Mike Singletary, Jimmy Raye and quarterback Alex Smith all denounced a Yahoo story that appeared earlier this week that detailed communication issues with the offensive play calling and described a "tepid trust" between coaches and players.
Singletary seemed more upset over the unnamed source in the story than the content. He said he was sure the "rat" quoted in the story was not inside the building. "If a man has something to say, he's going to come out and find a way to tell you. But I don't want to deal with a rat," he said.
The story said that Raye's play calls often arrive garbled and require translating by the person relaying them to the quarterback. Raye today said he didn't even know who Yahoo was. "I've done this a long time," Raye said. "This is my 34th year in the National Football League. I'm not flawless. I think I speak with good diction, I don't garble anything. I think I speak with good diction, and I think I express myself pretty well. So whoever Yahoo is, maybe he should come and call the plays."
Contacted Thursday, the author of the story, Jason Cole, said he stands by what he wrote.
Raye spoke for more than 18 minutes today during which he took responsibility for the communication snafus and the loss. "I bear all of the responsibility for how we operate on offense," he said. "It's my watch." In an odd vignette, Singletary was reclined on the ground a few feet to Raye's right while Raye was at the podium talking to the assembled media.
Said Smith: "I'm not going to lie. I found most of the article pretty ridiculous. Stuff that I had absolutely no idea about. Stuff that was news to me -- that players were going to coach Singletary this offseason and had these issues ... That's something that I certainly had no idea about."
The heart of the story - communication lapses between Raye and the quarterback - is true, and was sparked by Smith's comments following Sunday's loss in Seattle. Neither Singletary, nor Raye nor Smith would say specifically how the 49ers planned to rectify that problem, but Smith said he and his coaches have spent the week discussing scenarios. He said they would begin testing their solution during the afternoon practice.
Is it something that can be solved? "Yes, absolutely," Smith said. "It's something that every team in the NFL does. Absolutely."
-- Matt Barrows