Tag:Mike Singletary
Posted on: February 15, 2012 10:07 am
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Schiano hires Raye, another veteran assistant

Schiano

By Josh Katzowitz

For those who worried that new Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano would have a tough time transitioning to the pro game after spending the past decade coaching Rutgers, he has continued surrounding himself with veterans to help ease him into his new job.

A couple days after the team officially hired former Browns head coach Butch Davis as an advisor to Schiano, Tampa Bay announced that it has hired Jimmy Raye as a senior offensive assistant.

"With over 30 years of NFL experience, coach Raye has attained a wealth of knowledge that will be an invaluable resource to our coaches and players," Schiano said in a statement released by the team.

Raye has coached for 40 seasons, including 34 in the NFL, and he was the Buccaneers offensive coordinator from 1985-86.  He’s also served as the offensive coordinator for the Rams, Patriots, Chiefs, Redskins, Raiders and 49ers.

So, yeah, the guy has experience putting together NFL offenses (though he won’t be the offensive coordinator for Schiano -- that job has already gone to Mike Sullivan).

But you might recall the last we heard from Raye was when he was the 49ers offensive coordinator in the final season of Mike Singletary’s reign as coach in 2010. The day after Singletary gave Raye a public vote of confidence just three games into the season, Singletary fired him.

So, like Davis (fired from his last two jobs), Raye probably can provide Schiano with guidance, but you have to begin to wonder if Schiano requires that his assistants had to have been fired within the past two years before he'll consider them for a job.

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Posted on: January 21, 2012 11:24 am
 

Vernon Davis won't be hosting party after all

V. Davis caught the game-winning pass to send San Francisco to the NFC title game (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

Feel free to file this under “made up controversies that make me yawn,” but 49ers tight end Vernon Davis has been criticized by some parties because of his plans to, well, party.

As the New York Daily News writes, Davis made plans to host a post-NFC championship game party at a popular club in San Francisco. The so-called controversy? As the paper writes, “It’s a move that easily could be construed as a sign that Davis and the Niners expect to win.”

“We’ve been getting a little bit of fuss about it and that’s not what it is at all,” a club spokesman said. “It’s not a victory party. It’s a party celebrating the 49ers’ season for making it so far. The party is going on win or lose. Vernon Davis will be there win or lose.”

But now, he won’t be hosting anything. According to the San Jose Mercury News, Davis has withdrawn his name as a host of the party, which is sponsored by a number of high-end car dealerships.

Which, I suppose, is understandable. But it’s not like Davis has morphed into Giants cornerback Antrel Rolle who said this week, “We can’t be beat. We’re extremely confident and we’ve given ourselves the reasons to feel that way. We have to continue to give ourselves those reasons, and we will. We have no doubts.”

All of this overlooks the role Davis has played this season in San Francisco for quarterback Alex Smith. While he’s been overshadowed by New England’s Rob Gronkowski and New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham, Davis has come a long way from the player former coach Mike Singletary sent to the locker room last season after having words with teammate Michael Crabtree.

“From that point on, I was…I just kept my head up and just kept going down the straight path because I knew from there, from the talk that we had, I was going the wrong direction,” Davis said earlier this week. “I changed my life around and I became more of a leader, because in the beginning it was all about me and that’s not right. You don’t want it to be all about you. I find it that, when it’s more about the team and you put the team first, you have more success.”

Said Davis, “He said to me, I can’t remember what he said word for word, but it touched me. It touched me. But I do remember him saying that, ‘Vernon, when you put the team first, then you’ll start to take off.’ So I did that, I did that. Since then, life has been really good.”

For Davis, life has become a party. One that he’s not actually hosting.



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Posted on: August 31, 2011 9:25 pm
 

What do the Bengals hope to get from Taylor Mays?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Taylor Mays, the safety from USC taken by the 49ers in the second round of the 2010 draft, was traded to the Bengals nine days ago. At the time, the terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but various outlets are now reporting that San Francisco got a 2013 seventh-round pick for their troubles. It doesn't take much draft-math calculating to figure out that it's a shoddy return-on-investment for the 49ers, who saw enough in one season to give up on a player with through-the-roof measurables but not much in the way of on-field ability.

