Happy schedule release day, where everyone on this website will predict that the 49ers will have a winning record in 2021, and a handful of you will forget to include the 17th game in your predictions.
“I think his greatest asset is poise at the moment of truth,” Lynch said. “When that ball’s in the air, he has an ability to locate it, which is not as easy to find as you might think for DBs. As they say, there’s a reason they’re playing defense. Ambry has a good skill for being very poised when the ball’s in the air.”
“He was a talented guy,” former Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown, who’s now at the University of Arizona, said in a phone interview last week. “Playing the ball, he just got better and better and better.”
And Kyle Shanahan’s hand-picked quarterback of the future is not a Matt Ryan clone, either. Ryan has put together a good career. But he has never had a season close to what he did with Shanahan in 2016, when he threw 38 touchdowns, seven interceptions, posted a passer rating of 117.1 and won the NFL MVP.
From the moment DeForest Buckner arrived in 2016, it was expected he would be with the 49ers for a long, long time. How the organization was not able to retain Buckner beyond his first contract still is a head-scratcher. One thing is for certain: The whole offensive plan for the 49ers in this game will be focused on not allowing Buckner to ruin the day.
“I just didn’t want them to get rushed into things because I was rushed into it because of the nature of Tampa Bay being a new team to play and I wasn’t ready to play and it kind of got after me a little bit,” Hedberg said.
According to Hedberg, that lengthy checklist includes spitting out long play calls in a huddle, learning and understanding protections, a “maybe” system in which the quarterback could run or pass based on the defensive front and a “kill” system that allows Lance to change from run to pass or vice versa based on coverages. All of those were among Lance’s pre-snap responsibilities.
“I was super blessed to have a coaching staff that trusted me and believed in me to make those decisions,” Lance said. “I think that was a huge advantage for me.”
This is practically a given. The 49ers versus the Seahawks in primetime never fails to be an enormous eye-grabber. Anytime these two teams face, it is almost always a battle for high stakes. Last year didn’t go as planned since half of the 49ers were backups. 2021 should hopefully be a refresher to what these two teams can do in a matchup.
Another given here. Rams versus 49ers was in primetime on Sunday Night Football in their first matchup last season. That game certainly was enjoyable and a battle. The past two seasons, Kyle Shanahan has owned Sean McVay. That is a storyline that can be easily pushed. Not to mention that McVay will have Matthew Stafford to help break his losing streak. 2019 and 2020 saw impressive primetime matchups between these two. I am sure the league will want to maintain what is working.
“Suppose the Niners want to convince the world they’re picking Jones, and suppose they’ve talked to several teams about Jimmy Garoppolo in trade, and suppose they’re trying to get a ransom for Garoppolo and suppose they think that if there are teams that want Garoppolo, they’ll pony up bigger packages than they’d offered,” King writes in his latest “Football Morning In America” column.
“There’s another reason, too, for the mystery: Let’s take Kyle Shanahan at his word that he and Lynch didn’t decide with certainty that Lance was the guy until about 10 days before the draft. So for a month and a half, Shanahan could have deep discussions with coaches/scouts about the merits of the three quarterbacks available at three, so he could hear everything good and bad about them. If everybody in the organization knows you’re taking Player X, they’re more likely to echo-chamber all the good stuff about Player X rather than being totally honest about all three.”