The schedule sets up really well for the San Francisco 49ers. Playing in the weakest division in the NFL and owning one of the top all around defenses in the league, San Francisco has a good chance to be favored in ten of the games it plays. That starts this weekend, where the 49ers are a three-point favorite going into Seattle – one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. They should probably win by more. No other NFC West team is in a position that any could deem stable or even really positive for 2010. The 49ers have the look of a likely playoff team – essentially by default.
The team is not without it’s own questions and concerns though. Quarterback Alex Smith may be the starter, but he is on shaky ground with another former first overall draft choice and a former Heisman Trophy winner now behind him at the position. Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree are feuding – and neither has ever really been head coach Mike Singletary’s favorite. Singletary himself is often considered intense and can go over the top. Just staying afloat and not exploding should carry this team to the post-season. That may be easier said than done.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Singletary joined Murph and Mac on KNBR in San Francisco to discuss what he would like to change about himself, quarterback Alex Smith’s development as the team’s leader, distractions from recent moves like adding Troy Smith, his strategy for resting players late in the preseason and studying USC game tape to prepare for the Seattle Seahawks.
On if he will do anything different this season:
“I wish I could change sometimes. But, unfortunately, I think I’m just going to stay the same old guy. Just little changes. Consistency is what we are strive for around here. I’m just going to hold to that.”
On the development of quarterback Alex Smith:
“The best thing about Alex Smith, you ask me where he is at, I think everybody has had a chance to see him and made their own opinions about where he is at. I think going forward, he’s going to show you. From this point on, I’m going to let him do all the talking with the way he plays. It’s really important for everybody that still has the questions about, ‘Where’s Alex? Can he do it?’ You know what? It starts this Sunday. You had a chance to see him in preseason. I thought he did a pretty decent job, a pretty good job. There were some impressive things that I saw in the preseason. I thought he got increasingly better. Starting this Sunday, I will let him, by his play, tell you where he is at.”
On new wrinkles in the offense:
“I just think that Jimmy Raye (offensive coordinator) and his staff has done a tremendous job of moving the offense along. This weekend, as far as new wrinkles, we are going to play our offense. You may see something a little different here or there. For the most part though, that’s who we are. And we’re going to continue to do that.”
On if he thinks that cutting Nate Davis and adding Troy Smith will take focus away from opener at Seattle:
“You know what? If that were to be something that takes the focus of Seattle, I think that would be sad. It’s not something that I am going to spend a lot of time talking about. It’s something that I felt needed to be done. We felt, as an organization, it needed to be done. But we’re not going to dwell on that. We’re not going to let it become a distraction for one minute.”
On resting players in the last couple of weeks before the season starts:
“I don’t think our guys are thinking about rust at all. Rust is the last thing they would think about. At this level, you have to work when it is time to work. And at the same time, there is a lot of mental reps that you have to get in as well. I think that our guys behaved in terms of work. Now it’s just a matter of us making sure that we know exactly what we are doing so we play fast.”
And on studying USC gametape to prepare for Seattle:
“Well you just never know. It’s always better to over do it than under do it.”