Raise High the Roofbeam

Four more days till the 49ers kick off the 2011 season by slaughtering the helpless Seattle Seahawks. Four more days till I have to stop writing fiction and start reporting the truth. Sigh.

The truth in these parts of the globe has generally been associated with grimness. Or harshness. Even plain and unvarnished. It has often come down to the bare bones of We Stink. Some people like to embellish this simple sadness with On Ice.

It’s always possible that offseason optimism will turn out to be justified, but that hasn’t occurred here very often. The last sighting was the 2006 season, where a team expected to go nowhere unexpectedly ran off a three game winning streak and found itself in contention for the division title at the ten game mark with a 5-5 record. It turned out to be the pinnacle moment of the Mike Nolan era, however, as the team promptly lost three straight and followed that up by imploding in 2007 and crashing to earth in 2008.

This offseason has featured the most restrained optimism of any season since 2005. Very few people expect big things from this team. Most are content to simply see meaningful progress. Not sure what that means, but I guess it involves noticeable improvement as the season wends its way along. I don’t know what that means, either. We’ve got some games to play that we’re either going to win or lose. What happens next year is way past my bedtime.

The thinking, provided by league experts and local experts, seems to be that the 49ers have suffered the most of any team from the non-existent offseason and have too much to overcome to be competitive. This implies the team is going to lose games by a lot of on field communication break downs, with players playing slow because they are thinking too much about the new offensive and defensive systems being installed by Jim Harbaugh/Greg Roman and Vic Fangio and not just wham bamming around like every other team.

Some cynics suggest that this learning/playing curve will be even steeper because there hasn’t even been an offensive system in Ninerland since Mike Martz was fired after the 2008 season, and the players have an additional “whoa nelly look at all these X’s and O’s jumping around like crazy” factor to digest. That implies Harbaugh is making matters worse this season by being better at what he does than the ordinary new coach would be, or in the case of the previous coach, any nary at all.

On the other hand (or OTOH for you thumb typists), one might posit that if this team knows anything at all it’s going into a season with a new playbook rattling around in their heads. The business as usual notion. Unfortunately, that business has been underachieving or downright awful, so that udder of hope ain’t got no milk.

I guess we’ll get an inkling of Alfie in four days. Hopefully, maybe just maybe, miracles can happen, it will not be just another stinking inkling.

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61 comments on “Raise High the Roofbeam
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, they’ll probably play a little slow at the beginning of the season due to too much thinking when they should just be reacting. At least, on the offensive side, we have an offensive strategy beyond run the ball twice and throw on third and long. I’ll take the slow start for an offense with a strategic clue. I would love to see us try to fool somebody.

  2. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Im with you on that Berger…and how about this…in game and HALF TIME adjustments….what a concept….!!!

  3. robNo Gravatar says:

    it’s wednesday !
    thurs , fri sat to kill …
    and it’s
    GAMEDAY !!!

  4. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    Seattle will be a good test of whether the team is ready to play against a motivated if flawed opponent. I think so but won’t be surprised (just disappointed) if the little things slow us down on offense. No way we stink like last year against the ‘Hawks due to vastly improved coaching, scheme, plan. I figure we’re going to show a whole lot of different plays than we are used to seeing. Looking forward to it!

  5. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Tony- Half time adjustments? We haven’t seen that since 2004. Even though I’m expecting it, I’ll believe when I see it.

  6. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I am absolutely expecting to beat the Seahawks this Sunday.

  7. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    If the O-line blocks like they did against the Chargers, we’ll win. If it blocks like it did against the Texans, we’ll do a pratfall.
    Expect pressure and tight defenses with lots of guys in the box from Carroll. Harbaugh will expect this. Both line and Alex will then have to execute, getting the ball out quickly AND completing the occasional deep shot.
    Defensively, inexperience playing together and resulting lack of cohesion will cause some lapses. Its just a question of how many, and how successful the Seahags are at capitalizing.
    We’re probably not yet ready to beat good teams, but the Seahags are not very good. I cautiously expect a win Sunday.

