While many of you trudge reluctantly to the nearest Post Office today, grudgingly rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, the San Francsico 49ers will gather in Santa Clara and toss the old potato around for the first time since Kyle Williams found it too hot to handle in mid January.
Welcome back, Mighty Men! Let’s get out there and kick some league certified, non-bountified, ever loving, snot flying butt!
That might not be an anatomically correct exhortation, but it’s football and grammar is a controlled substance prohibited from the premises. Leave your syntax in the parking lot!
Actually, technically, there won’t be any butt kickings this week. The OTA’s are rump tapping events with no pads, no snot missiles, no eye gouges, and no bloodied noses.
This two week OTA is nominally only “for ‘strength and conditioning’ and ‘physical rehabilitation.’ Only strength and conditioning coaches may be present; other coaches may not attend or observe in any way. Footballs cannot be used, with the exception of quarterbacks throwing to uncovered receivers. No helmets may be worn.”
That’s some serious wimpiness. In fact, the new CBA has five fewer weeks of offseason work and four fewer OTAs. The big fellas don’t want to work as hard as they used to. Whether this equals healthier players because of more rest time or flabbier guys because of more In N Out time remains to be seen. No offense, youngster dudes, but I ain’t betting on you boys to police yourselves as good as an R. Lee Ermey linebacker coach.
At least Randy Moss will get his first look at the playbook, which will be only one page, with varying arrangements of straight lines from his X position to the end zone. The 49er CBs will be asked if Randy still has his wheels. They’ll be in awe, gush around a bit, and we’ll eat a grain of salt and cross our fingers.
The timing of this Spring OTA, two weeks prior to the draft, ensures that teams will get one last appraisal of their current players before deciding on their final draft boards. It’s only been three months since the boys were last in uniform, but some fellows can get old or spongy or indifferent in a hurry.
Jim Harbaugh only had about a month to get his team ready for action last year, and the team went 13-3. It only seems ipso factabaloney that having a full offseason to prepare the team, they should go at least 26-6 this coming year. Only the sixteen game schedule stands in their way.
That schedule will be revealed Tuesday. We already know whom the team will play, but not the order of playment. The schedule order screwed the Rams and Seahawks in 2011, so it will probably shaft the 49ers this year. Then again, if your team is good, it’s good. And schedules are just a sequential list of victims in a more or less interesting calendar. Will the big triumphs come early, midterm, late, or sprinkled tastefully throughout the season?
The 49ers will not be marked down as an easy win on anybody else’s schedule this year, that’s for sure. And it will be the first time that distinction has occurred since the beginning of the 2003 season. It will also be the first year of Alex Smith’s career that opposing DCs don’t begin their game preparations by saying, “Smith can’t beat us. We have to stop Frank Gore.”
What we will hear is, “What are those S.O.B.’s gonna pull on us this week?” Ahhh. The sweet nothings of respect. And fear.