Grant talks 49ers and the Super Bowl on 95.7 The Game

South head coach Kyle Shanahan, of the San Francisco 49ers, watches during the second half of the Senior Bowl college football game, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Check out my latest appearance on 95.7 The Game with The Butcher Boy Joe Shasky. The interview starts at the 21:00 mark.

This article has 170 Comments

  1. Trent Brown=Jonathan Ogden? HOF? Yikes! Offensive lineman with conditioning problems are common, but the 400 lb. ones are uncommon. That’s a lot of weight stressing those joints week in and week out.

    Grant, change your cell phone provider. Connection was terrible.

      1. And if he truly believed that he wouldn’t have gotten rid of him, and Belichick wouldn’t have been the only investor in Trent Brown stock….

          1. He sold low because there wasn’t another organization that believed what you’re selling. Are you telling me the New York Giants wouldn’t have invested a 2nd round pick for Trent Brown if they believed he was a HOF LT? C’mon man!

            1. Selling low is never good business. Brown was coming off shoulder surgery. Now, he’s going to be one of the highest-paid offensive tackles in the league.

              1. If he’s a HOF LT, he’ll make the HOF at the end of his career. The Patriots won’t let him leave this offseason.

              2. explain how he sold low?

                how an asset appreciates after it’s initial valuation is not a retcon of the initial valuation.

                ie. something is only worth what you can get someone to pay for it at the time.

              3. So the Niners should have held on to Brown for one more season and then let him go into Free Agency?

                Held onto him and resigned him and tried to trade him (and eat his likely massive signing bonus)?

                Hold onto him and radically alter the offense for one player? A left tackle?

              4. Niners traded Trent Brown and a 5th round pick (143) to the Patriots for their third round pick (95).
                .
                By moving back 48 spots, and no other picks, the Pats won a SB with their new blind side LT.
                .
                Paraag got taken to the cleaners. He never should be allowed to man the phone lines again during the draft.
                .
                I agree with Razor. The Pats will pay Brown, so Trey Flowers may become too costly to them.

            2. Brown should have been Staley’s heir apparent.

              So you’re advocating abandoning the scheme that made Kyle Shanahan successful as an offensive minded coach?

              Or they could just not run stretch plays to Brown’s side?

              1. Shanahan needs to be more of a football coach and less of a scheme coach. Belichick is a football coach — not a scheme coach.

            3. @seb

              good gravy! I don’t know how to explain it to a certain special segment of the fandom (and Grant).

              Here’s what I said:

              how an asset appreciates after it’s initial valuation is not a retcon of the initial valuation.

              ie. something is only worth what you can get someone to pay for it at the time.

              So let me help the understanding by drawing up comparable example:

              You bought/invested in a house.

              It’s a good house
              But it’s not what you want or can use.
              You can’t change what you need or can use.
              You actually only own the house for another year and half.
              THERE’S ONLY ONE GUY THAT HAS OFFERED TO BUY THE HOUSE
              He’ offers you pennies on the dollar.
              This guy is possibly the only guy that believes he can get some use out of the house you’re selling
              So you can either keep your house for another year and a half and try to sort of make it work as your house.

              Or you can pocket some change and sell the house.

              The buyer fixes up the house and is able to use it and gets the most out of it. Great for him. But it doesn’t change the fact that you got the best deal for you….because you had no other options.

              1. All, here is where we disagree. There was a simple option. I think they should have kept Brown, and moved McGlinchey to RG. Eventually, he would go to RT and Brown would go to LT. There was no need to get rid of Brown at all, if they were thinking of the future. Staley cannot play forever.
                .
                Also, the result of this trade aided the Pats, so Brown helped them win a SB. If the Niners want to win SBs, they should not help the best team in the league.

          2. While scheme flexibility is nice:

            1. Would you prefer Shanahan coach outside of the scheme that has brought him notoriety as an offensive mind?

            2. Do you believe the Niners have the personnel (QB) to run a QB centric and pass first offense that would optimize the use of a player like Trent Brown?

            1. The Patriots ran the ball extremely well in the playoffs and Brown was one of their best run blockers.

              How many outside-zone-dominant teams have won the Super Bowl?

              1. Here’s Grant’s thought process:
                1. Niners should have given Trent Brown the monster extension and moved him to LT, forcing Staley into retirement.
                2. In order to make this work, Niners should have abandoned OZ scheme and returned to power running inside since OZ doesn’t win Super Bowls..
                3. In order to facilitate this transition back to power running, Niners needed to fire Shanlynch since Kyle has intention to change his scheme.

                There must be some high-falutin Latin phrase to describe such profound thinking, but I’m not the humanities major here…

              2. This is your thought process, not mine.

                Brown didn’t need an extension. He was still under contract.
                The Patriots ran outside zone in the Super Bowl. They also ran 10 other types of run plays. Diversity is important.
                Shanahan and McVay shouldn’t be so married to their schemes. They should be more flexible, like McDaniels, who is better than both of them.

              3. How many outside-zone-dominant teams have won the Super Bowl?

                Now that’s just a simplistic hot take. I’d like to expect better from you.

                There have been far simpler and less effective offenses that have one super bowls. What wins is a combination of talent and scheme (on both sides of the ball). The scheme worked fine with a hall of fame QB and running back. In fact the outside zone scheme would have won another one a couple years ago had Kyle stuck to the outside zone run….or any kind of run.

              4. Incorrect. The Patriots shut down the outside zone in the second half against the Falcons.

                The Broncos won the Super Bowl using outside zone in the late ’90s when they had John Elway. The Colts won the Super Bowl using outside zone when they had Peyton Manning. Any other teams?

              5. Grant,

                You are a funny guy. I don’t mean to misinterpret you but if I’m trying hard to detect a logical strain of thought in your postings.
                You now saying that you wanted Brown to be moved to LT but not necessarily signed to a long-term contract? So Niners would cut Staley so that Brown can get another season to show that he can’t run downfield quickly at an angle, this time on the left side?

                The Patriots ran outside zone in the Super Bowl.

                Most of the NFL teams run OZ occasionally which means exactly nothing. Kyle uses OZ as a foundation of his offense which is to stretch the field horizontally while creating mismatches. McDaniel is not half the playcaller that’s Kyle. His offense hums like an oil-oiled machine because Brady runs it with receivers like Edelman and Gronk whi can catch critical third down passes from Brady in pitch dark.

                Shanahan and McVay shouldn’t be so married to their schemes.

                It’s like telling Walsh after his first two season: “You know, Bill. You shouldn’t really be married to that funky short, high-percentage passing game of yours. Try some ground and pound to add variety. See, the Steelers just won 4 of the last five Super Bowls with running the ball between tackles and throwing low-percentage deep passes. Dang, even Shula won a couple stretching the field vertically. Now you bring in these nimble, light O linemen who can’t pass block for 7-step throws. No wonder you are failing. You gotta have variety, Bill.”

