• Bret Rumbeck
  • Written by:
    Bret Rumbeck
    Bret Rumbeck has been writing about the 49ers since 2017 for 49ers Webzone and 49ers Hub. He is a Turlock, CA native, and has worked for two members of the US House of Representatives and one US Senator. When not breaking down game film, Bret spends his time seeking out various forms of heavy metal. Feel free to follow him or direct inquiries to @brumbeck.

Bret Rumbeck's Latest Articles

  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Jul 2, 2020 at 5:00 PM 0 comments
    The seven-man pass protection in today's NFL seems a little foreign, considering how much the tight end position has evolved over the last 20 years. Today's hybrid tight end, a man built from DNA spliced from a sprinter, basketball player and professional wrestler, has an integral role in the passing attack. A generation ago, San Francisco 49ers tight end Brent Jones finished his career averaging 36.3 receiving yards per game. Flash twenty-five years in the future and tight end George Kittle is averaging 65.4 yards per game over his first three seasons. Head coach Kyle Shanahan's system is firmly rooted in the West Coast Offense, even mimicking some of Bill Walsh's old...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Jun 17, 2020 at 7:00 AM 0 comments
    Too often, a new coach press conference is full of bluster. This new leadership will increase win totals and playoff appearances, and ultimately fill the stadium to the brim with fans. These promises often remain empty, and fans are begging for another fresh start after two or three losing seasons. Over three years ago, Jed York, Kyle Shanahan, and John Lynch emerged from behind a soda machine in the 49ers' press room. Camera shutters fired like gentle machine guns as the stage settled and creaked. The scene had become commonplace at 4949 Centennial Boulevard. The San Francisco 49ers had just finished the 2016 season with two wins and were in a freefall into the depths of pro football mockery. Another lousy season meant another new...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    May 18, 2020 at 5:00 PM 1 comment
    The evolution of professional football from decade to decade is a conversation that never ceases to leave me in awe. Equipment gets stronger and lighter, while athletes eat and train better. The result is a faster game, though football's rudimentary foundations remain unchanged. San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan's mastery of professional football has given him many labels, including soothsayer and genius. Predicting the outcome of a play is impressive, but for me, Shanahan's modifications to the original West Coast Offense is his most remarkable accomplishment. In the 1982 49ers playbook, the late...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    May 4, 2020 at 8:00 AM 1 comment
    The NFL offseason is a wild duality of celebration and sadness. Last week, 32 teams drafted 255 new players into professional football, while many veterans decided it was time to walk away from the game. Unfortunately for the San Francisco 49ers, the team and the millions of fans had to say good-bye to 13-year veteran tackle Joe Staley. The 'will-he-won't-he-retire' rhetoric surrounding Staley seemed to be mild up until a few days before the draft. I'm guessing 49er management knew Staley's intentions before the draft and put together a plan even Hannibal Smith would applaud. General manager John Lynch was able to drop back in the first round and obtain a blue-chip defensive linemen Javon Kinlaw. He waited until the third day of the draft...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Apr 23, 2020 at 7:00 AM 0 comments
    The NFL Draft has evolved from a hotel conference room event into a sentient being. Instead of a smoke-filled room and chalkboards, the draft is a four-month affair, filled with mock drafts and hours of television content, ending in a room of giant plasma screens and a floor jammed with people. It is and will continue to be a pinnacle life moment for 255 young men who have the distinction of celebrating with family, friends, and a massive global audience. The draft, in its purest form, is more of a Las Vegas-style table game for 32 NFL teams. Key veterans have retired, been traded, or signed with a new team. The free-agent talent has all but gone, and that leaves general managers investing millions of dollars and future success into a lucky handful of...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Apr 14, 2020 at 7:00 PM 0 comments
    There is no group within any sport whose success is as dependent on effective communication as the offensive line in football. Physical skill and effort can make a great runner or receiver, but when five or six of us are involved, no amount of talent can replace the ability to understand one another. Bill Walsh. 1985 San Francisco 49ers Playbook. We have reached the point in the professional football offseason where experts and hack writers flood fans with speculative commentary. I often wonder when the mock drafts and trades get old, but apparently, the kids love it. Maybe there are a few of you floating around the ether bored to tears with the guess-the-win-total for the 2020 San Francisco 49ers. Frankly, all fans should...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Mar 17, 2020 at 7:00 AM 6 comments
    Between 2014 and 2018, the San Francisco 49ers achieved a dismal win-loss record of 25-55. The only reward from the dark stretch of football were high draft picks to try and rebuild a broken franchise. During that time, the team was able to build up a formidable defensive line through the NFL Draft. The 49ers selected a defensive lineman in three straight drafts, starting with Arik Armstead in 2015. It took some time, along with adding two menacing defensive ends, for the world to witness the full potential of the 49ers' defensive line. The NFL, unfortunately, is not a fantasy world where the roaring success and triumphs last for decades. No sir. The average player lasts for just over three seasons, and great players will...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Mar 5, 2020 at 7:00 AM 2 comments
    It's been a cruel truth to accept, but San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has not put a need on high-quality interior linemen, specifically his guards. Long gone are the days of a mauling, 310-pound guard with a full cage bullring facemask, a fat neckroll, and the flexibility of hardened adamantium. Shanahan's run game is not a grinding, power system that demands the guards crush every defender in their path. We live in an era of the zone run, where the running back doesn't have a designated hole to run through, and the offensive linemen block an area or head to the second level. Shanahan would rather have a guard with brains and athleticism. Both are more valuable assets in a zone system than a guard who resembles a brick...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Feb 1, 2020 at 10:29 AM 0 comments
    Earlier in the week, I had a text exchange with two highly respected gentlemen. One asked a fair question: "How much will Shanahan adjust for Sunday? What can he modify?" In three seasons of crunching film, I've watched head coach Kyle Shanahan stick with staple plays and make slight adjustments to others. He's also called concepts and route combinations that look brand new to me. A reporter asked Shanahan about installing a game plan and putting it together during his press conference on January 24, 2020. "No one ever really saves a play. There's not the magical playbook. It's just tying your guys...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Jan 30, 2020 at 9:20 AM 0 comments
    The worst-to-first story is a standard plotline to a thousand feel-good films. The opening scene shows an unorganized team with ragged uniforms and one player more interested in picking dandelions than making plays. The coach is reading the paper, while the parents can hardly muster the effort to applaud. The film begins its climb when a new coach takes a leadership role. He makes immediate changes, and the team starts to come together. They all learn from their mistakes and end up becoming the darling of the league the next season. This year's 2019 San Francisco 49ers are the subject to that film, illustrated best by the transformation of their defense. Last season, the 49ers' defense made watching football difficult. The team could hardly generate...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Jan 24, 2020 at 7:00 AM 3 comments
    Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens Brown paper packages tied up with strings These are a few of my favorite things. 'My Favorite Things.' Williamson Music. 1959. Rodgers, Richard & Hammerstein, Oscar. The San Francisco 49ers' offense was a joy to watch in 2019. Gone were the days of a collective stomach drop each time quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo dropped back and lofted a ball through the afternoon air. This year, the 49ers' offense had nerves of iron and souls of lightening. Garoppolo and the ten men in his huddle proved they could win games decisively or when the 49ers' defense was playing sluggish...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Jan 16, 2020 at 7:00 AM 1 comment
    The 2019 San Francisco 49ers have found ways to win 14 football games by any means necessary. If the defense was having a tough day, the 49ers' offense picked up the slack. If the offense was sluggish, the 49ers' defense would provide a spark or shut down the opposing offense. Special teams also played a key role, only allowing punt returners to gain 5.7 yards per return on 23 attempts. In the 49ers' victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the 2019 NFC Divisional playoff game, the offense's lopsided game plan proved to work. Head coach Kyle Shanahan called 47 runs against 19 passes. The strategy allowed the 49ers to dominate time of possession, racking up 21 first downs and control the pace of the game. The passing game was...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Jan 10, 2020 at 7:00 AM 0 comments
    Should a flying DeLorean ever arrive crashing into the driveway of an old San Francisco 49er fan's home, I'm guessing he or she would ask to go back and watch legendary quarterback Joe Montana play a night game at Candlestick Park. The old guard, the men, and women who'd bring red wine and grilled chicken into the stadium on a foggy night, still yearn for the day the 49ers revive the West Coast Offense and hoist another Lombardi Trophy into the night sky. Fortunately, new and old 49er fans are lucky to have head coach Kyle Shanahan calling plays from the shadowed sidelines of Levi's Stadium. Shanahan has been a masterful play-caller for the 49ers, especially after quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo took the reins of the offense. In his first...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Jan 6, 2020 at 7:00 AM 0 comments
