Tag:Mike Singletary
Posted on: January 16, 2011 12:08 pm
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Singletary, McDermott drawing lots of interest

Posted by Will Brinson

Mike Singletary and Sean McDermott were both fired fairly unceremoniously after their team's seasons were (effectively) over. But they don't appear to be hurting for work too badly -- multiple reports Sunday indicate that the two defensive specialists should find a job in 2011 pretty easily. 

And both gentlemen are in the mix to be a part of Ron Rivera's defensive crew in Carolina, apparently. Singletary as linebackers coach and McDermott as defensive coordinator.

Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network reports that linebackers coach Richard Smith will leave the Panthers (insomuch that he's still there anyway) and join John Fox in Denver.

Singletary, LaCanfora reports, is a possible candidate to replace Smith. The ex-Niners coach played with Rivera on the Bears, but he also played with Leslie Frazier there. And both Judd Zulgad of the Minnesota Star-Tribune and Darin Gantt of the Charlotte Observer noted on Twitter that they believe the Vikings are still in the lead to land Singletary. (Which, if you're a Panthers fan, is a shame, because Singletary getting a hold of Jon Beason, Dan Connor and James Anderson might equate to some stupid good production; see: Patrick Willis.)

McDermott is expected to get a look for the Panthers DC gig as well as with, ironically enough, Fox in Denver as the defensive coordinator. McDermott once interviewed for the Broncos' head coaching job, interestingly.

That's according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN who reports that Andy Reid informed McDermott (when he let him go from Philly) that the legend of Jim Johnson was "too large."

It's a shame, of course, since McDermott had been with the Eagles since 1998, gradually rising up the ranks of the coaching staff. In his time there, he worked with Rivera, who was linebackers coach with the Eagles from 1999-2003.
Posted on: January 11, 2011 5:40 pm
 

Seahawks gunning for another QB of the future?

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With Matt Hasselbeck on the downside of his career – even though he was simply fantastic in beating the Saints, and he might stick around as a starter for another couple years – it makes sense that the Seahawks would continue to search for a potential future quarterback.

I think many of us would agree that Charlie Whitehurst, who was signed before last season for that “future quarterback” spot, is not that person. Now, it sounds like Seattle will give it another shot with a quarterback who’s virtually had no playing time in the NFL.

According to CSN Bay Area, 49ers practice squad QB Nate Davis will sign a contract with the Seahawks, pending that he passes a physical.

You might remember Davis because former San Francisco coach Mike Singletary blasted Davis’ work ethic early this year before stashing him on the 49ers practice squad all season long.

Davis was a fifth-round pick out of Ball State in 2009, and he has impressed observers with his arm strength. But when Singletary ripped him for his offseason practice habits, his stock certainly dropped. He also didn’t play great in the preseason games, and that didn’t help matters either.

And then there’s this.

From the article:

Davis' draft stock fell in the spring of 2009 when he revealed he had a learning disability. With Jim Harbaugh entering as 49ers head coach and bringing the West Coast offense, Davis would've been forced to learn a new offense, anyway.

Davis rarely practiced at quarterback during the season. He saw more action on the 49ers' practice squad playing tight end. The 49ers were not thrilled he gained approximately 15 pounds during the season. Davis plans to spend his offseason with a personal trainer in Indianapolis, he said.

The Seahawks are allowed to sign Davis because he finished the season on the 49ers' practice squad. The 49ers had one week of sole-negotiating rights to sign him to a contract that will begin with the new league year. After that one-week window, practice squad players become "street free agents" and are free to sign with any team.


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Posted on: January 4, 2011 10:08 am
 

49ers request permission to interview Hue Jackson

Posted by Will Brinson

The 49ers are so busy at work trying to find a general manager that they don't have time right now to start interviewing coaches, right?

Wrong, apparently -- Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that San Francisco has requested permission from the Oakland Raiders to interview offensive coordinator Hue Jackson for their head coaching position.

