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Bret Rumbeck

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  • By Bret Rumbeck
    June 15, 2018 at 1:32 PM
    The evolution of football has always been intriguing. What's old, like a veer run, can get a fresh coat of polish and a place in 21st-century professional football playbook. The elements and scheme of a play may remain the same, but players and positions are always in a state of metamorphosis. The days of a slow quarterback with little ability to rush have died a slow death. The fullback is almost non-existent in most offenses, and a shorter slot receiver running slant and choice routes is all the rage. During the 1980s and 1990s, tight ends were lighter tackles who could catch. Today, tight ends have taken on a new look, and a new role as offenses spread out and push the ball vertically with higher frequency. NFL head coaches and offensive...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    June 9, 2018 at 8:38 AM
    The 2018 San Francisco 49ers have a strong first squad of linebackers coming into mini-camp, and the battle for the reserve unit should be entertaining during the preseason. Indeed, the 49ers need two things from their linebackers: 1. An injury-free season. Last year, veteran linebacker Malcolm Smith was injured early in training camp. Rookie Reuben Foster missed four games due to an ankle injury he received in Week 1, and two games due to an injured rib. Other linebackers who missed games due to injury were Dekoda Watson, Pita Taumoepenu, Donavin Newsom (released on April 30, 2018) and Jimmie Gilbert (also released on April 30, 2018). 2. Greater depth for the second squad. I went through at least four different...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    June 1, 2018 at 8:22 AM
    There are few certainties or locks for any player to make the 2018 San Francisco 49ers roster. The running back cadre for the 49ers is a notable exception, as even in early June it is clear who will make the 53-man roster. That is unless something weird happens between today and the start of training camp. Running Back Jerick McKinnon Matt Breida Raheem Mostert Fullback Kyle Juszczyk Since the 2014 season, 49er running backs have not had an offensive line that creates clear running lanes. The 2017 season saw the 49ers rush attack finish 21st in the NFL. The team was ninth in rushing touchdowns (15 rush TDs) and 15th in yards per rush attempt (4.1...
  • 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 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 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...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    March 12, 2018 at 5:49 AM
    It was not until Bill Walsh and Joe Montana came along that the worm turned, and after that came Steve Young and Jerry Rice, along with five Super Bowls, many victory celebrations, and the delicious habit of winning, which I highly recommend. -Hunter S. Thompson. "My 49er Habit." November 4, 2002. The NFL offseason is not an easy time for seasoned football junkies. For us, the arrogant talk from experts about how the 2018 season will play out is like listening to a gristmill grind hunks of steel, glass and raw animal bones into a pulp. February and March speculation only spawns an endless array of petty Twitter arguments. Already, the San Francisco 49ers made three key signings - quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin and...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    December 21, 2017 at 5:40 AM
    Imagine the humans who lived 6,000 years ago and observed the change of the seasons. As the autumn days grew shorter and shorter, people across the globe knew what was coming: the frozen grip of impending doom. It must have looked like a fantastical power from a celestial being in the stars, testing the souls of mortal men walking the earth. Only deep faith and belief would keep these people safe from the Grim Reaper's icicle scythe. I imagine my skepticism would have had me burned at the stake for witchery in early civilization. "It's science!" I'd scream. "Look at the abacus and these numbers! And the written history! We don't need to tithe to the high chieftain! He won't make the sun return! Winter happens every year at this...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    December 10, 2017 at 2:49 PM
    With just four career starts under his belt, San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is proving to be a battle-tested warrior. In the fourth meeting between the 49ers and Houston Texans, Garoppolo rebounded from a sluggish start to lead the 49ers to their second straight victory. It's the first time two-game win streak for the 49ers...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    December 10, 2017 at 8:33 AM
    The San Francisco 49ers released today's inactive players. LB Pita Taumoepenu RB Jeremy McNichols DB Antone Exum Jr. DL Leger Douzable DL D.J. Jones DL Ronald Blair III T Trent Brown Here are the inactive players for the Houston Texans: RB Alfred Blue T Julién Davenport LB Jelani Jenkins WR Braxton Miller WR Cobi Hamilton OLB Ufomba Kamalu NT Chunky...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    December 8, 2017 at 5:50 AM
    The valiant Arthur, who was at that time the commander of the soldiers and kings of Britain, fought against [the invaders] invincibly. Twelve times he led in battle. Twelve times was he victorious in battle. - Henry of Huntingdon. Historia Anglorum, c. 1130 Ancient myth and wild fantasy are vital elements that make up the legend of King Arthur. One of my favorite Arthur prophecies states that he returns to Great Britain when the kingdom needs him. Supposedly, Arthur 'fulfilled' this divination as Winston Churchill during World War II to lead the island nation through the relentless air attacks from the Luftwaffe. Myths make up the fibers and history of athletics. Without them, sports are nothing more than a bunch of adults on...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    December 1, 2017 at 5:58 AM
