How should one feel right now at this point in the season?
November 19, 2008
More accurately, as a 49ers fan, how should one feel about the season? There’s many things to consider how we should feel–our quarterback position, our coaching staff, our defense, our stadium, or simply… our 3-7 record. We DID just snap a six game losing streak, but the rare-feeling of breaking this streak is permeated with the ever-lingering stench of being in that mess in the first place. We’re faced with many negatives and a few positives. Blame is thrown, shifted, erased, denied, implied… I’m not exactly sure what to think anymore. So I’ll go ahead and start with how I feel about all the bad, where the blame should be, and I’ll finish off with something good. (Providing, of course, I can find something good…)
The Bad – Mike Singletary is a noob, to put it bluntly. Earlier on he showed he didn’t know how to work the Head Coach position, but in the past week or so I’ve begun to ease up on my previous opinions. For instance, the Vernon Davis benching. It made sense, but the sending to the locker room was borderline for me. However, with the way Vernon handled it, I’m starting to believe Singletary knew exactly what he was doing. That being said it was a gamble. Do I even need to go into the no-pants dance? I think not. At any rate, Singletary is inexperienced and Mike Martz has a huge ego. I’m not sure how I feel about Manusky, but I’m starting to see an improvement with Singletary being more involved.
The Blame – Should be on the Yorks for not letting Mike Nolan go at the begining of the season. I like Nolan, I really do, but he did what he needed to do. He came in, brought some good players, made some adjustment and laid a rather stiff foundation that another coach with more shall we say, passion could come in and support the foundation. The Yorks will take all the blame for every coaching problem until the offseason for this.
Something Good – Hey, I’ve got two something goods. One of course, is Mike Singletary. I know, he was one of the bads, right? But he’s got more to him than just the bad parts. The guy has heart, and I’m starting to see that on the field. He treats the team like a family, he’s familiar with the players. How many times did you ever see Nolan hug a player after a big play? Not many, if at all. Singletary is brining some fire and heart to this team, which we sorely need. Second is Al Everest, special teams coordinator. Rossum is having a career year under this guy, and I fully believe his improvement to be directly because of Al Everest. He’s got experience, he’s got brains. I’m very secure with him running special teams.
Something Extra – Would I make any changes? I may look into another defensive coordinator this off season, but as of right now I wouldn’t want to change anything. I want Singletary to stay head coach, I want to see what this guy can do with an off season. If he’s got a guy he wants to bring in, fine. Let him work his magic, and if he fails I’ll eat my words.
The Bad – Walt Harris and Nate Clements haven’t been performing that well. Mark Roman has never been performing that well. Michael Lewis isn’t playing up to standards, and we’re getting zero pressure on the quarterback. Did I miss anything? Probably. There’s a lot going on with this defense. We have a lot of experience in this defense, and it seems that none of that is translating directly to good numbers. Walt Harris is especially lagging, he’s supposed to be very good but I’ve seen nothing but disappointment from him. I’ve been continually unimpressed with everyone we’ve thrown in at ROLB and I’m sure I’ll continue this. Manny Lawson is one of my favorite players on the team, and I’ve seen him make very few big plays this year, but big plays they still were. The defense needs a lot of work, I want them playing at the level they should be playing at.
The Blame – I think the blame goes on Mike Nolan. I’m sorry, again I’ll say it that I like the guy–but his defense was palpable, brittle, and altogether weak. His big-sub that he touted was an utter failure while teams ran around our guys with ease. Can I also shift the blame on the entire Safety position? I haven’t seen anything impressive from Mark Roman at all. I just cant like the guy and I don’t know why.
Something Good – Our middle linebackers. Patrick Willis is on par with his 2007 counterpart, leading the league in tackles even with the awesome play of one Takeo Spikes. I was a bit skeptic of Spikes before the season started but I always knew he’d at least bring something to the team. Something better than Smith did last year. I’m pleasantly surprised with Mr. Spikes. Another something good is that we seem to be playing slightly better with Singletary, and I’m hoping this can only continue.
Something Extra – Would I change anything? You bet. I’d likely get rid of all our ROLB. I’m sorry but these guys aren’t showing me they perform well. Keep one, let him develop. I’d get rid of Mark Roman and sign another safety, preferably from FA rather than draft one. I’d let Dashon Goldson in and pray he does well. Walt Harris needs to be replaced by a FA of some sort, unless he continues to improve. Also, I’d clone Justin Smith and make him LE, RE, and DT.
The Bad – The inability to keep the defense off the field with costly turnovers. Turnovers, turnovers, and more turnovers. Quarterback J.T. O’Sullivan was having an amazing year if he was going for the record for most turnovers in a single game, quarter, season, minute, year, whatever. So Singletary came in, and benched his ass. We still have very much instability from the quarterback position, but look on for Shaun Hill under… Something Good! I’ll admit that some of these turnovers are definitely because our line sucks. We’ve got talent, its clear, but we’ve not executed up to par. Anoter sore point for me is Bryant Johnson, I don’t really like him, but I guess he’s starting to play well.
