I challenge the 49ers

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan speaks at a news conference after an NFL football game against the New York Giants in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Nov. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

I challenge you, 49ers.

I challenge every member of your organization to start improving after the bye week.

You have six games left. I challenge you to make the most of them. Since Kyle Shanahan became the head coach in 2017, you have played 26 games and not improved as a team. You lose every week unless Jimmy Garoppolo plays, or you face an opponent that quit on its head coach and doesn’t want to compete.

I challenge you to end that trend between now and Week 17.

I’m calling you out one by one, starting with your head coach.

Click here to read my column.

This article has 532 Comments

  1. At this point in the season winning only hurts next season. Why would the team want to do anything other than test their depth?

  2. Oh Grant… Yeah, a spicy, kinda grandstanding read for sure. You left a few things out but what’s the point of haggling.

    Please. Please. Don’t resort to crowing if the 9ers do a few good things before the season runs dry. I’m not convinced you’d be THE reason for any improvement. Sure, you have stratospheric standards…

    I sense some tongue-in-cheek, and that’s a good thing.

    Wonder if Good Morning Football will grab your take?

    1. Grant does not address the issues with ownership and Jed’s continuing mistakes. I also worry about the erosion of fan interest and loyalty. Daddy says that even in the dark days of the mid to late 1970’s, the Niners had a huge fan base.

          1. The field is a joke and it isn’t really funny, but I think whoever laid the field down and designed its components probably should receive said treatment. Perhaps Seb could inspect and pronounce final judgment. That’s in his wheelhouse, I believe.

            1. As a casual observer from his couch, it sure looked like they watered the sod too much.
              I remember they hovered a helicopter over a field to dry out the sod, at another sodden field.
              Maybe the ground crews could use 50 leaf blowers, to try and dry out the field more.
              Obviously, they should cut back on the watering.

  3. I admire Grant for telling the unvarnished truth! Kyle needed to be called. Same with the other coaches. The Niners have underperformed. Don’t let Jimmy G’s injury hide the truth about the team.

    1. So allie…. Beyond play calling and coaching. What about the process of scouting and talent acquisition within the 9ers organization? Are the scouts any good? Crappy? Do they provide information to Lynch and Shanahan which is complete and accurate? Do Lynch and Shanahan give credence to that information? Staff also keep track of player personnel across the league–every player–so decision makers can be prepared to act when players are released and when trades may present themselves. Keeping up with Free Agents is critical too. Are the people doing this work jerks? Are they good? Many questions here I know. I wish Grant would expend a little effort to shed light on the 9er way of scouting and evaluating/acquiring talent. Get at some substance, not speculate through the hot take lens.

  4. Niners face an easier schedule for the first of the season. I look forward to seeing Nick develop. He is one of the only reasons to watch the team. I know Kyle loves CJ

    1. This season is like a slow action train wreck, due to all the injuries.
      However, I cannot take my eyes away from it. Gotta watch to see how it unfolds.
      Glad KS is not playing favorites, he made a good assessment, and the proper adjustment.

  5. Cassie Freakin’ Baalke – Yes, sometimes the truth stings a bit, but it is what it is. the stats as presented definitely solidify the legitimacy of Grant’s points. the coaches have no excuses. 1.6 yards per rush in the RZ is beyond anemic seems that self-scouting would provide the coaches with this information on a weekly basis so they could make some adjustments, too.

    1. Read my comment again. No where did I attempt to dismantle anything concrete that Grant captured–meaning there are some things he noted that I don’t take issue with. He left out a few things that need looking at–and will likely be looked at whether Grant spotlights them or not.

      For anyone not familiar with Grant’s ‘style’, one might conclude that Grant has an enormous ego and feels he knows much more about football (all things football…) than just about anyone with the 9ers. I’m wondering why NFL teams are not seeking him out, not encouraging him to apply for GM or HC vacancies across the league. Maybe they are and Grant is just being coy.

      1. CASSIE – a little history lesson for you and the other anti-Granters – A journalist by trade, Marty Hurney worked for the Montgomery Journal in Silver Spring, Maryland. In 1978 he moved to The Washington Star. After covering the Redskins for The Washington Times, the former college football player at Catholic University in Washington D.C. began the unusual career jump from sports writer to NFL general manager. That path was more common in the early 20th century but is nearly unheard of in modern-day sports.

        The former sports writer who became GM drafted Cam Newton, Thomas Davis, Ryan Kalil, Luke Kuechly, Josh Norman and traded for TE Greg Olsen among other excellent selections

        With Carolina he drafted three Offensive or Defensive Rookies of the Year: Julius Peppers, Newton and Kuechly. In 2015 those stars had 10.5 sacks, 45 total touchdowns and 118 tackles, respectively.

        Name a recent 49er GM (last 15 years at least) who has had anything close to this success????????

      2. John Harbaugh became a HC after only being a ST coach.
        He did not play football in college or the pros like Jim did. He never was a DC or OC, before becoming HC, and he won a SB.
        People can rise to great heights, even though they had humble beginnings.
        JL also had few qualifications to become a GM, but he has changed the direction and culture of the Niners.

      3. I agree. Not to mention some things he comments are ignorant. He said look at what the 49ers have done without gimmy g, not mentioning mickinon for one, but did greenbay win games wothout rogers when hundly was under center? And if u want to take stats from kyle dont say 0 9 for 4 point wins because with the browns and atlanta as OC his records were much better. You dont take a 2 win team to the playoffs in 1 year especially when ur frwe agents / gimmy g trade get injured. No one is perfect but give the coach and gm time. From what ive seen im way happier now as a niners fan seing steady slow improvement then the combustion that came with tomsula kelly and every thing else since harbaugh

        1. When it comes to journalism, Grant Cohn is an opportunist.

          You can bet your top dollar he realizes that Kyle is now playing the long game, dedicating the remainder of the season for evaluating all of his young players, figuring out which one’s say and which one’s go during the upcoming offseason.

          This season is no longer about winning. Kyle would be foolish to do anything other than use the final 6 games to evaluate this roster, at the expense of winning even 1 more game, and Grant knows it.

          Kyles priorities are:

          1) Evaluating every young player on the roster. This means “upsetting the apple cart” so to speak. It’s hard to win in this league while playing all of your young, inexperienced players ahead of you established veterans, but that’s exactly what he needs to do for the remainder of the season.

          2) It’s time to tank. I could give a damn if the 49ers win a few more games between now and week 17, and I’m as dedicated as any fan I know. Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances, the 49ers are now firmly in control of the 2nd overall pick in 2019, and I wouldn’t do anything for the sake of winning right now, as opposed to using the rest of the season as an extended preseason.

          1. 49, I beg to differ. I agree that KS needs to make player assessments, and he said so in his presser.
            However, if KS wanted to tank, he would have given CJB back his job.
            KS needs to win at least 3 games, if he wants to be able to attract decent free agents.
            Niners could win TB, Broncos, and the Rams game, because the Rams will be sitting Goff, Gurley and Donald. Do not think they can beat the Seahawks or the Bears. If they manage to spit the Seahawks games, they could end up at 6-10, which is the same as last season.
            If they win 4 out of 6 games, they still will be in the top 10 of the draft. If they win 3, they might be in the top 5.

            1. I don’t think so Seb, simply because Mullens is one player who needs to be evaluated. I think all of us, including Kyle, knows what we have in CJB at this point. I’d roll with Mullens on the off chance that he proves to be in the upper echelon of backup QB’s. That’s a valuable thing to have, as the Eagles recently proved.

              I think the 49ers defense can lose out the rest of the season, all on their own!

              1. There’s also a very good chance that the Rams won’t have a meaningless game down the stretch. They could be very well be vying with the Saints for home field advantage, all the way until the regular season concludes.

              2. Draft pick order for the 2019 NFL draft, as of 4:18 PM, 11-18-2018:

                1. 49ers (2-8) [.507 SoS]
                2. Cardinals (2-8) [.533 SoS]
                3. Raiders (2-8) [.558 SoS]

                Strength of schedule could ultimately determine the top 3 picks, and as of now, it’s looking good for ShanaLynch!

  6. Years of poor drafting and the inability to attract top FA’s to San Francisco have all hurt. But 24 years without a SB win…that is tough.

    1. It is tough, no doubt.

      Super Bowl droughts of at least 20 seasons (Team, length of drought, last Super Bowl appearance).

      Lions (51 seasons, have never played in the Super Bowl)
      Browns (51 seasons, have never played in the Super Bowl)
      Jets (48 seasons, Super Bowl III)
      Chiefs (47 seasons, Super Bowl IV)
      Vikings (40 seasons, Super Bowl XI)
      Dolphins (32 seasons, Super Bowl XIX)
      Bengals (28 seasons, Super Bowl XXIII)
      Redskins (25 seasons, Super Bowl XXVI)
      Bills (22 seasons, Super Bowl XXVIII)
      Jaguars (22 seasons, have never played in the Super Bowl)
      Chargers (22 seasons, Super Bowl XXIX)
      Cowboys (21 seasons, Super Bowl XXX)

    2. To be sure that the 49ers fans are spoiled by what happened in the 80’s and early 90’s. Additionally, they got a little taste of dominance a few years ago, that fell short of the mark, but whetted everyone’s appetite for more.

      Then came the debacle of Tomsula and Chip Kelly. And Jed, then bets the farm on the hotshot Shanahan (whose credentials are inflated because of pedigree). Every fan knows the team is in shambles and looks to Shanalynch to come save the day. Expectations are of Walshian proportions for some fans.

      The results out of the box seem promising, a large FA haul as well as a tear down and revamping at QB (if you can call Hoyer that, but everyone knows he’s just a place holder). The FO does what few people believe they can and mine two 1st rounders from the draft. Then they pick an unexpected pick at QB and since Shanahan anoints him the best of the bunch, everyone believes it must be true.

      Out of the gate the rookies show moxie and determination even while they lose (“they could have won if…”). The QB play seems to hold the team back and so a carousel begins as the expectant fans believe CJB will be the savior to Hoyer’s failures. Plus the playbook is hard and complicated. It takes time. And for a while it seems CJB might do it…but reality sets in and a dark downward spiral for the team continues…until BB does the unexpected and grants Shanahan a gift of a franchise QB for practically nothing (Cleveland must have ground their teeth in rage and frustration).

      The calls soon go up to start the new toy and when he does, it seems like magic! The team reels off a bunch of wins and fans, who previously had resigned themselves to compete for the number 1 pick, start salivating at what might be the next year.

      Sadly, this is not a story that has a happy ending this year. Injuries, regression, poor drafting and management of said draft capital, as well as questionable coaching set the team back from what was once lofty expectations. But since many fans hate the return of Nolan and Other coaches best not named, they stick with the media proclaimed wunderkind. Some blame injuries, others coaches. Few look at the dark clouds that portent a possible dark and difficult future.

      Will the story have a happy ending or will it develop into the very recent nightmares of too many seasons. We will all stay tuned, I’m sure. And in the end York will win no matter what.

      1. Like I’ve said, you seem to have a much better view from the east coast. Pretty accurate analysis of our status when you strip out all the emotion.

        1. Thanks WC. I get to see the hype surrounding the Panthers and can view them as a casual observer. I think Houston does the same with the Texans. I don’t get into the battles of regional loyalty because of it. And as a Wolfpack fan I get to see the excess of Tarheel and Blue Devil fans.

          Being a fan can be tough but we sometimes make more than what is there.

        1. Some does not negate a plurality of people (including myself). I just don’t chalk up all their trouble to injuries alone. It’s a much more complex picture. And those that do blame only injuries or mostly injuries are less than half.

  7. « This season, it averages 1.6 yards per carry in the red zone. The league average is 2.6. »

    They need to utilize Breida down there more.

    1. And they should add a red-zone back during the offseason.

      Breida is averaging 2.53 yards per carry in the red zone.

      Alfred Morris is averaging 1 yard per carry in the red zone.

      1. Yep. Morris is too slow to threaten the edge down there so it makes it easier on the defense.

        I’d like to see them put Breida and Morris on the field together in that area and use some fly concepts to force the defense to cover the entire field. And with Breida’s improvement as a pass catcher it doesn’t limit the offense.

            1. The Niners have been more slot and TE pass friendly so backs are only getting 5-10 receiving attempts.
              With the way the running game is going Breida won’t see more than that.
              I don’t think he was to be too featured as a passcatcher compared to Jet.
              The benefit has been the emergence of Kittle.

              1. But that begs the question of whether McKinnon will be under utilized, don’t you think? Breida has been very good pass catching and yet underutilized so why would not be true for McKinnon? Juice is underused.

                Wonder what the amount of passes thrown to Hyde per game were last year? 5.5 times per game with 5.9 yards averaged. Breida targeted about 1.8 times per game with 8.3 yards per and 2 TDs. Why the drop off if Hyde isn’t as good a player. I know JG dumped to CH a lot but one would think the coaching staff would see that as an effective strategy to beat the other team.

                And what was McKinnon’s receiving yards per play? 8.3. One has to wonder…

              2. The question that begs answering for me is: Is the zone blocking run scheme not part of the problem when the field is shortened? Getting too tricky real close to the goal line is something that I understood to be not good practice. Also, maybe zone blocking personnel are not as well suited to moving the rock. Just saying. Bill Walsh (and others who copied him) sometimes used a defensive lineman in the backfield down close – and not for their pass catching skills.

              3. Outside zone plus small offensive linemen plus small running backs plus Kyle Shanahan is not good at running against a loaded box.

              4. East,
                Jimmy didn’t utilize Hyde nearly as much as Hoyer and CJ did. Hyde’s receptions dropped of quite a bit when Jimmy took over.

                One thing that we all need to remember… is that while coaches can call plays that make players the first, second, third or 4th option the qb ultimately is the one that chooses who gets the ball. So we can’t just say the coach isn’t calling plays for someone if they don’t get the ball. This isn’t Madden and the human element must be remembered.

              5. Shout thanks for the info on last year (was too lazy to parse that out).

                I would say that while true the scheme can feature certain players more and given the information on Breida one would think the coaches might highlight his pass receiving capabilities more.

            2. The only big question for me at this stage of what is clearly a lost season, is … at what point does it make sense to make a change at Defensive Coordinator?

              While CJB, who always looks like he just woke up from his afternoon nap, appears to have had one horrendous fourth quarter too many, it seems to me that it’s the 49ers defensive, which has buckled under pressure in just about every single loss this season, is the biggest issue for this team.

              Yes, the defense has suffered a number of injuries, but they haven’t lost nearly the level of talent that the offense has been playing without for most of the season. It’s been one key injury after another for Kyle’s offense, and for me it’s a wonder how they’ve managed to do as well as they have this season, despite those injuries.

              For instance, I told Razore prior to the MNF loss to the Giants, that I was concerned about the 49ers running game heading into the game. There was a real question as to just how healthy Breida was coming in, and just as importantly, it’s become crystal clear that Alfred Morris is no longer quick enough to run this scheme.

              Sure Breida had a nice game, but he was limited in carries. He came up limping in the second quarter, his ankle still clearly bothering him. Raheem Mostert was really beginning to blossom in his role as of late. He’s averaged 7.7 YPC, and had been progressively getting more involved in the running game, with 28 carries over the 49ers last 4 games leading up to the broken arm, an injury which highlighted this-season-in-a-nutshell. A case could be made that it was Mostert who was holding the 49ers rushing attack together as of late, and just when the offense seemed to finding an identity, a relentless Breida-Mostert, 1-2 punch, boom, out go the lights.

              I’ve been unhappy with this defense from day one. Yes, they’ve taken great strides vs the running game this year, but that’s been offset with a lack of a pass rush, and poor play in the defensive backfield from everyone not named Richard Sherman. The 2nd half Saleh called on MNF was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. He allowed Manning to get far too comfortable in the pocket, while the few blitzes he did dial up were all poorly timed or poorly schemed, and the results were very familiar. We all watched another 4th QTR lead evaporate in front of our eyes. The opposing offense slicing and dicing our defense like a hot knife through butter, with zero resistance whatsoever – no 4th QTR sacks, and no 4th QTR takeaways, the same old song and dance!

              ROBERT SALEH MUST GO!

              1. I think you make a change at DC position because there is very little evidence of growth in the young players on defense.

                Cut your losss with Saleh, run a vanilla defense the rest of the way and evaluate what you have and what type of scheme suits your personnel the best.
                Let’s truly see what Thomas, Witherspoon, Moore, Reed, Taylor can do playing an entire game each and every week.
                Let the vets sit.

      2. We already have a red zone back. Juszcyk. But they don’t use him that way. They’d rather he block. He’s a great blocker but it made me scratch my head when he wasn’t even on the field on 3rd down. If he’s not on the field then it’s impossible for him to block or catch a pass. Isn’t that what they are paying him the big bucks for? At least he is being used as a 3rd down back lately.

    2. Breida’s only good for so many carries. Same with thing with Kittle. I’d like to see James get more opportunities. Another player needs to step up and shoulder some of the load in order to finish out the games….

  8. Cassie is “freaking” right about the tongue-in-cheek. Grant’s not a megalomaniac, just a crazy-as-a-fox hyperbolic writer. Keeps things interesting for the readers. Keeps things hot for the coaches, who, given their poor performance this season, deserve some invective. I love it; right on Grant. When all is said and done, he’s got the best interests of the team at heart.

    1. You mean he uses lots of literary devices? That shrewd scrivener of all things 49ers…

      One would have to conclude that perhaps he may have studied said language? I see a bit of Swift in Grant.

        1. Interesting…I’m more of a fan of the metaphysical poets myself but love Swift, Shaw, Wilde and O’Neill. I’m also a fan of Faulkner.

          Course I’ve also enjoyed Martin Amis.

          1. I think Grant is really a closet fan which probably drives him nuts. Dig through his comments and you see someone who really seems to care that his team is such a dumpster fire and is anxious to do whatever it takes to get them to man up. Unfortunately his journalist genetics won’t allow him to come right out and admit it.

            1. Good observation. Grant did telegraph his feelings not long ago by saying he has (very) high standards for this team.

              I wonder what Grant would be writing if he were covering the Packers…

              1. “I wonder what Grant would be writing if he were covering the Packers…”

                How much he misses the Bay Area?

              2. Perhaps, but was thinking he’d be mercilessly carving up Packer coaches and players for such a horrible season thus far…

              3. And perhaps Aaron Rodger criticism. As well as noting that the fans, who are owners, should demand more…

                And he wouldn’t be wrong. That organization is 💩 away Rogers’ talent.

          2. Hey Grant, have you watched the new Get Shorty series on Netflix? Has a hint of its original authorship, but still different characters, plot and settings. It’s interesting and worth checking out.

    2. UM, I doubt it. Grant’s style simply creates discord among a handful of fans. I can assure you that nobody within the 49ers organization takes Grant seriously. Grant plays the role of the contrarian. And all of Grant’s techniques are straight out of the contrarian-101 playbook. It’s really the laziest kind of “journalism.” There’s nothing insightful here. There are no deep observations. There is no deep analysis. It’s all superficial fluff seen through the lens of the critic.

      That’s not to say Grant doesn’t have the ability to offer fans something to think about. On the occasions when Grant steers clear of making controversial statements simply for the sake of it, he will give us something worth reading, and even discussing among fellow football fans. But those pieces are few and far between. More often than not we get his boy-who-cried-wolf contrarian view and the ever so tired woulda-coulda-shoulda armchair quarterbacking long after the fact kind of retrospect. It’s the Kyle should have done this or Lynch should have done that, instead of the this is what I would do kind of insight.

      This piece is, of course, exactly what I am talking about! It’s an article designed to distract. The fact of the matter is that this team is well out of contention, and what’s in the best interest for this team when it comes to next season and beyond, has nothing to do with improving after the bye week! NOTHING! In fact, the idea of “challenging” Kyle and his coaching staff to improve their respective units now, likely means playing the veterans at the expense of developing the younger players, and as fans, we need to recognize that this is the wrong approach at this stage of the season, and could be detrimental long term. What is in Kyle’s best interest as a HC long term, is what matters most right now, and Grant’s approach layed out in this article is hyperbolic nonsense, designed to distract, and make Kyle look worse between now and the end of the season. In fact, this approach is counterintuitive for building for the future.

      Putting aside their potential draft position, Kyle needs to find out if Jeff Wilson and/or Matt Dayes are worth bring back during the offseason. Kyle needs to get his rookies like Richie James and Dante Pettis more snaps, even if it means suffering more rookie growing pains. Same goes for other young players many of whom are on the bubble come 2019! Josh Garnett, Nick Mullens, Ross Dwelley, Tarvarius Moore, D.J. Reed Jr., Jullian Taylor, Erik Magnuson, Elijah Lee, D.J. Jones, Marcell Harris, Shon Coleman, Ronald Blair III & Kendrick Bourne.

      These are all guys I want to see more of, NOT LESS OF, through the end of the season. And it may mean that the 49ers offense, defense, and ST takes a small step back through the remainder of the season, but I don’t care. Heck, Robert Saleh and Rich Hightower might not even be around next season! It’s time to look towards 2019, and making next seasons roster the best it can be.

    1. 2 more year would give them 4 years to get their players in fully. If the team hasn’t improved by then, then he would have had plenty of time. Would be time to move on..

  9. Nice, Grant has thrown down the gauntlet.
    It is a challenge, but how they improve is the important thing. What tactics and strategies do they need to implement in order to improve.
    Being shrewd, clever and innovative could help, but maybe just being better prepared is all that it takes. Timing is everything, so they need to strike while the iron is hot. Working cohesively as a team will give them an advantage.
    Setting up an opponent and allowing him to make mistakes is a sound strategy. Shaping an opponent will make winning easier. Being bold, and going for it, could help. Not settling for field goals could be the difference between winning and losing. Thinking outside the box and being unpredictable are good traits.

  10. Well done Grant with everything you said you have a point especially regarding Julian Taylor it’s the same with Mullins he should have started sooner.
    I can understand that they have loyalty to some players but when a guy doesnt produce and regresses than they should make a change sooner.

    And thats the problem with this franchise the last decade.

  11. Well Grant, I’m calling you out. Last year you claimed (*hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha) pardon me, that the 49er coaches listened to you and made adjustments based on your suggestions. Why haven’t you made better suggestions for the coaches this year so they can improve? This season is all on you – a 20 something young man who has about 100 years less experience as a sportswriter than these men have experience in coaching. I blame you Grant. Make better suggestions or stop giving away your amazing coaching knowledge to the 49ers for free. Lobby Jed to be hired as a play caller. Lobby Jed to be hired as defensive coordinator. You have the knowledge and expertise – Fix this mess.

    1. Bingo!

      I do think a little of what Grant generates is tongue-in-cheek–but the incendiary, condescending, over-the-top delivery wears very thin very fast. And after much bravado, he does trip up now and then…for example: “I predict the 49ers will release Foster or a week or two after the draft, probably on a Friday, just to bury the news. And I predict Foster will go to prison.” Oops.

      I don’t come to Grant’s blog for his material. I come here for the interaction amongst commenters–lots of good stuff and occasional angry lunacy. A dose of silliness helps.

      Freakin’ avatar….

    2. I’ve been saying all season the 49ers should make Kyle Juszczyk the third-down back to improve pass protection. Two weeks ago, the coaching staff finally listened. The offense hasn’t given up a sack since. You’re freaking welcome.

          1. You should seek help with that. Changing morphologically has to be painful! …and expensive! All those plastic surgeries…

      1. Thank you so much Coach Cohn. I had my doubts the 49ers could stop the fierce pass rush of the Raiders and Giants but your brilliant change in strategy clearly paid off. I’m sure Jed reads your blog so I appeal to you directly Jed York, PLEASE hire Grant Cohn and put him in charge of the 49ers offense. Kyle Shanahan needs his help.

        1. I just wish they would listen more to me, rather than do almost exactly the opposite of what I advocated.
          I said they should dial up some exotic blitzes and get to Eli early. He was untouched almost the entire game. The one time they did blitz, they got a sack.
          I said they should dial up some counters and misdirections, and attack the edges. They did that in the Raiders game, and stomped them. Then, when I mentioned that they followed my advice, they stopped doing that, ran into the teeth of the defense, and lost.
          I told them to roll out Mullens. They did that his first game. 4 roll outs, 2 ridiculously easy TDs. Then KS pontificates that he wants his QB to deliver the ball from the pocket, and Mullens did not roll out. Too bad they lost.
          Everyone on this site knows that I have been begging them over and over to consider time outs to be precious, and saved for legitimate challenges and the last 2 minutes of each half. How does KS respond? He wasted them like a drunken sailor, and the Niners ran out of time at the end of the game.
          However, I am content. When JL did 9 out of 10 things I advocated during his first draft, I got to crow. The only thing they did not do was avoiding the unforced errors. Of course, I have been advocating that since the JH days, but it is easier said than done.
          I will continue to give them advice, but you know what they say- You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot get him to drink. With a 2-8 record, they seem to be drinking the Koolaid.
          Yes, Jed is the also responsible. He SWORE that he would do everything in his power to win, then sat on his hands and has done almost nothing. He seems content to lose, unlike his uncle, who would be kicking some rear ends. Of course, Jed pontificates that he likes being rewarded for losing, which is just what every loser would say.
          Thankfully, KS admits he reads these posts, because he whined how his players hate seeing negative things written about them, and it might affect their play.
          I wonder if KS and his coaches are up to the challenge. They do need to improve, but their egos seem to dominate their thoughts. They should be humble, and accept good advice, and it would show class to acknowledge that they do not have all the answers. However, KS does not show much humility and class, especially since he refuses to get help by hiring an OC. Hence the 2-8 record. He is too stubborn, and throws his players under the bus, which is not admirable. KS should man up, and accept all blame, because that is what a good HC would do. It is part of his job description.

            1. Gee, Cassie, I thought you would like my post.
              I ripped Jed frontwards and backwards.
              Of course, I should have also mentioned Baalke, and the stench he caused.

  12. To call this a challenge to the 49ers is a condescending joke because you made no effort to actually challenge the 49ers Grant. You essentially just griped about the play-calling, told Lynch to start a player that may not be ready to do so, and demanded the 49ers win two more games. In other words, you only chose certain members of the 49ers to challenge. If you had made an actual effort, you would have also challenged the second year NFL players that are struggling, the WRs for playing awful, the pass rush to look like a pass rush, etcetera. I could go on, but I think I made my point pretty clear.

  13. there are 31 professional nfl teams with long time coaches, probowlers and expierenced veterans who are working hard day in day out – isn’t it respectless to them and our rebuilding process with rookies and second year players to expect us beating them in the second year ? i challenge you to drop your fan glasses and see clearly. we are still testing players character and building the core for a future team. if we make the playoffs next year, it will be huge asset.

      1. yes, but first, they’re not rebuilding that much and second, we lost our starting qb and rb and other key players playing with injuries. that is growing pain jed was aware of – 1 1/2 year ago

        1. The 49ers could have drafted Mitchell Trubisky. Instead, they got cute, traded down, took Solomon Thomas and C.J. Beathard, then acted like they fleeced Chicago.

            1. Grant’s 2017 draft QB take…

              “This is my axiom: The 49ers probably want to draft someone who can develop into a franchise quarterback in the near future, but also compete for the starting job this year. And the Niners probably don’t want to draft that quarterback in the first round.

              The 49ers own the second pick. The best quarterbacks available according to most draft experts are Mitch Trubisky from North Carolina, Deshaun Watson from Clemson and Patrick Mahomes from Texas Tech. Most years, those three would be second-round picks, but this year’s QB class is weak. Teams probably will draft those three somewhere in the middle of Round 1.

              I’m ruling out Trubisky, Watson and Mahomes. The 49ers will take a quarterback later in the draft. The Niners will conclude those three are not worth the first-round pick.
              But the 49ers won’t draft a quarterback much later than Round 1. If the Niners wait until the third round to take a QB, the best ones available probably would be Davis Webb from Cal, Nathan Peterman from Pittsburgh and Brad Kaaya from Miami.”

              Emphasis shown in bold.

              1. Yes and no. If your going to compare Trubisky to Thomas straight up, then yes, the Bears won the trade. However, I’d much rather have Garoppolo than Trubisky, even with the huge contract, and if ShanaLynch had drafted Trubisky, they never would have traded for Jimmy G.

                You watch Trubisky close tonight, and you will probably see a Andy Dalton kind of QB. Just good enough to tease, and considering his draft position, making it very tough to move on from, but he’ll likely never live up to his draft status as the #2 overall pick, and certainly not good enough to ever take a team on a Super Bowl run.

                ShanaLynch certainly erred in judgement with the Thomas pick, and I was quite upset about it on draft day. But I was never upset about passing on Trubisky, and I suspect he’ll never be good enough to take a team deep into the postseason.

