How The 49ers Doomed Themselves, And How They Can Fix Their Future
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How The 49ers Doomed Themselves, And How They Can Fix Their Future

In the last few seasons the 49ers seemed to be cursed.

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How The 49ers Doomed Themselves, And How They Can Fix Their Future

The last few seasons as a 49er fan have been rough. The team came out of nowhere in 2011 to shock the NFL, go 13-3, and be a fumble away from playing in the Superbowl. That's when it started going downhill. The next season, Alex Smith was replaced by Colin Kaepernick after he sustained a concussion against the Rams. Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers all the way through the playoffs and was one pass away from bringing the 49ers to 6-0 all time in the Superbowl. The next season, they lost to the eventual Superbowl Champion Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game and were, once again, one play away from going to the Superbowl.

Then came last year's 8-8 season. Now, the 49ers are sitting at 2-6. What went wrong with the 49ers? What has been going wrong? There are excuses that can be made, like last year's 8-8 season was plagued by injuries to what seemed like half of the team. If Kyle Williams didn't fumble twice in the 2012 NFC Championship game, then the 49ers would have gone to the Superbowl. If the refs had called a pass-interference penalty in the Superbowl, the 49ers would have won.

But excuses need to be set aside. What happened in the past has already happened, and there's no changing that. What needs to happen is that the team needs to address the current problems if they have any hope of improvement in the future.

Step 1: Fire Trent Baalke.

Personally, I'd rather see Jed York go, but I know that's not going to happen. Trent Baalke has done a good job of finding talent late in the draft, but that's really it. He has always demanded too much control of the team and is a big reason why Jim Harbaugh was fired. He and Harbaugh were too headstrong and didn't want to relinquish any of their power when it came to the roster and draft picks. And for some reason, Jed York thought it'd be a better idea to "mutually part ways" with Harbaugh rather than Baalke.

The 49ers need a talented GM like Baalke, but they also need one who will work well together with the head coach.

Step 2: Invest in a top-tier coaching staff.

Jim Tomsula is a very respected man in the league, but he isn't qualified enough to be a head coach. Same with most of the other coaches. While I think some of the coaches are doing the best with what they have, they just can't compete with the best coaches in the league.

The 49ers need to start fresh and bring in a coaching staff from in or out of the league, who have a proven track record of success. Vic Fangio and Jim Harbaugh were a great defensive coordinator and head coach, but they were brought down by Greg Roman. He was too simplistic and ran a boring and easy to figure out offense. Harbaugh's loyalty to Roman was another reason why they both ended up getting fired. They need an offensive coordinator who can squeeze the most out of the quarterback and actually design an offense that's more than running straight and throwing 3-yard passes.

Step 3: Sign or draft clear starting-quality players on the team, not project players.

Very few teams can get by with starting no-name players and actually be good--the Patriots and Seahawks are the two best examples. The other 30 teams can't really do that.

After the Superbowl loss, the 49ers let Dashon Goldson go. He was a pretty good starter. The next season, they let Tarell Brown, Carlos Rodgers, and Donte Whitner go. They were pretty good starters too. Then they let Perrish Cox and Chris Culliver go after last season. The 49ers kept letting their starters go in hopes that their backups or draft picks will be able to take their place. Well, that doesn't always work. It's one thing to let one starter go and replace him with someone new, but when you have to replace an entire positional group, you are bound to face troubles.

Next season, they 49ers need to spend money on great free agents to beef up the positional groups in need, like the secondary, middle linebackers, and o-line. Free agents like Russel Okung (LT), Sean Smith (CB), and Evan Mathis (G) should be considered.

Step 4: Look into getting a new Quarterback.

This part really sucks. Kaepernick seemed destined to be one of the all time greats just 3 years ago. He beat the Bears 32-7 in his first start. He beat the Saints in his second. He also beat Tom Brady in his 5th start, 41-34. Very few quarterbacks can claim they beat Tom Brady in Foxborough in December. Brady was almost unbeatable then. Del Rodgers, a former 49er and current KCRA 3 News reporter, said that he thought Kaepernick would be better than Tom Brady one day.

Then he just seemed to fall a part. He couldn't compete deep passes downfield, he wasn't rushing with the same success as he used to; he seemed to really lack any kind of spark. He turns 28 on November 3rd, so his "developmental years" are most likely over. He probably won't get much better than he is right now. It's always possible that he could turn it around and get better. Aaron Rodgers was a backup for 3 years, and after his 3rd year as a starter, he won the 2011 Superbowl at the age of 28. So you never know what can happen.

However, it might be smart to look for a new quarterback in the draft to at least train behind Kaepernick, if not replace him as a starter.

Step 5: Take the Marshawn Lynch approach to the media.

Over the course of the past two seasons, the most talked about teams in the media are the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers. And since the NFL has appealed the Deflategate ruling, and the 49ers don't seem to have much hope for the future at the moment, we are going to keep hearing about both all season and throughout the next off season.

The first part of this that the 49ers need to do is to not listen to the media's "reports" and "rumors" about them. All last season, we'd hear every week how Harbaugh and Baalke were supposedly butting heads and that if Harbaugh couldn't win a Superbowl for the 49ers, he'd be fired. We would hear every week about Kaepernick's development or of his downhill trend since the Superbowl loss in 2013. This last off season, we heard every single week about the 49ers' "off season from hell," Colin Kaepernick's development, the 49ers's seemingly new roster, and plenty of "rumors" of players getting into altercations over their roles, or their thoughts towards coaches and teammates.

The 49ers need to also do they best to not talk to the media. That's probably one of the biggest reasons why these rumors and reports keep spreading. If no one talks to the media, they will have nothing to base the fighting rumors off of. The media has treated them like dirt over the last couple of seasons, so now it's time to return the favor.

Step 6: Don't lose hope.

Quite honestly, this season is over. Unless the 49ers win out, they probably aren't making the playoffs.

But the players still need to have hope. They are still going to win some games. They still have some great young talent. The team has plenty of long-term potential, they just need to get the last few pieces of the puzzle together. The young and newer guys like Carlos Hyde, Jarryd Hayne, Aaron Lynch, Arik Armstead, Kenneth Acker, Eric Reid, and Jaquiski Tartt all look like they could be household names in the future.

The 49ers have a bright future on the horizon. But if they lose hope and don't make any changes, the horizon will continue to stay just one play away.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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