Kyle Shanahan refuses to admit the 49ers are undisciplined

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan walks on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

SANTA CLARA — On Thursday, head coach Kyle Shanahan insisted the 49ers are a disciplined, fundamentally sound team, even though they rank among the league’s worst in giveaways, pre-snap penalties, total penalties and missed tackles.

“I don’t think we’re undisciplined,” Shanahan argued at his press conference. “I don’t think tackling is discipline. I don’t think turnovers are discipline. It’s called making a bad play or missing a tackle.”

Shanahan spoke with an edge to his voice.

He continued: “I think we did get a lot better last week in terms of tackling, and we’re going to try to get better at it this week. When it comes to turnovers, we had our worst turnover game of the year last week. We had two fumbles in the pocket. We had a fumble by a running back and we had a tipped throw and a throw behind someone on fourth-and-20.

“You can make it whatever you want to make it, but we actually make it what it is. You look at why the picks happened, why the turnovers happened, why a missed tackle happened, you address that and you try to get better.”

According to Shanahan, there is no theme or common thread to the 49ers’ mistakes. They all happened for different, fluky reasons.

Since Shanahan took over in 2017, mistakes have defined his team. Last season, the 49ers turned the ball over 23 times. They also committed 46 pre-snap penalties and 123 total penalties, which cost them 988 yards. All three penalty stats ranked among the league’s seven worst teams in those departments.

This season, the 49ers are on pace to commit 35 turnovers (second-most in the NFL), 45 pre-snap penalties and 125 total penalties, which would cost them 1,114 total yards. The 49ers have gotten sloppier by the week under Shanahan, both on offense and defense.

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This article has 197 Comments

  1. Accountability is a subset of discipline. I don’t see any from a fan’s point of view. Maybe there is more discipline behind the scenes, but I don’t see it.

    Why is Celek still on the team? That would be the first and probably most obvious, sign that KS is disciplined.

    1. The sloppiness of this bad team is really to be expected. Kyle is not an HC at all. He is ok as an x’s and O’s guy. He cannot motivate players and coach them. He is likely gone after next season. Lynch has proven to be a poor judge of talent and very inexperienced. This year is over.

      1. You really think the Yorks are going to fire Messrs. Lynch and Shanahan when they’re required to pay them each four more years of full salaries? They’re not going anywhere unless they’re arrested as heroin couriers for a Mexican cartel, or some other egregious crime the Bay Area sports press are likely — though maybe not absolutely certain — to disapprove of.

  2. Giants will have their pick of 3 good QB’s next year:

    Clayton Thorson
    Drew Lock
    Ryan Finley

    That’s the order I’d take them but I see Thorson and Lock as 1(a) and 1(b). You’re getting a great prospect with either one.

    1. I wouldn’t touch any of those guys in the first 3 rounds, this is a weak QB class.

      You know that sometime between January and April some names will pop-up of guys currently slated to go at the end of round 1/early round 2 & 3 and they will skyrocket up the board by doing nothing but at all.

      1. Typical October response to my QB list. It’s Ok. I’m used to it. Im also used to the guys I like in October being picked in the first couple rounds in April so…

    2. It’s looking like a really poor class of QB’s this year. The Giants could have had Darnold who was a much better option and now get to watch him play for their co tenants in MetLife Stadium. Barkley is a great talent and yet they are still losing badly. You don’t take a RB that high and especially not when there is a QB sitting there. Dumb decision that is going to cost the Giants big time.

      1. Yep, I’ve always subscribed to the idea of staying away from running backs in the 1st round, let alone at the top end….

        1. There’s no need to take one early. You can find good RB’s anywhere in the draft. 5 of the top ten RB’s in yardage right now were taken after the first round and some late or after the draft completely. Just not a wise use of a top ten pick.

          1. There’s no need to take one early.

            I have to disagree with this concept and also what Razor said. If the RB is the best player on a team’s board, then they should take him, and this is even more true if the running game needs an infusion.

        2. Funny thing about last years draft is the Browns could have had Baker Mayfield and Saquon Barkley if they drafted Barkley first.

  3. Grant can’t say I disagree,starting to believe Shannahan is a great coordinator bad head coach I don’t think he commands respect from his players and seems like he is just their buddy..Any other coach would have benched Celek,his play has been eye popping atrocious and some of the same players are committing the same exact mistakes week after week

  4. Does it really matter what Shanahan says these days?
    Many have made up their mind that he is a failure.

    I must say that I would agree if the season ended today, but it doesn’t. Last I looked we still have a lot of football to play.

    1. And the players are still playing hard and sticking together.

      A lot of teams might have quit knowing their QB is out and with all the injuries that have occurred. But as of last week the team is still battling and staying together and that’s a credit to the coaching staff.

  5. KS needs to put his Ego aside, and get an OC, or be the OC and get a HC. we all know that help is much needed, I still say KS can’t do both and it has showed based on the results of the past few games. just saying.

  6. He can’t just change his approach with players on a dime. That wouldn’t go over. I think he defines his coach-players relationship on transparency but also mutual loyalty.

    Yes the product has been sloppy. Yet his belief in these players and this team’s potential is steadfast. Let’s see how things progress until the bye and how he adjusts course from there with a look to next year. You yourself Grant wrote that this is a lost season after the ARZ game. If that’s the case, Kyle has time to take stock.

  7. “He continued: “I think we did get a lot better last week in terms of tackling, and we’re going to try to get better at it this week.”

    He said “we” and “we’re” when referring to the defense.

  8. Grant…

    I listened to the presser twice all the way through, and to your questions (and Shanahan’s responses) another three or four times. Here’s a surprise….I think you’re reaching Grant.

    It’s your style to hyper-sharpen existing edges, and form edges where there are minor creases (if any). And it’s selective–attack one set of matters and ignore others. Hot takes, flip remarks, and put-downs. I don’t question your role as a journalist. And again, I don’t expect you to be a homer. It’s your style.

    “Shanahan spoke with an edge to his voice.” Oh my…. Name an NFL HC who–in mid-week pressers during a difficult season–doesn’t have an edge in his voice. You’d skewer him if he came across all sunny and pollyanna dopey. You know you would. You’d create a reason to fry him if he looked you dead in the eye and calmly admitted to each and every assertion you made, and embraced every conclusion you drew. Even if he teared up. Oh don’t be concerned, I don’t feel Shanahan is a victim. He knows what he signed up for. It’s your style that I find amusing. Edge in his voice…wow.

    I’m looking forward to your one-on-one engagement with players…perhaps picking up the pace in learning more about what they’re thinking and how they’re responding week-to-week. I assume you have access to and are welcome in the locker room. How about a sit down with Foster? Pettis? Ward? Another point to probe would be the 9ers approach to scouting and talent acquisition–not just rip it, which you no doubt would–but to share with the rest of us how the team goes about that side of the business–philosophically and practically.

            1. Cassie, my area has Jack, Taco Bell, McDonalds, Burger King, In and Out, Chick Fillet, KFC, North has A and W, Wendy’s, Denny’s, Cattleman’s, and Jim Bob Taco is like 130 miles east so I really hope I helped you out there, IDIOT! By the way, Green Bay by 21. I don’t give a crap how angry and hurt and upset Kyle is…Kyle is doing the same IDIOTIC things as the last coach, getting baited, taking the bait, getting mad, expecting a blowout, hope the Pack don’t disappoint me. Kyle needs to sit back, coach, shut up, respect the media, he can’t do that, he’s going to get SACKED, my prediction within 2 years if he keeps having results like this. Your record for 2018 is 6 and 10 with Jimmy G. Without him, could be 4 and 12. Now if I’m right in any of this Cassie, you STFU.

  9. Not only is this team undisciplined , but in all my years of playing , coaching and watching , I have never seen a more softer , fragile team… I can put up with most other things, that’s not one of them

    1. When you say softer and fragile, are you focusing on physical injuries alone, weak/flawed psyche alone, or both?

        1. Fair… A look at 2018 injuries across the NFL shows that it’s a widespread matter. A few teams appear to have fewer injuries, however, many are in the 9er ballpark–on the higher side. Many factors are in play, not just something that can be pinned on a loser conditioning and training staff.

          Mental toughness is difficult to measure. According to Grant, he hasn’t noted any fall-off in effort. Beathard may pi** a lot of people off but he doesn’t seem to shy away from staying in the thick of the fight. There are others equally motivated, and perhaps a few who waver.

          What do you think about the assistant/position coaches? Shanahan is repeatedly BBQ’d for game planning the offense and calling plays. Saleh is trashed daily as the DC. Okay fine, they are nice big targets. What about the coaching staff under them? Are they turds, geniuses, or a mix? I wish Grant would eyeball the assistants and position coaches (includes special teams) and reflect on their performance.

          1. Hi Cassie, still drinking the koolaid and THINKING you got a chance in Lambeau? Packers got their 2 WRs back and after the Rams spank the next opposition, 49ers are next. WOw, 2 whole Sunday Nights with KC Chiefs!

              1. What, I’m just telling Cassie to expect the yearly lower expectation from teh 49ers. So far on my check list

                Beathard can throw 300, but he’s not a winnable Qb
                The defense is still garbage
                Secondary is still garbage
                Coaching is still garbage
                Losing to the pathetic team like last year.
                The 1 and 4 needs to be 0 and 5, that win over Detroit was a gimme.

    1. So nice of you to join us today Razoreater, we missed your contributions to this blog last night while we all watched Saquon Barkley do his thing in front of a prime time TV audience. Were you too busy picking your jaw off the floor? Also, tell me again why you weren’t all that impressed with Saquon Barkley – the 2018 RB draft prospect?

      I’ve had a number of good debates on this blog over the years, but a couple that stand out the most are with you:

      Debate #1) Whether “King” Solomon Thomas was even worthy of his nickname, let alone worthy of being selected #3 overall?

      In some ways this was a fantastic debate because scouts were all over the place as to the questions of whether Thomas was truly a tweener, and whether it was a safe bet to draft an undersized interior defensive lineman near the top of the draft. While it’s still a little too early to put this debate on ice, it’s safe to say that, if we were scoring this one right now, you got your arse handed to you on this subject! Thomas was clearly overrated and overvalued as a prospect given the fact that he was obviously undersized for an NFL interior DL, and his lack of production on the edge in college. Thomas did all of his best work on the interior of the Cardinals’ DL, so it surely seemed risky to pin your hopes on a guy to suddenly be something as a pro, that he clearly wasn’t as a college player.

      Debate #2) Whether Saquon Barkley was the generational talent so many scouts believed he was, or was he perhaps not even the best prospect at his position in this year’s draft class? Well, it seemed to me at the time that the only people who were actually debating this subject were in your own head Razor! I say that because for anyone who truly paid attention to Saquon Barkley in college , well …. let’s just say that it didn’t take a genius to understand how his skill set would translate to today’s NFL.

      Just saying!

        1. Of course, our debate was never about whether it made sense to draft a RB in the top 3 of any draft class, even if he is a generational talent like Barkley, right? You weren’t even sure if Barkley was the cream of the 2018 RB draft class. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe you thought the ever-injured Derrius Guice was the best in class? Are you sticking to that? Unfortunately we haven’t seen Guice, but right now Saquon Barkley is averaging 5.2 YPC, and on pace for 2,595 yards from scrimmage, shattering Barry Sanders career best 2,358 yards from scrimmage in 1997. And that’s with what most people think is a lousy QB and a lousy OL.

          Can we all now agree that Saquon Barkley is simply INCREDIBLE! He’s what you’d get if Frankenstein built a RB. Barkley may in fact be the best of all time when it’s all said and done. However, it’s still a QB driven league as 49ers fans we know all too well, and you need a great QB to have any chance at competing in today’s NFL.

          1. Breida ain’t half bad averaging just over 7 ypc, and ranking 6th among all rushing leaders. That’s only 4 spots behind Frankenstein….

      1. 49reasons,

        Welcome back…did you even really leave yet? I’m not sure.

        Barkley is great. Still a bad pick by the Giants. You don’t win with out good QB play and they passed up a potential Franchise guy to take a RB. Big mistake that is going to cost them for a long time.

          1. Yep but Eli is done and has been for sometime now. They thought they could get another couple of years out of him and passed on a possible franchise QB. Big mistake.

            1. rocket, FYI, along with Grant, you’re one of my favorite posters to debate and converse with on this blog (Hammer is up there, as he clearly knows the sport, yet we often see things very differently).

              I am not trying to come across like I think ShanaLynch are beyond reproach. There are a number of reasons they deserve criticism, and here is my list off the top of my head:

              Solomon Thomas. He may end up being a pretty darn good player, but an undersized interior defensive lineman @ #3 overall (even though they gained draft capital by trading down before selecting Thomas)? I think not!

              Pass Rushing woes! The 49ers didn’t even take a chance on drafting a potential stud for the “LEO” when they knew that was a serious weak link, while they were able to find room to draft an injured interior lineman in K. Street? Instead, their best answer was Jaremiah Attaochu? Kyle: “You’ve got to be pretty good to beat out [DL Cassius] Marsh. You’ve got to be pretty good to beat out [DL Arik] Armstead. You don’t just get guys. If you get them, someone else has got to get cut and we’ve got a pretty good group.” Really Kyle, you expect us to believe that? A pretty good group who just happen to be one of the worst in the NFL the prior season (minus Attaochu)?

              Redzone woes. While there are a number of factors which play into this and are, IMO, beyond Kyle’s control …. not going after a big-bodied Redzone target is on my list of failures last offseason!

              Trading up for CJB in the 3rd round. Toughness only get’s you so far in the NFL, especially at QB. CJB’s weakness appears to be the opposite of what makes for a great NFL QB! The ability (or in CJB’s case, the inability) to see the whole field and process information very quickly.

              The lack of dependable talent in the secondary. Pettis over Joshua Jackson and Isaiah Oliver? Seriously? I like Pettis but not over Jackson OR Oliver.

              I will say this though: ShanaLynch have made mistakes in terms of free agency and the draft, but they have also made some great choices in the draft as well as free agency decisions. Though they overpaid for McKinnon, they could more than afford it, so I still like the move. Even though they’ve had some misses in the draft, they have hit more often than they have missed, and have found more talent than usual in the latter rounds of the draft.

              Also, I think injuries are mostly to blame for this year’s struggles, as I believe the injuries have led to a snowball effect (a series of unfortunate circumstances that have compounded upon each other), so it’s hard for me to grade ShanaLynch through the first 5 games of the season. The timing of the McKinnon and Goodwin injuries (as well as injuries on the OL), combined with such a tough early schedule, have snuffed out this offense in its infancy, long before they could really even get started. So because of that I am giving ShanaLynch an INC, for a grade through game 5, and I have a feeling that INC is going to live on beyond the first 5 games of the season.

              1. Oh, I forgot about the NON-CONTACT Jimmy G injury. You lose your franchise QB on top of your featured RB and most dangerous deep threat WR, this early in the season, well …… that’s an untenable situation for any HC and OC, IMO.

              2. Good analysis. But if they hadn’t overpaid for McKinnon, they might have been in a better position to acquire Kahlil Mack. And they should have done whatever was necessary to grab Mack.

