Kyle Shanahan must beat the lowly Cardinals

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, right, and assistant coach Jon Embree watch during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

The 49ers must win this game.

Kyle Shanahan must win this game.

The 49ers’ season pretty much is over. Beating the Arizona Cardinals Sunday won’t change that. I fully expect the 49ers to win.

But if they lose, Shanahan will be on the hot seat. Yes, the hot seat. He must beat this awful team.

For now, he has excuses. You’ve heard them. Jimmy Garoppolo is out for the season. The 49ers have injuries. They’re rebuilding, and it’s only Year 2 of the process. Shanahan has a long-term plan.

Fair enough. But Shanahan may not get to his long-term plan if he doesn’t take care of short-term business.

The long-term plan did not consist of losing twice this season to the Arizona Cardinals. The long-term plan did not consist of losing almost every game without Garoppolo. The long-term plan did not involve the 49ers getting worse the longer Shanahan coaches.

He needs to win Sunday. Otherwise, the perception of him will change from a promising young head coach to a bad young head coach.

Here’s why.

This article has 165 Comments

  1. Joe knows, echoing Sherman and credited Shanahan for setting the tone.: “He’s honest with us and talks to us like men,” Staley said. “He keeps people accountable; all the stuff you want from quality leadership. He’s been nothing but awesome in that respect.”

      1. Good article Grant, the truth hurts and some fans don’t want it. You’ve got plenty of fire, don’t listen to the peanut gallery. You know they’re desperate when they rudely have to bring up your father. If Breida and Sherman pull up lame again, I’d sit them for a month period. It won’t really matter for this season.

        1. Thanks, Ed. Football fans are programmed to support their team no matter what. It’s too bad 49ers fans don’t demand more. They constantly give York, Lynch and Shanahan the benefit of the doubt. Boston fans wouldn’t.

          1. “It’s too bad 49ers fans don’t demand more.”

            Many have been so programmed to accept losing that they will rip the only coach who has been successful in the last 15 years.

              1. Grant…

                I think that you might check that withe the Yawkey family…85 years…! We’re just spoiled by our success of the Walsh years….

            1. Is programmed like shaping or do teams have some extra terrestrial power to control fans thinking?
              I didn’t realize someone had control over my fandom! Wow!

          2. Boston fans wouldn’t.

            That’s an odd comparison. In the modern era (that is, the years Grant Cohn has been alive and BB have been HC) Pats fans haven’t been called on to test that declaration.

            1. Guess you don’t know Boston fans. I have heard their cries for new leadership plenty. You forget there’s a hockey team and a basketball team up there too!

              1. East, Grant specifically mentioned football fans.

                Speaking of east coast and football fans, last year’s Giants fans outcry over the Manning benching led to regime change and the absolute wrong draft pick that will set that team back years. A huge contract for OBJ, and no QB, or any in development, who can get him the ball.

                So about this wisdom of a team listening to its fans?

              2. I didn’t say it was wise. I was simply responding to your assertion that NE fans didn’t call for the ouster of the coach. They did that a few years ago when the team stumbled out of the gates. Boston fans in particular are different.

              3. I don’t get it. Was Grant holding up Boston (or other hyperbolic) fans for Niner fans to emulate? Because that outrage is so productive? Yeah, brilliant logic there.

  2. UM …. NO! I think not! Do yourself a favor guys and realize that this article is a stretch, and absolutely doesn’t reflect the opinion of the majority of folks in and around both the 49ers, and the NFL as a whole! Rather, this is more of the same from Grant Cohn. A large dose of hyperbolic nonsense grounded in fantasy!

    Unfortunately, with the laundry list of injuries to key personnel, there isn’t a must win game left on the 2018/19 schedule. Those “must win” games Grant speaks of went out the window the moment this year’s postseason reached “not a snowball’s chance chance he_l” territory. The remainder of this season is all about draft position, talent evaluation, and not risking the future health of some of the core young players like Matt Breida. And most importantly, it’s about getting their young super start QB healthy, and finding out once and for all whether CJ Beathard can be counted on as a backup / spot starter. And that’s all she wrote folks!

