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nine

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  1. Marcus' first 20 starts: 234 yds/game, 33 TD, 16 INT, 92.9 passer rating It ain't Mahomes, but it was a very solid start. I suspect Bill probably meant 20 starts playing in the same system with a relatively stable environment.....not a revolving merry-go-round of different head coaches and philosophies and constant fluctuation in the receiving corps.
  2. Coaching changes are one thing; in this case, the team's entire offensive identity and philosophy has changed three times in four years....especially in terms of what each staff has asked Marcus to do. Whisenhunt acknowledged Marcus' athleticism but coached him to be a passer first and foremost, and to use his legs only after his other options broke down. The next year, Mularkey installed a new offense and wanted Marcus to run, and even added a number of designed QB runs to the playbook....almost the exact opposite of Whisenhunt's approach. Vrabel's philosophy also placed emphasis on Marcus' running ability; hell, they had him doing RB drills with the running backs during the season. They also brought in LaFleur with a highly structured philosophy and approach that was (according to Dan Orlovsky) counterintuitive to the standard QB mindset. So in four years, Marcus has been coached to Be a passer, not a runner Wait, no: Be a passer AND be a runner Now be a completely different passer....but still be a runner, too. Three different philosophies in four years. And we wonder why Marcus isn't consistent.
  3. Yep. That was the one knock on Delanie when he left SF.....talented and versatile player, but he had some issues with drops. I remember checking Niners forums after he was brought up as a potential FA target... to get the opinions of the people who had watched him the most. Their fan base was remarkably unanimous: they all loved Delanie and hated to see him go....but with Vernon Davis as the established starter, they all knew the Niners wouldn't make a competitive offer to keep him. But several people mentioned that drops had been an issue. Needless to say he cleaned that up.
  4. I knew him because every time I heard his name, he was coming up with a big play or critical catch. I saw him as a talented and versatile backup who was primed for a starting role; all he needed was an opportunity.
  5. I thought Delanie showed plenty of potential in SF....enough so that I knew who he was despite rarely watching the Niners . I was excited when the Titans landed him (I also remember a fair amount of hand-wringing when it happened, as folks were concerned about overpaying for what they saw as nothing more than a backup TE.)
  6. It's no secret that Derrick Henry's performance and production improved dramatically last year after the bye in week #8. Weeks 1-7: 3.25 yds/carry, 1 TD Weeks 9-17: 6.0 yds/carry, 11 TD We already knew about this. However.....amidst all the various conversations about various other players, something struck me: it wasn't just Henry that suddenly got better; several others also struggled early but turned it around and improved significantly after the bye. Marcus Mariota weeks 1-7: 66% completions, 6.8 yds/att, 3 TD, 5 INT, 78.5 passer rating weeks 9-16: 71% completions, 8.3 yds/att, 8 TD, 3 INT, 103.8 passer rating Jonnu Smith weeks 1-7: 44 yds receiving, 0 TD weeks 9-14: 214 yds rec, 3 TD Taywan Taylor weeks 1-7: 190 yds, 27 yds/game, 10.0 yds/rec weeks 9-17: 276 yds, 46 yds/game, 15.3 yds/rec Corey Davis' improvement was fairly modest but his TDs trended upward nicely: weeks 1-7: 395 yds, 56 yds/game, 13.2 yds/rec, 1 TD weeks 9-17: 496 yds, 55 yds/gm, 14.1 yds/rec, 3 TD So what was it? Was it simply a matter of players growing more comfortable in the new system and understanding it better? Did LaFleur's playcalling improve down the stretch? Was this improvement a byproduct of the improved O-line play? Unfortunately, not everything was all sunshine and roses, as Deon Lewis and Tajae Sharpe fell off sharply after midseason. Lewis was obviously highly ineffective down the stretch, averaging only 35 yds/game (rushing + receiving) after week 9. And after a respectable 200+ yards in weeks 1-7, Sharpe was shut out in six out of nine games and had only 94 yards over the rest of the season.
  7. It's true that Gore had one of the lowest Wonderlic scores ever recorded....but he grew up with severe dyslexia and struggled badly with reading and writing. I imagine his measurable IQ is probably quite low....but his football IQ is obviously off the charts. Something I never knew: Gore's mother was a drug addict with numerous additiction-related health issues. In addition to playing football, Gore also had to act as her primary caretaker throughout his high school and college years. https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/2015/10/02/frank-gore-indianapolis-colts-san-francisco-49ers-miami-hurricanes/73181198/
  8. Well....the "poor man's Jared Cook" has near-identical stats to Cook's first two years, but 5 TDs to Cook's 2. Jonnu is already more well-rounded player and much better blocker than Cook, who was a consistently terrible blocker throughout his eight years with the Titans, Rams, and Packers. (Maybe Cook's blocking improved in Oakland....I don't know, I wasn't paying attention. But after being a pitiful low-effort blocker for eight years, I kinda doubt he had a sudden change of heart.)
  9. Kinda funny: while they’re talking about Mariota’s inconsistency and whatnot, they showed a number of bad plays that presumably highlighted his shortcomings. Of the several “bad” plays they showed, only one showed poor QB play. But I agree with LT’s talking points.
  10. Edge rushers have obviously been a mainstay of defensive football philosophy...well, pretty much forever. JRob obviously recognizes this and addressed it by trading up for Landry last year. However, I’ve heard at least one NFL analyst mention that recent trends have put the emphasis more on interior pass rushers...guys like Aaron Donald who wreak havoc up the middle and put pressure right in the quarterback’s face, where they can’t just step up in the pocket. The Simmons pick suggests this is likely JRob’s vision for the Titans D as well. There’s obviously no such thing as having too many quality pass rushers..but at the end of the day, pressure is pressure, regardless whether it comes from the edge or the interior.
  11. It wasn't just about a couple drops; over the first half of the season, Jonnu's run blocking was consistently horrible in a scheme that relied heavily on TE blocking. He was one of several factors that contributed to a highly ineffective running game. From what I saw on film, Smith was as much a liability as Kline early in the season. But Jonnu eventually stepped it up and played really well down the stretch, whereas Kline's improvement was merely adequate.
  12. Given the number of snaps they played (1000+), Orakpo and Morgan's lack of sacks was really quite amazing. Orakpo's 1.5 sacks tied for #212 in the league; Morgan tied for #394 with 0.5 sacks. They were literally one of the least productive starting OLB tandems in the league. The chances of repeating such abysmal performance for a second straight year are quite slim indeed. Also remarkable is the fact that the defense's 39 sacks ranked #16 in the league despite negligible contribution from the two starting OLBs....which are typically the two top pass rushers any defense. Maybe the pass rush will be a defensive strength in 2019....maybe not. But there's virtually no question that they'll get far more production from the OLB position as compared to last year.
  13. Jonnu was straight-up terrible over the first half of the schedule. He was invisible in the passing game and his run blocking was abysmal. But he improved dramatically after the bye week; over the next five games he had 200+ yards and 3 TDs and his blocking improved dramatically. I don't know what happened to make the light come on for him during the bye week...but hopefully he's able to carry that momentum over into this season.
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