Article Title: More of the same
Now (1-11) what more can we say about the abysmal San Francisco 49ers? Now in tune with being the worst franchise in the league right alongside the Cincinnati Bengals and the Arizona Cardinals as being the most poorly owned and mismanaged, it goes without saying that Dr. John York and General Manager Terry Donahue are to blame for this record.
Accountability must be taken seriously folks. Someone needs to step up to the plate and admit they are wrong and have bundled in keeping this once renowned franchise within the framework of being the best in the business. Head Coach Dennis Erickson as far as Iím concerned is also accountable for this (1-11) record regardless of the lack of this and the lack of that.
With great coaching any club can squeeze two or three more victories on the season. Head Coach Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati and Dennis Green in Arizona are prime examples of that. Both stuck in franchises that donít pay a lot of money up front for playmakers or even retain ones that are because of the price tag that comes with them.
When Bill Walsh was the general manager of this franchise even under owner Dr. John York he delivered sound advice and had results through articulate drafting and emphasizing great coaching to offset the closed purse strings of Dr. John York.
Now we have a general manager trained under Bill Walsh that is awash in bad personnel decisions and poor draft pick results, like Kwame Harris, Rashaun Woods and even Justin Smiley. All players that have under-performed and or played very little due to injuries and losing their status to more experienced players.
We have an owner that is merely making decisions from afar, from out of state in a Mid-West office somewhere courtesy of a giving wife named Denise DeBartolo whom has nothing to do with the 49ers whatsoever. An owner that has allowed her husband to treat this franchise like a rag doll toy and flaunt it in the face of former 49er owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. It simply disgusts me to see our proud and loving franchise turned from one end to the other like a chicken in a shake and bake bag ready for frying.
Head Coach Dennis Erickson makes Steve Mariucci look like a radical or should we say a far left liberal democrat that is out of control. Steve Mariucci labeled as being ultra-conservative at least came up with some trick plays once in awhile and went for it on fourth down to restore confidence in the offense.
Steve Mariucci had a fine staff of assistants that motivated this team towards success in almost every position and placed this team in a situation to win almost every Sunday. Sure we had our struggles under his leadership and we lost some games, but he was a winning mind in the works on the field and off from it.
Dennis Erickson a bust in the league before with Seattle thought to redeem himself in the college ranks has comeback and contributed Iím afraid to the demise of this team wholeheartedly.
Yes I agree with you he was given a very bad deal in learning the team was being carved to the bone because of the salary cap, but it doesnít excuse the fact that the offensive line canít protect, or we continue to play a quarterback with durability concerns, or that we have one of the worst turnover numbers in the league and that we just donít execute on the field like we should.
Dennis Erickson has failed to meet the expectations of his players, the 49er fans and even himself. Accountability has to be demonstrated here folks and it should start with sound quality coaching, which arenít getting the job done under the offensive mind of Dennis Erickson.
Even ESPN analyst Steve Young has called for the head of Dennis Erickson indirectly believing there will and should be a coaching change in the Bay Area. Some and I am one of them would love to see Steve Young and Brent Jones purchase this team and hand it back to the fans that deserve it.
I go on record as admitting that Dennis Erickson deserved a break, after what the front office did to this team through the off-season. He was not handed a full deck but a challenging deck in which he had to work some miracles and use his offensive mastermind to generate some success.
He has failed to do this folks. He has failed in that challenge and although some of you are sympathetic to his cause think again of what some coaches have in other franchises and see what they have done like mentioned before in this article.
The West Coast playbook under Steve Mariucci was altered too much and terminology and instruction made too complex. Running back Kevan Barlow has even mentioned he is not given the freedom of his own to determine running lanes or applies himself as he used to. The offensive line under Pat Morris as coach never yielded as many sacks as this line has currently in who knows how many seasons?
To be (1-11) everyone is accountable and someone has to voice this loud and clear so us fans can hear that something and someone will change. This team needs change and it needs a clear path of direction to sustain itself and rebuild to be competitive again.
One has to now question rather Tim Rattay can be our starting quarterback. I canít stand it no more in that the fourth quarter has come to be known as the twilight zone for this man in his head he witnesses demons that rob him of his sense of direction and we lose yet another game we had a remote chance to win.
