Adios Josh Johnson. We Hardly Knew Ye

And hello WR Andy Jones. Yeah, I know, he’s likely a depth/special teamer/camp fodder guy, but there’s nothing much happening in the football landscape these days. And Josh Johnson was cut. Johnson has seemingly been on and off the team about 6 times, but has yet to throw a pass for us, and likely won’t. This leaves us with only 3 QBs. Nate Sudfeld, Josh Rosen and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Trey Lance of course is unsigned, but Nate the Great looks like the odd man out once that deal is done.

Intriguing to me is the Chandler Jones info out of AZ. They are far apart on a contract, and AZ losing him will seriously hurt their defense. I’m sure we would be among the last teams they would trade him to, butI would love to get a deal for him done a la DeAndre Hopkins. Although there are few GMs as dumb as Bill O’Brien so that is simply a dream.

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Ahhh, the Good Old Days . . .

Nothing much going on with the NFL or the 49ers these dog days of almost summer, but hey, the Giants are in 1st place, and they just took 3 of 4 from the Dodgers. Not bad. We’ll see where they are in September, but for the time being, the Giants are holding up their end of the deal.

We are supposedly looking at Julio Jones. Which would be great, depending on the cost. This team has already given up a bunch of draft picks, so I don’t think we go that route. Plus we have a decent set of WRs now, so the need isn’t that great for what Jones would cost.

Let’s hope we have some new good old days coming up.

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Injury Bug Hits Early (sort of?)

Well, I’m sure this had something to do with the drafting of two running backs, but Jeff Wilson ‘recently underwent knee surgery’ for a torn meniscus. Don’t know when the injury happened, or even how, but now he’s out for 4-6 months, so it looks like the rookies just got bumped up a spot in the RB rotation. And whether the team knew about this leads me to think they did due to 2 guys coming off the board for a position we had somewhat covered.

Raheem the dream Mostert better stay healthy as the next guy not a rookie is Wayne Gallman. Then again, seeing Trey Sermon out there would be pretty cool. He’s a bad-ass hard hitting runner who catches passes well. He should be able to fit in pretty quickly, but as they say, we shall see.

Speaking of injuries, Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, and Jalen Hurd are all expected to be ready for camp. Commence the covering them in bubble-wrap till the season starts.

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Good Morning, Campers!

Or, OTAers. Whatever the fuck. The rookies landed last Friday, and of course the big news is Trey Lance. Even head coach Kyle Shanahan got in on the fun, saying he thought that Lance could win the starting job outright, as it is an open competition, saying:

“Yeah, there’s a chance for that at every single position on our team. I think that would be very hard. Jimmy is a really good quarterback. (Lance is) not just coming in and trying to take out some bridge quarterback or something. Jimmy is a guy who we brought here to be our franchise quarterback, and it really worked out for one year. That doesn’t mean it can’t work out. We just hope he stays healthy. But Trey has that ability too. But he has only played one year of college football. He missed last season. So it’s not coming in at all with me expecting that. I don’t know what I expect. I expect him to be a real good player.”

I’m sure the story is much different behind the scenes. As in “Jimmy, you have to fuck up really hard to lose the starting spot.” The last thing the team wants to do is to load the immediate fortunes of the franchise on his shoulders. Yes, this is a strong team that came off an insanely horrible injury-plagued year, but the future could be very much the same in these new rules of little hitting in practice, and reduced practice time in general. it seems that all the major sports have seen a big rise in player injuries. Just look at the NBA for the slew of top talent that has hit the injury list.

That being said, Trey does need to be ready. Jimmy G could very well go down again. I don’t think Josh Rosen is going to beat out Lance. Then again, Alex Smith was the 3rd string QB for the 49ers back in 2005, and the two QBs in front of him (Tim Rattay and Ken Dorsey) were injured/proven ineffective by week 7.

But, speaking of the VOTAs, a bunch of the vets also came in yesterday to be with the rookies (who arrived Friday) for the first scheduled OTAs. Including Jimmy G and George Kittle. A total of 80 players are in camp. However, full team practices don’t start until next week.

Hoping for an uneventful camp.

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the SCHEDULE ! ! !

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Sherm Sherm Sherm

Should Sherm stay or should Sherm go now? If he stays there will be trouble, if he goes it will be double.

Anyhow, I thought we had made this decision, but with the COVID season being what it is, a seemingly strange time when front offices are leery of throwing big money contracts around due to the staggering drop of the salary cap, we were at least able to keep our backfield relatively intact. Minus Ahkello Witherspoon. Who, is his own conundrum of spectacular pay followed by begging out with the smallest of injuries and getting toasted.

Richard Sherman is a different matter entirely however. he is a 1st ballot Hall of Famer, and still plays pretty well, sort of. That is, when he was on the field. In his 3 seasons here, he’s missed 15 games. Mostly last year with 11 games missed due to his calf strain. I don’t think he’ll be getting stronger as his years pile up, but 33 is getting long in the tooth for a CB.

I would LOVE to see him switch to SS a la Ronnie Lott. I think he’s a perfect fit at safety. Sure he would take a pay cut. I just don’t see him as an elite cover guy anymore. Press man is not his style anymore, and he was toasted on deep routes. His knowledge is invaluable, and his positioning of himself and the other DBs is impeccable, but unless he wants to take a healthy pay cut and switch positions, I don’t think we need him as bad as he needs us. He isn’t gonna get the big deal he wants, so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

And I don’t see Seattle bringing him back into the fold either.

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The New Brigade

Our draft haul:

  • Round 1, pick 3 – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
  • Round 2, pick 48 (from LV) – Aaron Banks, G, Notre Dame 
  • Round 3, pick 88 (from LAR) – Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State
  • Round 3, pick 102 – Ambry Thomas, CB, Michigan
  • Round 5, pick 155 – Jaylon Moore, OG, Western Michigan
  • Round 5, pick 172 – Talanoa Huganga, S, USC
  • Round 6, pick 194 – Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana

Our UDFA haul:

LB Elijah Sullivan, Kansas State
WR Austin Watkins, UAB
LB Justin Hilliard, Ohio State
TE Josh Pederson, Louisiana-Monroe

Yeah, I’m thrilled we took Lance over Jones, but the steal of the draft very well may be Trey Sermon. He excelled in the run-heavy offense at Oklahoma, and transferred to Ohio State and their more balanced attack just in time to fuel their national championship run. Ohio State runs a zone blocking scheme, so he should fit right in and be productive from the get-go. Yes, we will run the ball.

And yes, hopefully our new guards Banks and Moore can get incorporated sooner rather than later, but I still see us picking up line help once teams start sloughing off expensive pieces that they replaced with cheaper alternatives.

Sammy Watkins cousin, Austin Watkins may stick around as our slot WR. His draft stock fell when his 40 time was pretty slow, but the impressive stat with him is he caught 99 of 101 catchable balls. If he can run routes well, he could make it.

LB Justin Hilliard is a very easy risk/reward guy who would have gone in the 2nd/3rd round if not for his extensive injury history. However, his injury-free 2020 tally of 6 ames saw 33 tackles, a forced fumble and an INT. If anything, he should stick as a special teamer that could work his way into the lineup.

LB Elijah Sullivan is intriguing as a speedy LB who could possibly be converted to strong safety, or just a speedy LB in the mold of Fred Warner. Defensive MVP of the 2019 Liberty Bowl.

Josh Pederson is the son of ex-Iggle coach Doug Pederson. Small school guy who will be fighting Ross Dwelley for the back up TE spot.

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Trey-Fecta ! ! !

Well, that was weird. The Niners postured, posed, and intimated that their guy was Mac Jones. Instead, they went with what most sane people thought they should do, and drafted Trey Lance.

