Here is a link to my Thursday column about the 49ers reportedly hiring Geep Chryst as offensive coordinator. The full text runs below:
Geep Chryst won the Battle of the Rejects. The Rejects are the 49ers.
Chryst, it is being reported, will become the 49ers offensive coordinator basically because no other sap wanted the job. Chryst is offensive coordinator by default, by lack of interest.
Let’s win one for the Geeper.
Former 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, no world beater himself, left for the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 13. That’s a long time ago. Since then, the 49ers have tried hard to get a replacement. They reportedly interviewed or showed interest in or begged enough candidates to fill Yankee Stadium, standing room only. All candidates apparently said “Are you kidding me?”
Let us recite the roll call of potential coordinators the 49ers reportedly could not entice to their team despite the new stadium and the good chow: Rob Chudzinski, whoever he is; Lane Kiffin, such as he is; Adam Gase, Kyle Shanahan and Bob Bicknell. Bob Bicknell? I may be missing a dozen more.
That’s a lot of rejections for the once-proud franchise, for the five-time Super Bowl winner franchise. And it makes you wonder why candidates said no to the Niners. Here are some theories.
Candidates no longer value or even respect the 49ers brand. It has descended to the joke level.
Candidates don’t respect Jed York.
Candidates don’t respect Trent Baalke.
Candidates die laughing at the thought of Jim Tomsula, who once was head coach of the Rhein Fire in Germany and was strictly a minor coach on Jim Harbaugh’s staff.
Candidates may not like being preempted in the hiring process. Coordinators expect input when it comes to naming their staff, don’t appreciate being presented with a staff, take it or leave it. The Niners, spitting in the face of league protocol, already hired several offensive assistants before sealing the deal with Chryst. These assistants would include Tony Sparano, tight ends; Chris Foerster, offensive line; and Steve Logan to coach quarterbacks.
Never heard of Logan? He coached with Tomsula in Germany. Call it the all-important Rhein Connection. Call it the beginning of the legendary Tomsula Coaching Tree.
And now in desperation — full-flown desperation — the Niners have descended to the Geep Chryst Level for their coordinator. How low can you go?
What do we know about Chryst?
The last time he coordinated anybody’s offense was 1999-2000 when he ran the offense for San Diego — the Chargers’ offense wasn’t so hot. If you do the math, he hasn’t been a coordinator in 15 years.
That’s a qualification?
He came to the 49ers in 2011 with Jim Harbaugh, came from Carolina where he coached tight ends. With the Niners he has been quarterbacks coach. He has been a man with limited duty and limited authority. His job was to coach up Colin Kaepernick. Chryst allowed Kaepernick to regress. Does anyone disagree? For this Chryst has ascended to a coordinator’s job once held by Mike Holmgren and Mike Shanahan.
To his credit — or discredit — Chryst also ran the red zone offense. In games. When things mattered. When things were on the line. You know how good the 49ers’ red zone offense was. The Red Zone was where the offense went to die. Where it almost always flopped. See the Super Bowl. See last season’s NFC Championship Game. See Geep call the wrong plays. See Geep become the Niners’ primary play caller.
Let’s understand where the Niners stand. They had a formidable head coach in Harbaugh and now they have Jim Tomsula — or is it Tom Jimsula? — a coach no one else wanted. They had a great, a very great defensive coordinator in Vic Fangio and now they have Eric Mangini, another guy no one else wanted. And now they have Chryst, a somebody-or-other who never made his mark on the league. Chryst may make 49ers fans long for the good old Greg Roman days.
Baalke will make a big deal of the Chryst hire. Baalke will stage a news conference for Chryst, the usual thing with cameras and reporters and bottled water on the dais. The news conference will take place in that big new fancy auditorium in the stadium.
Baalke will say he wanted Chryst all along. Baalke will say all the talk about him wanting other coordinators was untrue. Baalke will use his sincere voice. Baalke will expect us to believe what he says about Chryst.
Baalke will say Chryst is a man of impeccable character. Baalke will say character matters most to the 49ers. Baalke will say Geep is a teacher. A teacher more than anything. Baalke will say the 49ers need teachers. Not that Harbaugh wasn’t a teacher. Baalke will make the standard Harbaugh disclaimer. Baalke will come down hard on the word “teacher,” and a glow will form on Baalke’s cheeks as he contemplates Geep Chryst, the teacher.
The news conference will be baloney. It will be pure propaganda. If Baalke and Jed wanted Chryst all along, they would have hired him weeks ago. Chryst was sitting in his office making little dolls out of paper clips. Baalke and Jed hired Chryst because he was the last alternative, the only alternative.
Call the hiring of Geep Chryst 49ers’ Plan Z.
For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn firstname.lastname@example.org.