York: Singletary, McCloughan safe
SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco 49ers team president Jed York gave a big vote of confidence to coach Mike Singletary and general manger Scot McCloughan on Monday, saying both men would be with the franchise for the 2010 season.
"No question," York said.
York credited Singletary's passion as a positive trait for the coach, who had the interim tag lifted from his title for this season after taking over for the fired Mike Nolan in October 2008 -- and he received a four-year contract. Singletary's 49ers were 5-7 heading into Monday night's game against the reigning NFC champion Arizona Cardinals.
"That he's able to instill what he wants into the players, even if that means he has to retool it, he's not too stubborn to say, 'Well, this is who I am, this is who we have to be and you have to adapt to me,'" York said. "He will adapt to his players as well, and you've seen that with the offense a little bit. ... It's something that he has to learn for himself, how he's going to give and how he's going to take. I think he's doing a good job at that."
McCloughan is wrapping up his second season as San Francisco's GM after working the previous three years as the club's vice president of player personnel. McCloughan, York said, is credited for helping draft standout tight end Vernon Davis sixth overall in 2006 and then wide receiver Michael Crabtree with the 10th overall pick this year. McCloughan finally got Crabtree signed Oct. 7 following a 71-day contract impasse. York only looks forward to more strong moves through the draft considering the 49ers will have two first-round picks in 2010.
"I think he's doing a great job," York said, speaking on the field at Candlestick Park. "When you look at some of the young talent that's starting to emerge, when you look at the way Vernon's playing, when you look at the way Alex [Smith] is playing a little bit, I think Scot has a great eye for talent and I think he's great at working with coach Singletary. And together, they're not just trying to find good players, they're trying to find good players that fit the 49ers and that's something that takes working together to be able to build that. And I think we're going to be able to build that even more in the future, especially with two first-round picks next year, and I'm really excited to see what we can do with that."
York also offered support for offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye and Smith. Raye is the Niners' seventh offensive coordinator in as many years and York would like to establish some continuity in that spot, though he acknowledged, "That's Mike's call."
"I think it's very important to have continuity," York said. "I think Mike has talked about the great job that Jimmy has done. It's a process, it's not something that happens overnight. I think you are starting to see the offense come together a little bit. Guys trust Jimmy Raye, they believe in Jimmy Raye. Even though we aren't all the way where we want to be, I think we're moving in that direction. I think you can see that."
Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in 2005 out of Utah, took over as the starter in place of Shaun Hill after halftime of a loss at Houston on Oct. 25 and has grown with each start. He threw for a career-high 310 yards in last week's loss at Seattle.
"He has to prove it to Mike," York said of Smith. "I think he's going in the right direction. You need a quarterback to win. He's playing well. The quarterback drives it, but you have to have the pieces around it. You're starting to see the pieces around it."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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