How to improve the 49ers red-zone offense

Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Mark Barron, rear, breaks up a pass intended for San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle during the first half in an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Check out my schematic breakdown of the 49ers’ red-zone offense, and how they can improve it.

This article has 314 Comments

  1. Inside the 10 declare McGlinchy eligible and have him line up in a position which potentially stresses the defense. Go to him if open–build some success. Over time, have enough film of him performing as such to give defenses headaches. Run plays which take advantage of that scheme.

    1. That’s a terrible idea, using Mcglinchey. Why waste valuable time practicing that when Staley can already catch the ball?? After NE baffled the Ravens in the playoffs with the eligible/ineligible scheme, the NFL changed the rules too, allowing defenses to be more prepared.

      Shanahan has already used the Reid play, PA shovel to Kittle in short yardage. They need to get better players. For all the money, Juice is worthless down there. Terrible signing and they are better off with another big TE and Receiver. I’ll give Pettis credit for flashing in the RZ tho, he can get open.

  2. In that first example, they spread them out wide. All I could imagine is if the QB does a QB draw. he would have been untouched until the 5 yard line.
    In the Brent Jones example, did they call that the Y stick, since it is headed towards the Pylon?
    In that miss to Kittle, he should have thrown the ball with loft, because no defender would have been able to recover enough to defend that pass. A little loft, and let him run under the pass. That just requires more experience, and Joe could have thrown that pass, and made it look easy.
    Great smart plays. simple, yet effective. I like the fact that you detailed how they have been running the same plays for years, but now it has different terminology.
    Another way to help the red zone offense is to have a big target. Kittle is OK, but obtaining a tall WR would be another weapon, who could high point the ball.
    The Niners should sign Tyrell Williams. Then they should draft a WR like JJ Arcega- Whiteside, NKeal Harry or Hakeem Butler. There are several later round candidates with size and sub 4.5 speed.
    They should also obtain a RB that has a nose for the end zone. Re-sign Frank Gore.

  3. Grant: Good stuff and I appreciate the breakdowns.

    However, on the 5th video, I think KS would respond with “the QB needs to make that throw”. Kittle is so wide open that Mullens has a fair amount of leeway on where to place the ball. I think Mullens just blew the pass.

    1. Mullens missed a wide open Kittle. Bad throw, and Mullens will say he just simply made a bad pass, overcompensating too much to get the ball over Fowler, and the ball sailed on him a bit. Mullens has gotta make a better pass than that. Nothing wrong with the design of the play, Mullens had plenty of room to make a better throw, and a pro QB has to do better, IMO.

  4. Nice work once again Grant. I like these ideas, but they don’t all need to be Kittle as the target. I think Pettis would be great on that Swoosh play.

    1. Thank you, Scooter. Agree about the swoosh play. Pettis should be a good target in the red zone when he’s healthy, because he can win one on one.

  5. Grant thinks hes an expert cause he taught himself something this week and reads Finding the Winning Edge. Laughable. Now wonder Shanahan blew you off. You gotta start somewhere though, I’ll give you that.

  6. I think they need a 2nd TE, that can help in the red zone. Of the 70 million in cap how much do you think is spent on free agents? I think this is their 3rd year and are going to be aggressive

  7. I like your insights and breakdowns, you put a lot thought and effort into your analysis.
    But where are you going with this?
    Are you a journalist reporting on the team and their coaching or are you a coach who’s showing the coach what to do?

    1. Dee Phiant – If you ever have read or listened to Bob McGinn, a journalist, analyst, columnist, critic, podcast and post-game online commentator, draft analyst of Green Bay Packers and the entire NFL, you would have a greater understanding and appreciation of what Grant is presenting.

      Actually, it is refreshing to see a journalist engage and to drill more deeply into a football team, its staff, its offensive and defensive styles of play rather than just read the fluff most team beat writers or reporters churn out, usually under the suggestion of the club’s PR staff.

      Have you ever noticed that the majority of scribes covering a team write or report on basically the same thing every day or are copying each other’s themes within a few days?

      99% of these individuals only see the obvious whereas Grant actually has been peeling back the layers of the Niners onion for several years to present a much greater detailed perspective and analysis.

      He is making excellent headway and has many valid points, and as a contributor not only to the P-D but also to KRON as well as other sites and networks has elevated the viewers and readers scope of the game and provided plenty of food for thought.

      1. Mike, like I said, I like his breakdowns but do you really think KS is going to look this at and listen to his suggestions on how to run an offense???
        GC finds tapes where the scheme works, but those same tapes also show where the defense went wrong and I’m sure that you could find tape to prove that the play is NOT effective when the D reads the play.
        I like it when GC does his film-breakdown on how the nines lose/win.
        THAT seems more appropriate!

      2. Great post mike, totally agree. Some people you can’t always please. Grant did a great job. Who really thinks KS watches this, lol.

        1. Uhhhhhhhh Steve, apparently Grant hopes KS watches this….

          Check out my schematic breakdown of the 49ers’ red-zone offense, and how they can improve it.

          1. You’re off if you think Grant’s saying check out my breakdown of how they can improve it like others here do giving their 2 cents means in any way he ‘hopes’ KS watches this. He speaking to us, showing us his breakdown. It’s not apparent he expects KS to watch, he never said that or implies it.

            1. Damon 16, Dee Phiant and others – Don’t be so sure about coaches not reading blogs. I know a former head coach in the NFL who spent his evenings reading blogs.

              Also, and this was huge……the Philadelphia Eagles back in the late 1970s were struggling with the knowledge that the opposition somehow was being tipped off to whether a play was a run or a pass.
              Coaches analyzed the game tape and burned the midnight oil for weeks, but could not figure out how the opponent knew if it was run or pass.

              Then, one day a call comes in to the Eagles practice facility from an individual who happened to watch all of the Eagles home and road games, and this fan provides the coaching staff with an answer to the perplexing problem for which the staff had spent hundreds of hours seeking an answer.

              Turns out the Center for the Eagles simply put his off-hand on the ground as part of a 3-point stance when it was a run play, but on pass plays kept his off-hand and forearm across his left thigh so he could be quicker with his punch on his pass sets.

              So, something as simple as the change in the stance of the Center was causing all of the issues for the Eagles offense.

              Just goes to prove that you don’t have all of the answers all of the time regardless of how many experts you have on your staff.

            2. Cool stories mike..but I agree with the others that KS doesn’t spend time watching Grant’s video’s at night. First he doesn’t really care for Grant much I believe. He’s a pro coach and he doesn’t need to look at writers/fans breakdown video’s. Grant videos are cool for the fans here but he’s not making them for KS to watch. Well maybe if he hired Grant as the OC. ; )

              1. KS whined that the writers should stop with the negative stories, because they upset the players. He just admitted that they do read the media, and also admitted the players let those stories to affect them negatively.
                KS should follow JG’s approach to the media. First, JG ignores the negative stories, and realizes that the Media is just doing its job. Second, a losing team should expect negative stories, and the best way to stop them is to start winning. Third, even if they do hear about the negative stories, the players should never show that it affects them. If they show that one negative story bothers them, they should expect a blizzard of negativity.
                Grant once conducted an interview with Eddie DeBartolo the Legendary Hall of Fame former owner of the Niners. Eddie complained about how Lowell would write so many things that steamed him up. Eddie never showed that he was ever affected by Lowell’s sharp tongue. He ignored Lowell, and acted like he never read anything he wrote, then admitted he had read every word. Eddie is great, but he is also human.
                KS should read what Bill Walsh wrote about dealing with the media, and make sure every player and coach does, too.

              2. KS himself doesn’t sit there and watches Grants breakdowns, lol. Maybe some players read a few bad reports b/c they lose games so much, that’s it. Come on, Sebs.

  8. Best and surest way to increase Red zone production is simply to change the existing terminology. Just rename the middle of the field ” the Red zone” and it will be fine.

  9. The best way for the 49ers to fix the red zone issues is to improve their personnel. The concepts and routes the 49ers use are fine but they need a better red zone wr and a bigger RB.

