Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to 'First and Goal', your guide to everything Niners. This week, we'll dive deeper into some expected changes to our offense this year, as well as review some interesting comments coming out of Arizona concerning our franchise QB. As always, be sure to check out our Hero of the Week.
Let's get to it!
Three Yards and a Cloud of Puke
God bless Jim Harbaugh, he galvanized a talented team and took them to new heights. But he also sold us on an idea; a plan to descend into the basement at 49ers headquarters where they hold my cousin Bill's video collection, and using this vault of information to bring back the principles that once made this franchise the leader in all sports. All the information we needed was there, everything about how to run practices, how to run meetings, how to plan travel, how to script games, etc, etc, etc. The secrets we needed were right there, and Jim said he would attack this information with an enthusiasm unknown to man.
Except that he didn't. By all accounts, practices were not run with much intent. Game scenarios were not practiced. Playbooks became too large and unsynchronized. Kap's fundamentals were left to Kap. The offense was SLOW AND BORING. We kicked field goals for fun. We never seemed to have a sense of urgency. I could go on all day, but we all saw the same thing on the field. The offense was broken, the exact offense Jim was hired to fix. If the secrets to all this were hiding in the vault, what gives? That's because we didn't seek to become what we once were. We tried to play Michigan-style football, from more than 30 years ago. PUKE!!!
Which brings us to today. A recent sit down
with new OC Geep Chryst gives us glimpses into the plan for our new offense. Up-tempo practices you say? Incorporate our young players? Are we talking about the 49ers here? I have but 3 hairs left on my head after last season, when multiple close calls with the play-clock would send me into a rage unknown to man. And don't get me started on the lackadaisical offensive tempo when down in the second half of games, or sitting Patton and Ellington while using Brandon Lloyd. Cousin Bill was screaming from the grave.
It was painfully obvious last year that we couldn't attack deep, we couldn't attack the flats and we didn't get players like McDonald involved with the game plan. It's awful hard to catch a fastball when it comes at you once every 2 games. Enter Reggie Bush and Torrey Smith. These two additions alone should tell you Baalke's vision for the offense, which is exactly what we used to do in the 80's and 90's. We will aim to attack all areas of the field. We will use this thing called screens. And we'll clean up Kap's mechanics in order to tie in his movement with his routes. Like I said to a friend… it's infuriating that we have to look backwards in order to innovate; this is the NFL for Chryst's sake!!
Three people that will have a huge impact on our new-look offense will be Steve Logan, Tony Sparano and our new combo WR coaches. Sparano is criminally underrated as a coach. Our old WR coach was so bad we could have replaced him with a parking cone and seen improvements. The arrow is pointing up my friends, there's plenty of room on the bandwagon; personally, I'm saving a seat for a pretty strawberry blonde in a Joe Montana jersey.
Which brings us to the best news of last week…
Kap's a BOSS!
Just like any other team, our playoff hopes ride on the shoulders of our franchise QB. Unlike most franchise QB's, ours has the legs
to break your back too. The thing about Kap that people need to realize is, he's been a stud since the first moment he hit the football field. Usually when people are this good in their respective fields, they keep doing the things that got them there. Only the people who truly want to be great seek ways to improve themselves. Harbaugh did him no service when he said that Kap's mechanics were 'fine'. Many armchair GM's saw little things here and there that needed cleaning up.
The recent news
coming out of Exos training facility in Arizona has been music to my ears. Everyone knew when we drafted Kap that he was a work in progress. But this year that progress is being directed by some good QB men, including Dennis Gile, Mike Giavondo and Kurt Warner. Kap has all the talent in the world. His floor was last year, playing on a team beset by injuries, with piss-poor play calling in the toughest division out there and we still go 8-8. Taking that talent and making it consistent is the name of the game and that can only come by practice. The offseason is the time for practice, and by all accounts the 50 days of sessions was filled with just that.
Film analysis of Kap's play last year clearly shows that he made improvements, even if his numbers suffered. He was better at going through reads and he completed more check-downs. But Haroman held the entire team back. Now Kap's working on adding touch. He's working on his finesse game to all parts of the field. He's working on seeing the field better. He's picking the brain of Warner, one of the best gunslingers I'd ever seen. And, as Gile has said
, he's cleaned up his mechanics while also outworking everyone in the room. If this doesn't make you happy about the Niners franchise QB then you're probably a Seattle fan.
If you're not getting better you're getting worse, I think someone said that. Our QB is working as hard as he can to get better, including throwing to Patton and Ellington in order to build chemistry. These are all positive signs for the upcoming season. I'll be putting my money where my mouth is and drafting Kap as my fantasy QB. The dude is a baller and 2015 is the year he'll prove it.
Hero of the Week!
We here at 'First and Goal' believe in mankind. We believe in the drive for greatness. I've already said enough about Kap in this article, but I'm putting him here for all the naysayers and Debbie-downers who want to ridicule our QB for things like his Instagram habits or his style of dress. The man can only be as good as the people around him and this year I think he finally has the right people around him. Don't get me wrong, I would have loved to see what Gase or Kubiak could have done with Kap; but the fact that our offense doesn't have to change can only help us as we transition to a new set of coaches.
He works hard, he's humble, he's coachable and he really wants to get better. That's the kind of hero I think we can all look up to. Our HOTW, Colin Kaepernick.
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
By: Lucky Phil
Date: March 30, 2015 at 9:04 PM
Comment: I'm following the Cleveland Browns. I like my chances
Date: March 30, 2015 at 10:26 AM
Comment: huge fan of the 49ers and I believe and I too will be putting my money where my mouth is
Date: March 29, 2015 at 1:03 AM
Comment: lol at Sneavily Jones - but you're all up in the 49ers mix reading about us LMAO Love the Haters :-)
Date: March 29, 2015 at 12:54 AM
Comment: Best, positive story about Kap in a looooong time!!! Thank you, Phil!!!!!
P.S. Phuck the trolls and petty haters making stupid comments here.
Date: March 28, 2015 at 6:25 PM
Comment: I am a big fan of the 49ers!!????I believe in you guys! good luck this coming season!! I believe in you Kaepernick!????????????????don't let your haters get to you!
Date: March 28, 2015 at 6:16 PM
Comment: Great blog. You nailed it. We still need a stud guard to replace Iupati. Good talent to be had all the way to the third round. We need a good draft defensively. Fast Inside Linebackers are a must.. My only other concern is the new coaching staff. How will Eric Mangini fill Vic Fangio's shoes? I think the new coaches need to perform big time with as much personnel/philosophy change that has taken place..
By: sneavily jones
Date: March 28, 2015 at 4:38 PM
Comment: Fuck the punkass whiners and their thuggie half-cast qb
Date: March 28, 2015 at 3:57 PM
Comment: im a big 49ers fan and I've believe in Kap since the frist took over as QB and I know he will get even better this year! I've been a fan for 36 years and will be always. GO 49ERS! I know we cando it.
By: SC49er fan
Date: March 28, 2015 at 3:21 PM
Comment: I hope your comments have merit.
9ers offense was horrible last year.
I hope Tomosula has a plan for the offense.
Date: March 28, 2015 at 11:55 AM
Comment: Been a ninerz fan all my life Alex smith was a game manager and kap is a blow harder but he is wat we are stuck with unless we trade map to the titans so we can get maroita
Date: March 28, 2015 at 10:47 AM
Comment: I think all these 49er fans that spend most of the time trashing the team and the QB need to take thier fake asses and go follow another team your team is your team win or loose you stick by them Keap wins and goes to the super bowl and everyone thinks hes great then the poor guy has a drop off and everyone dumps on him yes he had a rough season but so did the whole team one person doesnt win games one person doesnt loose them but as a niners fan i will love this team and support them win or loose because thats what a true fan does. So all those fake niners fans stop trashing this team and go jump on the team of the season band wagon.
By: Lucky Phil
Date: March 28, 2015 at 8:18 AM
Comment: Your my hero of the week, Phil. Keep #@$#ing that chicken.
Date: March 28, 2015 at 7:50 AM
Comment: Check out game tape in 2012 when Moss was there. That system used Kaepernicks talents. How many fifty yard runs by Kaepernick. Everyone said in 2013 defenses were prepared. I disagree. Harbaugh went back to sick system. 49ers failed to replace Moss or Delanie Walker. These two forced defense to back off. It open the field for the running game. Harbaugh went out of his way to screw Kaepernick up with that offensive system of his. It was always Harbaugh's way & Harbaugh demanded to be the center of attention. Maybe now the 49ers will be run professionally & the team will be the center of attention.
Date: March 28, 2015 at 7:03 AM
Comment: Pure Bs I've been there since Montana was drafted. I saw it all. I remember singletary Et al.
