As the NFL season approached, I had an odd feeling in the pit of my stomach, as a fan. I wasn't enjoying listening to coach Singletary talk anymore. Everything was re-hashed, the "rah rah," aspect didn't do it anymore for me, and the general stubborn-ness that was clearly evident to all watching (despite previous reports, Singletary never did knock Chilo out, he simply promoted him and rewarded his terrible play) was just wearing thin.
In short, I was sick of listening to the guy. It seems like everyone else has caught up with me, though it doesn't appear to just be his choice of words these days. It's the way he's running this team, his overall demeanor, his general lack of accountability, and his penchant for running on emotion. Did I mention that he's stubborn?
Singletary is a coach who came in already subscribed to his own hype. He made the decision to hire Jimmy Raye as offensive coordinator, and made sure Raye knew that Singletary's philosophy was one to adhere to. Unfortunately, with a guy like Singletary, the meaning of the word "philosophy," takes on some newer, stricter facets. A philosophy should be something with which to guide something, a philosophy should not be a set of defined rules that have to be followed through hell or high water.
You should not have your offensive philosophy riding on "hitting in the mouth," or "out fysical-ing," somebody. This isn't the college game, where you can rely on your players being faster and stronger to win you a championship. This is the NFL, which stands for "Not For Long," when you make those kinds of calls. Thank you, Jerry Glanville, for that wonderful quote.
It's no secret that the New Orleans Saints love to pass the ball. But Sean Payton doesn't hold rallies pertaining specifically to the kinds of plays that Drew Brees will be running. The 49ers have a running team philosophy, which is totally fine - but the way the situation was handled was so surreal to me.
It would be akin to a high-level striker in some combat sport coming up to me and telling me what's going to go down. Let's go with Marcus Davis, an ex-boxer turned UFC fighter with some decent striking, albeit if he's in good range (don't let me go off on a wild tangent, before you know it, we'll be going over UFC 120 betting odds - I like Akiyama by second round TKO, take it to the bank).
Say Marcus came up to me and said, "Look, I'm going to swing at your temple with an overhand right." (Going to run the ball.) "Now, I'm going to stomp my left foot to set when I throw, so you'll know it's coming," (got a fullback in). Also, I won't even be attempting a feint, so don't worry about that one bit," (having third blocking TE in the game instead of Delanie Walker). Davis surely would knock me unconscious with a good overhand to my temple, but I dodge that thing every time after that conversation. That's how it must feel to teams up against Mike Singletary and Jimmy Raye.
I include "and Jimmy Raye," because I'm not so burnt out on Singletary that I want him gone. I believe, as well as basically everyone I've spoken to believes, that it's far too early to write off Mike Singletary. He was riding a wave of hype for a reason, and a misguided offensive coordinator hire and misguided attempt to run an offense with no prior training on the matter won't change that. He simply has to grow.
This post isn't about disparaging everything Singletary has done, only to bring to the table the issue of accountability, which there has been none up until this point. The reason it's not all on Singletary is the fact that, while Raye was operating under rules set down by Singletary, Raye can't keep up with any defense as far as gameplanning and matchups go. It was one part Singletary's philosophy and nine parts out of ten Raye's ineptitude that set the offense back.
Hopefully now that a change has been made, Singletary can take a step back and let the offense grow under Mike Johnson. I think he has a long way to go yet before he's back in complete good graces with the fanbase, but I also think those that believe he's on his way out are seriously jumping the gun and perhaps a little misguided. Singletary is not the Flavor of the Month these days, but he's not exactly the crusty, freezer-burnt leftovers that Jimmy Raye seems to be.
Was that too harsh? Yeah, it probably was. Good thing he's napping right now.