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December 8, 2010
Niners O was limited with Troy Smith, Singletary says

After five starts, defenses have caught on to Troy Smith, and that's why Alex Smith gets the nod as starting quarterback Sunday, Mike Singletary said this morning.

"Troy playing those five games that he's been able to play - so now there are more teams that understand that this is really what he does," Singletary said. "So you can kind of pigeon-hole him there, and kind of hold the whole offense hostage, which is a situation you really don't want to be in. Troy, it's not fair to him. It's not fair to his offense."

Singletary said that Alex Smith gives the 49ers the ability to use the 49ers' entire offense. "At this time of the year with the games that we have left it's a matter of being able to use the entire playbook," Singletary said. "Troy has been working his tail off to try and spend as much time as he possibly could and get everything in, but there's just not enough time in the day. And I think right now we need everything that we can possibly have. Everything we learned in training camp, the offseason - we need that."

Troy Smith, of course, didn't spend the offseason with the 49ers. The 49ers signed him on Sept. 6, six days before the regular-season opener in Seattle. The question is why, after three months with the team, he doesn't have more of the offense at his disposal. Singletary was asked if, in hindsight, it would have been better had Smith stayed in Santa Clara during the bye week rather than going home to Ohio.

Singletary dismissed that notion, arguing that with Fax machines and other ways to communicate, Smith was still being fed the playbook. Besides, Singletary said, "There's only so much the human mind can take at a time."

As far as defensive backs coach Johnnie Lynn's sudden resignation Tuesday, Singletary would only say that the reason was personal. "Johnnie and his family will deal with it," he said, "And I lose a good friend."

Singletary promoted Lynn, 53, to assistant head coach last year and he said he used him as a sounding board throughout the season. Vance Joseph has handled the day-to-day duties of coaching the secondary and his role will remain largely unchanged. "VJ has spent the most time with them," Singletary said. "There will be no drop off there."

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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