The lead up to Monday night's game against New Orleans was vintage Mike Singletary. He strongly defended his offensive coordinator. He strongly backed his starting quarterback. He recorded an angry and emotional interview that was played and replayed from coast to coast. And his players seemed to feed off of it, nearly upsetting the defending Super Bowl champions on national television.
The question this week is whether the emotional barrage that we saw from Singletary in the lead up to the game, and indeed during the game, is sustainable. If Singletary reaches an emotional high one week, does he risk taking his team to a low the next?
Singletary said he went into the season intending to keep his emotions in check, especially during games. But that lasted all of one contest. He said he quickly concluded that it was far more important to be himself. After all, you can't make an orange perform clockwork.
"One thing that I've learned about this job - I have to be who I am," he said. "I have to be who I am. I'm not going to change. I'm not a politician. I'm not a tap dancer. I say things that I feel."
Singletary said he felt himself biting his tongue and "wrestling with myself" during the opener in Seattle, so much so that players and assistants wondered if something was wrong with him. He said his resolve to remain calm on the sideline ended after that game. Did it ever - while trying to call timeout late in last night's game, Singletary charged onto the field like an enraged bull. It was as angry as I've ever seen him. Dashon Goldson, in fact, had to pull him back toward the sideline. Here's the clip.
For the record, Singletary said he only lost control once in the week-long run up to the game but that he was "baited" by the media. He was referring to the interview he did with Dennis O'Donnell of KPIX, which most of you have seen. I'll leave it to you to determine whether he was baited.
Singletary praised both Alex Smith and the offensive line, saying it was the best game he's seen from the quarterback and his blockers since he arrived in San Francisco in 2005.
Right guard Adam Snyder played well substituting for Chilo Rachal (stinger) but Singletary said the starting job still belongs to Rachal. He was not as committal about center Eric Heitmann (broken fibula). Singletary said that he'd have to evaluate that position when Heitmann returns. Heitmann is out of his walking boot and appears close to resuming running.
Singletary also said he'd have to evaluate the situation at returner. Injuries to Ted Ginn (knee) and Kyle Williams (toe) put Phillip Adams in the game at punt returner, and Adams muffed two punts last night. Williams has been running and seemed close to returning, perhaps closer than Ginn.
-- Matt Barrows