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October 18, 9:41 AM ET
Chat with Mike Sando

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QUESTION to nfl west mikeSANDO AT 12.05 pm HI MIke HOW YOU THINK SINGLETARY GONNA DO WITH 49ERS

Mike Sando
  (11:58 AM)

He will do as well as J.T. O'Sullivan allows him to do. The frequent turnovers doomed Mike Nolan, in my view. They will doom Singletary unless things change on offense.

Chris (Brooklyn)

Hey Sando- The bye may be great on the players, but it's tough on the fans! I'm very eager for the Cards Panthers game this week. I'd love to see a midseason prediction from you on the NFC playoffs. I'd love to see your picks, and projections for who'll win and make their way to the superbowl. Like I said a couple of weeks ago, I have this Cards Panthers game circled as critical for the potential of an NFC bye in the playoffs. The winner will hold the tie-breaker, and I just don't see an NFC North team getting 11 wins. Thoughts?

Mike Sando
  (12:00 PM)

NFL Network just showed highlights of Steve Smith getting deep against the Saints. For some reason I had visions of Brett Favre throwing six TD passes against the Cards in Week 4. Not sure what to expect from Arizona in this game. I think it's important to remember that teams lose road games. We shouldn't make rash judgments about the Cardinals if they lose this game. The outcome is more significant for Arizona if the Cardinals win. As for the playoffs, I do think ARizona will get to 10 victories and host a playoff game, barring injuries.

Chris (Fresno)

I think it is frustratating that all these footbale "experts" criticize the 49ers about firing Nolan when it is obvious none of them ever watch the 49ers play. Nolan might not be the only problem, but he was horrible with his game time adjustments and clock managment.

Mike Sando
  (12:01 PM)

I'm always amused at some how coaches go from targets to sympathetic figures once they are fired. Nolan is right when he says last season doomed him. Last season did happen, though, and he was doomed when the QB situation didn't work out.

Mario (Reno, NV)

I've read that Greg Manusky is very highly regarded within the 49ers organization. How can this be? The defense has been ranked at the bottom the last 3 years. Last year the excuse was that the defense was on the field a lot. What about this year? There is no pass rush and the secondary has been beat a ton this year.

Mike Sando
  (12:04 PM)

The defense has still been on the field a lot, but at some point the defense needs to do something to get off the field! The offense this season hasn't converted enough third downs, and that hurts, but I think we've seen the talent on defense exposed a little. At worst, the 49ers have patched together a defense with parts from other teams (Spikes, Harris, Lewis and even the better players, including Smith and Clements). We might now find out if Manusky can make the defense better without Nolan, who was obviously a defensive coach.

Jay (Middletown, CT)

Mike, If a team carries 2 active QB's on its roster and they both get injured in the same game, what does the team do?

Mike Sando
  (12:04 PM)

Hand off! Seriously, teams designated emergency quarterbacks, often a punter or running back.

Christian: (Chicago IL):

Hey Mike, I don't know if you are big on taking fantasy football questions, but I figured I'd give it a shot. I got offered Clinton Portis for Calvin Johnson and Thomas Jones, would you make this trade?

Mike Sando
  (12:06 PM)

I have played in fantasy baseball and basketball leagues for 10 years without winning. Came close in basketball one year, but lost on the last day when someone made a bunch of 3-pointers. So my fantasy advice is suspect at best. I expect Portis to get his touches all season. And I've already said he was the best RB in the league through the first six games. I would want him on my team, in other words.

Carlos (Reno, NV)

Mike, let's assume that by some miracle Mike Singletary wins most of the games left this year. And lets assume that at the end of this season Mike Holmgren states he would like to become the 49ers new coach. Who gets the job?

Mike Sando
  (12:08 PM)

Ha! Talk about improbable scenarios (with all due respect to Singletary). I think they would hire Mike Holmgren in that case.

