Defense, Defense, Defense!

It’s blah, blah, blah week while we wait for next Sunday’s Super Bowl game. While it’s nice that the Niners and Chiefs are doing the yapping, and not some other team from the East Coast, it’s still a lot of hot air to breathe in and out.

I have no idea who will win this game. It doesn’t seem like anyone else does, either. Including the Vegas oddsmakers. If the Niners’ defense manages to slow down Patrick Mahomes, they might win it. If the game is a four quarter shootout, the Chiefs would probably prevail.

It still seems a bit unreal that the Niners are in this game. There was never a point in the season where making it to the SB was anything much more than a pipe dream. Making the playoffs was the only tangible hope. Right down to the final game and that last inch against the Seahawks. Then watching Minnesota take down the Saints and practically pave the way to Miami.

Nobody doubts the Chiefs credentials to be in this game. They’ve been knocking on the door for several years and should have been in this game last year, but for Dee Ford‘s egregious blunder in the closing seconds of the AFC Title game.

Likewise, nobody doubts Mahomes. He’s been unstoppable in the Chiefs two playoff games.

Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t inspire anywhere near that kind of respect. The 49ers got to this game like most people thought the Ravens would – by running the football. Garoppolo didn’t have to perform any heroics at all.

This leads many pundits to question his ability to handle the pressure of a big time game. Those pundits are mostly from the East Coast and clearly haven’t watched many Niner games this year. Garoppolo has been Mr. Clutch repeatedly throughout the year.

Looking on the bright side, this game reminds me of the 1984 SB, where nobody thought the Niners could stop Dan Marino and the Dolphins passing game. We all know how that turned out. And we know what happened to the unstoppable 2007 Patriots. Here’s hoping next Sunday we’ll see a similar outcome and that the old saying “Defense wins championships” will prove correct once again.

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28 comments on “Defense, Defense, Defense!
  1. winderNo Gravatar says:

    The smart way to approach this week is to not pay attention to what anyone says. I doubt any 49ers are gonna trash talk this week but I bet it will be to much for Tyreek Hill to keep his mouth shut. I hope KC does do a lot of trash talk it can only make us play better. If we can keep the pressure off Jimmy and not turn the ball over. I think we win. I don’t see us doing another N.O.’s game. If it turns into that then whoever has the ball last probably wins.

  2. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Right there with you Winder.
    Though I’m listening and enjoying all the 9er related stuff, I’m also hoping the Chiefs continue to get all the publicity and hype.
    I’m happy to go in as an underdog to the ‘flavor of the year’ Chiefs.

    Hoping Reid and Spags choke nonetheless.

  3. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    After all the State Farm insurance ads featuring Mahomes and Rodgers, I’ll still consider the possibilities that the NFL wanted a 100th Anniversary rematch in this game between GB and KC.

    Since we’re there now, I’ll hope we ruin that scenario once and for all.

    9ers X 6 = 54 😀

  4. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Pretty cool stuff from Kittle –

  5. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    First public function from Super Bowl

  6. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Kittle is hysterical, The People’s TE 😀

  7. NJ49ERNo Gravatar says:

    Sr. Bowl?
    Put SS Kyle Dugger on the radar.
    Perfect Tweener IMO

  8. winderNo Gravatar says:

    I love it but I think the marketing over Kittle is a little bit overboard. Hope he can stay humble but i doubt it.

  9. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Kittle wants to be the new “Gronk”.

    There is a void and many marketing opportunities and his personality is similar.

    Kittle is looking at endorsement deals to supplement his income and his schtick will play in advertising.

    Kittle, Jimmy G and Bosa should get a lot of deals if the Niners win on Suday. Somebody will go to Disneyland/Disneyworld.

  10. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Seems Gronk agrees with that assessment Bullit – 😀

  11. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Al Guido, President of the Niners was on 95.7 The Game this morning.

    He revealed that the 49ers chartered 6 planes to bring everyone in the organization and front office and their plus ones to the Super Bowl.

    He also revealed that Niners put in a bid for both Super Bowl 60 and 61 to host at Levis.

  12. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Most of the talking heads on TV are picking the Chefs because Mahomes is unstoppable and already in the Hall of Fame.

    Just remember a few short weeks ago the Super Bowl favorite that was unstoppable didn’t make it. Lamar Jackson the league MVP who was also unstoppable was neutralized and so the Ravens are home watching this game.

    I also like that the Niners are the underdogs and the Chefs are talking smack like the trophy is theirs.

    Phuck the Chefs! Go Niners!!!

  13. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Story from THE ATHLETIC about Shanahan. Counting the hours to Kickoff…

    AUSTIN, Texas — Bo Scaife treasures numerous stories about Kyle Shanahan from their playing days together at Texas. He’s not ready to share them all publicly now, days before Shanahan coaches the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday’s Super Bowl. But he does have one favorite that he can tell.

