Kyle Shanahan sets tone and 49ers reflect it in locker room

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan speaks at a news conference after an NFL preseason football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

Locker rooms reflect the attitude of their coaches. I go into the 49ers’ locker room and you don’t. I know you’d like to know what it’s like in there.

Jim Harbaugh’s locker room was tough. Not a media-friendly place. He saw everything in life as competition, including interactions with the media, so he didn’t cooperate. Had to be on guard. And his players operated in his mold.

Kyle Shanahan is competitive, too, but not like that. Not with the media. He’s cooperative and easygoing, and so are his players. Almost all of them.

This is nothing against Harbaugh. I’m crazy about him and we keep in touch. But things are a different now in a good way. I’m not saying a friendly locker room is a winning locker room. I’m not writing about that now. I’m merely telling you how the locker room has changed.

Click here to read the rest of my column.

This article has 162 Comments

  1. That’s a really interesting inside perspective, thanks Grant. I wonder how much it is about the coach’s attitude rubbing off on players, and how much it is the front office wanting and signing players that share a similar attitude to the coach?

      1. i agree. I have heard over the years that the team tends to take the persona of the coach, at least with relation to the press.

      2. I very much think it is a combo of the two to some degree. I was wondering to what degree the mix would be.

      3. I no one thing as a player and somwhat coaching. In the NFL. U half to be the best of the best ive seen the pre season not good at all ok ive so many mis haps. Ans the play off way to many yars from there app ok that means they cant keep up. So they give to respect the the other team big mistake. U half to be either equal or better and faster look at sherman w. He is worried about no player thats what makes him so dam unique ok all i can say i gans pray very hard cause our qb cant winn. By him self no way. So coach kyle and john lynch. U have to get some seriouse players pay that money u wonte regret it trust me i know the very well i. Played long ago but i no how. To winn thats thee omportant part and how to lose with. High dignity ok mistakes will happen just dont make. Them over and over that means that player isnt listening ok. 1st gam will be a hudge test min no joke at all. There very dam good. Thats my word and oppinion for u. Coach kyle and john Lynch were one of the best player. Ive seen play cowboys i believe. Very good player my name is mike palmer

        1. When coach jim was here i was so dsm happy not that coach kyle will be a hudge bust i. Realy dont think so. But what i do about this league is u want the very best u got to pay for that look at kapernic he mesded up hes not god ok people. He lost so much he was a great qb but let his feeling get in the way he could have done good in a much better way but chose not to but teams are paying very good money and. That will pay off it will. We need for the 49ers a few more vetrans that know what there job is pay that money and u will see the big difference. I stake my rep on that look what jim harugh. Did 1st yr he had our kicking but the second yr super B ok the owner got in his way to much he needs to stay out of that period goodd luck coach kyle and J.Lynch

        2. I totaly agree on the media they try put the worst on u and the they back track its the way they work and its shamefull realy playets need to just focus on there jobs and be the best they can. Dont worry about the stupid media they always put not the truth. And they some of them hate. Foot ball so theres ur NeG right there. If they cant be honnest about tje game and players they shouldnt be there at all i love the game period my 49ers always win or some times lose im here. Just wish we had a better owner realy. Or sale the team to a good person just keep the team in san fran period.

  2. As been previously documented, how much of Jim Harbaugh’s attitude helped elevate or deter the play of his players?

  3. Grant, that write up epitomizes what Inside The 49ers is known for and can only get here. The VD story is classic, but I probably would have done things differently. After he dropped his towel and agreed to the interview, I would have undone my belt and dropped my pants without losing eye contact, and proceeded to ask my first question….

  4. “I’m crazy about him and we keep in touch.”
    Yikes, does your fiance know about this obsession, Grant?!

  5. This column was pretty funny! I really enjoyed the insight Grant. I agree with the others, a real “Inside the 49ers look”, but super awkward stories!! I used to work in the hotel industry in my late teens and early 20’s and I met a lot of actors, comedians, musicians, and athletes. There really are all kinds, but most of them are SUPER odd!!

  6. I have always believed that Kaepernick’s curt answers and standoffish attitude during interviews came from Harbaugh’s influence. I remember when Kap arrived at 49er headquarters soon after he was drafted he seemed so happy and excited and glad to be here. He chatted amicably with the press. Then he evolved into one of the worst interviewee’s ever. What an awful transformation.

      1. Actually, I don’t remember that, but I don’t think that was good advice for a QB. To me the QB is the leader of the team and his “work” interviews should have reflected that. You can still answer questions without acting rude or like you can’t stand the interviewer who is just doing his/her job which is to get information to the fans of the team. I believe a coach who was a good role model in how to work with others (i.e. the press) would have helped Kap.

  7. I thinking in the minority here, but I seriously think Matt Brieda is about to set the world on fire…. Especially if he worked on his hands this off-season. Alfred Morris is more that capable of doing his thing in this offense. But Brieda gets1st chance to fail.. if his blitz pick up is better and his hands are better. We will be on point. Especially with his speed. Those are some big ifs but I’m willing to believe he’s ready to carry the load. He’s basically about to let Kyle and John know that they could have saved all that money and just brought in Morris to begin with.

      1. Yes sir MD… Can’t wait until Sunday. Not saying we will win but I am expecting it to be close all the way.

    1. I would be interested to hear how Grant thinks this backfield will shake out as He witnessed them (or at least Breida) in training camp.
      – How does he see the workload being divided?
      – Has Breida improved as a pass catcher? Or will Juice have to take over those responsibilities?

    2. From what I gather its not about talent with Breida, the question is can he hold up an entire season?

  8. Great insight Grant!That Harbaugh locker room was not tight. As soon as he was on his way out, all those “lost the locker room” sources started to come out, remember?

    How bout the time you pissed off Goodwin? Lol. I believe you asked him something about him finally making an impact as a receiver than a sprinter.

  9. Two of the most successful football coaches of the modern era(Belichick/Saban) are both complete aholes to the media. Just saying.

    1. And there will be no other like those two for years to come. You can’t copy it.. 2 out of 1000’s doesn’t make it gospel. Just means they are hella good at their jobs.

    2. Bill Walsh also had a strong disdain for the media. I remember seeing a video of Walsh in a team meeting telling the team never to trust the media. They build you up and then work twice as hard to tear you down. Walsh apparently learned to accept the media as a necessary evil but he did not trust or like the media.

  10. Excellent write-up Grant, although in the future I would suggest using the word sociable instead of normal when describing a player who is comfortable talking to the media.

  11. The players aren’t running for office, they’re here to win games.
    Throughout the history of sports there have been jerks, bullies and bi -polar personalities in every sporting arena.

    Mike Singletary once said, “I want winners” and I’m sure he was referring to the playing field not the locker room.
    Bill Walsh would be a little edgy with the press back in his day, and the most winning head coach of this century (Bill Bilichick) avoids the press like the plague.

    My point is that as long as the team wins, I give little regard for how players and coaches treat the press.
    Btw, the press can be abrasive towards the players, coaches and org themselves at times – so I would call it a tenuous but even relationship at best.

  12. Nice article until I read the word “acumen”. Then I almost spit up my lunch. Hmmm, interesting. Is that a tell? A slip up to give away a secret? Hmmmm……… Makes sense really. Only a made up character could be so, well, you know!

  13. However, to put some context to it, JH thrived on the -Us against the world- mentality. Sure, the players took their cue from their leader. Sounds like those early interviews were tough.
    It seemed like he was enduring an inquisition, and his main job was to give only name, rank, and serial number.
    Things went off the rails when there started to be leaks, and JH thought some one was stabbing him in the back. I could understand how paranoid that had made him.
    Of course, JH was stabbed in the back, mainly by Baalke with Paraag twisting the knife. JH had a 44-19 record, 3 straight NFCC Games, a SB berth, and they threw him away like he was a piece of trash. Luckily, he landed well at Michigan.
    Subsequently, Baalke stabbed Kaep in the back by promising to retain veteran talent and leadership, but dismantled the team. The ensuing dumpster fire, the coaching merry go round and coaching incompetence, ended when Baalke was fired, and now, JL is building a winning culture, brick by brick. Paraag survived because he was buddies with the owner, and their GM search was humiliating and humbling. Jed was lucky, because JL fell into his lap, and JL brought KS aboard. I bet KS would never have come here, if Baalke were still the GM. KS probably would have landed in Denver, without JL as GM of the Niners.
    JL is like a breath of fresh air, especially after the stench of Baalke. The very first thing he did was stop the leaks. Then he built a partnership with KS, and they both agreed to make consensus decisions. They cleaned house, and paid especial close attention to establishing the right locker room culture. Grant’s inside the locker room accounts are pure gold. Glad JL is doing such a good job. JL showed class when he acknowledged a perceived leak during the draft, and actually apologized for it, even though it was because he gave unfettered access to the draft war room during the draft. Jl has surrounded himself with competent people. The scouts have done a great job, with only JW leaving, out of 2 drafts. Colbert and Taylor are 7th round picks with huge potential. Baalke, on the other hand, whiffed on an entire draft class.
    Grant has graced us with his accounts about the Niners, both on and off the field. I feel very fortunate to get a straight shooter, who gets to the heart of the matter, and does not produce saccharine homer platitudes. I love my Niners, warts and all. His latest story is why I think this site is a must read.
    Keep up the good work, Grant, but now, I expect an interview with JG. ;p

    1. Sorry Seb but you sound like grant. “KS would have never come here”. Kyle was actually hired before John. John reached out to Kyle because the GM’s that kept pulling out wanted to run the show. The way Balkee ran the show with no input from anyone. Kyle didn’t want to work like that. John was a blessing Because he wanted to work together with Kyle. John didn’t bring Kyle. Kyle brought John. Well in actuality, they brought each other. How was the GM search humiliating? Because guys wanted to come in here and run the show. Their way or the highway. So they took the highway. That’s not humiliating, its stubbornness. Everyone wanted to be Balkee but Kyle found a guy who wanted to work together.

      1. Steele, we will have to just agree to disagree. First of all, candidates did not come to Santa Clara. Jed and Paraag had to go to them, that is why they traveled around the country, hat in hand, only to get the door slammed in their face. One candidate would not even meet with them, because he heard ‘rumors’ about them. If that is not humiliating, I guess your perspective is 180 degrees from mine.
        If you remember those days after Baalke was fired, JL had Jed promise to stop leaking. Jed did keep his mouth shut, and the hiring of JL was a big surprise. JL was hired first, and everyone had to wait until after the SB for KS to come aboard. During that time, Denver had an opportunity to hire a HC. Elway chose Joseph on January 28th, just before the SB, with KS keeping mum about his future plans. Before, Both the Rams and Chargers were courting KS, but chose McVay and Lynn, when KS seemed to be the front running candidate for the Niners, because Mike Shanahan, his father, used to coach there.
        I am sure JL was talking all the time to KS, but kept it quiet because KS had a SB to coach in. IMHO, JL brought KS on board, but had to wait until after the SB. Since every HC job was filled before the SB except for the Niner position, it was logical to assume KS was heading west after the game. And he did.
        Sure, we can parse whether it was the chicken or the egg, but JL was hired first, and KS second. They both have lots of respect for each other, and they both seem to be on the same page. If Jed had hired a different GM with Patriot ties, maybe Josh McDaniels may have come aboard.
        In the end, I am jumping for joy over those 2 hires, and Jed should be thanking his lucky stars that they both fell into his lap. JL is changing the culture, and KS is poised to present a competitive team that may make the Niners relevant again.

