What Colin Kaepernick meant

This is my Friday column.

Jim Tomsula started it.

Wednesday morning in the 49ers’ auditorium, a reporter asked him how Colin Kaepernick is different compared to a year ago. Through two games, Kaepernick’s passer rating is 98.1. Last season, it was only 86.4. What changed?

“We’re not asking for the same things,” Tomsula said. “It’s not the same. There’s really not things to compare it to — what we’re asking him to do and what he’s been asked to do any other year.”

Translation: Tomsula’s coaching staff is using Kaepernick differently than Jim Harbaugh’s coaching staff used him. Tomsula implied the comparison, even though he kept his statements vague.

About an hour later, Kaepernick came to the podium in the auditorium. So, naturally, a reporter followed up on the topic Tomsula raised that morning.

“What do you think Tomsula meant, and what’s your take on what you’re being asked to do that’s different?” the reporter asked.

I didn’t expect Kaepernick to answer this question. I thought he’d blurt out something like, “You’ll have to ask coach Tomsula what he meant by that,” or “It’s just football — my job is to execute what the coaches tell me.” Some non-answer. He rarely explains anything to the press.

But after hearing the question, Kaepernick paused for a second. It seemed he had something to say, and was deciding whether to say it.

Then, he said it: “I would say the biggest thing is I’m being asked to be myself this year. I don’t think anyone knows how to be myself better than me. It’s a comfort zone. It’s a situation where I’m not being asked to do things outside of my character.”


Kaepernick had just introduced a new subject — his character. What was he really talking about? Was he saying the previous coaching staff asked him to do things outside of his character?

Kaepernick kept talking. “Outside of how I would normally handle situations, yes,” he said.


Kaepernick had taken a shot at Harbaugh and the previous offensive coordinator, Greg Roman — that’s what it seemed like. But, again, what did Kaepernick mean by “character”? What was he getting at?

When pressed by the media, Kaepernick said, “I’m getting at that I was asked to do things outside of my character.” He refused to explain further. Then he started to walk off the stage as a reporter asked, “Is it safe to say you feel more relaxed right now in the pocket?” Kaepernick never broke stride. He ignored the question and walked out of the room. End of discussion.

Fair enough, although it was strange for Kaepernick to end a discussion he himself started, stranger to end it with a sense of moral indignation. But it would have been bad form for him to go any further, to criticize Harbaugh and Roman by name and break down their specific deficiencies. Kaepernick should be above that.

Allow me to explain for him.

Harbaugh and Roman tried to turn Kaepernick into a classic drop-back pocket passer, tried to turn him into Alex Smith. And in the process, they made Kaepernick look like a complete stiff.

Last season, the 49ers rarely called plays Kaepernick is comfortable running — plays like play-action passes or rollout passes or the read option. No, the Niners kept him in the pocket and highlighted all of his deficiencies.

As the season went on, Kaepernick seemed to get worse as a pocket passer. People wondered if he even was receptive to coaching, if he ever would improve.

Here’s what’s ironic: Kaepernick HAS improved his passing from the pocket this season, partly because the coaching staff doesn’t ask him to do it all the time.

They roll him out as frequently as possible — Kaepernick is a natural at throwing on the move to his right. And they let him run the read option – no one in the history of the NFL has run this play better than Kaepernick.

Everything about the 49ers’ new offense is meant to highlight Kaepernick’s strengths and make him comfortable. The Niners compromised with him: They’ll keep calling the plays he likes and de-emphasize pocket passing without eliminating it completely.

Think of it like raising a toddler. It’s as if Harbaugh and Roman fed Kaepernick nothing but squash and brussels sprouts, thinking that was best for him. Kaepernick resented that menu. He wanted pizza and cookies.

This season, Tomsula and Geep Chryst are feeding Kaepernick a more balanced diet. So Kaepernick is open-minded, because now he likes the taste of things.

That’s what he probably meant.

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

This article has 182 Comments

  1. “Kaepernick had just introduced a new subject — his character. What was he really talking about? Was he saying the previous coaching staff asked him to do things outside of his character?”

    That is exactly what I find so interesting about that line of questions. And while I agree with your comments regarding on the field issues, I do wonder if he meant more than football. Over the least several weeks, He has seemed much more like the Kap that Nevada fans knew in Reno than he has for most of the past three years.

    1. Yes I think Grant has hit it on the head,Fraudbuagh and Roman mostly Fraudbuagh tried to make Kap something He`s not and it is why fraudbuagh is not here anymore,if you stop and think about it if the problem was REALLY Roman I think He would have been fired by Baalke before last year…..Yes Fraudbuagh was the problem with His stubborness and all the chaos that surrounded Him……I would just like to here what all the stuff that was going on come out so we can all know for sure.

      1. Really…Fraudbuagh? If you are 49ers fan, which I doubt, you were probably one of those people 9 months ago blasting ownership and totally pro-harbaugh. Just stop.

        1. Fraudbaugh is a perfectly reasonable nickname for the former HC. He goes into a new job with his pants on fire, rallies the troops with his rah rah WE ARE MEN bs, then over the next few years his teams are proven to be deficient in scheme because Fraudbaugh lives and DIES by the antiquated Schembechler football philosophy.

          The guy is Mike Singletary 2.0. His only saving grace is that he knows how to choose coordinators to make him look good. Fangio is obvious. Roman’s running schemes were exceptional when they first burst on the scene.

          So glad Fraudbaugh is gone. Good riddance.

          1. Were are Harbaugh’s previous teams proven to be deficient? The University of San Diego is a small non scholarship school. They continued to win after Harbaugh left. That was his first head coaching job.

            Has Stanford been deficient under Harbaugh’s offensive coordinator (co with Roman) Shaw? They are operating under the same overall scheme that Harbaugh brought to Stanford.

            There are things to not like about Harbaugh, but many of you make up stuff out of your own dislike of the man. What went on with the 49ers after they lost the conference championship game to Seattle was a result of the entire management of the 49ers from Harbaugh on up becoming self destructive.

            Some folks need a scape goat, and Harbaugh is yours. Enjoy.

            1. HTW

              Go troll a loser if you’re view of success is anything less than a championship.

              Harbaugh had an NFL career backup QB at USD, which is a helluva lot better than most schools at that level. Then at Stanford he had the best QB prospect in NFL history. Then with the 49ers, his Neanderthal offense couldn’t produce enough points to take advantage of one of the most dominant defenses in history.

              Why would a 49ers fan such as yourself defend a guy who completely ignored the tenets of Bill Walsh football? It makes no sense.

              Harbaugh is a fraud. He is a good coach, but for all the fanfare he receives, i.e., “great coach, he is undeserving. Plain and simple.

              And in closing, Yoda, get off my back. You never have anything constructive to write, yet you’re always there to react to something I write. How about you produce something, instead of just piggybacking off other people’s stuff? I know you’re 900 years old, so you ought have some wisdom to impart to the group.

              1. You understand only what you want to understand so there is no point in discussing how your reply misses the point.

                One does wonder, in your case especially, where that sweet young teenager went, and exactly which part of him you have recovered. I doubt that he is the part of yourself that needs a scape goat.

              2. HTW

                So let me get this straight — you’re saying that after Harbaugh left San Diego and Stanford, because they continued to win, Harbaugh should get credit? Even though it’s well-documented that he left as he was wearing out his welcome? You’re saying that Shaw runs the same 3-yards and a cloud of dust, protect a 1-point lead offense by not scoring more touchdowns “scheme” or “mentality” that Harbaugh employed?

                What makes you think you know what made 49ers management become self-destructive? Harbaugh is a well-known jerk. When he was a kid, he couldn’t get along with anybody, got in fights all the time, and was generally incorrigible, by his own admission. When he was a player, the idiot broke his own hand trying to fight another guy. As a coach of, now count them, HTW, THREE, that’s 1 – 2 – 3 institutions, he has worn out his welcome. Many players didn’t like him, and some have been blunt about it. Dick Sherman and Doug Baldwin both hate Harbaugh, and Sherman, for as much of an arse as he can be, is arguably the NFL’s most thoughtful, thought-provoking character. On our own team, the most open, least PC member on either side of the ball, Alex Boone, could barely contain his contempt for Harbaugh, or at least implied that Harbaugh was problematic. And Harbaugh allowed a divided locker room to develop under his watch. There is much evidence that the guy was a dope, and a fraud, certainly NOT the heir apparent to Bill Walsh’s legacy — and his scheme, SCHEME, was arcane. Run run run punt run run run punt run run run punt. In the NFL since the WCO took over, that scheme has rarely worked. When it has, Seattle and Baltimore come to mind, there is always a dominant defense. Unfortunately for Fraudbaugh, Fangio wasn’t QUITE good enough to lead the 49ers to any Super Bowl victories.

                Finally, you didn’t answer my question: why do you defend a guy who completely ignored the tenets of the Walsh system, especially in light of the fact that the 49ers own and retain all of Walsh’s coaching assets?

                Stop insulting my intelligence or my integrity. You have no idea who you’re dealing with, and every claim I make, I provide evidence for.

                What do you have to offer for your claim that Harbaugh is not a fraud? His winning record with Andrew Luck? His winning record with Josh Johnson? With Vic Fangio?

          2. “He goes into a new job with his pants on fire, rallies the troops with his rah rah WE ARE MEN bs, then over the next few years his teams are proven to be deficient in scheme because Fraudbaugh lives and DIES by the antiquated Schembechler football philosophy.” … e

            “Were are Harbaugh’s previous teams proven to be deficient? ” … old fool

            The key word is deficient. Where are the deficiencies prior to 2014?

            If you were better at reading you might know that I don’t like either Schembechler or Parcel’s offensive philosophies. Harbaugh and Baalke are two peas in a pod in that regard.

            I do wonder why you are driven to such anger by questions from an “old fool”, and by a head coach who is now long gone. By the way, Shaw is running Harbaugh’s system at Stanford according to him. Why would he lie about that?

            I hope we both enjoy Sunday’s game.

            1. HTW

              “If you were better at reading you might know that I don’t like either Schembechler or Parcel’s offensive philosophies.” OF

              Another personal insult. Not sure why you need to resort to that. But I reviewed your posts, and nowhere do you say anything about your dislike for Schembechler or Parcells. Not sure where the lack of reading comprehension is there. Please point it out.

              Deficiency? Show me a championship that Harbaugh has won. Show me a player that he has demonstrably made improved. Alex Smith? No, Harbaugh just stopped Smith from fumbling and throwing INTs, but didn’t improve him. Alex is better now, but only because he’s working with Andy Reid, a real offensive coach. Kaep? No, Harbaugh just hamstrung him. Kaep is improving now, but only after working with Warner and other guys last offseason, and now with Chryst and Logan, two coaches who understand that the passing game is not some useless appendage, but rather, the point of the sword.

              Baalke is the coach? I didn’t know that. And are you under the impression that Baalke follows Parcells the Coach or Parcells the GM? If you’ve been paying attention, you know it’s the latter, and that what Baalke takes from Parcells is the affinity for huge, athletic, powerful players, favored over more slightly-built, fast, finesse guys. Open your eyes.

              Now, OF, before you keel over and die, please, for the love of all that is holy, answer the question:

              “Why do you defend a guy who completely ignored the tenets of the Walsh system, especially in light of the fact that the 49ers own and retain all of Walsh’s coaching assets?”

              1. I haven’t been able to find any significant trace of Walsh in any action taken by the 49er establishment since Dr York fired Steve Mariucci. It makes no difference what’s in the archives.

                I am pointing to your posts about Harbaugh, and asking why you’re so angry about him that you distort his record. That does not mean that I’ve ever defended Harbaugh’s major thrust which is great defense and the dumb idea that if your are man enough, then no one can stop your power running when the game is on the line. That’s Baalke’s main thrust too. We are stuck with it.

                So, again, I hope you and I both enjoy Sundays game and then the game against the Packers. Its not like either one of those two teams might want to teach us a lesson, or that they have the capability to do just that.

              2. I’m not on the Jed York band wagon that claims that winning the Superbowl is that only result that isn’t an abject failure.

                There’s no way I could spend sixty years with the 49ers if I thought like that.

                It didn’t work in the golden years and it wont work now. Walsh was three out of ten and a basket case when he retired. He claimed that he never enjoyed winning, and was in constant fear of the embarrassment of failure.

                Anyone who watched his reaction to The Catch would believe him, but if you remember the game against the Bengals in Cincinnati were Sam Wyche got cute, and gave Walsh one more play you would know that Walsh especially enjoyed sticking it to Paul Brown’s new team even though Sam Wyche was like a son to Walsh. He literally skipped and hoped with joy as he crossed the field.

              3. OF

                Now we’re talking!!! Thanks for finally addressing the issue, and for the refreshers from days long past. I knew you had gifts to offer.

                None of the coaches since Mariucci was fired have been called “great” except Harbaugh, and my contention is that he doesn’t deserve that tag. That he carries himself as though he believes himself to be great, when he has failed to win a championship at every level, is what I believe qualifies him as a fraud.

                And it DOES matter what’s in the archives, particularly when the heralded incoming coach claims that he is going to return the team to its WCO roots, and has unparalleled access to the Walsh Vault. If Harbaugh had just said, “Look, I’m a Schembechler guy, not a Walsh guy, and as such, I’m going to run Frank Gore into the ground and sit on 2-point or 6-point leads while relying on Vic Fangio’s defense to win us games,” I would have a lot more respect for him.

                Baalke just broke the bank ($40M) on a WR, on a field-stretching WR, and he retained the strongest-armed QB in the NFL, and he continues to draft big tough guys; that doesn’t mean he’s Schembechler or Parcells the Coach, it means he is Parcells the GM and is open to a significant sea-change in offensive scheme from Ride Frank into the Ground to Use a ZBS with Carlos and Throw Slants and Bombs from the WCO. We are stuck with a GM who can’t evaluate WR talent, but it’s not for wont of trying. Instead, he got someone better: a proven, but still extremely young, but somewhat underpolished veteran WR in Smith. If Adam Henry can impact Smith in the same way that (it appears) he impacted OBJ and Jarvis Landry, Baalke will have made up for the tragedies of AJJ and (maybe) QP11.

                And lastly, I don’t think it’s the “Jed York” band wagon that I’m riding, but rather the “Joe Montana, 4-0 with 11 TDs and 0 INTs” band wagon, thank you very much. I am clearly significantly younger than you, with only 4 decades of fandom to enjoy; as such, the 49ers to me will always be #16, #87, #33, #42, #80, and #82.

    2. Grant, thanks for the Cards Update.

      As I had mentioned earlier this week, the Cards Carry (7), yes, SEVEN, WR’s on their roster–all talented from what I’ve learned.
      Here’s the 40 times of the known starters (an also master route runners):
      John Brown: 5/11, 179Lbs, 4.3/40yds
      Jaron Brown: 4.4/40,yds 6-2, 205 Lbs.,
      Larry Fitzgerald: 6-3, 218 Lbs, 4.5/40yds
      Michael Floyd: 6-3, 220Lbs, 4-3/40yds



  2. “Harbaugh and Roman tried to turn Kaepernick into a classic drop-back pocket passer, tried to turn him into Alex Smith.”

