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2014: Thoughts on the upcoming season...

...but first a few things about the season just gone by...

Ever since the end of the Super Bowl last year, there was something nagging at me. I never gave it a voice because I didn't really want to validate it, but it was there nonetheless.

2013 wasn't our year. It started for me with the records of teams that lose a Super Bowl. It was made worse by the realization that no team had won a Super Bowl after losing one in over 40 years. A Super Bowl held in the cold of New York (although that seems to be the most overthought story ever). Crab ripping up his Achilles did nothing to remove that nagging feeling. Aldons DUI. Vernon getting hurt. Willis getting hurt. Iupati getting hurt. The Ahmad Brooks Personal Foul. No team had ever won back to back ROAD NFCCG's. No team had EVER won 4 straight road games. It just seemed like one thing after another. The fates just didn't seem to want it to happen.

Add to that Seattles stubborn refusal to lose games they seemed destined to lose. Houston. St. Louis. Tampa Bay. Taking nothing away from Seattle for winning those games, but we were all just swearing at the TV as either the team they were playing self destructed at the end or Seattle put up a fantastic defensive stand. Bottom Line?

Not. Our. Year.

DESPITE all that, there our boys were just one pass away from another shot at a Lombardi.

Ya know what tho? All that crap is gone now. No "year after" stuff.

So...on to thoughts about next year.


1) Kaepernick: Kap clearly didn't have the season we had hoped he'd have this year. The reasons for that are multiple. First, he didn't have his favorite receiver for most of the season. That was HUGE and you could really see when Crab came back how different Kap was. Second, he always seemed to lose Vernon when they could least afford to lose him. That left Kap with a bunch of substandard players, rookies, and a double or triple covered Anquan Boldin. Third, there were times that the play-calling really didn't help him. He was often in a bad situation and was asked to do something he just wasn't ready to do. I have a higher opinion of Roman than many on this site do and I defend him all the time, but I have to admit there were some real head scratchers at times this year.

Finally, and most importantly, Kap just wasn't as polished a passer as we all thought or hoped. He had some issues with his receivers and play-calling, but he himself is certainly not off the hook by any stretch. The good news to me though is that he seems to know this and will work his a$$ off to improve. For all the media BS about his clothes, or his comments about Sherman or whatever, he's a good kid. He's bright. He's off the charts physically talented. He doesn't rattle regardless of what fans in Seattle might think (and BTW, can we give Kap a break now for the NFCCG after seeing how a guy who threw 55 TDs in the regular season did against them?). There are times that his youth really shows...especially when he's interviewed...but his future is BRIGHT.


2) Draft: God I love the draft. I love it even more when we have 12 picks. Even more because 6 of them are in the first 3 rounds. To put it in perspective, Seattle has 2. The NFL Draft is like Christmas for me. The only part that sucks is that you often don't get to open up your gifts until August. Obviously WR and CB have to be high on the list. I'd also expect a RB (Andre Williams is my draft crush), and even a QB. I'm just mad I have to wait till May now for one of my favorite events of the year.


3) Marcus Lattimore: MAN I can't wait to see this kid play. Who knows if he can be what he was before the injuries. Who knows that he would even be a great player had he NEVER been hurt. I just can't wait to see him TRY. The attitude and work ethic just make me pull for the guy. The fact that he was a stud in the SEC just makes me want to see him more. I don't know how much longer Frank can play, but I suspect it's not much longer (more on that later), but Lattimore seems to have a number of attributes that made Frank great. He will never give up no matter what happens. He has excellent vision. He can get low and drive a pile. I am just really pulling for the kid.


4) Tank Carradine: I am really looking forward to finally seeing him, but I'd be lying if I said I had no concerns about him. It worries me a bit that they activated him, saw him practice, and then deactivated him. It could be that his knee will never be the same. It could be that he was just overrated. It could be that he's a slow learner. It could be that he simply isn't suited to play 3-4 end. It could also be that he was just too far behind with no training camp. It could be that they felt they didn't need to push him with Dobbs and Jerod-Eddie playing well. Who knows...it could be a combination of some of those factors. What I do know is that I'd like to see him play and see if he can be an eventual replacement for Justin. He seems to have all the athletic ability you could ask for and has a great motor. We'll just have to see.


