Feeding the Beast

In the past three drafts, Trent Baalke has grabbed six offensive linemen, and brought in another in FA. That’s a focused commitment to the old adage that the game is won and lost in the trenches. Only two guys are left from previous regimes: Joe Staley and Alex Boone.

Of the six picks snd 1 FA, only one is a tackle — Anthony Davis. The other six are interior linemen. The draft picks, Joe Looney, Dan Kilgore, Jason Slowey, and Chuck Persons are 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th rounders. These four guys, along with Boone, the new Adam Snyder, will all be battling in training camp for the one spot on the O-line that is currently unoccupied — good old perennially problematic right guard.

Boone and Kilgore look to have the first two shots at nailing down this job, but the competition among these five behemoths promises to be an interesting battle over the next few years. Good luck, guys. The competition among Santa Clara restaurants to land these hearty appetites should also be spirited. Table for nine, please. A very big table. The Bunyan model, please. Cows, pigs, chickens, and buffaloes run for your lives!

Other camp battles that should be interesting involve the pecking order at wide receiver, running back, cornerback, and backup quarterback. Gone are the days when the team entered camp scratching his head and wondering, “Can anybody play this game?!”

The WR competition will fascinate us all. Who are the starters going to be? Let’s assume Randy Moss is actually Randy Moss. The Minnesota & New England model, not the Oakland/Tennessee guy. If he isn’t, then Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham start. But if he is, we’ve got two young WRs with fat egos that must be fed and only one seat at the table. Jim Harbaugh is going to have all kinds of exotic mixtures and formations and groupings to get everybody involved, but who gets listed on TV as the nominal starter each week is going to mean a lot to both of these young dudes, and Moss as well. Crabtree has never had any challenges to his starting position. And neither has Moss. This could be fun.

Manningham was the third WR in New York, so he’s used to being a supporting cast member. But New York runs a lot more 3 WR groups than the 49ers under Harbaugh have shown thus far. And we know Harbaugh is going to want to mix number one draft pick A.J. Jenkins into the recipe, too. Add in the historical fact that WRs do not tend toward humble role player IDs, and we have the possibility of some strenous competition and some unseemly disgruntlements. Somebody is going to have to stuff their ego.

The other faskinating battle will be who wins the second banana QB role. In this competition, we have a backstage ego involved that was on display during the early days of the free agency period. That ego belongs to GM Baalke. He has never been an Alex Smith fan and drafted Colin Kaepernick to replace him. That goal got a little difficult after Smith’s historic 2011 season, so Baalke went after Peyton Manning, figuring nobody would complain about swapping out Smith for a consensus HOF QB. One who was down to his last year(s) of QBing and could provide a bridge to Kaepernick. Baalke also lowballed Smith’s new contract, hoping either or both would nudge him out of town. No dice to that and no dice to Manning and suddenly Kaepernick is looking not only at Smith’s shadow for the next ten years, but also the threat of Josh Johnson or Scott Tolzien passing him on the depth chart. At the very least, Kaepernick needs to look good enough to do a Kevin Kolb like trade a year or two from now for Baalke to feel good. Falling to third on the depth chart would not be a good thing.

Ah, the wonderful world of egos. It’s said by those striving for halo hats that egos must be defeated. They are the enemy of a higher self. Are they the enemy of a higher team, too? Or just a necessary evil in a world of violent competition. Either way, how Jim Harbaugh handles them will be a key to success in 2012.

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131 comments on “Feeding the Beast
  1. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    My opinion on Crabtree seems overwhelminingly in the minority here and less than popular. I stand by it and that’ll make 2012 an interesting season. If Crabtree crashes and burns I’ll eat the crow. However that works both ways. Can’t wait.


  2. phil fanNo Gravatar says:

    I guess I’m the only one up at this hour so here goes…
    Where’s the Beef? Long time question left unanswered by Nolan who said he ‘wanted his legacy with the Niners to be 2 solid O and D Lines’. Simpleton said something similar in a less convincing manner. Where was he evah convincing? I digress.
    Baalkebaugh rakes in Seven linemen on O in a couple yeahs? Now we’re getting convinced. Love this abundance of Boone, Person, Kilgore, Looney, Clooney, Slowey, Downey, Godwin, and the other guys. Davis and Iupati. Let ’em fight it out over a full pre-season then we’ll see who are the best men standing. Our best men forward will make the fate of the megalomaniacs Williams and the Saints HC whatshisname seem like a blessing from God Almighty. Which it was, yeah? Pity the fools who try the bush league pre-season ambush on the Niners This Yeah. Notice how loud mouth morons who tried to whack our guys last yeah fell on Hard Times? Think Schwartz, HC Saints whatshisname, Williams, TB wannabees, Philly, whatevah.
    We got the Beef. We got the speedsters outta the backfield, we got a bunch a new receivers, we got the same great D. Same coaches, HC, ST, D.
    Will we go undefeated? No but we’re gonna have a big say in who wins the last game this season.
    You got a beef widdat? Naw…

  3. phil fanNo Gravatar says:

    bullit I’m with you and those who think the Crab will have a great year in 2012. Competition will do that…

  4. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit, not sure why anyone would need to eat crow. Nobody said Crabtree was terrible, just less so far than expected. No one predicted he would stink this year.

