1,807 articles listed
  • 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...
  • By Al Sacco
    May 10, 2018 at 9:32 AM
    It's hard to argue with the approach the San Francisco 49ers have taken during their most recent rebuild. After all, general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan took over a roster that was largely devoid of talent in 2017, and turned it into a playoff contender in just a little over a year. In doing so, they've put their stamp on the team, and added exciting playmakers on both sides of the ball via the draft and free agency. So while it's easy to get excited about what's been done and where this team is headed, there's still one glaring need that could derail the Niners' plans to be playing football in late January, and that's the pass rush. Getting to the quarterback isn't a new issue for this franchise, as it's one that's plagued it for the last five years. In...
  • By Peter Panacy
    April 27, 2018 at 6:28 PM
    The San Francisco 49ers grabbed offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey in Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft, and then followed up with a Round 2 selection of wide receiver Dante Pettis. Now it's time to focus on the defense. The San Francisco 49ers chose to upgrade the offense over the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft, taking Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey at No. 9 overall and then Washington wide receiver Dante Pettis after a trade-up in Round 2. These two moves might have shocked a few fans, who thought the Niners' first two picks would have focused on the defense. That said, there are still some options for San Francisco in Round 3. And the two names to watch here are Florida State edge rusher Josh Sweat and Stanford cornerback Quenton...
  • By Peter Panacy
    April 27, 2018 at 1:40 PM
    The San Francisco 49ers appeared to pull off something of a shocker at No. 9 in the 2018 NFL Draft, grabbing Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey instead of one of the top-name defenders. But subsequent moves, like trading fellow OT Trent Brown to the New England Patriots, justify the selection a lot. Raise your hand if you were among those who felt the San Francisco 49ers would take an offensive tackle with their first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Well, that's what they did, grabbing Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey at No. 9 overall. Not Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (No. 11), not EDGE Marcus Davenport (No. 14), not linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (No. 16) and not defensive back Derwin James (No. 17). No, San Francisco elected to go...
  • By Al Sacco
    April 27, 2018 at 7:41 AM
    The San Francisco 49ers made a somewhat surprising selection in the first-round of 2018 NFL Draft, taking Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey ninth overall. The reason the pick caught some off guard was that the Niners seemed to have more pressing needs elsewhere (specifically on the defensive side of the ball) and there were still impact players on the board that would have alleviated those issues on the roster. If you look a little deeper though, you'd see that San Francisco made a forward-thinking move that filled a hole before it became a major problem. The real buzz surrounding McGlinchey started earlier in the week when Peter King of Sports Illustrated wrote that the 49ers were giving...
  • By Aaron Erickson
    April 26, 2018 at 7:16 PM
    With the ninth pick in the NFL draft, the 49ers selected Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame. With Josh Rosen, my favorite quarterback in the 2018 draft class, slipping to them, the 49ers elected not to trade back, selecting McGlinchey where they knew they could get him. McGlinchey was widely regarded as the best offensive tackle in the draft, and the 49ers certainly did their homework on tackles, spending time with all of the top zone-blocking tackle prospects. It is now clear that the 49ers were looking to make a move at tackle with their eyes to the future, seeking a replacement for one of their talented veteran tackles. Unfortunately, the 49ers secured the best tackle in a poor draft for tackles. While I agree that McGlinchey is the best tackle in this draft...
  • By TJ Bice
    April 26, 2018 at 7:07 PM
    How many draft "experts" saw this one coming? Even the newest addition to the 49ers family, Mike McGlinchey, didn't see this one coming. He said his only contact with the team was at the combine and not a peep since. This might not have been the most popular pick due to the obvious needs in the pass rush and the secondary, but it makes a lot of sense. Yes the 49ers need a star pass rusher, but with Bradley Chubb gone, was one really available at pick No. 9? Same for a true outside cornerback with Denzel Ward off the board early. Inside linebacker certainly would have made sense but Roquan Smith was already gone and perhaps the team has questions about Tremaine Edmunds at the next level. McGlinchey makes sense for a number of reasons. First, and perhaps the most obvious is...
  • By Aaron Erickson
    April 25, 2018 at 9:33 AM
    While the 49ers certainly improved against the run in 2017, their pass defense was a problem. The team addressed the most glaring weak spot in the secondary by signing Richard Sherman in free agency. While Sherman has not yet been cleared to practice, he has already begun to mentor the young defensive backs on the roster, and he promises to be healthy in time to man the boundary cornerback spot opposite of Akhello Witherspoon. In order to continue improving against the pass, the 49ers must upgrade their pass rush and their intermediate zone coverage. The 49ers already have an impressive array of interior rushers, and the most dramatic improvement to the pass rush would come from securing the services of an edge rusher who can win quickly and provide immediate outside...
