. . . broken hearted. Tried to hope, but looked retarded.
My Breakdown . . .
The Vegas oddsmakers notwithstanding (4.5 wins), the feeling about this team from the prognosticators ranges from wildcard possibility at 10-6 to abject failure at 2-14. Of course most of the talk has been of the negative kind. I don’t really understand this as I can’t count on both hands and feet the teams that have come from obscurity to relevance overnight (or over the course of a season).
The salient points being:
- Horrible defensive coaching last year. Jim McNeill was over his head, and lost as DC. The scheme appeared to be hold the line with the D line, and drop the LBs into coverage. This opened up numerous holes in the run game. Even with NaVorro Bowman, the team was terrible on defense. Without him, they were awful.
- Misguided offensive coaching. Chip Kelly’s offense solved one problem plaguing the 49ers. Getting plays off on time. The rest however was a disaster. Neither Gaine Blabbert or Colin Kaepernick ever got any kind of consistency in an offense that was bereft of talent at WR and TE. Most routes consisted of the WRs running to a CB and sitting. Kaepernick had no patience despite decent numbers, and Gabbert had little accuracy despite decent protection. The run game was nil as the team was usually down quickly and forced to pass all the time.
- Lack of talent. Our no 1 receiver was a no-show most of the year, mainly because we never threw deep. Our no 1 TE is known more for dropping passes than catching them. Our no 1 RB was constantly stacked up behind a fair to middling line.
- Lack of pass rush. The order of the day appeared to be playing guys out of position. There were times, usually about 1.5 quarters a game, where the team looked decent defensively. However, a big play would usually ensue, or an inopportune penalty.
- Front office ineptitude. We’ve beaten this horse into the ground so many times since the Jethros took over the team in 2003 that the dead horse is now in China. But it bears repeating that the front office meddled, whispered, and painted themselves into a corner with the Jimmy Bag-o-Donuts, and the Go-Go-(nowhere) Kelly offense. Both sets of coaching searches and hires were beset with stupidity, arrogance, and in the end, hilarity. Hello Adam Gase, the Jimmy T fart-a-rama, and the Chip Kelly debacle. He made the worst offense in the league even worser.
- Trent Baalke. ‘Nuff said.
Now? Well, they hired a coach with no experience and they hired a GM who’s latest job was as a TV analyst. This sounds stupid, but I have to give Jed props for hiring guys who seem to have a grasp of the game of football. The good news?
- John Lynch, the Stanford safety who was an overachieving pain in the ass to every WR he played against, and a hard-hitter to boot, brings a large amount of cred along with his football smarts.
- Kyle Shanahan directed and (almost) won the Super Bowl last year amid a career of being an offensive guru, and son of the last OC to with a Super Bowl with the 49ers.
- The latest draft. The 49ers managed to draft two top-five talents in the draft by getting Salomon Thomas with the 3rd pick, and Reuben Foster with the 31st on a trade up. The Bears were fleeced by Lynch to trade up one spot and garner more picks.
- The WRs. Garcon and Goodwin are the best pair of WRs in a long while. The backups are an intriguing batch of speedsters, including Trent Taylor and Victor Bolden.
- The run game. It hasn’t shown much yet, but Shanahan seems to be good at this, and hopefully Carlos Hyde will do a better job of waiting on his blocks, but the addition of FB Jevzvxvksfjdhjl should help immensely in bailout plays and bocking help.
- DC George Saleh. So far, and yeah, it’s preseason, and without showing our hand, the defense is much more active and attacking. If the pass rush comes around, I feel this team can really be a force on defense. I’m worried about the corners, and I hope Jimmie Ward hits the ground running, but overall I see a vast improvement defensively. Reuben Foster has been the 2nd coming of Patrick Willis so far.
- The Jedster. He APPEARS to be learning something about how to make his moves and shut the fuck up. Not a peep out of him, and that’s how I like it.
I think this team does have an outside shot of reaching the playoffs. the NFC West is not near as strong as it was, and I think we can at least pass the Rams and the Cards. Seaettle is still the #1 team in the West but the gap is closing.