"The Only Yardstick for Success is Being a Champion" - Bill Walsh

Monday, November 16, 2009

49ers in Playoffs? Not with Alex Smith

"We'll see them again in the playoffs." -- Coach Mike Singletary after a gut-wrenching week 3 loss to the Vikings.

QB Rating this season....

Shaun Hill 79.6
Alex Smith 79.5 (including 3 TDs vs. Houston's Prevent Defense.)
Nate Davis ???

With all due respect to the 49ers, the team that I love, and to Mike Singletary, I must bow to the words of Jim Mora which are very relevant to the current playoff situation of the San Francisco 49ers.

Copyright @ 2009
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Singletary's Dilemma is Playoff Defense, Pop Warner Offense

I love Mike Singletary. I have been a fan of his since he destroyed opposing offenses when he roamed the field for the Monsters of the Midway. I was thrilled when he was named Head Coach of the San Franciso 49ers and admire his great motivational and leadership qualities. There is no chance the 49ers will ever have a poor defense with Mike at the helm. Offense, on the other hand, appears to be another story.

"I thought [QB] Alex [Smith] did a good job."

"I thought our offense did what they needed to do in order for us to win the game. Yes, we would have like to have gotten more points, and I think that will come."

"I thought we did a good job running the ball. We felt that we could be effective running the ball, and it showed later on. And, because I felt our defense would do a good job against their offense, it’s the reason that later on in the game we decided to run the ball more and not take a risk in throwing the ball and run some time off the clock and put the game away. And, that’s pretty much it.”

With all due respect, Mike, what the hell are you thinking? The offense did not do what they needed to do to win the game. They did everything they could to lose the game and it was only the heads up play of the defense combined with Jay Cutler's horrible performance that barely enabled the Niners to escape with a victory. The play calling makes the word vanilla look radical. It was pathetic, and I am disappointed to know that you think it was good.

Most 49er teams throughout history would have buried the Bears by three or four touchdowns, and Mike, I've seen every 49er team in history. Let's face it, Mike. Alex Smith lacks the natural instincts to be a consistent leader of a team. He doesn't even believe in himself, how do you expect the rest of the team to fall behind your rather transparent praise of him?

As to running the ball, you continued to run the ball because you don't trust Alex Smith and I don't blame you. Come on, Mike, for a man committed to honesty your words of praise about him ring hollow. I realize that you have few choices. Shaun Hill was only a shadow of the leader we came to love the past couple of seasons and Alex Smith will never be more than Alex Smith. A pass is only a risk when you have a mediocre QB throwing the ball.

Smith's passer rating is 79.5; Shaun Hill's passer rating was 79.6 at the time he lost his starting job.

When the light bulb goes off in your head and you finally admit to yourself that this is true, the 49ers will have hope for the future.


Mike now faces a true dilemma. He has #7 sitting on the bench. Nate Davis is a big kid who can run the spread effectively. He makes quicker decisions than Alex Smith, has a stronger and more accurate arm, is more mobile, and plays with poise and confidence, something Alex has not done in five years. His rocket arm is impressive and with receivers like Crabtree, Morgan, Hill and Jones, this talent is being wasted on the bench.

Naysayers and youthful Niner fans who know nothing about winning or consistency, see Alex Smith as a failed project and blame the team for throwing him in the mix too early. Maybe they are right. They post on various forums that Nate should sit not only this season but next, too. They are scared to death to ruin another QB prospect the way they feel that Smith was ruined. Frankly, Scarlet, I don't give a damn.

Dan Marino, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, and now Josh Freeman, have all benefited from playing in their rookie season. Nate Davis is a man, not a little kid who has to be protected like the current QB. Give him a chance.


Mike, if you stick with Alex and your Pop Warner level offense, the playoffs will be out of reach and you will lose the support of many 49er fans who see the potential greatness in Nate Davis, and blame you and Jimmy Raye for the most boring 49er offense in history -- and justifiably so. As it stands now, Mike, you will deserve all the criticism you receive.

Get Nate Davis in there running the spread with Crabtree, Hill, Morgan and Jones, put Bruce out to pasture, and you will create some excitement in San Francisco. Until you do that, your Pop Warner offense will continue to be:


and the fans continue to wait...

Copyright @ 2009
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Is Nate Davis the 49ers QB of the Future?

Nate Davis - #7

In August, I wrote an article entitled, "Nate Davis, The Next Great 49er Quarterback" which was met with the usual Mike Nolan philosophy from Niner fans: "You can't play a rookie. You'll hurt his development". Many complained, "See what happened to Alex Smith"?

Well, that was three months ago. Shaun Hill disappointed, and Alex Smith is doing what Alex does, making great plays and terrible plays. He is an always has been inconsistent for one reason which I have repeated over and over for years. He simply lacks the natural instincts for the position. It is this lack that makes him repeat his mistakes over and over. His slow delivery and late passes are not something he will just get over. Five years ago Jerry Rice said, "Alex Smith is not the answer." He was right. The future of the 49ers rests in the hands of young Nate Davis.

