As a 49ers fan, what can I say about this season? Some might say disappointing, frustrating maybe? In my opinion it’s a season we deserved.
What I mean by that is, as a franchise we go from firing coach Harbaugh because he didn’t get on with Baalke, after an 8-8 season and a 3rd place finish in the west. Although I still thought he was our guy and the coach to take us forward.
We then hire nice guy Jim Tomsula, who was a real locker room nice guy, but unfortunately would never cut it as a head coach. When York fires Tomsula, there is an air of anticipation and a feeling that the right man could lead us to a respectable season again, instead they hire Chip Kelly. We go from Super Bowl loser in 2012 and three successive NFC championship games (2011-13) to a 2-14 record in 2016. A massive fall from grace and a real kick in the teeth for the fans of this proud franchise.
On the field has been truly shocking. As said our 2-14 record hasn’t been an unlucky one where games have been lost with a last kick field goal. We haven’t been close in games.
Our offence was ranked 31st overall, and dead last in passing. Our QB situation has been a farce all year. Gabbert starts the year and was an utter shambles. The guy didn’t look to throw a pass downfield at all and became easy to defend against. Kaepernick then takes over and in my opinion looked better even though he may only be able to read half the field. However, he is good with his legs and can make some throws. He gave us a chance and did look to throw the ball past the down markers. Kap still isn’t a starting QB by any stretch, it also looks increasingly likely that the quarterback that led us to that Super Bowl in 2012 will be opting out of his contract.
So what do the 49ers do next? With the obvious firing of Chip Kelly and the slightly more surprise sacking on GM Trent Baalke, the franchise have filled the GM position with ex-Bucs and Broncos safety John Lynch. They have been undertaking head coach interviews and with the early front runner, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, ruling himself out, the Niners looks almost certain to offer the job to Kyle Shanahan. I hope when you are reading this Shanahan will be named the new HC of the 49ers, something I personally am extremely happy with. The guy’s offence is seriously impressive in Atlanta. Whether he can recreate this with a below par 49ers receiver core, a poor OL, and no starting QB is yet to be seen. This will be the question all 49ers fans will be asking this off season.
What will the 49ers do with the second pick in the draft? The QB draft looks promising but thin. Trubisky and Watson are seen by many as the top two QBs in the draft, but are they worth a number two pick? Do the 49ers go to free agency and give up a lot to get Kirk Cousins? Personally, I think they would have to give up too much for Cousins. Do they give Christian Ponder the starting jersey for a year and draft a QB like Brad Kaaya in the middle rounds of the draft and have him learn under Shanahan?
There are many factors to be looked at, so many positions in our roster need improving, the OL needs serious work either in the draft or via free agency. We need an OLB to add pressure on defence and look to hurry opposition QBs. Our secondary is poor, giving up many big plays against them, and importantly the WRs are an average group. All these holes will be looked at and hopefully addressed between now and the start of next season. We have a huge amount of cap space and I’d expect us to be fairly busy in free agency, particularly the secondary and wide receiver positions.
As a Niner fan what I want is York to give the Lynch and the new HC whoever they are the necessary time to rebuild. It’s going to be at least a five or six year rebuild and reportedly Shanahan has been offered a six-year deal. They must give them the time to do the job.
I urge 49ers fans to remain patient. We are clearly in a full rebuild mode, it’s going to take time. We will be relevant again but we have to get behind the team and the coaches and support our famous franchise through the tough times.