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View Full Version : Brian Billick says Nolan best coach hes been around in years.


socalorado
01-14-2009, 01:11 PM
http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/9...40813162&ATT=5

Propensity? Intensity McDaniels' choice of Nolan to rebuild defense 'great hire'

by Lee Rasizer, Rocky Mountain News , Rocky Mountain News

Mike Nolan was only 33 in 1993 when he was hired to be a coordinator in the NFL for the first time.

He spent his youth before that at various pro camps, shagging punts with the players and helping out where he could, while his father, Dick, was coach of the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints.
Needless to say, X's and O's almost always were part of the family's dinnertime lexicon.

And when it came to single- minded focus, Mike Nolan had that, too, with the late general manager of the New York Giants, George Young, once saying, "No one will outwork him."

That story sounds eerily similar to the one presented in recent days about new Broncos coach Josh McDaniels. It immediately becomes understandable, then, why Nolan would be the choice as his new defensive coordinator.

Nolan signed a two-year contract Tuesday.

"I think it's a great pick," said former Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick, who had Nolan run his defense from 2002 to 2004 before Nolan left to become, as his father before him, coach of the 49ers.

"You're obviously talking about an incredible amount of experience, both in the league and as a head coach, which is obviously something Josh can draw on. Mike is the best coach I've ever been around. He's knowledgeable and very demanding of his players, but in a way that they knew that it's in their best interests, and they respond to that very readily.

"He had a very commanding presence with the players and they'll listen to him and recognize his capabilities. It's a great hire."

It's the fifth team for which Nolan will be the defensive coordinator, following 11 combined years with the Giants (1993 to 1996), Washington Redskins (1997 to 1999), New York Jets (2000) and Ravens, where he also spent one season as a receivers coach.

Billick described Nolan with words such as "intense" and "professional" and labeled his philosophy as adaptable.

"The one thing you can be sure about Mike is he'll do what's best for his personnel," Billick said. "He's not going to shove them into a mold of, 'Well, this is what I know.' For us, for example, we had transitioned from a lot of good linebackers to a minimal number of defensive linemen, so it made sense to do the 3-4. Then we acquired the defensive linemen and transitioned back. Mike's not going to get pigeonholed as just one or the other."

It also will be Nolan's second go-round with the Broncos. His first job after four college stops was working as Dan Reeves' special-teams coach for two seasons before overseeing the linebackers, starting in 1989.

Four years later, Reeves was fired and hired by the Giants, and Nolan was given oversight of the New York defense at nearly the same age as McDaniels is now, 32.

"I just think he's a really bright Football coach and a great communicator. That's what you need to be able to do, work with people to put a defensive scheme together," Reeves said Tuesday. "He knows personnel very well. You look back at some of the players that he's coached, and the defensive coordinator and the head coach have a lot to do with those people being there.

"I can go all the way back to Michael Strahan, and we had other good players. Mike was there when Strahan was drafted. I think he's great in a rebuilding program, or one already built. And he already has been in that organization. He knows the owner, knows the people, knows the town and how the fans are. I think all those things help him."

The Broncos' current defense is a hefty rebuilding project. It has allowed 409 and 448 points in consecutive seasons. The club set franchise lows in takeaways (13), while yielding a 63.6 percent completion rate and 146.1 rushing yards a game, finishing in the lower tier in numerous other categories this season.

Yet Nolan has faced similar tasks before, with mixed results, since leaving the Giants.

In Washington, he was skewered on a regular basis and fired after the Redskins ranked 30th out of then 31 teams after his third season.

With the Jets, he took a group that was 21st overall to 10th in one year but lost his job when Al Groh's staff was replaced by new coach Herm Edwards and his assistants.

The Ravens roster was heavily purged in 2002 when Nolan replaced Marvin Lewis, losing Tony Siragusa, Sam Adams and Rob Burnett from a stout defensive line.

But Nolan eventually switched to a 3-4 front and helped a team with an NFL-record 19 rookies re-establish itself on defense. The Ravens were ranked third overall the next season, sixth in 2004.

