'Boss' Singletary sends Davis to showers

After one game, Mike Singletary already has put his mark on the 49ers. He certainly has put his mark on tight end Vernon Davis. When was the last time, anyway, that you saw a coach banish one of his most volatile young players to the locker room in the heat of second-half battle?

That's what Singletary did Sunday while the 49ers were well on their way to a disgusting 34-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks that stretched San Francisco's losing streak to five games and saddled the Niners with a 2-6 record at their bye week.

Davis made the outing just a tad more disgusting for the 49ers by drawing a personal foul penalty at the end of the third quarter after catching a short pass near the Seattle sideline.

Davis was flagged for unneccessary roughness for flipping his hand underneath the facemask of Seattle safety Brian Russell after the play. It turned what began as a first-and-10 play at the Seattle 49-yard line into a second-and-18 situation at the San Francisco 43.

"I made a play, tapped the guy on his chin – I didn't mean anything by it – but they called a flag," Davis said. "He was talking trash, of course. I wasn't swinging or anything. I came back to the sideline and coach (Singletary) said, ‘Vernon, you can't do that, you have to be smart.'"

Then Singletary said a few more choice words to Davis.

"I told him that he would do a better job for us right now taking a shower and coming back and watching the game out on the field," Singletary said. "Simple as that."

So that's what Davis did. He headed for the locker room as per his coach's orders and remained there the rest of the game, leaving the 49ers without their play-making tight end for the entire fourth quarter.

Consider it a message sent. Davis got the message. So did the rest of the 49ers.

And Singletary had more of a message to deliver about Davis' penalty after the game.

"It was something that I told everybody at the very beginning of the week: I will not tolerate players that think it's about them when it's about the team," Singletary said. "We cannot make decisions that cost the team and then come off to the sideline and it's nonchalant. No.

"You know what? This is how I believe. I'm from the old school. I believe this: I would rather play with 10 people and just get penalized all the way until we got to do something else, rather than play with 11 when I know that right now that person is not sold out to be a part of this team. It is more about them than it is about the team. Cannot play with them. Cannot win with them. Cannot cope with them. Can't do it. I want winners. I want people that want to win."

Davis had four receptions for 29 yards before getting yanked. When asked if Davis was still his staring tight end, Singletary replied, "We've got to think about it."

Davis did not seem taken aback by Singletary's command. He didn't argue with his coach.

"Coach Singletary is an emotional guy, just like myself," Davis said. "He wants to win, and I did exactly what he told me to do. He is the head coach, and I listen to him. He just told me to come in, and I went in. Whatever he tells me to do, I have to do. If the coach thinks I did something wrong, then I have to listen to him. He's the boss."

Singletary sure is the boss. He also benched quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan at the end of the first half, and backup Shaun Hill played the rest of the way, performing well and finishing with a 102.3 quarterback rating.

When asked who his starting quarterback will be when the 49ers return from their bye week on Nov. 10 against Arizona, Singletary responded, "We've got to think about that, too."

One thing is certain: The 49ers won't have to think about how their coach will respond to careless and unnecessary penalties and me-first attitudes. They saw the answer first-hand Sunday.


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