No, not "error," Dick Stockton, I actually mean the word "era."
So we all know that the 49ers have a slew of issues from top to bottom. The very fact that this Story Stream exists at all tells even the most casual of fans that something is definitely awry in the 49ers organization. Something has got to give, short of a miraculous turn-around, be it front office or personnel. Or, if you wanted me to get with some owner-lingo, we'll be dealing with some "private personal personnel," matters. You know the ones, 49ers fans.
What is it, though, that is most likely to give? I doubt the young-and-eager "protégé," of Eddie D. is going to sign-off on his own pink slip and take a measure of blame, so we'll assume it's something below the mark of "owner-in-training," that will give. From there we have people like Paraag Marathe, a good friend of Jed's and the like. Under that mess we have head coach Mike Singletary, who himself forced something to give earlier in the season when he fired offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye in favor of then-quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson. Greg Manusky is in the discussion as well, having himself a rare bad season as defensive coordinator. His defense has crumbled a few notable times this season, and found a way to fumble a win away in Atlanta.
While I'm sure we'll speculate much further on such things regarding who will get the axe, if indeed anyone must be done away with, I'll settle on some recent bits from one of the other Bay Area writers: Tim Kawakami. Kawakami has struck early, and if you keep up with his Talking Points blog, he's striking often.
The quarterback - coach tandem of Alex Smith and Mike Singletary is coming to an explosive end, says Kawakami. He begins the article with a very level-headed look at the upcoming schedule and the difficulties the 49ers will be presented with in picking up actual, factual wins. It's a very apt statement, considering where the team stands now at 0-5. Most fans weren't predicting a hugely stellar record at this point in the season, 3-2 was the hot pick, with wins over Philly, Seattle and Kansas City. They would take two tough losses early in the season, but come back strong against the weaker competition. That's what the plan was, the scheme to get by and win the NFC West.
Those eleven games are looking more difficult by the day. Games against Green Bay and San Diego were seen as tough matchups, but not something insurmountable. Everything else would be cake, before the season started. Now, the pseudo-home game against the Broncos and even the week six non-home advantage at home against the Oakland Raiders is tough as well.
But back to Kawakami's point:
That sideline spat between QB and coach was the public moment that both men decided it was over.
This bit is almost undoubtedly true. While Smith is probably going to start the rest of the season, one can assume that the 49ers will pursue other avenues for their quarterback position in 2011. So the tandem of the two is essentially over. But does that mean both are gone from the organization? Does that mean Singletary doesn't return in 2011?
That's the "maybe," from me, personally. While it's not like he's done anything special this year, I feel that the organization and a sizable portion of the fanbase are still behind Sing. They're not angry, Coach, they're just disappointed. They don't much like the fact that you're still dabbling in Alex Smith, and they want you to end the relationship post-haste. For them. For us.
There's a bit about the team needing an offensive-minded coach and things of that nature, and they are certainly apt, no doubt. The comments hold water, much like most of what Tim says, even if the majority don't agree with him. It's taken an 0-5 start for me to raise a pitchfork along with him, but I'm not going to raise it against Singletary. You don't necessarily need to switch to an offensive-minded coach, you just need to have some semblance of competence in your offensive support staff.
Personal opinions aside, there's generally some possibility of things happening if someone knowledgeable about a situation believes that they will. I've been right before, and Kawakami has been right before. Mike Singletary could very well be on the hot seat just as much as Alex Smith is. They could both be attached at the hip, as CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco noted. Or maybe Smith is just riding shotgun, and Singletary is driving one of those sweet spy cars and can eject Smith's seat out the roof of the car. It's possible ...