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757-NINER

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  1. So I had to go back through my draft notes and figure out why or how Givens wasn't on my radar. I did remember watching him@Penn State but he always looked like a DE that was playing inside. Maybe it was his number but he didn't look like he had legit DT size. Definitely didn't look 285 lbs to me. I remembered him being a great pursuit guy with a good penetration and lateral quickness but I didn't think he played with alot 'pop' or power. Didn't think he got off blocks all that well when he was ran at in the run game. I said all that to say, my one real takeaway from the game? Kevin Givens. Honorable mention to Al-Shaair who I thought was really impressive also but omg, Givens just came out of nowhere. He was the best D-Lineman by a wide margin for me. Just sooooo disruptive. Beat guys with power, quickness, lateral movement...he really put it all on display. He put a move on Risner that I had to rewatch a couple of times to make sure that it was actually Risner in the game. It is preseason so you can't get too giddy overall but man, he really showed me a skillset I didn't think he had. Really really impressed with that kid.
  2. 2020 Draft Thread

    I will go out on a limb and say that they drafted McG to eventually replace Staley so the next OT we draft fairly high will be slotted for the right side.
  3. Programs on the rise

    You're basing your projections on NFL talent....I'm basing mine by success on the field. That's how I measure a program. Not by how many players they send to the league. There are teams who send players to the league in droves, yet their programs don't win consistently. That is not success in my eyes. My projections for the program aren't based on how many players we put in the league. That usually takes care of itself when you win and field successful teams. When I say the program is on a rise its me telling you that based on where we were the last 7-8 years before Mendenhall versus where we're headed. The roster development and talent being recruited. The money that's about to be poured into the football program for much needed facility upgrades. That's what I mean when I say we're trending up. You keep bringing up the 2007 team because of the number of players who went on to play in the league but that team was coming off a losing season in 2006 with those same players. They lost 4 games that year so it was a successful season but that team ended their season losing a bowl game they SHOULD have won, to a lesser-talented team. All those NFL players didn't hep them perform up to their capabilities when it mattered the most, did they? Not even close. And only Long had any longevity in terms of a pro career. Both Monroe and Albert had 3 or 4 good years and then fizzled out. Stupar wasn't even drafted. Sintim did nothing as a pro. Same with Santi, Stupar and anyone else you want to throw out there (Chris Cook). So I beg to differ when you're judging their success against the current group...who have yet to leave their mark. And this current group will put their fair share of guys in the league as well. Of the seniors, Hall, Hanback, Mack, Perkins & Reed should all be drafted. And depending on how successful they are in their senior campaigns, Burney, Brissett and Dubios could hear there names called as well. So its not like there isn't talent on this team.... And you're not giving Perkins his due. But he will prove you wrong tho...
  4. Programs on the rise

    Thornhill was far from a below average CB. He was solid CB who had a couple of rough games and lacked consistency. If it wasnt for his short wingspan, he could been drafted as a CB as well. He preferred safety and that's where he felt most comfortable. Even if he had of stayed at CB, most in the program believed he was going to have a monster senior year, regardless of where he played. And Perkins being the best QB in the ACC has nothing to do with it being a down year for QBs in the conference. He was the best QB behind Lawrence last year as well. Maybe you can argue Finley was better but he outplayed all those other QBs you mentioned. Aside from a disastrous game against Miami where he threw 3 ints in the first half, he was about as consistent and dynamic of a QB as there was in the country. And he did it playing with essentially, four fingers on his throwing hand, as he tore ligaments in his pinky against Louisville and wore a splint on that finger the rest of the year. A injury that required surgery immediately following the season. For a JUCO guy, playing Power 5 football for the first time, he more than held his own. He should be even better this year with a full year of starting experience and actual tape to improve upon. We definitely have questions on offense but the most important player is Perkins, and he's back, healthy and ready to pounce on the rest of the conference. I like our chances....ALOT. As for 2007, maybe you've forgotten the rest of the college landscape at the time but we were not a realistic conference contender. We had Long and and some talent (Fitz and Sintim mostly) on defense but virtually no offensive playmakers. Sewell was one of the worst QBs in UVA history. Any Hoos fan will tell you the same. No weapons at WR and though Peerman was decent, he was a player that could easily be contained by simply packing the box but because again, we had no weapons on the outside to even make a decent defense believe we could throw a pass for more than 10-15 yards. That's the year we were up big against Crabtree & Texas Tech and ended up losing the bowl game if memory serves me correct. Al Groh teams consistently underachieved. He definitely brought in some outstanding talent but his staff influx and just overall lack of roster management doomed us far too often. This year team is one of the most talented and deepest teams in recent memory. We have depth AND talent at virtually every position. AND we have an incoming recruiting class that Mendenhall is calling his best since he's been in college football. And he's not one for hyperbole. There hasn't been a buzz like this around the program since the Barber Twins, Thomas Jones, Anthony Poindexter & Jamie Sharper were playing. THOSE teams had serious talent. Those in and around the program are saying it is approaching that level of competitiveness and talent.
  5. Programs on the rise

    Sure Thornhill will be missed but at the same time this was said when Blanding left...who's going to fill the void? It was Thornhill who stepped up last year, in a position he had not played before in his college career. We return one safety who was the ACC Rookie Of The Year in 2017 (Nelson) and another who is one of PFF's top rated returning players (Blount). And both are juniors, so they'll be back in 2020 as well. Not to mention we get Chris Moore back, who miss all of last year due to a hip injury during fall camp. We'll be just fine on the back-end. We have arguably the best CB in all of college football. We have three safeties with a ton of experience. We may miss Thornhill's ball skills but we're going to be one of the better secondaries in the entire country, not just the ACC if we can avoid the injury bug that has already hit us. Kiser was a rookie in the NFL last year so not sure how much more he could be missed. Peace was really the heart and soul of the unit and the quiet leader so we'll miss his leadership definitely. But I think we'll generate sacks from a number of different players. Between Brown, Gahm, and Taylor we'll have enough guys opposite Snowden to affect the pocket. Inside, we have three guys in Mack, Synder and Zandier who have All-ACC potential and are as steady as they come. And we have a young guy Nick Jackson already turning heads. Ellis was the workhorse no doubt. But I feel like he really didn't fit the offense. He was a north-south runner with very little wiggle. He was extremely durable though and a tough, hard-nosed runner and so he made it work. But I feel we have guys that have more wiggle and the ability to do more in utilizing the outside zone stuff. Atkins & Wayne T. should see more looks when we go mutiple WRs, while Kier is most likely be the starter, in that Ellis-type of bigger back role. And freshman Mike Hollins is a beast who will definitely see the field and might be the guy before the end of the season. OZ is definitely going to missed. He was terror in the slot and was just hard for teams to match-up with one-on-one. But I expect Joe Reed to step up and take up some of the slack from his departure. Terrell Jana will also be another player who will be able to step up with more opportunities and really shine. Not to mention grad-transfer Brissett should factor in as well. And remember the name Tarvares Kelly. Kid is just as dynamic as OZ, with speed for days. He saw time last year as a true freshman and he should be bigger, stronger and ready for a increased role this year. Billy Kemp will also get some looks in the slot too. He fits that OZ prototype as well. So while these names may not be known to most, these guys have been in the system and should be ready to step up and contribute. Much like OZ did when Smoke left. O-Line is really the only question. We return 4 starters but they need to be more consistent. They were thrown in the fire young so there were times where their youth was very evident. So you hope that inexperience is now behind them and they continue to develop. We also have a talented freshmen in Hubbard incoming, who is our highest rated O-Line commit in quite some time so I could see him being in the mix early@tackle or guard. And we get Fannin back, who was named the starter@center during fall camp last year before suffering a season-ending injury and never playing a down. So yea, we have some holes to fill. But the cupboard is far from bare. We'll have one of the better defenses in the entire country. We have the best QB in the ACC not playing for Clemson. And we have playable depth just about everywhere on the roster. UVA football hasn't looked this promising since George Welsh was roaming the sidelines. Mendenhall definitely has the arrow trending up.
  6. Programs on the rise

    No love for UVA??? No problem, we're used to it....Wahoowa!
  7. OTA's/Minicamp/Training Camp Discussion Thread

    Last place we need injuries is the O-Line. Talent nor depth there is great outside of Joe & Mike. O-Line and secondary needs to be a major point of empahsis in 2020.
  8. Minor Niner News Thread

    Interesting pick-up. I really liked Rollins as a prospect. Probably not a signing that's going to move the needle but I thought Rollins had alot of talent.
  9. Around the NFL II - Even NFLier

    As for my view on the Rams, I'll quote the great Ronnie Lott who said it best...."same sorry a$$ Rams" Even when they're good like they are currently, I don't really give them much thought. I certainly want to beat the brakes off them this year but my disdain is not at a level where I hold real contempt for them.
  10. Around the NFL II - Even NFLier

    Irrevelant in terms of being an antagonist. Should have worded that better. Even with Holmgren, they were not viewed as the "enemy". Divisional foe yes, but not as a rival per say. At least I never heard other Niners fans speak about them with overt hostility until Carroll and the LOB arrived.
  11. OTA's/Minicamp/Training Camp Discussion Thread

    Seriously??? I didn't hear about that but that's pretty remarkable if true....
  12. Around the NFL II - Even NFLier

    Well I did say the East Coast Raiders fans....I can count on one hand the Oakland-born and raised Raiders fans I know. And all three are die-hards but cool af. Like I said, its all about experiences...
  13. OTA's/Minicamp/Training Camp Discussion Thread

    I guess. Different ppl see diff things so I don't want to beat up Haftley too much. Though moving Reed to safety was far more of a travesty for me. Personally I didn't think he could hack it as a FS in the NFL either. He looked and played like a CB in college when I reviewed him. Wasn't great at tracking the ball, didn't take great angles and was a hesitant tackler when it was time to get physical. But scheme matters and more importantly, comfortability matters. He always preferred safety and so I feel his confidence skyrocketed with the move also. When your boss puts you on assignment you're not feeling or you preceive is not in your wheelhouse, you tend to drag and not be as motivated. You question your fit and in turn, are hesitant. But he/she gives you something you KNOW you can really exceed at and show your skills, you definitely set out to crush it. I definitely hopes he proves me wrong though. Solidifying that position with a solid starter would do wonders for our defense.
  14. Around the NFL II - Even NFLier

    Meh, there was bad blood between Harbaugh & Carroll....which then turned into bad blood between former Stanford players Baldwin & Sherman vs Harbaugh.....which then morphed into bad blood between Sherman & Crabtree. The Hawks were not on our radar as a fanbase because they were irrelevant before Carroll & The LOB....Holmgren's one SB run aside. If you and the rest of the majority deem them a rivalry, fine. But I know ALOT of Niner Empire who don't look at Seattle in that manner. As soon as Harbaugh left, so did the so-called rivalry IMO... Its funny because I work with quite a few Niner fans and we've had these conversations ad neaseum about who's our real rival and what teams they hate losing to the most, etc. And while there are some who consider Seattle to be a full-on rival, I was really surprised how many ppl feel that we actually lack a credible divisional rival. Alot fans feel as though our hate for our divisional foes is merely a case of who's on on the top, looking down at the rest of the division at that current time. It was the Cards when they had Docket, Wilson, and Warner. Then it was Seattle with all the Carroll/Harbaugh history. Now its the Rams with the McVay vs Shanny and the whole who's the better offensive mind angle. But we lack a true divisional rivalry where no matter the records, both fanbases never want to lose that game. That Skins vs Cowgirls/Bears vs Packers/Ravens vs Steelers type of rivalry. And I tend to agree. I don't lose sleep over losing games to anybody in our division. I guess its because I remember when we OWNED the NFCW with a Pats-like dominance for well over a decade. So I never looked at our divisional opponents as actually comp tbh. But let us lose to the Cowgirls or the G-Men and I am fuming mad. I'd add the Steelers and the Pats to that list too. Though not our rivals, I loathe much of their fanbases lol. So I again, I think its a matter of personal disdain for a team and their subsequent fanbase. I tend to base my sports rivalries on past history...meaningful games with huge ramifications, that has occurred over a sustained period of time. Not so much reg season match-ups or prime time games. There are exceptions to the rule but in the case of my beloved Niners, I just don't feel the same angst alot do towards Seattle. I think where a fan resides also plays a factor. Alot of Bay Area Niner fans I know HATE the Raiders. And that's mostly due to the proximity of both fanbases being so close. But I have nothing against the Raiders at all. Im cool with alot of Raiders fans and I consider them to be one of the most down-to-earth fanbases on the East Coast. But again, Im sure alot of the West Coast based fans would disagree with me. It all boils down to individual experiences in the end.
  15. Around the NFL II - Even NFLier

    To each his own, I guess. NEVER have I ever considered Seattle to be our rival personally. We haven't established a rivalry yet IMO. There isn't enough playoff history nor divisonal history for me to view them as such. Webster's Dictionary aside, my personal fandom hand guide states a rival as a team where you have played in numerous high stakes or post-season/championship games. Contest where the winner usually goes on to hoist another championship trophy. I would argue we have muuuuuuuch more of a rivalry with teams like the Giants and Cowboys, two teams outside our division. Packers even. If we're going strictly our division, I'd say the Rams are more our rival, as we have both been in the same division since the 70's and have much more of a history. Even playoff history. We've had exactly ONE meaniful playoff game with the Hawks. I can't rightfully call that a rivalry. No more than I can call the Clippers vs Lakers a rivalry. They seemed destined to be building up to that but there's not a history of high stakes, meaningful games between the two. Lakers vs Celtics? Now that's a rivalry. Even though they only play twice a year, every year, their post-season history is unprescented. Now it may differ for certain sports. College sports rivalries are usually geographic (i.e. schools in the same conference and also in the same state). Soccer derbies are definitely more city/country based. But most pro rivalries are centered around two teams battling for championship trophies and titles. Us and Seattle haven't both fielded contending teams, consistently and in unison, for there to be much of anything for each fansbase to have any real disdain for each other.
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