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  • Gilbert Brink
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    Gilbert Brink
    49ers outsider, residing in the Hudson Valley, representing 30+ years of the 49ers experience

Gilbert Brink's Latest Articles

  • By Gilbert Brink
    Aug 18, 2020 at 10:55 AM 0 comments
    Nothing about WR Kendrick Bourne stands out, yet he always makes a big impression. Compared to most NFL receivers, Bourne isn't fast, big, tall or incredibly athletic. Coming out of Eastern Washington in 2017, Bourne was one of the first WRs 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan (a former WR himself) added to rebuild his moribund receiving corps. Shanahan liked Bourne, but not enough to lobby to draft the young WR. No, like many other 49ers starters, Kendrick Bourne went undrafted. Passed over 253 times, and yet here is Bourne, a presumed starting WR for the defending NFC champions. The role that Bourne plays on this team is more important than ever before. So far this offseason, the 49ers have suffered 3 injuries to wide receivers: WR1 Deebo Samuel is out with a lisfranc foot...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Aug 17, 2020 at 8:11 AM 0 comments
    The game of football is about chemistry. Without chemistry, a roster full of talented players becomes a collection of individual parts working independently towards uncommon goals. Quite frankly, it's a recipe for failure. Today, the 49ers are one of the most revered franchises in American sports. This wasn't always the case. Prior to the arrival of a young QB from Notre Dame in 1979, the 49ers couldn't lay claim to any national glory. Established in 1946, the San Francisco 49ers were an also-ran for the majority of their existence. From 1946-1980 the 49ers only appeared in the NFL playoffs 4 times. It's hard to imagine this franchise being that irrelevant. Many current fans painfully recall the dark years of the early aughts, remembering that horrendous 9-year drought...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Aug 13, 2020 at 9:05 AM 0 comments
    The 49ers won big today. George Kittle, the unquestionable best tight-end in the NFL, signed a contract extension to the tune of $15 million a year for 5 years. It took longer than expected, but the cornerstone to the 49ers offense is now locked in for the long-term. Much was made about the size of Kittle's contract, and debate circulated around his value being comparable to a tight-end or that of a wide-receiver. In the end, the 49ers and Kittle came to a conclusion that I proposed back on June 1st 2020 "Both sides should split the difference between top TE and top WR and meet in the middle, making him the highest paid TE in NFL history with a deal in the range of $15 million...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Aug 11, 2020 at 9:03 AM 3 comments
    The 49ers will cut good players in 2020. When you have a Super Bowl roster, sometimes good isn't good enough. As the 49ers currently work their way through an augmented and abbreviated training camp, the importance of analyzing talent is stressed now more than ever. During a regular training camp, coaches are able to evaluate their roster through drills, padded practices, inter-squad scrimmages with other NFL teams and most importantly, actual pre-season games. Many of these tools have been stripped away, and now coaches are left only with their padded practices to determine who will make the team. These next 4 weeks will serve as the initial building block for success, or failure, in the 2020 season. Let's look at 6 key players, and determine whether they should stay or...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Aug 4, 2020 at 9:07 AM 1 comment
    Imagine this, the San Francisco 49ers have won Super Bowl 54. Jimmy Garopppolo is the new NFL golden boy, Andy Reid is still notoriously snake bitten by the football gods and the 49ers are tied with the Patriots and Steelers for most Super Bowl wins ever. This easily could have been the case if a a few things broke the 49ers' way in Super Bowl 54. In 2020, the 49ers have carried over the vast majority of their roster from 2019. Only 3 starters from that Super Bowl team are not present on the roster in 2020: LT Joe Staley, DT DeForest Buckner and WR Emmanuel Sanders. The big names to replace those 3 players have been well-touted. Veteran star LT Trent Williams will fill the gap left by Staley while 2 first-round draft picks, DT Javon Kinlaw and WR Brandon Aiyuk, will be tasked...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jul 29, 2020 at 6:48 AM 5 comments
    It's been 7 years since the Seattle Seahawks won their first Super Bowl title. It's been 6 years since Russell Wilson completely blew the Seahawks' chance to win their 2nd Super Bowl title. Yes, Seattle has been a playoff contender for nearly every season since, but it's hard not to acknowledge that the 49ers' neighbors to the north have underachieved since the last time the two teams met in the playoffs. Seattle once brandished the most dominant defense in the NFL with a peak Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennet, Cliff Avril, KJ Wright and Bobby Wangner. Listing those names gives you a sense of just how formidable and dangerous that unit was. On the other side of the ball, Pete Carroll had a young Russell Wilson at quarterback to create magic with RB...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jul 24, 2020 at 11:16 AM 3 comments
    John Lynch, if you're reading (you're not) whatever you do, do not trade for Jets SS Jamal Adams. Once again, Adams has made the headlines with another attempt to force his way off of the New York Jets. This time taking shots at Jets head coach Adam Gase and GM Joe Douglas. Adams questions Gase's leadership and Douglas' experience in his recent interview with Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Earlier in the week Adams tweeted his...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jul 22, 2020 at 9:56 AM 0 comments
    We need football, badly. Americans turn to entertainment to escape the troubled realities of their daily lives. Whether it be the job you hate, the relationship you're stuck in or the general emptiness of your bank account, we collectively turn to entertainment as a way to escape unpleasant situations and engross ourselves with ones that bring us a much needed distraction. In 2020, now more than ever, we, as a nation, need that beautiful distraction known as the National Football League. Four of the five most watched television programs in the US last year were NFL games. We need football, badly. Shortly after 49ers fans suffered a heart-wrenching loss in Super Bowl 54, the country would be hit with the tidal wave that is COVID-19. In March 2020, the country shut...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jul 15, 2020 at 8:53 AM 2 comments
    Championships are built on the backs of young players. History shows, as much as the flashy free-agency signing steals the headlines, the DNA of consistent contenders can be traced directly to the NFL draft. The San Francisco 49ers' recent ascension is a fine example of this team building strategy. Temptations of July center around players like NY Jets mega-star SS Jamal Adams, but the 49ers steamrolled their way to the Super Bowl due to a deep roster filled with young, hungry and humble men looking to make their mark. Players like George Kittle, Fred Warner, Deebo Samuel and Mike McGlinchey. Three men are the current cornerstones on the 49ers franchise. When Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch took over the 49ers in 2017, one of their earliest moves would be to gut the...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jul 9, 2020 at 8:40 AM 4 comments
    The last 3 months of our collective lives as Americans has felt like a terrible hangover. 2020 will not be a year many look back on with fond feelings and memories. The nation's hangover started in March, but the 49ers' hangover began on February 2, 2020. The dreaded Super Bowl hangover is a powerful mythos in the lore of American sports. It doesn't make much logical sense, a team talented enough to reach the Super Bowl shouldn't magically be transformed into a less capable team due simply to the fact they scored fewer points than the opposition on the first Sunday in February. Yet, there are countless examples of this wretched hangover indeed visiting the 2nd best team in football on an annual basis. Look no further than the NFC West to find an example of how ominous the...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jul 6, 2020 at 7:05 AM 0 comments
    Levin T. Black is an unsung podcast hero. Carefully striking a balance between obsessed analytics nerd and the wise elder statesman at the bar. His insights, humor, and wit are one-third of the very best 49ers podcast out there — the 49ers Webzone "No Huddle Podcast" (available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google PlayMusic). I don't say this because I write for the Webzone myself. Long before I volunteered to write here, I would search for a good 49ers podcasts to listen to. It would take quite some time before I found the No Huddle Podcast. At that time, Levin T. Black was yet to join the crew, but it didn't take long to get hooked by host Zain Naqvi's commentary on the best franchise in sports. When Levin T. Black joined the...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jun 30, 2020 at 7:11 AM 3 comments
    In 2019, the 49ers fielded one of the very best offenses in the NFL. Come this fall, the 49ers offense will be even better. This past season the 49ers ranked 4th in the league in total yards, 2nd in the league in rushing yards and 2nd in the league in points per game. Truth be told, there isn't much room for improvement. Or is there? While they could only improve slightly in league ranking, they certainly can improve in terms of overall production heading into Kyle Shanahan's fourth year as head coach/offensive play-caller. In Super Bowl 54 it was apparent that the 49ers needed just a little bit more. Clinging to a 20-10 lead with just over 7 minutes to go, the 49ers failed to answer the bell rung by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. With these few key changes made...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jun 22, 2020 at 8:15 AM 2 comments
    Richard Sherman was one of the most hated opponents in 49ers history. Currently, Richard Sherman is one of the most beloved members of the 49ers roster. So much has changed since the loudmouth, superstar cornerback took a dinner meeting with Kyle Shanahan a little over two years ago. Back then, the 49ers were coming off of a 6-10 season, ending the year with a 5-game winning streak led by newly acquired QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Expectations were high, the 49ers were a media darling and Jimmy Garoppolo was heralded as the next great QB. The addition of Richard Sherman shocked the football world and set the bar even higher for the once great franchise. Two years later, the 49ers are coming off of a heartbreaking Super Bowl loss. Although he faltered in the final moments of Super...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jun 17, 2020 at 8:09 AM 15 comments
