From Draft Picks to Pacman: For 49ers, It's All about Mike Singletary Now

Ted SillanpaaAnalyst IMarch 20, 2010

ST. LOUIS - JANUARY 3: Head coach Mike Singletary of the San Francisco 49ers looks on from the sidelines against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on January 3, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The 49ers beat the Rams 28-6.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The four most discussed topics among 49ers fans all tie directly to head coach Mike Singletary:

1. Without a collective bargaining agreement in place for 2011, there's no way to be certain there will be games in 2011. The 49ers aren't likely to bring in a general manager to replace Scot McCloughan, and then pay the new guy for doing nothing in 2011.

The bulk of the preparation for the upcoming draft is complete. Singletary can handle the bulk of the player personnel duties from this point forward. There's no real reason for the 49ers to pay a separate GM salary to replace McCloughan...at least until they know whether or not there will be a 2001 draft and a 2011 season.

Singletary will handle the player personnel duties McCloughan handled.

2. It's unclear how a visit between 49ers representatives and troubled defensive back Adam "Pacman" Jones became the subject of so much public discourse. Jones is a lightning rod for trouble. Still, he has shown skills the 49ers could use. His abilities as a kick and punt returner alone give him potential value to the 49ers.

In order for a team to be willing to take a chance on Jones' talent and the inability to stay out of trouble, they'd need a thoughtful, strong, understanding head coach.

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So, maybe, the 49ers are seriously considering Jones.

Singletary might be the only coach in the NFL willing and able to help Jones salvage his career.

Singletary's loyal to and protective of his players. There'd be no ongoing tale of his dealings with Pacman, because Singletary would never let such things go public.

The coach's loyalty hasn't hurt the team either, though. He was unquestionably supporting Shaun Hill as the No. 1 quarterback until it was clear Hill wasn't getting the job done. Singletary called on Smith and never looked back.

The Jones rumors make sense only because Singletary's in the picture.

3. The quarterback who's best in practices and in games will start.

We saw how Singletary handled the Hill-Smith situation in 2009. Fans and the media can analyze the quarterback situation a million different ways, but Singletary's given us a road map to show us how he'll handle the position and deal with Smith and David Carr.

4. Singletary's going to run the draft. He'll be the guy who makes the call on the first-round picks. So, forget the talk about the need for the right tackle with a certain size from a college with a pro-style offense. Singletary's going to pick the guy he thinks is the best football player available in the first round.

Singletary's not going to be quite as enamored of 40-yard dash times and vertical leaps as he will be with whether or not what he's seen and heard tells him that a guy is a football player. The head coach has been visiting with draft candidates. He was apparently the most active and visible head coach at the scouting combine—not to count reps in the bench press, but to take a more personal measure of the players.

Again, analysis of the draft takes on less meaning for the 49ers now, because Singletary's the type man who will be looking for football players. And he'll be using his experiences as a coach, linebacker, and a successful human being to make decisions on draft day.

So, indeed, the 49ers are in Singletary's hands now and for a good while to come.

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