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Vernon Davis wishes he thanked Mike Singletary for benching him

Super Bowl XLVII Media Day Getty Images

When Mike Singletary took over as head coach in San Francisco in 2008, one of his first actions was benching tight end Vernon Davis in the middle of a game because he thought Davis was putting himself above the team.

Davis wound up getting the message and credits Singletary with setting his career on the right track by teaching him that lesson. He said that he regrets never getting a chance to thank Singletary, who was fired during the 2010 season, for telling him there was more to playing the game than worrying about your own stats.

“I remember the very first time he kicked me off the field. Tears were shed. I told him, ‘I want to be traded Coach.’ He said, ‘OK. I’ll find another team for you.’ That moment, it started to click for me. It made me a better man, a better teammate and a better leader for my team. It helped me become the player I am today,” Davis said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “I never really had an opportunity to tell him how much it meant to me. By the time I looked up, he was gone. That fast. I am very grateful.”

Singletary’s tenure in San Francisco was not successful, but several players that he either developed or help break into the NFL are playing essential roles on this year’s 49ers team. That probably means that Davis isn’t the only one with a debt of gratitude to pay for a guy who’s now looking for a second chance to lead an NFL team.

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21 Responses to “Vernon Davis wishes he thanked Mike Singletary for benching him”
  1. ajb3313 says: Jan 31, 2013 11:12 AM

    The epitome of “you’ll understand when you’re older.” Good for Vernon.

  2. freepretzels says: Jan 31, 2013 11:17 AM

    Awesome. Good for him, for admitting it.

  3. whatchutalkinabouthillis says: Jan 31, 2013 11:23 AM

    Good to see that he sharpened up and became everything he could, but its not like Mike is dead. Give him a call!

  4. theysone says: Jan 31, 2013 11:26 AM

    Singletary helped Vernon grow up. It takes a big man to admit he acted like a petulant child when he was sent to the showers. I’m sure Singletary is proud of the player Vernon has become, and takes some satisfaction in the fact that the team has made it to, and very likely will win, the Superbowl.

  5. riverace19 says: Jan 31, 2013 11:27 AM

    Singletary is not HC material, but he can be effective as a specialty coach, just as long as he has winners, and people that want to win.

  6. darkblue08 says: Jan 31, 2013 11:27 AM

    He is not dead, you know.

  7. raiderlyfe510 says: Jan 31, 2013 11:28 AM

    It’s funny how some people paint such a broad brush of failure over the Singletary era. Its simply not the case.

    As an objective observer 5 minutes away from Frisco I think it was a success considering how soft and sloppy that team was before Singletary became head coach. Changing a losing culture is extremely hard to do. Singletary did it instantly without having to turnover the roster. 5-4 first year, 8-8 second year.

    All Singletary needs is a good staff around him.

  8. nflmademetweet says: Jan 31, 2013 11:29 AM

    Couldn’t he just thank him now?

  9. waxthat says: Jan 31, 2013 11:30 AM

    If Levitt leaves..harbaugh should bring back sing as lb coach.

  10. stoutfiles says: Jan 31, 2013 11:33 AM

    Nice story, but you can thank him anytime you want. I’m sure Mike has a phone you can call.

  11. mtx1992 says: Jan 31, 2013 11:37 AM

    can not play with em, can not win with em, can not coach with em…cant do it

  12. tyler4richardson says: Jan 31, 2013 11:39 AM

    Mike Singletary mooned his team. I would hire him based off that.

  13. sourdoughsam says: Jan 31, 2013 11:45 AM

    A lot of 49ers fans bash Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary, but if it weren’t for those two, this team wouldn’t be where it is today. Nolan was the architect and Singletary built the foundation. Unfortunately, you need more than that to weather the storm, but I still have a ton of respect for those guys.

  14. redmanalishi says: Jan 31, 2013 11:47 AM

    riverace19: “Singletary is not HC material, but he can be effective as a specialty coach, just as long as he has winners, and people that want to win.”

    That’s what people said about Belichick after Cleveland. In most jobs you have the chance to try, fail, and learn from those failures. In the NFL you usually get the same chance, but it often means getting fired along the way.

  15. masterblaster78 says: Jan 31, 2013 11:47 AM

    It’s very hard to be humble, but you’ve shown that you have matured. Lots of credit given to you. I wish more players would do the same as you. Give Mike a phone call, I’m sure you can find him and his number. He will appreciate the thought of you going the extra yard for that. Best wishes for a Maryland star!

  16. steelerdynasty2010 says: Jan 31, 2013 12:12 PM

    glad you embraced the lesson, but he’s just a phone call away. you’ve had plenty of opportunities, you just havent taken advantage of them.

  17. pongonfl says: Jan 31, 2013 12:17 PM

    Big personalities can be interesting. Some times they have to handle things in big ways, and both those men are emotional big personality guys.
    Now if Singletary would offer such a heart felt apology to Alex Smith….we would know that he has grown up and learned from his failure at SF too. It had nothing to do with Alex Smith.

  18. granadafan says: Jan 31, 2013 12:28 PM

    It’s good to see tht Davis has matured and recognized that coaches are trying to improve players and not just “picking on them”.

  19. godofwine330 says: Jan 31, 2013 12:55 PM

    I have been telling people this for years. Like Alper said, it’s not just Davis that has him to thank for getting them to realize that they weren’t seeing the light because they had their eyes closed. I am glad he chose this stage, the national stage to say thank you to Coach Singletary. I am sure a call is on the way.

  20. joebone says: Jan 31, 2013 12:58 PM

    I’m sure Mike is sitting by the phone waiting for a call. From anyone.

  21. boyshole25 says: Jan 31, 2013 6:28 PM

    He built that team but his scheme was too old school

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