Tag Archives: San Francisco 49ers

Vlog 20: Niners land Garoppolo and Brown heads to the Seahawks

The San Francisco 49ers landed their franchise quarterback? They traded for Jimmy Garoppolo sending the New England Patriots a 2nd round pick in the 2018 draft.

The Houston Texans traded offensive tackle Duane Brown to the Seattle Seahawks for cornerback Jeremy Lane, a 5th round pick in the 2018 draft and a 2nd round pick in the 2019 draft.

Check out my thoughts on the two trades.

The San Francisco 49ers Take a Gamble on Arik Armstead

The San Francisco 49ers wheeled and dealed in the first round of the NFL Draft and finally selected at the number seventeen spot. The 49ers are looking to add depth to a defensive line that could possibly be losing Justin Smith due to retirement. In Armstead the 49ers took a chance on a raw but talented player. 

As a member of the Oregon Ducks, Armstead he had 2.5 sacks to go along with 46 tackles. Armstead’s numbers may not jump off the screen, but he is someone you notice when you turn on the tape. Armstead only started in 18 games during his tenure in Oregon, but he will be brought a long slowly in the NFL just as he was in college. Armstead’s athleticism and stature made scouts drool over what he could become. Standing at 6’7, weighing over 290lbs his length and power are what teams loved about Armstead. As we’ve seen in every NFL Draft, the measurables of a player can get a general manager in the unemployment line rather fast. In this case, the 49ers have the luxury of having him learn under players such as Darnell Dockett and Glenn Dorsey as well as head coach Jim Tomsula who had produced arguably the best defensive line over his tenure when he was the defensive line coach. 

Picks similar to Armstead will never garner any headlines, because he doesn’t play a glamour position. Trent Baalke has been money in his draft selections outside of a few so that should give the 49ers fans some excitement. Under the new regime under coach Tomsula it’s no surprise that the first selection was a position that he coached. Looking at the physical makeup of Armstead, he resembles Calias Campbell of the Arizona Cardinals. If Armstead is just as good as Campbell is the 49ers have a gem, but don’t expect him to be an instant success. The NFC West is the toughest division in all of football, and with Armstead leaving arguably one of the more softer divisions (Pac-12) in college football it will be an adjustment period that Armstead will have to go through as a player. 

It’s clear that Armstead is a project, and the 49ers were willing to take a gamble on him. It will take about two to three years to gauge if this was the right pick, but until then 49ers nation have to be patient to see how Arik Armstead turns out over the next few seasons. 

San Francisco 49ers Faithful Should Not hit the Panic Button

The San Francisco 49ers may have had the most losses during the off-season out of any team in the NFL, but that shouldn’t count them out from being a contender in the NFC West. Losing Jim Harbaugh, Patrick Willis, Frank Gore, Mike Iupati, and Chris Borland isn’t easy, but I think it shouldn’t be a time to panic for the 49er faithful. I may or may not have a biased opinion, because it’s my team, but I am also a realest. People have been in an uproar due to the loss of coaches and several key players, but people are failing to talk about the acquisitions and people that are already on the team.

The Defense is the staple of this team, and even though Chris Culliver, Perish Cox, Chris Borland, Patrick Willis will be missing in action the defense should still be one of the best in the NFL. The 49ers added Darnell Dockett to the defensive line, and they will be able to insert youth into the linebacker core as well as the secondary. Even without the Hall-of-Famer to be Patrick Willis, the 49ers still have three All-Pro performers at linebacker in Ahmad Brooks, Aldon Smith, Navorro Bowman, and a budding star in Aaron Lynch. Brooks played some middle linebacker as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, and he could be a viable option to help fill the hole of the middle linebacker spot left open by Willis and Borland. The 49ers also have veteran Michael Wilhoite who started 16 games last season notching 87 tackles, 6 pass deflections, and two interceptions. Last season, the 49ers finished 5th in the NFL in total defense, and that’s not a bad feat for a team that missed Patrick Willis, Navorro Bowman, and Aldon Smith for most of the season. In the secondary two key players were lost in Culliver in Cox, but Tramaine Brock, Chris Cook, and the raw and talented Dontae Johnson can hold their own with the help from two pro bowl safeties in Eric Reid and Andre Bethea.

