Kyle Shanahan says Ahkello Witherspoon will miss “at least a month” with a foot sprain

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (23) is introduced before an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

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

 

Opening comments:

“[CB Ahkello] Witherspoon’s the same guy, same with injuries from last night. He’s got a foot sprain. It’s going to be some time with him. We are still waiting on another opinion from a foot specialist. It’s going to be some time.”

How long did they say about?

“At least a month.”

What does that do for you guys as far as trying to get through without him?

“We’ve got [DB] D.J. Reed [Jr.] who can play corner, we’ve got [CB] Emmanuel [Moseley] and we’ve also got [CB Jason] Verrett. We’ve got three guys who can do it. We know [DB] Jimmie [Ward] can also play corner. We’ve got other guys on this team who can play it so it’ll be next man up.”

Do you look to the trade market?

“Yeah, always. We always look at the trade market and we’ll continue to, but it’s got to make sense for us.”

And when you say making sense, what are we talking about as far as things have to make sense?

“How much does it help the team right now and how much does it help the organization going forward. You always think of now, but you also think of years in advance too and how it affects salary caps, draft picks, things like that. The risk-reward on everything.

Is that something that as a head coach you look at more than you would as a position coach?

“Definitely. Yeah, definitely.”

What about Jason Verrett? He was in and then he was quickly out of the game. Does that have any bearing on his status moving forward?

“No, it doesn’t have any bearing on his status. We’ve been wanting to get Jason out there, it’s been a while since he played. He had a healthy week of practice so we had a package in the game for him that we hadn’t used up to that time and then when Spoon went out, it just made sense to get him in there. I know he had the PI, which he kind of got left alone on that post, we usually have a safety in the middle field there so he got in a tough position and got the PI. I said in the press conference that I thought it was a double move. It wasn’t a double move. The quarterback just looked the other way and he just got a little bit too relaxed when the quarterback wasn’t looking his way. Then he came back and the guy snuck down the sidelines. So, he hadn’t played a lot of football and especially after those two plays we wanted to get E-Man in who had played a lot more this year.”

How do you move forward as far as determining who your right cornerback is going to be for the Browns game?

“It’ll be all about practice. We have a number of guys who are candidates for it. E-Man would be the lead guy right now with how he finished that game and came in and what he’s done for us this whole year. But, we’ll give all the other guys a chance too with these practices we’ll have before Cleveland.”

How do you do that with limited reps?

“Just evaluate how they’re moving, how they go, how they’re working in the game plan. We’ve seen all of them pretty well so we have a pretty good idea. Verrett keeps getting better each week, so we’ll see how that looks, too.”

What impresses you about Moseley?

“Everything we’ve asked him to do he’s done at a high level. He first earned his way onto our team by how hard he goes on special teams. He’s not the biggest guy, but he doesn’t seem like that when he’s out there. He plays very physical, he’s extremely detailed in everything he does. Everything you give him, even stuff that’s new for him, in a few days he always figures it out. He’s very football savvy and has the ability to cover.”

What are you going to do at long snapper with LS Jon Condo retiring?

“We have someone coming in tonight. We’ll have someone signed by tomorrow.”

Not LS Colin Holba?

“No.”

Obviously, you didn’t expect Condo to retire. What was the situation there?

“He just said his heart wasn’t in it. Definitely surprised us. He did a real good job for us in the game, had a good week of practice, but I do appreciate him coming and telling us what was in his head. I have a lot of respect for that. Sometimes that’s hard for guys to do. He was honest with himself, he knew his heart really wasn’t in it and then he was honest with us. He just said he knows his heart’s not in it and he doesn’t want to end up letting us down. Whether it’s next week or a few weeks in advance. I was very appreciative for him coming and telling us right away and that’ll give us a chance to replace him.”

When you have a Bye week this early in the season, do you approach it differently than it is when it’s later in the season when guys need more time off?

“No. I mean, I’m approaching it a little differently than I have in the last couple years because I didn’t like how we played coming back versus Tampa last year. I’m trying to get some extra practices in. The one thing that’s different for us this week than what we’ve had is we’re coming back, our game after the Bye week is a Monday night game so we get an extra day there anyways. Our goal is to get three extra practices in that we didn’t last year, three more than last year. We’ll get one in tomorrow and then we’ll get the Monday and Tuesday when we come back.”

So, after tomorrow they’re gone?

“Yep.”

What do you guys do? What do the coaches do?

“We sit here and review a few things. We know we’re going to have Cleveland on a long week with extra time, but then the following week we’ve got the Rams on a short week coming off a Monday night game so we can get some of our busy work for that, get ahead on it a little bit so the six-day week for them isn’t so bad.”

As you went over the film, aside from the turnovers yesterday, what’d you like about how QB Jimmy Garoppolo played?

“He was under duress and he hung in there. He made some big-time throws, we missed the safety one time where we should have had it and he didn’t hesitate, he didn’t flinch, he hung in there took the shot and made a hell of a throw and also got the penalty with it. We had a number of hots in the game where we had to get rid of it and he hung in there and got rid of it and threw good balls. They came after him a ton and he answered.”

In the locker room you said something to the effect of that’s been as good of a win as you’ve been a part of. Do you mean just as a head coach, your football career, and why was that?

