1,802 articles listed
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    July 14, 2018 at 9:23 PM
    The days between the Super Bowl's final gun and the start of training camp are filled with a multitude of emotions: sadness, denial, anger, excitement, loathing, and confusion. My patience for win-loss speculation, especially in the middle of April, quickly wears thin. Now, the NFL is so hungry to stay relevant that it has resorted to airing flag football games and making World Cup line-ups with current NFL players. Rejoice, Gentle Reader! The humid, scorched air of July is upon us; the lack of substance has reached its crest and is subsiding. In fewer than two weeks, the San Francisco 49ers open training camp and we can prepare ourselves for six months of football. If you're still looking for a few reasons to be excited for the start of the 2018...
  • By John Memolo
    July 8, 2018 at 8:40 AM
    In a recent article, Sports Illustrated gave the San Francisco 49ers a "B" offseason grade. Proponents of the moves made by 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan cite re-signing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a five-year, $137.5 million deal, Garoppolo having an entire offseason to grow within Shanahan's offensive system, and free agent additions such as All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, as reasons the 49ers are poised to potentially make a playoff run during the 2018 season. Critics of the 49ers' offseason approach usually point to perceived reaches for their top picks in the NFL draft, for players like wide receiver Dante Pettis (44th pick overall) and offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey (9th pick overall), to go along with ho-hum additions to the...
  • By Richard Madrid
    July 7, 2018 at 10:24 AM
    This is part two in a two part series examining Jerick McKinnon's potential fit in the 49ers offense. Part one examined scheme fit in the running game. Part two will examine scheme fit the in the passing game. In part one of this series on 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon, we examined his potential scheme fit in the offense and how head coach Kyle Shanahan could possibly use him in the running game. Today we look at the ways we can expect Shanahan to scheme him open in the passing game. McKinnon amassed 984 receiving yards on 142 receptions through his first four years in the league. The 25 year-old running back also has five receiving touchdowns. Per...
  • By Peter Panacy
    June 26, 2018 at 1:30 PM
    Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey doesn't think San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo belongs on the NFL's Top 100 list entering 2018. And after clarifying his stance, Ramsey sounds more contradictory than anything else. If it were up to Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo wouldn't be on NFL Network's top-100 list heading into the 2018 season. Here's what Ramsey told NFL Network's Kurt Warner and Michael Irvin (h/t NFL.com's Herbie Teope): Not yet, not yet. What he play -- five games? He has good...
  • By Justin Wong
    June 26, 2018 at 12:45 PM
    After the Webzone's recent roundtable discussion about the 49ers' 2018 Breakout Candidates, it comes as no surprise that others view 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman in a similar fashion. 49ers Webzone's TJ Bice picked Sherman as his top breakout candidate: But I think perhaps an even a bigger reason Sherman is going to have a breakout year: the dude has a chip on his shoulder the size of Mount Rainier after being released. I can't remember a player--in any sport, not just the NFL--who is more self-motivated by sleights (real or perceived) than Richard Sherman. NFL.com journalist Adam Schein recently posted his assessment on the...
  • By Chaz Inouye
    June 25, 2018 at 12:46 PM
    The 49ers had a lot riding on the 2017 NFL Draft. It was the first ever draft for new GM John Lynch and the beginning of a massive rebuilding project. On the bright side, the 49ers were set up nicely in the 2017 Draft through previous trade and compensation picks. Out of ten total picks, the 2017 draft class produced six projected starters for 2018. Lynch selected Solomon Thomas as the third overall pick after trading down one spot with the Chicago Bears. After selecting Thomas, the 49ers chose four other players who are projected to start in 2018: LB Reuben Foster, CB Akhello Witherspoon, TE George Kittle and FS Adrian Colbert. Slot WR Trent Taylor could also be included as a sixth starter with the 49ers' offense often using 3 WR sets. Here's a quick look at...
  • By Peter Panacy
    June 23, 2018 at 1:46 PM
    The San Francisco 49ers inked offensive guard Laken Tomlinson to a three-year extension, which casts a major shadow on fellow guard Joshua Garnett's projected role with the team in 2018. Offensive guard was a bit of a question mark for the San Francisco 49ers this offseason. After changing out the center and right tackle spots -- signing Weston Richburg and drafting Mike McGlinchey, respectively -- the Niners were going to employ something of a three-way competition for two guard spots. Those names, Laken Tomlinson, Jonathan Cooper and Joshua Garnett, were seen as the main candidates for starting jobs. San Francisco's intentions were made a bit clearer last Friday, as the team inked Tomlinson to a...
  • By TJ Bice
    June 21, 2018 at 8:44 PM
    The sophomore season for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan should go much smoother than their first season. For one, they certainly won't be turning over the roster as much as last year. Last year was all about finding the right players to fit in Shanahan's scheme, which meant there were a lot of players from the old regimes who were either cut or not resigned. This lead to a lot of rookies--especially later round picks--getting an unusually early chance to see the field. In fact, the 49ers had a total of 17 rookies playing offense and defense throughout the 2017 season. And according to Pro Football Focus, 49er rookies combined for 5,033 snaps during the regular season--more than any other team in the league by far. In other words, the new kids got a chance to play. But which rookie from the...
  • By Richard Madrid
    June 21, 2018 at 8:28 PM
    This is the first part of a two-series on running back Jerick McKinnon and his potential fit in the 49ers offense. The first part examines his ability in the running game. Part two will examine his role in the passing game. The 49ers signed running back Jerick McKinnon to a four-year contract this offseason after electing to not re-sign Carlos Hyde. The deal surprised a number of people, especially...
  • By Site Staff
    June 21, 2018 at 4:44 PM
    The 49ers Webzone staff takes a stab at predicting the San Francisco 49ers' breakout player for 2018. Who will be that San Francisco 49ers player to elevate his game in 2018? We asked that question to our staff of writers and received numerous answers. There was just one limitation: quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was not an option it could name. Below are the responses from our writers, in alphabetical order by the potential breakout player's name. Kendrick Bourne Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne is my choice for breakout player. The experience he gained from last season, a good offseason, and getting bigger and stronger will lead to success in 2018. Bourne has also been working on his mental game with film study and perfecting his route...
  • By Vincent M. Wu
    June 18, 2018 at 9:36 PM
    Much fan concern revolves around the state of the 49ers defense going into next season, particularly regarding a pass defense that finished 22nd last season, with the team's 30 sacks landing them in the bottom quarter of the league. Those observing the team are likely also unimpressed with the personnel changes the team made in the offseason, signing Jeremiah Attaochu, he of 10 career sacks over a four-year career, and cutting team sack leader Elvis Dumervil. Sure, there are arguments to be made that young players on the team such as Cassius Marsh or Eli Harold still have the potential to break out, but the bottom line is that the team has not experienced any huge infusion of new talent at edge rusher. However, there are other reasons to believe that the 49ers pass rush can...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    June 15, 2018 at 1:32 PM
    The evolution of football has always been intriguing. What's old, like a veer run, can get a fresh coat of polish and a place in 21st-century professional football playbook. The elements and scheme of a play may remain the same, but players and positions are always in a state of metamorphosis. The days of a slow quarterback with little ability to rush have died a slow death. The fullback is almost non-existent in most offenses, and a shorter slot receiver running slant and choice routes is all the rage. During the 1980s and 1990s, tight ends were lighter tackles who could catch. Today, tight ends have taken on a new look, and a new role as offenses spread out and push the ball vertically with higher frequency. NFL head coaches and offensive...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    June 9, 2018 at 8:38 AM
    The 2018 San Francisco 49ers have a strong first squad of linebackers coming into mini-camp, and the battle for the reserve unit should be entertaining during the preseason. Indeed, the 49ers need two things from their linebackers: 1. An injury-free season. Last year, veteran linebacker Malcolm Smith was injured early in training camp. Rookie Reuben Foster missed four games due to an ankle injury he received in Week 1, and two games due to an injured rib. Other linebackers who missed games due to injury were Dekoda Watson, Pita Taumoepenu, Donavin Newsom (released on April 30, 2018) and Jimmie Gilbert (also released on April 30, 2018). 2. Greater depth for the second squad. I went through at least four different...
