Jim Tomsula’s football sins

This is my Wednesday column.

Whether Jim Tomsula keeps his job next year or not, these are the top-five football sins he committed in 2015.

Football Sin No. 1: Allowing the players to set the schedule. Most of the 49ers’ problems stem from this Original Sin.

Jim Tomsula wanted to be the opposite of his predecessor, Jim Harbaugh, an authoritarian head coach. So, Tomsula became a “players’ coach.” He let his players come up with the schedule. Let them practice in the late afternoon during training camp because they wanted to work in the shade. Let them have a break every 30 minutes during meetings because they wanted to check their phones.

Football is a wargame. Players are supposed to follow a head coach like soldiers follow a general. Following orders creates discipline, which is the whole point of the game. Discipline.

The Niners are the least-disciplined team in the NFL. Either they sleepwalk through games or play over-aggressively and commit a dozen penalties. There’s no middle ground. Tomsula can’t control his team.

All of this makes you wonder who’s really in charge, the players or the coach?

Football Sin No. 2: Wasting training camp.

Tomsula could have created discipline had he worked his players hard during the late-afternoon training camp practices in the shade they requested. Harbaugh worked his players hard. His August practices routinely lasted three hours, and sometimes players got injured. Patrick Willis broke his hand. Chris Culliver tore his ACL.

Tomsula’s primary goal for training camp was to keep players healthy. So, his practices lasted about an hour and a half, counting stretching and warmups. The competitive stuff, like seven-on-seven drills and 11-on-11s, lasted about an hour.

Some veterans weren’t required to participate. Reggie Bush, who wasn’t injured, practiced roughly two or three times in training camp. Tomsula wanted to “save” Bush for the regular season. Bush injured his calf in Week 1, then tore his ACL in Week 8. He was totally unprepared to play football. But, hey, he was rested.

Tomsula created the softest healthy team in the NFL.

Football Sin No. 3: Wasting the preseason.

Tomsula acted as if his offense was so good it didn’t need the preseason. He sat the starters during the first exhibition game, then played them only five snaps during the second one.

Colin Kaepernick completed four passes for 26 yards and no touchdowns the final two preseason games. He was horrible. Maybe he would have played better if he had played more. Or, maybe Tomsula would have realized he needed to switch quarterbacks sooner.

Tomsula gave the players a leave of absence in preseason. Unfortunately, they were still absent for the regular season.

Football Sin No. 4: Not switching quarterbacks sooner.

Tomsula probably should have named Blaine Gabbert the starting quarterback when the season began. Gabbert outplayed Kaepernick during the preseason and ended up outplaying him during the regular season, too.

Tomsula definitely should have named Gabbert the starter after Kaepernick threw four interceptions against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3. That game was no fluke.

At the very latest, Tomsula should have named Gabbert the starter after Kaepernick led the offense to three points at home in Week 4 and the Niners’ record fell to 1-3.

But, Tomsula waited. He finally switched quarterbacks when his team was 2-7 and the season was over. Tomsula froze when he had to make the crucial decision.

And when he made it, he was reluctant to stick to it. He wouldn’t name Gabbert the starter for more than one week at a time – he said he needed to discuss the decision with the quarterbacks after every game. He seemed afraid to upset Kaepernick.

Kaepernick eventually made the decision for Tomsula by shutting himself down for the season with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder.

Football Sin No. 5: Taking 16 weeks to figure out who should start where on the offensive line.

In terms of run blocking, the 49ers’ highest-graded offensive lineman during the preseason was guard Andrew Tiller. Until Week 11, he backed up Jordan Devey, who was weak. The minute the Niners benched Devey and promoted Tiller to the starting lineup, the run blocking improved.

In terms of pass protection, the 49ers’ highest-graded offensive lineman during the preseason was tackle Trent Brown. Until Week 16, he backed up right tackle Erik Pears, who gave up 10 sacks. The minute the Niners moved Pears to guard and made Brown the starting right tackle, the pass protection improved.

