Grading the 49ers’ defense, special teams and coaching in 2018

FILE – In this Dec. 23, 2018, file photo, San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle D.J. Jones (93), defensive end DeForest Buckner (99), defensive end Arik Armstead (91) and defensive end Solomon Thomas (94) wait at the line of scrimmage during the first half of the team’s NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Santa Clara, Calif. The defensive members of the 2017 draft class who were expected to be building blocks provided little impact, with first-round defensive lineman Thomas recording only one sack, first-round linebacker Reuben Foster getting released after another arrest and third-round cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon struggling. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Here is Part II of the 49ers’ 2018 season grades. Part I, which included each of the 49ers’ offensive position groups, ran Wednesday.

Defensive linemen: A-minus

They defended the run well. The 49ers ranked seventh best out of 32 teams in rushing yards per attempt allowed.

They also rushed the quarterback well at home, where their sack percentage was 10th best. They clearly have the talent, yet their sack percentage fell to 27th on the road.

But the entire defense played poorly away from home.

More on the road issues below.

Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner is one of the 10 best pass rushers in the NFL. He recorded 12 sacks and 20 hits. And defensive ends Ronald Blair and Cassius Marsh each recorded 5½ sacks and 14 QB hits — solid numbers for two young players who combined have started only seven games in their careers. Both play with high energy.

So does defensive tackle Solomon Thomas, the 49ers’ first-round pick in 2017. He just doesn’t make an impact. He recorded just one sack and six quarterback hits.

Linebackers: A-minus

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This article has 447 Comments

  1. Good follow up piece, Grant . Agree for the most part. Pinion seems disappointing except when you consider he kicks and punts. I’m pretty sure he ranks near the top in touchbacks, plus he allows Gould to keep his leg fresh. Should be interesting to see what the 49ers do with him….

  2. Defensive linemen: A-minus

    Too high. The scheme is designed to stop the run. Lack of pass rush. C+ at best.

    Linebackers: A-minus

    Too high. This grade should be lower due to the time that Foster and Smith played. Warner also had communication issues early on. B-.

    Defensive backs: C-minus

    Close enough. I’d give them a D+.

    Special teams: C

    Fair.

    “But his quarterbacks threw 20 interceptions — third most in the NFL.”

    7 of them by CJ.

    “The coaching may be holding back the players.”

    On defense, yes. That’s on Saleh. And then ultimately on Shanahan for keeping him.

    1. The pass rush was good at home. The road issues are coaching issues.

      It’s the coaches’ fault for playing the wrong weakside linebacker. They should have played Lee all along. And Warner recorded more tackles than Roquan Smith.

      1. “And Warner recorded more tackles than Roquan Smith.” ‘
        True, but Warner was in coverage more and and the excellent D-line run defense played a role in tackles on run plays up the middle–Roquan was/is more of a run-stuffer with more opportunities in gaps. Two very different types of LBs, but Grant your point is well-taken,—Warner made the plays. As solid as Roquan was this year, I have no problem with drafting Warner, especially two rounds later than Smith.

  3. The Niners offense and defense has at least one thing in common – red zone failure. If both units get better at it there will be many more wins. Nothing was brought up about third down efficiency for the offense or defense. Wouldn’t be surprised if both units had problems with it, well it sure seemed like it during the season.

  4. Good adficle, East coast games vs to be a major issue . Team stayed on the east coast fo4 back to back games seam to work. Besides your bias on the coaching staff maybe the defence would do better if there was less injuries in the secondary maybe if we could start them same players for most games we might solve a few coverage breakdown issues. best improvement would come from a quality edge rusher forcing oposing Qb’s to rush there throw s

  5. The D Line deserves a B+, because of the lack of pass rush, and failure to contain too many times.
    .
    The LBs deserve a B+ because Smith was pedestrian and Foster went AWOL. Lee did well, but he only started the last part of the season.
    .
    Defensive backs deserve a C, not C-, because of all the injuries. The safeties could not develop any cohesion with no continuity. They finally pulled a BW and started 3 rookies, and did well.
    .
    ST deserve a B- because of Gould, who was money. They also broke a few good punt returns. I think they are better than a C because KS did make honest assessments, and pulled James from punt returns, and let him handle Kick Offs, where he shined. It was hard to lose Mostert, he was a ST maven. They made good adjustments, and Pinion boomed many kick offs out of the end zone.
    .
    The coaching is a tricky one. I almost feel like you copied what I wrote, so a D is appropriate. However, they did lose JG early, and CJB struggled, until they let Mullens shine. The coaching is deficient, and the 4-12 record tells the story. However, even with all the injuries, they stayed competitive, and I was proud of their grit and determination. They had their frustrating period, but I think the ended the season well. KS finally learned how to finish games.
    .
    I would give them an F, if they do not learn from their mistakes, and keep repeating them. Some day, they will learn to consider time outs to be precious, and saved for legitimate challenges, and the last 2 minutes of each half. Maybe Saleh should not coach the defense to be violent. That tends to have the DBs break bones and hurt their shoulders. The Niner coaches need to prepare the team better, make them focused and disciplined. They need to make quick assessments and shrewd adjustments.
    .
    The Niner coaches need to be bold, and not settle for field goals. 4th and short inside the red zone? GO FOR IT.
    .
    I will not call for any coaches to be fired, but I will advocate for a change. KS needs to swallow his pride, and hire an OC. Lacking an OC and being 4-12 is more than an amazing coincidence.

    1. Sebs-

      Lots of teams, nearly every one, have OC’s……and they STILL stink. Why do you think an OC is a panacea, in and of itself?
      If his old man had a problem with his set-up, I’ll bet he would listen and hire one. I say his old man because, after all, he would know what works and what doesn’t. You know he uses him as an advisor…………

      1. And every playoff team has an OC……..
        .
        KS declared he was good enough to be HC and OC, and he had a 4-12 record, while admitting he should have won 3 more games. I am just postulating that having an OC may have helped them win 5 games. Sure do not see how having an OC would hurt the team. It might hurt KS’s feelings, but he is a big boy, and should be able to take it.
        .
        Maybe they should hire MS as the OC. They have worked well together before. Mike might like to get back in the game, and he would not step on KS’s toes. He would want to help KS succeed.
        .
        Promote Bobby Turner and hire back Rathman, is another possibility.

            1. Maybe you should elevate your status?
              sebnynah says:
              November 28, 2018 at 7:43 pm
              Grant, by calling me a legend, elevates my status,

              1. Here we go again.
                .
                Prime, when you said that Kaep took the league by storm, you just acknowledged that QBs like Desean Watson and Lamar Jackson are amply demonstrating that Kaep was a leader, a trend setter.
                .
                Mobile QBs who are accurate, put so much more pressure on the defense. The escapability of Jackson kinda reminds me of Kaep, and he is a threat to score every time he decides to run.
                .
                Thanks for giving me another chance to talk about Kaep. I always remember you said he took the league by storm.

              2. “Prime, when you said that Kaep took the league by storm, you just acknowledged that QBs like Desean Watson and Lamar Jackson are amply demonstrating that Kaep was a leader, a trend setter“
                Nope. No where on earth did I anknowledge that. That’s just you putting words in my mouth and lying once again.
                Never would I compare Krap with a QB like Watson. Totally different. Don’t know yet about Lamar.

                Seb you don’t need me to help you talk about Kap. In fact I strongly encourage you to talk about him every single blog entry you can.

                That just means you will look like the moron you are talking about a player in the same reference as other QB’s who came on then scence, flashed some brilliance and then flamed out. Guys like:
                Kordell Stewart
                Quincy Carter
                Rob Johnson
                Jason Campbell
                Daunte Culpepper
                Matt Leinart
                Rex Grossman
                Byron Leftwich
                Brady Quinn
                Jeff George
                Vince Young
                Akili Smith
                Andre Ware
                JaMarcus Russell

              3. Prime, none of them were 5 yards from winning a SB and one pass from returning.
                .
                None of them ever set a playoff rushing record, or had a 4-2 road playoff record.
                .
                Kaep did, he took the league by storm, and once the blackball lawsuit is won, he will do it again.
                .
                Jamarcus Russell? He ran for 175 yards his entire career. Kaep ran for 181 yards, setting a playoff record against GB.
                .
                Please try harder, but please try not to use fake stats.

              4. Rex Grossman played and lost in a SB.
                Point is, all those QB’s and Kap were all good for awhile and then flamed out.
                What did all those records do for Kap? Nothing. 2 years and you still think he will come back and play?

                Do me a favor, please. Keep holding out hope and talking Kap and all his past accomplishments, every single post you can. Aim for at least 25 a day.
                I love seeing you look so incompetent.

              5. Prime, you are the one who likes to engage me, so I will keep reminding you of what you wrote.
                .
                Comparing Rex Grossman to Kaep is specious because they are totally dissimilar. Kaep is a mobile QB who has thrown for 72 TDs and 30 picks. for a QBR of 88.9. Grossman had thrown 56 TDs and 60 picks for a 71.4 QBR.
                .
                Grossman ran for 106 yards. Kaep has run for 2300 yards.
                .
                You really are reaching to try and compare totally different QBs, but then again, your football knowledge is non existent.
                .
                Glad you brought up not playing for 2 years. Barkley and Josh Johnson both were out of football longer, yet came back and won games. Kaep can do the same.

              6. Numbers mean nothing when comparing all those QB’s.
                My point is if you are going to talk about QB’s that are good and out of the league then be prepared for the comparison.
                All those QB’s including Krap were good, just not good enough to stay in the league.
                NFL son, not for long!

              7. Prime, try comparing Kaep to other mobile QBs, instead of just immobile QBs who have failed. Then you may at least sound slightly more informed.
                .
                I compared Kaep to Lamar Jackson and Desean Watson because they have similar skillsets. Both of those QBs are also in the playoffs. Kaep has a 4-2 road playoff record.
                .
                Sure am glad you admitted that Kaep took the league by storm, unlike those other QBs you cited.

              8. “Prime, try comparing Kaep to other mobile QBs, instead of just immobile QBs who have failed. Then you may at least sound slightly more informed”
                What does it matter, mobile or immobile? They are all out of the league. Along with Krapernick.

                “I compared Kaep to Lamar Jackson and Desean Watson because they have similar skillsets. Both of those QBs are also in the playoffs. Kaep has a 4-2 road playoff record”

                Jackson has to prove he can be a full time starter and Krap is nothing compared to Watson who can play from the pocket, read defenses, scramble and be a leader. Krap could not do any of those. You are too tied up in the numbers. The NFL says different, hence, he is watching from his couch.

                “Sure am glad you admitted that Kaep took the league by storm, unlike those other QBs you cited”
                He certainly did take the league by storm, but like all those QB’s I mnetioned,fizzled out!

  6. I guess I have a problem with giving out A’s, even A-‘s, to a team that is 4-12. However, Kittle, by setting a record, deserves all the acclaim he can get.
    .
    The coaching, by giving it a D, just gives them plenty of room to improve.

  7. Well, less than 4 points in the 4th quarter is pretty pathetic. There is no way you can become a play-off team with those sort of numbers. That’s on Shanahan and he needs to improve….plain and simple.

    Spot on with Saleh as well, Grant. I think he is too worried about his job and becomes conservative as the game progresses.

  8. Grant, here my question. Knowing that Thomas cannot play outside, do you take the most dominant college DT (Williams) over a very good, but not elite D-end in Josh Allen. Elite meaning he is not Bosa or Williams, who are clearly the blue chippers in draft.

    I would even argue that Williams is the best DT prospect coming out since N. Sue. Remember, no one knew how great players like Watt or Donald would be. Sue was unblockable in college.

        1. If the goal is to have the most disruptive pass rushers at each position on the line, then Williams is the pick. Allen is good, but he’s not the most distruptive player at his position

      1. No to Williams. Period.
        Drafting a DT would improve the team less than drafting a player at any position outside of kicker or punter.

        1. So having a player to team with Buckner, one that is 5x more dominant than Buckner was coming out of Oregon wouldn’t improve this team. Armstead is likely gone. We already have too much “decent” depth at DT. Likely Thomas will never be great. Good maybe. The game has changed. It is more important to generate pressure up the middle than outside. QBs cannot step up then. Not too mention, outside of QB with the second pick a team should never draft need over BPA. That’s how coaches and GMs get fired. Trade down maybe.

          1. That’s correct.

            On a wounded team your healing the scratch and ignoring the broken leg. DT is the teams teams strongest position. Ignoring your weakness and allocating your resources to your biggest strength still leaves you vulnerable in all the same areas.
            When you were in school if you getting an A in one subject and an F in another, did you spend the majority of your time studying on the subject you were getting an A in to make it an A+ or did you spend more time bringing that F up to a C or B?
            In drafting Williams the niners would be using the same logic they used to draft Solomon Thomas. This team can’t afford to repeat such mistakes.

            1. Agree, Shoup. Unless the team is already dominant and a perennial playoff team, I believe in drafting BPA at a position of need (there might be the rare exception that a once-in-a-generation prospect is available; however, the team would generally have to have the first pick to land such a prospect).

              1. Will Bosa attend the combine? I mean how much better is Bosa compared to the other pass rushers like Ferrell, Allen and Polite etc.?

                Outside of the film, isn’t the combine a necessary tool for teams to truly evaluate a prospect?

              2. @Cubus:

                Getting Bosa for a 3rd is easier on the tummy than what we were prepared to give up for Mack.

              3. Sorry, Razor, but I do not think that the Cards want to help a division foe.
                .
                However, Gruden may covet Bosa, because he thinks that great pass rushers are hard to find.
                .
                Also, Gruden has 3 first round picks, so he may trade 2 of them to move up and get Bosa. The Cards need bodies, so they may jump at the chance to get 2 picks in the first round. Then they can get the best O lineman, and a good DT.

    1. Daniners

      I cannot , for the life of me , understand why when a team is re-building, that we begin by going after the stronger existing areas…Our Dline has been building better and better each year, and now that we’re seeing the results, we want to ‘tinker’ with it. Williams may be the best DLineman coming out this year, but his only tape is against college players. Every Dlineman on the current roster has great ‘tape’ from his college games as well…but it’s a world of difference when they come into the NFL, and everyone they face also has ‘tape’. The secret is seasoning.which means that other than Suh and a few others, Dlinemen will not excel in their rookie year….At the present, we are set at the interior dline what with Buckner, Armstead, Blair, Thomas, and DJ Jones, all with a couple of years under their belt…and with Street, and Jullian Taylor to back them up and take their licks. These are all quality players with futures in the game. …What is missing ? One or more Quality Edge rushers which is (are) available in this years draft. Fortunately,these type of players come with only one requirement…PIN YOUR EARS BACK, AND GET THE QB ! I would only ask that you reconsider your choice of Williams on the bench vs Josh Allen in some opponents backfield….