              2. And right on cue, Trubisky throws his first INT tonight.

                A think Thomas was a waste of a top 5 pick. That’s obvious now, and it seemed obvious at the time for me.

                But Trubisky? That guy has average written all over him. We have all witness first hand what happens to an NFL QB when he a better runner than passer.

          1. Trubisky have not proved to be durable yet, Garoppolo was unstoppable last year and all of sudden fell apart. and btw kyle and lynch are learning too, i guess they regret a few decisions. being patient doesn’t work in your job, i get that.

          2. Would you be calling out the 9ers for being ‘cute’ if they had better (more immediate) results with the picks they acquired?

          3. Grant, you did not like Trubisky. I liked the trade back scenario.
            The Niners biggest priority was stopping the run. Thomas was labeled a tweener, so maybe he should not have been the choice, especially since he was duplicative.
            In hindsight, Trubisky is panning out, but there were no guarantees. He had little experience.
            CJB was the biggest unforced error, but maybe Foster was, too. So many red flags.
            This all could have been avoided if they had signed Kaep instead of Hoyer. KS certainly whiffed on his assessments to think Kaep was inferior to both Hoyer and CJB. It would have been bold and brave to keep Kaep, but courage is not their strong suit.
            The Niners should have traded back twice, and either picked Malik Hooker, Jamal Adams, Marshon Lattimore, Jonathan Allen, Haason Reddick or Derek Barnett. With the additional picks, they should have avoided CJB and JW, and picked almost anyone else. They should have kept their third round pick and selected Alvin Kamara, who the Saints moved up to pick.
            With Kaep, they easily could have bested their 6-10 record, and with Kaep this season, they could have been 6-4 and in the wild card hunt.
            I liked Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson, because they both are mobile QBs with accurate arms.
            Of course, that might have meant losing out on JG, but in hindsight, JG is not contributing with his ACL. Mullens is raw, shows potential, yet he is an afterthought compared to Kaep.
            Sigh, it sure looks like the Niners, like some of the league, are content to lose without Kaep than win with him. So be it. I just thought JL wanted to build that winning culture.

              1. “Trubisky was my favorite QB in the draft. I mentioned him before most draft gurus knew who he was.”

                This is true, but you never mocked him to us. Did you think holding out for Cousins would have been better than taking a chance on Trubisky?

              2. Come on Grant, you never talked about the 49ers needing to draft Trubisky at the top of the draft. This is a guy who was a one year wonder in college, meaning he’s a QB Bill Walsh never would have drafted in the first round, let alone top 5. NEVER!

                And anyone who has watched Trubisky during his first year and a half realizes he’s a mobile QB who rarely gets past his first read. He is not a Kyle Shanahan QB, at all. He also often telegraphs his throws. He will always hold a team back.

                He’s basically in the Andy Dalton mold of just good enough to keep from benching, but not good enough to win in the postseason. Just good enough to keep your team in the also-ran category, always picking between #15-#23 in the draft.

                People around the NFL circles know he’s a lot like kaepernick in that he’s a one read QB with wheels, only he’s not big enough to last long running as much as he does, and not mobile enough to rush for 100 plus yards in the postseason. If you think a Trubisky led offense can keep up with a high flying offensive team like LA, NO, or KC, your crazy.

              3. So you liked Trubisky better than Mahomes? Hah.

                FYI, Bill Walsh would never draft a QB with such a slight resume as Trubisky’s, in the first round, let alone top 5. NEVER, EVER!

                Mahomes … maybe top 20, although again there were red flags. Mahomes was very undisciplined in college, often times careless with the football, and he played in the kind of wide open offense that usually doesn’t produce star NFL QB’s, and makes them hard to evaluate. You also have to keep in mind the situation. Reid could afford to take a big risk on Mahomes, because he already had a top 20-25 QB on his roster, and he wasn’t rebuilding from scratch. ShanaLynch probably not.

                And, FYI Trubisky takes way too many hits. His brain will be the CTE poster child in 3 more seasons, and his career will end like Steve Young’s, only much shorter, and minus the hardware!

  14. Grant,

    How do you know that Kittle hasn’t been apart of the Red Zone plans? Based on targets? I know if I’m an opposing defense….who I’m focusing my attention on in the Niner’s passing game.

    The 49ers options are kind of limited in the Red Zone. I suppose they could try to pass more to Brieda and Juzczyck (and run with Juz more too). But really they’re limited by their QB. The Red Zone shrinks all of the spacing in the defense so the QB needs to quickly anticipate and throw the ball into tight windows. That’s something the back up QBs Mullins and Beathard can’t really do consistently.

    As for the defense. I’m not sure it’s all about simple zones. And the play you’re talking about with Witherspoon…I think he was supposed to have help over the top. It was a supposed to be a two deep zone. For the most part, I do not think the problems on the defense are scheme related. Saleh has been calling for more 2 deep zones than previously. However, I’d call even more 2 deep zones. I wouldn’t run Cover 3 against 2nd and long and 3rd and long…if there was even a hint the other team was going to pass, I’d drop back into a 2 deep zone. They have little pass rush so the defense might as well keep the ball in front of them to limit the damage/big plays. Make the opponent’s offense methodically work across the field and then take advantage of any mistakes. No the biggest problem on defense is the coaching staffs seemingly mind boggling inability to coach the basic assignments to their players. The players often seem confused about what they’re supposed to be doing. It’s like they’re not being well prepared in practice. Not seeing in practice what they’re seeing in games.

    1. When did I say Kittle isn’t part of the red zone plans?

      Shanahan’s red-zone offense was even worse when Garoppolo was the starter.

              1. They had an inside running Hyde with a team that was trying to run the outside zone.

                They actually did try to run more inside zone last year like they did with Kelly but it’s sort of one of those things where they want to run the ball to the outside but had no choice but to run it to the inside..so they weren’t going to be great at either.

        1. Chip Kelly’s team stunk in a lot of areas, red zone TD’s wasn’t one of them. The Harbaugh teams of 2012 and 2013 were decent too.

          I wonder if there were any similarities there.

          1. “I wonder if there were any similarities there.”

            They were both utilizing a back up QB with no field vision or pocket presence as their starter which forced them to become more creative in the run game. ;)

            Harbaugh also had the benefit of one of the better offensive lines in the league at the time.

            1. Harbaugh had Frank Gore to run the ball into the end zone. Crabtree and later Boldin were good posession receivers. Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker could both get open. Along with that powerful O line Harbaugh had an embarrassment of red zone riches

              1. And old wind up blew it with a bad throw to Crabtree.

                First Niners QB to lose in a SB. That’s his legacy!

              2. Yes, getting to the SB and being 5 yards from winning it, and one pass from returning, is way better than watching this 2-8 team struggling.
                Prime, you like losing too much.

              3. Just think how that one play could have changed his entire career?

                All your babble about him being a SB QB would actually give you some clout.
                Instead your just a DA mouthpiece trying to make a case for a has been!
                You lost! And he cost my team another championship!

              4. Prime, it is a team game. Kaep led a furious comeback fighting against not only the Ravens, but the Refs, too. So many others had a hand in that loss.
                You could also blame JH for calling that time out before Kaep strolled into the end zone, and his obtuse play calling that did not let Gore touch the ball.
                You could also blame Baalke for drafting AJJ, so the Niners were lacking a decent WR.
                Your team? You are a Canadian. Stick to Canadian football.

            2. Wasn’t going with the QB. They both had some similarities in their offenses.

              Yes, the biggest difference is that while the current oline gets a lot of credit for things like yards before contact most of that is from big runs against even or light boxes. They can’t push people around in close quarters regularly.

              That’s why I’m suggesting getting Breida more carries down there or playing him with Morris to give them an inside and outside threat. Or perhaps even use Richie James who played from the backfield some in college. Get him involved with a fly game or something along those lines.

          2. Chip Kelly’s 2016 team averaged 3.0 yards per carry in the red zone.

            The 2013 team averaged 2.7 yards per carry in the red zone.
            The 2012 team averaged 2.8 yards per carry in the red zone.

              1. Imagine if the 49ers could score TD’s in the redzone at the rate of the 2 teams closest to them in redzone trips per game, GB and Pittsburgh.

                Those extra points would sure come in handy at the end of the close games.

              2. “It was also an outlier in his career.”

                The 2016 offense was, or was close to his ceiling. That’s what I envision here by year 4, if not sooner.

  15. You implied when you mentioned Kittle and the 4th Q and then went on to talk about other receivers being targets in the red zone.

  16. Make the opponent’s offense methodically work across the field and then take advantage of any mistakes.

    allforfun, that is part of the problem as well, and a key point I’d like to see worked on in the final six games as well. The D simply does not take advantage of TO opportunities. Part of it may be a lack of killer instinct on ANYONE’S part in that D (other than Sherman, but his chances are very limited). But a big reason for the lack of TOs on defense is that the scheme does not put guys in position in the secondary to make plays (cover 3 in the red zone is a joke).

    Making this more of a pipe dream is that we do not have the personnel upfront to create mistakes, so we certainly won’t be taking advantage of mistakes.

  17. Grant, the defense is ranked last in creating turnovers; 31st in interceptions and 28th in fumbles. They’re also ranked near the bottom in starting field position on defense. Yet they are ranked middle of the pack in yards, time of possession(on defense) and plays. The front seven is able to contain defenses until the secondary breaks down and gives up the big play.

    Why can’t Saleh’s team create turnovers before the secondary breaks down?

    1. @ CfC & Yo49

      Turnovers are a function of a few things. Obviously being able to capitalize on mistakes by the offense. But also being able to confidently attack the offense to create a turnover. And there in lies the problem. It’s been stated by players and coaches and it’s readily apparent that the players are not sure about what they are seeing and what they’re supposed to be doing on defense. We hear about overt miscommunication problems on big plays. But you gotta think that there’s more of that going on each play that we don’t see or hear about. Players are supposed to confidently attack the offense within their defensive roles to create turnovers. But if players don’t always know or trust what they’re doing….then they’re not going to be able to create turnovers

          1. If at this level guys aren’t sure what they’re seeing they shouldn’t be on the field.

            That’s also on coaching. Getting guys prepped every week is the job of the coaches. There shouldn’t be any surprises or indecision on their part. Weather or not they execute well is mostly on the players. But simple recognition and understanding of one’s role is mostly on the coaches IMO.

            1. These guys have been playing cover 3 since Pee Wee football. When a guy like Colbert takes off and jumps a crossing route instead of staying deep that’s on him.

              My bigger point in the first comment was that these guys are rarely around the ball.

              Is that on coaches? Yes. Is that on players? Yes.

              1. @jack

                yeah, but these guys aren’t just spot dropping and guarding grass (at least they’re not suppose to).

                they’re supposed to diagnose routes and determine the route concepts (which receiver will be entering their zone and what route they’re going to run).

                on top of that most (all?) defenses have alert calls that change defensive assignments. and communication has been a problem all year. so there are some changes that can happen even in a basic defensive coverage scheme. But of course the real key is diagnosing the offense base on personnel, formation, down and distance and offensive tendencies an matching assignments to any defensive calls made.

    2. Ding! Ding! Ding! Exactly! The defense is hampered by very poor secondary play and pass D.

      Not sure why this defense has so much trouble creating turnovers.

    3. Only 3 teams have fewer passes defensed per game this season than SF. It should come as no shock that 2 of those bracket the 49ers at the bottom of the NFL in interceptions on the season.

      1. That’s odd given they’re ranked #15 in number of pass attempts against the defense per game.

        The NFL average is 7.5 int per team, we have 2. The average interception rate per team for the 17 teams that have faced less pass attempts per game then we have is 6.6.

  18. Grant, I’d like to offer a player-specific challenge for the last six games. This is just my take:

    More of: Richie James Jr.
    Less of: Bourne, Taylor

    More of: Julian Taylor
    Less of: Armstead

    More of: Jeff Wilson/Matt Dayes
    Less of: Alfred Morris

    More of: Shon Coleman
    Less of: Staley (don’t take this wrong-just want to give him rest and get Shon some snaps)

    More of: Ross Dwelley
    Less of: Celek (why is Celek even on the roster)

    More of: Dekoda Watson
    Less of: Marsh (see Celek above)

    Players that seeing on the field make me think the CS has given up: Marsh, Celek, Morris, Ward

    1. @Yo49

      So you’re just forgetting about trying to win and just want to throw a bunch of guys out there to see what happens?

      Like him or not, Marsh is still one of the better pass rushers on the team. he’s not a good pass rusher. but still one of the better ones on the 49ers.

      Uh….Armstead is one of the better rated Defensive Linemen on the team….behind Buckner.

      Ward also is one of the better defensive backs on the team….again that’s not saying he’s a good defensive back.

      So very little of what you said makes any sense.

  19. Hey Grant…

    Many, many years ago–early 80s?–John Madden taught a series of seminars on the basics of football. I believe it was through Cal Berkeley Extension, but I’m not 100% sure. I remember they were very popular–so said the media.

    Since you’re an expert on football, why don’t you offer something similar? With Press Democrat support, you could assemble a collection of 20-30 minute instructional videos on the aspects of football you feel most proficient in–offense, defense, player development, etc. These could be web served–behind a pay wall even. Seriously. Think about it. Could solidify your standing as a football intellect, and possibly lead to a coordinator, HC, or GM job offer in the future.

    1. Naw, Jed should just put all of Bill Walsh’s chalk talks on loop, and make the whole team watch them as much as possible, even the coaches.
      Maybe a little of the Walsh magic could rub off on the team.
      Cassie, your suggestion stinks, but then again, the stench of Baalke always seem to emanate from you.

      1. No Sebbie… How dare you presume Grant can’t handle a football seminar series. This would be Grant’s opportunity to share his expertise and insights. The audience would be the interested public–the same audience Madden served. Successful then and can be so now.

        So Sebbie, step aside and let Grant shine.

    2. Cassie Freakin’ Baalke – Is it just my imagination or do I detect some bitterness and hostilities in the majority of your recent postings? Why so bitter and so much animosity?

      By the way, did you ever research Marty Hurney to read about his climb from sportswriter to NFL GM? Quite an interesting story!

    3. Cassie, I attended those Madden seminars. Still have the autographed workbook… somewhere. That was his post coaching days, trying to decide what he’d do next. Before he became the best color man in the history of NFL broadcasting.

      1. Madden was great. I still have about a dozen different Madden games. My oldest one is the 92 edition from Sega. It’s a shame the new games don’t have his voice.

  20. You have no idea who the first read is in closing situations, and if the QB goes somewhere else.

    “You’re the main reason the defense can’t finish, Robert.”


    “your weakest link, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon.”

    That would be Ward, Colbert before him. Spoon has played better lately.

    “cheat the safety way over to Witherspoon’s side and force the quarterback to throw somewhere else.”

    Great idea, should have done that on OBJ’s second TD. Oh wait, Ward (the real weakest link) is covering whoever he wants again.

    Wouldn’t faking a punt or FG be Kyle’s call?

        1. Ward is not playing CB and he is not the weak link on defense. His play at FS has been more consistent compared to Colbert….

          Spoon currently is struggling mentally……

          Shanahan was asked if he was OK with Witherspoon’s response.

          “No, I am not,” Shanahan said. “No. Man up. Don’t put that on tape. We’ll deal with it when we come in.”

          Said cornerback Richard Sherman: “You shouldn’t ever do that. That’s like a cardinal rule of football. He’s frustrated because … you’re expecting guys to be where they’re supposed to be.”

          Witherspoon said he threw up his arms because he was upset that he allowed a touchdown catch.

          He has mentally issues……makes him the weak link……SS play has also been mediocre

          Much blame goes to Saleh not coming up creative schemes based on the players currently on the team…..no reason we cant have one side of the field in zone and other side playing man…….pressure through blitz when defending goaline is not bad idea….

          1. Witherspoon was mad because he expected over the top safety help. It’s why he played the receiver the way he did. The Safety was nowhere to be found. Saleh has been calling more 2 high safety looks in the red zone. If this was the case, then the Safety should have been there.

            Shanahan isn’t mad at Witherspoon’s play it’s that he’s dragging another player’s mistake into the media.

          2. “Ward is not playing CB”

            Grant was talking about the entire D, not just CBs.

            “His play at FS has been more consistent compared to Colbert”

            Debatable. Both have been missing assignments, leading to big plays Good FS play is vital to our D’s success.

            “He has mentally issues”

            He had every reason to be pissed after that play. Look at what had just happened when he had S help, an incomplete pass. I doubt Spoon will be throwing up his arms anymore after KS layed down the law.

            “Much blame goes to Saleh”




            “Contrary to popular belief, Witherspoon actually played well. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed one catch on five targets for 11 yards. He was not charged with the mistake on Beckham Jr.’s second touchdown.”

            1. I’ve defended Ward in the past as I don’t think he was as bad as he was made out to be by fans his first few years. But he definitely has missed some assignments since taking over at FS. I do think he is playing a little better than Colbert was, and certainly a more reliable tackler, but there seems to be an alarming lack of communication between Ward and the other players. I have no idea how Ward doesn’t know his assignment on that 2nd OBJ TD given he was right next to Warner and had Exum yelling at him to drop back. And on that 1st OBJ TD he could have slid over more to help cover the soft spot OBJ settled into (though how much that is scheme I don’t know).

              1. “I have no idea how Ward doesn’t know his assignment on that 2nd OBJ TD given he was right next to Warner and had Exum yelling at him to drop back.”

                Same here.

                WRT Ward or Colbert, Colbert was banged up throughout and his final play was a good one. Ward, on the other hand, seems to be getting worse. But as I said up above, it’s debatable.

              2. At the end of the day on the two touchdowns if the CB had played better man coverage this discussion on FS would be mute.

                Last time I checked when these CB are signing their huge $ contract …there is no clause to always expect help with safety…….

              3. The first TD was on Williams, Ward should have helped. On the TD against Spoon, Spoon was close enough to disrupt the pass if he got his head turned around. Sherm has a knack for appearing to be beat, only to close quickly and make a play on the ball. We drafted Witherspoon (in part) because of his length and speed. Give him a chance to be a shutdown CB and you might not need S help. Then we’ll know if he’s worthy of a huge $ contract. Spoon hasn’t been terrible lately and I think Saleh is stunting his development.

    1. The strategy of using Swiss-Army Knife types of players is in an effort to find an advantage through personnel match up and/or scheme.

      You know what happens when Swiss-Army Knife strategy doesn’t work? A bunch of square pegs trying to be hammered into round holes.

  21. Honestly, I primarily come here to read the commentary from the regulars like Razor, Cassie, Coffee, Prime, East Coast, Shoup, et al. And even you Seb (if for no other reason than to shake my head). Even though I very rarely post, I’m here regularly. Enough that I feel like I know you guys as if we were all regulars at the same bar…like Cheers. Seb would of course be Cliff Clavin.

    Grant, you definitely have a different style of writing that is entertaining but also sometimes lacking outside of its shock value. I would still read your articles in passing, but its the regular posters to this blog that keep me coming back. You’re like the show that comes on after Cheers. I’ll still watch it because, well, it’s conveniently on and sometimes it’s good. The hubris though is sometimes hard to fathom. I really hope you don’t believe you have a smarter football mind than Shanahan. If so, you gotta give up writing and get yourself into coaching. You’d make a lot more money.

    My question/comment for you all re the 2018 49ers: what is your take on the progression of the TEAM from last year to this year? It seems to be they have regressed…and much to Grant’s credit, that’s a Shanahan problem. Yes, they have had an absurd amount of injuries, and yes the team still plays hard for KS and each other, but it also seems like key players have taken a step back in development. Matt Maiocco just wrote an intriguing article about this with regards to Solomon Thomas, Foster, and Witherspoon. But others like Colbert, Goodwin, Garcon, and certainly Beatherd, to name just a few, have taken major steps back in their development. That to me is the biggest concern with regards to the coaching staff. Sure, Kittle and Breida have exceeded expectations, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then.

    1. You gotta post more often!

      With the 9ers, I sense issues with player development. Probably not a uniform condition across the roster, but certainly evident in some cases. In part, that’s why I’m very curious about the effectiveness of position coaches and other assistants and hangers-on. Yes, Shanahan and Saleh are legit targets, but others on the coaching staff are way deep in the middle of it.

      Some players hit a wall in their careers and don’t progress any further (no matter the quality of coaching), may even regress to varying degrees. Wall hitting would account for some of what we’re seeing. Other instances are likely weak coaching, which can be exacerbated by scheme complexity and game-time implementation of the scheme (scheme used is appropriate/inappropriate for the particular opponent).

      We have some potential ‘stars’ by way of recent draft/UDFA signings–Kittle, Warner, McGlinchey, and Breida. I don’t think they’ll be wall hitters. Jury is out on others. This offseason will be as critical as any in the last 3-4 years, perhaps more so….the 2019 draft, the UDFA signing period, the regular FA acquisition period, and players returning from IR. Position coaches and related assistants need a thorough review, with action taken to remedy shortfalls as quickly as possible.

      Wonder too about how good the 9er scouting department is–both scouts as people doing the job and the methods used to evaluate and rank prospects.

      1. “With the 9ers, I sense issues with player development. Probably not a uniform condition across the roster, but certainly evident in some cases. In part, that’s why I’m very curious about the effectiveness of position coaches and other assistants and hangers-on. Yes, Shanahan and Saleh are legit targets, but others on the coaching staff are way deep in the middle of it. ”

        Mind if I borrow a response from you Cassie?


        1. I think I brought this up when Rocket stated (correctly) that coaches being fired would only set the team back. I wondered about the position/unit coaches effect, however. I tend to echo the above.

          The question is does the team seek new unit coaches or does it takes its lumps expecting them to come up to speed at a certain point. Hard to say at this point which strategy to take because if you wait too long it may be too late.

          I think that hiring too many young coaches was definitely a mistake. But it may be one the team has to live with. In the end it may be what makes or breaks Shanalynch!

          1. It’s interesting to look along the sidelines during a game and see dozens (and dozens) of ‘staff’ dressed out as coaches/assistants/trainers/go-fors. And that doesn’t include several staff upstairs in the booths. Who are all these people? I’m confident they all have meaningful responsibilities….

      2. Thanks, I’ll try to chime in more. :)

        “We have some potential ‘stars’ by way of recent draft/UDFA signings–Kittle, Warner, McGlinchey, and Breida. I don’t think they’ll be wall hitters. Jury is out on others. This offseason will be as critical as any in the last 3-4 years, perhaps more so….the 2019 draft, the UDFA signing period, the regular FA acquisition period, and players returning from IR. Position coaches and related assistants need a thorough review, with action taken to remedy shortfalls as quickly as possible.”

        Couldn’t agree more. I think you could also certainly add strength and conditioning staff to that list. In my 40 + years of watching this sport, I honestly can’t remember ever seeing a football team (pro or otherwise) that incurred so many key injuries in one season. Yes, some of those injuries may have been freak accidents, but still…

    2. It’s a confluence of inexperience, poor coaching, and murphy’s law.

      Inexperience: Players/Coaches/GM
      Poor coaching: Playing players out of position. Not teaching to turn and look for the ball to make a play. Red zone woes, and the inability to close out games.
      Murphy’s law: Injuries/behavioral adjustment/unexpected death of a family member along with the multitude of emotions, and ramifications that stem from it.

      None of these are excuses but in total are formidable to overcome for a young, inexperienced team led by a young and inexperienced GM. I do not agree that these 2nd year players are busts, because it takes 3-5 years to adequately make such an assessment. Having said that, next year has to be positively different, otherwise it may become insurmountable….

      1. Confluence of inexperience, poor coaching, Murphy’s law, and crappy Levi’s turf… The Gods do not favor unkempt turf…

      2. ” I do not agree that these 2nd year players are busts, because it takes 3-5 years to adequately make such an assessment. ”

        Absolutely. To your point, while it’s too early to tell, I’d say said players are closer to being average players at this point than busts. My point was more on the fact that we have seen splashes of raw talent from these players but the coaching staff doesn’t seem to have found a way to hone it into something more regular. For example, Foster was excellent (when he was on the field) as a rookie, whereas he’s practically a detriment this year. And I don’t by it that it’s because he’s rusty from missing the offseason due to his legal trouble. Witherspoon didn’t miss any offseason work, didn’t have any family tragedy, and has had “Uncle Sherm” to learn from…I expected huge strides in his development but it’s just not there..same with Beatherd and Trent Taylor. And it’s not just second year players…Goodwin, Garcon, and even Jimmy G before he blew out the knee…they seem to have gone backwards, not forwards.

        I’m saying this as a KS believer.

        1. Wrt Foster, accountability and the realization that your livelihood hinges on changing your behavioral habits.

          Wrt Thomas, death of his sister.

          Witherspoon, playing a position that is predicated on confidence.

          There’s a saying; football is 80% mental and 40% physical. If you’re not mentally 100% focused on playing the game, you’ll never be more than average no matter what skill you were born with….

    3. Alph, I will take your dig, and consider it a compliment. I liked Cliff.
      To answer your question, you gotta remember where they came from. JL and KS inherited a dysfunctional dumpster fire. They have had to start all over, after moving on from 82% of the past team. Only Staley and Celek remain from the SB team.
      They have had to rebuild this team, brick by brick. Too bad they passed on Kaep, and tried Hoyer and CJB. Both are inferior QBs, and with better QB play, they could have won several of those close games in 2017, and maybe 4 this season. There is no guarantee that JG will come back as good as new, and Mullens struggled last game.
      Losing their franchise QB has set them back, but even with all the injuries, the Niners could have been 6-4, with just decent game management, and better team preparations. Those players are all talented, but the coaching does not put them into positions to succeed. The overall team has improved, and Breida would never perform as well as he does without stout O line play. Kittle could do even better with a more accurate QB.
      Those same struggling players, when they were on a 9 game losing streak, all of a sudden became warriors when JG led them. This season, they struggled under CJB, then stomped all over the Raiders and won by 30 points with Mullens leading them. Taking a step back in their development? It is all subjective, and opinions vary.
      Compared to the 2016 team, the team rankings have improved. That should be the barometer to be judged by. Even the 6th ranked rushing offense in 2016, is bettered by this season’s 4th ranking.
      Of course, with hindsight, there could be much improvement. In the draft, they should not have spent picks to move up. They should have been patient, and not reached for Foster, CJB, J Williams or Pettis. They moved up for the red flagged Foster, but gave up a 4th round pick, which the Seahawks used to pick Tedric Thompson, the starting FS for that team.
      One player who definitely has regressed is Witherspoon. He needs to sit until he learns to turn his head and track the ball. Still think Thomas is doing well, stopping the run. Goodwin has done well. He has not regressed. CJB never was good, so he has not regressed.

  22. Cassie says:

    Hey Grant…

    Many, many years ago–early 80s?–John Madden taught a series of seminars on the basics of football. I believe it was through Cal Berkeley Extension, but I’m not 100% sure. I remember they were very popular–so said the media.

    Since you’re an expert on football, why don’t you offer something similar? With Press Democrat support, you could assemble a collection of 20-30 minute instructional videos on the aspects of football you feel most proficient in–offense, defense, player development, etc. These could be web served–behind a pay wall even. Seriously. Think about it. Could solidify your standing as a football intellect, and possibly lead to a coordinator, HC, or GM job offer in the future.

    You couldn’t have said it better Cass! Every time I read one of these (Coach Grants) arrogant articles, the first thing I think of is “A Few Good Men” when Nicholson says to Cruise, “Why you snot nosed little bastard!” The beginning of this piece is laughable. “I challenge you, 49ers!” Really? Who the f**k are you? A peach fuzzed faced hack from the Press Democrat (Yesterdays New Today) who’s never played organized football or coached so much as a third grade lollypop team? I’m sure they’re impressed. (Long, sarcastic eye roll)

    1. Juan …
      I hafta take issue with the motto you hung on the Press Dem …
      You see … back in the day … I was a subscriber of the Fremont Argus …
      and … believe me …they … seemed to believe in the
      ” Yesterday’s News .. Tomorrow “…. axiom …. but .. on second thought …
      could be the Press Democrat may have taken over the slogan after
      the Argus bit the dust …

        1. MWNiner, before the Argus in Fremont was a newspaper called the News Register. For two or three years we had two newspapers before the News Register was eaten by the Argus I believe or maybe it was the Oakland Tribune – been too many years……..

    2. Relax J!

      Grant is just using his literary flourish to rile us up! It’s what gets attention, sort of like those bikini clad girls on beer commercials…

      What does it say about us?

      1. kinda like fear mongering.

        Seems to be a lot of that goin’ around these days.

