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Today, San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Nolan's press conference started at 12:40pm.
Nolan opened by saying that they did not expect to be at 2-8.
Whether you are winning or losing, a team always investigates changes to get better. It is tough to change coaches during the middle of the season. The changes that they have tried to make are on the field.
He believes that the staff of the 49ers is stronger this year than it was last year. He believes that is staff is very good. He will not change that.
Nolan felt that Trent Dilfer had a very productive day yesterday. There are areas like special teams and defense that have done very well. Outside of the first drive yesterday, the defense did a good job. The special teams is as good as anyone in the league this year.
Parys Haralson has stepped up and become a very good player so that is one of the changes they have made by playing him more.
The team is missing opportunities and it is disappointing. They have not capitalized on the opportunities that good teams are able to. Does that mean that they are not a good team? Their record makes that evident.
Regarding yesterday's field goal:
Had it been a shorter first down, they would have gone for it. Nolan has a lot of confidence in two areas of the football team. One is Joe Nedney kicking field goals and kicking onside kicks. Nolan felt that they had a good opportunity to get the ball back with three time outs and about 1:27 left on the clock. He wanted to try and win the game at the end rather than go for overtime. The team just did not capitalize on the situation. If it had been a mistake, he would sit there and say it.
When asked why they did not go for it when Dilfer was doing well and the receivers were getting open, Nolan stated that he does not play the "Would have, should have, could have" game.
When asked why they went deep on that drive rather than trying to get a few yards here and there and try to get a first down, Nolan said that if the quarterback feels that they can get the touchdown, then go for it.
Nolan said that Arnaz Battle had a "brain fart" when he kept fighting on that last drive and wasting time rather than getting down and saving seconds on the clock.
When asked about his comment that this year's staff is as good as last year's, Nolan stated that Greg Manusky is an outstanding defensive coordinator. He also feels that Jim Tomsula has done a great job. The team lost a lot of experience when they lost Norv Turner but feels that Jim Hostler is a scapegoat. He says that Hostler is intelligent and busts his tail always looking for a way to get better. Hostler continues week in and week out to make efforts to utilize their people.
Nolan has not spoken with Mike Singletary regarding the possibility of him taking the Baylor head coaching job. No one from Baylor has contacted him regarding Singletary.
When asked if Nolan has spoken to John York, Nolan said that he has and that he has been very supportive.
When asked why is it so hard to find a "big time" receiver, Nolan stated that they could put in a Randy Moss or Terrell Owens in there, and if they do not protect, they will not be productive. The surrounding cast has a lot to do with that. Do they have a guy like that on their team now? Nolan does not believe so. Nolan feels that a top-notch running back is better to have than a top-notch receiver. He feels that everything starts with the offensive line and even though they are not as good as they were last year, they are better than when he arrived to the 49ers.
Nolan believes that statistics are misleading when judging a wide receiver and that is why it is always tough to find a top-notch guy.
Nolan brought up Antonio Bryant mentioning that he felt that he was a good player but just had some issues off the field. He stated that while Darrell Jackson dropped some balls yesterday, he is a steady guy. He felt that Jason Hill would be alright, but he got hurt early. Arnaz Battle is another steady Hines Ward type player.
When asked about the issue regarding Alex Smith's agent and the comments about Smith's injury, Nolan stated that he respected the question, but did not respect the source. He does not want to try and answer the "he said, she said, they said" questions. Nolan is hopeful that Alex will come back.
The press conference will eventually be archived by CBS5.com here: