Actions suggest 49ers’ focus not entirely on season finale

Oh, by the way, there is a football game tomorrow.

Hey, Mike Singletary, have you agreed to a multiyear contract?


Hey, Mike Singletary, did you make up your mind to fire offensive coordinator Mike Martz even before the final game?


Every time Singletary heard a form of those questions, he dodged it. Then, he said his focus was solely on the Washington Redskins.


We can assume Singletary discussed the future with team executives early this week. I wonder exactly where the game against the Redskins ranked on the agenda. Singletary said he is focused on the Redskins, but certainly his actions say something different.


And, really, who can blame him? The 49ers should be thinking a lot about the direction the franchise will take in the days immediately following the season.


After all, if the entire 49ers organization was intent on keeping the focus on the game, there are probably better ways of accomplishing that task than allowing word to leak out that the person entrusted to call the offensive plays will soon be unemployed.


Martz has perhaps the most important game-day role of anybody with the 49ers. How do you figure the report of his impending firing is going to keep him focused on his job of calling plays in the season finale? How amenable is he going to be to Singletary’s suggestions or requests?


Singletary was initially irate when a report surfaced that he dropped his pants in the locker room at halftime of his first game. That was nothing compared to this. That locker room was crowded with as many as 70 individuals.


But there is one positive aspect for Singletary. Head coaches must regularly deal with controversies and distractions. This game will present a great challenge for Singletary, as his ability to keep a team focused faces a severe test.


As far as distractions go, this is a good one. Although Mike Martz might have a different opinion.


* * *


Then again . . .  The 49ers might be getting a lucky break. After all, they’ll be facing a Redskins team that was eliminated from the playoffs last week and have to travel cross country a couple days after Christmas.


* * *


Congratulations and thank you to 49ers center Eric Heitmann, this year’s winner of the Garry Niver Award. The beat reporters who cover the team vote on the award, giving annually to the 49ers player who exhibits the most professionalism and cooperation in dealing with the media.


Among the others worthy players who received votes this season were Takeo Spikes, Vernon Davis, Shaun Hill, Joe Staley, Michael Lewis and Michael Robinson.


Past winners include Frank Gore, Bryant Young, Julian Peterson, Jeff Ulbrich, Jeff Garcia (twice), Dana Stubblefield, Lance Schulters, Jerry Rice, Tim McDonald (twice), Ray Brown, Steve Wallace, Steve Young and Jesse Sapolu.


The award is named after Garry Niver, a long-time beat reporter who covered the 49ers for the San Mateo Times.


* * *


The last 49ers player to register 10 or more sacks will be on the field tomorrow. Bill Walsh engineered the trade to enable the 49ers to move up to No. 7 overall to select Andre Carter in the 2001 draft. Carter twice led the 49ers in sacks, including 12.5 in 2002. He left the 49ers to sign a lucrative free-agent deal with the Redskins after the 2005 season. For the pages of today’s Press Democrat, I wrote about Carter’s San Francisco homecoming.


* * *

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *