Myths, fact or fiction, in no particular order:
1. Alex sucks...Fiction. Alex has had many detractors, and as much as I have heaped criticism on the 9ers, it has never been on alex... nor have i been positive on him. But I have maintained that until he has a decent OL we will never know how good...or bad, he really is. Well, we saw superb OL play tonite and alex had a superb nite. Oh, and guess what else? Alex has got good wheels. Proved it twice on last drive.
1a. Alex can't throw touch passes. Fiction. I have written dozens of times that if he can't throw touch passes, then that is a coaching error, and he should be kept out on the field until he can throw 20 touch passes in a row...perfectly...just like he did multiple times last nite.
1b. Alex can't throw accurately...Fiction. True, alex can't throw accurately if on his back or has 3 guys hanging on him...but give him a good OL, and who knows just how good this kid really is. Last nite he played flawless football, his one best pass, a long throw away to vernon in double coverage. Yeah, it wasn't a bad pass as it looked. He just threw that sucker into the turf 5 yds behind vernon...and two defenders who would have intercepted.
1c.Alex can't call his own plays... Fiction. Except for dead ball time stoppage, he did call his own plays, and guess what? The kid who finished college in 2 &1/2 yrs , then took basket weaving and dance his last semester so he could play football, is obviously very able to call his own plays. There is a light year's worth of difference calling plays when you just have time to get to LOS and hike the ball, vs getting to LOS with 20 seconds to spare, giving him time to check off and audible...and the kid proved he is very adept at checking off, if given time to do so with plays in on timely fashion. I believe he has been so micromanaged by BM and JR, that he has not been able to show us what he has. Well, we know now.
2. Our OL sucks...Fiction. I had campaigned on webzone for 3 yrs to draft an OL. Well, once baalke got control, we did draft for an OL...twice in first rd. Evidence of that was obvious last nite, when alex was never sacked, hurried twice in game tying TD drive, but never was touched. Our OL played superbly. My guesstimate that it would take 4 games for the OL to mature and block well was wrong. It took two games, and those suckers played great football.
3. BigmikeBM) and JR aren't smart enough or can't think fast enough on their feet to be HC and OC...Fiction. They sure did a superb job last nite(yeah there was a delay of game with only 10 men on field and vernon came in late), but there was no "mysterious helmet problems", as claimed last game. These guys, and Manusky called great games. Re: BM's/ JR's 18 mos of difficulty getting plays in on time, obviously they CAN do it. So what happened before? Either BM just didn't think it was important, and was stubborn, maybe even micromanaging an O he didn't really understand well, OR he just didn't get it...ie, how important it is for your QB to get to the OL with 20 seconds remaining on clock, so he can view field and make adjustments. Alex did great, and it makes BM and JR look smarter for trusting in him, not dumber.
4. BM can't be a good/great HC without first doing the usual proscribed requisites: namely coaching every position other than the one he knows perfectly, LBs, and no OC nor DC experience. Fiction...altho, i am amazed he has done so well in one game which proves he can be jump promoted to HC and perform at top level. I was wrong about this, but i bet anything, MJ had a lot to do with this, and secondly, i also bet it had to do with giving alex plenty of opportunities to call his own plays. The kid has it, and lots of "it". He just never got the OL nor coaching to prove it. If this continues, BM will be the ONE exception to getting to HC without the necessary coaching experience and creds.
5. JR sucks...not in this game he didn't. If he reverts to following BMs "we're gonna run it down their throats", then, yeah , he sucks. But if he follows the NO game with similar, equally well called games, then JR sucks is fiction. Time will tell on this one.
6. Neither our C nor one OG can block. Fiction....they sure can as evidenced by alex virtually not being touched all game. Both guys must have played superbly, because alex was protected all nite. They both can block. Was it lack of skill, or possibly lack of good coaching? I put my money on Solari and bigRay here. Congrats to both.
7. Our 1st two OL drafts are going to be stars...Fact...and they proved it tonite. Corollary: always build a team from the lines up. Worked for Vince Lombardi, and same for coach Walsh. We ignored it for 7 of last 8 yrs...to our peril, but we are on our way now.
8. Our receivers can't catch. Fiction. Beautiful catches(and passes) by vernon over the shoulder, Morgan toe tipping OOB, Crabs, etc. They played flawlessly. Note, the play for 1st down to #85 was thrown before vernon faked out and turned in. A thing of beauty.
9. We keep shooting ourselves in the foot. FACT. Actually without those several screwups, we may have won this game. Goes back to coaching. Make baas practice snapping 200 times in a row without snapping over alex's head...and remind him just before start of game and snap a dozen good snaps to alex before going onto field.
10.BM is the real deal and will finally take us back to the promised land, the SB and another trophy. UNDETERMINED....BM needs to take this game film and use it as a weekly reminder of what happens when he gives up control, forgoes the "ram it down their throats" routine, and does exactly what he did last nite. BM now has proven he CAN BE the man. Now consistent repition of what he did tonite has to be repeated each and every game for him to be THE ONE. Until last nite, I flat out didn't think he could or would do it. But he can. Now the question is WILL HE? Stay tuned.
11. BM's grand plan was to have JR for continuity, and bring in a talented, but relatively unknown talent as QB coach. FACT...altho obviously i will never know for sure. But there is no question, MJ is a great talent, and when he gets the OC job next yr, i would hope he retains QB job too. He obviously understands QBs, calls, and alex. He would be a tremendous OC. In the same vein, JR has played his role well too, in giving BM stability at OC, even if he had to be brot along in the new era of playcalling. The mark of a great HC is planning ahead, and based on this one instructional game, I would say BM has proved his worth. But, the fact remains, one great game does not a HC make. Now the onus is on him to reproduce, game after game the preparation, coaching, and decision making that he showed in this game. If he reverts, I will be after him again. Hopefully , he is a changed man and stays that way.
Apologies to all for length of this, but there were a lot of things that needed saying. As always, my hopes have been for BM to do well, as he has been one of my heroes for yrs...but i was quick to point out his shortcoming, so a mea culpa was in order. Now, if he could just get a handle on simple errors like 10 men on field, muffed punts, high over the head snaps...well, that would be Walshian...assuming this continues. Hey , i don't mind losing if our team plays great, and is coached great. I love to watch a well coached good team. Watching an unprepared, poorly coached, unskilled team...we all have had enough of that.
Breaking:Round 4, Pick 15: 49ers trade up to select Utah RB Joe Williams