To be a devil's advocate: The Niners might have be so good last year due, at least in part, to Singletary leaving. The players wanted to show it wasn't their talent level that kept them from the playoffs. They won't have that impetus this year, at least not to the same degree. Also, I don't think we can say the Niners will be better because they'll have more practice time this year. The players and coaches may have fed off that fear of having too little time and compensated for it. All teams will have more practice time this year.