Picking Up the Pieces

Bleeech. The 2013 season came to a resouding thud last night as Richard Sherman tipped a Colin Kaepernick pass intended for Michael Crabtree that was intercepted  as time was winding down. Sherman of course classed the joint up by giving the choke sign and screaming at Erin Andrews as his team celebrated their trip to the Super Bowl. God, I hope they lose the Super Bowl. Don’t want to think about or mention the game. Might as well look ahead.

What happens now will be interesting to say the least. Donte Whitner’s a free agent, but he has stated numerous times he wants to stay here. Carlos Rogers is the one on shakey ground. He’s scheduled to make $13.5 mill over the next 2 years, and he’ll be 33 come summer time. With Chris Culliver hopefully coming back from injury, Brock and Brown playing well, and Perrish Cox as the backup, I think we can lose him, and he’d only be around $3.5 mill of dead money. Plus we’ll draft for DB help as well. The linebackers are locked in for the next couple years, and even Dan Skuta is signed through next year. You have to wonder how much longer Justin Smith can play at this level, but he showed he doesn’t seem to be slowing down. He’s got one more year as well. Tarell Brown, who mistakenly lost out on $2.2 mill this season by not participating in team-scheduled practices, did get a bump from the Niners in December, but they still need to decide what to do with him. I’d say sign him. Adios Carlos.

Offensively is where things get sketchy. Michael Crabtree has one year left on his contract, as does Colin Kaepernick. Those 2 stand to cash in very heavily, and the Niners may try to work on contract extensions before they hit the free market next year. Mike Iupati is down to his last year as well, and with the extension of Anthony Davis, you have to wonder how hard they’ll want to hold on to Iupati. He may end up a cap casualty, but I think they’ll at least try to sign him this offseason to a multi-year deal. Crabs likely wants something in the $50-60 mill/5 year range. He came back ahead of schedule and played outstanding ball, so you’d think they will go hard to extend him. Kappy? Well, had he won yesterday his numbers would have gone up. As it is, the Niners could hedge their bet and not re-up til the contract ends after next season. This could prove to be very costly, as the Baltimore Ravens recently discovered. Sign him up front, and you control some of the cost, but his star-crossed career has already had more that its share of big wins and crushing losses. Can they make another deep playoff run 4 years in a row with Kappy at the helm? Or do they draft his replacement and play out the string? I don’t see that happening, but do they want to tie themselves to a 5 year $120 mill deal with him? I think we draft a QB at somewhere around the 3rd round just to be on the safe side.

Whatever the case, Crabs and Kappy are set to cash in. Beyond that, there are a lot of instant free agents as of now. The list is:

WR Anquan Boldin
CB Tarell Brown
CB Perrish Cox
K Phil Dawson
RB Anthony Dixon
C Jonathan Goodwin
WR Mario Manningham
QB Colt McCoy
WR Kassim Osgood
S Donte Whitner
CB Eric Wright

Off the top, I think Manningham, Pea Shooter McCoy, Goodwin, Wright, and Boobie are gone. The obvious concerns are Anquan Boldin and Tarell Brown. Boldon is 33, but his impact on the success of the team was pretty much off the charts. He and Kappy developed a quick rapport and without Boldin, I don’t think this team even makes the playoffs. But he’s going to want 3 years at least. And with Crabs set to break the bank, I’m not sure how they handle this. I’d think with Rogers coming off the books, they’ll try to keep Brown, with Culliver hopefully recovering from his knee injury.

Phil Dawson was money as well, but he shouldn’t cost all that much. Keep him. Cox and Osgood shouldn’t cost too much either. Get them back as well.

Beyond that, all these upcoming deals have the huge caveat of the 49ers moving into their shiny brand new stadium. They aren’t going to want to lay a big fat egg once they get there, so I wonder how this affects their thinking, if at all. One would think that they will maybe spend more than the may want to to keep the core group together, and make sure they have a strong team going into the 2014 season. They can pass the buck til 2015, but by then the team could be stripped of a lot of good players and we hit another rebuilding session. Will Harbaugh be up for that? He’s looking for a new fat contract himself, and he certainly burns brightly as he moves around the coaching sphere. Will he get itchy feet?

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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87 Responses to Picking Up the Pieces

  1. rtfirefly says:

    Just by glancing, resign:
    Cox, Dawson, Goodwin, Osgood, Wright.
    The rest I’ll leave for debate.

  2. snarkk says:

    You keep Iupati, assuming his ankle recovery goes OK. You don’t offload first round OLmen that are All Pro or near All Pro in their prime, they’re too important to the core performance of the team…

  3. unca_chuck says:

    I found it curious they extended Davis, but not Iupati. Maybe this offseason they’ll do it. But if they don’t extend, I think he’s gone.

