This is the first bye week in an extremely long time that I have just felt discouraged about the team. I am not encouraged that the team will be healthier when it suits up for practice on Tuesday. I am not encouraged that the coaches and players will be re-energized, more focused, or have some trick up there sleeves that can turn the team around. It is unfortunate, but really this is the first time in a long time that I am this discouraged after a bye week, and amazingly we are playing a team that we can beat this weekend.
At 1-5 the 49ers should be all but out of the playoff race, and I certainly think they are, but taking a look at the NFC Worst, sorry I meant NFC West, if the 49ers were to take a 180 degree turn this season, they could still make some things happen. I don’t see this happening, but with the Seahawks and Rams losing this weekend, it certainly helped the 49ers cause.
I remain primarily concerned about the team’s offensive line. I know that if the team can win the battle in the trenches they might actually be able to win a few games. I think this line is lacking in talent and health. Is it time to shuffle it? I think we do need to look at that option. That being said, it’s the not the wins that I am after from better play of the offensive line, rather I am looking for a more fair analysis of certain players on the team, particularly the quarterbacks, and running backs.
I think the most important thing the 49ers can get out of this season is an evaluation of their quarterbacks, runningback, and receivers. At quarterback I have a very hard time recognizing whether Tim Rattay or Ken Dorsey bring what this team needs to the table, and yet I find it hard to fault them for spending most of their time on the field in the fetal position. The 49ers need to address the question of who will be the quarterback of the future of this team, and I believe that it is impossible to do so without at least an average offensive line.
The same can be said for the runningbacks, mainly Kevan Barlow. Evaluating his success without recognizing that the blocking in front of him is sub-par is unfair. While I am less sympathetic to this argument I do think its consideration is important. I also think evaluating the receivers based on number of catches in particular is unfair. I believe that the receivers in a distinct disadvantage when it comes to catching the ball because the person throwing it is exercising a ‘duck and cover’ routine.
Something has to be done to correct the troubles with the offensive line. That something can be a coaching change, personnel change, or something else, whatever approach it is clear that one is most certainly needed –not necessarily to increase the number of wins this season, but to at least evaluate the talent of the team fairly.