49ers

My, what a difference five years makes

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My, what a difference five years makes

When times were bad in our little corner of the world, they were very bad. They are bad no longer.

Five years ago, the Giants were wrapping up the Barry Bonds era by getting rid of their owner and changing their dugout, and the As had just embarked on their five-year hiatus from relevance.

Stanford had just turned over the operation to Jim Harbaugh after years of meh, Cal needed to win the Armed Forces Bowl to preserve a winning season, and San Jose State had dropped back off the map.

The 49ers and the Raiders were long-term hopeless.

The Warriors had delivered their every-decade-or-so false positive, and the Sharks had their annual round-of-eight bailout.

The Earthquakes didnt exist and the SaberCats lost the Arena Bowl before disappearing with the rest of the Arena League.

It wasnt completely awful, mind you. Stanford basketball still thrived, and Cal won every rugby match it played for a long time. But mostly, it was as appealing and tasty as the bottom of an old barbecue grill.

And now?

The Giants lead their division by 7 games with 19 games to play, thereby robbing their fans of most of the reasons they have to bitch about the team, and the As never lose, and are now two games away from having THE BEST FREAKING RECORD IN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE.

RELATED: MLB standings

Stanford just put a fresh elbow to the thorax of the USC Trojans, and San Jose State is getting good enough to have coach Mike McIntyre mentioned for other jobs.

The Earthquakes have the best record in MLS.

The 49ers are, well, you know.

The Raiders and Warriors are in full rebuilding mode, which means whatever they are, they arent the same thing theyve been in the past. For them, this is galactic advancement.

The Sharks management just padlocked its doors with the other 29 ingrates, so they cant disappoint anyone for awhile.

Hell, theres nary a discouraging word to be had. Not that we wont find one when it needs to be addressed, but right now, the locals are playing with a nice chip stack, and marks to either side of them.

Saturday was indicative of how things have gone. The worst thing that happened was that Cal scared the bejeepers out of Ohio State at Ohio Stadium in a game the Bears were expected to lose by 353 points. Instead, they lost by seven, late. The second worst thing was that the Dodgers beat St. Louis to remain only 7 games behind in the NL West race and move into a tie for the second wild card sport. The third worst thing was . . . well, maybe you burned your tri-tip on the grill.

But thats it. Stanford clocked SC again, an almost annual event now. The Giants won narrowly, the As won comfortably, the Quakes became the first team to qualify for the MLS playoffs, and San Jose State gobsmacked Colorado State.

Its almost as if weve forgotten how to watch bad teams.

And watching winners is as difficult in its way as watching losers. A fan has to fight against smugness, premature totaling of chickens, boring people who dont care with tales of things that other people achieved, and declaring things to be over when they clearly are not.

But it remains light years better than disconnecting ones phone, throwing the remote through the screen, wishing for people to die so that the team could make changes (and yes, you know who you are), and just being miserable wall to wall.

Of course, this can all go bad in a hurry again, because expectations have been elevated, in some places to impossible heights. Fans can forget that everything in the world is day-to-day, especially when you factor that the Mayans say we have only 97 day-to-days left in us.

But for now, for this moment, Laissez les bons temps rouler. It doesnt often get this good, so it should be enjoyed fully by those with the most interest in the game.

After all, it wasnt that long ago when the Bay Area was the kick-ee rather than the kick-er. You take the good times for granted, and they will be taken away in a nanosecond.
Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

49ers' head coach Kyle Shanahan takes pride in speed of offense

49ers' head coach Kyle Shanahan takes pride in speed of offense

SANTA CLARA – If there is any validity to Matt Ryan’s complaint that former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan struggled getting play calls to his quarterback in a timely fashion, it is difficult to find much evidence.

The past two seasons, only three teams went through an entire season without the play clock expiring on offense. The Falcons under Shanahan went without a delay-of-game penalty both of the past two seasons. The Denver Broncos of last season were the only other offensive unit in the NFL that was not penalized for the play clock hitting :00.

“Any play-caller that you talk to that’s usually one of the most important things and something I pride myself on a lot, is how quick can you get a play call into a quarterback,” said Shanahan, who will remain the playcaller for the 49ers while also serving as head coach.