This is an interesting move on a number of fronts. First, they have no GM (technically; everyone believes Trent Baalke is going to get the gig at some point), so they're going against their previously stated policy of hiring the front office before the coaching staff.

Secondly, Jackson is considered a potential frontrunner for the Oakland job, if Al Davis decides to relieve Tom Cable of his duties.

And finally, Jackson's interview immediately complies the 49ers with the Rooney Rule. That's not say they're doing it just to comply, but once they've completed a legitimate interview with a minority candidate, they have free reign to hire anyone they want without fear of being rebuked. (Although it's worth noting, I think, that the 49ers aren't exactly concerned with hiring a minority candidate -- they just finished the Mike Singletary era.)

And who knows? Maybe Jackson's the guy after all, although it would seem odd to have them "find their guy" before the front office is figured out.

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Posted on: December 27, 2010 7:03 pm
 

SF has two important hires to make

Jed York (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

First, hire a general manager. Then, allow that general manager to hire the next head coach. For 49ers team president Jed York – who let go of former GM Scot McCloughan in March and then fired coach Mike Singletary after San Francisco fell 25-17 to the Rams on Sunday – that’s the move that makes the most sense.

And, of course, he’s right (I’m sure Eric Mangini would agree with that sentiment.) After all, there’s nothing worse for a new head coach if the GM that the ownership hires is not the same GM that has hired that head coach.

“It’s about making sure the GM and the head coach are really working together and he’s going to be the person living and dying with the coach,” York told reporters today at his news conference officially announcing Jim Tomsula as the interim, via Rapid Reporter Michael Erler and CSN Bay Area.

It doesn’t sound like Tomsula will be a candidate for the full-time position, and it also sounds like this won’t be a quick process. York has enlisted the help of his uncle, former team owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., and the Kraft family – which, as you know, owns the Patriots. For now, York will talk to candidates who don’t have jobs, but once the season is complete, he’s going to widen his pool.

In fact, he might be coming after your guy! Or the guy your team just fired.

"Obviously, some coaches who aren't retained will be potential candidates for us," York said. "There are a lot of coaches on the street who are potential candidates for us. There are a lot of guys who have been coordinators and been successful, so there's a broad array.

"But that's not me putting that list together. I'm not going to say, 'You're the GM but you can't hire this guy as head coach.' The GM will hire the head coach."

The last two 49ers hires haven’t exactly been impressive. Mike Nolan had been a defensive coordinator with a good reputation (and since he was fired, he’s done a nice job leading the Dolphins defense, third-best in the NFL), and Singletary was obviously a legendary player (with no coordinator experience, mind you).

They didn’t do well as head coaches in San Francisco – Nolan went 18-37, and Singletary followed him with an 18-22 record.

Now, York is placing the decision of who the next coach will be in his future GM’s hands. Now, York just has to make sure he gets that decision right.

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Posted on: December 27, 2010 1:57 pm
 

What do coaching changes say about lockout?

Posted by Andy Benoit

All season long we’ve been hearing about how teams may be reluctant to make a head coaching change given the uncertainty of the Collective Bargaining negotiations. Owners don’t like the idea of a new staff coming aboard and possibly having to wait until late summer to start working with players.J. Richardson (US Presswire)

However, heading into Week 17, we’ve already seen four head coaches canned (Wade Phillips in Dallas, Brad Childress in Minnesota, Josh McDaniels in Denver and Mike Singletary in San Francisco).

There is guaranteed to be at least one other head coaching vacancy after the season, as John Fox’s contract in Carolina expires next week. Marvin Lewis’ deal in Cincinnati also runs out. Many believe that Gary Kubiak will be fired in Houston. And there are questions about the futures of Jeff Fisher in Tennessee, Tony Sparano in Miami, Eric Mangini in Cleveland and Tom Coughlin in New York. It’s possible that 10 teams could be in the market for a new head coach after this season.

There are two ways to look at this as it pertains to the labor negotiations – and both are uplifting. One: the owners really don’t believe that a lockout is on the horizon. Though neither the league nor players would admit it, we got a hint of this sentiment a few weeks ago when the owners extended the deadline for the NFLPA to file a collusion claim against them. The other way to look at it is that if there is a lockout and roughly a third of the league’s owners are bringing in a new coaching staff in 2011, that could subtly influence the owners to get a deal done quicker. Two of the owners who could be searching for head coaches – Jerry Jones and Jerry Richardson – are major power brokers.

Of course, it’s possible that we all misread the significance of a coaching change during a lockout to begin with. Perhaps owners are simply willing to take their lumps in 2011. But confusion with your head coaching situation is a significant lump to take. It’s expensive, chaotic and, if everything is shut down anyway, unnecessary. Problem is, all it takes is one team to decide to endure it, and all the others will follow suit. After all, if one team does it, that team would have first run at all the available head coaching candidates.

Something else to keep in mind: if there is a lockout, it won’t come until March. Unless we’re talking about the Raiders, it’s inconceivable that a team would not fill a head coaching vacancy before then. So teams can still implement their new staffs, those new staffs just might not be able to implement their new systems. Still, those limits would all be planned for ahead of time.

The bottom line is, labor peace or labor war, it’s going to be a busy early offseason as usual for the NFL.

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Posted on: December 27, 2010 1:18 am
Edited on: December 27, 2010 1:19 am
 

10 stories worth your attention Week 16

Posted by Andy Benoit

1. The NFC’s new most dangerous team?

It took a little over three hours for the Green Bay Packers to become the favorites in the running for this year’s “Wild-Card team that nobody wants to face” moniker. Their 45-17 dismantling of the New York Giants was a showcase of explosion, bA. Rodgers (US Presswire)oth offensively and defensively. Aaron Rodgers completed passes of 36, 26 and 24 yards to Greg Jennings. He lasered an 80-yard catch-and-run score to Jordy Nelson (safety Deon Grant’s lack of burst helped the play) and later found the lanky slot receiver for a 38-yarder. Rodgers also found Donald Driver for a 33-yarder against cornerback Terrell Thomas, who was targeted all afternoon.

The Packers did not run particularly well. Brandon Jackson managed just 39 yards on 18 attempts; the rest of the team combined for a more-respectable 80 yards on 17 attempts. However, perhaps building off their rushing success from last Sunday at New England, the Packer offense at least showed balance early on, running on 10 of its first 20 plays and having 18 rush attempts vs. 23 pass attempts at halftime. (By the way, in what was perhaps the emptiest quote of the year, Mike McCarthy told FOX sideline reporter Pam Oliver at halftime that he’d like his team to have better run/pass balance in the second half).

At the end of the day, Rodgers sealed the NFC Offensive Player of the Week award with 404 yards and four touchdowns. Numbers half that good would have gotten a win considering Green Bay’s defense forced five turnovers. FORCED is the operative word here; Ahmad Bradshaw’s fumble was bad, but the story of that play was Charles Woodson getting in the backfield and punching the ball out. And Woodson’s punch out wasn’t as fierce as the one Clay Matthews had on Brandon Jacobs two possessions later.

Aside from a few uncharacteristic deep coverage blunders in man-to-man by cornerback Tramon Williams, Dom Capers’ unit was excellent. Injuries have left the Pack D with a few deficiencies this season, but as the ’09 Saints showed, personnel deficiencies can be masked with big plays generated by an aggressive, complex scheme.



