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Preseason Week 4 - 2014: Thoughts after rewatching the game...

1) QB: Gabbert/Johnson. Yeah, so....Kap isn't allowed to get hurt. Niners are going to have to bite the bullet next year and draft someone. They keep trying to get away with bandaids thinking they can turn on of these guys around like the did with Alex, but Alex had something going for him that McCoy and Gabbert don't...He had already been through the fire and was in the rebound before Harbaugh got his hands on him. Johnson looked good in his time out there, but does anyone actually think he could start a game? I don't.


2) Tank: Didn't get a sack and looked a bit lost one the one play where he thought the ball had been thrown, but he is consistently putting pressure on the QB from inside. That's huge. Hit the QB on several occasions. Nice to see.


3) Borland: Getting better and better...tho the lack of speed was on full display on the return. LOL. Still, very instinctive play and a player who looks much quicker than fast.


4) McCray: I think he just played himself into a roster spot...and I think CJ Spillmans time in SF is done. McCray is younger and might be able to provide some depth at Safety.


5) Osgood: I really like him as a Special Teamer, but I think the only way he makes the team is if the Niners keep 7 WRs...and they won't. Crab, Boldin, Johnson, Lloyd, Ellington, Patton. I don't think any of those guys is worth letting go to keep Osgood...and I say that as a guy who likes him.


6) Ellington: I'm still not as in love with the guy as some on this site are, but he seems to be a much better option as a kick and punt returner than James. Less dancing, just gets up the field....I think he's going to be returning kicks. That brings me to....


7) James: Call me crazy, but is LaMichael in danger of getting cut? He had a few good games, but right now he isn't the best returner and he's the third RB. Would the Niners be that much worse off if they let him walk and kept Smith or Winston? I'm not arguing one way or the other though, but I'm having trouble seeing where the value is of having him on the active roster....or even the team right now. Gore is your starter, Hyde an unquestions #2 back, Lattimore coming back at some point and Smith can do more on ST and even played a little FB last night. Maybe I'm reaching....dunno.


8) Looney: I don't think Boone is getting his job back anytime soon. Again, call me crazy, but Looney is playing well at multiple positions. Boones leverage is evaporating and right now he's at risk of losing an entire seasons pay. Even if he reports, he won't be ready to play. He's making a HUGE mistake right now. My guess is he eventually reports but is really nothing more than midseason depth or he gets traded.


9) Chase Thomas: Gotta keep this guy somehow. Tons of potential...would he make it through waivers?


10) No. More. Preseason: FINALLY. In just 10 days or so we can begin to erase the memory of the NFCCG.
I'm going to have to disagree with you on Ellington. Leading all receivers in preseason, to me he's shown that he can definitely play receiver at this level. He runs crisp routes, he's got wicked speed and he catches almost everything.

Totally agree on Looney - he brings a dimension to the position in which Boone is not at his best - pulling for the run block - I think Looney does it a lot better. And the fact that Looney can play center is huge. But having not one, but two guards who can pull in different directions is going to help the running game. I don't see how it couldn't.
As always, great analysis. Some thoughts ....

Chase Thomas has done nothing but shine in every opportunity he's been given. I'm curious to see how the team decides to hide him.

Looney looks better and better through each game. If he continues on this trajectory, he'll be one of the better linemen on the team.

Kilgore still looks very average to me in terms of power/strength.

Ellington is just a natural player with one thing this team lacks: speed.

CJ Spillman; what happened to you my dude?

Tank is playing like a rookie as he should; this is truly his "first" year and very much agree with your analysis.
* I disagree on Osgood. I think we are more likely to cut or trade Lloyd and then bring them back after week one.

* I don't know if we've seen enough on McCray, but if they keep another safety, I wouldn't be surprised if it was him.

* Thomas has certainly looked good. I don't know if we can keep him, but don't know if he'll make it through waivers.

* On James.. he has looked dreadful. Alfonso Smith has ST ability and frankly has been a better runner. I'd trade James if we could.

* Ellington: Disagree on Ellington. He's made a more plays and done "little" things that I don't think some people even notice.

* Looney I think is the obvious backup C right now until Martin is healthy. Would not be surprised to see him there if Kilgore wasn't getting it done.
.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Aug 29, 2014 at 9:05 AM ]
9) Chase Thomas: Gotta keep this guy somehow. Tons of potential...would he make it through waivers
Dat white chocolate
Originally posted by Marvin49:
1) QB: Gabbert/Johnson. Yeah, so....Kap isn't allowed to get hurt. Niners are going to have to bite the bullet next year and draft someone. They keep trying to get away with bandaids thinking they can turn on of these guys around like the did with Alex, but Alex had something going for him that McCoy and Gabbert don't...He had already been through the fire and was in the rebound before Harbaugh got his hands on him. Johnson looked good in his time out there, but does anyone actually think he could start a game? I don't.


