When the Bengals, Bills and Raiders find ways to lose, no matter how creatively, the refrain remains the same: They can't finish. But why? And how does a team learn how to win when it has been mired in mediocrity or worse for so long?
That all three teams lost their openers in the final seconds merely emphasizes the struggles they have had for just about the entire decade. And accentuates how difficult it is to turn things around. Read More
Amazing but true. The NFL’s two most improved teams may very well be sitting on opposite sides of the Bay. Mirroring their respective old school, lunch-pail carrying coaches, the 49ers and Raiders both showcased noticeably tougher and better defenses in their openers. That’s an enormous boost to inexperienced quarterbacks Shaun Hill and JaMarcus Russell, neither of whom is ready to win high-scoring shootouts. Read More
Ugh ... the bowl season goes on. Thank you to our readers. We had a wonderful response to our column last week about the bowl announcers and my opinions of all that. In fact, it was almost overwhelming. All good stuff in terms of what our readers really think. I will continue this week on the same theme. Again, there is an argument about the national championship, a playoff and too many bowl games that is legitimate on all sides. Read More
Mike Martz is delivering. We’re only three weeks into the season but we’ve already seen more offense than in 16 games last season. We’ve even seen the 49ers go for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the one. Glory be!
Martz turns the NFL coach’s dictum — we take what the defense gives us — on its head. He makes the defense react to what he’s doing. Read More
We’ve learned one thing from the 49ers’ first two games: J.T. O’Sullivan is a legitimate NFL quarterback.
My media colleagues have been skeptical, even dismissive, of O’Sullivan, but on his KNBR show last Friday, I told Gary Radnich I was keeping an open mind. Read More
The media frenzy has been about Lane Kiffin’s future, but nothing will change with the Raiders until Al Davis is no longer in charge — and that could happen sooner than you think. Read More
So much for optimism.
Trying my best to keep the rose-colored glasses from sliding off my face while previewing the Raiders’ season opener a week ago, I focused primarily on the potential of the 2008 Raiders between the lines. I noted the multitude of weapons at Lane Kiffin’s disposal, and how they were going to put up points in bunches this season, while improving drastically on the defensive side as well.
Cue the laugh track here. Read More
The franchise values of the 49ers and Raiders are among the lowest in the NFL, according to Forbes’ 2008 team valuations. John York’s 49ers are valued at $865 million, 30th in the league, while the Raiders are worth an estimated $861 million, 31st in the league. Only the Minnesota Vikings rank lower than the two Bay Area franchises. Read More
I was the 49ers’ radio sideline reporter in October 1994 when the Red and Gold suffered one of the worst home losses in franchise history, a 40-8 drubbing by the Philadelphia Eagles. Read More
Mike Martz is the 49ers’ offensive coordinator but it’s still Mike Nolan’s team, which is a huge problem.
Nolan was vague when asked about offensive play calls and Martz left the locker room after Sunday’s game before any questions could be asked, but knowing both men, there were two plays on which I believe Nolan overruled Martz. Read More