This is a quote from Mike Nolan almost a year ago:Mike Nolan still regrets not benching Alex Smith faster Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on December 23, 2010, 5:54 PM EST
Nolan is now coaching up an underrated defense in Miami, but he’s not above making a bad week for Smith a little worse. Speaking about Lions quarterback Shaun Hill Thursday, Nolan went over one regret he had from his time in San Francisco.
“I always thought [Hill] was good,” Nolan said via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I would admit to making a mistake not making him a starter at the end. The last year I was there I should have [switched QBs] because he’s a baller. . . . He checks it down. But he’s a guy the players trust will lead them to the end zone. That’s a huge factor.”
(Translation: Alex Smith is not one of those guys. Or a baller.)
Nolan, like current 49ers coach Mike Singletary, was involved in a lot of drama when he was the 49ers coach. His relationship with Smith soured badly by the end and it’s clear he wishes he cut the cord more quickly.
Singletary could be coaching his final days in San Francisco. While Singletary decided to bench Alex Smith this week, he too may one day regret choosing Smith over Hill.
Today, December 4th, 2011
Alex Smith wasn't my favorite for the 49ers number one pick in the 2005 draft. I wanted them to get Braylon Edwards and hope that in 2006 Matt Leinart would have been available in 2006. Instead the Niners and Nolan went with Smith and got Vernon Davis the next year. Mike McCarthy took the head coaching job in Green Bay and Norv Turner landed in San Francisco. The Niners also went out and signed veteran receiver Antonio Bryant. I saw a glimmer of hope that the Niners were about to turn it around. The defense wasn't great, but it was definitely improving under Nolan. On the offensive side, Turner had a rapport with Smith, just like Smith had a rapport with Bryant. Unfortunately, as fate would have it, the two people that Smith connected with were taken out of the picture.
I think it is here where Mike Nolan's ego gets the best of him and he takes the Niners, along with the fans down the rabbit hole. Personally, I didn't see it at the time. I bought into Mike Nolan's projected image of himself. I figured he had a plan. I figured the guy in the suit would make the RIGHT decision. Boy was I wrong, instead of getting an experienced offensive coordinator that could tutor and scheme to Smith's strengths we get an inexperienced Jim Hostler. It's here I think the relationship starts to sour. Mike Nolan didn't understand offense. I think he had a naive perspective that Smith was just going to blossom on his own. Sort of like a ten year old totally oblivious as to where his favorite hamburger comes from or how it's made All that he knows is that he wants it.
The next year was worse. He brings in Mike Martz. Instead of Nolan giving Martz a direction that he wanted to go in he relenquishes the offense to Martz's mad schemes. On top of that he lets Martz bring in his guy (J.T. O'Sullivan) that creates tension and leaves Smith to hang out and dry. It's here things go down hill fast and Nolan in my opinion "stabs" Alex Smith in the back by publically declares Smith was physically able to play; when he knew for a fact he wasn't.
Today with a win over the St. Louis Rams Alex Smith ended the bad dream that was Nolan. Nolan is a great defensive coach. As a head coach, he was an "empty suit". His quote that Shaun Hill was a better quarterback showed HE HAS NO CHARACTER. When the excrement hit the fan Nolan ran for the tall grass and blamed EVERYTHING on his first pick as the 49er's head coach. If the man had any sense he would of went on about the strengths he saw in Alex Smith and admit his short comings in not being able to get the best out of Alex Smith. Now, he can't even take credit for that. Way to go, Mike Nolan.
Luckily, for the Niner Nation the York's finally got the right man for the job this time around. Jim Harbaugh set out to change the culture in the 49er locker room and it didn't have anything to do with wearing suits on the sideline. Because Harbaugh played quarterback, offense is his forte, but because of his attitude you would swear he played as a hard hitting linebacker. I think Jim Harbaugh is a man of character. He took a quarterback that he had no alligence with, no ties to and hitched his wagon to him. He believes in Alex Smith. Alex Smith believe that Harbaugh believes in him. I believe in Jim Harbaugh. The way Jim Harbaugh looks out for his quarterback I'd swear it was Harbaugh that drafted him and not Nolan. I think the rest of the NFL better take notice something special is about to happen.
One last note; Does anybody know where Shaun Hill and J.T. O'Sullivan are now???