      1. All good points. One of them is that this is a class loaded with quality edge rushers. The question then becomes, how much better is Josh Allen than the 3-5 next best? Meaning, do you take the blue chip consensus 1b player, 19 yr old Williams AND then draft your edge rusher in second round? Or, do you take the lower-rated Senior edge rusher ahead of the best DT prospect since Sue (Donald was not that coveted coming out) with Donald-like upside?

        I’ve watched enough tape to know Allen is good. He is not in the same class as the other top ends who have recently come out, all of whom were underclassmen.
        Generally, at top of draft, you want to take a player who has dominated as an underclassman not a senior.

        In a division, with the #1 rushing attack and two of the top RB’s in whole league, I would rather improve both my pass rush and rush defense. Williams does both, Allen likely won’t even play on first two downs, as he will struggle to hold edge for at least a couple years.

  9. Grant… Again, what about the position coaches and other assistants/quality control types who have considerable impact on scheme execution and individual player performance? Please focus a bit more on them.

    Easy to ladle blame on the HC and DC. How about the quality of those who toil under them?

    1. Cassie – quality control types, as you label them, basically are stat compilers, distributors of data and charts and game plan and playbook drawers – glorified football secretaries looking to break into a on-field coaching position.

      How much real on-field or classroom coaching goes on is hard to determine because practices are closed to the media other than a few early periods which mostly include stretching and warm-up.

      Based upon your interest in exploring position coaches, what kind of grade on productivity can be given to Kiffin, the pass rush specialist, because the Niners struggled mightily to rush the QB even though they has some success at home but pale in comparison to other teams like the Bears and Rams.

      Also, lack of defensive turnovers is beyond comprehension as the Niners played so much zone that the DBs and backers should have been facing the QB and able to break and drive on the ball and gang tackling is higher in zone coverages than in man schemes so there should have been more opportunities to strip and to recover the ball.

  10. Good stuff Grant. You actually had some info I didn’t know about the Home/Road disparities. I disagree with you on the talent part of the defense. There is a talent deficit in the secondary. Durability is certainly an issue that caused a revolving door at safety throughout the year. Even with that, I don’t think the 49ers have talented safeties. Colbert showed flashes of athleticism but he’s consistently below average in coverage. I have no idea what people see in Tartt that makes them think he’s a good player. He does OK against the run but everything else is below average. Harris may be a player but he was very inconsistent. Jimmie Ward is a bust. He really never showed anything IMO. Witherspoon is soft and has a bad attitude. Across the board the 49ers have a weak secondary so yeah teams killed them in the red zone. I think Saleh is a good coach in a bad situation. His defensive game plans and play calls were impacted by what he knew were his deficiencies. Hard to go man when you don’t have guys who can play man. Hard to play zone when you have safeties that screw up their assignments. Saleh should be judged on player development and I think you can ding him for the play of the safeties. Everyone else seemed to actually grow this year. Very curious to know how much input Saleh has on the draft. Is he helping pick the players for this system? If so, was he partly responsible for the Foster and Thomas picks? 2 first round busts is not a good legacy.

    1. Great points Houston. I still see the player confusion pre-snap and at the snap as the problem, but don’t know if it’s due to the scheme, the players, the training of the scheme by the coach, or a combination of all three.

      Can a better or more experienced free safety compensate for this? Maybe, if he can teach the others where to be. More importantly, will having one more year under his belt help Warner as a signal caller? I think so.

        1. 49ers played 5 non division home games and 5 non divison road games. Non-Divison road games were Vikings, Chiefs, Chargers, Packers, and Buccaneers. The average offensive ranking of those 5 offenses the 49ers faced on the road was 9.4. The Non-Division home games were against Lions, Raiders, Giants, Broncos, and Bears. The average offensive ranking of those 5 offenses was 20.8. The quality of the opponents offense had a lot to do with the disparity in the defenses performance on the road vs at home.

          1. Good stats. On the road, the entire team seems unprepared. The offense commits more turnovers, and the defense either starts slow or quits early or a combination.

            1. Hard to argue about the teams preparedness on the road with a winless road record. I think Shanahan is going to turn it around and will end up being a great coach. The one thing I will say is I don’t know if the team fears Shanahan. Every great leader is loved and feared. That is one of the reasons why I don’t know if a player like OBJ or AB would be a good fit in the locker room. It takes veteran leadership and a bit of fear of the coach to be able to sign some guys who may be divas. I don’t see Shanahan handling diva players very well. Curious about his relationship with Julio Jones in Atlanta on this point. It may also be that part of the road issues are because the team views road trips like a fraternity house at LSU might view a road trip. Let’s party dude.

              1. No one fears Kyle. And I agree about Antonio Brown. Bad fit.

                What’s the difference between Shanahan and Adam Gase?

              2. Why do you think Shanahan will be a great head coach when Gase failed? What makes Shanahan different?

              3. Well I very much prefer Shanahan’s offensive scheme to Gase’s scheme. Shanahan has roots in a system that has had a huge amount of success. Gase has been mentored by mostly defensive coaches that I don’t think were the best head coaches – Fox, Nolan, Marinelli. I don’t know much on the coaching style of Gase so I can’t comment there. Both coaches are offensive coaches so their defenses are dependent on good defensive coordinators.

              4. Gase was mentored by Mike Martz and Peyton Manning.

                So you think Shanahan is a better OC than Gase. Does that mean Shanahan is a better HC than Gase? The skill sets are different.

              5. I don’t know whose a better coach but the amount of talent Gase had in Miami versus what Shanny inherited is night and day.
                Shanny going into year 3 will have to win at least 8 games. If he doesn’t, then all this crying you,Jacknynah and Sebnnoying do will be warranted.
                Until then, your personal bias and over emotional commentary makes you look like an amateur writer.

              6. I would not call Mike Martz a great offensive mentor. He definitely had his issues. Peyton Manning hasn’t ever mentored an NFL Coach. The coach rolled the ball out and let Peyton play. I would call Mike Shanahan a great offensive coach. He coached the offense for the 49ers to a SuperBowl win and then coached the Bronco’s to a SB win and then had a very good offense in Washington. Gary Kubiak was a highly successful OC and head coach under the Shanahan tree and he helped mentor Kyle.

                Yes it is a different skill set to be a head coach. Time will tell so who knows how it will turn out. The odds are very strong Kyle will never win a superbowl and he will get fired within the next 3 years. That’s more common than not in the NFL. I personally think Kyle is a great young offensive mind who is learning the ropes as a head coach. If the 49ers allow him to develop then he could be the best head coach the 49ers have had in the past 25 years.

              7. Well said Hou. Everyone wants a quick fix and forgets the countless missed drafts and free agents this team has had over the last 5 years,maybe more.

                I am also of the belief that Shanny is one of the best offensive minds in the NFL and will turn this thing around.

                The pressure is on next year as it always is on management and coaching for a team in year three of any take over. But the criticism this year by some on here is so unwarranted.

              8. Lot of egos in a locker room, the key is how Shanahan will handle these. Respect is a kind of a buffered fear, to some degree. I hope that Shanahan has more respect as a HC than merely a football mind though.

          2. Excellent point, Houston. Judging performance without context of the quality of the opposition results in this box score-based analysis mentality.
            A bigger factor than the limited talent-level of the defensive backfield has been the use of eight different combinations of safeties (necessitated primarily by injuries) that led to significant communication failures in game situation. These communication problems were magnified in the stadium noise of the road.

    1. This was an inevitable conclusion based on his girlfriend’s previous behavior. Only way they could have a case is if they had physical of abuse and video evidence obisive behavior.

      The question is will the NFL suspend him? Doubt it myself, or if they do it won’t stick.

  11. Not surprising. No DA wants to go with that girl’s testimony and credibility. The whole “relationship” is a mess and good riddance.

    1. 49ers were correct to cut Foster. But I still feel terrible for the young man. He’s sitting on a golden ticket that could change the entire trajectory of his family but his personal demons may prevent him from cashing it. Hope he figures out how to extract himself from troubled relationships.

        1. Niners should have deactivated him, then traded him away, so they would have gotten something for him, instead of cutting him, and getting nothing.
          .
          Still think he will implode. Flying his ex gf to the team hotel was obtuse.

        2. @ Jack O

          Do you really think Reuben is A-Ok because he’s getting paid right now? I express concern for a young man who is most definitely troubled and on the wrong path and your need to contradict me is so great you don’t even care what a gigantic d-bag your being? Do you really think Reuben is on the right path to earning a 2nd contract where NFL players can make real life changing type money? You’ve got problems Dude. Go sell A-hole someplace else.

          1. IMO, Adam Schefter was right when he called Foster a con man. According to Schefter, Foster has used his personality to impress and con football people throughout his career, including Lynch. He has no intention to changes because he knows his football talents will allow him to get away with a lot. Important lesson for Shanalynch, hopefully…

          2. *you’re

            He’ll be fine. Talented guys tend to have the ability to hang around the league and Washington showed that by giving him another shot.

              1. Hammer, I could send you some Canadian maple syrup to make your lather to your boys that much more smoother?

              2. I’m not riding Seb’s or Grants behind like you, sorry, wrong guy. But hey, if you need that syrup, let me know.

          3. Houston 9er,
            Yes I agree, you can make a million a week, $$ does not cure mental illness or any demons this kid has. He is on the path to a tragic ending unless he gets serious treatment.

              1. If you knock the crap out of your GF and also a drug addict. You are mentally ill. There are plenty of NFL players and other athletes that had rough starts and are decent human being. Foster is a train wreck, yes he will get a few chances and then the league will ban him.

              2. Yeah, Reuben Foster’s dad tried to murder his mother while his mother was holding Reuben in her arms. His dad went to prison for the attempted murder. Reuben has now been investigated multiple times for violence against his girlfriend in what appears to be a vicious cycle. He’s been cut from the team that drafted him and is now on the Commisioner’s exemption list. Reuben has been faced with many hardships throughout his life but, hey hes not actually mentally ill. He’s just a weak human being. People shouldn’t show sympathy for the guy because he’s getting paid $50k per week. What problems could he possibly have that $50k per week can’t fix.

                JFC, JackO you’re are real piece of work.

              3. Hick,

                Where did I say that I didn’t have compassion for his past? Dude has a troubled upbringing and it’s something he’s dealing with.

                You said, « He’s sitting on a golden ticket that could change the entire trajectory of his family but his personal demons may prevent him from cashing it. »

                You don’t think the $6 mil that he’s already made did that for them? In 2 years he’s made what the average American would make in roughly 85 years given the average annual income in this country.

                So yeah, while I hope he gets his life turned around I’m not worried about his financial well being.

              4. Mental illness is not necessarily a condition the Foster suffers from, or it may be. The only ones who know for sure are professionals.

                He may be a narcissist (which is a personality disorder – sadly a non curable affliction [sorry Seb] but treatable) or a sociopath (also a personality disorder), or he may have anger and relationship management issues (like Hammer pointed out stemming from his horrific upbringing which can also lead to self-destructive behavior).

                Should he seek help? You betcha, though I bet that the 49ers offered it. Houston is right that he needs help, and counsel, but more likely he needs to make better choices in his life. Choosing people (and staying away from certain things he likely injests) who will bring out his best qualities rather than the worst. This will be up to him, though.

              5. East, you sure seem to know about narcissism and being a sociopath. Guess that self diagnosis book of your dad is very instructive for you.
                .
                Please seek help. You still may have a chance.

              6. Just because I can recognize those with real problems doesn’t make me a victim of it. By the way, great way to exhibit the very symptoms from one of the afflictions I mentioned. Guess I struck a nerve Quixada! Keep at those windmills!

              7. No, no, you seem like an expert, no doubt from personal experience.
                .
                You also seem fixated on it, since you bring that up all the time. That is a sure sign you may be afflicted.
                .
                Luckily, if you seek help, you may be cured. I am not sure, but I believe they used shock therapy for years.

              8. I guess you’re living proof that shock therapy doesn’t cure all illness, right Sebbie?

                Keep at it though that rock may get up that hill (remember to use levers)!

              9. East, I am quite sure it has been outlawed for years, but I guess you have an excuse. Your daddy probably prescribed some powerful drugs, of which you seem very knowledgeable about.

      1. Agree. Golden ticket over a 12+ year highly successful NFL career (salary, endorsements, etc.) > $50K a week over the next year or two. He may be OK now, but he may have/could have had much more over the longer haul.

        1. How many linebackers play even 8 years let alone 12+, or get endorsements?

          Reuben will be fine, the Redskins gave him a lifeline. Hopefully he’ll be on the field when the 49ers visit DC next year.

          1. Whatever personal issues Foster may have are now Washington’s.
            One thing became clear for the 49ers is that Foster’ play was subpar and his inability to stay on the field was a major concern.

            Washington is more interested in and hoping Foster can rekindle the level of play he had at Alabama.
            Good luck.

      2. Totally agree Houston, he can have all the help he wants but if the mind don’t want.
        Seems like a Aldon Smith story.
        He needs to get as far he gets from this woman

  12. Grant,
    Does anyone keep stats regarding how close or far from the line of scrimmage tackles are made? If there is I bet you will find that Warner and Lee make the majority of their tackles (on runs) further behind the line of scrimmage then the avg LB. They make lots of tackles but they aren’t the kind of impactful tackles that change games.

    1. +1. This has been my point about Elijah Lee especially. His read and react capabilities are a little late, resulting in him making tackles 5 yards down the field instead of at the line of scrimmage or 1 or 2 yards past. Additionally, more than a few of his “tackles” occur when receivers run free from the coverage on slants or crossing patterns, and Lee hustles to make the play. Good hustle, but to rely solely on tackle stats doesn’t paint the full picture.

  13. Wonder where Armstead will end up. Niners were pretty tepid in their enthusiasm about him. Maybe they think he is too expensive for such low production. Maybe the rehabilitation of Street and the emergence of Taylor are other factors.
    .
    Maybe they are making room for Q Williams.

    1. Seb

      ‘not taking any of your ‘stupid’ bait…you only wish to argue…..Yeah, let’s let Armstead walk, and replace him with another dumb, unproven, “rookie” and perhaps we’ll wind up with a Defensive book-end to Garnett….You almost constantly baffle me with a well-thought-out statement, followed by an “overthunk…or two… or maybe ten….which loses your original thought…and it’s value. Go play in the traffic….

      1. Ore, you sure are an Oregonian.
        .
        Do not blame me if they do not sign Armstead. In their end of the year presser, they sure did not give enthusiastic praise to Armstead. Tepid was being kind. JL even mentioned being excited, which in the Kaep case, just meant he was out the door. I actually want them to retain Armstead, just not at as high a price he may demand.
        .
        Yes I do like to argue, but put up some facts to bolster your opinion. Otherwise, you just sound snarky.

        ‘Go play in traffic’. ? Sure sounds like I got your goat.

  14. Glad KS will coach the Senior Bowl game. He will get to coach Josh Allen, so he will have a good opportunity to make a informed assessment of him. In fact, coaching for and against all those players will help out a lot, in building his draft board.
    .
    It will also be instructive to see how KS handles coaching on the fly, and if he can make the quick adjustments. Hope he can find that diamond in the rough.

  15. Start of things to fix for 2019:

    Turnovers – 49ers had the lowest number of takeaways and second highest number of giveaways resulting in allowing the second worst starting field position for the defense. This has a lot to do with the 49ers D ranking 26th in points per drive while also ranking 18th in yards per drive along with far too many turnovers on their own side of the field.

    Redzone – Offense needs to figure out how to score touchdowns and the defense needs to figure out how to stop them.

    Pass Rush – Adding this element should help the defense create more takeaways. Need to find a good run/pass balance so this addition does not cause run d to weaken.

    Explosive WR – 49ers had the second fewest throws of 20+ yards. Need someone who can stretch the field while maintaining the explosiveness in their run game and Kittle’s RAC ability. This could be one way to overcome the worst redzone offense in the league.

  16. Very well written Grant. Its nice to get some journalism and analysis from you that doesn’t have the snide comments and contemptuous attitude. You are saying basically what you’ve been saying all season, but in a much more respectful and relatable way. I think this helps your points come across better. But at the end of the day you gotta be you and I get that and respect that too.

    Good article, hope you’re doing well.

  17. Funny tidbit from Dan Orlovsky on Twitter…..

    2016 Kyle Shanahan led Matt Ryan to 69%/38TD/7INT & Julio to 83/1400/6TD-Got a 6 year HC job (deserved)

    -2018 Steve Sarkisian led Matt Ryan to 69%/35TD/7INT & Julio to 113/1600/8TD and got…fired?!?!

    1. SK did not have a 6 year contract. He was the sacrificial goat.
      .
      From the games I watched, the Falcon defense was the problem.

  18. The Falcons led the league in scoring during the 2016 season with 540 points (33.8 points per game). In Sarkisian’s first year in Atlanta, the Falcons dropped to 15th in the league with 353 points (22.1 points per game). They actually improved to 10th with 414 points (25.9) this season. According to Quinn, the offense was not living up to the standard set in 2016, plus he said he desired more balance. The Falcons had the 6th best offense in terms of total yards, averaging 389.1 yards per game, but they averaged 98.3 rushing yards, 27th in the league, while throwing for 290.8 yards per game, the fourth-most. They scored no more than 20 points during their five game losing streak….

    1. Biggest differences between 2016 and 2018 were the loss of production from Freeman and a +1 TO margin in 2018 compared to +11 in 2016.

      The crazy thing in Atlanta is they have a defensive head coach with a terrible defense.

      1. Injuries to their key defensive players played a big part in that. Keanu Neal, Ricardo Jones and probably their best defensive player – Deoin Jones.

        They later lost Freeman too.

        1. Even with the injuries their defense was better this year than 2018. I mentioned the loss of Freeman who played only 2 games.

    1. Wow…..I didn’t know that.

      Kittle is the best draft pick of this regime and will be a first team All-Pro this year!

  19. I’m curious regarding the grading criteria. Are the grades based on how the players did in accordance to what their potential is or are they going graded against the rest of the league?

    If it’s against the rest of the league the Dline should not have an A grade. This unit is not a top 5 to 6 Dline unit, in fact an argument could be made that they have the worst Dline in their own division. Seattle and LA clearly have better units while AZ was far better at rushing the passer 49 sacks to SF’s 37.
    The linebackers in SF were also not top tier in the NFL. There are plenty of teams that field better units, I would rate them in the top half of the league let alone the top ten. We’re praising their tackle totals but not looking at the whole picture? Were they TFL’s or did the tackle the guy after he got a first down on 3rd and 7? Those are vastly different in terms of how they effect the game.
    While the article argues the team had plenty of talent it doesn’t compare their talent to the rest of the NFL. In what games did SF walk on the field with a talent advantage? Oakland? Arizona? New York?

          1. No Chris. This stat was surprising so I figured I’d ask the room how to explain it. If they were getting home last season the focus right now wouldn’t be on which edge rusher they should take in the first round.

            A number of us have also have been saying that an improved pass rush would help with the lack of turnovers, yet the 49ers pressured QB’s at a higher rate than Chicago (1st) and Seattle (12th) and 3/4th of the league.

            Perhaps Grant is right with what he wrote about the soft defense. Could be that or just poor coverage play on the backend.

            1. What do you care? At this point you are not a fan, at least that’s what you said.

              All the BS you’ve been throwing around lately and your subliminal jabs at Shanny is so obvious it’s pathetic.

              Now you have a vested interest in explaining the failures you’ve so conveniently pointed out all year?

              Go write a blog!

              1. Subliminal jabs at Shanny, lol. If I want to take a jab at him I don’t make it subliminal.

                Everyone had pointed out the lack of sacks by the defense. Don’t think anyone thought they were in the top 1/4 of the league in QB pressures.

              2. Who you kidding? Anytime you can take a shot at him you do. It’s weak.

                Just be around next year cause I have a few cut and paste quotes for you to see from your fat mouth!

              3. I hope you can share them Chris. It’s a lot more fun watching a winning team than a losing one.

              4. No, just a losing one and I was critical of both Tomsula and Kelly who despite the lack of talent that precipitated the rebuild managed to win almost as many games.

                My biggest criticism of Shanahan has been the lack of points or redzone success for his teams. He had that struggle for 9 seasons before getting here and it hasn’t changed. He’s a wizard at putting up yards and looking fancy though.

                As one of the greatest singers ever once sang, « I’ve been singing with my band
                Across the water, across the land
                I’ve seen every blue eyed floozy on the way
                But their beauty and their style
                Went kind of smooth after a while
                Take me to them dirty ladies every time »

              5. Chris, i hope he gets his offense into the top half of the league in scoring next year. That would be fun to see and get him to that total for only the 4th time in his 12 year career.

                Come at me with that nonsense when he does it for the 3rd straight season like Harbaugh/Roman accomplished.

                Until he can match. that or win a Super Bowl just keep your mouth and hands wrapped around that syrup bottle.

              6. “Come at me with that nonsense when he does it for the 3rd straight season like Harbaugh/Roman accomplished“

                If Shanny had inherited the exact same team Harbaugh did, with Alex as his QB and that defense, we, not you, have another SB.

                You still using Harbaugh as a bench mark is great.
                The most overrated football coach. Cant win the big game and you still can’t write anything worthwhile on this blog or your own.
                Let me know how many bottles of syrup you need for Sebs and Grants back?
                I’ll send it ASAP.

            2. Jack Hammer says:
              January 3, 2019 at 6:06 pm
              Could be that or just poor coverage play on the backend.
              —————————-
              Ding! Ding! Ding!
              We have a winner!

              The second stat you posted partially illuminated the problem. They start to generate pressure but the pressure doesn’t effect the opposing passing game because the secondary isn’t covering their men and the QB can find someone before the pressure gets to him. Sacks will go up in a big way once we start getting decent coverage in the backfield.

              1. Right on CFC. I’m amazed that so many here can’t see what you wrote about the secondary. I’m not sure there are that many guys here who understand that the two work in tandem. Last year CJ is beaten and sacked but JG goes basically untouched. Did our line improve overnight? Nah. Did the opponents unlearn how to rush the passer? Nah. He just released the ball earlier to generally open receivers. Saleh took the term generally open receivers to a new record level this year. Silly me, I actually believe their absolute number one priority is DBs and LBs who can cover receivers and, of course, replacing Saleh.

        1. Schemes can generate pressure — but playmakers are needed to to close the deal. With exceptions such as DB blitzes, most sacks seem to me to e product individual superiority in athleticism and strength, even stunts.

    1. I would surmise it’s because of how unbalanced our line is.
      The pressure comes from the center and the edge rushers are ridden out of the play.
      QBs then step away from the pressure without stepping into other defenders.

  20. I heard on KNBR, that free agents are free agents because they usually have a flaw. Quality players never reach free agency because the team values their worth and extends their contracts.
    .
    However, their are 2 other types of free agents. One becomes a free agent because the competition was so tough. The player turns to free agency because he could not supplant the starters. The Niners should study the back ups to pro bowlers.
    .
    Another type does have talent, but is under- achieving because he is not in the right system. Justin Snith comes to mind. Maybe the Niners should trade away Thomas, because Whitner mentioned he would fit a 3-4 system better than a 4-3 system.The Niners should look for players who are struggling, even with skills. Maybe even do swaps with non playoff teams, so both teams are motivated to get better.

    1. Sebbie…. You have such a generous heart — “Maybe even do swaps with non playoff teams, so both teams are motivated to get better.”

      Let’s all get better together. Lets all spill guts…

      1. Cassie, your daddy made trades that made him look smarter than the other side, so other GMs refused to deal later with the Niners. Baalke also treated players like they were a piece of meat, so decent Free Agents avoided the Niners like the plague. Baalke stabbed the coaches in the back, drove JH away, and ended up with Tomsula and Chip. Baalke stabbed them in the back, too, so I am glad the stench of Baalke is dissipating.
        .
        The Niners should earn the reputation that they will deal fairly, so it is a win/win for both sides. Thankfully, JL seems to be changing the culture. He even apologized for Paraag leaking.
        .
        It only makes sense to trade with a struggling team. A playoff team does not want any help. and they certainly do not want to help the Niners regain relevance. A struggling team may have players who do not fit their system, and they are desperate enough to wheel and deal, to get back into the playoffs. Both teams may tap depth in a strength, to fill a weakness.
        .
        Spill guts? The Niners should wait until an upcoming opponent has finished TC and the preseason, before poaching a player. They should target a player from the Seahawks, just to return the favor, and weaken their team.

    1. Only the wins were meaningless. The losses were extremely meaningful since they offered glorious opportunities for us fans in Grantland to showcase our coaching and GM chops…

  21. No way the DL deserves an A- grade Grant. While they did do well against the run overall, they were some notable hiccups. The line as a whole struggled to generate any pressure against the passing game, but it did show some promise in this area. You failed to mention that Thomas did start to have more impact on the DL in the latter part of the season when the vets were sitting. The DL as a whole deserves a B- grade at best. Adding a good edge rusher or two in the off-season will definitely help though.
    While Lee and Warner did well in their roles, the grade for the LBs should be a solid B because of how bad Foster and Smith were as starters.
    The DBs grade should also be lower. While Sherman was above average to elite, the rest of the group struggled mightily. Only Witherspoon and Tartt looked like capable starters, but they ran hot and cold. Harris and Reed looked great at the end of the season, but their playing time was too small of a sample size. Adding a FS and competition at all positions what is needed to get the secondary at least up to the level of respectability. Overall, this group deserves a straight D grade.
    The special teams unit is a D+ unit at best. Gould was fantastic once again, but everyone else was just lousy. While James had one nice return for a TD late in the season, I do not think it is wise for the 49ers to count on him going forward, and the same can be said for the other players used as a PR or KR this season. It would be prudent for Shanahan and Lynch to see if they can find someone in free agency that can challenge for the returner role.
    Finally, your coaching staff grade is too low for a coaching staff that had to coach a good number of third and practice squad players this season. There are definitely some areas where the coaching staff could improve, with red zone efficiency and less blown coverages being two examples. However, what the coaching staff was able to do with an injury riddled team and second year players that went through a sophomore slump (sans Kittle) and the fact that players are still buying into what the staff is telling them is nothing short of impressive. For me, the grade for the coaching staff is a C+.

    1. « The line as a whole struggled to generate any pressure against the passing game »

      They had the 8th highest pressure percentage in the league according to ESPN.

      1. Okay, I will amend that statement.

        The line as a whole struggled to generate pressure and finish the job when playing against the pass.

  22. 2 teams who may upset the home team are Indy at Houston and Seattle at Dallas.
    .
    The Chargers at the Ravens will be close, but Jackson and the home field advantage may prevail.
    .
    Eagles at the Bears may not be close, if Foles cannot throw, and Mack gets to him early.

  23. Shanahan has demonstrated after two full seasons that he won’t be a successful head coach because he spends his time on offense and nothing else.
    His refusal to hire a real OC tells the tale.
    John Lynch has proved he was a HOF caliber safety, decent broadcaster and weight room warrior. He needs to go back to Fox and make room for someone who knows what he’s doing.
    Get used to third place…it’s where this team will live for the remaining three years of the dynamic duo’s contract

    1. I’m pretty sure Shanahan was hired because he was a “real OC” and he was expected to continue to be the 0C. It’s surprising to me the number of people with unrealistic expectations for the second year in a complete rebuild. I think we’ll see real improvement in year 3 but no Super Bowl for a few years.

      1. Agree, Jerry. It would be silly, imo, to hire a OC when KS’ offensive mind is why he was hired. The Rams did it the right way by hiring an experienced DC to lessen the load on their young HC. Having said that, I understand that at the time KS was finally hired, there wasn’t anyone available. I’m still not a Saleh fan and would like to see a much more experienced guy take over as DC.

    2. I agree, but still will be patient and let them have their third season, before pronouncing them failures. I hope JG can be healthy all season, and they can squeak into a wild card spot.
      .
      Sean McVay was going to be the OC, too, but then hired Matt LaFleur as OC.
      .
      McVay hired an OC, along with Phillips as DC, and they have a first round bye in the playoffs. KS still thinks he can be HC and OC, and has a 4-12 record.

      1. Just keep repeating the same points daily and pretend someone is actually listening to your suggestions.
        Your status will be noting other than the VI of the blog!

        1. Prime, I have advocated my position, and now, others are chiming in. They also see the offensive ineptitude, and want improvements.
          .
          Meanwhile, you are defending KS not having an OC, who has a 4-12 record, so you are the imbecile who thinks 4-12 records are just fine. Even KS thinks he should have won 7 games.
          .
          Village idiot? Look in a mirror.Try spelling correctly before talking about a VI.

          1. How is an OC gonna help when your franchise QB and RB get lost for the year? Wake up before you just start parroting what all the other morons around here say without knowing what the team had to endure this year.

            1. Prime, I am thinking all the time. You are the one who refuses to think, and just attacks ad nauseum.
              .
              Still have not given me a good reason why having an OC would hurt the team.

              1. “Still have not given me a good reason why having an OC would hurt the team”

                What do you think Embree, Holland, Lafleur,McDaniel, McCartney,Scangarello, Turner do?

