Mistakes and Disappoinments

So another week and another loss, this time at the hands of the hated Dallas Cowboys. It has become almost an expected occurrence to see this 49er team underperform and essentially do nothing more than continue to disappoint week in and week out. I will admit that there are times (although very few and far between) where someone will make a great play or even piece together a good series on either side of the ball, again though these times are not coming in abundance.

It makes one wonder how much longer the coaches, players and even fans can continue to make comments like; “the talent is there, the team simply needs to put it all together” or “this team needs discipline and good coaching to succeed.” I know I myself have been making comments such as these at times during this season however, at 3-8 something has to give.

I continue to champion Mike Singletary as the head coach of this team and as I stated previously will do so once this season ends, regardless of the outcome of the next five weeks. I love his style and attitude on the sideline and how his players have responded to him since he was given his interim status. I love how the players trust him and go to battle for him because they not only want to succeed but because they seemingly want him to succeed as well. I really just feel that he is the man for the job based on his experience not only as a player but with the men on this team.

Some things from last weekend’s game that really stood out for me:

-  The offense looked really good early on in moving the ball almost at will. On the flipside, failing to put it into the end zone while twice being inside the 5-yard line is unacceptable and should be addressed this week!

- Nate Clements was burnt for deep passes to Terrell Owens on three separate occasions and aside from two monster hits when the game was already out of reach he grievously disappointed this week, in fact he has been doing so for the most part all season. This man is supposed to be the anchor of the secondary and he is continuously being put to shame with the deep pass. Also he was called for an offside penalty on the onside kick when he was on the complete opposite side of the field from where Joe Nedney kicked the ball. Completely unacceptable!

- Shaun Hill, while an obvious upgrade over J.T. O’Sullivan is still prone to game killing mistakes as well and is (as we all know) not the long term answer at quarterback for this team. The play immediately after the turnover courtesy of Manny Lawson was the worst one I think I have seen him run and giving the ball right back to Cowboys was the end of the game. If that drive nets a touchdown then who knows how the game ends.

- There continues to be no pass rush whatsoever. As I watched the game I pondered out loud to the company I was in why it was that when I see other teams blitz the quarterback with four down linemen and a linebacker or two there always seems to be at least one player who breaks through untouched to either sack or hurry the QB. Yet when the 49ers blitz, even bringing a few linebackers and defensive back for example they have no such luck. Is the San Francisco offensive line simply that awful? Apparently so.

-  Good teams make the kind of plays that this team doesn’t. Again I will reference the interception thrown by Hill on the ensuing play after Manny Lawson took the ball away from Dallas, a good team and quarterback doesn’t do that. There was also a punt where Marcus Hudson had the chance to pin the Cowboys at about their own 1-yard line. Instead of trying to jump in the air and bat the ball back outside the end zone, he decided to get cute with it and the result was a touchback. There were of course many more plays which fall into this category however bringing them all up here would necessitate my being in front of the computer until well after the Thanksgiving holiday, something I have neither the time nor the patience for.

So now the 49ers must travel to Buffalo and on the weekend after Thanksgiving no less. I’m taking odds right now that this team is not only going to be so full from stuffing their respective faces this Thursday but that they are going to get manhandled in the wintery conditions in Orchard Park. They are not adept at playing in hostile conditions, let alone ones that call for snow showers and a high of 36 degrees on Sunday.

I try to be optimistic about the prospects of the rest of this season, I really do. However when one is continuously let down and faced with the disappointment of another losing season it becomes commonplace to harbor a pessimistic attitude. Perhaps next season will be better. There needs to be changes made on this roster and once again, I see Singletary as the man to make that happen. With a full offseason, free agency and draft I can see good things coming to fruition under him and I hope the Yorks concur.

For now though…

3-9 here we come!




  • crazydave

    i think we still need a better back up running back than D. Foster.He isn't doing shit for our team and i think we need a better back up back.IF WE HAVE A 1 – 2 PUNCH at running back And get a better tackle than Jennings.We could be a really good team and then we could take some pressure of the quarterback and help our defense rest some.

  • crazydave

    and the reason Nate Clements gets burned deep is because we got a lack of pass rush.And afraid to touch T.O. in DallASS the refs kill us also….