    Alex Smith is a lot of things, but a classic drop-back pocket passer?
    Classic drop-back pocket passers do not have designed run plays for them, see vs Saints, 2011 playoffs.

    This reminds of the time, when some one wrote that the signing of John “Red” Skelton as the 3rd string QB back in 2013, signaled a change in Harbaugh’s philosophy on offense and QB’s.

    Kap has 72 pass attempts this season. So far, yes, there are improvements but DC’s in this league will find out ways to counter it. Let’s see how the Niners and Kap respond then.

      1. I agree, good article. It started with Kaepernick calling the plays in the huddle, and the offense taking on his personality….

        1. Seems Frank Gore’s comments during the offseason support this as well. Frank was talking about how Andrew Luck commands the huddle, and Frank said he “never had that before”. I can see how Harbaugh undermined Kaepernick’s authority in the huddle, and the negative impact that can have. I’ve heard from sources that the players felt as as though Harbaugh treated them like children.

          We’re only 2 games in, but Colin seems to be thriving with his newfound voice in the huddle and meetings. I’m liking this year’s version of Colin on the field, and during his interviews and press conferences. He’s a smart kid and shame on JH for not taking advantage of CK7’s smarts!

  3. You killed a good article with this idiotic sentence:

    Harbaugh and Roman tried to turn Kaepernick into a classic drop-back pocket passer, tried to turn him into Alex Smith.

    No, they tried (along with Baalke) to improve his skill set by adding the capability to be a dependable pocket passer, which is something that is required if you want your offense to get better and make your running QB more of a dangerous asset. And I honestly believe that, along with his time with Warner and company this offseason, it has helped him improve as a pocket passer.

    1. I thought it was killed with this comment.

      “Allow me to explain for him.”

      Now we can THINK we know what he meant, but calling it an outright explanation tells me someone has hurt feelings or a huge ego!
      Although I agree with what Grant “explained” for him. I’d still call it a hunch.

    2. The dilemma is- do you make him into a classic pocket passer and waste his talents, or do you turn him loose to wreak havoc upon defenses?
      Do you allow a porous O line sack Kaep another 52 times? Or do you let him use his legs to avoid sacks and buy time until his receivers are open?

      1. Steve Young was a better natural runner & scrambler than Colin, but he didn’t become an Elite Qb until he learned how to be a pocket passer and use his running only when necessary. Making Colin a pocket passer doesn’t in any way take away from his open field running skills or make him less dangerous…if anything it would make him more dangerous since secondaries and lbs would have to drop back in coverage and truly defend the passing game instead of spying the QB and getting ready to break once he pulls down and runs after 2.4 seconds. Colin needs, and this should have been happening since Camp Alex in 2011, to watch Brees, Brady and Manning in how to move in the pocket, 2 steps up, 2 steps left, right, back, keeping your eyes down field…and he needs to watch Rothlisberger in how to be a big QB who can scramble and let his receivers get open or break off routes. If he did that, he’d truly be worth his 20 million a year salary.

        1. Steve Young’s big flaw as a runner was that he was incapable of protecting himself. The two most vivid examples that I remember included bad judgment and comedy. The comedy happened on a run where Steve had twenty or more yards, tried to go down, then tried to get up again, got hit in the head with one of his own linemen’s knees, and fumbled the ball. The second was against Detroit in the playoffs. Late in the game he went into the end zone like a full back, and took a massive blow to his ribs which were broken. It made the score 14 to zero to ice the game, but 10 to zero would have also iced the game. Steve couldn’t play the next week in Green bay.

    3. MWD

      Idiotic, you say? I would say it’s idiotic to waste the prime years of the most dynamic, athletic QB in NFL history’s career by forcing him to stand like a statue in the pocket.

  4. If Kaepernick were my toddler I would feed him as much lean protein as humanly possible it is great for cell and brain growth. Come on man, if you believe this scheme is superior to the previous years state your case professionally don’t stomp your foot and run away. How often and loudly did the fans complain about the Roman-Harbaugh scheme. I feel confident we would have agreed with your assessment.

    1. I would also rub down his hamstrings with goats milk before tucking him in at night with the faint sound of Bill Walsh tutoring in the background….

    2. To develop Toddler Colin, I’d replace pitching with basketball to develop peripheral vision.

  5. Let me explain because that comment is derived from my analysis.
    I said for the last year that JH was an arrogant coach, and when Cosell intoned that Kaep will never be elite until he can only be a competent pocket passer, JH bristled and fell for the trap. “Oh yeah, well I am going to make Kaep a pocket passer even if it kills him”. After 52 sacks, it almost became reality.
    To analogize, I point out the classic movie- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In that movie, the mine foreman asks the Kid to shoot a rock. The Kid misses, and the foreman turns his head away in disgust. The Kid asks if he can move. The foreman says OK, and the Kid moves like lightening and blasts the rock to bits. The same principle applies here. Kaep needs to be able to move.
    To further analogize, I have said repeatedly that forcing Kaep to be only a pocket passer is like putting an Abrams Tank in a pit. Kaep is a thousand times more dangerous when he is on the run. Play to his strengths. Accentuate his positives. Maximize his skillsets.
    It sounds like Kaep is going to have freedom to improvise. He will be required to make the proper read, and take what the defense gives him. He will not have one hand tied behind his back with poor unimaginative play calling and he will not be chained in the pocket. I hope they let him be the field general, to make quick decisions and speed up the game so the defense is put out of position or forced to call a time out. I hope he has the authority to run the hurry up with quick snaps, but also delay the snap so the defense will jump offside and he can get a free play that should be a long strike downfield. I hope they wisely use the TEs to create mismatches.
    Kaep may have used improper word selection. Instead of out of character, he should have said stifle his skillsets or waste his talents. Kaep is not a running QB. He is not a classic pocket passer. He is a hybrid. He can run and score from anywhere on the field, and throw the ball the length of the field, so every square inch is covered.
    Sundance Kaep is imbued with Hybrid Vigor, and the best thing for the staff to do is let Colin be Colin.

    1. Seb- I think a lot of what you say has merit. It would have been far more productive to phase him into being more of a pocket passer via time than all at once. It was especially difficult under last seasons circumstance. The slow developing plays paired with the O-line problems didn’t help.

      I do think there was more than on the field issues involved in what he said. I sometimes listen to what is not said as well as what is said. Kaep was always uncomfortable in his pressers. It’s usually a sign that a person is saying something that is not a true refection of what he really wants to say. He seemed to be hiding his true opinions or feelings. There was one time when he slipped and his frustrations showed. I have always suspected that he took heat for things that he was only following instructions for which he did not personally agree with. That would be for both things on and off the field. This appeared to have started to happen in 2013 because that is when the indecision began to manifest itself and affect his on field production. He just wasn’t as comfortable running the team like he was in 2012.

      1. The unreasoned hate thrown at him is part of his problem.He would respond to some vile message and it would just encourage them to keep dumping on him. It was a distraction and huge time waste.
        I am SO glad he has stopped tweeting, and just concentrating on playing football.
        I agree, the coaching was deficient in his early years, but he did make it to the SB after 10 games, so the talent is manifest. Too bad he was forced to play in a system where he was not comfortable, and not utilized properly.

    2. Seb, He has 6 sacks already this season with the lowest ranked o line in the league for pass protection. The result could be the same despite the change in offense and worker to a greater degree towards his strengths.