                Just because Shanny is the head coach and calls the plays, all those guys are in collaboration in the game planning and pretty sure, they all are involved in the game day calls.
                If you had played the game, you would know this, but you don’t, so just parrot what the easy criticism is.

                You still haven’t given me a good reason how an OC woud have helped overcome losing Jimmy G and the Jet?

              2. Seb, I’ll give you a reason. We already have the best in Shanahan. Also, there are many, many factors that go into the won lost record of a team besides the coach. Just because you keep repeating the same thing doesn’t make it true.

              3. “Just because you keep repeating the same thing doesn’t make it true”

                When you are a liar and a fraud, this is what you do!

              4. Sebs-

                You just cherry pick random stats to support your complaints.

                Walsh went 2-14 his 1st yr and 6-10 his second, therefore, Walsh sucked!

              5. Saw, did you live through those Joe Thomas years? BW had to rebuild from scratch. No wonder he staged 200 player tryouts between games.
                .
                BW won his first SB with Ricky Patton, Earl Cooper and Bill Ring.

              6. Walsh
                1979 :
                Div. Finish 4/4
                PF/308
                PA/416
                PD/-108
                Off Rank pts/yards 16/6
                Def Rank pts/yards 27/20
                Overall Rank pts/yards : 27/10
                OUT of 28
                1980 :
                Div. Finish 3/4
                PF/320
                PA/415
                PD/-95
                Off Rank pts/yards 12/12
                Def Rank pts/yards 26/27
                Overall Rank pts/yards : 24/22
                OUT of 28

                Shanahan
                2017 :
                Div. Finish 4/4
                PF/331
                PA/383
                PD/-52
                Off Rank pts/yards 20/12
                Def Rank pts/yards 25/24
                Overall Rank pts/yards : 19/16
                OUT of 32
                2018 :
                Div. Finish 3/4
                PF/342
                PA/435
                PD/-93
                Off Rank pts/yards 21/16
                Def Rank pts/yards 28/13
                Overall Rank pts/yards : 24/22
                OUT of 32

                http://pfref.com/pi/share/xfaXP

  24. I agree with most of the grades and comments from Grant. The thing which baffles me is the inconsistency of this team especially on the road. @ Green Bay the Niners hung in there and almost shocked everyone with a road win. @ Rams they played hard even after falling behind early. @KC again fell way behind early but came back in the second half. Then there were the @ Cards and @ Seahawks debacles. Niners did not appear to care in either game.

    As we transition into play off mode I would like to remind everyone , once again, that prior to the season starting in the famous Press Democrat season prediction article, I picked KC to win the West and represent the AFC in the Superbowl.

    Finally , Is this the year Press Democrat upgrades their website. I enjoy the content here. The articles are interesting and sometimes provocative to the point that the comments section goes nuts. I also enjoy the comments – there are several very knowledgeable contributors. But structurally this website is awful. It is a 1999 website in the year 2019. Let’s make something happen.

      1. Practice field conditions? Otherwise there should be 8 other teams in the leagues that all suffered injuries on our field as well.

    1. David Lombardi

      Verified account

      @LombardiHimself
      38m38 minutes ago
      More
      Wonder if 49ers will reach out to Stanford strength coach Shannon Turley, who has been with that program since Jim Harbaugh days, as a candidate for their opening.

      Stanford saw massive injury reduction over 10 years ago after Turley took over + cooperated closely w team doctors

    2. Here’s an interesting point that Lombardi brings up. Firing Wright is possibly more than just about injuries:

      David Lombardi

      Verified account

      @LombardiHimself
      27m27 minutes ago
      More
      Another note: This 49ers’ strength coach change is very likely only partly because of injuries (which Shanahan and Lynch both believe are mostly random).

      A significant impetus here may be the 49ers’ perceived inability to physically finish some games as strong as possible.

  25. Gregg Rosenthal
    ‏@greggrosenthal
    5m5 minutes ago
    Amazing for two rookie defenders, Derwin James and Darius Leonard, to make the first team All-Pro team. They made a lot of teams look bad for passing on them.
    ———————–
    I’ve defended the McGlinchey pick and will continue to do so as long as he remains a starting RT in the NFL but James was a preferred choice. James in the backfield helping to take away a lot of those big gains we gave up could have been the difference in more then one game this season.

    1. In his first two drafts Chris Ballard picked up Malik Hooker, Quenton Nelson and Darious Leonard. The top pick in 2017 and his first two picks in 2018. That’s how you successfully rebuild a team.

      This is the difference between a legitimate NFL General Manager like Chris Ballard and a complete fraud television personality like John Lynch.

      1. Not to mention Braden Smith whom the Colts drafted with the pick right after the Leonard selection. Smith started at right tackle for the Colts for most of the season. Another great pick by Ballard.

      2. That’s awfully harsh and disingenuous. Lynch was much more than a personality. He was a hall of fame caliber player, and he spent his time after playing, interviewing and learning from as many coaches and GMs as possible. His head has been fully into the game his whole life. He added experienced qualified people to advise him. Maybe you know the qualifications required to be a GM. If so, what are they?

        1. Having at least some experience being employed by an NFL team in a player personnel or football operations capacity should be a bare minimum qualification. An extensive amount of experience in either or even both of those positions would be preferred.

          1. Times have changed. Teams hiring people that know people, that are more suited in studying and analytics. Mike Mayock, perfect example. Now whether it works or not is to be seen.

        2. John Lynch is a pro bowler, SB winner and a finalist for the HOF. Zero managerial experience, but he is a quick learner, and the antithesis of Baalke. He commands respect, and was considered a team leader and a coach on the field.
          .
          JL is a leader, both on and off the field, and is trying hard to emulate Bill Walsh. He is smart enough to know that he needs to work well with the HC, and he is a consensus builder. He is trying hard to change the culture, and build a winning tradition. He has made mistakes, but owns up to them and tries hard not to repeat them. The most important thing is that Jed respects him, and JL is not a yes-man.
          .
          Mayock, on the other hand, was a marginal football player. A 9 yard career. He may have done well in the draft because he could pick the brains of the GMs, so he knew what their preferences were. MM did well in his prognostications, but has zero managerial experience, and was not considered a coach on the field.
          .
          Mayock is a yes-man to Gruden, so he will just be a rubber stamp for Gruden. He will let others deal with the personnel, and certainly let others do the financials.
          .
          Mayock has no qualifications to be a GM, so he will go down with the ship with Gruden. Wonder what he told Gruden about letting go Mack and Cooper.

        1. It was more a matter of who Kyle wanted as his GM.
          The York’s wanted Shanny and it was up to him to hire his own GM.
          Was there even candidates interviewed for the GM position prior to Shanny?

          1. They got knocked back by the GB duo that Grant was advocating, as well as Caserio. I think a guy from the Vikings may have had some interest – can’t recall whether he bowed himself out as well. The only guy that seemed to want the job was Louis Riddick. Shanahan saved us from that by bringing Lynch in, who was able to get Peters (the real GM of the 49ers, at least in terms of how fans think of the position).

            1. Kinda like how Tom Gamble was the true GM for McCloughin and Baalke.

              Some on here say McCloughin was the architect of those 49ers teams back in the day, but it was Tom Gamble who was the key talent evaluator.

        2. Nobody wanted the job. We were lucky to have gotten Shanny, and Harbaugh? Why in the hell would anyone want to go back to that prehistoric offense? Might as well hire a defensive HC like Fangio. At least he was wise enough to want Shanny as his OC….

    2. It’s not that McGlinchy is bad but the team had so many other needs that the pick seemed superfluous (especially since we had a Tackle who was serviceable). Now it seems like the right picks and moves in FA will make or break Shanalynch.

  26. 49ers should have been 10-6 with the additional 6 wins coming against: Minnesota, LA Chargers, Cardinals (1), GB, Cardinals (2), and New York.

    Minnesota: Pick 6, Red Zone Fumble. Take out those two and final score is 19-17.

    Chargers: Pick near goal line returned inside 5 and punt return late in first half. Score should have been 30-27, SF wins.

    Arizona (1): 2 turnovers give Cards the ball inside the 30 to go along with a scoop score. Score should have been 12-7 49ers

    Green Bay: Early kick return fumble sets GB up for 3 points. 49ers 4:00 offense fails and gives ball back to GB. Score should have been 30-27 49ers

    Arizona: up 15-10, defense causes turnover with less than 5 minutes to play. Offense can get only 1 first down on a penalty, and punts back to AZ before 2 minute warning. Score should have been 15-10 49ers

    Giants: Early interception gives Giants the ball on the 49ers 12. Final score should have been 23-20 49ers

      1. Not with this secondary he couldn’t. I also don’t believe that they could have be successful enough rushing the ball for Harbaugh to be successful. The 2011-2013 teams were built around a stingy defense and a try and stop us rushing game. We don’t have the personal to run either of those.

        1. Yes he could, even with this secondary. The team is talented enough to compete at home. They need a real head coach to compete on the road.

          1. This team in no way resembles the type of players Harbaugh had when he was successful with us. As soon as his defense started getting hurt he turned to an 8-8 coach.

            Were there more wins to be had with this group, yes but only a couple-three at most. It’s just not a talented team.

            1. Harbaugh never won fewer than four road games in a season. Minimum, he would have won eight games total this season, more likely 10. This team is soft, not untalented.

              1. Soft now? Wow! And look, followed right up by lather boy:

                Yes. It has taken on the personality of its leader.

              2. I agree that this team is soft. It’s all those small, fast players – they can’t hold up for a full season or even a few games without being hurt, and they get pushed around. The 49ers that Harbaugh coached were big and pushed around/bullied other teams. The talent level is still questionable.

              3. Grant-

                Your assertions imply that team talent has nothing to do with anything.
                That 8-8 yr Harbaugh had………….he lost several games he should have won. Lets talk about that, and split hairs all day long.

        1. I vehemently disagree. JH would have been bold, and signed the best QB available. JH would have signed Kaep once JG went down, and they very easily could have made the playoffs.
          .
          JH knows how to finish games.
          .
          JH also would attract veteran coaching talent, and Saleh would have been relegated to LB coach, while Fangio may have returned to the Niners. Fangio would have been able to utilize Thomas correctly.

          1. Sebs-

            Harbs and HIS OC might have hired Kap and given him that 20 yr K you long for…………………..but Bill Walsh would not. Dont try any ………..misrepresentations………Sebs. We all know what Walsh thought about mechanics-and what Kap said about mechanics.

            John Madden said that Montana was the the most mechanically perfect QB he has ever seen-and he’s seen one or two.

            TO KAP—HASTA LA VISTA, BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            1. No, no, BW was a visionary, that is why he traded for SY. BW could appreciate how having a mobile QB would help avoid sacks and gain first downs with his legs.
              .
              Sure, and BW cut both Ronnie Lott and Roger Craig. He was ruthless.

          2. What nonsense. The best QB would have been Foles, because he’s won a SB. Kaep has never been the type of player to be able to turn a team around. He took a team that would have been in the super bowl the year before had it not been for TWO fumbles from Kyle Williams, to the super bowl, and that was Kaep at his best. The year after, he took it to the Championship game, and then never played a playoff game again.It wasn’t like he was taken out of the league there and then, he had 3 more seasons – 8-8, where he was in part responsible for most of the losses, and almost solely responsible for one or two of them, 5-11, where he played half a season and was outperformed by Blaine Gabbert who replaced him, and 2-14, where he won as many games as Blaine Gabbert did despite starting 11 to Gabbert’s 5. Under Kaepernick, the 49er offence scored less points per game. But, because Kaepernick scored 16 TD’s to 4 Ints, people pretend that he had a great year. This was an offence designed to Kaep’s strengths, the same offence that Nick Foles scored 27 TD’s and 2 Ints in.

            I don’t get it. I will never understand why so many delusional Kaep fanboys repeatedly ask the rest of us to erase our memories of what actually happened, and pretend that he was somehow a top QB when he left the league and would change the fortunes of any struggling team. I remember wanting Kaep gone after the 8-8 year. I remember REALLY hoping he was gone after the 5-11 year. Yet now apparantly Kaep was an elite QB that would have taken this Niner team to the playoffs? Kaep, who failed to take a significantly better team that finished 8-8 to the playoffs?

            Sebbie, you are an idiot. I don’t say that as an insult, as I feel like I have qualified exactly why you are an idiot. You are enabled by blithering baboons like Grant that throw out these Kaepernick takes because he knows it will get clicks and comments. I’m pretty sure Grant doesn’t actually believe what he says about the Niners needing to sign Kaep, as evidenced by how he stopped repeating said take once he realised he could get similar clicks by going to bat for Mullens. You, on the other hand, have problems. You seem to remember an entirely different career that Kaepernick had, and I can only assume that was because you experienced different events to the rest of us. That, or you don’t actually watch the games, and only follow the Niners through click-bait journalism, much like the kind Grant regularly spews out. Pathetic.

            1. ‘I don’t say that as an insult.’ LOL
              .
              I knew all along that Grant was throwing me a cookie when he advocated for Kaep, but I do not mind. So many HATERS cannot stand even the mention of Kaep, that they go ballistic at his very mention.
              .
              I still think that Kaep can play, and I am for the underdog. The blackballing is unfair and irrational, but that is what you get when the POTUS calls him an SOB. Now that he was called a mo fo, he whines, complains and spews more expletives. Pretty soon, he will be too busy to worry about football. Kaep will win his collusion case because there is written proof, and that will void the CBA, making Kaep a hero to the players.
              .
              I am happy to keep talking about Kaep, but many are so upset, they cry and whine, wanting to ignore the elephant in the room. Too bad they cannot refrain, which just gives me a reason to respond. I see exactly how Kaep’s career has gone. Kaep was the the last vestige of the JH era, so Baalke stabbed him in the back. Baalke ignored the O line, or brought in turnstiles like Devey, Pears and Beadles, and Kaep was sacked constantly. With no protection, and the gutting of the roster, even Joe Montana could not win. However, the Haters put total blame on Kaep.
              .
              KS decided to move on from Kaep, and with Hoyer and CJB, had one win. Now that JG is here, I think Kaep should go to another team, and take the league by storm, again.
              .
              However, teams like the Jags Broncos and Washington, would rather lose without Kaep, than win with Kaep.

              1. Not sure why I bother, but here goes anyway:

                So many HATERS cannot stand even the mention of Kaep, that they go ballistic at his very mention.

                This isn’t pertinent to anything I said here. Unless you’re assuming emotion. Did your mother never tell you what assuming makes of you, Sebbie?

                I still think that Kaep can play, and I am for the underdog. The blackballing is unfair and irrational, but that is what you get when the POTUS calls him an SOB. Now that he was called a mo fo, he whines, complains and spews more expletives. Pretty soon, he will be too busy to worry about football.

