49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

May 20, 2007
Shades of Nolan in Kiffin

Question: As a member of the Faithful, a mention of the Raiders initiates a retching sensation. That said, their new coach gives me similar vibes as Nolan in his early days: strong vision, disciplined, seemingly in control. Have you and (Raiders beat writer) Jason Jones discussed similarities? (I understand if this is not appropriate for the 49er blog.) Enjoy your work/want your job!

Jeff, Roseville

Answer: Sure, everybody wants my job now that the 49ers are on the verge of winning. Where were you in 2003?

To answer your question, Jeff, Jason and I haven't discussed similarities yet, mainly because Lane Kiffin is still getting his feet wet and it's hard to assess who he really is at this point. But you're right, both men come from NFL families, both are young(ish) and both stress discipline. One big difference, however, is that Nolan was an NFL assistant for 17 seasons before being hired by the 49ers. That, it seems to me, gives him a huge advantage as far as finding the right people to round out his coaching staff and developing a philosophy for dealing with players. Nolan has worked under a lot of coaches. He has seen what has worked (Dan Reeves) and what hasn't (Norv Turner). That's something Kiffin will have to develop on the fly.

- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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