Jed York appears to be the Bay Area’s new Al Davis; his managerial behavior has bordered on outright erratic. The 49ers’ next coach will be their fourth in 25 months. York started with one of the game’s most-coveted coaches, Jim Harbaugh, replaced him with one of the league’s least-known, Jim Tomsula, and now has run off one of the game’s most unique, Chip Kelly. If you’re not a believer in Kelly’s approach, fine. But that only means you believe York blundered a year ago, when Kelly was hired. The opinion here: barring things we don’t know, the mistake was made in firing Kelly. On film, Kelly’s plan and approach this season was very apparent and at times well crafted; the roster lacked the right players.
That’ll be the case for whoever has this job next. Because in addition to a young CEO with no decipherable plan, this onetime marquee franchise also comes with no passing-game weapons and looming questions along the offensive line. But hey, an optimist might call that a blank slate.
An optimist would also cite San Francisco’s defense. It wasn’t healthy down the stretch and had a poor season overall, but it offers some intriguing young building blocks in linemen DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead, along with defensive backs Jimmie Ward and Eric Reid.
Given the questions about this franchise, the Niners will probably have to settle for a head-coaching candidate whose stock is down. This could be a great opportunity to snatch one in McDermott, whose defense just had a disappointing season. McDermott is one of the most respected young defensive schemers in football. He’ll be a more appealing hire if he can attach a reputed offensive coordinator to his name.