                Other mistakes: Dumping an excellent right tackle for another good one (who could turn out to be marginally better – – but even that’s not clear), when the team desperately needed talent at the guard position. Also, getting clones of positions you already have – – e. g., Richie James when you already have Trent Taylor and Julian Taylor when you already have two talented interior D-linemen (Buckner and Armistead – – another reason why the Thomas pick at no. 3 was ridiculous). And let’s not forget Joe Williams, a complete bust in the fourth round, for whom we traded up (as well as CJ Beathard in the third)! Apart from a couple of possible gems (Kittle, Foster, Warner, Breida) the Lynch/Shanahan roster mismanagement has been very egregious!

        1. That’s true rocket, IF one of the QB’s they passed on ends up being that guy. No question it all starts with the QB, and you can’t win without one! Mayfield was off the board at #2, so we’ll see if Darnold, Rosen, Allen, or another QB ends up being that guy.

          Maybe none of those guys ends up being that guy, and the Giants land a franchise QB in next year’s draft. Then it wasn’t a mistake to take Barkley, unless you think the Giants were a contender this season.

          1. As for the 49ers discipline or lack there of, it’s hard to argue that they have been playing disciplined football. However, I don’t think you can simply point to TO’s and say, “ah ha, that’s bad discipline.” Case in point: Twice in the first 8 minutes of last night’s game, Carson Wentz’s arm was hit as he was in his passing motion. Both times the ball fell harmlessly incomplete. The way things are going for the 49ers right now, both of those “deflections” would have hit a defender in stride, and taken back for pick six’s.

            I truly think most of their problems, not all, but most, are a product a bad luck that tends to snowball on itself. Or the domino effect. Whatever analogy you want to plug in. Yes, I think it’s as simple as that. The 49ers are a snake bitten team in 2018. In other words, bad luck has set into motion a series of unfortunate events. Some will say that it all evens out over the course of the season, but that’s actually not always the case either.

      2. I find it truly amazing how desperate some people are to toot their own horn.

        So far you have crowed very loudly after week 1 when Barkley had one good play. Now he’s had one very good game and you are spamming posts. Yet weeks 2 to 5 you were noticeably quiet… as was Barkley’s impact.

        Here’s the thing. Both razor and I said this is what Barkley would be like. A very high variance player week to week, play to play. He’s an amazing athlete so if he gets some space he’s very dangerous. But he has trouble if the D cramps his space. And guess what – through 6 weeks that’s exactly what he has been.

        And despite his monster game the Giants got towelled. Ouch!

        1. “And despite his monster game the Giants got towelled. Ouch!”

          A perfect illustration of why not to take a RB so high unless you already have a team in place. RB’s can’t carry teams, at least not in the modern NFL. Your back can run for 100+ yards and a pair of TD’s but you’ll still lose by 20.

  10. The question is could the team have done more to address the woes that have befallen them? If they could, who is responsible for addressing them? And why were they not addressed?

    Injuries are a given. Could the 49ers have done something to forestall, or limit their impact. Playing QB are two largely inexperienced players. One with tremendous talent and the other who plays hard and with grit, but seems to play slower than necessary at this level. The one with talent was going to start but the other? To pick up another player, even to push competition might have meant the team made a mistake with CJB.

    What about veteran leadership at other areas? Could they have bolstered this weak team? You would have lost spots for this young talent, but is that talent better and have that much more upside than the veterans the team let go?

    Not addressing certain aspects the game is/was unconscionable.

    Will it get better? Perhaps, but the FO has bucked some convention and gone after youth. Will these players turn the team around? It may be a bit early to tell but I for one, don’t buy the injuries excuse since the team could have addressed this issue. They chose a different route. One that has severely impacted this season. Young players often make mistakes. Mistakes that cost games. That’s why so few are played on most teams.

    Who is responsible for those decisions?

    1. East,
      Maybe I’m missing the point, and I apologize if I took this statement the wrong way.

      “The question is could the team have done more to address the woes that have befallen them? If they could, who is responsible for addressing them? And why were they not addressed?”

      In my opinion yes they could have done more. I would contend that they went for luxury picks to early in the rebuild process.
      Rather than signing McKinnon, they could have gone harder for an OG that would have helped shore up the Oline. By doing this they could have better evaluated their skill position players and had a mostly intact oline to build on regardless of if Staley retires or not.
      The Pettis pick was another luxury pick IMO, as he was a developmental receiver. Which, while he may pay off big in the future meant that they bypassed selecting a db like Isaiah Oliver or Josh Jackson. By doing this, the injuries they have suffered to the DB’s wouldn’t have affected them as much.

      There is no doubt the team would have still been devastated by injuries but they could have been better prepared to handle some of them. As to the injuries, I don’t know what they are doing in terms of training, so I cannot speak to being more prepared to prevent them.

      1. I think that we may differ on the particulars the overall idea is there. I believe the team could have done more. I always have stated that Pettis was a luxury pick when they had greater needs. I think Streets was another one.

        Giving up draft capital to get Williams and CJB looks more and more risky every day.

        One thing to note from the presser, and maybe I misunderstood, but how is calling someone up from the PS any different than getting another player? You still have to release or put on IR a player?

    2. EC,

      Could they have done more? Yes I think they could have but you could say that about most teams in the league right now. As an organization you look at your roster and try to figure out a way to build it in a way where everything is coming together at the same time for a run at a SB. We can argue about how they are going about it, but I think we have to see their plan through and then judge how good or bad it was. This season was ruined by injury, not personnel imo. If JG were playing right now, we likely win the past two games and are dreaming about a playoff run on here. Instead we lose both and everything about the team gets criticized. This where we need to exert a little patience and understand the hand the Coaching staff has been dealt instead of rehashing every move they made. Just my opinion.

      1. Thing is. I don’t give a fig about other teams. I care about this one. I do believe that decisions should have consequences. I know we have to follow this to the end but I still believe that the FO is not beyond questioning.

        1. I don’t think they are beyond questioning either and I brought up other teams to show that this is not strictly 49er related. I agreed with you previously about not liking some of the picks and not going harder in FA, but this season is going down the tubes for one reason and that’s injuries. The second guessing about everything else is just an outlet for frustration which I can understand, but the big picture is still pointing to a big improvement next season as long as they can stay healthy.

          1. Like I stated before, I think you and I agree more than we disagree. I think injuries have played a large role, but not the only one.

            I also didn’t mean to sound flippant Regarding your example of other teams. I know the challenges are not exclusive, but as I’ve stated before, some of those problems we knew about and could have done something more about it.

            1. EC,

              Here’s what it comes down to for me:

              If Garoppolo doesn’t go down and the Niners win the past two games are we sitting here talking about perceived personnel issues and mistakes?

              Losing sucks and it permeates negative feelings that question everything about the subject matter. That is what is happening here imo. The team has made some mistakes in the draft no question about it, but it’s being inflated right now because the injuries have blown up the season.

              1. For me it wasn’t if but when for JG. In terms of winning games, maybe but I think the team may have won one and was likely to lose as many at some point.

                But I get what your saying. I think that seeing the over adulation of KS and to some degree JL drives me to see some the cracks in the foundation.

  11. It’s just a snowball effect. Injuries have taken a toll and everything else suffers. It matters not one bit what label Shanahan is willing to put on sloppy play at a press conference. Shanahan knows they’ve had too many penalties. I’m sure they are working to correct those mistakes.

