Good News is No News

The police blotter watch started early this year, and, as suspected since there’s nothing but time before anything happens, the Niners are sitting on their hands as the details are sorted out. If this was October 20, or even late August, the decision to do something about Foster would be in the forefront. But in this age of crazy noise happening every day, the news cycle is in hyper-drive, overdrive, light-speed, however you want to put it, his status is not even a blip anymore. Everyone will wait to see if the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office presses charges, and for what the charges are.

So, other than that, the only news is the 49ers hired Chris Kiffin to bolster their pass rush. Yes, the anemic pass rush that was in the bottom 5. last year. Kiffin of course is the son of Monte Kiffin, architect of the Tampa 2 defense, and one of the top DCs of all time. Chris’s brother however is a mixed bag of squirrelly. Lane was a huge flame-out as head coach of the Oakland Raiders and was fired midway through his 2nd season with a 5-15 record. He burned bridges all over the college football landscape, most notably USC and Tennessee, amid calling out Florida coach Urban Meyer for recruiting violations, which in itself was a violation, and is now coaching the Florida Atlantic U Owls. A giant step down from the heights of the SEC.

His brother Chris has followed a less incendiary path and now leavers the shadow of his dad and brother as the pass rushing coach, taking over for Jason Tarver, who moved on to Vanderbilt as their new DC.

So, all in all, I’d rather be in Philadelphia? Either that, or the hope is this is the last time we have to go through the fun of watching a player get arrested.

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Foster’s Freeze Out

Just when you thought things were going too well with Jimmy G and all the positivity, Reuben Foster was arrested for domestic violence, assault, and a weapons charge for allegedly possessing an assault rifle in Los Gatos over the weekend. Right. This makes the pot bust look like a puff of smoke. For a kid who dropped out of the top 5 of the draft board because of character and injury issues, it looks like he didn’t get the memo that this kind of stuff matters. Duh. Looks like the 49ers intend to hold on to their league leading 17 arrests since 2012.

John Lynch is instantly put under the microscope for signing the guy in the first place. He said they did their due diligence regarding Foster and he was assured that Foster wasn’t going to go off half-cocked so to speak, but the thing is, this is the latest of many infractions big and small. Foster failed (diluted) a drug test last year before the combine, he was sent home from the NFL combine after nearly getting into a fight with a guy trying to draw his blood, and of course the pot bust last month in Alabama.

The only good news about this is the 49ers have time before the draft and free agency to make the decision to cut him. As they gather more info, they probably will.

So, that coin flip with the Raiders look VERY important now as the Raiders have their eye on Roquan Smith from Georgia who looks to be the 1st ILB drafted and we are suddenly looking for an inside linebacker. Dumbass.

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Well, there you go. The Niners avoided all the machinations of dissing a guy by franchising him, and went all in (and then some) on Jimmy Garoppolo. His contract extension calls for 5 years at a cool $27.5 mill per year for a total of $137.5 mill. This of course is the largest per-year deal in the NFL, but soon it will be passed by the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, and Drew Brees. On a per year basis anyway. But that’s the bar as of now.

I got the years right anyway. I had it around $18 mill per. Horseshoes and hand grenades, amirite?

Anyhow, the 49ers have set themselves up early in this new season as at the least a dark horse candidate to make some playoff noise given that they have a lot of draft picks, and fairly high ones at that, they still have around $80+ million in cap space, and a new GM/HC combo that is working together like a well-oiled machine.

Got to be fairly exciting news. Can’t wait to see what they come up with in free agency. Wide receivers must be thinking “hmmm, not a bad spot to land.” The team in general looks like a great place to land. Selah is a respected DC and the team has a log of positives all of a sudden.

Bring it on.

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From Jimmy T to Jimmy G

OK, fuck the Eagles. Their time is over. Here come the 49ers!

Right. As these front office wonks showed before, they can go from the outhouse to the penthouse and back again in fairly quick fashion. The problem being it took 8 years for the owners to figure out what they were doing as they had no idea how to run a team. Denise York didn’t want to run it so she gave it to her hubby, Dr. Kedorkian.

York of course decided to run the team like a AAA baseball team in Pudunk, Iowa. He removed all evidence of franchise success, and started charging players for water bottles, among other things, stripped the team of talent (mainly due to the mismanagement of D Clark and Carmen Policy), where the previous owner was lavish with his gifts and treatment of his players.  Dr. Dork eventually got tired of being vilified daily by a press corps that is pretty lenient and gave the team to his young son, Tweetin’ Jed York.

His tenure as well has been rocky to say the least. Jed took over before the 2009 season, and under Jed, they went from the outhouse to the penthouse by hiring St Jim Harbaugh and firing Aluminum Mike Singletary.  to the outhouse in equally spectacular fashion, jettisoning St Jim and keeping the inept GM in favor of Jimmy Bag-of-Donuts and Trent (I’ve-never-met-a-blown-out-ACL-I-didn’t love) Baalke.  Throw in a grandiose contract to a college coach gone sour and you have 12-4 and a visit to the NFC Championship game to 2-14 and an express pass to Shittytown in three short seasons.

From the ‘we don’t hang NFC Championship banners’ as the team went into a tailspin due to his bad decision to back Baalke instead of Harbaugh, to signing Kaepernick to a team friendly deal and then stab him in the back by letting all the talent go, tweeting ‘pathetic’ after a galling loss, to watching banners fly over the stadium begging him to sell the team, he seems to be righting the ship.

The hire of Kyle Shanahan was a good hire, and his family has a history with the team as his dad was OC when the Niners won their last Super Bowl. The John Lynch hire, while risky, seems to have paid off in a big way. Lynch got more in one draft than Baalke got in his 6 and the team finished strong in 2017 despite being waylaid by injuries and a fairly bare cupboard talent-wise.

Now of course the pendulum seems to be heading back to the penthouse. Yes, the niners are thin at a lot of positions, and they lack quality skill players. Well, except for our once and future QB, Jimmy Garoppolo. His accomplishments for these last 5 games of the 2017 season shouldn’t be taken lightly. Three of the five wins came at the expense of playoff teams fighting for seedings. And even Houston and Chicago had solid defenses. So, the onus is there to sign Jimmy G and to forego the franchise route. As we are currently seeing with Cousins and Washington (and plenty of other cases),  you  build up a lot of animosity tagging someone. Especially your starting QB.

Word is, we are getting close to signing Garoppolo now rather than later. The bar is set with Alex Smith and his $23.5 mill per year/$94 mill deal (and $71 mill guaranteed!). While Jimmy G won’t get Smith money (!), he should get something close. I’d think around the $16-18 mill range. Maybe 5 years, $90 mill. $60 guaranteed. Hey, it ain’t my money.

Here’s the story re: Jimmy G.

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The Eagles Have Landed ! ! !

That was fun. Any game that sees Brian (Mr. Happy) Belichick and Tom (My balls are too hard) Brady trot off the field as losers, is a great game in my book. Much like seeing the LA Dodgers lose game 7 in the World Series last October.

The script yesterday seemed to want Tom Brady and the Patriots to mount that patented double-digit comeback, but it was not meant to be. Neither defense put up very much resistance, but Eagles coach Doug Pederson appeared to have his players relaxed and ready for the task at hand. Pederson should really be the MVP of the game as his 4th down call to end the 1st half was a study in guts. His 4th and 1 call in the 4th quarter however, showed off even more balls. Philly was on their own 45, down a point, and 5:45 left in the game.

Fail on that 4th down, and the Eagles give the ball to Brady in their territory. Not a good proposition in any case, but time was running down and NE could simply burn clock and kick the FG to put the game a little more out of reach. And, seeing as how the Pats NEVER punted in the game, giving the ball to NE deep in their territory would just make running the clock out that much easier. So, Pederson, a guy who has built his short coaching career on aggressive 4th down calls, threw a quick 2-yard in to Zach Ertz, keeping the drive alive for the go-ahead TD to Ertz a few plays later.

Pederson has made his bones calling unorthodox plays in conventional situations. A 3rd and 5 play saw a 26 yard run up the middle by Jay Ajayi. The 4th and 1 to close the half saw a wildcat formation double-reverse pass from Trey Burton to Nick Foles. My favorite play (a Belichick special) was seeing Brady, wide open on a reverse pass to him, let the ball skip off his hands. Giselle was right. Tom CAN’T catch the ball as well.

All in all, an entertaining game. Which, in the end is what you hope for. Funny thing is, what do the Eagles do now? Their franchise QB Carson Wentz just saw his understudy win the big one. Do the Eagles parlay that into a trade with a QB-desperate team that will give them a high 1st round pick (hello Cleveland)? Do they name him starter? Sit him for Wentz? An interesting predicament so say the least. I’d think the Eagles would would entertain trades as they aren’t going to bench Wentz for Foles, and I think he’s going to want to go back to starting after this improbable run into Super Bowl lore.

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Speaking of Quarterbacks

The list is long and plentiful for NFL teams in search of the next Joe Montana. Or Namath. Or even Joe Ferguson. Among the teams in the hunt is of course the Cleveland Browns. They have had about 50 shots at getting their guy, and have failed miserably every time.

Cleve has pick 1 and 4 in this draft, and even if they get Kirk Cousins, they look to bolster their ranks with Rosen or Darnold with the 1. Thing is, though, they could simply pick Barkley with the 1 and bet that the Colts don’t take a QB in the 3 slot. The Giants are nearly a sure thing to take a QB in the 2 spot as Eli’s going (hide your heart, girl). But when has the Factory of Sadness ever done the right thing? Anyhow, here are the teams looking for QBs:

Cleveland (Kizer)
New York Football Giants (Manning)
New York J-e-t-s (who cares?)
Denver (Squadoosh)
AZ (Dogmeat)
Buff Bills (Taylor)
Jags (Bort-[urk]-les)
Vikes (3 shades of turd)

Then you have teams like Pittsburgh and San Die, uh the LA Clip, uh, LA Chargers who have elite QBs nearling the end of their careers. in Rivers and Big Ben. Washington was recently removed from this list as they of course traded, and extended his deal, for Young Sir Alex. The QBs that look to be drafted quickly are:

Sam Darnold
Josh Rosen
Josh Allen
Baker Mayfield
Mason Rudolph

Free agency for Qbs look like this. The big prize of course is:

Jimmy Gaoppolo
Kirk Cousins
Tyrod Taylor
Eli Manning
Drew Brees
The three-headed turds that are the Vikings QBs Keenum, Bradford, and Bridgewater
Blake (urk) Bortles

Garoppolo is a Niner. The bigger ? with him is, will he get a big deal from the front office or will the Niners hedge their bet and tag him. Me-hopes they sign him. It may be premature, but when you have what looks like the deal of the day, you take it. Garoppolo played well and won against some very good defenses behind a shitty line with little weapons at his disposal. SIGN HIM!

Give him the proper tools and he will shine. The risk is of course he regresses and we are stuck with a huge deal. The opposite of this is SIGN HIM! of course he does very well and his deal becomes 40% more than we could have signed him. SIGN HIM!

Manning stays in NY, Brees stays in NO, Bortles likely stays in Jax, Minn keeps Bridgwater and Bradford, Taylor has already been benched for erratic play, so he hits the market.  As does Keenum. Which of course leaves the biggest prize in Kirk Cousins. Since Washington and the Niners have found their QBs, he’s in uncharted waters.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cleve go all-in on QBs by getting Cousins and drafting  Darnold and Barkley at the 1 and 4.  They could do a lot worse. The Giants likely get Rosen with their #2 overall pick. Denver gets the next QB off the board by taking Josh Allen. I don’t think Mayfield is going this high off the board. In fact I think Rudolph will fly up the draft boards and go to the Jets. Which leaves the Cards taking Mayfield.

Hey it could happen.


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The (Blog) Gift That Keeps On Giving

Ahhh, the trading season got an early jolt with the news that Young Sir Alex Smith was traded from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Washington Redskins. Smith, who bears the brunt of KC’s dismal 1-5 playoff record under the tutelage of Andy (close, but no Monica) Reid, made the playoffs 4 of the 5 years that Smith was the starter.

As Young Sir Alex had here, he had a ton of supporters and detractors railing in the blogosphere regarding his greatness, his game-managey-ness, his close calls, and his ultimate failure to get over the hump and into the Super Bowl. His tenure in SF was a rollercoaster ride of rookie nerves, a boatload of coordinators, and the revival under Coach Harbaugh and an NFC championship game for a brief shining moment of glory in 2011 before Kyle Williams decided to imprint his name next to Preston Riley as the most hated 49er in fandom. The next year of course, Alex was benched after being concussed while having his best season as a Niner. Smith was traded after that 2012 season, and the Colin Kaepernick Experience came and went like a fart in the wind.

Funny thing is, Smith just had his best season as a pro in KC this season. He threw for over 4,000 yards, had a 67% completion percentage, led the NFL with a 104.7 QBR, and 26 TDs to 5 picks. Of course, as is the problem, when the playoffs rolled around, he came up short. Of course, he threw 2 TDs, no picks, and competed 72% of his attempts (24-33) so it’s kinda hard to pin that on him. Much like the playoff game of 2013 against the Colts where KC blew a 38-10 lead.  Smith threw for 378, 4 TDs, 0 picks, and 30-46 (65%).

So, the Redskins get a guy with a solid rep, a solid body of work, but some questions around the playoff shortcomings. Frankly, Alex seems snakebit. The Indy game saw Jamal Charles get hurt, and all the DBs go down in the 2nd half. That doesn’t excuse the 3-and-outs engineered by Alex, but it also shines a light on the coaching staff. Andy Reid should be equally maligned for the playoff failings. Especially when the Titans, who were shit against the run, didn’t have to defend it in the latest playoff loss.  Reid should have kept pounding the run to burn clock and to not let Tenn back into the game.

I’m surprised Andy still has a job.

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