Bears spoke to Mike Singletary about coordinator job

Singletary hasn’t coached in the NFL since 2016, hasn’t been a position coach since 2013 and has never been a defensive coordinator in the league.

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Birmingham Iron v Memphis Express

Former Bears linebacker Mike Singletary coached the Memphis Express in 2019.

Photo by Joe Robbins/AAF/Getty Images

Add a familiar name to the Bears’ wide-ranging interview process for their defensive coordinator job: They’ve spoken to Hall of Famer Mike Singletary, a source confirmed late Wednesday.

And take a familiar name off the Bears’ defensive coordinator candidate list: Defensive line coach Jay Rodgers, considered perhaps the team’s best position coach, is heading to the Chargers, a source confirmed. Rodgers will join new Chargers coach Brandon Staley, who worked alongside Rodgers when he served as the Bears’ outside linebackers coach from 2017 to 2018. Rodgers first joined the Bears in 2015, following coach John Fox from the Broncos.

Singletary hasn’t coached in the NFL since 2016 and has never been a defensive coordinator in the league. He was the 49ers’ interim coach in 2008 and their coach from 2009 to 2010, totaling an 18-22 record.

Last year, he stepped down from his job as a Texas high school football coach to focus on motivational speaking. The year before, he was the coach of the Alliance of American Football’s Memphis Express before the league folded.

The Bears are searching for a replacement for Chuck Pagano, who retired last week after two seasons with the team. Singletary joins a list of outside candidates that includes former Giants and Cardinals coordinator James Bettcher; George Edwards, the former Vikings coordinator with whom they spoke for their head-coaching job three years ago; and Colts defensive backs coach Jonathan Gannon. With Rodgers gone, safeties coach Sean Desai is the Bears’ most prominent internal candidate.

It’s unclear if the Bears would turn over their defense to someone who has been out of the league as long as Singletary has, no matter his history with the team. In San Francisco, Singletary was known for holding players to a high standard for effort. In his first game as interim coach in 2008, he sent tight end Vernon Davis to the locker room in the middle of a game after he shoved a Seahawk’s face mask.

Singletary impressed Bears players when he mingled with them in June 2019 as part of the team’s 100th-season celebration.

“He knows the linebacker is the quarterback of the defense,” inside linebacker Danny Trevathan said then. “He knows you can’t be wrong. You’ve got to have your eyes right, your feet right. Your mind’s gotta be right. Always take care of yourself and take care of your boys. Just the little things he said.”

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