Mike Singletary may have saved his job with the flexibility he finally showed in the 49ers’ win Sunday against the Jacksonville
Singletary is a strong-willed man, a trait that served him well as a player. It has not always worked for him as a coach, though. When he fired Mike Martz and looked for his replacement at offensive coordinator, some candidates were unwilling to work for him. Jimmy Raye got the job because he was the last man standing. Read More
Because Jeff Tedford learned from his mistakes, Cal is on the road to a possible 10-win season.
Tedford has always been a coach who cares about his players, academically and athletically. I’ve often seen him talking to individual players after practice about their academics and lives on campus. He’s made certain there won’t be a repeat of academically ineligible players in games, which had Cal on NCAA probation in his first year. Read More
Bruce Gradkowski solidified his position as starting quarterback by leading the Raiders to an upset win over the Cincinnati Bengals — and he may have ended JaMarcus Russell’s career in Oakland.
Remember that NFL contracts are basically one-year deals with multiple club options because teams can cut a player after any year. That’s why agents fight hard for a big first-year payoff and signing bonuses, the only guaranteed money in a contract. Read More
Though he’s just a redshirt freshman, Andrew Luck already merits comparison to the best in Stanford’s quarterback-rich history.
“I’d put him with John Elway and Jim Plunkett,” said Gary Cavalli, executive director of the Emerald Bowl, who was sports information director for Stanford in the 1970s and has been watching Stanford football closely for 40 years. “I mean, I loved Guy Benjamin, Turk Schonert and Steve Dils [all national passing champions], but Luck is better.” Read More
This is the time of the year when bad NFL teams turn the standings upside down to see where they are in the race for the No. 1 draft pick. The Raiders won’t even win that one because this is a vintage year for really bad NFL teams.
Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland and Kansas City — the Raiders’ Sunday opponent at the Coliseum — all appear to be worse teams. Tennessee seemed to be for a time, but the Titans have righted themselves. Read More
Is the World Series finally over? I didn’t watch an inning. I don’t even care that the New York Yankees won, and this is a team I’ve hated since I first started following baseball. This is football season, college and pro, not baseball.
The World Series should be played in early October, as it was before Bud Selig became commissioner. At this point, the NFL is in midseason. College football teams are pointing to bowl games. It’s no time for baseball. Read More
Brian Sabean doubled his original mistake by signing Freddy Sanchez to a two-year contract, but he really had no choice.
Sabean made a panicky trade in the second half of the season, obtaining Sanchez for Tim Alderson, who had been rated the Giants’ No. 2 pitching prospect.
Sabean apologists in the media wrote about scouting reports which noted that Alderson’s pitch velocity was down, but that’s normal for young pitchers who are throwing far more innings than they had in their high school careers. Rest takes care of that problem. Read More
The 49ers lost the game in Houston but they found the quarterback they need to fuel a playoff run.
Alex Smith came on in the second half on Sunday to throw three touchdown passes and nearly bring the 49ers back from a 21-0 deficit. Smith’s superior athletic ability, both passing and running, gives the 49ers a much better chance than Shaun Hill can with his limited physical skills. Read More
Televised sports are a mixed blessing. It’s great to be able to see the games, but the fans who actually go to the games are given short shrift as leagues and teams submit to the wishes of the television networks. Read More
The situation is beyond desperate for the Raiders, but it could be salvaged with one move: Bring in John Madden as a supervisor to hire competent NFL people for the front office and a coach who uses systems that work now instead of the 1969 systems Al Davis prefers.
The Raiders are plumbing depths they haven’t known since the pre-Davis era of 1961, when they opened with consecutive losses of 55-0 and 44-0. Measuring them in average points, first downs and total offense, they rank fourth among the worst offenses since the 1970 merger. Read More
The Atlanta Falcons exposed the 49ers in their 45-10 thrashing on Sunday: The Niners have no offense, largely because Shaun Hill is a below average NFL quarterback.
The 49ers had started 3-1 because of a strong defense that held their first four opponents to 53 points. But even then, there were signs of a coming breakdown because the offense scored only two touchdowns in each of those games. Read More
If you want a really good laugh, try the Jim Harbaugh-to-the-Raiders rumor. Harbaugh was the Raiders’ quarterbacks coach for two years, so he knows firsthand how dysfunctional the organization has become. He won’t be a lifer at Stanford, but he won’t be on the Raiders’ sidelines, either.
The truth is, the Raiders coaching job is attractive only for leverage purposes for young coaches.
As the Giants turn their focus to the 2010 season, here are the moves they should make — and those they will probably make: Read More
It’s bad to make a mistake on a No. 1 draft pick. It’s worse to pretend it isn’t a mistake and try to justify it. That’s where the Raiders are now with JaMarcus Russell.
In 2007, when the Raiders had that top pick, they drafted Russell, who had a great college career. He was not a polished quarterback, but he had the strong arm Al Davis loves, and it seemed he could be developed. Read More
As Cal begins the defining three games of its schedule Saturday, there is a growing feeling that the Bears are the best team in the conference.
Now, they have to prove it.
Each game provides a special problem. Saturday’s game against Oregon in Eugene puts the Bears in Autzen Stadium, regarded as the most hostile environment for visiting teams. Read More