Coach on the Hot Seat

This week is shaping up to be the most important and challenging time of Mike Singletary’s tenure as the 49ers Head Coach. The difficult times that he would probably say “define you as a man.” The fan disappointment with the Jimmy Raye offense blew wide open Tuesday when Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports published an article revealing that Raye’s troubles getting play calls delivered on time, and accurately, have been going on the entire time he has been the Offensive Coordinator.

This article painted a picture of chaos in the offensive coaching ranks that is embarassing to the organization, as well as to Raye and Singletary. Which means it cannot be pleasing to Singletary’s boss, Jed York. The article also indicates that the players themselves are getting fed up with the situation. For those who have somehow not yet read this story, here is the link: –> YAHOO! ARTICLE <--

When a story like this breaks, you have to wonder where Cole got his information. The old Inquiring Minds Syndrome. It’s possible a player or two provided the inside pooparoni, but less likely than a couple of other possibilities. From descriptions of Raye’s behavior in the OC booth on high, the culprit might be one of the fellows up in that booth along with Raye. Paraag Marathe is in that booth, but so are some other guys whose identity is unknown to me. If it was Marathe, though, it would be difficult to imagine why he wouldn’t have simply relayed his impressions directly to York and have the matter handled quietly in house. I suppose one could get really conspiratorial and wonder if York has already grown weary of Singletary and leaked the article himself to lay the groundwork for giving Singletary the heave ho at season’s end without pissing off the fan base.

But my own best guess is the unnamed source of the article is one or more of the beat writers. These scribes are privy to a lot of inside knowledge and gossip that they cannot write about themselves without getting cold shouldered out of the very building they earn their money covering. One way to get a story out in the open where they can begin grilling Singletary about it is to leak the story they can’t write to a national source. Matt Barrows tweeted yesterday, in response to a questioner asking him if he believed the Yahoo! article was true, “Don’t question it one bit; issue must be rectified somehow.” This remark indicates Barrows knows first hand about the issue.

Now that the real “elephant in the room” has been exposed, you can bet Singletary will have to answer questions about it. Off the top, maybe someone like, oh say Tim Kawakami or Lowell Cohn, will ask politely: “Either you are a doofus for not knowing this problem existed or you are a doofus for not fixing it. Which doofus would you like to be?”

There’s no way to sugarcoat this situation. In fact, it is pretty mind boggling. The only silver lining in the mess is that maybe Raye’s offense might actually work a little better if the plays he calls are the ones that get called in the huddle and not some garbled modificated “who the eff knows what this play is but let’s get moving gents” plays. Maybe we would see a little rhythm to the offense, which has always seemed to be a missing commodity.

The tactical solution to the problem will go into effect in next Monday night’s Saints game. Raye will be moving down from the booth to the sidelines and relaying the plays to Smith directly, and not through a middleman. It’s possible Smith will also be equipped with a wrist band just like Brett Favre, which has the plays numbered and would allow Raye to just relay a simple number out to Smith instead of a multi-word phrase.

However, that the problem existed at all, and went unresolved so long, is very troubling. It strikes to the core of Singletary’s competence as the HC. It also undermines his support from the fans and from ownership, as well as possibly the players themselves. Monday, we said the honeymoon was over for Singletary. That looks a little optimistic right now. We might already be at the “can this marriage be saved” stage.

Gonna be a hot time in the old town in the days ahead.

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16 comments on “Coach on the Hot Seat
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The main solution is to take the play calling from Raye. This has to be done or Sing is done by season’s end.

    I don’t know what Mike Johnson has for play calling talent but it is time to see. Johnson should call the plays from the sideline and Raye should be upstairs giving advice, like the safety is doing this when we do that, or this is what kind of flow I would like on the next series of downs.

    Just get it done.

  2. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like I forgot to use the nabisco.

  3. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    It’s a dilemma for Singletary. He’s had no trouble moving out guys he didn’t draft or hire. But Raye was his hire, and his first and most important one. Tossing him aside now is admitting he made a mistake, and keeping him is endangering his career. Choices. Choices.

  4. bigtimNo Gravatar says:

    if Singletary wants to save face in this hire he needs to apply the decisiveness that won him the job in the first place.
    Rae needs shelving,or at least a reduced role, not doing it will eventually lead to his demise.
    the impression I have of old Iron Mike is he has a definite survivors mentality,him being unaware of the situation doesn’t seem very likely,more like he was unwilling to admit his O cord wasn’t getting it done,and not feeling that Johnson was up to the responsibility of being a full coordinator,if during practice there isn’t some improvement in the system as a whole my gut tells me there is going to be a change before the weekend, in some form or fashion.

  5. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs- I understand that and am not saying to fire Raye. I’m saying to have Johnson call the plays from the sideline, keep Raye upstairs and communicating with Johnson, giving advice. That system is not normal but it isn’t rare either.

  6. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Communication might be a problem but that is not the main problem. The main problem is Raye does not have a good flow to his play calling. If Raye calls the plays, whether from up top or on the sideline, we will never have a good offense. He is as good football coach, but not a good strategist.

  7. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I think your idea is interesting, Berg. But I have no idea what Johnson is capable of doing. Time for you to fire off an email to Sing and let him know your solution.

  8. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll be writing a letter tonight.

  9. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Great. Now that that’s settled, we can concentrate on confounding the world and whipping hell out of the Saints.

  10. robNo Gravatar says:

    omg ! i for one would much rather have another play-caller ansd johnson is pretty highly regarded! the biggest problem imo is that jed has to go to mom and convince her to spend some real bucks on a first rate OC for this team and coach sing !
    even george seifert who recently made everyone swoon by showing up at 49ers HQ after the big loss was better off when he had a first rate OC !
    the FUNNY thing is DEFENSIVE minded coaches seem to think alike !
    even tho he seemed to be happier when he had someone like trestman as an OC even seifert only could really win when he had a top OC !
    it wouldn’t be the first time in the NFL if the owner ( jed ) had to step in and insist sing fire raye and bring in a real OC !!!
    if johnson isn’t the answer we have to throw a boatload of money at someone like gruden , mooch or even dennis green to coax them into being our OC !
    the main problem imo is that at some point denise’s chosen lap dog has to at some point sign off on this move ! because i think dr deyorkian is still trying to pinch pennies whenever and wherever he can i’m not completely sure this is something that is possible , but gawd help us we need a BIG TIME OC and quick !

  11. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    rob- I called you and the number is not working. Do you have Jimmy Raye paying your bills?

  12. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    rob- If Sing does not get someone who can call plays he is doomed.

  13. robNo Gravatar says:

    C’MON BERGER ! i’m not stupid you know ! what kind of a dummy would do that ?
    no , i had jimmy raye tell mike johnson to pay my 29 dollar monthly phone bill ! he was supposed to relay the message to alex smith !
    why , didn’t he get the message ?

  14. robNo Gravatar says:

    in other news , for some reason my credit card just got charged for 2009 dollars for some hair growth tonic !

    wtf !

  15. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    That explains your avatar. You’re supposed to put it on your head, not bathe in it.

  16. robNo Gravatar says:

    meeeeuw !

2021 Schedules
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26: L Packers 30, 49ers 28
10/03: L Seahawks 28, 49ers 21
10/10: L Cardinals 17, 49ers 10
10/17 BYE
10/24: L Colts 30, 49ers 18
10/31: W 49ers 33, Bears 22
11/07: L Cardinals 31, 49ers 17
11/15: W 49ers 31, Rams 10L
11/21: W 49ers 30, Jaguars 10
11/28: W 49ers 34, Vikings 26
12/05: L Seahawks 30, 49ers 23 12/12 · 10:00 AMCIN
12/19 · 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 · 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 · 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 · 1:25 PM @ LAR

2021 Draft Class
1. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
2. OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
3. RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
3. CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan
5. OG/OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
5. CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
5. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
6. RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
2021 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-5
Grumpy: 13-4
NJ49er: 11-6
Skeebers: 14-3
Winder: 12-5
Rob: 17-0
Spitblood: 0-17