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A BIG MOVE COMING FOR THE 49ERS?

When I first heard Alex Smith was on the trading black, I thought every team in the NFL would call the 49ers bluff and simply wait until he was released. After all, if San Francisco kept Alex on the roster after April 1, they owed him over $7 million….

And if they released him before April 1, they owed Smith $1 million….

So why not wait until the inevitable release, force the 49ers ownership to fork over $1 million and then sign him as a free agent?….

For this reason: Waiting until he’s released puts you up against every team in the NFL; thus raising his value….

Granted, most of the teams wouldn’t make an offer, but three or four will; so why bid against them when you don’t have to?….

Of the teams rumored to be in the mix (Jets, Jaguars, Cardinals, Chiefs), you could eliminate Arizona right away; because unless they made a ridiculous offer there was no way San Francisco would trade Alex to another team in the division; then having to face him twice a year….

The Jets would seem to be a good fit, except for one thing; Mark Sanchez is owed $11M next season and they are not going to pay that to a back-up QB….

As for Jacksonville, they’ve made a big investment in Blaine Gabbert and didn’t seem like a likely bidder….

That left the Chiefs, with new coach Andy Reid, as the most likely trade partner….

Sure enough, the Chiefs stepped up and offered a second round pick for Smith, which was quickly accepted. So now the 49ers problems seem to be solved; there won’t be any controversy in camp, they don’t have to pay Alex $7 million to be a back-up and they received the 34th pick in the draft, far better than they thought they’d get….

So now the question is this; Which team got the better of the deal?….

In my opinion, the 49ers made a steal, because I’m still not sold on Smith. Sure, he was the most improved player in the NFL in 2011 and was playing well again this season, but I think he’s a product of Jim Harbaugh’s developmental skill….

Once he gets away from the Harbaugh comfort zone and with a bad Chiefs team, I believe he’ll return to the pre-Harbaugh Alex Smith….

Now that the 49ers have an excellent pick to deal, it’s time to address the secondary, a glaring weakness which surfaced in the post-season….

And the guy to step in and fix the problem is the best cover corner in the NFL, the Jets’ Darrelle Reavis….

Reavis is going into the final year of his deal and the word in New York is the Jets want to move him. They also seem to be afraid of his off-season ACL surgery….

Darrelle reportedly wants a $16 million a year contract, which is ridiculous. No team in the NFL is going to pay him that, so he’s going to have to come down in his price. And with draft picks at a premium, the 49ers should use that 2nd round pick from the Chiefs in a package to trade for Reavis….

I know the knee injury is a concern, but as Adrian Peterson showed last year, ACL’s aren’t what they used to be. Peterson injured his knee in the final game of the 2011 season, but shocked everyone by being ready for Week One and returning better than ever….

In fact, he was so good he almost broke Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record….

Question: Does Reavis have the drive, the mental toughness and work ethic to make a Peterson-like recovery? Darrelle reportedly had an attitude problem in New York and some in the NFL say he plays only as hard as he needs to….

He’s definitely not Adrian Peterson when it comes to work ethic, but his injury occurred earlier in the season than Peterson’s and he should be 100% by next year….

And if you can get the best cover corner in the NFL, and one of the best ever, for draft picks and a reasonable price, the 49ers have to pull the trigger….

Any San Francisco fan who watched the secondary against the Packers, Falcons and Ravens would agree….

SUPER BOWL NOTES

As a lifelong 49ers fan, I was expecting a Super Bowl victory and was bitterly disappointed with their 34-29 loss to the Ravens. Just like last year, when San Francisco fumbled away the NFC Championship to the Giants, it was mistake after stupid mistake; form both the players and coaches….

On the Ravens first possession they faced a third-and-nine and, under pressure, Joe Flacco threw incomplete. But instead of holding Baltimore to a field goal, the 49ers Ahmad Brooks foolishly jumped offside and gave Flacco another chance….

Sure enough, Flacco threw a touchdown pass on the next play and it was 7-0 Ravens….

On the Niners next possession, they drove down the field and were inside the 10-yard-line when Colin Kaepernick spotted a wide open Randy Moss in the back of the end zone for a certain touchdown. But Michael Crabtree, who was standing on the goal line and thought the pass was intended for him, leaped into the air and deflected the ball away….

So instead of a touchdown, the 49ers settled for a field goal and blew another opportunity….

The funny thing was neither Jim Nantz nor Phil Simms brought up the obvious; that Moss was the intended receiver and Colin had him for a TD. Instead, Simms criticized Kaepernick for “overthrowing” Crabtree….

Another crucial mistake came midway through the third quarter, when Kaepernick was up against the play clock and wasted a time out. As soon as this happened, I threw a shoe at the TV and said to myself this clock management blunder would come back to bite them….

After Kaepernick led the 49ers to two TD’s and cut the lead to 28–20, San Francisco got the break they were waiting for when Ray Rice fumbled in 49ers territory. Then, on fourth down, the dreaded Joe Nedney predictably missed a 38-yard-field goal, only to be bailed out by a rouging-into-the-kicker call….

But instead of marching the ball half the distance to the goal and giving the 49ers a first down, the referees incorrectly called it running into the kicker, which carries only a five-yard penalty….

Since Nedney’s leg was in the air, it was obviously roughing and the zebras blew the call. But since it was ruled running into, it was now fourth-and-two at the Baltimore 15…

The decision here was obvious; this is the Super Bowl, you must play to win and have to go for it on fourth down….

The Ravens were on the run, shell shocked, tired and ready to break; so it was time to put them out of their misery. Instead, Harbaugh chickened out and blew a golden opportunity….

By showing cowardice, though, Harbaugh lost all of his team’s momentum and gave the Ravens tired defense a much needed boost by settling for a field goal….

Rejuvinated by Jim’s gutlessness, the Ravens offense came back to life and marched down the field for a field goal, taking a 31-23 lead….

With nine minutes left, Kaepernick raced down the sideline for a touchdown, cutting the lead to 31-29 and setting up a two-point conversion attempt…

I agreed with the decision, but the play call was terrible; an abortive fade pattern to Moss which had no chance of working. With the Ravens showing blitz, Kaepernick could easily have raced outside for a score; but rushed the play and lost another golden opportunity….

After a Baltimore FG made it 34-29, the 49ers got the ball back with four minutes left and a chance to win. At that moment, I tweeted it’s times like these which make legends and destiny was in Colin’s hands….

Like the great player he is, Kaepernick marched San Francisco down the field and had a first-and-goal on the Ravens five-yard line with two minutes left….

This is where Jim Harbaugh again made series of mistakes in play calling and clock management….

With young Kaepernick running all over the place against a tire defense, the situation screamed for a read option….

Instead, on first down, a straight ahead run was called with Frank Gore; which was predictably stopped for no gain….

On second down it was a low percentage pass which fell incomplete….

Before third down, Kaepernick wasted another time out as the play clock wound down; putting San Francisco in a terrible position if they didn’t score a touchdown. Then, Kaepernick inexplicably threw a pass to Michael Crabtree on the three-yard-line, which he bobbled and dropped. This was another play which made no sense, because even if Crabtree caught it he was short of the goal line….

Now, with 1:50 left, it was fourth-and-goal at the five-yard-line and the 49ers had only one time out remaining. Which means it was either a touchdown or you lose….

With the Ravens showing blitz and the Niners not ready to make a play against it, this was the time for Harbaugh to call a time out. Since he’d foolishly wasted two already, the third one meant nothing as far as winning or losing; so why not call a time out, change the play and set something up which would win the game?….

Instead, the 49ers snapped the ball, the blitz came and Kaepernick was forced to rush a fade pass to Crabtree in the right corner of the end zone….

Now came another controversy; did the Ravens commit pass interference or holding on the play? Obviously the answer is yes, because the Baltimore defensive back grabbed, held and interfered while the ball was in the air…

For some reason, however, the nutless official didn’t have the courage to throw the flag and the game was over….

Because Jim Harbaugh had wasted two time outs and butchered the clock, there was nothing he could do as the Ravens milked the clock, took a safety and ran out the game….

Had Harbaugh not foolishly burned those time outs, they would have forced the Ravens to punt out of their own end zone with minute left, giving them a great chance to win….

Clock management, clock management, clock management….

So yes, we can blame the officials for not throwing a flag on that fourth down play; and had he thrown the flag the 49ers would have won. But in my opinion, the 49ers lost because of three reasons:

1) Jim Harbaugh’s inexplicable, gutless decision to kick a field goal on fourth-and-two from the Ravens 15-yard-line with three minutes left in the third quarter. As mentioned earlier, the score was 28-20, the 49ers were on a roll and the only decision was to play to win. Because when you chicken out and play not to lose, you lose.

2) Harbaugh wasting two time outs, which cost him dearly and when he needed them the most, at the end of the game. Clock management, clock management, clock management.

3) The inexplicable play calling on the 49ers final possession on the Baltimore five-yard-line. Not one of the calls made any sense and even a lifelong 49ers fan like myself isn’t going to blame the referees for the loss.

Clock management, gutless decisions from Harbaugh and awful play calling are the reasons the Vince Lombardi isn’t on its way to San Francisco….

By the way, did you see the Ray Lewis interview with Shannon Sharpe before the game? Incredibly, Ray insinuated the prosecution might have missed some crucial evidence during his 2000 double murder trial and then said it was God’s will that that he won the Super Bowl after beating the rap….

Even the most hardened, loyal, delusional Ray Lewis apologists couldn’t defend him on this one……can they?….

And after hearing this self-serving, condescending interview, can ESPN possibly still hire him?….

In case you missed the interview, go to the USA Today site and read Chris Chase’s column. And if you’re not pissed off after reading it, I’d be shocked….

NOTES ON A SCORECARD

After watching the 49ers get dismantled by the Giants on Sunday, the same problem surfaced which hurt them last season; their inability to finish drives and score TD’s against good defenses….

Like last season, the Niners are great between the 20′s, moving the ball consistently down the field; but when they get to the red zone and the field shortens up, they’re settling for field goals….

In the off season, San Francisco signed Randy Moss to remedy the problem; correctly thinking they needed to get faster at wide receiver and desperatley needed someone to stretch the defense….

As much as I like Jim Harbaugh, though, he’s not utilizing Moss properly and opposing defenses are again creeping up and taking away the medium range passing game….

On Sunday, Moss got behind the Giants defense and made a catch for 55 yards; after he’d caught a 20-yard pass with no defended within 20 yards of him….

Unfortunately, it was the only two times the ball came his way, allowing the Giants defenders to bunch up within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage; the same thing they did in the NFC Championship game last season….

The NFL is a copycat league and unless Harbaugh starts utilizing Moss and hurting teams with the deep ball, they’re going to struggle getting TD’s….

It’s no coincidence the 49ers led the NFL in field goals last season; they had no playmakers at wide receiver and couldn’t finish drives….

The defense is outstanding, the running game is very good and Harbaugh is an elite coach; but if you allow defenes to take away what you do best without punishing them, you’ve got trouble….

With Alex Rodriguez inability to catch up to a fastball and his reflexes fading, he has the look of a guy who’s used steroids his whole career and then tried to play without them….

Before steroids, a baseball players’ career was about done once he reached his mid-30′s; but PED’s allowed guys to remain dominant into their 40′s….

Unfortunately for guys like A-Rod, those days are done and mid-to-late 30′s are the norm again for careers ending….

The Seahawks are beginning to look like a team of destiny after their come-from-behind 24-23 win over the Patriots ysterday….

Whether it’s getting a horrible call to steal a game or making one improbable comeback after another, Seattle seems to have magic fairy dust all over them this year….

We’ll see if it keeps up this Thursday night in San Francisco….

If I’m Pete Caroll, though, I’m telling DB Richard Sherman to put a muzzle on the s*** talking. He was talking the entire game to Tom Brady and then afterward bragged that his team was “greater than the Seahawks,” and “we should have had five interceptions, not two.”….

After the game, Sherman ran over to Tom Brady, got in his face and talked s***. Then he posted the pictures on twitter….

Sherman is a good DB and an All-american for Harbaugh at Stanford, but he hasn’t doesn’t enough in the NFL to be running his mouth this way….

I love characters and admire his confidence, but his words are going to come back to haunt him….

Excellent news that Jonathan Vilma is coming off the PUP list and will play this Sunday; due to his appeal of Commissioner Roger Goodell’s one-year suspension….

Vilma has also filed a defamation lawsuit against Goodell and the NFL and hopefully has them on the run….

Hopefully Vilma wins his appeal and plays the rest of the season, then wins his lawsuit and takes millions from the Commissioner and the NFL….

Evidently Goodell didn’t know who he was dealing with when he rushed to judgement, without all the facts, when he tried to grab headlines with his ridiculous BountyGate nonsense….

Goodell wants to be portrayed as the Commissioner who is concerned about player safety; thus his jumping on the BountyGate rumors….

Now let’s hope Goodell gets embarrassed and exposed….

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WEEKEND NOTES

Watching the 49ers dismantle the Lions last night, I was again impressed by Alex Smith. In one year, he’s gone from a guy on his way out of the NFL to one of the top QB’s in the league….

I know that sounds strange, but he doesn’t make mistakes, throws accurately and seems to have total command of what Jim Harbaugh wants to do….

Harbaugh’s handling of Smith has been pure genius from his first press conference; where he announced Alex was going to be his starting QB and he believed he could be a top-flight player….

It was the first time anyone in the 49ers organization had shown any confidence in him and Smith had new found leadership. Harbaugh was also brilliant in bringing him along slowly, not permitting him to throw the ball over the place. Instead, he installed a simple, grind-it-out offense until Alex was comfortable and confident….

It worked beautifully and now the 49ers offense, with the addition of Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, is almost as effective as their defense….

Yes, Alex was BBQ’ed early in his career, as was the 49ers front office for passing on Aaron Rodgers; but in answer to that I have a question….

How good would Rodgers have been had the 49ers taken him and he had to start right away? And have to play for Dennis Erickson and Mike Singletary?….

Rodgers has won a Super Bowl in Green Bay and performed brilliantly, but he might have been ruined had he been thrown into the fire with a bad organization and coach….

Rodgers had the huge advantage of being drafted by a first class organization and also the luxury of learning from Hall-of-Famer Brett Favre for a few years….

It was the perfect situation for grooming a young QB and making sure he was ready before handing him the keys….

Smith, on the other hand, was asked to start right away with a terrible organization and inept coaching staff; almost guaranteeing failure….

Thank God John York has handed the reigns to young Jed and they were smart enough to hire Harbaugh….

One criticism of Harbaugh, though. They need to throw the ball to Moss more. In two games, they haven’t gone deep to him one time; which is crazy….

So far, he’s been open every time they throw it to him and he seems as fast as ever….

