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.