Combine, Draft, Free Agents, Trades, etc . . .

This is the part of the season that, while intriguing, I don’t really get too thrilled about. I’ll cursorilly (sure, that’s a word) look over draft boards (Walterfootball, fftoolbox, Barrows, Maiocco, etc) and opine about who we’ll take. It’s interesting to see who actually gets drafted, and I was shocked as anyone when the Niners picked Kentwan Balmer, as I predicted a few years ago. Won me a semi-worthless signed Alex Smith jersey that I’ve worn to a few games (but noth the Miami game). I even picked the Niners to draft Colin Kaepernick 2 years ago. Huzzah. Blind squirrels and nuts, and all that.

This time around, we have the intrigue of what happens to Young Sir Alex (yes, the blog gift that keeps on giving), the possibility of drafting 14 players (unlikely, as the team is fairly loaded and doesn’t need to fill that many holes), and the general uncertainty of what the game plan is for this draft in the eyes of Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh.

My $0.02 on the subject is that the Niners will find a trading partner in KC for Alex (a 2nd round pick in 2013 and a 3rd round pick in 2014), and fool everyone by drafting Zach Ertz with their 1st pick. They can then jettison Delanie Walker and keep Garrett Celek. There are plenty of defensive linemen and DBs out there with their remaining picks, and they’ll get needed depth as they let Goldson sign a big deal elsewhere and move Culliver to FS.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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121 Responses to Combine, Draft, Free Agents, Trades, etc . . .

    • unca_chuck says:

      How cute. Cullver stays, though.

      • twinfan1 says:

        How’s he doin’ in senstivity training? I hear he’s really gotten behind the idea. Replacing Goldson? Chuckie, Culliver hits about as hard as Nathan Lane. We need more hitters in the secondary, not pussies.

      • unca_chuck says:

        Actually, no. We need better coverage guys in the secondary. Culliver would be fine deeper playing FS. I’ve said all along that Goldson would be better suited as a SS. Whitner is slipping badly. So the scenario exists where we ditch Whitner, franchise Goldson, move him to SS, and move Culliver to FS, and draft a couple CBs.

      • 12th man says:

        I don’t think Cully is even in the conversation for being cut. insensitivity is hardly reason to cut him and he had a very strong year, at times being the best CB on the field. He sucked in the SB and I keep reading how he can’t locate the ball in the air. That is hogwash. He had trouble after his man got behind him and he has to look back last second in the SB but during the season he was very good at breaking up the pass as it got to the receivers hands. One bad game, albeit a huge one, doesn’t make him a bad player or at risk of being cut.

        I don’t see him moving to safety either. Cully and Brown are solid and Carlos is on the downside of his career, Cully pushes for starting time this year.

      • twinfan1 says:

        Obviously you were passed out when our coverage guys were getting mauled in the Atlanta and Raven games, Chuckie.

    • twinfan1 says:

      Culliver should have been released. I realize that falls on deaf ears on a group that thinks our players should feel free to disparage a fan base who are as a die hard fan group as any fan segment. They cut Jacobs for criticizing management, and Culliver gets “sensitivy training”… The kid is borderline non-functional from the neck up, he’ll learn nothing..

      • unca_chuck says:

        Blah blah blah, Twin. Blather on as you will, but Culliver is a part of this team going forward. Your whining notwithstanding. Culliver, for a 2nd year guy has a pretty strong upside. All CBs get burned, and he picked a bad day to have a shitty game, but, thankfully, the coaching staff is a little more aware of his abilities than you are.

      • twinfan1 says:

        Chuckie, you always think progressive thinking is “whining”. Obviously, the “sensitivity training” is a PR move and they will keep him.My point was never that he should be released because was a bad player but that he should have been released as statement- instead his comments fostered the nonsense from Brooks and Soapwhatever.

  1. Alleykat says:

    Goldson is not going anywhere Chuck.Harbaugh and Baakle won’t let that happen.He is still a top notch Safety who makes plays and a sure bonafide tackler
    If anything it will be Whitner & Rogers that they jettison ,IMO

  2. unca_chuck says:

    The only way Goldson sticks around is with the franchise tag. I don’t think he gets the deal he wants here. Whitner is under contract, as is Rogers. But both of them, especially Whitner, slipped compared to 2011. Not sure what they will do, but they have a lot of picks to deal with the secondary issues. As Bill showed, you can do a lott to help your secondary with just one draft.

    • twinfan1 says:

      Well, Harballke need to do better than last year’s horrific draft. But, hey- they can keep Alex and let Goldie walk. That way they have a QB when Kap dies from flesh eating bacteria ( evil disgusting predatory grin)….

