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nine

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Everything posted by nine

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. 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/
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. The Najeh Davenport story ranks among the all-time greatest stories I've ever heard about any athlete an any level. Freaking priceless!
  14. He actually had *two* torn ACLs in college....which is why he slid on draft day. As I recall, everyone agreed he had first-round talent....but after tearing his ACL two years in a row, nobody was risking a high pick on a guy who might not even make it out of training camp.
  15. Think about how much the rest of the OL struggled with the new coaches and new scheme, even with a full offseason, mini-camps, a month of training camp reps, and four preseason games to familiarize themselves. Now imagine a guy doing the same thing.... but with zero offseason reps, zero training camp, zero preseason games, and coming off a torn ACL. That was Conklin. Conklin may not be a world-beater....but he was a very solid, dependable player in his first two years. With his situation being back to normal this year, I suspect he'll be back to his former self.
  16. Gore is the RB equivalent to Anquan Boldin. He's never really been the best player at his position at any point in his career....but he's been so damned good for so long, he absolutely deserves HOF consideration. I have so much respect for the guy, I find myself pulling for him to do well even when he faces the Titans. As long as the opposing QB turns it over 3-4 times and throws the game away, I have no problem with Gore getting 100+ yards and a TD.
  17. I don't see an extension as even a remote possibility. If he plays well enough to warrant an extension, tag him and make him prove he can do it two years in a row. Acceptable production: 3500+ yards, 24+ TDs, single-digit INTs, 95+ passer rating, <5% sacks. And I wouldn't mind seeing -5 yards rushing for the season.
  18. Having watched most of his college career, I always saw Dak more along the lines of a Cam Newton type.
  19. Yup. Shameless size queen, that one.
  20. YT has highlights of him playing with the Pats in preseason a couple years ago. He’s more of a TE/H-back as opposed to a WR.
  21. As far as Prescott goes....I'd rank him among the second tier of NFL quarterbacks, somewhere in the #10-20 range. At this point, he's not a guy who will singlehandedly carry an offense...and maybe never will be. Like most other less-than-elite QBs, his individual performance is often a reflection of the team's situation. Give him a good O-line, a good receiving corps, and a strong running game to lean on, and Dak looks very good. When the offense has issues in other areas....Dak often struggles. Funny how that works, huh? It's interesting that the past two seasons have been sharply defined before/after scenarios for Dak. In each season, a mid-season change influenced his production significantly. Last year, the Cowboys made two huge moves during the bye week: trading for Amari Cooper and firing their O-line coach. Here are Prescott's numbers before and after the bye week: Weeks 1-7 (no Amari, poor O-line): 8 TD, 4 INT, 87.4 passer rating Weeks 9-17 (with Amari & improved O-line): 14 TD, 4 INT, 103.0 passer rating That's a pretty signficant jump. But Prescott's 2017 season was an even more dramatic contrast during Ezekiel Elliot's six-game suspension in weeks 9-14. Weeks 1-8 (with Elliott): 16 TD, 4 INT, 97.9 passer rating Weeks 9-17 (mostly w/o Elliott): 6 TD, 9 INT, 74.0 passer rating Is Prescott a great QB? Nope. Not at this point in his career, he's not. But with quality pieces around him, he's capable of being productive and playing at a high level.
  22. We're all familiar with Bill Parcells' so-called "planet theory"....and it applies moreso to quarterbacks than any other position. At any given point in time, there are maybe than 8-10 people on the entire planet who are capable of quarterbacking at a consistently high level in the NFL. There are probably 10-12 more who are capable of playing at a reasonably high and somewhat consistent level, albeit it to lesser and varying degrees; after that, you'll have a bunch of guys who are journeyman replacement level players. Despite the number of talented and highly-touted QB prospects coming from the college game every year....once they reach the NFL level, the "planet theory" remains quite consistent with very little fluctuation. If you have one of the handful of top-tier guys, you're in pretty good shape. If you have a guy from that second tier....you can make that work as well, especially if he's trending toward first-tier potential. But there are still only a couple dozen of them on the planet.....and with huge sums of money being thrown around, it becomes a matter of supply vs. demand. Even the "decent" quarterbacks will make more in a year than most people will make in a lifetime. Over the years, some teams have tried out of necessity to strike a recipe for success with middling QB talent....but aside from the occasional flash-in-the-pan success, those efforts have largely come up short. Until someone develops a successful approach that isn't heavily dependent on QB play, teams will continue paying quarterbacks top dollar... in many cases, far more than their actual worth. I'll guarantee you plenty of teams would love to find a way around a single player eating up 10-15% of their total salary cap. Many have tried...but nobody's found it yet.
  23. Stuff like this no longer bothers me. I always assume they were typing on their phone and probably got the name right before auto-correct changed it to something else. But I've noticed that the auto-correct feature tends to learn and use words based on the owners usage and habits. "Fister" obviously isn't a commonly used term for most people; the fact that RT's auto-correct chose to use it twice suggests the term has been typed into his phone more than a few times, to the point where his phone now regards it as normal everyday language.
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