Nolan was the 49ers' head coach from 2005 into 2008 before being fired after a 2-5 start. He went to the Denver Broncos, the Miami Dolphins and now to the Falcons after that stint. Sunday marks the first time since his stint in San Francisco that he will face his former team.
"It's been four years, but this is my third stop since then so there is a lot of water under the bridge from that standpoint. I've got great memories from that place, a lot of good things happened as well. Obviously getting fired is not a good thing, but, nonetheless, there are a lot of players still playing there that we added and that we'll get to see. I look forward to seeing them before the game."
Nolan's biggest challenge Sunday won't be seeing the the red and white uniforms in person once again, but stopping that team's quarterback.
Colin Kaepernick ripped apart the Green Bay Packers' defense in last week's divisional round win. He threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns, leading the 49ers to a convincing 45-31 win to advance into Sunday's NFC Championship game.
Nolan called Kaepernick a "game wrecker":
"He's more like Cam Newton probably than (Russell) Wilson. He's got great open field speed. He's probably as fast as any of the guys in the open field. He's elusive like the other guys but he's a bigger target. He's done an outstanding job.
As you all see, and I see the same thing you see, as far as having the ability to not only run but to throw and command the offense as well as he has, but it's a similar offense to what he had in college. I don't want to say it's the same offense but it's similar. They've got different weapons around him and I think he uses those weapons very well. He's a chore. He's a game wrecker, as we would call him. He's a good player."
The top-seeded Falcons host Kaepernick and the 49ers at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.