Hopefully tomorrow, as reported by NFL.com, Mike Martz will be released by the Niners as offense coordinator. Martz did a good job of resurrecting what was a truly horrible offense to some kind of respectability. But his offensive philosophy just did not fit with the personnel that the Niners have. Best of luck to him in his next job.
As for next season, expectations once again are high and for moderately good reasons. So once again lets take a look at what it will take for the Niners to return to postseason play.
Daniel Brown of the Mercury News wrote yesterday five steps the Niners should take to return to the playoffs. Three of the five we're right on and the other two make me wonder if he was watching the football games that everybody else was.
Pick up Matt Cassell in free agency? Don't think so. He is a product of the New England offensive system, not a true starter. Just look at Tully Banta-Cain. He was suppose to be a true pass rusher for the Niners but has never fulfilled that role. In fact, he was reduced to spot play and special teams.
Finding an offensive coordinator that is well versed in the west coast offense would better fit the players the Niners have. Shaun Hill would benefit the most, seeing how his style of play is more suited to the short and intermediate passing emphasized by the west coast offense.
Matt Barrows stated in an article that the Niners should draft WR Percy Harvin of Florida. While ESPN has the Niners taking CB Malcom Jenkins of Ohio State in their mock draft. Were they watching the same games as the rest of us? The Niners have way more pressing needs than a wide receiver or cornerback.
Solidifying the right side of the offensive line, finding someone to rush the passer, a true nose tackle for their base 3-4 defense, and a play-making safety should all take precedence over a receiver or defensive back.
The way the Niners draft won't be decided for some time. It will all depend on what hole the Niners are able to fill with top-flight free agents. Terrell Suggs and Albert Haynesworth are scheduled to be free agents. They just so happen to also be at the top of my wish list for next season, as is Brian Dawkins of the Eagles.
DeShaun Foster filled in adequately for Frank Gore, but he is not the long term answer. Isn't it time to see what we have in Thomas Clayton? Not to mention a fullback to lead the way for both of them.
The bottom line is Matt Maiocco of the Press Democrat had it right: With the number 10 pick in the the draft the San Francisco 49ers take the best player available. Now lets wait and see what the Niners will actually do.