Bad timing in Nolan firing?

Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that firing head coach Mike Nolan was the right move by the 49ers, but the timing was awful.

Mike NolanThis is the theme that runs through the 49ers’ administration – it has a spectacularly lousy sense of timing.

Look, Nolan has been a toe in search of a tag since the end of last season. His flaws have been examined in minute detail, and his gifts do not measure favorably by comparison. This day was coming. It simply makes no sense to having it come Monday, unless you recognize that the 49ers don’t do anything through planning. It’s knee meets jerk, time and again.

Nolan got fired for a lot of reasons. He got fired when he did because the failings of the franchises were leading back to John York, and York hired Nolan and gave him all the decision-making power and the pulpit to be the face of the franchise so that he would provide a cushion between York and the public.

So York decided, reflexively and with no discernible strategy save getting out of the line of fire, that Nolan had finished serving the purpose for which he had been hired. York couldn’t wait one more week, when a firing would have made sense. He had to do it now, because … well, just because.

Ratto’s probably right, but once the cat was out of the bag, it’s kind of hard to get the thing back in. Sometimes it’s better to just cut your losses (at whatever time you do it) and move on. Singletary is not in a great place now, but he’s always been a motivator and who knows, maybe the 49ers can come together in the wake of this move and compete. They certainly have enough talent; they just need direction.

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49ers fire head coach Mike Nolan

Following the lead of the Rams and Raiders, the 49ers decided to fire their head coach as Mike Nolan got the axe on Monday night.

Mike NolanMike Nolan has confirmed to FOX Sports that he has been fired by the San Francisco 49ers. Nolan was informed by team brass late Monday afternoon.

It is assumed that current defensive coordinator Mike Singletary will assume Nolan’s coaching duties. There were reports earlier today that Nolan would be fired after the team’s next game Sunday against Seattle, but ownership instead decided not to wait.

Nolan was in the midst of his fourth season in San Francisco and leaves with an 18-37 record. The 49ers appeared to have hope after a 7-9 season in 2006 — the team’s best record in three years at the time.

But the Niners sank to 5-11 last season as Nolan and his one-time franchise quarterback Alex Smith reportedly had a falling out, with the Niners’ offense ranking as the league’s worst in 2007.
This season’s 49ers began with mild hope after beginning the year 2-1, but local media pressure increased during a three-game losing streak.

San Fran really didn’t have much choice. Nolan’s specialty was supposed to be defense, yet the 49ers have gotten worse in that area each of the last two seasons despite adding pricey free agents Nate Clements, Michael Lewis and Justin Smith.

I’m pulling for Singletary to get a shot as interim because he deserves the opportunity to see what he can do as a head coach. Either way, at least Niner fans won’t be forced to watch Nolan on the sidelines in that ridiculous suit anymore.

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