Thursday, November 09, 2006

San Francisco 49ers Tell SF Mayor Gavin Newsom They Plan To Move - SF Chronicle

The real question is how does this impact San Francisco's Olympics Bid?

49ers tell San Francisco mayor they plan to move
By JOSH DUBOW, AP Sports Writer
Wednesday, November 8, 2006

(11-08) 22:30 PST San Francisco (AP) --

The San Francisco 49ers ended negotiations with the city about building a new stadium and plan to move to either Santa Clara or somewhere else in California, The Associated Press learned Wednesday night.

Owner John York notified Mayor Gavin Newsom of the team's decision earlier Wednesday, a city official close to the negotiations told The AP on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.

Team spokesman Aaron Salkin declined to comment Wednesday night. Phone messages left on the office and cell phone of Lisa Lang, the 49ers vice president for communications, were not immediately returned.

The sides had been talking over the last few months about building a privately financed stadium at Candlestick Point that was going to be part of the city's bid for the 2016 summer Olympics.

The team's current lease at Candlestick runs through the 2008 season and the team holds three five-year options that could extend it through 2023.

The current stadium at Candlestick is one of the most run-down in the league, leading the team's desire to seek a new stadium with revenue-generation suites and luxury boxes. The plan to build a stadium also included public housing, retail and office space.

The city was not going to contribute any money to the stadium but was willing to possibly help with some of the infrastructure costs.

The 49ers headquarters are currently based in Santa Clara, located about 30 miles south of San Francisco.

Los Angeles and Anaheim also are seeking an NFL team. The mayors of the two cities met last month with new commissioner Roger Goodell to offer their competing plans to lure a team back to southern California.

Los Angeles city leaders want to build a new stadium within the walls of the historic Memorial Coliseum, featuring 200 luxury boxes and 15,000 club seats at a cost of $800 million.

Goodell also met with Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle about his city's plans to sell the NFL 53 acres at the below-market price of $50 million to build a new stadium adjacent to Angel Stadium.

The Los Angeles area hasn't had an NFL team since after the 1994 season when the Raiders returned to Oakland and the Anaheim-based Rams moved to St. Louis.

The Problem With The Raiders Passing Game - A Note To Raiders Fans

A fan called Hawaiian Raider at wrote this post below that I had to respond to. He seems to think there's nothing reallly wrong with the Raiders Offense. He doesn't really know what to look for. Read on...

Hawaiian Raider: So what? [B]Execution[/B] has nothing to do with it? What? Fire Whisenhunt - last season's SB Champ OC and the next greatest coming of a coach in here? Why not? His offense isn't [I]executing[/I] either.

And it's the thing about the whole matter concerning our offense - [I]execution[/I]. A perfectly timed screen-pass that has the Pitt D off guard, is thrown a little bit behind by Andrew and then dropped by Lamont. Walsh's fault?

Gallery and Lamont [I]both[/I] can't block Merriman so, Walsh's fault?

Grove, first with Aaron, and then Andrew can't execute a center-to-QB exchange 3 times in one game and it's Walsh's fault?

Sims get's holding called on him nearly twice in a row that kills moderate to long gainers and it's Walsh's fault?

And the broadcast of the 'Zona game displays a graphic in which Randy Moss had 3 drops in the game, and right on cue Randy drops his fourth - and it's Walsh's fault?

And if you watch the game, we use the same base formation that all teams run that have a single-back: called "1" or "A" in high-school, referred to as "Ace" or "Single-Back" in most systems in the pros, with X(WR), Y(TE), Z(Slot-R) and another TE - with the QB and HB (RB). From this base set, Walsh's offense has [I]shifted[/I] into everything from 3 wide to 3 TEs. His offense has shifted into split-backs, line-up in power Is', ran end-arounds, reverses and [I]thrown off of them[/I]. And despite the perception, there's been 3-step and 5-step drops too - not only 7-step drops.

And there's a little mis-information in terms of the "pass to Slaughter". It was immediately addressed: he was only out in a pattern to clear-out, which he did effectively as he had Joey Porter hanging all over him. He wasn't the primary receiver. So, it's Walsh's fault that Andrew threw to him? Chad Slaughter able to draw Joey Porter on him in the end zone is brilliant! Throwing the ball to him wasn't. Not Walsh's fault.

Otherwise, there is room for improvement, specifically, using a "shotgun" in obvious passing situations instead of having a clumsy-footed Andrew dropping back 7-steps. And maybe, if it's second-n-goal from the 1, you go with another pound up the gut and see what happens before you send Chad out in a pattern.

Me I've got to take this on. Please don't be mezmorized by formations. The problem with the Raiders Offense rests in two areas: 1) blocking style, and 2) a lack of timed passes in the offense. The way the Raiders play under Shell / Walsh (since Art defends Walsh) is such that 1) prevents 2) and causes the sack problems we see.

Art has consistently said that he wants the offensive linemen to [I]block until the quaterback finds an open receiver. [/I] Think about it. It's a philosophy that goes back to the time Art Shell was the Raiders OT. They had a drill where they would block and block until the whistle was blown -- sometimes for 10 seconds.

But when Art played the defensive lineman was a different breed -- generally smaller than the offensive lineman they faced. Then the Dallas Cowboys drafted and played offensive linemen who were over 300 pounds and ushered in the era of smash-mouth football.

That development forced general managers to draft bigger defensive linemen who were equally as strong as their offensive counterparts. And in some cases, offensive linemen in college were converted to defensive line in the NFL as projects.

After this wave of evolution we now have this development over the last 10 years: massive rashes of QB injuries, the installation of the Bill Walsh Offense as the standard system with it's timed passes, or just the use of timed passes. The current New England Patriots are a 3 and 5 step passing team with timing.

Now, were in a time where Art's old way doesn't work. The way he remembers -- holding blocks forever -- also produced a lot of holding calls and sacks. I remember a 1977 game against the Denver Broncos where Ken Stabler was sacked five times and threw four interceptions.

The Raiders offense has the steps -- but not the timing. The QB JUST takes steps, but the steps are seldom consistent and not monitored by the coaches and it's obvious in watching them. The Raiders don't run the patterns that other teams do that GO with three and five step passes.

For example, the Texas Passing combination (has nothing to do with UT) where in a formation with a tight end (TE) and a running back behind the offensive tackle nect to the TE, the tight end runs an "Up" pattern, and the running back runs a pattern that starts out with a run to the flat, but then turns back up and then into the short middle of the field, calls for a five steps, but three big steps, and two small, then one hitch step, then throw -- if the defensive linebacker has cleared the middle for the running back.

When playing a Tampa Two coverage, this is what happens. The middle linebacker goes to the deep middle, which is why the Texas concept was created -- by Mike Holmgren when he was with the 49ers. The Raiders have nothing like that.

But also pay attention to the fact that the Raiders don't pay attention to the details of the steps. To them, it's ok as long as we have the steps.


The Raiders should make sure that the QB in a three step drop pass has the ball for not longer than 1.3 - 1.5 seconds. For a five step drop, 3 seconds. That's it.

IF the Raiders do this, their offensive linemen will not give up as many sacks as they have.

But there's more.

Offensive design.

The Raiders have never used a formation to force the defense to show their coverage. What formation does this best? The five wide receiver set.

Now before you go on a rant about the Raiders line, let me explain that would be wrong. Football is a time / motion study. If we have five wide receivers the defense has to commit five of 11 people to cover them. That leaves six people. You should have a free safety, so now we're down to five people. I'll take that.

I'll call three step passes, sprint outs, and roll outs. I'll bring my running back in motion and give the back the ball as the back is coming behind the quarterback. It's called the "Jet" run.

This is something the Raiders don't have. They need to change how they think about the passing game if they are to expect to win.