The San Francisco 49ers organization will see a very familiar face across the field, on the opponents sideline in tonight’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings: former head coach Mike Singletary. The former 49ers head coach will be in San Francisco for the first time since he was fired in December 2010. Singletary has spent the last two years as the Vikings linebacker coach.
Jim Harbaugh and Singletary were teammates from 1987-1992 when both played for the Bears. Current Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier was also teammates with Singletary on the Bears, although from 1981-1986, and he hired Singletary shortly after the 2010 season.
It will be interesting to see the reaction to Singletary from the 49ers Faithful. Assistant coaches are never introduced so Niner fans may not get their chance to cheer/jeer Singletary. The only way would be if the former 49ers head coach is shown on the jumbotron, which is not out of the question. I would hope Niner fans cheer for Singletary if they get the chance. As much grief and heartache Singletary’s led 49ers had on the fans, he was partly responsible for the 49ers resurgence last season.
First, Harbaugh inherited a team that had great chemistry in the locker-room even though many of the players started tuning Singletary out towards the end of the season. Second, Singletary turned around players like Vernon Davis, Ahmad Brooks and Tarell Brown who are now big contributors to the 49ers success. Still, it’s hard to shake off all of the vanilla game plans the offense ran under Singletary. Who can forget his goal of running the football 60% of the time each game. Luckily now, because of Harbaugh, Niner fans can look back on the Singletary days in reflection, rather than complete hatred with the team coming off a 13-3 season and an NFC title game appearance.
When Alex Smith was asked about Singletary and if he would seek him, he said, “If we see him. I’m getting ready to play a game. I’m not thinking about seeing anybody or anything like that. But, yeah, our relationship is fine.”
Singletary did an interview this week and here is some of what he said,
No. 1, I’ll always be indebted to the 49ers. They gave me an opportunity when they could have chosen many others in their organization. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at an organization that really wants to win. I’ve learned a lot in the past year and a half, and a lot goes into the progress and process of becoming the best coach ever.