Jim Tomsula: “I really honestly don’t believe this is The Jim Show.”

SANTA CLARA — This is a transcript of Jim Tomsula’s Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.

Opening comments:

“Probably the two guys you want to talk about; [C] center Nick Easton was added. I think you all are familiar with that, Harvard guy. And then, [T] Tanner Hawkinson to the practice squad will be a new name for you out of Kansas. So, there’s where we are there. Any questions?”


Have you decided on your cornerback starting opposite of CB Tramaine Brock?

“No. We’ve got [CB Keith] Reaser and [CB Kenneth] Acker are right there right now really getting after it. Now, [CB] Dontae’s [Johnson] in the mix. You will see throughout the year, matchup-wise you’ll see us matching up the way we need to matchup with those guys, between those three. But, Acker has really come on and done a great job. If you want somebody that’s going to be on a depth chart, it’ll probably say Reaser and Acker through the week.”


Both of them?

“Well, through the week right here.”


So, they’ll be competing as the week goes on?

“Yes and no. Yes and no. Acker has done a great job, but Reaser is in the mix.”


ME: What’s Tramaine Brock’s status?

“Great. I don’t even think he’s on anything today. I think we’ve got that to where we wanted it to be coming into the season. I don’t think he’s going to show up on any of your injury reports.”


What about TE Vance McDonald and his ankle?

“Vance was running around yesterday really good, all the workouts and everything, sprinting and cutting and all that stuff. Again, I’m not sure where they’ll put him there. I’m not even thinking about him.”


When did you start looking into the Vikings and just what you’re going to be facing? At what point this summer did you kind of sit down and analyze what you’re going to need to do?

“Well, in the summer I would probably tell you, looking in the division, started that pretty much making sure there was time allotted every week for myself. And then as we took care of ourselves that increased. And then the summer was, once the schedule came out, taking a week and putting on an opponent and writing notes and doing all that stuff. Yeah, just since I’ve been here.”


What strikes you about the Vikings? Obviously Vikings RB Adrian Peterson’s coming back for them. Just what kind of a challenge is that going to be for this team?

“Well, I mean, Adrian Peterson is always a challenge. If he puts on a helmet and a shirt, he’s a challenge. But, I mean, [Vikings QB] Teddy Bridgewater is doing a nice job, tight end’s doing a nice job they’ve got a nice tight end. The wide receivers are obviously a fast crew, good crew. You’ve got a mobile quarterback, so that’s always extra time spent on how you want to attack that guy. And that offense is a [Vikings offensive coordinator] Norv Turner offense. So, you put all that together, obviously we’ve got a ton of respect for them. O-Line coach is a terrific coach and I’m sure that those guys are, we’ve got a lot of respect for them.”


What are the characteristics of a Norv Turner offense in your mind?

“The biggest thing is the way Norv calls a game in my opinion, if you want to talk about the first thing. Go ahead and try to get a beat on Norv. You’re not going to. Everybody will say, ‘Norv’s going to have the boots, he’s going to have the power game, he’s going to have the gap scheme, he’s going to have a little bit of zone in there, the play-action pass, the deep routes, he’s going to utilize the tight end.’ Yeah, he does all that, but just go ahead and try to get a beat on when and where he’s doing and what he’s doing. And he’s going to use all the pieces he has.”


I don’t know if you have time to reflect on this kind of thing, but all up until now it’s been kind of pointing moving forward and now you’re here. Is there just kind of any of sense of here’s the opener right on the horizon and what that all brings about for you?

“No. I mean, I know it doesn’t sound like, I know it’s not great drama, but I wake up every day with the same feeling in terms of how to attack today and sense of responsibility. That’s the way it goes. I really don’t. And I really honestly don’t believe this is The Jim Show. This isn’t about Jim Tomsula. It’s about the Niners. It’s about the locker room. It’s about everybody that puts the pieces together to make this happen organizationally. So, I take the piece that I have very seriously and I feel a sense of responsibility to do it in the absolute best way that I can possibly do it to make sure that everything else can move forward in their way.”


Is the regular season kind of almost, because it’s a lot more routine than training camp, is there some almost relief to that, that you know what the calendar or what each day of the week, in most cases, you know what you’re doing on most days in the regular season?

“Yeah, I mean, once you get cards in. The biggest thing that goes on in training camp, you all see it, it’s us against us. So, it’s like let’s talk team, keep the locker room together and do all of these things, but it’s us against us. It’s just the nature of football. It’s every locker room in football you go against, somebody’s got to win and somebody is going to lose. So now it’s, now we’ve got everybody preparing to win. So, the practice schedule, you’ve got the cards out and you’re working that way. So, in terms of that, I think it’s, the structure of it starts pulling all three phases together.”


Have you guys elected team captains for the season?

“Yeah, yeah, the guys did. They voted on them. That’s on here isn’t it, [49ers vice president of communications] Bob [Lange]? Yeah, offense; [T Joe] Staley, [WR Anquan] Boldin, [TE Vernon] Davis and [QB Colin] Kaepernick. Defense; [S Antoine] Bethea, [LB NaVorro] Bowman, [S Eric] Reid, and [NT Ian] Williams. Special teams [K Phil] Dawson. That’s player vote. Nice crew of guys. Congratulations to them, obviously. The one thing that’s neat about all of that is when they tally everything up and tick, some of the other guys on the roster that got some votes, just, that’s a heck-of-a compliment.”


Will you guys wear the stars?

“No. No, sir.”


You’re not a stars guy?

“No, sir. I’m into a team game.”


Can you repeat the defensive captains, please?

“Defense is Bethea, Bowman, Reid, and Williams. Ian Williams.”


Could you explain a little of what went into the decision to let LB Ahmad Brooks back into the mix?

“Really, quite frankly, there isn’t anything to explain. We, I went through it and we’ve, it’s been well documented what we’ve done and the procedures and policies that we’re rolling with. And then with the, through the investigation of things that are going on. So, that’s why I won’t comment any further. But, I feel confident in the information I’ve gotten and just the way that the, let the investigation through the National Football League and the courts go where they may.”


ME: ESPN reported this morning that the New England Patriots videotaped other team’s defensive signals during 40 games between 2000 and 2007. Do you know anything about that and do you have a comment?

“No and no. I wouldn’t dare speak about anybody else’s team and I honestly don’t know what that was. I didn’t hear it all, but something about, I didn’t hear you.”


ME: ESPN reported this morning that the New England Patriots were filming other team’s defensive signals during 40 games between 2000 and 2007.

“No, I don’t have, yes sir, thank you. Yeah, no comment to that.”


Have you made a decision as far as your return game, who will be back there for kickoffs and punts?



Or better yet, can you tell us who?

“Yeah, we’ve made a decision, yes.”


Who are those?

“The same group you’ve seen. It’s the same group you’ve seen. All the guys are, all the guys have done a nice job at that.”


Is that still, have you decided who’s not going to suit up or is that still, you know, is there a competition in any way?

