49ers Free Agency and Training Camp: Expect the Unexpected

This post was written by Jared A. Quan

The fans of the 49ers have been on a rollercoaster the last few years. Experts would build up the expectations, the team would make some changes to give hope, and players would seem to be improving. Then like a rollercoaster reaching the peak, it drops. 49ers fans would be forced to feel like they have been punched in the gut as everything unravels, and people begin to blame. Then on an upswing we would watch damage control, fire a coach, replace some players, then again without notice 49ers fans would feel like they had been punched in the gut yet again.

The challenge for this season is linked to the fans riding this rollercoaster’s for the last few years. It leaves everyone asking “why would this season be any different?” We have seen a changing of the coaches, and a changing of players. Experts however have left the 49ers off their list after giving their predictions a black eye last year.

The good news is that faithful 49ers fans are about to finally be rewarded. Shaking it down from the top, the 49ers coaching staff has the makings of greatness. 49ers fans have had the tour of coaches, and by now know that Jim Harbaugh was the most sought after coach by NFL teams looking to make a change. Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary are still around the league, but are hardly on the radar. Harbaugh’s coordinators and assistants also carry high stock and include, Brad Seely, Vic Fangio, Greg Roman, Michael Christianson, Geep Chryst, Reggie Davis, Ed Donatell, and many more.

GM Trent Balke and Jim Harbaugh have played the free agency market like pros, despite weathering criticism from fans. The 49ers have signing on an impressive list of solid free agents: Carlos Rogers, Madieu Williams, Jonathan Goodwin, Braylon Edwards, Donte Whitner, Antwan Applewhite, Ray McDonald, David Akers, Jack Corcoran, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Larry Grant, and Blake Costanzo. Free Agents mixed with a brand new draft class including, Aldon Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Chris Culliver, Kendal Hunter, Ronald Johnson, Colin Jones, Mike Person, and Curtis Holcomb.

With all of the changes on hand this time I am challenging fans and experts to expect the unexpected from the 49ers. I have seen predictions that list the 49ers with a deep losing record their first season under Harbaugh, all the way to a barely winning season. I won’t bet the farm that the 49ers are a shoe in for the Super Bowl, however I think just like there is an actually chance they will make a run for the division, ranked by many as the weakest division in the NFL. I am not claiming that Jim is the second coming of Bill Walsh, but I am now firmly moving my vote from cautious to high expectations.


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