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Golden Nuggets: Special Teams, Tight Ends and More

Hello people. It's that slow time of the year still. The calm before the storm that we all love. Camps will be beginning soon and we won't be forced to endure the non-stories and wild speculation that make up the dull months. I mean, would you rather read about the 49ers 3rd string tight end or read about the MLB All-Star game (congratulations to the Giants on the NL squad who absolutely killed it)?

What was your favorite non-story of the offseason? Was it Alex Smith vs the Carolina Panthers? Patrick Willis and the Madden Curse? A.J. Jenkins and his need to get stronger (unlike every single other rookie in the entire league? Or was it Randy Moss not getting fired from his new job during his 90-day probation period? Am I forgetting something?

On to the real news...

Matt Maiocco tackles (get it?) the special teams unit. Last year, the NFC Championship game notwithstanding, the unit was one of our strengths, helping us win the valuable battle for field position. This year, both Andy Lee and David Akers can be expected to deliver, though we hope to use Akers a lot less. All eyes will be on the return game. Ted Ginn Jr. was resigned on a one-year deal and is expected to handle the return chores while Kyle Williams is expected to be kept as far away as possible. | Maiocco on the Niners special teams. (Maiocco)

The 49ers ran a lot of two tight end sets last year. Both Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker featured prominently in the passing game. I would expect the units combined production to fall as the 49ers get more out of their WRs in the passing game. Of course, they'll still be invaluable helping pave the way for Frank Gore and Co. | Camp preview: tight ends. ( has a list of 6 predictions. One of them absolutely stinks. They have the 49ers going 0-2. Now, we all know we open the season against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Predicting that we lose that contest is no stretch of the imagination. I have us losing that game. But losing at home to the Lions? Have they improved more than we have? We were definitely the better team last year, beat them on the road, and we have them at home in game 2. | Assorted predictions for the upcoming season. (

Grant Cohn has an article about the evolution of the 49ers offense. He quotes an article by Greg Cosell which explains why running the ball and controlling the clock are doomed to fail in the modern game. The premise of Cosell's article is that a ground-based offense lacks a viable QB. While the league has trended towards passing for years now, I don't necessarily think you need a top 5 QB to win a Super Bowl. | Is the 49ers offense evolving?

Being a Sheep

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