Why Did Mike Nolan Get Fired?
Perhaps some of you are wondering that. Many of the rest of you think this is a fairly no-brainer question. The San Francisco 49ers fired Mike Nolan yesterday, and while some people say this was long overdue, I think it was actually about the right tenure for Nolan.
Just so we're clear, that's me saying something nice about the York family running my favorite franchise in sports. It's not going to happen again anytime soon, so mark it.
Read more after the fold about Nolan and the 49ers, as well as a wrapup of the week in football.
When you think of Nolan, what do you think about?
It's the suits, right? When you coach a professional team -- nay, not just any team but one of the marquee NFL franchises - for three-plus seasons, and the only thing most can say about you is that you wanted to wear suits on the sideline ... well, that's not great.
We know that Bill Belichek dresses like a slob on the sidelines, but it's not what we think about - we think about him being one of the best coaches in football. And Jack Del Rio jumped on the suit bandwagon, but he's coached his team to some success. (Plus, if you really think about him, you might recall the time he put an axe in the locker room, only to have his Pro Bowl punter Chris Hanson cut himself in the leg. Eeks.)
Nolan will forever be tied to failed QB Alex Smith, and to be sure when you whiff on the #1 pick in the draft, things aren't going to turn around quickly. But Nolan did himself no favors.
Among his transgressions:
That last point really is what became obvious in the last year or two -- Nolan is straight out of central casting, says all the right things to the press and looks like he could star on Friday Night Lights as the terrifying opposing coach.
But he simply didn't know what he was doing. I'm sure he'll be a good defensive coordinator again, but it was time for him to go.
Will Mike Singletary be the answer? I doubt that he'll have much success this year, but he could go .500 which might get him the job next year. I think you get rid of a coach mid-season for one of two reasons: One, you think you have a legitimate shot to compete, but not with the current coach you have. OK, that's not the situation here. The other is that you want to try someone out, like Singletary, before giving him a long-term deal. We shall see - but I'm glad they actually took action.
As for the rest of the weekend, it appears that a coaching change has benefited St. Louis, who made the Romo-less Cowboys look fairly awful this weekend. Oakland also got themself a win, with a very surprising against the Jets, who have to be appalled at their performance. (They almost gave it away with a failed timeout to end the game, but won it on a 57-yard field goal, which is insane.)
So, maybe the Niners will do okay with the move.
Congrats go out to Matty Roze, whose uncomfortably named Touch Me Down There was the only team to notch nine wins in a rough week. I managed only five wins which makes me wonder if perhaps Wade Phillips filled out my picks. Zing!
OK, that's all I got for now. Congrats again.