CSI: Blog Monday

Next week’s 49er game against the Raiders is the third exhibition game, traditionally the one that is viewed as a tuneup for the regular season. It is numero uno in order of significance of the four insignificant practice games. The starters usually play the entire first half, and sometimes a series or two in the second half. I don’t anticipate Frank Gore or Patrick Willis will play that much, but we should get a peek-a-boo at Brian Westbrook, which will be fun.

The initial reactions from the blogosphere to Sunday’s Vikings game quickly degenerated into the trite and endless QB rhetoric regarding Alex Smith and Nate Davis. With a new and amusing wrinkle. The arguments got reversed. Those who previously accused Smith of inaccuracy, now found themselves defending Davis’ accuracy, while those who previously defended Smith’s accuracy went on the attack against Davis’. We even saw the first instance of “Nate-xcuses” replacing the former preponderance of “Alex-cuses.” The ebb and flow of the opinion mill. What didn’t change was anybody’s position on whether they liked or hated Smith. Davis, however, was a big loser in terms of relevance to the QB topic.

What we do know is that Smith works hard, and Davis apparently has not. Which probably explains why Mike Singletary would call Davis out publicly after the game. Singletary has little tolerance for players who do not make every effort possible to improve themselves and capitalize on their skills. To have the obvious talent that Davis has, and yet see the lack of commitment to maximizing that talent, would definitely anger Singletary. And it apparently has during the off season.

Noticeably missing from the blogosphere Monday were the most notorious Davis pimps. A lot of Smith haters also begged off on their usual post game fulminations. Nothing quiets the blogs like a magnificent fantasy (Davis is God) turning into a mundane reality (Not!). If nothing else, this game pretty much erased, or severely crippled, the Nate the Great rants from the 2010 year’s blog agendas. Smith haters can now focus entirely on trashing Smith and offering no alternatives — a much easier task for infected craniums to handle.

A second blogosphere reaction involved Jimmy Raye’s play calling. Or lack thereof. I’m not sure I understand this concern as it relates to the exhibition games. Teams usually practice/show only their base offense and defense in the exhibition games. The 49ers deviated from that by doing a lot of blitzing on defense against the Vikes, for whatever reason (perhaps a little payback), but the defense had most of its starters available to play. The offense did not have it’s top three playmakers in the game, so anything practiced that would deviate much from the base offense would not have much carry over to game 1. In addition, improved run blocking is clearly of paramount importance to Singletary, as well as giving the two new rookie O-linemen all the experience and adversity they can absorb with their playing time.

That’s just an off-the-wall suggestion, but none of us know what the offensive goals of the game were. We just like to see the offense look impressive and score points, like in a real game. There are plenty of reps in practice during the week geared to offensive firepower, though. And none of it will work if the O-line cannot provide a stout effort at the LOS. Solari and Brown need to know what their O-line can and cannot do. You can practice pass protection during the weekly practices, but run blocking can only be adequately tested in the simulated games where tackling is allowed, and the only time it is allowed during the off season.

I’m not trying to be an apologist here or imply that Raye will work wonders this year. But play calling in the exhibition games just doesn’t seem to be an issue worth getting worked up about. It means nothing. Especially when the three guys most necessary to an improved offense are sitting on the bench watching the game. Along with Westbrook. To endlessly harp on the theme “if we do this in real games, we’ll lose” just underscores the fact that these are not real games and also triggers the “duh, ya think so?” gong. It is hard for this scribe to envision the 49ers ignoring the offensive weapons so pointedly acquired in this past year.

There were no complaints about the defense, however. Both the first and the second team defenses were solid. The dumping of Farve on his keister was perhaps the highlight of the game. That this keister kaboom was supplied by Patrick Willis made it even more enjoyable. One team leader to another: eat dirt, pal.

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13 comments on “CSI: Blog Monday
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with your ponderence about the play calling but we do have a problem Houston. Jimmy Raye’s track record from last year gives little hope that the play calling will change once the real games start. I’m holding out hope of better play calling with the memory of last year still taking space in my brain. Losing to the lowly Rams 3-0 at half, or only scoring 10 against the Bears with 5 ints are real a reality we already lived once and a repeat play calling performance is a possibility.
    I know the Alex Haters blame the QB for those scores, obviously there are those who have no idea of what they talk about. Some believe once the QB is in shot gun the Sardine Can Offense is off, and then some know the difference.

