Wednesday was no doubt one of the most important days of the season for the 49ers. It was a day that Mike Singletary had to look his team in the eye and see if they still believed in him. And a day that Mike Johnson installed his first game plan since his 2003 season with the very franchise the team will face this weekend, the Falcons. The success or failure of the season is riding on the outcome of these two events.
Now that Raye is gone, 0-3 does not seem nearly as daunting a hole to crawl out of as it seemed immediately after the K.C. debacle. The Saints game provided a glimpse at how good the team can be when it has an aggressive offensive game plan. That game was a departure for Raye, but he knew we had to score a lot of points to have any chance against the Saints and his game plan reflected that concern. Too bad he didn’t approach each and every game that way, baffling even, but he didn’t and the league said Thank You, Mr. Raye. The team itself said *!$*!%#@*&*.
From the remarks filtering out from the locker room, it’s clear the team had thrown in the towel with Raye and his grinding, deadening philosophy. If he had remained OC much longer, the nation would have been treated to some stunning shots of Niner players flipping the bird skyward to the OC coach’s box after each and every three and out on game day. Fans would begin doing the Wave using their middle fingers.
Raye had no sense of urgency. In anything he said or did. That might be fine for an RB coach who is patiently tutoring players or a guy who is patiently tutoring an HC with little offensive knowledge, but not for an OC who must find a way to win games each and every week.
Johnson will be giving his first press conference today, and the media will no doubt be in full attendance to size up the new source of reportage fodder. Unless Johnson is somehow improbably related to Rex Ryan, I doubt anything he says will be much more than PR speak. I’m still going to watch it, WTF. Give him the old squint eye.
One thing is for sure. We will finally see what the 49er offense can accomplish with Moran Norris off the field and Frank Gore up the middle retired as the staple commodity of every first down on every drive. In place of Norris, we will be seeing three WRs regularly, instead of just in desperation time. Brian Westbrook will probably start making appearances on the field, also.
The Atlanta game Sunday has suddenly gone from cover your eyes and have alternate plans in place for when you turn off the game at half time, to geeze whiz I wonder what we’ll see. I know one thing for sure. A multi-million dollar, first round draft pick super star wide receiver WILL BE IN THE GAME PLAN. Michael Crabtree will not be routinely ignored for drive after drive, like he was a scrubeenie fourth stringer.
Before moving on to a new era of 49er football, this site deems it fitting to take one last glaring look at the Jimmy Raye offense, courtesy of NoFear’s excellent efforts.
NoFear’s Post Game Replay
We come out here in one of Jimmy Raye’s favorite formations. It’s the old Brown Right formation of Walsh’s WCO with a variation exchanging the positions of the HB/FB, Crabs and Morgan are split out wide. KC defends with their base head-up 3-4 alignment.