2. A Giant meltdown unfolding?

The New York papers on Monday aren’t going to characterize Sunday’s game as a “Packers win” – they’ll characterize it as a “Giants loss”. And that will be accurate. The Giants were as sloppy as the Packers were great. Eli Manning tossed four interceptions, bringing his league-leading total to 24 on the season. If interceptions weren’t automatically credited to the quarterback but, instead, charged to culpable players the same way errors are charged in baseball, Manning’s pick total would be somewhere around 15 this season. No passer has been shafted by his receivers in the turnovers department quite like Manning this season. And it’s not just the tipped balls; improper route running as a result of bad reads have become a specialty with this group (Hakeem Nicks illustrated this on more than one occasion Sunday).
A. Bradshaw (US Presswire)
The Giants have also struggled to run the ball these past two weeks. You can’t help but wonder if the re-insertion of Shaun O’Hara at center is to blame. O’Hara is one of the best veteran blockers in the game, but the Giants found a rhythm when he was hurt and guard Rich Seubert was filling-in in the middle. That rhythm has been nonexistent in the two weeks since O’Hara returned.

Also non-existent is New York’s pass-rush – at least on paper. Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck were able to get pressure on Aaron Rodgers, but only once did that pressure result in a sack. Rodgers’ mobility and natural playmaking prowess took over this game. A week ago, it was Michael Vick’s mobility and natural playmaking prowess taking over. Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has concocted two good gameplans the past two weeks, but given the breakdowns from his defense, it’s possible he’s now questioning whether his back seven is talented enough to handle the heavy doses of man coverage.

The New York media is going to turn all of these issues into a “Tom Coughlin hot seat” discussion, which is understandable but nevertheless silly. The Giants’ problems have not been schematic or strategic, they’ve been mental. And those mental problems have not been continuous like the problems we saw in Dallas or are currently seeing in San Francisco. Rather, the mental mistakes have just been of the spectacular variety. The Giants are fine for nine plays, but on the 10th, they’ll make the grand blunder. It’s easy for a columnist to chalk this up to Coughlin losing the team, but players don’t do things like fumble, miss tackles against amazing offensive athletes or punt the ball to the wrong spot because they’ve stopped listening to their coach. Coaching changes come about when teams stop playing hard. If anything, the Giants are playing too hard and pressing. Nevertheless, this rationale will hold little water in the Big Apple this week, as Coughlin’s seat is warming with his team now needings serious outside help just to reach the postseason.



3. As for that other New York squad…

No playoff worries for the Jets – they’re in. They have David Garrard to thank. The Jaguars quarterback gave the Redskins excellent field position with his overthrown interception to Carlos Rogers in the first quarter, leading to a Rex Grossman one-yard touchdown pass. Then, in overtime, Garrard did it again, only this time he went with an underthrow to complete the pick (cornerback Kevin Barnes as the lucky recipient). Barnes’ interception set up Graham Gano’s third successful overtime field goal on the season, which dropped the Jaguars to 8-7 and eliminated them as New York’s only chaser the AFC Wild Card race.

So the Jets are in despite losing 38-34 at Chicago. Not an ideal clinching scenario, of course. Perhaps there is reason to worry about the Jet defense. After all, Jay Cutler had three touchdown passes of 25-plus yards…in the third quarter alone. And Matt Forte needed just 13 carries to become the first player in 21 games to rush for 100 yards against Rex Ryan’s D* (Forte finished with 113 yards on 19 carries). The Jets got no pass-rush Sunday and looked totally unaccustomed to the concept of tackling players in frigid temperatures. But, as you’ll read about in Story 4, there was one factor that could tag a legitimate asterisk on this aspersion of the defense.
D. Keller (US Presswire)
The rest of Story 3 pertains to a Jets offense that posted 27 points (Dwight Lowery’s interception return provided the other seven). In short, it was spectacular. Pretty much everything that was predicted in my Week 16 Key Matchup feature proved to be 180 degrees wrong. Shonn Greene managed 70 yards on 12 carries (by the way, don’t be surprised if Greene once again becomes the featured back in the postseason; LaDainian Tomlinson, who has been a somewhat listless ballcarrier the past two months, had just 28 yards on 13 carries Sunday). Mark Sanchez completed 24/37 by throwing consistently over the middle of the field. His favorite target was Dustin Keller (seven catches, 79 yards).

Credit Brian Schottenheimer for devising one of the shrewdest offensive gameplans we’ve seen this season. Schottenheimer used a host of presnap gyrations and postsnap misdirections to get the speedy Bears linebackers flowing away from the play and to enabled Sanchez to make simple reads and short, comfortable throws. Even most of the plays in which Sanchez went downfield and hit his second or third target were a result of brilliant design (the one that comes to mind is Santonio Holmes’ 23-yard touchdown in which safety Danieal Manning was forced to abandon his deep zone and pick up Keller’s drag route over the middle).

Last Sunday, the Jets got their first offensive touchdown since Thanksgiving. This Sunday, they got their first passing touchdown since Thanksgiving. Even in a losing effort, they’ve all but run out of statistical droughts just in time for the playoffs.
*It was believed that Rashard Mendenhall had 100 yards rushing against the Jets last week. However, the powers that be went back a day after the game and ruled that Mendenhall actually had 99 yards.




4. Soldier Field Quagmire

Here’s a prediction: in an upcoming postseason game the Bears will give up a bunch of big plays and lose at home to a team they’ll believe they were better than. They’ll come away realizing that the atrocious field conditions at Soldier Field will always do what they did in Week 16 against the Jets: create an enormous advantage for the offense. On a sloppy field, pass-rushers can’t get enough traction to fire off the ball (this is part of the reason New York’s athletic but inexperienced right tackle Wayne Hunter singlehandedly shutout Julius Peppers) and defensive backs can’t recover quickly enough to handle a receiver’s double move.

Realizing that they’re still a defensive team even though Jay Cutler has blossomed in Mike Martz’s well-crafted and well-taught system, the Bears will look to ensure that a sloppy field never costs them another Super Bowl run again. Thus, in 2011, out with the mud and sand painted to look like grass and in with the ultra-consistent field turf.

You might be thinking that the Bears should actually enjoy their sloppy field. After all, the field is the same for both teams, and at least the Bears, unlike their opponents, are familiar with it. That’s a valid concept, but in this case, the conditions are so extreme that no team can render an advantage. Only offensive players benefit, and even they would like a more reliable playing surface. This is why the Bear players have been vociferously griping about the field conditions this season.

Of course, the Bears don’t necessarily have to risk learning a tough lesson in the playoffs here. They can install FieldTurf tomorrow if they want. The Patriots did that in the middle of the ’06 season. And the Cowboys replaced their Astroturf with FieldTurf in the middle of the ’02 season.



5. Chargers make us kick ourselves
P. Rivers (US Presswire)
Have you ever found yourself counting on a close friend to come through big for you but doubting that they actually will? Perhaps you are working on an important project together. Or maybe you need the close friend to give you a ride to the airport. Or loan you something of necessity. Or just be a sidekick at a special event. Anyway, as the big moment draws nearer, you have a feeling that your close friend is not going to come through. But because they’re a close friend and because they’ve come through before, you ignore your intuition.

Then, sure enough, when the moment comes, your close friend doesn’t come through and you’re left wondering why you didn’t act when you thought you saw it coming.

This is what watching the 2010 San Diego Chargers has been like. We figured the Chargers would win the AFC West because they always win the AFC West. When they stumbled out of the gates with a 2-5 record, we started to worry. When they rebounded but then suffered an ugly loss to the Raiders a few weeks ago, we got nervous but ultimately assumed everything was still cool.

Then, sure enough, on Sunday, the perennial AFC West champs went to Cincinnati and got pummeled by a Bengals team that, as it turns out, is probably better without its divisive star receivers. The loss dropped San Diego to 8-7 and officially out of the postseason. The team that we worried would let us down but assumed would somehow not let us down wound up letting us down.

It’s shocking that it was THIS Charger team that finally fell short in the end. Yes, the bumbling special teams put the club in a 2-5 hole. And yes, injuries and holdouts pocked the offense. But it’s still an offense that ranks second in total yards. Oh, and by the way, the defense ranks FIRST in total yards. In any year, it would be unusual for a No. 2 offense or a No. 1 defense to miss the postseason. For a No. 2 offense and a No. 1 defense to be of the same team AND miss the postseason? Unbelievable.



6. A head coaching career headed to the Singletary – errr, cemetery

In a small (and rare) victory for justice in the NFC West, the Cardinals beat the Cowboys on an improbable finish Christmas night (as meaningless games go, that one was as entertaining as it gets). The Cardinals’ win makes it possible for the 49ers to finish last in football’s worst division (Arizona just needs to beat San Fran next week).
M. Singletary (US Presswire)
No team deserves a basement finish more than San Francisco. Mike Singletary has been a lame duck since virtually Halloween – and the players have known it. Twice this season Singletary has questioned a quarterback on the sideline only to have the quarterback shout back in his face: Alex Smith in the Sunday night loss against Philadelphia and Troy Smith most recently in the 25-17 loss at St. Louis.
Not long after shouting at Singletary, Troy was benched for Alex. Alex will be remembered this game for showing horrendous pocket awareness on the final fourth quarter drive low-lighted by his second down sack and Ted Ginn’s inexplicable failure to get out of bounds after converting a fourth down in the waning seconds.

It’s not fair to criticize either Smith for shouting at their head coach because we don’t know what was being said. But it IS fair to ask: Can you imagine Belichick/Cowher/Tomlin/Dungy/Parce
lls etc. having a quarterback shout in their face? Sure, it’s a competitive, emotional game. But you just don’t see head coaches get shouted at by quarterbacks. Even when Rich Gannon and Jon Gruden would bicker, all that was was bickering. The Smiths and Singletary haven’t been merely bickering. Neither Smith has a reputation for being an insubordinate guy (though some believe Alex Smith helped run Mike Nolan out of town). On the surface, it looks like not all the Niner players, and not these quarterbacks in particular, truly respect the head coach.

It might not matter, as Singletary is out now. Jed York will likely hire a GM before he hires a new head coach. Too bad Bruce Allen is already locked up in Washington; Allen’s presence wouldn’t hurt San Francisco’s chances at coaxing Jon Gruden back to the Bay Area.
Whoever the new GM is, he’d better have an eye for quarterbacks. That seems to be all the 49ers are truly missing. San Francisco’s defensive front seven is borderline outstanding (just ask the Rams, who managed 60 yards on 28 rushing attempts Sunday). There are playmakers at all the offensive skill positions. And, though the offensive line has struggled, it’s a unit that features two first-round rookies (left guard Mike Iupati and right tackle Anthony Davis).



7. The all-important meaningless games

A side effect that had to be unforeseen when the NFL decided to schedule only divisional matchups for Week 17 is the bizarre scenario of teams still chasing playoff berths but having a meaningless game in Week 16. The Colts and Seahawks both experienced this Sunday. Because the Jaguars lost early to the Redskins, the Colts did not technically need to win at Oakland. All that matters is that they beat the Titans next week. For the Seahawks, the same situation played out at Tampa Bay because of the Niners’ loss to the Rams.

The Seahawks played like a team that fully understood this scenario. The Bucs did whatever they wanted against them. Josh Freeman tossed five touchdowns, which matched the number of incompletions he had on 26 pass attempts. LeGarrette Blount racked up 164 yards on 18 carries. Tampa’s defense held Seattle to 179 yards. Seattle scored only eight points after Matt Hasselbeck left with a non-contact hip injury. The 38-15 loss means the Seahawks’ average D. Rhodes (US Presswire)margin of defeat this season is an astonishing 21 points. The closest of their nine losses was 15 points (Week 11 vs. the Saints).

