What we learned about the 49ers in Week 1

Here’s my Thursday column.

Breaking down the 49ers before Week 1 this year was like trying to see San Francisco through the fog.

It’s Week 2 now, and the fog has lifted. What do we see?

1. NaVorro Bowman is NaVorro Bowman

Apparently, NaVorro Bowman is not a human being. He’s some other life form, perhaps from the NaVorro Galaxy.

A human being wouldn’t be able to play every snap in his first game back from a torn ACL and MCL. But NaVorro Bowman can, and did.

Not only did Bowman shut down and totally outclass Adrian Peterson, one of the best running backs in the NFL, Bowman also sacked Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater twice.

Bowman is the 49ers’ pass rush and run defense. He looks like a lock to win Comeback Player of the Year, and a candidate to win Defensive Player of the Year, too.

Who IS this guy?

2. Carlos Hyde is a better running back than Frank Gore

Letting Frank Gore sign with the Indianapolis Colts was the best move the 49ers made in free agency this year.

No offense to Gore — he should be a Hall of Famer one day. But if he were still on the Niners, he would be in Carlos Hyde’s way. Gore would have to be the backup.

And Gore would be a bad backup. He doesn’t fit the 49ers’ system anymore. He ran old-school gap-blocking plays like Power and Counter, plays that require patience and the ability to get small to slip through tiny cracks.

The Niners mostly use zone blocking now, and Gore isn’t fast enough to run outside the tackles on those plays. Hyde is more than fast enough. Against the Vikings, it seemed he could pick up yards around either end whenever he wanted.

I’m thinking just about every team wishes they had Hyde right now.

3. The 49ers offense didn’t show us a thing in preseason

And that’s a good thing.

The Vikings had no idea what they were going to get from the 49ers offense. Minnesota was totally caught off guard by San Francisco’s two- and three-tight-end formations, and never adjusted to them. Not even at halftime. It’s like the Vikings couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

Who knows how they scouted the Niners last week? The Vikings didn’t have any film to watch. The Niners offensive starters hardly played in the preseason, and the coaching staff is brand new.

All of that’s over with now. The league has film on the Niners. The Pittsburgh Steelers have a book on San Francisco’s offense right now.

Don’t get me wrong, the Niners also have a book on Pittsburgh. I’m saying neither team will surprise the other next week.

4. Colin Kaepernick is pretty good when you roll him out

In 2013, I asked 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh why he didn’t roll out Colin Kaepernick more often. I asked because Kaepernick had just gotten sacked six times in a loss to the Carolina Panthers. Kaepernick rolled out only twice in that game. Harbaugh made Kaepernick stay in the pocket, and he got crushed.

When I asked Harbaugh this question, roughly 90 percent of Kaepernick’s passes that season had come from the pocket. The other 10 percent were rollouts.

“Don’t know that 10 percent is not enough,” Harbaugh said to me. He seemed sure of himself.

Monday night under new head coach Jim Tomsula and new offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, Kaepernick attempted 26 passes, and eight were rollouts. We’re talking 30 percent. Of those eight rollouts, he completed seven passes for 66 yards, and posted a quarterback rating of 101.

That’s how you know 10 percent is not enough.

5. Kaepernick still is not so good in the pocket

Let me amend that statement. Kaepernick is fine in the pocket when he can use play action. Against the Vikings, he completed 5-of-6 play-action passes from the pocket, including a 19-yard pass to Vernon Davis.

It’s when he doesn’t use play action that he struggles. It’s when he drops straight back to deliver the pass. That’s the hardest thing a quarterback does. Drop straight back, scan the whole field, find the open receiver and throw him an accurate in less than 2.5 seconds. Think Joe Montana.

Against the Vikings, Kaepernick dropped straight back 17 times. During those plays, he scrambled five times, ran and didn’t throw the ball. When he did throw, he completed 5-of-12 passes for 51 yards. That’s a quarterback rating of 54.5.

Most of the time when he drops back, it seems he wants to scramble, like he’s waiting to abandon the structure of the play so he can just take off. When he sees a wide open receiver and has to throw, it’s almost like Kaepernick wishes he didn’t see him, wishes he didn’t have to pass from the pocket.

He had a wide open throw to Anquan Boldin on third-and-5 from the Vikings 11 with 4:40 left in the third quarter. The score was 7-0 Niners at the time, and if Kaepernick had thrown a semi-decent pass the result would have been first-and-goal.

But Kaepernick threw the 10-yard pass into the grass behind Boldin. It was a gimme, and Kaepernick missed it.

Will Kaepernick ever improve in the pocket, or will he be a play-action rollout specialist the rest of his career? We’ll find out more Week 2. Is it OK for him to be a rollout specialist the rest of his career? We’ll find out this season.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

This article has 319 Comments

  1. I thought this was of CKs better game. Grant what are prediction on the game. I think we could win. 24-17.

    1. i loved the article until i got to #5. you should have just combined 4 & 5 and said ” kap is much better when he rolls out ” and gave your stats. Then you could have mentioned the young secondary or D-Line. Both played great! Instead you dedicated #5 entirely to kicking kap in the growing. You love to play the ” subtract the positive” game! you know what im talking about, ” if you subtract frank Gore’s 74 yard td run, then he only had 32 yards on 19 carries” .Its just so corny how you always butcher someones stat line up until you get #’s to support your objective.

      Its also cheesy the way you took a shot at Harbaugh and insinuated you are smarter than him in #4. We both know how he ALWAYS shined the media on and likely never gave one honest answer to ANY question

  2. C’mon Grant, are you not even going to offer up any semblance of a discussion/explanation of you expert opinion and predictions you presented going into week 1? How about revisiting that post, and revisiting your thoughts on a case by case basis? And I don’t necessarily mean that as a way for us all to watch (read) you eat crow (although that might be kinda fun), but more of an iterative approach to assessing this team moving forward… show us how this game changed your line of thinking, or how it did not? What were you wrong about? What were you right about? Anything… something?

  3. “A human being wouldn’t be able to play every snap in his first game back from a torn ACL and MCL. But NaVorro Bowman can, and did.”

    Not to diminsh what Bowman did, but he’s a professional athlete who took all of last season off…he’s had plenty of time to rehab and medicine has made great breakthroughs in fixing knee injuries…he’s not the first one to come back from a significant injury and be able to play.

    Now he did play extremely well which was a pleasant surprise. I thought there might be some rust there. If he’s out there leading the D, this team has a chance to make some noise.

  4. “Most of the football-loving world has seen Carlos Hyde’s beautiful spin move for a touchdown by now. What we found most interesting about the play is that Hyde showed an impressive display of burst, climbing from 3.5 mph on the spin to a top-end speed of 18.9 mph as he jetted across the field to the left pylon. Hyde covered 47 yard for a 10-yard gain.”


    1. Gore became a liability to the Niners his last couple of years. Too many adjustments made for him. Gore had lost his quickness and speed and just couldn’t run effectively outside the tackles anymore. Also the O-line became less effective at power blocking and there were few if any holes opening up for him to exploit anymore. They eye test trumps stats everytime. He just was not the runner he once was and keeping a blocking scheme in place to suit his style was detrimental to the teams effectiveness.

      1. Thank you! Exactly my thoughts, but everyone was crying out loud when he left, I love him, one of the greatest 49ers ever, but he got slow and was easy to defend by good defenses since he couldn’t run to the outside effectively

      2. Willtalk, are you standing by your assessment that the 49ers have, what, five quality NFL starters on their roster coming into the season? And are you taking another look at the roster and pre draft scouting reports?

        Can a team with so few bona fide, NFL quality players, compete at the level the Niners did Monday night? Or is it more likely that, we really didn’t know exactly what kind of depth we had on this team because the previous regime simply refused to give the younger players the play time necessary to fully develop?

        Because, I don’t know what you think you saw Monday Night, but this is what I saw on the offensive side alone:

        1) A young, duel threat QB whom has already been there and done that. You won’t find a harder working QB in the league, and he has the respect of all of his fellow teammates because of it. A QB who seems to be developing the ability to manage the offense, make most of the throws, and who is one of the tougher QB to game plan against when the OL is doing it’s job and the OC is taking advantage of his incredible skill set.

        2) A very deep DL, stacked with versatile players. It’s looks like a unit has a synergy, with a number of guys with differing skill sets combining to make for a terrific rotation along the line.

        3) I saw an Aldon Smith-less Inside LB Corp that contained the edges, and applied steady pass rush (Aaron Lynch) throughout the game.

        3) I saw a Inside LB duo which seem to play well off each other, with a perennial All-Pro in Bowman, dominating at the point of attack, and a steady, sure tackling LB in Wilhoite, who can hold his own.

        4) I saw an OL which, on the right side of the OL, looks dominant in the run and pass, a big bodied center who seemed to be making the right calls, and a left side of the line that appears to be pretty athletic, and adept at their new, stretch, zone-blocking scheme.

        5) I saw 3 TE’s, all of which have a place in this league. One (Vernon Davis), is still one of the fastest, “move” TE’s in the league, and knows how to block when his head is in the game. Conversely, another TE (VM) is simply a blocking machine, with exceptional strength and the speed and athleticism to wreak havoc on the second level. And a 3rd TE (Garrett Celek) who has gained a lot of strength since signing as a FA, and has always been a sure handed receiver, making him a quality, all around TE.

        6) And last, but certainly not least, I see a RB that is the epitome of a bell-cow back with the size and physicality to pound between the tackles, and the quick twitch, cut and go style, bolstered by an explosive burst of speed, who was born to run behind a zone-blocking scheme.

        What say you?

        1. Very nice appraisal. I was especially interested in your take on our tight ends because I am beginning to think that in week 2 they are going to be the focus along with Torrey Smith of our attempt to topple the Steelers – unless the running game goes as well as it did against Minnesota. MacDonald and Celek are going to be well worth watching this year. (RE: Vernon. For the last two years or so I’ve thought the guy was a prima donna – not a popular view no doubt, and I hope I’m wrong, but that has been my sense of him. I guess we’ll see this year.)

  5. the easiest way to truly judge a QB is how they play when coming from behind with enough talent. I tell people this all the time e in the 9ers SB run and Keep had talent he was successful. The missing piece has been 2 qualit TE. Delanie Walker was a better TE than Davis.Now Keep had weapons so we shall see

  6. Grant, very fine piece. I think you nailed it on Kaepernick, although I would add this observation: Between the 20 and 20, he has good ability to manage the team down the field. The red zone is where he struggles, mightily. How many times has his passing been disappointing there? I think there is too much for him to process there, resulting in a slow or inaccurate release. What Chryst has to do there is switch to short passes and runs.

    1. I’m curious if Grant can break down the play-action passes. On some of those plays, Kaep didn’t really sell the hand-off at all. It was like he abandoned the hand-off so he can start scanning the field. These were almost straight drops backs.

      His throwing motion is also still pretty ugly.

      I think he knows that his throwing motion is a liability in tight spaces, when the pocket collapses around him.

      I guess that’s why he has to scramble, which is a smart thing for him to do to limit his mistakes.

      The best thing Kaep did was to not feel like he has to play hero ball. Hyde looks even more dangerous that Gore ever was. Hyde’s just getting into the flow of things. He has that Chris Johnson burst around the edge and — he — could – go – all – the way.

      Throughout the year Kaep needs be a better pocket QB. Then the Niners Offense will be a bigger threat with the face pace.

      For those that say he doesn’t need to be a pocket QB, are you serious? Why wouldn’t you want our Qb to be so limited? Even that squirty little Russell Wilson will eventually hit his wall if he doesn’t become a better pocket QB. He runs for more yards that Kaep, is more elusive in the pocket and has better vision, but he’s not going to last if he can be a solid QB. He’s got Jimmy Graham too and he looked just okay against the Rams.

      1. Eventually, Kaep will need to be a bona fide, pocket passer if he wants to have a career after his legs slow down. But the Kaep we have right now, really doesn’t need to be a great pocket passer. I think we have all seen how dynamic he can be when he is allowed to be himself. It’s not always pretty but it’s pretty darn exciting. This new staff seems to get that. They need to get Colin out of the pocket a lot, rolling out into space, with the ability to run or pass. And they need to utilize some quick hitting, shorter routes early in the games to get Kaepernick into some sort of rhythm.

        1. Why are you talking about how he will play after 7 years?
          I want at least 2 SBs in the next 7 years, with Kaep being allowed to move.

          1. Because, the point is, if you read the whole post, Kaepernick doesn’t need to be Tom Brady in the pocket as long as he can still run like a gazelle, throw on the run, and break down defenses with his legs. His duel threat is harder to game plan for than a one dimensional pocket passer.

      2. Actually, typical post Fan. Your agenda knows no end, bud. But to your credit, you are consistent.

        I thought that CK showed some very good mechanics Sunday night.
        Some of which you have berated him for. It’s a little disingenuous in your above post that you failed to mention even one improvement, but I’ll take the liberty and do it for you.
        1. Showed patience in the pocket
        2. Showed a better touch on many of his passes
        3. Looked off his 1st WR option and scanned the field better
        4. Didn’t run from the pocket at first impulse like he has in the past.

        Is he where he needs to be? Of course not!
        But I see a QB that is making every effort to improve his mechanics. Will he still have “stinker” games? Probably.
        But now, I don’t believe that the entire onus of the offense is on his shoulders – and that might be the best thing that has happened for Kaep in the last 3 seasons.

        1. Most important, he/they won the game and he didn’t lose it for them “ala” a couple times last year.

          1. Actually FDM, it’s also important in this case to highlight some of the improvements that CK showed on Sunday night because it’s been those exact mechanical issues in his game that many here have harped since last season.

            Sure, I would love for the team to win every week because it does in fact hide some of the flaws that some players have, but the fact also remains that Kaep’ flaws has have been extremely pressed by some.

            If some here want to sweep CK’ positive showing under the proverbial rug by now not giving him any credit that’s ok. I’m interested in seeing their reaction when CK does not have a good game – chances are that they will be the first to track and detail every flaw.
            Funny how that seems to work.

    2. I agree that Grant makes some interesting and rational points. I still think Kaep doesn’t look comfortable yet. Kaep is an instinctive player so comfort level is important for his production. I think trying to make him stay in the pocket threw him off big time, because the line did not provide a consistent pocket to be comfortable in. This season he will also have to decide when to throw with touch and when to fire it. That will take some time till it becomes more instinctive as well. You don’t want him thinking but acting instinctively. Repetition is what will make things more instinctive.

      I also believe that Harbaugh might have been to influenced by the fear of Kaep getting injured starting with the 2013 season and that is why he over reacted in trying to transform him into a pocket passer far to quickly. Doing so when injuries and bad personal decisions depleted the WR corp in 2013 and the slow receivers and bad line play 2014 threw a wrench in that plan. Harbaugh like Baalke is to methodical and doesn’t adjust but rather relies too much on his system. When all those negative variables came into play in 2013 and 14 he just could not adjust. Add Romans stagnated offense and we shouldn’t be surprised at the results.

      1. Willtalk. Harbaugh certainly had a say in the offense but it was Greg Roman’s job to game plan and make adjustment during the game. He deserves the bulk of the blame. Harbaugh is all about run first, smash mouth football, that’s his influence on the offense. It’s what he learned from his master, Bo Schembechler.

        Not sure what you mean with your Baalke criticism. Yes, Trent has a system, and he sticks to it. That’s why it’s called a system. You can criticize his system all you want, but you can’t criticize him for not following his system can you? I don’t follow? I think you need to get off the “blame Baalke for everything” mindset. Move the f_ck on!

  7. Your initial assessment of Mr. Hyde when he was drafted was not only illogical, it was wrong. Good to see you come full circle. Kaepernick performed exactly as expected, incrementally improved in his progressions, ball trajectory and pocket awareness. The easy throw to Boldin was mechanical error, because he delivered the ball standing too tall. Blitzburg did not get any film on the 49ers until late Monday evening into Tuesday morning. The 49ers studied Steelers film before the Viking game, advantage 49ers. I expect Mangini to utilize an extra safety more often to confuse Big Ben into throwing into disguised coverages. They’ll shut down their run game, and offensively I think the 49ers three tight end sets will be a nightmare for the Steelers defense, with VD having a productive afternoon….

    1. Razor- I also thought Hyde wouldn’t do this well. That was based on his upright running style. It just didn’t suite the blocking scheme that was in place at the time. This zone scheme suites him and gets him in the open spaces where he is very good at breaking tackles. Hyde just wasn’t that good at pushing the pile straight on like some backs and like Gore could do in his prime. I think this scheme fits Hayne’s style as well. They both run upright and are more effective in space.

      While this coaching staff was unknown, the results we are seeing was one of the two possible outcomes. Sometimes too much experience creates methodical coaches who get locked into a system which because of earlier success has become their security blanket they refuse to leave. There is an balance between structure and creativity that gives the most optimum results. Structure is an essential ingredient and foundation for creativity to flourish. That ironically is the balance that Kaep also needs to develop. I think Kaeps development was also effected negatively mirrored the very issues the team was going through. I don’t think Harbaugh understood the importance of that balance. The very skills and qualities which attracted him to Kaep he ironically ended up repressing. A persons inner imbalance and dysfunctions will interestingly enough eventually manifest them selves outwardly in their life situations.

      1. I sort of got off track in that I forgot to add the point about the present coaching staff I meant to make. It appears to be very creative and adjustable because they are not locked into a system. The later part of my previous post was how the Harbaugh staff differed ( and why ) from the present one. This new group has qualities that Harbaughs staff lacked. Hope fully they have the strengths that Harbaugh possessed as well..

      2. Mr. Hyde was drafted with a vision in mind. Pair the best zone read running back with the best zone read quarterback and transition away from power. Grant thought Mr. Hyde was the wrong running back in large part because he came from Ohio State….

              1. No George. Star Wars is all about the Zen of The Force. A little luck to go with great planning is all about venture capital.

        1. Yeah Hyde was meant to run without a FB. Gore struggled with the pistol. That’s why he loves Andrew Luck so much.
          Still, I want to Gore to have a great career at Indy. He deserves it.

      3. I also feel confident about this coaching staff, and last season had no confidence in the offensive coaches – Roman and Harbaugh. Even though Fangio was very successful – and the main reason the 49ers did so well at first – he didn’t exhibit the kind of creativity that we saw from Mangini on Monday. Geep Chryst will, I hope, continue to call plays according to what’s working and what isn’t, which was a major failing of Greg Roman, rather than according to a predetermined scheme. And i’m ecstatic at the results of the zone blocking approach. I love the creativity and smarts of this group, and in spite of Tomsula’s less than stirring press conferences, I feel that we’ve dramatically upgraded our coaching staff.

        1. I’m very intrigued to see how Roman makes out in Buffalo, now that he’s not got Harbaugh to answer to. Week one was so far so good – they handily beat Indy.

      4. Carlos Hyde runs too upright? Come on Willtalk, the guys is great at lowering his shoulds and running THROUGH tacklers. According to PFF, Hyde ranked 2nd to Marshawn Lynch last season in yards after contact. That would never happen with an upright runner, trust me.

        By the way, you are the first person I have ever heard about his pad level. The kid lowers the boom on defenders. A little tip for the future: Pad level only matters at the point of contact!

        1. the guy is great at lowering his shoulder and bringing the “Boom”. Get out of here with running to upright. Sheesh!

    2. Razor, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Davis, McDonald and Celek all have pretty good games against the Steelers. The safeties are terrible, and of their LBs only Shazier is really any good in coverage. I expect a fair amount of 3 TE sets again, but I think we’ll see more pass plays out of those sets this week.

      1. I had the same thought. The 13 grouping keeps the D guessing whether it would be a run or pass. Definitely anticipate more pass plays than we saw on Monday.

  8. Grant, the Steelers have ONE game on the niners, which is more like a chapter than a book. I’d say the niners have a big planning advantage over the Steelers, since they did not have wholesale system changes on either side of the ball, and therefore there is much more tape on them. I also think you could give Kap some more credit for his progress since last season on going through his reads and not immediately reverting to the run option.

  9. Throughout training camp and preseason, reporters now and then noted the “new and improved” pace and tempo of our team. With regard to Colin and Monday night’s game and Grant’s column here, maybe that’s worth noting again. I wonder if anyone else was keeping half an eye on the play clock? For pretty much the entire game, our boys hit the line and were ready to go with 12 or more seconds left for Colin to scan the defense, take a deep breath, and – go! Some sports guy on some other online sports blog remarked that Colin didn’t seem all that different from last year – “Same old, same old” was the tone of his piece. Geez, I wondered what game he watched and through what kind of glasses he watched it? Anyway, Colin’s markedly-improved poise and self-discipline were wonderful – if you’re a 49er fan – to behold.

    1. I remember your previous post. Except for the long bomb, your analysis nailed it.
      I think that the Niners will take advantage of a struggling defensive back field and hit some of those explosion plays you like.

      1. Hey, thanks Seb! I was hoping someone would remember my earlier post and give me a pat on the back – LOL! Couple plays there Colin did try to pass long. I’m thinking of those longer balls he had to throw out of bounds because the receiver wasn’t open.

        Steelers are going to be significantly more of a test. Our O-line is going to need to perform even more outstandingly this coming Sunday. But our defense should be able effectively to keep us in the game. I mean, like, if someone as spry as Teddy-B has trouble running from our blitzes, think of the fits the red dog is going to give to Big Ben’s older legs.

        BTW, for what it’s worth (not much), I enjoy your comments and attitude.

        Thanks again.

    2. Great post Max. This is a bigger story than people apparently realize. They’le catch on eventually. Not only does it allow Kaep to scan the defense, and make adjustments, it also makes it much harder for DL to anticipate the snap, getting a split second head start on the OL. Trust me, that’s one of the reasons for all of the pressure Kaep faced last couple seasons.