    She blinded me with science She blinded me with science And failed me in geometry - Thomas Dolby Science was never one of my better subjects. However, I did enjoy conducting experiments. I could embrace my inner Emmett L. 'Doc' Brown and devise a ridiculous hypothesis and test it, knowing full well my 'educated guess' would fail. One teacher encouraged our chemistry class to tinker with the experiment as we wished to achieve the desired outcome or different results. In fact, he loved it when the experiment went haywire. Kyle Shanahan: Inadvertent Scientist Head coach Kyle Shanahan never meant to wander into a quarterback science experiment, but he's smack in the middle of one. Shanahan...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    November 9, 2017 at 5:34 AM
    Yesterday, I posted two truths about this year's San Francisco 49ers team. Truth: The defense will return to greatness. But today, it's not built to win games. Truth: The passing game is Kyle Shanahan's white whale. In the spirit of the game, we now must face the lie. Lie: This year's 49er team is just like the 1979 team. I'm not sure the exact birthplace of this distortion, but I do remember a few reporters making veiled comparisons to the 1979 team shortly after the organization hired Kyle Shanahan to serve as head coach. The lie gained a little traction with some fans, and reporters still flirt with the comparison...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    November 8, 2017 at 6:37 AM
    It feels like we've been here before, and it's getting too familiar. We've experienced another week of professional football and hung our heads in yet another San Francisco 49ers loss. I know, I know. "That was last year's team! This year's team is different!" You're right. This year's team is different: Different roster, coaches, and front office. The 49ers shed a lot of dead weight in the offseason and drafted well. Plus, the careless whisper campaigns are a thing of the past. "Damn right. It's like 1979 all over again. We're rebuilding something great." It's far time to have an honest conversation about this year's 49ers, so what better way to do it than two truths and a lie. Truth: The...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    November 5, 2017 at 5:38 PM
    After playing four of five games on the road, the San Francisco 49ers returned to play a homecoming game of sorts against the Arizona Cardinals. The unanimous choice for homecoming king, newly acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, watched safely from the sidelines. But the script for the 49ers remained the same. The team fell victim to an injury bug that took...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    November 5, 2017 at 11:38 AM
    The San Francisco 49ers released today's inactive players. T Garry Gilliam DL D.J. Jones DL Aaron Lynch T Joe Staley DL Solomon Thomas CB K'Waun Williams LB Pita Taumoepenu Here are the inactive players for the Arizona Cardinals: WR Chad Williams RB D.J. Foster LB Scooby Wright III OL Daniel Munyer OL Will Holden TE Ricky Seals-Jones DL Xavier...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    November 5, 2017 at 8:07 AM
    The San Francisco 49ers return home today to take on the Arizona Cardinals. Once again, the 49ers are underdogs at home and are limping into the Week 9 matchup without key players. Earlier in the week, the team placed wide receiver Pierre Garçon on season-ending injured reserve due to a neck injury. Tackle Joe Staley will be out today after breaking his orbital bone against Philadelphia. Defensive linemen Solomon Thomas, D.J. Jones, and Aaron Lynch along with tackle Garry Gilliam and cornerback K'Waun Williams are also out for the game. It's not kickoff yet, and the outlook appears a bit bleak. However, this is a game the 49ers can win. Here are two keys to victory. Use the Short Passing Game This season, the 49ers...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    November 3, 2017 at 5:49 PM
    Former 49ers' tackle Anthony Davis has a new career in California. Earlier today, Davis posted a video to his Instagram account showing the extraction process of marijuana. ...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    October 31, 2017 at 5:51 AM
    Just in time for all Hallow's Eve, the San Francisco 49ers' locker room resembles a haunted Civil War hospital. Men with broken orbitals and forearms, stretched ligaments, bruised brains and strained necks are lurching around the facility seeking treatment for their wounds. The real horror show isn't a mangled body or a hospital bed procession making its way down 4949 Centennial Boulevard; no sir, the real disgusting mess is the regression of the 49ers as a professional football team. Week after week, this team becomes harder to watch. The press conference one-liners about "getting better" and "taking a step forward" or "watching the tape" have grown a thick, green mold. Getting outscored 73-10 over the last two games is nowhere near getting better....
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    October 29, 2017 at 2:25 PM
    On a rainy Philadelphia day, the San Francisco 49ers were looking to break free of the black cloud that's been hanging over them. The result was a brutal 33-10 loss, the first time in team history the 49ers start a season 0-8. A series of critical injuries, a non-existent run game, and an inability to sustain drives contributed to the...
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