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Mike Nolanís Multi-Tasking - By Bryan Hersh Jan 25 2006

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49ers head coach Mike Nolan has been a very busy man as of late. While most coaches are sitting back and waiting to watch the Super Bowl, perhaps taking the time off to see their families and unwind after the season, Nolan continues to burn the candle from both ends. Nolan and his staff are coaching at the Senior Bowl, hoping to get a leg up on the draft process. Nolan is also mentoring former offensive coordinator and new Packerís head coach Mike McCarthy. Finally, Nolan continues to search for a veteran football person to add to his front office. All this only days after hiring Norv Turner to replace McCarthy as 49ers offensive coordinator.

Nolan is clearly a man on a mission, and itís exactly this kind of energy and un-dyeing spirit that the 49ers need to rebound from the depths of the NFL. But, a word of caution to Nolan Ė donít burn out before season two starts.

At the Senior Bowl the 49ers coaching staff is working with offensive coordinator Norv Turner for the first time. This is an important step in building chemistry between he and the rest of the staff. Also important is the exposure the staff has to working with the next class of rookies. The draft process is a gamble. Itís a gamble mainly because players are evaluated on tape, in short interviews, and through medical assessments, and timed events. All that is a whole lot of information, but rarely is it enough to determine with certainty if a player will be great in the NFL. The Senior Bowl gives the 49ers coaching staff the opportunity to work with the players, to interact with the players, so the 49ers should have better information than the rest of the NFL (except for the Titans of course, who are also coaching a Senior Bowl team).

Through the course of the season it became clear to Nolan that he could use a veteran football person to help run the football operations of the club. Nolan has even managed to get owner John York on board with the idea of adding another salary to the mix. Ray Anderson, formerly the Falcons executive vice president and chief administrative officer, met with Nolan last week. Nolan also is expected to speak with Seahawks vice president of football administration Mike Reinfeldt. Reinfeldt and 49ers vice president of player personnel Scot McCloughan worked closely together in Seattle. Nolan may also speak with the Titans president Jeff Diamond, and Joe Mendes who is currently out of the NFL.

Nolan and Packerís head coach Mike McCarthy have spoken every night since McCarthy took the job as head coach of the Packers. The two share a lot of mutual respect for each other, and Nolan is serving as a mentor for McCarthy, helping McCarthy understand what needs to get done this off-season and prioritize that list.

Nolan is juggling three more balls in the air than he normally would. The benefit to at least two of those balls can be quite high. But Nolan must make sure he does not fumble along the way, and burn out before his second season as head coach ever gets under way.

 
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