I've got to give some love to new Hall of Famer, and former 49er, Deion Sanders. By far one of the biggest personalities in the history of the NFL, Deion was part of of the greatest San Francisco 49er teams ever, winning Super Bowl XXIX against the San Diego Chargers 49-26 in one of my own personal all-time favorite games.
Even though Sanders only played for the 49ers one year in 1994, he definitely made his mark that year. He had six interceptions and returned them for an NFL best 303 yards and three touchdowns. He was voted the 1994 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and had an interception in the Super Bowl against the Chargers.
Despite playing on four other teams, including the Super Bowl XXX Cowboys team (Boo!), I do think of him as a 49er. And, to bring back some good memories, here's a link to his music video "Must Be the Money". Classic!
Yeah the 49ers aren't in the Super Bowl... boo hoo. But at least it's going to be a fun game tomorrow and the Super Bowl spirit of the 49ers will live forever (can you tell I just drank some Chai Tea?). Since everyone (plus or minus 3 people) is asking me who I think will win the Super Bowl, I decided not to keep y'all waiting.
First, I really like Big Ben. The guy is almost as clutch as it gets and has this inane ability of avoiding getting sacked. I have no idea how that big, lumbering guy does it, but somehow he does. The Steelers defense is always excellent with NFL defensive POY, Troy Polamalu roaming the field. Mike Wallace is the big play threat that can change the whole game and they have a solid running game.
Green Bay Packers
That being said, I like the Packers a little bit more. Of course, I cry every time I think about what could have been with Aaron Rodgers in a 49ers uniform. He has become an elite NFL quarterback, no question. Greg Jennings is every bit a playmaker that Mike Wallace is but he is a better possession receiver to boot. James Starks has been a big boost to a team that has lacked production ever since Ryan Grant was injured. And, the Packers defense is so much better than it has been in years past. They are relentless and have some excellent athletes.
While I expect it to be a very entertaining game, I do not think it will be a defensive showdown but a well-played game with the difference being one or two more big plays made by Green Bay.
If you want to see the final score, check out my predictions for Super Bowl XLV on SeatGeek. SeatGeek is the leading ticket search engine that enables fans to discover the best deals for sporting events and concerts -- Check out SeatGeek next season when you are looking to buy some NFL tickets
But, the Pro Bowl did give us something of value. We learned that the Philadelphia Eagles are going to put the "Franchise Tag" on Quarterback Michael Vick. And, with that news, we learned that the Eagles are going to 'entertain' trade offers for Kevin Kolb as soon as a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.
If I were the San Francisco 49ers, I would have my best offer at hand, ready to call the Eagles the second the CBA is signed. I'm not sure if I would give up a first rounder for him, unless the 49ers were planning to draft a quarterback in the first round. Then, you can make the argument that it would be worth it.
Kolb is 26 years old, he won the starting job coming out of preseason last year from Andy Reid, and most importantly I believe that he is a playoff-caliber quarterback. I would challenge anyone to show me a QB in the same age range that is available that gives the 49ers the best chance to win now... and later. So do it - challenge me!
For those of you that have been clamoring to hear more NFL football talk and San Francisco 49ers insights from yours truly (I know you are out there somewhere), then you will be excited to know that we have launched a bi-weekly podcast with the Davis Sports Deli called "The Red and Gold Show".
The Davis Sports Deli is a site whose mission is to deliver unique sports content and promote new media sports writers/broadcasters and to hear the interesting voices from those involved in sports.
Every other week, I will be talking with Aaron Fischman and Karter Singh about the world of the NFL and specifically the state of the San Francisco 49ers. In our first episode, we talk NFC/AFC Championship games, Jay Cutler, sports and social media, and the 49ers head coach, quarterback situation and what went so terribly wrong this past season.
Give it a listen here: http://bit.ly/hplfPm
The Super Bowl teams are set. The NFL draft order is cemented. In two weeks, every team is 0-0. The San Francisco 49ers have a new head coach and almost and entirely new coaching staff. There are some big-name free agents and especially quarterbacks. There are endless possibilities. I can't wait!!
But alas, it looks like I will have to wait because of this damn Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). From everything I'm reading and hearing, there is not an easy solution or an end in sight. Owners want an 18-game season. Players don't. Owners are willing to lock the players out. March 3 is the deadline to arrive at an agreement. If not, we could be in for a VERY long offseason.
So what does this mean for the 49ers and every other NFL team. Well, the 49ers can't make a trade. They can't sign a free agent. I think they can trade draft picks for draft picks. Whoopee! They can draft players but it's pretty tough when free agency is supposed to help fill in gaps.
As a 49er fan, I feel like I've been spoiled this offseason so far because of all of the Jim Harbaugh mania. It feels a lot like speeding up to stop. So now what do we talk about? We can guess as to which QB the 49ers will go after. Maybe Donavan McNabb. Maybe Kevin Kolb. Maybe Carson Palmer. Maybe Jake Locker. Maybe Cam Newton. Maybe Alex Smith (please God no!).
I guess we'll just have to accept that maybe is the new definitely until this CBA thing gets figured out.
Dear Jim Harbaugh,
First off, congratulations on your new job. As a 49er fan and an Arizona Wildcats Alumnus, I'm really glad you are out of the Pac-10 and really glad you have moved up to the NFL. While I know you don't have a lot of NFL head coaching experience but the more I read about you and hear the things you are saying, the more I understand why you were so coveted after your big Orange Bowl victory.
It's also nice to see that you've gone out an made all of your coaching hires. Nice to get that out of the way, isn't it? I'm not familiar with many of the names, but I can see how important it is to you to have folks that you are comfortable with and that will help you carry out your vision for both the offense and the defense. I'm sure that you do not want to come in and have any conflicting egos, am I right?
Now onto the most important first real move of your head coaching tenure, the quarterback. I have to be honest and tell you... no plead with you not to bring back Alex Smith. I don't care what Smith says to you, us 49er fans can NOT endure another up and down year of Alex Smith. I know this draft isn't full of franchise-changing quarterbacks and the free agent pool isn't the deepest, but there have to be guys out there that would be an upgrade over Alex Smith.
In fact, I read today that Carson Palmer wants a trade from Cincinnati. I know we have to wait until the CBA is settled but come on... he's legit. Kevin Kolb would also be a huge upgrade. Heck I'm sure there are other guys out there too who would be an upgrade. How fun would it be to have Donavan McNabb here? Do you think Jed York would pay whatever Michael Vick wants? Man, that would be fantastic.
Anyway, I don't want to keep you because I know you are busy. Bottom line... NO ALEX SMITH. Other than that, I trust you to turn the 49ers back around into playoff contenders.
Good luck this offseason.
49er Fan For Life
P.S. Please pop Pete Carroll in the mouth when you get a chance. That guy is a major douche (pardon the french)
Angel-er... Jona-tin... Mona... Saman-ta. Anybody remember Who's the Boss? Well, with the San Francisco 49ers rounding out part of their coordinator staff, it is clear who the boss is in San Francisco. I thought perhaps that when Jim Harbaugh was named head coach of the 49ers, with no NFL head coaching experience, he might take the route that Kansas City Chief's coach Todd Haley took, where he surrounded himself with former NFL and established coaches with recent NFL experience. Todd Haley's got Romeo Crennel as his defensive coordinator and he had Charlie Weis as his offensive coordinator up until Weis took a new job with University of Florida.
But Harbaugh appears to be pretty loyal and my guess is he does not want to deal with those kinds of egos. Harbaugh went with the guys he trusts and there is no question as to who is the boss in SF. It's Harbaugh. Period.
The 49ers announced that Greg Roman has been named offensive coordinator and Vic Fangio defensive coordinator. Both guys most recently coordinated for... you guessed it, Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. But, they actually have NFL experience (much more than Harbaugh in fact - at least coaching-wise).
Roman was on the coaching staff for the Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens. He has served in the capacity of Tight Ends coach, Quarterback Coach, Assistant Offensive Line Coach, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Offensive Quality Control Coach, and other long titles.
Fangio has served as a Defensive Coordinator for three NFL teams, the Panthers, Colts and Texans. Fangio was the special assistant to the head coach in Baltimore. Fangio also served as a linebacker coach with the New Orleans Saints. Of course, we all know that former linebacker coaches don't always make great head coaches (see Singletary, Mike). But, it helps when you are a defensive coordinator.
So those are your assistant coaches, 49er fans. They may not be sexy names but we know from last season that just because you have 30 years of NFL experience like Jimmy "Death Warmed Over" Raye, it doesn't mean that you will get the job done.
I'm keeping an open mind and hoping that the 49ers bring in a QB (not another Alex "Danny Pintauro" Smith) that can actually execute the plays and bring this team back to glory or at least the playoffs.