        I will say I do miss the over-the-top gratuitous booby commercials Carls Jr was putting out there for awhile. ;)

  23. Lol! You guys are all funny as hell! As far as the Press Democrat (YNT), I’ve been a subscriber for over 30 years only because I had to post my teams results (It IS about the kids and they and their parents like to read their names and stats in the paper) and then out of pure sympathy from then on. The Monday edition is hilarious. You could floss your teeth with it! Being a paying customer I feel gives me the right to criticize, especially since the price has tripled over the years.
    As far as coach having a stake in the team, he has stated more than once he has absolutely no investment in the team and could frankly care less. To me, coach preaching (like this article) football is like a little boy (hehe) who makes paper air planes giving advise to a fighter pilot. :)

    1. Don’t know much about the Press Democrat (out of my geographic region). It seems to have a lot in common with the Cupertino Courier. With a slightly better sports section. As I recall the Courier had no sports section.

    2. Juan, maybe a Pee Wee football coach should not crow too much. Did not know that some want this site to be confined to only NFL coaches.
      Many great leaders began under humble conditions. Napoleon was a minor artillery officer before becoming Emperor of France.
      A nomad who was enslaved became the most feared general in the world. Genghis Khan conquered much of Asia.
      A genius started out at the College of San Mateo, along with Madden.
      ‘ I firmly believe, from what I have seen, that this is the chosen spot of all this earth, as far as nature is concerned’.- PD headline

        1. That is better than being a no wit, like you.
          Sometimes I feel like I am engaging in a battle of wits against an unarmed foe.

              1. See? Cannot claim victory while being a loser.
                But then again, I am not surprised about some one who welches on bets.

  24. Brian Baldinger with a scathing indictment of the 49ers defense. In the video (link at the bottom) he refers to them as the Keystone Cops. But yeah, let’s just keep believing that Saleh and crew are not to blame here; it’s all on the players.

    Brian Baldinger

    .@49ers just leave scratching my head week in and week out at how they break down. Does anyone know what anyone is doing? Meanwhile the beneficiary , @Giants @obj finally was able to really celebrate and remember what winning a game feels like. #BaldysBreakdowns

    2:52 PM – Nov 13, 2018 · NFL Films


      1. « Sergeant Sherman teach these coaches and players how to bust an offense. »

        What was Sherman doing during the 3 weeks he was on the sidelines during training camp or during the season.

        You can teach and drill guys until you’re blue in the face, but if they’re a rock it doesn’t matter how much water you give put on them they’re still going to be rocks.

        1. Sherman according to Lynch and Shanny has been the consummate pro. On and off the field.
          Very important to have that leadership on a young team in a rebuild.

          1. Yeah, and how has that translated to the other guys being able to « bust an offense »?

            Not arguing that leadership isn’t important, but you also need talented players to go with that.

    1. Pass rush and secondary coverage are synergistic. A strong pass rush makes your secondary better then it really is and vice-versa.

      However, it’s easier to find elite coverage players then pass rushers. The proof is in the contracts.

      We only need one elite rusher to make the rest of the defensive pass rush better but we need at least two if not 3 players in our secondary.

      Our first pick or two this upcoming draft should be focused on improving the secondary. The pass rush will naturally improve with it and we can look to improve the players rushing in the mid rounds.

        1. What happens if said good pass rusher goes down? I’d think the prudent move would be to draft two, one early in the first and one later in the 6th, and bring in a vet through F/A. Draft a corner in round 2, while shoring up the FS position with Thomas….

          1. 100%. Bring in one good edge rusher in FA and the pass D will improve a bit. Get a second good edge rusher through the draft and this D will improve a lot. Get a third guy for insurance later on in the draft because you need a platoon of guys and the 49ers cupboard is bare.

            49ers have already focused on improving the CB position. Results haven’t been great. Time to focus on the edge position.

      1. CFC – Your quote – “However, it’s easier to find elite coverage players then pass rushers. The proof is in the contracts.”

        I disagree, especially if you are going to play man coverage, because you need two starting cover corners and a slot cover corner.

        More important now than ever because of all of the 11 personnel some teams are using on what used to be considered normal downs.

        In the old NFL style of play when teams played mostly 21, 22 and 12 personnel on 1st and 2nd downs, unless they were in 2 minute or dramatically behind in the 4thQ, the Nickel slot corner got barely 11-13 snaps per game. Now, a defense could be in a sub package more than 2/3s of the game or even the whole game if playing the Rams or the Chiefs and maybe throw in the Eagles, Saints, and Bears.

        If your cover secondary players are not top drawer, a great pass rusher has no chance because the ball will come out quickly to open receivers. Also, with the preponderance of shotgun many teams are utilizing, the offense has more of a chance to get the ball out before the rusher gets there because the QB already is virtually at depth in the pocket.

        1 rusher or 3 corners, and we are not even talking about a cover strong safety vs. some outstanding tight ends!!!!!!

      2. How can the Niners improve their pass rush this season? By rushing their best defensive player.
        On third down plays, they should rush ‘Bones’ Buckner at DE, and put in Thomas inside. Marsh did well against a pathetic Raiders O line, but against an O line that had given up 31 sacks, he was stymied.

    2. Hmm, Keystone Cops? I wonder who wrote about Keystone Cops before on this site?
      Maybe it was when some one hiked the ball over the QB’s head. ;p

  25. I can’ believe I missed the episode of Press Democrat in which Grant broke up with Kirk Cousins and started dating Mitch Trubisky. I need to step my game.

  26. You all must have selective memory or amnesia because it was Grant back in October of Trubisky’s senior year at North Carolina who put out the word that Trubisky, a virtual unknown to the nation as a first-year starter, would be a first rounder.

    Yes, Mitchell, indeed, was a first rounder.

    1. Yes, in a QB weak draft class, I also remember Grant touting Peterman and Davis Webb.
      I think Razor liked Kizer, but in the second round.
      I liked Deshaun Watson, because I like mobile QBs, but mocked Davis Webb a lot in the second or third round.

      1. I was the first on this board to proclaim Trubisky was the real deal.
        Just like I was the first to say Jimmy G should be traded for!

        1. Prime, reading is fundamental. Grant was the first. You just parroted him.
          Sure, you advocated for JG, but many of us were not inclined to obtaining JG since he was touted as costing at least 2 first round picks. Most surmised JG would generate a Goff or Wentz amount of picks. With the Niners rebuilding, first round picks are precious. Luckily, JG only cost a second round pick. Now, if you had predicted that the Niners were going to pick up JG for a song, you would be able to crow.

          1. You have short and long term memory loss.
            I was definitely the first to talk about Trubisky and I was also the first to suggest the Niners should trade for Jimmy G .
            So take that and stick it in your pipe and smoke it.
            I win!

            1. You have selective memory loss. You selectively forget everything people say about a player before you say it. I don’t know about Trubisky, though Grant is the first I recall mentioning him, but I was mentioning trading for JG the season beforehand, after he had played well in place of Brady. Said the 49ers should be willing to trade their 1st for him. You weren’t backing me up on that one at the time.

              1. Yes, like I said, selective memory loss. I’ve seen you keep posting about how you were 1st on trading for JG and have let it slide, but I have been beating that drum for years. Wanted to draft him in 2014. And after he played well in place of Brady I talked quite a lot about how the 49ers should be trading for him ahead of drafting one of the QBs coming out, and that a 1st round pick was worth it. Both during that season and during the offseason.

              2. Sorry but I’m taking full credit. I think because you are on the other side of the world, news doesn’t travel fast enough for you.

                Well before draft I said Trubisky was the best QB in the draft.

                As soon as Shanahan and Lynch were hired I said the Niners should go after Jimmy G as their starting quarterback.

              3. Who cares who liked who first.
                You both liked JG… great calls. Prime liked Mitch for certain, but how good he will be remains to be seen. Right now he looks like the 3rd best qb in the class (which is unexpectedly turning out great) but who knows how good he will be a few years down the road.

              4. Yep, and to clarify, I don’t care if I was first or not. Just sick of seeing Prime beating his chest about something that is a clear lie.

              5. Scooter stop being a baby.
                It was me, all me. Deal with it!

                Calling me a liar shows your maturity. Cry all you want if it makes you feel better.

              1. Prime, you are a day late and a dollar short.
                IICRC, Scooter did like JG a lot. You with your contrarian disposition, probably shot down his idea. I did not think it was realistic, and thought they would keep Brady’s heir apparent. Only if some team like the Browns, would give up multiple first round picks, did I think he would be traded.
                Grant mentioned Trubisky way before the draft. Sure, you were adamantly saying that the Niners would draft Trubisky, but were wrong.

              2. Wrong again Seb. I was the first with Jimmy G and Trubisky well before Grant and anyone else on this board.
                Sorry but once again my superior football knowledge was right and yours well, wrong again! Like always.

            2. I have always been pro JG, even when Cousins was widely thought to be our next QB. You guys have been here longer than I have so I can’t claim to be first. But I do like to play the I was first game. I was the first to mention TJ Watt, back when he was being projected as a mid round pick.

          2. “Just sick of seeing Prime beating his chest about something that is a clear lie“

            Are you sure it doesn’t matter to you? You calling me a liar without any substance behind it says you do care.
            Let it go and STFU about it or prove me wrong?

            1. I really don’t care if I was first or not. I do get annoyed when a blowhard claims something that is demonstrably untrue. I have already outlined when trading for JG was 1st discussed – it was not long after he had started those games for the Pats. If rocket or razor care to chime in they could likely confirm as they were both part of that conversation. Others were as well. Don’t recall if you chimed in at the time, but if you did, it wasn’t you that brought it up.

              You have already admitted you suggested trading for JG once Shanny and Lynch were hired. That was well after the topic had been discussed by others. You can keep beating your chest about it, but it doesn’t make your statement any more true. As shoup said, good on you for outlining a trade for JG made sense at some point. Even if others had already pointed it out.

              1. I totally disagree. I brought up Jimmy before any of you guys and whenthe trade went down everyone on here said it was me who suggested it in the first place.
                But if you want the credit to stop the whining it’s yours.

              2. O“I remember the conversation Big Scootie, and can confirm you brought it up“

                Come on man! I brought it up when Shanny was hired. All you guys were claimin Kap would be the guy.

              3. Prime, the conversation I am confirming happened prior to that. When you suggested the trade, I told you I felt that there was no way BB would trade him. You got it right, and we got Jimmy. Let’s see what he can do moving forward before we crown anyone….

                C’mon now Prime, I immediately said that Kaepernick was not someone Shanny would be remotely interested in and if he lost out to Gabbert that he should retire. He took my advice….

                Prime, you were right about Trubisky after the Bears gave him the Goff treatment. That’s another feather in your cap!

              4. I know you disagree Prime. Accepting that you weren’t the first to bring it up is clearly something you aren’t able to do. But just because you can’t accept it doesn’t make it any less true.

              5. I know for fact I did bring up Jimmy G first and just because Razor recalls, his timeline is off.
                I have been following Jimmy G’s career since college and when the Niners fired Kelly you all said Kap would be back under Shanny. I said they should look at acquiring Jimmy G.
                You’ve always been a Kap fan and you always touted him so why would you suggest Jimmy G at that time?

              6. Razoreater says:
                August 29, 2016 at 1:11 pm
                I said from the beginning, if he couldn’t beat out Gabbert, he should retire. After watching him play, it was clear to me he no longer has a passion for the game….

              7. Wow. Now you are changing your story to wanting JG from college (which is eerily similar to one of my previous comments), saying I was always a Kap fan and thought Shanny should bring him back (both untrue) and saying razor and I have our timelines mixed up re: when we first discussed a trade for JG (we don’t). Top work.

              8. Prime, here’s another:

                Razoreater says:
                May 6, 2016 at 2:50 pm
                Yea, if he can’t beat out Gabbert, he should just retire along with Bradford….

              9. Scooter says “Wow. Now you are changing your story to wanting JG from college (which is eerily similar to one of my previous comments),

                I say “I have been following Jimmy G’s career since college and when the Niners fired Kelly you all said Kap would be back under Shanny.

                You are confused. I never said we should have drafted him. I said when Kelly was fired the Niners should trade for Garrapolo. I recall I was the first to suggest this acquisition while you guys were hanging on to Kap as an alternative.

              10. You may have been the first to bring it up post Kelly being fired. I have no idea. It was definitely not the first time it had been discussed.

                I do obviously recall the conversations about JG that offseason though. I remember saying the team should be willing to trade a 1st round pick for him. And getting no support. Not from you, not from anyone. How high were you on trading for him again?

                As for Kap, you can try lumping everyone in that bracket as much as you want, again, it won’t make it true.

                What is becoming abundantly clear is that what you recall and what actually happened are not one and the same.

              11. “You may have been the first to bring it up post Kelly being fired. I have no idea. It was definitely not the first time it had been discussed“

                Which is it, I did or didn’t. You’ve always been a waffler.

                “How high were you on trading for him again?

                The highest and the first obviously.

                As for Kap there weren’t too many people on here saying not to bring him back and that Shanny should give him a chance. You were a Kap fan were you not? That offseason the board was 99% pro Kap. Except for who else me!

              12. Razoreater says:
                March 1, 2017 at 9:43 am
                Understood, but I’d did try and tell you guys that Full Shanny wasn’t a fan of Kaepernick, and the chances of him returning were around 30%….

  27. I think the turnaround in Chicago has more to do with stellar coaching than Trubisky being an amazing QB. I also think the same is true of the Rams and Goff. In my honest opinion, I think both of those QBs are average at best but have been put in the perfect situation, coach-wise.

    The quick turnaround of both franchises definitely puts pressure on KS to turn the ship around.

    1. I said last year that the Bears would follow the Rams lead by firing Fox and getting him an offensive coach. They were also wise to retain Fangio….

      1. Agreed.

        I wonder how different the 9ers record would be if KS would’ve been able to get Gus Bradley like he originally wanted to, or Fangio. Lynn, Nagy, and especially McVay don’t have to worry about the other half of the team because they have D coordinators good enough to be head coaches in the NFL. Seems to have gone a long way in regards to the success of their respective teams.

        1. Saleh is a green rookie at a position of great importance. Prior to his hiring, he had no track record of being able to make adjustments during a game. His mantra is to play with violence and that seems to be all he cares about. Just because the defensive scheme is characterized as “simple” doesn’t mean that the players should play on instinct alone. Baldinger nailed it when he used the “Keystone Cops” reference.

          1. Saleh has introduced a wrinkle to the bend but don’t break style of defense. I call it the bend but don’t break until the 4th quarter defense. Maybe the violence thing is tiring his defenders out and more wind sprints are called for. The question comes up about position coaches being fully competent. In the case of our defense, who in the building would know the answer to that? We’ve got the blind leading the blind.

    2. Fangio is the main reason they are doing so well, but they also changed OC, which has helped Trubisky. Helfrich, the former Oregon HC, is an upgrade over Dowell Loggains.

  28. EastCoast9er says:
    November 15, 2018 at 9:10 pm
    The field is a joke and it isn’t really funny, but I think whoever laid the field down and designed its components probably should receive said treatment. Perhaps Seb could inspect and pronounce final judgment. That’s in his wheelhouse, I believe.

    Cassie Freakin’ Baalke says:
    November 16, 2018 at 3:49 am
    Consulting opportunity for you Sebbie….your foot in the door.

    sebnynah says:
    November 15, 2018 at 9:27 pm
    November 15, 2018 at 9:27 pm
    As a casual observer from his couch, the ground crews could use 50 leaf blowers, to try and dry out the field more.

    REPLY: The last tool with a sparkplug in it didn’t end so well for you Seb, as you and your son caught the neighbor’s house on fire from your sparking (unmaintained) leafblower…Perhaps something w/o a sparkplug….1 million of your pigeon friends flying over Levi’s turf might help.

    Taking into account the York’s hiring history: Tomsula, Nolan, Hosler, etc., it wouldn’t surprise me if they hired you, the stadium burnt down, and the York’s collected on the insurance, laughing all the way back to Youngstown.

    Flying Pigeons drying a large space:


    1. TrollD, joking about fires when there is a clear tragedy up north, is reprehensible. At least 71 people lost their lives, and there could be 1000 missing.
      Attacking me about a fire is just about as low as one could get, but then again, you fantasized about breaking into gun safes and creating nightmares, so I expected no more from you.

      1. Calling fires a joke is the lowest of your low bars to date Seb.

        It was Y-O-U who recounted your sordid tale of the unmaintained weedeater destroying your neighbor’s home due to a faulty sparkplug.

        And it was Y-O-U who posted it here, online, for all to read.

        Your cavalier regard for life, property and deadly maintenance tools leaves a lot to be desired….Please seek help….It was no joke then, when you posted, and fires are not a joke now, Sebnynah ?


        1. TrollD, delusional as ever. I remarked about a fire long ago, when others were questioning my bravery. I charged into that fire with only a hose because my neighbor was freaking out. Thankfully, we contained the damage to his stack of fire wood in his wood shed.
          TrollD, you just brought up a fire joke during these trying times, just like you fantasized about gun violence after the Pulse shooting. Have you no shame?

              1. Sebbie…

                Read my post very, very carefully…I said “Go to bed Sebbie” Period. x3.

                Reading is fundamental.

              2. Prime, Trumpty Dumpty is going to have a great fall. He is not an idiot, he is an ignoramus.
                He thinks raking the forest will prevent forest fires. Too bad there are 188, 336, 179 acres of national forests. That almost 300,000 square miles of national forests, alone. There are lots more state and private acres, too.
                Cassie, you are as transparent as glass.

          1. Twisting posts to fit your narrative is your tactic, not mine.
            The gun safe accusation has been Y-O-U-R go to weapon for years and quite frankly, a glimpse into your subconcious posters would rather avoid,

            The joke about tradgedies countdown by Sebnynah this month:

            1. Sebnynah called fires a joke
            2. Sebnynah joked about firearms before families in the latest, Thousand Oaks California, mass shooting, have had time to grieve.

            What’s next, Seb(scumbag)nynah?

            1. TrollD, you attacked me with your gun delusions, just because I wanted the Niners to stop shooting themselves in the foot. It is all archived.
              Now you attacked me during this fire tragedy. You were the one joking about fires. Now I get to slam you for doing that.
              TrollD, you should quit while behind.

          2. Tom & Seb,
            Nobody cares. Sorting through your fertilizer to find an acorn isn’t that enjoyable for the rest of us.
            We’ve evolved past dumb monkeys, so why you are still tossing crap at eachother is beyond me.

            1. Shoup, I have tried very hard to ignore TrollD, but that just seems to encourage him.
              Guess you would not mind being called an arsonist. I do.

  29. Early Mock Drafts:

    2. San Francisco 49ers: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

    via Walter Football.com

    2. 2. San Francisco 49ers
    N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State. The 49ers need to add a big-bodied receiver to pair with Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor, Dante Pettis, and Richie James and help Jimmy Garoppolo . Via CBS Sportsline

    2. San Francisco 49ers | Clelin Ferrell | EDGE | Clemson
    The 49ers seek out some edge help here in the early portion of the first round.
    Via DraftWire

    1. “Your mission, Brian, should you decide to accept it, is to exact revenge and vanquish the Crimson Tide. As usual, should you or any member of your N.D. Force be captured or killed, the Razoreater will disavow any knowledge of your existence. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Irish.”

  30. Seb, I only wish that you or Coach Cohn had enough football acumen to coach a Pee Wee football team, but we all know you don’t. I never coached football and never claimed I did. I coached Softball, as I have stated many times. Over 25 years. Mostly High School and travel ball. I could have coached JC ball if I wanted as I was offered opportunities but was raising a large family, along with running a business and decided to spend more time at home. My point was directed at Coach (unsubstantiated) Cohn concerning his ridiculous column where he constantly uses the “I” word as in “I challenges you”, etc. And I’ll say it again, except I’ll include you also. Who the f**k do you think you are? At least I can say I’ve spent almost a third of my life teaching and coaching a sport. You or your hero haven’t spent a third of a minute coaching anything. And yet your going to give advise and preach to a professional football team? Ludicrous. Answer me one question. Do you think there is anybody in the entire Forty Niner organization, down to the janitor st 4949 Bill Walsh way, that even has a smidgeon of respect for Coach Cohn? I don’t. Not when he writes a piece of garbage like this one, especially coming from someone without one iota of football experience. You know, kinda like you. Good evening sir.

    1. Juan, to answer your question, my wild card is Joan in accounting. She gleans things from the blogs, and bring it to the attention of the FO.
      They respect her, because she knows the bottom line, and she will accept any advice, especially if it will help the team win.
      I am not too worried. They may say that they do not read these blogs, but when some parrot what I advocate, I see my fingerprints all over their thoughts. KS is supposedly smart, but he thought Hoyer and CJB were good enough to win, so he does not have all the answers. If KS were 8-2, I would not deign to be harshly critical. However, he is 2-8, and ANY 2-8 coach will be second guessed, and deserves criticism.
      Grant has history on his side. I had read the green pages religiously, and Lowell Cohn had titanic battles with Bill Walsh. He made me grind my teeth, but in retrospect, I could see Lowell being a master motivator, daring BW to prove him wrong. It resulted in 3 rings. You may have blinders on, but I see the same thing happening with Grant. All that pushback that KS gives Grant’s answers, just shows how effective Grant is. Grant is challenging KS, and his sharp rebukes speaks volumes.
      Grant is like the little boy who said the emperor wore no clothes. Guess you want to get angry at the little boy, but he is the smartest person in the room. All the toadies and sycophants who enable the con to proceed, are not doing the kingdom any good. They are part of the problem. Grant is stepping on toes, and I am glad he is making them howl, because they deserve it. 2-8, and they are above reproach? Get real.
      You claim to be a coach, so you know the drill. Losing coaches lose their job. KS is 2-8, and right now, does not seem to have a clue about how to finish a game. It is just a game, but there are real life consequences to losing. So far, KS is 8-18, and has not shown that he will improve dramatically. Steve Mariucci went 22-10 in his last 2 years with the Niners, and was fired.
      Some day, I wish you had enough class to admit that some of my ideas have merit. Surely, you should think that it is smart to consider time outs to be precious, and saved for legitimate challenges, and the last 2 minutes of each half. Who knows, it might be the difference between winning, and losing, just like last game.

      1. Sebbie…

        Someday I wish you’d keep your binkie on a tether. That way you wouldn’t lose it, you’d be at peace, and we’d be spared your silliness.

  31. Lots of good on offense to look forward to

    QB – Starter confirmed, Backup getting quality reps now
    RB- RB2 is among top RB in league….with RB1 and a healthy RB3…..lots of potential
    TE- Pro bowl starter……reliable TE2 and TE3 should be easy to find..
    FB – Pro bowler
    OLine – not that bad …. above average in the run and pass, no major pressure to add a starter, adding a backup should be easy
    WR- WR1 need a big-bodied, go-to player on the perimeter. (2nd rd draft pick)
    WR2 – solid with Pettis and Goodwin
    WR3 – solid with Taylor and Richie James

    The defense should really get a huge makeover next season

    1. The good news is that the 2019 draft looks like it will have several big bodied WRs. I do not think they need a big bodied WR1 though; a big bodied WR2 that is a capable red zone target would work just as well.
      Many fans have said that the defense needs a huge makeover, but I don’t think that is really necessary. Acquiring 2-3 pass/edge rushers and a FS such as Thomas or Mathieu is the prescription that the defense needs. With that said, I think adding some competition for Foster and Witherspoon could help light the motivational fires under their @$$E$ that they need.

      1. Kelvin Harmon could make an immediate impact. He has a NFL frame. Decent route runner. He can get separation. Deep threat and a RZ target. Good with contested catches, nice body control and hands. Good at tracking.

        I’ll be clear, I really (really, really) want to draft an Edge in the 1st. But KS could trade down and take Harmon. I think this guy could be Kyle’s draft crush. Of course I could be wrong, but I identified Pettis as a potential draft crush for KS last year and John Ross the year before. KS traded up for Pettis and is on record saying that Ross was a 1st round possibility for us in 2016.

        1. Could be in regards to Harmon, although I could see Shanahan wanting Butler or Johnson as well.
          I am with on edge. I just have a bad feeling that any chance of the Raiders not taking Bosa was gutted thanks to Oliver’s recent actions.

          1. If D.K. Metcalf’s medieval’s checkout, if he decides to comes out, and if he’s there at the top of round 2, I’d select him over all the other receivers….

          1. Yup, 80 sounds pretty smart.
            Trading back is smart, especially for a rebuilding team, and there is a plethora of good pass rushers in the draft.

  32. Has anyone detected if Grant’s “I Challenge the 49ers” rant was picked up by national media–ESPN, NFL.COM, CBS, FOX, etc.? I haven’t, but I may have missed it. Would like to have Grant receive the national recognition he deserves.

  33. So Schefter is saying that JAX will be open to trading CB Ramsey this offseason. There would be two years left on his rookie deal (including the 5th year option). I’d have no problem giving up our high second for him. But the high first? Fucillo over at NN thinks he will likely go for two firsts. IMO, this team isn’t just a CB away from reaching the top, so I’d pass.

    1. One has to wonder why Jax would be willing to part with him already. 2 first’s let alone one top 5 pick for this team would be a mistake. We’re just not there yet….

    2. If the Jaguars were willing to accept a high second in 2019 and a first pick in 2020, then I think the 49ers should pull the trigger.

    1. Woah, I did not see this coming. Will she miss the warnings that Roethlisberger is determined to strike the Browns secondary?

    2. If Condi, who never as much coached an NSC intramural squad, is in the mix, that must mean there’s hope for Grant! Waddya say, Grant? Cleveland winters just have a bad rap, they aren’t all that bad.

      1. I’d love to see those pressers.

        There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know… until we look at the film.

  34. Nice Grant, I am not on here as much as the Harbaugh days and just read your column. Sometimes I think you just want to yell loud enough to get a better job. Unlike the other readers on here, I do think your day will come and give you props in calling out the under performing Niners

  35. Back to football. I hope the Niners prepare the team more thoroughly.
    They should have a 4th and short play designated before the game. Then, they should run up to the line quickly, and try to draw the defense offsides.
    On a third or 4th down and short play that they should perfect, is using Armstead as a TE. He should line up in the slot, go upfield 5 yards, then head for the side line. Mullens should throw the ball high, so only Armstead can catch the ball. Armstead should use his basketball skills to highpoint the ball, and he could easily use his body to box out the DB. If Armstead does not catch it, it will go out of bounds, so there is little risk of an interception. I think Mullens is accurate enough to throw that pass.
    When confronted with time running out, they should have 1st, second and third down plays drawn up ahead of time. Just saw the Packers waste a down by spiking the ball, then losing the game because they failed on 4th down. The Niners should be able to run up to the line of scrimmage and fake spiking the ball, then run a play before the defense gets set. This requires planning ahead of time. Niner coaches need to show competence by having the proper thorough preparations.
    The Niners should have a second and short play drawn up, that attacks down field. The defense will be concentrating on defending against the run. Even if they do not make it, it will still be third and short. A play action pass will be effective in that situation.
    This last game, Mullens let the play clock run down to almost zero. He needs to have better clock management. He should get the play off with at least 5 seconds left. Better yet, he should run the no huddle with varied quick snaps, so the possibility of a delay of game penalty is remote.
    The Niners need better game management, better 4th quarter strategies, better clock management and better preparations. Of course, that is easier said than done. Competent coaching will help.

  36. Looks like Alex Smith is done for the season. Bad lower leg injury. I’ve always had great respect for the classy way that Alex has handled the ups and downs of his career. On a side note, Mahomes’ father credits Alex with much of the first year development of his son. A lot of starting QBs don’t do much to help the backusp (Brady, Big Ben, etc.)

    1. I believe Alex was instrumental in mentoring both Kaepernick and Mahomes. He’s the smartest quarterback in the league, and would make an excellent qb’s coach….

      1. He’s a smart hardworking QB but I’m not too sure just how effective he was in mentoring Kaepernick. Kaepernick never ever showed signs of improving over the seasons.

        1. Perhaps just helping him (Kaep) get a feel for what an NFL locker room is all about and providing him insights on Harbaugh’s approach to 9er QB play. Somehow, I doubt Alex shunned Kaep. That’s the point.

    2. I’m not really surprised what with how banged up the OL is. Losing both starting guards in one game and having the LT miss some games is a recipe for disaster with any QB.

        1. No, but there are others ways the 49ers can win or lose this week. For instance, a Raiders win puts the team closer to nabbing the top pick in the draft, thus giving the team a better chance at drafting Bosa. However, a Cardinals win makes the 49ers the only team with two wins in 2018 and gives them more draft capital trade with in case Bosa is taken by the Raiders and another team falls in love with a QB enough that they are willing to overdraft him.
          A Rams win on Monday night increases the likelihood that the Rams will be resting their starters in the final game of the regular season for the 49ers; a loss will potentially have the opposite effect.

  37. Well that depends. If they implement Seb’s usual idiotic ideas, I’d say 150%. All I can say is the crop must have been unusually potent this year. :)

  38. It was obvious to me that Kap didn’t want advise from anyone, let alone Alex or any other teammate, including coaches. His early success was his ultimate downfall. He became cockier, and even more of a loner. He didn’t think he needed help with his mechanics, or his inability to process information, just to mention two of his many flaws as a player. As our kids would say, he thought he was “all that and a bag of chips”! The NFL has a way of dealing with one time wonders like him. Hense the stats for his last three years. 11-24, including
    1-10 his last season, losing 9 in a row, along with a well below average QB rating. He’ll be known in the great NFL story as a flash in the pan player who is known more for his sideline activism rather than his on field play. Sad, but true, and indisputable.

    1. Indisputable? No. Very debatable.
      Sorry, Juan, but Kaep will return to play, because with all of the attrition, the league is running out of QBs. Gabbert even played, and he promptly threw a pick.
      Feel sorry for AS. He may have ended his career today. Joe Theisman never played again after his similar broken leg.
      Interesting, the injury happened on the anniversary of Joe Theisman’s broken leg, and they had the identical score at the end.
      Washington, by disavowing any interest in Kaep, just proved the blackballing. Guess Washington would rather lose without Kaep than win with Kaep.
      Yes, Kaep regressed, but the whole Niner team regressed, especially on the defense. Baalke did a thorough job dismantling that SB team, and even Joe could not have won with that 2016 defense. Can’t believe you continue the myth and narrative that Kaep did not try to improve. He went to Arizona to work with Warner, and had a QB guru (Stewart?), who worked with his mechanics. Yes, he did not work out with anyone before the 2016 season, but back then, he was rehabbing his shoulder.
      I am hopeful. With the present rate of attrition, Kaep will get a chance, especially if he can go to a team struggling to get into the playoffs. If Brady keeps slowing down, maybe even BB could sign Kaep.
      Still think Kaep is better than CJB, and Mullens did not shine when confronting a decent defense. However, I think KS is not competent enough to coach up Kaep to play right away, so Kaep should just go to another team for a fresh start.

      1. Washington, by disavowing any interest in Kaep, just proved the blackballing. Guess Washington would rather lose without Kaep than win with Kaep.

        No it does not. It does indicate that Kaepernick is not a fit for the offense that Gruden is running this season, which is one that aims to avoid turning the ball over as much as it did with Cousins at QB.

        1. Then Gruden is another HC who is not competent to take a QB off the street and coach him up enough to win. Kaep had a 16-4 TD to pick ratio.
          Barkley just blew your theory out of the water.

          1. Just stop attempting to beat that dead horse already inside a glue bottle Seb. Using Kaepernick’s stats in an offense for a coach that lasted one season as the 49ers head coach, is no longer in the league, and has a record of 3-8 in his first season as coach of the Bruins is not a good defense. Using Barkley as another form of defense is even weaker considering how bad the Jets (the team which Barkley beat) are.

            1. Still, once McCoy implodes, Washington will keep proving the blackballing.
              You and the others said it was impossible for a QB to walk in off the street and win a game. Barkley just proved you wrong. Guess you will now be dissing Mullens for beating the Raiders, even though they just won a game.

              1. I have never once said it is impossible; you’re just fishing now. I said it is impossible to bring in a QB that is not a fit for the offense a coach or coordinator runs. And before you point it out, I am perfectly aware of what Lamar Jackson did yesterday. However, if a run first QB fails to learn to be a capable passer from the pocket, he will fail in the NFL.

              2. sebnynah says:
                August 27, 2017 at 6:18 pm
                If Hoyer can play like that, I will not mind if Kaep is blackballed.

                You’re two-faced Sebbie….

      2. “Sorry, Juan, but Kaep will return to play, because with all of the attrition, the league is running out of QBs.

        The more we wait, the more you look stupid. The funny thing is we are now waiting for that storm to return what, 2 years now? I love it!

      1. He could get his start at the collegiate level, perhaps as an OC for power five school. He’s smart… At Utah he “earned a bachelor’s degree in economics in two years with a 3.74 GPA.”

  39. Raiders win, which puts the 49ers currently in the driver’s seat for the top pick since they hold the tiebreaker for SOS with the Raiders.

    1. Now this brings up a theoretical dilemma. Is it better to have the #1 pick or #2 in this draft? With the 1 you have to go Bosa, but if you held the 2 you would have opportunities for a trade perhaps and more picks and get another Edge later.

      Don’t think this will be an issue in the end (because we will likely win one more game) but it does bring up an interesting discussion.

      As much as I like Bosa, I’m like….er….when it comes to him. But if he is there you have to take him. If we had the 2 I would prefer to “trade down” (© Seb Garden and Lawn Consult, 2016) and selected more players. An Edge and CB or Safety would be my ideal first choices with maybe a decent WR. And I’d go back and get another Edge, a Tackle with additional picks.

          1. How about in rounds 2, 4, and 6?
            Is Bosa the next Lawrence Taylor? Is Ed Oliver or Ferrell
            the next Reggie White?
            A tackle is safe, secure and probably a player you can bank on for the next 10 years.
            My point is there is a lot of edge rushers this draft. With a top 5 pick I’d go corner or offensive tackle.
            I’m skeptical about Bosa but Ferrell would ease my concerns if taken that high.

            Who do you like at 1,2, or 3?

            1. Reality is that we need impact players. One would hope rounds 1-2 would provide these. The recent history, as illustrated by an earlier Scooter post is dismal. Therefore, this has to be a home run.

              A Tackle would be a safe choice, as more of them do well when picked high. If this were first year, I would do it, but the team has a franchise QB who isn’t getting any younger. The window of opportunity will close rapidly if the team takes another 3 years to gel.

              1. Bosa, Ferrell to start. Williams and Harmon are also good. A lot of others not sure about because I watch only a smidgen of college ball and don’t really pay that close attention until the season is done.

              2. Based on the idea the pick has to work out as you suggest, I still think it has to be an edge player, and if Bosa is gone it should be Ferrell. I actually prefer Polite’s upside, but Ferrell is the safer choice.

              3. When I say “has to work”,
                that means:
                1. Solid health history
                2. No tweeners. What he did in college he will do in the NFL. Same position.
                3. Overall good kid.
                4. Plays angry every second on the field.
                5. Hates to lose.
                6. Team first guy.
                7. Coachable
                8. Not money driven.
                9.Loves football
                10.Makes others better around him.

              4. Those all look like good parameters to me. But I think the working out part also has to mean a guy that actually performs like a top pick. I know its impossible to know for sure beforehand, and it probably goes without saying really, but end of the day that’s what will matter. 49ers need to hit on some high round picks.

              5. Like the list PT but the guy has to be available to play. A Tackle may have to wait a year or two. You have to have someone who won’t be buried on the depth chart. Someone who can hit the ground running.

                One of my problems with Pettis and Thomas is that we already had players in those positions which could do the job reasonably well. We needed CBs and Eshelman rushers (and still do) and failed to address these areas for guys who couldn’t or were unlikely to have immediate impact (or put in a role they weren’t suited for).

              6. *Edge

                Spellcheck made Eshelman the substitute. Lol Apparently it thinks the Niners need a school of Pharmacy! Might’ve helped on the injury front.

            2. The team already has several tackles though Prime. There also isn’t a CB worth taking in the top three, and OT is not a need unless Staley hangs it up. I understand what you are saying in regards to the edge rusher position being loaded, but I do not think the team should pass on Bosa just because of that.
              If the 49ers have the top pick in the draft, then Bosa needs to be the pick. If they have the second pick, then the 49ers should take Bosa if he inexplicably falls to them; otherwise, the team should try to trade down. If for some reason or another they are unable to trade out of the pick, then they should take the best player available, which will most likely be Ferrell, Williams, or Oliver. Finally, if the team lands the third pick in the draft (and is unable to trade down), then they should take the BPA That remains of the aforementioned three.
              I cannot say who I would want the 49ers to take with the second or third pick if Bosa is not there because the three prospects that I have mentioned will probably be the best prospects, but they are prospects that I would not take with the second or third pick. I love Ferrell, but he lacks the power I want to see from an edge rusher drafted within the first three picks. I am also worried that DT Williams is a one year wonder, and there are apparent maturity issues with Oliver.

              1. I like Jachai Polite’s skills as a compliment to what we have now over Ferrell. I think his first step as well as his lateral movement are elite level explosive over Ferrell’s. If no trade partners develop and Bosa is off the board, I’d have no problem taking him with the 2nd pick….

              2. Bosa looks to be the most dynamic but I have concerns about his injury.

                I hate the fact we might have to take another defensive tackle.
                Greedy Williams or Jonah Williams look like safe every day bets that’s why I suggested corner and tackle.

                My main concern is this draft pick is so crucial that we have to get it right. It has to be a player that’s going to have a long lasting impact.

              3. Razor, I agree with you re Polite – as you know I am quite the fan. But he is still very much a work in progress technique wise. I think he has better upside than Ferrell, but Ferrell is a safe choice. He has very good technique and is good across the board (though imo lacking any one dominant trait).

                Ideally if they miss out on Bosa they can trade back a bit.

              4. With not a lot of QB’s to take in the top 5, trading back is gonna be hard.
                Someone help me out, when was last time someone traded up for a corner or DT in the last 5 years of the draft?

              5. If we can maintain the 2nd overall selection and Herbert comes out, there’s a good chance we either get Bosa or a substantial trade partner. Barring those two things, I don’t see it. However, if we win a few games and are drafting in the top seven, we could still end up with an elite pass rusher in Polite….

              6. Quarterbacks are likely to inflate in value and rise, simply because the need is greater in that position. That may provide opportunities which is why I wondered whether the 2 pick was better than the 1.

                I would add that this has become critical for a number of factors, not the least of which was the previous regime track record and the poor use of draft capital by this one. It is make or break.

              7. A few points.

                We absolutely need an edge rusher and while we can trade back and still get a decent one, I wouldn’t wait until round two as the dropoff would be massive.

                If we draft a DT and it’s not due to some trade of Buckner for a first or something… I’ll probably throw a brick through my TV… and might even ask for Grant to replace the GM, because at least he wouldn’t have proven himself to be incompetent.

                The teams picking at the top of the draft are starting to look more qb needy than previously thought. Oakland, NY, and TB all look like they migh be in the market next year. The question is not is their a top tier qb in this draft… but rather is one clearerly more coveted than the others? If so he will be valuable.

              8. I know you guys are high on Polite but he looks short to me and I haven’t seen anything special in the way of pass rush moves that would lead me to use a first round pick on him. Obviously he has some potential, but I would not use a high first round pick on potential. If they can’t get Bosa – and there is nothing to suggest he is injury prone or cannot recover from the core muscle injury he suffered – then for me it’s a trade down or the next best pass rusher which is likely Ferrell. There are a number of pass rushers who will be drafted throughout the mid first into the second round, but the quality drops off imo from Bosa to Ferrell and then to everyone else.

              9. What makes him special is he is an elite athlete. I agree he needs to work on his technique and repertoire of moves, but he already is very dangerous as a speed rusher simply due to his athletic talent, and he does have a pretty good spin move counter.

                As for being short, so? As long as he doesn’t have dinosaur arms being around 6’0″ to 6’2″ is fine. It can actually be an adavantage.

                Polite’s upside as a pass rusher is as high as any edge player in this class.

              10. « As long as he doesn’t have dinosaur arms »

                And that’s the rub. Until the combine we don’t know these numbers I believe.

                Is it usual for guys that are 6’ to 6’2  to have 34-35 inch arms?

              11. Jack Hammer: And that’s the rub. Until the combine we don’t know these numbers I believe.

                From the 3-4 games that I’ve watched (LSU being one of them), I’ll go out on a limb and say he’ll have the longest height to arm length ratio of any player at the combine. Just remember I said it first so I can beat my chest later….🌰

              12. What makes him special is he is an elite athlete. I agree he needs to work on his technique and repertoire of moves, but he already is very dangerous as a speed rusher simply due to his athletic talent, and he does have a pretty good spin move counter.
                As for being short, so? As long as he doesn’t have dinosaur arms being around 6’0″ to 6’2″ is fine. It can actually be an adavantage.
                Polite’s upside as a pass rusher is as high as any edge player in this class.

                That’s why I said awhile back the testing will be everything with him. If he really is 6″2 then it’s not as big of an issue and I could be completely off base in regards to his height, but as I said he looks short to me and I’ve seen him get engulfed by some OT’s in recent weeks. There aren’t many 6 foot edge rushers in the league. Dumervil was the exception, not the norm. I did say I see the potential so I agree he has upside, but spending a high first round pick on potential/upside is a gamble I don’t want the Niners to take.

              13. Agreed, Scooter. Polite wasn’t much of a gentleman versus LSU.

                Razor I respect your thoughts on here, but you have a tendency to base some of your views on small amounts of information like you did with Thomas. You and I disagreed on his ability to become an Edge player and you kept referencing the NC game which is why your viewpoint was a little skewed and I think you are doing the same here in regards to Polite. The LSU game was his best of the season and it was good but go and watch some of his other games – Georgia in particular – and then balance that against what you saw vs. LSU.

                Again not trying to insult you or put you down here. Just mentioning the examples I’ve seen in regards to your excitement over certain players based on small amounts of info.

              14. If you liked Landry, you should remember what your grandmother used to harp on about; be Polite! He doesn’t have quite the bend, but he’s every bit as explosive. You’ll be surprised by his length when we get to the combine. He looks long and angular with a chiseled rock body. His arms will be over 33″ and you can take that to the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group….🏧

              15. Rocket, I thank you my blood brother. I’ve only watched 4 of his games and I plan to watch more, but from my layman’s perspective, he’s the 2nd best pass rusher after Bosa in terms of athletic speed around the edge. I believe that’s the single most important compliment to what we have now. We add a vet edge presence opposite Polite, with Buckner/Thomas inside; we’ll have a 3 pointed pass rushing attack that will be extremely difficult to stop.🛑

              16. As to whether he will have the longest arm to height ratio I don’t know, though I have seen a scouting report that suggested exactly the same thing so I guess that is where you get it from. But yeah, arm length isn’t something I have noticed as an issue for him. And he doesn’t look under 6’0″ to me.

                As for explosiveness, I think he is actually more explosive than Landry, but not quite as flexible (doesn’t show the same kind of bend). Very sudden in his movement, and good change of direction. Obviously it is all speculation until the combine, but I expect he will have a very good combine. While I think Ferrell will be somewhat disappointing at the combine.

