There are 155 users in the forums

Remember
Not a member? Register Now!

Reason and Emotion

  • fropwns
  • Hall of Fame
  • Posts: 13,400
As of late--well, hell, this has been a never-ending discussion that emerged when the Yorks first took power over a decade ago--a handful of older hands and I have noticed that a counter-discourse has emerged against the reigning paradigm of our beloved front office.

I believe that our front office team, yes, I said team. No, I do not care what Florio wrote, nor do I care about what other teams do, I only care about us. I believe our team understands fully what it has and what it needs to sustain a window of opportunity that lasts into the foreseeable future.

The counter-discourse to my statement, if I can articulate it fairly and correctly, is that we must sign as many key free agents as possible to ensure that we go to the Super Bowl and win this time. The feeling amongst these fans is that the Niners' window is closing sooner rather than later.

The difference in these two strategies, as far as I can tell, revolves around the ideas of fear of failure and time. One projects confidence in the ability of the front office to secure our sixth championship. The other suggests that the front office lacks the ability to close (fear of failure), recognize that we need talent in key positions (fear of failure), and that everything is all but over for our team (time).

What makes this thread different? The other threads where this clash of ideals is taking place were not intended for that battle.

This.

Thread.

Is.

I did not create this on a whim, but simply an observation. I have spoken privately to those I feel have the best ability to display a rationale and coherent argument. In order to fairly weigh the opinions of both sides of this epic struggle, I have requested help from some of the most knowledgeable posters that I have had the privilege to read and glean a bit of knowledge from over the years: NCommand, AB81Rules, and GhostofFredDean74. Their credentials speak for themselves. You know who they are, you trust their opinions and insight, and all three are fairly good dudes. You should PM them.


This is to be a running debate. Ideally, one that continues till the draft, but we would also settle for a couple of hours, days, and even weeks. Also know this, I, nor anyone else, will attack your passion or fandom. If you want to hurl bombs, go elsewhere. I won't stand for it, nor will the participants. You are to debate the idea, not attack the poster. Indeed, I believe the mods will be watching.

Let's see whatcha got!
Sign heeeeem!
Before this starts, and a debate begins....

Remember that Baalke, Harbaugh, York, and the front office "team" are...

SMARTER THAN ALL OF YOU.

It's easy for us to sit here and nit-pick their choices in who they offer money to, whom they bring back etc...
Remember our team meets with these FA, we don't
They put them through physical tests and analyze the data, we don't
They built this team and know what it needs, we think we do
They deal with player/agent BS (like the sanders deal), we don't
Who here went to the combine?



Whatever Baalke does, whatever Harbaugh wants is the correct answer.
End my rant.


Great thread btw (no sarcasm)
[ Edited by Quest4six on Mar 16, 2014 at 1:35 PM ]
We signing ERRRRRRRRRRYBODY!!!!!!
I disagree with the statement that whatever Baalke does, and Harbaugh wants is the correct answer. I will agree though that what Harbaugh wants and what Baalke does is based on much more information than our rants. They don't always come to the correct conclusion though, and its unrealistic to expect them to (although that doesn't stop us fans). Example: Harbaugh may have wanted more speed on offense so Baalke drafted AJ Jenkins and LaMichael James. Hindsight is telling us that those havent been the correct choice to this point (an in fact some fans didn't like those picks when they were made).

So yeah, they interviewed those guys, they watched ton of film, they went to the combine and they still drafted the wrong guys (or at least wrong guy in the case of Jenkins). Just cause they have more information doesn't make them right. I would agree with you however if you said, "they're going to be right a hell of a lot more often than we are."
My concern is that it seems to be a complete "either or" with the front office. Like the commercial says "why not both"?

I am by no means someone who wants us to go out and sign every high priced big name out there like Revis or Tuck just because they are available. Not everyone fits our system or needs and there is only so much money to go around.

That being said, it seems hard to believe we will be better than teams like the Broncos, Pats, Seahawks, Colts or possibly other up and comers like the Eagles if we don't improve our areas of weakness and they do. And over the last few years, that seems to be what is happening. We rely on the draft, with some hits, some misses, and FA is basically a push.

From our superbowl run, we have replaced 100% of our starting secondary, and it's very difficult to say that we are better at any position. You can argue we aren't worse, but I agree with the Polian theory that consistency is worth a tremendous amount, so if you aren't going to upgrade, making changes for slight upgrades or slight financial gains, is usually a net loss. We have neither upgraded overall, nor improved our depth with these changes.

Same with our D line and pass rush. You can argue we aren't worse, but we certainly aren't better, and are just a little bit of injury or bad play away from having major issues. Again, no upgrade in starter play or depth. Do we really think Aldon, who fell off completely two years ago and missed half of last year with off the field issues is enough to not need depth and/or upgrades when a plethora of pass rushers became available this off season?

