Monday Night Football of little help to 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers had a bye week. Their upcoming opponent, the New York Giants, played on Monday night. But the 49ers did not get a head start in its preparation. Instead, they reverted back to "training camp mode" to practice their base offenses and defenses.

And they watched the Giants' Monday night victory over the Atlanta Falcons because, well, it was on television. Otherwise, the team probably did not glean much useful information that will help them prepare for the Giants.

"When I watch as a spectator, I watch a lot of offense because from the TV copy you're always on the ball and you can't see what the defense is doing," 49ers quarterback Alex Smith said. "So as a spectator, I watch the quarterback play like everyone else."

As far as watching the defense, Smith said he will not be able to tell what's going on most of the time.

"You can tell what they're doing up front but you can't see what the safeties are doing," Smith said. "It helps when they replay stuff and they show bigger picture, like from the end zone angle."

Coach Mike Nolan said he planned to have the Giants game playing in the background while the coaching staff worked on its game plan. He said the only knowledge he can gain from watching the TV version of a game is the offensive tempo. The coaching tape begins just before the snap and shuts off at the conclusion of the play.

"You could watch an entire game and not know it was a no-huddle game," Nolan said.

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