Current Interests/Needs (in order of importance IMHO) - Note that top tier = higher need & second tier = secondary need (some breathing room). If a need is labeled top tier, it could also indicate the large drop off in talent from a starter to the next-man-up.
Top Tier T
- We needed a "swing T" so we got three: Carter Bykowski and Luke Marquardt (PUP) and we brought back Adam Snyder. That said, Marquardt is on the NFI list, Bykowski was cut and NOBODY wants Snyder to be the backside blocker for CK (hand injury as well). Worse off, if there is another injury to Staley, we may have to mess with the chemistry along the entire OL and move Boone from RG to T (not easy to adjust to on the fly) and insert someone else at RG (2 of 5 positions); that would be Looney (LG) or Kilgore. This is NOT good. We still have a major hole here IMHO. I'm waiting for us to pick up a veteran LT...
Top Tier Cover SS
- It's safe to say the FO got their man in Reid at FS. Dahl seems like a viable backup at both SS/FS and will also help a ton on ST. That said, Whitner still can't cover esp. in the RZ and looks even slower to me so far in pre season; so scheme will have to be the theme for 2013 here. Fangio is going to have to put Reid 1on1 on the Boldin's and tall slot TE's of the world. That said, he didn't do that with Goldson, so why would he with Reid? Nothing else to report here save for Spillman and perhaps, Robinson (if he even makes it; short as well). We shouldn't have to rely solely on the pass rush esp. in the RZ where passes are typically made less than a 3-step drop and right down the middle of the field (I'm looking at you Whitner and the underneath coverage of Willis/Bowman!).
Top Kickoff Coverage Unit/Ace Kick-Punt Returner
- Our best gunners this pre season by far were Lockette, Morris and Osgood. All are gone. And Moore may not be playing gunner on ST either if he isa primary WR. This is an ignored area of concern and it cost us in the (NFCCG and Superbowl) and it still affected us greatly in pre season. Cox has looked better than James (injured) but nobody would classify him as "dynamic/electric" and nobody fears him taking it to the house every time he touches the ball (like we do against every team we face, it seems). While some teams have 2 dynamic returners, we can't seem to find one. Now Patton is being tried out, Williams is back but hasn't taken a snap all pre season and Hawkins was cut; he looked like the only real viable "dynamic" returner who has some "it" to him. We seem to have good interior guys but not lightning speed outside. Spillman and Brock will rack up the tackles again on the outside but these are the same two gunners as last year and that unit was average, at best. Raymond Ventrone was given to Seely but he is also expected to be cut when others return and come off the PUP. I'm expecting Seely to resign any day now. LOL
Top or Second Tier DE
- Tomsula had Christmas with getting Cornellius Carradine, Quinton Dial and a major project in Lawrence Okoye but he may not see any of them until Christmas 2013! That said, Tank and Dial will most likely be red-shirted this year (PUP) and Okoye is still hoping to make the PS. Fortunately, Dobbs continues to impress and is expected t supplant either Will Tukuafu or Tony Jerod-Eddie after week 1.
Top or Second Tier CB
- In the end, we only kept 5 CB's. For a team that is historically facing 4+ WR sets and tends to suffer injuries here, this may be a little concerning. There is now a good chance we lose both Marcus Cooper and Darryl Morris. We are expecting Eric Wright back after week 6 though and hopefully, he'll be up to game speed.
Top or Second Tier NT
- SCHEME is the new THEME in 2013! With keeping 6 DL, expect many more 4-man DL sets with plenty of outside pass rushers up at the LOS. Ian Williams thus far, has been tremendous and appears to be even better than Sopoaga/RJF and Glen Dorsey appears to be a viable rotation NT and he can also play DE. Lamar Divens may be added to the PS and developed ala Ian Williams last year.
Second Tier WR
- Well, it seems like Moore or Patton will end up being the primary WR opposite Boldin. Crabtree's injury hurts a lot but thankfully we have an even more productive veteran in Boldin to ease that loss. Do not expect Crabtree back at all this year though IMHO. That said, we can expect Manningham back after week 6 which is why we will start the year with only 5 WR's: X = Marlon Moore/Jon Baldwin --- Y = Kyle Williams --- Z = Anquan Boldin/Quinton Patton
. The important thing to remember here is that we run a "package offense" so ALL of these guys will be used in all WR positions depending on the play called by HaRoMan. And let's be honest here, keeping only 5 WR's is a strong indication that we plan on using Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald a ton, lining them up everywhere to create mismatches. So lower your expectations in terms of total receptions from the WR group this year. I saw a couple times this pre season where we ran a 5-receiver set and only one
of those players was a WR.
Second Tier C
- In the end we stayed with the wiley vet, Jonathan Goodwin and his inflated salary but Daniel Kilgore put up quite the fight. Also, Looney has been working out at LG and C and he looks much much better at C. In fact, he looks legit at C.
Third Tier FB
- This was a big concern of mine because we had nobody behind Bruce Miller and he is vital to our running game (and can catch). The team then cut Jason Schepler so my concern remained. But low-and-behold, Harbaugh goes out and gets "his" guy in Owen Marecic. He should fit in nicely in an offense he already knows and should add some ST value as well.
Third Tier TE
- Harbauh got HIS man in Vance McDonald here too. Davis, McDonald and Celek should abolsutely tear it up this year. And most are expecting MarQueis Gray to get devloped in the PS.
Roster as of 9/17:
QB (3): Colin Kaepernick, Colt McCoy
and B.J. Daniels
RB (4): Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Anthony Dixon
and LaMichael James
; Marcus Lattimore (PUP)
FB (1): Bruce Miller
WR (5): X = Marlon Moore/Jon Baldwin --- Y = Kyle Williams --- Z = Anquan Boldin/Quinton Patton
; Mario Manningham & Michael Crabtree (PUP)
TE (4): Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek
and Chris Harper
OT (3): Joe Staley, Anthony Davis
and Adam Snyder
(Alex Boone); Luke Marquardt (PUP)
OG (3): Mike Iupati, Alex Boone
and Joe Looney
C (2): Jonathan Goodwin
and Daniel Kilgore
DE (4): Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, Demarcus Dobbs
and Tony Jerod-Eddie
; Quinton Dial & Tank Carradine (PUP)
NT (1): Glenn Dorsey
; Ian Williams (I.R.)
OLB (4): Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Corey Lemonier
and Dan Skuta
ILB (4): Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Michael Wilhoite
and Nathan Stupar; Nick Moody (I.R. designated to return)
CB (5): Tarell Brown, Carlos Rogers, Nnamdi Asomugha, Perrish Cox
and Tramaine Brock
; Chris Culliver & Eric Wright (I.R. & PUP)
S (5): Donte Whitner, Eric Reid, Craig Dahl, C.J. Spillman
and Raymond Ventrone
Special Teams: (3)
PK: Phil Dawson
P: Andy Lee
LS: Kevin McDermott
[ Edited by NCommand on Sep 17, 2013 at 7:28 AM ]