Bill Walsh 1931-2007

Discussion in 'San Francisco 49ers' started by Lance Alworth, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. Lance Alworth

    Lance Alworth Mentor

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    Can't say too much here but I did enjoy watching his 80's 49er teams and those teams did start a lot of white players. Although, he did start some minority coaching program so I wouldn't exactly say he was pro-white but his teams were enjoyable nonetheless. He wasn't as bad as todays pro-caste coaches, although I dont remember him ever starting a white at WR or DB
     
  2. referendum

    referendum Mentor

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    Dwight Clark was one of the starting 49er Wide receivers in the early Walsh years.
     
  3. Lance Alworth

    Lance Alworth Mentor

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    Clark was a TE, not a WR
     
  4. chris371

    chris371 Mentor

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    "Dwight Edward Clark (born January 8, 1957 in Kinston, North Carolina) was a Pro Bowl wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers from 1979 to 1987"

    Thats from wikipedia, an undeniably accurate source! [​IMG]
     
  5. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Clark was one of the last star white wide receivers before the Caste System went into full force in the mid 1980s, along with Steve Largent, Cris Collinsworth, and the now mostly forgotten Steve Watson.


    Clark had 506 career receptions in just 9 seasons, including 82 catches in 1980 and 85 in 1981. His 60 receptions in the strike shortened season of 1982 lead the NFL. He was a big target who had great hands and ran great routes. Sounds much like the many white receivers we talk aboutevery yearwho get no shot at all at the NFL.


    As for Bill Walsh, I'd rate him a little better than the norm for that era, when the NFL was in the process of rapidly converting to a "whites need not apply ever again" policy at many positions that of course still holds true today with no sign of ending. Walsh's offense was more complicated than other NFL offenses, so he knew he needed players like Joe Montana, Dwight Clark and TE BrentJones to help run it along with mostly white o-linemen. Fullback Tom Rathman joined the team in 1986 and was a key player on Walsh's third Super Bowl winner. Between '87 and '90, Rathman averaged about 750 combined yards per season running and receiving. At 6-1 and 230 pounds he obviously would have done some serious damage as the featured power runner for a team, but as it was he was one of a very few white backs touching the ball at all. Edited by: Don Wassall
     
  6. sport historian

    sport historian Master

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    As Don writes, Bill Walsh used more white players than many of his contemporaries. Dwight Clark made one of the all-time great catches ("I didn't know a white man could jump that high," a black Cowboy said) from Joe Montana to beat Dallas in the 1981 NFC Title game.

    Also, Walsh was one of the last coaches to use a white runner as his main RB. This was Paul Hofer during 1979-80. Walsh had Hofer receiving as well as running, often complex patterns, not just dump-offs. I recall a comment by Walsh on Hofer's lack of recognition. He said something like, "Paul doesn't get much credit because of what people think about white running backs. He's the key to our offense."

    Unfortunately, Hofer tore up a knee in the sixth game of the 1980 season. He had 760 yards combined rushing and receiving (source: Total Football) at that point. Hofer tried to come back the next year, but was injured again, and missed the playoffs. He had to retire. During 1978-80, after Walter Payton and Earl Campbell, Hofer played as well as any RB in the NFL.
     
  7. white is right

    white is right Hall of Famer

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    He also kept around my favourite 49'er in Bill Ring because of his intellegence and leadership ability. He liked smart players because he felt that could grasp his complicated offense. I wonder if he would have tried to tame the "wild" Vick, or would he have deduced he was virtually uncoachable after a few seasons.
     
  8. Hockaday

    Hockaday Guru

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    I remember Paul Hofer. He was real quick. He could be at the line practically before the QB had time to turn for the handoff. Blew his knee out and missed the glory years.
     
  9. foreverfree

    foreverfree Mentor

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    At least as accurate a source, probably [​IMG] , is the book sitting on my lap as I type: The Pro Football Encyclopedia by Tod Maher and Bob Gill (Macmillan, 1997 ed.). Sure enough, page 402 lists Clark as a career long wideout. Besides the Wiki data chris371 cited, TPFE indicates that Clark went to Clemson, was 6'4", and weighed 215 pounds.

    His stats and position can also be found at http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/ClarDw00.htm .

    JohnEdited by: foreverfree
     
  10. foreverfree

    foreverfree Mentor

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    Was George Seifert as white-friendly as Walsh while at the helm in SF? If so, for how long?

    John
     
  11. Poacher

    Poacher Mentor

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    I liked Walsh's coaching style. He would be taken terrible advantage of in today's NFL but during that era he was alright. I always enjoy seeing the old footage of him and Joe Montana conferring on the sidelines. It always looks like an equal partnership, each man making suggestions and listening intently to the other when not talking. They were a perfect fit. Easily the best coach/ quarterback combo in history.
     
  12. foreverfree

    foreverfree Mentor

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    I see Mr. Alworth has yet to fess up.

    John
     
  13. speedster

    speedster Mentor

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    Ah,"the catch" featuring Dwight Clark.For years I was so annoyed by that play,but recently I've changed the way I look at it.Here you have an outstanding white wideout making a huge reception in a big game against a solid black CB in Everson Walls,who by the way led the NFL in pics that year,and I'm all sad.Not anymore.Sorry Dallas blackboys.
     

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