Middle Big Man

The 49ers have finally completed their climb to the top of the NFL rankings. Numero Uno, baby. What does this mean? Pretty much nothing, baby.

Unless you’re a 49er fan commenting on an Oakland Raiders’ blog site. Yeah, baby. Lots of fun! Hahaha!

Unfortunately, the 49er QB failed to achieve the top ranking himself. He trails Matt Ryan in the QB rankings, embarrassing not only himself, but the entire fan base. At least Alex Smith can boast improvement, though. For 216 straight pass attempts, he has improved his QB skills by .0000642%. At this rate, Smith will reach number one in the year 2014.

The team is off to a 2-0 start, but NT Isaac Sopoaga has been a forgotten man. The 49ers used their nickel package as the base defense against both Green Bay and Detroit, daring them to run, and neither team could. Detroit had moderate success, but not enough to dislodge the Niners from their plan and at the expense of their passing game, which is the bread and butter of their offense. That’s a trade off the Niners will take any game of the week.

That game plan should change this week when the team goes to Minnesota to face the Vikings and stonewall Adrian Peterson. With all the top tier passoholic teams the Niners will face this year, though, the Soap man will get a lot of time off and be fresh for the playoffs when we need him as a receiver out of the backfield. His role as third and short fullback has been turned over to Will Tukuafu this year, and Will has been a definite force as a lead blocker. Maybe Jim Harbaugh will skip the Brandon Jacobs bit, and install Soap as the ball carrier, with Will blocking for him. We may not get the first down, but somebody on the opposing team will be carted off after the collision, with one or more body parts in a position known as “dangling.” As in, “Gawk! That guy’s leg is dangling off his butt. It’s worse than a Theisman!”

Klondikean reader NoFear49er briefly used the Soapster’s latest incarnation as his avatar this week, in a fine tribute to this long time 49er stalwart. We can’t help wondering what Isaac’s mentor, Bryant Young, thinks of his latest forest-atop-bald-mountain hairdo. But not as much as we wonder what a woman at a bar might think if Soap sat down next to her and offered to buy her a drink.

The scab refs have taken a ton of grief this week after losing control of the Monday night Denver/Atlanta game. The old refs are refusing to accept a pay raise to $189,000 per year for their seasonal jobs. It’s hard to have much sympathy for them and it’s always hard to sympathize with the owners. The players are howling about the scabs, especially those on the losing end of a game, yet the players are the ones ignoring the rules and causing the mayhem. Perhaps the scabs should be armed with tasers. Barring that, we expect the league to issue a ton of fines today and possibly even a suspension for the player who grabbed a ref and dragged him away from a melee. If the players and coaches are not going to respect the scabs, they either have to go or the league has to come down hard on those who abuse them.

One thing seems clear. If the old refs don’t get back in for work pretty soon, they’re all going to lose the best part time job they ever had or ever dreamed of having. While the rest of the world just gradually accepts the new refs and they gradually get better at their jobs, grow thicker skins and more hair in manly man places. And guys like Larry King move on to get loudly indignant about some other topic they know nothing about.

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Posted in Waltzing Matilda
77 comments on “Middle Big Man
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear was his classic self last night. He explained to 12th Man that if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck it is not really a duck. I wasn’t smart enough to understand the explanation so I’ll just leave NoFear to be smarter than the rest of us and keep assuming if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it is a duck.

  2. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear- My comments about Nolan were based on D-line play. He has always done a good job on the back end. He comes up with some great coverage schemes. None of that matters if the QB has time to sort it out. I the D-line is Sumo Wrestling instead of shooting by, the QB will have too much time to throw. Nolan likes to two gap his interior line and send the OLB, or one DE in the 4-3. To get aggressive he usually blitzes while still Sumo Wrestling his interior line. To illustrate this point look to the words of Abrayho Franklin when he started playing so well after Nolan got fired. When asked why he was all of the sudden playing so well he said, “I’m not two gapping all the time.”

  3. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Therein lies the rub, NoFear. You paint these pictures ridiculing someone. We all know a lot of the casual fans ARE reactionary. For the most part, the group here is fairly knowledgeable. Smarter than the average bear, so to speak. So, when you say something like:
    “What schemes are you referring to, 12th man? The 3-4 in general? Most criticisms of Nolan’s defenses come from 49ers fans who co-opt the opinions of local sportswriters with a need to cultivate controversy, as their own and simply parrot what they read so as to appear they have an intelligent point of view and on the bandwagon.”
    This looks like you are questioning 12th on his observations. Then you say HE misunderstood YOU. You ALWAYS fall back on “I’m not talking about YOU, I’m talking about the average fan.” Yes, the average fan is fairly mindless in the intricacies of the game. They can be swayed to differing points of view fairly easily.
    Yes, when the team is going bad, people point fingers. Yes, some go off on tangents about what Nolan wore, or Sing dropping trou, but it wasn’t happening HERE, or if it was, it was jokingly. Sometimes they are right, though. Nolan lost the team. You point fingers at everyone here and then say you weren’t addressing anyone here. It’s easy to play it that way. Because if you are talking to the average fan, how are they going to read that here? The assumption obviously is you are addressing people here when you post here.
    So the assumption is that when you post in generalities, you aren’t referring to anyone here. Got it.

  4. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    AS I said earlier these lists are part of the American Idol culture we live in.
    The Number One here just might suprise some and initiate some discussion.

  5. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    It’s disingenuous to say after the fact, “I wasn’t implying that about you”, when in fact the implication is within the same paragraph as addressing me in rebuttal.

    It’s more than a reach to believe that anybody reading the paragraph would understand that’s not directed at me but is in fact a generality.

    I will leave the vagaries of 1 gap v 2 gap etc to you and Berger since you both enjoy the swordplay of nuances within scheme. The larger point is the bend and eventually break defenses that Nolan employed didn’t in fact garner many wins and that, combined with his propensity to throw his players under the bus, eventually got him booted.

    In my opinion Nolan played the percentages and did so very conservatively. Contrary to that opinion was what he did against Denver with a host of exotic plays against Manning.

    Maybe he has altered his thinking somewhat but I am guessing he will revert to form during the season much like he did at Denver where his D was tough to figure out and dominating for 6 games and then fell flat the rest of the way.

    Nolan now has a series of 1 year-ish stints as a DC, the evidence would suggest he is unable to sustain his position from a results perspective.

    It is one thing to voice a favorable opinion of him yourself, that’s entirely up to you, but then to belittle and marginalize my opinions, discounting me as a sheep in the flock, simply because they are aligned with the opinions of writers and fandom in general is a cheap trick to give yourself smug superiority.

    Strangely enough, sometimes when the vast majority of people think they saw a duck, they actually did.

    I like reading your posts and opinions and believe the contrarian POV is a good thing, I have a few myself, but how about a little more intellectual honesty?

  6. barleyfreakNo Gravatar says:

    Wow. What did I miss? Well, I am certainly not an average fan. I am above average. Maybe below average. But definitely, not average. I might be an Abby Normal fan though.
    Great game Sunday. 49ers played solid in all aspects. I rejoiced every time they tried to run the ball on us. No freaking way.
    Smith played well, again. Crabtree made clutch RAC. 3rd down conversions. Awesome.
    I still think the NFL is putting out an inferior product. I’m talkin’ about the Refs. I don’t know what the demands are, have not paid attention. They need to get it done.
    We should kill the Vikings. Should, but…
    I think we win, but not kill. It is hard to guard against hype-infestation. 49ers number one — getting media love, etc. Add a 10am start and we might not be in full-maul-mode. I see a come-from-behind effort. 23-17, Niners


  7. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    It’s really amazing how well they played the run from a D primarily designed to stop the pass. I think even though the Niners have barely used base D they are still ranked 6th against the run, that’s jaw dropping stuff.

  8. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    28-12 Niners

  9. barleyfreakNo Gravatar says:

    AP is better than anyone Detroit trotted out last week. But I think we stop him, and can afford to focus on the run more. Ponder does not scare me. At all.

  10. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    The thing I really like is the team is now playing from ahead instead of playing from behind. last year was all about keeping things conservative. This year, the passing game is much more effective, and if not for the 5-6 drops last week, the game would have been in hand earlier.
    Still and all, not having to come back late is a luxury I can get used to.

  11. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, seeing the defens play well, especially when Willis was out for large parts on the 2nd half vs Green bay was crazy. Stopping the run in the pass defense was impressive.

  12. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Speaking of Alex, his record is now 34-34 as a starter.
    Pretty crazy if you ask me.
    I see NoFear has gone back into hibernation. He’ll pop up when adversity strikes.

  13. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    The Viking game could very well be a trap game.
    Ponder is hitting 76% of his passes and has yet to throw a pick. And you have AP and Harvin to contend with.
    Can’t take them lightly considering the last very unpleasant ending when we played them in the Metrodome.

  14. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    12th man,
    I see my response didn’t fly through the garbage filter evidently because I employed some expletives without the mandatory misspelling to disguise them like everyone else. Fvck it!
    My point was, the clarification was a courtesy. I have no qualms about telling you when I think you are full of sh!t, or telling you directly.
    I believe that courtesy is a two way street so in the event you find it easier to believe I’m just a liar and post so, I believe you and the mealy mouth steed that brung ya should both practice much self love.

  15. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Ponder has a 110 QBR. He’s looking good after two weeks.

  16. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Any road game is tough in the NFL, but I don’t think this one will be too much of a problem. There are still a lot of players that were on the team for that loss. They won’t let it happen again.

  17. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    And don’t underestimate a very motivated Randy Moss. He got his TD in GB, now he wants more in Minnesota.

  18. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    12th- NoFear shares a common trait here, he isn’t afraid to tell another he is full of shit. It is just that sometimes it is hard to tell that is what he is saying!

  19. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like Ginn & Jacobs are back at practice.

  20. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Bakhtiari has been re-signed.

  21. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, it’s all good, I have now inserted my B.S. filters and have full clarity.

  22. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    I like the Bak move, makes good sense. Surprised he was still available though.

  23. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Josh Morgan is getting death threats.

  24. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    Those accuracy and QBR stats for Ponder were put up against the Jags and the Colts collectively, now he faces a real litmus test.

  25. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    He should call Kyle Williams for advice.

  26. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    I feel bad for Josh. He isn’t the first to have Finnegan get under his skin. That guy is the Romanowski of cornerbacks.

  27. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Between NoFear’s bullshit filters, and ROB’S! rose-colored lenses, it’s getting harder and harder to see what’s real anymore . . .
    Bahktiari? I’m still bummed we didn’t keep Reuland and kept Delanie (and Droppy) Walker.
    Sorry, obscure Delanie and Bonnie reference there. Didn’t fly . . .
    Just trying to be clear here!

  28. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    NF, the reference to intellectual honesty has nothing to do with lying, it means this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_honesty
    An open discussion of views not colored by personal feelings, fact driven.
    If I thought you were a liar I would have said so.

  29. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    I was a big fan of Reuland too Chuck, Walker has strong skills too though, even though his hands have petrified lately.

  30. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    It’s always the retaliation that gets caught, Grump. Old refs, new refs, either way.
    Almost had a Scott McKenzie moment there.

  31. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    PFT ran a piece on Chris Long pointing to his helmet on the Skins sideline after the Morgan play, he was cautioned by the ref to stop and after the ref walked away a little he did it again and the same ref saw him, no flag was thrown. That would have given the Skins their 15 yds back. It highlights the inconsistency with the replacement guys who are not confident in their decisions.
    Way past time to cut the crap and settle this thing.

  32. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    Alex Smith threatened with a fine by the league

  33. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    I was happy not to see him in a Padres hat personally. Seems a bit petty since its the home market team he is supporting but rules are rules right?

  34. AlbertEinstinkleNo Gravatar says:

    Alex Smith could F up a wet dream.

  35. winderNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t think enough praise goes out to our OL. This week we face another good DL and overall D. Minn. is at home and they will want to make a statement. I don’t see this game being a blowout, however if we were to give Kaep sometime behind ceter this week I think it might help us down the road.

