Robert Saleh on the RPO: “It’s a good wrinkle. Eventually, defenses always catch up.”

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh speaks to reporters after a practice at the team’s NFL football training facility in Santa Clara, Calif., Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

This is the transcript of defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s Week 1 conference, courtesy of the 49ers P.R. staff.

 

Where do things stand with LB Malcolm Smith?

“He’s going through practice today and everything looks good for game day.”

What point during the training camp did you realize you had a keeper in a guy who can make an impact Week 1 in LB Fred Warner?

“For us, I think it was the first game that he actually got to go hit somebody. Felt like he had great hand placement. Didn’t think physicality would be an issue, but being able to actually go through the game and go through it and actually be able to use all that physicality and bring people down. It pretty much sealed the deal on what we felt like we already knew.”

Did you go into the draft process anticipating that he could be a physical guy after not showing it too much in college?

“That was the big question on him. No different than it was for [CB] Ahkello [Witherspoon]. But, that’s where I think [general manager] John [Lynch], [vice president of player personnel] Adam [Peters], [senior personnel executive] Martin Mayhew, [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and our staff did an unbelievable job digging to see, ‘Is it because they are unwilling or because they just don’t know any better?’ Fred’s circumstance was he was never in position to be able to play physical. So, we had to go dig and find some Senior Bowl tape and all the different examples of where he would and where he wouldn’t shy from contact. So for us, the physicality part was never an issue.”

Do you expect him to play MIKE?

“Yes.”

He was saying yesterday that he’ll do the communication. How easy was it to kind of gain that trust in him to be able to do that in his first NFL game?

“It’s very easy. I said it before, he was one of, if not the smartest interviews I’ve ever had personally at the combine for a linebacker. He’s picked it up well. He’s got great command of it. He’s got a long way to go. I don’t want to crown him quite yet, but he’s a rookie, he’s going to have his peaks and valleys, but we have great confidence in him.”

Is it all systems go with CB Richard Sherman, we’re assuming?

“That’s right.”

 

Throughout this last month and on the practice field and the exhibitions, were you paying extra attention to his footwork to see how that Achilles has responded?

“You know, I guess you look at it. You’re looking at the footwork to see where he is at and all that stuff, and he looks great. He does. The speed, I know there was a lot of talk about the go-ball in his very first rep and all that stuff, but I haven’t seen speed deficiency. We haven’t seen speed deficiency. But, his communication, his instincts, his quickness, all of it looks fantastic. He’s ready to go and we’re excited to have him.”

Does he spend extra time with you? I’m sure he’s giving a lot of communication with some of the younger guys, just to make sure he’s giving them the right answers, does he spend a lot of time talking with you about the scheme?

“The cool thing with a vet, and really it’s just vets in general, I can imagine being on offense, special teams, whatever it is, the great ones do a great job communicating with the coach so everybody is on the same page. I think sometimes with young teams where you get lost, it’s always coach to player and there’s no dialogue so that way we can find the best way to put players in the position they need to be. Sherm does a great job with communication and being able to get on the sideline like that Indianapolis game, like, ‘This is what I saw.’ He’s speaking to you because he was on the football field, he saw it. So that dialogue is always great. Him being able to do that and having that veteran presence and all that stuff is always beneficial.”

Can you talk about what went into the decision, I know John has talked about releasing DL Jeremiah Attaochu, but just the composition of that group, having only those three guys and then it seems like you have an abundance of inside guys. What went into the thinking of constructing it that way?

“You know, with Attaochu, he did flash. It always comes back down to dependability and whether or not you can be available for game day. That defensive line is filled with NFL talent all the way, whether you’re an edge rusher or an inside guy, it doesn’t matter. We feel like we’ve got the best group of D-Line that we could’ve possibly had with the men that were in our training camp. The decision on that will always come back to dependability.”

What did it for DL Ronald Blair III? Was it his versatility that he’s able to line up basically anywhere?

“He does have versatility. I always mess with the staff. I always say, ‘If you like winning, then you like Ronnie.’ He just always wins. He always finishes on the block. He does what he’s supposed to do. He’s got great versatility. We love Ronnie. We love his work ethic. He stands for everything we believe in. He gets the job done. So, for Ronnie, it was very easy.”

What do you think is going to be the most challenging aspect that the Vikings present?

“They’re very talented. Their skill guys are very talented. They’ve got a good scheme. I know [Minnesota Vikings QB] Kirk [Cousins], obviously the quarterback is special. From a talent standpoint, they’re very good. So, from that standpoint, just the challenge of it all is being able to execute on our end. Guys are on it. Guys have been communicating great in practice. They’re really locked into the game plan. We’re excited about the opportunity to go against them.”

When you study them and then you know what Kirk brings to the table, how do you think he maybe can elevate them from where they were a year ago?

“With Kirk, whenever you get a quarterback like Kirk, just the precision and the efficiency at which they operate, their timing, he elevates everyone just by making things go more efficiently, being pinpoint with his accuracy. He’s an elite quarterback. Them having him is going to be beneficial for them. Again, it’s really no different for us. For us, every week we’re going to play great quarterbacks and we’re going to play great players. I know our guys are ready for the challenge.”

Have you spent more time with Kyle this week in devising your own game plan, what you want to do, just because of his history with the quarterback and kind of the knowledge he has on Kirk Cousins?

“Kyle’s always involved, every week. Kyle’s very, very good at trying to formulate a plan for the entire team, to understand what it’s going to take as a team to win. It’s not offense, defense, special teams. It’s a team effort and what we’ve got to do collectively as a group. He’s involved with special teams, he’s involved obviously with the offense and he’s involved with defense to make sure that we’re all on the same page and we’re all trying to achieve one goal and how we’re going to do that within the parameters of our scheme. He’s involved with everything.”

What’s been your experience with Week 1? Is that an oddball week for teams because you haven’t really seen what the opponent is going to do? It seems like there’s always a few upsets in Week 1.

“There’s always the unknown. Two years ago when we were in Jacksonville, we played Green Bay. After the game in Jacksonville, we felt like we played a pretty good game against them. He had a quote. His quote was, ‘You see 75 percent of what they’re going to do. You’re prepared for 75 percent and the other 25 percent is the unknown. We feel really good about what we have. I’m sure they’re going to throw some wrenches in their scheme. I’m sure they’re going to have some trick plays or something that we haven’t seen, but we feel really good about our scheme and the way we do things. We feel like we’ll be prepared for whatever they try to throw at us.”

You and John Lynch mentioned dependability with Attaochu. Did he suffer another injury after the Colts game or what was his injury history when he was here?

“I’ll leave that one alone for the training staff and everybody on how they could answer that one. I’m sorry.”

Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo ran a lot of RPOs last year, sort of famously in the Super Bowl. There are a lot of trends in this league and a lot of things don’t always carry over year to year in terms of success rate because defenses can make adjustments. Do you think RPOs are something that have legitimate staying power or do you think maybe it’s another wayward trend in the NFL where it doesn’t necessarily last?

“I know the RPO system got a lot of media attention over the offseason. Is it a part of what they do? I’m sure. Is it why they’re going to win or lose football games? I don’t think so. It is a cool little wrinkle that offenses can put into their system, but like anything else, if you do it too much, defenses, that’s all we do is watch tape, we’re going to figure it out. So, we feel good about our plan. I’m sure they’ll have some RPOs, but that’s definitely not make or break for them. It’s a good wrinkle, I’ll just say that. Eventually defenses always catch up and we feel good about what we have going for our offseason studies.”

Does that mainly fall on Malcolm? Is he the guy that the quarterback is mainly reading for those RPOs?

“They’re reading, every down it’s somebody different. So, without getting into too much scheme in what we’re seeing, I believe that all 11 are always exposed. So, it’s just a matter of us being on our details in exactly what we’re trying to accomplish defensively.”

This article has 79 Comments

  1. If there is one guy on this staff that might take the fall after this year I think it might be Saleh.
    I like what he is doing but this defense needs to really be able to keep pace with our offense now. Jimmy G is gonna put up points. I’m just worried about our defense not being able to stop the run and get off the field on 3rd down.

