Here’s an interesting nugget from Mike Sando at espn.com. He referenced a 2003 interview with Bill Walsh — the late, great, Hall of Fame coach of the 49ers — who was asked about his biggest coaching regret. His answer is a tribute to a certain beloved, undersized linebacker who was the heart and soul of the Bears defense for over a decade:
“We had an opportunity to draft Mike Singletary. We traded that choice to the Chicago Bears, who then drafted Mike Singletary, who became a Hall of Fame football player — one of the great linebackers of all-time. So, he was there for our bidding. But, on the other hand, with that trade, we drafted two outstanding players — Michael Carter and Jeff Fuller — who were Super Bowl champions. But, I do wish — as I look back — that Mike Singletary would have been a part of the 49er organization.”
But it wasn’t like the decision to pass on Singletary doomed his franchise. Walsh’s 49ers won 3 Super Bowls in the ’80s…and two of the berths in the Big Game were earned at the expense of Singletary’s Bears in the NFC Championship Games in ’84 and ’88. Kind of ironic that Samurai Mike is now coaching the 49ers, the team that Walsh built into one of the league’s premier franchises.