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Preseason 2013 Week 1: Thoughts after rewatching the game...

thanks marvin, always a pleasure to read your posts. you bring order to my chaotic thoughts about our team ;)
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Originally posted by dj43:
At some point the coaching staff has to accept some responsibility for 3rd down failures. As good as Harbaugh and company have been in many areas, the continued failure on 3rd down is troubling.

Coaching players away from penalties is a big one for me. The 49ers were 7th highest in the league last year in penalties (6th in 2011). 2nd in the league in defensive holding and led in unnecessary roughness for the 2nd year in a row (thank you Dashon Goldson). Also 2nd in the league in delay of game. (the last full year of Nolan they were 14th) I put a lot of the blame here on coaches, and a part of it, IMO, is Harbaugh's overly emotional demeanor on the sidelines. Bill Walsh PREACHED that a coach had to be calm in the midst of the storm if the team was to play well and under control. In this, Harbaugh is not following the advice of his mentor. Cleaning up the penalties is a goal that needs to be achieved.

3rd down efficiency and red zone efficiency are scheme issues for me. Harbaugh/Roman are too frenetic, IMO. One play will show some real creative genius, if you will, and the next will be so predictable that a HS defense could stop it. That needs to change if this team is to reach the goal.

I agree on the penalties. The excessive number of them falls on the coaching staff.
In particular, the coaches need to get Ahmad Brooks and Anthony Davis to be more disciplined. Goldson's departure helps us in this area.

I thought that our 3rd down efficiency improved last year, but even if I am correct, it stills needs improvement.
A reduction in the number of penalties would, or should, help us convert more third downs.
Originally posted by dj43:
At some point the coaching staff has to accept some responsibility for 3rd down failures. As good as Harbaugh and company have been in many areas, the continued failure on 3rd down is troubling.

Coaching players away from penalties is a big one for me. The 49ers were 7th highest in the league last year in penalties (6th in 2011). 2nd in the league in defensive holding and led in unnecessary roughness for the 2nd year in a row (thank you Dashon Goldson). Also 2nd in the league in delay of game. (the last full year of Nolan they were 14th) I put a lot of the blame here on coaches, and a part of it, IMO, is Harbaugh's overly emotional demeanor on the sidelines. Bill Walsh PREACHED that a coach had to be calm in the midst of the storm if the team was to play well and under control. In this, Harbaugh is not following the advice of his mentor. Cleaning up the penalties is a goal that needs to be achieved.

3rd down efficiency and red zone efficiency are scheme issues for me. Harbaugh/Roman are too frenetic, IMO. One play will show some real creative genius, if you will, and the next will be so predictable that a HS defense could stop it. That needs to change if this team is to reach the goal.

Really? Your complaining about a lack of scheme improvements after 1 preseason game? How's about we wait till the regular season starts until we start criticizing the coaches for their lack of improvement in that area. Also, reguarding the penalties. I don't mind holding and defensive holding penalties this early in the preseason, sometimes it is a sign that our players are already playing physical ball and are trying to push the envelope. It would be like Seattle fans getting angry that their starting corners are getting called for pass interference penalties. They interfere on every play and hone it in a way where they can get away with it more times than not during the regular season.
I thought my comment rather clearly showed a concern about the history of penalties and 3rd down failures, not just this past game. If this was the first time a penalty put us in 3rd and long I wouldn't care but it isn't. Cleaning up the penalties and improving 3rd down performance have to be high priorities this coming season. This is no longer a "young" team. This is now a veteran team that should not be making those kind of mistakes.
Watched the game for a third time and came away with a few more things...

1) Corey Lemonier: Looked really good. In particular I liked the screen pass he messed up. Dipped his shoulder to get the corner and was on the QB so fast he couldn't get an accurate screen pass off. Was on the QB several times.

2) Ian Williams: I really wasn't buying the hype about Williams from camp. I thought it was only a matter of time before Dorsey took that spot. Watching him closely tho I saw him push the pocket several times and hold the point. He doesn't look huge out there, but he was strong enough and had quick enough feet to make me into an early believer. We'll see if it continues.
Originally posted by 49AllTheTime:
what about Phil Dawson any concerns ?

He looked VERY rough in that game. None of the kicks looked good. He almost missed every attempt he had, the ones that went in, barely did.

What I was hoping to see more of was CB Daryl Morris, didn't see much of him. Although maybe that means he was just covering very well.

Right now, if I had to pick 6 CB's to keep, they would be Rogers, Brown, Cox, Brock, Nnamdi, and Wright -- Morris and Cooper on the PS.
OTC, from a position of weakness to a position of strength, is hard to believe. Yet now it looks like anyone we cut very well may start elsewhere. That is when you know your scouting team and GM are doing a good job.
I watched it again and focuses in on Kilgore who looked pretty good out there with the #1 team and #2 team. He played the entire first half so got a lot of good reps at C. Looney played the entire 2nd half at C I believe. He looked decent but he's a lot different body type than Kilgore. Kilgore is the smaller quicker type and Looney is more like Goodwin, bigger and slower. I'd like to see updated weights, both are 6'3" and Kilgore is at 308, Looney 309 but Looney looks much bigger. Looney looks a little soft yet and needs to get in better shape IMO. Will help with his quickness and pulling. Seems like Kilgore is on track to take over for Goodwin after this year if Goodwin won't sign an extremely cap friendly deal.

Okoye's biggest hit on the night came during his congratulations of Dan Skuta after a sack. He shook the crap out of him. Nah, guy is going to have to really man up. Right now looks like a classic case of looks like tarzan plays like jane. I don't think he's worth the time but right now without Dial and Carradine playing we have extra time for him. Really wish those guys were playing. Wasn't all that impressed with Tukuafu and Dobbs looks good in the pre season but he has yet to make an impact in the regular season. Like I have always said those guys were nice finds and might work for most teams but we have higher expectations and hopefully we can upgrade over them some day soon.

Also, Skuta had a nice game with 2 sacks but won't get much time at OLB during the season if he makes it as the #5. We definitely don't want him in coverage as he isn't quick enough. I'd expect mostly Haralson with a little Lemonier mixed in. I think we will want Haralson back next year if he signs really cheap otherwise Leomonier could be ready to take over. He looked great game 1.

Said this in the winners and losers thread but Wilhoite looks to be a near lock for the #3 ILB job and Moody looks to be the #4.

And again McDonald will make a great safety blanket this year but needs to hit the juggs machine every day after practice.

I'd say players of the game were McDonald, Cox and Dixon. Too bad Dixon had like 50 yards in rushing brought back. Anyways, hope we improve this Friday. Way too many penalties, wrong routes ran, turnovers, missed blocks, etc.
[ Edited by Gore_21 on Aug 12, 2013 at 4:20 PM ]
Yeah, OTC, what we really need to do is keep all 8 CBs and 8 WRs. We both know that isn't going to happen.
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by Jersey9er:
Only thing that i was displeased with was the story of our lives.

First i didnt know that regardless of who was the qb, we only finished 25 out of 32 in 3rd down conversions at the end of the season. Gotta get that number up.

I loved how Kaep and company drove all the way down the field. its pre-season, but great to see. But then the story of our lives reared its ugly head again. penalty here, loss of yardage there, then we find ourselves in an unmanageable 3rd and 16, I think. hard for even some of the greatest qb's to overcome.

So i definitely wanna see this part a little tigther next game, and stop shooting ourselves in the foot. Other than that I think we did pretty good, with the first team offense and defense.

Agreed, saw the same huge issues with us in this game that caught up to us in the Superbowl:
  • Poor penalties at the worst times
  • TO's in the worst places
  • 3rd downs relying on CK
  • Poor RZ offense

Good:
  • Plays were all in on time and with enough time for the QB's to read the defense and audible.
At some point the coaching staff has to accept some responsibility for 3rd down failures. As good as Harbaugh and company have been in many areas, the continued failure on 3rd down is troubling.

Coaching players away from penalties is a big one for me. The 49ers were 7th highest in the league last year in penalties (6th in 2011). 2nd in the league in defensive holding and led in unnecessary roughness for the 2nd year in a row (thank you Dashon Goldson). Also 2nd in the league in delay of game. (the last full year of Nolan they were 14th) I put a lot of the blame here on coaches, and a part of it, IMO, is Harbaugh's overly emotional demeanor on the sidelines. Bill Walsh PREACHED that a coach had to be calm in the midst of the storm if the team was to play well and under control. In this, Harbaugh is not following the advice of his mentor. Cleaning up the penalties is a goal that needs to be achieved.