    Contrary to what this article would like us to believe, the must win games for this young regime aren’t on the schedule until year number 3. Realistically, even barring the catastrophic spate of injuries which have OBVIOUSLY and DRAMATICALLY derailed this once promising season, this was always realistically considered a “year 3” rebuilding process for which ShanaLynch must yield not only positive results, but show the kind of progress which should put this once storied franchise back in the postseason picture.

    So set your expectations on a shelf, and make the best of a long lost season, wrecked by an unprecedented number of catastrophic injuries, and keep your fingers crossed that the law of averages finally level out, and bless the 49ers to a relatively healthy 2019/20 season!

    1. And, BTW, the last thing the 49ers need is to sign Colin Kaepernick this season. The team has already passed the point of no return. The best thing that can happen now is a top 3 pick in next years draft.

      On the bright side, injuries have bought ShanaLynch an extended grace period in the eyes of most realistic fans, and pundits. Let’s either draft that ever elusive game changing edge rusher, or hopefully land in a position to trade back in the 2019 draft, and land a bounty of picks to solidify what should be, if relatively healthy, a playoff caliber roster led by one of the league’s best offensive minds.

      1. Well stated 49reasons. They need to use this season to prepare for 2019 period. Anything else would just be foolish. The rebuild is still on schedule. Expecting to compete this year was simply a surprise bonus that never materialized due to circumstances nothing more.

    2. In other words, ya want Baby Bosa? Then just keep your eye on the prize and do the right thing. For the first time in a long time, the Niners control their own fate.

  3. In fact, the Niners should just sign a bunch of bums like Kaep off the street, pay them minimum wage and play them the rest of the season. Put all the nicked-up players on IR and let them recuperate for next season. And thereby win the Baby Bosa sweepstakes. Don’t let Gruden git ‘im.

    Let Chucky have Saleh.

  4. I agree with 49 reasons, think next yr is a big year for Kyle, I’m hoping players we have that have a hard time staying on the field are either cut, traded or in fosters case..learn how to take care of tbeir bodies.
    People need to remember that coach is a first time head coach and needs to learn how to be a head coach…
    I think teams biggest mistake is going to be the hiring of salah… believe it’s gonna end up setting the team back cause i just don’t see how it’s gonna improve from last place to a respectful defense in one off season…..a copy is never as good as the original.. i do think he will be back again next year but what exactly will he need to do to keep his job past the season?
    I wonder if we gonna draft another defensive player with our 1st pick…..again..
    I do see the offense flash at times and it shows me glimpses of what we can do, then beathard throws at the wrs feet, fumble, takes a sack for a losss on 3rd down….etc…but then when defense takes the field i dont see anything to get excited about…looks like prevent defense the whole game!teams passing and running at will..
    Wasn’t a Sherman fan but he s proving to be a good pick up….
    Coach is a smart dude..I’m sure he will figure out the balance of coach vs oc.. just needs our patience…

  5. Do we really trust Lynch to make good decisions in the draft.? We need CB, WR, OG, DE, FS, LT. With McVay leading the Rams I just don’t see us competing next season. I agree with Grant that Shanahan seems like more OC than HC. Lacks leadership. Despite their X and O’s shortcomings Singletary and Tomsula always had the team playing hard and focused.

    1. We need CB, WR, OG, DE, FS, LT.

      Plus maybe SS, C, and SAM, and backups at TE, QB, and RB.

      If the DC is replaced, could be a partial or major reconstruction of defensive personnel will need to happen, too.

  6. What do you do when your team is so bad, they make the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals look good? You talk about next year.