    1. Hey Sakari…. Do you know of any Nigerian government officials wanting to move 15 million USD to US bank accounts?

  10. One option may be to utilize players that maximizes their skills.
    One play I advocated used Arik Armstead along the side line on third and short. Another may be to use him on third and 5 on the 5 yard line. He could line up like a tight end, then run straight ahead. At the back of the end zone, JG could pass the ball 10 feet in the air to that point. Armstead would utilize his basketball skills to high point the ball. Very few DBs could reach that high, just like few could dunk a basketball, so even if he misses, it would harmlessly go out the back of the end zone. It would essentially be a jump ball, with Armstead boxing out the defender. Many DBs would just bounce off Armstead.
    Maybe JG could do a Sprint Right Option, and Armstead could run along the back of the end zone like Dwight Clark did, and highpoint the ball. I think JG has enough accuracy that he could throw the ball like Joe did.
    Another play they could employ is an old Niner play, where Jerry Rice ran parallel to the goal line, Joe would throw a quick pass, and Jerry would use his nose for the end zone to either cut inside or head for the pylon. Like Grant says, they should use old , tried and true plays, the ones that have worked for years.

  11. One thing I hope the Niners do, is not settle for field goals when given an opportunity near the goal line. JH could do that and win games, but he also had a stingy defense that got turnovers.
    If 4th and one on the goal line, I hope they go for it. Even if they fail, the other team will be starting near the goal line, so a safety is a possibility. Also, the success rate for 99 yards drives is very low.

    1. Hope the 9ers can make this happen. Could increase the likelihood of trading out of their 1st round pick position if they land Ford.

        1. No, they’ll trade down and get an extra first (and more) from the Raiders, if the Raiders believe Kyler Murray goes #1. Probably end up with Burns or Sweat.

          Give them 36 and 104 or they’ll lose the opportunity to the Packers.

      1. Same because Ford can’t stay on the field and has up and down production. With that said, the team may believe he can be more consistent in the Wide Nine defense and could be planning on having Ford platoon the LEO with another player (Ansah or Houston come to mind), thus allowing the 49ers to pick Q. Williams or Allen; more likely, they could trade down and gain more draft compensation.

        1. I don’t understand all the negativity regarding Ford.
          It took him a few years to develop, shocker, that happens to a lot of rookies… then he broke through with 10 sacks, then he was injured for 1 season (not his whole career), then came back and had 13 sacks.
          Yes, there are some questions but if he was a 13 sack a year guy every year at age 27 it would require a first to get him.
          He’s exactly the type of player with upside you take risk on.

          1. The main issue for me is that his production is all over the board, so I do not know if his breakout season was because Ford finally put all of the pieces together or that it was a contract year.
            However, if it is a choice between him and Fowler, I would take Ford without a second thought.

            1. Mid,
              I don’t think his production has been all over the board though When looking at his career his number are understandable.
              – He was a backup his first 2 seasons so his sack totals were not great.
              – In season 3 he finally broke into the starting lineup and notched 10 sacks, that was his breakout season.
              – The next year he was injured so his sack total dipped…
              – Last season he was healthy again and he notched 13 sacks.

              If you average out his sacks by games played he averaged would have averaged 10.8 sacks per season. However, that’s only looking at sacks… Last year he led ALL edge rushers in Pressures according to PFF and was 8th in the NFL according to their pass-rush productivity stat which is (Sacks + (0.75 x Hits) + (0.75 x Hurries)/ Pass Rushing Snaps x 100 = PRP)
              Now say what you will about PFF, but I think some stats are more accurate than others when it comes to player production, specifically defensive ones. As they tend to be more obvious (sacks, tackles, TFL’s, Passes defended, Hits on qb’s are all easily measurable), and less subject to opinions (Hurries are the one question mark in this metric).
              In any case he has had high end production every year he started less his injury shorted season.
              The only question I have regarding him, is how well does he fit as a wide 9 DE in our sub packages?

      2. Razor, I would trade Solomon Thomas for Dee Ford, straight up. Both may do well in different systems that play to their strengths.
        Ford is only 27, and had 13 sacks last season. Thomas is 24 years old, and had one sack.

        1. The only reason why anyone would make that trade is because they have a fetish of being hysterically laughed at.

          1. Sounds like a win/win situation to me. KC is moving to the 3-4 defense, and Whitner thinks Thomas best fits the 3-4 defense. Thomas is 3 years younger and still on his rookie contract.
            Niners help solve their pass rush woes by obtaining a 13 sack player. Sure, Ford will cost money, but the Niners have 61 mil in cap space.
            KC is actively shopping Ford, and the Niners have good depth on the defensive line. Both are first round picks, and both are very talented. Thomas may thrive in a 3-4 system, and Ford was one mistake from playing in a SB. Ford does have up and down production, but 13 sacks look very enticing to me.
            This would allow the Niners to trade back, and possibly pick Devin Smith, who looks elite.

            1. The problem is that Thomas doesn’t have much value right now… he’s a 1 down run defender who was replaced in all pass rushing subpackages by a team in desperate need of pass rushers. Currently, he is not with a second round pick, probably not worth a day 2 pick.

              1. Yep. I am a fan of Thomas and still believe he will break out during the upcoming season, but his stock is worth very little at the moment. You think the Chiefs fans were livid over the compensation for Peters? Have the Chiefs make the trade Seb is proposing, and those same fans will be out for blood.

              2. I am amazed Seb’s trade suggestion actually prompted debate. It was ludicrous, everyone knew it but Seb, end of story.

              3. Let’s see. Solomon Thomas.
                6′ 3″ 273( now 280)lbs.
                4.69 forty, 30 reps, 35″ vert. 126″ leap, 6.95- 3 cone, and 4.28 twenty yard shuffle.
                He was graded out as a top 10 pick, and I keep reiterating, Whitner thinks he will thrive in a 3-4 system. Personally, I think Reid and Spagnuolo will be able to coach him up. Spagnuolo was the DC that stopped the Pats unbeaten team up to that point, and won a SB.
                Thomas had 4 sacks his rookie season, but he was not game tasked to rush the passer, this last season. Marsh was the designated pass rusher. Guess they just did not know how to utilize him properly. Zgonina was a under performer for the whole D Line, and that is why they replaced him with Kocurek.
                Guess you want to denigrate a Niner player. What an obtuse way to bolster his trade value.Thomas does have talent, and was solid against the run.
                Laugh all you want, I like to get the last laugh. Recently, I predicted the KC Chiefs would want to sign Carlos Hyde. None of you did that, or had a clue. Guess what? They just signed him.

              4. And bang goes your imaginary trade. Spagnuolo coaches a 4-3 defense which the Chiefs believe he will not be a fit for.

              5. They said the Chiefs wanted to go to the 3-4, because Reid saw what Belichick did to his offense. They got all cute and called it a 5-6. Most likely, it will be a hybrid system,that has versatile players that morph into either system.
                Reid is also learning from Belichick and his strategy, trading away a valuable player like Chandler Jones. He would be getting something for him, instead of losing him to Free Agency because he would cost too much to retain.
                Reading further, this may be a ploy to get the Pack and Niners into a bidding war. Mike Smith moved to the Packers, and may want Ford to follow him.
                Maybe Houston for Thomas. Houston is 30, and Thomas is 24, with 2 years left on his rookie contract. Considering their ages, the Chiefs may like that deal. Chiefs would also be saving 14 mil, so they use the savings for Tyreek Hill. I do not want the Niners to give up any of their picks, unless they trade back and get a boatload of picks.

              6. From the article I posted:

                They are reportedly considering trading him to create salary cap space and due to questions about his ability to effectively transition from outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense to defensive end in the 4-3 scheme they are introducing this year.

              7. Guess I will have to concede your point about the defensive scheme. All I know is that from reading the Arrowhead Pride, fans wanted to scalp Bob Sutton.
                The defense was eviscerated by the Pats, but it did not help to have an injured Eric Berry in the backfield. He looked like a shell of his former self. Sounds like they will change systems, but wonder why they are using that as an excuse to trade away Ford? They should have just emphasized the salary cap numbers.
                They must be pretty desperate, to possibly lose their 2 best pass rushers while wanting to fix the defense.

            1. He who laughs last, laughs best.
              I am counting on Spagnuolo to see the talent. Spagnuolo is a SB winning DC and former HC, not the peanut gallery. Thomas is still on his rookie contract, so he is great for their cap. He is only 24, and in the proper system, could thrive like Cowboy did when he got to the Niners.
              Ford has a history to live down. His mistake in the AFCC Game cost them the SB. He did have 13 sacks last season, but played in only 6 games and had 2 sacks in 2017. He is worth a second round pick. Thomas was the 3rd player chosen in the draft, so he was a top 10 pick. I also think he is worth a second round pick. Essentially, they are swapping second round picks by swapping players.

              1. Also, if we bring back Montana AND Frank Gore, that will give us a real one-two punch.
                Just watch.

      3. I’d be ok with giving up a second for him.
        Last year he led the NFL in pressures at the position and had the highest pass rush grade in the NFL at his position, and he’s only 27 years old so he should just be entering his prime.
        Having him would allow them to trade down and possibly add someone like Ferrell, Burns, Sweat or Williams in addition to someone like Murphy or Deebo…. in round 3 they could pick up there another Guard. They could fill in a lot of holes in one offseason.

  12. I get the feeling that since there is interest in Ford. They really like Allen. Which is the way I would like them to go. Allen is more versatile and could provide the One-two punch we’ve been lacking since the Smith Bros have been gone.

    Other possibility a trade back.
    The problem I have with this is if they get Ford they’ll likely let Thomas sign somewhere else. I’d like to sign Thomas get a modest rusher like Fowler and draft Bosa or Allen.

  13. I wish to sadly note the passing of a 49er great.
    Cedrick Hardman lived up to his name. He was a Hard Man to block. He was the unofficial sack leader at 112.5, because they did not acknowledge that statistic until after he retired.
    Hardman was a SB Champion, and 2 time Pro Bowler. After football, he had a nice acting career.
    Here is one Faithful Niner fan who is in mourning over the passing of a 49er legend. RIP.

    1. Cedrick Hardman along with Tommy Hart, Cleveland Elam and Jimmy Webb were the original Gold Rush. A major reason why I’ve been a lifelong 49ers fanatic.

      1. Charlie Krueger, Frank Nunley, Dave Wilcox, with Jimmie Johnson in the backfield.
        Of course, Brodie 2 Washington on offense.

  14. I was fortunate to have watched Cedric Hardman and Tommy Hart get 6 sacks a piece against the Rams.
    If that happened in this era they would have broke the bank with multi-million dollar contracts and been on national news outlets.
    Well done, Mr. Hardman.
    You have earned your rest.

  15. Of all things, Keith Reaser–former 9er DB–is doing quite well in the AAF. Today he had a pick 6 vs. Birmingham, and he’s considered by most as the best DB in the AAF.

    Just sayin’ Sebbie….

    1. Makes you wonder how these guys would do against the top 5 college teams.
      I mean if Reaser is the best the AAF has to offer, imo, that’s not saying much.
      But congrats to former 49ers KR just to same.

      1. Check out a Chief’s blog or two. Reaser’s performance has some fans calling for his return to KC.

        Here’s one —

        I’m not saying he’s the next Eric Wright (’81) or Ronnie Lott. He happens to be getting a lot of reps and playing pretty well. Won’t be surprised if a handful of AAF players get a long look in NFL training camps this year. Will any win roster spots as the season starts? Dunno.

      2. Cassie is only touting him because he was a Baalke ACL pick.
        Marginal talent. Slowwwwww. Marginal play. Cassie wants to waste her time.
        Those packed stadiums sure make it look exciting!!!!!!

  16. I have to say grant awesome work. My comments are typically few and far between on your posts and are often criticisms of you, but your content since the beginning of the draft has been thoughtful and nuanced. You’re clearly working hard. Keep it up. Looking forward!

  17. The Draft Network Machine:

    2 The Bosa Contrictor, EDGE The Ohio State
    36 Nasir Adderley, S Delaware
    67 Blake Cashman, LB Minnesota
    104 Darius Slayton, WR Auburn
    176 Foster Moreau, TE LSU
    212 Garrett Brumfield, IOL LSU

    1. I like Adderley, but I would be very surprised if the 49ers don’t sign a starting FS in FA, and assuming they do, I would be equally surprised if they then draft a FS high.

      1. Could be right, but he’s rarely available and I couldn’t resist. The play making on the backend was too tempting.

    2. Blake Cashman is ranked 171, Darius Slayton is 150, and Foster Moreau is ranked 117 on Draftek.
      Sweat is now ranked number 3. Brian Burns is now number 16. Things sure have changed since the draft.
      Nice selection, but wrong priorities and unrealistic spots. I would not pout if they got Bosa, but they need to draft an O lineman before a safety. Garrett Bradbury, Chris Lindstrom or Andre Dillard are ranked 32, 31 and 30th.
      Cashman may keep moving up with his Combine numbers, but if you want Moreau, you may have to select him at 104, since he is moving up, too.

      1. Once viewed as a late day-three selection, a dynamic showing in Indianapolis has lifted Cashman into discussion as a second or third-round possibility. If Seattle adds another third-round pick by trading down in the first round and Wright leaves as many expect, the organization could easily use this newly-acquired selection to snag him or hope he’s still somehow available in the fourth round.

        I took him in the 3rd just to piss off Pete.

    3. Mock draft 8 post combine, pre FA.
      Trade back scenario. Cards sober up and take Bosa. Niners trade back second pick with Raiders for pick numbers 4 and 24. Niners end up with pick numbers 4, 24, 36, 67, 104. 176, 212. Raiders pick Murray and Jets take Allen.
      Using the Draftek Big Board, and trying to pick within 5 of each number, the Niners select-
      4. Montez Sweat EDGE.
      24. Garrett Bradbury OC.
      36. Devin Bush ILB.
      67. Jonathan Abram S.
      104. Caleb Wilson TE.
      176. Oli Udoh OT.
      212. Keelan Doss WR.

      1. I am hoping the Niners can throw money at Trey Flowers, because the Jags would like him, but they have serious cap problems.
        If they get Flowers, Tyrell Williams and Adrian Amos, along with that draft class, I would consider that a good off season.

    1. Interesting, yes, but also inaccurate. It suggests that any team taking him on via trade would result in the Giants still needing to pay $35.5M against the cap. Its plain and simply wrong. The only thing their cap would remain liable for is the $16M signing in pro-rated bonus. They would be saving around $5M against the cap this year by trading him. What they can’t do is cut him.

      Meanwhile, any team picking him up would be getting quite reasonable cap hits for one of the top WRs in the NFL. $17M this year and $14.5M next year (of which only $2.75M is guaranteed). Then no more guaranteed money after that and option years for the team to keep him if he is still performing that are also palatable.

      1. Why is OBJ’s contract listed as giving the Giants a $35.5 million dead cap then? I am not trying to challenge your logic on this, but I would like some clarity because Spotrac lists the Giants having a $35.5 million dead cap hit from the OBJ contract in 2019.

        1. And Spotrac is 100% correct. That’s the dead cap space his contract would result in if they cut him. That includes $16M in pro-rated signing bonus, plus his fully guaranteed base salary this coming season, plus $2.75M of fully guaranteed contract the next season. It may also include roster bonuses etc this coming season too if they are fully guaranteed.

          However, if they trade him the Giants are only liable for whatever money has already been paid to OBJ under his contract up to the point of the trade, which is just the $16M in pro-rated signing bonus. The rest (i.e. salary, roster bonuses, etc.) would go to the team that trades for him as they would then own his contract and pay him that money as those monies come due.

    2. It said they would take a 35 mil cap hit if he left? That almost forces them to keep OBJ, and get a QB to throw him the ball. With OBJ’s injury history, the Niners should not touch him with a 10 foot pole.

  18. Antonio Brown logic: “I hate having Rothelisburger throw to me, so I am going to have Carr throw to me from now on.”

  19. Dang, that eliminates my trade back, getting a Raider first, second and third for the Niner number 2.
    Still, the Raiders paid peanuts for Brown, a 7 time Pro bowler.

    1. It’s a bummer Sebbie. You might want to talk with the head of your talent valuation staff. Seems he/she is consistently over-valuing players, thus giving you bad information–leading you to erroneous conclusions and more dings to your lofty reputation.

      1. Cassie, it is OK. Posters are trying so hard to diss me, they go into histrionics if I advocate trading first round players.
        I am content. I called the signing of Carlos Hyde with the Chiefs, while you were spellbound watching Ol’ Reaser play Pee Wee Football.

    2. The Raiders did not pay peanuts. Brown is a headache and locker room cancer. He’s not committed to football according to his own words. You don’t pay for past performance, you pay for future potential. In Brown’s case, that potential is unknown and with a serious downside.

        1. LOL. Have a nice day, Geep/Prime.
          I must admit, you try hard. Name calling just defines you. I really must be getting to you.

    1. Prime, I helped coach the Womens’ soccer squad. My specialty was working one on one with an individual’s ball handling skills. Passing trapping, support, feints,dribbling. I let others coach about team strategies and game management. I also helped certain players understand the concepts about defense, and how to play the fullback position. I got a few dates from doing that, but met my wife in the dorms.

  20. we may not have much to offer in the trade market but if management wants to prove they want to win they better spend some serious money in free agency.

  21. ‘Geep’ , since you think I am being mean to KS, I will continue in that vein.
    How to improve the Red Zone Offense? With better players, but also with better coaching. KS, as HC was 32nd in the league in Red Zone efficiency. Why? Because he thinks he can do it all by himself, and refuses to accept help.
    KS should look to the Patriots, and see how they organize their team. Each person has a specific job, and they are expected to do their individual job, so the whole team can succeed. KS, by not having an OC, is trying to do 2 jobs at once. That means he cannot devote his full time to one job, which lessens his effectiveness. Look at the results.
    KS had zero Head Coaching experience until 2 years ago. He was always a position coach or an OC. He needs to understand that a HC needs to concentrate on being a HC, and he does not have the luxury to play at OC. KS also neglects the defense, which is not smart, especially with a newby DC, who is learning on the job. Thankfully, KS is giving Saleh more help by hiring Joe Woods, who has DC experience.
    Some will say that Mike LaFleur handles all the OC duties except calling the plays. KS prevented LaFleur from accepting a promotion to be OC for his brother’s team, then will not give him the title and compensation? That sounds churlish. Stifling a promotion is exactly what BW never did.There is no reason why KS cannot give Mike LaFleur the OC job, and still call the plays if he wants to, except to be cheap and petty. Chip called his own plays, but still had an OC. Belichick is smart enough to have an OC, whose adjustments helped them win the last SB. Sean McVay thought he did not need an OC, and was schooled and humiliated by Belichick.
    An OC is more than just a play caller. He could help organize the position coaches. He could help in the preparations. He could instill some discipline. He could help reduce the penalties. He could help with timing. Why, an Offensive Coordinator could even help in the RED ZONE OFFENSE.

    1. Seb, I think it’s safe to say, you have no idea about Mike LaFleur’s ambitions.

      PackersWire reports it’s possible that Mike LaFleur could join Matt LaFleur in Green Bay because they’ve worked together before on the staff of the Atlanta Falcons (according to the LA Times, Matt was quarterbacks coach in Atlanta, and Mike was an offensive assistant.) However, NBC Sports says it’s unlikely that Mike, 31, will join Matt, saying he seems content where he is and is under contract: “Mike LaFleur was given the title of Passing Game Coordinator after last season, and appears to be happy as one of Shanahan’s top offensive assistants.”

      And, BTW, Kyle cannot prevent a coach from taking a promotion. The NFL does not recognize your suggestion as a promotion, but rather a lateral move. If you have a problem with that, I’d say talk to the league about it, but I’m pretty sure Mike LaFleur would rather speak for himself, thank you very much ….

      1. An OC is more than just a play caller. He could help organize the position coaches. He could help in the preparations. He could instill some discipline. He could help reduce the penalties. He could help with timing. Why, an Offensive Coordinator could even help in the RED ZONE OFFENSE.

        Do you even have any idea as to exactly what Mike LaFleur even does behind the scenes, Seb? I highly doubt it!

          1. If he acts like an OC, walks like an OC, and talks like an OC…chances are he’s an OC with all the titles, monies, and accolades that go along with it. For tax purposes, and LaFleur’s own humility this is all on the down low, hush, hush and on a need to know basis only. Sebber, unfortunately you’ll find that your name is not on that list of those that need to know….🤷‍♂️

          2. Because Kyle prefers having a Run Game Coordinator AND a Pass Game Coordinator, as opposed to an Offensive Coordinator, that’s why Seb.

            Do you even know how much Mike LeFleur is getting paid Seb? Because the Packers are sure as heck not paying his brother top dollar for a Head Coach, so chances are, the Packers would have been offering Mike less money than he is making right now.

            Matt LaFleur’s $5-$5.5 Million per year ranks right around 25th in the NFL in average salary for an NFL HC, with the high end of the coaching scale ats $10 million per year.

            1. And if you don’t know how much Mike is getting paid, or how much he’d be making with the Packers, or even have first hand knowledge as to Mike LaFleur’s ambitions, and where he wants to be coaching at the present time, I suggest you stick to topics you now a little more about Sebnynah!

              Just saying!

              1. 49, why dont you throw out a mock for me. You seem fixated on how much Mike makes, but really do not know exactly what he makes, or could make.
                All I know is that usually, with a promotion, comes a pay raise.

      2. Wrong. KS can block position coach and OC promotions. He cannot block a promotion to HC.
        Mike LaFleur, going from Passing game Coordinator, to OC, would be a promotion.
        Mike LaFleur is content to be the Passing Game Coordinator? He never wants to be an OC? Guess he wants to be a HC without ever being an OC,then. Believe it or not, most coaches dream of becoming a HC, and winning the SB.
        If KS really appreciated Mike LaFleur, he would promote him to OC. Guess he does not like him that much.

        1. And one of the biggest flaws in your argument Seb, is that you are assuming taking an OC postition for his brother Matt, is somehow more valuable in terms of future employment opportunities, than remaining Passing Game Coordinator for one of the most highly respected offensive Coaches in the NFL.

          And yes, at this moment in time, working directly under Kyle Shanahan certainly has more prestige than working directly under Matt LaFleur. In fact, it’s not even close.

        2. Mike LaFleur, going from Passing game Coordinator, to OC, would be a promotion.

          NFL rule: You can’t hire a coach away from another team if it’s a lateral move, unless you are given permission to do so. You can however, hire a contracted coach away if he is receiving a promotion. *Note: “promotions” to coordinator level are NOT promotions under this policy; a coach is either an Assistant Coach or a Head Coach …. period.

          Sure, preventing a basic Positions Coach from taking a position as an OC would be a bit petty, I would agree with that. However, that is not what happened with the 49ers and Mike LaFleur. LaFleur was actually recently promoted to Passing Game Coordinator, which on Kyle’s staff, is exactly the same as Co-Offensive Coordinator, though Kyle does call the offensive plays on game day. So yes, taking the role of OC under his brother in Green Bay would absolutely be considered a lateral move, not just technically, especially when you consider that working directly under Kyle holds tremendously more prestige than working under Matt LaFleur, at this stage of their careers.

          As far as I am concerned, Kyle was well within standard NFL protocol for blocking what can only be considered a lateral move, and for the record Seb, I’ve never heard or read one thing to indicate that Mike LaFleur wanted to leave this offseason, have you? Look Seb, it’s not like Kyle was blocking Mike from taking a huge promotion, he’s simply wasn’t. Mike recently accepted the pay raise that went along with a promotion which effectively makes him arguably the most important assistant coach on Kyle’s staff, and as far as I can tell, nobody forced Mike to take the promotion last year, or do you have information to suggest otherwise Seb?

          The NFL has put these rules in place for multiple reasons Seb, one of which being that it makes for a better football product. Kyle has been entirely reasonable this offseason, IMO, having allowed not one, but two important assistant coaches to leave already, when according to NFL rules, he really didn’t have to. I would be willing to bet that 99.99% of NFL Head Coaches would have handled it exactly the same way as Kyle did, making your criticism entirely misguided Seb.

          And I have no idea why you’ve automatically determined that having one Offensive Coordinator is better than having two Co-Offensive Coordinators, one for the passing attack and one for the rushing attack, especially when you consider that Kyle’s going to be calling the offensive plays on game days, because he isn’t giving that up Seb! It’s what Kyle does arguably better than anyone else in the league. And when the HC is calling the offensive plays, having Co-OC’s makes a lot of sense, if you ask me. It’s what Sean McVay just did in LA, and he got his team to the SB.

          1. Free agency is only days away now Seb, it might be a good idea to concentrate and that, staying away from matters for which you have limited information, such as where Mike LaFleur wants to be coaching this season!

            1. Mike LaFleur is resigned to coaching the WRs/ Passing Game Coordinator position, because KS will not allow him to become an Offensive Coordinator. He is not going to pout or show resentment. He will try to do the best job possible, and try to help the offense score points.
              However, if my brother asked me to be second in command, gaining a promotion, pay raise and career advancement, I would jump at that chance. Would you turn down a promotion, pay raise and career advancement? KS blocked that, but he did the exact opposite of what BW would have done.

          2. Semantics. Passing Game Coordinator is not at the same level as Offensive Coordinator. Passing Game Coordinator does not coach the running game. Mike Daniels is the Running Game Coordinator.
            The Offensive Coordinator coaches both the run and pass. That way, if they do a play action pass, he can coach both aspects. What about the RPO? What about the read option? What if the RB lines up wide and becomes a pass catcher? Who would be in charge of that player? Mike or Mike?
            If you look up the coaching staff in 2018. Mike LaFleur was the Wide Receivers/ Passing Game Coordinator, so I do not know when you thought Mike LaFleur got a recent promotion. You seem to be stubbornly claiming that Mike LaFleur would not have gotten a promotion if he was hired as the OC at GB. KS blocked that promotion, and he looks churlish doing that.
            ‘I would be willing to bet that 99.99% of NFL Head Coaches would have handled it exactly the same way as Kyle did,’ Yup and they would also be 10-22. KS is arrogant, full of hubris, and imploded in his only SB. Sean McVay also did not think he needed an OC, and was schooled and humiliated in the SB.
            Bill Belichick is humble, knows his limitations, delegates authority and accepts help. Belichick hired an OC, and won a SB. He must be part of the 0.001%, that would have handled it differently. Actually, throughout the league, most teams do have an OC and DC. Very few teams are so arrogant, they think that an OC is not needed. KS, by trying to be HC and OC, is failing at both. His failure to be able to finish games is a HC failure, and his Red Zone woes is an OC failure.

            1. That’s your opinion Seb, and your in a minority. Most Niner fans don’t blame Kyle not having an OC as a reason for any of his teams misgivings. He took over a talent starved roster, and his team has been devastated by injuries over his first 2 season. Most people around NFL circles believe Kyle’s one of the best offensive play callers in the game, and they also believe he’s going to be successful, once everything comes together for him.

              Apparently you don’t feel this way. That’s fine. Good for you. You can keep complaining all you want Seb, but Kyle’s not going to change the way he’s running his team until it becomes apparent that he’s failing, and we certainly aren’t at that point.

              You have absolutely no idea whether Mike LaFleur is happy in his current position. None! And you have no idea what he even does for Kyle, other than not calling plays on game days. So save us your pouty, misinformed gripes about not promoting coaches, when you have no idea what you are even talking about! All people are doing on this blog is rolling their eyes at you Seb! Complaining about things that make sense is one thing. Complaining about something you clearly know nothing about, is something else entirely.

              This is a big year. As a Forty Niner Faithful you can either get on board, or kick rocks for all I care dude! Nobody likes a whiner who seems entirely misinformed.

              1. 49, you are also certainly entitled to your opinion, but to declare that ML did not mind being blocked from a promotion, pay raise and career advancement, and is deliriously happy about that, is obtuse. It is just human nature to want more in life, and an opportunity to coach with a family member, is rare, and special. Even KS mentioned how fortunate he was to have coached with his father.
                You seem to disparage me for not knowing all the facts, when you, yourself do not know all the facts, either. How can I argue against your facts when you will not admit that a Passing Game Coordinator is of less in stature than an Offensive Coordinator? Do you know how much Mike LaFleur makes and what salary he might have garnered as the OC at GB? No, you do not, so before you make your assertions, get the true numbers. I will make the logical assertion that an Offensive Coordinator has more responsibilities than a Passing Game Coordinator, so he should be paid more.
                You say KS is one of the best offensive play callers in the game, but he was hired to be the Head Coach, not a play caller. As Head Coach, he is 10-22, so he needs all the help he can get. I keep asking, but nobody can answer- How exactly will having an OC hurt the team?If you blithely state that one is not needed, I will calmly point out KS went 4-12 last season. If KS wants so much to be able to call plays, he should have stayed as an OC. A Head coach is responsible for the wins and losses, not only calling the plays.
                You may think that I am harping about this just to be contrarian. No, I am adamantly stating that having an OC will help fix the problems, and help them win. Isn’t that the whole purpose of the game? To win? I am stating that the lack of having an OC has led to losing, and my assertion is bolstered by the record. The only reason I can think of that why having an OC is bad, is it might hurt KS’s feelings. I am way beyond that. If stomping on his ego might spur him to get smart, and hire an OC, I will stomp away. It is only a title, I do not know why he would feel threatened by an OC.
                Sure, it is his prerogative to not have an OC, but if he continues with his losing ways, he will not be HC for much longer. Believe it or not, I want KS to succeed, and I think the best way to do that is hiring an OC so he can help fix the problems. I can assure you, giving Mike LaFleur a promotion to becoming the Offensive Coordinator, will make him happy, not unhappy.
                ‘Nobody likes a whiner who seems entirely misinformed.’ Are you talking about yourself?
                I reiterate. Tell me exactly how having an OC will hurt the team. I think it will help them win.

              2. My biggest problem with you Seb, is that you sometimes make baseless claims which the facts simply don’t support. You have ZERO evidence to support this claim of yours that Kyle prevented LaFleur from accepting a promotion to be OC for his brother’s team, and acted “churlish” in doing so. If Mike LaFleur really wanted to take a job working under his brother, one would have to believe that he certainly would have put more pressure on Kyle, yet the only reports I’ve read have indicated that Mike is actually quite happy with his position working directly under Kyle, and I am willing to bet that you have have absolutely squat to support your position to the contrary. That’s my problem Seb, and in my book, it’s bad form, and shows bad taste, to criticize someone for something of which you have zero evidence to support. You have presented nothing in your argument that qualifies as proof that Mike LaFleur’s career will be in anyway stunted by working directly under Kyle for another season, as opposed to working under his brother in Green Bay. None, Zero, Zip, Nada! That’s a fact! All you have done is make assumptions about something that, frankly, you seem to know very little about! Despite being one of the most highly respected football coaches around NFL circles, for whatever reason you have a very negative perception of who Kyle is, and how he runs a football team, and it colors everything you post.

                You have also presented zero evidence to support the notion that handing play calling duties off to an “OC” would somehow be a net advantage for the 49ers. And Kyle Shanahan was one of the hottest OC’s and offensive play callers when he he came aboard, and he was hired to be both HC, and OC. In fact, it’s one of the reasons the 49ers wanted him to be their next Head Coach in the first place.

                I will admit that Kyle’s 49ers must begin to put everything together this year, and they must start winning. However, for realists, everything has pointed to year 3 as being the most realistic season for the 49ers to get back into postseason contention, ever since ShanaLynch were hired to turn this struggling, bottom dwelling program around. And I suspect if they have a successful offseason via FA and the draft, and they can stay relatively healthy (knock on wood), were going to see a very competitive football team in 2019, with the postseason being a very real possibility!

                And my optimism isn’t based on hope. Unlike your baseless claims, and wildly off-base criticism, my optimism is actually grounded in facts. The 49ers have already improved dramatically, both offensively and defensively since Kyle took over, despite having inherited an atrocious roster full of marginal players with a losing mentality.

                When I get a chance seb, I’ll show you the numbers that support just how far the 49ers have already come since Kyle took over. It hasn’t been perfect, but despite the challenges he’s faced (5 years worth of key injuries over this 2 year span, and despite having a glaring weakness at pass rush that must be addressed this offseason) the 49ers have improved by leaps and bounds statistically, and I would suspect we’ll see their record improve dramatically in Kyle’s 3rd season as the 49ers HC.

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

          Cut thru all the smoke and mirrors, follow the thread all the way back, and your hostility to Shanny all leads back to one thing……………

              1. It isn’t about losing, not largely. That causes you frustration, yes………..but you never bellowed like a stuck pig when Tomsula messed up time after time. Not like this!

              2. Saw, I am happy as a clam. I am also happy that JG is our franchise QB, and hope he leads the Niners to multiple rings.
                With JG, Kaep is not needed as the 49er QB, so I will wish him well wherever he plays. Now that the Blackballing suit is settled, I do not think the NFL will be stupid enough to continue the blackballing, because that would probably violate the terms of the settlement.

              3. Oh, so the settlement includes some team hiring him now? Wow, those owners really do collude don’t they?

  22. Seb-y-nah: Sure you did Dotard! You can tell me the truth, I won’t tell anyone…..
    * BTW: My name is GEEP and speaking of name calling, why do you feel the need to pretend I’m Prime? Your ego feeling a little insecure, or are you really that pathetic?