So, naturally, Mays ends up in Cincinnati.

The move didn't immediately make sense (at least in terms of Mays filling an obvious void in the secondary); the team had Roy Williams on the roster for the '09 and '10 season and he didn't make much of impact. Mays is similar to Williams in that he's supposed to be a hard-hitting safety, but he comes without the NFL track record or Pro Bowl pedigree.

There's also the issue of the Bengals willingly giving up a draft pick when, earlier this month, the 49ers sent out a mass email to 31 teams asking if there was any interest in Mays. At the time, there were no takers but the implication was that, barely a year after San Francisco had drafted him, Mays would be released before the start of the season.

It never got to that point.

Maybe the Bengals should've waited until Mays was cut to go after him. But if they really wanted him, you could argue that they were smart to give up just a seventh-rounder ... two years from now. It allowed the team to get Mays for literally next to nothing while also guaranteeing he wouldn't hit the open market.

But we still don't know why Cincinnati acquired Mays. He didn't show much as a rookie and the feeling around the league was that he probably never would.

So we asked CBS analyst, Cincinnati resident, and former NFL defensive back Solomon Wilcots what the Bengals might be thinking.

"Clearly, a player like Mays does have some ability … but you've got to have a plan for him because he hasn't proven that he can embrace all the elements of what it means to be a good defensive back in the NFL, whether its coverage, run-stopping, or quarterbacking your secondary," Wilcots told CBSSports.com recently.

"But for (defensive coordinator) Mike Zimmer and the Cincinnati Bengals defense, they've been lacking that big physical presence at the safety position. And traditionally, they have loved to have that kind of David Fulcher-type player. I think that's kind of what they're thinking (with Mays), I think they'd love to have a guy they can use in all their blitz packages.

 
Then-49ers coach Mike Singletary was instrumental in bringing Taylor Mays to San Francisco. Now it will be up to Bengals' defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer (center) and head coach Marvin Lewis (right) to mold Mays into an NFL safety. (Getty Images)  
"Remember," Wilcots continued, "their head coach, Marvin Lewis, was a defensive coordinator … they understand that if they have a safety who can change the line of scrimmage -- whether it's stuffing the run or pressuring the quarterback in the blitz packages -- and have him be an in-the-box defender, (in theory) it makes them a much better defense. And this defense is going to have to carry the team. You have such a young offense, young quarterback, young wide receivers. … I think that's just some of the psychology behind (making the trade). Now whether or not Mays can do all those things remains to be seen."

As for why the Bengals would trade for a player destined to get cut? One reason, according to Wilcots, could be that the team needed to bolster the position and were willing "taking a flier on him."

He continued: "I think the reasons why a lot of other teams passed, they were probably hoping that [the 49ers] would release him and they'd get him (for nothing). But he hasn't proven that he can do those things and these were some of the questions we had on him coming out of USC. Great specimen but not what we'd call an instinctive football player. The bar is so high when it comes to the Adrian Wilsons, the Ed Reeds, the Troy Polamalus -- big play-making safeties -- that's what we were wanting to see from Mays coming out. We saw that in Eric Berry. We saw it from Earl Thomas. We didn't see that with (Mays)."

It's a no-risk proposition for the Bengals, a team in transition and with needs at key positions on the roster, including safety. Worst case: Mays doesn't work out, the two sides go their separate ways, and the all the Bengals lose is a 2013 seventh-rounder. Best case: Mays flourishes in Zimmer's system and he proves his doubters wrong.

Either way, Cincy has much bigger problems heading into 2011, starting with the aforementioned young quarterback and the group of young pass-catchers.

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Posted on: June 30, 2011 5:31 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 6:04 pm
 

Report: Nutcracker ended Heitmann's 2010 season

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Call it the Nutcracker or call it Oklahoma, but the reality of the preseason drill that showcases a defensive player going head to head with an offensive player in an effort to move the other backward is that it’s a thrilling -- yet dangerous -- proposition.

The highlight of the 2009 Bengals preseason camp for me occurred when WR Maurice Purify dominated S Roy Williams, known as one of the hardest hitters in the league, and knocked him backward in an embarrassing display for Williams. To watch it live and up close was awesome -- the speed, the power, the car crash intensity.

But it can be terrifying, especially when we hear the news that 49ers C Eric Heitmann’s neck injury that kept him out of last season occurred during a Nutcracker drill in San Francisco’s training camp.

That’s what 49ers T Joe Staley told SFGate.com (via CSN Bay Area), and it’s the disturbing result of a drill that perhaps should be taken out of practice altogether (like not giving water breaks on excruciatingly hot days).

CSN Bay Area reached former coach Mike Singletary by phone Thursday, and he said, “I have no response to that. I don't really know what Eric's prior situation was, so I'm not going to respond to that.”

According to CSN, a number of players were injured during the drill in Singletary’s first full season as head coach, and afterward team trainer Jeff Ferguson expressed concern to Singletary about the practice.

"When I sat down and explained to him why we did the Nutcracker, then he saw it as a very positive thing," Singletary said in the spring of 2010.

Hmm, that’s an interesting approach.

But Singletary also apparently tweaked the drill before last training camp to make it safer.

"I really had the coaches get together and look at the Nutcracker," he said. "Instead of just one guy getting on one side and the other guy getting on the other side and just knocking the crap out of each other, we're trying to get more out of it."

Unfortunately for Heitmann, it sounds like the tweaking didn’t go far enough.



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Posted on: May 18, 2011 10:25 am
 

Sounds like Alex Smith will stay in San Francisco

SmithPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Though 49ers QB Alex Smith made his first meeting with the media this offseason an off-the-record session (meaning that he asked reporters, including Comcast Sports Net’s Mindi Bach not to quote him directly), he also made it pretty clear that he expects to return to San Francisco in 2011.

Though he looked pretty much good as gone at the end of last season – it was certainly a mutual feeling between him and his team – and despite the fact San Francisco proclaimed its next QB of the future by drafting Colin Kaepernick in the second round of last month’s NFL draft, Smith said he and new coach Jim Harbaugh are getting along well.

The fact Harbaugh is an offensive-minded head coach – as opposed to the 49ers last two hires, Mike Singletary and Mike Nolan – also plays well in Smith’s mind.

There are also other reasons why Smith’s mindset has changed. Smith’s wife, Elizabeth, gave birth to their first child last week, meaning he’d like to stay put for now, and with the lockout freezing free agency, he hasn’t had a chance to look elsewhere for a new organization anyway.

The 49ers also appear to want him back, which could be why Harbaugh already has presented him with the team’s 2011 playbook, featuring Harbaugh’s West Coast offense terminology.

And now considering the lockout could extend into training camp, which would profoundly effect incoming college players, it makes sense to have a more experienced QB who’s taken plenty of NFL snaps as the team’s starter, rather than a rookie who has shined the past few years in the WAC.

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Posted on: April 15, 2011 12:33 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: San Francisco 49ers

Posted by Will Brinson



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups



The 49ers were doomed almost from the very start of last season. After all, check out their schedule for the first five games – the Seahawks, the Saints, the Chiefs, the Falcons and the Eagles (all made the playoffs and combined for a 51-29 record while knocking off the 49ers) – but two weeks after running through that gauntlet, San Francisco fell to the Panthers also. So, that’s not too good.

Neither, for that matter, was coach Mike Singletary, who was fired after Week 16, and neither was much of anybody else. The offense ranked 24th in the league – almost a miracle considering Alex Smith and Troy Smith traded off starting QB spots and RB Frank Gore missed the last five games because of a fractured hip – and though the defense was actually slightly better than average, San Francisco just couldn’t put it together under Singletary’s leadership.




Quarterback Issues

When Singletary named Troy Smith as his starting QB midway through the season, you knew neither of them were long for their respective jobs. When Singletary replaced andinjured Alex Smith with Troy Smith in Week 10 and then switched back to Alex the next week (and then continued to switch the two throughout the rest of the year), there was almost no chance San Francisco would win consistently.

Actually, the trouble began earlier in the season during that infamous Sundayy Night Football game when the San Francisco fans booed Alex Smith and demanding to see the backup QB, and Singletary thought hard about replacing him with David Carr. Smith then led a near comeback attempt vs. the Eagles. Still, not a great sequence for San Francisco.


1. Patient History
We gave the patient history of this position in the section above, so now, let’s figure out what the 49ers will do about it. They actually could keep Alex Smith – they’ve already offered him a one-year contract – but it’s unclear whether Smith will sign it. But yeah, it might make sense for San Francisco to look for quarterbacks in the draft. And remember, Kevin Kolb and Donovan McNabb are still out there as well.

2. Jim Harbaugh
He’s got zero NFL head coaching experience, but 49ers fans have to be excited about the possibilities (considering his success at Stanford and because his brother, John, has done such a bang-up job with the Ravens), and considering he’s getting paid $25 million over five years, he’d BETTER have more success than Singletary. And don’t forget: San Francisco also hired Trent Baalke as GM in the offseason. So, the 49ers are kind of starting over.

3. Cornerback
Nate Clements is fine at one CB spot, but Shawntae Spencer didn’t have a great year last season. Which is why it makes sense for San Francisco to grab either LSU’s Patrick Peterson or Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara with the No. 7 pick in the draft.




The defense is good enough to compete. The 49ers LB corps with Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes (and maybe Manny Lawson) is pretty darn good, and the defensive line, led by Justin Smith, does a nice job as well. The problem here is offense, and not just at QB either.

Gore is coming off a bad injury, and WR Michael Crabtree still hasn’t broken out in a big way. Assuming Harbaugh can get the respect of his team right away – something Singletary struggled with last season – San Francisco could get back to 8-8. Which means the 49ers could contend for the NFC West crown.

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Posted on: January 18, 2011 3:38 pm
 

Singletary heading to Minnesota as LB coach

Posted by Will Brinson

No one's ever questioned Mike Singletary's ability to motivate young men. In fact, he was highly successful as a linebackers coach with the 49ers, and it seems likely that he'll be highly successful as a linebackers coach for the Minnesota Vikings.

Because that's where he'll be coaching in 2011 -- Singletary told the "Waddle and Silvy" show on Tuesday that he accepted the position with Minnesota.

"I will be in Minnesota with Les [Frazier]," Singletary said. "I will be a linebackers coach/assistant head coach."

Singletary had previously been rumored to possibly land in either Carolina or Minnesota, where the new head coaches (Ron Rivera and Leslie Frazier, respectively) are former teammates of Singletary's on the 1985 Chicago Bears championship team.

Singletary previously worked as the linebackers coach with the Ravens, before accepting a position with the Niners as linebackers and assistant head coach (where eventually he was elevated to "interim" head coach and then head coach). He'll now take that same position in Minnesota.

Given the way in which he flamed out while he ran San Francisco's team, it's a pretty big win for him. And also a pretty big win for Minnesota, who should expect to see improved play from their already stout linebacker corps.

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Posted on: January 16, 2011 10:04 pm
 

Report: Singletary to coach LBs in Minnesota

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Looks like former 49ers coach Mike Singletary will get back to what he does best – coaching linebackers in the NFL.

That’s according to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora, who writes that Singletary is expected to join Vikings coach Leslie Frazier’s staff in that capacity.

The Panthers showed interest in hiring Singletary as well. Singletary played with Frazier and new Carolina coach Ron Rivera as a member of the Bears.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com