San Francisco 49ers: Organization Really Needs To #draintheswamp

Feb 8, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York during a "Handoff to Houston" press conference at the Super Bowl Media Center at Moscone Center-West. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 8, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York during a "Handoff to Houston" press conference at the Super Bowl Media Center at Moscone Center-West. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

The San Francisco 49ers are a bad team that only seems to be getting worse. And the only way they’ll get better is if they burn it all down and build it back up again.

So, as it turns out, Jim Tomsula wasn’t the problem. Well, he wasn’t the only problem. The San Francisco 49ers, a year after going 5-11 under Tomsula, are off to a 1-10 start under new HC Chip Kelly. And things only seem to be picking up speed as they continue to roll downhill.

It’s quite the stunning fall from grace for the 49ers, a proud franchise that only a few years back, was appearing in their third straight NFC title game. They’re only four years removed from a Super Bowl appearance, narrowly losing to John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens.

This is a franchise that in the span of three seasons, has gone from powerhouse and elite organiztion to laughingstock and in a dogfight with the Cleveland Browns for the top pick in next year’s NFL Draft.

If Jed York is really interested in turning this franchise around and getting it back to being competitive and relevant once more, he’s going to need to adopt the campaign slogan of a certain Cheeto-toned, big-haired, thin-skinned, pseudo-politician and #draintheswamp.

Except – York is going to need to actually drain that swamp and start over with fresh game rather than simply re-stocking said swamp with the same fish with a different name.

Since we all know that York is not going to hold himself accountable – for anything — the first fish that needs to get tossed out of the swamp has got to be GM Trent Baalke. He did well enough when he took over drafting duties in 2010. That year, Baalke nabbed gamers like Mike Iupati, NaVorro Bowman, and even Anthony Davis.

But since that draft, there have been more misses than hits, as well as a curious propensity to use draft picks on guys coming off – or still healing from – catastrophic injury. Tank Carradine or Marcus Lattimore anybody?

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Oh, Baalke has picked some good ones, of course. Eric Reid and Carlos Hyde, among them. But Baalke’s draft history is littered with picks that didn’t last very long in a 49ers jersey, or are chronic underachievers.

Simply put, Baalke has done little right in trying to stock the San Francisco roster with talented players who can make the 49ers competitive.

He’s had time enough. It’s time to part ways with Baalke.

Just as it might be time to part ways with HC Chip Kelly. Sure, some are going to argue that another one and done coach is only adding to the continued chaos and instability – and they wouldn’t be wrong. But this team hasn’t gotten any better under Kelly – whom many thought was a gimmick hire to begin with.

Kelly is known as an offensive innovator. A guy whose offenses can light it up and put some serious points on the board. After all, we saw him do it in Philadelphia, right?

Well, the offensive innovator’s offense is ranked twenty-eighth in the league overall. And they’re dead last in points scored, notching less than 15 points a game. Which, one would think, is pretty bad for an offensive innovator.

Although, they do have a pretty solid running game, checking in with the league’s fourth best rushing unit. So, if you’re looking for a silver lining, there you go.

Defensively, the 49ers are a hot mess. They currently rank thirty-second – out of thirty-two teams. Not even Tomsula’s defense was that bad – his defensive unit was twenty-ninth in the league.

Kelly-coached teams aren’t known for their defensive prowess. Playing solid defense has never interested him all that much. Kelly prefers to outscore teams. But given the fact that his team can’t outscore – well – anybody, it makes the team’s defensive deficiencies all the more glaring.

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They can’t move the ball and can’t stop anybody from moving the ball on them. They can’t score on anybody, nor can they stop anybody from scoring on them – they’re dead last in the league in points allowed per game. Other than that, this team is doing well.

If York isn’t going to hold himself accountable for any of this – spoiler alert, he won’t – then he’s going to need to make some drastic changes during the offseason. He’s going to have to risk a little chaos and instability now, for the opportunity to lay a solid foundation this organization can begin to rebuild upon.

It’s going to hurt in the here and now, but if he plays this right, it could lead to sustained success and warm, fuzzy feelings again down the road.

But to get to that place of rainbows and sunshine once more, York is going to need to #draintheswamp. And he must do it completely – half measures aren’t going to get it done anymore. Not if he wants to return this franchise to glory. Or at least, relevance.