Raye Of Sunshine: 49ers OC Not Given Enough Credit

DannyBoy SportsTalkCorrespondent IMay 27, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - 2005:  Jimmy Raye of the Oakland Raiders poses for his 2005 NFL headshot at photo day in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Getty Images)

New season. New players. New coaches…AGAIN.

Jimmy Raye II brings a wealth of experience and knowledge into the San Francisco 49ers locker room.

The question remains, “Is he a gem pulled from the heap of more-hyped coaches? Or does his experience turn him into Al Davis, the cross-bay crock of a GM for the Oakland Raiders?”

First a bit of a background that got the 49ers into this mess.

In a truly desperate move by a desperate man, “Mad” Mike Martz was hired as offensive coordinator in 2008 by then-head coach Mike Nolan.

Maybe Martz really was mad...at least for accepting the job.

Known as a coach who fits square players into round holes, it seems the selection of Martz was more for ticket sales than for championships.

Martz’ offense, while great at times, was limited when Mike Singletary took over for Mike Nolan midseason (everyone remembers the goal line dive against the Cardinals).

Smash-mouth football became the new offense, and Martz simply did not fit that bill.

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After the season, he was unceremoniously let go.

Fast forward to January of this year.

Raye becomes the newest offensive coordinator for the position. According to Matt Barrows of the Sac Bee, he was in the running for the position immediately after the season, despite reports he was a last minute candidate.

With this hire, San Francisco 49er fans everywhere gave a collective sigh while simultaneously debating whether Mike Singletary had lost his mind. Raye, former coordinator of the Chiefs, Raiders, and Redskins, seemed like a scrape-the-bottom-of-the-barrel selection.

But, fear not 49ers fans.

You have much to hope for.

With the Chiefs, Raye turned Tony Gonzalez into the perennial Pro Bowler you see today.

There may be hope for Vernon Davis yet.

As for running backs, Raye’s stable has included such remarkable names as Tony Richardson, Amos Zereoue, and Donnell Bennett. I know those were some marquee running backs, but Frank Gore they are not.

One notable runner was Stephen Davis in 2001, when he amassed 1,432 yards with Raye as play caller. Gore should easily pass 1,400 yards this season, given the Mike Singletary Enhancement Effect (from here on, it will be known as the MSEE) he seems to have on players.

As for receivers, his best stable of receivers came with the Chiefs in 2000. Aside from Tony Gonzalez, Derrick Anderson and Sylvester Morris were the primary targets. Isaac Bruce, Josh Morgan, and Michael Crabtree already wets the pallet more than the drier-than-an-Alabama-summer combo of Anderson and Morris.

Have hope, Niner Nation!

When talent was available, Raye has made the most of it. He also never had a head coach quite like Mike Singletary.

Consider his effect the same as Mike D’Antoni's in the NBA: stats become padded and players develop their games. The “Raye”s will be shining down in the Bay Area, players will be better than before, and the 49ers will return to their rightful spot atop the NFC West.

Call it a Hunch.

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