To read my Monday 49ers column click here.
Why is Trent Baalke better than me? Trent and his staff get paid big bucks to scout and evaluate talent so that he can draft winning players. His stated intention is to build the team through the draft. Pardon me for bringing up Prescott again but please, can someone tell me how he (and to be fair, other teams as well, though they may not have needed a QB as much as Trent still does) whiffed so horribly on fourth round QB Dak Prescott? I just don’t get it.
You watch Prescott play (as we all will next week) and he along with Carson Wentz seem to be the two best QBs in the last draft, yet when the fourth round rolled around Baalke passed on him (for another undersized DB) when he was painfully aware that 1) Kap wanted out and was coming off three surgeries, significant weight loss and floundering as a player even when he was healthy and 2) Gab was suspect and unproven to be sure and 3) if they both sucked the team was screwed. Looks like 3 is how it’s gonna play out. Yet, knowing all this Baalke STILL passed on Prescott and instead, almost as an after thought, made a sixth round selection of Jeff Driskel whom he then left unprotected and Driskel got away (which equals another thrown away pick). Dak Prescott was the 49ers for the taking. His coaches in Dallas are GUSHING about how smart he is, level headed, doesn’t get rattled and is already as calm and collected as a ten year veteran. How could Baalke have missed all that potential? He and his staff are paid big money to search out and find talent like this!
I call it blatant incompetence and for this ONE move alone I would show him the door so quickly his head would spin. Finally, if you think this is an isolated instance, you are not paying attention!
Baalke is already on this hot seat for all the reasons you describe so well and more. He’s been bad, and now he’s got no one else ahead of him on the scapegoat list. He’ll get his, the question is when.
I’m just shocked at what a replay of last year this season is so far. A surprising win followed by convincing drubbings that show the real gap in talent between the current Niners and better teams in the division and league.
And I’m fascinated to see whether Chip Kelly is someone who is such a good coach that he can do more with less. They weren’t ready to play yesterday. At all. Chip is known as an offensive schemer, but so far is not scheming much better than Geep Chryst. Kelly is going to get a longer look than Baalke and I’m going to be curious to see if the league has figured him out or if he’s got more than we’ve seen these first three games.
Kelly is better than Tomsula because he doesn’t appear to be lost all the time. He doesn’t come across as being in over his head. Other than that, the results are the same. Hopefully things get better, but we knew going in this was going to be a long season.
I starting to think PhD is right about Baalke. Too many whiffs. PhD didn’t even mention that Brissett kid playing in New England. What round did they get him in? The bad decisions are piling up and I think Baalke’s days are numbered. At least they should be.
Dennis- First, good day to you, I hope you’re well!
Two, did you see the videos from Chip’s post-game presser yesterday? He appeared far worse than lost. He looked like he had PTSD.
His eyes looked like saucers, and he wasn’t just talking fast, he was babbling. Any faster and he’d have been completely incoherent. Seriously babbling. Find the videos, they’re kinda scary.
It looks to me like he’s either realized just how bad the team’s talent level is, or like he is afraid he doesn’t have any answers, or both.
I hope it’s not inappropriate to post links to the videos:
Shane, aside from the 49ers making me sick to my stomach, I am very good, how about you?
Thanks for the video. I was going to go look for it per your advice, but you saved me the trouble. All I have to say is, though he was talking pretty fast, at least he wasn’t talking about Mary in accounting. He seems more comfortable doing this than Tomsula ever did.
All I am going to do at this point is look for progress which means losing by less, but losing none the less. I started the season thinking 4 – 12. Nothing has changed. It will be interesting to see what the Niners do with all that cap space. Hopefully, they don’t waist a penny of it on “take a knee” Kaepernick. And they surely don’t have any talent on this team that will put a dent in it. So what are they going to do with it.
Hi Dennis. Your point about him being more articulate than Tomsula and a more credible head man is absolutely true.
Looking at that video, I feel a little sorry from him, like someone’s emotional breakdown was happening on camera. I know, he gets paid enough and lobbied for the gig. Just saying, he looked like he was in distress.
