Never Never Land--11/19/01
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There probably is no job harder in the NFL than being the head coach of the 49ers. When your losing, nobody has faith in you, and when you are winning itís not only by not enough, but you are still not Bill Walsh, so even if it was, it would matter. And that in one small paragraph is the life of coach Steve Mariucci - want to walk a mile in his shoes?

Thereís no question in my mind that Steve Mariucci is one of the best coaches in the NFL. Aside from Mike Shanahan I donít know if there is anyone Iíd rather have in charge of this team. Taking a look at Mariucciís accomplishments with this team since his arrival can explain my loyalty to the coach. Letís face it, Mariucci was brought into the organization under the most adverse situation possible. He proceeded to assemble a very good staff, and then took his team to the playoffs. Fighting the salary cap the whole way through, Mariucci lost his starting quarterback in Steve Young to injury, and lost the best receiver in football Jerry Rice in the same game. Mariucci has since weathered the second Rice departure. And since then, heís taken a team that was virtually talentless, and with some good acquisitions and great coaching, brought the team back to a respectable level. Shouldnít we give him some breathing room?

Well donít mind me while I answer my own questionÖ of course we should give him some breathing room. Letís face it, we may not agree with all of his play calling. As fans we want to see the team running up the score, but the 49ers really arenít at that level yet. What Mariucci has taught this team is never to give up, and so far itís worked. You could see it at the end of last season, when even after loss upon loss the team kept trying - and you see it still, in four overtime victories and a 7-2 record.

Still Mariucci suffers from criticism and the result of which are rumors about his imminent departure. First it was Mariucci off to Notre Dame, now itís Terry Donahue wanting to coach the team - when will it all stop? Steve Mariucci is a great coach, he should receive that recognition and we as fans should give him some room to breathe. Just think, would you rather be in the Bills situation?

Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum

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