“To me, the way every 46 works, all the way through the week. Obviously, you start at the beginning of the week with an idea of who that’s going to be. And, off of game plan and the way you want to attack and different things like that, special teams. But then that also changes with, week to week throughout the season on. Do you have, you have somebody who has a little something and maybe you’ve got to back it up. But, there’s always a thought process at the beginning, but that’s why you don’t say anything until the end. I’ll say this as a coach, an hour and a half before the game I go take a look and see who’s up and who’s not. If you’ve got nine O-Linemen up and two receivers, I’ve got a real good idea on what you’re thinking about doing. That’s why with us, I won’t, none of that information will be, I have obviously, I mean, lastly just to protect him [Lange], the last guy in our organization that’ll know who’s up will be him.”


Did you have any special message for your team? You have the final roster, the practice squad. Just as you begin the season, was there anything that you said to the team or just wanted to say to the team?

“No. Yesterday, I mean, congratulations, obviously, you know. It’s kind of unique because it’s, I see these guys, you’re busting your tail, you’re trying to build a team concept and this togetherness. And if that’s going right and you have the right people, then that starts getting really tight. You’ve got 90 guys and that’s like, you start building this camaraderie and this thing and then you go to 75 and it’s sobering. And then same thing. And then you go to 53. And I know a lot of guys are happy that they’re with the 53. And there’s a moment of happiness, but then there’s also that emotion of somebody you care about or somebody you’ve been working hard with isn’t here anymore. Hopefully they’re with somebody else. Hopefully things worked out, but congratulations to it. The worst thing you can do is exhale, feel like you made it. I think it’s the worst thing you can do. Exhale and say, ‘Yeah, I made it.’ We just got to the starting line. The race, you know, it’s a long race. We just got to the starting line. We’re all huddled up, shaking hands and getting ready to put our hand down on the starting line. So, it’s kind of a unique spot and that’s what I said.”


How big of a chore does Nick Easton have to learn enough to be able to earn one of those 46 spots and be able to function if called upon?

“Yeah, obviously. I mean it’s, you’ve got some work to do man. Hope you use that Ivy League degree.”


Does he play guard as well?

“No. We’ve got him as a center. I mean, he’ll work some at guard, but we haven’t seen him at guard. We’ve seen him at center.”


ME: I may have misheard you, but did you indicate that RB Jarryd Hayne would be returning punts as he did during the preseason or you haven’t determined who’s going to return punts?

“Yeah, we don’t have, we’ve got that whole group. We’re happy with the group that you’ve seen. And for obvious reasons, I mean, there could be more than one. There could be, I don’t want to get into half-truths and splitting hairs and all that kind of stuff, but we are happy with the whole group.”


You’ve been telling your players that they’re only at the starting line. Do you feel like that fit personally?

“Sorry. I didn’t hear you.”


Do you feel like, with yourself, that message of only being at the starting line, is that how you feel personally?

“Yeah. We just got to the starting line. You work your tail off to qualify for the race. That’s all. You’ve got preliminaries. You’ve got all the races leading up to it. You’ve got to win a lot of races to get to the Olympics. All you do is get a shot at the Olympics. You get to walk through opening ceremonies. That’s all you’re guaranteed. So, I mean, that’s basically the way I see it. You’ve got to win a lot of races before you get to race the Tour de France. A lot of things can happen over those days. So, that’s the way I see the whole thing.”


Regarding team captains, obviously you know Ian Williams quite well. He’s still a pretty young guy. Because of injuries, he hasn’t been able to play a lot, but it seems to speak to something about him that he was a team captain. What do you think that is about?

“Well, you know, I didn’t ask anybody. I completely stayed out of this for a reason, because I wanted them to do it. And actually saved all the voting forms and the sheets in case anybody, in case we had, what do you call it? Recount. You know what I mean? So, this was solely the guys. So yeah, I think that’s a compliment. You talk to all these guys here. You see some veteran players here that work hard that you see daily and you look at it and you say, ‘OK, that’s cool.’ And, you know, with Ian, I mean, obviously Bowman you see and his level of play, but then also with Ian, how hard he works. He’s a guy that never leaves. He lives around the corner. He’s always working, always going. Had to overcome some things. So, I mean, I don’t want to speak for the guys on the team, but I have my own little thoughts on why they picked that group.”


Was there, I mean, how many captains is that about eight or nine?



So I mean, in past years there’s only been what two on each side along with guys that would roll over. Was there a matter of capping it at a certain amount or did you want–?

“No. I just wanted to see what it was first, to be honest with you. I did. I wanted to see how the team was feeling just to be quite honest. I wanted to see what it was. I was looking to see where that is and that’s where it ended up. So, that was, just left it alone.”

This article has 247 Comments

  1. Will anyone ask what statements like these mean if the 49ers go 16 and zero?

    “That’s why with us, I won’t, none of that information will be, I have obviously, I mean, lastly just to protect him [Lange], the last guy in our organization that’ll know who’s up will be him.”


    “No. I just wanted to see what it was first, to be honest with you. I did. I wanted to see how the team was feeling just to be quite honest. I wanted to see what it was. I was looking to see where that is and that’s where it ended up. So, that was, just left it alone.”

    1. If the Niners go 16-0 every breath Tomsula took and statement he uttered all year will be parsed and scrutinized to see how he pulled the Rhino out of his hat!

            1. Do any of you remember Crusader Rabbit with Rags the Tiger. They were the original Rocky and Bullwinckle same voices and everything. You can check it out on Youtube.

      1. I am curious, Tom – if the 49ers surprise everyone and do well this year, maybe even make the playoffs, will you be even less happy than you are now? Conversely, if they do as poor as expected, will you be any happier then? What is it you get out of your fandom, or perhaps anti-fandom?

        If it is all negative for you, why not focus on something that is more positive in your life? Or, if you have nothing more positive, focus on finding something positive. Constant negativity is more damaging to the individual experiencing it than to the target(s) of that negativity.

        1. Good advice but Tom Dumb isn’t wise enough to take it to heart. I think Lynchmob will end up getting to know Teddy quite well in this game. I like the 49ers chances in this one….

          1. Didn’t we fight Something called the Civil War.?…Your Southern roots are showing. However I haven’t given up offering free reading material…Maybe some videos of good vs. evil at wartime may help

            1. Glory (Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman)
            2. Enemy at the Gates

            I think the history lesson will be invaluable here. Put them on after a nice dinner.

            1. Warning – No football content in the post below. Please pardon the digression.

              So, Tom, it is not just the nuances of 49ers history with which you have difficulty, eh?

              “Lynch Laws”, reputably first instituted before the Revolutionary War, are attributed to Virginian Charles Lynch who established a “court” to punish Tories. Rarely, if ever, was death meted out as punishment during the time of the term’s coinage, and Lynch’s ‘court’ focused almost entirely on punishing colonists loyal to the crown.

              In the early 1800s, Lynch Laws became associated with extrajudicial executions, typically by hanging, and spread throughout the States and the territories. The majority of people so ‘punished’ were not minorities. In fact, until the late 1800s (1890 or so), the majority of what we came to know as lynchings (i.e. summary executions by hanging) involved the execution of alleged criminals, most of whom were not minorities (although, it is important to note that there is no good estimate for the number of Native Americans who may have been lynched during that time period). Further, most of the documented lynchings between the Civil War and the 1890s occurred not in the South, but in the Western States and Territories.

