Keep Mike Nolan!
The worst offseason decision our team could possibly make is letting Mike Nolan leave as our DC. We can’t afford to lose his unique play calling and his teaching abilities. If Ross or Ireland decides to part ways with Nolan, it will be the biggest mistake that we have made since we let Dree Bree’s sign with New Orleans.
Keeping Nolan is dependent on who our next Head Coach will be, but let’s be realistic here, revising our defensive formation will be a mistake. We have a playoff ready D; with a few more additions (cough cough a ball hawking Free Safety) we can become a solid if not great defence.
Nolan has provided the approach and dedication needed for our starting D. The knowledge in which he has shared and mentored to our players can’t be overlooked. Reviewing the stats we can see that we have greatly improved based on Nolan playing calling and teaching methods.
**extracted from NFL.com/stats/
The values in 2011 have slightly dropped and I don’t think this is Nolan’s fault, rather the conditioning of the players due to the lock out. As well, reviewing the game tape we can see that Nolan is lacking a true Free Safety that would alter the passing yards. Rasheed Jones was constantly making terrible plays and reacting incorrectly, however Nolan did place Jones in the correct position. Nolan is dependent on player making plays.
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We also have to take into consideration the start of the season where we weren’t playing up to our potential. How much of this was due to the coaching or player recognition is a potential debate. I can only base my opinion on watching the players on the field and the formation called. Nolan has the right methodology needed for our team to succeed on the defensive side of the ball and losing him would only hurt our team’s potential. As you can see from the stats collected we have shown positive improvement on key defensive attributes. Allowing Nolan more time with our potential playoff caliber D would only add as a benefit to our entire team.
Creating a new mantra for D or a new formation would also restart the learning curve in which has been positively implemented for two years. Players such as Paul Solia, Vontae Davis, Yermaih Bell and Randy Starks that have had break out games for us, all attribute to Nolan’s teaching. The evidence behind this is that the players listed above did not have the same type of impact when Paul Pasqualoni was calling the plays.
Mike Nolan is also well respected in the NFL coaching fraternity, and perspective coaches would be wise not to show him the door. The evidence is in the game tape and the numbers, and allowing Nolan to leave might cause more hurt than success.
But what do you think?