“I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of a win with five turnovers that you win. That was impressive that we were able to win that, not the five turnovers. I think a lot of people who’ve been in this league for a while haven’t been a part of too many wins like that. I think it takes a lot of resilience from all three phases of our guys. They just kept going after them. Four turnovers in the first half was extremely discouraging, but when it was 6-3 we felt good coming out and just the way the defense was responding and talking, they were so upbeat at halftime. Just their confidence level was huge. They got a turnover right in the third quarter in that first drive that got the offense going a little bit. Then to finally get our rhythm and then to go down and fumble there at the end in the red zone, that was kind of crushing to where it’s like, man you did that with five-minutes left in the game. It was hard enough to overcome the first half and then do that it’s almost the writing on the wall. For the defense to step it up, get the ball right back and to be able to run four-minutes off the clock on the 25-yard line going in just running the ball and doing well, it was a cool victory that there was just a ton of adversity in the game and all three phases did things that we needed each other to do to win the game.”

Do you get more satisfaction out of a game where you play not well all the way around and you face adversity rather than a game where you’re rolling from start to finish?

“Definitely, yeah. I got a lot more satisfaction out of the Tampa one and that one just because those are the ones that are really tough. The Cincinnati game was a little make believe to me. Things just went, well it wasn’t make believe, the guys earned it and it was well, but you should win when things are going like that. But, the rest of the NFL, there’s so many plays in a game that are the difference between winning and losing and I felt like there was 75 of them during that game, which is extremely intense for both sides. To be able to handle that throughout and to be able to be in an intense game like that throughout from beginning to end and guys never waver. When you lose a lot, which we have over the last few years, losing can be contagious and even though you want to block it out, there’s somewhere in there like, ‘Hey, we can’t let this happen again.’ When bad things happen, that feeling does come up. I thought it was obvious to our team, which I feel just watching them and being around them is the opposite feeling. The worse it’s going, the more guys still believe that we’re going to win. I think that’s been evident, especially in those two weeks that I mentioned. That’s something that’s extremely important to teams who want to win and win enough games to get into the playoffs.”

Is that a psychological thing for you guys or is it the fact that they know there’s more talent around them and they have the guys who can overcome that?

“It’s both. It’s both. You’ve got to believe. There’s lots of things that make you believe. You’ve got to believe that you’re good enough, and I think we’ve added some guys that definitely help and I think guys that have played here know that they’re good enough. They’ve gone and been in a lot of situations. I feel like guys are getting better and that’s the confidence that helps you believe in yourself.”

Where is RB Tevin Coleman in his return from his ankle?

“I think he’s got a good chance to come back next week. He was just jogging and moving pretty well last week, just watching him run on the side. So, he won’t be out there tomorrow, but hopefully we’ll get him practicing here next Monday.”

You’ve gotten good production out of your three reserve running backs. When Coleman comes back, does that create an untenable situation with four running backs?

“Yeah, it’s always pretty tough to use four backs throughout a game. But, that’s a problem I’m looking forward to having to try to figure out.”

Has RB Jeff Wilson Jr. added a dimension to your red zone offense?

“I mean, I think he’s ran the ball very well in the red zone. I think we’ve blocked pretty well down there, too. I think he’s been more of our down, north and south, downhill runner. I think Tevin’s very similar to that, also, and I think at times [RB] Raheem [Mostert] and [RB Matt] Breida can do that. We’re willing to use all of them, but what we’ve asked Jeff to do in these two weeks he’s done very well.”

You’ve been known for using a lot of 21 personnel in the pass. It seems like you’re getting a lot of mileage out of 22 personnel this year. What do you like about that particular unit grouping?

“I mean, I can’t tell you all the things, but we do use that a lot in the pass. We’ve used 22 and also what we call 13, it’s just a tight end playing [FB Kyle Juszczyk] Juice’s spot, so something that we do a lot. Teams don’t do a lot out of that schematically, so somebody’s going to slow down the game a little bit for what you’re attacking. When you’re running the ball well, the edges are a lot wider when you have tight ends in there. Guys are further away and you make people commit to the run and sometimes that opens up some good passes, too.”

Mostert in the past has had fumbling issues. He had another one on the pitch. Where is your, I guess, trust with him as far as just keeping a hold onto the ball?

“Well, I mean, he’s built up some trust and from where he went last year to what he’s done since then. But yeah, it was tough. You’ve got to keep your eyes on that on the pitch. That was just kind of a lackadaisical play for lack of a better word. No one took it away from him, he just took his eyes off the pitch and looked at the defense, which can’t happen. Then the next one was one of our best blocked plays of the day. He got right through to the safety and it looked like he was covering up the ball well, but it looked like [Pittsburgh Steelers S] Minkah [Fitzpatrick], I think it was Minkah, got his helmet on the ball and popped it out and it can’t happen. Whether it’s Raheem or whether it’s anybody, you fumble the ball too much and you’re not going to get too many opportunities. Raheem’s done well with it, he’s improved from the past, he does a hell of a job for us as a running back, but he’s got to make sure he holds onto the ball.”

With the diving catch and that stiff arm, was that Kyle Juszczyk’s best game?

“I think it was, I mean, one that everyone’s going to notice, definitely, because the plays he made in the pass game were very impressive. The diving catch, I thought there was no way he was getting to that and somehow he did and then the one he made down the seam, throwing the safety out of the way and stuff, those were two extremely impressive plays, and he played better in the run game. He was one of our best players in the run game. He does that a lot, but when he makes some plays like that in the pass game, I think he gets a little more credit and it’s deserved.”

How is WR Jalen Hurd progressing and do you still expect him back for Week 5?

“Yeah, I do expect him back. This will be a big week for him with rehab and stuff while we’re gone. But yeah, I’m hoping he’ll be back next Monday and I’m expecting him to.”

What is the issue that he’s dealing with exactly with the back?

