Under the Bus, By Seymour Butts

Following the lead of former HC and mentor Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary pretty much tossed Alex Smith under the bus this past week. Both times Smith has gotten these tread marks, it was after incurring a shoulder separation. And both times, Smith’s personna was more the reason given for the heaveorino than his QB skills. Nolan panned his guts and Singletary panned his leadership.

And both times, the coach was presiding over a failing empire of his own making. Neither Singletary nor Nolan had a viable backup QB. Nolan refused to recognize this problem, but Singletary took one peep at it and immediately went to Plan C. Nolan did not go to Plan C until Plan B eventually also got injured and was forced out of action. Singletary also replaced his OC, whereas Nolan merely diluted his OC’s power.

Each coach, however, refused to blame himself. In Nolan’s defense, the initial blame goes to that scoundrel, Norv Turner, but in Singletary’s case, the blame is almost entirely his own. Nolan did not meddle in the offense nor impose any particular style. Singletary has practically made his offensive philosphy a Brand Name. I’m surprised he hasn’t patented the phrase: “Physical With an F.” Perhaps because someone else would patent the phrase “Phailure With a P.”

Singletary’s useless backup, David Carr, has turned out to be an odd duck. He apparently has no supporters among the coaches or his teammates. This week, he Tweeted some biblical verses about people who are persecuted and eventually prevail. Of course, a cynic might point out to Mr. Carr that it’s not persecution — it’s a failure to perform. Probably even a non-cynic could point this out to him, actually. Maybe his Mom should tell him. Maybe she already has. That would explain it.

Nolan’s useless backup, Trent Dilfer, was a lot like Singletary in a way. A whole lot of rah-rah and not much meat. He and another 49er backup, one who really was a viable backup, Steve Young, are now expert commentators — expert at saying one thing one year and another the next. Somewhat like politicians. Or blog hosts. Dilfer probably needs the money, but Young just can’t get off the stage. One might get the sense Young feels like he’ll at least have a longer NFL life than Joe Montana, if not a more revered one.

Meanwhile, standing at the back of the locker room along with Carr (and asking for some of those bible verses) is good old hard working methodical Mr. Smith, no doubt ruefully scratching his stubble. Has there ever been a more curious career than his? Will it get even more curious? Or has his six year membership with the team finally fizzed out? There aren’t a whole lot fans left in the Bay Area who have any empathy, sympathy, or anything elseathy left for this guy.

The emergence of Troy Smith has also put a hole in the Nate Davis boat. Sporting virtually the same tools as Nate, Troy managed to get on the field and perform without any training camp, previous reps, or mastery of the play book. In doing so, he managed to derail the careers of three QBs. Not a bad feat.

For now, anyway. Troy could come out and throw four picks against the Rams and get the team beaten at home, putting the last nail in the 2010 coffin of state. Then what does Singletary do? He’s now publicly crapped on the three other QBs, so he’s probably got no choice but to stubbornly finish out the season with Troy at the helm, even if he stinks it up.

Singletary is all in now, betting on filling an inside straight. It can happen. But the odds ain’t too good.

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7 comments on “Under the Bus, By Seymour Butts
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    What Troy Smith can do is extend plays by running around. With our offensive line that is an important asset. I’m not sure how many Hail Marys will be successful each week, but that play sure works for Joe Flacco most weeks.

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    We should have Jerry Sullivan knock off the route running clinics and start teaching the WRs how to draw PI flags.

  3. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Singletary said he doesn’t think the QB is the most important player on the team. Until he understands how important the position is does it even matter who it is?

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Personally, I believe the most important position is defensive line. But that requires 4 players to fill. In a 3-4, 3 DL and an Elephant.
    The QB position is different. It requires one player. I believe the QB is the most important player on the team and actually more valuable than the a D-lineman since it can be filled by one player instead of four.
    Basically, I am saying the most important position and the most important player are two differnt subjects. When you look at this, the QBs job is to run the offense, the D-line is the first stage for stopping the offense.
    I don’t see how a coach who doesn’t understand that he should strive to make the QB the focal point of an offense can succeed in the long run. Yes, a good RB can be important but good QBs create more big plays and better cosistency. The biggest problem on our team is us trying to make Moran Norris the focus. The next biggest problem is our O-line. The line will get better with age and experience, the philosophy won’t. Having said that, I am seeing signs that Norris is being used less each week, but the QB is still not central to our game plan.
    Understand this, no player is more important than the QB. If you are a good QB, apply elsewhere where they will appreciate your talent and design the offense around it. That will be your best chance to be in the play-offs each year.

  5. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, Skeebs, there’s very little empathy for Alex. Some deservedly, mostly undeserved though.

    I still think, given a system like Indy’s or NE’s, he could play well enough to be a good enough QB. Super Bowl? Probably not, but he could at least get teams into the playoffs consistently. For all the talk about OC’s in his career, NONE have used his strengths. Martz was 5-7 step drops, read your progressions while avoiding the hits from your pourous O line. Turner was the digital downfield offense that used a QB behind center most of the time.

    Hostler? Raye? Dumb and Dumber. Neither could game-plan to save their lives. Johnson? Well, the jury’s still out, but it seems like Johnson is using a lot more 3-4 WR sets.

    They still fall back to runs up the middle too much when they have ANY kind of lead. So, anything here will likely be the same result. No matter which Smith is back there. Beating Denver was a win, but the underlying problems were obviously apparent (the called-back flea-flicker, the 3 and out when Denver scored late, the prevent defense) . . .

    In the end, it would be better for Alex to get out of town. He isn’t the greatest QB out there, but he’s certainlt better than the perception that pervades Ninerland.

  6. bigtimNo Gravatar says:

    an observation and a real feeling about the team and its coach Mike Sing has proved he is no better than his protegee Nolan his handling of smith weather real or imagined “lack of leadership” boarders on cowardice.
    a real leader shoulders the blame for the team and moves ahead as best as they can Singletary has proven to have nothing in the leadership dept other than a huge blow hard on, the speeches are worthless when you reverse course and bag on a guy when he was pounded into the turf by a non block free run at the QB, against a team that shouldn’t have dirtied your QB’s uniform in a loosing effort.
    the real joke is sing, he needs to hit the road and a legit coach needs to come here and actually coach and really get it done, the decade of crappy staffs needs to end if Jed doesn’t see it than he needs to go as well.
    thank god for the Giants they have saved my sanity in sports, attending 3 of the last 5 regular season games and 3 playoff games was a life saver, I am mentally energized.
    so the campaign begins to get rid of Singletary, I personally have had it with this ego maniac blow hard he has got to go

  7. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Tim- Agreed.

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