Niners talk on Super Sunday

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and 49ers quarterback Shaun Hill says he can’t stand to watch.

“I don’t want Pittsburgh to have more rings than us, and I’m (upset) that Arizona is representing the West instead of us,” Hill said. “I can’t watch any of it. It’s kind of sad.”

 

Still, we’re going to try to come up with some 49ers Super Bowl angles this morning to keep you occupied until kickoff.

 

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There are now 15 former 49ers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Defensive back Rod Woodson and receiver Bob Hayes were elected on Saturday – though both would have made it even if you strike their entire 49ers careers from the record books.

 

Hayes played 10 seasons with the Cowboys, and finished up with four games as a member of the 49ers. He caught just six passes for 119 yards with the 49ers in 1975.

 

Woodson played for the 49ers during the 1997 season. He did a decent job at left cornerback for the 49ers. The highlight of his time with the 49ers was a three-interception day against the Saints. He played six more seasons, mostly at free safety, for the Ravens and Raiders.

 

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There are two former 49ers who will play in today’s Super Bowl. Do you know who they are?

 

One is easy. The Cardinals’ Chike Okeafor was a third-round pick of the 49ers in 1999. (Reggie McGrew was the first-round selection that season, which was Terry Donahue’s first draft with the club.)

 

In his four seasons with the 49ers, from 1999 to 2002, Okeafor recorded a total of 11.5 sacks. The 49ers let him get away in free agency to the Seahawks. He has developed into a nice player with season sack totals of 8, 8.5, 7.5 and 8.5 with the Seahawks and Cardinals. This season he had 4.5 sacks and 60 tackles.

 

The other former 49ers player in action today will be Steelers defensive lineman Travis Kirschke, who played 15 games for the club in 2003. He had 1.5 sacks and 43 tackles with S.F. The 12th-year pro from UCLA had 46 tackles and 2 sacks for the Steelers this season.

 

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With the No. 39 overall pick in the 2008 draft, the 49ers were contemplating Chilo Rachal or receiver Limas Sweed. They had two cards ready to turn it, but the consensus in the draft room was to go with Rachal.

 

The Steelers selected Sweed 14 picks later. During the regular season, Sweed had six receptions for 64 yards. During the playoffs, Sweed has two catches for 20 yards.

 

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I was looking back at what I wrote at the end of the regular season. Yes, I called the Cardinals this year’s worst playoff team. I stand by my statement.

 

In fact, I’ll go ahead and call the Cardinals the worst regular-season team that has ever reached the Super Bowl. Actually, the Cardinals were not a bad team during the regular season. They were an average team. With a record of 9-7, they scored only 1 more point than their opposition throughout the regular season. That makes them average.

 

But while the Cardinals were a team that performed at an average level during the regular season, they clearly had the potential to become a very good team. They deserve to be playing in today’s Super Bowl because they have been fantastic during the playoffs.

 

That’s why I’m picking them to win today, 31-27. (Sorry, Shaun, but one of the teams has to win today.)

 

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And, finally, some thoughts about last week in 49erland . . .

 

One of the questions about Mike Singletary when he interviewed for previous head-coaching jobs was whether he could put together an offensive staff. It was seen as his weakest point. There were some issues that made this job difficult to fill with a proven coordinator:

 

–The offensive staff was already in place, so the new coordinator would have no say in selecting his assistant coaches.

 

–The offensive philosophy was already in place. Singletary made it known exactly what he expected out of the offense. Singletary was not going to hire somebody and let that person have autonomy.

 

Jimmy Raye is the new offensive coordinator, and Mike Johnson is the QBs coach. Is Raye a good hire?

 

He is not somebody whose name was been tossed around. But that means absolutely nothing. Raye starts with a clean slate. It sounds as if the 49ers are going to go with a meat-and-potatoes approach to offense. It won’t be cutting edge. It won’t be bold and dynamic. It’s going to be straight-forward.

 

Singletary and Raye will be judged on whether it’s effective. And that’s the way it should be.

 

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In December, I wrote a blog item in which I stated that everybody should not get caught up in the wins and losses in determining whether Singletary should be named the permanent head coach. I thought the important thing was to hear Singletary’s offensive vision for the future.

 

Some of the comments were very good. I suggested the 49ers go with a young QBs coach. I mentioned Jeremy Bates, Brian Daboll, Mike McCoy and Pete Carmichael Jr. – each of whom got coordinator jobs in the NFL (except Bates, who was hired as O.C. at USC).

 

The best comment came from “BHF,” who suggested the 49ers hire a “Tom Moore” type – someone older and experienced, who would be no threat to leave for a head-coaching job. In hiring Raye, that’s exactly what the 49ers did.

 

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