We’re Off and Stumbling

The 49ers opened the 2013 season with a 7 minute, 13 play drive that honked out in the Red Zone, forcing them to settle for a FG. Hmmm. That was the all too familiar script in the 2012 season, right down to the end. In fact, there were only three 49er drives in the game, and they all wheezed out in the Red Zone.

The scrubs took over after that first drive and provided a two and a half hour cure for insomnia. Denver wasn’t any better and the only TD in the game was a 9 yard fumble recovery jaunt into the endzone by the Bronco’s Shaun Phillips midway through the second quarter — the first of 4 Niner turnovers. A snoozer, folks. And a 10-6 49er loss.

But, it was the blessed return of football. Halleluja!

The mystery number two WR to start opposite Anquan Boldin turned out to be Marlon Moore. Moore made a good catch on the opening drive, then got the starter treatment and did not return to the game. Following him in the WR manhunt were AJ Jenkins, Kassim Osgood, Chuck Jacobs, Chad Hall, Ricardo Lockette, and Austin Collie. All of them looked decent except for the guy 49er fans and management need to look decent — Jenkins. He finally caught a pass, then promptly fumbled it away, and showed about one-tenth the aggressiveness of Hall.

First round pick Eric Reid looked Goldsonesque at FS, delivering sure tackles, solid hits, and good awareness. He didn’t start, but that won’t be the case much longer. Fellow draftee, 2nd rounder Vance McDonald also looked good at TE, catching 4 passes for 66 yards, to lead the team in both categories.

NT Ian Williams, stepping into the shoes of the departed Isaac Sopoaga, did not make the stat sheet, but nevertheless had a very good night. He held his own at the nose and also provided good pass rush pressure straight up the middle, something that Sopoaga rarely provided.

Neither Colt McCoy nor Scott Tolzien looked all that great at QB, but the backup Oline didn’t give either of them much protection. Anthony Dixon got most of the RB duty in the game and looked his typical outstanding preseason self. These four fake games are the only time each year Dixon gets to play RB and he always has fun doing it. Strangely, the somewhat touted Jewel Hampton did not get into the game until really late in the fourth quarter.

Other players of note in the game: Perrish Cox with some good coverage and a couple of good returns, 3rd round pick Corey Lemonier who twice forced third down failures with some impressive quickness at DE, and Lockette with an ooh-and-aah punt coverage hit that flattened a Bronco return man on the two yard line.

All in all, not a game you would keep in your DVR posterity list — unless you have trouble sleeping.

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55 comments on “We’re Off and Stumbling
  1. robNo Gravatar says:

    hmmm we seem to have signed cb eric wright ! now he didn’t cost us a draft pick because of the voided trade ! nice job niners !

  2. robNo Gravatar says:

    eric reid looked good ! that to me was the biggest and most important question going into last night ! if he can replace goldson at safety this year , we’re off and running !

  3. robNo Gravatar says:

    now i’m looking for dorsey , williams and lockette to come up big !!!

  4. robNo Gravatar says:

    and crabtree to make a speedy recovery of course !

  5. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Reid still has a lot to learn but he looked good in his pro debut
    and looked like a top pick.
    Vance McDonald showed that he can get open and is a big target.
    He’s going to make us forget Delanie Walker.

  6. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, why would we need Delanie Walker when Vance McDonald can drop the passes instead!

  7. robNo Gravatar says:

    looking forward to the rest of preseason !

  8. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    After watching the back-up QBs with the back-up O-line, BJ Daniels might just have a shot. Maybe that’s only because he didn’t play. That is what made him look better than McCoy and Tolzien. If he played he could have had a chance of looking as bad as those two.

  9. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Of the D-line that didn’t look so well near the end of the game, Purcells and Lemoneir look decent on the left, while Divens and Jerod-Eddie could not hold an assignment on the right, allowing numerous cut back runs.

  10. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    On D the guy that looked totally lost to me was Cam Johnson.
    After 1 year on IR he still looks like a rookie totally getting fooled on some plays.
    Watching film, meetings, practices
    and observing the starters playing your position should go a long way in the learning process.

  11. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Cam Johnson will probably get the cam shaft soon!

  12. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll cut Vance McDonald some slack
    for drops as a rookie.

    I attribute that to being a rookie and Rice went through the same growing pains as did VD.
    The speed of the game takes time for players to adjust.
    Mcdonald showed me he can get 15-20yd chunks of yards running the seams of zones and that’s encouraging.

  13. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I did like some things I saw from McDonald but his scouting report did say he drops one or two passes per game. Was college too fast for him?

  14. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    VM alligatored one of those balls he dropped. THe other was a flat drop.
    All in all, Walkeresque. He’s a big load though. If he can learn to block and minimize the drops, he’ll be real good.

  15. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    First there was Del Mar Dennis. Now there is Del Mar Mike! Former Vikings coach Mike Tice hit a pick six at Del Mar.

  16. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The 49ers came out in the first drive using only two interior D linemen with two stand up DE/OLBs.

  17. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    “Sanchez throws pick-six to Ansah on Jets’ first drive.”
    He’s baaack!!

  18. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Alex Smith with a six minute, 14 play 80 yard opening drive for a TD. No Red Zone bog down in KC.

  19. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    So what you are saying is Alex got into the red zone on his 1st drive and got a TD, but we got there 3 or 4 times and got only two FGs? Didn’t Alex have that problem here too? Let’s see, chicken or egg, coach or QB? You do know we lead the league in NoFear formations last year, meaning zero and one WR sets. Any correlation? What say you NoFear?

  20. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Might just be a tad early with these assessments, Bergs.

  21. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    True, but I love engaging my buddy NoFear. He absolutely hates committing to an opinion and I love busting his ass for that! It is why we love blogging!

  22. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Never too early for dubious assessments.

  23. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    “Kendall Hunter has been activated from PUP list.”

  24. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    I have read that Rathman is not happy with Hampton’s pass blocking on blitz pickups and won’t play him unless he’s able to keep his QB from getting killed.
    It’ll be hard for Hampton to make the team and he might be on the PS again.

  25. winderNo Gravatar says:

    I do hope Alex can put together good games against the Raiders this yr. I heard so much crap over the years from Raider fans that I will personally spend some time on their blog sites.
    Money talks and Bull…. walks, that’s what these preseason games are all about. We used to lose these games even when Montana was at the helm.

  26. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Mike Tice hit the PK 6 at Del Mar? Did he have to scalp his Super Bowl tickets to get the cash to purchase the winner?

  27. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Eric Reid injured his hip during practice today over at Candlestick. Don’t know the severity, but I’m thinking more of Craig Dahl next Thursday at KC. Alex Smith vs Craig Dahl. First there was “Dumb & Dumber,” now Peter Farrelly and New Line Cinema proudly presents, “Shit & Shittier.”
    Opens Thursday at a theater near you. This movie is rated F.

  28. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Good luck with that.
    Too bad the Chef’s game is on Friday.

  29. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Thursday? Friday? Makes no difference. No one in their right mind is paying $12.50 to wait in line to watch that crap. No need to “get your popcorn ready.” Even T.O. is sitting this one out.
    But I do love that movie theater popcorn “butter” so. It falls right in line with sausage. “If you knew how they made it…”

  30. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Regarding an actual 49er football update. Am I allowed to post one of those? Feels strange. Anywho…b/u QB, Colt McCoy’s MRI came back “clean.” He should be ready to resume practice this week and play vs KC.
    Bullit, I know you like McCoy because of your Longhorn connection. I’ve always liked Colt, too. He’s not the most gifted QB when it comes to talent, but I’ve always liked his smarts, savvy and he’s a winner. I was very happy with the trade. Me happy with a 49er? Someone must have put something into my drink.

  31. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    One of the two draft picks that made me say ugh was Lemonier. I am warming. McDonald is the other. I knew he had talent but I can’t handle dropping passes. If he keeps dropping passes he had better turn into on major ass hole on the field. Jury is still out on the farm.

  32. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    So Harbaugh called today’s practice at Candlestick, “raggedy.” Sounds like A.J. Jenkins played the part of “Ann,” and Craig Dahl suited up as “Andy.”
    “During individual warmups (Jenkins) lost a pass in the sun, and the crowd groaned. Jenkins also had a Kaepernick pass bounce off his hands. Safety Darcel McBath caught the deflection for an interception.”
    “Kaepernick made a strong and accurate throw 25 yards down the middle of the field that hit WR Anquan Boldin in stride with FS Craig Dahl trailing in coverage.”
    In showbiz, we refer to those as a movie trailer or preview. With Jenkins and Dahl in the lead role, I see nothing but Oscars in our future…Oscar the Grouch. Oscar Madison. Oscar Mayer Wieners…

  33. Unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    It was a ‘mild’ back injury for Reid, Dennis.

  34. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    I think McDonald will be a valuable receiving option for the Niners.
    On drops it’s all about perception.
    Delanie Walker was pilloried for his drops but would it surprise you that Gore had a like number of dropped balls on easier swing passes yet he’s never criticized because of his production?
    I would like all these guys to catch everything they touch but that’s not possible and not a realistic expectation.
    Mcdonald will be OK just like VD and Crabtree before him. Production helps perception and last Friday McDonald was the most productive receiver showing me he can get open.

  35. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    TEs are supposed to catch balls, Bullit. Walker was drafted as a WR, which made it harder to get. He caught more shit because he deserved it. Gore has been eased out of catching passes under Harbaugh. He doesn’t get the chances he used to. If McDonald stops the drops, he won’t get shit for it. If he goes at a clip similar to Walker, he’ll catch shit for it.

  36. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    In other words, Bullit, the guy dropping the perfectly thrown 20 yard seam pass will catch more shit than the guy dropping a 4 yard swing pass. And rightly so.

  37. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Delanie had 8 drops last year on only 39 targets for a drop rate of a whopping 20.51% Compare that with Crabtree who had 5 drops on 127 targets for a drop rate of only 3.94%
    Conclusion? Delanie sucks and losing Crabtree is damning beyond belief. Here’s the drop chart: http://tinyurl.com/khbgyy6

  38. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I see some good things in store for Vance McD. The biggest problem for me with him was when I read the scouting report after the selection. It translated as big and slow but makes up for it by dropping passes. Scouting reports can be wrong but he already dropped two passes in one game. I’m rooting for him since he’s on our team, just catch the damn ball Delanie!

  39. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    For me a dropped pass is a dropped pass.
    I’ll cut a rookie some slack as growing pains (for a few games) but a swing pass to Gore (who’s an 8 year vet) that’s dropped is as egregious as any WR or TE dropping a catchable ball.
    Gore, Crabtree or Davis menas if you’re thrown the ball you catch it or get someone else that can.
    Just like if you can’t handle a blocking assignment and the play blows up as a result. No excuses.

  40. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    In his rookie year Vernon Davis caught 20 balls for 265 yards and 3 TDs.
    If he remains healthy I project Vance McDonald will have 50 Catches 600 yds and 6 TDs.
    Those numbers would exceed VD’s stats from last year of 41, 548 and 5 TDs and the top rookie TE Dewayne Allen 45, 521 and 3 TDs.
    I have that much faith in Vance to pick up some of the slack in Crabtree’s absence and become a weapon and an option for CK.
    To achieve those numbers he has to catch 3 balls for 38 yds and a TD every game which is doable if he gets 25 snaps a game and is targeted 6 times.

  41. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Vance McDonald will go 50/600/6? You’re on the Niner payroll. Just admit it. VD is projected for 64/811/6. McDonald? 18/192/1.
    Do you hand out pamphlets of Niner propaganda to unsuspecting fans while tailgating in the parking lot as well?

  42. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Similarly, Vance and Delanie were used as WRs in College.
    Of all the options coming out in April, I thought Vance had the most upside too.
    He’s got a great motor and good speed, along with the size you want at TE.
    Look where Vernon is after all these years.
    He’s worked himself into a pretty respectable receiving threat, after numerous drops early in his Pro career.
    I was guilty of calling him ‘Skillet Hands’ on more than a few occassions.
    Keep the faith Gents, I’m all in for Vance.

  43. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Your numbers for McDonald say 1 catch a game for 12 yards.
    With VD getting doubled McDonald will have his chances without Crabtree provided they play a lot of 2 TE sets.
    I’ll be sure to let you know when he surpasses your projection.

  44. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    IIRC, Vernon Davis broke his leg his rookie season and missed over half of it.

  45. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit, that is not *my* projection, I quoted those numbers from one of my FF sites. I believe McDonald’s numbers will be (I hope to hell) better than those, but nowhere near yours.
    I’ll give you *my* prediction for McDonald when it’s time. I don’t bet on a race with 20 mins. still left to post. The horses haven’t even reached the paddock. I want to see how look first.

  46. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Another complete omission on my part. Insert “they” where appropriate. Time for me to get some fresh air and go feed *my* ducks down at the creek.

  47. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    I forgot about VD’s injury.
    He played in 10 games as a rookie.
    That definitely kept his stats down along with the SCO.

  48. Unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Gore is a running back. He usually makes plays. Yeah, he’s had some drops. Wwhy compare gore with VM? 50 catches for 600 yards will be about 2.5 seasons worth of output from VM. The comparo will be with Walker. If McDonald drops as many passes as Walkwer,then they didn’t do much good in getting him.
    Am I saying he’ll do bad? No. As much as you want to say I am, the deal is, he’s been knocked for this in college, and he’s dropped some in practice. Can he be cured? Sure. Lets hope so. They let Walker go for a reason.

  49. Unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Walker had 21 for 344 as a 7th year guy and the 2 TE. VM is A rookie. If he catches 60 balls, jthen VD is injured in game 1.

  50. Unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    …and be rookie of the year…

  51. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit, final spot in our yahoo FF league is still open. You’re welcome to it if you like. You could name your team 49er “Red Wedding,” or “Well, I’m Imp the Dimp the ladies pimp.”
    That’s obviously too many characters, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to cross reference Tyrion Lannister and “Rapper’s Delight.” Sometimes I assume myself with my quick wit. I shouldn’t laugh at my own jokes. I’ll remind myself that as soon as I pick myself up from off of the floor.

  52. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    *amuse* I assume it’s time to hire an editor. Or, it’s time for bed. Neither! It’s time for another cocktail.

  53. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Walker was let go because he was looking for starting TE money which he got from the Titans at over $4 mil per season with almost $9mil guaranteed.
    He would have blown up the Niner salary cap.
    The part of Walker’s game that was not appreciated by most fans was his superb blocking skills
    especially executing the “wham” block and his special teams skills.

  54. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Like I said, which you are reiterating, most fans are idiots.
    So you’re telling me the drops had nothing to do with it? Right. Gee, Bullitt, explain blocking to me.

  55. 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