5) Frank: I say this every year, but Frank isn't getting any younger. He had a good season, but we just can't count on him holding off father time...especially when the run game is SOOOO vital to this teams success. It just isn't smart to put all your eggs into a 31 year old RBs baskett. Lattimore will be interesting, but they need to supplimant in the draft as well. As I said before, I love Andre Williams and he might be able to be had for a day 2 or day 3 pick. Dixon will be gone and I have a sneaking suspicion that either Hunter or LMJ will be as well. If I'm betting, it'll be Hunter only because he has only a year left on his contract and they might be able to get a future draft pick for him. LMJ still has 2 years on his rookie deal. I think they know that neither of those guys will be "the guy" when Frank leaves.


6) Navorro: I think Navorro will be back to being the same rolling ball of butcher knives that he was before. I think it will be toward the end of next season though. The 49ers have no reason to rush this. Thats the really nice thing about having TWO All-Pro middle linebackers and 4 LBs capable of making the Pro Bowl. In addition to that, I really like what I saw from Michael Wilhoite when he played for Willis this year. My guess is that Wilhoite, Moody, or Skuta will probably get first crack to play at least the first 6 weeks of the season as the 49ers give Bowman the first 6 weeks to recover and take it week to week thereafter.


7) Crabtree: I can't stress enough how impressed I am with Crab that he tore his achilles in May, worked like a madman, and came back DURING THE REGULAR SEASON. That's just crazy. Moreover, he was effective. There is no way in hell he was 100% out there yet when I watch him play I have real trouble figuring out which leg he injured. Now he'll have the offseason to get that leg just right. I can't wait to see him in week 1 this year. Just hopin' #81, his buddy in crime, will be there with him.


8) Patton: I can't put my finger on it. I can't quite explain exactly why I feel this, but I think this guy is going to be HUGE. He lost most of this season to injuries. He's not real fast and he's not real big, but he's got something. He played so seldom this year that I really don't have any argument to present as "proof" of that, but there is just something about him that makes me think he's going to be something in this league. I love the fact that's he'll be training with Kap in Miami and I like even more that Kap INFORMED him. He didn't ask. LOL. I think Kap may see it too...and I am much happier seeing Kap pal around the offseason with Patton than I was last year with Lockette.


9) Aldon: When Aldon came back, he was a man possessed. I don't know if it was that he was just fresh from not playing? Perhaps not drinking showed you how much better he was than he had been? Perhaps he was motivated to prove a point? Who knows. He faced countless double and triple teams and teams couldn't run at him or eliminate him fro the pass rush. He still has his DUI hanging over him but I think there is a real possibility he faces no suspension because he voluntarily left the team for 5 weeks. As Goodell said when asked last year, they will "absolutely" take into account the fact that he went into treatment. He said that the goal was not to punish players but to change the behavior. Going to treatment and missing 5 games just might eliminate the suspension.

Despite constant double and triple teams, Aldon still produced 12 sacks in 12 starts last year (including playoffs and excluding the first 2 games back where he hardly played). All we can hope is that he can keep himself out of trouble this offseason and comes into next season motivated to break the Single Season sack record.


10) Seattle: Well, they got themselves a ring. It sucks. There is a bit of a silver lining though. The pricetag of a number of their free agents may have just gone way up. There will be players now who got their ring and are less likely to stay "just to get the ring". The downside is that there will me more vet players in free agency who will choose to play for them because THEY don't have a ring. The nature of this league is that when you play well it is almost impossible to keep your team together. Seattle is one of the youngest teams in the league and has ALOT of talented players still playing on rookie contracts. That won't last forever. The common thought is that they are soooo young so they could be on top for a really, really long time. That may be true, but the problem with that reasoning is that no matter how young they are, there will be a time where they simply have to pay the big guys and can't afford the players that are very good and can't fit under the cap.

They have gotten good on the strength of superior drafting, so perhaps they can replenish from the draft just as the 49ers did last year and will do again this year...but the difference right now is firepower...IE, the number of picks to replace the guys you will lose when those sweet rookie deals expire.

Don't get me wrong though. I'm not saying Seattle will fall apart or something. They will be a thorn in our side for a long, long time. They aren't going anywhere anytime soon. All I'm saying is that there is a smal (very small) silver lining.


MAN!! I am pumped for next year!!


PS: #11)....

