Under Jim Tomsula, what will the 49ers' offensive identity be?
When the franchise's 19th head coach was introduced on Jan. 15, he answered that question.
"We stay within our structure, but you have to have that latitude to be able to adapt and adjust your schematics to fit the players," Tomsula answered. "So, I hope that answers your question.”
Trent Baalke then interjected.
“I think somewhere in there, he said we’re going to run the football," the 49ers' GM said.
“I’m a big fan of running and however that needs to get done," Tomsula added. "Really, we all talk about the vertical pass, but it is pretty when you see two guys get together and knock that guy off the ball and the D-lineman knock the guy back into the gap. That is pretty, too.”
Steve Young quarterbacked the 49ers to the franchise's fifth Super Bowl title in the 1994 season.
He played for San Francisco from 1987 to 1999 and bleeds Red and Gold.
On Wednesday, he weighed in on the current state of affairs in Santa Clara.
"This is a team that has potentially, one of the best young quarterbacks," Young told Tom Tolbert and CSNBayArea.com Senior Insider Ray Ratto on KNBR 680-AM. "And so, if we are gonna be a run-the-ball team, what does that say to his (Colin Kaepernick's) development? And what does that say that we've hired a defensive line coach to be our head coach, when he's talking about offensive football in an offensive town?
"It's interesting. When Jim (Harbaugh) came, we all, me too, were 'Oh my gosh, hooray! Somebody who can speak offense. Somebody who can coach quarterbacks.' And then went and did it. Now, interestingly enough, ran the ball a ton and played great defense. But the perception still was that we were being taught by an offensive-minded coach and led by an offensive-minded guy. In this town, that feels right."
Under Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman, the 49ers rushed for more than 2,000 yards each of the past four seasons. They ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing in 2012, third in 2013, and fourth this past season.
Kaepernick is currently training in Arizona at EXOS, working with Kurt Warner, as well as quarterback coaches Dennis Gile and Mike Giovando, on the mental and physical aspects of playing his position.
Geep Chryst, who was Kaepernick's position coach, is now the team's offensive coordinator.
“I’m very excited that he’s (Tomsula) going to be our head coach,” Kaepernick said in a statement. “I think he is a tremendous coach, as well as a great guy, and I know he’s going to help us win. He is always upbeat and fun to be around. I can’t wait to get a playbook in my hands.”
Young repeatedly said he's worried about the team's future, its perception around the NFL, and is unsure about the franchise's identity.
"If a defensive line coach is gonna be our head coach, who are we? Who are we as the 49ers? What are we gonna be?"
Only time will tell...