NFL Coaches: What to do? II

Just saw that the Niners fired Mike Singletary.

Here was an example of a man clearly not ready to be a head coach in the NFL, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Singletary is a genuinely decent human being. Going way back to his playing days, first at Baylor and then with the Chicago Bears, Singletary was a leader—not just of the defense, but the team. Undersized and average in most physical readings, Singletary became a Hall of Famer by busting his ass on every play and never taking a play off.

Unfortunately, players like Singletary rarely succeed as head coaches—sport be damned. When you’re Iron Mike, or the Splendid Splinter, or the Great One, you’re doomed by your own greatness. Just like Phoenix’s centers couldn’t match Wayne Gretzky’s play, San Francisco’s players were never going to be as fiery or committed as their coach. In other words, what made him elite as a player made him flawed as a coach.

I wish the man luck. Hopefully he’ll catch on as a defensive coordinator somewhere and, maybe, get another shot one day.

10 thoughts on “NFL Coaches: What to do? II”

  1. He started out so well, and seemed so cool, that it is difficult to reconcile the same guy from the beginning with the hot-tempered one. The seemingly irrational blow ups (rational only in that he was deservedly angry, irrational in that it missed the big picture), is, I fear, his ability to be communicative on a level that seemed “real” but just didn’t go all that well with losing. You can’t shame base losing, and he wasn’t a loser before this, really.

  2. Greg- I think that might be perfect for him. I don’t think Singletary failed as much as his firing would suggest, I just think that he wasn’t the answer in a transition. It wasn’t an easy firing, but with a new GM coming in, it was time. I don’t think the book is closed on him as a head coach, and college, particularly still here in the Bay Area, might work.

  3. For a fiery, emotional coach such as Singletary to succeed, he needs top-quality assistants who can actually coach and Singletary needs to understand his limitations and not interfere with offensive game plans at which he has no experience. Unfortunately, the Niners coaching staff has done a woeful job actually coaching the team and Singletary pressured his offensive coaches into a predictable running team that all too often was forced to try to come from behind after their offense failed. Now the 49ers are forced to start from scratch again. First a GM, then a coach, then a QB. Hopefully, they get a football guy to be the GM and let him do the rest.

  4. It’s making me fill out a code and then it says: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

  5. The code prevents spam computers from posting and ensures that posts are by real live people. Such code entering is used on many websites.

  6. Would love to see my Cowboys pick up Samurai Mike to take over the defense. As far as his job with the 49ers I always felt like they were a quarterback away from making a big playoff run. They had all of the pieces except the most important one. Good luck Samurai!!!

  7. Exactly what makes everyone think that Singletary is going to make a great defensive coordinator? He has little actual coaching experience; I doubt that he spent all his time drawing up plays. At this stage in his career, he is qualified to be a linebackers’ coach, nothing more or less.

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