• By Ben Squire
    Aug 16, 2002 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    With the regular season just weeks away, a few questions have yet to be answered regarding the 49ers roster. In all probability, most of these questions will not have definitive answers until midway through the season as unavoidable factors such as injuries cannot be forecast. Having said this, the 49ers are comfortable with their starting lineup which for the most part remains unchanged from last year and has been penciled in as how the team will look this year. Below is a list of question marks surrounding the 2003 San Francisco 49ers. They are not in any particular order but all will have an impact on how the team fares in their bid to make the playoffs. Do the 49ers have a competent backup in Tim Rattay? It’s no secret that the...
  • By Ben Squire
    Apr 25, 2001 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    April 21st 2001 – Jamie Winborn becomes the second player to be chosen by the San Francisco 49ers in the annual draft. This selection came as a surprise to many, mostly because of the fact that Winborn was taken so high. Several draft experts had the 49ers addressing their need at RB in the first two rounds, but as was the case last year, the focus was on defense. The 49ers however, could see the potential in Winborn to improve a defense that ranked near to last. “Oh man, we really like this kid,” said the 49ers head coach. “He’s fast, he hits hard, he makes plays – we’re excited about his future.” If there could be one knock on Winborn, it is his size – 5 foot 11 inches. However, it’s his play making ability that is larger than life....
  • By Ben Squire
    Apr 17, 2001 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    The off-season could be described at best as a form of musical chairs. Players that were once cheered for by the home team crowd are now being jeered as a member of the opposition team. Such is the way of life for most professional football players. Very rarely is it that a player drafted will finish his career with the team that has chosen them. It is unfortunate that players such as Jerry Rice will be finishing out their playing lives in uniforms other than the ones that made them a household name. Others, such as Charlie Garner, have departed due to the brutal reality that is the salary cap. "My loyalty runs deep, but I know this is a business," said Garner. "I wish the 49ers the best. Things didn't work out there, but they gave me...
  • By Ben Squire
    Apr 5, 2001 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    Aside from the regular season and playoffs, the most anticipated event on any fans calendar is the annual NFL Draft held each April ... and for good reason. With each draft brings renewed hope; hope that the next Jerry Rice or Barry Sanders will be uncovered and catapult their new team to the next level of success. Of course there is a flip side to that coin. The NFL landscape is littered with numerous 'busts’; players that for whatever reason failed to make the impact desired by the team that selected them. For every Payton Manning, there are 10 others that could never quite make it. A year ago, the 49ers uncovered several gems in a draft that was hailed as one of the best ever by any team. The players that were picked last year are expected to be the...
  • By Ben Squire
    Feb 25, 2001 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    Of all the opponents the 49ers have faced throughout their long history, none have appeared more imposing than the one they face now. This battle will not be won on the field, rather the front offices. The opponent – the salary cap. This is not a new thing to the 49ers as the salary cap has been in effect now for many years, but big spending and contract bonuses have finally caught up with the cap–strapped 9ers. Over the last decade, Pro Bowl calibre players such as Deion Sanders, Ricky Watters, and Dana Stubblefield, have been salary cap victims. Some were willing to depart because they realised their value on the open market, others however were let go with some reluctance. This year, players such as the great Jerry Rice (Mr. 49er) and Ken Norton Jnr....
  • By Ben Squire
    Jan 14, 2001 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    As I am writing this, the Raiders and Ravens are dueling it out in the AFC Championship Game for the right to appear in Super Bowl 35. This is something that the 49ers fans of old took for granted; and for good reason. 49er teams during the eighties and early nineties were the benchmark in professional football and a Super Bowl berth was expected even before minicamps had begun. Unfortunately, this is not the 49ers your father grew up with nor are they likely to make it to the 'Big Dance' anytime soon. What was once the most feared and respected team in the NFL is now a group of young individuals coming to terms with life out of college. This transition for any young player is a hard one. What was once black is now white, and what was up is now down. However, in the...
  • By Ben Squire
    Nov 9, 2000 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    No, this is not in reference to Boyz 2 Men but rather an apt description of the season that the San Francisco 49ers are enduring. This has been a hard and disappointing season for anyone associated with the once proud 49ers. From the players and coaches, to the fans, and especially those who have experienced past successes. This years team is a far cry from the dominant ones in the eighties and early nineties responsible for a total of 5 championships. In fact, a winning season (which was taken for granted and expected) is not likely to happen for a number of years now. Excuses have come in abundance. "We're too young" and "Too many injuries" have been heard throughout the team locker room after almost every heart-breaking loss....
  • By Ben Squire
    Oct 8, 2000 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    In front of a sold out crowd at 3Com Park, the Bay Area feud between the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders resembled all out war rather than a Sunday afternoon football game. In a contest that provided more twists and turns than a mystery novel, the Raiders found themselves coming out on top with 4:15 remaining in overtime when Gannon fired a 31 yard pass down the sidelines to a streaking Tim Brown. This was a very disappointing loss, not to mention a very bitter pill to swallow considering the opponent played. The two teams share a disliking for each other which is unmatched and with each game played comes bragging rights for the victor. In this instance, it was the Raiders who earned the rights. A poor defensive and special teams effort overshadowed...
  • By Ben Squire
    Oct 4, 2000 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    After doing the crime (and I use the term lightly), he has done his time. This Sunday it will be business as usual for San Francisco's no. 1 Wide Receiver - Terrell Owens. After being grounded like a spoiled teenager by 'father figure' Coach Marriuci, Owens is all set to go against Bay Area nemesis, the Oakland Raiders. Can we expect more over the top celebratory antics, or can we expect a new subdued approach to touchdown celebrations ala Barry Sanders. Who knows, and moreover, who cares. This topic has been done to death by a multitude of the nations top sports writers and television analysts. It's almost as if Mr. Owens had become public enemy no. 1. It is time to move on and let bygones be bygones. It's no secret that Owens is a...
  • By Ben Squire
    Sep 25, 2000 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    After resembling more of a train wreck than a pro football team for the past three weeks, the San Francisco 49ers may finally be back on track. After a resounding 17 point win in hostile Texas Stadium (their first away win since week 3 last season) coach Mariucci may have stumbled upon the formula which could produce a few more W's before seasons end. During the week preceding the Dallas game, Mariucci highlighted certain aspects of the 49ers game plan which would require improvement in order to turn around their losing skid and avert their first 0 - 4 start since 1979 - time of possession and third down conversions. Controlling the ball means that you control the clock, and in turn control the tempo and speed of the game. After observing the defensive performance...
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