The Kyle Shanahan Era Starts with a Whimper, and a Win

Or something. In a battle of non-epic proportions, we did get to see some good things. For one, the team is much faster than the previous version. And I don’t mean getting-to-the-line faster. I mean speed on the field faster.

The newly retooled offense had little to show short of a nice drive thwarted by 15 penalties called in the red zone. The worst being a OPI call on Burbridge when he ran his route and stopped as the throw went behind him for a TD to Robinson.  Hoyer hit a nice 15 yard penalty on 3rd and 12 negated by a penalty as well. That was pretty much the operating theme.

17 penalties for a total of 131 yards.  Certainly we need to lean that up. On the plus side there were no ints and no fumbles. CJ Beathard looked good playing the 2nd stringers. Joe Williams is fast as hell and looked very good in the open field. Reuben Foster nearly had a pick off of Alex Smith on their first TD drive. The defense was a little slow off the ball and gave up a big 42 yard pass play to speedster Tyreek Hill to set up that score.

Rashard Robinson had a bad start but did get a pick on KCs 2nd drive. Other standouts include Aaron Lynch, who had his way with RT Jah Reid. Of course he just got an ankle injury in practice. Trent Taylor looked very good when his punt returns weren’t being called back. He also made 3 catches for 33.

What to glean from this? Not much. Hoyer got one series, 1/3 for 3 yards. I’m sure they will all get a little more playing time next week. EWould like to see the line do better at holding the defense at bay while we actually try a deep pass.

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Game Day! Days of Future Passed . . .

Passed? Get it? Yeah, shut it. Still and all, it is time for some football! The preseason kicks off in Ninerland with the newly refurbished San Francisco 49ers facing off against their once-ascendant and cast-aside QB in Alex Smith, and the Kansas City Chiefs. They are still being led by The Walrus, Andy Reid. A coach who has been on the doorstep so much, he now has ‘Welcome’ tattooed across his forehead.

Alex Smith on the other hand is entering his 12 season, yet he is just 32.  He’s still a guy who is careful with the ball, checks down a lot, puts up solid numbers, but can’t seem to get over the ‘game manager’ moniker, and can’t seem to get deep into the playoffs. Smith may have some gas left in the tank, but it may not be in KC for much longer. The Chiefs made a bold move and traded up with Buffalo to snag Patrick Mahomes with the 10th pick in the first round.

So, I’ll be watching him to see how he looks. Trubiscuit looked good in his Bears debut, DeShaun Watson looked solid as well, even De Shone Kizer played well, but this is after all, preseason. Still and all, a lot of exciting young quarterbacks are poised to make their mark.

Us? Well, we have Brian Hoyer. ZZZZZzzzzzz. But we do have an actual offensive minded head coach. One who can design pass plays better than run to a CB and sit down. Which seems to have been our plan since Mad Mike Martz left under mysterious circumstances.

Shit, anyone see Gaine Blabbert throwing lasers for the Cards? Too funny. He did cough up a fumble deep in his own territory as well, and missed a score of easy throws . . .

Speaking of missing throws, the new Jay Cutler jerseys are hot off the presses.


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Many Doings . . . and Culture Change

The Niners seems to be getting more than their fare share of injuries, as the latest to go down is Donavin Newsome, UDFA LB from Missouri was knocked unconscious, and taken away by ambulance for possible neck injuries and paralysis. Luckily for all involved, he regained all feeling in his extremities, and will be released from the hospital today with a concussion.

Needless to say, football is dangerous, but the 49ers currently have 21 guys on the injury list. And even more notably, Jeremy Zuttah was unceremoniously cut today. He was one of only a few moves to beef up the offensive line.  Zuttah, a 10 year vet, looks to catch on with another team. Maybe the one we swapped 6th round picks with the Ravens for, uh, the Ravens.

This move, made apparently because Zuttah doesn’t fit the model of leaner faster linemen that Kyle wants to use brings to mind the Ellington cut. One was one of their guys, and one was one of the previous regime’s picks. In other words, no one is safe from the axe. One of the most glaring problems with the team is the culture. As in change the culture from one of a long culture of losing to changing things up to a winning culture.

Cutting Zuttah is an admission that they didn’t get what they expected, sure, but it shows that they are willing to cut their losses. Even with a guy they just brought in. Ellington on the other hand has been a two-year-long disappointment was quickly picked up by the Jets, but he failed his physical so he’s on the open market again.  Word is VMcD is on the blocks but no one seems interested in his services.

You always see turnover from one regime to the next, and I really expect to see a lot of the offensive players rotated out. Mainly because the offense has been soooo poor these last few seasons, and the players not up to par. Shanahan should be able to get some immediate help with a new scheme and a new QB, and a decent set of weapons. The defense on the other hand has been more hamstrung by the coaching in my opinion, and stand to keep most of the players here.

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The Depth Chart is Here! The Depth Chart is Here!

We Well, it’s unofficial, but the Niners released their 2017 depth chart.


Notable is Dontae Johnson, starting RCB, Reuben Foster as our starting weak side linebacker, and Marquise Goodwin is our starting WR. Donlt know much about Goodwin other than he’s another small guy, but he’s blazing fast.  That don’t help when you can’t stay on the field though. I’d expect Kerley to be the other starter, but all this stuff in set in pencil.


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Camp Tweaks? Or Cause for Concern?

Guys are dropping like flies in camp, and we haven’t even reached the one-week milestone. 3rd string LB Jimmie Gilbert is out for the year with a torn ACL, Jaquiski Tartt is day-to-day with a rib injury, DeForest Buckner is day-to-day with an ankle injury, but apparently it is not as bad as initially thought, TE George Kittle is being held out of practice for individual drills, and Keith Reaser will miss practice entirely for a 2nd day. Eli Harold is being held out of practice for a concussion suffered a few days ago.

Good news is that Eric Reid is back to full practice status after tweaking his ankle. Other than that, the latest casualty if the new regime is Bruce Ellington, the speedster who never got untracked.

Camp sleeper, according to Adam Schefter is matt Breida, UDFA RB out of Georgia Southern, who ran a blistering 4.38 in the 40 is making headway to make the team. He also had the highest vertical leap, 42 inches,  and pumped out 23 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press. He also seems to be meshing very well with what Kyle Shanahan and RB coach Bobby Turner are looking for in a fast powerful guy who can catch the occasional pass.

That’s about all the news that’s out there Niner-wise. Ryan Tannehill is out for a while, so the Colin Kaepernick death march to the NFL continues.

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Reuben Foster is Good to Go . . . Solomon Thomas Signs

According to Kyle Shanahan, Reuben Foster is fully cleared to participate in camp. Thus dodging a huge bullet that threatened to derail the start to his football career with the 49ers. The risk to drafting him allowed him to drop to 31, where the Niners traded up to snag him in this year’s draft.

So, at this point in John Lynch’s drafting career, he has surpassed Trent (I never met a knee injury I didn’t like) Baalke in taking shots on injured players. Huzzah. Still and all, I’d like to keep the hitting on that shoulder to a minimum.

In other news, Colin Kaepernick may get signed by Baltimore as they deal with Joe Flacco’s back injury that may keep him out 6 weeks or more.

John certainly can get enough information about Kaepernick from his brother, you know, who drafted him and took him to the Super Bowl.

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Dr. Jeckyl and Carlos Hyde

Speaking of whispered news, another whispered situation has come out of the bldg that the Niners could possibly cut Carlos Hyde. This on the heels of the ‘NaVorro Bowman is available for trade’ innuendo floated out into the interwebs last week. While I think Hyde is a solid running back, the fact remains that he can’t stay healthy to save his life, and he also is apparently not a good fit for Shanny Jr’s new offense.


He seems like a good guy and has shown some great runs, but the fact is I wouldn’t miss him too much if they did. The offense is going to be a work in progress this season, and building it around an oft-injured back may not be the best course. Joe Williams can come in fresh and ready right out of the gate and play within Kyle’s system.

Trading Bowman however is not a good idea in any way shape or form. Of course the team issued an instant denial of any such thought, but per this team’s past history, the whisper campaign is something these guys do with regularity. I’d hate to see Bowman go for some draft picks, or whatever, because I think he’s much more valuable as one of our assets regardless of how much he ends up playing (or even how well). He can impart a ton of knowledge to the young defense, especially Reuben Foster and Solomon Thomas.

Beyond that though, there appears to be a lot of targets on the backs of the guys that were brought here by the last couple regimes. Especially on offense. Bruce Ellington, VMcDropsy, and Garrett Celek will likely vanish shortly, as will a lot of others.

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