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Team Chemistry

Last week, a discussion briefly developed in the John Clayton thread about how team chemistry might come into play with all the new players, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.  Nostocksjustbonds said:

I hate to put the brakes on the good mood in here, but I believe there is an overlooked component to the keys to success for the 2007 49ers: chemistry.

The 49ers have added a lot of new players, especially on defense and I believe it may take some time for these guys to come together as a unit. I also don't think that Willis or Staley will be starters in week 1. But they don't need to start in week 1 (barring any injury concerns) because we have capable players in those spots.

Sfgfan followed that with this:

While I agree chemistry is a big issue, it's hard to imagine that Nolan and Co haven't factored that into their decision.  The players they've picked up are team players, for the most part.  It's not like they signed a bunch of ringers (see: Washington Redskins).

I think team chemistry is an issue worth considering, but I think it's possible the back and forth in the thread was looking at two different versions of the issue.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that while I'm not worried about "bad guys" on the team, I am curious as to how they'll come together as a unit.  If Nate Clements were to get beaten on coverage, would he have the confidence that Mark Roman or Michael Lewis, or whomever would be where he needs him to be to back him up.  Or at the beginning of the season will it take time for each player to realize the limitations of his teammates and when a little backup might be necessary.

I'm not worried about the players getting along.  If the team is playing well and winning, that kind of chemistry will create itself in my opinion.  However, I would not be surprised at all to see the team take some time to develop into a cohesive unit the first few weeks of the season.  Training camp and preseason are great for getting to know the new guys.  However, until we get into true regular season action, it will be hard to tell where the team is at as a unit.  It might not cost us any games, but it is something to consider when looking at the early part of the 2007 schedule.