All that stuff about why the SHOULDN'T have won last year? All gone...and this upcoming Super Bowl will be Super Bowl 49. I mean seriously....how can we NOT make a run for Super Bowl 49? LOL.
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Feb 3, 2014 at 11:26 AM ]
  • iohk
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first time logging in since the NFCG, refreshing to see, really optimistic about the nucleus of this team. good post as usual
Again Marvin .....

Free pass to scheme and coaching. The 49ers are a run-first team and the running game was not effective nor could we rely on it when we needed to. So either we address HOW we run, or we need more talent at the LOS at the type of scheme we're trying to run. In any case, when the 49ers can't run, they tend to lose. I know I'm critical of the passing game, but let's talk about how the 49ers run.

It can't be our year - any year - if the ground game disappears in the post season. The 49ers can't suddenly become primarily passing team in December when they were a running team (albeit over lesser talented squads) during Sept - November.
Originally posted by Marvin49:
...but first a few things about the season just gone by...

Ever since the end of the Super Bowl last year, there was something nagging at me. I never gave it a voice because I didn't really want to validate it, but it was there nonetheless.

2013 wasn't our year. It started for me with the records of teams that lose a Super Bowl. It was made worse by the realization that no team had won a Super Bowl after losing one in over 40 years. A Super Bowl held in the cold of New York (although that seems to be the most overthought story ever). Crab ripping up his Achilles did nothing to remove that nagging feeling. Aldons DUI. Vernon getting hurt. Willis getting hurt. Iupati getting hurt. The Ahmad Brooks Personal Foul. No team had ever won back to back ROAD NFCCG's. No team had EVER won 4 straight road games. It just seemed like one thing after another. The fates just didn't seem to want it to happen.

Add to that Seattles stubborn refusal to lose games they seemed destined to lose. Houston. St. Louis. Tampa Bay. Taking nothing away from Seattle for winning those games, but we were all just swearing at the TV as either the team they were playing self destructed at the end or Seattle put up a fantastic defensive stand. Bottom Line?

Not. Our. Year.

DESPITE all that, there our boys were just one pass away from another shot at a Lombardi.

Ya know what tho? All that crap is gone now. No "year after" stuff.

So...on to thoughts about next year.


1) Kaepernick: Kap clearly didn't have the season we had hoped he'd have this year. The reasons for that are multiple. First, he didn't have his favorite receiver for most of the season. That was HUGE and you could really see when Crab came back how different Kap was. Second, he always seemed to lose Vernon when they could least afford to lose him. That left Kap with a bunch of substandard players, rookies, and a double or triple covered Anquan Boldin. Third, there were times that the play-calling really didn't help him. He was often in a bad situation and was asked to do something he just wasn't ready to do. I have a higher opinion of Roman than many on this site do and I defend him all the time, but I have to admit there were some real head scratchers at times this year.

Finally, and most importantly, Kap just wasn't as polished a passer as we all thought or hoped. He had some issues with his receivers and play-calling, but he himself is certainly not off the hook by any stretch. The good news to me though is that he seems to know this and will work his a$$ off to improve. For all the media BS about his clothes, or his comments about Sherman or whatever, he's a good kid. He's bright. He's off the charts physically talented. He doesn't rattle regardless of what fans in Seattle might think (and BTW, can we give Kap a break now for the NFCCG after seeing how a guy who threw 55 TDs in the regular season did against them?). There are times that his youth really shows...especially when he's interviewed...but his future is BRIGHT.


2) Draft: God I love the draft. I love it even more when we have 12 picks. Even more because 6 of them are in the first 3 rounds. To put it in perspective, Seattle has 2. The NFL Draft is like Christmas for me. The only part that sucks is that you often don't get to open up your gifts intil August. Obviously WR and CB have to be high on the list. I'd also expect a RB (Andre Williams is my draft crush), and even a QB. I'm just mad I have to wait till May now for one of my favorite events of the year.


3) Marcus Lattimore: MAN I can't wait to see this kid play. Who knows if he can be what he was before the injuries. Who knows that he would even be a great player had he NEVER been hurt. I just can't wait to see him TRY. The attitude and work etheic just make me pull for the guy. The fact that he was a stud in the SEC just makes me want to see him more. I don't know how much longer Frank can play, but I suspect it's not much longer (more on that later), but Lattimore seems to have a number of attributes that made Frank great. He will never give up no matter what happens. He has excellent vision. He can get low and drive a pile. I am just really pulling for the kid.


