Singletary undecided on quarterback

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Singletary undecided on quarterback

Dec. 17, 2010MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comSANTA CLARA -- The 49ers, fresh off a pitiful performance in San Diego on Thursday, have a couple big games on Sunday.RECAP: 49ers ugly in 34-07 beating from San Diego
Scoreboard-watching has generally gone well for the 49ers this season, as the other teams in the NFC West have made it possible for a 5-9 team such as the 49ers to remain mathematically alive this late in the season.The only way the 49ers will be eliminated prior to their game against St. Louis on Sunday, Dec. 26, is if both the Rams and Seahawks win their home games. St. Louis plays Kansas City, while Seattle takes on Atlanta.Before dismissing his team until Tuesday, coach Mike Singletary stood at the lectern for his usual day-after-game press conference. Here is some of what he said:--Singletary: "Obviously, as tough a loss as it was last night for us, there is still an opportunity ahead and the thing we're going to do is focus on St. Louis and get ready to go play a tough division foe next week."My take: Yes, the 49ers still have an opportunity, but they need a lot of help along the way. The 49ers must win their final two games, and both Seattle and St. Louis would both have to lose two of three for the 49ers to advance to the playoffs.
--Singletary (on whether he'll start Alex Smith or Troy Smith at quarterback against the Rams): "I just think that right now as we look at the film and look at the things we want to do. We'll look at the Rams when we played them the first time. The Rams were a little bit different and I think we're a little bit different. There are some things that have changed since then and we'll deal with it accordingly."MAIOCCO: Singletary again weighs which Smith to play
My take: Troy Smith tore up the Rams on Nov 14, but the major thing that has changed since then is that Frank Gore is no longer around. Troy Smith was most effective when he had play-action pass as his main tool. But the 49ers are not able to have the same success with play-action with Brian Westbrook and Anthony Dixon in the backfield with the quarterback. Also, Singletary's decision might also change based on whether the 49ers remain alive in the division race after Sunday's games.--Singletary (on his future hinging on Sunday's games): "My future depends on the St. Louis game that we've got coming. To me, I take it one week at a time and I don't really worry about all the other things. But right now my focus is on St. Louis."My take: The question, I thought, was actually asked about the 49ers' playoff hopes being connected to the Rams and Seahawks games. But, obviously, the 49ers' fate this season is connected to Singletary's future, as well.--Singletary (on whether he saw the replay of Justin Smith's contact with an official and his thoughts on referee Clete Blakeman's comment that Smith "basically came at him," umpire Garth DeFelice, and "shoved him"): "Ummm. No, no. I did not see the replay of it. As a matter of fact, I just knew the players were saying there was something with Justin and it was possible he'd be ejected. And then the ref came over and talked about it and I asked him what happened and he basically, that's what he said. I wasn't going to go there so it was probably better I didn't see the replay. My reaction probably would've been different. I heard from several people, several of our players, about the replay. The call is what it is. As much as you'd like to protest it, as much as you'd like to go ballistic about it, it is what it is."RELATED: Smith denies intentional shove of official
My take: One of Singletary's top players got ejected from the game. I have a difficult time believing Singletary did not want to see the replay, especially considering if Blakeman's account of the events are accurate, Smith would be subject to further league discipline. But with his next answer, Singletary intimates that he's been assured Smith will not face a suspension.--Singletary: "The bottom line is I think from what I have heard is that what happened last night, that's basically it and we'll move forward from there."My take: OK, Singletary seems to have information that Smith will be subject to a fine, but not a suspension.
--Singletary (on Alex Smith's performance): "Let me just say this: I thought under the situation, under the circumstances, I thought Alex (Smith) handled himself about as well as he could."My take: We can assume that Singletary meant the dropped pass to Delanie Walker early in the game, and the fact that Smith was sacked six times and under constant pressure. Smith completed 65.5 percent of his passes (19 of 29) for 165 yards with one interception.--Singletary (on breakdowns in pass coverage): "I just think that for us, I think we have to do as a defensive staff continue to focus on the back end and make the necessary adjustments that we need to make in order for them to get better."My take: Singletary mentioned the "back end" or secondary, and that actually surprised me. I've spoken with others who believe he problem stems from a lack of a consistent pass rush. So I followed up, asking about the production of the outside linebackers.--Singletary: "I think it's a combination. I think it's a combination of things. Obviously when you're on the back end you always want there to be more pressure. When you're creating pressure, you always want there to be great coverage on the back end. So it goes hand in hand. It's a work in progress."
My take: It's not a work in progress. The 49ers have played 14 games. The 49ers have a veteran secondary, especially at the corners, and they have veteran outside pass rushers. This has been a constant theme for the 49ers. They've had just one player generate 10 or more sacks in the past 11 seasons. Andre Carter had 12.5 sacks in 2002.--Singletary (on whether he can pinpoint a reason for Michael Crabtree's lack of production): "No, I really can't. I just think we have to do a better job of including him."My take: Crabtree, the No. 10 overall pick in 2009, had three catches for 17 yards against the Chargers. He had one catch for 1 yard last week against the Seahawks. He's gone five games without achieving more than 50 yards receiving.

Eric Reid embracing new role with 49ers: 'I was made for this position'

Eric Reid embracing new role with 49ers: 'I was made for this position'

SANTA CLARA – Despite recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons and being named to the Pro Bowl as a rookie, Eric Reid said he believes he is now in a role that best fits his skillset.

Whereas in the past, the 49ers’ safety positions were considered interchangeable, there is a clear delineation this season under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“Even dating back to college, this is the first time there’s a distinct strong (safety) and a distinct free (safety),” Reid said. “I’ve been used to the interchangeability type of role.

“(In) some situations, certain calls where there’s a motion, we might flip. There are a couple situations where I might be in the post in the free-safety role, but it’s not nearly as much as it has been in the past.”

Reid, who is listed at 6 foot 1, 213 pounds, said he is excited to be stationed closer to the line of scrimmage for run support while free safety Jimmie Ward patrols the deep middle of the field.

The 49ers offseason program concluded Wednesday, and Reid found himself in the middle of the action with an interception on a short Brian Hoyer pass over the middle. While he will still be counted upon for coverage, his biggest impact could come to assist a run defense that last season ranked among the worst in NFL history.

“I love it, being around the ball more,” Reid said. “I anticipate making more tackles, hopefully making more plays. I feel like I was made for this position with my body type, being a bigger safety. I’m excited about this year.

“I feel like I’m using what God has blessed me with, more, which is my size and being in the box in the run game. In the past, I felt like I could do more. And being in the post, I can’t use my size as much when it comes to the run game.”

After producing seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid recorded just one interception in 26 games over the past two seasons.

As a first-round pick in 2013, the 49ers picked up the fifth-year option this season for $5.676 million. He is scheduled for unrestricted free agency at the conclusion of the season. Reid said the 49ers have not spoken to his representation about a long-term extension. That will come, he believes, if he lives up to his end of the bargain in his new, streamlined role.

“I look at it from a business standpoint,” Reid said. “I majored in business. They have me under contract. They don’t have any reason to talk to right now. I imagine if I play well in the first half of the season, they’ll reach out to me. Maybe they’ll reach out to me before training camp, I don’t know. It’s whatever route they decide to take. It’s a business. I’ll treat it as a business. I have a job to do, so I’ll do it.”

 

Mike Shanahan's official role with 49ers: Father of head coach

Mike Shanahan's official role with 49ers: Father of head coach

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan always wanted to coach football with his father. But, first, he knew he had to prove himself without any boost from his well-known dad.

Once the son established himself as one of the NFL’s respected offensive minds, the Shanahans teamed up for four up-but-mostly-down seasons with Washington.

Mike, the two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach, hired his son to serve as his top offensive assistant in 2010.

“I thought we saw football similar, but we quickly realized after a few weeks that we saw it differently,” Kyle Shanahan told NBC Sports Bay Area in February. “We grew together. He gave me a lot of leeway while I was there. It was fun to try a bunch of different things, having to even incorporate the zone read when we got Robert (Griffin).

“We did our deal in Washington, and I wouldn’t take that back for the world, but that was pretty much the end of it.”

Kyle Shanahan broke into the coaching ranks under Karl Dorrell at UCLA. He moved onto the NFL to work with Jon Gruden on the staff of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Gary Kubiak with the Houston Texans. But nothing prepared him for the scrutiny he would face as offensive coordinator under his father.

Kyle Shanahan adjusted the Washington offense to take advantage of Griffin’s skills as a dual-threat quarterback as a rookie 2012. The club qualified for the playoffs with a 10-6 record.

But things blew up the following season as the Mike Shanahan-Griffin relationship soured. Shanahan and eight assistant coaches, including Kyle, were fired the morning after Washington’s 3-13 season concluded.

Mike Shanahan has remained out of coaching, though he was a finalist for the 49ers’ head-coaching job after the 2015 season. The 49ers hired Chip Kelly.

Kyle Shanahan rebuilt his career with one season as offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns and two successful seasons with the Atlanta Falcons to enable him to become CEO Jed York’s choice to replace Kelly.

There is no official role for Mike Shanahan, 64, on his son’s staff with the 49ers. But the father has attended several of the team’s practices this offseason, including both days of the 49ers’ mandatory minicamp this week. Mike has been issued his own iPad that gives him access to the 49ers playbook and coach's film. He will likely visit for an extended stay during training camp. But Kyle said he believes his dad will mostly remain home -- only a phone call away -- during the regular season.

“He’s enjoying life right now,” said Kyle, 37. “He’s got a pretty good deal in Denver, where he lives. He can help me out in other ways anyways without having to be here every day.”

Mike Shanahan does not need to be in the building every day to counsel and have influence on his son as he tries to navigate his first season as the head coach while also maintaining the responsibilities of running the team’s offense.

“You’re going 1,000 miles an hour,” Kyle Shanahan said. “Sometimes to see everything you’ve got to really slow things down and take your time to look at stuff and you don’t always have that time as a head coach.

“It’s nice when someone you know who thinks similar to you has a similar background and he just sits in a room all day and watches stuff. He doesn’t have any other responsibilities. He can see some things that I’m not always seeing and just to bring things to light that maybe I missed or other people have missed.”

Mike Shanahan was a successful NFL offensive coordinator for seven seasons. He won a Super Bowl on George Seifert’s staff with the 49ers in January 1995. His dad believes his time around the 49ers has a lasting impact.

“When I was with San Francisco, Kyle was at the 49ers training camps in Rocklin,” Mike Shanahan told Fangirl Sports Network. “He stayed with me at camp and we talked about football every night.

“He had the opportunity to experience an organization that had won four Super Bowls in nine years. He also had the opportunity to be around some great people and leaders. He still tells stories and talks about people like Steve Young, Joe Montana, Harris Barton, Tom Rathman, Jerry Rice, John Taylor, Deion Sanders, and many others. What a great experience to see how these men handled themselves on and off the field.”

The Denver Broncos hired him to become head coach shortly after the 49ers’ 49-26 victory over the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. Shanahan went on to win two Super Bowls in his 14 seasons with the Broncos.

Kyle Shanahan was a wide receiver at Duke before finishing college at Texas, where he caught 14 passes for 127 yards in two seasons. He figured he would have a career in football and it would not be as a player.

“I’ve wanted to coach my whole life,” Kyle Shanahan said. “This is all I’ve known, just growing up around football. It’s almost all I’ve been into, too. Since I was little, it’s distracted me from everything I’ve done, especially school. I always tried to tell my mom, ‘Just be patient, it’ll play out for us in the long run.’ Fortunately, it did.

“Once I realized my genes were a little bit better as a coach than as a player, I pretty much locked into that – and that was about halfway through college. I haven’t looked back.”

During his short time with the 49ers, players on both sides of the ball have expressed amazement at how knowledgeable Kyle Shanahan is about the game of football. His dad told Fangirl Sports Network to succeed as a head coach he must always be dedicated to stuyding, learning and teaching the sport.

“He loves the game and knows it inside and out,” Mike Shanahan said. “My advice to him is to never lose the drive to study the game as he’s done over the last 13 years. To stay in the NFL as a head coach and have success for any length of time, you must never lose your drive to teach and stay abreast of what the top teams are doing every year: offense, defense, special teams. You must be able to coach all positions to really understand the whole game.”

Former 49ers president Carmen Policy said he remembers young Kyle serving as a ball boy during 49ers training camp in the early 1990s. Policy, who remains close to Mike Shanahan, has followed Kyle’s rise in the coaching ranks while playfully questioning the sanity of the family business.

Said Policy: “I used to tease Mike, ‘What kind of father are you to let your kid go into coaching?’ I said, ‘You should be charged with dereliction of parental duty.’ And he’d laugh and say, ‘Yeah, I tried talking to him and then my wife tried talking to him, but that’s his passion, and that’s what he wants to do, so I’m not going to dissuade him from it.’

“And, then, look at what happened. Here he is. He’s the head coach of the 49ers, and that’s just incredible.”