“I mean, he had a fracture in his back. A hairline deal, something. It’s been a serious injury, that’s why he had to rest it for about a month and we’re getting close to where he should be ready to go. Hopefully it’ll work out right for him. You never know when they come back out if that can act up again, but we feel it’s healing up and hopefully he’ll be able to come out here and help us.”

How did you evaluate OL Justin Skule’s play yesterday?

“I thought Skule did a very good job. I know those penalties were rough, all three of them, one’s that can’t happen. But, for his first game, it wasn’t too big for him at all. He handled the game well. The only time I really said his name was when he got the penalties and he definitely gave us a good chance to win.”

Witherspoon has obviously taken a pretty big step, really looking confident. Just personally for him, how tough is it to have that momentum have to stop?

“I mean, and that’s the challenges of this sport, but yeah I felt real bad for him because, you’re right, he’s been playing at a high level. He’s been covering very well and he’s been playing very physical, too. I thought yesterday was probably his most physical game I’ve seen him have. He was making tackles, throwing his body around and he’s been covering very well all year. It is unfortunate for him, but these setbacks do happen in this league. It’s part of football and he’ll work to get back and when he comes back, we expect him to be right where he was when he left off.”

The team is 3-0, but the offense had committed eight turnovers in three games. Is that a concern and what do you do to correct that?

“I mean, it’s always a concern. It’s hard to win when you turn the ball over, especially when you’re down 5-2. The good thing about it, and the reason we did win, is because the points off of it, they had six and we had 14. You can get by when you’re doing that, but we know that’s not built to last. We’ve got to be smarter with the ball. The two interceptions aren’t throws I want the quarterback to take back. We’ve got to catch those. He can make maybe a little better of a throw, but those are just unfortunate ones we’ve got to catch better. The fumbled snap was unfortunate. We always work on that and talk about it, but we’ve definitely got to fix that stuff.”

In terms of defense, when you watch them, is it more enjoyable now and less stressful than it’s been the last couple of years?

“Yes. Yeah, it’s fun. I mean, it was stressful to go against all summer. It was very hard on us, but I think it made us better offensively. But I mean, I think [defensive coordinator Robert] Saleh and the staff, they’ve always done a real good job with their coverages and stuff and being sound and things like that, which always makes people work pretty hard to go down the field on them. Just adding in some of these different elements with the pass rushers and bringing [LB] Kwon [Alexander] in and stuff like that and the guys who have been here, just taking a step forward, they’ve been tough to go against for us all summer, but I’m having a lot of fun watching other people have to deal with it.”

This article has 124 Comments

  1. Mosely is the next man up. He’s playing well. I’m excited for him.

    Hurd’s back tightness was a fractured back? Yikes!

    Loving that 13 personnel, and the 22.

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    1. Agree with you Razor. He had a good preseason and it should be his job to lose until Witherspoon is healthy.

      Get Ward healed up and in there at FS too.

      This team is becoming a smash mouth bunch too. Those chunk passes are fun, but there’s something even more exciting about a gash run play for 10+.

      1. Both Brieda and Mostert are on pace to a thousand yard season, apiece. On the flip side, Niners nay not have a1000-yard WR (Kittle will get his grand, though) this season.

        1. all of the talk about 1,000 yard rushers or receivers as some kind of landmark of productivity meant much more back in the day when there was a 12-game season. now, with 16 games, you are talking about only 62 1/2 yards per game – not even 16 yds per quarter rushing or receiving to gain 1,000 yards. that’s an average of 3 carries per quarter for Breida or Mostert and maybe 2 catches at most for Kittle. Consider the average number of plays for an NFL offense is a fraction over 64 snaps per game, an average of 16 snaps per quarter.

    2. The Niners are famous for usually drafting poorly in the high rounds yet finding real value in the undrafted category. That said, please DO trade two first-rounders for Ramsey as he could start as a shut-down CB for the next 10 years. He is proven. I love Sherman but he has lost a step and Witherspoon is still a question mark. He has had a good year so far but….

      1. You might want to update Sebbie on your avatar…

        sebnynah says:
        September 24, 2019 at 7:23 am

        I sure wish they would delete all of the Allie catfish burner accounts.
        .
        The real Allie has a light blue octagonal avatar.

    3. Lost in the fervor of the 49ers first 3-0 start since 1998, is this: Weston Richburg is BACK, baby!

      One of the 49ers 3 biggest 2018 free agent acquisitions is healthy, and finally showing Niner fans why he was ranked as the 2nd best OC in the NFL (PFF), as recently as 2015. He’s held up well in pass protection, as has the entire OL, but Richburg isn’t just holding his ground, and anchoring the center of the Niners OL on passing downs. He’s been dominant in the run game, at times he’s actually putting the opposing, behemoth DT’s on roller skates, and driving them out to open up sizable running lanes, which is one of the main reasons the 49ers rank 4th in the NFL in rushing yards per game.

      Keep up the good work, big fellow!

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  2. Grant, no questions this week?
    Cleveland shouldn’t be a hard challenge for the defense with Witherspoon out for 4weeks. Hopefully the offense will have a bounce back game on Monday night.
    Niners, don’t have a winning record coming off the bye week. Hopefully KS has the team ready to play.
    Even CJ would play QB better for the Redskins than this what they have.
    Ya I know Sebbie the intelligence thing but if we could get a 2nd or 3rd round pick for CJ, why not. Personally I wouldn’t trade Mullens this year. I’m still concerned about Jimmy being able to play without getting hurt and missing a game this season.!

    1. Agreed Bob, I’d be very hesitant to move Mullens this season. The Niners look like a playoff caliber team, so having a capable backup is a very valuable commodity right now (just ask the Eagles, right?). That said, I think any backup QB can be traded for the right price. If the Niners receive an offer they simply cannot refuse, I think you have to strike while the iron is hot, and make that trade.