The York's are a disaster. There boy is a disaster. Your a schill. I'm off this wagon.
Date: March 28, 2015 at 5:52 AM
Comment: i don't even have time for this kinda BS, Harbuagh was an excellent coach for us, you are obviously a York fan
By: Gary Mialocq
Date: March 28, 2015 at 5:23 AM
Comment: Great article. Harbaugh had the entire NFL conned. You're exactly right about Walsh. Harbaugh studies under him for 9 months and had all the tools necessary to re-establish our dominating offense. Harbaugh was a dunderhead when it came to offense. He was a mediocre QB at best, considered the team Dork while with the Bears, and failed to implement Walsh's offensive schemes and practice methods, letting the team and fans down by lazily letting Roman dismantle the offense with his brain-dead schemes. Keep it up, Phil, the bandwagon is filled with dumbed down fans who need to be taught. Great job.
Date: March 28, 2015 at 12:06 AM
Comment: @oscar- hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...cool story bro
Date: March 27, 2015 at 9:25 PM
Comment: JT is the real deal Harbaugh was overrated as a head coach
Date: March 27, 2015 at 8:36 PM
Comment: While some of your criticisms are spot on, you seem to be forgetting how much our offense improved once Harbaugh showed up. Sure by year 4 it was broken but before laying all of that at Harbaugh's fett maybe consider how he was hamstrung in that final year. If ever a coach was sabotaged it was last year at Levi's. Kap has talent, I agree and I'm glad he's improving. Harb should have kept grooming this guy instead of being'fine' with him. However, there were more breakdowns than that. the O-Line was for squat just for starters. We got out on the field running Roman's PREDICTABLE offensive schemes and what we could have had was wasted. Sticking with Roman, that can be blamed on Harbs too. But beyond that, he changed this franchise for the better, so show a little respect. I sat through too many losing games for a decade before his arrival to swallow what you're saying wholesale.
Date: March 27, 2015 at 8:12 PM
Comment: Phil, your an idiot, look what Harbaugh did in the short time he was there. If you think things are going to get better with a coach that never Interviewed for the position your sorry. What Harbaugh did was turn a horrible team for a decade into a power and a team to recognized, now with dumbass York calling the shots and a new head coach that is over matched were back to the early 2000's ....cellar dwellar...go ahead and kiss Yorks ass, niners are doomed with York calling the shots.
Date: March 27, 2015 at 6:02 PM
Comment: What's this? Positive commentary on the 49ers? Positive commentary on CK7? This article oozes positivity on every level. Bravo on your happy pills Mr. Walsh -- I'm glad you found them for one. It's about time I saw a little optimism on this "gloom n' doom" and "we're all going to die" Webzone. Keep writing! And I agree. I saw flashes of your Uncle's great offense in Harbaugh's first year (those direct handoffs to a wide receiver streaking at full speed in backfield motion were tings of absolute beauty) and then absolutely none of it in the final two years. When and where did we take the wrong turn?
By: Esther Andrade
Date: March 27, 2015 at 5:53 PM
Comment: I love the 49ers always have & always will!!I live in Olympia, Wa. & I hope that are team this year comes back strong & healthy. I agree with your article, at the same time I believe with all my heart that Harbaugh, the Manager & the owners not only let our team down, they also let the fans down. I hope that they can be more professional this year & get the job done right!!!GO NINERS 2015
By: Zach Ameen
Date: March 27, 2015 at 5:16 PM
Comment: Jim Harbaugh made a history and was an excellent coach. He was sabotaged by his own management and Baalke absolutely ruined it by drafting busts year after year. He didn't get Harbaugh a high profile speedy WRs. He failed to build depth for offensive line and he certainly didn't fire Greg ROman and he certainly didn't pick up good pocket passer. Kaepernick is not a QB. He is a running back at best. He has a very limited QB skill set. Yes he has the arm throw deep but he has no precision in his passing game, He can't find his WRs and TE so he has to run all over the field for 60 minutes in every game. He is not the answer and a waste of money. The 49ers should bring back B J Daniels from Seattle because he has the instincts of QB Which Kaeperror doesn't have.
Date: March 27, 2015 at 2:05 PM
Comment: I have thought for 3 years that the offensive line was way over rated. Sure it's nice to be able to run block but for gods sake lets protect Kap first so he doesn't have to run for his life on every pass play. We had to bench Alex Smith because he could get away from the non stop pass rush. good riddance to the worst play caller in the NFL ,Greg Roman sucked.
Date: March 27, 2015 at 1:03 PM
Comment: Last year's offense was embarrassing. Injuries to the line was a major part. but beyond that, the problem with being slow getting up to the line was well below professional level. How many burned timeouts? (Coaching) Many times the play calling was way to predicable.(Coaching) I sat there in my chair predicting an average 7 out of 10 plays , sometimes higher, especially in the second halves. The pass blocking had to be bottom tier. (Coaching - Management) With no speedies or high level route runners to throw to, before you CAN look around, you are smashed by the unblocked rusher. (Coaching-Management)That must destroy QB timing and confidence. Why draft offensive players if you are not going to grow the players? (Coaching)That was another huge issue. There's more, but that's enough. I really liked Harbaugh but, when he did not make the necessary changes, he had to go. Best single example of a problem? Ever checked out his red flag averages? HE STOPPED THINKING CLEARLY WHEN HE GOT INTENSE, so did his offensive coordinator, when under pressure and then it trickels down to the quarterback. Will they be better this year? Could be. I hope so. Tough division. Can't wait to see.
Date: March 27, 2015 at 12:34 PM
Comment: Sounds like a big pile of wishfull thinking. Criticizing Harbaugh despite his tremendous record seems rediculous. The offense should be better this year if the OL stays healthy and with the addition of Tory smith. The big question mark is Kaepernick. If he is the same old Kaepernick then it will be the same old offense. Doesn't matter who the coach is, but I'd always prefer a coach and staff that were highly rated by the experts than a coach and staff whom nobody else wanted. Come on, use a little common sense.
By: Rebecca Anderson
Date: March 27, 2015 at 11:23 AM
Comment: what you write makes sense. I hope your right.
Date: March 27, 2015 at 11:03 AM
Comment: Here we go again, another webzone writer from whom winning simply isn't good enough, you have to be entertained as well. A five yard slant for a touchdown after a clock eating, morale crushing, 15 play drive just doesn't seem to be as exciting for you as a 50 yard bomb, but last time I checked they were both still worth six points. If you watched any of the analysis on the NFL Network last year, and I mean the tape analysis, not the talking heads spouting off with their opinions, you would see that time after time the 49ers had schemed a play where they had several options open and Kaepernick failed to hit any of them, failed even to see them, and ended up taking a sack. Harbaugh is gone because he proved that not only couldn't he win a Super bowl with his handpicked QB, but that he couldn't even beat Seattle consistently with Kaepernick behind center, and if you can't beat Seattle right now you can't win the division, and I think that's why York got rid of him. Now the onus is clearly on Kaepernick to prove that he can actually play the POSITION and the deliver the ball when and where it needs to go
Date: March 27, 2015 at 11:00 AM
Comment: I do agree that the offense was slow, and DEAD most of the time. I do love KAP working with Warner. I do believe we make it to the playoffs!!!! Great news!!!!!
Date: March 27, 2015 at 10:39 AM
Comment: You are the 2nd guy in the Media that have called Harbaugh out for the Fraud He was,but still yet here are the talking heads who think Harbaugh firing was just horrible and How dare the 9ers do that, and how awful they will be now that the bestest 9er coach ever has been fired. Think you Phil
By: long time fan
Date: March 27, 2015 at 10:39 AM
Comment: something positive for a change...........
Date: March 27, 2015 at 10:17 AM
Comment: Where has this article been all off season. This is exactly how I have been feeling in regards to the 9ers. I've been getting sick of listening/reading and watching all the anylists and beat writers tear down my 9ers. The news about keap was GREAT TO HEAR. Especially because he's working with Patton and Ellington !
Anyways, 9ers are gonna be a sleeping giant taking everyone by surprise. GREAT article and can't wait for the season to start
Date: March 27, 2015 at 9:44 AM
Comment: Amen brother! I've been feeling the same way. Harbaugh had his chance, and after four years, his arrogance got the best of him. Greg Roman will get Rex Ryan fired, and as much as I respect Fangio, he wasn't exactly a house hold name until he coached our stacked D. The Niners offense will carry them into the playoffs, while Harbaugh gets his ass kicked by Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Go Niners!
Date: March 27, 2015 at 9:32 AM
Comment: VERY well written article.
All the crap about how JH was wronged yada,yada,yada.
He stunk as a QB guru and was the worst offensive mind in the N
I'm w/you - this season we will be beating the tar out the competition and give those clone commentators on TV something to really talk about..