This has been yet again the weirdest offseason in 49er history. And that’s saying something after last year. Anthony Davis, the guy with the semi-questionable motor coming into the league, decides to retire and forgo something around $18 mill for his services.
I get the fact that players are concerned about their health, but all of the retirements have come from the 49ers for the most part. There have been other guys leaving early, but the rash of guys this year on this team is odd to say the least. But really, to blame this on the Harbaugh situation is pretty much calling the players chicken shit fair weather players. I don’t buy it. Mainly because it is a disservice to guys like Patrick Willis who played through tough situations on some less-than-great teams. Or Justin Smith who toiled long and hard to get to this point in his career to be recognized as one of the preeminent defensive linemen. Or Chris Borland’s courage to walk away from a very promising career. AD? I don’t know. He’s been dinged up and didn’t play well last year. He’s played well, but I;m not sure what the Niners do about the 5 years left on that deal. He is giving back $4.6 mill in signing bonus.
Will his loss hurt? I suppose it will. Some. We are changing schemes to zone blocking, and we look to be more mobile, so road graders won’t be needed as much as they were on the previous 1970s style offense. He doesn’t really fit the new system, so have a nice retirement, AD. The lateness of his announcement is a bitch, but what do you do? Knowing we would need another lineman would have been helpful to know before the draft, but he did what he did when he did. Plenty read into that, but who’s to know? The speculation train is running full speed, but whatever. Shit happens and you deal with it.
All the turnover is a problem but the preseason hasn’t really started so there’s still plenty of time to install their offense. If Harbaugh proved anything it’s that you can install your system fairly quickly. Esp when you remember that he inherited his defense and rode it most of the way. The offense was an extension of the conservative plans from the previous two coaches, but the biggest difference was the D that got stronger and stronger. A new more unpredictable offense, and offense based more on quickness and not slow plays and burning all the play clock is most welcome. All the defense has to do is stay near the top 10. They likely have to be a bit more aggressive with their blitz package, and doing a better job of disguising things. I’d love more aggression. Fabio, for all his success, had games like Denver where he didn’t bother to pressure Manning, and instead laid back and tried to play coverage. Same with the Raiders game. He couldn’t dial up pressure to Carr rot save his life. And this was against a team with a shitty line and little to play for. The O by then was a complete disaster.