The Game Is Afoot

Tonight in New Orleans, the San Francisco 49ers officially begin the 2011 NFL season and the Jim Harbaugh era. It’s been seven and a half months since we last saw our boys play some football. It was not a fun time at all, but we have survived it. Hallelujah, brother! Pass the suds and let’s get this season rolling!

The game itself will be more of a glorified scrimmage than a true contest, but we will get to observe what our new coach looks like standing on the sidelines and form our first impressions of his stature. I think it’s safe to say, he will not be wearing a suit, posing sternly from the captain’s deck. Nor will he be wearing a hoody or sporting any large, gold pendants. He will most certainly not be standing there mute, with arms folded, staring out at the world in a humorless stupor.

The starters will be playing about one quarter, so we will get an extended look, finally, at our 2011 draft class. Fourth round running back Kendall Hunter, third round cornerback Chris Culliver, second round quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and first round OLB/DE Aldon Smith will be the main targets of our pointy little orbs. All four of these gents could see significant playing time this year. Unless they don’t play too good and set off a season long blog gripe against GM Trent Baalke for wasting a draft pick on them.

As of this writing, we are not sure whether our game day photographer will be working this event, but by mentioning it, we hope to spur him into action. True, it’s pre-season, and the new CBA does not require him to get to work until opening day, but no harm poking a stick into his hive anyway. It’s always fun to rile up grumpy old men.

The first order of business for the new season is to lose this game and get the 4-0 perfect pre-season jinx removed from the premises. It shouldn’t be too hard, considering we’re playing a very good team that has been smugly preening all offseason about their wonderfulness and how their offseason was better than anyone else’s. Hmmm. Maybe we should trounce them just for the hell of it and tank the last pre-season game instead. That’s the ideal game to lose, since none of our starters will be playing in it, which is the very essence of a meaningless game.

What we don’t want to see tonight are any injuries — to our team. The Saints can have some if they want, we don’t mind. Seattle had a good one Thursday night right off the bat when their best offensive lineman, LT Russell Okung, was carted off with the dreaded high ankle sprain. We would commiserate with Seattle coach Pete Carroll, but, you know, hahaha. Better you than us, Pete.

As an opening day ceremony, this site hearby declares a truce on all previous blog disgruntlements and issues a blanket pardon for everyone. We are all forgiven and today we start this season in harmony and as brothers in the 49er hood. May good fortune shine upon our team this year and all of us experience the most enjoyable 49er season since 2002. Amen and Go 49ers!

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58 comments on “The Game Is Afoot
  1. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    Amen brother. Please Lord let us not stink up the joint. (not that I am opposed to stinky joints, ya know) Not that we have any in this remote corner, damn. Oh and GO Niners!

  2. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    And ‘let loose the dogs of war’ uh huh…

  3. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    YEA!!! cant frikken wait…go niners!!!!!

  4. robNo Gravatar says:

    go niners

  5. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    I’m not gonna say one damn negative thing today. Well, at least until the game starts tonight.
     
    Go Niners!

  6. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The big question for me tonight is which beer should I get to go with the game? I’m thinking of going with two 22 ounce Devil Dog IPAs and some Sierra Nevada Torpedos. Maybe some Cascade Hollow whiskey so I can properly talk to unca about politics at his level?

  7. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Hmmm. Scott McKillop has been cut. Down goes another McCloughan pick.

  8. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Only Crabtee, Curtis Taylor, and RJF remain from the 2009 draft.

  9. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    McCloughan sucked. That POS GM drinks more than Berger and me combined. And that’s saying something.

  10. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Tru dat.
    go Niners

  11. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Cross-posted from Unfiltered land:

    McKillop was a guy with very marginal athleticism who could play well in a very small piece of the field, because of effort and preparation. The injury last year was a disaster for him. Guys on the edge cannot afford to lose speed. In any event, Fangio wants guys who can can run and cover and blitz in addition to playing the inside run.

    Grant had added weight since he left here and might just be a decent backup now.

  12. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs, Curtis Taylor is like fourth team on the depth chart now, too, so I think he’ll be off that list in a few weeks, even if we DO trade Mays.

  13. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Niners now saying he hasn’t been cut and NFL posting of transactions is not correct.

  14. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs McKillop is tweeting not to believe that he got the axe.
    We’ll see if he’s on the field
    at gametime

  15. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Is McKillop still a member of this 49er team? I’d think a reputable organization would have dispensed the correct info by now. But the 49ers?
     
    M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E. Mickey Mouse!

  16. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    I think in my 7:04 post this morning I said I wasn’t gonna say anything negative — at least until the game starts.
     
    Well, I lied. Get used to it.

  17. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Sorry, Reno, you can’t reach my level with a jet pack.

    So, who’s feeling gruntled?

    It’ll be interesting to see how well this offense goes. Want to bet Harbaugh runs up the liddle on 1st and 10? Just to hear the collective groan from 2,000 miles away?

