In past years it has been clear that the San Francisco 49ers have been in a rut, with very few ups, and a tremendous amount of downs. However, recent developments point to a brighter future, and subsequently a new found legacy.
"When I look around the NFL I am amazed at how many people have a dream, and how few have a vision." Mike Singletary stated in the "State of the Franchise" earlier this month. "I stand before you today just to have you understand that the 49ers of 2009 have a vision," Singletary said moments later.
Now before we completely understand what Singletary means by this, we must first understand the 49ers of 2009.
The 49ers of 2009 have, like many teams in the NFL, made some changes; however, many of the changes taking place in San Francisco have left a buzz in the air of a playoff spot. But do we actually have what it takes?
For the answer, all you have to do is simply look to who we picked up in free agency. How many holes have the San Francisco 49ers eliminated before the draft?
The 49ers have already picked up talent for many positions. One causing a lot of hype is OT Marvel Smith, a 6'5", 321 pound tackle, formally from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yes the same ones who won the Super Bowl last year.
Now wait, before you get too excited, 30-year-old Marvel Smith does come with some baggage. Smith was limited to five games last season due to shoulder and back injuries; however, after a physical the 49ers said Smith performed healthy and looked to return back to his old Pro Bowl self by this season.
Another big grab for the 49ers is FB Moran Norris. Not only is he an explosive bloody, your nose player, but also is a force to be reckoned with when mixed with former teammate Frank Gore.
Continuing down the list of hopefuls, the 49ers restructured the late, not so great contract of Alex Smith. Now before you say anything, I am not the biggest Alex Smith fan out there but do have hope for his 2009 season.
Look how many QBs thrive in a new team environment and suffer in another. With all the changes the 49ers have made I can see giving Alex Smith one last shot at stardom, or at least backup.
Talking about free agents, the 49ers had a few of there own, resigning a select few. San Francisco re-signed KR/PR Allen Rossum, an explosive player on special teams, and LB Takeo Spikes, a force to be reckoned with when played along side of Patrick Willis.
Now to complete the list San Francisco also picked up S Lewis Baker, and LB Mark Washington, both former 49ers.
They signed DE Demetric Evans as an unrestricted free agent from the Washington Redskins, and veteran QB Damon Huard, who brings a lot of experience for a third string QB.
They picked up WR Maurice Price, and WR Micheal Spurlock, which in my opinion could be a potential waste of money seeing as we already have a wide array of wide receivers. Conversely, this can also work out to their advantage on special teams or backup.
The 49ers also acquired DB Jimmy Williams, who brings a lot of potential in the right hands, and last but not least WR Brandon Jones, formally from the Tennessee Titans. He is a great third down receiver and if played, can make the necessary plays deep down the field.
We have newly appointed Team President Jed York, who seems to have been doing an excellent job so far. Vantz Singletary will serve as the team’s inside linebackers coach, Al Harris has been named as the club’s pass rush specialist coach, Jason Michael as the team’s offensive assistant, and Jason Tarver will continue to coach the outside linebackers.
But, the real threat will be new running back coach, Tom Rathman.
Essentially the holes in the 49ers' team (which has been plagued from bad picks, coaching, and injuries) have been filled in one swoop of free agency. The 49ers of yesterday, might finally be no more.
The 49ers have a total of nine draft picks, which the 49ers intend to use very wisely. There is a possibility of picking up QB Mark Sanchez.
However, I believe it will be used to further strengthen either our defense, which is already stirring up talk of top five, or we will use it to enhance the offensive line. Everything else will fall into place.
Our QB situation is vague to a lot of people, thus I believe it has already solved itself.
QB Shaun Hill finished last year with a top QB rating, and has something the 49er organization hasn't seen in many years, "heart". Not to mention Hill more than proved himself for the starting position.
I am 100 percent certain Hill can and will be what the 49ers need to get back to their Super Bowl ways. Hill has received almost no credit for the games he won. Sure, he made some mistakes, but they also won because he fought through them.
I honestly don't hate Alex Smith I just think we landed our hopes substantially higher then his overall capability, and keeping him as a stable back up taking strain off of his injuries will keep the 49ers offence strong and stable.
In recent months, there have been numerous changes and additions to the San Francisco team we have all come to know. From new coaches, players, or even Hamstring Hill, A pile of dirt about 2,500 tons. It is about 15 feet high 45 feet long, angling from top to bottom on the longer side. One side has a 30-degree angle of approach; it's 40 degrees on the other.
The San Francisco 49ers not only expect a new stadium nearing 2012, but with much sooner results have announced that April 25th we will be revealing our newly upgraded jerseys. It sounds like the feel of a big change as well.
Right now the San Francisco 49ers have all the tools necessary to not only change our loosing ways, but to subsequently bring us back to Super Bowl glory. Coach Mike Singletary has already begun to instill the mindset necessary to build boys into men, athletes into football players.
Thanks to Coach Mike Singletary, the 49ers now have what in the past years has been lost, and that is a vision. No longer will 49er fans look back on a season and say "Maybe next year." No longer will we dream about getting the good coach, or having a good team, because as of this year, we have them both.
The 49ers of 2009 have a vision.
Many people out there may not see it, but the true fans of the San Francisco 49ers feel it. If not this year then within the next few, we will have yet another Super Bowl.