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A Fun Two Weeks of Competition Across the Offense

Agree with the notion of a shake-up of the OL. Fix the OL and EVERYBODY (including the QB, WR's and the defense) will all look better immediately.

Here's an unstated alternative, which Singletary/Raye/Foerster might consider. . Start the forgotten man, Cody Wallace, at RG and de-activate Chilo Rachal for a time. Wragge is too valuable as a game day active 45 back-up at 3 positions (LG, C, RG), to move into the starting line-up. Sims and Pashos both have to be on the game day active 45, esp with Snyder being banged-up at RT. The numbers just won't work for the game day active 45, if Wragge starts. So, I wouldn't be surprised if Rachal and Wallace simply exchange roster roles for now. Such a move allows Rachal to catch a breather and restore confidence. Such a move also gets some ROI on the Wallace investment, and gets him valuable game experience for the day when he will eventually have to replace Heitmann at C. Every Niner center in recent memory (Heitmann, Newberry, Dahlman, Sapolu), all played extensively at OG before moving to C and taking over the line calls.

I also wouldn't be surprised if Jimmy Raye was allowed to bring in an Assistant OL coach, with whom he has collaborated in the past, to "assist" OL coach Chris Foerster, (much as Nolan brought-in Foerster to "assist" OL coach George Warhop, before Singletary actually replaced Warhop with Foerster). There are only a handful of OL coaches around the NFL, who are simply magic in developing offensive linemen and getting them to perform as a unit. I sure wouldn't mind seeing an OL coach with roots in the Giants, Miami, Denver, Pittsburgh Kansas City or Carolina systems.

[ Edited by jimbagg on Oct 12, 2009 at 15:35:57 ]
I'm calling it - Manny Lawson at strong safety. We'll be set for years!!!!!!
Originally posted by AXEGRINDER:
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.

I would cut Bruce in a NY minute. His play this year is nowhere close to last year. He looks old and slow, can't get open and can't catch. I would have cut Bruce before I released Rossum...

As for SS. The future is coming, sooner than we would like. I just hope it doesn't mean the return of Roman as a starter. I would rather see Nate as a Safety and Bly as a Starting CB than Lewis as the starting SS.
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Originally posted by truekingcarlos:
I'm calling it - Manny Lawson at strong safety. We'll be set for years!!!!!!

If it wasn't for me knowing your were being sarcastic I would say something not very nice to you. lol

I also agree with just about everything MadDog has posted. Especially about the o-line.
Chilo has the tools, needs to get coached up. Baas is either injured, not back yet from his previous injury, or just not capable -- put Wragge there as we did before. There is nothing more we can do at RT besides Snyder and Pashos, without some new blood.

Alex instead of Hill would be a good idea, if only Alex has gotten able to get rid of the ball, and not turn the ball over. I just don't see how Alex would be able to improve his game that much, behind the same crummy OL and Raye's stupid offense. Nate Davis is the guy that has good pocket presence, gets rid of the ball and has a great arm, but he's not ready yet.

WRs will be B.Jones, Morgan, Battle, Crabtree, with Bruce getting fewer and fewer reps and Hill just about disappearing.

With Frank back, we will have enough of a running game to limp along on offense.

Worst news is, we need an OC and an OL coach in the worst way, and now we're back to Roman at safety.
Originally posted by billbird2111:
Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Originally posted by billbird2111:
Some GREAT observations here:

Originally posted by MadDog49er:
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.

Agree -- to a point. I don't think Chilo is going anywhere. He's the future at right guard. Wragge will never be anything but a backup.

Originally posted by MadDog49er:
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.

Agreed. This is Snyder's third year in the league and despite practicing at RT through camps, he's still struggling. Maybe it's time for a change.

Originally posted by MadDog49er:
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.

Agreed. While I would love to see Crabtree emerge, it's not going to happen until very late in the season, if at all this year.

Originally posted by MadDog49er:
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.

Rossum is gone already. Do you think we'll see another? Spurlock? Not sure. But we're top-heavy here. Can Crabtree return kicks?

Originally posted by MadDog49er:
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.

STRONGLY DISAGREE. I'm surprised at you MadDog. What QB was going to save us from yesterday's 45 point meltdown? Montana? Young? Brodie? DeBerg? Spurrier? Shaun Hill isn't to blame for the quick strike scores and long drives allowed by our defense. No QB could have kept up with that defensive collapse. No way Smith gets a shot. I just don't see it happening.

Originally posted by MadDog49er:
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.

Agreed. I think this was a bad game myself. Which makes me wonder about your Alex Smith comment even more. You want to give Alex reps at QB because the defense got torched for 45 points?

I'm not advocating reps for Smith, but I think he will pick up some. While there was no way Hill could have beaten the Falcons on Sunday, his play was simply not very good. Even when protection was solid, his game was really off.

Let's be honest, Hill's performance has regressed since last year. Whether it is due to this offense, being the regular season starter, a combination of unfulfilled expectations from Morgan and an aging Bruce, or some form of chemistry problems, the passing game is struggling. Part of it is surely OL play, but part of it is being unable to make big throws at critical times.

So, while I am willing to continue to give Hill the start at QB, at some point the offense is going to need some form of jumpstart. And, that may come at QB.

As for Rachal, my note was that the kid needs a break to get his head together. I am not advocating a dumping.

Well, to be honest, when I got home from Home Depot yesterday, the score was already 14-10.

I then watched our high priced free-agent cornerback give up an 80 yard touchdown to White.

While I was in the bathroom, urinating away my disgust, Delanie fumbled the kickoff return.

At that point? I went outside and worked in the backyard while listening to the game.

The bad news is the 49ers lost. The good news is seven planter boxes got filled up with garlic and onion sets for next season.

Yes, made a killer Jambalaya yesterday during the game. DVR'd but only watched the 1st quarter so far. Oh, yea their performance had me making Creme Brulee as well. At least the people who came over for dinner enjoyed my misery.
We really need to shore up this line, maybe a trade before the deadline.
Originally posted by kstolai:
We really need to shore up this line, maybe a trade before the deadline.

I doubt that happens. I expect Tony Wragge to be put in at RG, but that is about all.
Very good post MadDog, good stuff!
Originally posted by Leathaface:
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.

Seniority doesn't get you playing time, performance does.. Bruce needs to go to the bench or better yet home.

[ Edited by DaveWilcox on Oct 12, 2009 at 20:13:54 ]
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.

Totally agree. On the SS issue. I would love to see us move Goldson to SS and let the other Smith get a shot at FS. There is no reason to panic. We have played solid football all season besides this sunday. Not saying were the Patriots but I remember when they were smoked by the Bills in 2003 and went on to win the superbowl. If respond with a dud against the Texans then there will be issues.
Originally posted by DaveWilcox:
Originally posted by Leathaface:
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.

Seniority doesn't get you playing time, performance does.. Bruce needs to go to the bench or better yet home.

I agree, but I don't think that's how its going to go down.
Originally posted by IdentityCrisis:
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.

That's what I've been saying.
Originally posted by ObePwnD:
Originally posted by IdentityCrisis:
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.

That's what I've been saying.


maddog is on the money with everything.

our guards have given pathetic performances basically every week this year. well, i guess i'll give them an OK rating against the seahawks, but we should have beaten them even worse considering the injuries they had on D.

as far as offense, wtf happened to bruce? he dropped a CRUCIAL 2nd down throw when the score was 14-10 (right after we got that fumble). then what happens? sack on 3rd down, punt, 90 yard TD, fumbled kickoff, TD run.

i don't think it's time to panic, i think s**t just started snowballing on us in this game. i still think we can win the west but we have to play OUR game.

i don't know wtf happened to shaun hill either. yes he was getting hit a lot, but he was missing throws BADLY. he's gotten hit a lot in every game he's ever played in for us and he's never looked that bad so i don't know what it was.

we just had an off game overall, but we cannot ignore our offensive line problems any longer. rachal and baas have looked absolutely pathetic. listen to the broadcast from sundays game. there was a play where the announcers said rachal was blocking like it was a screen pass.... but it wasn't! just a straight drop back and he seemingly just lets the DT/DE walk right through and get in hills face.

i'm not too worried about the defense yet. i thought we were playing a pretty good game up until that gamble by clements. and i can't even fault the gamble. he was VERY close to knocking that away, maybe even picking it. that is what happens when your offense can't do s**t. your D tries to overcompensate and make a play. we got burned but i'm confident we will be back against the texans. not sure if we'll win the game but i know we're going to show up.