Kyle Shanahan on Dante Pettis: “His urgency has picked up and so has every aspect of his game.”

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/John Locher )

SANTA CLARA — Here is the transcript of Kyle Shanahan’s Monday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers P.R. department.

 

Opening comments:

“For the injuries, [DL] D.J. Jones ended up being a hamstring strain, he’ll be questionable this week, he’ll be day-to-day. [WR] Deebo [Samuel] ended up with a groin strain, he’s in the same boat as D.J. [CB] K’Waun [Williams] had a hand, he should be good to go at practice Wednesday. [CB Richard Sherman] Sherm with his stinger should be good to go also. Go ahead.”

 

Deebo was a quad?

“I thought it was a quad, groin strain. Yep.”

 

The improvement in the defense, is it simply a matter of getting the personnel in place or is defensive coordinator Robert Saleh doing a better job in some ways this year than he had his first couple years?

“I mean, I think everybody gets better the more reps they get, especially when you’re a smart guy like him and you work hard at it. I think our personnel has gotten better, which makes it easier to get better as a coach, too, and I also think some of the things we’ve been doing, just like coaches get better with more reps, so do players. A lot of guys have gotten to play over these last couple years, guys like [LB] Fred [Warner] and stuff like that, so they’re better now. The pieces we’ve added are better, and I think our coaches have gotten better at using our personnel, also.”

 

I know we talk about the pass rush having that effect on the secondary. In the rare times the pass rush hasn’t gotten home, have the coverages become more complex? Has Saleh been mixing and matching more this year or would you say that’s remained about the same?

“I think each game plan’s a little bit different. I think we have the same coverages we’ve had last year. But no, I think you mix things up a little bit more. I think the more confidence you do have in the pass rush, the more you have the confidence to do it as a coach. I want to say there’s a bunch of new things, but anytime you change your front with how you play those guys on the D-Line, especially in base situations, we used to always have a linebacker on the D-Line, now it’s four D-Linemen. Even though you’re playing some similar coverages, with three, four under, it might look a little bit different because of where they’re coming from. Same thing with our quarters and things like that. I think all of it’s a little bit of a different look, but structurally, it’s not a ton of new stuff.”

 

How happy are you in terms of your guys’ third down offense and QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s ability to move the chains?

“I have been pleased with it, never satisfied. I want to continue to get better, but anytime you can run the ball 40 times in a game and you’re only averaging three yards a carry, it means you’ve got to get a first down somewhere. Doing that on third down and being able to do that, moving the chains allows you to do that. I think our guys have done a good job at that all year. Much better than these past two years. Still think there’s a number we would like to have back, but no, I think they’ve stepped it up in that area.”

 

There was one completion he had where he escaped kind of the pocket or stepped up in it and found TE George Kittle. What did that play tell you about him and the offense in general?

“It was an impressive play because he got to the third guy in the progression versus a very good pass rush. I want to say that was our second third down of the game. Our first third down, we got a sack on pretty fast. I think our second third down, we drew them offsides, I think, and got five yards. I want to say that was our third one, but we hadn’t had really a chance to sit in the pocket very long and one and two weren’t there and he got to number three, so the O-Line did a good enough job to allow him to move. I think he moved to the right and stepped up a little bit and found Kittle there late, which showed poise and showed confidence in the O-Line, also.”

 

You guys struggled a little bit in the division these last couple of years. How important was it to get off to a good start this season against the NFC West?

“I think very important. We struggled with a number of things in our first two years, but I would say that would be at least tied for the biggest one. If you don’t win your division, no matter what you do, it’s hard to ever have a chance at the playoffs. The easiest way to get there is to win your division. We were real happy with how we started out, being 4-0, but it’s a whole new ball game when you first open it up versus your division. To have that versus the Rams, a team who has kind of dominated this division the last two years, I think it was a big step for our team and hopefully we’ll continue going forward with it.”

 

Obviously, there’s always urgency when it comes to winning those games, but do you look at what Seattle’s doing right now and how conscious are you of the season that they’re having so far?

“Not very. We always watch scores, we watch for the whole league, but the importance of it always goes to your division first. You do see that stuff, but it’s so early. I try not to look at schedules very much in advance. I don’t know who they’re playing this week. It’s early in the season. I know who we’re playing, and that’s about it. You do look at it a little bit more towards the end of the year when you’re trying to be in that situation, but it’s still a way’s away before we would consider looking into that stuff.”

 

Where is Jimmy as far as the decision making and how he executes what he’s being coached to do?

“I think Jimmy’s doing a good job. He hasn’t had a perfect game yet and I don’t think I’ve ever had someone who’s had a perfect game, so we’ll keep trying to get him there. Sometimes it can be tough for a quarterback when we’re managing the game a lot with our defense, when they get us to some leads and the way they’re playing. There come times in certain games where you feel the only chance for the other team to win is if we turn it over, so you try to get in those situations where you want to eliminate the possibilities of that. But, it can also get frustrating because as a quarterback, receivers, or even a calling plays for passing, you’d like more than just one opportunity, not just third down, to get in a little bit of rhythm. He doesn’t get that all the time, and when he has, I think he’s been pretty good. The fumble was unfortunate yesterday. Didn’t have any guys open on the route, but he has to take that sack. Giving that fumble up gave them a chance to get back in, but our defense stopped them on fourth down, so it ended pretty fast. Those are the things you’re aware of. But, him pulling that ball on the fourth-and-one, getting the first down for us, keeping us on the field on the zone-read play, which we major in, he did a real good job of it. We had a play action where the pocket broke down and he was able to escape and make a great off-schedule play to [TE] Levine [Toilolo], which got us into a third-and-one. And then just some of the throws he’s made. He’s done a good job. I know he’d love to have that one back on the goal line. There’s some other things that bothered us with the play, but Jimmy’s done a good job giving us definitely a chance to win, especially with how good our team’s been playing around him, continuing to push him to get better, though.”

