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St. Louis Rams At San Francisco 49ers: Preview Q&A With Niners Nation

Getting the inside info from David Fucillo of Niners Nation, the SB Nation community for San Francisco 49ers fans.

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With one final game to see 2015 off, I linked up with David Fucillo of Niners Nation, the SB Nation community for San Francisco 49ers fans.

So with the offseason you guys had, perhaps this season's results weren't all that unpredictable. Or were they? Between Colin Kaepernick and Jim Tomsula and Blaine Gabbert...well you tell me. Was yall's season coming based on the offseason or has it been a product of the process throughout?

C, all of the above. I think plenty of us tried to sell ourselves on Jim Tomsula as a guy who could work out, but looking back, it's clear he was not the right guy for the job. He still might get a reprieve into the 2016 season, but that would seemingly be as much due to front office ego over Jim Harbaugh's departure as anything else. And that is obviously not a good thing. Jim Tomsula is a guy that the York family likes, but in retrospect, the hiring seems more about finding someone they thought was better than he is, but also nice enough to make him easy to get along with compared to Harbaugh. He comes across as a nice guy, but he's just not a good head coach.

The offseason did impact things. You lose as many leaders as the 49ers did, and it's going to sting. Colin Kaepernick struggled to build on his past success, and I don't know that offensive coordinator Geep Chryst was ever really going to be the guy who would help get him straightened out. The team was not happy with the offensive development last year, and Chryst was the quarterbacks coach for that team. I'm not quite sure what they hoped to accomplish with that. I did not expect to see Blaine Gabbert getting significant starting reps, but suddenly he is the early favorite to start Week 1 of next season.

Given what we've seen the last few months, I don't know many people who are optimistic about the direction of the franchise.

What HAS to happen moving forward? Is there a 0% chance that Jim Tomsula is the San Francisco 49ers head coach in 2016? What else is of the utmost importance?

I would say there is a heavy chance he actually returns in 2016. If the Rams blow out the 49ers on Sunday, that could be enough to tip the scales, but I think the game is close enough that Jed York decides the team was competitive enough to give Tomsula a second chance in 2016. York is likely meeting with the media early next week to wrap up the season. The team lost a lot of talent this past offseason, so I would expect him to reference that, and wanting to give Tomsula a stable offseason to see how he can improve the team. A decision to fire Jim Tomsula would really just be admitting a bad decision a year ago, and I am skeptical York is prepared to admit that. Now, will Tomsula survive the 2016 season? I doubt it.

Who is Jed York? What is a Jed York? Why is a Jed York?

The 49ers are owned by his parents, Denise York and John York. Denise is the sister of former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo. It was a complicated situation with Eddie, involving a will and a bag of cash. DeBartolo got in trouble when then governor of Louisiana Edwin Edwards solicited a $400,000 bribe from DeBartolo to get a riverboat gambling license. Eddie rolled on Edwards and was suspended by the NFL. Later, he turned over ownership due in part to the death of their father, Edward DeBartolo, Sr. Denise got the 49ers, and Eddie got the real estate holdings that made the family so rich in the first place.

Denise's husband John was the face of the organization, but as things went south with Steve Mariucci, fans turned on him. Jed spent a year after college working as a financial analyst, before joining the 49ers organization in a variety of roles. He helped get Levi's Stadium built, and there is some thought that getting the stadium financed and built led to him thinking he could do anything. We'll never get the full details of all this, so we're left just wondering what the hell is going on.

You guys are on the hook for about $100m over the next five years with QB Colin Kaepernick. How does this play out?

It's actually very team friendly. None of his future salaries are fully guaranteed. His 2016 base salary is guaranteed for injury, but does not become fully guaranteed until April 1, 2016. If the 49ers trade or cut him before April 1, he would save $8.5 million against the salary cap. If they designate him a post-June 1 cut, they would save $13.4 million in cap space.

Simply put, he's not coming back under his current contract. The 49ers have the cap space to bring him back with a $15.89 million cap hit, but they seem set on moving on from Kap. They'll try and trade him, but that might require a restructuring of his deal. Kap might just force the team to cut him rather than renegotiate the deal. Either way, I don't see him on the 49ers in 2016.

So last year's 8-8 record certainly looks like the beginning of the downturn more than an aberration now. How do you guys turn it around? What gets you guys back into the NFC West mix against the Cardinals and Seahawks...




and maybe a fourth mystery team in 2016?

You mean...the LA Rams?!?!?! Had to get an LA dig in there somewhere. I don't see this team turning it around without a drastic change of the coaching staff. Anything short of that just seems like shuffling around deckchairs on the Titanic. I think Eric Mangini and the defensive coaching staff deserve credit for their work, but it's hard to get too excited about much of the offensive coaching staff. I suppose getting healthy, getting some impact players in the draft, and using their sizable chunk of cap space could help, but the coaching staff just strikes me as such a problem. Without a change there, I don't see a turnaround happening in 2016.

Thanks to Fooch for the time.