It's Time for Mike Singletary to Return to Chicago; This Time with Norv Turner
When Mike Singletary wanted to get into coaching in 2003, the first call he made was to then Chicago Bears head coach Dick Jauron. Jauron turned him down then, but it may now be time for the Bears to bring the Hall of Fame linebacker back to Chicago, and with Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator.
After turning Singletary down, Jauron didn't last much longer as the team's head coach, and he was given the axe following the 2003 season. He was then replaced by Lovie Smith, with Singletary not getting as much as an interview. After nine seasons, Smith has been shown the door and Singletary is more than qualified to replace him.
After being turned down by the Bears, Singletary joined Brian Billick's staff as the linebackers coach in Baltimore during that same year. The following year, he followed former Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to San Francisco, where he was named as the latter's assistant head coach/linebackers coach. When Nolan was fired after a 2-5 start in 2008, Singletary became the head coach and the team finished 7-9. While his time in San Francisco will be most remembered for this rant, he still finished with a respectable 18-22 record after Nolan was 18-37 before him.
Singletary's biggest problem with the 49ers was the same as Smith's was with the Bears: he could not muster a productive offense. But he may have an answer now, as Turner is expected to be available as a coordinator after reports surfaced (h/t ESPN) that he will be fired by the San Diego Chargers on Monday.
Turner has said that he would like to work with people that he is familiar with, and he and Singletary have already spent one year together in San Francisco.
Perhaps there are coaches that Turner is more familiar with, but he won't find as much talent anywhere else. While they need to work on the offensive line, there is plenty of talent at the skill positions. The Bears will provide Turner with an All-Pro wide receiver (Brandon Marshall), a top-10 running back (Matt Forte) and a quarterback (Jay Cutler) with as much talent as anyone. It's a job that would certainly have to entice Turner.
If Turner needs a reference for the job, he can call on his brother, Ron, who was the offensive coordinator for the Bears under Smith from 2005-2009. Ron Turner helped lead the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006, but was fired after the team struggled in Cutler's first season with the team. It was rumored at the time that Cutler and Turner did not get along, but Turner has since put those rumors to bed.
Although he's more vocal, Singletary has a lot of similarities with Smith. Singletary is regarded as a leader and was well-liked by his players, such as Vernon Davis and Ahmad Brooks, who both say that he helped them become professionals. Many still credit him for instilling the discipline and toughness that are still the foundations of the 49ers' current success, and ironically, these are the very things that the Bears are lacking.
Singletary would also be huge from a public relations standpoint with the fans. The last time the Bears hired a former player as the head coach—"Da Coach," Mike Ditka—it was a huge hit.
Singletary wanted to start his coaching career in Chicago, and it didn't work out then. But if he can convince Norv Turner to come with him now, they would be the perfect pair to take over in the Windy City.
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