The 49ers pick up practice again today after having the last few days off. It's Tuesday though, which means it's time for the our weekly Mike Singletary Approval Rating. Last week saw Coach Singletary drop from 90% to 80%, although that remained 7% higher than the ESPN rating. This week, the ESPN voters have shown a bit more support for Singletary as he currently sits at 81%.
The win over Chicago was much needed and will hopefully get the 49ers back on the track. Of course, as with many ugly wins, it still left a bit of a sour taste in the mouths of 49ers fans. Many folks last week were teetering after four straight
wins losses. That leaves me wondering if a hideous looking win over the Bears was sufficient to bring back some folks from the brink. I'd imagine the approval rating would go up, as it does with any win, but it will be interesting to see just how far it improves.
In light of Sunday night's controversial Bill Belichick call on fourth down, it had me pondering the 49ers own late game 4th down call. The 49ers were sitting at 4th and 6 on the Bears 34, up 4 points with just under 3 minutes remaining in the game. Joe Nedney had missed an earlier field goal and Mike Singletary elected to punt the ball. Andy Lee kicked it into the end zone, resulting in a net of 14 yards. Not exactly a winning situation.
At the same time, I personally understand that kind of decision. Even if Nedney had hit the 39-yarder in the first quarter, a 51-yarder in Candlestick winds would have been pretty tough for any kicker. And Nedney is solid but in that situation, with a Pro Bowl punter, I'm guessing you're just hoping to pin them down, rather than set them up in excellent field position.
Considering that, and the generally less than courageous play-calling we see throughout the NFL, how aggressive do you want your coach to be? There was of course that infamous play-call back in 2006 where Mike Nolan elected not to go for it on 4th and 1 at the Rams 7 yard line. The 49ers kicked a field goal to go up 17-13 with 4 minutes to go. The Rams then proceeded to drive 80 yards for a game-winning touchdown with 29 seconds left.
It seems to me like generally Mike Singletary has shown greater aggression in such situations. I'd like to think that in the same situation as Nolan, Singletary might have gone for it. Then again, maybe he wouldn't have since it was late in the game and he'd rather require them drive the distance for a touchdown. Either way, I'm curious what folks think about aggressiveness in a coach, and particularly how they view it in Coach Singletary.