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Nolan’s Usual: Get Defensive, Bash a Player

Oct 14, 2008 at 7:26 AM


Maybe Nolan's reputation for being a defensive specialist formed because he was emotionally defensive. This seems to be the problem whenever anyone questions his decisions.

Media: "Your defense is leaking like bed-wetting 12 year old. What seems to be the problem?"

Nolan: "Problem? I have no problem. The players just need to play better and listen to me more."

Media: "Alex Smith says you threw him under the bus. What gives?"

Nolan: "Why would you even suggest such a thing! he's a grown man, he should have come to me and not you."

And now he is continuing his long tradition of lashing out against players when pressed by the media.

It happened with Trent Dilfer and Alex Smith. Apparently Dilfer was the greatest quarterback Nolan had ever seen - well, until he saw JT O'Sullivan.

Finally we get to present day. In defending Mark Roman, a safety who hasn't had an interception since 2006, Nolan said, "Mark's a good football player. He helps us win and helps people around him, and makes the players around him better. They feel assured he'll do his job. . . . Not to take anything away from Dashon. Dashon's a good player. Will he help our stealing the ball? I don't know. In the 'Big Sub,' he was in every down. He has been playing, and I don't recall seeing him get turnovers at that time."

It's almost like he caught himself, realized that he was implying that Goldson couldn't make the players around him better and threw Goldson a little bone.

Then he remembered he was Nolan and called out Goldson for not getting any turnovers.

The simple fact is that the defense needs change. Who was making interceptions left and right during training camp? Dashon Goldson. Will he need more coaching to be successful? Yes, but that is Nolan's job. Roman doesn't even wear the defensive communication device on the field anymore, Patrick Willis does.

This is just another example of Nolan getting defensive when the media presses him and he doesn't have the answer. "We need to play better" is a complete cop-out. How does the team play better? By doing what they are still doing? Doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result is the hallmark of insanity.

This is not to say that Nolan is insane, but he is certainly flawed in this respect. Should Goldson start? I would say yes, but there is an argument for him not starting. Throwing Goldson under the bus, however, is not the way a coach should handle things.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


4 Comments

  • NINERMD
    COULDNT HAVE SAID BETTER MYSELF. 100% ACCURATE. THIS GUY NEEDS TO GO.
    Oct 15, 2008 at 6:17 PM
    0
  • niner
    nolan is insane. how can you bash the players you picked, drafted and coached? When is it his pitiful coaching that is the problem???(see ol) players coaches like ronnie lott and mike singletary make sense, they are probowlers with sb experience who are now HOF. Why in the world would you want a guy cut from GB to coache your team? Isnt it HIS job to coach? PS your D watn all that great last year. ( hardly in the top 10) We were os pitiful on offense last year, teams played 2-3 rd stringers after the first quarter. YOU bombed in Washington and in Balt you had lewis. Everyone who has Lewis looks good you idiot! ( that means you too York you dim wit, why dont you think none of the 31 other owners wanted him?)
    Oct 14, 2008 at 5:03 PM
    0
    Response: I agree that, like Lowell Cohn says in his blog, Nolan needs to own up and take some responsibility. The rest of your comment I'm not too sure on because I can't understand it.
  • Rebel
    In defending Mark Roman, a safety who hasn't had an interception since 2006, Nolan said, "Mark's a good football player. He helps us win and helps people around him, and makes the players around him better. They feel assured he'll do his job. . . . What a joke! He helps us win? Really? When? The team is 2-4 , most likely soon to be 2-6. They have beat two teams with a combined record of 1-9. The over-hyped, most experienced secondary in the NFL can't stop the opposing teams "off the street replacement hacks" or the Eagles rookie WR. Thank goodness for Mark Roman, without him this team would suck. Does Nolan even think before he speaks? I wonder if he believes the things that fly out of his own mouth?
    Oct 14, 2008 at 2:55 PM
    0
  • Archie
    I agree that Alex Smith is a grown man and should have gone to the coach and please let's remember Jimmy Johnson openly criticized Dan Marino!! Let's stop the pity-party for Alex Smith. Smith is a bust and sometimes players should be called out in a way. If you're going to suggest to the head coach that he's not starting the right player then you need to be prepared to accept whatever the coach says in defense of his decision. I think Mark Roman needs to be replaced and I think Mike Nolan needs to be replaced but I am not mad at Nolan for speaking truth about a player's performance. I just wish Nolan was a better coach.
    Oct 14, 2008 at 9:21 AM
    0
    Response: Part of a coaches job is to motivate his team. In fact, some would say that is the most critical job of the head coach. A good motivator does not take a one size fits all approach to each player. Some players can get called out and it lights s fire under them. Others need to be handled behind closed doors. It was obvious that Smith did not like the public criticism and Nolan's inability to dial into the pulse of his players only highlights another problem with his leadership. Sometimes it seems like Bill Belicheck knows more about the 49ers players than Nolan does. Would Nolan be able to rattle off all of the names and positions on the 49ers like Belicheck did? I'm not too sure.

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