  12. So I guess when the 49ers eventually FIRE Kyle, he won’t admit ever to being a bad coach that broke a promise to get the team to the promised land, but it turned into a 40 year walk in Mt. Sinai. Jed York SELL THE TEAM> That is the only real solution, you sell the team, the new owner brings in people that KNOW what they are doing> See SF Giants. See GS Warriors. You keep doing what you’re doing Kyle, you’re going to fail. YOu’re more the OC then a HC. Your team is undisciplined when they go out and lose to the last place team, just like a last place high school team that NEVER wins. I’m starting to get really tired of Kyle’s whining as he better sit down, shut up, lose the game, draft a QB. You better draft a QB Kyle. I don’t want to wait until 2020 to draft the so called good QB. THere has to be some QB out there in the NCAA that’s lighting is up and is draft worthy. STart Jimmy G for 3 years, have a drafted QB ready to take over. I pick Packers by 21, GB just got their 2 WRs back. Aw, too bad, the so called chance the 49ers had just went up in smoke and I’m sure ESPN right now is crying and sobbing they can’t flex the game that’s going to suck.

  13. I feel really bad for the October 21 schedule: you got a great game at 1:25 on CBS for whatever reason as it’s an NFC game and then you got the CRAPPY game with the good Rams vs. the ugly 49ers. I’m sure fans in the west and Missouri are going to be so pleased to watch the crappy game instead of the great game that everybody else is getting BUT the Bay Area. SOoner the Raiders leave, better off we’ll be as all 8 49er contests will be 1:05 games.

  14. Grant– Your ridocolous. Your agenda makes you look like an amateur.

    Here’s one for y’all?
    Backups lack the talent, experience, and reps!!
    Pressures on, they make mistakes. That’s every team,everywhere. Same player making the same mistakes? If your aware of it, what are you saying, that Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch arent??
    Some players are just not good!!
    Credit to Shanahan for not saying that, like ‘Gee guys I screwed up, Cuz Bobby Beathards grandson is terrible, he just doesn’t listen to me’

    And to whichever clown says Shanahan should get a OC….
    That’s just baffling to me. The play calling has been outstanding, and the offense has been better ever since he got here. There was some terrible offense here for almost a decade, most of you fairweather fans weren’t here for that, and nor was Grant. I doubt Grant even knows what an undisciplined team looks like. A team fractured from within….Even the Bengals self destructing vs the Steelers a few years back in the playoffs. The only chaos around this team is injuries and your lame articles.

    1. Prime, I completely agree with you. With these injuries backups are forced to play. Our team may not be very good right now, but at least they are seeing what depth they have and where they are lacking. As for undisciplined, it’s a young team, mistakes are going to happen. We were never going to be a playoff team this year.

      1. Peoples attitude remind me of what they were saying before the team went on a 5 game streak. Then the criticism stopped for a while, but I suspect their was some joy when the wins stopped coming this season. I suspect the reason for the lack of objectivity is a total lack of comprehension as to Shanahan and Lynch’s rebuild plan. They also do not understand their criteria for scheme fits. People are usually threatened by things they do not understand, especially if their ego’s are tied to the belief that they understand all aspects of football.

        Grant, as do many others on this board, does have a degree of knowledge in respect to certain aspects of football. But he has little comprehension about human behavioral dynamics. He pushed most of last season that Shanahan had lost the locker room. What total hogwash. That became evident on how the team came together at the end of the season. They never gave up even before the winning streak.

        Grant- stick with analyzing on the field performances and leave personality assesments and motivations to others. Before you can understand others you have to understand yourself and you are far from that. Some one like yourself , would only project your own personality traits onto others. Such as the trait of not wanting to admit their own shortcomings.

  15. Grant, did you actually ask him directly why they are undisciplined? Not that I agree with that assessment, but no coach of a completely undisciplined team would likely admit it.

    1. Maybe the better question would be- How are you planning and organizing, to instill more discipline in the team?
      Maybe if he still gets static, he could ask KS to define discipline.

      1. Sebbie, you know what discipline is. When coach Oga Sawara gets exposed, he stops attacking people and just writes about football.
        He even stopped blaming it on his wife how he exposed himself!

  16. The idea that Shanahan is soft on players or the FO does too little in the off-season is ridiculous. They are in year 2 of a massive rebuild. Not a reload (see what I did there)… Massive = very big IMO. Shanahan will self evaluate (See post Super bowl convo with Belicheck) and with a little luck on the injury front and 1 more year of a few high draft picks along with FA and year 3 just might be the year that the impatient cry babies dreamed this year would be. I believe they are actually ahead of schedule but had bad luck with injuries. It is what it is this year. All we should be looking for is for the young guys to develop and maybe evaluate Saleh to see if he is the DC to lead us to the promise Land in the coming years.

    1. Joe,
      Careful bud, some people don’t like hearing (seeing) the “D” word (development) around here.

      Instant gradification is the new normal in 49ville these days.
      The ownership knew that it was going to take time to rebuild a depleted roster hence the 6 yr hiring of Shanahan.

      I don’t denigrate tough questions leveled at Shanahan because he should take accountability for poor play and coaching.
      My issue is that the critics seem to forget that this team is only 21 games into a major building program.
      Oh, and did I mention season ending injuries to key players?
      Oh well.

      1. AES, I could not agree more. Shanahan does deserve some questioning for things after any loss whether they are a contending team or the current form. My issues are aimed at some people that already have their torches and rope in hand ready to take Shanny and Lynch to town square for the burning.

        A complex scheme mixed with backups all over the roster playing equals a product that looks less disciplined due to talent and less experience. It is pretty common sense if you take a step back and breathe. Not to mention it was already a roster with a few holes left anyways. Next year we will be contending for at least a playoff spot with better injury luck, a few more key Free Agents, a few more high draft picks and….DEVELOPMENT of younger players this year to emerge. 😎. Lynchahan is the best regime we have had since at least the early 90’s. They just can’t do it all in 2 years. I truly believe in this Regine. Not perfect yet but they are building and developing themselves also. Both very intelligent, smart football guys through and through.

        1. Joe,
          Agreed. The offense has a high learning curve and young players (in the majority) who are developing and adapting.

          We are not even a year and a half into the building process on a team that was decimated from the FO to the roster a couple of years ago. Patience is hard in a hurried world but it would be welcomed in our situation.

          Personally, I don’t see a playoff birth next year because the 2019 drafted players will also need to develop.
          2020 is my time table for this team to become perennial playoff and possibly SB contenders.

          Hey, I guess I’m more patient than most. Being a 49ers faithful since the days John Brodie, Ken Willard and Jimmy Johnson among others, has taught me that good times will come around.

              1. Hammer STFU, I dont care. This organization hasn’t got it right for the last 20 years so I think this approach deserves a chance. If you don’t like it don’t follow the team and go piss and moan elsewhere! Always complaining about something!

              2. “This organization hasn’t got it right for the last 20 years”

                Actually they have. Problem is, ownership ran off the 2 winning coaches that they had (5 playoff trips, 3 NFCCG, 1 Super Bowl trip) because of personality conflicts.

              3. Yeah so what? You think now that matters? Or your constant complaining?
                The point is nothing you say or whine about matters. The 49ers are going to do what they do and you, me Joe blow have no say nor do our criticisms matter.
                So here’s a really good piece of advice, sit back relax, STFU and watch the games.
                And if that doesn’t work for you, go follow another team. It’s that simple.

              4. So basically we should just shut the board down I guess since nothing that’s said here matters. Thanks for the enlightenment. I was sure that Lil Shanny poured over the comments. Rats. Or maybe it’s just that you don’t like what’s being said.

                “Hammer, STFU”

                I appreciate the kind words. Perhaps we could meet up at a game some time and share some waffles with Canadian maple syrup before going in.

              5. You realize that building brick by brick is old technology rarely used any longer right?

                It is used on a regular basis Jack.

