Yesterday, the 49ers rested from two days of strenuous OTA work. The reason for this break in the action is unclear. It could be that the hammies and groinies of the rookies need a little pampering after an off season of preening for the draft. Or it could have been just some language in the CBA defining the whatnots and wherefores that the Baltimore Ravens evidently were apprehended fudging upon, resulting in having one week of their allotted OTA sessions canceled by the league. Naughty, naughty. The Raiders were also nailed yesterday, but that’s to be expected.
The Ravens, having experienced a long run of overrated success, can shrug this malfunction off. If this violation had occurred with the 49ers, it would be called front office ineptitude and inexperience. Such are the inequitable eyes of scrutiny when applied to the actions of the haves versus the haven’t for awhiles.
Some may take umbrage against my referring to the Ravens as overrated. In the past nine years, since their SB victory in 2000, this club has appeared in the playoffs five times, with five playoff victories, won their division three times, and that is it. The definition of fairly good, but never good enough. More pretender than contender. Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens GM, gets rave reviews around the league as one of the best in the business, yet his team perennially plays second fiddle to the Steelers in the AFC North. And the Colts and Patriots in the AFC.
No one argues much about the Ravens defense. Coinciding with the careers of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, they have been a defensive butt-kicker for ten years. But their offense has never once been worth a turd. Maybe not a big ass, toilet clogger Jim Hostler type turd, but definitely a turd. Smelly, unimaginative, and unpleasant to find yourself observing.
The 49ers began their rebuilding era in 2005 by plucking two members of the Ravens coaching staff to lead this franchise back to glory: Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan and Linebackers Coach Mike Singletary. At least the 49ers knew which side of the Raven’s system to pillage. Nolan has come and gone, and now Singletary is left to try and salvage that fateful 2005 decision.
Since the arrival of these two defensive minded fellows, many fans have taken to calling the 49ers the Baltimore Ravens West. The 49ers have a long and glorious tradition of offensive juggernauts, even when they weren’t winning titles. And many fans did not at all like the idea that the team would now be playing a lot of 13-10 games instead of 44-35 blood drainers. And not only playing those 13-10 games, but actually striving to play them.
More to the point, the 49er franchise just has higher standards to live up to than the Baltimore Ravens will probably ever have. Their fans and Ozzie worshipers may be satisfied with getting in the playoffs every third year, winning a playoff game once in awhile, and living off one year of their history, 2000, when they won it all.
That kind of mediocre goodness won’t cut it in Santa Clara, oops, San Francisco. The fans here will not accept anything other than a true dynastic run with more than one SB to show for it. The Indianapolis Colts have ONE SB victory for ten plus years of having one of the greatest QBs ever to play the game running their team. That is criminal failure. But Bill Polian, like Ozzie Newsome, remains a super star GM. One guy can’t find an offense and the other one can’t find a defense. Both of them would have been run out of town if they were working for the 49ers under the large shadow of Bill Walsh.
The one thing that can’t be tolerated in 49er land is a so-so team AND a turd offense. Last year’s team pretty much resembled both, though some fans (okay, it’s only Berger) have applied the more euphemistic term Sardine Can Offense to describe the displeasing efforts of our O team. Making the playoffs this year will quiet the masses, but they will not begin to purr again until the offense becomes a gourmet meal, instead of the remains of the day.