Back in 2008, the San Francisco 49ers decided to go in a new direction by hiring head coach Mike Singletary.
In an effort to turnaround the storied franchise in his first season in San Francisco, Singletary made a bold move by benching one of the team’s best players in tight end Vernon Davis.
With Singletary claiming that Davis was only playing for himself and not the team, the new head coach decided to make an example of him with a very public benching during a game.
As a result of the benching, Davis began to approach the game and his team with a different mentality. Apparently, Davis is thankful for the benching by Singletary that ultimately put things into perspective via Vic Tafur of Sfgate.com:
“I never really had an opportunity to tell him how much it meant to me,” Davis said. “By the time I looked up, he was gone. That fast. I am very grateful.”
Following the benching of Davis, Singletary addressed the media about the move to send one of the team’s best players to the bench by saying the following via NBC Sports:
“It is more about them than it is about the team. Cannot play with them, cannot win with them, cannot coach with them. Can’t do it. I want winners. I want people that want to win.”
After Singletary’s rant about Davis and the statement claiming “I want winners!,” the head coach became a popular figure in San Francisco, but was ultimately fired in 2010 following a 5-10 season paving the way for the team to hire Jim Harbaugh.