Circle Jerk

It’s back to the drawing board this week for coach Jim Harbaugh and his reputed secret magic marker. Unfortunately, the drawing board always begins with five circles in a row that represents a commodity not so far evident in the 49ers’ preseason performances — an offensive line.

Every football drawing board from the peewees to the pros has these five circles on it. They represent a wall which separates the opposing team from our backfield guys. This wall is usually taken for granted. On the other side of it are mere X’s which are supposed to be moved around accordingly by our five circles. Unfortunately, our circles are being moved around by the X’s as though the circles represented marshmallows, not bricks in a wall.

This is kind of a fundamental dilemma. If you ain’t got a wall, you ain’t got an offense — whether the offense is secret or worn around Mike Singletary’s neck in plain view.

Why this offensive line is so inept is a bit of a mystery. It’s true the circles were put in place with an eye toward a run dominated offense, not a pass oriented one, but the circles themselves are supposed to be elite talents. Three of them are former first round picks, one is a second rounder, and the center was a member of an elite crew in New Orleans. Yet there they are, being routinely pushed around by marginal talents on the X side of the board week after week.

I don’t wish to be alarmist, but has anybody given these guys a drug test? Never mind the steroid or HGH tests — it couldn’t be those drugs. How about sleeping pill addictions? Super downers from laboratories on Coma Island? There has to be some explanation for the dependable uselessness of this crew.

Maybe it’s just not having Frank Gore in the 49er backfield. He’s the only guy in our backfield that opposing defenses have to be concerned about. Enough so to give a pause before bull rushing through our circles. Unfortunately, if that is true, it’s just more evidence that our circles are marshmellows.

So, your assignment this week Mr. Harbaugh, is to design an offense that somehow turns five marshmellows into a plus. Or at least makes them not a liability. The only solution that comes immediately to mind is the one suggested by Rick in yesterday’s comments. The Roll Out offense. Roll Left, Roll Right. No more straight back drops. It’ll tire out the opposing D-line running this way and that on each passing play. The plays themselves will last longer, even if they still fail, giving our defense some additional rest.

If anyone has any better ideas, let’s hear them. Mr. Harbaugh could use some help.

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83 comments on “Circle Jerk
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Like I was saying on your last thread, if the O-line does not do a better job of blocking we will need to be a spread offense. That offense has formations that spread the defense and gives the QB more quick options to get rid of the ball. Heck, NE and Indy run spread offenses and it works fairly well for them.

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, are you writing your first letter to coach Harbaugh yet?

  3. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I’m not worried about pre-season strategy. If we play like this in two weeks I’ll start worrying.

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    It would be logical to think the problems are arising on O and D from new schemes. Vanilla or not players are probably thinking too much right now instead of just reacting. I hope that is all it is.
    This would explain the D-line being ahead of the rest of the defense. D-line play in a 3-4 is not complicated in any scheme.

  5. robNo Gravatar says:

    imo not only is it new coach and scheme but also more new players than usual !
    we have a new starting safety , cb and two LB’s and center !
    (not that our team hasn’t looked this bad for years !)
    i still think we lost some linebacking when we let both spikes and lawson go !
    my free agent plan to keep those two and sign cofield and joseph would probably have been the way to go imho!

    rogers and m. williams were good pick-ups and the switch at center should be good for us too ! even signing b edwards might work out for us !

    the 0-line with both rookies from last year , a new center and raw rachal will need time !
    the switch in scheme hurts even more here !

  6. winderNo Gravatar says:

    If we can’t keep our D off the field they will be gassed by week 4. It is totally unacceptable to run an offense like we saw on Sat.

  7. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Reggie Smith and Shawntae Spencer are back in action.

  8. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:


  9. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Rebuilding sucks.

    And that’s what is going on.

  10. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Rebuilding? Hmmm. Same offensive guys as last year, with maybe a new (veteran) center and an additional (veteran) WR. Defensive secondary has a couple new players, like it usually does. D-line guys have been here awhile. Two young LBs moving into the lineup. I’m missing what exactly constitutes rebuilding, Chuck.

  11. robNo Gravatar says:

    SKEEBS , i think CHUCK has been saying we’re rebuilding for the last 15 years or so !

  12. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    New starters by Opening Day:

    Braylon Edwards
    Jonathan Goodman
    Ray McDonald
    Navorro Bowman
    Ahmad Brooks
    Carlos Rogers
    Donte Whitner

    Possibly joining them by week 3:

    Alex Boone
    Adam Snyder (at G)
    Bruce Miller
    Kendrick Hunter (depending on negotiations…)
    Aldon Smith
    Tremaine Brock or Tarell Brown

    Changing position:
    Isaac Sopoaga

    Sounds like a fair amount of changes to me, Skeebs… I still expect a learning curve. Coupled with our seeming learning disability around these parts the last decade, my enthusiasm is firmly curbed for the moment.

  13. robNo Gravatar says:

    imo what he means is that the new coach is putting his stamp on things and bringing in guys who fit the system !

  14. robNo Gravatar says:

    and a new eye on the roster !

  15. robNo Gravatar says:

    GRUMPY !
    exactly right !
    the3 second group imo should fall under
    “due to contribute heavily ”
    imo esp. aldon ! (thank god !)

  16. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Oh, and I neglected to mention free safety, where Fangio sounds less than thrilled with “The Hawk”, saying Cripple Williams and Reggie Smith are ‘still in competition.

    Goldson needs to get his head in the game or he will end up on the bench this year. This team needs more from the FS than four or five big hits a season.

  17. robNo Gravatar says:

    and just for DEL

    i’m just going to point out that you forgot to mention colin k. on the ” possible by week three ” list !

  18. robNo Gravatar says:

    oh no !

    ” Cripple Williams ” ???

    don’t tell me m. williams is hurt now ???

  19. robNo Gravatar says:

    IMO so far so good with williams ! maybe he’ll be the rare player who actually looks good playing for us … and in our ‘system’

    these numbers for games started don’t look too too bad as far as any health issues imo

  20. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    No, Rob, I just can’t remember how to spell his damned name. He did have a nasty neck injury a few years ago. He has not been the same player since. Actually, if you believe Fangio, he has looked better in this camp than he has since the injury.

  21. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    I’m not in the Kaep starts in September club. Too much to learn… if Alex gets mutilated in week one, I think JH trots out McCown and basically punts on the season.

    I *DO* however, believe Kaep will start by week 16.

  22. robNo Gravatar says:

    me either ! copernicus is a tuffy ! madieu or wtf ever williams is another one !

    i told del when we talked that i thought week 12 might be when we’d see colin k. !
    i thought we might be 8-8 about that time !

  23. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Like I said, Grump. Everybody on your list except the added veteran FAs was either groomed by our team or drafted. That they are now becoming starters is not rebuilding. Rebuilding is what Nolan did in 2005, or Cleveland last year. Gutting the team and starting over.

  24. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    We’re getting a 7th rd pk in 2013 for Taylor Mays. That news comes from
    I’m glad I won’t be around to relive that humongous mistake. I don’t if you guys will be glad or not, but you won’t be around either. 12/21/2012 Go Mayans!

  25. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs, by that criterion, no one ever did rebuilding before there was free agency.

    As an Old Fart, I can vouch for you the NFL did exist back in that forgotten time, and teams did rebuild!

    Changing a third of your starters is rebuilding in my book. You’re free to disagree. 馃檪

  26. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Whatever, Grump. By your definition, the Eagles and half the teams in the NFL are rebuilding this year too.

  27. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Criminy, Skeebs. The Niners have an entirely new coaching staff, a new offensive system, a new defensive system, and what, 14 different starters from last year to this?
    Now you are comparing the Niners to the Iggles? Really, Skeebs? Did the Iggles replace their entire coaching staff? Are they installing a new offense? A new defense? No, they aren’t. They paid through the nose to sign players they think they need. They HAVE a solid system in place on both sides of the ball.
    Signing players isn’t rebuilding. Jettisoning vets and dead weight(TKO, AF, Clements, Lawson, Westbrook, Carr, etc) and promoting from within (Bowman, Brooks, Brock, Brown, Dixon, possibly Boone and Kilgore Trout) while installing a new offensive and defensive philosophy is how this works out. To call this anything but a rebuilding season is to be let down when the season is a wash.

  28. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    We certainly wouldn’t want you to be let down, Chuck. So go ahead and call it rebuilding, even if it isn’t and even if we don’t have 14 different starters from last year and even if we have a new offensive system just about every year here.

  29. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    On the drive home ESPN radio asked John Clayton if anything really concerns him. Of three items mentioned, the 49ers offensive line was one.

