Alex Smith, Mike Singletary and 0-5: When Will San Francisco 49ers Say Enough?
Let's get one thing out there right now:
I hail from the Great White North, and I am an avid 49ers fan. Every so often I'll post on message boards replying to columns saying this and that about my Niners, but rarely have I ever spent the time to truly pen down most of the thoughts I have towards the franchise.
Never having been to a pro game, all of my joy from football came from watching games every Sunday with my dad. This also meant that I rarely, if ever, got to see an entire 49ers season; that all changed this year when I moved out on my own and I paid out of my own pocket to get the channels to watch every 49ers game this season.
After such a horrendous waste of money thus far, I feel that it is my duty to vocalise exactly what every die-hard 49ers fan is feeling right now. So without further ado, here are the big questions we Faithful have:
Why has Brian Westbrook not played? Coming into the season I was pumped that Westbrook was coming to San Fran (living in Canada I did have access to plenty of Eagles games), and yet we've barely seen anything from him.
Sure, his numbers have been down in the past couple of years, but the 49ers don't need him as a full-time back, only a second stringer. Does it not make sense to give him more carries and let Gore rest on second or third downs (especially when Mike Johnson insists on calling running plays every first down?).
Conversely, why is Alex Smith still playing? Yes, the guy has the tools to be a decent quarterback, but nothing is going right for him. He hasn't won a game this season and while he has played admirably at points, he does more damage than he does good. I know most people out there feel Carr wouldn’t be any better, referring to Alex Smith-like career in Houston.
But the fact of the matter is, Carr has never really had the chance to throw to Vernon Davis, or Michael Crabtree, or Frank Gore; who knows, maybe he’ll find some chemistry with those receivers that Alex Smith just can’t. And even if he can’t, at least we’re watching someone new and we can have a little bit of hope, rather than having to make excuses for our starting quarterback every Sunday when he inevitably throws the game away.
But, if Singletary insists on not playing Westbrook and always playing Smith, why does he insist on his run-offence so much? Smith's stats favour a spread offence. Gore's stats favour a spread offence; heck, given the situation and personnel that the 49ers find themselves with, conventional wisdom favours the spread offence.
Einstein’s definition of insanity defines it as repeating the same action over and over and expecting different results each time. At this point it looks the 49ers have gone completely crazy.
In the end, however, there is only question that really matters: At what point do the 49ers make a change? Personally, I would have thought that an 0-4 start would mandate a change in any football team, but here we are at 0-5. This professional football team hasn’t won a game in over a month.
And it goes deeper than that—when the 49ers were down 28-6 to the Seahawks halfway through the third, why not change quarterbacks then? Or give Westbrook a few carries, see how he does? The same goes for being down 24-3 to the Chiefs, and that’s *after* they’d solved their “communication” problems. Sitting where they are, the 49ers have to make a change.
After all, if the team just keeps doing what they're doing, aiming for anything but an 0-16 season would be crazy.
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