Tag Archive: Jim Harbaugh


NFC Championship Game

I want to start off by saying that I am biased.  I’m a die hard 49er fan through and through, and that I dislike the Seahawks (but I admit I’m starting to like them more and more being a follower of a sport and not a fanatic).  I dislike the Seahawks only because of Pete Carroll.  I thought the way he left USC was terrible, but those are the brakes, and even now how he has changed his coaching style and influenced his players is winning me over.  With all that being said, I’m officially nervous as crap for the game.

I’m nervous, not because of the “12th Man”, not because of the way we have been dominated in Seattle, not even because of the talent Seattle has.  I’m nervous because of the 2nd Coming JIM HARBAUGH.  If you have read anything on this site you know I think Harbaugh is the second best coach in the league behind Empreror Bill Palpatine Belicheck.  So why the worry?  Well I worry because I think Harbaugh will not feature Frank Gore like he should.  He has been limiting Gore all year so he would be fresh for these games.  Harbaugh has been smart enough to know he didn’t need Gore to run 20+ times in the regular season to win.  When Gore carries the ball 20+ in a game in the last 2 years the 49ers are 12-1, when carrying under 20 times a game 15-8, including 19 carries in the Super Bowl (when everyone thought they should have ran Gore in the red zone during the final drive).  Now it’s time to unleash Gore.  Harbaugh scares me too because he has a bit of Don Shula in him, where he has fallen in love with his star QB ala Shula and Marino.  Harbaugh might try to feature Kaepernick to show the world and doubters (Joe Montana) that Kaepernick can make plays totally from the pocket with precision and accuracy, just like last year in the Falcons game.  That is not how you beat the Seahawks.

If your Seattle you should feel confident that you are playing at home with a team you have dominated at home.  Even with the subpar play of Russell Wilson (and everyone back off the man, he has no WRs, Kaepernick with no Crabtree subpar, Luck without Wayne subpar.  Young QBs need a go-to-guy in the line up to make them comfortable and better) you have to feel great that you know your guy can win the game down the stretch with either his legs and arm.  The key for Seattle will have to be one of the WRs/TEs stepping up and making plays.  What no Beast Mode?  You will need that too, but Lynch gets his yards vs the 49ers when they only have 6 in the box.  If a WR can become a threat to keep the safeties and outside linebackers honest Lynch will have lanes and then the Seahawks are tough to beat.  Also Carroll doesn’t have to out coach Harbaugh to win (where Harbaugh has to out coach Carroll to win), but Carroll has to make sure he doesn’t make a coaching mistake (look at last years Divisional Playoff game vs the Falcons.  Carroll made a few questionable coaching decisions, Hell “Big Play Ray” wrote an article about it “Pete Carroll Is Who We Though He Is”) that will cost them a game.

I know this will be a beat’em up game.  This plays in both teams hands, the question is who will make THE PLAY!  My homer attitude is going 49ers all the way, but the follower in me has to be honest and pick the…  THE 49ers to win it.  I feel like it is our time and not only that, I think the refs will call more Pass Interference or Holding calls than usual against the grab happy Seahawks ( I though the league got rid of the Belicheck way, of holding secondary, to favor Manning’s Colts?).  I know I know, but this begins a Dynasty like no other #QuestforSix!!!

Written by:

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

Follow me @UnSportMenBigJ

 

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By:  Jason “Big J” Allen

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

When you soar so high it’s only a matter of time until, before you crash back to earth.  Some call it regression to the mean, others will say this is what you are (especially in Seattle).  I think the world is trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with Colin Kaepernick, myself included.  Trent Dilfer came out and had a fair assessment of Kaepernick’s struggles, even last year when Kaepernick ruled the world I had my hesitations and gave reasons why.  So now the Niners are sitting at 6-4 and everyone can see the offense is the problem, more importantly the guy pulling the trigger looks less than stellar.  This is not a “How to Fix”  segment rather a statement that going forward Kaepernick will get back to form and what hindered him in the beginning of the season.

