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The key to fixing the 49ers

So people are pretty ticked off, upset at the way the team is playing and unsurprisingly, people looking to go collect scalps. "Fire the coach, fire the GM, fire everybody." Its the reasonable thing, after all the team has been terrible this season but I think that the problems run far deeper than that.

Let's start with coaching. Tomsula is a nice guy, a good DL coach but clearly in over his head as a head coach. Week in and week out this team looks largely unprepared on both sides of the ball, even when one side plays well, the other seems to fall apart completely. Just a lot of bad coaching and bad strategy. It was an experiment that has failed. The team clearly needs to move on to a better qualified coaching staff in the offseason. I don't see any reason to move on from him now, the team isn't going anywhere so you let Tomsula finish out the season and move on after that. Firing him in the meantime is just an emotional response that won't change much for the team this season.

Let's move to the front office. Lots of people calling for the GM to be fired, some people tend to think that the team in its current state is better off with Baalke, myself included. The way I look at it is that if you fire Baalke, now you're leaving the responsibility to the ownership, to the Yorks and Marathe to seek out and hire a new GM. Evaluating a GM is very subtle, its largely about networking and identifying the most promising scouts and front office personnel. Hiring a bad GM can absolutely destroy a team. You can hire a coach, fire them in a year or two and bounce back largely unscathed. There is also no reason to expect that a top-tier GM candidate would be eager to work under York and Marathe.

A bad GM can cripple a franchise, you end up in salary cap hell, making dumb trades, trading away future draft picks....etc. The Redskins are still recovering from the RG3 trade. Or you can look at the Warriors with Mullin running the front office. My main problem with firing Baalke is the people who would be choosing his replacement don't seem to have much of a track record of success. Gamble might be the obvious choice but he's been a scout forever without having been made a GM, when a guy goes that long without working his way to the top. there's usually a reason for that, much as how I felt that there was a good reason why Chryst never got a second chance at OC until this year.

Meanwhile the Yorks are perhaps the most isolated owners in the NFL. They don't have any real contacts around the league, no history in the NFL like the Rooney's or Mara's, as Kawakami put it, its doubtful that they would even know where to start with a GM. With where this team is at, hiring a coach or a GM doesn't change much in the grand picture. As long as the power structure remains the same, you're just running in place essentially. Fire Tomsula and Baake and the Yorks are still choosing the replacements, that is two steps forward and two steps backwards. You've got the two youngest and most inexperienced executives in the league by far running this team.

I've been harping on this for awhile but what the ownership needs to do is yield some executive power and hire a president or a vice president whose sole job is to manage the day-to-day football operations. Someone that would report only to the ownership, that would have final say on football matters. Someone that would do the hiring and firing of a GM and a head coach, that would help mediate problems and disputes that may arise, that would utilize their NFL contacts to support the front office with bright football minds.

I think they should start by hiring consultants, experienced people like Ron Wolf, Bill Polian, even Parcells who have built up NFL teams previously and through their contacts, identify a few key candidates that could take over the operations of the football side of things. Once all the interviews have been conducted, work with the consultants to find the best possible candidate and then hire them. Give them full control over football operations and let them determine who the GM should be. Now that you have someone with authority that understands how a football team is supposed to be run, I think you have a shot at some top GM candidates. That person can choose to move on from Baalke and hire a GM of their preference. Then they and the GM can conduct the coaching search and between the two of them determine who the next coach of this team should be. Now that coach has the confidence in a much more conventional front office structure and is able to see who will be running things on the football side.

This team's biggest issue IMO is that there are no real football minds at the very top. The Yorks have seemingly tried to run this like a conventional business while an NFL team is anything but that. They don't seem to have a good fluency with how a team is supposed to be run so hire someone that understands what it takes to run a football team and to keep everything moving in a unified direction. I don't know if this is realistic, perhaps as some fear, the Yorks wanted to get a new stadium built and are now happy to cash in and go on cruise control, if so, woe be us. But I'd like to think that Jed has better intentions, he's just arrogant and has a big ego. Maybe he was thinking that he could outsmart the system and keeping with Silicon Valley entrepreneurship, he could show people a better way to run a football team and get a lot of praise for it.

Clearly it was a disaster. How the ownership responds will tell us a lot about what to expect in the future. With the money coming in from the stadium, the Yorks aren't selling anytime soon so as fans, all we can do is hope that they start to figure it out. The best way for them to do it is to start bringing in people who know how to run a football team specifically, not just people with business experience which has limited transfer-ability to the football side of things.

They don't have to fire anyone today or tomorrow or even this season, they don't have to wait either, they can start getting consultants together at anytime, they can hire someone to run football operations anytime and then let them evaluate the roster, the front office staff, the coaching staff....etc. If they were able to do that, I would feel far more optimistic about the future of this franchise. It is the only pathway that I see for this team to have sustained success. It is a move that would give the fanbase as a whole more hope and something to look forwards to, that no matter how bad things might be on the field right now, that there's some reason for hope because the ownership is at least showing some recognition that they've erred badly.

