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Lowell Cohn's new column

He makes some good points about the Yorks, I do think we have terrible owners. However, he's dead wrong in several things about Singletary and the hiring. First off, there were teams coming after Singletary. I live in Dallas, and there was alot of rumors floating around here about Baylor wanting him as their headcoach, and the Cowboys wanting him. The Singletary hire was quick, but at the time, we all thought it was the right move. Someone had it right, I think this guy is positioning for "I saw this coming all along".

As for the Shanahan and Gruden argument. Those guys were turning down job interviews. I know for a fact Shanahan turned down the chance to interview for the Cowboys head coaching position. They were not interested in coaching at the time. As for Gruden, I doubt he's commentating because no one wants him. He's just not ready to coach again just yet. I think he'll come back eventually but for now, he's enjoying his break. This guys get burned out, so they step away. It's not because no one wants them.
this is the first time i've ever agreed with cohn! Luckily singletary made the right move! I hope mike johnson goes spread!!
  • kray28
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 10,304
The Yorks are terrible, deserve to be criticized, and wish they would sell the team.


They are not the real culprit in this specific situation. Mike Singletary is. They hired a coach who performed well on the field on a trial basis, had the players' respect, and was liked by the fans.

They couldn't predict that his choice of coordinators, his stubbornness with the game philosophy, his simpleton level command of the Xs and Os and his his poor management skills would eventually rear their ugly head.
Cohn has somewhat of a point, but again he really doesn't make it very well. I agree with HessianDude that hindsight is always 20/20 and it's easy to say York "did something too quickly". If "getting it right" was as easy as it sounds it wouldn't have taken New Orleans, Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and even the Seahawks decades of losing before they "got it right".

You have to play with the cards you're dealt. John York admittedly didn't want to run this team. He leaned on Walsh to appoint Donahue as the GM. People forget that Donahue was hand picked by Walsh to run the 49ers as he stepped down. Sure the Mariucci firing was a bad idea, but even then most fans agreed with TO that Mooch "had no killer instinct". Many applauded Mooch's firing but had no idea Walsh's hand picked successor would call on Dennis Erickson. Neither did fans realize that Donahue would essentially dismantle the entire team.

This left York completely on his own and when you're in business, you tend to trust the people you have and not outsiders. Why on earth would the Yorks suddenly trust all the external advice from people not nearly associated with the team? At the time everyone thought Nolan was a "good hire". The 49ers #1 pick was because of the Walsh-appointed Donahue era prior to Nolan's hiring.... and it was McCarthy who advocated for Smith - not just Nolan. Yes, maybe the Yorks gave too much power to Nolan but many thought they had a great coach on their hands. McCloughan was hired and lauded as a great evaluator of talent ala Green Bay and the Hawks and Marathe hasn't had one single holdout since he became VP, save Crabtree and many people thought the 49ers won that challenge.

Nolan hired good OCs in McCarthy and Turner but miserably failed with Hostler and had some success with Martz. After the team lost and we tired with Nolan, the team looked to Singletary. During this time the ownership was again in transition with Jed taking a more active role.

The team ended up in York hands because Eddie was stupid. There's just no other way to put it. So if you want to find fault, blame Eddie. Alex Smith found his way on this team because Walsh's heir apparent to John McVay dismantled the team and we ended up with the number 1 pick shortly there after. Furthermore, that pick was APPROVED buy the current winning head-coach of the Green Bay Packers who's winning with the QB he didn't choose in that draft.

If there's any criticism that I have of the Yorks (or Jed) is that he may have failed to understand the trend toward offense in the league. In today's NFL, I strongly believe you need a former OC as a head-coach; a guy who understands the passing game. Recent rule changes and added "points of emphasis" are all geared to make the game "more exciting" and that means passing, not a ground and pound - strong defensive teams. I personally think that era is over and the NFL prefers it that way obviously.

Jed should have found himself a good, aggressive, organized GM/Player Personnel guy who believed in the trends of the NFL, appoint a bright, creative OC as head coach and then hire a stud DC. That GM should believe in finding a coaching candidate who believes in a good QB prospect, investing heavily in the LOS (both O and D) and then adding pieces at the skill positions either via draft or FA.

This formula seems easier said than done, but unfortunately the 49ers were not able to do this recently. In the final analysis you can't just simply blame the Yorks and walk away from the issue. There were MAAAAANNNYYYY decisions that were made which resulted in the current state of the franchise.

Finally, what most fans fail to realize is that selling the team doesn't necessarily mean change for the better. Remember the 49ers are not very profitable in terms of an NFL business, and increased revenue isn't a guarantee even with a new stadium in Santa Clara or San Francisco. Even Cohen wouldn't be happy if the a new owner bought the team and moved it to Los Angeles or San Antonio (don't sleep on San Antonio - check out population projections). Just as if you would change a coach or a player, changing owners doesn't guarantee a return to the glory years.

  • DRnSFw
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 59,160
I thought then — as I wrote — the Prince was in an awful hurry. Mike Shanahan would become available in a few days and Jon Gruden would become available in about a month. Maybe they could do a better job. But there was no comparison shopping for our Prince, and certainly no waiting.

Nothing in this article is news to anyone. I think it reiterates what we've been saying for a while.
Originally posted by CrankDatCrabtree:
Originally posted by Shaj:

wish we could've had Gruden

We still can and hopefully will when Sing completes this utter disaster of a season.
I wish I had a magic archive at my fingertips because I could pull out a similar column he wrote about Eddie DeBartolo in 1977 while he was with the Chron.
The part about York the Prince being taken in by Sing's deep voice... damn funny.

He nailed it. It was a horrendous hire, simply awful and a lot of people knew that.

Sing now depends on Johnson to save his ass and York does too. Well, York won't lose his job as Mom won't take the team away from him, but she might think Dad could "help" him.

Nobody would want that!
Originally posted by Shaj:

The Niners downfall begins with the Yorks, and has been carried out by their heir, Jed York the Prince. Jed rushed into hiring Singletary, when Gruden and Shanahan would be available shortly thereafter. Also, he feels Nolan was a better coach than Sing, because at least Nolan helped with game planning defense, while Sing plays zero part in game planning anything. Sing hired Raye because he said the right things, and the story continuines with yet another unqualified person taking on an important role (first Jed, then Sing, then Raye). Now, we are in a sitution where another unknown person, Mike Johnson, becomes the most important coach in the 49ers. If he succeeds, Sing stays, if he fails, Sing gets fired at year end.

Nice story, and I agree.

It's 100% true. I've been saying it for years. The Yorks suck. We will never win with them. We will have different names at HC, OC, DC, new players, personnel guys etc. But the constant of SUCK is the Yorks. It always has been and will be until they sell to Larry Ellison.

Originally posted by area49:
Originally posted by SJniner7:
"The Prince finally needs to get it right. If he does, good for him. If he can't get it right, he will have to fire Singletary and get a new offensive coordinator and a new quarterback, and then start all over again from the beginning. If it comes to that, he and Dad should just sell the team."

I am confused on what exactly he means by "getting it right"? Does he mean if Johnson works out, which had nothing to do with him? Or is he suggesting that Sing would be fired and hire a legitimate coach if the Niners fall hard?

Johnson is Sing's last ditch effort, and could make or break his job. This is similar to how Smith is going to make or break our season.

I agree with the hiring of Sing, as it seemed he was just given the job following half of 2008. We should have at least waited and seen what would come available. You guys all talk like "selling" the team is the answer.

My fears would be moving the team or even selling to a worse owner than we currently have. Trust me, there are worst owners than the Yorks...

There are no owners worse than the Yorks, and moving the team would be nothing short of a blessing.

We can intellectualize the Yorks ownership however we want. The bottom line is, the wins and losses. Unfortunately they have failed miserably, wouldn't it be better if they sold the team?
Originally posted by 190836:
We can intellectualize the Yorks ownership however we want. The bottom line is, the wins and losses. Unfortunately they have failed miserably, wouldn't it be better if they sold the team?

Yes it would. They have done nothing but fail and suck as long as they have been here. They can rationalize all the hirings and firings they want but that's just cover for their own incompetence.
Originally posted by 190836:
We can intellectualize the Yorks ownership however we want. The bottom line is, the wins and losses. Unfortunately they have failed miserably, wouldn't it be better if they sold the team?

as long as they sell the team back to Eddie D!
Originally posted by jta854:
I’ll sy this at the risk of being labeled a York supporter, but… Has everybody forgot about the salary cap hell we were in when the Yorks took over?

lmao. You can't be serious. That was pretty much a thing of the past very early in the decade. That excuse has been spent......LOOOONNNGGG time ago.

I actually was not a huge critic of the DonahueErickson, I thought they were just going to be place holders while the cap hell was being flushed. But NO, the Yorks allowed them to build their own cap hell...and went on to replace them with equally unqualified people.
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