49ers Blog and Q&A

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

October 21, 2007
In Hostler we trust? Apparently not

Frank Gore is the last person you'd expect would say something controversial. And there's a very good chance he didn't intend for his words to be controversial. What Gore said following the 49ers' fourth straight loss on Sunday afternoon is that the 49ers' players need to stop worrying about the play calls and start playing with more -- what was the word he used over and over? -- trust. Uh oh.

The implication, of course, is that the 49ers are worried about the play calls and don't trust offensive coordinator Jim Hostler. In fact, Gore said that wasn't an issue last season because Norv Turner had so much experience and so much success in the league that players followed him blindly. Mike Nolan said he's still fully behind Hostler, whom he has defended since nearly the start of the season. He again gave a thumb's up to the game plan following the loss to the Giants. But watch what he does, not what he says. Nolan sent Hostler into the coaching booth for today's game despite the fact that Hostler, as recently as Wednesday, said he preferred to coach from the sideline. Nolan is starting to choke up on the leash. Billy Davis will tell you what that feels like.

Is there an insurrection afoot in the 49ers' lockerroom? Not outwardly anyway. All the players, from Joe Staley to Trent Dilfer, continue to say that the team is together. In fact, Dilfer said he's been on plenty of teams that had begun to come apart at the seams. When he stood in front of the media back then, Dilfer said Sunday, he would tell them that everything was just fine when in reality the situation was tense and the lockerroom fragmenting. Dilfer said this as a way of telling the assembled media that, as far as 49ers' unity is concerned, everything is just fine. We should believe him ... right?

-- 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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