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Mike Nolan suit situation
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Old 09 May 2005, 04:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mike Nolan suit situation

NFL says Nolan cannot 'suit' up
- Kevin Lynch
Sunday, May 8, 2005

Coach Mike Nolan recently petitioned the NFL to allow him to wear a suit on the sidelines during game days.

"To me, it's professional. I think it's respectful," Nolan said. "There was certainly no deal, no one came to me, there was nothing to gain. I wasn't trying to put the spotlight on me. But what I was trying to say, there's somebody in charge and this is what they look like."

The league turned Nolan down. Head coaches must wear the NFL-sanctioned team garb.

"There were marketing issues and sales issues, all that stuff," Nolan lamented. Beyond wanting to look the part of a man in charge, Nolan also viewed it as a tribute to his father, Dick, who was the coach of the 49ers from 1968-75.

"I must say looking at the pictures of my dad -- they are all around my office -- I thought, 'I'm going to do that.' But they are not going to let me."

Coaching the hard way: One difference from the staff of Dennis Erickson is the level of coaching involvement. Assistants are often vociferous and critical during practice.

Running backs coach Bishop Harris, for example, bellowed at his group when he didn't see the intensity he wanted during a drill.

"That's B.S.," Bishop railed. He then told his running backs he would hold them after practice to run the drill again, which he did.

"I tell the coaches if you are yelling at your guys, you are just trying to love them up," Nolan said. "Of course, you have to treat your players as individuals."

Rice out: Receiver Jerry Rice has made known his desire to return to his former team for his 20th season before retiring. Nolan reiterated that Rice could return to be a 49er, but only for a day, and then retire.

"Our focus is going to be on our young players and developing those guys, and we don't want to take anything away from those guys we've got on the roster," Nolan said. "He's been the greatest wide receiver ever. I'd feel pretty good about that if I was him."
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I personally think the NFL is wrong here. Suits do bring class and professionalism to the sidelines. Imagine telling Tom Landry, Hank Stram, Paul Brown or Vince Lombardi that they couldn't wear suits on the sidelines.
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