Rayes of Hope

Jimmy Raye was Mike Singletary’s first, and most controversial, hire. Not only was Raye himself seen as a dubious choice for Offensive Coordinator, but the process of selecting him took nearly a month and, to some fans, reflected poorly on Singletary as the new Head Coach.

Long time blogomatics Berger and Unca_Chuck, no doubt representative of a sizable throng of less vocal blog afficionados, insist that the offense is the key to the coming season and that Raye is haunched atop the hottest seat in the locker room regarding the offense’s ability to improve on last season’s ragged and disappointing production. Okay, the offense was also quite boring. One blogger insists that Singletary be sharing the seat with Raye, but this presents an unpleasant and X-rated image for the imaginations of our pure and noble readers, so we will discard this notion for the nonce.

On the surface, last season’s offense was a head scratcher. Though cementing in the minds of fans the image of repeatedly pounding the ball into the line for no gain, the team statistically was a pass wacky affair, throwing over 60% of the time. Some say this is because the 49ers were constantly behind in games and had to throw to catch up. However, the team fell noticeably behind in only four games all season. Two came with Shaun Hill at QB (Atlanta & Houston) and two with Alex Smith under center (Green Bay & Philadelphia).

The disparity might arise more from the amount of plays the team managed to run while pursuing their early game running strategy (lots of 3 and outs = not many plays and lots of time off the clock) versus the amount of plays that were run in the second half, especially the fourth quarter, when the team went to the air more frequently (less time off the clock and more first downs = more plays). Even if this suggestion is exposed by astute readers as a complete pile of happy horseshit, the fact still remains that the offense was not particularly effective or smooth either running or passing.

It appears the mind set of Singletary and Raye was to focus obsessively on not producing turnovers — the horrific bane of the previous year’s Mike Martz offense, and rely on the defense to not only keep games close, but to create turnovers and give the team short field position. This plan, though ugly, was fairly successful, producing a turnover advantage for the team, instead of the whopping turnover disadvantage of the previous year. It also won the first Rams game and the Bears game. But this plan was torpedoed somewhat by the unexpected dysfunction of the punt return game, which created turnovers and bad field position and cost the team at least one game, perhaps two.

In that light, perhaps the offensive game plan last year achieved precisely what it was intended to achieve — victories. Without the punt return snafus, the 49ers would have had a winning season. Is that not ultimately the goal? There were no style points handed out, for sure. But ugly wins count more than magnificent losses.

At any rate, I wouldn’t expect that same close to the vest strategy to be trotted out again this year. Why would it? Michael Crabtree is available and ready this year from day one of TC. Smith has full command of the offensive play book. Josh Morgan is a year more developed. Vernon Davis and Smith have an established chemistry. Ted Ginn, Jason Hill, and/or Kyle Williams give us exciting slot WR options, plus explosive kick/punt return ability. The O-line is beefed up. In short, this is a far different offense than last year’s Shaun Hill, a fading Isaac Bruce, a second year Josh Morgan, and nothing much else so let’s give it to Frank Gore offense. This offense can be dynamic. It can overcome whatever few turnovers come with taking more risks and it can produce a few lop-sided laughers — something rarely seen in Ninerland for many years.

So cheer up, guys (especially you, Unca_Chuck). It won’t be Raye’s play calling that will be the issue this year. It will be the players executing the plays — as it should be. And Smith will have full responsibility to audible out of bad play calls, so that’s on him to do so.

Raye is never going to be a razzle-dazzle OC, any more than Singletary will be a razzle-dazzle HC. They both believe in basic, hard-nosed football. They believe success ultimately comes from being the toughest team, not the cutest. Since that philosophy is not exactly popular with a Fantasy Football mentality fandom which adores 300+ yard passing games, the only way it will be accepted is for it to produce victories. Lots of them. All the way to the pot of gold at the end of the season.

Until then, it will no doubt be boosville for each and every three and out, whether the 49ers win the game or not.

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11 comments on “Rayes of Hope
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Just say no to SCO!

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Are you worn out from dancing with NoFear yesterday? No fight left? Tomato arsenal empty?

  3. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I thought I gave a good answer for his question. What did you think? I even offered to clarify if I wasn’t clear.
    The whole time I was engaging I was wondering if he really didn’t get it or if he was just trying to save face. In the end, I got tired, lost interest and just went to bed.
    I’m not sure if talking to him is beneficial anymore. It is becoming more like talking to zero. I think his agenda is more to discredit the people that disagree with him. I used to enjoy debating him because it would reap some knowledge. I’m not feeling that anymore.
    Maybe the biggest problem is he doesn’t care for my humor? I don’t know and don’t care. But let’s give him credit for the nabisco break on this site!
    For now I still like the guy, he’s not the first person I’ve rubbed the wrong way. When I get punched I counter punch and some can’t take that very well. He does throw a lot of jabs.
    Some of the jabs you and I have thrown back at each other would not have gone over well with my veteran buddy. You and I just laugh them off, or say something self deprecating if it fits.
    Anyway, I was watchig the Giants game so I had some time to waste. The Gate is a wonderful place to waste time. I hope you were entertained!

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    For right now I need to get to work soon but I want to get a work out in first. Problem is Tommy Lasorda is knocking at the back door. I need to get him dropped off at the lake. My work out includes a half mile steep hill and a 90 yard sprint up a hill when done. It would not be good to have to stop and pop so far from a bathroom. It is time to shit or get off the pot, literally. Maybe I should just do the hike now and just take some non skid with me?
    At least waiting on Lasorda is allowing some time to write here!

  5. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I do find the Gate a lot more entertaining now that it has the Ignore button. In fact, instead of rolling my eyes at every V or Zero post, I now get a laugh as they pop onto the screen squished flat. I’m about ready to flatten Bullit, too, because all he does is argue with V and quote the garbage that I squished in the first place.
    Looks like Barber is back on the scene today. Good. Maybe we can get some input from the posters on that blog now.

  6. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Matt Barrows is back as well. He was complaining about being stuck at the Minneapolis airport. Asked for some Larry Craig bathroom jokes to help pass the time. Naturally, I obliged.
    Larry was arrested for giving and receiving blow jobs in the men’s room, and I’m thinking, how’d that happen? Hell, I’m lucky if I can get a hand dryer to blow.

  7. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Larry Craig should have kept his concentration on Tommy Lasorda!

  8. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like T.O. talked himself off the Rams team before he even signed up with them. The guy is getting the rejection act down cold.

  9. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, now it looks like he might end up a Bengal. T.O. and Ocho Cinco as your starting wide outs. Good luck with that.

  10. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, the Lambs were a BAD fit for TO. He’s not the guy to nurture a young QB. he’s the anti-Christ in that regard.

    Yeah, the NoFear deal is much ado about nothing. When you catch hinm on something, he changes the parameters and then says no one gets it.

    Yer right. It gets to the point that he isn’t posting abiout the team, but he’s posting about the opinions people have of the team. Its why I’ve been calling him out to predict how they do. SOMETHING that has to do with what he thinks of the team.

    I mean, besides the fact that Nolan shouldn’t have been fired.

  11. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Regardless of these guys all playing with Jimmy Hat a full preseason and everyone happy and comfortable, blah blah blah Jimmy Hat still has to conceive a game plan that isn’t schitzophrenic. Jax and Tenn, the Niners threw 41 and 45 times respctively. The Chicago game? 18 times.

    Yeah, you shceme for opponents. But there were very few games where they didn’t have complete lapses where they went 3 and out 4 times in a row.

    Its this kind of offensive coninuity that I’m concerned about. Shit, the fact that Smith had 18-12 and 2600 yards is more a testament to his ability rather than Raye’s play calling.

    In the end it all may work out. And yes, I really hope it does.

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