Thursday, September 17, 2015

Jim Tomsula: Pittsburgh-style Football?

San Francisco's new head coach, Jim Tomsula, is a Pittsburgh-area native who took over for Jim Harbaugh in the off-season. A typical Pittsburgh guy, the former defensive line coach is first and foremost defensively oriented: The Niners held the Vikings to just three points.

Tomsula's hiring and initial meetings with the media in San Francisco were widely panned. Many prognosticators forecast the 49ers would be among the NFL's worst teams this year.

After reading some of the articles about him, however, particularly this one and this one, Joey Porter's Pit Bulls came around to thinking the 49ers would be a lot better than people expect. After all, Tomsula is a Pittsburgh guy; he's a football guy.

Against the Vikings, the 49ers did something the Steelers did not: They played good, fundamentally sound football. Blocking and tackling. 

It would be nice if we could also see good, fundamentally sound football from the Steelers. What a concept.

Niners TE Vernon Davis Must be Looking Forward to This Game

Rob Gronkowski had open space in front of him for much of the game vs. the Steelers. 
Going into the season opener in New England, we knew the secondary was a hot mess. A week later, and it's still hard to fathom how bad the Steelers' secondary was against the Patriots. They lived down to expectations, and then some.

If there was one guy you'd think they would have had a game plan for, it was Rob Gronkowski. But no-o-o-o.  By some combination of incompetence, lack of talent, lack of planning and lack of brains, the Steelers let Gronkowski romp and roam through wide swaths of open space.

The San Francisco 49ers bring a pretty talented tight end of their own in Vernon Davis to Heinz Field on Sunday. In fact, Vernon Davis is a very talented tight end. The Niners also have two wideouts familiar to Steelers' fans, and familiar not in a good way: former Ravens Anquin Bolden and Torrey Smith.

San Francisco also demonstrated in their season opener that they can run the ball, with Carlos Hyde, who racked up 163 yards rushing against Minnesota.  And quarterback Colin Kaepernick, of course, brings a multi-dimensional game that includes running speed that the Steelers just haven't seen in another quarterback.