April Daze

There’s been a lot of quotes from Anquan Boldin recently. Apparently, he’s appointed himself team spokesperson, in lieu of anyone else filling that role.

On Friday, however, the 49ers trotted out Colin Kaepernick, Jim Tomsula, Vernon Davis, and Antoine Bethea to speak glowingly about each other and the state of the team. They were all seated on a bench together, like old chums on a log in front of a campfire.

Our heroes. Four guys trying to prove in 2015 that they deserve to be employed here next year. Bonding in vulnerability.

The Draft is only two weeks away. Whoever Trent Baalke selects with the 15th pick will no doubt be expected to contribute immediately. That means one of the currently penned in starters will be losing his job. While most of us watch the draft more or less dispassionately, at least 3 players will have a keen and focused interest.

The starting jobs most likely up for grabs with that 15th pick are CB, ILB, and LG. Those spots are manned by Dontae Johnson, Michael Wilhoite, and Not Yet Revealed. Not a formidable group of units to displace.

Baalke is probably finalizing his draft board these days. Let’s hope he hasn’t written down his choice on a piece of paper like he claims to have done in 2012 before wasting a pick on AJ Jenkins. A double faux pas.

Pardon me if I find the 49ers to be a cruel joke these days. It’s no fun to write about them because it seems so pointless. And nobody wants to talk about them, either. Fans I meet that were enthusiastic before, now just shake their heads, spit, and change the subject. When you’ve danced with the stars, wiggling around with a mixer crowd just doesn’t cut it. You guys who want to give it the old sis-boom-bah and kid yourselves that an 8-8 record next year will be wonderful, have at it. I’ll pass.

This will be the first time in four years that the Niners will not even remotely be considered SB contenders, even if they have an SB quality team. And the sad thing is, that’s not likely to change for many years to come. Not as long as Jed York involves himself in the workings of the team. Go home, Jed. Disappear. You suck, little man. You truly suck.

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Posted in Angst 101

The Enabler

New HC Jim Tomsula has stated that he won’t be involved in the offense or the defense this coming year, he’ll just be an “enabler.” Very clever. He can’t be blamed for a lousy O or a lousy D. I guess he can’t take credit for any goodness achieved by either entity, either.

Which begs the question: what exactly IS his job? Merriam Webster defines “enabler” as: “one that enables another to achieve an end; especially : one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior.”

Well, that explains it. Just as everyone surmised, Tomsula is Jed York’s life coach! It will be his responsibility to allow Jed to continue to be a douchebag without any consequences!

Some readers have complained that we don’t publish any good news about the Niners this offseason. Hey, shoot the messenger, why don’t you. The fact is, there hasn’t been any good news. Not nationally, not locally, not on any of the other blogs, and not even from the people who are complaining.

Voluntary offseason workouts begin today. It will be interesting to see if all the players show up for it. Alex Boone and Vernon Davis blew these events off last year, and not coincidentally, each went on to have a crappy year. Patrick Willis was quoted as being excited to play for Tomsula, then a few weeks later Willis retired. So there’s that to consider, also.

This will be the first time Colin Kaepernick will work with his new QB coach, Steve Logan. Kurt Warner, like Steve Young before him, has stressed to Kaepernick that he must think like a QB first, in the pocket, and not like an athlete/runner who makes one read and takes off. Logan and York, of course, have maintained they want Kaepernick to run more this year. I’m sure this conflicting advice will work itself out — somehow.

At any rate, we might be able to hear some hard, football enabled news this week. We’ll see.

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Posted in Tuesday Morning Waterboy

Stepper Uppers Needed

Jed York checked his mouth into rehab after the owners’ meetings last week, so there has been some quiet time these days. Pity. What will we do for amusement?

Poor young Jed. A year ago, he was the toast of the town. Now he’s just toast. Possibly the most reviled owner in the NFL.

When the blogs came into being, back in late 2007 and early 2008, the 49ers were a bad team. But there was a hope they would get better, which left room to be optimistic about the future.

Now the owner sucks, the FO sucks, and the coaches suck. Hard to overcome that much suckitude. The Niners are a good team probably heading downward and there is very little to be optimistic about. Some are focusing on the upcoming draft, but there is slight chance it will have much of an impact on the coming season.

Draft picks rarely enjoy immediate success. Especially picks outside the top five or ten. The Niners are drafting fifteenth. That’s the spot Bill Walsh traded up to when he selected Jerry Rice in 1985. Even Rice had an up and down first year. And he had Joe Montana as his QB.

The drafts that should be helping this year are the ones in 2013 and 2014. So far, only FS Eric Reid has been a steady contributor from the 2013 draft. Quinton Dial, Quinton Patton, Tank Carradine, and Vance McDonald need to step in and be solid performers this year, or the 2013 draft will be pretty much a bust. And that following on the heels of the complete 2012 bust.

2014 seems to be a far better draft than 2013. Five if the twelve picks spent the year on IR and only the one-and-done Chris Borland stood out as a star, but Aaron Lynch, Jimmy Ward, Marcus Martin, Carols Hyde and Bruce Ellington made solid, if not spectacular, contributions. This is the draft that is critical for the coming year.

But the most need for improvement comes from the 2011 draft — QB Colin Kaepernick. As mentioned in a recent 49erwebzone article, he is the one player who could make the team transcend itself and overcome the mediocre coaching staff. Without OC Greg Roman around to take the blame for Colin’s poor performances, though, Kaepernick will be alone in the spotlight.

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Posted in FOS Speculation

Baalke’s Decade

Posted on March 27, 2015Skeebers

With the departures of Patrick Willis, Ray McDonald, Michael Crabtree, and Frank Gore, the Mike Nolan/Scot McCloughan draft era is just about wrapped up. There are only two guys left: Joe Staley and Vernon Davis. And only one FA signing — Justin Smith.

Hard to believe, but GM Trent Baalke has been on the job now for five years. This will be his sixth draft. As you can see from the talent listed above, the 49ers’ previous success rested on the backs of the Nolan/McCloughan players. From here on out, it will be Baalke’s team, win or lose.

The fact that the Nolan/McCloughan core players defined this team for ten years gives you an idea of how much good or bad a GM can do for a franchise. Are Baalke’s draft picks and FA signings going to define the team for the next ten years? If so, what is that definition going to be?

If I’m Baalke, I’m thinking right now that my legacy is currently in the hands of Jim Tomsula, who is not an NFL caliber Head Coach. Tomsula is not going to bring out the best in my players, like Jim Harbaugh did for Nolan & McCloughan’s players. In fact, I’m not even going to let Tomsula coach the effing team. Here’s some pom-poms, Jimmy. I’ll coach the team myself.

That’s not a very smart move, but it’s the only move Jed York left him with when York insisted that Tomsula be either the DC (so long, Adam Gase) or, by default, the HC. I’m willing at this point to give Baalke the benefit of the doubt for not being so incredibly stupid that he actually thinks Tomsula is the man for the job. If I’m wrong about that, then there won’t be anything to cheer about in 49erland for a long, long time. Ten years might be the short end of a screw up that monumental.

At this point, the jury is still out on whether Baalke is even an above average GM. Let alone competent to coach the team. Signing Torrey Smith looks good on paper, but the other FA signings so far look like recycled junk. The upcoming draft is critical for Baalke, even more so now that the guys he drafts are the ones he’s going to coach. It will be interesting to see if he still spends picks on torn ACL guys who can’t play for a year.

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Posted in FOS Speculation

Spring Equiknocks

Posted on March 23, 2015Skeebers

The 49ers hired a new head coach after the 2014 season, so they can begin their offseason workout program earlier than other more stable franchises. The first workout begins in two weeks, on April 6.

It’s entirely possible that we’ll see the long awaited debut of new HC Jim Tomsula at that point, presumably talking about his team, like it actually is his team. The guy in charge. Leader of manly men.

We should also see, or be told about, the new and improved Colin Kaepernick. Freshly returned from his Arizona seminar with Kurt Warner on the basics of QBing in the NFL. We’ll see how well his new found skills adhere midway through the third quarter of the first nail-biter game of the 2015 season.

We’ll also hear if Navorro Bowman looks like his old 2013 self, or a somewhat lesser version of that. If we hear that Justin Smith is in camp, it means he’s going to give it one more go instead heading home to Missouri.

GM Trent Baalke says the 49er offense will have a different philosophy next year. He did not explain what that philosophy would be or what philosophy we had previously that would now not be had. He’s on record saying the team will run the ball. That sounds suspiciously like the philosophy that’s been employed here since the days of Mike Singletary.

Jed York says we’re getting back to 49er core principles. He did not explain what those core principles were. Or what era they existed in. The West Coast Offense? The Smash Mouth running game era? Core principles from the Eddie Debartolo era or the Godawful York era.

Hmmmm. I think I’m smelling a Tomsula here. Could these two gents just be blowing smoke? Spewing the old bullshit? Giving us the unca_chuck a lot?

Are these two even on the same page now? Baalke seems to be throwing out some typical coach-speak b.s. and glad to escape back to his office. But York is actively seeking the spotlight, trying to repair the damage to his image by adopting the time honored strategy of digging a deeper hole. He’s gone from squealing that he had a signed piece of paper that proved the parting with Jim Harbuagh was mutual to saying Harbaugh was fired for being a bad coach. Somebody get this kid a pacifier. Quick!

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Posted in FOS Speculation
Recent Posts
2014 Schedule
1. 9/7 @ DAL: W 28-17
2. 9-14 vs CHI: L 20-28
3. 9/21 @ ARI: L 14-23
4. 9-28 vs PHI: W 26-21
5. 10/5 vs KC: W 22-17
6. 10/13 @ STL: W 31-17
7. 10/19 @ DEN: L 17-42
8. BYE
9. 11/2 vs STL: L 10-13
10. 11/9 @ NO: W 27-24
11. 11/16 @ NYG: W 16-10
12. 11/23 vs WAS: W 17-13
13. 11/27 vs SEA: L 3-19
14. 12/7 @ OAK: L 13-24
15. 12/14 @ SEA: L 7-17
16. 12/20 vs SD: L 35-38
17. 12/28 vs ARI: W 20-17
2014 Draft Class
1 Jimmie Ward, S/CB
2 Carlos Hyde, RB
3 Marcus Martin, C
3 Chris Borland, ILB
3 Brandon Thomas, OG
4 Bruce Ellington, WR
4 Dontae Johnson, CB
5 Aaron Lynch, LB
5 Keith Reaser, CB
6 Kenneth Acker, CB
7 Kaleb Ramsey, DE
7 Trey Millard, FB