So this sounds like an article that's going to bash each of our starters, but it's not. To often I find myself and other people on this blog simply speaking about certain players as if they're flawless. This happens all the time in regular football discussions and arguments both on the internet and in public. Again, I'm just pointing out, in my view, what each of our starters biggest weakness or biggest strength is and then you guys can let me know if you agree or disagree.
For some guys I don't really know a weakness because to often I was being a fan while watching the game and I only noticed their good plays. So for some guys I'll list a weakness, others I'll list a strength, and for some I'll list both.
Starting with Offense
Colin Kaepernick: Since he's only had 10 starts, I can't really knock him for focusing only on one player (Michael Crabtree) or holding the ball for to long, but one big drawback is he isn't very elusive in the pocket. This isn't a big weakness at all, since Brady and Manning get by fine without pocket elusiveness, but players like Drew Brees Russel Wilson really avoid sacks and help out their linemen with their elusiveness.
Frank Gore: Hurts to say it, but his hands. I don't know what happened, but it seems since 2011 he hasn't been the same pass catcher out of the backfield. His first six years he was incredible catching flares and screens and I think he led our team in receptions one year. Besides that, Frank is awesome. If Frank was faster, which I can't hold against him, he would be the best back in the league.
Bruce Miller: I really don't know if this guy has a big weakness. If you guys could point one out that'd be great. If anything maybe he doesn't have enough pop like Vonta Leach to just pancake linebackers, but then who does besides Leach.
Vernon Davis: Seems like he can't cut and change directions really quick. Davis is really fast but has an awkward running style. When we played the Falcons and I saw how much Tony Gonzales was tearing us up I wondered why Vernon couldn't do those same things. Vernon just isn't that fluid of a route runner like Gonzales, he can't get in and out of cuts quickly and smoothly. He is really fast and explosive though. And yes I do remember that Vernon absolutely tore up the Falcons, just in a different way than Gonzales did.
Michael Crabtree: Hard to say, he does everything good: catching, running after the catch, route running and blocking. I wish I could see from the TV how he handles press coverage. Some people say he does get of press coverage good and some people say he doesn't. His greatest attribute is his ability to make plays after he has the ball. The first guy almost never tackles him and he has such smooth cuts it's crazy.
Don't have a second receiver right now so yeah.
(Lineman are Really tough because I don't watch them enough)
Mike Iupati: Struggles sometimes with pass-blocking and holding his opponent. Absolute mauler in the run game though.
Jonathan Goodwin: Gets bullied a lot but most centers are when it's one on one battles. Not a liability at all though.
Alex Boone: Didn't watch enough to make an assessment.
Anthony Davis: I guess he still struggles with fast pass rushers? I really don't know. Has an insanely quick first step though, sometimes I think he false starts, so it confuses me how gets beat by fast pass rushers.
OK, now for Defense, the side of the ball I watch the most.
Ray McDonald: Great at watching the snap and getting a quick get-off. A lot of times I've seen him move quicker than everyone on both sides of the ball besides the center. It doesn't happen all the time but it happens often. He straight man handled his man during the Falcons game.
No Nose Tackle.
Justin Smith: Weakness and Justin Smith just don't go together, so I won't make them.
Aldon Smith: I can't say coverage because he doesn't cover enough for me to make an assessment, but he does miss tackles and lunge to often. Unlike Willis, Brooks and Bowman, I see Smith tackling with his arms to often instead with his chest and shoulders. Also, he really struggles against elusive quarterbacks like Russel Wilson because he dives and lunges to often at them. Besides that he's a phenomenal pass rusher and holds up in the run game great.
Ahmad Brooks: Like Aldon, he struggles with elusive quarterbacks, heck he struggled getting a hand on Joe Flacco in the Super Bowl. It's so frustrating seeing him get to the quarterback only to whiff on the tackle.
Patrick Willis: Hurts saying it because he's my favorite player, but he's not as great in man coverage as everyone makes him out to be. He's kind of stiff, not fluid like Bowman and or even Darly Washington from the Cardinals. I don't know how to explain, but he runs like a robot sometimes, a fast robot though. He's usually trailing TE's as soon as they get off the line, like when he played Gonzales or Jimmy Graham, but it's hard to hold it against him because those are good and tall TE's. Other than that, he's great in zone coverage, the best I believe, and he's great at recognizing between play-action and run before anyone else.
Navorro Bowman: I just want to say I wish Fangio blitzed Willis and Bowman more because they could easily average 8 sacks a year. Bowman is phenomenal when he blitz, his spin move is insane. Anyways, one of his weakness is only apparent because he plays next to Willis. You can see on almost every play Bowman reacting slower to the play than Willis does, but that's really not fair. Sometimes I see him over pursue to much but then who doesn't?
Tarrell Brown: Let me just say I wrote a Fanpost about Brown after we played the Saints in the regular season this past year talking about how great he was, so I'm biased towards him. He can cover all the deep routes great: the post, the corner, the streak, the fade, the deep in and the seam. What I think he struggles with is all the shorter routes and quicker routes. But what do I know, the camera barely looks downfield until the throw happens.
Carlos Rogers: I see him struggling against slot receivers a lot, but it's a tough job because you don't have the sideline to help you. I don't really get to see him enough because the camera doesn't focus downfield.
Donte Whitner: Never get to see him because of the camera not looking downfield.
So there you have it, my assessment for the weakness's for all of our known starters. Do you agree? Probably not, but let me know where I went wrong. Appreciate it!