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John Croston

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  • By John Croston
    April 28, 2016 at 9:51 PM
    After months of speculation and anticipation, the first round of the NFL 2016 draft is in the books. The 49ers had the ammunition to move up from the 7th overall pick, however General Manager Trent Baalke elected to stay put and allow the draft to unfold as it would. As many predicted, the top two quarterbacks went 1st and 2nd respectively, so with multiple needs to fill on the roster, the team went into best player available mode. I like the pick of DeForest Buckner. He is a mammoth player who knows and understands what Coach Chip Kelly expects from his defense, and he provides immediate help to the defensive front. This team was at its best when it had a strong defensive front that could allow its outside linebackers to get stout pressure on the quarterback and the...
  • By John Croston
    March 10, 2016 at 9:06 AM
    Ok, I will admit it. I bought into it, even if I should have known better. I'm sure some of you did as well. That is to say, we all believed that the 49ers would be big players in free agency. To be fair, there was a good amount of conventional wisdom to support this viewpoint. A brand new coach in Chip Kelly, whose system is a radical departure from that of his predecessor – which in turn implies that the front office needs to go out and stock the roster with the people that will make it work. Combine that with an existing roster with some sizeable holes in it and over $60 million in available cap room, you can logically see where this is heading. Big time free agency signings. Excuse me, allow me to re-introduce you to Trent Baalke, who we all apparently...
  • By John Croston
    December 13, 2015 at 7:43 PM
    This was it. This was the 'statement' game for the Jim Tomsula regime. Good and great teams dominate bad ones. Teams that are on the corner of becoming relevant again beat the bad ones. A team takes on the identity of its coaching staff. I truly believe that, especially having played myself. I remember what it was like to have a coach who had you completely prepared for your opponent, who had you fired up and made you want to drop the hammer on anyone who got in your way. I also remember the coaches who were utilizing the 'fake it til you make it' methodology, and had you taking the play call in the huddle and changing it. Bottom line – I think you know which I think Jim Tomsula's 49ers represent. The 49ers were coming off a dramatic road win against the...
  • By John Croston
    December 7, 2015 at 8:53 PM
    Brace yourselves. Winter is coming. By that, I mean that year two of the Tomsula era could soon become a reality. I know a lot of 49er fans, myself included, have this wonderful fantasy about an end of season firing bonanza of Tomsula & Co. and having them replaced [insert your fantasy coaching lineup here] for 2016, but based on the last few weeks and what I suspect was the agenda all along, that just isn't going to happen. Maybe … just maybe – to play devil's advocate for just a moment – they deserve a second chance? Rewind to January 2015. We all knew. Deep in the back of our minds, we all knew who the job was going to. Hell, it had been hinted at back in 2010. Jim Tomsula was going to be the guy. By all accounts, he is a...
  • By John Croston
    September 9, 2013 at 7:55 AM
    So, I predicted a 49er win, by the score of 34-14. At least I got the Niners score correct. Given the rash of injuries in the Green Bay secondary, I was expecting a field day from our offense. For the passing game I was certainly right, as witnessed by Colin Kaepernick's biggest quarterback output since Tim Rattay (never thought I'd mention that guy again) and Anquan Boldin's debut for the ages. Here are some of my thoughts regarding the game. The good - Colin Kaepernick. As I get into conversations about the Niners with family, friends, co-workers and strangers, there seems to be a general consensus… that Kaepernick is a fluke, a talented running quarterback with a super strong arm. Put enough hits on him and contain him from...
  • By John Croston
    September 8, 2013 at 1:07 PM
    It's been a while since I have been able to get to writing one of these... but between a six month deployment, a wedding and a baby, a guy can get really busy. I have been waiting patiently for the day when I can get some free time to write, and it seems fitting that that day is opening day. It seems like only yesterday we were lamenting the last five yards the Niners left on the field in the Superbowl. It seems like only yesterday that we said goodbye to Alex Smith, Dashon Goldson, Isaac Sopoaga, and a whole host of players who at one point or another had been at the core of this team. And it seems like yesterday that we collectively grimaced as Michael Crabtree tore his Achilles on the first day of OTA's. Today is the day that we can finally begin the long...
  • By John Croston
    February 28, 2013 at 8:55 AM
    So now that the Alex Smith to Kansas City trade is all but complete, I thought it would be fun to look at one of the NFL's more bizarre phenomenon's – the seemingly never-ending flow of former 49ers quarterbacks to Kansas City. Try as I might, I could find no other example of this occurring between any other clubs in the history of the NFL. It's almost as if it is some kind of cosmic destiny that ensures that our former starting QB will eventually find their way to Arrowhead. However as I did some research, one thing was common. Alex Smith notwithstanding, every one of our former signal callers that has made the switch has led the Chief's to a playoff appearance and in all but one example, earned a Pro Bowl nod. So while Chiefs' fan's may or may not be thrilled to receive our former...
  • By John Croston
    February 27, 2013 at 4:04 AM
    So now that we have just about/maybe sobered up from the bitter disappointment of THAT loss, it's time to move on and move forward by looking at what the team needs to do to take that last big step on the "Quest for Six". One of the blessings of the Jim Harbaugh/Trent Baalke era has been that after a decade of rebuilding, the 49ers are finally at the point that they can simply tweak or retool the roster. There were some glaring weaknesses that were exposed as the season went on, and so here are my top off season priorities to retool the roster. 1. Defensive Line: This game is won and lost in the trenches… one of the games most tried and tested clichés and of particular relevance to the 49ers. Remember the Colt's offense without Peyton Manning in 2011? See the...
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