Jason: Lehi, UT

Mike, I look forward to hearing you every week here on the local station. When is one of TO's teammates going to stand up to the guy? All the sideline rants have got to stop.

Mike Sando
  (12:09 PM)

Players obviously respect what Owens brings to the team on the field. That is the only way to explain it. I saw Owens barking at Gurode a couple weeks ago and wondered what type of offensive lineman would take that from a receiver.

Tyler Laguna Beach ,CA

Hey Mike thank you for your constant professionalism when bringing us the NFC West. Do you think JTO has the same problem holding onto the ball as Kurt Warner? Does JT need a glove? Are his hands to small?

Mike Sando
  (12:10 PM)

Thanks, Tyler. Appreciate your contributions to the blog. I dont' have JTO's hand size available but in watching him, I think he needs to keep both hands on the ball. He lost one against the Giants where he was holding the ball with one hand. He also needs to get rid of the ball in some situations.

Jeff Toms River NJ

Mike. Do you think Singletary can have as much or better success than Haslett has had with the Rams? Singletary should be able to motivate his players right?

Mike Sando
  (12:12 PM)

I thought the situations were a little different. Nolan never lost the players the way Linehan lost them in St. Louis. Haslett was able to turn to Marc Bulger, a former Pro Bowl quarterback with lots of experience. The 49ers aren't as bad as the Rams when these teams made the changes. For that reason, I don't expect such a dramatic turnaround in San Francisco.

Jason (cary,pa)

Is Chad Henne the future to the miami dolphins organazation

Mike Sando
  (12:13 PM)

I would think so, but we haven't seen enough yet.

Spivey (Atl)

Forget the NFC West , it's putrid , sorry to say...Mike Smith and the Falcons, thoughts ?

Mike Sando
  (12:14 PM)

I probably need to rate them higher in my power rankings. I've watched every snap of every NFC West game this season. That leaves little time for analyzing the other teams in the same way. I figured the Falcons would improve this season but they are better than I thought and probably better than I currently think, if that makes sense.

Chris (Brooklyn)

How good are the Rams, really? Who specifically is playing better? The defensive backs?

Mike Sando
  (12:15 PM)

Marc Bulger is playing better. I like the edge he has brought. The defensive front is much better with Leonard Little operating at a high level. That in turn gives the secondary some confidence. Atogwe is playing better now that he's healthy. I probably overlooked him in my column about Haslett and the Rams yesterday. Those would be some examples. I also think Chris Long is improving. Donnie Avery has also made strides since getting healthier.

kendra (columbus)

Finally a guy who knows what he's talking about, not another fantasy football EXPERT! How do you see Peyton Manning performing against the Titans? I know on paper they have a good D, but they havent really played a powerhouse offense yet... Your thoughts are appreciated.

Mike Sando
  (12:17 PM)

I see the Titans getting to Manning enough to limit his effectiveness. You know the Titans circled this one on their calendar some time ago.

Ryan, San Fran

Singletary is a beast Mike, just listen to him speak...if he gets us to 9-7 will you wear a niner jersey for the Super Bowl?

Mike Sando
  (12:17 PM)

Would the 49ers have to make it to the Super Bowl for you to collect on that bet? Or would they just have to get to 9-7?

Jay Cutler

Hey Mike, thought I would join your chat since Im on a bye this week. Things arent looking to good man! You think we will regroup after the bye week and make it to the playoffs? Even with that horrible loss to New England, we still lead the AFC West!

Mike Sando
  (12:19 PM)

Thanks for joining us Jay. I see eight or nine victories for your team this season. You're definitely in play for the playoffs. Just get healthy and stay healthy.

Sean (Seattle, WA)

Hey Mike! What are you hearing about Hasselbeck? Can the 'Hawks win even four games without him?

Mike Sando
  (12:20 PM)

I don't know if they can win four games WITH him. It's that bad on offense right now. I'm not expecting Hasselbeck to play this week.

JJ in NY

Hey Mike: Gurode took it b/c T.O. was on him for not jumping on the loose ball. Even ESPN showed a highlight of his late reaction. And it was a quarter later that Romo looked ripped at AG for snapping the ball over his head! Let's not turn this into a "T.O. is about to go off story"

Mike Sando
  (12:20 PM)

Yes, I do recall the reasoning for it. Still, if I'm an offensive lineman, not sure I'd want to take that. That's why I said the Cowboys must respect what Owens brings on the field. Otherwise an OL might take offense to that type of treatment.

John (Austin)

Mike, will eiter the Bengals or Lions go 0-fer? I need to know for the ESPN Eliminator Challenge.

Mike Sando
  (12:21 PM)

Do not think so.

Mermel (NYC)

What do you think of Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward? Ahmad Bradshaw is out of the picture so i guess it just Earth and Wind.

Mike Sando
  (12:22 PM)

I like those guys. Just watched the 49ers-Giants game on the DVR last night. Love the way Boss blocks in th running game. Love that veteran offensive line. Those running backs have a good situation.

Matt (NC)

If you could choose one player to start a franchise with, who would it be?

Mike Sando
  (12:23 PM)

Jay Cutler. Unless someone can convince me otherwise. Open to suggestions, for sure.

PiersMorgan4949, Bay Area California

Greetings, Mike. Do you see the San Francisco 49ers in a local blackout? We have Rams (dismal), Redskins, and Jets. You see one of those games locally blacked out or do the 49ers 'limp' through another year of 'sell outs?' Thks.

Mike Sando
  (12:23 PM)

Your eternal optimism never disappoints, Piers! They've kept alive the sellout streak this long, despite some tough times. Perhaps the coaching change can keep 'em coming back for the rest of the year.

Paul (Phoenix)

What should expect out of Breaston for Arizona this week?

Mike Sando
  (12:24 PM)

Looks like Kurt Warner is going to keep Breaston involved. Boldin might come back, but Breaston has earned a spot. I would think the Cardinals are going to have to throw the ball to keep pace with the Panthers, and that means Breaston should get his share.

Mike (Boston)

What are your thoughts on the Niners O-Line? Are the problems a result of the players or does it have more to do with Martz's system?

Mike Sando
  (12:25 PM)

Both. The players weren't assembled with this system in mind. That is why GM Scot McCloughan said before the season that the team probably wouldn't hire Mike Martz as OC. The team did hire Martz, at Mike Nolan's urging. But this is not a great line for pass blocking by any means.

Ryan, SF, CA

And how about this Mike, If we are below 8-8 I will wear a Seahwaks jersey with Sando on the back just for you buddy!

Mike Sando
  (12:27 PM)

But wait, that assumes I like the Seahawks! I grew up in Northern California rooting for the Raiders. I don't have the time or energy to root for any team at this point. I also notice you are hedging your bets down to 8-8.

Joe (Phoenix)

Cutler is a good option, but Id take Peterson. Look what he did for the sorry Vikings last year. He's a difference maker, a guy who can carry it 25 times a game, a guy who can singlehandedly win games for you. Cutler still makes a ton of mistakes and if you're starting a franchise, the liklihood that you have a good O line is slim. No QB can be highly effective if they're on their back all day. Same goes for RB, so maybe Id go with an O lineman.

Mike Sando
  (12:27 PM)

Good points, but which player is playing in 10 years? Not Peterson.

Mike Sando
  (12:27 PM)

At least probably not at this level, anyway.

Jr (East Los Angeles, Ca)

Mike, who do you recommend starting at a flex position for my fantasy team this week? Edge or Mushin Muhammad? Thanks!

Mike Sando
  (12:28 PM)

Muhammad in a big way. Edge is sharing carries and not getting touches at the goal line. Hightower gets the goal-line touches.

