49ers Mike Nolan Conference Call Quotes

HEAD COACH MIKE NOLAN (on his decision to go with Alex Smith as the starter) “I felt it was time to do it. I believe he’s prepared.

HEAD COACH MIKE NOLAN (on his decision to go with Alex Smith as the starter)

"I felt it was time to do it. I believe he's prepared. Certainly we're going against a very good opponent, but that doesn't have a whole lot to do with it because everybody is good in our eyes at this point. I just wanted to make the change, and felt it was the right time to do it."

HEAD COACH MIKE NOLAN (on Alex Smith being enthused about starting)

"He doesn't really show it that much because I think he is a focused individual that doesn't get all excited because he understands the importance and the work involved in it. But he has been working like the starter ever since he got here. He's a gym rat kind of a guy. I would hope that in time he would be much like (Peyton Manning), as far as the prep work and all that goes. I've known Peyton since he was a little kid myself, his dad was the quarterback for my father at the Saints. And this guy [Alex Smith], from a work ethic standpoint and a gym rat kind of deal, he's an intelligent guy, he has leadership skills. All of those things are very similar to what Peyton has, but certainly this guy is a rookie and this is his first start."

HEAD COACH MIKE NOLAN (on the Colts pass rush coming after Alex Smith)

"Sure, yeah without question they would. I think they'll try to get Dwight Freeney freed up any way they can. I would think without question they will try to do that."

HEAD COACH MIKE NOLAN (on Alex Smith's mobility being able to help him)

"I would hope so, yes. He's a very good athlete and that's one of the reasons I think he was bumped up as a prospect as a quarterback because any of those guys that can keep the play alive with their legs, that's a good thing. I would say as we go forward, I would hope that there would be a number of plays that he would keep alive just because of that."

HEAD COACH MIKE NOLAN (on the progression of Arnaz Battle to wide receiver)

"He's progressed very well. We're anxious to get him back [from injury] because he's a very productive player. In my opinion, in time, he's much like a Hines Ward type of guy. Very tough, very physical, very versatile, both of them were quarterbacks in college, they make a lot of plays, they understand football and they compete at a very high level."

HEAD COACH MIKE NOLAN (on what he anticipates from Peyton Manning on Sunday)

"It's hard to argue against the fact that Peyton's probably the best quarterback in the league right now. I think so. He operates that offense so well. He not only makes plays himself, but he gets the other guys in position to make plays as well. So basically, he is exactly what you look for a quarterback to be. Not only a good player individually, but a guy that makes the other 10 guys good players also. I think that's the thing that sets him apart. I've really got a lot of respect for him."

HEAD COACH MIKE NOLAN (on his decision on LB-Jamie Winborn)

"I didn't do it for Mike Nolan, I did do it for our football team. There was no disciplinary action involved. Jamie sees himself as a starter and I am going to try to accommodate that. I do not want anyone on our football team that does not accept, openly and willingly, the position they're in to help our football team win. I don't mind guys wantings to be the starter when their backups, but there is a way to be a team player."

HEAD COACH MIKE NOLAN (on his adjustment as head coach)

"We've had a lot of instances that weren't football related, but the fact of the matter is that I am encouraged by a lot of things I see. We aren't playing well as a team in certain area, time of possession if where we're the worst, and that's why it throws everything else off. Our ranking on both sides of the ball is I believe last, but a lot of that is because a third of the time our opponent has the ball more than we do. I am encouraged in the way the organization is going."

HEAD COACH MIKE NOLAN (on Dwight Freeney affecting the game-plan)

"Anytime you are getting ready for an opponent, you have to identify their best players and certainly Freeney is one of their best players. Our offense will identify him in that way and as every team does and they'll have a plan of attack that they think can at least slow that player down. I think what you try to do with good players is just minimize their impact on the outcome. And that's what we'll do with Freeney. They've got some other players that are good also. I understand that [Bob] Sanders is playing well, or at least he's a physical guy. You have to watch out or he'll blow you up."

HEAD COACH MIKE NOLAN (on following the way Bill Polian has built the Colts as a model)

"I looked at some of the things that Bill had done when he went in there pretty hard. That franchise, I think there are a lot of things, a model, that you can get out of that franchise and the way Bill Polian has done them."

HEAD COACH MIKE NOLAN (on if he's surprised about the success and his former player Brandon Stokley)

"I am absolutely not surprised one bit that he's had success their. Brandonis an outstanding player. He just needed to get into a system that could utilize his talents. I've got a tremendous amount of respect for Brandon. He's a great guy, works hard. I don't know if there's a route runner that can sit on moves better than he can. He was a pleasure to coach."

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