Down and Out in Santa Clara

A game that got Whittier and shittier as it went on took a terrible turn when  NaVorro Bowman went down with an apparent Achilles tear. If so, our semi permeable defense becomes that much less good. Not a great thing when the D is struggling in many facets.

More than that, it sucks for Bowman the passionate leader of the defense. This is another season lost to injury. And while things aren’t going great, he is one of the most respected players in the league. Shame that he is done for quite a while.

He said himself when leaving the locker room that it was his Achilles. As for the game? Our D line is not playing well. They were supposed to be a strength, but more often than not they are washed out on runs up the middle. Our NTs have been terrible. The early pass rush, with Bowman of course, was getting pressure.

offensively we are still stuck in 2nd gear. We show flashes of competence around long stretches of crap.

Chip says Gabbert is his guy but soon the rope will run out.

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About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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79 Responses to Down and Out in Santa Clara

  1. Berger says:

    NJ- I’ve been reading good things about the NT from UW, Elijah Qualls. I hope to catch a Husky game soon to see him play.

  2. Lurker John says:

    Chuck, I’m moving this from the end of the last thread. I didn’t see you had the new one up:

    The offense and Gabbert have been frustrating in large part because they show flashes of being good. You can’t deny those first 2 drives, in which they looked phenomenal. Gabbert made some amazing passes in the first quarter, especially the one to Celek on the right sideline.

    Then he reverts to his bad Blaine form, throwing balls in the dirt, missing wide open guys downfield. If the O just flat out stunk all the way around, it’d be easier to take. The line is giving him a nice pocket to throw from, including on the botched post to Torrey, but they haven’t been run blocking for shit. Usually it’s the other way around because run blocking is easier for most OL. I don’t know if it’s drive or coaching or what, but these guys are good enough to open holes for Hyde, who’s running hard but has nowhere to go.

    I don’t know who Jim O’Neil is, but his scheming so far has been dubious at best and he’s slow to make adjustments. Maybe it’s just the scheming, maybe it’s just the talent, likely it’s both. Losing Bow would be a killer to a defense already lacking cohesion.

    One last thing, can anyone remember a season when the 49ers were NOT consistently vulnerable to screen passes? The entire stadium can see them coming but these guys play like they just rolled out of bed.

  3. Lurker John says:

    If this is a full tear for Bow, he’s may have to consider retiring. That’s about an 18 month injury for full recovery. He is passionate, but this is two major leg injuries.

    They do get Lynch back this week, but I don’t expect much from him.

  4. Winder says:

    Lurker- We don’t seem to have the ability to defend the WCO. We keep getting beat by screens and it make you wonder, why can’t we do that too.
    Chuck- I think just about everyone knows that it’s on Trent, that is all except Jed.

  5. Nipper says:

    Yeah Trent is NOT about to be a Grand Marshall of any local parades, that’s for sure. Winning a Super Bowl seems about as far away as a trip to MARS!

    • Nipper says:

      How can one team decline so rapidly? Answer: TRENT BAALKE! I’m sure Jed is conferring with his parents about this very topic. Jed must be thinking better him than me! A sacrificial lamb is required very soon.

  6. Nipper says:

    When’s the next Niners victory? Come on you smart guys always come up with an answer. Who can Niners beat? Some team besides the Lambs.

  7. unca_chuck says:

    Shit we can beat AZ. Unless they run all over us. Our shiftiness leads directly to the D line. They seem to think that falling down is preferable to tackling. Blockers are getting to the 2nd level with regularity. With the LBs engaged downfield, runnng lanes open wide. With that kind of push off the line, screens are a breeze.

    I just want to see a complete game from the offense. Our only hope is to score a lot of points and hope we stop them a little.

    Bowman going out is just a crushing blow. He’s had a rough few years.