  5. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Our defensive line is very good but getting a bit up there in age. I hope we start addressing that soon.

  6. phil fanNo Gravatar says:

    Bergs, Chuck seems to think we’ll parlay some of our 13(!) draft picks next yeah into a beefed up D and Dl. Even if his feet do stink. Also we’re not used to coaches actually, you know developing players on our bench. Guys like Ian Williams, Will Tukuafu, Dobbs. But yep we need to focus on the DL next year and we have every reason to expect that’s exactly what the coaching staff thinks too

  7. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    This is an ongoing thing just like Alex Smith. If you go back a couple of weeks there were suggestions that we trade Crabtree for whatever we could get for him. The difficult thing is there are varying degrees of dislike for Crabtree and when you have six posters coming at you
    you treat them as one.
    I’ve put out some stats that I feel should be reached by Crabtree and have invited his critics to do likewise just because one of the talking points is he’s underachieving.
    Crabtree critics aren’t willing to stick their necks out.
    As previously posted target numbers for Crabtree would be
    90 receptions 1200 yds and 10 Tds.
    Putting these stas in perspective 90 receptions would rank him 4th in the NFL and 1200 yds would put him 8th in receiving yardage.

  8. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    bullit- If that is what you expect he’ll need to start reading defenses much better. The ear hole is for hearing, not footballs.

  9. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    I saw what he did college especially in the BIG 12. He can read defenses and now he is healthy. Read Maiocco’s article from yesterday and also this article which has been updated

  10. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    La dee fricking dah. Talk is cheap. If he can make it through a preseason, it’ll be a start.
    I find it curious that now that there is competition for the WR spot, and he’s not the #1, suddenly he’s ready to participate in preseason workouts.
    I don’t really care. Some people like to be intractible. If he’s good, it helps the team. I’m all for that. He doesn’t pass the smell test for me. As of now.

  11. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Phil and Berger,

    I’m looking forward to seeing if Demetrius Dobbs can repeat his excellent pre-season of 2011. He seemed to have some potential to develop into a solid backup and inside pass rusher.

    With 13 picks next year, we can move around a bit if we can identify some good players who can help us. We’ve invested strongly in the O-line and WRs here. Next year we should look to get some young guys to develop on the D-line and in the secondary.

  12. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    bullit- In college he ran a spread. The spread offense is more quick pre-snap reads. He can do that. Can read a D as it develops during a play? I do believe his participation in TC will help in this area for the comming year. I’ll be rooting for him!

  13. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Grumpy- I agree. Don’t forget Tukuafu. He looked great before he gpt hurt.

  14. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Tuku is just very solid. He’ll be a good rotational guy. We still need either Ian or another big guy to help on the nose, and we need to find the guy who can take over when Justin calls it quits. A big part of the success of our ILBs is Justin and the rest of the DL keeping blockers away form them.

  15. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Reports coming out from SD that Junior Seau committed suicide this morning. Wow. http://tinyurl.com/84mdu4l

  16. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, both Dobbs and Tukafu looked very good. As did Person in his preseason action last year. All about the competition . . .

  17. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Vernon Davis endured being labelled underachiever and a wasted draft pick until his 4th season when he silenced all his critics.
    Looks like Crabtree has to get over that same hump to convince some people.

  18. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Alex had 6 years of frustration before looking good. Some guys need time to grow, others are in shitty situations, and still others bring it upon themselves.
    Like I been saying, evolve or die. Improve of get left behind.

  19. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    We’d be very lucky to replace Justin Smith. To have him follow Bryant Young was great. He’s probably been the best D-lineman in the game the last two years. Even he will have a hard time doing that for much longer.

  20. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, agree, but I’d pull the ‘probably’. He has been the keystone of what are doing here, and I won’t call anyone better.

  21. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    Sad about Junior. This guy was loved as a football player by thousands and dearly loved by his Mother, children and family. Dude you have to get help before it gets this bad and this is the worst: minister, therapist, family, Md treatment. Don’t do this to yourself and to those who love you. Wishing you peace man.

  22. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    Guess I’ll get back to focusing on football as some of this is too hard to figure.
    The $64,000 question: Who replaces Justin Smith? He’s a rare beast, heck of a player and the unquestioned leader on the DL. Can you imagine our squad the past few years without Justin on D and Gore on O? Me neither. If recent history is any guide Baalkebaugh will find a guy or guys to step in and do a good job for us. After the recent draft the focus has quickly shifted over to restocking the D next year. Must be a measure of the faith I have in Baalkebaugh and hope for our guys’ continued success that I assume We. will. do. this.

