49ers Blog and Q&A

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

October 26, 2008
Nolan, Condoleezza Rice are news on NFL Network

Mike Nolan appeared on NFL Gameday Morning on the NFL Network today a little after 7:30 a.m. He, of course, was asked about his Monday dismissal, his tenure with the 49ere and whether he wants to continue coaching. A: "Oh, very much so."

The host, Spero Dedes, obviously hadn't been following the week's news and didn't listen to Nolan's opening statement in which he identified Jed York as the person who fired him. Because Dedes' opening question was this:

Q: Was that exchange awkward, because after all you were the one who brought general manager Scot McCloughan into San Francisco and he's the one who brings the news ...?
A: "To be perfectly honest, Jed was the one who came into the office and we sat down and spoke, you know, Jed York. Scot was somewhere else at the time. He came in after a little while. We came and got him because there were some things we had to get straight, get some things ironed out."

Q: Was the writing was on the wall going into the Giants game?
A: "Yes it was, and it had been that way for a few weeks. It really all started at the end of last season. There were some changes made at the end of last year, I think it was kind of lines drawn on what we needed to do on this and that. So I knew we had to win early...

Q: Looking back, any regrets on selecting Alex Smith?
A: "Honestly, I haven't really looked back until this week. I've had time to reflect on certain things. And it's hard to say if the information were different what we would have done, maybe choosing Aaron Rodgers or that kind of topic. Things that were brought to my attention. At the same time, we made a decision based on the best information we had at that time. It's been unfortunate in Alex's case, he's been hurt for two of the years now of his first four seasons in the NFL. He did play a lot early. But we never seemed to really get over the hump. He's had some outstanding coaches. I know that he's had different coordinators. On one hand you can look at that as being a negative. On the other hand, when you've had coordinators like Mike McCarthy and Norv Turner and most recently Mike Martz, you've had outstanding coaches. So that can only bode well for you and make you a better play."

The NFL Network also had an item on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice potentially joining the 49ers as team president. Reporter Adam Schefter said he had spoken to a 49ers official who said that was a possibility. Rice went to Stanford, she is friendly with former 49ers receiver and current league director of football operations Gene Washington and she's expressed interest in joining the league in some capacity. But how would she be welcomed in San Francisco? Her politics don't exactly scream "Bay Area." The prospect of Rice joining the 49ers got a chilly reception from show co-hosts Marshall Faulk and Warren Sapp, and I imagine it would get a similar response from most 49ers fans.

Speaking of 49ers officials, here's the story I wrote today about Jed York. I met York in his very modest-sized office Friday and he was nice enough to show me the photographs and memorabilia that are important to him. It is clear that he is very much a DeBartolo and very much a York and that he is very much the future of the franchise..

-- 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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