Can Jimmy Raye Save the Day?

Amar DesaiContributor IMay 29, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 14:  Quarterback Tim Rattay #13 of the San Francisco 49ers passes as offensive tackle Scott Gragg #78 and offensive guard Justin Smiley #65 block against the Carolina Panthers at Monster Park on November 14, 2004 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

The San Francisco have replaced their offensive coordinator once again. This will be their seventh offensive coordinator in seven years and they hope this candidate will be able to do the job right.

Mike Martz was replaced after not being able to revive the "Greatest Show On Turf" on the west coast. The 49ers then brought in the running aficionado, Jimmy Raye II.

Raye is a run first sort of guy and this is what head coach Mike Singletary was hoping for. Singletary wants to be more of a smash-mouth team and use their most valuable asset on the offense, Frank Gore, to its utmost potential.

Raye has had many successes in his career, including his years with the Los Angeles Rams in 1983-1984. These years would see the Hall of Fame running back, Eric Dickerson, set his NFL single season rushing record with 2,105 yards. Also in his rookie campaign, he got the Rookie of the Year award and set records for touchdowns and rushing attempts.

Raye has had successes with the Jets also recently, helping running backs Thomas Jones the past two seasons and in 2002, Curtis Martin. We can see that he is able to help back understand how to get positive gains and score touchdowns, but he also has had some failures along the way too.

While offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 11985 and 1986, they finished last and had one of the worst offenses in the league. Also with his brief stint as coordinator with the Oakland Raiders in 2004 and 2005, his rush offense was ranked last and 29th respectively.

So we don't have a magic crystal ball that will tell us which Jimmy Raye will be coaching the 49ers, but we do know that Singletary will do what it takes to win. So if anything goes wrong, Raye will definitely get an earful, but if he succeed he will also get praise.

Raye will be stocked with many offensive weapons and should have an easy time figuring out schemes to throw at defenses.

We all know Gore is an established back, but we also know that he does a few issues with durability. So far he has been able to fight off fatigue and serious injuries, but with him getting majority of the carries, it will takes its toll on him. The 49ers decided to draft him some help in the name of Glen Coffee.

Coffee will perfectly complement Gore and they can provide an excellent two back threat in the league. Coming from a balanced offense at Alabama, Coffee can run the ball well and is also a solid receiver from the backfield.

Throw in undrafted free agent Kory Sheets from Purdue and San Francisco could be unleashing a three-headed dragon of backs against defenses.

If Raye can establish the run game early and consistently, that will open the pass game. The quarterback position is still unsure with Shaun Hill and Alex Smith vying for the top spot, but we know that whichever one wins, we can ensure quality passing and leadership from them. Hill or Smith will have plenty of options in the pass attack to throw too as well.

Isaac Bruce return for another season and top-tier rookie, Michael Crabtree, will be solid options in the pass game. Add emerging youngsters Josh Morgan and Jason Hill and tight ends Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker and there is lots of production to be made for the passing offense of the 49ers.

This is an offense to keep an eye on throughout the season. On paper they look like they still could use some tinkering, but once they get on the field they could surprise you. The 49ers are trying hard to escape being the goats of the NFC West again and rise to the challenge of taking the division crown.

Are they going to do that? Well that all depends on if Jimmy Raye has the magic touch and can transform this rag tag group into formidable champions.


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