Competition – The Name of the Game

The draft is over, and the UDFAs are in camp, and soon the competition begins. The brain trust of Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke have done some fairly unconventional things these last few weeks. Topping the list is the ‘rewarding’ of Alex Smith, coming off his best year by far as a pro, with a make-good deal, and the interetsing move of bringing in Harbaugh’s old protege Josh Johnson. He of the USD Torereros in that fierce Pioneer League (1-AA), and more recently the TB Bucs.

One thing Harbaugh has stressed in his short time as the Niners coach is competition. He said every spot is up for grabs. However true this may be, one thing is sure. The defense is pretty well set for the foreseeable future. There won’t be too much competition there. Perrish Cox and Chrsi Culliver may be fighting for a CB spot, but not much more than that. This of course is predicated on Dashon Goldson signing his franshise tender some time soon. If he doesn’t, then there will be a little shuffling. Culliver played a lot of safety in college, so I don’t see much of a problem if Hawk pouts his way off the team.

Offense is a much different story. At QB you have the four-headed group of Alex, Cappy, Tolzie, and now JJ. As secure as Alex feels going in to camp, it has to be juuust a little unsettling that Harbaugh brought his young mentee into camp. That being said, I don’t really think that this move was directed at Alex. It was more a fire lit under Cappy’s ass. Granted, Cappy hasn’t gotten much chance to show what he’s got, but it makes the battle for the backup job all the more interesting. Shades of Nate Davis coming into camp and basking in the fun of being on an NFL roster. Cappy had his year of incognito-ness. Now he needs to bring it. Tolzein looks to be the odd man out, and he’ll likely get tossed on to the taxi squad. 

RB is interesting as well with the addition of Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James.  These 2 additions cut in to the shelf life of at the least Anthony Dixon, and possibly Bruce Miller. If they keep the usual 5 backs, you have Gore, Hunter, Jacobs, James, and STer Rockfish. That leaves Dixon and Miller out in the cold. Harbaugh has said he may keep 6 backs, so that would likely be rookie surprise Miller.

WR is also a bunch of fun. Lone holdover Michael Crabtree all of a sudden isn’t the nominal #1 coming into camp. A camp that I think he actually attends. Crabs was obviously hedging his bet last year by not participating in the mini-Alex-happy-camps and calling it a foot injury due to his new shoes. It conveniently lasted all through the pre-empted preseason and camp. Shoe-gate was a joke, as was his bullshit treatment of Alex Smith before those camps started.  With the addition of Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, and the speedster AJ Jenkins, Crabs had better find some dedication to his craft, or get left behind in the dust. If he somehow pulls up lame for training camp, look for him to be traded halfway through the preseason games. Swett Brain and the soon-to-be-departed Kyle Williams don’t appear to be even a blip on the radar at this point, though Swain might stick around for ST duties.

The O line looks to have some changes happening to it. Chilly Chilo is out in the cold. The replacement there will be an ongoing fight amongst the undersized guys we have and a couple newcomers in the draft. The rest of the positions are fairly set and the competition there is the shuffling for backup spots.

Looks to be a very fun training camp this year.

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About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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50 Responses to Competition – The Name of the Game

  1. unca_chuck says:

    Off topic here, but reports out of San Diego are the Junior Seau committed suicide this morning.

    If so, terribly sad. He seemed to be having some personal problems, but nothing that would lead to this. A phenomemal linebacker who had a great career.

    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/may/02/report-of-shooting-at-seaus-home/

  2. philippinefan says:

    Man this is hard to take, I’m shocked as a human being and a Charger fan. Oceanside is a few miles from the family homestead, in the back yard. Talk to a therapist, get medical treatment, talk to a minister, let yer family know Junior! Jesus look at your Mother, your kids, your family. This is unfair and really unkind and I’m just a fan not family.

    I hope you can finally find peace now Junior. Jesus have mercy

  3. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, you have to wonder what he was dealing with. A guy who for all intents and purposes has the world at his feet.

    • philippinefan says:

      Right we don’t know the story- there’s got to be much more. Someone said he drove his car off a cliff in 2010, claimed it was an accident. Shot himself in the chest and left a note saying he wanted to leave his brain intact for science.

      Did this man get any treatment? This will keep the spotlight on football related brain injuries. I guess this is a small silver lining.

  4. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Junior was Mom’s favorite non-49er. She loved his intensity and the way his eyes would move from side-to-side as he sized up the offense. She always wished he played for our team. He wore her favorite number as well. RIP #55.

    • philippinefan says:

      Right if you loved football you had to like Junior. I can see how he could be a fan favorite for how he played the game. I always liked him as a southern California boy, USC and the Chargers.

      Yes Rest in Peace big guy

  5. philippinefan says:

    Questions on the blog article:

    -What happens to Goldson if he doesn’t sign the franchise tender? He sits the whole year, no pay then FA?

    -Did Chilo sign somewhere?

    -Does Dixon play ST?

    Comment: “Rockfish” I likey that moniker

  6. phil fan says:

    This might blow the cork off Denny’s head: .trying to post w/o the link this time<

    Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle thinks the 49ers’ draft moves show the team plans for Alex Smith. Lynch: “Any inkling of flagging confidence was completely obliterated over draft weekend. Not only did head coach Jim Harbaugh once again reiterate that Smith was the team’s unquestioned starter, Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke surrounded Smith with foot-speed freaks in Illinois wide receiver A.J. Jenkins and Oregon running back LaMichael James. Combine these dynamos with free agent signings Randy Moss and Mario Manningham and the message is clear — Harbaugh is breaking the offense open and he obviously believes Smith can run this new wide-open attack.”

    • Del Mar Dennis says:

      Harbaugh run a wide-open attack? Shit. He had the best college QB in the nation — by far — and he didn’t open up shit.

      Stanford Stats for the last two Harbaugh/Luck years.

      2010: 518 Runs/417 Passes for a 55.4/44.6 ratio.
      2009: 536 Runs/313 Passes for a 63.1/36.9 ratio.

      49ers

      2011: 498 Runs/451 Passes for a 52.5/47.5 ratio.

      A leopard doesn’t change its spots. It’s in its blood. What’s in Jimbo’s blood?

      HE RUNS THE GODDAMN BALL!!! Much to my chagrin.

  7. unca_chuck says:

    Well, it’s what I said the other day when these picks were made. They are going to open this up. You don’t get 2 of the fastest guys available in the draft to idle on the sidelines.

  8. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Chuck, they may have drafted two of the fastest guys in the draft, but don’t let that persuade you to think that’s going to “open up” the offense. James is a “game breaker.” Haven’t seen enough of A.J. to give an honest opinion.

    But if by “opening up” the O. you mean they’re gonna start throwing the goddamn ball 60% of the time, think again. Harbaugh’s going to run the same O. and the same plays with the HOPE that these to draft picks can take it to the house.

    If you think Jimbo’s gonna have Alex start throwing the ball 40+ times a game, well,…

  9. unca_chuck says:

    It ain’t gonna be 40, but it’ll move up from 25…

  10. Grumpy Guy says:

    I’d be okay with throwing the ball only slightly more, just as long as we do it more effectively, at least on third down and in the Red Zone.

    • Nipper says:

      Grump has something.

    • phil fan says:

      Bingo Grump: “…throwing the ball only slightly more … more effectively… on third down and in the Red Zone.”

      Well yes, speed and scheme will get yer receivers open….on third downs and in the Red Zone where we been weakest.

      There is gloom in Oceanside for good reason. But down the coast a few miles I’m sure the freakin’ sun would shine in Del Mar if only our favorite pessimist would realize Harbaugh is not planning on bombs away all the time.

      We ain’t doin’ no Air Coryell, capice?

  11. Irish Kevin says:

    I see Doomin D is in full critize mode even before we see anything. Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t that offense get the Niners to a 13-3 record? Just a thought there DD. plus you are complaining and yet this year coach H will have a full training camp to work with. Dennis you need to go play the ponies till TC begins. 🐎🐎🐎🐎

    • phil fan says:

      The gloom in Oceanside has wandered down the coast to Del Mar

    • Del Mar Dennis says:

      Kevin, the offense didn’t get the Niners to 13-3 last year, it was the defense and special teams that carried the load. David Akers is still icing his leg from kicking so many FGs, and I believe we just failed again on 3rd 6 from the living room rug. That’s how bad the Niners were on 3rd down and in the RZ. Do you even watch the games?

      Did we sign Peyton Manning yet?

    • Del Mar Dennis says:

      WTF are those little boxes with numbers and letters inside? I see that shit on Twitter all the time too. What gives?

      • phil fan says:

        Goodell briefly looked into this as a possible player safety issue but concluded otherwise evidently. Near as we can tell pending review those are actually listening/watching devices implanted by Bill Belicheck to monitor team activities league-wide. This as part of his ongoing “I’m leaving no stone unturned to get a leg up” campaign.

        Either that or Spitwad is screwing with us again…

  12. phil fan says:

    Posting this here and NOT on Skeebs blog cause I don’t wanna “take a bullit”…

    So, question: Which was lamer, the Schwartz handshake meltdown OR the Crabcake shoe-gate limp-fest?

    I’m going with Schwartz mainly because he made such a horses ass of himself on National Television. The Crab just sorta faded away like he did in the NFC Championship…

  13. Grumpy Guy says:

    According to Pro Football Focus, the 49ers had the second best player in the NFL last year, and it was not Patrick Willis.

    http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/05/03/no-2-justin-smith-de-san-francisco-49ers/

  14. phil fan says:

    Still trying to get info- 2 questions left:

    Questions on the blog article:

    -What happens to Goldson if he doesn’t sign the franchise tender? He sits the whole year, no pay then FA?

    -Did Chilo sign somewhere? >>>BEARS<<<

    -Does Dixon play ST?

  15. unca_chuck says:

    Yes, Phil. He sits w/o pay. Come March 2013, he’s a FA.

    Dixon may play ST, but not as good as Rockfish. He’s odd man out.

  16. Alleykat says:

    Never mess with a Cartwright,They didn’t last forever on Bonanza by accident .

  17. phil fan says:

    Denny- Harbaugh don’t change his offense? By yer own figures it has gone from 36.9% passes in 2009 to 47.5% in 2011. He’s turning into a pass happy fool! Keeps this up we’ll be well over 55% passes in a couple years especially with the new receivers.

  18. unca_chuck says:

    Great story about Junior Seau and the kind of man he was. Truly a shame . . .

    http://tinyurl.com/ch3xwas

    • philippinefan says:

      Superb article Chuck- just read it now. Very touching. Thank you for posting

      From my years as a suicide/crisis counselor, 2005-08 Mendocino County, I know this: It is actually the ones who do Not seek help, those are the ones you never know about until it’s too LATE. Junior, why didn’t you tell us?

      Pride? Macho? Ego? Fear?

      I want you to love You.

      Tell me

  19. unca_chuck says:

    Rest in peace MC A

  20. philippinefan says:

    “The obits’?

    Naw, I’m still alive. How ’bout you?

  21. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Dead? When I think of dead, I think of George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” (1968).
    Without question, one of the all-time best horror flicks and an all-time favorite of mine.

    • Nipper says:

      That must be Dennis visiting his dentist.

    • philippinefan says:

      Wishing Sir Del Mar a long and happy life but when I read this I got worried:

      Man’s body found in stable at the Kentucky Derby
      .
      Continuing the morbid streak. Del Mar! Dennis are you still with us? Just asking.
      Just not as much fun watching the paint dry and the grass grow after all the fun and games of last week.
      .
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2140287/Body-Kentucky-Derby.html

      A joy to hear from Denny so all is well now

      • philippinefan says:

        Even if he does vow to take #11 with him when he does go: >From Skeeb’s blog<

        "….That body was found in barn 8. If and when I die at the track, it’ll be at barn 11. And you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be taking someone and that #11 with me."

        ***Subject to interpretation, Your mileage may vary, Batteries not included***

        Okay then.

  22. unca_chuck says:

    They showed that live and uncut on Creature Features when I was 9. My older brother made me watch it. Since it was a little black & white TV I didn’t miss anything. Scared the shit out of me, but I loved it.

  23. philippinefan says:

    In a little known piece of Hollywood trivia that screen shot above will be used to publicize a horrendously poor film called “Alex Wins MVP-Niners Win Super Bowl”. It is based on selected fans’ reactions to this unsettling news. In an odd quirk of timing it is scheduled to be released one year from today.

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