Zain Naqvi's Latest Articles

  • By Zain Naqvi
    Aug 3, 2016 at 4:00 PM 7 comments
    In our latest Round Table, our team of writers was asked who they thought would start at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers during Week 1 at home against the Los Angeles Rams. Alex Pedregon Week 1 starter: Blaine Gabbert This is a tough call since Kap and Gabbert seemed fairly evenly matched heading into camp, having very similar strengths and weaknesses as it relates to Kelly's offensive scheme. IMO, it's going to come down to who has a stronger grasp of the playbook and of course who the team responds to better in practices/preseason games. I believe Gabbert will show a better command of the offense, get people in the right places more quickly and effectively than Kap and eventually be named the opening game...
  • By Zain Naqvi
    Aug 1, 2016 at 11:17 AM 4 comments
    Chip Kelly's first Training Camp as 49ers head coach has started, with Day 1 in the books and Day 2 in progress. While it's widely known that the 49ers roster is lacking talent, storylines are still abundant. There are questions on whether Kelly has changed his attitude towards his players and ownership. There are questions about his play calling abilities. There are most definitely questions about which quarterback he will choose to start Week 1. Although Kelly's offense will feature a wide receiver group that was rated worst in the league by Pro Football Focus, it should be noted that in his offense in Philadelphia, receivers Riley...
  • By Zain Naqvi
    May 5, 2016 at 1:40 PM 24 comments
    It's been almost a week since the NFL Draft started in Chicago and draft "grades" for teams have been steadily rolling in. While these grades don't mean anything when it comes to what actually happens on the field, they give an interesting perspective as to how teams are perceived from an outsider's point of view. Thus far for the 49ers, it's been a mixed bag. The 49ers are in the beginning stages of a rebuild. We know this. It's also no secret that Niners general manager Trent Baalke needed a solid draft not only to help the rebuild effort, but also to keep his job. I've been critical of Baalke in the past and still remain skeptical of him until I see results on the field, but on paper, he looks to have improved the roster through his latest draft. Yes, Baalke...
  • By Zain Naqvi
    Feb 14, 2016 at 12:44 PM 0 comments
    Everything goes dark. Then the lights come on. You pull yourself up off the turf and head back to the sideline and silently take a seat on the bench. Your mind starts moving a million miles a minute... "Should I say anything to anyone? What if I lose my job? I have to be strong for my teammates. We have to win this game." You have a choice: speak up and risk losing your job or stay silent. At one point, Brian Jennings was the longest-tenured 49er on a team that went to Super Bowl 47. He was one of the best at his position and never missed a game in his 13-year career. I had a chance to ask some questions of the former Pro Bowler on his playing days and about concussions that have impacted his personal life leading to his great work with the Concussion Care Center...
  • By Zain Naqvi
    Nov 2, 2015 at 4:16 PM 53 comments
    With reports circulating that the 49ers are trading Vernon Davis to the Denver Broncos for 3 late-round picks, it appears as though 49ers brass have called "time of death" on this season in Week 8 (though many fans had called it weeks ago). I'm not surprised that it took them this long to realize that this coaching change has been a failure. Jed York and Trent Baalke can't possibly be thinking that this result is better than what they previously had and dismantled. Usually when a change is made in the workplace, it's done because the new person coming in to replace the departed employee is better. They can't possibly think that getting bombed week in and week out by teams that the 49ers...
  • By Zain Naqvi
    Oct 22, 2015 at 1:25 AM 11 comments
    Being a lifelong 49ers fan and having spent a portion of my life living in the Pacific Northwest, I have seen my share of things when it comes to the Seahawks. I remember when they were in the old AFC West along with Denver, Kansas City, San Diego and Oakland. It's really the Houston Texans that made our paths cross. When the Texans came into the league in 2002, the NFL had to re-align and sent Seattle and Arizona into the NFC West, while kicking Carolina, Atlanta and New Orleans out. I would have to say that my time living in Seattle was...interesting to say the least. I'll preface this with the fact that it's not as bad as Niners fans may believe. I think it's just a matter of understanding the environment. Interestingly enough, even though the Seahawks have...
  • By Zain Naqvi
    Oct 6, 2015 at 8:55 PM 5 comments
    Having attended the game against the Packers Sunday, I wanted to share some of the things that I noticed that people may have not seen on TV. The first thing I noticed was how many Packers fans were there. I'd say that the stadium was about 35% Packers fans...and they were loud. By the end of the game, they had pretty much taken over the stadium. This shouldn't come as a surprise since Packers fans travel well everywhere they go, but it seems like more and more 49er fans are willing to give up their seats as the season goes on. Once my eyes hit the field, I noticed how bad the offensive line was, specifically the right side. Right Guard Jordan Devey was routinely getting blown back off the ball on nearly every snap. Running Back Carlos Hyde was hit in the...
  • By Zain Naqvi
    Sep 28, 2015 at 11:44 PM 24 comments
    I waited a couple of weeks to put my thoughts out there; "perspective," I told myself. I wanted to see how the 49ers would follow up their opening Monday Night win against the Vikings. Up next were two playoff contenders in Pittsburgh and Arizona. Specifically, the Arizona game would be a true litmus test for the Niners, as they would be playing an opponent that they know well in a place that they've proven they can win. Well, we all know how that went. I've gone on the record saying that I think that Jim Tomsula is a great person and has potential as a head coach if he is put into the right system. He has an endearing story of rising up from the bottom and making it big, all the while staying grounded once he made it big. However, what we've been witnessing the...
  • By Zain Naqvi
    Sep 4, 2015 at 11:48 PM 17 comments
    The truth of the matter is that Colin Kaepernick is a misunderstood soul. Those who know him closely say that he's a humble, quiet, hard-working guy who just wants to play football at the highest level possible. He has been heavily involved with the children's charity Camp Taylor, helping children with heart defects and volunteering his time. He's just a regular guy who owns a 115-pound tortoise named Sammy and also just happens to be the quarterback for the 5-time Super Bowl Champion San Francisco 49ers. At this moment, there is no player who is more popular and recognizable on the 49ers than Colin Kaepernick (apologies to Jarryd Hayne). His meteoric rise to stardom began in 2012, highlighted by a...
  • By Zain Naqvi
    Sep 1, 2015 at 11:20 PM 5 comments
    As preseason progresses towards a close, we are getting glimpses of what the 49ers will look like in the 2015 NFL season. It is clear that this team is much different than in years past - not only from a roster standpoint but also a coaching standpoint. In this final preseason edition of Mr. Fix It, I will be breaking down special teams and coaching to see where the Niners can get a leg up on the competition this year. Let's start by looking at special teams: Lean on Phil Dawson's leg: By all accounts, points may be harder to come by this year. When the 49ers have a chance to get points, they should take them. Although he is 40 years old, Phil Dawson is one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history and can still be relied on to make...
  • By Zain Naqvi
    Aug 10, 2015 at 6:34 PM 5 comments
    The 49ers have been able to rely on their defense year in and year out because they have been such an elite unit. The Niners defense ranked no lower than 5th in yards allowed over the past 4 years. Then the 2015 offseason happened. As Eric Mangini has stated, the Niners can't just replace Aldon Smith. The skill set and production that he had while he was on the field is something that put him in the upper echelon of pass rushers in this league. It is now the job of the coaches to find out what the team can do to try to fill in the void left by #99 and most importantly, win games. I want to reiterate that there is still a...
  • By Zain Naqvi
    Aug 3, 2015 at 7:58 AM 9 comments
    That's it. It's done. Gone. Finished. The longest offseason in history is finally over! With the start of Training Camp on August 1st, the new season is officially upon us and we can close the chapter on what was one of the most tumultuous offseasons in NFL history. With that being said, through the first 2 days of camp, there have been plenty of interesting sound bites. One particular such comment from Eric Reid stands out to me: "I think we have what it takes on this team to go to the Super Bowl, and I'm not afraid to say that." Let's think about that for a second. Reid...
  • By Zain Naqvi
    Jul 22, 2015 at 7:16 PM 23 comments
    I was excited when Jed York got control over the team from his parents because it was clear that he loved football more than they did. I give him credit for being part of the process to bring Jim Harbaugh in and returning the 49ers back to relevance. However with every remark he makes these days, he adds to the "Perception Problem" that Steve Young said the Niners now have. As you all may have read or heard, Jed York compared the 49ers hiring of Jim Tomsula to the Warriors hiring of Steve Kerr. I'll get to that in a second, but for those of you who haven't already seen it, you can find the article...
  • By Zain Naqvi
    Jul 16, 2015 at 8:40 AM 24 comments
    This has probably been the worst offseason that the 49ers have ever had – and it's most definitely the worst offseason the majority of 49ers fans have experienced. We're hearing the same thing from the likes of ESPN, ProFootballtalk.com, NFL.com, SI, and the other "Big Boys": it's all gloom and doom for the 49ers this year. The losses the Niners have incurred have been discussed to death and there's plenty of negativity out there. However, with training camp just around the corner, let's just put on our 49ers colored glasses and look at some of the reasons the 49ers WILL make a run at the playoffs. Coaching changes could be a breath of fresh air The premise is this: If the 49ers are a fundamentally sound football team on both sides of the...
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