It concerns me, but I am not saying the hiring of Jimmy Raye was a bad move.
It was a necessary move.
And, judging from Coach Mike Singletary's comments, it was a smart, strategic move.
It's an interim solution to stabilize the offense.
To build for the future.
Here is what Singletary said in an interview carried on the 49ers official Web site:
“In all honesty, even though 2006 was a great year for the offensive side of the ball, I think the most important thing I wanted to do in this process is really find that person with the leadership, the preparation and the vision to take us forward."
Leadership. Preparation. Vision.
Will Raye be around next year, win or lose?
Will he be there to serve out the third year in his contract or longer?
It doesn't matter.
Stability is foremost.
Raye has demonstrated leadership since his days as a Michigan State corner back.
The 63 year old is the epitomy of preparation.
Raye has also survived the NFL's hyper-competitive coaching ranks.
He's been a succssful coach in the NFL since he went to work for San Francisco in 1977 as wide receivers' coach.
What is more important this year in San Francisco than a return to a well-oiled passing game is the offensive unit's mindset.
It is a paradigm shift revealed in the interview by Singletary.
In fact, it is the very foundation upon which will be built a future passing game, when the team is ready.
It's not yet ready, and that's why Raye was an intelligent choice.
Responding to a question about what impressed him about Raye, Singletary said:
“First and foremost, the philosophy.
"When I sat down and listened to what he had to say in terms of what his philosophy was and the conviction behind it, he talked about the physicality that the offense has to have.
"He talked about the toughness, both mentally and physically, that the offense has to have. The discipline in which it takes to do those things. That to me, that was something that we were really excited about.”
That is the motivation behind hiring Raye.
Forget a return to the glory years of a spectacular passing game.
The idea is to create holes for Frank Gore.
Forget the passing game as the featured component.
For that, Singletary needed a coach with proven leadership and vision to implement what Singletary sees lacking in a 49ers squad that is on the upswing.
He also knows that preparation is key.
Raye will not disappoint, but 49ers fans should not bail when the offense sputters.
The idea is to form a foundation for the next season and season after that.
Because if the 49ers are smart, they won't let Singletary go for at least five years.