here is Raye's exit interview.....seems like he tells it like it is without really trying to throw anyone under the bus....but at the same time, defending himself from those who know nothing about football or how the coaching process works.
seems like a cool guy, and I wouldn't mind sitting down and hearing him talk about all his years in football.
Question: Did it surprise you when coach Mike Singletary told you he was letting you go?
Raye: "I think that's a bit of an understatement. Yes, it did."
Q: Did you think the offense was on track to where you thought it would be?
Raye: "I thought we were a work in progress. Coming off of last year, we were competitive. I thought there was improvement in the play of the offense. I thought with the new center (David Baas), a new right tackle (Anthony Davis), a new left guard (Mike Iupati), (Michael) Crabtree missing all of training camp, I thought we were a work in progress. But we showed signs of getting on track in the New Orleans Monday night game. I thought we were making strides. The continuity wasn't where it should be because of the changing, but I thought we were heading in the right direction."
Q: Was there ever any debate inside the building, philosophically, between you and Mike Singletary about what the offense should be doing?
Q: Were you given full power to do whatever you wanted with the offense?
Raye: "I was carrying out the head coach's wishes. I was doing what I was brought here to do under his philosophy he wanted installed. I tried as best I could to carry that out with the quarterbacking and the personnel that we had. I didn't come in and say, 'This is my offense, and I'm running this, and if you don't like it, you can get somebody else.' I was doing what was given me to do.
Q: Do you think the decision for the 49ers to part ways with you came from above Mike Singletary?
Raye: "I don't know. I don't know and I'm not going to speculate on that. I worked for him. He's the guy I talked to who told me he was relieving me. You know me well enough to know I deal in the facts. And he was the guy I communicated with. I never communicated with management since I've been here about anything football-wise. He was my superior, so he's the one who made the decision, as far as I'm concerned.
Q: After the game, Mike said you'd be the coordinator for the rest of the season. Did he ever express the same thing to you?
Raye: "I wasn't aware of that. I fully expected that. They've had a different offensive coordinator for the past seven years, and we'd started to get something going continuity-wise. I thought that. But, no, I wasn't aware that was said."
Q: Was there a pre-scheduled meeting for Monday morning between you and Singletary?
Raye: "No, there wasn't a meeting scheduled. I went in like my normal routine at 6 o'clock Monday morning to start working on Atlanta, and Mike came in and said he wanted to talk to me. We had the conversation and that was it.
Q: Being in this game as long as you've been, I'm sure you've seen a lot. Was this more difficult to take?
Raye: "No. I told the team when we cut to the 53-man roster, I told them that the expectations have gone up and it would not be business as usual. The scrutiny would be swift. So, I guess, when you go 0-3 and you start off with the expectations we had, with everybody saying we were going to be this dominant team in the NFC West, and we start off 0-3, lost a division game in Seattle, it didn't surprise me that something happened. I was still a little stunned and disappointed, but if we'd been 1-2 or 2-1 and even won the Monday night game, I think this conversation wouldn't be taking place. I think with the level of expectation and, three weeks into the season, the presumed failure that a young team is trying to germinate and find itself is a little, I think, a little rushed. It's a journey -- a 16-game journey. And you can still win your division and do the things you set out to do. It was a reaction. I wasn't aware of what you said earlier about that statement (Singletary's vote of confidence), but it really doesn't matter now because I was terminated.
"The only way I look at it, I feel OK about what I did here, the development of Alex Smith and the development of Vernon Davis, the play of the offense over the last 10 games or so of last year, the infusion of the new talent of offensive linemen, the change at center, the loss of Ted Ginn, the change there . . . all the things that go into a pro football season. We were taking that on and trying to combat it. But you have to win, and I understand that. We didn't win, and I paid the price for that. I'm not going to let what I've stood for over 33 years in the National Football League be affected by the 19 games I coached for the San Francisco 49ers. I did a standup job for them. I feel good about what we were able to accomplish. Would I've liked to have been 3-0? Yes. But it wasn't the case. It's not going to dissuade me from what was accomplished, and what I think was in the making if we'd been able to continue doing what we were doing."
Q: After Seattle game you said the offensive coordinator and the quarterback have to take a lot of the heat, rightly or wrongly, after the offense struggles. How would you say Alex Smith did, as far as carrying out what you wanted him to do?
Raye: "I think he did well. It's a work in progress. There were signs . . . it's like raising a child. There were signs of the things you taught and the maturity. And there were times when it was just OK. In the long run, it was at the point where the adjustments were not as difficult or the things you talked about weren't as difficult to correct. They were not as far-reaching as they were a year ago. That part of it was OK. We went into Kansas City, it was a 10 o'clock start for us, Pacific Time. I don't know if our guys handled that very well. We didn't play with a lot of pop. They played with a lot of zest and energy. They beat us. We didn't play very well coming off what was anticipated a step forward against New Orleans, so I was taken aback at that. But it's one step in 16, as I viewed it. I was just ready to go on to the next game. You learn in this business that you have to move on to the next opponent. You can't dwell on 'coulda, woulda, if.' I was moving on. I was OK with where that all was."
Q: When you look at the offense, it seemed you guys had become predictable with the inside running game and the short-passing game and were never attempted to stretch the field. Is that a fair assessment?
Raye: "No, it's not. We feed and dial off the run. That is the backbone of the structure that was in place. Kansas City was a good run defense team, and that will prove itself out over the course of the season. They're very good against the run, and early on we anticipated that was going to be the case. Because of the crowd nose and what had happened in Seattle, we didn't want to get into a throw-throw-throw situation of holding the ball and letting No. 91 (Tamba Hail) and No. 50 (Mike Vrabel) get up the field on us. Some of that was by design to get the ball out quickly. We didn't think, 'We're not going to throw the ball down the field.' I saw a couple go-routes fail over the top of Crabtree's head out of bounds. It's in the eye of the beholder, and because I look at it more from a technical aspect than a layperson, people's judgment is what it is, and I'm going to try to dissuade that."
Q: Did you feel you had the full support of your coaching staff? As MIke Singletary said, did you feel like there was a rat in the building?
Raye: "The guys I worked with, I enjoyed the time I spent with them. I think they're quality football coaches. I didn't spend any energy in trying to find out if somebody in there was uncomfortable or whether somebody in there had a different agenda. I never spent any energy on that. I thought they all did an admirable job.
Q: Now, Mike Johnson takes over as coordinator. Have you spoken to him since this has happened? And what kind of job do you think he'll do in that role?
Raye: "No, I haven't had an opportunity to have a conversation with him. I think he'll do fine."
* * *
Raye, 64, began his NFL coaching career in 1977 with the 49ers under Ken Meyers. He coached in the NFL every season since. This was his 34th season.
Q: What's are your plans now?
Raye: "Foremost on my plate is getting to my grandson's basketball game on Friday in Houston, Texas. Short of that, getting myself moved back home to the East Coast (Pinehurst, N.C.). Take a deep breath and look back on it with a non-emotional state and make some assessments and go from there.
Q: Do you plan to remain on as president of the NFL Coaches Association?
Raye: "I haven't made that decision. At this point I don't want to deal with that. I didn't anticipate third week of the season not doing football like I've done for the last 34 years, so I want to take my time and let this all settle and make some decisions going forward once I get back and settled."
[ Edited by Afrikan on Sep 28, 2010 at 9:41 PM ]