  • By Aaron Erickson
    April 23, 2018 at 10:10 AM
    The 49ers defense was historically bad in 2016, setting franchise marks for futility in Jim O'Neil's complicated scheme. The unit was particularly bad against the run, finishing last in the league in rushing yards per game and rushing yards per carry. In one year, the 49ers' new defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh, turned the unit around. Installing a comparatively simple 4-3 under scheme (created by George Seifert and Pete Carroll and successfully implemented in Seattle, Atlanta, Jacksonville, and San Diego) allowed the defense to play faster, with clearer reads. Saleh advertised before the 2017 season that the 49ers would improve against the run, and they certainly did. Unfortunately, the 49ers continued to struggle in coverage, particularly outside of the numbers. While...
  • By Richard Madrid
    April 22, 2018 at 7:13 PM
    This is part 4 in a 5-part series looking at quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's 2017 season. Part 4 looks at Garoppolo on 3rd down and utilizing play action. Parts 1-3 are hyperlinked at the bottom of the article. In part 1 of this series, we looked at Garoppolo's accuracy across 5 games. In part 2, we looked at his performance under pressure. In part 3, we looked at his performance against the blitz. Today we'll briefly examine his performance on 3rd down and utilizing play action. Source: Pro Football Reference On...
  • By Aaron Erickson
    April 19, 2018 at 6:41 AM
    With the 2018 draft just around the corner, it is a good time to look at some prospects that have been discussed as options for the 49ers with the ninth-overall pick. In the first of three installments, we will look at the offensive players who the 49ers have been linked to in the first round. I don't expect any of these players to be the pick at nine, as Kyle Shanahan teams have rarely picked offensive players in the first round. These prospects bear discussion, however, as John Lynch and Shanahan have only been together through one draft, which does not establish a reliable trend for this combination of decision makers. Quinton Nelson As I said in the...
  • By Sequoia Sims
    April 18, 2018 at 1:01 PM
    In this article, I'll be looking at the domino effect of drafting Roquan Smith or Tremaine Edmunds, and how it impacts Reuben Foster's overall status with the team (from an analytical perspective). Recently, I wrote two features that have relevance to this article on 49ers Webzone, titled: Intervention Specialist Perspective: Reuben Foster's actions can't be condoned; Still needs support and Why NFC West quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Jared Goff are hoping the 49ers don't draft Harold Landry. There are questions that will soon...
  • By Winston Chung
    April 13, 2018 at 2:34 PM
    It's a total coincidence that San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster and former linebacker Aldon Smith were in the news cycle in the same week, as these are two different people who played at different times. Foster was charged with multiple felonies and Smith was noted to have a near-lethal blood alcohol level when he turned himself into police. But if one wants Foster's talent so badly that they are willing to be in denial of the emerging similarities between the 49ers' handling of both Foster and Smith, it could lead to similarly unfortunate outcomes. We've...
  • By Sequoia Sims
    April 13, 2018 at 10:25 AM
    San Francisco 49ers' promising young linebacker, Reuben Foster, was recently charged with felony domestic abuse by the Santa Clara DA's office. Back in February, I wrote a feature on the 49ers Webzone, titled: Looking at the Culture and Infrastructure Around Reuben Foster. In this article, I covered Foster's upbringing, putting into perspective Foster's adversity and emotional state throughout life, and the support system needed for him to have on- and off-the-field success. First and foremost, I don't condone Foster's actions one bit, especially as a father with a daughter of my own. And having worked in the Bay Area with battered woman and survivors of domestic...
  • By Sequoia Sims
    April 12, 2018 at 8:03 PM
    Recently on 49ers Webzone, I laid out several reasons why the 49ers needed a pass-rusher while featuring Harold Landry from Boston College in No Pass-Rusher, "No Rings." Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson and division rival quarterback Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams combined for 718 yards passing, six touchdowns and one interception, while only being sacked three times in three games (all sacks credited to Wilson in week two)--all wins--versus the 49ers in 2017. The two signal callers also combined to complete at least 65 percent of their passes. Wilson has led the...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    April 12, 2018 at 1:20 PM
    Earlier today, the Santa Clara County district attorney's office charged San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster with felony domestic violence. The report states Foster dragged his live-in girlfriend by her hair, threw her out of the house and punched her in the head 8 to 10 times. The altercation left her bruised and with a ruptured eardrum. Police officers also found a Sig Sauer 516 and a large capacity magazine in Foster's home. The 49ers responded to the charges with an uncredited statement: "The 49ers organization is aware of today's disturbing charges regarding Reuben Foster. We will continue to follow this serious...
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