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Niners making progress this season

The 49ers should head to the offseason feeling better than they did last offseason. Here is a breakdown.

QB: (Better) The team has an undisputed starting QB in Alex Smith heading to the offseason, that was not the case last season.
RB: (Slightly Better) Frank Gore is still Frank Gore. Glen Coffee should be a solid backup next season. Last season there wasn’t a solid backup RB.
FB: (Slightly Better) Norris is still considered a good option in a 2 back formation. Last season, the team had Kearsey, who did not fit in the power running scheme
TE: (Better) Vernon Davis is now the starting TE in the pro bowl. He has progress from a very good player to an all-rounded franchise player.
WR: (Significantly Better) With Michael Crabtree and the growth of Josh Morgan, as well as backup in Jason Hill and Brandon Jones, the receiving corp has significantly improved.
OL: (Worse) RT remains to be the weakness. The team also has to replace Bass, who I officially call him a bust. I had hope for Bass last season.
ST: (Worse) Joe Nedney, Andy Lee, and Brian Jennings continue to be solid if not great. The return spot is worse than last season as the team simply don’t have anyone who can field punts.
NT: (Significantly Better) Aubrayo Franklin has gone from a player who fans wants to get rid of to a franchise player
DE: (Better) Justin Smith is still Justin Smith. The 49ers fans must be feeling more confident that Sopoaga and Balmer can get the job done.
ILB: (Same) Nothing changed for Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes
OLB: (Slightly Better) Haralson was the hope but has been disappointed. Heading to this offseason Ahmd Brooks is the hope for better pass rush. You have to think that the trio (Brooks, Haralson, and Lawson) can get a decent pass rush.
CB: (Worse) Shawntee Spencer rises, Clements falls, overall it is getter worse as Harris and Bly are free agent and expected to leave the team and I still doubt Spencer’s ability to stay healthy.
S: (Better) Dashon Goldson will only get better next season, and he is already an upgrade over Mark Roman. Michael Lewis remains to be Michael Lewis.
Coach (Worse): Mike Singletary had magic heading to last offseason, he no longer has that.
[ Edited by littleken on Jan 4, 2010 at 12:19 AM ]
i'd say, they won one more game than last season
Yip, and one more win next season puts us in the playoffs!

Go 9rs
finally some optimism. yes, niners didnt make the playoffs. but they have been making steady gains since the 2-14 season, and this year had the first non losing season. this team is better than ever, with problems that can be fixed with time and effort. they may not be a super bowl team next year, but playoffs are in sight. GO NINERS!

Good post! Totally agree we are getting better. This FA period and the draft is going to be crucial.
  • rob28
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 561
Were not that far away now.
1 fix the OL and our offense will be fine.
2 fix the secondary, we need at least 2 solid cb's. Harris should be gone, maybe Bly too.
3 get a return man thru draft or f.a.(this should be the easiest problem to fix)

division championship for the niners baby!
i agree with 99pct of it. the qb is where i disagree. i'm not comfortable with him yet. he's not clutch and still over & under throwing wrs. everyone can say the line but a. rodgers has a sh!+er line & he's getting it done. rodgers does have continuity & chemistry on his side so smith had better step it up next season. NO EXCUSES for him next season cause got dam, i can't take this average offensive play from the qb position that leads to an average season & no playoffs. get that sh!+ done smith. GO NINERS!!! in 2010
  • mrbadd1
  • Info N/A
We were 1 game better thanks to our D and our schedule.

Defense progressed a lot. We had 5 games in which the D didn't give up a TD and 7 games were the D gave up 10 or fewer points. It did what it had to do and with a piece here or a piece there can be a dominate D.

The offense, if it did progress, did only marginally and it still wasn't very good. If not worst than last year. VD made some huge plays but those huge plays had both positive and negative effects for this team. I wonder what the record is for drops by a TE? Gore was great down the stretch but was underutilized most of the year. The O-line, especially the right side was pathetic. Crabtree and Morgan have improved our WR corp but still need to get better. I think they will. I'm not excited about Alex Smith at all. He is our QB next year, I accept that, but not excited about it. The fact is, Alex Smith is no better than Kyle Orton and I'm not going to get excited about a Kyle Orton type player. Think Alex is better than Kyle Orton, go look at their careers, the players they have surround them, and the years they didn't play. Pretty damn close. And the absolute reason we made little progress, Jimmy Raye. I loved how he attacked the powerful Lions and Rams defenses, quite pathetic. Yes lets all celebrate the progress to the level of mediocrity shall we...
Originally posted by Daa-Doo:
Yip, and one more win next season puts us in the playoffs!

Go 9rs

2 more wins... No 9-7 team would have made it for the NFC.

(but next year could be different)
Very nice break down.

I agree with most everything you wrote, however I would appraise our coaching situation as "better," not "worse," going into the off season. I understand what you mean by saying the "magic" is gone regarding Sing, but while that's true for the fans it certainly doesn't seem to be the case for the players. There were several devestating losses this season during which Sing could hove lost the team, but they stuck with him suggesting that Sing's magic still works in the locker room, if not with the fans.

Beyond the intangibles, we've got a coach that has a full year under his belt now. The quality of the coaching, despite the odd hiccup from time to time, improved steadily over the course of the season and there's a pretty good argument to be made that given our dodgy O-line and QBs, Singletary coached the Niners to an over-achieving .500 record and established a strong foundation for 2010.
[ Edited by BubbaParisMVP on Jan 3, 2010 at 5:23 PM ]
i don't know, they won an additional game, but they still came up short in games that mattered.
Besides needing an upgrade of the O line, we need a rb worthy of backing up Frank Gore. Coffee is just mediocre and we need a backup tailback that can take over when Gore is in the hurt locker without too much dropoff. The M Rob experiment is over as far as I am concerned and the only reason I would keep him around is ST. Battle is history and I will miss him because at one time he was a clutch reciever for the Niners when they really needed him. Our pass rush has improved but I still think we should use one of our first round picks to pick up another worthy pass rusher.
Originally posted by TexasGuero49:
Originally posted by Daa-Doo:
Yip, and one more win next season puts us in the playoffs!

Go 9rs

2 more wins... No 9-7 team would have made it for the NFC.

(but next year could be different)


Just imagine we were 2 plays away from 2 more wins..... Last second pass in the Vikings game and the the TD that went through VDs hands in the Seattle game.
Originally posted by TDNiners:
Originally posted by TexasGuero49:
Originally posted by Daa-Doo:
Yip, and one more win next season puts us in the playoffs!

Go 9rs

2 more wins... No 9-7 team would have made it for the NFC.

(but next year could be different)


Just imagine we were 2 plays away from 2 more wins..... Last second pass in the Vikings game and the the TD that went through VDs hands in the Seattle game.

Let it go. There is no sense in pondering over what if's. Let's just move on look to next season.
We all have our opinions, but we lack many of the facts. So much of the game and one-on-one battles are invisible to us.

Raye's playcalling often has me tearing my hair out, but part of it may have to do with his recognition of the OL's deficiencies. He often has Gore plowing into the line with little or no gain, but maybe he thinks if he does it often enough, he will break a long one for a TD. But when he fails, then it puts Alex into 3rd and long.

Alex is criticized for dumping the ball off for short gains too often, but how much of the time is it due to the WRs not getting open or the OL collapsing where he has no time to wait on his WRs?

There is much to be said about continuity, but if next year is just a continuation of what we saw so often this year, it is continuity that we can do without.