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article imageInterim Coach No More: 49ers Top Brass Will Give Singletary Job

By Dave Giza     Dec 25, 2008 in Sports
The San Francisco 49ers close out their season against the Washington Redskins and team officials are expected to remove the interim head coaching label from Mike Singletary and offer him a multi-year contract.
It's been a great year for Mike Singletary of the San Francisco 49ers. He started out the 2008 football season as an assistant head coach and was promoted in October to interim head coach of the 49ers. He has guided the team to a 4-4 record and could finish at 5-4 if the Niners defeat the Washington Redskins on Sunday. Now, he will be offered a multi-year contract as the permanent head coach of the 49ers after the Washington game.
Singletary had a meeting Monday with team officials. Owner Jed York and other team officials questioned Singletary about his vision for the team's future. They were particularly interested in the offensive game plan.
The Sacramento Bee reports the following concerning Singletary's assistant coaches: ''Under Singletary, defensive coordinator Greg Manusky would be retained for next season. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz would not.''
In Monday's meeting with York, Singletary prefers a ball-control type of offense compared to the pass-first style of Martz. People in the organization believe that Martz is interested in another head coaching opportunity. Martz was the former head coach of the St. Louis Rams where he led them to two Super Bowl appearances winning one and losing the other.
However, Martz has definitely helped to improve the offensive capabilities of the 49ers. They rank 24th in total offense compared to last in the league last year. They were last in the league in passing the previous year but have improved to 15th under Martz's tutelage. The Sacramento Bee reports on the differences in scoring for the 49ers from last year to this year: ''The 49ers ended 2007 with 219 points. They have 312 this year with one game remaining.''
Singletary was asked about Martz's future with the club yesterday and he said that the offensive coordinator has been great. However, when asked if the current offense is the best that he has seen since he has been with the 49ers; Singletary mentioned 2006 with Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator.
Under Turner, the 49ers rushing attack averaged sixth in the league. Running back Frank Gore averaged 5.4 yards a carry in 2006 and set a franchise rushing record. He is averaging 3.2 yards per carry this year.
However, Gore praised Martz's system over Turner's. The Sacramento Bee quotes Gore: ''In this offense, I can do everything. I can line up at receiver, running back, even at quarterback. But with Norv, it's so basic. I'm only in the backfield.''
Quarterback Shaun Hill is enthusiastic about how the players have responded to Singletary during his eight games as coach. However, he is concerned about the 49ers having to shop around for another offensive coordinator. It will be the team's seventh OC in seven years. Hill comments on this to the Sacramento Bee: ''Most of the top offenses in the league, they've been together. Offense is so much predicated on timing and trust and everybody being on the same page, all 11 being on the same page. Obviously, the longer you're in a system, the better off you are at that.''
The 49ers don't have to abide by the Rooney Rule requiring teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching positions since Singletary is African-American. The Rooney Rule also prohibits teams from signing interim head coaches to new deals during the regular season.
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