Jim Harbaugh: “We’re off right now. We’re not a precise team.”

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh was interviewed in the 49ers’ auditorium after the Broncos beat the 49ers 34 to nothing. Here is a transcript.

Q: Last week you said your guys got pushed around. Did that happen again today?

HARBAUGH: Didn’t think we executed well enough in any area today. I’m sure we will see some good individual play, but, as the units go, there might have been a kickoff return that was a nice job. Offensively, I thought the offensive line was good. The running game was good, OK. The passing game, we’re turning the ball over too much. We need better timing, better accuracy. We’ve got to get better. It’s going to be an important week for us. It will be a big week. We need improvement and we need to make decisions on who we’re playing. We’re not going to keep experimenting. We’ve got to tighten this down fast.

Q: Are you concerned about what you’ve seen?

HARBAUGH: It’s off. It’s off right now. It’s definitely off in little correctable ways. That’s what I see. I feel like we can get it corrected. I think we need a great week. We need to get better in all phases. It’s a guy here or a guy there. We’re taking turns with it. Can’t really pin it on one spot right now. Believe it will be a big week for us, an important week to make strides.

Q: What did you see from Blaine Gabbert?

HARBAUGH: Right now in terms of a backup quarterback, it’s simple. It’s whoever doesn’t turn the ball over. They’re turning the ball over. All of them have. There is nobody to elevate. Whoever doesn’t turn the ball over will be the backup quarterback.

Q: Will you bring in another backup quarterback?

HARBAUGH: No. We’ve got good quarterbacks.

Q: Gabbert didn’t push the ball downfield very much. Was he just executing the game plan?

HARBAUGH: The throw was a deep ball that got intercepted, I think Quinton (Patton) could have turned earlier. We’re off. It’s that kind of off right now. It’s little. It’s correctable. But it shows up. That’s football. It punishes mistakes. It rewards execution and precision. That’s where we’re off right now. We’re not a precise team.  Our precision isn’t there right now and we’re being punished for mistakes.

Q: Did Stevie Johnson sustain an injury in the game?

HARBAUGH: No, not that I know of. No.

Q: Was the plan not to play the top receivers much?

HARBAUGH: Yeah, they didn’t play a lot. But Stevie had a nice route where he got open. We missed that throw, didn’t have the precision that you’d like to see. That’s where we need to improve. That’s the difference right now.

Q: Any indication of how serious Antoine Bethea’s concussion is?

HARBAUGH: No, not the level of it.

Q: Is Carlos Hyde OK?

HARBAUGH: Carlos is good. We brought him out of game but not for any physical reason. And he ran well. He had a run where he really stuck it up in there. He did a nice job. I thought Bruce Ellington had a heck of a good game. There are going to be things to point to. There are going to be guys that played well individually. To sum it up again, team. There needs to be more precision in all phases.

Q: What did you see from Chris Borland and Michael Wilhoite?

HARBAUGH: Saw some good plays. Again, we will look at it very closely and I think we will see some good individual play. I think we will see overall us playing as units — it needs to be a heck of a lot more precise. We’ve got to drill down now and see who we’re playing with and see who can rise to the challenge this week.

Q: Will you look to play Justin Smith and Patrick Willis in the next preseason game?

HARBAUGH: I think it’s on track for that, yeah. They practiced this week. We held them out, wanted to see another week of practice. Ian Williams is another example of that.

Q: Is Gabbert’s confidence OK? Is that an issue?

HARBAUGH: No, I don’t see that at all. Like any quarterback, there are going to be good days. The precision right now though is on the unit and that’s where I see it needing to get better. I’m just straight-up honest with you — I don’t put it on one guy. That’s what we’re going to be attacking, so you’ll know what our goal will be this week — it’s the unit playing team offense. Precise. No penalties. Zero defects in penalties or missed assignments. We’re off in that area. We’ve got some defects there. We’ve got to get better.

This article has 194 Comments

  1. Take away the bad plays from our back ups and we still suck. Grant you are correct, our back ups QB’s are the worst in the league.

  2. Some Positives:

    Love how Dial shrugged off the lead blocker and then destroyed the ball carrier. Borland looked improved. Nice movement through trash to track the ball carrier and deliver the goods. Aldon nice play on Peyton. Nice pancake block by Skuta on special teams. Lynch looks good but needs more discipline added to his game. No way in hell Acker makes it through waiver wires. Kaepernick going through progressions and coming under control to deliver an easy pass to the back in the flat. Seymour might have taken a lead over Snyder with this performance….

    1. I agree, Razor. But I also would like to add Mcdonald showing good things two weeks in a row and boy I wish we had Miller in last year’s playoff. Oh BTW, Hyde is a strong dude!

      1. Forgot that catch by VMac, good call…

        Brotha Tuna, that open field tackle by Cox was textbook as well as Ward coming up and filling the hole to meet the ball carrier…

    2. Totally agree on Acker (or Morris or D.Johnson). I thought Cox looked heady and confident.

    3. Lynch initially had pop, then seemed to poop out. Trimming from 277 to 270 might do the trick.

      1. 270? Try like 255-260 if he is going to be an every down player and have to cover TE’s. Otherwise, if he is going to only play 10-20 snaps per game,he might get away with 270.

    4. These arent little leaguers where you go ” good game” after being creamed 34-0. These are millionaires being paid $$$ to perform. This team stunk and their idiot quarterback stinks after the game with his attitude. No excuses.

  3. The View From TV

    The crowd was very big for preseason, and completely understood that the stadium was the main attraction. I didn’t hear any boos for the amazingly flat performance from most of the backups.

    The question about how load Levy’s stadium will be will have to wait for a real game were the team is competitively. The players who did most of the playing looked like they were dealing with dead legs and tired minds.

    Wait until next year was the 49er mantra before Walsh. Mine is wait until Dallas this year.

    1. “dead legs and tired minds” – couldn’t agree more. Now we work on precision with…dead legs and tired minds. Harbaugh is losing it to my mind.

  4. There was little to be encouraged about from that performance. Not many guys showed up well. There were a couple of guys that looked ok, and unfortunately ok was enough to make you stand out “positively”.

    However, this game also isn’t any reason to start thinking the team is doomed. Some areas for concern, for sure, but still three weeks and two pre-season games to correct issues. From what Harbaugh said in the interview, it sounds like they will be making some more concrete decisions about practice reps, getting guys ready rather than spreading it round and “experimenting”.

      1. I doubt it. I think they’ll want some experience backing up Brock and Culliver. I think Cox and Cook both make the team, and Dontae Johnson. The 6th spot (assuming they keep 6) will be between Morris and Acker, and I think Morris leads that race.

          1. Yeah, but we saw last year this team likes to keep vets that know their assignments. If Cook is out much longer though he may not be kept. He needs to practice to stick.

            As BT said below, beware preseason 4Q warriors. Acker looked good today, but many of the guys he was going against won’t be playing in the NFL this year. Would Fangio prefer Cook or Acker to play during a regular season game? I’m guessing Cook.

              1. Yep, he’s doing what he’s being asked to do, which is make plays when given an opportunity. If he keeps doing that he’ll make it a hard choice come roster cuts.

              2. I think Patton should still be ahead of Ellington on the depth chart for the two outside WR spots, but I’d like to see Ellington take the backup slot WR role behind Johnson, and get some snaps as a RB/WR hybrid.

      2. It seems like in reading the gamut of TC reports that Acker has been coming on for a couple of weeks now. We need to be careful about Preseason 4Q Warriors, but if the team could keep a rookie over a vet like Cook it would be good bidnez. TBD.

      1. Usually I would say yes, but based on today’s performance I think Kaep needs some more time on the field with the first team unit as well to get ready for the season.

        1. Yeah, you’re right about that… I guess we won’t be seeing a lot of running around by CK in the regular season games just like last year to protect him.

      2. Nah, I don’t think they should let him into the employee parking lot let alone goof up the 1st team offense.
        OK, just some hyperbolic mean spirited kidding there. There will be plenty of that this week.

      3. High passes – doesn’t matter first or second string – they’re all interceptions waiting to happen.

    1. Yeah, Jim sounded “done” with the turnovers. Vic is such a perfectionist that I’m envisioning him already viewing film and feeling slightly nauseous. In watching some other games this weekend I saw some first units executing well. Harbaugh knows his squad is behind pace. Family Love is going to move towards Tough Love this week. Buckle up boy-os!

      1. That’s the frustrating thing – at this point in the off-season the first team offense should be executing better. The third pre-season game is the one where starters usually play the most, and from what I have seen the starters need the reps. But that won’t give much time for other guys to sort out some of the backup question marks.

  5. 2 things:

    1) How in the HELL has Blaine Gabbert ever earned 1 cent playing in the NFL? He’s awful!!!

    2) I usually cut Jim Harbaugh a wide berth on his comments due to the credibility he’s earned with the 9ers on field success. BUT throwing Patton under the bus for Gabberts pick is total BS! Patton was open but the throw was 2 feet behind Patton. The pass SUCKED! It wasn’t Pattons fault that Gabbert is a terrible QB. Harbaughs defense of Gabbert was totally dishonest and unnecessarily criticized a good player. That’s BS! That pisses me off!

      1. Just wondering, why wasn’t Bo Schembeckler ever an NFL head coach? Could it be that the NFL is a league of passers?

    1. Patton could have run the wrong route or read the coverage wrong and adjusted his route incorrectly.

    2. Amen Houston. I agree with everything you said. Gabbert is done. I didn’t like Josh either but I need to see him with the backups like Gabbert had. Josh has 2 fumbles in 2 weeks. I don’t know if our backup is on the Roster. I know he’s not Gabbert!

    3. You pay Gabbert 2 million to stink in preseason but No one isn’t worth 2 million? Go figure.

  6. Coach Harbaw sez:
    I don’t put it on one guy
    (he puts it on something called “the unit” ).
    Unit, schmunit.
    Jim (the buck stops here) Harbaw has forgotten:
    he is the head coach and, as such, we hold him
    responsible; kudos for the wins and ire for the losses.
    If this year goes sideways in a beautiful brand new stadium,
    then Niner fans may very well be calling for a replacement.


    1. Yeah, we know who you are. You’re the dpsht that keeps hanging around here making a fool of yourself…

  7. I’d be more worried if we looked great because I can remember what happened the last time we went undefeated in the preseason. All joking aside the team looks pretty sloppy. From the little that I saw I have a feeling that i’ll be eating some crow on the subject of Ellington as a kick returner. Still has a long way to go but he’s already exceeded my expectations of him.

    1. CFC, did you see that ankle-breaking move he did on one of his returns? The kid can juke :)

  8. A few things stand out right now. Hyde is the best running back on the team. Will be interesting when LaMichael comes back how they integrate him into the distribution of carries.

    In his limited time, saw Kaep twice go through progressions and throw to backs. I’m over the top happy about that.

    I am hoping our defense is playing like it doesn’t want to get hurt in pre season. The lack of pressure coming from our front four otherwise is alarming. Fangio might have to get creative with blitz packages until Aldon comes back.

    Gabbert was a gamble. Time to put egos aside and admit hes garbage. Josh is the big surprise to me. I was a big fan two years ago. He looks like he’s taken two steps backwards. Too bad we didn’t keep Tolzien.

    VMac caught a tough pass as he was falling today. Crabs will be crabs. Lloyd caught a couple of balls. Ellington looks good returning kicks. Wild card…… Lattimore…..

    1. My observations:

      Hyde looks good because the offensive line is really good.

      Kaepernick looks nervous and unsure still to this day. He does not give his teammates time to turn and make a play. He just pumps it in there as fast as he can. I’d like to see some finesse on those passes.

      The secondary is young and talented. Big and fast but will need time to gel. Ed Donatell will have them ready.

      1. Neal not sure if you are the original idiot Neal or a new Neal but here’s a question for you. Who has Kaepernick made better since being named the starting QB? Who’s game has he elevated to higher level?

        1. Crabtree, that’s an easy question. Crabtree was good but flourished when Kaep took over.

          1. That’s what came to mind for me too. CK looks downfield first; both to advantage and in the past disadvantage also. Mostly good.

          2. Ky49er great answer. And Boldin had a hell of a year with Kaep as well. Don’t fall for the guys with agendas. The main thing hurting this team this very moment is the defense and a very obvious lack of intensity.

            It’s one thing to want to breeze through the preseason with no injuries. It’s a whole other thing to do so with the intent that we will just be able to flip the switch and go when we need to.

            Something is definitely missing. Call it chemistry, call it missing a leader on the field. Willis will help some.

            Also know that we are running vanilla offense right now. We will turn it on and it will be deadly. HOWEVER, big concern that we have NO BACKUP QB THAT IS NFL QUALITY…..

            1. The main thing hurting this team this very moment is the defense


              [Checks box scores for 49ers’ two preseason games. Confirms that the 49ers scored a grand total of 3 points combined in those games.]

              What were you saying about guys with agendas?

              1. It’s a new season here on the PD blog. I didn’t get a chance to watch either pre-season game, but right now the Offense is offensive. I know its pre-season, but still. The Defense is missing 6 starters. What is the Offense’s excuse? Does Kaep get a free pass from his staunch supporters this year?
                For the record I hope he exceeds all our expectations Instead of setting the bar low and making excuses that this is only his 29 or 30th start, let’s demand results, which starts with pocket awareness and throwing a few passes with some touch. How about that???

              2. Looking at it purely from a starters perspective Napoleon. ( Sorry Pork had to borrow it as it fits this guy so well )

                It’s nice to see you start off where you left off Claude. Not having a clue about the game of football. Not offering up any opinions or game perspectives whatsoever. Just criticizing folks for having an opinion. You remind me of a little midget food critic that can’t cook. Every time you taste test someones food, you make nasty little faces and can’t wait to write something negative about the meal. That in a nutshell is who you are.
                The Kaepernick led offense moves the ball. I’m not worried there. If you want to discuss the offense struggling because our backup Offensive line and backup QB’s are playing terribly then have that conversation. It’s there for all to see.

                So is the defense that cannot and has not been able to stop anyone. Not a first string, second string or third string offense. So yes I mention them.

                Claude maybe this is the year that Grant lets you and the dwindling number of OG Smithers branch off into your own chatroom. The four or five of you can throw clever barbs at each other and agree with each other all game. Occasionally you can peek into our room and laugh about how much smarter you are than the rest of us….. You can snicker a bit then go back to your lonely world.

              3. I didn’t criticize you for having an opinion. I criticized you for having a ridiculous, ignorant opinion. There’s a difference.

                The 49ers as a team played uninspiring football yesterday. But you insist that it was mainly the defense’s fault, a defense that payed without Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, Ian Williams, and Patrick Willis. You’ve heard of those guys, right? But their absence was insignificant, the real problem was that the defense played without intensity. Right.

                By the way, it looks like Harbaugh viewed the incompletion to Johnson the way Prime described it and not the way you described it. Boy, that’s a surprise. But Prime is the one with an agenda. Right.

                You simply don’t know what you are talking about, but we’re pretty much used to that by now.

                And what does Alex Smith have to do with this? You’ve got to stop obsessing over him. So what if you were completely wrong about him? Get over it and move on. Let’s focus on all the current 49ers you are completely wrong about.

              4. Man Claude,
                you help make my point every time you type. You just said a whole lot of nothing.

                At least you aren’t SYH on every post. That’s new. But what isn’t new is that this is a football blog. And I can say that I contribute my opinions on the subject of football. What is it that you do in here? Oh yeah, criticize folks for their opinions without sharing much of your own at all.

                The way you trail my nuts Claude reminds me of a fat girl salivating for a calzone with her face butted up against the deli window.

                Find another guy Claude. Im just not that into you….

              5. … you help make my point every time you type.

                If your point is that you’re full of crap, then I agree with you.

