FROM THE OTHER SIDE : SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

By Leo Haggerty

For expert analysis on the San Francisco 49ers, we head west.  We bring in Rick Moore, our NFC West correspondent, to give us the insight on Frisco.  Enjoy the musings of the “Sage of the Southwest” on the inner workings of the 49ers.

LH : How bad are the 49ers?

RM : They are pretty bad, reflective of their 1-5 record. It has definitely been a struggle for the once high-flying 49ers, and the addition of Chip Kelly to work with Kaepernick was supposed to produce results in a hurry. Looks like that is not going to happen any time soon. Too many holes to fill for a quick turnaround, but with the talent available, and some luck staying healthy, this group could turn it around.

LH : Can Chip Kelly’s system work in Frisco?

RM : The latest word on the street is that if Kelly can’t make it work here in S.F. with a talented and mobile quarterback like Kaepernick, it may be time to head back to college where the linebackers aren’t so darn fast! The way Oregon has started out this year, he may be able to get his old job back! In the first year of a four-year, 24 million dollar deal, it would be awfully hard to fire Kelly without giving him some time. I’m not sure the time will help. The Kelly offense just seems to be too different to make work in the NFL. And with the contracts being offered to first-tier NFL QUARTERBACKS nowadays, the risk of injury is just to darn high.

LH : How much of the blame for the demise for the demise of the 49ers has to go to San Fran GM Trent Baalke?

RM : It seems to be a common occurrence to blame the GM when things go south. There is lots of blame to go around in San Francisco, and the GM can not control things like injuries. But, mark my words, if Kelly doesn’t get things turned around for the 49ers, Baalke is looking for a new job somewhere else.

LH : Is Colin Kaepernick that bad or does he just not have a credible supporting cast around him on offense?

RM : It just doesn’t seem that long ago that Kaepernick was the toast of the NFL. He represented the changing of the guard for NFL offenses, a mobile QB that could throw and keep defenses off balance. I don’t think that Kaepernick is that bad, just that NFL defenses have adjusted to the changes he brings. The talent is there, but most teams are better prepared. It could be a tough time for both Kelly and Kaepernick if they don’t come up with a new wrinkle or two.

LH : Why do East Coast teams have such a problem winning on the West Coast?

RM : Great crowds for one, and flying back and forth across the country takes a toll on even the best athlete. Its a long week getting prepared to play on the West Coast.

LH : Who wins and why?

RM : I’m going with the Bucs. They seem to be putting it together finally, Winston is getting better and better,while Kaepernick and the 49ers seem to be stuck in 2nd gear. Bucs 35- 49ers 26.