So have too many 49ers players. And that could be a problem for Mike Singletary, whose fiery rhetoric may lose its steam if the Iron Mike style of coaching and leadership doesn't start producing victories.
Mike Nolan (18-37 as the 49ers head coach) lost his job to Mike Singletary in 2008 on the heels of a four-game losing streak and a Week 7 loss to the New York Giants.
For awhile, the switch from the tightly controlled but unsuccessful Nolan regime to the pants-dropping, feisty enthusiasm of Singletary, the Hall of Fame linebacker, seemed to ignite a once-proud franchise that hasn't been a winner since Steve Mariucci was coach from 1997-2002.
Singletary reigned in me-first tight end Vernon Davis. He dumped Alex Smith for Shaun Hill. He got influentual players and locker room leaders such as Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes to buy into the hard-hitting practices and "my way or else" regiment.
But this week, a once-compliant Davis broke rank from Singletary's disciplined army and called out the 15th-ranked defense his team will face Thursday night at Candlestick Park, saying the Chicago Bears' front seven doesn't impress him.
"I think we can destroy their front," Davis said. "The guys up front, I think we can destroy them. I don't see anything spectacular about their front line."
A year ago, Singletary benched Davis in the middle of a game for being too demonstrative and selfish.
On Wednesday, Singletary -- who has been very defiant and testy this week following the Niners loss to the Titans last Sunday -- was pressed by reporters for his reaction to Davis' latest headline-making incident.
"I'll put it this way, I talked to him about it, and I know what he meant. I'm a little frustrated, and I think if you really translate or if you read through the lines, read between the lines, I don't think he was being disrespectful at all," Singletary told the Bay Area media. "I think basically he was saying, 'You know what, we can do this. Let's not sit back and talk about what the Bears are going to do. Let's go out there and do what we can do.'
"You have grown to know Vernon as well. He can get a little excited and that is what he did. As a team, we just have to be ready to go tomorrow night, but I know what he meant."
Could Davis' words be damaging to a 49ers team already is a state of disarray?
"I am going to leave that alone," Singletary said. "I just think he said it, it's out there. Some things you wish you could say differently, but we will roll with it."
If Singletary can't find a way to regain traction and reverse the streak of 49ers' losses, the current two-game division lead by the Arizona Cardinals will become insurmountable. Singletary may end up losing more than games. He could lose the confidence of his locker room, which is the ultimate failure for any coach.