      Think about the teams we play: Rams, Hawks, Cardinals, and Raven’s all have better pass rushes than the Steelers. If the o line doesn’t get sorted out those guys could rack up some serious sacks. Even GB’s Matthews will cause havoc on us. Cleveland has a good defense too.

      1. I concede that the O line play will make or break this season.
        I hope they put in Brown and see if he can stop the right side from collapsing.

        1. Don’t you think if Brown was better than Pears he’d be starting? Its not just the right side any more, Staley is 30 and past his prime. We have problems every where. Staley has been one of my favorite players over the past decade but he’s getting beat too.

          1. That one play when Kaep was sacked by 3 players who ran by their blockers was disconcerting.
            Brown is a mountain of a man, yet is light on his feet. He is a rookie, but lots of teams have inserted rooks into their line up. I hope Brown would not incur 3 drive killing penalties and allow 6 QB hurries and a sack, like Pears did.

          2. “Don’t you think if Brown was better than Pears he’d be starting?”

            That depends on how much confidence you have in this coaching staff. Brandon Thomas was supposed to be good(3rd round pick) and he can’t crack the lineup over Devey, who sucks too. Are these young guys really that bad? And with how bad the O-line is right now, why not let the youngsters learn on the job?

            Anyway, I haven’t been convinced yet that our best O-line combo doesn’t include Boone as RT.

            1. I concur, and wonder if JT made promises to players and wants to be loyal to them, even when they are failing.
              I would jump for joy if they gave Boone a raise and put him at RT, since Pears is so bad and they have plenty of cap space to lock him into a long term contract.

              1. That would be stupid to promise players something and lose the season or your starting QB to an injury. Fan and a few others would rejoice but it would be dismal when Gabbert get annihilated.

            2. Somebody this off season wrote a good article on our line coach. Everywhere he went he went he’s improved his line’s overall but they were never top five or even top ten.

              Man if they are sitting talent on the bench we’re in for an awful season. Its what nearly everyone here accused JH of doing was sitting rookie talent over proven veterans. I think is often easier to project unproven talent as better than the clear shortcomings of a veteran. Its a myth at times or maybe they have the talent but not the scheme and speed at this level yet? Ok let’s play them. But if this is our best line wow are we weak in talent.

              I don’t think people get to this level and don’t play their best players. Thomas might be a bust or disappointing. It could say something about the coaching or about the GM. I don’t know what to make of them moving Boone to left guard?

              1. Sometimes you can’t tell about a player until he is forced to play. JH didn’t know Kap was better than Alex until Alex got hurt and Kap was forced to start.

                ” I think is often easier to project unproven talent as better than the clear shortcomings of a veteran.”

                This is very true, but young players have potential to make bigger improvements than vets who have reached their already low ceiling. And the best way young players get better is by playing and gaining experience.

                Is the CS handcuffed by the FO saying this isn’t a rebuilding year?

              2. Coach Tomsula is a players coach, and uses encouragement to try and get the best out of his players. After the first game, the O line played very well and I thought that they would not be a problem for the rest of the season, but last game, the O line was putrid.
                Players respond to praise, and with all the big egos, do not take kindly to criticism. Coach Tomsula must find the fine line between building them up when they do well, and kicking some rear ends when they fail, without inflating their egos or destroying their confidence.

              3. I think the opposite is true, young players also have unknowns that could be shown on the field too that could be negative. At this point I would guess Brown and Thomas haven’t show enough to play yet. I’d love to hear an update on Easton.

                Grant’s observations at TC for Brown weren’t great nor on Thomas.

              4. You could be right Wilson. I have no idea. Which is why I said it depends on how much you trust the CS to put the right players on the field, and if you think this team can contend for a playoff spot.

              5. Also IS an important word ;-)

                The thing about young players making mistakes and showing warts is you have time to fix em’.

              6. Grimey, I want to trust the coaching staff and I want to believe that our young players are talented. In the preseason they tried lots of looks on the o line trying to figure this out from what I can tell. Could it be much worse? Not sure it could. You’re probably right at some point I hope we see them try out these other guys.

                I hope we see some adjustments this week.

              7. Well I’m not a professional football anything, so they probably know better than me, but the 49ers have made moves that I find odd.

              8. Grimey and Seb, JT said this about all those back up guys.

                7. The 49ers coach remains high on the young backups on the offensive line. Players like guard Brandon Thomas, tackle Trent Brown and guard Ian Silberman have shown their upside in practice, according to Tomsula.

    1. People just can’t recognize the incremental improvements that he’s making in his game.

      1. Not many people know he played in a pro style offense in college for three years, and he’s quite accurate….

    1. Re Harbaugh carry over bad red-zone offense… I’ve been saying last year CK’s slow recognition and delivery make it hard to pass in the red-zone.

      The lack of a finesse TE with good hands that can find coverage holes in tight endzone also hurts.

      I’m not giving up tough. CK’s delivery is a (little) quicker. Blake Bell looks promising.

      And the ZBS should reduce those loss yardage backfield stuffs that turn first and goal from the 3 into second and goal from the 7 because a defender was allowed to shoot a gap and kill Gore a moment after hand off.

      1. Remember how they had a division of responsibilties with the offensive gameplan under Harbaugh? Who was the coach responsible for the red zone plays? Is he our OC?

        1. Good point.

          Chryst also called the Vernon Post. I wonder if he was the red-zone play caller in 2011?

  6. Going into tonights game Colin Kaepernick and Kirk Cousins had the same number of career interceptions(21). Kap has played in 50 games Cousins has played in 16.

  7. I don’t know why Colin used the word character, but it clearly wasn’t what he meant unless Harbaugh was forcing him use the benefits of cheating, and Colin was morally opposed to it.

    1. I concur. Poor word choice.
      I would rather have had him say intrinsic qualities instead of character.

  8. Kaep is not doing himself any favors by ducking questions, but maybe he thought the interview was over and the question was out of line. After 5 sacks and running for his life, he probably felt very uncomfortable with good reason. Asking that question was just snark, and he was wise to leave it unanswered.
    I am extremely pleased with his appearance, and the apparel looks sharp and stylish. I wish he would ditch the head phones, unless he is donating money earned from wearing them to his favorite charity.
    Most posters assume that I love Kaep and have never said a bad word about him. So here goes. I had high hopes this year, but Kaep has failed in one area. I had hoped that he would solve his time management problems, but he failed and incurred a delay of game penalty. He also wasted a time out to avoid a DOG penalty, which is just as bad to me. Kaep has improved, and many times, there is over 15 seconds left on the play clock. However, at that critical time in the red zone, the time management could have been a lot better. Think crisp, quick, efficient. hopefully Kaep will learn from his mistakes, but if they continue, Kaep has only himself to blame if they do not win.
    Overall, the Niners are still shooting themselves in the foot, and those self inflicted wounds should be the easiest things to fix. The Niners just have to play smarter, and realize that dumb penalties will kill drives and extend the oppositions’ drives. Play aggressively with much energy, but play smart and in control.

  9. We are about to play for the division lead and we are talking about “What Kaepernick meant”. This is why I predominantly spend my time on Niner Nation.

    Lets talk about strategy. How Mangini is going to dial up edge blitz’s to get to Palmer.

    Lets talk about creative ways we can use Ellington… But three days before a big game, ” what Kaepernick meant”? SMH.

  10. This was on the radio all day. It is a relevant topic of discussion, and interspersed among the comments is a lot of football strategizing.
    NN has devolved into a clueless bunch of sycophants twittering among themselves with little depth or insight.
    I would dial back on the blitzes, because look at what Big Ben did, and Palmer is just as savvy. Niners just need to play sound fundamental football, stop the self inflicted wounds, and they will be competitive.

    1. Palmer is not as mobile as Big Ben. Something the 49ers planned against when facing Pitt. Now they get a statue. And can press man because Palmer isn’t going to be buying anytime with those knees and legs. Blitzing him on the edges and up the middle is probably a good game plan.

      1. If they can get to him. Sounds like Palmer is getting rid of the ball so quickly, they did not have time to sack him, hence the zero sacks.

    2. Palmer is nowhere near as “savvy” as Big Ben. He can be and has been flustered many times before. Plus the Cardinals have played 2 of the worst teams in the NFL so far, this will definitely be their toughest match up.

  11. I think what Colin is and will be, he is there now. There is no big breakout upcoming, what we see is what we got. So just let him fun, let him do what he likes….but we gotta draft or acquire a franchise level QB pretty much now….

    1. So Max who is this future QB? Bree’s, Romo, and Stafford all hurt and in decline. Other than Mariotta and Winston what draft QB’s last year are starting? Manning and Luck are struggling. So many teams are going to be looking for QB’s this next year or two. Is there really some guy in college that’s better right now? People have been saying that for a couple of years but all those guys are on the bench still. Ben, Rivers, Rodgers, Brady and possibly Ryan are the best. Everything else is a toss up for almost every team. Carr might be good. Wilson is a more accurate version of Kap, Newton is just a bigger version of Kap. Manzel is riding the pine. Houston is in trouble. Flacco is Kap that can’t run. Maybe you have a guy, who is it?

      1. I waited to reply because I expected that you wouldn’t get a reply to your question. As alway with the “replace the current guy” posts, there is never a reply beyond a few “anyone would be better” mumbles.

  12. I think Harbaugh and Roman tried to save Kaep from injury mostly. They figured that he wouldnt be able to last running the read option but Seattle has proven that you can run the read option as long as the QB knows that he has to get down at the first sign of trouble. Kaep has also proven to be pretty durable. This coaching staff has the benefit of learning from their mistakes.

    1. That theory may have validity, but it ignores the fact that Kaep was beaten like a pinata 52 times with that strategy, so to me it was an abject failure.

      1. It doesn’t ignore that fact it was a result of it. In other words, Kaep got sacked so many times because they were trying to protect him and kept him in the pocket.

  13. Kaep definitely looks more relaxed playing for Tomsula. Harbaugh is definitely wound pretty tight. At the same time, he turned the situation around through force of will. He had the same roster and got them to within a couple of fumbles of the SB the first year, got there the 2nd year, and was in the NFCCG the third again.
    It all imploded last year for a variety of reasons, putting a lot on Kaep’s plate was one of them.

    If what Kaep is saying is true, then I think it’s pretty clear that Harbaugh and Roman were too demanding and expecting too much, too fast. Either they’re really bad coaches or Kaep couldn’t do it. Not everyone can be a top tier QB. Not everyone has what it takes.

    He rather do it his way, eat his pizza, according to Grant.

  14. We must be really hard up for news cause we’re still talking about this non issue. Can we talk about something that matters for Sunday, what adjustments does the defense have to make for the game to not get blown out by Palmer and his WR’s?

    1. The defense needs to ease up on the safeties especially Reid playing as prowlers. He was out of position a number of times before some big pass plays. Part of this was probably due to Reid misjudging Brown’s speed. Big Ben didn’t get fooled at all by the confusion that the safeties tried to create. To make things worse, he was uncannily accurate with those deep throws.

      Also, I haven’t seen it mentioned, but it looked to me like Bowman did not have a good game. I watched the coaches film of the first half and Bowman was out of position a number of times. One time when Ben ran what looked like a read option (I didn’t know he was capable of that), Bowman got spun around and wound up falling down.

      Finally, nobody has been able to provide a good answer to this question (not even Maiocco), but why isn’t Reaser getting playing time? With the way Acker was torched by Brown, why wouldn’t you try to cover Brown with your fastest CB. They should let him try to cover Arizona’s Brown.

      1. Seems like you need to play enough with the safeties in the box and safeties deep to convince the QB that’s your scheme before you try to start tricking them by your position. Good post.

        I would love to watch the coaches film but am too cheap to pay for it. How did our interior lineman look? Any observations on OLB’s? I would think if we could get to Palmer it would disrupt their long ball.

        1. No, I’ve only just started trying to watch coaches film and it’s very time consuming. I was primarily focusing on the safeties and DBs. On GamePass they provide a second view of each play which is typically behind either the QB or the ILBs. That’s why I happened to notice some of Bowman’s plays.

      2. The Reaser question is a good one. I also wonder why they didn’t switch to Brock sooner too? It seems really silly to expect a young guy like him to cover Brown or even Reaser.

      3. Cubus,

        It is strange that Reaser hasn’t seen the field, at all. Other players have been mixed into the defense, you would think that Reaser would get some opportunities. Last week, with the game out of hand, would have been a good spot to give Reaser some snaps.

        Do you think Bowman’s problems were from lack of familiarity of the scheme, mental, physical or some combination? I’m just hoping his problems didn’t look physical in nature.

        1. Rieser isn’t on the field because Riser’s coach doesn’t have the confidence to put him out there. It’s the assistant that has to answer to the HC if he puts a player out there that blows it or isn’t ready so why would a coach put themselves on the line for a player they don’t have 100% confidence can handle being out there.

        2. Fan’s,

          Don’t loose sight of the fact that if you try press coverage on Palmer,
          there’s always RB’s Andre Ellington, Ex-2,000 yd. rucher, Chris Johnson and 6-3, 225 Lb, David Johnson (who returned a Kickoff 100 yds. last week), capable of swinging out of the backfield on the Texas Route, or Wheel Route.

        3. I think on the play where Bowman got spun around, he was in no way prepared for Ben to run the read option. He thought for sure that he would give the ball to the running back, but instead Ben pulled it out, ran to his left and made another throw. Can’t comment on the other questions you posed as I just don’t have enough knowledge.

            1. There are different views of the game. Broadcast (which is full length), Condensed (about 30 to 40 minutes), Coaches Film.

      4. “One time when Ben ran what looked like a read option…”

        Lots of teams run a version of the read option, that’s actually a run/pass option, where the QB reads the LBs drop and decides to hand off or make a throw. More evidence of college football creeping into the pros.

        This is where I give Grant some credit, he’s been all over Bowman’s struggles in coverage. Blame it on the knee, Bo doesn’t have the same change of direction ability he used to.

  15. Grant

    You’ll like this take. Guaranteed. Goes beyond the field, just bear with me.

    I was a sweet-natured kid growing up. Of course, that changed a little when I discovered that I had a way with women, that I was good at sports and excelled in the classroom; I got a little bit over-confident. But my nature, my general character, did not change. Not then. Later, I went to UCLA, started working, then was called back home to deal with a family tragedy that eventually took my father from me, gone to the greedy clutches of metastatic cancer. Still, my character did not change, my sweet nature remained. Soon after, more tragedies tried to drain me of my good nature, yet I remained. Life was challenging, but I stood my ground, my character knowing only one way to be.

    It wasn’t until 2008, when I joined a strategy consulting firm led by a former McKinsey burnout, that my core was compromised. I saw this brilliant, dynamic leader, who was so myopically focused on his own success, and I thought, this guy knows what he wants, knows exactly how to get it, and this is something I need to learn for myself!

    I worked 20 hour days, and over time I became a trusted agent of this employer. I became his number 2; mind you in a small firm, that distinction means a lot. This guy treated his employees, including me, like pond scum, berating us on a daily basis, ensuring that we knew where we stood. As my inner self flickered, I sensed that my light was being replaced with a dark brooding, and in moments, I wondered if I should be following this guy’s example. After all, he had no wife, no relationships of meaning for all I could tell. His parents seemed to be shadow figures in his life, never important enough for him to make time for, unless they visited him, in which case he would begrudgingly leave the office to spend the absolute minimum with them.

    The guy was the most socially deficient human being I have ever met.

    And you know what happened, and in fairly short order after I started spending 20 hours a day working under his direction? I started to take after him, started barking orders at underlings, spoke in terse verse to those who tried to engage me, and forcefully dismissed anybody who would dare obstruct me, or try to steal my identity, or my time.

    I became Colin Kaepernick at the podium during Harbaugh’s reign of terror: a monosyllabic, depressive gorilla obsessed with pleasing my mentor at all costs. And my friends and family told me about it, warned me, implored me to search for the sweet-natured man they had always known.

    It was only after I left the firm, and once again embraced my own interests, developed my own strengths, that I returned to my familiar self. I think Harbaugh was Kaep’s worst nightmare, and I think Tomsula, Chryst, and Logan are doing everything they can to undo the damage Harbaugh did, not only to Kaepernick’s game, but to his inner nature. As a result, Kaep can fairly comfortably stand before the press, with a somewhat self-deprecating smile, and admit that he knows how to be himself better than anybody else.

    This is a good development for Kaep, the person. In all likelihood, it will translate positively on the field, and provide a bountiful yield for the 49ers for years to come.

    1. E, very interesting take. I don’t think the analogy holds completely because Harbaugh has a family and makes time for them (I think) and he wanted to draft Colin, he ardently supported Colin over Alex and did a lot for getting Colin’s career off the ground. Your former boss sounds far worse than Harbaugh from a social leadership standpoint but without knowing either man personally, I guess I cannot say for sure.

      I do think your essential analogy holds that your former boss and Harbaugh both burn people out by driving so hard. The initial success is there because there is hard work, but without things being in balance in life, eventually the driven employee goes bananas and burns out. The question is whether Kap can obtain the same or better success as he did under Harbaugh in 2012 with more balance under Tomsula’s leadership.

      1. Adusoron

        I wouldn’t presume to know how Mrs. Harbaugh likes her khakis, but there is a striking resemblance between the surly image Harbaugh conveys and the one my former boss displayed to pretty much everybody.

        It’s all about a general arrogance, bordering on narcissistic personality disorder. When one fails to ever try to understand another person’s perspective, the other person is forced to assimilate, and in cases of intense mentorship like the ones I have tried to describe, the protegé’s character can be compromised. This would explain the radical shift in Colin’s approach to the media from Nevada to San Francisco. He seems to be returning to his old ways the further he gets from Harbaugh.

  16. Good article Grant.

    Squash and brussels sprouts to a toddle (CK) can be had if you make it appealing. So change it up if it is not working. Fix = ADD BACON!!! Fix = move the pocket / QB around.

    Yes you plan a scheme all off season but you need contingencies. Other schemes, spread, read option, bootlegs. If those contingencies are working mid season expand on them. The defenses adjusted to Niners, we never adjusted to the defenses. Let’s see how our coaches do this year adjusting. This is a brutal schedule. Mid season will be a gut check for team. I hope they don’t cash it in.

    All fairness to both staffs (last year and this year) our OL has not been good the past two years.

    Side note: All the Niners who left the coaches and so on… Our time was the Balt super bowl… we were a better team, came out flat. That was the window. That is on Jim H. and CK. The next year against Seattle, we never should of been in that game. Seattle shut us down. CK kept us in that game. Sucks CK to Crabs failed two years in a row.

    Go Niners!!!

        1. This is not remotely close to a complete list of media picks, so feel free to post links to any additional ones.

          SB Nation (link to come): I’m the only one of eight picks!
          ESPN: Everybody picking the Cardinals
          CBS Sports: Will Brinson, John Breech, out of eight picks
          FOXSports.com: All eight picking Cardinals
          NFL.com: All five picked the Cardinals
          Greg Cote, Miami Herald: Cardinals 24, 49ers 20
          Dennis Manoloff, The Plain Dealer: Cardinals 23, 49ers 19
          Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Cardinals 24, 49ers 20
          Pro Football Talk: MDS Cardinals 30, 49ers 10; Florio Cardinals 34, 49ers 24

            1. My wife even picked the Cardinals. I say, let them play and let the feathers fall where they may….

              1. As long as we have the ability to stop the bleeding if we are down 2-3 scores. I really need to see something to say we can turn it around later in the year and bring our record to 8 or 9 wins.

                Basically playmakers need to make plays. Someone on DL needs to generate pressure and force turnovers. Coaches try not to get out coached, but at some point we need to win one on one battles. If not then the talent is not there and we need to address in the offseason.

    1. You mean that game should’ve been in San Francisco, right? Since the refs incorrectly called Brooks for a “tackle in the neck area”, which the NFL ultimately admitted was the wrong call. That penalty cost the 49ers the game and home field advantage. The 2013 NFCCG should’ve been in SF and the 49ers should’ve gone to back to back SB’s.

  17. Be more careful

    Anguished wailing fills the air.
    Such deep regret
    Caused by a chair.
    The leg,
    For which I gave no care,
    Met with me in painful flash
    As toe was stubbed, the 49ers were snubbed,
    it was a bad call, we had the ball, down 50 was all.

  18. Most people, former players included, have mixed feelings about Harbaugh. In many ways Alex Smith was the perfect QB for him because he was so compliant and willing to play second fiddle to Harbaugh. That compliant quality also seemed to be a turnoff for Harbaugh because it was the opposite of his own personality.

    Harbaugh still wants to be the man. He has been his whole life and craves the attention. That doesn’t work in the NFL. He got credit for turning around Alex Smith and then received credit for Kaepernick’s ascension. Maybe the pocket passing crash course was his new project/attention mechanism. I’m not downplaying the importance of pocket passing in any way, but the transition takes time. Last years play calling did not utilize Kaep’s skillset very well overall. I think Kaepernick was hinting at his frustration over this. He probably realized that character was the wrong word to use and ended it.

    I’m sure Kaep is very loyal to Harbaugh, but is also in need of change and growth. I don’t know that either Kaep or Smith would have maximized their potential under Harbaugh because I’m not sure Harbaugh wanted that. At some point the student can only learn so much from one teacher. One of my favorite things to do with my son and his friends is to present a building/engineering challenge to them and split them into groups. I give the groups materials (foam, popsicle sticks, glue, etc.) and tell them they have 30 minutes. When the time is up I’m always amazed at how different the results are for each group. There are very creative solutions presented within each group. The kids look at the other projects and add ideas and solutions to their skill set immediately.

    Coaching has the same ability to impact a player. In my case, I realize that more can be learned from four groups interacting and competing than me explaining it. I wasn’t looking for credit, I just wanted them to learn how to do a specific task. Harbaugh wanted credit and I feel like that impacted his handling of his QB’s, which has maybe lead to a little resentment.

    1. I don’t Harbaugh’s coaching style reflects his need to be recognized or to be given credit. He is extreme type A personality obsessed with winning, and will not settle for anything less than 100% from his players and coaches (including himself) ALL the time. It’s impossible for any QB to take charge when he’s the coach because Harbaugh is confident that he knows exactly how a QB should run a play under any circumstance, and the QB would prefer to defer to him (Luck in his junior year may have been an exception, but probably not). This delays the QB maturity process.

