In his first year as coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Jim Tomsula has faced more problems than most other NFL mentors. Right from unexpected retirements by star players to back-to-back legal run-ins, Tomsula has done a fantastic job so far, also gaining the respect and loyalty of his players.
So this season, the main challenge ahead of him is leading the 49ers to a victory sans Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, Justin Smith, Frank Gore, Mike Iupati, and Aldon Smith. In addition to all these members, Jim Harbaugh, who previously led the team to three NFC championships prior to last season’s flop, is also no longer in the picture.
In a surprising turn of events, All-Pro linebacker, Patrick Willis, declared on March 10, that he was retiring from the NFL because of repetitive injuries to his feet. A week later on March 17, Chris Borland, who was Willis’ assumed replacement, also announced his retirement due to head trauma fears. As if these developments were not shocking enough, Justin Smith also quit the NFL, while two other star players, Frank Gore and Mike Iupati, signed on with other NFL teams. On August 7, Aldon Smith was released due to legal trouble.
However, the team’s wideout, Anquan Boldin, said that from such situations arrive opportunities. “We’re going to try to go out and try for perfection each day,” he stated.
And despite all these hurdles, the 49ers are relying on their sheer talent to carry them through the season. Third-year safety, Eric Reid, acknowledged their previous year’s failure to make the playoffs and said, “The bright side of it was the guys got to get away for a long time, seven months. Hopefully we’re all healthy and ready to get back at it.”
Veteran players Colin Kaepernick, NaVorro Bowman, and Vernon Davis, along with new additions Reggie Bush, Torrey Smith, and Darnell Dockett will hope to counteract the poor start to this year’s offseason.
McCauley, J., “49ers move on from year of change,” The Bulletin web site, September 8, 2015.
“San Francisco 49ers,” Wikipedia web site, last accessed September 8, 2015.
Image Source: Flickr; Image copyright 2012, Mike Morbeck