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State of the Team, Roster Analysis, & Needs

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Good thread.
The needs for next season aren't that different than last years. In fact, this season so far has exposed other weaknesses.
We thought safeties were set but both Tartt and Colbert have shown that the position can definitely be upgraded even though Tartt apparently ranks well on some sites.
Witherspoon was thought to be on the rise but that was only because Johnson was last years target of choice.
WR has shown that without Goodwin on the field, nobody seems to be able to get open where last year the talk was about players running wide open. Garcon has apparently been throttled by the Levi's curse where good players come to regress or be injured.
I know Mack was a pipe dream, water under the bridge, spilled milk and all of those cliches but boy, he would have been the missing piece on our d line and like Jimmie G last year really could have elevated his side of the ballclub!
Maybe it's the injuries and youth not grasping Kyles playbook but I thought in the 2nd half of last year, a lot of the growing/learning process was behind them and it was full speed ahead, but this looks as bad as last year, maybe worse with unrealistic expectations put on the team.
Even special teams seem to have taken a step backward in coverage units etc.
Coaches/teachers and conditioning methods appear to need to be improved this offseason too.
Spend York's money!!!
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
STATE OF THE TEAM

The Negative: It's abundantly clear we have a lot more holes on the roster than many would've liked to admit going into the season. Of course, some voids -- such as a pass rusher -- we all knew was an issue dating back to last season. It would've been nice for us to use capital towards certain areas but understandably, the team had to evaluate its roster in year one and it wasn't going to be able to address everything after that in this recent off-season.

The Positive: One strong off-season to start 2019 could definitely put us on the path towards the playoffs, and a silver lining is that the hype and media frenzy should be far less than it was going into the year. I hated the expectations put on us because we had potential, but it was going to take some luck for us to do some real damage considering the issues we still had. Even though we are unlikely to finish with a good record still this year, we should still end up with a decently high pick to acquire a lot more talent. Plus, I think this is the year we finally use our cap space we carry over to add difference-making players. Our coaches and FO have seen with their own eyes what we lack and these guys do know football and have already picked up some talented players. That said, I personally do trust that we'll overcome the obstacles and get back on track.

Summary statement: Bottom line is that Lynch and Shanahan were given six year deals for a reason and they're not going anywhere for the next two years at least. They've taken some risks that didn't pan out, but they seem more apt to learn from those situations that our prior regime. Let's hope they do.

ROSTER ANALYSIS

Quarterback
I'm not sure if it was the pressure (boy does that word work in many ways -- media, fans, poor pass blocking from the OL), or just trying to play within the system, but I believe Jimmy is still not at his peak within the Shanahan offense. I felt like he was on the cusp, but we'll have to wait for that to come to fruition. We do have a strong backup in Beathard and we will get to see how he grows throughout this season. He's had just 10 starts to his name and can make all the throws when given the time to do so. Obviously, with barely over half a season of starts, he's going to still be falling short in some areas that often develop with more experience in the NFL. Climbing the pocket, developing that internal clock, and to an extent decision-making all improve over time with most young QBs. So do turnovers. We are good at this position for the foreseeable future.

Running Back
Breida is a star but his physical style at his frame make him a definite injury risk. It's extremely unfortunate McKinnon went down as they would've been a great tandem both healthy. With these health risks, we absolutely need to take a running back next year wherever that player might be a BPA or sign another one. I don't trust Jerrick coming back from an ACL and we need speed to threaten on the edge. Morris is fine inside, but just not the outside threat or pass receiving matchup problem as someone else could be. Honestly, I think we should go three-deep with speed/explosiveness at running back and let Juice be the heavy guy from time to time. I like Jeff Wilson a lot on the practice squad and hope he can show in practices that he deserves to get a shot on the active roster. We'll see what happens this week and beyond.

Receiver
This unit is currently in shambles. Garcon's sticky hands, speed, and durability are all falling off dramatically. Frankly, he doesn't deserve a roster spot next year. Pettis is promising, Taylor is good for using in short, tight spots to move the chains, and Goodwin is our best receiver that makes teams respect us deep. Bourne is solid for a young player but still has a lot of room to improve and has focus drops. Overall, we have no one talented enough to scare teams or anyone with height to challenge teams in the redzone. We need multiple new playmakers and I wouldn't be surprised to see a player or two in this group traded -- Garcon and Taylor seem like prime trade bait for any team willing to bite.

Tight End
Kittle is borderline elite player early on and clearly our most dangerous weapon in the passing game. Get us another tight end who can block and catch like him and teams won't be able to stop us on the seams. Celek is maddeningly inconsistent and has had injury issues in the past. Wick is all blocking, no hands.

O-Line
Staley is still a great player, but not getting any younger. McGlinchey will be considered elite if he continues to build on what has been so far a fantastic season. The interior of our line is still a major issue in the passing game. Person, Richburg, and Tomlinson all excel at run blocking, but are conversely, not as good pass blocking, and the first two guys have struggled with injuries.

D-Line
We need an edge rusher. Two actually. Plain and simple. The interior is stacked with talent between Buckner, Thomas, Day, and Jones, but these guys aren't edge threats and we shouldn't expect them to be. I expect Armstead's large salary to be dumped in the off-season as we let Taylor, Street, and Thomas man the big-end spot and nickel DT positions next season.

Linebackers
Overall, we have a strong unit. Foster and Warner are great. Smith is OK for now, but we could certainly upgrade, and upgrade for cheaper too. Depth is still an issue -- Coyle, Nzeocha, and Lee all struggle to tackle and from what I've seen, the latter two have not done well on special teams either.

Secondary
We have the talent at corner. If Mabin continues to emerge, he may have a "stranglehold on the position" that Saleh has said they wanted to see from the guy opposite Sherman. Witherspoon is talented no doubt, but he has major competition, and that's a good thing. DJ Reed has promise, and Ward should be gone after the season. I don't like that we're using Moore at corner -- frankly, with Mabin's emergence, and Reed's experience there, those guys should be the top 4 corners while he works at his best position -- safety. Colbert has been figured out and should be relegated to backup SS in my opinion. He has range, but doesn't wrap up, guesses in coverage, and just doesn't play with the mental discipline or play recognition ability required in this scheme at his position.

Special Teams
Gould is great, Pinion is above average, and our snapper is fine. Our coverage team however has really fallen off, mainly on punts. We've got to get that corrected.

TOP TEAM NEEDS

1. Pass Rusher (LEO DE)
As mentioned earlier, it is unquestionably our biggest void on the team. We have no one to take double-teams off of Buckner. One on one, he's typically unblockable. We need another player like that on the edge. Thomas can sometimes be like that inside, but he's almost never used there even on passing downs because we're so awful at DE in general.

2. Red Zone Threat (WR)
We absolutely need a jump ball guy with height. Someone who can box out defenders and is considered open whether they're covered or not. Without this type of player, your options are more limited in the RZ. Having this one player opens up things for multiple other guys on offense -- Kittle, Goodwin, and whoever is playing running back all would benefit.

3. Single High Safety (FS)
If we don't ever try Moore at this spot, we'll never know if he can be that guy, but if we insist on having him play CB, we need someone else with the range, discipline, and tackling fundamentals necessary being the last line of defense back there. This, in conjunction with need #1, are what make this Cover 3 system run smoothly.

4. OG
As previously mentioned, everyone on the interior has struggled pass blocking. Garnett hasn't played, but this was never a strength of his either. I still have high hopes for Magnuson, but we definitely need some competition at the RG spot. Person was signed somewhat out of desperation and he's been solid overall, but we have to protect our investment in Jimmy G by surrounding him with players that give him a lot more time to throw. Additionally, a better OL will prevent us from having to keep Kittle in to block so much, which effectively takes away our best playmaker in the passing game currently.

5. SAM Linebacker (OLB)
Smith is currently playing this spot because he's the best we have and most experienced in the scheme. At his current price tag though, there's almost zero chance he returns after this season. We have no one else worthy of starting when he leaves unless Pita were to make major strides, but we should definitely invest in a durable, speedy player who can cover as well as offer some pass rush when asked to do so.

6. RB
We saw how the losses of McKinnon and Breida devastated the team's rushing attack. We also have seen how we can't trust a player coming back from injury to perform as good as they used to (see: Garcon). Yes, McKinnon is young but we still need to be prepared to ensure we have the necessary depth to make a run. Good teams have great depth. We're not there yet at all.

