49ers offensive player-by-player review vs. Texans


49ers offensive player-by-player review vs. Texans

Here's the player-by-player breakdown of the 49ers's offense from their 20-9 exhibition loss to the Houston Texans on Saturday:
Quarterbacks1-Josh Johnson: He was the third 49ers quarterback to enter the game and he played 11 snaps. His first pass attempt was also his best. He lofted a beautiful 32-yard pass to A.J. Jenkins on a fade route down the left sideline. But Johnson missed a prime opportunity for a touchdown on the next play when he overshot Jenkins on a play that easily could have gone for a 41-yard TD. Johnson also overthrew Jenkins, who was open on another deep pass, but that play would've come back on a holding penalty. Johnson completed 4-of-6 attempts for 64 yards. He also rushed once for five yards.3-Scott Tolzien: He entered for the 49ers' final 12 offensive plays and finished his night with four consecutive incomplete passes to finish 4-of-9 passing for 23 yards.
7-Colin Kaepernick: The 49ers' No. 2 quarterback entered behind Alex Smith and played 14 snaps over four drives. The team finished with two three-and-outs. Admittedly, he made a poor decision to throw to the side of the rotating safety and was lucky that throw to Ted Ginn was not intercepted. Randy Moss was open on a hitch on the other side. But he came back on next play to make a back-shoulder throw to Randy Moss, which he dropped at the 5-yard line. Kaepernick also ran 12 yards for a first down on a spread read option. Kaepernick completed 4-of-8 passes for 19 yards.11-Alex Smith: Started and played the first two possessions, 21 snaps, and the 49ers picked up five first downs during that time. Took a huge hit from linebacker Connor Barwin on the first play of the game while delivering 4-yard pass to Michael Crabtree on a play. Smith admitted he messed up the protection, which left him exposed to the hit. He made a good throw on the move and under pressure for a 24-yard gain to Ted Ginn. He completed 5-of-9 passes for 49 yards and was sacked twice for minus-6 yards.Running backs21-Frank Gore: He played four snaps, including his first touch of the exhibition season, which went for 14 yards over the left side. Gore was dropped for a 2-yard loss on his only other rushing attempt.
23-LaMichael James: He played just nine snaps of scrimmage, carrying the ball on four of those plays for 19 yards. He sustained a left ankle sprain while in pass protection late in the fourth quarter. X-rays were negative (that's a good thing). James tweaked the same ankle in the exhibition opener and did not miss any practice time. He averaged 25.7 yards on three kickoff returns. He needs some work on punt returns. He misjudged a third-quarter punt and muffed the ball out of bounds.
24-Anthony Dixon: He played 22 snaps at fullback and halfback. He gained 12 yards on five rushing attempts. He did a good job of moving linebacker Brian Cushing and strong safety Danieal Manning backward to pick up 2 yards on a fourth-and-1 run in the second quarter. He was stopped for no gain on a fourth-and-1 run a little later with no opening off the right side. He caught 7-yard pass on a third-and-3 in the fourth quarter and did a good job in blitz pickup to allow Tolzien time to throw in the fourth quarter. He lined up with first team on kickoff coverage unit and was on front line on kickoff return.
28 Rock Cartwright: He played 12 snaps from scrimmage and was also part of the team's No. 1 kick return unit as the up-back. Cartwright carried four times for four yards. He had a third-quarter pass from Kaepernick deflect off his hands.
32-Kendall Hunter: He played 17 snaps, all in the first half, and finished with a team-high 46 yards rushing on six attempts. Helped out in pass protection against linebacker Brooks Reed on blitz to enable Smith enough time to get ball down the field to Ted Ginn for 24-yard gain on opening drive. Brian Cushing beat him in pass protection to lead to a sack at the end of the 49ers' first drive. He bounced off a tackle attempt of Bradie James at the line of scrimmage on his way to a 14-yard gain. He also caught one pass for three yards and averaged 28.5 yards on two kickoff returns. He also lined up with first team on kickoff coverage unit.
33-Jewell Hampton: Did not play; on non-football injury list.
44-Cameron Bell: Did not play.
45-Brandon Jacobs: Played just one snap and sustained a left knee injury when cornerback Kareem Jackson hit him low as his foot was planted. Coach Jim Harbaugh said Jacobs did not sustain damage to his ACL or kneecap -- injuries that could've potentially ended his season. An MRI examination on Sunday confirmed that Jacobs sustained no serious knee damage. Jacobs is not expected to miss a significant amount of time.
49-Bruce Miller: He played 10 snaps from scrimmage and did not touch the ball. Played special teams in the second half, and could not get off the block to prevent Trindon Holliday from getting to the sideline on his 87-yard punt return.Wide receivers
9-Brian Tyms: He played 11 snaps, all in the second half, and caught two passes for 20 yards. Had another tough chance slip through his hands.

10-Kyle Williams: He played 15 offensive snaps and caught two passes for 13 yards. Did not get a chance to handle any punts.
13-Joe Hastings: Did not play (right leg).
14-Mario Manningham: He started and played 13 snaps in the game. He did not have any receptions.
15-Michael Crabtree: Started and played 14 snaps. He caught a 4-yard pass on the opening series, and had a short sideline pass deflect off his hands late in the first quarter.
17-A.J. Jenkins: Played 19 snaps, and did a good job of creating separation on his routes. He made a nice over-the-shoulder catch for a 32-yard gain. Then, beat cornerback Alan Ball deep only to have Johnson overthrow him. He finished with the one catch.
18-Brett Swain: He played 11 snaps on offense and caught one pass for 5 yards.
19-Ted Ginn: He played nine snaps, all in the first half, and caught a 24-yard pass from Smith. That play led to directly to a field goal.
35-Ben Hannula: Saw action on special teams.
81-Chris Owusu: He played 14 snaps on offense and saw three passes go his way. He caught one pass for 5 yards, and couldn't come up with another tough chance from Tolzien that fell incomplete.
84-Randy Moss: He played 14 snaps in the first half and caught one pass on each of the 49ers' first three drives. He finished with a team-high three receptions for 24 yards. But he failed to hold onto Kaepernick's back-shoulder throw at the 5-yard line in the second quarter.
89-Nathan Palmer: He played 12 snaps, had two passes directed his way, but did not have a reception.Tight ends
40-Demarcus Dobbs: He played just six snaps at tight end, entering on the second snap of the game to make a good block on Barwin to help Gore gain 14 yards off the left side.
46-Delanie Walker: Did not play (right knee).
47-Kyle Nelson: He did not play any on offense.
48-Garrett Celek: He played 24 snaps in all, but saw no passes go his way.
83-Joe Sawyer: Did not play after being signed earlier in the week.
85-Vernon Davis: Started and played 21 snaps. He did not catch a pass. Dropped only ball that came his way on a shallow crossing route in the first quarter. He made a block on Cushing to open the way for Hunter's 17-yard gain on a third-and-4 situation.
88-Konrad Reuland: He played 27 snaps on offense and caught two passes for 18 yards. He caught another pass for an eight-yard gain, but was called for offensive pass interference. Offensive line
59-Jonathan Goodwin: He started at center and played the first 27 snaps of the game. Had a good one-on-one block on linebacker Bradie James to help Gore pick up 14 yards. He made a block on nose tackle Earl Mitchell on 8-yard gain for James.
61-Chase Beeler: He entered in the fourth quarter for the final 12 snaps of the game as the No. 3 center behind Goodwin and Daniel Kilgore.
62-Jason Slowey: Did not play.
65-Al Netter: He played the final two series at left tackle, 12 snaps in all, after Joe Staley and Mike Person handled the first three quarters.
66-Joe Looney: He played 31 snaps (25 at left guard; six at right guard), and did a good-enough job. Pulled from left guard to make block on D.J. Bryant on play in which Dixon gained 9 yards.
67-Daniel Kilgore: He entered at center in place of Goodwin and played 19 snaps without any glaring mistakes.
68-Leonard Davis: He came into the game at right guard and played 13 snaps. Looked better run-blocking than in pass protection.
69-Kenny Wiggins: He entered as the No. 2 right tackle, and was pulled in the middle of his sixth series after a couple of penalties. Called for holding when he wrapped up defensive lineman Keith Browner in the fourth quarter on a run play. Later, he was called for another holding penalty in pass protection.
71-Derek Hall: He played 12 snaps at right guard and two at left guard late in the game.
74-Joe Staley: Started at left tackle and played the first 27 snaps without any problems. Blocked down on defensive lineman Antonio Smith to open hole for Gore on his 14-yard gain. Teamed with Mike Iupati on double-team block of defensive lineman Tim Jamison on Hunter's 17-yard run at end of the first quarter.
75-Alex Boone: Started at right guard and played the first 27 snaps. Pulled to blocked down on Antonio Smith, then got out front to tie up Cushing and James on play in which Kendall Hunter gained 6 yards in second quarter. Later, he missed a block on Smith, who blew up a fourth-and-1 run to Dixon in the second quarter.
76-Anthony Davis: Started at right tackle, played 27 snaps and played well. He was called for a phantom holding call in the second quarter on a mauling block against Antonio Smith on a run play. Later, he was called for illegal formation for being too far off the line of scrimmage.
77-Mike Iupati: Started at left guard and played 27 snaps. Made block on Cushing to open hole for Gore on his 14-yard gain. Teamed with Staley on double-team block of Jamison on Hunter's 17-yard run at end of the first quarter. He gave up a pressure to Antonio Smith, who got to Smith quickly and was called for roughing the passer. Made block on Jamison to open way for Kaepernick on a 12-yard run.
78-Mike Person: He played well during a 19-snap stint at left tackle, where he repeatedly won his one-on-one battles against rookie Jared Crick. Also saw four snaps at left guard and eight plays at right tackle.

