Offensive coordinator Jim Hostler will get a bird's eye view of today's game. Hostler, who called plays from the 49ers' sidelines during the first five games, will be in the coaches' booth today. Quarterbacks coack Frank Cignetti presumably will be on the field.
The decison appears to be Nolan's. On Wednesday, he implied that Hostler could be in the booth for today's game but said the two would talk later. That same day, I asked Hostler about the situation and he said he was certain he'd continue to call games from the field where he was most comfortable. "Our inability to get it done on offense has nothing to do with where I call the plays," he said at the time. Hostler also added, however, that it ultimately was not his decision to make.
In my view, it's a good call. Trent Dilfer,a 13-year veteran, certainly doesn't need as much hand's-on coaching as Alex Smith, so it's a good game for Hostler to get accustomed to the booth. Being up also gives Hostler a chance to get away from Nolan. As anyone who watched the recent "mic'ed up" feature on NFL.com can attest, Nolan can have quite a bit of influence on the play calls. Nolan certainly will continue to chime in via his headset, but being on high ought to give Hostler a bit more independence.
The inactives for today's game are WR LeRon McCoy, CB Tarell Brown, S Keith Lewis, G Tony Wragge, T Kwame Harris, DT Atiyyah Ellison and WR Jason Hill. Alex Smith is the third QB.
-- Matt Barrows