May 1 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Things are certainly different with this seasonsí 49ers squad. After the first mini-camp the team has looked much crisper than in years past. According to player comments this past mini-camp was light years ahead of the ones of the past seasons. The 49ers, who are returning the vast majority of their team are no longer scrounging for bodies, rather they have a solid team in place and ready to go.
Perhaps the biggest difference between this seasonís mini-camp and the ones of years past was that there was less coaching on the field, less stopping of scrimmages in the middle of action to coach and explain. This season, the coaches had less to do in teaching the fundamentals, less explaining to do of scheming, and more suggestions on improving schemes already in place.
The 49ers are becoming a veteran team. Currently they are in a state somewhere between young team, and veteran team, but there is a definite new sense of understanding on the field. All that practice over the past season seems to be paying off, and the dividends should be felt this coming season.
As the team continues to grow together, there will be less of the simple mistakes on the field. Last season we saw a dramatic reduction in penalties, and the 49ers, a disciplined team should continue down that road. They should also improve in other areas as the players will be given more complex game plans to execute. It should be a fun and wild ride.