      • 12th man says:

        The bromance is over Twin, Smith is a gonna and he should be for his own sake.

      • unca_chuck says:

        Horrific? Really. AJ may be a slow starter, but he’s not considered a bust until he’s cut or does nothing again. Some guys take time to acclimate. Just ask Alex.

        LMJ is a very good RB who will be here a long time. Looney is the center of the future. Fleming blew his knee out. The rest? Ehhh. Not a great draft, but it’s harder to break through to start now than it was in previous years.

      • twinfan1 says:

        Oh I know that,pal. I don’t think Kap is going to be eaten by flesh eating bacteria either.

  3. unca_chuck says:

    If Smith stays, he’s the pussy.

  4. unca_chuck says:

    From Matt Maiocco. He’s a bit less harsh than I am on the secondary, but improvements need to be made depth-wise on the D line.

  5. unca_chuck says:

    Well, 12th, it hinges on what happens with Goldson. Lose him, and it becomes likely Culliver slides over to FS.

    Or they may go ahead and draft one.

    • 12th man says:

      I figure they draft one either way Chuck. Ditto a CB as this draft is strong in those areas in later rounds too. Goldson is the key as you say.

      • NJ49er says:

        I see 1 of each myself.
        We could get away with 2 guys that can interchange as well.
        Guys like Amerson and Rhodes are 2 way CBs. I’m sure there are others.

        We definitely have to get taller at the SS position.
        Someone with some pass defense ability.
        There are several in this Class I wouldn’t mind having.

      • 12th man says:

        I think it depends how they see the back up guys already on the team already. McBath made a great play in the SB but was a role player at best. I figure with so many picks they can take a safety and a corner and let it play out in camp and pre season.

      • NJ49er says:

        Certainly can’t argue your point 12th.
        Depth in all directions at the positions we seem most needy at.

        Parys will also be an interesting decision simply from a cost standpoint.
        One guy that I like alot as a possible replacement for him is Khaseem Greene.

      • 12th man says:

        I’d like to see if Cam Johnson could fill the Harralson role. I remember one prognosticator saying Cam was the steal of the draft.

      • NJ49er says:

        He’s a good one too.
        I would agree. He was on my wish list last year too.
        I compare him to Brooks, which isn’t a bad thing by any stretch.

  6. Alleykat says:

    They have to get depth across the front 7.Their is dire need to draft DE,NT ,CB,and FS/S.
    Keeping a solid Rotation system,so guys like Justin and even Aldon are fresher.They were both hurt going into the playoffs and it showed with no pressure.
    They should package some picks and move up in the draft and grab 2 beasts for the line,and still get a quality S/FS CB later in the rounds.They should use atleast the 1st 6 rounds on DEFENSE!!!!

  7. NoFear49er says:

    Amid all the bashing of the secondary did anyone even notice the D-line was crap for getting any pressure after Justin Smith was inured? He along with Aldon were little more than bystanders on way too many plays after Justin’s injury. The Smith brothers were like the Smith sisters without Justin clearing a path and occupying two or three blockers.

    The system of defense depends on eleven players doing their jobs, not ten or nine. I thought we would have come up with some schemes that weren’t so dependent on Justin’s superman play. I’m sure he wanted to play. Maybe he earned it. Maybe his backup was just that bad he couldn’t start ahead of a one-armed Justin.

  8. twinfan1 says:

    Except for Culliver, coverage wasn’t so bad, the DBs just got manhandled by bigger, tougher guys.

  9. unca_chuck says:

    Christ, NoFear, just about every comment deals with the lack of depth on the D line. And i think everyone noticed the fall off in Aldon’s production with the injury to Justin Smith. Aldon was also dealing with his own shoulder injury as well.

    So, yeah, we noticed.

  10. NoFear49er says:

    Personal opinions are strictly verboten! PC-speech is not only preferred but mandated.

    Culliver doesn’t need more sensitivity training he needs to re-do his “talking in cliches” class on saying nothing to the press. Other countries have termed these things re-education. We’re not far from it here.

  11. twinfan1 says:

    Culliver actually threatened any gay players, pal. Can the PC-speech nonsense.

  12. NoFear49er says:

    Uh, the “PC-speech nonsense” is coming from you. I’d like nothing better than canning it.

    It seems everything you don’t like you call a threat. What was the threat precisely?

  13. twinfan1 says:

    Ok, back to yoiur regularly scheduled “Debbie does the FedEx Driver with her ‘Common Usage’ Bushmaster Car15 223 “…

  14. barleyfreak says:

    I’m skeptical Smith will garner a 2nd AND 3rd round pick. My guess is a 3rd and a throw away pick next year (6 or 7). That is assuming that KC/CLE believe enough that the demand is there from the other guy. Otherwise, they gamble for the release and try to sign him as a FA.

    Things I want to happen:
    Smith traded, for a couple of good picks
    Goldson signed to a “reasonable” contract (5-6m/yr, guaranteed 3 yrs)
    Walker walks, we draft or sign a TE
    We draft an agressive fights-with-his-hands-for-the-ball-in-the-EZ WR
    Whitner is cut, we find his run stopping/TE covering > 5’10” replacement in the draft
    We find viable starters or subs through the draft at DT, OLB, CB/S
    We sign 1, maybe 2 veteran FA’s that are not marquee, but fill one of the needs above that we can acquire in the draft
    Akers is replaced by his son, or nephew, or some young late draft pick that can kick it 60 yards, and 45 of those are straight as an arrow.

    Things I think will happen:
    Smith traded, for a 3rd and 6th, in 2014
    Goldson is signed to more than Chuck wants him paid
    Walker is signed, for a bargain. We all patiently await more blistering blocks and untimely drops
    We draft another WR in the 3rd round. He is bigger than Jenkins. He catches a pass next year.
    Whitner is not cut, continues to excel at stopping the run, and gets burned again in the RZ
    Our first 5 picks are DT, S, WR. OLB, CB, TE
    We sign a couple of FA’s on the slag pile and everyone groans. They play well.
    We draft a kicker. I’ve never heard of him.
    We draft a QB in the late rounds. Never heard of him either.

    • Spitblood says:

      Wow….. Barley reverted back to Singletary sarcasm after a Super Bowl loss. Lol. Love the “Blistering blocks and untimely drops!” Maybe call Kaep about franchising that term?

      With all the rules benefiting the pass game (warning: Golf analogy ahead), it’s still easier to pass than run (with a good qb – which we now have) even if all things were equal – which dey ain’t. When you’re on the fringe of the green, sometimes you need to decide to fly it to the cup or putt it and let your fate be determined by spike marks, ball marks and greens keeper error. I always fly it (with varying results) because all I can think about is Carl’s state of mind when my precious skin’s on the line. I’m not leaving my fate to “Cannonball comin’.” It’s the same with passing and running. With a great quarterback, it’s easier to throw the football. It’s harder for the defense to defend, and easier on the offense over time. And that’s the biggest concern – it’s easier on the offense and team overall during an entire season, and it prolongs a potential dynasty without putting too much pressure on Baalke to reload. I look for Harbaugh to start seeing this and start making a move towards less ground and pound and more easy touchdowns through the air that force the opposition’s offense to throw. Delanie Walker will indicate to us all if Harbaugh wants to make a switch to an air game. If Walker re-signs, Harbaugh’s not growing with the team and taking advantage of his personnel or the rules.

      If Bill Walsh had what Harbaugh had, Bill would be looking for a Jerry Rice. When you have Joe Montana, you trade up and find a receiver who’s a difference maker. In this draft, it doesn’t look to be an offensive draft. But at some point, Harbaalke will need to find another great receiver to compliment Crabtree and Kaep. In a dominant offensive passing attack, Crabtree is more like John Taylor. Too bad a guy like Rice comes along once in a lifetime. Not generation…… lifetime.

  15. unca_chuck says:

    Getting Haralson back next year should help with Aldon. I’d like to see him back to not being an every down guy. He can go 65-70% of the time. Even if it’s only to take him out on 1st down . . .

    Justin needs someone better than RJF to spell him. Ian Williams has shown a little. As has Tukafu, but I ain’t sold that they are the answer either.

  16. unca_chuck says:

    Well, I didn’t think we had to spell it out for you, NoFear . . . I, and most all of us, see the connection between when Justin Smith going down and the opposing passers suddenly getting better in a hurry.

    Thing is though, the pass rush was more than adequate in the GB game. The sack numbers weren’t off the charts, but the Niners did pressure Rodgers all game. They also got to Ryan enough to the point of rattling him late. Although it was almost too late.

    Certainly the pass rush can do better, but there’s also the flatness to which the D as a whole played to start the NFCCG and the SB. The schemes were also taken advantage of by the opposition in the last 2 games.

    The defense put the Niners in a combined 32 point deficit. Scheme has a lot to do with it. Fangio needs to figure shit out quicker. Whether it’s rushing 5 or dropping deeper into coverage or whatever, he needs to make faster game-time adjustments. It’s easy to point at Goldson vs Atl, or Culliver vs Balt as making huge mistakes, but it’s partly on the coaching staff as well that the team came out so flat in both those games.

