Every year Adam Schein of FoxSports.com puts together his grades of the 32 NFL organizations. Schein grades teams on a 1-10 scale based on owner, quarterback, head coach, front office, coaching staff, and intangibles, which includes facilities, fan support, and public relations. This year the 49ers find themselves in 24th place overall, which I figure is better described as ninth worst in the league. They were 25th last year and 23rd in 2009. In grading and describing the team, Schein said:
Head Coach: 6
Front office: 4
Coaching staff: 7
It appears that the Niners have cleared redevelopment hurdles in preparation of their move to Santa Clara in 2015. And not a moment too soon. Jim Harbaugh, Jed York and Bob Lange are major upgrades for head coach, owner and PR director in recent years. The Niners have done a nice job this year with social media. Mike Singletary was a train wreck, more punchline than coach, and Harbaugh will live up to the hype.
It's interesting to note that Jim Harbaugh received a 6 out of 10, while his coaching staff received a 7 out of 10. He's got a lot of veteran experience on his staff so I'm guessing that gives it a bit more of a boost. Harbaugh does get credit for landing these guys, so maybe that impacted his overall grade.
I'd argue that a 4 for the front office is as much meant as an incomplete at this point. After all, we're into the second full year of the Trent Baalke GM era, so the grade is still sort of out for now. I'd argue the 49ers are on the upswing, but there is still a lot of room for improvement and plenty of question marks remaining before the grading will fully reflect that upswing.