San Francisco 49ers

A Completely Objective Look At The San Francisco 49ers

by Trevor Freeman

With the NFL season starting on Sunday, I figured it was about time to talk about the Five-Time Super Bowl Champions.  Like Judge Wapner, I’m going to be as even-handed as possible when breaking the San Francisco 49ers down position by position.  I think it’s important as a writer to always maintain credibility and to avoid being a shameless homer.  Without further ado, let’s begin our look at the Greatest Franchise In NFL History.

When I watch Alex Smith play, I see a young Joe Montana.  Big-time college player who endured some rookie growing pains.  No reason why he isn’t a 19-Time Pro Bowler and a first ballot of Hall of Famer.  The 49ers also might have the best backup QB in the league in Trent Dilfer.  How many other teams have a second stringer that piloted a Super Bowl winner?

Position Grade:  A+

Running Back:  

It’s not that often you can say this about a guy drafted in a later round, but Frank Gore was quite possibly the most talented running back taken in the draft class of 2005.  I haven’t seen a running back with his size, speed and vision since Jim Brown was rambling for the Cleveland Browns.  Toss in that Penn State star Michael Robinson is backing him up and will be our “slash” and you have to say that running back will be an area of strength for the team.

Position Grade:  A+

Wide Receivers:

I’m not sure if we’ll ever see a tandem as good as Jerry Rice and John Taylor but Antonio Bryant and Arnaz Battle come close.  I’ll be quite honest.  When I look across the Bay and see Randy Moss playing, I laugh as I quip, “he’d be the 49ers third wideout.”

Position Grade:  A+

Tight End:

If I haven’t yet been bold in this column, then let me do so right now.  Vernon Davis will win Rookie of the Year this season as he leads the San Francisco 49ers to a sixth Super Bowl title.  Vernon Davis is like Jessica Biel’s breasts in “Summer Catch” in that he is a breakout performance waiting to happen.  Having Eric Johnson in reserve is just an embarrassment of riches.  

Position Grade:  A+

Offensive Line:

Outsized the 49ers ain’t.  Larry Allen is quite simply the greatest guard to ever play the game of football.  Some people say he’s past his prime.  Not me.  Jonas Jennings is a top five tackle and Justin Smiley and Alex Snyder are both serviceable.

Position Grade:  A+

Defensive Line:

Bryant Young.  Hands down a first ballot of Hall of Famer.  Some say he is getting long in the tooth.  I say he’s a better player now than he was in 1995 because of the valuable experience he has gleaned over his long career.  Let’s put it in perspective.  Young is the Sharon Stone of the NFL.  Sure Stone isn’t quite what she used to be, but if you watched “Basic Instinct 2” you can see that she can still “ride” with the best of them.  The rest of the line is also top-notch as Anthony Adams is very steady.  

Position Grade:  A+


Jeff Ulbrich.  Derek Smith.  Two gritty guys who are always steady and are sometimes spectacular.  Having them at linebacker is like having a case of Yuengling in the fridge.  Good times are always being had.  Keep an eye on rookie Manny Lawson as well.  You can make an outstanding argument that he was the best defensive player on North Carolina State last year.

Position Grade:  A+


When you analyze the 49er secondary on paper there’s only one reasonable conclusion one can make.  That this is the group that would give a great quarterback like Tom Brady or Carson Palmer problems.  There’s not a more underrated cornerback than Shawntae Spencer.  In fact you could say that he’s kind of like Charlie Murphy in that regard.  People forget that Murphy was in the “I’m Rick James b*tch” sketch just like people forget about Shawntae when talking about great cornerbacks.

Position Grade:  A+

Punters and Kickers:

Andy Lee AND Joe Nedney.  Nobody in the league has a better combination than those two.  Nobody.  It’s like having Ray Guy and Jan Stenerud in their primes.    

Position Grade:  A+


I think the Adolf comparison was offbase.  You can make an outstanding case that Mike Nolan is Bill Walsh, Bill Parcells, Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry, and Bill Belichick all rolled into one.  Most people look at Mike Nolan and see another great coach.  I look at Mike Nolan and see a guy who’s on the road to winning 8 Super Bowls and 24 consecutive Coach of the Year awards.  Bringing in Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator was a coup.  It’s not that often you can get a guy who was the architect of three Super Bowl winning offenses.  

Coaching Grade:  A+


I may be in the minority here, but I don’t see any way that the 49ers don’t go 16-0 and win a sixth Super Bowl this year.  San Francisco is like the Harlem Globetrotters and the rest of the NFL are like the Washington Generals.  I don’t want sound overconfident, but I’ve already put away money to buy my 2006 Super Bowl Champions hat, T-Shirt, sweatshirt, wool pullover, windbreaker, trash can, pennant, car decal and boxer shorts.  

(………..only a few more days until the first Sunday of football season.  Let our dreams and this season begin……….)

If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]  

12 replies on “A Completely Objective Look At The San Francisco 49ers”

Good God That was funny. The bit with the Wide outs was fantastic. Good luck man, hey I’m a Jet fan, I can relate. If everything breaks right… maybe we could get a Jet-Niner Super Bowl.  

Ummm, no. I don’t think so.    I have Frank Gore on my fantasy squads, but if you think the defense averages A+ all the way around, and at QB and receivers, and that O-line is about a C-.  Sorry, I don’t know if this article was meant to be serious or funny.  Funny it was.

Thank you! In a year where we had George Mason make the Final Four….I can honestly say that if the Jets and 49ers squared off in the Super Bowl, it would be the most wildly improbable event of the past three years.  In reality I think for both our teams, if things break right we can go 8-8, if not 6-10 is the probable mark.  

49ers I was just having a little fun.  I know that by mid-December I will be immersing myself in college basketball previews and trying to figure out if my alma mater has any shot at the tourney.

excellent What’s funny is that Redskins fans feel the way about their team every single year… and they’re not tongue in cheek grades for them.

Good stuff.

Vernon Davis better explode on the scene!

niners-jets If they squared off in the Super Bowl, it would be MUCH more improbable than Mason making the Final Four. In fact it might be the strangest event in the history of our planet.

Trevor… You were joking? I’m a 49ers fan and I absolutely agree with all your grades and predic…okay who am I kidding? That’s refreshing to hear another Niner fan laugh about how bad we are though. Don’t be fooled, we’ve got some potential! Give us a decade or two and we’ll be hoisting that sixth trophy!!

At least we have our A’s until October J.D. ….hopefully the A’s greatness can sustain us. I actually think the 49ers will be better than the 4-12 of last year. I am hoping for 8-8

Yes.. The A’s rarely fail us 🙂

Yeah, I think 8-8 is achievable…And who knows? Maybe Alex Smith will just explode this year and we will be a playoff team (Because we all know that Vernon Davis, Manny Lawson and Frank Gore are going to be pro-bowlers…duh) ((No, seriously they’re all gonna be good I think).

Young 49ers I honestly think Smith, Gore, Davis and Lawson will all be good.  I like what the 49ers have done the last two years in terms of hoarding a lot of good young players.  I’m not being tongue in cheek when I say that Vernon Davis might be the best tight end in the league by next year.  He’s a beast.  

After Week One……. I’m going to come right out and say it.  The 49ers have officially made the jump from “bad” team to “frisky” team.  Alex Smith looked great in the opener, Frank Gore looked great as well and Vernon Davis looks like he is going to be a beast.  

joke Just looking at the grades I figured you were blind when you gave your QB an A+…then I scrolled down a bit and saw every group was an A+ and knew it was a joke at that point.  lol.

Im not sure there is a great future for you as a writer for TheOnion.

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