The Colts, on the other hand, played like a team that had no idea it was partaking in a meaningless game. For starters, they did not roll over and put Curtis Painter on the field. They did, however, put Dominic Rhodes on the field, but only because they think the veteran journeyman might end up being their featured back in the playoffs. Joseph Addai returned after missing eight weeks with a neck injury. The first-round pick of ’06 was brought along fairly slowly, finishing the game with 45 yards on 12 carries.

For the past two months, another former first-round pick, Donald Brown, has been filling in for Addai. However, the Colts brass may finally be admitting what they’ve likely been grumbling all along: Brown lacks the necessary quickness and vision to be a quality NFL back. Brown got only six carries against the Raiders; Rhodes got 17. But wait! Brown was coming off a career-best 129 yards rushing against the Jaguars! He was snatched off the waiver wires in all my fantasy leagues! He’s a young first-rounder! No way the Colts would choose Rhodes over him!

But that seems to be the case. The reality is the NFL is not a gaping-holes league. What Brown did against Jacksonville was a product of Jacksonville’s poor linebacking and safety play. Rhodes has better shiftiness and awareness than Brown. Rhodes’ return to relevance may end up saving the Colts. Indy rushed for 191 yards against the Raiders. If they can muster even a modest threat running the ball, they’ll be a tough out.



8. A higher power in Denver

Tim Tebow’s second NFL start was a Testament – err, testament to the value of mobility for a young quarterback. John Madden always said that it’s important a young passer be able to move because, inevitably, a young passer is going to panic under duress and be inclined to flee the pocket. Tebow did not show a whole lot of panic facing Houston, owner of the league’s worst pass defense (if not worst defense overall….did you know the Texans have now set an all-time NFL record by allowing 24 points in 14 games this season?).

The first-round rookie threw for 308 yards, completing 16/29 passes. Tebow also scrambled for 27 yards on 10 runs, including his game-winning six-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Brandon Lloyd was responsible for 111 of Tebow’s yards. Most enchanting was Lloyd’s spectacular 41-yarder in which he elevated to show off his otherworldly suppleness.

Bronco fans were happy with Tebow, but Panther fans were thrilled. Denver’s win locked up the No. 1 pick in the 2011 Draft for the lowly Panthers.



9. Business as usual for Baltimore

Ray Lewis vowed that the Ravens would not let Peyton Hillis run over them again. (Hillis rushed for 144 yards against this club in his Week 3 NFL coming out party.) There isn’t a soul alive who didn’t believe all week that Lewis was good for his word here. Which is why there isn’t a soul alive who is the least bit surprised with Baltimore’s matter-of-fact 20-10 win at Cleveland.

Ed Reed had a pair of interceptions in this game (Colt McCoy struggled with accuracy and had too many balls hang up in the air); the Ravens are now 10-0 when Reed has a multi-pick game. Some might say Reed was on fire Sunday. I’d love to, except doing so would, at this point, be a sorry, obvious joke given what happened with Reed’s jacket on the sideline late in the fourth quarter.



10. Quick Hits

**Santonio Holmes vowed to the CBS broadcast crew earlier in the week that he’d never wears sleeves during a game because sleeves caused him to fumble once at Ohio State. Then Holmes wore sleeves against the Bears. And, sure enough, he fumbled early in the first half.

**Hard to believe that the upper bowl at Arrowhead Stadium was only half full fJ. Flacco (US Presswire)or the Chiefs division-clinching win against the Titans. The Chiefs, remember, sold out a record 156 straight games from December 1990 through December 2009.

**I have heard from a few people recently about the outstanding play of Bills NT Kyle Williams. I’ll have to watch the film closer after the season, but on a surface level glance, I have trouble believing any members of the league’s worst run defense is playing very well. Every time I looked over at the Patriots-Bills game Sunday, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead were picking up five yards on runs that should have gone for one or two. It’s been that way all season with the Bills.

