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.

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Troy Smith, Mike Singletary, Ted Ginn, and an Argument Featuring a Towel (Video)

What a mess the 49ers have become this season. They don’t know who their quarterback is, but they have a pretty good idea it’s someone with the last name Smith. At the conclusion of the season, they won’t know who their head coach is.  Troy Smith probably gave the Niners a better chance to win than Alex Smith, but neither has proven he can be a capable NFL starter.  With a loss to the Rams on Sunday, San Francisco squashed any hopes it had of making the postseason and Mike Singletary effectively placed an expiration date on his 49ers head coaching career.

To make matters even more embarrassing, Singletary had a blowout with T. Smith on the sideline during Sunday’s game.  Ted Ginn got involved, too.  By involved I mean he shoved a towel in Smith’s face in an attempt to get him to stop arguing with the head coach.  Check out the Mike Singletary and Troy Smith sideline fight video:

I wonder if they were arguing over who will find a job first when they both inevitably lose theirs.

Niners Go Back to Alex Smith Proving Winning Not a Priority for Singletary

No matter what happens it seems like a constant that San Francisco 49ers fans defend Alex Smith. Don’t ask me why, I guess they still believe he’ll prove himself to be superior to Aaron Rodgers and they want him to do it in a 49ers uniform. It really doesn’t make much sense because Smith has only done one thing consistently during his five-year NFL career: lose.

Smith is 17-30 in games he’s started during his career. He’s thrown for 46 touchdowns and 52 interceptions and had the underachieving Niners 1-6 before hurting his arm this season. Things got so bad his receivers were taking subtle shots at him while the fans were less conspicuous.

Though Smith is 1-6 in his seven starts this year while Troy Smith is 3-2 in his five starts, the 49ers announced they were going back to Alex Smith as their starter this weekend. Explaining the move, Jimmy Johnson’s favorite motivational speaker said “I’m just going to say that we felt at this time that Alex, with all his experience and all those other things, will give us the best chance to win at this particular time of year.”

Experience? Just what kind of experience is that, losing? Shoot, you want experience I’ll give you Anthony Young while I take Kyle Drabek. This just goes to show how ass backwards they have things in San Francisco. We already know they can’t win with Alex Smith. Troy Smith may not be a long-term solution, but at least the guy gives you a shot at winning. It’s hard to have sympathy for the Niners when they continue to make stupid decisions like this. It’s overdue that they part ways with the former top overall draft pick. Admit the mistake and move on.

Jimmy Johnson: Mike Singletary Like a Motivational Speaker Taking Over a Team

LBS had the opportunity to sit down with National Championship and Super Bowl winning coach Jimmy Johnson recently. Jimmy is running the first ever Crown Royal Jimmy Bowl which is a football game between two teams of four adults the Friday after the Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium (go here for your chance to play in the game!). One of the subjects brought up was 49ers coach Mike Singletary, who seems to be in an unstable position in terms of job status. San Francisco was expected to run away with the NFC West but instead they’ve struggled to a 3-7 start.

When asked about Singletary, Johnson said it was like a motivational speaker was taking over an NFL team. That’s funny, because Singletary is a powerful speaker with a background as a motivational speaker. Though Jimmy has been a motivational speaker, he says there’s two important factors about the audience that makes it easy for the speaker’s message to be received: they are open to your message, and they pay to hear you speak. Johnson explained what we knew, that in the NFL the players aren’t always open to your message, and they already have a ton of money, making them less likely to listen.

Though the 49ers owners are the only ones who can make the call on the job status of Mike Singletary, it was pretty obvious that Johnson did not think Singletary was qualified. After going 5-4 since taking over for Mike Nolan in 2008 and 8-8 in 2009, the Niners have completely flopped. Singletary, while loveable because of his speeches, likely isn’t the man for the job, but San Francisco’s biggest problem in my eyes is this.

Mike Singletary Apologizes for Being Poor Sport, Snubbing Mike Smith on Handshake

As much as we profess to be a culture caught up in winning at all costs, we also care a great deal about sportsmanship. Bill Belichick has been chided for avoiding handshakes with his former assistant, Eric Mangini, following Jets and Patriots games. LeBron James was lambasted for skipping out on handshakes with the Magic two years ago. Sidney Crosby was crucified for not shaking the hand of Nicklas Lidstrom after winning the Stanley Cup. The latest victim is 49ers coach Mike Singletary who was criticized for not shaking Mike Smith’s hand after the Falcons beat the Niners with a last-second field goal Sunday.

Singletary was no doubt upset that his team had dropped to 0-4 and was probably even more upset about how it happened. Nate Clements had an interception that would have ended the game but he was stripped of the ball on his run back, giving the Falcons another chance to win the game. Atlanta drove for the field goal and made it, and Singletary apparently snubbed Smith. Singletary explained his actions saying “that was poor sportsmanship on my behalf. That’s all it was. I don’t know if any of you guys ever get ticked, I’d be the first to tell my kid that was wrong. I should have went over and shook his hand. I chose not to for a number of reasons but nothing else was on my mind. I was disappointed and that was a very honest feeling after the game.”

Singletary recognized what he did was wrong but he won’t go out of his way to call Smith to apologize. At least he knows not to do the same thing in the future, though he probably won’t have many more opportunities. With his team 0-4, Singletary may be one of the first coaches fired this year.

Danyelle Sargent Probably Would Like This One Back

I first heard about this ever-so-awkward interview between FOX reporter Danyelle Sargent and 49ers head coach Mike Singletary on Monday. Unfortunately by the time I had a chance to take a peek, it had already been pulled down from YouTube. The video was posted a second time and then taken down because of copyright violation. Alas, we have found yet another version (crossing fingers it doesn’t get taken down) … here’s the infamous Danyelle Sargent/Mike Singletary video in which Sargent asks what advice the deceased since 2007 Bill Walsh gave him before the game (transcribed below in case the video doesn’t work):

Here’s how the video went in case it’s gone when you go to check it out, coupled with Sargent’s explanation for the screw up:

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Video: Mike Singletary Blows Up at Press Conference, Kicks Out Vernon Davis

It only took one game for me to learn something about Mike Singletary: I really like him as a head coach. It’s not for something stupid like his blowup/meltdown at the post-game press conference — it’s for standing up to a player and sending the message that the team is bigger than the player. This is a guy who has been there before and played the game the right way; he’s trying to pass that down to his team. This is honestly the way all locker rooms in all sports should be run (specifically the two-minute part of the video):

If you’re not sure what set this incident off (aside from San Francisco’s 2-6 record), it’s what transpired with Vernon Davis. Here’s what happened:

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