NaVorro Bowman retires

San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) warms up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SANTA CLARA — NaVorro Bowman will miss the smell of football.

The former 49ers linebacker came to OTAs on Wednesday to announce his retirement from the NFL. After practice, as he stood in the huddle with the rest of the players, he just smelled them.

“They all were funky,” Bowman said in the 49ers media work room. “I remember smelling like that. I have on a clean white shirt, but I still wanted to give them hugs. I still wanted to touch the pads. Guys said, ‘You look like you still play.’ I can, but I’m content with (life). I’m glad I was able to be a 49er. There are plenty of organizations, but the 49ers are a historic, well-respected place. Wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

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This article has 162 Comments

  1. NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis were an elite tandem, who helped make the Niners relevant again.
    .
    4 time All Pro says a lot, but, like Willis. injuries shortened their careers, and may make getting into the HOF difficult.

    1. I think Patrick Willis is a borderline hofer but will probably just miss it and while I love Bo (and would put him up there against any MLB in his prime) there is no way I would put him in the HOF. His prime was way to short, as he only had 4 good years, 2011-2013, and 2015

      1. I only mentioned that because Bow talked about the possibility in his interview.
        .
        I agree. If not for his injury, and if he could have played for 12 years at such high a level, he had the talent to make it into the HOF. Too bad his career was cut short by such a devastating injury.

      2. Shoup,
        I agree re Bowman. And when looking back at those 2011-2015 teams that window had many good to great players that flashed and burned like a shooting star or went the FA route.

        Heading into the 2016 season the 49ers were a completely different team.
        Of those playoffs and SB teams only P. Willis may have a chance. I think that Frank Gore will get a good look as well.

        1. Gore is kind of the reverse of Eli Manning. A very good career from beginning to finish without the great moments.
          Gore is far more deserving of the HOF but has a good chance of not making it. Eli meanwhile was never a top 5 qb and seldom in the top 10, but he has 2 incredible sb wins while in the NY market.
          I personally wouldn’t put Willis or Bowman in but would put In Gore. Normally I think players should have bigger peaks than Gore had, but he is an outlier because he was consistently good for so much longer than everyone else.

          1. Shoup,
            There were many shooting stars on the 49ers teams in that era that flashed.
            Frank Gore (IMHO) is more like the North Star, not that much flash, but always steady.

            1. AES,
              Good analogy.
              Like I said earlier normally I think a HOFer should have greater peaks however, he is the rare case where his floor was so high… and sustained for longer than any running back that I can remember.

              He is kind of like Cal Ripken in that regard (over 400 hr’s but only hit more than 30 in a season 1 time, and only had 3 seasons where he averaged more than .300), his career numbers are staggering, but few of his seasons were.

              IMO, Hofer’s need to be either one of the top 5 best players at their position for at least 5 years with a few more solid years or be a top 10 type player at their position for about 10+ years… of course some of this is position dependent(rb’s have short shelf life)… Gore is truly a unicorn.

          2. Gore has a good chance of not making it?
            .
            5 time Pro Bowler.
            Only 521 yards behind Barry Sanders for the number 3 all time rushing yards.
            Gore is the only player in the history of the league to have 12 consecutive seasons of over 1200 all purpose yards.
            Gore has more yards rushing than 12 HOF RBs.
            Frank Gore is the epitome of what an NFL RB should be. Highly talented, productive, tough as nails, for years a threat to score every time he touched the ball, a consummate team player and a class act both on and off the field.
            .
            The only question is- Does he have a good chance of making it on the first ballot?

            1. I hope he does. However some voters are likely to go a different way.
              Gore was never considered the best running back in football, he was never the leading rusher in the nfl and finished among the top 5 rushers only once. If memory serves, he was only in the top 10 about 4 times.
              Some voters may not give a HOF vote to a so called stat compiler and say “it’s not the hall of very good”.

              In his case I do believe he will make it due to his consistency…. but I’m guessing not on the first ballot.

              https://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/11/nfl-colts-49ers-frank-gore-hall-of-fame

              https://footballmaven.io/talkoffame/state-your-case/state-your-case-frank-gore-hall-of-famer-or-numbers-man-ZICiZuILpkyn7YHQyEakrw/

              1. Shoup, I am glad you want him in the HOF, and I do think he will be in on the first ballot. If he is fortunate, he will pass Barry Sanders, and be number 3 All Time. That is his ticket in. That is better than very good, that is elite, and HOF worthy.
                .
                Consistency is a good word. Considering the average career is less than 3 seasons, 14 seasons as a RB is almost unheard of.
                .
                You also have to take into consideration that Frank Gore toiled on many poor Niner teams. Imagine what his numbers would have been if he had run behind the Dallas Cowboy line that Emmitt Smith had.

    1. Yup, considering Bow was sandwiched between the Taylor Mays and Boobie Dixon picks, the 1st rounder that year was Grant’s bestie Anthony Davis.

      1. Mike Iupati was also taken in the 1st round of that draft. They also had a verbal agreement for an UDFA running back, LaGarrette Blount, but he ended up not signing.

        1. Right, I remember it being called the “road grader” draft. Was this a McCloughan draft? A Balke draft? A Singletary draft? Who had the biggest fingerprints?

          1. Baalke ran that draft because McCloughan left the organization for personal reasons, but that was after things were pretty well set.

  2. While the pick at the stick was what Bowman will probably be most remembered for, what I remember most was a sack of Russell Wilson in the 2014 NFC Championship game (2013 season). Bowman dodged his way around several Seahawks OL and was on Wilson in no time. I never saw anyone move so smoothly through gaps and around OL; it was as if the OL were standing still. It looked choreographed and was a thing of beauty.

  3. Bowman and Willis may be the best LB tandem in 49er history. I liked Reynolds, Fahnhorst, Turner, Woodall and all those guys but in terms of sheer talent and level of play I can’t think of a pair that played better together than Bowman and Willis. Wish he could have won that Superbowl. Gore, Willis, Bowman, Cowboy — all high character guys that were easy to root for.

    1. Houston,
      Those were great tandems. As I singular great player at LB, David Willcox was one of the best. I was fortunate to have watched him play at the old Kezar Stadium.
      Mr. Willcox has his bust in the HOF.

    1. Wonder if there is a counterpart on the Rams blog posting something similar about our platoon and how an UDFA May be the lead back.

      1. Sour Yeast
        I don’t know, but I doubt it. But then as you point out, the 9ers don’t have an all pro running back they rode to the SB last season.

  4. NaVorro Bowman has earned a place among 49ers all-time greats.

    In other news, drafting a punter in the fourth round was not a bad move…..

    Wishnowsky has already flashed his abilities as a directional punter, and his knack for pinning long kicks inside the 10, but Trent Taylor offered a new perspective on why the punter is a unique special teams weapon for the 49ers.

    “He has some serious hang time. I feel like I’m sitting there waiting for it to come down for way too long. Then once you’re there for too long you start overthinking it. That’s what makes him good.”

    I still don’t get the negative comments on drafting a punter in the 4th……..

    1. I have been one of the biggest supporters in the world for Shanahan and Lynch. I thought it would take time for Lynch to find himself as a GM since he had zero experience. I’m willing to let picks like Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster, and Joe Williams go because Lynch is so new. Drafting Hurd with Hakeem Butler still on the board made no sense. Drafting Wishnowsky with 2 legit Safeties still on the board made even less sense. Sign a damn punter in FA and draft real football players in the draft.

      1. Hear! Hear Houston! Welcome to the dark side. You are now officially a hater. Official pin and scarf are on the way!

      2. Cool thing is we simply cannot forecast with any accuracy how this draft class will play out over the next several years. All based on opinion. Is that a bad thing? Nope. I choose not to have an aneurysm over it in early June, 2019.

      3. The thing about Wishnowsky is that we don’t know at this time what his production will be.

        When Al Davis picked Ray Guy in the 1st rd of the 1973 draft many people thought that he had lost his genius touch.
        Nobody knew how good Guy was going to be until he got on the field.

        I’m in no way comparing Wish to Guy, just noting that just like Wish, the Guy pick (1st rd) was not welcomed by many.

        I’ll without all my critique on the picks from this regime for a couple of years when their play will be more evident.
        At the moment they are batting above 700.
        Losses – J. Williams, R. Foster.
        Wins – Kittle, Warner, Pettis, McGlinchey. Breida and Mullens were UDFA’s but have been productive.
        There are many questionable players with S. Thomas leading the way, but he has been a good run stopper.

        1. Because the 1972 Raiders and the 2018 49ers have so much in common.

          Same thing was said about Davis when he took Janikowski.

          Difference is that those teams were built and ready to win so they could take that shot.

          1. The Niners are ready to win now. You said it yourself when you predicted 11 wins this year. This team is a playoff team this year barring injury.

              1. People always compare to best case scenario, not most usual case. Which is why you don’t draft punters so high!

              2. Geep.,

                They won 4 games last year and should have beat GB, LAC, Arizona twice and New York.

                4+5=9

              3. So you are saying the team is ready to win. If they don’t, the reason being your whipping boys KS and JG, then it doesn’t matter that they took a punter in the 4th round, does it?

          2. Jack, replying to your 3:08.
            Agreed.
            But at some point it might be alright to at the very least consider that Shanahan and Lynch went after the guy they wanted in The Big Wishnowsky.
            If Wish can pin opposing teams inside the 10 yard line and put a 4 sec+ hang time on his punts he will validate his draft position.

            He is one player I’m excited to see this season. If he can accomplish 80 % of what Ray Guy did he will more then justifies his draft status imho.

      4. Houston,

        The problem with your analysis is that you assume that the players you covet have a value beyond what the 49ers thought they were worth. In the case of Hakeem Butler….WHY do you believe Butler is the better fit for the 49ers? First you have to figure out what do the 49ers want from Hurd……and can Butler provide what Hurd can? The answer is no. They’re both big receivers. But that’s about it. Butler is more polished but so what….he’s still just a big receiver. Hurd on the other hand is a former running back. If you can’t tell from the Samuels pick, then the Hurd pick should say it in spades…..Shanahan wants some serious Yards After Catch action.

        As they say; “prospects are suspects until proven otherwise”.

        As for the Punter? So you’re saying there were some “legit” safety prospects in the 4th round??? Please….any safeties in the 4th round are likely the number 10th-15th at the safety position. In the 4th round you’re usually picking back ups and special teams players…..that will probably make the fringe of the roster or the practice squad. Most of the 4th round picks will be out of the league in a few years. The 49ers elected to get the TOP punter in the draft. A player that is almost automatically a starter and likely a significant upgrade at the position over the previous punter. Isn’t that a better use of a 4th round pick (that likely would have been picked up by New England had the 49ers waited longer) than some 3rd string fringe player with potential?

