Forget the talk about Andrew Luck sitting for a couple of years behind Peyton Manning, as Aaron Rodgers did behind Brett Favre. The Indianapolis Colts will take Luck with the first pick in April’s draft and trade Manning for draft picks.
This is a new day in the NFL. For many years, coaches have felt that rookie quarterbacks needed to sit for at least a year to learn the speed of the pro game. Even Joe Montana played only in special situations as a rookie; he didn’t become the starter until late in his second season. Read More
Raiders coach Hue Jackson set up bad karma for his team when he allowed linebacker Rolando McClain to play against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. That backfired on him when the listless Raiders got blown out by the Dolphins.
Arraignment for McClain on charges that he assaulted Richard Tapscott, held a gun to his head and fired a shot by his ear will be held on Jan. 24. The very best interpretation is that McClain put himself in a bad situation. Read More
Ah, those 49ers. They’re boring. They haven’t beaten anybody. Their secondary is vulnerable. Their quarterback doesn’t match up to Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady or Drew Brees.
All they do is win. After Sunday’s 26-0 win over the offensively challenged St. Louis Rams, they stand at 10-2, the second-best record in the NFL, and they’ve won the NFC West. They must be doing something right. Read More
Don Nelson is gone, but his legacy remains, which is a problem for the Warriors.Nelson liked to play smaller-but-quicker players who could score a lot of points. Defense? No problem. We’ll just outscore other teams.When Keith Smart took over as coach before last season, he said his emphasis would be on defense and rebounding. Read More
More and more, the Carson Palmer trade looks like the impetus for the Raiders to make the postseason for the first time since 2002. Certainly, Palmer was the difference in Sunday’s 25-20 victory against the Chicago Bears.
The Raiders were without some significant players — running back Darren McFadden and receivers-kick returners Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore. But Palmer picked up the slack with a 301-yard passing game that put the Raiders in position for six field goals and — finally! — one touchdown. Read More
Brothers Jim and John Harbaugh go head to head in the first NFL game with sibling head coaches on each side of the field. The brothers have always liked to compete, and it can’t get much better than this. Read More
The 49ers are 9-1, second only to the Green Bay Packers’ perfect 10-0, and that’s an accurate summation of their season.
Coming out of the gate, the 49ers stumbled in their second game, an overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Since then, they’ve met every challenge. To summarize:
- In Week 4, they mounted a second-half comeback behind Alex Smith in Philadelphia to beat the Eagles 24-23 with Justin Smith stripping the ball from an Eagles receiver to save the win. Read More
For the Raiders to get to the postseason, they have to play smart and coach smart.Yes, I know: “Smart” and “Raiders” are not words that are normally used in the same sentence. But they played smart against the San Diego Chargers, cutting down on their penalties, and coached smart, except for one big “Oops!” by Hue Jackson. Read More
Andrew Luck overshadowed the Big Game hype at the annual media event in San Francisco on Monday.
Cal coach Jeff Tedford was asked if Luck was the best quarterback he’d seen in the now Pac-12 Conference, long known as a conference which features strong passing games. Tedford wasn’t willing to go that far, saying, “There have been a lot of really good quarterbacks in this conference.”
But he added, “He can make all the throws and he’s very accurate. He’s smart and knows the offense very well. And he can run the ball, too.” Read More
There are similarities between the 1981 49ers and this year’s team, especially the fact that the success of both teams was totally unexpected.
But the reaction of their fans has been quite different.
In 1981, as the team began piling victory upon victory — especially the 45-14 dismantling of the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth game of the season — fans grew very excited. I went to a couple of 49ers Booster Club meetings and they were positively giddy. Read More
Hue Jackson got the quarterback he wanted. Too bad he doesn’t have the team he needs.Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos was an absolute disgrace. I’ve seldom seen an NFL team just quit cold as the Raiders did. OK, let’s be fair. Maybe they’re just so stupid they can’t remember what they practiced. Either way, their postseason hopes are quickly going south. Read More
Vic Fangio, the 49ers defensive coordinator, said last week that he hasn’t seen another NFL team running Bill Walsh’s offense. He’s right, despite all the talk about the West Coast offense. And, the 49ers under Jim Harbaugh don’t run it, either. Read More
Tony La Russa is simply the best manager I’ve known, and his final act was his best: Taking a team that was 10½ games out in the wild card race to a triumph in the World Series. Can’t top that.La Russa also had a powerful influence on the way the game is played. With the A’s in the ’80s, he pioneered the idea of having one reliever for the seventh inning, another for the eighth and a closer who came in at the start of the ninth inning. Read More
Why has Jim Harbaugh been able to turn the 49ers around?
Part of it is lineage. Harbaugh’s father was a coach, and both Jim and his brother, John, are now successful NFL head coaches. The 49ers’ game in Baltimore with the Ravens, coached by John Harbaugh, should be a lulu, which is why the NFL has scheduled it for Thanksgiving Day.
But lineage alone is not enough. Mike Nolan is the son of Dick Nolan, a successful 49ers coach 40 years ago, and all he seems to have gotten from that is his father’s wardrobe.
Here are some reasons for Harbaugh’s success: Read More
After the Raiders were thrashed by Kansas City on Sunday, coach Hue Jackson started his postgame media session, as he always has after a loss, by saying, "This one is on me. The players didn’t lose this game. Coach Jackson did." Read More