Today's NFL preview gives us a glimpse of a one-time NFL power who has fallen on hard times, the San Francisco 49ers.
However, with Jim Harbaugh at the helm, there appears to be a new attitude in the Bay Area even if the quarterback still remains Alex Smith.
The Niners have recaptured a solid running game the past few seasons with Frank Gore, who graciously has told the media he wants to be a 49er for life with the dawn of his new contract several days ago.
Gore, who has amassed 8,697 yards from scrimmage in his first six years in San Francisco is now joined by Kendall Hunter, a tailback who has shown his versatility and solid motor repeatedly this preseason.
At wideout, I like the acquisition of Braylon Edwards as, if nothing else, he brings playoff experience, something that can only help the 49ers provided he behaves himself, while Josh Morgan remains a reliable veteran who does what is asked of him and gives a solid effort.
At tight end, Vernon Davis has a rich contract, so it would only be fair to San Francisco if he has a career season.
Defensively, Carlos Rogers could be a key acquisition in the secondary while Isaac Sopoaga remains a force on the defensive line, keeping San Francisco's trend of having solid Polynesian interior linemen intact from the glory days when Jesse Sapolu was a reliable offensive lineman.
David Akers, who has a nearly 82 percent success ratio on field goals throughout a magnificent career, should be one of the major acquisitions of the season but, Niners fans, I fear that unless the quarterback position is enhanced significantly, I don't think San Francisco is a playoff team.
With Harbaugh at the helm, they will be in every game and win several down the stretch, but I just can't see Alex Smith as the answer.
If I'm wrong, feel free to give me a hard time, but in any case, thanks for reading and I dig the retro Bill Walsh-era unis!