Halfway to the Beginning

I’d like to say that the 49er offense looks okay and the defense looks great, but we haven’t really seen either one of them play much through two exhibition games. It’s been one series and off to the bench for both squads. The usually secretive Jim Harbaugh is out-secreting even himself this preseason. He got to celebrate a little on Sunday when it became okay to place the media off limits to all remaining practices — all the way to next May’s rookie minicamp.

Marlon Moore has been the starting WR opposite Anquan Boldin in both games so far, and he’s gotten the starter treatment of one series and off the field. So it seems fair to assume that Moore has won the number two WR position. It also seems fair to say nobody saw that development coming during the long offseason.

There are two cut down days before the start of the regular season, but this year there’ll be a third one sometime after the sixth game of the year. That’s when guys on the PUP list can be activated — a list that will include Mario Manningham, Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial, and perhaps Marcus Lattimore. Michael Crabtree isn’t on the PUP list, but he is eligible to return sometime in late November or early December.

The cut down to the 53 man roster is going to be brutal this year. Some very good players are going to be pink slipped and gobbled up by other teams. With Kansas City getting first dibs on all waived players, we could see several ex-49ers on their squad this year. You can bet the KC scouts were in full attendance for last Friday’s game.

BJ Daniels looked pretty smooth and elusive out there in the late fourth quarter scrum of roster bubble players. Certainly better than Scott Tolzien and Colt McCoy have looked, though they’ve faced better defensive personnel. Heck, BJ looked better than starter Colin Kaepernick, for that matter. BJ’s TD pass to Chuck Jacobs was a beautiful ball, right on the money, whereas Kaepernick had a wide open Chad Hall in the end zone and heaved it five yards over his head.

Harbaugh announced Sunday that AJ Jenkins will be tried as a kick returner in the next preseason game. This could be a desperate attempt to find some use for the kid other than spending another year on the game day inactive list or it could be a clever maneuver to make sure he gets tackled with the ball in his hands and can then be diagnosed with a season ending injury. [UPDATE: Never mind this paragraph. Niners have traded Jenkins to KC for WR Jonathan Baldwin.]

If this were 30 years ago, the players would have broken camp Sunday and headed back to the Bay Area from their Rocklin training camp. As it is, they’re already here and today is just another practice. Three weeks down, and three weeks to go.

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110 comments on “Halfway to the Beginning
  1. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Maiocco is saying that Jenkins is
    going to be traded to the Chefs.
    Didn’t say for what.
    I was thinking the Niners would exchange disappointing first round receivers, Jenkins for Jonathan Baldwin, which might benefit both with change of venue.
    Stay tuned

  2. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Matt Barrows just teeted that it is Baldwin for Jankins.
    I was thinking this on Fri night but thought it was a reach. Apparently not.
    Similar to Rashuan Woods for Sammy Davis although both turned out as busts even after that trade.

  3. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    No shit I was thinking about this
    during the game and it came to pass.
    “Here is what ESPN says about Baldwin
    Is Jon Baldwin running out of time in K.C.?”
    “He is not taking the necessary steps forward in his career. The Chiefs hopes a regime change would help spur the 2011 first-round pick. Still, Baldwin is not showing much consistency. He had another big drop against San Francisco on Friday and he looked lost at times in the game. … I talked to ESPN’s Matt Williamson about Baldwin. Williamson said he think Baldwin’s career is still salvageable. But he might benefit from a change of scenery. While there are teams that are thin at receiver and there could be a modest market for Baldwin, the truth is, the Chiefs are not overly deep at receiver. They are counting on Baldwin this year. If I were the Chiefs, I wouldn’t give up on him yet. It’s just his third year and his first with Reid. If Baldwin doesn’t improve this year, then Kansas City should consider all of its options. For now, it seems like the Chiefs aren’t ready to give up on him.”
    They are gaining a bigger receiver
    here but he also has the drops and appears to need motivation.

  4. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Denny

    They keep shipping guys you pick on to KC.
    Is Craig Dahl next?

  5. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Baldwin appears to be a leaper that goes up for the ball. I worry about drops. Alex hit him between the numbers Friday for about 15-20 yard gain and he dropped it. It also looked like he stumbled on a deep route which force Alex to throw the ball out of the back of the end zone. He doesn’t seem fluid but he does have a physical presence while being big.

  6. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    The exchange of busts makes it less painful for both teams. The next step is, both guys get cut at the close of TC or soon thereafter.

  7. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Harbaugh is going to have a meltdown. He scolded the beat writers and promised that Jenkins would prove them wrong for being negative.
    Jim is going to eat some humble pie on this one.

  8. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Supposedly Jenkins came to camp a lot stronger.
    He continually got muscled and bumped off his routes and he isn’t shifty enough to fake out the corner and make him whiff at the line.
    If nothing Baldwin has size and some speed and 41 NFL catches more than Jenkins zero.
    If Baldwin has a career similar to JJ Stokes that would be a very small victory.

  9. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Since we drafted Jenkins we have picked up a lot of WRs with speed making Jenkin’s one asset less valuable.

  10. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Jenkins came to camp, what was it, 4 pounds heavier? Instead of the 15 or more he needed. He was a *little* stronger, maybe, but not a lot, and it constantly showed in his inability to keep his feet on the field.
     
    Jimbo seems to have a ego problem admitting errors. He should not have backed Jenkins as strongly as he did. Trent Baalke, OTOH, is one cold, ruthless SOB and Thank Dog for that. That is part of the GM job description, and we are better off for having him.

  11. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Someone in the scouting dept. needs to take a timeout, or maybe find a new line of work. Our record with drafting WR’s sucks.

  12. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    I love this trade. Baldwin has the right body size, and he’s a deep threat. I’ve gotta read more about why the Chiefs dumped him. Maybe he didn’t get along with his new coaches, maybe it was attitude, or maybe it was just a lack of productivity. Whatever the reason, Jenkins is gone and that’s a blessing because he was lost. I’ve never seen a second year wr look more lost.
    .
    Grump – That’s the thing about Harbaugh: He backs you to the end and while backing you he’s asking Baalke to trade you so the player’s trade value isn’t hurt. It’s a concert – a fine melody between the two.
    .
    Thank god for the Chiefs. Harbaalke is fleecing all the dumb organizations in football – Cowboys for Reid, Cheifs with Smith and Jenkins. I used to respect poor Andy. Andy is building a loser out of pieces that once had potential. Andy needs to slow down. He needs to go 8-8. Good thing for us he’ll get 4 wins pretty easily from the Chargers and Raiders.

  13. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    Found this – “Sure, things aren’t going well right now during cap. Baldwin has been dropping passes as though he has an allergic reaction to pigskin. Even more worrisome is Baldwin was at one point yelled at by Reid for being tired.”
    .
    Also read Bill Belichick told the Falcons not to trade for Julio Jones because Jon Baldwin was the same player. Opps. But interesting.
    .
    Looks like Baldwin needs an attitude adjustment and focus where as Jenkins needed just about everything. Advantage Niners. Harbaugh and Kaep can help Baldwin overcome and turn him into a stud. James Jones dropped everything two and three years ago. Last year James was one of the best receivers in football. I love this trade.

  14. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Baldwin’s contract is guaranteed, so the likelihood he sticks around is pretty strong. FOr this year. Shit, he’s got numbers. That lone makes him more valuable than AJ.

  15. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Why anyone listens to anything Harbaugh says is beyond me. He’s a lot like Bochy in that regard. He’ll publicly back a player until the cows come home, or the player is traded/cut/DFAed/jettisoned, whatever.
    .
    It sounds great, but behind closed doors I’m sure it’s an entirely different story.
    .
    Baldwin’s contract is for a million and change this season.

  16. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Jenkins has 700K guaranteed this year and 1 mil guaranteed next year. Baldwin has a little over 1 mil guaranteed this year and about the same next year but not guaranteed. What that essentially means is that if we cut Baldwin next year we save 1 mil over cutting Jenkins next year.

  17. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    We ain’t cuttin’ Baldwin…. ’cause he’s a Baldwin. “Some things in here don’t react too well to bullets,” -or Bullits. I bet Baldwin turns it around for the 49ers. The odds are with us. Ashley Lelie, Darrell Jackson, Randy Moss, Braylon Edwards, Antonio Bryant, Austin Collie, Marlon Moore… eventually someone’s gonna stick and be productive.

  18. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    It’s clearly a sign, (to me), that Marlon and Quinton were miles ahead of AJ in terms of production.
    Pretty sad for AJ actually, when a Rookie with instructions not to catch the ball, was still making catches one-handed and apparently getting himself open while running routes.
     
    Kudos to Baalke for recognizing AJ doesn’t have the stones to handle the Pro game yet and, cutting his losses.

  19. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    I’m pissed. My two boys from that draft, Mohammed Sanu and Alshon Jeffrey, are looking like up-and-coming stars and we have a Jenkins / Baldwin mess. They just don’t listen to me. They should. They really should.

  20. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I was onboard for Sanu too Spit.
    Just didn’t see him as a 1st Round talent.
    Patton will be a contributor IMO.
    Kid has the heart AJ couldn’t find.

  21. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I think we hit the lottery with the Boldin deal and got some major return on the Marlon Moore signing too.
    We just have to hope Kyle stays healthy and, one of the remaining combatants emerge from the mix.
    Collie has concussion concerns and, Lockette appears to be flatlining.
    Like what I’ve seen from Osgood but, he’s no lock except for a possible ST position.
    Gotta hope for some mid Season magic from Mario too.
     
    In the meantime?
    Run and play Defense while we work Vance and Patton into the mix.

  22. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I liked Sanu and Jeffrey. I was bummed when Sanu ran such a slow 40. The guy I liked even more was Stephen Hill. Big, fast and physical. Oh well.

  23. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Hill is having his challenges in NY too.
    Just goes to show, WRs are a fickle bunch.
    Too many don’t have the nuts to compete at the NFL level.
    I’m OK with both Vance and Patton from this Draft Class.
    See how it shakes out.

  24. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Having seen Sanu here locally, I know the kid was a tough competitor and put in the work.
     
    Kenny Britt was also a guy I liked from Rutgers.
    Problems are well documented with his off the field issues in hindsight.
     
    Too many of these kids are elite at the College level and just can’t work hard enough to take their talents up to the NFL level.

