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Week 16: Thoughts after rewatching the game...

Originally posted by GORO:
*** Seahawks had their way with us on third downs and that's why we lost. Carlos Rogers had his worst game.

Aldon Smith I didnot expect him to sack Brady the way he gets the ball out quickly. In this game he had opportunities to get a sack, but Wilson found ways to escape. sure Justin not being there to help on the stunt hurts but against Seahawks they were not going to do that move, cause Wilson would run outside if the end commits inside.

Lamichael James was the only bright spot! Kaepernick had issues but still is the best Qb and all these road games will help them in the play offs because they will have to travel if they are going to win a Championship!

This..... I posted this during the the fumbles and int didnt help but we must get better corners for next season. Its a glaring weakness
  • dj43
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Originally posted by sdaddy101269:
The one thing that no one seems to bring up regarding Kaep is he is having to play and win with FAR less playmakers! No Hunter, Williams, Manningham. We can't go i-formation play action because James can't pass protect. When we 5-7 step drop, Gore has to stay in to help pass block so that option is taken away. I think he's doing a bang-up job, especially when you consider what he's working with! Nevermind he's played 4 road games and two of those were in Crappy weather.

A point I have been making all season long (although some said I was only defending Alex Smith). Even with Hunter, Williams and MM, this team has fewer weapons than most teams that will make the playoffs. Frank Gore is a stud but has lost a step and is banged up as usual at this time of the year.

My biggest gripe with Harbaugh is that he has not developed AJ Jenkins in the passing game. Going with an over-the-hill Moss and a refugee from the NYG over the #1 pick who has the speed to stretch defenses either says Harbaugh just doesn't know how to develop receivers or Baalke made a major screw-up with the pick. There is absolutely no way that the #1 pick should not have been able to beat out either Moss or MM. Should not happen if the coach was competent and the GM made the right pick. SHOULD NOT.
  • dj43
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Originally posted by sfninerfanMax:
I think James can be a huge part of the offense, but more as a receiver--like a sproles--I would like to see some Gore-James backfields, I think with kaeps arm and ability for medium to deep passes, the short pass to James could be a very prolific weapon for this offense.

Kaepernick's big arm is not much of an asset when we have no receivers with the speed to get behind anyone. (I don't count Vernon Davis on that account because he is usually held in to block when the 49ers are taking a shot) Seattle crowded the LOS against the 49ers and dared them to try to throw long. It worked. Until this team gets a legit deep threat (Moss is no longer) it will be hard to really have the kind of balanced passing game you need to go to the SB. Right now, this is the same ball control offense JH ran with Alex Smith.

As to James, I agree he COULD be an asset a la Sproles but I have not seen anything in the way of effective screens from this team in the past two years. Harbaugh should spend about a week looking at all the screens Payton has put into the book in NO. He has the best screen set in the league and he uses guys besides Sproles as receivers.
  • dj43
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Originally posted by OnTheClock:
Marvin, we just aren't winning or competing with the teams that we SHOULD be handling right now. I think we need to stop pretending that Kaep can't possibly be part of the problem.

Smith had one terrible game this year which was completely out of his character, throwing interceptions. His other couple "OK" or slightly below average games statistically were not so bad that we lost or were out of the game at any point. Even against Minnesota, where we haven't won in 20 years, if Akers doesn't miss a kick earlier, Alex still has us in position to tie to the game at the end. Alex helps our running game. When they dare him to pass, he does it and kills them (see KW's touchdown against Buffalo). CK runs straight into a wall.

The reason my gut feeling tells me we can't win the Super Bowl this year with CK is because he hasn't shown he can beat teams with his brain yet. Smarter players without freakish athletic ability (Luck, Manning, Brady, Schaub) can use their smarts to beat the Newtons, Wilsons, Vicks and Griffins of the NFL.

If you think about all the teams in the NFL, while CK has easily superior athleticism to almost all aside from those three I just mentioned, what about his NFL smarts? Our offense is dumbed down right now and if I'm not mistaken, on top of being pointed out on film, I believe this has actually already been ADMITTED.

I would put Smith in, or very close to, the top 5 of the NFL when it comes to "Braniac" QBs. He is just as fast as Rodgers, Luck, Cutler, Romo.. and is faster than about every other legitimate NFL QB aside from the four mentioned earlier. He plays good ball. I think what we are finding out is that on top of looking for the home run too much instead of taking what the defense gives, the lack of a field general with the smarts to exploit defensive schemes is seriously hurting our team.

Agree totally. As I said in the Harbaugh ego thread; Harbaugh made a decision to go with his hand-picked guy and now his ego won't let him see how much the lack of an experienced, competent and confident hand at the controls is hurting the team. Now, even more so with the lack of Justin Smith, the offense MUST be efficient and control the ball. 50 yard pass plays look nice and score fantasy points but they also put a very thin defense back on the field much more quickly than a series of 6-7 plays to go 50 yards.
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
Marvin, we just aren't winning or competing with the teams that we SHOULD be handling right now. I think we need to stop pretending that Kaep can't possibly be part of the problem.

Smith had one terrible game this year which was completely out of his character, throwing interceptions. His other couple "OK" or slightly below average games statistically were not so bad that we lost or were out of the game at any point. Even against Minnesota, where we haven't won in 20 years, if Akers doesn't miss a kick earlier, Alex still has us in position to tie to the game at the end. Alex helps our running game. When they dare him to pass, he does it and kills them (see KW's touchdown against Buffalo). CK runs straight into a wall.

The reason my gut feeling tells me we can't win the Super Bowl this year with CK is because he hasn't shown he can beat teams with his brain yet. Smarter players without freakish athletic ability (Luck, Manning, Brady, Schaub) can use their smarts to beat the Newtons, Wilsons, Vicks and Griffins of the NFL.

If you think about all the teams in the NFL, while CK has easily superior athleticism to almost all aside from those three I just mentioned, what about his NFL smarts? Our offense is dumbed down right now and if I'm not mistaken, on top of being pointed out on film, I believe this has actually already been ADMITTED.

I would put Smith in, or very close to, the top 5 of the NFL when it comes to "Braniac" QBs. He is just as fast as Rodgers, Luck, Cutler, Romo.. and is faster than about every other legitimate NFL QB aside from the four mentioned earlier. He plays good ball. I think what we are finding out is that on top of looking for the home run too much instead of taking what the defense gives, the lack of a field general with the smarts to exploit defensive schemes is seriously hurting our team.

Agree totally. As I said in the Harbaugh ego thread; Harbaugh made a decision to go with his hand-picked guy and now his ego won't let him see how much the lack of an experienced, competent and confident hand at the controls is hurting the team. Now, even more so with the lack of Justin Smith, the offense MUST be efficient and control the ball. 50 yard pass plays look nice and score fantasy points but they also put a very thin defense back on the field much more quickly than a series of 6-7 plays to go 50 yards.

Two great posts.
Originally posted by Marvin49:
Ouch. Rough game. I had to rewatch that one fairly quickly to help get over it. Usually when I rewatch a game, its never quite as good or bad as I remember. This was no different

1) Kaepernick: As you might expect, the "bring back Alex Smith" peeps are out again. We will never know if Alex playing would have made a difference. I for one highly doubt it though as Alex does block on Field Goals or play defense. Kaep did not have a good game, but he wasn't the reason the team lost. He made some good throws, some bad throws and probably should have been intercepted more than he was. He also had issues again with the clock. I really think this has alot to do with the way they always try to snap the ball with very little time on the clock. They try to force the D to declare by doing that, but too often Kaep sees the change he wants to make at the line and then doesn't have enough time to make the change.

Yes, Alex Smith handles this better right now, but again, I don't think this is why they lost. This is just why it looked more ugly at times. Anyway, we can call this one a learning experience. These are the kinds of games that a young QB can really learn from. Remember...Russell Wilsons worst game as a pro came against the Niners in their first meeting. Through 6 games, Wilson had 5 TDs and 6 INTs. Since that game, he's been one of the best QBs in the NFL. This move to Kaep was made with January in mind. Their road may have gotten a bit harder, but this team always responds in a big way. This thing aint over by a longshot.
I agree with you about there being no difference if Smith were to have started. I have something to add with the clock management issue though. I couldn't figure out what the coaching staff is thinking messing around like that. You are saying they are waiting for the D to declare (show their cards) to then we can make our calls, but Kaep isn't as proficient as Smith was….yet. That may or may not be the deal, but they need to quit messing around. Kaep did that his first game and he did it against N.O., but he didn't do against MIA or the Pats. Why? I think the staff took away some of his calls. He didn't have to do as much cuz they scaled it back, knowing he wasn't ready. Then, in THIS game they put it all right back on him and it blew up in their faces. MAJOR COACHING ERROR.



2) The "Pattern": I noticed this thing after week 6 as I'm sure many other have as well, but I've never mentioned it. Win-Win-Loss-Win-Win-Loss-Win-Win-Tie-Win-Win-Loss-Win-Win-Loss. This pattern would have the Niners lose (can't tie) in the second week of the playoffs. Could be the divisional round or the championship game depending on when happens in the GB-Minn game next week. I'm not saying this is what I predict...just saying that would be the pattern. I hope we break that streak, but its become enough of a pattern to make a mention of it.

3) Fatigue: I think the Niners likely would have lost this game regardless, but don't kid yourself...there was some significant fatigue from the Pats game last night...particularly on D. They were just a step slow all night. I'm not trying to make an excuse...they got beat...but they just didn't have the juice they usually do. It was painful to watch...but I think THEY knew it early on too. Seattle came out like this was the Super Bowl and the Niners were barely awake.
I also agree with you about the D looking fatigued. It looked like they all suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome out there. Did the coaches not take it easy on them AT ALL during the week? Should they have? We KNOW how physical SEA is……Duh.