  19. It’s his use of the term character that is the puzzling aspect of the statement. Character would usually mean his way of doing something or his behavior and views on a subject, rather his play on the field. That’s why my first thought was he was referring to how he was asked to interact with the media and maybe even teammates.

    If it’s about how he was used in the offense I get it, but there is also reasons for it. First off, they had issues at TE last year which necessitated using more WR’s at times. He actually thrived in that offense when they played in AZ last year. Kap also ran for more yards last year than he had in his previous years as a starter, although much of that was on broken plays and not by design. The biggest change in last years offense was Playaction though. The number of playaction calls declined significantly, and I think that as much as anything caused not only Kap problems, but the Oline as well.

    Whether he thought he was being used properly or not, Kap needed and still needs to improve his play from the pocket. You can’t be consistent in this league without being able to play from there at least some of the time. Maybe Harbaugh and Roman pushed it too far, I don’t know, but Kap has to learn that part of the game or he’s going to go down with the likes of Kordell Stewart, Michael Vick, etc. that could make some big plays but couldn’t sustain success long term.

    1. WTF? Do we actually agree on something? Is there a full moon? Is it going to rain tomorrow?

      Harbaugh and Roman definitely threw a lot at Kaep the more he started. They didn’t play to his strengths, they were forcing and molding him as the QB they wanted to run the system. It looks like Tyrod Taylor is doing okay with Romans’ offense. And it doesn’t seem like they have a lot of delay of game penalties. Not a knock on Kaep, there’s much higher expectations for Kaep as the QB with a team knocking on the door to the SB.

      I don’t think Kaep has bad character at all. Out of my character probably refers to style. Tomsula doesn’t have a philosophy yet on offense, so it’s easier for him to adapt to Kaep, where as Harbaugh was running the power type offense he developed in Stanford. He went ALL-IN when he switched to Kaep and probably tinkered in the wrong way and it was his hubris, not Kaep’s inabilities that led to failure in the SB.

      That’s asking alot for a first year coach to get to the NFCCG the year before, and the SB the next. It’s asking alot more to have a QB in only his 11th start to make a throw to win the game. It was fairy tale up to that point and they almost pulled it off, but in the end it came down to just a few plays. That’s asking a helluvalot for a young player to make a crucial throw to win it all. Big Brother Harbaugh was one step ahead the whole time, even the way they cheated to win the game at the end!

      There you go, Rocket. It would be out of character for me if I didn’t end this post without saying – KAEP SUCKS!


    2. Rocket,

      Didn’t he say directly he was talking about off the field? I thought he was asked if he felt he was used incorrectly in the offense last year and, I think, he said that he was referring to “situations” off the field. I could have it wrong, though.

  20. Look at the snap counts for the defense against Pittsburgh (taken from Matt Maiocco).

    (57 snaps)
    57 — FS Eric Reid, CB Kenneth Acker, SS Antoine Bethea
    55 — CB Tramaine Brock
    53– LB NaVorro Bowman
    49 — LB Michael Wilhoite
    41 — OLB Ahmad Brooks
    40 — NT Ian Williams, DE Glenn Dorsey
    38 — OLB Aaron Lynch
    30 — DL Quinton Dial
    27 — S Jimmie Ward
    19 — CB Dontae Johnson
    17 — DL Tank Carradine
    14 — DL Arik Armstead
    11 — S Jaquiski Tartt
    10 — DL Tony Jerod-Eddie
    8 — OLB Eli Harold
    4 — LB Shayne Skov

    I’ve been wondering why Harold only had 8 snaps, but you can see that Lynch only had 38 out of 57 and Brooks 41. Before looking at the counts I thought maybe Lynch and Brooks were gassed by having played too many snaps (because Harold only got 8). However, it now looks like the defense probably only had one OLB out on the field for almost 1/3rd of the defensive snaps (may have been times where they didn’t have any, not sure on that).

    Anybody else find that surprising compared with Fangio defenses? Maybe TJE played OLB and I just didn’t notice (like he did in the one preseason game).

    1. One of their packages is a 3-3-5 with 1OLB. They also play a 1-4-6 with Tank as the only down lineman.

  21. On the other hand, Williams played 41 out of 57 snaps (over 70%), which would probably not have happened last year against a pass-happy offense. They didn’t substitute for him as much when going to the nickel and dime, it would seem. It looks like they substituted for the OLBs instead or as well.

  22. I just watched the first half of the condensed version of the AZ-CHI game; the game was played in Chicago. Cutler got hurt near the end of the first half and they had to put Clausen in so I didn’t watch the second half.

    I’m feeling better about our chances. The score at halftime was 28 to 20 in favor of AZ. But look at how AZ scored:

    1) 108 yard kickoff return for a TD.
    2) Touchdown that came after PI on Chicago on a shot down the field by Palmer
    3) Touchdown that came after PI on Chicago on a shot down the field by Palmer
    4) Interception by AZ ran back for a TD.

    Arizona’s defense didn’t look that formidable and Chicago moved the ball fairly well; but they made some mistakes that hurt them.

    1. This will be a tough game but the Niners should be in the game as long as they play disciplined football with 100% effort — something glaringly absent last Sunday. I will not be surprised with a win by either team by less than a TD.

      The corners need to do the obvious, jam receivers at the LoS if playing man-2-man, not yield the sidelines and re-route receivers to the safeties. The D line has to pressure without the need to blitz. Lynch needs to run over RBs not get tied up as he was against the Steeler RB. Offense needs to call some shot plays early in the game on first and second downs. TEs need to help the right side of the O line. The O line as a whole needs to block better, both run and pass. All obvious stuff and all missing last Sunday.

    2. Run all the “stat” you want! The Cardinals are the real deal! Do you actually watch the games other than the 49ers?

    1. The Cards with their 22nd ranked defense? They may be the most complete NFC West team this early in the season. There’s still a lot of football left to be played. Lets not crown them till they earn it.

      I am not convinced our Young DB won’t get burned a lot if we can get any pressure. We’ll be able to run and throw the ball on them but if we can get stops we’ll be in trouble.

      1. In the secondary you have a good safety the rest are inexperienced and as you play better teams it will become more apparent.

        1. Actually we have 2 good safeties and two up and coming safeties in Tartt and Ward that are decent. Weak at DB though.

      2. Wilson: That is why Seattle’s secondary is so outstanding 3 of them are pro-bowlers have been together for 5 years. If they are healthy, no team can compete with them.

    2. Mary,

      These people rarely view the oppositions threats…Seb cites Sun Tzu’s “Art of War,” but only from a 49er’s viewpoint. Am I the only one aware of this? Because in war, isn’t there an opponent as well?
      It wasn’t until I started posting the world class speed of Cardinal WR’s and Pitt’s outstanding QB that they began to take notice

      1. Tom: you nailed that one. What’s that saying ignorance and bliss. The Seahawks are going to be playing catch-up with the Cards just like we did last year. Hope Cable works his magic with the OLine. Our first real test will be with the Bengals.

          1. Tom: The last 3 years we lost Center Max Unger, James Carpenter and Breno Giacomini. 3 big guys on our OLine. We tried to sign Evan Mathis but unfortunately that didn’t go our way. So we face OLine problem like about 24 other teams with inexperienced kids from spread offenses. Good news is communication with the new center is getting better.

            I heard that Lynch might have a slight injury and since we have a big edge over Chicago we may not play him or on a limited basis. I would assume they play Kam for only half a game.