    1. I believe we will Razor. The question is will Saleh grow enough to keep his job. You think he is or should be toast now? I’m still undecided on him but have a tendency to lean toward toast if this keeps up. Can’t shore up the defense 2 years in a row in garbage time of the season and keep your job. Gotta see it when it still counts!

      1. The defense did seem to shore up last year once players got healthy and JG took over at QB. Once JG took over, the 49ers time of possession improved tremendously, which kept the defense from wilting from being on the field too long. IMO, Saleh did a great job last year, given all of the injuries that the defense had to deal with. He’s not a magician.

        1. KT I agree with you there. However, there seems to be times last year as well as this year where there is very basic lapses in the defense that give up huge chunks. Also, 3rd down defense seems to be a glaring issue. This leads me to believe it MIGHT be a Saleh thing but he has some time to shore this up. That is why I am reserving judgement for now.

  17. Grant,

    He disagrees with you because TO’s and missed tackles are not examples of poor discipline. I think you misinterpreted McCarthy’s point too. He said they need to cut down on undisciplined penalties. He did not refer to TO’s and missed tackles as a disciplinary issue. If you asked Shanahan specifically about pre-snap penalties, my guess is he’d agree that is a result of the players needing to show better discipline. In this case you are lumping in every mistake they make as a discipline problem which is why he disagreed.

    1. Rocket– You are right on the money. Shanahan is very exacting in his quotes and responses. Grant would not have picked up on the detail because he had a predisposed agenda that his interpretation of Shanahans response would support. He as shown this same tendency in the past when he focused on the parts that supported and and left out the parts of practice that did not support his predisposed opinions on players. So typical of todays news media. They are less interested in objectivity, than promoting their own agenda’s.

    2. Rocket, there are many definitions of discipline. You are equating malfeasance and punishment to disciplinary action. That s one aspect of discipline, and committing penalties certainly are a part of a lack of discipline.
      But that is only one definition of discipline. I equate it more like a martial arts discipline. A karate or judo master will adhere to a set standard, act accordingly and obey all rules, to become disciplined in that art form.
      By equating discipline to luck, they are just being naive. Grant nailed it, and I am glad he exposed their weakness, so now, they may fix it.

      1. Poor comparison. There are many outliers that cause TO’s and missed tackles beyond discipline. They are often random occurrences that happen due to many different factors. I’ve already described them so not going to repeat here.

        1. Sure, I agree that discipline is not the only factor, but discounting discipline as irrelevant is counter productive, and counter intuitive.
          In my own personal opinion, I think the team played unfocused and undisciplined. Maybe you think they played focused and disciplined, but then we will have to agree to disagree.
          To me, an undisciplined team makes way too many mistakes. The false starts, dropped balls, missed tackles, turnovers. avoidable penalties are all self inflicted wounds, and could be prevented with better discipline. Better, more thorough preparations.
          Even the coaches were undisciplined, for wasting time outs.
          Maybe it would be better to describe what a disciplined team might look like.
          A disciplined team is thoroughly prepared so they can counter every contingency.
          A disciplined team avoids costly mistakes, and plays smart, efficient football.
          A disciplined team will have crisp, effective execution, and will never look confused.
          A disciplined team has mastered the playbook, with no players out of position, running the wrong routes, or missing assignments.
          A disciplined team will force their opponent into making mistakes, which then can be exploited.
          A disciplined team manages the game shrewdly and the game clock wisely.
          A disciplined team will almost always defeat an undisciplined team.

      1. Why don’t you reveal your true name instead of hiding behind your Defiant label?
        I have. Grant uses his real name, how can I do no less?

        1. Oh My, and here I thought that your wife made a mistake again, but NO she didn’t she actually LEFT YOU, so you don’t have to worry about Freddy stalking her anymore….

        2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, that is so Trumpian of you!
          Slipping in front of everybody and pretending that you did it on purpose!
          You sure are the king of trolls in my house!!!

  18. CJB- ‘It is just bad luck.’ I am hoping CJB does not have bad luck. Clay Mathews is working and preparing for an opportunity to blind side CJB. Hope CJB does not have bad luck, and have his tongue stuck out at that moment.
    Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
    It takes discipline to focus on the right things, and discipline to avoid self inflicted wounds. It takes discipline to prepare correctly and thoroughly.
    Denying they have a discipline problem, is another sign of a lack of discipline. Like Tomsula said, they need to own it, and correct it.
    A disciplined team does not defeat itself.

    1. Give us common folk one taste of power, we’re like the lion who tasted man. Nothing is ever so sweet again…

    1. You may be elevating this discussion from etymological levels to a new ontological level, viz, is our very football existence rendered meaningless due to rampant spiritual and physical indiscipline?

    1. Some thoughts:

      Max Williams – TE
      Tevin Coleman – RB
      Shane Ray – LB
      Dante Fowler – DE
      Devante Parker – WR
      Noah Spence – DE

  19. Usually I am skeptical of Grant’s criticisms of the 49ers coaching staff. But unfortunately I’ve been coming to some of the same conclusions myself. If you have enough bad luck…at some point you have to wonder how much of it is luck?

    Players are not only undisciplined but also unsure and lack confidence in their assignments. The more players miss assignments and are unsure/hesitant which can cause poor execution the greater the chances that undisciplined players are going to try to do too much and make up for the blown assignments which can cause more blown assignments. All this leads to more chaos which can lead to more injuries. Sure injuries can happen on any play in any give circumstance. But the chances of injuries decrease when everyone is executing their jobs properly.

    1. When you refer to lack of confidence in their assignments, I assume you are including the defense in that. But isn’t this “Pete Carroll” scheme supposed to be one of the simplest defensive schemes in the NFL? If so, God help this defense, if they ever switch to a more complex scheme.

      1. The relative simplicity of the scheme is a two edged sword. The simplest example of that is the single high safety. That’s a huge responsibility for one guy to patrol that much ground. He’d better know what he’s doing, make the correct reads etc…. A two high scheme halves the responsibility and the risk. Another example is the attacking of the gaps that Saleh employs. Attacking a single gap seems like a simple enough assignment. Keep in mind that the original 4-3 under scheme….. even thought it’s a single gap scheme….it employs more gap control tactics. But there’s more Miami 43 scheme in Saleh’s defense with linemen shooting gaps. When you shoot a gap; you’d better read the play right or you’re going leave gaping holes open and expose your linebackers….this part of the “all gas and no brakes” part of the defense.

        1. What’s your take on the wide gap Saleh employees between the defensive tackles (i.e. there is no one playing 0 or 1 tech). The speculation is that it’s been introduced to help our DTs such as Buckner avoid double teams. So far, I haven’t seen a positive result.

          1. If I had to guess, he’s helping out the edge rushers by pushing the DTs closer the edge. It’s almost like flooding a blocking zone is some ways. It might also help with those T/E stunts….I’m totally guessing.

            All these things he tries to help manufacture pass rush are only going to be effective to a limited degree. Most of these things work when the base pass rush works and you’re just trying to change things up to catch the offense off guard. But if what you’re doing isn’t working and you’re trying something else…well the offense knows that too. I guess it’s like trying rely on your off speed pitches when your fastball isn’t working. The off speed pitches work best when hitters have to look for the fast ball. Offenses aren’t really looking out for the Niner’s pass rush in it’s base look.

            1. Like Cubus, I’ve wondered about the line formation, too. It seems Saleh is trying to find something that will work (“manufacture pass rush”) after failing to get any sort of consistent pressure in base downs. The linemen (except maybe Buckner) are not winning their one-on-one matchups.

              1. Is it Saleh or Kiffin? Speaking of Buckner, I haven’t heard his name called to much in the last couple of games. I noticed that against Arizona and they then showed a slow motion of a play. Buckner was stood up by Lupati (one on one). Not sure what to make if anything of that. Could have just been an isolated play.

  20. A lot of preaching for patience. I get that.

    From my perspective the end of 2017 was a bit of a mirage with regards to what should have been expected this season, ie the playoff predictions and those types of things.

    Those saying they see a big improvement next year when the guys who were injured are missing that this team wasn’t particularly good even with the starting QB playing. The offense managed 16 points in Minnesota and 10 points in the first half against KC.

    Shanahan Lynch have done a number of things to put the team in the position they’re currently in, primarily not having a good backup plan in place. As the saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

    For instance, going with only 2 QB’s on the roster makes sense if you have a decent backup. Problem is they went into last season with only C.J. Beathard, a rookie a year ago. Everyone knew with him as the backup that winning would be exponentially more difficult should Garoppolo go down. We know what happened.

    Minnesota and Philly were able to do what they did last season because they had veteran backups who, despite not great prior success, had shown to be a better QB than Beathard.

    They brought McKinnon in to be the main guy in the backfield. He goes down just more than a week before the opener, how do they respond? By doing nothing and just rolling forward with Breida, Morris and Mostert. Sat on their hands.

    They brought in Richard Sherman coming off an Achilles injury. Good signing if you also have a backup plan. But unfortunately they didn’t have one, unless you consider having a guy who was on 3 teams last year in Greg Mabin as the backup, or a guy who’s shown not to be very good as a corner or the ability to stay healthy in Jimmie Ward.

    Same goes for the pass rush issue. They knew after last season that it needed to be improved. They released their sack leader, brought back a guy who hasn’t shown the ability to be effective in that role and signed a guy in free agency who had not shown the ability either.

    There’s more, but I’ll stop here.

    They’ve proven that hope is not a good strategy.

    1. “Everyone knew with him as the backup that winning would be exponentially more difficult should Garoppolo go down.”

      I certainly knew that, but not sure you did.

      Jack Hammer says:
      September 25, 2018 at 9:00 am
      Really hope that Beathard shows improvement in his second stint as the starter.

      Kinda like Jeff Garcia, who after success in his first start went downhill and was benched. When they brought him back in a few games later he really too off.

      Fingers crossed.

      1. Didn’t say anything in that comment you just quoted from me that I thought he would be good. i was hoping, and like i said in my comment above, hope is not a good strategy.

        Thanks for taking the time to look that up though.

    2. Does going with only 2 QBs on the roster really make difference? The third stringer is the scout QB weather or not he’s on the roster or the practice squad.

      I’m not sure it’s the 49er’s Plan B that is the issue. I think it’s Plan A that is the issue. Even before Garappolo’s injury there were miscues and problems with receivers not running the right routes, Jimmy not reading coverage or anticipating routes against man coverage well or fast enough. And the miscue problems are double on the defensive side of the ball.

      Plugging in Beathard into a problematic Plan A just makes things worse.

      I don’t think drawing a comparison to Philly and Minnesota equate. As it appears they had the rest of their respective teams in synch and all they had to do is plug in their capable back ups. To what degree Beathard, Maybin , Ward, etc…are capable is debatable. But IMO they’re not plugging into a fully functioning unit to begin with and it keeps getting worse with every new piece they keep plugging in.

      1. You’re harder on them than I am.

        The only reason for the comparison to Minnesota and Philly is that both teams had veteran backup QB’s in place, and the inexperienced “Beathard” type guy was their #3.

        Also really like the way that Philly in particular built that team last year. They made multiple additions in the secondary with good backup plans behind that. Even this season, easily replacing an injured WR with a FA after the season started.

        49ers have stuff happen and then either do nothing or bring in guys with little to no experience.

        1. The only time the front office and coaching staff seem to favor veterans is if they are scheme specific (like Sherman, Malcolm Smith, Hoyer, Garcon, Beedles…etc…). From that standpoint, Beathard had a handful of starts under his belt. I mean, I’m sure they’d have liked to have Hoyer as an experienced back up but it seems like he was part of some unseen handshake agreement that had him go to the Patriots.

          But this kind of brings me to another point. Which is I think the coaches are too scheme specific. . That might sound odd coming from a football scheme find like me. I love me some X’s and O’s. But to me it might reflect some lack of flexibility on the coaching staff. The insistence at running a single high safety scheme boggles my mind. Maybe Colbert can do it. He did it last year. But right now it just isn’t working (and I was saying that before last week’s TD blunder by Colbert). Players are screwing up their zone coverage assignments. Switch to more man and some 2 high coverages. And too Saleh’s credit he’s starting to come around….but only a little bit….in half measures. To run 2 high in the base all he’d have to do is have Armstead 2 gap. That guy is a natural 2 gap player anyway! Basically play less of an aggressive go get them type of defense and more of a containment type of offense…keep everything in front of you in the front 7 and in the secondary (which is what cover 3 is supposed to be if you’ve got a good deep safety).

          On offense? yeah…some of Grant’s points are valid (I think they were his points). 5 man protection is stupid…expecting the QB to beat pressure through quick decisions and precision passing isn’t going to work all the time with Beathard. He might get there but right now he needs help. Maybe clean up the routes. Harbaugh removed site adjustments in his first couple of years with the 49ers. Maybe remove some of the site adjustments and option routes for now.

          I dunno…I’m spit balling ideas. But I think the mostly strict adherence to scheme and scheme players might be choking this team.

          1. Exactly, be more unpredictable. I would like to see more counters and misdirections. Fly sweeps and reverses may catch them off guard. At times, have the RB swing out to give CJB an outlet pass.
            On defense, maybe they should switch to the 3-4 at times, and utilize Thomas correctly. Sticking with only one system makes it easier to attack.

    3. You can’t expect the front office to shore up DEPTH in key areas in year 2 of this massive rebuild…They just got the starting QB, RB & CB this off-season for crying out loud. They also tried for Khalil Mack. Another year of free agency, drafting and hopefully no injuries to key players and we are in business.
      C’mon man!

      1. Come on Prime,

        “They just got the starting QB, RB & CB this off-season for crying out loud.”

        They picked up Garoppolo last year. Doesn’t matter, they could have brought in a veteran backup before 2017 or this year. Instead they chose to go with Beathard.

        As for the RB, there’s a number of guys out there. When McKinnon went down they did nothing. Just rolled forward with their same guys even though Mostert isn’t really anything but a ST guy.

        The CB they brought in was broken down. To back him up with basically rookies was a disaster waiting to happen.

        “They also tried for Khalil Mack.”

        Of course they did. There was no chance that the Raiders were going to keep him in the Bay Area. A blind squirrel could see that.

        1. “Of course they did. There was no chance that the Raiders were going to keep him in the Bay Area. A blind squirrel could see that.”

          Why? The two teams aren’t even in the same conference, so what does geographical location have to do with it?

          1. It’s one thing to get ridiculed about sending a guy halfway across the country. It’s entirely different when that guy is making waves in your backyard.

            It would be nonstop. Worse than it already was.

            1. Yeah, that answer occurred to me, but if the niners presented the best offer, then the Raiders FO has to be “disciplined” enough to accept it and not worry about what others think.

            2. Why would the Raiders get ridiculed for trading Mack to the Niners? He’d just get injured for the rest of the season anyway.

    1. You forgot the rest of Colbert’s response:

      and it was just a bad play on my part. It is something that I have to correct

      The complaint of the week is that Shanny’s team is playing undisciplined. Meaning they are making the same mistakes because the Coaches are either not teaching them well enough, practicing it enough or disciplining them when they screw up enough. Players make mistakes as Colbert is admitting to here. It doesn’t mean the team is undisciplined. It means Colbert made a mistake. Big difference as I’ve pointed out a number of times now.