It seemed like there were some times where he’ll take some chances. He kind of has that gun slinger gene in him a little bit. Do you like that or do you want to see him kind of be a little bit more conservative with some of his throw selection?

“Yes and no. I like a guy who naturally is that way. I’d like to say I’m naturally that way. I want a guy who’s not scared to make the big play and who’s going to put it more on his shoulders and not always try to play it safe. But, you’ve also got to adjust your team too. The number one thing is how do we win this game and there’s so many different ways to win football games. We’ve found a way of doing it in all five of ours and all five have been different, but that’s things that you’ve got to work on as a play caller, which are things I’m going through and also as a quarterback. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a team with a defense in the top 10. Obviously, ours is that right now and that does change things up, not just for a play caller, but also for a quarterback. There’s a time and place. You are responsible for that ball and you’ve got the whole team counting on you. Sometimes we’re counting on you to give us a chance to win and sometimes we’ve got to count on you to not give the other team a chance.”

We saw his most action so far?

“Who’s that?”

Levine Toilolo. Aside from that catch on the off-schedule play, did you have him in there helping pass block? Was that a big part of his increased time?

“Yeah, that’s one of the things he does the best. Using [TE Ross] Dwelley in the fullback role more often than not, taking over completely for [FB Kyle Juszczyk] Juice in that area. Got him some more opportunities, especially on our two tight end personnels, which is probably hard to figure out since all three of them are technically tight ends, but we’re using them differently, hopefully no one can tell how. But no, Levine is great in pass protection. He’s very good at blocking. We don’t have a lot of things where we’re just designing up stuff for him to be number one in the progression, but when we have come to him I know we haven’t much this year, but at least teams that I’ve been on with him in the past he’s usually sure handed, makes the play and he did a good job in protection on that play, on cover for an off-schedule and did a hell of a job at making a guy miss and getting us into a, I think it was a third-and-one he got us into. We have Levine do a lot of the dirty work so you’re not going to see a lot of him, but it’s always nice when he can get a check down or something and turn it into a play.”

How did Dwelley do in that fullback role and also how’d the two tackles do?

“Dwelley I thought was very impressive just playing a position that he hasn’t done. It was funny throwing him into the position. He practices it at times, he’s always got to be ready mentally. Him having to go in there in the heat of battle last week versus Cleveland was a little different for him. He knew he knew the stuff, but you get thrown in there and you get to do some reps of it, but then you get the whole week of practicing it. Dwelley is extremely efficient, he knows what he’s doing, he’s very smart, he works at every little thing, he’s very deliberate in his footwork, where his eyes are. Juice was in his ear all last week and Dwelley’s the type of guy that can absorb it all in. He can take a lot of information, look at himself, he usually transfers to the game and to watch him go out into that game, they did a bunch of stuff that they haven’t done in the past which changes up your game plan as it goes and to put some pressure on him that we had going in and then having to adjust it throughout the game, I give a lot of credit to him for the situation he was in and how he handled it.”

And the two tackles?

“Very similar. It’s a very tough position to be in, especially some of those pass rushers. The third play of the game they got in a good front where they got [Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron] Donald one-on-one on [OL Justin] Skule on the very first pass play and he ended up giving up a sack. Those are the things that I kind of meant with Skule, that a lot of guys on the first pass play giving up a sack in a big game like that, especially going against a player like that, they can kind of melt. They can lose their confidence in a game and it takes some time to get it back. Skule stays the same and went right back out there the next third down and did a good job blocking, that was the one we hit [TE George] Kittle on. Definitely battled. They weren’t perfect the entire game, but they’re one of the reasons we won. They allowed us to run it that much and they played with a toughness and gave us some good looks.”

You’ve obviously had multiple guys that have had to step in. Is there a trickle-down effect where if Skule goes in and does a good job and then when OL Daniel Brunskill has to do it, he can look at him and say well if he can do it I can do it. Is that a thing?

“I think so. I think you’d have to ask players that. I think it’s neat when guys see people go. When people go in there for the first time the whole team wants to see them and then you start to go through the game and you realize the whole world is not on that person’s shoulders, no one’s ever just thrown out by themselves. You always try to take care of people who are out there for their first time. It gets a little bit harder with the more variables that there are, going into that game with the tackles and the fullbacks so we had some new things. A number of our guys went down during the game, but I think it’s made our offense just tougher. The guys are a lot more resilient. There’s a time in that game, especially towards the end, when Deebo and [WR] Marquise [Goodwin] were both out. [RB] Tevin [Coleman] and [RB Matt] Breida were both out and Kittle was out. We were finishing the game with guys who we trust and who have played, guys like [RB] Raheem [Mostert] who had to come in, Kittle was out on that last drive with all our tight ends trying to do it. We got one receiver in with [WR] Dante [Pettis] left and then [WR Kendrick Bourne] KB was able to help out. We’ve got from top to bottom in every area and I think the guys start to develop the mentality that it doesn’t matter who’s out there and that’s what you always want to say as a coach, but it’s kind of hard to get it done and it’s been a credit to our guys that they’ve been able to do that, get that confidence now going on for a few weeks and we’re going to need that to keep going for a few more weeks until we get some of these guys back.”