What is particularly startling to me, if the information we have is correct, is that we were willing to pay T. Brown 10 mil over 3 years or $3.3 mil a year, and yet our two main FA targets at CB (T. Brown and Thurman) both signed one year $3.5 mil contracts elsewhere. Both with lesser teams that have less of a shot of getting them to the playoffs/superbowl. Did we really miss out on potential starters and/or great depth at CB over $200k?

I am fine with being cautious in FA, with making resigning our own guys a priority, and with going after players that fit our system/needs instead of big names. But to not make any improvements/upgrades at all and to rely 100% on the draft while the other teams in contention for the SB are making seeming shrewd moves to improve their needs seems like our front office is working with blinders on. Especially given that we are only a couple years removed from a draft that was literally a complete bust from top to bottom.

I think I'm like many fans who would like to see us invest wisely, not go for some Eagles of 2011 dream team, but to invest at least some of our resources/strategy in free agency, since we have seen the draft plan yield mixed results.

It's basically wanting a more diversified portfolio. The draft for more long term, higher risk, higher reward "stocks" and FA for shorter term, lower risk, more immediate reward "stocks".
Originally posted by TexasNiner:


What is particularly startling to me, if the information we have is correct, is that we were willing to pay T. Brown 10 mil over 3 years or $3.3 mil a year, and yet our two main FA targets at CB (T. Brown and Thurman) both signed one year $3.5 mil contracts elsewhere. Both with lesser teams that have less of a shot of getting them to the playoffs/superbowl. Did we really miss out on potential starters and/or great depth at CB over $200k?


Both guys joined on short "prove it" deals. Brown didn't want to play nickel corner, which is what he would have been doing with Culliver coming back, so he thinks he can go to Oakland and get a better deal next offseason when he's 30...good luck with that.


I think with Thurmond it was a similar issue and wanting to be an outside CB, not a nickel cornerback. I doubt money had anything to do with either guy.


Simply put, the 49ers don't have a lot of holes, unlike teams like Denver which has been s**tting itself in the draft for awhile, the 49ers have drafted relatively well, have been re-signing their own players and building this team intelligently. Let Denver have their shopping spree, they've got some of the same weaknesses as they did last season and still won't win a Superbowl this upcoming season. I think the 49ers are on the right path, they've added value free agents when they've needed to(Dawson, Skuta, Dorsey), made timely front office moves(Boldin), have drafted relatively well and have guys like Carradine, Lattimore and others coming in as reinforcements.


Also your comments about this team standing pat and not improving are pure nonsense. Reid is an upgrade over Goldson and he's just getting started. Brock was playing like the best CB on this team for much of the time he was starting, now you get Culliver coming back, a more disciplined player in Bethea taking over for Whitner, a gaggle of draft picks waiting to be utilized, depth all over the roster.


Your comment about being reasonable doesn't make any sense, Baalke has shown that he'll do exactly that, fill the gaps in on the roster with value priced free agents, you claim you're not advocating for high priced, big buzz style free agents but reading between the lines of what you wrote, that seems exactly like what you're most disappointed about. Since he's been the GM he's done a great job of bringing in reasonably priced, quality players. Who here thought that Skuta would end up being a high quality backup OLB who would play remarkably well in the absence of Aldon Smith? I didn't see many players in free agency that were going to help the 49ers, a bunch of average players primarily.

Bringing in rather average receivers instead of sticking with younger players such as Patton, Baldwin or players selected in the upcoming draft doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense. Teams like Green Bay and the Giants have had successful receivers for awhile because they keep building through the draft. I'm sure the 49ers had interest at a few CB's but they weren't going to overpay for any single player beyond that they thought they were worth.


Spending money just for the sake of spending money doesn't make any sense. If you don't have any faith in various free agents being able to help your team or you feel that they are pricing themselves beyond what their talent dictates, it doesn't make any sense to spend just because. Restraint isn't easy but it is what separates consistent winning franchise's from the one year, flash in the pan operations.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Mar 16, 2014 at 2:38 PM ]
Originally posted by azninersfan:
I disagree with the statement that whatever Baalke does, and Harbaugh wants is the correct answer. I will agree though that what Harbaugh wants and what Baalke does is based on much more information than our rants. They don't always come to the correct conclusion though, and its unrealistic to expect them to (although that doesn't stop us fans). Example: Harbaugh may have wanted more speed on offense so Baalke drafted AJ Jenkins and LaMichael James. Hindsight is telling us that those havent been the correct choice to this point (an in fact some fans didn't like those picks when they were made).

So yeah, they interviewed those guys, they watched ton of film, they went to the combine and they still drafted the wrong guys (or at least wrong guy in the case of Jenkins). Just cause they have more information doesn't make them right. I would agree with you however if you said, "they're going to be right a hell of a lot more often than we are."

I may have referenced that idea as an extreme, it was more of a response to the posters on here who claim Harbs and Baalke need to go.
If you look at our roster during this picks, they were at that time some pretty solid picks.
Jenkins has talent, and out of college looked to be a good choice, he just didn't pan out. That's not on Baalke though, the only guy we passed on at that position I can think of was Jeffery.
Same with James, Williams had made an idiot out of himself with that return show he put on in the NFC game.

What I meant to say was their picks are far more researched and educated than ours, and if anyone is going to have the best shot at "being correct"
It's them.
The WZ be like


For long-term viability in the league (aka the Patriots and the Steelers) you need:

1) QB capable of getting the team to and winning in the playoffs - CHECK

2) Coaching staff who can reinvent themselves, due to the nature of the league and the constant shifting of offensive and defensive strategies - CHECK

3) A front office who's track record outpaces 2/3 of the league, year in and year out. It isn't feasible to have the best offseason every year, but in order to sustain long-term viability, the team needs to acquire draft picks, trades, and FA signings at or near the top 10 of the league every year. This will provide leverage against losing any specific player to injury, FA, trade, or cap ramifications. - CHECK

Now that we will be drafting in the later part of the 1st round, our drafting strategy now is to collect as many picks as possible and trade up/down the draft for specific players. Also, due to the nature of having a very good defense and o-line, our players will sign lucrative FA deals on other teams, giving us additional compensatory picks. Baalke and company have shown a penchant for drafting astutely (2012 draft not withstanding) and have made shrewd FA pickups that generally have excellent ROI.

I believe that our window will remain open as long as we have Kaep (or another high caliber QB), Harbaugh (or another high caliber coach), and Baalke (or high caliber GM)... while the remainder of the team will change slightly every year, those pieces aren't as crucial to our long-term success.

Winning a SB requires not only a top 10 team, but also a really good run, and a lot of luck. We obviously have a top 10 team, and we've come up short 3x now. The luck part makes it all that much more interesting come January.
[ Edited by NinerBuff on Mar 16, 2014 at 2:37 PM ]
Originally posted by NinerBuff:
For long-term viability in the league (aka the Patriots and the Steelers) you need:

1) QB capable of getting the team to and winning in the playoffs - CHECK

2) Coaching staff who can reinvent themselves, due to the nature of the league and the constant shifting of offensive and defensive strategies - CHECK

3) A front office who's track record outpaces 2/3 of the league, year in and year out. It isn't feasible to have the best offseason every year, but in order to sustain long-term viability, the team needs to acquire draft picks, trades, and FA signings at or near the top 10 of the league every year. This will provide leverage against losing any specific player to injury, FA, trade, or cap ramifications. - CHECK

Now that we will be drafting in the later part of the 1st round, our drafting strategy now is to collect as many picks as possible and trade up/down the draft for specific players. Also, due to the nature of having a very good defense and o-line, our players will sign lucrative FA deals on other teams, giving us additional compensatory picks. Baalke and company have shown a penchant for drafting astutely (2012 draft not withstanding) and have made shrewd FA pickups that generally have excellent ROI.

I believe that our window will remain open as long as we have Kaep (or another high caliber QB), Harbaugh (or another high caliber coach), and Baalke (or high caliber GM)... while the remainder of the team will change slightly every year, those pieces aren't as crucial to our long-term success.

Winning a SB requires not only a top 10 team, but also a really good run, and a lot of luck. We obviously have a top 10 team, and we've come up short 3x now. The luck part makes it all that much more interesting come January.

All of this. People see Denver, New Orleans and New England blowing their wad because they have semi-ancient QB's and want to get on the bandwagon. The 49ers are in an entirely different place than those franchises, they can afford to be selective and smart with their use of resources, Kaepernick isn't on the verge of retirement, this team has a lot of young talent and can be a playoff team and Superbowl contender for the next decade, if not longer.


Going into a frothy-mouthed panic when your team has been to 3 straight Conference Championship games and a Superbowl doesn't make much sense. .The old adage of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies very well here. Yes, they haven't won a Superbowl like we'd all prefer, but they've also been far more successful than the vast majority of NFL teams during that time period. Clearly they are doing something right, clearly it has been working, why change it up?
People in general love to find blame in someone, anyone in particular.