1.  Jim Harbaugh-  How can I blame the struggles on the coach that made him?  It’s easy or it being easy and simple is the problem.  Last year Harbaugh simplified the offense for Kaepernick, he actually used a lot of schemes from Kaepernick’s college years, especially the Pistol.  Thus the huge success of Kaepernick last year.  This year Harbaugh is forcing Kaepernick to run the Power Run West Coast offense.  You can see how uncomfortable Kaeprnick looks every week, most will tell you it takes about two years to learn the West Coast offense, and by the second half of the second year the QB starts to grasp it.  When Dilfer commented he is correct, you take away the first read you can see that Kaepernick is not sure where to go, that explained why he destroyed Green Bay week one, they never took away the 1st option (Boldin and some plays Davis).  Why this will change:  Slowly you can see Kaepernick getting used to the offense and making quick decisions.  Last week out of his 17 completions 7 went to players not named Anquin Boldin or Vernon Davis.  This is good because when you can throw to your non stars that is usually a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th read.  Which brings me to my next point.

2.  WR Core and Trust-  We have heard all year about not having the weapons on the outside, but it is less about not having the weapons, more about the trust in the weapons.  Right now the 49er’s boost a 4.8 drop percentage, which lands them at 16th in the league.  That wouldn’t be to bad except for the fact that the 49ers throw the least amount of passes in the league.  So out of the 25 attempts a game  for Kaepernick 1 to 2 passes will be dropped (especially that huge one that Frank Gore dropped in New Orleans last week, forget the sack fumble being turned over, that drop cost us more in my opinion because that was controllable.).  Kaepernick usually completes 14 passes a game, add 1 or 2 more completions a game and the number may look a little better, but usually those drops come from the Vance “I’m not as good as Delonte Walker” McDonald, and the Bruce Miller’s of the WR core, so he loses trust and the WR’s are not looking for the ball.  Why that will change:  Yes easy to say that Crabtree returning will help that, but going further (that’s what we do here) Crabtree’s return will allow Mario Manningham to get into the slot more, where he is more effective.  Also this will change because as Kaepernick gets more accustom to the West Coast offense, these 3rd, and 4th options will be expecting the ball more.

3.  Jim Harbaugh–  Not him again, but yes HIM again.  I have noticed this the first 2 years Harbaugh has been the coach of the 49ers, Harbaugh hides his tricks until the playoffs and the big moments present themselves.  Every year around this time the offense gets very predictable and stagnant, as if Jim Harbaugh gives his opponents enough tape and then heading into the final 2 weeks of the season and playoffs explodes and shocks teams.  Why this will change:  Typically about this time in the season the 49ers have a better record and have a firm grip on the NFC West, but this year not so much.  Which means Harbaugh may have to pull out the big plays a little earlier than normal, and what better way to silence the World then on Monday Night Football versus a terrible Washington Defense.

4.  Colin Kaepernick:  He has done and said a lot in the media to make him a target,  The Miami Dolphin hat incident, the Twitter for motivation comments, and the mass amount of commercials, magazine covers, and etc.  Reminds me of the Randall Cunningham fever pitch, and how people started to feel like Cunningham only cared about his popularity not his on field success.  We all know that Kaepernick is a workaholic and everyone will vouch for that, but his image is not that, thus the fans taking shots at him.  Kaepernick  has to make sure these struggles don’t kill his confidence.  If he needs to kiss some biceps in the mirror every morning to reassure himself do it.  A broken confidence at this point in his career could make him…  Alex Smith part 2!  Why this will change:  Because of everything I just mentioned, he will turn it around, only thing is when he turns it around he needs to be humble and out of the limelight.  At least win one Super Bowl and you can cash in.

5.  Colin Kaepernick:  This is what he does, look at his college career.  His freshman year he exploded on the scene 53%comp, 19tds 3ints, and 2100 yards passing, but he didn’t start until the 5th game of the season, because the starter got injured (sound familiar).  His sophomore year the number look better, but he played a full season, 54%comp, 22tds 7ints, and 2800yds passing.  Junior year 58%comp, 20tds 6ints, and 2000 yards passing.  Then his senior year 64%comp, 21tds 8ints, and 3000yds passing.  Why this will change:  Look at the numbers, he redshirted his first year in college and the NFL.  Eventually took over for an injured starter and the rest is college and eventual NFL history.  With that being said 49er faithful expect another average year next year and then we will get to the good life in his 4th year in the league.

Kaepernick will be alright and we just have to give a young guy time, because everything in him shows that he can be a great QB, maybe not the best of all time Jaws, but at least great.  He will help with the 49ers quest for 6, 7, 8, and….

Jason Allen

By:  Jason “Big J” Allen

Follow me @UnSportsMenBigJ

A lot has been made of the defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers.  A lot of the MAKING has been in my face.  Since the two game losing streak I have heard it from every NFL fan not a 49er.  All the return trash talk is my fault, because last year I told everybody how great the 49ers are.  How NO-BODY! Has it better than us.  How our parts are the best in the league.  Also how we have the 2nd best coach in the league, I used to make jokes that if Belichick was Emperor Palpatine, Harbaugh was Yoda.  Now the if I asked “Who has it better than us?” you can reply “3/4th of the LEAGUE!”  So what’s wrong and how do we fix the Gold Rush?

Problem:  Rushing game- It starts just with that, the RUSH-ing game.  Now I know its very easy to say run the ball, better or more efficiently, but have you read anything on this site?  In three games the 49ers have rushed for 305 yards, that’s about 101.5 a game.  Last year by Week 3 the 49ers had rushed for 423, that’s about 141yds a game.  So you can see that the rushing total and average yards vastly different.  The thing is that the 49ers have not rushed the ball less (77 attempts in ’13 and 79 attempts in ’12) its the effectiveness of the running game.

Solution:  Harbaugh and the 49ers need to get back to the creative running game that was on display when Alex Smith was under center.  They ran a power heavy run style with a West Coast twist.  Remember the sets of Far and Near, off set I-Formations, running the same play from numerous formations, and using play action out of run sets to open up the pass?  Well where has that been in the first 3 games?  NO-WHERE! Coaching staff has fallen in love with Kaepernick arm strength and the read option.  The 49ers got an up close and personal mirror image of the team they used to be last week with the Colts. We haven’t seen that team since the 2012 regular season.  Get back to the creativity of the running game.

Problem: Passing game-  Let it be said “Seattle Seahawks Exposed the 49ers passing game!”  They showed the world that NO-BODY on our team except Davis and Boldin can beat man coverage.  So now we will see every game; every team run, man to man, bump and run coverage, with a single safety high, with a cover 1 scheme.  Thus putting everyone else in the box to stop the run.

Solution:  Before the break out of Kaepernick last year, the word was the 49ers had no one on the outside that could win in man to man situations.  So everybody game planned to just stop Vernon Davis.  Crabtree was hindered by Alex Smith so even if he did win man to man match ups Smith was reluctant to the throw the ball his way (sorry Dwayne Bowe it will be a long season).  So to help that situation, you saw overloaded line formations showing run, but running play action to expose Corners peeking and move safeties.  Also the bunch formation makes it hard to bump and run and sometimes confuses corners on who to pick up.  Also putting one WR (preferably Davis or Boldin)  on one side by themselves, with 3 WR on the other side to promote an one on one situation, and if the safety cheats to help you have 3 WR on the other side getting free releases on one on one opportunities.

Problem:  Defense is not creating turnovers-  The 49er Defense has created a lot of turnover and if has been with its personnel.  Losing NT and safety to free agency, and players to injury, has changed what the defense used to be.  This is no excuse, because every team has roster turnover.  But the outlook is no better going forward, with Aldon #WishHeWasMoreCharlesHaley Smith seeking help, Patrick Willis nursing a leg/groin/hamstring injury, Nnmadi Asomugha injur…  Honestly he has been playing like a bum and I can’t take myself serious writing him as a key loss, and Eric Reid battling through being a rookie in the National Football League.

Solution:  Get back to the fundamentals, with all the changes the biggest concern is the lack of tackling.  In both the Seattle and Indianapolis losses terrible tackling plagued the team.  The 49ers were one of the most sure tackling defenses in the league.  Look at Reggie Wayne break like 3 to 4 tackles on a 3rd and long last week to see how the tackling has gotten terrible.  If we start tackling better and getting our offense more chances to score which forces our opponents offense to press and that creates…  TurnOvers!

Problem:  Kaepernick turnovers-  It’s plain and simple, WR can’t get open, and the running game hasn’t protected him.  So naturally Kaepernick is forced to try and make plays by relying to heavily on his arm strength.  Watching the game you can see a lot of balls get away from him, that is usually of symptom of bad mechanics.  His bad mechanics are coming from indecisiveness.  When the timer in his head goes off to get rid of the ball he can’t because no one is open so now he is in a fire drill (when all players break off their routes to get open) and that creates forced passes or throws into coverage sometimes.  One thing about the Alex Smith days, Smith would take the sack and live to fight another down, with the help of the 49er defense.

Solution:  Harbaugh has committed the Cardinal Coaching sin, no not having your mistress ride on the back of your motorcycle, but falling in love with his Player’s Talent.  Ask Don Shula what one of his biggest mistakes was?  Loving Dan Marino’s arm too much that he never built the proper team around him.  Well Harbaugh has fallen in love with Kaepernick’s ability and has put a lot on him.  He has changed his offensive strategy to fit the strengths of Kaepernick, instead running his philosophy and using Kaepernick’s strengths to transcend the offense to another level.

Solution:  Just a bonus for everyone out there especially 49ers who are hitting the panic button, we will get healthier soon and see the return of Mario Manningham, Crabtree will not be the same player immediately but getting him back can help with teams keying on Boldin.  Also we might get a Marcus Lattimore appearance later in the year which could help with fresh legs.  Lets not forget the chance of a trade to help, we do have a pile of draft picks.

Basically all the 49ers ills can be fixed easily by going back to basics.  A semi conservative offense that lets the Defense keep us in games while we grind away at the competition.  Somewhere between week 10 last year til now the 49ers have slowly lost their way.  Hopefully two blow outs in a row will bring Harbaugh and Co, back on the right track.  With that being said I fully expect the 49ers to be 1-3 by next week this time, because the Rams play us tough and without Davis and Willis at least 90% I don’t think the 49ers can win it.  So while everyone is hitting the panic button next week I promise you will see a return to the elite 49ers and things being turned around.

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

By:  Raymond “Big Play” Miller

Follow me and tell me if you agree or disagree with my pick @bprunsportsmenm

From week to week I will be looking at a matchup that I consider the game of the week. This week I’m looking at 49ers @ Seahawks (or Forty-Whiners @ the She-hawks) In a matchup of two teams that not only division rivals, but both are Super Bowl contenders as well.

49ers advantage: With how dominant the Kaepernick-Boldin combination was last week look for Seattle to put Sherman on Boldin and double Davis.  Which will then open up the read option for the 49ers and allow Kaepernick to run wild.

Seahawks advantage: To just say the 12th man would be to easy.  Beast Mode (Lynch) has ran for over 100 yds on the 49ers in two of the last three match ups.  With the subpar performance Lynch (17 car. 43 yds) had last week he’ll have them skittles ready.  Therefore, allowing Russell “last name” Wilson to go deep off of play action.

Who will win and why:  This game will be a tougher matchup than the 42-13 beatdown the Seahawks handed the Niners at the end of last season.  However, Seattle is strong and somewhat dominant at home; Wilson has never last a home game as the starter.  Plus Wilson doesn’t make many mistakes, and you’d have to assume Lynch continues his success against the 49ers defense.

Seattle Wins 28-17

Raymond "Big Play" Miller @bprunsportsmenm

Raymond “Big Play” Miller
@bprunsportsmenm

Slow Down With the Kaepernicking

By: Jason “Big J” Allen Don’t forget to follow me @UnsportsmenBigJ

Now that the Super Bowl is in the books, I want to take the time to take on Kaepernick or Kaepernicking.  Now I’m a die hard 49er fan, and I have suffered for so long. so count me in as excited about the movement the last two years.  I earlier wrote an article about Alex Smith being the “New Hope” to our franchise with the direction of Jim Harbaugh, his Yoda.  Now maybe I was overzealous and Alex Smith was more Obi-Wan and Kaepernick is more Anakin.  Regardless of the Star Wars references watching Kaepernick has gotten everyone in a Frenzy, but I’m here to say SLOW DOWN! 49ers and NFL Nation.

First thing first, most coaches will tell you they need at least 16 games of tape on you.  Why?  Just ask Cam Newton, they need this to break down what you do or don’t do well.  We hear about sophomore slumps and a lot has to do with teams being better prepared from watching tape, and extending the playbooks on offense.  I still expect Kaep to be amazing and dynamic next year, but he will have THOSE games (Rams, Seahawks, first half of the Super Bowl) that remind you of his youth.

Secondly, Kaepernick has had a lot of success ala RG III with running his college offense.  Now we are still not sure if the Pistol/Read option is here to stay yet.  Or will it WildCat itself out of the league.  Also what happens when age kicks in?  Will it still be effective?  You watched in the Super Bowl a lot of the Ravens edge rushers still tee’ed off on Kaepernick after he handed the ball off on the read option (which is legal, because how do you know if he has the ball or not, and the QB is considered a runner at that point).  What happens when a player decides to go DIRTY! And take a couple of cheap shots at the Kid Kaep.

Third, Pump your brakes a moment, how much is Harbaugh and how much is Kaepernick?  We have a short memory as a football and sports family, but Harbaugh was the same guy that resurrected Alex Smith career.  Before Alex Sith, I mean Smith went down he was third in QBR, and the conservative offense allowed Smith to throw 18 for 19 in a game, and lead the 49ers to the NFC Championship last year.  If Harbaugh can do that with the average ceiling of Smith potential, imagine Harbaugh’s eye twinkle when he sees the limitless ability of Kaepernick.  With that being said can Harbaugh’s control of the offense ever get to the point of stifling Kaepernick’s growth? Or could they blossom ala Brady and Belichick.

Fourth are things I noticed, and I know he is young and can correct or get better but just observations.  First most running QBs rather have pressure from the outside instead of in the middle.  Well the biggest plays of the Super Bowl the Ravens sent pressure from the outside (even if one time Ed Reed was extremely offsides, but I’m not bitter…  Really I AM NOT!).  They ran that three times that game and every time, Kaepernick threw an errant pass off his back foot (Eli Manning style without the Manning results).  Another observation is the way Kaepernick holds the ball when he scrambles.  When he is in run mode he tucks it away, but when he scrambles he holds the ball like a loaf of bread away from his body.  Ask Kurt Warner how well that stops fumbles.  Eventually the memo will be to swipe at the ball behind the line of scrimmage.  Now if you can get a QB thinking about ball security, he will second guess his pocket or feel imagined pressure.

Lastly this is minor but should be accounted for, the growing EGO of a young player.  The week before the Super Bowl his agent went to patent Kaepernicking (the bicep kiss) for promotion and etc.  Now I don’t know if this was a Kaepernick thing or a agent business thing, but Kaepernick still has to sign off on that.  With an inflated ego and NOT being the leader of a team (Gore, Davis, Willis, and Justin Smith are leaders) it may ruffle some feathers.  Now we have had no instance, again NO instance of seeing a diva in Kaepernick, but we will see.

I’m saying all this to say, don’t be surprised if the whole season is not great for Kaeptain Marvel (I’m still trying out nicknames Kaep Gun, Kaeptain America, or Kid Kaep).  He is still a work in progress and early success sometimes leads players to tons of pressure, ask Marino how many more Super Bowls he went to after going his second season.  I do know one thing though he is exciting to watch and just might be “The One”.  How does Montana, Young, and Kaepernick sound?  Even better hoisting the Lombardi.

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

Through the eyes of “Big Play” (My own Monday err sometimes Tuesday Morning QB)

I’m shocked as hell at how well Joe Flacco played not only in the Super Bowl, but the entire playoffs.  Elite or not 11tds 0ints is not a fluke (Matty Ice its time to RISE UP! Your game).  Flacco went through Luck, Peyton, Brady, and the new Phenomenon know as Kaepernicking (kiss the bicep), I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds like $100 million dollar contract.  Now on to my thoughts:

  1. Chris Culliver (#29 on the 49ers aka Aint wit that sweet stuff) was Beat Meat, just fall on Jacoby Jones IDIOT!
  2. Jerome Boger (NFL Referee during Super Bowl) was Deer Meat.  Remember there was a controversy about these refs, a lot of refs in the league felt that some members of this crew was unworthy of officiating this game #Gradechanging
  3. 49ers Corners got exploited! Revis to the 49ers makes a lot of sense we need draft picks (I’m a Jets Fan) and they have 13, yes 13 picks in this upcoming draft.
  4. Damn Beyonce fine.
  5. Damn Beyonce FINE!!!  And the game was cool too.
  6. I’m glad the lights went out (which saved the 49ers) before the Ravens turned it off their damn selves.
  7. I’m Happy Ray Lewis career ended with a Super Bowl win.
  8. I’m Happy Ray Lewis career ended PERIOD.  Just to much talk about him the past 2 weeks.
  9. Phil Simms was TERRIBLE calling the game last night.
  10. I thought the GO DADDY commercial with Bar Rafalei was NASTY! Man, my daughter was watching.
  11. Big J did predict the 49ers would win the Super Bowl in Jim Harbaugh’s 3rd year, so look out for that.  Big J also said that the 49ers would blow out the Ravens, so take that as you will.

*Bonus* I believe Ed Reed will retire.  Don’t know why, just have a feeling.

