Notes from Mike Nolan’s Monday press conference

Dec 3, 2007 at 12:30 PM


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Press Conference can be accessed here (will be archived later):
http://cbs5.com/sports/49ers.mike.nolan.2.461096.html

Nolan's press conference started at 12:28pm PST.

Nolan opened by saying that it angered him to lose that game. He felt that they had every opportunity to win it.

Players that played well: Nate Clement, Michael Lewis, Marques Douglas, Frank Gore

Trent Dilfer puts his heart and soul in everything he does. He has given the team the chance to win the games that he has played in.

Hopefully they can bounce back against Minnesota.

Nolan was asked whether Aaron Rodgers should have been drafted instead of Alex Smith. Nolan said that it is unfair to compare the two. Rodgers is on a team that is "hot." It is a tough argument to make.

Would the team get another quarterback for next year? Alex will not be healthy and Trent will be 36. Nolan stated that it is important to have competition at every position. It is a decision to make at the end of the season. The quarterback is not immune to needing competition. Dilfer was not here just to mentor Smith, but to push him.

When asked about not picking up an option on Smith's contract, Nolan stated that he was not aware of the numbers involved in the deal. These are discussions that will take place after the season.

Is Nolan disappointed in the defense this year? Nolan stated that the time of possession has been lopsided. Mistakes such as penalties have really hurt them. The defense and the special teams are the strengths of this team. The defense is capable of playing very well. Nolan noted the additions of Willis, Clements and Lewis were good for the team and they have played well. The defense has had its moments. Statistics don't always tell you the whole story.

Down by 10, Nolan felt that the team was still in pretty good shape.

On the roughing the kicker call, Nolan was still pretty irate about the call but he will have to get a better interpretation of what "roughing" is versus "running into."

When asked about Frank Gore's involvement, they do try to get Gore the ball on both rushing and passing.

Nolan stated that Carolina is a very good football team. He felt that it was an environment where they had an opportunity to take control of the game, but they let the Panthers take over.

Are the players moving from frustrated to angry? Nolan feels that the team is as angry as he is. There is no pointing fingers on the team though. The group continues to work and play until the end. He does not expect that to change over the next four weeks. Are these losses tougher on older players? It is different for every player. You have guys like Bryant Young and Derek Smith here to make it to the Super Bowl. You have other guys trying to become starters and others simply trying to make the team. Nolan feels that the organization is far beyond where it was two years ago. However, on the field, that is not showing. The one positive about losing is that when you are out of it, it helps players not return to it.

Will Alex Smith have surgery? Smith will do some light throwing on Wednesday and they will reassess his situation at that time.

Injuries:
Donals Strickland is probable for Sunday. Arnaz Battle is questionable due to his ankle injury. David Baas is probably due to his shoulder injury.
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