This hiring has been coming for years. Mike Singletary was one heck of a player and now he is in line to be one heck of a coach.
The biggest news all over the NFL right now is that the former 49ers head coach, Mike Nolan, has been fired. He leaves a team that once represented such dominance in the league. For nearly two decades, with the leadership of Bill Walsh and the Hall of Fame play by the likes of Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, and Steve Young the 49ers were untouchable.
The future of that rich history is now being turned over to the brilliant football mind of Mike Singletary. A former player himself, Singletary lined up with the Chicago Bears for twelve seasons. In his illustrious Hall of Fame career Singletary amassed nearly 1,500 tackles, went to ten pro bowls, was named Defensive Player of the Year twice, and helped to guide the Bears to their only Super Bowl win in 1985.
Singletary, however, was not only just a great player. He was a leader of other great players. He led possibly the greatest defense of all-time in 1985. He earned the nickname “Samurai Mike” because of his incredible intensity and focus at the line of scrimmage. For twelve years he was able to coach and direct his defense all over the field and now he gets a second chance to do that, except this time it will be with a headset.
Singletary began his coaching career in 2003 with the Baltimore Ravens where he was able to spend time with another great middle linebacker; Ray Lewis. From there he moved on to San Francisco with Mike Nolan, who had been hired as the 49ers head coach. There he would serve as the assistant head coach as well as linebackers coach.
Up until this point that is where Singletary has found himself. A couple times between the time he began his tenure in the NFL and now, he has been looked at for head coaching jobs, but this is the first time he will take the reins of a franchise.
Singletary will have no problems relating to his players in terms of what happens out on the field and in the huddle. Nor will he have any difficulty understanding how to manage a defense from the X’s and O’s standpoint. All of this will be old habit to him.
The only question left for Singletary is whether or not he can survive the test of managing the prima donna attitudes of today’s players. This one task is something that can’t be simulated. Fortunately for the team and Singletary there are no Chad Johnson’s or Terrell Owens’s, there is only a bunch of talent with no direction.
If the 49ers’ management is smart enough to keep Singletary around then there is no doubt that one day the glory will return to San Francisco. With this opportunity Singletary now begins his quest to become only the second African American coach to win the Super Bowl.