Knothole Report

Your intrepid reporter spent the Memorial Day weekend in Santa Clara. Naturally, I couldn’t resist driving over to check out the new stadium.

There was a chain link fence surrounding it and guards at the northwest and the northeast entrances, so all I could do was admire the place from the street. I could see into the stadium from the northwest corner, and the sea of red seats on the east side. I could also see the giant scoreboard at the south end of the park.

Nice joint. And probably as close as I’m ever going to get to it.

Centennial Blvd. is closed off for the construction. To get to Niner HQ, you have to go away from it, down into a golf course and then wend along a side street and back under the Tasman overpass to the eastern side of HQ.

I parked my truck in the soccer field parking lot, adjacent the 49er property, and hoofed it next door. The two gate entrances to Fort 49er were both closed, so I mosied along the fence at the east end of the practice field. It was a high chain link job, with heavy duty tarps strung along it to keep anyone from seeing inside.

About half way down the fence, at a spot where two fence support poles left a nice little gap, somebody had sliced open the tarp for a tiny six inch view inside. I may have gotten both hands on it and enlarged the tear somewhat.

Excellent. I got the old eyeball in there and while Maiocco, Barrows, Kawakami, and Branch were grousing in the press trailer somewhere, your reporter was actually viewing a 49er practice.

The offense was on the south field in red jerseys, the defense on the north one in white. Both groups were at the other end of the field, away from me, but the offense then started marching down the field toward me, evidently practicing the “roar down the field and stall in the red zone” offense.

It seemed pretty casual. I could see Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman in the backfield, probably describing how a play should work. Then the players would line up and the offensive line would ferociously block imaginary D-line enemy guys, while the backs and WRs trotted out in pass patterns to make catches against listless fake defensive backs who basically did nothing to stop them.

I got a good look at 49er rookie RB Carlos Hyde when he caught a ten yard pass and trotted toward me. He looked feisty and very much like a stud.

Just as the team was reaching the stall zone, about twenty minutes into my viewing pleasure, a 49er security guy on the inside of the fence suddenly loomed in front of my peering orb and ordered me to take a hike. He was a friendly wimpy guy, but as I backed away from the fence, another security guy was heading my way on the outside of the fence, and he did not look like the wimpy sort, nor the friendly sort.

As you might surmise, I decided to leave. My “getting the shit kicked out of me for nothing” days have long receded into the past. My defense now is “harmless old fart.”

So that was that. I saw twenty minutes of a secret 49er practice. Ha ha ha. Take that 49er HQ paranoids. The Outsider will not be denied!




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28 comments on “Knothole Report
  1. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    I went by the stadium on Sunday but didn’t bother to stop because
    of the fences and construction.
    Lot’s of building activity in the general area of the stadium.

    Since they are opening up a few practices at the Stadium it would seem they will have more than the usual 2000 tickets they have had for their open practice at their training facility.
    I would imagine they would have 25,000+ people easy show up to see practice and to look at the new stadium. When that happens they just might have their 49er museum open which would be great.
    I’m planning on seeing a practice if I can get tickets.

  2. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    With no defenders to go up against Greg Roman was able design an offense that scored in 4 plays! It’s a good thing Hyde caught that pass or they would have been denied.

  3. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    No camera? No pics? What kind of spy are you?

    Pretty cool, though.

  4. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Niners just waived Morgan Breslen and signed Chase Thomas and TE Kevin Greene per Barrows.

  5. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Last preseason they didn’t give Kap enough reps in the preseason games and it hurt the team.
    Harbaugh/Roman were too cautious in their approach when Kap needed the work.
    In the four preseason games they should give him the equivalent of total full game’s work on the field.
    Except for the last game he should get more than one series on the field just to perfect his timing against a hostile defense.

  6. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Great read skeebs, after all fences are just minor deterrents, it’s the razor wire that gets you.

  7. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Putting the tarp on the outside of the fence, where gremlin hands can mess with it, was a tactical error by the Niners. I’m sure they’ll rectify it soon and put the tarp on the inside of the fence. Bullit apparently lives in the vicinity. He can check it out in a month and report back to us.

  8. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    And, in more fun news, Alex Boone is MIA at the OTAs due to unhappiness with the contract he signed.

  9. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    I usually perceive bears the same way. Those on the other side of the fence appear tame and funny. The ones on my side are huge and fierce.

    I think you’ve found the key to making no-contact practice sound cool. Knothole reporting. Kudos.

  10. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Ellington signed on for 4 years. The only rookie that’s unsigned is Marcus Martin.
    Disappointed that Boone is a holdout with 2 years to go on his deal.
    Rice Jr was not offered a spot and should think Arena League or finishing up school and getting a degree.
    FYI I live about 30 mins from the new stadium.

  11. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    All that background as a peeping tom actually come in handy, eh Skeebs?

  12. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Bad new for our week one opponents the Cowgurls.
    MLB Sean Lee left the OTA today with a knee injury, probably a torn ACL and season ending.
    Lee was just signed to a new $60 mil deal and it is highly unlikely he’ll suit up in Sept. and Dallas might be starting a rookie at MLB.

  13. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    49er PR dept released this rookie minicamp video

    http://www.49ers.com/video/index.html

  14. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Nice way to spend the Holiday Weekend Scoop!
    Best I’ve ever accomplished was standing on the sideline with my Brother-in-Law in Ashburn VA years ago to watch the ‘Skins practice.
    Can’t recall the year but, Bruce Smith was with the ‘Skins at that time.
    He was my first real encounter with the enormity factor of an NFL DE.
    Refrigerator with legs was about the best description I could find for him.

    Good work Skeebs, nice read.

  15. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Seems my Brother-in-Law lived in the same community as some of the ‘Skins players and had carte blanche access to the field.
    Golfed with several of them too.

    I’d be in heaven with a 9er arrangement such as his.

    As for Sean Lee?
    Nothing like going down from friendly fire in a ‘Non-Contact’ environment huh?

    That should go over well with the NFLPA.
    Wonder if Jerruh has any coins in the kitty for a replacement?
    CAP-ologist that he is.

  16. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    From MMQB Bill Walsh memories with a mention of Greg Roman.
    http://mmqb.si.com/2014/05/28/nfl-history-95-objects-bill-walsh-49ers-coaching-tapes/

  17. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    I remember when the NFL football known as “The Duke” also had white stripes on it (Joe Kapp and Billy Kilmer throwing wobbling ducks) but they were discontinued because the white paint made the balls more slippery. Not sure what year they took the stripes off the ball.
    In college they still have stripes and they don’t see it as a problem.
    I think the stripes help as a visual aid.
    Interesting fact is that they have never standardized the size of the footballs and you would think they would.
    The difference is
    “The NCAA ball is slightly smaller and has white stripes inset from either end, running halfway around the ball (on the two panels that join the laces).

    Typical collegiate balls are 11.25 to 11.5 inches long by 6.7 inches max diameter.

    Official NFL footballs are by 6.7 to 6.8 inches in diameter and with a length of 11.9 inches.

    This is defined by:
    Short Circumference: 20 3/4″- 21 1/4″ ”

    FYI “The Duke” is the nickname of the longtime NY Giants owner
    Wellington Mara and one of the founders of the NFL.
    They named the ball with his nickname to honor him.

  18. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    NJ, years ago I bumped into Ronnie Lott and Cedrick Hardman at the Keystone Palo Alto. A friend of mine was opening for the English Beat there. Musta been around 1991 as he had just joined the Raiders. For being one of the baddest of the bad, he was amazingly unimposing in street clothes. Hardman was a big mean looking dude. Ronnie let me buy him a beer after giving him shit about joining the Raiders.

    Just a coupkle years ago, my son and I bumped into Dana Stubblefield and Dennis Green at the Stick as they were about to do their pregame show. Those dudes are SERIOUS big. I shook Dana’s hand, and criminy, his hands are ginormous.

    Yes Bullit, you know a lot about short circumferences, don’t you? If they were worried about the ball being slippery, they’d get rid of that giant gold inset for the NFL logo and shield. Jolly Roger has an inferiority complex.

  19. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Pretty ignorant to think in a billion dollar sport that slick footballs aren’t a concern and have been a factor.
    Why did players start wearing gloves and others stickum until it was outlawed?
    In 1999 the “K Ball” was introduced along with a bunch of perceived complaints.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1017189/1/index.htm

  20. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    So now it’s reported and confirmed that Vernon Davis is a no show at the OTAs and the speculation is he’s not happy with the last 2 years of his contract.
    Now it’s a little different for him because he has to share his contract with his shareholders which is complicated.
    Seems like too many guys are worried about 2016 and I could be wrong but they could be thinking that if Kap is selfish and wants $20 mil or more then why shouldn’t they get what they think they’re worth also? The best thing Kap could do is sign a short 3 year contract at about $14-15 mil a year and leave some cap room for his team mates who are also deserving.

  21. robNo Gravatar says:

    Awesome report skeebs! Keep up the good work!

  22. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    So Steve Ballmer of Microsoft has offered $2 Billion dollars for the LA Clippers.
    Forbes in Jan 2014 valued the Clippers at $575 million.
    http://www.forbes.com/teams/los-angeles-clippers/

    Ballmer should be committed for being stupid for offering triple what the team is worth.
    It’s a free country and Balmer is doing this because he can.
    Sadly if this goes through Sterling makes out like a bandit.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/05/29/clippers-sale-raises-stakes-for-nfl-teams/#comments

  23. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Niner PR Dept just released this podcast about the happenings at the OTAs. Long but informative if you want Niner info.

    http://www.49ers.com/video/audio/49ers-Radio-Impressions-From-OTAs/eb40beeb-6d26-48ca-b7a7-c86fb961fec5

  24. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    The new Niner player that nobody talks about is Blaine Gabbert.
    Wonder if Harbaugh and the change of scenary will rejuvenate his career.
    If you listened to the podcast it seems that Brandon Lloyd is looking good but it’s early. Shaping up that TC and preseason are going to be battlegrounds for WRs establishing their place on the roster. The same could be said for the RBs. What a difference a year makes.

  25. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Marcus Martin has been signed and now all rookies are under contract.

  26. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll be very surprised if Lloyd makes the team. He and Stevie Wonder are fighting for the 3 spot.

    Bullitt, the Clips are worth at the least $1.5 bills. Forbes is wrong as rain. Ballmer got in a bidding war against Oprah for God’s sake. He had to up the ante.

    When you look at how valuable sports teams have become, this appears to be a no brainer.

    A tiny part of me thinks that Sterling pulled this charade on purpose. Create a huge controversy, get some big-name people instantly interested, and reap the rewards.

    If the Clips are worth 2 billion, the Lakers must be worth 4 bill?

  27. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

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

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