San Francisco 49ers

49ers Q&A: Why is Shanahan getting a free pass?

Kyle Shanahan spoke about some of his players following an OTA practice on May 22.
Kyle Shanahan spoke about some of his players following an OTA practice on May 22. The Bee

Al Czervik‏ @bushwoodgc I like Shanahan but seems like he's getting a free pass vs. his 2 predecessors. Similar talent, less injuries, worse results. Agree?

ANSW: It was clear from the minute Shanahan and John Lynch arrived with six-year deals in their back pockets that this would be an overhaul type of season. Just about every personnel decision they've made has been to swap out someone older with someone less experienced. (Even the oldest player on the team, 35-year-old kicker Robbie Gould, is seven years younger than the previous kicker!). Which is to say, the 49ers are trading losses now for wins later. Should Shanahan have gone for it on fourth down so many times in Week 1? No. Was there a better play call on third-and-goal in overtime Sunday? Yup. But in the grand scheme, it's hard to poke holes after four games if you accept that is a rebuilding year. I've covered some bad teams over the years. (Bring over a beer or 16, and I can talk about crappy teams for hours). This is the best bad team I've covered, if that makes any sense.

Peter Mayer‏ @MayerPmayer Why do we continue to draft DLineman, yet have no pass rush?

ANSW: Well, the 49ers sacked Carson Palmer six times Sunday and hit him -- sacks and knock-downs -- 16 times. To put that in perspective: Remember that knock-down, drag-out 2011 NFC Championship game in which Justin Smith, Aldon Smith et al. roughed up Eli Manning so badly that his jersey was mud-brown at the end? He was hit 12 times in that game. At the quarter mark of the season, the 49ers have nine sacks, which puts them in a seventh-way tie for 20th. That's not great. To me, it's a combination of having mostly played run-oriented teams and not having used any of those top draft picks on an edge rusher. Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas are, essentially, defensive tackles.

Eric‏ @ericsd82 Were Kaps issues more with Baalke or York? Any chance they bring him back? I think the players would welcome him.

ANSW. First part of your question: Colin Kaepernick's issues were with Baalke, Paraag Marathe and the team's medical staff, though he had mostly patched things up by 2016. I don't think he had any problems with York, who donated $1 million to like-minded causes last year after Kaepernick's protest began. Second part of your question: No, I don't see much of a chance at all. First, the 49ers have punched the re-set button on the past. Thirty-three of the players on the 53-man roster are new. Re-signing Kaepernick might seem like a step toward the past. Shanahan also wants true pocket passers. Some of the teams that have needed backup quarterbacks this season -- Hello, Seattle, Baltimore and Tennessee! -- would have been great fits, scheme-wise, for Kaepernick. The 49ers would not have been a perfect fit.

Alvin Singh‏ @AlvinSingh03 What do you think for Robinson play so far? It seems like he's getting beat a lot.

ANSW: To quote Magneto: Why do you ask questions to which you already know the answer?

Ken O'Connell @kenoconn What are the top 5 needs going into next year's off-season? Yes, I'm already going there.

ANSW: QB, CB, OL, EDGE, WR. Also CB. And you might as well throw CB in there, too.

Craig Cordiner‏ @riptheguard What can they do to improve the secondary? Besides waiting for 2018 draft

ANSW: There aren't a lot of rabbits left in that hat. I don't think the safety play has been bad at all. The cornerbacks, however, seem overmatched by their responsibility in this defense. The only moves the 49ers have left are to start Asa Jackson and/or Ahkello Witherspoon. Jackson is feisty but undersized for the position. Witherspoon has the perfect size but could stand to add some fire to his game. (Could we morph them? Marathe is looking into it).

Lee Takamiya @leet793 I really would like to ask what size jar that is but will settle for what the niner record is for penalties in a season.

ANSW: 134 in 2000. Current team is on pace for 156.

Chris Biderman. @ChrisBiderman Did I ask any good Q’s this week??

ANSW: Silver lining: There are still four days left in the week.

Tim Jones‏ @TimJone92861409 Chemistry Nobel prize predictions??

ANSW: The experts all say Jones, but I really like McCluster this year.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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