  17. 12th man says:

    Just to buck the trend I hope they keep Walker. His pass catching play was improving dramatically with Kap throwing to him and his blocking was already top notch. Good on special teams and has played KR in a pinch too.

    • NoFear49er says:

      I agree provided he commits to working on ( read improving) his pass catching skills.

      • 12th man says:

        NF, when he first went to the Niners his pass catching was good and blocking poor. He was a WR in college and converted to TE. Seems like he put major emphasis on blocking and neglected pass catching and his instincts were off. He picked up his game more when Kap started throwing to him. My guess is his concentration had to go up because of the velocity of the ball but that’s just my theory.

      • 12th man says:

        I was a fan of Konrad Reuland, the garbage man at TE. His other nickname was Novacek. He was a final roster cut and plays for the Jets now but that guy caught just about anything coming his way.

  18. NoFear49er says:

    Or Fangio may not have the green light to deviate from the game plan. RJF subbed in for Justin and he and Aldon managed to trip each other and get in each other’s way. We tried the bench for a few plays and they didn’t look too bad to me but they didn’t play enough to see much.

    • 12th man says:

      No proof of this but I get the sense that Fangio has a pretty free hand with how he chooses to play his guys and scheme wise. I think he has been compensating for the backfield a bit by keeping his best 4 up front all the time. Once they got nicked up it seems like there was no better plan B.

    • unca_chuck says:

      Ditto. Harbaugh is all over the offense. I’m pretty sure Fangio has free reign with the D.

  19. 12th man says:

    Some fairly decent players getting cut around the league already.

    • NJ49er says:

      I’m curious about 2 guys from Oakland for possible FA consideration.
      Richard Seymour, ( if cheap enough), maybe a 1 year deal?
      Desmond Bryant as another pass rusher?

      • 12th man says:

        You think Seymore has much left in the tank?

      • 12th man says:

        A thought occurs to me, the Raiders is where players go to finish their careers. Seems like players rarely leave Oakland and go on to have a successful career with other teams, or maybe I’m dreaming that?

      • NJ49er says:

        LOL about moving on from Oakland. Touche’
        Some have done it, Randy comes to mind. Jerry? Ronnie?

        Seymour as a mentor, rotational player would work for me, assuming we grab a similar player in April.
        He’s won, he’s polished and he’s local.

        Strictly on the cheap if it were an option, ala Randy.

      • 12th man says:

        Randy left the black hole and did well in NE but Jerry and Ronnie? I didn’t see Seymor last year but he must have gray hair by now.

  20. 12th man says:

    Tavaris Jackson signed with the Bills for 2 buttons and a quart of ice cream. There goes one of the potential Smith landing spots.

    • NJ49er says:

      We could get lucky with JAX or the NYJ however?
      See how it goes before March 12.

      If Alex is released for nothing, I’d be disappointed but not totally surprised.
      It’s all about finding 2 interested GMs and, hoping we can create competition before they play our bluff or, wait for his release.

    • NJ49er says:

      Hoping someone comes through for us 12th.
      Extra Pick(s) is always a plus.

  21. NJ49er says:

    No argument to the topic of our Pass Rush lacking in the Playoffs.
    We need DL rotation that keeps it coming.
    For that reason, I wouldn’t mind seeing one of the Wide Bodies Drafted inside that can occupy and clog the middle.

    We seem to have more options on the DE side of the ledger right now.
    Perhaps a space eater like Jenkins could work for 1st and 2nd down duties?

    Will be interesting to see how Baalke plays this Draft.

    • NJ49er says:

      Even a guy like Brandon Williams could be a factor.
      He’s more of penetrator but, he certainly could help erase the inside of the pocket.
      One big issue we had was keeping the QB from stepping up.

    • 12th man says:

      Thing is Niners played a NT 30% of the time. Not to minimize that stat but a brutal DT/slick DE would seem more important since that position plays close to 100% of the time. Thoughts?

      • NJ49er says:

        I’m not really sure how Fangio envisions his DL 12th.
        He really seems to rely on the Front 4 alot.
        I on the other hand, like the LeBeau style in Pittsburgh.
        Maybe the Man-Child inside and a handful of interchangeable DEs would help our scheme?

        RJF is useless against the Run. No sand in his pants.
        I see Jesse Williams as probably the closest thing we might have a shot at in terms of Justin Smiths’ protege`?

        There are plenty of guys all throughout this DL Class that could help us.
        I’m anxious to see what Baalke and Fangio decide to target.

        My 2 favorite DTs are gonna go high. Shariff Floyd and Sheldon Richardson.
        Wouldn’t mind a Trade Up for either if we could pull it off.
        I’d also go after S Kenny Vaccaro if able.

