Just got off the phone with Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren. A lot of fans have wondered whether Holmgren will last another year in Seattle and, if not, whether the 49ers might be interested in making the one-time San Francisco assistant their next head coach. Holmgren always speaks fondly of his time with the 49ers and has said on many occasions that he loves the Bay Area.
Maiocco asked Holmgren if he thinks about job security and whether he's pondered what will happen at the end of the season. It didn't sound as if his eye was wandering beyond Seattle.
"I think I have tremendous fire," he said. "I like our football team. I like our guys. I really wish we were better than we are right now."
He also said he has had no discussions with Seattle management about the future.
"I have another year on my contract for next year," he said. "Other than that, I haven't talked with anyone about anything."
It should be noted that the 49ers management hasn't expressed any dissatisfaction with Mike Nolan and his staff. Nolan still has half the season to turn his team around, and the gist of the conference call conversations today - both with Holmgren and Julian Peterson - was that the NFC West still was anyone's division to win. Well, except for maybe the Rams.
The 49ers might get "Flexed" out of their prime time game against Tampa Bay on Dec. 23. Sure, there's a nice story line with return of Jeff Garcia, who has the Buccaneers off to a 5-4 start. But if the 49ers don't improve by then, look instead for the NFL to award the prime time game to either Redskins at Vikings or Giants at Bills.
Sports Illustrated, which loves lists like Norm loves beer, has ranked the 32 NFL stadium experiences. The Monster Park experience comes in at No. 30, edging out only the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome and the Jets stadium. As someone who's been to just about every stadium (no Houston, Buffalo, Cleveland or Miami yet) I tend to agree. The only thing that boosts the experience, in my opinion, is knowing that you're in the stadium where Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Steve Young played and where "The Catch" took place. Wonder where that play would rank on SI's list of top NFL plays ever ...
-- Matt Barrows