Article Title: "I'll have to look at the film".
Anyone and everyone that is a die-hard loyal San Francisco 49er fan can tell you with all open honesty that they don’t, “have to look at the film,” to have an opinion on what is ailing this once proud franchise in 2010. Mike Singletary and his coaches are without doubt clueless on what is happening all around them in regards to what makes the players tick, respond and rise to any occasion. The very fact that we suffered one of our worst home losses since the year 1977 is saying far too much in that being beaten 21-0 before all of us and the head coach actually proclaiming: “We are still in this playoff race,” is absolute hypocrisy.
This loss was not at all Troy Smith’s fault. It was and has been all season long an inefficient coaching staff that has been woefully handicapped to evaluate and adjust to the changing face of the game and to openly and honestly admit that we should have made a quarterback change sooner rather than later. The undying loyalty to stick the season out with Alex Smith was a tragic mistake that would’ve continued had it not been for his recent shoulder injury we have today.
Injuries, rookies and inefficient play from veterans rotating in and out of the offensive line were also a key part of this game’s loss and other losses in the past thus far into the season. Left tackle Joe Staley’s loss was definitely felt with Barry Sims taking over in his role during this game. The right side of the offensive line continues to struggle with any sort of consistency between right guard Chilo Rachal and right tackle Anthony Davis who is easily tempted by defensive opponents into making costly infractions as a rookie.
New offensive coordinator Mike Johnson is a step above the old in Jimmy Raye but he was unable to make the proper adjustments against this new hybrid team in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who defensively master-minded a total shutdown of our offense from beginning till end. The fact we only achieved four total first downs in the entire first half of this game to the Buccaneers whom had ten is evidence enough of that suffocation. The Buccaneers in time of possession had the ball 18:47 to our 11:13.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a plan and executed it with fine detail in knowing that quarterback Troy Smith is someone that is dangerous once we breaks out of the pocket and is able to re-establish a throwing or running lane to direct himself through. The defense rose to that occasion effectively and was able to win the battles in the trenches against our weak offensive line and did just that. Troy had but only 40 yards passing within the first half and only 31 yards rushing total with him accounting for 15 of those yards himself. Many times Troy was looking at total mayhem as the offensive line in front of him disintegrated right before his eyes taking six sacks in this game for a loss of 30 total yards which cannot be condoned and individual players should be benched and the line reconfigured if need be to find the right continuity.
A once thought to be 49er is now the leading big raw bone running back of Oregon in LaGarrette Blount who ran for 82 total yards and a long burst for 16 total yards after breaking a Reggie Smith tackle. He was devastating in his running as he was seen barreling over Parys Haralson as if he was a nuisance and invigorated the Tampa Bay Buccaneer offense to take it up a notch or two. In all the Buccaneers ran the ball most effectively against our run defense because they were sold out by our offense in having to be continuously out on the field. In all the Tampa Bay Buccaneers held the ball for 36:24 to our 23:36 in total time of possession and they converted 7-of-14 third downs and they had 20 first downs in comparison to our 11.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneer defense knew what our offense was doing the entire time it was out on that field and had a play to neutralize it on most occasions as we played an ultra-conservative game based on the nonsense that we had a new kicker because of the injury to Joe Nedney and the fact we had understood that others had run the ball effectively on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but today they showed us a whole new leaf they had just committed to turning over.
What was even more devastating was never seeing the San Francisco 49er offense move beyond the Tampa Bay 33-yard line. It continues to be a talked about issue that our offense is simply too predictable at times and that once the Frank Gore option is neutralized, opponents know that it is up to them to take the edges away from Troy Smith and his ability to see and break outside the pocket.
The Mike Johnson we have as our offensive coordinator didn’t seem to have a lot of answers to the ferocity the Tampa Bay Buccaneer defense was executing well at. It was very apparent that they grew more and more frustrated as the tick of the clock proved that they had lost control of the ball and the clock as we only converted 3-of-12 third down situations and the play calling was far from being dynamic or inspirational in any manner.
For Mike Singletary to have a press conference and offer really no reasonable defense for his actions and lack of a game plan against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is inexcusable as far as I am concerned. Again we have a coach acting much the same as his predecessor in Mike Nolan in not being able to identify the real and utterly truthful content of the overall scheme of things that we simply are not the same as so many thought because we are drowning in our own smothering dark cloud of inefficiencies rather it be because of coaching, leadership vacuum, poor game planning and or our own hardcore belief that we had to allow Alex Smith a legitimate chance to write his own destiny here in a sorts.
Sports columnists and radio analysts are now zeroing in on the many metaphors and mannerisms that Mike Singletary exposes about himself when he is questioned in detail about specific scenarios and the predictability his offense has been labeled as of lately. 49er die-hards like myself are growing more and more frustrated by the day that we are once again relegated to living another nightmare season in which little to nothing is accomplished in moving the odometer on this team into a positive direction in order for us to have any dimension of real hope.
(3-7) is no where we want to be or should be, yet here we are. It is now a convincing factor that the coaching staff on this team is by far accountable first before pointing the finger at or towards anyone else. My optimism about Mike Singletary is now nothing more than a desire for it to be true. We have some definitive problems that have to be addressed and identified and prioritized by the ownership of this team. President Jed York please take notice that you are now in the spotlight and need to make some less then ideal decisions. We need to see more than just an occasional victory, a hint of optimism by the head coach and definitely not the quote: “I’ll need to look at the film.”
Sources of Information: Mercury News.com, SF Gate.com, Inside Bay Area.com, NFL.com and my own personal analysis and opinion.