• 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
    Jan 2, 2021 at 10:51 AM 2 comments
    One of the few joys during the dull months of a football offseason is going back and distilling what happened to a team. There are many reasons why the San Francisco 49ers did not have a repeat performance from 2019, but chief among them was the Grim Reaper's sanguine addiction for knee ligaments and soft ankles. A fully-loaded and healthy roster would have at least had the 49ers fighting to play postseason football. A fresh set of eyes and time to watch tape will make one element of a disappointing season clear. Right tackle Mike McGlinchey was not the reason for the misfortunes of the offense. Indeed, McGlinchey's errors and mental miscues seemed more magnified this season. His pass blocking technique seemed off and the whiffed blocks stood out...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Dec 25, 2020 at 2:45 PM 1 comment
    If there was to be any glimmer of hope in this dismal year, it was going to be watching the San Francisco 49ers bulldoze their way through the NFL. Our heroes, coming off a stellar 2019 season and a trip to the Super Bowl, were the chosen ones to repeat the performance. But 2020 is a massive black hole for nearly all good things. A greedy singularity gobbled up the hope for the 49ers. It's hard to tell if fans, fellow bloggers, and football experts are aware of the laundry list of injuries and the global pandemic that have devastated the 49ers' roster. Maybe it's willful ignorance, but some have turned clear reality into anger and frustration. With nowhere to go with these emotions, these few people have decided to blame head coach Kyle Shanahan for this season's...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Dec 19, 2020 at 8:08 PM 1 comment
    Well, everybody's on fire, but it's a snowin' in a cold blizzard. - Curtis Knight. If this foul year of NFL football has taught me anything, it's that offseason hype and predictions should always be ignored. Indeed, the San Francisco 49ers came into the 2020 season chalked to the brim with high ambition and potential. But as many wise football coaches have said, "Potential in one hand and nothing in the other is the same thing." Imagine trying to run a football team that's held together with kindergarten craft supplies due to injuries and a global pandemic. That, Gentle Reader, is this year's 49ers. Despite these headwinds, the 49ers have run hot and cold each week. Their defense, for example, is still a threat to the...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Dec 13, 2020 at 5:00 AM 0 comments
    Since Week 8, the San Francisco 49ers' run game has tallied 354 yards on 118 attempts. If you're keeping a mental score, that's 3.0 yards per attempt. Part of the decline was due to running back Raheem Mostert being on injured reserve for over a month. But even with Mostert in the lineup against the Buffalo Bills, the 49ers only gained 86 yards on 21 attempts. A lackluster running game has had its impact on the passing game. Head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense needs a ground attack to set up play-action, and movement plays, both of which play off inside and outside zone runs. Here are four runs from the past few weeks the 49ers need to use this afternoon to jumpstart the offense. Week 13: 1st Quarter – 1st and 10 at the BUF 25...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Nov 28, 2020 at 8:00 AM 0 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers are coming off a late-season bye week and still have an outside shot at the playoffs. It's a strange thing to type, considering the men wearing the intersecting letters on their helmets do not resemble a real threat to any opponent. Yet, the 49ers have shown some fight. Against the New Orleans Saints, the 49ers opened the game dominating on both sides of the ball. The offense held the ball for 13:39 minutes, running 23 plays for 83 yards. On the flip side, the 49ers' defense held the Saints to 8 yards in the first quarter. Overall, the defense kept two Saints quarterbacks under 150 yards throwing, and the Saints rush game to 114 yards. Unfortunately, these are small diamonds buried in a constant shovel load of dung. The 49ers...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Nov 21, 2020 at 10:00 AM 3 comments
    Nobody likes the always-the-victim mentality. We all know that person and his/her endless tales of woe, discord, and pain. The San Francisco 49ers are not complaining, but they are the unfortunate victim of the never-ending fallout of this rotten year. Indeed, the New York Jets are winless, but the 49ers had the potential to dominate the NFC again this year. As they tormented Odysseus, the fates felt it necessary for the men in scarlet red and gold to suffer. The amount of misfortune that's happened to the 49ers has been entirely out of their control. They cannot control a sticky artificial surface any more than they can prevent a rogue defensive lineman rolling up on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's foot. There is an upside to the misery....
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Nov 13, 2020 at 6:00 PM 0 comments
    All football energy flows through the Great Magnet, and he has decided the San Francisco 49ers will endure more than their fair share of pitfalls and anguish this season. The 49ers began Week 9 already a hobbled franchise and were further undercut when wide receiver Kendrick Bourne tested positive for COVID-19 last Wednesday. Shortly after, tackle Trent Williams and wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk also landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Only fools attempt to defy the negative energy that has gripped this rotten year. I'm not privy to head coach Kyle Shanahan's game strategy, but the laundry list of players out last...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Nov 5, 2020 at 8:00 AM 0 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers were riding a little higher entering the Week 8 match-up against the Seattle Seahawks. Back-to-back wins against the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots gave the vibration that the 49ers had found a groove on both sides of the ball. The offense could put points on the board, albeit without throwing downfield, and the defense was finding ways to make stops. But, as usual, these gains came crashing to a halt once the 49ers entered the eerie silence of CenturyLink Field. The 49ers' offense looked flat and lost, while the defensive line generated a pass rush that would hardly damage a loaf of jelly bread. On top of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's poor performance, he suffered another high ankle sprain and will be...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Oct 31, 2020 at 12:00 PM 0 comments
    A few weeks ago, I ran into a San Francisco 49ers fan on the street. We did not know one another but quickly bonded over the intersecting 'S' and 'F' on our jackets. "What's with that defense this year?" my new friend asked. "Well, they lost a few guys – Bosa and Thomas. Blair is still on IR, and Sherman hasn't played since Week one," I responded. "But they were so good last year! Their defense got them to the Super Bowl! I don't get it," he said. Our street conversation was the day after the 49ers were embarrassed by the Miami Dolphins, and fans were looking to hold an immediate requiem for a soulless team. Over the past two weeks, the 49ers' defense has generated five turnovers, held two quarterbacks to under 200...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Oct 30, 2020 at 6:00 PM 0 comments
    A few short weeks ago, the San Francisco 49ers were not an exciting football team to watch. Injuries, a lack of talent, and overall terrible play made the 49ers look like a hideous phantasm of men. Back-to-back losses in Weeks 4 and 5 filled me with anxiety that almost amounted to agony each time game day rolled around. But successive wins against the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots, due to nearly flawless offensive line play and a dominant ground attack, have infused a spark in the almost lifeless 49ers. Here are some highlights from Week 7, and a few areas the 49ers still need to improve as they take on the Seattle Seahawks this weekend. 1st Quarter – 1st and 10 at the NE 34 (11:47) One of...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Oct 24, 2020 at 5:00 PM 0 comments
    This year has given the San Francisco 49ers' defense a series of body blows. It's suffered season-ending injuries to star players, causing the defensive roster to become as thin as wet tissue paper. But defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has found a way to scrape together wins, holding the Los Angeles Rams to under 200 yards passing and just over 100 yards rushing. The secret to Saleh's success starts with a stout, powerful, and speedy defensive line. Defensive line play is not a factory line counting output numbers. If a star player isn't racking up tackles and sacks, the Twitterverse might shout that the player isn't producing or isn't worth the money. Great defensive line play is not all about statistics and is often...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Oct 24, 2020 at 7:00 AM 0 comments
    San Francisco 49ers' head coach Kyle Shanahan and I probably have very little in common, except a critical Xennial lesson learned in the late 1980s: if the game isn't working, take it out of the console and blow on it. The 49ers' offense was in dire need of a reset going into Week 6 against the Los Angeles Rams. There has been little sync and fluidity, except for the two wins against both wretched franchises from New York. Here's how the 49ers can take the right parts of their win, along with areas that need improvement, and springboard into Week 7. Use Tempo and Short Plays to Build Garoppolo's Confidence 1st Quarter - 1st and 10 at the LAR 24...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Oct 15, 2020 at 9:14 PM 4 comments
    I thought the Super Bowl hangover was a football fable, but watching the 2020 San Francisco 49ers now has me as a true believer. And the 49ers' hangover is not the bleary-eyed, dry-mouth, dull-headache hangover. No, good friends, this is the hangover you had Thanksgiving weekend when everyone from back home was legally old enough to hit the downtown bars. You remember that night – it started innocently with a pint of Guinness, and then someone from 3rd period English bought a round of off-label vodka shots. While the drinks between 8 p.m. and closing time were a blur, the last drink of the night was a whiskey sour with a girl you've known since second grade. The series of bad decisions mixed with rail alcohol resulted in a...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Oct 4, 2020 at 10:04 PM 1 comment
