The 49ers Are Happy Campers . . .

. . . for the most part. The 49ers started camp yesterday, and most of the gang came to the festivities. VD showed up, as everyone knows. Boone didn’t, as everybody knows. The good news is this latest break in football activities didn’t result in anyone hitting the police blotter or TMZ. Kappy is thrilled about the new-look offense and his newly inked WRs that he has to throw to. The coaches are thrilled about Carlos Hyde and his emergence as the backup to ageless Frank Gore.  Justin Smith is feeling better than he has in a couple years after undergoing shoulder surgery this offseason. An injury that he played through all last year. And, of course, VD showed up and silenced the folks (me) calling for his head on a plate, with a side of Rhino.

How this all shakes out is a mystery, what with a newly re-tooled defensive backfield, a missing RG, and a crowded offensive backfield. That being said, one has to feel good about the fact that Colin Kaepernick has a lot more options to throw to, and a coaching staff  that, as of now, seems to wants to give more power to our young QB. And a staff that seems willing to pry open the passing section of the playbook. Boone should show up at some point. And if he’s learned anything, he should heed Joe Staley.  Show up, do your job, plant some seeds about your discontentment. But SHOW UP. The team has said over and over they will not negotiate with absentee players. Boone, for his part, changed agencies, and went with Schwartz & Feinsod. They of course are famous for having Darelle Revis among their clients, and their insistence of taking a hard line (advising clients to hold out rather than negotiate) instead of working things through more amicably.

Sorry, Rhino. You are a nice guy, and a great story overcoming your problems, but adios. Guards aren’t that hard to find, or replace. The Niners have enough in camp right now to absorb your loss. And if you want to miss the Super Bowl ring that you just might get, well, tough shit dot com.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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79 Responses to The 49ers Are Happy Campers . . .

  1. Nipper says:

    Tough Shit Dot Com. Chuck’s new site has emerged!

  2. Spitblood says:

    “Ageless” Frank Gore is synonymous with eyeless or clueless Unca Chuck. Frank Gore makes Willie Mays on the Mets look like Jim Brown in his final year.

  3. unca_chuck says:

    Mays should be so lucky. Seeing as Jim Brown retired at the peak of his game, there you go. He led the league in rushing and TDs his last year. Was he MVP? Maybe. Can’t remember but I think so.

  4. unca_chuck says:

    Here’s Justin Smith:

    Gotta love the t-shirt:

  5. Spitblood says:

    Congratulations on knowing that Jim Brown was at the peak of his game when he retired. So if, like I wrote, “Gore makes Mays on the Mets look like Jim Brown in his final year,” then Gore is worse than Willie Mays on the Mets. It’s hyperbole, sure. But Gore is done. Finished. Kaput.

  6. unca_chuck says:

    Congrats on being clueless about football history, Spotty. No it isn’t. You’re trying to diss Frank and who you diss is Mays by not knowing anything about the reality of the situation.

    Really. Jim Brown? Greatest running back of all time? Next you’ll be saying Johnny Unitas played for the Chargers, and Joe Namath played for the Rams.
    Here’s a hint. They did.

    Anyhow, I added some pics of the farewell football game at the Stick.

    Under the header pic is a link to them.


    Or don’t.

  7. Spitblood says:

    Just read that Boone switched agents in the off-season to a more aggressive agency. If an agency is good, they survey the landscape of each individual team before putting together a strategy for a player. I would advise a holdout for a player on a team like the Chicago Bears. Holding out in the NFL is now risky because the owners have figured out how to destroy a holdout’s effectiveness, but every so often a holdout can have leverage if the player in on a bubble team for the playoffs. I think the Bears are a playoff bubble team. They also have holes all over their roster. A DT or good linebacker on the Bears could hold that team hostage. The 49ers, however, are stacked in all areas. They aren’t thin in one area… accept maybe DB. Boone is going to watch as Marcus and John Martin along with Looney and other compete for Boone’s job and eventually take it from Boone. I woudn’t be surprised to see Marcus Martin take the Center job from Kilgore and see Looney step up and be the Guard to replace Boone. I don’t think much of John Martin or Daniel Kilgore.

  8. Spitblood says:

    The Lynch holdout is very interesting. Lynch doesn’t have position leverage, but he does have PR leverage. You can make a case that Lynch was a huge reason the Seahawks won the Super Bowl. And he’s only being paid 5-6 million per year. The Seahawks can tell him to kick rocks because they have Turbin and Micheal (the boy named Sue) behind Lynch, and I think the Seahawks would be just fine. Lynch is a beast, but ya gotta learn to win multiple different ways.

    Lynch has leverage in that the fans would be very sympathetic to Lynch’s plight, and it could turn into a PR nightmare for Carroll and company if they don’t at least appear to be grateful to Lynch for being an enormous part of their first ever ring. If I was an owner, I’d never… ever….. never ever pay a holdout. But I might pay Lynch.

  9. unca_chuck says:

    Read it somewhere? Yer killin’ me skippy.

  10. unca_chuck says:

    Seattle looks to be on their way to an epic implosion. Carroll doesn’t want it to happen, but this season has all the makings of the season of a million distractions for them.

  11. unca_chuck says:

    What, you think LMJ gets Gore’s touches? As of now no one has beat him out of the starting job.

    • Spitblood says:

      If I was the coach, Hunter and Hyde would get 90% of the carries. I’d use James in extreme spread formations, and Lattimore would have another year of recovery. Gore would be on the Jets.

      • NoFear49er says:

        reason # xxx,xxx,xxx,xxx,x17 why you’re not.

      • unca_chuck says:

        Spitty, I would have used an offense more suited to Alex’s talents 9 years ago. And 8 years ago, and 7 years ago, etc. Smith is in a system now that is more aligned with what he does well. Which is throw short and get the ball out quickly.

        I’d be running an offense more suited to Kappy’s strengths. But we aren’t going to see ‘extreme spreads’ or anything in that realm. Unless Dennis gets his wish and Harbaugh gets fired.

      • Spitblood says:

        I’ll take me coaching the team over you coaching it. Here’s your pre-game speech to the players.

        “We’re gonna go out there… we’re gonna dig a bunker…. get free wifi and sit in a hole until they come….. ambush ’em. Don’t shoot ’em until they go ten yards or you’ll get a penalty for illegal touching (and I got one of those in Mississippi with a 14 year old girl who was long on legs and short on “no”). Statutory nothing. They called it illegal touching. If the ball doesn’t go ten yards, there’s no grass on her infield, you can’t play ball. Don’t shoot ’em from your bunker beyond ten yards. That’s all I’m sayin’.

        This is gonna be a 4 quarter, maybe even an overtime slug-fest….. That’s good. As your coach, I’m prepared. I have mountains of canned goods stacked up behind you in my own personal bomb shelter that when the shit really gets flying I’ll be behind with a locked door listening to your sorry asses beg for admittance. There will be none. I’m reminded of the battle for Stalingrad. Stalin had his generals stand behind their men with guns. The common Russian foot soldier had two guns pointed at ’em. One from the front and another from their commanding officers behind. That’s how I coach. You’ll only run the ball for negative yards once. Get used to it. And remember…. no illegal touching.”

      • Spitblood says:

        That was a response to NoFear.

  12. Nipper says:

    Where’s Dennis?

    • unca_chuck says:

      Did he run away?

      • Del runaway? Not quite. Del Shannon’s “Runaway” was the theme song to “Crime Story” starring the late great Dennis Farina and Tony Denison. How’s that for a name tie-in? I just hit the Del/Dennis/Den trifecta. This concludes today’s version of name that Del, Dennis or Den Game. Tune in tomorrow for another scintillating episode. Same Del-time, same Del-channel.

