Mike Singletary wants another head coaching shot


When the Bears were looking for a head coach to replace Lovie Smith, their list of candidates skewed heavily toward the offensive side of the ball.

Former 49ers head coach and Bears icon Mike Singletary was the exception. There were suggestions that Singletary, now the Vikings’ assistant head coach/linebackers coach, was just getting a look because he fulfilled the Rooney Rule requirements or because ownership requested a cursory meeting with a former Bears great. Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times points out that the Bears had already checked the Rooney Rule box when they spoke to Singletary while passing along quotes from Bears General Manager Phil Emery and chairman George McCaskey vouching for the seriousness of their interest.

Singletary felt it was a serious look as well and said that he hopes to get another head coaching job again in the near future. Singletary went 18-22 in parts of three seasons with the Niners and was asked if he thought the short history of minority candidates getting second chances would work against him getting another job.

“I just believe there are a lot of guys out there that are worthy,” Singletary said. “But there are also some white coaches out there who are worthy who don’t get interviews. So it goes both ways.”

If anything’s hurting Singletary right now other than his own record in San Francisco it could be the fact that the 49ers have had so much success in the last two years. Seeing Jim Harbaugh succeed with many of the same players that Singletary coached doesn’t look great for Singletary in hindsight, although there have been some key additions (Aldon Smith and Colin Kaepernick, for starters) that make it hard to read that much into it.

53 responses to “Mike Singletary wants another head coaching shot

  1. Can’t really talk about Kaep being a key addition in helping Harbaugh because of the fact that Harbaugh succeeded with Alex Smith before that, which Singletary never did.

  2. Singletary is a great speaker and leader. But he can’t gameplan or coach at all. 49ers have had talent but he was not good at coaching and preparing that talent for game situations. He was out coached in nearly every game and didnt have answers for the opposition’s attack. Harbaugh and his staff are the complete opposite. Great game planners and get the most out of their talent.

  3. It’s still basically the same core of players in San Francisco in the Super Bowl. He was coaching them into the ground. Getting to the Championship game and then the Super Bowl in the following 2 years in his absence from the team speaks volumes as to why he should not get a second chance at coaching any team of any kind.

  4. I think he deserves one. He’s better than Dennis ” The Disaster” Allen.

    Really got a bad rap by the Bay Area media who are by and large lazy sports writers who don’t know football.

    Singletary inherited a perennial loser who was 2-5 when he took over that squad. He immediately changes the culture and goes what 5-4 that year. The next year goes 8-8….. You have to be a Good head coach to affect that kind of change.

    The last year the 49ers went 6-10 but the 49ers didn’t sign any free agents and he had no outside pass rush. He was just making the best of what he was given. I would gladly take Singletary over Dennis Allen.

  5. You must crawl before you walk. Give him 5 years as an assistant to learn more about being a head coach. look at Tony Sparano, line coach, head coach, offensive coordinator. Now looking for work.,

  6. “If anything’s hurting Singletary right now other than his own record in San Francisco it could be the fact that the 49ers have had so much success in the last two years. Seeing Jim Harbaugh succeed with many of the same players that Singletary coached doesn’t look great for Singletary in hindsight, . . .”

    Singletary needs to look deeply in the mirror. He seems to be missing some of the qualities successful NFL coaches have.

    He was a hell of a player but I don’t see him succeeding as a HC.

  7. Hiring this guy for an NFL head coaching position again would be a disaster. He’s a linebackers coach at best. That’s what he knows and is pretty good at it. But he showed in SF while in the big seat that he can’t handle QBs right, which is a huge red flag in a QB league, can’t manage a game properly from the sidelines, and was terrible at hiring staff. He handpicked an offensive coordinator that nobody liked at the time and then fired him the next season like three games in. Sing is also pretty bad with the media with more than a few embarassing moments in just two-plus years on the job.
    Overall, he was the reason why they didn’t get over the hump despite a pretty talented roster, and then Harbaugh comes in and takes them to two straight conf champ games and now the SB. The last two years of success is as good a reason as any why Sing should stay an assistant for the rest of his career. The right head coach makes all the difference and this guy isn’t it.

  8. I think before he gets a second chance that he needs to be a coordinator first. Would definitely help him develop to be more well-rounded the next go round.

  9. Nah, he’s about as overrated as they come, and his sense of entitlement about his head coaching prospects is an embarrassment. Bottom line: he has never done anything as a coach. Kind of like Mike Tice; good guy, reporters and football men like him, but can’t coach jack squat.

  10. Singletary was a terrible coach. He was way in over his head. He can still coach LB’s but that is it. He doesn’t understand or hasn’t shown he can implement a game plan effectively. He doesn’t understand the concept of halftime adjustments. He mismanages the clock. He can’t evaluate talent. He does not know how to put people in positions to succeed. And is stubborn to a fault.

    He is an excellent mentor, and someone the team could lean on for life lessons. His niche should be to travel from team to team, and speak to the Titus Young Sr, and the old Pacman Jones of the league. That is what he has shown to be best at.

  11. Mike was a great player and leader, but does not have that head coaching pedigree to be successful in the NFL…Mike doesn’t have patience, pure hot-head, and doesn’t have the creativity to motivate the players and he was outcoached in just about every game as 49ers head coach…poor at making adjustments which led to him being fired. 1st impression was a failure and that’s a last impression teams won’t forget…sorry mike, no 2nd chance for you at this time.

  12. Not really looking to get him a job, just happy that he helped with V.D..
    college is where i see him, all th best to him and family.
    niners are not even close to being perfect now or then, but the games did clean up, and players grew up, they have alot more weapons and tools now than when he took over and then left.
    I just dont think the ravens will be able to contain what the niners do!
    have no doubt they shut some teams down, but afc was mediocre after Denver lost!

  13. In regards to the Rooney rule…

    How does someone meet the requirements of minority? Can the Bears suggest someone is not minority? Can anyone just check the box for minority? It has to be illegal to challenge it and how does someone prove in court someone is or isn’t a minority?

    If it comes down to coaching… Singletary is not good. Singletary wanted a qb, but did not get one. Harbaugh wanted a qb, made Alex Smith trade bait, and got one in Kaepernick.

  14. If Mike Singletary was even a decent head coach, he would have at least taken the 49ers to the playoffs at least once. He had 95% of the players that are on the SuperBowl team now, and he couldn’t even win the division the year Seattle won it at 7-9.

    Singletary might be the worse head coach of all time! Great player but terrible head coach. If Singletary EVER gets a head coaching gig again, I laugh my ass off, along with Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, Pat Willis, Alex Smith, and Navorro Bowman who Singeltary didn’t think was talented enough to be a starter.

    Singletary is a joke!!!!

  15. by all accounts good man, leader of men BUT not a head coach! hes a HOF linebacker who at most is a respectable LB COACH. This believes in handing the ball to rb through the middle of line 98% of the time. No coordinator wants to work with him and IS NOT AN X’ N O’S guy BUT go ahead raiders HIRE HIM 🙂

  16. A lot of people don’t know football to call Singletary a terrible coach. Dennis Allen is an example of a terrible coach. Singletary was in the middle of rebuilding process and let go after two years.

    It takes an average 3 years to completely turnaround a team. Sing was only given two. Harbaugh reaped the benefit of that 3rd breakthrough year.

    Plus comparing Singletary to Harbaugh is ridiculous. There’s only 2 -3 coaches in the entire NFL that can compare to Harbaugh. Harbaugh has obviously been preparing for this moment for decades and is now unleashing his fury upon the NFL landscape. All of the ideas and formulas he’s been building up since his playing days.

  17. I know Jim Harbaugh is the best head coach in the NFL, but Singletary has no idea how to coach, or he would have taken this talented team to the playoffs at least ONCE!. I think every NFL coach would have taken this team to the playoffs last year, except for Singeltary and Chan Gailey. The talent was there to make the playoffs. SINGELTARY JUST SUCKED!! Whatever it all worked out as we now have the best coach in the NFL who will do more than just take us to the playoffs, Jim Harbaugh is 1 week away from winning his first of at least five Superbowls!


  18. Great player. Devout christian. Abyssmal head coach. Terrible linebacker coach. Not enough of a “personality” for an ESPN job. I don’t see a future for him in any capacity in the NFL.

  19. “I just believe there are a lot of guys out there that are worthy,” Singletary said. “But there are also some white coaches out there who are worthy who don’t get interviews. So it goes both ways.”

    And unfortunately for him/aforementioned white coaches, they generally reside on the defensive side of the ball. I think we’ll be seeing a disparate number of offensive coaches as head coaches and defensive coaches not rising above defensive coordinator for extended lengths of time going forward.

