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‘Mooch’ Breaks Down Thursday’s Matchup

Posted by Scott Kegley on November 10, 2009 – 5:14 PM


NFL Network analyst and former 49ers head coach Steve Mariucci was on a conference call Tuesday with the Bay Area media on Tuesday to discuss the first Thursday Night Football game of the season.

And in case you were wondering, there will be plenty of pregame coverage on NFLN, starting at 3:00 p.m. PT with Thursday Night Kickoff presented by Sears.  Rich Eisen will host the show and be joined by Mariucci, Marshall Faulk and former 49ers cornerback Deion Sanders.

But before he analyzed the 49ers-Bears matchup on the Thursday pre-game show, Mariucci broke things down for those on the conference call.

“We have a couple of teams here that are trying to find their way,” Mariucci explained. “The 49ers having lost four in a row and the Bears having lost three out of the last four. It’s an important game for both teams really to stay in the fight.  It’s an evenly matched kind of game and it’ll be an interesting game.  I like where both teams are headed in the future.”

Mariucci was particularly enamored with the rising stars in San Francisco, praising the team’s recent draft picks:

“When looking at their draft picks, especially early in the draft over the last handful of years, with Alex Smith coming back and starting again, I think his future can be bright. Vernon Davis is having a Pro Bowl kind of a year.  We know Patrick Willis is a keeper.   I mean this guy ought to be their star player and captain for the next 10 years.  I like Joe Staley.  I know he’s not playing, but the Chippewa from Central Michigan is going to be a very good player in this league and then all of a sudden here comes Michael Crabtree.  When we watch the 49ers play, whether they win or lose, this is their future.  These are their skill players that are going to be around for awhile and need to be developed into star players. I think they’re on the right track.”

Mariucci analyzed the 49ers signal caller even further, giving his opinions on why things have been difficult at times for Smith, the former No. 1 overall pick.

111009-mariucci-sub“I like Alex Smith,” Mariucci said.  “I liked him coming out of college and it’s unfortunate he got injured and he had so many coordinators.  What he needs in his life, and I’m not Dr. Phil okay, but what he needs in his life is some continuity – continuity with an offensive scheme. He needs a supporting cast that he gets to practice with and play with week in and week out  and grow and develop with that bunch of guys in that system.”

While Mariucci admits he is no Dr. Phil, he does know what it’s like to be a coach going against his former team.  Singletary will be facing the team that he played 12 seasons for on Thursday, but Mariucci believes Singletary’s situation is different than his when he faced the 49ers as the coach of the Detroit Lions.

“I didn’t make the Hall of Fame in San Francisco,” Mariucci said.  “I came back a year later.  I knew everybody on the field and half the people in the stands.  Mike has been away from his team a long time now.  [Singletary] doesn’t want this game to be about him.  We all make it about him, but it’s not.  It’s about the guys on the field banging heads and I think he’s got that in perspective.”

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Posted in Uncategorized | 36 Comments »

36 Responses to “‘Mooch’ Breaks Down Thursday’s Matchup”

  1. By Matt on Nov 10, 2009 | Reply

    I like how he never even mentions Frank Gore, our most stalwart player on offense.

  2. By familyguy on Nov 10, 2009 | Reply

    can someone tell the db’s to please break on a ball or atleast try to strip the ball for the entire game!!! defense is not making the plays they’re use to making!!! lets get back to that top 5 “d”

  3. By 49ers fan on Nov 10, 2009 | Reply

    Even Payton Manning wouldn’t be able to achieve anything if he was in Smith’s situation. Singletary should have started Smith at the beginning of the season. I am getting old waiting for the 49ers to get back to the elite level. Whenever the owner or coach made a wrong decision, it will delay team progress for several years. That’s why they put a young Jed York in president role. He will keep rebuiding the team until he hits retirement.

  4. By Jeff on Nov 10, 2009 | Reply

    I’ll always have a soft spot for Mooch, and I love hearing his feedback on the 49ers. And for the record, I agree with all of his points.

  5. By Odi on Nov 10, 2009 | Reply

    Hi, I loved what coach said and hopefully we can win one game at a time and don’t think too ahead of the next week’s schedule. Then we will have a very good chance to win the bear. Right ?

  6. By wooley71 on Nov 10, 2009 | Reply

    He definitly got us more wins than losses, with a team having plenty of weak spots! Boo on letting Owens mess it up!

  7. By The Rock on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    I know a lot of people are down on Sing.. but, this guy is making changes. The 9ers saw the change in the team with Alex at QB and Crab at WR.. This new look now means they can get the ball down the field.. I really agree with Mooch and Sing.. These guys are not that far from turning it around.. you gotta believe !

