The San Francisco 49ers have signed wide receiver Brandon Lloyd to a one-year deal, but this will not help to improve a team that continually falls short of winning a Super Bowl.
There is no denying that coach Jim Harbaugh has led his team in the right direction since he has taken over. In the 2010 season, the 49ers only won 10 games and had not finished first in the NFC West since 2002. With the arrival of Harbaugh in 2011, San Francisco won 13 games in his very first year as head coach. In 2012, the 49ers faced the Baltimore Ravens for the Super Bowl but ultimately came up short in a 34-31 loss. Harbaugh once again had his team in the hunt in 2013, but the team lost in the conference championship to the current Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.
When former starting quarterback Alex Smith was sidelined with an injury in 2012, young signal caller Colin Kaepernick stepped in and wowed the NFL community. His limited turnovers and running ability helped to lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance, and by all accounts coach Harbaugh made the right decision to start Kaepernick over Smith.
What happened in 2013, however, was completely baffling. Instead of allowing Kaepernick to remain mobile and adjust the plays as needed, the 49ers tried to turn him into the game manager that Smith was. Kaepernick only had 109 more rushing yards in 2013 than he did in 2012, and the young quarterback struggled with fumbles and turnovers throughout the season. The playmaking ability that Kaepernick was known for was only seen in flashes with a much more conservative approach last season.
After ranking 30th in passing yards but third in rushing, San Francisco needs to realize its strengths. If Kaepernick is allowed to be mobile and Frank Gore can stay healthy, there is no reason that this offense can’t lead the organization to Super Bowl glory. Having options such as Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin are dream options for any quarterback. This is one of the most talented trios in all of football, so the problem is not a lack of options.
The rumors that the 49ers were even slightly interested in Golden Tate or DeSean Jackson means that the organization does not have its priorities in order. Adding Lloyd will not do anything to improve the offense. Pete Carroll won a Super Bowl because he let his players be themselves. San Francisco should take a few notes from its rivals and allow Kaepernick to use his natural talents.
I am not knocking the talent of Lloyd, but his addition is not the solution for a team that hasn’t been able to capitalize on opportunities. Once Harbaugh can allow Kaepernick to be himself, the 49ers will find themselves closer to a Super Bowl.