An interview with Mike Singletary

Baltimore Ravens linebackers coach and NFL Hall of Famer Mike Singletary joined the Ravens staff during the offseason after spending his post-football years working as a motivational speaker. The former Chicago Bears middle linebacker talks with Ravens Insider about his transition to the coaching ranks in Baltimore after considering several coaching opportunities since retiring from football.

RAVENS INSIDER: What has the shift from coach to player been like for you?

SINGLETARY: "The transition has been great. It gives me a chance to take all the energy and all the love I have for the game and really pass it on to the players, to share the energy I have for the game with them."

RAVENS INSIDER: From talking to players like Ray Lewis and Ed Hartwell, they've said you're quite willing to accept their input into coaching decisions. What is your approach toward listening to their thoughts?

SINGLETARY: "You know what, I think, in all honesty,to me the greatest teachers are the greatest leaders and they are the best students. I'm trying to learn about them as much as I can and you can only learn by listening. "I like to ask a lot of questions because I genuinely want to hear what they're thinking, what they're feeling and go from there." RAVENS INSIDER: How long had you considered coaching as career?

SINGLETARY: "I'll put it this way I always wanted to coach. As a matter of fact when I played in the NFL, I prepared myself to coach where I learned everything I possibly could."

RAVENS INSIDER: What did that involve?

SINGLETARY: "From every possible angle of the defense, any detail. Nothing was left uncovered."

RAVENS INSIDER: What kept you from coaching sooner?

SINGLETARY: "The only thing that kept me from coaching was priorities and that was my family. I've had several opportunities. I just decided to bypass them. Thankfully, I did. It's helped me relaly put things in perspective and have things where they need to be in life, where I need them to be so I can feel comfortable becoming a coach."

RAVENS INSIDER: How large a role did intensity play in your playing career and can that be transmitted into coaching?

SINGLETARY: "I think as a coach and a player there's always a time and a place for everything. I can be just as intense as a coach as I was as a player. For me, when I played it was energy that I called upon by being aware and looking at what what I was looking at on the field. Now, as a coach, that energy goes into planning practice and realy looking at how I can help them see footbal as I see it."

RAVENS INSIDER: Are you one of the earliest coaches to arrive at the training complex?

SINGLETARY: "No, in all honesty, I get here at 6:30 a.m. I'll be getting here much earlier during the season."

RAVENS INSIDER: And having the support of your family enables you to do that?

SINGLETARY: "My wife is my best friend. We've got a great relationship. Because of what she does and because of the my job, when I get home I'm helping her as much as I can. We sit down and plan our schedules together. "I ask her what do you need me to do when I get home. That's my first job. This is my second job."

RAVENS INSIDER: How often do you talk to former coaches like Buddy Ryan?

SINGLETARY: "I talk to Buddy from time to time. I talk to my linebacker coach in college.I talk to Grant Teaff, my head coach at Baylor. Buddy told me just be sure to be yourself. If you remain who you are everything will be great."

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