Mike Singletary is fairly old school. And by “fairly” I mean if it was up to him he’d burn down the new school and reopen the old school on its ashes. As a head coach in The National Football League (tm Ron Jaworski) his goal is to be more physical (excuse me, fisical) than the other team first and foremost. He wants to go out and hit people in the mouth and win 13-10. And so far, relatively speaking, it’s worked for him---he took over a 2-5 team last year and closed out the year by going 5-4 using a ball-control offense that limited turnovers and a solid defense.
The plan this year is for even more of the same. Frank Gore is going to average, if my calculations are correct and they usually are, 57 carries a game. Shaun Hill has to not turn the ball over and complete the occasional 3rd down pass to Ike Bruce or Arnaz Battle (who again are going to engage in a struggle to see who can get the fewest yards after the catch---Battle won last year with 0.) The defense has to be physical and be there all day.
This all sounds ok on paper. I mean, I like to hit people in the mouth as much as the next guy. And after 6 consecutive years of missing the playoffs I don’t really care how they win as long as they do. My only concern (well, aside from the fact that they went 7-9 last year and brought back almost exactly the same team) is that this strategy is outdated. You see, dear reader, I, Tanner Boyle, am a new school kind of guy. I’m perfectly fine winning games 34-31. I like explosive offenses and bend-don’t-break defenses. I like quarterbacks who can do things other than hand off and throw 7 yard passes. I hate the phrase game manager almost as I hate game managers. I think you score points in the passing game, not the running game. I think you lose if you kick field goals.
The old school is going to be tested immediately when the 9ers travel to Phoenix to play the new school Cardinals and their fancy-pants passing game. A win in that game would go a long way toward me purchasing some new books, but for now, color me skeptical.
Season prediction: same team, same record: 7-9.