Niners Nation #Channel49 Twitter Q&A Mailbag, Vol. 15: Gameday Rituals, 49ers going to the Hall of Fame, and more

Frank Gore keeping a close eye on his HOF chances. - Jed Jacobsohn

Same time, same place. Every Friday at 2pm PT, Trevor Woods and I hold a Q&A session on Twitter. Even now, in the depths of the offseason, we keep it rocking. Here's the expanded mailbag post. Oh, and there's no Seahawks questions, in case you were wondering.

Woods lays down the Wood

The 49ers have a good chance against any team, needless to say I believe the 49ers will do well against the NFC South. The Falcons and Buccaneers improved the most arguably, adding key pieces to bolster their depth. The addition of Steven Jackson could pay big dividends for Atlanta. Last season the 49ers were able to bottle up Michael Turner, killing the Falcons run game. Jackson had success against the Niners last season and throughout his career, and he can certainly keep moving the chains to give the Falcons a balanced attack against a formidable Niners defense.

The Buccaneers became light years better on defense adding Dashon Goldson and Darrelle Revis. It will be interesting to see if this gets the Buccaneers trending in the right direction moving forward. Josh Freeman is going to have to produce, but now he has a defense that can help him out. Then there's the Saints, who you always have to respect because Drew Brees is their quarterback. The team I am not concerned with is the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers did nothing to improve their team this year, they will be a losing team and Ron Rivera is going to get the heave-ho. Chalk that up as a win for the 49ers.

With the Justin Smith contract extension, the 49ers now have more salary cap room, which could lead to a trade or free agent signing. What is left of the free agent receiving corps is bottom of the barrel options. With as many picks as the 49ers have, it would make more sense to trade for a receiver than sign a mediocre free agent. As it gets closer to training camp, we could see something happen on the trade front, it's hard to gauge when or if a trade will happen though. Jim Harbaugh has made it clear that he's content with the group of receivers the 49ers have and that one of them will step up and fill Michael Crabtree's shoes. With that said, Harbaugh is always open to competition, so it would not be surprising if the 49ers brought someone else in, especially given their cap space.

On game days, I get up early and watch all the pre-game shows first, and then set my fantasy football lineup. For the early games when the 49ers are not playing, I watch NFL Redzone and see all the madness that ensues every Sunday. When its 49ers game time, things get serious, the mood becomes tense! I'm not a big drinker on game day, for me football is too hard to follow with a buzz, but I do eat a lot. The eating usually happens at halftime. I'll make some wings or order some pizza, that's usually what is on the menu. The greasy and messy food is the reason that I do not wear a jersey on game days. I have an endless supply of 49ers hats, which you can catch me wearing on Sunday. I usually watch the game at home, living in Indiana it's just a bunch of Colts and Bears fans around, and I can't deal with that!

Malone's Note: I'd like to say that gameday falls on a Monday morning for me. While you all are having fun, drinking beer, watching the game, wearing your favorite jersey, I'm wearing a fluorescent bomber jacket and some work pants and stacking crap on a pallet. That's my gameday gear. Sigh!

The Chiefs! Kansas City made some moves to improve their team drastically in 2013. Andy Reid is their coach, Alex Smith is their quarterback, Jamaal Charles is healthy, and things could turn around quickly for Kansas City. The NFC West has a Super Bowl favorite in the Denver Broncos, but they will have a divisional rival in the Chiefs that will give them stiff competition. Root for the Chiefs, a better record for them equals a better pick for the 49ers in the 2014 draft.

Malone lays down the Madness

During 2012, Greg Roman received a fair amount of flak for stagnant play calling and for not revamping game plans in games in which the 49ers fell behind. The criticism was deserved, and I was right there in the middle of it.

I think the postseason run has dispelled that completely. We looked more dynamic that ever in the Green Bay game, with Colin Kaepernick and his record-breaking day making the Packer defense look a decade behind the times. Both the Falcons game and the Super Bowl vs the Ravens required comebacks and Roman's play calling seemed to fit the bill perfectly, until the final four plays that still haunt us all.

With a full offseason featuring Colin Kaepernick as the No. 1 quarterback, we can expect to see some new wrinkles on offense that we hadn't dared imagine before and the playbook should be opened up. The Eric Mangini hiring and special teams upgrades are something completely separate, brought in to address issues on the other two units. Roman's re-signing shows the front office has total faith in him and I'd be shocked if anyone viewed our offense as ‘stagnant' in 2013.

I don't know if this is will be the popular view, but I don't think either of these two are Hall-worthy at this point. You need to be one of the dominant forces at your position in your era to make the hall and I don't know if Frank Gore or Justin Smith fits that bill. It looks like each one could have three more good years in them, and if those years are of the All-Pro variety, they would make one helluva case for it.

Your question is who of the two is more likely. I guess I'd say Justin Smith. He lacks the statistics that get people into the Hall of Fame. He is considered to be the dominant 3-4 defensive end of recent times. As the years wear on, will people remember his dominance despite lack of statistical evidence? A ring and more top-five Defensive Player of the Year votes would help jog their memory.

Frank Gore is a great running back. But how do you put him in in front of Steven Jackson, Fred Taylor, Clinton Portis, Thomas Jones, Jamal Lewis and any number of other rushers who are currently active or recently retired and have more yards than Gore. He'll pass a lot of those in the next few years. But he and Jackson have parallel careers. It should also be noted that current players seeking to get into The Hall at running back will have the specter of Adrian Peterson looming over them. Peterson already has 500 more yards than Gore in less time. When one player is as dominant at a position as he is, trying to figure out who the second best in an era was to enshrine them becomes a less pressing matter.

We won't have a good idea of who that player or players might be until training camp gets underway. All we can do at this point is make some educated guesses. For my money, it's easier to guess which position might have the wiggle room for someone to sneak in and go from there.

Scott Tolzien had an unimpressive minicamp by most accounts. That leaves the door open for B.J. Daniels. If the coaching staff has full faith in Colt McCoy as the primary backup, Daniels' unique skillset may become more desirable than Tolzien, especially if Tolzien fails to impress. Another area that I think could have some surprises is cornerback. What Nnamdi Asomugha brings is still to be determined and Perrish Cox was hardly noticeable last season. That could leave the door open for defensive backs to surprise and Trevor mentioned Marcus Cooper as a possibility.

One last surprise could be Jewel Hampton. It's assumed that Marcus Lattimore is the future of the running back position and we know Frank Gore is the present. Who's the primary backup? If Kendall Hunter shows any signs that he isn't fully recovered from his Achilles injury, Hampton could bump Anthony Dixon from the roster. He's got more potential to carry the workload than Dixon or LaMichael James. Dixon's work on special teams may be less valued with all the upgrades brought in for that unit.

Being a Sheep

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