Jerry Jones continues to push The Whopper Too Big To Die


Jerry Jones continues to push The Whopper Too Big To Die

Jerry Jones is being noticed today for exhuming that old 18-game regular season corpse, and you had to figure the Dallas Cowboys owner would pop up at some point since being muzzled about the National Anthem and his own ludicrous inconsistencies on that topic.
But here he is, The Man Who Cannot Keep Still, telling the Dallas Morning News’ Tim Cowlishaw and Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan that not only is an 18-game regular season and two-game preseason the best way to make more money but the best way to keep players safer.
The first, of course, is indisputable. Practice games stink so much that even coaches are investing less value in and use from them. But the idea that more of an unhealthy practice is safer than less of an unhealthy practice is a level of true-isn’t-true that could only be passed off by a top-level BS artist or a politician.
“I can make the case that we have an uptick in concussions in the preseason,'” he told Cowlishaw. “If you look at it, I would contend there would be less exposure” because of a shorter training camp.
The radio show, though, caused him to be even bolder in expressing his highly-valued medical opinion.
“I think candidly it's probably physically better for players than it is to have the longer preseason, the longer practicing," he said. "Our studies show that we actually have a ramped-up injury situation with players during preseason as opposed to the injury factor in the regular season.”

He did admit that it is “debatable” as to whether there is more of a health risk, but went on to say, “I think it's defensible, and really I did present it on the basis that it's something I think it does, and that's create a safer game for the players.”
Well, let’s get to the point here, which is that he’s preposterously wrong (and in fairness, he is carrying some public water for commissioner Roger Goodell, who also whinges on command about training camp/regular season game ratios on an annual basis). The only rational affect of preseason games on injuries is that they happen in meaningless games and more often to players whom the teams regard as expendable (read: cheap and/or not part of the grand plan). It is at best a false economy, at worse a poorly-told fib.
Put another way, when a football owner with Jones’ record for blowhardery says something is A, it is not only B, but might indeed be C, with a side of F.
Except in this one aspect:
“It would provide more than $1 billion to the players. It's certainly worth considering. It would direct more value for what the players expend to the players.”
Yes, the money. Always the money. But even here, he didn’t mention how much it would bring to the owners, which safely can be estimated as a hell of a lot more than $ billion, and unlike money to players, the owners’ share is guaranteed.
In short, Jones is firing off the annual end-of-training-camp training-camp-must-be-curtailed screed, and given that the CBA talks start in only three years’ time, an equally traditional bartering ploy.
Now if he wants to get in line with coaches like Bill Belichick, who values practices with other teams over than games, or Sean McVay, who didn’t bother to point most of his offensive players to the game-day field in preseason, then maybe we’d bite. If he wanted to make the case that two practice games and 16 regular season games was safer and more logical, we wouldn’t be leaning so aggressively into this bucket right here.
But since Jerry was, is, and will always be about the short money, he will trot out the longer regular season pony to cavort with the shorter training camp dog. And by saying it would be safer as well as more lucrative, he is now showing his natural propensity for telling the whopper too big to die.
You have to give the man his due, though. No other owner would gnaw through his muzzle and bark louder about something that doesn’t exist. It’s a gift. Just not one anyone would ever want to open wth any hope of there being something useful therein.

Will 49ers look to trade backup QBs C.J. Beathard or Nick Mullens?

Will 49ers look to trade backup QBs C.J. Beathard or Nick Mullens?

One of the major competitions being waged on the 49ers’ practice field is for a spot the club hopes will never be asked to play a significant role this season.

The 49ers’ hopes for the season hinge in large part on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo playing at a high level for 16 games. Behind him, in a too-close-to-call competition are C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens.

Once training camp opens in late-July, the competition for the backup role will heat up. Mullens outplayed Beathard last year, but all that did was create a level playing field for the competition that will ensue this summer.

This week marked the conclusion of the team’s official offseason program. Here are some questions submitted via Facebook:

What's the likelihood we trade one of our backup QBs to a team that loses a QB to injury? ( David Cummings)
The 49ers have three options:
1. Cut C.J. Beathard or Nick Mullens.
2. Keep three QBs on their 53-man roster.
3. Trade Beathard or Mullens.

Of those three options, there is no question the 49ers would rather trade one of their reserve quarterbacks.

I’m of the opinion right now that they are fine with either Beathard or Mullens as the backup to Jimmy Garoppolo. If another team feels a need to add a backup, I believe the 49ers would be open to trading either one – whichever player the other team wants more and will attract the better compensation.

Will Robbie be the starting kicker come the start of the regular season? (Richard Burley)
Robbie Gould has not publicly stated his intention, other than he has demanded a trade. (The 49ers said, in essence, “No, thanks. We want you to be our kicker.”)

It is difficult to imagine that Gould would forfeit more than $290,000 per game. The 49ers expect him to be on the field in Week 1 of the regular season. Jonathan Brown was the only kicker to participate in the offseason program. Right now, he’s their insurance policy.

Is there a possibility after the cutdowns start the 49ers will possibly pick up a savvy veteran guard or center considering the uncertainty and shakiness of our interior offensive line? (John Mayfield)
Based on their approach this offseason, the 49ers do not agree with your description of “uncertainty” and “shakiness” as it pertains to the interior of their offensive line.

There’s always a possibility of picking up someone for depth, but the addition of Ben Garland, who can play both guard and center, likely took care of that.

From what you've seen Matt, which WR has impressed you and the coaching staff the most? (Paul Martinez)
The 49ers’ top-two receivers during the offseason program were Dante Pettis and Trent Taylor. If Taylor remains healthy, he should benefit greatly from the tutelage of new receivers coach Wes Welker.

Considering the size of the front seven on defense are there concerns about our potential to defend against the run with the new Wide 9 scheme? (R.L. Stephens)
That is precisely why the 49ers’ defense now has three smaller, quicker stack linebackers. The Wide 9 is designed for the defensive ends to set the edge quicker to force running backs to cut inside earlier.

It also puts far more pressure on the linebackers to step up and cover more ground to prevent big plays on those plays.

Who is a name that might be a surprise cut before the 53-man roster is made? (Michael Tavares)
If I write the name here, he won’t be a surprise cut, right?

I’ll give you three players to watch. At first, I thought Marquise Goodwin might have a difficult time making the team. But he looked really good during the offseason program, and he does give the 49ers they don’t have anywhere else with his speed.

Veteran linebacker Malcolm Smith will have to earn his way. Elijah Lee and Dre Greenlaw look good, and they have special-teams value, too. Tight end Garrett Celek will be trying to come back from back surgery. I think he faces some pretty big odds at this stage of his career to remain on the team.

[RELATED: Kyle Shanahan believes 49ers can overcome injuries this season]

Who are the starting safeties at the beginning of the season? (Nick Gillo)
Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt. (Insert the obligatory, “If healthy.”)

With Shanahan talking about having great depth, predict the biggest 2020 offseason needs. (Jeff Bratton)
I predict the biggest needs for next season will be determined by what happens this season.

49ers linebacker Fred Warner looks to improve after solid rookie year

49ers linebacker Fred Warner looks to improve after solid rookie year

SANTA CLARA — Linebacker Fred Warner had a lot put on his plate as a rookie. Going into his second season as a pro, he's leaning on a wild first year.

“I’m expecting [my game] to grow a lot,” Warner said. “Having that experience from Year 1, obviously playing a lot of snaps, I think all parts of my game can improve. 

“Specifically I’m looking forward to working on tracking the ball, making sure that I’m improving on tackling, just communication, having clean eyes, and being able to anticipate things a lot quicker.”  

Warner explained that while he had a lot of responsibilities, he never felt like it was too much for him to handle. He added that linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans increased his workload as his experience grew. 

“I think they knew that they could rely on me, they never gave me too much,” Warner said. “DeMeco was always checking in with me to make sure that I wasn’t too overwhelmed and whatever they told me to do, I did it.

“They gave me more and more as I got more confident throughout the season, so leading into that last game against the Rams, we had a lot of stuff going on, but that’s when I was the most confident, in the last game of the year.” 

Warner’s experience is helping him look at last season’s game film with a new set of eyes, figuratively. He already sees ways he could have improved his performance. 

“No doubt,” Warner said. “I’m watching film right now and I’m looking at different things and I’m like, ‘Dang I would have called that’ or ‘I wish I was out there so we could do this,’ but I feel our defense is doing a great job right now. 

“Guys who maybe have not gotten as many reps are stepping up during this OTAs doing an outstanding job and I’m looking forward to getting back out there with them.” 

The defense has gotten notably faster after several key additions during the offseason and Warner believes it gives the group “swagger.”

“I think every year that we get more of that chemistry together as a group, I feel like that’s where it comes out, our confidence,” Warner said. “The more we can play with that, the more we can instill fear into our opponents on game day. They should be able to turn on the film and be like 'Oh, man. We got the Niners this week.’

“I think that with coach Kocurek, they are being taught to come off the ball hard and fast so they are going to create a lot of penetration which should create a lot of edges and so it’s our job to make them right, as linebackers. We are behind the ball for a reason so we can see everything and play off of them.” 

[RELATED: Jason Verrett feeling confident about his return]

Warner, like many players sitting out of team drills during OTAs and minicamp, is itching to get back on the field. But he knows that being patient is what’s best for him in the long run. 

“A lot of that you don’t have much control over,” Warner said. “You just have to listen to what the trainers tell you, and that’s what I’ve been doing. They have a plan for me and I’m just going to follow that, but yeah, just taking one day at a time.”