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

Monday, November 22, 2010

Singletary Shackles Smith -- Can't Remember Punting


Last week when Troy Smith put on a record-breaking performance by a 49er QB vs. the Rams, there was hope and joy in Niner land. Finally, the 49ers opened up the offense and demonstrated the kind of attack they are capable of launching on any given Sunday.

However, the look on Mike Singletary's face when the gun sounded ending the game foretold the future. Curiously, he raised an eyebrow and shrugged as he left the field. After the game, when any other NFL coach would have been praising his young QB for an outstanding effort, Sing was complaining that he needed to reign in Troy's bad habits. Amazing.

This was the same guy who had praised Alex Smith for "outstanding performances" in a season when Alex had none. Now, Singletary was going to make it his mission to curtail the initiative and aggressiveness of Troy Smith, traits that are essential to becoming a top QB in this league.

From the first call of the day, what else but a Gore run up the middle, any fan could see that Singletary was in control. He had his offensive coordinator, Mike Johnson, on the field and not in the pressbox, a strong clue that he wanted him nearby and under his control. Mike didn't like it when Johnson said earlier in the week that he wanted to encourage Smith's daring, not curtail it.

What followed was one of the most embarrassing offensive performances in 49er history and I should know since I've been following and rooting for this team since Frankie Albert opened their history in 1946. In a game where they were facing a team with no pass rush and where they had an opportunity to really open up the offense, Mike would have none of it. No downfield patterns, misdirection plays, or anything that could be considered creative. No, this was Mike's kind of offense. The result: a shutout.

Later, when being questioned by reporters as to why he punted on a 4th and 3 from the Tampa Bay 33 yard line, he couldn't remember it. Incredible! This guy is not only clueless, but mindless. He claims he studied under Bill Walsh. Please, Mike, forget it. Bill must be turning in his grave as he watches your Pop Warner league offense flounder.

This was embarrassing to the players, the fans, the team and the entire organization and Jed York should fire Singletary immediately. He has become a cancer on this team and is driving fans away in droves.

I supported Mike when he was appointed Head Coach. I was so wrong.

Copyright @ 2010 All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 1, 2010

Smith Excels Despite Singletary's Handcuffs

The Right Smith

The good news is that the 49ers won a game. Even better news is that they found a QB that won't beat himself or the team. Troy Smith demonstrated a coolness in the pocket and elusiveness is escaping the rush. He also threw with very good accuracy and took the initiative to arrange his own play with Delanie Walker, a Favre-like throw that set up the Niners fourth quarter comeback.  Troy demonstrated all the natural instincts that Alex so sorely lacks and we hope that Alex has set his foot on the field for the last time as a 49er, for the good of all Niner fans.

Now the bad news. Mike Singletary proved once again that he is the ultimate control freak. Mike won't let anything happen without his stamp of approval. If he was trying to instill confidence in his new quarterback, calling three running plays up the middle while having the opportunity to run out the clock must have had Bill Walsh and Buck Shaw turning in their respective graves.

Singletary coaches like a Pop Warner League coach whose son is playing QB and who wants to make sure he doesn't get hit. Amazingly, Smith compiled a 115 QB rating and threw for almost 200 yards with one hand tied behind his proverbial back. The Niners play calling, especially once they took the lead was pathetic and insulting to Smith. It was as if Singletary was saying, "OK you got us a lead but I'm not going to take a chance on losing it". Running three times behind center with your backup running back is not how you protect a lead.

Of course, Mike, who likes to think of himself as a psychologist and leader of men, doesn't realize that. He is anal to the nth degree and it is this rigid adherence to his way or the highway which will eventually lead him to the highway.

In my opinion, if Walsh was reincarnated and was to take over the team at this time, he would have Troy Smith running the West Coast offense with two backs (a ala Craig and either Tyler or Rathman). Gore and Westbrook would be in the backfield together and Jason Hill would have a lot of playing time. Of course, that's only a dream and Singletary will continue his stubborn insistence that anything other than a run behind center is out of the box.

Good luck to Troy Smith. I am hoping he will success despite Mike Singletary (and Johnson) and not because of them.

Copyright @ 2010 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Read My Lips, Mike -- It's the Philosophy

Singletary and Raye Game Planning for Kansas City

After the embarrassment of the Kansas City Chiefs game, Mike Singletary stubbornly defended his Dinosaur Ball philosophy of offense by saying:  "It's the execution, not the philosophy".  You have to be kidding, Mike.  That's it, throw the players under the bus and defend your archaic views on offensive football.  Believe me, Mike, it is REALLY offensive.

