Apparently, Mike Singletary saved the
second- best for last. Adam Schefter at the NFL Network is reporting that the 49ers have decided on Jimmy Raye, the eighth and final candidate to visit the 49ers, as their new offensive coordinator. Raye, 62, has the most experience of all the candidates who interviewed having been an offensive coordinator on seven separate occasions, most recently with the Raiders in 2004-05. Raye was the Jets running backs coach this past season but was not expected to be retained by incoming coach Rex Ryan.
Another report, this one by Sports Illustrated, has the 49ers hiring Mike Johnson, 41, to be their quarterbacks coach. Johnson, who most recently was the Ravens receivers coach in 2007, interviewed with the team Tuesday. The 49ers declined to comment on either report. They typically don't comment until the contract is final and the signature is on the bottom.
Raye's hiring is not going to fire up the fan base (see: comments section below). He certainly isn't an up and coming prospect and he's been passed around the league more often than J.T. O'Sullivan. The Merc's Dan Brown analyzed each of the 12 offenses that Raye has run over the years. The only time he cracked the Top 10 was in 2000 in Kansas City when Elvis Grbac threw for 4,169 yards. Most of Raye's other offenses ranked in the high teens or 20s.
So what was the allure? Only Singletary knows for sure, but the fact that Raye probably won't be gunning for a head-coaching job in 2010 likely had something to do with it. You couldn't have said that about Scott Linehan, Rob Chudzinski, Rick Dennison, Jeff Jagodzinski or Hue Jackson. Singletary also probably found the Jets' rushing statistics from last season -- ninth overall; Thomas Jones fifth in individual rushing yards-- reassuring.
Still, you have to wonder why neither of the two canidates who had two interviews in Santa Clara, Linehan and Jackson, are the team's new offensive coordinator. Were they asked to give multi-year commitments? Did they feel stifled by a defensive-minded coach who wants to run the ball? Did they not share Singletary's old-school vision? These, of course, are questions for Singletary who hasn't spoken publicly since Dec. 31. Mike, we're all ears ...
-- Matt Barrows