  36. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    The Padres hat was after the 2010 season. This time around he was wearing a Giants hat.

  37. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Only yours, Stickyfingers . . .

  38. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah Chuck I mentioned home market team.

  39. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Like how Jerruh predicted the fine on Golden Tate huh?
    Mega-Owner Hack.

  40. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    Nothing for the guy who threw the elbow to AS face, crazy.

  41. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Yeh 12th, because our Team doesn’t pander and whine to the media and League office like Mr NFL does.
    Hard to tell where Goodell’s A$$ ends and Jerruhs’ nose begins.

  42. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Not sure if this is common knowledge out West but…1 helluva commercial spot for Mr Willis –


  43. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Of course they are 12th, everyone wants to see Moss be Moss and come unglued.
    I can see him having a few chances to shine in his old building on Sunday.
    Vikes’ secondary is not all that.
    We control the pass rush and give Alex time to see his targets, Moss should do just fine.
    I can see Randy with a TD or 2 for old Metrodome sake.

  44. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    Two words NJ, Jarrod Allen. Staley has his work cut out for him. Quick slants, screens, steady run diet all help but the man is for them what Justin Smith is for us, lethal. I reckon Moss will be up for this game though and wouldn’t be surprised at all if you’re right about a couple of TD’s from him. We have seen he still has what it takes.

  45. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Staley will be a busy man for sure 12th.
    Roll right or run at Allen.
    What I love about Moss is his ability to be where the ball will arrive before he ever turns his head.
    Great wingspan and eyes behind his head.
    Alex needs to lay one out there and see what Moss can do.
    Should be a pretty balanced affair since MN is a ground and pound Team as well.
    Get up a score or 2 early and that could easily be changed in our favor.

  46. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Might also be a good spot for Kaep to see some work?
    Stronger arm and a threat to run.
    Like Kaep vs Tebow as an option in NJ too.

  47. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    THere is no story about Randy Moss.
    Here is his interview and there is nothing to it. Mike Florio is a TOOL trying to create a story.
    Florio consistently goes out of his way to put down Harbaugh and the Niners

  48. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Florio loves to get the NYJ in the daily fodder too.
    He’s a clown.

  49. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Walter Football has 4 NTs going in the 1st round including the 49ers taking the one from Georgia with the 31st pick.

  50. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Hoping that the Panthers do their thing tonight and thrash the Gnats.Would like to see Coughlin put in the same situation as last year when he was a couple of series from losing his job.
    He lives by better to lucky than good.
    Without Bradshaw healthy Manning can’t live by throwing for big yardage every game.THe backup QB after all is David Carr which makes you wonder if there is any justice in the world.

  51. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Fangio and Harbaugh need to work Dobbs and RJF into games and cut the snaps and heavy workload that Justin Smith and McDonald.
    Resting both for 15 plays a game
    will help come January and give the backups some game experience to grow on.

  52. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Bruce Bochy stuck up for Alex wearing a SF Giants cap by wearing a Niner cap of his own today. http://tinyurl.com/cz26b8c
    Good sport that Bochy.

  53. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    2 games in I don’t think anyone’s looking for rest yet. I’m sure they’ll get rotated in and out somewhere down the line though.
    If they can run and hide from the rest of the pack, they can worry about the rotations later. As it is, it’s pedal to the metal . ..

  54. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    I would not be averse to strengthening the Defensive Line if no other critical needs emerge. There was some talk this year about keeping only six, but Ian Williams looked good enough in TC that we did not do that (though Dobbs and Tuku spend time on offense now). If we draft a NT in the first, it’s almost certain that someone would have to go. My other thought is we WILL draft an OLB and a safety somewhere in the first four rounds. We have so many picks, and so few available roster spots as it stands that it’s almost a given that we will be doing some dealing, to move up as much as we can in multiple rounds.

  55. AlbertEinstinkleNo Gravatar says:

    I would not be averse to strengthening the quarterback position if no other critical needs emerge.

  56. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Understatement? From you, Albert?