That’s exactly what my wife said to me when I walked out of our media room after the 49er game!
In fairness to Chip, I could change the channel, which I did several times. He had to sit there and watch it and own it.
I am thinking that it is Ponder time. I would bypass “take a knee” unless. of course, it is time to take a knee. Then by all means send Kaepernick in. He undoubtedly will have the most experience with that play.
Ponder is nearly out of the NFL for a reason. A lot of reasons probably.
Did you get a load of Chip saying Kaepernick isn’t the #1 essentially because he’s not at playing weight?
This might be the single biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard. If Tom Brady loses 20 lbs is he not still Tom Brady? Of course he is. Similarly, Kaepernick is Kaepernick no matter how much he weighs, just in the opposite direction. Meaning Brady is great and Kaepernick has been awful for two years.
Other than knowing with every fiber in my being that he’s completely BSing, I don’t know exactly what Chip is saying. I think he’s saying that as bad as Gabbert is Kaepernick is worse, but I can only guess.
But seriously, when was the last time you heard a QB would or wouldn’t be ready for the starting lineup based on his weight? This isn’t a boxing match.
I personally think this is coach speak for Kelly not believing that Kaepernick is a full-time QB right now given how involved he is in activism.
But what a load.
Shane, I can give you 15 million reasons why Kaepernick is not #1 and none of them have anything to do with weight. I believe Kelly has been told not to let Kaepernick start unless he wants to live with him for the rest of his tenure.
He’s single,he’s in his 40’s,he’s in a high pressure job and surrounded by men nearly half his age. That’s a recipe for substance abuse.
I wouldn’t doubt he uses a few lines before games to fire himself up. I’m not saying he does,Or I see strong evidence. What I’m saying that as an adult who’s lived, nothing surprises me when it comes to money,sex, drugs, and people.
Stan, I don’t know if you mean this or not, but it made me chuckle anyway!
Coaches aren’t required to pee into a cup are they?
Baalke was fired before the season started. Jed always puts his blame people in the lame duck seat a year early. Gives us all time to adjust. I know people will keep talking about it, but it seems a done deal already given the history of this franchise. Every time I see his face on TV, I’m always surprised, like “didn’t he get that memo yet”? I guess it will be Gamble next? That’s about the only GM angle I’m interested in hearing about. Who’s next?
Gamble and Kelly taking over sure plays into what York would like to do- which is act like he knew what he was doing all along and had a replacement waiting in the wings. The clock is ticking. But wait. Jed said it was ticking a year and half ago- every year they dont’ win the Super Bowl! Win with Class!
I knew a column like this was coming (actually several of them) as soon as I heard you and Kelly arguing last week.
Me too. Its why I read this blog rather then Tim’s or Mark’s because I know they are going to say “We believe in Wolf or I love Billy Beane- a wonderful man!”.
And Chip does talk like he drank a quart of Peete’s strongest stuff.
I knew if this team fell behind- all hope is lost. This game was over not even two minutes old.
The 3 and outs were kind of shocking..I expected something cohesive. Instead,it was throw at the receivers ankles.
Look,they won only 8 games with Harbaugh when the exodus had just begun…now? Balkee has arena level players,that he hand picked.
I know I have said it here before, but I will again because it bears repeating. Chip Kelly is a good college coach, perhaps even a very good college coach, but is simply not an NFL head coach. That’s all. No shame in that. Some things translate well to the college game and not to the NFL and vice versa. A bit like spread offense QB’s in college look great on college film and have great numbers, yet the best NFL QB’s, you know, the ones with Championship rings, played in pro style offenses in college. You know, the ones where you have to take the ball from the center, drop back, make a handoff or fake the run. Elway, Favre, Brady, Mannings, Roethlisberger, Flacco, Rodgers. Any of those names ring a bell?
In the NFL, if you can’t possess the ball, sustain drives and then put points on the board you typically lose. Kind of a glorified game of keep away, you just have to score points, and typically touchdowns, to win the game. Any GM and NFL head coach will tell you that. At least any that really knows what it takes to win at this level.