    • snarkk says:

      The guy is 27 in May. He’s got a good 5 years of great to very good line play left. It usually takes a year or two to get a new OLman up to speed. Virtually everyone agrees that getting and maintaining a good OL is the key to a consistently winning team. Why would they get rid of an All Pro level lineman in his prime?…

  4. Nipper says:

    At least Harbaugh changed his pleated pants. BLEEP!

  5. shaman138 says:

    You were right about one thing–100% chance of bloviating.

  6. Grumpy Guy says:

    RT, Wright is probably gone. Rumor was he got into Fangio’s doghouse right away, and that was why Cox jumped over Wright on the depth chart when we re-signed Cox.

    I’d like to keep Boldin, Dawson, Osgood, and surprisingly to me, maybe Whitner if we can work a deal.

    • sandy32koufax says:

      Boldin has some good ball left in him. How much does he cost is the deal, though. Whitner is a keeper along the same lines, how much?

    • Grumpy Guy says:

      Whitner playing with Reid was hugely better than Whitner last year playing with Dashon.

      This draft needs to focus on offense. I don’t think there is a choice after last night. We need to get faster and better at WR. We need to pass the torch at center. You have to have a better backup QB than Colt. We need a tackle option in case Anthony Davis keeps struggling. The team has to figure out how to generate yards on the ground – a power running attack that cannot gain 2 yards per carry against a good defense is not a Championship offense, PERIOD.

      On defense, it may have to be a year of patching and making do. We should draft a CB somewhere in the mix, and maybe a S. Other than that, we need to stand pat with our front seven and fix the other areas of the team that need fixing.

  7. unca_chuck says:

    Whitner really looked goood with Reid as his safety mate. Not so good when covering for Goldson.

  8. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, as bad as the run game was, it got worse when Iupati went down. Losing Miller had its affect as well.

    A speed WR is a glaring need that I’m getting tired of hoping for. I do really want Roman to go. His offensive style is archaic on the passing side, and Kaepernick gets little help. I would love to get Kappy’s UNR coach Chris Ault. He’s some sort of consultant in KC.

    • snarkk says:

      You’d think with all that nomenclature and shifts and supposed complexity and such, the passing game would be effective to some extent with a decent set of receivers in Boldin, Crabby and VD. But, it’s just hit and miss. They need to scrap or seriously change their overall pass attack strategy. It’s not working well. And Kap needs to work hard on his field awareness, not lock onto one guy. Where were Patton and VD yesterday? VD was a non-factor. I’m not convinced another TE is not needed. VD tends to go hot and cold, sometimes AWOL, and drops catchable balls with regularity. How much is his fault, and how much is the fault of the scheme and Kap not seeing the field — I dunno. Somebody smarter than I on that can explain…

      • sandy32koufax says:

        two things:

        the passing game won’t work w/o the threat of a run game when the D is stacked to stop it, in spite of having a qb that isn’t seeing the entire field/passing options. Kaep was doing fine until he stopped running.

        ya, receivers that drop the ball gotta go. speed or not, if you drop passes, what diff does it make?

        I don’t know that this passing game is more complex than many others are, but a rash of injuries DID take the Niners out of their game and that’s huge. People want to bark at the refs or any number of other factors but injuries killed their chances more than any other single thing, imo.

    • sandy32koufax says:

      Running back, fullback, backup QB, two O-line guys and a speedy wideout, that’s a tall order. DB’s aren’t any easier and I’m thinking, “okay, lots of guys come back from ankles injuries like they never happened.” But I’m also wondering “how bad is Bowman’s break since his game is based as much on his speed as his strength and reads.” I know, gotta wait and see what the docs say.

      Gore has been beat down too much over the past five or six seasons to have serious gas in his tank but he has another good yr, min, left. Hold off on some huge bucks RB and get a real FB and a ctr. Fangio, according to my 49er buddy of 40 yrs, is fine as long as the 9ers are not challenged by a great or even a very good D, he sucks conservative football when the second half begins. That’s a niner fans’ opinion, not mine.

      Baalke and York need to decide where they’re going and it all looks like it’s going to be at or over the cap…

    • snarkk says:

      Yep, for the umpteenth time, we need a big, speedy WR threat for downfield action. Apparently that is like asking the Giants to develop a home-grown, quality outfielder…

  9. twinfan1 says:

    I’ll catch you guys down the line. It’s been pleasant chatting with you this year. Tough way to finish the season but they’ve done themselves proud over this last 3 years and it was great to see CK and Harbaugh handle the rough loss with class.

  10. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, with that, Vance McDonald is bringing nothing to the table. Can’t block well, and doesn’t get open. I’m not sure why Kappy locks on like he does, but based on the routes earlier WRs were ‘running’ I’d say Kap was directed where to throw on a given play. Hence Baldwin getting startled by a ball thrown his way in the Saints game, and secondary WRs never trying to get open.

    Shit, Bowman has a torn ACL and MCL. Tough break.

    • sandy32koufax says:

      Fack. I’ve torn both and that’s a long road back. If ever. Good luck to him, and I say that genuinely.

      Later Twin, I’ll find my contribution to your poetry thread, if you don’t close comments. It’s somewhere in my cob-webby attic 😉

      • twinfan1 says:

        I don’t close the comments for a couple months.

      • sandy32koufax says:

        Good. My attic is a mess and I don’t have it on any media besides paper.

      • unca_chuck says:

        What is this ‘paper’ you speak of?

      • unca_chuck says:

        With all the skiing I’ve done, I somehow have avoided any major knee injuries, but I know way too many friends who blew their knees out. It is no fun rehabbing.

        See ya in September, Twinnie . . . yeah, a great season comes to a brutal end. It’s great to be relevant once again, but the falls are painful.
        6″ to the right and Crabs catches that ball. Sherman made a spectacular play. He is a wonderfully talented player, but a stunted twit of a man.

      • “Paper”? Oh thats the green folding stuff you put in yer wallet that used to be worth something. It has been a long time ago though

  11. unca_chuck says:

    In the for-what-it’s-worth department, Anquan Boldin sounds like he wants to stick around here. He’ll be an official free agent come March, so we’ll see what happens, but he balked at taking a salary cut in Baltimore, and was promptly traded.

    Still and all, he’s certainly invaluable, and we need him, so I say $18 mill, 3 years?

  12. snarkk says:

    I hope Bowman takes a steady recovery and rehab, and does not try to come back too soon. If he’s out for the first month or six weeks, let Lemonieux and Skuta and Wilhoite (assuming they keep him) get some more game experience….

  13. Spitblood says:

    The better team won last night. I agree with Ratto. We beat ’em at home, they beat us in their house. Key is they won the home field advantage throughout the regular season, and they won the second half of the game last night. They won, they’re the better team. Now the 49ers are faced with two things – the legitimate question of whether or not their offensive philosophy works, and how they consider that philosophy going forward while reshaping their team this off season in the face of forced change.

    I’m personally sold on Kaep. Yes, he needs to go through his progressions better. Yes, he needs to see the field better. Yes, he needs to be more of a pocket passer, and like Montana said, he needs to be able to throw in the face of pressure. But Kaep has an enormously high ceiling if his coaches can help him utilize all of his talents. But Kaep is limited by Roman. You don’t have a run game coordinator from the college ranks teaching a young qb how to orchestrate an NFL passing attack. It’s not a good fit. You give Kaep an OC and qb coach who are both well versed with proven NFL passing resumes, on the same page, and Kaep will flourish, especially if he’s given younger, faster receivers alla Alshon Jeffery and the like.

    I don’t have much faith in Harbaugh’s ability to change. I think he’s stuck in a Bo Schembeckler state of mind, and I don’t see much learning from this past experience coming to the Harbaugh camp. I think we’ll continue to be a playoff team, without Super Bowl victories. Mike Shanahan and John Elway didn’t actually win the Super Bowl together until they brought in a dynamic running game. Together, even in the days of Dan Reves, Shanahan and Elway threw the ball all over Christmas, but it wasn’t until Terrel Davis got there that the Broncos became two time world champs. The 49ers need to transition away from an older Gore, and then work to develop a dynamic passing attack by drafting wrs and dumping Roman. I honestly think it will take years for Harbaugh to have a Shanahan / Elway type epiphany.

    • Flavor says:

      I don’t see Roman going anywhere unless he gets a better job (HC). Harb’s loves him. Frank Gore called him the best coach he’s EVER had. All the football guys with influence on whether he stays or goes love him. Personally, I have no idea why but I’m not on the team. Nobody here is

      • Spitblood says:

        I agree they all love Roman, and of course Frank Gore would love Roman. Problem is, Gore’s done. The rest of the coaching staff loves Roman like you would a brother. Sure, your brother has his faults, but you aren’t going to let anyone else know that. Roman will hang around for another few years and then get fired. He won’t get a head coaching job. People around the league know Roman’s a run game coordinator. That’s not a sexy, sellable coach to bring in to get the fan base fired up. Roman will be the next Alex Smith. Dug in like a tick, hoping not to get exposed.

      • unca_chuck says:

        Run OC should tell you something. I’m not sure they can’t win with these coaches, but they have to adjust. The run game is complex, the passing game is simplistic. No slants, no underneath outlets, very few slant-and-reads. They are taking all the decision making out of Kappy’s hands. He needs to step up and take more control of the offense. If they let him.

      • Flavor says:

        I’m marginally behind you on this.

    • Grumpy Guy says:

      I don’t think it’s all Gore. Some of it, yeah – Gore still pops through the line once in a while, but those 50 yard TDs of yesteryear are 25 yard runs now, with Gore getting run down by the younger guys.

      Lattimore has a real shot at replacing Gore but something more than just the guy in the uniform needs to change. For years we’ve been a team that pounds it into the line, getting a yard or two, waiting for that one run that goes for 20 or 30.

      That does not get it done. You have to move the chains and keep the other offense off the field to win with a running attack. Too many of our plays / formations leave us in second or third and long.

      We need a run game that sets the table for 2nd and five or third and short. *Some* of that is Gore, but a lot more of it is the predictability of our running out of a given formation, I think.

      I’d rather get five yards every time we run, and sustain drives and move the chains, than 15 or 20 one-yard exercises in futility followed by one 30 or 40 yard breakaway.

      Give me first downs, and 70 or 80 yard drives, with this defense, and we will win Super Bowls. The way we are doing it now… not so much.

  14. Nipper says:

    Horse BLEEP !!

  15. NJ49er says:

    What’s obviously missing from the Kaep/Roman repertoire is, the quick strike/timing passes.
    Whether that is due to personnel or, the development of Kaep as a pocket passer, remains a mystery to me.

    Most, if not all of, the routes Kaep throws appear to be vertical or out-routes by nature.
    Focusing outside the numbers and deep middle throws on occassion.
    He’s not, (or Roman doesn’t prefer it) adept at the inside crossing routes at this point.
    Kaep is a target thrower, not yet able to throw a guy open IMO.
    He’ll develop the touch throws as he goes I’m sure.

    Maybe adding a Pass Game coordinator of some kind wouldn’t be a terrible idea?
    Heck, they brought in Mangini to assist Roman, though I’m not sure just what he assisted with.

    I’d be looking for quick inside WRs in May along with a Boldin/Crabtree hands-type leaper.
    We have issues with Seattle’s Secondary for 2 reasons.
    Height and press-man coverage.
    We’ll need another guy like Crabtree, who can play physical and, use his hands well in tight coverage.
    Allen Robinson from PSU might be a good option there?

    As much as I like the size of Kelvin Benjamin, I’d need to see more of his game, to know whether he’s got that ‘battler’ mentality, especially with the limited experience he has at the College level.

    Very deep WR Class coming out, I’m sure Baalke has his guys in focus.

    • NJ49er says:

      DE Larry Webster from Bloomsburg, (Son of the former Dolphins OLman by the same name), is an intriguing kid.

      He’s got a solid basketball background, which would suggest to me that, he’s got some hand eye coordination to go along with his size, 6’7″ 240.
      Might want to consider him for a TE position?
      Jimmy Graham II?

      Another kid I like, WR Donte Moncrief from Ole Miss. 6’3″ 226
      Looks chiseled like Delane and plays tough.
      Good numbers as well.
      He’ll get down the field too. Averaged 15+ yds/catch.

      Many interesting options to sift through.
      Looking forward to the Senior Bowl this weekend, along with the Combines, to see just what these kids look like in the Scouting process.

  16. NoFear49er says:

    I’m not quite sure why everybody’s down on Gore now. He’s been “washed up” for years now according to some ex-spurts.

    End of a long season, getting worn down is not uncommon or a career ender for guys much younger with a lot less miles. Plus I think Gore took a couple of big hits in the brain pan area. Funny how so many judge him done every year. I guess sooner or later they’ll be right and come back with a big “I told you so.”

    He or his running has been the main element to quite a few wins this year despite the steady drone of complaints from the peanut gallery. One thing’s sure, the Seahwaks weren’t selling out to stop Hunter. The threat of Gore’s dive is what opens the lanes for CK7 to take off.

    Seattle’s front seven is difficult to run on. Even more so when running is the order of the day. Gore had six stuffs, defined as zero or negative yards gained. That’s penetration of the defense or the defense knocking the o-line off the ball and something Gore has no control over whatsoever. Besides, Gore, as most downhill rushers, get bigger gains as their touches increase and later in the game when the defense wears down a bit and is a bit more sluggish.

