Breaking down the X’s and O’s of Super Bowl LIII

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay speaks to reporters at the team’s training camp Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Here’s how the Patriots won and the Rams lost Super Bowl LIII.

This article has 315 Comments

    1. Razor: Back to Texas A&M Eric McCoy.
      * Don’t disagree, McCoy had good games against Alabama and Clemson. Here’s the problem: He had 38 starts at Texas A&M,…thirty six at Center and only two at OG….
      * Texas A&M top five 2018 player, McCoy’s 4th behind No. 3: Trayveon Williams, RB, junior. No. 2: Landis Durham, DE, senior and No. 1: Tyrel Dodson, LB, junior.
      * Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought OG was the IOL position the 9ers needed to upgrade, not Center?
      * Unless you’re proposing the 9ers should draft McCoy and cut Richberg?

      1. Yea, he’ll do fine at LG while providing critical support at Center in the event Richburg goes down, and ideally take over at Center in the future….

        1. Razor:
          * Please provide some stats that indicate McCoy can play OG in the NFL, before claiming he’s a better 9er draft pick (at a position of need), than Chris Lindstrom, B C., who’s considered a plug and play OG in the NFL.
          * McCoy had 12 starts at Center his Senior year, He had two starts at OG his sophomore year. While I’m open to other opinions, that doesn’t prove to me he can play OG in the NFL.
          * 9er 3Rd draft pick is #68. CBSSPORTS.COM has Lindstrom ranked number 74 draft pick. I agree that may change after the NFL combine.

          1. Like I told you the other day, I’d be surprised if Lindstrom is still on the board in round 3. Stats are Hammer’s expertise. All I can provide you with is my amatuer opinion….

  1. Belichick not only put McVay over his knee and spanked him, but more importantly, provided a blueprint on how to slow down the Lambs vaunted offense going forward. We’ll see if the rams can recover from their SB embarrassment next year.

    1. We’ve taken the methodical approach, while they’ve taken the boom or bust approach. They busted. We’ll find out if they’re broke as well when we meet again….

    2. I think McVay will learn from this shellacking, and become more innovative.
      Sure looked like Belichick shaped them on offense and defense. It was head scratching to see a fly sweep, then never have them try it again.
      Having the RB and FB covered by the CBs, with a LB on Edelman, was a classic WCO mismatch.

      1. Rams one and done. McVay will be very upset with himself for a long time. I remember Willie McCovey being interviewed about making the last out when the Yankees beat the Giants in game seven of the WS. McCovey said that the team was not really too upset because they had so much talent they knew they would be back again real soon. Yeah like 50 years soon. Rams had their chance and….they blew it. The cap strikes again.

        1. I think they’re alright cap wise as they’ll have plenty come 2020 if I’m not mistaken. What they’re gambling on is their 11 draft picks will be ready to replace their high priced players….

          1. The issue the Rams have created for themselves is that they have sacrificed a great deal of draft capitol in order to acquire a number of high profile players who they won’t be able to afford to re-sign, and who are scheduled to become free agents in short order.

            They gave up a 3rd and a 5th for Fowler who is now a FA. A 2nd, 4th and 5th for Peters and Talib, who are both scheduled to become FA’s after this coming season. And they ended up giving the Patriots a 1st and a 6th for Cooks (though they did get a 4th in return) while dishing out $88 million over six years, on Cooks’ extension. The Rams have no margin for error now over the next couple of drafts if they are going to avoid taking a major step backwards.

            All of this was worth doing if it leads to a Lombardi Trophy. The problem isn’t just that they lost the Super Bowl, it’s the way in which they lost that is going to leave some serious scars, and make it that much harder for them to rebound from next season. Doubly hard in fact, when you consider most people feel like the Saints should have been the team to represent the NFC in the Big Dance, not the Rams!

            Belichick confused Jared Goff, dismantled the Rams’ offensive line, shut down their skill players and left McVay searching for answers he never could find. The Patriots surprised the Rams by starting in zone defense after playing man-to-man all season long. BB produced havoc by changing the role of an unheralded defensive back, and he unleashed a torrent of different pass rushes despite barely blitzing. He basically did nothing the Rams expected and everything to specially stifle a high-powered attack. And let’s face it, Belichick just handed the NFC a blueprint on how to shut down McVay’s Rams.

            The pressure continues to mount as the roosters are coming home to roost for the Rams. The Rams have one more season to take advantage of Goff’s rookie deal before it’s time to pay the piper! If the Rams blow ANY of their draft picks over the next couple drafts, they are in real jeopardy of losing pace with Shanahan’s Niners. If the 49ers can stay healthy, and the Seahawks continue to compete like they do every season, the Rams could find themselves in the bottom half of their own division before they know it.

            I’d say they at least have an incredible new stadium to look forward to, but even that has its drawbacks because they have to share it with another team. No thanks!

            1. Lol, that’s it. Slow and steady usually wins the race, right Razor?

              Bottom line for the Rams is that they’ve left themselves ZERO margin of error over the next couple years, when it comes to the draft.

              Why? They gave away a 1st, a 2nd, a 3rd, two 5th’s and a 6th round pick in exchange for Cooks, who just cost them a ton of money to extend, and 3 other players (Fowler, Peters & Talib) one of which is now a free agent (Fowler), and the other two who are schedule for free agency next offseason.

              On top of that, they won’t be able to take advantage of Goff’s rookie deal for much longer. Jared Goff will earn only $4.26 million this coming season. That’s great! However the gravy train stops after that. If the Rams pick up Goff’s 5th year option after this coming season, it’s going to cost them somewhere north of $23 Million.

              Like I said, it won’t be long now until the roosters come home to roost for Les Snead & Sean McVay!

  2. Grant acting like the Patriots ran over the Rams lol The score 13-3 tells a different story it seems the defenses dictated the game and Belichick’s defense won.

      1. Not really because both defenses played against high powered offenses the Rams defense played pretty well considering there offense kept punting through out the game the only difference was the last 4 minutes of the game Brady made some plays at the end.

    1. Bottom line was Patriots made in game adjustments, late in the game, too, while on the sidelines in the 4thQ, to secure the victory while McVay had no answers and absolutely no adjustments. It does not take 8 consecutive punts for an OC to realize that something needs to change on your side of the ball. New England OC was able to adapt on the fly and even go to a personnel grouping which had not been practiced in over 2 weeks and still utilize the same concepts in the passing game which the Patriots had utilized previously in different personnel groupings. Forced Wade to play a different defensive PG and Pats took advantage of the match-ups to move the ball down the field for the winning score. OUTCOACHED!!!!!!!!!!

      Just proves that you have to have more than just one way to skin a cat!!!!!

  3. One forgets of the blueprint for beating the Rams has been forged then it will also be effective against our team. Don’t revel too much in McVay’s destructio as it may herald a challenge to our ascension!

  4. Grant dissected the plays that dissected the Rams.
    McDaniels showed why an OC is so important. He not only devised schemes in the preparations, he made adjustments on the fly during the game.

    1. Razor,
      A rumor going around KNBR yesterday. The 49ers will force the Raiders into Levi for 19 (if they want to stay in the Bay Area) Then instead of rent they will work out a trade for draft picks for the right to play there.

      1. If I’m not mistaken, I believe that Levi’s has an extra locker room to accommodate another “home team” if and when needed.

        The original idea was to rent out Levi’s to the raiders because they were having issues with the city regarding the dilapidated coliseum.
        But the raiders nixed the idea. UC Berkeley could be an option but parking is treacherous.

        I see the raiders going to San Diego for the 2019 season.
        They still have a big fan base in the Southern California area and while not selling out games they will still have 75 to 80% attendance.
        That’s not bad for the NFL’ version of Gypsies.

        1. AES:
          * “I see the raiders going to San Diego for the 2019 season. They still have a big fan base in the Southern California.”
          * Yea, maybe some fans in LA….In San Diego they’re about as welcome as a skunk at a picnic! Ask charger fans how they feel about the Raiders playing at Qualcomm and you’ll likely start a fight!

          1. You know who’s better than Lindstrom, and the guy I originally wanted? Garrett Bradbury outta NC St., but he’ll be gone on day one….

            1. Razor:
              *I agree, the Rimington trophy winner, NC St. Center, Garrett Bradbury is a better Center than Texas A&M Center McCoy.
              * The problem I have with both, is Center is not a position of need for the 9ers in the 2019 draft.
              OG is, and neither McCoy or Bradbury have experience playing the position! McCoy played two games at OG, his Sophomore year. 2015: Bradbury played OG as a redshirt freshman during fall camp and then suffered an injury in the opener and missed the next two contests. He saw action mainly on special teams for the remainder of the season. 2014: He redshirted the season at tight end. Bradbury is listed by at draft pick #81.
              * Did you watch the NC St. VS Texas A&M game? Who, in your opinion, won the battle between McCoy and Bradbury?
              * I have provided verifiable facts, not my opinions, or Hammer’s stats. If you have tape of either McCoy or Bradbury playing OG please provide the link.

              1. Geep, I’m not aware of any player that has played the center position that cannot play guard. Both players I mentioned have the power and movement skills to play both positions.

          2. GEEP,
            You may have a point, but chargers fans may not be the ones to ask since their team also flew the coup.

            San Diego (minus charger fans) is big enough to support the raiders for one year. I still believe they could get 75-80% stadium attendance. Plus I know of many raiders fans in LA that will make the drive to Las Vegas beginning in 2020, so going to San Diego won’t pose a problem.

            1. AES:
              * As they say, the proof is in the pudding…..”IF” the Raiders play one year in San Diego, we’ll find out if they have enough LA fans to support them.

              1. Razor:
                * I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. Center is NOT a position of need for the 9ers, OG is. With only 5 picks in the 2019 draft, I don’t see the 9ers using one of them to draft a Center. After the 2019 draft, we should have this conversation again and see who’s right?
                * Just out of curiosity, what 5 position are the 9ers greatest needs? If you agree Edge is # 1, what position, in your opinion, is #2, 3, 4 and 5?

    2. A classic power play the the 49ers, kick’en them tRaiders while they are down.

      I almost feel sorry for the Raiders fans at this point. Almost!

      And while Grant figures out how he justifies ranking the Raiders organization ahead of the 49ers, I think the 49ers should go ahead and negotiate a Levi’s Stadium clause in which the Raiders players are required to clean toilets in the 49ers locker room next season, in exchange for having a place to play in the Bay Area for 2019. And I think it only makes sense to nominate Darek Carr for first 49ers locker room latrine duty next season, as punishment for crying like a little bi_ch on the football field in 2018. The Raiders can draw straws after that!

      1. Razor:
        * Looks like we both agree that Center is NOT a 9er 2019 position of need.
        * I like your 2019 draft picks at position of need, but would change CB to 9ers draft picks #2 (Pick #36) and OG to #3. (pick #67). * At FS: Sign Free agent Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to play single high safety.
        * At CB: Will wait to see combine results for 40 YD, 3 cone and shuttle results for CB Amani Oruwariye, Penn St. If the results are good, the 9ers should draft him. lists him at draft pick #43.
        At OG: Draft Boston College OG, 9ers pick #67. Listed at pick #74 by
        * AT ILB: If Baltimore doesn’t use the franchise tag on him, 9ers should sign 26 Y/O Free agent CJ Mosley. I’d also like to see the 9ers sign Baltimore Za’darius Smith. I don’t think Baltimore has the salary cap space to sign both Cj Mosley and Za’darius Smith.
        * At WR I’d like the 9ers to sign LAC free agent Tyrell Williams, then draft WR Markus Lodge at pick #97 and WR Keelan Doss at pick #162
        * 7th Rd. 9edrf draft pick # 219…..TBD

          1. Razor:
            * Nice try…Where did I say “So you’re saying we don’t need a guard that can play center, or a center that can play guard.? Got’cha. You’re trying to put words in my mouth is below you and you know better.
            * I SAID, we both agree Center is NOT a 9er position of need in the 2019 draft and the 9ers will not draft one.

          1. Person, he’s a guard that can play center. You know, just in case Richburg goes down. That’s who we’d be replacing.

          2. Razor:
            * Nice try…Where did I say “So you’re saying we don’t need a guard that can play center, or a center that can play guard.? Got’cha. You’re trying to put words in my mouth is below you and you know better.
            * I SAID. we both agree Center is NOT a 9er position of need in the 2019 draft and will not draft one.

            1. Center’s are typically smarter than guards. We want smart, versatile offensive lineman. We don’t need anymore one trick ponies like Garnett or Tomlinson.

              1. Razor
                * Nice spin attempt….Try to change the subject and then deflect! Are you saying that Joshua Garnett and Laken Tomlinson won’t be cut in 2019? (see, I can do it too).
                * Since we both agree that Center is NOT a 9er 2019 position of need, I don’t see the 9ers drafting one, making the subject moot.
                * Since you refuse to answer my questions, try to change the subject and provide no verifiable proof to back your opinions. As I said before, I respect your opinions and believe that you’re entitled to them…So let us agree to agree to disagree on this one.

              2. Rinse and repeat. I’m replacing Person with a center that can play guard. Just because you do not believe a center can play guard, doesn’t mean I have to believe in fairy tales too….

  5. Anybody can dissect certain positive plays to prove a point but 13 points is hardly impressive especially considering the Rams punted through out the whole game and the patriots couldn’t score a TD till the last 4 minutes of the game McDaniel’s should be lucky he didn’t have the Niners D it could’ve easily been 39-13.

    1. The Patriots could have beat them with only 2 field goals. Wouldn’t have made a difference if the Pat’s scored 6 points or 40, they had their parade.

        1. Wow Grant we agree on something! The patriots have been like this for over the last decade there’s a reason they won number 6 and been to 9 Super Bowls. Who would’ve thought the patriots defense was going to hold an offense averaging 33 points a game to 3 points in the Super Bowl.

              1. Just shows how good coaching is, to deciding the outcome of games.
                Do the Niners have good enough coaching? Hope the new hires will get them over the top.

            1. Maybe Lynch will wake up and start being a real GM. Pats take castoffs and design a scheme to enhance their abilities, and win Super Bowls. 49ers start with their schemes (especially Saleh) and then wait until they have the players to execute it. I don’t want to go into the Trent Brown issue any more, but if he’s a castoff, I’ll take all you got. Patriots need an edge rusher. You think Bosa will last to number 32?

              1. I don’t think that’s entirely true Whine.

                During the dynasty, Belichick’s defensive front seven strategies have been based in reading and reacting. On the back end he has primarily used straight man coverage, often with one safety deep and the other robbing over the middle. And his defense rarely blitzes. In fact, they don’t run a lot of stunts either, and their pre-snap disguises are generally few and far between.

                However, BB’s defense always shows a different little twist one way or another, but this is less about playing to his players strengths, and more about remaining unpredictable. In order to do this consistently, he looks for, and demands discipline, and fundamentally sound football from his players. It’s this discipline and fundamentally sound quality which allows BB to constantly show little variations that keep the opposing offense guessing. These guys may not be the best athletes. His players might not be the strongest or the fastest players, which is why they might be considered expendable elsewhere, but they need to be disciplined, they need to understand the fundamentals, and they are required to consistently apply these qualities. That’s also why his teams don’t commit a lot of penalties.

                With Tom Brady at QB, Belichick doesn’t need a defense that is constantly making big plays and consistently swinging field position. He just needs a bend-but-don’t-break, fundamentally sound, highly disciplined defense that doesn’t give up any big plays. They grind. There wear you down. And along with Tom Brady running the offense, they break your spirit!

              2. There’s nobody like the patriots your comparing the Niners to them of course they have better coaches look what they did to McVay. I’m tired of hearing about Trent Brown that’s a bunch of bologna he just enjoyed the ride.

              3. I didn’t mean to downplay Brady’s impact on the team. You are correct that he is a major factor in their success. My main point is and for some time has been it’s no longer a game of evaluating talent and then making it happen. The cap has changed the game completely. It is the teams like the Patriots and management (Bellichick for sure) that has to decide how to allocate the talent and then successful HC’s have to adapt to that talent. You keep looking for the right talent for YOUR scheme and that’s it – you keep looking…and keep losing. For example, Harbaugh didn’t want to trade Alex Smith. Too much money for a backup so the bean counters laid down the law. OTOH the Eagles kept Foles who won one SB in relief and almost came off the bench to repeat. Word is they’re going to keep him on the payroll. One case their managing the cap and the other case they’re managing the cash. That’s the difference.

              4. The Eagles aren’t holding on to Foles. He opted out, forcing the Eagles to franchise tag-and-trade him. He’ll make at least a few $ million more this way. Nobody pays a backup QB franchise tag money. He’s going to the highest bidder.

              5. Well, Trent Brown did a little more than simply going along for the ridem. He played well this year. He played well in the postseason. Was he as dominent as Grant and Jack would like us to believe …. ? No! Brady is a savvy QB, who gets rid of the football as quickly as any QB in the league, because he seems to always know exactly where he should go with the football. But Brown was just barely average as a run blocker for the Pats, despite the fact that his particular skill set fits very well in McDaniels’ system.

                In other words, would the Pats’ have won the Super Bowl this year if they had rolled with their 2018 1st round pick, Isaiah Wynn at RT (unfortunately he tore his Achilles in the preseason) and Marcus Cannon or Laadrian Waddle at LT? Probably!

              6. No one on the Patriots offensive line creates more movement at the point of attack in the run game than Brown.

              1. Tough one. They coached in different eras. Could Walsh have been as successful today with the salary cap? Could Belichick have been as successful back then with no salary cap? Hard to say. I will say Belichick probably understands offense better than Walsh understood defense.

              2. Walsh. His coaching legacy permeates the league. He changed the game.
                Belichicks’ coaching tree is spindly compared to Walsh.
                Walsh also had formidable opponents. Cowboys, Giants, GB, and Skins.
                Bellichick has patsies. Miami, Jets, Bills, Falcons, and now, Rams.
                With the new rule changes, it is hard to compare the successes of each. Brady would never have lasted back then. Joe and Steve’s careers were cut short by getting bludgeoned.

              3. Don’t forget, Belichick was the defensive coordinator for those Giants teams that kicked the 49ers around in 85, 86.

                « Walsh also had formidable opponents. Cowboys, Giants, GB, and Skins »

                GB was terrible during that time.
                « Bellichick has patsies. Miami, Jets, Bills, Falcons, and now, Rams. »

                Was in the same conference as Peyton Manning. The patsies argument that you bring up was the same thing that was said about the NFC West back in the day. And let’s not act like the Bengals were world beaters.

              4. Walsh was 2-3 against the Giants during the time Belichick was their D coordinator, with one of those wins by scabs during the 1987 strike.

              5. At this point, I hate to admit it but Belichick should be rated higher.

                Walsh created an offensive system which revolutionized the league however Bill Parcel’s had an answer to this and had a winning record against Walsh. Years later that answer appears to have been Belichick.

                While Walsh’s system defined him it must be said that it is Belichick’s lack of a system that defines him. This has made it easier for him to adjust to any opponent in front of him.

                The last point in Belichick’s favor is that he beat opponents that were clearly more talented than the team he fielded. Walsh never really did that, and he had some notable losses (vikings in 87 when SF was heavily favored, Giants in 86, 49-3, and the Giants in 85, 17 -3)

              6. Walsh led the way. Belichick is fortunate to play in this new era, where a defender can touch Brady’s shoulder pad and get a roughing call.
                Bellichick and the Patriots benefited from the Tuck rule, Spy gate, and Deflate gate, so they have stepped over the line. I still think they employ a cadre of lip readers, so they can steal the calls. Sure looked like they knew what the opponents were going to run before the snap of the ball. That gave them a huge advantage. That is why I counseled McVay to call a play, then run something totally different, to confirm they were stealing signals. They may not be using electronic means to steal signals, but they may be stealing them with spotters.
                Bill Walsh had to fight for every accomplishment. He was unfairly held back for years, or he might have won more SBs. Belichick, while being a genius compared to the present HCs in the league, is fortunate to be coaching with these new rules. Imagine what Joe and Steve could have done if these new rules had been in place in the ’80’s.

      1. Not a fan. I like Scooter’s and Cubus’ idea of getting Jesse James to provide that jump ball in the red zone play as part of a two TE set, and then drafting a wr to compete for Garcon’s role. I think we’re in prime position at the top of the 2nd round to have our choice from one of them due to the position strength….

        1. Scooter –
          Granted his production has not met expectations, but he’s certainly an upgrade over Bourne. Moncrief can be a legitimate WR1, has the size, speed, and skill set. I can’t say the same for Bourne.

              1. Best FA WR available. I think he’ll get more than that purely due to the dearth if better options.

  6. SY,
    Maybe it’s just me, but after hearing the media and many here extolling praises on McVay throughout the season, I can’t help but to revel in his SB demise.

    Not only did McVay fizzle out in the SB, but he took a turnkey SB ready team and crushed them under foot.
    Yes, the rams will present a hurdle for us in the next few years, but for now, their SB loss is sweet music to my ears.
    And btw, I don’t owe the rams and McVay a red cent.

    1. AES,

      Remember that this team is still nowhere near the Rams. It’s like us gloating over the Seahawks SB loss. Sure it feels good for the moment but we have to remember that we don’t measure up in any meaningful way.

      How do I know this? I’m an NC State fan and while I can revel in the demise of Duke or Carolina, it is short lived. Soon enough they are better and we are still scratching for some modicum of relevancy.

      Our team has had a couple of years success, and did no better than the Rams in our Super Bowl (we lost and got out coached!). The score is largely irrelevant, both teams lost.

      I’m not saying we, or you owe them anything, just be cautious in your revelry as we are still on the outside looking in. All of us assume we will be on the mountain top in short order, but it is few who are able to traipse the arduous steps it takes to be a champion in this league, and along the way, Belichick has made many a good coach and good team (McVay, Reid etc.) look like amateurs.

      Also, our coach choked on the worlds biggest stage so I wouldn’t point too many fingers.

      1. SY,
        Growing up a SFGiants, Warriors, and 49ers fan, I make no excuses for my hate of all LA teams.
        Let’s just say it’s my DNA.

        I’ve been around long enough to know that teams go through bad and good stretches.
        The Rams and the seahags are currently enjoying their good fortune, but I remember a time when we used to beat them like a paper drum.

        I agree that we’re not where these teams are at the moment, but there will be a time when they begin to fade and we begin to shine. I call it the cycle of sports.
        As good as the Rams and seahags have been they have never come close to being a dynasty.
        The 49ers, SFGiants and current Warriors have.
        So yes, for the time being i’m going to relish the Rams demoralizing SB loss.
        That’s just the way it is in my world.
        And I don’t care what Shanahan did in Atlanta.

        1. I mean what are the chances of getting a no call PI/PF penalty in a playoff game again to go to the Super Bowl?

          Shannon Sharp on UNDISPUTED this morning:
          “The Rams played like they didn’t deserve to be there.”

        2. AES
          Any self respecting Niner, Giant, Warrior fan has nothing but disdain for any team from the Los Angeles area. The new and current fans do not have the same feelings we do. Any old and true Niner fan never acknowledges how good the LA teams are but they are the first to point out their ineptitude.

          1. While I rooted for a Ram victory to prevent the Patriots from passing the Niners in SB victories, I am glad McVay is feeling the burn.

            1. I was emphatically behind the Patriots over the Rams, just as long as they didn’t steal our record of the greatest margin of victory of any Super Bowl. Besides I knew Brady would add to his Super Bowl interception average anyway. There’s never been any doubt in my mind who the greatest quarterback of our time was. Joe Montana. Nothings going to change that. I knew the Rams would choke not only because of who they were facing, but because I felt McVay and Goff were overhyped, and leaned too much on Gurley. Without him, their offense became stale and predictable, with no pivoting alternative. I think it’s clear to all now who the master is, and who is the pupil….

            1. Who said I’m for the Rams? I’m well aware of the Rams and 49ers history. Still relish the many victories against them. Stated that our rivals were the Rams not Seahawks way back when.

              However, the relish and self glorifying behavior I see here is premature. We haven’t beat them. We aren’t better than they are. We are worse. So a little humility is probably in order rather than the gloating like we have a better team. We must first BEAT them before we gloat. Same with the Seahawks.

              1. SY,
                The Rams loss in the SB had nothing to do with the 49ers. My exuberance stems by the way they loss and honestly, it’s nice to be able to go into the off season not hearing all the platitudes being thrown at McVay.

                I believe that the McVay Genius Tour Bus came to a screeching stop last Sunday. We should be careful when calling 2 year head coaches geniuses for their offensive creativity before they win a ship.
                I don’t hate McVay, but I’ll wait until he has 4-6 SB wins before he earns the genius label from me.

  7. Well your right on some points but who knows if the Rams will be the same next year as far as the roster and not having injuries to key players I’m just saying you never know I think something is really wrong with Gurleys knee but who knows we’ll see I don’t think McVay choked I think he laid an egg I was actually shocked how incompetent he looked and yes Shanahan and Reid might’ve choked but at least they put up some points(TDs) 28&31 respectfully also there defenses didn’t perform like the Rams D they played there hearts out for sure. Who would’ve thought Tom Brady would have 0 TDs 1 INT 25.8 QBR.

    As Patrick Willis said after losing to the Ravens in the SB in 2012 “It hurts so much because you never know if you’ll ever be back.”

    That might hold true for everybody except the Patriots.

    1. Many people said that Gurley is the key to the Rams success. I’m sure losing Cooper Kupp also slowed them down too. But Gurley has been kind of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type player. If the real deal doesn’t show up next year, the Rams could sink slowly into the west.

      1. Gurley was a special back. Very unique combination of speed and power, with uncanny agility for man his size. Their offense ran through him, and they used him up before they got to the finish line….

      2. Yeah, IMO where Belichick exposed McVay was in McVay’s inability to quickly adapt to the changing circumstances. Gurley seemed injured. He was a shell of his former self. Loosing Cupp was a major setback for that offense. Belichick’s ability to adapt to the circumstances is what makes him great. Perhaps the greatest job of coaching I’ve ever seen was the 2015 Russell Athletic Bowl between the #17 Baylor Bears vs #10 NC Tar Heels. Baylor had lost 3 starting QBs going into the bowl game. This was the Art Briles – pass happy – Baylor Bears. They switched their entire offense to a Wildcat offense and set a bowl record by rushing for 645 yards and blowing out the higher ranked Tar Heels. That’s an extreme example but it does show that good coaches adapt to the circumstances. The Rams need to be somewhat concerned that McVay is a system coach who doesn’t have the experience to know how to adapt to defenses who have success against him. Time will tell.

        *As an aside, the architect of the Baylor bowl win was Art Briles son, Kendal Briles who is now the OC for Florida State. Look for the Seminoles to rebound next year with a great season. Kendal is one of the best young offensive coaches in the college ranks.

        1. Do you think Shanahan is adaptable? Here’s where the argument for an OC with plenty of experience comes in, both McVay and Shanahan have good systems, but what happens when they are stymied?

          A seasoned NFL mind may be able to recognize and adjust.

          Of course Andy Reid kind of deflates the argument somewhat, but still what do you think?

          1. I think Shanahan is adaptable but it is still an open question. In a weird way, the number of injuries over the past 2 years may have made Shanahan a better coach. Shanahan has had to change play design and play calls to adapt to the personnel he had available. There is always the 28-3 halftime lead against the Patriots that will haunt Shanahan so only time will tell if he can win games through in-game adjustments. IMO Shanahan is the best offensive mind in football right now. He just needs some weapons to make his offense go. If I were Jed I would have never hired a rookie head coach, rookie GM, and rookie DC all at the same time. Too much rookie and not enough experience. That’s another reason why I think Jed gives this regime at least 2 more years. Maybe a more experienced GM tells Shanahan No on Joe Williams and CJ Beathard. Maybe a more experienced GM knows not to trade up for a guy like Reuben Foster. Jed is going to give this group time to mature and grow into their jobs.

            1. I agree completely with your argument that adaptability is a key. We have players that don’t quite fit the scheme and most here say let’s keep drafting. Nothing wrong with drafting. But giving up by refusing to make necessary alterations to the scheme and waiting for the next draft is BS. Please tell me any kind of indication that Saleh even knows what it means to adapt to circumstances. I also agree with your analysis of Lynch. Don’t know about you Houston, but I’ve had all the Kumbaya I can take with Jed and his minions. I would have never projected as flat a learning curve as we’ve seen for the whole crew.

            2. I agree on the rookie hires. Think that was a mistake. Wonder though on your certainty regarding Jed and the allowance to grow. I don’t see that as Jed”s MO and believe a season of 4 wins means someone’s head will roll.

              Not sure regarding Shanahan’s prowess as HC. He may be a good OC but coaching is a different animal. Hopefully the upcoming season will shed some answers.

              1. It’s just my opinion that Jed will give these guys at least 2 more years no matter what. Lynch and Shanny have huge buyouts and Jed is cheap. Plus, Jed needs to shed the reputation he rightfully deserved as a pain in the a** owner after he had 4 different head coaches in 4 years. I also think he must realize he hired a bunch of 1st year coaching and GM guys that would need time to grow into the job.

                You could be right and the entire coaching staff and personnel side are on the hot seat. I just don’t see it.

              2. Houston – In California the employment laws are really different than most other states. It is virtually impossible to force an employee to honor a long term contract and (fair is fair) it is similarly much more difficult for an employee to collect when they are terminated. Harbaugh didn’t just walk away from his long term contract because he’s a nice guy. I’m sure he was long before advised that a long term employment contract in California, is more like an outline than an easily enforceable contract. So, with all due respect, if you think that Jed will keep him, all other things considered, because of his liability for future payments after termination, I think you are wrong. As soon as Jed has had it, and that will be when us fans make enough noise, Kyle will be moving on. I will not bore you by repeating what Eddie D did to Joe Thomas when he fired him (based on inside information) but the laws have not changed since then and I’m sure Jed has heard from Uncle Eddie on the subject. I don’t disagree with anything you said about KS as an OC necessarily but the issue will come down to whether Jed (or maybe it’s Denise) can wait for Kyle to learn how to be a first class head coach. The contract is a non issue.

              3. That article is nonsense Houston. Believe it or not. The Yorks have fired every HC since they have owned the team. That’s going on 20 years and they managed to hire Shanahan. You need better lawyers.

              4. Give it up Whine. You’re just wrong. You’re assertion that the the Yorks won’t consider the expense of firing Shanahan when making a coaching decision is just wrong. You’re insinuation that employment laws allow NFL teams in CA to avoid paying out the remainder of coaching contracts is also wrong. The 49ers have paid out tens of millions in the past few years to guys who are no longer coaching the team. They were able to attract Shanahan in part because the 49ers did not include offset language in his contract which is highly unusual in the NFL. If the 49ers fire Shanahan then they are on the hook for the remainder of his contract regardless if he gets a job with a new team. That’s pretty much unheard of in coaching contracts in the NFL.

              5. I’m not going to argue with you. Agree to disagree. Nothing in life is as it seems. Here is an article from someone with first hand knowledge of just a few examples of how things are not necessarily as they seem.


                Interesting the stupid reasons that owners fire coaches. (One in particular could very well be the 49ers owner) As it says, an owner can declare a breach of contract on the part of the coach and his legal department will do as Al Davis (in California) did to Kyle’s dad and Lane Kiffen whether there is offset language or not. This is the real world. The issue is what is the dispute resolution process and whether or not there is an attorney fee provision in the contract. Rarely in California is litigation about actually disagreeing on the law. When Chip Kelly was fired there was an immediate dispute created because he had offset language in both his contract with the Eagles and 49ers. How is the offset applied. We’ll go to court. I haven’t seen the result of that dispute published, and unless someone has, we have no idea how it was resolved. Disagree with me if you wish. I will not change my argument that if Jed or Denise wants to fire KS, they will do it without regard to the existing contract, and turn the matter over to their lawyers – and it will not be a walk in the park for Kyle to keep from ending up like his father. I also found this comment in the article interesting: “there are no true head coaches in the NFL just a bunch of coordinators that are occasionally head coaches for a little while”.

              6. Yeah, I found this line pretty interesting…

                “When a head coach gets fired they receive the rest of the money in the contract with few exceptions.”

                Totally different topic but a coach I got to know told me this story: His name was Jim and he was the head coach at an FCS school in Louisiana for a number of years. He had a successful tenure but it just so happened the school got a new president during the same year the program had graduated a bunch of seniors so they were going through some rebuilding. The team was at about .500 but they were struggling midway through the season. The President calls Jim into a meeting and he says, “Coach, they are absolutely killing us in the chat rooms. The defense is playing terrible. I need you to fire the defensive coordinator.” Jim refused so the President fired him on the spot. The school did pay out his contract but coaches get fired for the dumbest reason.

      3. I’ve sensed the Rams are somewhat brittle. Have felt that way since last spring. No doubt they had a successful regular season–not taking away from that. Will be interesting to see what develops for them in ’19. I suspect they won’t be undefeated…perhaps more like 7 to 9 wins.

    2. The Truth…

      Correct me if I read wrong, but 49reasons, in his /her 10:24 post stated that the Rams gave away their #’s 1, 2, 3, two, 5s, and a #6 Draft choices for Fowler, Cooks, Peters, and Talib….and 49reasons reiterated that scenario in his 10:49 post….Who’s right ? Personally, I hope it’s 49reasons…I can still remember ‘Tank’ Younger, “Crazylegs” Hirsch, the ‘Flying Dutchman’ and all of those great Rams from the ’40’s and 50’s….so it’s with a smile (smirk) to see that it’s their turn in the barrell

      What alway pist me off about those ‘Great’ LA teams was the money that they spent on their teams… Gerry Buss, with the Lakers…Georgia Frontiere, and her husband Carroll Rosenbloom with the Rams, and the Walter Alston with the Dodgers….and they made no bones about it….just GO BUY ’em !

  8. Having a good enough defense, and one will never be defeated.
    However, having enough offense is the key to victory.
    Patriots had both, and the Rams lacked both.

      1. pretty good

        Pretty good? What with the 2x DPOY, big name FA signings, a DC with 100s of years of experience… Should all add up to much better than “pretty good”, don’t you think?

        1. They were very good. Except late in 2nd half because they were gassed.

          It was BB defense that dictated the outcome of Sunday’s game.

          1. Yes, Ds were pretty evenly matched. Considering the “star power” on either team, it shouldn’t have been so. It would have been a different game had Goff not pitched that INT at the 5 yard line. He was under crazy pressure the entire game. If only he had Trent Brown on the OL….

  9. Heard a good one yesterday. Gurley hooked up with McVay’s girlfriend? Could this be true or just bar/internet hyperbole? Might explain the lack of playing time.

    1. I surmise a Pats fan dug up the tape on Kareem Hunt, to weaken the team.
      Like the Niner-Cowboys, the real SB was the AFCC Game.

    1. The 84 team was pretty amazing. They were ranked #1 in Defense and #2 in Offense that year. Only lost 1 game all year to the Steelers 17-20. Not sure if any team has ever been better. The 89 team was also a great team but for my money that 84 team was the greatest.

      1. I hear ya, Houston 9er. As I told Juan, they’re my 2nd rated 49ers Super Bowl team. I really enjoyed that game against the vaulted Dolphin defense, and silencing all the Marino talk that led up to it….

        1. The 89 team had the most talent. Pro bowl FAs were signing for peanuts as backups, just for the chance to win a ring.
          The 84 team was the most dominant. 3 points from a perfect season and they beat Marino in his prime.
          However, my favorite team was the 81 squad. 3 rookies in the back field. Joe emerging. Dwight Clark and Freddie Solomon. Hacksaw Reynolds. They won with Bill Ring, Paul Hofer, Ricky Patton and Lenvil Elliot as the RBs.

  10. It was a fine defensive game. You could do an entire post on how well Wade Phillip’s defense did against the Patriots. Holding the Patriots to 13 points in the Super Bowl is impressive. Aside from a couple nearly indefensible plays to Gronkowski and the match up problem they had with Edelman the Rams played a great game on defense. The secondary was well coached because while the Ram’s pass rush was effective with pressure I don’t think it was dominant (how the first Giants pass rush messed up Brady in their first SB match up). I’m not sure there was much more they could do against Edelman except just keep him contained. I don’t think the Rams have anyone that could cover him man on man without sacrificing some of their run defense. And Edelman will just eat zone coverage up all day long.

    As for the Ram’s offense? Yeah, there were more things that McVay could have done in the run game to make it more effective. But the way the Pats were keying on the run game, the Rams had plays to be made in the passing game that Goff just wasn’t making. If Goff were a better full field reading pocket passer, he would have been successful. Belichick’s defense set itself to make Goff beat them primarily with the passing game and he couldn’t. Goff kept trying to go for the big downfield throw which sometimes was the right call but often times wasn’t (and he had other open options available).

    1. Yeah, it seems to me that Goff was much of the problem. Romo made the point that communication between the sidelines and the team’s QB on offense and MLB on defense ended when there was 15 seconds left on the play clock. He also mentioned that Belichick would change the defensive look after that point in time and McVay did not have the ability to communicate with Goff. Brady with his experience would have changed the play at the line, but Goff doesn’t have that experience.

      In an effort to counter this, McVay started to bring his team to the line after the 15 second point (If I recall correctly, he started doing this in the 2nd half), so that Belichick could not communicate with the MLB. I guess the hope was to get a look at a the final defensive alignment. But again, McVay couldn’t communicate with Goff if he wanted to make a change after seeing what was hopefully the final defensive alignment.

      A more experienced QB might have fared better, but scoring probably would still have been relatively low. Both defenses did play well.

      At least this is what I got out of watching the game and listening to Romo.

      1. This was one of my biggest criticisms of Goff coming out. He was reliant on the HC telling him what to do in college, and he still is now. He was non-functional with a HC/OC that didn’t help him. McVay has done a great job of getting him up to the line early so he can tell him what to see before the 15s mark, but yeah, a crafty guy like BB showed how to beat that. Teams will start doing the same more and more, and make Goff read the D rather than McVay.

        1. And one of mine was his performance under pressure. As soon as Gurley hit the wall, the pressure on him intensified and he wilted….

  11. Mine too Razoreator. I think that team is the greatest SB champ of all time, and the greatest all around team of all time. I witnessed them in person dismantle the Broncos like they were a HS team. The score could have been worse. The ‘84 team was close. Nobody beats that team in a SB. They should have one a third in a row if it weren’t for some questionable end of game play calling in ‘90. JMHO

  12. Man was looking at draft order and if we stay put and can somehow end up with Bosa and Hakeem Butler in the draft I would be feeling alot better about next year…I know Butler doesn’t run the best routes and isn’t the fastest but his ability to box out corners and go for jump balls could really give Gorropolo a great option along with Kittle down in the red zone…I know everyone likes combine numbers but I really don’t care,I like his game tape and think he’s worth a second round pick

  13. Well after googling McVay’s girlfriend I couldn’t blame Gurley for taking a swing, though I really doubt the rumor. Wholly Shmolly!! Of course when you hang with someone as gorgeous as her you have to expect a few guys to try to drive to the hoop. Goes with the territory. :)

    1. The “stats” cited sound like the stats that some say PFF is so good at providing (as opposed to player ratings). KS and the receivers get a lion’s share of the kudos for much of Mullen’s success.

      1. That’s all fine and dandy, but what do they say when the grades line up with the performance, coincidence? Are Grant’s grades more credible? He feels Mullens is worth a 2nd round draft pick….

        1. Razor: There was a touch of sarcasm in my reply. I agree with you regarding grades. PFF is probably about as good of information as we (fans at any rate) are going to get. NFL teams have resources available to do further analysis on players, but it wouldn’t surprise me if many teams used PFF grades as a starting point (but certainly not the be all, end all). It would be interesting if someone has evaluated how often PFF is accurate with their grades.

          1. Bill Belichick doesn’t think they’re very accurate, nor does just about every NFL head coach that has ever been asked about them, including Shanahan.

            1. Fair enough, Hammer. But why should I believe that you or Grant can do a better job? Are you analyzing players full time? I’m just a fan and I’m trying to improve my understanding of the intricacies of football. But even if my knowledge level was much higher, I simply don’t have the time available to do a decent job of evaluating many players. That time requirement is massive especially for one person.

              1. « I’m just a fan »

                So are the people that do the grading for PFF.

                If you don’t want to believe me or Grant that’s fine.

                I’ve played the game as a QB and FS, I’ve coached the game and I’ve spent 35+ years around it. I’m 44.

                Grant has been around the NFL for 8 or 9 years as a writer, has been around someone who has been around pro athletes his whole life and has connections to guys who played and coached at the highest levels. He knows what he’s talking about.

                If PFF does it for you, that’s cool. As Belichick said, their grades should be taken with a grain of salt

              2. Jack, you and Grant use your credentials to persuade us, while at the same time Hammer Shanny without a care for his. Repeatedly. If we choose to disagree, and defer to Shanny’s acumen over your’s and Grant’s, y’all accuse us of being fan sheep who’ve become accustomed to losing….

              3. Razor has a fair point. And the response of “trust me” really doesn’t cut it when you don’t have the NFL credentials. With that said, I enjoyed Grant’s film review and learned some things from it. I for one would welcome more such reviews.

              4. Razor,

                Shanahan doesn’t win, and hasn’t won. When he does win games I give him credit. Unfortunately that’s only been about 31% of his tenure so far.

                And yeah, there’s a lot of sheep around here who routinely type the party lines. Brent Jones even made mention of this in a recent interview on KNBR. The sheep comment, that’s mine, not Grant’s.


                You can choose whatever you’d like obviously, and I’m not asking for you to trust me. This started with you asking « how often PFF is accurate with their grades » and pretty much every NFL coach scoffs at them.

                The guys that do the grades for PFF are just normal guys like you who have more time.

                They have a number of different folks all trying to follow a certain criteria, but there’s no way to have accuracy across all the games and teams every week because it’s rare that 2 people would see the same thing on the same play of every game. In addition, there’s no way that any of them know the responsibility for every player on every play.

    2. « If Shanahan can make Mullens a star, what is the ceiling for the 49ers franchise quarterback? »

      This is the same type of comment that was posted over and over again last offseason, and we saw how that all worked out the first few weeks.

      So much vigor being put into propping up Shanahan/Garoppolo.

      1. Apparently there is no room for the notion that Mullens is a better quarterback than all of us, including Shanahan, believe. I’m not saying he is but he certainly would not be the first underrated player that went on to become surprisingly good. Our newest coach, Wes Welker, was undrafted (I think it goes without saying that scouts had all kinds of negatives about him too) but went on to set a number of records. (Only one player in history Gayle Sayers, had more all purpose yards in his first three years, for example. He also has the record for total catches by any UDFA). Which coach turned that sow’s ear into a silk purse. I’m sorry but my college logic professor would give me an F if I inferred that Mullens is only minimally capable in the NFL because of Kyle Shanahan. Some might argue that he is successful despite Kyle. I’m not inclined to jump on people that disagree with me, but I’d sure like to see some more open minds. I’d like to think we all have the same objective at heart.

      2. Hammer,
        Kinda like propping up McVay and Trent Brown.
        McVay’ young genius hype was completely dashed by Belichick. And the Pats would have won the SB without Brown.
        Brady has been in the SB 9 times. The Pats are more than capable of winning without TB.
        Brown had a good year but he is far from the reason why the Patriots are getting fitted for rings.

          1. Who were the left tackles when they won their other 5 SB’s?
            Like I said earlier, TB had a very good year but he was not the reason why the Pats won #6. Just like the 5 ships they won without him, they could have found someone else who could have had success.

            The Patriots have proved over the years that they can take lesser known players and make them winners.
            Brown went to the team that is the NFL version of heaven. But the Pats can certainly win without him.

        1. « Kinda like propping up McVay »

          Stating that McVay has been a winner since becoming a OC/HC isn’t propping him up, that’s a statement of fact.

          « McVay’ young genius hype was completely dashed by Belichick. »

          I’ve never called him a genius.

          I’ve also never said that Trent Brown is the reason the Patriot were in the Super Bowl, or won it. That being said, I’m not sure that LaAdrian Waddle would have held up so well at LT but maybe you know something about him that I don’t.

          1. The narrative that has developed is that somehow because some of us stated that McVay was a better coach than Shanahan, that by extension we were stating that McVay was a genius. Probably because people believe Shanahan is a genius.

            Fact is that coaches are evaluated on wins and McVay has more than Shanahan. What is interesting is that McVay has 49er pedigree as well, so the trashing of him now is a bit puzzling (given that Brady has no connection to the 49ers other than being a fan).

            Nevertheless, McVay has a very good year! Much better than we did. Those early predictions of sweeping Arizona and splitting with LA and Seattle were laughable then and prices exactly their worth. I know (injuries) the 49ers has challenges, but then so did the Rams and they at least got to the dance. For that matter so did the Patriots and look where they were. Not the same, I know but the injury excuse will no longer be viable next year no matter what happens.

            The previous post had a link to Grant speaking on a show and it is worth listening to, the host makes lots of good pours about both lost starters that has been lost on the desire to excuse this team. Garoppolo does not have a deep resume (Mullens has a deeper one at this point), and McKinnon was/is unproven (hasn’t ever amassed that many yards in his entire playing career). T9 rely on these guys was as much a hope and prayer that things would work out. Kind of like McVay relied on Gurley and Goff.

            BTW, Grant appreciate the lol to the Brent Jones octagon talk and the previous post. Enjoyed the banter and the points (Gurley’s was interesting-any insider knowledge there?).

            1. *my phone does strange things with texting now and spell correction. I’m so mad at Apple for making me have to upgrade that I’m stalling but losing my resolve.

            2. « Fact is that coaches are evaluated on wins and McVay has more than Shanahan. What is interesting is that McVay has 49er pedigree as well, so the trashing of him now is a bit puzzling »

              It’s not puzzling at all. It was predictable. The Shana-believers have a « gotcha » moment. It’s all about propping their guy up.

            3. SY,
              How many wins do the Rams get if they had lost Goff and Gurly for most of the season?
              I believe that we all got a good idea of how that would manifest itself throughout the season by what we saw last Sunday.
              Gurly was pretty much non-existent and Goff looked scared.

              And yes, coaches are evaluated by wins. But as a 49ers faithful, I can say that we are evaluated by SB wins.
              If that wasn’t the case, Kaepernick and Harbaugh would not have been thrashed after the SB loss.
              That by the way, was a hundred times more entertaining than what the boy wonder gave the football world on Sunday.

              And yes, McVay has a much better record than Shanahan. That’s not even up for debate. But unlike McVay, Shanahan did not walk into a SB ready team. And that’s also not up for debate.

              1. AES,

                We simply do not know how many wins they would have gotten. The SB is not an indication of that anymore than the Championship game is an indication of how good Andy Reíd is (he is still a very good coach).

                If say, the Rams had lost players and their record was around ours, the Shana-pologists would be skewering McVay! That’s the difference and why I find it curious. Don’t believe me? See the Raiders. They have a coach who has a long term contract who imploded the current team to revitalize it (see any similarities?). He has a long term vision too and is in a rebuild, but the criticism of Gruden is astonishing given the similarities we see with our team. At least he didn’t get rid of weapons for a song…

          2. Hammer,
            Aren’t you the one that preached throughout this past season that 49ers bench players that come in to replace injured starters should still win?
            Why are you now proposing that having Waddle play rather then Brown, would not have held up?

            Sure, McVay stats throughout the regular season were commendable.
            Just like Shanahan’ OC season with the Falcons were. But I don’t see any write up about that. All I get from you and Grant is Shanahan’ SB shortcomings.
            What’s your take on McVay’ SB performance? Afterall, the SB is where real champions are made.

            1. The question is if the Patriots won the Super Bowl with Brown being replaced, and I don’t know. They may have. Maybe you think Waddle is decent or have more info on him. With the 49ers we are looking at a team getting back to respectability with 8 wins. Big difference.

              Regarding McVay’s stats, I don’t give a rats behind and I’ve never brought them up. McVay has won. He’s been an OC/HC for 5 seasons and has a winning record in 4 of them. Shanahan has a winning record in 3 of his 11.

              Shanahan has a fun and creative offense. It puts up a lot of yards. It doesn’t often translate to a lot of points. It doesn’t often translate to wins.

              1. The Trent Brown resurgence in Boston has been a good story. But it’s only of many surrounding the Patriots.
                TB needs the Patriots more than they need him, hence all their SB wins that they’ve managed without him.

                I find it interesting of your use of the “Shana-believers gotcha moment to prop up their guy” comment.
                This coming on the heels of your TB hype PR job over the course of the season.
                If I’m propping up Shanahan as you infer, why do you prop up a player no longer on the 49ers?

                Seems like your anti-Shanahan card is showing here.
                Which one is it Hammer? Are you a true TB fan or just using his success to slight Shanahan?

              2. The Patriots were desperate for a left tackle after losing Nate Solder to the Giants and first-round pick Isaiah Wynn to a season-ending injury. Brown saved their season. Not an overstatement.

              3. Brown didn’t have a resurgence in New England. He was the same guy there as he was in SF.

                They traded away their best tackle.

  14. I hope we’ve heard the last of “what a brilliant coach McVay is because (reasons)” coupled with “what a worthless coach Shanahan is for that SB collapse”. At least Shanahan had a lead. And McVay?

    1. Ha ha! Oh, if only….

      Several weeks ago Andy Reid was THE finest offensive mind in all pro football (per Grant), if not in the top two.

    2. Does that mean that Shanahan’s collapse will now be seen and acknowledged as such too in light of McVay’s flaying?

      1. Does that mean that Shanahan’s collapse will now be seen and acknowledged as such too

        IDK SY. Are you saying it hasn’t been acknowledged up to now? That’s news to …. planet earth.

        1. I see a lot of people posting here that it was the Defense That collapsed in the SB and it wasn’t Shanahan’s fault.

          Either way, don’t care much, I do find it humorous that the same people propping up Shanahan are totally on McVay for the SB loss. Fact is BB makes a lot of good coaches look very silly.

          What many fail to realize is that I’m not invested in McVay. Marginally invested in Shanahan. Some here are all in on Shanahan, which is why they make such remarks.

    1. This FA class is pretty good at edge, FS and ILB. 49ers need all three spots. They should be making these three positions the areas they target for key additions in FA this year. Add a good player at all 3 levels of the D prior to the draft.

        1. I gave a detailed breakdown in the post on our top 5 FAs for the 49ers to sign. At those 3 spots:
          – Edge: Plenty of good options, though I think all the top guys won’t actually be available. Preston Smith is a guy I like though that should be available.
          – ILB: Moseley, Williamson and Hicks are all good options.
          – FS: Thomas is the obvious option, but Boston has been mentioned and he’d be a good pick up at a lower price.

          1. Scooter
            * I agree, the top Edge rushers won’t see F/A. And at $15 to $20 Mil P/Y, the 9ers can find better value for their money. After his break out year at Baltimore, your opinion of OLB/DE Za’darius Smith? Do you believe he’s worth $10 Mil P/Y ? (Price range it will take to sign him)
            * I like CJ Mosley. With 10 unrestricted free agents, Can Baltimore afford to keep him? (Spotrac Market Value is $~10 Mil. P/Y), he’s asking for $12 Mil P/Y. Baltimore could use the franchise tag to keep him.
            * Seahag’s FS Earl Thomas will be 30 Y/O and coming off leg surgery….If the 9er Doctors say his leg is ok and he passes his medical exam, I’d agree he’s worth the $10 Mil. P/Y it would take to sign him. I also like HaHa Clinton-Dix. he’s a good single high free safety and also in the $10 Mil P/Y price range.

  15. To be fair, espousing the greatness of McDaniels seems a bit odd considering his offense only put up 13 points.

    It gets stranger when looking at his track record away from NE. As the head coach in Denver wasn’t very good… the offense scored less in his first year than his predecessors (Mike Shanahan’s) the year prior, and less in his second year than it did in his first year. He took over an 8-8 team and went 8-8, followed by 3-9 before being fired.

    In 2011 he became the offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams who won 2 games and averaged a grand total 12.1 points per game… that’s downright dreadful.

            1. True, McDaniels wasn’t great, but the in-game adjustment he made during the fourth quarter was brilliant and it won the game. He was far better than McVay.

              1. In the last 4 minutes is when I saw Tom Brady start his magic that pass to Gronkowski that set up the only TD of the game was a thing of Beauty that’s why he’s the GOAT

              2. Good pass, but McDaniels made that drive possible by going to a 22-personnel empty formation they hadn’t used in a long time and hadn’t practice in the lead up to the Super Bowl. Gave Edeleman and Gronkowski easy matchups against linebackers. The Rams had no answers.

              3. If you watch that play again Gronkowski was not wide open the linebacker actually had good coverage but that ball placement was as accurate as you can get and a good tough catch by Gronkowski was also a beauty. To me it was more great execution made by great players then the play call

              4. Good placement, but also a good matchup. The linebacker wasn’t going to win that 50-50 ball over Gronk. If McDaniels had called the same play and formation from 11 personnel, the matchup wouldn’t have been as good and the play might not have worked.

              5. But if you watch the play closely as they show in replays it was not an easy catch most TEs wouldn’t make that catch

              6. Truth, that isn’t the point. When designing a play, all you can hope for is to get the right matchup. In other words, you want the best catchers of the ball to be covered by someone other than their strongest cover guy. And that’s exactly what they got. That’s a win. As it turns out, the weaker coverage guy did a decent enough job, but it wasn’t good enough because he’s a poor matchup. Your comment that most other TE’s wouldn’t have caught it is worthless, because the scheme was designed there with Gronk in mind to catch it, not a run of the mill TE. The thought process being – I think Gronk was make this play if we get him covered by one of these guys. And that’s exactly what happened.

              7. No it’s not worthless 2 great players making a play in the biggest game is not an easy thing to do because if it was then anybody could do it my point is GREAT PLAYERS MAKE BIG TIME PLAYS IN BIG GAMES! Anybody can call great plays but you still have to excucute the play call it’s not like Gronkowski was wide open WATCH THE PLAY AGAIN it’s not like we were watching some offensive explosion.

      1. You mean name an OC who could put up more than 13 points against the rams? Or name an OC who could do well in New England (they are always in big games)?

        I would get your argument if McDaniels wasn’t steaming hot garbage away from New England.

        1. He has improved since his stint with the Rams. He has tons of experience. He’s better at making in-game adjustments than just about anybody.

  16. Does that mean we have to find OCs that have played in as many big games as him? That would be hard to find. If we are talking a single season or single big game, I’d go with Frank Reich last year.

  17. Grant: Thanks for the film analysis. However, on the film analysis titled “How Bill Belichick shut down the Rams outside zone runs”, I don’t see how you can say that Belichick instantly shut down the outside zone run based on the 2nd play that you showed in that clip. I compared the first play of the clip with the second play and the defensive alignment showed no appreciable difference (except for the defender on the defensive right side being to the outside of #17 instead of head on). You even said yourself that Rodger Saffold was manhandled. The difference between the first play and 2nd play in the clip looks like a player being beat (Saffold) rather than some masterful scheme adjustment by Belichick.

    1. Brown allowed himself to get washed laterally out of his gap in the first play. Belichick aligned Brown as a shaded nose specifically so he would shoot the gap, get penetration and eliminate the cut back. Thanks to Belichick, Brown instantly made the adjustment — didn’t wait until after the series. Impressive.

      1. I guess I can’t see it. To me it looks like Brown is in the A gap (1 tech) on the center’s left in both clips. Perhaps there is some slight difference in position, but based on the clips, I can’t really see it.

        1. The adjustment wasn’t the alignment — the adjustment was the technique. Belichick wanted Brown to rush upfield, not run laterally. That was corrected immediately.

          1. Okay…. How do you know that Belichick instigated that adjustment? Couldn’t it have been Brown seeing the same offensive alignment and making the adjustment on his own based on how he got beat on the earlier play?

            1. Maybe. The point is Belichick’s defense adjusts immediately on the field. Don’t have to wait to talk on the sideline or in the locker room.

              1. And that’s why they won 6 Super Bowls and been to 9 and everybody in the nfl is trying to chase them.

              2. Is part of the genius of Belichick that he looks for players who aren’t necessarily the best at their positions but are some of the smartest and quickest thinking at their positions?

              3. Razor:

                And I suspect it’s the very high standards they set as well. That may irritate some players, but you can’t argue with the results.

              4. Steve Young said the exact same thing. Belichick is looking for football players who can process quickly, and are focused and disciplined. He took castoffs, and made them winners. He instilled good study habits, and forged them into a cohesive unit. Any lazy players were dropped or shipped out.

              5. I thought he got shipped out for accidentally kicking Tom Brady in the head after one of his celebrations.🥋

    1. And nothing will change as long as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are there because they are the masterminds that’s why McDaniels only wanted the Packers job and not the Bengals because of Aaron Rodgers he knows he has the best job in the world working for Bill Belichick and the GOAT Brady.

        1. He drafted Timmy Tebow in the 1st round. If that doesn’t scream stupidity and desperation, I don’t know what does….

          1. Yeup he knows he will always look good with the patriots.

            How did Matt Patricia do with the Lions this past season?? He sees how fortunate it is to stay with the patriots.

            1. How many coaches from the Belichick coaching tree have had sustained success when fanning out on their own?

              Belichick has created a football haven in Boston. Those that leave it seem the find the harsh reality of survival.

        2. You should never be desperate for other jobs when you work for the patriots. He’s afraid to fail again like he did with the Broncos there’s a reason he doesn’t leave.

            1. And could make more as a HC but chooses to stay because I think he learned his lesson in Denver he’s a smart man got to give him that

              1. Maybe he knows there’s only one Tom Brady? He might be a good OC but he’s still not proven to be a good HC yet

              2. Also he interviewed for the Packers job and the Packers hired Matt Leflour instead then he declined the Bengals job. This proves he’s not up to the challenge because he’s looking for a great QB to make It easy for him. Remember he got caught recording the 49ers practice lol

        1. He did have some one else calling the defensive plays. Maybe you did not notice that, but the Rams sure did.
          Now that Flores has moved up to a HC job. BB now has a brand new DC.
          Wonder if McVay will hire an OC. Sure looks like he needed one.

  18. Grant’s recent tweet…

    “Instead of blocking the Raiders from moving to San Francisco for a year, the 49ers should simply move back to San Francisco forever.”

    Simple, yes. Let’s find land suitable for the new stadium and secure all the necessary permits and approvals. What would that take, 3-5 years if all went smoothly with the greater SF community? On the matter of funding, the Yorks have a substantial sum of money, but additional resources will likely be needed. Voters and special interests from all corners get involved. Let’s see….best case has land selected and approvals in place in late 2022. Construction begins mid 2024 and is completed just in time for the 2027 season. Best case. Simple. Worst case?

    And it’s likely the Yorks keep the franchise so the arrival of a new ownership group is highly doubtful. Oh, and there’s the matter of dealing with Levi’s Stadium and the surrounding community. But who cares, right?

    Grant would have a lot to snipe at over the better course of a decade or more–ripping the Yorks every step along the way, and loving it. BTW, I am no York apologist–check this blogs archives.

    Grant, you’re just jokin’ right?

      1. That was then. I offer no defense of the Yorks and those in the ‘inner circle’. I’m only addressing the likelihood today of moving to SF.

        1. The 49ers will want a new stadium sooner rather than later. Some teams get new stadiums every 25 years. The Falcons come to mind.

          1. Agree. Forming a group to chart a path leading to a FS location would be smart–if one isn’t in place (formally or not) already. Target an occupation date of 2040-2042 and work back from that.

        1. Even the great Eddie D couldn’t get a stadium built there so I’ll give Jed a little slack on that one but at least he didn’t move the team out of the freaking state.

      2. Instead of just tearing it down, they should have just renovated Candlestick. I think they tore it down so the Raiders could not move in.

      3. Grant Cohn says:
        February 6, 2019 at 5:20 pm
        The Warriors and Giants built new stadiums in San Francisco. How come the 49ers couldn’t?

