Mike Nolan Gone; Ownership Absent; 49ers Anything but Made of Gold

Jay JamesonCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2008

The 49ers have finally pulled the plug on the reign of Mike Nolan.

It's about time.

After a career littered with bad coaching decisions, poor drafts, and constant losing the powers-that-be yanked the carpet out from under Nolan.

If you feel bad or sorry for Mike Nolan, don't. He made his own bed, and he absolutely has to sleep in it.

When the 49ers originally made the decision to sign Mike Nolan as the head coach—I, like most of the rest of fan-base saw the decision as a fantastic move. His father, Dick, coached the 49ers in the 1970's, and Mike Nolan's prowess as a defensive guru preceded him.

Yet, selecting Alex Smith to lead the franchise was the obviously the wrong choice (hindsight always being 20/20), and refusing to build around that selection has been an obvious downfall of the franchise in the last few years.

Part of me wants to say that Nolan did a lot of things right in his tenure. However, the other 98 percent of me doesn't believe any of that noise. He flat out couldn't coach.

Game after game, the guy would foolishly challenge pointless plays. He also had a niche for spending timeouts like they were dollar bills at a strip club. And it didn't help that he looked lost on the sidelines when his team was on offense.

Where has Frank Gore gone? What happened to the promise of a much stronger defense (that's aging and overpaid)? What color tie are you going to wear when you clean out your office?

Say whatever you want in his defense. Maybe he hired the wrong coordinators; maybe he listened to the wrong front office personnel; maybe his suit and tie got in the way of game day preparation. There has been nothing but regression in the last 23 games, after a brief taste of "potential" in 2006.

What does Mike Nolan do well? I cannot think of a thing. Even in his press conferences he's so aloof from what's going on around him that he must be a delusional human being.

If Mike Nolan is anything, he is an over-glorified coordinator. He is in the same class as Cam Cameron, Mike Martz, and Norv Turner among others—brilliant coordinating minds, but pathetic leadership abilities.

And with that in mind, the 49ers will apparently make assistant head coach, Mike Singletary, the new leader of the club.

Singletary has no coordinating or head coaching experience, but has all of the respect of players and coaches and fans in the NFL. He is a Hall of Fame linebacker, with a fire for football that burns brighter than the glinting gold of the 49ers helmets.

And the best of luck to Singletary. He should have been a head coach a while ago, and it's too bad that it has to happen this way. However, Singletary really doesn't seem like he will be the right or the long-term solution in San Francisco. Sorry, fans, "interim" is his tag, and that's how it should stay.

Maybe you've heard the name "Mike Holmgren?" My God, please, please, John York, go pay him whatever it takes to bring him back to the job that he wants to have. And at the worst, throw Pete Carroll's name around just so we know you're trying to return this franchise to the glory it once used to possess.

And this isn't to add a soft cushion to break the fall of Mike Nolan, but the ownership of the York family has really demoralized this once proud organization. Where are they even today? As the news of Nolan's firing broke, the York's have refused to make any comment on the situation or make any public appearance so as to even dispel any rumors—if indeed, that's all this firing may be.

This is the San Francisco FORTY—FREAKING—NINERS. Five Super Bowls. Thirteen (if you count Jerry Rice) Hall of Fame players and coaches. The West Coast Offense. There is no need for any "Committment to Excellence" like you might find across the Bay; there just "IS" the 49ers. That's it, and that's all that there should be.

Goodbye, Mike Nolan. We certainly and amply knew thee. I wish we could forget, but we'll have to be reminded every time we tune in to watch the next nine games.

The offensive line is pathetic. The defense is atrocious. The 49ers don't play with any aggression, urgency, intelligence, or passion. They are a complete and utter reflection of their now former head coach.


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