  25. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    AJ was starting to remind me of “Bling’ Lloyd.
    A classic catch and fall WR.
    Patton is a terror with the ball in his hands.
    At least I can say that for his College production.
    He seeks to do damage after the catch.
    That’s all you can ask for.
    A fearless, competitive attitude.

  26. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Hill has a case of the drops, even in college. But he makes a lot of big plays. He came on strong at the end of last year. He is fast enough to take the top off the D and physical enough to win the one on one match-ups. Lockette has the potential to be that. I hope to him doing some of that soon.

  27. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Spitty

    Is Jake Locker the next Steve Young?
    Catching 16 passes in a season makes you a star in GM Spitty’s world?
    You have such low standards.
    Neither finished in the top ten rookie receiving stats last year which makes proclaiming them stars laughable.
    Receptions
    1. Kendall Wright WR, Tennessee Titans – 64
    2. Justin Blackmon WR, Jacksonville Jaguars – 64
    3. Trent Richardson RB, Cleveland Browns – 51
    4. Josh Gordon WR, Cleveland Browns – 50
    5. T.Y. Hilton WR, Indianapolis Colts – 50
    6. Doug Martin RB, Tampa Bay Bucs – 49
    7. Dwayne Allen TE, Indianapolis Colts – 45
    8. Michael Floyd WR, Arizona Cardinals – 45
    9. Chris Givens WR, St. Louis Rams – 41
    10. Rod Streater WR, Oakland Raiders – 37

    Receiving Yards
    1. Justin Blackmon WR, Jacksonville Jaguars – 865
    2. TY Hilton WR, Indianapolis Colts – 861
    3. Josh Gordon WR, Cleveland Browns – 805
    4. Chris Givens WR, St. Louis Rams – 696
    5. Kendall Wright WR, Tennessee Titans – 598
    6. Rod Streater WR, Oakland Raiders – 584
    7. Michael Floyd WR, Arizona Cardinals – 562
    8. Dwayne Allen TE, Indianapolis Colts – 521
    9. Doug Martin RB, Tampa Bay Bucs – 472
    10. Trent Richardson RB, Cleveland Browns – 367

  28. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Me too.
    Can’t figure out at this point if he’s just a fast guy with no hands or, a perennial Camp Guy.
    Hill hasn’t had much in terms of an Offense in NY either.
    The circus that is the Rex/Sanchez Jets are not conducive to WR success.

  29. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Yeh Bullit, I had Kendall Wright and T.Y. Hilton on my radar too.
    I’m sorry we didn’t grab Ace Sanders this year.
    But, Ace was more for the LMJ-type role which we obviously didn’t have a high priority on.
     
    We’ll see how things shake out there.
    Hey, who knows?
    Blackmon has had some character concerns in JAX, ala Dez Bryant.
    He could be on the street sooner rather than later.
    Sometimes these guys grow up later than expected.

  30. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    Right now, I can’t believe I’m writing this, but our receivers don’t look too bad. Marlon Moore has been a nice surprise. Kid looks to be a contributor. Kyle Williams is coming along and he could be a deep threat. Austin Collie was a smart pickup by the 49ers because he’s been productive and he won’t get many reps with us. He got used a lot in Indy. They used WRs with Peyton like normal teams wear out running backs. Even Chad Hall is getting the job done for us. Osgood? Well, if he makes the team as a special teams guy, that’s great and he could be there for us in a pinch if necessary. Then we also obviously have Boldin, Vernon and McDonald. That’ll be a staple. And what about Patton? I could see him making a few plays for us this year. If Baldwin does anything this year it’ll be as a deep threat / decoy like Moss and Ginn used to be for us. I could see several deep passes from Kaep on the money that Baldwin drops. Then we have Mario and maybe even Crabtree coming back? This could shape up to be a great passing year for Kaep and nobody thought that after the Crabtree injury. Nobody. Nice job of Harbaugh not only creating competition but also doing stuff with the guys who aren’t cuttin’ the mustard – sending everyone a message.

  31. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Gotta agree Spit.
    this next game vs MN should provide the needed answers about who sticks and who walks.
    Boldin was the key in light of losing Crabtree as we did.
    Not certain about Lockette at this point either.
    Could be Lockette or Osgood in a squeaker.
    I also think Chad could overtake Collie.
    Similar guys IMO.

  32. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Baldwin is on a 1 year rental at this point.
    He gets to audition and save his career or we cut him loose and save the money we’d have been on the hook for with AJ.
     
    Next Aprils’ Draft is again looking like a continuation to find a WR to take over the #1 duties.
    Gonna be hard to pay Crabtree, Aldon, Iupati and Kaep.

  33. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Well, someone’s got to start at WR opposite Bouldin. Plus, the 1st string O has been on the field for a grand total of 8 plays. Hard to really gauge anything.
    .
    Vance has looked good. I don’t know. Have we thrown a deep pass? I just feel like we are once again hoping that Harbaugh is holding back on the exciting shit until the regular season starts. And hoping and hoping . . . . For all the thrills of not having Singletary around, the Niners are running MORE.

  34. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Chuck the name of this game right now is stay healthy and don’t tip our hand.
    Our first 2 games have Playoff implications written all over them.
     
    Running is an attitude.
    Have to get the Defenses to respect that first for anything deep to work.
     
