Forgive the fan of the 49ers who is skeptical.
It’s been so long since anything worked for this franchise that when anything appears to go right, a certain percentage of the faithful are looking for a banana peel.
In 2005, Mike Nolan rode in as the answer. He arrived with an impressive resume, heralded as one of the game’s most-highly regarded defensive coordinators. Sadly, Nolan slowly disintegrated into a quirky, questionable figure who raised eyebrows at every turn. Read More
There have been many invocations of the Bill Walsh legacy with the signing of Jim Harbaugh as the 49ers’ coach, and the comparisons are legitimate.
Walsh knew how important assistant coaches are to an NFL team. In college, recruiting is the most important factor and the successful coaches are the ones who bring in blue-chip recruits. In the pros, teams start with a relatively even playing field, so coaching the players well is vital. Read More
Jim Harbaugh is a quarterback coach who seemingly doesn’t have a quarterback now that he’s come to the 49ers. He might want to talk to Alex Smith and get him to stay.
I know, I know, many 49ers fans would be outraged by that. One of my readers said the 49ers should cut all three of their quarterbacks — Alex Smith, Troy Smith and David Carr — and get a quarterback in the draft.
Easier said than done. This is not a great year for quarterbacks in the draft. There are no sure things like Sam Bradford, Matt Ryan — or Andrew Luck. Read More
Congratulations are most certainly in order to the 49ers for landing the biggest fish in the coaching sea, but before Jed York calls his taxidermist to discuss mounting fees, he just might want to remember one thing: More often than not, trophies plucked from college football waters end up being thrown back.In other words, University of Michigan fans, keep your chins up. Your future savior may be just three underwhelming 49ers seasons away. Read More
The confidence borders on arrogance, which is acceptable. “It ain’t bragging if you can back it up,” Muhammad Ali told us. And if what Jim Harbaugh offered in his comments isn’t bragging, it’s not distant. Now we find out if indeed he can back it up.
The choice of Harbaugh as the new 49ers coach seems perfect. The Niners, once the elite franchise in pro football, have been a shambles, almost an embarrassment for eight seasons. Read More
Funny isn’t it. If Jim Harbaugh remains at Stanford, he could be coaching a better quarterback than he likely would with the 49ers or Broncos. Then again, if Harbaugh leaves the Cardinal for his suitors in San Francisco or Denver, Andrew Luck may very well jump to the NFL too. Read More
Instead of looking for an executive from a winning team to become the 49ers’ general manager, Jed York is apparently looking inward in his wretched organization to promote Trent Baalke.
Well, I guess we shouldn’t expect anything different. Jed, after all, is the son of John York, who told me in our first conversation that he was going to tell Steve Mariucci how to coach his assistant coaches and then proceeded to tell Bill Walsh how to run an organization.
The apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. Read More
Jed York is talking again. This time he makes sense, although that may not be enough to make immediate progress.
No wild-hare predictions, like that absurd statement back in October when the 49ers were 0-5 they would win the division, a fanciful thought which made Jed seem out of touch.
Now, only an acknowledgment a change is necessary, because a football team, as any organization — a business, the military, a university — requires competent leadership. Or it fails. Read More
Many 49ers walking around the facility looked shell-shocked following the firing of Mike Singletary. They like Mike.
Vernon Davis called him a father figure who cared about his players as people first. Too bad Singletary’s coaching skills never matched his noble personal character. That’s because he led like he played: Explosive, uncompromising and stubbornly determined to out-muscle anything in his path.
Initially it worked. Although, ultimately the bombast and hubris were his undoing. Read More
Desperate times require desperate solutions. Gene Washington once pointed out to me that Joe Thomas was so destructive in the late ’70s that Eddie DeBartolo was forced to turn control over to Bill Walsh.
The 49ers are not quite so desperate now, but the outlook is not rosy, either. They haven’t had a winning season since John York impulsively and foolishly fired Steve Mariucci in 2002. The three coaches since — Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary — have all been disasters in different ways. Read More