With season already shot, which 49ers will show up Sunday?

This is my Sunday column.

SANTA CLARA — Ain’t no five things to watch this week.

Only thing you need to monitor is which 49ers players actually show up to play a football game. Which players want to be on the field, and which players don’t. Who’s all in, and who’s not.

Most players fell in the “not” category last week. People noticed, including Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine, who seemed disgusted by the Niners after blowing them out Sunday afternoon. “You saw one team that wanted to be out there and wanted to compete and wanted to win a football game,” Pettine said, referring to the Browns, “and I don’t know if I sensed that same attitude from the other side.”

Here’s what he may have sensed: 49ers players weighing long-term health against professional pride, and pride coming up short. Although, not for everyone. A few players played hard against the Browns, and few will play hard this week against the Bengals.

Here’s who still is in for Sunday, and here’s who already has checked out.

In: Joe Staley.

The Pro Bowl left tackle didn’t have to play against the Browns. His knee is injured. He could have shut himself down for the season, maybe have surgery, start rehabbing early, abandon his teammates and not make the trip to Cleveland. You know, like what the 49ers former backup quarterback did.

Staley didn’t do that. Staley played. And, he played great. He gave up no sacks, hits or hurries, according to Pro Football Focus. A perfect game.

In the locker room afterward, Staley seemed heartbroken over how halfhearted his team played. He vented to reporters for almost 20 minutes. After five minutes, a member of the P.R. staff tried to end his interview. Staley ignored him, turned to a reporter and said, “I can still talk.”

Staley cares, and wants everyone to know it. Good for him.

Out: Ahmad Brooks.

If you want to see a professional football player go through the motions this Sunday, watch No. 55 on the 49ers defense.

Watch No. 55 rush around the edge. Watch No. 55 get pushed upfield by an offensive tackle. Watch No. 55 circle around the quarterback but never touch him. Watch No. 55 do this 30 times.

After the game, listen to No. 55 talk about his uninspired performance. Listen to him say he came out flat, played on his heels, couldn’t “pin his ears back.” Listen to him say he just can’t figure out why he played that way. Hear how detached his voice sounds.

No. 55 earns more than $7 million this season, and is scheduled to earn almost $19 million the next two seasons.

In: Ian Williams.

Williams was the only starter on the 49ers defense who wasn’t terrible against the Browns.

The Niners nose tackle may have been the best player on the field. Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of plus-6.2 — a higher grade than all but two players on the Niners defense have earned all season.

Williams is a former undrafted free agent who has earned just $4.5 million in five NFL seasons. His contract is up in a few months, and he’s in line for a major pay day. He will play hard the rest of the season.

Out: Eric Reid.

Reid is vicious when he wants to be. If he’s giving everything he has, he’s the hardest tackler on the team, which is probably one reason he has suffered three concussions in his career.

Reid will not risk a fourth concussion this season. He has quit. Instead of delivering blows, he’s receiving them like one of those tackling dummies running backs plow through during practice.

The Niners should bench Reid the final three games. He’s a team captain, and he’s setting a bad example.

In: Blaine Gabbert.

Gabbert is playing for a job in 2016. He needs to play well, and he has only three games left. Every second counts, even the seconds in garbage time. Gabbert lives for garbage time.

Last week, he posted a passer rating of 123.2 during the fourth quarter of a game that was already over. This week, expect Gabbert to gorge out on the Bengals prevent defense if he falls behind again.

Out: Geep Chryst.

I’m sneaking a coach onto this list.

The Niners offensive coordinator talks like he knows he’s getting fired at the end of the season. Read what he said Thursday when a reporter asked him to evaluate himself:

“The stuff that you work on in training camp as part of your core offense, or the stuff that we ran out of 13-personnel (three tight ends) or with Carlos Hyde, we can’t use that. We can’t use that because we don’t have three tight ends dressed out. We can’t use that because we don’t have Carlos Hyde. So, any analysis of the offense starts with who are the people that you have.”

Translation: Players got hurt, so you can’t judge my performance. Don’t blame for me for the crummy offense.

Chryst has a point — players did get hurt. But, players get hurt on every team. Injuries aren’t unique to the Niners. Head coach Jim Tomsula refuses to make the injury excuse.

Chryst blamed the players for his own ineptitude. That’s how you know he’s all out.

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 46 Comments

    1. I hope you’ve hired a plan to fly your message over Levi’s Sunday. It will do wonders for the team.

      Grant labeled two guys as in. One with a bad knee and the other hoping for garbage time to pad his numbers. Way to go Grant!

    2. And they call ME delusional…
      I hope Niners squeak out a 3-2 win, but expect a 16-28 loss. Each side will score 4 times.

        1. This is the real deal: “Tomsula’s coaches presumably didn’t really want Hayne on the roster to start the season, still look at him as an oddity”

  1. I’m thinking a few bright spots and several headsratching, mind-numbing moments… Bengals 26 9ers 13. Fan anger surges to another level. Unbroken pattern of confusing post game pressers persists. Fuel for more banners in the future…

    1. Cassie sez :

      “…. I’m thinking a few bright spots and several headsratching, mind-numbing moments……”

      Doesn’t that totally describe your dad’s and
      The Jedsters, tenure at 4949 ?

      I mean, if this season’s performance doesn’t
      give you a clue .. then, nothing will !

    2. If the Bengals score 26 offensive points with A.J. McCarron at QB, the Niners should hire Hugh immediately after the game because he can work miracles!!!! A.J.’s wife can score more points than he!

  2. I hope Brooks is benched for the rest of the season. Let the young player try to win games. He is not only an embarrassment, he is a liability, and has cost the Niners games. I would rather they lose without him than win with him.
    I really hope they would win without him.
    He loses his composure, and is undisciplined with atrocious sportsmanship.
    Tomsula deserves to lose if he plays him.

  3. When friends ask me why the offense sucks so bad, I gave the same reasons Chryst did. Those 3 TE sets were great opening night. Hyde knew just when to cut back of the D over ran he stretch play.

    Injuries at TE made that impossible, and Bell is not the blocker (yet) Davis, McDonald or Celek are. The 1-2-3 running backs hurt for the season doesn’t help.

    My biggest criticism of Chryst… ignoring Miller. I’d have this guy on the field in some capacity almost every offensive snap. (Roman under-used Miller too).

    1. Definitely hasn’t used Miller effectively. That said no running game and an O line that gets regularly pushed around doesn’t give you much latitude to scheme much of anything..

    2. I concur. Miller has played in a SB, and when Hyde went down, I expected them to use Miller like Roger Craig, or better yet, Like Tom Rathman.

  4. A rather cynical view of the “out” players. I think they will show up after last week’s debacle. but they don’t have the talent to match the Bengals.. Cincy should win…

  5. I have always rooted for the niners to win. Now I am torn. It is not that I want them to lose. It is that I want there to be no false positives that give any cover for Jed to hold on to tomsula beyond the end of the season.

    I know that Jed is not going to fire Tomsula and his dismal staff, but I want it to be plain to everyone, including the rest of the league, what a cheap pos he and Baalke are. I want there to be no cover so that when the time comes at the end of next season he will have to start from scratch and bring in real football people.

  6. I said the Niners should have blitzed the Browns like crazy, but I should have said that who they blitzed is just as important. They should have mixed in some safety blitzes because Manziel is elusive and would run away from the LBs, which is exactly what happened.
    Otherwise, when they did not blitz, Manziel had all day to throw.
    This coming game, The Niners should clog the throwing lanes and get a hand up. Maybe Dial or Armstead can come up with a deflection and give the DBs a chance to pick one off.
    The only way the Niners win is if the defense scores or gets turnovers.

  7. I’m actually predicting that the 49ers will win tomorrow. The Bengals won’t have Dalton or Eifert for this game, so their offense could have trouble trying to get things going.

    49ers 16 Bengal 10

  8. 49ers 20 Bengals 16

    Gabbert leads the team 92 yards in the waning moments, finishing off the drive with a TD throw.

  9. This is the game that will force Niner mangment to make changes at the end of the year. Bengals 38-10 over the Niners. It gets ugly in Santa Clara. Thanks Jed!

  10. To say Kaep gave up on the team is an unproven point and should not have been have been said. From reports I have read,he was injured since week 4 but continued to play. You talk about Staley and his efforts but he wasn’t benched and most likely told he was done for rest of season,which had been reported since his benching.

    1. You are right. That was a gratuitous shot. He played through injury until the coaches benched him. Intimating that he quit on his teammates is absurd.

    2. Grant’s never bothered with the facts when he wants to write a subjective piece like this on effort. Kaep’s move to IR was clearly a management move. He’s also calling out Reid who had 10 tackles. People who quit don’t end up 2nd in tackles for their team. Could it be that they’ve given up on their hopeless coaches?

  11. The ideal 9er defense… Chuck Norris (ILB), Clint Eastwood (ILB), Arnold Schwarzenegger (DT), Steven Seagal (DE), Samuel L. Jackson (OLB), Wesley Snipes (OLB), Jean-Claude Van Damme (SS), Jet Li (FS), and Defensive Coordinator — Liam Neeson. Who’s missing?

      1. Well, as my dad’s offspring, I’m 20. In my other world, I’ve been following Bay Area football for 5+ decades.

    1. I always think of Brandon Lloyd when I think of Ted Ginn. Two speedy receivers that are horribly inconsistent. You never know which guy has shown up. Their seasonal game logs look like a sine wave.

  12. We could save all the risk of picking the wrong QB in the draft or even having to use a pick at all on one if we would just trade for Mettenberger.

  13. Other teams seem to have back up rb who are as good if not better than the starters they replace – Rawls, Charcadrick west , javorias allen … Pats seem to be able to plug in any rb and have success. I think we need better back ups, better coaches and definitely a better GM.

    new GM is critical to any hopes of future success or we will be at best an 8-8 team.

  14. Come gather ’round Jed
    Wherever you roam
    And admit that the waters
    Around you have grown
    And accept it that soon
    You’ll be drenched to the bone
    If your time to you
    Is worth savin’
    Then you better start swimmin’
    Or you’ll sink like a stone
    For the times they are a-changin’.

  15. Jed!
    Who’s the 9er prez
    That’s a buffon and a clueless man?
    You’re da*n right
    Who is the man
    That would leak info on his brother man?
    Can ya dig it?
    Who’s the cat that won’t cop out
    When there’s danger all about
    (Aint Jed!)
    Right on
    You see this cat Jed is a dumb mo*
    (Shut your mouth)
    But I’m talkin’ about Jed
    (And we can dig it)
    He’s a complicated man
    But no one understands him but Grant Cohn
    (Jed York)

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