San Francisco 49ers: The Problem Is "Our Formula Is Simple"

Steve ButlerCorrespondent IOctober 27, 2010

What's Plan B?
What's Plan B?Warren Little/Getty Images

When Mike Singletary was appointed head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, he was quoted as saying "Our formula is simple, we're going to go out and hit people in the mouth..." Meanwhile, opponent's coaching staffs have taken those words to heart, literally. The 49ers have a simple game plan, and they think that all of their players will be more physical than ours.

The 49ers formula is simple. Not only simple, it is poorly schemed and executed. They run Brian Westbrook up the middle then send Anthony Dixon outside on a sweep. Ok to try it, but if these plays are each's only carries of the game, it speaks loudly for the staff's inability to use talent.

The 49ers are conservative and hardly ever take any risks. They have a simple game plan that they operate out of for most of the game. The record speaks for itself, it is easy to game plan against.

Recently, when the 49ers parted ways with offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, it didn't take long for Raye to find the media and let them know that he was shocked because "he was doing everything Singletary told him to do". It was the perfect statement to cover his reputation, but in watching Mike Johnson in the next game, it was more of the same. The team ran a poorly disguised run up the middle with Frank Gore on a 2nd and 22.

If Singletary is willing to dictate his offense, more of the same could be expected from a Hall of Fame middle linebacker when it comes to his defense.

"I just want to see Alex play the way I know he can, the way he plays in practice." said Singletary of Alex Smith, and the way that he plays against simple defensive schemes, a lacking pass rush, and a defense that lets their team go 1-6.

The team that was inherited by Singletary was plagued by issues. The No. 1 overall QB taken in the draft in 2005 was the wrong choice, and that is not speaking from today's standpoint, that is from the standpoint of which QB fit the system in place. It was a poor decision. I'm not saying that Aaron Rogers would be any better with the tutelage of our coaching staff, but it was the wrong choice.

In spite of David Carr's poor play, Troy Smith never saw the field. Even if you assume that his passing would have been as poor as Carr's, at least Smith adds a serious threat to run the football, on any play, that must be accounted for.

Shaun Hill recently addressed the media about what an upgrade it was from a management standpoint to go to the Detroit Lions, citing that there was "too much that was up in the air" in San Francisco. Big surprise there, huh? What an upgrade to go to the "well managed" Detroit Lions.

I don't want to see Singletary back as the head coach next year. He is too set on "He is our guy. This is our plan. This is what we have to do."

He has no plan B, it is always ride plan A till the wheels fall off. I don't think he is capable of being a defensive coordinator without a strong willed head coach that understands how to play football in the current time.

It appears the main difference between this year and last year is that last year Singletary realized that he didn't have the personnel to run the offense that he wanted to run, and this year he hasn't yet realized that even though he got some personnel that he thought would enable him to run that offense, that either he doesn't have it, or his offense doesn't work in today's league.

If the 49ers can land a coaching staff and quarterback that will allow them to utilize the offensive weapons they have to even 80 percent of their potential, this team would be night and day difference from the 1-6 we are seeing now.

I think Singletary is a great guy, and I very much value his contributions to the game of football. His career as a player speaks for itself. In many areas, he has left a positive impact on our roster, depth chart, and attitudes of players. I'm glad that he was our coach for the time that he has been, as it has helped uproot some "by-default" starters and personnel on the roster who weren't getting it done. To name a few, Michael Robinson, Mark Roman, Michael Lewis, and Jason Hill.

However, she seemed to contradict his "play the performers" policy by not directing more snaps to Anthony Dixon in games where Frank Gore was not living up to his usual potential. Also, Anthony Davis has struggled in some games and sending in relief for him in the form of a more seasoned player may light a fire under him to perform.

The 49ers Faithful may be grateful to him for a long time for the character transformation of Vernon Davis, and Nate Clements seems like he may be sparking a resurgence lately to his ways of old. Clements has ground to cover before he is back to his days of playing in Buffalo, but he has shown drastic improvement over the previous couple years of play in a 49ers uniform.

The 49ers have taught me a lot about getting my hopes up, but Troy Smith has undeniable potential. He has the arm and mobility that the 49ers do not have in Alex Smith or David Carr. The 49ers undeniably have the personnel on offense to execute the run, screen, short, mid range, and deep pass, with the exception of quarterback.

Against the Broncos in London, watch not only for Troy Smith's ability, but if the play calling is suitable to his abilities. This is a must win game. Singletary, Manusky, and Johnson must show up with a winning game plan.