4) Justion Smith: This one has me really nervous. I thought the big deal that was made of losing him in the Pats game was overblown. Last night tho....WOAH. We need him back. That D just isn't the same without him. That plus the fatigue...yikes. We also better start looking for Justins replacement. NOW. If this is a sign of what this team will look like when he retires, then we may not sit at the top of the heap for long. The offense will improve and at some point we may not need to depend so greatly on the D to dominate, but we need to look at drafting his eventual replacement THIS YEAR. When that happens tho, I hope we don't hear in this forum about how the guy is a bust because he can't get any playing time. Sigh.
This Justin Smith thing is just scary. Mark my words: our defense is a HOUSE OF CARDS. Everything runs off Smith. You don't realize it until he is gone. He forces the opposing O to run mostly to the strong side (right). That protect Aldon Smith from having to DO ANYTHING but take care of the back side to defend against cut backs. It goes with out saying that a lot of Aldon's sacks come from Justin's presence. With Justin out, they ran right at our Right Defensive side, directly at RDE and ROLB. Aldon looked lost. He never sealed the edge, and he kept playing too high. He wasn't engaging his blocker, getting low, and taking away the outside. Ricky Jean a Justin Smith AINT. I mean, he was a what…..7th rounder? C'mon. He is great depth, but no starter. He got mauled. We had a week to figure that out and in the end Aldon Smith and Ricky got JACKED. Once they was set up, the passing game was just GRAVY.

No Justin = no run defense = no pressure/pass rush (cuz Aldon got crushed every play)= secondary having to cover for 30 seconds.

The secondary did an admirable job, but our front 7 had no answers.



5) Vernon: I dunno if that hit was legal or not. Goldson was flagged AND fined for a very similar hit last week. It was not helmet to helmet, but he did lead with his head and put his head down. I think it was in fact an illegal hit, but I wouldn't bet anything on it. Rergardless, it took a player we could not afford to lose out of the game. They had something going there. If they score on that drive, Its 14-7. Instead the FG is blocked and its 21-0. HUGE difference. Delanie said they had to move him over to Vernons spot after he was hurt and that made a difference....but losing Vernon is a problem even if he isn't cathcing passes. It hurts them in the run game AND pass game. Defenses don't have to account for him deep. We need him back.
Vernon having to leave the game made a huge difference. Got to think we already had Justin Smith out, then Manningham got hurt. Those are losses at top positions.



6) Manningham: Man, that sucks. Mario has been a clutch player for them this year. Several weeks ago people were complaining about the Niners first 2 picks. Well, now we can be happy that the Niners made them. James and Jenkins are both going to be on the playoff rosters. James is already contributing. Hopefully Jenkins can as well. I don't want to see Ginn playing WR.

7) Harbaugh/Caroll/Sherman: I've had just about enough of this. I dunno if Harbaugh honked at the bus at the 'stick. Frankly I don't care. I can tell you this though...I CAN'T STAND Richard Sherman. His big beef with Harbaugh is that Harbaugh switched him to DB when he wanted to play WR. Yeah...looks like Harbaugh was WAY off the mark on that one SMDH. That dude had a very good game last night and has turned into a very good player...but he needs to shuit the hell up. I never advocate hurting players, but I have to admit I wouldn't shed a tear if someone took out his knees. I guess I can just enjoy the knowledge that he'll be sitting at home when his team is eliminated from the playoffs. I am really annoyed tho that he was even allowed to play in the game. Its a joke that he'll play 3 fulkl games while appealing his suspension. JOKE. As for Carroll, him being portrayed as having class is another big joke. The guy jumped ship from USC just before they were hit with sanctions. Coincidense? I think not. He just ran up the score last week. This thig is going to get ugly at some point and I hope we see that team again in the playoffs...AT THE 'STICK. That stadium is a crazy homefield advantage. Gratz to them for having that, but the Super Bowl is on a neutral Field...so good luck with that.
I couldn't give two damns about this either.



8) Aldon: I don't quite know what to make of his play the last few weeks. Its easy to say that is drop in production is directly related to Justin not being in there, but I think that may be to simplistic. I think it has more to do with 2 slick tracks, Bradys ability to get rid of the ball quickly and that tempo which has Aldon GASSED, Fran Tarn...err....Russell Wilson, and the Seahawks running the ball ALOT with a big lead. I think he'll be fine, but sadly I think the record might be beyond his grasp. I tink he'll fall just short, just as he did with the rookie record.
Aldon was gassed. Our Defense walked in there gassed. Aldon was exposed. He can't set the edge and he isn't anything special without Justin in front of him.



9) The NFC West: I think the jokes are over. This division is ROUGH. Just ask the Patriots. I really hate the Seahawks and I hate to say it, but they are here to stay. The Niners had better find a way to beat that team in Seattle or they are going to be thorn in our collective sides for years to come.

10) Lets just chill out a bit: Embarassing loss. No doubt. I was all gloomy after the game too. We need to bounce back here. The Seahawks are a good team, but they aren't THAT good. Put this game in a different field and put Justin Smith in the game and it's a whole different story. If we win this week we still have a chance at the bye and even if we don't get it, that playoff game will be at home. Teams have taken much tought roads to the Super Bowl. Thisd ain't the end peeps...it's juys a bump in the road.



EDIT: ANYONE KNOW HOW TO PM THE MODS IN ORDER TO ASK TIS BE MADE OFFICIAL? THEY ASKED ME TO DO SO, BUT CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW.
I would like to add 3 things:

1. Our continued lack of discipline with stupid personal fouls. We are the 5th most penalized team in the NFL.......and we are in week 16(http://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/penalties-per-game) WTF is up with that stat? That FALLS DIRECTLY on coaching, specifically Harbaugh. He hasn't done anything to correct this ALL SEASON. We are going into the post season like this?

2. We still, apparently, have huge issues with Special Teams......yea....they're *special*. Let James return everything, Ginn is worthless except as an emergency WR or Emergency KR. Put Akers on IR. Sign Giorgio Tavecchio. I'd rather take my chances with someone healthy and young, rather then a washed up headcase with a dysfunctional pelvis. Can't go into the playoffs continuing to ignore this.

3, Call the Fackin play, and run the damn play. The coaching staff is just outsmarting themselves. We didn't run in the first half cuz we kept checking out of run plays. MIN did that to us and NYGs did too. They show 8 in the box and force us our of what we want to do. Keap isn't Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, so quit giving him so much Sh!t to do in the 10 seconds he has before the snap. Burning off all those TOs in inexcusable and a direct lack of preparation.

Just call the damn play and run the damn play. Simple.
[ Edited by GoldandGarnet on Dec 25, 2012 at 7:20 PM ]
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
Marvin, we just aren't winning or competing with the teams that we SHOULD be handling right now. I think we need to stop pretending that Kaep can't possibly be part of the problem.

Smith had one terrible game this year which was completely out of his character, throwing interceptions. His other couple "OK" or slightly below average games statistically were not so bad that we lost or were out of the game at any point. Even against Minnesota, where we haven't won in 20 years, if Akers doesn't miss a kick earlier, Alex still has us in position to tie to the game at the end. Alex helps our running game. When they dare him to pass, he does it and kills them (see KW's touchdown against Buffalo). CK runs straight into a wall.

The reason my gut feeling tells me we can't win the Super Bowl this year with CK is because he hasn't shown he can beat teams with his brain yet. Smarter players without freakish athletic ability (Luck, Manning, Brady, Schaub) can use their smarts to beat the Newtons, Wilsons, Vicks and Griffins of the NFL.

If you think about all the teams in the NFL, while CK has easily superior athleticism to almost all aside from those three I just mentioned, what about his NFL smarts? Our offense is dumbed down right now and if I'm not mistaken, on top of being pointed out on film, I believe this has actually already been ADMITTED.

I would put Smith in, or very close to, the top 5 of the NFL when it comes to "Braniac" QBs. He is just as fast as Rodgers, Luck, Cutler, Romo.. and is faster than about every other legitimate NFL QB aside from the four mentioned earlier. He plays good ball. I think what we are finding out is that on top of looking for the home run too much instead of taking what the defense gives, the lack of a field general with the smarts to exploit defensive schemes is seriously hurting our team.

Agree totally. As I said in the Harbaugh ego thread; Harbaugh made a decision to go with his hand-picked guy and now his ego won't let him see how much the lack of an experienced, competent and confident hand at the controls is hurting the team. Now, even more so with the lack of Justin Smith, the offense MUST be efficient and control the ball. 50 yard pass plays look nice and score fantasy points but they also put a very thin defense back on the field much more quickly than a series of 6-7 plays to go 50 yards.

Jeez. I'm so tired of reading this. This doesn't have a damn thing to do with ego. Harbaugh would start Smith in a second if he thought it was the right thing to do. He's about WINNING. That's it. Nothing else. He will always play the guy that he thinks gives him the best chance of winning the Super Bowl. You may call it the "dumbed down" offense, but it's the same offense that Smith ran last year and half this year and the same one they ran at Stanford. They incorporated the pistol and read option from Nevada, but it is essentially the same offense.

I find it comical that people are being critical of Kaep when the defense allowed FORTY-TWO points. It's not like Kaep was turning it over deep in Seattle territory. Kaep actually drove them down the field a few times. One was blocked field goal. One was pick in the end zone. One was a fumble by Manningham when he tore his ACL. Smith only managed 13 points in the first meeting at the Stick, and this team is now better, at home, and in the elements.

Did Kaep play really well? No. Did he block for the field goal? Did he play any defense?

Please. I know some people still don't like the switch from Smith to Kaep and are determined every rough patch is Harbaugh and his ego refusing to admit that Smith was clearly the right choice. Guess what. It wasn't. It doesn't matter how much you want to be the case. The Niners may eventually lose a game that Kaep truly is responsible for (like the second Rams game). Even when that happens, it still will have been the right choice. People act like Alex had set the world on fire. Kaep has the exact same record this year through 6 games and I Highly doubt he would have won in New England. Nobody thought Brady could go beat teams in the playoffs...till he did. Nobody though Roethlisberger could do it...till he did.