4) Tank Carradine: I am really looking forward to finally seeing him, but I'd be lying if I said I had no concerns about him. It worries me a bit that they activated him, saw him practice, and then deactivated him. It could be that his knee will never be the same. It could be that he was just overrated. It could be that he's a slow learner. It could be that he simply isn't suited to play 3-4 end. It could also be that he was just too far behind with no training camp. It could be that they felt they didn't need to push him with Dobbs and Jerod-Eddie playing well. Who knows...it could be a combination of some of those factors. What I do know is that I'd like to see him play and see if he can be an eventual replacement for Justin. He seems to have all the athletic ability you could ask for and has a great motor. We'll just have to see.


5) Frank: I say this every year, but Frank isn't getting any younger. He had a good season, but we just can't count on him holding off father time...especially when the run game is SOOOO vital to this teams success. It just isn't smart to put all your eggs into a 31 year old RBs baskett. Lattimore will be interesting, but they need to supplimant in the draft as well. As I said before, I love Andre Williams and he might be able to be had for a day 2 or day 3 pick. Dixon will be gone and I have a sneaking suspicion that either Hunter or LMJ will be as well. If I'm betting, it'll be Hunter only because he has only a year left on his contract and they might be able to get a future draft pick for him. LMJ still has 2 years on his rookie deal. I think they know that neither of those guys will be "the guy" when Frank leaves.


6) Navorro: I think Navorro will be back to being the same rolling ball of butcher knives that he was before. I don't think it will be toward the end of next season though. The 49ers have no reason to rush this. Thats the really nice thing about having TWO All-Pro middle linebackers and 4 LBs capable of making the Pro Bowl. In addition to that, I really like what I saw from Michael Wilhoite when he played for Willis this year. My guess is that Wilhoite, Moody, or Skuta will probably get first crack to play at least the first 6 weeks of the season as the 49ers give Bowman the first 6 weeks to recover and take it week to week thereafter.


7) Crabtree: I can't stress enough how impressed I am with Crab that he tore his achilles in May, worked like a madman, and came back DURING THE REGULAR SEASON. That's just crazy. Moreover, he was effective. There is no way in hell he was 100% out there yet when I watch him play I have real trouble figuring out which leg he injured. Now he'll have the offseason to get that leg just right. I can't wait to see him in week 1 this year. Just hopin' #81, his buddy in crime, will be there with him.


8) Patton: I can't put my finger on it. I can't quite explain exactly why I feel this, but I think this guy is going to be HUGE. He lost most of this season to injuries. He's not real fast and he's not real big, but he's got something. He played so seldom this year that I really don't have any argument to present as "proof" of that, but there is just something about him that makes me think he's going to be something in this league. I love the fact that's he'll be training with Kap in Miami and I like even more that Kap INFORMED him. He didn't ask. LOL. I think Kap may see it too...and I am much happier seeing Kap pal around the offseason with Patton than I was last year with Lockette.


9) Aldon: When Aldon came back, he was a man possessed. I don't know if it was that he was just fresh fro not playing? Perhaps not drinking showed you how much better he was than he had been? Perhaps he was motivated to prove a point? Who knows. He faced countless double and triple teams and teams couldn't run at him or eliminate him fro the pass rush. He still has his DUI hanging over him but I think there is a real possibility he faces no suspension because he voluntarily left the team for 5 weeks. As Goodell said when asked last year, they will "absolutely" take into account the fact that he went into treatment. He said that the goal was not to punish players but to change the behavior. Going to treatment and missing 5 games just might eliminate the suspension.

Despite constant dohble and triple teams, Aldon still produced 12 sacks in 12 starts last year (including playoffs and excluding the first 2 games back where he hardly played). All we can hope is that he can keep himself out of trouble this offseason and comes into next season motivated to break the Single Season sack record.


10) Seattle: Well, they got themselves a ring. It sucks. There is a bit of a silver lining though. The pricetag of a number of their free agents may have just gone way up. There will be players now who got their ring and are less likely to stay "just to get the ring". The downside is that there will me more vet players in free agency who will choose to play for them because THEY don't have a ring. The nature of this league is that when you play well it is almost impossible to keep your team together. Seattle is one of the youngest teams in the league and has ALOT of talented players still playing on rookie contracts. That won't last forever. The common thought is that they are soooo young so they could be on top for a really, really long time. That may be true, but the problem with that reasoning is that no matter how young they are, there will be a time where they simply have to pay the big guys and can't afford the players that are very good and can't fit under the cap.

