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News » San Francisco 49ers Inside Slant 2009-01-03

San Francisco 49ers Inside Slant 2009-01-03

San Francisco 49ers Inside Slant 2009-01-03
Now that Mike Singletary has taken over as the permanent head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, he has a lot on his plate.

The first order of business for Singletary is to find an offensive coordinator to take over for Mike Martz, whom he fired on Tuesday.

On the outside, Singletary and Martz appeared to have a symbiotic relationship. Martz helped the first-time head coach by taking complete control of the 49ers offense. Martz adapted well to what Singletary wanted to see from the 49ers on the offensive side of the ball.

But Martz is known for his high-flying offensive approach. And it was clear that Singletary, a Hall of Fame linebacker from his days with the Chicago Bears, prefers a more conservative offensive approach.

"I believe he will be an outstanding head coach in the National Football League," Martz said of Singletary. "I wish him nothing but the best. I am not what he is looking for offensively. I understand that. This is just a part of professional sports."

Singletary was named 49ers head coach in the moments after the 49ers' season-ending victory over the Washington Redskins. With Singletary, the 49ers finished the season with five victories in their final seven games.

"I think they've got the right man for the job," 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said. "I'm glad he got the job. He deserved it. He earned it."

The 49ers made it official shortly after the game, as team president Jed York announced Singletary as the next head coach in the locker room.

"If you know which way you're going, get it done," 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan said.

"He showed that there was a change, but he was able to adjust to the change, step right in and not really skip a beat. The players around him stepped up. The coaches around him stepped up as well. We ended strong, but it's not close to where we need to get. With coach Singletary, we feel that's not going to be an issue."

Now, Singletary just has to find a coordinator to take charge of the offense and build on what Martz began this season.

Former 49ers coach Mike Nolan hired Martz in January 2008 to bring some energy to the team.

Under Martz, the 49ers improved from No. 32 in the league in passing yards to No. 18. The 49ers' scoring increased by more than 100 points, as the club rose from last in the league in scoring to No. 22.

Singletary, whose four-year, $10 million contract as head coach includes the power to hire and fire assistant coaches, said in a statement he said he felt it was best to go in a different direction.

"I do recognize the need for a long-term solution on the offensive side of the ball," Singletary said.

Next season, the 49ers will have their seventh offensive coordinator in seven years, following Greg Knapp, Ted Tollner, Mike McCarthy, Norv Turner, Jim Hostler and Martz.

Singletary will likely seek an experienced offensive coordinator to run the style of offense he prefers, someone along the lines of former St. Louis Rams coach Scott Linehan.

After Singletary took over as the interim coach, he and Martz met regularly to discuss offensive philosophy. In his first game, Singletary benched quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan and replaced him with backup Shaun Hill.

With Hill at quarterback, the 49ers started to employ an offense that stressed the run game, along with higher-percentage passes. While their offensive approaches might have been different, Singletary and Martz appeared to benefit from each other's influence.

"Mike is a good man and a good coach," Martz said. "I looked forward to coming back here, but I understand the situation."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 3, 2009

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