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Week 5: Thoughts after rewatching the game (twice) ;-)

  • Karma
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 762
Marvin, insightful and enlightening as always. Here are my comments. There may be some overlap, but I always like adding my take to your posts:

1.) The innovation and creativity Roman shows in his running attack is mind boggling. They must have had 25 DIFFERENT running plays, all of which were effective. I remember when Denver had a string of no-name 1,000 yard backs (Olandis Gary anyone?) and they were considered the gurus of the running game. The offensive line gets some credit, but I am especially impressed with Delanie Walker and Bruce Miller. The schemes that Roman runs call for quick guys getting to the edge and consistently isolating lanes. Walker has been TREMENDOUS this year. I know his hands have been less than desirable, but he is indispensable in the run game. Watch him when he is leading the blockers or he is asked to "wham" a D-lineman. He almost never misses a block and rarely gives up ground that would shut down the lane. Same for Miller. I think he is still learning the position, but he has the speed to get to the edge and seal it quickly.

2.) I'm worried about Randy Moss. I know Harbaugh has his back, but I saw something in his eyes yesterday. He is bored and it might get ugly. Manningham has taken his place as the starter after catching up through the first month of the season. Remember, Mario missed significant time because of the death in the family. Yesterday was the first time he looked in sync with Alex. I think coach was trying to massage Moss's ego a bit, but I wouldn't be suprised if he ended up getting cut, like Braylon last season. I know he has gotten kudos as a mentor to Crabtree and Williams. I hope that continues, but I feel like Moss needs a big day soon or he will regress. Of course, if he were to get cut, that would only mean that Jenkins would, or could, get some time on the field. We'll see how this plays out.

3.) Special teams worries me. It just seems like teams are getting chunks of yards they never would have gotten last year. McBath, in my opinion, needs to improve the most, but I haven't seen anyone make a huge play this year. The energy and sense of dominance that was pervasive last year is gone. McKelvin seemed to give up by halftime. Who knows what he could have done if he had tried to return a few more kickoffs. The aces from last year, Spillman, Gooden, Dixon, and even Delanie have been disappointing (though I don't know how much Walker had been on coverage units now that I think about it). Brock has really been the best coverage guy on the field this year. Either Seely needs to change something up, or we the players need to rally around something new.

4.) Has Kaepernick had a run that was less than 6 yards? When he runs the QB keeper, it has seemed unstoppable so far. I would really like to see them use the tape from the last two weeks to run a fake that has Kaepernick passing in that situation. I'm sure it is coming. The only concern I have is that it stunts his development as a QB, but what do I know? I just want to see him air it out more. I know they have tried twice, but those plays seemed poorly designed. If we had him bootleg behind a few lead blockers and have a WR/TE run a medium crossing route from the opposite side, I bet that would work beautifully. The LBs would come up in run support, leaving a huge gape in front of the safeties.

5.) The theme for this year seems to be "Mentoring". The veterans seem to be doing a great job of preparing the younger guys for their time. Here are the mentoring relationships as I see them:

Gore -> Hunter and James. His work ethic is something for everyone to admire, but the key lesson he is definitely teaching is how to be patient and set up your blocks. As Marvin mentioned, Hunter seems MUCH better at reading his blockers, waiting for seams, and hitting them quickly. That is Gore's bread and butter.

Moss-> Crabtree, Williams, and Jenkins. I know I mentioned my concerns for Moss's future here, but it can't be a coincidence that Crabtree FINALLY had a full preseason and seems much more clutch this year. Add Williams play in light of his awful showing at the NFCCG and you can see Moss's influence on a young guy facing media scrutiny for the first time. Time will tell with Jenkins, but his skill set seems to be the most like Moss's of the bunch, so I hope he is using this year to soak in any lessons.

Carlos Rogers-> Chris Culliver, Perrish Cox. Culliver was a suspect pick, according to some, and Cox was a troubled kid looking for redemption. Rogers has shown them how to prepare. Rogers also shows these young guys that knowing multiple positions is essential. He gladly mans the slot when needed and has helped Cox learn the position as well.

