Quick thoughts on the 49ers' quick move

December, 29, 2008
12/29/08
12:20
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The 49ers' decision to hire Mike Singletary immediately following their final regular season game seemed to qualify as a hasty move.

Reports described a seemingly breathless Jed York making a quick, bold move in his first hours as team president. The 49ers came off like a team using an exclamation point after every sentence.

Mike Singletary did a great job! Let's hire him right now! OMG! Next season is going to be soooo great! This is the last time a 49ers season will end in December!

And so on.

But with multiple teams firing coaches, and the Rooney Rule requiring teams to interview minority candidates, Singletary might have emerged as a popular candidate elsewhere. Moving quickly on Singletary made sense if the 49ers saw him as the likely best candidate. Moving quickly also sent a message to the organization, players included, that Singletary is The Man. His leadership is unquestioned.

I'm still not convinced the 49ers made the right move here. Neither am I convinced they made the wrong move. Skepticism seems warranted. Much depends on what Singletary does with his coaching staff. The players clearly responded to Singletary's leadership. But if offensive coordinator Mike Martz departs, Singletary must hire a strong replacement. If Martz stays, Singletary must make sure Martz is on board with the more conservative approach on offense.

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