Halfway House

How nice of the NFL to give the Niners a BYE week so the Bay Area can concentrate on rooting for the Giants to win the World Series.

It’s been a strange beginning to the 2014 season. The new stadium opened with great fan fare, then came the rumors of a locker room revolt against HC Jim Harbaugh to the arrest of Ray McDonald for domestic violence to the shabby, penalty assisted losses to the Bears and the Cardinals.

It was expected that the defense would struggle without arguably its two best players — Aldon Smith and Navorro Bowman. But, with the exception of the second half of the Bronco game and the rash of penalties in games two and three, the defense has played respectably well. Not great, but okay enough for an explosive offense to win games.

Unfortunately, the offense has been just good enough or just not good enough, which is a bit of a disappointment. We anticipated “prolific” attached to this unit, given the new four deep WR group. That has not been the case, so far. Perhaps injuries to the O-line and the TEs have something to do with the under-performance of the offense. Perhaps the “it’s new, we’re working on it” explanation has some value. Whatever. It hasn’t been championship caliber by any means.

The biggest surprise this year might be Jim Harbaugh’s mostly rational behavior on the sidelines. He hasn’t been screaming at the refs like a roided out maniac, so either he’s learned this behavior might be counter-productive, or he’s ingesting beta blockers in the locker room.

The biggest disappointment has easily been Tank Carradine. This DT/DE was counted on to be a force this year, at least as a pass rusher. Instead, he’s been inactive every week but one, and didn’t get in the game the one time he was activated. A complete zero this year. Ahmad Brooks has been another underachiever, and we may see rookie Aaron Lynch taking some of Ahmad’s snaps when Aldon returns.

Michael Crabtree has also been disappointing. He’s nominally our number one WR, but both Stevie Johnson and Brandon Lloyd have outplayed him. They have similar numbers to Crabtree in only half as many snaps. And their catches have almost always been crucial plays. This is Crabtree’s contract year, and he was expected to put up big numbers. He has not.

The surprising vulnerability of the Seahawks is the best tonic for the 49ers 4-3 record, the worst seven game mark of the Harbaugh era. With two good teams in the NFC East and two good ones in the NFC North, there might not be room for a wild card entrant from the NFC West. The team will need to get healthy and get on a roll to make it’s fourth straight trip to the playoffs.

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92 comments on “Halfway House
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    No surprise to me the Seahawks are vulnerable. They allowed 3 key defensive linemen get away in the off season.

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Probably get a clue just how real the Arizona threat is the next two weeks. They play Philly and Dallas back to back, home and away.

  3. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yup. We are at the (relatively) easier part of our schedule.

    Sea in Carolina isn’t a cakewalk either. Seattle’s locker roomis crackling under the pressure of the recent losses, and Carolina is pissed after their beatdown by the Packers. I just don’t know why the Panthers are so crappy.

    We shouldn’t have lost to Chicago. That’s the only game that pisses me off. There’s no shame in losing in AZ, even though we screwed that game all up. The Bears at home though? Blehhh.

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Carolina like to run the Singletary Sardine Can Offense. A team needs a great defense to be a winner running that fan favorite of an offense. They are also finding out how good Steve Smith was for them.

  5. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, he was pretty good at loosening up other defenses. Pretty dumb move on their part.

  6. winderNo Gravatar says:

    I could definitely see Crabs going to Seattle next yr. If I was the brass I would draft nothing but linemen for both sides of the ball and Linebackers in 2015. I think our CB’s are ok but we just can’t get the pressure we need to disrupt their QB’s. It would be nice to see us play a complete game this year and something has to be done about the G-danmed refs.

  7. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Well, I see Dallas in Crabtree’s future, but still and all, he’s gone after this year. Stevie Johnson is just as good, if not a little faster, and won’t demand a shitload of money for being a semi-disinterested party.

    If we healthy up this year, I love our LB corps as it stands now. I’d go strong D line. Carradine is too much like Nate Davis it appears. And CB. And WR. They’ll get one yet.

  8. winderNo Gravatar says:

    yeah, i forgot about Dallas, but they already have better WR’s than Crabs. I have a feeling that our LB’s might have had their best days. I think both lines need the most work. And, if there is a lock cb then that should be highly considered.

  9. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    Hard for any good receiver to make history, or a bunch of money, here in our run-first offense. Crabtree would be nuts to re-up here.

    Stevie was in Buffalo for five years. When they drafted Sammie, Stevie had to go. So I don’t think Stevie was what they were looking for in a number one receiver. He’s played about a third of the snaps that Boldin has so he may not fare quite as well if he was drawing the coverage Crabs and Boldin do.

    Johnson’s played about a third of the snaps that Boldin has and way less than half of what Crabtree has.

  10. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Crabs has made some really nice catches but he seems to always be injured. However, with this probably being Gore’s last year and our supposedly changing offensive philosophy who knows what could happen. i just hope he doesn’t go to Seattle.

  11. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Johnson has caught upwards of 80 balls in 3 of his 6 seasons.

    He’s not going to tire out. Christ, he’s the same age as Crabs.

  12. Del Mar Dennis (@DelMarDennis)No Gravatar says:

    Chuck, our team lost to ARZ with Drew effing Stanton at QB.
    That’s the ultimate shame.

  13. Del Mar Dennis (@DelMarDennis)No Gravatar says:

    Let me ask you people sumthin’. You seem to think we have a built-in excuse for our humiliating loss to Manning and his Broncos because we were short on defense.

    OK. Would you rather like to have Aldon, Bowman, PW and a healthy secondary back. BUT, we’d have to start Blaine Gabbert in a rematch tomorrow?

    That’s what I thought. There are no excuses for injuries in football unless you’ve lost your QB. Otherwise, STFU and next man up.

  14. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    Let me ask you sumthin’. You seem to think that being the “next man up” makes you as good a player as the guy that kept you from making the starting line up. It doesn’t, btw. Do you remember how close we came to beating Peyton with just back from injury Alex Smith?

    With a full week or two of practice with the first team I would rather have the defense back healthy and Gabbert in a rematch.

    And I don’t think we have any excuse to play as bad as we did against Denver.

  15. BegerNo Gravatar says:

    We weren’t going to beat Denver even if we were healthy. We’re still learning to play offense and it might not happen this year if the O-line doesn’t get their act together. Denver’s defense is way overlooked. If they stay healthy they will win the SB. They stacked the D-line this off season and that is was the final piece to the puzzle IMO.

  16. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    What is a Beger? I was mad at myself earlier when I used ‘their’ when I should have used ‘there’ but now I can’t even spell my own name.

    Time to get drunk and talk to my good buddy who died earlier this week. We sure spent enough time when we were young to know exactly what the other would say in any conversation. I got the news earlier this week he died just as I was leaving the house to go to work. I cried a couple of times at work. I might come on and tell you guys a couple stories about this guy later. We’ll see.

    The church for his ceremony holds only 230 and they are afraid the crowd might be way more. He’s had over 30 requests to speak about him. I was not one of the requesters but the family has chosen only three speakers. They are going to be his mother, brother and me. I just loved this guy. This is two of my best friends I have lost this year. One guy was 60 and the other 53. Way too young. Have fun guys, you never know when it’s going to end.

    And like I always say, Go 49ers!

    And like Steve Sabol said, “Life is good football is better.”

    Especially when the 49ers win.

  17. Del Mar Dennis (@DelMarDennis)No Gravatar says:

    NF, screw just the week or two. I’ll give your boy Gabbert a whole entire year or two to practice with the first team. That team still won’t come close to winning.

    Do you actually think a healthy defense is worth 25 pts.? We lost 42-17 Fer Chrissakes … A HOF QB like Manning isn’t even worth 25 pts. Let alone a healthy 49er defense.

    So let me get this straight. NF would prefer Blaine Gabbert at QB, a well prepared Blaine Gabbert, and a healthy Niner D to play Denver again, rather then having Kap as our QB?


  18. Del Mar Dennis (@DelMarDennis)No Gravatar says:

    Berger, so sorry for your loss. You know you can pick up the phone and I’ll lend you an ear any day, any time.

    That’s what 49er friends do for one another.

  19. Del Mar Dennis (@DelMarDennis)No Gravatar says:

    Skeebers, could you please look into why the YouTube videos don’t show up on the blog rather than just providing the link? I think I mentioned it before, but it just doesn’t work the same w/o seeing the visual, and *then* having to hit play to complete the joke.

    I really would appreciate it if you could rectify the problem.

  20. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll tell you guys a sports story more about a mutual friend than about my friend. But my buddy, Billy, was a big event type of guy so this story fits. And we all shared the moment.

    We went to an Angels Game in the 80’s. They were playing the Red Sox. We brought a friend named Glen. We knew Glen a bit because we had played softball with him for a couple of years and he drank beer like us but he wasn’t one of the regulars we did a ton of stuff with.

