Junky Alert

The third season  of the Kyle Shanahan Show will begin airing next week.

As usual, the first four episodes will be meaningless drivel whose only purpose will be to familiarize us fans with the new cast of characters who will be appearing this year. Mainly the eight member rookie class and a couple of free agents.

The first two years of this much-hyped ensemble production flopped rather spectacularly. 6-10, followed by 4-12. Not exactly an audience sustaining effort. This year’s expectations are nevertheless sky high, with the addition of two passing rushing DEs and the hopeful return to health of a few other important players.

So, the first order of business will be giving the players physicals and determining who goes on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Unlike most teams, this is a hold your breath moment for the 49ers, who keep signing guys who are hurt.

The most prominent candidates are QB Jimmy Garoppolo (10 mos. ACL), CB Jimmie Ward (3 mos. busted shoulder), LB Kwon Alexander (9 mos. ACL), RB Jerick McKinnon (11 mos. ACL), RB Matt Breida (walking wounded habitually), and the all star ding champ CB Jason Verrette (four years broken, busted, strained, ripped, torn, fractured, you-name-it-he-done-it).

Stay tuned for developments next week and get ready for the annual fix to a nation of football craving addicts. And the 49ers embark on their 25th consecutive attempt to bring home Lombardi number six.

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Posted in Training Camp

Almost There

Training Camps will be opening across the NFL in the next couple of weeks and another season will drag out of bed and face the dawn.

Patriot fans can book their playoff reservations immediately for yet another free ride to the postseason by virtue of playing in the weakest division in the history of the NFL. Only twice in the past twenty years or so has this division provided anything remotely close to a competitive schedule. Rex Ryan‘s two year run with the Jets in 2008 and 2009. That’s it.

No such luck for the rest of the NFL. They have to earn their way into the playoffs.

One team that won’t be making the playoffs is the Oakland Raiders. Here’s hoping this  long running dumpster fire finishes last in the AFC West and slinks out of town and out of the state, never to return. Knowing their dimwit fans as we do, they would probably welcome them back yet again even after being  dumped twice. If ever a franchise gave the finger to its fan base as pointedly and repeatedly as the Raiders have theirs, I certainly don’t know about it.

The 49ers will have a good offense this year. Kyle Shanahan has all the players in place that he needs. But it will all come down to Red Zone scoring, which has been awful in his two years here as Head Coach. The team will get there a lot this year, but if they keep settling for FGs, it will be a tough road to get to January and still be playing.

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Posted in FOS Speculation

Four Part Harmony

The first part of the offseason deals with hopes and needs (FA and the Draft). The second part features high (or low) expectations (a whole lot of bullshit). Then there’s part three, Training Camp and Preseason, when expectations are diluted by injuries. And finally, part four, when the season starts and we face reality.

It’s a nice, tidy annual four part drama.

Currently, we’re in Part Two, the bullshit sector, with a little over three weeks until things get interesting and NFL camps open for business.

This is normally the period where I would devote an entire post to the noble art of farting, but one of my nieces is writing a summer school paper on deviants in the family tree and I’m trying to stay under the radar a bit. At the moment, she thinks I’m a kindly old relic, and I’d like to continue her misconceptions a bit longer.

As far as I know, our family tree doesn’t feature any wild and crazy deviants, although the historian in the family has traced our roots back to one of the English kings in the Dark Ages, when powerful fellows seemed to have a great interest in cruelty and the instruments of torture, so who knows. Powerful guys nowadays seem more interested in paedophilia and trafficking children. It’s not hard to opine that the human spirit has not made much progress as time has marched along.

The 49ers haven’t made much progress for awhile, either. Maybe this year they’ll rise up out of the ashes and stun us all, like Bill Walsh‘s 1981 team did or Jim Harbaugh‘s 2011 team. Or maybe we’ll have to look back here from October or November and admit we were suckered in – once again – by the bullshit period of 2019.

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Posted in Vacant Observations

The Raytown Kid

The 49ers wrapped up their minicamp last week and the offseason practices have come to an end.

A few players were too dinged up, for one reason or another, to join in the final festivities:

RT Mike McGlinchey
WR Deebo Samuel
TE Garrett Celek
RB Matt Breida
RB Jerick McKinnon
RB Raheem Mostert
WR Jalen Hurd
C Weston Richburg
DE Nick Bosa
LB Kwon Alexander
LB Fred Warner
CB Jason Verrett
S Jimmie Ward
S D.J. Reed

26% of the roster, so to speak, including our top three draft picks. Good thing we have the new hi-tech medicine men on the team. They’re going to be busy this year.

The end of minicamp also concludes the Happy Talk portion of the offseason gatherings. This time of year all teams have SB ambitions. And seldom is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day.

Now comes the hard part: six weeks in the dreaded Aldon Smith Zone. That time of year when players avail themselves of entertainment which oftentimes produces non-productive results. Mug shots, DUIs, fingers blown off, public indecency, drug busts, PED violations, car wrecks – ah, the foibles of youth.

Aldon made himself at home in this dangerous region several years back and never really escaped, wresting the title of this dark area from pretenders such as Ryan Leaf, who only squandered the mediocre career of an all time NFL bust, whereas Aldon pissed away a sure fire Hall of Fame career.

When last we saw Aldon, he was checking into police HQ in San Jose for missing a court date, whereupon he blew a BAC over .40 and was saved from an alcoholic coma by being incarcerated and presumably dried out.

Why or when he was released is not known, but in the ten seconds of sobriety he experienced upon exiting jail, he no doubt concluded it was time to get out of California, where his rap sheet had grown to encyclopedic proportions.

So he returned to his midwest roots and promptly picked up a DUI in Mission, Kansas – just across the river from his old high school in Raytown,  Missouri. Where Aldon ends up next will surely deserve a mention in future episodes of this blog. Hopefully, that won’t be in the morgue, where this sad tale seems destined to end sooner, rather than later.

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Posted in Waltzing Matilda

Take the Points

In 2017, the 49ers defense ranked 22nd against the pass, 22nd against the run, but 24th in points allowed.  The offense was 12th in yards, 9th in passing yards, 21st in rushing yards, but only 20th in points.

In 2018, the 49ers defense ranked 11th against the pass and 14th against the run, but 28th in points. The offense was 16th in yards, 15th in passing yards and 13th in rushing yards, but 21st in points.

Ergo sum diarrhea, we can see that the rushing improved last year while the offense as a whole regressed. And the defense improved against the pass and the run, while regressing as a whole in points allowed.

Lifting the lid for a closer look at the statistical excrement, we know that Jimmy Garoppolo‘s 5-0 run at the end of 2017 no doubt skewed the stats favorably for the offense and it reverted to form when he was MIA in 2018. The defense improved against the pass and run, but still gave up more points than the previous year.

Somewhere along the line, we’re going to need to see the offense and defense get out of the bottom 12 teams and get upward towards the top 12. Without resting in the eight middle slots reserved for perennial 8-8 type teams. The nice, but no cigar division.

This points for and against issue has been a persistent problem for HC Kyle Shanahan and DC Robert Saleh. Even when they are better, they’re worse. The points for and against are worse than the yardage for and against. With Jim Harbaugh‘s teams, it was just the opposite: the points were always better than the yardage. And that made all the difference.

 

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Posted in Orgainized Team Activities
2019 Schedule
9-8: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:25pm
9-15: @ Cincinnati Bengals, 10am
9-22: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 1:25pm
9-29: BYE

10-7: vs. Cleveland Browns, 5:15pm
10-13: @ Los Angeles Rams, 1:05pm
10-20: @ Washington, 10am
10-27: vs. Carolina Panthers, 1:05pm
10-31: @ Arizona Cardinals, 5:20pm

11-11: vs. Seattle Seahawks, 5:15pm
11-17: vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1:05pm
11-24: vs. Green Bay Packers, 1:25pm

12-1: @ Baltimore Ravens, 10am
12-8: @ New Orleans Saints, 10am
12-15: vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1:25pm
12-21 or 12-22: vs. Los Angeles Rams
12-29: @ Seattle Seahawks, 1:25pm

2019 Draft Class
1. DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
2. WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
3. WR Jalen Hurd, Baylor
4. P Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah
5. LB Dre Greenlaw, Arkansas
6. TE Kaden Smith, Stanford
6. OT Justin Skule, Vanderbilt
6. DB Tim Harris, Virginia
 
2018 Prognostications
Closest to the Pin:
  Mr Fletch: 7-9

Bakkentom: 8-8
Grumpy: 8-8
Winder: 8-8
Bullit: 9-7
NJ49er: 9-7
Skeebers: 10-6
Spitblood: 0-16
Rob!!!: 16-0

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