The NFL's official website is running a feature called "Exit Interview", in which they break down each team's 2015 season, and what to make of the coming offseason. On Thursday, they got to the San Francisco 49ers, and it was....interesting.
The article hits on a lot of the points we've discussed, but "2015 in a nutshell" intro reads like someone who's buddies with Jim Tomsula, more than trying to make an objective statement about the 49ers. Let's take a look at the intro paragraph, and break it down piece-by-piece.
Part of the problem with evaluating the San Francisco 49ers is that it does not feel fair. In the end, they thrust a first-time NFL head coach into a position where he lost a handful of his best players in their prime to retirement, and watched as the team's franchise quarterback buckled without the support and guidance of Jim Harbaugh.
As much as we want to jump on Jed York, Trent Baalke, and the coaching staff, the crazy amount of turnover does need to be considered. There's a lot more to it, but it is certainly a factor. Of course, depending on who you believe, Jed York and/or Trent Baalke might have driven Jim Harbaugh out, which partially put them in this position in the first place.
Jim Tomsula is a great person and a great position coach. He toiled a long time in the league and probably should have been a defensive coordinator half a decade ago.
What exactly is this based on? I mean I think people would have been more comfortable with Tomsula if he had NFL coordinator experience, but as we look at things in hindsight (since that's all we have), I'm not sure Tomsula would have a defensive vision for the team. Maybe he would have, who knows.
But the 49ers, after deciding to back away from a very public battle with an excellent head coach, came to the conclusion that this was an acceptable alternative.
Again, we'll never know with certainty what exactly was going down between Jim Harbaugh and Jed York and Trent Baalke. That being said, there was speculation Jim Tomsula was the guy they wanted dating back to the middle of the 2014 season. When Tomsula ended up with the job, it was hard not to think the speculation might have been true.
The fact that the team will not end up with the No. 1 pick in May's NFL Draft is a miracle, and speaks to how much Tomsula, Eric Mangini, Tony Sparano and Geep Chryst put into their game plan week in and week out.
Wait...what? I don't think all the blame belongs on the shoulders of the coaching staff, as execution issues are a problem. I suppose there are times I do think it's a miracle this team managed four wins. But somehow saying the coaching game-planning has been critical is hard to buy in some respects. There are plenty of excuses to be made, so I get that, but this strikes me as a little less than objective.
Later in the article, the author gives more credit to Geep Chryst for what Blaine Gabbert was able to do to some degree after replacing Colin Kaepernick. I think Blaine Gabbert did show more than he showed in his awful time in Jacksonville, but, that was also a pretty historically low bar.
I don't think Geep Chryst has been 100 percent awful, but