SAN FRANCISCO—The sands of time can be cruel to an NFL franchise.
When the San Francisco 49ers were winning division titles and annually hosting NFC Championship Games, they appeared a team of destiny, a dynasty in its infancy. The team not only boasted one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, but a head coach that was the envy of organizations nationwide.
Heck, just ask the University of Michigan and athletic director James Hackett, who lured Jim Harbaugh ala Nick Saban from the NFL to a storied collegiate program.
And yet, in spite of a disappointing 8-8 season, a struggling young quarterback, and constant roster turmoil, the Niners may watch the upcoming Super Bowl tilt between New England and Seattle with the knowledge that Harbaugh aside, they still have professional football’s most terrifying defense and a roster that is still the envy of the NFL.
After a high profile coaching search highlighted by known brands, (see: Mike Shanahan), and popular unknowns, the Niners wisely promoted from within, placing defensive line coach Mike Tomsula in place as the team’s newest head coach.
Any challenges to Tomsula’s ability to attract coaching talent have quickly been silenced.
The team is seemingly hiring a new coach or assistant by the day, the most recent example being former Jets Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey, a respected football mind whose roots with Tomsula date all the way back to their formulate years together in NFL Europe.
And while watching Richard Sherman, Russell Wilson, and company play for another Super Bowl is no doubt the last thing Tomsula and the Niners want to do, greatness is well within reach in a healthy 2015.