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Suspicions emerge as to the Niners’ “rat”

49ers coach Mike Singletary knows he has a rat in the house. But he’s not saying, “We will not try to find the rat. We will find the rat. Next question.” Instead, Singletary is merely saying, “We will not try to find the rat.”

(Of course, if Singletary wanted to find the rat, he could bring in Terrell Owens, who could check the locker room for anyone who “looks like a rat and smells like a rat.”)

But others are trying to find the rat. And multiple league sources tell us that the internal speculation has centered on quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson, who joined the 49ers in 2009 after a year out of football. As of 2010, Johnson inherited the job of relaying the plays from offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye to quarterback Alex Smith.

And, after Sunday’s 31-6 loss to the Seahawks, someone blabbed about the alleged babblings of Raye when trying to call plays down to Johnson.

Said one source with knowledge of the situation, “Singletary suspects it, as does everyone else in the building. The story came from inside and the source tried to throw Raye under the bus. The only person inside with a need to throw the coordinator under the bus is the quarterbacks coach.”

Another source with knowledge of Johnson tells us that the “guy has been trying to get a coordinator job for years.” And, of course, one way to get a coordinator job is the same way Singletary got his head-coaching job -- to see the guy in front of him get fired.

The suspicion isn’t all that surprising, given that Jason Cole’s report on the matter explains that Johnson “couldn’t decipher what Raye was saying during tense moments when the Seattle crowd was making noise,” and that Singletary was seen yelling at Johnson when the plays were delayed in being sent to Smith.

Indeed, Johnson would be the most obvious target of the suspicion. And perhaps for that reason alone, he is.

For now, there’s no hard evidence to prove that Johnson or anyone else is the rat. But even though Singletary has said he’s not looking for the rat, we’ve got a feeling that the rat won’t be around much longer if Singletary determines the rat’s identity.