    1. Interesting Prime. I’m actually much less worried about our run defense than I am our pass rush. I think ShanaLynch and Saleh have addressed the issues with our run defense, and I expect this might be where we see the most improvement on defense this season.

      Oh how I wish I could say the same for their pass rush, or should I say lack thereof! Getting off of the field on third down could be where this team really struggles again this season.

      +68 yards on offense, and -66 yards in penalties for the world champs, during the first half tonight. Super Bowl hangover anyone? Yikes.

  2. Six years is lengthy, contract wise. Shanny/Lynch have nothing but time, content to sprinkle in a free agent here or there, mainly building through the draft.

    Seb took issue with this strategy early on, touting the free agent strategy over building through the draft (see the Jarryd Hayne flop). Seb also stated the following about the 49er rebuild:

    “I will call Shanahan less than astue if he doesn’t resign Kaep” (for big bucks)….With these kinds of fans, the 49ers don’t need enemies.

    1. The stones Seb had thinking Shanny would leave his complex offense to a one trick pony QB.
      Now old wind up is a TV commercial ad guy. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

      BUT WAIT, a storm is suppose to still arrive. America is waiting for their President to get impeached and then #7 will don the football cleats again!

    2. TrollD, delusional again. I support the strategy to build a team through the draft because then, the players are locked into rookie contracts so the salary cap can be managed.
      .
      I only advocate spending money on free agents to fill specific needs not met with the draft. I may have stated that they need to outbid other teams like they did for McKinnon, even though that backfired when he tore his ACL. They had 150 mil of cap space, so they needed to spend some of that to improve the team, instead of sitting on their hands and doing nothing, except making profits. Luckily, the Niners still have 38 mil in cap space, so obtaining Bell might be a possibility.
      .
      I rooted for Jarred Hayne because I generally root for the under dog. He did have skills, but was too raw, and did not have a good feel for the game. It did not help having a ST coach who did not coach Hayne to let the ball bounce and do not dive to catch an errant punt. The ST coach should have told him to be more aware of the players around him, so he would not let his own player run into him, causing a fumble.
      .
      With Hoyer as the QB, I will state that to the world. KS was less than astute to rely on a QB who threw the ball like the defenders were the intended receivers. Kaep was, and is, a far superior QB than Hoyer. I made that statement because I want the Niners to win, and now JG is aboard, Kaep is not needed. I wish him well.
      .
      However, I even rooted for Gabbert to succeed, just because I want the Niners to win. Too bad, Gabbert pulled a Gabbert, and benched himself.
      .
      Yes, the Niners do not enemies, like you, who exulted after Niner losses, and rooted for the Raiders to win.

      1. But all your decisions have been or have become wrong.
        Intel? Seriously dude. These coaches and managers and scouts know the game at light speed above yours or my knowledge. The fact you insult their intelligence and profession is worthy of a f u man

        1. Chris, you really need to stop trying so hard.
          .
          I have advocated for that, but it is done all the time, so it is standard operating procedure. They did what I proposed, but they came up with their decision without ever reading this blog, because it is a smart thing to do.
          .
          Hurling insults? sounds like you lost the argument.
          .
          Look, I proposed that the DB should allow the receiver to catch the ball, but elevate him and drive him out of bounds, thus making a catch along the side line (and in the end zone), an incomplete pass. Eagles just did it to Jones and the Falcons, preserving a win. That ‘decision’ became true, so your argument is crushed.

          1. Also, you bloviate about the uselessness of intel, but Zimmer just did it when he signed Hikutini. Guess you are calling Zimmer stupid.
            .
            Coaches do look for intel, just like Pete Carroll did when he obtained Dontae Johnson. Just like KS did when they signed Golditch.
            .
            I agree, your football knowledge is lacking. You may claim to be a coach, but there are good coaches, and coaches like you.

            1. How to make up for the loss of McKinnon.
              .
              KS will line up Morris deep in the I, with Juice lead blocking, and let him build up a head of steam before hitting the hole. Hope JG includes Morris in the passing game with some easy swing passes.
              .
              KS will use Breida like he was going to use McKinnon, but with less deep routes. Breida will be used to create mismatches, so expect to see him shift outside.
              .
              KS will dial up more plays for Juice, just to mix things up and be unpredictable.
              .
              Mostert might even get some plays, and he is almost as fast as Goodwin. Not sure about Mostert’s hands, though.

    1. Combine info…

      STRENGTHS Has experience at wide-9, 5-technique and as an outside linebacker. Frame filled out at a rapid rate over last few seasons at A&M. Coaches believe he can add and sustain even more muscle. Has length and average quickness to dart into gaps and breach the flow of the play. Has tools to become better edge setter with more strength. One year of defensive line play makes him moldable for NFL coaches. Has decent bend-and-rip rush move. Has shown ability to get skinny and wedge between double-team blocks. Flexible upper body along with coordinated work between hands and feet suggest future improvements as interior rusher. Effort player who hustles his way into tackles.

      WEAKNESSES Still learning to play lower and drop anchor at the point of attack. Will get bounced around and widened out of the gap by size. Needs weight work to supplement average contact balance. Washed down by redirect blocks too easily. Needs to become more commanding and authoritative with his hands. Pad level too high and too welcoming for opposing blockers. Appears to have lost a little foot quickness with addition of weight over final two college seasons. Needs to prove he has toughness to play as a 3-4 defensive end.

      SOURCES TELL US “Daeshon Hall is a name that is going to get hot. I didn’t think he had starting potential when he was an outside ‘backer. Now that he’s bigger and stronger and playing with his hand down, I think he’s a different player. I see him as a second-day (Rounds 2-3) guy.” — AFC scout

      NFL COMPARISON Jason Jones

      BOTTOM LINE Possesses the physical traits, versatility and effort to become an intriguing Day 2 selection, but teams might have to wait on Hall as he is still learning to play with a hand on the ground and needs to continue adding mass to his frame. Hall is nothing special as an edge rusher but has the talent to become an interesting interior rusher as a 3-4 defensive end. If he has enough ruggedness to handle full-time work in the trenches, he could become an eventual starter. The arrow is pointed up, but overdrafting the traits could prove to be a mistake.

  3. OMG! Shanahan has intel on Cousins!

    Where are the most guts being spilled? Gonna get wet and slippery…then the flies come…then maggots.

  4. I was hoping that Grant would weigh in on the current situation of Solomon Thomas’s weight. Dave Lombardi over at the Athletic had a detailed timeline analysis last week of Thomas’s weight vs. strength. Apparently he has been asking for more reps in preseason games to get used to his 280 lb weight while retaining his small area quickness/explosiveness. He says that he is now satisfied that he is getting his old explosiveness at his new weight and strength. However, last Friday, I saw him about 100 yards away from me walking for the coin toss at the Stanford-SDSU game. He looked more like 260 lb to me. I think it calls for an immediate Grantalysis….

  5. Exciting end to a boring game.

    Seems like the Falcons don’t need Shanahan to make bad 4th quarter play calls.

    1. Like I’ve said many times before, Matt Ryan is a world class choke artist. That Super Bowl loss was on Matt Ryan, perhaps the most overrated QB in the league. He played the 4th QTR of the Super Bowl like a deer in headlights, and tonight he treated us with an encore performance!

      Matt Ryan has ZERO composure ….. he really is the anti-Garoppolo!

      Great game for my man Chris Long though. He seems to be getting better with age. Pass rush = important!

  6. Hmmm, the DB allowed Jones to catch the ball in the end zone, but drove him out of bounds so the catch was incomplete. That preserved the win for the Eagles, on the last play of the game.
    .
    I wonder who would advocate for strategy like that? ;p

    1. Did the DB wrap the receiver up as he jumped and caught the ball (keeping the receiver’s feet off the ground) and carry him out of bounds? That’s what you advocated advocated for–wrapping and carrying–which would appear to be a tad different than forcing the receiver out. Effect was the same, the technique differed.

      The DB made a good play, but the wrapping and carrying was kinda absent.

      1. So if multiple defenders can grab a player in the air anywhere on the field and carry him out of bounds it is an incomplete pass?

        1. The Sebbie technique — If the player catches the ball while no part of his body is touching the ground, one or more defensive players could grab the receiver (while still airborne) and carry him off the field, keeping any part of the retrievers body from coming into contact with the ground. Would be interesting to see if/when the refs would blow the play dead.

          I know this sounds silly, but Sebbie called for just this tactic two or three years ago, and has defended it since. Not to be confused with forcing/driving receivers out of bounds like last night…just grabbing the receiver while receiver has ball and is in the air, and carrying him out of bounds. Key word is carrying.

          Love this stuff!

        2. SEB
          Everyone uses that strategy you knucklehead. They’ve been doing it ever since the rules were changed 15 years or so ago. They used to call it a catch on a push out. Now they let the DB do it.
          I’m surprised that with your vast football knowledge that you aren’t aware of that.
          They made the rules so that IT COULD BE EMPLOYED FOR THAT STRATEGY. you dont have any insight whatsoever.

          Way to be on the cutting edge

          I’m trying to figure out why on earth you believe you have these deep realizations about football rules and strategy that you believe are exclusive to you. You sound like a complete buffoon when you make such lame and elementary proclamations. You might as well say “hey they should throw the football to an open receiver” or “they should tackle the ball carrier immediately before he gets to the line of gain”
          in summation, you seriously sound like a fifth grade cheerleader that knows NOTHING about football

          1. As far as a player or multiple players actually CARRYING someone out of bounds, We all know the answer to that. they will whistle in the grasp, its not just a QB rule. They’ll whistle the play dead at the end of the tackled pllayers forward progress. Seb saying all this dumb crap is confusing some very basic football rules.
            Hey I have a strategy idea!!! Seb will love this, instead of TACKLING THE BALL CARRIER let’s instruct our defense to pick up the ball carrier and carry him 20 or so yards backwards and throw him out of bounds. They’ll lose 20 yards every play and we cant lose!!
            SMH

            1. After further review: ” in the grasp” is TECHNICALLY a term for QBs, for all other players it’s the end of forward progress. Nonetheless the whistle will blow the play dead at the end of forward progress for the ball carrier.

      1. Nice preview. Paul Allen in the video seems from Lake Woebegone…. We are still left with the question: How much juice can a Juicechuck chuck?

  7. Donte (W)hitner is back in the Bay Area replacing Dennis Brown on NBC Bay Area Niners team.. He thinks that K’waun Williams is the best nickel in the league.

  8. Yesterday afternoon I wrote how happy I was that an actual NFL game was just a few hours away.

    It appears I was mistaken.

    1. Yup. The seduction of a fresh NFL season…then harsh reality sets in and your guts are ripped out by mid-December. Been there many times!

  9. 49ers defense will get hammered and it won’t be Sherman’s fault – he’ll have a decent game. Jimmy G will move the ball but lots of FGs with a couple of TDs mixed in. Vikes 35-26.

  10. With Keanu Neal out with an ACL, 49ers should shop Jimmy Ward to the Falcons. Maybe we get a 4th round draft pick and get his salary off the books, so we can use the money toward a 1-year rental of Leveon Bell.

    1. I wished they could get a 4th round pick for Jimmie, that would be a steal but they need to trade him now before he plays Sunday and gets hurt. 49ers should trade for Bell now and next year release Jerick unless the money works out to have both. If we had Bell and people will say we don’t need him and he’s overrated. When he plays he’s the best in the game and he can catch the ball which would go perfect in this offense , so why not trade for him. I can understand missing out on Mack but not Bell even with Jerick salary for this year.

    2. I’m afraid we wouldn’t get a 4th for Ward. The other 31 teams have eyes and they see what we see. We’d be fortunate to get a 6th–at best. Could be wrong but I think he stays with the 9ers this year, whether we like it or not.

