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A realistic perspective: perfect lesson at an ideal time

We definitely got our a55es handed to us, and all our weaknesses have been exposed. We have a rookie head coach, an O-Line that's completely out of sync, a QB who looked a lot like the backup many consider him to be, a defense whose play was eerily reminiscent of last year and an offensive strategy designed to "win by one". It isn't surprising that fans are panicking. We started the season euphoric, daring to believe that this team was what coach Singletary portrayed it to be- a team that could compete with any team in the league. But after years of false promises, our faith is easily shaken, and Sunday was a full-on tectonic shift.

But let's recognize some things before we brace ourselves under the doorframe or dive under the dining room table:
1) Singletary, for all his inspirational talk, is still a rookie HC. He's come in and done a very impressive job of changing the culture of this team in a very short time, but let's remember that as a new HC, every game is new territory for him. Expecting him not to completely flop at some point was unrealistic. Even the great coaches have had games that just plain got out of hand. This is likely Singletary's biggest lesson to date and knowing him, he's taking it to heart.

2) This team is still a work in progress. The way we started the season gave grounds for even the more realistic fan to entertain the notion of a deep playoff run. And as much as Singletary wants to will this team to be "special", building the cohesion and effectiveness that denotes "special" takes not only time and consistent focus but probably a talent upgrade in at least a few areas. The "win by one" offensive strategy will only work consistently at a playoff calliber level if everything is clicking. Our O-Line has a long way to go to becoming a "special" group. There's uncertainty at 3 spots- both Guards and RT. Shaun Hill will never be All-Pro, but given some time to operate, he can be more than adequate. On defense it's the pass rush. We currently have no one who can consistently beat his man 1-on-1 and create pressure. You can scheme to generate a pass rush only so long before some OC out-schemes you. The question in both areas is whether we need an upgrade or if the guys we currently have can adequately step up their games. Based on what I've seen so far, I would tend to think it's the former.

But the point is we're about to see what we've really got in this team. How they respond over the next several games (win or lose) will go a long way telling us who belongs and who doesn't (and that includes coaches). Teams rarely go from sub-par to a championship level over night, so bumps in the road were inevitable. Let's just be happy we got our wake-up call in week 5, right before our bye when we have some extra time to work out our issues. Better now than later in the season when the pressure intensifies.

And let's temper our expectations. We're on the cusp of being a playoff-calliber team, but with some of our issues, there's a good likelihood we might not make the playoffs. Then again, we're 3-0 in our division with a reasonably easy schedule in front of us. Either way, what's most important is how this team competes. Our goal is to win a Superbowl. This team is probably not equipped to do that right now, so it's important that we as fans keep a long-term view and celebrate the small strides towards achieving that goal, however this season plays out. A slaughter like we just experienced is an opportunity for our Niners to rise to the occasion and re-establish their identity within the limitations of the talent currently on the roster.

I believe we're on the right track but I also don't expect any miracles. Don't rush to judgment. Sit back and see how they respond to this challenge. And once we have a clearer picture of who belongs and who doesn't, then it's our front office's time to insert those final pieces. We really aren't that far away, so don't duck and cover just yet. Have some faith that the foundation will hold.
Good post. I feel like my brain has been dragged through the gravel.


  • Adman
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 592
I agree with everything except for the part where you say we have a reasonably easy schedule.

We play Houston, Indi, Phili, Green Bay, Tennessee, etc.

We only have 2 games left where you can say we should definitely win that game. And that's against the Rams and Lions. And the Lions aren't really push overs these days.
  • Adman
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 592
We play Chicago as well.
Great post, well thought out and very realistic. BTW, f&%k all those other teams that we play. I want us to eventually behead any team in the NFL, so there.
  • NY9er
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 92
Originally posted by Adman:
I agree with everything except for the part where you say we have a reasonably easy schedule.

We play Houston, Indi, Phili, Green Bay, Tennessee, etc.

We only have 2 games left where you can say we should definitely win that game. And that's against the Rams and Lions. And the Lions aren't really push overs these days.

Tennessee is 0-5. They were crushed by the jags who then got merkd by the seahawks. i say we win 2 of the other 4 mentioned

[ Edited by NY9er on Oct 13, 2009 at 18:53:45 ]
Originally posted by gravelburn:
We definitely got our a55es handed to us, and all our weaknesses have been exposed. We have a rookie head coach, an O-Line that's completely out of sync, a QB who looked a lot like the backup many consider him to be, a defense whose play was eerily reminiscent of last year and an offensive strategy designed to "win by one". It isn't surprising that fans are panicking. We started the season euphoric, daring to believe that this team was what coach Singletary portrayed it to be- a team that could compete with any team in the league. But after years of false promises, our faith is easily shaken, and Sunday was a full-on tectonic shift.