Those results helped land Nolan the 49ers job, which came with a defense that had allowed a franchise-record points and was a league-worst 2-14.

"First of all, he's very sound," Reeves said. "He wants to be a defense that doesn't give up the big plays, that makes a team earn what they get and don't make mistakes. He's aggressive, yet not aggressive to the point where's taking a lot of chances that will get you hurt. And I think he uses his personnel really well. He adjusts the defense to the personnel."

Like Nolan's tenure in Baltimore, San Francisco bounced between 4-3 and 3-4 looks in Nolan's 31/2 seasons but was hamstrung by the ill-fated selection of Alex Smith as the No. 1 pick in Nolan's initial draft.

Some Broncos fans might be lukewarm to Nolan because of that recent history, but Reeves believes that would be unfair.

"If you look at where San Francisco was when he came there and where they are now, I think he's definitely got them on the right track," said Reeves, who still communicates with Nolan and broadcasts various NFL games as a radio analyst to maintain his pulse on the league.

"He wasn't able to finish that process, but you look at the defensive personnel they've got. He's had a couple really good defensive players make the Pro Bowl, even when his Football team was struggling. You have to look at the whole body of work and realize Mike's a really good Football coach."

NASurfer
01-14-2009, 01:17 PM
Like Nolan's tenure in Baltimore, San Francisco bounced between 4-3 and 3-4 looks in Nolan's 31/2 seasons but was hamstrung by the ill-fated selection of Alex Smith as the No. 1 pick in Nolan's initial draft.

Some Broncos fans might be lukewarm to Nolan because of that recent history, but Reeves believes that would be unfair.

That parts pretty telling. I'm, a little iffey based on what happened with the 49ers and Washington but he won't have a bad offense like the 49ers did nor a terrible GM like Daniel Snyder.

I hope he turns out.

supermanhr9
01-14-2009, 01:20 PM
great article, read about 75% then moved on. All in all we should be excited about these two hires. If this doesn't work out, I say we sign Lebron at any position he wants.

bronco militia
01-14-2009, 01:21 PM
"The one thing you can be sure about Mike is he'll do what's best for his personnel," Billick said. "He's not going to shove them into a mold of, 'Well, this is what I know.' For us, for example, we had transitioned from a lot of good linebackers to a minimal number of defensive linemen, so it made sense to do the 3-4. Then we acquired the defensive linemen and transitioned back. Mike's not going to get pigeonholed as just one or the other."

good

bronco militia
01-14-2009, 01:23 PM
With the Jets, he took a group that was 21st overall to 10th in one year but lost his job when Al Groh's staff was replaced by new coach Herm Edwards and his assistants.


bwhahaha....we're really going to miss King Carl

HooptyHoops
01-14-2009, 01:26 PM
I think Nolan going to bring that 'demand' factor to our defense...he has that feeling of 'don't mess with me'...this will be good as our D need a kick in the rear end....

baja
01-14-2009, 01:43 PM
Anybody think his failed defenses in Washington had anything to do with Snyder?

DomCasual
01-14-2009, 01:47 PM
The great thing about our current defense is that there's absolutely nothing Nolan could do to make it worse.

I take comfort in that.

Beantown Bronco
01-14-2009, 01:47 PM
Why do they keep mis-spelling his name in that article. It's Belichick, not Billick.

;D

broncosteven
01-14-2009, 01:58 PM
Shanny was just quoted stating that Nolan is another Buddy Ryan and McDaniels is better than Lombardi was when he took over the Pack.

He still thinks Griese is as good as Montana and Q is the next Barry Sanders.

2KBack
01-14-2009, 02:08 PM
Anybody think his failed defenses in Washington had anything to do with Snyder?

As a resident of the area, I'm positive Snyder had **** tons to do with it. That guy is a joke of an owner. He has settled in the last couple years, but when he started he acted like he was building a fantasy team or something.

I always imagained Snyder treating that team kind of like a 7 year old treats an assignment to draw his ideal car. Razor blade tires, and missle launchers on the steering wheel sound great, but they actually make a ****ty car.

