• Gilbert Brink
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    Gilbert Brink
    49ers outsider, residing in the Hudson Valley, representing 30+ years of the 49ers experience

Gilbert Brink's Latest Articles

  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jul 9, 2020 at 8:40 AM 4 comments
    The last 3 months of our collective lives as Americans has felt like a terrible hangover. 2020 will not be a year many look back on with fond feelings and memories. The nation's hangover started in March, but the 49ers' hangover began on February 2, 2020. The dreaded Super Bowl hangover is a powerful mythos in the lore of American sports. It doesn't make much logical sense, a team talented enough to reach the Super Bowl shouldn't magically be transformed into a less capable team due simply to the fact they scored fewer points than the opposition on the first Sunday in February. Yet, there are countless examples of this wretched hangover indeed visiting the 2nd best team in football on an annual basis. Look no further than the NFC West to find an example of how ominous the...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jul 6, 2020 at 7:05 AM 0 comments
    Levin T. Black is an unsung podcast hero. Carefully striking a balance between obsessed analytics nerd and the wise elder statesman at the bar. His insights, humor, and wit are one-third of the very best 49ers podcast out there — the 49ers Webzone "No Huddle Podcast" (available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google PlayMusic). I don't say this because I write for the Webzone myself. Long before I volunteered to write here, I would search for a good 49ers podcasts to listen to. It would take quite some time before I found the No Huddle Podcast. At that time, Levin T. Black was yet to join the crew, but it didn't take long to get hooked by host Zain Naqvi's commentary on the best franchise in sports. When Levin T. Black joined the...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jun 30, 2020 at 7:11 AM 3 comments
    In 2019, the 49ers fielded one of the very best offenses in the NFL. Come this fall, the 49ers offense will be even better. This past season the 49ers ranked 4th in the league in total yards, 2nd in the league in rushing yards and 2nd in the league in points per game. Truth be told, there isn't much room for improvement. Or is there? While they could only improve slightly in league ranking, they certainly can improve in terms of overall production heading into Kyle Shanahan's fourth year as head coach/offensive play-caller. In Super Bowl 54 it was apparent that the 49ers needed just a little bit more. Clinging to a 20-10 lead with just over 7 minutes to go, the 49ers failed to answer the bell rung by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. With these few key changes made...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jun 22, 2020 at 8:15 AM 2 comments
    Richard Sherman was one of the most hated opponents in 49ers history. Currently, Richard Sherman is one of the most beloved members of the 49ers roster. So much has changed since the loudmouth, superstar cornerback took a dinner meeting with Kyle Shanahan a little over two years ago. Back then, the 49ers were coming off of a 6-10 season, ending the year with a 5-game winning streak led by newly acquired QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Expectations were high, the 49ers were a media darling and Jimmy Garoppolo was heralded as the next great QB. The addition of Richard Sherman shocked the football world and set the bar even higher for the once great franchise. Two years later, the 49ers are coming off of a heartbreaking Super Bowl loss. Although he faltered in the final moments of Super...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jun 17, 2020 at 8:09 AM 15 comments
    The 49ers will be a Super Bowl contender in 2020. The question is, will 2020 be the final year the 49ers are a Super Bowl contender? The recent talk around George Kittle's contract extension has opened the eyes of many of the 49ers Faithful. While the 49ers' talent is long, their money is short. The 49ers are squeezed up against the cap in 2020, having an estimated cap space of just above $15 million without any rookies signed at this time. Jimmy Garoppolo, Trent Williams, Dee Ford, and Richard Sherman combine for a near $70 million cap hit. The 2020 NFL salary cap is $198 million. To break that down, four players take up over 35% of the 49ers' total salary cap for 2020. Ouch. What does this mean for the other 49 players on the 53-man roster? Among those other...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Jun 1, 2020 at 6:50 AM 0 comments
    George Kittle is one of the best players the 49ers have had over the last twenty years. Just 3 seasons into his NFL career and it isn't a stretch to state that Kittle is the very best tight end who has ever played for the franchise. Why then, is there even a thought being given to trading George Kittle? On Friday evening word began to circulate via NFL Network's Michael Silver that Kittle's agent Jack Bechta is aiming for his client to get paid, not like the best tight end in football, but as something much larger than that. According to Silver the 49ers and Kittle "are not close" to a deal. This is no surprise as any follower of Kittle knows that his value extends well beyond...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    May 28, 2020 at 9:56 AM 5 comments
