Last season we ran a weekly approval poll for 49ers head coach Mike Singletary. I want to do the same thing in 2010, and I thought it would be helpful to have a base line rating heading into the season. It's been an incredibly busy offseason for the team as they head into a 2010 season in which expectations are as high as they have been in close to 10 years.
The increased expectations place additional pressure on the shoulders of Coach Singletary. Since taking over as head coach, his power within the organization has steadily grown and it took a large leap with the departure of GM Scot McCloughan earlier this year. Accordingly, this approval poll might involve a bit more than his head coaching abilities. Your choice of Yes or No can be based on his 53-man roster decisions, his execution as a coach during the preseason games, or even his handling of the Nate Davis situation.
As we head into 2010, one aspect of the season we haven't discussed is where Coach Singletary stands in terms of the proverbial "hot seat." Considering the level of expectations, anything less than a division title would have to be considered a disappointment. I certainly don't think Coach Singletary would be canned if the team failed to make the playoffs, but it certainly wouldn't put him in the best of positions. Would you say he's free and clear in 2010 with a potential hot seat in 2011, or could things hear up a bit more so during this upcoming season?
The team has shown steady improvement under Coach Singletary and they seem to be buying into his philosophy. At the same time, the team had its share of disappointing moments last season after a nice little start. This season the team has a mix of tough games early on in the season. A 4-1 start (with a win over some combination of New Orleans, Atlanta, and Philadelphia) would have people pretty excited. Of course, If the team hits some speed bumps early, it will be interesting to see if Coach Singletary can hold things in place. It will be interesting to see reactions in either instance.