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2019 Defensive Progress & Robert Saleh Hot-seat Tracker

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Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
A lot of fans pretend to hold players accountable while simultaneously calling for Saleh to be fired. Let's be honest and clear who we really believe is mostly at fault.

My opinion right now is it seems to be isolated to individual players the most so that's why I'm backing off Saleh recently. While the group has improved at tackling and avoiding penalties, there are a few guys who we see blow it weekly.

Other players on the team seem to know how to do their job, but it's the same individual players screwing up their assignments every week: Colbert and the collection of bums at LCB.. Ward, Witherspoon, and Mabin.

Witherspoon: burnt toast and penalty machine
Ward: injury prone, mistake prone
Mabin: Just plain sucks at coverage.

At this point they might as well try Reed or Moore and see if they have any better luck but as raw as they are it would likely be just another series of growing pains. So I look at that and see that it has to feel like an impossible situation for the coaches on defense having to choose between the dumb, the penalty machine, or the least talented.

This is an extremely reasonable assessment.

At a micro level, yes there are a few players that consistently blow it.

At a macro level, the buck still stops with the DC because he owns the defense and if guys aren't repeatedly performing at a fundamental level, you have to really consider sending a message (like they did last year). Whether it's benching players or finding a street FA who can simply be in the right spot.

I can deal with a discrepancy in talent and accept that a reason why a defense can't complete, but that has to be IMHO evaluated when said player(s) are doing the fundamentals first.

Thoughts?

This is why I won't be shocked if the team ships off Witherspoon even though it's only his second year.

Also, let's look at the fact that it's specifically those players in the secondary, so maybe more people should be giving more flack to that position coach than Saleh himself. I have to believe Saleh has emphasized that Haftley has to figure out a way to get things through these boneheads' minds so they stop busting assignments.

They've tried shuffling players already, the next step is to send those guys packing.

But it's not fact. It's the entire coverage unit minus Sherman. Check out the film thread...Ward, Mabin, LB's, Colbert, Tartt, Witherspoon, etc. The entire coverage unit is blowing it and taking turns throughout the games and from one game to the next. Colbert blows it and then he does the right thing the next game and then Ward blows it. I agree...if Hafley is an issue, then that too falls on the DC eventually if the same issues persist. And that's just coverage assignments.

Agreed. It's not just Colbert or Spoon. Ward and Tartt have also been guilty.

We cannot oversimplify this by saying it's just 1 or 2 players. That's a factually false implication.

See post 101 above where even DL are confused on assignments pre and post snap. Remember the walk-in TD where both our interior DL lined up about 8 feet apart in a goal line situation leaving a gapping hole in the middle?
Originally posted by NCommand:
See post 101 above where even DL are confused on assignments pre and post snap. Remember the walk-in TD where both our interior DL lined up about 8 feet apart in a goal line situation leaving a gapping hole in the middle?

Yep saw that. It's everywhere.
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by Ronnie49Lott:
Originally posted by lamontb:
We don't have one starting caliber player in our secondary minus Sherman. Hopefully we can salvage Witherspoon

Difficult to know if the players you have are worth keeping when they're not being developed properly.

I don't know how understanding assignment responsibility = talent. The two have zero to do with each other.

And again, these same players had no issues last year, even guys like Colbert coming off the bench. Tartt beat out Reid. Witherspoon developed nicely. Suddenly they don't have talent?
The only thing different between this year and last year is Warner wearing the dot instead of Foster/Coyle. Beyond that, the breakdowns are inexplicable. I don't think Saleh forgot how to coach anymore than the players in year two forgot how to play football. So what's the deal?

In my opinion, if these errors continue, we need to add an assistant to help with this or something because whatever is being relayed to players clearly isn't sticking. I'm not as low as some are on Saleh but let's be honest, he's not going anywhere. That said, what else can really be done to fix the issue?
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
The only thing different between this year and last year is Warner wearing the dot instead of Foster/Coyle. Beyond that, the breakdowns are inexplicable. I don't think Saleh forgot how to coach anymore than the players in year two forgot how to play football. So what's the deal?

