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Notes from Mike Nolan’s Monday press conference

Dec 10, 2007 at 12:24 PM--


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 12:21pm PST.

Nolan opened by saying that it is difficult to win a game with 5 turnovers.

Shaun Hill did a good job and sparked the team. Ball security is a concern.

Trent Dilfer was in some pain after the hit that he took but he was moving. He went home from the hospital last night and is doubtful against the Bengals.

There is a possibility of bringing in another quarterback from the outside.

The diagnosis of Alex Smith's injury has not changed. How the doctors want to address it may have. It is not the coach's decision. Typically, the staff trusts the opinions of outside medical staff. When there is a difference of opinion between the 49ers medical staff and the outside, then the staff gets involved. Nolan will know more about Alex's current condition tomorrow.

Is there any point in Smith coming back this season?
If the quarterback is injured, he should not be playing. If he is not injured and they can win games, then that is factored in. If Alex were able to play again and get back into playing condition, he would play again. The team's goal is to win games.

Who gives the team the best chance to win right now?
By the way he has been playing, probably Shaun Hill. He has been practicing and playing.

Aside from the wins and losses, what do you want to accomplish in these last three games?
Nolan would like to see this team mature. He would like to see from the offense what you see from the defense. Offensively, he would like to see better ball security and taking advantage of opportunities to win.

Did Nolan feel that he should have won the challenge?
Yes. He was right there and felt that he was short of the first down.

Has Nolan talked to Bryant Young about retirement?
They have spoken briefly but it is up to Young. It is a private matter and he will not discuss it.

Nolan also discussed a little bit about how the communication works between Greg Manusky and himself on defense.

Should Nate Clements have been returning the ball?
He has great hands and he wanted to. In a punt return, there are some things that you can do to help yourself. The Vikings punter has been erratic lately so they wanted to do some things to take advantage.

It is a short week. The team is off today and tomorrow but will come back on Wednesday just like a regular week. The team's walkthrough will be on Friday.

Shaun Hill is very much like Dilfer. He scrambles better but he is very much like him when it comes to what you can do with your quarterback.

Ted Tollner is still contributing up in the booth. It is just the turnovers that have cost the team.

How are the Yorks dealing with this?
They are disappointed. Their expectations were right where the fans' were and the coaches' were. They have been positive and supportive though. "When you are out there fighting the war, you don't swap troops in mid-stream. You got to keep going."

There will be a time and a place to discuss the things that are wrong with this team (referring to coaching and other things).

Does Nolan have a grasp on why things are going the way they are? Does he know the remedies to fix it?
Nolan feels that he has a much better visual on things. Nolan jokingly asked an official, "Is there any possibility that there could ever be a conspiracy?" Nolan said that they turn calls in and get a good percentage of them back that say "bad call." Everybody faces those kinds of things and there is nothing you can do about them. You have to just keep going out and playing hard. But Nolan has a better idea about what is wrong than he did two months ago.

Nolan commented a little on the possibility of this being a season where one team could go undefeated and another could go winless. He noted that there are a lot of teams in the middle of the spectrum fighting for a playoff spot.

Should Willis win Defensive Rookie of the Year?
Nolan has not had a chance to watch all of the rookies. If there is one better, he will be anxious to watch him in the offseason. Willis has played well above most veterans. If there were a Veteran Defensive Player of the Year, with one year under his belt, Willis should be in the running for that too. Teams have to account for him. Willis' game from a turnover standpoint has been ok, but everything else about him is outstanding. Willis won the matchup against Adrian Peterson.



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