        I also like DE Sam Montgomery. Not sure if we’d have a shot but…..we’ll see.
        David Bass would be my fall back option. Might see him in the 3rd.

      • NJ49er says:

        I’m Old School regarding the 3-4.
        Always believed in the Channel Marker inside.
        Ted Washington, Michael Carter, Vince Wilfork, Haloti Hgata-types.

      • 12th man says:

        yeah I agree Fangio doesn’t play a traditional 3-4 with a wide body, he plays a hybrid and intertwines 3-4 and 4-3 liberally. I think he goes with 4 rushers to help the back 4 and to support the run game. He rarely gambles a 5th rusher but as we have seen the downside is if the 4 don’t get the job done playoff caliber QB’s have enough time to set and throw. Its like his scheme is solid and unsepctacular and relies on outstanding individuals to make plays but the problem is as you go deep into the playoffs the opponents are better and play equally spectacularly. That’s where having a deeper rotation on the line would pay off with fresh biceps to carry the load. Hope that made sense.

  22. NJ49er says:

    Ngata that is

  23. 12th man says:

    Sandman came early tonight NJ, nice rapping with you again, don’t work too hard.

  24. NJ49er says:

    Will do 12th –

  25. NoFear49er says:

    NJ49er, I like the more traditional two-gap 3-4 too but we have been using the nickel as our predominant defense. I suspect it’s a function of where our players fit best as well as our competition so that may not change given the success we’ve had with it. I think we used our base 3-4 more in the last games as a means to compensate for Justin Smith by having Sopoaga in the middle and Smith able to vary his alignment more than anything else.

    • NJ49er says:

      Thanks NoFear49er, I’ve been curious about whether we play with the guys we have?
      Could Fangio possibly have something else in mind?

    • NJ49er says:

      Guess this Draft Class will provide some direction in that regard?
      We seem to have a bevy of 290ish sized guys like RJF.

      Be interesting to see if the Channel Marker-type guy gets selected in April.

      Would love to see a LeBeau-esque scheme employed in SF.

    • NJ49er says:

      I remember the days of getting stomped by GB when they had HUGE Gilbert Brown in there destroying our smaller OL guys.

      I have no problem adding some tonnage to this DL.
      Baltimore seemed to have the upper hand on Goodwin for that reason?
      I realize Ngata is all world but?
      Size and strength matter in the trenches.

    • NJ49er says:

      Ice is a heavy / strong guy but getting long in the tooth now.
      I’d love to have a couple more guys like him in the rotation.

  26. NoFear49er says:

    NJ49er, I’ve hoped a LeBeau-type pressure defense was what we were going for since Nolan made the transition to the 3-4. We do some of the zone blocking and games/stunts but we don’t bring more than four too often. The Smith brothers had their tackle-end game perfected but apparently we left out all the other d-l guys on the practice drills. Nolan tried to make the LeBeau firezone work but we didn’t have the players then.

    Do you remember Fritz Shurmur’s eagle defense? Five LBs and two linemen. That’s about all we had left.

    I’m sure the brain-trust is questioning Justin’s post-injury effectiveness (did he have the surgery yet?) and whether Sopoaga’s peaked. Personally, I think he (Ice) was discouraged by his lack of playing time, but it’s hard to argue with success.

    Ngata is smart and fast, too. Playing against a guy like Suh, we could trap and wham him all day. I think Ngata and the Ravens did a fine job of taking away the middle run of our read option and Suggs played the keep option well, too. I thought we might have had some plays in to counter that defense but it looked like they had our number until the lights went out in Georgia, or the big easy.

    Yeah, can’t wait to see who we target in the draft. You G

  27. NoFear49er says:

    oops, hit the post button too early. You GMs will have to shave the options down for fans like me.

    • NJ49er says:

      Good thoughts NoFear49er.
      Appreciate the feedback.

      Guys like Ngata are pretty rare.
      Don’t think one of those guys exists in this class.
      Lotulelei perhaps? Never saw him play however.
      Safe to say, we won’t have a sniff anyway.

      I spend months ‘data mining’ the College stats just to get familiar with the guys coming out.
      All in all, it’s still a crap shoot, even with the best Scouting efforts.

      I’ve always adapted the analogy that the ‘REAL’ football players are those Rd 3-4-5 guys that play for love of competition, and want nothing more than to prove that the Top rated guys are pussies.

      For me, guys like Bruce Miller are indispensable to a Team.
      In Military terms, the Grunts.
      Small school guys like DE David Bass and DT Brandon Williams could be my kinda guys.
      No clue what Baalke will shop for of course, speaking as the Jr GM here.

      Keeps me involved while we wait for the selections to be made and those Pro checks to be written.

      • NJ49er says:

        At least the Rookie Cap got instituted.
        Keeps some integrity in place for the guys that truly deserve to be paid for their production as Pros.
        Nothing worse than spending millions on guys like JaMarcus and VY only to get nothing but Cap-abused by losing guys to FA because you couldn’t afford to pay them.

        For that reason, I wouldn’t be afraid to sell out to move up for the right guy.
        If not a DT, a DE or S like Vaccaro could prove to be a difference maker.

        One guy everyone seems to rave about is DE Dion Jordan from Oregon.
        Again, never saw him play but, he’s already being compared to Aldon.

        I’m curious. He’s extremely lanky. 6’6″ and under 250.
        Could he be a target for us?
        I don’t see it but……I never gave Aldon too much attention Pre-Draft either.

    • NJ49er says:

      I would like to see us add a true 5-Technique DE.
      A solid 275-285lb guy with some wheels and bull rush ability.

      Dobbs fits that bill. Perhaps he’s our answer?
      Still, IMO, you need all those type of guys you can find.

      Trench Warfare –
      Protect the QB –
      Sack the QB –

  28. NoFear49er says:

    NJ49er, good stuff. I know you do a lot of homework on these guys.

    I meant to mention somewhere in our conversation about safeties that Goldson has played more the traditional free safety lately. He lines up on the weak side behind our MIKE LB, Willis, in deep coverage most often but not always.

    Also wanted to add that some folks don’t seem to understand that the way our corners play coverage now (the way many have been crying for years for) dictates a safety or safeties play up nearer the box in run support and under deep coverage more often (under coverage as opposed to over the top coverage). This is much riskier pass coverage, takes away many opportunities to jump routes and is much more dependent on a pass rush to work well. IOW, it’s not all on the DBs.

    It’s scheme and failures in other areas as much as anything. Even though it appears on the TeeVee that the safety screwed up, that’s not always the case.

    • NJ49er says:

      Well I’m learning something new here.
      Would agree Goldson has been more of the Center Fielder this year for sure.

      you did point out to me that we employ more interchangeable S schemes which explains some of what I was having my doubts about.

      I have a preference for the Press Corner guys but I guess that has to fit the schemes on any given play.

      What appears to have happened to Culliver was getting double moved in the SB.
      Once they got him to turn he was unable to recover to find the ball.
      As commented on by someone earlier in the thread, he picked the worst possible time to have his worst game.

      There too, a pass rush would have paid dividends for the Secondary.

      Goldson does find the ball back there, Whitner, not so much.

    • NJ49er says:

      I’ve had my share of frustrations with Goldson regarding bad angles and not playing the ball in the past.
      He did seem to clean that up considerably this year for sure.

      We all want an Ed Reed back there I guess, the savvy FS that baits a QB into throwing the ball where he wants him to.

      Goldson hasn’t frustrated me as much this year I’ll admit.
      It’s been more on Whitner getting to the Post.

      I’m very comfortable with the Class of DBs we’ll have to choose from.
      No doubt we’ll get younger faster and, probably taller back there.

    • 12th man says:

      Agreed NF. Once Justin and Aldon were hurt and less effective pass rushing I would have thought Fangio would change up the scheme to a deep safety and rushing 5 more often to disrupt timing but he didn’t really do it. It would have led to more yards in the run game probably but that’s the trade off. Both the Falcons and Ravens were able to exploit the back 4 because of lack of adequate pressure.

      Fangio knows his players better than me but as an armchair expert I didn’t understand why he stuck with the same formula.

  29. unca_chuck says:

    To hear the players say it, they said to a man that Fangio didn’t change things up in the Atl game. I thought I saw Cox more in the 2nd half, but I may be wrong. But if that’s true, then what? Why the flat play in the 1st halfs of those games?

    Did they all forget about Frederick P Soft?

    • 12th man says:

      I think mostly that the Falcons were playing it safe to protect their lead, less risk. There were some changes to scheme too but nothing drastic. Niners O began to click more than anything the D did differently.

  30. unca_chuck says:

    Culliver panicked big time. Once turned he was toast. I still think he’s a good player, but with Whitner dropping off so badly, and Goldson’s inopportune mistakes, I think there will be changes in the defensive backfield.

    • unca_chuck says:

      And sure, I’ll get on the Brenda Vaccaro train . . .

    • 12th man says:

      Yeah I can’t see them staying pat in the backfield either. Another point is that the league had a year of tape on the Fangio scheme. In 2011 they had all those gaudy picks, in 2012 not even close, with the same players and scheme. I don’t think Fangio changes it up enough and tendencies are too visible. I think that’s why statistically his defenses deteriorate each year, not enough new stuff appears.

  31. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, that was something I noticed about Fangio as well. His defenses seemed to be taken advantage of the longer he sticks around.

    This’ll be a telling year. The hope is more depth across the entire defense. I think we’re fine at LB, but the rest needs and infusion of talent.

    • 12th man says:

      This draft aligns perfectly with the Niners areas of need. O really just needs a WR, maybe a center if Goodwin is a cap casualty and maybe a TE if Walker walks. Other than that its depth to compete for back up playing spots. D needs 2 starting line guys to rotate in and a starting safety and a slot CB as well as depth to compete for back up spots.

      ST needs a kicker, Rams picked up their kid in the 6th round and he was money last year. They also need to replace the Costanza loss which they didn’t do last year and ST dropped off as a result. After that with Ginn gone they need a KR so any DB they do pick up should also have KR skills.

  32. unca_chuck says:

    LMJ is fine for KR. It’s a punt returner that we need. LMJ was a disaster returning punts, and Ginn was the 2nd coming of Aleen Rossum (run sideways, get OB). He had a couple decent ones, but for the most part was forgettable.

    I’ll say it again, if Ertz in there, they just might take him with the 1st pick. He’s got size and hands. They could concievably keep Waker and draft Ertz, but I’d think they’d drop Walker, keep Celek, and draft Ertz.

    • 12th man says:

      My bad, I meant PR with Ginn gone. Ginn is afraid of contact, not ideal in a PR.

      LMJ was shakey at PR in pre season but has a year of KR experience now. Maybe he can do it I don’t know.

    • 12th man says:

      I will be surprised to see them drop Walker. Celek has potential too. If Walker wants out will they use the FT? I think Walker could make more money somewhere else.

      • TOUCHDOWN TOMMY says:

        Walker has great value for the Special Teams which seems under the radar.
        When they let Michael Robinson go the Special Teams suffered.
        Last year it was Costanza and Colin Jones
        Walker had a bad year catching but his blocking and other contributions were a key to the success of the team.

    • 12th man says:

      They had a TE with size and hands last year and let him go, Konrad Reuland. That kid was a pass catching machine but his blocking was weak. They prized blocking first and catching second at the TE position due to run game emphasis.
      Has that dynamic changed with Kap at QB? I guess we will see.

  33. 12th man says:

    The company man put up a post about trading Smith to Zona. He posits, albeit a little tongue in cheek, that if Smith is a system QB made by Harbaugh then the Niners would have a system to beat him.

    I am not worried about Smith going to Zona either. They need a lot of work on the O line which probably takes 2 years to fix. They don’t have a good running back to speak of. They have a great wide receiver and that’s about it. They have a new coach and system to put in place.

    Even if Smith had the talent to succeed on his own merits, which I don’t really believe, the rest of the Zona offense is not a lot of help for him sans Fitzgerald.

    If he went there I would put the odds of serious injury at 50/50 since he has to face 2 of the leagues best and toughest defenses 4 times a year and the Rams have a pretty good defense that’s not far behind either. That’s six division games against teams who know his style of play very well and he won’t have half the supporting cast he had with the Niners.

    If Smith goes to Zona he might set a league record for sacks in a season, if he plays long enough.

    • NoFear49er says:

      I don’t care where Alex Smith goes either. If it is Arizona, we know more about his weaknesses and tendencies then he can use or give away about ours. I heard somebody on SiriusXM yesterday making a case for Reid to want him enough in KC to pay for him. Made sense to me.

  34. unca_chuck says:

    When they let Michael Robinson go, the team underachieved badly across the board. It had little to do with M-Rob. Losing Constanza did hurt. The Raider guy was supposed to make up for his loss, but he was cut.

    Strangely enough, even the TE talk goes back to Goldson and what they do with him. If they tag Goldson, then they either sign Walker or let him go. If they don’t tag Goldson, then do they use that for Walker? It would be a fairly hefty price to pay for a nominal role-player. Yeah, he’s a good blocker/ST guy, but if we’re paying him $6 mill (franchise tag TE money), then he needs to show a lot more than the 30% drop rate he had last year. That’s abominable.

    • 12th man says:

      Wasn’t M-Rob 3 or 4 years ago? Walker definitely dropped a ton of passes last year and if he is to be an integral part of the passing game obviously that won’t cut it. He did do a lot better later in the year though so I hope he is sleeping next to the jugs machine this off season.

    • snarkk says:

      $6M for Delanie would be insanity.
      The guy has hands that make Ray Durham’s look like Brooks Robinson’s…

  35. Alleykat says:

    Alex is going to KC…..Reid likes him(not sure why?) There is no way in hell,he’s drafting Gino Smith #1 dude is not worth it.They will take Jockiel (sp?) #1.
    Reid will choose between Smith or Kolb.Hopefully Smith,and were add a 3rd and later pick and clear up this mess.

