Travellin’ Band

737 comin’ out of the sky
Oh, won’t you take me down to Memphis
On a midnight ride, I gotta move
Hey, you need a travellin’ band, yeah

By popular demand, we’ve switched to Creedence Clearwater Revival. Another excellent American band that sounded Louisiana but actually came out of El Cerrito. One of many bands that signed onerous contracts that paid them pennies on the dollar while the record company reaped huge profits. John Fogerty broke up the band because, a) he was a control freak, but he also realized that he couldn’t work under the conditions imposed by Fantasy Records. So he broke up the band. Fantasy Records later sued John Fogerty, saying the song “Old Man Down the Road” sounded too much like the Creedence song “Run Through the Jungle.” In other words, he sounded too much like himself. Brilliant. Vanz Can’t Dance, and Mr. Greed are songs dedicated to his boss at Fantasy Records.

Anyhow, what’s the fastest and best way to travel? Through the air, of course. And this is where the biggest question around this team lays. We’ve all bemoaned the lack of a speed WR, a guy like Randy Moss, who regularly took a safety and CB with him on every pass play. Problem was he was, for all intents and purposes, a decoy. He cleared out routes underneath for Crabs and VD. Getting a guy like DSJ to fill this role would be instant discord, as he’d bristle immediately about not being the focus of the passing game. And he’d be right, but that a different kettle of fish.

And therein lies the rub. There is talk around the water cooler that this team wants to use more 3 WR formations. Problem is, this talk has been out there for a long time. I’ve been advocating this since before the stone age of Singletary/Jimmy-Hat. Mainly because you can run more effectively with less guys in the box. If you have a speed threat that is an actual weapon, and NOT just a threat, the defense is forced to cover that outside guy with a CB, and provide help over the top with a safety. Which clears the 2nd level for the run game.

And that’s the other sticking point. Can we even BE an effective deep passing team? The prevailing theory was that Alex Smith was the problem. Well, now that we have a cannon-armed young stud in Kappy Kaepernick, well, it’s more of the same. Sideline passes, buttonhooks, the occasional deep fade. The only guy running go routes is our TE. I don’t see a plethora of deep balls flying around. In 2011, Alex Smith’s last full season as a Niner, he was at 7.07 yards per attempt. Kappy’s 7.69 last year isn’t a vast improvement. Even the split year of 2012, AS was at 7.97, and Kappy was at 8.32. More of the same.

All this leads me to believe that it is the design of the offense, not the lack of a burner, that is the main culprit here. So, there is little reason to draft a WR in the 1st round. I mean, I’d love to get an Odell Beckham, but if we are merely going to use him as a decoy, then screw it. Draft a low level burner in the 3rd or 4th round. If they DO draft a WR, I hope to God they really revamp this offense to take better advantage of Kaepernick’s abilities rather than continue with the same power running game. Sure, they may struggle early, but who cares? This team needs to be a little more explosive. They have the defense to stop people. They need to get on top of teams and dominate rather than let teams hang around all game and prey for a game-winning field goal.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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69 Responses to Travellin’ Band

  1. Nipper says:

    Godzilla is coming again. Perhaps he can burn down the draft instead of Tokyo this time.

  2. unca_chuck says:

    And, speaking of Godzilla . . .

  3. philippinefan says:

    12th Man (I use his full name fer the first time ever, maybe the last lol) has posted a good response to objections to bringing DeSean Jackson on board on the last thread- for those following along. 2nd to last comment. I responded as follows:

    Well said 12. Agree. We need an elite addition to our passing game for the good reasons you mention. Will it be a risk? Yes. Will it be expensive? Yeah we know that too. Will it work? It certainly could, very well indeed. That will depend on coaches getting out of their hypnotic trances and running an actual passing attack. Using deep threat as more than a decoy but to, gasp, actually score with. Fancy that.

    Coaching/coaches, ball in yer court. DSJ or whomever fast we get Do Not give us more gimmicky ginn crapola. Expand our repertory of passes fer Gods sake. Mooks.

    Long Live Creedence!

  4. Can anyone else here lay claim to having lived in El Cerrito? Not that you’d really want to, but it’s a fact. Interestingly enough I played my CYO basketball at the gym where CCR joined forces — Portola Jr. High. I had a sweet little lefty jumper playing SF for St. Jerome. The only downside was when I shot the occasional “brick” Sr. Madeleine would whack my hand with her ruler. That wicked witch was downright evil. If one didn’t believe in the Devil beforehand, one sure in the hell did after staring into her eyes.

  5. unca_chuck says:

    Lived there for about 2 months after I moved back from Colo. That’s how I found Club Mallard . . .

  6. unca_chuck says:

    Here are the proposed rule changes to be voted on.

    Some real doozies.

    43 yard extra points?

    Pass interference within a yard of the line of scrimmage? Fuck that.

  7. Seahawks just signed Jared Allen. 49ers response? Give the FB a 3-yr extension.

    Is it any wonder which team won the Super Bowl?

  8. unca_chuck says:

    Jared Allen’s old and slow. Fuck him. Minnesota is getting younger. Seattle? We’ll see. They’ve lost more than they’ve gained. As of now.

    Fuck, Dennis. Shut it already.

  9. I don’t have to shut it quite just yet. I had both Dayton and Harvard winning today. I still have a shot at winning a billion dollars! Now if I can just get North Dakota St. home tonight I’ll have that money spent already. 😀

  10. unca_chuck says:

    You will also be getting calls from Quicken Loans every day for the next 5 years.

  11. unca_chuck says:

    I wonder how they plan on paying that out should someone win??

  12. North Dakota St. beats the Okies in OT!
    A certain mook is 12 for 12 to start the day.
    Billion dollars. Billion dollars. Billion dollars. 😀

  13. unca_chuck says:

    The Pinole Pandas

  14. unca_chuck says:

    DIdn;t see those comments from a couple days ago.

    12th, I’ve been harping on the multiple WR sets and the lackof a deep game for years now. That being said, I still feel they are better served even using Patton in that role. He’s fast enough. Like you said (and I said in the thread) they just have to DO it.

    Our pass plays are slow-developing anyway, so this wouldn’t take a huge adjustment to go deep.

    • 12th man says:

      Chuck we agree on the need for 3 wide receiver sets. I like what little I saw of Patton so far but he is far from the talent of Jackson at this point and certainly won’t draw the kind of attention from DB’s that Jackson demands.
      I understand your concerns with Jackson and the cost of him, I share those thoughts, but I figure he is worth the risk with what he brings to the table.
      No rookie or any other WR free agent available comes close to Jackson’s talent. It’s rare to get a chance at a proven elite guy like him. He is a difference maker and the Niners need a difference.

      • unca_chuck says:

        If Patton catches a few deep ones, problem solved. The thing is, they don’t even TRY it. Missing a couple deep balls at least plants the seed that it MIGHT happen.

        These guys (Roman and Harbaugh) are making this much more difficult than it needs to be.

        I’m with you on the punt returns though. It has been a black hole for a while now.

  15. snarkk says:

    Niners are one of the few NFL squads that regularly use a FB. They sign Miller to a 3-year extension. Signals to me Harbs isn’t suddenly doing to install a “3 amigos” pass offense. Still, getting a WR burner should be on the board, if not anything to develop a guy if/when Crabs leaves. I doubt Crabby will hang around if this offense continues to crawl along. If Walsh had this kind of top defense (and he did), he pushed his offense to score early and often and destroy the will of the opposition by halftime. Harbaugh is content to grind out wins by a FG. That’s tough on a club, like the Giants of 2010-2012 were tough on their pitchers, always winning by one run games…

  16. Spitblood says:

    The AFC West will once again be an interesting division to watch. Don’t sleep on the Raiders next year. Normally, I deplore any team that builds in free agency, but Reggie McKenzie’s situation is different. He took over a team that was rotting in the gutter without many redeemable pieces. You can only draft so many players each year in a rebuilding process, and in addition, you get penalized by the NFL if you’re way under the cap. McKenzie has no choice.

    The Raiders are rebuilding their offensive line, which is a smart thing to do. But more importantly, the free agents the Raiders are bringing in are free agents with rings or free agents from winning organizations. McKenzie has brought in James Jones from Green Bay, Terrell Brown from San Francisco, Justin Tuck from New York, Booth from New York, and Woodley from Pittsburgh. They already have Woodson. Woodley and Woodson are in the super twilight of their careers, but Tuck can still play once he realizes he needs to focus more on dominating on the football field instead of trying to be Mr Diplomatic off the field.

    Schaub was a smart move – if Schaub can get mean and wants to regain his status as a pretty good NFL qb. Schaub could be Gannon in Oakland, rejuvenating his career, but Gannon had more of the fiery personality that’s needed to win in Oakland. Even without the fiery personality, I could see Schaub playing within the system and winning games.

    The sleeper is Darren McFadden. The Raiders have simply asked McFadden to do too much while McFadden has been in Oakland. No line, no quarterback, no OC, no passing attack, no consistent compliment running back? Think about that? Who succeeds in that circumstance? McFadden’s good. He’s got a bad name because NFL fans are stupid. Give any great running back those circumstances and he’ll get injured a lot, too. Adrian Peterson? He’s had a great line. He once had Favre. He’s good enough not to need a compliment. But Peterson, last year, was as close to the scenario above as I can think of and Peterson did do well, but try to sustain that. Give Peterson 3 years under those circumstance and he’ll be worn down and injured, too. And now Peterson gets Norv, one of the best play callers in the game. Today, the Raiders are giving McFadden an offensive line and a passing attack. I don’t know if the line will gel and be good, or if the OC will create a passing attack that moves the ball with Schaub and James Jones, but if both of those things happen, McFadden could be come back player of the year.

    The key for Oakland, and this is absolutely key…….. will be whether all the older free agents who are now being asked to be leaders for the Raiders will band together and seriously try to both win and educate the younger players, helping McKenzie build a winner. Or if they’ll just be there collecting a paycheck like past Raider veterans. HC Allen will need to impress them with his coaching strategies for older free agent leadership to remain motivated.

    The Raiders last year were 4-12, last in their division with superstar Matt McGloin (sp) at qb. KC surprised everyone, so did the Chargers. The Broncos laid an egg in the Super Bowl. Both the Broncos and Raiders brought in a lot of free agents, but interestingly, I think the Broncos doing that will hurt the team while the Raiders doing it could help tremendously. The Raiders have no where to go but up, and the Broncos have no where to go but down. I think the Raiders will still finish last in their division because the Chargers are good and even though the Broncos are now descending, they’re still head and shoulder above the Raiders. The interesting team once again in the AFC West will be KC. I want to see how Andy Reid once again uses Jamaal Charles and Alex Smith. Will Reid throw in some new wrinkles for Smith in year two like Harbaugh did with the fly sweep and read option, or does Reid just figure him and Mr Smith have it dialed? I’m also dying to see how AJ Jenkins and Kyle Williams do in KC in year two. If either one of those guys develops it’s egg on Baalke’s face and Johnny Morton’s tenure in SF gets even more fragile. Morton’s not on thin ice because Harbaugh’s stubborn like a mule.

  17. unca_chuck says:

    Holden McGroin was as good as could be expected.

    I’m still amazed the AFC West sent 3 teams to the playoffs last year. That should tell you something about the state of the AFC. If Denver can stay healthy with their new guys, they look to be a little better. Not sure how KC responds to their epic meltdown, but they should be fine. Maybe they take the division this year.

    SD I’m afraid, will fade back to thi middle of the pack.

    I almost wrote a thread about the Raiders but then I realized I don’t give a fuck.

    • Spitblood says:

      The rise and fall of divisions, especially on the West coast, is interesting. I disagree with you about Denver and the Chargers. It’s hard to know if the Chargers were a success because of the combination of McCoy and Whizzerhurtz, or if it was all Whizzerhurtz. Who knows what Frank 3rd Reich will bring to the table as a play caller. But I’d take Phillip River’s heart over Peyton Manning’s any time, any place, any where. If Frank Reich can be a good play caller, the Chargers will win that division.

  18. unca_chuck says:

    Rivers is the key. If he can play relatively interception-free, he’ll be fine. There are times though where he gets all Steve Martin with the ball. I certainly don’t think Denver and KC run away with shit again.

    I hope the Chargers are good, but Rivers is always a big question mark.

    And I’m pissed we didn’t get Keenan Allen. Loved that kid at Cal.

    • Spitblood says:

      I disagree about Rivers. I think he got a bad rap towards the end of Norv’s time in San Diego. Norv and their GM were both done and Rivers was left to dangle in the wind. The key isn’t Rivers. The key is Frank Reich.

      • Spitblood says:

        The minute AJ Smith traded up into the first round for a running back in Ryan Mathews, from a relatively weak college conference, I knew both Smith and Norv Turner were done in San Diego, and Rivers’ legacy suffered for it.

      • unca_chuck says:

        Could be. Rivers had a pretty shitty start last year iirc. I wasn’t really paying attention though. Keenan has been fun to watch down there, though. He got me interested in see how SD was doing . . .

  19. Alleykat says:

    No the reason the Chargers sucked was hiring Norv Turner in the 1st place.He has no clue as a HC, only barely serviceable as an OC!
    They were much better of with Marty Schottimier ( sp definitely wrong) IMO

  20. Well, I’m not going to win a billion dollars. But that’s not the half of it. After that ND St. upset I borrowed big time on my potential winnings and purchased some beachfront property in Malibu. Then I compounded that mistake by buying up all of the available Alex Smith apparel that I was going to use to fuel my big bonfire at my Malibu mansion during my huge “I Won a Billion Dollars!” victory party. You were all invited of course. Now there’s no party. No seaside property. And worst of all, I’m stuck with all this Alex Smith crap.

    Guess I better go put an ad in the paper: For Sale; Alex Smith memorabilia. $2 each/OBO/OB/OB/OB… Or beer. Or beer. Or beer…

  21. Best move I ever made was switching allegiance from Chargers to Niners. That came about when Bill traded fer Fred Dean (from SD). A light bulb went on and I thought “So This is what winning is like”.

    Worse move was switching allegiance from Packers to San Diego when I graduated HS and moved West. A side benefit was learning to hate the Raider tho.

  22. Spitblood says:

    This blog will be happy to know in sobriety my golf game is becoming lights out. I know. I know. This is the blog for it and this topic isn’t too much information. There’s music, lotto, Russia and now golf. It’s the off season. There are two ways to lower your scores: one is to slow down your golf swing and take a longer club, and the second is to play 16 holes. I know. I know. Hilarious, right? Today I hit the most pure shot I’ve ever hit. Par four, 185 yards out ….. tears in my eyes, I guess. About to become the blog hero. I hit a soft 4 iron, no movement left or right, straight as a Nebraska nun, two feet from the pin. “Golf: A good walk spoiled,” or the best damn game ever! 84 with 32 putts, not too shabby.

  23. Nipper says:

    I’ve got a five dollar McDonald’s gift card. I haven’t been in one for years. What should a value customer get?

    • snarkk says:

      I’d scalp it, take $3 for it and go to a Taco Bell instead. Much better line of e coli…

    • Offer the bum outside in the McDonald’s parking lot your $5 gift card for his 40 oz of malt liquor. If he’s truly hungry, he just might make the trade. The best thing I ever bought at Mickey D’s was outside their door.

  24. Spitblood says:

    Talks heating up around DeShaun Jackson. Seattle is said to be jumping into the conversation, but how much merit there is to that remains to be seen. The Eagles are reportedly saying “We’re either cutting him or trading him,” which seems like a stupid thing to say if you’re looking at trying to get compensation; however, Jackson’s contract is damn good for a team (not so great for Jackson).

  25. It’s the owners meetings right now so the boyz in the smoke filled room will make a deal on Jackson soon. Maybe it’s a blessing we have no cap room to speak of. Sounds like Kelly said “Enough already; you’re gone.’me first boy’? Whatever. If we get him let’s tolerate the crap and win a SB = all will be well.

  26. Jedi underestimates frustration level of Niner fans at our sophomoric passing attack =

    “Jed York pokes fun at DJax rumors, free agency” (Niners Nation)

    But he needs a laugh after being vilified by fans for jacking with Hendrix

  27. 12th man says:

    Baalke denies talking with Philly about DeSean Jackson, but then he would since it would mean tampering. I doubt they do this deal but still believe they should.

    • NJ49er says:

      Worth the gamble if the Contract was acceptable I guess 12th.
      I question his willingness to accept a Cap friendly deal to play for the hardware.
      I just don’t think he’s concerned with the concept of ‘Team’.

      I still find his personality to be risky but, there’s no denying his playmaking abilities.

      I’m more inclined to see him joining Vick and Mornhinweg in NY, since there’s a familiarity with the system and, the better Cap situation there.

      See what flies…..

      • NJ49er says:

        I’d like it better if he were released and free to negotiate.
        No way we could handle his current Contract arrangment.

        In that scenario, there would be some room to find out what really matters to him.

      • NJ49er says:

        For the sake of comparisons –

        Santonio Holmes 381 Rec 5963 Yds 36 TDs 9yrs
        Desean Jackson 356 Rec 6117 Yds 32 TDs 7yrs

        Could Santonio offer us anything?
        He’s a head case too, and a couple years older.
        Desean is definitely the better PR/KR factor.

      • NJ49er says:

        One stat both Santonio and Desean have in common is YPC.
        Each guy is capable of the deep threat assignments.

        Santonio – 15.7 YPC Avg
        Desean – 17.2 YPC Avg

  28. NJ49er says:

    Chuck I gotta do this…..Just picked up Joe’s Live CD from last year – OUTSTANDING!

  29. How Chris Cook could affect 49ers’ defense (from espn). This is what I was saying they would do with Cook = we’ll see

    “ESPN scout Matt Williamson doesn’t believe the 49ers will adopt the one-high safety attack full time and instead thinks it will be a “wrinkle.” Despite the fact he doesn’t have an interception in four NFL seasons, Cook could help the 49ers.

    “They want him to be their Richard Sherman with (safety Eric) Reid over the top. Cook is big and physical in press and does have a lot of ability,” Williamson said. “Not saying he is Sherman, but I do think that best uses Cook’s skill set.”

    “Williamson said if the 49ers use Cook in press coverage, they can move new starting strong safety Antoine Bethea closer to the line of scrimmage than they played former starter Donte Whitner. Williamson said that can help compensate for playing without injured inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman early in the season. Bowman could miss up to half the season as he recovers from a torn ACL he suffered at Seattle in the NFC title game Jan. 19.”

    So, perhaps, the acquisition of Cook could have multiple benefits.

    • NJ49er says:

      Yeh Phil, I see Cook being the physical presence Carlos was unable to be.
      We certainly need to start getting physical at the LOS, not playing off as we tradionally have.
      Carlos was definitely has better coverage skills but, wasn’t very physical.

      Add to this the anticipated Draftees and this Secondary is likely going to be re-tooled for the foreseeable future.
      I’m on the fence regarding CB Jason Verrett due to his size but, he’s extremely quick and nimble. Could be upgrade for the slot duties where Carlos was notmally assigned.

      I still see a pair of DBs and WRs from this shopping trip in May.
      Perhaps even a late RD project pick for the Secondary to add a third selection?

  30. philippinefan says:

    Fodder fer a rainy afternoon from Bleacher Report: Nothing new but quick recap of Dealin’ Trents work so far

    Ranking the 2014 Impact of San Francisco 49ers’ Free-Agent Signings so Far (reverse order)

    6. Chris Cook CB
    5. Eric Wright CB
    4. Michael Wilhoite ILB
    3. Antoine Bethea S
    2. Phil Dawson K
    1. Anquan Boldin WR

  31. unca_chuck says:

    Rain? What’s that?

  32. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up

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