Observations from the desert: Hill, Martz and Davis

Nov 11, 2008 at 10:52 AM2


He does not have a big arm and his passes may not be as pretty as other quarterbacks, but Shaun Hill gives the San Francisco 49ers their best chance to win right now. He was not perfect on Monday night, tossing two passes into the opposition's waiting hands, but he also made the offense look better than it has all season. Hill's mobility and quick thinking resulted in zero sacks by the Arizona Cardinals defense. His command of the offense and enthusiasm was very apparent during the team's 24-29 loss. And with 1:06 left in the game on the Arizona 42-yard line, his team down by 5, Hill gave fans something that they had not had in a very long time. Hope. Instead of knowing "our quarterback is not the type of guy that can get this done for us," fans felt like the team had a legitimate chance to score.

It will be interesting to see what Hill, now 2-1 as a starter, can do for the team to finish out the season. Fans now have to wonder how many more wins the team would have had with Hill at the helm from the beginning. Considering this was his first action of the season, he did pretty well for himself in a game where no one gave the 49ers a chance. It literally came down to the final play of the game.

You have a Pro Bowl running back – Use him!

For a while, offensive coordinator Mike Martz was calling a solid game. However, the final two drives for the 49ers were very confusing. The team was in no way out of the game. They were down by 5 points with plenty of time left on the clock. It certainly was not a "pass on every play" scenario. Throw in the fact that they have a Pro Bowl running back in their backfield, you have to wonder what Martz was thinking. If anything, that was the time to use him. During the team's final 15 plays of the game, they ran the ball twice. Those two runs came during the final two plays of the game. That makes 13 straight passing plays before the 49ers felt the need to run.

This was not a big deal during the final drive because they were in a situation where they needed to get a score with about a minute left in the game. However, during the team's second to last drive, the 49ers passed nine straight times. In Martz's defense, he called a running play once, but a penalty against Arizona forced the team to replay the down. By the eighth play on that drive, I was screaming to please give the ball to Gore. On the next play, while in trouble within the pocket and performing a bad Brett Favre impression, Hill tossed an ugly shovel pass intended for Gore but caught by Arizona safety Adrian Wilson.

Add to that the baffling call during the final play of the game. If you are going to run it, you have to get the ball into the hands of your best offensive weapon, Frank Gore, and not Michael Robinson.

You have to catch that football

There were a few "You have to catch that football" moments in the game. The one that stood out the most was by tight end Vernon Davis. Yes, Davis made a spectacular catch at the end of the first half to help put the 49ers up 21-13. The problem came in the third quarter with the 49ers leading 21-20. It was an opportunity to go up by 8. Hill threw a beautiful pass to an open Davis who made little effort to haul the football in. This was a game changing missed opportunity. The ball was literally about two feet in front of his head. Had he reached out for it, the play would have resulted in a beautiful touchdown pass. Instead, the 49ers settle for a field goal three plays later. That field goal would be their final points of the game.

For a first-round draft pick selected to be an explosive offensive weapon, you have to make that catch.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


2 Comments

  • crunchtime
    Totally agree...The guy is such a freak of nature (strong/fast) but with hands of stone (besides that one nice catch for TD), couldn't we try him as a DE? We NEED a pass rusher badly and he has the tools to excel there.
    Nov 12, 2008 at 4:13 PM
    0
  • montv
    Good points. I also think it's time San Francisco recognize that drafting Vernon Davis was a mistake. Yes, he is fast and is a good blocker, but if he keeps getting flagged every time he makes a play (which admittedly isn't that often), he hurts the team as much as he helps. I agree, it appeared that had he made the attempt on that pass at the end of the half, he may have scored. At least make the effort! Play Delanie Walker and trade Davis to a really bad team in the AFC (the Raiders, maybe). I thought the Niners learned this lesson when T.O. was here.
    Nov 12, 2008 at 10:07 AM
    0

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Kyle Shanahan: George Kittle suffered a knee sprain during 49ers-Cardinals, Deebo Samuel's setback, Brandon Aiyuk and Richie James injury updates

By David Bonilla
Sep 14, 2020

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters on Monday, the day after the team's 24-20 season-opening loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He provided some injury updates during the Zoom call. Fans are probably eagerly awaiting an update on George Kittle, and Shanahan provided one. The All-Pro tight end suffered a knee sprain during the first half against the Cardinals. He left for the locker room just before halftime to be examined. Kittle returned with his teammates in the second half and played for the remainder of the game. "He has a knee sprain. We'll see how he comes in on Wednesday," Shanahan told reporters. "He was a little sore today, but we'll wait to see how he is on Wednesday to see if he's able to practice or be able to go

Read the Full Article


49ers practice and media schedule leading to Week 2 matchup vs. Jets

By Site Staff
Sep 15, 2020

The San Francisco 49ers will hold three full practices this week as the team prepares for its Week 2 matchup against the New York Jets. Head coach Kyle Shanahan, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and others are scheduled to speak with the media. The 49ers will make the press conferences available at 49ers.com, on the team's official mobile app, and its official YouTube Page. Below is the schedule, which is subject to change, for the upcoming week. All times are

Read the Full Article


49ers announce several roster moves, including Richard Sherman and Tim Harris to injured reserve

By David Bonilla
Sep 16, 2020

The San Francisco 49ers have announced the following roster moves. CB Dontae Johnson has been promoted to the active roster from the team's practice squad CB Ken Webster has been signed to a one-year deal from the Miami Dolphins practice squad CB Richard Sherman has been placed on short-term injured reserve, which means he will miss at least three games CB Brian Allen and CB Christian Angulo have been signed to the team's practice squad CB Tim Harris Jr., who has been on the practice squad, has been placed on injured reserve RELATED: 49ers placing Richard Sherman on short-term injured reserve due to

Read the Full Article

Featured

More Featured Stories

More by David Bonilla

All Articles by David Bonilla

More Articles

All Articles
Share 49erswebzone