We Want Football!

The football blogosphere returned to normal on Thursday after a long, dark winter of discontent. For 49er fans, this return to action was marked by a resounding “WTF!” For Roger Goodell, this return was marked by some severe ass booing at Radio City Music Hall.

The first action of the Trent Baalke/Jim Harbaugh reign was a bold and nervy first round draft selection that no mock draft or fan based wish list had ever mentioned even once as a possibility at pick #7 of the 2011 Draft. This kind of bravado can be attributed to clueless leadership, and many 49er fans mounted that horse last night. Or it can be an indication that leadership knows what it’s doing and doesn’t give snail’s slime what less knowledgeable fans may think or not think.

Aldon Smith is a pass rushing OLB. That was a team need on a par with a need for a cornerback and a quarterback. The problem with Smith is that he wasn’t touted by anybody. Guys selected in the top ten of a draft are usually well known commodities that draftnik fans have developed man-crushes on during the pre-draft hype honking days. A guy that will cause fans to whoop and holler when selected. Or boo and hiss. The selection of Smith caused dead silence throughout 49er land.

Not a PR winning choice.

Baalke and Harbaugh seem very pleased with this guy, however. So they either know what they are doing, or they don’t. We’ll see. Von Miller thinks Aldon with be Rookie Defensive Player of the Year, for what it’s worth. Not much, probably. But an interesting opinion.

The mock drafts had Robert Quinn and Prince Amukamara touted as probable Niner selections at pick #7, but these fellows slipped well down the board. Quinn went to the Rams, so we will see first hand in the coming years which pass rushing gent was the better choice. Amukamara fell all the way to the Giants at pick 19.

Four QBs were selected in the first twelve picks, erasing four possible destinations for Alex Smith to pursue during free agency. It’s no surprise that he is trotting into the Centennial offices this morning. The chances he will re-sign with the Niners for this year grow stronger by the day.

Day Two of the draft should be interesting. Most of us expect the team to choose a QB and a CB. We won’t know till early next week what players the Niners will acquire via FA and trades that may affect their selections today.

Some things about Thursday’s unusual first round were normal. Tim Kawakami’s reliable insider sources that assured us the Niners would select Blaine Gabbert were as reliable as last year’s sources that assured us the team would select Jimmy Clausen. Couldn’t the Mercury News get a monkey to handle Kawakami’s job? It would certainly be cheaper and probably more entertaining.

As for this site, it will be nice to return to being wrong about football instead of being wrong about labor law. To our credit, however, we do not site any sources for our ignorance. It’s entirely home grown.

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Posted in Draft Reaction
49 comments on “We Want Football!
  1. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Guys…Yea i didnt see that pick coming…although Smith (Aldon) was as high as 10th on some pre-draft boards….the kid is only 20 ..they may be on to something…as for today….geeezz i dont know now whats gonna happen…im still thinking Kapernick ??? …i have faith though…GO NINERS!!

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Unless the Niners fall apart this year, it looks like your Luck just ran out, Tony.

  3. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Aldon looks raw but hopefully he will osmose into the best pass rusher in the NFL. In watching his game film I can see that as a possibility but it would take at least a year and probably two or three.

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” With a nose takle!

  5. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I did not see the Aldon pick coming. After researching it, after the fact, it looks like a decent pick. I know my friend NJ49er is happy with the pick.
    If he has any impact in year one it is a bonus because at 263lbs and only 21, he looks like he’ll be playing in the 275-285 range when fully developed. I think he’ll get some playing time this year but he will have trouble stopping the run for a year or two. And since he likes to get physical, and since he is not fully developed, he will probably get out techniqued and thrown around a little when engaging more experienced O-linemen. But I do see him having some moments to make us see the future. I do not see a Balmer here.

  6. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    This reminds me of our pick of Anthony Davis from last year. Potentially the best at his position from the year’s draft, but just not ready yet for prime time yet.

  7. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    For round 2 I’m looking for Taiwan Jones, Stephen Peau, DaQuan Bowers, Ras-I Dowling, Branden Harris, Carimi or Wisnewski.
    For rd 3 I’m zeroing in on Kenrick Ellis and Buster Skrines.
    I’m sure I misspelled some names.

  8. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Not to mention Carimi already got drafted by the Bears.

  9. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    That would be a good reason to cross Carimi of the list. LOL! Thanks.
    I forget about Stanzi, he is who I think we take at #2, he would good at #3 so I’ll add him there. But I think he’s gone by #3 and reaching for a QB is always acceptable for me. I would not be upset if we took Stanzi at #2, but it wouldn’t be cause for joy either.

  10. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    We used the 7th overall pick on a guy who we’ll have to convert to a new position.
    I say this with all sincerity, our organization sucks.

  11. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    You’ve been hanging out with Spitblood too long, Dennis.

  12. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    To justify being picked seventh is going to be a tall order for this kid. He needs to develop into an every down player who can also bring in 10-12 sacks a year.

    He is changing from a 4-3 end to a 3-4 OLB, and making a huge jump in competition. And he’s only 20. He is no sure thing. Not even by NFL draft standards, which are already pretty dubious.

    In five years, this will either be a brilliant pick, or it’ll be Baalke and Harbaugh’s Alex Smith Pick. Or at least their Manny Lawson pick. Lets all hope B & H know something most other people don’t!

  13. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Grumpy- He just turned 21. If Aldon stays in school he is probably 1,2 or 3 for next year’s draft. Rumors are Belichick was aggressively trying to move into the top 10 to get Aldon. Having said all that, your above post is correct.
    I’ve turned from WTF to being happy with the pick, though still not excited, only because I was looking for more 1st year impact from our 1st round pick.

  14. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Happy BDay rob! His birthday was yesterday.

  15. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Appeals Court just granted a temp stay. Lockout is back on.

  16. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    You know you’re having a bad when…just as you’re about to stick your face into fan, your PG&E goes out.

  17. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Got this off Draft Insider about Aldon Smith…. sounds pretty good …….Height: 6-4.5
    Weight: 263
    40: 4.74
    School: Missouri
    Position: DE
    Bio: Two-year starter awarded all-Conference honors each of the last two years. Totals last year included 48/10/5.5, one interception and two pass break-ups. Played in 10 games, missing three games because of a fractured leg. Freshman totals included 64/19/11.5, earning him All-American honors.
    Positive: Explosive game-changing player with incredible upside. Athletic and very quick in all his actions. Immediately changes direction, displays speed out to the flanks and effective in pursuit. Flashes on the scene out of nowhere and plays with suddenness. Bends his knees, gets off the snap with a quick first step, and fires through the small openings of the offensive line. Plays assignment football, remains disciplined, and does more than just aimlessly rush up the field. Can drop off the line and make plays in space. Fluid moving in reverse.
    Negative: Lacks natural bulk and can be turned off the line by a single blocker on running downs. Must improve the use of his hands and do a better job using them to protect himself.
    Analysis: Smith arrived on the scene in 2009 and made an immediate impact in the Big 12 as one of the league’s better defenders. He possesses terrific size and growth potential and has the versatility to be used in a variety of positions. Smith is an athletic player who makes a tremendous amount of plays in the box and up the field, and he will quickly produce in the NFL for a creative defensive coordinator who puts him in positions to be successful.


  18. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    NF, No shutdown corners. Dowling is good but brittle. Everyone else is a crapshoot.

    Not to mention there is the awful specter of another year of Alex to ponder.

  19. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Brandon Harris is said to be great at covering the quicks but has some issues with the bigger physical types. Skrines is the fastest available corner and Ras-I Dowling would probably have been a 1st round pick if not for many injuries last year. I think all were leg muscle pulls. I turned on his games 3 times and he was always out.

  20. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    There goes Dowling.

  21. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Kapernick is at LEAST two years away. What does that mean? Two more years of Alex Smith.
    Go Cowboys!

  22. FranchiseNo Gravatar says:

    If Kapernick in his rookie year takes us to any come from behind wins, can we call him “Kaptain Comeback”?

  23. robNo Gravatar says:

    we still need a CB and a NT ! this is a good draft for both !

  24. robNo Gravatar says:

    there goes brandon frikkin harris

  25. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I did not even know who Culliver is. Del read me his bio and I got excited. When is the last time we had a CB who ran a sub 4.4? I’m thinking undrafted free agent Word-Daniels who we cut. I like the pick. In fact, I love the pick. Imagine that, a fast CB on my 49ers. I hope he can play the position. If nothing else, he has some speed.

  26. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear- Was that a jeer? Sounds funneled. Obviously your specialty. God forbid we replace your personal hero Jesus Franklin. Drafting a NT would be like saying how can we ever replace Franklin, right? Trust me, he sucks. He had one good year and you spermed your jeans. Get over him. It is OK to draft another NT that Nolan did not acquire. You know I love you but quit the damn Mike Nolan love.

  27. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I was advocating for Ellis. But I also wanted a CB. I read your post as capping on me. If that was not so then I jumped on you without merit. If so, sorry.
    I’m hoping for Taiwan Jones with the 4th.

  28. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I thought NoFear was advocating for Ellis over Culliver, but I’m still trying to figure out which coaches have been sacrificed at Alex Smith’s altar.

  29. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, looks like I mis-read the post, but I liked the fact that I give assholes a bad name. That comment efflorescing on the scene was great. NoFear is full of it, errrr, I mean them.

  30. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    OK, players for the 4th round. Taiwan Jones, Jaquizz, Rogers, Mark Herzlich, Nebraska kicker Henery, Davon House, The CB from Utah, or a NT. Is NT/Powe still available?

  31. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:


  32. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Kendall Hunter! This is the same as Taiwan Jones or Jaquizz Rogers as far as type of back. I like the pick.

  33. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, whether Franklin is abysmal or great, we need more NTs. I never understood why the last however many years we tried to muddle through with one real NT and a couple of swing guys. Flat out crazy. Walsh had the right idea: two is good, three is better. Where’s the beef? Not in SF the last few years. That needs to change. Give me three big ugly nasty fat fuckers in the middle and rotate them all day to keep them fresh.

  34. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Grumpy- You, me and NJ are crying for NTs constantly. We just keep crying. At this rate we are going to NEED Franklin back. Anthony Adams might be the guy we target. I’m guessing Sope is going back to NT this year.

  35. robNo Gravatar says:

    grumpy and berger
    nolan used to piss me off the most when he insisted that we didn’t need any real talent at any of the key positions on the team , just blue collar type grinders ! NT , QB , CB and passrusher are the main positions in question ! this imo is why we STILL dont have top players in these key spots ! even matt maiocco pointed this out recently !

  36. robNo Gravatar says:

    the main problem i have now is that even tho baalke seems to be targeting these key spots (and it’s about time we did ), it seems to me that most of the players we drafted this year could have been taken later on in the draft ! imho most of our picks were a bit of a reach … and our best hope now is that baalke turns out to be a lot more like bill walsh than terry donahue !

  37. robNo Gravatar says:

    OH , and if you’re going with a 3-4 , NT is where you start and should be one of the best players on your team ! durrr

  38. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    When the 49ers start Alex Smith next year at QB I will not take part in that sham of a production. I can’t. I won’t. I’ve had my intelligence insulted before, and 20 yrs ago when I still had some intelligence (you’d be surprised, I actually had a half a noodle before the strokes kick in, but I digress…) that was worthy of insulting, well, this really is beating a dead horse. The Alex Smith horse has been beaten like a drum that would make Buddy Rich proud.
    They shoot horses, don’t they?

  39. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    For sure, they shoot horses. They shoot them when they can’t be fixed, or when something could be wrong and you don’t want it to spread, so you shoot just to make sure. The unknown can be bad.
    Just like the Alex Smith situation. The haters desperately need his ass(horse) out of here for one big(major) reason. If he comes back and does well they will have to run hard and fast to save their precious egos. They need to get get his ass out of here so they can never be wrong, as they are such experts anything that challenges that is worth hanging. Kind of like stringing up blacks and their sympathizers in the 50’s. Hang ’em, nobody will ever know. If Alex leaves now, they can always be the experts who told us all. Desperation has set and you can tell by the volume being spew. “Get the “*%#&” out of here, I know all.” I love laughing every time these morons speak. Of course they know all, they are the Alex haters.
    I don’t give a rats ass if Alex comes back or not, but I would like him back if for no other reason than to see the moron QB experts back pedal. Alex would do well if he came back, much better than a DeBerg, and actually, he would just be a good QB. Something many here, many would never admit.

  40. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Bottom line is this, if Smith comes back he will provide a decent QB to move forward for the upcoming year. Will he blossom into a really good QB under Harbaugh? I think so, but I would not hang my hat on that. If Alex does not break out under Harbaugh then he is not ever going to flourish. I do see him as our best option for the upcoming year, beyond that, I’ll worry about that later. One thing I do know for absolute certainty is no QB could have been successful here since 2003. Hopefully that environment changes under Harbaugh.

  41. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    The anti-Smith crowd is pretty vocal and the members well known by now, so there’s a big wad of our guys definitely feeling the blues about this development. Condolences, fellas.
    To my knowledge there’s only one blogger who is renowned as a raving Smith supporter, a guy named Oneniner on the PD blog. I haven’t followed that blog much since Maiocco left, but I think he vanished during last year’s debacle. Don’t know if this news will bring him back. I’ll have to go look.

  42. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like Mchael and Flavor are giving a lot of support at Unca’s. I read Unca’s blog yesterday for the first time in weeks and those two bring some balance. Spitty is still trying to bully everybody and Unca still doesn’t seem to care. He actually threatened Michael and was asking for his address. Unca must love that Spity guy, or maybe he is afraid of him? Anyway, it is not my problem anymore. I’d go back and post there but I feel like trash just being on the same blog as Spitty. For me, it is just too embarrassing to let anybody know I would even talk to somebody like that.
    I think the Alex move makes sense. I see Alex’s career a lot like Rich Gannon’s. Gannon did one of our games last year and explained that his first 5 years in the league he had 5 different coordinators. He explained that the biggest problem is each year he was spending most of his time learning a new playbook instead of concentrating on fundamentals. He said it was also tough in the huddle because he had to grasp the playbook before he could tell the rest of the guys what needs to be done on a given situation, IOW, everybody else is still learning the playbook too. It is hard to imagine having to go through that every year. Gannon said when he had more consistency he was able to take off with his career. A lot of the Alex hating crowd sees that as just an excuse but Gannon actually had to go through the situation to find out first hand. Call me crazy but I’ll trust his knowledge over the Alex hating crowd when it comes to QBing in the NFL.

  43. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t see Alex as the reason for our losing, I see it mostly from poor coaching. I think Alex gives us the best chance to win next year. The reason it doesn’t matter to me if Alex stays or goes is I’m trying to look past just one year and would like to see something develop past the year to year commitment we continue to pursue with Smith. I don’t see Alex as a bad QB but it could be time to turn the page anyway. So for me, either way is OK. For next year we would probably do best with Alex, beyond, I don’t know. But you are correct that I would love to see the haters get a dose of Alex winning in their faces. And that line about running from their precious egos, that was stolen from you, it is a great line, one of the all time best. Except I should have said opinions instead of egos. You come up with some good stuff my friend.
    I sometimes think it is quite possible that Sing started Troy over Alex vs the Rams to make sure we lost making better the odds of him getting fired so he could get out of the hot kitchen with his money intact.
    I really like the “tornado of bullshit” line. Another classic by my buddy NoFear!
    Are you celebrating Mothers Day a week early?

  44. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear- BTW, I looked in the mirror and it got too small overnight to see my whole head! I need to go to Lowe’s to get a bigger mirror. I just hate it when they shrink.

  45. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Smith seems to be a bit of blind man and the elephant. Everyone sees something different. Is it bad coaching or bad instincts? Bad play calling or Alexcuses?

    My gut feeling is it’s somewhere in the middle. Alex has had a tough road, and with a better situation he’d be better. But ‘better’ is not always ‘good enough’.

