Injury elevates Matt Brieda, Alfred Morris into 49ers’ backfield spotlight

San Francisco 49ers running back Alfred Morris, left, takes a handoff from quarterback C.J. Beathard (3) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

SANTA CLARA — Fifteen minutes into Monday’s practice, Jerick McKinnon walked with crutches to a sideline, sat in a trainer’s cart and watched the 49ers move on without him.

Directly in his line of sight, no more than 25 yards in front of him, were his replacements, running backs Alfred Morris and Matt Breida. McKinnon stared as they took handoffs and caught passes and rehearsed the job he used to have.

“I think they will work really well together,” McKinnon said after practice at his locker while leaning on his crutches. “They’re two different backs and they both have a lot of upside. Coach Shanahan and the rest of the coaches, they do a great job of putting us in positions to be successful. That’s going to continue to happen.”

McKinnon smiled and seemed upbeat merely two days after suffering a season-ending ACL tear in his right knee. His replacements still seemed bothered by his injury.

“I almost teared up when it happened,” Breida said. “I knew something was up, because Jet gets up. He doesn’t just go down after something small.”

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This article has 158 Comments

  1. 49ers backfield will pretty much be the same as last year. I think Morris will be able to give them a bit more in the run game than Hyde on a down to down basis because he’s smoother with the system.

    The only weakness in Breida’s game last year was his ability to catch the ball. If he’s improved on that he could make a nice jump this season.

    Expect Juszczyck to catch a bunch of balls this year.

    1. Yeah, well summed up. My main concern is that Shanahan likely had tailored his playbook for this year around having a receiving back like McKinnon, and will now have to modify those plans a bit. It sets the offense back a bit.

      1. Not sure if I’d say he tailored the offense to having a receiving back. They should still be able to utilize the same concepts with different personnel. If anything it hurts them a bit from a matchup perspective but I think they should be fine.

        Explosive plays are nice, but I’d really like to see them have to work the ball down the field to keep this defense off the field.

        1. Yeah ok. I was thinking one of the reasons he brought McKinnon in was to open up elements of his offense he couldn’t really implement last year, and they would have spent this TC installing it. But you will know more than me as to whether its more just adapting personnel to the same concepts. I agree it does impact matchups though. No doubt they envisaged trying to get LBs matched up out wide against McKinnon. Can obviously still do that with Breida’s speed, but he’s not as adept a pass catcher downfield.

          The idea of methodically marching downfield is a nice one. But realistically, potent offenses are those that do both – have explosive plays and can grind when needed. And being able to threaten explosive plays is a good way of enabling the grinding plays.

          1. I think we will see more explosive plays this year with Goodwin, Pettis and Bourne.

            We have the tools now to be more balanced if the oline holds up.

            It’s definitely a better situation this year compared to last. Hoyer brought some optimism, Jimmy G is for real.

            1. Prime, bringing Hoyer’s name to present it’s like you are living in the past, let the past go and start thinking of present. why mentioned Hoyer? “Jimmy G is for real” really ? tell me something new please..!!!

          2. Scooter,

            Yeah ok. I was thinking one of the reasons he brought McKinnon in was to open up elements of his offense he couldn’t really implement last year, and they would have spent this TC installing it.

            That is exactly why they brought him in. RB’s as part of the receiving game are a staple of this offense and they couldn’t do that as effectively as they wanted to without a true pass catcher out of the backfield. It’s a big loss no matter how we want to look at it. Yes they are essentially where they were last year as far as the depth chart at the position, but I think we may be overstating just how good Alfred Morris is at this stage of his career. He looked great against the Colts and he does have a good feel for this type of system, but it remains to be seen how much gas he has left in the tank. Hopefully he excels in a part time role with Breida, but it’s far from a sure thing. We also don’t have a RB as of now who can fill the pass catching role they had intended for McKinnon so it will be interesting to see how they adapt.

            1. This is a major question mark going into this year and along with the pass rushing challenge, may hamper the team from taking the next step.

            2. Rocket… he’s barely seen playing time the past two years. I don’t think he’s as worn as you think.
              We don’t truly know how McKinnck was going to be. On paper and in our minds he was supposed to be a star.
              Breida is no slouch when it comes to speed and good cuts in the open field. Like JM he isn’t going to be the power runner. And I’ll bet Morris is an upgrade to Hyde in this system.

              Morris and Brieda are going to surprise some of you. You forget they have a QB now that will demand the best from his teammates. The look on JG face against the Colts when those passes were dropped made me feel great.
              There was no it’s ok you’ll get them next time we’ve seen from qb’s who weren’t true leaders The past 5 years.
              Just don’t see it as huge hit to the offense.

              1. The offense is still going to be good, I didn’t mean to imply it wasn’t. My point was that Shanahan handpicked this guy to be his receiving RB and create mismatches. That was going to be a big part of the offense this year and now they have to reboot and spread those catches around.

                I hope you’re right about Morris. If he runs well all season, this offense will be hard to defend. The only question I have is whether he can last a whole season with what figures to be a pretty large workload after being a part time guy the past few years.

  2. Nice. Morris is big enough to run between the tackles. Breida seems like a good change of pace back, but I also hope to see Juice run the ball more.
    .
    If the Niners are confronted with third and short, I hope they spread them out wide, then gash them up the middle with a Juice fullback dive.
    .
    Hopefully, Morris can catch some easy swing passes, too

  3. I think Morris will improve the short yardage plays where it seemed Hyde got stuffed. The McKinnon mishap is a setback no doubt but I think it only changes the direction slightly. Offense is going to kick butt, defense well…..we shall see shortly. Is there going to be enough balls to go around? Nothing elite but lots of playmakers.