    2. Grant asked KS about ..”using a lot of 21 personnel in the pass”..KS said they do, can’t talk much of it, that they use the 22 and 13 personnel too, ect..see his q&a above.

      I really don’t think the 49ers could get anything better than a 6th rd pick for CJ, even a desperate qb team.

  3. #41 E-man looks better this yr…..he plays fast….no need to panick we shld be able to get by……the DL and LB are on 🔥🔥🔥 right now…

  4. Sponge, the draft pick is more valuable than the intel. The Niners have dealt with that in the past, and everyone knows the drill.
    .
    It would be a promotion for CJB, so I would wish him well.
    .
    I agree, Mullens is a vital backup, and if JG keeps getting bludgeoned, Mullens may need to step in. The best way for Mullens to play is if JG can build a 2 score lead, and Mullens can come in as mop up duty in the fourth. That would save JG from the possibility of getting injured in a game already won.

  5. Let’s hope it’s a month, and perhaps only 3 games, considering the bye week. It’s a tough loss, but in terms of timing, there are worse times than now, to lose a starting CB. I’d be leaning towards Ward as the next man up, but it could be Moseley. It’s a bit of a toss up for me. Both of those 2 guys are extremely fast and athletic (Moseley turned heads with an official 4.38 40 at his pro day, while Ward ran a 4.41), but Ward’s technique is more refined at this stage. Of course, Ward can’t stay healthy, so his superior technique might be a moot point. DJ Reed isn’t as fast, and he only goes 5’9″, but he does have extremely long arms for his height, and he’s a very strong kid.

    The elephant in the room is obviously Jalen Ramsey, but that begs the question ….. at what cost? The price tag is likely too steep for my blood, so it’s next-man-up as far as I am concerned, unless there is another solid CB out there at a much more reasonable price.

    1. One other thing I’ve been meaning to point out, while Nick Bosa failed to register a sack this week (somehow Rudolph miraculously squirmed his way out of Bosa’s grasp) Nick was feasting in the Steelers backfield all game long, recording a team high 7 QB pressures, as he continues to lead all rookie DL’s in QB pressures through the first 3 weeks of the season. And BTW, his run-stopping has also been absolutely relentless, as he has the highest run-stopping grade among all rookie DE’s as well. All of this despite being hampered by a significant high ankle sprain which he has toughed his way through, proving himself to be a gutsy gamer. I expect all of those people who were questioning Bosa’s toughness coming out of Ohio State, are eating crow right about now.

        1. Nah. It’s a violent sport Candelabra, any player can get hurt, knock on wood, but I see no reason to believe Bosa is at a bigger risk of injury than anyone else. He’s as strong as an ox, and he’s already proving he’ll play through pain, so I see no reason to believe that’s going to change.

          Again …. KNOCK ON WOOD, let’s hope every player on this roster can stay healthy, for eternity and beyond!

          1. Bosa does play with all gas, no brakes, and if that puts him at greater risk, so be it ….. knock on wood!

            And yes, I’m a bit superstitious, in case you hadn’t noticed 😃 so KNOCK ON FRICKEN WOOD!

            Cheers mate!

        1. I agree with that as well Bob. Extending Buckner needs to be a priority. Not only that, I’d rather reward players who are currently on the roster, playing well and working hard, rather than paying a hot head from outside the organization, like Ramsey. However, Ramsey is a rare talent, so that’s a little different, IMO. I’d consider Ramsey, but only at the right price.

              1. Do you think they should extend Armstead? I hope they retain veteran talent.
                .
                The only problem with Armstead, is that other teams may be willing to pay top dollar for him.

              2. I’m on the fence with Armstead, sebnyanah. He’s developed into a high quality starter, IMO, but he’s no DeFO, and the 49ers are stacked along the DL. Maybe Arik will give the 49ers a hometown discount, as he and DeFo are very tight. I guess it comes down to the price, and whether the Niners project Street as a viable replacement.

              3. Would the money be better spent somewhere else, considering the high level depth across the DL, and Kentavius Street only being in his 2nd season? Like I said, I am really on the fence about giving Arik a new contract …. what say you, sebnynah?

      1. Sebs is having a pisser!!! it’s bad enough to eat crow–but with gravy on it!!! (And it looks to be a very productive draft! Things are burning in Sebastapol!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  6. I want to commend the coaches for making an astute assessment, and a quick adjustment.
    .
    I wanted to see Verrett, but he seemed too slow and tentative. Glad they pulled him, and put in Moseley.
    .
    It is disconcerting to seeing the FS take so many bad angles. Maybe Ward is healthy enough to play, after the bye.

    1. Verrett though, lets remember, hasn’t played in almost 3 seasons.

      I want to see him out there again, getting reps and knocking the rust off.

      I’m sure if Jimi Hendrix had stopped playing his guitar for 3 years, and only practiced a little now and then, would make some mistakes his first time back on stage…

        1. The only time to knock off rust is in a game though. You can practice as much as you want, but game speed is another level. We don’t know how much rust needs to be knocked off and how quickly he’ll get back to form, but when at 100% he’s the 2nd best corner on the team, so I’m willing and hoping he can get out there as much as possible.

          2016 torn ACL. 2017 knee surgery. 2018 torn Achilles. A lot to come back from, work him in here and there and see if he can step up.

              1. And this is why the job is Moseley’s to lose

                Good call Jack Hammer!

