49ers fans should wish for a Bears victory

This is my Sunday column.

Twelve reasons to root for the Bears Sunday if you’re a 49ers fan:

Reason No. 1. The Niners front office may start thinking Blaine Gabbert is the franchise quarterback if he beats Chicago, and may decide against taking a quarterback in the first few rounds of the upcoming draft. This is very bad thinking. See reason No. 2.

Reason No. 2. Gabbert is not the franchise quarterback — he’s a game manager with a strong arm who throws too many picks and is inaccurate more than 10 yards downfield. Ideally, he’s a backup. The Niners need to draft a quarterback in the first round.

Reason No. 3. If the season ended right now, the 49ers would have the fifth pick in the draft after the Titans, the Browns, the Chargers and the Cowboys. Of those four teams, the Browns and Cowboys need quarterbacks just as desperately as the Niners. The Rams and Eagles also need quarterbacks, and each team has only one more win than the Niners. If San Francisco wins on Sunday and falls behind either the Rams or Eagles in the draft order, the Niners could miss out on every quarterback who’s worth a first-round draft pick.

Reason No. 4. Only three quarterbacks seem worth first-round picks: Paxton Lynch from Memphis, Connor Cook from Michigan state and Jared Goff from Cal, if he declares for the draft, and it seems he will. His head coach, Sonny Dykes, is interviewing for other jobs, and no quality quarterback wants a new coach and a new system his final season in college. Goff, Lynch and Cook all could get taken within the top five picks. They are three of the best prospects in the draft. The Niners don’t want to be on the outside looking in when they get taken.

Reason No. 5. After those three quarterbacks, most of the top prospects, like Carson Wentz from North Dakota State or Cardale Jones from Ohio State, are long-term projects who will be backups for a few seasons. The 49ers can’t afford to wait for them to develop.

Reason No. 6: The rest of the top quarterbacks, like Cody Kessler from USC or Kevin Hogan from Stanford, are guys who will be backups their entire careers.

Reason No. 7. The Niners don’t have a coach who can develop a long-term quarterback project, nor a general manager who can identify a long-term quarterback project worth developing.

Reason No. 8. The Niners’ front office may start talking itself into keeping head coach Jim Tomsula for another season if San Francisco beats Chicago. It’s not in the front office’s interest to fire Tomsula after just one season and admit his hiring was a mistake to begin with. The front office needs any excuse it can find to keep him around. Plus, he comes cheap and the front office likes that.

Reason No. 9. Keeping Tomsula around another season just would delay his inevitable firing by a year at most. Tomsula is a bad head coach no matter how many chances he gets to prove otherwise. No other team in the NFL would hire him to be anything other than a defensive line coach.

Reason No. 10. Firing Tomsula during or after next season would set back whichever quarterback the Niners end up drafting this offseason. Changing coaches and offensive systems early in a quarterback’s career is a sure-fire way to turn him into the next Blaine Gabbert. With a loss to the Bears, Tomsula and offensive coordinator Geep Chryst would be less likely to coach whichever quarterback the Niners end up drafting this offseason.

Reason No. 11. With a loss to the Bears, Trent Baalke would be less likely to choose which quarterback the Niners end up drafting this offseason.

Reason No. 12. With a loss to the Bears, 49ers fans would be more likely to fly another banner over a home game urging team CEO Jed York to step down.

Go Bears.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him atgrantcohn@gmail.com.

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  1. Reason No. 13 – Another loss makes it just a tiny bit more likely the Yorks will sell the team sooner vs. later. #WorstNFLOwners #FireTheYorks

    1. What are you talking about? This was a great blog. Grant is absolutely spot on with his analysis. We need every reason possible to get rid of our terrible coaching staff and terrible GM and mediocre QB.

      1. one of the reasons this was a crappy piece just like all of grant’s articles is: he says that tomsula costs little and front office likes that. this is just lame. 49ers as an organization is a billion dollar worth “company”, it will earn a lot more money behind a successful winning team. damn they built a billion dollar stadium on harbaugh’s success. so this notion that they will balk on paying couple of millions to a good coach so that they can “save” that money is just insane.

        grant is a mediocre journalist and comes up with these imaginary scenarios to justify his premises.

      2. Your right. Were here to critique the niners, with their 4 years worth of terrible drafts, baalke’s reluctance to admit you need offensive skill players i.e. play makers, and speed on the defensive line-amongst so much else. Most of these guys would not make a Walsh team-those that do would be coached entirely differently than they are now. It starts with York/Baalke.

