He said it: Mike Nolan after loss to Saints

Coach Mike Nolan gives his takes on the game and quarterback Alex Smith on Sunday afternoon after the 49ers' fifth consecutive loss - a demoralizing 31-10 defeat to the New Orleans Saints at Monster Park in San Francisco.

On his overview of the game: "Tough loss in front of our fans. We're sitting at 2-5, same place we were last year, not where we wanted to be, not where we hoped to be at this time, but as we did last year, we climbed back up to .500 and got back in the race. I would hope for us to do the same thing this year. We do not have quitters on this team. We'll continue to fight, work hard and prepare. Coaches, players, everyone takes responsibility for the things that are going on. I don't believe we lack talent, although that talent is very young and we play young. We need to get over that. We continue to make mistakes and cause errors, it has got to get better. We've got tremendous work ethic and we've just got to get it to start showing on the field."

On if he's worried about the team losing focused after all these latest losses: "You'd think we'd lose focus at 2-5, but we haven't. It's the same group and we've been down this road before and they didn't, so I'm speaking from history, not hopeful thinking."

On Alex Smith's performance: "I didn't look at the statistics but obviously the quarterback's job is to win games. Just like those games where we won, and the statistics weren't that pretty, I thought the quarterback did a good job because we won the game. He's a tough son of a gun. He's tough, he's smart, and he plays until the end. So, aside from the outcome, I respect his performance. I respect his guts and at some point our offense will get going and he will be recognized as being a part of it."

On any thoughts of pulling Smith because he looked to be in pain after every throw: "You might have seen him hit the head coach if I had told him he was coming out. He was pretty adamant about what he wanted to do."

On whether he thought about pulling Smith out of the game: "Sure. With any player, I don't care if it's the kicker Joe Nedney, if I see him hurting, I'm going to ask him if he can go or not. That's why I say I admire his (Alex's) toughness. The doctors will step in before, if something's not right, and it's to that point."

On whether he would say Smith was ineffective: "I wouldn't say ineffective. There were some good plays. He made some good throws. There were some overthrows too. I go on doctor's recommendations. If the doctor came up and said he's not playing, Alex could hit the head coach, because it's not going to matter. The doctors say this is what you do. If they say he can go and Alex says he can go, he goes."

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