Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Trent Baalke Shows His Talent With Eric Reid, Dashon Goldson

The San Francisco 49ers travel to the Sunshine State take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday. This marks the first time the 49ers will face their former Pro Bowl safety, Dashon Goldson. This past offseason 49ers GM Trent Baalke faced a tough decision on Goldson: pay or let walk? Baalke decided to do the latter, in no small part due to two large salaries at the inside linebacker position and two young players – Aldon Smith and Colin Kaepernick – that are about to receive large paydays (assuming Smith still gets his, eventually, after his substance abuse issues).

Goldson played phenomenally for San Francisco the past couple of years, and replacing him seemed a very tall order. Many 49er fans and NFL experts expected a significant drop-off in the secondary with his absence. When the 49ers signed Craig Dahl from the St. Louis Rams a collective “uh-oh” seemed to emanate from 49er Faithful everywhere. This great defense finally would start to crumble. With Chris Culliver’s injury, Justin Smith coming off of an injury that hurt his effectiveness, and Carlos Rogers‘ continuous sliding, it seemed like a great defense might revert to simple quite good or even, shall I say, above average.

Fortunately, with a jump of 13 spots in the first round, Baalke proved his worth yet again — he needed to after that whole A.J. Jenkins debacle — with the drafting of a potential defensive rookie of the year in Eric Reid. Reid has played lights-out opposite Donte “Hitner” Whitner. The defense has actually improved with him in the line-up, while Goldson may have some more cash, but is only recently experiencing wins again. Baalke and Jim Harbaugh have done a good job getting this team together. Complain all you want about lack of receiving weapons or defensive line depth, but no team is perfect and the 49ers will hopefully get even better in the next couple of years.

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Tags: 49ers 49ers 2013 Dashon Goldson Eric Reid Niner Noise San Francisco 49ers Trent Baalke

  • MosesZD

    “Complain all you want about lack of receiving weapons or defensive line
    depth, but no team is perfect and the 49ers will hopefully get even
    better in the next couple of years.”

    I don’t. We have one of the best TEs in the NFL (#3 at Football Outsiders). We have Boldin who is ranked #8 at Football Outsiders (despite the QB problems) which is very close to Crabtree’s rating during last year’s breakout. We have a couple of good pass-catching scat-backs in the mold of Lionel ‘Little Train’ James, or your favorite scat back from more modern times, for 3rd downs.

    Further, our receivers are among the most sure-handed group in the NFL this year with a 4.5% drop rate with just 15 drops on the season. Far better than many QBs, with much more impressive completion percentages have. Peyton Manning, for example, has a 6.1% drop rate and a total of 34 drops. The much maligned Alex Smith has suffered from 27 drops and a 5.9% drop rate. And they’re not the only ones.

    No, the issue is last year Kaepernick had a fluke passing split in the 20-to-30 range — almost 80%. None of you thought to question whether what he did was a STREAK. Well it was.

    Now he’s regressed to the mean and you blame the receivers.

    • loverpoint

      No I blame the Offensive coordinator for not throwing the ball more often. The 49ers in the first 10 games of the season never made an honest attempt at signing a WR to fill in for Crabtree.

    • Drclaw99

      Sigh..this situation has multiple causes.Yes, there are two good receivers, but its not hard to get defensive bodies on both or disguise the coverage enough to give a young QB pause. AB has already mentioned this several times. Second, the scat back concept does not fit with the power running scheme and it would be pretty easy to predict the play. They need to use LMJ more so this is less obvious, but his blitz protection is suspect. Third, the 9ers run very few 3 receiver sets, and for some reason stay away from the short to int crossing routes, and Gro can be very predictable at times. Plus, the wides do find it hard to get separation from press coverage. AB relies on his body position, and MM does not get open consistently one on one either. Last, CK is running a very complex offense, with 3 plays given to him, and he’s still learning to read the better Ds. Plus, he most definitely needs a little more touch and to more quickly go through his progression.

      Nobody is placing all the blame on the receivers, but it’s not all CKs fault, and his struggles are not surprising given his age, and that he doesn’t need to throw 40 times per game for the team to win. I think we can reasonably expect he will get better regardless of the talent around him.

      • Douglas Totten

        I agree with you on using LMJ more. Whenever he comes in the play options are fairly limited and easy to guess. Hopefully Crabtree, when he recovers more from that Achilles injury, will be able to get some separation.

  • loverpoint

    I think I would have used different terminology to describe Reids play other than ” Lights Out ” especially with his 2 concussions .

    The secondary has been in disrepair for over a decade and still needs some players. At this point in the season I don’t see Rogers or Brown returning next season.

    I don’t think Baalke has to worry about his job as long as Jim Harbaugh is the coach.

    • Douglas Totten

      Good point. I’ll be more careful with wording next time.