Hard-Hitting Impact: Mike Singletary Will Be a Huge Benefit For the Vikings

Tanner ThomsSenior Analyst IJanuary 20, 2011

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 03:  Head coach Mike Singletary of the San Francisco 49ers against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 3, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After days of rumors swirling about, the Minnesota Vikings were finally able to come to an agreement with former San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Singletary.

The terms of the agreement came on Jan. 18 when Singletary confirmed to Daniel Stern on ESPN 1000 AM Chicago.

The former Chicago Bears linebacker said he would become the linebackers and assistant head coach for the Vikings.

When Leslie Frazier signed with the Vikings as head coach, taking the "interim" label off his coaching job, everybody knew changes would be made to the defensive staff.

Frazier, who will run the defense for the most, knows what to do on the defensive side of the ball to get the job done.

Leslie has had numerous head coaching job interviews, but none of these attempts have been successful, obviously.

One of Frazier's first moves was eliminating most of the offensive staff for the Vikings, besides Darrell Bevell, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks.

Then came the most important choice he has ever made—reaching out to one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history, Mike Singletary.

Singletary, the Chicago Bears' second-round choice in the 1981 NFL draft, became a starter by the seventh game of the season.

He went on to become a unanimous selection for the All-Rookie team in '81.

Singletary was also a very important part of the stellar defense that the Chicago Bears had when they won the Super Bowl over the New England Patriots in 1985.

In addition, he was also the Defensive Player of the Year in both 1985 and 1988.

To sum it up, Mike Singletary was an absolute monster when he was on the field.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995 for being a tremendous star at Baylor University.

Singletary was also inducted into the National Football League Hall of Fame in the class of 1998.

In 1999, Mike Singletary was ranked No. 56 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players of all time.

Oh, but the man didn't stop there. In 2003, Singletary was hired to become the linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens.

However, Singletary decided to leave the team for a job elsewhere.

The Ravens defense, which consisted of Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Bart Scott, Peter Boulware, Ed Reed, Chris McAlister and more, couldn't keep him on board.

Singletary's next stop would be San Francisco.

Following the 2004 season, the 49ers hired Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to be their head coach. Singletary, who was under Nolan's wing in Baltimore, decided to join Nolan in San Francisco.

Singletary coached the linebackers and was the assistant head coach for the 49ers for nearly four years.

In 2007, Singletary had head coaching interviews with the Dallas Cowboys and the San Diego Chargers, but Wade Phillips and Norv Turner were picked over him, respectively.

Also, when Baylor head coach Guy Morriss left the team after the 2007 season, Singletary was expected to be the leading candidate to become the new head coach for Baylor.

Singletary did express much interest in taking the job.

On Nov. 19, 2007, Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw flew to San Francisco in order to interview Singletary.

However, Singletary decided not to take the position, staying with the 49ers.

On Oct. 20 of the 2008-2009 season, Mike Nolan was fired from being head coach for San Francisco.

He led the team to a 5-4 record in his interim year.

On Dec. 20, 2008, after a tremendous come-from-behind win against the Washington Redskins, Singletary was offered a four-year, $10 million contract to become the official head coach of the franchise.

In 2009, Singletary went through his fair share of ups and downs, but the team went on to win eight games that year, missing the playoffs.

Despite the .500 record, San Francisco was expected to rule the NFC West, which many thought was a division that could be won by an 8-8 team.

As it turns out, 7-9 was all it needed this year.

While the expectations were high, the 49ers weren't. The team looked flat every single time they hit the field. Something needed to be changed.

With only one week left in the 2010 season, Singletary was fired after the 49ers were eliminated from playoff contention.

Even though his head coaching career wasn't tremendous, Singletary will be able to thrive by simply coaching the linebackers.

If there's one legend in this world who knows how to teach the linebacker position, it's Mike Singletary, undoubtedly.

The Minnesota Vikings are already very stacked in the front seven. Minnesota is constantly in the top 10 as far as rushing yards allowed goes.

With Minnesota's defensive line being one of the best in the league, coach Singletary will be able to bring the linebackers to a whole new level.

Also, Ben Leber will likely do whatever he can to stay with the team now that he knows what kind of coach he'll be practicing with on a daily basis.

Leber is set to become a free agent this offseason. In all likelihood, he will be back with Minnesota next season.

I'm absolutely thrilled that Mike Singletary will be running the show for Minnesota's great linebackers.

I also believe that Chad Greenway could become one of the top five outside linebackers in the NFC within the next year or two.

Many great things will come from this one hire, I can nearly guarantee it. Frazier and Singletary know each other very well, dating all the way back to when they were on the same team for many years with the Bears.

Despite a terrible showing in the 2010 season, the Minnesota Vikings look like they're about to get much better once again.

Leslie Frazier, sir, you are starting out on the right foot, and I applaud you.


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