Posted by Will Brinson
The San Francisco 49ers had grand plans for this offseason. Oh, they were grand indeed -- like something out of Steely Dan's "Reeling in the Years," we were all informed that the genius would return.
Then a weekend out at college happened, and now it looks like the Niners might end up with a combo of Trent Baalke and Josh McDaniels.
No, seriously -- Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News reports that McDaniels could be the backup plan when if Miami swoops in and steals Jim Harbaugh, which appears more and more likely because of Stephen Ross' willingness to sling sufficient cheddar to get the Stanford coach to Florida.
McDaniels isn't a bad coach, despite his record, and there's actually a decent chance he could succeed if he had the proper structure around him and a good defensive coordinator. (In fact, if anyone could get a lot out of guys like Alex Smith and Josh Morgan and really turn Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis into stars, it's McDaniels and his offense.)
So the whole "look what they ended up with" thing isn't about dogging his offensive acumen -- it's about the Niners and their inability to maintain a consistent focus on their direction moving forward.
Things may pan out differently in terms of who they hire, but it's pretty clear that right now all the chatter about "doing things the right way" was more of a façade than anything else.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.