Less than four weeks until Training Camp opens. Last year at this time, the players were excited about playing for Jim Tomsula. He was a lot easier on them in practices and meetings than his predecessor Jim Harbaugh. We all saw how that worked out. Tomsula was fired after the last game of the season and has not been seen or heard from since.
This year, the players are excited about playing for Chip Kelly, who works them very hard in practices. We’ll see how that works out. All we know is Chip’s tenure will not be a one year knock-off like Tomsula’s.
Clearly, though, player attitudes are unreliable indicators in attempting to gauge the success or failure of an impending season. The beat writers aren’t much help, either. They tend to slip on the soft gloves this time of year while keeping their claws sharpened for after the fact analysis later on.
The odds makers and analytical sites don’t think much of the 49ers’ chances this year. Nor does anyone else, it seems. Apparently, having Kelly as our new coach isn’t particularly swaying opinion toward a more positive outlook.
This is what happens when you can’t beat anybody in your own division. A couple of years ago, the offseason was measured by whether it helped the team beat the Seahawks. Now it’s measured by whether the team can win even one game in the division. When you go 0-6 or 1-5 in your own division, even a .500 record in the other ten games still gives you only a five or six win season. Last year, the Niners went 1-5 in the division and 4-6 outside of it. This year could be even worse. The other three teams in the NFC West appear to have bettered themselves during the offseason, while the Niners just sat on their basement credentials like it was a pat hand.