2006 Season Preview: #32 San Francisco 49ers
The honor of being professional football’s shittiest team goes to the San Francisco 49ers. This team sucks.
What happened last season: Last year was a season to forget for the 49ers. Although they did not have the worst record in the NFL, there is little doubt that no team has fewer reasons for optimism than San Francisco. The 49ers ranked last in total offense and total defense, and they suffered through losing streaks of five and seven games. Last year’s number one overall pick, quarterback Alex Smith, was an embarrassment for the 49ers, but in all fairness it is difficult to think of a worse situation into which a rookie quarterback could be placed. Because the only other options at QB were Ken Dorsey and Cody Pickett, it meant that Smith was going to be forced into action before he was anywhere near ready to run a professional football team. The big question is whether Smith will ever be able to recover from the emotional scarring of last year’s experience. Kevan Barlow was missing in action at running back most of the year, and by the end of the season it appeared as though rookie Frank Gore had the inside track on being the team’s starter. Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd was perhaps the 49ers' only noteworthy player, but his spectacular catches were a mere sideshow to the 49ers' pathetic season. Defensively, it will suffice to say that the 49ers were the worst team at stopping the pass in the NFL and allowed more points than all but two teams.
What has changed: The 49ers took the unorthodox approach to improving their team by ridding themselves of their two best players in LB Julian Peterson and WR Brandon Lloyd. Apparently the 49ers are so dedicated to fielding a shitty team this season that they don’t want to pay the salaries of any worthwhile veteran players. The front office did, however, open their wallets for washed-up journeymen and vets staving off retirement. The Niners brought in Trent Dilfer as a much needed mentor and backstop to Alex Smith. Cornerback Walt Harris and OT Larry Allen were among the other notable highlights of the 49ers’ off-season acquisitions, not to mention Antonio Bryant, who will couple with Arnaz Battle to form a WR combo that will ingnite fits of laughter in defensive coordinators throughout the NFL. In the draft the 49ers took tight end Vernon Davis from Maryland with the fifth overall pick. It is a little surprising that Mike Nolan and company felt that tight end was their most pressing concern considering the utter lack of talent at every position on this team. San Francisco spent its second first-round pick on combine phenom linebacker Manny Lawson from North Carolina State. The 49ers should have had the balls to use their two first round picks to move up in the draft to get Reggie Bush. He would have been the perfect fit for San Francisco and would have helped make up for last year’s first-round dud, Alex Smith. The lack of concern over the deficiencies at key positions must be very galling for 49ers fans, if there are still any left.
What will happen this season: The theme for the 49ers' season, according to their official website, is "Faithful." Not exactly a ringing endoresment. It's pretty much asking their fans to accept their shittiness with the hope that eventually things will turn out alright for their team. I'm quite sure that things are not going to be alright with the 49ers this year. If this team wins more than four games this season, it will be a fucking miracle. My suggestion to the 49ers is to sign the retarded kid that hit all those three pointers in a high school game a few months ago. He couldn't really do any worse than any of their current players.