Identity Crisis

The San Francisco 49er’s 2013 season is busy surrendering its weapons and checking into the prison of history this week, getting assigned to a cell in dangerous proximity to the 1990-1993 Buffalo Bills. Three straight trips to the NFC Championship game and nada with the Lombardi hardware.

They’re also facing the real possibility that their division rivals are going to make ONE trip to the finals and come home as Champions. And of course the bigger than life ghost of Bill Walsh, who grabbed all the marbles the first time he had the chance.

Are we heading into the Schottenheimer Zone? Heck, have we already arrived at that dubious destination?

Marty Schottenheimer’s teams (Cleveland, Kansas City, San Diego) made the playoffs a whopping 13 times, but his postseason record was 5-13 and he never made it to the Super Bowl, despite playing in three AFC Championship games. Jim Harbaugh made it to the big show in his second season and second effort, so we’ll bump him up out of the Schottenheimer Zone.

Some people like comparing Harbaugh to Bo Schembechler, and perhaps that’s fair, but Bo is a college boy only. So he’s disqualified from this strictly NFL dissertation.

So, how about the Cowher Zone? Bill Cowher coached the Steelers for 15 years, captured eight division titles, earned 10 postseason playoff berths, played in 21 playoff games, advanced to six AFC Championship games and made two Super Bowl appearances, losing the first one in 1995 and finally winning the second one in 2005, a long 10 years later. He is one of only six coaches in NFL history to claim at least seven division titles. At the conclusion of the 2005 season, the Steelers had the best record of any team in the NFL since Cowher was hired as head coach.

Sound like it could be Harbaugh’s resume 12 years from now? Is that enough to make us happy? Probably not.

How about John Harbaugh, Jim’s brother? Four years in the playoffs, two AFC Championship losses, a 5-4 postseason record, and then a clean 4-0 sweep of everything in season number five, after firing his long time OC Cam Cameron shortly before entering the playoffs.

The 49ers did succeed in knocking the swagger out of the Seahawks this year. They beat them at Candlestick and then came within a fingertip of beating them in their own supposedly invincible house. And you can bet on that final 49er drive there wasn’t a single cocky player on the Seahawks’ sideline. Scared shitless would be much closer to the truth. Their whole strutting PEDophile act on the brink of ruin.

At any rate, the 2013 49ers did overcome the Super Bowl losers’ syndrome by not only making the playoffs, but getting within a fingertip of making a repeat trip to the big dance. A commendable effort.

Now it’s GM Trent Baalke’s time to perform. Let’s hope he can impress us over the next four months and we’re patting him on the back when training camp opens next August.

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Posted in FOS Speculation
164 comments on “Identity Crisis
  1. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    That about sums it up Bullit.
    Football in SF is fun again.

    It was extremely painful to watch disorganized football after all the years of success.

    Being brutally honest, Pre-Cap 9er football was a whole lot easier than Post-Cap 9er football too.

    Not only does the team have to manage salaries, there is a whole lot more pressure on the GM to Draft younger cheaper talent to offset the higher priced Vets.
    Quite the challenge.
    Smaller windows to succeed in as well.

    All in all, we’re relevant and, playing at a much higher level since Jed took control away from Dr York.
    I’d even give some of that credit to Uncle Eddie as well, since he and Jed have some history together.

    Much to be happy about, even if we haven’t grabbed Lombardi #6 just yet.

  2. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    IMO, there’s a lot to be said for guys like Marathe too.
    In today’s NFL, a good GM,Draft Picks and Salary Cap Mgt, are as vital to the success of a team, as a HC and productive players.

    Considering where we’ve been in recent years, Salary Cap issues can cripple you if, the Roster isn’t managed properly.

    Given our consternations with play calling etc, some teams can’t get out of their own way, due to mismanagement at the front office levels. (Jerruh).

    We’re a whole lot better off than most at this point.
    Case in point, Anquan Boldin, for a 6th Rd pick, because Baltimore couldn’t retain him in favor of paying Flacco.

    Things could be a whole lot worse.

  3. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Just look across the bay at the Raiduhs as a team that doesn’t get it.
    We were in the same boat wallowing around without a clue a few years back under Erickson and Donahue.
    Jed York does deserve a lot of credit by changing back to a winning culture and doing what it takes. Building a new stadium was a major accomplishment.
    The Raiduhs can’t decide on a coach, a QB, they want a new stadium but are stuck in the old one, they are tarping off the third deck so they won’t have TV blackouts, they make horrendous choices when drafting and they just expect to lose.
    Things are not improving there and when there is no hope their fans stop caring.

  4. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t have to look far over here either.
    Tannenbaum and the NYJ are a joke too.

    Perfect example of a GM who was clueless.
    He handcuffed them with guaranteed Contracts, poor Drafting and, a media circus that just keeps on giving.

    Yes, we’re nowhere near as bad as some other Organizations, thankfully.

  5. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    A couple of new items.
    Patrick Willis had surgery on his thumb and is now in a cast.
    Willis has had various hand injuries through the years.
    Ravens will choose their OC tomorrow.
    It’ll between Kyle Shanahan and Jim Hostler, yes that Jim Hostler. Hostler should do wonders with Joe Flacco and his
    $20 mil contract.
    There is redemption for guys you never thought would get another top spot like Trestman and possibly Hostler.

