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D.C. Owens

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  • By D.C. Owens
    April 23, 2016 at 10:32 AM
    Trent Baalke rises every morning and goes to work in an air-conditioned office set in a state-of-the-art facility. On some days he flits across the country and rubs elbows with NFL power brokers. He gets to hobnob with Jed York, the 49ers' popular young owner. Above all, unlike fans who must content themselves with mere wishes, Baalke gets to act out his...
  • By D.C. Owens
    July 26, 2015 at 5:34 PM
    Yesterday a friend and Seahawks fan, recently returned from a trip to Reno, awakened me from my mid-summer slumbers with a printout of the over/under odds for each NFL team's 2015 season win totals. The 49ers projected tally? Six-and-one-half wins. Ah, the harsh realities of old-fashioned black and white. Quickly, after a two-month hiatus, I accessed...
  • By D.C. Owens
    April 27, 2015 at 7:11 PM
    For the first time since he officially assumed the GM mantle, Trent Baalke must face the draft with a 49ers team in decline. Whether last year's .500 record represents an aberration, or the beginnings of a more dismal trend, we will not know until the new season plays out. Meanwhile, the manner in which Baalke manages this year's draft may provide us with...
  • By D.C. Owens
    April 1, 2015 at 6:20 PM
    Let's give Baalke's last two drafts the benefit of our doubts. Let's say all the previous draft picks and free agents come to the fore, and, further, that the medical redshirts stay healthy. Let's say that the sage one has, indeed, already accumulated the necessary ammunition to, as he said last winter, "reload." Let's say, just for kicks, that we will...
  • By D.C. Owens
    December 30, 2014 at 5:04 PM
    Well, he's gone, gone, gone. Gone, gone, gone. Cryin' won't bring him back. Adieu, Gentleman Jim Harbaugh. We hardly knew ye. And, now, 49ers' head honcho Jed York says he wants someone like Bill Walsh as his next head coach. Who wouldn't, other than, occasionally, Jed's Uncle Eddie? But, before the dust settles completely on...
  • By D.C. Owens
    December 4, 2014 at 6:36 PM
    Of all the possible solutions to recent 49er woes, fans clamor for this one the most. Our offense struggles, while the most dynamic player on the squad seems pocket-bound. We remember the bullet speed, the defenders leapt at a single bound, the superstar in the making. We remember big chunks of yardage. We remember defensive coordinators quaking. Where have...
  • By D.C. Owens
    October 14, 2014 at 6:33 PM
    Coming into 2014, many thought the 49ers would struggle during the early part of the season while integrating new starters and waiting for the wounded/suspended to return. It's easy to pick against the consensus. Some folks make a living at it. Only, this time, the consensus seems right. The 49ers have struggled, and yet they remain within striking distance...
  • By D.C. Owens
    September 22, 2014 at 8:30 PM
    In his Monday press conference, Coach Harbaugh used the word "fix" nearly every other sentence. What, in fact, might the 49ers fix? First, a few of the usual suspects/scapegoats: Colin Kaepernick Frankly, Kaepernick's bounce-back first half against Arizona heartened me, and I don't just mean his stats....
  • By D.C. Owens
    September 5, 2014 at 6:57 AM
    In the all-encompassing spirit of Texas Football, where the game itself sometimes plays second fiddle to the surrounding hoopla: AT&T Stadium The letters "AT&T" stand for "Arlington, Texas, Texas." That's right, the Cowboys claim "Texas" as their country, not the USA. Most Texans do not claim allegiance to the...
  • By D.C. Owens
    September 2, 2014 at 6:50 PM
    Imagine, as a thought experiment, the following bit of historic revisionism: 2011 – The 49ers hire Jim Harbaugh, and the new coaching staff, by efficiently melding the existing talent with an influx of youngsters, improves the team's record from 6-10 to 8-8. 2012 – The 49ers, despite switching quarterbacks mid-season,...
  • By D.C. Owens
    July 15, 2014 at 9:00 PM
    George Ignatin had a computer, or at least access to one at the university where he worked. Allen Barra had a yen to write. Both followed football, pro and college, closely. Together, a la Bill James, whose 1970s sabermetrics revolution would soon forever change the way we view and play baseball, Ignatin/Barra began to analyze gridiron stats. They fed into...
  • By D.C. Owens
    May 14, 2014 at 10:22 AM
    Prior to the 2014 draft, mockers had settled into a fairly consistent consensus based on Niner team needs. Prognosticators predicted the prospectors would select wide receiver, cornerback, and pass-rusher in the early rounds, while perhaps selecting from among the safety, running back, center, and/or linebacker positions later in the draft. Likely the...
  • By D.C. Owens
    January 7, 2014 at 6:14 PM
    49ers' coach Jim Harbaugh, himself from a coaching family, loves opposing coaches so dearly that he almost always gives them a chance to come back and win games against his own team. He seldom runs up lopsided scores against his brethren, and, even in the playoffs, prefers close nail-biters to potential blowout games that might possibly embarrass his...
  • By D.C. Owens
    December 3, 2013 at 6:23 PM
    As the 49ers enter the home stretch, the story of their season sharpens into focus. Years hence, Niner fans may well remember 2013 as a season of maddening consistency. In short, the Prospectors beat inferior teams and lose to elite squads. And they do so despite injuries, a quirky schedule, and Colin Kaepernick's ongoing travails. 49er losses...
  • By D.C. Owens
    November 8, 2013 at 7:40 AM
    For many 49er fans 2013 has so far felt like both the best of times and worst of times, not necessarily in that order, as the team did a dipsy-doodle, first mimicking a possible team-in-decline, then rebounding with a five-game winning streak, albeit against inferior foes. Aside from positioning themselves for a second-season run – the London bridge...
  • By D.C. Owens
    October 4, 2013 at 7:38 AM
    What must the 49ers accomplish during the next quadrant of the season? Probably, the team would please 49er fans if they won some games, preferably all four of them. But, beyond that, the team will look to set up the second half of the season, and, during this mini-bye week, have already begun to tweak their roster with that end in sight. They have not yet,...
  • By D.C. Owens
    September 20, 2013 at 8:16 AM
    49er fans remember the previous two seasons: a power running game characterized by blocks both thunderous and subtle, with backs regularly sprung loose into the secondary. Yes, we thought it might last forever. Actually, the demise of the Niners' consistent running prowess coincided with the arrival of Colin Kaepernick as signal caller. Why?...
  • By D.C. Owens
    September 14, 2013 at 8:23 AM
    Seahawks' D Every NFL team plays down-and-distance defense. However, the Seahawks excel at it, to the point of baiting opposing offenses in specific game situations. For instance, on, say, third-and-thirteen, Seattle will sometimes "invite" a quarterback to throw an eight-yard pass to a check-down receiver, whom the Hawk...
  • By D.C. Owens
    September 4, 2013 at 8:37 AM
    Beyond personnel and schemes, how might the 49ers improve during the 2013 season? Consider two non-plays from last year's Super Bowl. On the 49ers' first series, they hit on a pass downfield for a first down. However, because the play clock had expired, a penalty erased the gain, disrupted the 49er offensive flow, and probably altered...
  • By D.C. Owens
    September 1, 2013 at 5:39 PM
    Unscientific, unscreened, hopelessly random, a consensus survey from three hearts of 49er fandom: Sports Bars: Demographic: approx. ages 21-40, mixed gender Sample Size: 3 establishments, 35-40 participants Predicted 2013 49er record: 12-4 Main reason(s): state-of-the-art team, stacked roster,...
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