Saturday’s loss to Stanford was vintage Lane Kiffin; terrible clock management, getting outcoached and too stubborn to make any adjustments….

In the second half, as Matt Barkley kept dropping back and getting killed by the Stanford pass rush, I was wondering why Kiffin didn’t call a single screen pass. It would have been the perfect play to negate the rush and given the Cardinal something to worry about for the rest of the game….

Instead, Kiffin made no adjustments and continued to stick with a plan that hadn’t worked all night….

He foolishly burned a time out in the 3rd quarter and on the Trojans final drive they acted like they had all the time in the world; taking 20 seconds between plays and allowing the clock to wind down….

Again, his lack of clock management and game management skills came back to haunt him….

I know Lane is young, but he’s very stubborn and arrogant about his skills as an offensive “genius” and it doesn’t look like he’s learned anything….

USC can’t run the ball, their offensive line isn’t very good, the coach is the worst clock manager in college football and Stanford won’t be their only loss of the season….

I predicted Julio Cesar Chavez to win Saturday night’s fight against Sergio Martinez and for 11 rounds I looke dlike an idiot; as Martinez outboxed and outclassed the young Chavez….

But in the 12th, Chavez finally opened up and knocked Martinez down twice and almost out with left hooks. Only the bell saved Martinez from defeat and he would be wise not to grant Julio a rematch….

Yes, Sergio dominated most of the fight, but now JCC Jr. knows Martinez can’t knock him out….

And Julio also knows he can badly hurt Sergio and knock him out….

Martinez isn’t getting any younger and JCC is continuing top improve, so a rematch isn’t a smart play for Team Sergio….

Hopefully this was a great learning experience for Chavez and next time he won’t wait until the late rounds to start fighting hard….

In the meantime, Martinez should fight Canelo Alvarez; who predictably destroyed Josesito Lopez….

Make me the boxing commissioner and I’d order the following: Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao and Canelo vs. Martinez, with the two winners meeting a few months later….

Whomever comes out of all this would then fight Andre Ward for the Middleweight championship at 168 lbs….

Since I would eliminate all Super and Junior divisions, there would be no such thing as a 168 lb. division and Ward would have to fight at 160….

And if any of the fighters refuse, I’d suspend their boxing licenses and they wouldn’t be able to make a living until they complied….

WEEKEND NOTES

I know it sounds like a broken record, but I’m amazed at what Jim Harbaugh is doing in San Francisco. I knew he was a good coach and would turn things around, but 5-1 is beyond my expectations….

They’re not explosive and probably not good enough to win a road playoff game in Green Bay, but in a few weeks I might be changing my mind….

The 49ers have the best front seven in the NFL, evidenced by their not giving up a rushing touchdown the entire season. They also haven’t allowed an opposing running back to go for more than 65 yards and held their opponents #1 back to less than three yards per carry….

And where did inside LB NaVorro Bowman come from? He looks as good as Patrick Willis and gives San Francisco the best pair of ILB’s in the NFL….

On offense, they have arguably the best offensive line in the league and rushed for 203 yards against the vaunted Lions defensive front….

Lou Holtz says teams who win the battle of the line of scrimmage win 99% of the time, and if that’s true Harbaugh and the 49ers are in good shape….

It all boils down to Alex Smith continuing to play well; because in the playoffs your quarterback is going to have to make plays….

So far, so good; but it’s still hard to imagine Smith leading a team to the Super Bowl….

Harbaugh has done an incredible job nurturing Alex; bringing him along slowly to build his confidence and then giving him more responsibility. The results have been phenominal and hopefully the Super Bowl trophy will come back to where it belongs in a year or two….

As for the post-game incident between Harbaugh and Lions coach Jim Schwartz, I love that kind of leadership and passion from my head coach….

Schwartz has been ticking off everyone in the NFL with his fist pumping, cursing and yelling at opposing players, so it’s funny he’d take offense to a post-game handshake and slap on the back….

What goes around comes around….

A week or so ago, I received a press release about Dan Wheldon, asking if I wanted him as a guest on my show at 750 The Game in Portland. I quickly replied I’d love to have the Indy 500 Champion on and was told he’d be coming on sometime this week….

So when I heard he’d been killed in an Indy car race in Las Vegas over the weekend, I was shocked and saddened….

He seemed like an interesting guy, a good family man and tremendous driver….

Earlier this year, he was dropped by his team and without a ride for the Indianapolis 500; but at the last second was picked up by another team, found a sponsor and found himself in the race….

And not only did he compete, he wound up in Victory Lane; celebrating and drinking from a bottle of milk….

What a shame to hear the news and I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to meet him….

I don’t know anything about racing, but a lot of people who do are criticizing the Indy Car series and Jimmie Johnson says they should quit racing on oval tracks….

Evidently, these high banked tracks are built for NASCAR; while drivers are protected by heavy roofs, a cage and roll bar….

The Indy cars are lighter and not built for NASCAR tracks. Also, the critics say 34 cars was too big a field and put all the drivers at risk….

I’m certainly the last person to have an opinion on any of this, but it seems to make sense….

So Jamie McCourt has agreed to take $130M settlement in her divorce from Frank and let him have the team. Question: If it was this easy, why go through all the dramatics and pile up legal fees of $20M? Couldn;t have this been agree to a year ago, without the lawyers?….

Or did Jamie want Frank to jump through hoops, spend a fortune on lawyers and give him an ulcer?….

Judging by how simple this agreement sounds, it seems the lovely Jamie got what she wanted; to make a fool out of her husband and drain as much money as possible….

NOTES ON A SCORECARD

Just a few weeks ago, I was hoping my San Francisco 49ers would lose all their games, draft Andrew Luck and then turn the franchise around. After all, Alex Smith was never going to be any good, so why not lose them all, win the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes and then start winning Super Bowls….

A month later, the 49ers sit at 4-1 after a 48-3 thrashing of the Bucs, lead the NFC West and look to be a serious contender….

Forget “Suck for Luck,” let’s talk Super Bowl….

If not for a Week 2 giveaway against the Cowboys, San Francisco would be 5-0 and on their way to a dream season….

At 4-1, however, it’s still an incredible start and exceeded all my expectatons….

As for Smith, Jim Harbaugh has done a magnificent job; trusting him a little more each week to throw the ball downfield and make good decisions….

Evidently it was Mike Singletary’s fault that Smith played so poorly and all he needed was a better system and a coach who believed in him. Harbaugh announced Alex was his starter right after he was named the head coach and obviously knew what he was doing….

On Sunday, Smith went 11/19 for 170 yards, with three TD’s and no interceptions. On the season, Alex is among the leaders in QB rating and thrown for seven TD’s and only one INT….

I never thought I’d say this, but Alex Smith is on the way to becoming a good NFL quarterback….

Typical of the Harbaugh philosophy, the 49ers dominated the line of scrimmage; rushing for 213 yards while allowing only 86….

The 49ers have taken on the personality of their coach; tough, hard nosed, intense and a winner….

Going into the season, I wrote the 49ers had a Super Bowl-caliber defense and special teams; but lacked the QB and offense necessary to advance in the playoffs….

But now that Smith is playing with confidence and the offensive line is dominating opponents, I might have change my mind about the team not be good enough to get to the Super Bowl….

I still can’t imagine the 49ers winning a playoff game on at Green Bay in December, but who knows? Looking at the NFC, who is better than the Niners?….

I’ll give you the Packers, but other than them San Francisco seems capable of beating anyone; at home or on the road….

And if the 49ers get home field throughout the playoffs, which is a possibility considering their weak division, who knows?….

Okay, I have to stop; I’m getting too far ahead of myself….

But a guy can dream, can’t he?….

Yes, I was very critical of Al Davis over the years and took joy in the Raiders demise to the worst franchise in all of professional sports….

He was certainly an easy target; because he could be petty, vindictive, pig headed and cruel….

But he could also be generous and warm, as evidenced by all the old Raiders he kept on the payroll. I’ve read many stories about Davis hearing about a former player going through hard times and sending him a monthly check to get by….

Yes, the game had passed him by and the Raiders had become the laughingstock of the NFL; but in his prime there was not a better football man who ever lived….

I’d describe him as the Red Auerbach of the NFL; because of his background as a successful coach, talent evaluator, General Manager, Commissioner and owner….

There has never been an owner with his knowledge of football and there will never will be again….

In the 1960′s, ’70′s and ’80′s, he almost never missed on a draft pick, free agent signing or trade. Being a lifelong anti-Raider, it infuriated me that Davis always made good decisions and always had a great team….

Over the years his stubborness and pig headedness got the best of him and the once great Raiders sunk into the abyss. His inexplicable handling of the Marcus Allen situation ruined a team which was close to winning a championship; all because Al had some vendetta against Marcus….

Now that he’s gone, maybe Allen will finally write that tell-all book he’s been talking about for 15 years….

It always killed me to say this, but I’ve always admitted Al Davis, at his best, was the best football mind in NFL history. Guys he picked up off the scrap heap; like Jim Plunkett, Ted Hendricks, George Blanda, Lyle Alzado, Rod Martin, Daryl Lamonica, John Matuszak and countless others,became All-Pros and Super Bowl champions….

He had an uncanny knack of knowing who would be a great fit for the Raiders and watched the waiver wire like a hawk. He had a scout’s knowledge of every player in the NFL and as soon as a player he liked was released, he pounced and turned the guy into an All-Pro….

Being a 49ers fan I hated it, but always held a grudging respect for Davis and his organization….

When he got older and slowed down, his decisions were terrible and his refusal to hire a GM was suicidal for the franchise….

He’d become incapable of running the franchise once his health deteriorated and his team went from best to worst….

But again, when he was healthy and his mind was right, there was no one better….

Now that’s he’s gone, it’s going to difficult to despise the Raiders and revel in their defeats. My whole reason for disliking them was Davis and the criminal thugs known as Raider Nation….