"And the quicker you do the more comfortable it is, not just for him but the entire offense. They’re not panicked. They’re being able to move to the line. And with me as a coordinator personally, I try almost every situation to get it in as fast as possible. And I can be honest, there’s sometimes I do better than others. There are sometimes I don’t do it as good. There’s sometimes I do it real good.”

Shanahan said he took a lot of pride in the fact that the Falcons avoided any delay-of-game penalties the past two seasons. He said Ryan deserves credit, too.

“I was really proud of those guys on offense, which is a lot of credit to Matt and the rest of the guys, that regardless when we did get it in, two years straight without a delay of game and being the only team to even do that one year I think was a pretty impressive task,” Shanahan said. “We did a good job of that as a whole.”

In a recent interview with Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, Ryan was critical of Shanahan’s timeliness in delivering the play calls in the Falcons' collapse in Super Bowl 51. (It did not appear the Falcons' offense was scrambling to get to the line of scrimmage and get the ball snapped after the built a 28-3 lead.)

“Kyle's play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in," Ryan told Prisco. "As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you're talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, 'There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.' You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.”

Shanahan said on Thursday that he wants his offense to play fast. Shanahan said he sets his offense so there is no need to audible out of a play if the defense is geared to stop the primary option on a particular call.

“If it’s not the perfect play, there’s usually four other options that you’ve just got to adjust to and either get an incompletion or get a smaller gain,” Shanahan said. “But, it’s not, ‘Hey, if I don’t call the perfect play, you check and get us into the perfect play.’

"I’ve been in systems like that and it’s just what your opinion is, and there’s really no right answer, but I was pretty happy with how our system worked in Atlanta. And I’ve been confident with players playing fast and not putting so much pressure on them to fix every play that the coordinator calls. I like to put a little more on myself and I want them when I do call a bad play, we’ll give you an answer."

Shanahan will continue to call the plays from the sideline. Quarterback Brian Hoyer said he insisted on working on the radio communication during the offseason program. Hoyer played in Shanahan's offense in 2014 with the Cleveland Browns, and he said that experience should help him relay the calls more smoothly to his teammates in the huddle.

"I kind of have a method of I want to be just outside the huddle when the play is coming out," Hoyer said. "I don’t want to be in the huddle trying to give the play while he’s talking to me. I want to hear him say the play in my helmet, take a second, get in the huddle and then call the play.

"Back in Cleveland when I was just learning the system I was just trying to repeat what he was saying, get it to the team and then as I’m walking to the line of scrimmage think of the play. Whereas now, I hear the play coming in and I can paint a picture of what Kyle is trying to emphasize on that play, and then relay it to the rest of the offense and break the huddle and go. We’ve been doing that I think pretty much since day one is using that coach-to-quarterback communication.”

Report: JaVale McGee will re-sign with Warriors

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USATI

Report: JaVale McGee will re-sign with Warriors

JaVale McGee isn't going anywhere.

McGee will re-sign with the Warriors, according to ESPN's Chris Haynes.

Soon after the news surfaced on Twitter, JaVale posted on Instagram:

👋🏼

A post shared by Javale Pierre McGee (@javalemcgee) on

When teammates become mentors--- 💭🗯💬

A post shared by Javale Pierre McGee (@javalemcgee) on

Golden State could only offer the big man the minimum of $2.1 million.

In 77 games (10 starts) with the Warriors last season, he averaged 6.1 points and 3.2 rebounds.

McGee appeared in 16 of the Warriors' 17 playoff games (he did not see action in Game 5 of the NBA Finals), averaging 5.9 points and 3.0 rebounds while shooting over 73 percent from the field.

As of now, Golden State has 15 players with guaranteed contracts:

Steph Curry
Kevin Durant
Draymond Green
Klay Thompson
Andre Iguodala
Shaun Livingston
Zaza Pachulia
David West
JaVale McGee
Pat McCaw
Nick Young
Omri Casspi
Kevon Looney
Damian Jones
Jordan Bell

McGee was reportedly unhappy with the Warriors for giving their entire $5.2 taxpayer mid-level exception to Nick Young.

The 29-year old reportedly met with the Clippers and Kings, and was seeking a contract above the minimum.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller