Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Brace yourselves. Winter is coming. By that, I mean that year two of the Tomsula era could soon become a reality.

I know a lot of 49er fans, myself included, have this wonderful fantasy about an end of season firing bonanza of Tomsula & Co. and having them replaced [insert your fantasy coaching lineup here] for 2016, but based on the last few weeks and what I suspect was the agenda all along, that just isn't going to happen. Maybe … just maybe – to play devil's advocate for just a moment – they deserve a second chance?

Rewind to January 2015. We all knew. Deep in the back of our minds, we all knew who the job was going to. Hell, it had been hinted at back in 2010. Jim Tomsula was going to be the guy. By all accounts, he is a well-liked, highly knowledgeable guy who is in many ways the anti-Harbaugh. He was the front office's main man all along. Maybe the magical, mystery Paraag Marathe formula of excellence told everyone that are odds of winning the Super Bowl with a well-liked and respected position coach were far higher than with an established, proven coach (this sounds really familiar, btw). No matter how many 'experts' tabbed a Mike Shanahan reunion or a Peyton Manning endorsed Adam Gase, somehow, you just knew Tomsula was going to get the job. And get the job he did.

On paper, it had some potential. As the coaching staff was assembled, you had some well-known names sprinkled in the mix, some with prior head coaching experience. Some continuity on the offense (wait – wasn't that the problem in the first place?) for an embattled quarterback. Overall, some wisdom sprinkled in with some continuity rallied around a 'players head coach.' What could go wrong?

Then there was the offseason. I have been watching football and the 49ers specifically for well over 30 years. I have never seen an offseason like that one. It got to a point where I didn't dare tune into ESPN or NFL Network to hear about the next catastrophe. Say what you will about Jim Tomsula and the manner in which he got the job, but there is not a head coach on Earth that deserves to be handed that kind of debacle and then be expected to 'win championships' (Really Jed? You didn't learn from your win the division escapade?). It just isn't fair. It just isn't right. The football gods were clearly wronged and had set out to smite this organization. Even if the head coach was Bill Walsh reincarnate, there was just no way a rookie head coach should be expected to overcome all that loss and still put out a championship contender.

Then there was opening night. What a great tease. Watching the 49ers manhandle the highly touted Vikings, who up until this past week had been playing very high caliber football, was a thing of beauty and a thing of promise. Maybe our front office really was on to something. Alas, all it took was one week for it all to come crashing down to earth. The wheels came off, and now, to make it worse, our coaching staff, filled with wisdom, expertise and leadership, just couldn't adjust. A revolving door at offensive guard/tackle, a quarterback who has clearly lost all confidence and a seemingly interminable stubbornness from our coaching staff regarding personnel and tactical decision making equaled disaster.

Now staring at a second consecutive non-playoff season and with more holes to fill than a Michael Bay movie, it is easy to grab the pitch forks and march on Santa Clara demanding justice be served. The faithful were promised Super Bowls. They were told to hold our CEO accountable. Really Jed, again? Exactly how should we do this? It isn't like we can vote you off the island. So we turn to Jim Tomsula. We say, "give us his head!" While you're at it, those of your entire staff as well – save maybe Tom Rathman.

With all that being said, we have recently witnessed what can happen when we have a revolving coaching situation. So is a complete reset truly the answer? If not for Blaine Gabbert showing a dramatic improvement from his Jaguar days, I would have said yes. While Colin Kaepernick was tanking, all of us were debating what quarterback we would be targeting in the draft with our first round pick. Jared Goff? Connor Cook? Cody Kessler? The truth is, this is not shaping up to be a deep draft for quarterbacks. It feels like 2005 all over again.

But now that Gabbert has demonstrated that he has the potential to be a bridge quarterback to whoever the next great 49er quarterback may be, that gives this team room to help themselves in more ways than one. With the aforementioned issues along the offensive line, and a sparse pass rush coming from the defensive front seven, it has been clear so far that this team is losing the battle in the trenches. So if Gabbert can, at the very least, be a solid starter, the team can take relatively good draft positions and a hefty chunk of salary cap room available. The time is now for the team to use the draft to take a pass rushing specialist, a run stuffing tackle, and perhaps a fourth round flyer on a developmental quarterback. Then use free agency to re-stock the offensive line.

Assuming that this all happens, and a return to health and depth at key positions like running back and tight end – not to mention actual coaching continuity – perhaps we will get a chance to see what this coaching staff is truly all about. And to be honest, as invested as Jed York and Trent Baalke seem to be in Jim Tomsula – firing Harbaugh, passing up established, maybe even better qualified candidates and even demoting Jed's right-hand man Marathe would seem to point in that direction. Throw in Jed's supersized ego and it feels like nothing short of a complete and utter collapse in the final four games would get Tomsula fired. And when those game include Cleveland, Detroit and St. Louis, all winnable games for an improving 49ers team, that too seems really unlikely.

I know these are a lot of assumptions. To me, this coaching staff never should have been hired in the first place, but that was not my call. Year two of the Tomsula era? It might produce playoff football. It might be more of the same as this year – or worse. The question that really has to be answered is ... do they deserve the chance that perhaps they didn't get this season?

They might just be getting it either way.