Reeves May Be The Best Choice, But He Is Not The Right Choice

Jan 26, 2009 at 11:02 AM


Reeves might be the best choice (now), but he is not the right choice


Let's face it - Scott Linehan pulled a number on us. He used his family as an excuse to decline a job he did not want. WHY he didn't want the job is perhaps the most important part of the situation, but it is also the matter on which we have the least information.

What we know is that Linehan used his family as an excuse because when he accepted the offensive coordinator position with the Detroit Lions, he told now head coach Jim Schwartz that he would be moving his family to Detroit. If familial stability, and we can infer, locational stability was really an issue he would not have moved his family.

Who knows. Maybe this is more a comment on the California school system than it is the 49ers.

Newly minted coach Mike Singletary is seeing some of the luster wear off of his seemingly gold plated office chair. He can't seem to find an offensive coordinator and he is going back...waaaaay back - to an NFL throwback in Dan Reeves.

Reeves was one of Nolan's mentors, and that mantle has apparently passed to Singletary. Singletary consulted Reeves, in addition to other NFL coaches, in his attempts to gain guidance in his coaching travails.

If hired, Reeves will do an okay job. His offense based on the running game, something Singletary covets. Reeves has experience and has been successful with other franchises.

However, Reeves offense is known as being very conservative. And, as Matt Maiocco reports, Reeves passing offense may lack structure causing potential problems for the 49ers air attack.

Given the options, Reeves may be the best option. He has proven he can be successful and he can assist in effectively mentoring Singletary on the job.

But is he the best option? Reeves is the best of the worst in this case. No one has wowed Singletary and the available coaches are dwindling. Inexperienced coaches simply will not do, and that seems to be all that's available. It is now February and the 49ers are intimately familiar with the dearth of coaches available after early February (see: Norv Turner).

It's the same problem that existed under Nolan, and it was the biggest knock on Singletary. A defensive coach, by definition, cannot completely ensure offensive consistency. Nolan couldn't do it and Singletary is seeing how difficult consistency can be first hand.

Reeves looks like the front runner, but he is a stop gap. Sure, Reeves will coach for 2, maybe three years. Who will succeed him? What offensive system will they run? Will the 49ers be coached more like a Dan Reeves team than a Singletary team? How much does Singletary know about game day offensive game planning? Will he always be beholden to an offensive coordinator?

These are all important questions and questions that should have been answered when Singletary was hired, not months into his tenure.

Singletary may be a great head coach, and he may do great things with the 49ers. At this point, though, the offensive coordinator search is creating more questions than answers.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


