Vernon Davis wishes he thanked Mike Singletary
Posted by: Chris Vannini on January 31, 2013
Perhaps the signature moment of Mike Singletary's tenure as head coach of the 49ers was an embarrassing one for all involved, but it's one tight end Vernon Davis looks back on as a turning point.
With 10 minutes remaining in a loss to the Seahawks in 2008, Singletary sent Davis to the locker room, and the coach went into a tirade after the game.
"I'd rather play with 10 people and just get penalized all the way until we have to do something else rather than play with 11 when I know that right now that person is not sold out to be a part of this team," Singletary said after that game. "It is more about them than it is about the team. Cannot play with them, cannot win with them, cannot coach with them. Can't do it. I want winners. I want people that want to win."
It was Singletary's first game as interim head coach of the Niners.
Davis said during Super Bowl media availability this week that it was a moment that changed his career for the better.
"I remember the very first time he kicked me off the field," Davis told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Tears were shed. I told him, 'I want to be traded, Coach.' He said, 'OK. I'll find another team for you.' That moment, it started to click for me.
"It made me a better man, a better teammate and a better leader for my team. It helped me become the player I am today."
Davis said he wishes he could have thanked Singletary for that. The interim tag was removed from Singletary after a positive finish to the 2008 season, but he was let go after two more full seasons. He has been the linebackers coach for the Vikings the past two seasons.
"I never really had an opportunity to tell him how much it meant to me," Davis told the paper. "By the time I looked up, he was gone. That fast. I am very grateful."
Below is Singletary's rant.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com