Here is the best comparison I can give you at why Kelly and crew as simply overmatched. My team got their backsides handed to them yesterday, scoring only 3 points while having what pundits would call one of the best offenses in the NFL. From the coach on down the were frustrated, made, knew that they just got whipped. Even saying we got our (explicative) kicked. But they were accountable and know they have to go to work. Work harder and get better. In 2008 that same franchise lost badly on that same field and went to work and rolled all the way to the Super Bowl. The Niners from the coach on down were despondent, beaten, lost, confused. Having that “now what” look on their faces and in their eyes.
At some point every NFL franchise comes to a crossroads in the direction they are going to go, usually regarding a coach and GM in philosophies of how to not just win, but to compete at the NFL level. The correct choice tends to lead to sustained success. The wrong one is compounded for years on end. Just look at the NFL landscape over the past 20 plus years. The truth is telling.
And so far, in recent history, the Forty Niner franchise is making all the wrong moves.
A coupe of things, Lowell. First, drop the “preferred ignorance” of a beat reporter, Tomsula was a joke, you were the chief hater of Tomsula; Chip Kelly understands the game of football he knows how to scheme, could Tomsula have taken over play calling on offense? The answer is no. Another quick response to your rhetorical question would be delay of game penalties, clock management is as much on the coaching staff as it is on the QB; the basics, the basics make him better and you know it.
The question you pose shouldn’t be “Is Chip Kelly a better coach than a pet rock” it should be “Did Trent Baalke change a damn thing with the $50 million cap space the Niners have”. Ya know, actual reporting, not this gossip magazine BS.
But you have more important things to do like pepper Kelly with questions about his backup QB’s 1st amendment rights to free speech. You offer no football analysis, ever. You offer your opinion on every matter other than actual football. Sounds more like you wanting to pick fights for your own notoriety than you do about any sort of deep dive in your columns.
Not sure what you’re defending here. Was Tomsula better than Lowell portrayed hime? Is Kelly? How so? Don’t know what you’re fired up at Lowell for.
I’m defending nothing. I’m highlighting the absurdity of the question. I’m fired up because Lowell is nothing but a contrarian, he is certainly no analyst or at least he no longer cares to try. He’s got a bone to pick with Kelly because Kelly embarrassed him at last weeks presser over the Kaepernick issue, KNBR lit Cohn up over the weekend about it too.
By asking this question he establishes a false equivalency: Tomsula had no business being at the helm, Kelly’s been at it for years with a fair amount of success; there is no comparison. You needn’t look any further than penalties against, Kelly is on a far better course of player discipline on the field than Tomsula even knew how to obtain. They both may have had depleted rosters to deal with, but Kelly has far better game management than his predecessor.
Again, what I’m saying is that he should focus on the real issue at hand which is SF’s GM and the lack of offensive spending, not the coach who has three games under his belt with Blaine Gabbert and a D II receiving group.
Lowell didn’t make Tomsula and Kelly the coaches. Jeb did. So the 49ers created the equivalency, not Lowell. Also, did you read Lowell’s last column? There wasn’t anything contrary in it. You obviously enjoy the commentary that’s why you participate here. Lowell provides that forurm. There are plenty of vanilla shills like Maiocco that will softball you and 9ers all day long.
Kelly embarrassed himself at that presser. Colin Kaepernick is a backup QB who has taken over the dialog of the entire country and yet Kelly wouldn’t admit that he’s taken over the locker room when they win a game and the press is crowded around the guy who held a clipboard.
Kelly was trying the NFL coach reality distortion field by denying it and blaming the media. I thought Lowell was his usual gutsy self in calling him on it. Most writers write down the answer and move on. That Lowell doesn’t back down and stands in for that kind of back and forth is exactly why I come here.
That was a clown’s game. I always DVR Niner games and start them about a half hour later to skip through the ads. I was gasping when I saw that first play. Not only a broken play with a misalignment by Hyde, but I replayed the formation and only counted 10 players on the field. The first play of the game!
