After Thursday nights 20-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks; 49ers insider Matt Maiocco mentioned that there are rumblings within the organization and that there are “Big changes” on the way. Let’s examine what these changes could be and would they even make a difference?
First on everyone’s mind is a QB change. Benching Kaepernick and starting Blaine Gabbert. Will a change at QB make a difference?
Why it would make a difference:
Sometimes making a switch can benefit a team. It can provide a spark for the offense and the whole entire team. It puts the whole team on notice as it sends a message to the players “Either play up or sit down” Players all of a sudden start playing like their lives depended on it and it could work for a few weeks. Sometimes the backup QB can see defenses differently from the bench and he has more time to process what his offense is doing wrong and doing right.
Blaine Gabbert could be a better fit for this offense. He played well in preseason and Jim Tomsula believes in him, but that was preseason and he was facing at best the 2nd and 3rd string defense. Gabbert is a pocket QB with decent enough speed to get out of the pocket.
Why it won’t make a difference:
The offensive line. Blaine Gabbert will be behind the same offensive line Kaepernick has been behind all season. Blaine Gabbert will be running for his life. With Kaepernick he would at least extend the play for a few more seconds and sometimes he would be able to find someone downfield.
The play calling. It will still be the same play calls from Geep Chryst. There’s no innovation in his play calling. They are way too basic and receivers are not getting open.
Next on everyones mind are coaching changes. What changes could be made?
Fire Tomsula and promote Mangini. Problem solved? No. Tomsula is loved by his players. You lose the locker room. Also Geep Chryst is still your offensive coordinator. Who takes over the defense?
Fire Chryst and promote who? There is no one else on this staff that can step in and start calling plays. Tony Sparano? We all know how well that turned out in Miami.
Fire Tomsula and bring in a coach from outside the organization. Problem solved? It’s a start depending on who they bring in. There are plenty of coaches out there with previous success in the NFL. The question is who wants to come here and report to Jed York and Trent Baalke. If they want to be successful they will need to bring in a coach from outside the organization and it will have to be a strong minded coach that doesn’t take order from anyone else. That coach would probably want to bring in his own staff. It could benefit them or it can hurt the team. It depends on the who and the when.
If the changes are made now the new coach will have 2 games to measure his team and the bye week to implement what he wants. Mid-season coaching changes rarely turn out well during that season, but they do make a difference going forward.
A big change could also mean personnel changes outside of the QB position. I’ve been critical with the play of the offensive line. The change could mean that Tiller and Brandon Thomas or Trenton Brown could be starting sooner than later. This is definitely a step forward as it will provide protection for whoever is the QB. I mean anyone is better than Devey and Pears. Jordan Devey made Tom Brady look like his career was done and look at what he’s doing to Kaepernicks.
My honest opinion on what big changes need to happen:
I know we can’t get rid of Jed York, but we can start by firing Trent Baalke. Also Jed needs to take the leash off and be more hands off with the personnel of this team. Jed needs to be in the background and let people who know football handle the football related decisions. Bring in a GM with experience and hire a coach with a successful pedigree. Turn to the 49ers past in order to ensure a brighter future for organization. There were talks that Mike Shannahan was interested in coming to the 49ers, but he would require more control of the roster. Mike Holmgren is also a name floating around that the 49ers can consider. Would Steve Mariucci consider returning to the 49ers? Probably not he has a nice job with NFL Network and the same goes with Jon Gruden and ESPN. My top 2 choices would require that Jed would fire Baalke and replacing him with a Coach/GM that requires more control of the personnel. Do I see it happening? No, but a fan can only dream about it.