Mike Nolan Firing Finally Happens, All Eyes On Singletary

Kevin O'BrienCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2008

At least this doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. After three-plus seasons of ineptitude, Mike Nolan is finally fired as a head coach.

49ers fans everywhere gave a deep sigh of relief and suddenly have a glimmer of hope in their eye, something that they haven't had since the 'Niners beat the Broncos on the road two seasons ago in their season finale.

Sure, Nolan was a likable guy. He was a professional on and off the field, and it was very easy to like him, especially considering his roots to the franchise (his father, Dick, being a head coach). However, Nolan was far from stellar, football-wise.

His GM decisions crumbled before him, which started with him selecting Alex Smith with the No. 1 pick and making him a highly-paid quarterback. Sure, Smith might have been good had it not been for injuries and constant personnel changes. He had four different offensive coordinators and showed glimpses of solid play under coordinator Norv Turner.

However, Smith, like Nolan, didn't produce on the field. It's quite a shame really. Nolan really could have been the perfect guy to lead this team, but he simply didn't know what to do on the field.

Whenever the camera panned towards him, he looked more like a deer in the headlights than an actual head coach. It had gotten so pathetic that TV cameras are more likely to show Martz on the sideline than Nolan, the real head coach.

It's surprising Nolan's defenses didn't do well in San Francisco, especially considering he was a defensive coordinator for the Ravens. Maybe it was the offense, maybe it was the lack of talent, nonetheless, his defenses regularly left fans depressed by the end of the day.

Nothing really went well for him in his tenure, except maybe for the punting game and the drafting of Patrick Willis.

Now Mike Singletary takes over as a head coach, which is actually a real surprise, considering most expected Martz, who formerly coached the Rams, to be the one to take the reigns. Personally, I hope Singletary will do well, but I think it's a lost cause by now.

Singletary's lack of coaching experience will get in the way, and by the end of the season, either he or Martz will be out of the Bay Area.

And considering that six coordinators in six years sounds sickening, it won't be hard to guess which direction the Yorks might lean to.