Singletary is sticking to his plan

Mike Singletary has the contractual freedom to hire and fire assistant coaches. It should come as no surprise that is what the 49ers’ coach is doing.

A lot of people expressed concern he hired running backs coach Tom Rathman before he hired an offensive coordinator. Some even thought he had stated last week he would allow the offensive coordinator to make those hires.


That is not what he said at all.


This is Singletary’s staff, and if he wanted Rathman to coach his running backs, then clearly he should have been able to make that hire. Singletary did say, however, that the new coordinator would hire a quarterbacks coach.


“Normally, the offensive coordinator that comes in, he has a person that he likes to have with him, and normally that’s a quarterbacks coach,” Singletary said in his post-season wrap-up press conference on Dec. 31. “That’s the flexibility that we have allotted him, whoever that is. So, we move forward with that.”


When asked why QBs coach Ted Tollner and RBs coach Tony Nathan were fired, Singletary answered, “Well, because we felt moving forward – I felt making the decision right now that would help us get to where we needed to go. I needed to make those decisions. So, that’s why (they were) let go.”


Rathman said he has always spoken to Singletary when the two were together, including last summer when the 49ers and Raiders held their joint practice in Napa. Rathman’s Raiders running backs were often matched in drills against Singletary’s 49ers linebackers, so Singletary had the opportunity to get a close look at how Rathman coached his players.


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So what do the 49ers do at the coordinator position? Some names might start to trickle out in the next few days. Obviously, it’s possible Singletary has targeted one or more of the coaches whose teams are still alive in the playoffs.


But the offensive coordinators are, in all likelihood, going to be off-limits. Why would any offensive coordinator on a playoff team leave his post to become O.C. of the 49ers? Also, teams do not have to give permission for any coach to interview for another job – other than head coach.


Teams generally allow position coaches to leave to become offensive coordinators, though. The most likely scenario is a QBs coach becoming a coordinator. If that’s the case, the best candidate might already be out of the playoffs. Atlanta QBs coach Bill Musgrave’s team was knocked out on the opening week.


The QBs coaches whose teams are still playing are Craig Johnson (Titans), Hue Jackson (Ravens), John Ramsdell (Chargers), Ken Anderson (Steelers), Jeff Rutledge (Cardinals), Mike McCoy (Panthers), Pat Shurmur (Eagles) and Chris Palmer (Giants).

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