Mike Singletary said he made the difficult decision of replacing Jimmy Raye as offensive coordinator after a night-long film review session following his team’s 31-10 loss in Kansas City.
“I came back here and basically spent the night here looking at the film,” Singletary said of his decision to elevate quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson to coordinator and promote offensive assistant Jason Michael to quarterbacks coach.
It was admittedly a difficult decision for the 49ers head coach, but one he felt was necessary after his team had begun the season 0-3 and is currently sitting in last place in the NFC West.
Singletary reviewed not only the loss to the Chiefs, but also the 49ers defeats in Seattle and against New Orleans in making the move. All three performances were factored into his decision, Singletary said.
But the 49ers head man said all coaches and players had a hand in the poor performances, including the most recent disappointment in Kansas City. It couldn’t all be put on the former offensive coordinator.
“We all had a hand in that loss,” he said. “It’s the coaches and the players. It’s never just one or the other.”
In speaking about his new coordinator, Singletary sounded optimistic about what Johnson could do for the team in the remaining 13 regular season games.
“I felt for the overall scheme of things, where we are, Mike Johnson would do a good job,” Singletary said. “I think he understands what we’re trying to accomplish and I think the players will embrace him.”
After speaking to some of the players in the locker room, it’s clear that’s already the case.
“Coach (Johnson) is cool,” Frank Gore said. “I talk to him a whole lot. I think Coach Johnson will be fine. We just have to do what he says and execute, starting today and moving forward.”
“I believe in Coach Johnson,” Vernon Davis said. “I interact with Coach Johnson all the time. We have a good relationship… He’s an awesome guy.”
Singletary was asked about his offensive philosophy and said what matters most is winning.
“We can talk about philosophy, we can talk about opening it up, closing it up, whatever it is. But the bottom line is winning. I want to do what we need to do to win football games. That’s the philosophy I want to become very familiar with.”
The 49ers will have a chance to familiarize themselves with the win column this Sunday when they travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons.
4:00 PM Update
Alex Smith was unavailable during open locker room for good reason. He was meeting with new offensive coordinator Mike Johnson.
But Smith spoke to the media moments ago about the latest changes to the 49ers coaching staff and what it means for the offense.
“This isn’t mope around time,” the 49ers starting quarterback said of Jimmy Raye’s dismissal. “It’s unfortunate; it’s part of the deal. I don’t think anyone knows it better than Jimmy. He’s been around a long time and knows the nature of the business. It’s not easy. No one said it was going to be. This is the NFL. But we’re going to be moving on and we’ll be ready to go on Wednesday (for practice).”
Smith said the coordinator change was a “non-issue” in his mind, citing that he would be open-minded about the change and focused on Sunday’s road opponent – the 2-1 Atlanta Falcons.
“I’m ready for whatever may come, whatever we may be doing and how my role is involved with that and whatever I need to do to help this team win,” said Smith, who has thrown for 732 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions through three games. “That’s what we’re all focused on, getting off this track and getting a ‘W.’
“We’re trying to win games, that’s where the focus should be at.”
Smith was asked about some specifics involved with the coordinator change, but had no answers as to where Johnson would call plays from (booth or sideline), or if he’ll continue to wear a wristband with numbered plays on it.
For Smith, the most important thing is getting the results on the field.
“I think guys understand the foundation that is here and what we’re capable of. It’s a matter of putting it together. We can’t just talk about it; we have to make it happen.”
Smith and the 49ers won’t have to learn a complete playbook in a matter of days, but they’ll expect a few changes to be made immediately.
“There will be some differences and I think we’ll be excited for what they’re going to be with Coach Johnson. We’ll be ready to go.”
Tags: Alex Smith, Frank Gore, Mike Johnson, Vernon Davis
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