I have been a fan of the San Francisco 49ers since 1984 when the Montana/Marino Superbowl matchup caught my imagination. I was fortunate to enjoy most of the good times of the Superbowl era and watch many of the all-time greats on a weekly basis.
What has happened to our beloved team over the past decade is embarrasing and inexcusable. We were once the flagship franchise of the entire NFL. Now we are in a hamster-wheel "HELL" of rebuilding mode.
Rather than complain about it I am willing to offer my thoughts on what should happen. It won't happen but this is my way of venting. (This is not a newb post. I used to post under the name PensacolaNiner.)
1. Remove Mike Singletary as Head Coach. Replace him with Bill Cowher. Now that the grieving process is over for him he is ready to coach again and we should pay him whatever he asks. John Gruden or Jim Harbaugh could also work here.
2. Put a feeler out to Mike Leach and see if he would be interested in being an offensive coordinator in the NFL. He is still a young man, very intelligent, knows Crabtree's skill sets and could invigorate our offense. Think Mike Martz "lite."
3. Allow Alex Smith to finish the season as the starting QB. He is the most athletic quarterback on the roster which is required with our pourous offensive line. But I would do a few things differently. Send Alex in with three plays (2 pass, 1 run) out of the same formation and allow him to audible based on what the defense shows. Peyton Manning and the Colts use this and Alex seems to play better when given some freedom at the line of scrimmage. I would also give our other quarterbacks on the roster at least one series per game. We need to find out if any of them are worth retaining and we will never find out if Alex takes every snap.
4. Bring back the slant pass and 3-step-drop pass to our offense. Our line is too young and not talented enough to hold a block for deep routes yet we keep calling them. Throwing out the West-Coast Offense is one of the biggest mistakes our franchise ever made. True defenses had caught up with it to some degree but it should have evolved...not been canned.
5. We should practice more on screen passes. It is obvious year after year that we do not work this skill set enough because we are not good at it. Because our defense does not see it in practice they are not good at defending it.
6. Play-action passes are also non-existent in our offense. This needs to be rectified by Tuesday. As much as we currently run our receivers would be open often using this technique more.
7. Release Jerry Sullivan as wide receivers coach. Too long his work has been touted with less than stellar results in San Francisco.
8. Retain defensive staff if Cowher (or new coach) permits. I am discounting today's performance versus Kansas City and looking at their longer track record from last year and first two games this year. I think they are finally demoralized from the lackluster offense.
9. Insert Taylor Mays into more of the gameplan. Too athletic and fast to keep shelved and watch our slower safeties play in his stead.
10. Unleash our playmakers and not waste their years of service. Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, Josh Morgan, Delanie Walker, Ted Ginn have the opportunity to be explosive and dynamic yet Frank Gore ends up being our top receiver. Our current QB waits until they are open to throw the ball rather than anticipating them to be open. So many times when we catch the ball our receivers are stopped rather than running in stride. What a tremdous waste of speed and accelaration. We have mismatches at all these positions and we waste it weekly by throwing to them when they are stopped on a curl route or sitting them in a zone. Tragic.
11. In 2011 draft a QB in Round One and another QB by Round Four. With our string of disasters in finding QB talent in the draft we need to take multiple shots. The QB from Stanford might work. I also watch the QB at Arkansas and Washington.
These changes won't be made but it made me feel better. The "Faithful" deserve better and changes need to be made. Let's hope ownership will do something soon and bring the flagship back to its rightful place.
[ Edited by ArmchairQB on Sep 26, 2010 at 3:49 PM ]