  • Billy

    Secondary Comments:

    CB Nate Clemments is a good CB but he is overrated he is constantly getting beat, he isnt worth 60 mil.

    CB Walt Harris isnt as bad as people continue to say I have seen Clemments get beat more than Harris, has Harris lost a step? Of course. He isnt that bad but we do need a replacement

    CB Tarrel Brown I have yet to form an opinion on this guy, I saw him play up against Roy Williams and he got beat for 11 yds, besides that all I know is that Ive heard he has tremendous upside and can be the successor to Harris hopefully he does become a great CB for the sake of the franchise

    FS Mark Roman just sucks, how we release Tony Parrish for Roman is beyond me I love Tony Parrish I thought he was an up and coming Ronnie Lott after the Eagles game in 2004 and Cowboy game in 2005, just because he got injured Nolan signs Roman and releases Parrish and I was mad ever since. Well we all know Roman is slow, brick hands, cant cover, and is a "Nolan Guy" reasons he sucks.

    FS Dashon Goldson well anything is an upgrade over Roman but this guy is a hitter and a ballhawk, why he hasnt replaced Roman is beyond me. Didnt he have an INT in the one game he replaced Roman against the Seahawks? Which just prove the damn case.

    SS Micheal Lewis is complicated he is a hitter but hes a damn safety and does not cover for shit.

    SS Keith Lewis Ive heard that we should replace Micheal with Keith but he is just as bad. He was the one that was suppose to cover TO up top and was hanging on TO and it was just embrassing heck hes on the picture of the article

  • wickerman

    I really think the 1-2 punch at HB is pointless until we get a O-line that can open holes. Don;t misunderstand crazy dave, having two top quality backs would be great, but we can't block for the 1 we have yet.

    A far as Clements, I agree the non-existant pass rush is not helping, but I still think Clements has fallen short in comparison to the $$ he's getting to be a shutdown corner.

    Despite the pass rush, we didn't let Witten have a huge day and Crayton and Williams played well, but they did not humiliate the defense the way Owns did. I think you can safely blame the pass rush, our poor safeties (roman sucks and Lewis is really more of a run support guy who tackles well and hits hard but has never been known as a great cover man) but in the end, Clements bears the brunt.

    Our linebacking corp is the stength of the team – ALL of them play well with Willis and Lawson obviously the standouts. With a solid core to your D like those guys, rebuilding is not impossible in only 1 year's time.

    My real fear is for the offense. With the exception of Gore, every offensive position is in trouble. QB is a mess, O line is a disaster, WR has a huge gap between our very experienced veteran who is fading (bruce) and our very talented rookie who needs to stay healthy and learn the game (Morgan). VErnon Davis needs to step up and be consistent too or, frankly, I;d let Walker compete for the job. Hell, if he can at least move to the ball he is ahead of Davis right now.

    If you look at some of our drafts and FA sighning over the past few years (Banta Cain, Davis, Clements, Balmer, Alex Smith (!), Lewis, Franklin) what the hell have we gotten for our money? Ok, Balmer is a rookie, but he was our top pick. If our top pick can;t contribute above guys like Franklin, who the hell made that selection? Why waste a 1st round pick on a guy who is not an upgrade vs what you have?

    Pretty much I see Willis as the only good move we have made in years. But, for every Willis we have a Ashlie Lelie or a Tully Banta Cain. What about Brandon Lloyd or Antonio Bryant? The list of horrible moves goe back years. Hell, look at Jeff Garcia over in Tampa Bay. The organization kicked guys like him and Julian Peterson to the curb and they have gone on to great careers. Anyone NOT wish we could trade the Alex Smith experiment for Jeff Garcia and have those years back?

    Lazy players, poor coaching and orrible front office management and the 9ers of the 2000s are starting to look like the Bengals of the 90s.

  • AXEGRINDER

    Pressure on the quarterback has been an overlooked fundamental of the game ever since Nolan got here. (see Andre Carter and Julian Peterson) Bryant Young did everything he could and when he retired it exposed Nolan for the defensive fraud that he really is. If we don't have a good core of guys who can battle in the trenches, we're not going to win very many games, it's just that simple.

  • Cory

    For Nate to play good 1. we need a pass rush 2. he needs to play bump and run he is a bump and run corner not a soft corner

  • stokes83

    james, you speak the truth brother. Amen! you should check out our boards on 49ers scout, you and me think alike. :)

  • AXEGRINDER

    James has a way of putting everything we 49er fans are thinking into words for us to read and then we get to comment on our own thoughts. Great writing. It’s not like a beatwriter who has some kind of angle but a true fan’s perspective. That’s why I enjoy reading it so much. Keep it up.

  • AXEGRINDER

    The secondary’s job is much harder when there is no freakin’ pass rush. A good D-line changes so many things it’s not even funny. It also proves what happens when there is a good O-line. If a quarterback has time, he’s going to find somebody. Romo should have been sacked on two of those plays Owens burned us. It was our pass rush that got burned.

  • Billy

    I agree that pass rush is a problem I say we go 3-4 D next year and have a possible line up of the following players:

    DE Justin Smith

    DT Albert Haynesworth (TEN FA)/John McCargo (BUF FA)

    DE FA/Rookie/

    LOLB Manny Lawson

    MLB Patrick Willis

    MLB Takeo Spikes

    ROLB FA/Rookie

    CB Nate Clements

    CB Walt Harris/Tarrel Brown/FA/Rookie

    CB Shantae Spencer

    FS Dashon Goldson

    SS Micheal Lewis/FA/Rookie

    Any other FA or rookies that are possibilities please state them I would really like to know what players we got a chance to get.

  • joe gomez

    James.. actually on that onside kick if you look at replays, Clements didnt seem like he was offsides. The refs blew alot of calls, not saying that would of helped out much. We still would have lost. TO and other receivers will continue to kill us with the way our secondary has been playing. Man Roman needs to fucking go.

  • Rob

    Ok, here is how I see things:

    As for our coaching situation, I was hoping Singletary would be promoted to HC before Nolan got fired. So, I was rooting for this guy before he was The Guy. But, I am starting to wonder if he is the answer. If you look at this season so far, have we really played any better under Singletary than we did under Nolan? Sure, they played great in the Rams game, but don't forget that we won big over a hapless team under Nolan, too, in the Lions game. And, under Nolan, we stayed competitive in most of those games, too. Much like it is now. If we would have actually won the Arizona game (as we should have), I might not be saying this. But, I'm just wondering whether Singletary is going to really give us an upgrade over Nolan. There is still plenty of football left. I hope I am proven wrong.

    As for the QB situation, we need a good QB if we want to be competitive again. That is something we really don't have. Hill is probably the best option we have at QB, so we need to keep him beyond this year. I would be willing to keep Smith, but only under these conditions: He takes a big pay cut, and his opportunity to compete is determined in training camp and preseason. By the regular season, his status should be determined. And, if he must be released, release him. As for JTO, his contract runs out after this season, don't bother renewing it. Then, we bring in at least two QBs to compete w/ Hill and possibly Smith. One a veteran through free agency. The other using a high draft pick. The veteran should be able to at least compete for a chance to start. Personally, I say go after Jeff Garcia. It doesn't look like he will be back in Tampa after this season. I'm sure he would love to come back to San Fran and end his NFL career where it started. And, he would provide a good mentor for the new draft pick. Plus, he could probably start while the rookie sits a year and learns. But, other QBs could be available, like Donovan McNabb, Matt Cassell, or Derek Anderson. Go out and pay some money to get someone to at least give us depth for a change.

    As far as our talent goes, I always defended McCloughlan, saying he has made some good choices along with bad ones, but I'm starting to wonder about him, too. The talent on this team is ok, but not as good as it should be. I am willing to let him continue on, but things need to improve on that front, or I may change my mind about that.

    Oh, and one note on the Bills game this weekend. I actually live in Pennsylvania and will be visiting my sister in Buffalo this weekend. When I realized the Niners would be in Buffalo the same weekend, I thought about getting tickets. But, ulitmately, I decided I didn't want to embarrass myself like that. But, that said, the Bills aren't as good as they were earlier this season, and I think the Niners have a chance. But, I thought that about the Cowboys, too. So, maybe I'm just viewing things through rose colored glasses. Oh, well.

    Go Niners!

