The San Francisco 49ers officially welcomed their rookies to training camp yesterday, which means we are officially off and running towards the 2012 season. While the rookies are only now "officially" in camp, they have of course been interacting with the coaching staff for much of the offseason since the April draft. Graduation dates created limitations on their involvement in offseason training activities, but the players got in the rookie minicamp after the draft, and some portion of the OTAs.
This is a far cry from last offseason. Thanks to the lockout, there were severe limitations on coach/player interactions. The lockout was legally stopped for one day at the draft, which provided an opportunity to quickly get playbooks out to members of the team. However, until the lockout ended in late July, it was a veritable [site decorum] show of trying to figure out ways to get prepared for the season.
We have heard much discussion about the plexiglass theory and how the 49ers will come back to earth from last season's 13 wins. While I would be a bit surprised if the 49ers won another 13 regular season games in 2012, I also don't think the A's are necessarily as inclined to regress as far as some think. Even without considering the lockout, the 49ers brought in an entirely new coaching staff last season. Our man Danny Tuccitto is taking a look at the teams that have regressed and what that could mean for team regression. Hopefully he'll come across some good news over at Football Outsiders.
However, when you combine the change in coaching staff with the lockout, it gives me at least some subjective reason for optimism. I don't think there's anything statistically to back it up, but I continue to think the full offseason will be a benefit. While it is true every other team receives the benefit of a full offseason, the 49ers and a few other teams are in the unique circumstances of having been breaking in new coaching staffs during the lockout. Maybe it ends up meaning nothing, but logically it just seems to make sense that there would be a benefit this offseason.
Is this just irrational homer-ism at its finest or is there something to it?