The 49ers return to work today. Practices are over. It’s time to get real. The first order of business is the installation of the game plan for next Sunday’s opponent, the Seattle Seahawks.
It’s hard to imagine what this game plan will be based on. Seattle has only 26 players on the team that suited up last year, and the coaching staff is completely different. Half of the roster has been purged. Their QB, Matt Hasselbeck, tweeting on Tuesday, compared the insane comings and goings this past week up there to an avalanche.
“Here today, gone tomorrow” was the slogan of their off season. Whatever giddiness Seattle fans experienced by the hiring of Pete Carroll and the draft that netted OT Russell Okung and FS Earl Thomas has largely been buried in the past week’s aforementioned avalanche. The message delivered to the fan base, and the players on the team: we are going to stink it up something awful this year. And it’s possible we have no idea what the hell we’re doing, so be patient. Riiiiiight. Hahaha.
Hasselbeck has been injury prone for several years now. Expecting him to survive all sixteen regular season games is not a concept any rational person would endorse. Reflecting that concern, Carroll has ONE backup QB on the roster. ONE. This backup has never thrown a pass in an NFL game. His name is Charlie Whitehurst and he was previously the 3rd string QB for four years with the San Diego Chargers. In other words, in four years, he was not able to unseat Billy Volek for the 2nd string QB job. Carroll actually traded a 3rd round pick for this perennial 3rd stringer, and swapped picks with the Chargers in the second round of the 2010 draft. The Chargers could hardly contain their chortles over this largesse.
Carroll’s highly regarded recruitment of Alex Gibbs to be the Seattle O-line coach blew up a week ago when Gibbs abruptly resigned. Whether he resigned because of health issues, as the spin goes, or over disgust with Carroll, as the rumors go, matters little. He’s gone and a guy who worked with Gibbs for awhile a few years ago has been installed in his place. Not exactly a thrilling last minute development for that team or that recently assembled O-line.
Pete Carroll arrived in Seattle with a lot of hoopla, derived mostly from his years at USC, not from his years in the NFL. Shortly after he signed his contract, though, his legacy with USC burned to the ground and his flight to Seattle was seen more as an escape from L.A. than a noble career choice. USC is being stripped of titles, games, and awards from the 2004 and 2005 seasons, has lost 30 scholarships, and is on a two year bowl ban. Carroll claims not to know of the infractions that led to the disgracing of his tenure there, making him a liar as well as a skip-town scumbag. This site sincerely hopes the 49ers make his stay in Seattle as disgraceful as his tenure at USC.
All in all, this should be an easy victory for the 49ers. They are a much better team than the Seahawks. But it’s football. Anything can happen. The Niners were better than Seattle last year, too, but still managed to fumble away a game to them. Turnovers will be the key to the game. If the 49ers do not turn it over, they will win. Easily.