  18. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    I believe the coaching is there, finally. The O-line has talent, and should gel over the course of the year. We have some good receivers, and a running back who might not be able with 9 guys in the box, but in this offense, if he stays healthy I think he’ll be very productive.

    So. It all comes down to He Who Shall Not Be Named, running the offense, getting first downs and TDs, and avoiding the ugly errors of the past.

    May not be entirely pretty, but it will be an interesting year.

  19. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Chuck..funny you mentioned that…was joking with the wife and said it be really funny if the first three plays. Harbaugh runs Gore up the middle….just to mess with us fans 馃檪

  20. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Grump, at least the offense they are running with Smith is a little more suited to how he plays.
    .
    In theory, anyway. If he can read quick and get the ball out quick, there should be improvement in the time-of-posession battle. If not, it’s skipped passes off of Gore’s hands for easy pickings.

  21. winderNo Gravatar says:

    grump – I want to see what our OL looks like too. When it all comes down, it begins and ends with the lines.

  22. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Chuck – Last year at this time we were looking for continuity and we were sorely dissapointed. I promise I will quit bashing Smith if he can just show some marked improvement. Learning how to hit a receiver in stride would be a great place to start.

  23. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    I feel good about Iupati and Goodwin (once he is up to speed). I think Staley is solid if not great. Davis has loads of talent and just needs to learn the technique. He has miles to go but *I think* he will get there. Chilo is slimmed down but it remains to be seen whether that translates into better play, or whether Snyder can offer that instead. The big issue is to get five guys out there and keep them healthy and playing. Shuffling constantly only leads to chaos on the O-line. Continuity often leads to a very strong unit.

  24. robNo Gravatar says:

    i expect a very ugly game , but hope to see some good play in spots

  25. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Constant shuffling along the O-Line? Sounds like an excuse we can use when our QB fails.
     
    An excuse for when our QB fails? Where have I heard that one before? It’s like it’s d茅j脿 vu all over again.

  26. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Dennis, remember how bad our O-line was from 1976 to 1978? They got Plunkett and Scott Bull killed. Freddie Solomon spent an afternoon running for his life behind them, which pretty much cured him of the notion that he wanted to be an NFL QB forever.

    1979 comes along, and McKittrick settles on five guys and sticks with them. After some bumps, they allow only 17 sacks in over 600 pass plays. A couple of years later they win a super bowl. Only change during that period was the emergency pickup of Dan Audick.

    Continuity on that line turned some underachieving first picks and a trio of scrounged guys – Quillan, Ayers and later Audick – into a solid line.

    There is so much teamwork involved on the line. Chinese fire drills every few weeks are poison for the chemistry you need. I *hope* we can settle on five guys and build a good unit.

  27. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I made some decisions. Two 22 oz Devil Dogs at 10%. It is an Imperial IPA. One 12 pack of Sierra Nevada Tumbler, an Autumn Brown at 5.5%. And a 5th of Woodford Reserve whiskey for the start of football season! I will sleep wherever I land.

  28. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Dennis doesn’t remember what he had for diner last night. You expect him to remember the 70s?

  29. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Salisbury steak, rice, butter roll and Denali’s caribou caramel ice cream.
     
    Stuff that up your next 40 ft. Christmas tree.

  30. robNo Gravatar says:

    i want to watch the game with berger for those drinks ! even more during the season just in case !
    anybody have a link where i can watch the game online ?

  31. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Three and out on the first drive.

    Same as it ever was, so far.

  32. robNo Gravatar says:

    pressure ! that’s new !

  33. robNo Gravatar says:

    and on 3rd down ! brooks !

  34. robNo Gravatar says:

    there’s your boy del ! and franklin is in for NO!

  35. robNo Gravatar says:

    smith is not being protected ! the line needs to learn the blocking scheme !
    i hopw we’re ready by game one !

  36. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    It’s not his fault.

  37. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Only bright spot so far is the pass rush. Aldon and Ahmad got more pressure in the second quarter than Lawson and Haralson have in the last three years.

    That’s all I got.

    Damnit, I need more alcohol to watch this shit. 馃檨

  38. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    I thought we fired Sing? This offense still stinks on ice.

  39. robNo Gravatar says:

    kappy lokks good !
    defense kicks asz ! brooks and aldon make me feel a lot better about losing lawson and spikes !

  40. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    And who is the captain in charge of this stinks on ice offense? You got it. I’m tired. I really am sick and goddamn tired of typing or avoiding typing that worthless sumbitch’s name.
     
    I’m sick and goddamn tired. I hope he rots in hell. And he best not hope that I meet up with him in Dante’s Inferno. Because I will kill him. I know he’s already dead, but I’ll kill him again.
     
    Get off my goddamn team.

  41. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Hey! We look good running off the field!

  42. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    We’ll need more QBs with this protection.

  43. robNo Gravatar says:

    funny berger

    brooks and aldon make me feel a lot better about our linebackers

  44. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, and those linebackers look like they’ll be on the field about 45 minutes a game.

    Christ, the offense looks bad. Kaep has a cannon arm and can run, but otherwise, it was all bad.