              As lynchings reduced in frequency with respect to punishing alleged criminals, they increased in frequency as a tool of racial based terrorism and murder in the South. The 21st century narrative that lynchings were a post-Civil War Southern racist act focuses on only a fraction of the U.S. history of extrajudicial punishments and executions that can be traced back to the concept of “Lynch Laws” in the colonial period. The consequence of that narrative, that any reference to lynch or lynching, or any depiction of same, is at least covertly racist, is a prime example of the simplification of a rich, and varied, historical tapestry for political purposes.

              Oh, and it is worth pointing out that summary hangings antedate the term “lynching” and were a known means of extrajudicial punishment in Great Britain and Europe prior to any attestation of the same in the colonies. True, the term ‘lynch’ is of American origin, and Southern at that, but the practice is not.

              So, not only would the use of the term “lynchmob” (even if it did was not a play on Aaron Lynch’s name) not necessarily evince Southern roots, your cited videos on “good vs. evil” at wartime are not relevant to your own intended point as the lynchings to which you allude in your first sentence were mostly committed post-reconstruction, not during wartime.

        2. JP,

          Since 99.9% of this site is part of the 49er Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy (nothing to see here club), I don’t see the problem of fair and balance reporting.

          However, you sarcastically trying to cure my health is like asking the York’s replicate an NFL standard playing surface in Sunny California…Those Giant windows on the west side of the field act like a magnifying glass, burning the field and the players.

          1. I am occasionally (intentionally) ironic, sometimes satirical, but almost never sarcastic. Again, this is an issue with focusing on the negative, this time to the point of projection on the motivations of others.

          2. Yawn. Owners suck. GM sucks. Coaching staff sucks. Starting QB sucks. You got some very original gripes there, fan.

        3. 99.9% of folks on this site drink the Baalke/York, Kool-aid. I’m here as a fair and balanced reporter, busily finding news that represents the other side of the ledger not talked about–49er fans being pushed aside by the York’s illogical coaching moves or other profit making strategies that actually may hurt the players.
          For example, (west side) those large glass windows that burn the grass, and heat up the players during the games…
          Or 49er managements inability to keep an NFL standard playing surface intact in sunny CA…
          Enjoy those Black uniforms the Niners break out Mon. Night…(UUUUgly). Adam Sandler had those on the longest yard. With the 49ers copy, we’ll laugh at them, not with them.

  2. So we will have 5 people returning punts? Call me crazy but I want to see 38 do it! He is just fun to watch, and frankly after this off season , I want some fun and enjoyment! I am not asking too much am I?

    1. But will we as fans have fun? I want fun and excitement! Tired of doom and gloom and nashing of teeth! I brother tuna was on to something when he brought up Willie Nelson! Now he could have some fun!

    2. I’ve been saying that I see a mix of Harbaugh and Singletary in Tomsula when he speaks.

      1. Yeah, but let’s hope he doesn’t answer post game questions with , “I can’t answer that without looking at the film”, or “I don’t know until I look at the film”.

        1. Nah, it would be more like “you know, I don’t want to, you know, I can’t go through that right now out of respect for the players, until I’ve had another look at it. We’re still working through that process, ok?”.


          1. Close but too articulate. :-}

            I’m starting to feel that Tomsula speaks in blanks. Not blank verse, but just plain blanks, so that the audience can fill in what ever they want.

      2. Tomsula uses a lot of words to say little and sometimes you are more confused after the answer than you were before the question.

  3. Steelmatic and NinerMD:

    It doesn’t appear that you guys were able to join the Quest4Six fantasy football league, so I will post the link and information you need again.


    League ID: 2002359
    League Password: blueKollarKnightmare

    The draft will start soon so try to join before then; otherwise I will have to eliminate the final two spots.

  4. Both Harbaugh and Tomsula speak deliberate gibberish out of fear they will give away team secrets. They both seem defensive with a chip on their shoulder when speaking to the press. But Tomsula seems to understand the built in conflict:

    – Its the HC’s job to avoid saying anything that could remotely comprise the teams ability to win.
    – Its the press’s job to get as much information as possible, including information that has a negative tilt.

    Harbaugh seemed to take it personally. Tomsula seems to accept questions as a professional nuisance. Evasive yes. But not chippy.

    1. Yes perfectly stated Brodie. And I far prefer the latter to the former.

      Harbaugh was very frustrating to listen to and it was getting very old very fast.

  5. I think Coach is so consumed by his job that he only brings about 80-85% of his attention to the Pressers. He’s flailing for words and not finishing thoughts because one part of him is thinking about the 60 other things he’d rather be working on right at that moment.
    And yeah, he’s trying not to really say anything during the Q&A. But he tries to explain why he won’t

    1. How many things will be going on with a first and goal at the five with twenty seconds on the clock down by four and two timeout left at the end of the NFC championship game, or any other hot spot moment this year.

      Only one way to find out. Shuffle up and deal!

      1. This may seem counterintuitive, but some people who leave “blanks” (to use htwaits’ term) in key components of utterances, especially objects of verb clauses or prepositions, do so not because of slow mental processes, but because they are thinking too quickly for their words. In essence, their mind has already shifted beyond completing the sentence, usually the last part of which is an object of some kind.

        I had a friend/colleague (a fellow linguistics student at the time) who was notorious for omitting direct objects (even sometimes when including indirect objects) in his speech. He was very bright and a great writer, but his speech mannerisms sometimes left people with the impression he could not complete a thought whereas the truth was that he had already proceeded to the next thought.

        Frequently, people are quick to judge others on how hey speak and disregard other evidence of mental acuity. I now work in a profession rife with well spoken people, but some of them have the analytical ability of a chimp (a travesty, as law school is supposed to teach analytical skills). I have heard some remarkably well composed oratories (both in and out of court) that are lacking in reasoned thought. I long ago ceased to be enamored by how things were said and began to pay more attention to what was said and to other indicia of ability.

        From what I have observed of Jim Tomsula, I think people who misunderestimate him (to use a “Bushism”, which seems apropos to the main point of my comment) do so at their own peril, and that such superficial and subjective analysis shows more about the critic than the subject of the criticism.

        1. On rethinking, I believe that I slighted members of the species Pan troglodytes in my above post. Chimpanzees have better analytical skills than some of my fellow attorneys.

          1. Although I appreciate a good Indica, I’m a Sativa man at heart but there’s an abundance of Hybrids to enjoy….

              1. Hmm, Jim Tomsula was measured and forthright. He seemed more comfortable answering questions one on one. I also gained new perspectives on his coaching philosophy. He praised the Walrus, so Ray should be floating on air. What a master stroke of good PR.

        2. Maybe Lester in the TV version of Fargo is an example. Let’s hope that in game related crunch times, Tomsula is concise, on point, and brilliantly crafty. His KNBR show is nothing like the transcripts of his news conferences.

