Getting Closer, Getting Hurter

The closer we get, the more the players seem to be dropping like flies. I didn’t even know Shawn Poindexter was on the pup list. But that precipitated the 49ers signing River Cracraft. Yes, THAT River Cracraft. He’s bounced around a few practice squads but nothing of note. Surprisingly he beat out Jaron Brown.

They also signed Kevin White, another low-level WR from the Bears who at least had some success. To make room for him, they dumped injured DL Jonathan Kongbo. Like I posted in the last thread here’s the pup list as it stands now. There’s very little info on these guys, but they have to be activated before the final cuts are made to be eligible at the start of the season.

If not, they miss the first 6 games.

  • DL Ronald Blair III.
  • WR Shawn Poindexter.
  • C Weston Richburg.
  • DL Kentavius Street.
  • DL Jullian Taylor.

Westie is the most important guy, and it doesn’t seem like he’s coming back fast enough from his ACL injury last year. I can’t find any new new on Blair either. He was very good when playing, but he’s prolly a week 7 activation as well. K Street is part of the walking wounded brigade who had played very little in his 3 year stint.

Other than that, beyond the injuries, the fires, the shootings, the virus, and the air quality, things are great! As far as I known the 49ers are holding off on letting fans in for at least the first game. We are on the road for weeks 2 and 3m so I guess the situation remains fluid.

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Earl Thomas is Available

Lots of talk about the availability of Earl Thomas, the commander of the legion of boom in Seattle. He punked his way out of Baltimore after helping them become a top three defense in the NFL last year. With fellow LOB member Richard Sherman already here, SF is high on the list of potential suitors.

And with his indiscretions so close in the rear-view mirror, he should be pretty easy to sign to some kind of one-year make good deal to rebuild his rep. He is only 31, and had a pro-bowl season last year, but the issues are ones that seem very familiar to Bay Area sports fans. Antonio Brown went through the same kinds of machinations around silly things. Up to the point of being cut by the Raiders after not even making it through camp, , and then by the Pats after having played one game amid charges of domestic abuse.

Is Thomas sliding down the road to oblivion? Hard to say, but you would have to think that if he had Sherman by his side in the locker room, and vet support keeping his wilder behaviors in check, it could work.

The only reason I think that this might be worth a shot is because Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmy Ward are injury-prone. It would give the team flexibility and they could move Ward to slot corner and have all 3 on the field. Thomas is an outstanding run defender and is still a solid player. We should be able to keep his head on straight and if not, pffffft, cut his ass. Write into the contract behavior provisions.

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More Goddamn Injuries

At this rate we will be calling Jerry to come back for a game or three. Brandon Aiyuk is the latest wideout to get bit by the injury bug. He pulled up with a hamstring injury in yesterday’s practice.He was garnering strong reviews for his work ethic and his progress, so this is a setback no matter how much time he misses. Rick James is already out, Deebo Samuel is also not quite cleared to play, and of course Jalen Hurd is done for the year. That leaves Kendrick Bourse and Trent Taylor as our healthy starters. Haven’t heard a peep about Jauan Jennings, our 7th round pick, but let’s hope he catches on. Pettis has apparently emerged from Shanny’s doghouse, so the hope there is he gets his shit together between his ears. He has the skills.

We did of course sign Tavon Austin, J.J. Nelson, and Jaron Brown so there is some competition for the available spots. Poindexter? Haven’t heard a peep about him but 6’5″? Damn. Red zone option. Of the 9, we likely keep 6 or maybe even 7 if there are new COVID rules, but Poindexter and Nelson look to not make it, and then when the other come back we will see.

In other bad news, Dee Ford suffered an undisclosed injury. Well Grant Cohn says it was a calf injury, but he’s an idiot and doesn’t know shit. Another reporter says he tweaked his calf and was seen jogging on the sidelines, so that is decent news. I guess.

Aaaaaand our backup center Ross Reynolds hurt his knee and was carted off the field. Ben Garland, our starting center while starter Westie Richberg recovers from HIS injury, is recovering from his own knee injury. So, we may be going back to Forrest Blue.

Great name if I’ve ever heard one.