In my opinion, if these errors continue, we need to add an assistant to help with this or something because whatever is being relayed to players clearly isn't sticking. I'm not as low as some are on Saleh but let's be honest, he's not going anywhere. That said, what else can really be done to fix the issue?

I'm only guesstimating like you but after watching Kyle sort of blow up on Saleh on the sidelines in KC, maybe he's trying to add more exotic coverages, more man, more pattern matches, more exotic blitz packages, etc. and the players are trying to implement on the fly and are confused from the DL to the DB's at times. I know Hero noted some varying coverages but it would be a good question for thl and JD also.

Warner could be an issue too but he merely relays the defensive calls from Saleh and makes adjustments. But any player can make an adjustment (see Sherman last week) and communication is actually across all players, not just from Warner.
[ Edited by NCommand on Oct 18, 2018 at 7:52 AM ]
  • Chief
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 27,040
I keep seeing this title and thinking it's a Blaine Gabbert thread.
Originally posted by Chief:
I keep seeing this title and thinking it's a Blaine Gabbert thread.

Originally posted by NCommand:
He was had for a 2nd.

We spent our first 3 draft picks of the Shanahan era on defense. LOL

Outside of McGlinchey and moving up for Pettis this year, we haven't spent any resources on offense. And Sherman has been the best shut down CB in the league. Then, this year, they still added Fred Warner and Tarvarius Moore (for 2019), Kentavius Street, D.J. Reed, Marcell Harris & Jullian Taylor.

Shanahan took a late third round: C.J. Beathard, fifth round: George Kittle and fifth round: Trent Taylor and made them serviceable and in Kittle's case, a star. Richie James in the seventh. He's next.

For an offensive HC, he certainly has used most of his resources on defense.

I'm just guessing that he looked at the defense and realized if they couldn't stop anyone and get the ball back to his offense they were going to have a hard time succeeding. In this era of high speed video game college football it is harder to find good defensive talent. (pass rushers have no time)
Originally posted by NCommand:
You're uncanny at moving the goal posts on topics. The topic is to blame the talent, right? This FO clearly spent a huge portion of it's resources on the secondary whether playing today or 2019. I'll say it again..."At some point, you need to teach these players and develop them."

The 49ers have not invested a 1st or 2nd round draft pick on a CB is almost 15 years.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
The only thing different between this year and last year is Warner wearing the dot instead of Foster/Coyle. Beyond that, the breakdowns are inexplicable. I don't think Saleh forgot how to coach anymore than the players in year two forgot how to play football. So what's the deal?

In my opinion, if these errors continue, we need to add an assistant to help with this or something because whatever is being relayed to players clearly isn't sticking. I'm not as low as some are on Saleh but let's be honest, he's not going anywhere. That said, what else can really be done to fix the issue?

I'm only guesstimating like you but after watching Kyle sort of blow up on Saleh on the sidelines in KC, maybe he's trying to add more exotic coverages, more man, more pattern matches, more exotic blitz packages, etc. and the players are trying to implement on the fly and are confused from the DL to the DB's at times. I know Hero noted some varying coverages but it would be a good question for thl and JD also.

Warner could be an issue too but he merely relays the defensive calls from Saleh and makes adjustments. But any player can make an adjustment (see Sherman last week) and communication is actually across all players, not just from Warner.

I could understand missing more complex things but our guys are blowing the basics. At minimum, judging by Sherman's vocal support of Saleh and frustration over those plays, I feel like the basic busts are on the players.

Beyond that, at the least I'm sure it's a combination of 1) miscommunication with Warner, and 2) expecting the players would be able to step up and grow with the scheme and either we're trying to do too much (coach issue) or the players aren't picking it up as fast as we like (player issue/limitation).

At the end of the day there's plenty of blame to go around, I just happen to think its a much more even split between the players, Haftley, and Saleh.

  • Garce
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 50,313
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
The only thing different between this year and last year is Warner wearing the dot instead of Foster/Coyle. Beyond that, the breakdowns are inexplicable. I don't think Saleh forgot how to coach anymore than the players in year two forgot how to play football. So what's the deal?

In my opinion, if these errors continue, we need to add an assistant to help with this or something because whatever is being relayed to players clearly isn't sticking. I'm not as low as some are on Saleh but let's be honest, he's not going anywhere. That said, what else can really be done to fix the issue?

New coordinator. The lack of development from our young guys is going to be the fall of Saleh.

Witherspoon, Colbert and Thomas were supposed to make a leap this year.
[ Edited by Garce on Oct 18, 2018 at 8:34 AM ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
The only thing different between this year and last year is Warner wearing the dot instead of Foster/Coyle. Beyond that, the breakdowns are inexplicable. I don't think Saleh forgot how to coach anymore than the players in year two forgot how to play football. So what's the deal?

In my opinion, if these errors continue, we need to add an assistant to help with this or something because whatever is being relayed to players clearly isn't sticking. I'm not as low as some are on Saleh but let's be honest, he's not going anywhere. That said, what else can really be done to fix the issue?

I'm only guesstimating like you but after watching Kyle sort of blow up on Saleh on the sidelines in KC, maybe he's trying to add more exotic coverages, more man, more pattern matches, more exotic blitz packages, etc. and the players are trying to implement on the fly and are confused from the DL to the DB's at times. I know Hero noted some varying coverages but it would be a good question for thl and JD also.

Warner could be an issue too but he merely relays the defensive calls from Saleh and makes adjustments. But any player can make an adjustment (see Sherman last week) and communication is actually across all players, not just from Warner.

So no, I don't think Saleh has forgotten how to coach and this isn't a criticism of his ability (at least from my perspective) to scheme, it's his ability to respond appropriately and fix/tweak when things go wrong. If fundamentals like tackling are an issue, which it wasn't last season, what changed and why? If we're moving backward when it comes to interceptions, all of that isn't just pass rush, part of that is what's being taught, Saleh (as a DC) needs to have an eye for that. Does he? Hafley was a hold-over from the previous (failed) regime, does Saleh have the bona fides to call Hafley out? This is the difference I think between a seasoned DC coaching a new/young team and a young/new DC coaching a veteran squad. I think Saleh just isn't experienced and never had to deal with an entire unit facing adversity, and given he's not been in a position where he's even been an assistant HC as a defensive guy. He was a position coach for only 1 year with the Jags (as LB coach). Remember (people forget) we wanted Saleh to be LB coach here, not DC and only because Saleh lobbied Bradley to ask KS to give him an interview as DC.
[ Edited by NinerGM on Oct 18, 2018 at 9:24 AM ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by TheWooLick:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by TheWooLick:
Who cares if they suck? I consider "resources" for a defense to be something that provides value. Sherman provides value, Warner is learning. the others are meh at best.

Oh, so now, spending resources only counts if they are all pros. Haha...got it.

Spending resources is meaningless if they do not add value.

Or MAKE them valuable by developing them like Kyle and his offensive staff have done with McGlinchey, Pettis, Taylor, Kittle, Breida, James, Person, Tomlinson, Goodwin, Bourne, etc.

I think Foster and Warner are coming along well and Buck is blossoming.
James has 7 yards from scrimmage this year. Bourne has 120. Joe Williams has zero.

The defense is full of young or crappy players. Some of the young ones will develop.
[ Edited by TheWooLick on Oct 18, 2018 at 8:49 AM ]
Originally posted by CatchMaster80:
I'm just guessing that he looked at the defense and realized if they couldn't stop anyone and get the ball back to his offense they were going to have a hard time succeeding. In this era of high speed video game college football it is harder to find good defensive talent. (pass rushers have no time)

Right? I absolutely commended Shanalynch for going defense. That was a good sign of a new HC understanding the big picture.
  • cciowa
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 54,268
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Originally posted by NCommand:
See post 101 above where even DL are confused on assignments pre and post snap. Remember the walk-in TD where both our interior DL lined up about 8 feet apart in a goal line situation leaving a gapping hole in the middle?

Yep saw that. It's everywhere.
that stuff is not on the players.. and if it is.then its up to your dc and position coaches to fix it. if they can not. then whoever deserves the blame for obtaining stupid players
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