        3. JPNoo1- Really well explained. The most effective thought process are in fact non linear. Communication however has to be linear. It makes it difficult for non linear thinkers to communicate their thoughts. You must first fragment those thoughts and restructure them in linear bites. ———–For example try to describe what you see. Your mind comprehends the picture in it’s entirety yet to describe it requires a doing it in individual pieces which still falls short unless the person you are describing it to has their own image to draw on in memory.—-The more complex the thought the more impossible it becomes to convey.

        4. JPN,

          I don’t get the impression anyone is questioning Tomsula’s intelligence, so much as they are his ability to get a point across. I think you are right on the money in reference to his mind moving to the next point before he has verbally communicated the previous one. That makes it difficult to listen and understand just what it is he’s trying to say at times.

    1. Good. More locker room fodder. Niners will be chomping at the bit, fighting to prove them wrong.

            1. I don’t mean to go off on a tangent about the darkness of horses but…well, I’m talking about a dark horse here.

              1. Dude are you trying to be funny? Just stop. Please.

                Okay, that was actually funny. I get it now. You mean the horse is really, really, really dark, like the Niners have really long odds to make the playoffs.

                Kinda like Kaep is riding a really dark horse on his way to the Princess Ball of becoming a a legit NFL QB.

  6. Let’s break this down in common sense terms. Jim, are you going to put your #3WR (Injury Bug) and #4 WR (Surprised by the F in physical) in jeopardy on punt returns, or are you going to clear the runway for the Hayne Plane, who all of America and Australia are filling your coffers with gold to see play? Hayne weighs 220 pounds and you can tell Harbaugh from me, he has the best eye hand coordination of any punt returner in the league. Add to that a unique, intuitive sense of angles, combined with sports car maneuvering. If the control tower allows, the Hayne Plane could someday remind of us of Bo Jackson. Yea, I said it, but Brotha though it….

    1. His moves kinda reminds me of Wendell Tyler, without the carrying of the ball like a loaf of bread.

    2. I was wondering who Brotha was referring to. Was it Bo Jackson? Maybe in terms of being a multi-sport star? I never saw Jackson play so I have no idea if they are similar runners.

      1. I like Hayne but Bo Jackson was arguably the greatest athlete of all time. His explosiveness was second to none in the history of the NFL. Bo Jackson is an alien. It’s the only explanation.

      2. Scooter-
        I wasn’t ready to commit, but I’ve been wrong so often before that it can’t really hurt my reputation I suppose. I haven’t sought more tape and it’s been a long time between two guys, but I’ll be looking for some of what I think I remember about Jim Brown running. In no way am I comparing the two, Brown had instincts specific to the game from playing it all his life and he was 10 lbs heavier when the guys he was playing against weren’t as big as the guys Jarryd is facing. Okay.
        Now look at Brown’s moves and how he sets up his moves, swiveling his hips but keeping his shoulders squared for contact. He knew how to keep his pads down running through the line, but JB ran a bit upright in the open field. Both Brown and Hayne keep their bodies aligned to keep weight over their feet even though a bit upright. Emmitt Smith adopted that very low center of gravity as his way of keeping his weight centered. Also Brown had a way of shrugging off upper body tackles like Jarryd does.
        I’m only talking about running styles here folks, not comparing Hayne to Jim Brown, HOF.

          1. Not to knock Bo, but he lacked short area elusiveness. He had speed!!! and big time power but just some wiggle. He used his speed to threaten the defense. Usually he could go by them and turn the corner. If they over committed he cut up through a seam between them because they were running out of control just to get to a spot. He was marvelous and dangerous as a heart attack, and a magnificent athlete (Bob Hayes Grimey?), but Dickerson was pretty much as fast with better moves and plenty of long strength, and a better running back.,

            1. Hayne definitely has more wiggle. Bo was a juggernaut. Bob Hayes was certainly a terrific athlete, an olympian no less.

            2. If Bo had committed to Football full time, he could have been among the greatest ever due to natural talent alone. When you think about him playing baseball into October, then joining the football team with no TC and playing as well as he did, it’s astounding. An Incredible athlete who just seemed to be naturally adept at whatever he decided to do.

            3. BT

              Bo had everything, quickness, wiggle, power, and unparalleled speed in the history of the NFL. He was 240 lbs. and faster than Deion Sanders. You’re nuts. Eric Dickerson was a great, great running back, but not remotely close to Bo Jackson. Nobody was. Alien? Maybe. God? Probably.

        1. That was actually my first guess as to who I thought you were referring to, Brotha.

          I never saw Brown play, so can’t really comment. But I do know he was well regarded for his instincts, and his ability to both make people miss with subtle movement and run over people if needed.

          1. He had amazing wiggle and halfback moves and speed in a FB body. He had swagger and loved to psych-out his opponents. Great hands too.

    3. I’ve been watching some of his rugby videos. I guess in rugby you can “punt” the ball at any time. I saw on more than one occasion where he punted the ball and caught his own punt (swear to god – google it). Hence the ability to make the over the shoulder catch we saw in the preseason that Grant is so critical of. Plus there’s no blocking in rugby. Running behind 300 lbs behemoths must be a dream come true for this guy.

    4. Razor/Brotha

      WHOA there, darkhorseys!!! Don’t get ahead of yourselves. Hayne’s undeniably talented, but he’s nowhere near the talent of Bo Jackson, who was, without question, the greatest athlete ever to buckle a chinstrap. Bo Jackson is the greatest football player of all time, and it’s not even close.

  7. Interesting Film Study tweets by Trent Dilfer on the 49ers and the Vikings.

    Note: Giles was part of Dilfer’s QB development group, so he could be basing his thoughts on personal knowledge or CK… but could have biases based on the idea that his QB development system works.

    1. Niners #FilmStudy Defense

      1- LOVE front 7’s speed, power & ability to get off block, but developing proven difference makers will take time

      2- Mangini is VERY GOOD at creating “free runners” at QB by breaking down protections. Also, disrupting releases of TE’s.

      3-Challenge for D will be adjusting to multiple O sets, shifts and motions. Changes zone/man blitz rules at last second

      4- Look for teams to take downfield shots when Niners are forced into 1 high/man defense on 3rd 2-5. Need to mix & match

      5- Niners have to stop A Gap runs & hard “action pass” on early downs. OLB’s will need to squeeze without losing contain

    2. Kap/Offense #FilmStudy

      1-Pocket mechanics have improved dramatically, staying in passing posture longer-Wide base, front hip downfield, ball protected

      2-Upper body mechanics have been tightened up-allows him to “tempo’ ball to get up & down “firm with an arc”.

      3-Most QB’s show their confidence level by how early they will rip it & which speed they choose to throw at open wr’s

      4-Still concerned his levels changed as he climbs in pocket.Knees lock/bend during climb eye level changes & pictures change

      5-Offense will have more crossing routes and quick piercing throws. Both will require timing & location for YAC.

      6-Offense will have more “sack beaters” (check downs by backs & crossing wr’s.) Kap will need to utilize vs pocket conflict

      7-Play action game out of pistol will be g8 way to get Vernon running free on 2nd level of D. Remember Hyde comfy w/gun runs

    3. Niners #FilmStudy Global

      1-Niners cause of youth & unproven difference makers on both sides must make GAP(Game Altering Plays)on early downs

      2-Critical downs & in game adversity are where Niners will miss Smiths & Willis the most.

      3- For you stat geeks the number for Niners O you need to keep an eye on is 1st dn explosive plays. Flip field

      4-Old staff philosophy in passing game was “sticks” driven. This should look more “west coast” with crossers & YAC

      Niners #FilmStudy Final Thought.

      1-Look for D to bring multiple pressures early in season to get young DL & OLB 1on1 opps to build confidence

    4. Dilfers Vikings #FilmStudy

      1-Super impressed w/coaching expertise of Vikes staff. Innovative coaches that don’t neglect fundamental development

      2-Vikings D will be headache on 3rd & 6+. Dbl A gap mug (Zimmer invention) & change ups create nightmare match ups for O

      3-Defensive personell is versatile enough to be “game plan specific” each week.O will have tough time know what to expect

      4-Play Calling is “Secret Sauce” in NFL…Norv & Zimmer are two of the best in game. Put players in position to succeed

      5-Zimmer does excellent job of creating looks to make QB uncomfortable in middle of pocket. Lots of pressure on C & G’s

      6-Secondary disguises need to be next area of growth for D. If they give away look too soon QB will get cheap completion

      7-Love Teddy’s pocket instincts. Climbs, protects ball, eyes moving through progressions & accurate from odd platforms

      8-Teddy has the two most underrated traits of gr8 QBs. 1- Quick eyes 2-“chunks info” (processes lots quickly)

      9-R side of O-line could be Vikes limiting factor. However, scheme can help w/violent departures from TE’s & RB’s

      10-Norv does gr8 job of middle of the field match ups. Teddy will get great looks vs LB’s, Safeties, and Nickel corner

      11-Sleeper player that I love for Vikes is WR Charles Johnson. Physical with twitch & strong hands in conflict

      12-Peterson is obviously gonna be awesome in run game, don’t be surprised if he makes huge plays w/screen & check downs

      13-For Vikes run game to be dominate TE’s need to be great in-line blockers. Much of run game depends on edge movement

      Last Thought – On D is that they need to do better job up front getting hands up vs quick passing game to defend 12 & 9

        1. I hope I didn’t spam the blog. There are some nuggets, especially about the Vikes, that help me understand the game. Both sides strong defensive lines are matched up against O-lines in transition.

          Both teams depend heavily on run games with play action passing. If one of the teams gets a 2-score lead it will swamp the other team. Though both teams are evenly matched, I expect a lopsided score.

          1. Brodie,

            If that is considered spam, then spam away. I’m all for anything like this being posted as it offers some great insight into the game and the team in general. Thanks for posting it.

      1. Thoughts on Vikes…

        Item 13 makes me think twice about sitting Lemonier. Not sure if Harold can set the edge.

        Items 2 and 5 will be a huge challenge. Hope Chryst has some workarounds to help the right side of the O-line.

        Item 10 can be dealt with by swapping out Ward/Tartt/Wilhoite as the Vikes personnel groupings change.

        1. Lemonier is stout against the run while I have seen Harold be in position yet whiff on a tackle.

      2. Items 7 and 8 are exactly what I like about Teddy B as well. In his pocket instincts he left out Teddy’s ability to subtly manoeuvre in the pocket to reset his blockers between himself and the defender to give himself a little more time. An underrated trait that one.

        1. I didn’t study the QBs in the 2014 draft very much, bu every time I saw Bridgewater his release and quick feet got my attention.

          I expected him to go higher in the draft, but there was chatter about his size making him vulnerable to injuries and a “bad” pro day (what ever constitutes a bad pro day). To the good fortune of the Vikes (and bad fortune of the teams that skipped him) he tuned out fine.

        2. Scooter and I had a discussion about the merits of selecting Bridgewater if he made it to the Niners pick in 2014. It made a lot of sense in many ways and would have put the team in an enviable position at QB right now.

      3. To defeat Zimmers A Gap blitz and Center double teams, get the ball to Bush on the edge immediately after the ball is snapped. Another is max protection, say two wide I formation. Send the running back and fullback into the middle to plug up the rush, hit VD or one of the wide outs….

        1. They should invite the blitz, then attack the space the blitzer left, and take advantage of their team speed by running counters and reverses.

        2. Logan favors splitting the running back out wide to spread the defensive box out and take a safety or LB out of the inside blitz. Not sure about Chryst.

  8. Love these tweets by Keith Reaser:

    Keith Reaser @KeithReaser3
    So I read an article saying that I gave up 8 catches in the preseason lol

    Keith Reaser @KeithReaser3
    People with no comprehension of football schemes are the ones informing the public

    1. Ouch, Reaser’s so right.

      But he shouldn’t be reading stuff in the press except for laffs, should be just studying Mangini’s schemes and watching Vike tapes.

    2. I love it. A player telling it like it is. Pretty refreshing and a reminder we don’t know as much as we think we do.

    1. Sorry MD, but for some reason you and Steel weren’t registered in the league so I had to remove those two vacancies. H

        1. No worries. I’m trying my hand on yahoo this year. I can come in with some experience next year.

    1. Interesting comments on Ellington. Could that be the main reason he was utilized that much on offense last season despite his versatility?

    2. Who was it saying Armstead did not provide value in the first round because he couldn’t generate a pass rush?

      1. That still remains to be seen Razor, but Armstead’s arrow is indeed pointing upward right now.

      2. Just for some context, his 7 pressures and 1 hit came in 184 snaps. Much of that against guys who have been cut.

        1. I agree. It’s great that he showed well against lesser talent but he should be expected to do that. I want to see him generate consistent pressure against starting caliber players before I start to view him as a good 1st round pick.

    3. Amstead did show well P4, but I’m not sure of what his competition was in that game. I see most think Purcell is inactive. As a NG, sure. But isn’t he the most impressive interior penetrator in pre-season games? If other inside rushers get dinged or fail to impress, he may get a game day look.

      1. I’ve already said I’d take Purcell on game day over Armstead but I’m looking like the lone wolf on this one.

        1. You may not be Grimey. If they activate Armstead and he struggles, they will likely deactivate him for the next game. I think Purcell deserves a shot but they may have him at the bottom of the depth chart to begin the season simply because the Dline as a whole performed well.

    4. Okay so Armstead cant hold his own, requiring ‘two’ blockers to deal with him, seems to me that’s already a win situation for the Niners.

      1. No, he gets driven backwards when double-teamed on zone runs. Every zone run features one double team. Teams will run at Armstead on base downs.

        1. Its the linebackers job to come up and stuff the run. It would be a problem if he didn’t require two defenders.

          1. He doesn’t require two defenders. Every zone run features a double team, and its the defender’s job who’s being double teamed to not give up a ton of ground. Dorsey, Williams and Dial are stout against double teams.

          2. Undercenter,

            What linebackers?..They retired!..Then we have to use a db as a linebacker on 3rd downs…How many teams do you think will wait politely on 3rd down so we can get our coverage linebacker on the field? Teams will just run the no huddle or have two plays called on second down.

              1. I see us NOT EMPLOYING a 3-4 after Bridgewater, Peterson and their underrated wideouts shred it before a national audience!

              2. And don’t forget, Baalke had an opportunity to draft a linebacker. Instead, Baalke drafted another Jimmy Ward

        2. Wait! You mean two 300lb offensive linemen can move one 300lb defensive lineman off the block? Really?
          Fascinating, tell me more!
          Oh, btw, is there an unblocked LB in the vicinity?
          Like in basketball, if I’m being double teamed, somebody’s open. Same-same on the OL. Outside the box thinking, I guess.

            1. Way more than Reggie White!
              Or Justin Smith! Or Dorsey! (A ProBowler and a vet).
              Sure, this year he’s not as good.
              Working within the 46, we’ll see.
              You may have seen my comments on Purcell.

              1. I wrote alot about what I didn’t like from Armstead in his college and preseason footage. Ball location and disengaging from blocks were the weak points. The early predictions he’d spend much of the year off the game day 46 seemed about right.

                But flashing in game three, and continuing though game four, his hand punch really seemed to expand beyond his typical two-handed chest push.

                He may get pushed back by double teams in runs, but in game 4 he was consistently beating double team pass blocking.

                On one play Arik quickly stoned the first blocker, then did a swim move on the second, coming a hair from getting the sack. Then on another play, he swam moved the first blocker, then bull rushed the 2nd. Again, almost a sack.

                He played alot number of snaps. Imagine what he could do coming in fresh. That’s why I think he has a chance to suit up Monday.

                I puzzle about why Dockett as cut. Could be the rib injury… Arik and Purcell coming on… Aldon’s escapade changing the season from reloading to rebuilding… all the above?

              2. Brodie,

                I think in regards to Dockett it’s all of the above. He was taking a considerable amount of time to recover from the knee injury, which led to less than stellar production during the preseason games he participated in. Then he injures a rib and embellishes how bad it is which likely didn’t sit well with the team. Combine these factors with how deep they appear to be at the position and it starts to make sense as to why he was released. The biggest negative effect is likely in the locker room where I think he quickly became popular among his teammates. On field production wise, I think it was the right decision.

              3. It’s not so much about getting moved. Armstead is not absorbing the double team. He’s allowing the second blocker to move to the next level and block the ILB.

                If you put him in the sub packages they’ll just put 3 WR on the field and run at your sub packages.

              4. “in the sub packages they’ll just put 3 WR on the field and run at your sub packages.”

                That’s a big indictment of Armstead’s run stopping capabilities vs double teams.

              5. Let’s just say, I don’t see him getting nickel snaps ahead of Dorsey, Dial, Williams, Carradine, or TJE. That’s a pretty healthy rotation. Eventually you’d like to see him work his way into snaps, but I see that happening later in the season. I do have high hopes for Armstead in the long run.

                BTW, running at teams nickle/dime defenses is something I’d like to see the 49ers do more than last year.

            2. AA is just a rookie, and it is not expected that he has hardened up and gotten stronger like 3 year vets.They may be better, but AA has shown me skills that proves he will be a great pick.I have seen plays where he drives a player backwards.

    5. So Grant in all seriousness, who are you rating as having low stock in Kaepernick? Coaches, fan base, GM, ownership? Its easier to see with guys like Wright since he’s fallen out of contention for a starting position. We really haven’t heard much from the coaches about Kap.

      I live in Denver the guys here we talking about how bad Gabbert looked in practice against their defense. You’ve stated Thompson looked better in practice that Gabbert at times. I guess I am just trying to gauge what indications you’re using to predict Kap’s stock. His preseason showing was not good based on a limited sample size.

      1. I’m just at a loss to understand the support for Gabbert when we clearly know why he had some success and Kap didn’t during the preseason. It was play calling and level of competition. It’s not hard to decipher, and yet we have the clamoring for Gabbert to start from some sections of the fan base.

        If anyone has forgotten or has never seen how Gabbert responds to pressure and a collapsing pocket, just go to youtube where you can probably find some great footage of him going down before being touched or dropping his eyes at the first sight of a pass rush. He is not the answer here.

        1. Rocket:

          I’m certainly not calling for Gabbert to start, but are you saying that you don’t see any improvement from last year? He looks much more accurate and decisive compared with last preseason (Logan has him throwing at about 85% of his previous velocity). I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t feel at least somewhat better about Gabbert playing IF Kap should be injured.

          1. Cubus,

            He does look better but as often happens, some get enamored with what they see in an exhibition and forget that it is not the same as what that player will face in a real game against higher caliber competition. Just trying to present the other side of the Gabbert argument.

            1. Fair enough. I’ve been guilty of getting overly enamored with a player in the preseason only to realize later it was all for naught.

  9. Welp, another Quest4Six draft in the books. Here’s my team

    QB1: Aaron Rodgers
    QB2: Colin Kaepernick
    QB3: Alex Smith
    RB1: C.J. Spiller
    RB2: Amer Abdullah
    WR1: Odell Beckham
    WR2: Torrey Smith
    WR3: Davante Adams
    W/R1: Percy Harvin
    W/R2: Roddy White
    TE1: Vernon Davis
    TE2: Travis Kelce
    TE3: Jason Witten
    DEF1: Seattle
    DEF2: San Francisco
    K: Mason Crosby

    A little weak at RB but otherwise I think I did pretty good.

    1. Abdullah looks very promising to me. If Spiller can stay healthy Payton/Brees can make him Sproules. Not bad.

        1. I know squat about fantasy football, but just assume getting the Seahawk defense must be a coup.

  10. Ugly to uglier. An update on that story out of West Texas that we riffed on yesterday regarding the assault on the Ref. While not absolving the players of blame or guilt, it now turns out that their Secondary Coach put them up to it! The two kids should have known better, but the coach? The coach is allegedly an adult in a supervisory position who absolutely HAS TO KNOW BETTER. What a thug.
    So often the ugliness that can occur around youth sports is perpetuated by attendant adults. Isn’t this a case of contributing to the delinquency of minors? Is the coach guilty of accessory before the fact of battery? Since the coach is presumably a paid employee of the school, does the Ref have civil recourse against the school district?

    1. BT – I also heard that and also heard the ref supposedly used racial slurs. Regardless what the stimulus was, these clowns are cowards and quite stupid and deserve to pay the piper. As far as the coach is concerned, if it proves to be true then he should also be brought up on charges and of course never be allowed to coach/teach at any level in any sport.

      1. Hadn’t seen that on the slurs. Man, the more you turn this over the more maggots are found.Yikes.

      2. We will never know as it is the players word against the Officials, but the claims of racial slurs seem like and attempt to justify the actions. It’s already been reported that the assistant coach told them to do something to the ref because he felt they had been wronged by a call, so the racial slur accusation feels like an attempt at empathy by the players.

        The Coach and two players should be expelled from the team immediately. There is no justification for what they did.

        1. Rocket you are correct the coach and players should be suspended from the team [with the coach being banned from coaching again] regardless of what the ref said but if there is proof of the ref making racial slurs he should also be banned for life from ever being involved in H.S. sports again.

          1. I agree with that OldCoach. The problem is how to prove he said something? If it’s simply the players word vs. the Officials word, there really is no way to prove it. If a member of the other team or other players come forward and corroborate the accusations, then there is something to go on.

