The 49ers opened their doors to the public Wednesday, and trotted out their three new coordinators for the Bay Area press to evaluate. These media intros aren’t so much for gathering any hard core news as they are for sizing up the prey that will be stalked relentlessly over the length of their 49er careers.
All three coordinators — offense, defense, and special teams — got passing grades. The only revelation that was newsworthy came from Greg Roman, the offensive coordinator, who squashed the notion that players could take playbooks home to study during a lockout. This was contrary to the prevailing view.
This revelation impacts the entire 49er team, not just the offense. The defense will also be running a new system this coming year, as well as the special teamers. The position most affected is, of course, the QB. David Carr will not be able to get a head start on his competition, as was previously posited here as a nightmare scenario. Nor will Alex Smith, somewhat torpedoing the scenario of him opting back in with the Niners late in the summer after a prolonged lockout dilutes his chances of competing for a starting gig elsewhere in the league. This was probably good news for that group of fans whom Matt Barrows rudely referred to as “Alex haters.” Wherever did he get a term like that?
Roman himself did not seem at all daunted by having, essentially, no QB on board now and none available until after the lockout. Either this fellow thinks like Mike Singletary that the QB is not so important, or he thinks he can turn water into wine on two weeks notice. We’re going to go with the latter choice, and admire Roman’s confidence, or his ability to grin his way through a disastrous scenario like nothing’s wrong — whichever turns out to be the case.
Roman did say they had been studying the QBs available in Free Agency or in trade and found a lot of exciting prospects. If by “a lot” he means “two or three” then I have no qualms with his remark. Otherwise, I’m tempted to think this guy drinks more Koolaid than I’ve ever imbibed, and I have been known to swill that stuff to excess.
Vic Fangio, the new Defensive Coordinator, did not provide any hard data about what we could expect to see next year from the defense. A little of this and a little of that. He mentioned Ahmad Brooks as a guy with some pass rush talent and gave Parys Haralson the “he’s on our roster, too” treatment, perhaps signaling that he won’t be on it much longer. Fangio admitted they were still searching at this vital OLB position. Most likely through film of draft eligible players, rather than somewhere inside the locker room.
Another player mentioned positively was Ted Ginn, whom Roman clearly implied was underused by the old coaching staff. In fact, the entire offense was no doubt underused by the old coaching staff. This was not news to 49er fans near and far.
All in all, a good solid debut for our new coaching staff. I’m tempted to pooh-pooh introductory remarks, but I remember two years ago we had a coach who could not describe anything he was planning to do, repeatedly taking refuge in “Just watch and you will see.” Well, we watched and saw what we didn’t see. Perhaps this time, our eyes will be treated to a see worth watching.