Loyalty and the End of Samurai Mike

Yes, I am writing a Eulogy for Mike Singletary's tenure in San Francisco before it's even over. My disillusionment cannot stay in any longer.

Given the recent rumblings about Sing's job security, the Front Office also thinks Singletary is responsible for the team's bewildering ineptitude. I would be shocked if Singletary is the coach of the 49ers next year, and almost expect him to be cut after the bye week. When I look at Singletary's short career here, I can't help but think that his loyalty to Jimmy Raye and Alex Smith combined with a general lack of coaching ability to produce failure.

The two biggest examples:

  • Singletary sticking with Jimmy Raye
  • The trading of Shaun Hill

A linebacker who achieved Hall of Fame glory for being ferocious, it is strange to see that his downfall is being too nice. And his name is fitting, for Samurais in Feudal Japan were known for their loyalty: Samurai Mike will lose his job because of his.

Like everybody here on Niners Nation, I have been utterly shocked by how bad the team is this year. After an offseason of constant hype and optimism, I still have a hard time believing that the team is 1-6. And it's the way they've lost. As has been said frequently here (somehow I think Smileyman), every week they find a more heart-wrenching, devastating way to lose.  Maybe it's time we accept the idea that "we're simply not that good."

I don't believe that though, especially when I look at the players on the team and the talent the team has. If you're like me, and still believe in the talent on the team, then it's really hard to escape pointing the finger at Singletary.

You and I will disagree on how responsible Alex Smith is for the team's start. But one thing's for sure: Singletary is not the great coach we made him out to be these last 2 seasons. We were all snookered by his booming voice, defiant attitude and past glory into believing him. With his penchant for catchy, inspiring one-liners, we became convinced that he was the one to lift the 49ers out of NFL mediocrity. This year, he's lead us into putridity.

The signs were always there but we willfully ignored them, maybe deluding ourselves on purpose. Very limited coaching experience.. Poor clock and time out management. A self-professed weakness in "X's and O's". A football "F"ilosophy from the 80's that scared away Offensive Coordinators. We all saw it. But many of us, I believe, made excuses for him, believing he could pull it off.

Singletary's biggest mistake, of course, has to be Jimmy Raye. Now, was he very loyal when he fired Mike Martz? No, but it was Nolan, not Singletary, who hired him. Once he did hire Raye after scaring off everybody else, Singletary stuck with him, even when it was evident that Raye wasn't the best candidate.

In the offseason, the 49ers decided to be loyal and keep Raye for the "sake of continuity" although one can ask why you'd want to continue mediocrity. Only when it was too late, and the entire fanbase furious for being 0-4 did Singletary cut Raye (and Barrows on KNBR suspected that a higher-up ordered/suggested Singletary to do it.) No doubt that Sing's loyalty to Raye cost the 49ers many games this year, perhaps even the season.

Singletary's second biggest mistake has to be the trade for Shaun Hill, especially painful seeing that he's tearing it up in Detroit (despite their record). Now this is all speculation on my part, but I have to believe that the trade was an effort to be loyal to Alex Smith. Keeping Hill would mean more pressure on Alex after a bad game.

Why do I say that? Because the team's handling of David Carr shows that they have absolutely no confidence in him. Why cut a proven QB (ex-starter) for somebody you're going out of your way to avoid playing? I mean, Troy Smith is starting in London, for Christ's sake!

Someone earlier said that Singletary should stick around, claiming that "he's raised expectations" around here, a sign of progress. I think that's a sack of hooey. By all accounts, Singletary seems like a good man, and I wish him well in the future. I just hope that future isn't as a head coach for the 49ers.

From somebody who really bought into Mike's message, I really think the 49ers need to find a new coach. They must avoid making the same mistake Singletary made in continuing to trust people who have proven themselves incompetent.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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