This has been an offseason to forget for the San Francisco 49ers. A new head coach and significant roster upheaval including four retirements have created major obstacles for a team that was just plays away from winning Super Bowl XLVII.
Now, a new danger lurks for the 49ers…cell phones.
In order to meet with changing times and attention spans, new head coach Jim Tomsula and the 49ers are building break times into their meeting schedule. Thus, the breaks give players the opportunity to check their cell phones.
According to the Wall Street Journal, there is a growing concern in San Francisco that the attention span of millennials collectively is far from impressive. Players want to check their phones during meetings and in turn, are not paying attention to the information.
Facing this new reality, the 49ers turned the typical meeting, which on some teams can go for as long as two hours, into 30-minute blocks, each followed by 10-minute breaks that allow players to do what young people do. That is, as Tomsula puts it, to “go grab your phone, do your multitasking and get your fix” before returning the meeting.
This is an interesting tactic that actually makes sense. Sit with someone under the age of 25 for over an hour and see if they can stay off of their cell phone. If that person can make it 30 minutes without squirming, it’s a major accomplishment.
As the 49ers continue to lose the veteran core that helped them reach three straight NFC title games, dealing with younger players is an important issue. Successful information retention during OTAs and training camp will be essential for them moving forward.
San Francisco’s new wave thinking may be the most important development of the 49ers’ offseason.
However, I don’t think I could ever see the late Bill Walsh cow-towing to players.
Categories: San Francisco 49ers