        1. If you go ask Kyle and look it up. Kyle was hired after the 1st meeting then they wanted a gm he could work with. JL called him and asked him for a shot. Look it up. So it’s humiliating every time a guy turns down a job? No it’s humiliating for you to think JL was hired without Kyle’s blessing. He was only technically hired 1st because the falcons were in the super bowl. That whole statement u just gave was asinine. As for partot yes men, every gm that was hired actually hired yes men. So they can take orders from their boss. Like Balkee did. Now it’s time for you to Google your history lesson

          1. Here is a case where I think both of you are partially correct.
            1. Seb is correct that the GM search was humiliating to SF brass because many of the would be candidates pulled their name out before even being interviewed. Some even went on to sign elsewhere.
            2. Steel is correct that John Lynch was hired because of Kyle.
            The only reason Lynch was hired first on the timeline, was because the 49ers were prohibited from meeting a second time with Kyle until after the SuperBowl. However, news outlets were already reporting that the 49ers would be signing both to 6 year contracts 1 week prior to Shanahan officially being hired.
            If that doesn’t tell you who was driving the cart, then maybe this will help showcase it better.
            Lynch was not even on the 49ers radar until Kyle asked the 49ers to interview him. He even stated he wanted to be “interviewed and vetted” like everyone else and that “I didn’t want – just because someone liked me – that I all of a sudden went to the front of the line,” .

            1. Shoup, you are correct. I think Mike Shanahan may have been behind the scene.
              I will concede that JL would not have been hired without KS’s blessing.

          2. Sure, they expressed their desire for KS to become HC, and KS may have bestowed his blessing on JL, but nothing was set in stone, and it very easily could have been another Josh McDaniels situation, when he pulled out at the last minute for the Colts HC job.
            Also you cannot deny reality that Denver was also interested in KS, since Mike Shanahan was HC there previously, and they had won a SB there recently. KS could have gone to a SB contender, instead of a 2 win dumpster fire. I do not think he preferred the 49ers over the Broncos until he was given assurances of a 6 year contract. Of course, KS would state that he wanted to be in SF all along, that is just coach speech. Once Joseph was hired on the 28th, JL was formally hired the 29th. However, JL stated that he asked Jed to keep mum about the interest in JL becoming the GM for a couple weeks before that.
            Jed himself stated that he wanted to hire a GM first, so the GM could choose his own HC. It all happened quickly, and I do not doubt JL talked with KS to make sure they could work together, but KS also was talking with George Paton and Will McDonough, so nothing was set in stone. it was not until the Denver job was finalized, before everything happened.
            No matter what, the Niners could not offer KS the job until the week before the SB, and JL was on their radar before then. It was choreographed so all tampering possibilities could be avoided, and it may have been Mike Shanahan who helped pull the strings behind the scene, since he was associated with all the parties involved.

        2. Jed doesn’t have to thank $###. Regardless of all the muckery posters, including yourself put on here over the course of his hiring, Kyle actually wanted this job. Of course he wanted to be assured of things 1st but what coach doesn’t. They didn’t fall into his lap, Kyle wanted the challenge of bringing this organization back to where it belongs. No more Tomsulaa and Kelly….

          1. If I were a HC, I would have preferred a Von Miller led team that won the SB just 2 years ago, compared to the dumpster fire at a 2 win Niner team.
            Just saying…

  14. I’ll give it another try on this article page.
    Did anyone start a pigskin pick em this season?

    1. I’ve been asking the same for a week or two. I’ve been in this group’s pick ’em league for the last 4-5 years, and won last year! Bring it on!

  15. OK. Seems like the blog is content to surrender to the Sebfestation.
    Chain is only as good as it’s weakest link.
    Good luck with that y’all.

  16. Best column GRANT. Stories sell facts tell ?
    Great read. Please provide more articles like this…

  17. This is the best time of year for me..The Central Valley heat starts to fade,perfect nights leaves falling and football is here fellas!My wife knows cross every Sunday off the calendar for the next 16 weeks!

    1. Big tone,
      I’m a central valley boy myself after moving from San Bruno over 20 years ago.

      I also love the summer weather here in the valley, except between the hours of 2pm – 7pm.
      In any case it’s good to have another 49ers faithful out here.
      Welcome on board

  18. Grant I’m happy to read about the insight about the locker room and the players! Great read.

    However, I’m wondering, is this the type of stuff you are expected not to share about to still get candid access to the locker room as a reporter?

  19. Grant needs to be retired. Who writes like this? “I’m in the locker room, you aren’t”. What the hell kind of hacky intro to a column is that? Go back to class.

    1. “Hacky”? It’s provocative. That’s what he’s supposed to do — stand out from the pack of reporters — and sometimes get your goat. You can read porn fluff anywhere.

  20. It’s an OK read…..

    You did backup your

     I go into the 49ers’ locker room and you don’t. 

    …….just felt like I read an article about you whinning and b!tch!ng on how players respond to you…..

    No offense bro…

    Harbaugh players were older, understood the lack of value their names bring through your work and probably saw you as a pest……..

    I have no doubt Peter King or Matt M etc would have been treated differently…..

    Shanahan players are younger….they need all the attention, so yes they take advantage of all media sources…….in the last 2 months i have followed more 49er players on instagram than ever ever……….even 49er backups pages are lit……

  21. Comments on the first regular-season depth chart…

    Pettis is off the bench before Bourne
    Breida is starting RB
    Celek Starting… (predicting 2 tds against vikes)
    Warner gets the start next to Smith
    K. Williams is healthy to start.

    Breida on Kick returns …..Taylor on Punt returns

    1. Far be it from me to question a coach’s (or the PR dept’s) decision but:

      Breida on Kick returns

      Is that wise considering the trauma they’ve just been through with the RB squad? I thought DJ did a pretty good job in the preseason when he had his chances. Richie James was no slouch either.

      1. I don’t get it also……I hope I am wrong but I just get this feeling this job is too much for those currently in charge……

      2. Why would they risk the starting RB to injury on KOs? Kendrick Bourne or DJ Reed may be better alternatives.

    2. Oneniner,
      Reed will return kicks and Pettis will return punts. Reed is a great KR even if todays NFL under uses their KR’s and Pettis is a game changer at PR and I believe his return abilities are a large part of why they drafted him in the 2nd rd.

  22. Looking forward to the Vikings game, the Niners do not need to feign weakness. The injury to McKinnon definitely weakened the Niners.
    However, it looks like the Vikings are struggling with the injury bug, too. They had Nick Easton LG, Pat Elflein C, and Rashod Hill listed as starters on the O line.
    Now they have Tom Compton LG, Danny Isadora C, and Brian O’Neil RT, penciled in as starters. Their O line is in flux, which may present an opportunity for the Niner pass rush to exploit.

  23. I’m pretty sure that was sexual harassment Grant. I’m proud of you for finding the courage to release this story.


  24. Okay, not sure if this has been well documented before or not… but here I go. Apologies in advance for being somewhat Sebian in my post.

    Harbaugh had one unique trait he inflicted on the team persona that really stood out. His teams performed admirably on the road in hostile environments. Several games come to mind.. winning on the road at a night game in Foxborough, stealing a game in Philly, NFC Championship road win in Atlanta, and would have amounted to a couple difficult wins in New Orleans had it not been for some notably poor (and possibly blatant) officiating.

    I always admired how he took a group of average mental minds and turned them into road warriors. This is really the ONLY thing I admire about Harbaugh; as his abrasive and suspicious personality transcended across the team and made for a hostile environment. Above all, he was just a total dick in general. But I have to give him props for willing his team to win in difficult circumstances; some of which he created himself.

    1. Please use a different name. You should be able to think of something different. Now, others will be accusing me of having multiple accounts.

    2. Is it true that ……..In 40 games ….Harbaugh’s Michigan is 0-17 against ranked teams on the road.

  25. GRANT
    Why was my comment deleted? My comment was completely about football with no other remarks.

      1. Hmm. I dont know what happened.
        In a nutshell, I thought this was a pretty nice article. So glad that we are going after high character, high football IQ, versatile, hard working guys. I’m sick of these me-first loud mouthed arrogant players undermining the sanctity of the league, Its history and its fans. We may all disagree on several points, but I think we all can agree to seeing this fresh and updated approach to team building is great to see from our beloved team.

  26. Interesting article I guess. However, I’ll take a stoic Justin Smith over a chatty Arik Armstead any day of the week.

  27. Ok CFC mailed it in this year so I started the Pick Em group. It’s on yahoo as always and open to everyone but you need to join with the same name you use on this forum.

    Group Name: Jimmys Date Night
    Password: Buckner

    Good luck…

        1. Howdy, Razor! I have not been on the blog much lately, but I am very much looking forward to this season.

        1. It would be a lot more interesting if there was some “enticement”….. even if it’s a pittance- that way, people don’t forget to make their picks or drop out.

          1. Too late to do anything at this point. It’ll be hard enough to get people to sign up before kickoff tomorrow.

          2. It is kind of a bummer at the end of the season when 5 or so people drop out. For me it’s all about pride of wanting to do well, and owning up to a bad season if things don’t go well, so I’ll ride it out for the whole season.

            Signed up and picks locked and loaded. Going for the repeat! Good luck all, and thanks again, Rocket!

    1. Awesome, you da man, Rocket! I have always enjoyed this Pick ‘Em league, and look forward to a fun season! I’m not sure, however, if it was a good idea to sign up as sebnynah. JK, lol!

  28. Does anyone else not see an issue with the Raiders moving Mack?
    I know this is a 49ers blog, but regardless, you are talking about the value of a preeminent defensive player but getting two 1’s for him……….. I think Carradine does fine there and DC Guenther is the secret weapon nobody is talking about over there in Oakland- I think if they saw potential in Key and Hurst/Hall, then it made sense considering they know they have some other holes to fill.

    Just seeing if anyone else sees the Raiders side of it, as I do…….. and the Bell holdout in Pittsburgh looks like it may get interesting with what his agent said today. I think the franchise tag needs to be reviewed/eliminated, personally.

        1. I did and both the Rams and Bears paid over market. At some point defensive players will be making 20+ mill regularly as the cap goes up, but the jump was too much to soon. They are in the same neighborhood as a number of QB’s right now and that shouldn’t happen.

          1. the market just made an adjustment you don’t agree with, which is your privilege…
            but the LAR and CHI have to counter strong QB play in their divisions (Wilson and Jimmy G in the west and Rodgers, Cousins, and Stafford in the north) and since both teams have early contract QB’s they can overspend on the positions to counteract their opponent’s high level QB’s…
            It’s really as simple as that…
            even though it moves the goalposts on the market for superstar edge and DL players…
            the new normal…

            1. I agree with Rocket about paying defensive players. However, what is it that sets the market? Is it the first “seemingly ridiculously high” contract or do we have to wait for 2, 3, 10, a dozen such contracts? Ultimately, isn’t the market set by what people are willing to pay. For decades I’ve said that the cost of houses in CA was ridiculously high and for decades the market price has continued to go up at a precipitous pace (with a few exceptions).

              On the defensive line, it seems to be the edge rushers that are getting these very high contracts. They are in short supply and highly valued – hence, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise.

              Very good inside lineman, however, are in relatively ample supply and with a few exceptions (Aaron Donald) generally command lower compensation or can be effectively replaced. That’s why I would want to figure out defensive strategies for getting to the QB that rely more heavily on the inside guys and not the edge rushers to actually produce the sack. Probably a newbie pipe dream, since if it was that easy someone would be doing it already (although, I think this is what Chris Kiffin’s plan is). Most of the teams use the conventional strategy and it is supported by the statistics – it’s the edge rushers that get the most sacks.

            2. tjf,

              Your points are valid and I understand why the Rams and Bears did it, I just don’t think they had to go to that extreme. They had the players under contract and the FT amount was a few million less than what they agreed to pay them in the new deals. Yes they can pay those guys due to the QB’s being on rookie contracts, but the Rams are facing a Goff extension in two years so they have a pretty short window to take advantage of this. The Bears don’t even know if Trubisky is any good at this point which is why it was a little surprising they would give up that kind of draft capital and break the bank on Mack. If Trubisky doesn’t become a Franchise QB, they’ve just set themselves back years and will be paying Mack a record amount to help what was already a very good defense.

