The strengths and weaknesses of Dee Ford

Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Dee Ford during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Check out my video breakdown of Dee Ford.

This article has 229 Comments

      1. Caution!

        Sebbie detests Gabbert–kinda fun when Sebbie comes unglued at the mention of Blaine. Anyway, I hope Gabbert catches on somewhere soon.

        1. I actually rooted for Gabbert to succeed, in 2016.
          Too bad Gabbert pulled a Gabbert, and benched himself.
          Posters who think Gabbert, Hoyer, Seimian, Savage, McCoy Barkley, and others like the Butt Fumbler, are superior to Kaep, just proves their lack of football knowledge.

          1. Not superior but adequate, which doesn’t carry a $20 million dollar price tag. Kap was superior for a minute, and then caught an adequate virus. Nobody is paying $20 million for that, but if he wants to play as bad as he and is lawyer say he does, why not lower your price tag to get your foot in the door? Do it for the fans. Do it for the glory. Hell, do it for free like President Trump and Mr. Long….

    1. Grant, I appreciate your breakdowns but I’d like to make a suggestion. I rarely see you use consecutive plays in your breakdowns. These are important because the good defensive linemen often use consecutive plays to set up the opposing offensive linemen. For instance, Dee Ford will use his speed rush around the outside on one play, in order to set up the OT with a follow up inside move on the very next play. We know Dee Ford is going to line up wide with his hand in the dirt more often this season, so it would have been great to see you highlight his sack vs Jimmy G this year as one of your examples. On this play, Dee lines up in a wide 9 – 3 point stance, something I expect to see quite a bit this season. Out wide, hand in the dirt, Dee easily beats our pro bowl LT, Joe Staley, around the edge while he swallows up the Niners QB. Another play I would have loved to have seen you highlight is one of his sack’s vs the Chargers this season. On this play, Dee Ford lines up inside over the LG, with Justin Houston on his outside, and then uses an inside jab step, followed by a brutal swim move to power through the off balance LG, getting the sack on Rivers. Just a little more variety, and some consecutive plays highlighting the way DL’s set up plays vs the opposing OL’s. Other than that, good work.

        1. That’s a fair point. I’m glad we know he has the closing speed to corral that slippery little dude before he pulls a Houdini.

          Dee Ford vs the Seahawk’s in 2018: 2 QB hits, 7 Tackles, 2.5 TFL, and a half of a sack. That works for me, though I expect even bigger things from him in this defense.

          1. Speaking of Dee Ford, what is going on down there in Santa Clara Grant? How is Marathe managing to continue to sign even premium players to team friendly deals? You must have some inside information as to how Paraag is managing to limit the 49ers risk, and pulling this stuff off?

            “Now, some details on the contract have emerged, courtesy of Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Once again, the deal appears to be very team-friendly. It is essentially year-to-year starting with $20.5 million for 2019.”

  1. Safety or the LB over the bubble created by Ford wide is critical.

    Ford needs to get stronger, and I think he’ll have more torque and rpm’s a year removed from surgery.

    I also think on that last video, the CB should be reading run and filling inside out.

    These video tutorials are fascinating, and I can’t wait to see how they evolve over the next few years. Perhaps streaming from Grant’s classroom with a chalkboard, and questions answered live….

    1. I agree, Grant is doing a great job on his breaksdowns. Something no other writer/reporter does that I know of at least with the 9ers. His periscopes are also a benefit fans have here, something else I have’nt seen done where you can ask questons and he can answer them live like that, it’s great even if you disagree. People can leave comments and joke with him like his sweaters, lol. Plus he’s not boring but enjoyable and funny. Can’t wait for the draft, future periscopes and camp videos!

  2. Quite enjoying this video breakdowns Grant.
    I think it’s pretty clear that this guy should be a 3rd down pass rush specialist. I think screw the $ just keep him fresh and mean for several years.
    The big dilemma is who will be the 1st and 2nd down guy? Williams, Bosa or Allen?
    I am with you 100 percent that Bosa could be an injury liability.
    I lean Allen though Williams does have some stunning tape. I’m torn between the 2…..

    1. At #2.. probably Bosa maybe Allen but I really think they trade down. If they trade down to #6-10 then it’s Sweat, Burns maybe Ferrell, like the Giants at #6 probably Sweat. If they trade w/Oak at 4, Bosa may go at 3 and then either Williams or Allen going 4 and 5, I’d take Allen. Who knows.

  3. Thanks for the breakdown Grant. Ford is a guy I have only seen highlights of or read about, so good to see some examples of his play, good and bad. If he is going to play in base they are going to need to help him out in run D. Should definitely help the pass rush though.

    1. How about playing Armstead on early downs and let Ford get after the QB in passing downs? Armstead played very well against the Run. Allen can play on the opposite side if they draft him.

      1. Yes, that’s what Grant suggests in the clips. Could well be the plan. But if not, will be curious to see how they try and help him in run D.

      2. I suspect that Armstead will be kept at Big End and if they platoon the LEO spot (it’s not really a LEO spot in the Nickel…but whatever) I could see them going with Thomas at run stopping LEO and backing up Armstead and Buckner.

        1. I think some are overreacting to his run defense. Its okay, we have plenty of run stoppers! The scheme itself is good against the run, especially if Tartt is healthy.

          It will be interesting to see if indeed Alexander is the WILL behind Ford. That’s alot of firepower, a whole different dynamic.

  4. Grant,

    I like your analysis. I do have a couple of possible disagreements which relates to our LEO scheme discussion in the last post.

    That first clip, I think Ford did his job. He kept the runner inside of him. That’s his job. It’s the backers that should be in fast flow and the alley players that should be the ones filling those holes between the edge of line and the containment player.

    That second clip…YUP…Ford was beaten. I’ve seen other clips where he gets killed on the edge in containment.

    But here’s the thing. I think you and I initially believed that Ford would be a SAM. It makes sense since he was an Outside Linebacker with Kansas City. But what does a SAM do in the run game? He’s the D Gap and Force player. SAM has containment. Not Ford’s strong suit. But the LEO? He’s charging up field. He’s spill ball carriers to the ROVER or WILL. He’ll be doing exactly what he does best firing into the backfield to cause problems behind the line of scrimmage. At least I hope that’s the way it works out. I know you disagree with me about the LEO being a containment player. But if I’m right, Fords move to LEO makes all the more sense.

    1. allforfun

      What are you talking about? If you thought Dee Ford was, is, or will be a SAM then discussion is dead there. That’s like saying Steph Curry should play power foward.

      Come on bro Strong side LB shades the Tight End. He leads the point of attack, taking on initial lead blockers. Thats scheme champ. Typically a 2 down LB. That’s not Dee Ford. Hes not made for Will either. Like I’ve stated, hes a prototype 9 technique in a wide 4-3, which happens to be what our new DL coach runs. He will be on the weak-side, open side, Leo, Elephant whatever u want to call it. No Tight End side. Speed Rusher. Rushing the QB, all day. That’s why it was such a good trade and after I had said that, Lynch went and confirmed pretty much the same logic.In a 4-3 under Buckner is the 3. They’ll be next to each other, stunting on em, literally, and you’ll be like ‘damn I didn’t know what I was talkin about’…Dee Ford as a SAM is the dumbest thing I’ve heard all week.

      1. I think I explained it pretty straight forward. His position was an OLB as the edge containment guy with the Chiefs. It’s not outlandish to think that he would do something similar with the 49ers. I know the scheme perfectly well.

        If you really want to keep up with the conversation, you can interject into the debate between me and Grant as to if the LEO has containment responsibilities (if so then Ford might have some problems)…or if he’s a spill player. The classic under scheme has the under/open end squeeze B gap (this helps protect the WILL backer from blockers) while guarding the C gap. So no containment. The LEO charges up field to blow stuff in the backfield. Very difficult to play containment if you’re charging up field.

        It’s not been determined if the Wide 9 will be used in base situations. btw. in the wide 9 guess who has containment responsibilities? Yup those hard up field rushing ends…..not good news for Ford. Also the way Schartz ran the Wide 9 in Philly, it had inside run fits which will destroy the undersized 49er MIKE and WILL backers.

        1. Wonder if they draft Bosa, Sweat, Gary or Ferrell, would they move them to LEO, then put Ford at MIKE or WILL to be a bigger backer to stop those inside runs?

          1. playing an inside run fit scheme means taking on a lot of guards and fullbacks at the 2nd level for the linebackers. taking on blockers in the run game isn’t Ford’s strong suit.

            1. Ford would not be taking on a Tackle, but a guard or FB, so he may perform better against them. I was thinking that Warner would act like Willis, take on the blockers so Ford could be clean to make the tackle, like Bowman did.
              I was also thinking he could blitz up the middle from that position.
              Like Grant says, Ford may be too valuable to be just a rotational player.

              1. Guards on the move usually have better positioning have better leverage than Tackles.

                See that’s the problem with an inside fit run scheme. Warner doesn’t take on blockers straight on very well either. At best he slips blocks which is why he’s better flowing to the outside in open space.

              2. Can any present Niners do what you are describing?
                What possible draft prospect should they target to fill that role?

          2. Warner and Alexander can. I’m mean it’s part of their job. I just don’t believe it’s optimal for them. I think they’ll break down and start to try to slip blocks in the hole which puts you in a bad position to be washed out of the play if the blocker hits you when you turn your shoulders.

            Willis was great at taking blockers head up. The guy before him specialized in it….Takeo Spikes. And for all of Reuben Foster’s undisciplined problems (and I’m talking on the field) one of the things he could do is take on blockers. I don’t know if there’s currently a linebacker on the team that regularly mix it up in the middle among the Center, Guards and Fullback.

            The only thing the 49ers could do is change things up schematically. In the base under scheme, the gaps are cloudy (shrunk “squeezed) if the defensive linemen get into position in their gap and use the right leverage and technique to drive their blocker back towards the Center…and they’re not just shooting into the gaps. Clouding the gaps allows the backers to “gap exchange” and basically follow the ball carrier to the next open gap or the edge. Maybe in the Wide 9 the change things up to a gap control and then attack scheme on the interior (this is how the 3T is supposed to play…squeeze and then go up field). The bit of gap control would protect the backers.

            I don’t know…I’m totally speculating at this point.

            1. Well, I am hoping Kwon and Warner can re-establish that synergy that Willis and Bowman had.
              However, Willis an Bowman were listed at 242 lbs. Lee and Smith along with Kwon, are at 227 lbs.
              Pita Taumoepenu is 240, but kinda raw. Warner is 236.
              Guess they want the lighter players who can cover the TE and RB.
              In the draft, Devin White is 6′ 0″ 237, but he may be out of reach, unless they trade back for more picks. Germaine Pratt is 6′ 2″, 242, and is ranked 60. At 64, Tre Lamar 6′ 3″, 252 lbs may be another option. Later on, at 175, Bobby Okereke 6′ 1″ 239 lbs, may be a good later round choice.
              The Niners may want depth, considering Kwon tore his ACL, with no guarantee that he will be fully healed by the start of the season.
              I wonder if Kocurek can coach up the D line to do what you advocate.

    2. Yeah AFP,

      I originally thought he could play SAM in base downs but the more I have come to understand the LEO roll it doesn’t make sense for him not to play that role. I think I was mistaken because of the players SF has used in that role so far, Armstead and Solly have been more suited to stopping the run than rushing up the field. I’m not certain if this was due to a lack of players who suited it or if Saleh has morphed the scheme and that skill set is more necessary… next year should be very telling with Dee on the roster.