    Garcon
    Goodwin
    Taylor
    Kittle
    Juszczyck
    Morris
    Breida

    Not to mention
    Pettis
    James

  4. I believe our run game this Sunday will be adequate. I have confidence that Kyle ‘The Glorified OC’ Shanahan will scheme effectively–execution will be mostly decent. Maybe not 175 yards rushing and 350 passing, but enough yards and time of possession to stay in the game and give the Vikings a headache or two.

    Defense will need to get some timely stops–could be iffy. The game could come down to how well our special teams do–a very strong performance could seal the game in favor of SF. An average performance won’t I’m afraid.

  5. I liked when Morris lined up deep in the I, was allowed to build up a head of steam, then slashed though the hole in the line in the Colts game.
    .
    Hyde tended to plunge straight ahead at the expected hole, that was not there. He could not make the adjustment, then danced around, only to get gang tackled. Last season, the Niner O line was not good at opening up holes. This season, I hope Garnett justifies his first round selection.
    .
    I liked Carlos Hyde, and expect him to do well in Cleveland. Thankfully, we do not have to see him play against the Niners this season.

    1. “Last season, the Niner O line was not good at opening up holes.”

      That is a very good point to consider. I believe that one of the biggest surprises to come out of this season will be the much improved play of the Oline.

      Staley will continue to be the anchor, but the emergence of McGlinchey, Richburg and good play by Tomlinson and either Person or Garnett will make us forget last year’s train wreck.
      The Oline needs to be included in the growth value as well.

      1. I agree. Many were worried about McGlinchey in TC, but the starting O line did not allow a sack in preseason, I believe.
        .
        I like how JL and KS went bold, and rebuilt the O line to their specifications.

  6. Losing Mckinnon puts more pressure on the best play caller in the league.

    I actually think Morris helps the 49ers grind it out with more powered based runs.

    At first I’d like to see both guys on the field at the same time so teams won’t know if it’s pass or run. So many times last year with Carlos Hyde and Breida, you kinda knew what play was coming. Hyde power run, Breida a sweep or screen.

    This offense still has a lot of weapons and let’s not forget the Jimmy G factor.

  7. He cuts on empty field and done for the year? That’s it?

    Is this guy glass? $30m nice work bruh. This is starting out like a Giant’s year. This injury thing is why football sucks, in a way. You get a mishmash of minimum wage guys and a couple stars. FFS wait til week 8…what will it look like then?

    This is why we do not pay to get in that wallet sucking stadium. I went to 2 games there. I’m done.

    1. Nice article. Thanks for the share George.

      Shows a lot about Alfred’s ability and surprisingly shows Staley had a rough outing based on those clips.
      only complaint, the writer seems to be counting yards based on the handoff point not the LOS… which is a bit confusing.

      1. Even without McKinnon, the team should be effective running the ball.

        If that’s the case, Shanny’s offense will be virtually unstoppable.

      2. PFF is rating them a bit high if you ask me.
        I’d love it if that turned out to be true but they only looked good against the Colts (who are Terrible against the run, as teams averaged 120 yrds a game against them last year). Dallas’ starters and Houstons backups dominated this Oline in the run game. They are still geling so there is no need to think they can’t become very good. However, it may take them longer to do so as 3 of the players they listed (Garnett isn’t even a current starter) barely played, if at all, last year.

        1. The o-line wasn’t dominated in the Texans game. They created holes but the RB couldn’t hit them. That’s a big part of why he’s now on the Colts.

          1. Rocket,
            The point regarding the Oline is that it is making inroads on improving from last year.

            I’m impressed by McGlinchey. He is a quick study and I saw a game to game growth in his play.

            While most of the preseason buzz has typically surrounded Richie James, Pettis, Jullian Taylor and a few others, McGlinchey has quietly stabilized his position for the next 10 + years.

            I expect to see McGlinchey receive some high recognition at the end of the season.

            1. I agree they will improve, I just don’t see it happening right away. There are still some issues up front both with talent and the fact they haven’t been together for very long. I think McGlinchey will be fine. He is going to take some lumps and have inconsistencies in his performance, but he’s a talented kid. We have to be patient with him. What gives me a lot of optimism is Garnett’s comeback. He really worked his butt off and looks like he may be able to fulfill at least a small part of the expectations we had when he was drafted.

  8. Everybody’s ignoring Raheem Mostert but he’ll get his share of reps and his 4.3 speed and excellent blocking and pass protection ability will be enough. In addition, look for Richie James to get reps in the backfield. He had plenty of carries out of the backfield in college in addition to his massive stats as a receiver.

    1. I agree with you because Kyle Shanahan is going to use all these guys in one form or the other.
      This is a critical year for him to show he can run his offense now that he has a franchise quarterback and a strong wide receiver unit, 2 pretty good tight ends and a sub par offensive line that could turn out to be really good

    2. He’s going to suit up for ST, so he’ll be available for spot duty on game days. Even if only 2/5 plays per game, in McK’s absence, he may get some plays/targets. Or decoys.

    3. “Everybody’s ignoring Raheem Mostert but he’ll get his share of reps”

      Mostert touched the ball 6 times last season. He’s on the team because of his abilities on special teams.

  9. 10 reasons why the Niner running game will improve.
    .
    1. Morris is an upgrade from Hyde. Morris thrived in the KS offense in Washington, and can run the OZ scheme. Hyde, while talented, was a bad fit.
    2. While McKinnon is a blow, Breida is a very similar player, and has shown an ability to catch the ball. He just needs to be more consistent, but he will be able to exploit the mismatches in the secondary.
    3. McGlinchey is an upgrade from Brown. Brown is great in NE, because his main job will be to protect Brady. Brown struggled at run blocking, and McGlinchey excels at run blocking. It is pass protection that has question marks for MM, and he will have stern tests against Bosa and Donald.
    4. The emergence of Garnett is great news. The former Outland Trophy winner showed his nasty streak, pancaking LBs down field. I would not be surprised if he starts by the 4th game.
    5. Person is good depth, because he can also play center. However, he may have won the RG position. He is an upgrade from Fusco.
    6. Richberg will be an upgrade from Kilgore. DK was pushed back into the pocket too easily. WR does have some anchor, but the season will determine if he is better than DK.
    7. The Niners picked up some strong O linemen on waivers, and after the cuts. How good they are will be determined later.
    8. Overall, JL has provided KS the players he wants to run the OZ scheme. Hope they develop cohesion and teamwork. The O line allowed few sacks in the preseason.
    9. Kyle Juszczyk is integral to the KS system. He should be utilized like they did with Tom Rathman. Hope he catches over 50 passes, and runs for 300.
    10. Jimmie Garoppolo made last year’s O line better, so he will make this season’s O line better. He will be more familiarized with the playbook, overall scheme and players. JG can present a passing threat, so the defense cannot stack 8 in the box and dare them to throw. If they did that, JG would slice and dice them. JG will implement a balanced attack, so the defense will have to defend against both the run and pass. Then, JG will just take what the defense gives them. JG will get the ball into the hands of his playmakers, hopefully with open space in front of them.

    1. Seb, +1 although I think we’ll have to see if Garnett can be consistent.

      Re the new OL pickups, from what I’ve read about them if you were Shanahan you’d hate to have to put any of them in a game right now, but like you said, we’ll see. Shows how good a pick-up Person was.

      1. Thank you George. Hope your ticker is going strong.
        .
        Your keen insights and level headed thinking bring a lot to this site. I always look forward to your posts.
        .
        I agree. The backups may be strong, but I did not include fast. Sounds like they are works in progress.

        1. Thanks for your kind words, Seb. And my ticker is fine. Ask my wife.t

          And I’m not suggesting any of the new linemen are strong. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re here for just a cup of coffee. I just assume they’re aren’t any good backups available.

  10. I’m pretty nervous about this year and that was before the RB injury. There is reports that Brieda might get the start due to Morris doesn’t know the playbook, if that’s the case then 49ers will be in trouble but I’m sure Morris will play. I know Brieda is a second year player and he has to improve his catching but as soon as Jerick went down they should of traded for a RB right away. Yea it might seem like a desperate move to sign or trade for a player but if they want to win they should know that Brieda is not the answer. Now they brought in Morris knowing that Brieda would be ready week 1 and also Jerick given that he was running on video and make cuts so either they knew they needed better player or that Joe was going to be let go. Either way they probably should of traded for a pass catching RB.

    The LB core its probably the worst in the NFL until Foster comes back but not much more when he does. this is another area where they should of traded or signed a better payer. Now if all goes well they will get lots of credit for sticking with their players they had but I wouldn’t take that chance if I want to win now. But maybe they did try to trade but did not want to give up that much. The way that Mack trade went down and the Bears received a 2nd round pick back if I was the 49ers I would of made that trade. Instead they trade a 7nd round pick for an OT.

    The Safety position I’m concerned as well. They should of brought in a veteran to at least see if they could win the starting spot along side Tartt. I know people think they found somebody in Adrian but that’s still a big risk because they don’t have a pass rush along with no real talent at LB. But what do I know since lots of peole are picking the 49ers to make the playoffs.

  11. Good to see Colin Kaepernick still able to make a living even though its not in football. I do not think he truly loved football as he turned down a lot of offers to be a back up. Good for him anyways.

    1. Gasoline, he was a one trick pony QB that got lucky over a 10 game span because of a great running game, great defense and a league with no film on him.
      Good for him for trying to make a change but it cost him a career in pro sports. I hope he is happy with that as I am happy he is no longer part of the 49ers!

    2. Kaep is better than half the starters, and almost all the backups. He will play again, since he is only 30.
      .
      Once he wins his lawsuit, he will become a hero to the players, because by voiding the CBA, the players will stop being exploited by the owners. The players will be able to negotiate better terms, and past players will get proper medical care. Thankfully, he has written proof on collusion.
      .
      I hope this gets Goodell fired.

      1. Sebbie….

        He’ll be 31 in 60 days. If he were to return, the earliest will be the 2019 season…when mid-way through he’d be 32. In 2019 he’ll be closing in on his 32nd birthday and off the field for two full seasons (2017 and 2018). Oh, and it’ll be going on 6 years in February 2019 since his SB appearance. Six. Yeah, 2019 he could just pop right in and play one dimensional football at a very high level. Yup.

        As far as Goodell goes, ya gotta get the requisite number of owners to let him go…but I’m sure you knew that all along.

        1. You gotta give it to Seb, he’s holding onto to that dream like its a cure for baldness. CK is so good, he could step in a ndtake the league by storm once again. As soon as Vince McMahon and the WWE get their league up and running, Kap will get his chance. Cant wait till 2025!

        2. Cassie, I was precisely correct when I stated he was 30 years old.
          .
          I am hoping some courageous owner will want to win so much, he will take a chance on Kaep this year. Maybe the Jags, since you must concede that Kaep is better than Bortles.

          1. Well Sebbie…you concluded last year that Shanahan ‘didn’t want to win‘ because he didn’t bring Kaep back. Remember that?

            Do you still believe today Shanahan doesn’t want to win–for the reason he hasn’t returned Kaep to the squad?

            1. Cassie, that was while the Niners were in a 9 game free fall.
              .
              I firmly believe that while they tried hard to win, they were content to lose. Jed himself told us, that losing means being rewarded with a high draft position.
              .
              Cassie, Cassie, Cassie. Nope, nein, non, eyeh. Now that KS had JG fall into his lap, he is fighting hard to build a winning team, and JL is building, brick by brick, a championship culture. JG is the starting franchise QB for the Niners, and I hope he leads them to multiple more rings.
              .
              Kaep is not needed here, even though I think he would be a huge upgrade from CJB. I fully expect Kaep will go to another team, and come storming back into the playoffs. Kaep should start. He would be wasting his time sitting behind JG. I wish him well, but if the Niners meet a Kaep led team in the SB, I would root for JG to win, every day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

              1. Just checking Sebbie… Twelve months ago you were adamant that Shanahan wasn’t interested in winning.

              2. Considering he made Hoyer the starter , his actions spoke louder than words. Glad he came to his senses, and benched him.

              3. He was good the first year because nobody knew about him or had film on him, not talking college either. After that they had his number and he couldn’t hit a barn door. I couldn’t stand to watch him.

    3. Where did you hear or read that he turned down a lot of offers to be a backup Gasoline? There was a rumor generated from some site called the daily caller that circulated last year saying he didn’t want backup money or to be a backup QB, but it was shot down by Kaepernicks reps. He had one visit last season with the Seahawks. That’s it and anybody who believes he’s out of the league because he isn’t good enough is delusional. He’s out of the league because the owners don’t want to face the criticism from the zealots who would lose their minds the same way they are now with the Nike ad campaign.

      1. When Marcus Mariota got hurt last year didn’t they bring him and work him out and he turned them down? Also, after the Seahawk work out didn’t he state he didn’t want to be a back up, thought he was a starter? There have been rumors so I should not say for sure what happened but from what I’ve read and heard, he believed he was a starter and that might have prevented him from getting a chance to be on a team and work his way up.

        1. No that never happened. He would have been a good fit behind Mariota and was interested but they didn’t give him a chance. He also didn’t state anything about not wanting to be a backup. There are tons of rumors out there but nothing from Kaepernick. The reality is he hasn’t been given a chance and it’s not because of his ability as a QB.

          1. Another dreamer! You can say what you want, if he was a good QB, someone would have given him a chance. He’s not and the bottom line is no team wants a limited QB. You Americans and your conspiracy theories, laughable!

            1. if he was a good QB, someone would have given him a chance.

              Smh. You are either incredibly naïve or just incapable of getting over the bias you have held against this guy from day one.

              He’s not and the bottom line is no team wants a limited QB

              An even sillier statement easily dismissed simply by looking at the QB depth charts across the league.

              Just more examples of you making sh*t up and believing it despite all the evidence contradicting you.

        2. “the Titans snubbed Kaepernick after starting quarterback Marcus Mariota suffered a hamstring injury and instead signed Weeden. Titans coach Mike Mularkey said the team didn’t consider Kaepernick because he didn’t know the offense….,,As CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora wrote earlier this month, “Tennessee officials were contacted and made aware of Kaepernick’s fitness level, his regimen and his desire to work out for the team, but sources said the matter was unable to advance.”

          Let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good narrative.

          Is Kaepernick limited in certain areas? Yes

          Is Kaepernick good enough to be a backup in the league? Yes. He’s not better than 1/2 the starting QB’s in the league, but he’s definitely better than 1/2 of the backups. At least he was.

          1. I beg to differ. Kaep is definitely better than any Buffalo QB right now, and his QBR is better than many starters in the league.
            .
            Personally, I think he is better than any raw rookie, since he made it to the SB after only 10 games, and tied a record with Joe Montana, throwing for over 300 yards while running for over 50 yards.
            .
            A limited, mediocre QB does not set a QB playoff rushing record of 181 yards.
            .
            Yes, I will concede that Kaep has room for improvement, but many teams are content to lose without him, rather than winning with him.

      2. “That’s it and anybody who believes he’s out of the league because he isn’t good enough is delusional”

        You think NFL owners are afraid of “zealots”. These guys are billionaires and can dictate whatever they want. They are not afraid of much as the NFL will always sell tickets and have a strong viewership.

        Bottom line is Colin Kaepernick is a running QB with a limited skill set to pass the ball. Team don’t want players with a limited skill set at the most important position in sports. Anyone who cannot understand that is delusional!

        1. You can’t be serious? Have you paid any attention to the anthem issue at all? The owners were worried enough about the zealots that they implemented a flawed rule to try and force players to stand or stay in the locker room during the anthem. That is a response based on fear of a group of loud consumers Kaepernick falls into the same area. Whether it’s because they fear the backlash and attention or they side with the stand or you aren’t a Patriot crowd, the owners are influenced greatly by fan sentiment on these issues.

          Kaepernick had a lot of success in this league whether you want to acknowledge it or not. There are a number of teams running offenses that he would fit in quite well. There are a dearth of quality backups in the league right now. I can’t spell it out any simpler for you.

          1. ” Kaepernick had a lot of success in this league whether you want to acknowledge it or not”
            I acknowledge 10 games didn’t I?

            “There are a number of teams running offenses that he would fit in quite well”
            Says you and not the 32 teams working in the NFL, so your opinion means as much as a popcorn fart in the Sahara!

            ” I can’t spell it out any simpler for you”
            You don’t have to. The fact he is unemployed in the NFL substantiates my claim of what I said after the Bears game many moons ago till now. One trick, flash in the pan type player.

            Bottom line you can say the owners have colluded but owners and teams and coaches would rather win games and simply put, no one believes old wind up can help them. Even as a back up.

            1. Prime, while I usually agree with you, you’re simply wrong about this one. Sure, if Colin were as good as Rodgers or Brees, he’d still have a job in the NFL. However, Kaepernick is certainly a backup level QB who is capable of pushing a number of starters in this league. That alone should have him employed. And there is no credible evidence to suggest Colin turned down a chance at a backup gig in the NFL. He was blackballed. Whether he can prove collusion is another matter.

              Being the face of the anthem protest is the reason he’s no longer employed in the NFL, not because he isn’t talented enough to play in the league.

              Good for him, and good for NIKE, for making Kap the face of their 30th anniversary of their Just Do It campaign. And boo-hoo for all of those people out there who thought they had silenced the kid.

              In fact, Colin is quickly becoming an icon in the world of sports, social equality, and freedom of speech. That’s simply a fact!

              1. Back up QB I’ll agree with. But sports icon, no way!

                At the end of the day he is not worth the distraction or is he good enough to compete for a starters job.

                My take on Kaepernick has always remained the same and it’s true till this day. He’s a running QB with an inability to read defenses and throw from the pocket with accuracy.
                All this other stuff about collusion and blackballing is for people who cannot admit he is not good enough for the NFL anymore.

                Now as for this movement he is trying to create to bring awareness to social injustice and police brutality, good for him. Will it change? Let’s just say this, Colin Kaepernick is not going to be talked about or remembered by my kids your kids your grand kids or my grand kids.
                The point is, not in this lifetime will he have done enough to make a difference.

      3. Why would owners take heat for a qb who can’t throw simple passes and make simple reads in the nfl?
        They take heat by keeping drug abusers, women beaters, and dui artists. Only if they’re stars though.
        You’d have to be a fool if you think they wouldn’t sign him if he was a bonified star in this league!
        Sorry second string scrubs aren’t worth the headache. And that is the way it is, and color or protesting has nothing to do with it! Winning games and putting butts in the seats do. He doesn’t do that!

    4. Kaepernick is to fans what Tebow is to fans: a controversial marginal QB that said fans decry why they aren’t in the league whilst forgetting that they previously were lamenting about his horrific play when he was in the league.
      The only sacrifice truly associated with Kaepernick is the 2011 second round pick the 49ers used on him.

      1. Sorry Mid but your comparison is a poor one. Tebow couldn’t play QB at this level and the only people calling for him to get another chance were those who supported his public religious expression . Kaepernick had a good run under Harbaugh, faltered under Tomsula then had a decent comeback with Kelly. The only reason he’s not playing in the league is the Anthem protest.

        1. Kaepernick’s faltering really began during the second half of 2014 while Harbaugh was still the HC.

          Could be wrong, but wasn’t impressed with his play under Kelly either. His stats were good, but most of that was put up during garbage time.

          1. Jack,

            There were some poor performances in the second half of that season but he had some good games during that stretch as well. That season was derailed by injuries and Jed York; not Kaepernick.

            I wasn’t insinuating that he was really good under Kelly. Just that he came back after injury and not a lot of time in the system to play decently for what was a really poor team overall.

            1. “There were some poor performances in the second half of that season but he had some good games during that stretch as well.”

              That’s like trying to put lipstick on a pig.

              In the first half of 2014 he completed 64% of his passes. In the second half he was down to 56%.

              In the first half of 2014 he completed over 60% of his passes six times. He did that only twice in the second half.

              In the first half of 2014 he threw for over 200 yards in all 8 games. He did it only 3 times in the second half, and was under 150 yards 3 times.

              In the first half of 2014 he averaged 7.61 yards per attempt. That dropped to 6.39 in the second half.

              His TD/Int ratio was 12/5 in the first half compared to 7/5 in the second.

              He was pretty bad during that stretch.

              1. When you take an average of the 9 games after the bye, it doesn’t tell you anything about the individual performances in each game. If you break it down you can see he had some pretty good performances:

                Three games where he had a passer rating of 93.5 or higher

                Some middling performances – 3 games with a passer rating in the mid 80’s and one in the mid 70’s .

                Two absolutely horrific games – he had a passer rating of 36 and 54 in these two. The two bad games are the outlier and make the average worse than the overall numbers would indicate.

                Another stat to ponder: he only threw interceptions in 3 of the 9 games. In two of them he was sacked a combined 9 times. The Oline was really poor the second half of the season and that played a big part in the struggles as well.

                You also have to take the situation into account. There were a ton of injuries on both sides of the ball and the weekly Harbaugh is getting fired rumors were rampant. It was not a great season from him at all, but that entire season was marred by a lot more than the play of Kaepernick.

                In my opinion, the downward spiral really began when Harbs was fired, and Kaepernick went to the performance centre to try and work on his touch. He came out of there completely out of whack using a different throwing motion and got worse as the season went along. Combine that with the poor Coaching and you get what we saw.

              2. Rocket I think your defence of Kaepernick has more to do with your hate for Trump than it does your honest evaluation of Kaepernick the player.
                You’ve presented so many reasons as to why he didn’t have success and why he isn’t in the league, at the end of the day can you truly say with a straight face that Kaepernick is a legit QB? Would you want him on the 49ers today as starter or back up?

              3. Prime,

                I’ve been defending Kap’s run here since long before Trump was elected. I also know he is not capable of being a top level NFL starter. I do think he could be one of the best backups in the league and I would take him in that capacity for the Niners.

              4. You had to throw another game into the mix to get to a QB rating of 93 or better 3 times.

                Let’s go with 90 as the benchmark. He did that 5 times in the first half. Twice in the second half.

                In the games that he had a rating from 80-90 in the second half not once did he get over 200 yards, and his yards per attempt were all worse in those games than even his worst 1st half performance.

                His worse ypa in the 1st half was 6.62. In the second half he was below that average 4 times.

                In the first half of the season he was sacked 4 or more times in 4 games. That was matched in the second half.

                You keep saying stuff like, “that entire season was marred by a lot more than the play of Kaepernick” and I’m not debating that fact.

                All I’m saying is that his level of play saw a downturn even before the firing of Harbaugh. And the evidence backs that up.

              5. There was a downturn Jack I agree with you, but there was still some good play in there as well which is all I said. I picked the games after the break because – and I can’t remember if it was you I talked to about this previously – the injury to Kilgore against Denver really seemed to mess things up offensively. There was a direct correlation between that game and the offense taking a downward turn for a good portion of the second half of the season.

                Conversely, I point to the offseason after Harbaugh was fired because his play fell off a cliff by the time he was benched. He didn’t look right at any point during that season.

              6. His time at EXOS was a bust. Funny thing about that, the guy who primarily worked with him, Dennis Gile, is off racing cars now.

              7. It looks like you are looking to put a plague on the wall for Kaepernick.
                I don’t think I am discounting his play for the 49ers but in the end he was the first ever Niners QB to lose in the SB. That’s his legacy and yes I’m bitter because of that!

              8. Racing cars…figures.

                Prime,

                While he was the first Niner QB to lose a SB, he also was the only one to have to do it without any help from the other side of the ball. You hold a grudge over that and that’s your prerogative but that makes it impossible for you to discuss him objectively.

                I’m not looking to make a martyr of Kaepernick. I just appreciate what he did for this team and wish him the best. He was the QB for the only decent run this team has had in 20 years. He deserves some respect for that; not scorn imo. I think it’s a travesty that he is not on a roster and see no way it’s for anything other than the protest. Simple as that.

        2. -The only reason he’s not playing in the league is the Anthem protest.

          Thats not it at all. The reason he is not playing is because teams do not want to revamp their entire personnel and offense for him. He requires a certain type of offensive line and certain type of run game and unique passing game. Kinda like how Greg Roman tried to, eventually it’s like trying to invent a new offense never been done in the NFL. And frankly he is just not worth it as you can see.

          1. Bada bing Chris! Harbaugh got away with it in the SB run but then the league caught on after the Ravens showed how to beat him.
            The pistol worked but eventually it was stopped and it forced Kap like all QB’s in the NFL to throw from the pocket with accuracy.

            Rocket can blame injuries and the coaching staff and the anthem all he wants. No team wants to draft around a player who simply cannot play from the pocket.

            1. They caught on after the Ravens showed how to beat him? Kaepernick was the only reason they were even in position to win the SB at the end. He lit the Ravens up. They then went to the NFCCG the following year and came within inches of going to a second SB. Nobody figured him out. Harbaugh left, he struggled under a lousy OC in Geep Chryst, got injured and then knelt for the anthem. That is why he is out of the league. You have some serious issues when it comes to telling the truth.

              His lack of improvement as a pocket passer ended any chance of being a long term starter. He was still good enough to be a quality backup and bridge starter for a team that had a good running game and defense.

              1. The INT before half really kept them in it? If not for the lights going out, it was a blow out. That just gave the Niners a chance to regroup or else it was over. And that pass to Crabtree really solidified how inaccurate he was when throws required touch! F me!

                He was good enough to lead his team to a SB and another NFCCG but didn’t improve as a pocket passer which leads him now into being a back up.

                Thank you for saying everything I’ve been saying. Good enough to lead a team with a top 5 defense and run game with the element of surprise but not good enough to be a starter because he can’t throw from the pocket. That’s what I’ve said all along and why he isn’t in the league.
                You have to be a accurate passer and he never was!

                I admitted he had some moments of brilliance but it was never going to be sustainable because the NFL game requires the QB to play in the pocket and put the ball in tight windows. Why can’t any of you admit that?

                I’ll admit he had a good run. Took the league by storm briefly. On the other side that, he never improved as a passer and you need to admit that’s big reason if not the reason no team wants him. The collusion theory is just an excuse.

              2. Prime,

                The interception didn’t cost them any points and he was the only reason they were in that SB game. He threw for 300 and ran for 60. The defense was terrible as it had been through the entire playoff run. You claimed the Ravens showed everybody how to beat him and that was flat out wrong. You have never been able to be truthful on this or his run in general due to your anger over him replacing Smith so why start now?

                Contrary to the lie you always tell about my saying he was a Franchise QB, I said all along he needed to improve as a pocket player if he was ever going to reach that level. He wasn’t able to and his play started to drop because of it, but he was never as bad as you claim him to be and is or at least was good enough to have a job in the league. All you have to do is look at all the lousy QB’s currently on rosters who haven’t had anywhere near the success he had to see that.

              3. If “the Ravens showed everybody how to beat him” how was he able to win 12 games during the regular season the following year, and then take the team back to the NFCCG by winning 2 road playoff games, one with a late drive?

              4. The better question is why is he out of the league? Because the read option is now easily defended courtesy of the Ravens and he won a lot of those games because of a excellent defense and veteran group peaking in their careers.
                It’s the same reasons why Alex Smith won all those games at the end in SAN Fran.

              5. “the read option is now easily defended”

                Nah. Newton still has success with it down in Carolina.

                He’s not in the league anymore because he took a knee and teams don’t want distractions from backup players.

              6. I said earlier he had a good 10 game career stretch of good play. A lot of that was because of a superb defense that won in Atlanta and in Green Bay during the playoffs.

                This is yet another example of you making stuff up. The defense gave up almost 500 yards to Atlanta. In what universe is that superb defense? The defense was terrible throughout the SB run. They played very well against the Packers in GB the following year, but they won because the offense put together a long drive to win the game with no time on the clock.