Turns out the Niners had a good offensive line all along and Tomsula didn’t even know. Sinful.

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

Player grades and stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

This article has 148 Comments

  1. Grant, Domsula only has one sin, no make that two.
    1) Badmouthing the HC behind his back to the FO
    2) Thinking that he can do a better job

      1. What particular sins, and how many sins, are immaterial. The owner is not going to fire the General Manager or the head coach—they will be with us in 2016. So while it’s fun to delve into Tomsula’s sins it’s just us fans wringing our hands irrelevantly.

    1. This will be Dumbsula last job in the NFL. No NFL Head Coach would want this back stabbing water boy. Not a trusted agent as Jim Harbaugh would say. He needs to be a manager at Little Caesars in Modesto. Time for Yorky to fire Porky.

      1. Neal,
        You made my day with the comment “Time for Yorky to fire Porky” … good stuff as usual.

    2. Jim Tomsula sins to my observation:
      1) responsible for the firing of SIngletary
      2) responsible for the firing of Harbaugh
      3) Responsible for the 49ers not getting Gase hired
      4)Irresponsible camp
      5) Irresponsible player evaluation
      6) Irresponsible signing of Torrey Smith and wasting him and Boldin while the Raiders are gelling with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, a 1 and a 2 WR. The 49ers don’t have that.
      7) giving very horrible interviews. Tomsula is very unpopular with the fans.
      8) Poor evaluation of the Qb, and 49ers themselves should not have signed Kaepernick.
      9) No excuses in the coaching and the interviewing. If you have a stadium that is not half full, you got to fire the coach.

  2. Grant

    As much as I dislike admitting it, your assessment is right on. The clumsy way Tomsula came into the job, the Baalke press conference interruption, the sudden retirements, etc., would only leave JT to wonder what’s around the next corner waiting to smack me? He only asked for a chance, and HE DIDN’T GET IT. Interference from the GM and FO ‘deep-sixed’ his opportunity. Yes, he should have taken more control earlier, and the team is soft because he didn’t . He’s still a good coach, just not a Head Coach.

  3. Jed should hire Chip Kelley right away. Don’t even wait to fire Tomsula until after the Ram game. Call Chip’s agent today to get the ball rolling.

    Hiring Kelly would mean keeping Kaepernick. I know the Cohn family would not be happy about that but I think Kaepernick in Chip Kelley system would put up MVP type numbers.

    Jeffery Lurie has given Jed an opening to atone for the entire Harbaugh / Tomsula fiasco. Come on Jed. Show some leadershil skills and don’t dither and let Tennessee grab Kelly.

      1. There’s nothing and no one that can make Gabbert a “very solid qb.” Kap had the same stats as Gabbert, and behind a much worse offensive line. Gabbert is a solid backup who will one or two, but not much more.

        1. A much worse offensive line?
          Why because he held the ball or took off with no pressure?
          Holmgren would completely change Gabbert into a solid qb.
          I’d bet the house on that.

          1. Ninermd don’t you think the OL has improved recently? If so, Gabbert has had a better line than Kaepernick.

            I don’t pretend to know why Kaepernick’s wheels came off, but the OL problems were worse to start the season, and are still not good enough to front for a strong contending team.

            1. Worst because ck held the ball to long on some plays?
              And couldn’t get past his first read? I’m not pretending the o-line for ck wasn’t bad. I actually rallied that point. But I also watched him take sacks he shouldn’t have. When Gabbert came in his first couple of games he had the same o-line. And actually made them look a little better with quick decisions. But the o-line being much worse???
              It wasn’t Kap that got sacked a record NINE times. Vs a horrible Cleveland defense.
              That’s all I’m saying.

              1. It seems to me that Gabbert has been seeing more ghosts pressuring him in the pocket as the season has gone on. They both have made bad line play look worse, especially when they have the chance to throw the ball away and neither of them seems to have the presence of mind to actually do it.

      2. I agree. From game planning to talent evaluation, Holmgren would fix this team. But Baalke wont allow any Head Coach here who knows more than he does. Soooo…………look for Prag to get the nod.
        Whatever happens, it wont be a wise decision. It will be a political decision. Bet on it.

  4. Good list. It could have included 50 sins.

    One of the most important for me is that Tomsula is a total unknown in the league. Promoted from position coach to head coach, a move that seldom if ever works, he clearly looks out of his element. After being on Harbaugh’s staff and being, rightly or wrongly, associated with Harbaugh’s ouster Tomsula has a horrible reputation around the league. This was demonstrated when he was unable to assemble a credible staff, especially an offensive coordinator. The proof of the pathetic nature of this staff is the first game where they had success in using zone blocking and stretch running plays. Then after teams watched tape and made adjustments the niners had no answer for how to move the ball. Questionable decisions on who to start, especially on the offensive line.

    I don’t think that Tomsula really has a plan moving forward he just wants to gut it out and speak in cliches. He may, but I don’t think he really does. However, it does not matter. Perception is reality. The perception around the league, and I think an accurate one, is that Tomsula is in way over his head and is floundering around way out of his depth. If he is kept on as head coach is there anyone who thinks he can recruit a top notch offensive coordinator? Perception is reality and the perception is that Tomsula is a dud.

    1. Domsula needs to take himself out of the game if he wants to be considered as having integrity!

  5. Sometimes you seem like you’re trying to be provocative. But today, I have to say, I agree with everything you say.

    One more sin along the same lines: no consequences for mental errors. Pears was brought in to be a guard, but switched to tackle when Davis retired and the coaching staff deemed Brown unready. Pears got beat repeatedly; not from mental errors, but from simply not being good enough. In Pears’ case, I can credit him for going out and trying, giving his best, at least. But I agree the switch to Brown probably should have been sooner, but we didn’t see how Brown practiced. Maybe it was terribly. But you’re right, when a player is playing terribly, as a coach, you have to at least TRY something different.

    But in other cases, and Quentin Patton’s is a great example, mental errors (i.e., catching a third down pass beyond the first down mark, but losing it by running backwards while trying to make the big play; or killing a couple of drives with dead ball personal fouls. Those sorts of CHOICES should have been met at the very least with immediate benching, so the players would have learned there would be consequences for making choices that didn’t reflect team-first goals. But Tomsula did nothing!

    Early on I felt Tomsula should be given the benefit of the doubt, due to the lack of talent on his team. But the very slowness to adjust and to hold the players accountable insured he did not get the best effort possible. And so on this score, I’m convinced, Tomsula needs to be replaced.

  6. Tomsula’s biggest sin was not getting his players prepared. Those 7 offsides penalties were emblematic of his tenure. He needed to get his players more focused and disciplined.

    1. There is another mistake he made seb, but I’m sure you’re too modest to point it out in public.

      1. Come on man! He didn’t assign his wife to read this blog for coaching ideas like electrified colors for the front seven to keep them from jumping off side.

  7. I feel like you’re whipping a dog for not being able to solve calculus problems. The only sin committed was by Baalke and York for assuming Tomsula was what he isn’t.

    1. CFC,

      I agree. I blame Jed and Trent for picking Tomsula as HC in the first place more than Tomsula for taking the job and failing.

      1. Who can’t look at the guy and know that he’s giving it everything he has but this just isn’t who he is.

        Here’s the biggest sin in all of this; The team has gone and ruined one of the better DL coaches in the league and will ultimately lose his services all together.

        1. You hit that one on the head, Coffee.
          He was an asset right where he was. He’ll never take a double-demotion to go back to it.
          Morons Jed and Trent should have factored that in when they were making that decision.

  8. This begs the question, is it too late for Jimmy Tom to repent? Chryst is clearly not the savior prophesied, but my fear is he will be sacrificed to atone for Jimmies sins….

