Mike Singletary said he didn't want to take an extended break from coaching after being fired by the San Francisco 49ers late in the season.
"I couldn’t sit back or take a step back if I wanted to," he said. "Coaching is something that I love to do. I don’t know how guys could sit out for a year. I guess everybody is different. But for me a couple of weeks was enough. I’m ready to go."
Singletary said it was a pretty easy decision then to accept his close friend Leslie Frazier's offer to become linebackers coach and special assistant to the head coach. Singletary coached linebackers in Baltimore and San Francisco before becoming a head coach.
"I’m familiar with E.J. [Henderson] and that’s enough to get excited about right there," Singletary said about the Vikings middle linebacker. "I’ve talked to Les about E.J. the past couple years and also Chad Greenway and of course Ben Leber and I think they have a couple other young linebackers."
Singletary said he also hopes to help Frazier deal with some of the challenges of being a first-time head coach. Frazier, of course, was forced to handle some unique circumstances late in the season as interim coach that few head coaches will ever experience.
But Singletary said he can share some things he learned from mistakes that he made in two-plus seasons as the 49ers coach.
"I think every organization is different, every organization comes with its set of issues," Singletary said. "When you become the head coach, all of a sudden some of those glaring issues that are there have been hidden from you because you’ve been coaching in another area. A head coach really has things to deal with that are hidden to most anybody else. Until you step in it, you say, 'Wow, I didn’t know this was like that. Wow, I didn’t know that the offense had this situation. I was more looking at the defense.'
"There are certain things you really have to sit down and take a closer look at and you’re so tempted to say, 'Well, you know what, I’ll leave that alone and I’ll fix it later.' It’s one of those things where when you become a head coach, you need all the support and all the help that you can possibly get to bring about a championship. That is a big word. I’m excited to try to help be a part of that process.”
Singletary said he's ready to move on to the next stage of his career after a rough ending in San Francisco.
"I think when I look at how things ended in San Fran, it was one of those situations where it was one of the most difficult years that I’ve ever experienced but at the same time the most gratifying," he said. "The thing that I’ve always said is I want to be one of the best coaches ever. You can’t be one of the best coaches ever without adversity, without going through some things. I’m thankful to have gone through this situation. I’m thankful to have the new learning and the new eyes that I do and at the same time being able to come to a situation where Leslie is and be able to do everything that I possibly can to help him bring a championship to that town."