San Francisco 49ers’ Season From Hell Only Halfway Over


Where do you even begin with the San Francisco 49ers? Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse, they somehow do.

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It’s hard to even determine what has been worse for the 49ers — their play on the field or their off the field drama? They’ve had enough baggage this season that the franchise shades more towards a soap opera than HBO’s Hard Knocks. It’s gotten so bad that even TMZ Sports regularly reports on the 49ers’ follies.

In terms of the sheer number of negative news stories to come out in a matter of hours, the 49ers had one of the worst days in franchise history on Monday. First, there was the news that running back Reggie Bush was finally put out of his misery and will have season ending surgery for a torn medial collateral ligament.

Bush may have had the highest percentage of injuries sustained to touches in a season in NFL history, and succumbed to the concrete deathtrap at Edward Jones Dome this past Sunday in the loss to the Rams.

Not too long after the news of Bush’s injury broke, tight end Vernon Davis was shipped off to the Denver Broncos in a trade for two sixth round draft picks. Davis has spent his entire ten year career with the 49ers, and is another starter from their Super Bowl team who has departed. His production the past two seasons has sharply declined and he is eligible to be a free agent after this season, so the trade makes some amount of sense.

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Just last week, Davis was reportedly involved in an altercation with teammate Joe Staley over quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In a player’s only meeting, Davis called out Kaepernick, to which Staley took exception. This was just the latest in a multitude of incidents revolving around Kaepernick, who just last week had more details put on blast about his love triangle beef with former 49er, Aldon Smith.

Fox Sports’ NFL insider Jay Glazer, who reported that Kaepernick was “on an island” in the 49ers locker room, indicated that San Francisco was essentially divided over to the inconsistent play of Kaepernick. Furthermore, the ordeal between Kaepernick and Smith did not endear him to some of his teammates.

All of these events weren’t even the peak of the 49ers’ drama though. That came hours after the Davis trade was announced, when the Bay Area Sports Guy reported that Kaepernick had been benched in favor of backup QB, Blaine Gabbert.

The same Blaine Gabbert who flamed out tremendously with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a high first round draft pick.

As bad as Monday was for the 49ers, it’s just another day in which 49ers Nation is left wondering where exactly rock bottom is. The offensive line is a mess. Last year’s team MVP, safety Antione Bethea, is on injured reserve. Anquan Boldin is nursing a bad hamstring. Running backs Carlos Hyde, Mike Davis and Bush are all out, leaving Kendall Gaskins as their healthiest back.

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  • Injuries and poor performances are part of NFL life- good teams are able to overcome these obstacles. Where the 49ers are lacking the most though,  is in leadership, which is the most unsettling fact of all.

    From a player’s perspective, it’s easy to see how the 49ers have gone wrong in the leadership department. Losing the presences of 49er mainstays Patrick Willis, Frank Gore and Justin Smith, are a huge reason why there is a lack of accountability among the players, on and off the field.

    But who is responsible for making sure there are contingencies in place to make sure that players are driven to be their best? Halfway into the season it is clear that head coach Jim Tomsula is in over his head. As a lifelong assistant, you cannot blame him in his desire to reach the highest echelon in the coaching ranks, but some coaches are just best suited to be specialty coaches.

    Be that as it may, Tomsula should not be the one who shoulders most of the blame. That distinction belongs solely on 49ers management. General Manager Trent Baalke has not developed enough talent through the draft in the last few years to make up for all the key losses to the team. The 49ers have acquired so many draft picks over the past few years, only to squander them with wasted talent. And free agency? When two of your top free agent signings for the season (Darnell Dockett and Shareece Wright) fail to ever suit up for the team, that sort of says it all.

    And where is Jed York? Mr. Keep Me Accountable has been nowhere to be found during this abysmal season. This is his mess and he has created a toxic culture where it is very hard to believe any free agent, or head coach, would see the 49ers as a desirable landing spot.

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    Former coach Jim Harbaugh shares some of the blame for his being ushered out of San Francisco, but it was York and Baalke’s inability to compromise with Harbaugh that ultimately destroyed any chance of retaining the coach who restored the 49ers back to prominence. There are very few diehard 49ers fans who support York and no one has been to blame more than him.

    The 49ers recaptured that winning mystique just a few years ago, but now all of that seems like a distant memory. They are a once proud franchise that is now perilously looking deep into a dark abyss that seems to have no light at the end of that particular tunnel anytime soon. The 2015 season cannot end fast enough.