Raye might leave booth to solve communication snafus

A day after communication issues plagued the 49ers in a season-opening 31-6 loss to the Seahawks, coach Mike Singletary said offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye might move from the booth to the sideline for their Monday night meeting against the Saints.

“We will take a hard look at it, and we will have an answer for it,” Singletary said. “We will figure it out in the next few days exactly how we are going to do that and exactly how this is going to get better. Whether Jimmy comes on the field, or however it is, we’re going to figure it out and nip it in the bud.”

With more than six minutes left in the second
quarter Sunday, the Niners had used all three timeouts and had a delay
of game of penalty as Alex Smith waited in vain for play calls to
arrive. The timeouts were burned on critical third- and fourth-down
plays and contributed to the Niners’ red-zone issues as they scored six
points on three first-half drives inside Seattle’s 10-yard line.

Niners’ system for getting plays to Smith begins with Raye, who relays
the play to quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson on the sideline through a
headset. Johnson then radios the play to Smith’s headset on the field.

headset cuts off with 15 seconds on the play clock. The issue for the
49ers is how to speed up the process so Smith isn’t left hanging without
a play.

“That’s a lot to be able to get in and I know Jimmy
understands that he has to do a better job of getting it in and we’re
going to work on it this week and get it where it needs to be,”
Singletary said.

Smith was open to ideas on how to solve the
problem. He mentioned wearing a wristband, with plays listed, to help
speed up the process. He discussed a scenario in which he could call his
own play, if one hadn’t arrived with about 24 seconds left on the play
clock. He also said having Raye move to the sideline could work.

a management problem,” Smith said. “It’s something that has to get
fixed, no question. But I don’t think it’s that crazy a thing to fix.”

Sunday, Singletary said the play-calling issues were primarily due to
malfunctioning headsets while Smith said the technology was only a
problem on one occasion. Singletary was asked about the discrepancy on
Monday and he said it was a “misunderstanding.” He said Johnson told him
there was a headset problem and he assumed that accounted for all the
problems during the game.

“I’m not going to get into a
conversation, ‘Well Mike, what exactly do you mean?'” Singletary said.
“If there’s a problem with the headset, okay, there’s a problem with the
headset, if it’s one time or if it’s 20 times. That’s what I thought.
So, if I said it was more than once, then I was wrong.”

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