Hall of Famer Mike Singletary: 'I'm going to do everything that I can' to get back to coaching football
April 17, 2020
Hall of Famer Mike Singletary knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a leader.
A second-round pick of the Chicago Bears in the 1981 NFL Draft, Singletary led the Bears to a Super Bowl title in 1985. He was known as “the heart of the defense” for arguably the greatest defensive unit in NFL history. His stellar play at linebacker in defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan’s “46” defense was noticed when he won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award that same year.
But Singletary says that he didn’t realize how important it was being a leader as a player until he began his coaching career as a linebackers coach in 2003 with the Baltimore Ravens.
“It is a gift for any coach who has a leader,” Singletary told Fox News on Thursday. “When I look at teams, and I look at football teams play, the thing I’m always looking for is who are the leaders of that team. I’m always looking for leaders in the game, and where leaders are, you always know that coach is really appreciative.
“When I played the game, I know that I was a leader,” Singletary added. “I know that anything that coach Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan said that needed to be done, I was going to make sure that it got done. And if it didn’t get done, I was going to be in somebody’s face. And to me, that’s what a leader does.”
However, Singletary quickly realized that he needed to lead in a different way when he became a head coach. He says that he really learned that when he got fired from the San Francisco 49ers in 2010.
Head coach Mike Singletary of the San Francisco 49ers addresses the team in the locker room after the NFL game against the Chicago Bears at Candlestick Park on November 12, 2009 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers defeated the Bears 10-6. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)
“As a leader, when you’re a player, you can get out there and get in the guy’s face and say, ‘Look, man, we got to do better than this. Let’s go.’ But now when you’re a coach, going from a player to a coach, you’re on the sideline, and you got to be careful how you talk to that player,” Singletary said. “Now, it is not ‘we’, it is ‘us’ as a coaching staff, and ‘them’ as players on the team. You got to do everything you can to prove yourself. For me, as a coach, in my mind, they know that I played the game, so I’m already in. And you don’t realize that when you’re on that sideline, you’re in as long as things are going good, but when things go bad, ‘Oh, you’re that guy with the hat.’
“I needed to look at the fact that I’m not a player anymore,” Singletary added. “Now, I’m a coach and they don’t look at me the same way. But I looked at myself the same way. And I had to understand that I’m different. I’m not a player anymore. But it’s easier said than done.”
After leaving the 49ers, Singletary spent some time with the Minnesota Vikings as a special assistant to the head coach and linebackers coach from 2011-2013, and then became a defensive assistant for the Los Angeles Rams in 2016. During his most recent coaching stint in 2019, he became the head coach of the Memphis Express in the Alliance of American Football, but the league discontinued all business operations after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Singletary, however, has made it no secret that he wants to get back into coaching.
I had to realize at some point in time that I didn’t just want to be another coach,” Singletary said. “I want to be a great coach. After the San Francisco experience, it really gave me an opportunity to take a step back and look at what I didn’t know, and what I needed to do to be better. For me, if I’m going to coach, I need to be the best coach I can possibly be on that sideline to be able to help those coaches become better coaches, and help those players become better players. And win. Not only on the field, but in the game of life. That’s the thing that I’ve been busting my tail to do. To make sure when that opportunity presents itself again, that I am ready to go.
“I played the game at a certain level, and I can coach it that way as well if given the opportunity,” Singletary added. “So, we’ll see how that works out. All I know is, I’m going to do everything that I can to make it happen again.”
Dan Canova is a Sports Reporter for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @DanCanova
Read the original article on Fox News.