  8. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Meaningful progress = not having to leave the room and tv 5 times in the 1st quarter. Also, not yelling WTF at the play calling on every set of downs. And, finally, telling yourself that Alex did a pretty fair job of it that time.

  9. winderNo Gravatar says:

    What I would really like to do is not ever have to leave the room because of sloppy play. I doubt that will truly ever happen because I’ve had to do that ever since I was a kid. I gotta admit, it rarely happened during the 80’s and 90’s. I believe Harbaugh is putting in a very dynamic offense and we should see the birth of that in the coming weeks. I still like Kaeps potential and don’t think that signing Tolzien(sp) was anything but getting the best possible player available at the position. Kaeps arm and legs should give him the edge just as long as he can get the timing and read the D’s.

  10. barleyfreakNo Gravatar says:

    They should win. But last year’s opening debacle in Seattle scarred me. I keep seeing visions of them marching into Quest Field, arm in arm, followed by slow motion brick handed Moran Norris falling backward toward the goal line.

    I expect Seattle to crowd the line and blitz like crazy. I would. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Niners did likewise. It sets up for a sloppy game.

  11. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Welcome to the blog, Mr. Barley. I take it you will be able to share Berger’s passion for waxing on about various brands of beer he inhales at virtually any noteworthy occasion, such as arising in the morning.

  12. barleyfreakNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah Skeebers, beer. I’ve already shared at least one online beer moment with Berger (about Barleywine, IIRC).ÿ

    NoFear: Said pundits have been wrong about us for the last few years — greatly inflating our chances. I much prefer being under the radar. Having JH instead of MS has to be worth at least 2-3 wins, all else being equal, which it rarely is.

  13. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    The prognisticating I’ve seen around the web has all of them winning, and all of the finishing in last. In other words, it’ll be 8-8 for everyone. The least favorite favorite is of course SF.
    Give this a shot, folks . . .


  14. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Just for you, NoFear . . .

  15. robNo Gravatar says:

    why did we sign tavares gooden instead of everette brown ?

  16. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Hopefully because Tavares is better.

  17. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Everett Brown is a hand in the dirt 4-3 DE who is around 250 lbs
    and apparently isn’t the speed rusher they projected him to be nor strong enough to bull rush
    so he’s a liability and a tweener like Taylor Mays.
    The fact that nobody has signed him yet says a lot of what teams think of his value.
    Several teams claimed Gooden

  18. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    If I can figure out how to post a link to yours from mine, Skeebs, I will . . .

  19. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    I liked E Brown out of college. Hey, you never really know.

    Aldon Smith on the other hand, looks pretty damn good as a sutiational pass rusher.

  20. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Pro Football Talk just reporterd this

    “Jake Query of WNDE, citing two unnamed sources whom he trusts, reports that Manning already has had another procedure on his neck, and that he’ll miss the entire 2011 season.”

    ESPN was talking 8 games earlier.
    Guess Indy will be drafting a QB with their first pick in the 2012 draft.

  21. winderNo Gravatar says:

    That is too bad, to lose Manning is a great loss to the game. I see retirement in his future if that is correct.

  22. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Welcome back to the blog host world, Chuck. I added your new link. Spitblood will be relieved to know you have provided him with a new home.

  23. winderNo Gravatar says:

    On a lighter note, I’m glad I only drafted his a$$ on a couple of FF teams.

  24. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Nice site chuck, user friendly.

  25. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    To add my link, Chuck, go to the admin page, click on the “Add New Link” option, enter the data, and check the Blog Roll button to display the link.

  26. robNo Gravatar says:

    wow , i hope manning can come back from this .

    i’ll be looking for ur site ! good to hear you’re back up !

    i still think everette brown might be better than tavares in the end !

  27. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    The last QB to start a game pther than Peyton Manning was Jim Harbaugh. Kinda puts things in perspective and how long Manning’s streak is.

  28. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks, Skeebs . . .

  29. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll measure Sunday’s debut on in game adjustments and, whether I find myself wanting to spend my time on the 9er Channel or, needing to jump to the Red Zone Channel for my action.
    Call me anxious for something to root for, and enjoy, in Scarlet and Gold.

  30. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Your new site Chuck?
    Best of Luck.

  31. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NJ- I sure hope Whitner turns out to be a good player after hearing about what the Bills fans have been saying about him. He had an average to decent pre-season.

  32. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    He’s aggressive Berger, more than I can say for Goldson.
    I like the chip he carries and he’s not afraid to mix it up. He’ll gamble some but, he’s got an attitude and a short memory.
    After watching the porous BS we’ve been seeing in our Secondary the past few years, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt while they try to turn things around.

  33. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I’m just hoping Fangio employs some LeBeau-type schemes to keep some heat off the Secondary.
    Everything is new of course so, I’ll forgive some aggressive mistakes.
    I’m sick of watching the Bend and Lose garbage we’ve been accustomed to seeing back there with Manusky.

  34. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The coaches just need to keep culcating until it is instintive.

  35. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    And if that doesn’t work, they can just blame the QB and buy another year. That’s why QBs get the big dough. They earn it one way or the other. It’s been “the other” for many years here.

  36. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The funny thing is everybody except NoFear agrees that the coaching as been abysmal since 2005, yet it is the QBs fault. I’m not going to say Alex is the answer but I do know he has been squarely behind the 8 ball since arriving.
    Having said that, I think he’ll have a decent year. For me, it will be interesting to watch.

  37. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear just don’t like to say anything positive or friendly. It cracks his lips. Cracked lips in the Yukon is a serious situation. They start bleeding and then you got those big nasty Polar bears to deal with. You have to cut him some slack.

  38. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like the whole team is healthy except for Goldson, who’s got a bum knee.

  39. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Well, the season starts today, let the fun begin.

  40. robNo Gravatar says:

    SKEEBS !
    good description of NOFEAR !


    are you going to take a shot at a season prediction this year ?

    i’m thinking 9-7 ! (and hope for 10-6 !)

  41. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear- How did I miscast an argument. Do you, or do you not, think Nolan was a good coach for us. I thought I was watching out for you and your opinion of The Suit.

  42. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Chapped lips is a different story, eh NoFear? Bold prediction that 75% finish within 6-10 to 10-6. Brilliant. Where did you read that?
    So you are making your prediction about the Niners AFTER the season starts? Better yet, why not wait until the season ends? You can be spot-on.
    What a laugh, NoFear.

    Yes, Smith is what he is. Whatever is talked about him regarding his less-than-illustrious career is always caveated with the fact he’s had nothing but lousy coaching from day one. Turner being the only exception. This isn’t an excuse, it is a fact.
    He hasn’t helped his cause by being the very inconsistent guy that he is, but these are the facts. Not your jaundiced view of what has happened.
    Will this be his breakout year? I highly doubt it, but even last year’s yo-yoing of him and Troy was retarded in the extreme. The Niners are looking to ride Gore and Hunter a lot anyway, so Harbaugh’s job is to minimize Smith’s mistakes, and at least get him to some level of comfort in a system that isn’t based on 3rd and 12.
    Weill it work? Well, the season pretty much is riding on that very thing.
    So, we’ll get you prediction about week 12? HA ha . . .
    I’m hovering between 7-9 and 8-8. I’m sure you can’t wait for what I’ll settle on. Hey, it’s between 6-10 and 10-6!!!

  43. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    More news on Peyton Manning. Had further neck surgery this morning and now he’s out for 2-3 months
    He might be the most indispensable player in the NFL. He just can’t be replaced and unfortunately for the Colts that was by design.

