The 2014 offseason will close up shop this weekend, taking its rightful place among the darkest chapters in 49er history. A truly ghastly effort by the dirtbag young owner and an insult to 49er fans everywhere.
Next up, two weeks of Training Camp leading into the 2015 preseason games. I’d expect the team to look decent in these four fake games, as they face vanilla defenses and offenses. Jim Tomsula and his staff will try hard to convince fans that they know what they’re doing, and they will want the team to experience the feeling of being winners.
For some fans, the 2015 regular season will be about coming to grips with reality. We’ll have trauma teams available to help these poor souls in their journey back toward sanity.
For the rest of us, this year will not be about playoffs or postseason or Super Bowls. All that went out the window last January. No, 2015 will give us a definitive look at the work of GM Trent Baalke, whose 2013 – 2015 drafts will be on full display.
From the 2013 class, only FS Eric Reid has been a starter. His first year was good and his second year so-so. He’s also had concussion issues and Baalke spent a second round pick in 2015 for another FS Jaquiski Tartt. The other 2013 members — Tank Carradine, Vance McDonald, Quinton Patton, Quinton Dial — have played mostly minor roles up to now, but all of them need to contribute this year. We’ll see if they do. Dial and Carradine are penciled in as starters. If they can’t cut it, the D-line falls apart.
From the 2014 class, Jimmie Ward, Carlos Hyde, Marcus Martin, Bruce Ellington, Dontae Johnson, & Aaron Lynch all played minor roles last year. This year they must play major roles. G Brandon Thomas might also need to step in as a starter after a year on IR.
If all these guys turn out to be good players, and some of the 2015 draftees eventually join them, then Baalke will have laid the groundwork of a solid team down the road. If they don’t, Baalke will have failed and the 49ers will have mediocrity as their future.
No matter how good the players are, though, they’ll never become champions without a stable front office and a good HC and staff. The current HC and staff are a league wide joke. That situation falls almost entirely on the owner who forced it to happen. Until it’s rectified, the team will not be a contender.