    Moore looks hungry and Chad Hall could easily cover for Crabtrees’ absence.
    Kaep missed Chad for an easy 6 the other night.
     
    We need to run and play Defense no matter what.
     
    I’m looking forward to Vernon and Boldin exploding this year.
    Vance will come into the mix later.
    Anything from Patton or LMJ in the passing game is gravy too.
    We’re in GB/Seattle mode right now.

  35. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, I get it. The D looks great. THe ran game has clicked. ST, for what I’ve seen, looks shaky. The passing game? Hard to tell. But there are too many games that end up like Miami, where we let a shitty team hang around while we fail to convert 3rd downs, and basically move between the 30s at will, but fail in the red zone. Just antsy for these games to matter, I suppose. The schedule starts out rough, and what I’ve seen so far is hard to fathom not to wonder.
    .
    And to think we’re going to throw deep with such big question marks at WR is worrying to me. I think teams will cheat to stop the run if we can’t have a reasonable facsimile of a mid-range passing game. To count on the TEs as the deep threats isn’t encouraging to me either.

  36. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Been reading that Kaep and Vernon are hooking up with pretty good regularity.
    Vernon is a nightmare for LBs to cover and most DBs have their work cut out for them too.
     
    One major difference with our O now is Alex wouldn’t threaten anyone deep.
    Kaep has to be respected.
    Just having someone tie up a Safety is an open invitation to exploit the mid level and seams.
     
    I’m hoping for LMJ to carry that load along with Kyle.

  37. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    We’ve got to continue to work Reid in at S too.
    This MN game should answer some questions if Ponder challenges him.
    AP will probably not see much action but is expected to get some work.
    Reid is pretty solid vs the run.
    I’m more concerned for his limited experience vs the better WRs/TEs.

  38. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    TEs – Vernon, McDonald, Celek
    FB/H back – Miller, Marquis Gray
    WR – Boldin, Williams, Moore, Patton, Collie, Baldwin, (Hall or Osgood).

    PUP / IR – Manningham and Crabtree

    I don’t think Lockette will make the team, but I do think Marquis Gray will make the team and Harbaugh will try to turn him into another Delanie Walker. McDonald will also have to be versatile, but Gray will become Roman’s swiss army knife.

    If it were me: Kaep, McCoy and Webster. F Tolzien.

  39. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Yeh I’m thinking Tolzien will be looking for another Team or be traded myself.
    Like Gray also.
    Read that Tolzien has PS eligibility so if he can’t be dealt he’d be free to anyone who wants him.
    Teams like JAX or NYJ always come to mind when you think QB needy landing spots.
     
    Moore was a gunner in Miami.
    Assuming he makes the WR Group, Gray or Osgood suddenly seem more likely to hold a ST Roster slot.
     
    Does Dixon make the cut over Jewel?
    We’ll be stashing Lattimore and perhaps Tank/Dial until next year.
    Have to believe Chad Hall sticks too.
    Clock is ticking until the answers are revealed.

  40. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Haven’t been over at SFGate in ages.
    Is V now blogging as DodgeB_Champ?
     
    This is a classic V-ism if it isn’t him.
     
    ‘Wizard; players perform better when they are respected by their coaches as opposed to being threatened at every beck and turn!’
     
    Not quite sure what a ‘Beck’ is unless he’s playing guitar.

  41. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    One of the hardest decisions will be the long snapper battle between Jennings and McDermott.
    Jennings will be 38 in Oct.
    Still performing at a very high level do you go with your future
    in McDermott who will snap for you for 10 years and risk the chemistry and delicate balance of
    mostly flawless snaps from Jennings?

  42. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Still waiting to see what the ramifications of the Brooks/Divens bottle bashing incident will deliver.
    Divens is likely gone in favor of Purcell.
    Lemonier/Parys/Brooks/ all stick I’d assume.
    Cam Johnson/Travis Johnson?
    Moody/Wilhoite/Skuta make it.
     
    Finally have some very talented guys that won’t make the cut.

  43. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Agree Bullit.
    Not sure how long Jennings is Contracted for but, you have to think future and Cap hits more closely if you plan on retaining core guys.
     
    Ahmad Brooks, Carlos, Whitner and Jennings are all guys that will be coming under Cap scrutiny in favor of making offers to retain Iupati,Aldon, Kaep and Crabtree.
     
    Nice problems to have considering where we’ve been for the better part of the past decade.

  44. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    The trade of AJ for Jon is a step in that direction too.
    No guaranteed money to Baldwin next year.
    He has a 1 year audition this year.
    Time to develop Patton and the winners of the WR cuts.
    Manningham likely gone next year too?
    I’m seeing our focus turning to the Draft at WR and DB in April which means Cap savings if we can find starters from this current Roster to carry the load while the development phase occurs.
    Finding gems like Ian are always a bonus for the Cap hit too.

  45. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Tarrel Brown?
    Can he/will he be retained?
    Culliver should be fine but…ACLs at the CB position are tricky.
    Watch Revis for that answer.
    Good Personnel eval works wonder for Cap Mgt.
    Need those inexpensive Picks and UDFA guys to develop at lower prices.
    I’m focusing on the Secondary next April.