    Does Kyle need the win? Yes and no. He needs a win and pretty soon or he will have substantial heat coming his way as those who may have given him a pass begin to question his methodology. Does he need this one in particular? Well, I think that is debatable. If he wins this one, and I don’t believe they will, it will do much to give him breathing space. He has looked far more embattled at PCs this year than last. One can feel a bit of tension. It will increase if he loses, which I think he will likely.

    Reasons for loss (in no particular order)

    Injuries (JG was the kicker)
    Inexperienced team
    Poor players at key positions
    Inexperienced coach
    Coaches over their heads
    Poor preparation
    Tactics v strategic thinking

    When you look at these, how many are the coaches and staff somewhat to wholly responsible for?

    1. There is zero pressure on Shanny to win. He just lost his franchise QB and RB. He gets a mulligan the rest of the year.

  7. Shanahan is 74-93 as an OC lifetime.. 5th or better in net passing yards in four seasons. 10th or worse the other seven seasons. He schemes guys open but is a very inconsistent play caller.. On top of everything I think wearing both hats (OC/HC) effects his ability to focus on the little details required by a HC to ensure maximum performance which has from the beginning resulted in sloppy play.. This year at a level of historic turnover numbers.

    Many blame the lack of experience, injuries, lack of talent for a 7-16 record by Shanahan. But that could be said about most teams in the NFL. The good head coaches get it done despite it all.

  8. As much as I think it will be a sad indictment of where the team is at if they get swept by the Cards, I doubt it will impact on what 49ers ownership do with ShanaLynch. They are safe at least until the end of next season.

      1. Shanny will do all right if he gets fired. If some team hires Jedd Fisch as their head coach, Shanny can go work for Sean McVay, with whom he already has a long relationship. Lynch can always go back to the booth. Both of them still have years of York money coming their way.

  9. Using poker as a simile, KS has to play the hand dealt to him.
    Too bad JG turned into the two of clubs with his injury.
    KS, by playing CJB, is keeping all his cards and is playing stud. Too bad they are playing draw poker, so he could draw some new cards, but chooses not to.
    KS tried to bluff with a small pair, but McVay was holding a full house.
    Last time they played the Cards, KS had a pair of aces and a pair of kings, but was beaten out by 3 deuces.
    This coming game, they cut the deck so either side could win. Just may come down to who wants it more.

  10. How should Saleh game plan for tomorrow?
    He should try to take advantage of the inexperience of the new OC, but Arians may help. Saleh should dial up some exotic blitzes so they do not know where the pressure is coming from.
    Saleh should overload a side and get to Rosen early, in order to rattle him.
    Saleh should shut down the run game in order to make them one dimensional.
    The Niners should play tight bump and run in order to disrupt the timing on the passes, and allow the pass rushers to get to Rosen.
    Niner pass rushers should get a hand in the air to obstruct the QB’s view and possibly bat down passes.
    The Niner defense must win the game by taking away the ball.

    1. Why the heck would they want to come to a 1-6 team? They will be lured to a playoff team, and play for less with dreams for a ring.
      Jonah Williams? I would rather have a Bama pass rusher.

  11. Shanahan will not be on the hot seat no matter what happens this season. Not only because of the injuries but because the Yorks aren’t going to eat another Coaching contract with multiple years on it. He’s got another 2 years minimum to turn things around imo.

        1. Since moving into Levi’s the 49ers annual revenue has doubled into the range of $400 mil annually. So yes, it’s peanuts.

          1. Hahaha! Not a very good business man are you Hammer because the next guy to take over the 49ers will command Jon Gruden money so now you are paying lets say, and this will never happen, Urban Meyer 10 million over 5 years, so 50 million plus 24 million remaining on Shanny’s contract. That’s 74 million.
            What kind of moron would do that deal? Nevermind the PR nightmare firing another coach but the financial commitment alone is insane.

            Pretty sure Jed York rides this out with Shannahan for at least 3 more years.

