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Rathman is really a key guy now

Originally posted by jimbagg:
Originally posted by lamontb:
Sorry Jim but nobody can make Rob a productive FB.

You may be right, but I respectfully disagree. Robinson is extremely effective on ST, when he is not carrying the ball, and he is a very effective receiver (when he is not "carrying" the ball, but looking it into his hands and adding YAC). His ONLY shortcoming has been dropping his head and not using good vision or running instincts, when called-upon to carry the ball in short yardage situations.

In the Raye offense, I don't see the FB as a frequent ball carrier, even in short yardage. Gore or Coffee are going to carry the rock in short yardage. The FB's primary job will be to (a) lead block esp at the 2nd level (LB or Safety or CB), (b) pass protect and (c) be a hot receiver in the flat. Robinson is already very good at (b) and (c). If Robinson can cut through the blocking to be such an effective cover man on ST and also effective in lining-up his guy as a blocker on ST, it seems to me that Rathman can also tune him up, into an effective lead blocker from the FB position.

Why would you be so skeptical of Rathman tailoring Robinson for the Niners' FB job?

In that sense I would agree with you. I think he can be very efective catching balls otu of the backfield, but i'm just not sure how much of that will be in this offesne. I was thinking in more of the way of just getting his pads down low and taking on defenders and opening up holes for Gore. And sorry jim comparing cutting through blocks on special teams and cutting through big lineman when guys are set and aren't flying around and are keying on you on run downs is totally different.
What I love hearing was that he and Manusky competed against each other in a drill...don't know which one. You know that has to pump up your players on both sides of the line.

I know our backs will be one of the best units in the league because of Rathman. I believe he just have the knack to coach. He loves it and his players love him. You can see the intensity in him still and he perfectly emulates Singletary's mission. I would think that Rathman would be the only one on the coaching staff being able to go toe to toe with Singletary...just like ol' times!

I am loving what I am hearing from the team, media and of course our family here on the Zone. I just the season to get here already!

Nice post Jimbagg!
I don't know jim, Robinson didn't come into the league as a RB converting to a FB which is what mostly happens. He came in as a QB converting to FB which is a huge change.

Robinson can hit but defensive players are bigger these days and 224 isn't going to cut it at FB. Free Safeties and Strong Safeties can also hit but they are not converted to FBs coming from college. It's not the one hit that makes a FB, it's the durability of being able to take on hit after hit after hit after hit.

Robinson brings a lot to the table but I see him more of a wing back or HB type of player rather a FB. The way it seems Singletary wants to run this offense means we must have a full time FB.

I think we are really counting Moran Norris short. The zone rarely considers him as a catching full back until someone reminds everyone that he CAN catch and is a very effective pass catcher coming out of the backfield. He also has VERY good speed. Albeit, he's stiffer than Robinson, but Moran IS a true FB.

Robinson is good at everything but not great at one thing. We have had too many players on this team with those traits such as Arnaz Battle, Jeff Ulbrich, Adam Snyder, Isaac Sopoaga, Wragge, Strickland, Roman, D. Smith, and many others who are not on this team anymore.

These types of players are backups and great depth but make for a weak starting unit. Robinson will always be a 3rd down back type or some sort of situational player. This team is building starting talent now and we need to let go of this thinking that these guys who are good at everything will become effective starters.

Let's not count Moran Norris out.
Sign me up with jimbagg and EZ. Basically eZ put it all out there so i have nothing to add but to emphasize that Joe Paterno thot mrob was the greatest athlete he ever coached. It is a disgrace of gigantic proportions that noln never tried to use him, never gave him the coaching he needed... but noln is gone, and bigMike and Rathman are here now. Mrob is going to turn out exactly as Paterno said, and the coaching of rathman is the key to that. I love our situation at RB/FB now, and will be surprised and disappointed if keasey gets PT. Keasey may have the heart, but mrob has the heart and the talent. I thot he was a goner with noln here. Now, i am extremely hopeful we will get what was originally seen in him.

Good as he is on ST, it kills me to see him out there. He needs to be coached up by one of the best, and will be. Look for him to be our FB of the future. Incidentally, the screw up of cutting Moran was rectified when we re-signed him. Long term i agree that mrob will not just be our FB, he will be Rathmanian like. We just aren't a good enough team to be wasting the talents of a mrob as happened on the noln watch(or non watch, if you will). We have had a very talented player on the bench who has been wasted, thru sheer coaching ignorance. That has changed.
Originally posted by pasodoc9er:
Sign me up with jimbagg and EZ. Basically eZ put it all out there so i have nothing to add but to emphasize that Joe Paterno thot mrob was the greatest athlete he ever coached. It is a disgrace of gigantic proportions that noln never tried to use him, never gave him the coaching he needed... but noln is gone, and bigMike and Rathman are here now. Mrob is going to turn out exactly as Paterno said, and the coaching of rathman is the key to that. I love our situation at RB/FB now, and will be surprised and disappointed if keasey gets PT. Keasey may have the heart, but mrob has the heart and the talent. I thot he was a goner with noln here. Now, i am extremely hopeful we will get what was originally seen in him.

Good as he is on ST, it kills me to see him out there. He needs to be coached up by one of the best, and will be. Look for him to be our FB of the future. Incidentally, the screw up of cutting Moran was rectified when we re-signed him. Long term i agree that mrob will not just be our FB, he will be Rathmanian like. We just aren't a good enough team to be wasting the talents of a mrob as happened on the noln watch(or non watch, if you will). We have had a very talented player on the bench who has been wasted, thru sheer coaching ignorance. That has changed.

Man, you guys... Ya'll know that when you make a valid point on here how it goes over most of the time!

Mrob to back-up Moran Norris who as you said, pasadoc, " should have never been cut !" But we can thank Martz & Nolan for that one.

I guess these so called knowledgeble fans of the 49ers and the game of football want Zak Keasey to back-up Norris. Yeah, He really lit the league up last year before his injury! Martz said that he was fast enough to get through the holes to get to the second level and make the block a on LB or CB or S especially sine he's a much better blocker than Norris. And that he had such good hands catching the ball out of the backfield. Something moran Norris couldn't do even though he was doing that well and even scored on a couple of them under Norv.
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Originally posted by Watchutalkinbout:
Originally posted by 49123:

lol is that Rachal and Brooks?

Pretty sure one is Derrick Deese and the other looks to be Ken Norton.
Rathman is not the KEY guy, he is stepping into a position with an already productive RB.

The key guy will be the O-line coach!

Gore has already been a pro bowler, Norris has already showed that he can open some holes for Gore.

The rook's will benefit from having the Rath-man coaching them up but Rathman's success lies in the hands of the O=line coach.

I don't think the running game has been or will be the problem anyway. Passing game and defense has been our majore issue.
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by Norcal9erfan:
Originally posted by jimbagg:
Some months ago, everyone seemed to approve the hiring of Tom Rathman as RB coach, and rightly so.

In light of recent events, it appears that Rathman's role has become very important, early on.

Using a high draft pick on RB Glen Coffee and the signing of UDFA RB Kory Sheets, after an extensive background review by the team, gives Rathman two raw pupils to get up to NFL-speed. Don't know about you, but I can't think of a better "pro" for that job. By all accounts, Coffee is very coachable, a veritable sponge. And while Sheets has had his differences with coaches at Purdue, I don't see Rathman having any problem getting and keeping Sheets attention. The two rookies (and Niner fans) are really fortunate to have Rathman as their position coach
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Also, other than re-signing FA FB Moran Norris, it seems significant to me that the club has NOT signed a back-up FA FB or a taken a young FB in the draft or UDFA. Maybe I am wrong, but that tells me that the club sees Rathman as the guy who can finally develop Michael Robinson at the FB position. Think about it. Robinson has many of the skills that Rathman had as a FB: high football intelligence, toughness, respect of the other players, excellent hands, a willingness and strong execution in pass protection, a willingness to slam inside, as either a lead blocker or ball carrier, a no-frills approach to the game. If Rathman can develop Robinson to play with his head up in order to find his target in leading the run (as he clearly does on his ST assignments), the club could well have found its long-term FB, who suits the type of ball control offense that the HC wants. Seems to me that Rathman is the key to really tapping into Robinson's talent.

