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Raye says he followed Singletary's wishes for 49ers' offense

  • By NFL.com
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Jimmy Raye said his Monday morning firing as the San Francisco 49ers' offensive coordinator came as a surprise.

"I think that's a bit of an understatement," Raye said Tuesday in a telephone interview with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

Raye, who was shown the door less than one day after Mike Singletary said the offensive coordinator would stay for the remainder of the season, added that he was doing what the coach asked.

"I was carrying out the head coach's wishes," Raye said. "I was doing what I was brought here to do under his philosophy he wanted installed. I tried as best I could to carry that out with the quarterbacking and the personnel that we had. I didn't come in and say, 'This is my offense, and I'm running this, and if you don't like it, you can get somebody else.' I was doing what was given me to do."

The 49ers have an 0-3 record, but their offense ranks 20th in the NFL overall and is 31st in scoring (12.7 points per game) and third-down efficiency (24 percent).

Raye said quarterback Alex Smith, frequently a lightning rod for the 49ers' offensive struggles, was following the plan he was given, too.

"I think he did well," Raye said. "It's a work in progress. There were signs ... it's like raising a child. There were signs of the things you taught and the maturity. And there were times when it was just OK. In the long run, it was at the point where the adjustments were not as difficult or the things you talked about weren't as difficult to correct. They were not as far-reaching as they were a year ago."

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Raye also said the heightened expectations in San Francisco had a lot to do with his termination and that it seemed like a rash decision to fire him and promote quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson.

"I told the team when we cut to the 53-man roster ... that the expectations have gone up and it would not be business as usual," Raye said. "The scrutiny would be swift. So, I guess, when you go 0-3 and you start off with the expectations we had, with everybody saying we were going to be this dominant team in the NFC West, and we start off 0-3, lost a division game in Seattle, it didn't surprise me that something happened.

"I was still a little stunned and disappointed, but if we'd been 1-2 or 2-1 and even won the Monday night game, I think this conversation wouldn't be taking place. I think with the level of expectation and, three weeks into the season, the presumed failure that a young team is trying to germinate and find itself is a little, I think, a little rushed."

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