Who will the 49ers target as their next head coach after firing Singletary?

Mike Singletary’s tenure in San Francisco will inevitably serve as a lesson to all teams that just because a man can motivate doesn’t mean that he can be a head coach.

Towards the end, Singletary even had a tough time motivating, too. He was fired by the 49ers on Monday following yet another putrid offensive performance and a screaming match between him and one of his quarterbacks. During the second half of the team’s 25-17 loss to the Rams on Sunday, Singletary and Troy Smith went toe-to-toe after Singletary wanted to bench the QB in favor of Alex Smith. Ironically, Singletary also got into a sideline confrontation with Alex Smith in a game earlier this season against the Eagles.

Singletary ends his coaching career in San Fran with an 18-22 record over just two and a half seasons on the job. He’ll mostly be remembered for his fiery press conferences, his mismanagement of quarterbacks and his failure to make in-game adjustments. Obviously some of the blame falls on the players for not executing, but it’s up to the coaching staff to make adjustments when the original game plan isn’t working. Singletary failed to do that. In fact, I’ll venture to say that he and Jim Mora (the son, not the father) are the worst in-game coaches the league has ever had.

So where do the 49ers go from here? The Niners want to hire a general manager before they hire a head coach, which is fine. But once that GM is in place, the first phone call I’d make if I were him is to Jon Gruden. After the Singletary debacle, this team needs actual leadership and someone that the players can trust. This team needs someone who actually knows the X’s and O’s of the game and someone who can manage quarterbacks. Gruden has won with Brad Johnson, Rich Gannon and even Jeff Garcia. He can also finally provide some consistency on the offensive side of the ball, which is something the 49ers haven’t had for two and a half-plus years.

Gruden may not want to come out of the booth and down to the sidelines again but if he does, I’d make him an offer he couldn’t refuse if I were Jed York.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Would Jon Gruden be a good fit at Miami?

BRIAN CASSELLA | Times Photo via Newscom

Two days ago, Jon Gruden issued a statement that said he was committed to Monday Night Football and to ESPN. But that was before he had to endure the 49ers-Cardinals matchup, so maybe a couple of hours of watching Derek Anderson play has changed his mind.

Several sources, including ESPN.com, are reporting that Gruden is the University of Miami’s top choice to replace Randy Shannon, who was fired on Saturday following the Canes’ loss to South Florida. Oregon wanted Gruden to become their offensive coordinator in 2009, but he declined their offer and stayed in the booth. But will he be lured back to the sidelines now that a major university wants him to be their head coach?

It’s easy to see why Miami would want Gruden. First and foremost he’s a Super Bowl-winning head coach, which are hard to come by. He’s also a big name (someone college players would respect, or so you would think), a tireless worker and a great offensive mind. He also knows how to work with quarterbacks, which is obviously important at all levels.

But would it work? Would Gruden be a good fit for the college ranks?

While he cut his teeth in college football before moving up to the NFL, he has never been a college head coach. The X’s and O’s may be similar, but college coaches have to know how to recruit. For as much success as Gruden had at the pro level, he often preferred to work with veteran players like Rich Gannon, Brad Johnson and Jeff Garcia. That’s not to say he couldn’t mold young minds, but he seemingly likes to work with players that already know the game – not ones that have to be taught it.

Either way, it’s an interesting concept. Miami is tired of losing and wants someone that can come in right away and win. Is that person Gruden? Maybe, but there are a lot of things to consider. Just because he’s a big name doesn’t mean he’s the right person for the job. Besides, he may have several options in the NFL once the season is over. Who knows if he even wants to coach at the college level?

Vikings finally fire Brad Childress

NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 09: Head coach Brad Childress of the Minnesota Vikings reacts late in the second half the New Orleans Saints at Louisiana Superdome on September 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

On the heels of a humiliating loss to their bitter rivals, the Minnesota Vikings have fired Brad Childress and named defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier interim head coach, per Adam Schefter.

I’m sure Anthony will have something more to say on the matter, but as a longtime Packer fan, I’m a little sad to see Chilly go. It has been fun to watch the Vikings’ downward spiral starting with their disappointing last-minute loss in the NFC championship game to the cluster#%&* that is this season. Childress lost the locker room a while ago, and since he’s not winning, there’s no point in keeping him around.

