Now that Aldon Smith's legal problems are coming to a close, it's probably about time to start putting a wrap on the offseason. Training camp is fast approaching, and while we have a couple of story lines to follow concomitant with training camp (Alex Boone and Vernon Davis holdouts), most lingering offseason questions are just about tied off neatly. In fact, holdouts are the type of things that by necessity belong to the preseason and during the season. As such, it is appropriate for us to start looking ahead to what will be the major story lines this preseason and how they might affect the team going forward.
In a recent article by Don Banks from Sports Illustrated, Banks laid out what he considers to be ten major story lines for this preseason. Each story line is posed as a question, with number 10 being "Which team will easily lead the league in dealing with the dreaded ‘distraction' dynamic this preseason?"
As you might be able to guess based upon the fact that we are talking about this today, Bank's short answer to this question is the 49ers. Starting with the Davis and Boone holdouts, moving past the potential fallout of Smith's legal problems, Banks chooses to focus upon the pressure on the 49ers to win a Super Bowl this season. His overarching thesis is that Jim Harbaugh's future with the team might be in doubt if the 49ers don't win a Super Bowl this season and this pressure might be felt during the postseason.
The main sentence upon which I would like to focus, though, is this: "It's get-it-done time in year four, or major change might be in the offing." I have a simple question for you all, do you really think that a major offing is in the works should the 49ers not win the Super Bowl? Anything is possible, I suppose, but I really cannot conceive of a scenario that involves the 49ers achieving the same degree of success that they have the last three years (with no Super Bowl) and Jim Harbaugh being fired. The 49ers just agreed to a long term extension with one of the most exciting young QBs in the league. Why would they get rid of arguably one of the best quarterback coaches in the league?
Yes, I think the contract discussions between the front office and Harbaugh might be contentious. That shouldn't surprise any of us. But, I don't think Harbaugh's job is so on the line that only a Super Bowl will keep him around. Nor, do I think that the team is going to feel so much pressure as to deserve the "dreaded ‘distraction' dynamic" distinction.
What do you guys think? Are the 49ers really interested in shaking things up if they don't win a Super Bowl this year?