Enough doom and gloom. The 49ers are not going to the play offs this year. They are, however, playing eleven more games. During the off season, fans are so starved for real football action that they go bonkers over an OTA practice. Time to bonker up to the bar and enjoy the 2010 season for what it is and not for what it was expected to be.
There are many dramas unfolding in 49er land, none of them very heart warming. Yesterday, Jed York texted ESPN to assure them that the Niners would still make the play offs. This was apparently an effort to give everyone in the NFL a hearty Monday guffaw. I think most Niner fans would prefer that Jed give up the comedy act and get down to work on who should run the team and the organization next year.
Mike Singletary is busy sorting a list of players and coaches that can be tossed under the bus as the season stumbles along. Alex Smith has been put on notice that he is at the top of this list. One more loss, and Mr. Smith’s 49er career will be terminated. This possibility will create some torn loyalties in the blogosphere with the hated Raiders being the next opponent. Beat the Raiders or See Smith Canned? Hmmmm. Choices, choices.
David Carr seems to have developed a WTF attitude about life in the NFL, which should serve him well should he be the next QB getting intimate with David Baas’ rear end. More likely, Carr has come to realize that backup QB is one of the most plum jobs in the world. If you have reasonable talent at all, you can bounce around the league till you are 40 or so, drawing some very nice pay checks and having zero pressure ever put on your shoulders and zero sacks pounded into your precious bodily fluids and parts. Plus, a backup QB is always a popular guy in any team’s fandom. You couldn’t ask for a sweeter job.
During the off season, Patrick Willis sang the praises of Abrayo Franklin, as Franklin was staying out of camp. Now that Willis is having to fend off guards and centers instead of roaming around making tackles, perhaps he’s changing his mind. It’s an old story, this hold out business. Players thinking they can just show up on opening day and turn on the juice, only to find they are not ready for combat. Franklin’s big pay day after this season is shrinking with each ho-hum game he plays.
Two other players looking for big contracts, Manny Lawson and Dashon Goldson, are also not exactly advancing their significance this season. Goldson has been mostly a non-factor through five games and Lawson is Lawson, a solid base defense OLB, but not a pass rushing threat. Better start thinking “reasonable 2 down LB contract” Manny or this will be your last year as a Niner. Both of these players were expected to take their games to a new level this year and neither one of them has.
Will James finally saw playing time last Sunday, replacing Tarell Brown as the 3rd CB. This seems to indicate Brown has fallen out of favor and will not be with the team much longer. With Nate Clements probably in his last year here, the secondary will be a prime upgrade candidate in the 2011 draft and FA period.
The defense is getting old. It appears to have peaked last year and is definitely falling off this year. It was never a shut down defense like they have in Baltimore and this year it is not good enough to carry a team that has a seventeen points is enough offense. It’s time to turn the offense loose. It doesn’t succeed now as a ball control force, might as well open things up and wing it. What is there to lose, except another game or two?