People like to talk about the pace of the Kelly offense, how it confuses the opponent’s defense but can exhaust your own defense when it’s not working. But our defense caved immediately, against one of the worst O lines in the league! You can’t claim fatigue when you are giving up huge yardage each play in both the ground and air attacks in the first quarter! BTW….they were picking on Buckner the whole first half, running right through him. Lovely.
Wow, we weren’t ready to play in any sense. I was thinking the same thing that this was a Tomsula like performance. Didn’t bother to watch the 4th quarter. Too embarrassing. Another couple performances like that and I’ll be cleaning my garage again Sunday afternoons. I’ll have the cleanest garage in my hood again this year.
Get started on the garage next week with your DVR running. Then you might have time later in the season to take up a new hobby perhaps? My money is on this getting far,far worse.
This team doesn’t have anywhere near enough and has been in a downward slide since Scott’s team became Trent’s team.
Walsh couldn’t do anything with this team…no one this side of New England could do anything with this team.
It’s easy to go after the coach. Especially in ninerland where the coach faces the press 3 times a week and Trent hides on the second floor listening to his doppelganger Dilfer telling him how wonderful he is.
How many of the Niners players start on that Seahawk team?
I count three and they’re all O linemen.
I remember before the season began, you said that Chip Kelly had to show improvement in at least one part of the team’s game.
Clearly, it isn’t going to be on the offensive side of the ball. We have no competent QB, Gabbert may have the system down but he’s a poor athlete, Kaepernick is a better athlete but can’t seem to master any system. Hyde is a big slow back. Not the kind to intimidate a defense.
Surprisingly to me, there isn’t going to be any improvement on the defensive side of the ball. That has been clear in the past two weeks, both in Carolina and Seattle, where the defense has completely fallen apart.
This team may end up with a worse record than Tomsula’s.
For all that, I don’t think Kelly has the talent to do anything with this team.
OFF topic ,but Lowell you really have to give it to Bochy for his lemming handling of the pitching. His refusal to let starters go a full game,his lemming urges to put in his arsonist bullpen no matter how many times they fail.
Take him to task!
Chip Kelly is the dumbest coach in NFL history. He should never have been hired in the first place. His simpleton offense is easy to figure out and stuff. The only thing he does is make his defense too tired to chase the ball by the 3rd quarter.
He’s not even a good college coach, a flash in the pan for just a moment and that’s it.
The 49ers were dumb enough to hire Kelly when nobody even interviewed him after he was booted from Philly.
Every team in the NFL watched that crazy offense go 3 and out, 3 and out, 3 and out… all season. Then he proved he’s even worse on personnel. Kelly traded LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso….! That move alone showed he has no idea about talent.
He’s arrogant, he’s stubborn.. and he loses.. what else do you want to see before letting him go.
I don’t get it. Everyone knew that the 49ers were pegged the worst team in the NFL with no talent and no QB or WRs.
Then they shut out the Rams and everyone was surprised at the win and started seeing SB in the future. Then on a short week, they flew 3000 miles, 3 time zones with jet lag and had a game with a team who was predicted to repeat as SB contender and lost. Did anyone expect the 49ers to perform well? I don’t think so! Then the 3rd week flew to Seattle to do battle with another potential SB contender and lost. It’s known that the niners have the worst schedule in the NFL to compete in. Chip Kelly and the niners have already exceeded expectations by shutting out the Rams. Allow the team to play out the season before condemning any of the players, coaches or front office and enjoy the improvements when they come.
I completely agree with you except for a few glaring things:
1. I thought they would at least look like they are competitive. At this point it doesn’t look like they could stay on the field with Alabama.
2. While I thought there was no hope for the offense I hoped we would see improvement in the running game. We haven’t. I mean even I know who is getting the ball and where he is going before the play starts. Halfback lines up left of the QB means he is going right and vice versa.
3. I thought the defense would be better. It clearly is not.
Finally, have you notice how good the Eagles are without Kelly as HC.
Lowell Cohn has been covering Bay Area sports for more than 30 years and he’s never run out of things to say.