But here is another thing Nolan really needs to do: Root like crazy for the Raiders to keep losing under new interim coach Tom Cable. Why? Because if Cable is a big success over the next several weeks after replacing the fired Lane Kiffin, and Cable is having that success right across the bay, it might convince 49ers management that a midseason coaching move can actually succeed.
Almost always, it doesn't. History proves this. Fans don't like to hear that. But facts are facts.
Football isn't like baseball, where a team can switch managers halfway through a season, see a big turnaround, and wind up in the World Series. That doesn't happen in the NFL. There are so many more moving parts — bigger rosters, more complicated X's and O's, more assistant coaches to coordinate.
That doesn't mean Nolan should get a free pass the rest of the way. It just means that if the 49ers were going to make a change, they should have done so last winter. And if they want to make a change soon ... well, they should probably just wait until next January, as well.
People want to believe a new head coach in October or November can work miracles overnight. Usually, it just results in a lousy losing team finishing up the season as ... a lousy losing team.
Since 1930, there have been 85 cases of an NFL team changing coaches in midseason. Guess how many of those changes resulted in that team making the playoffs?
The answer: three times. But zero times since 1961.