The 2020 season was a test of the depth of the 49ers’ roster. The 2021 season may well be a test of the depth of the 49ers’ organization. Just as we saw players fall due to injury this year, we’ve already seen two coaches leave due to opportunity this off-season. Will the coaching staff prove as resilient as the players did this year?
The most annoying phrase we hear when players go down is, “next man up.” Teammates and coaches repeat it endlessly to avoid having to talk too much about replacing a particular player who suffers an injury.
You usually don’t hear that cliche applied to the coaching staff, but the same principle applies.
A coaching staff churns in much the same way a roster does, and the truly great organizations are the ones that have prepared for that turnover by stocking every level of the coaching staff with quality individuals.
(Hear all about that and more in today’s Stats & Eggs Podcast, available below and on all major podcast platforms)
If DeMeco Ryans is taking over as defensive coordinator as has been reported, has he learned enough in his time with the 49ers to be ready for this opportunity? Can the offense continue its success without Mike LaFleur? The answers to those questions will be determined by how well the 49ers have trained the other coaches on their staff, and/or by how well Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch can scout opposing coaching talent in other organizations.
Only time will tell for sure. Either way, one of the most exciting off-seasons in 49ers history has begun.