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In Your Opinion, How Do We Look in the Trenches? (O-line and D-line)

I'll tell you after the cards game. We should be able to run the ball well. The question is how well will we pick up the cards blitz and what will our pass rush look like. I don't think we can really judge based on what we saw in the preseason.

I will agree that the pass protection seems spotty right now. I am slightly concerned there. However, having gore and norris in the backfield should help with blitzes and I think we are better with snyder in.

The signs are there. The best thing is that we seem to be having much fewer penalties compared to our oponents. Lack of false starts and offsides go a LONG way.
The immediate responses state the obvious:

We are exactly the same team as last year.

We can run block and stop the run with the best of them.

But we can't pass block well enough to make up for our lack of playmakers at the QB or receiving positions in order to execute big plays and/or on third and medium to long consistently.

So, drives that should have been field goals will be punts, and drives that should have been TDs will be FGs, meaning we will let teams we otherwise should be dominating hang around in games until they make a big play or two.

Which they will do, because on the other side of the ball, we don't have the pass rush to stop 3rd and long or any other big plays. So, even if we dominate total yards, rushing yards, TOP, and even turnovers, all the "important" stats, (other than points scored), we will end up losing or winning very close games because the other teams will get the big plays they need.

Especially the way the refs seem to be focused on calling PI on every play where a defender even looks at a WR. If the QBs have all day to throw the ball downfield because we can't put any pressure on them, our secondary will get burned by either big catches or big PI calls a half dozen times a game and it will likely be the difference in our opponent's ability to score.

Until we have better pass protection and pressure on the QB we will continue to struggle with key 3rd down plays on both sides of the ball.
Originally posted by NCommand:
OL:
Run blocking - above average
Pass blocking - below average
Short yardage/goal line - way below average

DL:
Run defense - slightly above average
Pass rush - average (thanks to Smith)
Playing on the other side of the LOS - below average
Short yardage/goal line - way below average

Season Prediction: 7-9 or 8-8

Until I see something in the regular season, I'd have to rate the pass rush as well below average. I completely agree with the rest though.
Originally posted by fzrdave:
Originally posted by NCommand:
OL:
Run blocking - above average
Pass blocking - below average
Short yardage/goal line - way below average

DL:
Run defense - slightly above average
Pass rush - average (thanks to Smith)
Playing on the other side of the LOS - below average
Short yardage/goal line - way below average

Season Prediction: 7-9 or 8-8

Until I see something in the regular season, I'd have to rate the pass rush as well below average. I completely agree with the rest though.

Actually you're right...for a 3-4 it's below average; but 30 sacks last year, believe it or not was average. Good call.
Originally posted by TexasNiner:
The immediate responses state the obvious:

We are exactly the same team as last year.

We can run block and stop the run with the best of them.

But we can't pass block well enough to make up for our lack of playmakers at the QB or receiving positions in order to execute big plays and/or on third and medium to long consistently.

So, drives that should have been field goals will be punts, and drives that should have been TDs will be FGs, meaning we will let teams we otherwise should be dominating hang around in games until they make a big play or two.

Which they will do, because on the other side of the ball, we don't have the pass rush to stop 3rd and long or any other big plays. So, even if we dominate total yards, rushing yards, TOP, and even turnovers, all the "important" stats, (other than points scored), we will end up losing or winning very close games because the other teams will get the big plays they need.

Especially the way the refs seem to be focused on calling PI on every play where a defender even looks at a WR. If the QBs have all day to throw the ball downfield because we can't put any pressure on them, our secondary will get burned by either big catches or big PI calls a half dozen times a game and it will likely be the difference in our opponent's ability to score.

Until we have better pass protection and pressure on the QB we will continue to struggle with key 3rd down plays on both sides of the ball.

Very well said IMHO.
This may be a stupid theory, but we run the ball so much, that the pass protection suffers because they don't get in enough of it during the preseason. Either that or the o-line coach is not that good at teaching pass protection.

We never had that problem Bobby Mc was o-line coach.

As for pass rush, I don't think they can with just 4 down lineman, they will have to scheme and blitz to get it.

