Correct me if I’m wrong on this but when facing a third down from your opponent’s 2.5-yard line would it not make sense to employ a little, oh I don’t know, variety in your play calling? Maybe I’m just not getting it or something isn’t sinking in with me but I fail to see the logic behind setting up in single-back formation and then running a dive over left tackle when the defense has for the most part stacked the box with nine players. Yes the offensive line had been getting some push out there, resulting in 119 total rushing yards. Yes the ball was on the 2.5 yard line and the thought that getting those two yards for the score and the win would be attainable was not as far-fetched as I might believe. The one thing that I do not understand though is that there were multiple options at that time which could have been used to give the 49ers, a team who had fought tooth and nail to even have a chance to pull out a win, an increased chance to do so.
It wasn’t all bad however as I witnessed more fight out of this team then I have all season long and there were some concrete positive plays which transpired as well in the desert last Monday night.
I think we all know that Shaun Hill is not the future at quarterback for this team, what he is however is a signal caller who can manage the game and who at least for one night gave them the best chance to pull out an upset. Yes he made mistakes (the shovel pass to the back of Frank Gore being the most notable) but he also put his offense in place to win. I don’t know what else a fan could have asked for with being 10.5 point underdogs.
Jason Hill, Josh Morgan and Dominique Zeigler all played good games in my opinion and why it has taken Zeigler this long to see regular season game action is beyond me. I’m not saying he’s the next Jerry Rice but the kid clearly has skills. Morgan showed everyone why he should have been taken much higher in the draft then he was and J Hill, well he had his breakout game and I believe that he should be the starting slot receiver the rest of the way this season.
Vernon Davis never ceases to amaze me. He can go up and make a spectacular catch on one drive and then completely give up on a ball which was for all intents and purposes, catchable! Even Kornheiser concurred with me in saying that Davis should have dove for the pass. I would have taken outstretched arms at the very least, any form of effort to pull the ball in for the touchdown would have been nice. If he does that and scores then this is a decidedly different column which you are reading at this moment.
While Kurt Warner did manage to once again pass for over 300-yards the defense did a relatively good job holding the Cardinals to field goals. Obviously not enough but there was reason for optimism after the defenses performance. At least when not talking about Walt Harris and Mark Roman that is… both men need to be relieved of their starting roles and I believe that Goldson and Brown should be inserted as soon as possible.
In the aftermath of last Monday nights game there was some speculation as to whether or not the officials did an adequate job of letting the coaches for both teams know what was happening on the spot at the Arizona goal line with the game hanging in the balance. Mike Martz said as much when he made a comment that he had no idea the ball had been re-spotted at the 2.5 yard-line after the official review and was forced to keep the same unit on the field that was there when the ball was on the one yard-line. Even when the official said that the clock would restart on the whistle the first thought in my head was to spike the ball on 3rd down, collect the offense and come up with another play after having ample time do so. Hill seemed unsure of what was going on even when lining up for that last play and another 40 seconds to get a good formation and play in would have been nice.
It was reported that Frank Gore suffered a concussion against the Cardinals on Monday night yet he is expected to play this Sunday against St. Louis when the teams face each other at Candlestick. Here’s hoping it was a significantly minor concussion. The last thing this team needs now is to place Gore in harms way what with the season being a wash. If the 49ers were say 7-2 instead of 2-7 this might make sense, ah hell who am I kidding? Concussions as we all know are not to be toyed with, I have to believe the team has looked at his situation very closely and that the right decision will be made regarding his status at game time.
Isaac Bruce recently stated in an interview with Matthew Barrows that he see’s this season’s 49er team as work in progress and that he is happy to be a part of it. Anyone giving odds on that the only thing he’s happy to be a part of is that the season is over halfway gone? He most certainly won’t be back in San Francisco if anywhere for that matter in 2009.
There really isn’t much else to say about this season. The 49ers have once again failed to live up to what meager expectations they had upon entering this campaign and with two more losses they will have assured themselves of their sixth consecutive losing season, the most they have ever had in succession. On the flipside, a dire situation under Mike Nolan has, at least in the last few weeks, appeared to take a turn for the better. Mike Singletary seems to have been able to extract more emotion and direction from the players then his former boss and if he can win at least half of the remaining games this season he might be back as head coach in 2009. Keep in mind though that there are some serious names being thrown around in the media and on internet message boards as to who should be in charge after this year concludes.
Pete Carroll is one such name but not one that this man would like to see. Carroll has proven he is not a good fit for an NFL head coach. Much like his PAC-10 counterpart Dennis Erickson who is, after two stints in the league, back where he belongs. In fact Erickson is in all likelihood kicking back a few cold ones at The Library on Mill Street right across from ASU at this very moment. Besides that Carroll would have to be a fool to leave what he has at USC. The man is a king there and can pretty much write his own ticket as long as highly touted youngsters continue to commit to his program.
Marty Schottenheimer is another name that has been mentioned and yet another one which I don’t agree with. I just don’t believe that his philosophy fits with this team and fail to see how he could take the job and then have any better chance at righting the ship then Singletary would. In fact I am making a commitment right here and now; I am not going to champion anyone else for the head coaching position on this team past this season other then Singletary. The man knows his stuff and according to at least one current 49er (Vernon Davis) “he knows how to prepare the team.” I agree with this sentiment and feel that once his interim stint is over he should be given a real chance to lead this team after a complete off-season of free agency and a draft in which he would no doubt have a large hand in.
I’ll say it now and I’ll say it no matter how the remainder of 2008 progresses. Mike Singletary for head coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 2009!!!