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The End Of A Short And Not-so-sweet Era For The 49ers

by AmyO (writer), Marin County, October 21, 2008

Credit:

Mike Nolan Fired

The buzz began at about 2 pm on the afternoon of Oct. 20.  ESPN.com posted a rumor that the 49ers were firing head coach Mike Nolan and he would be replaced by assistant coach and defensive lineman coach Mike Singletary after Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Fans began to rejoice at the possibility as many of had been waiting for this moment for a long time. About 4 hours later, that rumor became reality when the 49ers announced Nolan was fired and Singletary would be taking over.

Today in the San Francisco Chronicle, Sports Columnist Ray Ratto said the decision was a good one but that it was bad timing.  He said that it was “just another knee-jerk reaction by the Yorks” and that they should have waited till after the Seattle game so that Singletary would have the bye week to prepare.  I completely disagree with this.  Singletary has been with the 49ers for as long as Nolan has, having come over with him from the Baltimore Ravens.  He knows the players, he knows the management and he knows how things work.  In addition, the York’s made this decision in response to the rumor getting out, rather than having it linger over the team for weeks the way it did with Lane Kiffin and the Raiders causing major distractions and probably prohibiting Kiffin from completely doing his job. 

While I am not a big fan of the Yorks considering I am a dynasty child of the 80’s who grew up watching the 49ers dominate, I would not describe this decision as “knee-jerk” whatsoever.  If anything, this decision was long overdue. With a coaching record of 18-37 in his three and a half years in San Francisco, Nolan has been anything but impressive. Ratto does say that this decision should have come back in January when Nolan had his general manager duties taken away from him, which he is correct about. But hey, better late than never, right?

I am excited for Singletary as head coach of the 49ers.  I advocated for this to happen, albeit not to anyone of importance, last year. While Singletary has no head coaching experience, he is a skilled former player, a great defensive and assistant coach and, as many have said “evokes passion from the players.” This is so desperately needed in San Francisco right now.  Granted, we may not see a drastic difference in the next week, or even the rest of the season, but it is a start. There is a lot of work to be done. The 49ers offensive line is ridiculous. I thought the look of panic that came across Alex Smith’s face was a sign of immaturity and inexperience, but I see that same look on the face of J.T. O’Sullivan and it is because he knows, as did Smith, that he is not protected. The fact that he has survived a major injury so far is amazing.  I definitely don’t think O’Sullivan is the quarterback we have been looking for, but until the O-Line gets it together or gets stronger players, no one will succeed at this position in San Francisco. The rest of the team has made silly and costly errors such as too many penalties and not catching balls.  The 49ers also have an uncanny ability to consistently blow it in the 4th quarter.  Having witnessed this first hand against the Eagles a few weeks ago, it is absolutely infuriating for fans.

Mike Singletary may not be able to answer all of the problems that S.F. faces, but he is a big step in the right direction. 

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/10/21/SPPI13L0TS.DTL

Photo Credit: Michael Zagaris/Getty Images



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AmyO is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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17 comments on The End Of A Short And Not-so-sweet Era For The 49ers

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By Sharlene Hardin on October 21, 2008 at 05:11 pm

Yay, great article, I love it. 

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By AmyO on October 21, 2008 at 05:14 pm

Thanks Sharlene! I cannot tell you how excited I am about this! I really hope Singletary works out and is hired on full time :)

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By AmyO on October 21, 2008 at 05:14 pm

Correction: Mike Singletary was the LINEBACKER coach. My bad!

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By CCNY on October 22, 2008 at 08:10 am

I think Singletary stands a great chance of being a great coach.  It almost makes me wish that T.O. was still there, just to see how Singletary would deal with his insubordination and being shown up in such a public way.  That would be the shortest shouting match in T.O.'s illustrious career as a jackass.

I'm curious; did you find it as hard to root for T.O. as I'm finding it to root for a malcontent like Plaxico Burress with the Giants???  As good as he is, I'd like to see the Giants eat the contract and ship him out of there.

Best of luck with Singletary, although my favorite Niner memory will always be the 1986 NFC Championship Game in Giants Stadium, when it looked bleak watching Jerry Rice streak down the field towards the goal line, but then... fumble!!!  49-3.  Unbelievable.  (Goosebumps)...

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By AmyO on October 22, 2008 at 11:26 am

Ed- Thanks for commenting! I was waiting for a fellow Bay Areaer (areaite?) to chime in on this... I do think that Nolan is a good person and did bring the team further than they had been in years previous. However, his style was not firm enough for the team, especially when you consider how little interest the Yorks seem to have. We need a coach that will "take the bull by the horns" and I think Singletary could be that guy. The Yorks are terrible owners but we do have talent on our team and hopefully a more passionate coach will help us step up. But you are right, the Bay Area is a sorry sight for professional football. There is no question about that.

CCNY- I know EXACTLY what you mean about Plaxico. I cannot stand him. When we were watching that game on Sunday and he back-talked Tom Coughlin I said to my fiance they ought to throw him out of there. His behavior and attitude are ridiculous. Especially since there is other talent on that team. Don't even get me started on T.O. Talk about the biggest baby in football. Maybe him and Plaxico are related??? And Jerry Rice is my ultimate all-time favorite football player... although Brett Favre is a close second.

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By AmyO on October 22, 2008 at 11:27 am

CC- I do have Brandon Jacobs on my fantasy team and he is a beast!! Absolutely love him...

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By Sharlene Hardin on October 22, 2008 at 01:02 pm

Yay Amy, it's cool to know that you have a fantasy team too :)  My team this year isn't doing so great (Tom Brady getting hurt completely took one of my key points guys Randy Moss out of the game for me).  But I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only girl on Broo with a fantasy team :) 

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By AmyO on October 22, 2008 at 01:09 pm

Yeah, it is my second year playing actually! Last year I didn't do so well but this year I am second in our league... Tony Romo is my quarterback and the pansy isn't playing cuz of a broken pinky!! Give me a break!! :( Yeah, yeah, I know it's on his throwing hand, but at least he could have a manly injury like a pulled groin or something!! :) At least I have Eli as my back-up though. And Clinton Portis is my other running back and he's doing awesome too.

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By Sharlene Hardin on October 22, 2008 at 02:13 pm

Second year for me too :)  I had Clinton Portis last year and he is awesome.  As for Romo, I totally agree, Joe Montana would have wrapped the pinky and kept playing but they don't make them like Joe anymore. 

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By AmyO on October 22, 2008 at 03:08 pm

That's for sure. These guys now are all just spoiled babies!!

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By CCNY on October 29, 2008 at 05:45 pm

How about that Iron Mike Singletary, kickin' ass and takin' names?!?!  I absolutely LOVE what he did to Vernon Davis, and I wish there were more coaches in the NFL, or any sport for that matter, who had the guts to do what he did when someone decides he's bigger than the team.  Ditka must have wanted to cry, watching the press conference...

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By AmyO on October 29, 2008 at 06:02 pm

Oh man CC, that was awesome. My fiance and I kept watching the press conference on every channel that showed it because it was just so great. And apparently VD (yes, I know) has had these kind of problems for awhile and Nolan just stroked his ego for the most part. Fans were so happy about this and if the Yorks don't hire Singletary on fulltime (if things improve of course) there will be a revolt out here!

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By CCNY on October 29, 2008 at 07:29 pm

I wouldn't care if Singletary went 1-15, he's gotta be the guy to lead them back to the top.  The list of players that behave like Davis is endless, but the list of coaches with the temerity to step up and bench a guy, even send him off the field, is one very short list.

Never really liked Mike or the Niners since they both took turns busting up my Giants, but I'm rooting hard for both of them the rest of this season.

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By AmyO on October 29, 2008 at 11:04 pm

I agree. I wouldn't care if they don't do well of the rest of this year either because it's pretty much impossible to fix everything that is wrong in 7 games, let alone in the middle of the season. But, a lot of fans will not think he is deserving of being hired on permanently if he doesn't do something before the season to prove himself worthy of the job. Personally though, I wish they would offer him a contract right now. A lot of people in the Bay Area do agree. 

And, as I said before, Brandon Jacobs is an awesome player. I am enjoying watching him on the Giants this year, mostly cuz he's rocking my fantasy team (which I aptly re-named Singletary's Da Man!)

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By CCNY on October 29, 2008 at 11:11 pm

If he was coaching the Bears, he'd have a lot more rope, but you're right; Niner fans have understandably had it with all this losing, so I don't think there'll be as much patience with Singletary as there would be if someone like Ronnie Lott or Joe Montana got the job.

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By AmyO on November 19, 2008 at 01:00 pm

Mike Singletary is nominated as Coach of the Week... Please go here if you would like to cast your vote for him!!

http://www.nfl.com/partner?partnerType=coaches

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By AmyO on December 09, 2008 at 11:35 am

Ugh... Yeah, I got knocked out of 4th place into 5th so I am out of the playoffs. My team went downhill fast between Romo, Witten, Jacobs and Portis injuries... And the 4 of them get worse every week!

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