  57. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Albert is a master of the subtle. 🙂

  58. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Grumpy- Justin Smith is about 33, Sope is about 30 or 31 and Sope is a FA after this year. You would not be averse to strengthening the D-line? I hope Balke has more urgency than that or our SB window will be short. D lines win chapionships.

  59. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    How many years does Justin have left, you think? I think maybe one more, maybe two. Probably about the same for Sopoaga. Agree with your premise about D-lines. I’m actually glad we kept 7 rather than 6. Not sure we can manage 8 though. Who goes next year? Tuku? Or Williams?

  60. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    That assumes Sopo does not re-sign after this year, of course. Unless the 49ers get someone they really like, I’d expect them to try to keep him. He’s played pretty well at the nose since the move.

  61. robNo Gravatar says:

    keep sopoaga

  62. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Soap just turned 31. He’s got another 3-5 years left. I doubt he’d want to play anywhere else.

  63. AlbertEinstinkleNo Gravatar says:

    Quarterbacks win championships. That’s why Justin Smith, Aldon, Soap and Ray won’t get a ring. That’s also why Harbaugh has a responsibility to his veterans like Gore and Justin to dump AS. Kaep could win a Super Bowl this year.

  64. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Team is 2-0 thanks to Alex Smith who is ranked 2nd in the NFL and has just beaten 2 playoff teams.
    I forgot you were a troll and you can’t help it with your insane train of thought.

  65. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    You forget, Albert. Kaep can’t win a SB here because you traded him and Aldon to Tennessee for Locker.

  66. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs- He also threw in a 2nd round pick!

  67. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I see a youth movement coming for the Secondary and the DL in April also.
    Another CB/FS and NT would be my first priority.
    Agree with Berger, DLines and pass rush wins Championships.
    Brock is likely to be replaced also.
    Another Culliver-like CB would be a nice addition if they plan to have Trenton worked in as the FS of the future.

  68. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Stinkblood- I guess you forgot you predicted the Giants to beat the Packers in the playoffs last year(good call) because their D-line could pressure Rodgers. Seems the D-line beat the QB who many said had the best season for a QB in NFL history.

  69. AlbertEinstinkleNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebers – you’re right. I did do that. Too bad. Berger, I predicted the Giants would win it all because they have the best qb in the NFL – Eli. Did the Saints win the Super Bowl because of their D line? Nope.
    Eli, Drew, Aaron, Tom…. that’s all you need to know.

  70. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Berger I’m not sure who got the facts wrong, you or Walter Football?
    We’ll be picking with the 32nd Pick in April.

  71. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NJ- I like your thinking. I was just telling you what I read.

  72. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Stinky- Maybe bullit will go back and pull up your old prediction where you said the Giants would win because of thir pass rush.

  73. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    If it takes a good QB to win a SB I like ours, Alex Smith, and have confidence he can win it all.

  74. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    After seeing the NYG whack Cam and Co., it spells out how important the backup guys are to the element of surprise.
    Carolina had no answers and, likely little clue, about what RB Brown and WR Barden were capable of doing, due to the lack of film.
    Gotta believe Harbaugh is already thinking about when & where to spring AJ and LaMichael down the road.
    Harbaugh plays chess. Gotta think about all the options and plan for any and all potential surprises.

  75. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

2021 Schedules
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26: L Packers 30, 49ers 28
10/03: L Seahawks 28, 49ers 21
10/10: L Cardinals 17, 49ers 10
10/17 BYE
10/24: L Colts 30, 49ers 18
10/31: W 49ers 33, Bears 22
11/07: L Cardinals 31, 49ers 17
11/15: W 49ers 31, Rams 10L
11/21: W 49ers 30, Jaguars 10
11/28: W 49ers 34, Vikings 26
12/05: L Seahawks 30, 49ers 23 12/12 · 10:00 AMCIN
12/19 · 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 · 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 · 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 · 1:25 PM @ LAR

2021 Draft Class
1. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
2. OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
3. RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
3. CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan
5. OG/OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
5. CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
5. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
6. RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
2021 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-5
Grumpy: 13-4
NJ49er: 11-6
Skeebers: 14-3
Winder: 12-5
Rob: 17-0
Spitblood: 0-17