Heading into the 2010 season the San Francisco 49ers finally had an offensive coordinator that was retained after a season. The biggest problem is that Raye is 64 years old, but the game has passed Raye by.
Last year the same problems were with Raye and that was playcalling. It was believed by 49er fans that with quarterback Alex Smith and Raye working together for the second offseason the offense was going to be more in sync, the improvement of Smith would be seen, and furthermore the 49ers would win the NFC West.
Well the 49ers are through two and a half games so far and are in danger of starting the season 0-3 and their next game is in Atlanta and that means the 49ers if the offense doesn't pick up in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs could fall to 0-4 to start the season.
Does the blame go on Mike Singletary? Yes because he hired Raye to be his guy, well has Raye been his guy since he stepped in as the offensive coordinator? No.
Previously there was an article written on the subject of Raye back in November of 2009, which can be found here. The article goes over what Raye has done as an offensive coordinator and what he did as just a coach concentrating on one position, specifically running backs.
Looking more into the article the same thing that is happening to the 49ers right now is what happened last year with the 49ers. Bad playcalling!
The main concern is that head coach Mike Sinletary is loyal and will stick up for Raye. Before the start of the game the 49ers have averaged 14 points which is 24th in the league, average 340 yards of total offense, yet have only one passing touchdown, and two rushing touchdowns.
Looking deeper is the fact that Michael Crabtree coming into the game had only three catches on the year and Josh Morgan the 49ers second receiver has nine. The actual leading receivers on the team are of course the dangerous Vernon Davis and out of the backfield Gore.
Combined the duo of Davis and Gore have caught 25 passes while the duo of Crabtree and Morgan have caught 12. That's not utilizing the weapons the 49ers have receiving wise very effectively and it's easy to see why the 49ers have had a tough time scoring points.
One of the major problems with the 49ers is that their run game is as predictable, so teams can overload looking for the run. This has limited Gore significantly although he did break out against the New Orleans Saints.
Yet, against the Chiefs the run game stalled because it was basically Smith under center giving the ball to Gore. There was one good offensive playcall by Raye as the Chiefs were overly aggressive looking for Gore to run the football, instead of running it was a quick pass out to Crabtree who picked up significant yards on the play.
It actually started the only drive of the game that the 49ers scored and again there was questionable playcalling even after utilizing Crabtree on the drive. On a third and three instead of running the football or looking for Davis or Delanie Walker, a flea flicker was tried attempting to catch the Chiefs off guard.
The play did not fool anyone on the Chiefs defense and with Crabtree the only receiver that went down the field, Smith had no one to throw to and eventually just rolled out of the pocket and threw the ball away.
That meant settling for a 51-yard field goal by Joe Nedney.
Start of the third quarter for the 49ers, and it looked good as Smith found Dominique Ziegler for a 19-yard gain the next play was the killer though as rookie Anthony Davis picked up a bad penalty by punching at a defensive layer of the Chiefs.
With the penalty it meant 2nd and 25 for the 49ers, a run to Frank Gore made it third and 20. Did the 49ers even remotely make an attempt to get any of the yards back? No. Just a short little dump off pass that Crabtree was not able to hold on to.
On the next possession the 49ers had after a punt by the Chiefs, Gore was run for three yards. An incomplete pass after Smith was nearly sacked, and on third down the 49ers had a chance at a first down, but instead of Smith trying to run with the football he tried throwing on the run to Gore, who would not have gotten anywhere near the first down.
For most 49ers fans the question is where is the Smith that marched the 49ers down the field against the Saints? Where is the aggressiveness on offense? There is absolutely no aggressiveness with the unit and no big play except for against the Saints.
The 49ers would like to run the football there's no problem with doing that with Gore, but when it becomes obvious on nearly every first down play that the 49ers are going to run the football. Then the 49ers are going to find second and third and longs.
Mixing up the playcalling is one way to fix that issue, but here's one thing that the 49ers could utilize. When Smith came out of Utah he was known for using his legs. Why not let him roll out of the pocket like he's going to pass and instead let him run for a few yards.
This means that the defenses have to be honest with Smith and allows Smith to be able to find open receivers. That was seen against the Saints on the 49ers final drive when there was nothing down the field he ran with the ball and picked up 24 yards on two carries.
That's especially helpful if Gore can't get going!
Yet, the 49ers don't do this and it just shows that Raye is done. Why he came back is beyond belief and it's time for Singletary to man up and admit his mistake. Raye should be fired immediately after this game regardless if the 49ers some how find a way to defeat the Chiefs.