They have gotten good on the strength of superior drafting, so perhaps they can replenish from the draft just as the 49ers did last year and will do again this year...but the difference right now is firepower...IE, the number of picks to replace the guys you will lose when those sweet rookie deals expire.

Don't get me wrong though. I'm not saying Seattle will fall apart or something. They will be a thorn in our side for a long, long time. They aren't going anywhere anytime soon. All I'm saying is that there is a smal (very small) silver lining.


MAN!! I am pumped for next year!!


PS: #11)....

All that stuff about why the SHOULDN'T have won last year? All gone...and this upcoming Super Bowl will be Super Bowl 49. I mean seriously....how can we NOT make a run for Super Bowl 49? LOL.

Nothing to add...great post.
It'll be interesting to see how both Seattle and us handle our free agents. Carroll was voted the coach players would most want to play for. We'll see how that factors in.

This team does have a lot of motivation going into next season. If we don't come out destroying teams, I will be concerned.
Originally posted by socalniner:
It'll be interesting to see how both Seattle and us handle our free agents. Carroll was voted the coach players would most want to play for. We'll see how that factors in.

This team does have a lot of motivation going into next season. If we don't come out destroying teams, I will be concerned.

Yep.
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Again Marvin .....

Free pass to scheme and coaching. The 49ers are a run-first team and the running game was not effective nor could we rely on it when we needed to. So either we address HOW we run, or we need more talent at the LOS at the type of scheme we're trying to run. In any case, when the 49ers can't run, they tend to lose. I know I'm critical of the passing game, but let's talk about how the 49ers run.

It can't be our year - any year - if the ground game disappears in the post season. The 49ers can't suddenly become primarily passing team in December when they were a running team (albeit over lesser talented squads) during Sept - November.

Who said I gave them a free pass? I mentioned it in the Kap section...

...it just didn't happen to be something that was on my mind right now.

As for you issue about run-pass....

The running game isn't just about the Offensive Line. It's not just about scheme. It also has to do with how many defenders are in the box and how good those defenders are. Did the run game (outside of Kap) underperform in the playoffs? Sure it did...but who did we play? Green Bay in -14 tempuratures, the Panthers and the Seahawks. Two of those teams are in the top 3 defenses i the NFL. Do you want to be able to run anyway against those guys? Of course...but I don't see a schematic issue in the run game. In fact, I think in terms of scheming the run Roman is one of the best in the NFL.

The issues they need to resolve are in the passing game...and it isn't just so that we can become a pass first offense. Its so that we can make teams pay when they put 8 or 9 men in the box. Some of that is schematic. Some of that is Kap and some of that is personnel.

I also think this highlights a reason we need to look at the RB position. We can't count on Frank being a monster in January. I love the guy, but it's simply too much to ask for him to carry the load in January when he'll be 31.
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Feb 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM ]
Offense:

It is hard not to stay optimistic with Kaepernick. His upside is still in the clouds but he really needs to clean up a lot of things like clock management and quicker/better decisions. The playclock might not be entirely his fault with late plays... but that stuff where its like 5-4-3 ... and he has no idea is definitely on him. I am expecting the 49ers to go with Gore, Hunter, and Lattimore this year but I really hope the coaching staff doesn't hesitate to demote Gore as the season goes on... keeping this a Gore first offense at his age is akin to keeping Rice as the #1 target with Owens being the better player. I truly believe that Hunter is better than Gore now because of age and maybe even Lattimore will jump ahead both. WR position needs a lot of attention still, right now they basically only have Crabtree and Patton... and that simply will not do. Replacing Goodwin is going to improve the offensive line.

Defense:

The secondary is a bit of a concern. Could very well lose 3 starters in Rogers, Brown, and Whitner. Even if I wasn't always happy with Rogers and Whitner it is going to be extremely tough to replace 3 guys who were that high on the depth chart. The front-7 will still be strong next year but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit concerned about Bowman. I think he will make a full recovery but that might not even be until mid-season.

Special Teams:

Sounds like Dawson will be back.. which is kind of good because he is a solid FG kicker but his old leg is giving opponents shorter fields. Andy Lee is still one of the best so .. yeah. The coverage teams seemed to take a step back this year... hopefully they can fix that for 2014.

