SANTA CLARA—Following an offseason marked by a strange series of hirings, firings, and unexpected retirements, many San Francisco 49ers fans have been left to question the team’s current trajectory.
Considering San Francisco was playing in a Super Bowl 22 months ago and came a play away from playing for another in 2013, last season’s 8-8 record, coupled with the events of the 2015 off-season, have many describing the once mighty franchise’s trajectory with words such as “nosedive” and “catastrophe.”
Count one of San Francisco’s most high-profile fans, former Niners quarterback Jeff Garcia, among those questioning just what exactly has bumped this team from the ranks of the elite.
“It will be interesting to see how they deal with the situation that they’ve created…. As a fan you have to really look at the management of the organization and the decisions that they’ve made for that team,” said Garcia. “Sometimes what I see… is you have a lot of personnel that are in positions of power that don’t have real football backgrounds…. We know that Jed York never played football.”
Garcia, one of the franchise’s most recognizable and respected retirees takes a public shot at the football acumen of Ted York, the man many believe to be the principle catalyst behind the unceremonious departure of head coach Jim Harbaugh.
However, Garcia did say there exists a remedy for the team’s current woes, highlighting that a leadership nucleus will have to step in place for the likes of Harbaugh and retired linebacker Patrick Willis.
Besides incumbent head coach Jim Tomsula, two potential candidates for leadership roles are quarterback Colin Kaepernick and linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who in 2015 is expected to make his return from a devastating knee injury he suffered in the 2013 NFC Championship Game.
Bowman’s recovery is reportedly on-schedule, as the linebacker looks to return to All-Pro form and serve as the savior of a Niners defense that has been punched full of holes during the 2015 off-season.