The most telling aspect of it was, right after he was picked, Lance was asked “When did you find out that the 49ers were going to pick you?” Lance said “About 2 minutes ago!”

Maybe it did take some arm-twisting behind the scenes by John Lynch to get Kyle Shanahan off of the Pillsbury Doughboy. Maybe Shanny had a back-room deal to talk up Jones and leave him for Belichick. Maybe they just wanted to anger the fans for no apparent reason other than to mess with our heads.

No idea, but the good news is we didn’t draft Mac Jones. He fell to 15 like most of us thought anyway. We drafted the guy I thought we should be targeting all along. Trey Lance. He of the linebacker size and a cannon for an arm. Yes, he’s raw, but you can’t teach size and speed. He’s smart, quick, mobile, and tough. He is very familiar with a pro-style play-action offense and has vast potential.

I’ve said all along, he has the greatest upside of all of these guys not named Trevor Lawrence. Color me ecstatic with this pick.

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Draft Day ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Oh.My.GGGGODDDDD!!!!!!! Can’t tell you how fucked up this all seems. The blathering will stop soon. The only good news on my side was getting rid of cable so I didn’t have to see Mel Kiper’s fucking jet-black helmet head obliterating my consciousness.

Still, the pundits-o’plenty are out in force touting, discounting, prevaricating, dithering, and yammering non-stop about our pick. It seems to be the most interesting one since it is pretty much set in concrete that

The Jags take Lawrence and the Jets take Wilson. This is written on high on whatever it is they write it on in Cleveland, but that leaves us with the trifecta of you know whos.

Irish posted an interesting column from the Athletic that pretty much gave away the secret that any QB with a pulse and a completion percentage over 65% garners overenthusiastic love and accolades from scouts/owners/coaches/GMs that this is the next coming of Joe Montana. Well, nix that, his arm wasn’t big enough. Hence him being a 3rd round pick.

Which leads me to the other albatross in the room that many many of these high QB picks flame out spectacularly. Jared Goff being the latest among the Vince Youngs, Tim Couches, Mitchell Trubiscuits, Carson Wentzes, and Todd Marinovitches.

The NFL landscape is littered with 1st round casualties among the needles in the haystack like Aaron Rodgers (barely a 1st rounder), Patrick Mahomes, Big Ben, Lamar Jackson, Andrew Luck, and Peyton Manning.

So, where does that leave us? Fuck if I know. The consensus is that Jones was the guy they fell in love with from the get-go, but that Trey Lance has narrowed the gap considerably. Fields isn’t even in the discussion. Even so far as to Lance lead the handicappers who bet on this kind of shit. Normally I would hold that in some kind of esteem, but I’m still more that afraid that Shanny set his mind to Jones on March 26th, and hasn’t budged an inch.

I fear a gigantic outburst of angst from the Faithful come that 3rd pick. Haven’t even considered what we do at our 2nd pick. CB/OL, I’d think. I may be too drunk to care by then.

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The Edge of, uh the Dynasty, the Crater, the Cliff?

As excited as I am about this draft, I’m really starting to get a bad bad feeling about it. Kyle Shanahan has basically said I AM DRAFTING THE PUDGY FUCKING WHITE GUY!!! throughout this whole process. Going so far as to say the entire front office is trying to talk him out of Jac Mones, uh, Mac Jones. ]

So, in other words, if the decision is to go with Jones, Shanny is saying FUCK YOU to the entire organization, up to and including recently minted Hall of Famer John Lynch. Stop me if you think this is crazy town, but isn’t the GM spot higher on the food chain than head coach? Yeah, Shanny OKed the Lynch hire, but at some point doesn’t Lynch have to say, for the betterment of the team, we need to go with the athletic QB that is the future, not the slow-footed guy who is a relic of the past.

I don’t know. I just don’t feel good about going with Jones.

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