            2. “The main thing hurting this team this very moment is the defense and lack of intensity…Something is definitely missing.” Yeah, I agree – what’s missing is an offense. The time of possession is even worse than the team’s play.

            3. Bay

              Your agenda seems to be to keep from admitting that you were wrong….CK is not the second coming. As to assigning blame, if the Defense didn’t have to stay on the field so long perhaps they wouldn’t look so ragged in the third quarter. It takes a pretty long advantage of time of possession to rack up 34 points in Pro football

              1. Oregon, I didn’t know CK played into the third quarter? I must of been watching a different game. The game that I watched CK played 2 series and moved the ball well. But hey your in mid season form where you blame CK.. lol some things never change.

              2. Oregon,
                do you even know what you are talking about? We have a QB that while he has been learning on the job has taken us to the superbowl and was within one pass of repeating the task.
                This year he has to show growth. Yesterday in a short stint he went through progressions which is what we all expect him to get better at. Checked down twice.

                If there is anyone with an agenda it’s you. You’ve bad mouthed CK and have been supportive when all he’s done is won.

                Regular season record is 21-7-1. He’s accounted for 40 TD’s and 11 turnovers during that time. Playoff record of 4-2. One of those losses in the superpower.

                What is it that you expect Oregon? You either don’t like his style, or your are prejudice. That’s what I generally think when you spew your anti CK stuff. So which is it? Fair for me to ask considering you think I have an agenda.

              3. Learning on the job? I thought that was the excuse we used after CK replaced Alex and then again last year even after a full season as the starter?

        2. I would say I’m just Neal, a new guy not an idiot. To answer your question, I’d say he hasn’t. He has elevated his own game but I can’t say he has made anyone better or worse around him. Still learning the trade.

          1. Compare Crabtree stats when Alex was there and now. Crabtree became “elite” under Kaep. And I still don’t know if he’s there.

            1. I think they orchestrated 2 different offenses and they are 2 different QB’s so not sure how the statistics can show relevance.

        3. Crabtree? Caught more passes,had more yards but I don’t think he is a better receiver. The only reason I say that is because we have not seen a fully healthy Crabtree for a full season.
          Boldin has always been a great player.
          I’m talking about the guys drafted in and around CK. Patton, Jenkins, MacDonald, Celek.
          My point is CK adopted a great surrounding class but he hasn’t made any one a better player. Boldin and Crabtree were and are already good players. He hasn’t made them any better!

          1. Patton was drafted last yr. So was MacDonald. How can you blame Kaep for not making rookies better than starters who may be hall of Famers. That’s stupid. Jenkins is no longer around. Celek was behind Davis and Mac. What you are saying is very dumb and makes no sense.

            1. well it makes sense when you talk about elite QBs like Brady, Manning, Brees, etc. they make rookies, no-names, guys from other rosters look better all the time.

              but does anyone on here think Kaep is on that level as a passer?

              i’d be surprised if he ever reached that level.

              his strength is in his ability to run. just need him to get back to the 2012 level as a passer (62%, lower turnover & sack rate per attempt) and get closer to league average in terms of passing yards.

              a lot of that can be accomplished just from dumping it off to the backs instead of holding the ball hoping for something down field to develop.

          2. Prime
            I’d suggest that because CK uses more of the field than Alex did (he is more effective deep), he uses more of Crabs skills than AS did. He allows him to be more, even if he didn’t make him be more.

            1. If we just look at the basics. Kaep prefers Crab and Alex preferred Vernon Davis. That’s just the basics.

    2. Bay, they have to put Josh in with the 2’s. He has no protection from the backup line. He didnt have much time to throw this week. Last week was better protection. He threw it better last week as well.

        1. Hammer,
          Are you playing the blame game? Or in this case the Blaine-game.
          2nd string offensive lineman had nothing to do with his inaccuracy today.

          Sure, as expected, the 2nd string lineman were being pushed around but in the times that Gab did find time to throw his throws were not good.
          Gabbert still has time in the next couple of games to restore some decency and respect to his game, but time is running out.

          BTW, Josh Johnson had a great opportunity to take advantage of Gab’ bad play today and failed to capitalize. Gabbert is practically handing the Backup position to J.J. and Johnson is letting it slip through his hands.

          1. Nope. Another commentor stated that Johnson should get to play with the 2’s so I simply noted that is who Gabbert was playing with.

          2. It’s like neither one wants the job. Either that, or it’s an advanced game of hot potato.

            BG: I don’t want the back up position. You take it.

            JJ: You’re the one with the guaranteed salary. The job is yours.

            BG: Screw that. You take it.

            JJ: No, you take it.

            BG: So that’s how it’s gonna be, huh? OK, watch this. [Throws interception.]

            JJ: That’s all you got? [Fumbles.]

            1. (Gabbert and J.J.) Ok, why don’t we just give the Backup job to the gut with the 3 freckin’ names!

        2. Hammer,
          Nice read over on the 49erswebzone. What stood out was the fact that J.Martin had a very good day.
          On a day when there weren’t too positives to point to, I thought that newly acquired RB Alfonso Smith showed a little more than Hampton.

          Also, Culliver looked a step slow in the secondary and was beat in the endzone on a play that could have been a TD had the ball been thrown more accurately.

          Any word on Bethea? I didn’t get a clear view of the block that knocked him out, but just at a glance it seemed that the player threw a forearm that caught Bethea around the head area.
          If that turns out to be the case (on closer review), could the league levy a fine for such a hit?

      1. 23J,
        I have always liked Josh Johnson. If I were the coach, this week I would put JJ with the 2’s. My observation of him so far though is that he has regressed. He’s not playing smart and he’s not playing like he “wants” it.

        Go watch how Tolzien has played in preseason. Made a mistake getting rid of him IMO. Although his backup offensive line is better than ours.

  9. Does anyone know how many reps the starters are getting compared to the back ups in practice?

    It seems like our starters (the ones we have seen) are physically dominant when they play but they look sloppy compared to what we expect. Is it possible that they’ve been resting them to get the young guys reps and as we get closer to the season they’ll get all the reps in practice and clean it up?

    Remember our D-line hasn’t even really played yet, neither have 2 of our starting linebackers(bowman will be awhile) so our front 7 has been a bunch of back-ups, of course they won’t be as good as another teams #1’s. Then our 3’s are playing their 2’s. And on offense we are working in a lot of different sets (5wr, empty backfield) so I’d expect some uncertainty with that right now, it’s really the first game action with it.

  10. Our backup qbs suck … again this year. Didn’t we go through this same thing last year with Colt? As I have been saying , Stevie Johnson should be released. the guy is inconsistent at best and we cant afford his salary for a #3 WR.

    Vance Mac looked goodish in both preseason games. Same for carlos hyde. I wonder how much of an improvement we would see if borland played next to willis.

  11. Wonder if it’s too late to bring back Kory Faulkner and see if he’s any good. Gabbert seems to be a big disappointment, and neither Josh Johnson nor McBLT seems to be setting the world on fire.

  12. I was disappointed in Willhoite .. he was hot and cold ..
    Saw him follow a bone headed play with a good one ..
    and he’s in the lead to cover for the Bo-Man ?

    h-mmmm .. I’m worried ..
    And last season, I remember saying that I really like his motor, too !

    Oh yeah ..

    Q. .. What’s it called when Gabbert is under center ?

    A…. Garbage time !

  13. Yah put too much into a preseason game what did harbaugh say after the 1st question….. We’re experimenting. This is the time to experiment these games don’t count

    1. experimenting is one thing, LB .. but the people paid
      for a 1.3 billion dollar stadium, and they should expect their team
      to put a good “product” on the field … right ?

      Sure this is a preseason game… but even so..
      a 34-0 score doesn’t seem the folks in the stands
      of their brand new stadium …
      got very much for their $20 beer and their $10 hot dogs..

      Not a very good way to baptize the new diggs

  14. 34-0?………..I don’t care if it’s a pre-season game or not…you get beaten by a 34-0 score, there are problems that need to be addressed….. problems that need to be addressed in a hurry….IMHO

    1. Completely agree. Forget the score and just watch the plays. Broncos were executing and the 49ers seemed lost. Very few 49er players won individual matchups. This team is either not that deep or in a funk. The only good that can come of this is that they don’t get an inflated sense of their own talents prior to the first game. Last year they played well against Greenbay but then got completely destroyed in Seattle. Took them a few games to come back from that and get confidence. If they start that process sooner this year, that would be good.

      1. 7×7, that was my issue with these past two games. The score doesn’t matter at all. But our focus and execution was poor. Why?

  15. Razor we always play bad in preseason Jim never like to show his hand watch Sunday prime time channel 11 my niners will put on a show Mwniner I feel you on giving the fans something to see but honestly give me something to see when it counts this was a perfect game to see if we got good backup or nah and the answer is. ….. or nah lol we can’t afford no injuries.

    1. LB ..

      The fact that this was only a preseason game, is the only reason
      I’m not tearing my grey hair outta my head… but still ..

      THIRTY-FOUR to ZIP ??

      C’mon, man !

      Ya know … I’m goin’ to be prayin’ all season long …

      Kaep STAYS healthy !!

    1. Thanks, Jack!
      How do you feel about the Niners’ OL? Who do you think will be the starting Center and RGuard (if Boone is a no show) against Dallas?

    2. Did you see Tomsula’s reaction to Lynch’s jumping offsides. Looked like Jim was in a very bad mood to me. Lynch might get some extra work on snap counts this week.

      1. Haha. I did see Tomsula’s reaction, and I liked it. But in fairness, Lynch is being mentored by Brooks, so, uh…….

    3. Great stuff as usual Jack.

      I haven’t got to watch too much of the game yet, I have it on DVR. But I did see the first team O and like what I saw from the O-line. It looked like a much better performance than last week. How did Looney look?

      I also like what I saw from Kap, if he had that Bomb to Lloyd than I’m sure that would have calmed quite a few people on here. My other 2 questions was who played at NT and how’d they hold up? And how’d Dial and Carridine look against the run overall?

      1. Thanks Leo. Purcell was at nose tackle and was better than the previous week. Carradine and Dial were solid. You can tell they’re young but I’m looking forward to seeing them mixed in with the starters.

        1. Good to hear. If we can get Ian up to speed than we should look solid at NT with Purcell and possibly TJE in rotation. And its also very reassuring to have that kind of talent behind Smith and RMac.

      2. Leo, one thing I’d say about that bomb to Lloyd was that it was a head scratcher. Why would you go long on third down? Unless they were just experimenting. The way the score went down, they seemed to be doing a lot of that, although Harbaugh attributed it to being “off” that day.