                Moseley has a limited resume. He joined the Niners as an undrafted free agent last year, and he made some headway during training camp., eventually ending up on the practice squad to start the year. He was promoted for a brief time, appearing in one game against the Oakland Raiders, before suffering a shoulder injury in the process and landing on injured reserve.

                From what I’ve seen and heard, he’s Moseley has certainly looked the part, especially this year. He’s certainly an explosive athlete, and he’s a guy Uncle Sherman has happily taken under his wing, and Moseley seems to be responding well. If Moseley is indeed the next man up, I’m confident that, at the very least, he wouldn’t be a major liability filling in for Spoon. Moseley shined in this year’s preseason. In fact, according to PFF, Moseley recorded the 49ers 2nd highest defensive grade during the Niners preseason victory over KC. I understand, it’s the preseason, but from what I’ve heard, Moseley also stood out during the Niners’ joint practice sessions VS the Broncos, and he’s been very good on ST as well, as he made a sensational tackle of the Buc’s return specialist – Bobo Wilson, on Wishnowsky’s 54-yard punt in the first half, firing up the Niners’ sideline, and helping fuel their big road victory to start the season.

                He’s also caught the eye of my boy Eric Crocker. The former NFL CB (Jets) was impressed by Moseley all offseason: CrockTIME @eric_crocker – A player on the #49ers I’m excited to see going into this season … Emmanuel Moseley. I liked him to make p-squad last year over Tarvarus McFadden. That’s my dark horse Cornerback to make the 53 man roster for this upcoming season

  7. Bummer about Witherspoon…he really upped his game= and we saw Verrett..wowo they pounced on that…lets hope Witherspoon heals fast he is much needed…

  8. JG has only started thirteen games and I might add, 11-2 record. Those starts have been scattered over four years. In many ways he still is a rookie and needs volumes of constant experience before he attains… Young team, learning how to win.

  9. Losing Witherspoon for a month is a real blow – he was playing very well. But I hope they let him (and the play of his replacements allows them to let him) get fully right before coming back. Last year when he tried to play through an injury at the start of the year he was pretty awful.

    I know Verrett was beaten badly in his couple of snaps on Sunday, but he’ll get better. He just needs some reps. I think he should be getting the start over Moseley against the Browns, so long as his ankle is fully healed.

    I’ll be interested to see whether Ward takes the starting FS role back (I think he will), and also what they do in nickel (play Ward in the slot with Moore at FS or keep Williams in the slot). Moore has had a couple of poor plays the past few games, but overall he has been ok, made a few positive plays, and you’d expect he will get better with more playing time.

    1. My prediction is Ward will move to corner split time with Mosley. Moore remains at FS so he continues to develop.
      Verrett needs more than reps. He needs to get his game and confidence back. That’s gonna take tons of more practice especially after missing a lot of training camp.
      I don’t like any of those guys replacing Spoon and that’s why I’m calling on John Lynch to make a deal for Jalen Ramsey right now. Get him in during the bye and our defense instantly becomes the best in the NFC.

      1. I hope they don’t try and make Ward an outside CB again. Just let him play FS and slot, that’s where he is best.

        I highly doubt Ramsey will be brought in as I think it will cost too much (in draft capital), but having looked over the cap space situation I agree they can probably add him and still fit in core guys getting extensions. If they can get him for just a first round pick and some shuffling of deck chairs with later picks then sure, go for it. Not going to get a better player with their 1st round pick in 2020 than Ramsey. Just don’t see the Jags agreeing to such a deal.

  10. While I really hope the Niners can work on their ball security over this bye, I think it is not a complicated fix.
    .
    One major takeaway from this win is the Niner ability to overcome adversity. No doubt, the defense saved the day.
    .
    I am liking the composition of this team, even more. There seems to be strong talent, and good depth.
    .
    Grant challenged this team to prove him wrong. Guess Pettis took those words to heart.
    .
    I replayed that winning TD over and over, and cannot see that Pettis was open. I thought a DB might jump the route for a pick six. Thankfully, Pettis fought for the ball, and made a huge play. Maybe JG learned from his 5 straight picks in practice. He zipped in the ball, and he put it in the perfect place.

    1. Grant challenged this team to prove him wrong.

      I agree Sebbie. Just like Lowell goaded Bill Walsh into leading the 9ers to multiple Super Bowls (says you), Grant (with you in the wings) will be credited with shaming Kyle into a successful 2019 season–and hopefully beyond.

        1. Seb,
          Grant has written many times that he is a journalist not a fan. He doesn’t care in the least about motivating anyone. He is here to report. You talk about him like he gives a damn whether or not the 49ers win. He does not. Take it from an old coach negative reports from a writer does nothing to motivate although it does irritate.

          1. I just remember those Glory Years. Eddie said he ignored the media, then in his interview with Grant, he admitted he read every word.
            .
            I think BW took the writings of Lowell seriously, because he knew Lowell was very smart, and like Grant, got to the heart of the matter.
            .
            I guess we will have to just agree to disagree.
            .
            This is like Sherman going on about he ignores what is written , especially when such and such is said. Just by mentioning he does not read those things, he is admitting he read them.
            .
            I will agree, Lowell made me grind my teeth over his temerity to challenge Walsh, but in hindsight, he outlined the pitfalls, and how to avoid them. Lowell also challenged BW to prove him wrong.

            1. Can Lowell claim credit for Raider success in the mid 70s…up to their departure to LA? I recall some of Lowell’s coverage of the Raiders back then–not always nice nice. I’m sure that motivated Al Davis and John…. Sure…

              1. Sebs and the Waffle Barn……Sebby, you and the Cohn’s are nowhere near as important as you might think. These coaches work 16+ hrs a day-what makes you think they have time to hear what the mighty quinn thinks….? You don’t have a football past, its not in your blood–what could you teach any of the coach’s?

            2. I have to disagree here Sebbie. I’m not familiar with Lowell’s work, but Grant is beginning to border on out-and-out hater. After the Bengals game, he claimed CJ Beathard would have put out a similar performance as Jimmy. Now, he’s retweeting Ryan Clarke, who is one of the worst analysts out there. Looks like he (Grant) is pretty desperate to be proven right despite evidence pointing towards the contrary. IMO, it’s making him lose credibility more than any degree of being wrong would.

              1. Sorry, Renas, Grant is just doing his job.
                .
                It is his job to be critical. It is the job of the Matts to be pom pom waving cheerleaders.
                .
                CJB could also have handed the ball off, well. They gained 259 yards.
                .
                I will totally disagree with you about him being desperate to be proven right. Grant ate a lot of crow yesterday, so he can stand tall and take the criticism, because, that is also part of his job.
                .
                I will agree, Houston or Scooter are better analysts than Ryan Clark. Clark is just riling up the Niner fanbase just to get heard, just doing his job.
                .
                Grant a hater? No, and I am an expert at dealing with haters.
                .
                Cant wait to watch his analysis of this last game.

    2. I agree. When JG throws the ball Pettis is actually behind the defender and even if it was a timing play for the opening it was a stupid throw to make under those circumstances. If Pettis does not come from behind the first defender the ball goes directly at the second corner. A timing pass between two defenders is not something you throw on second down when you are behind by 3 and in field goal range.

  11. This team has won three games without Kyle Nelson. Hasn’t he been here for a while?

    Maybe they should keep him off the squad till they lose.

      1. He’s a temp and everyone knows but you apparently. The last temp got sent packing. Three more games and Nelson returns after his PED’s wear off. Be pissed off at him instead of some poor guy from the union hall who is just trying to get through day like most.

  12. Verrett may not be as bad as everyone thinks he is. Jeez it’s been what 2+ years since he stepped on a field with live action?

      1. Some might say he was hung out to dry. Just saying. It looked like the Steelers said let’s put this guy to the test and we replied like…. OOOH never saw that coming. Someone on 49ers coaching staff had a Roy Hobbs moment (from the Natural) – “I shoulda seen it coming..I shoulda seen it coming”. Brick by brick.

  13. 2 people I would like to give praise to, are Kocurek and Woods. Both seem to be getting the most out of their players, and the overall scheme is solid and stingy. They have made Saleh’s job easier, and their defense is the strength of the team.
    .
    There are many players that deserve praise, Kwon, JG, Juice, Bones Buckner, Wilson, even Skule for filling in for Staley. However, one who stood out to me was Armstead. The coaches are finally putting him in the best position to succeed, and they are maximizing his potential.

  14. I just wish folks would stop with the Mosley trade talk.
    Why would they give up a first rd pick and all that money for a CB to fill in?
    That’s exactly what they see it as. Witherspoon is ranked at the 7th best CB in the league right now. He’s having an awesome year so far. But he’s returning.
    It makes no sense to pay and give that much for another player who isn’t playing much better as of right now. Witherspoon comes back, and then what?

    With that said unless they see Witherspoon as a streaky player then I can see looking into it. He want bad at all in 17, last year he stunk and rebounded this season with a pro bowl level caliber year so far.
    I think they trust he’ll come back playing well.
    I believe the same. The trade makes zero sense.

      1. Why MD?
        Cause Ramsey:

        1. Is a game changer. Top 5 CB in the NFL

        2. He fills an immediate need now and in the future for our secondary.

        3. He fits under our cap.

        4. He’s worth the type of corner back money the market commands.

        5. He’s young and durable and makes us a bonafide SB contender on an already great defense.

        1. No CB is not a game changing position. As we’ve seen, the dline gets enough pressure so that the DBs on this team look a lot better than they did last year.

          He fills a role for a month. Lets not act like Witherspoon is out for the entire year…its a month.

          He does not fit under the cap because he wants an extension…and so will Kittle, Buckner, AA, and potentially JimmyG and a few others.

          He is not worth 20 million. His impact would not be enough to warrant it.

          Do we not remember how Nnamdi was the top DB and got a massive payday that he never lived up to?

          Josh Norman more recently?

          DBs are never worth that money.

        2. Prime… so you don’t like the way Witherspoon is playing?
          Or would you like to see Sherman step aside?
          I would be totally with you if Witherspoon wasn’t playing so lights out. He’s coming back this season.
          No room for another CB this year. And I think Safety and O-line are more important right now.
          Just don’t like the timing with Spoon playing so well.

    1. MD,

      We see it every time there’s a big name guy available. Two weeks ago it was Melvin Gordon. Last week it was Trent Williams. Now it’s Jalen Ramsey.

      1. Jack,
        Another week of Jimmy G. getting destroyed like last week and you will hear Williams name coming up again. I would love to see them trade for Williams and eventually slide Staley inside and possibly extend his career.

          1. They also overloaded on the left side with TE and FB help and chips as well as creatively designing the plays to mitigate the rush on that side. I expect teams to adjust and Shanny to counter, but don’t see Skule having another good week (he was doing well until the 3Q meltdown).

      1. I’d be more concerned with the Total Points of both units than yards. Yards can be deceiving, on offense you can move up and down the field but end up with only 3’s because the redzone sucks…and on defense you can be a bend but not break defense and hold teams to 3’s once they get in the redzone (KC was like that a few years back).