3rd down efficiency and red zone efficiency are scheme issues for me. Harbaugh/Roman are too frenetic, IMO. One play will show some real creative genius, if you will, and the next will be so predictable that a HS defense could stop it. That needs to change if this team is to reach the goal.

Fantastic post and research...couldn't agree more. Wish we could email Harbaugh. Knowing him he'd add these items to his own performance evaluation for the season.
Originally posted by pasodoc9er:
Yeah, OTC, what we really need to do is keep all 8 CBs and 8 WRs. We both know that isn't going to happen.

Every year, someone's gotta get cut. In the end, they rarely come back to bite you. If I had to pick 6 WRs to keep, they'd be: Boldin, Patton, Collie, Williams, Jenkins, and Osgood. That gives us an experienced group outside of Patton and Jenkins. Once you get into the 5th and 6th WR, ST value become far more important. You need a consistent stud ST there. Osgood fits that bill. It's why I think Skuta -- who has played all 3-4 LB positions, gets the 8th LB spot.

WR: Boldin, Collie, Williams, Patton, Jenkins, Osgood

OLB: Brooks, Aldon, Haralson, Lemonier

ILB: Willis, Bowmna, Wilhoite, Skuta (ILB/OLB/ST)

CB: Rogers, Brown, Brock, Asomugha, Cox, Wright
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
Originally posted by pasodoc9er:
Yeah, OTC, what we really need to do is keep all 8 CBs and 8 WRs. We both know that isn't going to happen.

Every year, someone's gotta get cut. In the end, they rarely come back to bite you. If I had to pick 6 WRs to keep, they'd be: Boldin, Patton, Collie, Williams, Jenkins, and Osgood. That gives us an experienced group outside of Patton and Jenkins. Once you get into the 5th and 6th WR, ST value become far more important. You need a consistent stud ST there. Osgood fits that bill. It's why I think Skuta -- who has played all 3-4 LB positions, gets the 8th LB spot.

WR: Boldin, Collie, Williams, Patton, Jenkins, Osgood

OLB: Brooks, Aldon, Haralson, Lemonier

ILB: Willis, Bowmna, Wilhoite, Skuta (ILB/OLB/ST)

CB: Rogers, Brown, Brock, Asomugha, Cox, Wright

I don't think Manningham is going to PUP. If we keep 7 WR, I think we keep Lockette who showed that he has the potential to be a terrific gunner and has a high ceiling as a WR. Osgood looked good in game 1, but he's going to have to look great in every game and practice here on out if he's going to unseat a young guy with potential.
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
Originally posted by 49AllTheTime:
what about Phil Dawson any concerns ?

He looked VERY rough in that game. None of the kicks looked good. He almost missed every attempt he had, the ones that went in, barely did.

What I was hoping to see more of was CB Daryl Morris, didn't see much of him. Although maybe that means he was just covering very well.

Right now, if I had to pick 6 CB's to keep, they would be Rogers, Brown, Cox, Brock, Nnamdi, and Wright -- Morris and Cooper on the PS.

should have signed kickalicious like i said immediately after s**tting my pants at a youtube video

lions scooped him up, he's awesome
I've watched the game three times and I just finished it in slow motion.

A couple of thoughts.

I think we're going to improve defense. Ian Williams was nearly unblockable one on one. He was opening up space in a way that sopo and RJF couldn't. This is going to ray McDonald's peak year. He was just a bull. The reason I think we improve is because we finally have depth at DT in the nickel. McDonald, Williams, Smith, and Dorsey are going to remain fresh throughout games and they will create pressure in the middle that we lacked so dearly. The pressure in the middle will spill over into a lot of one on one for the edge rushers. Yet again were going to have great depth at that position. Smith, Lemonier, Carradine, and Brooks can all beat the one on ones created by the pressure in the middle. Carradine was a vicious pass rusher in the 4-3 at flor st and I don't think we should utilize that in the 4-2. I feel bad for some of these olines.

Not.

Dorsey played great. I've read some comments that he created no pressure. He had 2 Tfls. He was frequently double teamed. When he wasnt double teamed he easily used his powerful hands to push aside linemen. He has excellent technique. He was not pushed aside once and there was a couple of snaps where the RB would alter his run because Dorsey had penetrated so quickly. He may not get the NT start but I think he's first up in the middle at nicklel and I think he will be a great compliment to McDonald or smith.

Lemonier is fast. He dropped back in coverage once and he was attached at the hip. He needs to perfect his run defense but I think we found a starter in 3rd. The most exciting thing for me is That his ceiling doesn't seem to have limit. He has the speed, strength, size, and he can rush. He's going to get better every game I feel. I hope.

Wilhoete looked good. He got beat once on a crossing route. He missed a tackle. Besides that he was solid. I think playing with bowman or Willis will elevate his player. He could be a starter if the worst happens.

Lastly I'm going to make a bold prediction and say we have Whitners replacement in spillman.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by Jersey9er:
Only thing that i was displeased with was the story of our lives.

First i didnt know that regardless of who was the qb, we only finished 25 out of 32 in 3rd down conversions at the end of the season. Gotta get that number up.

I loved how Kaep and company drove all the way down the field. its pre-season, but great to see. But then the story of our lives reared its ugly head again. penalty here, loss of yardage there, then we find ourselves in an unmanageable 3rd and 16, I think. hard for even some of the greatest qb's to overcome.

So i definitely wanna see this part a little tigther next game, and stop shooting ourselves in the foot. Other than that I think we did pretty good, with the first team offense and defense.

Agreed, saw the same huge issues with us in this game that caught up to us in the Superbowl:
  • Poor penalties at the worst times
  • TO's in the worst places
  • 3rd downs relying on CK
  • Poor RZ offense

Good:
  • Plays were all in on time and with enough time for the QB's to read the defense and audible.
At some point the coaching staff has to accept some responsibility for 3rd down failures. As good as Harbaugh and company have been in many areas, the continued failure on 3rd down is troubling.

Coaching players away from penalties is a big one for me. The 49ers were 7th highest in the league last year in penalties (6th in 2011). 2nd in the league in defensive holding and led in unnecessary roughness for the 2nd year in a row (thank you Dashon Goldson). Also 2nd in the league in delay of game. (the last full year of Nolan they were 14th) I put a lot of the blame here on coaches, and a part of it, IMO, is Harbaugh's overly emotional demeanor on the sidelines. Bill Walsh PREACHED that a coach had to be calm in the midst of the storm if the team was to play well and under control. In this, Harbaugh is not following the advice of his mentor. Cleaning up the penalties is a goal that needs to be achieved.

3rd down efficiency and red zone efficiency are scheme issues for me. Harbaugh/Roman are too frenetic, IMO. One play will show some real creative genius, if you will, and the next will be so predictable that a HS defense could stop it. That needs to change if this team is to reach the goal.

Fantastic post and research...couldn't agree more. Wish we could email Harbaugh. Knowing him he'd add these items to his own performance evaluation for the season.
Thank you.

Your last sentence, about Harbaugh's own evaluation, takes me back to an interview I heard yesterday with Harbaugh. He was asked where he felt he has improved as a coach since he has been in the NFL. Basically, he refused to answer the question. He kind of hemmed and hawed but would not mention any particular area. It sounded as if he thought he was doing just fine and didn't see any area HE needed to improve. It was like he was saying, "I'm OK but my players need to work hard, compete, get better everyday..." It made me question just how introspective he is. When he looks at film, does he question his own role in correcting/improving problem areas?

The fact that the team is near the league leader in penalties in both of his years here leads me to the conclusion he doesn't see that as a problem.

Well, when you have great talent on the team and everyone is healthy, penalties may not be a big problem. However, when a key player goes down for an extended period of time (Crabtree), the team cannot afford to continue committing penalties, especially things like delay of game or wasting time outs to keep from committing another delay penalty.

It is my contention that Bill Walsh is correct about sideline demeanor: You can't expect the players to stay focused and play under control when the coach is going ballistic on the sidelines. Walsh purported that an overly emotional coach keeps players at an edge that uses up their emotional energy, and in a game like football that is so emotional anyway, that is something the coach needs to avoid if the team is to play well on a consistent basis. THAT is the area I want to see Harbaugh correct. It is something only he can change. The WWL pattern of last year definitely showed the WRONG kind of consistency, and in close games such as the two Ram games, the demeanor of the coach could well account for the difference between a win and a tie/loss.
[ Edited by dj43 on Aug 13, 2013 at 11:23 AM ]