Glen Coffee Surprise Retirement: How It Impacts The San Francisco 49ers

Mihir BhagatSenior Analyst IIIAugust 13, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 22: Glen Coffee #29 of the San Francisco 49ers runs against the Oakland Raiders during a preseason game on August 22, 2009 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

According to reports, San Francisco 49ers running back Glen Coffee, 23, surprisingly announced his retirement today. The reason behind this remains undisclosed, and even Head Coach Mike Singletary is left confused. 

"My initial reaction was, 'Glen, are you sure about this?'" Singletary said. "He said, 'Yes sir, I've given it a lot of thought,' and I said, 'Okay. If that's where you are, then I respect that, and appreciate your honesty. I appreciate the character that you have to come and let us know so that we can move forward and not pus in a situation where we have to go scramble and do something that we didn't want to do."

Coffee, the team's third round draft pick in 2009, was currently competing with rookie Anthony Dixon for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart behind Frank Gore.

So far, Coffee's struggled in limited action. Last year, in his rookie campaign, he rushed for a total of 226 yards on 83 carries as well as one touchdown. A majority of that was earned when Coffee took over the starting role in Weeks 4 and 5 while Gore was injured. 

Fortunately, for the team the impact of his loss won't be too serious. Gore is expected to maintain his high level of play, and Dixon is a promising talent as well. 

"It really forces Dixon to grow up really quick, Singletary stated. "It's one of those things where is going to take more snaps; he's going to get more of the workload. He's really going to have to step it up in terms of his learning progression and his learning of things."

Dixon is set to be the primary backup in this Sunday's exhibition game against the Indianapolis Colts

Michael Robinson, their only other back on the roster, also has a questionable future though. Therefore, they will have to go out and make a move in order to add another runner in the mix.

One notable name still on the market is 2-time Pro Bowl RB Brian Westbrook. Moreover, Buffalo Bills RB Marshawn Lynch could be a possible trade option. 

Of course, this may be a minuscule version of Brett Favre's retirement antics. Making that even more probable, is the fact that Coffee is yet to file his retirement papers. If that were to be the case, I would presume that he would lose tremendous respect and trust from the organization. 

That aside, this move definitely ranks amongst the most puzzling in NFL history. Be sure to keep an eye out on this story as more information is expected to be released very soon. 

On a side note, it appears as if 49ers' former 1st round pick, defensive lineman Kentwan Balmer, is on his way out of San Francisco as well. You may read my opinion on that issue, 49ers-why-they-should-and-will-cut-de-kentwan-balmer" target="_blank">here.