                Meaningless platitude after meaningless platitude. There is nothing of any substance her Sebbie. Your original statement was that Kaep would have come into this team after 2 years away from football, and would have taken a 1-2 team to the playoffs. In a division with the Rams and the Seahawks. Kaep would have had to come in, and, allowing for 3 weeks to learn the playbook (really short period of time), would have had to win 9 of the last 11 games to get to 10 wins. Over that stretch, Niners would have had to face the Rams twice, the Seahawks twice, and the Bears, all of which made the playoffs. I don’t care if you’re rooting for the underdog. I care that you are making ridiculous claims without anything to back them up, and when challenged on these, proceed to resort to emotional responses like “I like underdogs :^)”. Asinine.

                Kaep will win his collusion case because there is written proof, and that will void the CBA, making Kaep a hero to the players.

                Yes, because the NFL are known for being incompetent when it comes to covering their asses legally. Oh wait, it’s the opposite. Sebbie, you really are an idiot. Kaep isn’t winning his collusion case, there is no written proof that will stand up as evidence of a mass conspiracy against him, and the CBA isn’t going to be changed any time soon. If and when it does, it will because of owners. Not Kaep.

                I am happy to keep talking about Kaep, but many are so upset, they cry and whine, wanting to ignore the elephant in the room. Too bad they cannot refrain, which just gives me a reason to respond. I see exactly how Kaep’s career has gone.

                What elephant in the room? Kaep is done in the NFL. It’s only his pathetic fanboys (that’s you, Sebbie) that still cling to him, refusing to accept that his flame has long since burned out.

                Kaep was the the last vestige of the JH era, so Baalke stabbed him in the back. Baalke ignored the O line, or brought in turnstiles like Devey, Pears and Beadles, and Kaep was sacked constantly. With no protection, and the gutting of the roster, even Joe Montana could not win. However, the Haters put total blame on Kaep.

                Yet I remember when Gabbert was under centre, it was all his fault. I even had Kaep fanboys tell me Torrey Smith was an elite wide receiver! No Sebbie. Baalke didn’t sabotage Kaep. He just wasn’t very good at his job. If he was secretly competent but deliberately picked terrible offensive players to hurt Kaep, he would have built a good defence. Instead, he drafted bust after bust, only a handful of which remain on the rostertoday. Indeed, Baalke’s one good pick seems to have been Buckner, and he has only really flourished post-Baalke. Need I remind you Baalke was defensive-minded?

                KS decided to move on from Kaep, and with Hoyer and CJB, had one win. Now that JG is here, I think Kaep should go to another team, and take the league by storm, again.

                Kaep can’t “take the league by storm”. He was figured out. There is no evidence to suggest if he came back he will be at 2012 Kaep, or even 2013 Kaep, as opposed to 2014 Kaep, 2015 Kaep or 2016 Kaep, all three versions being towards the bottom of the starting QB pile. This was his issue. After a red hot start to his NFL career, he did nothing meaningful and seemed to get worse each year.

                However, teams like the Jags Broncos and Washington, would rather lose without Kaep, than win with Kaep.

                Jags – They get nothing from signing Kaep. Not only would he be expensive, but once they paid Bortles and Bortles proved to be unsatisfactory they had to start shifting towards drafting a new QB. Kaep is now 31 years old. He is not the future of a franchise. The Jags need a franchise QB, which Kaep had proven not to be.

                Broncos – Same boat as Jags. Except here, they had signed Keenum in the offseason, so needed to see how he panned out. Kaep offers nothing extra here. If he came back, he would be worse than Keenum for most of the year. Maybe slightly higher upside, due to increased mobility, but that’s all.

                Washington – They’re paying Smith, who has proven to be a better Qb than Kaepernick. He might not have reached a SB, but he has reached a Championship Game, and routinely reached the playoffs. Signing Kaep at the point he was injuredwould have been useless, given that by the time he was ready to play, they would be out of contention anyway.

                This isn’t really factoring in how unlikely a guy that hasn’t played in years will just come in and ball out. Plus the media circus, and the fact that he hasn’t proven to be a valuable starter in the modern NFL, all points to why he wasn’t signed. Look, Kaep is better than some backups. Maybe even a low-tier starter. But that’s it. To insist signing Kaep automatically equals wins is to admit that you’re clueless on this. Which, given it’s you Sebbie, is entirely unsurprising.

              2. Renas, please try harder.
                .
                Kaep could have taken that Jags team and won a SB with their defense.
                .
                Broncos had a SB quality defense since they won it not too long ago, but thought Seimian and Keenum were the answer. Both proved to be pedestrian.
                .
                Another Alex lover? Even with all the talent surrounding him, AS never made it to the SB. With his gruesome injury, with his complications, he may never play again. Andy Reid finally got fed up with AS, and that is why he was sent packing. At Washington, they were poised to return to the playoffs, but once AS went down, they imploded with McCoy, The Butt Fumbler, and JJ. Kaep could have helped them win the division. I am so glad they lost.
                .
                I will say it once, I will say it a million times. Some day, you will learn your lesson. Many others have tried, and failed, and now do not attempt to engage with me. This aint my first rodeo, so get a clue. Argue with me all you want, but I like arguing. I enjoy debating. I like to get in the last word. Sometimes I will take a contrary viewpoint just to argue. In the end, they all throw up their hands, and rue the day they even tried. You should take your own advice with your first sentence.

              3. “I like arguing.”

                “I like to get in the last word.”

                “Sometimes I will take a contrary viewpoint just to argue.”

                This explains your “love” for Kap. Quite contrary.

              4. Kaep could have taken that Jags team and won a SB with their defense.

                Citation needed. You said you liked to debate Sebbie, so let’s see you actually qualify your claims. Prove to me that Kaep would have gone to Foxborough and beaten the Patriots in the playoofs. Or put up 45 against the Steelers. Or this year, with the defence playing worse. You can’t, because all you have is assuming Kaepernick will have the same impact he had before there was tape on him. And when he was younger, and had less injuries.

                Broncos had a SB quality defense since they won it not too long ago, but thought Seimian and Keenum were the answer. Both proved to be pedestrian.

                A defence that has lost key pieces since then, and plays in the toughest division in football. Kaep isn’t taking this Broncos team to 8-8, let alone the promised land.

                Another Alex lover? Even with all the talent surrounding him, AS never made it to the SB. With his gruesome injury, with his complications, he may never play again. Andy Reid finally got fed up with AS, and that is why he was sent packing. At Washington, they were poised to return to the playoffs, but once AS went down, they imploded with McCoy, The Butt Fumbler, and JJ. Kaep could have helped them win the division. I am so glad they lost.

                I don’t need to love Alex to see he’s a better QB. It’s why he got paid, again. Smith’s worth was proven once he was injured, and no, Kaep isn’t going to change their fortunes either. JJ, for the most part, played about as well as could be expected, and they didn’t sniff the playoffs in the end.

                I will say it once, I will say it a million times. Some day, you will learn your lesson. Many others have tried, and failed, and now do not attempt to engage with me. This aint my first rodeo, so get a clue. Argue with me all you want, but I like arguing. I enjoy debating. I like to get in the last word. Sometimes I will take a contrary viewpoint just to argue. In the end, they all throw up their hands, and rue the day they even tried. You should take your own advice with your first sentence.

                You seem to be under the belief that people refusing to engage with your idiocy means that they are conceding arguments to you. Not only is that against the spirit of debating entirely, it’s wholly untrue from the off. People don’t engage you because you say stupid things, and when called out on stupid things, can offer nothing intelligent or insightful in response. I’ve come in with an open mind, and within a day I saw your comments for what they were – delusional ramblings of a sad, lonely cretin. You so badly want to be seen as some kind of football savant, yet instead make yourself an object of mockery with just about each and every one of your ridiculous takes. I’m sure when Grant called you legendary, he meant it rather differently to how you took it. The biggest fools do tend to miss out when they happen to be the butt of the joke…

              5. Renas, I like your spirit. You, might actually be a worthy opponent.
                .
                Easy peasy. Kaep is light years better than Bortles.
                .
                Kaep is light years better than Keenum, who flamed out at the Rams, too.
                .
                No, they are quaking in their boots. They tried to get the lawsuit dismissed, but the judge deemed it had merit. Lawsuits are easy to win when some twit says that protesters are SOBs. In this age of emails, there will be rock solid proof because many owners are not tech savvy. Proof of collusion is probably written in triplicate, so there is a paper trail.
                .
                AS was benched by Kaep, because he went 1-13 in third down conversions, and threw one pass to his WRs in the NFCC Game. AS liked to pad his stats, and would rather take a sack, than throw the ball away, since that would hurt his completion percentage. Ultimately, he took a sack and received a concussion, which allowed Kaep to supplant him. In KC, Mahomes supplanted him, so AS was sent packing again. It was unfortunate that he broke his leg, and it was ironic that it happened on the anniversary of Joe Theisman’s gruesome injury. I wish injury on no player, and hope he can walk without a limp, but sadly, his playing days may be over, just like Joe Theisman’s career. The infection may have been the nail in the coffin.
                .
                Yes, many have assailed me, and make fun of me, but they do not realize what they are really doing. They are making me relevant enough to be considered a foe. Sure, I say unconventional things, but I like to think outside the box.
                .
                Others on this site can engage with me civilly and politely, and I try to match their tenor. If you did not know this, I very rarely hurl expletives, but I do not suffer fools gladly, so I have a sharp tongue. I am verbose, and can joust with posters with every word in the dictionary. I sincerely hope to refrain from having to stoop to that, but some just seem to ask for it.
                .
                I am happiest when I can discuss tactics and strategies with posters I respect. I do recognize that I am not the most football savvy poster here, but also assert that I am merely stating my opinion. I also do recognize that some self professed football savants here are as dumb as a post. Those I tend to humor. What I like most is reliving the memories from those Glory Years.
                .
                I am content. Posters like Razor recognize that I am not like many trolls, who stir things up with hate against the Niners. He knows that while we may be diametrically opposed in areas, we both love the Niners and want them to win another Lombardy.
                .
                So, by calling others idiots, you are just defining yourself. I will calmly, civilly engage you in a war of words, and will try to match your rhetoric, but I expect decent manners and politeness in return so everyone is not put off. This is a blog site. not the Library of Congress. It is what we make of it. Some like to haunt my posts, but I just consider them lightweights. However, like a moth to a flame, they cannot help themselves
                .
                I will reiterate, I consider you a worthy opponent. At least you can frame an argument and use facts and logic in an intelligible manner. If you want to spend hours engaging me by writing long dissertations, I will tell you are wasting your time, and mine, too. The best advice is to just scroll past. Ignore me, and I will ignore you.
                .
                So here is some sage blog advice. Stick to football. Keep it short. Make sense. Use facts. Lose the attitude. Do not go Emo. Spell correctly. Do that, and I will respect you, and be civil.

      2. It is ridiculous to guess how well Harbaugh would have done with this roster. Harbaugh would never have put together this roster. His style of O is diametrically opposed to Shanahan’s. If he tried to run his system with this roster he would have won 1 game. (The Raiders)

      3. Interesting… didn’t he fail to take a more talented team to the playoffs?

        You know, that team that had Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Brooks, Gore, a younger Staley, A.D. , Iupatti, Bethea, Reid, Crabtree, Boldin and Vernon Davis.

        Don’t get me wrong. I think Harbaugh was a great coach but the idea that he would have made this team a playoff team when he couldn’t do it with a far superior roster is laughable.

        1. Most of those guys were on the team in 2010 when the 49ers went 1-7 on the road. The next season, they went 6-2 on the road, and Harbaugh was the reason why.

          1. You know one of the arguments about Harbaugh winning is that he had these fantastic players, but how many Hall of Famers did he have? Still managed to have a tremendous winning percentage.

            We act as if Shanahan would have won with all these players but he has yet to prove he can. Harbaugh already has.

          2. That team was very talented, they just didn’t have a head coach. Actually, they probably would have been better off if they didn’t have a head coach. The scenarios were vastly different.

        2. The dysfunction of the franchise in 2014 and it’s effect on the team is usually understated….plus Willis played only 6 games, Davis in 7, Smith was breaking down and Bowman missed the season.

          Yeah there was talent, but I’m not sure it was more than this team had. Shoot, Kittle is better than V Davis.

          1. Where did VD get drafted and where did Kittle get drafted? Seems to me all the hand wringing by some regarding Lynch’s GM capabilities might be a sign of dementia….

              1. I gotta laugh when the Harbaugh fan boys talk about him as if he’d consumed the NFL with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse. Vic Fangio and the stellar supporting cast, collectively had more to do with the success of those teams than Harbaugh. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see The Godfather become a NFL HC before Harbaugh ever does again….

              2. The Godfather should have been the HC when the 49ers fired Harbaugh. He turned that defense around.

              3. The secondary that Harbaugh «inherited » had 3 of the 4 as new starters including 2 free agent signees.

              4. That’s why I said Fangio and the staff collectively had more of an impact on the success of those teams than the quarterback whisperer, whose shelf life was that of a can of tuna….

              5. “The secondary that Harbaugh «inherited » had 3 of the 4 as new starters including 2 free agent signees.

                That’s exactly the point. Shanny has had to draft and develop and Harbaugh had all pro vets come and play great.
                Starters 2011
                T.Brown a 4 year pro.
                Dashon Goldson a 4 year pro.
                Donte Whitner a 5 year pro.
                Carlos Rogers a 6 year pro

                2017 starters
                Witherspoon;rookie
                Eric Reid:4 year
                Dontae Johnson:3 year pro
                Jimmie Ward: played 7 games(3year pro)/J.Tartt:2 year pro.

              6. « Shanny has had to draft and develop »

                No he didn’t. They had the most cap space in the league. They could have used some of that on DB’s

              7. « That’s why I said Fangio and the staff collectively had more of an impact on the success of those teams than the quarterback whisperer, »

                Cool. I never disagreed with you.

                I don’t think a HC should get knocked for hiring really good assistants.

                Harbaugh wasn’t a « quarterback whisperer » just a good football coach.

              8. Nobody is “knocking” Harbaugh for assembling the staff, but I’m also not waxing nostalgic about him either….

              1. 2017 class>2012+2013 classes. Seems to me the guy with no personnel experience is holding his own, especially when you count Breida, Mullens and Bourne….

              2. Part of the draft. They were targeted, and if you want to take it a step further; two of them were astute insurance policies for Williams and Beathard….

              3. “« Breida, Mullens and Bourne…. »

                Good players. Not draft picks”

                How does it matter how you acquire the talent?
                You still have to scout it, evaluate it and develop it.
                That’s what they did.