  16. Jack ..
    You’r a “glass is half-full” kinda guy ..
    Thanx for reminding me that there was some good things, too ..

    but .. watching Gabbert almost
    makes me want to run to the phone … and dial ..

    1-800-Elvis Grbac

    1. Just remember MW, the Niners started 1 – 2 last year… losing to the Seahawks 3 – 29 and Colts 7 – 27. Look how it turned out :)

      1. ricardo ..

        yup.. I know all that … and that’s another reason I’m not TOTALLY
        my mantra so far has been …

        “… it’s only preseason…” … but ..
        any confidence I’ve had in the “QB Whisperer” .. has been shot
        down the tubes ..

        I keep thinkin’ …

        Just maybe a 747 is flying overhead every time
        Gabbert is in front
        of The Harbs …

        either that … or … just maybe ..

        Gabbert would be better off ..
        flippin’ burgers

  17. I don’t care if Borland blew his coverage assignment. Dahl had time to react and defend. He is worthless in coverage….

    1. With the new depth in the secondary, Dahl has to be one of the first cut, don’t you think?

      1. It does seem like both Spillman and Dahl struggle in coverage. The drop off there from 1’s to 2’s is big. We have a couple of other young safeties like Thomas that I’d like to see more of. Dahl had some good tackles in the run game.

        1. I don’t know enough about the game to say that either of the following would be ideal replacements for Dahl, but I think they could fill in: Ward and Dontae Johnson

  18. The biggest problem I’m seeing with the defense is the 49ers are playing their backups against starters, their 3’s against 2’s and so on.

    1. That’s my take on the 2 games so far, and a big reason why I’m not too worried.

      And this is just classic Harbaugh. He doesn’t give a squat about preseason and what people say about his team throughout these 4 weeks. The only goals he has for preseason is no serious injuries. It seems like they put very little effort in the preparation of these games and has no desire to show any of his cards before the season starts. He knows what he has in his team and he’s very confident in that. It’s really quite arrogant, but in a really cool way. But of course to the everyday casual fan the sky is indeed falling.

      Except Gabbert, you can’t fake that atrocity. We have a real problem there.

    2. Right on the money Jack, that’s exactly how it’s played out in both games.

      We need to keep a little perspective here folks. The defense had 3 starters on the field when Manning threw his TD pass. Crabs, Boldin, Davis and Johnson played 7 snaps each. This is is not a situation of Denver vs. SF; it’s Denver’s top offense that blew threw starting defense a week ago doing the same to the Niner backups. Nobody should be shocked by that.

      The biggest issue by far is the backup QB situation. Right now it doesn’t look like they have an option that could win many games if Kap were to go down. However, again perspective is needed because we are watching these guys play with lesser players instead of starters.

      What I took away from yesterday is that the last 5 spots on this roster are going to be tough to predict. We are seeing good things from the young CB’s and Dlinemen, along with Ryan Seymour (who I predicted would beat out Adam Snyder for the final Oline spot at least until Boone comes back) and it’s going to be interesting to see how this roster is composed by the end of the month.

      If the starters were actually playing more than a few snaps and getting torn up then it would be cause for concern, but this team doesn’t play preseason that way. It’s about getting the backups and end of the roster players playing time to audition for the final few spots on the roster and Kenneth Acker especially is going to make it difficult to determine which way to go.

      Looks like we are seeing the depth chart play out at WR as well. It appears that Johnson is the #3 and Patton, Ellington, Reed and Lloyd are fighting it out for 4 through 5 or possibly 6, but I’m doubting they keep 6 right now with all the good players popping up at other positions..

      1. “Blew through Seattle’s starting defense”

        I hate that we can’t modify posts on here. I get going too fast and make so many mistakes it’s embarrassing.

      2. Yeah Rocket,
        but the question is, are our backups that bad or do they just not have chemistry playing together yet. It’s one thing to miss a play here and there. It’s a whole other thing to get blown out back to back games.

        1. Some of them are that bad Bay, but the young players we have been excited about like Carradine and Dial, have held their own and will be even better with limited snaps mixed in with the starters. I’m optimistic about the CB’s after watching Johnson and Acker progress. Cox looks like he’s playing as well or better than he ever has. It’s going to be a tough cutdown in this area.

          There’s no doubt we are going to miss Bowman and Aldon to start the season though. I’m not seeing anybody stepping forward to put a strangle hold on those jobs yet. Still another 2 games for these guys to put it together.

      3. I thought Ellington had a mixed day. He was targeted 7 times, caught 4 and didn’t catch 3. He has a great upside but 3 drops is a lot especially when people are making such a fuss out of 1 drop by Johnson. Two were contested catches and one was a bit high. Tough catches for sure but they need to be made.

      4. I say they keep 6 CBs, but its gotta be a tough choice. For me it all comes down to D-Mo and Acker. Cooks could be a surprise cut, but I doubt it. If Acker continues to outshine D-Mo I think that’ll be an easy decision.

        I’m also a lot more comfortable in our O-line after that game. Very solid play and it looks like we’ll have some quality depth with Seymour, Martin, and Martin. I say Boone is traded.

        1. Agreed, not much talk about how well the Oline faired against a good Denver group. Other than Kap’s one scramble not much to talk about. Who was responsible for that one?

