Source: Singletary will not return as head coach

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Source: Singletary will not return as head coach

Dec. 26, 2010MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comST. LOUIS -- The drama and dysfunction reached new depths Sunday for the 49ers. And coach Mike Singletary will not return as head coach next season.The only question is whether Singletary will be fired before or after the team's season finale, according to a source close to the situation. The 49ers are 5-10 with one game to play.Owner John York, team president Jed York and executives Trent Baalke and Paraag Marathe were in discussions Sunday afternoon whether to fire Singletary immediately or wait until after the team's final game of the season, the source told Comcast SportsNet.For the first time all season, Jed York declined to give Singletary a public vote of confidence after the 49ers' 25-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday knocked the team from playoff contention.NEWS: Rams end 49ers' playoff hopes with 25-17 win"We want to take our time before we make any decisions like that," Jed York said when asked if Singletary would coach the 49ers in the final game of the season. "You don't want to make an emotional decision right now, right after the game."Regardless, York said there would be major changes coming to the organization, including the addition of a general manager. While the 49ers are expected to fire Singletary before naming a general manager, York said he and the new GM will "discuss together" the future of the 49ers' coaching staff.Baalke, the 49ers vice president of player personnel, is expected to be one of the candidates for the position. The 49ers will conduct a search to fill the position, York said.Singletary has two years, 10 million left on his contract, but Jed York said the organization will do anything to get into Super Bowl contention. The 49ers have not made the playoffs since the 2002 season under coach Steve Mariucci."Money is no object," York said. "Our object is to win the Super Bowl. We're going to make this right. What bothers me is this is a playoff-caliber game and we didn't get it done."York said the most disturbing thing about the 49ers' season was that there was a consistent lack of focus. To wit, the 49ers committed eight penalties (one was declined) in the first 17 minutes of the game Sunday against the Rams.York said he believes the 49ers had enough talent on the team to win the NFC West and compete among the top teams in the NFC."We aren't where we need to be," York said. "I'm not taking anything away from the Rams and Seahawks. I wish those teams the best of luck going forward. Someone has to win the the NFC West, which is strange enough that somebody is going to in it at 8-8. There is no reason we aren't that team to win it this year."Singletary said he takes "full responsibility" for the 49ers' disappointing season. The 49ers close out their season next Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park."I'm the head coach of this team and, obviously, wanted us to do better and felt we could do better," Singletary said. "But there are some obvious question marks that I hoped would be answered as the season went on. And I'm not going to go into that right now. But, obviously, they were not answered. When that happens, you end up out of the playoffs."When asked if he expected to be back as head coach, Singletary answered, "That is not my decision."The 49ers have progressively gotten worse under Singletary's direction. The club went 5-4 under his direction after he took over for fired Mike Nolan in the middle of the 2008 season.The 49ers finished 8-8 last season. As consensus preseason favorites to win the NFC West, the 49ers fell out of contention in the downtrodden division.Singletary's handling of the 49ers' offense has fueled a great deal of the skepticism about his ability to succeed as a head coach. And, certainly, his handling of the team's quarterback situation in recent weeks has been clumsy.Singletary made quarterback changes after each of the 49ers' previous two defeats. He made the change from Troy Smith to Alex Smith two weeks ago because he said Troy Smith did not have enough grasp of the offensive system.RELATED: 49ers Notebook: 49ers notebook: In need of a QB, too
Alex Smith responded with the best game of his career, leading the 49ers to a 40-21 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. But when the team got blown out Dec. 16 against the San Diego Chargers, Singletary decided Troy Smith provided the 49ers with their best hope.Another bizarre scene unfolded on the 49ers' sideline early in the third quarter after Troy Smith badly overthrew intended receiver Ted Ginn. Rams safety Oshiomogho Atogwe intercepted the pass to help set up the Rams for a field goal that gave them a 15-14.After the interception, Singletary was prepared to make another quarterback change. Alex Smith began warming up, and Troy Smith then engaged in a heated shouting match with Singletary.In the past, Singletary has used the threat of a benching in hopes the quarterback would stand up for himself and insist on staying in the game. And that's what Troy Smith did. So he remained in the game."It was definitely about the quarterback switch," Troy Smith said of the argument. "I felt at the time I wasn't ready to come out. . . . It's ultimately his decision."Late in the third quarter, Troy Smith completed passes of 29 and 24 yards to Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree, respectively. But kicker Jeff Reed missed for the first time with the 49ers, sailing a 34-yard attempt wide left that would've given the 49ers the lead.Singletary finally removed Troy Smith for good after the Rams took a 22-14 lead with 9:36 remaining. Alex Smith tossed a 33-yard pass to Josh Morgan to help the 49ers get in range for Jeff Reed's 47-yard field goal with 5:41 left. Alex Smith entered the game without getting any practice snaps with the 49ers' first-team offense last week, he said.The Rams' Danny Amendola tore off an 84-yard return to the 49ers' 12-yard line. Josh Brown kicked a 28-yard field goal with 3:51 remaining to bump the Rams' lead back to eight points.Troy Smith completed 7 of 19 passes for 153 yards with a touchdown -- a 60-yarder to Michael Crabtree -- and an interception. Alex Smith completed 10 of 15 passes for 120 yards. Rams quarterback Sam Bradford torched the 49ers for 292 yards on 28-of-37 passing with one touchdown.The 49ers looked ill-prepared and lethargic in the first quarter. They committed seven penalties (one of which was declined), and had problems executing a simple shotgun snap.First, starting center David Baas misfired on a third-down situation to end the 49ers' first drive. After Baas left the game briefly with a ribs injury, quarterback Troy Smith could not handle Tony Wragge's snap and he fell on it in the end zone for a safety.That play gave the Rams a 9-0 lead. The Rams scored a touchdown on their first drive, after the 49ers won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. Cornerback Nate Clements was called for a 39-yard pass interference penalty that negated Reggie Smith's interception.The Rams scored on the next play when Steven Jackson took it into the end zone from 1 yard out for a 7-0 lead.The 49ers, who have played a lot of bad quarters of football this season, were at their worst when it mattered the most.When asked if the 49ers' problem was coaching, York said, "I think it's a combination of a lot of things. We haven't put it all together, yet."

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.”