                At least the rest of the post was somewhat grudging acceptance that he wasn’t a complete pile of sh*t.

            2. I said earlier he had a good 10 game career stretch of good play. A lot of that was because of a superb defense that won in Atlanta and in Green Bay during the playoffs.

              The league in general has had poor QB play in the last 5 years. But now the recent drafts have produced some really good QB’s. Guys like Mahomes, Watson, now Jimmy G, Darnold, Prescott. Those guys are excelling because they can throw the ball in the pocket. All I’ve ever said about Kap was that he wasn’t able to. This new breed of QB might not put up the numbers Kap did but my guess is they will all have longer career because of their ability to study, learn playbooks and throw accurately. Kap was never any good at any of those.

              If you mark his career as successful for the brief time he played in the league that’s fine. I’m saying the hype he got never warranted the amount of time he played in the league.

              As for my bittnerness about replacing Smith, yes I still to this day say it was bad decision because no player should ever lose their job over injury. Ironic, karma whatever you want to call it, Smith is still playing at a winning level, the other guy isn’t.

          2. Sorry Chris but that is BS. He played pretty well in a power run play action system with some pistol formation. Most of these concepts are used by every team in the league. He would be an upgrade at backup for most teams in the league.

            1. I admit he was good at running the pistol but the point is it was not sustainable. Like most teams now they run it once in awhile now because it’s more of a surprise play like the jet sweep.
              I agree he could be a good back up but only on a team that runs a particular offense. But like every team in the league you still have to be accurate from the pocket and he has never been.

              1. The Pistol was just one part of the offense he ran under Harbaugh Chris. He played under center and ran play action more than he ran the Pistol. That’s why I shake my head when people try to claim he was a gimmick QB who only fits a certain style of offense. He ran one of the oldest and most wide spread offensive systems in the NFL with Harbs. There is no question he was not a traditional drop back pocket passer, but he did well with the elements they ran. Once Harbaugh left it fell apart for him because he had a poor OC and overall team around him. If put in a similar situation with another NFL team, he’d be a very good backup and a guy who could start and win you some games if needed.

              2. He would have to play for a very talented team like the Rams or the Patriots to have any success.
                But what team would invest in him when it’s 4th quarter, down by 2 touchdowns and forced to throw it till the end?

              3. He’d have success with a lot of teams in the league. He’s not going to excel in a pass only situation I’ll give you that but he led a pretty good comeback against Miami in his final season.

              4. “what team would invest in him when it’s 4th quarter, down by 2 touchdowns and forced to throw it till the end?”

                He has shown the ability to thrive under those types of situations, especially in comparison to most backups in this league.

                BTW, how was practice today? Get done early?

        1. Thanks, but I am not out of the woods yet because the forecast for tomorrow is currently calling for thunderstorms with an additional 1-3 inches of precipitation expected, which is bad news because half of the town is still flooded and the river is still up over its banks.
          Can you enlighten me how my comment is a joke?

  12. If Colin Kaepernick was better than half the starters in the league he would be playing. This whole collusion case is just sour grapes on his part. Like Gasoline said, if he truly loved the game he would have taken a role as a back up and worked his way back in. The most telling thing about Kaepernick was when he told a reporter he didn’t believe much on working on his mechanics and throwing motion. Right there you tell the league you are not interested in improving and being coachable. The good news is Nike will pay him to survive and waste his time on his protesting.

    1. Chris, when he is called an SOB by the most powerful hypocrite in the world, and there is evidence to document his blackballing, to me, that is proof of collusion. Since you probably believe there is no Russian Collusion even with 30 indictments and now 20 convictions, I will not be able to change your mind.
      .
      It is interesting to note that Kaep was just using ‘Coach Speech’ when downplaying his work on his throwing motion, since we all read that he went to Arizona, and worked on it so much, VD claimed he looked like a new man, how markedly different his throwing was in TC.
      .
      It is ironic,that Kaep is not intending to disrespect the flag or the military, and his peaceful, non violent protest is for social justice. However, the Orange Glow wraps himself in the flag, then insults a Gold Star mother, and his insensitivity made a Gold Star widow cry. This last episode has him refusing to lower the flag to half staff to honor a true American hero who exhibited bravery to the highest degree. He finally was forced to lower it, and Meghan McCain gave Don the Con a fitting stinging rebuke.
      .
      Like Prime says, a storm is coming. Woodward’s book is riveting.

    2. If Colin Kaepernick was better than half the starters in the league he would be playing.

      Agreed. Now he is better than most backups in the league, even though he is limited, but said backups are not as controversial as him.

    1. War is hell. Yeah, another hit piece, and the tired old Keating charge.
      .
      He obviously forgot that John McCain endured severe torture, exacerbated by the fact that he was a son of an admiral. He could have left, but stayed because he would not leave until all the other POWs were released before him. That act of courage and defiance angered his captors, who tortured him even more. One of his greatest achievements, however, was his magnificent capacity to forgive. McCain led the way in reconciling differences, and re-establishing normalized relations with Vietnam. No other American could have done what he did. Blessed are the peace makers, for they will inherit the Kingdom of God.
      .
      John Mccain admitted he was a flawed man, and had made mistakes. I admire him even more for his humble self sacrifices for the country he loved. I certainly did not like him voting 85% of the time for the Trump agenda. However, his thumbs down was a profile in courage, and he made America even better.
      .
      Meghan was right. we do not need to make America great again, it was ALWAYS great.

  13. Kapri Bibbs might be worth picking up. He’s a pass catching back who knows the system from last preseason. He was good for the Redskins last year and in this preseason, and barely got edged out by a younger Perine.

