Originally posted by Jcool:
Problem is Eddie D's big advantage of the 80's was gone by the mid 90's.... With a salary cap he couldn't out bid teams for players. Also by the mid 90's a lot more teams were taking private jets to away games and staying in first class hotels. His last coaching hire while owner was Steve Mariucci and he was not a great coach. He also let Carmen Policy & Dwight Clark take Jim Druckenmiller and then leave the 49ers for Cleveland. But overall he was a pretty good owner and Alex would of been gone after 3-4 years and at best a backup at best on another team and probably out of the NFL by now, kind of a Joey Harrington career.
There are ways around. Everyone was having to deal with the salary cap and we got burned for trying to manipulate it. However I think we would've learned from our lessons and continued to be a good team. Once the cap was instituted, the 49ers were still in Super Bowl or bust mode and we never made the proper adjustments. Also, Steve Mariucci may not have been a great coach, but he was good and did well with the 49ers. I think Seifert just took a lot of heat for not being able to beat Green Bay. Mariucci was in a much better position because at least he had a running game, whereas in Seiferts final 2 seasons, our running game was nonexistent.
As for the Jim Druckenmiller decision, once Walsh left, we never had a great talent evaluator. Look at our drafts of the 1990s. Terrible. But our terrible drafting was masked by the fact that we continued to have 10, 13, and 14 win seasons. In the entire decade, I think the only one worth anything was T.O. I don't think anyone realized how bad the talent was on this team until Steve Young went down. And instead of drafting good players, we just brought in free agents to try and keep us winning 10 + per year. I do recall Walsh promoting Jake Plummer in 1997 and although he isn't a great by a long shot, I think we would've been able to keep our winning ways going once Steve Young was no longer our starter.
I don't mind Policy and Clark leaving for Cleveland, because I think by then, they both had demonstrated they really didn't know what they were doing. Their drafts, contracts, and penchant for signing expensive FAs are a testament to this. Who assumed power after they left? Wasn't it Bill Walsh, who then immediately brought in Jeff Garcia?
It's kind of ironic that we didn't bring in any good young players until Walsh rejoined the team.