The 49ers have finally introduced their new coaching staff. Most of them can now disappear into the fine print of the team’s hierarchy, until such time as we need to haul them out to blame them for one thing or another. Good luck, guys. Keep your resumes current. This could be a very temporary assignment.
The ones who remain visible are HC Jim Tomsula, OC Geep Chryst, and DC Eric Mangini. It would be nice if we could hide these guys in the fine print, too, but alas, not so.
Legend has it that the 1989 49ers wanted to prove they were winners even without HC Bill Walsh, and they embarked on an Eff You year for the ages, roaring through the regular season and slaughtering everyone in sight in the playoffs. Next year’s 49er team will need to channel that team, in spirit if not in talent, because they won’t get much help from this coaching staff.
Of course, that 1989 team had a few advantages on this year’s squad. For one, HC George Seifert was a very good DC before taking the reins. He had been running one side of the team for as long as Walsh ran the other side.
For another, that team had a QB who knew what he was doing out there, two WRs who were outstanding, along with a great pass catching TE, powerful RB/FB tandem, a good pass blocking O-line, and an OC named Mike Holmgren.
The current team can’t match that team in any category. Except perhaps heart, and that’s pretty doubtful, too. We’ll see.
One guy who’s looking forward to next year is Anquan Boldin. With Michael Crabtree gone, Boldin will, after twelve years in the league, at long last be the primary WR on his team. With a one-read QB, that means a lot of balls coming Anquan’s way. Even if he’s triple-covered.
Steve Young says the Niners have a Super Bowl quality roster, but the jury’s out on the new coaches getting them there. Not exactly a startling observation, since everyone in the league shares it. Even the Vegas bookies still have the team listed as a semi-viable SB contender.
But how much of the SB quality roster perception is due to Jim Harbaugh and his coaches, versus actual player excellence. IOW, is this team closer to the 6-10 team Harbaugh inherited than it is to the 68% winning machine it became under Harbaugh? The players often bragged about how good they were, even as they failed to prove it on the field.
So which team will we see this year? The pre-Harbaugh 6-10 underachiever model? Or a healthy team that methodically resumes its winning ways?