So far at least this has been a very good offseason (humor me and read this). Gone are Trent Baalke and a coaching staff full of underachieving unprepared goofballs. I mean, Kelly was no great shakes, but Jimmy Bagadonuts was farting his way through pressers and generally stinking up the joint. Young Sir Jed Hidesalot was of course squirreled away in his ivory cabana pissing off his neighbors as well as millions of fans as the team sucked its way through these last few shitty seasons.
Now? Well, the invisible owner hired two newbies to replace the Kelly/Baalke comedy hour in Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch. Since then, there has been a fairly obvious uptick in the team’s status. Players actually want to come here to play under Shanny’s offensive system, and the front office for the most part nailed the draft. Two very encouraging things on the face of them.
Still and all, it doesn’t amount to squadoosh for the upcoming season. The immediate future of the team is likely not a very rosy one, at least if you listen to the so-called experts. Of course, NFL fortunes are won and lost season by season as teams rise and fall like the tides in the Bay of Fundy. Look it up. How good are we? Playoffs? Playoffs?!? PLAYOFFS?!?!? Not likely, no matter how optimistic one is. Recent history shows us that coaching can play a huge difference in the fortunes of a given team, as witnessed by Jim Harbaugh taking Aluminum Mike Singletary’s 6-10 49ers to 13-3 and a couple fumbles away from a Super Bowl berth.
Unfortunately, the team is not in that state. That 2010 team was built by Scotty McLoughan. The team had a boatload of high draft picks and talent. Harbaugh easily turned the team around with his rah-rah take no prisoners attitude and for a while, things were great. However, when Scotty hit skid row and ‘mutually departed,’ Trent Baalke slowly drained the team of talent while York and spreadsheet boy pissed off Jim Harbaugh to the point of another so-called mutual departure. Our QB of the future took a team-friendly deal to keep the talent around him here, yet the front office dumped all the talent anyway and blamed coaches, players, and the waterboy for their failures while laughing their way through bad hires and shitty seasons.
The team hit rock bottom as they travelled down the peg board of the NFC West going from 1st in 2012 to 2nd in 2013 to 3rd in 2014 and 4th in 2015 and 2016. 2-14 last year being the bottom rung of the “I only hang Super Bowl Banners” statement made by York as he fired his most successful coach and pissed away the talent.
Today? The hope is that these guys in the front office have learned their lessons about how not to run a football team. Shitting on players and pissing off coaches and spreading lies and misinformation through the media while backstabbing and whispering and leaking information to guys like Trent Dilfer needs to stop. And, for better or worse, hiring a guy like John Lynch and pulling these kinds of stunts is akin to poking a sleeping bear. Lynch may be more professional than Jim “only men allowed here” Harbaugh, but he’s also someone that wouldn’t take the whisper campaign lying down. Harbaugh played his games through the media in his own way. Lynch would more than likely give Jed a blindside hit coming down the hallway at 4949 Centennial Blvd.
So, where are we? I think with a stop-gap QB, a newly toooled offense, a vastly improved defensive line and a hugely improved coaching staff, this team has the ability to go 8-8. Playoffs? No, but enough improvement to be encouraging.