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Singletary's Notebook: Dec. 15



RE: What happened towards the end of the game**
"The only thing in that situation, Coach [Mike] Martz was trying to get a couple of calls in towards the end of the game and it happens. The quarterback, due to the noise in the stadium, due to some kind of malfunction with the speakers. Shaun [Hill] was able to get the call, but in terms of whether the call goes into the boundary or whether it goes to the field, that was something else, so he just had to make a call, but setting it, you didn't get it to the side you wanted it to and it's as simple as that"

RE: Was there anything that you can correlate to what happened in the red zone?
"We just have to do a better job of executing. I mean that's all I can say. They do a good job too, I understand that on defense, we've had some good stops, where we stopped teams in the red zone and for us I just think that we did not execute well enough to get the ball in the end zone and it's as simple as that."

RE: Vernon Davis wished he was on the field for that last play, did you second guess that at all?
"No, I didn't second guess it all and that's one of those plays where hopefully you have it set to this side and you have someone in 55's face. Coach Martz knows how dangerous the guy is. He had 16 sacks going into the game and so you are trying to get the call in, it's not happening. I mean I heard him when they lined up. No, this is not what I wanted, this is not it. It's supposed to be set to the other side, but at the same time, it's on."

RE: The running back was supposed to be over there?
"No, Shaun called it to the left side and should have been to the right side and it was just a communication breakdown. It's as simple as that. It would have been great to get it set to the other side, but it didn't happen."

RE: Did you think you'd gotten that last play off in time when the clock was running down?"At that point in the game, I thought yes. Yes, I thought he got the play off in time."

RE: You made a motion towards the referees, was that about [Joey] Porter taking his helmet off?
"Yes, you're frustrated at the time, you're are trying to get everything that you can possibly get. Any chance at all of something, having another chance or whatever it might be. Obviously, it was just a penalty."

RE: He was taking it off when the play was live?
"Yes, yes, but obviously he took it off after."

RE: How good do you think your quarterback, generally, a quarterback has to be, to be a winning quarterback?
"I think it depends on how good the guys are around him. I don't think it's just the quarterback. You can have a great quarterback, but if you don't have the right people around him, it doesn't matter because you are never going to know. And I do believe there are some great quarterbacks that have come through this league and you never knew they were a great quarterback because they got the crap beaten out of them for awhile and by that time they lost confidence in everything else. So before you say, how good does a quarterback have to be and I'm not trying to, I'm just spelling it the way it's coming in my mind. I just think the better the offensive line, the better the receivers, the better the running back, the better I think the quarterback does not have to be as good. The less amount of skill you have around him, if the offensive line is not as good, that quarterback has to be really, really good in order for you to be good, because he has to overcompensate for those other things, so I think it goes hand in hand. I think the quarterback is good enough. I'll say that right now. How good, I don't know; he's good enough for what we need right now and I think the offensive line is good enough and we are a work in progress. We don't know how good we can be, right now, but I think we can continue to make strides. We look at the game, we look at the game film and you're very frustrated because opportunities are there, we just did not capitalize, we did not execute well enough, in order to make those things happen and that's where it was."

RE: In Chicago, you had a great team but a troubled quarterback. Then you got Jim McMahon and had success. Does that at all parallel the things going on here?
"The most important thing that I see happening here is the – there is a spirit that's quite evident to me. I'm not the only one. There's a spirit of, we're not that far away. We're knocking on the door. We just need a littler something here and there and we've got to get it. We can be where we want to be, that's the feeling. When you talk about Chicago, that's a whole other thing because we had a lot of pieces in place, and I think here we have some pieces in place. Until you go through an offseason, until you go through mini-camp, until you go through OTAs and training camp, you don't really know what it is. You don't know. There's just some variables that you're not sure about, but I do know that the mentality, I know that the culture, I know that the spirit, I know that the mindset is here. TO me, that's one of the most important things."

RE: How much does Shaun Hill fit into that spirit?
"I think he's been great. I think, once – I've said it several times. Shaun's that guy that brings a lot of confidence. I think he brings that feeling of, 'OK, we have this set. We know what we've got. We know what we are. We can go forward with this. We have a chance with this.' There's a comfort level in knowing that he's going to lead us. We have a feeling he's going to lead us where we need to go. So, to me, that's what he gives you.

RE: In the fourth quarter, I see that your running backs don't touch the ball. Was that okay by you?
"That was okay by me. I think that, in the game, you come to a point where you've got to do what you feel gives you the best chance of winning. I felt that what happened yesterday – it really wasn't so much of, 'Well if you don't run the game, then you're getting away from what Coach Singletary likes to do.' I think you can be just as aggressive in throwing the ball, depending on when it is and where it is, as you are running the ball. I think you can be very unwise running the ball if you're not getting what you want. I just think that when it came down to it, we felt we had a rhythm going. We felt that we had a chance. Maybe next time we'll hit that pass. We had some plays. We had some opportunities, I said before, and we did not get them. We did not take advantage of them, and that's very frustrating when you look at the film. But, that's where we are, and that's where we were yesterday."

RE: Could you clarify a couple of things about the final play?"Here's what you have: you have an offensive set, where you have everything set away from [Joey Porter]. You change it and you put it on the other side. What you have, you're not going to have a wide out there blocking him here, OK? But what you do have, you get a couple of chips. It's just like your running backs. You're not going to have your running back go and hit that defensive end, but when that defensive end comes off ball, that offensive tackle if going to hit him and maybe when he tries to post him up, he's not getting it right now, and that guy gets around him. All you need is that running back just to come right there and just chip the guy, and if you get a couple of those you got time. You buy time, and that's what you get with a couple of receivers. Not all of our receivers are midgets, those guys – some of them are pretty decent size. Some of them are pretty physical. So you get traffic. Sometimes all you need is traffic. You don't have to have Vernon Davis over there every time. You just need traffic. If you get that, the linebacker – [Joey Porter] is not the guy who's just going to run over you. He's going to have to throw some moves, so if that tackle gets a hand on him, or a receiver passes by him, or a receiver comes underneath, you've got a chance. You buy a couple of seconds and you get what you want. That make sense?"

RE: On where the receivers were lined up
"Instead of that, we got the receivers over here on air, running a route on air. Instead of receivers over here, running routes where you got a chance to get a brush on the guy and slow him down and help [Barry] Sims have a chance to block the guy."

RE: Should you have been in Shotgun formation on that play?"That – I'm not sure, in terms of a shotgun or underneath the center. I'm not sure on that. Who's the primary receiver? Whoever comes open. In a situation like that, you're just looking for the open guy. It depends on the defense that they have. If they're showing a Cover 2, you're looking for the guy inside. If they're showing a Cover 3, you're looking for the guy outside. Whichever comes open. If they appear to be in a Cover 2, and you think they're playing a Tampa 2 and they're not. They end up playing just a solid 2-Man, now you're just looking for somebody to beat the guy underneath. So, it just depends on what they're doing. The question makes sense, but that's all it takes sometimes, just getting traffic in that guys face to give that guy a chance. When you look over there and see Barry Sims all alone, wow, you're licking your chops. So, that was the situation."

RE: Are you basically a 3-4 now?
"No, we're not basically a 3-4. Once again, it depends on the matchups that we have. Sometimes, when we're in Big Sub, that's more of a 4-3 look. Sometimes we're playing over and under, and that's a 4-3 look, as well, with a shade on the nose one way or the other. But once again I would say there are some games where it looks like we're playing more 4-3, because we've been in this room here and someone will say, 'You know what? It really looks like we're 4-3.' It depends on what the offense comes out in and what we feel our best matchups are, and then that's what we're going to play. Going forward, hopefully we get a little more defined in exactly what we are and who we are. Hopefully going forward we can do that."

RE: The communication problems, is that common on the road or was this an atypical situation?"Up until this time, I have not been as familiar with it happening on offense. But on defense, it happens all the time. There are times that we're calling the play and Mark Roman or Patrick [Willis] is looking over to the sideline. It's like, 'Why are you looking at me?' Well, they don't get the play and the guys are coming out of the huddle and we've got to end up hand-signaling it in. And so that's what has to happen on the offense as well."

RE: Was there recourse to hand-signals?
"No, because once you get the call in, if Shaun doesn't look to the sideline, you got the call. Okay. But now, you're hoping that he sets it to the right side. He got the call, it's not like he didn't get the call so he's not looking to the sideline saying, 'What's the call?' He got the call and you've only got so much time so you're not going to look over and say, 'Well, what…' You're just going to run it and you're going to set it to one side or the other thinking that, 'Well, I'll just set it to this side.' But he did get the call. Obviously he didn't get all of it."

RE: After this experience can you imagine not being a head coach next season?
"In this game, anything can happen. I've been around it long enough to know that. In this game, anything can happen. I would think the better question is: Could I imagine not being head coach here? For me, as I've said before, I want the job but each week for me all I'm going to do is try, with everything in me, to prove to myself [that I'm] worthy of having the job. And after that, for me, that's all it is. I just need to know myself, 'Are you doing the things that you need to do? Are you getting the things out of the players that you need to get? And are you really worthy of that job?' And after that…"

RE: What's your answer so far?
"I don't have an answer yet. I'm going to stay away from that. I don't have an answer yet."

RE: Would you be disappointed if there were an interview process here?"If there's an interview process, I have to respect where they are. Would I be disappointed? If you asked me last year if I was disappointed that I didn't become a head coach last year somewhere: yeah, I was disappointed. But I think everything happens for a reason. If I'm not the head coach here, then I believe there's a reason why I'm not the head coach here. And that's the only way that I can answer that."

RE: I'm asking if you would be disappointed if there were an interview process?
"Okay. If there is an interview process, all I'm going to say is that I would have to respect where they are and obviously I have not done enough to show them that I am the guy. If they can't see that I'm the guy, then they need to have that interview process. Is that a better answer?"

RE: If they were an interview process and as it's been pointed out you, of course would be part of it, would you participate?"I don't know…I don't know. That's a very good question, I don't know I can't give an answer to that question right now."

RE: Why would you take part in the interview process?
"Ok, yes. I would go through an interview process."

RE: I think that you are a competitive guy
"I am a competitive guy, ok. But competition, when you talk about competitive I'm competitive in anything that I do but I'll just say this if there's an interview, I'll probably go through the interview process. Any other questions?

RE: Are you basically saying that this right now is your interview what you are doing and how you are closing out the season
"You know what, I couldn't say it any better. Thank you."

RE: Are you surprised that they haven't promoted you already?"I'll put it this way, for me as I've said before…when I took the job I file that in my heart and in my mind that I would do the things that I needed to do. When I took the job I'm thinking forward. I don't ever think 'well, okay I've got the job for eight weeks, nine weeks' I don't ever think that way. Someone has to come up to me and say 'you know what, you don't have the job and it's going to be a whole other process and we're going to do this, a process of elimination. When I took the job that's where I was looking but if that does not happen then I will do the necessary things that I need to do take the next step."

RE: In terms of what you're going through now is one thing but I think if I was the owner of a team I would want to know what your plan is going forward."Obviously because I have looked at the cost of –the preparation of becoming the head coach prior to this year those are questions that when that time comes when answers will be available…this is heating up here, man (laughing). You guys are getting warm here, wait a minute, hold on here."

RE: Do you look at this game as an impressive loss and do you hope that the Yorks take that into consideration?
"Ok, I'm going to say this one more time and I'm sure I'll say it again. I am not trying to impress the Yorks. when I'm coaching, I'm not thinking about the Yorks; I'm not thinking that the Yorks are looking at me and hopeing that I hope they saw that. I don't really care about that. The only thing that I care about right now is that I know that in this moment of time that I have I am doing the best that I can to be the best head coach that I can be. After that, whatever happens I got peace with that. If it's not here then you move on and that's where I am. But trust me, I'm not looking at 'well see, that was good. Who was eyeing?' I don't care, to me I wanted to win yesterday and I felt like we should have won even without the people that we had, but we didn't and even then, the thing that I talked about before this game [is] I want to have all the adversity we can get. Any piece of adversity that we can be because it makes it tougher. It makes it tougher for what we're trying to build. What we're trying to build is out there, but it starts here and works its way out there then it comes back. And so that's where I am, I'm not thinking about the Yorks, I'm not thinking about who is grading, I'm not thinking about GM's I'm not even thinking about the media. I'm just thinking about am I focused on this job can I do this job in the hardest situation possible, because all it does is make us better and it makes us stronger for when the right time comes and we take it forward."

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