We all know that there are several things that have gone into the rebirth of this team. The hiring of Harbaugh, the promotion of Baalke, the superior drafting (both with Baalke and before he took the lead), the selective signings of quality free agents, etc. That said, I wonder if there has been an almost perfect storm in the fact that Mike Singletary preceded our current coach. Here me out...
Singletary is a big believer in the old style, smath-mouth game and thought that just being meaner and stronger would lead to wins. We all know, after watching countless games of our team floundering while trying to "run it up the gut" and winning the battle of attrition, that his theory didn't work without proper schemes and adjustments. This is one of the many areas where Singletary failed, as he just couldn't comprehend the "X's and O's" of the game and implement any type of real game plan for either side of the ball.
But, I wonder if Big Mike might have had a larger part in the 49er rebirth than he really gets credit for. We all know the influence that he had on V. Davis, and look at where that guy is now..one of the, if not the best, TEs in the league. However, I remember watching our 9ers in the 2009 and 2010 seasons and being amazed at the physicallity that they displayed, especially on defense. I really believe that Singletary instilled that philosophy with this team (or at least the guys who were there at the time...Willis, Goldson, Smith, Sopagoa, McDonald, Brooks, etc.) and that Harbaugh's vision has meshed perfectly with it. Harbaugh is just that much better at defining an offensive and defensive scheme (along with Roman and Fangio) and knowing how to coach instead of motivate.
For all it's worth, I think when it is all said and done, we all may owe Singletary a little bit more than just being glad he is gone. I think he had an effect on this locker room, and Harbaugh has harnessed that and really turned it into a winner.