The League

Zach Leibowitz
Sideline Reporter

Zach Leibowitz

A former sideline reporter for ESPN

Singletary: Home Run or K


Vernon Davis should be grateful he wasn't a NFC Central QB playing against the Bears in the mid-1980's. Defensive coordinator and future bounty bowl head coach Buddy Ryan would have blitzed Mike Singletary on Davis like white on rice.

What Singletary displayed on the sidelines Sunday was a truly refreshing old-school style of football that is so often taken for granted by today's players. Singletary's no-nonsense approach should work in theory, but I don't think it will in San Francisco. And I don't think Singletary will be their coach starting next season.

There's something almost too intimidating about him for the younger players. Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin is more successful already than I think Singletary will prove to be because of his relationship with his players. Tomlin is tough, but seems to connect with the players on the sideline. There's much less of a generation gap and I think that works to Pittsburgh's advantage.

Not so in San Francisco.

Obviously, the once dominating 49ers have been a shadow of themselves for much of this decade. They've struggled to find any momentum since Jeff Garcia and T.O. left and a combination of ownership and stadium issues have not helped matters. Regardless of Singletary's demeanor, the 49ers simply don't have the talent. Frank Gore is fantastic, but they drafted Alex Smith #1 in 2005 and don't play him.

You're not winning a Super Bowl with J.T. O'Sullivan or Shaun Hill. Unless you have a truly dominating defense like Singletary's squad in 1985 or Baltimore's in 2000, you can't survive a season and win a Super Bowl without a pretty solid QB. Jim McMahon threw 15 TDs and 11 INT for the '85 Bears. Trent Dilfer had 12 TD and 11 INT in '00 for the Ravens. Fortunately, defenses truly do win championships.

While there are no guarantees, and it may very well not work, the 49ers management should give this guy a shot. He may not win the games yet, but I believe Singletary would at least begin to restore a winning attitude in San Francisco. The talent level currently in place is not strong enough to hold its own in the NFC. The '85 Bears were anchored by their middle linebacker, their heart of defense, and made Ditka a household name. It's time for the 49ers to follow suit, gather around Singletary and begin restoring their credibility.

By Zach Leibowitz  |  October 28, 2008; 8:50 AM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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