Jeff (St. Louis, MO)

Mike, it seems as though you have penciled in the Cardinals as winners of the NFC West. But I am a hardcore 49ers fan and I see the following scenario: Cardinals and Rams both lose this week, while Niners beat Seahawks. Rams beat the Cardinals next week while the Niners have a bye, and then its Niners-Cardinals for a HUGE matchup that could put the Niners back in the running. Even if the Rams do not beat the Cardinals, a win the following week over the Cards will put the Niners one game back of the division lead... What prevents a scenario like this from changing the momentum in the entire NFC West?

Mike Sando
  (12:29 PM)

The Cardinals did win in San Francisco and I expect them to beat the 49ers in Arizona as long as Kurt Warner is healthy. That would make it tough for the 49ers.

Ed (Boston)

Not even the biggest homer Broncos fan in the world would say Cutler in #1 in terms of starting a franchise. Not even in the top 10 probably. What was your answer based on?

Mike Sando
  (12:31 PM)

We talked to eight or 10 scouts about young quarterbacks last season and Cutler was the runaway winner in terms of which one had the brightest future for the long term. I start with that, and the assumption that identifying the QB would be the top priority. Make sense?

Bryan (Philly)

Do you think mike martz will remain the OC with the 49ers next year or does he leave to take a head coaching job somewhere?

Mike Sando
  (12:32 PM)

I don't anticipate teams lining up to hire Martz as a head coach. For that reason, I think there is a chance he'll remain the OC in San Francisco. I haven't spoken to him about his feelings on the matter, and we can't know who will be the head coach next season. Those factors will obviously influence what happens.

PiersMorgan4949, Bay Area California

Hey Mike--Not trying to kick a man when he's done, but should the 49ers have fired Nolan back in January rather then 'prolonging it?' They should have realized how bad Nolan is vs. NFC E and changes come now, not prolonging. That's why you keep your job, right, for you try to do a good job. Thks.

Mike Sando
  (12:32 PM)

Only if they had someone better lined up.

Ed (Boston)

Best young QB? That is certainly debatable. Strong arm perhaps but so far he can't compare to Manning, Big Ben, etc. Make sense?

Mike Sando
  (12:33 PM)

Sometimes it's more appealing to pick a guy based on what we do not yet know. It probably explains why teams miss on QBs in the draft and it might be a weakness in my thinking on Cutler. We know what Big Ben and Manning are going to be, and while we acknowledge both are good, we might be blinded a little by what Cutler still might become. I'll grant you that.

Jon (Mad-town)

Haven't you watched the NFL this season? The best team in the league has Kerry Collins at QB!! Clearly a great QB is not essential.

Mike Sando
  (12:34 PM)

I'll check back with you on that one after the Super Bowl. That said, Collins isn't a bad QB in my view.

Alex (Columbia, MO)

I'm a huge Rams fan and am a student the University of Missouri. Two weeks ago I was thinking National Championship and the 2009 NFL Draft. Now I'm thinking the Rams have a long shot to win the division! What are the Rams chances of winning in New England this weekend? It is crazy to think that next week in St. Louis the Rams could be leading the NFC Worst with a win over the Cardinals! Isn't it?!?!? Am I crazy to think the Rams can win the division?

Mike Sando
  (12:35 PM)

Things do change quickly in the NFL. I like the Patriots to win that game but the Rams have done enough to intrigue me. Can they run the ball on New England? I'll believe it when I see it. The Rams are playing with some confidence now so they should compete.

Mermel (NYC)

the rams will never win the divison

Mike Sando
  (12:36 PM)

Never is a long, long time.

Ryan (Kansas)

So I don't think JTO is making past this year, and Hill did a good job down the stretch. You think there is a shot he gets some P.T. with a new coach, or will it still be slow, turnover prone JTO the rest of the way?

Mike Sando
  (12:37 PM)

That will become a potentially hot topic if JTO continues to turn it over and Martz continues to stand by him. I would be inclined to let Hill play down the stretch if JTO continues turning it over regularly.

david (fresno)

With Singletary now head coach. I dont beleive this team will be a whole lot better, because there wont be any drastic changes. Do you think Singletary would have a fair chance at the head coaching job nex year even if they dont live up to the owners expectations?

Mike Sando
  (12:40 PM)

Depends on the quality of the other candidates. People ask me about the 49ers landing a Holmgren or Cowher. I ask them why coaches with those types of pedigrees would want to coach the 49ers. I don't ask that question as a cheap shot. I ask it because the 49ers haven't proven to have good ownership, they lack a quality stadium and they might not have a franchise QB on the roster.

Jon (Mad-town)

How the mighty have fallen! How did San Fran go from franchise that produced great QB after great QB (Montana, Young, Garcia) to this?

Mike Sando
  (12:41 PM)

We do not have enough time to count the ways.

Mike (az)

Mike, While i disagree with your flashbacks of the jets game when thinking about this cardinals-panthers game i very much appreciate you saying the cardinals potentially losing to a very good team on the road does not mean they are not "for real." That being said i truly believe the cardinals are going to buck the trend and beat a very good team back east. I have great respect for the panthers defense but ill take our 3 receivers matched up against ANY secondary! If kurt is upright he is going to find an open man. I think what is being underestimated is the cardinals defense. Now that gabe watson is back the cardinals simply do not let teams run on them. Add that to their o-line injuries and it seems the pathers offense is going to become quite one dimensional. Jake Delhome is good and Steve Smith is great but if they are forced to pass then Pendergasts blitz schemes can cause a lot of problems for Jake. Keep up the good work.

Mike Sando
  (12:42 PM)

The Cardinals are taking steps as an organization. They have established a home-field advantage, we can all agree. And at some point they will probably beat a good team on the road. That said, how do you feel about Julius Peppers' matchups this week?

JackT(So.Cal)

Hey Sando-If the Rams can beat the Pats this week do you think the rest of the league will start to believe they are a real contender this year?

Mike Sando
  (12:43 PM)

No. People will focus on how far the Patriots have fallen without Tom Brady. Just as they are focusing on the Cowboys' problems.

Nate (Las Vegas)

Mike is it just me or is Vernon Davis not getting utilized the proper way? He's a beast and gets no love in Mike Martz offensive scheme. Oh another plead to Martz, run Gore in the 4th quarter. Especially when you have a 9 point lead.

Mike Sando
  (12:44 PM)

Vernon Davis needs to catch the ball when it hits him in the hands. It's hard to build an offense around a guy who doesn't run great routes and doesn't catch the ball consistently. If Davis can become more consistent in those areas, the 49ers should definitely use him more.

Dave (Oakland)

Have to admit Cutler is an interesting choice. Yet in looking at possible 10 years from now I would say it is the right choice. The way Big Ben is getting smacked around he might not make it 10 more years. Manning? Which one? Peyton will not be around in 10 years and Eli? Not sold their either.

Mike Sando
  (12:46 PM)

I respect what Big Ben brings to that team and how he plays. I also think he holds the ball too long and it hurts the offense. As for Eli Manning, no one can take away that Super Bowl ring, as they say. But he has not been consistently good over time. He was great toward the end of last season and he has been good most of the time this season.

Kevin (Fayetteville, NC)

The new Rams seem to good to be true. What is your prediction on how the season will turn out for them?

Mike Sando
  (12:47 PM)

I see them winning some games at home but not doing enough to win the division.

Andrew Phoenix,AZ

Hey Mike, what do you think the Cards need to focus on this weekend at Carolina to really pull out a win?

Mike Sando
  (12:48 PM)

Warner needs to get rid of the ball quickly. And the front seven needs to keep up the pressure to protect the secondary against Steve Smith.

Eugene: (Los Angeles, California)

How terrible are the Seahawks going to be this season, or is there hope they rebound to take the division?

Mike Sando
  (12:49 PM)

They seem too talented to continue playing this poorly but at a certain point it becomes silly to expect dramatic improvements. I think it's looking like a long season with likely road losses to the teams Seattle has dominated in the division.

Mitchell (Ewing)

Who is to blame the 0-7 start in Cincy Marvin Lewis or Mike Brown

Mike Sando
  (12:50 PM)

I blame ownership for the sustained failure.

Mermel (NYC)

Who do you have this weekend? Pittsburgh or the Giants?

Mike Sando
  (12:50 PM)

Steelers at home. That would be the expectation from a guy who has watched the Giants three times and not yet studied the Steelers.

Ryan (San Diego)

Absolutely no respect. Not even a mention of Rivers in this young qb conversation? All he's done is outclass Cutler in both stats and wins, both playoffs and regular season, since coming into the league. Having a big arm doesn't mean anything if you dont have the head to go with it. Ask Jeff George

Mike Sando
  (12:51 PM)

We've been waiting for you, Ryan. You're right. Rivers isn't getting enough respect in here. Let's add him to the conversation and hope that surgically repaired knee holds up.

Mikey(Lackawanna,NY)

Whats your take on the play of the Bills 2nd yr QB Trent Edwards?

Mike Sando
  (12:52 PM)

Better than this skeptic would have envisioned. Great job by Edwards and the Bills this season. They need to move up in my power rankings.

PiersMorgan4949, Bay Area California

Battle of the 'tidy bowl', SF/Sea, who wins it? Will JT wind up benched by Bye?

Mike Sando
  (12:52 PM)

I will not pick the Seahawks to win another game until their offense eclipses 200 yards in a game.

Mermel (NYC)

Mike, come on you not giving the giants any chance?

Mike Sando
  (12:53 PM)

I do give the Giants a chance, but I generally wouldn't pick against the Steelers at home.

Zach Morris (Bayside)

I think the Cardinals secondary is outmatched this weekend against Steve Smith. Do you think Smith is going to have a huge day? Also, does Bayside have a chance against Valley this weekend?

Mike Sando
  (12:54 PM)

I do think Steve Smith will hurt the Cardinals down the field. But the Arizona offense will dictate some of that. If Warner and that offense can move the ball and eat clock, the Arizona defense won't find itself in the situation it faced against the Jets.

Jerry (Texas)

Mike, Do you think the 49ers will have a chance to grab Vince Young in the offseason with Collins doing so well in Tennesee?

Mike Sando
  (12:55 PM)

I'm not sure the 49ers would want him.

James Auburn,WA

Hey Mike, Do you see CB's Kelly Jennings or Josh Wilson of the Seahawks as players with great potential an give them more time to evolve? Or could they be busts?

Mike Sando
  (12:58 PM)

We know what Jennings is going to be. In position most of the time, but not big enough to contest certain plays. Wilson is a different player and a guy I think has the potential to stick around as a nickel corner.

Joe(Arizona)

Do you think if Kurt Warner stays healthy he will have a Pro Bowl and MVP type season?

Mike Sando
  (12:59 PM)

Yes, no question. Off the top of my head, I think he'll go to the Pro Bowl for sure now that Brett Favre has left the NFC and Matt Hasselbeck is injured. The MVP thing would be contingent on the team winning. The stats should be there.

Terry (Charlotte)

How stout is the Cardinal's running D? Carolina loses when they struggle to run the ball, and I am afraid people are focusing too much on both team's air attacks.

Mike Sando
  (12:59 PM)

Great question. Not very stout early in the season, but Gabe Watson's return could help the rotation on the nose. Watson has not played a ton since returning from injury but he had the bye week and should be able to help.

Mike Sando
  (1:00 PM)

THANKS FOR DROPPING BY TODAY. Hope to see you on the NFC West blog.

Mike Sando
  (1:00 PM)

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/nfcwest