      1. I miscounted the Clips in my initial assessment.

        So here’ what I saw:

        First run defense clip: You’re right, Ford gets pushed back by the blockers. But he does stay outside of the runner. He mostly does his job. It’s the Ally safety that really messes up the play. But it’s not Ford’s job to crash down on the runner.

        Second run defense clip: Ford holds the edge. The flowing linebackers and alley players again fail to fill the inside gaps. Again, it’s not Ford’s job to crash down on the runner to make a play.

        Third run defense clip: Ford fails to hold the edge. The runner gets outside of him.

  5. I couldn’t finish watching after 4!!!
    in clip 3…he gets manhandled by 3 GUYS!!! good players win 1 on1…. great players might beat a double team once in a while……NO ONE BEATS A 3 ON 1 EVER!!!!!!!!!! show me one play it happens!!

    the next play, he keeps outside contain …..and the rb cuts inside…..and 4 other guys miss the tackle!!!!!!!!!!!
    that’s why the Cheifs led the league in sacks……and still had one of the worst D’s in the league!!
    your splitting hairs grant! its a great pick up…..but you keep trying to find the negative!

    the fact is, we got a great pass rusher for a fraction of the picks and a fraction of the price when compared to the Mack trade and contract!
    he might not play on 1st down…( unless we have a lead late in the game, or late in the first half)
    so what?
    julio jones dosent play every snap, he dosent play short yardage goal line packages….
    dosent mean anything

    1. grant, I challenge you-name 10 edge guys who are a lock for double digit sacks every year….and dominate against the run!
      the 2 that come to mind are not edge guys ( watt, Donald)

      another thing your missing-super elite players aren’t allowed to leave teams, they get tagged or extended.
      in fact, the reason Ford was allowed to go……is so the can commit about $60 mil a year to Mahomes, jones and Hill…..after the child abuse story broke today…..the chiefs might be kicking themselves!!!! I bet right now, they wish the plan had been to give that 60 mil to mahomes, jones and ford!

    2. Couldn’t agree more let’s say those wr were 180 pounds each which is very light for wr that’s still 360lbs thats 100 pounds over on Dee plus how many times do you see 2 wr double and de/OLB not very many they usually us one and crack back or blindside block so I dont hold it against him for not suspecting that, they easily got the jump as far as the tackle he had momentum and 50 to 60 pounds on dee so no chance to make the play. Other players should have rallied to the ball because they had 3 people on dee so where is his help?

  6. for what it worth, I was very much enjoying the clips…..until the over reaching criticism
    we get it, no one is gonna confuse the guy for dick butkus against the run! this aint the ’80’s….teams throw on first down now….teams run maybe 1/3 of the time…..
    we have lames like ST and AA that can play if we need to stop the run…..guys that cant rush….

  7. I am wondering, why not put Ford at the SAM position on first downs, then switch him to LEO on obvious passing downs? Then, he can stay on the field. He would be an obvious upgrade from Smith and Nzeocha.
    Seahawks were obviously unfazed by any of the other D linemen, if they chose to double Ford.
    Wonder what role Elijah Lee will play next season. Will he be the Nickle LB, or be the replacement until Kwon is fully rehabbed?
    Finally, how will Kocurek impact the scheme? Will he put the right players into the right positions? How will he handle rotating the defensive line?

    1. Seb,

      2nd run defense clip tells it all. That’s failing to play outside containment. He does that regularly….I’ve seen more clips of that kind of thing on Ford (and I wasn’t even looking to study his film). In the Base Defense that’s what he would do….be the outside edge guy that has to stay outside of the ball carrier and get off and elude blockers. At LEO (I believe) he would simply blast into the backfield to blow up plays as they form, chase them down from behind or chase/spill them outside. But as a LEO, he wouldn’t be stringing along the outside of the play trying to play as containment force.

      1. to be clear: at SAM in the base defense that’s what he would do…be the outside edge guy…..

      2. Allforfun, on the second run play HE KEEPS OUTSIDE CONTAINMENT!!! what are you talking about? he guys just eat what grant feeds you? you can say he gets shoved outside or make something up to fit grants narrative….but you CAN NOT SAY HE DOSENT KEEP OUTSIDE CONTAINMENT!!!!!!! FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!! the rb NEVER gets outside of Ford!!!!!!!!!! he trys for the edge…..realizes he aint getting there…..and cuts it back inside, a classic cut back, like Terrell Davis made a career of, like the Shanahans love, txt book to their scheme!!!!!
        When he realizes he cant beat Ford to the edge, he cuts it back and 3 or 4 guys just whiff!!!!!!!
        tell me he got shoved around, tell me hes one of the guys that missed the tackle, tell me he wasn’t in the right position…….tell me anything other than -HE COULDNT MAINTAIN OUTSIDE CONTAINMENT!!!!! because that is exactly what he does!!!!!
        as someone whos actually PLAYED football….I can assure you he did his job ( if that was in fact his assignment. we don’t know what D was called. ) it dosent always look pretty. You don’t expect him to flatback everyone that comes near him due you??? to be standing all alone AND make the tackle unassisted do you????

