Give Credit Where Credit Is Duet- 10/20/2000
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If you haven't realized by now, it is time to wake up. The 49ers have come along way since the beginning of the season, and last year. Sure the team isn't exactly winning and the defense still ranks last in the league, but there are many positives, including an offense that is averaging twenty-eight points a game, or a defense that can finally go into man coverage with out holding their breaths. However, the greatest thing about the 49ers this year, is that they keep improving, and seem to always be competitive. That is hands down the first and most important step on the climb back to the top. The question remains though, how has this team changed character so dramatically in one season, when the Bengals still haven't in ten season?

The Answer:

Firstly, there is Bill Walsh, the Genius as he is better known. Originally earning this title as an offensive mastermind, with an eye for talent that turned the 49ers from pretender to contender in a single year, Walsh returned to the 49ers two seasons ago with a mission to get the 49ers back on track. This should have been everyone's first warning that the 49ers were in much deeper trouble than their record would admit. Upon Walsh's second coming, he immediately took charge, making roster moves that no one could understand. Trade Ty Detmer? What if Steve Young goes down? Marc Edwards, he let one of the premier fullbacks walk? What was he doing? Then it all started falling into place, and now fans are relishing in these roster moves. Fred Beasley has all but erased Marc Edwards name from any fans memory, and players like Jeff Garcia have proven to be way better than the predecessors. Not only that but Walsh, with some help, orchestrated what looks to be another great draft that will provide a foundation to the 49ers in years to come.

Of course, you can't give Walsh credit without giving Terry Donahue credit. Donahue was recruited by Walsh to be his understudy, and has really flourished in such a position. The young Donahue did an admirable job scouting this past season, and prepared the 49ers very well for draft day. When Donahue takes over, the 49ers will be in good hands.

Steve Mariucci is one of the greatest contributors. Inheriting the team in 1997, Mariucci had to deal with the loss of Jerry Rice and Steve Young in one season. Since then Mariucci has learned how to deal with team unity, he has taken charge of a young group of players and adapted the game planning to their strengths. He has coached players from the bench to lead the league in touchdowns. He has essentially be the glue holding this team together. His counterparts Marty Morhinweg and Jim Mora JR, were under lots of heat last season, but since then they have shown improvement. Mora for example has kept a defense, which is lacking six starting players, competitive. Morhinweg has called the plays that have put the 49ers second in the league in points. These three men, along with those working below them, have essentially given 49ers fans a reason to watch the games this season.

These men deserve recognition. The word needs to be put out that these guys no what they are doing, and we better lock them into long term contracts soon. 49ers fans are quick to criticize, in many cases because the moves of these men are questionable, but if this year proves anything to the fans, it will be that coaches and executive crew know exactly what they are doing, so letís give them some credit.
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