Now on to the offense…..The offense sputtered last season under Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman. At times the plan of attack was confusing as some games they would use Kaepernick as a running QB, and at times they would refuse to feed Frank Gore the ball. I honestly believed that the defenses in the NFC West caught up to the lack of creativity from Harbaugh and Roman, which led to the 49ers averaging 14.1 in games within the division. I feel that with Geep Chryst’s familiarity with Kaepernick will allow him to call plays that better suit him in the offense.

I feel that this year’s offense will be more explosive with the addition of Reggie Bush and Torrey Smith. Last season, the 49ers had a stable full of wide receivers, but none of them could take the top off the defense like Smith can. With Smith and Bush in the fold it will allow Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin and company to work underneath to make plays.  The jury is still out on the return of Michael Crabtree, so I really can’t speak on that until the smoke clears. Second year running back Carlos Hyde will also look to play a bigger role with the departure of Frank Gore. Last season in a limited role Hyde scored 4 touchdowns and added 333 rushing yards on less than 100 carries. With Hyde, Bush, and Kendall Hunter in the backfield, it will help alleviate the pressure off of Kaepernick.

The biggest wildcard is Colin Kaepernick, and I feel that he can have a bounce back season if used correctly.  For some strange reason, Roman and Harbaugh ditched the Pistol offense that worked beautifully two seasons ago, and attempted to make Kap a traditional pocket quarterback.  Kap will never be a prototypical quarterback, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be dynamic. Kap did a poor job of going through his progressions and his reads, but hopefully he puts the time in to work on the fundamentals of being a quarterback to help him in his weak areas.

 

 

All in all I feel that it doesn’t feel like a rebuilding period, but it is just some retooling to the roster. The 49ers have too much talent on their team to fall by the wayside. So I advise all not to panic, everything will be okay.

Watch: Chris Borland’s retirement interview with Outside The Lines

First Patrick Willis retired and now Chris Borland has decided to hang them up. Both players were inside linebackers for the San Francisco 49ers. Borland was heading into his second year as a pro and at the age of 24 years of age decided risking his health wasn’t worth continuing playing in the NFL.

I personally totally understand, but it comes as a complete shock.

Check out his interview with ESPN’s Outside The Lines.

Watch: Patrick Willis retirement press conference

It has been a rough week for the 49ers fanbase. Out of nowhere Patrick Willis dropped a bomb on the team and the fans as he told the world he was hanging up the cleats. The multi-time pro bowler felt he it was time to hang ’em up because of recent injuries to his feet. Which is totally understandable. Willis is one of the best linebackers I’ve ever witnessed and it’s sad to see him hang them up early, but I’m pretty sure he wants to walk at 50 and he probably has a lot of cash saved up.

Good luck in life after retirement Pat.

49ers strike early with Dockett and Simpson signings

If you have been following the San Francisco 49ers since the season has ended you know it has been filled with a lot of drama. How fast will/did Jim Harbaugh get fired part ways? Will they resign Frank Gore? Will they resign Michael Crabtree? Will Justin Smith retire? Who will be the new coach? Some questions have been answered others not so much, but at the start of the free agency period the 49ers have made a few quick moves to try to help the team out.

Over the weekend two questions were answered as we know Frank Gore will be an Eagle and its highly unlikely Crabtree will be resigned.

Signing DT/DE Darnell Dockett helps the Niners a lot for depth and just in case Smith retires. Dockett has caused havoc for Niner fans for years so it is a relief to have him in red and gold. Dockett signed a two year deal worth $7.5 million and is due to get $4 million in the first year of the deal.

The Niners signed WR Jerome Simpson who was out of football last year to a two year deal, I haven’t been able to get my hands on the numbers, but I’m pretty sure it is a low risk move. Simpson is a big play receiver that has speed so if he can stay on the straight and narrow he may be able to help the Niners if not they should be able to release him without much repercussion.

The word on the street is the Niners are close to signing speedster Torrey Smith who was with the Baltimore Ravens last season. If the price is right that will be solid move and also all, but seals Crabtree’s Niners career is over.

If you like the moves or not the Niners are busy and I’m sure they aren’t done, but at least they have been proactive this off season.

What Coach Makes the Most Sense with the San Francisco 49ers?

 

We all know that the day would be coming, but Jim Harbaugh is now out as the head coach in San Francisco. The 49ers didn’t make the playoffs this season, but they were just a few plays from playoff contention. Out of all of the coaching vacancies the job in San Francisco may be the most attractive.

The past three coaches Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary, and Jim Harbaugh were brought in all focused on defense, running the football, and keeping it close to the vest. Harbaugh had the most success winning 49 games and taking the team to a Super Bowl two seasons ago, but I always felt the 49ers could go up another gear. In large part I felt as if the offensive coordinator Greg Roman held the offense back, but at times a team can have too many weapons. With an offense bolstering a hall-of-fame worthy type of running back to team up with four different wide receivers that all have had at least 1,000 yard season as well as an all-pro tight end it’s tough to keep everyone happy.

The next head coach will have to complete that task, and get the offense on par to compete with the three of the toughest defenses in the NFL all in the NFC West. When looking at the San Francisco 49ers defense an upgrade at the cornerback position is needed, but I feel that the concern on that side of the ball should be minimal. When looking at other NFC West talent on offense, no team can really match up with the San Francisco 49ers talent level on the offensive side of the ball.

For some reason it didn’t click this season, but with the new regime it should put a focus on that area. If a defensive coach is hired, I feel that it would be a must to hire an offensive guru to help develop Colin Kaepernick and the offense, but the talent is there. With a deep roster on both sides of the ball the right coach can lead the Niners back to NFL supremacy, but the question is what coach or what kind of coach makes the most sense?

Let’s take a look at a few options:

Rex Ryan– Rex Ryan started off on the right track by taking the NY Jets to the AFC Championship in his first two seasons, but after that he failed to make the playoffs for four consecutive seasons.  I feel that Rex’s personality would bode well in San Francisco, but I feel like Rex Ryan the coach would be inept to lead the team. The focus on defense and running the football would be a positive, but I would be worried about the development of Colin Kaepernick, since QB’s seem to regress under Ryan.

Mike Shanahan– I would be the first to say that it’s not 1994 (OC San Francisco), 1998 (Denver), or 1999 (Denver) meaning that Shanahan’s Super Bowl years are way behind him. I feel that Shanahan is a great football mind, but he wouldn’t be worth the risk to only have around for a year or two. Shanahan would be a great addition for the running game with the zone blocking scheme, but the way that Shanahan used RGIII’s skill set would cause concern on how he would use Colin Kaepernick. Yes, RGIII won Rookie of the Year in his first season with Shanahan, but injuries from the end of that season has continued to haunt RGIII.

Todd Bowles– Todd Bowles would be just what the doctor ordered to fix the issues in the secondary. The 49ers have arguably the best safety combo in the NFL next to Seattle, but the cornerback play is….meh. I think that with Bowles familiarity with the NFC West makes him a legit candidate, but he will have to hire an offensive guru to help run the offense.

Adam Gase– Adam Gase is currently the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos, and yet again he had one of the best offenses in the NFL. I believe that Gase will make a great head coach someday, but I am not sure for what team. Gase may have Peyton Manning in Denver, but he has shown the ability to adapt the playbook during Manning’s recent struggles. I think Gase’s variety of passing packages would benefit the WR/TE core, but the knock on Gase is the lack of experience.

Vic Fangio– Familiarity could be a good or bad thing, and in this case I think it could be a good thing. Vic Fangio knows the 49ers inside and out, and he has been arguably the best defensive coordinator in the NFL over the past four seasons. With Fangio already in San Francisco the strongest part of the team, which is the defense wouldn’t have to change anything scheme wise, and it would be just up for the GM Trent Baalke to add pieces in the secondary. I feel that without Fangio as the defensive coordinator, the 49ers would not have 49 wins (including the playoffs) over the past four seasons. If Fangio is hired, he would have to hire an offensive coordinator that could sort of coddle and develop Colin Kaepernick in the appropriate way.

Candidate X– In all head coaching searches there is always a wildcard on who could be hired. Organizations like to find up and coming coaches who fly under the radar. Many of the aforementioned names are dominating the headlines as far as the search for the head coach goes, but keep an eye on the coaches who could sneak in at the last-minute.

 

These are a few names that have been thrown into the hat to coach the San Francisco 49ers, what coach makes the most sense to fill Jim Harbaugh’s shoes?