        I challenged grant to name 10 guys who are GREAT pass rushers AND great run defenders who play on the outside….and grant ran off with his tail between his legs!!! there aint 10…probably not even 5!

        speed rushers are like fancy sports cars!!!! they do what they do and they look pretty doing it! you cant bash em for not being able to tow a trailer or haul dirt!! if you don’t have something practical to haul the family around or a load from home depot… don’t have any business owning a fancy sports car in the first place!

        we could win the super bowl next year……and grant would be on here with nothing but negativity still….article titles would read- NOW THAT THEY GOT LUCKY AND WON THE SB, THEY MUST OVERPAY COACHING STAFF-

        I could go on and on…..its grants nature. to be fair, he made a comment that gives more insight on grant than ANYTHING else…..niners have had 3 good seasons in 17 years……so by bashing every player, every move etc….. its a very safe bet! weather any specific move or player works out or not… dosent really matter cuz the team will fail!!!!!!! and hell look smart! his niner bashing narrative will prevail!!! hes afraid to say ” it was a good move” at all!!! EVER!!!! and why should he? if he starts complimenting moves…..then key guys get hurt and we stink……he feels hell lose credibility!!!!
        he basically bets on the sky to be blue every single day…..sometimes its grey and he loses….but its rare and no one remembers anyway!

          1. the 3 rd clip ……where it was 3 on 1. ill chill now… your too smart to be a grant homer…..that’s why I got excited! lol

    2. Seb,
      In obvious passing downs they would be in a nickle or dime defense. In this scenario, they would either not have a LEO on the field or have 2 of them out there depending on how you choose to look at the edge rushers. Since teams are in these defenses 65% of the time on average he would be on the field as a 2 down player regardless of the base defense. That’s why I dont understand the handwringing over where he fits. I am fine with him being a 2 down player as pass rushers are normally better if they are fresh. Walsh did this with Haley and he was still incredibly valuable.

      1. Shoup, just idle speculation during the off season. I am trying to understand who is going to play which roles, and how the schemes will be implemented.
        Now that they do have Ford, it will change how the draft selections will be prioritized. I am happy as a clam, since they were aggressive, and did spend a bunch of the salary cap. They did obtain a pass rusher, and found the replacement to Foster.
        Considering Baalke could only sign Zane Freakin’ Beadles during one Free Agency period, this is like mana from heaven. We got a veritable cornucopia of talent, but also a whole bunch of injury question marks.
        Now, the absolute need to draft Bosa or Allen is negated, so the trade back scenario is even more probable. Raiders or Giants could be possible trade partners, with Denver and Miami candidates for a second trade back. Murray is the key, but that number 2 selection looks like it is pure gold.
        I certainly would not equate Ford with Haley. Maybe the better analogy would be with Ford and Aldon Smith. But, I sure hope the Ford fate is diametrically opposed to Aldon fate.
        I am wondering how Kocurek will change things, and hope they become more flexible, versatile, fungible, innovative and unpredictable. I hope they will study the Bellichick defense, and emulate them.
        So far, this off season has been a huge success. Not a single police report. Hope I did not jinx them.

        1. Seb,
          I was not comparing Ford with Haley. I was only stating how Walsh didn’t use Haley as every down player but rather saved him for passing downs and late game situations.

          We should note that Haley was an Elephant in SF, which was the forerunner to the LEO position.

  8. Looks like Andy Reid copied Belichick , and followed the example of Chandler Jones when they traded away Ford. The Chiefs got something for him, instead of waiting, and letting him go for nothing.
    Wonder why the Niners did not try to do the same thing with Marsh.

    1. Aside from being a significant difference in skill level between Jones/Ford vs Marsh, you of course have inside information confirming the 49ers didn’t try and trade Marsh.

      1. They signed him March 7th and released him today. They sure did not try very hard or very long. Man, with that fancy kick, he should have been very popular.
        Still, I fully admit I am just a faithful fan with no insider knowledge, but think they should have tried for a couple more weeks. Even a 6th or 7th round pick. Marsh did have 5 sacks last season.

  9. I hear Kyle has never suited four running backs in one game. One of our talented RB player is sure to be inactive on game days….

    This is not good planning….me thinks they feel they made a mistake in signing Mck…to the huge contract last year……maybe kinda overreacted.

    But then at least now we know who the starting 9 players on defense is and Oline is set.

    1. But it wasn’t a mistake in the kind of contract he signed. That man can be released at a minimum. It’s exactly why I love paraage contracts. The mistake would have been overpaying for him to be here four years. The non mistake is overpaying him to sign a contract. Nice sized cap hits in year one and 2, but minimum afterwards. If jet is released before he ever plays then so be it. He got paid.

    2. Yes, Jerick was a bad signing compounded by bad luck. They can also can save more money by cutting him than anyone else.
      Will he be a niner on opening day?

  10. Nice break down, but a complete break down would show WHEN he did this if the plays where in the first half, did he improve in the 2nd half or get worse.
    Did the coaches make adjustments?
    Is he consistently making these same mistakes/good plays?
    Dee wants to know!

  11. On one occasion I was handed a speeding ticket. Now the State of California sends me a speeding ticket in the mail every week just because they caught my tendencies from that single occurrence.

    1. What if Dee has a sub-par game for 3 quarters then he makes a great play in the 4th Qtr to win in a close game.

      I remember T. O. having this type of game against the Packers when he consistently dropped passes before making the game winning catch.
      We don’t remember the dropped passes, we just remember “The Catch Two.”
      Personally, because of the above scenario, I’m more apt to measure a player after a complete game.

  12. Simple question – where are they going to use him? This shows him on the weak side. In only one film clip was there a tight end lined up on his side and in that clip they used a stunt and he rushed inside. I don’t recall seeing him used on the strong side with KC. I’m not sold on an easy transition to the strong side and it will not be helped by his poor run defense. Razor thinks an extra 10 pounds will make a difference. I think he will have a problem learning better technique regardless of size and strength. From what I’ve seen technique wise he is pretty much a sell out speed pass rusher who plays the run as an afterthought, which could be a product of teams running away from him to the strong side more. (I’ve seen more film than this) Let’s hope I’m wrong.

    1. Dee Ford will rush the passer standing up, and Nick Bosa will do it with his hand in the dirt. That is all.

      *I was referring to Brian Burns’ frame could handle another 10 lbs. of muscle, not Dee Ford.

    2. In the press conference Lynch and Shanahan had this to say:

      “He fits the LEO mold perfectly,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said.

      “That’s what we see him as,” Lynch said about calling Ford a defensive end. “I guess it matters in that we’ve got to put him in the program as something, but I know he’s a difference-maker. We’ve been looking for a closer, someone who can close halves, close games, get off the field on third down.”

      “My role is to go that way,” Ford said, pointing forward during a Thursday press conference. “Nothing else.”

      San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan added: “And ‘that way’ is toward the quarterback.”

  13. Grant the certain clips you show of Dee Fords weakness’s against the run also show how bad the entire chiefs defense was against the run also I think the 49ers defense do a better job against the run then the chiefs defense. Well shall see

    1. Agree. That clip where Ford got “washed out” showed a DB or LB miss a tackle that resulted in the large gain. To me that gain was more a result of the missed tackle as opposed to Ford not providing “sufficient” contain.

      1. Yeup notice how Ford is tying up 2 or almost 3 blockers so what the hell is the rest of the defense doing smh

        Grant didn’t even point out the safety that had a CLEAR shot at the RB totally whiffed on the tackle lol He’s just focused on Ford and discounted the horrible missed tackle by the safety where he badly whiffed, last time I checked football is a team sport. If you look at the play closely Ford actually did his job he took on blockers to let his teammates have a clear shot at the RB for no gain.

        Wow Grant just showed me how bad the safeties and CBs were for the Chiefs no wonder Sutton got fired and losing Berry was just devastating for them.

    2. The guy who really blew it on the second run was 91. He got completely washed out, even through Ford, that left a massive gap for the scrapping backers to try and cove on the backside.

  14. We have a spiffy new pass rusher. It will be fun to see how he’s deployed. Wide 9 or otherwise he should open things up for Buckner.

  15. For anyone interested here is a great breakdown on Bosa… his strengths/weaknesses etc.
    – of note he brings up Grant’s arm length concern and states he will likely be a complete nonfactor against certain tackle types due to it just like his brother but also states he is close to a finished product ie maximizing his rookie contract. He will have a high floor and will produce immediately, but you won’t get much more later on in his career.

    1. he will likely be a complete nonfactor against certain tackle 

      You mean Trent Brown the best Tackle in the NFL

      I forsee Allen playing better against TBrown ….compared to Bosa…..

      Still hard not to pick Bosa if he is at 2…..

      1. No not Trent Brown per say… just any longer OT types with solid anchors, which Trent Brown is.

        While tackles like Brown are a bad matchup for him he could do very well against OT’s like Joe Staley, David Bakhtiari, or Trent Williams. All of whom are good tackles, but their strength is more related to their quick feet and positioning.

          1. Bosa blocked you on twitter? lol, classic.

            If he can’t handle the heat, he should get out of the kitchen, am I right?

            That’s alright Grant, he’s a great player, but if you ask me …. he seems like a bit of a tool as a person. Certainly not somebody I would follow on twitter, that’s for sure.

        1. I suspect this isn’t Grant’s first Tweet block. Grant collects them, wears them like a crown–a badge of honor.

            1. Ah, the age of social media. What did the players back in your dad’s era resort to? Hold a press conference: “I’m never buying the Chronicle again because of the mean things that Cohn said about me! Wah!”

      1. That, right there, is reason enough to take Allen over Bosa in my opinion. Yes, it’s just social media, but I think it says a lot that some players cannot handle having their game examined and criticised. As far as I’m aware, Grant has never gone out of his way to insult the player personally. I’m especially disappointed Jimmy G also blocked him, because as a QB you are absolutely going to have your game torn down not just by the press, but by defensive coaches and cornerbacks. And Jimmy G aside, Pettis/Kap/Bosa all strike me as somewhat mentally fragile – they don’t have thick enough skin to handle it. They’re lucky they played in the relatively soft Bay Area whose press tends to go easy on the players, as opposed to Boston or New York.

        In other words – Bosa = off my board.

              1. He was born a Bosa so not sure how he has to earn part of his name, but whatevs.

        1. blocking grant show brains and maturity!!!! lol Grant is a troll and he knows it!!! hes blocked me from this site many a time…..for no reason other than holding him accountable!!! calling him on bull and supporting it w facts.
          The last thing I want is a 20 year old who lacks the common sense to block someone and instead engage them it a twitter war.
          personally, I don’t tweet, don’t care about what another man is doing and would never “follow” them! the whole concept is creepy to me! but I’m old school…..and I have a great life!

            1. they must be aware of who you are…….either they follow this blog or you have a horrible reputation around that building! lol

  16. Grant,
    I think you are greatly minimalizing his playing time and possibly misunderstanding his responsibilities.

    This is not the 80’s where he would be a 3rd down pass rush specialist. Teams are in their nickel or dime defense roughly 65% of the time per football outsiders and Seattle is the only team in the NFL that runs more than they pass.

    Additionally, the idea that he has to be a good run defender to play the LEO is incorrect.
    Per info from Jerry Brewer (who has had multiple conversations with Pete Carrol regarding the defense)

    “The Elephant front turned into it’s own position, with Carroll eventually changing the name to “Leo.” The Leo isn’t particularly unique in and of itself. Most defenses have some kind of unique name for their weakside edge player (Buck/Whip/Jack), but Carroll plays him in a particularly loose alignment, and he’s the one player along the front who isn’t concerned with getting one-yard upfield and anchoring in this defense. He can line up standing up or with his hand in the ground, and sole focus is to be the primary pass rusher and wreak havoc in the backfield.”

    So he is not tasked with being an edge setter in this defense, he essentially just needs to occupy a blocker. I will concede that Saleh does seem to place more of a premium on this based on who he has chosen to play the role but that might be because the niners didn’t have anyone who fit there.

    1. Of course run defense matters at Leo. If it didn’t matter, Cassius Marsh would’ve been the starter.

      1. I didn’t say it doesn’t matter, just that the player doesn’t have to be great at it. The interior lineman is critical here, he should occupy two blockers, with the safety dropped in the box behind the LEO, even if they have a fb, there will be a free defender (SS or Will).
        As to Marsh, did he really provide enough more as a pass rusher not to go with someone else on balanced downs?

        1. So if I understand it correctly Ford will be a weak side DE who stands up? (Alexander is supposed to be plugged in at Will, no) Are we 4-3; 3-4; 5-2 (with standing DE). Too many moving parts for me. ?

          1. The Leo generally is a weak side DE who lines up in a wide 9 (about 1 yard outside of the OT’s outside shoulder). He is generally in down stance but can stand up.
            As to the defense, we need to get rid of 3-4, 4-3, 5-2 idea. These days the lines are very blurred and this a hybrid defense. Personnel wise up front it has Dlinemen similar to those in a 3-4, think NT, traditional DT, and DT/DE tweener (the big end), the last position (LEO) is essentially a pass rushing LB.
            This player has not been like a traditional 3-4 OLB, historically in this 6’2 to 6’3, 250 something Rather than 6’4 to 6’5 260 something because he’s more of dedicated rusher chase down defender.

            I hope this helps.

  17. Grant…

    Let’s assume that K. Street has recovered well, performs decently through camp, and earns a roster spot. How do you see the 9ers using him?

        1. « not just because he squats 700 lbs! »

          Is this supposed to be overly impressive? I’m 44 and can squat 455 for 3 reps and leg press 1050 for 5 reps.

          1. Those are good weights Jack.
            But a 700 lb squat to depth without a squat suit or knee wraps is impressive… sadly it doesn’t mean so much in terms of him being a football player… it’s just for bragging rights in the team locker room.

            1. I’d say that kind of leg strength is an indicator of potential as a drive blocker (O-lineman) or the ability to take on blockers, knock them back before disengaging. Strength is part of it, the rest is technique/leverage etc….

  18. Question.

    All the talk I hear is that the NFL is concerned with the players safety and health.

    In MLB, rosters can be expanded up to 40 players in September from the original 25 man roster.

    Why isn’t there a similar policy in the NFL? Why can’t the teams during, let’s say, the last four games bring up all the players from their practice squad bringing the roster to about 63 players. This will allow players to get rest or receive less reps during the games.

    Is the issue about money? What is preventing the NFL from doing this?

  19. Regardless what Dee Ford does the defense as a whole has to play better and tackle better or it will be another long season he had 13 sacks and his best year and yet the Chiefs defense was terrible mostly all year that alone should tell you all you need to know. I’m just hoping the Niners defense is better then that.

    1. Still think there will a run on QBs in the first round, by QB desperate teams. Trading back will give the Niner more possible starters, so missing out on Bosa will be the price they pay to get more talent and depth.
      Murray, Haskins, Lock and Jones may go in the first 15 picks, since this is a QB driven league.

    1. I have heard Agholor might be part of the trade talk too.

      I assume McKinnon would be the one to make way. Man, what a waste of a FA signing if that is the case. But have to wonder why the Eagles would want him if the 49ers are so concerned about his ability to come back as the player they signed for a lot of money just last year.

      My fear is that Breida will actually be the one they trade. He would seem to have more value. Good season last year, cheap contract and not coming off a major injury. We know Kyle likes his RBs to be able to catch. Breida was much improved in that area last year, but maybe he wants to have his top two RBs be top end pass catchers?

        1. Part of me thinks flipping an UDFA for a 4th is good business, part of me thinks this would be a bad idea and show that Shanny isn’t doing a good job of evaluating the position. The fact they keep giving out so much money to RBs also has me worried about this.

          In favour of such a move, and the 49ers willingness to seemingly overpay for RBs, there is one constant with the players the RBs they have chased and signed – they impact the passing game. I think Kyle is trying to get a backfield that can be effective runners but also very good in the passing game. Makes sense, as the passing game is the most impactful in terms of winning. And RBs that are good at both running and catching, as well as blocking when needed, still aren’t that common.

          Pure runners on the other hand are very replaceable. Lots of guys available that can run the ball effectively. That might be why Breida becomes expendable and getting a 4th back for a guy they got for nothing could be smart business.

            1. No offense razor, but is there any move this FO could make that you wouldn’t consider very smart?

              1. Several, chief among which is assuming Witherspoon and Colbert would take the next step. No offense taken, Scooter. You have every right to question my homerism!

              2. Maybe I am wrong, but I seem to recall you talking up Witherspoon and Colbert last offseason, along with many others. Easy to be critical with 20-20 hindsight.

              3. I’ve been known to be a critical bloody asshole at times Scooter. You got me there!

          1. But if Agholor is included in the deal, that changes things. Where did you hear that he might be included?

            1. In a tweet. There have also been rumblings the Eagles were looking to offload Agholor anyway to free up cap space.

    1. If McKinnon gets traded, I’ll be shaking my head. He got $12 million or so in 2018 and we never got to see him play. I understand things happen, but I admit it will bug me. PM has been front loading contracts (McKinnon, Ford) because we have a large amount of cap space available. This minimizes cap hits in later years and allows the team to quickly move on from players if they don’t work out. But if the player gets injured, it’s a large amount of money for no performance. I can’t offer a better way of doing it and it’s probably the best way when you have a large amount of cap space available. But as a fan, it is disappointing.