  11. yes 49ers defense will get run over by the Vikings running game. Foster is out, Smith is doubtful. A rookie LB will start, Brock who is not even a backup really just a special teams guy will start and Lee and Mark are the backups. I would not be surprised if they gain over 200 yards on the ground. lots of FGs by the 49ers unless they can score TD’s.

    I don’t know why 49ers could not sign or trade for a LB. That starting LB group scares me, then you have the safety group who scares me as well. Ward will get injured as always and so will Arik.

      1. What plan to get crushed by the run game because they have no LB to stop the run. This is a win now league and I don’t want to go thru another losing season because management does not know how to get good players. I’m just saying the LB group is pretty bad right now and would not be surprised if the Vikings run the ball a lot.

        1. This game is probably a loss. I’m not too worried about it either way. But I agree with you about Bell. I think he completes this offense. The 49ers can cut McKinnon next year before the season and move on. I don’t want next season to hinge on not one, but two big IFs:

          1) What if McKinnon doesn’t recover from his ACL injury?
          2) What if McKinnon is, at best, a nice complementary back, but not a Devontae Freeman-type that we can really depend on for 20 touches a game?

          Leveon Bell is the best back in the game, and we might have a shot at getting him. He would make us serious contenders this year.

          And if we can get rid of Ward, who (as you say) is just another injury waiting to happen, then essentially we’re getting an $8 million discount for a year on Leveon Bell, and the chance to see what he can do in our offense before committing.

  12. A quote from Joe Staley re the culture Shanny and Lynch have instilled:

    “It just makes coming to work fun, you know? I’ve been on teams where it wasn’t, even when we were winning. In some of the Harbaugh years, you’d clock in and then you’d go home,” Staley said to The Bee, referencing Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers’ head coach from 2011-14. “It wasn’t like you’d stick around and hang out with your buddies. It was like, alright, I’m here to do a job. I’m going to clock in and then I’m leaving. Because I can’t wait to get home and get away from this chaos. It’s been fun to come to work every day.”

    Staley’s reference to the Harbaugh years is exactly why I have maintained it was actually good for the organisation to move on from him, and why Harbaugh’s way is unsustainable in the long term. Its ok for the HC to be edgy and terse. But there still has to be an element of fun to coming to work. If there isn’t it just makes it near impossible to maintain success.

    1. I think you’re right about this. You weren’t the only one thinking this about Harbaugh. Most vocal fans were mad at Jed, Baalke and Paraag for firing Harbaugh, but seriously- if you own a business, no matter how well things are going; do you really want to put up with a total dick every single day?

    2. Scooter have to remember that Staley was also younger and may have had a different set of priorities with Harbaugh and externalized that to an extent.

      As he has gotten older, perhaps he wants to relish his time with fellow players more and seeks to partake in the collective more. People’s priorities change as they are the end of a career.

      That is not to say that the locker rooms aren’t different either. Just merely pointing out that Staley may be a bit more nostalgic for the comradeship of playing football more than grinding for wins.

  13. Scooter,
    I try to hear a range of opinions before making my own based on the voice of one or a few.

    Here’s another opinion of Harbaugh:
    “He’s my best coach. I didn’t enjoy being here until we started winning. Since he’s been here, I’ve been winning.”
    #49ers Frank Gore, on Harbaugh.
    1:51 PM – Dec 24, 2014

    Veteran players like Staley and Gore along with others have there own view on head coaches.

    Some players liked Mike Singletary and even the “butcher” Tomsula.
    Just like many fans, players too, can be fickle.

    The new regime is still enjoying the after-glow of their honeymoon period, but the reality of their work will begin receiving scrutiny by the 2nd half of the season.
    Long story short – so far, so good.

    1. Not many players enjoy losing. Which other coaches has Gore played for that he won a lot of games with? Of course Harbaugh is the best coach he has had in the NFL.

      I am not saying Harbaugh isn’t a good coach. He’s very good. But I do believe he has a fairly short shelf life. He was what the team needed when they hired him. And I think it was time to move on when they fired him. The problem was they had another issue in Baalke and Jed that got exposed and made the firing look terrible through their bungling and incompetence.

      1. “Not many players enjoy losing. Which other coaches has Gore played for that he won a lot of games with? Of course Harbaugh is the best coach he has had in the NFL.”

        Joe Staley has been in the league for two years less than Gore. Factually speaking, KS is not a winning coach yet (although I fully expect him to be). So, I don’t see how the Gore example is any less valid than your Staley example. Different players look for different things in coaches.

        Having said that, Harbaugh no doubt has a short shelf life. But in our instant gratification society there are few coaches that are as successful at quickly turning around an organization.

        1. I didn’t argue that Harbaugh is a very good coach, or that Shanahan is (or isn’t) better. Time will tell.

          Gore’s comments don’t impact on my argument that Harbaugh’s coaching style doesn’t lend itself to long term sustained success. That was the point of my reply to AES. My comment re Gore was simply that players don’t usually enjoy losing. And for Gore (and Staley), outside of Harbaugh they haven’t been on winning teams. Short term success is better than no success at all, no matter how much “fun” the coaching staff try and make it. So yeah, Gore thinks Harbaugh was his best coach. I imagine if the team loses a lot this year the season won’t be fun for the players. My understanding is Staley was contemplating retirement until they started winning last year.

          1. Here’s another opinion of Harbaugh by one Justin Smith:
            “Everybody in the locker room got along with Harbaugh,” Smith said, via CSN Bay Area. “He was a good guy. He was quirky, this and that, but everybody loved him. And we loved what we were doing. How could you not have fun with that?

            “But for whatever reason, it didn’t work out. As a player, you don’t try to get involved in that. Whatever’s going on, whatever else, it’s not our problem. We’re just trying to win.”

            Not trying to be disparaging, but this is another player who qualifies as one that played under the Harbaugh regime.
            JS gives us a little inside view of Harbaugh’ presence around the team and never mentions anything being out of place.

            But I do agree that Harbaugh has a short shelf life. He explodes on to the scene then flames out. I called it the Billy Martin syndrome when he was grinding with the front office.
            He also seems to be snake-bit in the last 2 minutes of a close game, which is starting to be worrisome.

        2. Partly my fault in bringing them up, but between Harbaugh and Kaepernick, those are two guys I would rather forget!

          We have clean slate and fresh start with Shanny and Lynch.
          We have a franchise QB and tons of cap space and a young and upcoming team. There is still lots of work to do but we have a great future.

          Go Niners!

          1. Agree, Prime. I like Harbaugh, but we’ve moved on and I do like Shanahan. We haven’t had an offense this exciting since Young was the QB (almost 20 years ago!!)

            49ers – 24
            Vikings – 21

  14. What was Nike thinking? Nike was thinking, “Money, money, money, money. . . . MONEY!”

    At its core, Nike’s decision to embrace Colin Kaepernick as one of the primary faces of the 30th anniversary “Just Do it” campaign is about one thing and one thing only: Making money.

    Don’t get confused or distracted by notions of principle or a desire to be on the right side of history. A publicly-traded corporation with a fiduciary obligation to its shareholders, Nike exists not to be a beacon of freedom but a bastion of capitalism.

    The goal today? Make money. Tomorrow? Make more money. The next day? Make even more money.

    And that’s what has happened in the immediate aftermath of the decision to partner with Kaepernick. Despite the stock price fluctuation obsessions from right-leaning I-told-you-so pundits who hope to blame all the problems of modern American sports on anyone who: (1) thinks differently than they do; and (2) dares to say so, the numbers never lie. Via Fortune.com, Nike’s online sales grew 31 percent since Sunday. That’s nearly twice the growth (17 percent) from the same post-summer period of a year ago.

    So, shockingly, a company that knows a thing or two about its target audience makes a move aimed at getting them to buy more stuff and, even more shockingly, they are.

    Yes, Kaepernick started a movement two years ago. And now Nike has co-opted it, all in the name of making more money.

    While some may debate whether Kaepernick’s conduct is uniquely American (it is), there’s nothing more American than Nike’s deliberate, strategic pursuit of the almighty dollar.

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