Here’s a good story from today’s San Diego Union-Tribune on the connection between Mike Singletary and San Diego defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.
Rivera was Singletary’s backup at middle linebacker on the 1985 Chicago Bears and later played alongside Singletary for five seasons. Rivera notes that Singletary, the Hall-of-Fame player, had a unique ability to absorb Xs and Os and the subtleties of the game. It’s not a trait generally assigned to Singletary as a coach.
“Mike was unbelievable,” Rivera said in the story, written by the UT’s
Chris Jenkins. “Mike came to the (Bears) facility on Tuesdays (the
players day off), get the whole game plan from Buddy (Ryan, defensive
coordinator) and by the time he was at practice Wednesday morning, he
knew it all, verbatim.”
• Rivera assumed Singletary would stay involved in the NFL after his playing days.
But he didn’t expect his teammate to become a head coach.
“Truthfully, I thought Mike would be an executive in the league,” Rivera
said. “He’s got that CEO mentality. I mean, he ran everything on the
defense. There was Buddy (Ryan), and then there was Mike.”
• Rivera, viewed a prime head-coaching candidate, could become the latest member of 1980s Bears to join the coaching ranks.
Singletary, Tennessee’s Jeff Fisher (1981-84) and Vikings interim coach
Leslie Frazier (1981-85) all played in Chicago. Worth noting, none are
guaranteed to keep their current job after this season.