December 28, 2010

Why Mike Singletary Failed as the 49ers Head Coach

The San Francisco 49ers and team president Jed York finally did the right thing and fired Mike Singletary as the head coach. While Singletary wasn't the only the problem the 49ers had this season, he was certainly a big problem. Singletary is the issue to look at the moment and the reasons why he failed as the 49ers coach.

- When I first started this blog, Singletary was still the interim coach of the 49ers. One of my first posts was about the fact if Singletary wanted to the full-time coach of the 49ers, he needed a team plan for the team to achieve success.
"Singletary though should provide a type of plan to the team if he wants to be the next coach. He has done great so far this season, but what is his future plan if he where named the coach. It has been rumored, the only reason Singletary hasn't received a job yet is because of his lack of plan while interviewing."
As Mike Lombardi noted today on, Singletary failed to provide a long-term plan for the team's success and failed explain his plan in detail and motivate his team to follow through on his plan. Singletary never had a plan from the start for this team. Jed York only hired Singletary because Jed looked up Singletary in a uncle kind of way. Jed never saw Singletary has an employee, but rather like a friend.

- Before he was hired as the coach, everyone knew Singletary wasn't a strategist. And that's fine if you hire smart assistants who are strategists and who can gameplan. Singletary failed big time here. It took him a month to pick a offensive coordinator being rejected by Rams head coach Scott Linehan and Colts offensive assistant Clyde Christensen. So who does Singletary choose? A geriatric named Jimmy Raye who certainly had coaching experience but had never ran a successful offense. Needless to say the Raye era as the offensive coordinator was a complete disaster. Raye wasn't the only disaster. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky drove fans nuts with his bend but don't break defense that often broke.

- Singletary stuck in the past though was his biggest problem. Singletary wanted to mold his team into the 85 Bears. He wanted the defense to hold teams to 10 or less points a game and wanted the offense to be a "3-yard and a cloud of dust" style of offense. One problem though, Frank Gore isn't Walter Payton and the 49ers defense isn't the 85 Bears.

- Singletary's biggest problem though was his lack of respect for the quarterback. Singletary himself admitted that the quarterback wasn't the most important position. Obviously Mike had never seen Tom Brady or Peyton Manning play a game. Singletary would routinely pull his quarterbacks no matter who they were. He just had no respect for the position. He seriously thought the 49ers could win with their running game and defense. If Singletary ever wants to be a NFL head coach again, he has to realize that the quarterback position is the most important part of the team.

Like I said, Singletary was by far not the only problem the 49ers had. They needed a general manager to help guide Singletary through the process of hiring assistants. The 49ers also needed a proven veteran quarterback to lead Singletary's teams. He never had that. While I hoped Singletary would be successful with the 49ers it just didn't work out. I wish him the best of luck with whatever path he chooses next.

Now please 49ers, hire Jon Gruden.

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