It always starts at the top, and the top members of the 49ers’ executive branch probably would like some peace and quiet right about now.
No more planes flying protest banners over Levi’s Stadium. No heckling from the stands.
No complaints about the team’s current 3-8 record — and — 4-12 mark in their last 16 games going back to last November.
Would everybody please leave the 49ers executives alone so they can calmly figure out how they’ll screw up next season, too?
CEO Jed York and team president Paraag Marathe don’t want a fan revolt — but they also don’t want another coaching search and they sure don’t want to start wondering if they need a new general manager.
Big moves and real activity can get complicated. Good candidates might turn you down. You actually might have to talk to outsiders -- oh no!
And you have to be ready to spend money.
I guarantee, the 49ers’ top executives don’t like even thinking about uncomfortable things like that.
(Obviously, John and Denise DeBartolo York — the true owners — should think about cleaning house. Including moving aside their son and hiring a real football executive to take over.
(But the Yorks don’t do things like that. Which is why they almost always lose.)
Now, of course, the Yorks might have to fire their hand-picked coach, Jim Tomsula, at the end of the season.
They don’t want to, but they might have little choice.
If the 49ers aren’t competitive down the stretch — if they can’t win a few more games, to get to at least a feisty 5-11 or maybe a palatable 6-10 — then even this cautious ownership family might have to contemplate major moves or risk a total meltdown of the Faithful.
The Yorks don’t have many worries, but a full-scale defaulting on the Levi’s Stadium personal-seat license payment plans ... would be a big one.
The Stadium Authority can sue individual defaulters, but if there are too many of them, the 49erswill look even sillier and angrier than normal ... and those PSL payments go directly into the stadium debt payment.
So they might have to sacrifice Tomsula if things don’t get better very soon.
How do the 49ers avoid that? By managing a few victories in the last five weeks of the season and telling the world that Tomsula has eliminated the problems and it’ll be all fixed for 2016.
Not many fans will buy all that, but probably enough of them to give the Yorks just enough breathing room, at least for one more year, if the Yorks can sell a storyline.
OK, they’ve already used Colin Kaepernick as a scapegoat for this season, but he’s out now.
The next possible fall guys would have to be Tomsula and offensive coordinator Geep Chryst.
But if the 49ers fire Tomsula, is general manager Trent Baalke really the right guy to attract and pick a new coach? He’s not.
That’s where it gets really tricky for the Yorks and Marathe, because they’re comfortable with Baalke. He fits this team’s dour, insular nature. They don’t want to try to find another GM.
The Yorks have a lot invested in Baalke and Tomsula — a lot of silly, messy, self-destructive stuff, but for the Yorks, that stuff is who they are.
It’s what defines them far more than any actual quest for a Super Bowl title. They just want to be left alone to count their Levi’s money.
So if Tomsula can carve out two more victories over the final five games, and avoid blowout losses, and if Blaine Gabbert continues to look solid along the way, 49ers management probably will be breathing a huge sigh of relief in early January.
They’re bad, but actually not terrible! Celebrations all around!
There would still have to be offseason changes, of course.
I would presume Chryst is on extremely shaky ground and that the Yorks and Baalke might instruct Tomsula to pick out a new offensive coordinator from the discard bin -- somebody like Cam Cameron, Pep Hamilton, Bill Lazor or a possible promotion of current tight ends coach Tony Sparano.
Then the 49ers could possibly use their first-round pick on a quarterback like Cal’s Jared Goff, and there’s your new face of the franchise.
Actually, it would be much more Baalke’s style if he passed on a QB with his first pick in favor of an offensive lineman or defensive back.
Then Baalke could draft a QB in the second or third round, install Gabbert as the incumbent into the start of the season, and get ready for a wonderfully woeful 2016!
Jed York famously said they don’t care about division titles or NFC titles, they only care about Super Bowl titles.
But I have a feeling he’d consider 6-10 this season — and keeping Tomsula and Baalke intact — the York version of a Super Bowl title.
If you just give the Yorks some time to plan it out, they almost never fail at failing.
Read Tim Kawakami’s Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami . Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408.920.5442. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/timkawakami