  • DT

    Is it too early to start thinking about the draft? Lol. I predict the Niners finish 5-11. Their remaining schedule is pretty tough. L at Buffalo, L to the Jets, L @ Miami, W @ StL, and Toss-Up at home v the Redskins. It's not crazy to have them finishing 4-12 which could be a top 5 pick in the draft!

  • Mike in MD

    This is a long shot pipe dream but this is the PROVEN GUY that should be our new trigger man…..SCOTT PIOLI. Interesting article. With the right dollar signs I think this guy would jump ship & DOES WANT HIS OWN TEAM. Jed needs to quit sucking his thumbs drinking the McCloughan kool aid & at least make the call.

    LINK: http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.ph

  • Brodie12

    Everyone here is correct. Give the opposing QB 4-5 seconds to find an open receiver and the Steel Curtain, No-Name defense, and the Dooms-day teams would look like the 49ers.

    I wouldn't use the first round pick on the OL, but on WR and/or QB.

    Lastly, it it weren't for the continuous bad calls by the so-called zebras, wew may have had a chance Sunday. Oh, and by the way, great blocking schemes by Robinson, Bajema, and Chilo. Steve Young might have been killed last Sunday.

  • ninerfaithful

    double j articals are the best keep them coming

  • Billy

    Good article Mike if we start e-mailing Jed it maybe possible!!

  • Billy

    HC Mike Singletary
    OC Mike Martz (I prefer Malarky to develop our QB)
    DC Romeo Crennel
    GM Scott Pioli

    We better draft Crabtree

  • http://niners Medford

    This team has alot of holes right now we need everything almost.

    1) O-line
    2) D-line (Justin Smith is ok everyone else is garbage)
    3) Safteys ( I was thinking of puting Clements there he really cant cover that great but he could hit people hard)
    4) Wr’s ( I like r group right now but probably Johnson wont be back so we need a stud free agent there)
    5) Corners (that dont play 15 yards off the Wr)
    6) The most important position QB I say make a hard push for Mcnabb he needs a change and so do we (keep Hill as the backup)

    KEEP SINGLETARY FIRE MANUSKY AND MCCLUELESS

    SCOTT MCCLUELESS DUG HIS OWN GRAVE WHEN HE STARTED DRAFTING FOR DEPTH INSTEAD OF FOR NEED WHEN A TEAM GOES 5-11.

  • Billy

    McClueless is stupid he trades 2nd,7th in 2007 Draft and the 1st in 2008 for the Patriots first

    So this is what happened we got screwed Tony Ugoh is better than Staley and we basically lost our 1st round pick in 08 because instead of a Line man or Rogers-Cromartie we blew it on Balmer, we suck and McClueless looks for depth?? WTF!!! Man Im better off as GM of the 49ers, how the hell did he get into management? Did he sleep with someone or does ownership just want to screw fans over.

    Anyone know how to become GM cause Im running for GM in San Fran. Heck its my dream job to control the talent that goes into the franchise since the Fans(us of course) know what this team needs instead of some dimwit. From what Ive seen we hit luck with our draft picks ok we have one bust(Smith, Davis is decent but not worth 6th overall, Gore was luck, we almost picked Carriker over Willis, Balmer sucks, Staley Suck, Baas suck, our O-line picks suck period, Rachal is a rookie so I dont know

  • Lowrance

    Any secondary can look 100% better with a descent D Line. All we have is Smith.

    Both O line and D line would be my first, second, third, and forth concerns at a minimum.

  • crazydave

    i agree with you 100% Lowrance.Get rid of Jennings and use that money on a better offensive tackle that can stay healthy like Tony Pashos or Max Starks.

  • crazydave

    i still feel the jury is still out on Balmer because rookie defensive tackles really need a full year to develop and he didn’t even start 10 games yet.

  • James

    So I stand corrected as the 49ers win in Buffalo. Sure it wasn't an attractive victory but it was a victory nonetheless. The defense played a very aggressive style today and went with a bend but don't break mentality as well. The offense showed signs of life but one area I am really disappointed in is the running game, that line has got to give Gore more holes to run through, they did a good job of protecting Hill for the most part though.

    I'll be back on with something tomorrow in relation to the game and my thoughts on it… as for now I have to go back to the table and finish eating my crow.

  • joe gomez

    Zeiglers a bitch for dropping that easy catch.