          1. Be advised though, Mary, Seb is underhanded, always omitting and editing his adversaries lines to build his case.

            1. Tom:

              If you have to write a novelette to explain your point, you don’t know what you’re talking about and it’s probably a cut and paste.

      2. Tom’s ignorant if he really thinks no one here knew of how fast the Card’s WR’s are. He lives in his own reality.

    1. The 49es, returning kickoffs from 8 yards deep in the endzone,
      or running plays, going nowhere and stopped,
      the pageantry of, this exciting offense…..
      That’s entertainment.

      The Niner’s, trying a new pass play,
      but receivers, running incorrect routes,
      the football in flight, but bouncing of hands,
      That’s entertainment…

      For a thrill, stay til the end, and suffer, a sunburn without end,
      the parking lot, filled to the brim,
      your chances escaping, are so very thin
      That’s entertainment……

      1. ~Guns to the right of us. Guns to the left us. What’s it all mean, Mr. Natural?
        -> “Don’t mean sheeeeee ed”

  23. Well E hope you feel great about that outburst. I personally know your’re a jerk and a sexist and now you beat up on someone in their 80s and a 49er fan. You owe htwaits an apology —

    1. Who’s a sexist? Nobody’s ever accused me of that before. You are a pea-brained human who just happens to have a hole instead of a peg.

      1. There’s that “sweet-natured kid” who discovered that he “had a way with women” again. ;-}

    2. Mary, if you’re referring to e at September 25, 2015 at 12:23 pm he was just blustering with excess anger about a challenge to the idea that Jim Harbaugh left every head coaching job where “his teams are proven to be deficient in scheme.” It’s a pointless anger with no basis in reality.

      Thanks for your concern, but I don’t think was ever in danger. At least a lot less danger than attending games at Kezar. ;-}

      1. ht: I know you can take care of yourself. I just saw a good excuse to stick a fork in the fool. Debate can be fun.

          1. Prime that’s a setup straight line leading to:

            “The season was over.” … Mary

            I imagine though that Mary was around in the off season after the previous Superbowl but I don’t remember.

          2. I didn’t go on any site and read articles or post. I didn’t really get out of bed for 2 days. I just wanted to put that game out of my mind. And why would I come here where everyone would just laugh.

            1. Oh but it’s okay to start needling 49er fans now? Criticizing when your team has yet to win a game?

  24. Prime: I don’t need you and I think you know that. Carry on and continue beating each other up because you’re having a bad year.

    1. You don’t need me Mary but you sure do need something. How about wrapping your gums around 0-2 for awhile?

  25. Try to win 1 game out of the next 7. The only one I see as a possibility is the Giants, but not sure now. Baltimore is 0-2? what do you think? Good luck!

    1. Which team on that list can afford to lose a quarterback? The NFL is week to week depending on their respective injury reports. If every team is static, then 1 and 6 is possible, but remaining static is not likely so 3 and 4 is also possible. In fact, any possible combination of wins and losses over the next seven games is possible. As Madden likes to say, “… and suddenly a game breaks out.”

      1. I remember last year Seattle won their last 6 games and allowed on avg. only 6pts. per game. We played SF twice and the remaining 4 teams Cardinals twice, Rams and Eagles — all had back-up QBs playing.

        So the answer is no team can afford to lose their QB.

    2. Its a tough schedule. Giants maybe, Raven’s lost Suggs and Kubiak as well as Torrey Smith to us. We’ll split with the Rams. The Cardinals have played crummy teams, we’ll see on Sunday. The Falcon’s are still weak on defense. Jimmy Graham is unhappy and you’ve lost a lot of great players. Nothing’s a given. Its way too early to start making predictions from two games. If the niners play like they did the rest of the season vs. the Steelers it will be awful. If they play more like the Vikings game it will be ok.

      We’ll be between 4-12 and 8-8 this season. If your team keeps up its trend you could be 9-7 or worse with a few key injuries.

      1. I’m not worried about Seattle at all. I said from the beginning, 6 games in. I don’t stress like you guys do.

        1. You’re hilarious. Aren’t you the one who just confessed you didn’t visit any forums or go out of the house for 2 days when you lost the SB? When we lost I didn’t lose any sleep and it didn’t affect my life, it seems you worry more than I do.

          There are some freaking out, most of us are being realistic about where our team is at like I said 4-12- 8-8 is our range. Like I said to you earlier in the season, no one wants to believe this is the season their teams stops being a contender. The fans are often the last ones to see it. If things don’t right themselves in Seattle this could be your year for decline worry or not.

          1. Hey kiddies grow-up you’re all into speculation and what ifs, Let’s see how you do this Sunday. Vegas odds makers has me winning and you losing.. #gohawks

            1. Funny you winning? You’re actually playing? Vegas predicted the Colts loss right and going 0-2? Did they predict you losing to the Rams? Cause vegas isn’t into predictions or speculation, I mean when did gambling become science? What about the Eagles going 0-2? We’re the ones being realistic. We know we’ll probably lose this weekend you however have the whole season lined out.

              You avoid the facts Mary. Fist that your team could be in trouble and second the games still have to be played.

          2. Wilson: go away and troll someone else — I will not waste another ounce of air on you. Personally I would like to slip a safeway bag over your head with a slip knot. You are as dumb as dirt and know nothing about football. I would rather read 20 of Seb’s posts than listen to you prattle — at least Seb knows who he is and is trying to contribute. Get lost.

            1. Sounds like I win because you have no good responses to resort to but instead since you can’t reason you threatening me and start calling names. You know how to never hear from me again, leave. Or don’t you have any place to go to? Won’t Hawks fans have you either?

              You don’t want to talk football. You would rather argue over an interview you’ve never watched and draw ridiculous conclusions and mindless speculations over. It has nothing to do with football. You dribble on about what a great fan you are and how great your team is. And you constantly take shots at the people here and our team. How’s any of that football? You can’t handle straight talk or an honest look at your team.

              You need help. Threatening to suffocate people. Geez.

            2. Mary,
              What kind of reception do you expect as a squawks fan talking smack on a 49ers board? Wilson is a valued commenter. If you had some self awareness you might understand your own status.

        2. I would stress because the defense does not have the same bite and intimidation.
          And the little QB cannot carry the load like he used to because people have figured out his one dimension. Sound familiar?
          And the most important panic is Pete Carroll. The play calling and rah rah college approach is starting to dull with the vets. You have not seen that Mary? Of course you haven’t. You are too focused on what the 49ers are doing. That’s what we call a troll!

  26. For all of you guys that have been bashing Greg Roman, Roman’s Bills are 1-1 after a 8-point loss to the Patriots and a 13-point win against the Colts. Whereas Colin Kaepernick’s career record is 30-17 and the 49ers during that time have an average Points For of 23.4, Tyrod Taylor is 1-1, and his team has an average Points For of 29.5.

    Taylor is not a complete quarterback, and Roman is managing him the same as he had to work around Kaepernick’s deficiencies. Taylor’s team’s average Points For will gradually fall downward from its present level, and probably end up somewhere in the neighborhood of where Kaepernick’s average Points For is presently falling.

    The bottom line here is that Roman was a better offensive coordinator than fans today give him credit for. Jim Harbaugh forced Roman to construct a non-predictable scheme built around a throwing runningback, and Roman’s hands were tied. Roman’s going to have the same struggles in Buffalo, but not because he is a bad coordinator. An offensive coordinator will never look good if his quarterback isn’t able to execute a true NFL offensive scheme. If a good quarterback should fall into the hands of Roman, look for the Bills to have a 13-3 regular season. And if after that their punt returner doesn’t cough up the ball twice, a Roman offense could play in the Super Bowl.

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