Ten of his 17 turnovers, three fumbles and seven interceptions have come in the final quarter, and three of them have been returned for touchdowns at that. Sore forearm, shoulder, groin and now heel or not, donít play someone that is and hasnít ever been 100%. With just 13 minutes left in this game against St. Louis on third and five from the Rams 19-yard line he made yet another costly error.
Expecting Brandon Lloyd to run a slant toward the inside of the field, Lloyd read the defense differently and was then looking for a deeper pass. The result was watching Rams cornerback Jerametrius Butler intercept Rattayís short throw at the eight-yard line to solidify the Rams victory 16-6.
Now yet again Tim Rattay is injured with a slight tear of the plantar fascia ligament beneath his right foot. It has bothered him so much that now heís being sidelined yet again for the next game at Arizona and Ken Dorsey will start in his place. The durability question is compounded when you think of just how many times heís been sacked and knocked down over the course of this season.
In all Tim has missed about half of the season as a result of reoccurring injuries. Being a pocket passer and being unable to rollout of the pocket quicker have relegated Tim to being a dummy in an automobile crash test with no seat belt. The offensive line has failed Tim there is no question he was sacked four times in this game against St. Louis rather then eight against Miami, if thatís what you want to call an improvement.
The only offense generated at all on offense in this game came on kicker Todd Petersonís foot as he made field goals of 51 and 40 yards respectably. Again running back Kevan Barlow had yet another bad day despite what Dennis Erickson said in seeing improvement in it. When you have 19 carries for 48-yards that is a problem, especially against the 28th ranked run defense in the NFL at that.
Meanwhile on the other side of the ball with the St. Louis Rams and their running game without Marshall Faulk, they turned to the NFLís No. 24th overall draft pick in running back Steven Jackson who tore a hole in our defensive pants on 26 carries for 119-yards. And good old kicker Jeff Wilkins who broke into the NFL back in 1995 with the San Francisco 49ers, nailed field goals of 29, 52 and 52 again against us.
One has to wonder where Kevan Barlow will fit in on our team next season after not playing effectively all season after receiving a huge contract in the off season. He sustained a concussion in this game after a collision with linebacker Robert Thomas. He was sidelined for the rest of the game the entire fourth quarter, and still couldnít get the cobwebs out of his head thereafter.
I believe we need to draft a quarterback and a running back in this next NFL draft period. We need to see if Ken Dorsey can be the next quarterback, granted he played poorly in his starts against Seattle and Chicago but he was playing injured as well. We need to evaluate Ken Dorsey against Arizona and maybe even more games to determine if he we draft another player or not and determine if heís a cut above Tim Rattay or not.
Kevan Barlow needs competition hands down but he also needs better blocking up front from the offensive line. He continues to be a liability against a blitzing defensive end and linebacker on his own as observed again in this game against St. Louis. Both he and fullback Fred Beasley missed blocks on two plays that resulted in sacks for Tim Rattay.
The offensive line is abysmal and in this game it starts with veteran right tackle Scott Gragg giving up two sacks and getting manhandled at the line of scrimmage all day. In three games combined this offensive line has allowed 17 sacks against Tim Rattay a number that is so out of control and coaching has to be held accountable on this one.
I must say I was proud of our defense despite it giving up the only touchdown in the game, even after knocking out starting quarterback Marc Bulger in the first quarter on a hit by Bryant Young. Both safety Ronnie Heard and cornerback Shawntae Spencer were beaten repeatedly by either Isaac Bruce or Torry Holt, confusion on assignments and plain speed were factors in their inability to stop the Rams wide receivers.
The San Francisco defense held the St. Louis Rams on their home turf to 16 total points. To me thatís an accomplishment to be proud of, and gave our offense the chance to stay with this team fighting for first place in our division.
Anyway you cut it though this team is a shell of its former self. Fans are despondent and on life support after witnessing these performances on the field every Sunday. If I were the owner of this team like so many of you would love to be, heads would roll and experience with a winning history would be brought in.
Will this next draft address enough problem areas is yet to be determined. Will we have enough cap money to sign some quality free agents rather then all the renegades and fugitives that have been let go and thrown on the scrap heap? Will we get the direction and coaching this team deserves by a leader that has a proven record for winning and sustaining quality results that is yet to be seen as well?
I still wear my San Francisco gear with pride despite the glaring looks and snickers in back rooms. I see the faces of many as they shake their collective heads and wonder what happened and little is done to rectify those faces especially in the short term. We are a face of utter discontent and frustration and we demand a revolution in this organization now rather then later please.