              4. You can thank Scangarello for Mullens.
                I’m guessing you can thank Turner for Breida.
                You can thank Shanahan for hiring Scangarello and Turner.
                You can thank Lynch for being willing to give larger salaries to the UDFA’s we’re interested in.

                https://www.ninersnation.com/2017/5/1/15500218/49ers-undrafted-free-agent-tracker-guaranteed-money-kd-cannon

                “More UDFA deals trickling in: #49ers gave Colorado OLB Jimmy Gilbert a whopping $62,000 guaranteed ($12K bonus, $50K base).”

                “#49ers, #Eagles among big spenders in UDFA. Guarantees include $45,000 for KD Cannon.”

                “The San Francisco 49ers lead the way on this list, giving wide receiver K.D. Cannon $45,000. He got a $5,000 signing bonus and $40,000 in a base salary guarantee. Georgia Southern running back MATTHEW BREIDA was fourth on the list at $30,000 ($5,000 SB, $25,000 base). Tight end Cole Hikutini got $20,000 in total guarantees ($10,000 SB, $10,000 base). Finally, Penn State safety Malik Golden received $15,000 ($3,000 SB, $12,000 base).”

              5. @When talking about the 2017 draft class you don’t include guys that were undrafted”

                When you inherit a 2 win roster, you have to acquire talent and develop it any which way you can.
                If the organization is saying brick by brick and following through with it and finding quality, it’s a win.
                Just because it’s not an “official” draft pick, Lynch and Shanny are finding talent and developing it.
                That’s what this league is now.

              6. Right, and I was specific when I said « 2017 draft class » and not 2017 acquisitions.

                The UDFA’s mentioned are all good players. Breida isn’t a main back, should get roughly 10-15 touches a game to be at his best.

                Bourne is coming around. Needs to cut out the mental errors and drops moving into year 3.

                Mullens should have been the backup QB from the jump, but was stuck behind a bad draft pick.

              7. Right, and I was specific when I said « 2017 draft class » and not 2017 acquisitions.

                Like you do with your cherry picked stats, you leave out what’s important for your weak a$$ arguements.
                You say Shanny and Lynch can’t draft well but they are good at acquiring talent outside the draft?
                Talking out both sides of your mouth again.

              8. Statement that was made….The 2017 draft has been bad with the exception of Kittle.

                Guys like Breida, Bourne and Mullens were signed as free agents.

                As hard as it might be to comprehend, two things can be equally true. The 2017 draft was not good. The 2017 free agent class was fruitful.

              9. Technicality, Hammer. The draft used to be 9 rounds, so I’ve always looked at UDFA’s who make the team as part of the class. They scouted, targeted and developed them….

              10. « The draft used to be 9 rounds »

                Actually the draft used to be 30 rounds at one point, and during the Walsh years it was 12.

                « I’ve always looked at UDFA’s who make the team as part of the class. »

                Except the fa in UDFA stands for free agent.

                « They scouted, targeted and developed them…. »

                Just like they do with every free agent they sign.

              11. Yep and UD stands for undrafted. Semantics. I’m not going to knock Shanny for Breida beating out Williams or Mullens taking Beathard’s job. I consider it a wash. It matters little to me where they were drafted or if they went undrafted. They were all rookies who the organization brought in to compete for positions on the team….

              12. « Yep and UD stands for undrafted. »

                Exactly. Undrafted. Not part of the draft.

                « I’m not going to knock Shanny for Breida beating out Williams »

                Didn’t Mostert take the final RB spot? If Williams ends up being the guy they expected when they drafted him to, do they still pay McKinnon $12.5 mil instead of using that on defense?

                « Mullens taking Beathard’s job »

                Beathard was terrible, yet Shanny stuck with him until he had no other choice. That’s one that he deserves criticism for.

              13. Joe Williams is the one KS deserves criticism the most for, because JW was not even on JL’s draft board. KS had to convince JL to draft him, and even moved up in the draft to do it.

              14. Lol. It seems according to Jack, a team will only have 6 or 7 new faces every season, those they drafted. No wonder rebuilding takes so long.

          2. “.plus Willis played only 6 games, Davis in 7, Smith was breaking down and Bowman missed the season.”

            But you’re so sure that Jim would have won 10 games this year despite losing his starting QB and HB, top two WRs in and out, a dead armed WILL, and eight different safties.

            “The dysfunction of the franchise in 2014 and it’s effect on the team is usually understated”

            The dysfunction of the franchise in 2014 caused by Jed (and Jim) and it’s effect on the team is usually understated.

            Fixed it for you.

            1. « But you’re so sure that Jim would have won 10 games this year »

              Where did I say anything about Harbaugh winning 10 games with this team? Answer…I didn’t.

              1. You said “49ers should have been 10-6”. So am I to assume that that quote is the one time you’re not blaming KS? Were you actually blaming the players for once? I’ll take your word for it.

                I still find it funny that you whine about people making excuses for KS when you make excuses for Harbaugh almost every time someone says something negative about him. You’re a fanboy and a hypocrite.

              2. Read what I wrote and figure it out. They should have been 10-6 if not for those things. That’s on players and coaches.

                Yeah when someone writes about how the roster was stacked in 2014 and then goes on to name guys who played in less than 1/2 the games or a TE who isn’t as good as the one on this team I’m going to correct them.

                I don’t need to make excuses for Harbaugh, he won 69% of his games in SF. I’ll let you guys have fun defending the one who’s 3 games better than Tomsula and Kelly.

              3. “I don’t need to make excuses for Harbaugh,”

                Jack Hammer says:
                January 4, 2019 at 2:25 pm

                “The dysfunction of the franchise in 2014 and it’s effect on the team is usually understated….plus Willis played only 6 games, Davis in 7, Smith was breaking down and Bowman missed the season.”

              4. 80, I was referring to this part mostly with what I was getting at in ( ). If you think that Smith, Willis, and A Davis were still top of the line guys in 2014 that’s fine. Bringing up Vernon when Kittle is better doesn’t add anything to the argument.

                That would be like me saying the 2018 49ers had talent in guys who weren’t on the field. Yes the 2018 team was riddled with injuries. None of those injured were replaced by guys markedly worse with the possible exception of RB. Wilson was a downgrade from Breida and Mostert. If you disagree that’s fine.

                Shoup says:
                January 4, 2019 at 1:39 pm

                You know, that team that had Justin Smith, (aging player who retired following season in which he had fewest tackles of his career), Patrick Willis, (played 6 games), Brooks (played 13 games) Gore, a younger Staley, A.D. (played 7 games) Iupatti, Bethea, Reid, Crabtree, Boldin and Vernon Davis (not as good as Kittle).

              5. Way to go on refusing to acknowledge the fact that you were wrong when you said this.

                “None of those injured were replaced by guys markedly worse with the possible exception of RB.”

                CJ is markedly worse than JG and he absolutely replaced JG.

              6. « CJ is markedly worse than JG and he absolutely replaced JG. »

                Shame on Shanahan for not seeing that Mullens was better and having him as the backup.

              7. Jack – You forget that CJ is still theoretically much better than Mullens which is how Shanny views things. It’s not the things you don’t know that get you into trouble. It’s the things that you’re certain of that just ain’t so” – Mark Twain. Kyle’s learning curve is very flat as far as I can see.

              8. Your hero, Grant did. It would take 10 wins to get to the playoffs, which is what this Harbaugh coached team would have done.

          3. Hmmm since Kyle doesn’t get a pass for injuries neither should Jim.
            Anyway s my point was not that Kyle is better. The point was Jim had a far superior roster and missed the playoffs. That kind of turnover will derail any coach.
            Every single one of those players would have had significant playing time on this roster. What players on this roster would have played significantly on that roster. Sherman, kittle and bucker but who else?

            1. I’m not giving Harbaugh a pass because of injuries. I’m saying that some of the players you singled out as making that roster « far superior » either missed most of the season, were a shell of their former self or not as good as a player on this roster.

            2. « What players on this roster would have played significantly on that roster. »

              Sherman
              Kittle
              Buckner
              Fred Warner (Chris Borland)
              Elijah Lee (Michael Wilhoite)
              McGlinchey (Davis)
              Staley*
              Juice
              Garoppolo/Mullens
              Richburg (many here think he’s an upgrade over Kilgore)

      4. Nobody would have taken this team to the playoffs. You can’t suffer the injuries they did and have a revolving door of players going in and out and have a successful season. The were competitive in most of their games and were one or two plays away from winning in some cases, but the difference usually comes down to whether you have the players who can step up and be difference makers and the Niners didn’t have many of those due to injury or being in the second year of a rebuild.

  27. I didn’t say practice field, to be specific I’m referring to the stadium field.
    And I’m more concerned about the field conditions such as ground surface that doesn’t seem to hold up very well.

    There were a few times when Breida broke the LOS ready for a long run only to slip or lose his footing when the field gave way.
    We’ve seen the same thing happen to WR’s as well.

    If those slips or ground breakaways would have held up who knows what the outcome of the game would have been.
    I just believe that if the team is going to make changes this area should receive attention.

    1. I think they should experiment with different blends of sod.
      .
      Let the practice fields have different blends, and choose the best one that has the best footing and most durability.

    2. I think I saw a player plant funny right before going down in one of the recent games. I think the field at least contributed to the injury.
      It has been a menace since they built the stadium (it was supposed to be state of the art).

      Having said that, I think it was good they got rid of the conditioning coach.

  28. I’ve started watching some Quinnen Williams film. Amazing some of the things he can do in the interior. Also, Jon Ledyard shows a clip of him coming off the edge. This guy could really be “plug and play” guy all over the D-line – even though it doesn’t look like he can rush from the edge with bend. Still I think it would make it very difficult to game plan against both Buck and Q.

    https://twitter.com/LedyardNFLDraft/status/1072898883183874048

    It’s only one clip of him coming off the edge, but…..

    1. If they stay at #2, and assuming the Cards (or whoever ends up drafting #1) takes Bosa, he is the guy the 49ers should draft.

          1. If we miss out on Bosa and do take Williams, my dream scenario would be to see Burns weigh in around 225 lbs. at the combine, causing him to drop into our laps in round 2….

      1. It’s a real dilemma and one created by the fact the team has reached for lesser DL in two of the past 3 drafts. Williams has been dominant this year and would be a no brainer in most cases but for a team with a glut of DT’s and so many picks tied up in the position, it’s not an easy decision. The first rule of drafting is take the BPA. Williams is arguably the best player in this draft along with Bosa. However this team is in a position where they need to add talent at some need positions due to ignoring them for too long. I can see both sides in the debate, but to me if you truly feel Williams is an elite difference maker and he is the best player on the board, just take a deep breath and take him. Try and find a taker for Thomas and/or Armstead and try to improve the Edge position with volume in later rounds. If you can find a trade that still puts you in a position to get a good Edge rusher further down while adding picks, that’s a possibility too, but I still feel this team needs elite Blue chip talent more than it needs more bodies.

    2. The Tide had Williams bulk up to play NT for them. The linked video shows him playing DE at a weight that is 10 to 15 pounds heavier than what is normal for him. Lets see him lose 15 pounds and watch him play edge. I think he would be a terror.

  29. https://thedraftnetwork.com/2019/01/04/2019-nfl-draft-player-profile-jachai-polite/

    I am sure I will be the only one, but this is the edge guy I hope the 49ers get. Not at #2, it would need a trade back, but I think Polite is going to be pretty special. Unlike Ledyard I think he is a little raw, though he makes a good point about his moves and processing. His rawness is more from needing to refine his moves – he’s played more as an interior DL prior to this past season and there are certain things he needs to work on to maximise his athleticism around the edge. But yeah, that spin move… awesome.

    For mine its really about the way this kid moves. He’s just so fluid. Really fast, but also can flip his hips and change direction quickly.

    He’s not a full time DE. But that’s part of the reason I think he’d be a really good fit for the 49ers. He can play as an OLB in base, and either from a 2 point stance or 3 point stance in nickel. Basically how the Falcons use Vic Beasley. But I think he’s better than Beasley.

      1. Yeah, I suspect he goes somewhere in that 8-15 range. He’ll also only get better as he adds strength and muscle to his frame.

    1. Scooter,

      You’ve been high on this kid going back to the LSU game, at least that’s the first time you mentioned him here and I see the athletic skills, but I’m still on the fence personally. He was a complete non factor in a couple of games I watched and he looks a little light as I’ve mentioned before. I’d be hesitant to take him with a first round pick, but I might be missing the boat on this guy, I don’t know.

      1. He had some games where he wasn’t dominant, but non-factor is too harsh. One of those games was Georgia, which a lot of detractors point out. That’s odd to me though – given his skillset he was always going to struggle to make a big impact against such a team. He’s not a dominant run defender.

        The reason I am so high on him has a lot to do with his athletic traits. There are definitely things he needs to improve but that’s the exciting thing about him for me. He isn’t near his ceiling yet, while I think Bosa and Allen are close to theirs. What he is now is good, and I like that he knows how to and is willing to string moves together, but there is also a fair bit of room to improve his pass rush moves (aside from his spin move – that is already excellent).

          1. Polite is an absolute blur on his spin move and does a great job using the OL as a push off to create momentum once past him. He also does a good job getting the OL committed to the outside speed move beforehand. Burns, maybe due to his length, isn’t as dynamic through his spin move and sometimes his timing is really out on it.

  30. Oh great, now Harbaugh would have won 10 games for us this year. Just forget the fact that he only won 8 games with a more talented roster. I’m sure this would have been the year that Jim finally beat Seattle again. I sure that this would have been the year that there weren’t any rumors about Jim leaving. I’m sure that this would have been the year that Jim and Jed would have acted like adults.

    Whatever, I can say Shanahan would have beat Ohio St. Nobody can prove me right or wrong.

    Deuces.

    1. 80,
      Your right.
      Sports blogs feed on conjecture.
      Harbaugh having 10 wins this season? Nah.
      I’ll take it a step farther, Belichik doesn’t get 10 wins with this team in 2018.
      There, thought I’d toss in my conjecture as well.

    2. The only thing we know for sure is Shanahan’s record, which isn’t good. Shanahan should have won more games but couldn’t. We will see what he does next year.

    3. JH took an under performing team, and took them to a 13-3 record and the NFCC Game.
      .
      JH sure could have used a little help, but Baalke whiffed on the entire 2012 draft class. Imagine if a more competent GM had not selected AJ Jenkins, and had chosen Alshon Jeffrey, who was chosen 15 picks later.
      .
      Baalke is most to blame with all the leaks and smears. JH became enraged and blamed Jed. Interestingly, once Baalke was fired, the leaks stopped.
      .
      Sure you can say that, but even the worst NFL team has an 150 million dollar payroll, while every college kid is on scholarship. Maybe Alabama might put up a good fight, but even they would lose. Also, jmho, and no one can prove me right or wrong.

