I suppose I'm going a little overboard referring to them as sloppy seconds, but it is still interesting to follow the Oakland Raiders loading up on former 49ers players and coaches. The folks at Silver & Black Pride took a look at the Raiders recent run of additions that has focused on the 49ers.
When I say second-hand options, that is not always meant as an insult. Often there are a lot retreads wandering the NFL, whether it be coaches or players that just don't have it anymore. Other times though, NFL teams look to copy what might have worked for another team. We see that frequently with play-calling and personnel groupings.
For the Raiders, adding players from the 49ers is not a shocking development. For the player, like Shawntae Spencer, they don't have to leave an area they have lived in for some time. For the team, they've had a chance to follow this player a bit more closely, even if they don't play against him every regular season. Personally I like the Raiders addition of Spencer. They get him on a one-year deal for less than a million dollars. He has dealt with numerous injuries, but when healthy he is a very solid cornerback. It's a low risk, high reward type of move that makes sense.
Beyond the players, it is interesting to note the front office and coaching staff that have moved across the Bay. it is not an exorbitant amount, but it's still noticeable. Of course, the 49ers coaching staff could find themselves facing the vultures in the next year or two. When Coach Harbaugh formed his coaching staff, the 49ers were not exactly a plum option. They had a lot of talent heading into 2011, but the franchise has been struggling to turn that talent into production.
The 49ers were able to retain most of their coaching staff this offseason (assistant Bobby Engram left), with only limited interviews for the staff. If the 49ers do what we all hope they can do in 2012, that could change. Another season of success will further raise the profile of every member of the coaching staff.
Each year Coach Harbaugh is leading the 49ers will provide a new test for him. This year it is dealing with high expectations and a certain measure of confidence about the team. Next year, he might find himself facing changes in the coaching staff; ideally for "good" reasons like winning a Super Bowl. It's not exactly something to worry about now, but it is something that will pop back up in seven months.