49er fans waited a long, long time for the team to come up with a dominant pass rushing DE/OLB. Last year, this patience finally paid off, as Aldon Smith wracked up 14 sacks as a rookie. Alas, in his first offseason of semi-stardom, he’s been busted for a DUI and stabbed in a brawl at a party. This is the sort of behavior that gets you suspended and useless, or dead and ditto. Hey, Aldon! Get a lightbulb and turn it on!
Maybe character flaws come with the pass rush territory. The last great home grown pass rusher for the 49ers was Charles Haley in the late eighties. As we all know, Haley had some unique weirdness flawing his character. If you don’t know about Haley’s habits, Google them up and blush in the privacy of your office or home.
I’ve left out Andre Carter, some of you astutemongers might notice. Carter played a few years for us in the early part of this century. He puts up ten sacks every year, doing it last season for the Patriots. But Carter is the Rafael Palmeiro of football. He puts up the stats, they accumulate, but nobody ever notices them or is even aware of their existence. And they never made a difference in any part of the universe outside of Andre’s mom’s living room.
Last season, the 49ers went from Frank Gore’s team to Alex Smith’s team. This ended a five year run of top doggity for Gore. This year, Gore will slip even further down the slope of his waning career as three new running backs muscle into his territory. Due to his alma mater’s late graduation ceremonies, we have yet to see second round RB pick LaMichael James carry the oblate spheroid, but Maiocco thinks this fellow will have the greatest impact of any player from our 2012 draft.
Given the depth at WR, our first pick AJ Jenkins is unlikely to see a lot of action, and the other picks will need some seasoning, so Maiocco’s opinion is probably correct. How great an impact is the real question. If he’s as good as advertised, this could be Gore’s last year in a red and gold uniform.
I feel for you, Frank. This morning I have been recruited by a niece to help move junk from her old home to her new one. In the process, I will get a bird’s eye view of what her generation considers precious junk versus what mine treasured. The operative feeling is obsolescence. A feeling Frank will be enduring during this coming season. We love ya, Frank. Your junk was pretty damn good.