So, you popped some NoDoz and stayed up all night watching horror films -- the first three games, and decided to bounce Jimmy Raye, the man who loyally carried out your wishes for your brand of offense.  This is not like you, Mike.  You have always been a man of deep intellect, integrity, and loyalty.

We know Alex Smith is a terrible thrower.  He will always have mucho interceptions because in six years he hasn't learned to get his passes down and tipped balls are part of his makeup.  But, you keep saying he is getting better.  At this rate, I'll be 100 before he does.

I'm about to turn 68, Mike, on October 9 which is the same birthdate as John and Sean Lennon, Jackson Browne, and YOU.  We're Libras, Mike.  We are very fair-minded, balanced and able to see both sides of an argument.  We are NOT rigid and unbending.

If it's films you want to see, Mike, don't watch your own. That's the last thing you need to see. I have one to recommend to you.  Watch the final drive vs. Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship Game.  Bill Walsh was the master of adapting his team's talents rather than forcing a philosophy down their throats.  This drive demonstrates the brilliance of that man and you can certainly learn from it.  Watch how quickly the Niners got up to the line of scrimmage and the absolute brilliance of the play calling.  Nobody knew what was coming next.  Here it is:

While 49er fans are wiping tears from their eyes, here is some advice. Your stubborn adherence to Dinosaur Ball has resulted in some very poor personnel decisions, which make you look like Head Troglodyte. First, you inexplicably cut Michael Robinson with the stupefying comment that you didn't know how to work him into the offense. Neither did Mike Nolan.

MRob was an excellent blocker and was a top wide receiver and quarterback at Penn State before Nolan got brain-lock and decided to make him a running back. In 2008, under YOU, he caught 17 passes for over 200 yards in just the last half of the season. His circus catch helped you win vs. the Redskins. And you use Moran Norris as a receiver in a clutch situation? As Michael Irvin would say, "COME ON, MAN!".

MRob was a special teams captain and team leader and our best special teams player. You cut him!

Then, Diyral Briggs gets snatched from our practice squad. The kid is a future star. Why don't you grab him back off Denver's PS and activate him? He can't do any worse than Parys Haralson.

Finally, your biggest bonehead move was to cut NATE DAVIS. What are you thinking? Alex Smith has been given six years to demonstrate he is the checkdown king of the NFL. I have seen every 49er QB since Frankie Albert and Alex will NEVER be a quality QB.

Nate Davis needs to be activated IMMEDIATELY to protect him from other teams. Activate him and bring in a QB mentor to work with him 24/7. Play him in a spread offense and start throwing downfield. Use Westbrook in the backfield with Gore and get rid of Norris. Caulcrick will fit in much better in a wide open offense.

Finally, Mike, pray on this. A great coach adapts his philosophy to the talents of his team and does not insist that his players fit into his system. That's like placing a square peg into a round hole. I'll bet that Buck Shaw and Bill Walsh were turning in their graves last Sunday. I'm rooting for you, brother, but even my patience is running thin. Let's go Niners.

Copyright @2010. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 27, 2010

"You're Fired"

I have never said anything negative about Mike Singletary -- until now. He has demonstrated a total lack of knowledge of offensive football. At halftime he said, "We have to run the ball". Raye calls three running plays up the middle when trailing 21-3. Mike sees no reason to replace him. Two weeks ago Mike said that "Alex played an outstanding game".

Stubbornness is what led to Nolan's downfall and is a trait that Mike can't seem to shake. This team is talented. Our coaching staff is clueless. He proved it by cutting our best special teams player, Michael Robinson. Now our special teams suck. No leadership that was provided by MRob. Singletary said he cut him because he couldn't find a spot for him on offense. Two seasons ago MRob caught 17 passes for over 200 yards out of the backfield during the second half of the season. And he uses Norris as a pass receiver at the goal line. Brilliant!

He keeps useless camp fodder and allows Diyral Briggs to be snatched up. He cuts the QB with by far the best talent after just one year and stubbornly keeps Alex who has proven for six years that he is the best check down QB in history. Never looks downfield and if he did he'd flutter the pass anyway.