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Wide Receiver Grab Bag

Well, bad news around Jalen Hurd. He once again injured himself to the tune of a season-ending injury, by bowing out his ACL on a simple cut rounte on the sidelines of practice on Sunday. he had successfully overcome a back injury that sidelined him all of last year. He appears to be as snakebit as RB Jerick McKinnon the once and future star who hasn’t played a meaningful down yet and is entering his 3rd year as a 49er.

Deebo Samuel may or may not make the opening day roster, but his availability will likely fall somewhere between him missing 6 weeks, and Deebo saying he’ll be ready for the Cardinals game. To address these injuries, the 49ers have brought in Speedster Tavon Austin, J.J. Neson, and Jaron Brown to fight for their 2 spots.

And to add to this, Travis Benjamin opted out of the season. So there are 3 possible spots depending on the position decisions upcoming.

Austin of course is intriguing because of his blinding speed, and the way the 49ers use WRs in the short passing, and even running game, the thought of getting him the ball in space seems like a great idea. Nelson spent time with the Raiders and Cards and is a decent #2-3 guy. He and Austin are likely fighting for the same spot as they are both small speed guys.

Jaron Brown however is a big target at 6′ 3 and 203 lb. And 4.40 speed. He has that elusive potential.

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Commence Holding Breath – Meanwhile Kittle Signs

Well, the NFL is all set to kick off in 29 days. Thursday night September 10 is the official kickoff to the 2020 season, pitting the Houston Morons vs the Kansas City Chiefs. Should be a good one that Houston will lose. We of course play the beneficiaries of Bill O’Brien’s utter stupidity in the Arizona Cardinals. They of course traded DeAndre Hopkins for a washed up David Johnson. They also jettisoned Carlos Hyde, who had a pretty solid year for the Houstons. So, they traded arguably one of the top 3 WRs in the league for a lousy replacement to a better RB in Hyde, and got a 2nd round pick.

So, we have a very tough opening game, at home at least, against what looks to be a very improved Cardinals team. One that we, and many other teams, struggled to beat last year, despite their 5-10-1 record. That is of course pending the Coronavirus threat hanging over everything and everyone. Baseball has a bunch of teams on hold while the players do stupid shit like going to strip clubs and such in insanely stupid states like Georgia, but they are playing on.

Basketbubble is going just fine as no players so far have broken the bubble (take the bottle, shake it up. Break the bubble, break it uuuuup. Pour some . . .). Football? Well, there have been 59 cases with players, and 2 dozen or so coaches and staff, but nothing recently. Anthony Lynn admitted he tested positive a while ago, and 66 players have opted out.

This includes 49er O linemen Jake Brendel and Shon Coleman, and WR Travis Benjamin; for various reasons. So, as of now it is all systems go, and the league office said there is a very slim chance that things will get bad enough to warrant a cancellation of the season. But as we have seen so far, this can change on a dime.

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Things Goin’ On . . .

Well, we signed a tight end, we signed a pass rusher (soon), and a wide receiver opted out of the season due to COVID concerns. The guys in order are Jordan Reed, top 5 pick Dion Jordan, and Travis Benjamin. Other than that we are looking to sign George Kittle to a new deal. We signed Kevin Lynch to an extension. Also, Jeff Wilson and Rick James were off the COVID-19 list and have been cleared to practice.

Other than that, Jimmy Garoppolo ended his 6-month silence, and announced that he still has a lot to learn and that obviously things didn’t end as well as expected. Seeing as one year ago, the 49ers were coming off a dogshit season, and their QB was testing out a surgically repaired knee, he also said that last season was a success. It was his first full season as a starter, so you can’t really expect much more than what he and the team accomplished.

He also said the team is very optimistic and is already playing at a high level and is confident they can pick up where they left off. It is looking more and more like there will be a season, so giddyup folks!

Super Bowl or bust.

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Uh Oh

4 days into the nascent baseball season, and we have some ominous developments. Regardless of the fact that the Giants used solid pitching and decent defense to comeback and amazingly even up with the hated Dodgers after getting their collective milkshake drank those first two games, 11 Miami Marlin players, and two coaches tested positive for COVID, and they are stranded in Philly while MLB has cancelled the Marlin home opener.

