So I figured I'd take you back in time for a short while. It's say.. around the 1st of February, 2009. 49ers fans have high hopes, but are collectively scratching their heads while wondering one thing "Just who the heck is Jimmy Raye?" (On said day Fooch had similar thoughts, but was a bit more graphic in his choice of wordage) Well, to say that's all they're wondering would be lying, a nagging question that hung around for a long time was whether or not Singletary's vision and his stubborn personality would be driving off potential coaching candidates.
During the previous season, Singletary clashed with Mike Martz. They clashed on their philosophy for the offense that was being run, and could be seen on the sidelines having animated "discussions" week in and week out. After the season, the 49ers parted ways with Martz. Coordinators allegedly saw this as a reason to not go to San Francisco. For almost every coordinator, the next step is becoming a head coach or getting that league-wide respect as a coordinator, thus a big pay day. With someone like Mike Singletary encroaching on your vision, you'll never get where you want, right?
Now there was plenty of talk about Scott Linehan, plenty of talk about Hue Jackson. I myself found an old comment on Niners Nation saying that we "had better sign Jackson." Well... what would have happened if one of those guys ended up on the 49ers? What would have happened if say, they came, and they clashed with Singletary? Our offense wasn't spectacular last season, of course--but Singletary and Raye seemed to always be on the same page, when one said "let's spread it out" the other said "my thoughts exactly." It just worked, it meshes.
Now the team will go into the new season with stability at the position for the first time in a very long time. Some media outlets were reporting during that offseason that players didn't find San Francisco as an attractive option to play--Singletary was crazy, hot-headed and was far too stubborn to build a comprehensive, winning formula. But now we got a guy, a once-labeled bust of a tight end, Vernon Davis--who is likely going to play for the 49ers on a new extension that will almost certainly be worth less than he could earn in free agency after this coming season. Why? Because he wants to play for Mike Singletary.
He bought into his vision. He feels that Singletary's toughness, his way of coaching gives him the best opportunity to get motived, play, and succeed in the NFL. Dashon Goldson, Chilo Rachal, Manny Lawson, Ahmad Brooks. All players who seemed to play above levels they were previously unable to play at..
I'm rambling at this point, but what I'm getting at is this: we went with Jimmy Raye, a guy who, through many years in the league is willing to sit back, run his system, one that's so simple he doesn't mind working with Singletary on it. If we had gone with a "sexier" candidate, and we suffered a midseason implosion due to conflicting philosophies... where would the team be this offseason? Would Davis have figured it all out? Would LaBoy want to sign with the 49ers? Would Patrick Willis be so eager to sign an extension? Maybe if that happens the team is looking for a new head coach? A new defensive coordinator after Manusky jumps ship due to such a collapse? I submit that the team going with the safer option personality-wise allows them to run what is a decent offense with strong personnel, which could make it a great offense, and allows the team something they've needed for years now: continuity.