If they sell to a new owner, hire a GM and become like everyone else, what’s to dislike?….

You know something, I’m going to miss him….

Even though I don’t like the Raiders, I couldn’t help but cheer for them yesterday in their emotional win against the Texans. With the face of the franchise gone, the team played hard, fought from behind and held on for a 25-20 win….

I was driving back from Chinook Winds Casino, listening to the game and enjoying the commentary of Greg Papa and Tom Flores. With the Texans inside the 10 and threatening to win in the final seconds, the Raiders intercepted Matt Schaub and won the game….

Moments later, as Papa and Flores described coach Hue Jackson dropping to his knees and crying, Papa got emotional and began to cry as he described the scene. When it was Flores’ turn, he too wept….

Without question, it was the most emotional, real and raw broadcast I’ve ever heard….

I’m not a Raiders fan, but felt a tear in my as well as I heard the broadcast….

R.I.P. Al Davis….

WEEKEND NOTES

I know winning ruins my “Suck for Luck” campaign and the 49ers dreadfully boring 13-8 win over the Bengals was tough to watch, but so far I like what I see out of Jim Harbaugh….

Sure, he doesn’t trust Alex Smith to throw downfield and runs a conservative offense; but with his lack of skill position players he doesn’t have much choice….

What I like most is his team plays hard for 60 minutes, has excellent special teams and a Super Bowl caliber defense….

And now that “Suck-for-Luck” is down the drain, why not go for an NFC West championship? Granted, the 49ers aren’t good enough to compete in any other division, but they have the good fortune of playing in the worst division in NFL history; where 7-9 was good enough to win last season….

I’m telling you, if they had a really good QB they could go to the Super Bowl….

San Francisco should be 3-0 after outplaying the Cowboys last week before losing in overtime and 8-8 is realistic….

During the pre-season, the Silver & Crap looked awful and I was thinking Alzheimer Al’s boys might be capable of 0-16….

To my surpise, the Commitment to Excrement looks like a playoff team after yesterday’s 34-24 win over the Jets….

Their secondary is terrible and I still don’t believe in Jason Campbell, but they’re dominant up front, on both sides of the ball, and should be 3-0….

The Chiefs are awful, the Broncos aren’t any good and the Chargers are coached by Norv Turner, so why not Drool Bucket Al’s team?….

They went undefeated in the AFC West last season and look like the best team….

It wasn’t another 400+ yard game, but I was more impressed by Cam Newton yesterday than in his first two games. Sure, he threw for all kinds of yards, but also made bad decisions in the 4th quarter which cost Carolina victories….

On Sunday, however, with his team trailing the Jags 10-8, Newton calmly led his team down the field and threw a TD pass, followed by another pass for a two-point conversion….

He didn’t have big numbers, but he got the number that counted; the Panthers first win….

I guess they should start printing Super Bowl tickets in Buffalo, because the Bills are 3-0 after picking off Tom Brady four times and defeating the Patriots, 34-31….

It’s also time to list Ryan Fitzpatrick among the NFL’s elite QB’s after 369 yards and two TD’s….

Speaking of blocking off the streets for a championship parade, how about the Lions? After trailing 20-0 at halftime, they roared back to beat the Vikings 26-23 in overtime; the third time this season Minnesota has blown a substantial lead and lost the game….

I didn’t think the Vikings would be in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, but at 0-3 they’re right in it….

What the hell are Pete Carroll and the Seahawks doing? At 0-2, with Tavaris Jackson at QB and a porous offensive line, there’s no chance they’re going to be any good. So why score a TD in the second half and then intercept a late pass from Kevin Kolb with a minute left?….

Losing is what the fans want and what ownership should want; because with Luck they could turn the franchise around overnight. And Carroll could beat Harbaugh over the head with Luck for the next decade….

Instead, Seattle did something really stupid; win the game….

If I were Paul Allen, Carroll would be in my office first thing this morning, with some ‘splainin to do….

After Denver’s 17-14 loss to the Titans, with Kyle Orton throwing for only 173 yards and two INT’s, it’s time to give Tim Tebow a chance to lead this team….

He played extremely well in his final three games last season and in my opinion gives the Broncos their best chance to win….

I know his mechanics aren’t textbook and he’s not your typical NFL drop back QB, but all the guy does is win and make plays….

Tebow is a winner, but John Elway and John Fox are too stubborn to make a change; after all, that would be admitting they made a mistake….

I think Michael Vick has a good case when he complains about no flags being thrown when he takes hits around the head….

Watching the Eagles loss to the Giants, I counted three times he was hit in the head right in front of a zebra, with no call….

Maybe it’s because he’s on the run and scrambling, or maybe the officials aren’t going to give him a break, but something is very suspicious….

But I have to give Vick a Man Card Violation for coming out of the game with a broken right hand; followed by his back-up throwing a pick which sealed the game for the Giants….

Michael broke his right hand, which shouldn’t make any difference because Vick is left-handed. Shoot the damn thing up, put on a light cast and get your ass back on the field….