    The guy’s been carrying this team’s offense for a long, long time. Let’s give the old guy a break.


    Looks like Mr. Sherman still has some pent-up ill will toward his old coach, eh?? Still feels dissed by Harbaugh, and Harbaugh/CK7 handed him the chance to stick it to them. Bad, bad decision and probably involved more hubris and juvenile desire to put a point on the win than good sense.

    • NJ49er says:

      Frank is, and has been, the Heart and Soul of this Team for years NoFear49er, no question.
      The only fact that plays into this rhetoric now is, the Cap implications.
      It’s a tough spot for him only because of the age/Contract decisions that have to be made.

      No doubt Baalke and Co have to make a tough decision in that regard.

      I too thought the move to run Kaep was predicated on all the attention focused on Gore yesterday.
      We overcame the noise early, got them on their heels but, couldn’t sustain enough Offense to put them away.
      We’ve got a good Roster.
      Seattle does too.

      We face-planted in the second half.
      Brutal game in terms of carnage too.
      If not for a couple of misplayed deep balls in the Secondary, we held our own.

      What could have been, if not for a blown call, on the punt too.

      • NoFear49er says:

        Right you are NJ49er, except for Reid and Whitner letting Baldwin get behind them for a fifty yard big play and our entire defense getting beat on that Lynch TD run and one bad punt and one big return allowed, and CK7’s fumble, INT and final play, yeah, we got beat. Funny thing is, in spite of all the mistakes and playing in the most difficult environment we still had the win if we could have played better in the final minute. Too much like the Super Bowl ending. Damn shame we couldn’t have shut those squawking birds down, and up.

      • Iupati being out is the reason Kap and Frank couldnt run after our first TD.. Same thing happened in the regular season when Mike I was out: we couldn’t run against a stacked box with our meager passing game. No holes/lanes = no Iupati = no running game = passing like fools in 2nd half despite Crabs presence with the PAC-10 OC attack. We had NO run game minus MI. Nothing wrong with having Frank back next year- and we will- while Lattimore gets up to speed. Nuts to the idea of letting MI walk or low-balling him. He’ll be signed with the money we save on CK not winning the SB this year. Him and a few others like Boldin. Franks got another year but Jim Brown couldnt have run against that D minus Mke I.

        Fire the OC (and Dennis)

    • NJ49er says:

      I would guess that Baalke and Marathe have their numbers aligned for FA and Contract extensions.
      A guy I’m on the fence about right now is, Iupati.
      Should Iupati venture into the FA pool, he’ll get plenty of attention.
      Could be a tough guy to retain if that happens.
      He’s also a 1st Rd Pick in terms of Comp Value, should we lose him.
      Anthony can easily slide into his spot in favor of Cap Mgt and a younger RT.
      We have a young OT from Azusa Pacific, Luke Marquardt, who was tutored by none other than Jackie Slater. Could be a diamond in the rough, who knows?

      Is Kilgore the Center of the future?
      If so, Goodwin is as good as gone too.

      Carlos is overpaid for his age as well.
      Many a tough decision awaits.
      I have no doubts that they’ll stick to their budget and get the most from this situation.
      Perhaps restructuring Frank and, retaining Anquan and Whitner, could be in the cards?

  17. Nipper says:

    First things first. Fire your ass as GM. Then imbibe with gusto. Laugh the whole thing off. Wait patiently for Sept. Quietly.

  18. unca_chuck says:

    NoFear, I’ve been saying Gore’s struggles are a direct problem with the formations he runs out of. He is what he is. An inside the tackles runner who can wreak havoc if he can get through the line. If they would run every play out of 3-4 WR sets, it would help him dramatically. There is absolutely no reason to run the jumbo package on first or 2nd down and have him run out of it. Sure, he’ll pop a big one now and then out of the jumbo package. But it has to be blocked perfectly to get him through the line to make it go. Usually it gets 1-2 or -1. As usual, they did a little running out of 3 WR sets. It worked with Hunter, and it worked with Gore. Of course they never went back to that.

    What continually pisses me off about this offense is the lack of finding weaknesses to exploit. Watching the Miami game last year was insane. The corner on Moss was 15 yards off the line. Every play. It took a quarter and a half to throw an out his way. They did it 3 times in a row for about 50 yards and NEVER went back to it. Same coverage before, during, and after. Walsh would pound that play 10 times in a row until THEY adjusted.

    Same thing now. They do what they do with no rhyme or reason. No flow. No continuity. It pisses me off to no end.