              17. You both may be right on the money in regards to Polite and I could be wrong, wouldn’t be the first time. If he is taller than I think he is and tests well in the offseason, you guys could be right and he’ll go pretty high. There is definitely athleticism and speed to build on with him. I just don’t want to see a gamble with the first round pick not work out. You never have a sure thing in this league, but some other players will be ranked ahead of him who are better bets.

              18. Scooter, you can tell how long the kid is by watching him. His hands hang nearly to his knees. Khalil Mack’s arm length is over 33″ and I’ve compared their images to attempt to gauge body type and length:

                Mack Daddy: https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2018/08/30/USAT/2bd0a513-4789-4bad-8bb9-f8d141ac5298-USATSI_10484988.jpg

                ImPolite: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d2/62/ff/d262ffb81622f7dcc4754ce20867d0b5.jpg

                Now Mack weighed in and measured: 6′-3″ 250lbs 33.25″ arms
                They list ImPolite: 6′-2″ 260lbs

                After studying the photos, you tell me who has more length? I’m also going to keep in mind that he could get longer, because Mack is a full grown man!₼

        1. Taking a lesser player in order to take someone safe was what got us Thomas. He was viewed as a safe pick and look how that turned out.

          1. Yea, that’s where Scooter and I disagree. I don’t think we can afford to play it safe this time around. We need speed off the edge, and Polite makes no apologies….

              1. Sure was. Weren’t you aware of our rushing defense? It was non existent. Thomas was the best run stuffer in the nation, and at the same time came with interior disruptive skill. Last I checked Lynch agreed with me. Are you one of those that are labeling Thomas a bust already?

              2. Ha! You are funny! You are a revisionist of history!

                As a pick he was a wasn’t the best use of draft capital. Still is. Don’t recall calling him a bust either, but you are avoiding the main point of your r very own statement : “can’t play it safe this time around”. Who do you mean, Thomas? McGlinchy?

              3. Not sure what you find so amusing or what the hell you’re talking about wrt revision. Thomas was the safe pick. McGlinchey was the sensible pick. This pick needs to be audacious. That’s not Ferrell. He does not possess the athletic skill set of a Polite….

              4. Adusoron says:
                March 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm
                “Question for the floor: Is it realistic to think that Solomon Thomas is suited for our LEO role? Is he really a true edge rusher?
                Otherwise isn’t he potentially doubling up on Armstead/Buckner’s positions, with less height and NFL mass, and shorter arms?”

                Razoreater says:
                March 22, 2017 at 1:58 pm
                “He tested very close to Khalil Mack’s numbers, and he can line up at Leo when Lynch is too winded. King Solomon has outstanding stamina, and seems to get stronger in the 4th quarter similar to a bruising running back….”

                That’s why I laugh…

              5. East,
                Thomas was considered a safe pick coming out. The biggest question regarding him for SF was if he was bringing a redundant skill set which turned out to be the case… and sadly he wasn’t as good at filling those roles as some who already were in the roster.

              6. Shoup,

                I know he was the safe pick, but we should have picked a CB or a safety or a true Edge player like some of us advocated! You are correct on all points concerning Thomas and there were these same concerns raised about him.

                Razor chose to tout him as a future Hall of Famer and gave him a royal nickname which, thankfully fell by the wayside…

            1. I need to scout the edge rushers before I take a side. However, site unseen, give me the guy that is best pass rusher… If our opponents choose to run at him on passing downs so be it. We have to get to the qb so we can start putting away games when teams are in must pass situations.

              1. Shoup, we have interior pressure with Buckner and hopefully Thomas. If we can add speed off one edge with Polite, while adding another competent pressure vet from the other edge, we’ll have a 3 prong pressure attack. That’s what we need. Pressure from both edges and pressure inside. Very difficult to deal with….

              2. Razor,
                I thought it was obvious from my posts I preferred an edge rusher. So I was choosing from the edge selections… If they drafted a DT I’d throw a brick through my TV.

              3. Shoup, let’s wait until after the Bowl games to anoint a top pass rusher.
                Of course, everything will change during the Combine, and the Niners might strike gold in free agency. Kentavius Street may emerge as a starter, too.
                I agree, DT is low priority. In fact, maybe the Niners could trade or swap a DT to a needy team that has a surplus of DBs.

      1. East, you are learning. Glad you acknowledge my trade back strategy is the smart way to go, especially for a rebuilding team.
        However, you should work on your originality. Parroting is fine, for a bird brain.

        1. Ah Seb, always behind the curve and never knowing when someone is mocking you (literary devices 101 – reading as it is often said, is fundamental)!

          It must be very freeing to be that thick! Of course for the rest of us, who have to deal with narcissistic fools it can be quite an ordeal, like having a two year old throw a a continual temper tantrum.

          You remind me of that Far Side cartoon of the two devils talking about the guy who doesn’t seem to get it.

          For the record, your idiotically conceived tradebacks, where several move backs garners 400 extra picks or more is still stupid and worthy of scorn and ridicule. Trade backs themselves have been something discussed on this board, long before you darkened it’s cloud space.

          I’m sure there is a sandlot you can go to with your little temper tantrums and tall tales…

          1. You all are trying too hard. Quit sounding so desperate.
            I really must be such a threat to your psyche, that you have to obsess about me.
            Trade backs were ridiculed as unreasonable, improbable and impossible. Now, even you are parroting my proposal. Nice try.

            1. Every team would love to trade back and acquire more picks. You act like you invented this concept.
              That’s what makes you so fun to ridicule!

              1. Prime, looks like I am getting the last laugh.
                You ridiculed the very idea of a trade back. Now, many detractors are touting that concept.
                Looks like the Seahawks read this site, because they even traded back multiple times.
                Pete Carroll is one sharp cookie, and it looks like he accepts good ideas, even from an opponent.

              2. For some reason Seb thinks he is a pioneer with all these concepts that were around since the NFL’s inception in 1920.

              3. Prime, so why did you ridicule even the concept of trading back?
                Oh, I know. You just wanted to diss me, even if it made you eventually look clueless.

              4. Prime, so why did you ridicule even the concept of trading back?

                Why do you lie? When did I ever say that? There is this novel concept that morons like you and others need to learn. You need proof in order to say someone said or did not say something.

                You are either too stupid or too lazy to find a quote of me saying that. So STFU or find proof and don’t lie and put words in other peoples mouth unless you have proof DA!

              5. Prime, your opposition to anything I write is well established.
                I could write the sky is blue, and you would disagree, then hurl insults.
                Yes, I am too lazy to research the archives, because you and I both know that you are stubbornly opposed to me, and cannot refrain from becoming a potty mouth bully.

              6. “Yes, I am too lazy to research the archives, because you and I both know that you are stubbornly opposed to me, and cannot refrain from becoming a potty mouth bully”

                So instead you lie and put words in peoples mouth because you cannot form an intelligent argument?

                You are some kind of special and I am sure the people you associate with must be so proud to call you a friend!

  40. Bosa or Williams are the guys who should be our main targets in the upcoming Draft.
    Our team would be instantly much better.

    And Seb your comment about Joe is disgusting cuz Joe Montana would thrive under any circumstance, much better than your Kaepie.

    1. Wrong, Joe was part of the 1979 team that went 2-14. He backed up Deberg. He became the starter midway through the 1980 season, that went 6-10.
      Kaep stormed into the SB after only 10 games. Joe did it in his third season. They both hold the record of being SB QBs who threw for over 300 yards while also running for at least 50 yards.
      I love Joe, and had his poster on my wall in college, and think he is the greatest QB of all time, but I like Kaep because he helped make the Niners relevant again.

      1. Hey Sebbie… Remind me how many months ago it was that ‘ol Kaep stormed to the SB, only to be the only 9er QB to lose one. Was it 68 or 69 months? Please help.

        And thanks!

      2. Wait a minute Sebbie… Weren’t you at UC Davis in the mid or late 70s? So you had a high school or ND poster of Joe on your wall? Hmmmmm.

        1. Cassie, I had to work my way through college, and changed majors, so it took longer than 4 years. I also took a planned educational leave to travel through Mexico with my college buddy.

        1. Yes, but he is the only Niner QB to play in a SB since 1994.
          Looks like we will be waiting many more years before that happens again.

            1. I am arguing against you. I do not need to argue for you, by using facts that disprove my case.
              Kaep did not have Ronnie Lott. Joe did.

              1. As I said, it doesn’t disprove what I said and is essentially a sidenote.

                Kaep did not have Ronnie Lott. Joe did.

                Again, it does not disprove my comment.

              2. He just throws out babble because he cannot form a reasonable argument or counter argument and then wonders why people ridicule him.

                Then plays the victim card.

              3. Mid, I did concede the point when I said- yes.
                Hope you can at least acknowledge that what I wrote is true.

              4. I am glad you saw my point, but you also indicated with your words (whether accidentally or intentionally) that the 49ers would be contenders if Kaepernick was the starter. However, his tenure with the 49ers proves that to be false, as he started off white hot and went iceberg cold when the NFL defenses figured out how to counter him. What’s more, his 2016 stats are very misleading . In a piece advocating Kaepernick as one of the best five options to replace Smith at QB, Jacob Camenker of riggorag.com wrote:

                The last time that Kaepernick played in the NFL was in 2016. He started a majority of the season for the 49ers and posted solid stats. He completed 59.2 percent of his passes for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns, and four picks while adding 468 yards and two scores on the ground. However, despite the solid stats, there were some concerns about his performance.

                For starters, Kaepernick went 1-10 in his 11 starts. He couldn’t get the 49ers to win. While that doesn’t fall squarely on him, that does play a role in his evaluation. That said, the bigger problem was that he had trouble throwing the ball consistently, as evidenced by his sub-60 percent completion rate. He just misfired too often when targeting his receivers, and that made him look more like a top-tier backup than a legitimate NFL starter.

                So there you go. I do agree that Kaepernick’s athleticism could make him a good backup QB in the league, his limitations as a passer would make it difficult for anyone running an offense because Kaepernick needs to play in an offense that less passing from the pocket.

                As for Montana having Lott, it isn’t a valid argument in regards to Kaepernick because there have been several QBs that have been good if not elite without a strong defense or defender.

              5. Mid, it is relevant, because Joe did have Ronnie Lott and won 3 SBs. Kaep did not have a Ronnie Lott and did not win a SB. Joe was able to take that next step because he had a good supporting cast, and competent coaching. Kaep lacked both.
                The accuracy screed against Kaep needs context. Joe did not suffer with receivers who routinely dropped the ball. Crabtree has never been known to be a reliable ball catcher. Vance stone hands had that reputation for a reason. Kaep’s completion percentage would be above 60% if the drops were factored in. Kaep cannot throw the ball, and catch it, too.
                The criticism, stating that once the defense figured him out, that made him bad, is specious, because EVERY defense tries to counter what a QB does, and EVERY QB needs to make adjustments, Kaep included. Any QB needs a good supporting cast in order to be successful. Kaep did not have a decent O line, reliable receivers, or the support of the coaches and FO.
                Kaep just put out the fact that he works out 5 hours a day 6 days a week, so he wants to play. Washington just signed Sanchez, so they are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Guess you will now claim that the Butt Fumbler is better than Kaep. I just think it is more collusion and blackballing.

  41. We saw last night exactly why the 49ers would be stupid not to take the best pass rusher available in round 1. A good pass rush makes the rest of the defense a lot easier to play.

    If the 49ers had 1 good outside pass rusher it might make sense to go safety or corner in round 1 and then edge in round 2, but they aren’t in that position.

    1. Should be a good corner at the top of round 2. I like Kristian Fulton outta LSU, but if D. K. Metcalf, WR outta Old Miss is available, I’d pull the trigger on him. Jimmy needs an outside option to compliment Goodwin. In fact, if he’s dangling at the bottom of round 1 I’d say we should move up and grab him….

          1. True. My mistake. Still hold though because you usually have to give up an extra pick for a move up.

            How FA plays out will impact draft moves too.

            1. If Metcalf’s medieval’s check out and he’s sitting there at the bottom of round 1; it should only cost us our 4th round pick. It would be worth the move because it would give us a 5th year option on his services. The way this regime has been able to find competent help in rounds 6, 7 and UFDA; I don’t think it would be a mistake….

              1. And if we signed Ingram and combined him with Polite, we’d have an In-Polite pass rush! I’m here all night….🌉

      1. Foster has the vaping thing and Jimmy fiddles with ‘working’ women. Makes one wonder what’s the deal with our long snapper…

  42. Seb,

    You say Joan, in payroll, passes your football strategy from this blog to the 49er coaches. You ridiculed Juanhunglo’s coaching career, although, you have none yourself.

    I sure the coaches, even if they have time to read this blog’s info., probably stopped reading yours the moment you suggested the following play:

    The QB calls a double reverse (flea-flicker). The prime receiver–“The tight end– feigns falling down, fooling the DB into dropping coverage. The TE gets back up, sprints downfield to catch the game winning long bomb.

    I’m sure the coaches chuckled with one another during their lunch break over the 7-10 seconds it would take for this play to develop and tossed it into the garbage bin, before warning Joan if she ever forwards plays from Sebnynah again it would result in immediate termination.

  43. +1000 Tom, except I’m mad because you made me spit up and choke on a fine sip of Pliny. Funny stuff!! I never worry about criticism. I learned early on how to take the heat, especially from I’ll informed parents that somehow were suddenly experts in the sport though they never even played, let alone coached. Grant and Seb remind me of those parents. F’ing know it alls that couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time. Even the kids would ask me to tell their parents (mostly dads) to shut up! This isn’t tee ball. This is competitive varsity HS and even worse, travel ball where the worst of the worst parents are present, thinking their little Haley is going to get the big scholarship. I can see Grant or Seb being one of those parents. Fortunately most parents are supportive and mature. It only takes one rotten apple to spoil the bunch!

    1. Juan, when coaching my son in soccer, I had to deal with that kind of parent. They try to relive their past sports glory days through their children.
      I stressed team work, sportsmanship and having fun. You seem to be projecting your own ego when talking about me.
      F’ing know it all? Look in a mirror.

  44. Interesting statistic just quoted on MNF game between the Rams and Chiefs. The TD efficiency of the Rams in the redzone is below average for the NFL. Shanahan gets criticized for the low TD efficiency of the 49ers. Both HCs run similar offenses. Of course as soon as I post this the Rams score a TD.

    1. Weapons a plenty tonight. Speed and skill everywhere makes it hard knowing we don’t have anything near the playmakers these 2 teams have.

    2. And against tough teams this could be the Rams undoing.

      My guess is that you are equating the system with the inefficiency though. Could be though.

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