Singletary introduced as 49ers’ 16th head coach

The 49ers just held a press conference in which Mike Singletary was announced as the head coach, replacing Mike Nolan, who was fired on Monday.

Almost as noteworthy was Jed York’s appearance as the “face” of ownership. York, the son of John and Denise, was the first one to the podium to talk. In Singletary’s updated bio, Jed York is listed as owner.

York said the 49ers have lacked passion and intensity . . . and a killer instinct to finish off opponents. He pointed out the team’s nine-point lead against the Philadelphia Eagles a couple weeks ago that was erased in the fourth quarter.

(All in all, a pretty good showing from Jed York on his first crack in front of the media on such a major announcement. Jed is 27, and turns 28 in March.)

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GM Scot McCloughan took the stage and talked about the difficult time personally and professionally in firing Nolan on Monday. McCloughan and Jed York delivered the news. John York was not in the building, McCloughan said.

“It doesn’t all fall on his shoulders,” McCloughan said of Nolan. “It was not completely his fault.”

As for his own job security, McCloughan said, “My job’s on the line every day.”

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McCloughan said Nolan’s exit from the organization was classy. McCloughan and the Yorks had talked about firing Nolan for several weeks, according to McCloughan. They decided to make the decision yesterday after an ESPN report said Nolan would be fired after the upcoming Seattle game.

McCloughan said he did not believe that report came from anybody in the 49ers organization. (But, of course, who else could have leaked the information? After all, Nolan had not yet been told he was being fired.)

Nolan did not ask to be fired after catching wind of yesterday’s ESPN report, McCloughan said.

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Upon being offered the job, Singletary talked with Mike Nolan. He obviously was conflicted about accepting the job to replace the man who brought him to the organization. But Nolan encouraged Singletary to take the job.

“I want you to understand something: I want you to take this job,” Nolan told Singletary (according to Singletary). “If you do not take the job, I’d be very disappointed in you as my friend,” Nolan said.

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I have not yet spoken to Mike Nolan. Last night, I spoke to his wife Kathy. Mike was spending time with the rest of the family.

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Why wasn’t Mike Martz promoted? McCloughan said it was more about what Singletary could do. Also, Martz’s undertaking with the offense is enough to keep him fully occupied.

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McCloughan confirmed my report last night that offensive line coach George Warhop has been fired.

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Singletary previously interviewed for four NFL head-coaching jobs. In retrospect, he says he is glad he did not get any of those jobs (Lions, Falcons, Cowboys and Chargers). He said he is ready for this challenge.

He said, in comparison, his job is going to be easy. Mike Nolan did the hard work of building the foundation, Singletary said.

Singletary gave no answers to how he would change things. He said he will be true to himself and do what’s in his heart.

Rather than make promises, Singletary asked those watching and listening to continue to watch and make their own observations on how things are different.

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As for the organization’s future, Jed York said the 49ers will reassess their operation at the end of the season. Singletary, obviously, will have a chance to become the head coach in 2009.

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And with that . . . Singletary returned upstairs to continue preparations for facing the Seahawks on Sunday.

Singletary met with the coaches last night and the players this morning.

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Vice president of communications Lisa Lang, who said she does not know if this weekend’s game will be blacked out. She said she does not have access to those numbers until Wednesday. Then, the team will have to make a decision on Thursday and report to the league.

A league source said the 49ers are in danger of their first blackout since early in the 1981 season.

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