  20. I saw Singlebraincell’s reign from start to finish. He hired Jimmy Raye, a senile old coach who fell asleep in meetings (and supposedly during games I read). Other potential coordinators like Scott Linehan and Brian Billick were scared off by Singletary’s insistence on running the ball. And that they did, running poor Frank Gore into the ground. Gore up the middle into a 8 and 9 man defensive box, Gore on a screen play…as nauseum. The only reason Singletary’s had a decent start to his coaching career was because he inherited Mike Martz, who knows a thing or two about offense. Singlebraincell is a good motivator of people. I found some of his speeches to be moving. But you would often see him try to coach Alex the same way he’d coach to a linebacker. He’s a one-size-fits-all type of coach that oversimplifies a game. The irony is that even after the Niners drafted two offensive linemen in the 1st round Iupati and Anthony Davis, Singlebraincell’s running game still didn’t take off. He once proclaimed that he wanted to be the greatest NFL coach of all time, I kid you not.

  21. Singletary’s most notable example as a talent evaluator makes that part of his résumé questionable as well. Even worse, it was at the position he coaches (LB). The GM had to overrule Singletary when Singletary was saying Patrick Willis wasn’t worth drafting with the 11th pick and questioned his ability to play in the NFL.

  22. Man for a head coach to say that the quarterback position is not the most important position on the field does not even deserve to be on the sidelines of a professional football team.

    Sorry Mike…. Teams want winners, and you are definately not one.

  23. I want the Economy back to where it was 5-6 years ago too Mike, but what I’m smokin’ doesn’t make me really think it will happen again in my lifetime….

  24. Singletary doesn’t get due credit. He toughened that team up. Vernon Davis was in a coma before Singletary kicked him off the field. Harbaugh inherited his kind of team. I am not saying that Singletarky is a good coach, but he deserves some credit.

  25. Say what you want but, the man wanted Willis & we all know how that worked out.

    Drafted Bowman & we all know how that worked out.

    Signed a free agent cut by the Bengals named Ahmad Brooks & he could be a household name if he wasn’t overshadowed by Willis, Bowman & Aldon.

    Dude made WINNERS!!!!




  26. Singletary is responsible for that phyiscal style of play the niners play with. He bulit that whole front 7. One of the best LBs ever created the best lb crew in the league. Basically got amad brooks and help turn him into a pro bowl player. Coach sing is a leader of men. He’s not an x and o Guy. He knows the game of football. Where he messed up at is not hiring a great OC. People were critical of his 2 first round picks, iupoti, and Anthony davis lol how has that worked out haters? They both have turned into great o lineman. Pro bowler, and all pros. Sing built the whole front 7, and the whole o line. Wen ure great in the trenches you well win a lot of games. The only difference from 10 2011 is the play of Davis and iupoti.

  27. He’s a good assistant coach. But not a X’s and O’s coach. Unfortunately that’s the most important thing in being a coordinator or head coach. Sorry Sing, you’ve got a long ways to go.

  28. Singletary is a guy that obviously belongs on the sidelines of a football team, but probably as a career positional coach.

    The head coaching job is first and foremost a management gig, and that’s where he struggled.

  29. He is a great motivator… one of the best leaders in the NFL. But he simply does not gameplan or strategize well. There were constantly issues with time management, missed assignments and more when he was the coach. The team was always ready to play, but they didn’t know what to do once they got there. I think he would make a great position coach or even coordinator but he’s just not a great head coach. I appreciate what he did for the 49ers though.

  30. As the Public Enemy once said, don’t, don’t, don’t believe the hype.

    Awful coach with no clue about X and O’s, but specifically offensive football. And certainly no idea how to hire staff. Jimmy Raye was a step away from the coffin when he was hired, and his offense was from the 1920’s.

    Could shout a lot and hold a press conference, that was it. Was never so glad to see a coach leave, even Nolan, as to see him gone. I will wet myself when/if some team appoints him HC. He hasn’t a clue. Can not play with him, can not coach with him, can not win with him, can’t do it.

    Want proof? Check the 49ers now. Easy to say they have Aldon Smith and Kaepernick now but:

    1) They went to the NFCCG last year with no Kaepernick at all.

    2) Ahmad Brooks, Justin Smith, Dashon Goldson, the entire OL and Bowman have all taken massive strides since the shouty coach with no idea left.

  31. I remember Vernon Davis on a post game show after another 49er loss, stupid penalties, plays not coming in on time and Vernon said there was a lot of talent in the 49er locker room. I thought that there was a big disconnect somewhere in the organization. Fast forward 1 year later under Harbaugh and they are playing the NYG in the NFC Championship game with basically the same team. He was a great player and, by all accounts, a wonderful human being, but he is not a head coach. Harbaugh has surrounded himself with a tremendous coaching staff . That was not the case when Singletary was the head coach and that is putting it kindly.

  32. I wish the Bears had hired him os their DC. I dont think hea HC material, but could definitely coach defense. He just kinda blew it when he tanked with SF amidst all the talent he had their. What would he do with a team that has less talented players? Would he really be able to do anything with say the Jaguars?

  33. Singletary as a coach wasn’t able to do much, but if he had a significant input on personnel, he should think about being on that end of operations. Harbaugh basically inherited 85% of his starting roster and Jim will have to do better in evaluation when the 9ers are challenged with age and free agency in the future.

  34. Too many people here are giving Singletary credit for assembling this roster. The credit really goes to Trent Baalke and Scott McLoughan before him. Baalke is definitely one of the best GM’s in the league.

  35. 1st down…Run up the middle …2nd down run up the middle …3rd and 10…..dump off to running back….4th down…PUNT…….great offense Mike ….and by the way….QB position is the most important position….

  36. dennis ericsson , mike nolan , mike singletary. 3 of the worst head coaches in the history of the nfl.

  37. Singletary was handed a team two years ago and almost had a mutiny….Did he draft some good players YES….but drafting them and then getting them to play for you are two different things….If I’m an owner I would never hire him as a head coach until he proved himself in college

  38. I’m laughing at the ppl on here claiming to be 9erfans and giving props to Singlebraincell. Really? How can you have watched the whole 2005-2010 Nowin/Singlebraincell/McClueless era and not wake up grateful everyday for the fact that Jed listened to his uncle and cleaned house. He hiired Jim Harbaugh and promoted Trent Baalke to GM. Hmmmmm after that happened, the 9ers became a winning franchise again.

    Couch Nowin is the genius that brought Singlebraincell with him to the 9ers in 2005 as Assistant HC/ LB coach. He was a constant during those hopeless 6 years. Let’s all remember that Nolan petitioned hard to wear a suit on the sidelines. That was priority #1. He wanted to look sharp and professional vs. acting sharp and professional. He was bedazzled by Singlebraincell’s fiery locker room speeches. Both he and Singletary mismanaged the tar out of their young 1st round draft pick QB Alex Smith for 6 years straight, throwing him to the wolves in his rookie year, publically questioning his toughness, berating him on the sidelines etc etc. They also inexplicably played favorites letting young talent sit while they played their pets. People have short memories.

    Harbaugh comes aboard and gee Alex has his best year ever and the D becomes an elite D. What a coincidence! Harbaugh made a very controversial call this season and benched Alex for Kaepernick because it was finally time. Players media types, and fans alike thought this move was going to backfire big time and questioned the timing of such a move. The 9ers are going to the SB. What a coincidence. The results always tell the correct story.

    What did Singlecell do in his 2 years? Go backwards. What has Harbaugh done in 2 years? 2011: NFC West Chamions, loss in OT to the Giants in the NFCCG. 2012: NFC West Champions, NFC Conference Champions, trip to SB. They had some key injuries this year to boot.

    Singlebraincell is not a great coach who just wasn’t given enough time or caught some unlucky breaks. And Harbaugh is not some lucky coach who just waltzed in and inherited a team that was going to have to back to back appearances in the NFCCG no matter who was coaching.

    One doesn’t understand NFL caliber game planning, how to adjust said game planning and the other one does.

  39. I think there are a fair number of 49er players that give some credit to Singletary for their success after he left- Vernon Davis for one.

    Nevertheless, his stint as head coach is not a recommendation for a future employer. In that sense, Singletary is less likely to be hired as a head coach than someone with no experience.

    And hiring a head coach has a definite PR aspect as well. If a team hires a former head-coach with a lackluster record, how excited is the fan-base going to be? It’s a lot easier to imagine a college coach or assistant being able to replicate their success as an NFL head coach rather than imagine a failed head coach get it right the second-time around.

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