Looking at the ongoing Niner roster drama

Talking about the Giants’ last few games makes me sad. So rather than recount the ways in which the guys in orange and black have managed to totally suck, let’s look at the ways in which the guys in red and gold have made an effort to not totally suck.

Word on Donte Whitner is that Harbaugh sees him taking on a leadership role in the secondary. Seeing as last year the starters were doing things like quitting their jobs mid-season, it’s hard to argue that leadership isn’t an area of need. Production would be nice as well, but I guess job 1 is landing guys who won’t walk out on the team two days before a trip to Atlanta.

Now what about the other safety spot? It seems the coaching staff is trying to ditch Taylor Mays faster than a bad homecoming date. Seeing as the front office liked him enough to spend a second-round pick on the guy last year, it’s more than a bit strange that they’re doing everything short of putting up a for-sale ad on Craigslist.

Missed connection- 2010 NFL Draft, second round. Me: lacquer-haired mediocre scout-turned-GM.  You: A safety who can cover a backup tight end for fuck’s sake.

So what’s with the sudden urge to move Mays? Perhaps it’s Harbaugh’s memory of what Mays did (and didn’t) do against Stanford. During Mays’ years at USC, the Cardinal put up huge numbers on the Torjans’ defense, including a 55 spot in 2009, the last time Harbaugh would see Mays play in person.

It would be easy to say with all the points scored that Harbaugh didn’t think Mays could play well in coverage, but that’s not really how that game went down. Stanford was able to get the win by dominating in the run game. They put up 325 yards  on the ground. If you want an example of a safety not being able to step up and stop a running attack, it is that game.

So perhaps Harbaugh had that in mind when he arrived in Santa Clara, heard from the scouts that Mays was projecting as a run-stopping safety and decided then and there that he wasn’t the man for the job. If so, trading him now while he’s still considered a project player with great speed and size (Mr. Davis, are you listening?) could yield the best return.

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14 Responses to Looking at the ongoing Niner roster drama

  1. Mays should be in the DB mix, he has shown he isn’t afraid and has the ‘hitters mentality’ to be a run stopper…his coverage skills as a floater at safety have improved and he SOUNDS committed to being improved in every facet of his game…

    As to the leadership role, he is from a USC team that, prior to dipsh*t Kiffen, taught both team and individual decision making under which Whitner excelled…don’t handcuff this guy or deal him…let him have two preseason games to step it up or to prove he is not what is needed-but true leadership is definitely a short-in-supply commodity for the niners right now…Harbaugh seems to be wise enough to see who will pan out so I hope (Ram fan here, btw) that he does give the kid an honest shot at proving he is what they need to fill several Defensive voids…

  2. mailorderwife says:

    Was there anyway the 49er front office could have practiced a bit more discretion in putting out the word on Mays? I can’t imagine Policy ever doing something like this. Their business practice was to not side with sentiment, but dangity dang…maybe a bit more class.

    • Typical actions revealing the difference in how the team was run under Eddie D and these apprentices known as the Yorks…

    • JDR says:

      I’m not sure where the word on Mays came from, but Policy had a handful of beat writers to handle and a very close front office. It’s a bit different when you have rumor sites and agents talking to reporters and scouts and staff with various loyalties. It might also be a case where they were talking to teams in private and wanted to let everyone know so they would step up their offers a bit.

  3. mailorderwife says:

    I remember it being reported on twitter by a sportswriter, who mentioned something about an “astonished GM” who received the email. I’m not asking that Baalke travel by pony to deliver the message (maybe York on an ass would do), but I guess email was cheaper than calling the other teams. This is the York run 49ers.

  4. I see value by using more sources rather than the opposite…that said, to glean the wheat from the chaff is not too difficult when an experienced, connected GM and staff are doing the analysis…just another area the niners seem woefully short on…

    • JDR says:

      I wonder if it might be McCloughan pouting a bit because Harbaugh/Fangio want to dump the guy he took in the second round last year. It makes the GM and scouts look pretty bad if the kid is on his way out after one season.

      • But they hang onto the Alex Smiths…truly amazing

        • JDR says:

          If they weren’t sold on Kolb there wasn’t much else they could do, really. I don’t think Harbaugh’s happy with Smith at QB per se, he just didn’t see much of an improvement to be had at this point.

      • Dilfer is an upgrade over Smith

        • JDR says:

          If you want to go by QB rating, Smith is neck and neck with Kolb. Smith has the same problem as Zito, he’s not nearly as bad as the fans make him out to be, but he’s just so much worse than what was initially expected.

      • I’m thinking a one year ‘patch’ is what the niners were hoping for…with so many vet QBs available what do they do?…stay with a proven underachiever…which solidifies you point…I mean, why NOT go out of the system and acquire a proven commodity, even one on his way out?

        • JDR says:

          Smith reminds me of pitchers like Scott Kazmir and Oliver Perez. Coaches look at him and think he’s simply a guy who hasn’t had the “right” coaching and can be turned around. But yeah, I wouldn’t have minded a couple years of Hasselbeck.

      • I heard Ralphie talking about how some many coaches and OCs have thought, “Well, this guy has all the tools but must be miscoached, I’m just the guy to turn that all around” and his take is that Harbaugh is approaching Smith in that same manner…isn’t the definition of insanity to keep trying the same thing over and over hoping for a different outcome?

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