Then what the heck was he doing?
Nolan said he might miss the first part of a series because he is talking to the team's defense after a change of possession. Or a lot of times, he might be concentrating all his effort into watching the opponent's defense.
"A lot of times when our offense is on the field, the way I can help the offense and (offensive coordinator) Mike McCarthy is to stare down the defense. Because as soon as the ball's snapped I can see what they're doing and I can say, 'Mike, this is what you're getting,' as opposed to watching our own players and seeing how they're executing the plays."
Nolan said that is the best way he can help the team's offense because of his expertise on the defensive side of the ball. Nolan was a long-time NFL defensive assistant before the 49ers hired him in January as head coach.
"The offensive coaches already know if a guy misses a block or if a guy makes a block or why a play worked and why it didn't," Nolan said. "My expertise is on the other side, so..."
So Nolan said he will offer input to the offensive coaches along the lines of, "Here's what (the defense is) doing and why they're doing this, and this is what we need to do," Nolan said.
"It's using my strengths," Nolan added. "I already have guys to do the other jobs. I try to utilize my strengths so they can be most helpful to the offense."
Not much has worked for the 49ers offense in recent weeks. The club has scored just eight offensive touchdowns in eight games. Since Tim Rattay was benched and subsequently traded, the 49ers have gained just 234 net yards passing in four games.
They have started four different quarterbacks this season and will no have no easy task of getting on track against the Bears third ranked defense in the NFL.