Funny how a trip down memory lane, also known as the internet, can help your total recall! I'd forgotten that Joe Thomas had two claims to fame: 1) player personnel and 2) helping Robert Irsay buy the Rams and then trade them for the Colts. He was never a successful GM. He was rewarded by Irsay for putting the sale together and made GM, immediately traded away all the stars and fired four other coaches in four years, Marchibroda was hired and took the team to the playoffs. Thomas decided he should be fired. Fired five coaches in Balt (he even coached for part of a year) in five years and two in SF in one year.
My own recollection, with no assist, was that Monte Clark had really stabilized the team and had them poised to succeed. They had a number of players who would become pro bowl caliber including two linemen, which I loved because of the truth in the phrase--build your lines first.
I've always thought Thomas was hired to be the bad guy in cleaning out the niners so Eddie could build his own team.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Feb 21, 2013 at 7:29 AM ]