Sleepless in Santa Clara: The decision to fire Raye

Mike Singletary may not have gotten any sleep Sunday night. But he hopes he got the cure to his team’s offensive woes.

After watching film of the 49ers’ first three losses, Singletary said he came to the decision to fire offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, an assistant he had staunchly supported publicly as late as Sunday afternoon. Singletary, who watched film by himself at the team headquarters Sunday night and, presumably, into the early morning, said it was solely his decision to fire Raye.


“I came back here and basically spent the night here looking at film,”
Singletary said. “And just kind of looked at an overall view of where we
are, and looking at where we need to go, and felt that I needed to make
the change.”

In the aftermath of Sunday’s 31-10 loss in Kansas City, Singletary
didn’t hesitate when asked if Raye would remain his offensive
coordinator for the rest of the season – a stance he never wavered from
publicly until today. After a season-opening loss to Seattle, Singletary’s testy
interview with Dennis O’Donnell on his KPIX pregame show began when
O’Donnell opened with a rather benign question about the unflattering
picture painted of Raye in a Yahoo! article.

Yes, the Niners offense has been mostly dreadful since Raye came aboard.
They have scored 38 points this season – their lowest total after three
games in 33 years. And in 19 games with Raye as the offensive
coordinator, they had fewer than 300 yards on 12 occasions, including
twice this season.

Still, based on Singletary’s public stance, I was fairly convinced Raye wasn’t going anywhere.

So what happened to alter Singletary’s view so dramatically? Did he
notice details in watching film of the first two losses that he had
previously overlooked? Were the problems in Sunday’s game so glaring
that Raye needed to go based on that performance alone?

“I’ve looked at the film, obviously, I’ve looked at every game we’ve
played a few times,” Singletary said. “But when you’re searching for an
answer, sometimes you can look at it in a different way, and you’re
looking for something specific and it’s really difficult to put your
finger on. But you see it, and it’s hard to describe, but it’s there. So
I just think that after looking at the film and thinking about it,
praying about it, that’s the decision that I came to.”

That answer may not clarify too much, but at 0-3 the important point is
that Singletary made the call. The evidence was getting overwhelming.

Heck, it was a decision Singletary didn’t even need to sleep on.

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