“First, Thomas bit on a stutter-and-go move by wide receiver Michael Wilson and was beaten for a 33-yard reception down the left sideline. On the next snap, with the 49ers in zone coverage, Thomas moved up to cover tight end Zach Ertz, although linebacker Dre Greenlaw was in the area, and Wilson was left uncovered for a 16-yard touchdown catch.
The 49ers have been using Thomas, who played 21 snaps Sunday, primarily when they move Deommodore Lenoir inside to play nickel corner, a position he shares with Isaiah Oliver. The 49ers could be forced to scrap their timeshare — and leave Lenoir to play exclusively outside — if Thomas has a few more busts.”
“For some reason, the Womack-at-nickel experiment ended last summer. He didn’t line up there at all this offseason despite all the tinkering at the position.
The plan at outside cornerback seems to involve veteran Anthony Brown, 29. He was inactive on Sunday as the 49ers are giving him time to A.) learn the defense B.) Continue to recover from his December Achilles tear.
If all goes well, the 49ers think they’ll have an experienced cornerback in reserve for the second half of the season. If they continue to experiment with Deommodore Lenoir at nickel cornerback, maybe it’s Brown, not Thomas, who enters the game on the outside from mid-November onward.”
“They used to have these Friday practices, and it was like, okay, the goal of practice is for the ball not to hit the ground,” Baldinger shared Tuesday morning on 95.7 The Game’s “The Morning Roast” show. “That was the whole Friday practice. The ball didn’t hit the ground. You got Jerry [Rice] out there. You got all the Hall of Famers out there playing, Brent Jones, whatever. The ball didn’t hit the ground....On Sunday, the ball didn’t hit the ground,” Baldinger noted. “It’s almost impossible to play that perfect like that. And it’s not like they’re throwing screen passes. It’s just beautiful perfection in what they did. And he makes it all go. He makes it all go. And his ability to make these snap reads, and get off it, and get to the next guy is about as fast as anybody in this business right now.”
“The 49ers rank in the lower third in the league with nine sacks in four games. Yet, their pass rush ranks No. 1 in PFF’s grading system. However, that status atop the league does not seem to pass the eye-ball test.
Nick Bosa is a dominant pass-rusher, for sure. He grades out highly, even if he has just one sack in four games. He constantly faces double-teams and has still managed to apply steady pressure. Bosa leads the team with 20 pressures.
Bosa and defensive tackle Javon Hargrave give the 49ers two outstanding pass-rushers.
After that, the 49ers are going to have to win their one-on-one battles or Wilks is going to have to scheme up more things to generate pressure.”
“One of the biggest things that Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Brian Griese wanted to see Purdy do in 2023 was have a better understanding of when to stand in the pocket and deliver and when to take off and make something happen off schedule. The goal wasn’t to take away Purdy’s creativity but to deploy it better, especially since he had the league’s best QBR from the pocket (74.9) in 2022.
Griese and Purdy spent time talking about what it takes to develop trust so Purdy can get through his reads and get the ball out quickly, trusting his pass catchers to be where they’re supposed to be when they’re supposed to be there and throwing with more anticipation.
Early returns suggest that Purdy has fully embraced that coaching point. He has improved his time before passing from 2.84 seconds (29th in the NFL in 2022) to 2.56 seconds (tied for sixth). Despite the ball coming out faster, Purdy is pushing the ball further down the field (7.2 air yards per attempt, up 0.2 from last year) and getting bigger plays (9.1 yards per attempt, up from 8.4 last year).
What’s more, a whopping 48.2% of Purdy’s pass attempts have gained a first down or touchdown, the highest percentage in the league.”
“Like last week, it’s kind of in good fun and humor. We all use pieces that we have in place, but we don’t go too far into it. We can know exactly what they’re going to do, because they don’t do too much, and they’re still really, really tough to go against just because they’re so talented,” Schottenheimer said. “We’ll definitely talk to Trey. He knows a lot of the pieces going against them in practice, but it doesn’t always help, as we learned [Sunday against the Cowboys].”