Let's face it: The final six games of the 49ers’ season are all about next season.
Some of the players and all of the coaches are performing for jobs in 2016.
When CEO Jed York met the media after the announcement of the “mutual parting” with coach Jim Harbaugh, he described what he envisioned from the 49ers’ next head coach.
“I want a teacher,” York said on Dec. 29.
“I think we have an idea of who fits that quality of a teacher, and somebody that can come in and build everything that we’re looking for.”
York, general manager Trent Baalke and president Paraag Marathe did not hire Jim Tomsula as a fall-back option. He was their guy all along. He was the man they wanted to replace Harbaugh all along.
So, clearly, the 49ers are not in a rush to move on from Tomsula and admit their mistake so quickly. That’s why these final six games are important. If the 49ers make improvements over these final weeks of the season and many of the young players show development – described as the results of good teaching -- Tomsula will be back in 2016.
This is unlike the situation the 49ers faced in 2010 with Mike Singletary. There was a superstar head coach the organization identified and wanted. And they had a good idea that Harbaugh would be available for them.
There is nobody like that out there right now. Sure, Stanford coach David Shaw would be an attractive hire for a lot of teams. But there has never been an indication that Shaw is eagerly waiting for his opportunity to coach in the NFL.
[RELATED: Tomsula not thinking about job security]
Here are a couple more questions on this topic that were posted on our Facebook page:
Even if Tomsula is back next year what quality OC or DC would come to 49ers next year knowing they could possibly be fired with Tomsula after one more down year? (Mike Spediacci)
And, of course, that would be a huge issue. Assistant coaches with options are not likely to sign up for a situation in which they know the head coach is on shaky ground.
Tomsula had a difficult time filling the job of offensive coordinator a year ago. The 49ers went hard after Adam Gase, the runner-up to Tomsula in the head-coaching race, but he passed on signing with the 49ers as offensive coordinator. He ended up back with former Denver coach John Fox in Chicago.
The 49ers also could not make a run at Rob Chudzinski because he re-upped with the Indianapolis Colts. He recently replaced Pep Hamilton as the Colts’ offensive coordinator.
If Tomsula comes back, there would almost certainly be tweaks made to the coaching staff. How the team performs in the final six weeks with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback will likely determine offensive coordinator Geep Chryst’s future.
Any chance Jim Tomsula takes a demotion? (David James)
Would he have any choice in the matter? Fired head coaches must take demotions or get out of the coaching business. But if you’re saying the 49ers should keep him in the organization as their defensive line coach, I don’t foresee any coach coming into the organization and keeping the former head coach on his staff.