The San Francisco 49ers are one of the most storied franchises in the NFL, and just a few years ago, they were one of the most dominant teams in the league.
But now? Now the franchise is on the cusp of its fourth coach in four years, during which the team has gone from 8-8 to 5-11 to 2-14.
And Jed York is to blame – for the most part.
“I’ll say this about Jed: He works really hard, and he knows everything going on in that building,” four-time Super Bowl champion Bill Romanowksi said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “But to me, they needed somebody that would bring stability. A couple years ago, Tomsula, even taking a chance on Chip Kelly – I was like, ‘Okay, it kind of makes sense. If you’re going to go with Kaepernick, he would fit in with that style of offense.’”
The Niners, though, didn’t maximize Kaepernick’s mobility. He rushed just 5.8 times per game this season.
“It was crazy,” Romanowski said. “At the end of the day, they don’t have the horses. They don’t have the talent. I’ve said this many times: I don’t know how many mules have won the Kentucky Derby. You got to have the horses to win. You need four to five guys that are game-changers on a team to be competitive in the NFL. You look at all the great teams in the NFL, the teams that make the playoffs, and you can look to about four or five game-changers – and one has to be the quarterback.”
York and the Niners will need John Lynch to identify those game-changers, which might be easier said than done, especially since Lynch has never worked in an NFL front office.
“What does he do when he conducts a meeting?” Romanowski wondered. “Just simple things like that. He’s never been a CEO. What does he say in the meeting? There is going to be a big learning curve, but I think after a year, maybe all of us are going to be like, ‘Wow, that was a big-time move.’ . . . But you just can’t tell me for six years and for however many millions of dollars that there wouldn’t be somebody that would step up and take that job who’s got a lot of experience. I think a coach going there, for Kyle (Shanahan), this is four years before all of a sudden there’s some hope that you have a team. This is going to be a Raiders situation.”