  23. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    The amazing thing is Junior Seau
    reportedly emulated Dave Duerson
    and shot himself in the chest leaving a note saying he kept his brain intact so they could study it. He drove his car off a cliff in 2010 but said it was an accident. In hindsight probably not.
    Whatever demons were haunting Junior, he can now Rest In Peace.
    Here’s a very emotional interview with Marcellus Wiley


  24. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    About the Crab: Speaking of the importance of leadership (GM/HC), MC like AS and most (all?) of the players have not performed up to their capabilities given the piss poor quality of leadership around the team for a loooong time. Now we have the baalkebaugh with a social IQ off the charts, very professional demeanor -handshakes included!- excellent football judgement, very good character types, in short superb leaders.
    So there’s the wind up, here’s the pitch: The Crab like all the rest of our guys have to try their best to match that in their play on the field- learn, improve every day. Live to the standard. I’ve been frustrated with the Crab at times mainly the rookie hold out and last year’s shoe-gate. I cooled off when JH said “he’s a team player, no problem with Crabtree”. Fine. That was impressive of Jimbo I thought, good leadership. And the Crab responded pretty well last year. This year’s gotta be better for him and most of the squad. I believe it will be esp. the O.
    Our expectations have soared way up there which is great. I’m not worried about the Crab or the direction of our guys. Trust the baalkebaugh!

  25. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle thinks the 49ers’ draft moves show the team plans for Alex Smith. Lynch: “Any inkling of flagging confidence was completely obliterated over draft weekend. Not only did head coach Jim Harbaugh once again reiterate that Smith was the team’s unquestioned starter, Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke surrounded Smith with foot-speed freaks in Illinois wide receiver A.J. Jenkins and Oregon running back LaMichael James. Combine these dynamos with free agent signings Randy Moss and Mario Manningham and the message is clear — Harbaugh is breaking the offense open and he obviously believes Smith can run this new wide-open attack.”


  26. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    In 2011 Crabtree broke his foot and had to have surgery. No shoe-gate, injury was legit and significant enough for him to go under the knife,

  27. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Didn’t Crabs get hurt at Camp Alex last year? That was a practice he did not need to be at.
    I’m not trying to defend or vilify Crabtree. I do root for him. I do understand people being disappointed, but I think he does want to be in camp.

  28. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    He got hurt by his new shoes . . .

  29. FranchiseNo Gravatar says:

    When you’re caught cheatin’, nothing says your sorry quite like bringing in two 4.37 cheetahs for Alex to feed.   

    What an offseason. And what an OTA this will be.   

  30. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, take a look at NT Star Lotulelei from Utah.
    He’s my early installment for next Years’ ‘Fat Man in the Middle’.
    My search continues……

  31. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    In general, I think the 2013 Defensive Draft options are looking very good.
    I’m also hoping we’ll look at CB/S Tyrann Mathieu from LSU.
    No way to know the probability of slotting yet but, I’ll keep the Wishlist wide open for now.

  32. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit the Crabtree debate is nothing but opinions.
    I would love nothing more than to see him turn into an unstoppable receiving machine.
    It’s not a point of contention here.
    We want him to succeed.
    He and Alex have not gotten comfortable together and missed Training Camp time is likely the reason why.
    I would have loved to hear reports that the 2 of them got together in someones hometown to run routes together during the Off Season but…
    It’s a new year, another start to make it better.
    I’ll leave it at that.

  33. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    He’s a space eater. Just the kind of guy I’d love to add.
    He’d be a nice compliment and almost resembles Sopoaga.

  34. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Dark side of the business:
    “2 years out of the league, 78% of NFL players bankrupt or under financial stress due to joblessness or divorce.”

  35. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    The comment I made a few weeks ago
    “shades of Spitblood” was just a quip on my part. No offense was intended. There is a fine line in telling you that you were starting to sound like somebody than accussing you of being that person.
    If you thought I was out of line you should have said something when that thread was up because I had truly forgotten I had posted that and the subject was Alex Smith.
    I don’t think I have intentionally attcked you on a personal level here. In fact there are only 2 people on this blog that have received that type of treatment.
    On SF Gate Insider too many to count and most likely 10 of those aliases was V in some shape or form and 5 was Spit.

  36. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Matt Barrows posted a list of uniform numbers assigned to the new Niners
    WR Mario Manningham, No. 14*

    WR A.J. Jenkins (D-1), No. 17

    CB Perrish Cox, No. 20

    RB LaMichael James (D-2), No. 23

    RB Rock Cartwright, No. 28

    S Trenton Robinson (D-6A), No. 30

    S Mark Legree, No. 35

    RB Brandon Jacobs, No. 45

    OLB Cameron Johnson (D-7), No. 50

    OLB Darius Fleming (D-5), No. 58

    OT Garrett Chisolm, No. 60

    C Jason Slowey (D-6B), No. 62

    G Joe Looney (D-4), No. 66

    WR Randy Moss, No. 84

    * No. 14 apparently is temporary for Manningham. He wore No. 82 in New York. That number currently is worn by tight end Nate Byham.

  37. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NJ- I’m already all over the NT Star from Utah. I can’t remember his name but Ohio St will have a top notch NT coming out too. I’ll be watching both this year. USC has a guy that might start developing this year too. So far, it looks like the next draft might be much better at the top for D-linemen than this year’s.