    1. Chryst is clearly not the savior prophesied
      Shalom. Guess the Cohn’s had it right all along…

    2. Regarding Geepus, maybe Jed will try to do his best impersonation of his uncle and blurt out “He’s gone”!

    3. Alas, we are witnessing the 9er end of days…

      The Revelation of Jed York, which Denise gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant Trent…

  9. Another sin: becoming a worse team at the end of the season.

    Yes we all want to win games. But when your best game is your first game it really is a sad state of affairs. Looking back over our season I can’t see improvement over the course of the season. Yes there have been flashes of good play from one group or another, but there has been no steady improvement. I can handle losses if I see promise for the future, I can endure growing pains with the team, but ineptitude and poor preparation are very problematic.

    It is clear that Tomsula is a good position coach who is out of his element as head coach. I just can’t see him improving.

    In addition, there is the perception that he is not a good person. He has been implicated, rightly or wrongly, in the campaign to discredit Harbaugh. If it is true than he is not the wonderful man everyone thought he was. Even if he was not guilty the perception is there that he was disloyal.

    A marginal, at best, coach with a disastrous reputation in the league must be let go. To not do so would indict both Baalke and York. Baalke, because it implies that this is the way he wants it to go so he can have final say on everything. York, because it implies that he can’t own his own mistakes and that he is cheap.

    I hope I am wrong, but I think they keep him and we have the same conversation this time next year.

    1. Jim Tomsula is a loyal man. He is loyal to his ownership family and has been since he was hired by the Yorks. It has been suggested that he didn’t transfer his loyalty to Jim Harbaugh which may be true, for after all, a loyal man does not move his loyalty around. He keeps his loyalty in one place.

      It’s my theory is that Jim Tomsula has been taken advantage off by the very people that he is loyal too. And, it continues.

      1. And if You were the Head Coach, and someone was back-stabbing you to senior mgmt., you would still have this love fest for the co. snitch?????????

      1. Why stop there? Why not take the Viking game away, too? The Vikes are clearly the superior team.

    1. Dbrick didn’t know you could have head trauma by playing in the NFL?

      This movie has bust written all over it, what a boring movie…..

      1. Sound inference… Bad movie about important issue invalidates importance of issue. Have you thought about hiring on with the 9er front office?

      2. Another NFL apologist. CTE is a big concern, and players are retiring because of it. More importantly, parents are forbidding their children from playing the game, so it will doom the sport when only poor and unintelligent players will be willing to play.
        Calling this movie boring sends clarion calls to watch it because it is so important, that NFL toadies are actively suppressing it.
        How do I know the NFL is ignoring the problem? They are so concerned about CTE, they schedule TNF games with only 3 days rest, just to make more profits.

        1. It doesn’t happen very often, but I agree with what you said Seb.

          1. Back at ya. I really respect your opinion, even though we may be diametrically opposed at times. At least you support your arguments with facts in a cogent and logical manner.

  10. I would argue that these two are bigger sins:
    1) Lack of preparation leading up to games
    2) Lack of in-game adjustments

    That’s where Jimmy and his staff really fall down…and the main reason we’re 4-11 (soon to be 4-12).

  11. Devastating, but a necessary indictment of the decision to hire Jim Tomsula. Although I am sure Jed had no idea that hiring a “players” coach could yield an undisciplined, uninspired, injury-prone team.

    Thank you for giving the fans a new – although imperfect stadium – Jed, but the next few days will test your professional character and personal integrity.

    Clean house Jed, if you are determined to retain ownership. Then hire the best football minds to rebuild and run the team without unreasonable interference. You are allowed to use other NFL team business models as your template. It’s already been done.

    Then go be the best businessman and person you can be. It is never too late. We live in the greatest country in the world. You can aspire to and be anything.

    This is only football. But it is a wonderful metaphor for life. You can do this Jed York.

