Recently, one of my friends asked me what was wrong with the San Francisco 49ers. Below is my assessment of this trainwreck and how to fix it.
The Niners are terrible. Singletary has lost the team. This has been a series of bad decisions that is resulting in their early season implosion. This all started with the signing of David Carr, which signalled a decision that they weren't going to pursue McNabb and go with Smith.
Smith is clearly awful. If a guy doesn't get it done in five years, he'll never be more than a backup. When your QB is ineffective and you don't want to put the blame on him and ruin his fragile confidence, then you start pointing the fingers elsewhere. Jimmy Raye was the first scapegoat. The Niners should have never let Mike Martz go. With Martz running the offense and Singletary and Manusky running the D, this team would have been dominant. But that didn't happen either because Coach Mike felt threatened or Martz wanted the head coaching job and left.
So now we're left with the Alex Smith experiment still draggin down our offense. The new coordinator is helpful, but he's under-qualified and Smith is still the root of the problem.
The worst part of this is Coach Mike is going to get run out of town and Frank Gore's career is going to go to waste having played on bad teams.
When I watch them play, the only two guys that can be counted on are Gore and Willis.
My best advice for them before Smith went down would have been to bench Smith, put Carr in there to struggle, and finally accept what we as fans have known: that it's time for a new QB.
It looks like the team was smart enough to bypass a David Carr disaster and go straight to Troy Smith, which begs me to ask: why the hell would we sign David Carr in the first place? It's absurd that I knew this was a bad idea from day one, but our front office of personnel "experts" doesn't. Infuriating.
The good news is that McNabb and Vick will be free agents this year. Every other potential free agent QB is subpar, so the Niners must either make a play for one of them if they don't re-sign with their teams, or draft a QB.
The best case scenario would be if Coach Mike can take this team that's playing like a 5-11 team and get them to 8-8, then draft a new QB. Hopefully they don't can him, because that would be a mistake unless they can bring in a guy like Bill Cowher.
We'll see. They've made some good moves, but not enough to get us back to where we belong.