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Dilfer: Last three 49ers coaching staffs have failed miserably


There are three pertinent things Trent Dilfer mentioned Tuesday on his weekly appearance with Fitz and Brooks.

A) He’s friends with Trent Baalke.

B) A good chunk of the 1-12 record is on the coaching staff’s lack of player development, from 2014 to now.

C) He doesn’t understand the anger at Jed York for the team’s downward spiral.

Let’s start with A. Because you know Baalke is going to at least fight for his job privately. Dilfer is a sharp guy who the GM might consult about his best argument to stay in San Francisco. From Dilfer’s perspective, all three of the last coaching staffs have failed miserably in advancing the players Baalke has picked.

“I get it, it doesn’t mean a lot coming from me, being a friend of Trent Baalke’s. I totally get that,” Dilfer said. “But here’s two things globally in the league to think about. Number one, discrepancy of the groceries (players) is not nearly as big as people think. A lot of it is development. A lot of it is once they get into your program — they were recognized to have certain traits, certain skill sets, certain competitive temperaments — and the upstairs can’t effect what happens downstairs too much. It’s downstairs’ job to develop, you know, to make the dinner and get the most out of the flavor of those players.

“I think the coaching part of it from Jim’s (Harbaugh’s) last year, to Jim Tomsula, to this year has failed miserably in the development of players. So that’s one thing. That’s where I’ll be completely blunt about it.”

Interesting. It’s all on three different coaching staffs for not elevating the talent level? Not the fact that many of Baalke’s draft picks have busted?

Here’s where things get really confusing. Dilfer refuses to blame Jed York for any of this mess, but then blasts all the coaching hires. Isn’t the 49ers CEO the one making the final calls on these pertinent football decisions?

“As a player for Jed, as a friend, and for somebody who hasn’t been that close with him the past couple of years at all, but still admires the people there and like the people there, I thought Jed did a tremendous job,” Dilfer said. “When things go bad, people get mad. I get it. I get why people get mad and want things to turn around. But sometimes they are mad at the wrong things. I think that’s kind of what’s happened here.

“The Jim Tomsula hire set them back big time. That’s where it started. They haven’t recovered. They should’ve recovered more than that. So you lost a year of development of all those players. That’s where it started. I think Chip came in and I don’t think any of them really knew what they were. And then he brings in a system offensively that highlights dynamic playmakers, and they don’t have any of those. They’ve got a lot of big guys there. It just hasn’t fit.”

Give Dilfer this — he’s probably the most loyal person in the Bay Area. He did his very best to protect Baalke, but in the final quote at the bottom of the page, Dilfer was willing to admit a change is justifiable.

“I admire Trent, his wife’s been a friend of mine for years. He’s a standup guy. He is taking the bullets and he deserves to,” Dilfer said. “He’s been the first to say that. It’s not lip service. He’s not just giving lip service. He believes, based on his comments, that he hasn’t done as good of a job (inaudible).

“Now I typically — and my record will speak for this, not just 49ers but with other teams too — I’m in the less knee-jerk reaction, more patience model, then to just blow it all up and get rid of everybody.

“(But) if I had my critical hat on, than yeah, sometimes this is a bottom line business and if you’re not producing, if you’re not doing your end of the bargain, then it’s justifiable to go in another direction.”


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