My beloved 49ers, the basement dwelling franchise for the better part of five-plus years is starting to come around. With a much improved 7-9 last season (which should have been 8-8 had Nolan gone for the win vs. the tie in one game last season), the Niners are surging. With significant defensive signings in the off-season, combined with more defensive talent and offensive line prospects, Nolan is putting together a team that has potential. Playoffs this year? One can only hope, but I don’t think a winning record is beyond reach. The biggest hurdle the Niners need to overcome is the loss of their offensive coordinator, Norv Turner, which may stunt the Alex Smith’s progress. However, I think the kid is better than that.
After his first miserable season, with 11 fumble, 11 interceptions, and 1 TD, he didn’t curl up in a ball and let the bad season get the best of him. In the following off-season, he worked tirelessly through the playbook, learned the offense, and came back much stronger, in better mental and physical shape. I would guess the loss of will slow, but won’t put this young talent in a downhill slide. I expect further maturity, progression, and success from the 49ers and this up-and-coming team. (But look at the freakin’ Patriots, they look awful dangerous!)