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LaMichael James is a Niner

Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
Originally posted by TheRatMan13:
Believe it or not Sproles wasn't used in the passing game at Kansas State as some might think. He was a power runner. He learned to catch with SD and that's when he became an NFL weapon.

I think people here (including me) see James' skill set as very similar to Sproles in college. Its a very tough comparison to rely on because the niners run a completely different scheme than the saints, but if James has the drive of Sproles, I don't see how he couldn't be used in a very similar fashion.

I along with many others have advocated for getting James involved in the passing game. Not only because of his speed, but also because he will rarely contribute as a running back. Even when Gore is retired, we still will have Kendall Hunter and Marcus Lattimore. If LaMichael James expects to have a regular role on this team, it will be in returning kicks, punts, as a pass catcher, and running reverses, sweeps, screens, etc. Also, I think Roger Craig wasn't exactly known as a pass catcher coming out of Nebraska, but boy did he become one in San Francisco.

You are right that if James has the drive of Darren Sproles, he will be successful. Hopefully he has the drive because the opportunity is there for the taking. He can solidify himself as the primary returner and as our homerun threat. I wonder if he recognizes this?

Perhaps he should take a page out of Vernon's book and start practicing with the receivers.

As for defenses, all it would take is one home run play and they would have to account for it the rest of the season.
Originally posted by TheGoldStandard:
49ers.com lists him as the starter at both returner spots, over Kyle who used to be the starter.

He scares the s**t out of me at PR.
Why in the world is Dixon the kick returner over James?
Originally posted by kap2crab:
Why in the world is Dixon the kick returner over James?

Originally posted by H41L5ATAN:

In lieu of being able to find a gif of LaMichael's game-changing kick return at New England last year. let me just ask you that if anybody who has ever fumbled in their career would apparently be ineligible for return duties, why is he our punt returner? I just don't get why we don't have him handle both, especially when he's proven to be a dynamic kick returner and certainly much faster, quicker, and explosive in space than Dixon.
Originally posted by H41L5ATAN:
Originally posted by kap2crab:
Why in the world is Dixon the kick returner over James?


This was on offense...
Originally posted by kap2crab:
In lieu of being able to find a gif of LaMichael's game-changing kick return at New England last year. let me just ask you that if anybody who has ever fumbled in their career would apparently be ineligible for return duties, why is he our punt returner? I just don't get why we don't have him handle both, especially when he's proven to be a dynamic kick returner and certainly much faster, quicker, and explosive in space than Dixon.

I think we'll see him on KRs before too long, seems like Harbaugh wanted to give Dixon a shot
Originally posted by matt49er:
I think we'll see him on KRs before too long, seems like Harbaugh wanted to give Dixon a shot

And Dixon did OK over all. Much better than I thought he would. James is much more explosive however.
Originally posted by TheRatMan13:
Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
Originally posted by TheRatMan13:
Believe it or not Sproles wasn't used in the passing game at Kansas State as some might think. He was a power runner. He learned to catch with SD and that's when he became an NFL weapon.

I think people here (including me) see James' skill set as very similar to Sproles in college. Its a very tough comparison to rely on because the niners run a completely different scheme than the saints, but if James has the drive of Sproles, I don't see how he couldn't be used in a very similar fashion.

I along with many others have advocated for getting James involved in the passing game. Not only because of his speed, but also because he will rarely contribute as a running back. Even when Gore is retired, we still will have Kendall Hunter and Marcus Lattimore. If LaMichael James expects to have a regular role on this team, it will be in returning kicks, punts, as a pass catcher, and running reverses, sweeps, screens, etc. Also, I think Roger Craig wasn't exactly known as a pass catcher coming out of Nebraska, but boy did he become one in San Francisco.

You are right that if James has the drive of Darren Sproles, he will be successful. Hopefully he has the drive because the opportunity is there for the taking. He can solidify himself as the primary returner and as our homerun threat. I wonder if he recognizes this?

Perhaps he should take a page out of Vernon's book and start practicing with the receivers.

As for defenses, all it would take is one home run play and they would have to account for it the rest of the season.

