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The Better Rivals 49ers Podcast

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Ep. 209: “Beathard did rookie QB things.”

On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, the elegant tank cannot be stopped! Amidst a record fifth consecutive loss by one score or less, the Brian Hoyer era is officially over in San Francisco. How did C.J. Beathard look in his first meaningful NFL action? (1:45) Is the 49ers’ No. 1 draft choice starting to find his groove? (13:35) And why on earth can Robert Saleh not stop dropping defensive lineman into coverage? (20:16) All that, plus our Spotlight Player of the Week (28:22),...

Duration: 00:58:51

Ep. 208: “The elegant tank is on, man.”

On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, it’s another Pythagorean Win Wednesday! The 49ers lost their fourth consecutive game by less than one score and the “elegant tank” is on. (1:09) Where are things breaking down in the run game? (5:23) Which Colts defender caused problems for the offensive line all game? (12:35) And where does Brian Hoyer need to live on early downs to be successful? (21:43) All that, plus the return of our Spotlight Player of the Week (36:05), an addition...

Duration: 01:09:32

Ep. 207: “This is a game the Niners should win.”

On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, the 49ers fall to 0-4 after their third consecutive close loss. Where did things break down defensively on the final drive in OT? (1:34) What’s going on with Rashard Robinson? (13:50) How is the pass rush faring after the first month of season? (27:16) And what’s leading to Hoyer’s maddening inconsistency? (42:50) All that, plus Bradley Pinion crushing it, Trent Brown’s hot start, and what to watch in Indianapolis (57:30).

Duration: 01:12:17

Ep. 206: “Sacks kill drives, but pressure also affects games.”

Disclaimer: We apologize for the audio quality in this episode. Technical difficulties caused a bad stutter throughout this episode, and we understand if that makes it too difficult to listen to. Thank you to those who power through. On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, we have many things on our mind after the most exciting 49ers game in several years. Is the front seven generating enough pressure? (3:09) Is the Rams offense legit or are the 49ers just back to the same old...

Duration: 01:09:39

Ep. 205: “Moral victories are for losers.”

Ep. 205: “Moral victories are for losers.” by Niners Nation

Duration: 01:03:21

Ep. 204: “You win on defense with good players.”

On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, the 49ers are unable to continue their season-opener magic. What did we learn about the defensive line in Week 1? What led to so many breakdowns in the secondary? And what’s going to hold back Kyle Shanahan’s offense this season? All that, plus Aaron Lynch held out due to a coach’s decision, the season’s first Spotlight Player of the Week, and three things to watch against the Seahawks.

Duration: 01:06:44

Ep. 203: 2017 season preview. Predictions, final roster takeaways, and what to watch vs the Panthers

On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, real football is finally here! We get you prepared for the 2017 season by outlining why the 49ers should be better this season, but also why they might not be that much better. All that, plus takeaways from the 53-man roster cuts, season predictions, and things we’ll be watching against the Panthers.

Duration: 01:10:41

Ep. 201: Vikings recap. Hoyer breaks out, early defensive tendencies, and bubble watch

On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, it’s dress rehearsal recap time! We run through the biggest takeaways from the 49ers’ third preseason game and look ahead to toughest roster decisions John Lynch & Co. will have to make this week. What led to Hoyer’s early success? What’s holding back the run game? And what schematic tendencies did we see defensively? All that, plus Vance McDonald gets traded (!!), Reuben Foster makes us smile, and players trending up and down as we head...

Duration: 01:18:26

Ep. 201: Broncos recap. Run game struggles, pass pro efficiency, and QB competition

On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, it’s time to wake up and kick ass. We recap all you need to know about the 49ers’ preseason game against the Broncos. Why couldn’t the run game get going? Is the offensive line really improving in pass protection? And do we have a quarterback competition on our hands? All that, plus Jimmie Ward joins the PAP list, comfort level with Lorenzo Jerome, and is Tank for real this time?

Duration: 01:18:10

Ep. 200: Chiefs recap. Observations, stock watch from first preseason game.

On the 200th episode of the Better Rivals podcast, we have new football to discuss! What should you be looking for during the preseason? Which tendencies should you be keeping an eye on as we move toward the regular season? And which players are trending up and down after one week of preseason action? All that, plus Von Miller man-crushes on Trent Brown, rookie watch, and things to look for against the Broncos.

Duration: 01:18:23

Ep. 199: Training camp mailbag!

On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, we open up the mailbag to answer all of your training camp questions. What’s happening with the running back battle? How concerned should you be about the injuries in the secondary? How many wins would it take for the 49ers to commit to Brian Hoyer long term? And which players are primed for their peak season? All that, plus the end of the Bruce Ellington era, projections from the Football Outsiders Almanac, and which player we’d take on...

Duration: 01:06:48

Ep. 198: How Kyle Shanahan attacks coverages in the passing game

On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, Scheme Month draws to a close by taking a look at how Kyle Shanahan attacks coverages in the passing game. What are the basic coverage types you’ll see from NFL defenses? Where are the weak spots in those coverages? And which concepts does Shanahan use to exploit them? All that, plus some interesting numbers on the 2016 offense, another look at Kyle Juszczyk’s monster contract, and #KurtyKurt.

Duration: 01:02:08

Ep. 197: Offensive Line 101. Basic principles of run blocking and pass protection

On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, Scheme Month turns its attention to an oft neglected portion of the roster: the offensive line. What are the differences between zone, gap, and man run schemes? How can you identify them when you’re watching games this fall? How do offensive linemen go about determining who to block in pass protections? And what does the change in offensive scheme mean for the 49ers’ offensive line? All that, plus Camp Hoyer, DeAngelo Williams hating on...

Duration: 01:04:27

Ep. 196: Jimmie Ward, Pete Carroll, and single-high coverages

On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, Scheme Month rolls on! Defense is again in the spotlight as we move to the secondary and talk coverages. What is single-high coverage and why are we expecting to see it from the 49ers this season? Which position is the key to making everything go in the secondary? And how will San Francisco’s defensive backs fare in this transition? All that, plus which 49ers would be most valuable on the open market, Eric Reid vs. Jaquiski Tartt, and...

Duration: 01:08:46

Ep. 195: Scheme Month is back! The defensive front and transitioning to the 4-3

On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, it’s the return of Scheme Month! We kick things off by focusing in on the defensive front and the 49ers’ transition to a 4-3 defense. How can you identify different defensive fronts? What’s the difference between one-gapping and two-gapping? How is your basic four-man pass rush constructed? And what do the changes in scheme mean for the 49ers’ roster? All that, plus the importance of the 3-technique, Matt Breida is Our Future, and...

Duration: 01:11:31

Ep. 194: Elvis Dumervil, position battles to watch, and more from 49ers minicamp

On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, we return after a short hiatus to recap all of the notable 49ers happenings of the past few weeks. What does the Elvis Dumervil signing mean for the other edge defenders on the roster? Which minicamp storylines should you be ignoring? And which position battles should you be taking note of? All that, plus stupid NFL rules, a speed round, and the best fictional football player.

Duration: 01:06:57

Ep. 192: Key UDFAs and post-draft roster thoughts

On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, it’s time to put a bow on draft season. We highlight a few UDFAs with a legitimate opportunity to crack the 53-man roster, and take a look at where things stand on the 90-man roster with all of the major offseason transactions in the books. Can Matt Breida become the next undrafted running back to find success in the Shanahan system? Which position will be the most intriguing throughout training camp and the preseason? And what does the...

Duration: 01:19:23

Ep. 191: Scouting reports on the 49ers’ 2017 draft class

On this post-draft episode of the Better Rivals podcast, we evaluate all 10 selections in the first draft for John Lynch & Co, identifying where each player wins, where they could improve, and where they fit on the 49ers’ roster. Where does first-round pick Solomon Thomas fit in with the incumbent defensive linemen? Which players are primed to make an early impact? And what themes did we pull from San Francisco’s draft as a whole? All that, plus draft-trade values, Paarag’s role, and bad...

Duration: 01:47:13

Ep. 190: If we did it. Outlining the 49ers’ plan of attack in the 2017 NFL Draft

On this final pre-draft episode of the Better Rivals podcast, we put everything together and develop a plan of attack for the 49ers in the 2017 NFL Draft. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this draft class? Is trading down from No. 2 overall a realistic possibility? Who’s the best option if they’re stuck at No. 2? And which positions should they be focused in on throughout the draft? All that, plus smoke screens, Glen Coffee’s return, and Drunk Prospecting Vol. 2.

Duration: 01:14:04

Ep. 189: PFF’s Jordan Plocher on 2017 NFL Draft defensive class

On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, we bring on long time friend of the podcast Jordan Plocher to break down the 2017 defensive draft class. Does it make sense for the 49ers to look at Solomon Thomas and Derek Barnett at No. 2 overall? Which cornerbacks fit the profile San Francisco will be looking for in their new defense? And are prospects at non-premium positions like Malik Hooker, Jamal Adams, or Reuben Foster worth considering at the top of the draft? All that, plus...

Duration: 01:19:14

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