49ers Clubhouse 


November 21, 2002

by Rob Baker
Clubhouse Writer and Draft Analyst

Something within the niners organization has to change for this franchise to reach the great highs of the 90s. Problems appeared last year, but what happened, nothing. Three major problems of last year come to mind, Mooch, special teams and a second WR. What are the top guys doing about it? Nothing. For the 49ers to be a legitimate Super Bowl team, those three things must change!

It's time to say goodbye. Last year he was criticized regularly for his conservative play calling and letting teams come back to win. The 49ers need an attacking coach. With Garcia in the pocket, Owens out wide, Barlow and Hearst running it with Beasley blocking, Johnson at TE and a solid OL, this offense shouldn't be used to slow the game down. Every play the 49ers should be thinking 'score' rather than 'lets get 3 yards'. When they're 10 points up, they shouldn't be thinking let hold it for '10 minutes', they should be thinking 'add another 7 and really rub the salt in the wound'. Instead of running the ball against a team that ranks 3rd in run defense, they should use one of the leagues best QBs to throw it to the leagues best WR against the leagues 30th ranked pass defense. I've never minded Mooch, and I think he's one of the leagues best coaches. He brought up a team of youngsters and turned them into a playoff team, but if he wants to get his reward for developing a team, he needs to use the weapons he's developed.

Cortez missed eight of his last 15 FG attempts last season. So what happens? We'll keep him on the list. Baker had the 3rd worst punting average in the NFC, so he can keep his spot too. It's time to stop being cheap and buy a high quality kickers and punters. Have a look at the kickers that were once on the 49ers roster since 1996:
Gary Anderson
Ryan Longwell
Wade Richey
James Tuthill
Jeff Wilkins
That's a great list of kickers. Why did most of these players not continue with the niners? Money. The niners expected quality kickers to stay for rookie kicker prices, that's not going to happen. Would TO stay at the niners for minimum wage? Well why try and keep a quality kicker for minimum? Wake up. There are plenty of quality kickers and punters out there, it costs money to get them, just like at any other position. The NFL is a close league now, so kickers are growing more and more important. So stop taking crap from a roof tiler, and bring in a professional! And why waste a roster position on two kickers? It's time for this organization to start thinking about what they're doing. Kickers aren't good enough to pay well, but they are good enough to waste two roster spots on? And with Cortez and Chandlers wages combined, couldn't the niners buy a good kicker for that price?

This problem emerged last season, so what happened, nothing again! Tai Streets isn't doing too bad of a job, but there are still better out there, and that's what the niners need, the best. I've been on the anti-JJ campaign for quite a while now, and I wont shut up until we cut his over-paid ass! Streets is good, but is he starter good? In my opinion, no. To dominate the league again, Garcia needs quality targets all over he field. He has Owens, Johnson, Hearst and Barlow there, but ideally one more WR would have defensive co-ordinators having sleepless nights all over the league.

It's high time that the 49ers start making smart decisions. Tell Mooch to start attacking or say good-bye to his hard work, buy a decent kicker and punter and get a big time WR to go with TO. In my opinion, that equals a Super Bowl!

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