49ers

Your day drinking game of buzzwords for the Shanahan-Lynch press conference

Your day drinking game of buzzwords for the Shanahan-Lynch press conference

Programming note: Watch the John Lynch-Kyle Shanahan introductory press conference on Thursday at 1pm on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

Day drinking is not generally encouraged as a pastime for the obvious medical, social and cultural reasons, but you know someone is thinking about the 49ers’ annual Meet The New Guy press conference Thursday and thinking “drinking game.”
 
In this case it will be “Guys,” as in new general manager John Lynch and his co-worker/putative superior, head coach Kyle Shanahan, so the mood of the day will be “buzzwords.” Lots and lots of diffuse, amorphopus, obfuscatory Silicon Valley-quality buzzwords.
 
Like “culture.” The 49ers are big on talking about “culture,” as though the front office is just some giant social experiment of indulgent chatterboxes with agendas that need constant airing. Jed York has talked often about “re-establishing a championship culture,” which of course brings back thoughts of the winning culture that was there under the tenure of The Coach Who Shall Not Be Named. In other words, “culture” probably means “winning without giving the owner a crippling eye-throbbing migraine three of every four days.”
 
That’s a drink.
 
So is “culture’s” bastard son, “winning environment.” A “winning environment” is also known as “winning,” which the 49ers tried briefly earlier in the decade before giving it up for the greater glories of chain of command. Why the single word “winning” doesn’t suffice as a buzzword only reminds us that adding words does not link directly to added clarity, but it does help obfuscate whatever point is being made and makes the user sound like a middle-management nitwit sound more self-important than he or she deserves.
 
That’s a drink  -- probably a brandy snifter of whatever is closest to the bartender’s hand. And it’s also a memo from HR about disrespecting people in offices.
 
Another beauty that will be cited often is “one of the league’s marquee teams.” Yeah, a generation ago, maybe. That hasn’t been true for most of the last 15 years, and 15 years is one-seventh of the entire life span of the National Football League. In short, the Harbaugh Years were more an aberration than a link to the good old days, and using a distant past as a shield is not all that different than the Turks claiming they are a mighty nation based on once being the seat of the Ottoman Empire. In other words, the glorious past will not save the nebulous future – only the future will, which is why Lynchahan was brought in.
 
So yeah, that’s a drink. Probably a beer stein or Thermos, only filled to the brim with Glenmorangie neat to insure a smooth aftertaste and  temporary blindness.

And finally, the gold standard – “face of the franchise.” The 49ers are especially big on this one, because it means someone is designated to talk to the world while about eight other people quietly leak things to favored media types. It’s meant in this case to offer up one of the new hires as the designee who has to do the pressers when things go to crap.
 
The brutal fact is, faces of franchises aren’t designated, they just happen, and if your team’s FOTF isn’t a player, your team is eyelids-deep in five-win seasons. The face of the Patriots is Tom Brady. The face of the Packers is Aaron Rodgers. The face of the Raiders is Derek Carr, although it will be Mark Davis with a red slash across his haircut if the team gets permission to move to Las Vegas.
 
But Lynch and Shanahan will be cited as a great advancement in this pointless FOTF concept, and as long as that is so, the franchise will be feckless and weak and easily mocked. It is up to the two of them to draft, trade for, sign or otherwise develop the face of the franchise. If they do, they will have done very well indeed. If they don’t, the face of the franchise will continue to be a biplane with “Fire (Fill In The Blank), He Sucks.”
 
So yeah, a drink. Hell, if they pull that one out, buy drinks for the bar.
 
Thus, day drinking will happen Thursday, and unless we miss our guess, a lot of drinks will be poured. But a helpful warning from your friends at CSN (both of them; most of us couldn’t give a 47th of a damn either way) to you – just be careful out there. Oh, and make sure you bring someone along who doesn’t care about the 49ers at all. That’s the one you give the car keys to, got it?

2019 Senior Bowl: Cornerbacks have distinct look of 49ers, Seahawks fit

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2019 Senior Bowl: Cornerbacks have distinct look of 49ers, Seahawks fit

Jim Nagy, whose job as executive director of the Senior Bowl is to piece together the lineup of invited participants, arranged for a group of familiar-looking cornerbacks.

Nagy worked for the Seattle Seahawks for five seasons as a Southeast region scout. The Seahawks’ prototype for cornerbacks is the same the 49ers have adopted under defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s scheme.

Richard Sherman is the prototype. The Seahawks and 49ers look for tall, physical corners to re-route receivers at the line of scrimmage and disrupt timing in the passing game.

“A lot of people in the league probably look at this roster and say, ‘Man, Jim is looking for the same thing he did in Seattle.’ There are a bunch of big, long guys in this group,” Nagy said. “The league is going that way as a whole just because of the success that Seattle’s had.

“There are a slew of guys coming down here who are perfect fits for the Niners.”

The 49ers invested third-round picks the past two years in Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore. Promoting more competition and increasing depth is a priority this offseason.

Here’s a look at some of the top prospects for the 49ers’ scheme at the Senior Bowl:

Lonnie Johnson Jr., Kentucky, 6-3, 206
With his size and athleticism, Johnson fits the model of what teams that play the cover-3 system are coveting. However, he recorded just one interception in his two seasons at Kentucky.
Projected: Early rounds

Rock Ya-Sin, Temple, 6-2, 190
Played completely under the radar during his three seasons at Presbyterian College before a transfer to Temple for his final season. He is relatively new to the sport but he has the smarts and skill to rise up draft boards.
Projected: Mid rounds

Isaiah Johnson, Houston, 6-4, 203
He’s got the attributes with his height and 33-inch arms. Nagy said he expects him to run in the low-4.4s. If he can stick with wideouts during the one-on-ones, he will help himself tremendously.
Projected: Mid rounds

Mark Fields, Clemson, 5-11. 180
When the Senior Bowl was looking to add a cornerback this week, the 49ers were consulted. This is the guy they wanted to be added to the group.
Projected: Late rounds

North cornerbacks

Amani Oruwariye, Penn State, 6-1, 201
He has the size and movements to be one of the first cornerbacks off the board. He also has the ball skills, as he showed with seven interceptions over the past two seasons. He will be rested this week in man coverage.
Projected: Early rounds

Kris Boyd, Texas, 6-0, 195
He is smart and experienced. He has the toughness in run support, too. The big question is whether he has the top-flight speed to keep plays in front of him.
Projected: Early rounds

Richard Sherman has message for Antonio Brown in his bid to join 49ers

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Richard Sherman has message for Antonio Brown in his bid to join 49ers

Richard Sherman knows what it's like to leave the only franchise he's ever known to join the 49ers.

So, what does he think about Antonio Brown's desire to play in San Francisco?

"Good luck to him," Sherman told TMZ on Thursday night in Los Angeles.

The All-Pro receiver wants out of Pittsburgh and to come to the 49ers "really badly," according to Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.

Steelers owner Art Rooney II has said the team won't release Brown but will explore all other options, including a trade. Rooney also said he expects discussions regarding Brown's future to heat up in mid-March when the new league year begins.

Sherman, who signed a three-year, $27.15 million contract with the 49ers last March, was asked about his time in the Bay Area.

"So far, so good," Sherman told TMZ.

Before Sherman could get away, he was asked if he had a message for Brown.

"Go wherever it makes him happy," Sherman said.