2010 TC IX: Hang ‘Em High

The blogosphere finally got something to sink its teeth into this rather calm off season, and man alive they were a ravenous bunch. The strange and sudden saga of Kentwan Balmer’s MIA provoked a feeding frenzy as the howling dogs, who had lurked manacingly at the edge of the woods for months, roared out of the trees and ripped away at his big ass carcass with a fury.

My goodness. You’d think Alex Smith had just thrown a bad pass or Mark Roman had been re-signed.

Balmer’s absence, in reality, isn’t worth getting hysterical about. He has yet to be more than a marginal player. Whether he’s on the team or off is not something that’s likely to be noticed or have much impact on the team this year. Unless, in his third year, he started to live up to his potential and became a core member of the D-line rotation.

What he represents, however, is what brings out the dogs. He’s a former #1 draft pick whose main achievement thus far has been to provide fodder for those who like to excoriate the departed GM, Scot McCloughan, often throwing Mike Nolan and the entire 49er organization under the bus as well. One poster even tried to rub the McCloughan juice off on our current quasi-GM, Trent Baalke, who was head of the college scouting department at the time Balmer was drafted.

Since the day Desean Jackson caught his first TD pass for the Eagles, he and Balmer have been linked in 49er blog lore by those who enjoy criticizing the Niners. Jackson was a local boy from Cal and could have been selected instead of Balmer, and this point will probably still be brought up ten years from now by those with the aforementioned critical bent. It may even be a part of the lore of the other 31 teams in the NFL who also passed on him in the first round. Jackson, of course, was an instant star. Balmer so far has been anything but a star.

Even the normally cautious Matt Maiocco got a little foam on his lips and went so far as to give Balmer NO CHANCE of ever playing for the Niners again. Yet by nightfall (and sunrise), Balmer was still on the team. I guess we’ll see today whether he’s in or out. If he’s in, it would mean the Niners still feel like he’ll develop into a good player and not a head case. If he’s out, it means they don’t. Despite the cavalier attitude bloggers can sometimes have toward players, teams do not cut young players with talent that other teams, such as a division rival, would snatch up in a heartbeat.

Nothing much else was going on at practice Wednesday, which was conducted in shells, not pads, and mostly by the 3rd stringers. The team seems content to rest its bruises and prepare for Sunday’s game against the Colts. There are two practices scheduled for today, but it’s hard to envision anything more than some wrap up work and probably a final teaching session with the third stringers.

Scot McKillop was waived/injured yesterday, which was an interesting decision by the 49ers. He could have been kept on the roster until the final cut down to 53 players, then simply placed on IR. As it is, he can now be claimed by another team. It indicates that the team considers the 53rd guy, who would not have made the cut if McKillop were on the roster, to be less expendable at this point than McKillop.

It also indicates the team doesn’t feel that 53rd guy would clear waivers and be available for the Niners to re-sign after putting McKillop on IR. I’m thinking here of a player like Curtis Taylor, a valuable young safety and special teams player. Or Diyral Briggs, another young guy with intriguing potential.

Like Balmer, we’ll know the fate of McKillop today, as well.

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12 comments on “2010 TC IX: Hang ‘Em High
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I’m still rooting for Balmer. If he quits or gets cut I stop rooting for him.
    I do admit I was hoping to draft Curtis Lofton instead, but since we drafted Balmer I became a Balmer fan. That could change in the next day nor two, or on cut down day.
    When Balmer got some PT behind Sope last year he did well. He didn’t do as well backing up Smith at RDE. I never noticed him when he played NT, which is probably a good thing.
    Hopefully he’ll start showing better but that would mean pulling his head out of his butt. Once that happens one worries he isn’t blinded by the new light. More than likely he is out of here, but watching a first round pick flame out early is always hard on us fans and the team. Therefore, I’m still rooting for more Balmy days ahead.

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    From Barrows:
    “The 49ers have canceled the workout for DE Will Tukuafu, an indication that Kentwan Balmer may have smoothed things over with the 49ers “

  3. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    My thinking on McKilloop is, no one will take the shot due to the extent of the injuries he suffered.
    I mean if say, Seattle picked himm up, he would take up a spot on THEIR roster for no other reason that to be a pain in the Niners collective ass. He won’t play a down this year, and there’s no guarantee he’ll get back to form next year. So I’d think he clears waivers.

  4. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    The 49ers got a roster exemption spot for Balmer. He won’t be at practice today, but we’ll see where things go from here.

  5. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Barrows reports that a meeting (Balmer/Sing) took place, but Balmer is still NOT expected today at practice.
    Fish or cut bait time. “Hey chief! Best drop another chum marker.” I think it’s time we go back and get a bigger boat. Balmer is a dinghy.

  6. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like we’re bringing in Tukuafu again with Balmer still AWOL. Hints are he’ll even play and get significant time as far as preseason games go.
    Whatever, be done with this Balmer saga and as coach Sing says, “move forward” on this issue.
    Berger, that’s twice I used coach’s phrase today. I think it’s time for another pill.

  7. robNo Gravatar says:

    balmer being out really sucks ! at the end of last season he was starting to make some plays and i really hoped he’d start to make an impact on our d-line ! maybe even start at DE where sop plays now , allowing sop to play more DT in passing situations , or even a little NT !
    i wish we knew more about what’s going on but BALMER is starting to scare me and is looking more and more like a head case to me !
    i had my doubts about the balmer pick when we drafted him … the worst part about the whole thing is , if he doesn’t make the team ,
    (which is becoming more and more likely now )
    that we would have wasted a valuable first rd. draft pick on him !

  8. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    He was a 29th pick in the 1st. I ain’t that broken up over it.

  9. robNo Gravatar says:

    well CHUCK , i hate to sound so much like one of the chuckle-heads , but i was a lot more excited by some of the other players in the draft the year we picked balmer ! not least of which was that jerry rice approved WR who’s name i won’t mention !
    or are you just trying to defend your favorite 49ers draft pick ever !
    c’mon chuck , was that alex smith jersey really worth it ???

  10. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    If Alex suddenly becomes the 2nd coming of Joe, then yes!!!!!!!!

    Yeah, Groves was available. DSJ was obvious. Coulda had him 2x.

  11. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Blowing 1st round picks is the shit, but the Scotty/Nolan era is pretty much a clusterfuck of stupidity and ineptitude with 2 great picks in Gore and Willis.

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2021 Schedules
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26: L Packers 30, 49ers 28
10/03: L Seahawks 28, 49ers 21
10/10: L Cardinals 17, 49ers 10
10/17 BYE
10/24: L Colts 30, 49ers 18
10/31: W 49ers 33, Bears 22
11/07: L Cardinals 31, 49ers 17
11/15: W 49ers 31, Rams 10L
11/21: W 49ers 30, Jaguars 10
11/28: W 49ers 34, Vikings 26
12/05: L Seahawks 30, 49ers 23 12/12 路 10:00 AMCIN
12/19 路 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 路 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 路 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 路 1:25 PM @ LAR

2021 Draft Class
1. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
2. OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
3. RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
3. CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan
5. OG/OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
5. CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
5. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
6. RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
2021 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-5
Grumpy: 13-4
NJ49er: 11-6
Skeebers: 14-3
Winder: 12-5
Rob: 17-0
Spitblood: 0-17