Bottom line, this is NOT about Harbaughs ego. If anything, it's about the ego of peeps who have never liked the move who like to chirp about it even when they lose a game when the D allows 42 freakin points. Get over it.
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Dec 25, 2012 at 7:23 PM ]
Originally posted by Marvin49:
Jeez. I'm so tired of reading this. This doesn't have a damn thing to do with ego. Harbaugh would start Smith in a second if he thought it was the right thing to do. He's about WINNING. That's it. Nothing else. He will always play the guy that he thinks gives him the best chance of winning the Super Bowl. You may call it the "dumbed down" offense, but it's the same offense that Smith ran last year and half this year and the same one they ran at Stanford. They incorporated the pistol and read option from Nevada, but it is essentially the same offense.

I find it comical that people are being critical of Kaep when the defense allowed FORTY-TWO points. It's not like Kaep was turning it over deep in Seattle territory. Kaep actually drove them down the field a few times. One was blocked field goal. One was pick in the end zone. One was a fumble by Manningham when he tore his ACL. Smith only managed 13 points in the first meeting at the Stick, and this team is now better, at home, and in the elements.

Did Kaep play really well? No. Did he block for the field goal? Did he play any defense?

Please. I know some people still don't like the switch from Smith to Kaep and are determined every rough patch is Harbaugh and his ego refusing to admit that Smith was clearly the right choice. Guess what. It wasn't. It doesn't matter how much you want to be the case. The Niners may eventually lose a game that Kaep truly is responsible for (like the second Rams game). Even when that happens, it still will have been the right choice. People act like Alex had set the world on fire. Kaep has the exact same record this year through 6 games and I Highly doubt he would have won in New England. Nobody thought Brady could go beat teams in the playoffs...till he did. Nobody though Roethlisberger could do it...till he did.

Bottom line, this is NOT about Harbaughs ego. If anything, it's about the ego of peeps who have never liked the move who like to chirp about it even when they lose a game when the D allows 42 freakin points. Get over it.

i'm going to agree 1 billion % with this. kap had a bad game. he missed some easy throws and even on his completions he threw behind the wr from time to time. but he didn't have a god awful game. he had a 70 rating and threw for 244 yards, 1 td/1 int. Kap didn't lose this game. seattle did whatever they wanted on offense. i would give kap a C grade for the game and the defense an F. there was NOTHING we did differently from the first drive to the last. no adjustments at all. on offense we should've run gore more but whatever, our coaches get into that type of mindframe from time to time (see the vikings and giants games) where they just wont give the ball to gore.

this sounds like sour grapes but lets play the what if game from the seahawks game:

1. what if vernon davis doesn't jump for the ball early on and actually gets into the endzone on that play (as he should have)? +14 points
2. what if carlos rogers doesn't drop the easy pick of wilson in the 3rd quarter? +7 points (seahawks scored on this drive)
3. what if mccoys knee comes down about 6 inches further out on the 3rd down TD pass? +4 points (seahawks have to settle for a fg there)
4. what if manningham doesn't get cheap shotted, doesn't fumble the ball, and we get a TD on that drive? +7
5. what if kap just throws the ball away on the goalline instead of forcing it across his body to moss? +3

those are incredibly small things to ask for and amount to a difference of 35 points. now of course it's foolish to play the what if game because the only thing that matters is what DID happen. but you see we played maybe the worst game of our season and if a handful of plays go our way, we could have won the game. that is the way the NFL is and always has been. a handful of plays go your way, even in a blowout, and the result could have been different.

the sky is falling in san fran right now but everyone should just chill out. lets finish out the regular season and see where the chips might fall in the playoffs before we go jumping off bridges or asking for harbaugh to be fired or whatever other panic switch people are hitting
It all comes down to opinion. My opinion is mine, yours is yours, Harbaugh's is Harbaugh's. I feel we made a mistake and there are a plethora of valid reasons to believe so. No one is saying CK is the only problem here, or that we don't have any other issues. The message trying to be conveyed is that there are a lot of questions surrounding his readiness for playoff football. What's been happening on offense seemingly every other game is why these concerns are not subsiding.

One of the biggest reasons I like Alex is because at this point he is much more equipped to adjust a terrible play call into something half-decent. That's not to say he's God on the field and makes the perfect call every time, but we can see the difference. How many times did CK check into a run on Sunday? Didn't Gore have only like 6 carries? There was also the running into a brick wall of 10 RUN-BLITZING defenders that had everybody going, "WTF?" when CK had one-on-one coverage outside. You HAVE to be able to read that.

I love CK, I really do. Great person, tremendous talent. But I don't want our QB "crash-coursing" into the playoffs. That's a TERRIBLE idea. Jim Harbaugh isn't going to be right 100% of the time, and I won't either, but I disagree with him here for good reason. If CK doesn't play well enough in the playoffs, everyone's going to be stuck thinking would could have been. I hope I'm wrong -- we all hope that, really. I want a Super Bowl, not that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that things could've been different if this change hadn't been made.
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
It all comes down to opinion. My opinion is mine, yours is yours, Harbaugh's is Harbaugh's. I feel we made a mistake and there are a plethora of valid reasons to believe so. No one is saying CK is the only problem here, or that we don't have any other issues. The message trying to be conveyed is that there are a lot of questions surrounding his readiness for playoff football. What's been happening on offense seemingly every other game is why these concerns are not subsiding.

