Bears Legend Enters the Mix for Defensive Coordinator

Mike Singletary Bears DC

Getty Former Chicago Bear Mike Singletary has interviewed for the team's defensive coordinator position.

The Chicago Bears are adding former team legends to the mix in their search for a new defensive coordinator. As reported by Adam Jahns of The Athletic, the Bears have brought in Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary to interview for the DC role vacated by the recently-retired Chuck Pagano.

Singletary, of course, is best known for being a key member of the famed 1985 team, where he helped bring the city its first and only Super Bowl that year. The Hall of Fame linebacker played for the Bears from 1981-1992, and he was named a 10-time Pro Bowler and an eight-time All-Pro in that span.

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Mike Singletary Coaching History: A Refresher

A standout as a player, Singletary won nearly every award there is to win. He was named the NFL’s Man of the Year in 1990, and he won Defensive Player of the Year twice (in 1985 and 1988) in addition to being a Super Bowl champion.

Singletary threw his hat into the coaching ring in 2003, where he started out as a linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens. He moved on to San Francisco shortly after that, working as an assistant head coach/linebackers coach for three seasons before being named head coach of the 49ers from 2009-2010.

Here’s a look at the legendary linebacker’s coaching resumé:

  • Baltimore Ravens (2003–2004)
    Linebackers coach
  • San Francisco 49ers (2005–2008)
    Assistant head coach / linebackers coach
  • San Francisco 49ers (2008)
    Interim head coach
  • San Francisco 49ers (2009–2010)
    Head coach
  • Minnesota Vikings (2011–2013)
    Special assistant to head coach / linebackers coach
  • Los Angeles Rams (2016)
    Defensive assistant
  • Trinity Christian Academy (TX) (2018–2019)
    Head coach
  • Memphis Express (2019)
    Head coach
  • TSL Generals (2020)
    Defensive coordinator

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Singletary’s Coaching Career Has Not Paralleled His Playing Career

Singletary has established himself as one of the game’s greatest linebackers. As a coach, though, he hasn’t come near that level of success. He was 20-28 in his three seasons with the 49ers as their head coach, and he hasn’t fared much better since.

Singletary hasn’t coached in the NFL since 2016, when he was a defensive assistant for the Rams. He had a brief stint with the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football in 2018-19, when his team went Express went 2–6 before the league cancelled the remainder of its season. He also had two very unsuccessful seasons at Trinity Christian Academy, a Texas high school, going 1-21 in his two years leading the team. His most recent coaching gig was as a DC for the TSL Generals of the Spring League in 2020.

Bears Looking at Several Options

The Bears are leaving no coaching stone unturned in their search to replace Pagano. The team has also interviewed Colts defensive backs coach Jonathan Gannon and former Cardinals and Giants DC James Bettcher, and it has requested to interview current Cowboys senior defensive assistant George Edwards, as well. Internal candidates for the defensive coordinator role are safeties coach Sean Desai and defensive line coach Jay Rodgers.

While Singletary has not had sustained success in the NFL as a coach, putting him in the same room with the likes of Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan and Akiem Hicks is still an intriguing thought. The Bears allowed 23.1 points a game on defense in 2020, their worst mark since the 2016 season. Whoever signs on next will have loads of talented players — many of whom are aging — and more than a little work to do.

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