      1. Geez seb. I was saying that KS could have beat OSU as HC of the Wolverines, not the Niners. KS beating a college team with his pro roster goes without saying.

          1. I thought it was implied. The blog had been talking about how JH would do with KS’ team, I was talking about how KS would do against OSU with JH’s team.

            1. KS might get the same results with 4 of Michigan’s best players sitting out the game.
              .
              Also, losing Love did not help, even when he returned.

      2. Yeah, under performing, but very talented.
        Harbaugh walked into the same situation that McVay walked into.
        McVay wouldn’t have 10 wins this season with the current 49ers roster.
        Let’s not fool ourselves.

    4. The thing that gets missed when looking at stats is context. Each game is it’s own entity and is affected by many factors. Shanahan offenses have only been top ten in points scored 3 times but each of those times came in year two or three of his tenure as OC. That suggests that once he has the players in his system for an extended period of time, the points follow. The problem in SF has been continuity with players moving in and out due to injury at QB, RB and WR. If this roster can ever stay healthy I think this offense could take off, but we have yet to see it happen and this season especially was a struggle in keeping the lineup remotely intact from week to week.

  31. Some chatter on the Dan Patrick show about inflated value of QBs in the 2019 draft. Could make for an interesting first round. A few sparkling Combine performances will send QB needy teams into a frenzy.

    And of course, Sebbie feels Mullens–as he is today–is worth a boatload of picks. Perhaps a QB-starved franchise will offer the 9ers a first and third in 2019, and a second and fifth in 2020…along with the best defensive player from the panicky franchise.

    1. Quit putting words in my mouth. Such bad breath.
      .
      I stated that after the Rams game, the best the Niners could expect would be a second round pick, with a conditional third round pick in 2020. If that team had a winning season, it would be elevated to a 2020 second round pick. If they made it to the SB, it would elevate to a 2020 first round pick.

      1. Geepers Sebbie…. You were gushing about a boatload of picks BEFORE the Rams game. C’mon man, own it.

  32. On the topic of panicky franchises, Grant called out the 9ers for panicking during the 2018 draft. So sad.

    A fun diversion this winter would be to mock the ‘most panicky’ 9er draft possible for ’19. The first three players taken… A center, a punter, and a kick returner.

    1. There is a very good center from N.C. St. the 49ers could grab at the top of round 2. Garrett Bradberry. He could take over Persons role, and be our starting center by 2020….

        1. Kelvin Harmon is my guy. As a local, do you have any insights about his off the field stuff? Stuff like coachability, work ethic, intelligence, being a team leader, and behavior.

              1. #80

                Have you looked at my pick ? Akheem Butler from Iowa State 6’6″ 225 lbs since my last post on him, He had 192 yards in their Bowl loss to Washington State big fast WR..’.tuff too…

        2. Yea, I’m kind of leaning towards DaMarkus Lodge but Harmon would work. That catch against Vandy in the red zone was top ten all year for mine….

          1. Yea, for sure Scooter but I think Ridley goes early, like top 20. He’d have to run slow in order to slide into round 2.

            1. Yeah, I expect so too. One of the reasons I like the idea of trading back from the 2nd pick is so they can also move up from #34. Getting Polite and Ridley in the 1st round would be a nice haul, for instance.

          1. I expect most 49er fans will see all these really big WR prospects and fall in love with a few of them, thinking that’s exactly what the 49ers need. But Kyle has been adamant about wanting WRs that get separation, get open. Not many of these big boys are really guys that create much separation. I think the 49ers will be lower on a few of these guys than most 49er fans.

            Riley Ridley is definitely a guy that fits the type of WR Kyle typically likes. Good route runner, gets separation, good hands, etc. Also has good size, and from everything I have read about him it sounds like football is his life. I suspect he is the guy Kyle will really want. DK Metcalf is really the only other big WR I think has the ability to separate that Kyle might really like.

            Harmon and Butler are guys I am on the fence over. They actually aren’t bad movers for their size, so they may be guys that Kyle surprises me and covets. But I’m definitely not sold on them being guys Kyle goes after hard.

            Deebo Samuel might be a surprise guy that Kyle likes a lot. Not a huge WR like I’m sure most 49er fans want, but still pretty muscular and moves well. I can see him as the pssession type WR in this offense, that is also dangerous after the catch.

            1. JJ Arceaga- Whiteside is rated at 34, the draft position the Niners have. I watched some of his games and he has good red zone skills.

              1. Yep, he’s another that fits that category of big guy that doesn’t really separate, that I think Kyle will rate lower than many 49er fans and many draft pundits.

                The “need a big red zone target” crowd will likely be disappointed by whichever WR the 49ers draft.

              2. Yup, I want the Niners to find their next Jerry Rice. He is 6′ 3″, and did not possess blazing speed.

              3. Good grief. First of all, Rice was 6’1″. Second, and very important here, Rice got separation. Excellent route runner. Unsurprisingly, this is also something that most of the top WRs in todays game have in common.

                And yet your take away is that Rice was big and slow, and that’s what they need to replicate. Unbelievable.

              4. Exactly razor. If what you are after is a guy that can add some size and jump ball ability for the red zone you can find them later.

                Tbh, if that’s what they are after they shouldn’t rule out looking at a TE rather than a WR per se for that red zone target role. This is a really good year of TEs.

              5. We were both wrong. He is listed a 6′ 2″, 200 lbs. 4.7 forty.
                .
                BW used his first and second round picks to move up with the Pats 16 spots to number 16 and select Rice. With Rice they struck the mother lode, and won 3 more rings.
                .
                My point is that the Niners already have several small speedy WRs. They need a WR that can be a red zone threat and high point the ball. JJ Arceaga- Whiteside and Hakeem Butler have 4.59 speed, and the height to out leap the DBs.
                .
                I still think that Goodwin, Pettis, Taylor, James and Bourne are fine. Adding that big, tall WR will complement the other receivers. That will give them another weapon.
                .
                The later they pick one, the slower he will be.They spent a second round pick on Pettis, they may need to do that again.

              6. Pettis is 6′ 1″ 192 lbs, and ran a 4.48 forty. While shifty, and can run good routes, he is not the big bodied WR that can take the punishment, hence his 2 injuries.
                .
                JJ Arceaga-Whiteside is 6′ 3″ 225 lbs, so he can take those big hits. More importantly, he may be able to deliver some big hits, blocking down field to help the run game.

              7. Funny you mention that, Scooter. I’ve been thinking since this draft is supposed to be “historic” at the te position, maybe we target one in round 3 to pair with Kittle. Similar to the Patriots offense when they had Gronk/Hernandez.

              8. I think they need to draft a TE,too, to replace Celek, but need more draft picks.
                .
                I like Caleb Wilson,6′ 4″ 235 lbs, 4.64 forty. He might be available at 66.

              9. “They need a WR that can be a red zone threat and high point the ball.”

                Yep, you really are the demographic of 49er fan I was talking about. The “let’s go spend a high draft pick on a big WR because we need height in the red zone” crowd.

                Razor, yeah, getting a good TE to pair with Kittle might be a good option. Only thing I’m not sure on is whether Shanahan likes using 2 TE sets that often. Not sure any of his offenses have really featured two good TEs.

            2. Two things about Harmon.

              He was a bit of a body catcher in 2017, but he got better with that this year.

              His routes are a bit rounded. but I think KS and company could help him correct that. I think Harmon would be willing to work on that based on him working on hands catching. I feel even more confident after Yeast’s response to my question about Harmon’s intangibles.

              1. Watching the highlights, Finley may have helped Harmon a lot. Those back shoulder catches were thrown with anticipation.

              2. Maybe, #80. As I said above, he is a guy I am on the fence about. He moves ok for a bigger guy, and his route running is also ok. Not great, but decent enough he could be a guy they look at.

                I do get the feeling though that there are and will be a lot of 49er fans that like some of these guys pretty much just because they are big and make some highlight reel acrobatic plays. Add in the obligatory “you need size to fix the red zone issues” comments too.

                Yet Shanahan’s history suggests this is not what he looks for primarily. The NFL in general is also showing that these are not the necessary skills to be a good WR. Route running, separation, hands – these are the important skills. If they come on a guy with size then all the better.

              3. “The NFL in general is also showing that these are not the necessary skills to be a good WR. Route running, separation, hands – these are the important skills.”

                Agreed, and I think Harmon possesses those three skills. His combination of good route running and quick feet gets him separation. Hands look good. Shanny would like his run blocking too.

                https://www.buffalorumblings.com/2018/11/20/18094831/previewing-the-buffalo-bills-offseason-2019-nfl-draft-options-analysis-kelvin-harmon-jonah-williams

                “He’s also a savvy route runner, showing an understanding of coverage details and helping out his strength-limited quarterback by gaining separation.”

                “Clemson pattern matching
                Wolfpack fake curl/wheel
                Harmon sells the curl, works to the post
                Understands coverage, finds void, throttles down behind LB/in front of S
                Curls over ball to put body between ball & defender w hit coming
                Fearless over middle”

              4. Yeah, that’s why I’m on the fence with Harmon. He might well be a guy Shanahan likes. His route running is decent. Not shifty or explosive out of his breaks or anything, but as you outline in those quotes, he knows how to setup a DB and has good enough footwork and balance to get some separation.

              5. Another argument to consider is that Goodwin is fast, can gain separation and runs good routes.
                .
                However, he is also small, and gets beat up and injured. Bigger players are more durable, and can absorb the sledgehammer blows.
                .
                Taylor Gabriel is another fast WR who had leg injuries with the Falcons,and rib and shoulder injuries with the Bears. Brandin Cooks is very fast, but oft injured, and Kevin White has never produced due to being chronically injured.
                .
                Being fast and running good routes should not be the sole criteria in determining the worth of a receiver.

              6. Understandable fence sitting in this case. I should have noted that his routes are tight more often than they are rounded. That should work itself out with more reps and a good WR coach stressing the importance of precise route running. If he hits his ceiling, he’d be a perfect compliment at Z to Pettis at X.

              7. #80, I should also stress I am just talking about his fit as a guy Shanahan may want. I am on the fence about that. I think Harmon has the tools to be very good and different coaches/ offenses will value his skillset highly.

                Seb, yes, there are other traits that are also valuable. Never denied that or suggested otherwise. But the traits that the majority of the best WRs all have are those I outlined. Not being big. It happens that some of those guys are also big, like Julio Jones, and finding guys with those skills that also have good size is a very nice bonus.

              8. Scooter, I will concede that your criteria is more skill based while I am looking at physical traits.
                .
                I will also point out that we want both, but those are hard to find. Not too many Calvin Johnsons or Julio Jones in this world.
                .
                And there is only one Jerry Rice.

              9. #80

                I’m afraid that I am at least ‘part’ of the demographic that Scooter was referring to …in that I am a little more balanced …I would like to see at least one ‘big’ WR as in Butler / Harmon who isn’t afraid to block or double-block /with the OT…and can still use size and good hands to be a force in the RZ…Also, has anyone found a clone of Dave “ghost” Casper yet ?…

            3. Interesting view from Shanahan about the “big WR” going into the 2018 draft.
              Report on NBC Sports by Doug Williams.

              “Shanahan goes into next season with his top three wide receivers as Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin and Trent Taylor. Some analysts have said the 49ers need at least one standout, big target, because Garcon, at 6-foot-1, is the tallest of the trio, with Goodwin at 5-foot-9 and Taylor just 5-foot-8. But Shanahan says it isn’t necessary to go out and try to bring in someone such as Julio Jones, the big (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) wideout who excelled in Shanahan’s offense in Atlanta.

              “Where people make mistakes is when they say, ‘We need a big, tall, red-zone target like Julio,’ and then you go pay everyone else in the world who I can promise you isn’t Julio,” said Shanahan, according to Joe Fann of 49ers.com. “Now you can’t go get a tight end, you can’t go get a guard. Yeah, you’ve got that big guy, but it’s got to be the right guy … You don’t go, ‘Hey, we need a big guy.’ No, we need good receivers. They come in all shapes and sizes.”

              Doesn’t seem by this interview that Shanahan is as enamored by the big WR as some here are.

              1. Exactly. It’s not a key criteria for Shanahan. If he can get a guy that has good ability to get open and also has size then that’s great, but the most important attributes are getting open and catching the ball.

          2. Razor, it sounds like he will not be driven back in the pocket like Richberg. That quality is the one I like.
            .
            Yes, as a pulling guard, he may be slow, but at Center, he may be an upgrade. Richberg is listed at 290 lbs.

            1. Sebber, Bradbury is 300 lbs. and is an ideal fit for Shanny’s ZBS; which is not predicated on brute strength, but leveraging angles, timing, and technical refinement….

  33. As horrible as Lynch and Shanahan are at drafting–a view held by many on this blog–what assurances do we fans have that the 2019 draft will be nothing more than another dismal failure? And don’t overlook the questionable abilities of the scouting department. Are those in the department who evaluate/rank prospects and do most of grunt work in prepping for the draft morons also?

    So, how will Lynch and Shanahan perform across the three-day draft? Brilliantly? Very Good? Okay? Not so great? What the %#@& just happened? Of course, we really won’t have a good sense until the draft plays out and beyond; however, that never stopped most fans and some in sports media from convicting and sentencing the GM and HC in advance.

    Has the jury reached a verdict?

    1. CFB,
      “As horrible as Lynch and Shanahan are at drafting–a view held by many on this blog–what assurances do we fans have that the 2019 draft will be nothing more than another dismal failure?”

      I’m not convinced that Lynch and Shanahan’ drafts can be judged just after 2 years. Also, when I look at the player movement by the new regime, I take into account FA and UFA.

      I count players like Breida, Mullens, Bourne and Jeff Wilson as contributing UFA players under the new regime.
      FA’s Elijah Lee, Juszczyk, Mostert, Person are players that have helped as well.

      Now the draft.
      Is Solomon Thomas playing like a #3 pick? No. But he’s not a bust as some have concluded either. He’s likely never going to be the pass rusher we were hoping for, but he’s holding up well in the run game.
      I wouldn’t give up on ST after just 2 seasons.
      Foster was a total wash-out but the team more than made up for it with Fred Warner. Witherspoon is still a question mark, and Joe Williams was a huge mistake.

      George Kittle has emerged as arguably the best TE in the game.
      Trent Taylor was held back this season because of health issues but I wouldn’t count him out. Colbert played decent ball in his rookie season and is looking for a fresh start in 2019.

      Sure they will need a strong draft in 2019 and beyond.
      But building a winner from the ground up doesn’t happen in 2 years.

