The League

Mark Maske
Staff Writer

Mark Maske

Writes the NFL News Feed blog

Discipline Still Works

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I think players still respond to discipline. Bill Parcells can coach in any era. So can Bill Belichick. Coaching in the NFL is about communicating with players and getting them to play the way that you want them to play. That can be accomplished through intimidation and making players fear for their jobs and livelihood.

Mike Singletary has credibility. He is a Hall of Fame player. He was tough as a player, and now he's proving to be tough as a coach.

That doesn't mean that he'll win in San Francisco right away. He doesn't have a particularly good team, and the fact that he had to explode like that in his very first game as the head coach means that his former boss, Mike Nolan, probably had allowed some disciplinary issues to slide for a while. Things usually don't change overnight.

The 49ers need to back Singletary. They should give him even more credibility with his players by announcing that he'll be the team's coach next season. There have been rumors about Mike Holmgren and Pete Carroll as possible coaching candidates there. But Carroll seems to like being at USC, and Holmgren probably is done coaching. He is talking about taking a year away from the NFL. Perhaps the 49ers could lure Holmgren back to the Bay Area as a general manager to work with Singletary rather than replace him.

Singletary paid his dues. He's been an assistant coach. He was passed over for other NFL head coaching jobs. It took him only one game to demonstrate that he's a serious, no-nonsense head coach. His way still can work in the NFL, but the 49ers need to give him the support and time that might be necessary for it to work.

By Mark Maske  |  October 28, 2008; 10:51 AM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Coaching is essentially the same on any level. If you know the game - know all the elements that need to be mastered, and if you set the standard that players need to live up to - that includes technical proficiency, self-discipline, and teamwork, and then treat them like human beings while trying to get them up to speed on their jobs, then you'll get the best out of them. If any can't do the job - you need to get someone who can.
But if a coach is mean for meanness sake - just to show that he's tough, then the end of success is probably near. If a coach is unfair to some while massaging the ego of an I-Me player - bad things will follow.
My guess is that Mike S - in San Fran - will be demanding but fair. He clearly know defense - if he has mastered offense or hires someone who has, then it'll be up to the Gen Manager to get enough talent to make it all work

Posted by: Steve C. | October 28, 2008 4:43 PM

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