  8. By Niner Jan on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    He definitly got us more wins than losses, with a team having plenty of weak spots! Boo on letting Owens mess it up!

    Owens is STILL messing things up for every team he plays on, so don’t be so hard on Mooch. He tried his best to control him. Remember how he punished Owens after the Dallas star incident. And then later on that summer, Steve flew to Owens home town to try to repair things so that Owens would not damage the team. That took courage!

    I will always have a special spot in my heart for Coach Mariucci. I have 3 autographedd photos of him in my home–two that he sent me from Detroit.

    Niner Mom

  9. By Steve on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    Mooch was unjustly fired from the Niners. Personnel problems and the salary cap hurt them, not the coaching.

    I too am getting tired of waiting. No more excuses, just WIN!

  10. By Steve Reckard on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    Im just tired of losing.The game against the bears is a must win.Go 49ers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. By www.love2wager.com on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    Mooch led us to our last playoff. He’ll always be welcomed in my home. As far as where the team is headed, I think that if Alex Smith losses one more game, the 9ers should really think about putting Nate Davis in the mix. Nate Davis was really cool in the pocket during the pre-season games and showed alot of poise. If the 9ers don’t see what Nate Davis can bring, then come draft, McCloughan and Co. will be drafting another QB when we should be draftin OL men and DB’s.

  12. By daniel gower on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    miss you mooch

  13. By daniel gower on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    mariucchi’s column reminds of when the niners were good. 02-03

  14. By JohnVA on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    I think for the first year in what 7, we have a sense of hope, but we need to break out of the slump. It is Key for the niners to get above 6-10. I see a good chance at 8-8 this year, but the Alex Smith experiment is our weak link. For #1 pick, he needs to step up this year or be put in as our permanent #2 next year with a Journeyman temp and a new top pick in development. At least with Crabtree and VD, we have some threats to keep Defenses in check, now we need to get them the ball. Even if we are talking old-school West Coast style 5yrd avg style. At a minimum we need to develop the great tools we have so we can get to the next level.

  15. By Ninerfan08 on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    I say we keep alex smith for at least this year and next. He will be a good one with the same oc

  16. By allyoop7769 on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    I’m not sold on Alex Smith, he’s played exactly like he did this past sunday his whole career here! Everyone makes mistakes so you wasted a number one, it’s time to move forward and find a real QB. What’s up with Nate Davis what are the niners plans for him?

  17. By Erick on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    Just start Shaun Hill again, he gives us a better chance to win.

    But on D: Let’s Hit Em’ In The Mouth.
    Get A WIN on thursday.

  18. By Ninerfan08 on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    Davis and hill wouldn’t do much

  19. By dre on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    i really think that jason hill need to get some time he keep making plays and with him crabtree and vernon with frank i know they can have a high power attack provided the line holds up

  20. By Barry on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    We will win thursday game if we don’t turn over the ball. we have a great team already we don’t have to wait We just need consistant playing no mistakes.

  21. By Barry on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    I think Alex Smith can be a great NFL Quaterback he just needs some fan support

  22. By Jason on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    We got this game just wait. Tomorrow night Alex Smith will show his power accuracy to give Davis and Crabtree great game which Crabtree really needs. Also we all know Frank Gore will give us some TDs even though Mariucci didnt say anything about him but we know. Plus our D with Patrick Willis and Smith will show us what they were doing at the start of the year. We are back. Go 49ers!!

  23. By Robert on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    You can’t win with mediocre QB’s in the NFL….We need a franchise player at the QB spot..a proven veteran…otherwise .500 or less every year! Miss you MOOCH!

  24. By dave on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    Singletary can only do so much with a terrible offensive line and return game. it will cost us the rest of the season sorry to say..Alex Smith and Gore are sitting ducks.

  25. By bruce on Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

    We need to give alex smith time. He hasn’t played much the last 2 years, give him some slack.The offensive line is holding this offense back. Hopefully now that alex is back scott mccloughan will take his head out of his ass and fix the Oline this off season. Mccloughan has got on record in support of alex, it was him that stated alex looks the best he’s ever looked. Mccloughan made that statement durring the OTA’s. Alex is his boy, you would think mccloughan would want to protect him. What this offense needs is contingency can’t keep shuffling different people in and out of different positions and expect to have success. Offense is all about timing and rythem, can’t have that with different people going in and out of the line up.

  26. By Loondon_9er on Nov 12, 2009 | Reply

    49ers,we just need to be COOL,CALM & COLLECTED!!!! WE OVEREACT too much,we don’t need to put the pressure on the players,especially the QB & O-LINE. This is a young team,building itself up to be a dynasty of Champions.If you look at opur past history of GLORY DAYS,It took time for Montana & Rice to blend.

    l believe in this team,and the coming draft we got 2 picks in the 1st. round, to help sort the O-Line, or the Secondary in Defence!!!