    I’m resigned to seeing him come back at this point, and I’ll watch with interest to see if he can pull it all together finally. The Brodie comparison is that some people have been talking up is also very valid; the oldest 49er fans around know that Brodie showed flashes of brilliance and long periods of suckitude, bad decisions and immaturity from 1957 to 1964. then in ’65 Y.A. tittle came in as QB coach and he blossomed.

    So maybe the horse will learn to sing. You just have to realize that it’s a longshot though. Most struggling veteran QBs go right on struggling until they retire.

    The thing that has ALWAYS concerned me about Alex is not his arm but his head. When things go wrong, he is too quick to slump his shoulders, get that hangdog “Alex Look” and shuffle off the field after making a horrid mistake.

    Basically Alex has his chance to turn it around here, finally with a coach who will give him every chance and advantage he is going to ever get. Either Alex succeeds or he doesn’t. And it will be Alex himself who determines that now.

  46. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    One thing Alex needs, more than anyone else right now, is for the lockout / labor BS to get resolved.

    This is a guy who is not instinctive – he is an analyzer, who struggles to get to a comfort level in any system.

    Every minicamp practice he misses out on now, learning to run Harbaugh’s offense, sets him back. Missing a good portion of Training Camp, or exhibition games, would be a disaster for him. It would mean he is not comfortable to begin the season, cannot hit the ground running, with his advantages over the rookie Kapernick largely made irrelevant.

    Fans at the Stick will welcome him back – but warily. If Alex gets off to another bad start, the screaming for his replacement will grow quickly. And frankly, I don’t think his already underwhelming confidence level can handle that.

    So if you want him to have a chance of improving, start praying that the labor shit gets settled, pronto.

  47. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Grumpy- You and I don’t feel too different about Smith except I have a little more confidence in him than you do. He has seen 6 different systems in 6 years. I don’t think much will surprise him, he should pick up enough to be useful a lot quicker than when he first saw each system. Remember, he ran the WCO his 1st year under McCarthy. Anything he sees from here should have basic elements of what he has already seen in the past. Anybody would be slower to start if they need to learn a new playbook but I don’t see him needing extra time than normal for the situation.

  48. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Don’t say that too loud, NF. I was already thinking the same thing when I saw that… the league would probably not care less if it was the Pats or the Cowboys, but we are Goodell’s whipping boys. Hopefully we don’t end up getting fined yet again.

  49. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, the funny thing is, NoFear and Spitblood have a lot in common, extreme viewpoint-wise.

    And, Berger, your take on Alex is ludicrous. You think people will care about what they said earlier about Smith if he plays well? Really? They have to justtify their positions by hoping the team crashes and burns yet again?
    That’s V logic there.
    Deferring to the coaches on this is really all there is. IF Harbaugh can straighten Smith out and stop the game-killing errors, hey, maybe the team plays well enough to reach the playoffs. Maybe not. Great.
    Truth be told, if he wins, people would cheer. I was at the Seattle game last year, and it was a prime example of fans being fans. Alex’s 1st pass was off target and incomplete. He was booed mercilessly. His 2nd pass was a screen attempt. However, the play was blocked horribly, and would have resulted in a 5 yard loss had he completed it. He threw it at Westbrook’s feet. He was booed even harder, even though it was the right play (whether he missed it on PURPOSE will never be known, but it looked to me like he didn’t want to complete it for the loss). Next play? Smith hit VD on a 15 yard pass over the middle, and he went 65 yards for a TD. The crowd went nuts. Nary a boo for Alex the rest of the day.
    No one was saying, “Boy I hate Alex. I hope he fucks this game up and loses so I can feel better about myself.” They all cheered as he played well that day. The problem? Well, the next game. He cratered vs SD the next week, and was demoted for the Ram game. Good, bad or indifferent, Alex has not put 2 good games together since 2006. Of course, by week 15, Singletary was in full QB roulette mode, so that didn’t help.
    Still and all, the fact remains Harbaugh is taking a pretty big risk re-signing Smith.

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