In spite of everything that happened to the 49ers last season and the succeeding off-season, there is one thing a new season brings that cannot be denied: a fresh start. The way the NFL is currently structured, it has been doing a decent job of showing consistent parity. The competitiveness is so good that back-to-back Superbowl wins have been difficult today, let alone having a dynasty. The closest thing we have today is perhaps the New England Patriots, but even there the only constant has been Tom Brady, and Coach Belichick has pretty much had to reinvent his team for every playoff run.
The point of the parity is that no matter how well or how poorly (in the case of the 49ers) your team did last season, there is absolutely no more guarantee that they will be a playoff team come next season. Which leads me to believe that even with all the fan negativity, this team still has a legitimate shot of being a playoff contender this year. That is the hope that each new season provides.
In the same way, players also look to each new season as a better opportunity to increase their career standing. I have especially high hopes for Bruce Ellington this season after he showed some flashes of explosiveness late last season. I fully expect him to make a bigger impact on returns and in the offense as a slot receiver. Quinton Patton will also try to take advantage of the departures of Michael Crabtree and Stevie Johnson as an opportunity to get more playing time. And with a new coaching staff, both these guys might just get that shot.
We only have a handful of Nuggets so I'll let you go ahead and see them. You also might want to check out the stories about another pair of former 49ers who will be trying to make the most of their fresh starts with other teams.
A post-draft 49ers defensive depth chart (Gutierrez)
So look who ended up in New York. | Jets may be last chance for 49ers' 1st-round bust (NY Post)
Bears give McDonald a fresh start (Daily Herald)