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July 3, 2015

Forty Niners Not The Same Team, Whats In Their Future?

by Larry Leek
Former 49er, Anthony Davis

Former 49er, Anthony Davis

Back in 2013 when the San Francisco 49ers were fresh off a Super Bowl loss to the Baltimore Ravens 34 to 31, even though the 49er had lost that game and put a blemish on that spotless 5-0 Super Bowl record, most NFL experts felt that it was just the beginning for a young 49ers team with a promising young Head Coach in Jim Harbaugh and a young QB that appeared to have a bright future ahead in Colin Kaepernick, Not to mention that they great looking young defense as well. Now two years later the 49ers are looking like anything BUT Super Bowl contenders.

It didn’t take long for the relationship between 49ers CEO Jed York & Coach Harbaugh to sour to the point that everyone knew it was just a matter of time before Harbaugh would be out as head coach.

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Former 49er Head Coach, Jim Harbauh

On December 31, 2015 Coach Harbaugh accepted the head coaching position at the University of Michigan and that was the beginning and the first wheel of  what would be quite a few to fall off the wagon. In Jan, 2015 the 49ers announced the promotion of Defensive Line Coach, Jim Tomsula. Tomsula had been the 49ers DL coach since 2007 and was actually the 49ers head coach for one game acting as interim head coach after Mike Singletary was fired. Tomsula’s team won that game.

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Retired 49er, Patrick Willis

After Tomsula was hired the 49ers suddenly went thru a rash of retirements particularly at the linebacker position, losing LB’s Patrick Willis (4/30/2015) and Chris Borland (5/17/15), then RT, Anthony Davis suddenly retired on 6/5/15, not to mention the loss of all pro RB, Frank Gore to free agency.

Everyone knows that in most cases history has shown that anytime a new head coach is brought in behind a coach that had enjoyed success there its rare that the team improved from the previous season. Even with the 49ers going 8-8 last year it’s even hard to say that they can improve on that, so you can’t help but wonder if the team even has enough fire power left to be considered a contender in the NFC West, Let alone in the NFC.

This is Whats On My Sports Mind on this subject….

I definitely see the 49ers having a tough time in the NFC West this coming season. I think Seattle will still be the odds on favorite to win the division and if Cardinals QB, Carson Palmer can return successfully from a torn Achilles they could compete for the division title or at the very least a wild card spot, not to mention that the St. Louis Rams Head coach, Jeff Fisher has them looking like a contender as well.

Retired 49er, Chris Borland

Retired 49er, Chris Borland

I honestly feel that the 49ers have just lost too much to be able rebound from just one draft and where the other NFC West teams have made strides towards improving and are positioned to compete for the division, My Sports Mind tells me the San Francisco has regressed overall in their efforts.

I do like some of the players they drafted in 2015, notably RB, Mike Davis (South Carolina) I feel can be a sleeper who has some nice upside. He’s a tough runner between the tackles and once past the D-line he can get extra yards in a hurry.

The 49ers used their 1st rd. pick of the 2015 draft to select Oregon DE, Arik Armstead to help shore up the defense that was left stinging  in the wake of Willis and Borland’s retirements.

Another issue appears to be that the once promising QB, Colin Kaepernick seems to have hit a plateau in his career. Kaepernick near doubled his stats from 2012 (1,814 Yds. Passing, 10-TD’s) to 2013 (3,197 Yds. Passing, 21-TD’s). But in 2014 he passed for 3.369 Yds. with only 19-TDs. Not saying it was a terrible year, but it seemed at times that Kaepernick had lost confidence in himself especially in the red zone where the 49ers converted a dismal 43.18% of the time, ranking them 29th in the league .

My Sports Mind tells me that the 49ers will indeed have a tough time making the playoffs in 2015 for a 2nd straight season. But just where will they finish as well as the rest of the 31-teams? Well that’s another story that you will just have to wait on. Coming in the very NEAR future I will give you my prediction’s who I think will finish where in the 2015 NFL season, so everyone do your homework and get your predictions together for comparison. In the meantime.

Whats On Your Sports Mind about this subject? Take the poll at the bottom of the page and predict how you think the 49ers will finish. Above 500, Improving on their 2014 record (8-8-0) OR below 500.

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