  8. NJ49er says:

    Now that we’ve lost Patrick and Bowman, what exactly do we have on the bench to even consider as capable backups?
    These 2 were the foundation of our stellar D for several years during our productive run.
    Now? I can’t see any team with a running game having much trouble from here on out.
    Unless, of course, O’Neil/Azz figure out what to do on the DLine.
    Might be time for Baalke to cherry pick a PS player elsewhere while there’s an extra few days between games after TNF.
    Add to that, a shoulder injury to Arik that’s lingering and, DeBuck on crutches.
    What exactly are we doing with all the surplus Cap space on our ledger?

    God, are we cursed or what?

  9. unca_chuck says:

    Minnesota is letting the Giants hang around. Sure enough, the Giants get to within a TD.

    • rtfirefly says:

      I had Bradford completely wrong. He’s a damned good QB in the right system.

      • Berger says:

        I think he finally has a good play caller in Norv Turner.

      • rtfirefly says:

        That bomb down the left sideline with the safety coming over to help a beaten CB was a thing of precision and beauty. I honestly only remember one other single pass tonight. The receiver (TE? WR?) went straight over the middle and the coverage was blown. No scanning the field and floating a safe pass by Bradford, he threw a dart absolutely on target as soon as the receiver turned around, giving him a chance for YAC. Just the kind of stuff I forgot existed watching Gabbert.

  10. rtfirefly says:

    Speaking of Norv Turner, Gabbert is on track to match almost spookily precisely, Alex’ stats from 2006.

  11. Berger says:

    I think the talent level on the 49ers is OK. We have enough to have a winning record. I am starting to really worry about the coaching. Chips play design is not getting receivers open and his run plays don’t hit the hole down hill. On top of that, the play calling is very conservative. On defense this is the most passive defensive line scheme I have seen since Mike Nolan was coach. I don’t see us winning if the coaching staff does not get more aggressive.

    As far as talent is concerned we do have some big holes. We are good at DB and DE. We need a good ILB and NT. We might be OK at OLB with Lynch back, still judging that one. On offense we have a good O-line and RB. 1st and foremost we need a better play caller and QB. Our WRs would be adequate with a better play caller/designer. We could use some better WRs but I’d rather have a stud NT and ILB. The most important thing we need on defense is a DC who dictates play instead of read and react. His D-line strategy is driving me nuts.

  12. unca_chuck says:

    Bergs, that is what pisses me off the most. We haven’t had any passing routes that can get people open even remotely consistently. We ain’t the only team by far, but we seem to be the best at it. I saw Crabs do it the other day. Carr was on the move, and Crabs was open about 12 yards away. When Crabs saw Carr break contain, he vacated his open area, turned his back on Carr and ran into coverage. It’s baffling. It happened to Alex all the time. Instead of someone sitting in the flat giving the QB a target, they turn tail and go deep and run into coverage. 99 out of 100 times this doesn’t work.

    This defense is looking like the vanilla defense of Teflon Mike Nolan. Wait to get pushed back rather than try to push the guy in front of you. If we had Willis and Bowman this might work. We don’t and it isn’t.

    I don’t know, man. O’Neill gets aggressive at times, and then just goes totally soft. We drop 8 and guys still get WIDE open.

    That cannot happen. If they can’t cover dropping 8, then they should be rushing 8.

    • unca_chuck says:

      We don’t have super WRs, But they are good enough. Any good scheme can get guys open.

      Still waiting for that.

    • Berger says:

      The DC does seem to send the linemen on passing downs. I just started to notice this and I’ll be paying more attention going forward. At first I was worried that Bucker wasn’t able to make plays but now it seems he does that by design.

      Nolan tried to have the linemen stand the guy up in front of him so the LBs would fill. It is the basic tenant of the 3-4 defense. The question is how far does a team take that theory. I think the D-line needs to be more aggressive in their lanes. Disciplined penetration destroys running plays. We are not penetrating on run downs.

  13. unca_chuck says:

    Bradford went through what Smith went through. A shit-ton of turmoil all around him for a lot of years. Look at Andrew Luck. Everyone knows he’s an elite QB but he’s wasting away on a subpar team. Even Frank can’t turn the tide for them.

  14. Nipper says:

    In conclusion: It’s a whole lot of BLEEP and then some.

  15. Nipper says:

    Hey the ads got quiet on wordpress. Thank goodness. A few days ago they were very noisy and annoying!

  16. Berger says:

    NFL ratings down for 4th straight week.

  17. unca_chuck says:

    It’s twitter’s fault. Actually it’s online streaming’s fault.

    People are leaving Comcast in droves. Full service huge package cable deals are becoming a thing of the past. Dish is trying to get ahead of the game by offering ‘choose your channels’ packages as a way to stem the tide of leaving their service. Comcast made a killing by bundling shit into giant costly packages.

    Well, their model is being challenged by Hulu, GoogleChrome, and online TV services that are much less money. HBO go and shit like that is also getting big, so Comcast is losing customers in a big way. Local TV will feel it a bit, but the big players and network TV are getting gutted.

    This will lead to the NFL losing giant cotracts. Which in turn will lower salaries as the owners cry poverty when the TV and ad money slows down.

  18. unca_chuck says:

    Bergs, the D linemen aren’t penetrating all that much on passing downs either. Of the 7 sacks, 5 are by LBs. The 2 by the linemen are Dorsey and Armstead.

    • Berger says:

      Armstead caused a sack by blowing up the pocket and causing Wilson into another players hands. OLBs should always have more sack than D-linemen in a 3-4.

  19. Lurker John says:

    Is the only way to watch the NFL games of your choosing through the cable providers? For instance, I can watch all the Giant’s games on MLB TV for $100 a year. That’s 60 cents a game. I haven’t found anything similar for the NFL, hence I’m reduced to watching national games or regional games involving the Seahawks.

  20. NJ49er says:

    Berger, this year I’m going on the record for another ‘Bama LB.
    You liked Ragland last year, I’m in for his replacement, Reuben Foster, 6’1″/240.
    Keep an eye on him as the year progresses.

  21. rtfirefly says:

    Play Kap at the very latest by the Dolphins game, preferably sooner. See what we’ve got with him in Chip’s offense. From what I’ve read, that O is much more sophisticated than meets the eye. Then, in the draft:
    1) QB (WR – see #2 – if Kappy looks awesome);
    2) The biggest, fastest WR mutha out there;
    3) The closest imitation to Darren Sproles you can find.

    Screw the D for a change. If the Niners do this, I’ll at least have confidence they have a plan. In Chip’s offense,
    #SpeedMatters

    • NJ49er says:

      RT, right now the consensus #1 Pick is DE Myles Garrett from TX A&M.
      Assuming we land in the Top 5, the QB position is holding several slots behind him.
      All speculation and, subject to changes as we’re extremely early in the rankings process right now.
      As I see the Draft process, most GMs but into the philosophy of Drafting BPA, regardless of position.
      If there’s talent that can help, anywhere on the roster, they tend to lean that way.
      WRs and QBs tend to carry the biggest bust rates too.
      I like what Cosell suggested recently on Maiocco’s Podcast.
      Garappolo in NE might be a very good fit for what Chip does.
      If you can part with a future Pick or 2 to get him, Baalke can address another position of need.
      We’ve lost Willis and Bowman, the heart of our Defense.
      Have to be strong up the middle.
      Fat Man in the Middle for me. Always 😀
      However, I don’t see many DT/NT options carrying a high RD1 Grade at this point.

      • NJ49er says:

        Most GMs ‘buy’ into…

      • NJ49er says:

        As for Kaep?
        I’m ready to move on. He apparently isn’t too interested in devoting himself to the profession.
        Tim Ryan shared some perspective on this topic as well.
        Seeing as he’s permitted to see practices, (where beat writers are not), it would seem he’s got some room to talk.

        http://tinyurl.com/hlxghso

      • Berger says:

        I’ve got NT Qualls as 2nd or 3rd rd right now. I hope to see him play soon. I can’t find highlight footage on him from this year yet.

      • rtfirefly says:

        The last interview I heard Kappy give (last month), he was asked about his protest and his reply was “I’m all football, 10-12 hours a day.” That doesn’t sound like “not devoting himself to his profession” to me.

        Practice? PRACTICE??? You know Gabbert is the 33rd ranked QB in the league right now. There are 32 teams. I mean, something is apparently getting lost in translation from the practice field to game day.

        Kappy had both upper body and lower body orthro surgeries. He missed a great deal of work this summer. It’s no surprise to me that physically he’s not up to snuff yet. There’s basic rehabbing of multiple injuries and there’s full recovery, two different animals.

        He took us to two straight NFCCGs and a SB when he was healthy and had an offensive line. I absolutely want to give him an extended look and re-sign him ($50 mil in excess cap space) if he looks great by the end of the season.

      • rtfirefly says:

        Bradford said Chip’s O was so complicated it took him half of last season to get it. On the one hand, that’s a defense of Gabbert. But it’s a helluva defense for Kap’s practice field play since he started so very late this year and never gets reps.

    • rtfirefly says:

      As far as bust rates go, NJ, we’ve spent 6 of our last 9 top picks on D including 3 1st rounders. How was that D doing before the injuries?

      Chip is an offensive coach. He was just hired. Asking him to make chicken soup out of chicken shit shows no forward planning whatsoever.

      • NJ49er says:

        Agree RT, the Offense should lean toward players Chip feels are the best fits for his scheme.
        On D, I think Baalke has a good eye for that talent.
        HC/GM need to develop a good working chemistry for anything to progress in a positive direction.
        Until Jed and his Daddy step away from the picture and, allow the ‘football guys’ to work, it’s like resetting the clock every year or 2.
        It’ll never get off the ground.
        Players get more comfortable when Coaching/schemes are stable.
        Our D has been decimated since Harbaugh was released.
        We’re young, changing schemes on both sides of the ball too.
        I expected growing pains.
        However, injuries are starting to interfere with continuity.
        I’m also not sold on Kaep having the quick trigger and accuracy Chip’s Offense requires.
        It could happen certainly but, unless he challenges Gabbert, I’m not sure his salary ramifications benefit the team overall.
        We can suck while Gabbert polishes his craft with Chip, simply because he’s cheap.
        Whether Kaep is the future, or not, depends on him putting up a challenge.

  22. unca_chuck says:

    Twitter is actually streaming games this year.

    http://fortune.com/2016/04/15/nfl-twitter-games/

    There online streaming sites that I can’t vouch for the veracity of, but here’s some sites

    http://www.cutcabletoday.com/sports/nfl/

    More crap than necessary . . .

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nfl-games-are-going-online-but-heres-the-catch/

  23. rtfirefly says:

    4) An all-purpose RB to spell Hyde
    5) WR
    6) WR
    7) WR
    With all of Baalke’s stockpiled picks, WRs. Defense can wait till next year.

    • NJ49er says:

      Still need a QB to complete that picture RT.
      What’s Montana without Rice and, vice versa?
      Crabtree looks like a new Man now that he’s got a QB to deliver the ball.
      Everything has to be in sync in this game to be successful.
      I’ll keep working on my Draft Board and keep you posted if there’s any WRs that look promising 😀

      • NJ49er says:

        One thing I’ve learned in all the years I’ve tried to be a Jr GM.
        It ain’t easy.
        Talent is evident when you see it in College.
        32 GMs and their Scouts can identify it pretty accurately.
        Then, you have to assign position priorities to the roster you’re building etc.
        After that? Hope you can slot them in accordance with your given slot positioning on the Draft Board, hoping of course, another GM doesn’t beat you to the slot.
        Having extra Picks helps Baalke and other GMs make those moves.
        If QB is high on the list for us next year, the early rankings favor it.
        Cleveland may stick with RG III or, consider another option.
        Rams and Philly got theirs this year. Always a chess match trying to get the right pieces at the right time.
        Quite dynamic in it’s scope, which keeps me busy.