  30. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    What is this chatter I heard earlier that Crabs catching passes is against the rules? Comcast said he’s allowed to warm up but he can’t join pracrtice. Baalke even called the leaue to advise them of what we were doing. Which reporter is spreading this BS?

  31. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    He’s on some sort of PUP type list and can’t practice till he’s activated. BUT, he can warm up.

  32. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    They have to cut down to 80 players by tomorrow, so they might not activate him till after the Thurs. game, saving one roster spot for a marginal to have one last chance before the cut to 53 on Saturday.

  33. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Not according to some Mensas.

  34. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    What constitutes rebuilding then, Skeebs?

  35. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I’m just guessing what they’ll do. It’s not backed by any Mensas.

  36. robNo Gravatar says:

    GRUMP !
    THX FOR THE INFO ! imo m.(wtf was that name) williams is looking really good so far !

    “Rebuilding is what Nolan did in 2005, or Cleveland last year. Gutting the team and starting over.”

    well i don’t know about cleveland , but if their answer is like nolan’s they’re in big trouble !

  37. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Classically, Chuck, it involves a new regime taking over a 2-14 type of team and completely remaking the whole roster, top to bottom. We do have a new regime here, but this is not a 2-14 team and they are not completely remaking it so much as installing a new system and philosophy to the guys that are already here. As NoFear suggests, if they decide after this year that this group just isn’t any good, there could certainly be some wholesale changes next year.

  38. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebers- My Mensa comment was for your 6:49 post.

  39. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    6-10, Skeebs. New coaches. New philosophy. A lot of new players. More of a remake didn’t happen due to the fact that there was a lockout. With cuts coming, there may be more new starters. But whatever. Call it what? A playoff push?
    In other words, Skeebs, wait til the year after next.

  40. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Our offensive line needs to do some parergon, but unfortunately they can’t even do their own job adequately. We are going to need more QBs.

  41. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    The O-line meeting yesterday, after watching the film on their Saturday efforts, was described as “tense and emotional.” No shit!

    Normally, I wouldn’t want to be in a room with seven or eight behemoths who were edgy, but this group probably couldn’t run over me anyway.

  42. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Just kidding, Mr. Iupati. Please don’t put me between two slices of bread.

  43. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    How much time and money have we spent on O-line since 2005? If we would have spent it on D-line we would be better and the O-line could not be worse. D lines win championships, spend time and money there, get O-line in middle rounds. This is not news from Berger, I’ve been saying this for years.

  44. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Having said the above comment, I’m still not going to panic until we perform this way in the regular season.

  45. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Crabtree expected back “very soon.” Got to activate him before Saturday or he has to sit out the first six games.

  46. robNo Gravatar says:

    LOL i like your 7:39 !

  47. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    49ers have cut WR T.Beiler, T D.Edwards, G N.Howell, WR K.Jurovich, LB S.McKillop, P S.Paulescu, RB S.Smith.

    Only surprise, maybe, is McKillop.

  48. robNo Gravatar says:

    mckillop is a surprise ! imo he’ll wind up somewhere else !
    i’m waiting for the teams to let some of their older vets go !
    imo we should look for a big LB who is good vs. the run !

  49. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    I noticed you said ‘until’ Reno. Not unless . . .
    Well, Crabs has missed another entire camp, so he should be ready to go now . . .

  50. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    And 3 or 4 WCO linemen, ROB!!!!

  51. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like Goodwin has finally supplanted Snyder as the starting center.

  52. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Crabtree activated.

  53. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    McKillop does not surprise me. I had a feeling he was done when he got hurt. This is a guy with limited athleticism who played very well in a narrow section of the field, inside the tackles, like Hacksaw Reynolds back in the early 80s. After the injury, he has even less ability to move. If it was 1965, he might be okay – but today, ILBs have to cover too. He might take a year off and rehab some more but at this point it’s very much a longshot. Too bad, he seemed a good kid. But it’s a damned brutal game.

  54. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear- I’m not sure what you are asking about the D-line?

  55. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Beginning to look like Braylon won’t be suspended by league. Very good news, if true.

  56. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like Gore has signed an extension. No details yet.

  57. robNo Gravatar says:

    holy sht ! now i know where you got ur nickname !
    hacksaw excelled here even after age and injuries caught up !
    so i kinda thought mclollipop would make the team as at least a 6th LB or practice squad guy ?
    after all , it’s not like we have tons of great LB’s after willis !

