As a long-time Chicago Bears fan there was a part of me really excited to see that former linebacker star Mike Singletary was hired as head coach for the San Francisco 49ers.
And as a fan of solid fundamentals and discipline in sports, I was even more excited to see Singletary bash his highly-paid tight end Vernon Davis.
With more than 10 minutes left in the 49ers’ embarrassing 34-13 loss against Seattle at home, Singletary sent Davis to the locker room. Singletary – always a hard-nosed team player for the Bears – had apparently seen enough after Davis was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty for slapping a Seahawks defender’s head after a 7-yard reception during the third quarter.
Here his explanation about the Davis issue after the game.
“I told him that he would do a better job for us right now taking a shower and coming back and watching the game than going out on the field. Simple as that.”
And he added this: “I’d rather play with 10 people and just get penalized all the way until we have to do something else rather than play with 11 when I know that right now that person is not sold out to be a part of this team. It is more about them than it is about the team. Cannot play with them, cannot win with them, cannot coach with them. Can’t do it. I want winners. I want people that want to win.”
Here is the full press conference:
Singletary’s comment about being “Old School” is totally correct. He was the backbone and brains of the legendary Chicago Bears defense which brought the Windy City’s its only Super Bowl title in 1986 with a 46-10 victory over the New England Patriots.
And he apparently is running into players in San Francisco who think more of themselves than of the team. Former San Francisco coach Mike Nolan – whom Singletary replaced last Monday – pulled Davis from a game earlier this season but did not banish him to the showers.
Davis for his part came to San Francisco highly toutes as the sixth pick overall in 2006. But he has not lived up to expectations with just 72 catches in two seasons. After four catches for 29 yards against Seattle, Davis has 16 receptions for 196 yards in eight games this season.
Singletary was totally right in his actions. Without discipline in the players, the once-proud 49ers will remain one of the poorer teams in the NFL. The loss was San Francisco’s fifth straight and the 49ers dropped to 2-6 in the weak NFC West – already two and a half games behind Arizona, to whom the 49ers already lost in Week One at home.
Singletary has a bye week to get his troops lined up for a rematch against Arizona on the road on November 10. If San Francisco hopes to salvage its season and make the playoffs – and that will only happen by winning the NFC West – then it must start immediately.
The new 49ers boss apologized to reporters after the game and promised change, while asking fans to “just keep watching”.
We will be – because Singletary is the kind of stand-up hard-nosed guy who deserves to be cheered.