File in the “For What It’s Worth” Category

Hey, football is a long way off, but the Giants are doing their part in creating more excitement around the upcoming season as they lose their way to the cellar and put themselves into the 49ers position a couple years ago.

Anyhow, Marc Sessler, a writer for NFL.com gives his take on the 49er season.

http://www.49ers.com/news/article-2/NFL-Writer-Gives-His-Prediction-for-49ers-2017-Season/e07dd730-4014-4224-91b0-a134a8d83b01?sf90298104=1

Needless to say, he’s not too insanely outlandish with his prediction but he is saying 6+ wins for the Red and Gold. There are a lot of folks who simply think we stay in the 10-12 loss range, but I beg to differ. We aren’t loaded with talent, but we do have some pieces that look intriguing, and we hit the draft pretty well. There are artill moves to be made as expensive pieces get cast aside for the recently drafted, so a few more bargains may come our way. Our QB situation should be better this year, and I think the run game improves dramatically.

The defense? Well, we weren’t as bad as we played, and we did get a lot of injuries, but our failings had a lot to do with inept coaching. The D line is in great shape, and we look pretty solid in the defensive backfield. LB is a concern, as is Reuben Foster’s health, but overall I think the defense will stand tall.

I’m still wavering around 7-9 to 8-8.

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Sooooo . . . Where Are We?

So far at least this has been a very good offseason (humor me and read this). Gone are Trent Baalke and a coaching staff full of underachieving unprepared goofballs. I mean, Kelly was no great shakes, but Jimmy Bagadonuts was  farting his way through pressers and generally stinking up the joint. Young Sir Jed Hidesalot was of course squirreled away in his ivory cabana pissing off his neighbors as well as millions of fans as the team sucked its way through these last few shitty seasons.

Now? Well, the invisible owner hired two newbies to replace the Kelly/Baalke comedy hour in Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch. Since then, there has been a fairly obvious uptick in the team’s status. Players actually want to come here to play under Shanny’s offensive system, and the front office for the most part nailed the draft. Two very encouraging things on the face of them.

Still and all, it doesn’t amount to squadoosh for the upcoming season. The immediate future of the team is likely not a very rosy one, at least if you listen to the so-called experts. Of course, NFL fortunes are won and lost season by season as teams rise and fall like the tides in the Bay of Fundy. Look it up. How good are we? Playoffs? Playoffs?!? PLAYOFFS?!?!? Not likely, no matter how optimistic one is. Recent history shows us that coaching can play a huge difference in the fortunes of a given team, as witnessed by Jim Harbaugh taking Aluminum Mike Singletary’s 6-10 49ers to 13-3 and a couple fumbles away from a Super Bowl berth.

Unfortunately, the team is not in that state. That 2010 team was built by Scotty McLoughan. The team had a boatload of high draft picks and talent. Harbaugh easily turned the team around with his rah-rah take no prisoners attitude and for a while, things were great. However, when Scotty hit skid row and ‘mutually departed,’ Trent Baalke slowly drained the team of talent while York and spreadsheet boy pissed off Jim Harbaugh to the point of another so-called mutual departure.  Our QB of the future took a team-friendly deal to keep the talent around him here, yet the front office dumped all the talent anyway and blamed coaches, players, and the waterboy for their failures while laughing their way through bad hires and shitty seasons.

The team hit rock bottom as they travelled down the peg board of the NFC West going from 1st in 2012 to 2nd in 2013 to 3rd in 2014 and 4th in 2015 and 2016. 2-14 last year being the bottom rung of the “I only hang Super Bowl Banners” statement made by York as he fired his most successful coach and pissed away the talent.

Today? The hope is that these guys in the front office have learned their lessons about how not to run a football team. Shitting on players and pissing off coaches and spreading lies and misinformation through the media while backstabbing and whispering and leaking information to guys like Trent Dilfer needs to stop. And, for better or worse, hiring a guy like John Lynch and pulling these kinds of stunts is akin to poking a sleeping bear. Lynch may be more professional than Jim “only men allowed here” Harbaugh, but he’s also someone that wouldn’t take the whisper campaign lying down. Harbaugh played his games through the media in his own way. Lynch would more than likely give Jed a blindside hit coming down the hallway at 4949 Centennial Blvd.

So, where are we? I think with a stop-gap QB, a newly toooled offense, a vastly improved defensive line and a hugely improved coaching staff, this team has the ability to go 8-8. Playoffs? No, but enough improvement to be encouraging.

