Thursday, December 30, 2010
Mailbag: Proposed 49ers coaching scenario
By Mike Sando
George from Orlando, Fla., writes: Maybe I'm too hopeful that Jed York hasn't really made his decision on a GM, but I want to throw out a scenario for you: Howie Roseman (GM of the Eagles); Marty Mornhinweg as head coach, Brad Childress as offensive coordinator and either retain Greg Manusky or hire Jim Mora. Mornhinweg was the 49ers' offensive coordinator in the late 1990s. He and Childress both worked with Andy Reid in Philadelphia. Mora was the 49ers' defensive coordinator overlapping Mornhinweg as offensive coordinator. They could move back to the West Coast offense and bring in Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb to groom someone like Blaine Gabbert from Missouri.
Mike Sando: Roseman is already the GM in Philadelphia. He's not coming to San Francisco for a lateral move on the flow chart and a downward move in NFL standing. Mornhinweg as head coach is something John Clayton has raised as a possibility. It's something we should keep in mind. Mornhinweg was with Mora on the 49ers beginning in 1997.
I do think Jed York wants to reconnect with the 49ers' past. Getting back to the West Coast offense would represent a step in that direction. Hiring Mornhinweg would not invigorate the fan base, but he would be an offensive-minded coach with ties to more successful 49ers seasons. He would not threaten the 49ers' current power structure. That could be important to York.
CC from Baltimore writes: I just think you have something against the Rams or NFC West. I don't remember you saying anything when the Chargers were 8-8. This is just another knee-jerk reaction to something that has happened how many times in the history of the NFL? Three. Get over it.
Mike Sando: I don't remember saying anything about the Chargers in 2008, either, but that is probably because I do not write about the AFC West. I don't see anything wrong with the Rams winning the NFC West with an 8-8 record, but it is unfortunate for the NFC West's showcase game to feature teams with losing records.
On San Diego, remember that the 2008 Chargers won their final four games. That team scored 93 points in its final two games. The Rams have scored 75 points in their last four. Both were 8-8, but that Chargers team beat Indianapolis in the playoffs. If the Rams beat Seattle, they'll likely draw New Orleans in the wild-card round. Beating the Saints would silence the criticisms of the NFC West, for sure.
Richard from Queen Creek, Ariz., writes: Hey Mike, like everyone else, love the blog. As a looooongtime Niners fan, suffering through this season was as painful as I remember. That being said, I believe a silver lining may be in sight, albeit a slightly tarnished one.
If I understand the draft order rules right, San Francisco could end up with the second overall pick in the 2011 draft! This may take a bit, but bear with me.
If (big if, but here we go) the 49ers lose to Arizona while Denver, Cincy and Buffalo all win, the 49ers and those teams would be 5-11. Cleveland, Dallas and Detroit could also be 5-11. The 49ers would win (lose?) the tiebreaker based on opponents' strength of schedule. Am I right on this? If so, would they risk another high draft pick on a QB such a Andrew Luck, Gabbert, or Jake Locker?
Mike Sando: This is fun as long as you're not taking this parlay to Vegas, OK? I've gone through the scenario. Add Houston to the list of teams that would have to lose in Week 17. The following things would have to happen for the 49ers to emerge with the second overall choice, provided the strength-of-schedule tiebreaker still favored the 49ers:
- Denver beats San Diego to finish 5-11
- Cincinnati wins at Baltimore to finish 5-11
- Buffalo wins at the New York Jets to finish 5-11
- Arizona wins at San Francisco to finish 6-10
- Cleveland beats Pittsburgh to finish 6-10
- Dallas wins at Philadelphia to finish 6-10
- Detroit beats Minnesota to finish 6-10
- Houston loses to Jacksonville to finish 5-11
That scenario would leave Buffalo, Denver, Houston, Cincinnati and San Francisco with 5-11 records. Carolina would be the only team with a worse record. If all that happened and the 49ers emerged with the No. 2 overall choice, sure, I could see them taking the top-rated quarterback.
Jesse from Pleasanton, Calif., writes: A quarterback question for Seattle next season. Mike, what do you think the chances are Seattle will look to pursue Kyle Orton (if avaliable) this offseason? He is a very underrated QB and familar with Jeremy Bates and his offensive system. With a win Sunday, Seattle would be looking at drafting possibly the fourth- or fifth-best QB in next year's draft during round one if they choose that route. Wouldn't a play for Orton make more sense?
Mike Sando: Orton and Bates were never together in Denver. Quite a few people think they were together there. Bates left Denver for USC after the 2008 season. Bates left Denver in January 2009. The Broncos added Orton in February 2009. I do think adding Orton or another veteran quarterback makes sense. We'll need to see what happens with Matt Hasselbeck.
Reinforcing the quarterback position in free agency could give Seattle flexibility in the draft. I still think the team needs to consider drafting one.
Mike from St. Louis writes: Sando, love the NFC West blog, and the whole blog idea in general, so thanks to you and ESPN for keeping this up. I have a question on MVP, and yes it is probably a little biased since I am from Saint Louis. But when the MVP voters assess a player's value, what exactly are they looking for in that particular player in respect to other weapons on the team?
Tom Brady and Michael Vick have been the front-runners thus far (maybe after Tuesday night it might be a little more clear). Brady gets points for not having a superstar cast like Vick. My question is, Sam Bradford's name does not get brought up at all in conversation, understanding that his team could finish below .500, but in terms of pure value to a team, doesn't he stack up well? Brady has better weapons to throw to and New England has proven it could win with Matt Cassel, and Vick has tons of weapons.
Again, maybe it is a stretch, especially since he is a rookie and the MVP sometimes goes to those who have been in the league or on dominating teams, but if football is the ultimate team sport, then how can one player on a dominant team stand out over others? Thanks for taking the question.
Mike Sando: Thanks for the support. The production has to be there and the winning usually has to be there. I think there's a baseline for production that prevents, say, the 24th-rated passer from contending (Bradford is No. 24 in rating). He is 18th in touchdown passes and 13th in passing yards. The MVP would usually have to be closer to setting the pace in the key statistical categories.
I hear what you're saying on Bradford. He has been more valuable than most this season. There just hasn't been enough production or team success to separate him.
Justin from Tucson, Ariz., writes: What are the chances the Cardinals pick up Mike Singletary as their defensive coordinator?
Mike Sando: I would think nil. Singletary has never been a coordinator at any level and he has no ties to Ken Whisenhunt.