    We get to the game and the three of us are sitting not far from the Red Sox bullpen. We got a couple of beers each and sat down. Glen’s favorite player was Rich Gedman of the Sox. He was not starting at catcher that day and Glen could see him about 50 feet away. He had to have an autograph. He and Billy went to talk to him, while the game was underway, and while I stayed in my seat.

    My friend was amazing at getting anywhere he wanted to go. I partied on Eddie Rabbit’s tour bus with Wolfman Jack and Freddie Fender. He got me back stage numerous times, but the big one for me was not only getting to meet Steve Hackett(Genesis) my favorite guitarist along with Dave Gilmour(Pink Floyd), but I got to have a conversation with him. My friend was also friends with Terrie Bozio who some think is the best drummer in the world. He was a guy who could talk to anybody high or low and make instant friends. We used to strike up conversations with bums.

    Well the next thing I know my buddy is waving me over. I get there and we have a dinner date with Rich Gedman, and of course, his autograph. The two of them leave me there to go get more beer. Gedman and I are talking about some of the good looking women in the crowd when suddenly we here ‘BERGER’! We look up and Glen is flashing his bare ass at me. It was the grossest BA I ever saw. His balls were hanging down. Just a grizzly sight. Gedman and I looked at each other with disgust.

    We all get back to our seat and have fresh large beers. A couple of security guys come down to our area looking around and then start looking at us. They point to Glen and tell him to come them. He is defiant and refuses. They try to grab him and he pushes back and says wait, he grabs his fresh large beer and drinks the entire cup. He then says, OK now I’ll go.

    My buddy and I have no idea what is going on. The stadium police have Glen sitting up against a cement wall and surrounded. They aren’t saying anything and Glen is shouting out, you have to tell me why I am here. I want your names. My uncle is the fire captain for LA county. You have to tell me what is going on.

    Just then a security guy says “Mister, you just mooned 13 million people in Boston!” My buddy and I had to take a short walk to laugh off the stunning news. Apparently the cameras were showing the bullpen at that moment. We walked about 100 feet away and came right back. A security guy takes me to the side and asked if his uncle was really the fire captain of LA county. I told him I don’t know, I just play softball with the guy. Which was true. Glen gets kicked out of the stadium and Billy and I went with him. I had to go tell Gedman we wouldn’t be showing for dinner. He told me he saw and understood. We laughed and I caught up with my friends.

    Outside the stadium Billy says, that was fun Berger Baby, what should we do now! I asked Glen if his uncle was the fire captain and he laughed and said no. We found somewhere to cut up on the way home.

  21. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Del- I’m just drinking and talking to my buddy Billy. It would be an honor if you called to interrupt! I know Billy would love it too.

  22. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    Dennis, you’re the one who offered up Gabbert as the quarterback in your question. Now you somehow turn that into Gabbert is my boy and the QB I’d prefer over Kaepernick? You been drinking something stronger than horse piss light?

    And why would you spot Denver or any other team 25 points? If we’d started with the defense I wanted they may have only scored six.

    You asked if I would trade a defense of our healthy first teamers and Gabbert for Kaepernick and all the missing starters we had against Denver.

  23. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    So Billy calls me up one Sunday Morning and asks if I want to go to a Dodger game. He has tickets about 10 or 15 rows behind the visiting dugout. I tell him I was partying the night before and I can’t answer that question, find someone else or call me back in an hour. He calls back in an hour and I’m still feeling the night before. We are just talking about stuff and apparently he was partying the night before and was hung over too. There was a lot of dead air on the conversation. During one 60 second space where neither of us spoke he asked why I called him. I answered I’m not sure, another 20 seconds of dead air and I asked him; wait, didn’t you call me. He says oh yeah. I called to see if you wanted to go to the Dodger game. We laughed. I answered “No, but if you are going I am going.”

    I pick him up and we go to the stadium. We get there and the seats are fabulous. But my head hurts. I really did it up the night before. What the heck. It’s not like these days. When did a hangover ever stop a good time back then!

    We’ve got a kid sitting between us and behind us with his mom and dad yelling for every vendor that came down the aisle. Daddy daddy, I want some cotton candy, daddy daddy, I want a soda. It was just killing my headache. Billy’s too.

    I never had a foul ball come my way at a game and always wanted a foul ball, except this day. A ball was hit up in the air and I told Billy it is coming right for us. We looked up in the sky and both of us complained about the pain of looking up in the sky. We both stood in the aisle while the foul ball landed right in between our seats. I said, it figures. It didn’t matter, we were not going to catch it.

    A little while later the kid behind us sees the hot dog vender and yells out, daddy daddy, I want a hot dog. I stand up, turn around and tell the dad, in a very stern voice, get the kid a hot dog. Billy stands up, turns around and avows, before I kill him! The dad stands up says, yes, hot dogs and gets the entire family, including the impish kid, a hot dog.

