As a long time reader of NinersNation, I've followed a lot of discussions and come to respect a lot of the regular posters, who often provide a fair criticism and incite, but I've noticed an increase in what I view as pessimism on the site. Now this could just be the past decade of failure finally wearing people down, or it could be well founded and we all should be starting to worry. Call me naive, but I refuse to join this cloud of gloom. Instead I intend to use this FanPost(my first) to highlight some gleaming sprinkles of hope on an otherwise bland fro-yo.
Note: News just broke about Gore signing a three year 21mil extension(so this section is kind of extraneous now)
As you are probably aware of, Frank Gore and the front office are in talks to make Gore a niner for life. This news has met a variety of responses from fans, including some people screaming for a trade. I for one will be happy if we complete and extension with Gore(assuming the contract numbers aren't ridiculous). And a trade just seems silly to me, I firmly believe Gore's highest value is here with the niners, and I say that because of his age, his past production/injuries, his leadership in our offense and his value(or lack there of) as a trading piece.
First of all, Frank's 28, an age where RBs usually start to decline, which is something other teams will be aware of when fielding trade offers. They will also be aware of his past production as well as injury history. With potential suitors knowing that and the value of RBs nowadays, we would likely not get anything worthwhile in exchange for him.
Instead of trading him, we extend his contract, keeping a productive player(even if his production is starting to decline), a leader both on and off the field and some stability of having a proven go-to-guy. We can expect both Hunter and Dixon to take some of the weight off of Gore's shoulders this year, promoting his health, because Harbaugh is most likely smart enough to know the value of mixing up the backs and diversifying the running styles. We've also heard, that Harbaugh plans on using Frank in new/different ways this season, which could lead to some previously undiscovered value. Plus, we'd retain a solid blocker, which with how our offensive line has preformed so far this preseason is something we would benefit from having.Ultimately, I feel the best value for our team is to keep Gore, he will likely produce more for us than what we'd get from another team in future draft picks(probably from later rounds anyways, the talk of getting 2-4 round picks from him is just comical) or another player(cause there is little to no chance of us getting a name-brand player in return for what other teams might consider damaged goods).
If all recycling was this inefficient...
environmentalism would be a lost cause.
What am I talking about, you may ask. Well I'm keeping with trade talk, referencing the Taylor Mays trade, of course. Obviously, we'd all would have liked to have gotten more than a seventh round pick in two years from now, but it's better than the other options we had.
What other options? Well he could have been cut, at which point another team would have picked him up, and we would have gotten zilch. Or we could have kept him and tried him at a different position, but it's obvious the coaching staff and him didn't play well together, by Fangio favoring FAs and Mays' complete lack of effort and bad attitude upon the arrival of FAs. Plus, his bad attitude could act like a cancer in the locker room. In the end, the front office tried and get the best of a bad situation, making a few screw ups along the way(Tim...).
We've got crabs
Michael Crabtree has had his ups and downs, and caused some of us to doubt the choice in drafting him, but as it stands we have him and his return to the field will help the offense on every level. How? Well, let me explain, currently we only have one real "threat" at WR on the field in Braylon Edwards, allowing opposing defenses to allocate personnel to a variety of things, such as pass rush and blitzing(the bane of our o-line's existence at the moment). But by having a second "threat" we give defenses less flexibility in their personnel assignments, and give our QB(whoever it ends up being) a short route option which can pick up yards after the catch, opposed to Edwards who is more of a deep threat. To summarize, Crabtree's presence makes our offense more dynamic and hopefully will reduce the stress on the offensive line.
Put on your hard hats!!
The sky is falling, the sky is falling! oh, wait, it's just preseason... Harbaugh's preseason preformance has been... well, different, and hasn't produced a lot of confidence from the fans. It's been compared to keeping cards close to the chest, which isn't too shabby of a plan. Why? Well, we all know deep down the preseason doesn't really count for anything. So why pretend it does? To get the beat writers to inflate the expectations for the year? Assuming you haven't blocked last season out of your memory, you should know the dangers associated with that. To build up confidence in the locker room? By what, showing you can win when it doesn't matter? Nah, Harbaugh is a smart dude( how smart? well we'll just have to wait and see to find out the full extent of his intelligence and cheekiness). I assume he's aware of the benefits of being underestimated by opponents and how little the preseason confidence matters after week one of the regular season.
In all honesty, though, all we can do now is speculate and be patient. We know Harbaugh likes to win, but beyond that, we can't take any assumptions we have for granted.
[insert creative title about the 49er's schedule]
There is still over a week before the regular season starts, which is enough time for a lot to change for the better. And once the season starts, the 9ers will have a fairly easy start with the Seahawks, the Cowboys, and the Bengals in the first three weeks. A start from which I believe they could walk away with a 3-0 record, getting a confidence which is much more beneficial than any preseason swagger.
The 9ers schedule alone should inspire confidence in the fans. It's nice and fluffy, and when compared to other schedules in the NFC West(i.e. the Rams') we should be smiling, because of the fairly even spread of good opponents and lack of back to back great opponents.
Worst comes to Worst
... you could always decide to follow the Rugby World Cup this year over the 9ers. The United States are a part of it, and with rugby being the fastest growing sport in America, there's reason to be excited about this year's tournament.
So cheer up! We've got plenty to be optimistic about. This sprinkle filled fro-yo could end up being pretty tasty