            1. These deals aren’t paid out in lump sums so while they’re paying say $18 mil to the coach they’re making $400 mil in revenue, plus the increase in equity for the franchise should they sell.

              As Grant stated, Shanahan’s salary is peanuts compared to what the team is bringing in annually.

              If they fire Shanahan at the end of this year or next, and the next guy has a $10 mil per year contract, the $18 mil in salaries they’d be paying is only about $500k more than they are paying to head coaches this season.

              1. Please stop with the stupidity. They are not paying out anymore money to fired coaches and they are not giving up on Lynch or KS for at least 3 more years.
                After the Tomsula, Kelly debacle. They are going to ride this out.
                Guess you and the shower mate crew will have to moan it out for 3 more years at least!

              2. I agree. However, if KS goes 0-3 these next few games, and looks incompetent, maybe he will finally be forced into hiring an OC.
                That 6 year contract was insurance that KS would not be fired right away. Losing JG cannot be over emphasized. I think JL is changing the Niner mindset for the better, and do not think his drafts have been as awful as some profess.
                I totally agree that there needs to be a decent replacement in place before any talk of firing KS can be taken seriously.

    1. I think he isn’t on the internal hot seat (unless he had 1 Win the entire season) but he is also answerable to the fans and public. Without a win soon, he will be on that hot seat for sure.

      1. You don’t think he’s on the hot seat internally? I disagree. Between losing the primetime slot for the Clark unveiling and then the performance on alumni weekend, I’d say he is. Jed doesn’t like to be embarrassed.

        The Clark think was to be a huge deal in front of a national tv audience.

        1. Perhaps you’re right, but as you pointed out, Jed is a vain man. He’s been impulsive before and I think he will worry about the optics. But who knows…

    2. Those contracts contain offset language for employment after dismissal or there is protection under California law. If the contract is broken you can only collect “damages” for what you lose as a result of the act. You have to believe that both Kyle and Lynch will become couch potatoes until the contract term runs to believe that the York’s will suffer significant financial losses once the contract is broken. In addition, there is what I might refer to as the Eddie D precedent (from personal knowledge) When Eddie D fired Joe Thomas there was a contract provision that the parties could elect arbitration by Pete Rozell. Eddie D wanted the arbitration. Against his attorney’s advice, Thomas opted to let Rozell arbitrate and, much to Eddie’s displeasure, Rozell ruled for Thomas. Eddie followed that up with the finger and additional litigation was necessary to force a negotiated settlement. Things are never what they seem. I’m sure Jed and the family are aware of Eddie’s tricks of the trade.

    3. The last two HCs were fired after 1 season. The current HC was given a 6 year deal and assurance he’d be given time to build a team. He’s not getting fired 2 years in after losing his QB. The Yorks are all in and will be patient this time around.

      1. Shanahan has had time to build a team, and it hasn’t gotten better halfway through Year 2. Most of the young players have regressed, and the team is still plagued by turnovers and sloppiness. That’s bad coaching.

        1. They showed improvement with Garoppolo and he’s now gone. This year is not going to decide his future. As I said below there is zero chance he is getting fired.

              1. The team took a step back this season even with Garoppolo. The 49ers were one ticky-tack penalty away from from being 0-3.

              2. The team has been competitive since Week 2 of last season, but turnovers, sacks and stupid penalties have been issues since then, too, including the first three weeks of this season.

              3. Penalties actually haven’t been too bad. They’ve improved in that area in most of the games so far.

                Turnovers are a problem no doubt but most have come from one guy. No amount of Coaching can change a reckless QB if he doesn’t change his style.

              4. The turnovers have come from everyone. All four running backs. Pierre Garcon has tipped passes to the defense. Garrett Celek, too.

          1. Garoppolo’s presence or absence has nothing to do Reuben Foster’s regression or Solomon Thomas’ lack of development.

            Garoppolo has shown he can lead this team. Shanahan hasn’t. If he can’t win more than two games without Garoppolo, another coach surely could.

