Mike Singletary has an uncanny ability to make head scratching decisions. His most recent decision to name Troy Smith as the starting quarterback is his most desperate one to date. Smith who has not started an NFL game since 2007 will be the starting quarterback this Sunday in London in front 85,000 fans half a world away. Singletary is trying to save the 49ers season but naming Troy Smith the starting quarterback is such a shot in the dark it smacks of desperation. In Singletary’s mind he is thinking ‘why not throw Troy Smith out there he can’t be any worse than Alex Smith.’ While we’re at it let’s throw Jim Druckenmiller or Tim Rattay out there to see what happens.
So let me get this straight, Singletary is hoping for Troy Smith to do what he has not done in four NFL seasons: Translate his success from college to the NFL. True, David Carr did not impress in his relief of an injured Alex Smith but Carr has been with the team and the offense since March of this year. Troy Smith was only singed by the 49ers seven weeks ago right before the start of the season. Singletary will be starting a quarterback who was cut by the Ravens and not claimed on waivers until the 49ers signed him. Singletary did say in training camp his plan to replace Alex Smith if he gets injured is to hope that he does not get injured. Awesome backup plan.
Side note: I am half joking here but I think Singletary has something against quarterbacks. He wanted to pull Alex Smith in favor of Carr in week five and now that he has his chance to start Carr he goes with Troy Smith who only threw nine passes in four games last season with the Ravens. Singletary was a linebacker so I think he still has some deep hatred against quarterbacks. He clearly has shown he thinks the team can be successful without a good quarterback which he probably still thinks now.
How effective will Troy Smith be with the offense with only seven weeks of knowledge under his belt? There is only so much Smith can do with his limited knowledge which means a heavy load for Frank Gore this weekend. Gore being the work horse is fine but why hamstring the offense with Smith and not Carr who has more knowledge and experience with the team? With Troy Smith it does give offensive coordinator Mike Johnson more mobility at quarterback which means a different offensive look. But instead of this looking like a brilliant move by Singletary it is another desperate decision in what has become a Save My Head Coaching Job season for Singletary. You never know how Troy Smith will come out and play. Who knows maybe he will have the best game by a 49ers quarterback this season but I won’t hold my breath. Thinking Smith will have a great game is like saying the 49ers are still going to make the playoffs after a 1-6 start. But no one with the 49ers is desperate or crazy enough to make that statement.