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How badly are the 49ers missing Mike McDaniel? Are the Super Bowl wheels falling off? 49ers Webzone Mailbag

Marc Adams
Sep 14, 2022 at 12:34 PM--

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49ers Twitter and Facebook are melting down. All it took was one ugly loss, and many fans have already turned on the coaching staff, and the young quarterback, while declaring the season over. It's funny and annoying altogether. It's also way too early for any of that.

This week, considering the frustration that many fans were experiencing, we decided to not only answer questions in this mailbag, but also give fans the chance to vent. Several did. But we only have room for so many.

So here we go. Let's get to the mailbag.

Does it seem that when the defense crumbles it's because of a needless penalty by Greenlaw? How many more are acceptable before a change is made? - Niner Jim

The defense was dominant in the first half. And for the most part, they were dominant in the second half. But there were a few horrible penalties that allowed the Bears to stay on the field, and a couple of broken coverages that allowed Chicago to score 14 points.

As for Dre Greenlaw, he was guilty of a couple of penalties. One should not have been called. That was the unnecessary roughness penalty when Justin Fields went out of bounds. On the replay, it's easy to see that Greenlaw barely even touched Fields. That was a bad call.

One of the things that makes Greenlaw such a difference-maker is the way he flies around the field so recklessly. But that style will lead to some bad plays, namely penalties.

But I wouldn't put the collapse only on Greenlaw. He was one of the perpetrators, but there were others, as well.

How badly is SF missing Mike McDaniel based on the playing calling yesterday? - 49er Dude

Only time will tell how much Mike McDaniel meant to Kyle Shanahan. McDaniel is considered an offensive wizard. Certainly, if we base everything off of week one, when Shanahan's team looked terrible, and McDaniel's team looked great, then it would appear the 49ers missed McDaniel yesterday. But let's wait and see how the season progresses.

Do I wish the 49ers still had the Dolphins coach? Yes, I do. I think he's going to do very well.

It sure looked like McDaniel was the brains behind the operation the last few years. Absolutely atrocious gameplan from Shanahan. Mistakes, penalties, etc were ultimately the demise, but SF should have had over 20 in the 1st half before the ugliness. - KCarps

A lot of questions and statements about McDaniel this week. And yes, the 49ers missed some golden opportunities. But it's been one game, and as I mentioned in the previous question, let's wait and see how the loss of McDaniel affects the offense.

Why no Jordan Mason? - Chris Wahl

Good question, Chris. I was wondering the same thing. Once Elijah Mitchell, who looked really good, went down, Jeff Wilson, Jr. entered, and did not look good. I would have liked to see Jordan Mason, but he was a rookie playing in his very first game. Maybe Shanahan didn't trust him to carry the load, especially in those conditions (wet field, rain, wet ball).

Hopefully, we'll see plenty of Mason this week.

Need to stop the penalties that are what killed us! Not worried about Trey, for I know he will get better and learn from his missed opportunities! I am okay with him playing and growing for that's how you learn by playing! - Deena Marie

I agree, Deena. The penalties are a problem. Remember, the 49ers were the 3rd most penalized team in the NFL last season. Last Sunday, every touchdown the Bears scored came after the defense committed a penalty in which they had stopped the offense on 3rd down, allowing those drives to continue. It's no wonder they lost to a team they should have beaten convincingly.

The front office has created a super unnecessary and distracting soap opera. This season's wheels may fall off sooner than you think. Super Bowl caliber, I keep hearing. Right. - Gazza

It's been one week. I don't think the wheels are falling off. And I don't think the front office has created a soap opera.

Last season the 49ers were losing games at a faster clip than we expected, and people were jumping ship. Fans wanted Shanahan fired, John Lynch ran out of town, and every player on the team to be cut. Then they turned it around and came within one quarter of going back to the Super Bowl.

I think they'll be ok.

Is Trey's timing being off with his WRs going to take time to build a rapport, or is it the elite just know how to get it done like the chargers QB? - Eric Seibel

It takes time for any quarterback to get on the same page as his receivers. Especially one that is learning to play in the NFL. But yes, some can build that connection sooner. Usually, those are more experienced quarterbacks. Then there are some, like Justin Herbert, who can do that quickly. And even some of those experienced players need time early in the season to build that chemistry.

So much for this team to be ready for title contention. Not even close! - Fernando Ortiz

It's been one game, Fernando. This team will be fine. Breathe!

The overreactions are hilarious to me. Let's see how Trey plays in normal weather. Those conditions were the worst possible when trying to build confidence in a young QB. - Steve Latour

Well, as I mentioned at the beginning, some overreactions are funny to me, and some are annoying. Either way, I agree with you, Steve. We have to wait and see how Trey plays. And not even this week. We need to wait and see how he progresses this season.

What do you make of the reports saying there are prominent players inside the locker room who want the better QB (Garoppolo) to start? - Adrian Agwire

I have not heard that any 49ers players, much less prominent players want Jimmy Garoppolo to start, but hat's not saying there aren't some who do. He led them to the Super Bowl and a second NFC Championship Game. They trust him. They know what they're getting with him.

But would Garoppolo have been any better in the rain than Lance was on Sunday? All we have to do is look at the tape from 2019 in Washington, and last season against Indianapolis to see that he likely would not have been any better.

Lance missed some plays. But he didn't commit 12 penalties. He didn't fumble inside the red zone. This was a team loss.

Again, I'm not saying there aren't some players who still prefer Garoppolo. I've just not heard any reports.

Why does every time we get a lead, Kyle takes his foot off the gas and plays not to lose? - Tony Velazquez

Tony, I've been complaining about this since Super Bowl LIV. I even wrote about it back in June. The creativity, play-action, and misdirection that Shanahan uses in the first half seems to disappear in the 4th quarter when the 49ers are trying to protect a lead. If the team played, and the coach coached, late in the game as they do early in the game, they would be very hard to beat. But the play-calling does seem to change. Shanahan becomes safer with his calls. And we've seen how well that works.

Why is the Niners' offense still struggling after all these years with the same offensive-minded Head Coach? They've lost coaches and players. But Kyle is the genius. - Eddie Sr.

You answered your own question. They have lost players and coaches. There has been turnover throughout the years that has caused a lot of players to be in and out.

One reason is injuries. Garoppolo missed a lot of time and had multiple backups take snaps in his absence. Running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers have all missed time due to injuries.

And let's not forget the fact that they still haven't (for certain) found their franchise quarterback. The 49ers think they have him in Lance. But that remains to be seen. So that creates instability, as well. Until they find their next Joe Montana/Steve Young, the struggles may continue. And that's not to say that player has to be a Hall of Famer. He just needs to be a QB who can carry the team on his back and lead them to wins.

Last year the use of Deebo caught a lot of teams by surprise. This year with lots of game film available, the impact might be lessened. Despite the TD yesterday, has this concept been figured out and maybe should be used less frequently? - Niner Jim

I don't think so. When Samuel is lined up in the backfield, everyone knows he's getting the ball. And they still can't tackle him. Shanahan needs to continue to be creative, but as long as he's healthy, Samuel is a weapon, and is likely the best running back on the team.

Should've taken Fields at 15. - Ryan Mitchell

Fields is better than Lance at one thing—running with the ball in his hands. Fields is elite at that. He looks faster than everyone chasing him. Meanwhile, Lance looks decent, but he doesn't have the speed Fields has.

Other than that, it's way too early to proclaim Fields is better than Lance.

Thanks for your questions and statements. We'll be back next Monday to open the mailbag. Hopefully, we'll all be celebrating a win.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

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