        Average MLB attendance per game: 28,830

        Average NBA attendance per game: 17,987

        Average NFL attendance per game: 67,041

        Is it really just as easy to build an NFL stadium as it is the other two sports?

  19. Just heard Steve Young on Tolbert and Lund. SY asked Belichick if this last game was his Mona Lisa, it was such a masterpiece. Belichick deflected the question to say it was a team effort, but he was also smiling while he said it.
    This last SB was all about the preparations. The Pats looked well prepared, the Rams looked bludgeoned. The Pats were so well prepared, they could make those critical adjustments.
    A wise man once said, if one is well prepared enough, the outcome of the contest will be predetermined.
    Hope JG and Wes Welker can bring some of that prep work to the Niners.

  20. Who will have a better year next year? Seattle, LA, Arizona or SC? Why?

    1) Los Angeles Rams – Still the cream of the crop in talent. They will definitely take a step back and be pushed out of the playoffs.
    2) Seattle Seahawks – they still have RW and Pete Carroll. Plus they seem to have reloaded.
    3) Santa Clara 49ers – will improve but not as good as other two and certainly not the playoffs. Too many players away.
    4) Arizona Cardinals – does this need explaining?

    1. Right now I would say the Rams will have a better year next season because they will be getting Kupp back for their offense, but it will depend on whether they can effectively replace some of the pieces that are bound for free agency, especially those on the defensive side of the ball.

      1. Both the Rams and Seahawks will vie for the division lead. Niners will only hope for a wild card spot.
        Even the Cards may avoid the cellar. They beat the Niners twice last season, and have the number one pick in the draft.

          1. Well, considering both the Rams and Seahawks were playoff teams, and the Niners were 4-12. maybe you could connect the dots.

            1. If we follow that way of thinking, then the Vikings should have made the playoffs last season, while the Bears should have missed the playoffs.

    2. The 49ers? Better? They have a HC who thinks he’s a genius but in reality a fraud who can’t win any games let alone the big ones. A DC who’s clueless, insisting on running yesterdays scheme despite not having the players remotely capable of it. Luckily no OC, otherwise he’d be a disaster too. An overpaid QB1 who’s no better than the QB3. A broken down CB1, a featured running back who has yet to be featured because he’s too fragile to handle the load. No answer at the WR spot, which includes last year’s bust pick. More cluelessness in the FO, who wants to add other broken down has-beens to that defensive backfield, has only a mediocre RT and decent TE to show for two disastrous drafts. Two years and done nothing to address the critical edge position. A delusional fanbase. Need I go on? Better? Ha! Grant, Jack, Sour? Have I missed anything?

          1. You may also need Prozac!

            Maybe you should read more carefully. Neither Hammer nor I have argued strenuously most of the points you made. For that matter neither has Grant. We have argued that Shanahan isn’t the genius he’s made out to be here. That he should have more wins, that he may not be good HC material.

            It wasn’t us who called for the firing of Salah.

            If you don’t think JG is overpaid at the moment, then maybe you do need your head checked. He may be worth it or he may not be. Time will tell.

            I argued regarding the Pettis pick just the other day that it was a bad pick and he may not be a bust. Keep up!

            The FO is pretty clueless. The Yorks have a history to prove it.

            The last two drafts have not been very good and it isn’t just us curmudgeons on this blog that have noticed. It has certainly taken the shine off Lynch in particular. Are you seriously advocating that the last two drafts were stellar?

            The team hasn’t done anything substantial to address the edge in 5 years but it’s been critical for the last couple.

            I think you yourself proved amply fit for the last point however.

            1. So basically you are saying what I said is not out of line with what’s been floating around here? Are you saying I need medication because I made this post in jest and poking fun at those who have made the arguments? Or I need medication because I don’t necessarily agree with the arguments I made and should?

              1. If you need any medication, it’s probably because whatever product you’ve been watching the Niners put out is quite far away from the one the rest of us in reality saw. And I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who has argued that Pettis is a bust, here.

              2. Renas… A few our blogging buddies have trashed Pettis as a bust also–some even before the close of preseason. If you have the time, check the blog’s archives.

              3. Renas,

                We’ve also called for the immolation of Shanahan and anyone he’s ever associated with if you believe some of these bloggers. When we say Pettis was a bad pick, they read bust. When we say Shanahan isn’t all that the blog says he is “genius” “quarterback whisperer” “best offensive mind” Walsh-like (récord wise), we are said to be haters.

                I am on record many times as saying I’m on the fence about Shanahan. Doesn’t seem to matter because I don’t wax poetic about all those wonderful things he’s done for this organization.

            2. No more so than the hyperbole that I, Hammer or Grant Emily from time to time that makes posters lose their heads.

              And for the record, I don’t think you need medical attention. I got your sarcasm. You didn’t get mine.

              1. “No more so than the hyperbole that I, Hammer or Grant Emily from time to time that makes posters lose their heads.” SY.

                Before you give yourself some type of personal satisfaction for making posters lose their heads let’s take a closer look at how this thread started.

                I begin with my excitement on how the rams were embarrassed in the SB.
                I pointed out that McVay was not the genius that the media was touting him to be.

                You came to McVay’ defense by saying that I should show humility because the 49ers are not where the rams are.

                My question to you is this, when did I mention anything about the 49ers during my critique of McVay’ embarrassing showing in the Superbowl?
                All the subsequent talk about Shanahan was started by you. You brought up Shanahan’ failures in his SB appearance, not me.

                I made it clear that I hate all LA teams because of I’ve been a SFGiants, warriors and 49ers fan since I was a boy. Btw, I have enjoyed the dodgers two recent world series losses as well, but maybe I should give humble respect to Clayton Kershaw as well.

                SY, from the start you made this a McVay, Shanahan comparison, I didn’t.
                But if you believe that you are making posters lose their heads, than go ahead and gloat in your personal victory.

              2. Another thread AES, but don’t let that stop you.

                I’m no McVay apologist, btw. Just think that a losing program should be a bit more humble. You seem to forget that when you point those fingers at McVay some may point back. But whatever. I wasn’t gloating, I was pointing out that people have thin skin, and you kind of proved my point.

                Do I think the franchise is better than the Rams? You betcha. But the invective is aimed at McVay. You want to gloat like somehow Belichick’s victory rubs off on us, go ahead. Karma is a mean dog though.

              3. SY,
                Just was pointing out that you made my thread into something it was never intended to be (McVay vs Shanahan).
                And unfortunately, you still don’t get it.

                “I was pointing out that people have thin skin and you kind of proved it.”
                Call it what you must, but at least try to keep my original thread in context and not create your own narrative.

                I’ll say this one more time than I’ll move on.
                Hopefully I can compartmentalize this for you.
                My excitement over the Rams loss in the Super Bowl had nothing to do with the 49ers. That was your doing.
                I pointed out that the McVay’ genius convo was inflated.

                So before posters lose their heads, along with me having thin skin try to get the story right.

                And if you feel that a losing program needs to be more humble towards better teams more power to you.
                I bow to no opposing team!

              4. AES,

                You seem to not follow but whatever. Cheer till your head explodes when the Rams lose. Fine!

                Has nothing to do with the 49ers. Except we are 49ers fans. Whatever.

              5. “You seem to forget that when you point those fingers at McVay some may point back.”

                Gee, SY, when did McVay become the untouchable golden child? I shouldn’t point fingers at him? Wow!
                Are you sure you’re not related to him?

                Btw, you can bet your last penny that I will cheer each time the Rams lose.
                You want to run to their defense, well have at it.

    1. The only doubts that I was aware of was the following:

      1. Work ethic.
      2. Conditioning.
      3. Schematic fit.
      4. Big payday looming.
      5. Injury
      6. Commitment.

      If we’re being honest instead of hyperbole, the Great Trent Brown wasn’t a 7th round draft pick for nothing.

      1. A very talented player with questionable work ethic and motivation who performs very well in his contract year? That’s just not possible…..

    1. Figured that. Since the Patriots will prioritize the Great Trent Brown, Trey Flowers should be a priority signing for the 49ers….

      1. They should make Trent Brown their top priority. According to Grant he saved their season.

        Looks like the no-name defense had nothing to do with their success. The Pats defense only have up 3 points in the Super Bowl, but let’s be selective in giving Trent Brown most of the credit (sarc.)

              1. If he can spread what he accomplished this season for about 7-10 more years there won’t be any debate.
                Time will tell.

              2. There’s a lot of guys that have come through the league with HoF talent that don’t make it for one reason or another

          1. How would the Patriots have won the Super Bowl without a left tackle named Trent Brown?

            Fixed that for you Grant.

            That’s really the question, isn’t it?

              1. Such a strange downplaying of the co-MVP. What about the other co-MVP? Would they have won the SB without him?

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