“Number one is, I apologize”, led new San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Singletary in his first post game press conference. His first game as head coach, a 21 point loss, was rife with mistakes and lack of focus.
He benched starting QB J.T. O’Sullivan for poor performance. He sent starting Tight End Vernon Davis to the showers with 10 minutes left in the fourth, after Davis received a 15 yard penalty for slapping an opponent in front of a referee.
He explained his actions with Davis by stating “We cannot make decisions that cost the team and then come off the sideline and it’s (his actions are) nonchalant.”
He went on to say, “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.”
Coach Singletary explained his team’s new formula is:
1) “We go out and we hit people in the mouth.”
2) “We are not a charity. We cannot give them the game.”
3) “We execute from the very start of the game to the very end of the game.”
Singletary is underselling when he states that he is Old School. He is a dyed in the wool, working class, pop you in the jaw, smashmouth linebacker for the Chicago Bears in the linebacker lineage of Dick Butkus. A gentle devout giant off the field, but on the field of competition, he changed into a scary bulge eyed machine, scanning the field to see where he could release some of his own brand of beautiful violence.
But he finds himself with an opportunity to be a head coach in an era of “player’s coaches” that are more psychologist and buddies to millionaire entertainers than brimstone breathing leaders that push highly skilled athletes to higher levels and instill team first thinking.
Singletary’s militaristic style will bond the team and point them in a direction, but it remains to be seen if and how long the players will perform before they decide to stop listening to their fiery coach.
The quickest way for Vernon Davis to get back on Coach’s good side would be to don a leather helmet and knock the snot out of someone in practice this week.
Odds are though, he’ll respond by pouting and never benefitting from the superbowl ring wearing sage’s direction.