Pro Career: Named the Cardinals’ head coach on January 14, 2007 after 10 years as an NFL assistant coach and nine seasons as a player. Spent the previous six seasons as an assistant on Bill Cowher’s staff with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the first three (2001-03) as tight ends coach and the last three (2004-06) as offensive coordinator. Took over as Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator in 2004, the same year the Steelers drafted quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who set an NFL record with wins in his first 13 career starts en route to Offensive Rookie-of-the-Year honors. In addition that year, the Steelers rushing attack improved from 31st to second. The following season, Roethlisberger became the youngest quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl and finished third in the league in passer rating (98.6) as the Steelers won Super Bowl XL and averaged 26.8 points-per-game in the playoffs. Whisenhunt previously coached at the pro level with the New York Jets (tight ends, 2000), Cleveland Browns (special teams, 1999) and Baltimore Ravens (tight ends, 1997-98).
Career record: 5-5.
Background: Began his coaching career at Vanderbilt (1995-96). After going to Georgia Tech as a walk-on, he finished his college playing career ranked second on the Yellow Jackets’ receiving yardage list (1,264 yards) and fourth in career receptions (82). He was a consensus All-ACC and honorable mention All-America selection as a senior in 1984 when he averaged 19.1 yards-per-catch. Drafted in the 12th round of the 1985 NFL Draft by Atlanta and played nine NFL seasons with the Falcons (1985-88), Redskins (1989-90), and Jets (1991-93). In 74 career games (37 starts), he caught 62 passes for 601 yards and six touchdowns.
San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Mike Nolan
Pro Career: Named the 15th head coach in 49ers history on January 19, 2005, Nolan enters his third season as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Nolan is in his 20th year in the league and 26th in coaching. Nolan joins San Francisco after an impressive stint as defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, a position he has held with three other teams: New York Jets (2000), Washington Redskins (1997-99), and New York Giants (1993-96). In Baltimore, Nolan’s defense was among the NFL’s best, finishing third overall. Baltimore ranked first in the AFC with 17 fumble recoveries and led the NFL with 47 quarterback sacks and tied for first in the AFC and second in the NFL with 41 takeaways. Nolan joined the Ravens after a one-year stay as the New York Jets defensive coordinator in 2000. Under Nolan’s tutelage, the Jets defense rebounded to 10th overall in the league—an improvement of 11 spots from the previous year. From 1997-99, Nolan was the defensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins. In 1997, the Redskins allowed the eighth-fewest points in the NFL and finished third overall in pass defense. He also spent four seasons as defensive coordinator under then-head coach Dan Reeves for the New York Giants (1993-96). In his first season, the Giants’ defense allowed the fewest points in the NFL (205). Nolan also worked on Reeves’ staff from 1987-92 with the Denver Broncos as linebackers coach and special teams coach/defensive assistant.
Career record: 13-29.
Background: Nolan participated in the Broncos’ 1981 training camp as a defensive back under Dan Reeves. He joined the Broncos after earning three letters at free safety for the Oregon Ducks (1978-80). He is the son of former NFL head coach Dick Nolan (San Francisco and New Orleans).
Today’s Head Coaches
4 of past 5
COACHES VS. OPP.
L 13-9 vs. Rams
W 35-27 at Bengals
9/10/07: Cardinals 17 at 49ers 20. San Francisco WR Arnaz Battle scores on 1-yard reverse to cap 86-yard game-winning drive with 22 seconds remaining on Monday night.
LAST GAME AT SITE
9/10/06: Cardinals 34, 49ers 27. Arizona QB Kurt Warner passes for 301 yards & 3 TDs as Cardinals win their first game at new stadium.
FOX (2:05 PM MT): Ron Pitts, Tony Boselli. SIRIUS: 122 (SF), 125 (Arz.).
In Arizona—KTAR Radio 620 AM/92.3 FM: Dave Pasch, Ron Wolfley, Paul Calvisi.
