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Ray McDonald wants to be a starter, why the hell shouldn't he be?

I've always liked Ray Mac's timing and quickness from the snap of the ball.
Not playing McDonald more is just one of many stupefying moves, or non-moves, made by recent regimes. I also hope he sticks around and gets a legit shot at the end position. Have Ice and Francois play the nose and let one year wonder, Franklin get overpaid by someone else.
I realize we're all just amateurs here, but isn't it odd that sometimes the fans seem to see something that's so obvious that the coaches do not? This seems to be one of those times IMO.
Originally posted by 4evrfan:
Not playing McDonald more is just one of many stupefying moves, or non-moves, made by recent regimes. I also hope he sticks around and gets a legit shot at the end position. Have Ice and Francois play the nose and let one year wonder, Franklin get overpaid by someone else.
I realize we're all just amateurs here, but isn't it odd that sometimes the fans seem to see something that's so obvious that the coaches do not? This seems to be one of those times IMO.

I think the Niner coaches understood that McDonald was good and enjoyed having him there. I just think they made it an (un)educated decision to play another player in his place that is better at stopping the running game and taking up space. That guy being Soap. I've never been a big fan of Soap as a DE in the 3-4, but I'll admit that he does stop the run very well.

[ Edited by elhebrewhammer on Jun 21, 2011 at 23:48:09 ]
Originally posted by NinerPrideinNJ:
After reading of the newly proposed CBA rules regarding 4 and 5 year vets to now be unrestricted free-agents, it was interesting to see Barrow's article about Ray McDonald.

For the the past several years, I could never understand why this team hasn't played him more. For the very limited time he sees on the field, he seems to be a very good playmaker.

He has the ability to pressure/sack the QB, deflect passes and, as mentioned in the article, returned a INT for a TD against Carolina last year.

I'm hoping the new regime is smart enough to see that this guy makes plays and making plays is exactly what this team lacks on defense (excluding Willis, Spikes and J. Smith) As far as I can see, he hasn't given any reason to warrant sitting on the bench as much as he does. I don't see why they have only included him in situational 3rd down pass-rushing situations.

With Franklin seeking a big pay day and Sopaga being a mediocre DE at best, maybe moving Ice to NT and starting McDonald is even better than resigning Franklin.

Bottom-line is, I've questioned why they don't start McDonald for the past 3 years and I'm curious if anyone else has been baffled by this as well.

Thoughts?



Hes a starting caliber player but has been gimpy most of his 49er career. Stuck behind solid play and big contracts as well. Id like to see him stay but not at a starters salary.
  • mayo49
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With Soap possibly moving to Nose, McDonald might get his chance.
Originally posted by FreddyG:
Originally posted by WillistheWall:
Yeah he is our 2nd best DL after Justin Smith. Kind of pissed me off how Sing only played him in 3rd downs as a pass rusher for the most part. The guy can play. Hopefully we re-sign him. The guy could be a terror as a starting DE on a 4-3 team also.

Sing was the best at roster management

Dude, we don't need Allen Rossum. Who needs Allen Rossum?
I think Ray Mac will perform well this year. From his comments in the article it would be easy to take it that he wants to leave, but I believe that's not his intention. He has been working out with with Justin Smith all offseason, probably picking his brain and perfecting his workout habits. He's been a regular at camp Alex as well and I believe that will bode well for him starting this year.

If Franklin leaves, which is expected, then I foresee him starting this coming year.
Originally posted by NickSh49:
Originally posted by FreddyG:
Originally posted by WillistheWall:
Yeah he is our 2nd best DL after Justin Smith. Kind of pissed me off how Sing only played him in 3rd downs as a pass rusher for the most part. The guy can play. Hopefully we re-sign him. The guy could be a terror as a starting DE on a 4-3 team also.

Sing was the best at roster management

Dude, we don't need Allen Rossum. Who needs Allen Rossum?

yeah no need for him lets put nate back there and who needs jason hill(i liked him)
The big question is can he stay healthy enough to start.
Originally posted by elhebrewhammer:

I think the Niner coaches understood that McDonald was good and enjoyed having him there. I just think they made the decision to play another player in his place that is better at stopping the running game and taking up space. That guy being Soap. I've never been a big fan of Soap as a DE in the 3-4, but I'll admit that he does stop the run very well.

This.

I like RayMac though, and we should look to keep him. With Sop moving inside, that gives our DL more legit power at NT, which means that we can then go a little lighter at LDE with Ray. Still would be nice to get Manny back, as he offers excellent run D from that side.

We can call Ray a "starter" and pay him decent starting money, but also rotate in RJF as we see fit and when we need extra beef vs the better rushing teams.
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
The big question is can he stay healthy enough to start.

I think he could, the dude got a TON of playing time even though he wasn't a starter. Which is kinda my point when I say he wasn't starting for a reason. He gets eaten alive when teams run at him. Furthermore, dude was on the field ALOT during passing downs.....Where was he? Now he wants to start?
If AB leaves and Soap moves inside....YES.
If Niners start using 4-3 (ya right) YES.
Otherwise he'll need to improve to warrant starting over either Smith/Soap
Nothing wrong with that attitude, but the real concern is how he will hold up at DE in a 3-4 on running downs. that's why he seemed to play more on passing downs. I just think he's in the wrong scheme. But the coaching staff isn't gonna have time to decide if he's starting with this shortened off season. Him Soap, and Smith doesn't make for a good run stopping 3-4 d line imo. Can't be mad at a guy b/c he just wants to play. I'd like to keep him.
Originally posted by lamontb:
Nothing wrong with that attitude, but the real concern is how he will hold up at DE in a 3-4 on running downs. that's why he seemed to play more on passing downs. I just think he's in the wrong scheme. But the coaching staff isn't gonna have time to decide if he's starting with this shortened off season. Him Soap, and Smith doesn't make for a good run stopping 3-4 d line imo. Can't be mad at a guy b/c he just wants to play. I'd like to keep him.

I'd have a problem if that wasn't his attitude. A player should always be hungry for the next tier. The knocks on him is against the run and his health. a 3-4 DE isn't a primary pass rusher...he's a space eater. he opens things up for the LBs. I wonder if Ray wouldn't do better on a 4-3 team. That said, I hope we keep him.
Originally posted by Jakemall:
Originally posted by lamontb:
Nothing wrong with that attitude, but the real concern is how he will hold up at DE in a 3-4 on running downs. that's why he seemed to play more on passing downs. I just think he's in the wrong scheme. But the coaching staff isn't gonna have time to decide if he's starting with this shortened off season. Him Soap, and Smith doesn't make for a good run stopping 3-4 d line imo. Can't be mad at a guy b/c he just wants to play. I'd like to keep him.

I'd have a problem if that wasn't his attitude. A player should always be hungry for the next tier. The knocks on him is against the run and his health. a 3-4 DE isn't a primary pass rusher...he's a space eater. he opens things up for the LBs. I wonder if Ray wouldn't do better on a 4-3 team. That said, I hope we keep him.

The bolded isn't always the case. It depends on the scheme as to how each DL is utilized. All roles are not the same on each 3-4 scheme. Unless Ray is much stronger on initial contact than he was, we would be left with all three of our DL as 1-gappers. Maybe that can work in today's NFL. Last year, we had Justin and Aubrayo doing more 1-gapping while Sop was more of our space-eating plugger. I am not sure if things would work well if all 3 DL are 1-gapping. Maybe Sopo would then be more of the plugger inside while both DEs 1-gap.
Originally posted by elhebrewhammer:
Originally posted by 4evrfan:
Not playing McDonald more is just one of many stupefying moves, or non-moves, made by recent regimes. I also hope he sticks around and gets a legit shot at the end position. Have Ice and Francois play the nose and let one year wonder, Franklin get overpaid by someone else.
I realize we're all just amateurs here, but isn't it odd that sometimes the fans seem to see something that's so obvious that the coaches do not? This seems to be one of those times IMO.

I think the Niner coaches understood that McDonald was good and enjoyed having him there. I just think they made it an (un)educated decision to play another player in his place that is better at stopping the running game and taking up space. That guy being Soap. I've never been a big fan of Soap as a DE in the 3-4, but I'll admit that he does stop the run very well.

I think that is part of it, but dont forget that they paid Soap 25 million dollars for 5 years before we really knew what Ray could do. I'm convinced that influenced how much he saw the field. Obviously they wouldn't pull Justin Smith either.