Mike Singletary Proved He is Not Head Coach Material
Mike Singletary began his San Francisco 49ers career with a powerful message: “I want Winners.”
He screamed and hollered and got the attention of the entire football world. He tried to make us believe that he was everything a coach should be. A football coach should be tough as nails and take no crap from no one. He should be able to command a locker room, scream louder than anyone, and force his players to listen. Everyone was excited about Coach Singletary, at least in a Bay Area hungry for the glory days of the past. Would he be able to channel his inner Ditka and lead the 49ers back to the promised land?
After two and a half seasons we have our answer — no. Late Sunday night, Singletary finally got what he deserved. Owner Jed York fired him with one game remaining in the 2010 season.
I’m typically not in favor of firing coaches mid-season, but this was a move York had to make. The fans were so angry with Singletary that the Niners owner had to let them know their cries weren’t falling on deaf ears. Singletary only had managed a 5-10 record with a very talented roster, so he had to go. His words were not enough to build a successful season — some actual coaching was needed.
When it came time to draw up the Xs and Os , Singletary was as lost as a 7th grader taking a reading quiz without reading the book. I respect Mike Singletary the football player, who was an all-time great. When it comes to coaching, however, he should give it a rest. Perhaps Mike would do well in the booth where he can use his words to inspire, like Jimmy Johnson said. Since he can no longer walk the walk, maybe he should talk the talk like many other great football minds have decided to do.
To Niners fans, Singletary is a fraud. He had the city of San Francisco dreaming about the playoffs. He spoke about the talent on his team. He spoke about how good his defense, led by Patrick Willis, would be. He made us believe that he would run onto the field and make a tackle on his own if that’s what it took. After he thanked Pete Carroll for beating them week one, we should have known he was a joke. Who does that?
There’s one thing Singletary is certainly a professional with: motivational speaking. A little research will show you that he actually was a motivational speaker before he got into coaching. He was the kind of guy who inspired corporate businessmen. These people used his words about toughness to get them over the hump and into that corner office. He spoke about the importance of looking deep inside yourself. Here’s your ticket to greatness — just reach out and take one.
Homilies like that are normally a bunch of b.s., as anyone who has taken them to heart could tell you. It takes a little more than words to build success. It takes hard work and dedication. Guts are good and so are brains, but why pick one over the other? At the NFL level, they are equally important.
Singletary tried to make Niners fans and ownership believe he could deliver a winner by using words alone. The sad part is he may have believed his words would be enough. He thought he could will a team into winning. In the NFL, it’s just not that easy.