Because if the Yorks really do see this as just a big piggy bank, if they don't make any changes, then we are all basically screwed as far as being a fan goes. Hire or fire, it won't matter because the people at the top who have an inordinate amount of influence will never allow this to become a healthy functioning football organization. Right now this is a very toxic organization and the first step to detox is for the ownership to take a step back and let someone well-versed in how a football team is supposed to run take the reins. You can argue as to how likely this is or not, but realistically this is the best way for the team to show the rest of the NFL that they are serious, to give future coaching and front office candidates some confidence in what the team is doing and to restore some semblance of normalcy to the 49ers.

*Just my ten cents but what makes the most sense to me, start all the way at the top, and work your way down.

CLIFF Notes-
The ownership isn't going anywhere anytime soon so the best thing to hope for is that they can hire someone who knows what it takes to sustain a successful football organization. Work with consultants to identify talented individuals who have the necessary experience and competence. Let that individual determine who the GM should be, then have them work with the GM in a head coaching search while being able to give relative autonomy to both the GM and the head coach and mediate any disputes between them. Let them run the football operations while York and Marathe handle the business side of things.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Nov 1, 2015 at 3:16 PM ]
We need this guy to buy the 49ers LOL

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Fair post Phoenix

Originally posted by ElephantHaley:

The ownership is not changing. You either deal with that or I guess you find something else to occupy your time with on Sunday afternoons.

The Yorks are going to be here for a long time. My post was specifically to address what they can do to help this team move forward.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Nov 1, 2015 at 3:22 PM ]
Very good points. I hope that ownership can admit to knowing that they don 't know. And then find someone who can turn things around.
Fire the whack GM. That is a start.
Very well stated Phoenix.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by ElephantHaley:

The ownership is not changing. You either deal with that or I guess you find something else to occupy your time with on Sunday afternoons.

The Yorks are going to be here for a long time. My post was specifically to address what they can do to help this team move forward.


Good post.

Consultants are the way to go.

Too much inbreeding w/Trent & staff.

They need an outsider w/a clear perspective to come in and reorganize.
Originally posted by Young2Rice:
Fire the whack GM. That is a start.

And who hires his replacement? Right now that would be Jed and Marathe. How high is your confidence that they can properly evaluate a GM candidate? Especially for an ownership that is one of the most insulated in the league. What if said GM candidate blows, which is more likely than not since neither Jed, John, Denise nor Marathe have shown they have any sort of insight into what a well-running football organization and front office looks like. Now you're back in the same place, with the same people picking a new GM and likely a new head coach in a few years, repeating the process once more.

I'm all about ending the musical chair routine, putting someone in charge that can make decisions like firing and hiring a GM with the benefit of a strong football management resume.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Nov 1, 2015 at 3:27 PM ]

Originally posted by ElephantHaley:
We need this guy to buy the 49ers LOL

"We're going to build a dynasty, and Mexico is going to pay for it."
So Phoenix you condone keeping Baalke?? LOL that is a total FAIL right there. Have you been watching for the LAST 4 years since the 2012 NFL Draft that none close to NONE of Baalke's draftees have done DIDDLY POO
A Consultant is really needed. As you said, we really are lacking in football guys in the building. There is no way a football guy signs off on a JT hiring or for that matter allows the Harbs situation to play out the way it did.

Like you, I do not think Trent is the problem and I honestly think if it was Trent's call to make Harbs is still coaching this squad.
I would like to see some of those changes too personally. And phoenix is right, theres no way the Yorks are going anywhere even though it is fun to dream or laugh at the pics posted. I personally feel like I give Jed alot of patience. I never really complain about him, I haven't exactly really complained about our GM too often. I can definitely see the corruption after the whole Harbaugh Fiasco, but i mean look at the Cowboys. Jerry Jones probably does everything except wipe the players as*ess. And even hes finally actually built a strong team when Romo's healthy again (QB's always a big factor). For the longest time ppl complained Jones inherited the cowboys in there hey day and has done nothing since, While is somewhat valid, you can tell that dude has PASSION for his team and will do anything to win. The cowboys are in the heat of a game and Jones stands up screaming jumping, Ive never seen York do that personally. My angriest moment is just that ego's got in the way with harbaugh and the FO. I think like Phoenix said, the FO wanted too much power in terms of football when they dont have the knowledge and Harbaugh had it. BUT if I was the Yorks id probably be the same way. Id want to be the reason my team won the superbowl etc but I sure wouldve found a way to make it work with Jim H,. I just want to see better decisions, better drafts, and a better product being put out on the field. We all know where I stand on my preference on what I would like to see done this offseason, so Im more or less just enjoying the last couple of home games and waiting till the offseason.
2012 Draft Fail
2013 Draft FAIL
2014 Draft FAIL
and 2015 Does NOT LOOK PROMISING WHATSOEVER Yet Phoenix49er wants to Keep Baalke LOLLLLZ. Can I ask you a question? Are you on Baalke's Payroll??
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