I didn't post last week due to the Bye but there's some interesting things that developed this game so here we go:
The site is flooded with Pryor’s run which was manly but I’d like to talk about one word first:
(Pyror haters are already sharpening their knives thinking I’m talking about him and I will concede that his name will come up but I’m talking across the board here.)
#1 – The Defense
I read a lot of hate this off season about how we’d be regressing this season on this side of the ball. Rotoworld stated our DL was joke (RM was foolish for not drafting DL) and our secondary got worse. I’m not sure what games (if any) that they were watching last year but the defense is MILES ahead of last year’s pathetic underachieving group and it continues to improve every single week. That nonexistent pass rush that we supposedly did not have? Yeah it racked up 5 more sacks & 2 more picks yesterday. This group has been the most consistent and best unit on the field and it’s not even close.
#2 – The WR’s
It’s becoming increasing clearer that we need a go to guy who doesn’t drop balls. I would love to grab the next Megtron (still kills me that he should have been on our team) as our true #1. Fitz could be on the block but we need to not follow Al’s way of doing things at this time. This next off season will set up our team for the next ten years and if we fill at least 70% of our remaining gaps, we have a fair shot to add key guys the year after to make a real run and stay there. I like what Streater & Moore bring to the table but they are both maddenly (at times ) inconsistent. One last tid bit here – For the life of me I cannot figure out why we aren’t using Reece as this person (Even though we’ve heard time and time again that we will) he’s like an insanely fast TE who runs well. This leads me to my next point.
#3 – The OC
I like what Olson has done with the patchwork OL, a 1st time starter and the rest but he’s crazy inconsistent from game to game. Take yesterday for example, WTH were the screens passes? We had extreme success with quick timing routes all year, why call only 3 or 4 a game?? The Walsh Niners won SB after SB with nothing but quick posts, slants and outs, etc. It appears Pryor excels with these type of throws and our WR’s tend to do better given time to make a play after the catch. So why not play to those strengths? It seemed like due to some of the INT’s Olson & DA have decided reign Pryor in. SF made the same mistake with Kap early in the season and they looked really bad. They recently took the gloves off and Bam – they're looking like that SB contender again. Also, where’s the designed roll outs? We have a sick mobile QB who does well throwing on the move, why not purposely take advantage of that as well?? I’m seeing way too many option plays and runs to Dmac up the middle. There wasn’t enough variation yesterday IMO and that was a big reason the offense stalled. Now I’ve heard tell that this was by design and hey, a W is W. But we don’t have Alex Smith back there know what I mean? I hope we get back to where we were before the KC meltdown. Philly’s pathetic D will give Olson plenty of opportunity to cut it loose.
#4 – RB
Well I’ve been saying it since my first "Latest News & Observations" article. Dmac is worthless. Unless there’s holes big enough to drive truck through, they guy does nothing but go down at first contact. Jennings looked more decisive, more aggressive and more suited to what Olson is doing. Yes I understand our OL is hurting still but damn, we saw Bell shift to the outside many times when the middle was clogged and make a play –WTF can’t Dmac do that?? I really hope we deal him before the deadline and get something back cause there’s no way we sign him to a huge contract this off season and he doesn’t deserve one. This is one major reason why I’m pissed Murray is hurt. I was really hoping to see what this kid could do. This should be one of the first areas addressed via draft/FA pickups. We need a runner that teams don’t want to face not named Pryor.
#5 - Pryor
It was the good, the bad and the ugly with him yesterday. We already know the good. Busting Bo’s record – truly impressive. The Bad – He couldn’t make the offense go very much or very often. Not all of it was his fault, too many dropped catchable balls or breaking down protection and he really wasn’t given license to cut loose with his throwing it seemed. But 87 yards passing?? No bueno. I do not want to see this kid go backward as a passer and if the current thinking is to have him throw less, we might as well have signed Te_blow. Pryor can make great throws (See # 3) they need to put him in a position to make those throws and we’ll have a hellava lot more than 87 yards. The ugly, the coaches need to work with him more in regards to when the pocket breaks down a little more. That INT had shades of KC in it and was a makeable throw. I chalk this up to inexperience but I’m hoping the more he faces tough front lines applying pressure the more cool under pressure he becomes. We’ve seen hints of it on a lot of 3rd downs already this season but if he’s going to stay our starter for the next decade he must improve in this area. We don’t need the Brett Favre/Palmer approach here. I do still believe that he gets better with more time to make his reads before throwing and once we get all the guys back on the OL he should have that. He’s shown flashes with a makeshift line thus far so I’m excited to see him with more time.
Overall we’re still a work in progress and that was to be expected this season. We should have a good shot to win more games even if we have to follow KC’s blueprint to do it. Ugly wins are not atypical of Al’s squad’s but a win is win. I’m just hoping we figure out how to play just as hard offensively in the 2nd half as the 1st. The potential is there.