One of the biggest reasons I like Alex is because at this point he is much more equipped to adjust a terrible play call into something half-decent. That's not to say he's God on the field and makes the perfect call every time, but we can see the difference. How many times did CK check into a run on Sunday? Didn't Gore have only like 6 carries? There was also the running into a brick wall of 10 RUN-BLITZING defenders that had everybody going, "WTF?" when CK had one-on-one coverage outside. You HAVE to be able to read that.

I love CK, I really do. Great person, tremendous talent. But I don't want our QB "crash-coursing" into the playoffs. That's a TERRIBLE idea. Jim Harbaugh isn't going to be right 100% of the time, and I won't either, but I disagree with him here for good reason. If CK doesn't play well enough in the playoffs, everyone's going to be stuck thinking would could have been. I hope I'm wrong -- we all hope that, really. I want a Super Bowl, not that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that things could've been different if this change hadn't been made.


Of course it's all opinion. Thats the whole point of the forum.

I disgree with the adjustment thing tho. Kaep has had his issues...there is no question...but while Alex may get them into a better play a bit more of the time, Kaep is more apt to make something of any play called. If a play breaks down, Alex will almost always throw it away or take the sack. Remember tho, I've been an Alex supporter on these forums since the day he was drafted. I don't hate the guy and think he's gotten a bad wrap 90% of the time he's been playing. Having said that tho, I am firmly behind this decision to start Kaep.

We can say all we want about the QB "crash-coursing" in the playoffs or him getting learning experiences this close to the playoffs, but the reality is much more simple than that. Harbaugh is clearly convinced that Kaep gives them a better chance in those games that matter. It's really that simple. It is of course a matter of opinion and everyone has the right to disagree, but I think he made a balsy move away from the "safe" choice that he likely thinks leads him back where the season ended last year.

The way the Niners were constituted doesn't lend itself to long term success. The margin of error was just SOOOOOO small that it wasn't something that can be counted on. They needed a more dynamic offense that can score from anywhere at anytime. THAT is what Kaep gives them. Alex is a perfectly fine QB and he's gonna play hard and do his job, but when they play the big boys in January, I'm convinced that Harbaugh realized that the D and special teams wasn't enough to get it done.

Is it possible that Kaep will lose a game in the playoffs? Of course! Can he make the mistake that kills their season? YES!?! Is he better off with a QB that won't lose the the game but won't win it for you either? THAT is the debate. Win or Lose, I applaud Harbaugh for having the balls to make the BOLD choice and "go for it".
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Dec 25, 2012 at 10:14 PM ]
Originally posted by Marvin49:
Jeez. I'm so tired of reading this. This doesn't have a damn thing to do with ego. Harbaugh would start Smith in a second if he thought it was the right thing to do. He's about WINNING. That's it. Nothing else. He will always play the guy that he thinks gives him the best chance of winning the Super Bowl. You may call it the "dumbed down" offense, but it's the same offense that Smith ran last year and half this year and the same one they ran at Stanford. They incorporated the pistol and read option from Nevada, but it is essentially the same offense.

I find it comical that people are being critical of Kaep when the defense allowed FORTY-TWO points. It's not like Kaep was turning it over deep in Seattle territory. Kaep actually drove them down the field a few times. One was blocked field goal. One was pick in the end zone. One was a fumble by Manningham when he tore his ACL. Smith only managed 13 points in the first meeting at the Stick, and this team is now better, at home, and in the elements.

Did Kaep play really well? No. Did he block for the field goal? Did he play any defense?

Please. I know some people still don't like the switch from Smith to Kaep and are determined every rough patch is Harbaugh and his ego refusing to admit that Smith was clearly the right choice. Guess what. It wasn't. It doesn't matter how much you want to be the case. The Niners may eventually lose a game that Kaep truly is responsible for (like the second Rams game). Even when that happens, it still will have been the right choice. People act like Alex had set the world on fire. Kaep has the exact same record this year through 6 games and I Highly doubt he would have won in New England. Nobody thought Brady could go beat teams in the playoffs...till he did. Nobody though Roethlisberger could do it...till he did.

Bottom line, this is NOT about Harbaughs ego. If anything, it's about the ego of peeps who have never liked the move who like to chirp about it even when they lose a game when the D allows 42 freakin points. Get over it.
This 100%!
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
It all comes down to opinion. My opinion is mine, yours is yours, Harbaugh's is Harbaugh's. I feel we made a mistake and there are a plethora of valid reasons to believe so. No one is saying CK is the only problem here, or that we don't have any other issues. The message trying to be conveyed is that there are a lot of questions surrounding his readiness for playoff football. What's been happening on offense seemingly every other game is why these concerns are not subsiding.

One of the biggest reasons I like Alex is because at this point he is much more equipped to adjust a terrible play call into something half-decent. That's not to say he's God on the field and makes the perfect call every time, but we can see the difference. How many times did CK check into a run on Sunday? Didn't Gore have only like 6 carries? There was also the running into a brick wall of 10 RUN-BLITZING defenders that had everybody going, "WTF?" when CK had one-on-one coverage outside. You HAVE to be able to read that.

