Divisional Flip Flop

The Cardinals and Seahawks have owned the NFC West in recent years, but they both look ready to eat some humble pie this coming year.


I don’t have any particular beef with the Cardinals, who are led by one of the classiest guys to ever play the game — Larry Fitzgerald. The only boasting behavior from that team came from their HC, Bruce Arians, and it was almost solely directed at the Seahawks, who deserve any uncomplimentary remarks anyone in the league throws their way.

But injuries, age, inflated salaries and egos, and bad luck in the draft have finally conspired to knock the swagger out of Seattle. They’ve acquired a rep as poor winners and poor losers. They missed the playoffs last year and won’t come close this year, either. Welcome to the bottom feeder club, assholes.

The Rams made themselves the team to beat this year by winning the division last year and conducting a Super Bowl or Bust offseason. Their DC, Wade Phillips, has a chance to create the kind of stifling defense that he put together in Denver and rode to an SB title in 2015. Beating them will be a stiff challenge for the Niners.

Poor old Detroit. They haven’t done anything right since they took down the 10-0 Packers on Thanksgiving Day in 1962, beating them 26-14 in an NFL stunner. Now they hire a squeaky clean fellow from the Patriots to run their team and it turns out he has a 22 year old skeleton in his closet. Tough to see Matt Patricia surviving this one. The Lions may have to take the unprecedented step of firing an HC before he even coaches one game.

Being famous sure isn’t the public image cakewalk it used to be. Be thankful you’re a nobody, Outsiders!

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Posted in Existential Elbows

What Lies Belief

A week after the Draft, and opinions are running the usual gamut. The glass-half-full guys are focusing on all the good reports, tape, and upside of the drafted boys. Feeling justified in their optimism. The glass-half-empty crowd see the foibles and weaknesses of the same said boys. They feel their skepticism is equally legitimate.

And there’s a third group, fairly new to the blogging arena, that has such disdain for our meddling, spineless, back-stabbing owner that rooting for the 49ers has become a tough deal. Also tough, is caring about the league of players in general during their prolonged middle-finger salute to the country and the league that made them rich and relevant.

The first two groups will be validated or not come September, blood on the tracks during the wait or not, but the third group will not be so easily mollified by a few more wins or losses.

The 2018 season will be defined almost entirely by Jimmy Garoppolo. Without him, this current club is not much better than last year’s 1-10 edition.

The 49ers have exchanged Trent Brown at right tackle for rookie first rounder Mike McGlinchey. That might be a long term upgrade, but in the short term, it’s probably a downgrade.

They’ve definitely upgraded at center, with Weston Richburg replacing the mediocre Dan Kilgore. RB Jerick McKinnon will also likely be an upgrade over Carlos Hyde.

But rookie LB Fred Warner will not be an improvement over a suspended Reuben Foster. And it will be a surprise if detested ex-enemy Dickhead Sherman proves to be an improvement over any of the CBs that worked across from Ahkello Witherspoon last year.

Second round pick Dante Pettis is this year’s biggest question mark. Will he be a home run hitter, a marginal improvement over Trent Taylor, or a complete bust?

But no matter how any of these upgrades/downgrades pan out, it will still all come down to Garoppolo.

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Posted in FOS Speculation

Was It Good For You?

Oh what a draft
it was, it really was … such a draft
How well I remember,
I’ll always remember …

The 49ers Draft Room fellows were typically quite pleased with themselves for their efforts in the 2018 Draft. There’s probably never been a Draft Room that slunk out afterwards muttering, “Shit, that was a disaster.” So, okay guys.

The true test, of course, is whether we 49er fans and skeptics will be pleased also. Stay tuned for that.

From this seat, the Draft seemed a little meh. The first pick, at number nine, went for an offensive right tackle, Mike McGlinchey. I suppose he’ll be okay, as long as he doesn’t have to square off against Bradley Chubb too often. We’ll see this matchup on December 9th, when the Niners host the Broncos, but probably not too often after that.

The second pick, WR Dante Pettis, appears to be a better, faster version of Trent Taylor, who performed reasonably well last year in his rookie season. Not sure what this means for Trent, but I imagine it wasn’t swell news for him or his agent.

John Lynch spent his 4th round pick on a D-line guy, Kentavius Street, who tore his ACL this very month. That means he’ll be on IR all year, just like last year’s 4th rounder, RB Joe Williams. Apparently, Lynch looks at the 4th round much like many GMs view the 6th or 7th — the “WTF, maybe we’ll get lucky round.” I suppose we shouldn’t complain. Previous GM Trent Baalke viewed the entire Draft as a WTF proposition.

Lynch devoted three picks to secondary guys, which is practically an annual tradition. It was a welcome choice this year, though, if it serves to close the door on a return engagement of Eric Reid‘s well worn knees. His departure would leave only Eli Harold to assume the position alone next year, or not if he’s thinking about continuing his marginal football career here or elsewhere in 2019.

At any rate, we have some new guys on the team and we’ll see how they do come September.

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Posted in Draft Reaction

Lap Falling Syndrome

Well, it’s almost here. After the Super Bowl and the Presidential Election, the NFL Draft is probably the third most overhyped event in America.

Apparently, the 49ers are going to take a linebacker, a cornerback, an offensive lineman, or trade down from the number 9 pick. After that, who knows?

I doubt John Lynch will be drafting anybody who failed a drug test at the Combine or got sent home for threatening a hospital worker, though. Making the same mistake twice was never an issue for former GM Trent Baalke, who was a serial repeat offender during his tenure. But Lynch is not likely to be that dumb.

The pre-draft news has been dominated by the four or five quarterbacks who are likely to be picked in the first round, but New Orleans HC Sean Payton thinks none of them are likely to become elite QBs, except maybe for Sam Darnold. I can’t keep these guys straight, probably from complete inattention to detail, but Payton should know, right?

Maybe. He had Drew Brees fall in his lap, which is what made him worth listening to. Just like Bill Belichick had Tom Brady fall in his lap. And some say Joe Montana fell into Bill Walsh‘s lap, too, since he reportedly wanted Phil “Gag Me” Simms instead. Great players falling into your lap has an inordinate effect on the history of the NFL I’m tempted to surmise.

Of course, this would take quite a bit of luster off the fellows holding down the 32 GM jobs around the league, so the NFL has blackballed any effort to point this out. They’d probably blackball me, too, but I have cleverly kept this blog insignificant and powerless for its duration on the web, so far under the radar that not even the Russians have noticed its presence.

So enjoy finding the non-fake TRUTH, still languishing harmlessly in various tiny pot holes around the globe, as it falls into your lap ever so quietly and fortuitously.

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Posted in Waltzing Matilda

Mock Train to Boot Hill

One more week until the 2018 Draft, when the 49ers will select some guys and find out if they can play and if they can stay out of trouble. And the thousands of mock drafts will magically disappear to some graveyard of embarrassing endeavors, never to be seen or even acknowledged again.

Next season’s schedule should be released this week, ushering in the mock prognostications period. This mock period will be held to a higher standard, however, and reside in the right column all year long.

The only sure thing about the Draft is that it will open with Roger Goodell walking to the podium while getting booed lustily. Then the Browns wil screw up the number one pick. Although the Browns have a legitimate GM this year in John Dorsey, so maybe we’ll have to wait until HC Hue Jackson screws up whomever Dorsey selects.

For the first time, the Draft will be shown on more channels than just ESPN. Fox and ABC, plus four cable outlets (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, NFL Network) will all cover the event, elevating the Draft to virtually the same importance as a national political convention.

At any rate, if 33 years of Mel Kiper has stretched you to the breaking point, this year you’ll have an alternative. Although several hours of Troy Aikman might be so awesomely dull that Kiper becomes weirdly appealing again.

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Posted in Draft Board
2018 Schedule
9-9: @ Vikings, 10:00 am Sun.
9-16: vs. Lions, 1:25 pm, Sun.
9-23: @ Chiefs, 10:00 am, Sun.
9-30: @ Chargers, 1:25 pm, Sun.
10-7: vs. Cardinals, 1:25 pm, Sun.
10-15: @ Packers, 5:15 pm, Mon.
10-21: vs. Rams, 5:20 pm, Sun.
10-28: @ Cardinals, 1:25 pm, Sun.
11-1: vs. Raiders, 5:20 pm, Thur.
11-12: vs. Giants, 5:15 pm, Mon.
11-25: @ Tampa, 10:00 am, Sun.
12-2: @ Seattle, 5:20 pm, Sun.
12-9: vs. Broncos, 1:25 pm, Sun.
12-16: vs. Seattle, 1:25 pm, Sun.
12-23: vs. Bears, 1:05 pm, Sun.
12-30: @ Rams, 1:25 pm, Sun.
2018 Draft Class
1. OT Mike McGlinchey
2. WR Dante Pettis
3. LB Fred Warner
3. DB Tarvarius Moore
4. DE Kentavius Street
5. CB D.J. Reed
6. S Marcell Harris
7. DT Jullian Taylor
7. WR Richie James
2017 Prognostications
NJ49er: 6-10
Skeebers: 6-10
Bullit: 5-11
Mr Fletch: 5-11
RTFirefly: 5-11
Chuck: 9-7
Grumpy: 4-12
Rob: 9-7
Winder: 4-12