After the game, Brunskill, I’m sure because of his background, went out of his way to praise the practice squad in getting those guys ready. Is that a big emphasis for you, to make sure that the practice squad and the scout team feel like they’re a part of this product that you guys show on Sunday?

“Yes, I think it is because it’s the truth. They are a huge part and sometimes if you don’t let them that, those guys work just as hard, they do just as much, sometimes they have to do more except on Sunday. They don’t make nearly the amount of money, but they are expected to do all the same stuff. The work that goes into a week where they don’t get much payoff, if our scout team comes out and gives the wrong looks on how a team’s front is going to play and then you go into a game and it’s different, it’ll take us a whole quarter to adjust. You’re practicing certain blocks versus how [DL Arik] Armstead might play a nine technique is going to be completely different to who we’re going against plays a nine technique. But, if you go against that guy every week and they play it the same way you’re going to start adjusting how to block Armstead. Then you get into a game and it’s completely different and it’s second-and-14 because of it. There’s lots of stuff on scout team that you try to make look like what you’re going against, but I think nothing’s more important, as important, as the O-Line and D-Line.”

Do you have an update on CB Ahkello Witherspoon and is there a chance he’ll play on Sunday in Washington?

“No, he’s going in the right direction. I think there’s a better chance next week, but I do not expect having a chance this week.”

What about T Joe Staley? We saw him doing some light conditioning before the game.

“Yeah, I’m still hoping for Arizona. That’s where I’m looking at him for. So, maybe a chance for Carolina, but I would consider that very lucky, in my mind. I’m just hoping for Arizona.”

Last season, Dante Pettis had some troubles corralling balls in traffic and whatnot, but yesterday he seemed to kind of make some strides in that area. What did you see from him after watching some film and how did you like how he has adjusted?

“Yeah, I mean especially the one that got us to the three-yard line. I mean, we knew we had a chance down the seam. We thought we could hold [Los Angeles Rams S Eric] Weddle and we didn’t. He was flying there all the way and just to watch Dante make a conscious decision just to go up for the ball, not care what happens, he went up for it aggressively, came down, made a hell of a play. Made a hell of a play a couple plays later in the back of the end zone. I know he was just a few inches out. I thought that was some good opportunities for Dante. Dante’s got a lot of ability, he’s getting better each week. Love having him on our team. I love how much he has really tried to improve here over this last month in every aspect. It doesn’t matter whether it is a pass play going over the middle, whether it is a pass play on the outside or whether it is a run play. He’s giving as much effort as anyone on our team and he’s one of the big reasons that we’ve been winning.”

What’s it taken to kind of help him get over these mental hurdles that you’ve mentioned the last few weeks?

“I think more just, you know, Dante is just a very intelligent guy and respectful. I think Dante has really learned how important every aspect of it is. I think Dante has been extremely gifted and talented his whole life and a lot of things have come very easy for him. He’s a very hard worker, but I think everything has come pretty easy for him. So, you don’t always realize there’s a whole other gear you can get to. And I think some of the adversity he faced in training camp and stuff and kind of hearing a little bit from me and hearing it from the other coaches, then going out and not being as good as he believes he should be and how he has been in the past, I think he did realize this isn’t just talk and I do need a little bit more urgency. And then you start to learn that through failing a couple times and I think he has gotten better each week. We definitely can see it, but the key is I know he can feel it and his urgency has picked up and so has every aspect of his game.”

What’s the plan for TE Garrett Celek?

“I think we’ve got a couple more weeks until he can come back. Hopefully he’ll be fine with all the things he’s got to get cleared on. If he is, we will throw him right into practice and see if he’s ready to go.”

Outside of the building, clearly expectations have been raised for this team since the start of the season. Do you sense some of that inside the building? Can you see more confidence in the locker room?

“Yes, definitely. We sensed it going into the season. I think we felt that in preseason. I think we knew we had a better team in preseason by the way practices went, by the way we were in games too, in the preseason games. We had a good, I think we were very confident going into the Tampa Bay game. By no means did we play perfect, but we found a way to win which gave us some more confidence. And then the way the Cincinnati game gave us a lot, found a way to win a hard game versus Pittsburgh and we continued to do it. Our guys believe that they can win, we’ve done that so far, but by no means do we fell we’ve arrived. I mean, there’s lots of things we can do better and we know teams are going to get better as we keep going. The main thing is that we do too.”

You don’t want your players to feel that they’ve arrived and that they’ve accomplished everything yet, but do you want them to have a little swagger? Do you want them to consider this team a Super Bowl contender right now?

“I want them to know that they can win every game that they go into no matter who’s in front of them. I think our team does believe that. We have the people, we can put the schemes together, we have the talent to do it and we have the people who work at it that no matter what type of game we’re in, we do very, really believe that we can win any game. That’s where it starts with a good team. Now, I don’t care how good you are, it’s very tough to do that, but when you have that mindset and it’s real from the work you’ve put in, from how talented you can see some of the guys are next to you, then it becomes real. The more you can win, the stronger it gets.”

After pulling off what you did yesterday without your two starting tackles, without your swing tackle, without Kyle, do you ever, in the time when you are soaking in the victory, do you ever look back to maybe two years ago, maybe that game against Philadelphia where Garrett Celek was almost playing tackle? You guys obviously didn’t have the depth.

“I don’t look back to that game very much. You just brought up a bad scar. No, just joking. There’s lots of that stuff in football and sometimes you get a little. Maybe it’s on a quick plane ride or something, but the next day comes so fast. It’s always about the next game, you move on pretty quick. One day hopefully I’ll be a part of a team that wins the last game of the year, when it is the last game of the year, and when that happens I think you can spend a little bit of time sitting back and looking at all of it. But besides that, there’s only one team that’s happy so you’re just plugging away trying to do the best that you can. Hopefully you can find a way to have a chance to be one of those teams at the end.”

