He said it: Mike Nolan after Chargers game

A disappointed Mike Nolan gives his takes late Thursday night on several subjects surrounding the 49ers' 16-13 loss to the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in the preseason finale for both teams.

On not getting what he wanted to see from his offense: "The thing that probably was the most disturbing was just the turnovers - six in the game, five really prior to that last ball that we just threw down the field. That's far too many turnovers when you play a good football team. Last week, we did some other things to create problems for ourselves, and today the turnovers made a difference. But I was pleased with the defense. The first defense did a nice job. Both teams held a player here and there out of the game, so the matchups I thought were pretty good across the board from the first half to the second half. So there's things gained from this football game. We have some tough decisions to make tomorrow, and we'll probably make a few cuts tomorrow and then finish up on Saturday. So we'll go from there."

On being concerned about the mental aspect after back-to-back shoddy performances in the preseason by the first-team offense: "I would have liked to have seen them play better the last two weeks, no question. And I really felt that would be the case after the first two weeks. I don't like the excuses - you know, I don't make any of them. So I'm not going to go with one like, 'Those last two teams are good,' because those are the teams you're going to face during the season. So you have to perform well against them. I know there's a lot more to the regular season than the preseason from the standpoint of all the effort, from a scheme standpoint, that you put into the game and all that. But what you do want to find out in preseason, is if without schemes, you got guys that can make plays and make it happen. I know we have players that make plays, whether it's Darrell Jackson, whether it's Vernon Davis, Frank Gore. But we have to do that. That's probably the disappointment. Darrell, for example, didn't get all the time we'd like. So there's some things that are kind of up in the air as far as why certain things happened. But, like I said, you'd like them all to perform well, even without scheme. That's what happens when you have good players."

On the performance of San Francisco's offensive line: "I'll save judgment for the film. Anytime the ball's not moving, somebody is at fault, and typically it's not just one player. But we do have some depth in this offensive line, and I do expect them to play at a very high level. The expectations of those guys is probably going to be higher than it is for a lot of other positions, and rightfully so. As we go forward, that group has to have the expectation level that if it doesn't move, it's our fault. And that's what I expect out of them."

On Bryant Young playing his first snaps of the preseason: "He got about a half-dozen snaps and then he came on out. So he got the taste of it again. I think that's what he wanted - he just wanted to get a little taste before we got ready for the opener. I didn't want to give him much work. I think after 14 years, he has a pretty good idea."

On Delanie Walker stepping up at tight end and also returning kicks: "We just wanted to put him back there and get a look. I don't know that he's cut out to do the kickoff return. I think he's a heck of a wing. You know, if they kick it a little short, he's the guy that leads up on the ball, he's kind of like a fullback on the thing. If they do kick short, he's a good guy to get the ball, because he's a quick start guy. But if you take it from all the way deep … We wanted to give him a shot today, but I don't know if that's his cup of tea, at least right now. But he's certainly a guy, that in a role that's one step closer to the kicker, he does a very good job."

On going to the run in the fourth quarter: "When you get into the fourth quarter of this game, or get close to it, it's just time to just, you know, knock em back. At the same, it's working. That's a real good group of guys we've got out there from the standpoint of running the ball. They looked tired on the other side of the ball, and if you feel you can take advantage of it, go ahead. If you can get five or six like we were getting on a run, or even more, then what the heck. It's a lot safer than throwing the ball for five or six."

On the play of rookie receiver Jason Hill: "He's a very quiet performer. He gets out there and he makes some plays from time to time whether it is at wide receiver or in the kicking game, and he's done a nice job with that the entire preseason. So I'm pleased about what he's done thus far, but I really believe that his best football is in front of him. And with the coaching by Jerry Sullivan, I'm very confident that he's going to be a good player. How much he'll be active and involved the early part of the season, we'll have to wait and see. But I do like what I see."


Niners Digest Top Stories