Podcast: Breaking Down the 49ers’ Shutout Victory with Jason Aponte →

Can Steve Mariucci lead us back to the promise land?

Nov 20, 2000 at 12:00 AM


Seeing that this is my premier column on the 49erwebzone, I felt it necessary to write about a topic that I have thinking about for a long while. Since I haven’t been around as long as the other 49er fans, I cannot remember the years that we were not controlled by either Bill Walsh or George Seifert so I can only compare our coach to one of those two. Being that those are some tough shoes to follow in, Steve deserves some latitude, but does he have the ability to take us where we all want to go?

Just a few short years ago, no one in the bay area was completely sure what direction the 49ers were going to head in. They had just lost their coach of 8 years, George Seifert, and they were searching for a replacement. When the announcement came that Steve Mariucci was to become the coach of the flagship franchise of the NFL, I was left to wonder, Is this guy for real? He had not really stood out at the University of California, leading the Golden Bears to a 6-5 record, so I did not know if he could cope with the rigors of a NFL coaching job. His ability was tested early on in his career.

September 1997, Steve’s first regular season game as 49er head coach was a very turbulent day. he saw Jerry Rice go down with a supposed season ending knee injury and saw his pro bowl quarterback, Steve Young, sustain a concussion in his long line of concussions. Many of the “learned” NFL people had the 49ers written off for dead without Rice for the season and a battered Young, but Mariucci seemed to turn the ship around and took the 49ers all the way to the NFC championship game. This achievement seemed to solidify his place as this organizations head coach, but problems were definitely looming on the horizon.

Since that inaugural season, Steve Mariucci has seen a complete front office overhaul, lack of production from top draft picks, and the loss of many aged veterans to the salary cap, causing the once proud 49er organization go into a salary cap imposed rebuilding process. He has done a very admirable job this season, but many question his ability to lead this team.

THE POSITIVES

It is quite obvious that Steve is a player’s coach who is able to get the most out of his players. These guys are willing to listen to his instructions and respect the path that he and the rest of his coaching staff is trying to take the organization. He has been able to build this young teams confidence and get them going in the right direction.

If the NFL has a more emotional head coach within it’s ranks, I have yet to see him coach against the 49ers. Steve has to be the most emotional guy I can ever remember being involved with the 49er organization. Day in and Day out, Steve is living and breathing 49er football, constantly striving to get that euphoria of victory and avoiding the degradation of defeat. I am sure that he is the most inspirational figure the 49ers have on that football field.

THE NEGATIVES

While Steve is a great player coach, the one thing that has been notably absent from the 49ers of the Mariucci era has been discipline. During the Walsh and Seifert years, the 49ers were one of the least penalized teams in the league, but since Steve took over, the team has gone over to the other extreme. Anytime that a flag is on the ground, 49er fans almost dread the call that costs them a big gainer or a defensive stop. If the 9ers are to return to glory, the discipline of the team should be the first priority.

As the team has fallen from grace, both the offense and defense have had stretches of ineffectiveness that has been put on the shoulders of Mariucci’s coordinators. Both Marty Mornhinweg and Jim Mora Jr. have been much maligned for their conservative approaches to the game as well as their poor results. Injuries, age, and new faces have been large factors in the teams lack of production, but to get to the next level, a change might be in order on both sides of the ball.

I have seen the 49ers take a devastating tumble from Super Bowl competitor to NFC West doormat but am confident in the future of this franchise. I have great hopes still for the Steve Mariucci regime and am confident that we will return to prominence, but it is essential for our team to keep progressing. If we continue to progress, Mooch will be holding the Super Bowl trophy over his head as the tears stream down his face, if not, we will be back to the uncertainty that we all went through just four short seasons ago.

The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Jimmy Garoppolo fighting perception, looking to prove he can lead 49ers

By Sasha D. Robinson
Nov 24

Is the Jimmy Garoppolo who threw for 228 yards and four touchdowns the guy San Francisco 49ers fans were looking for or is this an illusion like last year? Since stepping back into the starting role for quarterback Trey Lance, who suffered an ankle injury in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers have a 6-3 record. Garoppolo has thrown 15 touchdowns and four interceptions, but there is something different about him this year compared to his past couple of years with the team. Garoppolo does not look like the same player who lost a heartbreaker in last year's NFC Championship Game. Instead, he has the fiery presence of someone you want to follow on and off the field. Even the former Eastern Illinois Panther quarterback's deep ball seems to have more



Steve Young wants Garoppolo playing 10 more years with 49ers, says Shanahan would impress Walsh

By David Bonilla
Nov 24

Steve Young has said he believes there are trust issues between head coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. However, the Hall of Fame player, now an analyst for ESPN, wants to see Garoppolo play 10 more years for the San Francisco 49ers. Garoppolo is having one of the best statistical seasons of his career. He has passed for 2,159 yards through nine games, throwing 15 touchdowns and four interceptions. His 104.1 passer rating is his highest with the 49ers and ranks fourth in the NFL this season. Over the last three games, Garoppolo has completed 73.2 percent of his passes for 703 yards, six touchdowns, and no interceptions while



Three 49ers lead their positions in NFC Pro Bowl voting

By David Bonilla
Nov 28

According to an NFL press release, the following three San Francisco 49ers players lead their respective positions in Pro Bowl votes for the NFC. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk with 78,009 total votes Defensive end Nick Bosa with 72,910 votes Tackle Trent Williams with 30,483 votes For those wondering where some other 49ers players stand, ESPN's Nick Wagoner states that Christian McCaffrey is the second running back in the voting for the NFC, behind Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants. In addition, George Kittle is second among NFC tight ends, behind T.J. Hockenson of



Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson say Dolphins have more talent than 49ers, a QB 'who can actually sling it'

By David Bonilla
Nov 27

With a big-time matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins quickly approaching, two former Niners have voiced their opinions about their new NFL team. While the Niners are focused on this afternoon's game against the New Orleans Saints, Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. have been speaking with Tyler Dunne of Go Long, sharing their thoughts on next weekend's opponent. Mostert was critical of how the 49ers reacted to his Week 1 injury last season. Head coach Kyle Shanahan initially anticipated the knee injury would keep the running back out for about eight weeks. However, Mostert instead opted to undergo season-ending surgery. "He knew how


Featured

More by Erik Maitland

  • No more articles found

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone