There seems to be a little resentment, or at least condemnation, among 49ers fans toward LeGarrette Blount, the former Oregon running back who first agreed to join the Niners as an undrafted free agent, then reneged and joined the Tennessee Titans.
Coach Mike Singletary has a suggestion: Knock it off.
I caught up with Singletary at StoneTree Golf Club in Novato, where he made an appearance today at a fundraising golf tournament for Dominican University. (Former Niners employee Terry Tumey is athletic director at the college.) The coach was there to meet and greet the golfers who had ponied up money for the institution, so I left my recorder in my pocket – hence the paraphrasing that follows – and limited my interaction to a couple of informal questions.
But I did ask Singletary if he was at all irked by Blount’s change of direction. The answer was a resounding “no.” He said he appreciated the responsibility the running back showed in calling to inform him that Titans coach Jeff Fisher had also made an offer, and in calling back to let Singletary know he had chosen Tennessee.
“I like the kid,” Singletary said of Blount.
Singletary said something else that fascinated me. You expect coaches to speak to the people surrounding potential picks – coaches, teammates, family members – before the draft. They call it due diligence. But guess how Singletary spent yesterday and today. Calling those same people to ask what he can do to get his new draft picks, and even undrafted free agents, ready to succeed at the NFL level.
Singletary made the point that the coaches and moms, etc., have a vested interest in telling you how great a kid is before draft day. After his destination is sealed, that’s when they can really help you figure out the athlete’s needs and motivations. I talked to the coach for five minutes and wound up with an NFL education.
This is shaping up to be a great beat.