Recently, 49ers coach Mike Singletary was interviewed by ESPN’s Mike Ditka.  (Singletary’s actual mentor, Bill Walsh, wasn’t available.)  During the interview, Singletary disclosed that he has an “accountability person on staff” whose job is to rein Singletary in when he is becoming too emotional.

Look, if a guy can’t sufficiently control his own emotions, should he have one of the 32 most coveted positions (OK, 31 if we omit the Raiders) in the football coaching profession?  But since Singletary was being interviewed by the head coach for whom Singletary starred at middle linebacker, the chances of a meaningful follow-up question were less than zero.
Ditka and Singletary also lamented the fact that the Vegas Rules no longer apply to the locker room, in reference to the disclosure that Singletary dropped trou at halftime of his debut game.  Singletary pointed out that “accountability, responsibility is not the same” as it was in past years. 
And since Ditka didn’t ask, “Why do you think that?,” we’ll pretend that he did, and we’ll answer on Singletary’s behalf.
The problem is that the current player compensation system makes it difficult if not impossible to impose meaningful punishment on a player with unallocated bonus money that would wreck the team’s salary cap if the team ever cut him.  And so, with no nuclear option available in dealing with highly-paid problem players, teams are reluctant to commence the process of progressive discipline in certain cases.  
With the maximum available discipline being a suspension of four weeks without pay (which would be hotly contested by the NFLPA) and (thanks to the 2006 CBA amendments) the inability to thereafter banish the player with pay for the rest of the year, the players have far more power in the locker room than ever before, and any attempt to crack down on the highly-compensation men who form the nucleus of the team must always be prefaced by considering whether, in the end, it’s worth the time and the money and the aggravation to do it.
Here’s the video.


  1. I guess it’s official, we can add Mike Singletary to the “People Florio Doesn’t Like” list. I’m betting he’s just below Joey Porter.

  2. I can just picture a red faced (obv. figure of speech) Singletary addressing the team in the locker room, frustratingly grabbing his waistband about to give the team an illustrative moon, pausing and seeing a 30-ish Dr. Drew looking guy across the room shake his head and said in a soothing voice “Use your words, Michael.”

  3. That interview was terrible.
    As seldom as I agree with the Great Mike Florio, he is right all the way here.
    I am sick of the softball questions posed by interviewers, particularly with the ESPN camp. It is becoming apparent to me, and I’m sure I’m not alone here, that the quality of journalism has taken a serious dive in the last half-decade.
    Get John Saunders working overtime. No interviews for Ditka, Steve Young, and please God never let Chris Berman interview any person on significance ever again.

  4. DUH!!!!!!!!!!!,
    FLORIO….YOU and those like you killed the Vegas Rule by turning the NFL into a for profit soap opera that you feed us every day!

  5. When you’re anything more then a lawyer with a penchant for football then I’ll pretending you have any idea about what it takes to be a coach in the NFL.
    Until then, dont you have discovery notes you should be reading or something…

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