Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nolan left mark on 49ers

Mike Nolan

Mike Nolan

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Mike Nolan's 3½-year tenure as 49ers coach offered few highlights on the field.

An 18-37 record before a mid-season firing in 2008. No playoff berths. A parade of offensive coordinators unable to develop QB Alex Smith.

But Nolan did take over a franchise decimated under former general manager Terry Donahue and coach Dennis Erickson. He began acquiring the pieces that current coach Jim Harbaugh, who succeeded Mike Singletary, used to make back-to-back runs to the NFC Championship Game.

Nolan, now the defensive coordinator in Atlanta, gets the chance to see the results of some of his work when the Falcons host the 49ers on Sunday.

"There's a lot of players still playing there that we added, that I'll see. I look forward to seeing them before the game. I'm glad they've done well. Not only for those players, but for the organization," Nolan said. "I put a lot of time and effort into that. So, in a strange way, it's a little rewarding that some of those guys are going so well."

San Francisco owner Jed York said he gives Nolan "a lot of credit for helping set the foundation for this current 49ers team.

"It's never easy to let somebody go that you have so much respect for, and you wish things had worked out differently for Mike. … He is a very classy man and he's a heck of a football coach," York said.

Some key 49ers were acquired during Nolan's regime, including LB Patrick Willis and S Dashon Goldson, both first-team All-Pros, DT Justin Smith, RB Frank Gore and TEs Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker. In all, 13 players are left from Nolan's time in San Francisco.

ON THE OTHER SIDE: The 49ers secondary is coached by Ed Donatell, Atlanta's defensive coordinator in 2004-06.

Because of a relentless pass rush, that secondary usually doesn't stay in coverage long. OLB Aldon Smith was second in the league with 19.5 sacks during the regular season and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks had 6.5.

NFC title game

49ers at Falcons, 3 Sunday, Georgia Dome, Atlanta Line: 49ers by 4 TV: Ch. 13

Nolan left mark on 49ers 01/15/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 11:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Kickoff times announced for Florida-Michigan, FSU-Alabama

    Blogs

    College football's blockbuster season openers finally have kickoff times.

  2. Why not Kaepernick?: Ryan Fitzpatrick could be ‘Earl Morrall to Jameis Winston’s Bob Griese’

    Blogs

    As the football world continues to question the Bucs’ motives for signing Ryan Fitzpatrick over Colin Kaepernick as Jameis Winston’s backup, veteran NFL writer Rick Gosselin weighs in with this post titled “The Bucs are playing a mind …

    The Bucs want Ryan Fitzpatrick to mentor Jameis Winston.
  3. This tweet from the Bucs, mocking the Falcons' 28-3 lead they lost in the Super Bowl against the Falcons, prompted a public apology from head coach Dirk Koetter, who called it "unprofessional and not smart."
  4. For starters: Rays looking to get even with Angels, with no TV

    Blogs

    The Rays are looking for a split in the four-game series with the Angels in today's 1:10 matinee, a game that is not on TV in the Tampa Bay market.

    RHP Matt Andriese will start for the Rays, seeking to go deeper than his last start, when he was ejected after hitting New York's Aaron Judge with his first pitch …

    Matt Andriese will start for the Rays.
  5. It's official: Bucs, Jaguars set joint practices for August

    Blogs

    It's been reported for some time, but the Bucs announced Thursday that they'll hold two joint practices with the Jaguars in Jacksonville on Aug. 14-15.

    Bucs running back Charles Sims runs against the Jaguars in a preseason game last year. The two teams had joint practice last year and will again in August.