    Time for another beer.

  45. robNo Gravatar says:

    i like ronald johnson ! i think he’ll be our 4th or 5th WR

  46. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs, tell me a story about 11-5… I’m bored and need a fairy tale for bedtime. Aw, frak it, I’ll just crack the Tequila.

  47. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    “Trent Baalke’s work is not done…”

    LOLOLOL… really? YOU FRACKING [b]THINK[/b]????

  48. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Way too early, probably.

    But if I have to spend a whole year watching Alex eat turds like this, they may have to fraking commit me.

  49. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Best thing you can say about this shit tonight: it’s OVER.

  50. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Smith- 7 pass plays 2 sacks, doesn’t count getting killed in throwing motions which were two in completions. Kaep, 12 passing plays 4 sacks. 19 plays, 6 sacks. Things that make one go hmmmmm. We might need more QBs. I will say the play calling looked like Sing was the coach, but JH was looking for execution. If JH calls plays like this in the regular season, I give up. I can’t see play calling this bad in regular season.

  51. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    There is only one thing that got me upset in tonight’s game; Anthony Dixon looking like Kevan Barlow dancing in the hole. I could have predicted everything else if I knew this was our game plan. The bad offensive line play was because of the bad play calling. The bad play calling was because of the new coach calling vanilla plays to see what he has. Overall, not a good performance, but we’ll go from here. I would rather see what I saw than to try to win pre-season games.

  52. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    D-line observations- Justin Smith, awesome. I always vacillate between who is my favorite 49er, Justin Smith or Patrick Willis. We are lucky to have both. RJF, not bad, not great but better than expected. Good job. McDonald, OK. Our D-line played well vs Saints. That surprised me, I will hold judgement for a later date because I still can’t believe they played that well. We probably played as well as we did on the D-line because of the vanilla play calling by the Saints. Brees and UQB both had 49.6 QG ratings. The difference was ours was on his butt for almost every play. But give our D-line some credit.
    .
    All in all, our D-line played well. I did not expect this. Some subs that were of note, Williams played as expected. He made some plays, got washed in some. I can’t form any opinion from this game. Takuofu, good game. I’m not ready to form an opinion, but I’m close to liking this guy. One guy did really well, Dobbs. If he can duplicate this effort he is a player to make the squad.
    .
    I did not expect this D-line to be good but they were the one strong point of the game. Good job Tomsula.

  53. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    One more DL observation, OLB. Keena Turner was an OLB, Charles Haley was a DE even though he was listed as an OLB. If your primary function is to rush the QB you are a DE. Period, end of story. Anybody who thinks Lawrence Tayler was an OLB, I would argue this point until the cows came home, and then some more. He was a DE. Aldon Smith is a DE. Period, end of story. The term for a pass rushing OLB is Elephant, termed by Bill Walsh for Fred Dean. The NFL officially calls it a Hybrid.
    .
    We drafted Aldon Smith to rush the QB. He is an Elephant which makes him a DE. Three point stance, two point stance, whatever. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it is a duck.
    .
    After watching today’s game I put the over/under on sacks for him at about 5. I see some raw skill, but he just isn’t physical enough at the age of 21. He just turned 21. I did see enough to think he has a chance of being a beast. But potential is not not the same as actual. My evaluation, incomplete, but at this point, I like the draft pick at the position we drafted him. He did great for a physically under developed 20/21 year old in is first pro game. Now let’s see him get better.

  54. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    From here on out for the pre-season I would hope that we try to implement some offense instead of trying to be so Singletary. One can only step forward if they willingly go forward.

  55. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear- Not exactly sure what your last post meant. I’m thinking you are agreeing with my 10:52 post, but not sure. Unless you are saying in a 3-4 having an OLB is a surprise? I’m fairly sure you aren’t saying that. Everybody knows that is naive.

  56. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Anthony Dixon put on some weight
    and needs to take the ball upfield and stop the dancing.
    He ought to be powering through
    cuz he’s not making people miss.
    Hunter is quick and Oman is impressive but he was going against scrubs so I need to temper my enthusiam.

  57. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

2021 Schedule
09/12 - 10:00 AM @ DET
09/19 路 10:00 AM @ PHI
09/26 路 5:20 PM v GB
10/03 路 1:05 PM v SEA
10/10 路 1:25 PM @ AZ
10/17 BYE
10/24 路 5:20 PM v IND
10/31 路 10:00 AM @ CHI
11/07 路 1:25 PM v AZ
11/15 路 5:15 PM v LAR
11/21 路 10:00 AM @ JAX
11/28 路 1:25 PM v MIN
12/05 路 5:20 PM @ SEA
12/12 路 10:00 AM @ CIN
12/19 路 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 路 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 路 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 路 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
 
2020 Prognostications (Mulligan Version)
WINNERS:
Bullit: 6-10
NJ49er: 6-10

LOSERS:
Skeebers: 7-9
Winder: 4-12

ABSTAINERS:
Grumpy: DNP
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