Why the Singletary move could make sense

October, 21, 2008
10/21/08
6:49
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Mike Singletary may or may not become a quality NFL head coach. The 49ers' decision to hire him on an interim basis became logical in one respect because it didn't weaken the most critical positions on the staff.

Offensive coordinator Mike Martz and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky might have been more qualified than Singletary in the traditional sense; Singletary has never been an NFL coordinator. But hiring Martz or Manusky as head coach might have prevented either man from dedicating as much time to his current job.

The situation in St. Louis was different because Jim Haslett had extensive experience as a head coach, making him the most logical choice for the job once Scott Linehan was fired. The Rams could promote Haslett from defensive coordinator to head coach without as much worry because linebackers coach Rick Venturi, since promoted to defensive coordinator, had coordinating experience dating to the 1980s.

Niners general manager Scot McCloughan borrowed his philosophy on coaches from his former boss, Ron Wolf. The thinking goes like this: If your head coach has a defensive background, offensive coordinator becomes the next most important hire. McCloughan, like Wolf, also places high value on the offensive line coach. That explains why the 49ers brought in Chris Foerster to assist George Warhop as line coach this season. The 49ers fired Warhop, a Nolan hire, and promoted Foerster once the team fired Nolan.

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