- If we don't win it all it's because Baalke, Harbaugh or both so FIRE THEM BOTH!
- If we don't sign "names" it's Baalke's fault or it's because of the GM/coach "split" so fire one or the other!!!!
- If something doesn't get done the way WE think it should have, so-and-so SUCKS!!!!!

Neither life or football works that way.

- Sometimes teams have a plan that isn't conducive to signing names who want big bucks
- Sometimes players visit teams to solely use them as leverage
- Sometimes a team is deep enough that they really don't have to over-pay for guys whose performance isn't commensurate to the money they want
- Sometimes you can have a great plan, great coaches, a great GM, great players and plenty of draft picks and STILL not win it all

Yes, sometimes individuals eff up, but things are almost never that simple/certain. However, people want and NEED simplicity/certainty so they/we make up stories in our head (which often seem completely logical to us) about why things didn't go the way we believe they should have, why so-and-so is to blame for the failure and why if we just do this-thus-and-so, everything will be better. It's b******t, but we tell ourselves (and others) these stories all the time.

Of course, we have ZERO clue to what really happened, what conversations really took place or not or what the overall game plan is. So we fill in the gaps with our own speculation, assumptions and flawed/uninformed logic.
[ Edited by GhostofFredDean74 on Mar 16, 2014 at 2:51 PM ]
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
People in general love to find blame in someone, anyone in particular.

- If we don't win it all it's because Baalke, Harbaugh or both so FIRE THEM BOTH!
- If we don't sign "names" it's Baalke's fault or it's because of the GM/coach "split" so fire one or the other!!!!
- If something doesn't get done the way WE think it should have, so-and-so SUCKS!!!!!

Neither life or football works that way.

- Sometimes teams have a plan that isn't conducive to signing names who want big bucks
- Sometimes players visit teams to solely use them as leverage
- Sometimes a team is deep enough that they really don't have to over-pay for guys whose performance isn't commensurate to the money they want
- Sometimes you can have a great plan, great coaches, a great GM, great players and plenty of draft picks and STILL not win it all

Yes, sometimes individuals eff up, but things are almost never that simple/certain. However, people want and NEED simplicity/certainty so we make up these stories in our head about why things didn't go the way we believe they should have, why so-and-so is to blame for the failure and why if we just do this-thus-and-so, everything will be better. It's b******t, but we tell ourselves (and others) these stories all the time.
Yes.

There's people who truly don't seem to have any appreciation for how good this team has been, what a heck of a job both Harbaugh and Baalke have done. A fan of a team that hasn't had the same success lately would love to have seen some of the playoff runs that this team has had. No they haven't won the Superbowl, but as long as Baalke and Harbaugh are around, I have no doubt that this team will always be within striking distance. If you take a fan of the Dallas 8-8's, you don't think they'd trade what their team has been doing lately for success that the 49er have had, even without a Superbowl?
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
People in general love to find blame in someone, anyone in particular.

- If we don't win it all it's because Baalke, Harbaugh or both so FIRE THEM BOTH!
- If we don't sign "names" it's Baalke's fault or it's because of the GM/coach "split" so fire one or the other!!!!
- If something doesn't get done the way WE think it should have, so-and-so SUCKS!!!!!

Neither life or football works that way.

- Sometimes teams have a plan that isn't conducive to signing names who want big bucks
- Sometimes players visit teams to solely use them as leverage
- Sometimes a team is deep enough that they really don't have to over-pay for guys whose performance isn't commensurate to the money they want
- Sometimes you can have a great plan, great coaches, a great GM, great players and plenty of draft picks and STILL not win it all

Yes, sometimes individuals eff up, but things are almost never that simple/certain. However, people want and NEED simplicity/certainty so we make up these stories in our head about why things didn't go the way we believe they should have, why so-and-so is to blame for the failure and why if we just do this-thus-and-so, everything will be better. It's b******t, but we tell ourselves (and others) these stories all the time.
Yes.

There's people who truly don't seem to have any appreciation for how good this team has been, what a heck of a job both Harbaugh and Baalke have done. A fan of a team that hasn't had the same success lately would love to have seen some of the playoff runs that this team has had. No they haven't won the Superbowl, but as long as Baalke and Harbaugh are around, I have no doubt that this team will always be within striking distance. If you take a fan of the Dallas 8-8's, you don't think they'd trade what their team has been doing lately for success that the 49er have had, even without a Superbowl?

Before JOHN Harbaugh won it all, he had set an NFL record for taking his team to 5 straight playoffs games to start his head coaching career (something that his brother could very well surpass). He had done something no other head coach had done in the long history of this league, yet fans had no interest in hearing that nor did they give a s**t about it. If he hadn't won that championship, they were ready to run him out of town.

In a nutshell, that summarizes the fanatical nature of "fans."
I'm just glad were good again.