Wow. When I learned last week that Mike Singletary would be offered a long-term contract early this week I didn't realize it would be this early. Mere minutes after the 49ers' dramatic 27-24 win today, team employees were handing out single-sheet press releases saying that Singletary would retain his job as head coach. The decision seems to have been made many days ago. After all, how else could you explain why Mrs. Singletary and their seven kids were on hand for the big announcement, for which Singletary ditched his coaching garb and put on a nice suit.
There will be plenty of time later in the week to discuss why Singletary was successful this season, but the root of it is that he is a master psychologist and a master motivator. The 49ers liked Mike Nolan and liked playing for him. They love Mike Singletary and love playing for him.
What of Mike Martz?
Both Singletary and Scot McCloughan were non-committal when asked about Martz's fate. Singletary said the decision on Martz hasn't been made "100 percent." Though Singletary has the power to hire and fire his own assistants, McCloughan said that Singletary has asked for his input on the future of his assistant coaches, including Martz. The two will sit down this week to discuss the topic. Read into it what you want, but if Martz were coming back next season, don't you think he would have received a vote of confidence by now?
Singletary also did not give Shaun Hill a full vote of confidence. Last year, Mike Nolan was quick to say that Hill would get a shot at the starting job in 2008. (Whether he did or didn't is up for debate.) Asked whether Hill would be the starter going into training camp, Singletary said, "Don't know that yet." Hill is 7-3 as the team's starter with two of the losses being narrow defeats in Arizona and Miami. He finished with a 91.7 passer rating today. No, he might not throw the best Hail Mary in the league, but is there a potential free agent out there who's going to come in and give the 49ers a better chance at winning?
-- Matt Barrows