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Lowell Cohn's new column

Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Originally posted by area49:
Originally posted by SJniner7:
"The Prince finally needs to get it right. If he does, good for him. If he can't get it right, he will have to fire Singletary and get a new offensive coordinator and a new quarterback, and then start all over again from the beginning. If it comes to that, he and Dad should just sell the team."

I am confused on what exactly he means by "getting it right"? Does he mean if Johnson works out, which had nothing to do with him? Or is he suggesting that Sing would be fired and hire a legitimate coach if the Niners fall hard?

Johnson is Sing's last ditch effort, and could make or break his job. This is similar to how Smith is going to make or break our season.

I agree with the hiring of Sing, as it seemed he was just given the job following half of 2008. We should have at least waited and seen what would come available. You guys all talk like "selling" the team is the answer.

My fears would be moving the team or even selling to a worse owner than we currently have. Trust me, there are worst owners than the Yorks...

There are no owners worse than the Yorks, and moving the team would be nothing short of a blessing.


Seriously, dude, thanks. At least SOMEONE agrees with me. I really think that, if Ed Roski or Larry Ellison just moved this team to LA, it would be able to thrive and have a new identity. Everytime I suggest it here, all I get is "f**k LA".
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Originally posted by Shaj:
Summary:

The Niners downfall begins with the Yorks, and has been carried out by their heir, Jed York the Prince. Jed rushed into hiring Singletary, when Gruden and Shanahan would be available shortly thereafter. Also, he feels Nolan was a better coach than Sing, because at least Nolan helped with game planning defense, while Sing plays zero part in game planning anything. Sing hired Raye because he said the right things, and the story continuines with yet another unqualified person taking on an important role (first Jed, then Sing, then Raye). Now, we are in a sitution where another unknown person, Mike Johnson, becomes the most important coach in the 49ers. If he succeeds, Sing stays, if he fails, Sing gets fired at year end.


Nice story, and I agree.

It's 100% true. I've been saying it for years. The Yorks suck. We will never win with them. We will have different names at HC, OC, DC, new players, personnel guys etc. But the constant of SUCK is the Yorks. It always has been and will be until they sell to Larry Ellison.

Or Ed Roski.
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Cohn has somewhat of a point, but again he really doesn't make it very well. I agree with HessianDude that hindsight is always 20/20 and it's easy to say York "did something too quickly". If "getting it right" was as easy as it sounds it wouldn't have taken New Orleans, Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and even the Seahawks decades of losing before they "got it right".

You have to play with the cards you're dealt. John York admittedly didn't want to run this team. He leaned on Walsh to appoint Donahue as the GM. People forget that Donahue was hand picked by Walsh to run the 49ers as he stepped down. Sure the Mariucci firing was a bad idea, but even then most fans agreed with TO that Mooch "had no killer instinct". Many applauded Mooch's firing but had no idea Walsh's hand picked successor would call on Dennis Erickson. Neither did fans realize that Donahue would essentially dismantle the entire team.

This left York completely on his own and when you're in business, you tend to trust the people you have and not outsiders. Why on earth would the Yorks suddenly trust all the external advice from people not nearly associated with the team? At the time everyone thought Nolan was a "good hire". The 49ers #1 pick was because of the Walsh-appointed Donahue era prior to Nolan's hiring.... and it was McCarthy who advocated for Smith - not just Nolan. Yes, maybe the Yorks gave too much power to Nolan but many thought they had a great coach on their hands. McCloughan was hired and lauded as a great evaluator of talent ala Green Bay and the Hawks and Marathe hasn't had one single holdout since he became VP, save Crabtree and many people thought the 49ers won that challenge.

Nolan hired good OCs in McCarthy and Turner but miserably failed with Hostler and had some success with Martz. After the team lost and we tired with Nolan, the team looked to Singletary. During this time the ownership was again in transition with Jed taking a more active role.

The team ended up in York hands because Eddie was stupid. There's just no other way to put it. So if you want to find fault, blame Eddie. Alex Smith found his way on this team because Walsh's heir apparent to John McVay dismantled the team and we ended up with the number 1 pick shortly there after. Furthermore, that pick was APPROVED buy the current winning head-coach of the Green Bay Packers who's winning with the QB he didn't choose in that draft.

If there's any criticism that I have of the Yorks (or Jed) is that he may have failed to understand the trend toward offense in the league. In today's NFL, I strongly believe you need a former OC as a head-coach; a guy who understands the passing game. Recent rule changes and added "points of emphasis" are all geared to make the game "more exciting" and that means passing, not a ground and pound - strong defensive teams. I personally think that era is over and the NFL prefers it that way obviously.

Jed should have found himself a good, aggressive, organized GM/Player Personnel guy who believed in the trends of the NFL, appoint a bright, creative OC as head coach and then hire a stud DC. That GM should believe in finding a coaching candidate who believes in a good QB prospect, investing heavily in the LOS (both O and D) and then adding pieces at the skill positions either via draft or FA.

This formula seems easier said than done, but unfortunately the 49ers were not able to do this recently. In the final analysis you can't just simply blame the Yorks and walk away from the issue. There were MAAAAANNNYYYY decisions that were made which resulted in the current state of the franchise.

Finally, what most fans fail to realize is that selling the team doesn't necessarily mean change for the better. Remember the 49ers are not very profitable in terms of an NFL business, and increased revenue isn't a guarantee even with a new stadium in Santa Clara or San Francisco. Even Cohen wouldn't be happy if the a new owner bought the team and moved it to Los Angeles or San Antonio (don't sleep on San Antonio - check out population projections). Just as if you would change a coach or a player, changing owners doesn't guarantee a return to the glory years.


/fin
You make some good points here, and bring some important history into focus. Let me emphasize a couple of points:

John York never wanted to run the team, and it showed. He didn't take the time to learn how to do it because he didn't want to be there. He happened to be married to Denise and they had a son that wanted to be involved in the business, and that was the game plan all along. Jed is young and seems to be learning well. He is a bright kid with a degree from a top notch university.

Selling the team in today's economic environment is hard. As you noted, the cash stream for the 49ers is not very good. Only the Lions and the Vikings generated less revenue than the 49ers last year. Their stadium is the worst in the league and the city of San Francisco has been a millstone around their York's neck in terms of getting a new place built. When the Dolphins were recently sold, it included a nice piece of real estate with great future value. The 49ers play in a place no one wants to live or work. No one would want to buy a franchise with those problems.

One interesting point you recalled was the fact Mike McCarthy supported the drafting of Smith over Rodgers. Then he takes second choice and turns him into one of the better QBs in the league. McCarthy's analysis of Smith and the job he subsequently did with Rodgers should reinforce the need for better offensive minds in SF and a higher value for Smith than many here hold.
Originally posted by area49:
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Originally posted by area49:
Originally posted by SJniner7:
"The Prince finally needs to get it right. If he does, good for him. If he can't get it right, he will have to fire Singletary and get a new offensive coordinator and a new quarterback, and then start all over again from the beginning. If it comes to that, he and Dad should just sell the team."

I am confused on what exactly he means by "getting it right"? Does he mean if Johnson works out, which had nothing to do with him? Or is he suggesting that Sing would be fired and hire a legitimate coach if the Niners fall hard?

Johnson is Sing's last ditch effort, and could make or break his job. This is similar to how Smith is going to make or break our season.

I agree with the hiring of Sing, as it seemed he was just given the job following half of 2008. We should have at least waited and seen what would come available. You guys all talk like "selling" the team is the answer.

My fears would be moving the team or even selling to a worse owner than we currently have. Trust me, there are worst owners than the Yorks...

There are no owners worse than the Yorks, and moving the team would be nothing short of a blessing.


Seriously, dude, thanks. At least SOMEONE agrees with me. I really think that, if Ed Roski or Larry Ellison just moved this team to LA, it would be able to thrive and have a new identity. Everytime I suggest it here, all I get is "f**k LA".

F**K LA!!!
Originally posted by area49:
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Originally posted by area49:
Originally posted by SJniner7:
"The Prince finally needs to get it right. If he does, good for him. If he can't get it right, he will have to fire Singletary and get a new offensive coordinator and a new quarterback, and then start all over again from the beginning. If it comes to that, he and Dad should just sell the team."