                To me, you seem to argue without perspective or context. I find it hard to make sense of your posts — perhaps I do not have the critical thinking skills …or maybe because I did not grow up speaking English..

              6. His name is McDaniels, and he is a much better coordinator than both Shanahan and McVay.

                You seem to intentionally misinterpret my comments. The 49ers didn’t need to trade Brown when they did — he was under contract for another year, and for cheap.

                I’ll ask again — how many teams that have based the foundation of their run game on the outside zone have won the Super Bowl?

              7. Brown didn’t need an extension. He was still under contract.

                uh..did I miss something? Does Paraag have incriminating evidence against Trent Brown to make him stay with the 49ers past his contract term which ended in 2018?

              8. The Patriots ran outside zone in the Super Bowl. They also ran 10 other types of run plays. Diversity is important.
                Shanahan and McVay shouldn’t be so married to their schemes. They should be more flexible, like McDaniels, who is better than both of them.

                AND HERE WE GET TO GRANT’S IRRATIONAL THOUGHT PROCESS.

                As usual he does not take into account context.

                Let me ask you this. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE PATRIOTS THAT ALLOWS THEM TO BE SO FLEXIBLE? Is it their coaching? To some degree yes. Is it their magical left tackle? Probably not. Could it be their Quarterback who can run any type of play or scheme off of any type of run play, blocking scheme, passing scheme…etc..? But hey those guys can be found anywhere…so other coaches should be able to design the same kind of flexible offenses too?

                Most of the rest of the league has to make the most out the cards they’re dealt. The coaches coach what they coach best. Players do what they do best. You try to fit it all together and make the best of it. Transcendent talent often gives an offense more flexibility. Do the Niners have transcendent talent on their team….enough talent to be completely flexible in scheme (there’s a difference between scheme flexibility and adding wrinkles)?

              9. The Patriots are flexible because they have a flexible offensive coordinator. They weren’t even close to being the most talented team in the league this season.

              10. The Patriots are flexible because they have a flexible offensive coordinator.

                That’s your response? Pretty simplistic interpretation of football don’t ya think? I mean player talents don’t matter just create whatever scheme you want.

              11. McDaniels builds his scheme around the talents of the players he has. Shanahan gets rid of talented players because they don’t fit his scheme.

              12. Grant

                You seem to be sticking to the simplistic interpretation that scheme alone is what determines football outcomes? “How many outside zone run teams have one the Super Bowl?”….what STUPID question.

                As I said, far less effective offensive schemes have won Super Bowls.

                Or are you going to go on with this irrational tirade against the outside zone run?

                Would more flexibility be nice? Sure. BUT NOT EVERYONE HAS THE TALENT TO HAVE MORE FLEXIBILITY. In fact few do. You still don’t accept that often times you play the best hand you’re dealt in the best way you know how.

              13. If the outside zone run had a long history of success in Super Bowls, I could understand building around that scheme and trading away LTs with HOF talent. But, the outside zone does not have a long history of success in Super Bowls. There’s no sense in committing yourself to that scheme, because it’s far too limited, unless you have way more talent than every other team, which doesn’t happen in the salary cap era. Better to have a diverse running game that feature more than two concepts.

              14. McDaniels builds his scheme around the talents of the players he has. Shanahan gets rid of talented players because they don’t fit his scheme.

                hmmm….and what gives him the flexibility to build his scheme around his players?….hmm….that’s a mystery? Oh I know…it’s McDaniels’ magical coaching ability! Or is there a position that is pivotal for the entire offense to operate? Would having the best player at that position of all time (arguably?) make working different schemes around him much more feasible than those with more standard or even good talent to work with? Nah…it’s McDaniel’s offensive magic! You know that he selected Tim Tebow magic!

                Btw. Shanahan has adapted at times too. He adapted the zone read when he had to when he had RGIII. He used more inside than outside zone runs when he had Carlos Hyde.

              15. I enjoy talking scheme with you, but I don’t appreciate how you condescend. I feel like we would converse better in person or over the phone.

                Shanahan and McVay don’t want a diverse run game. They want their guys to perfect the outside zone. Which is nice, until you face someone experienced who knows football like Belichick or Fangio. Then, you need more than one or two run concepts.

              16. If the outside zone run had a long history of success in Super Bowls, I could understand building around that scheme

                It matters how you use and how well you use it. The outside zone is just a type of blocking and play. Most teams use it to varying degrees. Some teams use the Power play as their offensive back bone ….in the past the Sweep was that play (NO MORE SWEEPS!….sorry that was a Niner fan reflex). Inside Iso zone plays for others. There was a time when no one thought running spread formations all the time would work and it has to varying degrees. Heck go back far enough and the forward pass was considered a gimmick and risky. Again it depends on how you use it and who you have executing it.

                I will admit the that outsize zone run has it’s limitations against goal line defenses/situations in that the need for power to move defenders straight up is less effective due to personnel. But then most schemes have their weaknesses. If you’re playing against an outside running team, protect the edges and make them run inside. If you’re playing against an outside running team clog up the middle (double eagle/bear formation?) and make them run to the outside. Football isn’t rocket science.

              17. The Patriots shut down the Rams’ inside zone and outside zone simply with the alignment of their nickel front in the Super Bowl. The Rams couldn’t get around the edge, and the inside was extremely congested with bodies. They needed new wrinkles in the run game to beat the Patriots. A g-lead scheme, or a trap or a wham or a jet sweep.

              18. I enjoy talking scheme with you, but I don’t appreciate how you condescend.

                damn it! you took the high road. okay fair enough. how i write is sometimes for entertainment value. but i’m just as arrogant in person. but you’ve made your point.

                As I’ve said, Shanhan has adapted at times. McVay was in an interesting position. The Patriot’s supposed defensive weakness was outside edge containment. Which should in theory have played into McVay’s proverbial offensive wheelhouse. But of course Belichick was ready for that. They had those edges well defended. In fact I think cut backs were some of the Ram’s best runs and that happened only when the backside of the run defense occasionally broke down (the cutback wasn’t always there). Shutting down the run kept the Rams in predictable passing situations when allowed the Patriots defenders to clamp down on the receivers and the d-linemen to pin their ears back and pass rush. Without the run game and scheme to open things up for Goff, he collapsed. He’s not the guy to sit in the pocket, make his reads and throw to the correct receiver. Goff pretty much kept trying to push the ball down the field (sometimes even if it didn’t work out it looked to be a good decision but often times it wasn’t). In fact Nick Mullens the safe passer would have worked better in those conditions, taking what the defense gave him and keeping drives alive. I’m not saying it would have been a dramatic offensive change. But it may have resulted in a TD or a couple more field goals. Could McVay have changed some runs more up the middle? Maybe. But Belichick was essentially daring Goff to beat him just with the passing game and Goff just collapsed. Because there were plays on the field to be made

              19. Gurley had a 16-yard run cutting back to the middle on the outside zone play. The Patriots never gave up that cutback lane again. They’re too disciplined and well-coached to get gashed by an offense than runs only two or three concepts on the ground. Especially when Belichick has two weeks to prepare. The Saints would have done much better in the Super Bowl than the Rams.

              20. The Patriots shut down the Rams’ inside zone and outside zone simply with the alignment of their nickel front in the Super Bowl. The Rams couldn’t get around the edge, and the inside was extremely congested with bodies. They needed new wrinkles in the run game to beat the Patriots. A g-lead scheme, or a trap or a wham or a jet sweep.

                That’s a good eye catching that. I was not able to watch the specific formations that closely. But if the Patriots were in Nickel then that overhand defender (I wonder if it was a safety playing the nickel back role?) had to be have keying on the run first. I’m not sure if just running g-lead, trap or wham is going to beat the defense. The defenders are probably keying on offensive line movement. So steps towards the playside and the defense is already prepared to stop it. I think a crack toss/jet should have worked if the crack blocker gets the overhang defender. The Rams probably tried this. The other thing that would have been absolutely necessary is to run a counter play to the outside zone. In theory the outiside zone has built in counter in it. But I think the Patriots front 7 were well trained to stay home and defend the backside. That’s why the PIN and PULL is a good counter play when running outside zone. Down blocks instead of reach blocks confuse linebacker key reads for proper flow.

              21. Good stuff. Agree with all your points. (The coaches tape just came out today.)

                The Rams ran one jet sweep, gained five yards and never came back to it. They never ran crack toss. No pin and pull. Just inside zone, outside zone and two plays of one back power which netted zero yards. Not good enough.

            2. Belichick coaches many defensive schemes and installs them as part of game planning. You play the hand you’re dealt and win 6 Super Bowls or you keep rebuilding your roster to fit your scheme and you end up like the losers in the league. I know I’ll take heat from many here, but Juice and McKinnon were particular parts of Kyle’s scheme that were not worth the money given up. Same with CJ and Joe Williams. Money pissed away because of scheme fits instead of BPA difference makers. When he becomes a true Head Coach he will realize that that money and those choice draft picks could have obtained some real difference makers on defense. Remind me, what was the score of the Super Bore again? Oh, yeah, offensive genius is the way to go. I am reluctant to support Seb, but maybe, just maybe if KS really saw himself as a true Head Coach instead of an offensive genius, more attention would be paid to building a first class defense first. It’s not a question of whether KS can be both head coach and OC, it’s a question of what HC duties is he not doing while he’s a also a full time OC. Example – Harbaugh got one of the best ST coaches in the game. Our STs have not played anywhere near up to par and yet we’re going to keep wishing and hoping. McVay has Wade Phillips. Think he made a difference in the game?? We get: “I trust Saleh, he knows his stuff”.

              1. WC, very astute analysis.
                .
                McVay has Phillips who has won a SB as a DC. He also held Belichick to 3 points until the last half of the 4th quarter of the SB.
                .
                KS hired a LB coach, who let opponents to run uncovered.

      2. Was Shanahan comparing play or size?
        Joe’ talk about Trent was right in your wheel-house and you didn’t disappoint. But that ship has sailed.
        Did like your take on Joe Montana being the best QB. Montana’s SB numbers are perfect.

        Joe made a comment that Shanahan and Lynch need to go 8-8 next season and I agree with that.
        But like Rocket said last week a 7 win season won’t get them fired. A 2-4 win season with a healthy roster may bring back the banner plane though.

        1. Shanahan and Lynch get 2 more years no matter what. The 49ers could win 2 games next season and they will still get to come back the following year. Jed is going to keep them around regardless of the on-field results.

            1. 49ers had 4 different head coaches in 4 years. There are 2 reasons the 49ers won’t fire Lynch or Shanahan after next season.

              1. The York family is cheap. Hemorrhaging cash for buyouts to fired coaches gets old super fast.
              2. York wants to shed the reputation as an owner who meddles. He wants to attract top coaches to the organization and you can’t do that when you’re switching out coaches every year or 2 years.

              No matter the results next season, Lynch and Shanahan will not be fired after the 2019 season.

          1. Only if they show improvement. If they win 4 games, even with JG, KS will be on the hot seat.
            .
            I am hoping JL will obtain decent veteran FAs, and hit a home run in the draft. I also hope KS learns from his mistakes, plays less of a role in the draft, and hires an OC.
            .
            Then, a non winning season is possible, and if the stars align, a shot at a Wildcard spot.

    1. Considering TB was the Patriot’s co-MVP and the beating Goff took in the SB, it’s obvious. The Rams need to break the bank to sign TB this off-season.

  2. When talking draft needs isn’t the #1 need pass rush? The way I see it the weakest position groups on the team are:

    1. Edge Rusher
    2. Safety
    3. RB
    4. CB
    5. OL – Guard/Center

    The order is debatable but Edge Rusher has to be #1 IMO.

      1. If they don’t sign a edge rusher in free agency it wouldn’t surprise me if they drafted 2 edge rushers in the first 3 or 4 rounds.

      2. You’ve got Goodwin, Bourne, Taylor, Pettis, and James right now. Why a WR in the first 3 rounds? Seems like there are more pressing needs than WR. I’d definitely like to see them add a playmaker but I would much rather do that in FA rather than the draft.

        1. Goodwin can’t stay healthy.
          Bourne seems like a back up to me.
          Taylor seems like a back up to me.
          Pettis showed promise.
          James seems like a back up to me.
          Alpha dog receiver? We need one to replace Garcon.

          1. Agree on all that but I just don’t think this draft lines up that way for the 49ers. Lynch definitely isn’t taking a WR with the #2 pick in the draft. So I don’t think you’re going to find an alpha dog receiver in the 2nd or 3rd round of the draft. Maybe they could take Deebo Samuel, Riley Ridley, or N’Keal Harry if they’re still around in the 2nd round but WR is one of those positions where it’s incredibly hard to figure out how a guys game translates to the NFL. I’d rather spend that draft capital on a position of greater need like Safety or maybe even drafting David Montgomery at RB to help in the red zone.

            1. I think the 2nd round is the sweet spot for that wide receiver position. Samuel or Ridley would do nicely. Round 3 is where I’d target our IOL in the real McCoy from Texas A&M.

              1. Razor:
                * ” I’d target our IOL in the real McCoy from Texas A&M.” * Why McCoy? NFL scouting reports say he needs to add functional strength and run blocking is ahead of his pass protection!
                * What’s your opinion on OG Chris Lindstrom, Boston College? Scouting report says he showed an excellent anchor against power and the quick feet to mirror moves to his edge by more athletic interior defensive linemen. Excellent functional strength. Never manhandled 1v1 and consistently able to win first contact and maintain his blocks with grip strength.

              2. Completely agree with razor on this. Edge round 1, wr and ol day 2. Deebo and McCoy would be excellent picks.

              3. Geep, check out his games against Clemson and Alabammy, and there’s your answer. I like Lindstrom but I highly doubt he’ll be around in round 3.

          2. Deebo. But only in a trade scenario that gives us another mid to late 1st or early 2nd Rd pick.
            Pettis is going to get stronger in the next couple of years that will serve him well and give his career sustainability.

            The last very good WR we had was A.Boldin. Garcon showed glimpses but his neck injury was a career changer.
            Deebo Samuels has a little of both WR’s in his style of play.
            Perhaps the combine can provide other WR’s that will garner serious attention.

            1. Deebo or Riley Ridley are the ones I would really like. But good thing is that late round 1 through round 3 is where there should be real value at WR.

  3. Straying some from the core topic…Goff continues to take heat for his less-than-stellar playoff performance. Being in the age in instant NFL gratification, I wonder which QB McVay would prefer to have as a starter. What would the Rams give for Mullens…their 1st and two defensive starters? Gut spilling would be offset.

  4. What do the 49ers need to do to get back into the playoffs? Come on Shasky, I know you know the most obvious answer to this question: They need to stay healthy … duh!

    Nice interview Grant!

    I thought the first caller had a great point: What does it say about Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo when you have a premier NFL WR, perhaps the best WR in the NFL over the last half a decade, who actually badly wants to play for the 49ers? I think it says a heck of a lot!

    More thoughts:

    Sean McVay’s stock has dropped like the 2008 stock market, essentially overnight. If McVay were the stock market, he’d be in a deep, deep recession! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a HC’s reputation take such a dramatic hit, over 60 minutes of football. It’s not that the Rams lost to the Patriots, or really the fact that the Rams could only muster 3 points. For me, it was the look on McVay’s face at the end of the game. The look of shell shock, and embarrassment, withy a touch of confusion for good measure. It was as if he had been exposed like an emperor with no clothes. McVay’s reality – being blessed with a healthy roster (unlike the 49ers, the Rams suffered fewer injuries than just about any team in the league this season, and came into the Super Bowl healthy and rested. They were missing their starting slot receiver … and that’s about it!) deep, rested, and loaded with offensive first round talent, first overall picks, and one of the better offensive lines in the league – yet they put on one of the least inspired offensive performances we’ve ever seen on American Football’s biggest stage. McVay wasn’t simply outcoached, Bill Belichick absolutely schooled him. Made him look like a Pop Warner Head Coach. And to add insult to injury, BB took McVay out to the woodshed during lunch recess, and made him cry like a baby!

    – Yes, the 49ers need a big, outside the numbers WR and red zone target. I love the kid out of Stanford, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, if he’s there in round 3 (67th overall).

    – Grant, it wasn’t just that Trent Brown doesn’t fit their scheme. While I agree that the 49ers probably could have got more for the kid, he was on the last year of his contract, has a history of issues with his weight/conditioning, appeared to be unhappy (and unmotivated), plus, as good of a pass blocker as he is, he’s deficient as a run blocker (woefully deficient run blocking in Kyle’s scheme in particular). Why is this such a hard concept to grasp? And why is it a bad idea to solidify a great working relationship with Belichick’s Patriots? After all, BB is the guy who made sure the 49ers were the winners of the Jimmy G. sweepstakes.

    – I don’t understand why the Butcher Boy is framing the question of the 49ers biggest need. The Niners first round pick will likely comes down to whether they trade back or not. There simply isn’t a WR worthy of a top 5 pick this year. If they pick at #2, I’d be shocked if they consider any other player other than the big 2 DE’s, Bosa or Allen.

    – No question, this is a pivotal year for ShanaLynch.

    – I want Anthony Barr as well. I think he’s a great fit and could get back to the Pro Bowl playing SAM in this defense. All things considered, he could be my top FA target.

    1. The SAM plays how many snaps a game? And Barr is not a good pass rusher so not very useful as an edge in nickel. Barr would be a big waste of money.

    1. Love it. So far Shanahan has appeared to have upgraded the position for each part of the team that struggled in 2018. Let’s hope the wins show up this season because the leniency period is over.

    2. I hope he brings some of that winning Pats Mojo with him.
      .
      Hmmm, I wonder if this means KS will reward LaFleur with a promotion?

  5. I love this little tidbit:

    LONDON, England — It’s 7 a.m. on a Friday morning, and Khaled Elsayed, a full time Pro Football Focus analyst, has been up for a few hours. He awoke at 4:30 local time, right when the Washington-New York Giants Thursday Night Football tilt was ending at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. By sunrise in America, Pro Football Focus’s clients will have access to the preliminary set of information that Elsayed collects from the Giants’ 45-14 victory. With his fiancée asleep in the next room, he’s now breaking down plays well into the second quarter. The current play is a mere three-yard run by the Giants’ Andre Williams, but Elsayed’s stat sheet requires that he chart more than two dozen pieces of information.

    On his first run-through, he fills in the blanks: Trick look? No. Trick play? No. Was a time out called? No. No-Huddle? No. Spot? L, for the left hash mark. Shotgun? Check. Run position? ML, for middle left of the offensive line. The runner doesn’t change course, but if he had, Elsayed would have recorded the intended point of attack and what initiated the change: F (forced by defense) or V (voluntary). Yards after contact? Two. Who made first contact? No. 31. Run concept? C, a designed cutback.

    “One of the things that NFL teams want us to collect is if a defender is blocked before he makes contact,” Elsayed says. “There are lots of little bits of information that might seem very useless, but NFL teams just love them, and think they’re indicative of performance.” Where the ball is spotted is another piece of requested information so teams can track tendencies. There’s a different set of blanks to fill in on passing plays, including drop-back depth, time to throw, time to pressure, pass position, and turn of center—there are also checkboxes for screens, play-action, pump fakes, shotgun and pistol. Elsayed then rewinds the play so he can grade the offensive linemen, giving “statistics” to a position group that is generally bereft of analytical measures. He notices right away that the left guard, rookie Weston Richburg, has done a nice job. Richburg seals off defensive end Jason Jenkins, who is trying to work inside toward the ‘A’ gap. He gets a positive grade. Two of his linemates don’t fare as well. Center J.D. Walton tries to attack a linebacker at the second level but whiffs, and right guard John Jerry allows a defender to squeeze his gap. Both get a negative grade on the play.

    Pro Football Focus doles out grades for every snap in all of the NFL’s 267 games, assigning incremental marks from -2 to no grade to +2. (Punts are handled with a formula that former NFL punter Chris Kluwe helped devise.) To give some context, only one play in this game is graded at −2; it’s given to Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for misreading obvious zone coverage and throwing an egregious third-quarter interception. The idea is to provide a picture of how players are performing, especially when other statistics are either unavailable or misleading. PFF’s staff works off a 106-page grading rubric; the guidelines include a 71-word definition for a “wham block” and three specific ways that an offensive lineman can receive a positive grade when double-teaming a defender.

    When in doubt, Elsayed will flag plays for further review when the All-22 coaches’ film becomes available. “Am I being generous?” he writes after assigning a +1 grade to Eli Manning on a touchdown pass to Larry Donnell. It was a good throw, but the cornerback made the quarterback’s job easier by hesitating in coverage. On a 20-yard touchdown run by Alfred Morris, safety Antrel Rolle is only seen on the TV broadcast at the end of the play, trailing Morris. “One of the problems is, you can’t just go straight over the top—he’s got to defend the cutback,” Elsayed says. “But I need a different angle to see that. Another analyst might decide, when he looks at the All-22, that he was slow over the top. No grade for Rolle right now.”

    Elsayed, 30, completes his analysis in less than six hours. He’s one of Pro Football Focus’ top analysts. He’s currently providing analysis, proving both advanced statistics and player grades, to one of the world’s premier sports publications – Sports Illustrated, and frankly, he loves his job.

    1. Good insight. ‘Big data’ and analytics are here whether some like it or not. Data development and database design methods will continue to improve.

      Information science is a big deal.

      1. Yes indeed Cassie.

        I suggest it’s time for Grant and Jack to welcome themselves to the year 2019. There’s a choice to be made. Either hop on the bus, or risk being left in the dusty throws of American Football’s past. The choice is theirs, and theirs alone!

        You can lead a horse to water, but …………….

          1. 100% this, Sebbie. PFF is fine as a means to inform an opinion. That does not mean the entirety of an opinion should be formed through PFF.

            1. I agree with you Renas, Seb and MWD.

              Like I said the other day, PFF’s grades shouldn’t be considered the be-all-to-end-all when it comes to evaluating NFL players. However, it is certainly more valuable than raw statistics like Yards Per Carry, or Yards Per Attempt, or the most basic antiquated formulas like Passer Rating, Grant and others love to use to support their opinions, all of which exist without any context or other relevant information.

              1. It’s also worth noting that, as complex of a sport that football is, there has to a margin for error factored in. Even the smartest NFL analyst in the world might occasionally misunderstand the design, or intent of a play. And they also can’t look inside a QB’s head to know exactly what he is thinking on each and every throw. However, just because there is a margin for error doesn’t mean that the entire system is useless or inaccurate, especially when compared to basic data or statistics! The idea is to provide as clear of a picture as possible when it comes to how each player is performing, especially when compared to raw statistics which can often be extremely misleading.

              1. Tighten up your English Sebbie (or rid yourself of earwax)…. You’ve been compared to Ned Flanders, NOT Nostradamus.

              2. Cassie, in 2017, when I advocated for the Niners to obtain 2018- second and third round draft picks, and saw them do exactly that, I predicted something no other poster on this site did.
                .
                You have been compared to an insignificant gadfly, and the stench of Baalke pervades your posts.

              3. For cryin out loud, Seb…………

                You point out the patently obvious, sometimes it comes true-the obvious–and then you tell us all….”see how wonderful I am”!

                Big Deal.

          2. Ah yes…

            From the King Sebbie version of the Football Bible; Book of Offensive Coordination, Chapter 3, verse 11. Yea, knoweth then the Head Coach shall not ever wear the mantle of Offensive Coordinator.

            Hike.

              1. There is no direct, logical correlation to no traditional OC position and 4-12 seasons…..its just one of your pet peeves…………one of them.

        1. I understand the pushback NFL people make, calling PFF’s grades into question. But I also look at the fact that they never seem to question the value of the advanced statistics themselves. They only question whether the grades, which can be considered subjective, though of course they are simply a product of bringing together this vast amount of pertinent analytical (meaning: relating to, or using analysis or logical reasoning) information, and looking at it in conjunction with detailed context, and then drawing logical conclusions.

          However, people need to think about this more critically, IMO.

          What is more likely – that PFF’s grades are wildly inaccurate despite the unparalleled amount of research that goes into it, and BTW, also the transparency in which PFF uses it’s advanced statistics in relation to context, OR – is the criticism leveled at PFF’s grading system really more about the classic strategy of shooting the messenger because you can’t persuasively argue against the message? Coaches almost certainly don’t like this kind of information, especially grades, which can be construed by many as conclusive, being made available to the public. They don’t like it because it can make them look bad. It makes it a lot easier for the average fan to question the choices they’ve made, and decisions they’ve reached, when you have this kind of easy-to-understand grading system available to the public.

          Think about this question and how it relates to the challenges of this age of information:

          How much easier is it for the average fan to question the decisions of Head Coaches and NFL Executives in particular, when there is this kind of in-depth analysis, specifically a grading system based on advanced statistics by way of extensive research, coupled with detailed context?

          I think the answer is obvious. This is why these same people have no problem referencing PFF when the grades support their opinions.

      2. Data information provides important charts and graphs that gives us a good prediction of an outcome.
        But it doesn’t guarantee a final outcome. No data leading up to the SB would have predicted the Rams would only score 3 points.

        As someone said in the last topic, McVay choked! And I couldn’t agree more. All the Rams stats and numbers throughout the regular season became as our resident stats guy says, “meaningless.”

  6. Pettis is a bust. I have no idea why people think he had a good rookie season. How many games did he play again? For a high second rounder, that’s not good enough.He might improve, but he’ll never be what the Niners need. Have him compete with trent for slot receiver, and draft a proper receiver if Brown isn’t obtained (and he really, really should be). But defence needs to be the main focus, these playoffs proved it. Salah should have been fired last season, and frankly as long as he is in a job with the Niners I have a hard time feeling optimistic about their chances of doing anything. The worst case scenario would be a 7 win season where they keep their jobs one more year – if it’s going down, this garbage dumpster fire of a team better blow the f up.

    I’m not convinced. I’m less and less sold on this regime the longer it goes on, and it baffles me to see how many fans just eat it all up as if they don’t deserve better. For 4 years straight the Niners have been one of the worst teams in the league. In what way is that ever okay? I don’t want to hear any excuses or qualifiers next year. 8-8 bare minimum, or they can all go. Jimmy included. I don’t understand why so many fans think Jimmy is elite or is a franchise guy. He has proven nothing, except that he is potentially made of glass, and struggles with dealing with pressure and release. He, like Shanahan, Lynch and Salah, should very much be on the hot seat starting next year, and if he doesn’t cope with that pressure then he needs to be cut at the end of next season. I want him to be the guy, I do, but right now there are at least 16 other teams in a better positition than the Niners QB-wise. Either because they know their guy is their guy, or they know they’re not and are going to move on. Niners are in limbo. And that goes both ways – Jimmy isn’t even a top 20 QB (not because he isn’t talented, but because he hasn’t proven enough). And yes, I can name 20 upon request (or at least, I think I can come close).

      1. No, bust isn’t an absolute term. I believe Pettis can turn into a useful receiver. But, he was a high second round pick. Niners already seem to have some decent guys for the slot. Given this, what does Pettis, for his pick value, give to the team? It’s another example of the Niners drafting players they don’t need in order to try and get them to fill holes they don’t fit. That might sound like there is nothing Pettis can do, but he did not have a good rookie year. He started 7 games – that’s pretty awful. Next year, if he starts 14 or more games, and is able to put up good numbers, then I will be willing to start walking this take back. But for me, his rookie year had only led to more doubts than answers.

        1. Ah, okay. The term bust–as in a final determination of having zero value/usefulness…a failed pick or acquisition–was being used differently by you. Pettis was a bit of a reach perhaps, but after a middling rookie season (with some flashes) he could still have a decent career as a solid player. Of course, we won’t know for some time.

          Perhaps I’m cursed in having been a football fan closing in on 7 decades. First impressions of player performance are not always accurate or durable over time. Saw that time and time again. Still see it. Some players explode on the scene and are annotated as HOFers, only to fizzle and fade away soon thereafter. Some show up strong and remain that way. Some are quickly dismissed early as complete losers, only to stay in the fight over many years and turn out to be high quality contributors.

          1. That’s fair. I hope to be wrong. There were moments, and sadly few of them, last year where even I was enjoying watching Pettis play. As for my use of the term “bust”, I suppose I ought to use a different one. As I say, my intent is not to say he’s worthless, but that the value he gives the team is not, in my view, worth that of a pick that high.

            1. Most everyone expects high quality play of 2nd rounders–right out of the blocks. Sounds perfectly logical.

              Sadly, the number of 2nd rounders having uninspiring-to-mediocre careers is rather high. Go back through the many years of NFL drafts and check them out. One would be Lars Tate (Georgia), taken in round 2 by Tampa Bay. Played three seasons and gone…middling production at best, more akin to a late pick. And there are many, many dozens more.

        2. Pettis is a bust after 1 season? Lol, come on Renas, are you trolling?

          Antonio Brown’s rookie season:

          Games Played – 9
          Receptions – 16
          Targets – 19
          Yards – 167 YDS
          Average – 10.4 YDS
          Touchdowns – 0
          Longest Reception – 26 YDS
          First Downs – 10

          What a BUST! The Steelers should have cut AB after his rookie season!

          1. Everyone knows WR is one of the toughest positions in the NFL and there have been countless great WR’s who struggled a bit but showed promise as rookies. Pettis’ 17.3 YPR led all rookies. Plus he had 467 YARDS and 5 TD’s despite being banged up and missing 4 games and catching passes from the 49ers 2nd and 3rd string QB’s for most of the season..

            We saw glimpses of brilliance from Pettis during his rookie season. He had a couple breakout performances during his rookie campaign, including a Rookie of the Week nomination, following his five receptions for 129 yards (25.8 average) and two touchdown performance VS the rival Seahawks. He needs to get a little stronger, and more consistent in order to build on his rookie season, but all indications are he’s got a bright future. No guarantees, but Dante’s got a chance to be a #1, though I think an above average, and extremely versatile #2 NFL WR is more likely.

            That’s not just my opinion either. That’s the consensus around the league right now. Again, no guarantees, ut it’s ludicrous to call him a bust after one rookie season in which he put up decent numbers for a rookie.

            https://www.forbes.com/sites/vincentfrank/2018/12/07/dante-pettis-a-rare-bright-spot-in-49ers-lost-season/#768d6f9667cb

            1. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Pettis is the next Antonio Brown.

              What I am saying is that it’s ludicrous to call a WR a bust after a rookie season in which he caught 29 passes for almost 500 yards, (17.6 AVG led all rookies) and 5 TD’s, with a Rookie of the Week nomination, despite being banged up and catching passes from 2nd and 3rd string QB’s for most of the season.

              LUDICROUS!

              Aint nobody but you calling Pettis a bust right now! Nobody!

            2. I feel like you’re disqualifying the injury concerns here. Bust term aside, as it seems I have been misusing it, I maintain that he is not worth the pick spent for him. League consensus means nothing to me – the league consensus was the Niners were a playoff team and Jimmy G was around an elite level QB – neither of these things were close to being true last year. Not to mention, we’ve seen a bunch of players start to play well in meaningless games only to do nothing when it’s time to start again.

              I don’t think he put up decent numbers for a rookie. He started 7 games.

              1. Fair enough Renas.

                I have learned to have a little patience with rookie WR’s over the years. Unfortunately, the majority of WR haven’t learned the entire route tree in college. I’ve just seen too many WR’s start their NFL careers a little slower than one would hope, simply because there is so much more to the position in the pros, as compared to college.

                Take the 49ers HOF WR, Terrell Owens for instance. He had very similar numbers to Pettis as a rookie – 35 reception for 520 yards and 4 TD’s. Owens took off in his 2nd season. Some guys can pick up NFL systems faster than others. In defense of Pettis, Kyle’s system is particularly demanding for WR’s, and Pettis was also asked to line up at multiple positions this year, meaning he had an enormous amount on his plate for a rookie WR. That generally means overthinking things, rather than simply playing fast and loose. A lot of people were under the false impression that Pettis was simply a slot WR, when in fact, he lined up all over the filed. This kind of versatility only adds to Pettis’ value.

                What I really like about Pettis is his ability to gain instant separation. A lot of people thought Pettis would struggle against press coverage as a rookie but that wasn’t the case. Pettis has a fantastic release of the LOS. We talk about the stem of the route as the mechanism to which a WR achieves the leverage needed to win his route. Pettis excels in this area, and that bodes well for the young man moving forward. What he needs to do, IMO, is get a little stronger, and a little more aggressive when attacking the football in the middle of the field. I suspect he’ll do this now that he’s getting NFL level strength and conditioning. Plus, guys just get naturally stronger as they mature physically. He now has a full season under his belt, and likely fully understands Kyle’s complicated offense, so that should boost his confidence and allow him to stop thinking so much and just start playing. Having an opportunity to build a rapport with Jimmy G should also help him build on this season.

                I’m expecting big things from Petts in the coming years! He’ll get over 1,000 receiving yards in a season, with double digit TD’s. And he’ll do it from multiple positions. Bank it!

              2. As for Jimmy G being an elite talent … well, I don’t know exactly what you were expecting Renas. I don’t think anyone thought he would start the season playing at an all-pro level. I certainly didn’t. You have to realize that Kyle runs an extremely complex scheme. It generally takes a little more time for his offense to lock in and run on all cylinders. Plus, his first start of the season was on the road, in Minnesota. One of the toughest places to start a season. We all expected a rough go to start the season, thanks in large part to the difficult strength of schedule, and the loss of their starting, all purpose duel threat RB, so close to the start of the season. Jimmy also lost his favorite WR – Marquise Goodwin – whom he had magical chemistry with during his first 5 starts to end the season. Jimmy hadn’t really had an opportunity to work with Garcon much in game, and that was very apparent early on. However, Jimmy Garoppolo posted an elite numbers during weeks 2 and 3. A Passer Rating of 118.4, averaged almost 8 yards per attempt, and passed for 2 TD’s and 0 INT’s, despite being under constant duress, as he was sacked 5 times and pressured all game long. The 49ers OL started the 2018 season very poorly, but got stronger as the season progressed. Week 3, on the road in perhaps the most hostile stadium in the league, Garoppolo again posted elite numbers – a 114.7 Passer Rating, along with TD’s and 0 INT’s. So if you toss out the rough start in Minnesota, Garoppolo was in fact playing very, very well, once again. His combined numbers for weeks 2-3 were absolutely elite. A Passer Rating of 116.4 with 8.2 YPA, 4 TD’s & 0 INT’s.

                Jimmy was actually doing his thing against the AFC runner up KC Chiefs, orchestrating a furious comeback attempt late in the 4th QTR, before the entire season came crashing down on a fluke of an injury as his knee buckled along the sideline, PRIOR TO CONTACT by the KC defender.

                And thus, as the skies darkened on that fateful day, 9/23, the 49ers 2018 season, full of hope and playoff aspirations thanks to the paring of one of the hottest young QB’s in the league, along with one of the brightest offensive minds in the game, went up in smoke, POOF, almost before it even ever got started!

                What a shame! Unfortunately, it only went from bad to worse from there, as an unprecedented number of injuries to key players became the defining theme of the 2018 season. Fingers crossed that the law of averages catches up to the 49ers this coming season, and the injury bug stops defining them.! KNOCK ON WOOD!

    1. I wish to respectfully disagree. I do not consider Pettis a bust. In 12 games, he had 27 catches for 467 yards, at a 17.3 average, and 5 TDs. That is very good, but not elite. AJ Jenkins was a bust.
      .
      I also wish to disagree about JG. He is really impressive with his accuracy and quick release. The Niners need to shore up the O line to give him time to throw. They should also sign a big fast grizzled veteran WR, to give JG a good red zone target.
      .
      Yes, I, too, am losing patience, but even with the ineptitude, I will still remain a die hard faithful Niner, because those Glory Years will sustain me through these trying times.
      .
      I agree, JL is doing a good job. KS and Saleh, not so much. They really need to learn and evolve, and I will rip them if they keep making the same mistakes.
      .
      Right now, I am hoping for a non losing season. We will see.

      1. I wish to respectfully disagree. I do not consider Pettis a bust. In 12 games, he had 27 catches for 467 yards, at a 17.3 average, and 5 TDs. That is very good, but not elite. AJ Jenkins was a bust.

        And he was injured, twice. Best stat is availability. If he can’t be available, then he doesn’t offer enough value. And to refer back to my reply to Cassie, the Niners have so many holes that could have been plugged even somewhat that Pettis I feel needs to do more than average to earn the pick.

        I also wish to disagree about JG. He is really impressive with his accuracy and quick release. The Niners need to shore up the O line to give him time to throw. They should also sign a big fast grizzled veteran WR, to give JG a good red zone target.

        Sure, but again, he got nearly $40 million last year for… 3 games. He has proven absolutely nothing. In those three games, he was too trigger happy, then not trigger happy enough, and only in the second half agaisnt the Chiefs did we start getting some good play. Not to mention how he got himself injured. Huge question marks over how smart he is. Might not have the head to play QB.

        Yes, I, too, am losing patience, but even with the ineptitude, I will still remain a die hard faithful Niner, because those Glory Years will sustain me through these trying times.

        I suppose it’s easier for me. Being a Brit, and also being 22 years old, I have neither grown up with American Football nor have I witnessed the glory years. I started following it back during the first year with Harbaugh, and was attracted to the defensive brand of football the Niners played. At this point, I’ve spent more time in misery as a fan than I have enjoying watching the Niners play good football. And yet every sunday I still watch them – even the prime time games that end at 5am here. That’s why I’m not willing to give much quarter here – for me, it’s simple. Either play winning football, or get guys in there that can. I’ll never stop being a fan, but I can’t see myself being less critical the longer this horrible spell continues.

        I agree, JL is doing a good job. KS and Saleh, not so much. They really need to learn and evolve, and I will rip them if they keep making the same mistakes.

        Salah more so than Kyle, I feel. At least with the former, there have been some good games called. And offensively the Niners are much better than before he was here. Now his performance as a HC leaves something to be desired, but that is another matter. Salah on the other hand, I struggle to recall a game where I was impressed. Even the good defensive games are usually let down by late collapses. I don’t know what he has done to earn a third year in this job, but I hope it’s the last. Unless he proves me wrong, of course.

        Right now, I am hoping for a non losing season. We will see.

        Same. I would accept 8-8 just fine, with the addition that in year 4, it’s playoffs or bust.

        1. What position did you play in soccer-football? I was the left fullback.
          .
          We had a family from Edinburgh who worked and studied with my father, and went to Edinburgh one summer. They loved the Heart of MidLothian FC. Back then, I liked Manchester United because of George Best.
          .
          Interesting to see you following Niner football. Do you think a European league could ever get back off the ground?

          1. What position did you play in soccer-football? I was the left fullback.

            I was always better at tennis, that was the sport I was better than most of my peers in, but football wise I was right fullback. I couldn’t shoot very well and could only make the flashy saves as a keeper, so defender it was.

            Team support wise I used to be a United fan myself. Around my mid teens. though, I’d grown bored, and was introduced to Atletico Madrid through Diego Forlan’s exploits at the world cup. Back then, they were the kind of team that would beat anyone on their day, but could also lose to anyone through their own calamitous ways. Like the Chargers, or maybe the Lions. I fell in love, even more so when they shifted to their current defensive philosophy.

            I think a European league could work. It’s more popular here now – much more than when I started following it. It would make more sense than the terrible notion of a London franchise they’ve floated around for the last few years, and I think it could serve as something of a feeder league for the NFL away from college. I’d like to see another attempt there, but it would need to be during the offseason for the main league. Still, competence and the NFL do not always go hand in hand.

            1. I also dabbled as a goalie, but I also could defend against the dribble. My best attribute was that I was always in position, and gave good support.
              .
              I sure like the World Cup, but with the SF Giants and the World Champ Warriors, I just do not have time to follow the European leagues.

            2. Diego was a joy to watch. As is Gordon today. My cousins follow the Colchoneros as well. Me I’ve been a Blancos fan for many, many decades.

        1. Bad pick and bust are two different things Renas. Agree with the former but not the latter. He’s better than I expected, and better then average. He may be made of glass but he’s a decent receiver when he makes the field.

