The Bears’ defensive coordinator search ratcheted up in stature this week, now involving one of the biggest names in franchise history. Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary met with Bears brass about their DC position this week, Adam Jahns and Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic report (subscription required).
Singletary has not coached in the NFL since being the Vikings’ linebackers coach during ex-teammate Leslie Frazier‘s Minnesota stay (2011-13), but he brings head coaching experience and quite the legacy with the Bears. The middle linebacker on their storied 1985 Super Bowl squad, Singletary earned first-ballot Hall of Fame status after his 12-year Bears career concluded.
Most recently, the ex-49ers head coach worked with The Spring League last year and as head coach of the Alliance of American Football’s Memphis Express in 2019. Singletary, 62, served as an advisor with the 2016 Rams as well. But the Chicago legend’s most notable coaching work obviously came with San Francisco.
Singletary went 18-22 with the 49ers, rising to their head coaching role in 2008 and staying through the 2010 season. While the overall results were mixed, Singletary did oversee the 2009 squad’s defense to a top-five ranking. Prior to presiding over Patrick Willis‘ early-career work, Singletary coached the Ravens’ linebackers for two seasons. The first of those, 2003, featured Ray Lewis following in Singletary’s footsteps by winning Defensive Player of the Year acclaim for the second time.
Chicago lost two-year DC Chuck Pagano to retirement and has assembled a short list of replacement options in the days since. Singletary joins internal candidates Jay Rodgers (D-line) and Sean Desai (safeties), ex-Cardinals and Giants DC James Bettcher and Colts DBs coach Jonathan Gannon.