6 Comments

  • ART
    One name is missing from the search...Tom Cable. His future with the Raiders is still unknown. Raiders offense was moving well under him.rnrnAnd what about Norm Chow, form USC & Titan OC.
    Jan 27, 2009 at 6:17 AM
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  • LoveChild
    With the way how everything is looking, I'll bet Singletary would probably look to the Steelers or Cardinals Offensive Coordinators or their Quarterbacks Coaches. I'm leaning much more towards the Steelers because of the vision that Singletary has on a power running game, or he could probably be waiting on his buddy Hue Jackson. Well, whatever the case maybe. I honestly want him not to make the right decision, but the best decision for this organization that'll pick-up & last for quite sometime...rn GOOOO SINGLETARY & GOOOO 49ERS ALL THE WAY, BABY!!!!...
    Jan 27, 2009 at 12:48 AM
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    Response: According to Maiocco, there isn't anyone on that staff who is of interest to Singletary. No one can be 100% sure at this point, though.
  • niner
    Dejavu. The niners switch from a winning great D coach because of a guy named Trestman. ( under Holmgren and Shanahan the niners were fine) They picked a young O guy who knew qb's so this wouldnt happen again. Great D's cans lose DC's ala Ravens and Bears after Buddy left, because you draft ( talent) on D and coach O. Holmgren and Shanhan won 3 sb's between them lots of playoff games. They surrounded themselves with good O people so when one left another took their place. Like Walsh young O guys want to be were they can learn the cutting age.. ( seifret couldnt attract young o guys) The Yorks left the Space age and went into the dark ages!!! Stupid is as stupid does. Reeves is Sing's Tom Moore, he is happy where he is and isnt looking to move or get a HC position. Its all very logical. The reason he is taking such a long time is that he knows a Hostler or Trestman will break him. He also is at a disadvantage since the 49ers are no longer the flagship of the NFL. why would linehman want to work for the guys who decimated his friend ERicksons team the 2nd year and then blamed him? HOw many of Mariuccis friend would work here? Remember Carrol wouldnt even interview here!
    Jan 26, 2009 at 8:38 PM
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  • louie
    Vision?! The only vision the Yorks have is to not hire people who have the experience and independence to run a successful football team. These people don't belong in the football business, and the worst part is that they (like other weak owners) are incapable of looking at their history and seeing what they've been doing wrong.rnMcCloughan didn't deserve a promotion to GM after his weak perfomance as a personnel guy. And pulling the trigger early to hire Singletary as head coach was total amatureville. rnLinehan should be seen as a great lesson. When a talented, experienced coach sits down to be interviewed by a rookie head coach, who's never been a coordinator, he doesn't want to be macho'd to death.
    Jan 26, 2009 at 8:23 PM
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  • Herman
    I agree. We NEED to be a WCO team, or as close as possible to it. We dropped the ball - literally - when we went away from it under Nolan. We need to bring back an offense that allows us to easily keep the coaching positions filled - from within. Enacting a "system" that allows this will do this for us. We could definitely play a "smashmouth" version of the WCO - a'la Walsh's early years. We don't need to walk ourselves into the corner of a new system, which may not have a lot of talent available for it. The "digit" system is another option, but not a good one for this team, in my opinion (although the offense is currently embroiled in it - meaning they will need to LEARN the WCO). At least learning the WCO will allow them to keep some flow going when a coordinator leaves - enough around the league know it. We also need to get back to recruiting from within - it gives coaches something to look up to. That is always a selling factor on a positional coaching job - if I can move up in the organization, or whether they just hire outsiders all the time.
    Jan 26, 2009 at 5:12 PM
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    Response: I agree that recruiting within is a big deal. This is how franchises like the Steelers and Patriots do so well year after year. And we departed from the WCO years before Nolan. Erickson did not run the WCO, and actually Nolan ran the WCO under McCarthy in his first year.
  • Nico
    I agreed with the hiring of Singletary and I was happy that he expressed an offensive philosophy upon his hiring, however, while he has a philosophy he needs to hire a coach. He has had a month. Shouldn't he have had a better idea of who he could get for this job? If this was Nolan he would be getting ripped apart in the press. While Nolan had many faults, he did bring in very good offensive coordinators when he had the opportunity to do so- McCarthy, Turner, and Martz. The lack of productivity has had more to do with the personnel rather than the offensive coordinators. rnrnWhy not hire Rathman for OC? He has put in the time. He has a smash mouth mentality and is a connection to the West Coast offense. If I see the niners running the '85 Bears offense I'm going to puke. This team needs to embrace its tradition that made it proud. Imagine the Steelers bringing in an offense where all they do is throw the ball. It would never happen. They have a tradition of hard nosed defensive coaches and they stick with that tradition. We had a tradition, but it has been kicked to the curb. This isn't Singletary's fault but it will only benefit him and the team to embrace the tradition
    Jan 26, 2009 at 2:42 PM
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    Response: It's funny that you bring up the Steelers. I was thinking about how they have very low coaching turnover. This all stems from ownership having a vision for the team, and hiring people accordingly. Granted, the vision was handed to them (tough, run oriented football and a smashing defense) but they hire based on that vision. The 49ers had a vision, and have let that go away. One thing Sing brings, though, is vision.

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