7. LT
I love Staley but he maybe has one or two years left max. McGlinchey is great and would be a fixture at RT for years to come but we need a starter of the future and whether that's through the draft or free agency, we need to find that guy. Plus we badly need to upgrade the depth of talent at OT.

8. TE Depth
Get someone similar to Kittle who has a balance of athleticism and blocking promise to give us a better balance of what we can do up front in 2-TE sets. Celek is actually a decent athlete, but has really struggled to block, leaving the team to take it's top playmaker and keep him blocking due to the failure of the OL to provide adequate time for our QBs to throw.

Final statements: We currently only have five 2019 draft picks to work with (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th), hence why I think we'll move some players in the off-season, but we should have well over 50 million in cap space (probably more, right AB?). With that at our disposal, the time will be right to spend some to make this team a threat next year. Again, we have resources, we just need to use them wisely this next off-season.

Agree with most OTC, except Garcon and McKinnon, I think both can help next year, Garcon has an option year anyway. The rest I agree, get rid of Ward, AA(even I'll admit he's meh at best), Marsh, and others.

Cap wise, we're looking at around another $70M ish for 2019, with not many guys to extend, Pinion, Gould and Nelson being biggest FAs, Buck up for an extension, as will be Day, and Breida.
Originally posted by AB81Rules:
Agree with most OTC, except Garcon and McKinnon, I think both can help next year, Garcon has an option year anyway. The rest I agree, get rid of Ward, AA(even I'll admit he's meh at best), Marsh, and others.

Cap wise, we're looking at around another $70M ish for 2019, with not many guys to extend, Pinion, Gould and Nelson being biggest FAs, Buck up for an extension, as will be Day, and Breida.

Well, we certainly are "prudently aggressive" when it comes to accumulating cap space!
Originally posted by NCommand:
Well, we certainly are "prudently aggressive" when it comes to accumulating cap space!

Ha
Originally posted by pasodoc9er:
I am once again afraid JL has a lot of work to do in offseason regarding coaching improvement. Right now i can't think of anyone coach in particular doing a decent job. Most seem to be substandard. There are a lot of good assistant coaches out there, coming up the ranks. Before we improve on talent, which we badly need, we must improve our coaching staff as well.

Great point, PasoDoc...
In a great post by OTC, to me, one of the major themes that has been overlooked this year is the overall lack of discipline by the entire team....offense, defense, and special teams. Sherman himself said the other day that "youth is not an excuse" for the type of mental error we have been witnessing week after week this season. Kyle needs a couple of really good and experienced assistant coaches to help with this. Saleh is very bright but there clearly are some holes in his coaching awareness because there are glaring errors on defense (especially in the secondary) every week. The frustrating part (to me) is that some of the players have real talent that isn't being developed or used effectively.....and that is on the coaches. Time for an upgrade...in the area of assistant coaches.

Cheers!
[ Edited by longterm9erfan on Oct 14, 2018 at 6:18 PM ]
  • mayo49
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 46,768
Originally posted by longterm9erfan:
Originally posted by pasodoc9er:
I am once again afraid JL has a lot of work to do in offseason regarding coaching improvement. Right now i can't think of anyone coach in particular doing a decent job. Most seem to be substandard. There are a lot of good assistant coaches out there, coming up the ranks. Before we improve on talent, which we badly need, we must improve our coaching staff as well.

Great point, PasoDoc... In a great post by OTC, to me, one of the major themes that has been overlooked this year is the overall lack of discipline by the entire team....offense, defense, and special teams. Sherman himself said the other day that "youth is not an excuse" for the type of mental error we have been witnessing week after week this season. Kyle needs a couple of really good and experienced assistant coaches to help with this. Saleh is very bright but there clearly are some holes in his coaching awareness because there are glaring errors on defense (especially in the secondary) every week. The frustrating part (to me) is that some of the players have real talent that isn't being developed or used effectively.....and that is on the coaches. Time for an upgrade...in the area of assistant coaches.

Cheers!

I think you guys are panicking - coaches are only as good as their players. We need better players to coach - once we upgrade our starting talent then the team will improve.
[ Edited by mayo49 on Oct 14, 2018 at 12:13 AM ]
Originally posted by mayo49:
I think you guys are panicking - coaches are only as good as their players. We need better players to coach - once we upgrade our starting talent then the team will improve.

