49ers Blog and Q&A

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

September 27, 2008
Q&A: If Martz goes, will JTO follow?

Question: How do the 49ers not offer Martz the head coaching job if the 49ers go at least 10-6 and the offense keeps up the pace all year? He brought in O'Sullivan, kick started the offense, and brought back respectability....something Nolan has not accomplished in 3 Losing seasons. It is clear that if the Niners succeed, it is not the coaching of Mike Nolan but Mike Martz.
Patrick, Montclair, NJ

Answer: It's waaaaaay too early to be speculating about this, but since you brought it up ... Yes, it's hard to see the Yorks letting Martz get away should they finish with a respectable record. He's brought near-instant credibility to an offense that has absolutely stunk for the last four seasons. Lose Martz and both the continuity and the credibility go away. And there's another issue the Yorks have to think about as the season draws to a close - O'Sullivan. The 49ers can't sign O'Sullivan to a long-term deal until after the season. If another team - let's say the Chiefs - lures Martz away, whom do you think he's taking with him? Lose Martz and the 49ers also risk losing O'Sullivan.
- Matt

Question: I know it's too early -- well, no it's not -- but when can we expect the 49ers to lock in JTO to a long(er) term contract?
Mike, Sacramento

Answer: Actually, it is too early. JTO signed a specific type of contract that prevents the team from extending him until after the season is over. This is what makes the Martz situation (see above) so delicate.
- Matt

Question: J.T. O'Sullivan is 29. I was wondering if the 49ers would draft a QB in the 09 draft, like maybe in the 3rd or 4th round.
Miguel, Sacramento

Answer: I think it depends on whether two players stick around - Alex Smith and Jamie Martin. It also depends on whether Martz is still here. He's built a reputation as a QB genius, but he's drafted few of those QBs. That is, he seems to have had his most success with multi-year veterans.
- Matt

Question: Matt, Could you ask Jed if there are any plans to retire Dave Wilcox's number? Is he the only Niner HOFer besides Jerry whose number is not retired?
Mike, Oregon City, Ore

Answer: Including Young, the 49ers have retired 11 numbers and they have 13 members in the hall of fame. The HOFs who have not had their numbers retired are Wilcox, Y.A. Tittle, Fred Dean, John Henry Johnson and Bill Walsh. The players who have had their numbers retired but who are not in the HOF are Dwight Clark, Charlie Krueger and John Brodie
- Matt



Question: Great that Steve Young's number is being retired - I'm all for it. Just curious though, how come #80 hasn't received the same yet? Thanks, keep up the good work.
Don, Modesto

Answer: Now why would the 49ers retire Isaac Bruce's practice jersey? Kidding! Retiring JR's number ahead of SY's may have seemed like a slap in the face to Young. After all, JR's only been retired for a year.
- Matt

Question: Do you think that Nolan's demeanor has anything to do with the credit Martz has been receiving for the success so far?
Jeff, Sacramento

Answer: I've wondered the same thing, but I don't think so. Nolan decided on his current approach - be as circumspect and business-like as possible - well before the season began.
- Matt

Question: I don't believe Mike Holmes is the only defensive player besides Rossum to score on offense as a 49er. Back in the 1960's, Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson played mostly on defense, but once in a while was used at wide receiver. I believe he caught a TD pass or two. Check me on this and see if I'm right? Keep up the good work, Matt, all of us 49er fans appreciate your hard work!!!
Dennis, Elk Grove

Answer: I believe you're correct. ... Johnson, by the way, was a personal favorite of former 49er coach Dick Nolan.
- Matt

Question: When are the 49ers going to come to their senses and bring back the Lott era Niners unis? For crying out loud, those are classic, good looking and perfect all around. The current maroon and black mess looks bad even when they are blowing out the Lions.
Erik, Mill Valley

Answer: I agree. But as I wrote in the spring, the earliest the 49ers can change the uniforms is 2010. It doesn't seem like it's a top priority.
- Matt

Question: Hey Matt, Do not stay out on Bourbon Street too late. I know you have a former colleague who works for the Times Picayune but just wanted to send you a link for restaurants in New Orleans. This is the site of a local food critic, Tom Fitzmorris. Hope you enjoy your time in town. http://www.nomenu.com/RestaurantsOpenCuisine.html
Teddy, Kenner, La.

Answer: Thanks for the site and thanks for the warning. You know that line from the song "The House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals? " ... it's been the ruin of many a poor boy ..." Well, the Big Easy has been the ruin of many a poor 49ers beat writer (sorry, no names) including me. I almost - almost - ruined my days-with-out-vomiting streak back in 2003 but I summoned my inner Chuck Norris and somehow kept it together. Sadly, that streak, which stretched for 11 years, would end the next year in a hotel room in Hawaii. But I digress ...
- Matt


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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