Singletary: 'We have to work our tails off'

After getting the interim tag taken off his job title and being introduced Sunday as the 16th head coach in 49ers history, Mike Singletary talks about his direction for the franchise and gives his takes on his team's season-ending 27-24 victory over the Washington Redskins.

Opening statement: First of all, I want to thank God for the opportunity to stand before you. I want to thank my family, my wife Kim, all of my kids. I guess, for me, the best thing that I can say is it's really interesting when you're in a situation where you're surrounded by a lot of guys who want to win, coaches that want to win. There's a lot of pride, and you have ownership who wants to win. And I find myself in the middle of something feeling very, very fortunate to be surrounded by all of the good people around me. Now it's just a matter of continuing to hype it up, continuing to move forward and keep our eyes on the vision that we have set going forward. I am very excited, very thankful, very humbled to be the head coach of the 49ers, very thankful for that. And as Jed [York] said earlier, this is something that I told our players the other day, ‘Why did I give you Christmas day off? Because you won't have it for a while. Enjoy it. Enjoy it.'

On what he hopes to accomplish in four years after signing a four-year contract: Right now, I just want to talk about one year. I just want to talk about this offseason. I just want to take it one step at a time. The most important thing for us as an organization is to make sure that everybody is on the same page. That's number one. That we're all talking about the same thing. We're all working towards the same goal. Once we do that, I know what that is. That is taking it to the next level. That is playing today and getting prepared to play next week, the week after that. That is the only thing that's on my mind. Doing everything that we can this offseason to take us to that next level and then anything's possible from there.

On addressing his plans for the offense and coordinator Mike Martz: Right now, Scot (McCloughan) and I are going to sit down and look at our offense as a whole, and make the best decisions for our team going forward. And what that is, you'll know soon. I do not know (about Martz's future with the team). Right now, we're just going to talk about it.

On not knowing about whether Martz will stay or be sent away: No. I'm saying not 100 percent.

On re-evaluate all coaching positions: Some positions I don't have to evaluate. But there are some that we have to take a look at. But all of those things, we'll answer as we go down the road. We just wanted to get through this game and now we take a step back, and Scot and I are going to look at it and we'll go from there.

On whether he'll have autonomy to put together his own coaching staff: Yes, I will.

On when he got the word that he'd be offered the permanent job as head coach: We talked about it. My agent was in charge of it. Just conversation going forward for me was just, ‘Go ahead and do whatever you do and let me focus on the game, and we'll go from there.

On what he's learned in the past nine weeks about what it takes to succeed: I think someone asked me earlier today what I have learned in the nine weeks and really, in all honesty, the first thing that I've learned is when you surround yourself with good players, you become a better coach. You become a better coach. That's number one. Number two is the quicker you can get everybody on the same page, you can move. It may not be as fast as you want it to be, but the quicker you get everybody on the same page the better chance you have of getting the goal. The other thing is, it's just a matter of how important it is. All of the things that I thought about leadership. All of the things that I thought about being a head coach. It's so important that you have everything come together and work as one. So that's what I've learned. And going forward we just have to continue to keep our eyes on the vision and go from there.

On the team now as compared to earlier in the season: In all honesty, I really don't want to talk about the first half of the season. I just want to talk about right now. I just want to talk about moving forward. And I think the biggest thing is those guys in there are excited. They're excited to play and every time they go out they play to win. And that's the thing that we want to focus on. Whatever it takes, whatever we have to do, we have to do together and we have to work our tails off going forward to make that happen.

On everybody being on the same page, and what the first paragraph is on that page: The first paragraph on that page is: what do we do to have this team be in the playoffs? Once we're in the playoffs, anything is possible. That's the first paragraph. Somewhere in there.

On Sunday's game: I'd like to try to be philosophical about it, but I'm not. We just were not playing very well. It's as simple as that. We go down the field, we score. We come back. We have the opportunity to go up 10-0, we don't. We miss that opportunity. They take it down the field – it's just a…We talked about what good teams do, and for us, we wanted to answer that question today. And I'm just very thankful that we were able to come back and fight out way back into it and win. Good teams don't miss opportunities to score, and that's something we missed early, but we were able to come back. Good teams do find a way to come back. We did that.

On whether it would feel hollow to get hired if the 49ers had lost this game: I don't know. I can't – it really would have depended on how the game went, how we lost the game, how did we lose it. But, you know what? I really want to talk about what did happen instead of what didn't happen, what could have happened. I don't want to deal with those things. I want to deal with what actually happened. Today, what happened is we went out, and we did not play very well at the beginning. We found a way coming in – going back out after halftime. We found a way and really got our eyes back on what it is that we wanted to do, the question we wanted to answer. And, the guys went out and made plays, played better in the second half and made it happen.

On the kind of reaction he got from the team after it found he'd been named coach: I think all of the guys that were happy today, they're going to regret it [laughter.] Very soon. I love those guys. I really do and I know that they know that, and it's just a matter of us coming together and working. But, they know what the prerequisites are that we talked about. It's work. And we've got a lot of work to do.

On the moment this year when he realized he'd gotten through to the players: It was the day after the first game. The day after the game against Seattle, when the very next day, I had players, I had coaches call me and say: ‘You know what? What you did today, what you did yesterday, that's going to take us somewhere. That's really going to take us somewhere.' That's when I knew. I thank you very much. God bless you all…

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