Incompetence Reaches a New Level

Posted in Mike Nolan on December 13, 2007 by Sons of Walsh

By now most 49er fans are aware of the Alex Smith/Mike Nolan feud/fiasco that took place earlier this week. During this ordeal, Alex Smith stated that Nolan undermined Smith in the locker room and questioned Smith’s toughness. So for just one second, forget your personal opinions about Alex Smith. Forget that you might not be won over by his quarterback play even when he is healthy, and just look at common logic.

 According to Smith’s words and the events that clearly transpired, Nolan did not have a clue about the status of one of his players — the same player he once called the “face of the franchise.” How does that happen? Yes, as Nolan points out there is a fine line between doctors and what is being reported, but I still want to know how a coach is so bad at communicating with his players that he does not realize the situation regarding someone as prominent as his starting quarterback?

Then to add to that, the stuff about undermining a player in the locker room is just childish behavior that no professional coach should exhibit. It’s one thing if you are of the Bill Parcells personality and you are very open and up front about giving players a hard time. But to make snide remarks during press conferences and then go into the locker room and aleniate or cause division there doesn’t exactly bode well for an NFL level head coach. Weren’t we criticizing a player by the initials of T.O. for doing this same thing amongst other players? It’s even worst when it’s the coach and those words of the now departed Kevan Barlow, who referred to Nolan as “Hitler,” seem to have a degree of truth to them.

More or less, this just adds to the myriad of poor decisions, questionable calls, and “brain farts” that Nolan has had in his tenure with the 49ers. After this, it’s hard to fathom that Nolan could return.

Mike Nolan Releases Rap Song

Posted in Mike Nolan on December 11, 2007 by Sons of Walsh

Mike Nolan apparently is trying to clear the air with his new rap song.

Alex Smith vs Mike Nolan

Posted in Mike Nolan with tags on December 11, 2007 by Sons of Walsh

Ladies and gentleman, let’s get ready to rumble.

This was from an article in the Mercury News:

The Mercury News has an article where quarterback Alex Smith has come out and ripped Nolan a new one. He says that Nolan has tried to “undermine” his reputation in the locker room. In the interview with the Merc, Smith said Nolan made it clear to teammates that the quarterback was using injuries as an excuse for poor performance, a charge that has left Smith’s locker-room reputation in shambles.

Related:Alex Smith vs. Mike Nolan goes nuclear - [Kawakami]

The Shaun Hill Debate

Posted in Mike Nolan on December 10, 2007 by Sons of Walsh

First and foremost, no one here is saying that Shaun Hill is the answer to the 49ers’ quarterbacking woes. No one is calling him another Tony Romo or even expecting a great outing come Saturday against the Bengals. But based on just one half’s worth of play where Hill lead the team on a touchdown drive against the Vikings and posted around 180 yards of passing, one must once again question Nolan’s talent evaluation.

So you’re telling me that Hill, showing what he showed in that half — granted it was while the 49ers were down and the Vikings were playing a bit more relaxed, was never even worthy of a look when Trent Dilfer was struggling back when we actually weren’t eliminated from playoff contention? We’d be running in circles and doing the robot if Alex Smith had a game where he threw for 180 yards in just a half and a touchdown as well (we’ll even take the 2 INTs).

So Shaun Hill’s somewhat strong outing is yet another example of Nolan being unable to utilize talent or give players their proper due. We’ve been down a ton in many other games this season. Neither Alex Smith or Trent Dilfer performed the way that Hill did during those similar situations. But that’s not the point. It’s simply the question as to why this guy hasn’t seen the field?

Talk about bad scheming

Posted in Mike Nolan on December 10, 2007 by Sons of Walsh

From Matt Maiocco’s blog:

I asked Nolan about the protection call that left RB Frank Gore alone to block Vikings DT Pat Williams on a play that resulted in a 9-yard sack. Nolan said that the protection call was correct, but Gore initially went the wrong way before coming back to try to “cut” Williams. Nolan referred to Gore’s mistake as a “brain fart.”