A. Smith: 94-193-914-2-4-57.2
James: 204-730-3.6-6 (T2C)
Fitzgerald: 66 (2C)-904 (2C)-13.7-4
Dansby, Rolle: 3
Lee: 49.7 (1L)
Nedney: 51 (9/9 PAT; 14/15 FG)
Rackers: 61 (25/26 PAT; 12/18 FG)
Note: ‘L’ indicates rank in League; ‘C’ indicates rank in Conference; ‘R’ indicates rookie
Inside The Numbers
Arizona Cardinals (5-5) vs. San Francisco 49ers (2-8)
Nov. 25, 2007 at University of Phoenix Stadium
Latest Injury Reports
Week 12 NFL Standings
Arizona—DT Ross Kolodziej (quadriceps) is OUT. WR Jerheme Urban (heel), SS AdrianWilson (heel), and FS Aaron Francisco (knee/calf) are DOUBTFUL. LB Karlos Dansby (shoulder), RB Marcel Shipp (heel), CB Eric Green (ankle), DE Antonio Smith (hand) and QB Kurt Warner (left elbow) are PROBABLE.
San Francisco—NT Aubrayo Franklin (calf) is OUT. WR Jason Hill (groin) is DOUBTFUL. QB Alex Smith (shoulder/forearm) is QUESTIONABLE. WR Ashley Lelie (quadricep), LB JeffUlbrich (ankle), RB Frank Gore (ankle), and QB Shaun Hill (finger) are PROBABLE.
National Football Conference
CARDINALS: QB KURT WARNER is 7-0 as starter vs. S.F., completing 167 of 256 passes (65.2 pct.) for 2,188 yards with 17 TDs vs. 8 INTs for 101.2 passer rating. Incl. playoffs, Warner has posted 100+ rating 32 times in career starts (min. 10 att.) and his teams are 29-3 (.906) … RB EDGERRIN JAMES has 453 scrimmage yards (113.3 per-game) and three TDs in four games vs. S.F. … WR ANQUAN BOLDIN has TD catch in five of past seven meetings. Has four 100-yard games in past seven vs. S.F. … WR LARRY FITZGERALD has 16 catches for 235 yards (117.5 per-game) and one TD in past two at home vs. S.F. Aims for 10th game in row with 70+ yards, longest such streak in career … CB ANTREL ROLLE tied NFL record with two INT-TDs last week and had career-high three INTs. … Cardinals have forced 10 turnovers, incl. six INTs in past two games … LB KARLOS DANSBY has three INTs in past two games … Since entering NFL in 2001, S ADRIAN WILSON is only player with 15+ sacks (16) and 15+ INTs (16) … DT DARNELL DOCKETT tied for fifth in NFC with career-best eight sacks … LB DARRYL BLACKSTOCK aims for third game in row with sack.
49ERS:QB ALEX SMITH passed for 288 yards with one TD and 0 INTs in last game at Ariz. … When Smith has 95+ rating, 49ers are 5-0 … QB TRENT DILFER is 62-54 (.534) in career as starter (incl. playoffs) … RB FRANK GORE aims for fourth meeting in row vs. Ariz. with rush TD. Has five TDs in past three vs. Cardinals. Has 539 rush yards and can become fifth player in team history to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons—had franchise-record 1,695 yards last year … WR ARNAZ BATTLE scored first career rush TD in last meeting. Has reception in 30 consecutive games … WR DARRELL JACKSON has six 100-yard games in nine career meetings. Jackson has 40 catches for 769 yards (19.2 avg.) and four TDs in those six with 100+ yards … TE VERNON DAVIS has four career TDs and averages 24.5 yards-per-TD (98 yards). Scored first career TD (31 yards) vs. Ariz. … DE BRYANT YOUNG has four sacks in past four meetings. Has 7.5 sacks in 12 career games vs. Cardinals … CB WALTHARRIS had INT in last meeting. Has two career INTs vs. Ariz.
What To Look For Today
WR 11 Fitzgerald LE 94 Smith WR 82 Jackson UT 97 Young
LT 69 Gandy NT 98 Watson LT 68 Snyder NT 99 Sopoaga
LG 74 Wells DT 90 Dockett LG 71 Allen DE 94 Douglas
C 50 Johnson RE 71 Tafoya C 66 Heitmann OLB 98 Haralson
RG 76 Lutui SLB 97 Pace RG 64 Baas MLB 50 Smith
RT 75 Brown MLB 54 Hayes RT 74 Staley MLB 52 Willis
TE 82 Pope WLB 58 Dansby TE 85 Davis OLB 95 Banta-Cain