      5. Rocket, as far as the WRs go, based on who is getting mixed in with which unit it appears the pecking order has been set. Crabtree and Boldin are set in stone, then its Johnson and Lloyd who both saw snaps with the first team unit only, then Patton who got some snaps with the starting unit but mostly played with the 2s, and then Ellington who came in with the 2s. I don’t think any of the other guys have a chance of making the roster as a WR (though Osgood has a chance of sticking for STs, and did play some WR snaps with the 2s). The question will be whether they keep all 6 WRs on the roster, and if not, who they let go.

        At CB I think they’ll keep 6 this year, with the 6th spot between Morris and Acker. But it will be an interesting round of cuts.

        1. Scooter,

          I agree with pretty much everything you said here, but I don’t think Lloyd sticks unless he has some great performances in the next couple of games. I can’t see them parting with Patton or Ellington, and Johnson seems to be the #3, so that leaves Lloyd with making it as the 6th WR or not at all. For a time I thought that might be the case, but I’m starting to think they may not have that luxury with the young players flashing at other positions.

          I agree with you completely in regards to the CB position. 6 minimum and the final battle will likely be between the two you mentioned. That will be extremely difficult for them to decide based on the fact Morris was so good on ST’s last year but Acker may have more upside as a CB. Maybe they keep both and dump somebody like Ventrone or Spillman? Very tough calls, but I’m guessing they don’t want a repeat of the Cooper situation from last year.

          1. I don’t think they’ll keep 7 CBs, given that Ward will be playing in the slot as well. But one of Spillman, Dahl or Ventrone will likely be a casualty (I’d keep Dahl and Spillman over Ventrone). That gives 6 CBs and 5 safeties.

            I certainly wouldn’t be shocked to see all 6 WRs kept, but you are right, they may not have the luxury. And Lloyd is the most likely to go. A shame though, as I think the deep ball to Lloyd would be a play we see a bit of if he sticks, and he had a step on Talib. Almost connected.

            1. True, there is definitely an opening for a 4th RB that can play STs with Hunter out, Lattimore not cleared and Hampton not impressing.

  19. Read the Niner Nation write up. They cover the good and the bad from yesterday pretty well. They saw what I saw with Kaep yesterday. Twice he scanned deep, it wasn’t there, he pulled it back and checked down. Was content to see him go through a progression. VMac caught a tough one as he was falling. Think I saw Hyde catch a pass too..

    1. Don’t know. I believe three series but I could be wrong. I saw him catch a pass in the flat and just miss on a deep ball connection in the end zone. He tapped into another gear right at the end, but the ball was about a foot long.
      He looks bulkier this year Lloyd.

  20. Jack, you played the QB position before, right? How much of Gabbert’s struggle’s can be attributed to the fact that he is learning a new system, playing with the backups and with compromised confidence because of what happened with the Jaguars?

    1. Ricardo,

      Yes I did. Gabbert is in his 4th system in 4 years. Remember how things were around here when they had musical coordinators? I played in the same offense in high school for 4 years and it wasn’t until the 4th when I knew it inside and out. Same thing in college. It took a couple years before I fully grasped what the coaches were saying.

      So far I think Gabbert has had around 6 or 7 passes dropped as well which has hurt the drives when he has been in the game. That doesn’t excuse his wildness in Baltimore or the interception yesterday, but is something that I think needs to be taken into account as well.

      1. Thanks, Jack! I just think that we (as a fan) are not giving this guy enough time (which is totally understandable) to prove if he can be a backup QB for this team. I don’t know how to evaluate these players and right now my eyes are saying we need to get rid of Gabbert.

  21. Any word on Bethea yet? I thought that his concussion was by far the worst thing to come out of that game yesterday. Preseason outcomes still have the overall meaning equivalent to a Baritone clearing his voice before a performance.

  22. How did Borland grade out for this game? I think he’s a player but there is too much expectation on him at the moment given the circumstances.

    1. If he’s really in the mix to start in Bowman’s spot, I’d like to see him playing behind Smith, Williams, and McDonald and next to Willis. I don’t know how you can know fully what he is capable of until you see him play with the guys he would be playing with during the season.

      1. Is that a good grade? To me he looked lost especially in coverage. Overall it looks like the defense is doing exactly what Harbaugh said post game, experimenting.
        I’m happy about this because all offseason they hinted at making changes on both sides of the ball. And since his tenure on SF, they have been very predictable.

  23. Well it’s just preseason…… However the first game played at Levi’s Stadium should it be won by the NINERS the Starting units went back to the last season foes….and the way the NFC West teams (Cardinals. Rams, and the seachickens) are stacking themselves with talent… I do not see the NINERS going to the postseason unless the coaches starting with JH do something that it will make us believers first game at Levi’s stadium should it be WON!!!

    1. I doubt anyone is going to count a week 2 preseason game against the Broncos the first real game at Levi stadium. I know my calendar is marked for the Bears.

  24. I was pretty rough on Jonathan Martin last week, but he showed some improvement this week, and finished with the best grade on the starting O-line.

    1. I realize I’m generally the negative Nelly around here but I have zero confidence in J. Martin. You never know which guy is gonna be on the field on any particular day.

      1. Let’s see the next game. Maybe his strength is coming back from the mono and the conditioning program is working. Would be a very pleasant surprise if he continues to improve. Just what we need with the Boone thing.

          1. Would be great if Boone returns and M. Martin overtakes Kilgore. I’d bet money on that line.

    2. Martin was pretty good with his pass protection last week but made a couple of big mistakes. This week his game was mostly consistent and clean which is surprising considering he missed a good portion of practice time due to the death of his Grandmother.