  13. Nipper says:

    Now lets be positive! The start of another glorious season for the best team in the Bay Area. Sure the Giants and the A’s have their moments but nothing approaches our Niners!

  14. Spitblood says:

    Great picture at the top of the blog, Chuck. Bill Walsh is one of my favorite all-time human beings!

  15. unca_chuck says:

    Only took you 6 years to post a song I actually like, Dennis. Great keyboards in that song.

  16. unca_chuck says:

    Got to love this, though.

    Reverb AND feedback. In the 50s, no less. Greatest unknown guy out there. Hendrix has nothing on this guy.

  17. NoFear49er says:

    Hey, just found the photos of the FFF game. Some pretty good shots there, Chuck. Some kid photo-bombing you, too. Haley’s happy to play another game with Joe.

  18. unca_chuck says:

    Thanks, NoFear. Yeah, the boy is getting taller. He passed me last month.

  19. unca_chuck says:

    Dennis, I can’t believe I never heard of or saw Link Wray as he played in the Bay Area a lot in the 70s.

  20. unca_chuck says:

    And, in the No Shit, Sherlock category of sports, the Cleveland Browns are ‘stunned and shocked’ by Johnny Eightball’s antics this preseason.–browns-stunned-by-johnny-manziel-s–non-stop-antics–193415719.html

    Did they collectively all just fall off the turnip truck? I mean, really. He’s been doing this shit all through college.

    Hey, he could come in and win the starting job and win some games, or sit on the bench and party a la Hot Tub Matt Leinart. Point being, he’s acting like an idiot and not taking his shot seriously. At least it appears that way.

    The closest parallel I can come up with is Nate Davis. Although there were no expectations around him like they are around Johnny Speedball.

  21. unca_chuck says:

    Hunter screwed up his knee in camp today. Non-contact drill. Looks like LMJ may get some time after all.

  22. Torn ACL for Kendall Hunter. You know what that means — more carries for Frank.
    Might as well go piss in Spit’s Cheerios and make his morning complete.

  23. NoFear49er says:

    Or just the opportunity Hyde needed.

  24. Spitblood says:

    Hyde and Lattimore….. and James. F Frank.

  25. unca_chuck says:

    I hope Hyde can grasp the blocking schemes. We’re going to need him.

  26. NJ49er says:

    One guy that could benefit here, as a dark horse, is Jewel Hampton.

    If Lattimore can’t regain his confidence in the surgically repaired knee, Carlos certainly occupies the 2-spot, with #3 being there for the taking.

    I give the size and style advantage to Hampton, short of knowing what else he has to offer, having very little to see thus far as a Pro.

    Going strictly on College stats, he’s a North/South between the Tackles runner like Frank.
    Again, it’s all going to come down to Pass Pro, for any of these RB hopefuls to steal time from Frank this year.

    Tough break for Kendall certainly, in a Contract year to boot.

  27. NJ49er says:

    Read an interesting comment from Roman regarding the Screen Game, (or lack thereof).
    Suggesting an inability to block at the Second level.
    Speaks directly to the interior of the OL wouldn’t it?

    Could Boone, being a converted OT and, an older Center like Goodwin, be assumed to be guys he might be indirectly pointing a finger at?

    Things that make you go, Hmmmmmm?

  28. Spitblood says:

    Jewel Hampton? Sweet Moses…. smell the roses.

    I told you reprobates the 49ers should draft two running backs. Did I not? Am I lying?

    I hope Trey Millard beats out the average one…. Bruce Miller. If I was a linebacker and Bruce Miller came at me, I’d knock that red headed hillbilly’s dick in the dirt.

    I can’t stand our backfield unless Hyde and Trey Millard start kickin’ some ass back there. Our backfield sucks!!!!!!!!!!!

    • NJ49er says:

      He’s been on the roster for awhile now Spit.
      Not sure where he’s at in terms of development/readiness but, his game is very similar to Frank’s.
      Simply comparing him to LMJ in terms of size/style.
      I’ts certainly Carlos’ spot to lose I’d think.
      All about the Pass Pro.

