Team president and CEO Jed York met briefly with a group of reporters today in a near-empty locker room after the 49ers’ 25-17 loss to St. Louis, which dropped them to 5-10 and eliminated them from the playoffs.
The give-and-take lasted less than four minutes, but York said a mouthful.
York said the Niners would hire a general manager in the offseason and he and the new GM would collaborate on potentially hiring a new coach. That was just one of many less-than-subtle hints that coach Mike Singletary won’t be back next season.
York didn’t even commit to Singletary coaching the Niners’ now-meaningless regular-season finale against visiting Arizona next week.
Here are the excerpted highlights (questions are paraphrased):
Is there any thought that coach Singletray won’t coach finale on Sunday?
JY: We want to take our time before we make any decisions like that. You don’t want to make an emotional decision right now right after the game.
Is that something that will be discussed on the trip home?
JY: Obviously, we didn’t achieve the things we set out to achieve. We should be a playoff team. We aren’t a playoff time this year. Very disappointed about that. We need to figure out how we can get into the playoffs and how we can start competing for Super Bowls.
It could take a lot of money to eat the remaining years of Singletary’s contract and hire a new coach.
JY: Money is no object. Our object is to win the Super Bowl. We’re going to make sure we get this right.
Your reaction when you see Mike Singletary yelling at the quarterback today, which has happened more than once this season?
JY: I’m not worried about individual things like that. What bothers me is we come in here, this is a playoff-caliber game and we didn’t get it done. And that’s the bottom line.
What’s most disappointing?
JY: I think the focus. You come into a game like this and we looked inept on offense in the first half. We didn’t get anything done except for two plays that, really, players made. Crab made a great play. Teddy made a nice play on the punt return. We aren’t where we need to be … There’s no reason that we aren’t the team that won this division this year.
Do the 49ers have enough talent?
JY: Absolutely. And we need to keep getting better. But we’ve got enough talent on this team that we should have been the NFC West champion and we should have been competing in the playoffs
Is it coaching?
JY: I think it’s a combination of a lot of things, but we haven’t put it all together yet.
Need to solve situation at quarterback?
JY: We can’t get a quarterback until the draft, really. Is that a need? Yeah, absolutely.
Are you going to hire a general manager?
On your staff? Or is this something you’ll go on a search for?
JY: We’ll have a search. (Note: NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora reported that York would be considering director of player personnel Trent Baalke).
Would the general manager then make a coaching decision? What order would this happen?
JY: We’ll have a general manager and as we go forward that will be something that the general manager and I will discuss together.