Pro Football Teams


San Francisco 49ers:

Garcia and Owens out; Rattay and Woods in

The San Francisco 49ers are one of the most recognizable and respected franchises in all of sports. The team is almost always a legitimate contender for a Super Bowl. They’ve won 17 divisional titles, five NFC championships and five Super Bowl championships since 1970. The 49ers ran off four of their five Super Bowl rings during the ‘80s. The 49ers of the ’80s were one of the great dynasties of the National Football League. The team featured Hall of Famers like Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, and Jerry Rice. The team also featured greats like Roger Craig, Dwight Clark, Randy Cross, Michael Carter and Charles Haley. Their greatest season came in 1984 when the team went 15-1 in the regular season and then went on to win the Super Bowl over the Miami Dolphins 38-16. In more recent memory the 49ers went through a rebuilding process during the ’99 and ’00 seasons and had their first two consecutive losing seasons since the ’79-’80 seasons. After those two seasons the 49ers turned it around again and won the NFC West again and got back into the postseason.

Last year the 49ers started the season off by firing their head coach, Steve Mariucci, the man who had rebuilt the entire roster and made them into contenders and ownership brought in Dennis Erickson to be the leader of the team. They finished with a 7-9 record due largely in part to the injury bug. Back-up quarterback Tim Rattay was called into action on four different occasions so Jeff Garcia could rest his aching back. Wide receiver Terrell Owens missed two games and running back Kevan Barlow missed a game. They finished the year with a 7-9 record and missed the playoffs with essentially the same roster from the year before.

The 49ers realized they needed to shake things up to get back to the Promised Land of another Super Bowl appearance and they did just that this off-season. Management knew they couldn’t sign both of their marquee free agents Jeff Garcia and Terrell Owens so they got rid of both of them. The 49ers had already inked a deal with the Ravens that would send TO to Baltimore but Owens didn’t like Baltimore so he went to the Players Association and got them to undo the trade. Owens was then traded to the Eagles for defensive end Brandon Whiting and a number of draft picks. They just released big contributors Garcia, offensive tackle Derrick Deese, and running back Garrison Hearst so they could get their big contracts off of the payroll. They also didn’t resign wide receiver Tai Streets and defensive back Jason Webster.

The 49ers did come out of the draft pretty ok. They picked up some players that they needed but didn’t grab the quarterback they needed so badly. With their only first round pick the 49ers drafted Oklahoma State standout wide receiver Rashaun Woods. Woods isn’t exactly Terrell Owens but he possesses a lot of the skills that are required to be a good wide receiver in the NFL. In the second round the 49ers picked up Alabama guard Justin Smiley and Pittsburgh cornerback Shawntae Taylor. The 49ers did take a flyer on Washington quarterback Cody Pickett and picked him up with a 7th round pick. He more than likely won’t see the field this year but might develop into a good quarterback years down the line. With all the new players coming into the team the fans have rekindled their excitement and are buying more 49ers tickets than they did the year before.

The 49ers were led in passing yards and in receiving yards by Garcia and Owens Without Owens the 49ers would be able to keep their offense afloat but since they got rid of both of them it seems that the 49ers won’t be putting very many points on the board. Unless Rattay or Ken Dorsey come out of nowhere to have a Pro Bowl season or if running back Kevan Barlow can get the job done with eight guys in the box all year the 49ers won’t be the most prolific scoring team in the league.

The Niners’ defense is a very solid group that was kept in tact for the most part. The team is led by linebacker Julian Peterson and cornerback Ahmed Plummer. Both of these guys were part of the most recent rebuilding process. The team finished at a decent 15th overall in total defense and will be spending a good amount of time on the field unless the offense can keep on moving the chains.

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