    2. Totally agree. What fan wants his team to lose, gimme a break. Clickbait.

      Little Grant is a mini me little Jed. Both got their jobs thru Dad. Both totally unqualified. Both worse than useless.

      1. Actually, my dad told me that Grant is really a 63 year old dockworker in Gdansk. Not sure that’s true but it’s interesting.

      2. exactly. grant is a man-child. even the great bill walsh didn’t think that a team should draft a QB in the early rounds. it makes sense only if it is a sure shot like andrew luck or manning.

      3. i love the comparison of grant with jed. both are petulant kids. we want the 9ers to win, show some pride. it is a loser’s attitude to lose to get good draft picks.

    1. So now I’m confused a little. Some who know the college eligibility rules might be able to help me. Baker mayfield was a true freshman in 13 sat a year and started this season for Oklahoma.
      He’s considered a sophomore though but I read he has one year of eligibility. Is he eligible for the draft this year or next?

      1. I believe the NFL draft eligibility clock begins to tick when a student-athlete enters college and has a maturation date of 3 seasons, including red-shirt seasons. So if Mayfield entered school in the fall of 13, his seasons in 13, 14 and 15, whether he played or not, put him on track to come out this spring.

  2. I appreciate your accurate perspective in this article Grant. The relationship of this game to a change in ownership is the story and you captured that well. We all enjoyed supporting our 49’ers until the York ownership turned the organization into a mockery. Glad you focused on the root cause. I hope the Yorks sell and return our team to us!

    1. There are teams which will draft on need even if the player’s draft grade does not merit the slot in which the player will be taken. Reaching because of a “need” is what gets clubs in trouble.

      QB needy clubs because the Niners include Cleveland, St. Louis, Dallas (factor in the Romo injury history of these past seasons), Houston, Philly (?). San Diego also needs to think about the future after Rivers, but not in Round 1. Buffalo still needs a quality QB because EW.J. Manual and Tyrod Taylor don’t really light it up and who knows what the Jets will do with an aging Fitzpatrick and an big ? mark in Geno Smith.

      1. If it was that simple, every needy team would draft a QB in the first round and get to the SB that year.
        Too bad the QBs could turn out like Jamarcus Russel, Tim Couch, Blaine Gabbert, etc etc etc.

        1. Give Blaine a chance Seb. With your powers to control the future by posting here in Grant’s blog you should be more generous with your positive vibrations.

  3. Drafting a QB would not help SF. Without a line, the QB would be massacred. There is no running game in SF. Week 5 was the last rushing TD. There aren’t any viable receiving options.
    The QB is important, but he is not the only important part of a team. Many mediocre QB’s have benefited from amazing receivers, running games, defenses, OC, and solid lines.
    The QB is not the end all. If Trent Dilfer can earn a super bowl ring, then there is plenty of hope for the mediocracy under center.
    SF needs to address their line issues. Then they need receivers. Finally they need a QB. In my opinion, the team is a few years away from drafting their true franchise QB. They are calling offenses geared toward game managers. I equate it to driving a Ferrari on the 101 freeway in Santa Rosa at noon on Friday. You can buy the car now, but door dings and rock chips are all you are getting out of ownership.

  4. Goff comes from a simplistic offense that has produced nothing but busts at the next level. Started with Couch and currently has given is Manziel. Do not want.

  5. Seven reasons we should hope the 49ers D plays well, and that Gabbert plays well, leading to the 49ers beating the Bears:

    1. If the D turns up and plays well away from home it would be an encouraging sign of improvement and development for a young D, suggesting better things for the future.
    2. If the D plays well, it may be a sign the D isn’t too far away from playing good football consistently.
    3. If the D plays well, it might be a sign the D only needs to be tweaked moving forward rather than needing to completely start over from scratch.
    4. Gabbert may never become a great QB, but the more times he demonstrates he can be a decent game manager and win games away from home moving forward the better.
    5. If Gabbert does play well, it may help convince the 49ers to not use their first round draft pick on a QB that could very well turn into the next Blaine Gabbert… of the Jaguars years.
    6. If Gabbert plays well, it may convince the 49ers that he can guide the team for a year or two while they develop a young QB, rather than ruining a young QB by putting him in too early.
    7. If Gabbert plays well, it may convince the 49ers they can address another position of need early in the draft, making the team stronger overall.

    1. I like your assessment better. Too much negativity. What round was Joe Montana taken in? Russell Wilson? Should I keep going? The reality is that our Niners indeed need a line. And a quality linebacker or two. Blane Gabbert is serviceable. And who knows. Kap may make a dramatic comeback. Stranger things have happened.

    2. Scooter you got your wish today. Good call. The negative of course is that we will probably draft between the 10-12th positions if we beat the Browns (probable), and may drop a few more slots if we beat the Rams.

      I just wish that someone would coach JimmyT to close his mouth when he is trying to figure out something confusing that just happened on the field.

  6. Its easy for Grant to say the Niners need to lose because that would garner a higher draft pick, but it will not help them win.
    Tomsula just won a huge victory in the front office. He is going nowhere, because there is no alternative. No coach in his right mind will want to coach the Niners, so any replacement will probably be worse than Tomsula.
    Tomsula just flexed his muscles. He will expect to get a lot more say in the personnel department. Baalke better keep his head down and say -yessir when Tomsula points at a player and says he wants him. That is a good thing because Tomsula is a football person. Baalke and his analyitical sidekick have whiffed way too many times to be trusted in making player evaluations and acquisitions. His sidekick is gone, so do not expect very many more ACL picks lower than the 6th round.
    Tomsula is a football person, so he will want a pass rusher with the first Niner pick. Cowboy left, so they picked Armstead. Aldon left this year, so they will draft his replacement next draft. Book it.
    Drafting a QB with the first pick sounds interesting, but it is only designed to generate blog hits. This team needs so many other players, a QB makes absolutely no sense, especially if they neglect the O line and the new QB gets sacked 3 or more times per game.
    Another reason why losing out would be disastrous, the team will not be able to lure any decent FAs, and the Niners will scrape the bottom of the barrel with more Pears and Bushes. Winning will solve everything. It will give the team some hope. It will placate the fans. It will stop the losing mindset and replace it with winning attitude. Champions do not meekly accept losing. Champions expect to win. There is no guarantee that drafting a QB will fare any better than 90% of the other QBs who are drafted early and sent to the meat grinder by starting too early. Ask Blaine Gabbert if he would have benefited more by sitting and learning for a couple years.

    1. Well said – being a 9er fan my whole life I have never once wished upon the team a loss. I don’t care about draft orders or what nots, everything you just said sounds just about right to me.

      I was waiting for tomsula to finally get comfy in flexing his muscles. I say give him another year, is that wrong ?
      I feel like when York and Balke hired tomsula they knew we weren’t going to have a winning season despite what they said publicly. The knew it was going to be a work in progress and i think tomsula said as much to them. This is why I don’t think he is sweating his position as head coach right no. I think he’s on a two year trial. Ownership just demoted parag, they are giving tomsula a chance with consistency with the players and a (well now) a full draft under his belt.
      I could be wrong, and I very well just might be but i have a feeling tomorrow is going to be a turning point, for better or worse
      Go 9ers !

      1. Jj, I hope the same thing, but feel that with Tomsula unleashed from the constraints of analytics, he will go bold and not settle for field goals.
        I remember the glory years, when the Niners usually won at least 10 games a year. During that time, they usually drafted at the end of the first round, yet still managed to assemble a Super Bowl talented squad.
        I dream that they will someday draft at number 32.

      2. I don’t know about better or worse…I’d say the skid continues. Hope is not a strategy. We need ownership to step up (pull their heads out of their xxxxxx) spend what it takes to get a top flight coaching staff and senior football advisor (if not new GM), and get out of the way. Maximize the upcoming draft and begin the journey. Sooner the better. Would be sad if we found ourselves in 2022, still debating how the Yorks have kept us from the playoffs; even after firing Tomsula in 2019 after a 25-55 record.

    2. Yes, like good free agents see the 9ers today as a must-go-to destination. I think we’re past that point. Agree we need to address more than one position. QB should be one of the first 2-4 picks. Trading down some in the first round would help. Better football minds in the front office and coaching staff badly needed. Muscles? Tomsula flexed a muscle alright…

      1. Yep, with Baalke being so cheap, FAs will avoid the Niners like the plague.
        I remember the glory years when former Pro bowlers would accept being second stringers just to get a ring. They never lost a preseason game because the Niner second string could beat most first string teams.

  7. Fangio will have his Anti-Chryst defense keep the 49ers offense sinful, while Adam uses his WMD to destroy the 49ers defense, 31-9 Bears….

  8. Well Grant you’ll take some heat as usual, but I agree with this entry completely. I’ve been in the lose out camp for awhile and see no reason to change now. For all the reasons you stated and the fact this team needs an overhaul from the top down I don’t want to see them win another game.

  9. I have seen nothing so far that says Gabbert could not be a frachise player. He has the physical tools and is now maturing and understanding the game. We need a young qb to sit behind him. If you want to win you draft OFFENSIVE LINEMAN . The niners finally got over the hump when we drafted two offensive linemen in the the first round. 2010 (Iuptia and Davis) and Staley the year before. That line took Kap to the superbowl. Its time to bite the bullet and draft a new line. Everything else QB included flows from there.

  10. I see that Kilgore has been activated and Skov was waived.
    Great news. Now, if Brown can play, the Niners actually have a shot at winning.

  11. Grant,
    This post was 100% spot on. Who would your coaching choice be if you were the GM? I would go with Kyle Shanahan and let him have significant input on the QB selection. His style of offense would mesh well with a strong defense and I believe he would be able to assemble a quality staff. The HC and QB need to have a sense of a shared destiny as it relates to their football careers. This franchise needs a face and for their leader to be on the field, not in the front office.

    1. Oh pullleease, KS is a quitter. He is the poster child for nepotism. He makes the Lowell to Grant connection look totally talent based.
      KS started off well when Atlanta played poor teams, but lately, he have been almost as bad as Chryst. He is way too stubborn, and cannot make adjustments.

  12. Only Grant Cohn, who makes a living criticizing, and eating road kill and who actually makes his dad, Lowell, look like a sports writer, would tell fans to root against their team. I have no doubt that it’s the way you were raised, Grant, but 49er FAITHFUL fans never root against the Niners. You wouldn’t understand that because loyalty and Grant Cohn seldom walk on the same side of the street. It’s amazing you keep your job.

  13. Anyone who’s thinking about taking the quarterback with the top five picks or even 10 picks in this draft is absolutely insane.

  14. Since it’s not ‘acceptable’ to want the 9ers to loose out and improve their draft posture, I’ll be rooting for every team having a worse record than the 9ers (as of today) to each win out. For teams playing each other with equally bad records, they can tie. I wouldn’t be disappointed to have the 9ers go 3-13. Just sayin’…

  15. The 49ers are an east coast team on the west coast. Baalke is a run first-defense GM ala Big Tuna. Harbaugh knew QB is a critical position and grabbed QB7 out of desperation to prove his point- QB 7 wasn’t up to the challenge very unfortunate. I wonder if the two malcontents Paarg an QB7 will be stalking the team today.

  16. We’re going on a Bear hunt, gonna beat ‘em up good.

    Can’t go over them, can’t go under them, we’ve got to GO THROUGH THEM!


    Sorry Cal fans, but the Bear will quit, the Bear will die

  17. Niners will win if they spread them wide with 4 WRs, then gash them up the middle.
    Niner coaches should devise plays that allow Gabbert to roll out so he can either pass past the sticks or use his speed to make the first down. I wish they had activated Hayne, but I hope they line up the RB deep in the I to let him build up a head of steam and pick the hole in the line. Some laterals and a flea flicker with Bell would remind me of the Stanford- USC game, when McCaffrey threw that TD pass to Hogan.

    1. Jimmy T, Geep, Mr. Logan are you listening? Seb’s not happy that you only take half his advice. He’s sure nobody in the NFL has ever seen 4 WR’s and a back in the I formation or has a defense for that yet. Give it a try.

      PS: It would really help if the RB’s didn’t get hit in the back field, also if the QB throws on target, and if the WR’s and TE’s make sure to catch the ball. Also make sure Gabbert wears extra padding for those rollouts and runs.

      1. Yep, the Niners are a professional football team, but a college team can make those innovative plays that make the game exciting and score TDs. Niners will probably go timid and resigned, and run the ball into the teeth of the defense.
        Since the Niners were 0-9 in third down conversions, Wilson probably wants Gabbert to be forced to stay in the pocket and deliver those short passes and expect the receiver to make those last few yards for a first down.

        1. Actually I want Gabbert to throw the ball to the Bears defenders all game and take the hike and run for the other teams end zone. Actually what I want from Gabbert is like CFC says. Look for the receiver that’s at or past the 3rd down marker and not take the check down without even looking for the downfield receiver.

  18. It would be much appreciated if people could stop showing how stupid they are by posting demands that the York’s sell the team. As one writer said, the team has been in the York-DeBartolo family for three generations. The family LIKES owning the 49ers. The family makes LOTS OF MONEY from the 49ers. Jed York LOVES being the man -it’s his career and his life. Do you honestly think he cares a rat’s ass about your demands and complaints??

  19. I don’t disagree with anything that the column states but why is Chicago the game that means everything, what happens if they win this week and lose next week, the column is no longer valid.? They won’t win today anyway.

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