      LMJ for me was always about getting him involved in the Screen game, moreso than an in between the Tackles-type of threat.
      Losing Kendall simply opens the door for the next guy to take advantage of it.
      We’ll see who that someone will be soon enough.

  29. unca_chuck says:

    Goodwin certainly was a weak link. You’d think they’d try screens once in a while, though. . . I mean shit, they run block to the 2nd level pretty well.

    I don;t know what to believe. Smith used to skip screens off Gore’s hands for picks a lot. I think they’re more gunshy than anything. Esp with perception that Kappy has no touch.

    • Spitblood says:

      The Niners can’t run screens because of Gore. The guy’s slower than molasses in January up in the arctic circle where snow cap are melting faster than Bud is consumed at Dennis’ house after a 49er loss that happened because Gore is too slow.

    • NJ49er says:

      There’s also the touch aspect of Kaep’s game too Chuck.
      He’s a fire-baller, ala Favre.

      It takes time to perfect every aspect of the QB position for sure.
      Obviously we all hope for that learning curve to improve for Kaep ASAP.

      Gotta be optimistic about the passing game for now too.
      Crabtree in a Contract year, Boldin with a Season in the system, Stevie and, hopefully an improved VMcD.

      • NoFear49er says:

        Hey NJ49er, it would seem the three inside o-linemen are the main second-level screen blockers. I don’t know that any of them are great at moving targets. But it could be the blocking TEs, too. And to restate a previous complaint, I don’t think the wideouts are doing their job of selling a deep pass either. I can almost hear the MLB or safety yell screen-screen-screen when he sees the X and Z loafing up to the line.

        Too much timing involved taking too much practice time which is already cut down to nothing. And a busted screen can easily go for six the other way. Considering all the things that must get ten or fifteen minutes of practice time every day it’s not hard to see why they’re not anxious to commit enough to one play although I agree it would be a nice addition to see one or two called in a game.

      • NJ49er says:

        It’s an OL designed for the power running game certainly NoFear49er.
        I see the remark Roman made as being focused on the Interior guys as well.
        Staley and Davis are pretty mobile for OTs too IMO.
        Always considered Davis a downfield battler, much like a Guard.
        Good point about the practice limitations too.
        Because we focus are game on the running portion, guys like Celek and VMcD likely get more time blocking than anything else.
        Each year is a new challenge.
        Hopefully VMcD and Patton take another step toward better production.
        Agree too, the Screen game is a finesse thing.
        RBs and QB need that work as much as WRs and QB do on other route options.
        We’ll see where the ‘new’ Roman options take them this time around.

  30. Nipper says:

    Ah……….Horse BLEEP!

  31. Spitblood says:

    This entire SCREEN debate is really, really moronic. And it comes from the top…. er…. the middle…, Greg Roman and Jim Harbaugh. In his recent press conference Roman said “We work screens and we always have them in our back pocket.” No you don’t. Don’t lie to us, Greg. You don’t work screens. You don’t spend time evolving screens. You want to work screens, do it in games – evaluate and improve. I can’t remember the last screen the 49ers ran. Roman couldn’t find his screen play ass in the dark with both hands. Know why? I bet it’s because as a player Harbaugh never ran screens. Forget all this bullshit about Kaep not having the touch, or our line not being athletic enough. All of that is complete horse shit. The reason the 49ers under Roman and Harbaugh don’t run screens is because Jim Harbaugh’s head coaches in Bo Schembechler, Mike Dikta, Ted Marchibroda and several others were all old school guys who were ground and pound. Harbaugh played for a few teams, and I don’t pretend to know all the coaches he played under, but it’s no wonder Harbaugh follows the old school approach.

    Sure, Harbaugh has incorporated things on occasion outside the ground and pound mantra he lives by. We’ve seen the fly sweep, the pistol and other offenses incorporated into ground and pound. Harbaugh can adapt. There’s no question. But why adapt to the screen play now? We all know defenses are getting better at reading screens and defending against them. Screens become a consistent part of an offense (like the Saints and Eagles), with other plays setting them up. Harbaugh and Roman have other options.