I am confused on what exactly he means by "getting it right"? Does he mean if Johnson works out, which had nothing to do with him? Or is he suggesting that Sing would be fired and hire a legitimate coach if the Niners fall hard?

Johnson is Sing's last ditch effort, and could make or break his job. This is similar to how Smith is going to make or break our season.

I agree with the hiring of Sing, as it seemed he was just given the job following half of 2008. We should have at least waited and seen what would come available. You guys all talk like "selling" the team is the answer.

My fears would be moving the team or even selling to a worse owner than we currently have. Trust me, there are worst owners than the Yorks...

There are no owners worse than the Yorks, and moving the team would be nothing short of a blessing.


Seriously, dude, thanks. At least SOMEONE agrees with me. I really think that, if Ed Roski or Larry Ellison just moved this team to LA, it would be able to thrive and have a new identity. Everytime I suggest it here,all I get is "f**k LA".

and that's exactly what you deserved.
Yorks could easily get themselves out of this mess if they commit to hiring a proven winner at HC, like Grudan. Baalke of course has to draft a QB to complement that hiring.

Erickson, Nolan and Singletary. This list is getting as ridiculous as the list of QB's we run through since we released Garcia.
[ Edited by Hopper on Sep 28, 2010 at 1:23 PM ]
Originally posted by Hopper:
Yorks could easily get themselves out of this mess if they commit to hiring a proven winner at HC, like Grudan. Baalke of course has to draft a QB to complement that hiring.

Erickson, Nolan and Singletary. This list is getting as ridiculous as the list of QB's we run through since we released Garcia.



Yorks don't hire proven winners who cost lots of money.
He is just stating the sad reality about this franchise. No matter how you want to slice it and make excuses for the Yorks, the 49ers have missed the playoffs for 7 straight years about to go on 8. Here we are after 8 years of rebuilding and we are one of the 4 win-less teams with no signs of improvement. The only common factor in those 8 years has been the York family.

One thing he failed to mention was their refusal to bring in a strong NFL executive to make the tough decisions. Instead they keep going with scouts like Mcloughan and Baalke in the front office and the Yorks make the coaching decisions. That's how we end up with clowns like Erickson, Nolan, and Erickson.
Originally posted by amir_tn80:
He is just stating the sad reality about this franchise. No matter how you want to slice it and make excuses for the Yorks, the 49ers have missed the playoffs for 7 straight years about to go on 8. Here we are after 8 years of rebuilding and we are one of the 4 win-less teams with no signs of improvement. The only common factor in those 8 years has been the York family.

One thing he failed to mention was their refusal to bring in a strong NFL executive to make the tough decisions. Instead they keep going with scouts like Mcloughan and Baalke in the front office and the Yorks make the coaching decisions. That's how we end up with clowns like Erickson, Nolan, and Erickson.

LOL... You failed to mention the one time we were in the playoffs under the YORKIE era it was the left over regimes players and Mooch. And they fired Mooch because playoffs = bad. And gutted the entire team because a high payroll = bad.

If there is anybody left on the earth who thinks we can win under the YORKIES you are kidding yourself.


Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Originally posted by Hopper:
Yorks could easily get themselves out of this mess if they commit to hiring a proven winner at HC, like Grudan. Baalke of course has to draft a QB to complement that hiring.

Erickson, Nolan and Singletary. This list is getting as ridiculous as the list of QB's we run through since we released Garcia.



Yorks don't hire proven winners who cost lots of money.

Between what they're paying Singletary now and the money they still owe Nolan. That's easily 5 mil that could get you a good coach.
Originally posted by Hopper:
Yorks could easily get themselves out of this mess if they commit to hiring a proven winner at HC, like Grudan. Baalke of course has to draft a QB to complement that hiring.

If the 49ers wind up having to draft a QB next year in the first three rounds it will set the playoff schedule back two more years.

A stud pass rusher, a speedy WR, a cover safety and a shut down corner are all higher priorities than a QB at this point in the season.

The secondary looks bad because of no pass rush.

Opponents complete pass after pass in the deep middle because the 49er safeties can't cover.

Clements get burned because he is not the cover guy he thinks he is.

Opponents easily control the 49er short passing game because they have no receiver with the speed to keep the DBs honest and away from the LOS.

None of those things will change merely by drafting a QB. They will still be unsolved needs if the 49ers are forced to draft a QB.
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Originally posted by amir_tn80:
He is just stating the sad reality about this franchise. No matter how you want to slice it and make excuses for the Yorks, the 49ers have missed the playoffs for 7 straight years about to go on 8. Here we are after 8 years of rebuilding and we are one of the 4 win-less teams with no signs of improvement. The only common factor in those 8 years has been the York family.

One thing he failed to mention was their refusal to bring in a strong NFL executive to make the tough decisions. Instead they keep going with scouts like Mcloughan and Baalke in the front office and the Yorks make the coaching decisions. That's how we end up with clowns like Erickson, Nolan, and Erickson.

LOL... You failed to mention the one time we were in the playoffs under the YORKIE era it was the left over regimes players and Mooch. And they fired Mooch because playoffs = bad. And gutted the entire team because a high payroll = bad.

If there is anybody left on the earth who thinks we can win under the YORKIES you are kidding yourself.


Fired a coach with a 12-4 record but hanging on to a loser.
Originally posted by 190836:
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Originally posted by amir_tn80:
He is just stating the sad reality about this franchise. No matter how you want to slice it and make excuses for the Yorks, the 49ers have missed the playoffs for 7 straight years about to go on 8. Here we are after 8 years of rebuilding and we are one of the 4 win-less teams with no signs of improvement. The only common factor in those 8 years has been the York family.

One thing he failed to mention was their refusal to bring in a strong NFL executive to make the tough decisions. Instead they keep going with scouts like Mcloughan and Baalke in the front office and the Yorks make the coaching decisions. That's how we end up with clowns like Erickson, Nolan, and Erickson.

LOL... You failed to mention the one time we were in the playoffs under the YORKIE era it was the left over regimes players and Mooch. And they fired Mooch because playoffs = bad. And gutted the entire team because a high payroll = bad.

If there is anybody left on the earth who thinks we can win under the YORKIES you are kidding yourself.


Fired a coach with a 12-4 record but hanging on to a loser.

It's the York way...
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by Hopper:
Yorks could easily get themselves out of this mess if they commit to hiring a proven winner at HC, like Grudan. Baalke of course has to draft a QB to complement that hiring.

If the 49ers wind up having to draft a QB next year in the first three rounds it will set the playoff schedule back two more years.

A stud pass rusher, a speedy WR, a cover safety and a shut down corner are all higher priorities than a QB at this point in the season.

The secondary looks bad because of no pass rush.

Opponents complete pass after pass in the deep middle because the 49er safeties can't cover.

Clements get burned because he is not the cover guy he thinks he is.

Opponents easily control the 49er short passing game because they have no receiver with the speed to keep the DBs honest and away from the LOS.

None of those things will change merely by drafting a QB. They will still be unsolved needs if the 49ers are forced to draft a QB.

We definitely have other needs. But none of those needs trump finally getting a QB that will keep us out of the bottom 10 in third down efficiency almost every year.

We've run through 7-8 QB's the last 7 years and it's no coincidence our passing offense has been mediocre every year because of it.
[ Edited by Hopper on Sep 28, 2010 at 1:38 PM ]
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by NinerGM:
Cohn has somewhat of a point, but again he really doesn't make it very well. I agree with HessianDude that hindsight is always 20/20 and it's easy to say York "did something too quickly". If "getting it right" was as easy as it sounds it wouldn't have taken New Orleans, Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and even the Seahawks decades of losing before they "got it right".

You have to play with the cards you're dealt. John York admittedly didn't want to run this team. He leaned on Walsh to appoint Donahue as the GM. People forget that Donahue was hand picked by Walsh to run the 49ers as he stepped down. Sure the Mariucci firing was a bad idea, but even then most fans agreed with TO that Mooch "had no killer instinct". Many applauded Mooch's firing but had no idea Walsh's hand picked successor would call on Dennis Erickson. Neither did fans realize that Donahue would essentially dismantle the entire team.

