- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Notes and perspective on Mike Nolan's firing as 49ers coach, courtesy of ESPN Research and Elias Sports Bureau:
Nolan's winning percentage was .327 (18-37). That's the second-worst percentage among 49ers coaches with at least 10 games. Only Dennis Erickson had a lower percentage (.281, 9-23).
Since 2005, when Nolan took over, the 49ers have the third-worst winning percentage in the NFL. Only the Raiders (.222) and Lions (.278) have been worse.
The 49ers' opponents outscored Nolan's teams by 8.9 points per game on average (25.5 to 16.6). Dave McGinnis is the only other coach in NFL history to last 50 games while getting outscored by more points per game. Opponents outscored McGinnis' Cardinals teams by 10.1 points per game (25.4 to 15.3) over four seasons.
Nolan is the third head coach to lose his job this season (Scott Linehan, Lane Kiffin). This marks the second time since 1989 that three or more teams have changed head coaches during a season. The Cardinals, Bengals, Lions and Redskins did it in 2000.
This is the first time since 1976 that three teams have changed coaches in the first seven weeks of a season. That was the year Tommy Hudspeth replaced Rick Forzano in Detroit, Pat Peppler replaced Marion Campbell in Atlanta, Jim Ringo replaced Lou Saban in Buffalo and John McVay replaced Bill Arnsbarger as Giants coach.
The last seven head coaches to lose their jobs during the regular season: Nolan, Kiffin, Linehan, Steve Mariucci (2005), Dan Reeves (2003), Vince Tobin (2000) and Norv Turner (2000).
Mike Singletary becomes the fifth man to become an NFL head coach after being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Otto Graham, Larry Wilson, Raymond Berry and Art Shell were the others. The first Hall of Fame class was enshrined in 1963.
Of all those notes, the one about being outscored by 8.9 points per game resonates most profoundly, in my view. That is an astounding average deficit in a game known for parity, particularly given the state of the NFC West during that time.