    • unca_chuck says:

      Reid’s lived and died behind the craziness that is Michael (snoop dogg) Vick that I’m sure he’s ready for some safe high percentage passing at this point. He has some WRs, and a decent running game. Smith would complement that.

  36. unca_chuck says:

    I could see Cleve as well. But either situation is pretty good for Smith. They are both young teams with some talent. Th3e hope is they get into a little bidding war . . .

  37. snarkk says:

    Alex should go to Cleveland and be re-united with his first love Norv. Cleveland has been dogmeat, so they’ll even think Alex will be doing well when he dumps off his upteenth pass in the flat every 4th quarter. Plus, he’ll be the AFC, and the Niners won’t want him in the NFC, if they can help it…

  38. Spitblood says:

    Cleveland – Weeden
    Bills – Fitz, Jackson
    Arizona – Matt Barkley, Skelton
    Chiefs – Geno Smith, Cassel
    Jets – Matt Flynn, Sanchez
    Niners – Bluffing.
    Smith – Backup in 2013….

    Honestly, if I’m Smith, assuming I was money-driven, I’d be hoping the 49ers paid me 8 million to be a backup because Smith isn’t getting 8 million on the open market with the rookie salary cap driving his value down. I’m sure part of the Smith/Peyton Manning negotiations with the drama of Smith flying to Miami was largely due to the 49ers wanting to pay Smith a fair market value last year so the 49ers could trade Smith this year, but despite everyone saying what a great job Paraage does, he fucked up. Smith isn’t worth 8 million per year. And the 49ers themselves are a great example. Kaep makes 1/8th what Smith does. Wouldn’t other teams needing a qb elect to find a cheap rookie starter over paying Smith 8 times what a rookie would be worth? Paraage messed that up. The 49ers, last year, could have said, “You don’t like our 4 million? Go find it else where.” And I’m not Monday morning quarterbacking this one. I was saying that last off season. If Smith hits the open market, he’s only worth 4 million per year. I’m sure some will disagree, but there’s other options out there far less expensive than 8 million for Smith. Teams know Smith’s improvement was due largely because of Harbaugh. Take Harbaugh out of the equation and you have ……. Smith with Singletary redux. Didn’t Troy Smith beat out Alex Smith?

    • 12th man says:

      If they don’t trade him they cut him. Either way Paraage covered his bases and did a good job Spit.

    • 12th man says:

      Spit your argument assumes teams can get comparable play to Smith at a huge discount. Statistically rookies don’t pan out very well first year. Using Kap who has the best 10 starts in the last 5 years or RG3 or Luck or that dwarf I can’t stand in Seattle is BS because that is not whats in this draft by a long shot so any team needing a QB has to look to vets. Smith has the best 2 year record of any vet by far. I agree the Harbaugh factor comes into play but what other choice is there?

  39. unca_chuck says:

    You think Barkley=Kappy? Wow. There’s a stretch. If Smith is a starter, he’s worth 8 mill. That’s fucking peanuts for a starter in the NFL. Geno Smith? Don’t make me laugh. By that rationale, anyone could sign Purple Drank for peanuts and reap the rewards of saving all that money. Good luck, skippy. Or Gross Rexman or any number of washed up turds. Barkley isn’t going to come in and do anything remotely good. At least not for 3 years. He’s Hot Tub Matt Deux. The last couple drafts have had insanely talented QBs, and no one in the foreseeable future looks to make the impact that Kappy, Wilson, Griffin, or Luck did. They’ll all end up somewhere like Weeden. Shakey, with some good games, and some crap-ass ones.

  40. unca_chuck says:

    PS, Spitty you are the only one who thinks that Paraage fucked that deal up. It was a make-good deal that Kappy trumped. It’s GOOD thing the Niners have an out.

    • Spitblood says:

      I agree somewhat, but I also believe the reason the 49ers structured the Smith deal the way they did was so they could trade Smith. The only way a team pays Smith 8 million per year is if they can sell Smith as the quarterback of the future. NFL fans know that’s not Smith.

      • 12th man says:

        The contract structure covered all the eventualities. If Kap didn’t pan out they had Smith at a low ball salary, ranked 20th for a starting QB I think. They can cut him without a cap hit, they can trade him and his cost is reasonable for a starting QB, it was a good team contract and Smith got paid 9 mil. Niners win. And even if by some weird confluence of the universe they do keep him as a backup the total cost of all 3 QB’s on roster would be in the bottom 3rd in the league for the position so the Niners still win.

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