This left York completely on his own and when you're in business, you tend to trust the people you have and not outsiders. Why on earth would the Yorks suddenly trust all the external advice from people not nearly associated with the team? At the time everyone thought Nolan was a "good hire". The 49ers #1 pick was because of the Walsh-appointed Donahue era prior to Nolan's hiring.... and it was McCarthy who advocated for Smith - not just Nolan. Yes, maybe the Yorks gave too much power to Nolan but many thought they had a great coach on their hands. McCloughan was hired and lauded as a great evaluator of talent ala Green Bay and the Hawks and Marathe hasn't had one single holdout since he became VP, save Crabtree and many people thought the 49ers won that challenge.

Nolan hired good OCs in McCarthy and Turner but miserably failed with Hostler and had some success with Martz. After the team lost and we tired with Nolan, the team looked to Singletary. During this time the ownership was again in transition with Jed taking a more active role.

The team ended up in York hands because Eddie was stupid. There's just no other way to put it. So if you want to find fault, blame Eddie. Alex Smith found his way on this team because Walsh's heir apparent to John McVay dismantled the team and we ended up with the number 1 pick shortly there after. Furthermore, that pick was APPROVED buy the current winning head-coach of the Green Bay Packers who's winning with the QB he didn't choose in that draft.

If there's any criticism that I have of the Yorks (or Jed) is that he may have failed to understand the trend toward offense in the league. In today's NFL, I strongly believe you need a former OC as a head-coach; a guy who understands the passing game. Recent rule changes and added "points of emphasis" are all geared to make the game "more exciting" and that means passing, not a ground and pound - strong defensive teams. I personally think that era is over and the NFL prefers it that way obviously.

Jed should have found himself a good, aggressive, organized GM/Player Personnel guy who believed in the trends of the NFL, appoint a bright, creative OC as head coach and then hire a stud DC. That GM should believe in finding a coaching candidate who believes in a good QB prospect, investing heavily in the LOS (both O and D) and then adding pieces at the skill positions either via draft or FA.

This formula seems easier said than done, but unfortunately the 49ers were not able to do this recently. In the final analysis you can't just simply blame the Yorks and walk away from the issue. There were MAAAAANNNYYYY decisions that were made which resulted in the current state of the franchise.

Finally, what most fans fail to realize is that selling the team doesn't necessarily mean change for the better. Remember the 49ers are not very profitable in terms of an NFL business, and increased revenue isn't a guarantee even with a new stadium in Santa Clara or San Francisco. Even Cohen wouldn't be happy if the a new owner bought the team and moved it to Los Angeles or San Antonio (don't sleep on San Antonio - check out population projections). Just as if you would change a coach or a player, changing owners doesn't guarantee a return to the glory years.


/fin
You make some good points here, and bring some important history into focus. Let me emphasize a couple of points:

John York never wanted to run the team, and it showed. He didn't take the time to learn how to do it because he didn't want to be there. He happened to be married to Denise and they had a son that wanted to be involved in the business, and that was the game plan all along. Jed is young and seems to be learning well. He is a bright kid with a degree from a top notch university.

Selling the team in today's economic environment is hard. As you noted, the cash stream for the 49ers is not very good. Only the Lions and the Vikings generated less revenue than the 49ers last year. Their stadium is the worst in the league and the city of San Francisco has been a millstone around their York's neck in terms of getting a new place built. When the Dolphins were recently sold, it included a nice piece of real estate with great future value. The 49ers play in a place no one wants to live or work. No one would want to buy a franchise with those problems.

One interesting point you recalled was the fact Mike McCarthy supported the drafting of Smith over Rodgers. Then he takes second choice and turns him into one of the better QBs in the league. McCarthy's analysis of Smith and the job he subsequently did with Rodgers should reinforce the need for better offensive minds in SF and a higher value for Smith than many here hold.

Jed's a moron. A degree from Notre Dame means nothing (No, that's not a slam on Notre Dame. I'd say the same thing if he went to Harvard or UCLA.). If he's so bright, why did he hire Singletary in the first place? Why did he let Singletary hire Raye?

And you're right. They play in a place no one wants to live or work, which is why they should move the team to LA. Seriously, Ed Roski's willing to pay all the costs of the stadium. It's within an hour's driving distance of 19% of the US population. It's in the second largest media market. And it's Hollywood! Just imagine our guys going to movie premieres and sitting courtside at Laker games!