Broncos 33, 49ers 14

Aside from 11 penalties, 5 fumbles, 1 interception, a 38-21 TOP walloping, and a 33-14 scoreboard stomping, the 49ers looked fairly decent Saturday night against Denver.

They had no running game, which is not a good thing. Not against the four starters from Denver’s first string defense, nor the backups, nor the backups to the backups. None of the Niner’s O-line combos could open any room at all.

QB Brian Hoyer looked solid, save for the floofer oops that accounted for the first “fumble” of the night. He was charged with an interception, but that was really a handoff to the other team by Marquis Goodwin. Backup QB CJ Beathard also looked good, making it more and more likely that Matt Barkley will be holding a clipboard this year or maybe becoming the starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Goodwin caught three passes for 44 yards, continuing to look like the steal of the offseason. The 49ers might finally have a dangerous WR to pair with the reliable possession type they’ve had plenty of — Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin, and this year Pierre Garcon.

Eric Reid looks far better at SS than he ever did as FS, and even Tank Carradine plays decent as a 4-3 DE. So, kudos to DC Robert Saleh for using his personnel a whole lot better than the previous two goofball DCs.

About that FS, though. Jimmy Ward is still not playing and his replacements will not scare anyone but the 49er sideline and the fans in the seats at the stadium or elsewhere.

Rookie TE George Kittle continues to impress, also. If Vance McDonald is still the starter when the regular season begins, it had better be because Kittle got hurt.

Next Sunday is the classic 3rd preseason game, the one where starters play a half or so in a tune up for the regular season. Our last glimpse at what our team will look like this year, leading up to our 2017 Prognostications deadline.

The fourth preseason game has been designated as the all scrubbeenies game since there is only one roster pare down this year, which occurs after the final preseason game. From 90 down to 53! Wow. Lot of blood letting around the league on that fateful day.

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Posted in Post Game Spread

49ers 27, Chiefs 17

The 49ers kicked off the Kyle Shanahan era with a dominating preseason win over the Kansas City Chiefs. They had 434 yards of offense and limited the Chiefs to 187.

The Chiefs had only 31 yards rushing, which might be a good sign that last year’s record setting ineptitude will not be repeated this year — or it was just an exhibition game and nothing means anything.

Still, it was nice to finally watch some football again.

With the release of CB Tramaine Brock, Rashard Robinson has been elevated to the designation of being the Niners’ top CB. Last night, he was badly torched in the first quarter. It could be a long year for the pass defense.

Rookie QB CJ Beathard put up 18 points in the fourth quarter, for those keeping track of the battle for the top backup to Brian Hoyer. It’s also possible that no one gives a shit.

The team committed 17 penalties in the game. And that was without the normal offsides efforts of Ahmad Brooks.

Next Saturday, they’ll be home against the Denver Broncos. This will be the first test of whether fans are buying into the new leadership or adopting a wait-and-see approach after three straight years of being burned.

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Almost Time for Almost Football

With one week of practice in the books, the 49ers have lost two starters to injury — ILB Malcom Smith and LG Joshua Garnett. Smith is out for the year and Garnett for a month or so.

Neither loss is particularly devastating. Smith’s injury pushes Reuben Foster into the starting lineup and Garnett was little more than a younger mediocrity among an O-line full of mediocrities.

We’ll get our first look at the latest “new” Niner team this coming Friday, when the team travels to Kansas City for the first exhibition game of the 2017 season. In the meantime, below is Maiocco’s first projection of the final 53 man roster. We’ll check back in four weeks, maybe, to see how accurate he was. A lot of new names to get familiar with, if we’re going to politely and astutely castigate them in the coming days and weeks.