BroncoBuff
01-14-2009, 02:08 PM
"The one thing you can be sure about Mike is he'll do what's best for his personnel," Billick said. "He's not going to shove them into a mold of, 'Well, this is what I know.' For us, for example, we had transitioned from a lot of good linebackers to a minimal number of defensive linemen, so it made sense to do the 3-4. Then we acquired the defensive linemen and transitioned back. Mike's not going to get pigeonholed as just one or the other."

good
Yes, that makes me a bit more receptive.

barryr
01-14-2009, 02:21 PM
So sounds like it isn't a given Nolan will go to a 3-4, at least as the base defense.

Mediator12
01-14-2009, 02:22 PM
"The one thing you can be sure about Mike is he'll do what's best for his personnel," Billick said. "He's not going to shove them into a mold of, 'Well, this is what I know.' For us, for example, we had transitioned from a lot of good linebackers to a minimal number of defensive linemen, so it made sense to do the 3-4. Then we acquired the defensive linemen and transitioned back. Mike's not going to get pigeonholed as just one or the other."

good

I know people do not want to believe this, but I said this about Nolan from day one. He can make a defense with his personnel and always has. His offensive selections in SF were his downfall, that defense has drafted some nice pieces under his guidance.

Paladin
01-14-2009, 03:33 PM
Well, they did get a MLB of some repute, as I recall......

Steve Prefontaine
01-14-2009, 03:44 PM
"First of all, he's very sound," Reeves said. "He wants to be a defense that doesn't give up the big plays, that makes a team earn what they get and don't make mistakes. He's aggressive, yet not aggressive to the point where's taking a lot of chances that will get you hurt. And I think he uses his personnel really well. He adjusts the defense to the personnel."

JC. Don't tell me this ****. I know there's nothing wrong with that statement, but god it gives me Slowdick flashbacks.

Archer81
01-14-2009, 03:46 PM
So sounds like it isn't a given Nolan will go to a 3-4, at least as the base defense.


Will depend on existing talent and who is available in FA and the draft.


:Broncos:

Natedog24
01-14-2009, 03:47 PM
Pretty much a lock at this point

http://blog.feefifoto.com/images/2008/02/13/lombardi_trophy.jpg

2KBack
01-14-2009, 03:51 PM
I know people do not want to believe this, but I said this about Nolan from day one. He can make a defense with his personnel and always has. His offensive selections in SF were his downfall, that defense has drafted some nice pieces under his guidance.

My concern more than anything was an attempt to make a dramatic switch in alignment that I personally don't think Denver has the best personnel for. It pleases me that Nolan has the experience to be successful in either a 4-3 or 3-4 alignment. That way he can get what players we do have in the best position for them to excel.

Br0nc0Buster
01-14-2009, 03:52 PM
Hell break off 2k in our new system

baja
01-14-2009, 03:52 PM
Was Dom Capers signed too?

Popps
01-14-2009, 03:54 PM
JC. Don't tell me this ****. I know there's nothing wrong with that statement, but god it gives me Slowdick flashbacks.

I hear you.

Probably a sensible approach, but most Broncos fans are bloody sick of read/react, passive defenses. We want some ****ers flying around knocking the **** out of people.

I want QBs fearful for their lives every time they come to Denver.

baja
01-14-2009, 03:56 PM
Hell break off 2k in our new system

I think you should ban the next person that says this.

Dark Helmet
01-14-2009, 04:21 PM
I'm glad I read this article. I was freaking out a little. I'm still freaking out but not quite as much.

Looks like there's a pretty good chance we'll be switching between the 3/4 and 4/3 this year. I do feel that he's built a very good foundation for SF's D.

Atwater His Ass
01-14-2009, 04:25 PM
I think you should ban the next person that says this.

or post the sb trophy pic. it's ****ing old people.

ANIMAL24
01-14-2009, 04:29 PM
Hmmmm

TonyR
01-14-2009, 04:29 PM
I think you should ban the next person that says this.

Cosign. Most "jokes" eventually run their course. This one has.

Dukes
01-14-2009, 04:31 PM
I think you should ban the next person that says this.

:lombardi: This is getting really old as well.

TonyR
01-14-2009, 04:31 PM
or post the sb trophy pic. it's ****ing old people.

Yes, pictures of boobs NEVER get old, but this one is wearing a bit thin. Everything in moderation. Except boobs.

GreatBronco16
01-14-2009, 04:44 PM
How about the SB trophy in between a pair of boobs?

Now that might be something.......8')

cutthemdown
01-14-2009, 05:54 PM
Is there any defensive coordinator who never had a bad defense?

Dedhed
01-14-2009, 07:19 PM
I think you should ban the next person that says this.

That goes double for the next person to post a SB trophy. It's tired folks.

BroncoMan4ever
01-14-2009, 07:28 PM
"The one thing you can be sure about Mike is he'll do what's best for his personnel," Billick said. "He's not going to shove them into a mold of, 'Well, this is what I know.' For us, for example, we had transitioned from a lot of good linebackers to a minimal number of defensive linemen, so it made sense to do the 3-4. Then we acquired the defensive linemen and transitioned back. Mike's not going to get pigeonholed as just one or the other."

good

i agree. i am so happy we are going to get away from trying to jam our players into a system they don't fit, but instead fit the system to the players we have and build from that.

cutthemdown
01-14-2009, 08:08 PM
i agree. i am so happy we are going to get away from trying to jam our players into a system they don't fit, but instead fit the system to the players we have and build from that.

It's like when you tear a house down but leave on wall standing. That way you can call it a remodel and save on the permits.

Drek
01-14-2009, 08:11 PM
I know people do not want to believe this, but I said this about Nolan from day one. He can make a defense with his personnel and always has. His offensive selections in SF were his downfall, that defense has drafted some nice pieces under his guidance.

Yeah, he made horrible offensive and FO decisions that cast a big shadow over his time in SF, but he did some really great things for the core of their defense.

He did the same thing in Baltimore too really. Its not surprising that guys like Suggs and Adalius Thomas came along in Nolan's years there. The guy knows defense and he knows linebackers especially well.

I think he's going to move us into a hybrid defense while we sort out what we have, don't have, and need long term. As we've seen in AZ this year, a hybrid can cover up a good amount of weaknesses and helps force turnovers. I'd be surprised if he isn't effecting a nice move up the NFL ranks defensively as soon as next season.

Aftermath
01-14-2009, 08:13 PM
Why do they keep mis-spelling his name in that article. It's Belichick, not Billick.

;D

i hope your joking?

fontaine
01-15-2009, 03:04 AM
Yeah, he made horrible offensive and FO decisions that cast a big shadow over his time in SF, but he did some really great things for the core of their defense.

He did the same thing in Baltimore too really. Its not surprising that guys like Suggs and Adalius Thomas came along in Nolan's years there. The guy knows defense and he knows linebackers especially well.

I think he's going to move us into a hybrid defense while we sort out what we have, don't have, and need long term. As we've seen in AZ this year, a hybrid can cover up a good amount of weaknesses and helps force turnovers. I'd be surprised if he isn't effecting a nice move up the NFL ranks defensively as soon as next season.


I'm with you on the hybrid defense. With the amount of 3-4 defenses in the NFL now it's no longer the case where talented tweeners and run stuffing NTs and big body DEs are available easily. There are more teams hunting for the same limited pool of resources so I think given the few projects we do have in Crowder/Moss/Thomas it would be a good thing if we can utilize both defenses.

The key is going to be whether we can get the front 7 to stop making stupid mental mistakes. We've two straight years of "missed assignment, lack of gap control" and that's something a good DC needs to address.

Dedhed
01-15-2009, 05:58 AM
I can see a hybrid defense as a bridge to a full on 3-4, but not long term. It's time to get back to what made the Broncos D famous, and that's running the 3-4.

Even though there are more teams running the 3-4 nowadays, I still think it's easier to find players who can be effective in the 3-4 as opposed to the 4-3.

