Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco 49ers’

49ers GM John Lynch and HC Kyle Shanahan have put together one winning season since taking over before the start of the 2017 season. Assembling a roster that’s suffered heavily from injury this season, the 49ers sit at 5-7, clawing towards an 8-8 season if they can win three of Washington, Dallas, Arizona, and Seattle in the remaining five games of the year. Nick Mullens is the presumptive starter at QB for the 49ers, going 2-4 as the starter in 2020. While the 2019 season went well for the 49ers, fans are growing tired of the injuries excuse as it continues to be an issue. Lynch needs to stabilize what has been an inconsistent quarterback situation to keep the 49ers relevant long term.

Fix the QB situation – Barring a major deal by luring Dak Prescott or trading for Teddy Bridgewater, the 49ers will need to find a passer in the draft to lead the team in 2021 and beyond. Jimmy Garoppolo looked competitive in the second half of 2019, but his injury prone nature keeps him (and the 49ers) from being a consistent competitor. The 49ers will likely miss out on the big 4 (Lawrence, Fields, Lance, Wilson) unless they are willing to trade up and can find a partner like the Eagles or Panthers. This would leave Lynch drafting Mac Jones/Kyle Trask in the first or a mid round project like Sam Ehlinger or D’Eriq King in the 4th or 5th rounds (49ers do not currently have a 3rd round selection in the 2021 draft). Due to Jimmy’s unreliable health, getting aggressive in trading up allows San Francisco to really take more control of their most important position. A quarterback like Trey Lance, while lacking a lot of passing snaps has demonstrated the “run and shoot” style of play Shanahan might value. Shanahan is one of the coaches who could get the most out of Lance’s mobility and on the run accuracy.

Balance the books – The 49ers will be forced to make some difficult decisions regarding who to resign and who to let walk. Richard Sherman, Solomon Thomas, and Trent Williams are all key players whose contracts run out after ’20. They will not likely be able to pay everyone and will lose some big names in the offseason. Keeping Sherman and Thomas would be nice, but keeping Trent Williams will be essential unless Lynch plans to replace Williams in the draft.

Build the Offense – The impact of players like Henry Ruggs, Stefon Diggs, and Chase Claypool have shown how one player can drastically improve an offense. If the 49ers don’t feel comfortable moving on a QB in the draft early, they can add win value in deep threats like Elijah Moore or Rashod Bateman. Samuel and Aiyuk are great at what they do, but the 49ers still don’t have a great deep speed receiver. Shanahan’s crush on running the ball shows us the value a real deep threat would have for San Francisco in forcing defensive coordinators to move defenders further away from the line of scrimmage.

Replace Robert Saleh – Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has not left the organization yet, but rumors point to his departure after the seasons’ end. Relative newcomer DL coach Kris Kocurek may get the nod, as the defense improved noticeably after he joined the team in 2019. Linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans who’s had success working with Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw and played as a successful linebacker for Houston for several seasons boasts a strong resume for the job as well.

Song of the post is Show Me by San Holo

The 49ers starting QB recently commenced contract negotiations expecting big time money to go along with his big play potential. But for Kaepernick to earn his big time money, his big time potential has to turn into big time play. And that means Kaep has to show he can beat Seattle in San Francisco, in Seattle, and in the playoffs. Kaepernick threw six interceptions against the Seahawks in 2013. A quick look at last years’ games against Seattle reveal Kaepernick’s flaws.

13/28 127 Yards 0 TD 3 INT 9 carries 87 yards (Week 2 @ Seattle – Loss)

15/29 175 Yards 1 TD 1 INT 9 carries 31 yards (Week 14 @ Home – Win)

14/24 153 Yards 1 TD 2 INT 11 carries 130 yards (NFC Championship game @ Seattle – Loss)

The takeaway from these stats include Kaep’s need to reduce his turnovers. Kaep’s especially effective as a runner gashing Seattle’s elite defense for 248 yards on 29 breakaways total throughout the season. San Francisco doesn’t want their franchise passer running more than a couple times a game. Kaep has some new weapons this season that should allow him to get more done through the air instead of relying on his feet. Wide Receivers Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree are on board and (currently) healthy for 2014. The 49ers drafted speedy wide receiver Bruce Ellington out of South Carolina. At 5’9″, 196 lbs, Ellington has a sturdier build than most 5’9″ receivers which should enable him to drive for extra yards on critical third-down plays. The 49ers also sent out a 4th round pick for former Bills wideout Stevie Johnson. Johnson has struggled with drops in the past but should improve on his catching with more consistent QB play and in an offense with more than one good wide receiver.

The 49ers also have future hall of fame tight end Vernon Davis to draw defenders off of other receivers for Kaepernick.

Still, all those receivers won’t do San Francisco any good unless Kaepernick develops as a passer and stays in the pocket to make the disciplined read.

A more volatile and healthy receiving corps means Colin’s passing touchdowns should rise from a modest 21 from 2013 to a meatier 27-29 in 2014. If anyone can help the 49ers young super-QB take the next step, it’s 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh who helped Chiefs QB Alex Smith have a career year in 2011.

2014 could mean big things for Kaepernick as he’ll have to prove he can put up big time numbers and win big time games and ultimately bring San Francisco the NFL championship they’ve only been flirting with since 2011.