    Scaife and Shanahan, sophomores at the time, had plans to go to a party one December evening during winter break.

    Earlier in the day, Shanahan had been working out with the Denver Broncos, who his father, Mike, coached to two Super Bowl victories. During a drill, Shanahan got jammed up by a defender and got clocked in the face.

    It left a noticeable mark, but Shanahan showed up to the party anyway and proceeded to have a good time.

    “His lip is, like, disturbingly fat,” said Scaife, who played tight end for the Tennessee Titans. “But he’s walking around and enjoying the night like it’s not. That’s the type of guy he is. Great personality, good vibes and just takes things with a grain of salt and just a happy person.”

    Shanahan’s former teammates aren’t surprised at his rise, reaching the Super Bowl at just 40 and in his third year with the 49ers. They saw signs of it even in college, when Shanahan was a seldom-used wide receiver from 2000-02, the early years of Mack Brown’s tenure. Shanahan caught only 14 passes for 127 yards during his career but made lasting relationships. He was part of a brotherhood that he and his teammates called “The Wood.”

    “He hasn’t changed that much,” said former UT defensive back Rod Babers, who called Shanahan one of the most fun people he’s ever been around. “I keep expecting him to change every time I see him, because I see him on TV and on the sideline, and I’m like, ‘That guy. I’ve got so many great stories about that guy. And that guy’s running an NFL team.’ … He partied as hard as anybody, had a great time. But when it’s time to flip the switch to football, he immediately could do it. And he’s as close to a savant as I’ve seen in the football world when it comes to breaking down actual ball.”

    “You could definitely tell what was next in life for him,” said former UT wide receiver B.J. Johnson. “You could always tell that he had that passion to want to teach and help guys understand what they can be good at and how they can make their craft better.”

    Scaife, Babers and Shanahan have a special bond. The three, along with former Longhorns wide receiver Montrell Flowers and quarterback Chris Simms — Shanahan’s best friend — made up “The Wood.” Johnson and former defensive back and current UT defensive analyst Nathan “Nasty Nate” Vasher are considered unofficial members.

    The name is based off a 1999 romantic comedy starring Omar Epps, Taye Diggs and Richard T. Jones in which three childhood friends flash back to the forging of their bond as teenagers ahead of one of their weddings. Scaife is credited for coming up with it. The five had nicknames, too: Bo-Skeeze (Scaife), Rod-B (Babers), Shan-O (Shanahan), Trill (Flowers) and … Simms.

    In 2002, the group got tattoos solidifying their bond. Shanahan and Simms, somewhat infamously, have ink commemorating each other’s initials on their lower legs.

    “We were brothers for life,” Babers said of that night.

    “The Wood” was a competitive bunch. And Shanahan was one of the most competitive. That translated to the football field, the weight room, flirting with women and playing Madden.

    “That was kind of how we started hanging out,” Babers said. “After that, I think the rest is Wood history, if you will.”

    But for as much fun as Shan-O had off the field, he was more invested in his work on it. He aspired to reach the NFL. He and Simms always put in extra sessions. During the spring and summer, he trained with the Broncos, patterning his game after star wide receiver Ed McCaffrey. Although not the most physically gifted target at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, Shanahan is lauded by then-teammates.

    “Man, he would kill you with the most minute details of a route,” said Babers, who defended Shanahan in practice. “The head fake and the move here, the inside fake like you’re going to the comeback. He was just precision-based about it.”

    “He used to always run a great six route, 10 yards in from the slot,” Johnson said. “Every time we did one-on-ones, no one could ever stop him on that route.”

    Scaife said Shanahan routinely impressed with his football knowledge.

    “Even in college, he soaked up the offense, he understood concepts, what the quarterback was supposed to do,” Scaife said. “He was understanding of it and explaining that stuff. … He was always around it and he cared about it a lot.”

    Shanahan loved talking about the game, too. Babers recalls breaking down plays with Shanahan after games, and even “back then, you could see it, you could hear” the passion of a future coach.

    “The craziest thing back then is that when it came to football, he was almost like a coach then,” said Johnson, who started ahead of Shanahan. “Because he would always be in my ear telling me little things he could see from his point of view.”

    Shanahan’s conversations with his father were the foundation of his love for football. Babers described that passion as part of Shanahan’s “maniacal, obsessive, compulsive personality” that enabled his great attention to detail. But despite being the son of one of the winningest coaches in NFL history, Shanahan didn’t flaunt it.

    “I don’t think you can really get out of being the coach’s kid when that’s who you are, but that’s not what he flashed around,” Scaife said. “He flashed around being Kyle, who did happen to be the coach of the Broncos’ son. He was always kind of building and growing his own mark for who he was and who he wants to be.”

    After his UT career, Shanahan entered coaching as a graduate assistant at UCLA in 2003. By 2008, he landed his first NFL offensive coordinator gig with the Houston Texans. “When he finally got picked up as an OC,” Johnson said, “I remember telling Bo, ‘It won’t be long before he’s a head coach.’”

    It happened in 2017.

    Shanahan’s Longhorns teammates don’t buy that he earned his opportunity solely because of his last name. Having a future Hall of Fame coach as his father helped spark Shanahan’s effort. But Scaife said that he spurred his ascension in the coaching realm with hard work and dedication.

    “If you wanna be a coach and aspire to be a coach, and you have one of the greatest to ever do it in your household, you’d be a fool to not take advantage of that,” Scaife said. “He took advantage of that, for sure.”

    “People who know ball, they know people who know how to talk ball,” Babers said. “And if you’re full of shit and come in the locker room acting like you know and you don’t, everybody will see right through it. That ain’t the case with Shan-O. When you talk to Shan-O for five minutes, you’re probably gonna have your mind blown pretty quickly about something about football. And it’s like, ‘Damn, I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to this game because this guy’s on a different level.’

    “He might be as good, if not better than his dad. And that’s saying a lot.”

    Under Shanahan, the 49ers have enjoyed a unique turnaround. They went 13-3 and won the NFC championship after going a combined 10-22 in his first two seasons.

    None of the 49ers’ skill players who registered a statistic this season were first-round draft choices. Running back Raheem Mostert, who rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns in the NFC championship, was cut by six teams. Richard Sherman gambled on himself by negotiating his own contract in 2018, and has since reemerged in the conversation as the NFL’s top cornerback.

    Shanahan embraces the 49ers’ “Pretenders” identity.

    His play calling is where his “freakish” attention to details pays off most. A clip of him predicting a Packers defender’s penalty against San Francisco’s George Kittle in the NFC Championship Game went viral and is a prime example of his prescience.

    “The one thing the league respects and respects in life is results,” Scaife said. “He has those, he’s created those. … Now he’s just showing off I guess what everybody already kinda knew.”

    Shanahan’s loyalty also hasn’t gone unnoticed by his old UT teammates. When Johnson was cut by the Broncos in 2005, Shanahan lobbied for him to sign with the Buccaneers in ‘06. Richard Hightower, Johnson’s roommate for three years who earned a scholarship after originally walking on, currently serves as San Francisco’s special teams coordinator. In fact, Hightower, whom Longhorns teammates called “Peanut,” previously worked with Shanahan in Houston, Washington and Cleveland.

    Shanahan’s college teammates, including fellow members of “The Wood,” will be rooting for him Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. As Babers noted, Shanahan wants to win the Super Bowl not only for his own accomplishment, but for those close to him.

    “He’s a damn good football coach,” Babers said. “But I’ve gotta say, he truly is a better person. And that’s why I’m so happy for him. He’s gonna be a good coach for a long time, too.”

  14. winderNo Gravatar says:

    bullit- that was nice. You could tell in 2017 the way he handled things that he was a special coach and a fantastic hire.

  15. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Win turnover battle Niners will raise their sixth Lombardi Trophy 34-27.

    Chef Reid is denied. Go Niners!!!!

  16. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    The Day arrives at last.

  17. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    49ers inactives:

    QB C.J. Beathard
    WR Dante Pettis
    CB Dontae Johnson
    TE Daniel Helm
    LB Azeez Al-Shaair
    WR Jordan Matthews
    DL Kevin Givens

  18. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Ah, Pettis. You could have been a part of this. But no.

  19. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I’m getting too old for this shit. I’ve traded in my tequila for a bottle of valium.

  20. winderNo Gravatar says:

    I think they will try and trade Pettis for a draft pick pretty soon.

  21. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Well. Shit.

  22. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Incredible season. A lot to look forward to.

    A lot of offseason attention to what can be done for roster improvement within the salary cap. How much can be done and is it wise.

    Helluva team.

  23. SpitbloodNo Gravatar says:

    This is Jed York Karma for how he ran a smear campaign against Jim Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick. It’s York Karma for how they took the 49ers out of SF and put them in Silicon Valley, looking for tech money. It’s York karma for all the slimy, back-handed, leaking, shady Jed York dealings. Jed York deserves both the choker Garoppolo and 4th quarter brain-dead Shannahan.

    What did Justin Smith say when he retired and Patrick Willis followed? “Maybe the 49ers need a new owner.”

    Jed York is the Buffalo Bills. Hey Jed: Ya ain’t no Eddie D…. The fish rots from the head.


  24. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

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