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Nolan's Notebook: November 1


RE: Opening Statement"There are no real changes on the guys who did not practice. Walt Harris didn't practice, we'll see how he does tomorrow. Jonas Jennings did not (practice), Keith Lewis did not, Michael Lewis (returner) did not. Michael Lewis (returner) went home for personal reasons. He had some family emergency. I'll talk to him as he's down there. But that's the plan right now. Frank Gore and Delaine Walker were limited and full practice were Alex Smith and Darrell Jackson."

RE: Who will return punts if Michael Lewis doesn't play?
"If he wasn't able to, the duties would be shared by Arnaz Battle and Nate Clements."

RE: On Nate Clements being deep on one play last week
"It could show up, we've had it available for a month now. It's just another way to return the ball."

RE: How does Frank Gore look, and what can you expect to get out of him on Sunday?
"I'm hopeful that he's able to start the game and play a good share of it. We'll have to wait and see until then."

RE: Is there any chance of leaving him out, giving his ankle a chance to heal and playing Michael Robinson?
"Well, he won't play unless he's able to. I mean if it's sore, it gets back to the same thing Alex had the other day. Alex's shoulder was sore, but we weren't going to re-injure it by him throwing the ball. The same thing with Frank; if the medical staff says he's fine, then I think Frank will be. Frank's certainly shooting to go for the game. That's what he told me today."

RE: How did you feel about what you got out of the left tackle position last week?
"I thought Adam Snyder did a decent job. There are a couple plays we'd like to have back but he did really well in the game. Again, there were two, maybe three plays where I think he could have done a better job. I think he was responsible for one of the sacks, is that right? I'm already on to the next game. But I thought he did a fair job. I think Adam is a good football player. I'll say this, when he goes on the field, don't think all of a sudden I get worried. He's a good football player, and I expect him to perform every play because he's certainly been very capable of it in the past. He's done well for us. Even in his rookie season he did some good things."

RE: Will he start on Sunday?
"Looks like right now, because of Jonas Jennings' status."

RE: Is his long term position guard?
"I think his best suited position is guard. But his versatility helps us a lot because he's our next best player right now."

RE: When you put David Baas in the lineup, was that a demotion for Justin Smiley?
"No, just trying to keep guys fresh. Guys all over the football field take turns, other than the quarterback position. On offense it's typical that a lot of guys would swap. They don't have to, but, again, we think that Baas is good enough that he deserves the opportunity to play some."

RE: How has Justin Smiley played this season?
"He's doing ok. I evaluate us right now that we're 2-5 overall. Because if it was an individual that could get ourselves corrected, it would be a lot simpler. We need to play well as units. We need to play well as an offense, defense and a team."

RE: Was his last game he played one of the best games he's ever played in the NFL?
"I just don't want to comment on it. I don't have an opinion on it. He knows his own life better than I do. I can't qualify it by saying, 'Let me visualize everything he's done to this point and say it's best.' If he says it is, then it is."

RE: Did Jason Hill make that catch right in front of you?
"Close enough. I thought, 'That's a good thing.' I think Jason's going to be a good player. He also did a nice job on special teams. Jason will play. As we go forward, I think you might see more of Jason. It will depend on some of the health status of some of those guys in that group. I think Jason's going to be a good player. I don't sense him being discouraged at all. When he goes out there, he does a good job. I will be disappointed if I'm not able to activate him this week. But then if I'm not, then I'm not. But I still think he's going to be a good player."

RE: Why would you not be able to activate him?"There are other positions that you want to solidify. So it's a little bit of a numbers game. He wouldn't be one of the top four, he'd be the fifth. He could be the fourth as he was last week. If he's the fourth, he could be used a little bit. But if he's the fifth, then I have to consider that versus Michael Lewis (returner)."

RE: Do you expect to get Darrell Jackson back this week?"I hope to, yeah. He did practice. It was listed as limited, but the majority of practice he did."

RE: Is Bryan Gilmore or Jason Hill the number four receiver?
"What Gilmore gives me at number four is versatility. If something happened to all of them, he can go. Last week, when Gilmore went out, it gave a chance for Hill to be active for the game. Gilmore, right now, would be number four because as that role goes, he can help in any role, whereas Jason, at a specific spot, (is) maybe someone I'd rather have in there. But I'm not guaranteed that spot would become open. (Ashley) Lelie has been working both X and Z, which has been a real plus for us."

RE: Is Jonas Jennings' ankle injury a long term injury?
"I hope not too much longer."

RE: Is there any scenario where Adam Snyder would stay in there?
"I don't demote guys based on injury. When he's (Jonas) well, he'll come back and step into his role, but he has to be well. I don't want to put up an injured Jonas. I'd rather have Adam in there than an injured Jonas."

RE: Do you feel confident that the guys who started the season are the best guys available?
"In some cases. Obviously, everyone's always looking for answers to get better. For example, when Vernon Davis went out and the other tight end was in and we lost three games, it wasn't like I was saying, 'Let's get Vernon out and the other guy in.' Vernon got healthy, so we got him back in. David Baas has stepped in sometimes. Ashley Lelie is in more. Delanie Walker is in more. The changes are exactly what the guys are playing. It really means the use of your personnel more than, 'Hey, you're not the starter anymore.' As you notice in offensive football, you can go three wide, two wide, two tight. You can do a lot of different things with your personnel. That's what we are doing. It's not like I'm looking to say, 'Ashley, you're demoted. You're no longer the starting slot receiver', but then I go three wide the whole game and he's in. Delanie gets in a lot at two tight ends. Michael Robinson gets in more now. If someone says why don't you make those changes, then they haven't been watching the game, because that's all we've done. Is Moran Norris our starting fullback? Yes. But he only played nine plays last week. In our particular thing, he's our starter, but we didn't go with that personnel group all the time. I think we've been more productive. I think it's made us better. Some of it hasn't shown all the way. There have been some plays where we say we missed an opportunity. I don't know how many times that has happened for us."

RE: So you make more personnel changes, but not starting lineup changes?"Yeah, I mean the starting personnel groups give us all the changes we want. The only positions you're sure about starting specifically are the five offensive linemen and the quarterback. We've even made adjustments at quarterback because Trent Dilfer has played three games, obviously due to injury. But on the offensive line, injury has made some changes."

RE: With all the problems they have had, are you facing a vulnerable Atlanta team?
"To be honest, I don't even go there with them, because we have our own issues. There might be some truth to what you are saying, but they could be saying the same about us in a different light. We have our own set of issues, they have their own set. We certainly are not going to be an over-confident team at any point."

RE: Do you empathize with all the things Bobby Petrino has gone through?
"No empathy, no sorrow, no nothing. He could be my best buddy. It's part of this job. We all buy into it for the good and the bad. I understand his issues, but he knew what he was getting into just like I do as well."

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