The Edge of Wetness

Sure, it’s only pre-season football, but it’s FOOTBALL! The 2018 season is about to officially start in 2 days! Against the Dallas Cowboys no less. Lots of good things coming out of camp, but aren’t there always good things coming out of camp? Alex is hitting the long ball .Kaepernick is sharp in his 2nd and 3rd reads.  Hoyer is catching fire . . . on and on.

Thing is, this camp does feel different. the team has some legit weapons in the backfield in McKinnon, Jusckjcklxj, Brieda, and possibly Joe Williams. Garcon is healthy, Goodwin came on like gangbusters working with Jimmy G, last year. Dante Pettis is lighting up the practice field with Jimmy G. And Kittle has a better grasp of things.  Jimmy G is Jimmy G. A guy who took the team over and won in a very compressed time frame. He’s up to speed, and itching to play.

Defensively there have been a lot of changes. And a couple injuries. One serious, one hopefully not. Arik Armstead is already out for a bit with his hammy, Richard Sherman is  also nursing a hammy. We aded pas rusher Jeremy Attucho, Sherman, rookie DJ Reed, Fred Warner, and the return of Malcolm Smith.

But as we all know, the season will come down to two things. How well we protect Jimmy, G and how well we get after the opposing QB. I think our pass rush could be helped a little bit by the better coverage downfield, but the pass rushers have to bring it. We have been anemic in the rush since they heady days of Aldon and Juston Smith. We’ve lost AA for a while and he rest is up for grabs. Word is DE Salomon Thomas has flipped with DFB to the inside, and both players have improved.

Then again it’s only talk until they hit the field.

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About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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31 Responses to The Edge of Wetness

  1. Flavor says:

    Who’s writing these headlines? lol. I typically can’t stand Lowell Cohn’s son on twitter, he’s an agitating shit talking. But I’ve enjoyed his daily run down of camp. And his periscope is very good too, dude seems to know what he’s talking about—even if he is a little weasel.

  2. rtfirefly says:

    Yeah, alleykat, when the Browns didn’t draft Barkley with their #1 overall, and use their #4 on a QB, I just had to shake my head and say, “Browns gotta Browns.” Did they really think the Giants or Jets would steal Mayfield out from under them before their #4? If so, draft Lamar Jackson, or Allen (Darnold would be gone). Jackson and Barkley together would score points. Period, end of story.

    The Browns had a surprisingly decent defense last year. Not good, but decent. Their offense was beyond pathetic. I realize that Browns ownership replaced the GM to insure that Hue Jackson got to pick HIS QB this year for a change. But passing on Barkley to do it and come up with Mayfield? Mayfield better be a real, real stud.

  3. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, that was retarded. I didn’t see any other path for them and they gagged. They would have gotten Mayfield anyway had they selected Barkley. Much like the Bears trading away a ton to move ahead of us to take a guy we didn’t want anyway.

    Brilliant.

    • Winder says:

      Thomas has got to show something this year otherwise he is pretty much a wasted pick. I know he will be a serviceable lineman but at that slot he should be a great one.

      • rtfirefly says:

        Winder, I’m going to cheat and post my disagreement with that I just posted on the Webzone. Then I’m going to double cheat and post the great post I was agreeing to (I hope there’s no copyright infringements, lol.) You are not alone in your position. Here’s my agreement to great post:

        We gave up nearly 800 fewer yards on the ground last year than 2016, 50 yds,/game, 30% improvement. We were in a virtual tie with Jax and only slightly behind the Pats in overall rushing yardage allowed, and that’s with all the additional pressure the D had being on the field all the time before Jimmy G. showed up.

        Solly helped create that improvement; you can argue but you cannot deny that. That’s when he was 21 frellin’ years old. He doesn’t turn 23 until Game 15. If he repeats 3 sacks and that’s not enough, then these worries might be justified. Though he’ll still be only 23 at season’s end.

        He’s the least of my worries on the Niners, and I think it’s Solly Folly to consider him a bust. Looking at draft position and saying, “Well, he just didn’t meet my expectations” for a very productive player who doesn’t fit your bill is hindsight, and in Solly’s case, given his age, is imho premature.

  4. rtfirefly says:

    Great post from johnnydel, note that Solly was the #1 run defender in college and we nearly set a record for horrid run defense in 2016:

    They saw him as a premier run stopper who also had high potential to rush the passer from anywhere on the line. He was primarily an inside pass rusher in college.

    Coming off the 2016 season we were historically bad – no exaggeration, against the run. We’d allowed a puke inducing amount of 100 yard rushers and the need to shore up the run defense was top on the list. It doesn’t matter how well you can rush the passer if teams average over 5 YPC against you and you get run on all the time. That’s why Thomas and Foster were the first two picks they made.

    Thomas was the #1 rated run defender in college that year and it wasn’t even close. When I watched the film, his run defense from the LEO spot was stellar. You can go back through some of the forum posts and I have an off-season on S. Thomas where I highlighted his run defense because it was just that good.

    While we all want to see more pass rush, we only are pushing for that because it was such a dropoff from our great run defense. Our run defense, by numbers, didn’t look as good because we had D. Johnson and R. Robinson getting flagged allowing first downs all the time or giving up passes on 3rd and medium-long.

    The desperate need was to shore up our run defense with the best run defender in college. That, before any premier pass rusher, will always be the primary need for any team. If you can’t stop the run, it doesn’t matter how great of pass rushers you have. The Colts, even when they had Freeney and Mathis they continued to get run on in the playoffs as a team and it’s why Manning didn’t have a couple more SB’s.

    So, all that to say, they did draft him to fill a HUGE need and he has. Just not the same need us fans want to see because sacks are so much sexier than dominating a T on an island on a weakside counter play.

  5. rtfirefly says:

    You’re the greatest, Winder, we go back to your Sidewinder days. On this one, I choose to disagree. I believe you can never have enough good young D linemen, and I believe Solly is one.

    • Winder says:

      Lol, thanks rt. Time is flying. I understand what you are saying and the other guy too. Our defense in 2016 was flat out terrible.and that’s why we got rid of just about everyone. Thomas played pretty well last year but he is not the main reason we were better on the run game he was part of it for sure and with a full training camp and a second year I expect he will be a force. I think he should stay on the inside because that seems to be his strength. I thought they were billing him as a pass rusher when we drafted him and so far he hasn’t shown much in that area. But that is ok to. I shouldn’t have said wasted pick earlier because I think he is gonna be a hell of a good lineman for years to come. At the 3spot I kinda was hoping for a little more flash.

  6. unca_chuck says:

    The defensive line has been stacked with decent bodies, but like in the mid-2000s ,staffed with dogshit coaches and an offense that kept the defense on the field for 35+ minutes a game.

    Selah himself made a big improvement last year, and the emergence of Jimmy Garoppolo made their job even easier.

    The beauty now is we have a lot of pieces at OLB and DE that can be interchanged to run the 4-3 or 3-4 in different situations. If DFB can get more pressure outside, great. If Thomas can keep a couple guys occupied inside while Foster and M Smith clean up the running plays, even better. The only thing that baffles me is that Eli Harold stuck. He’s a model of bad angles, iffy pass coverage, poor disengagement with his blocker, and general mediocrity.

    • rtfirefly says:

      We’ll be running Seattle’s 3-4 Over, which no matter how many technical posts I read I still can’t figure out. We’ll have base linemen, and nickel linemen, and guys switching to try to get favorable 1 on 1s. Add constant injuries to D-linemen, which comes with the territory, and there’s a reason why he have 6/7 guys who can play on the line at any given play.

  7. unca_chuck says:

    Selah said it himself, and I’m sure NJ woul agree. Most defensive linemen don’t come into the league firing on all cylinders. Most take a year or 2 to reach their potential. Sure, I’d like to hae seen more from Solomon, but he’s still learning his trade, and I think he’ll be fine.

    • rtfirefly says:

      The criticism against Solly is that he was a failure as a pass rusher. It’s a valid criticism, and he must improve. But he’s so very good at run D that, combined with his age (a regular senior’s, not redshirt senior’s age), that I refuse to accept that criticism at this point. Not his fault that we don’t have Fred Dean. “Pillars hit him, and Stuckey got the ball!!” Not a glamorous position. If you could pin Solly to one position, since he plays DE as well as DT.

  8. rtfirefly says:

    You got me on that one, Chuck. Ka-bing! When it comes to understanding the Niner D, I’m about the last person to which you wish to speak. Ask me about the Niner O. That stuff I know about (as an armchair amateur GM).

  9. Winder says:

    I am so very excited to finally see some action. I think our defense (barring to many injuries) is gonna be just as improved as our offense. I would be totally happy if Thomas can anchor our line for years to come. I am curious to see us using Buckner as a pass rusher more often. And, I think we are gonna have some of the best linebackers in the league also. Our DB’s are so crowded right now that we are gonna have to let go some good players. When was the last time we could say that?

    • rtfirefly says:

      If Ricard Sherman is anywhere near healthy, he and Witherspoon give me hope for the best pass coverage in years. Our LBs, not so much. I’m pretty sure we could stand upgrades everywhere where Reuben isn’t. But that’s quibbling.

      • Lurker John says:

        Fred Warner is going to be an excellent cover LB. I don’t think LB is a weakness at all, as long as Rueben is in there.

  10. rtfirefly says:

    I look at this way:
    19 months ago we were the Browns.
    2nd youngest head coach in the league and we start out 0-9, 1-10 after the Giants tanked the game. Seriously, we’re not that far from being TERRIBLE. We’re just enjoying it, as well we should so long as Jimmy G.’s healthy. Super Bowl? Not outrageous. Playoffs? Seriously doable.

    LOLOL we were 0-9 10 months ago. Color me:

  11. rtfirefly says:

    And just cuz, a Super Bowl Season couldn’t be complete without Rick Wakeman:

  12. unca_chuck says:

    I absolutely love that song. So much better than the Springsteen version. Fairly sure I watched this when it was on.

    Saw Yes in the round at the Oakland coliseum arena. Wakeman’s keyboard caught on fire mid-song. Crazy. Great show.

  13. unca_chuck says:

    Damn .Hadn’t heard South Side of the Sky in a long time.

    Thanks for posting, RTF.

  14. unca_chuck says:

    Really thought King Crimson would bring Berger out of the weeds. He’s a huge Adrian Belew fan. . .

  15. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up

  16. I know you guys never talk about it but Roger Goodell and the feckless owners have ruined America’s favorite pastime for millions of Americans. May it hurt them in the only place where they feel pain: their financial bottom line. Sad but no ones talking about it but the York’s thinking about money over the game and it’s great traditions created this mess by doing nothing when Kaepernick was acting like a worthless punk. Eddie or Walsh wouldn’t have put up with Kaepernicks antics, not for one moment. I never thought I would be forced to choose between my love of pro football and fidelity to the patriotic traditions I was raised on, but now that it comes to that, it’s a very easy choice. The NFL loses.

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