Welcome back to the #Channel49 Q&A Mailbag. We run the #Channel49 chat on Twitter every Friday at 2 p.m. PT. Feel free to join in the discussion.
The three additions in the coming weeks are Mario Manningham, Michael Crabtree, and Quinton Patton. The 49ers offensive approach has been working, so don't expect major changes once the team is at full strength. It will take the receivers a little time to shake the rust off once they are activated. However, the playbook will certainly grow with the added weapons.
Greg Roman has a big playbook with lots of wrinkles, and with the lack of depth at receiver thus far this year, he hasn't been able to call the type of games he has wanted to. More diverse and harder to gameplan for, that's what the 49ers offense will become, especially with Crabtree back in the fold.
The team doesn't plan on losing any more games, but admittedly they have two playoff opponents still to face and others that could be deemed trap games. The Seahawks schedule the rest of the way is similar, with their most challenging games against the Saints and 49ers. This may very well come down to the head to head match-up against each other on December 8th at Candlestick.
More than likely, either the 49ers or Seahawks will slip up and lose a game before that match up, and I'd say the team to lose before then would be the Seahawks. It's hard to be too critical of a team that has only one loss, but damn, they get lucky. Week one they win in the last minutes 12-7 over the Panthers. In week four, thanks to a horrible interception by Matt Schaub returned for a touchdown by Richard Sherman the Hawks won 23-20. Finally, last week, The Rams had a chance to win in the final seconds of the game. With two yards to go 'til the endzone, they couldn't get the ball in. Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer decided to put the game in Kellen Clemens hands for two of the plays instead of running the ball, which they did effectively all game long. The Seahawks are a really good team, but their record is a little deceiving.
Last week Coach Harbaugh said that he wants to get LaMichael James more involved, stating he's too special not to be utilized. This may ultimately come at the expense of Kyle Williams, not only Williams playing time, but his roster spot. The 49ers are going to have three receivers coming back in the next few weeks, and that could leave Williams the odd man out. Reason being, he hasn't performed well as a receiver this year, or as a return man. James has shown ball security issues, but also big play potential on returns.
At the very least James would be an upgrade over Williams as a kick and punt returner right off the bat, and why worry too much about his fumble woes when Williams has the same issue? James can be used in a variety of packages as a gadget player, and provides an element of speed the 49ers could use from time to time. Once Quinton Patton is back, I don't see Williams sticking around. Kassim Osgood has been too good on Special Teams to cut, and it's too early to cut Jon Baldwin, who is still getting into the swing of things as a Niner.
#channel49 come end of season has Skuta and Lemonier earned PT or will Aldon and Ahmad take 95% snaps , thinking Fangio wont rotate— Kaleo Hocson Jr (@LeftCoastLivin) November 1, 2013
Skuta and Lemonier have stated their case for more playing time, even when Aldon is back in the swing of things completely. I don't know what Fangio will do, but I'd use them in a rotation until Brooks and Aldon show their play is better than that of Skuta and Lemonier. When the 49ers have a healthy lead, expect a heavy dose of Lemonier and Skuta.
#Channel49 Who do u guys like better coming out of college at WR. Sammy Watkins, or Mike Evans??— Seth Sacket (@Seth_Sacket) November 1, 2013
That's a good question. Clemson's Watkins is going to have the same type of pre-draft hype that Tavon Austin generated, and although I'd take him without hesitation, I like Texas A&M's Mike Evans a bit more. Both players have good height, Watkins is 6'1", While Evans is 6'5".
GM's and fans alike can get enamored with tall receivers, but with Evans there is good reason to be wowed. Not only is he tall, he's physical, and has speed, he's a legitimate vertical threat. Evans reminds me a lot of Brandon Marshall, and I believe he's going to have a good professional career. You can't go wrong with Watkins either, he's a smart football player and can run a variety of routes well. He also has great hands and doesn't drop many balls. We will be talking about these players a lot more in the months to come, but I don't think either will be available when the 49ers are on the clock in round one.
We've had a lot of players step up in relief this season. Who's your biggest surprise? #channel49— JesterDWMC (@NinerFanWG) November 1, 2013
There are quite a few to choose from, but I'm going with Tramaine Brock. Brock took over for Nnamdi Asomugha when he was hurt, and the secondary play improved immediately. When Asomugha was playing, he wasn't physical, was getting beat down the field, and was missing tackle after tackle. Brock has been physical, fast, has shown good instincts, and has tackled very well. A few mistakes have been made by Tramaine along the way,but there's no doubt he's a big reason as to why the 49ers have been on a five game win streak. Who would be your biggest surprise?