Learning On The Fly?

After the yards the offense put up, Martz certainly looks good in Red and Gold

After the yards the offense put up, Martz certainly looks good in Red and Gold

The APB that was put out on the San Francisco 49ers offense in September 2005 can at last be called off. Staring a fourth straight season of abysmal production in the face, it came roaring to life in the form of a 33-30 overtime victory in Seattle on Sunday.

A victory that no one dreamed was an actual possibility when this campaign began last week and the same offense played a significant part in a five turnover loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Where was the innovative Mike Martz play calling some asked? What about the new receiving corps who was going to instill life and confidence in a once defunct offensive unit?

Those questions and a few more can be laid to rest because after a JT O’Sullivan led win over the Seahawks, in Seattle of all places, the supposed moribund 49ers have shown that they intend to play this season.

This is not to say that team as a whole played a complete or even great game, in fact nothing could be farther from the truth. What this team did show last Sunday however is that they are a young team who is learning how to win, no matter how many losses they have suffered in the past. In fact it could very well be the losing that has brought them to this point in a young 2008 season.

One of the most difficult things for a team as green as the 49ers to accomplish is to learn how to win games. On Sunday the 49ers, in the face of O’Sullivan being sacked eight times by an always aggressive Seattle defense, showed poise and tenacity not seen in these parts for, I can’t even remember how long.

Some might point to a game in the same stadium back in 2006 as a contest in which the team showed similar attributes however some would also be remiss to do so as a result of that team failing to continue it’s evolution in that games aftermath. This ultimately led to the subsequent demotion of its starting quarterback and the hiring of a new offensive coordinator for this season.

There are many differences between the game in Seattle in which Alex Smith led a fourth quarter comeback to beat the Seahawks 24-14 at a rain drenched Qwest Field two seasons ago and the one that transpired this past weekend.

Even with the mistakes that were made in the latter contest such as the inordinate amount of sacks allowed. The inability to get Vernon Davis involved in the game, (that’s another story entirely) and the defense’s helplessness at the hand’s of Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and his merry band of practice squad receivers, there is a sincere sense around the team that this was the kind of win they needed.

Said center Eric Heitman; “I haven’t been on a team that’s been as composed as we were last night. A lot of that has to do with the character, focus and drive that this team has. It’s exciting to see and it’s exciting to know that we’re capable of something like that going into the season. A win like that surely helps build confidence.”

Coming away with a victory, regardless of the adverse circumstances they were presented with is the sign of a team on the rise and perhaps one who might string together consecutive wins for only the fourth time since 2005.

I have always been a “the glass is half full” kind of guy, one who attempts to see the bright side of every situation and this NFL season is no different. I see a great deal of potential with this 49ers group, more in fact then at any point in the Erickson-Nolan regimes.

National pundits have not and are not blinking an eye at what took place in Seattle, even though the Seahawks were a combined 37-8 at home since Qwest Field was opened in 2003 before Sunday. They point to the fact that Mike Holmgren’s squad was banged up, missing numerous receivers and their starting running back to injury.

They make no mention of the Seattle defense which still boasts a great line-backing corps and stellar front line. They overlook the fact that the Seahawks are a battle tested team who has gone deep into the playoffs on more then a few occasions and even made the Super Bowl in 2005. They also fail to see that the offense no matter how depleted was still led by a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback and an impressive line which is adept at pass protection and run blocking.

No matter, the 49ers went into hostile territory and did what many thought they wouldn’t and what most assumed they simply couldn’t… they learned how to win.


  • James Jones

    Adam, there were a few who were a little skeptical of O'Sullivan and how it would all play out. I was one of them and have since (as previously stated) retracted that opinion. It is still early in the season so I am not 100% sold on him but he sure as heck didn't do anything to sway me in the other direction last weekend.

    I believe I read something months ago that said it wasn't going to be allowed, I will try and get some clarification on that though.

    Scotty, I agree man although I think this game it was clear that Mad Mike was calling the plays.

    Although the sequence at the end of the game wasn't typical of how Martz has called games in the past. There were 30 seconds left on the clock and the 49ers had one timeout left. In that situation I would tihnk Martz would have like to have gotten closer for Nedney or even in attempt to put it in the endzone erasing all doubt as to who the winner would be.

    I believe that it was Nolans decision to let the clock run down without running a play and then call the timeout.

    If it was his call, he is lucky that Nedney got another chance to win it in OT otherwise he might be looking for a new job this week.

    I have to believe that if this team would have opened up 0-2 that York MIGHT have pulled the trigger on Nolan.

  • 9ers4lyfe

    Adam, quit lying to everyone, you never pushed for JTO. You kept pushing for ALEX SMITH. Thats all you talked about.

  • joe gomez

    James, I moved to Sacramento in 2001 so I missed all the JTO action down here. Was he a stud in H.S.? I saw the numbers he put up in Davis. He must of broke every single passing record they ever had. I just couldnt see 8 teams being wrong about him. I guess they all were, including me.