              1. Yeah you could be right on that Grant. There could be a housecleaning of assistants if some of the young players don’t take a step forward in their development.

              2. The Shanahans never did a house cleaning in Washington. They had the same type of inexperienced staff there.

            1. It was painful to watch Foster run with one arm dangling, trying to tackle with one arm.
              Solomon Thomas is finally being utilized properly, so he graded out well.
              KS has not been blown out like some other coaches, and he could have won 3 of those games he lost.
              Jed gave his word. Do you think he would break it? (Heavy on the sarcasm).

            2. Reuben Foster’s regression may be more connected to his reported Wonderlic score than to his coaching…although it could be argued that Robert Saleh may have further degraded the intelligence of every defensive player. There’s a reason the Niners seemed to place great weight on Wonderlic during the last draft, though the jury will be out for a while on how this class turns out.

              King Solomon’s lack of development is more due to physical limitations (the malign influence of Saleh hasn’t helped), which should have motivated Mr. Lynch to select one player like himself (Jamal Adams, a leader as well as an outstanding safety) rather than a cerebral tweener with whom he had something else in common (his alma mater).

              Now if we could transplant ST’s brain into RF’s body, we could have a terrific player well worth a first round pick…

  12. They need to quit shooting themselves in the foot with all the turnovers. They need to trade for Fowler from the jags and aquire a wr and trade away Garcon for whatever they can get for him. As for next year’s draft they need to get baby bosa so him and Buckner can terrorize the backfield of opposing offense.

  13. While I’m not the Shanahan naysayer Grant is, I do believe he HAS to win games in which he has the more talented roster.
    He doesn’t have to beat the Green Bay’s of the world but he does need to beat teams like the Cardinals and Raiders. If he can’t get these wins, then why would you hold out hope he could win in the playoffs?
    I will give him a pass for a lot of games due to the teams talent level and injuries unlike Grant. Losing a starting QB on a roster that is barely better than Alabama talent wise is devastating. However, the Cards are even worse so that pass doesn’t exist in this game.
    I predict a win of 10+ points.

  14. The 49ers are not winning another game this year. The Arizona Cardinals are not the worst team in the NFL the 49ers are the worse team. Look, if we couldn’t even beat Arizona at Levi’s stadium what makes you think we are going to beat them in Arizona ?

    Dont act suprised when we lose. Quest for the #1 overall pick Nick Bosa.

    Kyle Shanahan is a great OC but he is not a great HC. Yet… But Shanahan is not going anywhere he is signed for a guaranteed 4 more years, it would cost way to much to get rid of this regime 2 years in. Saleh on the other hand is terrible. Say goodbye to that guy. Bring back Vic Fangio and go back to the 3-4 or hire a more EXPERIENCED DC to run this 4-3 style defense.

    1. That’s easy without their most dangerous offensive weapon the 49ers outgained them by 220 yards. And in spite of 5 turnovers they lost by 10 points…
      The cards can’t move the ball. They have a bad ol, qb, and wr. The have a good DE and DB but are meh at every other position. The niners will only lose if they turn the ball over 3 or more times.

    2. Fangio ain’t coming back. He is doing well in Chicago, and would never work for Jed again after he was dumped for Tomsula.
      KS, if he loses the next 3 games in an incompetent manner, will be on the hot seat.

      1. At times you show how intelligent you are with comments like this , it shows you love football and you know a lot about it, my biggest can’t believe where you are coming from point is how much faith you have in kapernick . Important facts ,the number one huge point, Shannhann values accuracy, kapernick is not accurate, that fact alone is also why he would never be resigned. Also coach Kyle likes grinders who study the play book, that is not kapernick a passion. Anyway love the passion for the team , bottom line we are all in pain when the team stinks and is irellivant.

