SAN FRANCISCO - There was no need for a “best dressed” contest Monday night. That title will belong to Mike Nolan each time the 49ers play at home this season.
Nolan and Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio have abandoned the athletic gear playground look for traditional suits. That’s the way coaches often were dressed in the past, as the NFL came of age. This includes his father, Dick, who coached the Niners back in the early 1970s.
For Nolan, this concept is something that has been well thought out.
Before taking the job two years ago, “I thought that if I had the opportunity I would do it because I just think it is a matter of respect.
“I always respected the guys who built the game to what it is today, not just the players but the coaches and some of my mentors, whether it was Dan Reeves or obviously my father, or Tom Landry. People I grew up watching and had the good fortune to know.
“I also think it shows respect to the NFL, to the 49ers, and I think it is a good example to anyone watching the game.”
Nolan says he never intended for his move to be a big deal.
That said, he wishes the league had given him an OK two years ago. Certainly, the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It has become a talk about topic and for that reason, I don’t mind talking about it,” Nolan said. “It is about respect.”
MEMORY LANE FOR WIZ
“Monday Night Football” used to be a one-half experience for Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt.
As a kid growing up in Augusta, Ga., “I always remember watching Monday night games,” he says.
“Being on the East coast, they didn’t get over until after midnight. I could only make it to the first half.
“I always remember hoping it would get to that last situation before the half where they would throw the ball deep. They’d throw that long bomb. That’s what I was always looking for.”
INACTIVES FOR OPENER
The players who were inactive for Monday night’s opener included fullback Tim Castille, linebacker Brandon Johnson, center Nick Leckey, wide receiver Jerheme Urban and defensive end Quentin Moses (the Round 3 draft pick of the Oakland Raiders who was recently picked up on waivers).
Also inactive were two injured players: defensive tackles Alan Branch (hand) and Ross Kolodziej (knee).
These developments left the Cardinals thin on the defensive line.
The Cardinals and 49ers have so much in common that a rivalry could be in the making.
It all starts with their rising quarterbacks, Alex Smith and Matt Leinart.
“I know Matt well,” says Smith, who thinks a rivalry will blossom.
In addition, “You look at the entire division, you’re talking a lot of young teams coming up. Seattle is the most veteran but you look at the other three, teams that are young and talented and improving very, very fast.”
The club released Brad Badger, the veteran offensive lineman who was picked up late in training camp.