        1. I don’t see any comparison to the 49ers situation.

          The rams had Donald, Goff and Gurley before the McVay regime took over.
          The pieces were already there, all McVay had to do was not mess anything up.

  34. Boy, back from 3 weeks in paradise and nothing has changed!

    -Kap stilled hasn’t taken a snap in the NFL! Shocker!
    -We still have an ex high school JV soccer player with zero practical experience in football, as in playing or coaching, other than maybe Mattel Electric Football, publicly grading a professional football team! Only in America!
    -Seb is, well, you know, proving that you only have to attend a few games, watch a few on TV, and read a couple of books and you can become an expert in the sport. Overall coaching, strategy, training, management, the draft, you name it. Simply marvelous.
    -The Giants still don’t have anyone who can hit the ball over the fence! But the stadium will still fill up! Amazing!
    -The Warriors look vulnerable! Not really!
    -Nick Mullens is still a backup QB.
    -Statistics are still deceiving and those that don’t know much about a sport use them to drive their argument. (See article above!)
    -The Niners still don’t have much talent.
    -Quality is still better than quantity.
    -The team would have won 7 games with Jimmy G at the helm!
    -Kyle still needs an OC
    -The same people saying that management can’t draft are pushing the even more difficult “trade back” strategy! Perplexing to say the least!
    -It doesn’t matter who they draft. Some will never be satisfied and criticize. Hmmm, I wonder who?

    I hope everyone had a great Holiday and a great New Years. I hope you all have a great 2019!
    Sincerely, the Juan family!

    1. Juan a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
      .
      The Niners did sign Kap!
      .
      Yes, a Die Hard Faithful 49er fan can have an opinion, and others can take it as serious as if it is the gospel truth.
      .
      Few games? I religiously attended games at the Stick from 1979 through the Glory Years. I was talking with my nephew over Christmas cheer, and he was a wee tyke during those times. We fondly remembered the tailgating, great BBQ and throwing the football, and his father and I would flip to see was the designated driver. He marveled at how lucky he was to experience those magical times. One time, he wondered why I was using my binoculars to focus on the side line between snaps. I told him I wanted to see a master at work. So cool, calm, collected. Not saying much, but deadly efficient.
      .
      Yes, coaches who grew up all their life in the coaching fraternity, spent countless hours poring over stats and watching film until their eyes bleed, then could go out and have a bludgeoned look on their face while enduring a 4-12 season. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
      .
      Giants did not follow my advice, and sign an elite player from Japan. Looks like the Mariners got him. Oh well, maybe they can find a home run hitter.
      .
      Boogie Nights are a’ comin’!!!!
      .
      Hope they trade Mullens to a QB desperate team, but do not think they will get more than a second round pick for him. Still, he does have worth, and KS loves CJB.
      .
      There are lies, damn lies ! and Statistics.
      .
      The Niners have enough talent to beat the hated playoff bound Seahawks. They BEAT THE STREAK. They also have enough talent to use their third string QB,and almost beat the Bears, and put up 32 points on the Rams, both playoff teams.
      .
      JL is quality, KS, not so much, Jed, meh.The team is rebuilding, with a good foundation.
      .
      The team would have won 7 games with better coaching, even without JG.
      .
      Sure looked like having an OC, possibly could have prevented him from winning a game!
      .
      Sure am glad JL put on his Trader Bill Hat and traded back, getting a boatload of picks, even the next season’s second and third round picks. He used those to move up and select players they coveted. Too bad they did not work out. I am content. JL did 8 out of the 10 things I advocated. The only 2 he missed were- drafting red flagged players and avoiding the unforced errors. This past season, he chose an ACL player, but I blame Paraag for that.
      This next draft, the Niners are poised to trade back, and get another boatload of picks. Why? because several teams are desperate for a QB and will want to leapfrog past other QB needy teams to get the best of a meager draft class. JL should do his magic, but stop letting Paraag man the phones. I suspect he was the one who pulled off the Foster deal. CJB, JW and Pettis were desperation moves, so if Paraag is out of the loop, the Niners may fare better.
      .
      Some one will criticize the Foster fiasco? Durn tootin’!!!! They should have deactivated him, then traded him away, so they could have gotten something for him, instead of cutting him, and getting nothing.
      .
      Glad you had a great Holiday. I got lots of loot, and a book on Tolkein, so I am as happy as a clam. I will have a great New Year, because the Dems have taken control of the House, and a storm’s a’ coming! Why, they might impeach that mother lover! However, I hope they invalidate the 2016 election, so Pence does not become president, and let the popular vote winner take back the presidency that was stolen from her. They should do it like Nixon did. Force Pence to resign, have the Orange Glow install HC as Veep, then resign himself, for an orderly transition of power. That will surely bring out the masses into the streets, dancing, singing, celebrating, and jumping for joy! I look forward to 2019.
      .
      I hope we can all make America great again, and restore the dignity and honor of our country. People who support the present regime, are Putin’s puppets.

        1. Not as lonely as you are, counting my words, and haunting my posts.
          .
          Juan addressed me, so it is just polite to respond.

          1. Lonely, delusional and lacking self confidence.

            sebnynah says:
            November 28, 2018 at 7:43 pm
            Grant, by calling me a legend, elevates my status,

            1. Prime,you seem to want me to mention that you once said Kaep took the league by storm. Too bad you then destroy all your logic by declaring Kaep cannot do it again.

      1. and let the popular vote winner take back the presidency that was stolen from her.

        This comment, right here, says all you need to know about the local clown sebnynah.

        1. Trump accepted help from Putin, a foreign adversary, to steal the election. Even so, HC won the popular vote. Putin helped suppress the black vote in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, which tipped the electoral college to Trump. It is all documented, and once Mueller releases his report, Trump will go into hiding.
          .
          Proof of collusion? Putin mentioned the US troops in Afghanistan, and 10 minutes later, Trumps mentions withdrawing from Afghanistan. Trump is a rube and a con, and convinces me that pee tape exists.

        2. He consistently announces his ignorance of football matters, historical ones and here he proudly announces his ignorance of constitutional ones as well as a total lack of understanding of current events.

  35. Quinnen Williams ain’t no Suh so I hope we take either Bosa or Allen and there is not much of a big gap in talent comparing those 2, our o-line is very solid and would be better with outside rush from a edge.

    1. Based on technique, counters and methodical processing alone; the difference between Bosa and Allen is significant. I think you meant to say that there’s little difference between, Allen, Polite, Burns, and Sweat.

      Williams is the best at his position and his position is historically deep in this draft.

  36. Question to all of you out there, what important steps does the organization have to take in order to improve.

    Tangible steps such as firing the strength and conditioning coach Are things that will help (have they done anything about the DB coach?), but what other steps are necessary?

    1. “Tangible steps such as firing the strength and conditioning coach ”

      I know you are including the following phrase even though you didn’t write it:

      “and replacing him with a better coach”.

      However, my point is that don’t assume that a new S&C coach will automatically result in fewer injuries. Shanahan had history with Wright and Wright was no rookie at the position, when he was hired. It’s unclear to me why suddenly he is no longer capable.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he is gone. But, I have this feeling that they need to replace him with someone who thinks differently than most of these guys do. I’m no expert, but someone who puts some emphasis on a more gentle stretching (and not the ballistic stretching I often see football players do). Maybe some body awareness training so that players really understand how, in particular, the knee should line up over the foot or how a flat lower back (with bent knees) is better for lifting than a rounded lower back, etc. These steps will probably not prevent traumatic injuries, but they might shorten the recovery period. But these steps might lessen the number of nagging injuries that don’t keep players from playing until the nagging injury becomes debilitating. Just speculation on my part.

      But maybe the best approach is to look at other NFL teams that have fewer injuries, particularly if they have staff that include some “non traditional” methods for preventing injuries.

          1. Agreed. Injuries are mostly random, although our field may be to blame in the case of Spoon. Our inability to close games could in part be due to poor conditioning. Wright’s hill wasn’t too popular either.

    2. I’m not presumptuous enough to tell the Front office what to do, but this is just some friendly advice from a well meaning fan :)

      1) Replace the Special Team coach with the Falcons coordinator. There was not even one Trick play done on the special teams this year. Except for the individual brilliance shown by Ritchie James for a Kick-Off return TD, I don’t know what the Special teams coordinator does week-in week out.
      2) Draft a player for the position he has played at and not what something you think he is going to be good at. Solomon Thomas as an edge, Moore as a CB (although jury is still out), the Jimmie Ward experiment etc.
      3) Trading down on Draft day is fine, but don’t make any Trades until the final trade deadline and unless absolutely necessary. There were some missteps made with Kapri Bibbs (lost draft pick) and Shon Coleman (Game day Inactive all season).
      4) And John – Don’t let Kyle Trade up for any player that he supposedly “falls in love with”. We know what happened with players like Joe Williams, CJ Beathard and the jury is still out on Pettis.

    3. 1) Hire a senior exec with very solid NFL credentials (winning experience and demonstrated difference-making abilities)–particularly on the player acquisition and development side. Said exec must work very well with the GM and HC, and have a strong voice in decision making when it comes to the draft and free agency, and roster moves throughout the year. The Niners can reorganize their executive offices to make it work, likely getting rid of Adam Peters, and possibly Martin Mayhew and Ran Carthon.

      2) Rigorously evaluate the performance of all position coaches, and offense/defense/special teams assistants and quality control staff. Replace anyone falling short with the best possible talent. Do the same with the scouting department.

      3) Fix the turf problem at Levi’s….for good.

      4) Avoid chasing ‘red herring’ hot-take issues. Focus, evaluate, understand, decide, act.

    4. In no particular order.

      As good as he is, don’t draft Williams over Bosa or Allen.

      Sign Earl Thomas (if possible) to play the most important position in the secondary.

      Sign one of the top FA pass rushers if possible.

      Trade for Antonio Brown without giving up a 1st.

      Pay Shannon Turley to be our strength and conditioning coach.

      1. Yeah, I cannot justify Williams given the needs.

        No on AB though.

        Not sure if any top FA pass rushers will be available, but if they are they need to grab them.

        I agree that Thomas would bring added toughness to the secondary which is needed. The other two would be decent fall backs but don’t see them going after Reid after they publicly passed on him. Think that would be an admission of failure and I don’t see that from Shanahan.

        1. One thing to keep in mind: Williams was a 4 star recruit out of H.S. as a DE. He moved to DT out of necessity for Alabama.

          1. It was hardly necessity. When he moved to DT they were loaded with DTs. I imagine it had more to do with where Saban thought he best fit.

            I wouldn’t try and convert him back to DE, unless it was a 3-4. He’s a dominant DT.

            1. He was a rotational DE last year. He was moved inside by the new DL coach to replace Payne when he went the NFL.

              I didn’t say they had to move him. Just pointed out he has the athleticism to move outside in certain situations if they need it.

              1. You take him if you can deal one of Armstead or Thomas.
                To be honest I’d take the OT Williams from ALB.
                Look at the Colts oline. It’s been their strength and if Bosa is not there, you take Williams and our oline is set for years.
                This only works if you hit it out of the park in free agency.

    5. The two most important outcomes will be:

      1. Adding more talent.
      2. Keeping that talent on the field.

      The most important offseason steps are whatever it takes to achieve those outcomes with the resources available. If that means hiring some different people in the front office then sure, do so. Obviously they need to bring in a new strength and conditioning coach.

      1. I would add:

        3) Making the current talent grow instead of regress.

        I certainly hope they’re stronger next year.

    6. Good question Sour. I would say replacing Hafley would help, but it does not seem like Shanahan or Lynch is going to do so, which I believe is a mistake since Hafley has been over the secondary for three seasons now and nothing good has come of his tenure. Therefore, I will focus on the things that I believe could happen and that I see as necessary. In order of importance and necessity:

      1. Get a good edge rusher or two in free agency.
      2. Continue to upgrade the pass rush by drafting Bosa or Williams.
      3. Sign Thomas, Mathieu, or Reid in order to upgrade the FS position.
      4. If Mosley becomes a free agent, then sign him and move Warner to WILL.
      5. Find a SAM.
      6. If possible, trade for Brown, but do not give away any first round picks. Brown is on the wrong side of 30 and will probably start declining in a couple of years.
      7. Find a redzone target for the WR corps if a trade for Brown is not possible.
      8. Sign or draft a CB to compete against Witherspoon and Moore.
      9. Sign or draft a NCB to compete against Williams and Reed.
      10. Find a good PR and KR.

      1. With lots of injuries, so no bueno.
        .
        How about concentration your forces in a controlled manner, with discipline and precision.

      2. Mid:

        I think it’s the mindset. I’ll bet that the older players, like Sherman, have learned how to overcome coaching like play with violence. They understand what is really meant by that term and how to implement it. But the young guys might have a tendency to just throw themselves at everything and at every opportunity (ie. they are not learning how to spare their bodies when it’s not necessary to “play with violence”). Basically, I think players need to choose their opportunities when there is a high probability that playing with violence will yield a positive result. If they play with violence on every snap, there is a higher probability of injury.

  37. Seb, I wonder if we crossed paths at the ‘stick. We were on opposite sides (my seats were section 27 lower east, row 38, seats 1 and 2) I’m sure you said you were on the Niners side. Our half time ritual was to go to the bar behind the scoreboard (we used to call it the working class bar as opposed to the stadium club, which seemed to be for the upper class) it changed names throughout the years. I believe the last name was the “High Sierra Club”. If you did, maybe we rubbed elbows and didn’t even know it! (The place was always packed but fun!) I used to run into all my old Archbishop Riordan classmates! Half were cops patrolling the place! Great times. Hopefully some day the mausoleum named Levi’s will have half the character the ‘Stick had.

    PS Maybe the Niners can lobby the league to just play touch football. This violence thing is just obtuse! :)

    1. I was in section 10, under the overhang, so we pitied the rain soaked fans on the other side. You guys were tough, and dedicated.

      1. No kidding. During the glory years 1981 to around 2010 we were in section 10 two rows from the top. Our seats were sort of in the middle of the row. After 2010 we were given seats close to the press box.

        I am sure we must have passed each other a number of times.

        We never paid a penny fro parking at the stick. We used to park for free the street near the Bayshore Caltrain station. We would walk over to Picollo Pete’s deli and get a sandwich before walking to the stadium. I will never forget their Godfather sandwich.

        1. We tried to come early, and tailgate near the grass fields so we could throw the football.
          .
          Our seats were good because we could look right down the goal line and see if the ball crossed or not.

  38. 49ers 2019 draft will focus on defense again this year. They put up 32 vs. LA by giving Shanahan bread crumbs on the offensive side, knowing he can score with mediocre UFA’s.

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