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AJ Bolino's Latest Articles

  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:40 AM 6 comments
    Late hits, open handed slaps, trash talk and one more Packer loss at the hands of the 49ers ... to say the very least, the Candlestick Park farewell tour has gotten off to one hell of a start. There were good moments, bad moments and a few ugly moments to boot. This week, we'll be taking a closer look at the good, bad and ugly aspects of last Sunday's action, plus the keys to next Sunday's game against Seattle. The Good AJ: For most of the offseason, the NFL blogosphere has been overflowing with stories about defensive coordinators going to great lengths to get their heads around the read-option. Most notably, Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers made the trip to Texas A&M in order to find a way to shut down the 49er read-option...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:20 AM 2 comments
    The wait is over, IT'S GAME TIME, and the Webzone's resident knuckleheads AJ and Diego are ready to take on another NFL season starting with the Green Bay Packers this Sunday at 1:25pm. In this installment of UFR, we are putting a different spin on the discussion with a little bit of role play - 49ers style. We will put Colin Kaepernick (played by AJ) and Eric Reid (played by Diego) on the hot seat (sort of, anyway) as we ask some hard-hitting questions about the upcoming game/season. Colin Kaepernick Diego: AJ, you are #7 for the San Francisco 49ers. You took the second least snaps among starting quarterbacks this preseason, and that's only because Robert Griffin III didn't play at all. The team obviously wants to keep you away from any...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Aug 25, 2013 at 2:57 PM 2 comments
    The first two weeks of pre-season play have had their fair share of ups (Frank the Tank, the emergence of BJ Daniels, and downright dominant defense) and downs (Colt McCoy, Scott Tolzien and the entire 2nd string O-line), but up and down football beats the hell out of swag-gate and/or bottle-gate, doesn't it? In this season's first installment of UFR, we'll be looking at which of the rookies will make the biggest impact on the 2013 season, how we feel the soap opera at wide receiver will shake out and predict who has a better shot at being the 49ers leading receiver this season: Anquan Boldin or Vernon Davis? Who is going to be this year's impact rookie for the 49ers? Almost every rookie class has at least one notable contributor...a player...
  • By AJ Bolino
    Aug 24, 2013 at 1:20 PM 14 comments
    This journey began for me in 1976. I was 5 years old and had just become aware of professional football. My family lived in San Jose and in our house, if you watched football, you were watching the 49ers...no matter how bad they were. As some of you may remember, it wasn't easy back then. Not by a long shot. Jim Plunkett was our starter...and he was bad. The defense was okay...but just okay. The Niners couldn't close. They were the laughingstock of the NFL. Just as there are today, there were tall tales back then, too. Stories about Frankie Albert, YA Tittle, RC Owens, Joe Perry, Hugh McElhenny, John Brodie and a host of other local heroes. My Dad would rave about Gene Washington. My grandfather would go on for hours about Leo Nomellini, the biggest, baddest defensive...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Apr 11, 2013 at 4:48 PM 27 comments
    After the 49ers' signing of Nnamdi Asomugha, it is almost certain that the 49ers are done with free-agency...and that the complexion of the 49ers most immediate needs had changed somewhat (in our opinion, at least). Given what we know, it's time for AJ and Diego to put their heads together on a 2013 mock draft. What follows is our take on who's going where in the first round of the 2013 draft. Enjoy! 1) Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Joeckel (OT), Texas A&M: Andy Reid went out and grabbed a QB that he believes will give his team a chance to be competitive. This pick shows his commitment to keeping Alex Smith upright. (AJ) 2) Jacksonville Jaguars - Dion Jordan (DE), Oregon: There are a number of...
  • By AJ Bolino and Diego Del Barco
    Mar 17, 2013 at 2:45 PM 11 comments
    Welcome to free agency, 49er fans...and all that comes with it. Rumors, half truths and erroneous tweets...does it get any better than this? While 49er fans across the country sleep with visions of Nnamdi Asomugha and Charles Woodson dancing in their heads, Diego and I have been doing our best to keep ours. What follows is our take on who's in, who's out and who'll be missed as the 49ers make their way through the NFL's free agency frenzy. What Does Anquan Boldin Bring To The Table? AJ: This offseason, the 49ers have bid fond farewells to wide receivers Randy Moss and Ted Ginn, and the future of Mario Manningham is cloudy due to his season ending knee injury (he'll almost certainly miss at least some of training...
  • By AJ Bolino and Diego Del Barco
    Mar 3, 2013 at 11:10 PM 5 comments
    As depressing as the 49ers' Super Bowl loss was, a guy can only live his football life via XBOX for so long. After replaying the game electronically (winning by an average of 50 points, sipping single malt and enjoying near perpetual eye rolls from my darling sweetheart each and every time), it's time to get back to reality (as I was recently reminded by my pal Diego). As the 49ers head toward the 2013 season, a great many questions need answering: which of their pending free agents will the 49ers re-sign? Who will the 49ers draft? How in the name of all that's holy did Trent Baalke swing a pair of high draft picks for Alex Smith? Who will the 49ers pursue in Free Agency? While we probably won't be able to address all of these questions in this installment, we...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Feb 11, 2013 at 10:54 PM 12 comments
    Well that sucked, didn't it? Greetings 49erland, and welcome to the final (and easily the most depressing) installment of UFR for the 2012 season. The 49ers lived dangerously all postseason, and it came back to haunt them on football's biggest stage. After recovering from deficits of 7-0 against the Packers and 17-0 against the Falcons, the 49ers finally dug themselves a hole too deep to climb out of. A largely forgettable first half gave way to the Super Bowl's first blackout...and almost the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. Almost. To wrap the 2012 season, we'll be looking back at the Super Bowl to discern what went wrong, the 49ers worst performer, the 49ers best performer what the future holds for the team, and as usual, our two minute...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Jan 31, 2013 at 6:13 AM 20 comments
    Welcome 49ers faithful to the Super Bowl edition of Upon Further Review. AJ and Diego started writing this column this season and the San Francisco 49ers have made it to the big game ... Coincidence? Probably. Nonetheless, it has been an amazing season full of interesting twists that find this team one win away from hoisting the Lombardi Trophy for the 6th time in franchise history, a history that includes a perfect 5-0 record in Super Bowl games. In the infamous words of Bart Scott: CAN'T WAIT. This week, AJ and Diego reflect on the season and share their thoughts on the moment they realized the switch to Colin Kaepernick was the right call, what impressed them the most about the 49ers victory against the Falcons, and the most important matchup this coming Sunday against the...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Jan 18, 2013 at 8:11 AM 7 comments
    Greetings 49erland, and welcome to the Championship Weekend installment of UFR. On the back of one of the greatest performances in NFL history from Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers defeated the Packers last weekend and are headed to the NFC Championship Game for the second consecutive year. This time around, however, the 49ers will be hitting the road, traveling to the unfriendly confines of the Georgia Dome to take on the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons' brand of southern hospitality will be served up by QB Matt Ryan, big play WRs Roddy White and Julio Jones, and a defense schemed by none other than former 49er head coach, Mike Nolan. Their brand of football was good enough to earn them the top seed in the NFC. Though the Falcons are the NFCs #1 seed this season, the...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Jan 10, 2013 at 12:19 AM 5 comments
    Welcome to Divisional Playoff weekend, and this week's installment of UFR. Last weekend, the Packers beat the Vikings, setting up a meeting that will remind some of the mid to late 90's (and not always happily).  This time around, the Packers are the established NFL powerhouse with a recent Super Bowl win and the 49ers are the upstarts with a lights out defense and an intriguing youngster under center. Though the names and faces have changed, the storyline is no less compelling: both of these teams were in the running for the #2 seed in the NFC until the last week of the season. Both teams feature veterans with multiple pro bowls. Both are are very well coached. Each  has a very good chance of advancing to the Super Bowl. But only one will advance to the NFC...
  • By AJ Bolino and Diego Del Barco
    Jan 5, 2013 at 11:55 AM 3 comments
    Welcome to wildcard weekend 49er fans, and the bye week edition of Upon Further Review. Week 17 is in the books, the 49ers wound up as the second seed (do you believe in miracles?) and this weekend's action will determine who travels to Candlestick next Saturday. The Niners have this week off, and while they rest up for the Divisional Playoff, we'll be taking a hard look back at the season that was. This week we'll be offering up our thoughts on the team's offensive MVP, defensive MVP and which of the 49ers assistants is most likely to depart for a head coaching gig next season. Offensive MVP AJ: At the outset of the season, I figured that the 49ers would shift their "ground and pound" offensive strategy a bit, and to some...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Dec 29, 2012 at 5:46 PM 2 comments
    Happy New Year, 49erland…and welcome to the most depressing installment of Upon Further Review to date. Sure the 49ers have lost this season, but after a beat down like the one we watched last Sunday, it's a miracle that we all didn't drink ourselves into a stupor … oh, wait … most of us did (at least, AJ did). This week, we'll be looking at what the hell happened to the 49er offense last week, what in the world happened to the 49er defense last week and our picks for Week 17. 
What hap ... what happened to the offense in Seattle last Sunday? AJ: Dude. For all of the conceivable ways that last Sunday night's game could have sucked for the offense...it hit every friggin' facet of suckage...
  • By AJ Bolino and Diego Del Barco
    Dec 22, 2012 at 5:08 PM 6 comments
    Happy holidays 49erland, welcome to Week 16 and the latest installment of "Upon Further Review." Last week's game was one that will be remembered for years to come…and this week's matchup has the same feel. Given what we all saw in Foxboro last Sunday Night, we'll be talking about Colin "the conqueror" Kaepernick's growth under center, the 49ers game plan for Sunday night's showdown with the Seahawks, the 49ers' Super Bowl aspirations and as always, our picks for Week 16. Did Colin Kaepernick "grow up" as a QB last Sunday night in Foxboro? AJ: What a difference a week makes. On Sunday night, the Niners grew up, big time. With the offense able to create mismatches against the Patriots secondary, Kaepernick was able to take...
  • By AJ Bolino and Diego Del Barco
    Dec 13, 2012 at 3:13 AM 27 comments
    Welcome to a very special installment of Upon Further Review. For Week 14, AJ and Diego put this space in the hands of our readers...heaven help us. In order to address as many of your questions as possible, we'll be departing from our usual format. In today's installment, we'll be covering everything from the explosiveness (or lack thereof) of the 49er offense to the possible destinations for Alex Smith in 2013 and everything in between (or as much as we can fit into one column, anyway). Bet before we begin, thanks for submitting your questions (yes…even you, Terry and Ken…even you). Where is the "explosiveness" in the 49er offense that we've been hearing so much about? - submitted by multiple readers, including Mouse, Mike and...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Dec 9, 2012 at 4:04 PM 29 comments
    Welcome to pre-game part of this week's Upon Further Review…and the UFR crew wants to know: what do you want to talk about? This week AJ and Diego are turning this space over to you, the readers, to decide what we'll be discussing. Both writers will take turns to reply to any of your questions regarding the San Francisco 49ers, from your immediate reaction to today's game against the Miami Dolphins, to next week's primetime game against the Patriots, and anything else related to the 49ers. Leave your questions in the comments section at the bottom and we will select several of them to reply to by midweek. We are looking forward to your...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Dec 6, 2012 at 12:59 PM 21 comments
    Welcome to another chapter of Upon Further Review. Week 13 was a great many things…but for those of us that spend our Sundays watching 49er football, it was weak. Really, really weak. For week 14, Diego and AJ discuss what they learned about Colin Kaepernick after last Sunday's game against the Rams, play-calling/O-line issues, and whether it is time for David Akers to join the unemployment market. We'll finish this off with some extra thoughts in our Two-Minute Drill and we'll give you our picks for week 14 in the NFL. After last Sunday, what have we learned about Colin Kaepernick? AJ: Yet again, the QB question jumps to the fore...but not in the way you might think. Jim Harbaugh has all but crowned Colin Kaepernick as his...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Nov 29, 2012 at 10:53 AM 12 comments
    Welcome ladies and gentlemen to this week's installment of Upon Further Review, where we'll be looking at what it will take for Colin Kaepernick's first season under center to be viewed as a success, rating the 49ers current safety tandem, which of the 49er assistants has had the biggest impact on the team this season, running through a two minute drill and making our picks for the week. Now the Colin Kaepernick has been named the starter, what will it take for this season to be viewed as a success? AJ: As of yesterday, Colin Kaepernick is the 49ers starting quarterback. Though Coach Harbaugh has left the door open to re-insert Alex Smith at some point in the future, the likelihood of that is slim. That stated, its time to determine what it will take...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Nov 22, 2012 at 9:36 AM 10 comments
    Happy Turkey Day, 49erland, and welcome to another installment of Upon Further Review. Given recent events, there has been no end of "gobble gobble" going on…and not just because Thanksgiving is around the corner. On Monday night, Colin Kaepernick had one of the best Monday Night Football appearances in team history…a game eerily reminiscent of Steve Young's decimation of the Bears way back in 1987 (also a Monday Night game). Aldon Smith added to his already impressive career, posting a MNF record 5.5 sacks. And Jim Harbaugh started a 49er themed soap opera called "hot hands." In this week's installment, we'll be asking the question that's on everybody's mind (Who should be the 49ers starting QB going forward?), the question that should be on everybody's mind (Is...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Nov 15, 2012 at 9:51 AM 7 comments
    After what can only be described as the strangest week that 49erland has seen in a long time, we are bringing you a very special Week 11 installment of Upon Further Review. Since games end in a tie about once every bazillion years or so, this has been an odd week indeed. Fans are up in arms about everything from the 49ers sometimes good/sometimes bad defense, who the 49ers starting QB will be going forward…even whether or not the 2012 49ers are a team still capable of making the playoffs. This is definitely not the way things were supposed to shake out … right? That depends on who you ask. Given the growing divide between the optimists and the doomsayers of 49erland, this week, we'll be doing a Fact or Fiction breakdown of the current state of the 49ers as well as...
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