It’s possible that owner Zygi Wilf saw how the Cowboys suddenly became respectable once they made a head coaching change and decided to follow suit after the Packers took his team behind the woodshed on Sunday. Or maybe he just wanted to see what Frazier could do with this team for the rest of the season before potentially committing to him long term. (Though with the way the defense played — and bickered — against the Packers, the defense definitely has its issues as well.)

So let the speculation begin. Even before this news, there were already rumors that Wilf might tag Bill Parcells to come in and change the team’s culture. There are a number of other good candidates out there as well, including Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher.

And — gasp! — what if a new coach meant that Brett Favre might want to come back for another go-around!?!

Buckle your seat belts, people!

USC hires Lane Kiffin to replace Pete Carroll

In rather surprising news, USC has tabbed former Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin to fill the position vacated by Pete Carroll, who signed a contract over the weekend to coach the Seattle Seahawks.

From ESPN.com:

“We are really excited to welcome Lane Kiffin back to USC,” Garrett said in a statement. “I was able to watch him closely when he was an assistant with us and what I saw was a bright, creative young coach who I thought would make an excellent head coach here if the opportunity ever arose. I’m confident he and his staff will keep USC football performing at the high level that we expect.”

He was a member of the USC coaching staff from 2001 to ’06, first as wide receivers coach and then as offensive coordinator under Carroll.

Kiffin will bring his father and defensive coordinator, Monte Kiffin, and assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron to Southern California with him.

The hiring is surprising, but what isn’t surprising is the way Kiffin left Tennessee after just one season. The fact of the matter is that college coaches come and go as they please. As long as there is more money and a bigger opportunity to be had, coaches will always be a threat to leave.

That said, it never ceases to amaze me that coaches can walk into a recruit’s home and talk about commitment, loyalty and family, and then leave a program at the drop of a hat. There is something incredible wrong with the process, but it has become such a norm that nobody is surprised by it anymore. As the clichéd response goes: It is what it is.

I wonder if some in Knoxville are secretly glad to see Kiffin go. He rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and never seemed like a great fit for UT. Considering he helped Carroll make USC’s program a success earlier this decade, it stands to reason that he will be a much better fit in Southern Cal, but we’ll see. It’ll also be exciting to see what Monte Kiffin can do with the talent he’ll have on the defensive side of the ball at SC.

This is pure conjecture on my part, but if I’m venturing a guess as to whom will replace Kiffin at Tennessee, I’d say Jon Gruden might be a great fit. He was a graduate assistant there from 1986 to 1987 and also met his wife at UT as well. If he wanted to take a crack at the collegiate level, Knoxville might just be a solid fit.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

NFL Week 8 MVP Power Rankings

The race for MVP rages on at the midway point of the season, and it’s loaded with QBs, for good reason. Brees, Manning and Favre have a combined record of 21-1 and show no signs of slowing down. So we’ll give them their due, for now. Things are going to get mighty interesting, though, in the coming weeks as races get tighter and become closer to being decided, including this race for NFL MVP…..

1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints—Their games are getting tighter, but it’s not like the Saints just beat a bad Falcons team on Monday night. That was a tough divisional match up and the Saints just keep, you know, marching…oh, forget it.

2. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts—No TDs against the Niners, but Manning still had a Week 8 best of 347 yards. Plus, the Colts remain undefeated.

3. Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings—Okay, forget that one blemish against Pittsburgh. After another strong showing against his former team, Favre has now thrown for 1925 yards with 16 TDs and just 3 picks. And his team is 7-1. Raise your hand if you expected that kind of success.

4. Jared Allen, Minnesota Vikings—Three more sacks against the Packers. Jon Gruden talked about Allen having a “motor that never stops,” and that’s pretty spot on. Allen is not just playing like defensive player of the year, he’s making a strong case for MVP.

5. Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals—Sorry Cedric, but while you were on bye, Favre and Allen terrorized the Packers, and Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew racked up a bunch of yards and TDs. We’ll hold you a spot, but let’s see how you do against the Ravens this week.

Honorable Mention–Elvis Dumervil, Broncos; Andre Johnson, Texans, Tom Brady, Patriots; Adrian Peterson, Vikings; Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars, Chris Johnson, Titans; Reggie Wayne, Colts; Matt Schaub, Texans

Related Posts