This is Grant Cohn, but some people call me Iggy. You can call me whatever you’d like. I’m your new 49ers blogger. I’ll be reporting and tweeting every day from training camp in Santa Clara as soon as it opens, whenever that may be. Until then, I’ll join Bob Padecky and Phil Barber in providing you with some blogging snack food to whet your appetite for the upcoming NFL season….
From a reporter’s perspective, this week with 49ers interim coach Jim Tomsula, 42, has been a bit different from the previous 16 weeks with his predecessor, Mike Singletary.
Back home in the South Bay after the loss at St. Louis, Patrick Willis unwound by surfing the Internet on Sunday night. It was when Willis clicked over to ESPN that he saw the news: his organization had fired Mike Singletary. “I called him right away, you know, because I wanted to hear it from him as opposed to hearing it in the news and all that stuff,” Willis said to the reporters still hanging around the media trailer Monday afternoon.
In the wake of a coaching change, NFL players are expected to (1) express respect for the outgoing coach, (2) praise the new guy in equal measure, (3) utter the words “you understand this is a business” and (4) express confidence in management. The 49ers checked all the appropriate boxes Monday – not surprising when you consider that the players who addressed the media were handpicked by the team.
In 21 seasons with the 49ers, legendary offensive line coach Bobb McKittrick was handed exactly one first-round draft choice to work with — tackle Harris Barton in 1987. Mike Solari has been with the team just a few months, but already is benefiting from two first-rounders. So there is pressure on Solari to build a strong line, but with it comes a lot of optimism.
The 49ers’ veteran offensive linemen are already appreciative of Solari’s no-nonsense approach.
There is intense interest in the 49ers’ two first-round draft choices, tackle Anthony Davis and guard Mike Iupati. But just as vital to the team’s offensive success this season might be the ability of the 49ers’ new offensive line coach Mike Solari and his assistant, Ray Brown, to mold and whittle their current 12 guys into a powerful unit.
Face to face, Solari is a lot like the offensive lines he has produced: measured, consistent, quietly confident, a little vanilla. The guy is old school. I sat down with him in Santa Clara on Thursday, and here is what we talked about:
It will be months, if not years, before we know the true value of the 49ers’ 2010 offseason transactions. But some of them clearly came with greater risk (and perhaps greater reward) than others. Here is a look at the team’s major moves since January 1, categorized according to the Homeland Security Advisory System – because something worthwhile has to come out of those much-ignored color codes.
The 49ers hired Ray Brown, 47, as assistant offensive line coach on Jan. 27, the morning after Mike Singletary interviewed him at the Senior Bowl. He began work at the 49ers’ offices on Monday. Today, he took part in a conference call with reporters after the club announced earlier in the day that he rejoined the organization. Brown played with the 49ers from 1996 to 2001, and was selected to…
It appears as if the 49ers are going to lose another assistant coach.
In response to my blog entry on Tuesday, there were a lot of questions in the comments section about Alex Smith and Mike Singletary. My answers are pretty much the same. I don’t know if Smith is going to establish himself as the 49ers’ quarterback for many years to come. And I don’t know if Singletary will be a successful head coach.
Ray Brown, who spent six seasons with the 49ers and earned a trip to the 2001 Pro Bowl as an offensive guard, has been hired as the team’s assistant line coach, according to a source at the Senior Bowl. Brown was one of the team’s best free-agent signings, as he came to the 49ers in 1996 after playing three seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals and seven years with the…
If you’re wondering why 49ers coach Singletary allowed offensive line coach Chris Foerster to leave his staff to accept a position with Mike Shanahan’s Washington Redskins, this is how that transpired:
When Mike Singletary interviewed for head-coaching positions with the Falcons, Cowboys and Chargers in 2006 and ’07, he had a list of prospective assistant coaches to join his would-be staff. Mike Solari was No. 1 on his list as offensive line coach, Singletary said. Today, it became reality. Singletary hired Solari to replace Chris Foerster, whom he reluctantly gave permission to accept the offensive-line position with the Washington…
Well, that didn’t take long. Mike Solari has replaced Chris Foerster as 49ers offensive line coach, the club just announced. Solari, 55, met today with 49ers coach Mike Singletary and was quickly hired to fill the opening that was vacated when the 49ers granted permission for Foerster to interview with the Washington Redskins. ESPN reported this morning that Foerster joined Mike Shanahan’s staff with the Redskins.
Chris Foerster is out as 49ers offensive line coach, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. New Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has hired Foerster as offensive line coach, according to the report. The 49ers confirmed this morning they granted permission for Foerster to interview with the Redskins, thus allowing him to leave the organization.
Kurt Schottenheimer, whom the 49ers hired Monday as special-teams coordinator, is getting a head start in preparing for the draft. He is spending this week in Orlando as defensive coordinator for the West at the East-West Shrine Game. Obviously, he’s paying particular attention to some defenders who would be good fits on special teams at the next level. And, you can bet, he’s checking out the return specialists, too.
Coach Mike Singletary said he understands the importance of special teams and “some of the things we’ll do this offseason will reflect that.” Singletary today hired veteran NFL coach Kurt Schottenheimer as special-teams coordinator to replace Al Everest. Singletary said he is not concerned that Schottenheimer has not coached special teams since 1994. Kurt spent most of the past 15 seasons as a defensive coach, and that suits the…
The 49ers have hired Kurt Schottenheimer as special-teams coordinator, the club announced this morning. He replaces Al Everest, who served three seasons in that position. Coach Mike Singletary decided after the season to not renew Everest’s contract for 2010.
Kurt Schottenheimer, who served as an NFL defensive coordinator for five seasons with three teams, is the latest candidate to interview with 49ers coach Mike Singletary for the team’s vacant special-teams job, the team confirmed. Singletary last week informed Al Everest that he would not be retained for the 2010 season. Schottenheimer is the third person to interview for the vacant job. He follows Larry Mac Duff, who served from…