On Monday, writer John Croston wrote a piece that asked if San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula deserved to return in 2016. While he personally would like to see a new coaching staff come aboard, for numerous reasons, he doesn't believe that will happen.

On Tuesday, Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area said that he believed that both Tomsula and general manager Trent Baalke would return in their current roles in 2016. Maiocco does not feel that the team made such drastic offseason changes just to start again after one year.

"I think the ownership has a lot of confidence in Trent Baalke to stock that roster with a lot of draft picks. I think the 49ers like Jim Tomsula a lot. They like Trent Baalke a lot. I think right now, with four games left, there's no question they're back," said Maiocco.

This brings up an interesting topic of discussion. The 49ers went through one of the worst offseasons in franchise history, ejecting the majority of their coaching staff, losing key free agents, watching a number of players unexpectedly retire, and losing other key players as the offseason went on. Last week, they even had some front office drama when it was revealed that team president Paraag Marathe would be "reassigned" from his position following Super Bowl 50. While these are not reasons to defend Tomsula and his coaching staff, who have at times looked lost on the sidelines, it would be hard to imagine anyone succeeding with so many setbacks.

However, over the course of the past four weeks, and since QB Blaine Gabbert has taken over the starting job, the 49ers have improved. They have won two of their last four games and the defense has kept them competitively close in all but one of those matchups. The team may have found a capable change of pace back for next season in RB Shaun Draughn. Even the offensive line, whose right side looked more like a revolving door earlier in the season, has improved thanks to moves like G Andrew Tiller replacing Jordan Devey. The real question is, 'What took so long for that move to happen?'

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer and Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler both had season-worst passer ratings against the 49ers. Per Pro Football Focus, young players like CB Kenneth Acker (+2.9) and DB Jimmie Ward (+2.4) had career-high grades during Sunday's 26-20 overtime win against Chicago.

So I decided to ask some of the other 49ers beat writers, those that are near the team on a daily basis, their thoughts on the topic. Do they feel that Baalke and Tomsula would (not should) get another shot following what has been seen as a disastrous season by much of the Niner Faithful?

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As for my opinion, I agree with Croston. That opinion was different earlier in the season. Should they return? Probably not. Will they? Considering that the 49ers have been competitive of late and have not been rolling over and playing dead, as they appeared to be doing numerous times earlier in the season, I think the team will retain Tomsula and Baalke for one more season. Despite any obvious blunders, I never really felt that Jed York would be willing to part with Baalke just yet. Throw in the fact that, for right now, San Francisco might be a tough sell to available top coaching candidates, and it seems even more likely that both will return.

The following responses are listed in the order that they were received.

Matt Barrows

"Yes. Remember, they have a de facto 'get out of jail free card' as far as the unprecedented and unexpected string of retirements in the winter and spring. That is, the team can (and probably will) argue, 'Yes, we were bad, but what team possibly could have flourished under these circumstances?'"

Chris Biderman

"I think all indications are they will both be back. As has been written before, the 49ers do not want to go through another offseason of transition, and they are hoping the roster can take the experience from this year, along with the coaching staff, and build upon it heading into the offseason. Given how much faith the Yorks have in Tomsula, whether it's warranted or not, they would seem to have a hard time making him a one-and-done coach.

"There will be a number of coaching openings this offseason, and the 49ers would appear to be low on the list of desirable destinations, which could make the pickings slim in terms of finding a top-tier candidate. Someone like Jim Harbaugh, who was the A-list candidate when hired in 2011, isn't going to be available to the 49ers if they go through two coaches in two seasons.

"I think the same goes for Baalke. The 49ers have a lot of faith in their young players, even if they didn't produce this season like like many hoped. There are still some promising players on the roster who are improving. And San Francisco will absolutely look at the injuries to the running backs, Carlos Hyde in particular, as a major sticking point as to why the offense didn't produce. Injuries happen and shouldn't be used as an excuse, but they won't view that as any fault of their own. Obviously the outside perception on that will differ from what they believe.

"My guess: the front office will look at the roster, all the cap space heading into next season ($41 million, before Kaepernick's money comes off the books), and think they're in a pretty good spot to rebound next year. Despite all York said publicly – about expecting to go 11-5, compete for the Super Bowl, etc – the front office likely looked at all they lost in the offseason and realize they probably weren't going to be very good this year.

"With Blaine Gabbert being on an affordable contract, all that cap space and draft pick toward the front of the first round, the 49ers are set up pretty well for the future. Given the way York operates, I have a hard time envisioning him deviating from the process and going a new direction with a new GM and head coach one year after the worst offseason in team history."

Ryan Sakamoto

"In talking to many people both inside and outside the organization, I truly believe that GM Trent Baalke's job is safe. As a General Manager it is very difficult to manage a roster when so many question marks and unknowns hit you at once. From the abrupt retirements of ILB Chris Borland, ILB Patrick Willis and RT Anthony Davis to dealing with the continued off-field drama of OLB Aldon Smith – Baalke was in a hard position to field the best possible roster as he found himself scrambling in the end.

"As for Tomsula, I believe he is on the hot seat. The NFL stands for Not For Long and while Tomsula is considered a player's coach – in the end winning is all that matters just ask Jim Harbaugh. However, if he is able to win a couple more games he could buy some time with the team for at least one more year as firing Tomsula at year's end would be admitting fault and I don't think Jed York or Baalke are ready to do that just yet."

Thank you to the 49ers beat writers who took the time to answer the question.


  • Will both Jim Tomsula and Trent Baalke be back in 2016?
  • Both will return
  • Only Baalke will return
  • Neither will return
  • Only Tomsula will return
  • 764 votes