Any change on the Juice and T Mike McGlinchey timeline?

“No. Same thing.”

This article has 149 Comments

  1. It’s not just Saleh; KS seems to have matured and developed as a coach too. I know it’s only 5 games into the season with a lot of football ahead, but I think it’s safe to say that this team is really starting to gel. They have all bought into the KS system and boy is it starting to show!
    Play calling on both sides of the ball has been stellar thus far. KS and Saleh really work well together as a tandem. I’m sure Saleh will draw interest for HC positions but I hope KS /JL and wonder-boy York find a way to keep him on staff.

    1. NFL officiating is God awful. Some of it is bad and some of it is so bad you have to wonder if it’s fixed – see Rams vs Saints in the NFCCG last year. I still can’t figure out why Olivier Vernon wasn’t flagged for literally punching Jimmy G in the face on that fly sweep reverse in the 1st quarter against the Browns. It was in the open field and Jerome Boger was staring right at it. There were several non-calls in that game that make me wonder what NFL officials are looking at. There was an illegal hands to the face that should have been called on McGlinchey in that game that was incredibly obvious but no call. NFL officials have an incredibly tough job where every rule and nuanced technicality to that rule is treated like Supreme Court case on campaign finance law. The NFL is truly becoming unwatchable because of the horrendous officiating, complexity of the rules, and absurd inconsistency in the application of those rules.

      1. Houston,
        There are two easy answers to the officiating problems.
        #1 simplify the rules especially what denotes a catch.
        #2 Hire full time officials. The film work and specific game preparation they could do during the week would improve officiating right away. I saw a stat one time that said it would cost the NFL one half of one percent of their profits to hire officials full time.

        1. I’ll take your #2 one step further. The NFL should start an official’s school, and operate it like a CDL Trucking Company. Free classes, and once trained enter into the bottom tiers of officiating. After a year of in game experience, allow them to move up the chain with increased salary incentives tied to production….

        2. #3 Fine the refs on erroneous calls and no-calls. If something is blatantly obvious that it did or did not happen and the refs make the wrong call, then they need to lose money for it.

          1. First and foremost the League need to be transparent about fines, suspensions, etc they hand out to officials. As is is now, it looks like the NFL condones the poor officiating.

            1. Totally agree with this. The NFL needs to be more transparent. I’m perfectly happy if the Refs screw the Cowboys every chance they get. But in the Cowboys game against the Packers, one of the refs – I think it was Scott Edwards – made multiple horrible calls that went against Dallas. He had 2 PI’s and then an out of bounds call on Cooper when Cooper was clearly in bounds. Refs are going to make bad calls but my issue with Edwards was he was openly hostile toward Garrett and basically stared him down multiple times like Edwards was ready to fight Garrett. Ultimately, Garrett got pissed and slammed a challenge flag down in front of Edwards who then penalized Garrett 15 yards for Unsportsmanlike Conduct. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Scott Edwards was the aggressor in that situation and totally instigated Garrett’s response. Jason Garrett is not the new Jim Harbaugh of the NFL. He is usually cool, calm, and collected in his interaction with the Refs. For whatever reason, Scott Edwards acted like a regulator from the Federal Govt with a God complex. Those kinds of guys should be immediately disciplined and removed as NFL referees. Not only did he make bad calls, he followed that up by challenging a coach and then instigating a response from that coach. It’s just not acceptable.

          2. Sigh. The refs have been incentivized to kick the can down the road and let the booth make the final judgements. It seems to me that they have less accountability under the current system than previously.
            Also, I get the impression that the league has remorse about allowing the reviews and so the Man Behind The Curtain in NYC doesn’t want to overturn calls on the field and just won’t.
            It is messed up.
            I would support full time Refs with performance based rankings which would translate to pay rankings for the next season to make it matter.

            1. Exactly what Mike Pereira said. The officials on the field are off the hook for bad calls. The unseen person in NY has the last word and he looks at the play in super slo-mo. Guess what, this is not a video game, the game is played in real time and should be officiated in real time.

        3. These refs make enough money to be full time though.

          Average pay is 205k a season.

          Theres no excuse.

    2. What’s new? It’s Rodgers and the packers.
      I can’t wait to see his stupid face in the middle of this pass rush coming at him.
      The packers are overrated and will get stomped by SF.

  2. Heard Mike Pereira on the radio today saying the officiating has gotten much worse since instant replay. He said the officials used to be accountable for their calls, now they make a call and someone else becomes accountable when the call is reviewed. I have been saying the same thing about reviews in baseball and football for the last few years.

    I wish they would do away with all reviews and “punish” the official who makes too many bad calls.

    1. I’d review almost everything.

      Keep the official on the field. Don’t let him run to a monitor. Have the booth correct on the fly. We all see it on TV. Add more commercial breaks if you need the revenue.

      Also put sensors in the ball and along the field. If they can’t figure it out ask one of the tech companies to help…yeesh

      Oh, and give all QBs red jerseys – 2 hand touch tackle for them. With sensors on them and gloves too ;)

      Just sayin…

  3. Pettis seems like the kind of person that gets enjoyment out of pleasing people. Whether it’s his team mates, coaches, or gm. He just needs to expand on the mindset he took into the Rams game, and continue to aggressively pursue his identity….

