The San Francisco 49ers have two games remaining as they play out a string on an ugly season. The team will not be going to the playoffs, but there are reasons these final two games are of value. One of the reasons is to figure out if this coaching staff can figure anything out and get this team moving in some kind of positive direction. The team was pummeled by the Cleveland Browns, and was out of it by the second quarter this past week against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Prior to the final four-game stretch, I suggested the 49ers would need to lose badly in all four games for Jim Tomsula to even be remotely likely to be fired. The team was not competitive against the Browns, and was only briefly competitive against the Bengals. And right now, all indications are still that Jim Tomsula will be back in 2016.
Bleacher Report's Jason Cole put together a video with some thoughts on Tomsula's status. Cole's reporting can be all over the place, so we certainly should take it with a grain of salt. At the same time, given everything else floating around out there, it's not like Cole's report is entirely crazy. If you have trouble with the video above, I have transcribed it as well, along with some thoughts on his comments.
"The San Francisco 49ers and their management would prefer that coach Jim Tomsula survive this season despite the fact that they're on a 4-10 season, and have gone backwards significantly over the year; not only with the roster, with so many defections from the roster, but also on the coaching staff, with the loss of Jim Harbaugh. Despite all of that, management wants to have some type of continuity.
"However, there are concerns within this organization, and specifically in the locker room, about the ability of Tomsula to control the locker room and get guys focused on playing hard week in and week out. This team gave up over 200 yards rushing against Cleveland recently, and was out of the game on Sunday against Cincinnati in the second quarter with a litany of turnovers.
"Finally, one of the other big concerns for Tomsula as he goes into his second year, and assuming he makes it, is whether he's going to be able to bring assistant coaches in to bolster the assistant coaching staff. If he's going to be able to attract top-level people even though the interpretation of the situation, if he returns, is that he may only have one year left.
"There is lots of concern here for the 49ers about their future. And, while they haven't made a final decision on Tomsula, and he might ultimately be fired, they're leaning towards keeping him at this point in time. That my not be the best solution for the 49ers long term."
Over the last two weeks, James Brady spoke with a source who had the following to say about the coaching staff and the situation:
49ers coaching staff is disorganized, some not aware who makes certain personnel and lineup decisions even days before game, per source.— James Brady (@JamesBradySBN) December 18, 2015
Get the impression that a lot of people are frustrated, from the top of the coaching staff down.— James Brady (@JamesBradySBN) December 18, 2015
People on 49ers told no firings coming over past few weeks. I was told officials/coaches "less convinced of this by the week" by source.— James Brady (@JamesBradySBN) December 21, 2015
Source jokes "Do I even need to tell you that morale is at an all-time low?" Ouch. #49ers— James Brady (@JamesBradySBN) December 21, 2015
In comparing that with what Jason Cole said, the 49ers have some serious issues. I see no reason to think quality assistant coaches will want to join this staff, and I wonder if some of the current staff will want out as soon as they can. Ryan Sakamoto reported hearing that senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach Jason Tarver wants out. I have not seen anybody else mention it, but would it really be that surprising if some of the assistants want to get out of this toxic situation?
Considering all the discussion about whether or not Tomsula was nothing more than a yes-man, I can see how he would lose control of things rather quickly. It's about the franchise more than just the coach, and this environment is a mess right now. And yet, Tomsula will probably be back for the 2016 season.
I've attached a poll to get everyone's thoughts. Will the Tomsula be back as head coach Week 1 of next season?