  6. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Add to that thought, nobody seems willing to take on the vacant Miami Dolphins GM position either.
    Another situation where a clueless owner meddles with team success perhaps?

    I wouldn’t have minded SF giving some consideration to Marty Morhinweg for the OC position prior to him joining the J-E-S-T Yuk, yuk, yuks.

    But, it’s probably taboo to speak OC and SF in the same sentence around these parts.

  7. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    My ideal first 5 rounds of upcoming draft for Niners (sure to be revised)
    Rd 1 Allen Robinson WR Penn St
    Rd 2 Zach Mettenberger QB LSU
    Rd 2 Kyle Van Noy OLB BYU or Micahel Sam OLB Mizzou
    Rd 3 Keith McGill CB Utah
    Rd 3 Donte Moncrief WR Ole Miss
    Rd 3 Jaylen Watkins CB/S Fla
    Rd 4 Tyler Larsen C Utah St
    RD 5 Michael Schofield OT Michigan

  8. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    12th Man was never an original idea by the Seahags.
    They stole it from Texas A&M and now it is revealed they paid
    TAMU $100K in 2006 and continue to pay $5k yearly to use that moniker. Nothing original about it.

  9. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I can predict a Draft Order but, that’s a decent attempt Bullit.
    I’m on the fence as to where Robinson will land.
    I do like him, not so sure he goes that high.

    Moncrief is also on my radar, along with Matthews, Beckham and Davante Adams, among others.
    My list is rather extensive at this point.
    Combines times will help me chisel it down.

    Love Michael Sam at the OLB position as well.
    Also liked what I saw from the Senior Bowl, Christian Kirksey/Christian Jones as potential OLB options.

    Agree on Larsen too. Another on my radar is Travis Swanson, possibly Richburg.
    Again, Combines will help me there.

    I’m assuming we’ll miss out on Marqise Lee and Kelvin Benjamin as well.
    I’m curious whether Rutgers WR Brandon Coleman could be Kelvin-Light?
    Another big target with some upside. Again, speed concerns me. Combine participant? I’d like to see how he fairs if invited.
    Only caught small samplings of his time here at RU.

    CBs/SSs are wide open on my list also, since I have no clue where to slot them.
    CB Ross Cockrell from Duke looks good, Mid Rds?
    Plenty more from the group too.

    SS isn’t a strong field, Deone Bucannon and Jamea Thomas are in the mix, along with several others.

    I’m checking into many Bio’s, I’ll keep at it. Lots of time to burn.

  10. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Meant to say, I CAN’T predict a Draft Order.
    I simply stack an imaginary Board at several positions where we would seem to be shopping.
    Long way off for me.

  11. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    A kid I’d really love to get is Scott Crichton from Oregon St.
    Declared early, primarily used at DE there.
    Some have suggested that he’s athletic enough to make the transition to OLB.
    I’d consider Sam and Crichton 1/1A at this point until we see some field work from Crichton.

    This is another area, where the ‘Tweeners’ with athleticism, can convert from DE to OLB in the 3-4.

    I’m also considering which of the better tackling CBs can transition to SS for us.
    Several of those ‘slower CBs’ could make that move I think.

    My work continues….

  12. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Another CB I’d consider for the SS move is EJ Gaines –
    Tackles well and runs better than most.
    About equal in size to Donte.

  13. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, get a look at DT Aaron Donald from Pitt –

    Quite undersized but, not vastly different from Glenn Dorsey, size wise.

    Not sure he’d hold the point as Dorsey does however, he’s a terror to contain.
    Probably projects to more of 3T in a 4-3?
    Busy kid though.
    Small and very much a penetrator, hard to contain him.

    I’m curious…
    He gets TFL and, produced in the Sack category.

  14. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

2014 Schedule
1. 9/7 @ DAL: W 28-17
2. 9-14 vs CHI: L 20-28
3. 9/21 @ ARI: L 14-23
4. 9-28 vs PHI: W 26-21
5. 10/5 vs KC: W 22-17
6. 10/13 @ STL: W 31-17
7. 10/19 @ DEN: L 17-42
8. BYE
9. 11/2 vs STL: L 10-13
10. 11/9 @ NO: W 27-24
11. 11/16 @ NYG: W 16-10
12. 11/23 vs WAS: W 17-13
13. 11/27 vs SEA: L 3-19
14. 12/7 @ OAK: L 13-24
15. 12/14 @ SEA: L 7-17
16. 12/20 vs SD: L 35-38
17. 12/28 vs ARI: W 20-17
2014 Prognostications
NJ49er: 11-5
Berger: 11-5
Grumpy: 10-5-1
Rob: 13-3
Skeebers: 12-4
Winder: 10-6
Earl: 12-4
Mr Fletch: 12-4
Phil Fan: 11-5
Chuck: 11-3-2
Bullit: 11-5
Bigjon: 13-3
Tony: 14-2
RTFirefly: 11-4-1

2014 Draft Class
1 Jimmie Ward, S/CB
2 Carlos Hyde, RB
3 Marcus Martin, C
3 Chris Borland, ILB
3 Brandon Thomas, OG
4 Bruce Ellington, WR
4 Dontae Johnson, CB
5 Aaron Lynch, LB
5 Keith Reaser, CB
6 Kenneth Acker, CB
7 Kaleb Ramsey, DE
7 Trey Millard, FB