As for short yardage maybe put coffee and gore in at the same time with two tight ends. one can do the dive up the gut and the other sweep, go off tackle, or do a pitch etc. it will freez the d a little
Originally posted by PTulini:
I also think the combination of Kentwan Balmer and Ricky-Jean Francois could prove to be a good combination for us in the near future. I like the 49ers Defensive Line rotation.

I think we are improving on the DL big time. We have added those two guys, Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, moved Soap to De.... all we need is Franklin to play like he did at the end of last year or too draft/sign a dominate NT. I think some sacks from the LOLB would help. Only 3 from Lawson last year where Haralson on the side had 8.
Al Harris: Pass Rush Specialist

Joined the 49er's Jan 12, 2009. He has great credentials working with the Bears and the Eagles and learning from the likes of Mike Dittka and Buddy Ryan.

All we need to do now is see what he is capable of doing and whether he is given the freedom to implement his ideas.

Sometimes these assistants are hired but NOT given the freedom to do their job. Which then brings up the question: What happened in pre-season? Could we maybe expect to see a change?

Hope springs eternal .. and I remain hopeful that SOMEDAY it will happen!

As for the Offensive line, the addition of Tony Pashos should solidify the running game as is Jimmy Rayes intent.

[ Edited by Kauaiguy on Sep 8, 2009 at 12:37:25 ]
Joe Staley = good protector, improved run blocker
Davis Baas = underrated... good run blocker, good protector
Eric Heitmann = underrated... good at both, but not consistently good at run blocking
Chilo Rachal = better at run blocking, but usually decent protector
Adam Snyder = much improved run blocker, decent protector

Depth is good on interior... questionable at OT (pending Pashos... Sims sucks).
___________________________________________________________________

Isaac Sopoaga = unspectacular, but better than given credit for... not much of a pass rusher, but holds the POA well at NT/LE... gaining awareness.
Kentwan Balmer = solid, not yet special... has nice burst and can get to QB... holds up pretty well at both DE/NT... still work to do.
Justin Smith = good pass rusher... decent run stopper, but takes himself out of plays at times... also can be pushed out of rush lanes.
Aubrayo Franklin = pretty lousy and laughably overrated... has had moments of good, but far too much bad... gets abused on double teams and rarely makes any impact on pass plays.

Depth is good at DE with RJF and RayMac... even Evans but to a lesser extent. Not impressed with Sop or Franklin at NT... both are subpar. LOVE that Khaliff Mitchell is still with us, even if P-squad. He has looked better than any 3-4 NT we have had... against 2nd/3rd stringers though.

[ Edited by oldman9er on Sep 8, 2009 at 12:56:28 ]
completely agree with Command's evaluation. This is a 7 , 8, or 9 game W team, with no upside. We have middle of the road run stoppers...nothing else, nor did we draft or FA for anything else, when all of us knew we needed a starting DT/NT/DE plus a passrushing fool at OLB. They were not addressed, but we did get a head case stud WR that shouldn' t have fallen to #10. Maybe everybody but the 9ers knew he would either be hard to sign or wouldn't sign. Whatever, it was a maximal screwup, once again reminding the league how effete, and disorganized our team is.

It was also no secret we needed a starting OL (OT), and that was helped by our latest signing 4 days ago. But it is a quick, not for long fix. Until these lines, both of them ---look like professional lines, we are a 7-9W team with no future. 9 Ws is no better than 7, because we cannot beat any good team, nor will we be able to until our OL is a force and the DL is feared. We are a Haynesworth away from respect on D , and a Faneca, Hutchinson, Dielman, etc away from a fearsome OL. Scot is in way over his head, and Jed is learning on scot's knee.

Somehow, i think until that gets fixed, our OL and DL reamain unknown, and deservedly so.
Originally posted by TexasNiner:
The immediate responses state the obvious:

We are exactly the same team as last year.

We can run block and stop the run with the best of them.

But we can't pass block well enough to make up for our lack of playmakers at the QB or receiving positions in order to execute big plays and/or on third and medium to long consistently.