As for Nate Davis? He shows poise and confidence. Mike Singletary made one very telling observation -- that Nate was "too composed", "too calm". That quality is the hallmark of great quarterbacks.

I am now in my 64th season as a 49er fan, having seen every quarterback in Niner history from the great Frankie Albert up to the present trio, and consider myself to be a pretty good judge of quarterbacking talent. Nate Davis possesses the most talent and ability to be seen in a 49er quarterback since Steve Young. It makes no sense to hold him back. We discovered a gem, let's polish it and put it on display.

Here is every pass he threw in the preseason. You be the judge.

Copyright @ 2009
All Rights Reserved

Friday, November 6, 2009

49ers Forgotten Man Deserves Pro Bowl Recognition

Michael Robinson

In 2006, the San Francisco 49ers drafted a QB out of Penn State who head coach Joe Paterno called "the greatest athlete I have coached in 55 years at this university". He was a wide receiver who Paterno switched to QB his senior season because he had no other player on the roster who was capable. His performance was incredible. He was named Big 10 Offensive Player of the Year and led his team to an 11-1 record, the Big 10 Championship, and victory in the Orange Bowl. His name was Michael Robinson.

In his senior season at QB, he completed 162 out of 311 passes for 2,350 yards and 17 TDs. His passer rating was 127.2. He also ran 163 times for 806 yards and 11 Tds, for a 4.9 average per carry. He had, in his first two season in college, caught 43 passes for 585 yards and 3 TDs. He also was a standout on special teams.

With such a dynamic talent coming to a QB-starved team, you would think the 49ers would have jumped at the opportunity to see what Robinson could do in the NFL at QB. Unfortunately, the Niners were led by head coach, Mike Nolan. This stubborn little man refused to play Robinson on offense unless absolutely necessary, and put him on special teams, despite Michael's pleas to be given an opportunity to prove himself as a QB in the NFL.

In 2 1/2 years under Nolan, Robinson was not only not given an opportunity to play QB, but was turned into a RB, an unfamiliar position and averaged less than 2 carries per game. In his entire career with the 49ers he has thrown ONE PASS, averaged 2 carries per game, and has not taken a single snap from QB.

This season Jimmy Raye is installing the so-called Taser and used Spurlock in that role who was flat-out terrible. He now uses Frank Gore in an entirely forgetful and unimaginative "Taser". Mike Singletary said that Michael Robinson knew the taser best, but he has not been given a single opportunity to run it. What are the 49ers afraid of?

To understand the stupidity of the way he has been handled, let's examine what he has done in the roles they have assigned to him. He has been the leading tackler on special teams for a couple of seasons, and is far and away the best upback this team has seen in quite awhile. He is a punishing blocker, and his double block led to Alan Rossum's kickoff return for a TD vs. Arizona last season, and he also laid the block that sprung Delanie Walker for his kickoff TD return in a preseason game last year.

Now, after the Niners foolishly cut Alan Rossum, they put Delanie Walker as the kickoff returner and he immediately fumbled. Glen Coffee lost his starting job in college due to excessive fumbling so he wasn't the answer. They instead turned to Mr. Reliable, Michael Robinson, who is averaging over 23 yards per return. The only problem is that we no longer have Michael Robinson as the upback, with his devastating blocks that spring the return man. Instead, we have Glenn Coffee who couldn't block his grandmother if she was in a wheelchair. Against Indy, Coffee missed blocks which resulted in Robinson being tackled long before any defender should have made contact.


Michael has been nominated for the Pro Bowl and Niner fans can vote for him to make it on special teams. Beyond that, let's hope that Jimmy Raye realizes that he has an offensive weapon that is not being used. It's probably too late to give him his chance at QB as it has been four years since he played the position. Michael, however, should be used in the Taser along with Gore and given the opportunity to roll out and pass the ball. He should also be used as he was last season as the backup FB specializing in receiving out of the backfield.

The latter half of the 2008 season, Singletary utilized MRob as the backup fullback and he caught 17 passes for 201 yards, an 11.9 average which was good enough to be #3 among NFL RBs last season. He made a great leaping catch vs. the Redskins in the 4th quarter that preserved the drive and led to victory.

When Tom Rathman was playing we had a former QB who also wore #24. His name was Harry Sydney and many Niner fans remember Harry's clutch roll out option pass to Brent Jones which was instrumental in leading us to victory over the Redskins in a playoff game.

It's time for Raye and Singletary to open their eyes. They have a diamond in the rough that they need to polish and USE. He's a great athlete who succeeds at every assignment he is given.

Gary Mialocq
The SF 49er Observer

Copyright @ 2009
All Rights Reserved

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