I'm really excited to see Rathman work with these 3 young players.

At first I thought Rathman must have been much bigger than Robinson just thinking about pics, but here are both's measurables:

Tom Rathman
Height: 6-1 Weight: 230 lb

Michael Robinson
Height: 6-1 Weight: 228 lb

They compare in size. Who knows.... interesting thought though.

All "sizes" are not equal. For example, Bryant Young's weight was in his thighs, not his chest as much. Rathman was built differently than Robinson. One could easily first downs where the other could not.

That is funny you bring that up! The bolded part I was explaining to my wife the exact same thing.

Emmitt Smith - 5' 10" and 212 lbs.
macombs - 5' 10" and 212 lbs. I look NOTHING like Emmitt!
[ Edited by macombs on May 6, 2009 at 1:41 PM ]
Just for the record, someone mentioned that Keasey was fast. His 40 time was 4.8, making him the slowest back on the Niners. Clayton is the next slowest at 4.63. Everyone else has been timed at 4.5 or better with Sheets the fastest at 4.3.
I understand developing our young RBs and I'm all for that, but why haven't you guys mentioned where he can really help us? And that is in helping Frank Gore improve. I hope he can help Gore learn to not fumble the ball so much. (especially on the goalline)
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Essentially he is the heir apparent for our Offensive Co-ordinator role so yes his development of our running game will be pivotal to how we progress. It was a shrewd move by the management to get him back here. He will soon be able to take over at OC in a year or two.
Originally posted by lamontb:
Sorry Jim but nobody can make Rob a productive FB.

You mean RB. He can block his ass off so being a good full back is not out of the question.
Originally posted by ezrider:
Robinson played WR part time in 2004 with 33 receptions for 435 yards and 3 TDs. That doesn't matter. You obviously are not a person who is adept at analyzing a player's talents, much like Nolan.

Robinson will make this team. I have $100 to back that up. Put up your $100 that he won't so I can place that on the Niners to win the NFC (13:1). To win the Super Bowl, the odds are 50-1.

Ok so how does playing WR "part time" for ONE season make him a WR "by trade"? Amazing how his receiving numbers pale in comparison to both his passing and rushing numbers. Every draft magazine and site I saw that mentioned him talked about a running QB that would most likely have to transition to RB or FB in the NFL. So I guess none of them can analyze a player's talents either.

I heard that Jerry Rice once kicked a ball out of frustration during a practice one time. Wow, too bad he wasted ll those years playing WR when his true talent was kicking...gee he could have been a punter "by trade" if the Niners hadn't been so thin at WR.

If he makes the team or not, is hardly the point. I have never stated that he doesn't or won't contribute. He is a special teams ace, and potentially a back up at FB. His being on the team however, does not allow us to keep one less WR.
Originally posted by Watchutalkinbout:
Originally posted by 49123:

lol is that Rachal and Brooks?

No that pic was taken loooooong before Rachal was even in the league, maybe even Brooks too. That was when Rathman was coaching here the st time...before he left to go to the Raiders. :(

#63 is Derrick Deese, and I think the other one is Ken Norton Jr. I'm really not sure I'd want to pick a fight with Norton, even WITH pads and a helmet on!
Originally posted by GEEK:
I think Robinson can be that pass catching FB in 3rd down situations. But other than that, Robinson is strictly a ST player, and reserve backup.

this.