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A Fun Two Weeks of Competition Across the Offense

After yesterday's massacre, which I believe has been far too dramatized on the board by many (in the grand scheme of things, it is one game, and the first bad overall game the team has played all year), the next couple weeks could be a blast to watch, as I surmise Singletary is open up competition all across the offense. The problems are far and wide, and do not seem to be getting better. Hence, the potential for a massive overhaul before the Niners face the Texans.

Here are some of the competitions I expect to see:
1) Rachal vs. Wragge vs. Snyder- While Rachal is far more athletic, the bottom line is that he is struggling. Struggling against a backup lineman last week with the Rams, struggling this week against the Falcons; heck, he's struggled all year. While is has been more convenient for fans to blast Baas (since he will probably depart in FA this year, and Rachal is young), Rachal simply has been terrible in pass protection. He is a lost puppy right now. Wragge is a savvy vet who may need to give the kid a break to get his head together. I have added Snyder just in case he is the loser of the battle below.

2) Snyder vs. Pashos- A showdown between two mediocre RT's, I've got a feeling that the extra two weeks in this offense will help Pashos, and he will emerge the starter. This would allow Snyder the potential to move inside to replace Rachal or Baas. We need to get our best five guys on the field, and Snyder would be better than Rachal at this point of the season.

3) Bruce vs. Jones vs. Crabtree vs. Battle vs. Hill- So, who wants to be the starter next to Morgan? It seems like Morgan has emerged as the top guy the past two weeks (although besides his breakway run yesterday, we still did not see much). However, he is contributing, something we are not seeing elsewhere. Bruce looks like he is 80 years old. Jones is coming back from injury. Battle has been sitting on the sidelines a lot due to Raye's offense, and Hill has been playing special teams. I expect the Niners to give Jones every shot to move up the depth chart and possibly push for a starting role. Crabtree is not going to be ready for the full package, so he's competing for the third WR role. This will be a fun week to see who gets the chance to start and play backup.

And, I think someone surprising is going to get cut this week: Hill? Battle? Rossum? Even with Spurlock headed to the waiver wire, I'm just not convinced the Niners will keep 6 WR's, and a PR. I could be wrong.

4) Smith vs. Hill- I fully expect Singletary to allow Smith some first team reps, and this may be his shot to run the offense. I still expect Hill to emerge the starter after the bye, but Hill was pretty shaky, and the passing game has been inconsistent all season. So, if Smith lights it up in practice, we may see a change. Something has to pump up this dreadful offense.

Anyone else think the practices the next couple weeks are going to be intense?

Cheers.

P.S. As for the defense, I'm not going to panic. I think they simply had a bad game, and this unit simply needs to move on. If it becomes a week-to-week issue like the offense, then we have a major problem.

One final note: We may be seeing the future at SS come sooner than expected. If Michael Lewis has experienced his third concussion since August, the writing is on the wall. I fully expect the team to target either Eric Berry or Taylor Mays to be the starting SS next season, and the other first rounder to be a RT.

[ Edited by MadDog49er on Oct 12, 2009 at 12:35:43 ]
I would certainly like to see a shake up at the WR position, I'm just not sure it's actually going to happen.

Although like you MD, I feel Bruce's best days are behind him, I think because he is a veteran, and future HOFer, Sing is going to keep him in the starting two because he senses the team has a shot at the playoffs, if they don't make too many mistakes.

Throw in the fact that Crabtree will become the slot reciever almost automatically, and I just don't know where the extra reps for Jones, Hill, or Battle are going to come from.

That being said, if Jones can't break in to the top two of Morgan and Bruce this year while Crabtree plays out of the slot, why did we throw that kind of contract at him?

I sure hope you are right, and that Sing will allow some competition there. What Bruce has done in the past, is not helping us now. *sigh*

As for the line... I think that's the biggest area of concern, by far.

I actually like your idea of moving Snyder inside, if Pashos can nail down the RT position. I also agree that regardless of who plays RG, Rachal needs a break. He is still young, so we don't have to give up on him. However, this may be the right time to let him head to the sidelines and let the game slow down for him a little.
I'd prefer we changed both of our Guards. Something like Staley-Wragge/Snyder-Heitmann-Snyder/Wragge-Pashos.

The line can't get worse. I don't see how Rachal continues to start. He has to be benched.

Also, I don't think Bruce will be removed as a starter. Too much seniority.

[ Edited by Leathaface on Oct 12, 2009 at 12:50:25 ]
Agreed, although I would be surprised if Smith sees any first team reps. I personally would like to see him get those reps, I just don't see it happening. I have no basis for that assumption, just a gut feeling. It's becoming more apparent every week that Hill just cannot make the throws reqired of an NFL starting quarterback. There becomes a time where simply managing the game and making few mistakes just is not enough.

I personally would not let Jason Hill go. If it had to be a WR, I would cut Bruce. A potentially unpopular opinion, but it has to be done.

And I agree totally with your first round draft pick projection. A RT and and a safety appears at this point to be our top needs. That could change though.
Good post MD.

I disagree with your opinion of the WR position, it will remain Bruce and Morgan even though I agree with you that Bruce finally looks over the hill and washed up.

I agree about the Oline shake it up whatever it takes.

And before this season I would have said no way to Mays because he is a SS but we can use either Berry or Mays now and put Goldson at the other spot.
I saw Kiper say the other day that pass rushers and offensive linemen were to be had in quantity and quality in next years draft. So maybe after we address the safety issue (I am hoping for Berry to be there for us) we can spend the rest of the draft solidifying the lines on both sides of the ball.
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
After yesterday's massacre, which I believe has been far too dramatized on the board by many (in the grand scheme of things, it is one game, and the first bad overall game the team has played all year), the next couple weeks could be a blast to watch, as I surmise Singletary is open up competition all across the offense. The problems are far and wide, and do not seem to be getting better. Hence, the potential for a massive overhaul before the Niners face the Texans.

Here are some of the competitions I expect to see:
1) Rachal vs. Wragge vs. Snyder- While Rachal is far more athletic, the bottom line is that he is struggling. Struggling against a backup lineman last week with the Rams, struggling this week against the Falcons; heck, he's struggled all year. While is has been more convenient for fans to blast Baas (since he will probably depart in FA this year, and Rachal is young), Rachal simply has been terrible in pass protection. He is a lost puppy right now. Wragge is a savvy vet who may need to give the kid a break to get his head together. I have added Snyder just in case he is the loser of the battle below.

2) Snyder vs. Pashos- A showdown between two mediocre RT's, I've got a feeling that the extra two weeks in this offense will help Pashos, and he will emerge the starter. This would allow Snyder the potential to move inside to replace Rachal or Baas. We need to get our best five guys on the field, and Snyder would be better than Rachal at this point of the season.

3) Bruce vs. Jones vs. Crabtree vs. Battle vs. Hill- So, who wants to be the starter next to Morgan? It seems like Morgan has emerged as the top guy the past two weeks (although besides his breakway run yesterday, we still did not see much). However, he is contributing, something we are not seeing elsewhere. Bruce looks like he is 80 years old. Jones is coming back from injury. Battle has been sitting on the sidelines a lot due to Raye's offense, and Hill has been playing special teams. I expect the Niners to give Jones every shot to move up the depth chart and possibly push for a starting role. Crabtree is not going to be ready for the full package, so he's competing for the third WR role. This will be a fun week to see who gets the chance to start and play backup.

And, I think someone surprising is going to get cut this week: Hill? Battle? Rossum? Even with Spurlock headed to the waiver wire, I'm just not convinced the Niners will keep 6 WR's, and a PR. I could be wrong.

4) Smith vs. Hill- I fully expect Singletary to allow Smith some first team reps, and this may be his shot to run the offense. I still expect Hill to emerge the starter after the bye, but Hill was pretty shaky, and the passing game has been inconsistent all season. So, if Smith lights it up in practice, we may see a change. Something has to pump up this dreadful offense.

Anyone else think the practices the next couple weeks are going to be intense?

Cheers.

P.S. As for the defense, I'm not going to panic. I think they simply had a bad game, and this unit simply needs to move on. If it becomes a week-to-week issue like the offense, then we have a major problem.

One final note: We may be seeing the future at SS come sooner than expected. If Michael Lewis has experienced his third concussion since August, the writing is on the wall. I fully expect the team to target either Eric Berry or Taylor Mays to be the starting SS next season, and the other first rounder to be a RT.

Great post MadDog! This team needs a shake-up along the O-line & to give some competition all the way around. We have a long way to go this season.
MadDog,
I feel question #3 was just answered with Rossum getting the axe.

As to #1 I noticed you said Snyder you put him on the list of potential guards because you think he loses at RT, but hasn’t the Snyder at guard experiment been tried and failed already?

And on the subject of Michael Lewis, do you think we will see Roman(), Reggie Smith (if healthy), or maybe Hudson (very longshot)?
definitely agree with your idea of how the OLine can be shaken up.

WR will be interesting, for sure, but I don't think Bruce's job is in jeopardy. I would defnitely like to see Hill get a few more chances on O. At least he's showed some hustle on special teams.
Look like MM's Twitter page has listed in a couple of his last entries some answers to our pressing questions.

Rossum cut.
Wragge potential to take over for Rachal.

I still think the Niners cut a WR. We currently have SEVEN on our roster:
Morgan-Bruce-Jones-Battle-Crabtree-Hill-Spurlock.

Since the Niners seemed to have cooked the Wildcat to a crisp charcoal substance, Spurlock has to be the next to go. However, you never know.
Originally posted by jta854:
MadDog,
I feel question #3 was just answered with Rossum getting the axe.

As to #1 I noticed you said Snyder you put him on the list of potential guards because you think he loses at RT, but hasn’t the Snyder at guard experiment been tried and failed already?

And on the subject of Michael Lewis, do you think we will see Roman(), Reggie Smith (if healthy), or maybe Hudson (very longshot)?

Roman would be the starter, Smith the backup. But, neither is a starting SS in the league. Roman took a really bad angle again yesterday in one of the Falcons' TD's (I believe it was the Clements' missed pick where White took it down the sideline).

As for Snyder at guard, this would be a temporary fix, just like with Wragge, who is a backup player. Snyder did not play very well at LG, but he's better than Rachal right now.

[ Edited by MadDog49er on Oct 12, 2009 at 13:39:04 ]
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Look like MM's Twitter page has listed in a couple of his last entries some answers to our pressing questions.

Rossum cut.
Wragge potential to take over for Rachal.

I still think the Niners cut a WR. We currently have SEVEN on our roster:
Morgan-Bruce-Jones-Battle-Crabtree-Hill-Spurlock.

Since the Niners seemed to have cooked the Wildcat to a crisp charcoal substance, Spurlock has to be the next to go. However, you never know.

Does battle take over KR responsibilities then?

We need someone to take a sturdy hold on that role.
we all would love the WR question to be answered and the OLine broken apart. That's not going to happen IMO, the organization is high on Chilo Rachel and I believe he will continue to start. Baas is adjusting to a new position on the left side of the line and I guarantee that will be the excuse for keeping him in. Sing says he wants to establish the guy at RT and I think Snyder is going to get the nod since Pashos really sucked vs. Atl. Pashos should get a look at RG IMO they should also look at moving Baas unfortunely I do not belive the team will do this instead opting to work out the wrinkles during the week off.

No way Bruce gets cuts he's a leged, Crabtree will get his reps and I believe will start this year. With his injury it seems B.Jones is the odd man out along w/J.Hill if we don't act soon we will be sorry for it.
Originally posted by IdentityCrisis:
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Look like MM's Twitter page has listed in a couple of his last entries some answers to our pressing questions.

Rossum cut.
Wragge potential to take over for Rachal.

I still think the Niners cut a WR. We currently have SEVEN on our roster:
Morgan-Bruce-Jones-Battle-Crabtree-Hill-Spurlock.

Since the Niners seemed to have cooked the Wildcat to a crisp charcoal substance, Spurlock has to be the next to go. However, you never know.

Does battle take over KR responsibilities then?

We need someone to take a sturdy hold on that role.

Battle looks to be the man.
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Originally posted by IdentityCrisis:
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Look like MM's Twitter page has listed in a couple of his last entries some answers to our pressing questions.

Rossum cut.
Wragge potential to take over for Rachal.

I still think the Niners cut a WR. We currently have SEVEN on our roster:
Morgan-Bruce-Jones-Battle-Crabtree-Hill-Spurlock.

Since the Niners seemed to have cooked the Wildcat to a crisp charcoal substance, Spurlock has to be the next to go. However, you never know.

Does battle take over KR responsibilities then?

We need someone to take a sturdy hold on that role.

Battle looks to be the man.

Wouldn't be surprised if we target someone with return abilities in the draft.

I do not hold anything against battle, but I wonder how much longer he has on the team. Nagging knee injuries wont help prolong the career of a WR who is already a situational player.