My answer is Candidate X– I feel that the 49ers need to step outside of the box and hire someone innovative like a Chip Kelly type or someone that can bring an entirely new energy to the team and organization. The question is whose out there.

 

 

Top 5 Destinations for Jim Harbaugh to Coach Next Season

Despite three straight trips to the NFC Championship game and one Super Bowl appearance, rumors continue to swirl regarding San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh’s eventual departure.

Talk of a divorce started this past summer when whispers of a rare head coach trade involving the Cleveland Browns surfaced. Harbaugh and the Niners denied the reports, but comments from Browns owner Jimmy Haslam only added fuel to the fire.

Since then, some have been counting the days until the end of the 2014 NFL season, pointing to a volatile relationship between Harbaugh and San Francisco’s front office. In fact, FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer has said he “doesn’t see any way” Harbaugh is back with the team in 2015, “even if” they won the Super Bowl.

Whether Harbaugh is on his last leg in San Francisco or not remains to be determined, but if he is, it’s certainly worth wondering where he’d go after his exit.

Would the 49ers trade him, would he get axed and sign on with another NFL team or would he bolt for a return to the college scene? Let’s take a look at his five most likely destinations if he indeed leaves the 49ers in 2015:

Michigan Wolverines

Harbaugh played quarterback for the Wolverines in his college days, so he understandably has some very real ties to Ann Arbor. That doesn’t mean he’s a lock to return to the college game, though. He’s already put in his time working his way up through the ranks, and at 50 years old he may want to stick around to match his brother John and get his first Super Bowl. However, if he did bolt for the college scene again, the Wolverines have to be the frontrunner for his services.

Cleveland Browns

If Harbaugh is back on the table, why not go back to where this whole mess began? Haslam clearly had interest in Harbaugh and trade talks died down. That doesn’t mean the Browns wouldn’t ditch current head coach Mike Pettine, as Harbaugh is arguably a better coaching talent and in just three years as an NFL coach has reached three conference title games. That kind of experience is nothing to sniff at. Even Pettine would have to understand to a certain degree.

It sounds interesting enough, but it’s not likely. Pettine appears to be in control and as dysfunctional as Cleveland has been throughout their history, it seems like they finally have their heads on straight. Firing their head coach for the fourth time in four years would be beyond reckless.

St. Louis Rams

This is the revenge factor. If the Niners flat out fire Harbaugh and the Rams think Jeff Fisher has taken them as far as he can, they could see Harbaugh as the guy to get the job done. Harbaugh, in turn, could see a quality Rams defense and an offense with potential. More importantly, he’d get to battle the 49ers twice a year and show them how big of a mistake they made by letting him walk.

Dallas Cowboys

These other options above are more dramatic than realistic, but the Cowboys could be a team Harbaugh actually sees as a good fit. Dallas has turned it on this year and could be legit, but if they crumble like they seemingly always do, it could be the end of head coach Jason Garrett. Owner Jerry Jones has been loyal to Garrett thus far, but he also hasn’t had much of a choice with a weak crop of head coaches year in and year out. This summer could be different if Harbaugh is given his walking papers.

Unlike the first three options, the Cowboys would give Harbaugh a potentially elite offense and he could get to work on their middling defense. After seeing how quickly he turned a bad San Francisco team around just a few years ago, it’d be very interesting to see what he could do with Tony Romo and the ‘Boys.

Chicago Bears

Marc Trestman has proven to be a sound offensive mind and a quarterback whisperer, but he might not have what it takes to be an NFL head coach. That realization could have the Bears looking for a new leader for the second time in the past three years, and that could potentially be Harbaugh. Like Dallas, they have a long way to go on defense, but they have all the parts of a successful offense. Harbaugh could do wonders with this unit if the interest is mutual.

There are a few others teams that could express interest, as Marvin Lewis could finally be on the hot seat in Cincinnati if the Bengals don’t finally win a playoff game, while teams like the Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and others could very well be looking at a change up top. One way or another, it sounds like Harbaugh is done in San Francisco after this season and where he winds up coaching in 2015 will be one of the hottest stories to follow in the off-season.

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Ron, the lead editor of FantasyFootballOverdose.Com – great source of football news and rumors. You can follow @NFLRankings via Twitter or via Google+ for more updates.