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Your 2017 NBA Champs . . . the Golden State Warriors

Nothing doing in Ninerland, so we might as well bask in the Warriors 2nd championship in 3 years. As a kid growing up, you hope to see your teams win it all, and as Flav posted on his blog, those of us who have been around here for a while have witnessed quite a few banner-raisings. With the Niners 5, the SF Giants 3, and now the Oak/SF Warriors 3, that’s a grand total of 11 championships from 1975 to 2017. Throw in the Oakland A’s 4 and Oakland Raiders 2 and the number goes up to 17 in 45 years. No mean feat.

What is crazy is I’ve been around for just about all of the playoff success of all these teams. I’ve told my son over and over not to take this success for granted. The Giants may not win another World Series for 50 years. The Warriors look like they have a solid team for the next few years but this poses the question, when do the 49ers return to the pinnacle? Are we on the right track? I’d like to think we are, but as we all know, it isn’t easy. We got oh so close in 2012, and looked to be poised for a few years of greatness, but we also got to see how fast this shit can unravel.

Anyhow, enjoy the bask, raise a drink in honor of the Warriors, and bring on the football season!

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Jeremy Spoke in Class Today

Nothing earthshaking, but the 49ers retained the services of ONE of their woebegone wide receivers in Jeremy Kerley. Granted, he was about the only guy that could consistently: a) run proper routes; b) catch the ball; c) do something after the catch. And, really the only reason it is noteworthy at all is because the current regime is treating the last regime much like the current administration is treating the last one.

As in remove all trace of its existence. Kerley didn’t put up huge numbers, but “he’s a pro” in the words of Joe Staley.  “He goes about his day, he’s always on his (assignments), he knows the details of what we’re trying to do and he’s out there making plays” said WR coach Mike LaFleur.

Still and all though I’m sure the purge of flotsam and jetsam has not begun in earnest. TE and the other WRs currently on the roster more than likely will change dramatically. We’ve already swapped out QBs and CBs, and I’m sure LBs will look a lot different in short order, or at least when cut-down days arrive.

Anyhow, saw Roger Waters over the weekend, and it was a pretty amazing show. Especially when they played “One of These Days” from Meddle. One of my favorite Floyd songs.

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Elvis has Entered the Building

Might as well light the fires and kick the tires on Elvis Dumervil. Granted, if this was 2012, we likely win the Super Bowl, but it is what it is. We had the worst pass rush in the league so any help is good help. 33 is not too too old, and he can be used situationally. Aaron Lynch is on borrowed time, and you have to wonder about Ahmad Brooks.

All is good though. I’m fine with this move. We need as many bodies as we can plug in in as short a time as possible. It’s a 2 year deal, so it won’t cost too much. Beyond that, he can mentor all the young guys around him. And we have cap space to burn anyway.

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No News is No News

Still not much to report on here in Ninersforeverland, but all my favorite bands in the 70s seem to be losing members left and right. Gregg Allman is the latest to hit the highway to hell (or stairway to heaven) depending on your faith (or lack of it). Saw Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers last weekend, speaking of old rockers, and while it was a pretty damn good show (Tom’s band still has its chops), Tom is getting a bit long in the tooth himself. Other than that, we are looking at safety Jairus Byrd. And as we all know, the Byrd is the word.

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R.I.P. Len Rhode, Chris Cornell and Wayne Walker

Len-rhode.jpgRest in peace, Led Rhode. Great O lineman from back in the day. He was part of an outstanding line that gelled in 1970 to become one of the best in the league, and was instrumental in the 70-72 playoff run. Rhode in particular was squared off many times against Deacon Jones of the Rams, and more often than not, Jones was the one left beaten and dismayed. The team in this era was the team I grew up watching. My first game was in 1968 at Kezar, and these guys were etched in my mind as my favorites. Sure there was Brodie, Gene Washington, Ken Willard, and Bob Windsor, but Len Rhode at left tackle, Brodie’s blind side protector, center Forrest Blue, guards Woody Peoples and Randy Biesler, and RT Caz Banazek anchored the team through their agonizingly close to Super Bowl-glory days.

Dude went out at 79, and played in 208 consecutive games, so he apparently weathered his career unscathed.

“As an offensive tackle, there aren’t too many individual stats you can hang your hat on, but I guess playing in 208 games, winning the Len Eshmont, the NFC West, going to the Pro Bowl and the sack record aren’t bad.”

Not bad, indeed. A sky-point, and a drink raised in your honor . . .

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