The Broncos should pay Terrell Suggs, and draft Rey Maualuga, and they'll be well on their way to a very good 3-4 LB corps.

DB-Freak
01-15-2009, 08:11 AM
I hear you.

Probably a sensible approach, but most Broncos fans are bloody sick of read/react, passive defenses. We want some ****ers flying around knocking the **** out of people.

I want QBs fearful for their lives every time they come to Denver.

Slowick before coming to Denver had a hyper aggressive approach to blitzing.

The past ten years we played soft D cause we were forced to and we will see it for another year at least.

But u know this, but people's fantasy of this defense will not come true this season.

bronco militia
01-15-2009, 08:14 AM
I can see a hybrid defense as a bridge to a full on 3-4, but not long term. It's time to get back to what made the Broncos D famous, and that's running the 3-4.

Even though there are more teams running the 3-4 nowadays, I still think it's easier to find players who can be effective in the 3-4 as opposed to the 4-3.

The Broncos should pay Terrell Suggs, and draft Rey Maualuga, and they'll be well on their way to a very good 3-4 LB corps.

there is a shortage of quality DL for both the 3-4 and 4-3.

DB-Freak
01-15-2009, 08:16 AM
there is a shortage of quality DL for both the 3-4 and 4-3.

and always will be

Kaylore
01-15-2009, 08:18 AM
Why do people keep saying they don't want a read and react system? You people realize that the offense dictates what is going to happen in a given play and so every defense has to read what they're doing and react to it, right? That's what defense is. It's reacting to what the offense is doing. Is there some kind of other defense I don't know of where we tell the offense to stand still while we man-handle them?

Drek
01-15-2009, 08:20 AM
I can see a hybrid defense as a bridge to a full on 3-4, but not long term. It's time to get back to what made the Broncos D famous, and that's running the 3-4.

Even though there are more teams running the 3-4 nowadays, I still think it's easier to find players who can be effective in the 3-4 as opposed to the 4-3.

The Broncos should pay Terrell Suggs, and draft Rey Maualuga, and they'll be well on their way to a very good 3-4 LB corps.

Depends what we bring in for talent.

Take BJ Raji for instance. He'll probably be a good 3-4 NT but if you plug him into that role you're wasting a lot of his pass rushing talent. Moving to a four man line (not necessarily 4-3, maybe a 4 man front on some nickel and dime packages as well) will let you free him up to really attack the QB at times.

We can run a base 3-4 with 3-4 personnel and still rotate to a 4 man line as the situation dictates if our talent is diverse enough to handle it.

Suggs for example has converted himself into a pretty legitimate standup LB with some solid ball skills, but he can also drop a hand in the dirt and play 4-3 DE. Should be bring him in we're short changing our investment by not making best use of his talents depending on the situation.

Its like the Dan Graham signing. He's an elite blocker and he's been an invaluable addition in that capacity. But at the same time we're not getting the full value out of him as a player because he's a solid pass catcher and red zone threat.

Got to maximize value of the personnel, regardless of scheme.

Man-Goblin
01-15-2009, 08:24 AM
Why do people keep saying they don't want a read and react system? You people realize that the offense dictates what is going to happen in a given play and so every defense has to read what they're doing and react to it, right? That's what defense is. It's reacting to what the offense is doing. Is there some kind of other defense I don't know of where we tell the offense to stand still while we man-handle them?

I assume by attacking defense they want something similar to Coyer's D in 2005.

Kaylore
01-15-2009, 08:25 AM
I assume by attacking defense they want something similar to Coyer's D in 2005.

???

Man-Goblin
01-15-2009, 08:30 AM
???

Blitz, blitz, blitz. I believe they blitzed more than any team in the league except Philly that year.

Kaylore
01-15-2009, 08:32 AM
Blitz, blitz, blitz. I believe they blitzed more than any team in the league except Philly that year.

I see. Well just because a team is "reading and reacting" doesn't mean they aren't blitzing or pursuing. You have to read and react on blitzes too - especially in the secondary.

