Question to Mike Singletary: Why Was Jimmy Raye Brought In?

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IOctober 25, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - 2009:  Jimmy Raye of the San Francisco 49ers poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by NFL Photos)

There are plenty of words to describe the concept of Jimmy Raye's offense and none of them are positive words. Which also begs the question: why did Mike Singletary bring Raye in as offensive coordinator?

As the picture suggests, Raye is not a young coordinator; he's been around awhile. The possibility is that Raye was brought in because of his experience and not necessarily the results he has created most recent. Raye is 63 years old.

Most fans know that when someone gets older, they are set in their ways and are more than likely not going to change the way they think. Well, Raye's inability to change and use his better players is hurting the 49ers.

When opposing teams don't have to put an extra guy in the box to stop the run and the 49ers still cannot run the football, it's time for a different approach in the calling of plays.

It doesn't mean call the same play over and over again and hope one or two plays becomes big yardage.

The offensive line for one isn't good enough to do that and it's been in shambles for years.

Shaun Hill doesn't get that much time in the pocket because of that, so when the running game isn't working, teams gear up for the 49ers to pass and send their pass rusher who can easily get to Hill.

What's also sad about the hire is the fact that thanks to Raye's age he's not going to be around for very long. Meaning that it's a good possibility in the next few years the 49ers will be hiring their eighth offensive coordinator within 10 years!

Again, it goes back to the question what was Singletary thinking with the hire?

Let's take a look at the last coordinator job Raye had, which was for 2004 and 2005 with the Oakland Raiders. For the 2004 season the Raiders went 5-11, and in 2005 the Raiders went 4-12.

It doesn't look good on a resume if the team you've last coordinated for goes 9-23 in two years. When looking at the Raiders offensive rating in those seasons, the rushing attack was dead last in 2004 in attempts and yards.

Passing-wise the Raiders were fourth in attempts, eighth in yards, and 11th in touchdowns. The issue was it's the same thing that the 49ers are looking at now.

The Raiders would get down early in games and be forced to throw the football because looking further into the rankings, the Raiders ranked 28th in interceptions thrown.

In total, the Raiders ranked 18th in points, 17th in yards, and 24th in first downs.

In 2005, though, Oakland got worse for points. The Raiders dropped to 23rd, yards down to 21st, and only got better in first downs, which went from 24th to 18th.

Rushing-wise the Raiders were 31st in carries, 29th in yards, and 17th in rushing touchdowns. In terms of passing sixth in attempts, 10th in yards, and ninth in interceptions.

Again, that was his most recent coordinator position. Most recently he's been a coach for a specific position. From 2006-2008 he was the running back coach for the New York Jets.

In terms of coordinator positions before he came to the Raiders, it was one year in Washington in 2001. It's also not a huge wonder why Raye only lasted a year in Washington, either, although the team went 8-8.

The Redskins for the year were ranked 28th in points, 28th in total yards, 29th in first downs. Rushing-wise, the team fourth in attempts, eighth in yards, and 20th in touchdowns. Passing-wise, the Redskins ranked 30th in attempts, 28th in touchdowns, and sixth in interceptions.

For Raye's offense, that looks more similar to the offensive philosophy the 49ers have this year. Run the football as much as possible, but again the Redskins also weren't a high-flying offense, either, averaging 16 points per game for the year. 

Furthermore, you can make similar comparisons to the teams. With the Redskins, the team had at running back Stephen Davis and 49ers, of course, have Frank Gore.

At receiver, the Redskins had Michael Westbrook and Rod Gardner, and the 49ers have Vernon Davis and well now Michael Crabtree.

At the quarterback position for the Redskins it was journeyman Tony Banks and for the 49ers it was journeyman Shaun Hill leading the charge, although Alex Smith has come in today to replace the ineffective Hill.

Well the answer to the question why did Singletary hire him? There really isn't a good answer for it. As you can see, the offenses that Raye has been the coordinator for have been less than impressive in his most recent stints.

I would have been much more inclined to say hiring Raye as running backs coach, tight end coach, or even wide receiver coach would have been a better move!

Even though Raye is not the best man for the offensive coordinator position for the 49ers, as fans we're going to have to learn to deal with it because Singletary has the man he wants.

Lastly, here's the big thing if the 49ers can get a quarterback who can keep defenses honest and not turn the ball over.

The 49ers will be fine because then the team's can't just look to stop the run and most of that has to do with the development of the two young wide receivers, Michael Crabtree and Josh Morgan.

Then the 49ers offense could definitely be very special, because Vernon Davis is not only an outstanding blocking tight end he's becoming a tremendous receiver as well!