      1. And, an added bonus. The tempo wears down a defense, as long as you can sustain drives, which clearly happened Monday Night. The Niners broke the Vikings will to pursue and tackle, and it was a sight to behold!

      2. Thanks, 49reasons! Yes, against the Steelers we’re going to have to take as much advantage of those split seconds as we can. I wonder if you’ve checked out any of the highlights from the Steelers-Patriots game. We can beat these guys, but I’m still thinking about how we’re going to do it. I’m waiting to read Grant’s analysis later this week.

        Oh, by the way, I have a coffee shop buddy, a fellow Montanan, who was at the game Sunday night. He had one helluva good time – and he’s a Redskins fan! Knowing I like the 49ers, he brought back the black-and-red home-opener T-shirt and presented it to me over coffee this morning. Needless to say, I (and the other regulars in the place) got a big kick out of that. Made my day :-)

        Thanks again.

  10. Let’s see Grant got it all wrong in his assessment about the Niner’s all though out the offseason up to his guess that the niner’s would lose to the Vikings.

    According to Tomosula, he did the right things, checking out of the pass and the run when deemed fit. He actually went through his progressions and threw with touch. Can he get better sure. Remember though, he had limited playing time in preseason game reps. He should only get better, but he will have bad games, even the top tier QB’s do.

    This up tempo and allowing him to check out of the play is suited to Kaep and his pistol days. Hyde was the right pick, though I will admit I was surprised by the pick since we had several others at the time, but Baalke is a man of his repute, BPA and drafting them before they are needed.

    1. Perhaps Baalke had already considered the scheme change when he drafted Hyde. I suspected that his drafts were more geared to the future ( with out Harbaugh ) than with the 2014 season. I sort of suspected it might have been as early as the 2013. It killed two birds with one stone. Not gearing for the present ( 2013/14)in not supporting the success of Harbaugh’s teams helped create the results that justified his removal, while also simultaneously gearing the team for the post Harbaugh era.

      1. I beg to differ. Baalke is thinking a year or two ahead of time, no matter who the HC is or will be. Those ACL players have at least a one year lag time. He also has to juggle the salary cap, so he is drafting to replace the FAs who will leave because they will get more to go elsewhere. His modus operandi makes it essential to think ahead, no matter who the HC is.

  11. I do hope that the O-line over the rest of the season develops and improves to the point where the 3 TE sets will be used out of choice and not necessity. If not then teams will be able to scheme for that and the offense will suffer. I suspect that this is just an initial transition to allow the line and Kaep to become more comfortable and the long passing game will eventually manifest itself.

  12. Can’t say I disagree with any of this. It all sounds about right. But this post also made me remember why I quit reading this blog for so long. Grant, you have some basic writing skills and you occasionally make marginally interesting points, but your constant need to pat yourself on the back and try to insert yourself as an expert more knowledgeable than men who have spent their lives as players and coaches is tiresome. Get over the rollout thing. Did you really expect Harbaugh to say, “Gee Coach Cohn you have a great point there. You have opened my eyes. I’m going to leave this room and fire Greg Roman. Have your agent wait by the phone for our offer so you can become the next Offensive Coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers.” The pompous tone is a huge turnoff. Get over it dude.

    1. Houston – It was noticeable and frustrating the past 2-3 years that the QB rarely rolled out and almost never used the screen pass. And the nimble QB was not very effective moving the team. That’s on Harbaugh and it would have been dead reasonable for Grant or any other reporter to ask him why he didn’t try more of these tactics to help out Kap. I’d like to know.

      Your diatribe vs G. Cohn is pretty much devoid of salience and comes off sounding like, I don’t know, …. jealousy, maybe? Possibly you should start your blog, get your own credentials and ask your own profound and revealing questions??

      1. Who are you? His Mom or his agent? I find it quite humorous that you took the time to defend a sportswriter. He’s a big boy. He can take it.

        As far as the rollout thing, the men who were calling the shots were wildly successful coaches who had more years experience in football than Grant has been alive. I think they had a good idea what they were doing. EVEN IF, you want to criticize them for it, Grants “I told you so” approach and actually quoting his question to Harbaugh comes across as arrogant, pompous, and self absorbed. I hate to break this to you but Jim Harbaugh knows a lot more about football than Grant Cohn. Grant trying to pass himself off as more knowledgeable than JH is absurd. Grant could have just pointed out the rollout strategy but instead he had to inject himself into the story. Cohn’s writing style is a major turnoff for many people.

        1. My point was that asking that question was reasonable because Kaepernick is an unusually mobile quarterback and it would seem to make sense to let him move. The question makes even more sense after a game where he was sacked 6 times.

          One of the suspicions about Harbaugh was that he may have been “a little” inflexible in his ways. That feeds into this issue too.

          So you don’t have to be Grant’s mom to support him recounting his anecdote.

          And if you have “to know more about football” than the coach or the QB before you can question a strategy or a play, then the whole premise of a blog like this is pretty much out the window. Only a very few of us here are qualified to comment.

          1. Asking the question was reasonable. Recounting the question is reasonable. Grant couldn’t stop there. He had to write this post in such a way as to attempt to prove himself right and Harbaugh wrong. Harbaugh said he doesn’t know if 10% isn’t enough. Grant used the minuscule sample size in one game against a terrible defense to try to prove that he was right about 10% not being enough. He specifically went out of his way to insert himself in this post which is ridiculous for a sportswriter with any credibility. It’s Grant’s blog and he can post articles using his pompous windbag style all he wants. I am also free to point out his arrogance and tell him he’s not smarter than an NFL coach with a higher winning % than Bill Walsh and Steve Mariucci.

        2. Can anyone blame Harbaugh for ignoring Grant’s question when Grant is wrong 90% of the time. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, right? I am sure Harbaugh considered this, and for whatever reason, he felt comfortable letting Roman devise the schemes. If Harbaugh can be criticised for anything, I think his over-confidence in greg Roman would be the best place to start. Greg Roman is a glorified college OC, nothing more. His schemes worked until the professionals adjusted, and then Roman was beat, and had no answers.

  13. Grant – you are a tool. You were so wrong on everything through the off-season. Your column last Thursday was completely off base. The Niners have already equalled your 2015 win total prediction in Week 2. Now, I don’t expect a playoff appearnce, but they are not the worst team in the NFL, which is what you basically stipulated they were through the whole off-season. Hyde is awesome. Kaep is 2 passes away from being the second best QB in SF history – but apparently that doesn’t matter to you. How about writing a column on your lack of football knowledge, bias against the 49ers and how you are constantly wrong. If you did that, you would have your first factual column ever. Man up – say you were wrong and yes, I know it is week 1 – but the 49ers have already surpassed your asessment of their capabilities in Week 1. So you are WRONG (already!)

  14. Dear Grant,
    You may hide behind your exalted position as head of this site, but you really should show a little respect to all the posters who visit this site to acknowledge your totally wrong prediction. I will continue to chide you for hiding out, and ignoring it will not make it go away.
    As a constructive criticism to your style, it seems to me that you can dish it out, but cannot take it. It will not hurt you to eat a little humble pie, and make you more human to the many posters who have enough football knowledge to make this site enjoyable.
    I will give you a little advice from Coach Tomsula. You need to own it, fix it, and move on.
    You need to acknowledge your wrong prediction, fix it by apologizing, and let us move on.
    As a dedicated poster who admires your writing style, please do the right thing.

    1. Apologize?? It was a prediction. And he gave his reasons. So he was wrong. Yow!!!

      Maybe some people take this blog-and-response thing a “little” too seriously.

      I’m sure he did not mean to hurt your sensitive feelings.

      1. Grant said – that if I was wrong and the Niners win, I know you will go after me and I’ll deserve it.
        Those were his words, not mine.

        1. So go after him. He put it out there. No doubt that he was wrong.

          But the notion that someone has to “apologize” for the the way his prediction turned out, that is beyond silly.

          1. All he has to do is say he was wrong. I do not want him to prostrate himself and flagellate himself with whips, and yell he is intellectually inferior to the whole world, I just want him to admit he was wrong.

      2. Let me enumerate how wrong he was.
        1. Grants said the O line will flunk their test. Wrong.
        2. Grant said Turner will school Mangini. Wrong.
        3. Grant said the play action will create voids, and Turner will exploit them. Wrong.
        4. Grant said that Bow would be overwhelmed. Wrong.
        5. Grant said TB would torch the DBs. Wrong.
        Grant was not only wrong, he was abysmally wrong. He was so wrong, he made TrollD look smart.
        I am going after him, because wants me to, and because he deserves it.

        1. Seb, you are new here. Grant is more often wrong than right in his pre-game analysis and predictions. Has been for years, it’s a given on the board. Best just to accept that blogging means never have to say you are sorry and on to the next game because you are not going to get it.

          1. Funny, Grant received praise and engaged the posters on this site.
            Now he is mum as an oyster.
            I reiterate, he sure likes praise but hates criticism. Too bad he can dish it out, but cannot take it.
            I guess he will not mind me ripping him for his cowardly attitude, because I will continue to chide him until he does, and you know me, I am verbose.
            He should man up and take his medicine.

          2. Yes, either wrong and doubles down (sometimes multiple times), usually only serving to compound his wrongness, or runs and hides when he is so completely and utterly wrong he can’t even fabricate a deflection or justification (as in this case).

    2. I love it. I love that quote! And Grant can stand to learn a little humility along the way. Scratch that…… a lot of humility more like!

  15. Kaepernick still is not so good in the pocket

    Let me amend that statement. Kaepernick is fine in the pocket when he can use play action.
    Let me amend that amendment. Kaepernick is fine in the pocket when he can use play action and the line is giving him the amount of time that it did. According to PFF Kaepernick had 3.04 seconds on average to throw from the pocket and that was 2nd highest in the league over the first weekend. Something else that helped Kaepernicks pocket efficiency was that he was given quick reads. His average time per attempt was 2.49 which is down considerably from the 2.7 he averaged the past two seasons. Geep is getting the ball out of Colin’s hands faster.

    1. Coffee’s…closers,

      Seb will cringe no matter how instructive the Kap criticism is and even if a pro analyst named, Greg Cosell, states everything you just did.

      High priced free agent, Torrey Smith, Ellison, and R. Bush, had 6 targets for 16 yards vs. the Vikes…that says it all!

      1. Forcing Kaep to be only a pocket passer is like putting an Abrams tank in a pit.
        TrollD predicted a 0-52 blowout. What a genius.

        1. No one is saying that Kaep only be a pocket passer, but that he needs to be a good pocket passer. This was the same thing that happened last year. They had a really good win to start the season, and then Kaep stunk against Chicago, then AZ. They had 3 good games and then stunk again Denver and the Rams and then the wheels started to fall off.

          Not developing Kaep is as a pocket passing threat is like an AT-T walker trying to stomp on the rebel forces, only to be outdone by a farm boy and a light saber.

          1. Cosell said that they should play to his strengths. His biggest weakness is his pocket skills. Being mobile plays to his strengths.
            Granted, Kaep could be like Dilfer and just hand the ball off and let the defense win. Dilfer was forbidden to pass, but Kaep is such a potent weapon, he can win games with his arm and/or legs.

            1. I think the 49ers would be remiss to not develop Kaep’s skills as a pocket passer. When I hear people say they should play to Kaep’s strengths, I take it to mean they should skew the offense to have a higher focus on areas he is good at, but not to eliminate areas in which he isn’t as strong. They can’t (or at least shouldn’t) completely remove pocket passing from the offense.

              But I think it is an area of his game he is improving, and will continue to do so. A heavy dose of play-action will help him immensely from the pocket, which of course means a strong running game to support him too.

              1. Of course it would be nice to have Kaep become a skilled pocket passer.
                I just think that forcing Kaep to be a pocket passer is illogical if you want the Niners to win games. Now is not the time for him to stay only in the pocket, when he is a hundred times more dangerous if they allow Kaep to move.
                Kaep should work on his pocket skills during the off season, but right now, they should accentuate his positives and hide his weaknesses.
                Cosell intoned that Kaep would never be an elite QB until he learned to be a pocket passer, JH took umbrage, and declared that he would make Kaep into a pocket passer even if it killed him, and after 52 sacks, he was almost right.

              2. They have to play to his strengths because if they don’t then Gabbert is going to start. Last year they thought he was going to develop more then he did. As much as I don’t like Roman’s play calling, he’s not dumb. They were trying to develop and do things that would make the Niner offense more exponentially lethal.
                Imagine if you had to actually worry about Kaep’s ability to read the defense and hurt you with throwing accurate darts all over the field.
                Right now his accuracy and mechanics are holding him back.
                For all the Kaep lovers, you want him to embrace this challenge because this is what he’s going to need to do for the team to legitimately win it all.
                We saw this one dimensional last year, only this time we have a fresh back in Hyde. But what happens if he goes down?
                What about all Torrie Smith, Ellington? Those are talented playmakers too.

              3. Oh pullleeeease, Gabbert is not going take Kaep’s job. Next you will be parroting the Kaep for Tebow trade.

              4. Seb, regarding Cosell saying he doesn’t think Kaep will ever be an elite QB until he learns to be a better pocket QB, I guess it depends on what you consider an elite QB to be.

                I think its fairly well accepted that pocket QBs are more likely to put up big passing numbers (i.e. passing yards, TDs, etc), and get the ball into the hands of their playmakers down the field. The reason for that is playing from the pocket opens up the entire field and provides more viable targets on each play. And big passing numbers are often what people equate with elite QBs.

                More and more athletic, spread style QBs are starting to infuse the NFL. Over time these guys will either change people’s perception of what an elite QB is, or will flunk out and be phased out of the NFL. Time will tell, but so far its looking like a trend that will continue.

              5. Good point Scooter,
                Right now I would trust Gabbert over Kaep in the pocket. Not saying he’s better or would move the offense better, I just feel like he knows what to do with the ball.
                Kaep will always be a threat as a runner, but the eventual big run is not worth the many missed opportunities as a passer.
                Simply put it’s part of his job to read the defenses, feel the rush.
                Cosell you need to play to his strengths but to be a great QB and a great offense you need balance in today’s NFL.
                These spread QBs don’t automatically adjust to the NFL, although Mariotta certainly looks a pro. It’s just one game. He will have some stinkers. Cam Newton came into the league on fire and now he’s regressed a bit. He’s already old news to everyone except Carolina.

              6. Why are some QBs pocket passers? Because they are slow. Think Big Ben, Carson Palmer and others. Kaep is like a jaguar.He ran for 181 yards in a playoff game. They really need to take advantage of his legs to avoid sacks, along with his running.
                Passers may throw for big numbers, but there are mitigating circumstances. He needs a decent O line to protect him, and decent WRs to throw to. Lack of either may mean failure. If there is a dominant running game, the pass may not be needed, like last game. Lack of a running game may mean that they tee off and rush the passer hard, and ignore the run.
                Overall, there needs to be balance, and overall competence. A deficiency in one area will be considered the weak link and could be exploited.
                Marino was the consummate pocket passer, and he threw for Hall of Fame yardage, but he never won a ring. Dilfer was forbidden to throw, and he won a ring.
                Kaep should be able to pass while on the run, and dominate teams by being unstoppable. If Geep can utilize all of his skillsets, the Niners will become a juggernaut.

              7. That’s how pedestrian Kaep’s play in the pocket is. Gabbert actually looked better in pre-season.

              8. Fan, just to clarify, when I said I think this is a trend that will continue I meant the shift towards more athletic QBs will continue. Partly due to the success some of these young guys are having (including Kaep, who has been to two NFCCGs and a SB), but mostly due to the prevalence of them in college football (and the types of offense now run in college football).

                Seb, the guys you mentioned as good pocket passers aren’t good pocket passers because they are slow. Being slow is not what makes a good pocket passer. Being slow has just meant they needed to be good in the pocket in order to succeed. This has suited traditional offenses which have been based on good pocket QB play.

                As the skill set of the QBs coming out of college are changing, so are the offenses. Les Snead said it well not long ago when he said NFL coaches need to adapt to the new breed of QB, and evolve their offense (and defense) to suit the QBs style of play.

              9. Why do I not want Kaep to be only a pocket passer? Because if they know he is going to be in the pocket, the defensive ends can tee off and rush to a spot. Last year, Kaep was only a pocket passer, and they sacked him 52 times. This last game, Kaep was mobile and they shifted the pocket, and he was never sacked for a loss. Granted, he did run out of bounds for no gain and they considered that a sack, but last year, Kaep was pummeled while in the pocket.
                As long as they let Kaep use his mobility to avoid sacks and buy time, I am happy. But if they bury him in a pit that collapses like a house of cards, and he is beaten like a pinata, I will be distinctly unhappy.

              10. Scooter,
                Who would you name as the best QBs right now?
                You would start with Rodgers, then Brady, Luck, Big Ben. 2nd tier would be maybe Philip Rivers. Some would even say Russell Wilson. Not many athletic QBs make the top list. There is trend towards athletic QBs, but it is the one that can make the throws in the pocket that stick. RG3 is benched. Cam is okay. He has his moments but he doesn’t scare anyone anymore.
                So long as Kaep used and feared manly for his running, then he’s just a gimmick. The read option was the scheme that scared teams. But the league figured it out. Kaep’s amazing running ability is part of his tool set, but it can’t be the only thing that he can do.
                We’ll see in the coming weeks how far he’s come in his development and how teams stack the box to stop Hyde.

              11. Fan, that is pretty much my point. When people think about what makes an elite QB, they think of the pocket QBs that put up big stats. It will take time for that line of thinking to change.

                But the past 3 SBs have had athletic QBs leading one of the teams. And more athletic QBs are being drafted early than I recall seeing in the past.

                The times, they are a changing.

              12. What makes
                an elite QB? When the game requires the QB to play inside, outside pocket and anywhere else, he is able to make plays with his arm and legs. He dictates what the defense gives him and delivers.
                Second thing is he does all the above consistently.
                #7 passed week one. 15 more to go.

            2. The last 3 SBs or SB winners? I think you have to be athletic but also able to throw accurately.

              A Rodgers is athletic and can run, but he also has a great arm and release.
              Brady won the last SB. Eli Manning won it the year the before. What about Flacco? He beat the Niners because he made accurate throws in coverage.
              Manning lost to Wilson, he rode the defense and Lynch, but he also could make the throw when he had to.
              The league is changing because the pure pocket passers are getting older. But the ones that survive in the next gen of QBs will be the ones that can also throw accurately.
              This is not a knock on CK, only that the came from a completely different system in college and never developed his mechanics. Mariota could be the next big thing.
              Oh yeah Big Ben beat Warner I think in 2010 and both those guys aren’t mobile. Drew Brees also won and he’s not mobile either.
              CK lost the SB because he couldn’t complete a pass in the red zone. He might have been able to run it in, but the Niners had to call a time out. Could’ve woulda shoulda doesn’t count.

              1. So in the four years in which athletic QBs have really started to take over the top of the draft (i.e., since Cam Newton in 2011), 3 of the 4 SBs have had QBs leading one of the teams, and you think that means they aren’t having success?

                How many athletic QBs are there starting in the NFL? And I don’t mean guys like Rodgers that have some athleticism but are known for their pocket passing game. Guys that are more mobile, spread style QBs. There still isn’t that many, though it is increasing each year. And the reason it is increasing is because you have the likes of Wilson, Kaep and Newton leading their teams to the playoffs, as well as prevalence of these types of QBs in college. And it is no coincidence that the athletic QBs doing well are the ones that have offenses tailored to their specific skills.

                You comment that the athletic QBs that stick moving forward are the ones that can throw accurately. I agree, to a degree. They obviously need to be able to make plays with their arm. The manner in which they do that, however, does not need to be by staying in the pocket almost every throw.

              2. Why did they win the SB? Just because they were relatively immobile QBs other that RW, does not mean that Kaep will never win just because he is a mobile QB.
                They won because their defenses were stout, and they scored more than the loser.They were good in all phases of the game.
                This year, the Niners look solid in all phases, so I am going to go out on a limb and say they have a legitimate chance to go all the way.

              3. SEB
                Brady won because he can pass. Manning won because he can pass. Wilson won because he had Defense, Lynch, and can pass. Ben won because he can pass. Those QBs won the games with throws when they needed an accurate throw.
                Green Bay won because of Rodgers. It’s not because they had stout defenses. Who was the MVP of those games? The QB!

                The trend is going to be athletic QBs, but that doesn’t mean they succeed.

                Let’s take a look at the contenders this year before week 1

                AZ — Immobile QB
                GB – Athletic but accurate QB
                PHILLY – Immobile QB, but system QB
                SEA — Mobile QB
                DAL — Gunslinger QB
                NO – Passing QB

                Denver – Immobile QB
                KC — Athletic, accurate QB, but can’t throw long!
                SD — Immobile QB
                NE — Immobile QB
                BAL — Immobile QB
                INDY — Athletic QB

                I get your point about QBs are coming in from college that don’t have the basic pocket skill set. But it’s the ones that pick up the pocket passing ability that will be the biggest threat.

                A QB can certainly win with a great running game and defense too, but it would be a hard for a running QB to win just on the threat of running alone.

                Kaep was in outlier in the SB, but in the end he need to make a pass. And didn’t.

                The formula for the Niners to win is that Kaep doesn’t throw more then 30 passes. When they fall behind he hasn’t show the ability to consistently make the throws that get them back into the game.
                Last year he was the worst 4th quarter QB.
                Just look at last year if you need proof.


              4. Defenses win championships.
                QBs are MVPs because thats tradition.
                Granted, most QBs do not need or want to run in the NFL. They need to be game managers and get the ball in the hands of his play makers.
                Granted, most successful QBs are also accurate.
                Still, I think Kaep is the new prototypical QB who is big, fast and accurate. You may differ on his accuracy, and i concede that last year was not stellar, but Kaep has shown to me that he is a SB QB.

              5. Okay Seb,
                Defenses do win championships. So let me ask you something. During the Steelers vs. Cards in the SB. Steelers were losing and it’s the 4th quarter. Big Ben makes a throw in a tight window, to I think Santino Holmes, in the back of the end zone, he catches it, and the Steelers win the SB.
                Did the Steelers win because the Cards Defense was not that good on that play, or did Ben make a great throw?

                What about the Niner SB. Kaep’s fade route throw to Crabs,which I think he audibled to that play. When the pass fell incomplete, did the defense make a great play,or did Kaep make a bad throw.

                In last year’s SB, you’re right that the defense made a great play to pick off RW to seal the game. At the same time, it took Tom Brady getting hot and making those great throws to lead them back from 2 scores against a great Seattle defense.

                You seem to think that Kaep is good enoug as he is now for the Niners to win the SB. What they’re doing is turning him into a game manager and to limit his mistakes. Same thing as Alex Smith, right? Do you think Alex is a SB QB?

              6. We’ll never know for sure if that pass was bad or not, because Crabtree was held.

                Also, Bruce Miller tackled by two Ravens opening the hike for Jacoby Jones’ KO returned for a TD.

                And the QB sweep for s TD that wasn’t, thanks to JH’s method of calling plays.

                And LMJ was facemasked as he fumbled.

                And Bokdin drew a phantom PI call that extended the drive on which the Ravens scored their winning points.

                Not that these things bother me any more.

              7. Fan, AS is talented. However, I wanted Rogers, so AS is not my first choice, no matter what. He has done well in KC, and I wished him well because of the classy way he handled his demotion. I still wish him well.
                Kaep, on the other hand, is bigger stronger and faster than AS. Kaep can shrug off arm tackles, and I even saw him complete a pass while getting drilled. Kaep is my man.
                In the SB, I faulted Crab. He whined that he was open, and Kaep showed loyalty to his friend and tried 3 times to get him the ball. Listen to the audio in the huddle.
                Do I think AS is a SB QB? Yes he could be, if the Chiefs do not have so many injuries like the last couple years. I would not mind a KC- Niners Super Bowl. I would wish him luck, then cheer for the Niners to bludgeon them.

              8. I wanted Rodgers too.

                Hey there’s no right or wrong answer, just food for thought about whether defense wins champions, QBs don’t matter, kickers get all the hot girls which is the NFL’s dirty secret not concussions. etc/

              9. Exgolfer,
                I’m still pissed at the PI in the 1983 NFCCG against the Skins. That’s why Lott cut off in finger! In protest!

              10. Fan,

                Defensive holding / illegal contact, but it comes down to the same thing. The WR ran into Lott, within five yards of the LOS, stayed in contact with Lott, made not effort to get around Lott, but merely joffing in place. Lott, meanwhile, just held his ground and didn’t move. Yeah, illegal contact, sure it was.

              1. It’s the compassion, it’s the dignity, it’s the wisdom. It’s the horse sense of the guy….

          2. Kap still has a ways to go as a pocket passer, but he’s getting there. Fan he didn’t stink against AZ or the Rams. In fact they were two of his highest rated games of the season.

            1. His best game was the Monday Night game against the Rams. But he also had a horrible game against the Rams at home when he fumbled on the goal line.

              He loss to AZ at home. And this is what happened in the final game of the season: A strong

              defensive showing overcame the usual second half collapse by the offense, and the Niners held on for a 20-17 win, to even their season record at 8-8. The 49ers defense intercepted Cardinals QB Ryan Lindley three times and sacked him twice, shutting Arizona out in the second half.

              They could barely beat the 3rd string QB even with 3 picks.

              At some point you just have to accept he wasn’t that good last year.

              1. CK didn’t fumble on the goal line! He bobbled the snap, regained control, dove into the pile, the pile went into the EZ, the Rams came out of the back of he like with the ball, and the refs erroneously awarded the ball to the Rams. That’s what happened.

      2. I find it ironic that some people who now quote Cossell as gospel when it comes to CK, blasted Cossell as an old and out of touch football analyst with todays athletes when he pointed to Alex Smith’ limitations.

        But the AS has proven that his style can work with the right pieces around him. I believe that Kaep can and will prove to do the same.

        1. I quoted Cosell because he used my words. I used to vilify him, but will restrain myself since he back tracked on his comments.

          1. That is a rather narcissistic view of things. Vilify them unless they believe as you do, say what you say.

            I also don’t think he back tracked on his comments. He just made a statement many people have been saying for a long time (not just you) that the 49ers should tailor the offense to Kaep’s strengths. Hardly ground breaking.

            1. I listened to the interview, but must have missed some of it. Cosell at the end said he did not want to be malicious, but the Niners tried to hide Kaep.
              OK, that just boils my blood. I was down on Cosell because I felt he was way too hard on Kaep. He started off by saying nice things, but in the end, he reverted to the mean nasty Cosell again. Therefore, I have no compunction about ripping him. He may praise Kaep all he wants in the future, but I find him odious no matter what.

              1. He’s just an analyst that has an opinion, Seb. He’s not being mean, he’s not being nasty. He’s just telling people what he sees when he watches Kaep. It is what he is paid to do.

                And really all he is saying is there are still weaknesses in Kaep’s game. Not that he is a bad QB. Not that he can’t ever be an “elite” QB (or Cosell’s view of what an “elite” QB is). He’s not even saying the 49ers can’t win with Kaep as he is. Cosell’s just saying that there are things Kaep does that Cosell doesn’t like to see in a QB.

                During the offseason Greg Cosell also made sure to point out that it is easy for people to forget that Kaep is still a relatively inexperienced starting QB, and that he is still learning the game. If anything, I think Cosell has a bit of time for Kaep, but just sees some things in his game he believes are holding him back currently from being considered an elite QB.

              2. As you point out Scooter, Cosell’s full time job is analyzing each weeks games in detail and reporting what he sees. He is also very careful to point out that he never knows what the call is or what the coaches have instructed their players to do. Cosell is not a homer for any team that I know about.

                Anyone can disagree with him, but only a “fan” would rant about Cosell’s comments concerning their team. He is Howard’s nephew, and was on the All City high school basketball team in NYC. He also played college ball. Except for possibly his uncle, I’ve never learned anything about him that irritated me.

              3. We will just have to disagree again.
                Cosell has never liked Kaep, and it seems he goes out of his way to criticize him. To say that the Niners were trying to hide Kaep is ludicrous. Cosell gave his own definition when he said malicious.

              4. Seb, seems to me that any time anybody says something even slightly critical of the 49ers, you take umbrage at it. Its great that you are a fan, but its also ok to be a fan and be critical of certain things about the team and its players.

                I think anybody that is being objective can realise Kaep has flaws in his game. And that he also has strengths. Cosell has pointed out both in his time.

              5. I have endured the taunts and screeds against Kaep for 9 months. The hate against him is palpable. I could not defend him too vigorously, because Kaep has fallen short, and last season was not optimal.
                I see his faults and know he needs to improve.
                I just grind my teeth when people say things like he is a remedial passer and will not be elite until he becomes a pocket passer.
                This last game was redemption. Kaep showed the world that he can lead a team and win games with his prodigious skillsets.
                Pardon me if I take umbrage over some one who maliciously says the Niners tried to hide Kaep. To me, that is an insult.

              6. I believe that Cosell is merely commenting on what he is seeing. He has his own thoughts on how QBs should play, but as his criteria are based on how the greats have played, I do not see his view as at all problematic. It is up to players like Kap, who are not traditional QBs, to prove that Cosell and other proponents of pocket QBs are wrong in their position. So far, the results are mixed, at best.

                What I think fans really react against with Cosell is his personal indifference to players and fans alike. He does not care about the players beyond what he sees them do on the field, nor does he care if fans do not agree with his positions. To attribute his indifference to malice is an emotional response to his comments.

              7. Seb,

                As usual, to augment your debate, the Tebow for Kap trade, you conveniently leave out the many draft picks I’ve asked for in the bargain.

                With Kap, you refer to him as a Superbowl, Qb, instead of Superbowl losing QB,(incidentally, because of passes not made from the pocket)
                Defense and a run game got us to the Superbowl, Kap lost it, not the defense.

              8. And Kap shared that Superbowl season with Alex Smith because Alex got hurt. So realistically, Kap’s never won anything, Smith did the winning to get us there, then Kap lost it. If Smith had been the QB we would have won it.

              9. TrollD Guess what? I just knew you were going to say that. Too bad the Niners cannot give up draft picks to a team because right now, Tebow was cut and does not have team.
                Get a clue.

              10. What Cosell said was, “This was the kind of game, and I don’t mean this term in a malicious way, where you could in some ways hide the quarterback…” (emphasis added).

              11. Sir, as a lawyer, you must know all the tricks. It is like some one asking- when have you stopped beating your wife? The jurors ignore the stopping part and just hear- beating wife.
                It is like me saying that I will not call Roman an ignoramus anymore.

              12. No, it is not. It is not the same at all. Cosell is not intending to plant the idea that he is being malicious (the purpose of your referenced hypothetical constructions). Rather, he is trying to counter an expected reaction. To interpret it any other way is confirmation bias.

              13. It is just my gut reaction, I guess we will have to disagree on this one.
                I have listened to Cosell many times, and his animus is couched in rhetoric, but still apparent to me.

              14. “I have listened to Cosell many times, and his animus is couched in rhetoric, but still apparent to me.”

                You do know what confirmation bias is, correct?

              15. Maybe the question is- Do you think the Niners were trying to hide their QB?
                If not, then the malicious intent is confirmed without bias.

              16. I have listened to Cosell many times, and he is unwavering in his negativity. I am not biased by my preconceived thoughts, but observant and factual. Cosell confirms his own bias.

              17. “Maybe the question is- Do you think the Niners were trying to hide their QB?
                If not, then the malicious intent is confirmed without bias.”

                What I think about the accuracy of his analysis is not relevant to Cosell’s intent. I would not attribute any particular intent to him based on my agreement or disagreement with him, nor based on a disclaimer that was most likely proffered to in an attempt to counter the exact emotional response at issue (also known colloquially as a ‘gut response’).

                I do want to thank you for answering my question so well, albeit not in the way you intended, I suspect.

              18. I will, but only after you explain what possible impact my opinion has on Cosell’s intent? The two are unrelated. Whether I agree or disagree with him is immaterial to his analysis and the motivation of same.

              19. Ah, such lawyer speak. You sir, are a worthy opponent just like Htwaits.
                Answering the question will skewer Cosell because you are a smart man, and will agree with me that the idea of hiding Kaep is pure snark.

              20. No, answering the question will not ‘skewer’ Cosell, regardless of whether I agree or disagree with his analysis. The problem is that this is not a binary system. It is possible to disagree with Cosell’s assessment and not attribute said assessment to ‘snark’. It is also possible to agree with his analysis without such agreement being malicious or an insult to Kap.

              21. “Answer the question. I want the truth, and I can handle the truth.”

                You have not fulfilled the condition, which is for you to articulate how my agreement or disagreement impacts Cosell’s intent.

                Besides, truth is not an issue here, nor is accuracy. Validity (in an informal logic, not formal logic, sense) is the issue. You are attempting to reduce the validity of Cosell’s analysis via argumentum ad hominem . You are also positing a false dilemma (binary fallacy) by trying to claim my potential disagreement with Cosell would support the validity of your conclusions regarding his intent. Neither of these two fallacies actually lend any support to the validity of your contention.

                But, at least in this instance, you are not resorting to argumentum verbosium.

              22. JPN, agree 100% with your take on Cosell. He has his own set of criteria as to what makes an “elite” QB, and he judges Kaep against those criteria. No malice intended.

                Seb, JPN is also 100% correct in his take on how you are responding to Cosell’s comments. You are so convinced you are correct that you see every little statement as further backing up your claim, when a more objective view of things would suggest that isn’t the case. Kind of like how Fan assumed one my earlier posts was supporting his claims, when it really wasn’t. He interpreted one of my comments with his lens of the world view. You don’t want to hear it, but this is not the first time this has happened.

                JPN is also correct about the way you have responded to his comments. You are indeed seeting a binary system, or what I refer to as the black or white view of the world. Again, not for the first time (but don’t feel bad, you are by no means the only one on here that does so). But it simply doesn’t work that way.

                For example, Cosell saying that he thinks the 49ers did a good job of hiding Kaep does not mean he thinks Kaep stinks. It may do, but that is not what he said. He is simply saying the 49ers did a good job of taking the emphasis away from Kaep against the Vikings. And they did.

              23. JPN In plain English, you wish to turn my own argument against myself. By my arguing that Cosell is biased, you are accusing me of bias. The fallacy of the argument is that Cosell has a record of negativity, well documented, and there is no bias in pointing out that fact.
                Call it what you will, ignore it if you want, but Cosell knew he would be accused of being malicious when he said the Niners were trying to hide Kaep. Thats why he said those words.
                You may not answer my question, but you gave me an answer loud and clear.
                Thank you for our verbal joust.

              24. You all know that seb isn’t a troll, because he believes everything he writes even if there are constant contradictions. The effort you all are making with seb is noble but the odds of success are much worst than those against the 49ers winning the 50th Superbowl.

            2. Seb,

              I’ve been listening to Cossell on radio for almost a decade, or ever since he started showing up on KNBR radio.

              Cossell serves a useful purpose. He actually watches a lot of tape, almost as much as Merril Hoge :) It’s very useful to listen to what he saw on tape.

              However, I tune him out once he starts to make opinions based on what he saw. He may see a botched play and report exactly the sequence in which it happened, but he knows no more than any other observer WHY the play was botched, i.e., who screwed up. Many of his conclusions have proven to be hilarious — some are well archived like when he predicted based on his film watching that RG3 was a better passer than Luck in college.

              Cossell has this bias that a elite QB needs to be an elite pocket passer. It’s best to ignore his opinions.

              Over the last 2-3 years, he has toned down his “opinionating” and sticks mostly to recounting what he saw. When prodded for opinions, he carefully hedges his bet on “future performance based on past returns”.

              1. Well said, Mood. Sports information, like most information, is a buffet. I read it not as a devote of some writers, but for broader perspective that as a composite can give me something on which to base
                my guesses. Even a writer whose work is a bit suspect to me may be on to something in making a particular point.

              2. Cosell hides behind the fact that he just does not have the acumen and verbosity like his uncle, so he puts up the watching tape smokescreen as if that makes him smarter.
                Personally, I do not need to watch every second of play to engender an opinion. Just looking at the highlight tapes gives me enough to consider if a player is deficient or elite. I have also watched almost every second of Kaep’s playing, and think he is elite.
                Unlike Cosell, who jumps upon his faults and ignores his skills.

              3. Seb

                “Cosell hides behind the fact that he just does not have the acumen and verbosity like his uncle, so he puts up the watching tape smokescreen as if that makes him smarter.”

                Watching tape is as important as having a great QB.

                “Personally, I do not need to watch every second of play to engender an opinion. Just looking at the highlight tapes gives me enough to consider if a player is deficient or elite.”

                That makes you the smartest football person on earth.

                “I have also watched almost every second of Kaep’s playing, and think he is elite.”

                And this is why your not the smartest football person on earth, I doubt anyone would agree that CK is elite. We don’t lower standards we raise them and CK has not done that. He has a great skill set and he could very well become elite but he currently is not.

              4. “Personally, I do not need to watch every second of play to engender an opinion.”

                Obviously. However you may want to try watching more and opining less. It could enhance your reputation.

  16. Looks like my finger point and skake woke you up Grant.
    The Bowmanator is not of this planet! He is a exoskeleton tackling machine. There aren’t many like him who can come back from that kind of injury and look like he handy lost a step. His counterpart did the same. They are freaks of nature! Now you’ve learned a lesson! :-)
    Maybe now you will become a bowmaniac and watch greatness on the field! Overwhelmed????? Pfffft!

  17. Rule 1 – Under-react to everything that happens in combine workouts, pro days and preseason games.

    Rule 2 – Under-react (just a little) to game one results.

    Rule 3 – Have fun breaking rules 1 and 2.

    1) Bowman would have a bigger chance for CPY/DPY if he wasn’t on the west coast.
    It seems like Gore got more positive publicity from signing with the Colts than he did after all those 1,000+ yard seasons playing in an obscure section of America called “California.”

    3) “I’m saying neither team will surprise the other next week.”
    I think the 49ers will run some gap-scheme with Mike Davis to the left, and attempt more gouge passes. On defense, look for more T&E stunts involving Harold.

  18. So now Bowman is a god or an alien, what happened to “overwhelmed?”

    I think your points on Kaep are fair. He’s made some improvements and is progressing, but he’s not complete. I think CFC’s point of getting the ball out quicker is a really important one.

    I also think they’re not done showing us the offense. We still need to see the chunk or explosion plays. Why bring Torrey in if we aren’t going to use him. I do think a lot of our base offense will be what we saw and should work against the Steelers since they showed some coverage problems with TE’s.

    1. I wonder if Kaep getting the ball out faster was just due to Geep’s play calling, or if it was also partly due to the evolution of Kaep as a passing QB. It could partly be that he was just going through his reads and processing information a little faster than in the past.

      1. Yep I agree. They are seemingly pushing him to get rid of the ball faster, and its apparent he’s starting to get more comfortable with it. Also, Keeping his eyes downfield and throwing the ball even when there was a chance to run was a good sign of progress.

    2. There’s nothing wrong with Grant predicting that Bowman would be overwhelmed, Turner would school Mangini, the O Line would terrible, etc. What makes me nuts is that Grant flips to Bowman being a god or an alien, without a single mention of how far off he was with his prediction, made just a few days ago.

      Who does that?

      It’s not the wrong predictions that bother me, it’s the reaction when those predictions blow up in Grant’s face.

      1. Also, Grant is among the first to point out when he’s right, and almost never admits when he’s wrong.

        1. I guess Grant is a god on this blog since its his. The regular rules of journalism don’t apply so he is under no obligation to admit or prove anything.

          I do think its hilarious when writers do what he did then ignore it and write column after column about coaches or players who make claims and stonewall the media or fail to explain the way they wish. Again journalists don’t have the same standards for their work as what they wish from players and coaches. But it does draw readers, we all keep coming back.

  19. I’m going to go against the grain a little bit. In game 1, they played a lot of 13 personnel. Pittsburgh now has film to review. Given the weakness of the Steeler secondary, I think the 49ers will focus on getting the ball to their WRs in this game. I anticipate more downfield passes and throws to WRs. Of course, I could be totally wrong, and they might just go with what they’re comfortable with.

    1. Cubus, you could well be right about attacking the Steelers DBs. In fact I believe they will look to pass more next week than against the Vikings.

      But I wouldn’t be surprised if they stick with a reasonable amount of heavy TE sets (2 and 3 TEs). The Steelers pass D appears to be particularly vulnerable in the middle. The CBs also aren’t particularly good, so the 49ers will no doubt look to attack them too, but I foresee a good day for 49ers TEs.

      1. Scooter: Do you have any information with regards to if CK is not a “morning person”? The team isn’t traveling to Pittsburgh until Friday. Even though the game won’t effectively start until 10:00 AM PT, there’s a fair amount of preparation ahead of game time, which means he needs to be up early relative to Pacific Coast time. By traveling on Friday, I don’t think he will have enough time to adjust. Hopefully, I’m just making a mountain out of a molehill and worrying needlessly.

          1. Looks like I totally forgot that Kap is often the first person at the training facility and the last to leave.

            “Early workouts, however, are nothing new to Kaepernick.

            Turns out, not only is the quarterback a morning person; he’s been one for some time.

            Dating back to his time at Nevada, Kaepernick took great pride in the work ethic he demonstrated in college and how it gave him structure to his training.

            “During season, offseason, we were always there at 6 a.m. lifting, running, whatever it was,” Kaepernick said. “That’s something I carried over as part of my preparation.”


          2. I believe that the impact of the reset biological clock is more of an issue for eastern teams coming to the west coast and that the effect is most seen during MNF games. Over time you would come out ahead by always betting on the home team in that situation.

            Not so sure about a mid-day game for a west coast team in the eastern time zone and whether the effect is significant.

        1. Walsh and Harbaugh have the best 49er record for early games three time zones away. I’m not sure about short weeks, and I don’t know that anyone has played an early game against a team that’s had ten days to get ready. It would be called cheating if the NFL hadn’t planned the schedule that way.

      2. The Pats DBs were not very elite. Fer Petes sake, they have Terrel Brown as one of their corners. Big Ben exploited the DBs, but the Niners are going to be a lot harder to pass against.
        The Steeler rushing attack looks anemic without Bell, so the Niners may ignore the run and come after Ben, big time. I look forward to another 5 sacks and 2 picks this next game.

              1. 3rd most yards by a back last week. Something to consider. They’ll test both parts of our defense.

              2. That was because the Pats were in a prevent defense and welcomed the running because they had a 20-3 lead.
                I sure am glad that Bell is not going to play, then I would worry about the running game.

              3. Williams averaged over 7 yards a carry in the first quarter, and had 54 yards in the first half on 10 carries. Pats weren’t playing any prevent D at that point.

              4. It may do, Seb. Or it may show that DeAngelo Williams is still a pretty good RB when healthy, and the Steelers OL even without Pouncey can do a good job in the running game.

              5. I concede the Steeler O line is good, even with injury.
                Big Ben had lots of time to throw.
                That is why I want Lemonier instead of Davis, because the Niners need fresh legs to wear down that O line.

              6. I missed the first quarter, so I did not see his runs, but watched the rest of the game because I knew the Niners were going to play the Steelers week 2.
                OK, DW did have a good game, and the Niners need to defend both the pass and rush.

            1. Seb Lemonier isn’t gonig to provide much help against their oline. That’s up to Dorsey, Williams, Dial, Carradine, Armstead’s rotation. According to Grant and PFF Brooks isn’t rated well. If he’s really as bad as they say then Lemonier should replace him but the coaches know differently.

