To quote Michael Jordan, "I'm back." I think my return is a little more prominent considering that looking back, there had to be a 15-20% chance I was going be shot last weekend. However, I managed to find the one party in Las Vegas where nobody was arrested and Pac-Man Jones was not in attendance, so lucky me I suppose.
While I was gone there were certainly plenty of happenings in the 49ers world and in the NFL world that affected the 49ers. For this first post back we are going to mix in links and commentary to get us back in the swing of things, with combine information coming later on Saturday and Sunday.
Let's dispense with the bad news first. Indeed, Norv Turner has flown the coop. On Monday, I was actually sitting in an Outback Steakhouse with the WORST hangover of my life and saw Norv's mug show up on the TV. A headline later and the hangover was not going to be going away anytime soon. Talk about picking the worst day to join the Chargers!
I'll never get why teams keep hiring retreads. Norv had a small amount of success in Washington, but in reality his teams underachieved. Then he came out to Oakland and was absolutely abysmal. Jerry Rice and Mark Schlereth have both chimed in concerning their experiences while with the Raiders and Redskins, respectively. As an offensive coordinator, Norv Turner probably deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame. As a head coach it's more like the Hall of Shame. More power to him for convincing someone else to hire him and considering the offensive firepower, expect to see him in the playoffs next year. However, don't be surprised to see the Chargers underachieve.
There have been plenty of suggestions for offensive coordinator and it appears TE coach Pete Hoener is the leading candidate. However, the most interesting and unique probably came from famed Bay Area columnist Glenn Dickey. He suggested Sam Wyche would be a perfect outside-the-box hiring for Nolan. While I doubt Wyche will be our OC next year, Dickey made some excellent points for hiring him, including his handling of a young Joe Montana.
Three days later the pain almost returned when I was watching NFL Live at a bar. They had the ticker rolling along underneath, and in catching the tail end of one portion, all I saw was "...franchise tag on LB Thomas." Needless to say I immediately assumed the worst and began trying to think of new options for the team. The ticket had to go through Mel Kiper's draft board AND his big board before returning to the news, where it said "Ravens decide not to put franchise tag on LB Thomas. " Was it really necessary to phrase it that way? I damn near had a heart attack.
Either way, while nothing is guaranteed in free agency, I really hope the team is ready to open up the checkbook for Adalius Thomas. He's a true, proven talent who has a history with Nolan and he could make an instant impact on the defense. Free agency begins next Friday, so we'll see if the 49ers brass takes this key step towards competing for the playoffs.