  • marksmen

    hey adam im be goin the game too, u count on me waiting for u in the parking lot lol

  • James Jones

    Love the Happy Gilmore reference there Marksmen. :)

  • Adam49

    Gomez it wasn't you i was talkin about.And like everybody else i was thinking Alex had this thing locked to start.Who would have known his shoulder was shot.And for the record i did like Alex because i thought with the right coaching he coud have been a very good QB.But i never said he was great or anything like that.I've always said he has the potential and thats what i liked.But when you watch JTO play he has complete control of the offense and some fire about his job that i never saw with Alex.9ers4lyfe i'f you look back into some of the other articles,i did say he was gonna be the future of this team.And like james i am not 100% behind that but it sure looks good.

    marksmen i hope to see you there.

  • joe gomez

    I think well make it no doubt.


    Any one really listen to Moose Johnson during the broadcast? That guy's a fucking fag. He was obviously rooting for the Seahawks to win. Cowboy cocksucker. And I'm not just talking about the Willis interception. There was a couple times where he actually sounded happy we got penalties. Piece of shit.

  • joe gomez

    JTO was the biggest reason we pulled this win off. He proved not only that he had the skills to be our QB but he has the heart, desire, and leadership which we have been lacking in our QB for a long time. Even after the Nedney miss, he led the offense down the field again to set him up. The guy just doesnt give up. I hope they gave him the game ball, because he deserves it. Hes a unrestricted FA next year so I hope we give him an extension. With him looking like a solid NFL QB and possible star, we can tell the Bucs “no thanks” to Garcia, weve got our man.

  • marksmen

    right on joe!!!

  • James Jones

    I agree Joe… JT showed me a great deal about his intensity and desire to win last weekend. Taking eight sacks and still doing what he did for me was nice to see. Not to mention the times he kept drives alive with his feet by taking off or evading the rush and finding an open man for good gains.

    321 yards from him was a wonderful sight and I am really looking forward to seeing him this Sunday again!!!

  • joe gomez

    James, this kid who went to College right down the street from me has got the “it” factor. I like that emotion he showed when Nedney finally drilled it through. Those fist pumps he does when someone makes a big play, the attitude, the grittiness, man I fucken love it. Its been a long time since I actually enjoyed watching our offense. We were so horrible the past several years I wanted to shoot my T.V.

    Newsflash: Seattle just signed Koren Robinson who played with them in the past. Hes had alcohol problems but Holmgren is desperate to get someone in there who knows the system.

    James: What the fuck is wrong with Roman. Hes supposed to be the veteran who has the green sticker on his helmet but from what I see, he doesnt make any plays. Is it just me or is he worthless?

  • There r no easy wins for us this year. The Lions did come back against the Packers and they do have Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams at Wr. Clements needs to prove hes worth that money i know he knocks the ball lose for fumbles sometimes but alot of the time he gets beat.

    I know you guys probably dont agree with this but I have no confidence in Joe Nedney anymore he always pulls this by kicking the ball out of bounds or missing last second FG's he needs to get his head out of his ass I know no ones perfect but he is a veteran and it always seems like the close games he does something stupid.

  • fan49

    Is TBC still with the team. Cut his azz.

  • James Jones

    Joe, I have friends who went to high school with JT at Jesuit and my cousin actually went to Davis and played basketball and softball when he was there as well. I had no doubts about the man’s fire and passion for the game the only thing I was questioning was how, if he had the ability to be a bonifide leader in the NFL was he overlooked as many times as he was? It means nothing now because he has taken the reigns of this team and I don’t see him giving them up for anyone.

    Not sure on Roman but it might have been the nickel defense they were in for most of the game… it appeared that more then a few guys were unsure of themselves in the game and gave up some big plays. Even though Hasselbeck was held to 189 yards passing and was picked off twice.

  • James Jones

    Fan: The team still wants Tully and Tully still wants the team… for now.

  • Adam49

    I’m just wondering who it was that said JTO wasn’t the future of this club,when I was trying to convince people that he was?For the sake of argument I won’t say.But JAMES,that was a great article.Nobody wants to give up credit for a tough win,but to be honest,i don’t blame them.We had 1 fricken sack all game long?That’s insane.

    I do think we will crush the Lions.AND I’LL BE AT THAT GAME FIRST HAND BABY.GO NINERS.I’ll be in the parking lot bout 7ish,gettin my drink on.Sorry guys, just got a little excited.

  • Adam49

    Also did anybody here the rumor that the niners new stadium wasn’t gonna alow tailgating?I read an article that said the parking was gonna be in a parking structure with no place to tailgate.

  • ScottyMac

    Is Nolan going to let Martz coach this time!?!

  • Adam49

    Nolan is letting Martz coach.But Nolan is the Head coach and has the right to say what ever the fuck he wants to Martz.

