Camp Alex, the first football activity of the 49ers’ 2011 season, has completed its four day run, and already the blog world is pissed off about everything. It could be a grumpy year ahead.
Jim Harbaugh was almost unanimously welcomed as the new 49er Head Coach in January, but now, without coaching even a single practice, let alone a single game, he is already viewed as an idiot for recruiting Alex Smith to be his starting quarterback this season. While most teams were having player led practices, the blogs ridiculed the 49ers for not having these same types of events. Now that Smith has stepped up and conducted one of these camps, the blogs are poo-pooing the relevance or worthwhility of it, while simultaneously crapping on the team’s number one wide receiver for not fully participating in the same allegedly useless practices.
The seasons come and go. The coaches come and go. But the blogs remain a steadfast bastion of disapproval.
It was rumored (or real) a few years back that Jed York, newly arrived in the Bay Area, logged into the Chronicle’s Insider blog one cheery morning and was shocked, appalled, and furious at the venom he was reading. No shit, Jed. No country for kind men.
So, the 2011 year begins with two of the 49ers’ Big Four offensive players (Smith, Gore, VD, Crabs) being told to get the hell out of town. It is never mentioned who would replace these two. Solutions, after all, are just thumbs downs in utero.
By all accounts, the camp was impressively organized and productive. This can be listed in the So Effing What category, but the alternative would have been a sloppy affair with guys standing around scratching their nuts and swapping lewd jokes. That would not be encouraging at all. For fans who still actually care how the Niners fare this year, this camp was at least an indication that team morale and determination are vibrant and focused.
The best news to come out of this camp may very well be that center David Baas showed up for it. Baas is a free agent. His attendance doesn’t mean it’s a sure thing he will re-sign with the Niners, but it’s a strong indicator that such will be the case. He’s got a playbook. Connect the dots. This would take care of one of the glaring holes in the team’s current roster. Unless old David reverts to his ill-fated past and tears a pec muscle during stretching exercises. In which case, he would definitely re-sign here because nobody else would want him.
At the conclusion of this camp, the team is about where it would have been if there was the usual minicamp in April and rookie camp in May. Everybody’s got the new playbook, has received a basic intro to it, and can now go home and memorize their particular part in that playbook. “Hmmm. Let’s see. I’m no longer Number 5. I’m now Red Beans. Solid. I’m good to go.”
What will be missing, it looks like, are the June OTAs where the real 49er coaches instruct the team and have some real practices where the offense and defense actually play against each other. It is these events that are the most instructive and worthwhile, especially for teams breaking in new systems and playbooks.
Out there on the labor front, real negotiations appear to be finally taking place, so maybe there will be a full 2011 season after all. There’s even a little humor emanating from the process as Roger Goodell assured fans that they were a big part of the equation in the lockout scenario. Now that is some serious, serious bull bleep, Rog. I mean, ROTFLMAO Bull Bleepablooperinicrapatoniocity. And, for good measure, here’s some !#@&*%*!# for your iPod.