That’ll Be All, Mr. Carr

Looks like Troy Smith will start Sunday’s game for the 49ers, not David Carr. Sounds good to me. We haven’t seen Smith play yet, but we saw Carr last week. More importantly, so did the Denver Broncos.

Smith may not be a better passer than Carr, which would mean he’s pretty crappy at the old heave-ho, but he supposedly has some juice in his feet that should serve him well when the O-line protection breaks down. Maybe he’ll surprise us. Maybe we’ll run a single wing. At least there will be something to be curious about at kick off time.

The Yorks stated yesterday that Mike Singletary would be the coach till the end of the season. Of course, they could change their minds next week, but maybe they learned a lesson from two years ago that the time to fire a coach is after the season, not during it. Especially when it probably doesn’t matter a whole bunch who coaches the team the rest of the way. When you ain’t going 10-6, and you ain’t going 9-7, anything else is just draft bait anyway.

It’s popular to say that Singletary inherited a good team from Mike Nolan and made it worse. Heck, I’ve probably even said it myself. Or at least thought it. But is that really the case?

Nolan’s team was less than average, at many critical positions. The secondary had two safeties who were junk. Both of them have been replaced by Singletary with very young players. To Singletary’s credit, IMO, he has always pushed young players onto the field, rather than keep less talented veterans in the lineup who didn’t make made fewer mistakes, but never made any plays, either.

The offensive line also is starting two rookies, plus a young guard in Chilo Rachal who rode the bench under Nolan. There is an entirely new WR group from Nolan’s team. The only area of the team that remains unchanged is the LB group, the three D-linemen, Nate Clements, and Frank Gore. Even the QB is different from Nolan’s last two years. There’s also a new offensive system in place, which is noteworthy only in that the system has lasted two years, if not the OC calling that system’s plays.

The expectations for this 49er team were sky high when the season began, but should they have been, given all these key new young players Singletary has inserted into the starting lineup? Nobody expected much from Nolan’s first two years of rebuilding the team, but Singletary did not have that luxury. For some reason, 49er fans went from hating Nolan to thinking he had developed a pretty good team that just needed a change in attitude, not talent.

What is more difficult, though? Rebuilding a useless bag of crap 2-14 team and in 3.5 years getting it to 7-9? Or rebuilding this less than average team from 7-9 and getting it over the hump to become an elite team? The league is full of coaches who can develop and maintain 7-9 teams. There are few coaches who consistently produce 10 win teams, and those coaches all seem to have a HOF type QB at their disposal. Do we? Ahem.

Yesteday’s Foto section was a telling reminder of why young teams play so erratically and unpredictably. One ordinary little play in the game, and two simultaneous busted rookie efforts, got our QB broken and gave the team little chance to do anything offensively in the second half of the game — the half of the game that this team and its QB normally perform at their best. It was probably the play that cost us the game. And a reminder of why this team is not going to be very good this year. And probably no better or even worse than last year’s team.

One thing everyone can agree on is that David Carr coming off the bench was about as inspiring as Trent Dilfer picking out the slivers, and it would have been a lot better having Shaun Hill trot out there last Sunday than either one of those two. It isn’t known for sure who made the decision to dump Hill and bring in Carr, but it was Scot McCloughan’s last deed as the 49ers GM, so one must assume it was his decision, not Singletary’s. Especially given Singletary’s open disdain for Carr’s summer performances, the signing of Troy Smith, and his elevation over Carr for this Sunday’s game.

In case it seems like I’m defending old Iron Mike here, that’s not the intent. He deserves all the scorn he’s getting. If he hadn’t shot off his mouth about the team making the playoffs and being so tough, there wouldn’t be so many angry fans. He pushed the expectations of the franchise sky high and now he’s paying the price of that foolishness. If he was smart, he would have said the team isn’t that good and there’s a lot of work to do. Fans might very well have agreed — however reluctantly. Now he’s stuck with a braggart’s pie in the face. And the only choice he has is to eat it.



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15 comments on “That’ll Be All, Mr. Carr
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Doesn’t it always seem to come down to the Nolan factor when we can’t win?

  2. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Here is a quote from Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com:

    “Frankly, we’re not sure that Joe Montana in his prime would give this Niners team a good opportunity to win games.”

    This is what I’ve been trying to say. Just my opinion, but this O-line is just too young to win this year.

  3. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Troy Smith is not a terrible QB. We might be pleasantly surprised. I think his major problem is being short. Short QBs have a hard time seeing over their blockers. The good news is they need to learn to get around that, which means moving in the pocket to find throwing lanes. With the quality of our line that might be the biggest asset a QB can have. This will be interesting.

  4. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Mike Johnson worked with T. Smith in Baltimore and helped get the Niners to sign him, so it looks like Johnson is the one pushing this choice.
     
    Here’s a report on Smith from Scouts Inc.:
     
    “The Scouts Inc. Insider report on Troy Smith calls him “an ideal backup … because of his leadership and playmaking abilities” while suggesting Smith hasn’t had much chance to prove himself in game situations. The report raises questions about Smith’s lack of height — he is 6 feet tall — while noting that he is most effective on roll-outs.”

  5. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Troy could have a little Doug Flutie success in relief, making things happen by moving around.

    Long term potential is highly limited though. We should not get too exuberant about short term victories, if any, here. There are reasons every team wants that 6-4 pocket passer.

    As for Sing, yes, the roster is somewhat better than he inherited. But it doesn’t make as much difference as people think. Until we get better on-field coaching, more consistent QB play, and yeah Berger, more consistent and experienced play on the O-line, any benefits will be strictly limited.

  6. bigtimNo Gravatar says:

    the last paragraph tells it all had Singletary not been such a blow hard and made promises his team couldn’t keep, which includes coaches and players,the fans wouldn’t be so ready to nail him to that cross he has around his neck.
    T. Smith will be a interesting situation he has some speed so if he can roll out away from trouble there is some play making potential there.
    this week is going by quickly and I have a World series game to attend its amazing how little I have even thought about the niners sadly but I will be watching of course, as I do every Sun hoping for a different conclusion but not seeing it week in and week out.

  7. robNo Gravatar says:

    umm
    does anybody remember who’s been calling for troy smith ?

    that’s right !
    me !

  8. robNo Gravatar says:

    speaking of the nolan factor from someone who’s been saying troy smith might be the best QB on the roster (since the start of the season !)
    every time i hear ronnie lott talk about this team he says there’s a glaring lack of leadership on this team !
    could it be that nolan was so concerned with filling his team with yes men and followers we have a real leadership void in the locker room ?!

  9. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    The pisser to the sack that led to Smith’s injury is the fact that Dixon is the guy blocking. Where is Westbrook? Certainly he’s got a handle on the blocking schemes atfer 2.5 fricking months. I’m all for geting the rookiess time, but not at the expense of using guys better suited for the task at hand. Mainly blocking. Westbrook may not be ask good as Gore at blocking, but he’s certainly much better than Dixon.

  10. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Michael Lewis signs on with the Rams to replace an IR guy. Great. He’ll be singing away for our upcoming game against them.

  11. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    My understanding was, Carr was McCloughan’s guy. Not Sing’s.

    Sing’s mistake was in not aggressively trying to find someone better after McCloughan left.

  12. robNo Gravatar says:

    right again grump

  13. robNo Gravatar says:

    nofear , i always thought the move of signing carr (and letting hill go ) was such a head-scratcher that it might have had something to do with scott m’s departure !
    my first thought was that scott didn’t want smith having to look over his shoulder at hill anymore ! singletary , doing the right thing ,and being the coach who won a lot of games with hill as the starter , might have objected !
    you also have to consider singletary as the possible driving force behind the move and scott objecting !

    of course , both of them might have been in complete agreement on it and i’m way out in left field in thinking it had anything at all to do with scott’s leaving !

    oh, and we know you’re not a crackpot …
    you just crack us up by being such a curmudgeon !

    CURMUDGEON; noun
    a contrary , cantankerous ,difficult person.

  14. robNo Gravatar says:

    I put in a call to NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger for a quick scouting report:

    “I think it’s the right move. The whole league has seen enough of Carr. There was really a bitter taste in the Ravens locker room when Smith left, because he was a well-liked guy. Kurt Warner was a shining example, but we really don’t know what any of these quarterbacks can do until they go out and play.

    “This is a perfect spot in San Francisco for Smith. The 49ers are 1-5, have nothing to lose and are a dark horse right now to reach .500 and maybe qualify for a playoff spot. They had a horrendous defeat in Carolina. At this point, why not give him a chance?

    “Smith brings a little bit of a swagger and a strong arm to the 49ers. He’s very mobile and I think he can make some plays. I’m not sure even he knows how well he can read defenses. Getting the timing down with the receivers will be a little bit of a struggle, but Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree will bend over backwards to try to make him successful.”

    There doesn’t seem to be much of a downside here for Singletary or the 49ers. Smith is known as a strong leader. They proved by the move they don’t have confidence in Carr as a long-term solution, so why not give Smith a shot and see if he can spark the offense?

  15. ROBNo Gravatar says:

    OH ! SO NEFEAR says he doesn’t know what i’m talking about !
    well
    i guess that makes two of us !

2021 Schedule
09/12 - 10:00 AM @ DET
09/19 · 10:00 AM @ PHI
09/26 · 5:20 PM v GB
10/03 · 1:05 PM v SEA
10/10 · 1:25 PM @ AZ
10/17 BYE
10/24 · 5:20 PM v IND
10/31 · 10:00 AM @ CHI
11/07 · 1:25 PM v AZ
11/15 · 5:15 PM v LAR
11/21 · 10:00 AM @ JAX
11/28 · 1:25 PM v MIN
12/05 · 5:20 PM @ SEA
12/12 · 10:00 AM @ CIN
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
 
2020 Prognostications (Mulligan Version)
WINNERS:
Bullit: 6-10
NJ49er: 6-10

LOSERS:
Skeebers: 7-9
Winder: 4-12

ABSTAINERS:
Grumpy: DNP
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