Last week’s effort to focus on what might go wrong this coming season was a drag. I mean, anything can go wrong. What’s the point in worrying about it now? I am not going to finish this meal. Here, dog, have at it. Take it into the other room, please.
There. It’s a sunny day once again. Back to the half-full glass of life. Heck, let’s get reckless and make it 5/8ths full.
The 49ers are poised to dominate the NFC West for the next five years. The Natural Order of Things has been restored.
The Seahawks will not rise again. That franchise and that city have specialized in mediocrity since God invented the universe. They had a brief run, like the Mariners and now flown the coop Supersonics have had, but for their Big Era, it was a fairly tawdry bit of dominance. They won the division from 2004 to 2007 with records of 9-7, 13-3, 9-7, and 10-6. Puleeeeeese!!!
This past off season, Seattle cleaned house. Unfortunately, the house cleaners were led by a rich guy who likes to own stuff, not clean, wax, tinker, and pet his, you know, stuff. The best hire of their off season was Alex Gibbs, the OL coach. They hired a college escaped goat and former failed NFL coach to cheerlead the rain-sogged fan base and a GM, John Schneider, who has done so little that he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia bio! Puleeeeeese!!!
The Rams will not climb out of the basement and over the Seahawks this year, but it will be another dog fight for awful between these two teams. The Rams don’t yet know who the owner of the club is, but they won a SB with Ms. Frontiere as owner and none with her husband on the throne, so maybe it doesn’t matter. Steven Jackson is a true workhorse back who will help keep the wolves off the franchise darling, Sam Bradford, as he tip-toes through his rookie year. They also have as many holes on the team as their 1-15 record last year indicates. True, Miami went from 1-15 to the playoffs in one year, but that wasn’t a bad team so much as a no QB, Cam Cameron ship wreck. In fact, looking at their schedule, the Rams will be hard pressed to win as many as five games this year.
So, we come to the Cardinals. This team has collapse written all over it. The only reason no one is writing this eight letter word is the assumption that Ken Whisenhunt and his coaches are the best staff in the NFC West, and will find a way to remain competitive with the looming SF juggernaut. Perhaps. This scribe is not prepared to anoint Whizzy so thusly, thoughsly. After all, this is the same guy who twice started Matt “Pass the Bong” Leinart over Kurt Warner, and even tried some gobble-de-gook scenario of bringing Warner on the field as a 4th quarter specialist. I suspect a good deal of Whisenhunt’s perceived competence is owed both to Denny Green’s drafts and Warner’s superb QB play.
And there is the owner. In the Cardinals case, this is a significant deal. The Bidwells make sure that each off season there are several key members of the team that are pretty dang ticked off about their salaries. In fact, this past off season three key members of the team packed their bags and journeyed elsewhere as a direct result of the tight wallets on high: Anquan Boldin, Karlos Dansby, and Antrel Rolle — their 2nd best WR, star MLB, and best safety. The previous year, Warner himself got the old squeeze-a-roni until the 49ers stepped in and jacked-up his AZ paycheck. The key guy on their Dline, Darnell Dockett, is not real pleased about his bank deposit slips, either.
The Cards Oline was an overrated bunch basking in the quick and decisive QB play of Warner. One of their OTs, Mike Gandy, was not re-signed and his replacement has not been identified. The only help added to the Oline this off season was signing a fading Alan Feneca in the hope he has one or two years left as a serviceable left guard.
Still, there is enough talent on this team to make it one more donnybrook between the Cards and the 49ers for NFC west supremacy. In fact, if Leinhart becomes a competent QB and Beanie Boopsy becomes a cutesy two shoes RB, this division could be a two team slug out for a few more years. With the 49ers always emerging the winner, of course. Beginning this year.