49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

January 19, 2011
Singletary: It's right back to the drawing board

Mike Singletary said he is using the Bill Belichick/Pete Carroll model for his own career. The former 49ers head coach often has said he wants to be the greatest coach of all time, and his struggles with the 49ers haven't daunted that ambition. Singletary was asked on ESPN Radio Chicago with Waddle and Silvy this week whether hall-of-fame players have a hard time coaching. He began his answer by noting that Belichick and Carroll also had a difficult run the first time they became head coaches.

Singletary: "There are a number of coaches in the league that I consider good coaches, hall-of-fame coaches, that have been fired. And if that's the case, then for me, I can sit back and listen to my critics and say that I'm not going to be a good head coach. No, what I'm going to do is get right back to the drawing board and look at the things that I have to get better at, thank god for the experience that I had - loved the 49ers, loved the 49ers players, the fans and organization. It just didn't work out. So that's on me to take a step back and be thankful for the opportunity and experience and just dive right into it and take it to the next level the next time."

Singletary was also asked about the difficulty of coaching modern players and about what tight end Vernon Davis said earlier this month about his teammates playing scared under Singletary.

Singletary: "I don't think it's difficult at all. I just think it's one of those things where, as a coach, if you have certain things in place, some of those things never come about. If you have a quarterback in place, if you have an experienced offensive line in place, if you have a defense that's playing pretty decent and if you have a GM in place. If you have a lot of those things in place, there's only so much you have to do as a head coach. ... But when some of those things are not in place, it makes you have to take another step up. And make sure that if you have a young team that hasn't won in while that you have to teach them how to win. And when they go out and play, it's just a matter of them understanding that you're accountable for the mistakes that you make. You can't just go out there and blow assignments and think that next week you're going to be right back in the game. No, it's not going to be that way. So for me, with Vernon saying that, Vernon knows me well enough to know that - and any of those players know me well enough to know that if you're doing your job, you're going to be just fine. But if you're not, then that means you're not holding up your end of the deal."

Singletary said he will be joining the Vikings as linebackers coach/assistant head coach. That was his exact title when Mike Nolan hired him in San Francisco in 2005. To listen to the interview, click here. Singletary comes on at 1 hr. and nine min.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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