Notes on Singletary's Press Conference

Coach Singletary had his weekly press conference yesterday and reading over the transcript you can see why players respond to him. From Dan Brown's Hot Read blog:

Q: What did you think was going on? Did you have an idea of what was going on in your mind?

“Sometimes when you get in a situation, you’re just not playing well, you just aren’t playing in sync and as a coach, you can be on the sideline but you can’t feel it and I think you have to be in that huddle to see it and feel it and once you are on that sideline, no one can convey it better than the quarterback, no one can. So I said what I had to say and got the heck out of the way and let him[Hill] take it and let him direct them, the only way the quarterback can do it and let it take place.”

I think this quote outlines what a former player can bring to the head coach position. Singletary knows what it's like on the field and he knows as a coach he doesn't have the same feel for the game anymore. He knows who the leader on the field is, the quarterback. I can't say if Nolan feels the same, but I know that the Nolan-Smith rift was very damaging to the overall success of the team. Singletary hasn't treated his QBs with kid gloves, either. He benched JTO after less than a half and came close to benching Shaun Hill last game. Singletary's feel for the game is much better than Nolan's was and his instincts are paying dividends.

Q: Do you respect him more because he said, ‘Keep me in here,’ than if he had just listened to you and said, ‘Okay, I had a bad day…’

“Body language tells you a lot and I don’t really, it’s not so much, it really doesn’t matter what a guy says, I mean, everything is in a guy’s eyes. Everything is in his posture when he comes off the sidelines and when you look at a player, whether it’s a corner that just got beat for a touchdown, he comes off and he’s grabbing his ham[string], well is his ham[string] hurt or is his heart hurt? Is his confidence hurt? So when I looked at him and he said what he said, everything was there that said, ‘I really can get this done. You can trust me to go back out there and get this done.’ And that is what the body language said and I said, ‘You know what, okay, fine, you got it,’ and I told Coach Martz he’s going back in and let’s go with it.”

Singletary assessed his QBs body language and made the decision to stick with him the same way he made decisions when he was playing linebacker for the Bears. Singletary is read and react coaching and it's working. The last sentence from the quote above says a lot, too.
"...I told Coach Martz he’s going back in and let’s go with it."
There is no mistaking who is calling the shots on this team. Mike Singletary has a Hall of Fame background in defense, but he's not ignorant of the offense. He knows this is his team and he's going to run it as such. Martz may be his offensive coordinator, but Singletary will make the final call. Players respond to him. Fans respond to him. Even reporters respond to him. If Singletary wins on Sunday, he'll be the first 49ers head coach with a winning record since Mariucci in 2002. I mentioned it yesterday, but it would also move Singletqary to 3-1 after December 1st. Even Nolan, who had a reputation of winning some meaningless games late in the season, never won more than 2 games after December 1st.

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