Doesn't anyone in Niner management learn from the past?  Our best coaches have been offensive experts.  Buck Shaw was the Bill Walsh of the 1940's.  Mariucci understood offense.  Our worst coaches have been defensive "specialists" and you can go back to Jack Christensen, both Nolans although Daddy won three division crowns because he had so much talent.  Defensive oriented coaches seldom make winners.

Now Mike blames "execution, not philosophy".   That simply proves that he just doesn't get it.  Dinosaur ball will never make it in San Francisco. 

Come on, York. If this was Trump the words "You're fired" would be ringing in Mike's ears right now.

What needs to be done:

Fire Singletary; Fire Raye. Cut Alex. Start Carr.
Activate Nate Davis and get him off the practice squad before we lose him. Hire a QB mentor to work with him this season.
When he appears ready, start him and spread the offense.  Let's see a vertical passing game.  I'm getting a stiff neck watch Alex pass sideways.
Hire Jon Gruden.

The fans are behind you.  We are fed up.  Change direction now or experience an empty stadium.  

Copyright @ 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Will Nate the Great Lead a 49er Repeat of 1981?

NATE DAVIS #7 - The Next Great 49er Quarterback

Last August I wrote an article entitled, "Nate Davis, the Next Great 49er Quarterback".  In the forums, I was roasted.  "The kid can't read", "the kid can't spell, the kid is dyslexic", etc.  There are insulting remarks about him all over that humorous site, the 49ers forum.  Besides the fact that seemingly nobody can spell or string together more than a couple of logical sentences, it is a source of constant negativity.  I like positive.  

This was the article I wrote a year ago:

I love Mike Singletary. He is the perfect man for the job of returning the San Francisco 49ers to their former greatness. I especially feel close to the man, quite possibly because we share the same birthdate -- October 9. That makes Mike a Libra, a man dedicated to fairness, able to see both sides of the question, and a man to whom "balance" is a key word in any equation.
Mike is now faced with a dilemma. Shaun Hill is a serviceable quarterback, an excellent game manager, a fairly accurate passer with a soft arm, and a leader. Alex Smith came to the 49ers with great physical ability but no natural instincts for the position. Alex continues to take way too long to set up and deliver the ball. He makes very slow decisions which results in a very slow delivery. His passing is scattershot at best and while he has a strong arm, he is and continues to be very inaccurate. The game has never slowed down for Alex. He will NEVER be a reliable quarterback for the 49ers.
Enter Nate Davis. In two games he has demonstrated that he has a rocket arm and makes plays that the other two guys simply cannot; he is mobile and can make throws on the run the others cannot, and he makes excellent decisions. I don't care that he has only faced backups -- his ability is right there for all to see.
Most important of all is his poise. In four years, Alex Smith has continually shown that deer-in-the-headlights quality that frustrates 49er fans. Many blame his failure to excel at QB on the 49ers. They say he has been ruined by them due to having too many offensive coordinators, a poor supporting cast, etc. I say that is baloney (bologna to my Italian readers). In reading the forums and comments of many of the newer and younger 49er fans who don't even have a clue as to our winning tradition, beg and plead not to rush Davis into the fray. I read comments saying he's our QB for 2010, 2011, and even 2012.
Come on 49er fans, where is your mojo? Just because Alex Smith fell flat on his face doesn't mean that every rookie QB is incapable of starting in their first season. I think back to the greatest 49er team of all, the 1984 squad that went 18-1, the only loss being on a terrible pass interference call on Eric Wright that gave a game to the Steelers. That squad faced a young 2nd year QB, playing his first full season as a starter -- Dan Marino. The year before in his rookie season he had started only 9 games, yet threw for 20 TDs and 2210 yards. In his first full season in 1984, he threw for 5,084 yards and 48 TDs. I remember another rookie QB, Ben Roethlisberger, who had a very successful rookie season.
There is one inescapable fact. If a player is great, he can overcome just about all obstacles. Nate Davis is dyslexic, but hasn't let that stop him. In my opinion, nothing will stop this kid from greatness. 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 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.
Attention Mike Singletary -- are you listening???

Wow!  Deja vu all over again.  In 1981 Joe Montana was an untried 2nd year QB playing under a coach in his third season who had built a powerful and relentless defensive squad.  In 1981, the offense was not loaded with backfield talent with Lenvil Elliott, Ricky Patton, Johnny Davis, Walt Easley and Amos Lawrence.  The offensive backfield of the current 49ers is MUCH BETTER -- with Gore, Dixon, Westbrook and Robinson as an oh-so-valuable jack of all trades.  I still wonder why they haven't played him at safety.  He and Mays will terminate the receivers.