    1. Pettis’s mental approach to football is who he is. Asking him to be more aggressive is like asking a leopard to change his spots. IMO Shanahan falls in love with the a players skill set but doesn’t fully consider the overall package. He did that with Joe Williams. Pettis has always been a guy who was somewhat passive in going after passes in traffic. He was that guy in college. He will always be that guy. He may occasionally stand out but he’s not ever going to be aggressive like Deebo. That just isn’t who Pettis is. Asking a player to be someone he’s not is a failure in coaching IMO. Send him on routes where he doesn’t have to worry about a LB and Safety collapsing on him. Limit his route tree to those passes where he can catch and run away from traffic.

        1. Lynn Swann was one of the most massively overrated receivers of all time. John Stallworth was so much better than Swann it wasn’t funny. Even though Lynn Swann had similar stats to John Taylor, Swann couldn’t carry John Taylor’s jock. But glad you agree with me that Pettis just isn’t ever going to be a #1 WR.

          1. Houston,
            I do agree with you he will never be a tough inside receiver but I do think he is capable of making some great acrobatic catches as well as being a good route runner. If he could be Taylor to Rice or Swann to Stallworth I would take that.

            1. Hell yea I’d take that, and that’s what I’m looking for. The way he was able to go up and get that ball in the back of the endzone was brilliant! Next time he’ll get that other foot down….

            2. Don’t get me wrong. I think Pettis is a good WR and I’d definitely take a Lynn Swann quality receiver as long as we do find a true #1 WR. My point was that Shanahan has indicated Pettis can be a #1 WR. He said something to the effect of Pettis being a top 5 WR in the NFL. Now I trust Kyle Shanahan’s opinion and he knows a helluva lot more about football than me. BUT I just don’t see Pettis ever becoming a #1 WR. He may have the physical skill set but I honestly think he just doesn’t have that ultra competitive mindset you find in guys like AB or Julio Jones.

              1. Well in his rookie year he got 40 targets and scored five touchdowns. 33 of those targets came from the backup QB. That was a TD every 8 opportunities, plus he had 19 first downs out of 27 catches. Looks to me like he’s hit the proverbial sophomore slump. I’m not too worried, because next year is when I expect him to make a jump. All I want to see from his this year is stacking good performances on top of one another each and every game, and earning the trust of his quarterback….😢

              2. IMO Pettis absolutely does not have the trust of his QB. There were multiple training camp reports of JG grumbling about Pettis’s effort. Then when he had that drop against the Browns, Jimmy was super pissed coming off the field. Credit to JG for continuing to make the throws but Pettis clearly is not Jimmy G’s favorite WR.

              3. That’s why the relationship needs time to grow. You don’t just earn that kind of trust overnight. I really can’t think of any reason why it shouldn’t flower this year, and bloom next….

  4. I wish the league would put an official in the booth upstairs, who can call down to have them throw a flag if an official on the field misses one, or have them pick up the flag if unwarranted.
    .
    The man in the booth can have a bank of monitors, set on loop, so the official upstairs can watch the same play many times from every angle, within 15 seconds, and have a 25 second timer, so he must make a determination quickly, so the game is not delayed.
    .
    Too bad the league is too cheap, and incompetent to devise a better system.

      1. The game of football is notorious for making changes slowly. It seems to take forever for the light to come on for them. I suppose it is because it is more a game of repetition than other sports. Repetition tends to foster methodology. Not really that conducive to creative inovation or thinking out of the box. I mean it is beyond absurd that they are still testing the players wearing shorts at the combine. Put a player win gear and it certainly slows them down quite a bit and that slowdown would vary considerably from player to player.

        The problem with officiating is a perfect example of a sport that has outrun the mom and pop store attitude in play today. Officiating should be a vocation that has entry-level criteria for weeding out those that do not possess the necessary physical and cerebral skills. Instead, what is in place are a bunch of part-timers who comprise the entry-level pool from which the best is gleened. What you end up with is the best of a weak bunch to start with. Officiating should be treated as a vocation and not just a thing to do part-time on. weekends.

        I know that officials started out as nonplayers that were pulled out of the stands for games, but the game is not just being played by amateurs anymore. it is big business but that seems to have not caught up with officiating yet. A training academy or school for officials could be either private or part of a college curriculum that undergoes testing to weed out the incompetent using high school and college games as part of the training. A good official requires excellent eyesight and rapid visual processing skills. These sorts of things could be the criteria used for the early elimination process.

        1. I liked Mike Pereira’s idea.
          Make the ref’s full time and have them located in the middle of the country throughout the season.
          Here they could review multiple games/calls/nocalls etc. This should help the calls be more uniform across the league.

          1. Geographic center of the lower 48 states is just outside Lebanon, Kansas. Throw Alaska and Hawaii in and the center is about 20 miles north of Belle Fourche, South Dakota. Add London and the point falls somewhere in Northern Maine or New Hampshire.

            For disaster recovery purposes (redundancy, should the primary ref center have issues), a backup location or two should be established.

            Full time refs living in Lebanon or Belle Fourche…or….

            1. Full time refs living in Lebanon or Belle Fourche

              With the modest cost of living in those locations think how much the league could save on ref salaries. Heck, with enough cameras covering every possible angle, all refereeing could be done remotely (imagining a USAF drone control center-like facility in Lebanon or Belle Fourche).

    1. Players coaches and owners all realize the risk involved in human error in officiating.

      Someone needs to remember we live in an imperfect world.

      1. True, but that does not mean you should not do everything possible to eliminate as many errors as possible. We live in an imperfect world and there will always be errors is not a good reason or rationale for condoning incompetence. We expect that in other area’s of business and sports, why not in officiating.

      2. And also remember the game isn’t played in slow motion, frame by frame. Calls are made in real time and shouldn’t be reviewed in slow motion. Every game needs to be reviewed afterwards by an impartial panel and blatant bad calls need to be acknowledged. The NFL needs to be open about “punishment” of bad officials. They are quick to point out player fines, they need to fine officials and be open about it. I think if officials are fined and their mistakes publicized, they will improve to avoid being embarrassed.

        The last thing the NFL needs is slowing the game down any further.

      3. Living in an imperfect world does not excuse the bad officiating. Whatever is needing to be done to reduce the possibility of bad calls or no calls has to happen.

  5. On this upcoming game against the Skins, I hope they put E Man against Terry McLaurin.
    .
    Jonathan Allen had 2 sacks, so I hope Bosa gets a couple sacks next game.
    .
    The Niners need to corral Adrian Peterson, who ran for 118 yards last game.

  6. How about, as a start to Seb’s idea, keep the current system. But add the guys in the booth at the stadium for one specific purpose…to look at PI on all pass plays. The problem right now is PI has to get called to be challenged. But so much PI happens that is not called. The guys in the booth in the stadium could intervene to get a PI called the the field officials missed…

    1. Slows down the game. None of these ideas are good for game flow as many times guys in the booth would halt the snap to review.

      Prefer to realize there is human error, and try to eliminate it.

      Question: does anyone know of a study done on correct calls vs. incorrect calls or non calls in the review and non reviewed era?

      1. What slows down the game is the arcane challenges, and the time out needed to implement it. Have a bank of monitors on the wall on loop, so the official in the booth can watch the same play 15 times in 15 seconds, from every angle, with a technician who can zoom in and put on slow motion the critical angle.
        .
        Then have a 10 second count down. If the official does not overturn the play within the 10 seconds, the call stands. This would make a decision within the time the play clock would run., so it would not slow down the game at all. Only blatant, egregious calls would be reversed, and the official in the booth should be hooked up with the officials on the field, so he could tell one to throw a flag on a missed foul. He could also have the power to tell the refs to pick up the flag.
        .
        Teams that committed the possible foul may want to run up to the line of scrimmage and snap the ball quickly, but the other team could still have the red flag to initiate the review, in order to prevent that.
        .
        Finally, an official who makes a wrong call, should have a 3 strike policy. After 3 missed calls, he is replaced. That also goes for non calls. Too many times, an official will see a foul, and do nothing, like the ref who watched Kittle being held, so JG’s pass was intercepted.

          1. The human element would be aided by technology, to help get the correct call quickly.
            .
            Right now, the league is being so blatantly incompetent, they want to stop all reviews altogether.
            .
            In last night’s game, that official in the booth could have called down to the field, and told the ref to pick up his flag. It was so blatant, the defender had his hand on the shoulder pad, not the O lineman’s face.
            .
            That bogus call helped decide the outcome of the game. I want to eliminate the human element, that allows for unfair calls.

            1. But you still want the human element, only he will be in the booth instead of on the field. If you are going to review plays, it needs to be done by committee to eliminate bias by one person. As it is right now, one person in NY often still gets the call wrong.

              1. The human involved will be aided by technology.
                .’
                Right now, the unfairness and incompetence, is calling into question the integrity of the game.

              2. Technology is a hammer. It can be used correctly or incorrectly. It is not a panacea for bad officiating and can make a bad situation worse as people rely on it as a crutch.

    1. Given the history and the Rams playing at home, it makes sense. I bet that will flip though now that the 49ers have credentials of winning decisively.

      It cannot be overstated how important that goal line stand was (and what a poor decision by McVay – I think he overestimated his offense). The Rams, up to that point we’re playing toe to toe. After that it was like the wind went out of their sails and the 49ers were enlarged.

      It may be the defining moment of the season.

      1. You could tell McVay came into the game mentally defeated just by his opening series. As soon as I saw what he came up with after the extra preparation time, I knew he was desperate with no answers for this defense, and certainly with no confidence in his $100 million dollar quarterback….

        1. I don’t think so, Razor. They were playing very well on both sides of the ball up until that point and had made many defensive stands against the 9ers.

          1. Welp, I’m just stating how I felt after McVay’s scripted opening drive. Nothing the Rams defense did surprised me. I knew it would be a tough slog against them missing both flank protections and our Juicy weapon of mass destruction, and after the game I think most would agree with my feelings. I know Grant did….

          2. The Rams had a good opening defensive stand and then the good drive to go up 7-0. After that the 49ers dominated, going right down the field on back to back possessions while holding LA to 13 yards on its next two possessions. It wasn’t until McVay brought in the other running back that they moved the ball again, and once the 49ers adjusted it was game over.

            1. The only reason the 49ers scoring drive continued was because of offside penalties.

              The Rams were pretty good (imo) up until the defensive goal line stand. Each side was counter punching the other.

              It was only after this that the Rams deflated.

              1. I thought the Rams telegraphed their deflation with their opening drive. It was extremely telling, and the only reason it worked was because it caught the 49ers, and the rest of the football world by surprise. It was an admission that I’m intimidated by your pass rush, I don’t trust Goff to stand and deliver, and this is all I’ve got. And it was, but as far as ramming down our throats, it was all misdirection runs. It was not line up and punch you in the mouth style running plays….

              2. I listened to the game and didn’t get a chance to watch it until much later. I had read what you and several other posters posited prior to watching and I can tell you I didn’t see that.

