Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers: Tale of the tape

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The coaches

Here, we have two men in the early days as a head coach. Jim Tomsula took his full-time role as a head coach in the NFL this year, replacing Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco. He was the interim coach briefly in 2010 before Harbaugh took over in 2011.

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Tomsula has been on a long journey to this job ever since becoming a coach in 1989. He started out as a strength and conditioning coach for Catawba. In 1998, he became the defensive line coach for the England Monarchs and remained in Europe until 2007, taking roles with the Scottish Claymores, Berlin Thunder and Rhein Fire.

The latter was his first as a head coach, but he was only their a year before landing his first job in the NFL. In 2007, the 49ers called and named Tomsula the defensive line coach. Here, he was able to learn his craft and patiently await his opportunity to become a head coach. This year, he got his shot.

Tomsula has been on a remarkable journey, although he couldn’t have asked for a worse offseason which involved numerous Pro Bowl talent leaving, either through early retirement or free agency. What’s left is a squad in tatters, a shell of its dominant 2012-self which resulted in a Super Bowl berth.

Tomsula has the job of rebuilding a proud franchise. But doing it the hard way isn’t unfamiliar territory for him; he’s been doing it his whole career.

Next: The quarterbacks