  38. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit’s team, Texas, will have a couple of good DE prospects, as will LSU. More NTs to watch this year are the kids from Cal and Georgia. The one from Cal kind of sounds like Justin Smith. The one from Georgia is about 350lbs. I would also think LSU will have DTs to watch, they always do. I know people are raving about their DEs. I thought Chapmann from Alabama would’ve been a 3rd round steal in this year’s draft, but it sounds like we were locked onto OG/Looney.

  39. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    The DEs from Texas are Jackson Jeffcoat who’s dad Jim was a DL for thew Cowboys and Alex Okafor.
    Both are pretty decent pass rushers. Texas also has an outstanding FS Kenny Vaccaro who has a nose for the ball. Texas A&M will be in the SEC but they have a LB who is following in Von Miller’s footsteps and some say he’s better. Remember the name Sean Porter.


  40. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Terrel Suggs of the Ravens tore his Achilles and is out for the year.

  41. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    According to Pro Football Focus, the 49ers had the second best player in the NFL last year, and it was not Patrick Willis.

  42. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Other 49er players on the PFF Top 101:
    14. NaVorro Bowman
    20. Patrick Willis
    45. Ray McDonald
    64. Aldon Smith (as a part-timer!)
    78. Carlos Rogers
    No 49er offensive player made the top 101.

  43. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Did Tebow make the list?

  44. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Nope . . .

  45. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    You’d think VD or Gore could have made the top 101.

  46. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Gore is not what he used to be. He can still break off a few big runs, but they are gradually becoming less frequent. Too many of his carries end up being two yards (or one) and a cloud of dust. Some of that is box stacking, some of it is just wear and tear on an aging RB.
    VD makes some real highlight catches. But he is not in the class of guys like Gates, Graham and Gronk. Too many guys ahead of him at a position which is not so glamorous. He probably just missed the cut.
    Having six of our 12 top defenders on the list is pretty awesome. One or two offensive players and we’d be hard to stop. Particularly if one ends up being our QB.
    Personally, I would put Andy Lee on that list. Even though he only is in for a half dozen plays a game, the effect he has on field position and game flow is huge.

  47. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Ginn’s up there as well. The Niners ST was a very unsung part of how the did dso well. They shortened the field in their favor many many times a game.

    If Ginn doesn’t get hurt, we go to the Super Bowl.

  48. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    Tebow did not make that list Chuck. He made the list of players who went to the playoffs and won a game in his first year in the league.
    Elite! The man is Elite!

  49. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Steve young has 3 Super Bowl rings. He didn’t earn 2 of them . . .

  50. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    “Steve young has 3 Super Bowl rings. He didn’t earn 2 of them . . .”

    Are you serious?
    Do you really want to stand by this statement?

  51. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Joe was the starter on the 1988 and 1989 teams, Chuck… but Young started three games each year when Montana was hurt. We was 2-1 in ’88 and 3-0 in ’89. Without his relief performances, we might not have made the playoffs at all in ’88, and might have not gotten home field advantage in ’89. He wasn’t Joe by a long shot, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say he didn’t earn his rings.

  52. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    I know, I know. Just the point that if I hear again how f**king great Tebow is, I’m gonna go postal. The guy beat some shitty teams and won a playoff game.
    Let’s annoint him the Chosen One. Or how about the punt protector? All you have to do is wear your religion like a cloak of invincibility and earthly rewards are all yours for the taking. Lord, let me be chaste. Just not right now. St. Augustine has nothing on Tim Tebow.
    I don’t envy Mark Sanchez much. He’s proven he can win playoff games. But now that the Jets defense is on the decline, Sanchez will get the blame. When Tebow comes in, the skies will open and God himself will sit on the 50 yard line to watch and make sure everything goes right. Some people just can’t do things for themselves.
    Cue NoFear. A few of his buzzwords were tripped. Alex Smith!

  53. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    1988 there was a 3 way tie for 1st place in the NFC West with Niners, Rams and Aints at 10-6.
    The Aints lost the tiebreaker
    and were shutout of the playoffs.
    Steve Young started 3 games and Niners were 2-1. Without one of those regular season wins no playoffs and no Super Bowl for the Niners.
    I would say Young definitely earned all 3 of his rings.

  54. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Tebow’s sandlot mojo won some games for them including one playoff game. He has a very tough road ahead of him trying to learn to play like an NFL QB – his mechanics are a mess. If he’d had better coaching in college this conversation might be very different. If he keeps working hard, he has a shot, but it’s going to be a slim one.
    On the other hand, no one was more unprepared for the NFL than Alex in 2005. Somehow he survived, got more chances, and became a middle of the pack NFL starter. If Tebow has half that luck, who knows? Stranger sh1t has happened. Once upon a time there was a flinger of wounded ducks named Billy Kilmer…

  55. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Chuck is the master of arguing with himself. No one, especially not yours truly, ever said Tebow was great. Except Chuck. Here’s Chuck playing with his straw man:
    Chuck: Tebow’s f’in great!!!
    Chuck: No HE’S NOT!
    Chuck: Yes, HE IS!
    Chuck: No, HE’S NOT!
    ad nauseum until he finally wins the argument with himself. Why he thinks anyone else is interested is beyond me.

  56. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Pavlov’s dog answers the bell.
    Hyuk! Some of us left the playground years ago. NoFear? He’s the creepy guy sitting on the bench.
    Hey aqualung . . .

  57. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    RTF, I’m replying to Phil. And NoFear. They both have a pretty big crush on the guy. And, Phil last year wasn’t Timmy’s rookie year.
    He was drafted in 2010 and started 3 games that year (1-2).

  58. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    You’re welcome.

  59. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I like the guy, too, Chuck. A lot. I think he’s a terrific prospect. Peyton Manningesque work ethic, public enough to absorb criticism that otherwise would be directed at others on the team, the definition of enthusiasm… and if you saw him in those 4th qtr comebacks he led this year, he doesn’t wilt under pressure despite his obvious drawback.
    He needs to relearn how to pass to greatly shorten his release. Everrrrrybody knows that.
    The operative word is “prospect”.

  60. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Well, he absorbed about 95% of the accolades that should have gone to the team as well. I have no problem with hi as a player. i think he’s using his faith as a tool for other purposes.
    And show me where I ever said Tebow was great, per your 6:49 post.

  61. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Gee, Chuck, I wouldn’t know. Your posts this afternoon about the 101 list just happened, coincidentally, to mention Tebow in lieu of over 1500 other players in the league. Funny that.

  62. phil fanNo Gravatar says:

    Chuck hasn’t been the same since Skeebs outed his stinky feet. I think.
    Funny how Tebone keeps entering the conversation. Well somebody’s gotta take Del Mar’s place in the new “I hate the QB” controversy.

  63. phil fanNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks. You know me right? Always fact based, never an opinion on offer. hahaha
    “This glass ain’t half full, it’s completely empty”. Kinda goes well with “The Bone is the anti-Christ of QBs”.
    Not sure about that either. Same with the Crab dilemma- Just for fun right?

  64. phil fanNo Gravatar says:

    Luckily Tebone ain’t on the Niners or we would be heading for a first class crisis which prolly gonna be the fate of the Jets. This would make the Alex controversy seem like, well a Sunday church meetin’.
    And pray Tebow’s team, whoever it is, whatever his position, never ever beats the Niners.

  65. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    A reminder of the greatness of Justin Smith from SBNation

  66. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Willis and Bowman working hard and striving to even be better in 2012.


  67. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Allowing Sopoaga to play his natural game, instead of staying in one spot and reading, has really kept some bodies off of our LBs. Our LBs are so fast and instinctive that if we keep them in playing space they are game changers. The attention Justin Smith gets helps the LBs a lot too, but the great job Sope did last year has practically been unnoticed.

  68. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Bryant McKinny is trying to slim down to 350 lbs. Be careful. The Heart Attack burger grill in Las Vegas will give free burgers to ONLY people weighing over 350lbs! If you are under 350lbs you have to pay for your burger.

  69. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Soap and McDonald (and J Smith to a lesser extent) were pretty much under the radar. Except for the upcoming offenses who had to figure out how to deal with them.
    Which is how an effective 3-4 defense works. We could get into how Nolan’s approach and Fangio’s approach differ, but that’ll set off the NoFear buzzer.
    Didja hear another patron (a woman this time) had to be Medivac-ed out of that place Bergs?

  70. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Well, Soap did not do so well at the nose in Nolan’s system when he was tried there early in his career. Which is probably both due to lack of experience, AND Nolan’s style of 3-4 which is more traditional. Noe personally I don’t think the traditional 3-4 front is all that bad – but you need a certain kind of fireplug space-eating guy to play the nose in that system. Nolan’s failing was not in the system, it was in not aggressively going after a guy who could make that system work. Put a Ratliff or a Hampton in Nolan’s system and it would have looked a lot better. He should have drafted accordingly. I know we needed a lot of help, but the nose is the cornerstone of a 3-4. It’s one of the first things you should address, IMHO. He tried at OLB – but Manny Lawson, very unexpectedly for a converted DE, turned out to be better at coverage and setting the edge than at getting after the QB. I don’t fault Nolan for that one. But I never got why he didn’t try harder to get the big dude in the middle.

  71. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Great story about Junior Seau and the kind of man he was:


    Truly a shame.

  72. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    I see yer back from the playground, aqualung. The press is a fickle fan? I wouldn’t know. You on the other hand are Mike Nolan’s sole protector and guardian. Your childish grudge against Steve Young is also laughable. It gets even harder to take whan all you do is make oblique references to percieved slights to the people you hold on to as above reproach. Your crushes are so cute, NoFear.
    You always profess that others spout what the read. You don’t know shit either. You certainly respond on command though, skippy. I got to give you that.

    Hey, you know the story of the blind squirrel and his nuts, don’tcha? I have given Nolan props, at the time and over the years, for finding players and getting rid of dead wood in his first couple years. After he turned into Cap’t. Queeg, well he lost the team and his fan base. Except for you. Awwww.

  73. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    It comes down to occupy or penetrate, NoFear. Gee, that wasn’t so hard, was it?
    Next, I can teach you about spread offense and shotgun formations.
    You’re welcome.

  74. robNo Gravatar says:

    i like crabtree ! i also like tebow … he just isn’t a very good starting QB !

  75. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    11 years in the Federal pokey for Art Schlicter… Now I think we have an all-time winner in the “biggest bust” contest.

  76. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Sopoaga was here when Nolan was hired. Nolan did not go out and get him. Donahue drafted him, in (I think) the 4th round.
    BTW, Nolan was a bad coach. Did the press tell me to say that? No. I saw it for myself. Any moron could figure that out. The ones who couldn’t see it might not be smart enough to be a moron.

  77. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Official list of signed undrafted free agents with capsules on each.
    Garret Celek has a degree in packaging.


  78. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Niners also released a highlight video of their draft picks to hype, publicize and justify their picks.


  79. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    FYI Jason Slowey (6th rd pick)was first draft choice of the Niners to sign a contract.

  80. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I hope NoFear didn’t read anything in the press today. I wouldn’t want him to learn anything or cop an attitude. The press is a dangerous thing for NoFear. It could interfere with his own opinion. I’m thinking he must get his news by being behind the scenes in Santa Clara because based on his comments he doesn’t read the press. Or maybe he is Mike Nolan? In any case, I would bet his nose smells like Nolan’s butt.

  81. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    They’re about to run the Kentucky Derby and the horse with the name that suits this blog best is “I’ll Have Another” which is a classic I’ll drink to that!
    Skoal Brother!

  82. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    How about that, I’ll Have Another won! Should’ve put money on him
    as he was 14-1. Then again I never have bet on any horse in my life.

  83. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit called I’ll Have Another to win the Derby but he didn’t put a dime on him?
    Unbelievable. Well. I guess the good news is at least you didn’t lose any money as yours truly did on the Derby. I lost a little. But you know who lost a ton this off season? That’s right. The 49ers. We didn’t get Peyton Manning. We are so screwed. You heard it here first and for the first of many times…#11 will get injured and not play the full complement of 16 games this year. How many? Not sure. But he’s going to get injured. Trust me.
    Did we sign Peyton Manning yet?

  84. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Rob! WTF are you? Give me a call. I need a winner for Talladega tomorrow. I’m thinking “Happy” Harvick and the #29 Team, but I keep hearing “Junior’s gonna break his drought.” What say you?
    Frank just woke up. I best go get him some fish and shrimp. 😛

  85. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Del- Why are you worried about #11 getting injured. I thought you hated him? Would not that be a good thing in the Del Mar Dennis world?

  86. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    I know nothing about the ponies
    but just like the name. Out of 20 horses he won. Should save that kind of luck for somehting meaningful like the Mega Millions Lottery or a big pt in poker.

  87. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Ntional Football Post has Jim Harbaugh as the 5th best coach in their coach’s power rankings..
    Take this for what it’s worth because their #1 will suprise you and you might feel shaken after seeing who it is.


  88. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    bullit- Do not show that list to NoFear. Mike Nolan is not in the top 5. NoFear could go Jr Seau.

  89. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit we’re good –
    Leave it in the rearview mirror –
    We’re both still rooting for the same Team.

  90. phil fanNo Gravatar says:

    Man’s body found in stable at the Kentucky Derby
    Continuing the morbid streak. Del Mar! Dennis are you still with us? Just asking.
    Just not as much fun watching the paint dry and the grass after all the fun and games of last week.

  91. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    I’m still here. So sorry to disappoint. That body was found in barn 8. If and when I die at the track, it’ll be at barn 11. And you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be taking someone and that #11 with me.

  92. robNo Gravatar says:

    interesting take on our draft !

    2012 NFL Draft Individual Grades:

    30. A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois: C- Grade
    This is bizarre. Did the 49ers know that Coby Fleener, Cordy Glenn and Stephen Hill were still on the board, or were they thrown off because the first round was going by so quickly? I don’t get it. This is a huge reach. Here’s where A.J. Jenkins ranked on the major big boards: 67, 76, 57, 73 and 70. Yeesh.

    61. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon: C Grade
    Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Brandon Jacobs… where does LaMichael James fit in? James fits the range, but I feel like the 49ers could have used this selection more wisely. I mean, with James and Hunter, how many small running backs can you possibly have on your roster?

    117. Joe Looney, G, Wake Forest: B Grade
    Joe Looney had injury concerns entering the 2012 NFL Draft, and that’s why I put him in the sixth round of my mock. He must have checked out well with the 49ers though. If he’s healthy, this is a good pick. San Francisco lost Adam Snyder in free agency and needed to find a capable replacement.

    165. Darius Fleming, DE/OLB, Notre Dame: C+ Grade
    It’s never a bad idea to add another pass-rusher, but Darius Fleming had just nine sacks in the past two years. I’m not crazy about this selection, but I don’t hate it.

    180. Trenton Robinson, S, Michigan State: A Grade
    Trenton Robinson was ranked as high as No. 115 on a major big board, and he was No. 130 on the consensus chart. He provides great value in the sixth round, and he fills a need because the 49ers had to improve their safety depth.

    199. Jason Slowey, C, Western Oregon: C Grade
    The 49ers need a successor for Jonathan Goodwin, who is just a short-term solution at center. There were better prospects available at the position, however.

    237. Cam Johnson, DE/OLB, Virginia: A+ Grade
    Talk about a steal – Cam Johnson was No. 50 on Mike Mayock’s big board. It’s unbelievable that he fell to the middle of the seventh round. His work ethic is a concern, but still, he should have gone much earlier than this.


  93. robNo Gravatar says:

    i for one really like both of our top two picks ! the two 0-linemen could be good picks too !

    i’m now starting to like the cam johnson pick !

  94. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Cam fell because of Sickle Cell Anemia. His endurance is questionable. Doesn’t look like whoever wrote this was even aware of that. Not sure who produced this, but I am not overly impressed. Same talking heads probably did not like some of our picks last year either. Let’s see the product on the field for a few years and then we’ll talk.

  95. robNo Gravatar says:


    a lot had johnson going rd 2-3 ! i thinks he might be a good addition to our D-LINE group . maybe he gets in for a few plays here and there !
    last year i called almost all of our picks probable reaches except maybe aldon smith and hunter ! baalke made a believer out of me with picks like culliver about a round before i thought he might go and some of our others !
    i can’t wait for the first mini-camps when the coaching staff get their first good look at our draft picks !

  96. FranchiseNo Gravatar says:

    While Silatolu’s pancakes were served with blueberries, whipped cream, and extra syrup, Slowey’s were more whole wheat and much less filling. But still fun to watch on film.   

    Picks like Slowey are examples of true scouts doing their homework.   

  97. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Grading of draft picks is a joke especially before they even have a rookie minicamp.
    If you follow the particular draft guru’s script you get outstanding grades. Go against them and they give you low marks.
    Prime example is Aldon Smith last year and several guys had to revise their opinions or look foolish.

  98. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Our draft making a difference for this year is meaningless. You know why? Of course you do…
    Did we sign Peyton Manning yet?

  99. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    NF: +1.
    The only change we are making in our defensive starting 11 is plugging in Aldon as a full-time player, due to his emergence over Parys at that position. And Parys remains as a sub. That stability should help us this year.

  100. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    OK? What gives?
    Who stole your, ugh…..ER?

  101. robNo Gravatar says:

    in my limited experience , walter football has been a VERY good reference ! i’m not too sure who exactly was behind this review ! sometimes btw people who do this kind of thing for a living tend to spend sooo much time at it (and might not be quite as good at it as some ) that they put way too much emphasis on formulas and numbers and they miss the big picture !

    “Our draft making a difference for this year is meaningless. You know why? Of course you do…

    Did we sign Peyton Manning yet?”
    CHEER UP before last year you would have said the same thing if asked this …

    can the 49ers not only go to the playoffs but win a game in ’em with alex smith at QB !

  102. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Is Spitty up to his old tricks?

  103. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    The broken record keeps on skipping.
    Right, skippy?

  104. phil fanNo Gravatar says:

    Yes! We signed P Manning! This is a good and exciting thing guaranteed to elevate us to the ranks of, well, Eli Manning. Rejoice, we signed Manning! Nice of you to join us! Rejoice!

    Signed, Bronks Fan

    I mean really…

  105. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I see the Draft process as any other business investment.
    Sometimes you nail it, sometimes it nails you.
    NoFear I just get a little uneasy with the identity thing in the good ‘ol blogosphere.
    Remnants of the Insider and a guy named V.
    Too much trolling and it’s very easy to pirate an identity.
    Glad it wasn’t a successful hi-jack attempt.
    You’ve got a great logo. I’d hate to see it put to bad use.

  106. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Sorry for not putting up any new content, guys, but I’ve been laid low by a nasty flu bug.

  107. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Get well, Skeebs.
    I think our defense will play well this year. I doubt that we get another +28 turnover differential though. Numbers like that are rare, even for a good team. I expect a regression to the mean, with the offense needing to carry more of its own weight with fewer short fields. We’ll see how successful they are at that.

  108. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebers- Get your flu over the cuckoo’s nest and we’ll read the new post when you get better.

  109. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Last Year the team ranked 30th in the NFL in Red Zone chances in scoring TDs with around 40% success. The previous year they had 47% success in scoring TDs.
    Detroy led the league with 66%,
    Jets, Pack and Pats at 65%.
    Gnats won Super Bowl withy 54%.
    This is an area that must be improved by 12-15%. If nothing else Moss can help running fades
    and jump balls as well as James
    who has a nose for the goal line
    in tight spaces. Both present a different dynamic. Main thing is
    the problem is realized and they are attempting to correct it.

  110. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Well, they did address the major problems that they had last year. WR, short yardage (remember Dixon failing 2x to get 1 yard?), and overall team speed. The red zone (in)effectiveness will hopefully be helped by guys like Jacobs and maybe even the UDFA TE Garrett Celek. He’s a big target at 6’5″ – 255 lb.
    The defense? I don’t think they’ll regress too much. They have too many guys who are too proud to let things slip back in any way. But Grump’s right about the turnovers. +28 is an anomaly. +10 is a realistic goal. The offense’s seeming stodginess had a lot to do with the huge disparity. 5 INTs and 5 fumbles are verrrrrry low numbers. Those look to go up if they ratchet up this offense a couple notches.
    The D will have to stop teams the old fashioned way, and force 3-and-outs.

  111. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    The thing I didn’t get is the disappearance of VD in the red zone. I guess he was doubled most of the time, but it’s like they didn’t even try to go to him down close. And if they were doubling him, shouldn’t someone else have been open?
    Wish I had some game tapes . . .

  112. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Niners signed another undrafted Free Agent today and this guy’s a beast. Per Matt Maiocco
    “That group grew by one on Monday, as the 49ers signed Texas A&M defensive tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie (6-5, 301) as an undrafted rookie. He was a second-team All-Big 12 selection last season. In 51 career games (38 starts), he recorded 148 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks.”

    This guy will challenge the present DL guys. Watch for him starting this weekend. He could turn out to be a steal.

  113. robNo Gravatar says:

    wow nice one ! why did this guy go undrafted ?

  114. robNo Gravatar says:

    wow ! just got back from tarpon fishing in boca grande pass with captain todd gilbert ! he’s the best guide in the area btw !
    we caught an 150 lb tarpon and just before we let him go he got eaten right off the hook by an 850 lb hammerhead ! took him three bites !

    wow !

  115. robNo Gravatar says:

    Tony Jerod-Eddie, DE/DT, Texas A&M
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 301.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.06.
    Arm: 34 3/8. Hand: 9 1/4.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-7.
    4/25/12: Jerod-Eddie started the year extremely well with three sacks against SMU. After that, he recorded only one more sack during the regular season. Jerod-Eddie had 56 tackles with seven tackles for a loss and five sacks in 2011. He had good pass-rushing opportunities, but did not get a lot of heat on the quarterback.

    At the Senior Bowl, Jerod-Eddie fared better in the one-on-ones. He did not work out at the Combine.

    8/21/11: Tony Jerod-Eddie was expected to produce more in 2010, but had only 2.5 tackles for a loss with 49 tackles last season. He still was named an All-Big XII honorable mention for his run defense. Jerod-Eddie made some bad headlines for grabbing the groin of Nebraska’s Ben Cotton in a pile. He has some athletic ability and could fit as a 3-4 defensive end.

  116. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Underachiever who had a bad senior year. Claim to fame is grabbing an opponents “boys” so has rep as dirty player.
    Costs nothing to take a look.

  117. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Get well Skeebs –
    Jerod-Eddie –
    He’s a big bodied interior guy-
    Run stuffer with the frame to add bulk.
    Displays good core strength and is stout at the point of attack. Possesses a good power base and does a nice job of manning his gap. Flashes ability to anchor against double-teams. Does not possess quick and violent hands but shows good upper body strength to disengage from blocks. Redirection and lateral skills are marginal to consistently make plays outside of the tackle box. Flashes playmaking instincts but does not show them with any type of consistency at this point.

  118. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Good spot for him to prove his mettle. A solid Defense with high expectations could help keep me motivated –
    Add this from his bio –
    Displays very good core strength and toughness at the point of attack. Shows good fight in a phone booth and works to get off blocks. Motor is a bit inconsistent though. Does not give consistent effort chasing in pursuit.

  119. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Meant to say – Keep HIM motivated

  120. robNo Gravatar says:


    COOL !
    i’m planning on a tat soon too ! sure but think it will either be niners or deep purple !

  121. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Braylon Edwards is rumored to be signing with the Bengals and Chargers have cut Travis Laboy
    in ex-Niner news.

  122. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    30-1 against Braylon making it a full season on the Bengals roster. They have enough young talent there now that an unproductive older vet doesn’t make sense unless someone gets hurt. More likely, it would be Braylon who is hurt.

  123. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Matt Barrows says the Niners didn’t sign any Rookie FA QBs and didn’t draft a QB so the question is who’s going to be the QB this weekend?
    Ridiculous to think that Harb augh can do it because that will take away from him being the head coach.
    So they need to get some “camp arms” for the rookie minicamp and that’s gotta happen in the next 2 days asthe minicamp starts on Friday.
    I thought Tolzein would qualify but he might have dressed for a game or 2 as the 3rd QB otherwise he would be one of those guys

  124. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    I’m sure Harbaugh can do it.

  125. FranchiseNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve sent in my résumé. Waiting to hear back from Jimbo.

  126. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

2021 Schedule
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26 · 5:20 PM v GB
10/03 · 1:05 PM v SEA
10/10 · 1:25 PM @ AZ
10/17 BYE
10/24 · 5:20 PM v IND
10/31 · 10:00 AM @ CHI
11/07 · 1:25 PM v AZ
11/15 · 5:15 PM v LAR
11/21 · 10:00 AM @ JAX
11/28 · 1:25 PM v MIN
12/05 · 5:20 PM @ SEA
12/12 · 10:00 AM @ CIN
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