    The 2019 San Francisco 49ers started the year deep at running back. Even with veteran Jerick McKinnon spending another year on injured reserve, the 49ers finished second in the NFL with 2,305 total rush yards, 23 touchdowns, and averaging 144.1 yards per game. Veteran running back Raheem Mostert has been a jack-of-all-trades for the team. He led the 49ers in rush yards, touchdowns, and broken tackles on rushes with 12. He also played 199 special teams snaps,...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Dec 14, 2019 at 6:45 PM 2 comments
    The 2019 NFL season will have a variety of storylines, but one will be the revival of the San Francisco 49ers' offense. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the ten men in the huddle deserve a hat tip for execution, but head coach Kyle Shanahan should be in the running for coach of the year. Shanahan has shown not only a mastery of any game situation but an ability to adapt his calls and strategy as the game progresses. When a game called for a ground attack, he grabbed running plays from a distant sandlot and put up 275 yards on the turf. When Garoppolo was heating up, and the 49ers' defense struggled, Shanahan leaned on the pass and...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Dec 6, 2019 at 6:00 AM 0 comments
    Generally, I'm unpleasant to be around following a San Francisco 49ers' loss. While the Week 13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens was equally heartbreaking and frustrating, I was not upset to see the 49ers take one of the NFL's best teams down to the wire. I'm harboring one naïve irritation from the 49ers' loss. The whole football universe was aware of how well Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson runs his offense. He can attack a defense with his arm and, like a sharp pendulum, cut it into ribbons with his legs. Yet, the 49ers' defense often reacted as if Jackson's skill was brand new. Throughout the game, the defense made the same mistakes, often leaving the edge exposed for Jackson to gain yardage. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh did make...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Nov 24, 2019 at 5:00 AM 0 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers are hours away from entering a grinding 21-day stretch, facing three teams that have a combined win-loss record of 24-6. As ESPN's Nick Wagoner pointed out, this has not happened this late in an NFL season during the Super Bowl era. Mentioned this just now on @KNBR and story for Friday: #49ers about to play the toughest 3-game stretch this late in the season in NFL history. No team has played three straight games against teams with an .800+...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Nov 10, 2019 at 8:00 AM 0 comments
    It would not matter if the San Francisco 49ers were winless, the Week 10 match-up against the detestable Seattle Seahawks would be a big game. Luckily for the Faithful and all of football America, the 49ers enter Monday evening undefeated and standing atop the NFC West. The 49ers were nearly a tale of two teams during Weeks 8 and 9. After playing almost flawless football against the Carolina Panthers, the 49ers had to put up a bit more of a fight to top the Arizona Cardinals. Fortunately, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo guided the team to a three-point victory in Arizona, throwing for 317 yards and four touchdown passes. I've pulled a few of my favorite plays from both games, along with one area of concern. Week 8: San...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Oct 26, 2019 at 7:00 AM 0 comments
    For the past few seasons, I've hoped the San Francisco 49ers' defensive line would be the team's north star. My hope went unfulfilled until this season. It is clear defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was missing pieces to the defensive puzzle, mainly aggressive edge defenders and a capable inside linebacker, to create a fully operational and dangerous defensive line. Two men, fifth-year veteran Arik Armstead and third-year veteran Solomon Thomas, have played vital roles in the defensive line's major transformation. Below are a handful of moments showcasing what Armstead and Thomas bring to the 2019 49ers. Arik Armstead Last year, a professional football writer noted that Armstead wasn't playing good football. It was an...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Oct 13, 2019 at 7:00 AM 1 comment
    Last Monday night felt like everything was finally right and good with the world. As the sun dropped into the Pacific, the nation watched the San Francisco 49ers dismember the cursed Cleveland Browns. The 49ers' offense could make up running plays in the huddle and gain five or six yards, while the defense spent the evening making quarterback Baker Mayfield look like a second-string junior varsity player. Then, the next afternoon, the anvils began to fall from the sky. Not only did fullback Kyle Juszczyk sustain an MCL sprain, but the team also announced second-year tackle Mike McGlinchey...
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