When the San Francisco 49ers announced that Jim Tomsula would be replacing Jim Harbaugh as head coach, there was a bit of skepticism outside of team headquarters. Ok, there was a lot. It's interesting to note now, how the players and coaching staff are adjusting to their new leader and what he has done to gain their trust and loyalty.
Every player that has been asked about Tomsula has used very similar words.
Jarryd Hayne: "He cares about the individual and wants the individual to not only be a great football player but a great man."
Reggie Bush: "[Tomsula] He's always asking 'Is there anything I can do for you, is there anything you need.'"
Marcus Martin: "He's a players coach. He asks us for input."
Anquan Boldin: "He gets input from players when he's doing the schedule and things like that. He will find out what benefits the players the most. With scheduling, just making sure guys get enough rest when they need to but not wasting time just sitting around the facility and things like that. When we're here we're working."
Colin Kaepernick: "He's constantly talking to players, trying to do what's best for the team, what's best for the players and what's best for the organization."
Most notably defensive coordinator Eric Mangini talked at length about the research Tomsula did when finalizing the practice schedule for training camp. Practices are notably later in the day this year than in the past and this is because of the research that Tomsula did prior to camp. "He gathered a ton of information before putting together the final schedule."
Not only did he ask players, but coaching staff as well, what schedule would be the most efficient use of time. He took advice from the former head coaches on staff, Mangini himself and Tony Sparano, regarding what had worked for them in the past. Mangini went on to say that, "Jim is Jim. He's not going to try to be anyone else and guys appreciate that honesty that sincerity, and he does care about the players, he cares deeply about them and that resonates. His relationship with everybody from the GM to people that he meets in stadium ops, that maybe he doesn't have contact with, he treats everybody the same way."
Tomsula even apologized to the media at the opening of training camp for the scheduled hours and the concurrent traffic conflicts. Not that he would have changed the practice time, but he apologized nevertheless. The phrase 'You can't please everyone' comes to mind, but for the new 49ers head coach, it certainly isn't for lack of effort.