Trevor Freeman
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September 8 - September Dreams

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.

Quarterback:

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 at Super Bowl
Champion?

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+

Linebackers:  

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+

Secondary:

When you analyze the 49er secondary on paper there’s only one reasonable conclusion one can
make.  That 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+

Coaching:

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+

Overall:

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
trevor.freeman@realityfanforum.com.