    1. You are just like Prime. This aint my first rodeo.Your knowledge of my soccer coaching just means you are a long timer, trying a burner account.
      How deliciously ironic. You think I am calling you names by just mentioning Prime? My cup runneth over. ;p

      1. Seb-Y-nah:
        * “you are just like Prime. This ain’t my first rodeo.Your knowledge of my soccer just means YOU ARE A LONG TIMER,”

        sebnynah says:
        March 8, 2019 at 10:22 am
        “Geep, you are getting feisty! I like a challenge.”
        * “you are just like Prime?” So, you’re now admitting you’re intimate with prime? And here I thought it was just Kaep you had a crush on? My bad Seb, my bad…..
        “Maybe if you had followed my posts, you would had realized that I played soccer at UCD, then club soccer for years. I also had coaching experience. My posts about strategy and tactics must go over your head, so please try to keep up.” “Would HAD realized?” You blame it on your spell checker? BTW: March 8th (two days ago), means I’m a “long timer?” Yea, I need to keep up, but not with you DOTARD! You’re two function brain cells can’t even remember your own dissembling….

        “It is much better to sit quietly, and only have them think you the fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Yes it is fool, thanks for proving it!

        * “My cup runneth over: ;P” More like you suffer from delusion of grandeur.

          1. * Seb-y-nah: March 10, 2019 at 10:12 am: “This ain’t my first rodeo.” * It’s not the first time you fell off your stick horse and shot yourself with cap gun either.

            * Seb-y-nah:  March 10, 2019 at 5:40 pm: “LOL, soon you will be hurling expletives.”
            * Seb-y-nah: March 10, 2019 at 11:21 am: “LOL. Guess that commenting on your being a Bloviating, blubbering, bellicose, belligerent buffoon really got to ya..”

            * You need help removing your foot from your mouth Seb?

            1. Please try to understand the meaning of what exactly an expletive is. Believe it or not, I am verbose, and can use the entire English dictionary to describe you, without resorting to an expletive.
              I really feel like I am in a battle of wits against an unarmed foe.

              1. Seb-y-nah:
                * “Please try to understand.” I understand you’re a delusional gas bag!
                * “Believe it or not, I am verbose.” On that we agree Seb! Unfortunately, you’re also an
                insecure, bloviating buffoon needs to be the center of attention. For you, Negative
                attention is better than no attention.

        1. Geep,

          seb, the board’s resident malignant narcissist, somehow is under the impression that only one single person on the internet could him a blowhard dullard.

          1. Sebbie is like the character Vizzini from ‘The Princess Bride‘…

            [Vizzini battle of wits scene] “You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders – the most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia” – but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go in against a Sicilian {Sebbie] when death is on the line”! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”

            Vizzini, convinced of his brilliance, falls over, croaked….

            1. Or in your case, 1000+ word postings.

              I’d love to see your landscaping work agreements. How many reams of paper do they take to print?

            2. Seb-y-nah
              Haven’t you got something to do, other than making a fool of yourself DOTARD? You really need to find some new material. It’s not only predictable, but old and wore out……just like you and your anal responses……Get a life!

  23. Marino’s latest mock has the 49ers selecting The Bosa Constrictor! I’m so happy the Cardinals hired Kliff as their HC!

    1. Revenge of the Birds think Murray is too small, and they need more help on the defense. While some diss Rosen, they all acknowledge he needed better support.
      The Cards will be forced to take the BEST player in the draft. Bosa constrictor.

    2. Mocks before FA……meh.
      Mocks with speculative trades…..frivolous fiction.
      A few more weeks; sit back and enjoy the show. Popcorn optional.

      1. Are you mocking mocks?
        They are so easy to do, but some posters do not want to be ridiculed over a bad one, so they are afraid to do one.

    3. Razor,
      What happens if Bosa becomes a bust, what name would you give him then?

      I certainly hope that he is successful, especially if he’s a 49er. But if he falters, I’m putting in my vote for Bosa the Clown.
      Hopefully he lives up to your nickname.

      1. Sure, but the entire scouting organization would be shocked if you ever got the chance to use that name to describe him.

  24. Seb-y-nah:
    * “Geep’ , since you think I am being mean to KS, I will continue in that vein.”

    * Did I say you were being mean to KS? What I said was you’re NOT qualified to judge him! If you want to “continue in that vein,” feel free to continue proving you’re a DOTARD

    1. Prime, keep whining and whimpering.
      As a die hard faithful Niner fan, I have every right to rip a 4-12 HC. If KS was 12-4, I could see your point.

    1. LOL. Guess that commenting on your being a Bloviating, blubbering, bellicose, belligerent buffoon really got to ya..
      This is too easy.

      1. Seb-y-nah
        * LMAO: You “GUESS” you really got to me? OK DOTARD! BTW: The definition of GUESS. “Estimate or suppose (something) without sufficient information to be sure of being correct!”
        * So who got to you? And who is too easy? I find your “mean girl” attempt at psychological projection rather boring.

          1. Seb-y-nah
            * Calling me “Prime” is the best you can do? Does demeaning Prime helps you feel superior?
            * Are you really that insecure? 

            1. Prime and I go way back, and you are the acting like Prime. Trying so hard to diss me, when you should just learn your lesson and let me post in peace.
              Moi? Me insecure? Do I sound like I am insecure? You are asking for it, and I will happily oblige.

  25. Grant,
    Great suggestions for the RedZone. Do you find it odd that every year since 2014 the Niners go into every season with lots of cap space? They also don’t make the playoffs. Have you written a story about that?

  26. The Niners should stop saving the cap space. They should be proactive, and extend Buckner and even Kittle. They should save 10 mil to sign the draft picks and prepare for contingencies, then spend every penny, out bidding other teams for talent.
    Jed may like the profits, but he loses so much more with lost stadium revenues.

  27. Rapoport on the AB trade. – “The trade compensation — a third and a fifth going to the Steelers — wasn’t an issue. Several teams were willing to give that or more. The contract was the issue…”

    The state of AB’s mind was also factor… but veterans on a franchise tag like Dee Ford (or players insisting on a new contract like AB) require expensive new contracts. Something to keep in mind when discussing trade scenarios.

    Contracts are why I’m hesitant to give up…
    36 for Dee Ford. This is a deep defensive draft.
    Anything more than 2 for 6+OBJ. Moving 6 to 2 is already the chart value of 16 overall.
    A first rounder for Kirk Cousins.

    Contract cost matters. The intersting part is how much. What’s the draft pick equivalent to $60m in cap room? Does the value vary from team to team? (I think it does)

    In my mind…
    1 First Round Pick = OBJ Contract
    1 First Round Pick = Trading back from 2 to 6 (according to chart)

    The New York Giants already getting two first-round picks.

    I prefer to shakedown teams tight on cap space like the Boldin trade.

      1. Cowpukes advantage is they don’t necessarily have to offer top dollars; just be in the ballpark. ET might take less to be in his home Texass, as long as the money is clo$e. Homeboy Discount. It’s worth a shot for Jerrah to play along.

    1. I wonder if it’s commonplace to pretend to bid for a player in order to jack up contract costs for division and conference rivals.

      1. Yes, pretty common. Niners past interest in Kurt Warner as an example. Both SF and Warner danced through an interview to squeeze more funds from the Cards.
        Less money for rival to spend from SF’s pov, and Warner got to keep the money.

  28. Justin Houston would be a good pickup, but think he will want to go to a playoff team for a shot at a ring.
    He will look at the 4-12 record, and give the Niners a hard pass.
    It is interesting to note that the Chiefs had the 28th ranked defense, and may be giving up on 2 of their best defensive players. They really must be in salary cap hell, and the Tyreek Hill contract is looming large.

  29. Grant,
    Now that Fowler is signed which DE/OLB do you think the 49ers should sign? My choices would be Flowers or Z. Smith. If they aren’t able to trade out of #2 they should draft Bosa if they sign Smith or draft Allen if they sign Flowers. If they aren’t able to sign Flowers or Smith then they should try to sign Ansah to a 2 yr deal and draft Allen.

    1. Flowers and Ansah probably will be too expensive for York and Marathe. Za’Darius Smith is a B-gap rusher. Maybe Preston Smith, although he won’t be cheap.

      1. What about the rumors that the team is interested in Everson Griffen? He is 31 and, as I understand it, the Vikings would have to release him, otherwise the 9ers would have to trade for him.

        There’s a lot of money chasing too few good free agents. A lot of teams are resigning their own players.

    1. There’s the starting LB, now we just need the FS. Looks like Alexander will put us in another bidding war with the Jets.

    2. I’m going to puke if they sign Alexander.
      He was the worst LB at his spot in the NFL with missed tackles, coming of a torn ACL and wants 10-12 mill a year.
      Is the front office stupid enough to sign this bum?
      Sadly I have my questions.
      Isn’t this what they have Malcolm Smith for? Waste money and miss games and tackles? Smh

      My prediction was they will sign one big name (Earl Thomas) and get a middle of the road pass rusher/OLB.
      And draft their other pass rusher.
      But this guy isn’t even middle of the pack quality.

    3. Hate to say this, but, if it’s true, sounds like a Baalke move. Unless they’re using it to negotiate with someone else?

      1. I don’t trust this team when it comes to free agents. They have not been impressive in this area with even their good signings being questionable.
        Smith is garbage and could be replaced by any FA without much loss… the problem is that this team needs to improve in this area not stay stagnant.

        1. Shoup, basically, imo, it comes down to York letting Shanahan hire the general manager. He gave the hands of the franchise to a guy who was over his head from the get go who then hired a GM who may have been more over his head. Both of them are learning on the job and have made a series of questionable moves. Hopefully they figure it out. In the meantime we have to sit and watch.

    4. If this is true, MidWest, would this be an example of a toothless regime? Or will you defend the signing, claiming that Kwon is actually an elite player?

  30. For those who put weight on PFF grading, Kwon Alexander was ranked 65th out of 92 LBs last year. For reference, Fred Warner was ranked 50th, Malcolm Smith was ranked 53rd and Elijah Lee was ranked 62nd. Here are the grades for run defense and coverage, respectively.

    Fred Warner – 62.8, 67.7
    Malcolm Smith – 74.0, 52.5
    Elijah Lee – 68.1, 55.1
    Kwon Alexander – 53.3, 57.1

    As I look at the ranking list, it’s impressive that Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith from Dallas are ranked 4 and 5 respectively. Mosley, btw, is ranked 22nd.

  31. Kyle Madson, Niners Wire: Ideal draft pick and free agent for every 49ers positional need.
    * EDGE: Draft pick – Nick Bosa, Ohio State. Free agent – Justin Houston.
    * WR: Draft pick – Deebo Samuel, South Carolina State. Free agent – Tyrell Williams.
    * S: Draft pick – Sheldrick Redwine, Miami. Free agent – Earl Thomas.
    * LB: Draft pick – Mack Wilson, Alabama. Free agent – CJ Mosley.
    * CB: Draft pick – Lonnie Johnson, Kentucky. Free agent – Pierre Desir.

    1. Have to take both Wilson and Samuel in round 2. That means moving back up into round 2 for Samuel, or trading down in the first for an extra second….

      1. Razor:
        * “trade down in the first for an extra second? You’re willing to miss out on Boa Constrictor? Color me
        SHOCKED! LOL
        * “Have to take both Wilson and Samuel in round 2.” CBSSPORTS.COM has Deebo Samuel listed at # 45 and
        Mac Wilson at #46.
        * Who do you propose the 9ers trade with?

        1. I personally would not trade The Bosa Constrictor for anything less than two 1st round picks, and a high 2nd. I really don’t think Wilson is worth trading up for anyways. If he’s there in round 3, I guess I’d give him the nod over Cashman due to medical history….

  32. One has to realize that Free Agents are Free Agents because if they were good enough, they would be re-signed with their team. Many that posters have been advocating for, have been re-signed by their teams.
    Many have some flaw, but the Niners should still use their cap space trying to find the diamond in the rough. Maybe target players who were FAs due to quality depth on their former team. Maybe target some older players to gain veteran leadership.
    Players like Tyrell Williams, Za’darius Smith and Adrian Amos will have teams get into a bidding war over. Hope JL can be aggressive, and land some quality talent that will help the team. Maybe even take on some players with health issues, and hope for the best.

    1. It’s not that cut and dry and you know this Seb.
      Loaded teams like the rams and chiefs don’t have the bread to keep everyone.
      Cheap teams like the Patriots won’t spend that money.
      You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think there are superstars in free agency this year.

      1. ninermd

        I am in agreement with both yourself, and Seb (if that is possible). Seb correctly identified three ‘BONUS’ FAs in Zadarius Smith, Tyrell Williams, and Arrian Amos…each of whom could and probably will create a food-fight. I agree with you that they could be slipped under the radar, by teams rat-holing monies for the Draft…or for other reasons of their own….YOU ARE CORRECT in that there will be several players taken and not taken that at this time next year, we’ll be saying “…where were we with him?”

        1. Oregon.. my point was about the blanket statement of “if they’re that good they would be resigned by their team”
          That’s not always the case. And this offseason shows the biggest talent is leaving because of cap space, wanted out, or teams like NE who refuse to pay big amounts for talent.
          I named 6 players that will instantly make their teams better.
          These “under the radar” players he speaks of have been picked up by this organization for years. Barely any of them have ever produced.
          This free agency year and draft are ripe for the Pickens. Niners have money and power at the two spot to build a defense that’s very scary.
          If any.. this is the year to pull the trigger.
          I’m not saying buy everyone, I’d be happy with Thomas as the big ticket player, and someone like Seb mentioned and drafting Allen or Bosa.
          But again to say they’re not that good or they’d be resigned is ridiculous.

          1. I said MANY, not ALL of the players the posters have been advocating for, have been re-signed with their teams.
            You started with Brown, but he did not have great grades during the season. My premise is that if a player is elite, they will never let him go. Sure, there always exceptions, and the salary cap squeeze will have teams make hard decisions, but generally, elite players will be retained.

        1. Trent Brown
          Earl Thomas
          Dee Ford (being shopped)
          A brown.
          L Bell.
          To name a few.
          Now look at why these players are wanted by other teams besides their own.
          Here’s a hint Seb. It’s not because they’re not good.

          1. Brown is gone. Thomas is 30 with 2 broken legs. Ford has the franchise tag. Mosley I must admit is darn good, but will probably sign with a playoff team. Brown is gone. Bell wants to go to a playoff team, and my guess is for the Seahawks to get him.
            All may be good, but none will or want to sign with the Niners.
            You could have thrown in Trey Flowers, but the odds of the Niners getting him are slim and none.

            1. Nobody said they had to come here. Again your statement was if they’re that good they’d be resigned.
              And you can beat down Thomas all you want. He’s still the best safety in the league. He’s going to be a niner so get your jersey today.

              Yes Flowers, and you can add Colin’s, and before awhile ago Fowler.

              1. Fowler was retained. Collins has gotten interest, but he also has flaws.
                I will not scream if they do get Thomas, but 2 broken legs in 2 years is a huge flaw.

  33. Ian Rapoport

    Details on the #Raiders impending deal for OT Trent Brown: 4 years for $66M and $36,750,000 fully guaranteed, source said.

  34. On Rotoworld:

    “NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco reports the 49ers will pursue the top linebackers on the market.
    2018 third-rounder Fred Warner played well last season, the 49ers still need to add some help. C.J. Mosley is the top linebacker available and should be the 49ers’ top target, but Maiocco reports San Francisco is also interested in Anthony Barr and Kwon Alexander.”

    Anthony Barr is graded 26th out of 92 by PFF.

  35. The Niners will not do a whole lot in FA. Kyle would rather draft players and teach them “his” system versus bringing other, non-system players in (on offense). One player that does fit is Jameson Crowder. On defense it’s the Rehawks system. Fit or not—that’s the maxim. IMHO not much action. Keep your expectations low and be prepared for Lynch telling everyone how much they love the roster and getting guys that were hurt back will be like getting free agents. That’s the script.

  36. For Jack Hammer:

    Pressures allowed in 2018 (PFF), listing a few OTs for perspective here:

    Kolton Miller – 67 (2nd-most in NFL)
    Mike McGlinchey – 39
    Trent Brown – 35
    Joe Staley – 25
    David Bakhtiari – 25 (highest pass-blocking grade in NFL)

    Raiders had to overpay after over drafting Miller thanks to Lynch’s successful coin toss.

    Grant, I told you the Patriots would let Brown walk.

    1. Patriots/49ers trade:

      Patriots get Trent Brown, 5th, and a 2020 3rd (Comp Pick)

      49ers get: Tarvarius Moore in the 3rd

      1. Don’t tell me you actually believe he’s worth that much? How do you overpay for a LT after you just drafted one in the 1st round, and then let Mack walk? Makes zero sense to me….

  37. W the Edges in the AFC West, I think it is a good sign by the Raiders- they needed to stabilize the line…. now they need to get guys to stop the run.

    I hope the 49ers don’t overpay for Thomas.

      1. -moving him to the right side- their issue is w Parker, their 3rd rounder who struggled last year……. Miller was also hurt, apparently.

  38. Absolutely zero moves from the Front office so far. What are they waiting for….with so many holes to fill? :( SMH

    Grant – You hearin’ anything yet?

      1. Well, I’m very close to losing it. :)

        Andrew Sendejo hitting Free agency along with Mike Remmers. What do you think? I think Sendejo will be a decent pickup to compete as SS.

        1. I think we’re set at SS with Harris/Tartt and Remmers quite honestly wasn’t very good at Guard. Perhaps he could be cheap competition for the back up role at OT.

    1. Seems like a lot. But let’s not forget that the reported deal for Sherman was 3 years for just over $39 million. In many cases the amount announced is seldom what is actually paid, esp. when there are a lot of incentives. If the Thomas deal is structured similarly to Sherman’s (given they both had injuries), then it doesn’t seem unreasonable to me given the current state of free agency deals.

  39. Niner FA targets-
    Trey Flowers, CJ Moseley, Anthony Barr should be high priority.
    Za’darius Smith
    Preston Smith
    Jordan Hicks
    Markus Golden
    Henry Anderson
    Brent Urban
    Shane Ray
    Shaquil Barrett

      1. LMAO! And $27 mil guaranteed!

        49ers go into 2019 with Garoppolo, McKinnon and now Alexander all coming off ACL tears. Somewhere Trent Baalke is smiling right now. 🤦‍♂️

        1. I hope they spend every penny of the salary cap. Taking a risk on an ACL player is not a sin. He did run a 4.55 forty in the combine.

  40. If Kwon Alexander comes back anywhere close to 100%, he’s going to be a fantastic addition next to Fred Warner. Great fit! As usual though, it’s worth waiting to see the fine details of his contract before I can Kwontify this signing, but I’m glad to see an aggressive move by the 49ers this early in free agency. Now let’s go get Justin Houston and Earl Thomas.

    And how about big Trent Brown? ESPN is reporting that the Raiders will make Brown the highest paid OL in league history. Seems to me that, if Brown played anywhere near as well for the Pats as some have been suggesting, the Patriots would have come out ahead of the game by franchising Trent Brown for the upcoming season. Safe to say that they weren’t overly impressed with his play in 2018, and/or his overall conditioning.

    1. OK, Alexander’s deal is rumored to include $27 Million in guarantees. Gotta wait to see the rest of the details, but I’m willing to bet Marathe has done well to minimize long term risk. We’ll see.

      1. Sideline to sideline ILB. Great cover LB.

        Kwon had 17 combined tackles to go along with a sack in the Bucs 2016 season opening win VS the Falcons. Following this big win to open the season, Bucs HC Dirk Koetter referenced Kwon’s work ethic, saying:

        ”I walked through the locker pregame when some guys are stretching and some guys are seeing how cool they look in their uniform, Kwon was watching game tape on his surface.”

        Known as a student of the game, Kwon Alexander went on to have a monster season in 2016, finishing the season with 145 tackles (108 solo) and 3 sacks. His 21 tackles VS the Cowboys during week 15 was his signature performance, becoming the first defensive player to have 21 tackles in a single game since 2013. Despite injuring his hamstring on opening day the following season, and missing 4+ games, Kwon went on to make the pro-bowl in 2017, while “looking like one of the most exciting young ILB’s in the league!” Kwon was off to another fantastic start in 2018, with 45 tackles in 5+ game, before suffering a torn ACL during week 6 prompting an NFL>COM writer to say: “The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now down arguably their best defensive player, perhaps for the season”

    1. Great cover LB, and apparently was the heartbeat of the Bucs defense. If he can improve his tackling, if he’s fully recovered. If, by Rudyard Kipling, alias The Sebber….

      1. Hoping he gets better at the most important thing you do at your job is for drafted rookies, not millionaires who just got a boatload of money coming off a knee injury.
        This signing is a joke. And I mean because of the money.
        His job is to tackle. Fool is the worst at it, and the highest paid at doing it now at his position.
        That pretty much put the nail in lynch’ coffin for me now.

      2. If you can fill the unforgiving minute
        With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run.
        Yours is the earth and everything’ in it,
        And- which is more- you’ll be a Man, my son!

  41. According to PFF, it looks like Alexander had good coverage grades in 2016 and 2017: 72.8 and 72.5 respectively. He regressed significantly in 2018 with a coverage grade of 57.1. I’m guessing the team thinks they can get the 2016-2017 version of Alexander and then have two good ILBs (he and Warner) in coverage. Maybe his knee was bothering him last year before he blew it out. A similar thing happened to Sherman in 2017. His achilles was tight and bothersome for a number of games before it finally gave way. I guess I’m just looking for ways to justify this signing.

  42. Have to say that $13.5 million average per year for a LB coming off of an injury sounds outrageous. But the values of announced contracts are often significantly higher than what the team is really on the hook for. I’m gonna reserve judgment until I see what the real numbers and conditions are.

    If they’re willing to pay this much for Alexander, then $15 million ave for Thomas should be in play.

  43. Here’s what Nick Wagoner at ESPN has to say about the Alexander signing:

    “The 49ers strike early and heavily in free agency as they intend to sign LB Kwon Alexander to a four-year, $54 million deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Alexander should fit in at the team’s WIL linebacker spot alongside Fred Warner. While Alexander makes sense for the Niners, the cost here is exorbitant and not just in terms of Alexander’s money. This is the price the Niners are paying for the swing and a miss on Reuben Foster. Foster was supposed to be the guy to hold this job and because he couldn’t avoid trouble, the Niners found themselves having to spend big at the position. The trickle down effect of that could mean they’re unable to fill other holes on their defense.”

    1. More from ESPN:

      “Before Alexander sustained a torn ACL on Oct. 21 last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were willing to offer him as much as $10 million annually, a source familiar with the negotiations told ESPN.”

      Okay, I’m removing the HV bag now.

      1. So, then he tore his ACL, and the 49ers gave him more than the Bucs were willing to give him before he tore his ACL. Makes sense.

        1. It’s not quite that simple, Grant. First off, teams try to sign their pending FAs for less than what they will command once they hit the market. Further, the salary cap went up again by a good amount so that results in overall inflation. I would feel better about this signing if he wasn’t coming off of an ACL.

          In the end though, isn’t it the guaranteed money that counts? If most of this contract is back loaded, they can renegotiate if he plays really well or cut/trade him if he doesn’t.

          1. Yah, I’m anxiously awaiting the details cubus. I’ve heard there is $27 Million in guarantees, but I’m not sure exactly how it’s structured. The devil’s in the details, as they say. Knowing Marathe, it’s probably front loaded.

            Really good player though, should be a great fit next to Warner. A speedy, heading ILB corp. Plus, 2 great leaders in the heart of that young defense. Kwon’s known to be a very hard worker, with a team leader mentality. His team leadership had a big impact on the Bucs defense. TB TE – Cameron Brate said this after Kwon’s ACL injury: “For us, as a team, losing someone like Kwon hurts! He’s kind of the heart and soul of our team. Just the kind of passion he brings every day. You know, we’re going to miss that a lot.”

            Anytime you hear a player described as the heart and soul of a football team, that’s a big deal in my book!

            Of course, there is always some risk when a guy is coming off an ACL, but I’m assuming his recovery is going well. Fingers crossed!

              1. lol. How about when they routed the Niners in 2016? Alexander led the Bucs in tackles and absolutely rattled Kaepernick with 2 hard QB hits? How bad were the Niners back then? Kaepernick was the leading rusher in that game and RB Shaun Draughn was the leading receiver. Kaepernick finished with 143 yards passing on the day with a 56.4 Passer Rating. Oh, Chip Kelly, those were the days – so much creativity!

                Hey Grant, do you think there was ever any chance the 49ers would have even entertained the idea of making Trent Brown the highest paid OL in league history?

                Hint: The short answer is NO! The longer answer is … HE_L NO!

              2. Right, because they were too busy making Kwon Alexander the highest-paid inside linebacker in the league.

              3. Which they can afford to pay precisely because they didn’t overpay for an OT whom they couldn’t even run behind in 2017.

                I just heard Colin Cowherd talk about the dangers of signing Trent Brown to this kind of a deal. Dante Scarnecchia might be the best OL Coach in the league, and Brady might be the best at getting the ball out quickly.

                Trent Brown had a pretty good year, and the Patriots had their franchise tag to use, and yet, Bill Belichick said, thanks, but no thanks to the big fellow, a year after the 49ers said thanks, but no thanks, because they couldn’t run the ball behind him.

                What does that tell you?

                You know what it tells me? Mark my words Grant: this guy is going to be fat and out of shape for the Oakland Raiders, in no time flat!

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