It’s been a month since the 2018 regular season ended. During that time, the Seahawks went to the playoffs and the Rams went to the Super Bowl. And the 49ers assumed their customary position on the spectator couch. They finished six games behind the second place Seahawks and went 1-5 in their division, so it was not a close-but-no-cigar situation.
Most fans seem to be avoiding the implications of Kyle Shanahan‘s first two years of unimpressive coaching by choosing instead to play the armchair GM game regarding the upcoming FA period and the draft. Sure, why not? Pitting your wits against John Lynch is easier and the results are much nearer on the horizon and more readily analyzed.
It’s nice to dream. To dream that a key FA and a high draft pick will magically transform the team from a loser to a winner. The Niners are in a division with two teams above them that have better players, better coaches, better front offices, and better owners. All the 49ers have is the potential of Jimmy Garoppolo. A guy entering his sixth year in the league who has yet to play a full season or even accumulate enough starts to achieve a full season’s worth.
Some of you will strongly disagree with this pessimistic assessment and insist better days are ahead. There’s even a slim chance you will be right – some day, some year.
But this time of year is pretty gloomy. Watching other teams play in January while your team doesn’t. The Niners have made the playoffs only three times in the past sixteen years. The Patriots have made it fifteen out of sixteen, just like the 1983 – 1999 49ers.
From where I sit, if the 49ers want respect and optimism, they have to get out there and earn it on the field. It should not be just an offseason fantasy football mirage.