Philly, who played the Marlins, are gonna go into shutdown made as well as their game against the Yankees is postponed. It seemed that things were going fairly well, with just a few positives scattered around the league (Juan Soto, Chapman, and Le Mahieu among a long list of current and post-positive players), but this is the first concentrated outbreak that threatens the whole enchilada.

The next couple days will be very interesting as the league tries to tamp down this outbreak while still allowing other teams to play. This of course comes before both the NBA and NHL are scheduled to restart next weekend, and training camps are set to open.

So this is either the beginning of the end of sports or the first speed bump to overcome.

Whatever you do, don’t lie to me.

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Sports Are Back!

Baseball is here, basketball is soon to restart on July 30th, and we will have the 49ers Santa Clara’s training camp open in 5 days. Whether we are all jumping the gun, we will soon find out, but as of now it’s full speed ahead with sports. I’m sure hockey is doing something but who gives a rat’s ass? Problem is, on day one of baseball, Juan Soto tested positive for COVID. His teammates all went out and played their game against the Yankees. Fittingly the first game was a 5 inning affair that was rained out. 3 months late, and rained-shortened? Too funny.

The Giants are going against the Dodgers right now, and as of now, no positives, unless you call Clayton Kershaw hitting the IR a positive development.

Anyhow, drove through the City last week, and hit some old stomping grounds.

DSC_3911
Kezar Stadium



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Training Camp?

Rookies can report on Tuesday, quarterbacks and injured players on the 23rd, and the rest of the players on July 28th, but there is a lot of grumbling among the players and the NFLPA regarding the safety of the game and how players can be safe playing in this pandemic.

Then you have the request that players be tested every day, and the NFLPA has already put forth not playing any preseason games. In all, no one is clear if the game would be safe to resume, let along practice but here we go. I think.

A far as testing goes, my daughter was tested 2 WEEKS ago and still no results. In other words testing is useless. Must be nice for these folks to be able to get tested, with results, at the drop of a hat, and us regular folks can’t get shit.

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Hee hee hee haa haa haa haa haa haaaaa, Wipeout!

Welcome to the NFL, Raheem Mostert. The feel good story of the 2019 season, Raheem paddled imaginary surfboards onto imaginary waves after scoring real touchdowns last season, and turned in a spectacular 220 yards on 29 carries performance in the NFC Championship game. So, naturally he wants to get some scratch for, you know, the effort. In the immortal words of the Dalai Lama, gunga la gunga. Not sure if he will get total consciousness, though.

Problem is, Mostert has no leverage. He just signed a 3-year $8.7 million deal last year. Sure it was for a guy who, before week 12 was a 3rd string RB and special teamer who has bounced around the league for 5 teams in 2 years before landing on our practice squad in 2017. And that’s the rub. Mostert has 8 games under his belt as a starter. Well, I take that back. Shanny mysteriously didn’t play Mostert until midway through the 2nd quarter of the Super Bowl.

Speaking of Shanahan, he, and his father before him, seem to be able to make any running back look like the 2nd coming of Jim Brown. His zone blocking scheme works very well, and running backs in this system are pretty much plug-and-play. Give any RB a shot to get through the line untouched, and they will pile up yards. Which makes the RB position, one of not nearly the value it once held in recent football memory, even less so with the Forty Niners. Shit, Jeff Wilson has looked very good at times. He had 4 TDs in his first two games last year.

And, sure, I like the guy, but Mostert is walking into a buzzsaw what with no leverage, fighting for playing time (if McKinnon ever sees the field), having 2 years left on his original deal, and going against Paraage Marathe and the 49ers front office. As much grief as I’ve given Marage, it has never been around his contract dealings. He’s a master of the deal, and is not someone to try and push over or bully in contract negotiations.

So, if he doesn’t want to be here, in the best system around for a guy of his talent, trade him. His value right now will never be higher, and we should be able to get what, a 3rd round pick? Even that may be a stretch. Teams don’t even draft RBs on day 1 of the draft anymore, and a guy with his limited action won’t broker any deals in the first 2 rounds, let alone the 3rd round.

Plus, the 49ers can merely sit back and say play or go home. He’s under contract, and his only move is to hold out.

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