49ers success depends on a a few critical variables as we get closer to the start of the season. In evaluating the team, I believe success lies in:
1. Dashon Goldson has to step up. Ive been wanting him to take Roman's spot for the last couple of years. Goldson has good size, range, and makes plays for the ball. This is his year to shine. Dre Bly and Tarrell Brown could also be lumped in here. Prediction for Goldson: 4-6 INTs, 3-4 FF/FR
2. Joe Staley's health. I am comfortable with the depth we have at RT. We have 3 or 4 guys that could play the RT spot and be servicable. If Staley goes down, it would nearly shatter the O-line. He is showing the tools of a dominant LT, and was consequently signed for a huge extension. Staley has to be healthy and play at a Pro Bowl caliber.
3. Jimmy Raye's game-calling. Weve seen the best of the best (Walsh) and the worst of the worst (Hostler) as 9er fans. Raye will have to put together a game plan week in and week out and execute it. He will have to make adjustments and think on the fly. If he keeps it simple, but doesnt become predictable, he should do ok. Not a lot of expectations for Raye, especially considering the way he was hired. Get Vernon a few touches and I think we all would be happy with you.