        1. Yup, let’s use the 4th round pick on a top punter rather than get an impact player.

          Tell us, what round was George Kittle taken in? How about Trent Taylor or Kyle Juszczyk?

          If you think the punter is a better use of draft resources than say any one of the above players or even others, well….

          1. ah yes, the irrational response. of course impact players are taken in lower rounds. you have to think of all the players taken in those rounds and how many of them become impact players, how many of them are just back up/special teams players and how many of them washout of the league.

            you’re hitting on a hard 17 with the hope of making a good hand. the smart people are counting cards.

            1. The thing is, I named only 3. There are more, of course. I would just state that the reason that punters are not taken so early is because 1) they don’t impact outcomes as much as other players, 2) it’s a lot to pay (draft wise) for a PT player and 3) you can get near the same impact player in UDFA. The only time you can justify is when every other position is stacked. We certainly aren’t there.

              Your love of all things Shanahan is clouding your judgement. If this were any other coach, most of us would join the chorus of people who questioned this move.

              1. “my love of all things Shanahan”? where did you get that garbage from? I call it like I see it…good or bad. I don’t believe in being for or against someone….player or coach.

                Of course there are more impact players that were drafted in the lower rounds. and there are even more former players drafted in the lower rounds that washout of the league in a few years (why is this such a hard concept to accept?).

                You discount the impact of a punter….sure. You wouldn’t take the best starting punter over a player that has a good chance at being a starting safety, wr…..whatever. You wouldn’t take a Punter in the first round….or likely even in the 2nd round (except maybe Al Davis). But you should take a starting punter over a player that is likely to be a back up or fringe player or out of the league in a few years (again, not a hard concept to accept).

              2. Most of the 4th round picks will be out of the league in a few years.

                This is true for most NFL players. I discount the impact of a punter in relation to the impact of other players and the draft capital spent on the player.

                Your argument makes as many assumptions about punters as it does about players in the 4th round. I simply stated you could get near the same impact player (punter wise) in UDFA or FA for that matter. This team needs lots of good bodies as the last two injury plagued years prove.

              3. you’re not telling me anything I don’t know.

                I simply specified between the tactic of counting cards….something everybody does to some degree or another.

                and the system/scheme of counting cards. OF COURSE betting big when you get the count right is important. That’s part of the system. Along with counting them with other players to get a better fix on the deck(s). But the system of card counting was never my point in the context of the NFL draft metaphor I made earlier.

                I don’t really gamble. I like the test of skill in calculating odds. But I don’t have the interest in doing it over a long enough period of time to actually win. When in Vegas (I’ll be there again in July), I go to be with friends and family, to see entertainment and to eat fine food. When I was in my 20’s I partied in Vegas a lot….but still didn’t gamble.

            2. No, the truly smart players shoot craps, that give better odds. Casinos now play with multiple decks, so counting cards is futile, and if the players increase their bets by large amounts, the Casino will eject them forthwith.

              1. Casinos have been playing with multiple decks in a game for as long as I can remember. You just have to account for it and adjust your odds.

                Adjusting the size of the bet is a different tactic all together and doesn’t fit the analogy.

              2. no. the tactic of counting cards is about counting cards.

                the betting scheme that consists of counting cards is about adjusting the size of your bet based on the cards you counted.

                I can count cards at home without betting. It’s simply about guessing the most likely range of the card you’ll receive.

                what casinos really do not want you to do is cooperative card counting. everyone counts cards to some degree. but doing in and sharing that info with other players at the table is a big no. no.

              3. I hope Juanhunglo will educate you on betting. Counting cards is used to determine when a player gains an advantage. If the player does not take advantage of the situation, then he or she is just going to lose, which most blackjack players do in the end.
                .
                Go ahead, count cards all you want at home. Try to game the casinos, and they will act swiftly, because they have seen it all.

        2. 1. If the 49ers were looking for a big WR that could turn catches into TDs then Hakeem Butler is a better option than Jalen Hurd, IMO. Butler is actually bigger and he ran a 4.48 at the combine. Not sure if Hurd’s time is faster but 4.48 for a 6’5 receiver is outstanding. Butler had 22 ypc last year compared to only 13.7 ypc for Hurd. Butler also had more than double the number of receiving TD’s on 9 fewer catches. Both players played against the same competition in the Big 12 and Butlers stats are far superior to Hurds. Then there is the other part where Butler has actually been a WR his entire career so there is a much lower NFL learning curve AND Butler didn’t quit on his team with 4 games remaining on the schedule.

          2. Given the 49ers projected starting Safety’s (Tartt and Ward) injury history, there is a very strong likelihood the 49ers will be relying heavily on Adrian Colbert or Marcel Harris at Safety. Colbert was a 7th round pick and Harris was a 6th round pick. Tarvarius Moore might get some time and he was a 3rd round pick. Point is, 4th round picks can be extremely valuable. IMO the 49ers Safety play last year was abysmal – perhaps even worst in the league. You had a quality punter in Bradley Pinion. 49ers should have re-signed Pinion and invested more draft capital on Safety’s. I don’t care how great Wishnowsky is, I think it’s poor strategy to draft a punter at any time before the 5th round.