      1. The way PM front loads contracts and makes them easy to get out of is really smart and will play an important role in making sure the 49ers don’t get into salary cap troubles moving forward once they (hopefully) have the talent on the roster warranting big contracts. Dead money for underperforming players is what gets you into trouble. These contracts result in very little dead money.

        That said, it will of course be very disappointing to have paid McKinnon so much in year 1 of his contract just for him to sit out the year injured, then never get to see him llay as a 49er. But as you say, injuries happen. Just will be annoying.

    1. A couple of things here make me happy. First, that they reportedly tried on multiple occasions to get the deal done makes me happy, as they clearly realise how having a player like OBJ would help the team win games. Second, that they weren’t willing to give up pick #2 to do so shows they realised as good as OBJ is, that #2 pick should be more valuable in terms of long term roster building.

      1. Do you think they assign a $ value to the draft picks when deciding whether or not to make a trade like this. In other words, when you add up OBJ’s current contract with, what presumably would be a very high $ value for the #2 pick, it yields an exorbitant hypothetical contract value. Hence, why they wouldn’t do it. If the Giants offered their 1st round pick as part of the deal, you subtract that value from the hypothetical contract.

        It seems like having a $ value assigned to the picks would be a good way to quickly decide if the team is interested in a potential deal. If they are, then they would use additional analytical techniques and player performance/fit measures to decide if they really want to go through with the deal.

        Sounds like something a guy like Marathe would do.

        1. Probably not a dollar value as such, but I suspect they put some sort of value on it. Most likely in terms of how much the draft pick is expected to increase win percentage compared to the alternative (in this case OBJ). I am sure other considerations go into it as well.

          Putting a dollar value on it would be difficult as what value would you give a draft pick? The expected value such a player provides on the field? The value of their contract? The difference between the two? Some other value?

          1. Well, the Browns a few years back provided a data point; $16 million for a 2nd round pick in the Osweiler deal. My understanding is that the Browns employed brainiac types (ie. mathematicians with PhDs), so they might have come up with a model. As I said, I would use a model like this as a “screening tool”. If it proves itself to be fairly “accurate”, it could be a major contributor on those rare occasions where the team is only given ten minutes to make a decision on an elite or potentially elite player (like the Jimmy G deal under the assumption that the team would have to, at a minimum, franchise tag him).

            1. I hope the 49ers aren’t emulating the Browns from a few years ago…

              As I said, I think there would be better metrics to use than a pure dollar value. Expected wins above replacement I think would be a superior approach.

              1. I haven’t been stating how I would use this very well. I’m not gonna belabor it since it won’t happen, but let me just clarify. This kind of model/tool would provide a quick “grade” on the financial viability of making a trade/acquisition. So, Lynch informs PM of a potential trade and asks for a “financial” analysis. PM runs the trade through the model and gives Lynch a “score” on the financial implications. Lynch simply uses that as an input along with all of the other considerations in deciding if the trade is worth pursuing. This would work best for unexpected trade opportunities. It also could help when deciding what to offer as a starting point for compensation (4th round pick or 5th, etc.)

              2. I assure you, I understand how you would see this being used. I think there are better measures available for the same type of quick comparison.

              3. “Expected wins above replacement” seems like it would be very hard to determine with any degree of assurance. At least with a $ value on draft picks there are reasonable boundaries. For example, the first couple of picks would have high, but determinable values, since these are usually used to select potential franchise QBs (for which a history of compensation exists).

              4. Wins above replacement is a tool that is well known and used. Its just statistical regression.

              5. Cubus, I posed the same question the previous column. If you could trade picks for cap cash, what would that number be?

                I also delved into factoring the cap savings a rookie contract. Rookies contracts create cap space. A rookie taken at 48 earns roughly $1.5 million per year. If he becomes a quality starter by his second season it’s a significant savings over an equivalent free agent.

                The dollar equivalent of a draft pick (factoring the player and the cap room expanding rookie contract) is a hard thing to estimate.

                A typical 8-8 team has two roster bank account deposits per season:
                Account 1 deposit – The Draft. 1,743 chart points of draft picks (16, 48, 80, and so on…)
                Account 2 deposit – $191,000,000 Salary Cap Space

                Roughly $109,569 for every chart point. Pick 48 for example has 420 chart points. This comes out to roughly $46 million.

                But it can’t be this simple. There are many other variables.
                – Team record
                – What if the rookie sucks
                – The rookie replaces the veteran contract with significant play time years 1-4
                – Cap value is no where as linear as my model suggests. As cap becomes scarce its value increases.

                I’m guessing a pick is somewhere between what the $16 million the Browns exchanged with the Texans and my (overly-linear and likely inaccurate) sum of $46 Million.

  20. Eagles Sf discussing trade for a rb???
    What kind of compensation would they expect for McKinnon? MB?
    Also 40 million in cap left 10 for draft picks. I know they want to rollover a lot but they should give Eric berry a prove it low risk deal.

    1. Has to be Breida- he is a FA after this season………… and I doubt Shanahan and Lynch want to give up on McKinnon- I wouldn’t as he adds too much of a threat in this offense.

  21. University of Michigan
    ‏Verified account
    Follow Follow @UMich
    Unconfirmed reports of active shooter, Officers are in the area checking. Stay away from the area of Mason Hall.

    Reply: I hope Gary is unharmed…Has anyone checked on Seb’s whereabouts?…This incident could tip the scales on some of his mocks!…Also, Seb’s man crush on Allen was getting out-of-hand…With Gary going down, Allen would be a shoo-in as the 49ers top pick.

  22. McKinnon tweet an hour ago “They prayed on my downfall just know that”

    Not sure what he’s talking about. Could just be a typical “how do you like me now?” statements, and he’s feeling good about his come back.

