Plot Lines

Less than a three weeks until Training Camp opens and we begin to sort out this mess of newbies wearing the Red and Gold.

But I’m more enthused about the return of football in general than the Niners in particular. Our boys are more of a curiosity piece this year than anything else.

Arizona and Seattle are the stable entities of the NFC West. They’ll no doubt duke it out for supremacy this year. Again. The Rams and 49ers both have bright young new offensive minded head coaches for two teams that have had crappy offenses for quite some time. Nobody knows how these two teams will fare this year. The Rams will have Wade Phillips as their DC, which might be enough to give them the edge in the battle of the bottom feeders.

The NFC West is no longer the best division in the NFC, though. That distinction might go to the NFC South, or even the East. Here are some other NFC story lines for the coming year:

  • It will be fun watching how far Dallas falls off from last year’s great season/belly flop in the playoffs. It’s twenty-four years and counting since Jerry Jones fired Jimmy Johnson and became his own GM. And he hasn’t remotely sniffed a Super Bowl since.
  • Can Atlanta overcome a gigantic Super Bowl hangover and the loss of Kyle Shanahan, or fade back into the pack like Carolina did last year?
  • Will Tampa Bay actually win the NFC South?
  • Will Washington fall apart after the ugly ouster of GM Scot McCloughan?
  • Will Blaine Gabbert replace an injured Carson Palmer and lead the Cardinals to the playoffs?
  • Will the media continue to pimp for Colin Kaepernick while he relentless kicks dirt on America at every opportunity?
  • Can Green Bay ever get over the hump again?

And, for me at least, there’s another whole season of nasty emails from Chuck to look forward to. The gift that keeps on giving.

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22 comments on “Plot Lines
  1. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Some teams for me to watch have two we play this year, JAX and TENN. They both plumbed the depths and did excellent rebuilds through the draft.

    CLE had a tremendous draft and Gregg Williams could plug them into the D and get big results this season. Their front 7 got major new pieces. FA filled major holes at RG and C and could allow their 3 young QB’s to maybe gel a supporting cast into a credible O this year.

    On the other hand there is us.

    I do like our approach. No impact FA’s wasted on O. Hoyer a role model and teacher for the new O of KS. Keep it marginal with no miracle wins.

    NFC East and AFC South we may go winless against. Even with that we cannot outdo NYJ.

  2. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    BG leading the Cards, be still my beating heart.

  3. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    I think of a 3-4 D as having 2 gap lineman. But a Dallas D in the past did it with one gapping. Curious to see how Aaron Donald fits in.

  4. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Turfshowtimes answered my question about one-gapping 3-4 D.

    The one-gap base 3-4 should see Donald penetrating at both nose tackle and outside tackle, and he’ll have a more traditional four-man role when the Rams move to their nickel package. But wherever Phillips lines up his players, history tells us they’ll be in their best positions to succeed.

  5. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Who’s got it better than us? Oh about 30 other teams.

    Will DGB be in our TC? DC’s already planning to muscle our little WR’s at LOS. And take away the run at the same time.

  6. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Talking O, KS spreads the field and exploits personnel mismatches. Key is swiss army knife fullback and move TE. Remove predictability.

    So what does this tell us? Throw the ball less to Julio Jones and you’ll have a more explosive team? That alone would be a poor strategy. Instead, Shanahan’s target distribution is part of a broader offensive philosophy: force the defense to protect the entire field, and create situations that allow you to exploit mismatches and attack defenders who make mistakes. Shanahan’s outside-zone run game is a part of this philosophy because it forces the defense to protect horizontally due to the threat of the outside run and cutback, and vertically due to the threat of the play-action pass. When a defense over-commits in one direction, they’re attacked in the opposite direction, and the result is usually an explosive play. Shanahan is also balanced in the direction of his outside-zone runs; in 2016, the Falcons had 73 outside-zone runs outside the left tackle, and 79 outside the right tackle. Of those plays, 20 were explosive runs — defined as 10 yards or more — with 10 to the left side and 10 to the right.

    The best pocket QB’s can do post snap reads and sync up with targets that are allowed to find open space dependent on those reads. Posted an mmqb a while back on Carson Palmer doing that.

    With our oline that may not be doable. 12 and 13 O’s will allow for seperation using TE’s with size mismatches on db’s. So TE’s like MacDonald, Kittle, and Hikutini are key.

  7. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    “I got to work with Brian for one year when we were in Cleveland together,” Shanahan said in May. “He can execute an entire offense. He can read a defense. He can hang in that pocket. He’s a guy that’s very tough. He doesn’t watch the rush. He distributes the ball to whoever should get the ball based on the coverage and he allows guys to make plays.”

    So KS wants a fearless QB capable of going through all of his reads. Knowing where all targets are and when they open up. Mostly short and intermediate patterns given the pocket holding up. Patterns designed to open up one target. QB needs to find or throes the ball away. Needs that clock in his head.

  8. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Picked a bad day for a frac to be down. Talking to myself.

  9. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    I share the interest in seeing what the O-line looks like this year. There could be a few changes. Which will make things tougher short term, until the new group has time to mesh as a unit. But then, I still think this year is a learning curve anyway. If we get anywhere near .500 I’d be very surprised. 5-11 or so feels more reasonable.

  10. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for your comments. I will just reiterate what I said earlier. We are tanking the season without GM leaving fingerprints. Too bad NYJ has done a fire sale on all assets.

    OL weak. QB weak. WR weak.

    DC’s are good. They exploit weaknesses. Hoyer is a known quantity. DC’s have all the film on him in CLE. Their OL had Joe Thomas LT and Alex Mack C then. Josh Gordon WR possible at that time.

    What do we have for a supporting cast. OL mediocre pass pro and run blocking. Can they handle outside zone.

    Look at teams we face, seriously. No homer glasses. Good chance with LAR and CHI. I see 2 to 4 wins.

    Bowman cannot handle pass coverage anymore. CAR has McCaffrey and Samuels to eat him up. A healthy Carson Palmer will eat him up.

  11. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Invaluable tool to help learn the game. This is why WR takes time to develop.

    If coaches cannot make mid game adjustments, failed absorbing the above link.

  12. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    For me some questions answered in this good article.

    “In 2016, Shanahan ran outside zone on just under half of all running plays — and the other half are plays Hyde has excelled in over his 49ers career. Also, running backs — especially in Shanahan’s offense — do a lot more than simply run the ball.”

    Article does not mention what run blocking is needed for the 50% plus runs that were not outside zone. Whether inside zone or power gap, can I conclude that Trent Brown and Garnett excel at that and compensate for their ZBS outside zone ability.

    Garnett has the athleticism to be adequate or better with outside zone. How will oline accommodate an inadequate RT with outside zone runs to either left or right.

    Does Trent Brown get traded or we keep with changes in RT blocking for outside zone runs.

  13. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    KS likes Beathard for reasons spelled out here. If Hoyer gets hurt will he start at some point this season.

  14. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Why take an over-priced Cousins?

    Too many holes at OL and WR1 with limited amount of high draft picks.

    Why not.

    Need to get better at OL first. Staley and Zuttah old. Beadles 30 and at best average.

  15. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    I assume we will draft in the top ten for 2018. More than the pundit’s top 3 out there.

    In 2018 QBOTF, OL, OL the first 3 picks?

  16. 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