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals


Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.

Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.

Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.

Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.

49ers Mailbag: Should Shanahan give up play-calling?


49ers Mailbag: Should Shanahan give up play-calling?

Believe it or not, the 49ers’ offense is improved from last season.

The 49ers ranked 31st in the NFL in 2016, averaging 308.1 yards per game. Although the offense is producing just a little better (325.9 yards per game), their ranking this season has shot up to 21st in the league.

The 49ers have had a different head coach and different person running the offense in each of the past four seasons, so their continuity has been severely lacking.

Next season, the 49ers should finally have carryover from one season to the next.

The direction of the offense is one of the topics addressed on this edition of 49ers Mailbag (questions were submitted via Facebook):

Now that we have Jimmy G do you see 49ers getting an offensive coordinator or will it still be Kyle calling the plays? (Julio Orozco)
I'm not sure why the arrival of Jimmy Garoppolo would have any impact on the 49ers’ offensive structure, but in any event, the answer is a resounding, “No.”

Kyle Shanahan has been hailed as one of the best offensive coordinators in the NFL. The reason he was hired as 49ers head coach was, in large part, because of the success he achieved while designing offenses and calling plays.

Why would he give that up? It makes no sense.

Rob Demovsky of ESPN this week identified the 32 primary play-callers. There are 18 NFL head coaches with offensive backgrounds. Twelve of those coaches call their own plays.

Shanahan has a staff of assistant coaches on whom he leans. Passing game specialist Mike LaFleur and quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello are closely involved in working with Shanahan on the passing game, while running game specialist Mike McDaniel, offensive line coach John Benton and running backs coach Bobby Turner spearhead the involvement in the ground game.

But, make no mistake, it is Shanahan who calls the shots. And that's the way it should be. If Shanahan stepped aside as his own offensive coordinator, he would be diminishing his biggest strength as a coach.

What do you see happing with the Hyde situation? We drafted Joe Williams and Breida seems to be a bright spot. There’s a lot of talk about Barkley from Penn State with that high 1st rounder. (Manny Hinojos)
There does not seem to be any movement toward a long-term extension for Hyde. It is getting to the point in the season where it makes a lot more sense for Hyde to play out his contract and hit the open market.

There is no question in my mind the 49ers like Hyde a lot. He has scored some major points with the organization for his performance on the field and how he has responded off the field.

GM John Lynch loved it when Hyde came to the defense of quarterback C.J. Beathard, tussled with Arizona lineman Frostee Rucker and got ejected from the game.

That said, the 49ers are not going to break the bank for Hyde. A multi-year agreement has to come at the right price. My personal feeling is that running backs are luxury pieces when the remainder of a team’s roster -- especially the offensive line -- is set.

Shanahan and his father, Mike Shanahan, and Turner (the assistant coach who served on both of their staffs) have achieved a lot of success without investing heavily in running backs. That’s why I think the 49ers would be best-served by investing elsewhere and using another mid-round draft pick on a running back.

With Joshua Garnett coming back next season how aggressive will Lynch and Shanahan be in trying to get guards this offseason? (David Hartless)
Garnett is not a particularly good fit for this offensive scheme. The presence of Garnett can help increase the competition next offseason, but I do not believe he is being penciled in as a starter.

The 49ers will certainly be aggressive in an attempt to upgrade the guard positions. Currently, Laken Tomlinson and Brandon Fusco are the starters. Neither will be assured a starting job when the offseason begins.

The 49ers did not see enough from Garnett to determine he has a future with the organization, but he will be given the opportunity to come back healthy and prove himself.

Is Eric Reid in long-term plans? (Grant Rasmussen)
I do not believe so. I think the 49ers would like their starting safeties next season to be Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt – with Adrian Colbert as the front-runner for the No. 3 job.

The 49ers can also be expected to add a player or two in free agency, as well as the draft, to provide a competitive environment in the offseason. The 49ers seemed to telegraph their intention with Reid when they moved him to linebacker with Ward and Tartt remaining as the starting safeties.

That position change lasted about a week, as Ward’s injury prompted the team to move Reid back to safety. Reid is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. It's entirely possible there will not be a big market for him, but I do not believe the 49ers are going to be ultra-competitive in retaining him on the open market.