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Well, Bergo, I take a pretty skeptical view of Monday morning play calling critiques. If a reverse gets called and it loses yardage, it’s called horrible play calling. If it gains ten yards, it’s a brilliant call. But the only difference is player execution on both sides of the ball. That, to me, is where the analysis most often properly belongs.
    But without game film, it is difficult for bloggers to do this analysis. That’s one of the things Maiocco does that I really appreciate. He usually breaks down the game player by player and you get some idea of who did what on certain plays.

  3. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Just to put the Nate Davis “thing” to rest a bit, Singletary was on KNBR this morning and was asked again about Nate’s performance and his comments that followed. Here’s a brief synopsis, I’m paraphrasing obviously.
    He played OK. He’s still way behind. He has a learning disability? Don’t care, work harder.He has ADD? Don’t care, spend more time in the off season with the coaches. He has ADHD? Still don’t care, learn the damn play book. But he’s dyslexic coach. He’s what? Next question. He’s dumber than a stump? I really don’t give a shit, get up to speed or face the consequences. He’s playing on two prosthetic legs? Stop using it as crutch, and make some goddamn plays.
    I thin you get the drift. I love Singletary’s attitude that no excuses will be tolerated for a players slow development. But it sure the hell seems like he’s way behind the curve because of his “problems.” Which begs my original question, Why the hell did we draft the dumb son of a bitch in the first place?

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs- My problem with that reverse call was the formation we were in. It was classic SCO. Trying to get a TE around the end with 9 in the box(or was it 10?) is not good play calling in pre-season or regular season. It does not make any sense. It would be like putting all your soldiers in one spot, getting out flanked and then trying get wide of the opposition. The strategy was foiled by the pre snap formation, just like a general that doesn’t account for the fact he could get out flanked ahead of the engagement. Bad strategy is bad strategy.
    A reverse is typically run when you see the outside contain pinching in. With 10 in the box the defense can pinch and contain at the same time. The formation Raye used gave the players no chance to succeed on that play. So are you saying practicing bad play calling is good because it is pre-season? I say even the coaches should practice getting better in the exhibition, even when they are as old as Methuselah.

  5. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I doubt Raye is practicing bad play calling, Berg. So if he’s not doing that, and he’s not game planning, I assume he must just be practicing the TE reverse, regardless of the defense.
    I wasn’t really discussing that particular play so much as a play like that in a real game. Or a play like a 4th and 1 where we throw long for a TD and everybody says brilliant, but if the pass is incomplete everybody says lousy call. It’s a game. You win some, you lose some.
    I suppose I belong to the school of play calling is overrated, but it’s an easy target on Monday morning. I don’t put you in that class of fan, BTW. Right or wrong, you always look a little deeper than just a play’s result.

  6. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Play calling is overrated? Surely you jest. I’ll let my colleague, owner, president and founder of the NO SCO Corp., the Bergermeister respond to that comment. I as the CEO have more important executive duties to fulfill.
    I’ll take two glazed, a couple of chocolate sprinkles, apple fritter, cinnamon bun…

  7. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I will agree we are probably going overboard worrying about pre-season ply calling. No question there is no game planning at this time.
    Problem is Raye has a history of bad use of formations already. Last year was absolute torture. IMO, use of proper formations is just instinct, whether pre, regular, or post season. I don’t see it from Raye.
    Jimmy Raye calls formations like he is strategizing for the rules of the 70’s and early 80’s. Today’s rules dictate acquiring good play makers and getting them the ball in space. Somebody needs to clue in Raye about the rule changes that were made in the last two decades.

  8. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll take a glazed French Cruller!

  9. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Nice report on Niner’s opening drive on Barrows’ site. Rooks did good.

  10. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    I’m assuming they’re treating this Tuesday as the usual off day following a Sunday game, no?

  11. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    4pm practice today.

  12. bigtimNo Gravatar says:

    nice work on the overall blogowank on Davis, it seems this was a planned attack by Singletary to demo nate’s skills and deficiencies to the overall uneducated public, but that would only be my own conspiracy theory that I just thought of this second.
    as much as I personally don’t think Smith is the second coming, he played well enough to muffle the critics to a low mumble for at least a weak, good forbid it last to the first game of the season, time will tell.
    as for “the sack” as I will gleefully call it,I squealed like a teen aged school girl when it happened, which is something for a 47 YO man, the only way it could have been better would have been if it was in the NFC championship game.
    nice work BTW

  13. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks, BT. Good to have another conspiracy enthusiast here.

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 · 10:00 AMCIN
12/19 · 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 · 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 · 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 · 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