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A Conversation with Niners Nation

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A copy of John Gennaro's conversation with Fooch from Niners Nation from this week, previewing the San Diego Chargers game against the San Francisco 49ers and comparing the team's stadium situations.

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

John Gennaro:

QUESTION THE FIRST: When did the 49ers turn into the Jets and when do you see the team hiring Rex Ryan?

David Fucillo:

I don't think I would qualify the 49ers as quite the Jets, but it's certainly been a dumpster fire of a season. To fully be the Jets, this dumpster fire would have to last about a decade. That being said, I think a lot of 49ers fans are worried that could be where this team is headed. owner Jed York and GM Trent Baalke hit a home run with the Harbaugh hiring in 2011, but he was the only clear-cut guy at that point, so it was all or nothing. This time around, there is not that clear-cut coach that is a correct decision no matter how it eventually plays out

I would assume Rex Ryan will be coming through the doors in about 3 weeks!

David Fucillo:

Question the first from NN's end of things: In years past, the Chargers started slow, and finished hot. You guys got off to a great start, but have stumbled since. What's up?

John Gennaro:

well, nobody would expect the Chargers to compete if they lost Philip Rivers to injury and while they haven't lost Rivers, they've lost about as much offensive value in Nick Hardwick, Danny Woodhead, and Ryan Mathews (who has barely played his season but probably will against SF)

Hardwick was in charge of protection schemes and was the best offensive lineman. Woodhead was the true key to the passing game's effectiveness last year, and the running game has absolutely nothing left when Mathews is out.

In short, the defense has turned in its usual strong effort in the final month. The offense has been the problem, for the first time in years, and can't seem to get anything going for more than a series at a time.

That being said, the team could still find it's way into the playoffs and be dangerous (with a healthy Mathews). so there's plenty to play for. What is SF playing for besides pride and money and to avoid injuries?

David Fucillo:

There really is nothing else. They could "play" for an improved draft pick with two losses, but I also know Jim Harbaugh would prefer not losing games. But given the drama that has filled the air, there are probably some players who want to just get through these final two games, and move on. Not all of them, but there are definitely some that are checked out

How much of Ryan Mathews can 49ers fans expect? Is he playing at less than 100% and what does that means for a run game that statistically has not been any good?

John Gennaro:

we'll know about Mathews if/when he practices. he didn't practice at all last week and, since returning from missing half the season with injury, he's regularly played less than a half of football before leaving with a new injury. I think he's in that spot right now where he's having a hard time getting into game-shape without getting dinged up again.

is there a chance the players will play hard to try and save Harbaugh's job?

David Fucillo:

So that means it will basically be a whole lot of Philip Rivers? How has the pass protection been?

David Fucillo:

Awful. Absolutely awful. Worst offensive line in the league according to Football Outsiders for rushing the ball, and 28th in sacks allowed

Nick Hardwick went down in Week 1 and they've been a shitshow ever since. Both guards are awful. The RT (DJ Fluker) is one of the worst in the league this year. King Dunlap has been good at LT, but not great, and can't do it by himself.

if the WRs can't get open early (REALLY early), the passing game disappears along with the running game

any chance we see any changes to the 49ers starters for this game? Someone the team might want to see in an NFL game?

David Fucillo:

The coach and GM have said they're playing to win, and nothing will change in that regard, but injuries will impact the group.

Rookie inside linebacker Chris Borland sustained an ankle injury, and the team just signed former Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop. If Borland cannot play, as even the GM hinted on Monday, he will be replaced in the starting lineup by Nick Moody. The 49ers drafted Moody in 2013 primarily for special teams, but injuries to Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman and Chris Borland have elevated him into the starting lineup Right tackle Anthony Davis has missed a month due to a concussion, and the 49ers likely will continue trotting out Jonathan Martin. I don't know that Martin has much of a future with the 49ers.

John Gennaro:

I know I've asked this before, but can the Chargers have Corey Lemonier? Please?

David Fucillo:

The big question is at running back. Frank Gore suffered a concussion in the first half of Sunday's loss to the Seahawks. Carlos Hyde replaced him and then suffered a back injury, but thinks he'll be fine. Gore is a free agent after this season, and Hyde is likely the future at running back

The 49ers were rumored to be shopping Lemonier before the trade deadline. I don't see him getting much extra playing time, and he is likely going to be primarily a special teams player through the end of his 49ers contract. They drafted Aaron Lynch this year and he has looked strong when given opportunities

who exactly are your remaining receivers? Malcom Floyd, Antonio Gates, anybody else?

David Fucillo:

our receivers will be floyd and eddie royal. gates is obvious there. ladarius green will probably be used more

they don't have much in the way of WRs after royal. a special teams guy and a project from the CFL

John Gennaro:

hey, answer this for me

the big obstacle the chargers are facing in SD is that, to get money from the city/taxpayers, the chargers would need a 2/3rds majority vote to pass the ballot measure

which is viewed as being impossible, and is apparently a california thing did the 49ers face this issue in santa clara?

David Fucillo:

The 49ers got something like $150M or $200M in public money. The remaining billion comes from selling PSLs/tickets, naming rights, sponsors, and so forth

The 49ers did not get very much public money. They're still going to make a ton because they sold over $500 million in PSLs, but it's not entirely underwritten by taxpayers

John Gennaro:

was there a ballot measure that they pushed and got passed?

David Fucillo:

there was a ballot measure in 2010: http://ballotpedia.org/Santa_Clara_Stadium_for_the_49ers,_Measure_J_(June_2010)

It called for $114M in public money (including hotel taxes)

John Gennaro:

and it didn't need the 2/3rds vote. probably because of the amount.

David Fucillo:

right, just needed simple majority

Given the recent news about trying for another year, is this the Chargers last chance of sticking in San Diego? How does this play out?

John Gennaro:

it's not even that. it's basically a delay for a year because L.A. isn't ready for them. they waited, even knowing that L.A. wasn't really ready for them, until they knew that no other team would be making the move before they announced that they'd stay in san diego but they're not dumb, they know that a San Diego stadium just isn't going to happen. it's not possible. They'll be in L.A. in 2016, or possibly 2017 at the latest.


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