  12. Grant I disagree with your analysis in only one way. players’ coaches” can win in the NFL as well as “authoritarian coaches” but first they need to be quality coaches and Tomsula isn’t. You and everyone else here need to forget about Baalke or Tomsula being fired after this season, its not going to happen. The best we can hope for is for to York hire one or two front office football people and the following year, hopefully, a total house cleaning.

    1. Like anything else, there’s quite a spread along the coaching continuum–Nazis at one end and ‘hey, do what you want, whatever’ types on the other. You are right about quality. If Tomsula and Baalke stay, this will not be a total house cleaning. The hall closet might get sorted out, but that mess in the garage will remain untouched.

  13. Many years ago I heard a story about a self made rich person getting horrible service from a waiter in one of the restaurants he owned. When the waiter found out who he was serving , the person told the waiter ” I’m not mad at you, but the person who hired and trained you is fired!” The Yorks will continue to be the laughing stock of the league not because of Ericsson, Nolan sing and Tomsula, it will be because of York baalke and guido. ” a fish rots from the head down!”

  14. The Ten Commandments (according to Jed York)
    1. Thou shalt not keep a successful headcoach that has ought against your GM.
    2. Thou shalt not elevate a successful defensive coordinator to be the headcoach.
    3. Thou shalt not overhype your new headcoach hire by saying that he can win like his predecessor.
    4. Thou shalt not be vocal and visible during a poor season to calm your paying consumers.
    5. Thou shalt not commit the ultimate sin of firing your GM.
    6. Thou shalt not explore the possibility of searching for a better headcoach after the season.
    7. Thou shalt continue to allow your GM to draft players that are injured coming out of college.
    8. Thou shalt not be accountable for your GM’ poor drafting record over the last three seasons.
    9. Thou shalt not need to worry about winning with class when winning no longer is a priority.
    10. Thou shalt learn to find a good working relationship with the next winning headcoach even if he rubs you and your GM the wrong way.

    The entire Org from CEO to Coaching is in football purgatory and needs their sins absolved. Please, will someone show them the light!

      1. Cassie, you are giving me way too much credit. I just present my Ideas in a thorough and cogent manner, but it has all been said before. I am not the Genesis of football knowledge, but a prophet that warns of complacency.

    1. AES, good post. Glad to see some other posters are outlining their opinions in 10 point displays. Witty,too.

  15. Festivus was over a week ago, but I am not done with the airing of grievances about young Jed’s cohort and their follies.

    I agree Grant’s points (although never with his petulantly absolutist tone) about the sins of Tomsula.

    But the one that really infuriated me was him calling out Hayne in the Lions post-game presser for not getting to the first down marker after the catch.

    This is a coach who has played incompetent linemen over semi-competent ones for most of the season. He didn’t call out his second round TE who leads the league in dropped passes among TEs and caused two interceptions in the previous game. Each of the receivers has been guilty of running routes short of the stick and failing to get the first down. Yet Hayne is the only player that Tomsula feels compelled to call out publicly, a player who played his first football less than a year ago?!

    I have no more sympathy for this clown.

    1. Mood,
      Great perspective. I felt the same way after Tomsula was compelled to go after perhaps the one player that he felt he could target in order the save a little face.

      NFL head coach’s would do themselves a huge favor by taking a page from Basketball Spurs coach Gregg Popovich who is not afraid to rake his players (even if they are All-Stars) when they make a mistake. The result with Pop is that his players respect his ability to be fair across the board by not cuddling any player and they win.

      1. AES, thanks!
        Yes, Pop’s great example, but that man is a great coach and motivator.
        Tomsula should have just stuck to blaming himself as he did after the first few losses. Once the losses started mounting, it became “we gotta work at it”, “get off the bus quicker”, “keep workin'”, and other fatuous phrases and silence on the blame shared by the coaching staff.

  16. Not a good day for Lynch. He’s really thrown the ball poorly and you can really see the lack of intermediate and downfield throws in this offense.

  17. Outstanding article, Grant!

    More sins:

    * Hiring a news reporter for a quarterback coach

    * Managing press conferences much like a Sweat Hog from “Welcome Back Kotter” would

    * Poor game planning that resulted in an entire season of slow starts and low first half points

    * Refusal to hold players and coaches accountable for anything, and instead saying “it’s all on Jimbo”, making him sound like a character in a Walt Disney movie. If you notice, anytime he talks about a player who needs to improve, he always says “we” because he is so afraid of saying “he” and having the player’s feelings hurt.

    * Having no killer instinct in games, no ability to know when to take chances and how, and not knowing how to win a challenge to save his life.

    1. Tomsula’s QB coach was a talk show host not a news reporter. Personally, I don’t know how good he is, but if they scape goat the OC we might get the chance to find out.

  18. Paxton Lynch is not making a great case for being the number college QB today.
    Goff is by far more NFL ready but Lynch will probably be rated higher then Goff after their combine workout based on his better physical attributes.

    As I said yesterday, Goff will likely be the first QB picked (if GM’ are smart) in the 2016 draft. I certainly hope Goff is there for us when it’s our turn to pick. But after yesterdays game Goff will pique the interest of Dallas, Cleveland and maybe San Diego.

    1. For mid-late round teams with their heart set on Lynch, today’s a good day. Not so good for teams pining after Goff.

      If they 49erd want Goff, looks like they’ll have to trade up.

    2. Heard a few minutes ago TV announcer saying Lynch could be a “good early 2nd round pick.” Shortly after compared him to Kaepernick.

      A sad morning for Goff loving 49er fans.

    3. I had seen reports of the Chargers’ interest in Goff being very high before yesterday.

  19. Was hoping Lynch would light it up to cement his status as #1 QB prospect in the draft. Now its looking like the Browns might swoop in on Goff.

  20. The biggest sin will be the fans letting Jed York keep Tomsula and promote Steve Logan to OC. If Tomsula stays and the Yorks stick to their cheapskate ways, 0-16 in ’16 is a distinct possibility.

    1. This article explains well why Chryst is our coordinator. JT doesn’t have any options, no one wants to work for him and he doesn’t have connections.


      From the article:

      Jim Tomsula: a man without a country

      Here’s a term that I bet never gets used, “the Jim Tomsula coaching tree.” No offense to Jimbo, but I doubt he ever ends up with one of those. The coordinator search after Jim Tomsula’s hire last year was not an easy one, and it ended with the promotion of two internal position coaches in lieu of locating established figures. This is because Jim Tomsula has no network of coaches to pull from. If locating coordinators was that difficult last year, when Jim Tomsula was a surprise pick, and a relative unknown, how easy will that task be this year, now that the blanks in Tomsula’s biography have been replaced with the blank expressions he’s been making on game days? I’m guessing that this is the big wrench in the plan to retain Tomsula for next year. If the team plans on retaining Tomsula, but dumping one or more of his coordinators, that still requires them to find those new coordinators. Asking coaches to tie themselves to a sinking ship is not an easy sell. I think that Mike Holmgren knows this, and by presenting himself as an alternative, he just made that job a million times more difficult.

      1. That is why Jed should target successful college OCs who will get a substantial raise and a relatively easy mandate to improve the offense. Since it is the worst in almost every category, it cannot help but improve. As they say, when it hits rock bottom its only up from there. Target the OCs from Stanford, Cal, ND and Az St.

        1. Again why would they come work for JT who has no coaching legacy with a GM who’s got veto power over the 53 man squad?

          1. They would triple or quadruple their salary and while the challenge is daunting, the trajectory would be upward. It would look good on their resume to resurrect a floundering offense.

              1. Mike Norvell at 950k might only double his salary.
                Rhett Lashlee at 600k could triple his salary.
                Art Franklin at 500k could quadruple his salary if Jed does not go cheap. Could not find ND or Stanford.