Man-Goblin
01-15-2009, 08:43 AM
I see. Well just because a team is "reading and reacting" doesn't mean they aren't blitzing or pursuing. You have to read and react on blitzes too - especially in the secondary.

Agreed. The perception is that Nolan doesn't blitz all that often. I don't know enough about his scheme to refute that, and I can't find a website that tracks it.

Br0nc0Buster
01-15-2009, 09:13 AM
Why do people keep saying they don't want a read and react system? You people realize that the offense dictates what is going to happen in a given play and so every defense has to read what they're doing and react to it, right? That's what defense is. It's reacting to what the offense is doing. Is there some kind of other defense I don't know of where we tell the offense to stand still while we man-handle them?

Because we have seen quotes by other coaches saying Nolan isnt going to gamble too much to give up big plays.
I want an attacking defense, Slowick was the definition of fail with his prevent soft zone crap

Kaylore
01-15-2009, 09:28 AM
Because we have seen quotes by other coaches saying Nolan isnt going to gamble too much to give up big plays.
I want an attacking defense, Slowick was the definition of fail with his prevent soft zone crap

You're seriously comparing Bob Slowik to Mike Nolan?

Ninjatime
01-15-2009, 09:33 AM
Nolan is a class guy. I liked him in SF and dont think it was his fault they were bad. He did a good job with what he had to work with.

socalorado
01-15-2009, 09:34 AM
You're seriously comparing Bob Slowik to Mike Nolan?

:rofl:

bronco militia
01-15-2009, 09:41 AM
Nolan is a class guy. I liked him in SF and dont think it was his fault they were bad. He did a good job with what he had to work with.

Nolan's a good coach, but he was in control of the personnel in San Fran

Kaylore
01-15-2009, 09:44 AM
By the way, here's something to chew on. Here's how Nolan's pass defenses have ranked over the years as a coordinator.

Giants:
1993: 10th
1994: 8th
1995: 4th
1996: 15th

Redskins:
1997: 3rd
1998: 5th
1999: 26th

Jets
2000: 6th

Ravens
2002: 26th
2003: 4th
2004: 10th

Everywhere Nolan goes it gets hard to pass on him. No, he doesn't get a lot of sacks, but does it really matter if they aren't scoring and can't pass on you? Sometimes it takes a year for him to put it together, but it works. We stink so bad we'll take a year as well. But if nothing else, we'll at least be hard to throw on when we get there.

Slowik on the other hand is the easiest coordinator to throw on in the last fifteen years. Your QB rating is pretty much guaranteed to be above 100 when you play him. He sets franchise records for worsts in pass defense. The two guys aren't even comparable.

barryr
01-15-2009, 10:45 AM
It doesn't matter if Nolan was in charge of personnel in SF or not. He won't in Denver.

JCMElway
01-15-2009, 03:44 PM
or post the sb trophy pic. it's ****ing old people.

Yeah, It's like that Foneco BS. C'mon people, let's get some Fonecoing new material here!

Dedhed
01-15-2009, 04:01 PM
By the way, here's something to chew on. Here's how Nolan's pass defenses have ranked over the years as a coordinator.

Giants:
1993: 10th
1994: 8th
1995: 4th
1996: 15th

Redskins:
1997: 3rd
1998: 5th
1999: 26th

Jets
2000: 6th

Ravens
2002: 26th
2003: 4th
2004: 10th

Everywhere Nolan goes it gets hard to pass on him. No, he doesn't get a lot of sacks, but does it really matter if they aren't scoring and can't pass on you? Sometimes it takes a year for him to put it together, but it works. We stink so bad we'll take a year as well. But if nothing else, we'll at least be hard to throw on when we get there.

Slowik on the other hand is the easiest coordinator to throw on in the last fifteen years. Your QB rating is pretty much guaranteed to be above 100 when you play him. He sets franchise records for worsts in pass defense. The two guys aren't even comparable.
Great point. Add McDaniels's play calling to an already potent offense, and teams are going to be forced to throw the ball against us; much like they were this year. However, instead of having the worst pass defense in the league we'll have a chance.