So let me get this straight–it’s Gore’s fault for not blocking a 350-pound defensive tackle (when he’s a 215 pound running back) and not NOLAN’S FAULT for making him block a guy who out-weighs him by 135 pounds? This is just another example of Nolan projecting the blame onto others. Don’t good coaches usually take responsibility for their mistakes?

But hey, “JUST GO LOW!!!”

On another note, Nolan-favorite Derek Smith had yet another horrid game against the Vikings. When it comes to critiquing Nolan’s ability to evaluate defensive play and make personnel decisions on a week-to-week basis, look no further than Smith. Smith is quite possibly the worst starting linebacker in the national football league; a player who is incapable of bringing a player down at or near the point of contact. He is horrible at doing the one thing that is more important for a linebacker than anything else–tackling. Yet to Nolan, this is unimportant. As long as he has high “character” and “work ethic,” nothing else matters. Nolan coached Smith in Washington from 1997-1999 when the former was the defensive coordinator, and the two have been close ever since. Granted, a lot of head coaches play “favorites” based on a history with certain players…but there comes a point where enough is enough. Bill Parcells figured it out in 2006 when he benched Drew Bledsoe for Tony Romo.

Comparing Nolan’s First 3 Years

Posted in Mike Nolan on December 8, 2007 by Sons of Walsh

Here is a list of coaches who are no longer head coaches in the NFL (with the exception of Norv) and how their first three years coaching in the NFL compare to Mike Nolan’s.

  • Mike Nolan 14-30
  • Bruce Coslet 18-30
  • Bruce Davis 21-27
  • Dennis Erickson 23-25
  • June Jones 19-29
  • Rich Kotite 29-19
  • Jim Mora Jr. 26-22
  • Mike Riley 14-34
  • Norv Turner 18-30
  • Dave Wannstedt 25-23
  • Jim Hanifan 17-24

Now if Nolan were to win the last 4 games this season, that would tie him with Bruce Coslet and the only other coaches worst on this list are Jim Hanifan and Mike Riley. Sad thing is I’d almost take any of the above coaches over Mike ‘Stay the Course’ Nolan.

A Good Coach?

Posted in Mike Nolan on December 7, 2007 by Sons of Walsh

Let’s start with the premise: A good coach should get the most out of his players. I think most people would, for the most part, agree with that statement. Sure, there may be some exceptions when it comes to a player or two underperforming…but a good coach should be able to get nearly all of his players to perform to the best of their abilities.

So I thought it would be interesting to look at the performance patterns of each free agent Nolan has brought in since his hire. Since it is difficult to prove the quality of play for offensive linemen (since they do not have any statistics available to the general public), I will focus on the statistical performances of each skill position player. Now I’m not saying that there aren’t occasionally certain extenuating variables in all of this…or that statistics are a perfect representation of performance. But this DOES give you a strong sense that Nolan doesn’t even come close to fulfilling the premise.

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Approval Ratings

Posted in Mike Nolan on December 7, 2007 by Sons of Walsh Sigs

Posted in Mike Nolan on December 6, 2007 by Sons of Walsh



Just Give Him a Decent Offensive Coordinator?

Posted in Mike Nolan with tags , , on December 5, 2007 by Sons of Walsh

One of the arguments for Nolan staying is that he lost Norv Turner and with a better offensive coordinator we’d be just fine. But is that really the case?

 The 49ers have had Mike McCarthy, a 10-2 head coach with the Green Bay Packers currently, and Norv Turner as offensive coordinator. Although Jim Hostler has proven to be fairly incompetent in regards to the offense, even those bigger name coordinators have not had success here in terms of the offense. Turner’s offense, while having structure and identity, still ranked around 26th in the NFL last season.

Not to mention that a good coach should not be so dependant upon his coordinators that the team becomes non-functional without that coordinator. A head coach needs to see that and take care of it. So that whole “get him a good OC” argument has its problems. As it is, good coordinators come and go. If we were able to obtain one there is absolutely no guarantee that the coordinator stays for the long term should a head coaching job manifest itself. So every year we’re under the wings of our coordinators. What kind of head coach runs things that way?