It has been a general theme since the beginning of last season. Improve speed, at all costs, including sacrificing talent for it. Ever since Steve Young has established himself among the fastest on the team, the front office has vowed to improve the mobility of the team.
There is a very basic concept behind the theory of a fast team. Theoretically a faster team, can cover more ground in less time, closing gaps on defense, while opening gaps on offense. It appears like the 49ers are finally living up to what they vowed to do. The 49ers are releasing the older players on there team and replacing them with younger, faster players.
The 49ers believe youth is the key to speed. They are quite right. If the younger players are able to learn the 49ers system fast enough, they will surely be an improvement. Last season the 49ers faltered in many areas, getting beat on long plays and on quick slants over the middle. The improved mobility of the team will prevent this from happening again. On offense the 49ers have made a few changes. Floyd has recently signed a deal with Carolina so it appears that the 49ers starting backfield will consist of Hearst and Edwards They are likely to draft another back, and use Levy as a back up. Stokes and Owens will again play big roles in the offense, finally complimenting Rice with what he deserves.
The speed factor is key to the future success of the 49ers. The front office has finally realized that signing players before they reach their prime rather then after they have already reached it, is a better way to build a team. With the additional speed the 49ers will be an incomparable team this year. That is if they can withstand the "rookie mistakes".