Ditka: Singletary is going to find a way

Niners interim head coach Mike Singletary met with his former coach, ESPN’s Mike Ditka, last week in Santa Clara.

Singletary’s first week on the job was an eventful one. You know all the details, so there’s no need to repeat everything that happened. On the Monday after Singletary’s first game, he and GM Scot McCloughan talked about how a head coach has to keep his emotions under control.


In the interview with Ditka, Singletary addressed that topic.


“It was a valuable lesson for me – one that did not make me bitter, one that did not make me embarrassed,” Singletary said. “What it did do is it sharpened my focus.”


This morning on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, Ditka said he believes Singletary will mature into a capable head coach.


“As my friend Frank Sinatra once said, ‘Regrets I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention.’ You can’t have regrets. Hey, you are who you are. It’s football. It’s not a popularity contest,” Ditka said. “You will not find a more-devoted, higher-character individual than Mike Singletary. His whole goal is to make the San Francisco 49ers a winner, and bring them back to where they used to be. And he’s going to find a way to do that, believe me.”


Can Singletary become a good head coach?


“He can be a good one,” Singletary Ditka said. “Let me tell you what, being a good head coach doesn’t always translate into a lot of wins, initially. You got to change the culture. You got to get people to buy into what you’re doing. I don’t know if they have the horses to run the race right now. But he’s going to find out.


“They got a pretty good linebacker and they got a great running back, but they have a lot of other problems, though.”


The Ditka-Singletary interview will run tonight on SportsCenter as the program’s Sunday Conversation.


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When asked last week if he got any advice from Ditka, Singletary said he’s been a sponge with all his former coaches.


“Strangely enough, all of my former coaches, whether it’s Mike Ditka, Buddy Ryan, coach (Grant) Teaff (from Baylor), they all run from me now,” Singletary said. “I constantly ask them questions. I ask them questions a lot more.


“So it was great to see him (Ditka). But I talk to them constantly about (it) even before I was coaching, ‘What do you do? What do you do in this situation? Remember, you made that decision? Why did you do that?’ So, trust me, they’re all running from me. We talk a lot.”

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