Mike Singletary: Not taking crap, but treating his players like men

Most of us were incredibly angry with the antics of Dre Bly during yesterday's 45-10 loss.  Bly intercepted a Ryan pass and proceeded to showboat with 75 yards of field in front of him.  A speedy Roddy White was then able to run him down and force a fumble that Atlanta recovered.  While it may not have been the difference in the game, when you're down 35-10, there is no room for showboating of any kind.  Bly was asked about the showboating after the game and said, "Like I say, I'm going to be me. That's who I've been my whole life, that's who I was in college. I have fun. Dre's gonna be Dre."

Initially Mike Singletary did not appear to notice it, based on his post-game comments.  However, a day later and it's clear he had a chance to review the tape.  Earlier today Singletary held his normal morning after press conference and early on he brought out Dre Bly.  What you'll want to see starts at the 2:05 mark with Singletary bringing Bly to the podium.  This is definitely worth a quick transcription.  It's a bit lengthy (about 5 minutes of commentary and then Q&A for Bly), so I'm posting it after the jump.  The whole Bly discussion lasted until about the 14:20 mark (the last 7 or so minutes is all Singletary with some quality remarks).

One quick point.  Bly said, and Singletary followed up confirming, that Bly came to him first.  Even if it's not true, it's really not important at this point.  And actually if Singletary went to Bly first this would show him as even more of a player's coach for making Bly look like the "good guy" if you will.  While I certainly remain annoyed by the antics, I feel good in the fact that I don't think this will be an issue again this season.

Singletary: Before I go any further here, I want to bring Dre Bly up and have him talk about the incident yesterday and then let him do what he has to do...

Bly: Good afternoon.  First, I want to come to you all and publicly apologize for yesterday, my comments.  It was totally, totally inappropriate.  I apologize to coach, I'm not a self-ish guy.  I didn't mean to embarrass him, if I did embarrass my team, embarrass the ownership, embarrass the fans.  I'm a prideful guy, I like to have fun.  You know it was totally inappropriate.  I got caught up in the moment and it was wrong.

Question: Dre, did you go to Coach Singletary to apologize to him or did he come to you?

Dre: I went to coach and apologized.  After having a chance to look at it last night, think things over, it was wrong.  You know I've played this game for 11 years, I've played it well.  I've been a prideful guy, I like to have fun.  If you know anything about me I'm a happy guy, I like to interact with my teammates and guys I'm playing against and just got caught up in the moment, but it was totally inappropriate.  For what coach is looking for, what he's trying to build, what he's looking for in a player, being a veteran guy, I should have been smarter.  And it was a bad choice of mine and I'm sorry.

Question: What do you think was the worst part of it?

Dre: It was the fumble.  That was the worst part, giving the ball back to the offense.  We take pride on getting turnovers, we bust our butts throughout the week to try to put ourselves in position to get the ball back for the offense.  It could have been a turning point in the game, we could have gotten some momentum back.  It was a bad, bad choice.  Normally when I've intercepted balls in the past when I see that endzone I think I'm gonna score and that was my initial thinking.  Like I say, it was inappropriate.  Not to get too much into it, it was wrong.  I should have been smarter, I'm a veteran guy.  I've been in situations like that before and it was a poor choice by me at that time.

Question: At what point did you decide you had to apologize?

Dre: Well I've heard from., my phone blew up yesterday.  I didn't need to talk to anybody.  I've played this game for a long time, I know what's right, I was raised right.  And especially after meeting with coach when I first got here and understanding what he was looking for from me, looking for in his team, it was inappropriate.  It was bad timing and that's not what I'm about.  I like to compete and I like to have fun but it was a poor choice of mine and inappropriate.

Question: When you realized the grandstanding coming at a time when the team was losing by as much as they were, does that come into play?

Dre: Well for me, whenever I make a play I like to enjoy myself, because when you make plays, when you intercept balls it's game-changing.  Momentum can change.  Normally, when I've intercepted passes like that in the past, when you see that endzone and nobody between you and the endzone, I've scored.  As a DB, me being who I've been my whole life, that's the energy I bring to the field.  My comments saying Dre gonna be Dre, Dre was gonna be Dre, was meaning I was gonna have fun.  When I play the game I play with enthusiasm, I play with excitement.  I like to try to be that guy that's getting the fans motivated.  That's who I've always been.  I'm not a guy who's gonna be grumpy out there on the field or serious.  I like to have fun.  That's the only way I can have fun, that's the only way I feel I can help a team.  But it was inappropriate.  it hurt the team and I didn't mean to bring any negative feelings or thoughts on myself or on this team.  I'm a team guy and it was inappropriate, a poor choice by me.

Question: What was Mike's response when you came to him and are there any implications going forward?

Dre: I understand what coach is looking for.  He told me it's not what he's looking for.  I'm a veteran guy.  I was expected to come in and help lead - just being experienced in this league and have won rings and stuff like that.  He was expecting me to come in and be a leader and it was totally inappropriate and we're moving on.

Singletary: Let me elaborate a bit on that.  Dre came in....it's one of those things where I didn't really expect.  I thought that I was gonna have to go to him because I didn't even notice all the other stuff, the hand behind the head and all that, I didn't even notice that yesterday.  I just knew he caught the ball and the next thing I know there's a fumble.  So, but when I saw him holding the ball the way he was holding it, I knew there was a chance it would come out.  But by him coming to me and saying the things that he said, it really took off a lot of the thought process in terms of where I was gonna go with it, because we are, we're not trying to, we are building something here, something that will be special.  And it is gonna be a process.  But yesterday that was just something that as a 49er, that's just something that we won't do.  And I think now he understands that and like I said, I didn't see it yesterday.  But for him to go forward and acknowledge that without me having to ask him to do that, I appreciate that from him.  That's who I was hoping he was when he came here and it was good to hear.
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Singletary said there would be no disciplinary action against Bly.  He was asked about throwing Vernon Davis off the field and comparing it.  Singletary basically said he didn't see the showboating until reviewing the film and that if he had seen that in live action, he probably would have handled it differently.  He said that if he had not seen Vernon's incident last year he likely wouldn't have thrown him off the field.  Also he doesn't believe in going back with some kind of punishment for this kind of thing other than making him apologize "to just about everybody in the building."

Singletary was also asked about whether Bly was being made a scapegoat and at about the 12 minute mark he goes into talking about treating his players like men and letting them handle their business, versus blaming Bly for this or that.

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