Three years ago, Jed York negotiated long-term deals with John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan. If a tandem is going to click and become great, it usually happens by the third season.
Lynch assumed the role of general manager even though he had held no previous similar position. Shanahan was hired as a first-year head coach following a highly productive season as offensive coordinator for the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons.
If the answer to a team woes is to commit to long term deals with men that have never held the positions you are entrusting them with, then York has hit the jackpot. But, if inexperience under ineffective ownership is not the recipe for success, then the 49ers odds at 35 to 1 to win Super Bowl LIX are more in line to balancing the scale of expectations and actual talent.
Last year, off the hype of the five wins to close out their previous season, the odds on the 49ers winning the Super Bowl dropped into the teens, from 50 to 1 the previous season.
Unlike last year, the 49ers don’t have certain doom over their campaign because of the season-to-season flow. Garoppolo is reportedly ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation from last year’s ACL injury, and the 49ers have bolstered their roster over the more than two years Lynch and Shanahan have topped the football operation.
The poor record last year, 4-12, did earn San Francisco the second pick in this year’s draft. With that pick, the 49ers went along with conventional wisdom and selected Nick Bosa out of Ohio State. Problem is, if you are a team struggling as mightendly as the 49ers have in recent years, conventional wisdom is not what you require to move up in the rankings.
If Bosa goes on and lives up to the full extent his talent dictates, then San Francisco will look back at this pick as one of the linchpins in their success.
Don’t bet on it.
Somebody the 49ers didn’t pick, not a selection driven by conventional thinking, but the player that comes with no red flags and goes on to live up to his potential injury free, more likely would have been the one to lead the 49ers back to the top. Still, the 49ers studied the injury history of their eventual first pick in the draft, and determined the upside on a healthy Bosa was worth the risk.
I would have picked someone that didn’t have their previous season ended by injury. It may also be a family thing, Nick’s brother, Joey, has missed as many games due to injury as he’s played during his two seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers.
The early returns on Bosa is not what the 49ers banked on … he pulled a hamstring in an early workout for his new team and is hoping to be back at full strength before camp opens.
The 49ers have some positive motivational factors headed into the new season, but their ownership and operation is a far cry from the one orchestrated by York’s uncle, Eddie Debartolo, when he led this team to greatness beginning 40 years ago.