Jim Osborne, the only Bears defender to line up with both Hall of Fame middle linebackers Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary, recalled Saturday that Singletary's Chicago career almost ended before it started.
A run-in with defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan had Singletary, a rookie, questioning his desire to play for the Bears.
"He said, `I'm going to go to (General Manager Jim) Finks and tell him to trade me,' " Osborne said. "Buddy was making us do drills and things Mike didn't understand. I said, `Mike, Buddy is the last guy you want on your bad side. Just do it. It's his way of gaining control.' "
Singletary thanked Osborne and many teammates, coaches and the McCaskey family at induction ceremonies Saturday. Osborne, Leslie Frazier, Dan Rains, Jim Morrissey, Tyrone Keys, Gary Fencik, Alan Page and Al Harris were among those in attendance, along with Bears owners Virginia and Ed McCaskey and club President Michael McCaskey.
"The intensity level was the same between Dick and Mike," Osborne, a defensive tackle, said. "But while Dick would be on the bottom of the pile trying to bite someone or twist an ankle, Mike would help you up. Dick was instinctive and knew offenses from limited film study. Mike watched more film than some of the coaches. He was something. He would knock your head off, and then kneel beside you and lead you in prayer.
"I wouldn't have missed this for anything. The guy is special to me. He took the time to seek me out and ask advice."
Singletary's wife, Kim, who presented her husband at the induction ceremonies, said: "The quality I most admire is his ability to listen."
Asked about playing for Mike Ditka, Singletary said he appreciated his enthusiasm and vision.
"The greatest thing is, you never misunderstood him," Singletary said. "If he didn't like what you were doing, he'd tell you. He read books on how to talk. He had books on stress, relaxation in his office. He just couldn't do it. He tried. He tried to be nice. He couldn't do it. It wasn't in him. He had to tell you the truth. You had to appreciate it."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun