For the first team in years the Raiders are the better team than the 49ers. It is only fitting that the two teams would play against each other in the regular season when the 49ers are on the decline and the Raiders are, well, improving. As I don’t expect either team to finish with over five wins this season this weekend’s matchup will settle who has bragging rights as the Bay Area’s best NFL team.
Both the 49ers and Raiders had high expectations this season. The 49ers are failing those expectations and so are the Raiders although at least they have some wins. I don’t think it is a coincidence that since 2002, the last season both the 49ers and Raiders made the playoffs, the 49ers have had a record of 40-72 and the Raiders 29-83. The York’s took over control of the 49ers in 2000 and although the team made the playoffs in 2001 and 2002 nothing has gone right for the 49ers under the York’s control. It seems each year there is a new issue with the team, we are told the issue is fixed and then something else comes up. This has continued since Jed York took over as team president in 2009. Al Davis started to show his age after 2002 Super Bowl lost with draft selections of JaMarcus Russell and Darrius Heyward-Bey and hiring coaches like Art Shell and Lane Kiffin. The 49ers have had a string of horrible draft picks and hiring’s as well. The York’s fired head coach Steve Mariucci after a winning season in 2002, the 49ers have not had a winning season since. The York’s hired Dennis Erickson as coach and Terry Donahue as general manager. If you don’t know the fiasco that followed with both of those hiring’s you have not been a 49ers fan for a long time. Then the York’s hired Mike Nolan as head coach and gave him the GM position. Nolan had no previous experience at either position. The 49ers that year selected Alex Smith with the first pick over Aaron Rodgers which has not worked out since and Nolan was replaced by Singletary and now the 49ers are as bad as they were in 2004 when they won only two games.
York and Davis refuse to hire proven general managers and think they can get by with the personnel they have which for the 49ers is Trent Baalke and for the Raiders is Davis himself. I thought Jed York would pull a Davis/Jerry Jones move and declare himself general manager when he fired former GM Scot McCloughan for reasons still not answered. York as the GM would be the Davis of the last decade making decisions and not Jerry Jones. Both York and Davis don’t take responsibilities for their teams failures and continue to make unwise hiring practices, see Kiffin and Nolan/Singletary. Both York and Davis seems to love potential in coordinators as all three had no previous head coaching experience. York had a feeling about Singletary and knew he was the best person for the job. Year two of the Singletary Era has yielded a record of 0-5 and yet York continues to be blindly behind Singletary and even predicated this week the 49ers will win the NFC West. What York didn’t recognize and in his best Davis impression in his time as 49ers team president was that Singletary is a master motivator but does not understand football 101 with the defense and especially the offense. If the players don’t think you can help them get better at their position why would they listen to you when you coach them? I think we are seeing that this year with Niner players. Singletary was a great linebacker but that does not give you great coaching abilities only insight to the position of linebacker. Singletary was only a linebacker coach for two seasons before being hired by York as a full time coach. His only head coaching experience was the final nine games of the 2008 season as interim head coach. A 5-4 record down the stretch impressed York so much that immediately after the last game of the season he named Singletary the head coach. The wise thing for York would have been to interview other coaches first and then hire Singletary if he thought he was the best person for the job after hearing from other candidates. York is as delusional as Davis when it comes to his team’s success. Davis has said he would retire from the NFL when he wins two more Super Bowls or dies, whichever comes first. I hope Davis lives a long live but the Raiders have as much of a chance of winning two more Super Bowls before he dies as the 49ers do in winning the NFC West this season.
We have heard of coaches and players not wanting to play for Davis because of his hands-on management style. It has been said that York’s management style is not liked either and has probably turned off qualified candidates in the past. It makes me wonder if York is the “rat” in the Yahoo Sports story a few weeks back about the play calling issues and if he is the “team source” for a recent story saying Singletary will be fired at the end of the season. York did come out and say Singletary will remain the coach through this season but I think Singletary is the only option on the 49ers staff capable of being head coach. There are no coaches on the staff with previous head coaching experience and York is forced to stick with Singletary until the end of the season. If come week nine when the 49ers have their bye and the team is still winless, Singletary will get canned.
Davis is a shell of his old self that lead to the Raiders success from 1970-2000. He thinks his old ways worked back then and they can still work now. York is trying to do his best impression of his uncle, Eddie DeBartolo Jr. However York lacks not only experience but the enthusiasm, heart and all-out dedication of his uncle. York is focused on building the 49ers a new stadium away from San Francisco, something his uncle would never do, and is only paying attention to the teams failures now because a losing season does not help his prospects of finding investors for the Santa Clara site. Until York figures out that you need to hire coaches and front office staff with proven experience the 49ers will remain in out of the conversation of the best organizations and teams in the NFL. York and Davis are one in the same: doing more harm than good to their teams.