So, drives that should have been field goals will be punts, and drives that should have been TDs will be FGs, meaning we will let teams we otherwise should be dominating hang around in games until they make a big play or two.

Which they will do, because on the other side of the ball, we don't have the pass rush to stop 3rd and long or any other big plays. So, even if we dominate total yards, rushing yards, TOP, and even turnovers, all the "important" stats, (other than points scored), we will end up losing or winning very close games because the other teams will get the big plays they need.

Especially the way the refs seem to be focused on calling PI on every play where a defender even looks at a WR. If the QBs have all day to throw the ball downfield because we can't put any pressure on them, our secondary will get burned by either big catches or big PI calls a half dozen times a game and it will likely be the difference in our opponent's ability to score.

Until we have better pass protection and pressure on the QB we will continue to struggle with key 3rd down plays on both sides of the ball.

Post of the year. Dude are you near San Antonio?
Originally posted by oldman9er:
Joe Staley = good protector, improved run blocker
Davis Baas = underrated... good run blocker, good protector
Eric Heitmann = underrated... good at both, but not consistently good at run blocking
Chilo Rachal = better at run blocking, but usually decent protector
Adam Snyder = much improved run blocker, decent protector

Depth is good on interior... questionable at OT (pending Pashos... Sims sucks).
___________________________________________________________________

Isaac Sopoaga = unspectacular, but better than given credit for... not much of a pass rusher, but holds the POA well at NT/LE... gaining awareness.
Kentwan Balmer = solid, not yet special... has nice burst and can get to QB... holds up pretty well at both DE/NT... still work to do.
Justin Smith = good pass rusher... decent run stopper, but takes himself out of plays at times... also can be pushed out of rush lanes.
Aubrayo Franklin = pretty lousy and laughably overrated... has had moments of good, but far too much bad... gets abused on double teams and rarely makes any impact on pass plays.

Depth is good at DE with RJF and RayMac... even Evans but to a lesser extent. Not impressed with Sop or Franklin at NT... both are subpar. LOVE that Khaliff Mitchell is still with us, even if P-squad. He has looked better than any 3-4 NT we have had... against 2nd/3rd stringers though.

O-line looks decent except for Simms! D-Line is a f**king joke except for Justin Smith!

[ Edited by Norcal9erfan on Sep 8, 2009 at 15:44:50 ]
Originally posted by oldman9er:
Joe Staley = good protector, improved run blocker
Davis Baas = underrated... good run blocker, good protector
Eric Heitmann = underrated... good at both, but not consistently good at run blocking
Chilo Rachal = better at run blocking, but usually decent protector
Adam Snyder = much improved run blocker, decent protector

Depth is good on interior... questionable at OT (pending Pashos... Sims sucks).
___________________________________________________________________

Isaac Sopoaga = unspectacular, but better than given credit for... not much of a pass rusher, but holds the POA well at NT/LE... gaining awareness.
Kentwan Balmer = solid, not yet special... has nice burst and can get to QB... holds up pretty well at both DE/NT... still work to do.
Justin Smith = good pass rusher... decent run stopper, but takes himself out of plays at times... also can be pushed out of rush lanes.
Aubrayo Franklin = pretty lousy and laughably overrated... has had moments of good, but far too much bad... gets abused on double teams and rarely makes any impact on pass plays.

Depth is good at DE with RJF and RayMac... even Evans but to a lesser extent. Not impressed with Sop or Franklin at NT... both are subpar. LOVE that Khaliff Mitchell is still with us, even if P-squad. He has looked better than any 3-4 NT we have had... against 2nd/3rd stringers though.

This is a post by someone who actually watches games and breaks them down on a regular basis and it's very obvious. I agree 100%. Very nice analysis.

PS: I recommend, for fun, one day, watching a game with no volume on and ONLY watching the LOS on each play...see who wins the battles...if you see our d-line getting pushed back...if you see their d-line in our backfield constantly...I can all but guarantee you you will be able to predict who won the war (the game) before it's even over!
Run area is good on both lines. The pass area still is problem on both lines.
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