Nolan keeps his job, but loses GM duties. I like that decision personally. I'd like to see what Nolan can do with one more season.
Also, we have 3 good candidates (IMO) to replace the fired Hostler. Any of them would have to be an improvement over Hostler.
San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Nolan reversed course Thursday and revealed the names of three just-fired coaches who he says he's mulling for the team's offensive coordinator job, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Nolan, on his weekly radio spot Thursday, said he's considering Cam Cameron, Mike Martz and Brian Billick to replace the fired Jim Hostler, according to the report.
Cameron was fired as the Miami Dolphins' coach Thursday, Martz was let go by the Detroit Lions Wednesday as offensive coordinator and Ravens coach Billick was fired Monday after nine seasons in Baltimore.
Nolan this week avoided the same fate as the three candidates and will return to the 49ers next season despite going 16-32 in three years with the club.
Scot McCloughan, San Francisco's top personnel executive, was formally announced as general manager Wednesday, getting a contract extension and a raise.
And other than those new business cards for McCloughan, 49ers owner John York apparently made no significant changes to his beleaguered franchise's power structure after the longest streak of losing football in team history.
Nolan, who previously had the final say on all football decisions, and McCloughan will continue to make joint decisions on every issue for the 49ers (5-11), even though McCloughan now has "the trigger," as Nolan put it.
"I will remain the one voice in this organization, and the face," Nolan said. "I don't believe it will change at all. The important thing is that we will maintain the relationship. We'll still communicate on all issues. ... I'm not disappointed at all. I was in favor of it. I've been in favor of it for a long time."
Nolan made one inevitable move by firing rookie offensive coordinator Hostler, whose unit finished last in the NFL with 219 points. Nolan is on the lookout for a veteran NFL man to become San Francisco's sixth offensive coordinator in six seasons.
But Hostler's ouster appears to be the only significant alteration to the 49ers' direction after a season that began with playoff hopes -- and fell apart with an eight-game losing streak and an embarrassing public disagreement between the head coach and quarterback Alex Smith, the former No. 1 draft pick.
Nolan thinks he can mend his relationship with Smith, who said Nolan undermined him in the locker room after he complained about the severity of his separated shoulder, which kept him out for most of 10 games.
"If there was some way to improve the lack of communication, as Alex called it, I would have," Nolan said. "We were two people exchanging conversations, but not hooking up well."
San Francisco lost 20-7 at Cleveland last Sunday to complete an embarrassing run of losing for a franchise with five Super Bowl trophies. The 49ers haven't finished better than 7-9 in three seasons under Nolan and McCloughan.
"It was a big part [of the decision] that Mike Nolan would be around, because I totally believe in what he started here, what we started here," McCloughan said. "We're all in this together, and we want to make the best decisions together."
Their third season in San Francisco easily was the most disappointing, with 10 losses in 11 games erasing Nolan's bold hopes for a playoff run. The season also was personally taxing on Nolan, whose father, former 49ers coach Dick Nolan, died one day before a game at Seattle.
Nolan, who didn't get a contract extension, has two years left on a five-year, $8 million deal. The sharpest-dressed coach in franchise history also is the first to return after three straight losing seasons.
Two days after abruptly canceling his season-ending news conference for a series of intense meetings with York, Nolan gave no indication his future ever was even in doubt with the 49ers. York, the much-criticized owner who has presided over the 49ers' fall from power, answered only one question from reporters before fleeing.
"Mike had recognition and solutions to these problems that were completely acceptable to us, and we moved forward from there," York said.
According to Nolan and McCloughan, those problems are nothing they can't fix together.
McCloughan, a 36-year-old former minor league baseball player, was hired by Nolan to run the 49ers' personnel operations three years ago. Considered a rising star executive with ties to respected former Packers GM Ron Wolf, McCloughan is eager to continue the work he's already done in restocking the talent-starved roster left by Terry Donahue.
Nolan and McCloughan have made significant strides in rebuilding San Francisco's decimated roster and installing a decent defense. But the franchise that reinvented offensive football in the 1980s has been mostly incompetent with the ball in Nolan's tenure.
Nolan was left in a jam when coordinator Norv Turner departed for San Diego last February. Former quarterbacks coach Hostler was hastily installed, but the desperate hire didn't work: San Francisco finished last in the league in total yards (3,797), yards passing (2,320), offensive touchdowns (23), first downs (218), sacks allowed (55) and third-down conversions (31.4 percent).
Nolan didn't announce any additional departures from the offensive coaching staff, saying those jobs will be reviewed by the new offensive coordinator. Frank Cignetti, who replaced Hostler as quarterbacks coach, reportedly is a candidate to become the University of Tennessee's offensive coordinator.
The 49ers also said rookie cornerback Tarell Brown injured two ligaments in his right knee in the season finale at Cleveland, but might not require surgery.