    • Berger says:

      I haven’t been very impressed with this year’s QB class. Maybe somebody will emerge.

  24. NJ49er says:

    Here’s another ILB for you Berger –
    One thing I can feel comfortable about with this kid and Baalke.
    He looks to have the long arms Baalke favors.
    His bio isn’t too shabby either.

    http://tinyurl.com/zxpusj3

  25. NJ49er says:

    What’s the opinion of USC WR Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster? Beside having too many hyphens 😀

    • Berger says:

      Great playmaker. USC is having trouble getting the ball to him. USC has a new QB who is a converted LB. He looks like a LB too. He got the ball to Ju-Ju. His mechanics are a bit suspect but he can play QB. Fun to watch with his decision making, pump fakes and ability to maneuver the pocket. He isn’t available for this years draft but if you get a chance you need to see him play. He’s kind of similar to Hogan from Stanford.

  26. NJ49er says:

    RT here’s a WR that looks interesting and could fly under the radar somewhat, as he’s playing in W MI.
    Corey Davis, 6’3″/213

    Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
    Why he’s on the list: With two years grading as a top-seven receiver, Davis combines nifty route running with good body control and after-the-catch ability. He projects as a strong intermediate threat, capable of separating on dig and comeback routes while sneaking behind the defense at times more due to his route running than his speed.
    What we’d like to see: Davis is not a blazer, so if he can show an uptick in speed his senior year, that will be a bonus. While he has plenty of highlight-reel downfield catches on tape, making those contested catches more consistently while showing more strength at the top of his routes are two things that can improve his already-polished game. Of course, playing in the MAC will always raise questions about competition, so dominating his games against Power-5 Northwestern and Illinois will be crucial.

    • NJ49er says:

      With all due respect to powerhouse FBS programs like Alabama, Ohio State and Southern Cal, the NFL has caught on to the fact that sometimes the top receivers slip through the cracks in the recruiting process. Antonio Brown (Central Michigan), Brandon Marshall (Central Florida) and Emmanuel Sanders (SMU), for example, had relatively humble beginnings in college only to emerge as stars in the NFL.
      Despite his older brother Titus starring at Central Michigan (and is now a member of the New York Jets), Davis was lightly recruited out of high school. Once he latched on with the Broncos, however, his talent was unleashed. Davis started immediately, catching a touchdown against Michigan State in his first career game and eclipsing the 100-yard receiving mark in the next game (Nicholls State). By the end of his freshman season, it was obvious that the Broncos had a young star receiver. Davis was named the MAC Freshman of the Year, setting school records for receptions (67) and receiving yards (947) while scoring six touchdowns.

      Davis was even better as a sophomore, earning First Team all-conference honors with 78 catches for 1,408 yards and 15 touchdowns, which led the MAC and ranked third in the country overall. Davis scored another 12 touchdowns as a junior, while catching 90 passes for 1,436 yards. Statistically-speaking, Davis was the epitome of consistency, breaking the 100-yard receiving mark in seven consecutive games to finish the season, making him the country’s leading active receiver in career receiving yards (3,785) and receiving touchdowns (33) heading into the 2016-17 season. He has been particularly dominant in bowl games against Air Force (2015) and Middle Tennessee State (2016), hauling in a combined 16 passes for 359 yards and four touchdowns.

      There is no denying that Davis has feasted on questionable competition and that Western Michigan’s spread offense has padded his numbers. He has faced top talent over his career, however, and the production was still there with 450 receiving yards and four touchdowns in five career games against Big Ten competition entering the 2016 season.

  27. NJ49er says:

    Berger is this the kid from EWU?
    He looks interesting as well.
    Cooper Kupp/6’2″/215 –

    Kupp earned Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2015 with 114 receptions for 1,642 yards and 19 touchdowns. He doesn’t consistently face top-tier talent each week at the FCS level, but his performance in the 2015 season opener at Oregon (15 catches, 246 yards, three touchdowns) showed Kupp’s production isn’t just him picking on lesser competition.
    “First time I watched his tape, I saw Brian Hartline,” an AFC North scout told NFLDraftScout.com. “Then I watched some more and thought, no, this kid is a stronger, more aggressive version. Good size. Athletic. Savvy. Hell of a kid too. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t carve out a solid 10-year career as a pro.”

    Kupp comes from an athletic family, as his father, Craig, was a fifth-round pick by the New York Giants in 1990 and player for the Phoenix Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys in 1991. His grandfather also was drafted and played in the NFL for 11 seasons, being named to the New Orleans Saints’ 25-year All-Time Team.

    However, Cooper Kupp said he finished his high school career without having any firm scholarship offers, even from in-state schools Washington and Washington State. He received offers from Eastern Washington and Idaho State, and picked Eastern because of his familiarity with some of the coaches.

    Kupp calls football “an art,” and is constantly working to hone his craft.

    “I take a certain mentality to the field that I think all receivers should have – I can’t be covered; I can’t be stopped,” he told NDS. “That’s the first part of winning the battle. I work hard so I’m technically sound. I look to create separation in different ways. I’m big on studying the greats and using that in my utility belt. But I’d say creating separation is my best area.”

    Kupp is married, which contributed to his decision to return for his senior season. He asked the NFL advisory board for feedback before the 2016 NFL Draft, but their projection of a second- to fourth-round selection didn’t come back until after Kupp had made his decision. Kupp is strong in his belief that his time in the NFL will come soon enough.

    “Yeah, it has been something I dreamed about since I came to the field,” he told NDS. “God gave me the passion and it’s something I want to do as long as I can. So it’s been a dream and hopefully in God’s plan for me. And if not, I’m fine with that too. It’s something I strive to do and be great. And compete vs the best.”

  28. Nipper says:

    Remember this is all a whole lot of BLEEP! Tomorrow another game. I wonder who else they have to carry off the field of play.

  29. Nipper says:

    You know the present play isn’t good when the thinking is about future players and the draft. All is lost.

  30. unca_chuck says:

    Jesus. You know the season is going bad when the draft is the main topic in week 5.

    Hey, how ’bout them Giants? Caught fire just in time to reach the playoffs. Now they have their ace going up against the Mets in NY.

    A place where Mad Bum has an 0.67 ERA.

  31. unca_chuck says:

    If they listened to me, we’ve have a shit-load of great WRs.

    • NJ49er says:

      At the rate we’re going Chuck, Jerry wouldn’t help this anemic Offense.
      WRs need a good QB to complete the tandem.
      Torrey is beginning to wish he’d have stayed in Baltimore I’m sure.

  32. Nipper says:

    Young man on the side of the interstate with a sign “Back to Youngstown or bust.” Could that be Jed or is it wishful thinking? He’s making Davis’ son look good by comparison. Ouch!

  33. rtfirefly says:

    WOOHOOOOOOOO! Gillespie you’re the man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. 12th man says:

    I’m so not interested in draft prospects this early in the season. Lets at least wait until they are out of the damn playoffs!

  35. 12th man says:

    I think time is up for Gabbert if he doesn’t play well tonight for four quarters, Chip will have a long leash from ownership but the QB doesn’t. Cowboys was a winnable game, same tonight. Even if you give Gabbert a pass for the Panthers and Squawks because of their defenses, the same doesn’t apply to Cowboys and Cardinals. Gabbert has the second best pocket in the NFL to operate from but is close to or is dead last in meaningful categories.

    2-3 is not bad, 1-4 is a big fan turn off and puts pressure on Chip to try something else.

    Tick tock Gabbert.

    • Berger says:

      I was patient with Gabbert. I gave him the standard excuses because they were legitimate. No more chit chat, it’s time to go.

  36. unca_chuck says:

    I agree completely. Another loss and we have to make a switch. Gabbert is getting time to throw and is missing badly.

    New thread is up.

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