    Fun fact: the San Francisco 49ers have three first-round draft picks starting on their offensive line. On paper, at least, that should mean the team has enough talent to have a productive ground game and provide time for the quarterback to read a pass progression. The 49ers' offensive line should be quicker than its opponents, beating them to the punch on each play. Somehow, that's not the reality for this year's 49ers. For three weeks, the 49ers' offensive line has played just well enough to escape a heavy criticism and scornful looks. However, the truth began to emerge from the darkness last week against the New York Giants. The 49ers looked good, pounding a soulless franchise into the artificial turf, but the run game...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Sep 26, 2020 at 8:00 AM 1 comment
    The San Francisco 49ers had their bounce-back game in Week 2 after a successful trouncing of the woeful New York Jets. Both sides of the ball looked far more polished, with only a handful of errors sprinkled throughout the game. However, nothing sums up the 49ers' win more than a meme that made the rounds of Twitter on Sunday afternoon. Young Gamora: Did you do it? Thanos: Yes. Young Gamora: What did it cost? Thanos: Everything. Though 'everything' still seems too light a word to describe the outcome. Defensive end Nick Bosa and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas suffered season-ending knee injuries within moments of each other. Their combined loss will...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Sep 17, 2020 at 8:00 AM 0 comments
    The start of the 2020 NFL season has not been kind to the San Francisco 49ers. During the first half of the Week 1 game against the Arizona Cardinals, tight end George Kittle suffered a sprained knee and went into the locker room early. He finished the game but had no catches in the second half. On September 16, 2020, the 49ers kept him out of practice and noted he would likely not practice on Thursday or Friday. Shortly after the Kittle news, the team announced that cornerback Richard Sherman would miss three...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Sep 10, 2020 at 9:00 AM 0 comments
    A long time ago, I thought the most unprecedented event in the sports world was Game 3 of the 1989 World Series getting pushed back ten days due to an earthquake. Sports will find a way to endure - through earthquakes, war, a global pandemic and if professional football is played before a couch-bound audience. The San Francisco 49ers will play sloppy football Sunday, but the other NFL franchises will join them. Remember it's been nine months - if not longer - since players were on the field in a live football contest. Forty-Niner head coach Kyle Shanahan will have his men ready for Sunday afternoon, even if the game turns into a sludgy swamp of mental errors, blown coverages, and missed assignments. Indeed, the other 31 coaches in the league are...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Sep 1, 2020 at 8:00 AM 0 comments
    The smashmouth running strategies of professional football might be a long memory. But football never strays too far from its roots. Even twenty years into the 21st century, an NFL offense still relies upon a foundation of a swift running back weaving through a small gap between his linemen. Don't forget what took the 2019 San Francisco 49ers to within minutes of a Super Bowl title: a high-powered run game and their stout defense. Even with veteran Jerick McKinnon spending another year on injured reserve, the 49ers finished the regular season with 2,305 total rush yards, 23 touchdowns, and averaging 144.1 yards per game. Veteran running back Raheem Mostert was a jack-of-all-trades for the team. He led the team in rush yards, touchdowns,...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Aug 19, 2020 at 2:00 PM 0 comments
    NFL linebackers are a rare breed of human beings. With endless reserves of grit and awareness, these fearless men send themselves on violent missions to halt running backs in their tracks. Along the way, linebackers must fight off lead blockers and see through collapsing creases in an offensive line to make a play. The 2020 San Francisco 49ers are fortunate to have a deep linebacker corps, with three of the better players at the position in professional football. Below is a projection of the linebacker corps for this year's 49ers. First Team Fred Warner - Mike I remember my shock when the 49ers selected linebacker Fred Warner as the 70th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Indeed, he was not the top linebacker in the...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Aug 14, 2020 at 7:00 AM 2 comments
    Reserve defensive linemen are a critical cog in a professional football team's overall success. These men play 20 snaps or more on a Sunday afternoon and may find themselves on the field in a must-win situation. An organization might skate by on a subpar second-team offensive guard, but it cannot have below-average second-string defensive linemen. Last season, the San Francisco 49ers began with a stellar group of second-string trench men but had a noticeable drop in talent after veterans D.J. Jones and Ronald Blair ended up on the injured reserve list. If you want proof, re-watch former defensive lineman Anthony Zettel's 15-play performance in Super Bowl LIV, and you will see how badly the 49ers could have used Jones for those moments. General manager John Lynch...
Share 49ersWebzone