    By the end of the game we were feeling better and talking with the family behind us, including the kid. The Astros won on the strength of a Jim Pankowitz career day. We left the stadium and ended up having a fantastic day!

  24. Del Mar Dennis (@DelMarDennis)No Gravatar says:

    NF, just a moment sir. You think if our Niners would have started the defense you wanted, the Broncos *may* have only scored six pts. the other night?

    *May* have? *May* have scored only six pts. That’s effing rich.

    Thank you sir, may I have another?

  25. Phil fanNo Gravatar says:

    F Manning and the Broncos. I’d trade the whiny negative nellies on this blog and on blog X for some rational discussion any day but that’s not going to happen. Because chest thumping egotism is a lot easier, requires less thought, more humility, so forget it. Apart from a few here not going to happen. So?

    NF I hope you get a good laugh over some of these “discussions”. I know I do.

    Berger sorry for your loss of a good friend.

  26. Del Mar Dennis (@DelMarDennis)No Gravatar says:

    Who here would forsake their religion if it guaranteed our Niners winning the Super Bowl? God > Football? Football > God?

    If you even hesitated when giving your answer, both you and Bo Schembechler Jr.™ deserve to rot in hell together for the rest of eternity.

  27. Del Mar Dennis (@DelMarDennis)No Gravatar says:

    Here’s another hypothetical that’s been eatin’ away at my innards…would my fellow SF Giants fans have traded our past two WS wins, and possibly a third this year, if it would have meant beating Baltimore in the SB and our Niners winning their 6th Lombardi Trophy without having a blemish on their Super Bowl record?

    That’s an easier answer than the God BS.

  28. Del Mar Dennis (@DelMarDennis)No Gravatar says:

    You should protest about the views of people you disagree with over major moral issues, and argue them down, but you should not try to silence them, however repugnant you find them. That is the bitter pill free speech requires us to swallow. —Julian Baggini

  29. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks Phil! Billy was the best. I can hear his voice right now saying, “what’s shakin’ Berger Baby!”

  30. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    “49ers place CB Chris Cook and Daniel Kilgore on IR; sign S Bubba Ventrone.”

  31. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Phil- I’m up for some rational discussion but it just isn’t possible with some here. If the coaching staff is questioned about anything we are name called “ex spurts” and condescended. Some here think anybody who has spent their life in football makes them some kind of idol. I may not know as much about the game of football as those coaches but I do know that there 32 head coaches in the NFL. Sixteen are better than the other 16. I know when one coach out coaches another. It’s like if you and I see a polar bear in the wild. I don’t have to out run the bear, I just have to out run you.

    We can all plainly see if we choose to who the better coaches are. Mark Schlereth said last week on the radio that half the coaches in the NFL are not qualified. Actually the word he used was “morons.” There is a man who has spent all his life in the game saying that about coaches in the NFL. I guess since he disagrees with some here he is just an ex spurt.

    I have not called for Harbaugh’s head yet but I do question the fact that he has had what most experts say is a the most talented roster in the NFL the last three years and does not have a SB win. We have the players, so what’s wrong? I’ve gone on record clearly stating my gripes only to be denigrated, as expected. I’m OK with that. The only time I ever got insulted is when my military friend who walked down the streets in Iraq with an antenna in his hands got called out. He gambled with his life for us only to be called a fraud. That sounded like an ex spurt military man trying to act like some kind of expert. Then they call me names and get offended when they think they could be getting some of that back. And explain the difference between being condescended and name calling. It might be different but it has the exact same effect which in my view makes it the same thing.

    If one wants an intelligent conversation one needs to only to join in instead throwing comments from the peanut gallery and trying to act like a condescending ex spurt. I’m not going to make fun of anybody trying to come up with a solution. The old saying is “we are smarter than me.” I welcome all thoughts. I just don’t agree with all thoughts and that is where intelligent debate can occur but on a blog that doesn’t happen exactly like that. So you just need to live with it and join in anyway. I can personally say I love having you here. You are a good conversation.

    So I say to you, what’s shakin’ Phil Baby!

  32. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Berger – Sorry to hear about your buddy. I know the feeling I lost two in the same year myself (2010), I can count all my close friends on one hand now.

  33. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks winder. I appreciate it! We are at that age where it starts happening. It’s never easy.

