Niners get back to work from bye on Tuesday

The Mike Singletary Show hits the road for the final half of the season, as the 49ers play five of their final eight games away from Candlestick Park. But home has not exactly been a sanctuary, either. The 49ers enter the second half of the season with a 2-6 record, including four losses in five games on their home field.

"Unfortunately, it's been difficult, period, road or home," Singletary said. "We have to go get it."

The 49ers will begin preparation for the second half of their season with their first practice after their bye on Tuesday. That will end a stretch of five consecutive days without practice for the team, which held meetings Thursday before being excused for a four-day weekend.

The 49ers will then have Wednesday off and return Thursday to full-scale preparation for their Nov. 10 Monday night game at Arizona that begins the second half of their schedule.

Singletary took over Oct. 20 after the 49ers fired Mike Nolan. He has wasted little time in trying to establish a new mindset.

He benched turnover-prone quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan. He banished tight end Vernon Davis to the locker room after an unnecessary-roughness penalty. Then, Singletary blasted Davis for not being a "team player."

And at halftime of his first game, Singletary dropped his pants in front of his team to illustrate that his team was getting its butts whipped by the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers would go on to lose 34-13 in Singletary's debut.

"I needed to do something to dramatize my point," Singletary told the team's official website. "There were other ways I could have done it, but I think this got the message across."

The 49ers can take a major step forward when they return after the against the Cardinals, who are running away with the NFC West after defeating the Rams in St. Louis on Sunday. The 49ers opened their season with a 23-13 loss to the Cardinals in San Francisco.

GOOD NEWS
The 49ers have two players -- running back Frank Gore and linebacker Patrick Willis -- performing at Pro Bowl levels. Gore, whom offensive coordinator Mike Martz describes as the central figure of the team's offense, is averaging 117.5 yards from scrimmage.

Gore is closing in on becoming the first player in 49ers history to record a third consecutive 1,000-yard season. He has 629 yards at the halfway point of the season. Gore also leads the 49ers with 32 receptions on the season.

Willis was named to the Pro Bowl after his first NFL season. He is on pace to return to Honolulu. Willis has 72 tackles, one sack and one interception through eight games. He returned the interception 86 yards for a touchdown in the 49ers' Week 2 victory over the Seahawks.

Willis was recently named to The Sporting News' midseason All-Pro team. He was the only 49er honored.

BAD NEWS
Things got so bad that coach Mike Nolan was fired after seven games. In 3½ seasons, Nolan compiled an 18-37 record as head coach. Things showed no signs of getting better with Singletary's first week on the job, though.

Martz's offense leads the league in turnovers and quarterback sacks.

Just three days after Martz said quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan was doing an outstanding job, Singletary benched him.

O'Sullivan has a league-worst 17 turnovers (11 interceptions and six lost fumbles). Shaun Hill takes over as the team's new starter.

The 49ers defense has been a major disappointment. The veteran unit ranks 31st in the league in points allowed. Despite the recent additions of high-priced free agents Nate Clements and Justin Smith, the 49ers have experienced difficulty getting off the field on third downs.

Singletary said he is trying to convert the 49ers defense into an attacking style. The 49ers rank in the lower third in the league with just 14 sacks in eight games.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"I don't talk a whole lot, but when I am talking, I do know what I feel and I do know what I want to say. What you see now, that is what I am. And that's not going to change any time soon." --- Singletary on his notable public comments during his first week on the job



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