This is the reality I keep checking myself with. Trying to stay rational about it lol reminding myself that if not for JG we would have all been more sober about this rebuild.

We really need to hit home runs this offseason tho. Our draft picks have been OK. Thomas sucking is a black eye imo. If some glaring needs can be filled via free agency this year we have to jump in this time.
OTC dropping knowledge like old times
Breida is a player but he's small and gets nicked each game. I don't think he can be an every down back with his body type. If he's used in the right way and not overworked he can be productive and could be the difference between winning and losing.
Originally posted by ads_2006:
OTC dropping knowledge like old times

You know how it goes. I bottle it all up and then spit the truth when the time comes.

Originally posted by longterm9erfan:
Great point, PasoDoc... In a great post by OTC, to me, one of the major themes that has been overlooked this year is the overall lack of discipline by the entire team....offense, defense, and special teams. Sherman himself said the other day that "youth is not an excuse" for the type of mental error we have been witnessing week after week this season. Kyle needs a couple of really good and experienced assistant coaches to help with this. Saleh is very bright but there clearly are some holes in his coaching awareness because there are glaring errors on defense (especially in the secondary) every week. The frustrating part (to me) is that some of the players have real talent that isn't being developed or used effectively.....and that is on the coaches. Time for an upgrade...in the area of assistant coaches.

Cheers!

I have been saying this--start with Hafley (sp?) db coach.
  • jcs
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 30,664
Originally posted by Cisco0623:
Originally posted by mayo49:
I think you guys are panicking - coaches are only as good as their players. We need better players to coach - once we upgrade our starting talent then the team will improve.

This is the reality I keep checking myself with. Trying to stay rational about it lol reminding myself that if not for JG we would have all been more sober about this rebuild.

We really need to hit home runs this offseason tho. Our draft picks have been OK. Thomas sucking is a black eye imo. If some glaring needs can be filled via free agency this year we have to jump in this time.

90% of this roster are KS's players. Maybe he's not a good talent evaluator?
Need to draft all defense
Originally posted by jcs:
Originally posted by Cisco0623:
Originally posted by mayo49:
I think you guys are panicking - coaches are only as good as their players. We need better players to coach - once we upgrade our starting talent then the team will improve.

This is the reality I keep checking myself with. Trying to stay rational about it lol reminding myself that if not for JG we would have all been more sober about this rebuild.

We really need to hit home runs this offseason tho. Our draft picks have been OK. Thomas sucking is a black eye imo. If some glaring needs can be filled via free agency this year we have to jump in this time.

90% of this roster are KS's players. Maybe he's not a good talent evaluator?

Our roster can be broken down into aging vets and young players. The only guys who are between the two are the ones everyone wants to cut (AA, Ward etc) or are injured (Jimmy, Jet etc)

Young players take time to develop, aging vets are slowing down and a lot of their value isn't exclusively on the field.

It's that middle tier of player we don't have enough of in both quality and quantity.

Looking at players individually, I think we have talented building blocks, but collectively there still isn't the right mix.
Originally posted by Ensatsu:
Originally posted by GolittaCamper:
Here's my draft.
Pass rush
Pass rush
Pass rush
Running back
Pass rush
Pass rush
Pass rush

That's all seven rounds

our receivers are overrated.

Old man garcon can't catch or separate. One year wonder Trent Taylor with his back problems. Goodwin always hurt.

unless Pettis lights it up rest of the season, we're in some deep s**t. And this FA class for receivers are meh......we can go for Golden Tate I guess.


As
Much as we are a passing team, we are a play action passing team. That makes us a run first passing attack. Play action with out the threat of a run, is ineffective.

Our roster make up is a little off, we carry only two real running backs, Bredia and Morris. That is a huge mistake. Especially with CJ back there, he needs a strong gunning game to prop him up.

Kyle is scheming players open, they just seem to be dropping more passes then they catch.

The defense on the other hand is a pass rush based defense. We play pretty straight up on the back end by design. With the intention of getting after the qb. With out a pass rush, we practically just a scrimmage game for opposing offenses.

So, pass rush pass rush pass rush!

Oh, and better Arby!
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