I guess this is now Approval Rating Tuesday. We haven't done the Jimmy Raye Approval Rating since week 4, but now is as good a time as any to bring it back. The masses called for it, so here you go (I'm thinking we'll roll out Manusky tomorrow). Back in week 4, Jimmy Raye had a 61% approval rating as the 49ers were showing some serious signs of life. Much has changed since then, most notably the 49ers have a new starting QB in Alex Smith.
Over the last few weeks, I think there's been a distinct divide in the Jimmy Raye debate. There are the folks who think he is awful and should be fired as soon as possible. They think he has no imagination and that he is just useless in creating an offense. On the other side of the debate, I believe are the folks who think the offensive woes the last few weeks should not rest on Raye's shoulders. They believe it is more an issue of execution and personnel.
I'll be honest, I fall in the latter category. I do think early in the season the offensive play-calling was horrible and Jimmy Raye was not initially adapting. However, I actually think the offense has mixed it up quite a bit in the last couple weeks. At this point I think it's simply a matter of offensive execution. We all know about the offensive line issues. The o-line has some solid moments, but there clearly are issues there that no offensive coordinator could cover up.
Additionally, I think the issues of timing in the offense have taken longer to overcome than one might hope. The team isn't learning a new offense, but they've been handed a new quarterback with different skills than the previous QB. It's taken some time to get everybody on the same page, and some of the blame for that can go with that new QB (and I know plenty of folks will heap that blame on him). Time is slowly running out so they definitely need to get their collective acts together soon.
We wrap this up after the jump with what might be the biggest complaint about Jimmy Raye...
After the Titans loss, Florida Danny pointed to probably the biggest complaint about Raye: his bizarre refusal to use his best players on some of the biggest players. Here is the first paragraph of that comment (although I recommend reading the whole thing - I added the underline in the middle):
again, fooch…i don’t think the problem with raye’s play-calling is the run-pass ratio…it’s when certain plays are called…today, it’s 4th and 1, and what’s the call? quick handoff to moran norris…what was the trick play in the game? end around to josh morgan…who was mysteriously getting carries and screen passes in the 2nd half? michael robinson and glen coffee. your best offensive players by far are frank gore, vd, and michael crabtree…it’s so obvious. design your entire offense around those 3 guys and get them the ball as much as humanly possible. if you’re going to have a limited playbook in the first place, have the entire offense funnel to those 3 guys. what i can’t freaking understand is that, @ HOU and vs. TEN, practically every play when the niners were losing in the 2nd half went to one of the offensive playmakers…but when it was still early or close late @ HOU, and when they had the lead against IND & TEN, raye decides to start involving sub-par offensive talent (aka everyone else besides the big 3), and the offense absolutely sucks because of it…and they lose games because of it.
I think this is the most logical complaint about Raye. I don't know about the mind of Raye to understand for sure, but I do think it's possible given the struggles with getting timing down between Smith and his playmakers that maybe Raye feels he needs to mix in the other players, otherwise absolutely nothing would be happening. It's speculation on my part.