    Now that all my best friends live in other parts of the country, talking to you guys is like talking to my friends. Heck, we’ve all been chatting for so long there is a familiarity here just like good friends. I even talk to few of you on the phone. Anybody who wants to talk leave your phone number on my email at fortyninerberger@yahoo.com. I’ll call you. Don’t ask me for anybody’s number, I don’t give them out unless somebody asks me to.

  34. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    Phil, I do get a laugh out of it and the laugh is usually on me for ever thinking it’s about football. I’ll bet these same ex-spurts are ex-spurts on about anything you could name.

    Berger, it was you who I said is full of shit. Your “justification” for your habit of name calling and trying to marginalize posters that won’t agree with you sort of supports that opinion.

    But I can relate to your putting up stories about your friends who have passed, just be careful you don’t get accused of jerking off to war stories here.

  35. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    Dennis, if we’d have started the defense I chose it is more than highly unlikely the Broncos would have scored as many points as they did with our backups applying zero pressure on him. Manning works hard to prepare and is fairly dependent on his preparation playing out. Jam his short-route receivers, double Demarius and pressure him in the pocket and it’s quite possible the Broncos are adding up their score by threes.

    Drill Gabbert in about a dozen passing plays and run them from multiple formations establishing the run and working the play action. Focus on the field position game and maybe a score from the defense and winning with Gabbert or any journeyman QB is hardly out of the question.

    Trying to beat Manning at his own game with a beat up defense just cost us the game and more injuries. I don’t think that was much of a contest to judge us from.

  36. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear- You can call me full of shit anytime. I don’t get offended easily. Your name calling and then getting offended by someone else supposedly doing it to you is very cute. You did accuse my friend of having a fake uniform, that wasn’t mistakable. Just because I don’t know military hierarchy and awards does it mean my friend is a fraud. You can believe anything you want. That conversation is dead but the feeling remains.

  37. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Reno, we all gotta go sometime; I’m sure your buddy is happy now!

    Your whiny kid story made me think of something long forgotten. My Dad, my brother Jim and I were at a Giants game, oh early ’70s sometime. Third base side about in line with third, upper deck reserved which Dad always got.

    My brother gets a foul ball early on, the only foul ball in our family’s history. He holds it up for the crowd and TV cameras to see (yes, we were playing the Dodgers, and we knew some of our relatives in LA would be watching). Some punk kid is reaching from behind to steal the ball out of my brother’s hand and he’s completely oblivious, basking in his glory. I’m yelling and trying to reach over my brother to get at the kid, but I can’t reach. Well, nothing bad happened. My brother lowers the ball, never even knowing.

    But that’s not the story. Later on in the game, my brother gets ANOTHER ball. TWO! I’m pizzed, but at least we won’t be hopping the fence by the fields back home for awhile, scrambling through the orchard looking for old half-rotted balls for our regular neighborhood games.

    But, later on, a THIRD foul ball comes right to us. This one plops my Dad right on top of the head, bounces behind us, caroms off a concrete step, and lands “Plop!” on the empty seat next to my brother. THREE! But my brother is turned the wrong way, leaning over me and asking my Dad if he’s alright. I’m yelling and trying to push through him to get the ball, which is just sitting there on the empty seat staring right at me and calling me. Alas, somebody else finally snags the ball.

    Afterwards, I’m so mad at my brother, I say, “You should have got the ball!

    “I HAD two.”

    “I didn’t have any!”

    Well, the story had a happy ending. My brother went home with two balls, and my brothers and I were the life of the neighborhood games for a time, and my Dad? Well, he had a bruise to remember!

  38. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    RT- Good story you greedy SOB!LOL!

  39. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    During the game, I remember trying to figure out how many balls I could stuff in my clothes to take home!

  40. Phil FanNo Gravatar says:

    I’m okay, you’re okay. Except for the chronically negative = you’re full of shit.

    Bergs you’re okay. Thanks for sharing your stories, it gives us something to yak about in the bye week. Like you this is my remaining contact with US culture, something good to connect with.

    Our coaching could better esp. on O. Roman is Jimi’s handpicked man at OC (both are Catholic, is that relevant? Loyalty misplaced?) and is likely one of the main reasons Manning signed elsewhere. PM having more experience by far than Roman who was/is not going anywhere. Our problems this season started in off-season and have included suspensions, holdouts, passive/young rookie owner and injuries aplenty. None of which have made adding a more complex passing game w/ multiple new WRs any easier or more effective. Now we will have a rookie center yikes.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out regarding Jimi’s contract extension. Going forward with a rookie/novice OC and still learning QB will continue to have a big impact on the 49ers success or lack thereof as most of the key Niner personnel are young or inexperienced = owner, GM, HC, OC, QB. Compare to Denver it’s night and day. We’re young.