      1. He didn’t misuse it.

        It’s the discipline to do his job and trust the others to do theirs that he’s talking about.

        It’s like the person who’s on a diet plan, but isn’t disciplined enough to stay on it and do what their trainer has instructed them to do. That trainer then needs to keep working with them to help them change their habits until they’re disciplined enough to do it on their own.

        1. Rocket:

          I think it’s good that you are trying to nail down when the word “discipline” applies and doesn’t apply. It’s made me rethink my use of the word in the context of football. However, I think the word does apply when used in the sense of assignments and just doing the job a player is assigned to do and trust the others around him. This can be a losing proposition for players sometimes, because fans will blame them for the mistakes since they are closest to the ball when in reality it was another player’s mistake. Of course, you’d want the coaches to realize this and not unnecessarily “punish” the player who appeared to make the mistake. If the coaches aren’t “disciplined” themselves, however, players would get left hung out to dry and would adjust accordingly (probably not for the better). Don’t really know, just trying to think it through.

          1. Cubus,

            Yes there are different contexts to discipline. In this case it’s Colbert using the term to admit a mistake. The way Grant has been using it is in terms of Shanahan running an undisciplined team due to random things like Turnovers. There is a big difference in context here.

            1. Turnovers aren’t always random though. They can be a sign of an undisciplined team. I get that Grant lumps them all together.

              I didn’t think 2 of Beathard’s TO were on him but 2 were and they showed something troubling about the kid.

              The same with penalties and other parts of team execution. They may be bad luck but they aren’t always.

        2. And how does that relate to the Coaches Jack? That’s the player making a mistake. The lack of discipline angle has been used as a complaint against the Coaches. This is a player describing himself as undisciplined because he screwed up. That isn’t the kind of discipline that we’ve been debating and certainly not what Grant has been writing about.

          1. It’s about drilling the techniques into the players so that, as Belichick says they “do their job”.

            Especially with zone coverages, or holding onto the ball. Fundamental things like that.

            And the coach can also help out by not putting the ball into the hands of a guys who’s proven to be prone to turn the ball over.

            1. It’s about drilling the techniques into the players so that, as Belichick says they “do their job”.
              Especially with zone coverages, or holding onto the ball. Fundamental things like that.

              This sounds like something Seb would say. What do you think happens in the offseason program and TC? What do you think they are doing in practice? In the meetings? Seriously, you are describing things that are football 101 for every Coach.

              And the coach can also help out by not putting the ball into the hands of a guys who’s proven to be prone to turn the ball over.

              You can’t play scared. You play with who you have and you call the game you think will win. Nobody gets better and you pretty much guarantee a loss when you play conservative.

              1. “This sounds like something Seb would say.”

                Way to call names. Thought you were better than that.

                “What do you think happens in the offseason program and TC? What do you think they are doing in practice? In the meetings.”

                If I remember correctly, the sloppiness we are seeing from this team in games is the same type of sloppiness that was reported about during training camp by the person who writes for the Press Democrat.

                “Seriously, you are describing things that are football 101 for every Coach.”

                You’re right, it is football 101.

                “You can’t play scared.”

                No one is saying to play scared. It’s about playing smart, knowing to strengths and weaknesses of your team and working within that framework to put them in positions that maximize the opportunity to succeed while reducing the potential for failure. (See tweet from Grant on number of passes for Beathard vs Garoppolo as an example)

                “You play with who you have and you call the game you think will win.”

                Very true, and most teams would do things like take a knee at the end of a half when they’re ahead with a backup QB realizing they’re in a good spot and the negatives outweigh the positives when there’s only 47 seconds left on their own 25. Or when you’ve been successful with screen passes that take advantage of a DE who is flying up the field like Jones was on Sunday you don’t wait until just before half to go back to it. Simple things, or as you said, Football Coaching 101.

                “Nobody gets better and you pretty much guarantee a loss when you play conservative.”

                There’s a difference between playing smart and playing conservative. That seems to be lost on Shanahan.

              2. ‘This sounds like something seb would say.’
                Someday, when you achieve legendary status, you will grok. ;p

              3. Seb is blah, blah, blah, and now Hammer is wah, wah,wah.
                One guy can’t shut up and the other can’t stop crying. A match made in hell!

              4. That’s it? Again the storm thing? Between you, Hammer and Grant, ya all need a new angle. It’s getting boring!

            1. Read it again. I said there are different contexts to it and this explanation of discipline is not what Grant has been preaching.

              1. I disagree. This is part of what Grant meant by lack of discipline. At least that was my understanding of what he meant.

              2. Grant attributed turnovers and missed tackles to a lack of discipline. Said that to Shanahan directly and was shot down. Players are taught and Coached to play a certain way. Once they are on the field it’s on them. If a guy screws up something he’s been practicing all week, that is not on the Coaches. If a ball gets tipped at the LOS and intercepted, that is not a lack of discipline.

              3. “If a guy screws up something he’s been practicing all week, that is not on the Coaches”.

                When its a one off or rare, or is one player, I agree. That’s not the coaches. That’s the players. When it becomes a consistent theme spread across the team, the coaches also deserve some of that scrutiny.

                “If a ball gets tipped at the LOS and intercepted, that is not a lack of discipline.”

                I agree. But when did that become the problem we were discussing? Good passes tipped off receivers hands are a lack of focus from the receiver, which is part of being mentally disciplined. It has led to two INTs the past two weeks. There have also been some other important plays missed for the same reason, including a TD by Garcon.

                Blown coverages by defenders are a form of lack of discipline, from either not knowing their assignment or willfully abandoning it. It has directly led to two TDs the past 2 weeks.

                Some missed tackles can also be blamed on lack of discipline. Not having the discipline to perform the appropriate technique they have been taught.

                The 49ers are by no means the only team with these issues, and no team plays a perfect game. But the 49ers have been making more of these errors than most, including penalties. At some point the finger of blame has to extend beyond just the players.

        3. Exactly Jack. Discipline isn’t just about penalties.

          It takes discipline to learn and do your job correctly. Mental miscues are a lack of discipline.

          1. Not sure I agree. If a player blows his assignment to me that is a mental error or mistake. If a player tries to help out another player, for whatever reason, and which help will jeopardize his own assignment, then that is a product of not being disciplined.

            And sometimes it’s not an easy call for the player, because perhaps the guy he is helping out blew his assignment. It is after all a “team” sport, so there might be cases where it is prudent for a player to abandon his assignment to take over someone else’s.

              1. Yes, part of being mentally disciplined is knowing, but execution has a few more variables outside one’s control–no matter how highly focused and knowing you are.

                Example: You are a Guard. Your mind is 1000% focused–you know the play, the technique which applies to you, the assignments of all others on offense, etc. At the snap you pop the charging DT hard, separate, and begin to pull–just as you should. A split second later the DE crashes down the line and takes you out at the knees. You are no longer in the play and the RB is stuffed after a 1 yard gain. Your execution was sound until the DE took you out. Were you lacking discipline?

              2. If you execute the assignment you are supposed to, what is the problem? Sometimes plays don’t work out. You are playing against 11 other guys that are also tasked with an assignment.

                That’s really not at all what we are discussing. We are discussing when players don’t execute their assignment.

              3. You stated: “Part of being mentally disciplined is knowing and executing your assignment.”

                Looking at the structure of your sentence, it would appear that you were stating that being mentally disciplined is 1) knowing your assignment, and 2) executing your assignment.

                It seems we may be in agreement…actual execution has many variables outside one’s control. On the execution side, yes, “Sometimes plays don’t work out.”

                So, there is no problem…

              4. This difference is really simple. In the example you gave the guard was doing what he was supposed to do, but the defender beat him.

                When a Safery doesn’t play his deep 1/3 responsibility that’s not something an instance of another player simply being better. That’s a lack of discipline to play their responsibility.

                When a receiver has a good pass go off their hands that’s not an instance where the defense made a better play. That’s a lack of discipline to focus on the catch.

                When a defensive player misses a tackle because of bad form by arm tackling, putting their head down, or just throwing a shoulder at the ballcarrier, that’s not because of the offensive player making a great play necessarily. It’s an instance of the player not being disciplined enough in their technique to take a good angle, etc.

                This is really all a fairly easy discussion that’s clearly visible with this team in a number of ways every week. And yes, all teams make undisciplined plays. Usually the team that makes the fewest is the one that wins. Some teams minimize them to the point that they win consistently.

              5. Actually Scooter you are leaving out an important part of the equation. The coach can overcoach and give too much information and confuse the player into THINKING too much about his assignment rather than executing the play.

  21. Most posters have determined that the 9ers are undisciplined–perhaps grossly undisciplined–and that Shanahan is way under water. He hasn’t the abilities of an effective, successful HC. We see what happens in games, we read Grant’s material (and that of others). We watch for defensive behavior in pressers. On and on. We draw conclusions–as does Grant. Anyone bother to wonder what individual players think and experience when it comes to discipline so far this season?

    Questions for all–and perhaps Grant too… Why hasn’t Grant sat down one-on-one with players to ask them about team discipline? Is there no discipline? Some? Is this just a smokescreen? Red herring? Root causes? If Grant’s had these conversations with players, why hasn’t he shared them? Is Grant uncomfortable meeting with players on sensitive–possibly explosive issues? Has Grant been banned from the locker room? Might be a bit much for Grant to ask players about their HC or GM; however, Grant appears to enjoy getting at the elephant in the room, so why not?

    What do the players believe about this season’s ‘discipline’ issues?

    1. I think most people to include myself are just fine with KS and Lynch. I don’t think its a coaching problem, and if you interview the players each one of them will tell you they messed up. Its no secret of the who, and mistakes do happen, the problem is it happens much to frequent and for a whole lot of games.

      1. I’m pretty much in the same boat. Going a bit wider, I’m a little puzzled why Grant doesn’t offer more player insight across the year. Curious if it’s a personal decision–which is okay–or if other factors are in play.

        1. The Athletic has decent Niners coverage with Barrows on the beat writing a daily article, Nguyen doing the video breakdown of the latest game, and Lombardi doing interesting weekly stories.

      2. UC,

        The issue for me is that some – not you – are blaming things on the Coaches that are beyond their control. They teach, practice and go through walk throughs to make sure everybody knows what they are doing on a given play. If Saleh is calling a goal line defense facing a 3 Wide formation on 1st and 10 from midfield, that’s on him. If Shanahan continues calling 7 step drops when his QB is getting pummelled every time he does it, that’s on him. When players are put in position to make a play and don’t, that’s on them. Other than pre-snap penalties, none of what is being talked about around here the past couple of days has anything to do with discipline.

            1. That is why Saleh stated-‘ So it is whistle to whistle, and making sure we are extremely disciplined in our coverages.’

  22. “Carry it high and tight,” Shanahan explained. “Five points of pressure (on the ball).” Sorry, but when the sacks and strips are coming from behind you that rhetoric does not cut it when you are in the process of your throwing motion to deliver the ball. Why put 5 out in the pattern when protection is critical? Why not engage in more “chips” from RBs and/or TEs if protection is shakey? Why not move the pocket BY DESIGN rather than have the QB set up 90% of the time at the same spot so even a blind rush to a spot potentially could result in a sack? Why not use your FB as a 3rd down protector as he also is a bigger person, a better pass protector and also decent as a receiver for check-downs if he has a chance to leak out after making sure the pocket is secure? One would think that HC KS would have some alternative ideas to give his OC KS to shore up protection. Looks like KS is thinking more like Pat Shurmur of the Giants/Cleveland Browns as HC/OC than thinking and creating like Andy Reid, Kansas City’s HC/OC.

    1. The overwhelming majority of the sacks this season have been of the coverage variety, some combined with poor pocket movement of the QB. In one of the strip sacks last Sunday, there was practically an open meadow in front of CJ to move up and deliver. Instead, he remained stationary in the back. Also, I believe that Kyle was referring to Mostert’s and other RB’s fumble issues with regard to his comments 5 points and carrying the ball high.

      1. Yep, they’ve had plenty of time to make the throw most of the time but the receivers weren’t getting open. The 3rd down clutch plays by Taylor from last year have disappeared too….

        1. Yeah, Taylor has been the biggest disappointment for me. He seemed to be able to create separation at will last year. Hard to imagine that just disappears. Must be the injury. If Taylor is out this game, it would seem that Richie should get the nod. I’d like to see more what he can do.

          What do you think of trying to pry Spence loose from the Bucs? I know he’s had some injury issues, but he’s still young and was highly touted in the draft.

        2. I asked Barrows two weeks ago about Taylor’s lack of production this season, and he said he was pretty certain that the back was causing significant problem to Taylor. Kyle confirmed it today.

              1. As in Noah? Didn’t really like him coming out tbh. Now the Bucs, who aren’t exactly replete with edge rushers, are believed to be looking to trade him. Either he isn’t that good, still has off field issues, or the shoulder injuries he has had are not healing… or some combo of these. I would pass.

    2. He’s done exactly what you are suggesting as far as chips and keeping the backs in to protect many times Mike. The reason there aren’t more designed roll outs is because that cuts off half the field and it’s something you do as a change of pace not as the main focus of the offense. It’s also harder to block because the OL doesn’t know exactly where the QB is like they do when he drops back. It amazes me that some of you think you have the answers and the guys who get paid to do it and have done it most of their lives somehow haven’t figured out what you have.

      1. Rollouts are not any harder for the oline.

        What makes the job harder for the oline is: a) the QB is consistently around the same launch point making it easier on the pass rush, or b) the QB starts scrambling, and then they don’t know where he is.

        1. I disagree. It’s harder for the backside protection especially and worse when the QB starts to step up or back. Most QB’s throw from the same launch point, usually 3-5 step drop. How many times do you see Brady in a moving pocket? It’s fine to move the pocket once in awhile but it’s not something you do as a focal point.

            1. Then why even mention it? Calling a couple of designed roll outs isn’t going to make a difference in pressure. How quickly the QB is getting rid of the ball is the only thing that can combat pressure consistently.

              1. “Calling a couple of designed roll outs isn’t going to make a difference in pressure.”

                If you can move the spot it forces the defense to adjust their rush angles. This in turn can definitely help to slow them down a split second which could make the difference at the speed these guys play.

                “How quickly the QB is getting rid of the ball is the only thing that can combat pressure consistently.”

                Partially, but not totally. Moving the pocket, screens, draws, are all ways to combat pressure on a regular basis.

      2. ‘The reason there aren’t more designed roll outs is because it cuts off half the field’. Such a tired old excuse.
        Maybe they can flood a zone to that side, so there will be an open player that the QB can designate and throw to.
        The reason to roll out the QB is to be more unpredictable. The pass rush cannot tee off, and rush to a spot.
        Another benefit of a mobile pocket may be that they can design plays rolling away from their best pass rusher. In other words, roll away from Clay Mathews.
        Another possibility is for CJB to roll out, so he can run past the sticks out of bounds so he does not get injured. He should be coached to slide feet first if confronted with a tackler.
        I like the designed roll out, when the TE pinches in the DE, then runs down field for an easy target for the QB.
        The good thing is- CJB is a mobile QB. He can run, and can be elusive if allowed to escape the pocket.

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