        1. Reb, I just like QBs that can put their foot on the half yard line and sprint upfield untouched for a TD.
          SB QBs who have set playoff records, came within 5 yards of winning one, and one pass from returning, impress me.
          Maybe you forgot those jaw dropping throws, but I have remembered them. He has thrown for 400 yards, so the inaccuracy screed is a myth. He did not pad his stats because his first goal was to win games. He worked all off season trying to get better, and he was the first to enter, and the last to leave, so he has plenty of passion for the game.
          Behind this improved O line, with better receivers, Kaep could do well. With a defense that does not let third string RBs gallop for 200 yards, he might actually win games.
          Do not know why so many are so terrified that he could take the league by storm, again, that they will not even let him try out.
          Guess I like to root for the underdog, and I see Kaep being unfairly maligned and blackballed.
          Thanks for the kind words, and I can return the compliment. I think you have good football knowledge, and look forward to your posts. We will just have to agree to disagree about Kaep.

  15. “His (Saleh’s) zone coverage has been useless, because his players merely defend areas of grass, not receivers.

    It is interesting to me that this is the first time I have read this in print yet it is so {expletive deleted} obvious to anyone who has even the smallest amount of knowledge about football defense. I’ve given up trying to analyze the play by watching replays but the adding machine in my head has maxed out watching two or more 49er defenders stay within a few yards of every receiver who is not covered by anyone and is an easy target. Again, without the Jack Hammer type analysis, I continue to believe that we cannot mount a pass rush principally because good quarterbacks (which we create by our own ineptitude) can get the ball out so fast (and complete the pass) so that unblocked rushers would have a tough time disrupting the QB. This is very demoralizing to rushers who just end up running wind sprints to no avail and lose their energy and enthusiasm. (I know this is not supposed to happen but the world is not perfect). So, at the end of the day, it is just as Grant says: Our coaching at all levels is less than competent. Richard Sherman, as old and banged up as he is, can still cover people. I don’t know what to call what the others do, but I’ll say this: There are players who have more athletic ability and potential talent than Sherman does and I believe that they could perform at least much better than they are if properly trained.

  16. Way too many injuries to say yes or no if this is a good team or if KS is a good HC.
    But something needs to change on defense.
    Right now the CB’s can’t cover anything.
    Not even their own laps with a napkin.

  17. Grants thesis about the team pulling the plug on KS this offseason is too ridiculous to even consider. Typical for a click baiting blogger, but journalistic malpractice.

    Now this is too horrible to contemplate, but what happens if 2019 is a repeat of 2018 in the terms of things “beyond the coach’s control “? Coach churn again and start from scratch in 2020. If that’s the case we’d be well on our way as the Browns of the ‘20s.

  18. Grant… So, this being 28 October, do you feel Shanahan has or has not ‘lost’ the locker room?

    Please, show your work.

  19. Guys, important question for you all. I have a pivotal fantasy match up taking place, it could determine my playoff eligibility.

    Who do I start in my flex, Doug Martin vs Ind or Mostert? (Non-PPR)

    I was hoping Breida would be out and this would be easy. Anyone?

    1. I say most art, Doug Martin as not looked good all year, I looked to pick him up earlier but he showed no burst, I almost think Richardson will be better going forward for the raiders. Good luck this season has been crazy, I dropped garropollo in my dynasty league hoping to pick him up again in the last week. He just got picked up. Hope trubesky can keep it going.

  20. Nothing surprising in this weeks Shanny rant, though I do agree with a couple of his points. As for KS, he’s not going anywhere. There’s no hypothetical hot seat. Every game in the NFL is a must win. No news there. Grant downplays the injuries. It’s a quarterback league. You can’t win without a quarterback. Period. That injury alone is catastrophic. Not having an adequate backup I do blame on JL and KS. Inexcusable in my view. They should have signed a veteran backup QB well before even OTA’s began while there was still possibly a decent one available. Yes, every team has injuries but some are much worse than others. The Niner’s are in the much worse category. When the team won 5 in a row with JG to end last season, Grant still downplayed the accomplishment with excuses like the competition was weak, and other fallacies. Kyle’s record with JG at the helm is still way above .500 (6-2). Not mentioned. Quarterback league, remember? Kyle is still driving the bus. His team is playing hard and not giving up. There is no sign of locker room dissension. Not even an inkling. The problem is the bus has three flat tires.
    I do agree with Grant on the assistant situation, however. He has surrounded himself with inexperience, no question. That needs to change. Clean house and hire some experienced coaches and coordinators, including an OC. What harm would that do? It can only help. He can still have the final say on play calls, and it will free him up to work on other areas during practice.
    I think the line is pretty accurate today. Niner’s -2. Throw in the mythical 3 points you generally get being the home team and they have them by 5. It’s gonna be ugly. Two buses with multiple flat tires playing demolition derby. I generally like taking the home dog in this situation. Take Arizona and the points. SF 24 ARI 23. Hey, where have I seen that score before? ;-)

    1. Wonder who Shanahan would see as highly competent, think-alike candidate for an OC. Any names? Key would be tight alignment with Shanahan’s thinking, not some offensive coach Sebbie drools over–running a system foreign to Shanahan’s philosophy.

      1. Bobby Turner. He has been an OC for 3 seasons. He has been an assistant HC twice. He has been coaching for 46 years. He has won 2 SBs. He and KS are not only on the same page, they are marching lock step.

          1. Cassie, BT has Breida catching the ball, and he does not need to coach up Kittle, since he is on fire.
            Maybe he could use Goodwin on some more fly sweeps, which is just as good as a running play.
            Personally I would not mind if CJB throws the ball less. Then he will have less sacks and less picks. If he hands the ball off, he cannot fumble it.

          1. I beg to differ. The Cards defense is stout, but Rosen is a raw rookie, DJ is underperforming, Fitz is the only decent WR, and their O line is porous.

          2. Yeah I’ve thought the same too. I just don’t see the Niners pulling this off. Hope I’m wrong though!

            This Team gives up 30 pots per game average!

            1. “This Team gives up 30 pots per game average!”

              A lot of that has to do with turnovers and poor special teams coverage.

  21. Juan it’s that simple – it’s a quarterback league and without our QB there’s nothing we can do.

    The only thing I fear, and Grant unfortunately missed it in this hit piece, is that a coach can foster a losing mentality. That’s starting to happen, where safeties drop clear INTS, guys fumble too easily, and the backup QB can’t make a simple play to extend an important drive. Whether it’s because of CJ Boatyard or not, KS is not developing a winning mentality in his locker room. That has to change and I hope it will with Jimmy back and a couple more winners on the roster.

  22. Didn’t Cleveland Caveliers Fire their coach even though he wasn’t responsible for losing the franchise?

    Coaches are still accountable. Don’t believe that Shanahan is in a hot seat (yet) but he does need to win soon! I have stated before that a 1 win season could be disastrous for Shanahan. He would most likely get one more year but he would have tremendous pressure to make some headway.

      1. I would say zero. More like 10%. I still thinks he gets 2 more years but if he doesn’t win soon, his methodology will come under increasing scrutiny.

        1. As soon as he lost JG to injury this season had no bearing on his future. There was enough good results with Garoppolo to ensure Shanahan will get the chance to continue working with him.

  23. Lynch has done a poor job drafting. This coming Draft has a lot of good DE’s and WR’s. He needs to acquire more picks! They have so many deffencies!! He better get it right in ’19!!!

    1. I would really like Grant to write a piece on the 9ers pro-personnel staff, scouts, etc., and the process they use to grade/rank potential players. It ain’t just Lynch…

  24. Cards are talking about using David Johnson more, running outside and catching passes.
    Niners need to shut down DJ, and dare the rookie to beat them with his arm.
    Leftwich is raw, and will probably try to get cute with some razzle dazzle. Niner defense need to play disciplined, in control, and keep everything in front of them, forcing Rosen to march down the field.
    Niner offense should listen to Grant, and run the ball. If CJB hands off, he cannot throw a pick, get a sack or fumble the ball.

    1. Sebbie… Any issues with CJ’s tongue?

      We saw some 9er helmet patting early in last week’s game. Any thoughts on that?

      1. Yes, I am still hoping he makes it through the season without biting his tongue.
        Yes, I have noticed some pats on the head, but no head slaps or head butting. Looks like they are taking CTE seriously.
        I also noticed less face paint. Now, only Marsh has clown paint on when they lose. Maybe he should concentrate more on sacks, rather putting on makeup.

  25. I agree yo49, a coach can definitely foster a losing mentality, and vise versa. The buck does stop with the head coach, however I disagree with Grants basic continuing analysis that Kyle has no business being a head coach. At least that’s what I get from his opinion. And that’s all it is, and he’s entitled just like everyone else. There seems to be just a tad of animosity in his critique of KS, but that’s expected at this point to me, so no shocker there. It’s a smorgasbord of negativity. That’s the Schtick I guess.
    It’s not easy coaching a severely undermanned, less talented team, and that’s what they are. Even so, they come out every week and play hard. I don’t see any giving up so far. Sometimes you make mistakes trying too hard. That seems to be the case as far as I’m concerned rather than pure lack of coaching, though again I think Grants point about their staff being fairly inexperienced is accurate, especially when being compared to successfull teams.

  26. Kyle is not on the hot seat and if he is perhaps Lynch should be too, with crappy and injured draft picks. How are you going to win with a turn over machine QB, Mark Sanchez is probably better and available. ( Sarcasm ) Niners have a crappy line, crappy receivers,crappy secondary and a crappy QB, they are the bad news bears of football. It is all not on the head coach, who I think calls a good offensive game

  27. Your right Seb, just like your boy will always be remembered for being the only Niner QB to lose a Super Bowl, at least up to now! It’s not enough to just get there. You have to win. Just saying! :)

  28. According to Schefter, Garcon is drawing interest from at least three teams. IMO, he hasn’t done anything this year and is definitely in decline. Not sure what the team could get. Maybe a 4th?

    1. From Albert Breer:

      “Another veteran on the block: Niners receiver Pierre Garçon. He’s banged up right now (shoulder, knee) and 32 years old, but he could certainly still serve a contender in a complementary role down the stretch. Safety Jimmie Ward (playing on an $8.5 million fifth-year option) is another one who’s been involved in trade discussion, but my sense is the Niners would need to get something significant to deal him.”

      1. Kind of agree. We need impact players on this team. Can’t keep missing in the draft either. I’m not big on signing high priced FAs, but we need to get play makers in here. Yes we have a lot of holes to fill but 1 or 2 or even 3 need to be studs the elevate everyone around them.

        Mack would have been awesome in a Niner uni

  29. Shanahan and Lynch will not be on the hot seat and will not be fired for all of the reasons that have been enumerated above. In addition, there is a compelling reason that they will not be on the hot seat: Shanahan and Lynch are two years into a six year contract and Jed is still paying Tomsula and Kelly. There is no way he will eat these contracts.

  30. Your not kidding Seb! Lots of salt but I agree with Grant other than the head exploding. I can see the Niners losing today and wouldn’t be surprised, so personally I’m not emotionally involved to that point! I’ll be disappointed in another loss but not shattered. I don’t have a clue what Jed is thinking so I’ll take Grants words as probably accurate. I hope he (Jed) has patience but I also know it’s about winning. Changing coaches yet again is not the answer in my view.

  31. Yes! Still alive in the suicide with Pitt today. Looking good so far. Seven left out of 98. 3 have Pitt, 3 have NE, 1 has Wash. Looks like 7 will continue unless NE coughs up a hairball vs BUFF!

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