But let's recognize some things before we brace ourselves under the doorframe or dive under the dining room table:
1) Singletary, for all his inspirational talk, is still a rookie HC. He's come in and done a very impressive job of changing the culture of this team in a very short time, but let's remember that as a new HC, every game is new territory for him. Expecting him not to completely flop at some point was unrealistic. Even the great coaches have had games that just plain got out of hand. This is likely Singletary's biggest lesson to date and knowing him, he's taking it to heart.

2) This team is still a work in progress. The way we started the season gave grounds for even the more realistic fan to entertain the notion of a deep playoff run. And as much as Singletary wants to will this team to be "special", building the cohesion and effectiveness that denotes "special" takes not only time and consistent focus but probably a talent upgrade in at least a few areas. The "win by one" offensive strategy will only work consistently at a playoff calliber level if everything is clicking. Our O-Line has a long way to go to becoming a "special" group. There's uncertainty at 3 spots- both Guards and RT. Shaun Hill will never be All-Pro, but given some time to operate, he can be more than adequate. On defense it's the pass rush. We currently have no one who can consistently beat his man 1-on-1 and create pressure. You can scheme to generate a pass rush only so long before some OC out-schemes you. The question in both areas is whether we need an upgrade or if the guys we currently have can adequately step up their games. Based on what I've seen so far, I would tend to think it's the former.

But the point is we're about to see what we've really got in this team. How they respond over the next several games (win or lose) will go a long way telling us who belongs and who doesn't (and that includes coaches). Teams rarely go from sub-par to a championship level over night, so bumps in the road were inevitable. Let's just be happy we got our wake-up call in week 5, right before our bye when we have some extra time to work out our issues. Better now than later in the season when the pressure intensifies.

And let's temper our expectations. We're on the cusp of being a playoff-calliber team, but with some of our issues, there's a good likelihood we might not make the playoffs. Then again, we're 3-0 in our division with a reasonably easy schedule in front of us. Either way, what's most important is how this team competes. Our goal is to win a Superbowl. This team is probably not equipped to do that right now, so it's important that we as fans keep a long-term view and celebrate the small strides towards achieving that goal, however this season plays out. A slaughter like we just experienced is an opportunity for our Niners to rise to the occasion and re-establish their identity within the limitations of the talent currently on the roster.

I believe we're on the right track but I also don't expect any miracles. Don't rush to judgment. Sit back and see how they respond to this challenge. And once we have a clearer picture of who belongs and who doesn't, then it's our front office's time to insert those final pieces. We really aren't that far away, so don't duck and cover just yet. Have some faith that the foundation will hold.

Great post! I'm right there with you. Go 49ers!
Well that's all fine but people need to realize that IF we had GORE the min game is a win, and atl is still a loss. So heading into the bye 3-2 or 4-1 would of been great. 3-2 isn't so bad considering with our OL, I don't think Brady or Manning ould of done much better than Hill with our lack of weapons.

Even with a very good TE, and NO WR's & Injuries, we still won 3 out of 5 (would of been 4 if gore is healthy) Not many other teams could of done as well against the Cards Vikes and so on so i'm happy.

If our OL actually gives Hill some time to pass, NOT MUCH just about 3 seconds, we are going to be a great team.
Originally posted by elguapo:
Well that's all fine but people need to realize that IF we had GORE the min game is a win, and atl is still a loss. So heading into the bye 3-2 or 4-1 would of been great. 3-2 isn't so bad considering with our OL, I don't think Brady or Manning ould of done much better than Hill with our lack of weapons.

Even with a very good TE, and NO WR's & Injuries, we still won 3 out of 5 (would of been 4 if gore is healthy) Not many other teams could of done as well against the Cards Vikes and so on so i'm happy.

If our OL actually gives Hill some time to pass, NOT MUCH just about 3 seconds, we are going to be a great team.

sheesh, even 2 seconds would be nice...
niners will end up 10-6 and win the west
Originally posted by NY9er:
Originally posted by Adman:
I agree with everything except for the part where you say we have a reasonably easy schedule.

We play Houston, Indi, Phili, Green Bay, Tennessee, etc.

We only have 2 games left where you can say we should definitely win that game. And that's against the Rams and Lions. And the Lions aren't really push overs these days.

Tennessee is 0-5. They were crushed by the jags who then got merkd by the seahawks. i say we win 2 of the other 4 mentioned

We should be favored AT LEAST vs: Tenn, Jax, @Stl, DET

If we take care of those games that means we just have to win two or three more against the other seven games. I like our chances. The goal is to keep Gore healthy and have our O-line gel, then win the games we are suppose to win.

[ Edited by global_nomad on Oct 13, 2009 at 21:50:39 ]
Nice post. I had the Niners just outside of the playoffs, being ranked somewhere between 12-15 until they defeat two proven winners, based off of what's happened this season. Our schedule looks tough, but we should not be look at it as if we are the 2004 49ers. We're the 2009 49ers. And in spite of what happened on Sunday, we should be in every game this season. There isn't a game on the schedule that is impossible to win, and that includes the Colts. Indy looks awesome, but they do have to lose sometime.

I honestly don't foresee us looking that unprepared or making that many mistakes as as a team anytime this season again. I also expect to see some of a change in philsophy for this team. Singletary is a rookie HC and is definitely learning on the job. You can also tell by his comments that he is learning/growing and is open to making changes when necessary.

I think the offense may actually open up. The fact that they are admitting to being outsmarted may mean some changes in playcalling may come. I don't think we will get away from being a running team. But we may open it up a little more. Run a few more plays so we don't resemble a HS team :-). There has to be some excuse for keeping so many receivers on the roster.
Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
Nice post. I had the Niners just outside of the playoffs, being ranked somewhere between 12-15 until they defeat two proven winners, based off of what's happened this season. Our schedule looks tough, but we should not be look at it as if we are the 2004 49ers. We're the 2009 49ers. And in spite of what happened on Sunday, we should be in every game this season. There isn't a game on the schedule that is impossible to win, and that includes the Colts. Indy looks awesome, but they do have to lose sometime.

I honestly don't foresee us looking that unprepared or making that many mistakes as as a team anytime this season again. I also expect to see some of a change in philsophy for this team. Singletary is a rookie HC and is definitely learning on the job. You can also tell by his comments that he is learning/growing and is open to making changes when necessary.

I think the offense may actually open up. The fact that they are admitting to being outsmarted may mean some changes in playcalling may come. I don't think we will get away from being a running team. But we may open it up a little more. Run a few more plays so we don't resemble a HS team :-). There has to be some excuse for keeping so many receivers on the roster.

Great post (as well as the OPs post). A lot of fans on here are so quick to judge, so quick to think of an alternate solution, and so quick to throw any player/coach under the bus. I really think that this team is special and that we will overcome, even if that means not this season.

I agree that this bye week couldn't have been at a better time. We've won big, barely won, barely lost, and lost big. All of which we can learn a lot from.

With Gore coming back and Crabtree finally being part of the team, that's already a huge step in the right direction.
Good post, specifically your first point. I think we all forget, myself included, this is Sings first full year as a head coach. He wasn't even a DC or OC before this. No doubt he will go through growing pains and seasons of learning. I am conviced however that we have the right guy. He is not only tough, but very rational. Just listen to him make an ass of the foolish media. Unless we go on another 8 game lossing streak he has my unwaivering support.
Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
I honestly don't foresee us looking that unprepared or making that many mistakes as as a team anytime this season again. I also expect to see some of a change in philsophy for this team. Singletary is a rookie HC and is definitely learning on the job. You can also tell by his comments that he is learning/growing and is open to making changes when necessary.

I think the offense may actually open up. The fact that they are admitting to being outsmarted may mean some changes in playcalling may come. I don't think we will get away from being a running team. But we may open it up a little more. Run a few more plays so we don't resemble a HS team :-). There has to be some excuse for keeping so many receivers on the roster.

The problem is, the Niners thought they were prepared for the Falcons, so I'm not sure we won't have more bad showings. What I don't expect to see again though is the team-wide loss of discipline that we saw on Sunday. Maybe Singletary let up a bit on hammering in his message, or maybe the team just got accustomed to hearing it. Either way, Singletary will do everything he can to figure out how to keep the team focused and the intensity high week-in and week-out going forward. The problem is, no one is as intense as Mike Singletary, so for the players, it's got to be exhausting keeping up that kind of intensity over an entire season. So while a team-wide loss of discipline is now far less likely, guys might still make some bone-headed decisions from time to time.

As for Singletary opening up the offense, I doubt he would unless he was forced to. I'm sure he firmly believes that had the O-Line been executing properly, his strategy would see us grinding teams down. So unless we continue to be inept on the O-Line (which is a possibility), I don't expect to see any liberation of our offensive scheme.