San Francisco 49ers

49ers Q&A: What was behind defensive infighting? Joe Staley to Eagles?

A question from readers: Should the 49ers consider trading tackle Joe Staley to a contender?
A question from readers: Should the 49ers consider trading tackle Joe Staley to a contender? The Bee

Sean‏ @gamerollerb Looks like frustration is rising unsurprisingly, you sense it could get off the rails or does it seem controlled?

ANSW: What was happening on the sideline and the defensive huddle in the second half Sunday was the result of a young team that was getting its fanny whupped. (And, we should note, it was just arguing and players venting. There have been uglier things happening on other teams' sidelines this season). I do not know exactly what prompted Jaquiski Tartt to get so upset. I heard it was an argument over who should have been playing special teams (Tartt played a team-high 85 snaps Sunday), but players themselves are keeping the source of the frustration in house. That type of bickering situation has to be considered a possibility when you remove every long-standing veteran from the defense and then undercut the remaining longest tenured member, Eric Reid, by taking away his previous role. It A.) leaves you with a young unit and B.) removes anyone with clout from the sideline. I'm sure Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch are eager for the young guns to step forward and make this their team. However, that omelet going to take time to cook and there are bound to be some broken eggs and spilled ricotta cheese -- (I haven't had breakfast yet) -- along the way.

Adam S Howard‏ @AdamHoward80 With the injury to J. Peters, the Eagles would seem to be in the market for an all pro L tackle. Do you think a trading Staley makes sense?

ANSW: It's a good question. I’m sure the 49ers are discussing that exact scenario. And as in years past, I'm sure we'll hear Staley's name bandied about before the trade deadline. But does it make sense? The 49ers likely will be investing -- heavily -- in a quarterback in the offseason. One of the few advantages they have over other teams, roster-wise, is having two above-average tackles. That position is so hard to find in the draft these days that it seems wiser to hold onto Staley and then extend Trent Brown's contract in the offseason. Of course, that same logic applied to Ahmad Brooks and NaVorro Bowman as well, and look where they are (or, more to the point, aren’t) now.

Faithful For Life‏ @scienceguy49 We know a bit about the tackles & guards. Wondering how has D.Kilgore performed this year? Considering importance of Center in Kyles scheme

ANSW: The 49ers definitely pushed him in the offseason with Jeremy Zuttah and Tim Barnes, et al. But Kilgore outperformed all challengers and the competition seems to have benefited him. Kyle Shanahan wants a smart, mobile center and Kilgore fits those criteria. Pro Football Focus ranks him 33rd out of 35 centers with a 39.9 overall grade. That's largely due to the abysmal 20.7 grade the scouting service gave Kilgore in Week 4 against Arizona. Against Dallas, for example, he allowed one quarterback hit and finished with a 73.2 grade.

jt‏ @joedtoc why the heck does the defensive scheme call for the end to crash on every play and for nobody to have contain? It's happened multiple times.

ANSW: Yes, it sure does make the defensive end look silly when he's crashing 15 yards away from the football. But that's what he's supposed to do. The linebacker is supposed to have the outside on read-option plays. Against the Cowboys, the linebackers usually had a 315-pound offensive linemen in their facemask, which is why the score was so lopsided.

Danny Downer‏ @09Racerr Can you see a point where Rashard Robinson is either demoted or released? I realize they do not have many other options, but he is bad

ANSW: Robinson may get demoted, but he's not getting released. He's on the right side of age 25, after all. (He's 22).

1 z‏ @FantasyOmega Just how giggly has Trent Baalke been these past seven weeks?

ANSW: Trent has giggled exactly once in his life, when he was 1 and a half. It turned out to be gas.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at

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