The dismissal of former 49ers head coach Mike Singletary Sunday Night may have turned the heads of several NFL GMs.
Singletary leapfrogged the traditional coaching hierarchy when Mike Nolan was fired by Jed York.
The former Monster of the Midway was the 49ers linebackers coach and assistant head coach. He had a fiery disposition and strong charisma and was thus the logical candidate to be the team's interim head coach.
At season's end, Singletary held a 5-4 record as interim head coach, while the team itself was 7-9. The sensible move was to entrust the 49ers to the former Hall of Fame linebacker, and let him recreate the team in his image.
Blessed with 20/20 hindsight, we can now say with relative certainty that Singletary was not ready for the responsibility, and many agree he would have been better suited for defensive coordinator.
It's highly doubtful the NFL has seen the last of Samurai Mike, and there are at least ten teams who need a defensive coordinator enough to give the man an interview.
Having been a student of Buddy Ryan, Mike could find great comfort in coordinating a defense. After all, defense has been the mainstay of his entire career.
In fact, no one really ever questioned his ability—even as a coach—until offense entered the equation.
The Texans have one of the league's premier offenses, but their defense has lacked bite.
Not only might a linebacker like Brian Cushing benefit from a little of the Samurai's tutelage, but the entire defense could use a push.
And by the way, Houston is where Singletary grew up.
Dallas is in a position similar to the 49ers in the sense that they fired their head coach during the season.
Jason Garrett took over as interim head coach in the middle of the season and has a good shot at retaining the job if the CBA takes a long time. Nevertheless, Jerry Jones is too smart a man to not hold interviews.
Food for thought: how well could Singletary run a defense that included Demarcus Ware?
Naturally, the most woeful division in the NFL if the one most desperately seeking help. The Arizona Cardinals have given up 26.4 points per game thus far and 373.4 yards per contest.
Those numbers are good enough for fifth-worst in the league, but they have the personnel to improve rapidly should the right motivator find his way onto the sidelines.
Darnell Docket is their defense's centerpiece, and perhaps The Samurai could build a tough LB corp around
The talent on the Rams defense is young and raw, but that doesn't mean it's not prime.
No one is saying these guys are unmotivated (after all, they just eliminated the 49ers from division contention), but Singletary could make a behemoth out of their defense.
James Laurenaitis, Oshiomogho Atogwe and Chris Long make up a formidable nucleus. With a motivated and physical sporting cast, they could do damage in the playoffs by 2012.
If the Bills are ever going to compete with the ACF East again, they'll need to get "Fysical" on defense. In fact, the whole team could use some inspiration, and that is Mike Singletary's primary asset.
Singletary would certainly have his work cut out for him in Buffalo, though, and he's probably not ready for that kind of "heavy lifting."
Another team that canned it's head coach this season is the Denver Broncos. Appropriately, they are the team the 49ers faced in London this year.
Denver's defense stepped it up for the first six games of the 2009 season behind Mike Nolan. Nolan and head coach Josh McDaniels parted ways after the 2009 season, largely because Denver went 2-8 over the final 10 games of the year.
McDaniels is no longer in the picture for the mile high city, so one could expect Nolan would give Singletary a good recommendation should Brian Xanders come calling.
Detroit is a team on it's way up. In their division, however, the top is one very high mountain. Chicago, Green Bay and Minnesota stand in the way, for now.
The team made strides in drafting Ndamukong Suh and handled a muddled QB situation pretty well, all things considered.
The Lions have pieces in place to begin building a better defense around, and a more "Fysical" defense might be just what they need.
The Panthers were the worst team to beat the 49ers in 2010 and are in a rebuilding process themselves.
They have some strong, young players, however, who will be hanging around during the transition.
Jon Beason comes to mind. One could imagine Mike Singletary would coach him up nicely.
Wanna see something really scary? Close your eyes and image Rolando McClain with a little grooming from Singletary.
This move would raise plenty of questions, which is why Al Davis might consider it. The Raiders about ready to terrorize the NFL again in the next couple years, and a fresh kick in the pants on defense could really help.
It's difficult to imagine Tom Cable and Mike Singletary in the same building, let alone the same locker room. But it could happen.
Mike and Kyle Shanahan are currently trying to figure out where they are in Washington. Growing pains involved acquiring, and then benching, Donavon McNabb.
If these types of ordeals are to continue, it would be nice to have someone to keep the defense motivated and focused.
Singletary may not have deep knowledge of the Xs and Os, but he knows how to handle players.
If there's an area where Singletary can come up with a game plan, it's defense, and Washington could certainly use a kick in the pants in that department. Especially if motivation and player attitudes are issues. (See Albert Haynesworth's situation as an example.)