There’s nothing wrong with his throwing hand; thus no reason he can’t play….TMd4 itijo

49ERS FINALLY DO SOMETHING RIGHT

After seven frustrating years of the York family making bad coaching hires, bad personnel moves and alienating their fans with their arrogance and frugality, it seems they’ve finally done something right….

After Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary, new owner Jed York made the right hire in Jim Harbaugh….

Sure, Harbaugh has never been an NFL head coach and the league is strewn with the bodies of failed college coaches; but in my opinion Harbaugh is different, for the following reasons:

1) He ran a pro-style offense in college, not some gimmick spread option that can’t work in the NFL. Harbaugh recruited big, strong offensive lineman and used a power running game, along with an excellent passing attack.

2) He obviously has NFL experience, first as a 15-year QB and then a two-year stint as an assistant coach with the Raiders. As a pro quarterback, he had to watch endless film, formulate game plans with his coaches and run an offense against NFL defenses.

3) He is an intense, tough, no nonsense guy whom his players will respect. He was called “Captain Comeback” for a reason; he was tough, composed and made big plays when it mattered.

As for the theory that college coaches can’t succeed in the NFL, I can name a couple of exceptions….

First, how about Jimmy Johnson; who followed an unprecedented run of success with the University of Miami by winning back-to-back Super Bowls with the Cowboys. And it was really three, because Barry Switzer won his Super Bowl with Johnson’s players, coaching staff and system….

But the greatest example another Stanford coach whom was hired by the 49ers in 1978: Bill Walsh….

After a pretty good stint coaching Stanford, all Walsh did was win four Super Bowls and become, in my opinion, the greatest coach in NFL history….

You can also make a case that Walsh won five, because the title in 1994 was the result of Walsh’s system and players….

So for those who think college coaches can’t succeed in the NFL, I just named two who have won, in my opinion, eight Super Bowls since 1982….

As a lifelong 49ers fan, I’m thrilled with the hire and believe this will be the beginning of a march back to glory. But I’m also disappointed Andrew Luck decided to go back to Stanford for his junior season….

My dream was for Harbaugh to take the job and then trade up to draft Luck….

Well, maybe next year….

I have been highly critical of the cheap, incompetent York family, but like what I’m hearing from the new owner, 29-year-old Jed York….

After the season, he said losing was unacceptable and the only goal was to win the Super Bowl. He also included former owner Eddie De Bartolo in his decision-making process….

Then, he went out and hired the best coach available, for 5 years and $25M….

After all this, I’m now a Jed York guy….

Now let’s see if it stays that way….

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CLOCK MANAGEMENT, CLOCK MANAGEMENT, CLOCK MANAGEMENT

Week two finished and my 49ers are 0-2 for the first time since 2004. Yes, they played better in the 25-22 loss to the Super Bowl champion Saints, but once again they lost a game they should have won because of critical mistakes, red zone inneficiency, inept play calling, poor communication from the coaching staff and awful clock management….

Against Seattle last week, San Francisco got into the red zone on their first three possessions, yet led only 6-0 and lost momentum….

Same thing on Monday night, as turnovers and terrible play calling cost them dearly….

When you turn the ball over four times and also snap the ball over the quarterback’s head for a safety, you’re not going to beat a good team….

And I’ll add one more thing: Clock management, clock management, clock management….

With the 49ers down 22-14 and 2:12 left, they took over at their own 18 and needed to go 82 yards, score a touchdown AND make a two-point conversion to tie. They also needed to leave no time left on the clock for Drew Brees, who would certainly take his team down the field for the winning field goal if given time….

Alex Smith and the offense did a nice job in the hurry up offense, moving the ball down the field nicely and putting the Saints on their heels; the problem was the 49ers ran out of bounds FIVE TIMES on the final drive, stopping the clock and giving Brees plenty of time in case San Francisco tied the game….

Again, this is poor coaching, because Mike Singletary knows who is standing on the opposite sideline and you don’t want to give him an extra possession to beat you….

Sure enough, Frank Gore scored and the 49ers converted a two-point conversion to tie the game; but with 1:19 remaining Brees was certain to bring his team back….

Which is exactly what he did….

But had the 49ers managed the clock properly on the final drive and scored with less time remaining, maybe they win the game….

And if you win the overtime coin toss, Brees never gets back on the field….

Instead, they ran out of bounds five times, kept stopping the clock and allowed New Orleans to get the ball back with over a minute and two time outs….

Another example of why Singletary needs a new offensive coordinator and needs to be kept out of the offense completely….

Sure, he’s a good defensive coach and motivator; but he’s too conservative offensively, a terrible decision maker and lousy clock manager….

And his confidence in offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye is eventually going to cost him his job….

If I’m the 49ers GM, Raye gets fired today and Singletary is informed he no longer has any say in the offense….

The new coordinator will call the plays, manage the clock and have final say in any decisions regarding the offense….

There is still a huge problem, though: There’s nobody in the NFL who understands clock management….

