49ers fire Jimmy Raye – could Mike Singletary next?

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 02: Head coach Mike Singletary of the San Francisco 49ers watches his team during their game against the San Diego Chargers at Candlestick Park on September 2, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The problem with motivation is that when it comes from the wrong person, it carries as much weight as loose leaf paper.

Mike Singletary is a great motivator, but it appears that nobody’s listening anymore. The 49ers nearly pulled off a great upset on Monday night against the Saints, but then followed it up with an uninspired 31-10 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday.

Today, the first axe fell in San Francisco as offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye was fired. The move was hardly shocking when you consider how inept the Niners have been on that side of the ball this year. They currently rank 20th in total offense but are averaging just 12.7 points-per-game, which ranks them 31st in the NFL. There have also been reports that Kansas City defenders were calling out San Francisco’s plays yesterday before the snap, which is troubling to say the least. Some offensive coordinators can be predictable in their playcalling, but there’s a much bigger problem at hand if your opponent knows what you’re going to do before the snap.

But back to Singletary. The 49ers no longer seem to be responding with his methods and even appear to be tuning him out. Fans and the media like his post-game pressers and his intense persona, but if it doesn’t work with the players then none of it doesn’t matters.

There haven’t been any reports to suggest that Singletary will lose his job, but it’s not like the 49ers have it any easier over the next two weeks. They’re in Atlanta this Sunday and then host the Eagles in Week 5. They catch a break with the Raiders, Panthers and Broncos in Weeks 6 through 8, but if they continue to play as poorly as they did in Kansas City yesterday then it won’t matter who they’re playing.

Quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson will replace Raye as offensive coordinator, so maybe he’ll provide a spark. But even if he does, the players still have to believe in what Singletary is preaching because if not, then Raye won’t be the last to go.

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