              Not bringing Davis into the game is a dumb move. Hayne can’t carry the load if Hyde goes down and we risk injury and loss because Hayne’s production isn’t good enough for the offense when he spells Hyde. Davis is the best bet. I would sit Hayne, play Davis and Ellington. No laterals.

              1. Davis may be needed if Hyde goes down to injury, but if Hyde is healthy, then Davis is not needed.
                However, the Niners need to stop the run, and Lemonier is good against the run. Lemonier is needed now while Davis might be needed.
                Brooks may not have had a good game, but he does have talent and I think he might not take a demotion very well.
                Believe me, others were predicting Hayne would not suit up, but if Coach Tomsula wants to win, he will not sheathe his weapons.

              2. You want reality Seb?

                Football has a 100% injury rate, meaning everybody gets hurt eventually. It’s the nature of the game. You can’t count on Hyde not getting injured. You can lessen the risk however by reducing his work load. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a productive option behind him, it can hurt your team to give Hyde the rest he needs to survive the season. If Davis is inactive and one of the backs go down the team is screwed.

                I love your positivity, but let’s use some common sense.

                Also we have enough information by now to know Lemonier is basically a replacement level player. Get over it.

              3. My reality is that Davis is a popular choice, but others may be more needed. I would activate D White before Davis. White could handle KOs, let Ellington handle punts, and make Hayne the #2 RB.

              4. Your reality is Bizzaro World. No competent HC with the proper resources is going into a game with only 2 active RBs.

              5. Seb you’re not gonna let this one go and just working your way through the incentives list till you find someone that will fit your argument. White is ridiculous, and that this is about popularity is silly.

                There’s nobody needed more than Davis. Your man crush on Hayne isn’t reality and he’s not capable of being the #2 RB yet. Your assessment of Lemonier isn’t reality, he’s lucky to be here but doesn’t deserve it. If Hyde goes down the game is over. Are you willing to risk that? Or wearing Hyde out early in the season by running him too much? He really needed some breaks on Sunday and the coaching staff didn’t have good options to replace him. Davis is needed even if Hyde is healthy, but you don’t seem to grasp that.

              6. Yet the coaches just named Hayne as the number 2 RB. Sounds like your judgement is faulty, but I doubt you will admit to that. Davis may stay inactive, so all your posturing is irrelevant.

    2. I think they have to make an effort to keep them from crowding the line…… as well as sending a message to the league that they won’t get away with putting 8 in the box as in years past- at least I hope so! VD goes for 85ish…….

  20. Prior to the Monday night game, somebody posted that Kap plays really well in late games (like Monday night games) and quite poorly in early games, especially on the East coast. I’m not sure where to get the data (particularly the starting time of past year games) to validate this.

    1. Sir, could you use your magic and conjure up the locker room speech that Coach Tomsula gave after the victory? I bet others would like it. I heard it on KNBR, and thought it was cool.

  21. Paul Gutierrez
    ESPN Staff Writer

    Receiver Terrell Owens, who ranks sixth all time with 1,078 career receptions, and Three-time Super Bowl champion running back Roger Craig are on the list of 108 Modern Era Nominees for Pro Football Hall of Fame consideration. The first player in league history with a 1,000-yard receiving, 1,000-yard rushing season, Craig was a Finalist in 2010 while Owens is a first-time eligible modern era nominee, as is defensive lineman Bryant Young.

    1. Roger Craig deserves to be in the Hall of Fame with his 3 rings. He also was in the Pro Bowl 4 years and played in the playoffs every year he played.
      However, I hope Eddie D makes it even more. He has 5 rings, and he changed the game. The salary cap was instituted just because of Eddie. He took such good care of his players, former pro bowlers were content to be third stringers because they wanted rings. Other teams used to treat players like chattel, but Eddie treated them like champions, and they responded with 5 trophies.

    2. Little known fact is that Owens is the first receiver to score a TD against every team in the league. He held that record for awhile and it’s possible he still might.

      1. I did not know that, CFC.

        I think it is easy to forget how truly impressive Owens was as a receiver given the sad, lingering demise of his career.

    1. Nice write up grant.

      “He seems like one of the best pass rushers”

      One thing about you is you’re not afraid of big statements. It’s good to hear but one thing I noticed Monday was that it almost always took blitzing 6 or 7 guys to create pressure. And wasn’t the sack lynch had more of a coverage sack? I could be wrong.

      I really felt like we were missing that guy that can get to the qb consistently. I could be wrong.

  22. Clearly the 49er defense was the best unit of any on the field that nite.I am sure Kaep, even with his new found hard nose style, did the best he could do. However, Kaep remains uncomfortable in the pocket and still has the 1000 yard stare while looking for a receiver. Give him some more time and we will ultimately see a different thrower. Go 49ers!

  23. I watched the game again today. Minnesota really missed a LOT of tackles at the line of scrimmage and in the backfield. It was as if they weren’t sure how to contain Kaepernick. They looked a lot like the Packers looked when they faced SF.
    That being said, Carlos Hyde is very fast! I think Pittsburg will cover the guard and tackle, load the box, and will show blitz over the center. This will take away the combo blocks.
    Their game plan will be to make Kaepernick beat them from the pocket.
    Will it work? Pshhhh I am not making any predictions. I am excited to see week 2.

    1. “Russell Wilson finishes second here for the second year in a row. He actually led all quarterbacks in broken tackles beyond the line of scrimmage, but Colin Kaepernick led the league in “Houdinis” (a term coined by Bill Simmons for quarterbacks who escape sacks) and trumped Wilson in total broken tackles.”


      And take note of the broken tackle rate of one Carlos Hyde.

  24. Grant
    #2: Naturally I knee jerk bristled at the headline about my guy Frank, but you didn’t say anything too wrong. I accepted his loss to FA. I think the coaches would’ve developed a system that used both if he’d stayed, not sure how. The tweaks they did make will make use of the guys we’ve got.

  25. While it would be fun to have Grant as said here “eat crow” he’s just a guy with an opinion and he gets us talking, opining,etc. I for one appreciate putting away my work email and checking all this out. Thanks Grant.

  26. Some of us commenters seem to be taking ourselves awfully seriously today. No fingers pointed in particular, but wow.

      1. Is it just me or does anyone else find this guy’s around-the-clock peachy, company man commentary incredibly annoying?

        1. I think we’re all right there with you…. somethings not right about him. Could be undercover Mary, or bayareafan. I’m not sure, but it’ll come out soon enough.

        2. Phantom9R

          WOW! Did you ever nail that one…! don’t think there could be a more accurate description….+1

          1. You are easily impressed.
            Hmm. Maybe I should haunt your posts, then you could be infuriated.
            Then maybe you will long for the incredibly annoying posts, and regret ever trying to make me mad.

            1. Seb,

              I have made a prediction, and I am glad you asked…. I predicted the Rams would be a good team, as you know, your post have been ridiculing me for it. I said M. Davis would be the #2 back before seasons end…Looks like that is coming to fruition…My mistake was listening to the prognosticators regarding the Vikes…They were overrated with a 2nd year QB…This week the niners go against a real pro in Rothlesberger, right up there with Brady (361 yds vs. Pats. last week)…Pitt is picked by 6. If Kap has a decent game in the pocket, 49ers win, if he does not 49ers lose.

        3. Hmm. I said I was infuriating, but they just said I was boring. Now I am incredibly annoying.
          I guess I was right after all.
          Incredibly annoying is a lot closer to infuriating than boring.
          My suggestion. Stop reading my posts. Ignore me, and let me blog in peace.
          It just means I SAY something, instead of parroting what others say.
          I see I have gotten under your skin, and make you squirm.
          I win, again.

        4. Yes, Obviously a 49er paid shill who still thinks Hayne is a better RB than Davis based on Preseason stats

    1. BT, I am just a faithful Niner fan, but am also bursting at the seams with pride over how well the Niners are playing. Some may diss me over my lack of knowledge, but I concede I have never played the game or coached football players in my life.
      However, I do cogitate, I can analyze, and I do have ideas.
      Here is one of them. I wrote this as Nynah, on Dec 31,2013 on sfgate. Its archived. Newer writing is in parentheses.
      “10 ways JH can improve (and Jim Tomsula may learn from).
      1. Read Rudyard Kipling’s poem IF. Stop being so demonstrative on the side line. It seems to tick off the refs and is counter productive. Use biting humor to get your point across. Channel Bill Walsh. Study the game winning drive before The Catch.
      2. Consider time outs to be precious, and saved for (legitimate) challenges and the last 2 minutes (of each half).
      3. Stop wasting 10 to 15 seconds every play. Tell Kaep he can get at least 2 more sets of downs if he stops wasting time.
      4. Run the no huddle with quick snaps. This will eliminate DOG penalties and stop the defense from substituting.( Also maybe catch them with 12 men on the field)
      5. Expressly forbid Kaep to call an audible with less than 5 seconds on the play clock.
      6. Use players so they can maximize their talents. Stop forcing Kaep to be only a pocket passer. Use designed rollouts to fluster the defense.
      7. Establish the running game, then use play action for long strikes down field.
      8. Do not run into the teeth of the defense. Hit them where they aint.(Zone Read).
      9. Be unpredictable. Use deception. Keep them guessing. Put them on their heels.
      10. Niners will win if Kaep gets the ball in FG’s(Hyde’s) hands. Think screens, draws, counters. swing passes, shovel passes and even the Statue of Liberty.”
      I am happy to say that Coach Tomsula has implemented most of my suggestions. My work is done. The Niners are back.
      If I could have written that list 21 months ago, I take a back seat to no one, because I have no knowledge of any other Niner fan who has ever written something so detailed that came true. I have been saying the same thing for years, so I hope other posters take me seriously, even Grant.

            1. Instead of the most interesting man in the world, I am the most optimistic man in the world with dreams of glory, with visions of grandeur.

              1. Seb if you actually were optimistic then you would be more open to what’s going on around you concerning the 49ers.

              2. I am optimistic. I am open to what is going on, and am pleased as punch that the Niners have become relevant again.
                Posters who try to shout me down have found out that they may argue with me, but my debating skills seem to frustrate them. I will defend my opinion until they give up, and my past posts confirm the sagacity of my positions. Who else was imploring the Niners to allow Kaep to move?
                Who else was touting Hayne so much? Who else was happy with the coaches? Who defended Baalke? Moi.
                I felt like I was a lone voice in the wilderness. However, this last game was vindication to all my efforts. I felt justified in my chest thumping, and no one can spoil it for me. I will endure the slings and arrows directed at me, because I am convinced the Niners have corrected their problems, and are poised for greatness.

    2. I love it when people get all condescending and self righteous with Grant. Ok not really, but its kinda entertaining to read when people chide, rebuke, instruct, warn, threaten Grant.

      Grant’s entertaining and he stirs the pot and no matter how much we wish he refuses to drink the koolaid of homership.

      1. ” love it when people get all condescending and self righteous with Grant. Ok not really, but its kinda entertaining to read when people chide, rebuke, instruct, warn, threaten Grant.”

        I agree, Wilson. It is the theatre of the absurd.

        1. You guys are ok with Grant, stating an opinion that leaves no room for other outcomes, is wrong, and then pretends it never happened?

          1. ex: I think we just accept that it is Grant and we aren’t going to change him. His B/R stuff is much better. If he’s really bugging you, maybe change it up and just read the B/R stuff.

            Do you have any thoughts on the upcoming Pittsburgh game? Tomsula seemed to be very careful to not provide the Vikings with any information they could use to game plan against the 49ers. That makes me think that he might do the same thing with the Steelers. Instead of going heavy on the TE sets like we did with the Vikings, he might change it up and go heavy on the WR sets. But this is a riskier proposition. In the past you’d never mistake the 49ers for a WR passing team and there’s no reason to think they would suddenly be better at it. It’ll be interesting to see what the 9er game plan is.

            1. Maybe he’ll figure out what Roman and Harbaugh could not. Just because you have more WRs on the field doesn’t mean you have to go away from the run game.

            2. Cubus,

              Ha! You just used a technique my wife and I often used when our daughters were younger, diversion. Point taken.

              I agree with you, that we might see the 49ers mix in more passes to the WR’s, particularly some shot plays. Having said that,

              1. Premature post.

                I also think they’ll at least try to establish Hyde and the TE’s.

                I’m curious to see the O Line’s second outing, as well. One good outing is great, but they still have something to prove.

                What I’m really interested in seeing, is how the defense stacks up against Pittsburgh’s offense. I know I’ve been on the more optimistic end of the spectrum on here, but I really think Pittsburgh will struggle to move the ball.

                I believe the 49ers run defense is better than NE and I like the 49ers secondary much better than the Patriots. I would expect to see more of Tartt and Johnson in sub packages.

              2. “I also think they’ll at least try to establish Hyde and the TE’s.”

                Seeing how the Pats confused that defense and got the matchups they wanted by shifting their TEs around, that’s a solid thought.

          2. Exgolfer-No, Its Grant’s blog he can write what he wants. There’s no accountability except for us leaving and going some place else. People can post and challenge Grant, he doesn’t have to justify or explain.

            Do I think its a punk thing to do to write such a strong opinion piece and not acknowledge its fallaciousness. I also think there’s some double standard in how he can demand coaches and players to own their mistakes in columns and not provide answers for his own. In the end its still his blog and it has different rules. He’s toying with many of you on these things.

  27. If one game is a “book”, then 49ers are playoff bound.

    And one other thing I also learned from the game… Grants predictions of a loss was predictably wrong.

  28. It was a tight window on the Boldin throw… had to be low and not lead him. He missed it by a foot or 2. Let’s rip him a new one!

  29. Adrian Peterson averaged 5.6 yards per carry when the Vikings had two or more tight ends on the field Week 1.

    What was Norv Turner doing??

    1. He was trying to stay true to your play action plan. I heard Terrell Davis I think state that its much harder for running backs to gain speed in the play action verse under center and I formation. He said Peterson was really struggling to play well in those. How many of those plays with two TE’s was he in the I formation rather than play action?

    2. He read your post and decided to go bowling instead of studying, since he was going to school ol’ Mangy.

    3. Grant,

      The number of carries Peterson had with two TE sets would interesting. How small was the sample size?

        1. HT,

          Yes, one is enough if you were going to suggest perhaps the Vikings should’ve run AP more out of two TE sets, but not close to enough to make Norv Turner out to be a fool.

          1. I agree. The “fool makers” seem to get pleasure from their constant search for new targets. It’s a strange way to get kicks.

    4. What was he doing? Displaying the reasons he is no longer a head coach. When you have a player of AP’s ability and don’t use him that is just bad football.

    5. “Adrian Peterson averaged 5.6 yards per carry when the Vikings had two or more tight ends on the field Week 1.
      What was Norv Turner doing??”
      He was too distracted reading the quote where you called him one of the best play callers in the league?.

    6. This reads like MAD Magazine’s “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions”. Let me try:

      What was Norv Turner doing??

      Polishing his trophy for “best playcaller ever”.

      1. This reads like MAD Magazine’s “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions”. Let me try
        Used to be one of my favorite parts of the magazine.

    7. Are you mad Grant? It’s ok to be wrong!! What makes it funny is u did it so diligently. Oh and worst statement of the decade, “Navorro Bowman will be overwhelmed”!! Wow

    1. “I like to imagine Ed Hochuli signaling first downs at random moments during the day, like when he finishes making a sandwich or after a kiss on a first date.”

      So hilarious.

      1. If the 49ers truly want to win vs a hostile crowd in Pittsburgh, where Kap will not be able to use a cadence, just hand signals, where a pocket passing challenged QB has trouble already, better get Mike Davis the ball, creating a dual threat in the backfield like walsh used to have in Roger Craig and Wendell Tyler.
        The LB’s and Db’s would be forced to stay at home, not knowing who to cover, which would open the passing game up for Kap.

        1. Seb,

          My above comment can not be attacked, it is full proof. Many defensive coordinators have tried it, however the swing pass out of the backfield in either direction forces linebackers to stay put, as does the run threat, the way the offensive line is currently blocking…Line up DeAndrew White, Ellington, and Torrey Smith and it’s an explosive package.

          1. AES,

            Another Bill Walsh designed play you seem to think is outdated…Maybe you’re the one outdated AES???

            1. And AES,

              During the summer camp I mentioned Jeff Garcia. Were you able to see the game winning play vs. the Seahawks Jeff called from the 49ers dynasty playbook.? Certainly that play had an expiration date also, according to you.

            2. As much as I am enjoying your obvious misremembrance over who posted what, I do not wish to sit by and let AES wonder what he might have written to provoke your ire, even as inconsequential and ineffective as said ire may be.

              I not only wrote that teams no longer run Walsh’s West Coast Offense (or Midwest Offense, as he preferred), but I stand by it. Teams run offenses that include WCO concepts, and those offenses are labeled WCOs (inaccurately), but teams longer run Walsh’s offense.

              Your conclusion that the existence of play in a playbook equates to the entire offense does not effectively refute the assertion above. If the mere existence of plays in a play book were a valid criterion for categorizing offenses, one could make the case that Green Bay (usually heralded as the poster team for the continued use of the so-called WCO) is running the University of Nevada’s Pistol Offense because they run plays out of the pistol. Clearly, they are not, and the spuriousness of such a claim is plain on the face of it. The same is true of individual Midwest Offense plays – a team running such a play does not mean that the team is running Walsh’s offense.

              As indicated above, some teams run Midwest Offense concepts and plays. Those same teams run plays from other offenses, including pistol formations and spread concepts. These offenses are not Walsh’s Midwest Offense (which, for example, did not use the shotgun formation, a staple of modern so-called WCOs) – they are unique offenses that include core concepts of the Midwest Offense as well as other concepts that Walsh did not include. While it is true that the coaches from Walsh’s coaching tree still pay homage to Walsh and his innovations, to not acknowledge that these same coaches have adapted, updated and innovated on their own is a disservice to those coaches.

              1. JP,

                Both you and AES constantly interpret my writing as though I believe the Wing-t or the Veer is still the norm…That’s like saying teams run De la Salle’s offense without a passing game.
                Obviously teams improve on the past. Walsh Hired Holmgren, I’m sure Mike added his own flair to the Niner playbook then and there…The model-T, the ’57 Chevy, all have been improved upon—it’s called progress.

              2. Ah, reductio ad absurdum. Your previously referenced logic professor might be displeased (or at least disheartened) by your use of such an obvious fallacy, but as it is one of my favorite fallacies to point out, I am pleased. Kudos to you, Tom.

              3. “The model-T, the ’57 Chevy, all have been improved upon—it’s called progress.”

                Indeed, that progress has resulted in many generations of completely different cars. It would be erroneous to label any of those as a Model T, just as is erroneous to label today’s offenses as West Coast Offenses. Modern offenses are different from Walsh’s and merely going back to Walsh’s offense, as you seem to propose on a consistent basis, would not work, which has been my point all along.

              4. i guess it depends on what you mean by West Coast Offense. Do you mean “system”? and what do you mean by “system”?

                as you say many of the passing concepts still exist in many NFL offenses.

                the highly structured nature to it? -timed drops and footwork to routes and route combos. – scripted plays to test defensive reactions.

                play verbiage/nomenclature?

                philosophy? horizontal stretch, shot plays, pass to set up the run

                all off these components are used in various NFL offenses.

                do they run it as Walsh did? No. newer NFL rules and adaptations by defenses have changed things. for example, Walsh’s favored 21 personnel group (2 backs, 1TE and 2 WRs) in a split or flat back formation. these days NFL offenses will run the same passing concepts out of 3+WR personnel groups. usually with a WR running the flat route that a RB would have run for Walsh.

                teams that run the “purest” teams to run the WCO are probably Green Bay and Kansas City. followed by the Shanahan/Kubiak flavor run in Washington and Denver built off of a zone blocking run game. I think the Saints run a variation of the WCO. San Francisco and Seattle use the WCO to a certain degree but (so far) use more play action passing than even the Shanahan/Kubiak version. all of them I believe use the old Paul Brown play calling verbiage (which I’d argue is out of date). The Patriots have used more of a short WCO type of passing game attack in recent years…though they still use the Earhadt-Perkins concept based play calling system (which I believe is far superior to the WCO and Air Coryell’s digit systems).

  30. Per Cam Inman, 18 Niners debuted on Monday. That’s a 40% turnover in the starting 46. Wonder what is the NFL record for a team with the highest season-to-season turnover who also won their first game of the season.

  31. Geep Chryst has confirmed Hayne will be the backup RB to Hyde if Bush can’t go. Davis would still likely be active, but shows what the 49ers think of Hayne as a RB.

    I imagine if he’s the primary backup at RB, that would mean a greater chance of Ellington being the PR.

    1. I agree. I’m not worried if Hayne will return punts, because if he isn’t it means he will probably get more snaps as a running back.

      I still don’t know who has the surest hands catching punts in the long run.

      Ellington looked shaky catching punts at the start of last year, looking more comfortable as the season progressed.

      In camp and preseason Hayne looked like a natural catching punts. His “grasser” was the only shaky reception attempt.

      I’m not sure why Hayne isn’t returning kick offs. His knack for making the first guy miss would come in really handy.


    2. I like the idea of Haynes as the backup RB for now. I’m not comfortable of the rookie Davis making his debut on the road in front of a hostile crowd. His punt muff notwithstanding, I’m more comfortable with Haynes handling the rock at this time. Some beat writer had remarked during TC that Haynes had done a very good job learning protection schemes for blitz pickup, and I won’t surprised if he’s ahead of Davis in this regard.

    3. I’m torn. I want both players to have the same position at this point. I wish there was more feedback about Davis as to what put Hayne in front of him on the depth chart. Could be that Hayne is simply better suited for the zone scheme then Davis.

  32. Speaking of RBs.

    Matt Maiocco ✔@MaioccoCSN
    The 49ers waive/injured RB Kendall Hunter. That opens door for a possible return with the team later in the season.

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