It's almost July, which means training camp is right around the corner! Aaron Malone and I have still been chugging away every Friday at 2 PM PT on Twitter for our #Channel49 Q&A. If you haven't been part of the fun yet, we'd love for you to join in next week!
Mr. Malone's Answers:
#Channel49 Vernon has speed and athleticism but seems too stiff to play WR? Is he just getting reps at WR to work on pass catching?— Cory Fretland (@CoryFretland) June 28, 2013
I think you're absolutely right. He's such a good blocker on the line, there's really no need to change his position up. His advantage comes from being too fast for the linebackers to cover him. Lining him up at wide receiver would negate those advantages.
The other problem is that Vernon does odd things when catching passes, like jump when there's absolutely no reason to or let the ball come into his gut when he could have caught it with his hands. That is fine when Ray Lewis is 5 yards behind you on a crossing route, but it's another story when Champ Bailey is running alongside you. Any decent cornerback is going to make up for their size disadvantage and knock those balls out of his hands.
This could have been a bit of subterfuge by Coach Harbaugh or it could simply be getting the man some more reps catching passes, hopefully to cure those above mentioned issues. You see how Anquan Boldin gets every ball thrown his way? It's from having great, strong hands and great timing. If Vernon had those, not only would he be able to leave every linebacker in his dust, he'd catch the ball in stride instead of giving the defenders a chance to make a play. Touchdown 49ers!
Do you think the 49ers will have more or less players on the Top 100 next year? #Channel49— Marco (@DreamVillain97) June 28, 2013
We've got a lot of young talent. There are a few players that come to mind that could break into the top-100. This is also a bit of a popularity contest, and playing for a great team does get you noticed. Guys who were outside the list who could see their way on to it are Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati, Alex Boone or Ahmad Brooks. None of those guys are glory guys so they don't get noticed as much as others, but all received postseason accolades. Brooks made Peter King's All-Pro team. Another player who would have found their way on to it is Michael Crabtree. He, and many around the site, were pretty disappointed that he wasn't included this year. Alas, with his injury, he won't be making an appearance next year either.
Some guys could fall off the list. Anquan Boldin barely cracked the Top 100 and isn't getting any younger. But he's also expected to be our number one option in the passing game and figures to be our primary red zone threat with Crabtree gone. Both Justin Smith and Frank Gore are cemented on the list, but at their age, could see a drop off in play at any time. And let us not forget, injury has been fairly kind to us. Injury could wipe out a season in an instant.
I say Iupati makes the list next year, while one of those three falls off due to age or injury. Same number next year. Is that a cop out?
Do I have faith in Colt McCoy? The wording of your question is whether or not he could lead us to the playoffs. I think the answer is yes. I think there are any number of quarterbacks that, given an offseason with Harbaugh, could lead our team to the playoffs. Our defense and running game behind that offensive line are enough to see us into the playoffs.
But, we're not after a playoff berth, are we Elvin? We're after a Lombardi Trophy. Do I have faith in Colt McCoy to win a Super Bowl? At this point, no. I haven't seen enough from him to make me think he could have been there in Colin Kaepernick's place during the postseason, destroying Green Bay singlehandedly, guiding us to the comeback against the Falcons and nearly doing the same against the Ravens. A few more years in the system and he could be that kind of backup, but how often are backups able to lead their teams to the promised land? Jeff Hostetler and the once-in-a-lifetime story of Tom Brady. Anyone else?
In 2012, the 49ers went 6-1-1 at home and the Seahawks went undefeated in Seattle, going 8-0. Both teams won their home game against one another last season, and the same thing could happen in 2013. CenturyLink Field in Seattle is arguably the hardest place to play in the NFL, it gets really loud and makes it very difficult for an opposing offense to function effectively. Candlestick Park isn’t a friendly environment for an away team either, especially when the Seahawks come to town. I expect the Niner faithful to be extremely loud for the Seahawks game after all the buzz about them this offseason and ridiculous comments by their players about Coach Harbaugh, 49ers fans hate the Seahawks. Right? I give the edge to both home teams to win on their turf, but hoping for a 49ers sweep of the Hawks in 2013.
#channel49 Is Kaepernick a 1st round fantasy football pick?— Elvin Pritchard (@ElvinPritchard) June 28, 2013
I do believe Colin Kaepernick is worthy of a first round selection in fantasy football drafts this season. There aren’t many quarterbacks who will have the amount of fantasy points Kaep will put up each week. I’m a big proponent of drafting a quarterback who gets rushing yards, Tim Tebow was even a decent fantasy option in 2011 for that reason. Kaepernick not only can run for big yardage and get touchdowns using his legs, he’s also going to put up solid numbers passing. I also expect Kaepernick to have an interception total in the single digits, which means not many fantasy points being deducted. CK7 is as solid a pick as any in this draft, and if he’s there at the tail end of round one, don’t hesitate to pick him, he’s going to win you some matchups. With the drafting of Kaepernick, you have double the reason to root for him, so take a chance on Kaep!
Assuming first their skills would translate, what non-football athlete would you put on the Niners (saying Okoye is cheating) #channel49— Jester DWMC (@NinerFanWG) June 28, 2013
An NBA champion, Lebron James at tight end! Lebron is one of those "freak" athletes that has insane size, strength, and speed. I would love to see James in the redzone, leaping higher than anyone has before, hauling in some ridiculous touchdown grabs. Of course, you have to factor in whether Lebron could take a hit or not, is he tough enough to play in the NFL? Those are questions we will never know and we can only sit here and speculate, but I imagine King James could stay on a 53 man roster for a while at the very least. The other choice for me would be Usain Bolt, he’s the fastest man in the world and could be unstoppable if he was able to catch a ball and beat press coverage. Who would be your choice?