49ers Clubhouse 

49ers Need To Come Up Big

January 23, 2003

by James Parrott
Clubhouse Staff Writer

With no head coach and a skeleton staff in place after the widely-criticized firing of Steve Mariucci, the San Francisco 49ers are in danger of becoming a laughingstock and of falling back into the pack of mediocrity.

Thatís not to say that the 49ers were an especially good team last season.

Rather, they were good enough.

Good enough to win ten regular season games and one in the playoffs.

Whoever is chosen as head coach, it is clear that things need to change on the civilized side of the Bay.

Offensively a proper deep threat to give the team another realistic option on the outside is needed. Also, it would be wise to utilize Kevan Barlow more, get Fred Beasley the ball in a position to do something other than convert third and short situations for purposes of versatility and restore the passing attack to itís former potency.

The latter would mean Jeff Garcia getting the ball to his receivers in the position where they can catch in stride and build up the yards after the catch.

Whoever gets the job needs to improve Garciaís play which played a part in the teamís inability to win close games against tough opponents.

Defensively, the team with great foot speed needs to regain that extra step that was lacking on pass defense. It probably needs an interior pass rusher too.

The two Philadelphia co-ordinators look to be strong candidates, but neither Brad Childressí offense nor Jim Johnsonís defense played well as the Eagles choked again when it came to the penultimate hurdle.

This writer has written before that Dennis Greenís previous antics and his last season in Minnesota set the alarm bells ringing.

And the none of the defenses coached by New England's Romeo Crennel, St. Louisí Lovie Smith and the Niners own Jim Mora were particularly imposing units in 2002.

Regardless of who the successful candidate is, the entire organization needs to take the big step up to serious contender because at present few believe that Jeff Garcia and his offense can win a Super Bowl, the defense scares nobody and the special teams are an increasingly unfunny joke.

Good luck to that guy.

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