Willis-> Bowman. Did Bowman really have a choose? He knew last year that if he didn't play like an animal that Willis was just going to eat his lunch. Iron sharpens iron.

Vernon Davis-> Delanie Walker. This has been going on for years, but look at Walker's improvement in blocking situations. Davis proved to be one of the best blocking TEs in the league from the start, but Walker was seen as an undersized TE with speed. Granted, Walker's emergence as a blocker has a lot to do with Roman's system, but Davis' example has shown him that blocking is essential to success at this position.

Alex Smith-> Kaepernick and Tolzien. Has any QB been through more adversity in one city than Alex Smith? If anything, Alex is showing these young guys that there is ALWAYS progress at this position. As electric as Kaepernick has been running the ball, he still needs work as a complete QB, but all he has to do is look at Smith's career to see that development is an ongoing process when fueled by hard work and toughness.

I could probably add more (Leonard Davis-> Alex Boone; Sopoaga-> Ian Williams), but you get the idea. I love the pipeline this is creating!
Originally posted by Karma:

Had just a couple of thoughts on you comments:

I'm worried about Randy Moss. I know Harbaugh has his back, but I saw something in his eyes yesterday. He is bored and it might get ugly. Manningham has taken his place as the starter after catching up through the first month of the season. Remember, Mario missed significant time because of the death in the family. Yesterday was the first time he looked in sync with Alex. I think coach was trying to massage Moss's ego a bit, but I wouldn't be suprised if he ended up getting cut

As you continued to say.. If Moss shows a lack of passion on the field or starts yapping ugly off the field, so be it. Cut him loose and activate AJJ. Moss is not the huge stud he once was, and our offense doesn't rely on him as a must-have. I think whatever neglect he IS feeling, he will just go about his job and do whatever he must next season. No big deal.. but I'd rather feed him a few more passes per game, as he is an asset that I'd want to keep happy. Just depends on if he's working hard and getting open.

I would really like to see them use the tape from the last two weeks to run a fake that has Kaepernick passing in that situation.

They actually did run such a play. A toss to Ck7 on a reverse where he pulled up and heaved a deep one to VD. Incomplete, but Staley was flagged for a hold (take-down) anyway. Likely to see a couple of these per game...
Originally posted by English:
Special teams is a concern. Aside from that, life is good!

+1

The coverage team is so close to allowing a TD. It seems like the lost of Blake Costanzo is hurting us...
Originally posted by Marvin49:
Not going there. The last team that did that was the Falcons with their "State of California" trophy that they put on the sideline at Candlestick. They proceeded to get routed like 40-3 or something that day.

Bad mojo.

Yea. We dropped like 56 or something on them the next season.
Originally posted by Mr.Mcgibblets:
Originally posted by Karma:

Had just a couple of thoughts on you comments:

I'm worried about Randy Moss. I know Harbaugh has his back, but I saw something in his eyes yesterday. He is bored and it might get ugly. Manningham has taken his place as the starter after catching up through the first month of the season. Remember, Mario missed significant time because of the death in the family. Yesterday was the first time he looked in sync with Alex. I think coach was trying to massage Moss's ego a bit, but I wouldn't be suprised if he ended up getting cut

As you continued to say.. If Moss shows a lack of passion on the field or starts yapping ugly off the field, so be it. Cut him loose and activate AJJ. Moss is not the huge stud he once was, and our offense doesn't rely on him as a must-have. I think whatever neglect he IS feeling, he will just go about his job and do whatever he must next season. No big deal.. but I'd rather feed him a few more passes per game, as he is an asset that I'd want to keep happy. Just depends on if he's working hard and getting open.

I would really like to see them use the tape from the last two weeks to run a fake that has Kaepernick passing in that situation.

They actually did run such a play. A toss to Ck7 on a reverse where he pulled up and heaved a deep one to VD. Incomplete, but Staley was flagged for a hold (take-down) anyway. Likely to see a couple of these per game...

