"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

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