The 49ers head into their regular season finale against the St. Louis Rams facing a team that has had a fairly miserable season. The rumors are flying that Steve Spagnuolo is out the door with Jon Gruden unofficially on the team's radar. The team is tied with the Indianapolis Colts for the worst record in the draft and can secure the pick with a loss and a Colts win. The Colts are underdogs, but Jacksonville is not exactly a powerhouse so an Indy win is entirely possible.
I took a few minutes to chat with Ryan from Turf Show Times, primarily to get an idea of the mindset of this team heading into the finale. I don't expect Steve Spagnuolo and his squad to just roll over, but there's also a reason they're 2-13. The 49ers are better than the Rams, but these last few weeks have shown just how crazy things can get in this league. Ideally the 49ers can grab a quick lead and put this thing away, and maybe even get some rest for guys like Frank Gore and an offensive lineman or two. But, the 49ers will need to be prepared for the Rams to come out with everything but the kitchen sink in this one.
Niners Nation: How exactly do the Rams play this game? On the one hand, they could potentially screw a long-time rival out of a key second round bye. On the other hand, they have a realistic chance at the #1 pick. How do you think they play out and how do Rams want them to play it?
Turf Show Times: Oddly enough, one of the more frustrating things about head coach Steve Spagnuolo is his weekly retort that the team will approach the next game just like they approach the last one, the last one usually being a loss. The Rams will play like they always have this season, with effort, but not enough to win, because they just don't have enough to win. I know a number of fans would love to see the Rams get the top pick in the draft, just for the promise it brings along with a new administration at Rams Park.
NN: Can you describe your cornerback situation heading into this game? The 49ers wide receiver corps is dealing with a variety of injuries and may be adding a practice squad player to the active roster for Sunday, so this could be a mildly intriguing battle.
TST: None of the Rams current corners were on the roster to begin the season. Injuries have wiped out the top five players at that position for the Rams. It's almost like some strange trick of the cosmos. This unit struggled against Vernon Davis before, and will again. If Crabtree and Davis both play, the Rams will have a hard time covering them.
NN: Although it has little to do with this game, what does the coming offseason hold for Steve Spagnuolo and the Rams?
TST: Spagnuolo is gone. That has not been confirmed by the team, but coaches who own 10 wins over their first three seasons don't last long in a league where turnarounds happen from year to year. The Rams will most likely have a new coach and general manager, which ought to make January pretty interesting. Both Jon Gruden and Jeff Fisher have been mentioned as possibilities, but I suspect those names will come up in regards to most openings.