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Old 01-14-2009, 01:11 PM   #1
socalorado
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Default Brian Billick says Nolan best coach hes been around in years.

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."

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Old 01-14-2009, 01:17 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:20 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:21 PM   #4
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"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
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:23 PM   #5
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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
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:26 PM   #6
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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....
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:43 PM   #7
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Anybody think his failed defenses in Washington had anything to do with Snyder?
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:47 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:47 PM   #9
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Why do they keep mis-spelling his name in that article. It's Belichick, not Billick.

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Old 01-14-2009, 01:58 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:08 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:08 PM   #12
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"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.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:21 PM   #13
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So sounds like it isn't a given Nolan will go to a 3-4, at least as the base defense.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:22 PM   #14
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"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.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:33 PM   #15
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Well, they did get a MLB of some repute, as I recall......
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:44 PM   #16
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"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.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:46 PM   #17
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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.


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Old 01-14-2009, 03:47 PM   #18
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Pretty much a lock at this point

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Old 01-14-2009, 03:51 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:52 PM   #20
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Hell break off 2k in our new system
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:52 PM   #21
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Was Dom Capers signed too?
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:54 PM   #22
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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.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:56 PM   #23
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Hell break off 2k in our new system
I think you should ban the next person that says this.
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:21 PM   #24
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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.
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:25 PM   #25
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I think you should ban the next person that says this.
or post the sb trophy pic. it's ****ing old people.
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