2018 SF 49ers – Wouldn’t Dee Ford (KC Chiefs) Look Good in a Niner Uni in 2019 ?

posted in: Football | 0

Dee Ford is an unrestricted Free Agent in 2019 and had a monster year in his contract year. He is the Edge Rusher that the Niners have been needing ever since Charles Haley left the Niners in 1991. Yes, it has been 27 long years since the Niners had an impact pass rusher.

How good was Ford’s 2018 season?

  • He had a league leading 11 QB pressures that directly resulted in turnovers. Putting it another way, the entire Niners defense totaled 7 turnovers and Dee had 11 by himself.
  • Ford’s strip sack of Andrew Luck in the 3rd quarter of yesterday’s playoff game took just 2.54 seconds, the fastest yet of this year’s playoff games.
  • When the Niners played the Chiefs this year, Ford had 7 QB pressures that resulted in 2 sacks and 5 hurries.
  • Dee finished the year with 13 sacks and 46 hurries along with his 11 forced turnovers.

That, my friends, is what is called a monster year in his contract year and he will be commanding a huge payday.

There is this thing called the “franchise tag” which the Chiefs will most likely use to prevent Ford from signing with any other team. So, although Dee Ford would look so good in a Niner uniform next year, the likelihood of this happening is slim to none.

There are other pass rushers who will become free agents this year:

  • Frank Clark (Seahawks)
  • Jadeveon Clowney (Texans)
  • Trey Flowers (Patriots)
  • DeMarcus Lawrence (Cowboys)

These players are all great options for the Niners as well. But, they are also “franchise tag” candidates along with Dee Ford. But, a lot can happen between now and the NFL draft so if any of these great edge rushers are not ‘tagged”, the Niners should pounce on the opportunity to get one of these players.

There are potentially 2 impact pass rushers in this year’s NFL draft, Nick Bosa (Ohio State) and Josh Allen (Tennessee). The Niners are drafting 2nd overall so will be guaranteed a shot at one of these two edge rushers. Again, a lot can happen between now and the NFL draft in late April. If the Niners are able to sign one of the five premium pass rushers mentioned above who have already proven themselves, Lynch/Shanahan may opt for the “best available” player in the NFL draft instead of focusing solely on Bosa/Allen.

This leads me to what I feel would be the dream scenario for the Niners in 2019.

  • Sign one the of five established edge rushers who will be free agents this year with Dee Ford at the top of my list.
  • Instead of drafting Nick Bosa or Josh Allen, draft Quinnen Williams (DT from Alabama). He may be the next Aaron Donald (LA Rams). With Williams, Buckner, Armstead, Thomas and one of the five edge rushing free agents, the Niners may just become one of the best defenses in the league. Teams won’t be able to double team any one of these players so the QB pressures will increase dramatically. The other added benefit is to the Niners defensive backfield. With QB pressures, their coverage time will be reduced and the chance for turnovers will increase.

Other free agents that the Niners should strongly consider are Earl Thomas (Safety from the Seahawks), Landon Collins (Safety from the Giants), Tyrann Mathieu (Safety from the Texans), C.J. Mosely (LB from the Ravens), Anthony Barr (LB from the Vikings), and Chris Conley (WR from the Chiefs).

After picking Quinnen Williams in the first round, their next priority is to pick the best available Corner Back in the second round.  The 2019 draft class is deep at the CB position:

  • Greedy Williams (LSU)
  • Deandre Baker (Georgia)
  • Byron Murphy (Washington)
  • Amani Oruwariye (Penn St)
  • Julian Love (Notre Dame)
  • Kris Boyd (Texas)
  • Trayvon Mullen (Clemson) (Defensive MVP in CFP Championship game)
  • Travon Diggs (Alabama)

As for Wide Receivers, every year, an impact WR emerges who was picked in the middle-to-late rounds in the draft. Lynch/Shanahan have to find that diamond in the rough. I do not recommend that the Niners trade for either Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham as the asking prices will be too high.

Although their record doesn’t show it, the team roster has improved dramatically since they took over. I expect that this trend will continue and the W’s will follow.

SF 49ers – Week 16 Loss – On a Down Year, Shanahan looks Up to 2019

posted in: Football | 0

The Niners closed a disappointing 2018 season at 4-12 with a 48-32 loss to the LA Rams. In spite of an injury ridden year, the Niners saw the emergence of many young players with some even becoming impact players. I view George Kittle (TE), DeForest Buckner (DE), Richard Sherman (CB) and Fred Warner (LB) as having a tremendous impact year. The players who made great strides going into next year are Matt Breida (RB), Raheem Mostert (RB), Nick Mullens (QB), Dante Pettis (WR), Kendrick Bourne (WR), Elijah Lee (LB), and Mike McGlinchy (OT). And of course, the old reliable Joe Staley (OT), had his usual outstanding year. The young defensive backs who were pressed into action due to injuries who may be difference makers next year are D.J. Reed, Marcell Harris, and Tarvarious Moore. Lastly, the Niners will have a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo (QB) and Jerrick McKinnon (RB), who missed the entire season with torn ACL’s, back in action next year.

George Kittle set an NFL record with 88 catches for 1,377 yards beating Travis Kelce who had set the record a few hours earlier with 1,336 and Rob Gronkowski with 1,327 in 2011.

The Offensive Line had a solid year. Joe Staley (LT), Laken Tomlinson (LG), Weston Richburg (C), Mike Person (RG), and Mike McGlinchey (RT) have become a stable group. Tomlinson may have suffered a torn ACL in yesterday’s game. This will be a blow to this group. Richburg played almost the entire year with a bad knee. With a year to strengthen his knee, he should come back strong next year.

The Defensive Line has also come together and the Niners now have a solid base. Arik Armstead (DE), Ronald Blair (DE), Earl Mitchell (NT), DeForest Buckner (DE), Soloman Thomas (DT), Sheldon Day (DT), D.J. Jones (DT), and Julian Taylor (DT) give the Niners a solid rotational group. Soloman Thomas, who was miss-used as a DE, started to shine when moved to his position of strength (DT). He is much more effective on the inside due to his quickness and ability to get into the backfield to disrupt runs or passes.

The greatest need for improvement for next year are to find a pass rusher and a true #1 wide receiver. I trust that Lynch and Shanahan will fill these holes either through the draft or via free agency. Their reputation as being player’s coaches/executives have grown. Thus, impact players at these positions may be attracted to joining the Niners.

In addition to player improvements, Shanahan and his coaches must focus on improving these two glaring minuses….

  • They were 0-8 on the road.
  • They created the fewest take-away turnovers in NFL history (7 on 2 interceptions and 5 fumble recoveries). They lost the ball 32 times on 20 interceptions and 12 fumbles for a differential of minus 25. This is by far, the worst in the NFL.

The Niners coaching staff will coach the players in the Senior Bowl. Traditionally, the coaching staff with the worst NFL record are assigned to coach in the Senior Bowl. Arizona had the worst record, but, with the firing of coach Steve Wilkes, Kyle Shanahan is next in line. The last time the Niners coached in the Senior Bowl, coach Mike Singletary found a guy named Patrick Willis.

This-n-That:

  • At the conclusion of the season, there are 8 head coach vacancies. Green Bay, Cincinnati, NY Jets, Arizona, Tampa Bay, Miami, Denver, and Cleveland.
  • In the playoffs, watch out for the Indy Colts in the AFC. With Andrew Luck and perhaps the best Offensive Line in the NFL with the addition of Quentin Nelson, they are dominating and opening gaping holes for their RB’s. In the NFC, the Seahawks with the 4th quarter magician, Russell Wilson, will be a tough out.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers remained on the field after their narrow victory rooting for their arch enemy Cleveland Browns to beat the Baltimore Ravens. This was their only hope for making the playoffs. Their balloon was burst when the Ravens intercepted Baker Mayfield to end the Steeler’s season. No tears were shed by this writer….

SF 49ers – Week 15 Loss – The Young Defense Holds Potent Bears to 14 Points

posted in: Football | 0

I heaped praise on the young Niner defensive players in last week’s blog and they didn’t do anything to dispel my view of their play. They played great against a very good Chicago Bears team by holding them to 14 points. Yes, they got beat but only on great back-shoulder passes by Mitchell Trubisky. Not even the best corner backs in the leagues could have prevented those catches.

The offense was held in check only because they faced a Vic Fangio defense… one of the best in the NFL. Not only does Fangio have the best personnel in the league, he knows how to scheme his personnel. He has re-made the Monsters of the Midway with his crew. And, since Vic was not given the chance to coach the Niners by Baalke and York, he had a bit more incentive to unleash his Monsters.

The Niners finally won the turnover battle 2 to 1 and had a chance to drive down the field at the end of the game after they forced a fumble. But, on 4th and 4 near mid-field, Nick Mullens rolled out to the right and had clear sailings to pick up the first down, but he got caught up in the moment and flung a long desperation pass down the field which fell way out of bounds. These are the mistakes that he and the Niners will learn from as they head into the last game of the year vs the high powered LA Rams.

This-n-That:

  • Chuckie Gruden traded the best linebacker in football, Khalil Mack, and a young impact wide receiver, Amari Cooper, and got GM Reggie McKenzie fired. The Raiders are now being sued by the city of Oakland for leaving Oakland for Vegas. Mark Davis’ Dad forced the City of Oakland to spend millions building Mt. Davis, a monstrosity upper deck which was never used by neither the Raiders nor the A’s. Al Davis made the building of Mt. Davis a condition for the Raiders to return to Oakland from LA. Mark Davis wasn’t satisfied with Mt. Davis so he demanded a brand new stadium. Vegas was stupid enough to fall for his trap so he is leaving Oakland once again strapping them with unpaid bills and lost revenue. As a topper to the Oakland saga, this week, Gruden signed QB Nathan Peterman who was released by the Buffalo Bills. He was released because in 8 games, he threw for 3 touchdowns but 12 interceptions (5 int’s in one half of one game) with a QB rating of 32.5. He had a perfect QB rating for the opposing team. Fits perfectly with Gruden’s offense.
  • The Washington Redskins released All Pro safety D.J. Swearinger after he bashed his coaching staff in public, something he has done before. But, this is the same Redskin staff who hired Reuben Foster one day after he was arrested for domestic violence (third arrest) and cut by the Niners. It’s this kind of management decisions that keep on getting in the way of the Redskins being able to win.

2018-12-23 – Warriors Beat the LA Clippers in Renewed Rivalry

posted in: Basketball | 0

The Warriors beat the LA Clippers in a thriller at Roarcle tonight (129-127) on a last second drive by this year’s MVP, Steph Curry. He totaled 42 points while Kevin Durant had 35 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocked shots. They won despite the Clippers pouring in 18 3’s on 23 shots for an NBA record 78.3%. Thanks to Jerry West, he has masterminded some great trades to make the Clippers a legitimate threat to the Warriors. The rivalry today is much better than in the past when the Clippers had Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin.

So, how did West rebuild the Clippers? He made a blockbuster trade with the Houston Rockets by sending Chris Paul to the Rockets and in return got a bundle of great players plus draft picks. Back in July of 2017, I wrote a blog entitled “Free Agency Winners and Losers”. Follows is a recap of what I thought about that trade.

The Rockets got a boost by the Chris Paul signing. Having said that, they had to give up 7 players (Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjer, a protected first-round pick next year and cash considerations). This reminds me of the Hershel Walker trade between the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys where the Cowboys got 5 players and 7 draft picks. As we all know, the Cowboys became a dynasty and the Vikings became the Vikings. It is fitting that two ball hogs (James Harden and CP3) are on the same team. They’ll have nobody to pass the ball to but that’ll be fine with them. The Rockets instantly became a worse team and will fall to the middle of the pack in the West.

Since that article, the Rockets got worse as they did not resign Trevor Ariza nor Luc Mbah a Moute, their two best defenders.

West also traded Blake Griffin, Willie Reed and Brice Johnson to the Pistons for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, a 2018 first rounder and a 2019 second rounder.

And, he traded Paul Milsap to Denver and Jamal Crawford and a 1st Round pick (from the Houston trade) to Atlanta to acquired Danilo Gallinari from Denver.

Back to the Rockets, they re-signed Chris Paul to a horrible 4 year, $160 million contract. He is 33 years of age and has not been able to remain healthy for an entire year. The Rockets have no more room to attract any more impact players while the Clippers have plenty of salary cap room and may be the front runner in attracting Kawhi Leonard and possibly another super star in 2019.

Looking at the NBA standings as of December 23, 2018, the Clippers are in 6th place in the playoff rankings while the Rockets are in 8th place.

While giving all this praise to the Clippers, they and all other teams in the NBA do not play defense on a consistent basis like the Warriors. This is the ingredient that separates the Warriors from all other teams. NBA teams have done a decent job in emulating the Warriors offense as everyone is now shooting 3’s at an unprecedented rate. Every young player from grade school and up are trying to be the next Steph Curry. Steph has revolutionized the game like nobody else including Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and even LeBron James.

As long as Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green stay together, they will continue to dominate the NBA scene… PERIOD !!!

SF 49ers – Week 14 WIN – The Young and the Restless !!!

posted in: Football, Uncategorized | 0

Remember 1981 when the Niners drafted and started Ronnie Lott, Eric Wright, and Carlton Williamson? All three were instant starters and along with a skinny legged 3rd stringer named Joe Montana, the Niners shocked the football world by beating the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship game (Dwight Clark’s “The Catch” Game) and went on to beat the Bengals in Super Bowl Sweet 16!!!… and the beginning of the Niner dynasty !!!

Fast forward to the 2018 draft class… The Niners drafted Tarvarius Moore, D.J. Reed, and Marcell Harris to improve their defensive backfield. In an injury plagued season, these three DB’s are getting their chance to play and Oh Boy, they are playing and playing well. The defensive play was a key in upsetting Denver and Seattle (both in the playoff hunt) in consecutive weeks. While I’m not saying that these guys can lead the Niners to the “promised land”, I am very much looking forward to next year to see the defense gel and become an important cog in the Niners success.

While we are on the topic of this year’s draft, let’s take a late season look at how they are doing…

  • Mike McGlinchy – Instant starter at Right Tackle and showing that he is one the best rookies at the Tackle position.
  • Dante Pettis – After battling through a knee injury, he is starting to showcase his Wide Receiver skills. He had 5 receptions for 83 yards vs Seattle.
  • Fred Warner – Instant starter at Linebacker and is calling the defensive plays as a rookie. He had 9 tackles (4 solo) vs Seattle.
  • Tarvarious Moore – See above. He had 7 tackles (5 solo) with 2 passes defensed vs Seattle.
  • Kentavious Street – Highly touted Defensive Lineman who tore is ACL prior to the draft but Lynch and Shanahan were so impressed with his talents, they drafted him anyway.
  • D.J. Reed – See above. He had 5 tackles (3 solo) vs Seattle.
  • Marcell Harris – See above. He had 6 tackles (6 solo) vs Seattle.
  • Jullian Taylor – Has earned a rotational spot on the Defensive Line and is playing well. He had 1 tackle vs Seattle.
  • Richie James – Quick Slot Receiver who returned a Kickoff 97 yards for a TD vs the Seahawks.

I would have to give Lynch and Shanahan high grades for these picks as all of them have made the team and are already making contributions. We’ll have to see how they grade out at the end of next year to give a true evaluation of this 2018 draft class.

Once again, undrafted QB Nick Mullens had a great game throwing for 275 yards on 20-29 with 1 TD. He did overthrow Gronk Kittle twice which could have lead to 2 additional TD’s, but those were the only two bad throws he made. And, undrafted Jeff Wilson overcame a fumble that killed a promising drive and a petty  unsportsman-like penalty that took away another potential TD by running excellently for the game winning field goal drive in OT.

As I said last week, I don’t expect the Niners to win any of the remaining 2 games, against playoff teams (the Bears, and Rams). But, I do expect these games to be competitive as the defense has come together and playing their best ball of the year. DeForest Buckner has become a monster. Against the Seahawks, he had 11 total tackles, 7 solo, 2 sacks (11 for the year), 4 tackles for losses, and 3 QB hits. These are Reggie White like numbers.  The O-line has been playing great all year and Nick Mullens’ quick decision making skills will allow the Niners to stay in these games.

This-n-That:

  • The mighty Patriots and Rams have looked like Patsy’s and Lambs over the last two weeks as both are on 2 game losing streaks.The Playoffs will be very interesting this year as I believe that any team in the tournament are capable of advancing. Additionally, no playoff team wants to face either the Colts or Titans if they get into the Playoffs.
  • After beating the Steelers last week, the Raiders lost to the Bengals with a QB named Jeff Driskel? Chuckie Gruden’s winning streak was short lived.
  • Alex Smith was finally released from the hospital after 4 weeks after a horrendous leg injury and infection. Wishing him all the best for a full recovery and hoping to see him in a Redskin uniform again next year. Alex is still one of my favorite players of all time because he is the ultimate team player who spends time teaching the QB trade even if it means that his student will take over his job.
  • Those Niner fans who are calling in to complain about their tremendous win vs the Seahawks and losing out for the #1 overall draft pick next year are losers and not real Niner fans. Lynch and Shanahan are instilling a winning culture and don’t ever want to be associated with the #1 pick ever again.

SF 49ers – Week 13 WIN – George Kittle is the new Gronk !!!

posted in: Football, Uncategorized | 0

In their best game of the year, the Niners beat the hot Denver Broncos who had won 3 games in a row and was in the hunt for a playoff spot. Before the game started, the Broncos knew that the Baltimore Ravens had lost, thus opening an opportunity for them to sneak into the playoffs. The Broncos had plenty to play for and had to be confident playing the Niners who had only two wins this entire season. As I said in last week’s post, there is plenty to be optimistic about this Niner team going forward. The young studs on both sides of the ball showcased their talents against a playoff caliber team.These guys are playing for their future as Shanahan told them that the remaining games are important to find out who will be part of the Niners success going forward.

Nick Mullens had a solid game throwing for 305 yards on 20-33 and 2 TD’s. 210 of those yards went to George Kittle which included an exciting 85 yard catch-n-run TD, all in the first half. Kittle is now being mentioned as being in the same class as Gronkowski and Kelce. Mullens also threw a game clinching TD to Dante Pettis. Jeff Wilson had a career high 90 yards in his first NFL start.

Thus, an undrafted QB (Nick Mullens) and an undrafted RB (Jeff Wilson) took apart a very good Bronco defense. But, it was the unsung heroes who won the game for the Niners. The Offensive Line controlled the line of scrimmage against Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, two of the best sack artists in the league. Also, the Defensive Line held Phillip Lindsey to 30 yards on 14 carries. Last week, Lindsey had 157 yards and 2 TD’s against the Bengals. Witherspoon and Sherman had good games at the Cornerback position but it was D.J. Reed and Marcell Harris, both Rookies, who had absolutely monster games playing the Safety positions.

With Jimmy Garoppolo, Jerick McKinnon and Raheem Mostert returning next year from injuries and the Niners committed to finding a Pass Rusher and an impact Wide Receiver, they are pointing in the right direction.

I don’t expect the Niners to win any of the remaining 3 games, all against playoff teams (the Seahawks, Bears, and Rams). But, I do expect these games to be competitive as the young players are now strutting their stuff.

This-n-That:

  • After the Raiders beat the high flying Steelers, they fired their GM, Reggie McKenzie. No doubt, there was a power struggle between Chuckie Gruden and McKenzie. With Chuckie beating the Steelers, this presented a perfect time to tell owner Mark Davis that he was in control. With Gruden trading the best LB in the league, Khalil Mack, and also trading an impact WR, Amari Cooper, he is being very Baalke-like in his determination to make this his own team. With only 3 wins this year, time will tell if Gruden can make this team a winner.
  • There is some truth to some team match-up dynamics that simply do not change regardless of whether one team is dominant and the other team just average. One of these cases is between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. No matter how good the Patriots are and how bad the Dolphins are, the Dolphins have the Patriots number. Yesterday was no different as the Dolphins pulled off a major upset with an implausible game winning 69 yard TD with a hook-n-ladder miracle on the last play of the game (34-33).
  • The Golden State Warriors were named Sport Illustrated Sportsperson of the year. They become only the 4th team ever to win this award. The 1980 US Men’s Olympic Hockey team, the 1999 US Women’s Olympic Soccer team, and the 2004 World Series Boston Red Sox team are the only other teams to win this otherwise individual performance award.
    “This is an incredible honor and one that certainly signifies our Strength in Numbers philosophy as a team and organization,” Warriors President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Bob Myers told The Associated Press. “Our success is due to the contributions of every single player, coach and staff member in our organization; for Sports Illustrated to recognize this unique dynamic is truly special.”

SF 49ers – Week 12 Loss – Losing Streak Remains Intact

posted in: Football | 0

The Niners lost to the Seattle Seahawks big (43-16) to extend their losing streak and remain with the worst won/loss record in the NFL. Having said that, their effort against a good Seahawk team was the best since beating the hapless Raiders back on November 1. Saying that this was their “best effort in a while” can be taken in one of two ways… either they are so bad, that a 43-16 whipping is as good as they can be… or, they are on the right path in becoming a respectable team for the remainder of this year and upcoming years. My view is that they will show effort for the remaining games this year but will continue to lose. But they will gain valuable experience in becoming a respectable team next year.

Following are my reasons for optimism for the Niners:

  • The offense is above average. The Offensive line is solid and consistent. Mike McGlinchy, the Niners 1st round draft pick has turned out to be a great pick. Although very injury ridden at running back (Jerick McKinnon out with an ACL, Raheem Mostert out with a broken arm, and Matt Breida playing through ankle issues all year), the Niners have the 4th best running game in the NFL. Undrafted rookie, Jeff Wilson had his best NFL game on Sunday (61 yards on 15 carries) and will be a valuable rotational back next year. Kyle Juszczyk is the best Fullback in the league. They are set at QB with Jimmy Garoppolo coming back next year and both Nick Mullins and C.J. Beathard getting valuable playing experience this year. Mullins threw for 414 yards and 2 touchdowns on 30/48 passes against a good Seahawk defense. The Wide Receiver position is lacking an impact pass catcher. Dante Pettis had his best game in his young career this week (5 catches for 129 yards with 2 touchdowns with one being a beautiful 75 yard catch-n-run). Kendrick Bourne, Marquis Goodwin, Richie James and Trent Taylor are good but not impact receivers. George Kittle has quickly developed into a Gronk-like Tight End and continues to shine every week.
  • The defense needs an overhaul. Their Front Four is solid with good rotational players (Earl Mitchell, Arik Armstead, Ronald Blair, DeForest Buckner, Cassius Marsh, Solomon Thomas, Sheldon Day, DJ Jones, and Julian Taylor.) The big missing piece is an impact pass rusher. This is key to their success as the back seven simply isn’t good enough to cover receivers for more than 3 seconds. At corner back, Ahkello Witherspoon is developing but very inconsistent. Richard Sherman is still good but at his age, he may have at most 1-2 more years left in his legs. Jaquiski Tartt is a good but not a great Safety. The younger “back seven” players are worth developing as we don’t yet have a gauge on how good they are or can be because of the lack of a pass rush. DJ Reed, Adrian Colbert, Marcell Harris, and Tarvarious Moore are young and worth keeping. Guys like Jimmie Ward, K’Waun Williams, and Antone Exum have had their chances so their tenure with the Niners should end. As for Linebackers, Fred Warner is the only keeper going forward. The linebacking group needs revamping. They need an impact Safety like Derwin James of the LA Chargers and an impact linebacker like Leighton Vander Esch of the Dallas Cowboys. Lynch and Shanahan almost drafted James but decided to go with McGlinchey which was the right choice. Now that the Niners do have a solid Offense, their focus on improvement will be on Defense.

This-n-That:

  • Another revealing piece of news related to Kareem Hunt, the running back for the KC Chiefs released due to a domestic violence incident. Both the Chiefs and the NFL knew about the incident back in February. They were “unable” to get ahold of the video and they did NOT interview either Kareem or the abused woman. Yes, indeed, the NFL did everything possible to do a thorough investigation… NOT !!!
  • Urban Meyer, the Ohio State coach, who hid the fact that his assistant coach was abusing his wife for years, announced his retirement. Most likely because his Buckeyes weren’t selected to the Final 4 NCAA Football Championships.
  • On Friday, Nov 23, Tiger Woods and Phil Nicholson participated in a $9 million winner take all match in Las Vegas. It probably made sense 10 years ago, but not now… Heard it was a boring match which I call the Battle of the Cheaters. One cheats on the course while the other cheats off the course. Of course, the “on course cheater” won…

SF 49ers – Week 11 Loss – Domestic Violence is NOT OK !!!

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

The Niners lost to the Tampa Bay Bucs but the big news of the week transpired prior to the game. Reuben Foster was arrested for yet another domestic violence incident… with the same women that he abused before. The Niners did the right thing and cut him from the team immediately. The organization did more than what was expected to try to turn this young man’s life around, but Reuben couldn’t separate the violence of football from his personal life. His teammates, especially Richard Sherman, tried to take him under his wings but that also didn’t help. Regardless of the tough upbringing that Reuben suffered from, there comes a time when a grown man must take responsibility for his actions.

In breaking news, a video surfaced on Nov 30 of Kareem Hunt, the star running back of the Kansas City Chiefs, shoving a woman then kicking her while she was on the floor. This incident took place in February but the video just surfaced for the public to view. It’s not clear if the Chiefs knew about the video prior to Nov 30, but their statement was that they knew of the incident, didn’t know about the video, and trusted Kareem’s version of the incident. They saw that the video did not match Kareem’s story so they cut him from the team immediately. There is a “he said, she said” bantering going on but regardless of “who started it”, there is no excuse for a man to hit a women under any circumstance…. Period !!!

A day after the Niners cut Foster, the Washington Redskins signed him to a contract. While the media was criticizing the Redskin Management for signing Foster, Sr. Vice President Doug Williams stated that what Foster did was “small potatoes”, so they signed him. YIKES !!! Yes, he really said that… The Philadelphia Eagles were somewhat interested in signing Foster but they called the Tampa Bay police and decided to pass. The Redskins, on the other hand, have a number of Alabama players on their team so decided to add another one.

With respect to Foster and Hunt, kudos to the Niners and Chiefs for doing the right thing. The Redskins, on the other hand continue to be two-faced about condemning violence but hiring violent personnel. The same can be said about the Dallas Cowboys (Randy Gregory), Cincinnati Bengals (Joe Mixon), Kansas City Chiefs (Tyreke Hill… yes, they did the right thing with Kareem Hunt but Hill is still on the team), and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Jameis Winston). And this list is just off the top of my head without doing any research.

It’s clear that the NFL’s (Owners and Commissioner) top priority is making money. They say the right things about condemning violence and doing everything they can to protect players from injury, but their actions do not match what they say… They do NOT walk-the-walk!!! In regard to domestic violence, this fact came out so clearly in the Ray Rice case where both the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL continued to support Rice until the infamous video surfaced. They then had to do an about face and finally punish Rice. They defended Rice because he was a money draw for the Ravens. Also, the NFL has been doing all players injustice by continuing to play and promote Thursday Night Football. It is a known fact that four days simply isn’t enough time to recover from the violence that they go through every Sunday. The NFL says they are doing everything they can to protect players but still play on Thursdays for the revenue.

There is no doubt in my mind that another NFL team will claim Kareem Hunt because he is still young and in the prime of his career and he is a money draw.

Bay Area Sports:

  • The Oakland A’s announced a new plan to build a new baseball venue in Jack London Square. We’ve all heard this before so I’ll believe it when shovel hits dirt.
  • The SF Giants under new GM, Farhan Zaidi, made the first players decision by keeping Joe Panik, Sam Dyson and Will Smith while releasing Hunter Strickland and Gorkys Hernandez. While these aren’t “turn-around” decisions, they are the correct ones with the players currently on the roster.
  • The GS Warriors are getting Steph Curry back from injury on Dec 1 and Draymond Green soon thereafter. This comes at a time when Kevin Durant has found his “happy zone” and has carried the team. In his last three games, KD has scored 44, 49 and 51 points while playing equally well on defense. As Steph is the QB of the team and directs traffic and the flow of the game, what makes him a super-star is the fact that he knows how to get the “hot” player involved in the flow. With KD playing his best ball of his career and Steph getting back into the flow, we should enjoy great basketball from here on in… and better enjoyment when Draymond, Zo McKinnie and Boogie Cousins begin playing again.
  • Steph Curry is the most beloved athlete in sports history. Not only is he beloved on the court, his actions off the court tell the true story of why he is so beloved. Last week, a 9 year-old girl named Riley Morrison from Napa, who is a diehard Warrior fan, wrote Steph a letter saying that she has been trying without success to buy Steph Curry 5 basketball shoes. Steph wrote back to her in a hand written letter telling her that he worked with Under Armour to fix the problem. He sent her a pair to Curry 5 shoes, worked with Under Armour to correct the marketing of these shoes to young girls, will send her a new pair of Curry 6’s when they come out, and invited her to a special day on March 8 (International Women’s Day) at the Warrior’s home game. “That’s the beauty of Steph,” Steve Kerr said. “He understands his power. He understands the impact he can make on people’s lives. And I’m incredible proud of him.”

SF 49ers – Week 10 Loss – Niners Host Paradise Football Team

posted in: Football | 0

The Niners lost to an equally bad NY Giants team but the big story was the Niners generosity in inviting and hosting the Paradise Football team at Levi Stadium in support of all the families who lost their lives and homes in the horrific fires which destroyed the entire community.

“What that town, what that community has gone through, it’s just heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching for all of us,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “So, you just look for anything you can do. I think when you can take people’s minds off something for a short time, of course we’d do anything possible. I think it’s just a show of solidarity of our community, we’ve got to all stand together and reach out and help each other during a time like this.”

The Niners also will donate all proceeds from Monday night’s 50/50 drawing to the North Valley Community Foundation to help those affected by the fires in Butte County.

In addition, San Francisco tight end George Kittle, quarterback Nick Mullens, defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, left tackle Joe Staley and running back Matt Breida are signing and donating their game-worn jerseys from Monday night to be auctioned off, with all money going to relief efforts.

 

Shane Wallen, the 49ers’ assistant strength and conditioning coach, grew up in Paradise and is a native of Chico. He has started a GoFundMe page in efforts to offer support for his hometown. The fire destroyed Wallen’s father’s home in Magalia, California.

With the help of multiple Niners players making donations and posting on their social media platforms, Wallen had already raised more than $19,000 of the $50,000 goal as of early Monday evening. Wallen stopped and greeted each Paradise player on Monday night.

During the national anthem, the Paradise team stood in front of the 49ers on the sideline and received loud cheers from the fans at Levi’s Stadium. As the anthem began, Niners players put their arms around the Paradise players in solidarity.

Aaron Rodgers who grew up in Chico donate $1 million to the Paradise fund. One of the great players and great guys in the league !!!

Additionally, the GS Warriors also hosted the boys and girls Paradise basketball teams to their Tuesday night game. Of the 31 players invited, 29 lost their homes. They are also running fund raisers to help the community.

Sports is a wonderful way to provide relief to those impacted by disasters and also a great forum to raise funds to help rebuild the community…

 

News around Bay Area Sports:

  • Congratulations to the Oakland A’s for an outstanding year. Richly deserved awards went to Bob Melvin for being named the AL Manager of the Year. Matt Chapman and Matt Olson both won Gold Gloves and Khris Davis won the best Designated Hitter award.
  • Congratulations to the SF Giants for hiring Farhan Zaidi as the head of baseball operations. Although only 41, he has already helped build both the Oakland A’s and LA Dodgers in becoming solid winners.
  • The GS Warriors are on a 4 game skid. While the media is blaming the heated argument between Draymond Green and Kevin Durant for the losses, the real reason are injuries to Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Alfonso McKinnie. Once they recover from their injuries and get DeMarcus Cousins in playing shape, they’ll get back to their winning ways. Ask Kyle Shanahan for injury woes…

2018 GS Warriors – 9-1 After 10 Games

posted in: Basketball | 0

After the first 10 games of the 2018-2019 NBA season, this is what I can say about the World Champion Golden State Warriors:

  • Steph Curry is in the best basketball shape of his career, both physically and mentally. He is averaging 32.5 points per game, 5.9 3’s while shooting 51% from the 3-point line, 6 assists per game, and 5.4 rebounds. His floor leadership is his best asset this year as he is spreading the court and finding the open guy. Steph is leading the league in so many categories (or near the top), the media have finally been forced to come to their senses and “mention” Steph as a possible MVP candidate… DUH… Steph is LOCKED IN !!!
  • Kevin Durant is having the best year of his career averaging 28.3 points per game, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and shooting 40% from 3 while playing great defense. He is by far the best offense weapon in the NBA and perhaps in NBA history. KD is LOCKED IN !!!
  • Klay Thompson is the best two-way player in the league. He always gets the toughest defensive assignment night after night because of his defensive skills. His offense may suffer some nights but his defense is stellar every night. After getting off to a slow start shooting-wise, Klay is back to form and is averaging 20 points per game, 4 rebounds, and has developed his skill to drive to the hoop and pick up fouls. Against the Bulls in Chicago, Klay went off and made the most 3’s in NBA history, 14 of them breaking Steph Curry’s record of 13. He scored 52 points in 27 minutes or more points per minute than when Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in a game. The most amazing stat in Klay’s record breaking game is that he dribbled a total of 9 times ( I didn’t miss a trailing 0) for his 14 3’s… He is the best catch-n-shoot pure shooter in the history of the NBA. When, Klay broke Steph’s record, it was Steph who was the happiest guy on the court. It was Steph and KD who kept feeding Klay the ball encouraging him to break the record. This defines the Warriors… team play and going to the hot hand. Klay is LOCKED IN !!!
  • Draymond Green is the glue of the team. He does everything. His stats are consistent in all categories (8.4 points per game, 8.5 rebounds per game, 8.5 assists per game). What his stats say is that he comes close to getting a triple-double every single game. He is the game’s first ever Point Power Forward. What this means is that after getting rebounds, he brings the ball up-court much like a Point Guard and calls out the play or finds the open guy. What his stats don’t show is that Dray is the Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY). Draymond’s ability to guard his guy, then anticipate passes and switch to guard other players and steal passes or block shots of bigger players is remarkable. It was insult to him and to the organization that Dray was not even voted onto the 1st team defensive team last year. Draymond is on a mission this year to secure the DPOY and his play is reflecting his mission. Dray is LOCKED IN !!!
  • Although not an All-Star, Damien Jones has become the athletic Center and player that the Warriors have been training him for. After the Warriors won their 3rd World Championship Title in 4 years last year, Steve Kerr turned to Damien and told him that “Next year is your year”. I don’t think Steve was prophetic, I think Steve knew that Damien was ready after 3 years of hard work. That hard work is paying off big time this year. Damien is LOCKED IN !!!

So all the starters are LOCKED IN, but they can’t play 48 minutes per game. What makes this team so special this year is that they have accumulated the best second/third team players that I’ve ever seen. At Center, Kevon Looney has taken his game to the next level after playing like a beast in last year’s playoff games. Jordan Bell can play both Center and Power Forward and is still learning the game. Both Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala look much fresher this year than last year. And Quinn Cook has improved his game at Point Guard after blossoming last year. But, the two additions to this year’s squad who are having a huge positive impact are Alfonzo (Zo) McKinnie and Jonas Jerebko. Both guys hustle like crazy and they have a natural instinct to find and get the ball. Zo is averaging 13.3 minutes, 6.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and is shooting an astounding 59% from 3. Last night against a very good Timberwolves team, Zo played 27 minutes including all 12 minutes of the 4th quarter, had 8 rebounds and scored 8 points with a slam dunk and a dagger 3 pointer to ice the game. Zo is LOCKED IN !!! Jonas is averaging 16.2 minutes, 7.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and is shooting a great 44% from 3. Like Zo, Jonas has a nose for the ball and gets the tough rebounds when it counts. Lastly, both Zo and Jonas play great defense which is the cornerstone to the Warriors game.

So, all 5 starters from a World Championship team are LOCKED IN. The next seven players off the bench are all LOCKED IN. Sound scary for the rest of the NBA? Nope… DeMarcus Cousins (Boogie) hasn’t boogied yet. When he starts to boogie, that will be down-right SCARY!!!

The power rankings for the rest of the teams in the NBA don’t really matter.