Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports



Welcome to 'First and Goal'. A lot has happened since I saw you last. Tom-Tom got in trouble for his balls. Ray-Ray got arrested again. And again. But the biggest news of all has to be the official start to Ron Jimsula's coaching career. Or is it Steve Bobsula? Hold that… that can't be right. Let me check the media guide here… ah yes, the official start to Jim Tomsula's coaching career!

It doesn't matter anymore how the national press thinks about us; hint-not very impressed. It doesn't even matter what our own fans think anymore, good or bad. OTA's have begun and all we have to judge is what actually happens on the field. And on that note, what I've heard so far is outstanding.

As always, be sure to check out our Hero of the Week.

Let's get to it!

BLUDGEON! But do it Faster!

Ever since we lost Mariucci, the 49ers have not looked like themselves. A collection of coaches on both sides of the ball have brought us some amazing things but none of it looked like the 49ers that we all grew to love in the 80's and 90's. The attention to detail. The pace. The ability to outsmart our opponents on all levels from game days, to practices, to travel plans. And most of all, the scoring of the damn football. I hate field goals, I really do. MY Niners score TD's, not FG's.

Tomsula has been watching and learning for a good bit now. All he has to do is have some recollection about what worked and what didn't work these last 7 years and he's already ahead of the game. Every keyboard GM out there knew what had to be fixed. My high school team had attention to detail. We had pace. To know that these most basic fundamentals are coming back to practice is music to my ears. You cannot have success unless you master the details. You also cannot have success unless you know how to step on the gas. Tom Brady threw two 4th quarter TD's to beat the Seahawks. Our starters didn't even have one last year.

Remember, Tomsula doesn't have to be an innovator. He just has to be the repair man… which brings us to another thing we're fixing during these OTA's. SCREENS!! Swing passes to RB's! Attacking all areas of the field! The 49ers had the least amount of RB catches last year and the least amount of deep passing attempts. I'm so excited to see Reggie take a screen to the house I'm having dreams of his USC days. It also looks like we're getting to the line of scrimmage with time on the play clock. I can't tell you how happy that makes me.

Another thing we're fixing these days is a vital aspect of being on a team. The vibe. By all accounts the vibe has been great. I know what you're thinking… what else are the players supposed to say? I think people that say that are failing to understand the circumstances. People are crapping all over us. In-house, the feelings are quite clear. We're a loaded team that people are vastly underrating. We have solid competition at all positions, including multiple pro-bowlers all over the roster. We have a massive influx of youth. Players are finally getting their chance to shine and people are getting after it. You better believe that Kap and Bowman are taking the reins of this team and pulling us up to new places. I think everyone should be excited.

Not Quite Fixing, but Right up my Alley

Our defensive game has been stellar for years now. We've had some pretty good coaches on the defensive side of the ball, but I think the real credit goes to Baalke. He knows defense like Bo knows everything else. We've been blessed with stellar DB play, sideline to sideline LB play, run game domination play and some good pressure by Aldon and Lynch with a sprinkle of Brooks. But we never had a pressure defense, even though I think we have the talent for it.

The main reason people run a 3-4 defense is because the extra rusher can be coming from anywhere. Except our team. We ran stunts and things but you pretty much knew who was rushing the passer. I wasn't really a fan of Fangio; I thought he did ok. But he never struck me as creative, though the secondary coverage schemes were certainly complex. Fangio relied on the talent of our front 7 to create pressure, which is fine when they're playing well. But this is the same complaint I had about our offense under Harbaugh. When your regular game plan isn't working, how do we adjust? When we need pressure, how are we going to do it after not playing that way for most of the year?

The reports from defensive players about 'confusion' are exactly what I've been waiting to hear. I'm a huge fan of the amoeba defense where players are moving around in undefined roles prior to the snap. I think we have great personnel for this, including our two pro-bowl safeties. This kind of defense, while risky, is worth it in my eyes. It puts pressure on the offense on ever snap and can lead to more game-breaking plays. Unleash the hounds!

Guys I'm Excited to See

The continued development of Kap.

The depth, youth and explosiveness of our stable of RB's.

The depth, youth and speed of our WR's.

The return of our TE game.

The return of our OL play—we have crazy depth and I think the ZBS will do wonders.

The youth and depth of our DL.

The return of Bowman, Aldon and Brooks to All-Pro status.

The young bucks at DB, including Ward, Reaser, Acker, Johnson and Brock.

The continued excellence of our safeties, and new guy Tartt.

The return of our special teams dominance.

When you add all this up, and realize how injured we were all of last year, I think anything less than 11-5 will be a major disappointment.

Hero of the Week

It's hard to make Joe Montana look any better than he is, considering he is the Greatest QB of All-Time. That's why this HOTW goes to Jim McNally, Patriots locker room attendant… also known as, 'The Deflator'! This is one more strike against the Pats for continuously trying to push the boundaries. The funny part is, if they were honest from the start about trying to keep the PSI as low as legally possible, then having a few balls be under that limit would be understandable. But honesty is not the 'Patriot Way'. They denied and denied, they were angry, they were defiant. They were also stupid. It's not only that they cheated, it's the fact that others knew they were doing it. Remember, this whole mess started because the Colts GM told the referees that the Patriots were cheating. I'm sure he wasn't the only one in NFL circles that knew, either.

Tom Brady can throw with any ball, he's pretty good. But the Pats didn't have many TO's during their Super Bowl years. I remember one of their RB's, Green-Ellis, never fumbled as a Pat but he had 5 fumbles in 2 years with the Bengals. When the ball has a lower PSI it's easier to catch and it's easier to hold onto. Brady is especially good in cold weather/snow games. Usually a football feels like a brick in cold weather. Everywhere except Foxborough I guess.

The cheating by Tom Brady would have stayed in a grey area without the substantial texts by McNally to friends of his. So for this Jim, We Salute You! Your Hero of the Week, Jim McNally!!

Quick, someone check the PSI on that thing! (Marcio Jose Sanchez-AP)