Jim Tomsula says Blaine Gabbert’s conservative approach on third down is “absolutely not OK.”


Here’s what Jim Tomsula said about Blaine Gabbert Monday morning.

Q: Blaine Gabbert has 16 third-down completions, but only six have gone for first downs. Is that OK? Would you like to see a more aggressive approach?

TOMSULA: “Absolutely not OK. We need to get first downs on third down. So, we’ve got to do a better job there.”

Q: You’d like to see him throw beyond the sticks more?

TOMSULA: “Yeah, we need to throw beyond the sticks, we need to protect…we need to do a better job there.”

This article has 73 Comments

  1. In other words: “Of course I know we’re screwing up — but I have no clue how to get this straightened up…”

  2. Kind of a silly line of questions.

    Reporter: Hey Coach, do you want to get 1st downs.

    Coach: Yes

    1. silly question. every team wants first downs. so whats the big deal? grant is on a mission to take down gabbert as he has publicly claimed he is a useless qb. gabbert is no brady, but is way way better than kaep. grant can’t stomach that gabbert is atleast usable.

      1. grant is on a mission to take down gabbert
        Grant is on a mission to take down Chryst.

        I fixed it.

        1. Somebody called his quick turmaround on Gabbert.
          Dude has barely played any games and he’s a bum. Although he should be playing scared coming to this o-line is like still being in jax.
          This will
          Be my chant to grant at the next game at the stitch!!!
          Listen for it.

          Listen up grant.

          Oh on another note I’m glad my 10 dollar donation payed off for the banner that I’m sure Jed read.

    1. Did Grant actually take time out of his day to post this?


      Another question asked was if Tomsula would like to have a cement block tied to his ankle and be thrown off Pier 39. “NO” he replied….

      Call Grant….. breaking news!!!

    2. CFC he is playing scared, cautious and safe. You don’t see that? He is playing that way because if he starts throwing it to the other team recklessnessly like the other guy, he will be blamed or gone next year.
      A few more road games will tell us more about Gabbert.

  3. How about having an OC that calls better 1st and 2nd down plays so as to not be in 3rd and 8 situations? Or have routes on 3rd down that all go beyond the sticks?? Or have it so the refs give you first downs on half your 3rd down attempts…aye Cardinals

    1. MJ point exactly MJ. Gabbert has had 3 games and a dozen practices to get upto game speed. You would think the play caller could help him out more. Instead, Geep Chryst has no imagination. Its the most predictable offense since Jimmy Raye.

      1. Don’t forget those penalties that show up when he’s in a rhythm. It always seems to happen around the redzone or in front of it. Same thing happened with kap!

    1. “Only six of his 16 third-down completions have netted first downs.”

      That’s 37.5%. On the year the team converts just under 33% so Gabber is ahead of the curve. LOL.

      1. Until you consider incompletions and sacks of course.

        “The 49ers have converted 8 of 35 third downs (23 percent) under Gabbert, which helps explain why they’ve averaged just 14.3 points in his starts.”

        1. Yeah yeah…I figured that out after hitting post…ha!

          Oh well. If people don’t see the improvement at that position I can’t help em.

          1. He’s playing better than Kap(this season-and Jaguars Blaine for that matter) was. But that’s not a very high bar to clear.

            Dinkin and dunkin is OK but you better do it on 1st and 2nd down if you want to be successful. It don’t work on 3rd and long.

            1. So let’s focus on getting 1st and 2nd down straightened out and 3rd down will follow…..

          2. The improvements you are touting Jack are real but they amount to lipstick on a pig. At this point they are nothing more then cosmetic changes with the overall position ultimately remaining unchanged in production and bottom line.

            1. Step away from the stat sheet. Slowly, slowly and turn your attention towards the command, the presence, the confidence in Gabbert to play in this pathetic offense. Compared to #7 it’s night and day.

            2. Coffee,

              The production is actually up. The offense scored a total of 10 points the first time around against Seattle and Arizona compared to 26 the last two weeks. That’s an improvement of over 200%.

              The total yards jumped from 355 combined to 691 so just under a 200% increase there.

              Those both look like a large increase in production.

              At this point I don’t care about wins/losses. This is nothing more than an extended preseason and building for 2016. So far so good imo.

              1. It’s funny because the comments against Gabbert sound just like how Bay, Jordo and others used to post about Smith back in 2011/2012…..

              2. Cardinals, Panthers and Patriots each generated 200% more points than the 49ers so far this year. Chryst versus Fangio should prove interesting….

              3. I agree Jack. I honestly don’t even get mad at games anymore. Its all about building the young talent we have, getting them the game experience they need to contribute more next year.

                I like Blaine, not as a long-term solution, but definitely short term. Get him a legitimate OC, and sure up that right side of OL, get Hyde healthy next year, and this is a brand new offense IMO. If VMac keeps up the progress than we have our answer at TE for the long term, Torrey will be a contributor next year with better play-calling, This may be it for Boldin, so we need a replacement there. Also get some quality depth behind Hyde. Draft a QB to sit for a while.

                Defensively I’m a little lost. Bowman seems to be coming on strong and should be closer to himself next year. We need to replace Wilhoite asap, hodges may be the answer. Secondary looks to be strong next year.

                Just need more discipline and veteran presence next year. If we keep the same coaching staff it will all be for naught. At the very least dump Geep, but it may need to be a full overhaul.

                What do you guys think?

            3. CfC, there has been a change in 49ers offensive production:

              – 49ers points scored vs Seattle and Arizona in 2015 with Kaep at QB: 10
              – 49ers points scored vs Seattle and Arizona in 2015 with Gabbert at QB: 26
              – 49ers gross offensive yards vs Seattle and Arizona in 2015 with Kaep at QB: 355
              – 49ers gross offensive yards vs Seattle and Arizona in 2015 with Gabbert at QB: 708

              The bottom line was still two defeats, but Gabbert has definitely improved offensive production.

              1. The upside is Gabbert’s production against the division powerhouses right now. Their defenses are no joke and he’s pretty much in pre-season mode. I’m not making excuses, these are the facts: He doesn’t have his RB. The current RB was not even in the league. He doesn’t have a starting TE, he was traded. And the O-Line that was so atrocious for the previous starter suddenly is holding up.

                To put up 255, and he made a game of it in their house. A couple of plays here and there, who knows. It’s still a loss but it wasn’t a runaway train.

                Against AZ he almost pulled it off. Yeah he lost, but to put up over 300 against a solid secondary, that’s something to think about. He didn’t look like Kaep did when he came in that first Bears game.
                If he had the Harbaugh coaching staff, maybe he does.

                People are talking about Gabbert like he’s Alex Smith 2.0, because of the shakedown, I think he can actually do more. He looks like he can throw it 50 times a game. Sure there will be alot of dinks and dunks, but he’s a passer first, runner 2nd.

            4. When it all amounts to a zero flux in points score then woohoo!! You can all get in a big circle and pleasure each other to the idea that the QB is easier on the eyes and puts up a few more yards each week but when the bottom line doesn’t change then it’s all just for looks.

              1. It isn’t a zero flux in points. The Gabbert led offense has scored 2.6 times as many points as the Kaep led offense against the same Ds.

              2. The Gabbert led offense has scored 2.6 times as many points as the Kaep led offense against the same Ds.
                Wait, they played a team watched the film and were somehow able to eek out what, 7 more points the second time around and got the total all the way up to 13? Impressive. I’m totally off base in my argument here.

              3. Maybe not, but are you suggesting we are totally off base in our argument the change in QB has been a factor in the offense being more productive?

              4. In 2014 in the first meeting against Arizona they scored 14 points but in the second game they scored 20! That’s the same margin of difference that Gabbert improved by. Then against Seattle his first game he scored 3 points but then in the second game he more then doubled that number and scored 7.

                Maybe teams just play each differently each time they meet. Maybe scoring 6.5 points more in one game versus another really doesn’t mean anything.

              5. If the argument is simply that Gabbert is more fun to watch then Kaepernick then absolutely, no question. He’s a more polished QB, which is so so sad for Kaepernick to be able to say that. I enjoy watching the games more now with Gabbert in.

                I’m just making the case that the offense only looks prettier it’s not really any better at doing what it’s supposed to do, which is score TD’s.

              6. You are right CFC, definitely more tolerable to watch. But soon after we were done from playoff contention, the biggest concern was what are the 49ers gonna do next year at the QB position.
                We have a light at the end of the tunnel. Dump #7, save major cap space and dollars, draft 2 potential development QB’s and let Gabbert be the starter til they develop the entire offense.

            1. “did we have any ‘drops’ ?”

              Does this team ever go through a game without any drops?

              1. Jack

                The reason in asking about ‘drops’ was to strengthen your position on Blaine…if I.E Grimey counts sacks and ints against Gabbert, we should have a category for ‘drops’ against the OLine and receivers to ‘pad his stats’

              2. His stats don’t need padding though Ore. Gabbert is a definite improvement over Kaepernick. Now they need to get the run game going and the D to be consistent.