  44. robNo Gravatar says:

    the probabilities be dammed ! i make my pre season predictions based on my unparalled analytical skills !
    i don’t blame you for wanting to see a game or two before you chime in !
    funny you should say it , because i really think we have a good chance to start 3-1 or so !
    the bad news is a 3-1 start might just turn into a 8-8 or even 7-9 finish based on the schedule we have !

  45. robNo Gravatar says:

    oops i mean – unparalleled –
    analytical skills … and some-what poor spelling skills

  46. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Jeesh rob, looks like you are learning spell from me!

  47. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Funny, if this was a regular FA offseason, Indy was one of the teams I picked Sir Alex to garner interest from.
    And, speaking of my prognosticating skills, I said as much regarding Manning when discussing the over/under on wins/losses the other day. I think the 10 for Indy goes down at least 3 games.
    Shit, I shoulda got my bet in when I had the chance.

  48. barleyfreakNo Gravatar says:

    I have to think Indy takes a look at Garrard now. He’s probably got more gas in the tank than Collins.

  49. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Wouldn’t it be funny though if Collins pulls an Earl Morrall and the Colts actually do okay?

  50. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    I like Barley’s avatar. Too bad it’s not a scratch and sniff and pour and drink avatar.
    Reminder for you in our FF: Saints and Packers players go tonight. Good luck. Unless they’re going up against my team. I have Brees going in our yahoo! league. Go Drew!

  51. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Shit, I guess I’d better see who I got . . .

  52. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Dennis, I can’t set my roster otr access my team.

    Although I’m probably better off this way . . .

  53. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    This new kickoff rule from the 35 yd line has already turned into a goddamn joke in the 1st quarter tonight. Berger, shame on you for supporting this shit. This is NOT football.

  54. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Not so fast. Returns are coming out of the endzone from 8 yards deep.
    #18 from Packers took it back 108 yards!
    Give this a chance

  55. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear- I’m not talking about Alex. You don’t like him, I’m still on the fence, leaning on the side that he will do well with a good coach. OK? done. I was just inferring that everybody thinks Nolan was a bad coach but you. Am I wrong? If I am then correct me right here, right now, and I will accept that. I don’t give a rat’s ass if you like him, that is your deal and you are entitled to have your own opinion.

  56. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I like the new kick off rule a lot.

  57. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear- I’ll respond. I hated Nolan’s vanilla defense. I’ll never forget our NT Franklin being asked why he was playing so much better when Singletary took over. His answer was, “I’m not two gapping every play”. On offense his changing the offensive system every year was as frustrating as anything I’ve ever seen. It is one thing to lose coaches but quite another to have no consistency on offense. A new, and completely different system every year. To me that is just unbelievable and unacceptable. The coach makes those decisions so I hold him accountable for that.
    Alex had an offense that made sense under Turner and Martz. As a 21 year old he had a decent year under Turner for a 2nd year QB. Under Martz he was on the IR the entire year. Other than that the game plan has been terrible, except the 1st year when McCarthy couldn’t be judged with the talent he was working with. My grade on Alex is incomplete. I hope I get to form an accurate opinion this year. Obviously you and many others have formed your opinions. Since Alex is our starter this year I hope you guys are wrong. We’ll see soon.

  58. robNo Gravatar says:


    ” Berger, I don’t know what everybody else thinks. Nolan’s a good coach. ”

    OMG thanks for the good laugh !
    now please quit kidding around

  59. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

  60. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear- I told you I was riding the fence on Alex. No news there. I guess I’m supposed to coil up in a ball and be passive now because you have resorted to calling me names and are questioning my ability to judge talent.

  61. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear Quote:
    “Failing to turn this franchise around in three years in his first crack at head coaching makes him a bad coach?”
    Well, it sure doesn’t make him a good one.
    3+ years to retool the defense, NoFear. Not one. Nolan failed as a head coach by any measure. Especially statistically. You know, 18-37. He’s a modern-day Joe Bugel.
    Whether he gets another shot remains to be seen. Can he pull a Bill Bellichick? Sure, it could happen.
    You a betting man?

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