Thanks for reading Ray’s Boom Boom Room, these are just my thoughts right or wrong its how I was feeling at the time.  Grab a drink (non-alcoholic depending on the time) and tell me what you think.

Ray “Big Play” Miller

A great man once said “All I have in this world is my balls and my word and I don’t break them for no one.” –Tony Montana.

     We hear so many outspoken comments in sports that sometimes make you wish they never could speak.  Does their opinion change, once they apologize or does the organization (Harbaugh) make them break the words that come out of their mouths.

“Why don’t you try sticking your head up your ass? See if it fits”- Tony Montana.

     Chris Culliver of the 49ers made comments saying “We ain’t got no gay people on the team” and “can’t be with that sweet stuff” Now why would he say that?  As stupid as he sounds some people would agree with Culliver.  If there was a gay football player in the locker room some players would feel uncomfortable and maybe it would cause a distraction. The ignorant thought would be if I’m playing against or next to someone that thinks I’m sexy then that would be really gay and that would make me feel very uncomfortable.  At one point we talked about that very subject on UnSportsMenMic Conduct a month ago (Jason you need to find the episode and put it back up).

“I always tell the truth. Even when I lie.” – Tony Montana

     If your gangsta enough to say it, be gangsta enough to stand by it, Chris Culliver’s back track was almost as good as Deion in his Prime, because his comments officially made Primetime, so by apologizing and saying “that’s not what he feels in his heart” is a load.  I never want to doubt a man’s heart, but I’m not a believer.  We all know Harbaugh and the 49ers organization got in that ass and the PR made him apologize.  So are players really sorry for running their mouth?

“You don’t have the guts to be what you wanna be? You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fuckin’ fingers and say, “That’s the bad guy.”- Tony Montana

     So do athletes have to apologize for everything?  Why can’t players be like Terrell Owens and believe in what their and some of our grandmother’s told us and say how you feel?  It probably will cost you your job but it at least you’re Keeping It Real! #EvenifitGoesWrong.  If that’s how you feel then that’s how you feel.  We all can agree that sports and sexual orientation, politics, and sometime religion (Sorry Paster Ray) don’t mix.  You CAN’T make those comments ever, especially during media day of the SUPER BOWL! So in my opinion Chris Culliver gets the dumb award.  Take us out Tony:

“Say hello to my little friend”

 That friend is the ignorance of some individuals, and that ignorance hopefully will end like Scarface.

Reece Thomas

Andrew Luck: Is It Luck?

Written By:

James "JD" Davis @mrjdsir11

James “JD” Davis
@mrjdsir11

Is it luck that CBS Sports put you in the same class as LeBron James and Bryce Harper?  Is it luck that you hold multiple sport and academic awards in college?  Is it luck you were the first player selected in the NFL Draft?  No. It’s natural talent, hard work, and a will to win.  The only luck involved is in his name. Yes, we’re talking about Andrew Luck.

Being the son of NFL quarterback Oliver Luck (Houston Oilers) gave Andrew a winning hand to start with.  He was recruited to Stanford by Jim Harbaugh, who has been known to get a lot out of average quarterbacks.  So imagine Harbaugh’s excitement at recruiting a winning lottery ticket like Luck.  At Stanford, Luck racked up a lot of hardware.  In my opinion, however, the most important award he grabbed is the CoSIDA Academic all-American.  In winning this award, Luck joined the likes of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and even Tim Tebow.  This award says that Luck has the cerebral ability to succeed in the NFL; a league that scratches off mentally weak players.

Everyone knew he would be the first pick in the draft.  He was so coveted that there were teams going “all in” even when they didn’t have a winning hand.  The Media called it “Suck for Luck” and teams openly participated in it.  The Colts ended up with the 1st pick and Luck finally “crapped out.”  Luck had to follow Peyton Manning, which we can all agree are some big shoes to fill.  So what does Luck do? Nothing…except make his first NFL pass a touchdown (Just like manning).

All that is good, but what really made me realize he is a Blackjack was one huge come from behind victory over the Green Bay Packers. Luck went toe to toe with the reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers and called his bluff for the win.  Luck showed he can be cool when the stakes get high, and that he doesn’t have a tell.

I am usually a hard sell on quarterbacks coming into the league. I’m a “don’t believe the hype” guy.  I always say, “Show me the baby; don’t tell me about the labor.”  Why?  Because guys come into the league, show some flash, and are done in five years or less (Jamarcuss Russell, Tim Couch, Ryan Leaf).  Either that, or they end up as career back ups (Matt Lienart, Charlie Batch, Derek Anderson).  However, every now and then a royal flush like Andre Luck grabs your attention.  I’m saying it here: there is a new Maverick in town.  Now he just has to form a posse to win the jackpot!

JD Follow me and I will follow back @mrjdsir11

Credited edit: Trent Austin

For a few years now, well specifically after the 2007 Monday Night Football game, Cardinals vs 49ers, I made a bet saying if Alex Smith led us back to win this game I would never call him a bum, or insult him playfully again.  Well the unlikely became likely and Alex Smith did it.   Ever since then I started calling Alex Smith “The New Hope,”  being a huge Star Wars fan I thought it was a funny reference, but when I started to look at it; it was telling.  So here is the Alex Smith story told through Star Wars.  Queue the Music.

Episode I:  New Hope, sorry I mean Episode IV

     A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away…  The West Coast.  Alex Smith “Luke Skywalker” went to Utah which it might as well be Tatooine.  Urban Meyer -“Old Ben Kenobi” – was Alex Smith’s college coach in Utah.  As an Ute, Smith showed immense promise with The Force – his Junior year he posted 67% completion, 2952 yards passing, 32 passing touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 631 rushing yards, and 10 rushing touchdowns.  Meyer taught him the beginnings of The Force and he learned enough to warrant a 1st overall pick in the 2005 draft to the Rebel Alliance aka the San Francisco 49ers.

Commander Mike Nolan drafted Smith over Aaron Rodgers. He thought Smith to be a cerebral, introspective, and non-confrontational, while he felt Rodgers attitude wouldn’t mesh with Nolan’s.  Smith’s rookie year was a wash 1 touchdown to 11 interceptions.  In 2006 San Francisco gave Luke his Han Solo and Chewbecca, in the form of Frank Gore (the team leader, and anybody coming out of Miami can only be as badass and cool as Han Solo) and Vernon Davis (yeah partly because he had corn rolls and dreads – all that fur).

     Also, lets give Norv Turner a piece of the Obi-Wan Kenobi title.  Under Turner Smith had a 16 touchdown and 16 interception season, but that year Smith had a few Death Star moments. He threw 3 touchdowns versus the Oakland Raiders (hell, there fans wear Darth Vader Mask).  He also had comeback victories against Minnesota, Seattle, and Denver that year.  He started to build his legend and 49er fans loved it.  Until…  Obi-Wan got handled and took a job in San Diego.

Episode II, sorry Episode V (I will get this right I promise) Empire Strikes Back.

      From 2007-2010 we should just name the Empire the bad organization of the 49ers, because they gave him four different Offensive Coordinators in those 4 years.  Forget “Luke I am your father” and how about “Luke we will give you no consistency, terrible supporting cast outside of Gore and Davis”, (remember these Wide Recievers? Ashley Lelie, Darrell Jackson, Iaasc Bruce, Bryant Johnson, Josh Morgan, Arnaz Battle, and the list goes on). He did get his Princess Lela in Michael Crabtree, look at his professional career so far, from holdouts to toe injuries in preseason, and other dainty princess issues.

It got as bad as Mike Nolan questioning his heart and toughness while he was dealing with a grade three separated shoulder. In 2008 Smith missed the entire season because of another shoulder injury, once he got back Nolan was fired, but he had a new threat.  He had to fight through the pants dropping antics of Jabba The Hut aka Mike Singletary.  The greatest insult was Aaron Rodgers won his first Super Bowl in 2010, the same Rodgers that was picked 23 picks after Alex Smith.  How about “Luke you’re a failure and your city wants you out.”

           Episode VI:  Return of the Jedi (told you I would get it)

     Now I know all the geek purist are saying, “How could you talk about Empire and leave out Yoda,” (in my best geek voice ever).  Obviously I couldn’t figure a way to weave Yoda into the story (even George Lucas had a bad timeline in the prequels and he is a pro) because we all know who Yoda is, none other than Jim “Lil Crazy Walsh” Harbaugh.  He basically got the best out of Alex Smith, and yes he is a game manager, but we act like Luke didn’t need help from a team to be successful and Luke MANAGED to get Vader to turn on the Emperor to save the galaxy.  With a 13-3 season the 49ers returned to being thought of as a dominant Force in the league.  This chapter is not done being written – we still have a galaxy to save by hoisting the Lombardi.  So Alex let The Force be with you!

 

 

Jason

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