Not much has been expected of the 49ers this season, but at 0-5, even the low expectations seem high.…With each loss, getting the first victory for Rookie Coach Kyle Shanahan seems that much more out of reach. As the team loses more and more games, even with alreadylow expectations, the motivation starts to run dry, and aggravation sets in. Over the next 11 games, Shanahan will be challenged to hold his locker room together as mich as he will be to win. In this way, he will be tested.
Despite starting to see a bit more excitement out the team this season, it is very clear the 49ers will be lucky to win one game, let alone two... Cocktail parties will never be the same again if the team can't manage a win soon. They may have a better system in place, but they are woefully under talented, and have almost no depth. Already, fans are calling for a changing of the guard at quarterback, and their remain big questions at just about every other position on the field.
Meanwhile, fans are already questioning whether the pieces of the puzzle are indeed in place in the front office. The team extended both Lynch and Shanahan long term deals, but if the two dare become complacent they may see just how quickly those contracts can be terminated. No one wants that of course, but after watching how quickly Jim Harbaugh was able to turn around ... fans may not be quite as patient with this group.
Already there is a slight changing of the guard at running back. This week we will see Carlos Hyde share more work out of the backfield, and Hyde was considered a productive member of the team. In fact, there's not a position on the field that is not up for reconsideration. The problem is though, there is not enough young talent on the roster to truly challenge the incumbents. The team should however consider getting some of the youth experience to accelerate the chances in future seasons. At the moment, a playoff run is imporbable, so there is no point trying to cling to the idea. It is time to start letting the young players get on the field to better the team's chances next season.
There is no doubt in my mind, that Shanahan needs to be focussed on what's best for this team in the long term. Or, at least, with a 2-3 year horizon, and what's best is developing talent, and evaluating the players that will be part of the club under that time frame. Anything short of that is not only near sighted but makes little sense. The team is not going to be in a winning state this year, and will be lucky to be next season. It needs to find a way to build for the future, without worrying about losing now... and at the same time keeping the locker room together. All of that is an incredibly difficult task, especially in the win now or else world. Having seen how fast a team can be turned around ... this is not the easy road to take, but if the Niners really want to make it back to the top, they should be taking the hard approach to rebuilding the franchise. That pain of losing, may be hard to stomach ... but if the team is vocal about its approach, it may help take the pressure off the process and allow them to focus on building the team right, instead of just going through some ofthe motions of rebuilding the club.