Coaching:

Love the continuity. Same HC and Coordinators for years now.. which is so awesome compared to the constant turnover before Harbaugh. Roman and Harbaugh really need to fix the late play submissions to Kaepernick and I want to see a less conservative approach to their play calling. I want to see them stop settling for FGs and stop trying to protect 10 point leads in the 3rd quarter.
Originally posted by Marvin49:
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Again Marvin .....

Free pass to scheme and coaching. The 49ers are a run-first team and the running game was not effective nor could we rely on it when we needed to. So either we address HOW we run, or we need more talent at the LOS at the type of scheme we're trying to run. In any case, when the 49ers can't run, they tend to lose. I know I'm critical of the passing game, but let's talk about how the 49ers run.

It can't be our year - any year - if the ground game disappears in the post season. The 49ers can't suddenly become primarily passing team in December when they were a running team (albeit over lesser talented squads) during Sept - November.

Who said I gave them a free pass? I mentioned it in the Kap section...

...it just didn't happen to be something that was on my mind right now.

As for you issue about run-pass....

The running game isn't just about the Offensive Line. It's not just about scheme. It also has to do with how many defenders are in the box and how good those defenders are. Did the run game (outside of Kap) underperform in the playoffs? Sure it did...but who did we play? Green Bay in -14 tempuratures, the Panthers and the Seahawks. Two of those teams are in the top 3 defenses i the NFL. Do you want to be able to run anyway against those guys? Of course...but I don't see a schematic issue in the run game. In fact, I think in terms of shemeing the run Roman is one of the best in the NFL.

The issues they need to resplve are in the passing game...and it isn't just so that we can become a pass first offense. Its so that we can make teams pay when they put 8 or 9 men in the box. Some of that is schematic. Some of that is Kap and some of that is personel.

I also think this highlights a reason we need to look at the RB position. We can't count on Frank being a monster in January. I love the guy, but it's simply too much to ask for him to carry the load in January when he'll be 31.

I completely agree to an extent. Here's where I don't ....

We just saw our rival do this without a deep threat speedy receiver and they won a championship. I personally think the 49ers are better with their passing game, but we still find ways not to make opponents pay when they do bring extra help in the box. Is it that other teams can do it but we can't? Specifically to Seattle is it because of their CB talent? I agree there's always room to upgrade but I just don't see getting a speedy deep WR as the answer to everything unless it's like a second coming of Randy Moss. Those type of players just don't sit around often. If anything, we'll have to find a day-one ready player like that in FA. I just don't see it.
Players never "stay to just get a ring". It's just things they say to get fans to suck up to them. With or without a super bowl Seattle players want to cash in just like niners players want to cash in. That silver lining applies to all teams. I hope JH and Roman realize that you gotta open the offense up more. More 3 wr sets and less 2 te sets. VD can't be the only speed option on the team. Need a gamebreaker. On defense they need a corner who can actually play up and challenge wr's and not play with cushions all the time. A few tweaks should put them in SB 49. Every year we keep saying we need wr's yet Seattle just won the bowl with a wr corp of bums. Their best wr was hurt all year and did a better job as a running back in the super bowl than he did as a wr. That's good coaching by Seattle more than anything. I mean they got Kearse and Baldwin looking unstoppable.

Dam shame Bowman didn't get any votes for DPOY. Dam shame.
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by Marvin49:
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Again Marvin .....

Free pass to scheme and coaching. The 49ers are a run-first team and the running game was not effective nor could we rely on it when we needed to. So either we address HOW we run, or we need more talent at the LOS at the type of scheme we're trying to run. In any case, when the 49ers can't run, they tend to lose. I know I'm critical of the passing game, but let's talk about how the 49ers run.

It can't be our year - any year - if the ground game disappears in the post season. The 49ers can't suddenly become primarily passing team in December when they were a running team (albeit over lesser talented squads) during Sept - November.

Who said I gave them a free pass? I mentioned it in the Kap section...

...it just didn't happen to be something that was on my mind right now.

As for you issue about run-pass....

The running game isn't just about the Offensive Line. It's not just about scheme. It also has to do with how many defenders are in the box and how good those defenders are. Did the run game (outside of Kap) underperform in the playoffs? Sure it did...but who did we play? Green Bay in -14 tempuratures, the Panthers and the Seahawks. Two of those teams are in the top 3 defenses i the NFL. Do you want to be able to run anyway against those guys? Of course...but I don't see a schematic issue in the run game. In fact, I think in terms of shemeing the run Roman is one of the best in the NFL.

The issues they need to resplve are in the passing game...and it isn't just so that we can become a pass first offense. Its so that we can make teams pay when they put 8 or 9 men in the box. Some of that is schematic. Some of that is Kap and some of that is personel.

I also think this highlights a reason we need to look at the RB position. We can't count on Frank being a monster in January. I love the guy, but it's simply too much to ask for him to carry the load in January when he'll be 31.

I completely agree to an extent. Here's where I don't ....

We just saw our rival do this without a deep threat speedy receiver and they won a championship. I personally think the 49ers are better with their passing game, but we still find ways not to make opponents pay when they do bring extra help in the box. Is it that other teams can do it but we can't? Specifically to Seattle is it because of their CB talent? I agree there's always room to upgrade but I just don't see getting a speedy deep WR as the answer to everything unless it's like a second coming of Randy Moss. Those type of players just don't sit around often. If anything, we'll have to find a day-one ready player like that in FA. I just don't see it.


I don't think the answer is just in a speedy WR either.

I think a good receiver with speed HELPS, but I think the real improvement needs to come from Kap and Roman.

If Crab is healthy, Boldin is on the team, Patton is healthy, AND they can get a good speed receiver...that will all help, but the majority of the improvement has to come from Kap...with his head and with his arm.
Originally posted by lamontb:
Players never "stay to just get a ring". It's just things they say to get fans to suck up to them. With or without a super bowl Seattle players want to cash in just like niners players want to cash in. That silver lining applies to all teams. I hope JH and Roman realize that you gotta open the offense up more. More 3 wr sets and less 2 te sets. VD can't be the only speed option on the team. Need a gamebreaker. On defense they need a corner who can actually play up and challenge wr's and not play with cushions all the time. A few tweaks should put them in SB 49. Every year we keep saying we need wr's yet Seattle just won the bowl with a wr corp of bums. Their best wr was hurt all year and did a better job as a running back in the super bowl than he did as a wr. That's good coaching by Seattle more than anything. I mean they got Kearse and Baldwin looking unstoppable.

Dam shame Bowman didn't get any votes for DPOY. Dam shame.

Well, my point is just that the pricetag on a number of these players just went even higher. They won't be able to keep them all. If any were interested in a hometown discount for a bit less money, that became less likely because they got a ring already.

Its not that big a silver lining, but it's something. That team is going to be a pain in the a$$ for years.
The Brooks penalty was not an act of fate, it was a NFL employee stating "because I say so"....but I get the spirit of the post.
I have a creeping feeling that Sherman will hold out this off season, and IMO he is a fool if he does not. He's playing for pennies given his production and this teams success. He got injured at the end of a blow out in the Super Bowl, his agent has to be grinding him about this already. If Revis is making 13 mill, Sherman can easily ask for 15. Wilson is a fool if he accepts anything less than 15 mill, Thomas should get about 10 mill if not more, and then guys like Baldwin and Tate could easily go from under a mill to 3-5 a season. Not to mention Mike Bennett who should take no less than 10 mill as a nasty pass rusher. Harvin escelates to a 13 mill cap hit this season. Their kicker was only 600k when he could easily ask for 2-3 mill. In the end I see them being like the Packers, Saints, go their ring and will drop down to a contender but not cream of the crop due to cap issues.
Originally posted by 24plus25er:
I have a creeping feeling that Sherman will hold out this off season, and IMO he is a fool if he does not. He's playing for pennies given his production and this teams success. He got injured at the end of a blow out in the Super Bowl, his agent has to be grinding him about this already. If Revis is making 13 mill, Sherman can easily ask for 15. Wilson is a fool if he accepts anything less than 15 mill, Thomas should get about 10 mill if not more, and then guys like Baldwin and Tate could easily go from under a mill to 3-5 a season. Not to mention Mike Bennett who should take no less than 10 mill as a nasty pass rusher. Harvin escelates to a 13 mill cap hit this season. Their kicker was only 600k when he could easily ask for 2-3 mill. In the end I see them being like the Packers, Saints, go their ring and will drop down to a contender but not cream of the crop due to cap issues.
You didn't even mention Earl Thomas. That kid is a stud like Ed Reed in his prime.

Paying Thomas, Sherman, Wilson, Harvin and Okung big bucks will definitely cost them some of their excellent depth.