            1. I would rather the 49ers acquire better players in the secondary to move from the NFL’s worst turnover differential (-25), with the fewest interceptions in NFL history, up to a +7 turnover differential

              than

              move from 43.3 yard punting average to a 46.1 yard punting average.

              IMO Quality Safety play is more important than an increase of 2.8 yards on the average punt yardage.

              1. I would rather the 49ers acquire better players in the secondary to move from the NFL’s worst turnover differential (-25)

                And you think a rookie 4th round safety would have something to do with that turnaround? Could happen.

          1. 1. Butler is simply a big WR. His ypc were good because he ran routes and got open downfield. He’s an experienced WR. BUT THE NINERS AREN’T SIMPLY LOOKING FOR A BIG WR. They are looking for guys that can catch the ball and make and take and give hits after the catch and will rumble for a extra yards….NOT simply catch and run away from defenders. If you want that, you go after a much smaller and quicker receiver. Both Samuels and Hurd run like running backs when they have the ball. Think of it this way. Shanahan drafted Ricky Watters (who played both WR and RB at Notre Dame) and decided to play him as receiver instead of a running back..

            2. Sure 4th round picks can be useful. But the odds of hitting on them to get a bonafide starter aren’t great. In the 3rd and lower you draft talented guys you HOPE you can develop into productive football players. Few will become starters, many will become backups and most will be out of the league in a few years. Desperation at a position (like safety) is not a reason to simply plan on fixing the position by going against the odds and gambling that a lower round (one that is like the 10th-15th best at their position) pick will fix an immediate problem.

            As for why they didn’t hold on to Pinion? I guess they felt he was asking for too much for the quality of Punter he was. But criticizing the personnel decision over a 4th round pick is silly IMO.

            1. 1. Ok, you won me over. The 49ers don’t want WR’s who “got open downfield” in college. The 49ers don’t want WR’s who “simply catch and run away from defenders.” The 49ers wanted a guy like Ricky Watters who could play RB and WR so they drafted the guy who quit on his college team in the middle of the season because he didn’t want to play RB anymore. They passed up the guy who was bigger, had more than twice the number of receiving TDs, and almost 9 more yards per catch to draft a guy who played WR for 1 year. The 49ers wanted a guy who “can catch the ball and make and take and give hits after the catch” so they drafted a guy who wanted to change positions from RB to WR because he was taking too many hits and got a pretty bad concussion as a result. You right, my bad.

              2. The NFL is littered with quality football players who were drafted in Round 4 or later. You are correct that you don’t necessarily always hit on those players. You definitely take a shot on those players though. That’s where coaching comes into play. Also, as Grant likes to mention the 49ers under Shanahan are very good at moving the ball in between the 20s. A punter on a team where Kyle Shanahan is coaching offense is less important than a punter on a team with a poor offense. Increasing your punting average by 2.8 yards is not as important as finding players who can help improve the NFL’s all time worst team in terms of producing turnovers.

              1. It’s not as simple as adding a couple yards per attempt (on average). Improving ball placement inside the 20, or better yet inside the 10, is a good thing. So too is increasing hang time.

                Many ifs…. What if Wishnowsky fractures his right fibula at the end of the 1st quarter in week one? What if ‘the 4th round DB that shoulda been taken’ is no better than a cheaper Taylor Mays-type? Many ifs. End of season will tell a better story.

              2. Well….as long as you see the error of your ways….

                You could have stopped yourself with the “The 49ers didn’t want a wide receiver”…..

                I do not believe that Hurd didn’t not quit in the middle of a season. He got a concussion and then transferred.

                There’s a difference between giving and taking hits as a receiver and as a running back. While learning to play receiver at Baylor he played some running back for them too. So obviously he’s not looking to avoid all hits. If I was nearly 6’5″….I’d switch positions too…..name another 6’5” NFL running back.

                I’m glad I won you over.

                You’re right, the NFL is mostly made up of players from rounds 4 or lower. You know what there are waaaaaay more of? Guys drafted from rounds 4 or lower that didn’t make it in the NFL.

              3. Remember Chris Borland? He quit because of concussion concerns. WRs will take big hits, too, especially in the NFL.
                .
                Getting such a bad concussion, that he quit on his team, is something like a double red flag, to me, but the Niners saw such ‘Good Value’.

              4. Borland was another Baalke draft pick, that quit on Baalke, because Baalke treated him like a piece of meat. Sounds like you are dissing Baalke. Shame on you. Your own daddy.

              5. The consistent impact a running back will take vs. a receiver is much different.

                The guy changed positions after he got a serious concussion. He says he wanted to change positions because of concussions. I guess that’s a red flag???

                Hurd is also nearly 6’5″. How many other NFL running backs do you know that are 6’5″?

              6. I wonder if Hurd will refuse to run routes over the middle.
                .
                ANY player who has suffered a severe concussion, already has a red flag, to me, since concussions are cumulative.
                .
                The NFL are hypocrites to be concerned about concussions, then schedule games with 3 days rest.

              7. Pretty good recovery Sebbie. Now, stay true to your message and don’t disparage players who leave the game over CTE concerns. Lift them up. Honor them. Deal?

              8. No, I plan to disparage Baalke every chance I get. He deserves it.
                .
                Borland, like Willis and Cowboy, showed no loyalty to Baalke, and retired rather than play for him.

              9. @allforfunnplay – Jalen Hurd absolutely quit on his team. Hurd decided he had a better long term future at WR in the NFL. He wasn’t happy with the play calling and spread offense being run at Tennessee. He asked for a position switch but the Vols kept playing him at RB. He took himself out of their game against South Carolina and then quit the team with 4 games remaining on the schedule. IMO that’s about the worst possible thing any athlete in a team sport can do. He betrayed his teammates, the university, and their fans in the ultimate act of selfishness. I have zero respect for Jalen Hurd.
                Of course Hurd had a better shot at an NFL career at TE or WR. Of course, Hurd was smart to try to switch positions. You never quit on your team. You finish the season and then transfer if the coach refuses to move you.

                Having said all that, Quitting is not the main reason I dislike drafting Hurd over Butler. IMO Butler is a better WR than Jalen Hurd. All of the evidence points toward Butler being the superior player.

              10. Houston,

                You’re still stuck on the whole Wide Receiver thing. If you get it out of your head that Hurd is going to be a typical WIDE receiver (for the most part…they’ll line him up wide but not primarily)…then maybe you’ll get it? He’s likely a gadget F/H receiver (slot receiver with other duties).

                From a rational point of view, I don’t understand holding someone accountable to something that is not in their own self interest. Hurd wants to play PROFESSIONAL football. His best path was as a TE or WR. You’re also completely discounting what he said about not wanting to avoid the kind of frequent collisions associated with being a running back. Would you have an issue a minor league baseball team told a player to switch to first base even though they know they can make it to big leagues as a catcher? That’s what college football is for most players…..the NFL minor leagues. All this letting down your team stuff is overly emotionally attached to the idea of “team” garbage. Fans get so worked up about it like they’ve been personally betrayed or something. It makes no sense.

              11. And if you could get it out of your head that Hurd is going to be this highly effective “gadget” offensive player then you’d be better off. Selecting a gadget player in the 3rd round right after you selected a WR in the 2nd round when you’re coming off a historically bad year on defense makes absolutely no sense. You seem to think Shanahan is down in his mad scientist lab drawing up ways to use Hurd as a combo WR, TE, H Back, RB. That’s not going to happen. Hurd has played 1 year as a college WR. He has so much to learn at 1 position and you want the 49ers to try to use him at 4 positions. Sounds like a sure fire way to ruin Hurd’s NFL career.

                From a rational point of view, it sounds like you’ve never played a team sport. Every college in the country has players who feel they are being played out of position. Every college in the country has players who disagree with their coaches. Not every player quits on his teammates during the season. The beauty of team sports is putting your team ahead of your own selfish interests. The vast majority of college football players do not have dreams of NFL stardom. Most college players know the NFL is a long, long shot. The 4 and 5 star guys out of high school definitely think they are going to the NFL. Those guys end up going to colleges that promise to play them at the position they think gives them the best shot at the NFL. QB’s move to DB. TE’s move to O-line. It happens all the time. If Hurd had any brains he would have selected a college that promised to play him at TE or WR before he committed.

              12. Houston

                I suppose I should bow to your superior knowledge of football???

                Why draft Hurd? You’re right he isn’t the most experienced, accomplished or polished of WIDE receivers. What is Hurd’s defining trait? It’s not his ability as a WIDE receiver. It’s his ability as a runner with the ball. He’s a slot F or H receiver. Maybe even an H-Back. It doesn’t take a mad scientist to figure that out. But you’re still fixated on drafting some classical definition of a WIDE receiver position. You want your Jon Baldwin receiver….more than any other possibility. Is Hurd going to be some dominant every down player? Probably not. He’ll probably be a player used in specific situations in certain packages.

                Now right or wrong on Shanahan’s part…that’s what he wanted….not a typical WIDE receiver. He got more of a typical WR in the 2nd round with Samuels (and even he is more of a runner after the catch type). So making a silly comparison of Hurd to other big WIDE receivers makes little sense. Shanahan got his special match up piece (gadget player). A player Shanahan has specific plans for as opposed to simply drafting the 15th-20th best WR…some big body guy and hoping you can turn him in to a WIDE receiver. In Hurd’s case you have a special set of routes, blocks plays he’ll play. In a WIDE receiver’s case, he has to learn the offense…all of the routes needed to play WIDE and possibly inside. Again you’re HOPING the 15th-20th best WIDE receiver can learn all that and become an effective contributor. Or you can pick a guy that has a more narrowly defined role and try to plug him in.

                Like your desire to draft a safety in the 5th round….your plan is to draft a guy and cross your fingers and hope that he’ll pan out and become something. You’re doing that with Hurd too….but at least in his case since the role appears to be likely more narrowly defined (slot receiver…etc..) then he stands a better chance of being a contributor.

              13. Something tells me Hurd may be Juice’s eventual replacement in a couple years. He hits UFA at the ripe old age of 30.

              14. The good news is that the Niners and Cards play twice this season, so we will see how Hurd and Butler perform, and can compare statistics.
                .
                Butler also has good rep after he catches the ball. Ragdolling the DBs is a good talent.
                .
                I wanted them to have at least waited until the 5th round to draft a punter. Chauncey Gardner- Johnson was available. Niners still could have drafted Wish, since the Pats drafted 15 spots later, and they were the only teams to draft a punter.

