About the Author
Recent posts by Dan Arkush
A month or so ago, our 49ers sources told us the team would have to stage a "remarkable" comeback in order to salvage head coach Mike Singletary's job.
But after the Niners' remarkably awful effort in their 21-0 loss to the Buccaneers in Week 11 — the team's first shutout defeat at home in 33 years — it's not looking good at all for Singletary, who went out of his way to take complete blame for the debacle one day later in a long-winded opening monologue in front of the local media.
"Talk about a downer," one team insider said. "The stadium looked cleared out by halftime. It's one thing to lose to a Tampa Bay team that has proven to be pretty good. But to get shut out and play as badly as they did doesn't bode well at all for Singletary.
"There was just no spark at all."
Sources on the scene told us that, after Singletary fell on his sword in his Monday press conference, the Niners' players predictably said their head coach was far from being totally at fault for the team's sorry performance.
"But it really does seem like a lot of players are starting to get fed up," the insider told PFW. "You know, he (Singletary) has asked a lot of them. The Niners have one of the league's toughest training camps, and their practices are longer than most.
"A lot of guys would like to see more of a return for what they've had to put up with."
What they're seeing instead is a continued lack of communication that shouldn't be occurring so deep into the season — like the massive confusion in a fourth-down situation late in the third quarter that triggered a timeout.
"And then when Singletary admits on Monday that the team was not prepared and failed to adjust to a lot of the things the Bucs did, it certainly doesn't help his cause," the insider said.
It also didn't help that Niners QB Troy Smith came crashing down to earth with a really subpar effort against the Buccaneers after providing what turned out to be only a temporary spark with his winning performances in the previous two games.
"A lot of it was due to the offensive line being just horrible both run blocking and pass blocking," the insider said. "It's probably the most disappointing thing of all.
"The unit is just getting worse by the week."