    There will be no magical "clinch by an inch" moment for the 49ers in 2020. 49ers fans will not have to hold their breaths, feel their hearts stop and then be overwhelmed by joy due to some legendary play made by a man draped in scarlet and white. When San Francsico LB Dre Greenlaw created one of the truly great moments in 49ers history last December by flattening Seahawks TE Jacob Hollister at the goal line on 4th down during the final game of the 2019 NFL season the stakes could not have been higher. In 2020 the 49ers will not wait until Week 17 to prove who is the best in the West. By the time the 49ers host Seattle the biggest question a 49ers fan will have will be: start or sit? I don't view the 49ers as an unstoppable force heading into the 2020 season. The truth is, the...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    May 18, 2020 at 9:33 AM 2 comments
    Take a moment to think about the last 49ers player to be arrested. Google it if you must. This exercise may take a few moments of your time, but that wasn't always the case. Quite frankly, a 49er being arrested was a monthly occurrence under past regimes. 49ers fans would dread the days like this one, mid-May, when the NFL was deep in hibernation and yet a 49ers player would be the talk of the sports world. Whether it be Rueben Foster's domestic violence allegation, Aldon Smith's numerous DWIs or unfathomable bomb threat, Bruce Miller's physical assault of a senior citizen or Ahmad Brooks being booked on sexual battery charges, the 49ers had no shortages of disgusting headlines focused around the deplorable behavior of some of their biggest stars. Once beloved...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    May 11, 2020 at 8:02 AM 0 comments
    Maybe it's because he is very handsome. Maybe it's because his coach chooses to run the ball more than pass it. Maybe it's because he dates porn stars. Maybe it's because his team lost a 4th quarter lead in the Super Bowl. Whatever the reason may be, people don't like San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Sometimes players are just unlikable, I get it. While sports is based on physical abilities, the motivation to cheer for or root against a player often relies heavily on the personality of the player. Former Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is a prime example of someone who is almost impossible to like. Manziel was a spoiled rich kid who had a terrible attitude and was a junky off the field. Mix in some domestic violence issues and you have a person who only a...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Apr 26, 2020 at 7:49 AM 7 comments
    A lot changes in 3 days. Heading into the 2020 draft the 49ers seemed poised to scoop up one of the top 3 WRs with their #13 pick and then the trade-down bonanza was set to commence. Wrong. What followed was nothing short of stunning, as the next 3 days would turn the franchise upside down and leave the landscape drastically altered. I gained 2 significant takeaways from these past 3 days: the 49ers are all in for Super Bowl 55 and those moves left a lot more questions than answers. Foundational Javon Kinlaw Prior to the 2020 draft the 49ers spoke of 6 foundational players in this draft class. There was speculation on who these players were and on Thursday night the world found out that 1 of them was DT Javon Kinlaw. When the 49ers traded away DT DeForest...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Apr 23, 2020 at 9:04 PM 68 comments
    Failure. Complete and utter failure. No other words can summarize the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft for the San Francisco 49ers. John Lynch had nothing but opportunity in his hands. When the 49ers received a 4th round pick to move down one spot, 49ers fans had to be overjoyed watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select LT Tristan Wirfs. Warm feelings reminiscent of Lynch's first draft flowed through the 49er faithful, and then, just like that draft in 2017, John Lynch completely blew it. In 2017, the 49ers traded down one spot to select DL Solomon Thomas. He is a terrible player. In 2020, the 49ers traded down one spot, and selected DL Javon Kinlaw to replace DT DeForest Buckner. He is not DeForest Buckner. Kinlaw is a bundle of hope. The 49ers see potential in...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Apr 22, 2020 at 7:05 AM 5 comments
    In January I wrote that the 49ers were facing a must-win Super Bowl. Scroll through the comment section on Facebook for a variety of jabs towards the relevancy of the article, whether it be the title or the actual content, many thought the idea that the 49ers' window possibly closing was a laughable notion. Yet here we are, fresh off of trading franchise anchor DT DeForest Buckner with trade winds swirling around other key pieces of the 49ers roster. Whether it be big money LB Kwon Alexander, star pass rusher DE Dee Ford, S Jacquiski Tattt in his contract year, and even Shanahan favorite; RB Tevin Coleman. In the fallout of the 49ers Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the main theme coming...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Apr 16, 2020 at 9:28 AM 1 comment
    Mock drafts are meaningless. During a pandemic and living in a state with a stay at home order, you find yourself doing plenty of meaningless things. Just three months ago I sat shoulder to shoulder in a packed bar watching Raheem Mostert score 4 touchdowns and catapult the San Francisco 49ers into the Super Bowl. Ordering pint after pint I enjoyed scanning the crowd and seeing the reactions of my fellow fans, some elated, some disgusted, some just looking to order a dozen hot wings. I, like many of you, deeply miss experiences like this. During tragedy and darkness, we must laugh. Every day we are provided with hundreds of reasons to be terrified, it is important in these times to search for a dozen reasons to smile. With this in mind, I called upon 3 of my very...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Mar 13, 2020 at 12:03 PM 0 comments
    Transformative. How many players can completely change a team just by stepping on the field? Defensive end Nick Bosa did just that for the 49ers in 2019. For years 49ers fans would watch opposing quarterbacks enjoy a comfortable pocket to pass from as they carved up the 49ers secondary. Thanks to the #2 overall pick in the 2019 draft, the opposing quarterbacks weren't afforded that luxury. Bosa won the 2019 Associated Press Rookie of the year award and there was a point in the season when he was contending for Defensive Player of the Year as well. Offenses struggled to stop Bosa as his supreme technique, indefatigable effort and superb athleticism dominated the field on Sundays. Pro Football Focus actually noted...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Mar 13, 2020 at 11:09 AM 2 comments
    Jimmy Garoppolo; Super Bowl winning quarterback. That will one day be a headline that you will read. Though the 49ers signal caller came up short in the biggest moment of his career in Super Bowl 54, there are many more moments to come. Garoppolo is 28 years old coming off his first full season as an NFL starter. Recency bias has caused many to question the ability of this rising star. The final 3 games of the 49ers season have caused some to neglect the 16 games that came prior. In those 16 games (the NFL regular season), Garoppolo ranked 5th in completion percentage, 5th in touchdown passes, 8th in passer rating and 3rd in yards per attempt. All of this, in his first full season as a starter. Despite the statistical production, the Super Bowl appearance and...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Mar 13, 2020 at 8:25 AM 0 comments
    George Kittle is the best tight end in football. There is no argument to be made against it. No tight end does for his team what George Kittle does for the San Francisco 49ers. Kittle is an unstoppable force in the passing game, displaying an elite ability to gain yards after the catch with the ball in his hands. In 2018 Kittle set the NFL record for receiving yards for a tight end with 1,377. That alone exemplifies the value he brings to the offense, but when you pair his ability catching the ball with his blocking ability, you really begin to see what makes Kittle so special. Not only does Kittle excel on the field, he is essential to the success of the 49ers off the field. Kittle brings a jovial attitude to the game that is infectious. A leader in every sense...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Mar 12, 2020 at 12:24 PM 0 comments
    DeForest Buckner was a great 49ers defensive lineman before it was cool. Prior to the acquisitions of Dee Ford and Nick Bosa and the emergence of Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner was the only dominant force on the 49ers defense, period. One only must go back to Super Bowl 54 to see the importance that Buckner plays in the 49ers defense. Registering 1.5 sacks, he was a half-step away from sacking Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes on the now infamous 3rd and 15 bomb to Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill. Buckner brings havoc from the interior line and must always be accounted for by opposing offenses. Buckner is a defensive leader and a key to sustained success for the 49ers. 2019 Performance Buckner's statistic production saw a decrease from 2018, mostly...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Mar 12, 2020 at 7:17 AM 0 comments
    On the field defensive end Dee Ford is a dominant force. A blazing quick edge rusher who can completely wreck a passing offense with the pressure he puts on the quarterback. When the 49ers traded for Ford and paired him with defensive end Nick Bosa, they created a 1-2 punch on the defensive line that propelled the 49ers into title contention. It's hard to find anything bad to say about Dee Ford, but there is one obvious flaw in his game: his ability to stay on the field. Through 6 seasons of his career Ford has only one when he played all 16 games. The 49ers knew this when they traded for him in 2019, and while Ford missed nearly half the season due to injury, his return in the playoffs aided the 49ers defense on its road to the Super Bowl. Only one player on the...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Mar 11, 2020 at 7:22 AM 0 comments
    Tyshun Raequan Samuel is a bully. His play on the field lives up to the character his nickname is derived from, Deebo, from the classic comedy "Friday". On Sundays he will punch you in the face, take your beach cruiser and the chain your grandmother gave you. If any receiver epitomizes the mentality that Kyle Shanahan is looking for from the wide receiver position better than Samuel, show him to me. I don't believe he exists. When the ball is in his hands, Samuel turns from wide receiver to running back and brings a punishing running style that eludes 1 tackler and puts a beating on the next. The 49ers' top two targets towards the end of the season shared this common trait, both Deebo Samuel and George Kittle played with a toughness that cannot be found on paper. No statistic...
  • By Gilbert Brink
    Mar 10, 2020 at 7:23 AM 0 comments
    Heroes aren't always who you expect them to be. The name Richard Sherman was a vile one to 49ers fans prior to 2018. A hated rival, who took joy in gloating over the fallen 49ers teams of the past. This long-time Seahawk personified the heated rivalry between San Francisco and Seattle more than any one player. Heroes aren't always who you expect them to be. January 19th 2020, Richard Sherman intercepts Aaron Rodgers and seals the 49ers 7th trip to the Super Bowl. One of the most hated rivals in 49ers history has become a 49ers legend. January 19th 2014, Richard Sherman seals the Seahawks Super Bowl birth by tipping away a Colin Kaepernick pass into the hands of linebacker Malcolm Smith. What a difference 6 years can make. Richard Sherman was a hero for the 49ers...
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