    The reason this keeps coming back up is because nobody really, in their heart of hearts, believes the reasons that the 49ers offer for not running screens. Kaep has no touch? Bullshit. Remember the touch pass to Gore along the sidelines against the Giants in the playoffs? (I think it was the Giants). Our O line isn’t athletic enough in space? Bullshit again. Remember Staley on the Alex Smith end around against the Saints? GRow asks our O line to pull and trap all the time. But they can’t block for a screen play. Total horseshit.

    Maybe GRow and Harbaugh don’t want to squash the debate because they want defenses to have to account for the screen. But if that’s the case, why not run one on occasion?

    Me personally? I think Greg Roman is going to be lost trying to create a new passing offense. The 49ers have more than enough tools. There are no excuses for this team not being the best offense in the NFL in 2014.

    • Spitblood says:

      And to advance my point in my first paragraph…. Did Harbaugh run screens at Stanford? I don’t think he did. He had the team to do it there. Are you going to tell me Andrew Luck didn’t have the touch, or that the Stanford line wasn’t athletic enough? Maybe they weren’t smart enough….

  32. unca_chuck says:

    That was a wheel route, but yeah, I’m debating NoFear in Skeeberland about the very limiting offense we use. Especailly the passing game. No deep routes, no screens, no slants. We don’t dictate anything on offense rather than the run game.

    I get sick watching the boring-ass red zone offense. Continually settling for FGs.

  33. unca_chuck says:

    Oh, and LMJ dislocated his elbow today. He’s out for a month.

    • Spitblood says:

      The 49ers should have drafted two running backs. I only like three guys in our backfield: Hyde, Hunter and Millard.

  34. unca_chuck says:

    The Niners don’t use screens because we don’t run deep enough routes with the WRs. Everyone’s up close anyway, so they can’t clear out room to roam.

    I’d imagine that has something ro do with slants. with all the up close traffic, there’s no lane to throw through.

    • Spitblood says:

      BS…. I’ve been to plenty of games where the 49ers were threatening or challenging the secondary with deeper routes. Your “clear out” argument is wrong.

      The correct answer is that Roman doesn’t know how to design them, and he doesn’t know when to call them. That’s play calling 101. Pass the ball three consecutive times successfully with mid to deep level passes, then on the 4th play, when the D linemen are frustrated, let the D linemen get by and dump it over their heads. You have to have a feel for it. Roman is a college run game coordinator.

  35. Spitblood says:

    That’s not my point. You’re a habitual point-misser. The point is that Roman is offering bullshit reasons to protect that the 49er coaching staff doesn’t know the subtitles of the screen game. And furthermore, if they wanted to know those screen game subtitles they could, but they don’t want to learn them because defenses are getting better equipped to stop screens. And how many screen teams have won the Super Bowl? The Saints were the last, I believe.

    If the 49ers want to open up their offense, they need to use their speed skill position players on occasion and sit Q and Frank while they run spread formations. They also need to go “up-tempo,” and they need to sit Frank Gore 80% of the time. If you give Frank the rock a lot it destroys the potential for the in-game development of Kaep and his wide receivers. Kaep needs to learn to work with Vance, Patton, Ellington and Johnson. Another way you could open up the offense is with the use of some trick plays. The 49ers have tried a few with a lot of success (except when Frank Gore tried to throw the football, which was ugly). The 49ers need another guy who can throw the football. It’s not Vernon. It might be Q. I think, if I’m not mistaken, James rolled right last year looking to throw but tucked it away. I’m betting Ellington, being a former basketball player, could throw a football. Remember the old Tom Brady handoff and throw it back to Brady in the endzone trick that worked two or three times in a short span? The 49ers need to try one of those this year with Kaep streaking down the sidelines.

