As we fast approach the end of the Combine tomorrow, and the beginning of free agency this coming Friday, I wanted to point out an intriguing article over at the mothership. The powers that be here at SB Nation were able to get some press passes for a few members of our NFL crew, as well as Peter Bean, who heads up the college contingent of SB Nation.
Bean has been providing some recaps over at SBNation.com, and late last week he had some interesting comments from Friday at the Combine. He provided some analysis of the various coaches and front office personnel holding press conferences at the Combine. GM Scot McCloughan and head coach Mike Singletary had their fair share to say. Here are some of his thoughts on both men:
Scot McCloughan, 49ers GM: Listening to McCloughan, it's easy to see why the organization stuck with Mike Singletary beyond an interim basis. He's both very direct and speaks very much like a Football Guy, in ways that illuminate why Singletary--who wouldn't be a good fit with every management team--is understood and appreciated.
McCloughan speaks and carries himself like a Football Lifer, which I offer neither a compliment nor criticism. Mostly, it helps understand...
Mike Singletary, 49ers Head Coach: Look, it was not a given that San Francisco would retain Mike Singletary after giving him a crack at the job on an interim basis, beginning in October 2008. I mean, it wasn't one week after he was named interim coach that he provided us with the first of many memorable press conference moments (shows clip of the now famous "I want winners" press conference).
Fast-forward 18 months and two things stand out. First and foremost, after the way he interacted with the media as interim coach, many organizations never would have hired Singletary full-time to begin with. And second, watching and listening to Scot McCloughan up close makes it easier to see not only why Singletary was retained, but why when he's speaking to the media today, you never would guess that he'd ever been anything less than a consummate pro with the media. He was direct, certainly, but he was also measured and restrained. He deflects with ease questions that were meant to stir the pot.
Frankly, it's a nice balance. While sidestepping questions a coach shouldn't discuss publicly, he remains refreshingly honest when responding to questions that he could. When probed about whether it was a bad sign for Tim Tebow that Alex Smith (also from a spread offense in college) didn't begin hitting his stride until this year, Singletary scowls at the questioner and rejects the premise entirely: "No. What hurt Alex Smith was playing with a poor surrounding cast."
We've had plenty of discussions about GM Scot McCloughan and head coach Mike Singletary. And yet they remain an intriguing duo. You've got the football lifer in Scot McCloughan, a guy who seems like a gym rat of sorts. You've got the Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary, a guy who brings a very distinct and unmistakable attitude to this team.
I suppose this is nothing more than a kool-aid drinking post during the offseason. A little bit of rah-rah fan-boy, which is something I don't always do. Every so often, though, you'll get a post like this from me. I realize Scot McCloughan is on the hot seat, and Mike Singletary faces an important second full year at the helm. However, I feel a certain sense of confidence with the two of them working together. I realize we're now a year-plus removed from the Mike Nolan era, and McCloughan has to be considered on his own merits at this point. Consider me relatively confident at this point. Maybe that makes me a fool going forward. If that's the case, then this will come back and bite me in the butt. Hopefully, however, my confidence is rewarded.