Chip Kelly on Blaine Gabbert: “We have all the confidence in the world in him.”

SANTA CLARA — Here is the transcript of Chip Kelly’s Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.


Assignment-wise, how did everything go last night?

“We were good. I think for the first game, I think there were a lot of positives for us to build upon. I thought our defense played really well. To hold [Los Angeles Rams RB Todd] Gurley who averaged I think 4.8 or 4.9 a carry in his rookie season to 2.7, that was a focus of what we were trying to get accomplished defensively. And then, offensively there was a little bit of inconsistency in some of the drives, but I think overall when you have 28 first downs, we ran for 150-plus yards. We threw the ball 35 times. We didn’t give up a sack. There were some positives to build upon there too.”


Last night you mentioned a couple of QB Blaine Gabbert’s better throws. One of his last ones was to TE Garrett Celek in between two guys. Do you remember that?

“I think it was [TE] Vance [McDonald]”


It was Celek, it was 15-yarder to Celek in-between I think Los Angeles Rams DB Lamarcus Joyner and Los Angeles Rams LB Alec Ogletree.



It’s not a stupid question.

“I thought it was Vance. It’s not a stupid question. It was a hell-of-a throw.”


Yeah. So, OK, we are on the same page.

“Yeah, to the tight end.”


One of the tight ends.

“80-something. It was a heck-of-a throw between two guys in zone coverage. It was actually his third read in the progression, looked outside, had one, two and came back to three right away and then stuck one right in there to the tight end.”


See, you know more about the play than I do. Anyway, sometimes it seems like he’s hesitant to let some of those throws rip and he has the arm. Is that a throw he can make or should make?

“Yeah, he did make it and should make it. We have all the confidence in the world in him. You look at the ball he threw to Vance for the touchdown. He ripped that one in there. He threw a couple to [WR] Torrey [Smith], I mean to [WR] Quinton Patton on the out route where we had some big plays when we needed to get some things generated. Again, first game in our system, understanding what he’s doing. First real live game. There were some real positives that we can build upon with him.”


He’s in an unusual situation because he’s in his sixth year and he has live up to that standard of being that first-round draft pick. But, he’s been in so many systems from Jacksonville and then here as well. Two part question; where do you see him in his development overall as a quarterback who’s in his sixth year being a first rounder and what specifically do you see him making your system and what you need out of him?

“Yeah, I guess for the first part, we don’t put any, where he came from, where they were. We started with him in April, so I can get to the second part of the question is I’ve seen him grow and develop since we got him in April. And, that’s really what we’re concerned with, not what where they were in the past or what their past history was because it’s really inconsequential for all of us is to say, ‘Three years ago in Jacksonville, this happened to him.’ Three years ago we weren’t around him, so I don’t really know what went on nor do we even talk about that. We just talk about his growth and development in what we’re doing and I see him getting better. And, the real thing with quarterbacks, as we’ve always talked about, is practice is not live for the quarterbacks, so it’s a different feeling in the pocket than it is in the game. No team, high school, college, pro, whatever it is, is their quarterback going to get hit in practice. So, it’s a different feeling. So really it’s those, and he had, I think it was 43 snaps in the preseason to build upon and now we’ve got 70-plus snaps here in the first game. So, I think he’s continuing to grow. He kept plays alive, kept drives alive with his feet last night. When people are going to play two-man and kind of run with the receivers and have everybody covered, well then no one’s responsible for the quarterback, so he’s got to do some things to keep things alive and I thought he did that. I think he’s growing and I think we are kind of pleased where he is right now and hopefully we can build upon this last performance.”


Follow up on that real quick though, I know you don’t want to know what he did before, but that can affect a player. I mean he’s been through so many systems. Does that work in his favor?

“Only if you let it. We never talk about it, so that’s maybe a good question for Blaine. I never sit down and say, ‘Hey, you’re a first-round draft pick, how come this–?’


No, I just meant with all of the exposure he’s had in different systems do you see that helping him here?

“Yeah, I think everybody is a byproduct of their experiences. So, the more varied your experiences are the better you are at adapting to something that’s new that’s thrown at you.”


How did the options look on the short-yardage throws early in the first half on I think it was a third-and-short and fourth-and-short when he went to Patton and Torrey Smith? Were there other options that looked better out on the field?

“No, because I think it was mirrored in terms of what we were doing. So, they were kind of run-pass options in terms of either being able to run the ball or throw the ball. I think part of it was our receivers were too wide. Some of the spacing things and their splits should have been tighter for us to execute what we wanted to execute and so I think sometimes that throws Blaine off a little bit was that he’s expecting the receivers to be lined up five yards closer than they are and now they are five yards wider than they are. So, it’s just getting everybody on the same page kind of.”


Blaine was saying last night that he thought maybe there were a couple of times he should have gotten down a little bit earlier. Just what do you tell your quarterbacks about kind of finding that balance?

“Yeah, there was just one on the one he scrambled, and I don’t think he saw the DB. He made the safety miss and then all of a sudden, it was actually [Los Angeles Rams LB/S] Mark Barron who came back and was chasing the tight end in man coverage. We tell him the same thing all the time; it’s touchdown, first down, get down. We don’t want our quarterbacks to take hits. We want them to get down. And I thought he did a good job except for that one hit that he took from the linebacker.”


It seems like with all your different personnel you can trot out there defensively, it gives you guys a lot of versatility in terms of how you match up with other teams. How much of a luxury is that for you and going forward how much do you expect to be malleable with your schemes?

“A lot of it’s just matching what the offense gives you and I do think we do have some depth. I think that’s a good point. And we were also down two. So, usually we have [CB] Chris Davis who was unavailable to us because of injury and [CB Keith] Reaser who was unavailable to us because of injury. So, we had two DBs that we normally would have, that at least one of them would have been up on game day. So we’d like to carry an extra DB on game day and that gives us even some more versatility. But, I think because of the safety situation we have with [S Jaquiski] Tartt and [S Eric] Reid and [S Antoine] Bethea and then when you add in [CB] Rashard [Robinson], so we had a third corner. We have a third safety. I think we can be a little bit adjustable and it helps because we really only have three outside linebackers right now with [LB] Aaron [Lynch] being out now for the next three games. It helps when you’re trying to match up and it’s a matchup league. If people want to go big, we have the personnel to play big against you. But, if you’re going to go little, I think we can match up with you when you go little.”


Rashard, I don’t think he was targeted in the passing game. Was that a product of his coverage or was that kind of–?

“He wasn’t. No, they just knew. They just said, ‘Hey, he’s a rookie out there. He’s the best in the league, so we aren’t going to throw on him.’ No, it was just kind of how it worked out. I don’t think they specifically stayed away from him for any reason, but when he was out there he just didn’t have the ball thrown his way. He was solid in coverage and was close in everything he had to do, so if they did throw it, it would have probably been a contested throw. But, I don’t think there was a game plan decision on their part, ‘Hey, let’s stay away from the young rookie.”


You have a busy week this week and you’ll be flying east. Have you guys done any pre-work on Carolina to get ready for this week?

“Yeah, we always do a 10-day advance to make sure all of our games are broken down. They played Denver on Thursday night, so there wasn’t going to be a game coming in on Sunday. So, all of our breakdowns were done and some of our coaches took the time Sunday afternoon andMonday to get a jump-start on just watching the film, so that when we get into the game planning it’s not the first time we saw them isn’t today. It’s just the same thing I think everybody does when you have a Monday night game. You know you’re going to be short, but you can steal a little bit of film prep time in the days before, because those are long days. Sunday is a long day for us and Monday is a long day for us because we didn’t play until seven o’clock last night. I think our coaches are all caught up from a film standpoint.”


In that scenario where you play a Monday night game and then have a cross-country trip right afterwards, do you do anything different this week than you would in a simpler scenario?

“No, we have it all worked out. We’re going to leave on Friday after training and then get there some time Friday evening and then get up and practice on Saturday in Carolina. But, you know your schedule in April, so we’ve got everything planned out accordingly. It’s just the way the league is. Whenever you play a Monday game, you’re going to have a short week and at some point in time, I think coming up here in a couple weeks, we’re going to play a game on a Thursday. It is what it is.”


Do you guys hold your day before walk-thrus in the stadium or do you go find a high school or college field nearby?

“Yeah, we’ll go to a high school or college field nearby.”


Is OL Anthony Davis back to being just exclusively a tackle?

“He’s got to be able to play everything just like anybody who’s a backup. We only have two guys up, so if both guards went down last night, he’s going to have to go in at guard. He’s with [OL] Trent [Brown] and [T] Joe [Staley] at tackle. That’s his main position for us, but I think once you’re not in the starting lineup you’ve got to be versatile. [C] Marcus Martin is our backup center, but when [G Andrew] Tiller was out for a couple plays, Marcus went in and played guard. So, you’ve got to be able to, you usually try to carry in your seven, the backup’s, you have a center-guard guy and you have a guard-tackle guy.”


After watching the tape, how would you characterize the offensive line’s performance?

“I thought they did a good job overall for their first full-time together as a unit. Again, they kind of played piecemeal. Sometimes they were in when we were in in the preseason. Again, it was probably somewhere near 40-some-odd snaps with the ones not playing in that last preseason game. Against that front and against someone like [Los Angeles Rams DT] Aaron Donald and [Los Angeles Rams DE] Robert Quinn, you’ve got two All-Pro football players in that defensive front. Ogletree is an outstanding middle linebacker. We talked about Barron’s ability to run sideline-to-sideline. [Los Angeles Rams DT Michael] Brockers is a good player. [Los Angeles Rams DE William] Hayes is a good player. So, I thought overall they held up pretty good against a pretty good group.”


There’s so much obvious national attention that is going to be on you guys and it’s actually been theorized that it can open dialogue and can actually help a team because you guys have that kind of trust within the locker room to talk about things that are current in society. Is there validity to that for a team?

“Yeah. I think any time that you have a group that communicates really well there’s a trust level that’s developed between the players and each other, between the player and the coaches and between the coaches and coaches. Again, we’ve had the conversation about this. There hasn’t been any issues in our locker room. I think it was because it was handled right away at the beginning of it and I think Colin did a very good job articulating to the rest of the guys in the locker room of what his feelings were and why he is doing what he is doing. And, I think our guys understand and recognize that that’s his right as a citizen to do what he’s doing. But, when we come to work here, and I’ll give Colin the most credit is, when he comes to work here it’s about football. Last week was about preparing for the Rams. This week it’s about preparing for the Panthers. It’s not like we are having long drawn out conversations. We are really efficient with our time, so when we’re here we’ve got to work on football and that’s what we’re doing while we’re here.”


You guys just went up against a versatile player in Mark Barron who is a linebacker/safety kind of a tweener. You guys are going up against another one in Carolina Panthers LB Thomas Davis who played free safety in college. How does going up against a player like Barron help you prepare for going up against Davis?

“They are different. I think Thomas is one of the best linebackers in the NFL and you put him and [Carolina Panthers LB Mark] Kuechly together that may be the best tandem that we’ll face. And, Thomas has played so many snaps at linebacker, I know he played safety in college, but he’s a linebacker and a very, very, very good linebacker and has proven that. The one thing about both him and Luke is just their speed. Not only play-speed, but their ability to key and diagnose plays and recognize what’s going on. You’re not going to fool those guys very much and you better make sure when you’re getting up to block them at the second level that you’re squared up and ready to go, because they can get off a block so well and get to the football. So, it’s going to be a big test for us going against those two. That’s right up there. I don’t know if it’s the best, I’m not a comparison guy, but that’s going to be as good a group as we’ll face at linebacker.”


When it came to your guy’s defense, when you’re watching the film, were there one or two plays that really jumped out at you that you may not have seen on the field that they executed well? I know there were a lot, so were there one or two?

“No, there weren’t. I can’t think one off the top of my head that I would say ‘Play 14 or play 18.’ The one thing about the overall group is that just the energy that I think we played with in all phases, I think it really showed. It’s fun coaching this group because they love playing football and they want to play football and they all want to be on the field and you can see that. There was a real good energy on our sideline last night and for us to play against the defending NFC champs, we’re going to have to bring that same energy when we go to Carolina this week.”


Do you think some of that has to do with so many different guys that are contributing on the defense that guys have to stay really active on the calls because they might be going in for the next snap?

“Yeah, and that’s part of what our plan is if you have guys up on game day then they are going to play and I think our players understand that. We’re going to try to use our roster because of the type of offense and defense we play. We kind of thrive off each other. So, you’re going to bring 46 guys on game day. We’re going to play them. We’re going to play as many as we can and I think that also keeps you fresh in the long run. So, if you have the ability to rotate on the D-Line and now start to get our secondary guys involved and start to distribute the snaps a little bit throughout everybody, then now more guys are contributing. The more guys that are contributing, the more guys that are invested into what you guys are doing out there.”


What do you stress most this week in regards to containing Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton?

“I think it takes 11. He’s a very rare athlete in that there aren’t many people that are that accurate throwing the football, that can run as well as he can run and have that size. So, very rarely does the first person get Cam to the ground. If he is running the ball, we have to gang tackle. We’re going to have to get everybody running to the football and swarm him. They’ve got a unique scheme, because [Carolina Panthers RB] Jonathon Stewart is an outstanding running back. So, you can’t just focus on Cam because you’re going to get hurt in the run game by Jonathon. But, you also have to be worried about Cam running the ball also on designed quarterback runs and keepers. And, he can sit back there and throw it. Sometimes you’ve got a guy that’s just a runner or you’ve got a guy that’s just a thrower, it’s easy to kind of game plan for those guys. A guy that’s like Cam, and that’s why he was the MVP last year, is because he can do it all. And, not only can he do it all and he maybe the biggest quarterback in the league doing it. So, it’s going to take all 11 guys getting around him on every play for us to win this battle from a defensive standpoint.


Last year, the defense was considerably, didn’t play at the same level on the road as it did here. I’m wondering, have you needed to address that and was the early practice schedule during training camp part of that?

“We haven’t addressed anything that went on with last year’s team on what they did here or what they did there just because we weren’t here. So, it would be very presumptuous of me to think I know why this happened or why this didn’t happen. Plus we don’t have enough time to address, what we’re worried about is addressing now as opposed to addressing what went on last year. So, part of us practicing in the morning is just that, science. Your body releases HGH at the most between nine and 11. So, we should be out on the field between nine and 11.”


So, you don’t want your bodies to adjust to east coast time?

“We do, but he asked me if the byproduct of us practicing in the morning, we’ve always practiced in the morning. I practiced in the morning when we were at Oregon. I practiced in the morning when we were in Philadelphia and part of that is because of the science aspect of it. The fact that it will matchup with us going to the east coast is a byproduct of that, not the reason we do that.”


It’s possible I could have misinterpreted this last night. Possible. You seemed to maybe allude to the fact that it would have been a lot for Anthony given that he’s changing positions to play at that position shortly after him making the move. If I’ve got that right, is there still an idea that he could be a starting right guard for this team?

“The idea is as we’re moving forward, we have a group right now, but that can change. So, everybody’s got to be able to play anywhere. If you’re not the starter, Joe Staley can concentrate on playing left tackle because Joe Staley’s the starting left tackle. If you’re not in the top five on our offensive line, then you’ve got to be able to be versatile and play everywhere just because of how it’s going to express itself. That’s just the nature of this deal. It’s no different than if you’re [CB] Dontae Johnson and he’s cross-training, playing safety and playing corner and then depends on what goes on, he’s going to have to go in the game depending on an injury at either or. So, again, when we’re up on game day, it’s always scary, I don’t know if people really realize we dress seven offensive linemen. Everybody else in the NFL doesn’t. We dress seven O-Linemen for a game. That’s kind of one of the things when you’re coming from college, you’ve got 15 O-Linemen dressed. You can get your first group, your second group and your third group. But, when you’re addressing seven, really what you’re looking for is you’ve got a center-guard, which is what Marcus was and then you’ve got a guard-tackle, which is what Anthony was. Obviously, his position is tackle, but if, again, if both guards didn’t play last night or for some reason Tiller went out for two plays and Marcus is in the game and [G Zane] Beadles goes out the next play, then Anthony’s got to go in at guard because that’s the only guys we have left at that point in time.”


How is G Joshua Garnett doing? Obviously, he was inactive. People look at a first round pick being inactive and think what’s going on there?

“Josh is extremely close and is as close to playing as he is to being inactive just because we’re dressing seven. The difference between Josh Garnett and Marcus Martin right now is that Marcus Martin can play center and guard where Josh has just been exclusively trained at guard just because he just got here. So, our emergency center after Marcus was Beadles. Beadles has taken minimum snaps there, just like our emergency quarterback is [TE] Blake Bell. If we’re down to our third center or our third quarterback, we’re going to be drastically different just from a practice standpoint. You don’t get a lot of reps for all those guys. But, Josh is a lot closer. I think people see, ‘Well, he was inactive.’ But, he’s pushing to be a starter. The issue is we can’t dress him because when we dress seven, he doesn’t have the center background to be able to go in there and be the center. So, it’s just one of those deals where the numbers, when you’re only dressing 46 on game day then you’ve really got to kind of cut someone and that’s really the decision we made going into this game. That doesn’t mean later on down the road that that’s not going to change. It’s just, going into this specific game, dressing seven, we were going to dress Marcus and Anthony.”


Is it safe to say that between Monday and Saturday, he’s the backup left guard but on Sundays, he’s–?

“Yeah. That’s a really good point. If we had an injury and we knew right now that one of our guys wasn’t going to play next week, then that would be a discussion is are we going to now start Josh because Marcus is really a center, but he’s got to in at guard because of what we’re putting up on game day.”


Is Tiller’s foot injury OK?

“Yeah. He’s fine. He went back in and didn’t have any ill effects. So, have nothing to report on him. I anticipate he should be ready to go this week.”

This article has 299 Comments

  1. I have confidence Gabbert will continue to have accuracy problems.

    But he showed guts and toughness, ran the offense well with minimal penalties and 4 for 4 in the red zone, had to deal with receivers in the wrong place, made clutch throws.

    1. 4 for 4 in the red zone is KEY. Continues his trend last year of success in the red zone.

      Every QB wants a few throws back, but I think his accuracy will improve as the season goes on.

      Pass protection was great for him. No sacks.

  2. Again, first game in our system, understanding what he’s doing. First real live game. There were some real positives that we can build upon with him.”

    Im going to play Seb and pat myself on the back for bringing this up on the grades post!
    That’s all! :-) lol

    1. MD, I said that the Niners will stack the box to stop Gurley and dare Keenum to beat them with his arm. I said that Chip should stress reducing the unforced errors. I said that the Rams would try to take away Hyde so Gabbert should beat them with his legs.

      I said Chip should go bold. Of course, he may not have read my posts, but he followed exactly what I said.

  3. Question for Jeff Fisher: “Are you aware Todd Gurley averaged 5.5 yards per carry from the shotgun last night and 5.8 yards per carry from the gun last season?”

      1. He’s not, but Fisher does this with rookie QB’s. I don’t think they want to subject Goff to the pounding he’s going to take, at least not right out of the gate. Sooner or later he’ll have no choice though. Keenum was awful and I’m guessing Mannion isn’t much better.

        1. OH, yes, Goff can be worse! I am not saying Goff doesn’t have more natural talent than Keenum, but quarterbacking is a lot more than being able to throw a nice ball. A starting QB needs to understand where the defenders are, where they are likely going to be, and learn to have enough pocket poise to let routes develop (one of Kap’s biggest weaknesses). And by the way, the Ram’s OL…. not the best.

          Goff can do none of the above right now. Believe me, if Goff plays last MNF, the 49ers probably win by 40 points! And the Ram’s stand a real risk of breaking Goff’s spirit, if they throw him to the wolves unprepared mentally, or and surrounded by a absolute void of offensive talent!

          And I’ll be honest, I’m not sure Goff has was it takes from a mental standpoint. If he doesn’t know the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, at 21 years old (my third grade nephew knows this), living in California, there is something fundamentally wrong going on upstairs!


    1. Their offense was just completely scattershot. No rhythm at all. But to be fair, there’s really nothing other than Gurley. Austin is a gimmick guy, and the only pass play that was a threat was the dig route, and they only ran it twice.

      1. It’s like their game plan was “We’ll,just run the ball and throw in some fly sweeps and bubble screens.”
        When they couldn’t run, they just shrugged. At least Greg Williams made some adjustment at Halftime, even though it didn’t make much difference. Their OC was sucking his thumb.

        1. He’s Percy Harvin light.

          60% of his catches last year were behind the LOS. Need to manufacture ways to get him the ball. He’s dangerous in open space, but doesn’t know how to get himself open.

            1. Hmmm, yeah, but then so is Sproles’ production. But they are complementary pieces. Good to have if you can afford the luxury, but no way would I pay such a player as if they were a cornerstone of the team. Cornerstone offensive skill players should be scoring TDs etc without needing to manufacture ways to get them the ball.

            2. I think the most damning thing with Austin, is that despite 60% of his receptions being caught behind the LOS, he still only caught 64.5% of all passes thrown his way. That’s abysmal for a WR that has so many of his receptions within 5 yards of the LOS.

              1. I think he actually averaged 9 yards a catch last year. I don’t dispute your critique, but I also won’t ignore the production, no matter how abysmal his catching percentage….

              2. Yep, 9 yards a catch and 8 yards a run. But in reality, 32 of those catches were really runs too. He had 20 catches beyond the LOS all season. Awesome WR.

                Austin is a change of pace RB. And he’s good at it – he’s excellent in space and broken field, like Darren Sproles. But they still need WRs to stretch the field or that offense will go nowhere all year.

              3. Meh, its not that hard to find a WR better than Austin.

                As I said earlier, he’s a luxury player. Really nice to have, but he’s a complementary piece for an offense. You still need your staples.

              4. You can’t mean Jenkins? I don’t think he produced 9 TD’s in his entire career, let alone in a “gimmick” year….

              5. Yep, well done, you spotted that Austin is better than Jenkins. Whoopty.

                Give me Smith, Patton and Kerley over Austin any time.

              6. That’s what Hyde is for. If you want to compare apples to apples, you are better off comparing Austin to the 49ers RBs.

              7. Compare all you want. My argument is about production, and whether it is manufactured by a “gimmick”, an “ownsome” or Hyde, it makes no difference to me. Production is the bottom line, and it deserves respect, not contempt. We can revisit the comparison of Patton, Kerley and Smith against Steve at the end of the year and see who produced more TD’s….

              8. Great. And you’ll continue to be comparing the wrong players. Its like saying an edge defender that produces 4 sacks is better than a NT that produces hardly any sacks, even if the NT excels at clogging lanes and letting his LBs run free.

                Lets compare Hyde and Austin at the end of the year, see who had more TDs.

              9. I tend to side with Razor on this one.

                I don’t believe Austin is a number one option, but I absolutely believe he would be a nightmare with the right coach. What do you think Austin would do if Kelly or Payton were his coach?
                At the moment all I know for certain is he has always had a head coach that is allergic to offense and qb’s that the niners wouldn’t trade for… What type of threat he really is, has yet to be determined.

              10. Nobody is questioning he can be dangerous. Jack and I are saying he is a gimmick player, which he is, and which razor took exception to at first but now seems to accept.

                I am saying he isn’t a good WR, which he is not, at least in the traditional sense. He’s more of a Darren Sproles type player, and yes, with the right coaching staff he probably could be quite a handful like Sproles was at his best. But is a Sproles type player worth more than $10M a season? I don’t see it. But then teams seemed to be happy to pay Harvin that type of money, and clearly the Rams think he is worth it to them. In my opinion that is good news for the 49ers.

              11. Scooter, I took exception to the term “gimmick” when referencing a player who produces 9 TD’s. To me, gimmick is something that has little relevance or use.

                Lets compare Hyde and Austin at the end of the year, see who had more TDs.

                Boldin, Smith and Patton couldn’t score more TD’s than Austin last year, so I understand your trepidation in putting just Smith, Kerley and Patton up against him and wanting to change positions by comparing him to Hyde at the end of the year….

              12. Austin put up some good TD numbers, but I think he is a complimentary player who is being paid like a franchise player. Austin can do a lot of things, but he’s not the guy who is going to beat double coverage and make the big plays for you. That is the type of WR that gets paid the big money or at least should. If the Rams had a true #1 WR, it would make Austin that much better, but he isn’t that guy.

              13. “I understand your trepidation in putting just Smith, Kerley and Patton up against him and wanting to change positions by comparing him to Hyde at the end of the year.”

                Clearly you don’t if you believe that is the reason I am arguing he should be compared to Hyde. I had been saying he was more a RB well before I made that suggestion. What he is asked to do is much more like a receiving back than a WR.

                As for the gimmick issue, if you took exception to the phrase because of your belief it diminishes the player that is on you. Its like calling a QB a game manager. Doesn’t mean they can’t be effective or even good. Just means they are limited and need the offense to be managed to adapt to their strengths.

              14. As for the gimmick issue, if you took exception to the phrase because of your belief it diminishes the player that is on you.

                Actually it’s on Webster, something invented esp. for the purpose of attracting attention and that has no other purpose or value

                Austin became the fourth player since 1960 to have a 60+-yard receiving touchdown, a 60+-yard rushing touchdown, and a 60+-yard punt return touchdown all in the same season. But don’t let facts get in the way Scooter….

              15. And yet in football a gimmick play is known as a non-standard play that is designed to deceive or trick a team. And a gimmick player is one that excels in those plays, but not much else. Like Austin. Also a bit like Kaepernick.

              16. And yet in football a gimmick play is known as a non-standard play that is designed to deceive or trick a team.

                Around here, we’ve always called those “gadget” plays….

              17. Good to know, but “gimmick” in my neighborhood is a slight. I think Austin is a multi-purpose player that can get you yards from anywhere on the field. Would I rather have Baldwin? You bet! But Baalke has demonstrated he is not capable of drafting an “ownsome” if the Queen’s currency depended on it. Btw, how you liking that transparent money?

              18. Well, I can’t speak for Jack, but the only slight I intended by saying he was a gimmick player was that he isn’t a good WR, at least in the traditional sense.

                I think you are taking what I am saying and assuming that means I think Austin is rubbish. Also not what I intended to imply. I just think he is rubbish at running downfield routes. Actually, I don’t even think he is that good running routes close to the LOS. Basically, don’t ask him to play like a WR, because he isn’t good at it.

                But he is very good in open field with the ball in his hands. That’s his skillset. Unfortunately it makes for a fairly limited player, but he does that skill very well and as such can be a useful guy to have. IMO, a nice complementary player. But I don’t think complementary players should be given $10M+ a year. Again, just my opinion.

              19. To be honest I haven’t seen one of the new notes yet!

                I think the new security measures are far cooler than the transparent strip though. Speaking of gimmicks… ;-)

        2. Incorrect Razor, Austin has 9 receiving touchdowns in his career. He also has a career average per catch of 9 yards.

          He’s a gimmick guy.

          1. In 2015, Austin caught 52 passes for 473 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 434 yards with four more scores. Where I come from, that adds up to 9 TD’s. His 907 yards from scrimmage nearly doubled his previous best — 569 during his rookie season.

            Might have been why he got $42 Million worthy contract extension for four years….

            1. Right, nearly half his yards are on runs because he’s a gimmick guy, not a receiver.

              The Rams have no way of threatening defenses vertically.

              He’s stealing $$$$ with that extension.

              1. Boldin, Smith and Patton combined produced 9 TD’s in 2015. I prefer one “gimmick” instead of three, frees up roster space….

              2. I’ve never been a fan of receivers you need to manufacture ways to get the ball in their hands. Basically, they aren’t any good as a receiver, and pretty much any player can be the one receiving the ball on screens and other gimmicky plays designed to get the ball in the receivers hand before the D can cover. Those players are highly reliant on being able to create with the ball in the hand, so really they are just RBs. Is Tavon Austin the RB any better than Darren Sproles? Is Sproles, even in his prime, worth that much money? I don’t think so.

              3. Smith got 22 million guaranteed and 8 over 5 years. Yes Tavon Austin got over paid but what has Smith done in SF?

              4. Not much, and it doesn’t look like its going to get better. He and Gabbert don’t seem to have any chemistry.

              5. I don’t think he had much with #7 either.
                It was a terrible signing in SF history.
                It’s pretty clear to me this offense and the QB has been coached to ultimately not take chances, don’t turn it over and live another down. It’s eerily similar to when Harbaugh first arrived. Play good defense and don’t turn it over

              6. “Scooter, since when aren’t you a fan of TD’s?”

                TDs are great. But I’d rather not have to resort to gimmick plays and players to score them. Give me a receiver that can get open all on his ownsome any day of the week. Its the same issue I had with Percy Harvin, and he was a superior player to Austin.

              7. TDs are great.

                I always liked ’em!

                Give me a receiver that can get open all on his ownsome any day of the week.

                It’s the second hardest position to play after quarterback, which is why “gimmick” players that can manufacture 9 TD’s a year get a raise and extension. The 49ers haven’t had an “ownsome” receiver in quite some time….

              8. That Boldin fella did alright getting open.

                Heck, even Smith and Patton are better than Austin at getting open downfield.

              9. Doesn’t seem to equate to production, Scooter. As I pointed out earlier, your three “onesome’s” combined for 9 TD’s. I would take the “gimmick” 9 TD man and add two “onesome’s” with the two roster spots I freed up….

              10. “Give me a receiver that can get open all on his ownsome any day of the week.”

                Agree. Too bad Austin isn’t one.

              11. “Too bad we have three but they can’t out produce the “gimmick”….”

                Nice try, Jeremy Kerley produced 4x as many yards for the 49ers last night.

              12. Nice try, Jeremy Kerley produced 4x as many yards for the 49ers last night.

                When he produces 9 TD’s this year, I’ll be a believer. Meanwhile, the Rams lost their best cover corner, and their coverage has suffered because of it. That’s the soft white underbelly of their defense….

              13. Who cares. Your guy gained 13 yards last night on 4 catches.

                They gained only 185 total yards.

                They could barely get a 1st down.

                But hey, he scored 9 TD’s last year. LOL

            2. Ha, ha! I’m not sure what you two peas in a pod have against production, but you go ahead and make your soup with how much yardage your “ownsomes” got. Something’s wrong when you disrespect 9 TD’s from a “gimmick” player in 2015, and the second game into the 2016 season, you discount it as last year. Too funny….

        3. No it doesn’t. He’s scores TD’s on gimmicky plays from the 3 yard line in, instead of running the football, in order to justify trading up to draft a gimmicky player at #8 in the draft!

      2. True but Britt is a good NFL receiver. Gimick guys have a place in the NFL but can’t be the focal point of the offense. My personal opinion is the Rams are a very poorly coached team in all phases of the game. That goes for play design, game plan, and play calling. The Rams had an entire offseason to prepare for the opener and that is the stinker they put up. The Rams have talent on that team so to get beat by 28 to a 49er team that at best is average is a real embarrassment. As a 9er fan, I’ll take it but jeez, what a debacle for the Rams. Same old Rams.

  4. Looking at Sunday. I can easily see the panthers wearing down this defense with long brutal drives and keeping our offense on the sidelines with minimal chances. If they are to have any chance Gaabert and the O are going to have to be successful at a way higher percentage than last night. They won’t be getting the ball back that soon and as often. Huge test for this offensive unit on Sunday p

    1. A possible reason for hope… The Panthers had a really hard time with Seattle’s hurry up offense in the 2nd half of last season’s playoff game. They were gassed.

      If (a big if) the 49ers can string a few first downs together to start the game, they could Get Lotulelei and Short sucking air. Just look for the hands on hips. Then stomp the gas.

      1. Carolina’s run defense didn’t look so good against Denver and ours looks pretty good.
        A couple hits to Cam and it’s a ball game!

        1. If Gabbert plays well on the road and gets a win in Carolina he should start all year barring injury. He needs to make the easy plays and not rush his decisions too quick. Everyone expects us to be bad… Let’s play with a Chip!

      1. They do? The Rams DC is Gregg Williams! You know, the guy that actually preaches headhunting? The Rams are a dirtier team than the Panthers, that’s a fact.

        However I do agree, Blaine needs to make more of a habit of sliding, as long as he isn’t fighting for a critical 1st down, or at the goal line.

  5. Was Kelly making excuses for Gabbert missing those short throws out near the sidelines. He said that on some of those, Gabbert was expecting the receivers to be about 5 yards closer in. I guess those are very fast passes, but does the ball need to get out so quickly that Gabbert can’t adjust. My real question is: is that a legitimate response from Kelly or is he just covering up a Gabbert weakness? But then, why would Kelly do that?

    1. It sounds more like a precision issue that can happen Game#1. I was buying it.
      Chip cares so little what others think that he wouldn’t put too much energy into deceipt. Evade? Deflect? Sure, if it suits his need.

    2. You don’t want to make a mistake with those passes as it would be an uncontested pic 6. If its not out quick the defender can react to the play. I am with the Tuna I was buying it.

      1. I don’t believe Chip for a second on this.

        1) It’s a spread offense. The WRs are supposed to be out wide.
        2) They had all off season and training camp to hammer this stuff out.
        3) Babbert missed throws like this last season and this preseason, it’s who he is.

        1. Grimey did you watch other games around the NFL Sunday? There was rust every where! From vets to rookies to guys playing in their first game in a new scheme. It happens and will continue to happen probably till the next couple weeks. Insert lower expectations here ->

            1. I witnessed a lot of good QB play and a lot of bad. Who cares how it all looks as long as it ends in a win. We know what Gabbert is but we also don’t know how much he can improve. Everyone is writing him off and for good reason but there was another QB around him years ago who was in the same spot and look at what good coaching did for him.
              I know you are a CK fan and waiting for Gabbert to faulter so you can see him play. Maybe you get your wish.

            2. Yes Ben is good, he also has the best WR in the league, who makes him look even better. Ben made a few ugly, off target passes Monday night, and Brown somehow got his sticky little hands on them and hauled em in!

              Not saying Gabbert is Roethlisberger, but let’s remember, it appears that the 49ers most dynamic WR has been with the team for 2 weeks. Hard to develop chemistry when a WR doesn’t even know the playbook.

              Just saying!

    3. Cubus I think it makes a huge difference. It’s clear that Blaine is instructed to not turn the ball over and take chances. If that ball does not come out hot and low, there is a good chance it’s tipped or intercepted. If the WR or RB lines up closer to the ball the throw is shorter making it less difficult to complete.
      At the end of the day a pro QB should not have this problem. But like Chip said, pretty good for first game in a new system.
      More and more the Kelly hire looks better and better!

  6. Improved o line & secondary is key. Robinson looked good last night. Wonder if he’ll be in next week?

    Panthers on short week will be real tough

    1. Unfortunately, Reaser will probably bite into Robinson’s playing time when Reaser gets healthy… Still not sure why Reaser is on this roster to be honest. He hasn’t shown much other than he’s good at riding pine when not getting burnt.

    2. Robinson is a stud. As a press corner, he’s got pro-bowl written all over him.

      Rather than watching his college game film, and reading scouting reports, Grant called him weak (as in, not strong enough) after the draft, simply because he has naturally lean legs, and is built like a thoroughbred.

  7. This coming Sunday will tell the fans where this team is in terms of competing. If the 49ers win or keep it close against the Panthers, then we will have a legitimate reason to believe this can be a playoff team. If the 49ers get dominated from beginning to end, then the fans can probably expect a rehash of bad or mediocrity in 2016.

    1. Eh, I think we’ll have a better idea after the game 5…. If Blaine and the offense can do better than 1-4 over that stretch I’ll be somewhat impressed. I see us being held back due to our QBs (thanks Baalke). Until a long-term answer there is found, wins against above average teams will be hard to come by.

      1. The strongest team during the first game is the Panthers, so we will know after this Sunday if these 49ers are real or a mirage.

        1. So if we get pounded by the Panthers but beat Seattle in Seattle the following week we’ll base our standing off the Panthers game? Like I said, I think we’ll have a good feel after game 5.

          1. I will not concede the Niners get pounded. Niners can dish it out, too.

            I am pleasantly surprised by O’Neil, and will admit that I thought the Coordinators were the weak link in the coaching department.

            Denver gave the Niners the blueprint to defeating the Panthers. The Niners should continue to throw a array of blitzes, and need to get to Cam early, because after he gets hit a lot, it affects his play.

            1. I agree Seb. We can’t give Cam enough time to hit Benjamin and Olsen or beat us with his legs. Ginn is a wild card. Taart will have to chase him on returns and he has improved as a WR.

              1. 80, I really liked the push that Armstead and Buckner gave to collapse the pocket. Brooks looked quick and agile.

                Cant expect the same results as the Rams game, but I hope they dial up some more Bowman blitzes.

          2. The Panthers are the stronger of the two and less injured right now. You would have a more viable argument if you had said the Cardinals. Viable, but not solid.

          3. Heck, I’ll be happy if the 49ers are competitive against the Panthers and Seahawks, let alone winning the games. Being competitive away from home against two good teams will be a huge step forward from last year.

            1. Heck, I’ll be happy if the 49ers are competitive against the Panthers and Seahawks, let alone winning the games.

              That’s not the happy I was looking for, but I’ll get it….

            2. Oh, how I long for the glory Years, when Bill would clip out any bad article and use it in a master stroke to give the Niners an- Us Against The World- mindset. Niners were road warriors, and Ronnie Lott acted like Genghis Khan.

              Niners need to have a Chip on their shoulder.

              1. If Harbaugh had only dressed up as a bell hop before the Super Bowl, they wouldn’t of came out so tight….

            3. That is pretty well my point guys. If they are competitive, then the 49ers are legit and all will be good. If not, then expect the team to be out of the playoff picture for the third straight season.

        2. Nah. Niners are coming off a short week, playing in an eastern time zone, while the home team Panthers have 4 extra days to prepare. Historically, west coast teams lose these types of games far more often than they win, regardless of the competition. It’s unrealistic to think the 49ers will be as rested, fresh, or well prepared as the 2015 NFC Champs.

          We likely won’t know a lot more than we do now after Sunday, thanks to a brutally weighted early week 2 schedule!

          49ers- 16
          Panthers- 24

          A record no worse than 2-3, heading into Buffalo week 6, is the goal!

  8. Speaking of Robinson, any word on his leg injury? At one point Eric Reid was supporting the leg until trainers got there and Robinson seemed to be in quite a bit of pain. Hopefully the kid is alright.

  9. I am still rooting for Gabbert to help the Niners win, but his passes did not conjure up images of Joe Montana passes. Somehow, they seemed forced, and frenetic, instead of cool and in stride.

      1. If Chip can get Sanchez to play well, He will do wonders with Kaep. With a stout O line, Kaep will actually have more than a nanosecond to throw.

      1. My favorite line from the article! “The offensive line is talented enough that you have two first round picks, Garnett and tackle Anthony Davis, who can’t even crack the starting lineup.”

        And let’s all remember how everyone on this blog moaned about Baalke’s signing of Zane Beadles (only 29 years old) during the offseason (completely overlooking the fact that Beadles is a zone blocking specialist with a pro bowl resume).

        1. Beadles was given every consideration to win the starting job, because he is the lone FA acquisition for Baalke, otherwise people could claim that Free Agency was a total bust.

          Beadles was not graded out too well for this last game, so I hope Flaherty has enough power to sit him down and play the best 5 players.

      2. Niners are winning despite Baalke, imho. He lost a lot of power so he cannot run roughshod over the coaching staff. Baalke lost power in the draft room, because Buckner was a Chip Kelly pick all the way. Baalke finally was given power in the third pick, and promptly selected an ACL player, which has blown up in his face.

        Chip has done well. He is the big reason Kaep is still on the team. Baalke probably told Kaep not to be uppity, and just concentrate on playing football, hence Kaep’s reactions. Chip seems totally cool with Kaep, and says that it has not affected the locker room, even though it has affected the Nation.

        Chip has worked on his people skills. Jed, needs more work. Jed never would have donated a million dollars if Kaep had not done so. It was so apparent that he was just trying to boost his PR status.

        Doofus Dilfer got raked over the coals, and he was exposed as another shill for Baalke, his buddy. Doofus sure protested loudly, but his denial just confirmed my suspicions. Doofus is a toady for the FO, and his leaking of more smears just turns my stomach.

        1. Let me get this straight Seb. You are you saying Baalke would never have drafted a prototypical 3-4 DL (Buckner) to pair up with Armstead, whom Baalke picked in last years draft, well before there was any hint that Chip was going to coach the 49ers? And you are saying if Baalke selects a Pac 12 player, in this case Garnett, it’s obviously a Chip Kelly pick even though Kelly has been out of the Pac 12 for going on 4 years? And you are saying Baalke’s 3rd round pick has blown up in his face, even though Redmond graded out well in the final 2 preseason games and was placed on IR for precautionary reasons, with the anticipation of returning sometime around mid season? FYI Baalke is aware what every orthopedic surgeon knows…..that is, it takes nearly 2 years for most ACL tears to fully heal (just look at Bowman). Sure, some of his ACL picks never panned out, however guys like Tank Carradine & Keith Reaser are.

          Oh, and then Baalke followed up the Redmond pick (who is still a viable candidate to become a quality starter) with another talented press corner who is better suited to play on the outside, thus completely solidifying our CB group. Oh, and who chose an incredibly versatile DL in Ronald Blair, in the 5th? Was that also a Chip Kelly pick? He’s even got talent on our practice squad (WR’s Dre Anderson, Chris Harper, C Alex Balducci, T Fahn Cooper, LB’s Marcus Rush and Shane Skov, TE Je’Ron Hamm, RB Kelvin Taylor, and “Mighty Mouse” CB Prince Charles Iworah). I’ll say it again Seb, read this article:

          Sebnynah, you are simply grasping at straws with assumptions that you can’t possibly know as fact. Look at the talent in the trenches on this team. Completely rebuilt in in 2 years time. And by the way Seb, let me let you in on a little secret. Who do you think is responsible for all these talented UFA’s? Baalke, that’s who. And who is responsible for making last minute trades like Kerley, for a cast off like Thomas, and how about Rod Streater, whom Baalke picked up for next to nothing. He pulled a rabbit out of the hat with the Anquan Boldin trade as well. Same with the Gabbert trade. Same with the Hodges trade, a starting ILB in base defense, for an unknown Center the Packers swiftly cut.

          I could go on and on and on Seb. 2 years removed from the perfect storm of tough personnel circumstances. A head coaching change and mass exodus of highly rated veteran talent, including Aldon Smith and the sudden retirement of Chris Borland, and this 49ers team has quickly reloaded with young, talent on defense, and offense.

          Baalke has one weakness, and that’s identifying WR talent in the draft, I’ll give you that.

          However, what Baalke has done in a mere 2 offseasons, completely overhauling nearly an entire roster, would have taken some GM’s a half of a decade to pull off. So it’s time to give credit where credit is due.

          1. 49, back in form, I see. IICRC, you were the one touting Cook as a sure fire first round draft pick.

            Your assessment skills may need a little tuning up. I, on the other hand, had in my last mock draft, Buckner, Garnett, and Cooper.

            Baalke does not impress me when he had an ENTIRE draft class disappear. That whiff set the Niners up for their steep decline.

            Now, decent free agents have avoided the Niners like the plague, so the talent level is not what it could be. Baalke, and his miserly ways, has created a 49 million dollar surplus, but 49 million dollars less of talent. Niners may have decent starters, but the depth is paper thin.

            You may say that Baalke built this team by pulling out of a pocket an envelope that had the names on it, but I have a different opinion. I think this roster was built to fit the Chip Kelly system, and 2 players make a good case for my point of view.

            Kaep and AD. Kaep, with all the leaks and smears, was long gone until Chip talked to him. Chip probably threatened to walk if they got rid of Kaep. Kaep would give one of those Michael Phelps death stares at Baalke if put in the same room with him. AD was openly taunting Baalke, so I have no doubt that Jed decided he wanted to win more than engaging in petty and immature classless behavior, and elevated Gamble so AD could come back. If Baalke had total control, AD would have stayed retired.

            Go ahead, praise Baalke all you want. I, on the other hand, will rip him up and down because he deserves it, even if the Niners win. You do not treat players like a piece of meat. You do not use leaks and smears as SOP, and get player to stop from retiring or leaving during free agency. Baalke is defined by cutting Hayne on the team bus. Baalke has the social graces of a honey badger.

            Baalke is the epitome of a Peter Principle proponent. He was promoted above his level, and last season was all on him, because he acted like a 400 pound Gorilla, and got kicked in the teeth with a 5-11 season.

            Jed lucked out, and hired Chip. Chip, with his system, will solve the Niner offensive malaise. The defense looks impressive, and the DC has done a great job so far.

            The coaches are the ones who mainly determined this roster, not solely Baalke. The draft was a consensus process. You may discount the effect Chip had in selecting Buckner, but I will just point out that Chip himself recruited Buckner while he was in High School. Garnett was the only player Chip went to see specifically during all the pro days. Personally, I think Chip likes Garnett, and he will play some time this season.

            49, I will give Chip credit for turning this team around. Baalke is just along for the ride. They should kick Baalke upstairs, and let him handle the financials. Let Gamble be the GM the players want and deserve.

            1. Baalke Knee picks burn me up. The players drafted subsequent to Will Redmond are-

              Yannick Ngakoue, Bronson Kaufusi, Darian Thompson, Jonathan Bullard, Kenyan Drake, Keivalrae Russel, Shilique Calhoun, Shon Coleman. Also, Daryl Worley, who the Niners will face next game.

              Every one of those would have been a better choice than Redmond.

  10. Last year the Seasquawks went into Charlotte and escaped with a 2-3 points victory. In a best case scenario, the 9ers could at least threaten to do that too.. Panthers are a more talented, deeper, more accomplished team, but….
    Yeah…ok…we’ll hope..
    Play hard!

      1. In the Bronco game, that fullback carry was totally unexpected. Kuechly was blocked well. Too bad Miller pulled a disappearing act.

  11. On a different note, I heard Dilfer’s reaction on KNBR this afternoon on being called Ballke’s mouthpiece. He sounded very, very defensive and tried to work up faux anger. A few things over the last few weeks tempts me to speculate that the relationship between Jed and Ballke has frayed. I will choose to believe that the two Trents are on the same page on Kap splitting the locker room. Then I see Jed semi-supportive of Kap in his word (interview) and deed ($1M donation). I think the Chips+Gamble (“Chimble”) brains trust is gaining increasing clout in moving personnel. The person explaining AD’s actions with respect to the team is not Baalke but Chip. It seems Baalke has irreparably damaged his relationship with at least two Niners.

    I think the chance of a mutual parting of Baalke and the Niners over the off-season is now over 60%….

    1. As much as Baalke leaves to be desired… I certainly don’t want a Chip Kelly GM. It was Chip Kelly the GM that got Chip Kelly the coach fired. Baalke is has been good at some things… ie selecting LB’s, DL, CB’s and OL, he just has not proven to be very good at selecting skill position players.

      In a way I kind of hope for a split personnel department… Baalke could handle the trades, and drafting on the defensive side of the ball. Gamble would handle the offensive side and player relations.

      1. I like your train of thought Shoup. While I agrre with your premise, Baalke hasn’t been completely incompetent with skill position players. McDonald has arrived, Carlos Hyde is a beast, and RB Mike Davis is looking like a nice value pick.

        Unfortunately, Baalke wouldn’t know a talented WR if it were a snake, and bit him on the a_s!

    1. After holding up pretty well against the Rams DL, I’m interested in seeing how the OL handle the Panthers front 7. Beadles had the lowest grade of any staring guard week 1, courtesy of Aaron Donald. Kawann Short won’t likely help him improve that grade much.

      But, if the OL can keep the pressure off Gabbert again this week I think they stand a chance.

          1. I just hope that Baalke does not micromanage the line up by insisting that his only Free Agent acquisition plays to the detriment of the offense.

            Maybe Chip does have control, unlike last year, when Baalke told JT who to play.

            1. Yeah, no doubt Baalke will insist Chip play Beadles over the guy he traded up into the first round to take.

              But no matter what happens, we know if it goes bad then Baalke did it. Am I right?

      1. Yet Beadles frustrated Donald so badly, Donald went postal!

        Sometimes these “grades” are simply way off the mark for numerous reasons Scooter. Bottom line, Aaron Donald had 0 sacks, 0 TFL’s, only 3 tackles and 1 QB hit. Go figure!

        1. Yeah, but in this case they aren’t far off the mark 49reasons. Donald was pretty much the lone player generating pressure on Gabbert, and he did a great job clogging running lanes in the middle. Most of that was against Beadles.

          Its a big reason why you shouldn’t rely on traditional stats when grading an interior DL.

          As for Beadles frustrating Donald, I think it was more a reflection of the score than anything Beadles was doing specifically.

            1. Sure, but PFF doesn’t hand out blue ribbons for effort just because your opponent was too good for you. It is an unbiased view that shows Donald was too good for Beadles. Like he will be for a lot of OGs this year.

              The onus will be on Beadles to bounce back against lesser players than Donald. Probably won’t get a whole lot easier this week against Kawann Short.

  12. Niners went from 8 first downs, a 1 for 11 third down conversion rate for 142 yards, to 28 first downs, an 8 for 17 third down conversion rate for 320 yards.

    looks like Chip has fixed the offensive malaise.

  13. Forgive my channeling my inner Grant, but “we have all the confidence in the world in him” translates to “we have no one better and I have a reasonable degree of confidence in his capacity if the defense plays well and the wide receivers do their job. “

  14. “offensively there was a little bit of inconsistency in some of the drives, but I think overall when you have 28 first downs, we ran for 150-plus yards. We threw the ball 35 times. We didn’t give up a sack. There were some positives to build upon there too.”

    Didn’t realize those were the stats. Didn’t feel that efficient watching the game but you can win a ton of games in the NFL if those are your stats.

    1. and 28 points, most importantly!

      28 points can win us a lot of games with this defense.

      This ain’t Tomsula’s defense no more!!!

  15. Gabbert can run Chip’s O effieciently. At the end of the day, given this current roster, it’s what Chip wants until the losses mount, forcing him to go to Kap and Ponder the 2017 NFL Draft.

  16. No one really knew what to make of the Chip Kelly hire. As I mentioned last week, the team was going into this season with more questions than answers. We can all agree that what we saw last night was a step in the right direction.

    Blaine Gabbert wasn’t perfect, or great, or even really good. He had a sub-par game (he was worse than his stats indicated) and the offense really struggled to get things going in the second half once the Rams made adjustments. However, he didn’t make any crucial mistakes – despite a bevy of close calls – and he was able to guide the offense to 28 points…

  17. Kelly’s offense has the ability to make receivers look good and that’s exactly what happened. Recently acquired Jeremy Kerley had 7 catches for 61 yard while fellow receiver Quinton Patton had 5 catches for 60 yards. Those aren’t earth shattering numbers, but they’re numbers that the team can definitely work with.

  18. From my understanding half of the Panthers running plays are for Newton. If that’s the case then it sounds like its time for I Spy. It will be imperative to hit Newton low if he is in the pocket. Anything that is even remotely close to the head will probably be called due to the uproar over Newton not get the calls against the Broncos.

    1. Ray Ray would be my spy, but they need to make sure they still cover Olsen over the middle. As far as hitting Cam low, I hope Brooks gets the memo.

  19. Gabbert inaccurate Deep? Maybe it’s Ponder time who throws a more accurate deep ball

    QB Blaine Gabbert was 22-of-35 for 170 yards, which is a paltry 4.9 yards per attempt, and 7.7 yards per completion. Most of his passes were short, underneath throws, and when Gabbert did try to go deep, he was often inaccurate. For example, the veteran quarterback had WR Jeremy Kerley wide open for what looked like a 46-yard touchdown, but he overthrew him badly.

    At some point though, they’re going to have to push the envelope and make things happen, or they’ll never be able to keep up with the upper echelon teams. It’s absolutely essential for San Francisco to start taking some shots down the field.

  20. The 49ers face a tough task vs. Carolina defebse this week. If Carolina has one weekness it’s in that area. The Panthers failed to resign Josh Norman and now features 2nd Rd. draft pick, rookie, starter, James Bradbury. They had a few hiccups Thurs. Nite vs. Denver, so might be an area the 49ers try to exploits. This could mean more looks for newly acquired, WR, Jeremy Kerley.
    Kerley put up his numbers Monday Night, even though he’s still adjusting to the offense…

    It’s intriguing to think what might happen once Kerley is completely settled in.

  21. Is Jeff Fisher using Chip Kelly’s playbook?

    “Steve Wyche reported on NFL Network that a 49ers player told him they could tell exactly what the Rams were doing in advance, solely by the Rams’ alignment and backfield motion.”

    1. There were times in the game where it looked like the 49ers knew the play before the snap. There was one play in particular where Bowman shot a gap and tackled the RB for a loss. In the replay you could see Bowman moving toward the gap before the snap like he knew exactly where the ball was going. I guess it could have been a run blitz but it sure looked like Bowman knew exactly where the ball was going. There were several other instances where it appeared the 9ers knew the play but that one stuck out to me.

    2. CfC, don’t believe everything you read. Every offense has occasional problems disguising plays because of personnel packages. However, Chip fixed one of the biggest issues by moving the RB from one side of the QB to the other, pre snap. He’s made other adjustments as well.

      Case in point: Well respected, veteran DC Gregg Williams had the entire offseason to gameplan for Chip Kelly’s supposed “easy to diagnose” offense, and Williams is working with one of the league’s most talented front sevens. The results? Chip Kelly’s offense put up 28 first downs, 150 yards rushing, and 28 points, while relying on a brand new receiver who has been with the team for a mere 2 weeks.

  22. I won’t harp too much on the 3rd quarter play calling as I assume Chip wanted to continue to build on the success of running the ball as he did int he first half. That said, I would have liked to see more throws in the middle of the field to Celek and McDonald out of 22……

    I think we will see a lot of pressure up front for Carolina unless Gabbert opens it up a bit- overall, I was impressed by Gabbert, the D and the coaching, all things I was banking on.

    What I would like to see is the same hunger in CAR and opening up the offense a bit more- namely to the TE’s and maybe run a couple of verticals- anything to see them not start stacking the box.

    And if Gabbert hit Kerley for the easy TD, we would be a lot happier with him, but overall, w his scrambling ability, I like what I saw.

    * The crowd at Levi was pretty weak, maybe rank it a 4/10, and the stadium was probably at 80-85% capacity due to the upper corners being a bit sparse.

    1. Still would have liked to have seen more sweeps and end arounds, maybe even some reverses. With that stout D line of the Rams, the Niners should not have run into the teeth of the defense, but run around them.

      Chip should counter the stacked box by going 4 wide and attacking the edges.

      1. but it is also encouraging to see that they did have decent success running up the middle- I am taking the 13.5 and hope to see a close game on Sunday.

        I am crossing my fingers that Chip mixes it up a bit more on Sunday.

      1. The game was 14-0 for an extended time – there were not really any opportunities to, “rub it in”. And, I believe Ray Ray’s pick prevented them from likely getting on the board as it was on the 49ers 40ish I believe.

  23. Grant,
    Kelly seems to think that CK’s protest may have brought the locker room closer together. Have you changed your mind on that issue at all?

    1. Coach,

      Did you happen to hear Dilfer on KNBR yesterday? By the end of the interview he was all but admitting that he had no idea what was happening.

      Whether it’s brought them closer or not, the one thing that I think is clear is it is not distracting them from the task at hand.

          1. Kaepernick is in the locker room responding to Trent Dilfer. Other guys on the team are responding to questions about Kaepernick and they are also responding to Dilfer’s criticism of Kaepernick. Pretending this “protest” doesn’t distract the team is asinine. Perhaps the 49ers are closer as a team. Perhaps Dilfer is right and this protest has caused a rift. Who knows? One thing is abundantly clear and that is that players are being forced to deal with CK’s protest and that is a distraction a 5 year old can see.

            1. Houston,

              In the interview Dilfer even acknowledges that he doesn’t know.

              Are they answering questions? Yes. They answer a bunch of questions every day from reporters.

              Do they need to be focused on football 100% of the time? Hell no.

              As long as they are focused during meetings and on the practice field the rest of the time doesn’t matter unless they are doing something illegal.

              1. They are so distracted that they had 2 penalties, one caused by the coach and only 1 turnover on a play where the guy was fighting for extra yards.

                And it’s not like Kaepernick and the 49ers are the only team involved in this.

              2. And they played a clean game.

                We’re now 2+ weeks removed from the initial media response.

                Could it have been a distraction and caused friction? Yes, and it obviously did for a short time. They addressed it, understood and moved forward.

                As you said, even a 5 year old can see that.

              3. It’s a distraction. Anything that doesn’t help the team win is a distraction. The additional media coverage is a distraction. Pig socks are a distraction. Kaepernick has been a distraction for this team since he started sleeping with the girl that was sleeping with Aldon. If you can’t recognize that it’s because you don’t want to.

              4. If you say so I guess.

                I might agree if this had all happened during the regular season, but it didn’t. It’s really a non-issue for the team right now it appears.

              5. Judging by Monday’s outcome being featured on hard knocks must have been a major distraction for the Rams.

                Kaep and the Niners? Not so much.

              6. If it happens during the season…you mean like a players only meeting to complain about the team leader ignoring his teammates while strutting around wearing headphones? The issues and distractions have been there since last year. Now that he’s the backup, they’re still there.

              7. So far the only folks saying this are those who had a problem with the protest in the first place.

                We get it. You don’t like Kaepernick any longer, but you had no problem with him wearing a Dolphins jersey. You defended him pretty hard during that whole “distraction”.

              8. You guys are confusing Outcome with distraction. Just because the 49ers beat the worst team in football it does not mean they are not dealing with distractions related to Kaep’s anti-anthem ignorance.

              9. Jack,
                He has been a distraction going back to last year. Most people only have a problem with his protest because it took place at work. I was a big fan of Kaepernick and I think he is generally a good person, but his behavior over the last year has been a distraction to the team. I never said wearing a Dolphins hat was smart or showing awareness. I said younger guys love to match their shoes and hats. Kaepernick has his own hat line with New Era. This was in response to people making stupid insinuations about Kaepernick based on his hat, when he had always been dressing like that. Those pictures were taken on his off time, at a beach, yet they were still a distraction for the team because teammates had to answer questions about it while at work. So now that you have acknowledged how a non work place, time off picture can be a distraction, it’s easy to see how a workplace, on the clock social justice demonstration would be a distraction. Thanks for reinforcing my opinion with another example that was significantly less of a distraction for the team and franchise than the current distraction.

              10. I didn’t acknowledge anything, that’s why I put distraction in quotes.

                And as I said in my response prior to this, I’m still waiting for someone who didn’t have a problem with the protest to say it’s a distraction.

              11. Big P,

                Anything that doesn’t help the team win is a distraction? Are you sure about that? Players do lots of things, every day, that don’t help a team win and aren’t distractions.

                BTW, players would burn out if they focused on football 100% of the time.

              12. Jack,

                Dilfer walked his statement all the way back to “No, I’m not taking back my statement because at one time, CK’s action created friction and tore at the fabric of the team, even though the players and FO has handled things beautifully and the team is now has more unity than before.”

                What he couldn’t bring himself to admit, is that he based his opinion on some 49er players’ initial reactions, before hearing what CK had to say during the players only meeting. Unfortunately, he didn’t update his info and went on his tirade on Sunday. Oops!

              13. Jack,
                You called it a distraction, and it was for the reasons I provided. Calling it a distraction is acknowledging that it’s a distraction. Your comparison of an offseason picture at the beach to a social rights protest on company time is flat out stupid, even if it does further validate my argument. Your need to feel like some football insider leads you to argue over things even when common sense, let alone previous examples, say otherwise.

              14. BigP,

                I called it a “distraction”. The quotations were to mean that I didn’t think it was one.

                You don’t like Kaepernick, or his method of protest so you think it’s a distraction. It was extra media and a few extra questions more than 2 weeks before the season started. Big deal. The players and organization didn’t let it go on and made sure it wasn’t a distraction.

                As for me thinking I’m an insider, get over it. I haven’t written anything in almost 2 years.

                Still waiting on someone who didn’t have a problem with the protests to come forward with it being a distraction.

              15. Exgolfer,
                I meant in the context of what impacts the workplace. I agree with players living their lives and doing their thing. I think Colin’s activism is positive, but I also think it should be separated from the workplace.

              16. Big P,

                Fair enough, but take Dilfer’s inaction in the interest of being a good soldier and not putting himself before the team. He says he was passionate about fighting child slavery, yet he chose to not say anything, so as to not be a distraction to his team.

                Firstly, if you were his teammate, would you think badly of him had he used his position to bring light to terrible scourge that is child slavery (I wouldn’t and I would support him) and, secondly, wouldn’t any distraction be worth it, if his activism saved even one child’s life?

              17. “I also think it should be separated from the workplace.”

                They play the national anthem in your workplace at the start of the workday?

              18. How many unarmed black men have been shot in the back by police since Kaep started his protest against injustices that has shown a bright light on the problem?

                Maybe Kaep is having a positive effect.

              19. Exgolfer,
                I agree with the cause, but it’s a serious issue and he didn’t handle it very well from the beginning. His initial message was vague and some of his actions were disrespectful and inflammatory. It showed a lack of preparation and foresight. Many players work with law enforcement to enhance and build community relations without being a distraction to their teammates or organization.

                Kaepernick has his camp for children with heart defects, which is a great cause. He has already shown that he can make an impact and raise awareness for a good cause. He could have brought awareness to the issues he wants to help with without being offensive to large groups of people. Pig socks and blanket statements about law enforcement and people of color are not helping anything. People aren’t talking about the issues, they’re talking about displays of unity around the NFL and Kaepernick’s behavior.

                For what it’s worth, I think Dilfer is a complete moron. He is full of hot air and one of Baalke’s boys. I believe he was using his supposed holstering of his cause as validation for talking out of line. I also think that a large part of what he said about being a distraction is valid. The fact that only two players on the roster kneel during the anthem proves that its divisive on some level. I don’t think it’s tearing at the fabric of the team, but it’s not bringing them together, either. That’s what leaders are supposed to do and Kaepernick has failed in that aspect.

            2. Houston

              The word Grant and others have chosen is not “distract” but “divide.” Of course it’s distracting, that much is clear by the additional importance the NFL is placing on anthem ceremonies across the league, but there’s zero evidence of it being divisive.

              1. “Whether it’s brought them closer or not, the one thing that I think is clear is it is not distracting them from the task at hand.”

                Jack Hammer

                That is the asinine comment to which I was responding. No one can outside the locker room can know if CK is being divisive. Everyone with open eyes can see CK is being a distraction.

              2. Houston,

                You’re repeating yourself. You said the same thing yesterday.

                These guys answer maybe 1 or 2 questions about it during their normal weekly media obligations. Give me a break.

                And you’re right, I’m not in the locker room, but I read all of the Bay Area writers that are and there’s only 2 that think it might be.

                I’m still waiting on someone who didn’t have a problem with the protest to say they think it’s a distraction by the way.

              3. I’m not repeating myself in the least. JC said,

                “The word Grant and others have chosen is not “distract” but “divide.”

                I was clarifying to JC that my response was directly about your use of the word “distract.”

                Oh and have you read Grants latest piece on the division in the locker room? Or did you hear Krueger comment on it?

              4. You wrote almost the same exact thing yesterday, and I’m pretty sure that Johnny gets it.

                Regarding Grants piece, of course I read it, and with the exception of the Krueger IM’s he’s repeating himself as well. He’s been saying the same stuff on here and Twitter for a couple weeks.

            1. I’m talking to you. And listening/reading what the other beat guys are writing. There’s a small group on your side of it from what I can tell.

              1. Pointed out to Grant that he’s siding with Baalke on this, and he offered up Lowell and Ryan Sakamoto as others who agree with Baalke.

    2. On another note, Dilfer also said a big part of the backups job is to get the starter ready to play.

      Does anyone really want Gabbert taking tips from Kaepernick?

        1. Lets see, missing short throws to RB’s, check, throwing the ball into the dirt, check, overthrowing open receivers, check, throwing past the down markers, nope, inaccurate throws, check, poor ball placement, check, throwing balls to DB’s, check, averaging more than 4.9 ypa, check, progressing through reads, nope, running instead of passing, check, disappointing the fan base, check, staring down receivers, check

          I don’t know Scooter these two should be listening to Chip, not to each other. Their kinda the same QB in a lot of ways.

              1. Young was a “gimmick” until Bill taught him the ways. Joe was a natural born quarterback who went on to become the greatest at his position under Walsh….

            1. I got the joke Scooter. According to ESPN’s graphic’s department, the 49ers QB on Monday Night was Glaine Gabbert. I got a chuckle out of that one in real time!

              1. I thought you were berating Glaine Babbert. I miss written humor once ina while. I made a poor attempt at humor

      1. Trent Dilfer is a worse analyst than he was a QB! Who would have thought that was even possible?

        For what it’s worth, Dilfer did his best to vouch for coach Jim Tomsula last season as well. Not only is Dilfer clueless, he’s got poor instincts as well!

      2. Did anyone really want Montana taking tips from Young?

        The word “frantic” describes Blaine Gabbert perfectly, moving too fast for his own good. He reminded me of someone, and I just realized it was early-career Steve Young.

        I’m the only one (from what I can tell) who is excited to see how Kelly can develop BOTH Gabbert AND Kaepernick.

  24. As Grant has pointed out in a past article, Gabbert continues to exhibit poor mechanics associated with his missed otherwise easy passes. And others, including Greg Cosell today, are saying the same. While a C+ performance was good enough to beat the rams, if he performs the same this week against the Panthers, he’ll look bad.

    There is an important general rule in sports: “Make ALL the easy ones because you’re going to miss some of the difficult ones, no matter what.”. Hope the coaches are pointing him in the right direction. As it is, his feet are pointing in one direction and his arm is pointed in another. Won’t work against the Panthers. Don’t get me wrong. I like the guy, not particularly a Kaepernick fan. Just want to see him fix what ought to be fixable.

  25. I am glad that the Niners are 2 TD underdogs. In the Art of War, one key strategy is to feign weakness.

    I really hope Chip catches them by surprise by doing the unexpected. Maybe even line up Kaep in the backfield as a flea flicker option with multiple laterals.

    1. I think Chip was keeping it bland after taking a lead against LA because

      1) They will play this division rival again later in the season.

      2) Didn’t wanna put too much of his playbook on tape for other teams, like Carolina, who we may be able to surprise.

    2. Too bad Kaep isn’t a special teamer for the Colts (now there’s a trade possibility). Along with your play calling, he might have pulled off that last kickoff return on Sunday.

      1. Rib, GETOVERIT.

        Kaep is still a Niner, and he even played.

        Chip will want to rehabilitate Kaep so he will be hailed as a genius. Chip will not sheathe his weapons, he wants to win too much to do that.

    3. Hi Seb. In my opinion, we won’t be feigning weakness walking into Carolina. In a nutshell, they’ll be able to score points against us, and with a quarterback as inconsistent as Gabbert, our offense will not be able to keep pace. Something else I suspect is coming is a flurry of interceptions. I think I’d take the 14 points or whatever it is right now.

      1. Hi George, hope you are doing well. Everyone thought Gurley was going to gash the Niners. I do not think Stewart is as good as Gurley.

        Benjamin is a concern, but the other receivers are not too impressive. They need to contain Cam and let the Ducks collapse the pocket. Get their hands in the air to disturb the passing lanes, and maybe get a tipped ball. Get to Cam early to rattle him, and maybe the Niners can get a couple more picks.

        Sorry, but Chip is too savvy to have Gabbert throw picks. He will spread them wide and attack the edges to negate Kuechly.

        Gabbert will be asked to continued to throw those short swing passes. He needs to work on pump fakes. Make the defenders get their feet off the ground, then throw it as they are coming down.

        Guess I am just hopelessly optimistic. When the defense is playing NINER FOOTBALL, anything can happen. Heck, the defense might even score.

        1. Seb, obviously I would like to be wrong on this. Funny, but in the Rams game my opinion of Gabbert went down instead of up. I predict that against Carolina he’ll throw at least two interceptions. Can our defense and ground game win the game like they once did that afternoon in Philadelphia? It’s possible but in my mind unlikely.

          1. George, even though I want Kaep to play, I also want Gabbert to do well. I sure hope he does not give the ball away, but he almost did at least twice last game.

            Maybe Gabbert had the first game jitters, but towards the end he calmed down and zipped the ball into tight windows.

            If they can stop Gurley, the Niner defense is coming back to the 2012 style of play.

            1. That he was eventually able to hit the tight windows was interesting. If he threw that way all the time, he’d be our solution, as opposed to, for example, his inability to even deliver the ball on target for the bubble screens, which made him look incompetent as a thrower.

              1. George, I will not defend Gabbert for those throws. If Kaep had bounced a pass, threw short of the sticks, threw into triple coverage, was inaccurate and delivered the ball low and behind his receivers, Kaep would be excoriated. Posters would be calling for his head, but Gabbert gets a free pass because the Niners won by a blowout.

              2. We were lucky to play the Rams. All the win showed was that we have enough to beat a bad team. There’s no proof we have enough to beat good teams. Seeing is believing.

  26. I wonder how many teams that win a blow-out shut out in their first game have this much discussion about whether or not they’re any good.

        1. A team ranked dead last in every outlet’s power polls even having a blow-out shut-out is about as likely as … I don’t know…. CFC finding something complimentary to say about Gabbert.

    1. I think this type of discussion happens with all teams fans CFC. There are always the rose colored glasses crowd vs. the this team sucks crowd and everything in between. Fandom comes in many forms.

        1. If they win I don’t care what the stats are. Stats come into play when people talk out of their butt and make claims they clearly haven’t researched. Not you though right Prime?

      1. Yeah I didn’t realize talking once a week if that, and having to answer a question about a teammate kneeling during the anthem was so distracting. I always thought these guys were goofing off playing video games when they weren’t practicing. Now I know they are all studying their playbooks meticulously and can afford no interruption. How could I have been so wrong?

        1. There’s another general rule in sports….In a 28 to nothing game,…be sure that you’re the team with 28

          GO NINERS !….GO BLAINE !

      2. Brent Jones said on KNBR that he was pleased with Gabbert’s footwork. He cited the views of Walsh, Holmgren and Shanahan in his opinionating. OTOH, Greg Cossell, also on KNBR, insisted that Gabbert’s footwork was awful, and may cite the number 42 (as in his 42 million ours of tape study) in.supporting his view. This deep division in the opinions of these two celebrity pundits is tearing apart the fabric of the KNBR organization … What would Trent Dilfer do?

        1. Sorry, Mood, I just had to do the calc. 42 million hours is 4,794.5 years assuming 24/7 tape study.

          But seriously, is an ex-TE the most savvy person when it comes to a QB’s footwork?

    1. That really goes to show how much the DL and LBs dominated the Rams OL. Lots of penetration and push in both the running and passing game.

      Also goes to show just how tough Gurley is to bring down.

    1. I hope Chip goes innovative and includes Joe in the passing game. I do not think he has dropped a ball yet.Just think of that rookie DB trying to tackle him.

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