The Blame – Where do I put the blame? I’m going with offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Not because of bad calling, not because of anything other than J.T. O’Sullivan winning the battle at the beginning of the preseason. Look, I defended this guy at one point but I was wrong. Shaun Hill says he benefitted from watching J.T. play and that’s why he’s good now, but its my opinion that he was ready at the beginning of the season, and hasn’t stated this because he’s a team player and believes in Martz. Shaun Hill should’ve been starting, and I gotta say I think things would’ve been better throughout the season.
Something Good – Shaun Hill. He’s performing well. I like that we signed Dominique Zeigler from the practice squad. Jason Hill is showing he’s got speed, and he can make plays. He’s got big dreams and I hope he sees them in San Francisco. I’m hoping Zeigler gets played more. All I know is we’ve got a receiving corps hopefully on the rise, maybe something steady at the quarterback position, and as always a very capable running back in Frank Gore. Vernon Davis has made two big touchdown catches in the last two weeks and I gotta say I’m excited for the guy. Michael Robinson and DeShaun Foster as of last week are contributing, and I hope they keep it up. This offense is clicking, damnit, and it better continue to do so.
Something Extra - Would I change anything? The line. I’d change it as much as possible. Keep Shaun Hill, look towards somebody else to develop, leave J.T. at backup. I like Joe Staley on the line, but beyond that the future for the rest of them is foggy. I like Eric (Heitman) but I cant say anything about the rest of them. RT definitely needs to be evaluated. Maybe this guy we just signed is capable of something, or maybe we need to look to FA in the offseason for someone at RT. The only thing I’m sure of is I don’t want Jonas Jennings to return next year. Adam Snyder is playing well.
The Bad - I cant find many complaints with special teams. The only problem I see is the lack of bringing guys down soon enough. Offensive special teams are amazing thusfar, but every now and then (the play is called perfectly,) our guy will get down there, and the guy will shake him off like a bad habit. We’ve got to work on making the tackles.
The Blame – There’s no blame here. I’m content.
Something Good – Just about everything. Allen Rossum is having a career year, Andy Lee is kicking just as good as he always has. The play calling is borderline perfection and I cant say much more than that. Michael Robinson does a great job leading, blocking, and directing everything on the field.
Something Extra – Would I change anything? Nope, I don’t think so. Hell, even Zeiglers getting in on it and making tackles. I like it.
The Bad - Lots of things have gone bad this season. The biggest of which is of course our 3-7 record. I’m hoping we can pick it up, but let me tell you something. I actually feel like there’s been more good things than bad this season. Something had to happen with Nolan.
The Blame – Mike Nolan and the Yorks. We are better than this. We are a better team than 3-7. Nolan out, Singletary in, and lets see what happens.
Something Good - We have a quarterback, and we have a coach. Both of which I believe will work out. We have a good receiving corps, and we have fans with hope. I can only (hope) that these fans realize that next season is what we need to look at. The something good is that we have new leadership where its sorely needed, a new attitude that we sorely needed to bring, and some new stars that we sorely need to encourage, watch, and enjoy.
Things are clicking under Singletary as of that win over the Rams. I’m not letting it get me too pumped, but the psychotic Niner fan inside me is screaming that we’re going to destory the Cowboys come Sunday. Nolan laid the foundation, Singletary is lighting the fire that definitely needs to burn. The 49ers are getting close to being back on track, despite the 3-7 record. Hopefully with this off season the Niners can be something more–something better than they have been in the past few years. I’m a Niners fan, and I always will be.
So what’d you think of my first post? I bet a total of five people will read it, but I don’t care. I’ve got opinions and there they are.
My favorite players are Manny Lawson, Michael Robinson, Dominique Zeigler, and Joe Staley.
My favorite coach is Al Everest, special teams coordinator.
My favorite play so far this year is Shaun HIll’s helmetless dive.
I defended J.T. O’Sullivan at the beginning of the year. I still like the guy, he has talent, but I gotta say Shaun Hill is definitely better. J.T. needs to be a backup.
Mark Roman isn’t the only guy I’d get rid of this off season. I’d also axe T Barry Sims, DE Ray McDonald, DE Aubrayo Franklin, RB DeShaun Foster, TE Billy Bajema and maybe even G David Bass and G Tony Wragge, as well as CB Walt Harris. The only signing I’m sure of would be HB Thomas Clayton from the practice squad in place of DeShaun Foster.
I’m very pleased with some of the FA acquisitions. DE Justin Smith, ILB Takeo Spikes, and KR Allen Rossum. How about you?
I make a daily post over at Niners Nation in a segment I operate called Golden Nuggets. You can find it here. Go check it out, most people reading this are already from Niners Nation but I plan on linking these opinions a few other places. If you’re reading this, head over to Niners Nation its definitely my favorite source for 49ers information and discussion.