Tully Banta-Bust

Well, the house cleaning has started in earnest in Singletary-land, with the release of Keith Lewis and Tully Banta-Cain.  Jonas Jennings is next, and I can’t believe that Mark Roman won’t be too far behind.  I think this shows how hard it is to project free agents to your ball club. The Niners signed Banta-Cain after a very nice 2006 season in New England, where he recorded 5.5 sacks, and made a lot of plays.  The Niners had “found”  a guy who could truly put much need pressure on the QB. Ah……………..wrong. I think what the Niners perhaps forgot to really consider, is that TBC played with a lot of very, very good players in New England, and now would be playing with considerably less talent. Banta-Cain showed some flashes of  NE performance  in 2007, but in 2008, was basically missing and action.  Now, he is gone from action, at least with the Niners. Great teams need to built though the draft. It’s been said a lot, and it’s entirely accurate. If I recall, 20 of NE’s 22 starters were drafted by them. It’s pretty clear most of  the Niners best players are ones  they have drafted. Frank Gore, Joe Staley, Patrick Willis, Andy Lee, Eric Heitmann spring to mind. Sure, players like Justin Smith, Takeo Spikes and Nate Clements have helped, but the inventory of free agent “misses”, is a much longer list. After what appears to be a dismal 2008 draft, the Niners had best get it right in 2009. They have two picks in the top 42 selections. That hopefully will produce two starters (can you say DE and Safety) and really help move this team forward.



2 Responses to “Tully Banta-Bust”

  1. Frank Says:

    MN – You a bit off on the way the patriots are constructed. They have had some great drafts, but they have relied a lot on free agency to fill out their starting line up: WR Randy Moss, WR Wes Welker, HB Sammy Morris, FB Heath Evans, OLB Mike Vrabel, OLB Adalius Thomas, CB Lewis Sanders…and numerous other components that played a significant role. So, while the draft is a way to build a team (especially the second day), free agency is huge! I wish McCloughan had a better record. With 35 draft picks over the past four years, he has selected only three starters on defense: Willis, Lawson and Haralson — THREE — let that sink in (although Ray McDonald has started 9 games). Offense is only a player or two better: Gore, Staley, Rachal, Baas and Davis. Although, I expect Josh Morgan. Aside from Haralson, and hopefully Morgan, none of these second day picks are doing much if anything for McCloughan.

  2. hookedonniners Says:

    Yeah, you’re right…..must have had a senior moment when I said 20 out of 22. The Patriots have drafted very well over the years, but clearly have benfitted from FA’gency. The Niners really have not drafted well, especially on defense as you do adroitly point out. Willis is obviously superb and Haralson was a very nice get. Lawson, for a first rounder, has been pretty underwelming to me. But he has been hurt a lot, so maybe he will emerge as the pass rushing force they imagined when they picked him. McDonald shows some flashes in 2008, but just seems to get easily handled by most OT’s he plays against.

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