              2. How much do you think OC and DC’s make in the NFL?

                I found a few reports that say $1-1.7 Million. I couldn’t find anything based on what Chryst or Magini gets paid.

                I doubt Jed will go to $2 mil when he’s only paying Tomsula $3.5.

              3. Sigh, even though the coach’s salaries are not constrained by a salary cap, Jed will go cheap with cheap results.
                If he could spend 2 mil to solve the offensive malaise, I would consider that money well spent.

      1. Why bother having coaches if your GM is calling the shots on who plays? Maybe Tomsula is bad but looks worse because of what Baalke is letting him have as far as talent on Sundays? We’ve all been asking why Donte J isn’t playing or Trent B. Seems we know now.

      2. I could see Baalke having way too much control. He was probably the one who insisted on making Kaep only a pocket passer. Tomsula said he wanted to fit the scheme to the players in order to accentuate their strengths but Baalke interrupted and claimed they were going to run the ball.
        Baalke had too much control, so like Chip, he will get most of the blame.

        1. I don’t know what really happens behind closed doors at the 49ers FO, but from appearances it does seem that TB has a lot of authority over roster decisions. Is this stuff true that people are printing, it seems so since its direct quotes from JT and TB. Are they taken out of context?

              1. I was just commenting on Grants tendencies to take a whole press conference and write a headline that stirs the pot.

      3. Who knows? Perhaps Jed is putting pressure on Trent to mitigate Tomsula’s and Geep’s shortfalls… I don’t believe Trent would be in the middle of this without some form of Jed approval–tacit or otherwise.

      1. Cubus what part of the thread relates to Baalke having control over the 53? I see about 100 posts from Seb but not really relating to Baalke having the final say. Tomsula makes it sound like they make recommendations to Baalke on the players they want playing. I guess what I don’t know is if that’s normal in the NFL or not?

        1. See my post on this article near the bottom of that thread. I was astounded that Tomsula mentioned that they effectively had to get Baalke’s approval to increase playing time for D. Johnson (who is already on the 53). Just thought you might be interested in some posted comments on that.

          Is it normal? I guess I don’t really know, but what the hell do we have coaches for? I’ll bet Harbaugh didn’t allow Baalke to dictate who would play and how much.

          1. Yeah you were on this early. If a GM was particularly good at selection for the 53 and 46 rosters then we’d have no issues. But if what’s written is true he’s not hearing the voices of those most knowledgable about who should play. His authority is impacting the team’s performance.

            1. No, I’d still have issues. I’ve never agreed with the idea that a GM should draft, acquire free agents and set the 53 without a fair amount of input from the coaches. If he is now going to set the 46, then wouldn’t he need to be involved in game planning and I don’t think that’s his job. While this situation is probably not 100% that he doesn’t get input from the coaches, IMO, it’s too one sided.

              This makes me want Baalke gone more than ever.

              1. My point was if we were on a winning squad we wouldn’t hear this stuff. Because we are losing its all out there and calls into question his abilities and appropriate use of authority.

              2. Cubus, I tried to search for what’s normal for GM’s in the NFL and it varies a lot from franchise to franchise. I don’t think the GM should have say over the coaches on who plays. It seems that in my opinion that the GM could have too much at stake personally to make objective decisions about who’s best on the field. I think coaches are better suited for that.

          2. It’s not normal for strong coaches. It’s probably silly to discuss it as a possibility outside of dysfunctional organizations.

      2. Here’s an NFL.com report that I thought helps from 2 years ago. So according to this JH had control over the 46 but not the 53. Seems like JT has no control over the 53 and has less influence over the 46 as well regarding Tiller.


        Who’s really in charge? While Jim Harbaugh came in to much fanfare two years ago, Trent Baalke has accumulated significant power within the 49ers organization, with final say over all personnel decisions and the 53-man roster. The head coach is given authority over the 46-man game-day roster. Both report to Jed York, who oversees both the business and football sides, after being handed the reins by his father, John, four-and-a-half years ago.

        1. wilsonm73.
          I don’t think that anyone associated with the 49ers believes that Tomsula carries any FO power. He was hired solely to coach and eh, teach.

          JT is a FO dream employee. He doesn’t disagree with or question his superiors. He can be a mole that blends in with the fraternity and then go report confidential actions and conversations in the locker room to the GM and owner.

          Tomsula is nothing more then a stripped down coach with a paper title of headcoach. And the GM/owner couldn’t be happier.
          The York’ and Jeddy got their Stadium by riding the backs of their successful headcoach Jim Harbaugh, and a dynamic defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
          It was foolish of them to think that their choir-boy, mr. yes boss, OL coach could rise to the same stature as the previous headcoach.
          Jeddy and Baalke sure got some splainin’ to do.

          1. No one but Seb thinks JT has FO power AES. I agree with what you said. I don’t know that I realized how little they trust JT with player talent management come game day. If its true it a solid indictment of Baalke for sure.

    1. Wilson, any GM who leads a 4-11 team should be shaking in his boots. Cassie just told me he put up his house for sale.
      In fact, the whole team should not feel secure in their employment, and I include the CEO, since he told us to hold him accountable.

      1. Seb, my point was that JT has to ask permission to get players on the 53 and from what it sounds like Jed has veto power. To me that doesn’t sound like JT is calling the shots. Did you read the link I posted?

        That’s separate from Baalke’s success as a GM in my opinion. Its the reporting and authority structure. JT is down the line from TB.

          1. It does one thing for me. It actually improves my opinion of his coaching. It seems he knew Tiller was better and that Brown was better but couldn’t get them on the field. So maybe you’re right, he’s a better talent evaluator that TB?

            1. I am blaming Baalke for cutting Hayne on the bus and his stubborn refusal to elevate him from the practice squad.
              You probably are right about the power Tomsula has over Baalke. It is just wishful thinking on my part. He does not have the final say about his superior, but he did walk so Marathe disappeared. The problem for him now is if he walked, they would not stop him.

              1. I don’t think JT has any power over Baalke. You and I disagree on Marathe’s firing, JT didn’t have anything to do with that. We do agree that TB has too much say and I think JT knew what he had in Tiller, Brown and D Johnson yet he wasn’t able to play them. That’s a problem.

              1. I know. My answer was that if Baalke traded for Devey, he is slightly better than an ignoramous. I prefer JT

  21. Should have fired JT after his initial press conference. That mess told the whole story but nobody wanted to believe what a mistake had just been made. Live with it Niners.

  22. The best part about wanting nothing to do with a QB in the first round is that today changed nothing.

        1. what hits the fan maybe parts of the exploding head of the collective Niner fans when Jedster announces that JimTom is “building something” and he will be allowed to build that steaming pile of … whatever for another season.

          Oh, he may throw the fans a bone by firing Geepus and hiring that receivers coach from Philly.

          I am resigned to another season of ugliness and futility.

  23. Most of the sins are dead on. But naming Gabbert the starter week 1 would have been absolutely ridiculous. Gabbert didn’t deserve to start based on beating a bunch of backups in the preseason. I don’t understand why everyone is so satisfied with Gabbert. I think most of the reason is because he’s done better than people expected because his previous stint as starter was horrendous. The other reason is because of all of the Alex Smith fans who hated Kaepernick for taking over are now pleased Kaep’s taken a back seat. All of it is a joke, because Gabbert, just like Alex smith, isn’t taking a team to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Kaepernick has already done it.

  24. Good read. Something competent football execs might use to evaluate a coach. So absent such execs, Tomsula is probably safe.

  25. “All of this makes you wonder who’s really in charge, the players or the coach?”

    Is this really even a question?

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