• 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
    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 2 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 0 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+ winning percentage this late in the season in the Super Bowl...
  • 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...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Oct 6, 2019 at 7:00 AM 1 comment
    It was a bit odd to have a bye week so early in the 2019 season, but it was enough for me to repair my broken fence and look into the San Francisco 49ers' victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Below are four Week 3 plays that I found interesting, and how head coach Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh can similarly attack the vulnerable Cleveland Browns. 1st Quarter – 2nd and 5 at the SF 30 (14:29) Last week, I noticed a bit of social media debate on the play above, focusing on why quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo did not wait a bit longer to hit wide receiver Marquise Goodwin on the deep...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Sep 21, 2019 at 8:00 AM 0 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers left the Buckeye State with a top-three offense and top-ten defense, feeling ready to take on the cream of the National Football League. Nearly everything was perfect until veteran tackle Joe Staley broke his fibula late in the Week 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. It's estimated he'll miss up to eight weeks of football. As noted in previous commentaries, my desire for the 49ers is a top-tier offensive line with three men in reserve with the talent to fill-in for a starter if necessary. The world does not often fulfill such a concrete...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Sep 14, 2019 at 7:00 AM 1 comment
    The world does not need another negative review of the San Francisco 49ers' Week 1 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. All week I watched the vultures swooping down from a dead, crooked branch to rip every last scrap from the carcass to feed click-bait articles and artificial television commentary. Indeed, everyone wants to see a team play a perfect football game and blow out the hated opponent. But success like that can be a false leader. Failure, flaw, and struggle can build character and wisdom in younger teams. The 49ers had moments last week they can take into tomorrow's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. I've pulled three instances that head coach Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh can continue and build upon in Week...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Sep 6, 2019 at 9:00 AM 2 comments
    The stretch between pro football seasons is a slog. It's bloated with speculation and baseless theories on who might win a Week 4 match-up, despite no team with a final 53-man roster. We've made it nine months without the Sunday afternoon sounds of crunching plastic and cleats kicking up black rubber on a hot artificial surface. More importantly, we have enough substance and fact to make educated guesses as to how the San Francisco 49ers' 2019 season might fare. Faith in the Starting Offensive Line; Fear of the Reserves I don't know if there is a fanbase that has absolute praise for its team's final 53-man roster. The 49ers' roster isn't perfect, and while the 49er executives did make some notable additions to the...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Aug 23, 2019 at 8:00 PM 3 comments
    Following a lackluster performance against the Denver Broncos, the projected San Francisco 49er starters will have to maximize 30 minutes of live football to prepare for the opening game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tomorrow evening, chill the beverages and fill your appetizer plates to the edge because this is the closest thing we'll get to live football for two weeks. Here are a few things to watch for on Saturday evening. Garoppolo Throwing the Route Tree Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's five-interception practice, followed by a one-for-six performance against Denver drew a wide variety of reactions from the press and faithful fans. Both performances are open to your interpretation; One: Garoppolo has to overcome large and small...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Aug 10, 2019 at 10:36 PM 3 comments
    Sitting 28 players for the first preseason game is a bit shocking, but finishing the game with 18-penalties for 216 yards and squeaking out a victory is something of a football unicorn. When asked about the penalties after the game, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said, "Anytime you have a game where you have 18 penalties, and the other team has five, you should look at it hard, and it's very hard to win that way." He went on to note he and the coaching staff would review the tape to see if any were penalties the team could control. I expect to see flags for illegal shifts or twelve-men in the huddle throughout the preseason. But the 49ers' ugly evening evolved from silly mistakes to pointless flags throughout the game. Left...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Aug 10, 2019 at 9:26 PM 0 comments
    Earlier in the week, San Francisco 49ers' head coach Kyle Shanahan noted he'd prefer having just two preseason games to evaluate players. His comments foreshadowed an injury-laden game. The 49er injuries started early in the game when tackle Shon Coleman was carted off the field with an ankle injury. Coleman was seeing his first live-action since the end of the...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Aug 10, 2019 at 8:44 AM 1 comment
    Preseason football is the best and worst of times. It's a flirtatious wink that football is back, or at least, better football is just a few weeks away. Plus, it's interesting to see a journeyman or undrafted free agent come out of nowhere to create a spot on the final 53-man roster. On the flip side, fans are stuck watching mistake-laden football, especially during the second half. Like many other teams, the San Francisco 49ers will not play some of their star veterans tonight. But we will get to see the team stretch its legs against a new opponent, along with testing new schemes or ideas. Here are a few things I'm watching for this evening. Offense Assuming head coach Kyle Shanahan limits most of the projected starters to a...
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