  58. robNo Gravatar says:

    excellent analysis btw !

  59. robNo Gravatar says:

    the worst part about losing the potential of mclollipop is just how weak we are at LB since spikes and lawson left !

  60. robNo Gravatar says:

    DEL and SKEEBS !
    wow ! if braylon escapes suspension signing him might turn out to be a great move ! imo he’s a 1000 yd WR. , and having him , crabs and josh morgan we would have the best three WR’s we’ve had since RICE retired !

  61. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Actually, Rob, I think Grant will be a decent backup ILB. He was the flip side of McKillop: athletic in spades, but very small and green as grass in terms of recognition. He has worked his ass off, bulked up, and had a good camp. He is never going to unseat Willis, but as a spare, he isn’t too bad. And Bowman has plenty of potential as the other starter, given time.

    On the outside, I’m happier with cousin Aldon and Brooks than I ever was with Haralson and Lawson starting. Got to have some pass rush in this league.

    Again, the offense worries me way, way more than anything happening on defense, at least for now.

  62. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    The league has cleared the 9ers of any wrong doing regarding Crabtree.

  63. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Gore gets a three-year extension with $21 million in new money and $13.5 million guaranteed, per league source.

  64. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    The league may have cleared the 49ers of any wrong doing regarding Crabtree, but I sure the hell haven’t. It wasn’t until after a 49ers public-relations guy relayed a reporter’s question to Baalke, asking if Crabtree was allowed to participate under the PUP rules did Baalke tell Crabtree he better stop the drill.
    Our GM doesn’t even the know the rules. Mickey Mouse.

  65. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    So if the NFL doesn’t suspend Braylon Edwards, I guess Goodell and Co. are saying it’s OK for a guy to encourage and cheer on his cousin as he stabs a bouncer. That’s a helluva role model to our youngsters right there.
    Hey, Rob. Edwards a 1,000 yd receiver? It’s sounds good, just one itsy bitsy teeny weeny problem…who the hell is gonna throw him the goddamn ball?

  66. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Alex Smith, when he’s not being kocked off of feet while planting his back foot.

  67. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Hey, Berger. It’s a known fact that all Alex Smith supporters also happen to be Democrats. So it’s safe to assume you not only want four more years of Alex, you want four more years of Obama.

  68. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    AS? That’s no what I hear on the Del Mar network. It’s all on the QB, or the front office, owner, GM

  69. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Are you talking about when Rice left the Niners or the one day that he came back and retired as a Niner?
    When Rice left we had decent production out of TO and Streets
    and Stokes. They actually caught over 200 passes in 2002 between the 3 of them.

  70. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    Chargers are going to be a good test to see if our OL w/ Goodwin at center is progressing. Let’s hold it to 3 sacks guys!

  71. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    So you want Michelle Bachman as POTUS?
    She proclaimed she can fix the economy in 90 days.

  72. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    bullit I believe that was the last year we had a bonafide coach too, SM

  73. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I’d rather have Bachman over Obama any day.

  74. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    Bergs, hello! You missed nothing in the game against the Texans

  75. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Del- I knew I could count on a good answer from you. Unfortunately, that answer wasn’t a good one unless making me vomit counts.

  76. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Phil- That’s right, I was watching live bluegrass music at a party in my friends back yard. It was very good with the whiskey and beer. Unfortunately, I got home in time for the replay on NFL Network, which made me drink more whiskey and beer.

  77. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    You really want a loon like Bachmann in the White House?


  78. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    Lol, yep exactly. I bailed at half-time and went to my tech guy to get the desktop out of the shop as the laptop wasn’t much better than the game. Following day got new supply of whisky which won’t last long at this rate…

  79. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    It sure beats having a complete dunce like Obama. Let’s see, how many states do we have? Or wait, I’ll make everybody buy health insurance except Muslims, they’ll be exempt.

  80. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Phil- Your whiskey is Scotch, mine is Bourbon. We should get together and compare! If we get drunk enough we could be as smart as Obama.

  81. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Good to see Rupert’s little robots are in working order.

  82. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    I’d love to Bergs. You might have an unexpected guest snoring on your living room floor! Yep Scotch for me but I did have a pretty good run of Makers Mark awhile back. Prolly drained the local supply…

  83. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

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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