I love CK, I really do. Great person, tremendous talent. But I don't want our QB "crash-coursing" into the playoffs. That's a TERRIBLE idea. Jim Harbaugh isn't going to be right 100% of the time, and I won't either, but I disagree with him here for good reason. If CK doesn't play well enough in the playoffs, everyone's going to be stuck thinking would could have been. I hope I'm wrong -- we all hope that, really. I want a Super Bowl, not that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that things could've been different if this change hadn't been made.

What I saw:

- Kaep drove them down the field thrice in the first half only to have long drives stalled.
- All of Kaep's check out plays ("kill") were to passes...maybe he doesn't know what defenses you can run against, or maybe it was because Seattle was going man up blitzing.
- Was I the only one noticing Kaep literally yelling to the sidelines to get the play in with 10 seconds on the clock on more than one occasion?
- Anyone else notice Harbaugh calling plays in the 2nd half?
  • dj43
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 21,051
GoldandGarnet wrote: (I couldn't make the quote thing work without the entire quote)
I agree with you about there being no difference if Smith were to have started. I have something to add with the clock management issue though. I couldn't figure out what the coaching staff is thinking messing around like that. You are saying they are waiting for the D to declare (show their cards) to then we can make our calls, but Kaep isn't as proficient as Smith was….yet. That may or may not be the deal, but they need to quit messing around. Kaep did that his first game and he did it against N.O., but he didn't do against MIA or the Pats. Why? I think the staff took away some of his calls. He didn't have to do as much cuz they scaled it back, knowing he wasn't ready. Then, in THIS game they put it all right back on him and it blew up in their faces. MAJOR COACHING ERROR.


Just for comparison I went back and watched the Miami game again tonight. The beginning of the game was a management MESS. Kaep/Harbaugh burned two time outs and two delay penalties in the first quarter. Players were scrambling around up to the last second all game long. In the second half, more troubles and Harbaugh used his final time out on a truly ridiculous challenge by 1 minute into the 4th quarter, was wrong (again) and the team played the entire 4th quarter with no time outs. Had it not been for a muffed punt deep in Miami's own end, that game might have ended differently.

In my opinion, there is no question that Kaepernick is struggling with play calls and recognizing defenses. I watched his audibles closely, particularly on running plays, and he is not having the kind of success Alex Smith had on audibles. So while I don't know what options CK had on "kills," it would be foolish for anyone to purport that he has the same command of the offense that Smith had. With no deep threats left at all on this team other than Vernon Davis, who is held in to block on most deep routes, there is no reason to have CK for his deep arm strength. No one that is left can outrun any decent DB anyway. Hence, I would prefer the better game manager for the playoff run and let Kaepernick start fresh in TC next year. (I assume Alex will be traded long before March 1.)
Originally posted by Marvin49:
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
It all comes down to opinion. My opinion is mine, yours is yours, Harbaugh's is Harbaugh's. I feel we made a mistake and there are a plethora of valid reasons to believe so. No one is saying CK is the only problem here, or that we don't have any other issues. The message trying to be conveyed is that there are a lot of questions surrounding his readiness for playoff football. What's been happening on offense seemingly every other game is why these concerns are not subsiding.

One of the biggest reasons I like Alex is because at this point he is much more equipped to adjust a terrible play call into something half-decent. That's not to say he's God on the field and makes the perfect call every time, but we can see the difference. How many times did CK check into a run on Sunday? Didn't Gore have only like 6 carries? There was also the running into a brick wall of 10 RUN-BLITZING defenders that had everybody going, "WTF?" when CK had one-on-one coverage outside. You HAVE to be able to read that.

I love CK, I really do. Great person, tremendous talent. But I don't want our QB "crash-coursing" into the playoffs. That's a TERRIBLE idea. Jim Harbaugh isn't going to be right 100% of the time, and I won't either, but I disagree with him here for good reason. If CK doesn't play well enough in the playoffs, everyone's going to be stuck thinking would could have been. I hope I'm wrong -- we all hope that, really. I want a Super Bowl, not that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that things could've been different if this change hadn't been made.


Of course it's all opinion. Thats the whole point of the forum.

I disgree with the adjustment thing tho. Kaep has had his issues...there is no question...but while Alex may get them into a better play a bit more of the time, Kaep is more apt to make something of any play called. If a play breaks down, Alex will almost always throw it away or take the sack. Remember tho, I've been an Alex supporter on these forums since the day he was drafted. I don't hate the guy and think he's gotten a bad wrap 90% of the time he's been playing. Having said that tho, I am firmly behind this decision to start Kaep.

We can say all we want about the QB "crash-coursing" in the playoffs or him getting learning experiences this close to the playoffs, but the reality is much more simple than that. Harbaugh is clearly convinced that Kaep gives them a better chance in those games that matter. It's really that simple. It is of course a matter of opinion and everyone has the right to disagree, but I think he made a balsy move away from the "safe" choice that he likely thinks leads him back where the season ended last year.

The way the Niners were constituted doesn't lend itself to long term success. The margin of error was just SOOOOOO small that it wasn't something that can be counted on. They needed a more dynamic offense that can score from anywhere at anytime. THAT is what Kaep gives them. Alex is a perfectly fine QB and he's gonna play hard and do his job, but when they play the big boys in January, I'm convinced that Harbaugh realized that the D and special teams wasn't enough to get it done.

Is it possible that Kaep will lose a game in the playoffs? Of course! Can he make the mistake that kills their season? YES!?! Is he better off with a QB that won't lose the the game but won't win it for you either? THAT is the debate. Win or Lose, I applaud Harbaugh for having the balls to make the BOLD choice and "go for it".

I don't think that makes much sense. A run play is a run play. Not much CK can do to single-handedly change the outcome once the play is happening. For pass plays, sure he can run around better and get to the sideline quicker. He's great at rolling left. Teams, however, have already studied his "spin out" move to roll left though, and he got caught against Seattle trying it and got dropped for a huge sack. Another learning experience for him. So while he can do that better, I don't think that means he can make pre-snap adjustments any better. CK is really struggling with play action right now. His fakes are not even fakes, he's not selling them at all. I think it's a wash when you add in the positives and negatives for both players in these areas.

I look at it this way: High risk - high reward vs. Low risk - high reward. Logic tells you to take the second, "safer" choice as you say. It being "bold" means it's a big risk compared to the alternative. I for one am not convinced at all that Harbaugh is 100% confident in CK, no matter how much he may support him right now, but I don't think enough has happened to make him go back on his decision. I don't think CK has done any better at overcoming his own and his teammates mistakes to win games right now. Overall.. I am absolutely not thrilled with the idea of "HOPING" it works out.

I'm venting because I know that nothing will change, barring injury, or a catastrophic performance by CK Sunday (even then, maybe not). But I stand firm in my opinion on this. I acknowledge that those on the other side have their valid reasons for taking that stance, but ask that they see and acknowledge that there are plenty legitimate reasons for taking the opinion I have as well.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Dec 25, 2012 at 11:06 PM ]
Originally posted by dj43:
GoldandGarnet wrote: (I couldn't make the quote thing work without the entire quote)
I agree with you about there being no difference if Smith were to have started. I have something to add with the clock management issue though. I couldn't figure out what the coaching staff is thinking messing around like that. You are saying they are waiting for the D to declare (show their cards) to then we can make our calls, but Kaep isn't as proficient as Smith was….yet. That may or may not be the deal, but they need to quit messing around. Kaep did that his first game and he did it against N.O., but he didn't do against MIA or the Pats. Why? I think the staff took away some of his calls. He didn't have to do as much cuz they scaled it back, knowing he wasn't ready. Then, in THIS game they put it all right back on him and it blew up in their faces. MAJOR COACHING ERROR.


Just for comparison I went back and watched the Miami game again tonight. The beginning of the game was a management MESS. Kaep/Harbaugh burned two time outs and two delay penalties in the first quarter. Players were scrambling around up to the last second all game long. In the second half, more troubles and Harbaugh used his final time out on a truly ridiculous challenge by 1 minute into the 4th quarter, was wrong (again) and the team played the entire 4th quarter with no time outs. Had it not been for a muffed punt deep in Miami's own end, that game might have ended differently.

In my opinion, there is no question that Kaepernick is struggling with play calls and recognizing defenses. I watched his audibles closely, particularly on running plays, and he is not having the kind of success Alex Smith had on audibles. So while I don't know what options CK had on "kills," it would be foolish for anyone to purport that he has the same command of the offense that Smith had. With no deep threats left at all on this team other than Vernon Davis, who is held in to block on most deep routes, there is no reason to have CK for his deep arm strength. No one that is left can outrun any decent DB anyway. Hence, I would prefer the better game manager for the playoff run and let Kaepernick start fresh in TC next year. (I assume Alex will be traded long before March 1.)


Pretty much completely disagree with that last part.

Is that how it works? You only need a big arm if you have guys who run sub 4.3? SMDH.

The hardest pass to throw in the NFL is deep out. Crabtree runs them all the time. Crab also gets open deep...with route running. Alex missed him ALL THE TIME down the sideline. The pass TD to Walker in NE? The first one to Crabtree in particular? Passes that never would have been thrown, let alone completed. Its not as simple as "hey, we don't have our deep threats, arm strengtth is pointless". IMO opinion, that's ludicrous.

As for the game management portion, I have no idea what calls were initially called and what he checked into. I have no idea how well he is doing when it comes to the reads. I will agree though that it appears pretty clear that he is making those calls late and doesn't have a complete handle on that yet.

Guess what tho...thats LEARNED behavior. That isn't a talent issue. Thats stuff that Kaep will learn while playing. Thats the entire freakin point. Will he figure it all out in time for this not to be an issue come playoff time? I really hope so. It is of course possible that he won't and it could hurt them. That's the risk you take. I think it's worth it.

To me, saying "hey, our deep guys or gone so the dynamic QB is useless. Put in the safe guy" is just crazy talk. THAT's how you lose. The meek get crushed in this game. The BOLD are the ones that make the tough choices and make the moves other coaches are too afraid to make. Sometimes they work out. Sometimes they don't.

I'm riding with Harbaugh and Kaep on this one.