  41. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    All good points Phil. I would add that it would be a lot easier to coach, run and play QB if the O-line would perform better. We run so many formations I think we make things more complicated than it needs to be for now. I really like what we are trying to do it is just frustrating that it isn’t getting done. Your point of everybody being inexperienced is probably a big factor. I wish the coaches would have hired an experienced coach to be an advisor and help with the transition. Maybe if the O-line starts doing well everything will start coming together.

  42. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    My condolences Berger.
    With life,comes death.
    Live everyday as if it were your last.
    Tomorrows is promised to no one.

    Better to laugh today, than to regret a missed opportunity tomorrow.

  43. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    The BYE week gives me a chance to focus on the guys we’re trying to catch.
    I will be a Carolina and Philly fan tomorrow.

    Not holding my breath for Carolina but, Seattle does have to travel, which is always a good thing.

    As for the Denver game?
    Did any of us actually think Peyton wouldn’t get the record on a nationally televised game?
    I just expected us to show up and make it interesting.

    Joking with my Son about it afterward, told him the Aldon suspension being shortened might have had something to do with us taking a fall 😀

    Coincidence that there was a 509 flag getting carried across the field on horseback?
    Yeh, could have been used against SD on TNF too but, we might have agreed to play the patsies to get Aldon back sooner.

  44. Phil FanNo Gravatar says:


    Yeah I agree we need stability and execution from our OL. If M Martin plays ok we have a chance with Staley, Iupati, Boone and Davis alongside. We haven’t had everyone all together at all this year.

    Found this interesting from Maiocco:


    “In seven games, the 49ers used five receivers for only 14 snaps. The 49ers were successful when using a five-receiver set that included Bruce Ellington, Stevie Johnson, Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin and Brandon Lloyd. They averaged 8.07 yards on those 14 plays, including six first downs.

    But the 49ers will not use five-receiver sets as long as Vernon Davis is available. Despite his unimpressive start to the season, Davis is still considered one of the team’s top offensive weapons.”

    Now if Davis can start to be consistent catching the ball…
    Not much 5 WRs but it has worked

  45. Phil FanNo Gravatar says:

    If the Cardinal can go pass crazy against tendencies and blow out Beavers why can’t we? This sounds like what we are trying to do in Ninerland.


    You like this RT?

    “The Cardinal respectfully nudged aside the power running game that has defined its existence for more than five years and opened up the playbook Saturday in a 38-14 victory over Oregon State”

    “Stanford shattered all tendencies against one of the stingiest defenses in the conference, gaining 438 yards and scoring four touchdowns on plays of 37 yards or longer.

    It passed on first down and converted on third down.”

    The whole article is good about what the Cardinal did and why (= the old shit wasn’t working). So will Gro and Niners follow suit?

  46. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Phil Baby!- It’s what I’ve been saying forever(thumping my chest), a 3 WR set is all we need for now as base offense. The reason being, we can run a power running game out this set while having decent options for the QB for pre snap reads. Most teams will not stack the box with this formation. The Rams did, so we passed the ball. The formation has a lot of versatility.

  47. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks NJ. You talked to one of my buddies who died this year. He was from up in your area. I know you liked him. You would have loved Billy Baby!

  48. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    BTW, Billy often called me Berger Baby. So I’d call him Billy Baby right back. This phase will pass, I’ve got Billy on my mind. I helped write his obit today.

  49. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Del, how big of a whiner is Peyton for going off on the scoreboard operator on TNF?

    This is a good reason why he can’t win the Big One.
    He’s too anal.

    Always fun to watch a perfectionist implode.
    Take away his comfort zone and he becomes a whiny little beotch.

    I do hope we’ll have a date with him in the SB this year, at full strength.

  50. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Berger here’s a tune Walter Trout did for a close friend he lost in Viet Nam –
    Might be something to ease your pain –


  51. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NJ- It’s all good. Billy and I talked these situations. I stopped crying yesterday afternoon. I’m smiling and celebrating him today! I had a good drunk last night and talked to him most of the night. That’s where the stories came from.

  52. Phil FanNo Gravatar says:

    It’s all about adjusting and adapting to what life throws at you on any given day. Friend, parents, sibling dies you have a big job of adapting to loss and natural grief, sadness. A process that takes some time of course

    In sports you come into the league with your program and it works for a season or two if you are lucky then everyone else has adjusted and begin to shut you out. You lose here and there and pretty soon it’s not working consistently = time to formulate a new plan and put it into practice. Helps if you’ve seen all this before and have experience overcoming obstacles. The winning culture, winning attitude, winning experience.