                I saw two teams slugging it out for most of the first half. I saw the Rams deflate defensively after that 4th down stop and they didn’t recover in the second half.

              3. The Rams defense made the 49ers offense work for it, but the o was moving the ball down the field pretty consistently until about 10 minutes left in the 4th when the score was 20-7. The Rams offense on the other hand was thoroughly overmatched after that opening possession.

              4. The Rams offense on the other hand was thoroughly overmatched after that opening possession.

                Which I felt substantiated my initial feelings on the Rams opening drive.

        2. I’m with Sour on this,

          When I was playing, I though it was much easier to shake off a big play than a drive where they just rammed it down the throat of the Defense.

          I give major props to both Saleh and the players for collecting their cool and fixing their mistakes.

            1. It was a 7 play drive of which 6 were off tackle or off guard… all gaining 5 or more yards.
              Yeah I’d say they rammed it down the 49ers throats.

              1. That’s what you call ramming it down our throats? 275 yards rushing defines ramming it down one’s throat for me.

              2. I was only speaking in regards to the opening drive based on your comment below…

                “You could tell McVay came into the game mentally defeated just by his opening series.”

                … given the field is only 100 yrds, it would impossible for them to gain 275 yards rushing on a single drive, so I stand by my comments. :D

  7. Maybe this is the start to my bold prediction of him being the breakout player this season on the team.
    Wouldn’t hurt. 🤣

  8. Question:

    Are we the 2019 version of the 2017 Bucs? Not proposing we are, mind you, but asking the question to those who look at the team dispassionately to assess the strengths and weaknesses?

    1. I don’t think so. We do have a top 10 defense, but we also have an offense that can become much better. No, I am confident that we are not the 2017 Bucs.

    1. KS was handicapped by having to wait until after the SB to assemble a coaching staff. He was left with Hafley and Zgonina. Thankfully, he made astute assessments, and replaced them with Joe Woods and Kris Kocurek. Woods, with his DC experience, and Kocurek, with his scheme and passion, have vastly improved the coaching.
      .
      JL, has obtained talented players, so the coaches have the right players to implement Saleh’s defense. Having Ford and Bosa just gave them a pass rush, something they lacked last season. They still have the same DBs, so Woods is finally putting them into positions to succeed. If he had not demoted Moore, the outcome of the game may have been different. Ward played his best game of his career.

    2. I did not, I praised him for sticking with Saleh when just about everyone on this blog and elsewhere wanted him gone. Took guts and it’s borne fruits.

      For this both Shanahan and Lynch deserve a ton of credit.

  9. It was interesting to hear what KS said about JG.
    .
    AFFP stated that JG freezes at the wrong time. I wish to differ. I think JG sees the intended receiver is covered. It may seem like he is frozen, but I think his mind is going fast, processing things at a high speed, and eventually he will get to his third read. However, that player may also be covered, and the protection is breaking down, so that is why he looks so hesitant. CJB is the one who freezes in the pocket.
    .
    You have to remember, JG has not started a full season yet, so he is still learning. People expect him to have the experience like Brees, who does things as a second nature, because he is a grizzled veteran, with thousands of snaps.
    .
    Sure, at times, a player is open on the other side of the field, but that is because JG is looking in another direction, and the defense is following and concentrating on where he is looking. JG has looked off the safety better. He needs to face in one direction, while looking out of the corner of his eye in another direction, to deceive the safeties.
    .
    I like how JG is being deceptive after he hands off the ball. I would like to see him be deceptive before he releases the ball, too. JG should work on some pump fakes, in order to freeze the DBs.
    .
    I like JG, and his quick trigger, passing the ball. He has the gunslinger mentality, and has completed passes in triple coverage, which no coach would advocate. They even want him to avoid double coverage, and stick to attacking single coverage.
    .
    I hope they allow JG to become the field general, and run the no huddle, hurry up offense, with detailed preparations beforehand, so he can lead the team with little input from the side line. This would allow JG to get into a rhythm, and make the defense have to counter his scheme, without substitutions. This would allow for mismatches, and the Niners would gain an advantage.

    1. Until that pressure equalizes, everything within 20 feet of him that’s not nailed down or strapped in is gonna get sucked right out of that hole.

  10. I just watched the play where Garoppolo threw the interception, and while it was not an ideal throw, I am unable to fault Garoppolo for it. The two reasons for this is the defender on Kittle should have been called for pass interference, and Samuel should have responded more quickly and went up to get the ball or at least bat it away.

    1. I haven’t looked at it again, but I kind of thought what you are saying. It looked to me like he was throwing to a spot. Kittle was held. But just from the first take, I had the impression he threw it short of the mark.

      Some posts suggested Deebo should not have been that close to Kittle and likely Deebo ran an incorrect route. Do you agree with that?

        1. On that subject, KS said (as quoted above): “There’s some other things that bothered us with the play”. I think you filled in the blanks.

        2. It was just too cute..and risky.. of play just throwing up high to an area with two WR’s up for grabs. There had to be a better pass play or run.

  11. In the category of you are what your record says you are…

    The 49ers and Patriots are the 2 best teams in the NFL since they are the last 2 undefeated teams.

    The Patriots have played opponents with a .303 win percentage. The Patriots average margin of victory this year is 23.67 points. Their opponents average offensive ranking is 24th in the NFL. Their opponents average defensive ranking is 21st. Those numbers are elevated because they played the Bills who have a winning record and a highly ranked defense. The Patriots offense has faced the 32nd, 28th, and 27th ranked defenses this year. The Patriots defense has faced the 32, 31, 29th, and 28th rated offenses this year. Their opponents so far have been the Steelers, Dolphins, Jets, Bills, Redskins, and Giants.

    The 49ers have played opponents with a .300 win percentage. The 49ers average margin of victory this year is 16.6 points. Their opponents average offensive rank is 18th in the NFL. Their opponents average defensive ranking is 23rd. The 49ers haven’t played anyone in the top 10 offensively or defensively except the Rams who are ranked 10th offensively. The 49ers opponents so far have been the Buccaneers, Bengals, Steelers, Browns, and Rams.

    So a legitimate argument can be made that the 49ers are the best team in the NFL. When you boil down opponents, neither team has played a difficult schedule. But, the Patriots had a very difficult time beating the Bills. Only scored 16 points against a defense that isn’t as good as the 49er defense. The Bills offense isn’t nearly as good as the 49er offense either. IMO the 49ers beat the Patriots in San Francisco and I’d give the edge to the Pats in Boston. On a neutral field, lets say in a SuperBowl, I give the edge to the 49ers because the 49ers have a better defense and a better run game. Therefore, I say the 49ers are the best team in the NFL.

    1. Either way these are the two best teams.

      Patriots will get the edge because of history, which is why the 49ers has to wait until now to be recognized as 2.

      The NFL can be a strange bird and the teams that seem hot at the beginning fizzle in the end.

      Will be interesting to see how both teams (and the others) fare throughout the season.

      1. Should have a good idea of how the 49ers fare with the top 5 teams when Hurd and the rest come back from injury around the 10th game. Right now I’d say they are in the top 3.

    2. If the two were to meet in the SB, I can guarantee you the 49ers would put up more than 3 points. In fact, I’d wager everything I own on it!

    3. Houston if the 49ers played the patriots in the super bowl and both teams are fully healthy. It would be the end of Brady. He is already in the decline. He looked old in last years super bowl. He would look really old trying to throw quickly and hitting the ground while doing so.
      On the other hand. Their defense was very good last year. Nothing has changed. Even though they’re playing weak opponents I still believe they have a top 3 defense right now.
      It would look a lot like last years super bowl with just a tad bit more scoring for the 49ers that is. The patriots would be lucky to score 10 points.
      And the 49ers would score defensively.
      I’d call 24-10 49ers.
      If we were blessed enough to see this matchup. And right now. Looks like it could very well happen.

    1. What’d the $100 million dollar man throw for, 87 yards? I guess the only thing more embarrassing for the Rams than that was the 3 points they put up in the SB….

    2. The defense is playing out of its mind.

      There is truth to the idea the 49ers haven’t faced a QB that is playing well this year. However, what is also true is that 3 of the 5 QBs they have faced had their lowest passing yard totals of the season against the 49ers, and each of those three QBs have otherwise been part of offenses putting up a lot of passing yards. It would be 4 QBs if you count Mason Rudolph’s starts, and that game was the second lowest total passing yards by the Steelers this year behind this latest game with their 3rd string, undrafted QB. The only QB that has had “success” based on final game stats is Dalton, and almost all of that came in the second half while they were way behind and chasing the game.

      1. You know, playing against Murray should provide the 49ers defense with the closet thing to practicing against Russell Wilson. Could be a perfect scenario, and have our pass rush all tuned up for November 11th’s, Monday Night Massacre….

        1. She owns 100th of 1 percent of the team.
          And I thought she was a redskins fan.
          Overpaid, has done nothing in 20 years and has no chance at winning the big one 🤣

    1. Ford and Bosa have been exactly what the 49ers wanted and expected. They have been a big part of the transformation of this D. Even though Ford’s snap count has been limited he has been very effective rushing the passer as a pass rush specialist. And he has continued to force fumbles like he did for the Chiefs, even though the 49ers haven’t recovered them.

    1. Yea, I seen that. Two dudes I could hang out with all day. What a great addition to the team George Kittle has been. He’s going to force me to buy his jersey shirt, because my daughter took The Bosa Constrictor’s….

    1. That’s called fleecing the Rams. Corbett will be a better fit in McVay’s system than he was in the Kitchens.

      You could say this even further substantiates my feeling about McVay’s opening drive. All that extra time to prepare, and he knew all he had was smoke and mirrors, when faced with a division rival that’s built the way we are. His answer…trade for perceived upgrades and hope for the best. Pretty telling he can’t adapt with who he has like Shanny has been able to do….

    2. Lol!

      I’m very surprised to see they traded Peters, given they just put Talib on IR. Don’t know what’s going on there. But trading for an interior OL certainly makes sense.

      1. They might be making a run at Jalen Ramsey. Would be fool’s gold though. That’s not their main weakness.

      1. Naw, that is low hanging fruit. They traded away Peters, what did you expect them to do to get his replacement?
        .
        Still, they are super desperate, and 2 first round picks is super stupid.
        .
        Glad JL did not spend 2 firsts for a malcontent.

          1. Gratz on stating the obvious.
            .
            That wall was done weeks ago. I re-roofed my garage, and now have a trellis/deck to build for a client.

    1. Wow two first rounders and a fourth.

      Let me tell you right now Ramsey is not a difference maker to that extent. The Rams just screwed themselves even more by going all in on reconstruction without it fixing the foundation.

      1. What a Rams fan thinks…

        Aw f___ this. Just trade away all the f___ing picks for the next five years, overpay for every f___ing body and be done with it.

        Other than that, nice move.

        Posted by Drmondobueno on Oct 15, 2019 | 6:51 PM

          1. Unless the rams trade back up they will not have a first round pick in five straight years. Nah I’ll stick with the Niners way of building a team lol

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