    If we do make it this year to the play-off,that’ll be great.But lets give the boys some slack,they’re human too,and l believe they do read this stuff,if not their family and friends do!!!Go NINERS -Just PLAY WITH YOUR HEART AGAINST the BEARS & Give it all you got.In OUR HEARTS U’RE WINNERS!!!!Forget ’bout what Prime Time Thinks.Greetings from London,England!!!!

  27. By Steve Schaeffer on Nov 12, 2009 | Reply

    I have been a niner fan since 1980.give alex a chance.great quarterbacks need to learn one system.i think he needs play the the rest of the season.

  28. By WEST on Nov 12, 2009 | Reply

    ROTATE QUARTERBACKS based on play/wins. Make them earn their keep and this way opponents are kept guessing. Keep the temple quick, even if no huddle, and west coast quick outs. This way we get some break outs.

    and give Mooch his Hall of Fame. Would he take Oakland next season?!?!?

  29. By rick on Nov 12, 2009 | Reply

    After the last game I believe they have a chance. All they need to focus on us the turnovers,and they have potential for playoffs! I think the team needs to forget what happened in the past, and look at this game as thou its the first.

  30. By rick on Nov 12, 2009 | Reply

    I have acouple of points for the diners to go to the super bowl.
    1.watch the turnovers.
    2. The offensive line needs to help gore more!
    3. Work with the safetys they are giving up big plays. They need to focus on zone and takeling.
    4. Alex continue what your doing, just be carfull with turnovers. You could be one of the top qbs!

  31. By Mike on Nov 12, 2009 | Reply

    Singletary said he is going to make changes and it wouldnt be easy. Back the guy up, give hime a few seasons and see what he can do. Dont let this be another dennis erikson experiment. Hes got his personnel in place and hes running the team how he wants to. We play in a weak division and the chance to win is there. I am very optimistic about this season and if we finish strong we can possibly win the division. But on the same hand i am realisticly thinking that we are headed in a direction and we should keep in that direction for a few seasons to see if it works or not

  32. By Josh Ham on Nov 12, 2009 | Reply

    We as a fanbase were spoiled …. 27 years, 3 quarterbacks started 98% of the games. Can any other team say that ? The days of Montana, Young, and Garcia are past. Alex Smith ? Who knows ? Maybe consistency with ONE coordinator IS what he needs. Shaun Hill is NOT the answer, he is at best a decent number 2. We have one of the 3 best RB’s in the game in Gore, USE HIM !!!! I’ll take Crab against ANY DB in the league …. this cat is as good at getting to a ball as any other receiver in the league. Anyways, I support the team come hell or high water. 2-24 or 14-2, i will always bleed Niner Maroon And Gold !!!

  33. By leonuts on Nov 12, 2009 | Reply

    Some of you remember the glory years but forgot how we got there. Give Alex more than one year with every oc and he will be good maybe not Joe but good enough to do the job to win it all. The taem is coming together just a few more players in the right spots and the glory years will be back.

  34. By Joe on Nov 12, 2009 | Reply

    Aubroyo Franklin SAVAGE!!!!! Franklin keep it movin like a Bowlin Ball! Sopoaga, ICE!!! penetrate their chest plate HARDER! Ray MCDONALDS be more consistent! Manny Lawson play STRONGER & Parys move quicker! WILLIS Do wat u do Spence & Brown keep it up. Goldson b a little more patient & Micael Lewis move quicker 9ers DEFENSE ALL DAY ON ALL THE NON BELIEVERS!!!!!!!!!!

  35. By Jo on Nov 12, 2009 | Reply

    Aubroyo Franklin SAVAGE!!! Franklin keep it movin like a Bowlin Ball! Sopoaga, ICE!! penetrate their chest plate HARDER! Ray MCDONALDS be more consistent! COWBOY do wat u do WILLIS Do wat u do! Manny Lawson get STRONGER!!! Parys move quicker!!!! Spence & Brown keep it up, Goldson b a little more patient, Michael Lewis move quicker!!!! 9ers DEFENSE ALL DAY ON ALL THE NON BELIEVERS!!!!!!!!! GREAT DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE!!!! Gore and Davis keep leading the pack its not OVER YET!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. By DJ on Nov 12, 2009 | Reply

    Alex has potential.. We all see that. This year is a huge test. It’s not a experiment anymore. 10-6, 9-7?
    He’ll at least have to get this team to 8-8. To secure a next year. I like watching him play. I like watching this team play. It’s their season to win. Green Bay watchout.

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