          1. I feel like the terms are interchangeable in this context. Though I suppose you’re right – on another team, that needs a shifty slot receiver, I think Pettis has value in the second round. But then the made of glass thing kind of offsets that, so eh. Point taken, tho.

            1. Renas, we look at the long Niner history, and have QBs like Gio Carmazzi and Jim Druckenmiller as glaring examples of busts. Carmazzi did not even throw a pass in the league. The most recent bust was AJ Jenkins, who could not even catch an easy swing pass for the Niners.
              .
              With WRs, I think it is best for them to sit, study the playbook, and work out hard so they can build muscle, so they can take the sledgehammer blows, in their first year.
              .
              Rookie WRs tend to become injured, if thrown to the wolves and forced to start.
              .
              Your term for Pettis is that he was a disappointment, and possibly an unwise selection.

          2. If he is better than you expected, then you must have thought he was a dreadful 2nd round pick.

            Pettis is very shifty and a very good route runner. He was a rookie so he certainly gets another year to prove his worth. My only concern is with injuries. Maybe a full offseason with a new strength and conditioning staff will help.

            1. I thought he was too much like what we already had so I found it a waste.

              He isn’t a #1 which is what we needed/need. Instead we paid highly for a guy who would have likely been a part time player. Additionally, he isn’t very big and that is a concern on a team with injury history.

              He turned into a solid receiver but I’m in the camp that thinks he may be a littl to delicate.

  7. Another day, another mock draft sending DT Williams to the 49ers. I get that he is a talent, but unless the 49ers know that Buckner would excel on the edge, the 49ers should not waste a pick on a 3-tech that is better suited to playing in a 3-4 front.

    1. Not that long ago you were getting on board with the idea of Williams. What changed?

      If Bosa is gone he is still the best option at #2.

      1. After Bosa, Williams would be the correct selection. Buckner’s ability to play in or out enables both to be on the field at the same time.

      2. Delved into the player more Scooter. From the analyses I have read and video I have viewed, I believe that the best fit for Williams is in a 3-4 front. However, this does not mean that I am dismissing the thought of the 49ers taking Williams. But the 49ers will need to have added a great free agent LEO in order for me to be fine with Q. Williams being drafted by the team.

  8. I’m wondering if the hire of Wes Welker also indicates that the team does not believe they need a large/tall/physical wide receiver particularly for the red zone. That KS prefers quick, shifty receivers (who get separation as opposed to WRs that outmuscle DBs for the ball) and he wants a coach who excelled at that as a player. Of course, it doesn’t mean that Welker couldn’t coach WRs of all types, but it’s the specialty that they are emphasizing.

    Personally, I think we should have taller more physical types as well, but that could be accomplished with TEs. I like the idea of getting Jesse James during the offseason (a player I mocked to the team back in the 2015 draft).

        1. Does that move Armstead to full time Rush work? Or do he and Thomas become rotational players in the interior?

          If we pick Williams it turns Thomas and Armstead into wasted picks (though they may already be).

          Additionally, we still are missing a decent pass rusher. What do we do? Push from the inside? That’s great except teams will adjust to roll away from the interior push. We need good players on the edges as pincers to get the QB.

          We already have a decent push and a good amount of hurries. We do not have people to seal the deal on third and long and in the RZ.

          1. They will add an edge in FA and if they don’t go edge in round 1 they will take one on day 2.

            Williams and Bosa are the two blue chip prospects in this draft. Take one of them, or trade back.

            1. I figured that Scooter but it doesn’t really address what I stated. A day 2 prospect will be a big drop off from the first 10 edge players.

              They need an Edge player more than Williams I’m my opinion.

        2. Yes, I am reiterating what you said earlier. I’ve liked him all along, just wasn’t paying attention that he’s a FA this year.

    1. That KS prefers quick, shifty receivers (who get separation as opposed to WRs that outmuscle DBs for the ball)

      The problem is, these players rely on space to operate in. In the redzone, there is no space to do so. That’s why you need big guys to take over.

          1. Most of the top scoring WRs have a mix of RZ and longer TDs, regardless of height. Guys like Brown, Beckham, etc are the primary RZ threat on their teams despite their size. Ability to get open is the important thing.

            49ers have Kittle and I like the idea of adding another TE that can help as a pass catcher. There’s your height.

            1. McGlinchey on a tackle eligible play brings height too. He’s athletic enough to pull it off. Not like he’s dragging around 370lbs and sporting a massive gut. Has good hands having played basketball and some TE years ago.

            2. Seems like our crew can’t get open though what do you attribute this to, while the aforementioned players can get open.

        1. KS should like a WR like Julio Jones- 6′ 3″, 220 lbs.
          .
          Megatron was 6′ 5″, 238 lbs, but could also run like a deer.
          .
          AJ Green is 6′ 4″, 210 lbs.
          .
          Michael Thomas is 6′ 3″, 212 lbs.
          .
          Keenan Allen is 6′ 2″, 212 lbs.
          .
          Mike Evans is 6′ 5″, 231 lbs.
          .
          Larry Fitzgerald is 6′ 3″, 218 lbs.
          .
          Demaryius Thomas is 6′ 3″, 229 lbs.
          .
          I wish the Niners could have a WR, as big and tall as those players, to complement the short WRs they already have.

  9. NFL draft’s deep class of pass-rushers begins to take shape.

    Underclassmen such as Florida State’s Brian Burns and Florida’s Jachai Polite weren’t in Mobile, but Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat, Old Dominion’s Oshane Ximines, Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson and Boston College’s Zach Allen were.

    From that group, nobody did more to boost his stock than Sweat, who had a dominant week of practices on the heels of a breakout season in which he posted 11.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss and seven quarterback hurries.
    During the week, Sweat impressed scouts with better-than-expected strength and as-advertised quickness off the edge.

    Ximines, in particular, impressed in Mobile, showing more upper body strength than expected after finishing with 12 sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss, 14 hurries and four forced fumbles last season.
    http://www.espn.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/131874/nfl-drafts-deep-class-of-pass-rushers-begins-to-take-shape

  10. Not fair comparison of McDaniel vs Shanahan because Tom Brady is the GOAT he was winning Super Bowls before McDaniel got there and don’t forget he flopped at Denver while trying to record the 49ers practice lol. Shanahan used different QBs the last 2 years when and if Jimmy G can play all 16 games then after that we can judge Shanahan right now Jimmy G is 6-2 under Shanahan we need to see a whole season. Tom Brady could make any offensive coordinator look great.

  11. Great stuff Grant. Every time I think about the Trent Brown trade it gives me that same feeling when they chose Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers.. Just so painful..

      1. Ha ha! Over-the top funny!

        Brown could haunt the 9ers. He could. Then again…

        If you have the patience Grant, let’s check back a few years from now and enumerate the haunting, okay?

        1. All Brown needs to do now is take a knee, don a pair of pig socks, sign with Miami, wear a Castro shirt at his introduction, and he too can be a hero….

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