Forgive 49’ers head coach Mike Nolan if he seems a little testy these days. Seems the 49’ers coach has been on a rant at the schedule makers of the National Football League. At topic is the fact that the 49’ers have the last preseason opener on Monday night at home vs Denver, and then play five days later at home vs the Raiders. The schedule made it so both the 49’ers and Denver opened their training camps later than other teams, and does not sit well with Nolan. “It’s a disadvantage because Denver and the 49ers were the latest two teams to (begin camp),” Nolan said Wednesday. “We’re not getting ready for the preseason. We’re getting ready for the (regular) season.”
Under the current NFL CBA, teams must wait 15 days before their preseason opener to start camp. It does put the last two teams to start preseason at somewhat of a disadvantage, and the 9’ers know that they don’t want to begin the 2007 season behind the 8-ball. “So to say you get less practices going into the season because your preseason game is (last), that’s kind of ridiculous,” Nolan complained. “Let’s all start at the same time. I don’t care if you play in the Hall of Fame game or not.”
The problem here though is not that the 49’ers and Broncos are opening late, it’s that the league wouldn’t allow the teams to start camps when everyone else did. The coach did say he expects both teams to lobby the league and the players association to rethink about when teams can start training camp, and that all should start at the same time. Little does Mike know that TV is the driving force behind the league, and that the game being televised when the networks want it to makes his argument become a mute point.
He’ll have no other choice than to deal with the hand that is dealt. Maybe in the end it’ll be a good thing for the 9’ers to start late as maybe they will be more fresh down the stretch in November and December. Then again, if they start slow due to the lack of time in camp, it won’t matter what happens to them the last two months of the season and then Nolan can really complain.