              From a Raiders perspective it was hard to justify paying Mack more than their QB in guaranteed money. That is what is being missed in all the hit pieces directed at Gruden.

              1. yeah, well in the Rams case, they’re in a 2 year SB or bust window mode anyway…
                CHI is absolutely rolling the dice on Nagy, Helfrich, and Trubisky…
                and the Bears having a dominating D will play well in the home town media…

              2. tjf: It’s also true that the prevailing attitude nowadays is what have you done for me lately. People at the top of many industries, not just football, often put plans in place to “win” in the short term as their primary focus. Then after a few years with the short-term success, you simply move to another company/team.

      1. Gotta say rocket, I’m with CFC on this one. Its a lot of money, but its actually only average QB starter money. For two of the best pass rush threats in the game that are also good at the other aspects required of their position – these are complete and dominant players that affect the game.

        I understand why you don’t agree with paying any position as much as the QB position. It does make sense. But these guys are making well below the top of the market for QBs.

        1. I think the question ultimately is: do guys like Donald, Mack and Miller have a similar impact on the defense that a very good to elite QB has on the offense?

          1. Well, I think it is whether they have a similar impact as a decent to good QB. Look at the contracts they received. They are well below the contracts given out to the top QBs this offseason. More in line with the contract given out to, say, Alex Smith.

            1. Scooter. I’m comparing elite at one position with elite at another position. I see what you are saying, but at the same time, if we use your criteria without modification, you could apply it to an absurd situation where the best punter in the league is making an absurd amount (farfetched, but I think you get my point). That’s why I think you have to measure impact on the respective side of the ball and the scarcity of that type of player (supply and demand). Would an elite middle linebacker deserve middle of the pack QB money?

              1. If a punter had the same impact as a decent/ good QB, then yeah, he should get paid accordingly. But a punter doesn’t have that type of impact.

                I do however think guys like Donald, Mack, Miller and other elite pass rushers can have as big an impact on a game as a decent/ good QB. Not the same as a very good/ elite QB though, which is why they shouldn’t make current market rate for signing an elite QB (and don’t).

          2. You can’t win if you don’t have a 10 sack guy.
            That might mean you have to pay Mack type money in todays NFL.

            1. When was the last time the Patriots had a 10 sack guy?

              5 of the top ten sack leaders played on teams that didn’t make the playoffs.

          3. defensive players like Donald, Mack, and Miller will limit– sometimes seriously so (especially if the opposing team has an iffy QB and/or OL)– the opposing OC’s options for scheme and playcalling…
            So, as the D’s ultimate anti-QB weapon…well, then…yes, they do have a similar (but not identical) impact on their D that the QB has on a given O…
            let’s hope Buckner gets to the level where he’ll be able to command these prices!

        2. Scooter,

          It also goes back to what I said a few weeks back about paying defensive players. The way the game has evolved, I would not give contracts like this to defensive players. As good as Mack and Donald are they can be taken out of games with scheme. You wind up paying them to take on double and triple teams which is great, but that also means you have to have good players around them to take advantage of it. Mack is a great player but he couldn’t help the Raiders get out of the bottom of the league in defense. In my opinion you can’t get enough value out of these guys to warrant the money spent on them. Defense is a system and total team effort. Offense is based on how good your QB is. You can plug players in every year and have a good defense. You can’t do that on offense, and especially at QB.

          1. One other thing I forgot to mention is, that the guaranteed money these guys are getting is very close to the highest paid QB’s in the league. That is a lot of money to give to positions with a high possibility of injury. That is the key to these deals.

          2. good point on the Raiders D, but the Bears’ D isn’t Oakland’s D — Fangio has the add’l pieces needed to blowup schemes that dbl or triple team Mack, and in many passing snaps, they’ll insist on Mack getting doubled, and pressure will still get thru…
            I suspect it’ll be a tough sled for Cousins, Stafford, and Rodgers…

          3. If Buckner develops into a ten sack a season player, what would you see as a reasonable amount to pay to keep him? I take your point about the Patriots, but there aren’t many teams that can maintain that level of success without some elite players on the D.

            This is going to sound odd given the arguments I am making, but I personally am happy the 49ers didn’t trade for and then sign Mack. However, I do think teams are in a position where they can afford one marquee defensive player as well as a marquee QB. And that defensive player can be paid something close to a decent QB. Especially if the QB is still on their rookie deal, and will be for a few years, like Trubisky is.

      2. Well… It really matters little what we think–overpaying in general, overpaying by position, etc. Makes for spirited debate, but doesn’t cause owners, GMs, and team CFOs to pause and reflect on fan thinking (which is all over the map). It’s their team and their money. It’s the NFL market place, love it or hate it.

        Will be interesting how relevant this argument is in late January when we’ll know how well the Rams, Bears, and others finish the season.

        Not singling anyone out here, just general commentary…

  29. As you said it’s a Niiners blog. However something’s obviously wrong with the current franchise tag system. The league didnt plan on market value out pacing cap growth, that’s definitely going to be a talking point for the next CBA.
    As far as actual fee agency, I believe that more and more teams are going to put much greater emphasis on the current value to be had in the rookie cap structure. I bet that these holdouts (Mack, Bell, etc.) are going to become less and less frequent.

  30. I agree with rocket. It throws your whole roster into financial chaos real fast
    The Bears gave way to much in that whole transaction

  31. Who joined up under the name werewolves of london? Use the name you go by on this forum so we know who everybody is.

      1. Any back alley street
        Is where we’ll probably meet
        Underneath a gas lamp
        Where the air’s cold and damp

        1. “I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at trader vic’s…
          and his hair was perfect”

    1. What ever happened to Crab? He had a good season a few years ago. People from last year whom haven’t signed up are:
      #80, Coffee’s for Closers, Nofear4by4, dlptown, Shoup, and MidWestDynasty.

      Join up! The more the merrier!

  32. Let’s talk about Sunday and how we can steal a win in Minny.
    It has to start with stopping Dalvin Cook. If the Niners can stop the run and make the Vikings somewhat one dimensional they might have a chance of keeping Kirk Cousins from getting in a rhythm. He’s exceptional when he can dictate the pace of the game.

    The other thing I’ll be looking at is to see if Dicky Sherman can shut down one of Theilan or Diggs. Then if we can blanket Rudolph with Freddy Warner or Tartt, it’s a game.

    Lastly, the offensive line. Give Jimmy G time and establish the run for play action early and the 49ers win.

    Niners 20
    Vikes 17

    1. I think our best hope for stealing a win is that the Vikings offense hasn’t appeared to gel yet (based on what I saw in preseason). Lucky for us we are playing them early in the schedule and there is a better chance their offense will not yet be in sync. I expect the 49ers offense to be more in sync despite the new guys on the OL.

    2. I honestly think the key to this game will be whether the 49ers DL can take advantage of the Vikings weak OL. If they can’t I don’t like the 49ers chances.

    3. The sleeper key is 9er special teams play. If the 9ers can get very strong returns (great field position), nearly eliminate Vikings returns, and make every FG and XP attempt, we stand a good chance of winning.

      Weak or barely average special teams play will get in the way of a 9er victory.

      9ers 24, Vikings 18

      1. Don’t forget we cannot run into the teeth of the defense and if by chance a player has a first down, he should immediately fall to the ground!

  33. Bold predictions on the upcoming game with the Vikings.
    Niners dominate the weakened Viking O line, and stop Cook.
    Niner D line gets 4 sacks. Thomas and Buckner each get at least one sack.
    JG is efficient and scores 3 TDs, He targets Trae Waynes.
    Niners, 24-23

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