Acker has shown quite a bit of promise too.

      1. We’ll see if Acker and Reaser can stay healthy. They may not be here past their first contracts.

  13. On a sad note, Dolores Rhodes dies at 95. She was from San Bernadino. Randy sure looked like his mom….

  14. Hey Grant, it was an incomplete pass.

    It’d be one thing if Gabbert completed the pass for a touchdown, seeing the LB obviously un-nerved Gabbert or else he would have thrown the ball near a WR. Gabbert basically threw the ball away on the field of play, because the pass wasn’t catchable, if I recall it was at the receiver’s feet who was double covered.

    Spare me the heroism of Blaine Gabbert, let him keep taking those kinds of shots and then we’ll start comparing him to Hall of Fame level QBs who’s toughness is unquestioned. The Falcons are 31st in sacks, praise Gabbert after a season of taking shots behind this offensive line.

    Gabbert-mania: 185 yards w/ 2 TDs and 2 INTs.

    1. Gabbert-mania: 185 yards w/ 2 TDs and 2 INTs.

      That’s how far the bar was lowered by Kaep’s play in 2015.

      1. Fansince I believe that CK would have had a better game statistically than Gabbert vs the Falcons. His problem has never been beating the weak teams with no pass rush. His problems are beating quality teams with good pass rush.

        1. Did you know Gabbert was pressured on 50% of the plays? It didn’t feel that way because he got rid of the ball early. Also, Kaep could barely do anything with the offense when he had Boldin, Vernon, and Hyde. What makes you think he could have moved the ball with the scrubs that were playing with Gabbert?

          Keep in mind — Gabbert is not that great — but he looked like a QB. Do you think Kaep would have hit those checkdowns, or back shoulder throws? Just watch some of the plays that Gabbert made late into the progressions. This is not something Kaep knows how to do at all.

          Gabbert is only doing what a QB is expected to do. Kaep cannot do these things.

          No sacks. Same O-line. What does that tell you????

          Kaep is horrible this year. Maybe next year he can figure it out. This year he was playing like the worst QB in the league, got replaced by one of the statistically worst QB in history and got shown up by said QB.

          We’ll see how he does against Seattle. We already know he can’t do much worse!

          1. It tells you their the 2nd worst team at sacks in the NFL and Gabbert did well against pressure. Move on Fan. Kaep’s on the bench.

          2. Fan77,
            Your insatiable appetite for all things Blain is taking on a concerning tone bud.
            Remember, it’s only one game, and unlike Kaep, he only sustained one big hit. Try to temper your exuberance until we get a larger sample size from Gabby.

            All of us have been waiting for something positive to ignite our offensive woes and BG was a big factor in delivering that last Sunday.
            If he can continue to have this effect on the team going forward then I will gladly join your Blain train party, but I’m not easily convinced after only one game.
            If BG can do the improbable: beating the seahags in Seattle, I will buy my ticket to ride the Blain train.

    2. >>Gabbert-mania: 185 yards w/ 2 TDs and 2 INTs.

      It raised the offense from non-functional to barely functional. For this team, for this season, that is something to get manic about.

    3. Gabbert drew two penalties on that play, including a defensive holding penalty on the intended receiver.

  15. Grant Nice article I have just one small difference with you. Tom Brady is not a tough guy, he is the biggest cry baby in the league. If a defender touches him he screams like a little girl at the officials and his O linemen. He reminds me of Jim Everett in the pocket he goes down on the least amount of contact. He is soft. Don’t get me wrong he is a great QB but a tough guy, I think not.

    1. Projected QB’s on 49er Roster, including one’s that can “stare down the gunbarrel:

      1. Blaine Gabbert
      2. Nate Sudfeld, Indiana Hoosiers
      3.Taysom Hill, BYU—Let Mike Holmgren, and Shannahan coach him up, and bring in a Young WCO offensive coordinator to learn from them. Hill is a big time dual threat!

    1. That is pure clickbait. he’s done. he’s probably got $50m in the bank and he’s a true gentleman. Good for him. He should be a 1st ballot HOFer, too, but he didn’t play for the Giants or Cowboys, so it may take two years.

      In related news, I expect Anthony Davis will come back so he too can have $50m in the bank when it’s all said and done. He’s young, talented, and will make our OL respectable again.

    1. TomD

      November 12, 2015 at 8:34 am

      Projected QB’s on 49er Roster, including one’s that can “stare down the gunbarrel:

      1. Blaine Gabbert
      2. Nate Sudfeld, Indiana Hoosiers
      3.Taysom Hill, BYU—Let Mike Holmgren, and Shannahan coach him up, and bring in a Young WCO offensive coordinator to learn from them. Hill is a big time dual threat!

      1. Walsh would have the above QB’s on the roster, and the 49ers could get them as 4th and 5th rounders.

    1. Jed York, however has some logic, and will fall for Baalke’s built in excuse that the large roster turnover was responsible for the 49er demise and give him another year.
      I expect Baalke will be in charge of our passing game, and will be in charge a few more years, never winning a Super Bowl, however without a legit Quarterback and Wide receiver combination.
      Jim McMahon and the 85 Bears, Trent Dilfer and the Raven defense were the only two teams considered w/o heavy passing games in my lifetime that won a SuperBowl, but if McMahon was allowed to pass more he could have (Bears relied on Big Jim Covert and Walter Payton).

        1. Htwaits

          With Mercury Morris, Jim Kiick and Larry Csonka, it would have been sheer madness to be anything else…but stil Bob Greise had an All pro TE an WR. MAN !! THAT was a team !!

  16. Another untethered thought, but at least football related:
    Bruschi was talking about young QBs and spoke about speeding up release in the Red Zone. He said whatever stopwatch the QB has in his head between the 20 yard lines has to be speeded up in the Red Zone. Indecision really inhibits success.

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