    1.) Spread with quick guys
    2.) Less Frank
    3.) Give Kaep time in-game to develop repertoire with Ellington, Patton and Vance McDonald.
    4.) More deep balls
    5.) More trickeration
    6.) Quit giving us bs reasons for why we don’t run screen plays. We can clearly run them if we decided it was a priority.

  36. unca_chuck says:

    Your point is bullshit. Defenses regularly play up close on the line because we rarely run fly routes. How many bombs did Ginn catch in 3 years? None.

    Why throw a screen when there are 10 guys within 8 yards of the LOS?

    • Spitblood says:

      The only time they crowd us (with Kaep) is when most of our offensive weapons are injured (Carolina game). When we have the full stable, defenses play back.

  37. NJ49er says:

    That’s the issue with the Offense in SF.
    Comparing it to NOLA or even the Montana years is apples to oranges.
    We’re run heavy, they’re pass happy.
    We need to find a balance.

    Going back the Norv/Aikman days in Dallas would be something I could see us succeeding with.
    When everyone was looking for Emmitt, Aikman would play-fake and kill you downfield.
    I’ve been debating this with Berger on Skeebs’ site.
    Can’t all be on play calling all the time.
    I think there’s a certain degree of QB experience hampering what we can and can’t do Offensively.
    Year 3 for Kaep needs to take a drastic step toward plays that include better vision and timing in order to get this Offense less predictable.

    There is a lot of touch and timing associated with the Screen game too.
    Would certainly like to see it utilized and featured more in game situations too.

    • 12th man says:

      I agree to an extent NJ, clearly they limit what Kap is allowed to do for whatever reasons they see in practice. However, to limit a guy like Kap to a single read, which they certainly have done many times is crazy IMO. Micro management to the max. Even Alex Smith complained about being held in check with this conservative scheme.

      The pre-season noise is yet again about the new and improved offense, I will believe it when I see it.

      • NJ49er says:

        Same here 12th.
        I get the notion that Kaep is a Pistol-product with speed to burn.
        He’s taken over games with his legs certainly.
        Be nice to have them respect his speed but, I’d like to see him work a Defense with his arm too.

        I guess I’m seeking something more in line with the WCO timing stuff.
        I know all the facets discussed here about the limitations of the OC and Harbaugh but….we win more often than we lose, which isn’t hard to take.

        Be nice to see a few wrinkles which aren’t so mundane or, easy to derail.
        A nice rhythm passing game couldn’t hurt, could it?

        Run when you’re ahead.
        Put some points up, grind them down afterwards.

      • NJ49er says:

        Where you been BTW?
        Long time no see.

      • 12th man says:

        just busy with life. Like mosy I am happy to see the team knocking on the door 3 years in a row but ultimately that’s just not good enough so something has to improve.

      • 12th man says:


      • NJ49er says:

        Yeh life has a tendency to do that quite a bit.
        Hopefully Crabtree in a Contract year, along with the addition of Stevie, can provide the impetus for Harbaugh/Roman to get something more creative going for Kaep this year.

        We need it.

  38. unca_chuck says:

    The problem I have is the formations dictate what we do a lot of the time. We aren’t very deceptive.

  39. unca_chuck says:

    Well, that deep RB corps is now down 3 guys in the space of a week.

  40. NJ49er says:

    Well Chuck, at this point we’ve gotten away from the holdouts to who’s injured.
    For what it’s worth, at least we’ve got some football taking place finally.

    But yes, I agree, we’re too damn predictable.
    For me, it’s a toss-up between Harbaugh and Roman.
    Harbaugh likes his power running game obviously, which may or may not be why Roman is his OC at this point.
    I think we all have the desire to see it evolve into something more strategic.
    Can’t argue with the results since he arrived however.
    It would just be more comfortable to see us get more from the Red Zone and not always be involved in tight battles.
    A laugher or 2 is never hard to take.

  41. Nipper says:

    So far today no one has blown out a knee.

  42. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up.

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