I'm hoping Coach has already had the talk with him earlier on: "if you want to contribute and be a 'team' player then that's great, if you become a nuisance you can say goodbye to any hope of a Ring". I think that Moss understands the dynamic and will keep his ego in check for the most part, if he's going to be on this team he's going to have to be a TEAM player.
I agree with you on everything but the special teams play. They were so-so going into this game, but now it's obvious that this years ST group is far removed from last years. If we do not get this corrected it will co,e back and haunt us. Having said that, we are completely dominating on O and D, so it's not the end of the world.
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
Originally posted by McLovinAlexSmith:
That game was best ass whooping since they beat the Bucs last year and it was joyful to watch. Alex did have his best day as a pro even though it was against Buffalo but none the less he played really well props to him. The defense has just been relentless they have been just shutting teams out the last two game. The offense looked really good getting 600+ yards which is practically unheard of. The special teams is not as good as year but if you have a better offense you can cover up for that. Overall the team looked really good now lets go kick the Giants asses.
Who are you? Or rather what was your handle before you lost the bet,lol?

Susweel
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Just watched a couple of plays again and their misdirection is so great now. The TD by Dixon was partly set up by the fake end around. They have so much speed and use so many formations that the Defenses can't ease up...ever!

Next week they will play aganst a much faster D that is much more disciplined...will be fun to watch.

While NYG's D is better then BUF, I wouldn't consider NYG's D "disciplined." They get killed on cut-back runs, and they looked real sloppy in the first half against CLE. If they play a half like that against us, they'll be down 20-21 points before they know it.
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
There is no thought this week except -- domination.

Agree. Great job as usual Marvin49.
Originally posted by AXEGRINDER:
Originally posted by Marvin49:
Yeah I have spoken about this on several occasions in my weekly "Thoughts after rewatching the game."

When Walsh became the head coach of the Niners, it was a league dominated by the run. It was all about huge players who could rough you up and stop the run. Walsh devised an Offense that ran counter to conventional wisdom and dominated the NFL.

Fast-forward 30 years. Its a pass dominated league. Defenses have been forced to counter by stocking up on smaller, faster players to get the edge on the pass rush and cover fleet recievers in space. Harbaugh and Roman do something very Walshian and devise an offense that counters the conventional wisdom and innovate in the RUN game. Teams are no longer built to stop the run and are no longer anywhere near as stout.

I have read for years now that it's a passers league and you NEED to throw the hell out of the ball to win. Thats true...until it's not.

Best. Post. Evar.

I've been trying to explain this to posters who complain about passing yards. You summed it up pretty well there.

What's funny is that they are doing what Singletary wanted to do but couldn't.
Originally posted by GoldandGarnet:
While NYG's D is better then BUF, I wouldn't consider NYG's D "disciplined." They get killed on cut-back runs, and they looked real sloppy in the first half against CLE. If they play a half like that against us, they'll be down 20-21 points before they know it.

I really don't expect NY OLB to lose their containment as Buff did. There were a number of plays when no one watched the outside. It was pretty glaring. My memory of NYGs team is that their outside guys are very fast and keep a pretty good eye on the whole field. They may be beaten by SF blockers but that is a different story.

The cutback runs are a bit different as they may over commit, but to not even have a guy out wide in the first place...yikes!
Originally posted by jreff22:
true, but with 2 starters out and a backup going down I figured we would destroy Fitz

Don't be fooled Buffalo has a great OL. Only 5 sacks given up on the year and 3 were against NE. Last year they were best in the league at 23 and that was with Chad Rinehart starting like 13 games (the guy who played guard today, backup). I found a pff stat for guards last year and they had Urbik at 1 for least qb pressures allowed and Rinehart at 4. They had like a 98-99% block rate. Don't know anything about the T that played but make no mistake about it they have a great OL.
[ Edited by Gore_21 on Oct 9, 2012 at 12:26 AM ]
Awesome effort and great post Karma... marvin/Ncommand love your comments about walsh and I agree 100%.. love these threads where it's about good clean football talk... no b.s.

Anyways... Karma...

