Vernon Davis says the 49ers were scared of Singletary

The stories surrounding San Francisco’s blowout win Sunday largely focused on the loose atmosphere record holding interim head coach Jim Tonsula brought to the team.

That was in direct contrast to the culture Mike Singletary brought to the table.

“I think we did play tight,” Davis said via Comcast Bay Area. “Guys were a little scared. They were more worried about coach Singletary getting on them than playing football.”
This can’t be a huge surprise to anyone that has seen Singletary’s staredown.  It’s also a reminder that great players don’t often make great coaches because they have a hard time dealing with players that didn’t have the same internal fire they once did.
Perhaps that’s why Singletary was so effective with Davis where he failed elsewhere.  The Pro Bowler says Singletary got through to him, and made him understand to place the team above self.
Unfortunately, you can’t coach a team only comprised of strong-willed, talented Pro Bowlers.

39 responses to “Vernon Davis says the 49ers were scared of Singletary

  1. Singletary is a fine speaker and motivator for Sales and Leadership folks, but sure as hell knows nothing about being an NFL head coach.

    Hopefully we’ve seen the last of him, ANYWHERE in the NFL!

  2. infectorman says:
    Jan 3, 2011 2:48 PM
    they wuz even a-scayahd to axe him why he was so intense!


    is this supposed to be some kind of racial joke? even if it isn’t, this is one of the more unfunny comments ever posted on PFT

  3. they wuz even a-scayahd to axe him why he was so intense!

    LOL I agree with this. York had probably been trying to fire the guy since Week 8 but was too afraid of him whenever he called him to his office.

  4. I think Singletary gets a bad rap. Was he ready to be a HC? Probaly not. But what is he goin to do? say no… Singletary will land as a position coach somewhere and do well….He is a good man and a good coach, and Guess what., when he tells or ask a player to do something, just look at that big ring on his finger as a player….he has done it himself..

  5. My high school English teacher told us once that the best teachers were “B” students. It appears the same applies to coaching in the NFL.

  6. Although Singletary hasn’t had as many head coaching opportunities, a fair analogy would be Isiah Thomas–another Hall of Fame player who couldn’t coach worth a lick in the pros.

  7. Vince Lombardi couldn’t coach in the NFL now – the players would sit down and have a good cry for themselves.

  8. V. Davis comments says more about the players then it does about Singletary…its the NFL do your job, simple as that…you think Singletary is the first coach to scare players?? the 49ers stink because they have no QB…and beating Arizona is nothing…even the Panthers beat them…they also beat the 49ers..the NFC west is a joke!!

  9. .
    he made bad coaching decisions and or the offensive coach.

    Vernon Davis should have had a touchdown every game, but they refused to throw to him.

  10. #
    blackglass3 says: Jan 3, 2011 3:07 PM

    “Unfortunately, you can’t coach a team only comprised of strong-willed, talented Pro Bowlers.”

    …unless your Bill Belichick.

    Actually “Belichick” doesnt have a team of Pro Bowlers…

  11. knightringonow says:
    Jan 3, 2011 3:53 PM
    Want me to name 5 better middlelinebackers? I can name 10. All marketing — would never succeed in a head coaching position. All bluster, no substance.


    Wow, with this flawless insight into what it takes to succeed as an NFL head coach, its a wonder you don’t have a G.M. job by now. What an injustice, I guess those 32 teams are really missing out on your incredible wisdom and clairvoyance

  12. Agreed. You could tell Singletary was just clueless on coaching. I mean the niners are made up of 1st and 2nd rounders and they were just awful for most of the season – finding ways to lose.

    He should be a LB coach – nothing more.

  13. He scared me, and all I did was watch him on the tube.

    Seriously, MS just isn’t HC material. LB coach, yeah.
    He was in over his head.

  14. @Rosenthal – “Unfortunately, you can’t coach a team only comprised of strong-willed, talented Pro Bowlers.”


    Sure you can, Gregg. It’s called the Pittsburgh Steelers.

  15. Why does everyone assume Singletary is a terrible HC? The personnel is not something Singletary could control in 2 1/2 seasons as coach. He acquired a mess of a team, and wasn’t given the proper tools around him to make anything work. Alex Smith is not an NFL starting QB, neither is Troy Smith. They have Justin Smith, top 5 DE this year, the best LBs in the game with Takeo Spikes and Patrick Willis, and their secondary is not as good. Frank Gore and Vernon Davis are the only bright spots on the offense. Singletary needed an OC like Josh Daniels who could be more of the players’ coach where it mattered. I know Singletary will get a job as a DC elsewhere, and he was better off getting out of the mess the 49ers are.

  16. Singletary isn’t the next coming of Vince Lombardi, but Sunday’s win had a lot more to do with the fact that it was a home game against Arizona (and their 3rd/4th string QBs), with no playoff implications whatsoever.

    The niners’ roster doesn’t have as much talent as many believed, and if they get a “players’ coach” in next year, Vernon may be saying they underachieved due to the fact that the coach didn’t instill enough discipline in the team.

  17. Loved Singletary! not his fault he was coaching a bunch of pansy ass players!…He will pop up again in a few yrs after he gets more exp/ coaching somewhere

  18. And the starting QB this week will be? Oh that’s right they didn’t have a starting QB, that was worth a hoot, like many other teams in the NFL

  19. Fear and respect are VERY different. Sadly, some wannabe coaches (Singletary) think they are one and the same. One of the great players of all time. But screaming is not coaching … in any era.

  20. Singletary was shafted. He has a team full of sissies and Vernon Davis confirmed it. Why is it when someone like Shanahan gets tough with players he is changing the culture, when Singletary does it he is a lunatic.

    The Yorks can hire whomever they want, but if they think that Jim Harbaugh is going to turn around the 49ers they are mistaken. He has no NFL experience and his Stanford turnaround isnt that impressive when you look at who they have played this year. (AZ and OR are the only ranked teams they have played) If he is smart he will go to Michigan.

  21. @kenosando

    Justin Smith, Willis, Spikes, Gore, Davis are five great players you mentioned. You can probably throw Crabtree in there too in terms of great receiving potential. And don’t forget that Westbrook coulld have been a GREAT change of pace back that Dingleberry could have used. Guess what? That a lot more great players the 49ers had than teams who did better than them this. Singletary flopped horribly in an easy division and his players greatly underachieved. This is a “mess” of a team? Do you think the Bucs had a better roster than 49ers? GTFO.

    And suggesting Dinglebery will be a coordinator somewhere? This guy was never a coordinator. He was an LB coach, that’s it. He has no chops to be a coordinator because he doesn’t know defensive gameplanning and strategy.

    Kenosando, you clearly don’t know squat about the 49ers so just shut your mouth.

  22. When players get signed there they start to get the same mentality the citizens of San Fransisco have. They need a coach who gives them flowers and hugs.

  23. “Actually “Belichick” doesnt have a team of Pro Bowlers…”
    He only has the best team in the NFL. Which can beat the snot of any team that does.

  24. “Unfortunately, you can’t coach a team only comprised of strong-willed, talented Pro Bowlers.”

    …unless your Bill Belichick.


    …unless your playing the Giants in the Super Bowl in an “undefeated season”

  25. #
    abninf says: Jan 3, 2011 7:02 PM

    When players get signed there they start to get the same mentality the citizens of San Fransisco have. They need a coach who gives them flowers and hugs.

    They won 5 Super Bowl’s there. There were no Patriots and the Colts were a near expansion team. Learn your history, son.

  26. DoubleTardy seemed, from all perspectives, the anti-Bill Walsh. Why the hell did they hire a guy with minimal professional coaching experience? The HCs who succeed today are largely Xs and Os guys.

  27. @tecmobowl 34

    not intended to be racial.
    sorry you have little sense of humor bud, you oughtta lighten up

    based on your reply, you ain’t read much on this site. go read comments on Chris Johnson and then get back to me. THAT is racial

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