It’s been a long time since the blogosphere was this polarized. Not since the pre-Harbaugh days of Alex Smith. Heading into the 2015 season, bloggers either think the franchise is just fine, or they think it’s become a laughingstock. There’s no middle ground.
Training Camp begins in four weeks and the long offseason of disputed realities will begin to be resolved.
The laughingstock crowd remains firmly committed to the 49ers as a season long joke, but the “just finers” have already begun to lower their bar from the 8-8 is A-OK level by lowering their predictions of what Jim Harbaugh would have achieved if he had remained the coach. By the time the season actually starts, JFers might consider 4-12 a roaringly successful year.
A few of the JFers have sternly insisted they be allowed to see the team play this season before casting a vote on its worth. Sissies.
JFers are only concerned with the 2015 season. Their main hope is to escape it without total embarrassment and to be able to compare it favorably with Harbaugh’s worst season, last year’s 8-8 mark.
LSers aren’t worried about this year. They know it will be mediocre at best, and trending downward. Their concern is how many years of mediocrity lie ahead. And how many years it will take Jed York to repair the damage he has caused to the reputation and integrity of the franchise.
The JFers, however, dispute that York has harmed the franchise. Instead, they believe York is a football guru of sorts. He managed to discern, before anyone else in the world, that Harbaugh needed to be fired in the summer of 2014, after Harbaugh’s team had made three straight trips to the NFC Title game, and the first 49er Super Bowl appearance in 18 years.
This will be the first time in ten years that opposing defenses won’t be selling out to stop Frank Gore. Are they going to sell out to stop Carlos Hyde? Doubtful. Hyde averaged 4 yards per carry last year on 83 rushing attempts. Gore averaged 4.3 on 255 attempts. Hyde runs a lot more upright than Gore, making him easier to tackle and more prone to injury. He also won’t have Mike Iupati or Anthony Davis clearing holes for him to run through.
You have to feel bad for long time LT Joe Staley. His team-friendly contract, signed back when the franchise had a great esprit de corps, runs another three years or so. He’s had to watch the team blown up, almost all of his compatriots either retired or playing elsewhere, and is now looking at playing for a loser the rest of his career. Ooops! “Alleged loser.”