    We have some of that at the college level and some players who have excelled at pro level but generally we are young as a team and as an organization. The cure for this is time. That is why I scoff at those who say “We’ll never do it” as if they know what our actual potential is. They don’t but it gives them an excellent opportunity to spew their inherent negativity about their lives on others. No not listening because we do have time and a good foundation from FO to most of our coaching staff and players. We’ll be okay no doubt about it

  53. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Sorry to hear about your friend, Bergs. Getting to that point in life that this kind of thing happens. Parents, siblings, friends . . .

    Funny thing is. I recently got a hold of an old old friend who was a childhood friend from way back. We used to be thick as thieves. Crazy times back in the day, and it was like we hadn’t missed a beat despite the 20 odd years it has been since we been in touch. Kinda like a time warp deal. You just never know when someone will just not be there anymore.

  54. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Berger I’ve told my kids and anyone that cares to listen.
    When my time comes, no formal attire, no tears.

    Bury me in 9er attire.
    Line my coffin with all the pictures of my kids/Grand kids wearing their 9er attire as well.
    Bring a sound system and blast the Blues in my honor.

    Send me out party style.
    If weather permits, have a tailgate and do the honors outdoors.
    Celebrate the good times and screw the Kleenex.

    Be kinda cool to do it ‘Weekend at Bernies’ style 😀

  55. phil fanNo Gravatar says:

    Bear Pascoe scores another TD for Atlanta. They’re up 14-0 on Lions.

  56. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Last minute TD by Sea. 13-9 Sea.

  57. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    BS call on Balt takes away game winning 70 yd TD pass. Cincy gonna win.

  58. Phil FanNo Gravatar says:

    RT we didn’t gain ground this weekend, dang, with the AZ and SEA wins. Going to have to do it on our own

  59. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Sea last minute, AZ with 1:09 left and then they stopped 4 Eagles passes into the EZ at the end. Yeah Phil, as Maxwell Smart would say, missed it by THAT much!

  60. Phil FanNo Gravatar says:

    THAT much, dang, I hate that when it happens. Also the ATL vs DET game was on here Sunday evening and ATL/Matty Ice looked gooood to start and on the 2nd FG attempt (due to delay on Det) they iced ATL. Last second by that much! lol

  61. Phil FanNo Gravatar says:

    Yep Skeebs the schedule is perfect for watching the Giants…here in the halfway house for unreformed sports junkies

  62. Phil FanNo Gravatar says:

    Right on cue Giants score 3 more in 8th.

    Meanwhile anybody want to talk about Leviticus? How bout social justice? No?

  63. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Just want to see the 9ers handle the transition to a new rookie Center Phil.

    Tough spot, given the challenges we’ve endured to this point with the OLine in general.

  64. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Probably a bit of a blessing that GB took the loss tonight too.

    Our game in NOLA could be huge for us, in terms of the WC standings if we can’t catch AZ.
    Gonna be an interesting second half for us.

    Harbaugh better have some answers.

  65. Phil FanNo Gravatar says:

    Oh excellent no Leviticus then, lol.

    Yep NJ praying (not really) M Martin can handle the load at center. That will go a long way to solidifying our OL but is it really likely?

    We’re 2 back of AZ so that’s tough. Maybe we’re good for a wild card? Maybe we can lose 2 more and squeek in?

    It’s a tall order for our O to pull off this crazy year

  66. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Gotta hope Aldon/NaVorro/Dorsey can make contributions for the stretch run Phil.

    We were in all the games thus far.
    Blew leads to AZ and Da Bears.

    We’ve got to address our conservative approach on Offense though.
    Still not happy with the lack of rhythm we find ourselves in too often.

  67. Phil FanNo Gravatar says:

    Agree the O needs to improve w/ OL now healthy (M Martin tho is new) so that Kap has time to get the ball out. It is a lot for the OC to assimilate and I’m not too hopeful we’ll be good enough consistently against better teams = AZ, SEA to go far. We are young and inexperienced in many positions and not just on the field. Not sure about you but I’m prepared to see us fall short this year if it happens.

    Yes we have been in games but our margin for error is small as blowing leads has shown. Others have made the point about consistency w/ Kap and the OL so it is a worry.

  68. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Phil we’re good enough talent wise.
    We’re challenged with blitz pickups and hot routes IMO.

    Philly had the middle of the field all day yesterday.
    Foles consistently threw off his back foot toward the sidelines.
    Had they run more effectively, especially at the goal line they win that game.

    A foot away from a TD and you go shotgun?

    However, it might be better that they lost in the end.
    We already beat them and lost to AZ.
    Could help later.

    I’m not prepared to fail this year.

    I’m waiting to see where Harbaugh goes with his passing game.

    No excuses now with the added WR weapons.
    Get this Offense balanced and start finding ways to put opponents away and I’ll be a happier camper.
    Beat the blitz and we’re good to go.

  69. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Getting Aldon back and putting pressure on the QB helps the Secondary.
    Hoping he isn’t too rusty.
    Need more from the TEs too.
    I do expect to see several roster moves by Tuesday.

    Why not?

    Get some fresh legs in there wherever possible.
    Have to score and hold leads if we’re going to take a Playoff run.

  70. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    One game from being halfway through the schedule here are the highlights of the 2014 season so far.


  71. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Lemonyay’s apparently on the block.

  72. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    And we’ll hopefully find out today/tomorrow whether ASMith cones back early. If they can cut Worthlessberger’s suspension, they can cut his.

    NJ, I’d rather keep the division in play, but there’s a long way to go. Still got our game with them. Last game of the year. The deal will likely be settled by then.

    We are at the softer side of our schedule, so it’s time to get an a roll here. We NEED to go 4-0 heading into the Seattle game.

  73. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I’m ready for some 49er football!

  74. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    The Central Scrutinizer has turned its piercing gaze on the Seahawks:


    From the Harvin trade to the boot-licking toady at QB comments, to now this. Marshawn Lynch wants out in a big way.

  75. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    “NT Glenn Dorsey returns to practice after missing first 7 games with torn biceps.”

  76. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    “Marcus Lattimore will make season debut on practice field Wednesday.”

  77. robNo Gravatar says:

    Yesssss and the first one back is dorsey! !

  78. phil fanNo Gravatar says:

    Rob that new avatar is sooooo you.

    You can always count on NJ for some positivity

  79. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Dying to see the shot of Jerruh losing at home in Prime Time to DC.

  80. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Woot Colt McCoy! you looked like Joe there in Jerruh’s Playpen. Bullit, you must be happy. Hey, the Niners should pick this guy up lol!

  81. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    We gained ground this weekend on potential wildcard rivals Philly, Dallas, Carolina, N’Orleans and Green Bay.

    Too bad we get only 1 bye.

  82. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Dorsey might be a big return for us. Having two decent NTs to rotate is a huge plus in the run stopping game. If we can stop the run better we can start teeing of for the pass on later downs. That is what Seattle did so well last year.

  83. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    If our Offense can score more than FGs from the Red Zone that would help too Berger.
    Defense has carried this Team way too much in recent years.

    How about we give them a blow and bury some teams once in awhile?

    Can Harbaugh pull it off though?

  84. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Teams typically don’t run the ball when you’re out in front by enough.
    Jim has trouble getting ahead and staying there for some reason.

  85. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NJ- It seems now that the offensive strategy is getting better the O-line has stopped performing. I wish I knew more about O-line technique so I could offer an opinion of what the problem is. All I have for the O-line is the eye test that most of us have. My eye test says we are not athletic enough. We are mostly maulers. I could be wrong about that, it’s just that is what it looks like.

    The blocking should be easier now with more one on one blocking schemes but they don’t seem to be winning those match-ups. Kap did get some time to throw against the Rams. Denver’s defense is really good but without the drops we were doing alright. Let’s see what happens this week. The Rams D did get some pressure going on the QB this week.

  86. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Who was the WR from WVU you liked Berger?
    Was it Kevin White?

    If so, I’d put him on the wish list for the Draft, he looks good.
    Also, he’s a NJ kid.
    I’ve got no problems with that 😀

  87. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Haven’t had many chances to watch WVU football this year, but did catch him last weekend vs OKSU.
    He comes to play.


  88. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    He’s already gone over 1000yds on the season too.
    Carrying a 14.5yd/catch avg as well, with 8 TDs so far.

    Certainly worthy of consideration next Spring if he’s on the Board for us.

  89. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Plus, he’s taller than Crabtree and Boldin.
    Stevie should hang around I’d guess?
    He’s the tallest of our WR group right now.

    Kevin White is listed at 6’3″ 210 which is taller yet.
    Certainly nothing wrong with him as a potential prospect.

  90. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s some additional coverage on Kevin White –


  91. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

  92. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, drafting these short guys isn’t helping anyone. Good to see Ellington out there anyway vs Denver. Even if it was garbage time. I think he can bring some much needed speed to the WR corps.

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