    The 49ers will be a Super Bowl contender in 2020. The question is, will 2020 be the final year the 49ers are a Super Bowl contender? The recent talk around George Kittle's contract extension has opened the eyes of many of the 49ers Faithful. While the 49ers' talent is long, their money is short. The 49ers are squeezed up against the cap in 2020, having an estimated cap space of just above $15 million without any rookies signed at this time. Jimmy Garoppolo, Trent Williams, Dee Ford, and Richard Sherman combine for a near $70 million cap hit. The 2020 NFL salary cap is $198 million. To break that down, four players take up over 35% of the 49ers' total salary cap for 2020. Ouch. What does this mean for the other 49 players on the 53-man roster? Among those other...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jun 1, 2020 at 6:50 AM 9 comments
    George Kittle is one of the best players the 49ers have had over the last twenty years. Just 3 seasons into his NFL career and it isn't a stretch to state that Kittle is the very best tight end who has ever played for the franchise. Why then, is there even a thought being given to trading George Kittle? On Friday evening word began to circulate via NFL Network's Michael Silver that Kittle's agent Jack Bechta is aiming for his client to get paid, not like the best tight end in football, but as something much larger than that. According to Silver the 49ers and Kittle "are not close" to a deal. This is no surprise as any follower of Kittle knows that his value extends well beyond...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    May 28, 2020 at 9:56 AM 5 comments
    There will be no magical "clinch by an inch" moment for the 49ers in 2020. 49ers fans will not have to hold their breaths, feel their hearts stop and then be overwhelmed by joy due to some legendary play made by a man draped in scarlet and white. When San Francsico LB Dre Greenlaw created one of the truly great moments in 49ers history last December by flattening Seahawks TE Jacob Hollister at the goal line on 4th down during the final game of the 2019 NFL season the stakes could not have been higher. In 2020 the 49ers will not wait until Week 17 to prove who is the best in the West. By the time the 49ers host Seattle the biggest question a 49ers fan will have will be: start or sit? I don't view the 49ers as an unstoppable force heading into the 2020 season. The truth is, the...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    May 18, 2020 at 9:33 AM 2 comments
    Take a moment to think about the last 49ers player to be arrested. Google it if you must. This exercise may take a few moments of your time, but that wasn't always the case. Quite frankly, a 49er being arrested was a monthly occurrence under past regimes. 49ers fans would dread the days like this one, mid-May, when the NFL was deep in hibernation and yet a 49ers player would be the talk of the sports world. Whether it be Rueben Foster's domestic violence allegation, Aldon Smith's numerous DWIs or unfathomable bomb threat, Bruce Miller's physical assault of a senior citizen or Ahmad Brooks being booked on sexual battery charges, the 49ers had no shortages of disgusting headlines focused around the deplorable behavior of some of their biggest stars. Once beloved...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    May 11, 2020 at 8:02 AM 8 comments
    Maybe it's because he is very handsome. Maybe it's because his coach chooses to run the ball more than pass it. Maybe it's because he dates porn stars. Maybe it's because his team lost a 4th quarter lead in the Super Bowl. Whatever the reason may be, people don't like San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Sometimes players are just unlikable, I get it. While sports is based on physical abilities, the motivation to cheer for or root against a player often relies heavily on the personality of the player. Former Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is a prime example of someone who is almost impossible to like. Manziel was a spoiled rich kid who had a terrible attitude and was a junky off the field. Mix in some domestic violence issues and you have a person who only a...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Apr 26, 2020 at 7:49 AM 7 comments
    A lot changes in 3 days. Heading into the 2020 draft the 49ers seemed poised to scoop up one of the top 3 WRs with their #13 pick and then the trade-down bonanza was set to commence. Wrong. What followed was nothing short of stunning, as the next 3 days would turn the franchise upside down and leave the landscape drastically altered. I gained 2 significant takeaways from these past 3 days: the 49ers are all in for Super Bowl 55 and those moves left a lot more questions than answers. Foundational Javon Kinlaw Prior to the 2020 draft the 49ers spoke of 6 foundational players in this draft class. There was speculation on who these players were and on Thursday night the world found out that 1 of them was DT Javon Kinlaw. When the 49ers traded away DT DeForest...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Apr 23, 2020 at 9:04 PM 68 comments
    Failure. Complete and utter failure. No other words can summarize the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft for the San Francisco 49ers. John Lynch had nothing but opportunity in his hands. When the 49ers received a 4th round pick to move down one spot, 49ers fans had to be overjoyed watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select LT Tristan Wirfs. Warm feelings reminiscent of Lynch's first draft flowed through the 49er faithful, and then, just like that draft in 2017, John Lynch completely blew it. In 2017, the 49ers traded down one spot to select DL Solomon Thomas. He is a terrible player. In 2020, the 49ers traded down one spot, and selected DL Javon Kinlaw to replace DT DeForest Buckner. He is not DeForest Buckner. Kinlaw is a bundle of hope. The 49ers see potential in...
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