          2. I think there is a grey area. If the players were bantering using the N word, Like it is depicted in the movies, then take offense when the ref used it, I could be more lenient on the ref. It might be like Jackie Chan in Shanghai Noon.

    2. I would believe so, but the burden of proof is that they would have to present that his words, something to the effect of, “this guy has to pay for cheating us” was clear enough to the kids to physically assault the ref- in all likelihood, a settlement will be reached. I think the kids will be criminally charged with a misdemeanor, but not sure they can get the coach unless he was specific in his intent that he wanted him physically attacked.

  11. The first 3 games of the season will be interesting. I hope Brady throws 3 ints and they fumble the ball twice so the Pats will be deflated their first game.
    It will be interesting to see Frank Gore play on the opposite side of Roman, but the Bills defense may be too much.
    The third game will have Fangio against Rogers, and that should tell us how much the Bear defense has improved.

  12. I really like Jim Tomsula and I think he will make great coach, he certainly is what the 49ers need right now. But in reading his press release he reminds me of Casey Stengel and Yogi Berra. Perhaps we should call Jim “The Young Professor” Prefessor if you wish!

  13. To say that Hayne won’t suit up illustrates an irresponsible lack of understanding to the market you are an analyst for. We all know you just brought it up or hits. You are very intelligent.
    The NFL is bigger than Ellington, Tomsula, and the 49ers. Your argument would be sound Grant in a different dimension. Australia is not tuning in to see Hayne on the sideline. Remember this is the same league that allowed the lights to go out against Pittsburg for a new stadium and again in the Super Bowl to keep the game close.

    1. Both the 49ers and the NFL have a large financial interest in Hayne making a successful transition to the NFL. As you say, if he’s already good enough to play, even if its just on STs, it makes a lot of sense to get him out there purely from a financial point of view.

      I know football decisions shouldn’t be dictated by money, but the reality is they often are.

      1. Agree, Scooter and I said as much after the first preseason game. Since then we’ve seen a massive increase in interest in the NFL in Australia. The NFL sees expansion opportunities abroad and a guy like Hayne could be the catalyst for the South Pacific. Fortunately, Hayne is talented and I don’t see his making the 53 as due only to his appeal abroad. I do think that if he wasn’t talented enough and didn’t show something during the preseason, the team would not have bowed to pressure from NFL HQ or fans. Like Razor I think Hayne will field punts and Ellington kickoffs.

    2. Player decisions should not be based on what the fans want to see. If they are, that Coaching staff should be fired immediately and anyone else who thought a player should suit up to appease viewers. The idea that Hayne being active rests on his mass appeal is idiotic.

    1. Not sure I’d completely go along with that last statement although 6-10 is right where I’ve pegged our record. If Tomsula gets 10 wins out of this team then he should be in the CotY conversation.

    2. I know it’s gospel in the media that the Niners will suck and oh, what a turnover. I’m not the first to say it, but I’m not buying it. And I’m not the first to say we lost a lot of players, but most of those lost were: A. not contributers last year’s team or B. They were replaced with players of equal or better talent.

      Loss of Gore. He was the man for many seasons, but Hyde looks ready to pick up the pace and more, we have change of pace backs in place and finally a coaching staff not adverse to using them.

      Loss of Crabtree – Addition by subtraction, good riddance to that whiner. Overall this year’s WR corps is heads up more talented than last year.

      Loss of Willis is big, but he his play was subpar due to injury (and finally didn’t play) for most of last season.

      Loss of Borland. Grant will tell us why he was a one dimensional player. I won’t argue now ;)

      Loss of A. Smith. Another non-contributer from last season.

      Cowboy last season was not the Cowboy of 3 years ago.

      Loss of Culliver. This year’s CB corps is more talented than last year. If Brock can stay on the field.

      Loss of Harbaugh and staff. The whole drama around coach’s status is finally lifted. That was a toxic mess, and Harbaugh’s personality finally rubbed the team the wrong way, IMO. Loss of GRo is a net plus. Fangio will be missed, but the defense looks ready to be the strength of the team and to go beyond last year’s efforts.

      Of course it all comes down to the OL and Kaep’s production. Can it be any worse than last year? But remember, last year’s team was the team with all the supposed talent that was lost in the off-season.

      This team will at least equal last year’s W-L, I don’t think 10 wins in unreasonable. Will that be play-off good enough? Hard to say.

      1. I’d say the losses are overblown by the media and downplayed by a lot of fans.

        They will hurt, no question about it. Mostly Aldon and Anthony Davis.
        But they are not the end of the world.

        It seems that the team still has a lot of talent, but a big part of that is unproven, as is the coaching staff (mostly HC, OC and QB Coach).

        That makes this season even more unpredictable.
        I’m expecting anything from 6-10 to 10-6.
        Any other result will surprise me.

        If the Niners can somehow manage to go 2-2 the first four games, than a 10-6 finish would be much more viable.

        So that first game against the Vikings is key. We really need a win.

      2. ribico,

        While I appreciate your optimism and passion, I think you are going to be disappointed by your expectations.

        Gore was more than the stats to this team. He was a respected veteran and locker room presence. His value can’t be measured in how many yards were gained imo. While Hyde looks good, Gore was the most dependable part of this offense, and it is no lock he will be replaced adequately.

        I agree with you on Crabtree. Smith is a better option at this point.

        I disagree on Willis being subpar. He wasn’t what he normally was, but he was still better than anything we replaced him with, and he’s another guy who was as valuable for his leadership as he was for his play.

        Borland while lacking in speed, had great instincts and immediately became the leading tackler when he took over for Willis. We have nobody on the roster who played as well as he did, to replace him.

        Aldon Smith is a huge loss. How much he contributed last year is irrelevant. Sitting out more than half a season is going to affect a player and it did big time for Smith. Doesn’t change the fact he was the best pass rusher on this team by a wide margin and again there is no one of equal caliber to fill his spot.

        Justin Smith was not Justin Smith of 2011, but he was still a pretty good player and – stop me if you’ve heard this one before – a leader in the locker room. We are replacing him with somebody who has yet to play much of a role for this team so it remains to be seen how well the position is filled.

        I think you under rate Culliver. He was excellent last season and was pretty good before his injury as well. He has issues with locating the deep ball in the air, but he’s physical and mirrors receivers well. We may have good replacements, but again until we see them play over the course of a whole season, it’s anyone’s guess how well they perform in comparison to Culliver who was ranked very high in the PFF ratings last year.

        The area I disagree with you most however is the Coaching staff. We keep hearing rumors of how the players had grown tired of Harbaugh, but there really was no sign of it on the field. They played hard for him to the end, and when you consider the amount of injuries this team suffered, 8-8 was a pretty solid season. Losing Fangio was big as was Ed Donatell. Both men in particular did a fantastic job with this team. Not sure how the replacements will fair but these are huge shoes to fill. The biggest however are Harbaugh’s. All this guy did in 4 years was have his team a play away from the SB for his first 3 seasons, and then Coach a 4th under the worst of conditions due to injury and rumors about his demise and loss of the locker room, and he still wound up at 500. Tomsula is a great guy, but he is not remotely as accomplished as Harbaugh and has the job simply because he’s a favorite of the owner. He may turn out to be great, I don’t know, but at this point in time he is a massive question mark compared to the guy he is following.

        I agree with you on the Oline and Kap having a major impact on this teams fortunes. Kap needs to take the next step, but for him to do that, the Oline has to perform better than it did in the preseason. If the right side of the Oline continues to struggle the offense as a whole will follow suit.

        I hope you’re right about the 10 wins, but I don’t see that happening. Too many losses, not just in performance, but in leadership from the Coaching staff on down. This year will be a rebuilding/retooling/discovery season that will impact what direction they go next year.

        1. Rocket, if anything the so-called epic turnover/transition started *last* season. Willis only played in 6 games, Aldon Smith in 7. We blew many games last season – the meltdown vs Chicago in that blur of penalties (16!) blowing a 2 score lead in the process, the shameful collapse against SD, not even an NFL worthy performance against Denver, losing to the then 2-11 (WTF!) Raiders, not competitive whatsoever with Seattle. I lay that directly on the coaching, Harbaugh’s head was completely elsewhere. Even so, we still pulled .500 out of the hat, though with the close scores in the winning games it could have been easily been 3-13. This team was *not* that good last season, a shell of the previous years. I don’t think this year’s will be any worse.

          1. rib,

            I get what you’re saying and there is some truth to it, but we have essentially lost some of the best performers from last years team, which as you have pointed out wasn’t that good to begin with. If the unproven guys step up and play well, there is a chance they could play the way you are hoping they will, but with all the changes in Coaching and starters, I can’t see it happening. At this point 8-8 looks like the ceiling to me.

            We’ll agree to disagree on Harbaugh. With what he had to deal with he was full value for 8-8 imo.

        2. Willis and Borland are replaced by Bowman. He’s a far superior player than either of those two.

          1. Hey Jack, are you going to be around more now the season is starting? I’m looking forward to your game analysis, always very insightful!

            On Bowman vs Willis, do you think Bowman is superior to Willis when Willis was 100% healthy?

          2. Somebody has to line up next to Bowman, and there is nobody as good as Willis or Borland to fill that role.

            1. Do you have any theory on why they didn’t put more emphasis on bringing in a good ILB or drafting one early. I was surprised because doesn’t a 3-4 defense depend heavily on the LBs.

              1. Not rocket, but my theory is:

                – Borland was a shock retirement to the FO, and happened after the start of FA so the 49ers didn’t have a chance to go after the top guys available.
                – The draft was pretty lean in the ILB department this year.
                – Mangini was consulted and outlined a plan that put less emphasis on ILBs, and more on DBs.

              2. I agree it was a surprise but it did take place 6 days after free agency started. I could go back and check but which free agent ILB’s were signed during those first 10 days or so that they would have targeted if they had known they needed to. I’m not sure that free agency is where they would have looked to replace Borland. They might have had players targeted in the draft and simply missed out and weren’t willing to reach when they did.

              3. The 49ers would have been making plans on what they intended to do in FA well before it began. Having Borland retire 6 days after the start of FA didn’t mean they were only 6 days behind every one else.

                As far as the ILBs go, it was pretty slim pickings in FA even from the get go, and the top name guys (Curtis Lofton, Sean Weatherspoon, AJ Hawk, Malcolm Smith, Bruce Carter, Jonathan Casillas, JT Thomas) were signed by the 11th of March (2nd day of FA). Even Andrew Gachkar was signed by the 15th. The biggest name they had a shot at was Nate Irving, who had already visited and agreed in principle with the Colts by the 17th, but didn’t officially sign until the 20th.

                The timing of Borland’s retirement gave the 49ers no chance in FA to replace him with anyone good.

            2. Yea no doubt the timing didn’t help them but as you point out as well there still wasn’t much in the way of choices even if they had time think about it and even then, they didn’t have a ton of cap space to work with either so if they signed a vet it wasn’t going to be a top tier 1 anyway.

            3. Wilhoite started next to Willis/Borland a year ago and the defense still was playing at a high level. The loss of Willis is mitigated by the addition of Bowman.

        3. We all think that York picked Tomsula, and there is some indication that he picked Singletary to replace Nolan. It will be interesting to look back after the 2016 season.

      3. Niners have to just solve the game management and play calling problems, and they will be right back in the hunt. The defense is solid, and I expect the 30th ranked passing game to improve. Kaep will be allowed to showcase his talents and Hayne adds another wild card to the mix.
        Even with the defections, retirements and suspensions, this team looks good on paper. How they do on the field will determine how their season goes.
        I still predict 10-6, and will never lose Faith.

    1. I hope Tomsula’s approach is as effective as it is plowing new ground. Coaches don’t usually like to take that kind of gamble by stepping outside the herd. If they avoid excessive unforced error, or tantrum penalties along with an improve OL he will look very good.

    2. That is why Grant and his eyeball observations carry more weight with me because he is watching them during practice, too. He seems to distill those practices into salient points so I feel like I am standing next to him.

        1. True, but he saw the plays run with the footballs flying thru the air. I think it gave an inkling to him what the Niners were concentrating on and different alignment .used in different situations.

          1. From what I understand, the 49ers were no more reveling during practice with reporters present than they were during preseason games.

  14. From the “at least we’re not them” file:

    Browns fans are starting a #FailforCardale campaign. Is he even a first round pick?

      1. I think 3rd or 4th round. He could change that with a big year, but I wouldn’t spend a high pick on him knowing how much of a learning curve he has coming from that offense.

    1. Ok, I just heard that out of the 5 picks the Browns received in the Julio Jones trade, 0 are on their roster.

      1. Sure am glad the Niners did not trade for Josh Gordon, but the Browns would have squandered those picks, too.

  15. So depth chart has been released. As expected, no clarity around the PR, 3rd WR or RCB position. However:

    – Looks like Armstead is indeed behind TJE, at least in terms of the base D. No word on what the depth chart looks like for the nickel front though
    – After being moved back to LG, it now looks like Thomas is back at RG as the backup to Devey. Silberman the backup at LG. Of course come game time it won’t matter as only one of these two (at best) is likely to suit up.
    – The depth chart doesn’t say which side the OLBs will play. But what I think is interesting is that Harold is behind Lynch, and Lemonier behind Brooks. I am under the belief that Lynch will be LOLB and Brooks at ROLB, so would have thought the backups would have been the other way around.
    – Jarryd Hayne is listed ahead of Mike Davis on the RB depth chart. WTF?! Didn’t expect that.
    – While the PR and KR spots are an ‘OR’, the or appears to be between Bush and Hayne. Ellington and White appear to be the backup options.
    – Ward is indeed the backup FS, not Tartt, despite Tartt being listed as the backup FS during camp. Tartt is the backup SS. Can’t remember who it was I had the discussion with about once the final roster was named that Ward would be at FS and Tartt at SS, but here’s me saying “I told you so”. ;-)

      1. Not too sure why you have such an infatuation with the guy but everything you’ve been singing about, I sure hope you are right about. Even the absurdity about being the next Bo Jackson!

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