Horse Latitudes . . .

When the still seas conspire in armor . . .
And her sullen and aborted currents . . .
Breed tiny monsters, true sailing is dead!

Say what you will about Jim Morrison, the dude could write a song. Mute nostril agony indeed. Here we are stuck in the doldrums. The Sargasso Sea. The Horse Latitudes of the sporting landscape. Sure, basketball and hockey are grinding inexorably to the playoffs, but this is the time of resting key players and healthying up for the playoff grind. The dog days of both those sports are in full swing, and teams are actively playing it safe and trying to avoid injuries.

Baseball is nearly here, but watching spring training games is like eating tofu at a steakhouse. Not very fulfilling and you will leave severely disappointed. Football? Well, that might as well be a mission to Pluto, the misbegotten planetoid. It is so far off in the distance that we can barely see it.

Even the draft is a month away. And we can talk about it but once you get past the first 5 picks, no one gets anything right. Look at ANY prognosticator (and yeah, I’m sure they’ll dig up Mel Kiper’s head and put it on some unsuspecting brain-dead accident victim, and crank up the hyperbole machine.

Do you guys have any favorite draft moments? Mel Tobin calling out the helmet-headed one springs to mind.

Also this draft. I think you all know which one this is:

1  Ronnie Lott 8 DB USC
2  John Harty 36 NT  Iowa
2  Eric Wright 40 DB  Missouri
3  Carlton Williamson 65 DB  Pittsburgh
5  Lynn Thomas 121 DB  Pittsburgh
5  Arrington Jones 122 RB  Winston-Salem St.
6  Pete Kugler 147 NT  Penn St.
8  Garry White 203 RB Minnesota
11  Ronnie DeBose 286 TE UCLA
12  Major Ogilvie 313 RB Alabama
12  Joe Adams 322 QB Tennessee St

I mean, who can forget Joe Adams? 3/4 of your defensive backfield in one draft is quite the mean feat. That and getting Hacksaw Reynolds and Fred Dean paved the way for Bill Walsh’s offense, which was already doing pretty well under Steve DeBerg, became the well-oiled machine that was the envy of the league, and still is.

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To Kill A Mocking Draft . . .

Despite the ridiculous clamor for the 49ers to draft a quarterback (Trubisky? Uh, no. In a logical world, he falls to the mid 2nd round, and DeShaun Watson is a mid 1st rounder), there is also a lot of traction behind a guy who I really like in Salomon Thomas, the DE coming out of Stanford. He had a great senior season, a great Fiesta Peach Bowl (whatever), and an even better combine to raise his stock. Granted, they’d likely reshuffle the D line should they get him, but that is not a concern when getting as sure fire a guy as he is.

Other than that, what do you guys think? What do our first 3 picks look like?

My thought is something like:

  1. S Thomas – DE Stanford
  2. Dan Feeney – G Indiana
  3. Jarrad Davis – LB Florida

I know we need offensive help, but I like the FAs we’ve gotten so far, and I’m sure there will be more WRs out there once the draft is over.

Pass rush is my biggest concern overall, and when we did get some pressure, we played better. Therefore, Salomon Thomas. Local kid. Great guy. He’s our dude.

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Free Agent Frenzy Cools Down

Not much to report on now as the FA feeding frenzy slows down. The Niners got quantity without spending too much, so I’d give them a solid B in free agency so far.

–Quarterback Brian Hoyer
–Quarterback Matt (Hot Tub) Barkley
–Fullback Kyle Juszczyk
–Wide receiver Pierre Garçon
–Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin
–Tight end Logan Paulsen
–Linebacker Malcolm Smith

People may question the money thrown around, especially for Garcon and Jusryzuyky, but even with all these signings, and a trade for a center, the 49ers still have the most available cap money for the rest of the free agency period.

Got to wonder if they go after a couple more O and D linemen.

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Kirk Cousins – 49er?

Beyond the obvious thought that Kurt Cousins is head and shoulders above the free agent crow of QBs in the market, up to and including (The Life of) Brian Hoyer and Matt (Hot Tub) Barkley, does anybody think he will end up on the 49ers this year? As long-shotty as that sounds, and the fact that we could get him next year as a free agent, there are some factors that say yes, and some that say hell to the no.

One big thing about Cousins is he is on the Washington Redskins, and Dan Snyder is the owner of the Redskins. Dan Snyder had a major falling out with Mike Shanahan a few years back and does not really want to help any of the Shanahans, including Kyle. Trading Cousins to us would do just that. But, Cousins has publicly expressed his desire to return to Washington. Washington on the other hand has NO leverage at this point. I fully expect a lowball offer for Cousins from John Lynch at some point in the immediate future. Wash stands to lose him entirely next year as:

a) He wants out
b) He wants to be with Shanahan
c) He’s a free agent

So, Washington is forced to make a hugely outlandish offer to Cousins that still may not get him to stay in DC, or they let him walk next year without any compensation short a comp pick in 2019. He doesn’t even want to be there , and losing DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon isn’t helping things. Although they did pick up the semi-disgruntled, semi-sad Terelle Pryor from the Factory of Sadness.

Also, Washington just lost their GM Scotty McLoughan, a guy we know and love, to a power struggle with Bruce Allen. Sound familiar? Right. This isn’t a GM and a coach fighting, it is an EVP and a GM. Either way, a sure sign that the clowns in the front office are too busty stabbing each other to pay attention to the team on the field. Scotty got the ‘Skins some good players, and they had a mini-playoff run, something they hadn’t seen in a while, but they are in a downward spiral, and they have a lame-duck QB who actively wants out.

Don’t be too surprised to see a 3, a 4 and next year’s 2 get him.  Hey, it could happen.


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Shit is Getting Real

The 49ers just signed Pierre Garcon to a 3 year deal that I hear is $16 mill per? Shanny really likes him some Garcon. He of course was Shanny’s big signing when he came to Washington a few years ago.

Not quite sure if that is the real number, but holy shit, what this says to me is that we are going to go after Kurt Cousins in a big way. Shanahan appears to be in the process of creating the Resdskins West.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly ratchets up the pressure on everyone in the building. A team that has been a laughingstock and one that would have been given rope to build slowly is now looking like they want to forego any gradual process and burn through the cap money in a big fat hurry. Again, not necessarily bad, but this team is all of a sudden looking at a 9 win season being a failure should Cousins show up amid the spending frenzy.



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In The “For What It’s Worth” Category

Far be it from me to paint flowery pictures about the new-found awewsomeness of our team these days,  but it isn’t a stretch to think that we at least have a better future than we did 3 months ago. Anyhow, here’s the take of one of the 49ers rivals in the NFC West. Specifically Seattle GM and would-be Duke of Hazzard, John Schneider.

Sure, this and $5.00 will get you a grande half-decaf soy vanilla soy latte with lowfat milk, but since free agency doesn’t start until THURSDAY AT 1:00 PM, there isn’t much to report on now.

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The League is Going to Pot

Thanks, Winder. the NFL, in actions nearly as fast as Congress, is finally considering a ‘less punitive’ approach to marijuana, aka wacky tobacky, pot, reefer, dope, tea, chronic, sticky opiated Thai sticks )a story for another day), Maui Wowie, Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, Semsimilla, and, in a nod to the late great George Carlin, Toledo Windowbox. My favorite was a strain of African pot that a nameless friend has been growing in the hinterlands of coastal CA since the mid 70s.

But I digress. Pot, which has lately been given kudos but former players in easing pain, easing the effects of CTE, and basically doing what the heavy narcotics can do for players, but with MUCH less fallout, is getting a look by the NFL as something that may help instead of being a reason to be fined and/or suspended.

The NFLPA recently formed a pain management committee that is studying, among other things, the use of marijuana to manage pain and whether it should be permissible under the NFL’s policies. This sounds great but then you read something like this from them:

“We have to do a better job of knowing if our players are suffering from other potentially dangerous psychological issues like depression, right? So if I look at this myopically as just a recreational use of marijuana and miss the fact that we might have players suffering from depression, what have I fixed? Worse yet, you may have solved an issue that gets the steady drumbeat in a newspaper but miss an issue like chronic depression . . . where a person theoretically might be able to smoke more weed because it makes them feel better but it’s not curing their depression.”

“So to me, as we’re looking at that front end — and it’s been a long process — the reason why I think it’s more complicated than just making a quick decision about recreational use is we look at these things as a macro-issue. And what we try to do is what a union’s supposed to do: improve the health and safety of our players in a business that sometimes can seriously exacerbate existing physical and mental issues.”

Hmmmm. Is ‘feeling better’ considered a side effect? Or a problem? “Are you in pain? Well, this Percodan won’t fix your sore muscles, but it’ll mask the pain. Take this Zanax. It isn’t highly addictive. Take it for 10 years and then try not to get hooked. Oh yeah, and see the guy over there? The steroids, masking drugs, and HGH he’s not passing out (wink wink) won’t hurt you at all.”

Beyond the fact that there are now 6 teams that play in states that have legalized recreational pot use, the NFLPA is fucking living in the 30s if they think marijuana is more dangerous that the opioids, painkillers, and anti-depressants being handed out like candy to players and team doctors, and the general public for that matter.

Anyhow, this’ll likely pass once Josh Gordon’s suspension ends. Sorry Josh!!!


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