Year after year, month after month and week after week it’s the same thing; coaches butcher the clock, cost themselves possessions and lose games….

And I sit there, in my easy chair, wondering why it’s so difficult for coaches to understand how to manage the clock properly….

People laughed at George Allen in the early ’70′s when he hired a special teams coach, but he had the last laugh when his Redskins consistently had the best special teams in the NFL and were winning games because of it….

Now every team in the NFL needs to hire a clock management coach, because if they can find someone who knows what he’s doing, they’ll win three extra games per season….

For some reason, coaches refuse to call time outs on defense, which cost them possessions. I’ll never understand, when the opponent is driving for the go-ahead field goal or TD in the closing minutes, why coaches don’t think ahead and save themselves precious time in case the other team scores….

Good clock management means assuming the worst and negative thinking….

And this is the crux of why NFL coaches don’t get it. Almost all of them are proponents of positive thinking and believe it would send the “wrong message” to their defense to call time outs while the opponent is nearing the goal line….

For some reason, coaches believe showing confidence in their defense equates to allowing the clock to run out while the opposition wins the game….

Again, good clock management means thinking negatively and assuming the worst. Think ahead, assume they’re going to score and prepare accordingly….

But of course, saving time for your offense and giving them an extra possession would “send the wrong message” and also “not show enough confidence in my defense.”….

So because you believe your defense will stop them means allowing the final seconds to tick away?….

Yeah, that makes sense….

Throw away the positive thinking tapes and forget about sending wrong messages, because that only gets you beat….

Managing the clock and saving time for the offense is simply good strategy and giving yourself the best chance to win….

Geez, it really is simple….

THINGS NEED TO CHANGE

Week one down in the NFL and I have the following observations: Boring, conservative, playing not to lose and too many field goals. Other than that, it was thrilling….

I’ve long said that gambling drives NFL ratings, not quality of play, and the first week proved my point….

I don’t know if it’s worrying about job security, pressure from the front office or just plain incompetence; but coaches around the league contiune to employ the “Let’s hang in there and try to win in the final minutes” instead of playing to win from the opening kickoff….

Every press conference is the same, with these dopes talking about “not turning the ball over,” “playing the field position game” and “letting our defense win the game.”….

A huge proponent of this is 49ers coach Mike Singletary, who endlessly preaches that not turning the ball over and not taking chances on offense are the keys to victory….

He’s wrong, of course, and Sunday’s 31-6 thrashing by the Seahawks proved it….

In the first quarter, the 49ers were inside the Seattle 10 three times; yet came away with only six points. Instead of taking a 21-0 lead and closing them out early, Singletary’s philosophy of playing it safe kept the Seahawks in the game….

And not only was the play calling atrocious, the coaching staff had a terrible time getting the plays in on time; resulting in mass confusion….

So instead of an easy win to open the season, Singletary’s incompetence caused momentum to change….

Another guy who doesn’t know what he’s doing is offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye; who last year ruined the season with inept play calling in a game at Minnesota….

With a little over a minute remaining, San Francisco was on the verge of a huge road win and needed only a first down to end the game. The problem was the Vikings had all three timeouts and Brett Favre; which meant getting a first down was the only priority….

Instead, Raye called three straight running plays up the middle, which were stuffed and forced the 49ers to punt. The right call in that series would have been a play action pass; which would have been wide open with Minnesota in an eight-man front….

But Singletary’s fear of a turnover or incomplete pass trumped common sense….

We all know what happened next; the Vikings got the ball and Favre won the game with a last second TD pass….

Wow, what a shock that was….

From that point on, Singletary was on my s*** list and I was looking forward to him getting fired….

Of course, it was Raye who called those plays; but the head coach wears headsets and has the final call. Singletary should have overruled the call and ordered his offense to play for the win; which meant a play action pass to Vernon Davis. He would have been wide open and then could have fallen to the ground and ended the game….

Nope, makes too much sense….

Clock management, clock management, clock management….

Last Sunday, Raye’s incompetent play calling and Singletary’s stubborn nature cost them a win….

I believe Mike is fine as a defensive coordinator and motivator, but he needs to stay out of the offense. If I owned the team, I’d call Mike into my office and tell him the following: “If you want to remain the head coach, Jimmy Raye needs to be fired and replaced by an offensive coordinator who attacks the end zone and plays to win. You will have no say in the offensive game plan and concentrate solely on defense. If you don’t like it, there’s the door.”….

A conversation, by the way, which should be held in most offices around the NFL….

There’s so much pressure on coaches that all they think about is not making mistakes; which means gambling and trick plays are out of the question….

Teams are punting inside the opponents 35 yard line, settling for field goals, punting on 4th-and-inches and throwing five yard completions on 3rd-and-10….

All the while being praised by the TV commentators….

John Madden used to boil when teams completed a pass on third down and still had to punt; because winning coaches know that the objective on third down is to keep the chains moving, not create a little more room for the punter….

Teams are so evenly matched in the NFL and a coach who understands clock management and offense is the way to get to the Super Bowl….

I hope Singletary is listening….