One day after his team suffered a fourth consecutive loss, the third to an NFC South opponent, 49ers head coach Mike Singletary didn’t abandon his desire to get his team into the playoffs.
“In these moments – this is when I’m at my best,” Singletary said. “I think in these situations, you just have to rise above. You have to put your best foot forward. You have to look at where things are you just have to call it like it is. I can’t get lost in the reality of the four losses. It’s not something that you want. It’s not a place where you want to be. But that’s where it’s at.”
Despite seeing his offense turn the ball over four times on Sunday (three interceptions and a fumble), Singletary was still pleased with how his offense looked at times against Tennessee.
“When I look at the offense for the most part, if you take away the turnovers, we really had a chance to have a nice offensive game, have some excitement and momentum going forward. But it didn’t happen. We did have the turnovers and I just think that’s something that we need to work on.”
Singletary came back to team headquarters Sunday night to watch film and ultimately analyze what went wrong with the turnovers. After his film study, Singletary was satisfied with the play of Alex Smith and that only one of the four turnovers was solely on his starting quarterback.
“I thought Alex did a good job of throwing the football. I thought the first turnover he had; the ball just took an unlucky bounce. That doesn’t happen too often. The last turnover where he threw to Josh [Morgan], there were a couple of things that could have happened [differently]. Josh could have made a better play on the ball coming back to it and I thought the defender got there a little bit early, but we didn’t get that call.
“Other than that, I just think Alex had one play that was really on him. I thought he did a good job.”
Singletary said Smith’s second interception to Titans safety Chris Hope was caused by Smith’s confusion with Tennessee’s coverage on that particular play.
“He thought it was cover-4, and the defensive back [Hope] came off. Alex was trying to get it in on time and the guy made a nice play,” Singletary said of the crucial takeaway.
Also from his film evaluation, Singletary was happy with the strides his offensive line continues to make despite being without the services of two starting tackles.
“Our O-line I thought did a heck of a job. I was very encouraged,” he said.
Singletary also singled out Frank Gore for running hard and the blocking from his receivers downfield.
Asked why Jason Hill replaced Isaac Bruce as the 49ers third wideout in the second half, Singletary said it was because of a sore ankle had been hampering Bruce.
Hill caught four passes for 50 yards with two touchdown catches in his first offensive action all season.
Singletary revealed that he would meet with his entire coaching staff to evaluate the wide receiver position. “We have to figure out the right combination,” Singletary said.
More Monday Notes
-Rookie running back Glen Coffee suffered a concussion on the game’s final kickoff return and has already been ruled out for Thursday night’s primetime home game against the Chicago Bears. (Here is the link to injury reports for both teams).
-With Singletary hosting his former team, there was a lot of questions for him regarding that particular storyline, but Singletary wouldn’t classify this game as any more important than his team’s other 15 regular season games.
“Not in particular,” he said of having any extra emotions for Thursday’s game. “I’m just excited for the game, but no emotions outside of the emotions that I have for any other team.”
-A national reporter, (who doesn’t cover the team on a regular basis) asked Singletary what Vernon Davis is doing to be so successful this season, and got this response from the 49ers head coach: “What he’s doing now is just the investment he made in the offseason. He continues to get better and he’s going to help this team win a lot of football games. He is committed – that’s why he’s a captain. He’s making a difference on the team.”
-As a Hall of Fame linebacker, Singletary has played against some of the best running backs in Pro Football history. After seeing Tennessee’s Chris Johnson up close and in person, the 49ers head coach was thoroughly impressed. “What you saw there was real speed. I don’t think there’s ever been a running back as fast as him.”
-Singletary added that his defense did a “pretty decent job” overall against Johnson, but struggled to contain the perimeter at times as well as get off blocks. “When you see the guy turn the corner and Patrick Willis is running after him – you don’t see that too often. Pat is going to catch the guy, and he did a few times, which is a credit to him. But the guy [Johnson] made some good plays. They locked on to us and we didn’t do a great job of getting off blocks yesterday.”
Tags: Alex Smith, Frank Gore, Isaac Bruce, Jason Hill, Vernon Davis
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