At any rate, NATE DAVIS is ready and waiting, and today, FINALLY, Jimmy Raye must have seen what I saw last year -- greatness just waiting to come out.  Today he announced that Davis deserved more "representative" reps.  In other words, he'll play vs. 1st and 2nd team defenses.  If he excels, there is NO WAY Raye or Sing will be able to delay the inevitable any longer.  This team will be elite with Davis at QB and average with Smith.  Time to cut our losses and get behind this kid with the rocket arm and a heart of steel.

With the solid defense we have and a punishing running game behind a huge offensive line, averaging about 325, all Davis would have to do is manage the game.  He demonstrated his natural instincts last week (something Alex has never done) with his rollouts and pump fakes.  He is a natural athlete.  Why stick with mediocrity?  

Anyone who thinks Alex improved last year, I implore you to watch the first half of the Rams game, our last game of the season and Alex's chance to blow the worst team in the league out.  52 yards!  That's 52 yards of total offense for the entire first half in what I can honestly say was one of the worst performances EVER by a 49er QB.

We have had mediocrity for a decade.  49er fans deserve better -- the players deserve better.  Give Nate a chance to prove how good he really is.  We're all behind him.

Again, are  you listening, Mike?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Taylor Mays is Really Fast!

The "next Ronnie Lott" has his critics regarding his ability to cover -- nobody questions his ability to hit, however, with this kind of speed you can make up for a lot of mistakes.  Watch him run a 4.24 40.  Amazing for a 230 lb. safety.

Copyright @ 2009
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Niners Load Up for NFC West Title Run

With their first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the 49ers selected ANTHONY DAVIS, a 6'5", 323 lb offensive tackle from Rutgers.

With their second pick in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the 49ers selected MIKE IUPATI, a 6'5", 331 lb offensive guard from Idaho.

With their #3 overall pick, in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the 49ers selected TAYLOR MAYS, a 6'3", 230 lb. free safety from USC.

With their fourth overall pick, in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the 49ers selected NAVORRO BOWMAN, a 6'2", 240 lb. inside linebacker from Penn State.

With their fifth overall pick in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the 49ers selected ANTHONY DIXON, a 6'0", 233 lb. running back from Mississippi State.

With their sixth overall pick in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the 49ers selected NATE BYHAM, a 6'4", 268 lb. tight end from Mississippi State.

With their seventh overall pick in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the 49er selected KYLE WILLIAMS, a 5'10", 187 lb. wide receiver and punt return specialist from Arizona State.

With their eighth and final pick in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the 49ers selected PHILIP ADAMS, a 5'10", 192 lb. cornerback from South Carolina State.

The Niners weren't finished. They then signed a host of free agents including:


JARRETT BROWN - QB, West Virginia


Analysis: GREAT JOB by Trent Baalke and Mike Singletary.

Copyright @2010. Gary Mialocq. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Love New Orleans

Drew Brees and Sean Payton

As I watched Drew Brees and Sean Payton celebrating the Saints victory over Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts, it brought back many memories of the early days -- the beginning of the Saints.

As a lifetime 49er fan, I was spending my days employed by the City of San Francisco at Log Cabin Ranch, a juvenile detention facility for felony offenders located on a former 634 acre ranch in the town of La Honda, made famous by the antics of Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters.

During the offseason, several Niners would put in time as counselors. One was Johnny Fuller, a tough defensive back and kick returner from Lamar, Texas. John and I became good friends and when he was traded to the Saints, he asked me to drive his wife's station wagon from California to New Orleans. In exchange, I had the opportunity to visit the team at their training camp south of New Orleans and to attend the first ever game played at the Superdome, an exhibition game against Bum Phillips, Earl Campbell and the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans).

It was the experience of a lifetime and the French Quarter will always have a special place in my heart. That, however, brings us to this century. There was a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico in August of 2005. It caused huge damage in Mississippi but very MODEST damage in New Orleans.

What catastrophically damaged New Orleans was flooding caused by the failure of the federal levee system - an engineering failure second in scope only to Chernobyl.

While people were drowning and stranded roofs for days, the federal government with the help of the US news media went overtime not helping, but covering its tracks.

The whole sordid story - and why every part of America should know the real story...because there are federal levees EVERYWHERE.

Copyright @ 2010
All Rights Reserved

Rock Out with the Niners

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones