Squinting at the Horizon III

When the 2010 pre-season begins, many dilating and distended orbs will be pointing their laser like beams directly at Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati, the highly touted #11 and #17 picks in last April’s draft. These large and nimble fellows will be expected to instantly upgrade our offensive line and turn it into a bruising, roaring, fire breathing … ahem … make it at last and at least into a respectable NFL line. One capable of pushing open some modest cleavage for our RBs to cavort through, while also preventing penetration into the sacred area of the 49er backfield (I’m blushing). Falling short of these accomplishments will turn Trent Baalke’s new found respect and admiration into sewerage in a blink of the many aforementioned eyes.

The 49er offensive line has been an embarrassment since 2006, the last year Larry Allen played like … Larry Allen. In 2007, he played like a guy who looks like Larry Allen. His precipitous decline was mostly, if not entirely, responsible for a chain of events that affected the 49er empire to the core. By playing matador to an onrushing Seahawk fellow name Rocky Benard in the 4th game of the season, Larry got the franchise QB disabled for two years, while also sending Mike Nolan down the path that led to the door that led to the street that wended downward to Denver and then sideways to Miami. This one play also led to Trent Dilfer performing standup comedy at QB until he was mercifully knocked to the sidelines and, like Nolan, on out the door and into the talking head studio.

Leave it to an ex-Cowboy to cause a train wreck in 49er land.

In 2008 and 2009, David Baas was expected to step into Larry’s cleats. He tried, limped, and pretty much failed. The left side of the line has been a sieve and a cleavageless eye sore during his woeful tenure there. Iupati is expected to remedy this problem.

Most of the attention on the right side of the Oline has been focused on the equally abysmal performance of the various RTs to take a crack at the position. Two, Jonas Jennings and Tony Pashos, landed on IR, and the 3rd, Adam Snyder, was one of the worst RTs in the league. Anthony Davis is expected to remedy this problem.

But the RG position bears serious scrutiny this coming pre-season, also. While the LG and RT are first round draft picks, our RG Chilo Rachal is a 2nd round, 3rd year player. He has been highly touted from day one, but also pinned with the dreaded “raw” label, coming into the league early as a junior. Chilo had a very ragged year in 2009, and only the injury to Pashos kept him in the starting lineup and allowed him to improve as the year played out. If this Oline is going to be anything near adequate, let alone dominant, Chilo has got to muscle up and fulfill his toutedness.

So, despite the general optimism about our Oline for 2010, there are three out of five positions that have yet to prove they are any good. Not only that, two are rookies who will make rookie mistakes. And continuity, the life blood of an Oline, let alone the much ballyhooed theme of this off season, will definitely not be present when we start the season. On the road and in Seattle.

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7 comments on “Squinting at the Horizon III
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Really Skeebs, you should be writing for a major newspaper.
    I think our ofensive line played well last year in spread formations(at least 3 WR wide) and played poorly in the Sardine Can Offense. I do believe the O-line needed an upgrade, but it wasn’t as bad as some thnk it was. The biggest problem with our O-line was SingRaye. We have new O-line coaches this year and I expect better choice of formations. We’ll see what unfolds soon.

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Actually, having two new Oline coaches is yet another dent in the “continuity” scenario. I agree the upgrades were necessary and will be good, I just worry about the first half of the season, before everything starts to mesh. It might be better to have Baas and maybe even Snyder start that first Seattle game. Maybe even the N.O. game that follows.

  3. DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Is this a 49er blog or a Harlequin Novel? After reading Skeebers first paragraph, I not really sure. I’m of the belief that both rookies should start from day one on the offensive line. The sooner the better I say. Iupati and Davis need to get some first team reps with Staley, Heitmann and Rachal. Get our five best guys together and let the cohesion and meshing process begin. We already know what we have in Baas and Snyder. Time to see what the new kids on the block (can’t believe I just typed that) can do.

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I think Iupati will start day one and the competition at guard will be between Baas and Rachel on the right. Iupati does something that takes a while to teach most of the time, he plays low with good leverge.
    Davis is 20 years old and will probably take a little longer. But since Davis is 323lbs and plays on the balls of his feet I have high hopes. They’ll need to teach him to play lower and to attack a little more in pass pro. If he wants it, he should eventually be a beast. Davis has the potential to be the best lineman from this draft, but he is only 20 years old. I’ve noticed most of the blog world does not have much patience for 20 year old(or therebout) players. IE, Smith, Rachel, Balmer, etc….

  5. robNo Gravatar says:

    open some modest cleavage for our RBs to cavort through, while also preventing penetration into the sacred area

    omg skeebs , what’s next , a detailed story about the defense ? maybe ways to get more penetration on the backside of some of the other guy’s offensive plays ?

    we can see right thru you , i mean we’re not a bunch of boobs you know !

    LOL !

    being the redheaded stepchild , i guess i missed out on all the good avatars , but just to fit in i changed to this one ! i hope you like it !

  6. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Sorry about that, Rob. I was away from my desk for awhile and missed the avatar you apparently replaced. Not that your new one isn’t a masterpiece of understated excellence.

  7. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Is that a self-portrait, Rob? It kind of looks like you, IIRC.

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