Exclusive: 1-on-1 with Mike Singletary


Exclusive: 1-on-1 with Mike Singletary

Jan. 25, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVEMatt Maiocco

MOBILE, Ala. -- Former 49ers coach Mike Singletary, scouting players at the Senior Bowl for his new employer, the Minnesota Vikings, spent part of his afternoon reviewing his tenure with the 49ers. Here is a transcript of his interview:

Maiocco: Tell me about the new job that you have with the Minnesota Vikings

Singletary: Well, it's assistant head coachlinebackers. I'm excited about the role, excited about being in Minnesota, and I'm going from there.

Maiocco: How important was it for you to get right back in it and continue coaching?

Singletary: It was very important. I mean, everyone's got their own exit plan.But I think, for me, I love the game and it's as simple as that. But (I'm) very excited about where I am and the opportunity. I'll just continue to move forward.

Maiocco: Looking back on your time with the 49ers, how do you view that? How do you view those 2 12 seasons?

Singletary: Well, it's kind of like when I left -- the same way that I left is the same way that I feel right now. It is that I am tremendously thankful to the 49ers organization, the fans, The Faithful. They didn't have to allow me that chance to be a head coach. And having the opportunity to be the head coach for 2 12 years is something I will always be thankful for."

Maiocco: In reflecting, what do you think you learned from that experience that you can apply, looking forward into your coaching career?

Singletary: You don't have time for the things that I learned. But just know that it was a tremendous learning experience. And I'm grateful for it.

Maiocco: Why don't you think it worked out the way you envisioned it would?

Singletary: Many different reasons. You may know better than me, but I think many different reasons. That's all behind and I think for it's just continuing to be the best coach I can be. and my goal is still to be one of the greats, one of the best coaches in the league.
Maiocco: Do you think you need to be a coordinator before you become the head coach again?

Singletary: I don't think so. I think if that has to happen, if somehow that happens in the process -- but I think being in Minnesota I will work very closely with the coordinator there. They already have one there. Of course, Leslie Frazier, one of my old teammates has given me a great opportunity to work very closely on both sides of the ball. But to be a coordinator, in order to be a successful head coach, I don't think that's totally necessary.

Maiocco: It's sort of an interesting situation because you're going to a place where you have more experience as a head coach than the head coach has. How do you think you could help Leslie Frazier?

Singletary: I think that's one of the things we sat down and talked about. It's very important for him, being an interim head coach. And me coming into it the same way, there are some things that, very fundamentally, that you have to get in place early on. And sometimes as an interim coach you say, "I'll do that later." But there are some things you have to do immediately in order to execute your vision and move forward.

Maiocco: There are some things said after your departure that I'd like for you to address. One of which, Jed York said that he didn't feel you and Trent Baalke had a great chemistry. Did you feel that way? Did you and the general manager communicate maybe as well as you could or should have?

Singletary: I will take credit for all of that. That's something that's on me. He's exactly right. And that's something that Jed knew last year. But Trent did a good job and for me it's just a matter of some people you mesh with, and others you don't. I just look at it as one of those things that sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not.

Maiocco: One of the other things, I guess early in the season you had told people that if the team didn't respond the way you had hoped that you would step down voluntarily. Did the 49ers ask you to resign before, or after that Rams game?
Singletary: I don't really want to get into -- you know, it's done. It's behind us. Did they ask me? It doesn't really matter right now. I think the biggest thing is that they have moved on and I have moved on. I wish them nothing but the best, and certainly I'm going to do the best that I can to continue the journey that I'm on.

Maiocco: Were you surprised when it ended before the final game of the season?

Singletary: Not totally. You get to a point where frustration sets in on both sides -- whether it's the 49ers, whether it's me, whether it's personnel. Whoever it is. And all you know is you're not going to go to the playoffs. You're not going to have the opportunity to do something that hopefully you could have done at the beginning of the season. But like I said, it's all behind, you move forward and we'll go from there.

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine


49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

The NFL fined 49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon $24,309 for unnecessary roughness in last week’s game against Washington.

Garçon, who was not penalized on the play, lowered his helmet and struck Washington safety Montae Nicholson at the end of an 8-yard pass reception in the second quarter.

In 2013, the NFL passed a rule that bans the ball carrier from initiating contact with the crown of his helmet in the open field.

Nicholson’s helmet flew off and he remained on the ground for a couple of minutes. He was evaluated for a possible concussion and shoulder injury. However, Nicholson was cleared and he returned to action.

After the play, Garçon and Washington safety D.J. Swearinger exchanged words, and Swearinger took a swipe at Garçon’s facemask. Swearinger was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The NFL fined Swearinger $9,115 for unnecessary roughness.

Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care


Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care

SANTA CLARA – In less than a year since a group of former 49ers players came together to form the Golden Heart Fund, the non-profit organization has provided valuable assistance.

“We’ve made some progress with the idea of knowing there are some people in need, so we’ve been able to make some grants to some of the ex-Niners,” Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott told NBC Sports Bay Area.

“We’ve been able to respond. This is more about us being able to give guys the ability to know they can have, as (former 49ers linebacker and Golden Heart Fund board member) Ron Ferrari says, a hand up not a hand out.”

The organization is in the midst of a fund-raising drive this week in conjunction with "Dwight Clark Day" on Sunday. The 49ers face the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium, and Clark will be the guest of honor. More than 35 players from the 49ers' first Super Bowl championship team are expected to be in attendance.

Clark played nine seasons for the 49ers and provided the most memorable play in franchise history with “The Catch” against Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship game, which propelled the organization to its first Super Bowl. Clark served as a front-office executive for a decade after his playing days.

In March, Clark announced he was diagnosed with ALS. He is scheduled to attend Sunday’s game and make some remarks at halftime from a suite.

“It’s unbelievable we are having an opportunity to celebrate an incredible day for this gentleman,” Lott said. “We can all say there was a moment in time in which we stood on his shoulders after making that catch. Now, we get a chance to lift him up a little bit and let him know how much we all care.”

Lott said Clark has been a champion of the Golden Heart Fund from its inception. Past and current 49ers ownership has supported the organization, which provides financial support for former 49ers players in times of physical, emotional and financial need.

“It’s the spirit of Dwight,” Lott said. “It’s more about the funds going in through his efforts. He’s paying it forward.”

--The public can made a direct contribution to the fund at GoldenHeartFund.org.

--Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle at Sunday’s game will benefit the Golden Heart Fund.

--Twenty-five percent of proceeds from the sales of Dwight Clark apparel purchased on game day will go to the fund.

--Half of all proceeds from admission to the 49ers Museum at Levi’s Stadium throughout the year will go to the charity.

-- On Sunday, Nov. 19, Levi’s Stadium and race grand marshal Roger Craig will host the first Golden Heart 4.9K Run with all proceeds from the event going to the Golden Heart Fund. Runners can register GoldenHeartRun.com.