    1. He’s on the Redskins practice squad…so he could be reached.

      From his CSU bio (more world taken by storm…)…

      “In his lone season at Colorado State, sophomore running back Kapri (‘kuh-PREE’) Bibbs took the college football world by storm, earning second-team All-America from the Walter Camp Foundation and first-team All-Mountain West honors despite not becoming a starter until the season’s seventh game…he was just the third player in CSU football history to be named Walter Camp All-America. Bibbs also received honorable mention All-America from Sports Illustrated and was chosen by the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame as the 2013 Male College Athlete of the Year in the state of Colorado. Bibbs tied for No. 1 in the nation in rushing and total touchdowns (31) and ranked No. 6 in rushing yards (1,741).”

        1. Cassie, remember what Jack and Scooter said?
          .
          They want civility, and an absence of vitriol.
          .
          Please quit trolling. I know you are spawned of Baalke, but your stench is rising.

              1. That’s what he has minions for, Sebber. Make no mistake, the pertinent information they glean from this blog, predominantly from the Legend, gets reported back to Shanny posthaste….

                ;>)

  14. If there’s a serious injury to Breida or Morris, I’d suspect Wilson would get called up before they bring in a back like Bibbs.

  15. In terms of QB depth on Sunday, I wonder who’d be the 3rd QB if both Garoppolo and Beathard exited the game? Who has Shanahan designated vs what we fans might think?

        1. He will provide a distinct advantage by allowing the offense to put another playmaker on the field by snapping it to himself.

  16. I feel terrible for McKinnon. The guy gets his shot at stardom and then has his first serious injury in a non-contact drill. As a fan, I didn’t see enough of him to know how he would have played in Shanny’s offense or how much of a dip in production the 49ers will experience as a result of his injury. In a weird way, this injury extends Shanahans honeymoon. A devastating injury to a key player right before the season actually takes some pressure off Shanahan. If the offense struggles early then it’s understandable.

    One of my questions though is about the strength and conditioning coaches and the team’s medical professionals. They seem to have had an inordinate number of hamstring injuries and then who said McKinnon was ready to come back? I don’t think its a coincidence he tore his ACL coming off a calf strain in the same leg. A friend of mine who was a longtime NFL player told me a story about how his team got a new strength & conditioning coach. In the first 6 weeks of the season they had a rash of ankle injuries. It turned out the Strength & Conditioning coach was coaching a hip flexor stretch incorrectly and players were placing a ton of pressure on their ankles which then were injured as they were stressed during practice and games. A good Strength & Conditioning coach is worth his weight in gold.

    1. One reason why Stanford players in the NFL come to train in the off-season at Stanford campus is Shannon Turley, the Strength & Conditioning coach. He is the primary reason Stanford players have had fewer than average injuries and faster recoveries. Harbaugh brought him along from San Diego in 2007, and then wanted to poach him to Michigan, but Shaw (aided by a spot salary increase of 20% or more) was able to retain him. His salary is now endowed (Kissick Family Director of Sports Performance):
      https://gostanford.com/coaches.aspx?rc=2307

      Re ACL tear, I expect to see more as players grow bigger but faster, and make brutal cuts, thus putting large loads (and the associated stress) resulting from the acceleration on their ligaments. Strength and conditioning can change neither Newton’s Laws nor the current ligament fiber yield strength in humans.

  17. I’ve re-assessed the McKinnon injury and have decided I’m giving Kyle less credit than he deserves. He’s going to have to make adjustments this week, and I think he’ll do that. Might end up being the right call strategically.

    The final score is closer than I originally thought!

  18. Cassie Baalke says:
    September 4, 2018 at 1:28 pm
    Just checking Sebbie… Twelve months ago you were adamant that Shanahan wasn’t interested in winning.

    sebnynah says:
    September 4, 2018 at 1:33 pm
    Considering he made Hoyer the starter , his actions spoke louder than words. Glad he came to his senses, and benched him.

    Reply: Yes, Sebbies makes many bad predictions. Off the top of my head the rugby player Jarryd Hayne and the Kaep man crush were the dynamic duo of doomsday to our organization, setting us back 5 years; lets face it, a QB who reads and delivers the ball at a snails pace or doesn’t read anything, such as the blitzing Ram’s DB’s below is comedy in action on parallel to the Seb’s comedy act:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2MUiIcwQPM

    And Matt Breida gains medical clearance to play Sunday via CBS Sportsline.

  19. I told all that living in Utah I’ve watched Fred Warner lots. I stated he would be a starter on the 49ers his rookie year and you guys got a steal. I posted games of Fred blowing up LSU’s, Wisconsins, etc. Just another article to back me up:

    “Good linebackers have aggression weaved into the microscopic strands of their DNA. Great linebackers, on the other hand, balance the rage with grace, patience, and brains.Fred Warner has the tools to be an exceptional linebacker for the 49ers, “…

    https://www.49erswebzone.com/commentary/1888-ready-make-entrance-rookie-linebacker-fred-warner/

    1. I’d start one, but have always jumped on the one already created here… and fear it would be a one man league. Lol! I check every day, but tomorrow’s the last day, with Thursday’s opening game.

  20. Bold predictions for the 49ers this season that are bound to be wrong or make me look like a genius:

    1. Buckner and Thomas will combine for 15 or more sacks.
    2. Jimmy G will be a top 5 passer.
    3. There will be not but two WRs with 1,000 yards receiving.
    4. The 49ers will have a top 10 offense and defense.
    5. The 49ers will end up trading for a RB before the end of September.
    6. The 49ers will make a shocking trade for a pass rusher.
    7. The 49ers will sign Eric Reid to a one year deal at some point this season.
    8. Ward will be traded.
    9. Morris will rush for 1000 or more yards and 5 or more TDs.
    10. I will get at least one of these bold predictions right.

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