              15. 5th round? You wanted us to settle? We’re not settlers, Seb! We don’t settle. We wanted the best, and we got the best. In the 4th round to boot! Not exactly a high impact round to draft the best at a position. Don’t worry about what round, just be happy!😀

              16. @allforfunnplay

                “I suppose I should bow to your superior knowledge of football???”

                Yes, that would be a good first step on your journey to enlightenment.

              17. Razor, you are right. I want the best.
                .
                I want the Niners to have not been desperate drafting, selecting a player in the third round that they could have gotten in the 4th or later round. I wanted them to have been patient, and drafted a punter in the fifth, so they could have addressed other needs like a Safety in the 4th, and still could have selected the punter they coveted.
                .
                Reaching, and seeming to be desperate, does not sound cool, calm and collected.
                .
                Sure, we will have to live with their choices, but they could have performed better in the draft. Maybe they should have traded back in the second round, garnered another pick in the third round, and still could have gotten Deebo. I think he was ranked from 47 to 76 in the rankings.
                .
                I just hope they gain experience, so they do not state that they will only accept deals that are too good to be true, and accept deals that both teams deem is fair, for a win/win outcome.
                .
                There were 47 trade backs, and the Niners actually traded back and bundled a player and a pick, so they did what I advocated. Too bad it was a too little, too late.
                .
                I still will root for the Niners to win, but just wish they would emulate the Pats, and get some of that winning mojo by being bold, patient and confident, by learning from the best.

          2. Houston 9er,

            IMO the 49ers Safety play last year was abysmal – perhaps even worst in the league

            It was for a good portion of the season….because they couldn’t keep the same two guys on the field until the last month of the season.

            From Matt Barrows of the Athletic:

            — The 49ers used eight different safety combinations throughout the season. Jaquiski Tartt dealt with a shoulder injury for much of the year, one that eventually landed him on injured reserve. He’s not expected to need surgery on the shoulder. Here are the week-by-week alignments:
            Week 1: FS Adrian Colbert, SS Jaquiski Tartt
            Week 2: FS Colbert, SS Tartt
            Week 3: FS Colbert, SS Antone Exum
            Week 4: FS Reed, SS Exum
            Week 5: FS Colbert, SS Tartt
            Week 6: FS Colbert, SS Tartt
            Week 7: FS Colbert, SS Tartt
            Week 8: FS Jimmie Ward, SS Tartt
            Week 9: FS Ward, SS Tyvis Powell
            Week 10: FS Ward, SS Exum
            Week 12: FS Ward, SS Tartt
            Week 13: FS Tartt, SS Harris
            Week 14: FS Exum, SS Harris
            Week 15: FS Exum, SS Harris
            Week 16: FS Exum, SS Harris
            Week 17: FS Exum, SS Harris

            They finished up with the same two players at S for 4 straight weeks and guess what happened? A major drop in explosive passing plays allowed:

            From David Lombardi of the Athletic:

            And that’s where the 49ers’ relative December success, during which their explosive pass allowance rate dropped to only 6.5 percent, comes into focus. In December, the 49ers upset the Denver Broncos and the Seahawks — and also fought a close battle with the Chicago Bears — thanks in large part to a defense that tightened the screws against big gains through the air.
            For context, only the Bears — the league’s stingiest defense that gave up explosive passes on 6 percent of snaps — logged a better season-long percentage than the 49ers’ 6.5 percent over this closing stretch.

            Makes a little more sense now doesn’t it?

            1. Good stuff, notanexpert. You are basically making my point for me. Abysmal Safety play was largely due to injuries to players that have long injury histories. The 49ers did nothing to mitigate the risk that those players will likely get injured again so there will be another year of a revolving door at Safety. They were decent for a 4 game stretch but it was the only 4 game stretch they could keep guys healthy and it’s absolutely predictable the same thing will happen again next year. Allforfun says wasting a 4th round pick on a Safety is bad strategy because 4th rounders rarely develop into starters. Well the guys who will be playing Safety when the starters inevitably get hurt next year are 6th and 7th rounders. I’m saying I would have rather seen the 49ers draft Chauncey Gardner-Johnson or Kharl Willis than a damn punter. These guys act like Wishnowsky is the next Ray Guy. Here’s Lance Zierlein’s weaknesses on Wishnowsky:

              Inconsistent at flipping field when it was most needed
              Had just two explosive punts in 2018
              Led college football with three punts blocked in final season

              There is a very good chance Wishnowsky will be a step down from Bradley Pinion.

              1. C’mon… You know that blocked punts are a function of weak punt team play. One can’t just single out Wishnowsky. Did you look at Utah’s punt performance in ’17?

                If (yes, an if…) Wishnowsky stays healthy and the entire punt team performs well (above mediocrity), the 9er punt game will improve quite a bit over last year’s performance.

                Let’s revisit this at the end of the season. Deal?

              2. Deal. But blocked punts are not only a function of weak punt team play. Blocked punts can also be a result of a slow release from the punter. One of the things I have heard about Wish is that he needs to speed up his release. It’s like a pitcher with a long delivery from the stretch. Sometimes base runners steal a base on the pitcher because he takes too long in his delivery. Sometimes It has nothing to do with the catcher. Sometimes punts are blocked because the punter takes too long on the release.

        3. “In the 4th round you’re usually picking back ups and special teams players…..”

          Two of the starters in Seattle’s new secondary were drafted in rounds 4/5 in 17/18. A third was originally an UDFA for another team.

          1. 1. Seattle’s success doesn’t change the overall odds of developing 4th round players into starters.

            2. The 49er’s need to improve the position is more immediate than taking guys and developing them over the next couple of years.

            3. Seattle has a better track record of finding and developing players in the secondary (Carrol’s specialty is coaching the secondary).

              1. How is it betting against the odds? You are ignoring what many coaches and GMs with more experience have said throughout the years.

                Odds are that the punter doesn’t affect your team as much as a safety or WR or Guard.

              2. yeast,

                why is this such a hard concept. this is the third time I’ve said it: the MAJORITY of players picked in the lower rounds are backups , special teams players, fringe players, practice squad players and out of the league after 2-3 years. By desperately picking a position of need in those rounds….by picking the 10th-15th best player at their position…..you’re making an irrational bet that you’re going to hit the jack pot on a good player. vs. picking the top player and likely starter at a less valuable position.

                It’s like buying lottery tickets. One will give you the chance at $10M but you’ll likely win $.50. The other lottery ticket you may win up to $500 but you’ll likely win $5.

            1. Irrational or not I do see what he’s getting at. Do I totally agree? No.

              We can all go and point to players on every team who are starters from rounds x, y or z. On the flip side is many more who don’t make it.

              Let’s look at safety for the 49ers. They’ve taken 3 FS’s recently, Colbert (17), Reed and Harris (18). You could also throw Moore (18) in that group though he was originally slated for CB.

              Exum provides good depth at SS as a FA signing and Harris did ok there last year too.

              1. I’d feel better if the 49ers had a recent track record of developing defensive backs. of course if they had a recent record of developing defensive backs, then we wouldn’t be talking about why the 49ers didn’t take a defensive back instead of a punter. hopefully Joe Woods changes things.

          2. See, you continue to make assumptions that the punter is a starter and it’s a given. Look up some of the high round punters and how often their NFL careers lasted. Not much better than most players.

            When you have a limited supply of picks it is in your best interest to select players that can positively affect game outcomes. Punters seldom do. A kicker is far more valuable, but I would still not pick one given the situation the 49ers find themselves in.

            1. A punter that starts (punts) will effect a game more than a guy at another position on the bench or practice squad.

              1. If the Niners consistently score, the punter is an afterthought, with little or no effect.

              2. The homers on this site think the KS led offense will march up and down the field, and score at will.
                .
                Do not even know, why they may need a punter.
                .
                Personally, I hope Wishnowsky never punts.

              3. Personally. I HOPE they never punt. I EXPECT Wishnowski will punt many times.
                .
                No, they will need a defense even more, if they score quickly.

  5. The five highest drafted punters…

    Year Rnd Pick# Player age Team Career
    1979 1 11 Russ ErxlebenP 22 NOR 1979-1987
    1973 1 23 Ray Guy HOF P 23 OAK 1973-1986
    1982 2 34 Rohn Stark P 23 BAL 1982- 1997
    1978 2 39 Johnny Evans P 22 CLE 1978 1980
    1977 2 46 Tom Skladany P 22 CLE 1978- 1983

    That’s just the top 5…

  6. Do not enter the Cohn Zone? Obviously, Grant does not suffer fools gladly, especially KF. KF was a marginal player who now is trying to be a media guy, but still acts like a player, going after Grant. KF is bitter because he was traded away for cash, just before the Giants went on their WS run. KF rips Grant for being so negative, yet is super negative himself. KF thinks he knows way more football than Grant, but has yet to utter a single cogent thought about football that I can remember.
    .
    That reporter asking about how SK was so proud of his players was a sickening cloying sycophant. No wonder Grant figuratively rolled his eyes.

      1. Just a reaction from a tweet from Larry Kreuger. Your reaction should be directed at LK.
        .
        And no, the fool was the guy asking such a cloying, toady soft ball question.

    1. Sebbie…

      You go to considerable lengths criticizing Grant’s appearance (gently of course)–calling out for better lighting in his periscope sessions, suggesting better backgrounds while videoing, etc. So, how would you rate Grant’s ‘look’ as shown via Twitter?

      1. I wonder how that fool got to ask the question about how proud SK was of his players, after such a big loss.
        .
        Grant’s reaction was what I would expect of him. He is keeping it real.
        .
        Grant is a big boy. He can take the criticism. My constructive criticisms are meant to make his periscopes better.
        .
        I am not pulling a KF on him, like you do to me. However, I welcome your snark, because that just means I am hitting a nerve, and I get to bludgeon Baalke some more.
        .
        Baalke loved to cut players on the team bus.

        1. I wonder how that fool got to ask the question about how proud SK was of his players, after such a big loss.

          Down 3 starters, it could have been a 30 point blowout like our oldcoach predicted. So yeah, legit line of query.

          1. The guy looked sharp and stylish, with a perfectly coiffed do, and studious with his glasses, but was an empty suit. Of course Kerr is proud of his players, win or lose. That is the kind of question that should be asked after the series.
            .
            A better question would have been about the defense. Then Kerr could lament the fact that he was coaching short handed. Missing Klay was a huge factor.

      2. how would you rate Grant’s ‘look’ as shown via Twitter?

        Not addressed to me, but I think it’s great. Disheveled, looks like he just rolled out of bed after a bender following filing his report from a manual smith-corona. Now that’s old school sportswriter. A breath of fresh air in today’s airbrushed presentation. Final touch – all he needs is a cigar stub to chomp on.

  7. Some fun 9er news…

    Classic end zones make a comeback
    The 49ers end zones featuring the classic Quentin font are a fan favorite. Those end zones will make a return in 2019 and be in place for the whole season.

    Kittle and Staley bobbleheads
    The 49ers announced two new bobbleheads for the upcoming season. They will feature tight end George Kittle and tackle Joe Staley. The first will be available on October 27 against the Panthers while the second will be handed out on November 17 against the Arizona Cardinals.

    I want a Grant Cohn bobblehead.

      1. I think Cohn needs a different scheme. Cohn Man To Man doesn’t have quite the same zing though. Unless he’s going for a different demographic.

      2. As our esteemed master poster would attest… ‘Spread ’em wide and gash ’em up the middle.’

        1. The only problem with that scheme, is the need for MLBs that could be stout against the run.
          .
          The Wide 9 is exactly what I advocated the offense to do to the defense, but with players like Wagner(Seahawks) in the middle it may work, but with no Kwon or Warner, the Niners may struggle.

          1. We’re talking about better performance within the Cohn Zone here. Read the full thread for context.

            1. Reading is fundamental. You just stated- ‘Spread them out wide and gash them up the middle.’
              .
              Since you are parroting me, I commented on that.

  8. When Welker saw Wishnowsky punt for the first time in practice, he immediately said he would refuse to catch one of his punts if he was still playing in the NFL.

    I’m out hunting crow in preparation for y’all’s meal this season. You know who you are.

    1. My dad used to tell me about how his uncles would sit around drinking wine and smoking Toscano cigars while using an old box spring held up with a stick, to catch orchard birds, which his mama would use to make polenta. When you wrote about hunting crow, this image came to mind. BTW – if I have to eat crow, I still have grandma’s recipe.

      1. Nice imagery whine 😁. I’m anticipating and lot of orchard crow eaters this upcoming season too. One thing though, the only polenta I know is a cornmeal, not bird, based concoction. 😏.

        Speaking of recipes, I wish I had my Grandmother-in-law’s gnocchi recipe. It went to the grave with her. Light, not too light, fluffy, no too fluffy. Perfect. I’ve never had similar since and I always order if it’s on the restaurant menu.

        1. Try a psychic, get the recipe and then host us all for an Insiders Summit. I’ll bring the flowers.🌹

        2. You are correct that polenta is seasoned corn meal but I have always had it with some kind of meat. It was the poor man’s way of making otherwise inedible meat not only edible but tasty. My father’s family was not only poor but specialized in fish and poultry. They ate virtually every kind of fish and fowl (and part of them) that exists. All of my mother’s spaghetti sauce was never beef – always fowl for the meat. As is still true with Italy and Italians, different areas have different traditions. While the old timers were drinking wine and smoking cigars, my father was often in the orchards (in Sonoma County) shooting birds that he would carry home by making a sack out of the bottom of his shirt. He said he was praised for bringing home dinner and chewed out for having blood on his shirt.

    2. Hopefully if that time comes they won’t be whiny little b|t€h£s like you were when razzed about Little Nicky’s rams biting his hamstring.

      1. Seemed like you were the one the came unraveled by your new Nickname to me, Little Jackie. You’re gonna have to do way better than that….

          1. My boy? Lynch and Shanny’s “boy”. Should be every 49ers fans “boy”. Bourne’s “boy”. Everyone knows you don’t like him. No need to hide behind a phoney trolling expedition, and then tell fish stories about how “razzed” you got me. Little Jackie is less about a response, and more about giving you the attention you’re asking for….

  9. “Bowman can I get a handshake, I don’t want the autograph” Me After they destroyed the packers!

    Bowman… “No problem it’s quicker too”
    Me: You are the man”
    Bowman:” thanks stay faithful”

    My Bowman Jersey can now sit on the wall encased in the Man Cave.

    He and Willis were fun to watch and Grade A class acts.
    They never showed up to the pole M after party though. 🤣🤣
    Maybe at the Big Stitch one day.

  10. So, BR had an article about the worst moves of every franchise in the last decade. Here are the NFC West ones:

    LA Rams: The entire Jeff Fisher Era
    Seahawks: Calling a pass play at end of Super Bowl XLIX
    Cardinals: hiring Steve Wilks as HC in 2018
    49ers: 1st round of 2017 draft

    Now I’m not sure about the other teams, though I agree with the LAR assessment and probably the Seahawks ones, but I think the 49ers have had other more grievous mistakes this past decade (even though 1st round of 2017 is a doozy): firing JH, not firing Baalke soon enough, hiring Tomsula, hiring Kelley would count among my greatest mistakes lists.

    1. Eddie pushing Walsh too hard ultimately leading to the retirement corner. Very grievous miscalculation on his part. Should have shifted gears, and did everything in his power to make Bill reconsider. Next on the list was his New Orleans Gate, which subsequently led to the demise of the franchise….

    2. 49er worst move- Choosing a suit over a winning HC. Then Tomsula, Kelly and possibly the 2017 draft would have not happened.

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