NFL insider notes: Time running out for Kyle Shanahan, 49ers; Justin Fields showcases elite potential, more

The San Francisco 49ers usually are not who folks thought they might be. And probing questions are being requested of the pinnacle coach. For good purpose.

The Kyle Shanahan regime shouldn’t be midway by means of its fifth season, and, alas, issues usually are not going effectively. It is, frankly, wanting far an excessive amount of like 12 months 1, or 12 months 2, solely he isn’t the youngest head coach within the NFL anymore and the feeling-out course of is lengthy up to now. The adjustment section ended years in the past. And, so far, that wistful season of 2019 — with the 13-3 report and the Super Bowl loss — looks like an terrible very long time in the past.

The protection has been horrible, and trending decidedly within the unsuitable course since Shanahan (make no mistake — he has been and all the time might be operating the present there till/until he is fired) determined to not make stud inside defensive lineman DeForest Buckner a $20M/yr man. The run recreation is a shell of what it was once. The pop-gun offense is not scaring anybody. All of their elaborate smokescreens and spy-novel ranges of offseason intrigue about which quarterback they have been mortgaging their future to maneuver up and draft appears just a little too cute, particularly since Trey Lance has barely performed for the sputtering outfit. And what appears to be resonating most loudly within the Bay Space proper now could be Shanahan’s 32-44 profession report (.444) and the actual fact he’s 9-15 for the reason that 49ers blew their result in the Chiefs within the Tremendous Bowl.

In the end, you’re what your report says you’re. And that ain’t good. And no quantity of play-calling wizardry can change that in a single day. This ain’t a post-Tremendous Bowl hangover. This is not a blip. That is an almost 25-game pattern dimension for the reason that large collapse in opposition to KC, and, effectively, the 24 video games previous that wonderful 2019 season weren’t particular, both (10-14).

The fact right here is that roughly a 3rd of Shanahan’s wins (10) got here in September-November of 2019, and we are able to level to quarterback play and accidents and no matter different mitigating elements you wish to embrace, however take note all of these gamers (and dangerous quarterbacks) have been there within the first place as a result of Shanahan wished them there. Once more, that is his present. GM John Lynch was a curious selection on the time — coming straight out of the printed sales space — and he was there at Shanahan’s behest. No revisionist historical past right here.

Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals (backup quarterback included) was not skilled grade, and so they have allowed 83 factors in three video games since their bye and haven’t got a lot to depend on on offensive, both. Sunday’s effort seemed like a workforce in misery, turning what might have been a reboot to their season into the best SOS up to now. It was inexcusable. They regularly placed on dire shows at house. And the second-half schedule does not look like particularly variety on paper, both.

Proprietor Jed York already doubled down on this administration workforce by extending their already prolonged offers by one other six years in 2020. His offense has by no means completed above 18th in factors throughout his time there save for the magical 2019 experience (second), they have been a middling workforce operating the ball the final two years, and one would suppose Shanahan would flip his focus decidedly to creating Lance ASAP.

It is fairly clear if they’ve any probability of salvaging this season, Shanahan goes to have conjure his offense to a lot greater heights. If he’s, certainly, a wizard with the play sheet and quarterbacks, effectively, now could be the perfect time to point out it. As a result of time is operating out on one other 49ers season, they’re clearly essentially the most disappointing workforce within the NFL (Miami was all the time fools gold), and this wreaks of the type of six-win campaigns which have come all too steadily in San Francisco.

It is nonetheless very early for the quarterback class of 2021, however I am undecided how any neutral observer can watch all of them play and never conclude that Justin Fields has the prospect to be essentially the most particular of the bunch.

Mac Jones is the steadiest and the most secure and his flooring shouldn’t be too deep; however he does not have the transcendent expertise Fields possesses, both. Every week you’ll be able to see Fields develop and adapt and advance, even regardless of a number of the main offensive line and training points round him. He made 5 performs at Pittsburgh on Monday evening that perhaps a half dozen quarterbacks on this league could make, and he’s solely getting began.

By the top of the season, if the Bears are available in the market for a brand new coach and GM, you will notice candidates swooning and begging to get an viewers. Yeah, it has been a very long time for the reason that Bears have been annual challengers, nevertheless it’s been your complete lengthy and storied historical past of the franchise since they’ve had something near a quarterback with this skillset on the roster. I would not rule out a rookie of the yr marketing campaign, even with a late and rocky begin.

Steelers‘ passing woes, Payments’ O-line, Brady’s MVP possibilities

The Steelers have righted their season, for certain, however the scope of the passing recreation stays very pedestrian at greatest, the offensive line remains to be very a lot a piece in progress, and I’ve a tough time seeing them do severe harm in January, although they’ve nearly as good an opportunity to get there as anybody in a wide-open AFC … Spoke to some execs early within the season who confronted the Bills and believed their offensive line had regressed and was going to be a giant downside. Seems they have been right. Very tough to kind one thing like that out when at any given time 4 of your 5 offensive linemen is perhaps struggling … Of all of his accomplishments, the place would Tom Brady profitable an MVP at rattling close to 45 years previous rank? Needs to be means up there, proper? I would have him and Lamar Jackson as my favorites on the midpoint of the season, and if Brady finishes this season something near the best way he closed out 2020, he is perhaps including extra {hardware} to his overflowing cabinets. | NFL insider notes: Time operating out for Kyle Shanahan, 49ers; Justin Fields showcases elite potential, extra


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