  • By AJ Bolino
    June 5, 2018 at 11:34 AM
    January 10, 1982. It was a Sunday, the NFL playoffs were in full swing, and my grandparents' house was buzzing, as it did every Sunday during football season. The air was thick with the smell of garlic and fresh tomato sauce, the antipasto was on the table, and the family was huddled in the living room, watching history unfold. The skinny kid from Notre Dame (what my grandfather always called him) and his band of castoffs had gone toe-to-toe with the Dallas Cowboys, but they were trailing, 21-27. The 49ers had marched 83 yards to the Cowboys' 6-yard line. There were 58 seconds left in the game. The 49ers' Cinderella season had all come down to this: third down and three yards to go against "America's Team." Montana took the snap, rolled out to his right, calmly...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    June 1, 2018 at 8:22 AM
    There are few certainties or locks for any player to make the 2018 San Francisco 49ers roster. The running back cadre for the 49ers is a notable exception, as even in early June it is clear who will make the 53-man roster. That is unless something weird happens between today and the start of training camp. Running Back Jerick McKinnon Matt Breida Raheem Mostert Fullback Kyle Juszczyk Since the 2014 season, 49er running backs have not had an offensive line that creates clear running lanes. The 2017 season saw the 49ers rush attack finish 21st in the NFL. The team was ninth in rushing touchdowns (15 rush TDs) and 15th in yards per rush attempt (4.1...
  • By D.C. Owens
    May 29, 2018 at 6:45 AM
    What the offense giveth the defense taketh away. That homily may come to define the 49ers' 2018 season. After all, with kickers in place, returners now abundant, and several swift backups added this offseason, the special teams might excel. And I've already hinted, in part one, at how the offense could improve. But, ah, the defense, with its best linebacker in legal spin-cycles, its most proven cornerback compromised by an aching Achilles, and nary a consistent edge rusher in sight. What possible fun might even the most faithful fan derive by rooting for such a ramshackle outfit? Well, to start, Americans traditionally like to root for the underdog, and, going into the season, the Niners' defensive squad lies somewhere beneath the underdog, with consensus expectations way...
  • By D.C. Owens
    May 23, 2018 at 9:58 AM
    The 49ers slid into the 2018 draft poised, according to consensuses, to select with their first pick either an edge rusher, a cornerback, or a possible replacement for linebacker Reuben Foster. All defense. Instead, they settled on an offensive tackle. Then, they traded up in the second round to take a wide receiver. What's going on with these goofballs? And what do their off-season decisions bode for the kind of football we might see on the field this fall? Like it or not, all ye faithful, the 49ers have embarked on yet another five-year plan. Five years, because that's how long the remaining contracts of Shanahan/Lynch last. Five years, because Jimmy G's new contract now correlates with theirs. Five years, because any longer would overly try Mr. York's patience. Lynchahan...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    May 20, 2018 at 1:00 PM
    Late yesterday evening, I was scratching notes together for a look at the interior defensive linemen. My list of trench warriors for the San Francisco 49ers isn't shocking, but we'll get into the specifics of the position group later. When I jotted down veteran Arik Armstead's name, I took a brief pause and asked the Great Magnet, "How does he fit on the defensive line this year?" We know the 49ers lack a real star at the edge position. Armstead, who played 236 snaps as an edge defender in 2017, has not been a roaring success. Further, the team does not have an edge player on today's roster who could be considered a diamond in the rough. I have faith that general manager John Lynch tried to find a player to dominate the end of the line; nobody can...
  • By Richard Madrid
    May 11, 2018 at 5:54 PM
    This is part 5 in a 5-part series examining quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's 5 game stretch in 2017 that will examine some troubling trends in the quarterback's performance. Parts 1-4 are linked at the bottom of the article. In the first four articles of this series, we spent a great deal of time examining all the things Jimmy Garoppolo does well. His accuracy, decision making, third down efficiency, and poise under pressure and against the blitz are borderline elite for a quarterback who's started just seven games in four years. However, no examination of a quarterback would be complete without highlighting the areas he needs to improve. There are not many but they are enough to cause some concern going into the 2018 season. Quarterback evaluations are...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    May 11, 2018 at 10:31 AM
    The 2018 NFL season formally started on March 14, 2018, though the day following the NFL Draft feels more like the unofficial start to an upcoming season of professional football. Since January, a possible 53-man roster for the San Francisco 49ers has been over-analyzed, over-thought and over-mocked. Every scenario, even those crafted before the team signed a new player or extended a veteran, was right or wrong, depending on your view of how to build a championship football roster. Today, we're in a better place to view the roster and determine who may or may not make the final 53-man squad. Over the next few weeks, I'll review each position and provide thoughts on who is starting, who's in reserve and who will not don the scarlet and gold this...
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