In the late 70's and the 80's, we 49ers fans had the luxury of having Bill Walsh coach the team of the 80's. Not only was he a great coach, he was a great evaluator of talent, a good motivator and an offensive genius. He brought in many talented players to the Bay Area and also gave the team the Super Bowls that made the 49ers a great team, finally.
His offense was simple: 1.let the pass set up the run. 2. short gains are better than no yards at all. 3. let Joe Montana take over the game. 4. give the damn ball to Jerry Rice.
His offensive linemen were not behemoths compared to the linemen of today. The only requirements are be quick, be smart and be strong. No need to be over 300 lbs and over 6'3''. His RB's were also not to be confused with the Eric Dickerson's and the Walter Payton's, instead, be a great blocker and make sure you catch those passes.
Equally interesting was the fact that most of his succesful players were drafted in the later rounds. His best rd. 1 picks were Lott, Rice and Barton. Joe cool, Dwight Clark, Keena Turner, Eric Wright, Carlton Williamson, Roger Craig, Jesse Sapolu, Dr. John Frank, Michael Carter, Jeff Fuller, Bruce Collie, Bubba Paris, Tom Rathman, Tim McKyer, Don GriffinJohn Taylor, Charles Haley, Pierce Holt Daniel Stubbs, Larry Roberts, Brent Jones, Merton Hanks, Steve Bono, and Bill "spitter" Romanowski were all not 1st round picks. But, those players helped keep the 49ers either win Super Bowls or kept the team in the play-offs. When Joe cool went down with injuries, Jeff Kemp played well. When Joe cool and Steve Young went down, Bono did an admirable job, though they missed the play-offs even when they won 10 games.
The reason why I am saying this is because of the state of the team, even when having some of the early picks in the first round and even getting some of the best available players in the free agent pool, has not helped this team build a competitive roster. The last real competitive roster was Steve Young's final full year in the NFL. After his retirement, we all thought that we had a decent QB in Jeff Garcia that could keep the team in the play-offs, at least. Instead, he was released. The last QB's the team has drafted are the following: Jim Druckenmiller, Giovanni Carmazzi, Tim Rattay, Brandon Doman, Ken Dorsey, Cody Pickett, and Alex Smith. Of those players, none had produced close to what even Steve Bono had done for the team.
Maybe changing the way college players, specifically QB's, are evaluated could help. Instead of looking at players who could thrive in a certain system, look at the best athlete with good behavior and personality (we don't want another Lawrence Phillips). Instead of listening to some scouts about how small and light a player is, look at the players determination to succeed. Also, not because a player never played a down in Div. 1 doesn't mean that the player can not be competitive against players from bigger programs. I mean, Mississippi Valley State, Delaware State, James Madison or Angelo State are not exactly football powerhouses.
Don't get me wrong, the 49ers scouts are good people and good evaluator. Maybe the problem lies in the person who decides who to draft. Of course the free spending ways of Eddie D is also gone due to the salary cap. But, players who can play does not have to be the 1st tier free agents.
All I'm saying is basically this, "I am tired of losing!" My favorite team has got to step up and get back to the play-offs. How hard is it to do if you have to play the Seahawks, Rams and Cardinals twice in a year. That's at least four or five wins during the regular season.
I still show my support for my favorite team. I wear 49ers hats and jackets. I watch their games if they are on tv. But, until they start winning, I won't purchase tickets to their annual visit to Glendale to play the Cardinals. Not with this economic mess we are in. If someone gives me tickets, I will be grateful and take them, of course.
It won't hurt to say, "Go Niners!" They are still my favorite team.