Retread Trips

Training Camp is still five weeks in the future, which means there’s not much 49er news to gnaw on these days. If this was the Donner Party blog, we’d be looking at each other with lustful teeth.

The Bounty scandal is occupying a lot of space on PFT these days, but only four NFL players are keeping this tale alive and none of them are on the 49er roster, so who cares? The NFLPA is blathering away with loaded anti-NFL adjectives, as it usually does, but if anybody else is tuned to this channel, they should be lobotomized and end the charade of their leading meaningful lives.

Mike Homgren, Pete Carroll, and Mike Shanahan all enter their third seasons as reincarnated partial legends trying to prove their gaudy reputations were earned and not just accidents of history. This is a dangerous road to travel, as George Seifert can attest to. George took his “winningest coach in NFL history” to Carolina to prove he didn’t just inherit Bill Walsh’s team and, well, he cemented the inheritance tag while losing the winningest title.

Of the three resurrected somebodies, Carroll has enjoyed the most success thus far, modest as it has been. In his first season, he became the first coach in modern NFL history to take a losing team to the playoffs. Last year, he duplicated the successful losing record, but it was only good for third place this time. His fate next season seems to hinge on whether Matt Flynn is a big league QB or another whiff like Charlie Whitehurst before him. It would also be helpful if he could find some way to beat Jim Harbaugh, who whipped him in college and again last year in the pros.

It’s hard to say whether Holmgren or Shanahan is on the shakiest ground this year, but my vote goes to Holmgren. Recent photos of the Big Show look like an old fat guy dragged out of a dead sleep after a three day binge. Casual Browns fans openly question his commitment to Cleveland, while diehard Browns fans hope he isn’t committed to Cleveland. Another desultory year for this franchise could get Holmgren heaved, though ownership might be hestitant to explain so soon how they had bungled yet another front office makeover and wasted yet another three years.

Shanahan has shoved out squat and lasted two years in Washington, which is treading dangerously close to Dan Snyder’s tolerance limit. With the drafting of Robert Griffin III, Shanahan will be expected to produce another John Elway. Even Snyder must realize this won’t happen in one year, which probably gives Shanahan two more years to prove he isn’t an overrated, washed up hack.

These three specimens were all recommended highly by large segments of the blogosphere rabble at one time or another, but thankfully Jed York erred in judgment precisely long enough to instead have our HC position vacant when Harbaugh decided to go pro. Was it luck or carefully crafted ineptitude? Either way, isn’t it nice to be a 49er fan at this point in time?

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28 comments on “Retread Trips
  1. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Some fodder for discussion using the blog’s favorite subject. Jawaorski ranked Alex Smith 16th best QB presently in the NFL. So he’s in the top half of all QBs
    and it seems a fair assessment IMHO. I find interesting that he’s the highest ranked QB in the NFC West and also ahead of Hasslebeck.

  2. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Jawarski has always been one of Alex’s biggest detractors. Sounds like he is starting to cover his tracks?

  3. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Hasselbeck was probably in the top ten three years ago, now not so much. He is likely looking at his last year or two. And the NFC West sucks. Bradford is a better Shaun Hill – good with the short stuff, but limited downfield. Flynn has potential but is way too green to take seriously yet. The Cardinals suck and so do all their QBs.
    Alex at 16 sounds about right. He is hard to peg because sometimes he plays well above that, then the next time you look, it’s ugly. Now NO ONE can play all the time like Alex did against the Saints in the 4th Quarter, and that should not be the goal. He just needs to move the chains more consistently and distribute the ball. If he can do that, he’ll flirt with the top ten and the team will be in position to challenge for a title. I’d much rather have a Lombardi six pack than a Hawaiian vacation for Alex.

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Lombardi six pack? I like it! I’ll steal it at some point.

  5. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    A six pack is a beautiful thing.

  6. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    More Niner PR this time on Manningham. He doesn’t look all that big without the pads on

  7. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s some trivia that I hadn’t known and it kinda blew me away when I read it. Tom Osborne, the former Nebraska Head Coach, Congressman and now Athletic Director at Nebraska tried out as a QB was moved to wide receiver and was a member of the Niner “taxi squad” in ancient times.There’s a term you haven’t heard in ages, Taxi Squad.

  8. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Weirder yet, the 49ers drafted Brian Billick in the 1977 draft as an 11th rd TE out of BYU. Didn’t even make the practice squad.

  9. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Chuck, neither did anyone else, for that matter. Our 8 draft picks that year TOTALED 36 games of service in 49er uniforms. None of them lasted more than one season. Probably the worst 49er draft in team history.

  10. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Was Hofer the year before?
    Musta been. As bad as the 70’s were, they drafted most of that soon-to-be-dominant O line in the mid to late 70s.

  11. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, Hofer was a late pick in 1976, by Monte Clark. John Ayers, too. And Randy Cross in the 2nd. Fred Quillan came in 1978. Keith Fahnhorst came in 1974 in one of the last Nolan Era (I) drafts.
    1977 was Joe Thomas’s first 49er draft, and it was terrible. Probably one of the key factors in his rapid flameout and demise.

  12. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll never forget being royally pissed off when Thomas came in and immediately fired Clark.
    1976 was a year they should have made the playoffs. They started out 6-2 but got ravaged by injuries, went 2-4 and missed out.
    1977-78 was a disaster of epic proportions.

  13. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Funny how you have to hit rock bottom to get someone worthwhile.
    Histort shows that if Joe Thomas
    had a mediocre season Bill Walsh might never have gotten his chance with the Niners and what followed might never have happened. You can draw the same parellel with Singletary and the hiring of Harbaugh. If Singletary eins 3 more games then Harbaugh would be coaching the Dolphins or the Broncos now.

  14. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    History repeats, Bullit. Remember how awful the Packers were when they got Lombardi… the Steelers and Noll… the Cowgirls when Jimmy Johnson got there.
    Pendulums swing. Hopefully, it’s our turn again.

  15. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    You mean like getting a Lombardi six pack!

  16. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Isn’t the 5 beers and a brat?

  17. robNo Gravatar says:

    how about four 16 oz. pbr’s and a couple hydrocodones ?

    or better still …

  18. robNo Gravatar says:

    when it says …

    offseason high-lites-alex smith

  19. robNo Gravatar says:

    ok so here’s the question of the day …

    what’s your favorite alex smith moment ???

  20. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    The last 2:30 of the NO game.

  21. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    So did Harbaugh hold back AS or the reverse?
    Jaws has AS as absolutely average with a rank of 16th, not exactly conclusive proof of his averageness (is that a word?) But for me it sounds about right.

    What was surprising to me is that a beat writer posed the question at all and apparently straight faced, using college and Andrew Luck to bolster the argument.

    The offense surely must have more dynamic plays scripted but unused so is it AS unable to take advantage or Harbaugh so unimaginitive?

    Yet again I suppose we utter the words “this season” relating to can AS be good enough to help win the whole enchilada, the bar he must pass is lower than at anytime in his career simply because the rest of the team is so talented.

    Fingers crossed?

  22. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Suprisingly Patrick Willis is #10
    on the NFL Top 100 list.
    Revis is ranked #4, D Ware #6 and Ngata #9. Call me biased but I would take Willis over any of those guys without having to think about it. Willis has proven himself to be the heart and sould of the Niner D the minute he stepped onto the field.
    I would not trade him staright up for any of the defensive players ranked above him.
    These rankings are subjective and
    what I call the American Idol mentality of our present day culture. It’s basically for amusement.

  23. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Perhaps Willis’ ranking is based on the fact he missed a quarter of the seasin last year and his stats were down. He still moved up from being ranked 23rd the previous year. From Maiocco

  24. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    It’s the players and players only voting on these rankings. They have their biases. I mean, Tebow on the list? P Manning?
    12th, fwiw, Smith QBRed at 9th in the league last year. He’d never been higher than 18th before that. He’d never really had a coach that understood, let alone valued, the quarterback position. With the abbreviated camp last season, they did well to get him to where he was. Nolan and especially Singletary had Smith looking over his shoulder every game. Aluminum Mike stressed Gore and the run game at all costs, yet kept switching QBs when the victories weren’t forthcoming.
    As has been said 1,000 times, Smith doesn’t need to put up 4,000 yards. He needs to keep the chains moving and minimize mistakes. No one gives Troy Aikman shit for having no 4,000 yard seasons. He threw for over 20 TDs once. He only had 5 3,000 yard seasons, for God’s sake.
    Aikman never rated over 100.0 in QBR. But no one called him a ‘game-manager’ either. Dallas had a strong run game, and they used it. They also had guys like Novacek, Michael Irvin, and Kevin Williams to throw to. Smith has some WRs now, plus a whole camp to get synched up. His future is now.
    In the end, all this is determined on the field. I’m fine with other teams and pundits and the like giving him no love or props or whatever. As long as they move the chains and get into the end zone.

  25. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    12th, read the article. Jaws actually had a lot of good things to say about Smith. Plus he’s the highest ranked QB in the NFC West.
    For what that’s worth.

  26. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    I did read it Chuck, my opinion and ranking of AS is just about the same as Jaws including his current mid pack ranking, hoping for more improvement this season.
    What surprised me was the idea that Harbaugh may have been holding AS back. From my perspective I think Harbaugh squeezed as much as he could out of Smith last season. I have no doubt, just like Jaws says, that Harbaugh coached around his QB’s current shortcomings and to great success.
    I find the idea that AS was constrained by scheme to be laughable.
    I agree with many of your points and expect further improvement this year.
    Its exciting to know the team is competitive with the best in the league again.

  27. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

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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