49ers Blog and Q&A

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

November 4, 2007
Nolan can't shake time out troubles

Remember last year in St. Louis when Mike Nolan chose not to go for it on fourth and one? Of course you do - I still get e-mails about it. For a lot of 49ers fans, that was the point they started to lose faith in the head coach. My problem with that sequence wasn't so much Nolan's decision to kick a short field goal on fourth down but his decision to call a timeout before the just-as-critical third-and-one play. The 49ers had marched down the field with ease, they had the Rams defense on the ropes, it was a standing TKO. But the timeout gave the defense a chance to catch its breath and regroup. The result - the Rams stuffed Michael Robinson for no gain.

Which, of course, explains the massive case of déjà vu I experienced today in Atlanta. It was almost the exact situation: 49ers driving down the field, stealing momentum, putting the Falcons' defenders on their backsides. They drive all the way to the one-yard line and what do the 49ers do? They call timeout, thus enabling the Falcons to gather themselves and then stuff - who? - Michael Robinson for a three-yard loss on third down. Freaky. And frustrating.

Nolan will get lots of flak Monday at 12:15 for burning two timeouts early in the fourth quarter and deservedly so. The most critical blunder in my opinion is letting the Falcons off the hook. That's two years in a row. Nolan should have learned.

****
It's hard to blame offensive coordinator Jim Hostler for this loss. There were plenty of calls that could have - indeed, should have - gone for big gains, but the execution was not there. For example, if Alex Smith doesn't overthrow Bryan Gilmore by two feet in the second quarter, Gilmore is off to the races for an 83-yard touchdown. Later, if Darrell Jackson doesn't let a pass glance off his fingertips, he's in the end zone with a touchdown

****
Sidney Rice caught four passes today for 66 yards, one of them for a touchdown. Calvin Johnson had three catches for 47 yards and James Jones went three for 32. Why do I mention them? They're all rookie receivers. Which just goes to show that, yes, a rookie receiver can be productive. But you have to give him a chance.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW 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.

FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Get news in your inbox | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying

Categories


November 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Monthly Archives


Ask a question

Please use the form below to submit your question. Because there is a 100-word limit for questions, a word counter is located directly beneath the box where you enter the your question.

Name:
City:
 State:
E-mail:

49ers Question:

Your letter contains of 100 words allowed.  Count words


Your IP Address has been recorded as 152.52.255.247 and will be included with this submission.