Complementary coaches: Frazier and Singletary

Leslie Frazier's laid-back attitude will be complemented by the intense approach of Mike Singletary, the Vikings' linebackers coach and special assistant to the head coach. So how will Singletary's demeanor mix with Frazier or even defensive coordinator Fred Pagac? Singletary discusses that and his approach to the job and the Vikings defense.

Catch Mike Singletary off the field and he has a business-like approach, one much like head coach and good friend Leslie Frazier.

However, when talking about his playing days or his coaching personality, Singletary admits the reputation he has gained as an intense competitor is accurate and deserved.

As a player, the enduring image from fans who remember Singletary as the leader of the Monsters of the Midway in the 1980s are his piercing eyes that had a quarterback thinking about bailing from the pocket before the ball was ever snapped. As a coach, Singletary cut his teeth with the linebackers of the Baltimore Ravens in the early 2000s and gained unwanted notoriety for his pants-dropping move in the locker room as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

It's only natural to assume that Singletary's high-energy attitude will carry into the play of the linebackers he is preparing to coach in Minnesota, but the former head coach and defensive coordinator knows the chain of command and doesn't plan to cross it, either with Frazier or with defensive coordinator Fred Pagac.

"I look at it like this: I don't make it gray at all – Fred is the coordinator and it is up to me to work around him. As far as philosophies, I think our philosophy is to win, find a way to win," Singletary said last month at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. "I think we share the same philosophy that way. Every time I've been around him … it's been exciting to see him in action and the way he goes about things, the way he thinks. So I'm excited."

At that time, Singletary hadn't yet talked to his linebackers – Chad Greenway and Ben Leber, the starting outside linebackers, are scheduled to be free agents – but he was getting an idea what Frazier and Pagac wanted to see out of that position.

"Overall, I think Leslie, there are some things that he wants to see. I think the coordinator, there are some things that he wants to see," Singletary said. "… I'm excited to get back and sit down with both Les and their coordinator and talk about some of the ways in which we can use the linebackers, maybe a little more creativity in the overall scheme. I'm excited about that."

As far as the defensive system itself, the Vikings don't plan to stray from their 4-3 defensive front or their Tampa-2 coverage starting point. It's a defense that Singletary hasn't coached before, but yet he finds it familiar.

"Totally different," he said of his coaching experience. "This system that they're running here, it takes me back to when I played. That's what we did when I played, which is outstanding for me and exciting. I'm excited to put two and two together and look at it."

As far as personality clashes between an intense Singletary and the generally docile Frazier that is seen in public, the linebackers coach has no concerns about philosophically mixing it up with his teammate from the 1985 Chicago Bears.

"I think Leslie and I work very well. We've been friends for a long time and were roommates," Singletary said. "I just think that sometimes when you're around an intense person, you're not quite sure how real that is. For me, he knows me. He knows my intent. He knows me at my very core, so I think when you know someone that well you don't have to second-guess – why did he do that, why did he say that? You don't respond like that. He knows me very well and I know him."

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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