    1. Sure wish the Niners would learn their lesson. They should not be helping playoff teams possibly win the SB.
      The Niners should deal with struggling teams, who have players with talent, but just are not the right fit or are under performing. Possibly letting the Eagles back to the SB, sounds like another Trent Brown move.
      Guess other teams think the Niners are patsies, easy marks.

  23. Hmmm – not sure about this one.

    1. Videos 1-3 reaffirmed what I knew – Dee ford has power and skills.

    2. Video 4 “Manhandled” . This was supposed to be a negative ? Ford tied up 3 blockers. It was incumbent upon the Safety at 1:40 to make that play. He had a clear line straight to the RB. The title of this video should have been “Safety misses easy tackle for a loss”.

    3. Video 5/6. Yeah, he got pushed around a bit, but are these cherry picked ? If he plays 75 defensive snaps per game how many times is this happening ? We really need to see tape of at least a dozen defensive series (all plays) to make an accurate assessment.

    4. Sometimes there aren’t “both sides”. It is not necessary to find fault where these is not fault. It is important to be fair and accurate but NOT BALANCED. .

    1. Huge ratings! Packed stadiums! Buzz on the street dominating conversations!!!
      Cassie must be giddy with delight.

      1. Hey Sebbie!

        Did you watch the AZ/Orlando game last night? With your nose held so high, you might’ve had difficulty seeing the stands. Granted (pun) they weren’t filled, but I’d estimate there were between 3,000 and 3,500 fans in attendance. Game played in Orlando.

        Whether YOU like it or not (football world doesn’t revolve around you), there will be a number of AAF players in NFL camps this year, in large part due to their on-field performances this winter/spring. I’ll happily point them out later this year.

        It’s not all about attendance Sebbie. It’s about getting players reps–along the lines of a development league.

        1. Boy was I off. Check the attendance numbers so far across the AAF season (scroll down for attendance)…

          Yeah, sure… The figures are ‘announced attendance’, but the numbers are still much, much higher than Sebbie declared a few weeks ago. Was it ‘a few hundred’ Sebbie?

      2. Sebbie as NFL GM would ban these guys from camp…

        Garret Gilbert, QB (Orlando AAF) — 116 completions 196 attempts, 1625 yards, 1 int, 10 TDs (six games)
        Karter Schult, DE (Salt Lake AAF) — 21 solo tackles, 1 assist, 7 sacks (six games)
        Ross, WR (AZ AAF) — 29 receptions, 452 yards, 6 TDs (six games)

    2. Johnny Football. If nothing else, it’ll be fun watching the Manziell/Mike Singletary dynamic!

          1. No Sebbie…. Not even close.

            Only imagining Mike Singletary as Johnny Football’s coach. Kinda like Prime coaching you to brush your teeth.

  24. Getting back to real football, I hope the Niners sign Maxx Williams as their TE. He is only 24, and sounds like a decent blocker.

  25. Re Rahul Douglas, CB, Eagles

    Since this is free agent madness time, I’ll throw this out: Maybe the Niners want one of Philly’s CBs, Douglas. Below’s a link to an article I found from two days ago, wherein it was speculated that with the re-signing of Darby, the Eagles might want to deal one of their CBs. Douglas fits the “Seattle defense” archetype and though a backup played well down last year’s stretch. From the article:

    “Last season, the Eagles lost both starters — Darby and Jalen Mills — for the season by Week 11 due to injury. Their absence forced players like Rasul Douglas, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Avonte Maddox and, when healthy, Sidney Jones into action. …

    From Week 12 through the Divisional Round of the postseason, Douglas had the seventh-best overall grade among cornerbacks who played at least 20 percent of snaps, per Pro Football Focus, and was first in both run defense and tackling. LeBlanc was 18th overall in that stretch, and had the 15th-best coverage grade. …

    Rasul Douglas: As mentioned, Douglas was very good down the stretch, but it took the Eagles nearly half the season to play Douglas in anything more than a small role, even as he flashed talent as a rookie in 2017. For whatever reason, the Eagles coaches didn’t want to give Douglas a full-time role until they had no other choice. He still led the team in interceptions. If the Eagles don’t think as highly of him as others seem to, he might make the most logical sense to be traded considering his size (6-2, 209), skills and youth (23). …

    Verdict: With Darby back, if the Eagles are going to clear any of these players out via trade, the most likely trade candidate is Douglas. Whether that would be the right decision is another story entirely.”

  26. Here’s what Lance Zierlin said about him prior to the draft, which may explain why he’s not the preference of the Philly coaches:

    BOTTOM LINE Douglas has rare size for the position and his 2016 interception total will add to the level of intrigue for NFL teams. There is no doubting Douglas’ ability to make plays on the ball when he’s in position, but his lack of long speed and closing burst could make his big senior season an anomaly. Douglas is a zone corner with press and trail ability but needs to run a reasonable time at the combine to solidify his draft slotting.

    At the combine, below were his measurables. Not a blazer, but nice 3-cone:

    Height: 6’2
    Arm length: 32-3/8″
    Weight: 209 lbs
    Hands: 9-1/4″
    40-yard dash: 4.59 seconds
    Bench press: 16 reps
    Vertical jump: 33.5 inches
    Broad jump: 120 inches
    3-cone drill: 6.97 seconds
    20-yard shuttle: 4.26 seconds

  27. Niners have acquired an ILB, EDGE, RB, WR, CB, ST LB, S (Ward), RB (Mostert), and LB (Nzeocha).
    Hope they can sign a TE ( Williams), O lineman and Punter.

    1. Thanks, Razor. Now I can see why Tampa said he was the heart and soul of their defense. Let’s hope he’s more than a shadow of himself pre-injury.

    2. Provided he makes a full recovery, Alexander doesn’t just give the 49ers everything they are looking for in an athletic WILL Linebacker, but pairing him up with Warner also gives them one of smartest young ILB tandems the NFL.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.