      People jumped on this guy for being weak based on what happened in Miami, but the truth is he was a pretty good player at Stanford, and in a stable environment with good leadership he will be a solid backup for us imo.

  25. Before Grant points out that Ward got beat by Welker for 15yds PFF rated him fairly well.

    Improving the back-end of the defense was a high priority for the 49ers in the offseason and their three rookie defensive backs have been given a lot of playing time so far this preseason. First-round pick Jimmie Ward played 52 snaps on his way to a +1.3 overall grade. He allowed three receptions for 25 yards, but only one went for a first down, which came on a tight pass by Peyton Manning.

    Fifth-rounder Kenneth Acker (+2.4) had a few impressive plays. In a four-minute span, he had a tackle short of the sticks on third down, a pass defense in the end zone, and an interception of a tipped pass that was negated by an offsides penalty. There was one end zone fade to Bennie Fowler that would have been a touchdown, but Fowler was called for offensive pass interference.

      1. Who are all you 49er fans??? I swear you all come from NYC originally. Complain complain ;)

    1. Williamson was the AFC west guy until they went to the new format of a reporter per team. My guess is he is closer to the Raiders geographically or something along those lines. Gutierrez has covered the Raiders for a few years now, but is pretty good.

  26. @ Leo the game does not count however that was not the way to christen the new stadium 34-0 it’s a nightmare I don’t care if they lost the game but not in such way…..the NINERS have not perform well in any aspect of the games and at least the should of score some points ..just saying GO NINERS !!!!

    1. If they lose to the Chargers, it will then be a nightmare…..

      2012 Preseason
      1. SF 17, Minn 6
      2. Hou 20, SF 9
      3. SF 29, Den 24
      4. SF 35, SD 3

      2011 Preseason
      1. NO 24, SF 3
      2. SF 17, OAK 3
      3. HOU 30, SF 7
      4. SF 20, SD 17
      Preseason 2013
      1. Denver 10, SF 6
      2. SF 15, KC 13
      3. SF 34, Minn 14
      4. SF 41, SD 6

      1. Razor, I think we are almost guaranteed to lose to the Chargers next week. We play them in the regular season this year and Harbaugh’s going to go full-on vanilla and the starters will probably play 3 series instead of 2. Since Phillip Rivers will probably play the whole first half, I half expect us to be down by 20 points before the 3rd quarter hits and it really won’t be a big deal – again.

        Harbaugh seriously does not care about preseason matchups and just wants to see people playing hard and to avoid injuries. I think he values practices far more.

  27. Totally un49er-like No passion, no sense of urgency, complacency, poor technical skills displays. Lack of imagination. It all starts with the coaching. They’re responsible for motivating, and teaching. Crash Course Needed!

  28. A couple of things to note.

    The fans that were there were not ” the stick ” fans. If they were, it was a small percentage of them. Not knowing when to chant, when to make noise. This is predominantly a rookie crowd that had the money to buy tickets without knowing what their responsibility is at the stick. To vocally back their boys.

    Another note, leaving the game on the ACE train was way too easy. Easy parking in Fremont. 22 minutes door to door. Got dropped off at the golf course, walked 200 yards to the stadium. Afterwards, barely a line and the train had us home in 25 minutes. EASY…..

    1. Good to hear Bay. There are a number of options for people to take to get there and it can’t be as bad as trying to get to the Stick closer to game time.

      One thing that hasn’t really been mentioned today is how solid the Oline played. No issues without Boone this week and both Looney and Martin played pretty well.

    2. Bay sez:

      “……This is predominantly a rookie crowd that had the money to buy tickets without knowing what their responsibility is at the stick. To vocally back their boys…..”

      You would think it would come naturally… right ?

      Sure hopin’ this place breaks the Clink’s noise record ..

      1. Midwest,
        they’ll get there….. It is a different crowd though. Not the die-hards we are used to.

  29. For those of you who haven’t read Barrows today:


    Interesting points about M. Martin, Looney, J. Martin.

    Also these comments:
    ” . . . here’s how the initial kick-return team was composed. That’s typically a good indication of who is earmarked for a roster spot: Spillman, Nick Moody, Ray Ventrone, Borland, Dahl, San Skuta, Vance McDonald, Demarcus Dobbs, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Miller and Ellington.”

  30. Gil Brandt: “Alex Boone has been offered a contract by @49ers that would make him a top 12-paid OG. He turned it down.”

    Note: Not sure if this is new news, or recycled echo chamber info from weeks ago.

    1. There was a report a couple of weeks ago that they had previously offered Boone a top 15 OG deal that he turned down. If they have now offered him more to move it up into top 12 territory and he turned it down, that likely means a trade or he’s sitting out the first 10 games. I can’t see them going any higher than that.

  31. The long bomb to Lloyd was a beautiful, accurate pass that probably should have been caught had Lloyd laid out for it. As the announcers noted, the sun probably affected his vision and he had trouble locating it.

    The other positive was that on at least 3 occasions Kaep went through several progressions before settling on either the checkdown or the third receiver.

    Other than that, the game was a bloody, stinky, smelly turd.

  32. chewie ..

    I was pretty impressed with Kaep and the 1st teamers ….
    (save for Lloyd’s near miss on that Kaep bomb) …
    and, to me ..Tutu .. looks to be a beast in the making

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