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Niners’ coordinator change can only help struggling offense

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Posted Sept. 27, 2010 @ 6:18 p.m. ET
By Michael Blunda

A horrible start for the 49ers was enough to do in offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, who was fired on Monday. Fantasy owners of San Francisco players have reason to smile.

Despite all kinds of offseason optimism, things were headed in a bad direction through three weeks. The Niners ranked 31st in points, and the passing game behind QB Alex Smith was in shambles. With two TD passes and five interceptions, Smith was far from being the fantasy sleeper many pegged him to be. His targets were suffering, too, with Vernon Davis sitting on zero TD catches and Michael Crabtree nearly invisible with six grabs for 81 yards. It was time to make a move.

Although it's way too early to tell what kind of impact Raye's replacement, QB coach Mike Johnson, will have, at least it will be a fresh perspective that the players should be willing to listen to. It's unlikely that the situation was ever going to get better if a change wasn't made, so while it's yet another coordinator for Smith in his pro career, it might be the thing he needs to make the necessary adjustments and get on the same page with his receivers.

Fantasy owners have no choice but to be patient with Davis and Crabtree, and those with Smith might want to see if he can get going in the weeks to come. While there's no promise that a new coordinator will make a difference, it's at least a glimmer of hope in an otherwise bad circumstance.

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