That's not a bad idea. The more James can do, the more valuable he will be. Unless you have elite talent as a running back, it's a serious uphill battle to make your impact at that position.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
I'd really love to see the offense make it a point of focus to get the ball to LMJ out in space, at least give him the opportunity, if he can't catch, oh well, but if he can and becomes a useful weapon for this team, yet another target that defenses have to account for, it would do wonder for this offense. Most defenses have been playing way off on the checkdowns due to coverage on Boldin and VD or due to bringing extra pass-rushers, the checkdown guy has been left wide open a multitude of times, if the 49ers actually started punishing teams for doing that, it would really mess up their entire defensive approach.

It really can't just be James either because you'd have the same problem in a different way. James comes in and someone simply peels off with him.

While I hope James can be productive, what I've seen so far doesn't bode well. His explosiveness simply hasn't transferred to the NFL game the way Sproles has. I think, unfortunately, people overrate his impact and the explosive threat he puts on defenses on this board.
[ Edited by bzborow1 on Nov 16, 2013 at 6:33 AM ]
He's as explosive as anyone. It's a matter of our coaching staff playing to his strengths. Our staff is terrible at taking full advantage of what they excel at (at least on offense)
Originally posted by Dsoto87:
He's as explosive as anyone. It's a matter of our coaching staff playing to his strengths. Our staff is terrible at taking full advantage of what they excel at (at least on offense)

Ummm.....no. Although I would agree that having a guy like James could help, particularly given the way defenses are covering the 49ers.
[ Edited by bzborow1 on Nov 16, 2013 at 6:58 AM ]
Originally posted by bzborow1:
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
I'd really love to see the offense make it a point of focus to get the ball to LMJ out in space, at least give him the opportunity, if he can't catch, oh well, but if he can and becomes a useful weapon for this team, yet another target that defenses have to account for, it would do wonder for this offense. Most defenses have been playing way off on the checkdowns due to coverage on Boldin and VD or due to bringing extra pass-rushers, the checkdown guy has been left wide open a multitude of times, if the 49ers actually started punishing teams for doing that, it would really mess up their entire defensive approach.

It really can't just be James either because you'd have the same problem in a different way. James comes in and someone simply peels off with him.

While I hope James can be productive, what I've seen so far doesn't bode well. His explosiveness simply hasn't transferred to the NFL game the way Sproles has. I think, unfortunately, people overrate his impact and the explosive threat he puts on defenses on this board.

James has not had many chances to explode, or excel. He has received a few carries but no one is going to bench Gore to play James more and James hasn't been used effectively as a receiver...come to think of it, the receivers haven't been used effectively as receivers. LOL!

James is a good inside runner and can disappear in the LOS and pop out just as Gore can, but he has to wait his turn. If anything holds James back it will be mental...either on the coaches part or James'. They have tried to get the ball to him in the flat a number of times but defenders were all over him as he caught the ball...very poorly disguised plays. They have not used him in many short, late routes from the flat moving into the middle of the field on slants or drifts. Gore does very well on these and I think James would as well.

Now with Lattimore coming back next year James may be the odd man out...but Lattimore would seem to be a replacement for Gore, depending on how many more years the team thinks FG will be productive. At 30 he is on the upper range for RB longevity. James, Hunter and Dixon are 24, 25, and 26 respectively. Hampton is 23 and Lattimore is 22. Nice spread! Thankfully, the last thing the 9ers should worry about in the draft is the RB position.
LMJ would be tearing s**t up on another team that actually used him to his strengths. He's just wasting away here. Dude is dynamic and can take any carry touch to the house. stupid fkn coaching staff.

dixon returning kicks? come the fk on.

for those of you saying he's not returning kicks because of his fumble in the SB. That makes no fkn sense since we have him returning punts which is a a much more difficult, high stress job than KR.
Originally posted by kap2crab:
In lieu of being able to find a gif of LaMichael's game-changing kick return at New England last year. let me just ask you that if anybody who has ever fumbled in their career would apparently be ineligible for return duties, why is he our punt returner? I just don't get why we don't have him handle both, especially when he's proven to be a dynamic kick returner and certainly much faster, quicker, and explosive in space than Dixon.


Originally posted by TheRatMan13:
This was on offense...


...but the point is taken. Are you willing to trust LaMichael, the same LaMichael that's been in the coaching staff's doghouse? I'm not. I wish I could since he possesses everything the KR/PR could want and he would allow our offense to use the screen pass more! Reality is though he hasn't earned it and I wouldn't gamble our playoff hopes (think about it... PLAYOFF HOPES) with LaMichael. Our window is closing I believe!