Well, the 49ers managed to attract the biggest media contingent of the season. Of course, the horde was here to talk about the nettlesome relationship between Mike Nolan and Alex Smith. Nolan to his credit faced the music and answered all the questions that were fired at him. He insists his assessment of Smith hasn't changed and that he is still the 49ers' quarterback of the future. Smith spoke to the team -- apologized for being a distaction -- Wednesday morning before jetting off to Alabama for his shoulder surgery.
* Before leaving, Smith got an earful from guard Justn Smiley. Nothing critical, mind you. Instead, Smiley was giving Smith the low-down on Dr. James Andrews, with whom Smiley is quite familiar. Andrews not only is the team orthopedist for the University of Alabama, Smiley's alma mater, he has had a few surgeries there already. The last one occurred four weeks ago, in fact, when Smiley had his right shoulder repaired. Smiley told Smith to skip the hospital food and head to Full Moon BBQ across the street. Smiley might want to load up himself. After beginning the season at 327 pounds, he's down to 295. He said he'll soon be able to start working out again in hopes of rebuilding some of the muscle he's lost because of his injury.
* Why did the 49ers sign Chris Weinke? One reason is that he's good friends with Scot McCloughan from their days together in the Toronto Blue Jays' farm system. Weinke was a first baseman; McCloughan was an outfielder. McCloughan knew Weinke was a smart guy -- the type of guy who might be able to pick up an unfamiliar offense in a couple of weeks.
* Speaking of 35-year-old QBs, Trent Dilfer said he's still feeling the after effects of the hit he absorbed Sunday. He said he's had a couple of concussions before in his career, but never as bad as this one. I asked him if having prior concussions makes this one more concerning. His response: "The way I feel right now is concerning." Dilfer is out for Saturday's game and there's no guarantee he'll be back for the Tampa Bay game, either.
* Marcus Hudson (knee) and Dilfer are out for the Bengals game. Arnaz Battle (ankle), Isaac Sopoaga (back), Shawntae Spencer (groin) and Jeff Ulbrich (ankle) did not practice. Frank Gore (ankle) was limited while Derek Smith (groin) did everything.
-- Matt Barrows