  • joe gomez

    Adam49.. I think your referring to me right? hahaha..you got me bro,your absolutely right it was me who said he wasnt the future, I was DEAD wrong. Im man enough to say when im wrong. But to be completely honest, I dont quite remember you trying to convince people JTO was the future, must of missed that one. All I remember is all the arguments we had was due to you always pushing for Alex Smith who I completely despised. Ive known for years Alex wasnt the guy for our team. I saw very little skills with him, just a strong arm and thats about it. What I stated was Smith wasnt the future and the future QB wasnt even on our roster. Fuck, I had no idea how much skills this kid had. Im just thinking so many teams passed him up so I guessed that he was garbage. Im eating my words now. JTO suprised alot of people. I saw him play his 2nd pre season game and I was impressed.

  • joe gomez

    For what its worth Adam, if your man Alex had came out blazing this season, I would of been so wrong about him and would have given him his props. In a way I was daring the guy to prove me wrong. Guess he never stood a chance with that fucked up shoulder.

  • James Jones

    Joe: He was good in high school as well… not GREAT hence the reason he was not scouted to much coming out of Jesuit but he was good.

    So you live in Sac now Joe?

  • joe gomez

    Yes, grew up in the Bay area then moved out here in ’01 so never heard much of JTO. I hope he works out for us.

  • Adam49

    Just wondering,how many of you guys honestly think were gonna make the playoffs?I do.

  • Adam49

    The seahawks traded a conditional 5th round pick for Kerry Colbert and signed Koren Robinson from the streets.Pretty good pickups i say.

  • Samra



  • crazydave

    im a little bit excited about mike martz goes up against his former team Detroit lions, this game he might take a little personal and that the 49ers are playing at home,this might turn into a offensive battle and what defense steps up at the end,the only thing im a little worried about is our offensive line and the protection of J.T.O. and hope he can hold up the whole season or the offensive line can jells better Isac Bruce had a awesome game but every one i think forgot to give props to Bryant Johnson who had his first and only regular touch down this season as a 49er and another thing im wondering was what happen to V.D. this game and what happened to a couple receivers in jason hill and josh Morgan who i had i hopes for,I know Josh Morgan had one or two catches but i had higher hopes for Jason Hill this year.And in my personal opinion…. so far jerry rice helped the rookie eagles wide receiver deshaun jackson and browns receiver Braylon Edwards,i think we should pick him up as a wide receiver coach or assistant wide receiver coach or some were along that line..but this is my own personal opinion and im not trying to afend any one.

  • crazydave

    and im a little embarrassed to say too is he helped T.O , there just a couple receivers i knew jerry rice did help.

  • Dan the man

    I hate to say this but… Joe, you were right. We should have drafted D. Jackson(even after his bone head play on Monday night), he would have added nicely to our offense.

    I don’t see us making the playoffs, but hopefully 8-8. The stretch before our bye week we play New England, Philly, New York and New Orleans. Not a very soft opening schedule. If we can be 4-4 at the bye week, then maybe playoffs because the division sucks.

  • MSouza

    I didn’t mind the call to run the clock and put faith in Nedney. He missed it, but the odds were in our favor since he had made the previous 40-somethin from that range. Could you imagine what would have happened if we had a costly turnover resulting in a loss? You want to talk about Nolan not having a job, they probably wouldn’t of even let him fly home on the same Jet.

    Medford: Nedney is old, but he’s pretty solid. Maybe we find somebody at the end of the year to replace him, but for now he’s better than some schmuck walking the streets. It took a lot for him to hit that OT field goal after missing the game winner, a younger guy might not of done so.

  • James Jones

    Souza, I have to disagree with you on this. Getting even a little closer or at least running one more play to get the ball closer to the middle of the field would have been smart. At that point you put faith in Gore that he will get you a few extra yards and not turn the ball over.

    That’s the thing about Nedney, he has been there done that and has come through more times then not. I am confident with him as well Medford. This season alone he is 6 for 7 on his attempts, not to bad in my opinion.

  • Adam49

    I agree with james on this one.Nedney has been solid for us.I see no reason to get rid of him at all.I dont know how anybody can have a problem with Nedney.Compare him to what we had before.Jeff Chandler and Jose Cortez.No fucken way.

  • joe gomez

    Dan the man..why are you sorry to say it? Deshaun WOULD have added to the offense AND special teams. It was a no brainer to pick up this young talent after he dropped that far in the draft. Hes a complete dumbass for what he did because he did the same thing in a high school game, but we need his speed on our offense. Rossum is probably our fastest guy on the team but he is a CB. Bruce had a monster game, but the one play he got caught from behind, Deshaun takes that to the house no doubt.

  • Pintor98

    So what’s Spencer and J. Jennings status??? Anyone know?

  • ninerfaithful

    there out on sundays game mrglass should not even put a niner uni on anymore

  • joe gomez

    Nolan said “it will be awhile down the road” before Mr. Glass even suits up. Were gonna miss Spencer though. Jon Kitna was throwing mad props out to JTO, calling him “AMAZING.” Im hoping for another 300 yard passing day from him and a 100 yard running game for Gore.

  • joe gomez

    Isaac finally speaks! Maiocco will be posting the 7 1/2 minute interview soon on his website…