The dust has settled from Super Bowl XLVII and for the San Francisco 49ers, the “what if” game has begun.
The most painful part of that particular game for the Scarlet and Gold is “what if we hadn’t spotted the Baltimore Ravens a 28 to 6 lead before the Superdome blackout that changed the momentum?”
Coupled with that pain is the understanding that the 49ers secondary was torched for big play after big play in the 2012 playoffs.
Against the Atlanta Falcons, the team was able to overcome spotting the Dirty Birds 17 unanswered points. But when it came to doing the same with Edgar Allen Poe’s favorite team, the magic couldn’t be repeated.
In the 70 hours since the final gun, the talk around the Bay has begun to center on a trade for New York Jets‘ Darelle Revis for now-backup QB Alex Smith. While that steak has sizzle, it may be the wrong answer for the right question.
The idea of Revis Island coming to the San Francisco Bay is admittedly tempting. And given the obvious fact that the 49ers intend to live and die with Colin Kaepernick means that Smith’s days as a 49er are certainly numbered. But, given that Revis is coming off the first major injury of his career and will certainly demand a contract at least in the neighborhood of the Philadelphia Eagles‘ Nnamdi Asomugha, the knee-jerk impulse to bring him in has to be given full thought.
When healthy Revis is huge. But the 49ers secondary problems are larger than the ones that CB Chris Culliver had in the Super Bowl. Carlos Rogers is paid like an elite corner, but probably isn’t in that category any longer. Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldsen are big time hitters, but will never been mistaken for Paul Krause or Ronnie Lott when it comes to coverage.
Revis might help, but it was a system-wide problem with the 49ers secondary that lead to the big hole in both the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl.
One thing is true: Smith is going somewhere. And while Revis is temping as a quick fix, it will take more than one island to keep this 49er secondary from sinking the ship.