By Niner Faithful
January 22nd, 1989, I was 2 almost 3 years old. It was Super Bowl 23 and the Niners had just defeated the Bangles to win our 3rd championship in 8 seasons. But in a game I don’t even remember, it’s what happened after the game that was important to me. I got up off my grandpa’s lap walked over to the TV pointed to Jerry Rice and said the 3 words that would forever change my life. “I Like him”. This Monday it will be 29 years since that fateful day in Almaden Valley. Over the years many things have changed but the love I feel for that same football team has not. To celebrate my 29th year anniversary as a Faithful I thought we’d go over my biggest plays in Niners History over the last 29 years.
1. The Catch II
I can remember it like it was yesterday. It looked like the Whackers were going to break my heart for the fourth year in a row when Steve Young hit TO with the game-winning touchdown with 3 seconds left. It might not have been THE CATCH but it was to me. It was my first great Niner moment that I can remember. The Moment I learned that no matter what the odds are always believe in the Red and Gold.
2. The Comeback
This one isn’t a play but its still one of the greatest feelings I have ever felt in my life. Down 38-14 to the New York Giants, Jeff Garcia leads the Niners on the greatest comeback in Niners history. I remember wearing my Steve Young jersey and running and jumping around screaming we’ll see you in Tampa when Jeff hit Tai Streets for the winning touchdown. I’ll never forget the look on all the hater’s faces when I told them IDGAF we’re coming back, and then the look on their faces when I was proven right.
3. The Catch III or The Vernon Post
2011 ended in heartbreak for anyone who bleeds Red and Gold. But that doesn’t mean that it did have its great moment. This game was great. It was the back and forth heart-stopping game that made me fall in love with not only this team but all sports. I can still hear Ted Robinson’s call on KNBR when i close my eyes. It wasn’t just the fact that we won the game. It was the feeling after, the feeling of what we all thought was going to began another dynasty.
4. The Pick at the Stick
“ It is second down Ryan takes the snap throws the slant to the left side It’s wrestled INTERCEPTED THE 49ERS PICK IT AND NAVORRO BOWMAN IS REDEMPTION, ” I think Ted Robinson’s call sums it up perfectly. It was the last game at The Stick. As we all know Bo had a chance to recover an onside kick to seal a Niners win but he didn’t. As the Falcons marched down the field you just knew somehow the Niners were not going to allow The Stick to go out like that. Not the Stick, not the place where we had won 5 championships. Where so many Niner greats had played. And in very Candlestick fashion, Bo made sure it didn’t. I still to this day shed tears anytime I watch that play.
Thank you for reading my blog please make sure to like NINER FAITHFUL RADIO on Facebook and Twitter and Tune in every Monday at 3 pm PST Here’s the link for This Monday, Jan 22nd GO NINERS!!!!!
By Niner Faithful
2017 couldn’t have accomplished much more than it did. We found our franchise QB in Jimmy G Cool and the heart of our defense in Reuben Foster. As well as established we made the right hires in John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan. Now its up to John Lynch and co. to build on our success in 2017. The Niners still have holes on the roster that was apparent to anyone who watched Niners football in 2017. With a league-leading, $102,365,529 in cap room and 9 picks in this years draft the Niners to have plenty of ammo to fill said holes. This week I have decided to go over the team needs and a little breakdown of why I feel they are needs. So here they are in no particular order.
- Edge Rusher
The Niners ranked 26th in the NFL in sacks in 2017 with 30. The team leader in sacks was 33-year-old Elvis Dumervil with 6.5. No other Niner had more than 3. That’s simply not going to get the job done. Add on top of that the team’s issues in the secondary and fixing this becomes priority number one in the offseason. They say the best friend to a secondary is a pass rush so by fixing this the Niners could help out our secondary as well.
Lucky for the Niners Dontae Johnson is a free agent because he was god awful last year. Even when he would make a play and you thought he might have turned the corner, he would get burned or commit a stupid penalty. Now he wasn’t the only issue in the secondary. Rookie Ahkello Witherspoon had his rookie moments but showed a lot more promise the more he played. The Niners ranked 22nd in the league allowing 3,943 passing yards. As stated above I believe that a better pass rush will help in 2018. They say the NFL is a rush and cover league so the Niners would still benefit from adding a solid corner opposite Witherspoon.
- Guard/ Center
I know that the Oline played better as the season went along and Brandon Fusco played with a partially torn bicep all season. But if I have to watch Daniel Kilgore get overpowered one more time I will grow my hair back out just so I can pull it out (although I do like him as a backup and the leadership he brings). With Fusco and Kilgore being pending free agents and the uncertainty around Joshua Garnett it is key that the Niners get O linemen either in free agency, the draft or both.
- Wide Receiver
Although I like our Receiving core. I still feel we need a red zone threat on the outside. Someone with the body type that can win 50/50 balls. Niner receivers only had 7 touchdowns all year and no receiver had more than 2. Marquise Goodwin was our leading receiver in catches with 56 and was tied for the lead for touchdowns with 2. We all know Pierre Garcon is coming back but he will be turning 32 in August so who knows how much he has left in the tank. The Niners haven’t drafted a great receiver since T.O. in 1996. It’s time to find a young receiver that will be here for a long time.
Thank you for reading my blog please make sure to like NINER FAITHFUL RADIO on Facebook and Twitter and Tune in every Monday at 3 pm PST Here’s the link for This Monday, Jan 15th
By Niner Faithful
February 9th, 2017, that’s when John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan had their introductory press conference. They said all the things you might expect a new GM and Head Coach to say when starting a job with the NFL’s most storied franchise. They talked about rebuilding our winning culture and returning us to our former glory. Many thought that it would be a long grueling road that would take at least a couple of years. We fast forward to less than a year later and many think that the road although still grueling has gotten a lot shorter. How did Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch take a team that was 2-14 and in less than a year have people around the NFL talking about the Niners as a playoff contender in 2018? While Jimmy G Cool had a lot to do with it there is a lot more to it than that. Let’s go to March 9th, 2017 the first day of NFL free agency. Strapped with loads of cap space and a roster full of holes. John Lynch and his front office staff (with lots of input from Kyle Shanahan and his staff) went about identifying players that not only fit our scheme but were the type of people that had enough character to play through adversity. It was clear even early in his tender as GM John Lynch was not Trent Blakee. John Lynch was aggressive, signing 9 players on the first day of free agency and continued doing so throughout the offseason. But what really sold any other doubters was his first draft as GM. The Niners had the number 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft and from the get-go, John Lynch made it clear the Niners were “open for business” in regards to trading the number 2 pick. After many rumors on what the Niners were going to do draft night finally came. That’s when John Lynch committed highway robbery. The Niners were able to convince Chicago to give up their 1st (3rd overall), 3rd (67th overall), and 4th round (111th overall) picks and a 3rd round pick in 2018 just to move up one spot, and was able to still get the player he wanted. Most GM’s would have called that a success but John Lynch wasn’t done. With our 2nd rounder (34th overall) and the 4th rounder (111th overall) we got from Chicago, we were able to make a trade with Seattle to get Ruben Foster. John Lynch in his first draft was able to come away with two of the top 3 players on the Niners draft board (the other being Myles Garrett) to go along with George Kittle, Trent Taylor, Ahkello Witherspoon, Adrian Colbert, Joe Williams, Pita Taumoepenu, DJ Jones and CJ Beathard. Overall Lynch and Shanahan turned over about 75% of the roster. The turnover of the roster didn’t just happen in the offseason. The Niners continued to make player changes throughout the season (although some of those were because of injuries). Trading away struggling cornerback Rashard Robinson and the hardest decision of all releasing longtime team leader and fan favorite NaVorro Bowman. The decisions weren’t easy many people questioned the moves, but they needed to happen. They needed to happen to show everyone involved that no matter who you are if you don’t fully buy in you will not be here. The Niners were 0-5 and had just lost their 4th game by 3 points or less. Shanahan who had expressed all year that he wanted players that when times got rough they worked harder, clearly didn’t want to risk ANY players starting to follow their own program or divide the locker room. It wasn’t all smooth sailing in 2017 the Niners started off 0-9. Brain Hoyer who was Shanahan’s handpicked QB was struggling, so bad that he was benched in the middle of the Niners Redskins game for Rookie C.J. Beathard. Despite the Niners suffering a ton of injuries and 4 more losses (including a blowout loss to longtime rival Dallas on Dwight Clark day) before winning our first game, the players seemed to be drinking the kool-aid Shanahan and Lynch were pouring. Then we got our first win. If you went into the locker room and didn’t know any better you would have thought we had just won the super bowl. I feel that this was one of the biggest moments of the year. It showed the players that Shanahan and Lynch knew what they were doing. That despite what the team’s record was the plan was working. The good vibes didn’t last long the Niners laid an egg against division rival Seattle two weeks later, but the in the middle of the last drive one of the most important factors to our turn around happened. CJ Beathard went down and this time didn’t get up. Out came Jimmy G Cool, and on a meaningless play, he throws a TD to Lewis Murphy. The touchdown may have been meaningless but it set the tone for the next few weeks, maybe the next 10 years. We all know how the rest of the story goes. Some will even point to that as the main reason for the hope us faithful feel. October 30th, 2017 may go down as one of the most memorable days in Niners history, but the turn around started with a press conference in early February. During their first year as GM and head coach of the Niners. John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan were able to do what most thought impossible, they turned this franchise around in less than a year. They faced a player who had off the field tragedies. Lost team leaders. Set a Niners record for most losses to start a season and a NFL record for games in a row lost by 3 or less points. And despite all that were able to stay the course and finish as the only team in NFL history to start 0-9 and finish with more than 3 wins. And for that, they deserve all the credit in the world.
Thank you for reading my blog please make sure to like NINER FAITHFUL RADIO on Facebook and Twitter and Tune in every Monday at 3 pm PST Here’s the link for This Monday, Jan 15th GO NINERS!!!!!