Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Mike Singletary Experiment Crippled The Niners, Now Jed York Could Use a Cure
On Monday, he arrived in front of the press with a helpless look on his face, unsure how to amend the downcast era of woeful collapses in a year the San Francisco 49ers were forecast to win their attenuated division.
There he was, Jed York, the president of the Niners, an undisciplined and defenseless executive who sadly doesn't have the knowledge or motivation for running a storied franchise. For all the flaws in the past, he stood in a news conference speechless and uncertain of his next direction to cure inefficiencies that have dismantled the beauty of football in the Bay Area.
In order to restore buoyancy, York vividly had no choice and decided finally to salvage reliance -- something that was almost lost -- and then he realized that he had to fire Mike Singletary, after he wasn't an inspirational or experienced voice for the daunted Niners. When Eddie DeBartolo, 64, owned the team years ago, now 10 years removed from the ownership role, he was fearlessly devoted and keen to solidify a crippled roster and happened to win multiple Super Bowl titles because of it.
And in the meantime, Eddie D has faith in his nephew. But if he wishes to follow his uncle's footsteps, Jed needs to boldly restore goodness for one of the most popular franchises in the NFL. It's nice to know that he made considerable changes to erase one of the most embarrassing memories in a disconcerting ending, finishing 5-10 in a season the Niners were favorites in the mediocre NFC West, but sadly missed the playoffs for the eighth-straight season.
It came hours after the 49ers charter plane landed in San Francisco, when York readily dismissed Singletary and told reporters the next day that he never intended to make any emotional decisions. And yes, as it happened in the wee hours, defensive line coach Jim Tomsula was named interim coach for the season finale against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
"We're going to win (Sunday)," Tomsula said. "Let me make that clear. We're going to prepare to win a football game."
It is, ultimately, a cruel business for the average coach and can be very difficult to secure jobs in a complex profession such as the NFL, rather than it is to protect a status of employment, once someone flounders and uncovers blemishes and diplomatic issues. And for good reason, although he had a decent 18-22 record, he was canned following the painful 25-17 loss in St. Louis that smeared the Niners postseason quest and bruised Singletary's stint.
This after the Niners lost the nucleus of their team and couldn't even advance to the playoffs, unable to capitalize in a sloppy and agonizing defeat, an anticlimax very hard to swallow given that the Niners were close to clinching a playoff berth.
In such a brief stint, he was anointed and fulfilled the role serving as the Niners head coach, but then he suddenly fizzled and never had the mental capacity to maintain patience or enlighten his players, without verbally abusing them on the sideline or uttering impolitely in the locker room from his unbearable rants. Maybe he lasted as long as he did because of his inspirational and fiery nature, fueled by his competence at getting his point across, once he accepted the coaching responsibilities from the Yorks, who truly believed he was the answer to eliminate the dreary era.
For now, as a disappointing season comes to a closure, the Niners are eager to finish strong. And now, the Niners are ready to move forward without Singletary's weird methods throughout his coaching days, a point of his career that he was volatile, brusque and inexperienced. As it stands, he simply is a Hall of Fame linebacker, but won't ever be defined as a Hall of Fame coach.
The recent distress is created from the repetition of losses, even if Singletary had an impressive resume and had the Niners riding on a good start earlier in the regular-season. But he couldn't instill or implement a sense of urgency and steadiness for the Niners, a team in need of communication and instrumental principles.
And there's much pressure on York, the 29-year-old inheriting the family legacy in his second year as President/CEO. Within his term, he designed the 49ers Cafe located at the player's complex, but screwed up by hiring a cryptic Singletary. The story this winter in San Francisco has been Singletary, but now he's faulted for diagramming a resemblance of the West Coast offense from the 1985 Bears and installing hilarity for pulling his pants down in the locker room as a way to state a point.
He was also criticized for yanking the best quarterback or firing coaches on his terrible coaching staff. He was not parallel to the late Bill Walsh, the brilliant mastermind who led the Niners' dynasty back in the '80s. At this point, for the most part, the priorities are hiring an experienced NFL coach with an attractive resume, and eventually investing in billions for stadium creations in the Bay Area. He is definitely ready to hire a general manager, to fortify the challenging position since the departure of Scot McCloughan.
"It's important to me to get a general manager and have the general manager get the head coach. It's important to get someone who is the right fit for the 49ers," York said. "It's about time."
Yes, it is time...
The understanding of releasing Singletary, even though he clearly wasn't the suitor for the Niners, is that he had two years remaining on the $10 million, four-year contract he signed in 2008. It wasn't what the Niners had in mind, but after a 0-5 start, they were still in contention and almost survived in the substandard NFC West, considering that San Francisco had the most talented team in the division.
However, the Niners were shellshocked, pummeled and faltered for the lack of stability in a weakened offensive system, ruptured by the 49ers quarterback issues with Alex Smith, the 2005 No. 1 overall pick who turned into an absolute bust. The likelihood is that the Niners are proudly flirting with the availability of Jim Harbaugh, and this alone, is a golden opportunity for Harbaugh if he's willing to leave Stanford for San Francisco. Before Walsh died, he lobbied for Stanford athletic director to hire Harbaugh and ever since, the Cardinal has been a premier program in collegiate football.
The rest of the sports world clearly knows this is a time for York to prove he's worthy of reforming the Niners. This is essentially when we'll learn the true colors of Mr. York.