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Much Better Back Seat Driver The 2nd Time
April 19 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
How do you ask the master of anything to step aside? Take Bill Gates, could you imagine if his company told him, that they'd be better of with Gates working Microsoft's mail room instead of running the multi-billion dollar corporation? Hard to see, I'm sure. So how can we really expect the Genius, Bill Walsh to take a back seat on the team and become a 'consultant'. Sure he's doing more that delivering mail - but is it enough?

Bill Walsh is perhaps the greatest football mind ever. He's built, and rebuilt the 49ers team so many times, lead them to so many victories and has been responsible for virtually every positive move in the organization in one way or another, since he first became the 49ers coach over two decades ago. Walsh is now sitting as nothing more than a 'consultant' to the team. His role is subordinate to executives such Terry Donahue. But somehow, Walsh in his second tenure at such a position.

Walsh has been a consultant once before. In the late 1990's he was brought back to the organization to spark the offense. But he and offensive coordinator Marc "He's Gone" Trestman simply couldn't make it work. Certainly it wasn't as much Walsh's ego as it was Trestman's, unwilling to take advice from the 'creator' of the 49ers as we know them.

Things have certainly come a long way since then. The 49ers are no longer battling the salary cap to the extent that they were back then. The team is full of youth, has a positive look on the future - and has several strong leader, on the field, in the locker room, and paying the bills. And Walsh, well he's making the consulting role work. It must kill him to only be able to 'offer advice' and not 'pull the trigger' as it would any master of an organization. But Walsh and company have made it work this time. And for that, they must be congratulated. Tomorrow, during the NFL draft, we will see Walsh at his finest once again. This time though, he wont be pulling the trigger unless he's told to.

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