Chris Biderman (Scout)

Players backed Jim Tomsula hours before his firing Sunday after their OT win against the Rams

Jim Tomsula wanted to focus on his players after his overtime win against the Rams, and players had his back, before the team fired him hours later.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 49ers' 2015 season is over. Finally. As is Jim Tomsula's short tenure as head coach.

After Sunday's 19-16 overtime win over St. Louis, San Francisco's miserable season came to a close. Then the 49ers fired Tomsula, a couple of hours later. He was done after going 5-11 in his first full season.

After the game, Tomsula was peppered with questions about his future, and said he has not heard anything from ownership, yet, and that meetings will happen next week.

It's widely believed that Tomsula will be fired, but nothing has been made official.

"What I would like to say to everybody is, I’m not going to make this about Jim and Jim’s job status here today," Tomsula said. "I got a group of guys here, players that just won a football game. They’ve been through a very tough season. They’ve stuck together. They went and won a game in overtime. They fought like crazy. And today is about those players. My job status, anything going forward there, can be handled throughout the rest of the week."

The 49ers gutted an ugly win, where Blaine Gabbert threw for a career-best 354 yards, completing 28 of 44 with a touchdown and costly interception on a tipped screen pass in the first half. They blocked a potentially game-winning field goal in overtime, and then marched down the field and set up Phil Dawson's 23-yard field goal to seal the win.

More silver linings: the 49ers tied a season high with 8 third-down conversions. DuJuan Harris, who joined the team because two weeks ago of injuries at the position, had 153 total yards on 24 touches, and looks like a player the 49ers should keep heading into 2016.

The players who were around to speak all had Tomsula's back. Players cleared out of the locker room quickly, likely because they didn't want to be faced with questions about their head coach's future.

Additionally, there was no sign of CEO Jed York or general manager Trent Baalke in the locker room after the game.

It was San Francisco's first division win of the year. They finished the season with one road win and went 4-4 at home.

And just like Tomsula had done all season, he praised his players' development, despite it not showing up on game days.

"There is a core group of individuals that are, this game is really important to them. The 49ers organization is extremely important, and their fan base is extremely important to them," Tomsula said. "And the game of football is extremely important to them. They get along really well. They enjoy working together. And they’re going together. So that’s what, what you saw there, the fight and the way they work, that’s what we see Monday through Saturday, with that group of guys."

"The energy, the passion, and how much he cares for his players," fullback Bruce Miller said. "He wants every one of us to be as successful as possible. How could we not want that (from) our head football coach?"

Dawson added: "He’s been great to me. Obviously, being a little older, I have some different issues. And he was gracious enough to allow me to see my family here and there when the calendar worked. A lot of head coaches wouldn’t do that. I’ll always remember that. My wife and kids will always remember that. And he was also just a fun guy to play for. Every day, you’d come in here, it wasn’t a miserable environment. I’ve been in plenty of those. It was a good year."

NaVorro Bowman, who worked his way back from ACL and MCL tears suffered in the playoffs two season ago, was elected to the Pro Bowl this season, and finished the game with nine tackles, good for third most on the team.

"I've been with Jimmy my whole career," Bowman said, "and it's always been a good time with him. Today we won a game and let's give him some praise for that."

Despite the uncertainty, Bowman thinks the 49ers are in good hands going forward, whether or not Tomsula returns or if Baalke is the one orchestrating the next coaching search.

"I'm always comfortable with the direction. I trust the 49ers operation and I'm always going to give it 110 percent every time I step on the field," he said.

With the season complete, Tomsula was asked if he thinks the organization is in a better place now than it was when he first became head coach last winter.

"I think so, in my opinion. Yes," Tomsula said. "It’s the growth, the growth of the guys. Again, lessons learned. We always talk about the sword being sharp on both sides. You got to make sure that you know what you’re doing."

Now, Tomsula is gone. The search for a new head coach starts Monday, when CEO Jed York is scheduled to address the media for the first time all season.

null

Niners Digest Top Stories

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 49ers' 2015 season is over. Finally. As is Jim Tomsula's short tenure as head coach.

After Sunday's 19-16 overtime win over St. Louis, San Francisco's miserable season came to a close. Then the 49ers fired Tomsula, a couple of hours later. He was done after going 5-11 in his first full season.

After the game, Tomsula was peppered with questions about his future, and said he has not heard anything from ownership, yet, and that meetings will happen next week.

It's widely believed that Tomsula will be fired, but nothing has been made official.

\"What I would like to say to everybody is, I’m not going to make this about Jim and Jim’s job status here today,\" Tomsula said. \"I got a group of guys here, players that just won a football game. They’ve been through a very tough season. They’ve stuck together. They went and won a game in overtime. They fought like crazy. And today is about those players. My job status, anything going forward there, can be handled throughout the rest of the week.\"

The 49ers gutted an ugly win, where Blaine Gabbert threw for a career-best 354 yards, completing 28 of 44 with a touchdown and costly interception on a tipped screen pass in the first half. They blocked a potentially game-winning field goal in overtime, and then marched down the field and set up Phil Dawson's 23-yard field goal to seal the win.

More silver linings: the 49ers tied a season high with 8 third-down conversions. DuJuan Harris, who joined the team because two weeks ago of injuries at the position, had 153 total yards on 24 touches, and looks like a player the 49ers should keep heading into 2016.

The players who were around to speak all had Tomsula's back. Players cleared out of the locker room quickly, likely because they didn't want to be faced with questions about their head coach's future.

Additionally, there was no sign of CEO Jed York or general manager Trent Baalke in the locker room after the game.

It was San Francisco's first division win of the year. They finished the season with one road win and went 4-4 at home.

And just like Tomsula had done all season, he praised his players' development, despite it not showing up on game days.

\"There is a core group of individuals that are, this game is really important to them. The 49ers organization is extremely important, and their fan base is extremely important to them,\" Tomsula said. \"And the game of football is extremely important to them. They get along really well. They enjoy working together. And they’re going together. So that’s what, what you saw there, the fight and the way they work, that’s what we see Monday through Saturday, with that group of guys.\"

\"The energy, the passion, and how much he cares for his players,\" fullback Bruce Miller said. \"He wants every one of us to be as successful as possible. How could we not want that (from) our head football coach?\"

Dawson added: \"He’s been great to me. Obviously, being a little older, I have some different issues. And he was gracious enough to allow me to see my family here and there when the calendar worked. A lot of head coaches wouldn’t do that. I’ll always remember that. My wife and kids will always remember that. And he was also just a fun guy to play for. Every day, you’d come in here, it wasn’t a miserable environment. I’ve been in plenty of those. It was a good year.\"

NaVorro Bowman, who worked his way back from ACL and MCL tears suffered in the playoffs two season ago, was elected to the Pro Bowl this season, and finished the game with nine tackles, good for third most on the team.

\"I've been with Jimmy my whole career,\" Bowman said, \"and it's always been a good time with him. Today we won a game and let's give him some praise for that.\"

Despite the uncertainty, Bowman thinks the 49ers are in good hands going forward, whether or not Tomsula returns or if Baalke is the one orchestrating the next coaching search.

\"I'm always comfortable with the direction. I trust the 49ers operation and I'm always going to give it 110 percent every time I step on the field,\" he said.

With the season complete, Tomsula was asked if he thinks the organization is in a better place now than it was when he first became head coach last winter.

\"I think so, in my opinion. Yes,\" Tomsula said. \"It’s the growth, the growth of the guys. Again, lessons learned. We always talk about the sword being sharp on both sides. You got to make sure that you know what you’re doing.\"

Now, Tomsula is gone. The search for a new head coach starts Monday, when CEO Jed York is scheduled to address the media for the first time all season.

Follow @ChrisBiderman

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