**Despite being a game manager his first two seasons as a pro, on Sunday Joe Flacco became just the sixth player in NFL history to throw for 10,000 yards in his first three years.

**Aaron Rodgers debuted his new, safer helmet against the Giants. My question is if the NFL is so concerned about concussions, why aren’t more players, whether they’ve had a concussion or not, being forced to make this helmet switch?

**The Raiders-Colts final score (31-26) was only close because the Raiders got an opening kickoff touchdown return from Jacoby Ford and 59-yard and 54-yard field goals from Sebastian Janikowski.

**The Chargers ought to be worried about first-round rookie Ryan Mathews. Besides being injury prone and inconsistent, the Fresno State product has been downright inexplosive. Mathews’ 24-yard touchdown scamper against the Bengals marked his longest run on the season.

**Will Brinson and I reviewed all of the major Week 16 stories in the CBSSports.com Football Podcast Sunday night. Click here to check it out.


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Posted on: December 27, 2010 12:05 am
Edited on: December 27, 2010 12:43 am
 

Mike Singletary fired as 49ers coach

Posted by Will Brinson

Following the 49ers' loss to the St. Louis Rams (an ugly 25-17 elimination party), Jed York didn't exactly endorse his head coach, and it seemed likely that Mike Singletary would be fired.

York didn't wait to think about his decision, though, and he asked Singletary to resign following the loss. Singletary refused, however, and York was forced to fire him and replace him with Jim Tomsula, the Niners defensive line coach.

"I want to thank Mike Singletary for the passion and effort that he brought to this organization," York said in a statement. "He is a tremendous person for whom I will always have great respect."

Singletary was also grateful in a statement.

"One of the greatest experiences of my life was having the opportunity to coach the San Francisco 49ers," Singletary said. "What made it so special were the players. They were some of the most outstanding men I have ever been around in my life. The coaches were truly professionals. I wish the 49ers nothing but the best."

One of those coaches, Tomsula, has his work cut out for him.

Unfortunately for Tomsula, the interim is only "one week," meaning he won't have much time to justify himself as a possible full-time candidate, although it seems unlikely that he'd nail the gig anyway -- York mentioned that the team isn't afraid to spend money and that means, if the right coach is available, the Niners could be looking at an upgrade.

As for Singletary, he was only kept afloat by the fact that San Fran, who's horribly underperformed this season, resides in the NFC West, where winning five games still gives you a shot at making the playoffs.

His head coaching tenure will be remembered for his many public antics (admitting he dropped his pants, yelling at "Yahoo! commercials," etc and his inability to realize the faults with his own quarterbacks. And that's unfortunate, because Singletary's a hell of a position coach and probably deserves a job with another NFL team in the pretty immediate future.

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Posted on: December 26, 2010 8:04 pm
 

49ers owner won't commit to Singletary next week

Posted by Will Brinson

No one really thinks that Mike Singletary will have a head coaching job after 2010. That notion was heavily reinforced when the 49ers lost to the Rams on Sunday, ending their inexplicably-still-alive playoff hopes.

Turns out, there's a chance he might not even have a job next week -- Jed York, Niners owner, spoke to reporters following San Fran's 25-17 loss to St. Louis and wouldn't confirm nor deny that Singletary will coach Week 17.

We want to take our time before we make any decision like that. You don't want to make an emotional decision right now after the game," York said via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

York's been pretty faithful to the former interim, given how poorly the Niners have played despite a ridiculously easy path to the playoffs.

And there's probably a 90-plus percent chance that Singletary won't end up coaching the 49ers in 2011. But for now, York and Co. need to sit back and see if there's a move that needs to be made ASAP (read: can we get Jim Harbaugh before his BCS game?).

If there's not, Singletary may get one more shot at flipping a coin between Alex and Troy Smith.

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