Liotta: Time for the 49ers to make some adjustments

0-and-2.

Those are the only three words that matter to anybody connected with the 49ers, and every 49ers fan should be as angry as they’ve ever been. This is a talented football team that has put itself in a predicament that few teams have ever been able to overcome.

The 49ers are 60 minutes of football away from becoming completely irrelevant in 2010, and they only have themselves to blame.

Losing to the Saints on Monday night was not a moral victory. It was not a step in the right direction, not something to build on. It’s just another example of this team not being able to take advantage of its abilities and opportunities.

The Saints didn’t win that game; the 49ers lost it. And in the National Football League, teams that lose football games should not be forgiven. There’s no margin of error for forgiveness.

Place the blame where you want. In Seattle, if it was play-calling snafus, then lay that one at the feet of the coaching staff. Against the Saints, thanks to four turnovers, that one falls to the players.

Who’s in charge of both of those departments? Mike Singletary.

Singletary was supposed to have prepared a play-calling system that worked. Singletary was supposed to have drilled into this team the ability to execute without turning over the football.

Think about all the time and energy, not to mention the amount of money that has gone into fielding the 2010 edition of the San Francisco 49ers: Not just the franchise’s cash, but all the tickets the fans have purchased. All of this would be wasted if the 49ers shoot themselves in the foot again.

It is so hard to win in the National Football League. Not a single opportunity can be wasted, not a single advantage can be overlooked. And yes, the ability to call a timeout is something a coach has to be able to accomplish.

And, Niners fans, no more pointing fingers at Alex Smith. He has proven beyond a reasonable doubt he has the ability to be a top-notch quarterback in this league. Will he become one? Who knows? It will depend on a team effort that gets him the time he needs. He showed it Monday night.

This team has talent; it has ability. It’s up to Singletary and his staff to harness that ability and funnel it into victories. Anything less than that does not matter.

And if they don’t do it during the 60 minutes of football the 49ers are facing this afternoon against the Chiefs in Kansas City, the 49ers won’t matter in 2010.

Tim Liotta is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at tliotta@sfexaminer.com.

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