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Friday, October 31, 2008

Surely you've heard about what Mike Singletary did last Sunday.

Singletary is the interim head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Though he's got little to work with in terms of talent on his team, he's doing his best to make a good impression. After last week's loss to Seattle, the Hall of Fame linebacker made a solid first impression (in my book). With a full quarter remaining in the game, he actually sent tight end Vernon Davis, a first-round pick, back to the locker room due to lazy effort and a stupid personal foul penalty.

That move alone must be music to the ears of the 49er faithful, who, assuredly, have been waiting too long for someone to rouse the formerly dominant franchise from its doldrums.

But then, the game ended. And Singletary remained royally pissed:

Wow. An entertaining presser, for sure. Perhaps even cathartic for 49ers fans.

But I'm not sure that's the first impression Singletary wanted to make.

Though he was never a Cleveland Brown, Singletary was one of my favorite players during my youth. I always admired his intensity and focus, and ability to dominate considering his relatively diminutive stature for a middle linebacker. I saw all of those qualities in that press conference. What I didn't see was the last quality that I admire, and that is self-discipline. I'm no saint, and I have no acquaintance with the stresses that surely come with coaching in the NFL. But this felt less like a presser than it did a performance.

That feeling is emboldened by what I found out today:
San Francisco coach Mike Singletary, in an interview with ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago on Friday, addressed his decision to drop his pants in the locker room at halftime of the 49ers' loss to the Seahawks on Sunday, discussing his reasons for doing so and expressing frustration that the episode was "leaked" to the media.

"The only point I was tying to make is 'Guys, this is what's happening on the field,' " Singletary told the "Waddle and Silvy" show on Friday. "There are a lot of different words to express it ... there are a lot different things to try and get it across. But I've only got so much time [at halftime].

"I'm just telling you this is what I see happening out there -- we're getting our tails kicked, we need to figure out a different way, let's go out there and get it done."

Dropping his pants?

ESPN's NFC West blogger, Mike Sando, states the sad truth:
And while his postgame rant to reporters seemed to satisfy fans, my experience in NFL locker rooms tells me Singletary risks becoming a punch line in his own locker room, if he hasn't become one already.

NFL front offices, too.


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