2) Tank: Didn't get a sack and looked a bit lost one the one play where he thought the ball had been thrown, but he is consistently putting pressure on the QB from inside. That's huge. Hit the QB on several occasions. Nice to see.


3) Borland: Getting better and better...tho the lack of speed was on full display on the return. LOL. Still, very instinctive play and a player who looks much quicker than fast.


4) McCray: I think he just played himself into a roster spot...and I think CJ Spillmans time in SF is done. McCray is younger and might be able to provide some depth at Safety.


5) Osgood: I really like him as a Special Teamer, but I think the only way he makes the team is if the Niners keep 7 WRs...and they won't. Crab, Boldin, Johnson, Lloyd, Ellington, Patton. I don't think any of those guys is worth letting go to keep Osgood...and I say that as a guy who likes him.


6) Ellington: I'm still not as in love with the guy as some on this site are, but he seems to be a much better option as a kick and punt returner than James. Less dancing, just gets up the field....I think he's going to be returning kicks. That brings me to....


7) James: Call me crazy, but is LaMichael in danger of getting cut? He had a few good games, but right now he isn't the best returner and he's the third RB. Would the Niners be that much worse off if they let him walk and kept Smith or Winston? I'm not arguing one way or the other though, but I'm having trouble seeing where the value is of having him on the active roster....or even the team right now. Gore is your starter, Hyde an unquestions #2 back, Lattimore coming back at some point and Smith can do more on ST and even played a little FB last night. Maybe I'm reaching....dunno.


8) Looney: I don't think Boone is getting his job back anytime soon. Again, call me crazy, but Looney is playing well at multiple positions. Boones leverage is evaporating and right now he's at risk of losing an entire seasons pay. Even if he reports, he won't be ready to play. He's making a HUGE mistake right now. My guess is he eventually reports but is really nothing more than midseason depth or he gets traded.


9) Chase Thomas: Gotta keep this guy somehow. Tons of potential...would he make it through waivers?


10) No. More. Preseason: FINALLY. In just 10 days or so we can begin to erase the memory of the NFCCG.

Nice read, as always, Marvin.

I agree with some of what you say, but not all of it.

I think Johnson COULD be a starting QB, and I think he thinks so as well. And I think that's the reason they will cut him this year, . . . so he can try to find a starting job with another team (Rams?). I think he and Harbs have an understanding about this, and it was the reason JJ was cut two years ago, even though he outplayed Tolzien back then as well. JJ's not ready to just stand around and hold the clipboard, he wants to start, and is not gonna beat out Kap. So he moves on. Just my guess, but it explains what happened two years ago, and a reason why he might not stick around this season.

Ellington looks great, as a returner and as a WR. He makes James expendable, and Lloyd as well, IMHO.

Osgood is a great ST player, and the only guy capable of blocking a kick when needed. And he's very underrated as a WR. He not only makes the 53, but he's active for every game. I'd keep him over Lloyd, and even over Patton, if necessary.

Looney--showcased his ability as a center last night. If Boone decides to wise up and end his ill advised holdout, he might win back his RG spot, but if he does, I'd move Looney to Center. He's much stouter in the middle, and appears capable of handling the snaps and calls. That would be a great OL (assuming Iupati shapes up.)
[ Edited by oldninerdude on Aug 29, 2014 at 12:17 PM ]
The Niners have 5 clones at WR: Crab, Boldin, S. Johnson, Lloyd and Patton. Ellington and LMJ offer speed. If Roman and Harbaugh were truthful in suggesting that the offense would open up, then that change would have to center around Ellington and LMJ. My guess is that this change will not occur. The only change will be instead of two guys going out for 8-yard routes, we'll more occasionally have three guys cloning 8-yard routes. But the way LMJ was used running between the tackles, I don't think Roman/Harbaugh have much interest in speed concepts.
Originally posted by Marvin49:
1) QB: Gabbert/Johnson. Yeah, so....Kap isn't allowed to get hurt. Niners are going to have to bite the bullet next year and draft someone. They keep trying to get away with bandaids thinking they can turn on of these guys around like the did with Alex, but Alex had something going for him that McCoy and Gabbert don't...He had already been through the fire and was in the rebound before Harbaugh got his hands on him. Johnson looked good in his time out there, but does anyone actually think he could start a game? I don't.

Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Nice read, as always, Marvin.

I agree with some of what you say, but not all of it.

I think Johnson COULD be a starting QB, and I think he thinks so as well. And I think that's the reason they will cut him this year, . . . so he can try to find a starting job with another team (Rams?). I think he and Harbs have an understanding about this, and it was the reason JJ was cut last year, even though he outplayed McCoy back then as well. JJ's not ready to just stand around and hold the clipboard, he wants to start, and is not gonna beat out Kap. So he moves on. Just my guess, but it explains what happened last year, and a reason why he might not stick around this season.

Ellington looks great, as a returner and as a WR. He makes James expendable, and Lloyd as well, IMHO.

Osgood is a great ST player, and the only guy capable of blocking a kick when needed. And he's very underrated as a WR. He not only makes the 53, but he's active for every game. I'd keep him over Lloyd, and even over Patton, if necessary.

Looney--showcased his ability as a center last night. If Boone decides to wise up and end his ill advised holdout, he might win back his RG spot, but if he does, I'd move Looney to Center. He's much stouter in the middle, and appears capable of handling the snaps and calls. That would be a great OL (assuming Iupati shapes up.)

Great take on JJ! Love it...

Obviously agree 100% on the rest!
We have a lot of young players really stepping up and showing things this pre-season and that's reason alone to be excited about the present and future of this organization. LJ McCray has shown really well to the point Spillman might actually be cut; if nothing else than to save some cash. RB depth on this power running team seems larger than ever, the WR situation is as good as its ever going to get (short of starting a hall of famer like Rice). Most importantly, the young guys they've brought in to handle the pass rushing duties are all looking very good. The future appears bright, my friends.

I disagree with a lot of you on Johnson. What I liken JJ to is the same as that "AAAA" baseball player. That is, he's a player who shines against lesser competition but just can't put it together when the competition gets to its highest level. Maybe when defenses play vanilla the guy looks like a monster, but he can't handle the complex stuff? I dunno...he produces at a rate just a notch below what you need at the NFL level despite his off the charts physical abilities.
[ Edited by bzborow1 on Aug 29, 2014 at 9:59 AM ]
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
* I disagree on Osgood. I think we are more likely to cut or trade Lloyd and then bring them back after week one.

This. Lloyd has what, played like 5 snaps the entire preseason and has been injured most of the time. I think Osgood retains his spot on the roster because he's simply one of, if not the most effective special teams players on the 49ers.
Originally posted by bzborow1:
We have a lot of young players really stepping up and showing things this pre-season and that's reason alone to be excited about the present and future of this organization. LJ McCray has shown really well to the point Spillman might actually be cut; if nothing else than to save some cash. RB depth on this power running team seems larger than ever, the WR situation is as good as its ever going to get (short of starting a hall of famer like Rice). Most importantly, the young guys they've brought in to handle the pass rushing duties are all looking very good. The future appears bright, my friends.

I disagree with a lot of you on Johnson. What I liken JJ to is the same as that "AAAA" baseball player. That is, he's a player who shines against lesser competition but just can't put it together when the competition gets to its highest level. Maybe when defenses play vanilla the guy looks like a monster, but he can't handle the complex stuff? I dunno...he produces at a rate just a notch below what you need at the NFL level despite his off the charts physical abilities.


Johnson is a great QB to have if you need to face 2nd or 3rd stringers. People get all hyped up about him but I see a guy who's a #3 NFL QB at best. Decent talent, knows the system very well but if the 49ers have to count on him in games that matter against teams fully scheming on defense....they're f**ked anyways. I could easily see him starting for a team like Houston, but it would be a temporary promotion at best.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Aug 29, 2014 at 10:09 AM ]
Originally posted by Paul_Hofer:
The Niners have 5 clones at WR: Crab, Boldin, S. Johnson, Lloyd and Patton. Ellington and LMJ offer speed. If Roman and Harbaugh were truthful in suggesting that the offense would open up, then that change would have to center around Ellington and LMJ. My guess is that this change will not occur. The only change will be instead of two guys going out for 8-yard routes, we'll more occasionally have three guys cloning 8-yard routes. But the way LMJ was used running between the tackles, I don't think Roman/Harbaugh have much interest in speed concepts.
Sorry but Crabs and Boldin are more kind of possession WR with good but certainly not elite-speed. No comparison to Johnson or Ellington.
Thus, we don't have 5 CLONES there.
Originally posted by Marvin49:
8) Looney: I don't think Boone is getting his job back anytime soon. Again, call me crazy, but Looney is playing well at multiple positions. Boones leverage is evaporating and right now he's at risk of losing an entire seasons pay. Even if he reports, he won't be ready to play. He's making a HUGE mistake right now. My guess is he eventually reports but is really nothing more than midseason depth or he gets traded.

With as poor as Iupati has been playing this pre-season I would hope to keep Boone to move him to LG in 2015, with Looney staying at RG.