Former Stanford and Tampa Bay safety John Lynch was the latest former-NFL-participant-turned-media-member to question what the 49ers have done this offseason.
John Lynch: “W/ all due respect to Jim Tomsula, they let go of Jim Harbaugh, a tremendous coach. I think it’s a failure of the organization”
— 95.7 The GAME (@957thegame) February 11, 2015
Apparently 95.7 is the Bay Area’s “former players questioning the 49ers” Leader:
— 95.7 The GAME (@957thegame) December 30, 2014
Some skepticism was heard on KNBR as well. These quotes came courtesy of San Jose Mercury News 49ers beat writer Cam Inman:
Count Bay Area native and former NFL coach Dick Vermeil among those perplexed by this month’s 49ers coaching moves.
Vermeil appeared Thursday morning on the KNBR 680-AM, the 49ers’ flagship station, and, as he’s been prone to do, he didn’t mask his feelings.
“Oh my God, I’m sick,” Vermeil started. “I grew up with Frankie Albert, OK, Hugh McElhenny, Joe Pery, Leo Nomellini — loved those people.
“My gosh, I just cannot believe what’s happened. And then they hire a coach, then let probably one of the top coaching staffs in football go along with (Harbaugh), and a head coach has to start all over. I don’t understand that thinking at all. I don’t. I’m not being critical of it. I don’t understand it. I’m not smart enough.”
“Mike Solari? I worked with him five years. I’d trust him with my life, and my wife,” Vermeil continued on KNBR. “There’s no better o-line coach in pro football. There isn’t. Those guys are so hard to find.
“Normally when a head coach takes a new job and he puts his staff together, the biggest problem is filling the offensive line coach job and defensive coordinator, if you’re an offensive coach, or the offensive coordinator if you’re a defensive coach. But to have a defensive coordinator like they had there and not re-sign him or try to keep him, and Mike Solari, and their special teams coach. I don’t understand it. I just don’t.”
Here’s what another former NFL head coach with ties to Bill Walsh had to say, courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle 49ers beat writer Eric Branch:
Dick Vermeil, a Super Bowl-winning coach, recently said he was baffled by the 49ers’ coaching shakeup. And another Super-Bowl-winning coach, Brian Billick, has echoed Vermeil.
Billick has a unique perspective, given that he once hired two of the coordinators the 49ers recently fired. In 2006, he hired Fangio as the Ravens’ special assistant to the head coach and made Roman his assistant offensive-line coach. Billick believes Fangio might be the NFL’s best defensive coordinator.
“You can get a different defensive coordinator, but you’re not going to get a better one than Vic Fangio,” said Billick, later adding: “The battle (for the 49ers) is: ‘Can we replace what we just lost? (Because) what we lost was pretty darn good.’”
Branch also collected these thoughts from an anonymous 49ers player:
One player didn’t want to speak on the record, but made it clear he disagreed with head coach Jim Harbaugh’s exit and the sweeping changes to the coaching staff that followed. He declined to get too in-depth, saying he feared the on-field performance in 2015 would speak for itself.
“Everyone will see soon enough,” he said.
Steve Young recently spoke at length about the perils of perception in regards to the 49ers’ recent moves. At the Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament, which is taking place this week, Young sounded a lot more confident in the roster than who’ll be “teaching” them.
“I just don’t know them. I don’t know Jim. I can’t really comment because I don’t know them,” Young told Comcast SportsNet’s Jim Kozimor from Pebble Beach. “We don’t know their history. They are about to write their history and I guess in some ways that’s good.
“We’re just gonna get behind Jim and wish for the best. It’s a high-risk situation when you turn over your whole staff but we’ll hope for the best.”
“They have a great roster. They have a Super Bowl roster,” Young said. “They have the guys to go do it. I think the expectation needs to be that they can go get one.”
The 49ers surely hope their fans follow Young’s lead when he said it’s time to “get behind Jim and wish for the best.” The team officially announced their new coaching staff on Monday. Here’s the first part of that press release: