After Mike Singletary attempted to make Alex Smith the scapegoat for a soon to be loss against the Eagles on Sunday night, he tried to take credit for Smith’s improved play after he was almost benched for David Carr.
It was widely reported and Singletary said himself he was just “testing” Smith, but the those aren’t quite the facts as told by the 49ers players:
Alex Smith remains the quarterback of the winless San Francisco 49ers today for two reasons: (1) the 49ers don’t have a better option, and (2) some of the team’s top offensive stars made it clear the other night they had chosen Smith over Coach Mike Singletary. You doubt that? Look to the players.
Singletary told backup David Carr was replacing Smith. Carr, in fact, was being informed by his offensive coordinator to go into the game, which would explain why he jogged onto the field on the 49ers’ next offensive possession.
As Smith walked away from Singletary after their meeting escalated into a low-melodrama shouting match, tight end Vernon Davis steered the sixth-year quarterback right back toward the embattled head coach.
Davis wanted Smith to go and fight for his job. Davis wanted Smith, not Carr, on the field. He was one of several 49ers offensive players who literally wanted Singletary overruled in real time, during the game.
And whatever Singletary’s own motivations — he said afterward that he was challenging Smith to see how he would respond — it was pure, enlightened self-interest that prompted his top receiver’s actions.
“I wanted Alex to stay in the game because I believe in Alex,” Davis said. “He has a lot of pressure riding on his back. And I’m for him.”
Added running back Frank Gore: “I didn’t want David to come in. I wanted Alex to stick it out. He’s got all the tools. You saw what he did when he came back in the game. That’s all you want from a player.”
Who is actually in control in San Francisco?
And why didn’t Singletary volunteer that piece of information when asked why Carr and Smith were both under the impression they were going into the game?
Probably doesn’t matter because Smith, Carr and Singletary won’t be around after the season anyway.