Originally written on Sports-Glory  |  Last updated 2/1/13

San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis credits one man for making him the person he is today. That man is former 49ers coach Mike Singletary, who once publicly called Davis out for being selfish. “Cannot play with ’em. Cannot coach with ’em. Cannot win with ’em. Can’t do it!” Singletary claimed. After seven NFL seasons, Davis is thankful the Hall of Fame linebacker-turned-coach wouldn't tolerate his selfish behavior. “Coach Singletary, he helped me find myself. I can’t deny it,” Davis said. “From the very first time he got here, he always told me, ‘Son, you have the tools to be great.’ But I didn’t know what he was talking about. I had to find that.“I remember the very first time he kicked me off the field. That day, he talked to me briefly. Tears were shed. I told him, ‘I want to be traded, Coach. Let me out of here. You’re not using me. I’m not happy.’“He said, ‘OK. I’ll find another team for you.’ “That moment, it started to click for me. I said, ‘I have to put my teammates first because if I don’t, I’m going to lose all I have. I have to focus and I have to be different.’ “I knew Coach Singletary was trying to use a disciplinary action with me. I fed into it. “It made me a better man, a better teammate, and a better leader for my team. It helped me become the player I am today.” Davis says because of Singletary he now puts his teammates first. “Singletary helped me channel my emotions and really find out the best route to go. “Putting my teammates first was the best thing I could’ve done. Once I did that, things started to happen for me. I started to see the game differently. It wasn’t about me anymore. It was more about my team. “I enjoyed it. I still do. Everything that I do, I put my teammates first. To me, that’s the mark of a true leader. That’s what I want to be. I want to be a leader and have guys continue to follow.”

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