Brian Hoyer
Matt Barkley
C.J. Beathard

Carlos Hyde
FB Kyle Juszczyk
Tim Hightower
Joe Williams
Matt Breida

Pierre Garçon
Marquise Goodwin
Jeremy Kerley
Aldrick Robinson
Trent Taylor
Aaron Burbridge

George Kittle
Logan Paulsen
Cole Hikutini

LT Joe Staley
LG Zane Beadles
C Daniel Kilgore
RG Brandon Fusco
RT Trent Brown
Joshua Garnett
Garry Gilliam
Jeremy Zuttah

LE Solomon Thomas
NT Earl Mitchell
DT DeForest Buckner
RE Arik Armstead
Elvis Dumervil
Chris Jones
Tank Carradine
D.J. Jones
Aaron Lynch

SLB Ahmad Brooks
MLB NaVorro Bowman
WLB Reuben Foster
Ray-Ray Armstrong
Dekoda Watson
Brock Coyle

Rashard Robinson
Dontae Johnson
K’Waun Williams
Will Redmond
Keith Reaser
Ahkello Witherspoon

Eric Reid
Jimmie Ward
Jaquiski Tartt
Lorenzo Jerome

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Posted in Training Camp

The Dulcet Tones of Pad Whacking

The Singletary Hill is back at the 49ers’ Training Camp, in the form of a 30 degree ramp. And right away, sending chills down the spine of every reasonably cognizant fan, video emerged of Jed York chubbing and huffing his way up this ramp. Just one of the guys. NOOOOOOOOO!!! Go away! Make yourself invisible!

Sunday was the first padded practice and right away the O-line got trampled. The guards were shoved back on their butts and RT Trent Brown gave up about 5 sacks to Elvis Dumerville and Arik Armstead. Somehow, though, mostly maligned QB Brian Hoyer had a great day heaving the ball around. Maybe it’s because “sacks” in practice are hand taps on the QB’s hips rather than shoulder pads bored into his ribs.

The defense looked great in camp last year, too, BTW. We all know how that worked out when the season rolled around.

The D-line looks like a keeper, though — long termish. It’s got a rookie, a couple of oldies, a second year guy, and a third year fellow. The LBs are a weak bunch against the pass. Depending how fast Reuben Foster grasps the pro game and how well his shoulder holds up, this group could get better as the year unfolds.

There doesn’t seem to be a silver lining for the secondary, though. This is a mediocre group, even though former GM Trent Baalke kept drafting CBs and safeties by the boatload. Jimmy Ward is supposed to hold it all together on the back end as the FS, but he’ll miss half of TC with a hamstring issue.

Fifth round rookie TE George Kittle has been a bright spot for the receiving corps, along with speedster WR Marquis Grissom. These two should have pretty good years in 2017 — if Hoyer has time to throw. And that’s a big IF.

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Posted in Training Camp

The Long Road Back

By this time next week, the pads will be on and the 2017 NFL season will be officially grunting with activity.

When Jed York hired John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan, he mentioned the word “culture” about a thousand times. Restoring a winning culture.

That was hilarious, in a dark and twisted way. Because it was York himself who trashed the winning culture established by Jim Harbaugh in favor of a losing culture that was more comfortable for York’s delicate ego.

That winning culture was established six years ago, when Harbaugh came in and ended the Niners string of eight straight losing seasons by taking the team to three straight NFC Title games, and one Super Bowl appearance (that would have been two if not for a Kyle Williams late game melt down). Then York stepped in, undermined the 2014 team, lied to the fans, and handed us one year of Jim Tomsula and one year of Chip Kelly (5-11 and 2-14).

During York’s three year reign of error, attendance at games swirled down the toilet and apathy settled over the franchise. The 49ers went from a respected entity to a laughingstock.

Now, Shanahan faces the same task as Harbaugh did six years ago. Save the Yorks from themselves!

The only way he can do a better job than Harbaugh is to win a Super Bowl. At first, though, his job is going to be much tougher. The 2011 team had continuity. They were a championship caliber team in search of good coaching.

Unfortunately, the team Shanahan inherits is closer in talent to the 2005 team. A few good players and a whole lot of average joes. His first challenge is not measuring up to Harbaugh. It’s exceeding the accomplishments of Mike Nolan.

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Posted in Training Camp
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