Steve Mariucci knows a thing or two about coaching the 49ers. He led them to a 57-39 (.594) record over six years at the helm from 1997-2002.
Mariucci on NFL Total Access and had some interesting things to say about 49ers first-year head coach Jim Tomsula:
I like Jim Tomsula and obviously the Niner organization does too; they gave him that job, they entrusted him after being just the defensive line coach with the head coaching job. Players respond to him. They are a different team than when he took it over...
Jim has his work cut out for him. One of the things that he said when he addressed the team initially was that there are four phases of football: offense, defense, special teams and life. This guy preaches guys being good guys, good teammates, do the right thing on and off the field, and I think that’s where he’s starting. He’s trying to get a group of guys that buy in to everything that he’s preaching.
They’ve got their work cut out for them because the other teams in the division simply got better and the Niners didn’t.
I think the general consensus here in the Bay Area is that expectations are lower because of all the missing parts -- coaches and players. It’s going to be difficult for Jim Tomsula. They don’t want to hear that; the Niners are optimistic, very prideful. But let’s face it, they’re not the same team as they were; only seven starters from that Super Bowl team a couple years ago.
The 49ers are in the midst of their three-day mandatory minicamp -- their final phase of their offseason program. The real test starts on Sept. 14 when the 49ers open their first season under Tomsula at Levi's Stadium against the Minnesota Vikings.