1. Yep, remember how many running plays Raye had? 1 or 2... run up middle, run to outside. It's ridiculous how many formations, cut backs, shifts, whams and everything they do with the run. They mix up the run so well. My only thought about the run is more play action or boot legging out of the jumbo on the goal line. Look at that 1 run alex had where everyone was faked out on 3rd? and 1. If Gilmore wasn't there it's Seattle all over again. Alex walks in. It's fine if you run it but every once in awhile when we have them thinking we will run it run it run it bootleg out of there and watch how fooled they are.

2. I could see it as well. I hope Randy realizes this is probably his last shot at a SB. He needs to hang in there bring it when it matters most. One of these games he will get a big one. Really glad he mentored the guys so at the least he was a good teacher. But if he acts up he is gone like that.

3. Yeah, brock has been the only guy who has stood out. I wish we would have signed Costanzo at 2 years 1.5 or whatever he got. It wasn't much. Colin Jones as well but Costanzo was the leader. Some guys need to step up. Minus that hold and then the one brock tracked him down that could have been disastrous. the game could have been much different. Willis' strip as well but that's off topic.

4. QB Keepernick Nah, I feel sorry for defenses trying to stop everything the 49ers got going on. They are the most creative offense in the nfl. Still on that throw it could have very easily been intercepted. That could have been 2/2 int'd for Kap. It could cost us big... just because you can go deep doesn't mean you should. Looked like a pass the whole way... otherwise he could have had room to run.

5. Yep, we are building a system. Next player or coach up... when guys like Gore are gone they can say they had a hand in these future teams. We are a family. We are a true team. I know there are 32 of them in the league but very few can truely call themselves a real team. It's not about you, it's about the guys next to you. And another reason why I love this team because we got a lot of guys like Willis who have been through hell to get where they are now. Alex Smith wasn't put through hell before he came here. He had a good upbringing but he's been put through hell since he got here. He's an ultimate example of never giving up. The guy has been kicked in the teeth so many times on and off the field since he was drafted.
[ Edited by Gore_21 on Oct 9, 2012 at 1:00 AM ]
And my last thought is this... Walker has become a great blocking TE. I'm starting to think IF Walker will take a small enough deal that we could keep him and make him the #3/blocking TE and go out and get a tall pass catching Gronz/Graham style #2 TE. Doesn't have to be 1st or 2nd round... just somewhere in the draft. Might be too much tied up into the TE spot though. Walker probably wouldn't want to be #3 and he might want to much but think of the extra possibilities with VD, Tall Pass Catching TE and receiving threat/great blocker Walker. Of course the #2 guy would have to be able to block a bit as well. Can't give away our tell by throwing it every time he is in there.
Originally posted by NCommand:
OK, only things I can think of to work on after this whoop'n are:
1. Roman...please, please no more kicking FG's at the 1 yard line after three straight unsuccessful runs (you get the idea)
2. Staying with that, have we EVER gotten a 3rd and short first down via run? LOL
3. Whitner still struggling in coverage and Brown/Rogers continue to play way off and give up EASY catches and then I see them often times two-hand touch their responsibility (vs. tackling them or trying to jar the ball loose). Its one thing to play 15 yards off your man and another to shy away from even trying to tackle them. DO SOMETHING! Annoys the crap out of me...
4. Harbaugh, after we scored again, give Kaep almost an entire quarter to play QB; stop with the running-crap. I wanna see this guy call and play, read a defense, make a pre snap read and actually throw a pass!
5. Horrendous penalties. Man, those were killlers!
6. Ginn looks tentative and slow esp with that first step.

PS: Had to find something here. On a side note, MONSTER props to Sopoaga coming back and playing amazing after that brutal looking knee injury and no dropped passes, extra kudos in the pass protection game, Gore/Hunter are unstoppable and nice to see WIlliams get some balls his way.

I agree with these...nothing wrong with letting Kap run but we know he can do that. Let's see him get experience throwing the ball. On #2 we did have a few but I think if we get Jacobs back and he is half of what he was in his prime our offense will be that much better. Also, one thing I saw was on Brad Smith's wildcat run (where we knew it was going to be a run) Aldon lost contain... willis took a bad angle I think. Bright spot for Aldon though he is getting much better against the run and that one play he covered Stevie Johnson and then managed to trip him up after a few yard gain. Great tackle.