Commentary: Imprudent York presides over new culture of Harbaugh-less 49ers
Thank you, Jed York, for reminding us about everything at stake in this upcoming 49ers season and everything that was foul about the previous one.
Of course, Jim Tomsula might not thank his boss for ramping up the pressure days before the first training camp practice and many weeks before the first game of 2015.
But oh well, Jimmy T, welcome to life in the 49ers cauldron, where nothing is ever Jed's fault and when he talks he only makes things worse.
OK, this latest instance probably wasn't intentional; I presume the 49ers CEO's recent ridiculous comments to MMQB.com comparing Tomsula's hiring to the Warriors' hiring of Steve Kerr were meant merely to compliment York's hand-picked coach.
We can guess that York just thought that was the proper way to frame the 2015 season and to brush away the Jim Harbaugh era.
The York view: Kerr controversially replaced Mark Jackson and immediately won a championship, so Tomsula controversially replacing Harbaugh is basically the same thing!
Actually, York's comparison breaks down in so many real ways that it only highlights how far out of touch 49ers management has become.
Here's what York said in the otherwise very smart Tomsula profile:
"Culture is huge," York told MMQB's Emily Kaplan. "That's the difference between a championship-caliber team and a championship team.
"You look at the Golden State Warriors. They were the dumbest team in the NBA for letting Mark Jackson go, who won the most games in the franchise's history. How could you be so dumb?
"They bring in Steve Kerr, who has been around the game for a long period of time but has never coached before. Kerr changes the culture, comes in with a different perspective, and look what happens."
You don't have to parse York's comments too much to figure out that ...
1. He's implying that the team was good enough to win a championship under Harbaugh but that the "culture" under Harbaugh kept the 49ers from getting over the last hurdle.
The 49ers were bad, then they hired Harbaugh and he took the 49ers to three consecutive NFC championship games; but it's still Harbaugh's fault, according to York.
Yeah, York surely would know this because the other coaches hired under his watch have been: Mike Nolan (as Jed was just coming into power), Mike Singletary and now Tomsula.
If anything tells you that an owner knows how to pick a champion leader, it's putting the franchise in the hands of Nolan and Singletary.
2. York is ignoring some history. Kerr won five championships as a player under legends Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich, was a general manager and a longtime announcer, and was one of the hottest names on the coaching market when the Warriors hired him.
Tomsula has none of that background and was not one of the hottest names on the coaching market last winter.
Actually, if you're going to compare the Kerr hiring to anything in 49ers history, you'd compare it to the hiring of Harbaugh -- with multiple other teams in play -- in January 2011.
But York and general manager Trent Baalke would prefer not to do that.
3. Kerr inherited a Warriors team that had just been eliminated in the playoffs and had a young core -- Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson -- and Kerr added to that by putting together one of the best coaching staffs in the NBA.
Tomsula is taking over an 8-8 team that since then has lost Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, Chris Borland, Frank Gore, Anthony Davis and several great assistant coaches.
Also, there is no reasonable person who would currently call Tomsula's current staff one of the best in the NFL.
4. By drawing a parallel to the Warriors' firing of Mark Jackson, York finally is tacitly conceding that yes, he and Baalke actually fired Harbaugh.
Who was the first principal to say that Harbaugh was essentially fired? That would've been Harbaugh, to me, in mid-February, after York insisted for months that the separation was "mutual."
If the CEO will mislead everyone on something as simple as this, when can you ever trust him?
5. The worst part: York isn't so much praising Tomsula, really. York is congratulating himself for his own daring and genius.
If Tomsula turns out to be a great coach, it will happen on the field, and York and Baalke will get full credit.
But York couldn't wait for the games; he had to reach for the splashiest example out there, and now anything short of an epic 49ers season will seem like a failure -- according to the owner's own words.
Obviously, Tomsula doesn't need that kind of pressure, the players don't need it, and the fans don't need it.
Jed York, though, decided it was the way to go, and if you don't like it, what are you going to do about it? Go get a job in Michigan?