Friday, October 24, 2008

When you start talking about getting younger guys more playing time, the season's over

Busy time in the Bay Area with all that's gone on with the Niners and Raiders over the last couple of months.

Just saw a note about 49ers GM Scot McCloughan hinting that "the team might start giving those younger players more playing time."

What's interesting is that, regardless of the sport, you'll almost never hear/read a coach say that. And, McCloughan's new coach, Mike Singletary, isn't likely to say it either.

According to Coach Singletary [photo at left]:

"When you start talking about getting the younger guys on the field, you're not doing very well and the season's over. I don't think we're at that point right now. We just need to play better."

It's not that developing players isn't critical. It is. But playing time and development aren't closely linked. There are plenty of good ways to help young players improve their games that don't involve playing time.

What Coach Singletary is saying is that suddenly inserting young players into the lineup sends the message that, in his words, "the season's over" and the staff has given up on trying to win right now.