        Get 7s, don’t give up 7s, who cares about the yards.

        Thank fully niners are top 5 in offensive points and top 10 defensively. Always a good sign to be top 10 in both.

  15. One of the nicest things about this year (and a surprise to some of us) is the maturation of the coaches.

    Shanahan alludes to the softness of the team last year and wants them to get tougher and get more experience. Kudos to him.

    Saleh also has been doing different things which have made a big difference.

    Still plenty to improve (DB situation, OL allowing so many hits on JG, TOS), but the team has a different feel. Last year they felt like they were reaching for something just out of reach, the year before it seemed like pride in themselves was something that was a priority. It looks like this year, they are setting a tone of we are good and you need to prove us wrong.

    1. OL allowing so many hits on JG

      Sour, prior to the last game, wasn’t JG the least hit QB? I can see, with a major OL shakeup, that having changed. Interesting, it looked like Skule Island* for most of the game and pressure came from the opposite side.

      *Not to be confused with Skull Island, where drunken sailors go to dance the horn pipe with a certain simian (can we recruit that one for swing tackle?)

      1. Doesn’t that Simian already post in a gargantuan manner and demand blood sacrifice to him?

        If the OL allows as many hits to JG there will be plenty of gnashing of teeth and wailing.

    2. Lol it’s so funny to see those who have constantly been down on the team try to make up rationalities for their ignorant opinions. Maturation of the Coaches has little to do with the success this year vs. the struggles of the previous two years. It has always been clear to anyone with common sense that the struggles last season were due to all the significant injuries the team dealt with throughout the season. Anyone who blamed the Coaches for not succeeding through a revolving door of players every week doesn’t get it and never will. This place is a really great example of blind leading the blind. Cohn pretends he knows football, makes dumb statements and changes his mind weekly due to being wrong while a bunch of wannabe experts in the peanut gallery follow his lead. Very entertaining to read the ridiculous comments in here. I wish I had found this place sooner.

  16. Cleveland travels to Baltimore to play the Ravens this Sunday. Wonder what kind of reception they’ll get? Then of course, Browns on to Santa Clara for the Monday night game. Very cool.

  17. Maybe the Niners should make an adjustment. They should put Ward at FS, and move Moore to CB until Witherspoon is healthy.
    .
    The return of Coleman will be interesting. Will they sit Mostert or Wilson?
    .
    I am glad that Hurd is recovering from a back injury. I was afraid he had concussive effects from the big hit he took when he scored his first TD.
    .
    Looking back at this year’s draft, JL seems to have done well. Even the sixth rounder Skule is contributing.

    1. Top 5 candidates:
      ” Yeah but he gets injured to easily”.
      ” Yeah but he throws too many picks”.
      ” Yeah but he has very little experience”.
      ” Yeah but he can’t throw the deep ball.”
      ” Yeah but he is overpaid without proving he’s franchise QB.”
      And the winner is !!
      ” Yeah but Kyle schemes receivers open.”

        1. First of all, that’s out of Jimmy’s control. He can only beat the team’s who are on the 49ers schedule. And, BTW, he’s still going against NFL caliber defenses,

          Secondly, while it’s true that Jimmy’s record as the 49ers starter is 9-2, he’s actually 9-1 in games he’s started and finished. Who know’s, maybe the 49ers come back and beat the Chiefs, if Garoppolo finishes that depressing football game? After all, the Niners were knocking on the door, and looking to make it a one possession game, with plenty of time left to make a defensive stop, get the ball back, and force overtime at Arrowhead Stadium?

          Thirdly, Jimmy took a team with a 1-9 record, and rattled off 5 consecutive victories to finish the 2017 season. And he did this against some very good teams like the Jaguars, who finished the season with the #1 ranked defense. The Bears, and their 10th ranked defense. And the Titans, with their 13th ranked defense.

          Fourthly, and most importantly, regardless of the opponent, Jimmy was absolutely fantastic on Sunday. Say what you will about Pittsburgh, but the fact of the matter is, the Steelers came into Sunday with their backs against the wall. There are few things in this world more dangerous than a wild animal that feels cornered, and must fight for it’s survival. Factor in 4, self inflicted, first half turnovers, 2 of which were inside the opponents redzone, and there are a lot of QB’s who may have folded, considering the circumstances. Instead, Jimmy rose to the occasion, looking exactly like the undefeated 2017 version of Jimmy Garoppolo. He was absolutely dealing on Sunday, sensing pressure as if he had eyes in the back of his head. Unlike what we’ve seen from Baker Mayfield among others this season, Jimmy was fearless in the pocket, standing strong and delivering dimes in the face of pressure. Jimmy got hit hard on no less than 8 different occasions, yet he was never fazed by the onslaught. Instead, Jimmy found ways to buy himself extra time when he needed to, moving elegantly around in the pocket, buying time for his receivers to get open, and using his legs to pick up necessary yardage, consistently finding ways to scramble past the first down markers.

          Jimmy G. may not have been perfect on Sunday, but for a QB who was less than 3 full starts removed from a serious knee injury, he was absolutely remarkable none-the-less. Despite being under quite a bit of pressure, both physically and mentally, he managed a 86.7% adjusted completion percentage on Sunday, and was 86.7%, while averaging nearly 9 yards per attempt.

          Jimmy and the 49ers entire offense may have struggled during week 1, but while the raw statistics over the last 2 games don’t look amazing on the surface, the fact of the matter is that Jimmy has managed a 87.3 pass grade (2nd in the league, behind only Brady, the 2nd highest percentage of possitively graded throws, with the 4th lowest percentage of negatively rated throws, the 3rd most accurate passes in the league – based on ball location.

          So make no mistake about it – Jimmy Garoppolo has been every bit the franchise caliber QB that the 49ers organization, and Niner fans, had hoped they were getting from the NE Patriots, when they made that fateful, franchise defining trade, back in 2017! Go NINERS!

  18. I really liked Pettis’s TD. It seemed as though he learned as the game went along. In his deflected pass for a pick, he did not run a good route, and fight for the ball.
    .
    In his game winning catch, he ran a precise route, JG threaded the needle, and Pettis aggressively attacked the ball.
    .
    It would be interesting to see Grant interview Pettis.

    1. I’m not sure why more people aren’t talking about the play on Pettis, which resulted in the Steelers’ 2nd INT.

      RULE 8: Forward Pass, Backwards Pass, Fumble – SECTION 5: Pass Interference – ARTICLE 2: Prohibited Acts By Both Teams While The Ball Is In The Air – (B) Playing through the back of an opponent in an attempt to make a play on the ball.

      If you slow the play down, frame by frame, there was “clear and obvious visual evidence” that the Steelers’ CB – Joe Haden, arrived before the football, and made contact while playing through the back of Pettis, in an attempt to make a play on the football, and the result was the deflection, which ultimately resulted in the INT.

      This was obviously a big play, and a clear violation, so I would have liked to have seen Kyle challenge the non-call. Kyle blew that one, IMO.

      1. I’ve watched the play a few times and I have to disagree. If that play by Haden starts getting called PI you may as well take DBs off the field. He timed it pretty much perfectly. He swatted the hands as the ball was arriving. He didn’t drive through the back of the WR until the ball was arriving either. Textbook.

        Pettis needs to do a better job working through contact at the catch point and boxing the defender out so only he has a play at the ball.

        1. There is one camera angle that makes it crystal clear, while the others don’t. I’ll admit it’s close, but even if Haden didn’t get there early, which he did, Haden went through Pettis to make a play on the ball, and that’s a penalty.

            1. I have to respectfully disagree with you Scooter. I realize newer rules have handcuffed cornerbacks, and have made defending against the pass, very difficult, borderline impossible. But this is not a new rule. This rule has been in place since well before Jerry Rice became the greatest receiver of all time. This rule has allowed big receivers to use their body to shield against the defender, for a very long time.

              ~ A defender cannot go through a receiver in order to make a play on the football.

              1. I’ve watched this a number of times and again just now. If that play constitutes going through the back of the receiver then DBs are doomed. The penalty is there to prevent DBs going through the receiver before the ball has arrived to make the play. Haden’s timing is excellent. He has a hand on Pettis just before the ball arrives, but that’s ok. He doesn’t swat the hands or apply force on Pettis until the ball arrives. No way should that be a penalty.

              2. Sorry, Nick, but in slow lotion, it may look like a foul, but in real time motion, it was a good play by the defense. JG could have thrown the ball lower, so Pettis could have shielded the ball away from the defender.
                .
                Pettis needed to attack the ball. That is something he did with less than 2 minutes left.

  19. Damn Jason Verret better tightens up his game. He got terribly burned in 2 plays against the steelers, teams are going to attack him as soon as they see him on the field with deep shots , we better get some safety help, to that side, as well if they attack Richard Sherman, could he keep up on a vertical route with a speedy receiver? Man I am kind of worried, the pass rush better always be perfect, caus we might be in some trouble.

    Go niners!

    1. And it still holds true. Has anyone said otherwise? ESPN put the team in the top 10 for the week. I’d say that is pretty good (although it means squat in the scheme of things).

  20. Ok, so Hurd’s injury? Isn’t that similar to Trent’s a couple of years ago? Does anyone think there may be more time missed by the young man?

    Not worried because I think the WR group has plenty of production at the moment (a very welcome and good thing).

  21. Noteworthy observation from a NN commentor:
    The Niners haven’t won after a bye week since 2011, when they beat – the Cleveland Browns!

  22. sebnynah says:
    September 23, 2019 at 8:49 pm
    Here we go again.

    For the record. I mentioned the Niners shooting themselves in the foot, and TrollD went crazy. He started talking about breaking into gun safes, and creating nightmares. TrollD is the gun nut…

    REPLY: Off the meds once more Seb? I thought Napa Sanitarium State hospital’s inpatient services (just 50 miles from your home) was open 24-7 for delusionals such as yourself.

    All on this site are aware of your go to gun references when you get the chance—usually after a mass shooting.

    We also are well aware of your narcississtic need to top all in whatever way possible.

    In this case it was the 4th of July where you posted you lit off military grade munitions (white phosphorus) for the elementary students to see at the local school house.

    What a freakin’ narcississt…It couldn’t have been normal fireworks like everyone else.
    No, your need to upstage everyone’s 4th of July celebration was paramount, so you went with the military grade arsenal.

    At that point, I jokingly made reference to Aldon Smith’s assault rifle party, and that it was busted by up by cops because Seb broke into Aldon’s gun safe.

    Since then, you have turned this humor on me by making it humor less, and with a violent ending.

    Get help Seb. Napa is a resource….I’ve been noticing an uptick your weaponry pharses.

    1. Yes, you went there, and it is all archived.
      .
      Joking about gun atrocities is what makes you a menace to society. You were joking about creating nightmares? What a sick, twisted individual.’. If you want to continue to attack me, I feel perfectly within my rights to counter your screeds.
      .
      I have tried really hard to ignore you, but you continue to lie about what I said, so I will just tell the truth about you.
      .
      You are the one who wants to continue this engagement, so be prepared to get a blizzard of posts.

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