  4. The 3rd down conversion rate needs to improve, but it’s not all on Gabbert. The receivers need to get open, the line needs to block better and the play calling on 1st and 2nd down need to be more aggressive so the distance on 3th down is shorter.
    The coaches should also tell BG to take more risks, and not take the safe pass all the time.
    However; when Montana was a rookie, Walsh put him in in situations were he could succeed. When Plunkett was a wreck Al Davis had him sit for a year or two to get his confidence back. Gabbert is not as talented as either of them, but getting his confidence back by having him succeed and not have a meltdown game is in the Niners interest.

  5. I invite everyone to rewatch the Stanford- ND game if they want to see what an innovative offense looks like. Stanford also saved their time outs for the last 2 minutes so Hogan could make that deep pass down the middle and stop the clock with a time out so they could set up to kick the game winning field goal.

    1. Stanford’s offense is innovative? I’ve seen it called a lot of things, but that’s a first.

      It’s basically the same offense we saw here from 2011-2014 and continue to see for the most part

      1. It’s amazing but that’s what Shaw thinks too. They run the same basic offense that they ran with Harbaugh when Shaw and Roman were running the offense. What Shaw has this year is Love who is amazingly fast to go with McCaffrey.

        1. This year their secondary is seriously depleted so they concentrate on Red Zone defense which worked against Cal and just barely enough Notre Dame.

        2. Against USC on Saturday, I expect to see one or more “triple-option” run plays with McCaffrey, Love and Hogan.

      2. Run to set up the pass, but the one difference I’ve noticed, is Shaw hasn’t forgotten the seam route by the TE’s….

      3. Jack one of the reasons I’m so high on Hogan is that I believe he is succeeding in spite of Shaw not because of Shaw.

        1. Coach,

          I kinda remember Shaw having a similar sentiment. In a recent interview he was very clear that he feels Hogan is more than capable of the gaudy numbers we see from guys like Goff but that’s not what he’s asked to do.

        2. OldCoach – I’m with you on Hogan. He stayed in school and honed his craft. It paid off.

          If Gabbert becomes the competent (if unspectacular) quarterback we’re hoping for, the future might look like this…
          – Gabbert remains the placeholder starter for at least a year.
          – Hogan the backup and future starter.
          – A developmental long shot quarterback will be drafted every other year. Small school. Physical gifts. If he fails, get another dart for the dartboard.

          I’m a proponent of 3 QBs on every roster. Starter, backup, developmental project.

      4. Yet it is very effective.The triple option intrigues me and I wonder if the Niner coaches could absorb those concepts.

        1. “Yet it is very effective.The triple option intrigues me and I wonder if the Niner coaches c”ould absorb those concepts.”

          sebnyhan – It would at least be interesting, for the first year.

          If it’s successful, the NFL D coordinators derail it in season two, like the read option that Kaepernick, Wilson and RGIII used to run.

          1. Wilson ran the read option last game with the Niners and destroyed them. Pete backed off and just ran the ball after the first quarter, but could have run up the score if he wanted to.
            Many teams realize that it does expose the QB to big hits, so they will do what the Niners did and save that tactic for the playoffs.
            The read option is not a gimmick, and it is here to stay.

    2. Seb

      Shaw is a great recruiter and has been to retain competent defensive coaches. But offensive mind he is not! His play-calling is conservative to a fault. He should have gone for 2 point conversion at the beginning of the fourth quarter but I rightly guessed he would not. I thought he managed clock poorly at the end of the game but now I don’t recall the details. He also called some hideous awful run plays in the red zone earlier. Stanford won because of Hogan’s playmaking, often changing some plays at the LoS.

      1. I just liked the types of plays that were run in the Stanford -ND game.
        I guess he will never be forgiven or forgotten the play that could have won that game. I must admit, it was Harbaugh-esque.

      2. Shaw runs an outstanding program for a place like Stanford. His offense is basic because that’s where he can find talent. Who knows if he could wow people with offensive brilliance if he had SEC admission standards. The key is he has to play with the talent that he can get into Stanford. By going counter to the trends in big time college football, he gets enough talent to compete every year.

    3. That doesn’t sound like innovation to me Seb. It’s called game management. Most HS coaches employ that strategy. Is this your first year watching the NFL?

      1. Hmm, I was in the stands when Joe made that miraculous comeback against New Orleans when they won 38-35. They had to claw back from a 35-7 deficit. I witnessed The Catch.
        Probably have missed a dozen games over the years. Nice try.

  6. A few days ago Grant called Tomsula the worst coach of all time, but now he agrees with him.

    Oh the irony….

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