How do you guys not get this?
The point of Ratto's article was that the 49ers need a new face of the franchise so Singletary isn't the focal point of the team. Ratto's theory is that if the 49ers fail, then Singletary will be the first fall guy.
The idea is that if the identity of the team evolves and a new, true face of the franchise emerges (and no, we don't have that right now, including Willis and Gore), then everything won't fall squarely on the shoulders of Singletary.
Right now, Mike Singletary IS the 49ers. Everything else... the Hill/Smith competition, Gore as the centerpiece, Willis being a bad ass... is just window dressing. Ratto's point is that the 49ers need a new face of the franchise so it isn't always 24/7 Singletary whenever anyone outside of SF talks about the 49ers.
Because if the Niners falter this season, who will the press turn to? Gore & Willis aren't mouthpieces, and there aren't really any true vocal team leaders beyond them. It all comes back to Singletary, and that's not a good thing for him or us as fans.
Let's put it this way... when say, the San Diego Chargers lose big games, who do they turn to? Rivers, Tomlinson, and Norv Turner. Maybe they get Merriman and Castillo too.
Now when the 49ers lose big games this season, who will they turn to? Singletary and just maybe Willis. That's it. Sure, they will ask Shaun Hill questions, but no one outside of SF expects anything out of Shaun Hill. And everyone in the press knows Frank Gore is a terrible interview (on camera, Frank simply does not speak good English).
The article is merely asking for a new face of the franchise so Singletary doesn't get burnt out emotionally if things go bad. It helps if there is another leader to help fend off the criticism and explain what went wrong.
Because right now, it's Singletary's 49ers, and that's it.
[ Edited by NickSh49 on Aug 28, 2009 at 11:59 PM ]