  19. unca_chuck says:

    Gore’s sticking around. There is no way he reaches 10,000 in another uni. Lattimore is (supposedly) ready to take the load, and they can ease him into Gore’s spot.

    NJ, here’s what I said on Skeebs’ blog re WRs . . .
    I need 40 times, NJ. We don’t need any more possession type WRs. We need a burner. OK, looked around a bit.

    Matthews is big and slow (4.60 40 time). Hoffman is bigger and equally slow (4.60).

    Odell Beckham has speed (4.40) and decent size (6’0″ 190 lb) but he’s fast and makes plays deep. He’s projected as a 2nd or 3rd rounder, but he’ll likely move up a little. It would be hard to wait and see if he’s there with our 2, but maybe package our 2 2s to move up to the top 3rd of round 2 (huh?) to get him. His LSU teammate Jarvis Landry looks like a gamer as well. Not quite as fast but makes plays all over the place.

    Marquise Lee (U$C)looks very fast, but he’ll be gone. Josh Huff from Orygun is another slot guy who’s fast with a little size (5’11″- 205).

    The point being, a speed guy is what this offense sorely lacks. The problem is, are the Niners even built to take advantage of a speed guy? We throw deep less than any other team out there.

    If we somehow lost Roman and gained a little more aggressiveness on offense, I’d be more inclined to go for a burner. Frankly, I’m nort sure if they’d even use a guy like Beckham right.

  20. unca_chuck says:

    I don’ even want to think about the game, but the truth is, the D gave up 20 points in the 2nd half. Only 3 came off the turnovers. Letting them convert 3rd and 22 was backbreaking.

    Beyond that, Gore was playing the game with a broken finger. He’s having surgery today. And Mike Iupati broke his fibula in tha game. Looks like nothing that requires surgery.

    Bowman on the other hand, if all goes well, may be ready foir the start of next season. They will operate on the ACL, but let the MCL heal on its own.

  21. snarkk says:

    Even if they get a burner that has has hands and can run a route, then what? Ginn had 35 recepts w/a 15.4 ave/catch and 5 TDs this year at Carolina. Where was that last year? Was it because he was loafing last year, or suddenly figured out how to catch balls this year? No. It had to be the Niner scheme, and how he was used. And, it wasn’t like the Niners had an all world WR corps last year to keep a mediocre talent like Ginn off the field, or not targeted when on it. The Niner offense has to get off its ass re: throwing the ball, and really change things up. This bullshit offense they have is wasting the talent available on that side of the ball, and certainly isn’t up to supporting its side of the ball compared to that excellent D on the other side. Reminds me of the 2009 and through now Giants — great pitching, crap offense, with seemingly no end in sight for the crap offense…

  22. rtfirefly says:

    There were breakdowns in all three phases: the long kickoff return after a Niner score, Whitner’s small but critical 58 yard error in pass defense, taking his eye off his man to position himself better to hit a scrambling and possibly running Wilson despite Wilson not crossing the LOS, Seattle’s 3rd and 17 becoming a long TD in 2 plays, Kappy’s several blunders (where is ALEX when you need him!), including but not limited to not seeing the rusher from his vision (passing right) side on two different turnover plays, and blowing the fade by throwing it to Crabs’ INSIDE…, the offensive sieve on both running plays and pass protect… In short, a team loss.
    No reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater, but changes on offense MUST be made, whether in personnel, tactical play calling, or strategic philosophy – arguments could be made for all three.
    Me, I’m still kicking the cats. Hmmm, I don’t own a cat, must be somebody else’s.

  23. rtfirefly says:

    They need to draft a T, a G, and two WRs (let ’em compete) at the least. Toss in a S, a CB, and a D down lineman and call it a draft.

  24. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, I know. Getting a fast guy doesn’t guarantee we will use him. Hello Randy Moss. Ginn’s failures here were likely boredom. But his punt returning sucked. Say what you will about Alex, but 2 quarters into a game, he’d have completed passes to 5 different guys. Not sure why our offense is so adverse to spreading the ball around. Kappy bears the brunt of some of this, but certainly not all of it.

    Again, to me, it comes back to the simplistic passing offense. No slants, no screens, no go routes. We use sluggos, or double moves very rarely. All the passes appear to be deep outs and the occasional comeback route. What they used to call the buttonhook. From gleaning what I see, Kappy appears to be directed to go to the 1 at all cost. It doesn’t appear they WANT him to read and react to the defense. It’s run or pass. 2 plays. Rarely audibling or switching out. Again, it SEEMS to me like this is the design. Little flexibility. No creativity. Except for busted scrambles.

    Maybe I’m wrong, and this all falls on the shoulders of Kappy. If so, then these coaches need to get him to be able to scan the field better than he has. Coach him up as to the nuances of the quick read.

    • snarkk says:

      From what you said, seems to me the coaches don’t feel he’s capable of handling complexity, or at least not yet, and they don’t trust him. But, I hear just the opposite of that from everywhere, he’s supposedly smart, and did well in school, good instincts, etc. Which is it?…

      • unca_chuck says:

        I heard somewhere (but I can’t find it) that Alex Smith said the control Harbaugh and Roman had over the plays was very stifling. And it certainly is when you only have 2 options per play.

  25. rtfirefly says:

    The draft will be RB friendly, as well. Add in that the only Niner draft prediction I’ve ever gotten right was Nate The Great, and expect the Niners to do something completely different.

  26. NoFear49er says:


    If you have a Peyton Manning passing game your running game might see some success out of the gun with a single back in the backfield. If OTOH your running game is your game you might need double teams to make holes and a lead blocker to clear the backer out of it as a rule.

    If it was as simple as you have it you’d never see any team running from a tight formation.

    Certainly changing things up finds success sometimes. And when you’re inclined to the change up you’ll trot that play out as some proof that it should be done that way all of the time.

    We’re not that easy a defense to run on but take the Seahawks’ series that ended with a rushing TD; First down, tight formation, run up the middle, resulted in a first down. First down, tight formation, run over left tackle for four yds. Second down, spread ’em out, screen pass for four yards or so. Third and one, tight formation, run up the middle for a forty yard TD.

    You say that’s not the way to run?

  27. unca_chuck says:

    It’s not the way for us to run. Besides, Gore breaks those oncve in a while himself. I don’t think it’s worth the other 99 one-yard gains.

    • NoFear49er says:

      He’s ranked third in post-season yardage behind Lynch and Blount. Ninth in regular season yards while tied for eighth in attempts. He’s had one fifty plus run and five more in the 20-34 yard range. The rest under twenty. He must break one more often than once in a hundred one yard or negative yard runs to average 4.1 yards on the season.

      • unca_chuck says:

        Whatever NoFear. Can’t you believe what you saw? What did he get on Sunday? I’m not the one throwing Gore under the bus. I think they can use him in different formations.

  28. NJ49er says:

    Chuck I’m high on several WRs that I’ll be trying to see during the Scouting Phase, leading up to the Draft.
    Yes we need speed but, Patton brings that now.

    I’m thinking, since we have to compete with the Seattle Secondary in terms of muscle and height, a taller, perhaps somewhat slower option isn’t the worst thing for us.

    A WR in the 6’2″-6’4″ range would be ideal, if we get one that’s physical enough, to bust press coverage.
    I could sacrifice a few 1/10ths of a second for a kid that plays like Anquan.
    Boldin is not fast, nor is Crabtree.
    We need a physical presence. A younger battler.
    Guys that leap are fine, except you don’t get much but possession results from them typically.

    I’d consider a taller inside option along with a shorter slot guy going into the Draft.
    WR Jordan Matthews from Vandy and both guys from LSU, Beckham and Landry are already on my radar.
    WR Davante Adams from Fresno might be a nice name to throw into that slot option.
    As for DBs, Gotta get taller in the Secondary at both CB and SS.
    Many questions, many Picks waiting to spend too.

    I’ve got a pretty hefty list of possibilities going now.
    I’ll whittle it down as we go.

  29. Nipper says:

    BLEEP the Sea birds.

  30. NJ49er says:

    Phil – to your point about Iupati, I’m only suggesting that his asking price may preclude us from keeping him.
    Since Anthony is young and already extended, he could be a contingency option?
    I’d definitely like to keep Iupati, no question.
    Center has to get younger and quicker, which is likely already covered with Kilgore.

    We need WRs/DBs of course.
    Can’t go wrong with some additional youth on the DL either.
    With the number of Picks Baalke has at the ready, we’ll probably shop for a handful of developmental prospects later in the Rds to help with the ST duties too.
    Not sure if LMJ is our answer at the PR position just yet either.
    A quick twitch kid with PR skills, at any position, wouldn’t hurt us either.

    There’s a little RB from Kent St, Dri Archer, that could fit that bill.

  31. Would be better to be talking about how to defeat Manning in the SB, true but we have ‘next year’ instead. Maybe I’m getting mellow in my old age or think we’ll be competitive next year if not world beaters and losing in the NFC Championship is not so bad. Lord after near 10 years of utter crap I can accept this season’s outcome even with all our flaws. Going to be hard signing all our talent tho. Hope we can keep Iupati, Boldin, Whitner

    Saw an article about how “the trend of leg injuries continues for 9ers at Seattle”. (I Williams, Iupati, Bowman). It quickly disappeared or I couldn’t find it again but got me thinking- 3 times is a pattern already; this is just a coincidence, right? Sneaky Pete I dont trust. Wish I had decent replays to see what was going on during those plays. Wouldn’t put it past them up there…

    • NoFear49er says:

      Hey Phil,
      Looked like Iupati leading Dixon engaged the MLB and Staley blocked Mebane into Iupati and collapses both onto Iupati’s leg. And Reid was one of the guys that fell on Bowman IIRC.

      Yes, the Broncos must win now. And they will!!

      • Thanks NF. Guess its just the nature of the game and a brutal dog fight with those guys. We certainly couldn’t afford losing MI in that one, damn. No run game no win…

        Yeah cheering for the AFC will be a first for me but no way to go with the cheat hawk drug addicts. How the hell did we wind up cheering for the same team as Del Mar?

  32. philippinefan says:

    BTW I’m okay with the Bronks beating those guys. Anything will be better than hearing them and their fans brag for the next year. Fuck that. Go Broncos!

    • NJ49er says:

      It’s justified to feel that way Phil.
      I learned years ago that all the emotion involved after a big loss wasn’t doing me any good.

      I enjoy the Team more now then I did since our last SB victory.
      We’re back on the Playoff radar and, the future is bright with competent people taking care of things.
      Well organized, competitive and no antics.

      This is without a doubt the first time I’m ever going against the NFC in the SB too.
      Seattle deserves credit for their win against us on Sunday but, I happen to feel we were the better Team.

      I’m also a conspiracy theory subscriber for this one too.
      This has been all about Peyton’s swan song.
      I don’t give a flying rat’s A$$ for this matchup. Give it to Peyton if they must.
      Just embarrass Sherman in the process.

      He too needs a trip to the Heartbreak Hotel.
      Punka$$ B!tch.

      • unca_chuck says:

        Bingo. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      • Believe the refs and League created that monster (sherman) by letting him/them get away with muggings on the field. If the intent was to boost the relatively small fan base and popularity of that regional brand it worked in the short term. Now the NFL gets to worry about psycho fans and players ruining footballs national image. Drug fueled rants and throwing food at injured opponents indeed (Bowman). Bring down the ‘hawks.

  33. NJ49er says:

    Chuck –
    One guy that got the better of Sherman was T.Y. Hilton, all 5’9″ of him.
    A little dude that can fly past their coverage certainly isn’t a bad option to try in the WR selection area.

    Almost all the WRs, even the taller guys, seem to be hanging in the 4.5/4.6 range from the posted numbers.

    Janis from Sag Valley St is tall and, he carries Sub 4.4 numbers right now.

    Keep an eye on Robert Herron from Wyoming at the Senior Bowl.
    5’9″ with decent College numbers. He’s also listed Sub 4.4.

    5’9″ Albert Wilson from GA St is another burner in the same mold.
    6’0″ Willie Gibson from Cumberlands goes Sub 4.4 as well.

    Marqise Lee from USC would be nice but, I’d assume him to be gone before we’d get a sniff.
    All these numbers will get cleaned up when the Combines come around too.

    Again, if one of these kids has PR ability too, I’d give it a shot in the later Rds.

    • NJ49er says:

      And, we only see so many Prospects via our browsing options.
      Our Scouts probably have another 100 guys we’ve never seen from Schools that don’t get the publicity.

      • NJ49er says:

        We’ve also got WRs Devon Wylie and Chuck Jacobs on the PS.
        Wylie – Fresno St – 5’9″ 187 – He clocked in the 4.4 range at the Combines a couple of years back as well.
        Jacobs – Utah St – 6’0″ 178 – He’s in the 4.5 Range.
        Right now, they’re both longshot guys I’m sure but, we’re hanging onto them for now.

  34. NJ49er says:

    I’m also anxious to see more of CB Darryl Morris.
    He made the Team over Marcus Cooper this year and, is roughly the same size as Tramaine Brock.
    Word on him is SPEED.
    PR/KR ability I wonder?
    He posted times in the 4.3 range.

    Another UDFA guy going the route of Brock. Small School development guy.
    Good video highlight clip here –


    This is where our Scouts earn their merit.

  35. unca_chuck says:

    That’s why I like Odell Beckham. True 4.40 speed and 6′ 0″. My fear is he moves up the board.

    Take a late shot as well with one of the speedsters.

    I’m not very happy about V McDs progress. I wonder if they draft a TE. I guess Celek can take over.

  36. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up.

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