Mike Nolan

McNolan Better Not Leave Chad Hanging

The 49ers just signed former Arizona wideout Bryant Johnson, then immediately cut Darrell Jackson, possibly the most lackadaisical receiver in football last year. So now we know that the goal of McNolan (Scot McCloughan and Mike Nolan) isn’t to load up on receivers from their own division, it’s to amass the most No. 2 and 3 guys in the league.

But there’s a solution (stop if you’ve heard me say this before): trade for Chad Johnson. Johnson went public again on ESPN to air his uncertainty regarding his future in Cincinnati. This rift between the man with the golden grill and his team has been going on publicly since the week before the Super Bowl, and privately for much longer. In January, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said, “There will be no trade of Chad Johnson. Repeat it again,” just the type of statement that usually leads to a trade in the world of pro sports.

Johnson says he wants to win a playoff game and go to a Super Bowl. At first glance that would put the 49ers out of the Ocho-Cinco equation, but rebuilding takes less time in the NFL than the NBA, much less than MLB (sorry, Giants fans).

One reason the 49ers may be dragging their collective feet is that Chad doesn’t get along well with Lewis, who Nolan knows from their days together in Baltimore. So if the Niners follow my advice, it would show that the “Mc” part of McNolan wears the Reebok slacks in Santa Clara.

If McCloughan can convince Nolan that being such a stickler for character guys (read: players who won’t complain to the press) has done nothing but lead the team to a 16-32 record over the past three years, there might be an actual offense in San Francisco for the first time since the Terrell Owens era. Maybe the 49ers can get their new defensive lineman and ex-Bengal Justin Smith to call his former teammate and talk up San Francisco. And McNolan wouldn’t even have to get Denise Debartolo-York to pony up for another helicopter ride.

Rockets Soar, Giants Look Poor

– The Rockets run has been incredible, especially when taking into account their crunch time lineup: T-Mac, Bobby Jackson, Rafer Alston, Shane Battier and Luis Scola. Apparently the secret to long win streaks in the NBA is to play smallball like the Warriors, only slower.

– Has anybody checked out a Giants Spring Training game score where they’ve won (they’re actually 6-15, the worst record in the Majors)? Every time I look they’re either losing 5-0 or already lost 13-4. I know Spring Training isn’t supposed to mean anything, but I’m afraid it might this year.

– Why I’m a genius, volume 312: After ripping Kevin Martin to the point of actually writing that he “sucks” when I was at Oracle watching the Kings at the Warriors, he now sits with 32 points after three quarters against the Warriors as I’m writing this.

As the rest of the country tries to figure out the difference between Saint Mary’s and Mount St. Mary’s, I’m hard at work making my picks. My predictions will be in print for all to mock tomorrow.

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