Given the disarray I saw firsthand from the winless 49ers on Sunday in Kansas City, the team's move to fire offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye on Monday comes as no real surprise. Other than the fact that San Francisco head coach Mike Singletary specifically assured reporters Sunday afternoon that Raye would be his offensive coordinator the rest of the season.
Whether the choice to sack Raye less than 24 hours after the 49ers' debacle of a 31-10 loss to the Chiefs was Singletary's or came down from on high within the 49ers ownership or front office really doesn't matter. It was the right choice and, frankly, long overdue.
Raye is a 30-plus-year veteran of NFL coaching, but in his second year with the Niners he was clearly overmatched in his role. And only something this dramatic in terms of changing the 49ers offensive play-calling has a chance to be the cure for Singletary's 0-3 team. Short of Singletary resigning himself, there really wasn't much else the desperate 49ers could have done to alter their situation other than fire Raye, whose struggles with even the mechanics of calling plays from the press box came to light after San Francisco's 31-6 meltdown at Seattle in Week 1.
After working the 49ers locker room Sunday in K.C., I heard just how lost and bewildered Singletary's team is at this point. Todd Haley and the rest of his Chiefs staff coached circles around San Francisco, and it was obvious how poorly prepared the 49ers were in terms of their adjustments and in-game reaction to what they saw from the creative and aggressive Chiefs. Late Sunday afternoon in the bowels of Arrowhead Stadium, San Francisco looked like a team that didn't even know what hit it.
For that reason, these 49ers don't strike me as a quick fix, and Singletary promoting quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson to the role of offensive coordinator may only be a move to staunch some of the bleeding in advance of this week's challenging trip to play the 2-1 Falcons in Atlanta. But something had to be done after the 49ers' latest disappointment, and the obvious place to start was on offense, where's Raye's conservative, run-first approach and overall vanilla play-calling seemed archaic by today's NFL standards.