And so it begins. Matt Maiocco is reporting that a source has told him that Mike Singletary has elected to not renew the contract of special teams coach Al Everest. Everest did not have a contract past this season, so this technically wouldn't be a "firing."
At the same time, this non-renewal isn't exactly shocking. One of the biggest headaches this season was the truly awful punt return game. The rest of the special teams ranged from improving to awesome. The punting of Andy Lee was awesome. The kicking of Joe Nedney was solid enough to not require any changes. The kick return game struggled initially, but once Josh Morgan was moved in as the main return guy, it improved quite drastically.
And yet it all comes down to the punt returns. The 49ers finished dead last in punt return average, gaining 4.4 yards per punt return. Arnaz Battle finished 44th in total return yards and 75th in return average. As great as the rest of the special teams might have been, Al Everest was not able to get past the awful punt returning. The search is reportedly underway for a replacement.