The worst personnel decision McNolan made (and please don't mention that "other guy") was letting Justin Smiley walk. I loved the guy in the Turner system but the Hostler offense, with a bunch of immobile bulldozer on the front line, was not what Smiley was about.
So tonight, I was able to watch the Indy/Miami game with no particular interest in who won. As a result I focused on #65 the entire game. He had a Pro Bowl performance. His pass protection was impeccable. His run blocking was also excellent as he consistently was able to not only control the guy in front of him but get to the second defender as well. His footwork is very good and he usually was able to not only get the first guy on a pull but get downfield 8-10 yards of most running plays.
And all this coming back from a very serious leg fracture last season that some thought would end his career.
Jake Long gets a lot of publicity but Smiley was every bit as good as long tonight. In fact, he was able to move out and help Long pass protect against Freeney on a number of occasions.
I'm finished ragging about what a poorly conceived decision it was to let him go. I just want to give a classy guy some love for being a very good football player. The 49ers would be a much stronger team if he were the LG instead of David Baas.