Take a Number

The 49ers close out their offseason practices this week. If you gleaned any useful information from these sessions, congratulations. Your drug of choice has served you well.

Joe Montana‘s recent birthday was a painful reminder that we once had recognizable, even beloved, heroes playing for the 49ers. They’ve handed out so many new jersey numbers this offseason that we won’t even know who we’re rooting for until halfway through the year. NaVorro Bowman‘s 53 and Joe Staley‘s 74 are about all that’s left from a team we knew.

In fact, we know the guys who play for Arizona and Seattle better than we do our own team. And many of us, including this scribe, have gotten quite comfortable rooting against the Niners the past two years, as an enjoyable anti-York protest. The other team has gone 25-7 in that span, making Sunday football viewing eminently satisfying.

One thing that is crystal clear at this point: Kyle Shanahan is a lot better looking than his bug-eyed, maniac-stare father who obviously spent a lifetime using his teeth as a bottle opener. I remember wondering, when the elder was the OC here in the early 90’s, how somebody so strange looking could possibly command attention, short of hauling out a pistol and waving it around.

But enough with the heart-warming family portraits. There’s been a lot of speculation about whether the Niners will be improved this year and by how much. One thing that isn’t speculated is whether they will be a playoff contender. And that means, no matter how happy anybody is about the hiring of Shanahan and John Lynch, we’re still looking at enduring yet another dismal season. Hard to get excited about that.

Best bet is another year of rooting for the other team. Jed York will be uncomfortable, and that’s always good. And one more year with a high draft pick is probably a wise investment.

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Posted in Orgainized Team Activities

OTA Waltz

The 49ers held some OTAs last week, and the guys were running around in their shorts doing athletic stuff. Titillating entertainment for the female population. Wimpy fake football to us manly men.

The Niner beat writers seem very impressed with Kyle Shanahan‘s command of commanding the troops. I’m not readily able to remember if they were impressed with Jim Tomsula and/or Chip Kelly, too, but we’ll assume for the sake of Happy Happy that they were much more muted in assessing these two former train wrecks during their OTA time.

Speaking of train wrecks, Brandon Jacobs. Probably time for this ridiculous Jim Harbaugh hater to get his brain checked for CTE. A positive diagnosis would allow us to feel sorry for him. Otherwise, it’s a hearty round of LMAOs for old Brandon. Good luck on your vow to get Harbaugh fired from Michigan because he “knows nothing about football.”

Yet another reminder that there are entities out there who inhabit a totally different planet than the one most of us are familiar with.

The Depth Chart page on the 49ers web site is blank, so we have no idea what the pecking order is for the 90 guys currently signed by the team. When this page finally gets updated, we’ll have our first glimpse into the mind of Shanahan. Hopefully, this nebulous area will prove to be vastly larger and deeper than the cranial contents of Tomsula and Kelly.

We could, of course, guess at some of the hierarchy of this depth chart, but this site prefers to keep its guess work confined to topics such as other people’s worth, their motives, their proximity to unintelligent life form, the size of various objects which they might be able to stuff up a certain bodily orifice which shall go unnamed — you know, fun stuff.

In the meantime, there are a few more weeks of OTAs, so stay tuned for up-to-the-minute reports that may or may not be worth mentioning.

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The Price of Admission

OTAs are in the vicinity — around the corner, down the street, across the field, up the tree — somewhere out there. You can find them if so inclined.

Not that your search will be rewarded, even if successful. Organized Team Activities. Whenever you see a title this vague and boring, you know lawyers have been busy diluting the meaning of existence.

Pimping for Kaepernick is all the rage among the media moralists and PC police these days. Not sure why these fellows are so desperate to find him a job. Or are they just more interested in complaining about it and speculating endlessly about the integrity and awful motives of the owners, hinting at a grand racially motivated collusion.

Apparently, the NFL owners are required to give this prima donna douchebag a job whether they like him or not, and whether he’s any good or not. Seattle is reportedly ready to give him a minimum salary backup job, which would be hilarious. Kaepernick in the humble shadow of Russell Wilson? I’d pay to see that. Can’t wait to hear how the negotiations broke down. Somewhere out there, RGIII is thinking, “Hey, I’m black, too. Why no love for me?”

The blogosphere seems a little jaded and apathetic this offseason. The hiring of Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch should be generating the same kind of buzz as the hiring of Jim Harbaugh six years ago, but it hasn’t. We can probably thank the specter of Jed York for the muted excitement, looming over the franchise like a deadly virus.

August can’t come soon enough.

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Posted in Vacant Observations

So Far, So Good

New GM John Lynch had a fairly sensational debut in his inaugural Draft, collaborating seamlessly with new HC Kyle Shanahan. They worked so well together, you could almost feel Jed York itching to jump in and take credit for their efforts.

And last Wednesday, that’s just what the little twit did, using the perceived success of Lynch and Shanahan in the Draft to act like something tremendous had actually happened on the field. Even trying yet another spin on the Harbaugh Era, with the supreme gall to imply we wouldn’t have S & L if York hadn’t “mutually” parted with Jim Harbaugh. For reference, Harbaugh went 49-21. Shanahan is 0-0.

And thus the glow of the Draft loses some luster as we are needlessly reminded yet again that the 49ers will always be one step removed from shitsville as long as York is running the franchise. He just can’t keep his face out of the pudding.

Fortunately, the best part of the Draft was covered by Peter King, and it featured a coordinated team of Shanahan and Lynch, aided and abetted by Martin Mayhew, Paraag Marathe, and Adam Peters, all pulling on the same oar to make good things happen. Let’s hope this team is still functioning smoothly in three years.

At least we know these guys will be decisive. And apparently unafraid to admit mistakes and squander York’s money. That last item was deliciously demonstrated when Saturday, after a mere three days of camp, they cut WR KD Cannon inspite of his $45,000 guarantee. A cynic might think they signed this guy and cut him just to demonstrate how little tolerance they had for guys who didn’t want it enough and also to see if York was going to break out in hives every time a little money left his pocket.

Then again, York has certainly squandered enough money all by himself. Maybe L&S wanted to see if they had the same privileges.

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Posted in Draft Reaction

2017 Draft

Day One
Not a bad first day for the 49ers and greenhorn GM John Lynch‘s inaugural Draft. Lynch netted two defensive studs who should start immediately and provide needed improvement to the D-line pass rush (Solomon Thomas) and the ILB spot alongside NaVorro Bowman (Reuben Foster) that has been a glaring vacancy since Patrick Willis retired after the 2014 season.

We’ll assume for the nonce that Lynch won’t get the fat head and blow the rest of the draft. We’ll also assume that the dead last defense the Niners fielded in 2016 will be significantly improved this coming season. With three number one picks on the D-line now, how can it not improve? The only question is how much?

Day Two
After waiting through the entire second round, the 49ers finally took CB Ahkello Witherspoon with the second pick of round three. They had the third pick (from the Bears), but promptly traded it to the Saints for a second round pick next year.

The New Orleans fans might be scratching their heads more than we are, though. The Saints used the pick they got from the Niners to draft an RB. Nothing wrong with that, except they already had Mark Ingram and last week signed Adrian Peterson. RB was anything but a position of need.

Next year, we’ll no doubt be happy to have that extra second rounder, but this year, IMHO, it would have been nice to draft an extra third round player. Which Lynch did eventually, by trading back into the bottom of the third to draft QB C.J. Beathard out of Iowa, a guy not even mentioned on NJ49er’s draft list.

After all the wheeling and dealing, the Niners now have left for Saturday one 4th round pick, two fifths, two sixths, and a seventh.

Day Three
On the final day of the Draft, Lynch picked six guys who all played different positions — a RB, TE, WR, DT, LB, and CB. Nobody had a torn ACL to recover from and none of them had beaten a woman to a pulp.

Most observers, both local and national, seemed to look kindly on Lynch’s first draft. Of course, we won’t know for a year or two just how many of these ten total picks can play in the NFL. But for now, I suppose we can just applaud our new team and hope for the best.

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2017 Schedule
Sept. 10: vs. Carolina, 1:25 p.m.
Sept. 17: at Seattle, 1:25 p.m.
Sept. 21: vs. L.A. Rams, 5:25 p.m.
Oct. 1: at Arizona, 1:05 p.m.
Oct. 8: at Indianapolis, 10 a.m.
Oct. 15: at Washington, 10 a.m.
Oct. 22: vs. Dallas, 1:05 p.m.
Oct. 29: at Philadelphia, 10 a.m.
Nov. 5: vs. Arizona, 1:05 p.m.
Nov. 12: vs. N.Y. Giants, 1:25 p.m.
Week 11 — Bye
Nov. 26: vs. Seattle, 1:05 p.m.
Dec. 3: at Chicago, 10 a.m.
Dec. 10: at Houston, 10 a.m.
Dec. 17: vs. Tennessee, 1:25 p.m.
Dec. 24: vs. Jacksonville, 1:05 p.m.
Dec. 31: at L.A. Rams, 1:25 p.m.
2017 Draft Class
1. DE Solomon Thomas
1. ILB Reuben Foster
3. CB Ahkello Witherspoon
3. QB C.J. Beathard
4. RB Joe Williams
5. TE George Kittle
5. WR Trent Taylor
6. DT D.J. Jones
6. LB Pita Taumoepenu
7. CB Adrian Colbert
2016 Prognostications
Closest To The Pin
  Grumpy: 3-13
  Spitblood: 3-13
  Winder: 3-13
Bakkentom: 0-16
Bullit: 5-11
Chuck: 8-8, 7-9, 9-7, 10-6
Mr Fletch: 4-12
NJ49er: 5-11
Phil Fan: 4-12
Rob: 9-7
RTFirefly: 7-9
Skeebers: 6-10