Another One Bites the Dust. . .

In what is becoming all too commonplace in the NFL, and around 4949 Centennial Blvd especially,  the latest guy to get arrested/charged/indicted is linebacker Ahmad Brooks. His incident of course stems from the party that got RayMac in trouble initially last December. And it involves the same girl. She was apparently knocked unconscious when she fell down poolside. and was groped by Brooks. RayMac then allegedly took her upstairs and raped her. How she knew what went on while she was unconcho is a mystery, but the other curious thing is, she leveled the charges against RayMac in December, but waited until May to point the finger at Brooks.

While RayMac has left a trail of sexual assault charges, and now his indictment for the December case, this is a first for Brook. His only other altercation was when someone took his keys at a party, and Brooks’ recourse was to smash a beer bottle over his head a few times. Nothing ever came of it, but there was the obligatory investigation, and the dude, Lamar Divens,  was released amid little fanfare.

The Niners response was to send Brooks home for the Denver preseason game, and to await further reports, but shit, the whole thing smells fishy. RayMac’s abuse issues were well known by the time the Niners released him in December, even before the allegations came out last August that he had abused his girlfriend. Three months earlier (not reported to the public) they were fighting, and she grabbed his gun and threatened to kill herself. When he said he was calling 911, she split. RayMac has of course dumbed himself out of the league with more charges against him, at least for the time being.

The jury remains out on Brooks though. Word is, there is video evidence of some of what the woman claims. At this point who knows? If that pops up and shows anything, we are down another linebacker . . .

In the immortal words of Chris Cornell, I can’t get any lower, still I feel I’m sinking.

Will this madness ever end? Will the season ever start? Will the Niners have enough players? Stay tuned . . .

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Go Ask Dallas. I Think They’ll Know . . .

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s lost her head
Remember what the dormouse said

Feed your lawn
Feed your lawn

Thanks to Grace Slick for that. Well, it wasn’t the 1981 NFC Championship game victory, or even a regular season victory. But it did mark the first win of the newly installed coaching staff. Preseason makes it meaningless, sure. But the trends from last week kept up yesterday.

No clock management issues. Solid D line play, solid run blocking, a little better pressure on the QB from the pass rush, and another exemplary performance from the man from down under. Granted, Dallas didn’t play Dez or Witten, and Tony Regular Season only played one series (1-1 for -1), but the Niner run defense was stout, and the pass defense was good. 3 picks, and they could have had a couple more. I think Dallas is really going to miss Demarco Murray. And their O line is a mess already. The running back by committee isn’t looking good.

Plusses were definitely seeing Navorro Bowman out there making plays. 3 plays, 3 tackles, 2 TFLs. Dockett played as well, so that was good to see. Kappy had one nice drive. Comverting a 3rd down on a pass to his secondary WR, Carlos Hyde. What a concept. A back out of the backfield. He had a TD pass to T Smith broken up on a nice defensive play to end that drive. The next drive was a sack that Kappy didn’t read very well, but 3 guys got in pretty fast.

Gabbert played fine throwing a few dumpoffs, but the defense made plays all over the place, including another strong game from Mike Purcell, and a lot of pressure from 1st round pick Arik Armstead. AA brought the pressure that led to the Purcell pick 6.

Quinton Patton had an awful 18 yard loss on what should have been a 6 yard gain, but redeemed himself by blocking a punt and scoring on the block. Jarryd Hayne had another stellar day returning punts, but his very upright running style may get him blasted at some point. That being said, he has outstanding vision in traffic, and just may be able to avoid shit out there.

Hard to say how the starting CBs were as there was little passing by Dallas that was effective at all. The good news again was no major injuries. VMcD, the invisible TE, was out early with a sprained ankle, and Tank Carradine left the game with a lower leg injury. Neither seemed very bad, but we’ll wait an see what the team says today. The field held up fine, and so did the team.

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(Preseason) Game Day! Go Ask Allas

Preseason game #2 on the docket today. The Dallas Cowboys roll into town, and this team should provide a little better benchmark on how our team looks. Speaking of Dockett we still won’t see him or Navorro Bowman play. But the line play without him was pretty good last week. Keep an eye peeled for Mike Purcell, as he had a very solid game last week.

Also, since this is the home opener, let’s all see if the turf holds up. I mean really, replacing the sod every 3 weeks doesn’t seem to give the grass a chance to root itself, but what do I know about lawns? I’ve only been mowing them for 48 years.

Keith Reaser is getting the start at CB, so take a look at him. He’s not huge at 5’10” and 190, but he ran a 4.32 40. Had he done that in the combine, he would only have trailed Dri Archer. He also did 22 reps at 225 lb so he’s strong. Looking forward to seeing him in game time action.

As for the rest? Well, I’d sure like to see much more of Kappy. He needs to get into the rhythm and flow of the game for a few series to heed his lessons. Hitting a play to Torrey Smith would be cool as well. Frankly, seeing the WRs get 5 catches with Kappy would be a good thing. Would love to see hyde break off some nice runs as well.

As far as the timing issues go, still a wait-and-see deal. It sure looks a lot better than the last 8 years of running the play clock to 0.5 or worse. . .

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Why Your Team Sucks

Hey, it’s slow, and the Dallas game ain’t for a couple days, but a friend of mine gave me this link from Deadspin. This guy does one of these for every team.

Given the ammo, there’s a lot to cover . . .


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One Down . . .

Well, game one came and went in the Jim Tomsula errror, uh era. All in all, the team looked good when the first and second stringers were playing. No major injuries, and the only minor one was to LB Desmond Bishop with a calf strain. The D line looked real nice stopping Hou 9 times inside the 10 yard line. Gaine Blabbert looked like not the 32nd best backup and made some nice underneath throws to the TEs. And surprising to me, the O line looked wholly serviceable in the first half. Kappy had the time to throw a deep ball to Torrey Smith, who blew past Hou’s 2 CBs. Kappy didn’t get enough air underneath it, but this is a play that these guys need to work on more to get the timing down. Gabbert had time to get the ball out clean without too much pressure. Granted, Hou didn’t play Watt, but the O line, which isn’t deep, played well. Til the backups came in, and Dylan Thompson was under siege in scrubbini time.

Jarryd Hayne had about a perfect day as one could hope for by doing great in PR/KR duties, and breaking off a 58 yard run in the 2nd quarter to set up the Niner TD.

The LBs were OK, and the coverage was fairly bleh, but we didn’t have our first unit out there for the most part. Dockett and Bowman didn’t play, and don’t expect to see a lot of them this preseason, but Bethea laid the wood a couple times, and the run D was stout, but I’m worried about the pass coverage.

Weird to say the least to see a 33 yard extra point. All in all, about what you’d hope for from game 1 of the preseason. No injuries, a nice TD drive, a nice goal line stand, and some points on the board from the 1st/2nd stringers. Houston won the battle of the Walmart brigade in the 2nd half 15-0, but the 1st and 2nd string won 10-8.

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(Preseason) Game Day!

For good or ill we are finally on the brink of the 2015 season. Coach Tomsula has said that Kappy and the first stringers are getting the first quarter, and Gaine Blabbert and the rest of the crew get the remaining 3. I guess they need to see what they can get out of Gabbert as he was rated the worst backup in the league.  This from a guy drafted 10th in 2011, 26 spots ahead of one Colin Kaepernick. 25 spots ahead of Andy Dalton. 2 spots ahead of Christian Ponder. He was also 2 spots behind, Jake Locker, and 9 spots behind #1 pick, Cam Newton.

Of the 6 QBs taken in the first 2 rounds that year, only Dalton and Newton are pro bowlers. But only Kaepernick has had playoff success. He’s the only  one to get into a Super Bowl, anyhow. And he’s the only one with a winning playoff record.

  • Kappy has a 4-2 playoff record, (90.6 rating) with a couple impressive road victories among them.
  • Newton? 1-2 record, 80.6 playoff rating.
  • Dalton? Eeeesh. 0-4 with a 58.7 playoff rating.
  • Ponder led Minn to their only recent playoff berth in 2012, but missed the game due to injury. Since then, he dropped to 3rd string last year and is now a Raider.
  • Locker has been hurt and ineffective his career and has retired.
  • Gabbert? Well, 5-22 (66.2 rating) on a shitty team does no good. No playoff experience.

Much has been made of Kappy getting help this offseason. As in why didn’t he do it before? Well, I thought we had the quarterback whisperer. Wasn’t he the divine savior of passers? Well, I guess not. But looking at that large class of QBs, you realize that what appears to be a slam-dunk often isn’t. The next guy taken after Kappy was Ryan Mallett with the 74th pick in the 3rd round by the Pats. He’s now a Texan. One start in his career, but he’ll battle Brian Hoyer to be the starter. Ricki Stanzi of KC and TJ Yates have actually seen a little success, but TJ’s now a Brown, and Stanzi is bouncing around the league and has landed on the Giants.

Anyhow, on with the season!!! Go Niners!  Let’s all pay attention the the play clock.

My first priority now. Anyone want to put money on a false start?



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Monday Musings

Just when it was safe to have an inkling of hope for the 49ers, Aldon smith decides to go an a little rampage and get into a fight with someone over a parking spot. After ramming the offending parker, Smith apparently left the scene and decided to get his drink on. Smart guy that he is, he goes back to the scene of the dust-up and is promptly arrested. Of Course Aldon denies being drunk when he hit the guy. He decided to get drunk after the fact.

Whatever. Until he realizes that he’s his won worst enemy, he won’t get any help. Thing is though, a talent like that won’t be on the sidelines forever. Pacman, and a few others, have made the trip from iron bars to the gridiron.

Anyhow, Tomsula apparently insisted on handling this alone, much like Harbaugh did the first time around. The only difference being Jimbo felt no problem with letting Aldon play hours after being let out of jail. Or letting RayMac play despite 2 run-ins with the police regarding domestic violence charges. Because, you know, winning matters more than character. say what you will about Tomsula, but he handled this situation very well.

Other than that, Frank Gifford passed away over the weekend. He was a little before my time, and Christ, I’d think death would be a happy escape from Kathy Lee, but for all intents and purposes, he was a great football player. I never liked him though. And I don’t know why. Too goodie goodie I guess?

Guys of that era went through a lot more punishment, as penalties were pretty much not called on anything that didn’t constitute attempted murder. The guy was MVP one year, and led the Giants to a championship in the 50s. He played running back, a little QB, defensive back, and became a WR after famously getting knocked unconscious by Chuck Bednarik of the Eagles and retiring for a season. No penalty of course. The picture of Bednarik exulting over his unconscious body is an enduring legacy of football in the golden age.

Beyond that, he was a very good, if bland, announcer for The NFL Today on CBS, and more famously as the foil for Howard Cosell and Dandy Don Meredith on Monday Night Football for nearly 30 years. Though he was a highly respected football player, he didn’t reach the HOF until 27 years after his retirement. Hmmm. I don’t dislike him so much anymore.

RIP Frank.


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