  46. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    I’m pumped about this guy. Either Andy Reid made a quick, knee-jerk reaction trying to send a message that there’s a new sheriff in town, or Jon Baldwin has some psychological issues, or maybe he’s just immature and doesn’t get a long with his teammates, but one way or another, this kid has a lot of talent and he blows AJ Jenkins OUT OF THE WATER in terms of talent. Just gotta get his head right, and it also looks like Baldwin has good hands. Maybe he was dropping everything because of his guaranteed money and just wanted to push Andy to trade him. One can only hope.
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N9HBK2vMG0

  47. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    It’s a gamble worth taking Spit.
    Baldwin has the physical attributes to succeed.
    Both he and AJ seem to have missed the ‘Want It’ phase of the NFL.
    2 head cases with the dreaded ‘Potential’ label.
     
    Read a hysterical post on PFT about this trade.
     
    ‘Like trading a used sock for a moldy pop tart’.
     
    Nothing worse than unrealized potential, especially when you sign a check with lots of zeros for that expected talent.
    Major upside for us, no guaranteed money next year if he decides to mail it in this year.

  48. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    At least you can say Baldwin did something as a Pro.
    AJ is still a deer in the headlights.

  49. Unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yup. Baldwin definitely has a ton of talent. It’s the old 10 cent head deal. Harbaugh’s one of the best at getting the most out of his guys, so it’s worth the risk by far.

    Word out of KC is the he was constantly pissing Reid off. I think he just got sick of Baldwin’s half-assed approach.

  50. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    NJ, yeah, my hope was the Niners would restructure T Brown while they have the opportunity of the completely f***ed up contract snafu. Give him some extra scratch due to what they didn’t have to pay him this year. A good-faith gesture.
    .
    This could still play out, and I wonder what is happening behind the scenes. I’m with you, though. Lock the guy up for a few years. Nnamdi is apparently practicing well, but I’ll believe it when the real bullets are flying around out there.

  51. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Both T Brown and Cox are in the last year of their deals.
    Cox has finally shown some talent in the preseason so we’ll see if it carries into when it matters.
    If you count Wright the Niners have 4 corners on the last year of their contracts or signed to one year deals.
    Brown,Cox, Wright and Nnamdhi.

  52. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Brown’s the guy they need to deal with now. Cox and Wright are basically interchangeable. I’m not too worried there. Nnamdi is a wait-and-see thing. Brown is the guy they HAVE to keep. Get Culliver healthy and sign Brown, and they’ll be in decent shape for the future.

  53. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    I remember when Crabtree wasn’t well liked in SF and on this blog because of his “diva” status. I defended Crabtree because having Alex Smith throw you the football is disheartening. Crabtree handled it poorly under Singletary, but he started to handle it well under Harbaugh saying things like, “We have to play the ball where it lies and not concern ourselves with the ‘what ifs,'” meaning Alex was his qb and he was going to do the best he could with Smith. That’s a credit to Harbaugh. Crabtree weathered the Alex Smith storm under Harbaugh and was rewarded ten games with Kaep where Crabtree fully displayed his talents.

    Enter Jon Baldwin. If there’s a head coach in the league who’s closer in style and offensive knowledge to Mike Singletary than Romeo Crennel, I can’t find him. For a player, it’s gotta suck to have a guy like Crennel as your head coach, like it really, really sucked here with Singletary. The parallels between Crabtree and Baldwin might be overly optimistic because Crabtree is a great route runner and has acceptional hands, but it’s gotta be tough playing with Cassel and Romeo in year two. Crabtree was accused of poor attitude and “checking out,” with Smith and Singletary, only to be fired up and making plays under Harbaugh with Kaep. I could see Baldwin experiencing the same Crabtree / Kaep bounce with the 49ers.

    Let’s face it: Baldwin’s qbs have been Tyler Palko, Matt Cassel and Alex Smith. His head coaches have been Todd Haley (good), Romeo Crennel (horrid) and Andy Reid (has been). This isn’t to make Alexuses for Baldwin, but the qb and hc/oc around the player make a huge difference when considering motivation. I’m betting Baldwin gets super motivated and becomes a monster for us. I think the 49ers have struck gold once again.

  54. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Funny thing is, Crabs’ numbers under both guys last year were very similar. Indistinguishable even.
    .
    Balwin’s problems mainly stem from what Andy Reid saw in practice. . .

  55. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    But carry on, Spitty.

  56. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Tell ya one thing, the Broncos are having a fun offseason. Between the fax machine, the drunken arrests, and now the Pot/Crack/Meth bust for Von Miller, and you have plenty of thrills for the whole family.

  57. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    MC-AS (8.5 games) = 44-500-4 TDs
    MC-CK (7.5 games) = 42-605-5 TDs

  58. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    The point being, Crabs’ increased production was because of the coaching switch, not the QB switch.

  59. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    So far, the 49ers have traded Alex Smith and AJ Jenkins to the Chiefs for Tank Carradine and Jon Baldwin. Thank you, and thank you. It’s not that clean because the 49ers traded back in the second round, but you get the point.

    If it’s me, I have new Chiefs’ GM John Dorsey on speed dial (which is really an outdated saying but you bastards are older than the wind so it may come as new material to you).

  60. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    It’s the old change of scenery scenarion for Jan and AJ.
    On the surface it’s a wash of Contracts.
    Time will tell if Jon has the heart AJ didn’t locate.
    Chalk it up to Baalke whiffing on a 1 Pick.
    I don’t think any GM in this League bats 1.000 anyway, it happens.
    Considering what we tied up with Alex in terms of Cap dollars, this is pocket change.
     
    Jon is saying the proper things relative to having a clean slate.
    It’s now up to him to do something with it.
    Marlon Moore is a perfect example of what it means to sieze the moment.

  61. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Chuck,right on cue, I saw today that TBrowns’ new Agent is already speaking with the FO about getting things settled with current Contract faux pas.
    Good indication that perhaps Tarell hasn’t given the Club the proverbial 1 finger salute.

  62. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Spit I’d take your scenario about Jon Baldwin also.
    One thing your video clip showed from last night is that he isn’t afraid to go after the ball.
    Having him working with Boldin is also a plus.
    One thing I’ve always admired about Anquan is, his determination to take the ball and do something with it.
    Let’s hope he mentors Baldwin to adopt the same attitude.

  63. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    If Harbaugh can’t fire up a guy like AJ, to compete and play with passion, there’s something wrong with that player.
    AJ just didn’t ‘Want it’ badly enough apparently.

  64. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    NJ –
    AJ Jenkins didn’t work because he couldn’t find a niche or way to get open. He couldn’t catch the contested pass either – he’s too small. All I saw was an ability to run by guys with his straight line speed. All that left him with was underneath routes and fly patterns up the sidelines. His route running was terrible. He couldn’t fake the DB or set the DB by turning the DB’s hips. I don’t think it’s an issue of wanting it enough. I think AJ simply doesn’t have the tools to compete at the NFL level, and I don’t think he’ll develop them in KC.

  65. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    It was a major red flag when AJ showed up out of shape last year too Spit.
    He just doesn’t seem to possess the fire to compete.
    Always easy as the Fans we are,to have high expectations of a 1st Rd Pick however, the kid just couldn’t adapt to the rigors or demand of NFL football and commit himself to the game.
     
    I agree with you, he doesn’t stand much of a chance running fly patterns with Alex either.
     
    Alex rarely throws a deep ball with any accuracy.
     
    All in all, Baalke blew one.
    He’s diligent enough to at least cut bait and make the needed move to correct the error.
    See where it goes from here.

  66. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I didn’t think much of it at the time but, I always wondered why AJ never took Jerry up on the Training offer.
    Guess that was an obvious sign of things to come in hindsight.

  67. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    PFT just posted a piece on Aaron Maybin regarding a Hard Knocks appearance.
    Ironically, AJ and Aaron may be on similar paths.
    You either live to play football or, you’re not going to survive very long.

  68. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    This is a clearcut example of how the Rookie Cap protects Clubs’ from bad Picks too.
    Baalke gambled and lost on this one.

  69. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    The catch that Baldwin makes against Denver is special
    and shows you he has some ability.
    He needs to focus and channel it.
    http://www.49ers.com/media-gallery/videos/Jon-Baldwin-1-on-1/fc98ea94-7427-4b69-aa2e-15fdfcc2bbb4

  70. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    MC-AS (8.5 games) = 44-500-4 TDs
    MC-CK (7.5 games) = 42-605-5 TDs
     
    Now look at the average yards per reception.
     
    MC-AS: 11.36
     
    MC-CK: 14.40
     
    *That* is the main difference: CK will get the ball further downfield when AS is checking down. So you’re getting more per reception.
     
    Crabs had *two* improvements in overall productivity. One when Harbs came in, as he got more involved in the offense. A second one, when CK took over, and got the ball deeper down the field.

  71. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Grumpy- Kaepernick is the best in the NFL at completing passes at over 20 yards. 11.36 is not exactly checking down. I don’t believe Smith or Kaep qualified for some passing stats. I think both were 2 attempts short of qualifying but Kaep’s 8.3 YPA would have been #1 in the league and Smith’s 8.0 would have been tied for 2nd. To say Smith is Check Down Charlie is just the haters making themselves feel better. It is erroneous.

  72. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Joe Montana, the original Check Down Charlie?:
     
    YP/A AY/A Y/C Y/G
    7.5 7.4 11.9 211.2

  73. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs, that was a feature, not a bug. In 1981, defenses were designed to stop vertical passing and the run. The idea of using the entire width of the field was still young, and defensive players, particularly LBs, too often did not have the speed to cover the flats and short sideline effectively.
     
    Today, most LBs can run faster than a lot of the DBs did back then. A passing game which *only* stretches the field horizontally finds it hard to make headway. Now the trick is to threaten the entire field – BOTH horizontally and vertically. CK has an advantage over most other QBs in that his arm is strong enough to make any throw, and accurate enough to make those throws worth it. Unlike most young QBs, he showed the ability to go deep judiciously, without turning the ball over much more than AS.
     
    The next trick this year is for CK to learn to throw into the tightest of windows in the Red Zone. Or even to put it up and let the receiver try to make a play. I think Boldin is going to be useful in that process. He will fight for the ball in traffic and use his body in ways that we have not seen here since the 90s.

  74. barleyfreakNo Gravatar says:

    Maybe Baldwin can get over whatever issues he had in KC. But it is impossible for me not to acknowledge that compared to AJ, there is no comparison. I can’t see Jenkins doing diddly in KC. Well done, Trent.

  75. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Grump, my point was the the discrepancy between Crabs’ numbers with Smith and Kappy were not as disparate as some breathlessly proclaim around here. Say what you will, but the difference isn’t all that much. If Smith had stuck around, Crabs would have had roughly the same amount of catches (probably a few more) and maybe 100 less yards.
    .
    Makes no nevermind to me at this point. Crabs is out for 2/3 of the season, and Smith needs to get 8 wins to bump up our draft position, so that’s what’s important.
    .
    The big question is, why do these guys make it so hard to get decent WRs? The current batch has possibilities,, but little more.
    .
    I watched the KC game finally, and what a disaster for the offense. Gore had a good run, and Hall made a couple catches. The first string o line did okay, but McCoy and Tolzein especially sucked shit through a straw. BJ was the only guy who looked reasonably comfortable back there, but he was facing the Walmart brigade.
    .
    I hope to see the 1st string offense play at least a half this weekend.

  76. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Again, the 3rd down offense is frightening in its ineptness. The only good plays were scrambles out of the pocket.

  77. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Ron Jaworski calls 49ers No. 1 team in NFC: “I believe Colin Kaepernick can be the best QB arguably in the history of the NFL.”
     
    Go, Jaws! Have another one of those blue pills!

  78. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I told Dennis that very same thing last week, that Kaep has the potential to be the best QB in the history of the NFL.
    Will he be? That is a tall order. Hopefully it will be fun to watch what happens.

  79. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    I told myself that I have the potential to be the best handicapper in the history of racing. Will I be? It’s a tall order. Hopefully it will be fun to watch as I slowly go broke and die penniless.

  80. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    We traded away A.J. Jenkins? He was half of my material. Some other Niner is going to have to start sucking it big time. These jokes don’t write themselves.

  81. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    “I believe Colin Kaepernick can be the best QB arguably in the history of the NFL.”
     
    Nothing outrageous, idiotic, or meaningless about saying that after half a season to look at. Maybe Jaworski thinks he hears irrelevance kncking again.
     
    Glad to see the Montana / Alex Smith comparisons again. Deja vu and always funny as hell.

  82. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Well, NoFear, ESPN is on record as calling Tony Romo the best QB in Dallas Cowboy history. Short attention span theater in action. Jaws said the same thing about Cam Newton after his first year.
    .
    Dennis, we’ll leave the sucking to you (and Nipper).

  83. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Not that I’m raining on the parade, but they were 27th in 3rd down conversions. This continues to be a problem, regardless of regime.
    .
    The only way that Smith and Montana are comparable is that they both played for the Niners, then the Chiefs.

  84. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Then again, so did Elvis, DeBerg, and Bono . . .

  85. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    So not only is Alex being compared to Joe, but now he’s being mention in the same breath as Elvis and Bono?
     
    Alex is more than just the greatest QB of all-time, he’s a rock star!

  86. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear sounds like the negativos I had to deal with in LA when I said the same thing about Montana in the middle of the ’81 season. I did not say Kaep would be the best QB, I said he has a chance. I had the advantage of seeing him for 4 years here in Reno. He has always improved greatly every year. If that continues greatness is in his future.

  87. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    I guess that should be DeBarge then . . .

  88. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    …and yet your praising of Alex as elite never waned while we kept “the best QB in history” on the bench. Good one!
     
    Throw enough shit into the water some of it’s gonna float. Some folks just talk so much nothing can happen that they haven’t already “predicted.”

  89. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    “Third and three” toughest down and distance in football. What’s our tendency there? Read option or check down? Scrap both of those plays.

  90. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    Comparing Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith is like comparing a Leonardo Da Vinci painting to a Ford Pinto, and yes, I mixed my metaphors or my similes and I don’t care. In fact, I did it intentionally to piss you off because comparing Colin to Alex pisses me off. So we’re even.
    .
    Crabtree came on when Kaep started. Remember the Patriots’ game? Alex Smith doesn’t throw that laser between the corner and safety (at the goal line) for Crabtree to pluck out of the air for a touchdown. Alex Smith couldn’t throw that ball if you gave him ten chances. Grump’s right: that’s the deeper pass Alex can’t make. And then there’s the other TD where Kaep quickly got the ball to Crabtree and the defender fell down and watched Crabtree take it to the house. There’s no way Alex could get that ball to Crabtree that quickly. All of Alex’s movements were way to slow. So UncaChuck can blather on about whatever he wants to blather on about, point to stats and looking to play devil’s advocate, but Chuck’s an idiot and I have to yawn.

  91. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Chuck, it’s not letting me post comments on your blog again.

  92. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    Barley: Nice call on the Jenkins bust. You called it first.
    .
    Jaworski giving the nod to Kaep as potentially the greatest ever isn’t as off base as Skeebers wants to make it. Skeebers just loves him some Alex Smith. Kaep could play for 15 years with Jim Harbaugh. Think about that. If Harbaugh can avoid burnout like Bill Walsh, or a fight with the owner like Jimmy Johnson, Harbaugh and Kaep could be better than Walsh and Montana or Aikman and Johnson. And I think Harbaugh has the perspective and love for coaching to stay in SF for fifteen or twenty years. You put Harbaugh next to Kaep for that long and it’s not unreasonable for Jaws to say Kaep could be the best ever.
    .
    My brother and I were having this conversation a few weeks ago. I told my brother I thought Kaep would be the best qb in the NFL in 2013 and that Kaep would start taking over for Peyton Manning as the media and commercial darling in the NFL and ‘Merica.

  93. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    …. however, judging by his Yahoo Fantasy football commercials, Kaep’s got some acting work to do to takeover for Peyton as ‘Merica’s new media darling. It’s a process.

  94. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear- Show me where I even once called Alex am elite QB. You’ll say anything to make people think you are the Central Scrutinizer.
    http://youtu.be/ljnT49jU9vM

  95. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Spitty- Yeah, that Peyton Manning rap video should win a CLIO!

  96. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    Berger: It’s an interesting slant to trol but also defend yourself. We all know you loved Alex Smith and that you hardly noticed Colin Kaepernick in your own backyard. But hey, say what you want now. It’s the internet. At least Skeebers doesn’t change his story.

  97. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    3rd and 10 is tougher than 3rd and 3, but the point remains this team has been flat miserable for years at 3rd and short.

  98. barleyfreakNo Gravatar says:

    Well I guess BJ Daniels has a chance of being the best qb ever too. Not much of one though. Wait, is his name really BJ? Bummer.

  99. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    Just found these BJ Daniels highlights.
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Y6jd5DcZXQ

  100. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Spitty

    Has Jake Locker turned into Steve Young yet?
    He has a better chance of turning into a pumpkin on Halloween.

  101. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Barley- I would not go so far as to say that about BJ Daniels. I liked what I saw of him but you must have seen something a lot more than I did.

  102. barleyfreakNo Gravatar says:

    Bergs–it was a tongue in cheek comment based on the above Jaworski comment. I did think he looked better than Tolzien and McCoy, but I’ve learned my lesson in making much out of qb play against scrubs during the PS.

  103. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Barley just remembers the (ephemeral) greatness that was Nate Davis. 🙂

  104. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Watching those pre-season 4th quarter drives engineered by Davis and you just knew he was the real deal.However, at the time our bar was set so low that it really wasn’t that much of a stretch of the imagination.

  105. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    Gotta like what Nnamdi’s doing right now with the 49ers. The Eagles will probably be paying Nnamdi for years (I recently read the Mets will pay Bobby Bonilla something like 1.35 million a year until 2035). Nnamdi could have leveraged the Saints into a bigger payday, played for a relative winner there, and probably been guaranteed a starting job by his old DC, Rob Ryan. Instead, Nnamdi takes close to league minimum for a vet with his credentials, without guarantees, on a team relatively deep at starting cornerback (pre Culliver injury). I like it. He challenged himself. And I get a sense that Nnamdi isn’t doing it because he wants respect around the league. I get a sense he wants to look himself in the mirror when he retires. If I’m right, that’s a man I can respect and I’m rooting for him in a way that’s so different from a free agent like ARod who goes to the Yankees because he wants to win a title. Nnamdi’s journey is 181 degrees in the opposite direction (I threw the extra one degree in there because he’s beyond different from ARod – it’s like saying 110% even though it’s more like 99% because you’re moving back closer to ARod on the sundial, but I digress).
    .
    A day or two ago, Vic Fangio said in his press conference that it’s a close battle between two guys for Chris Culliver’s job, and one guy is emerging as the leader. Vic also said (in another conversation) that if competition’s close you give the nod to the younger player. I think the competition for nickle corner is between Nnamdi and Brock (I think Cox has also played well but for whatever reason isn’t being really considered), and I think, considering what Fangio said about giving the nod to the younger player when it’s close, Nnamdi is the favorite to win the coveted nickle corner job because Nnamdi’s starting to really turn it on and show he’s still a guy who can shut down anyone.

    When Nnamdi speaks, unlike Jim Harbaugh, he’s shooting the press straight. Last week Nnamdi said, almost in rebuttal to Vic’s criticism, that’s he’s been critiquing his own game on film and really starting to like what he sees. This week Vic comes out and says, “One man’s emerging.”
    .
    If Nnamdi’s putting it all together again, he could be an upgrade over Culliver, and he’d definitely have great communication with Whitner because both are veterans and relatively cerebral players. Remember the Culliver / Whitner post Super Bowl “pounder” finger pointing over the Jacoby TD? I don’t think that’ll be an issue between Whitner and Nnamdi, and Culliver been beaten on some pretty big plays (albeit with relatively good coverage).
    .
    Wouldn’t it be nice for Reid to have Nnamdi, Brown and Whitner to work with? That’s a group of guys you don’t want to let down. Now if it’s Brock, Brown and Whitner, well, “Why not shoot a president?”
    .
    And one more thing… I think the 49ers are intentionally not playing undrafted rookie free agent Daryl Morris during the preseason because Fangio wants to stick him on the practice squad and not give the rest of the NFL any game film on him. Kid ran a 4.3 but wasn’t invited to the combine. If I’m right, me likey. That ain’t cheatin’, but it’s tryin’.

  106. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

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.
BYE
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

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