49ers GM: “Trey’s going to have to prove that he can stay healthy.”

John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan met with the media Wednesday afternoon for their end of year press conference.

San Francisco’s quarterback situation dominated the discussion. Here is what the 49ers general manager and head coach had to say about the health of their two young quarterbacks and their expectations heading into the offseason.

We spoke to QB Brock Purdy yesterday and he mentioned getting some more images done yesterday afternoon. Any clarity coming out of that as far as what kind of surgery he’s going to have, how long he’ll be out?

General Manager John Lynch: “Yeah, I think he’s continuing to get some different opinions, talk to different people, which I think is smart in an instance like this, there’s a lot of smart people out there. You want to make sure you’re thorough. He’s continuing to go through that process. I think the positive bit of news is that it seems to be consistent that the right approach is that one that takes about that six-month mark. Now, everybody will also say you never know until you get in there. Every surgeon will tell you that on every surgery, you always like getting in to see exactly. The MRI tells you a lot of the pictures, so they’re continuing to work through that process, but we seem encouraged by the prognosis that that’s kind of where it’s at.”

By the six month one, you mean the internal brace one?

JL: “Correct.”

If it is six months, that means that he’d probably be back in time for training camp, if that’s the situation. Are you content enough with Brock and QB Trey Lance being the top two guys going into training camp or would you be looking for a high-profile veteran?

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan: “No, we’re content enough.”

Are there comparisons on quarterbacks who have come back from this kind of surgery about how long it takes before they get fine motor skills back on different passes? With pitchers, they talk about curveball control, I don’t know what the comp is?

KS: “That was the coolest thing for me to hear about that once three months is over, they start the rehab of just building the arm back slowly, and by six months it’s built back. And that’s when I started asking questions, does that mean ease him in? When you think of ACLs and they said, no, the buildups been from three-to-six and at six months, he is the same dude and full go, so that was the most encouraging part that I heard.”

Trey said that he expects to be medically cleared in the next three-to-four weeks, so that what you’re expecting, that he’ll be full go come OTAs or will you be easing him in?

KS: “It sounds like he’ll be pretty close around phase one, phase two. OTAs is the third phase, which I think that is five weeks after phase one, so we’ll see in phase one, they’re saying right around that time, so hopefully we’ll be able to ease him in with drill work and things like that. And then by OTAs, he’ll be able to go.”

With Brock, where is your mind right now as far as how you’re going to approach the quarterback situation this offseason with Brock and his rehab and where Trey is. How do you expect to handle this leading into training camp?

KS: “I don’t think there’s much to handle. One guy can’t go and the other guy should be ready for OTAs, so OTAs haven’t been that consistent over the last three, four years since COVID. They keep being a little bit more different each year, so it’s not as big of a deal as it used to be, but it sounds we will at least have one guy for it.”

Will Brock be the starter in training camp if he’s healthy, or will there be a competition between him and Trey?

KS: “Those are things I haven’t even thought about at all, so right now we’re just working on coaches and I think that stuff will play itself out by training camp.”

I know this is hypothetical, but when you say you are content with those two guys, does that mean you would not be looking at signing a starter-level veteran at all?

KS: “I know we have two starters on our team right now that I believe we can win with, so when you have that situation, you’re not that eager to go looking around.”

These are two guys who are coming off injuries and one of them has been hurt previously. Isn’t that a little bit of a risk when you have just gone through four quarterbacks?

KS: “It always is, but when a quarterback gets his arm bent backwards and stuff, I think anybody gets hurt from that, it’s unfortunate when quarterbacks get hurt, but you try to have three, sometimes you bring four into camp, but I don’t think we’re going to start having five or anything like that. Brock did a pretty good job being durable all year and they got his elbow in an unfortunate situation, which I think has happened a number of quarterbacks. Going back to, I don’t know exactly, but when you look at [former NFL QB Drew] Brees, I don’t know if that was shoulder or elbow that he [John Lynch] did on the last play of the year. Yeah, there’s lots of situations like that and you look at the recovery timeline and the good thing—[Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew] Stafford, I don’t know if that was from an impact thing or if that just built up over time, but I know he went through some of that stuff last offseason and that affected him a little bit into this year, but the good thing about Brock is that wasn’t an issue. It was a freak accident that I think everyone saw what happened. And when you talk to the doctors, it takes three months to really get back to repairing it and building it up the right way and in six months, he’ll be the same guy.”

Is there a scenario in which you guys can see QB Jimmy Garoppolo being back and if so, what would that look like?

KS: “No, I don’t see any scenario of that.”

Obviously, you will add another or two quarterbacks. What’s the profile of the kind of quarterback, whether veteran or a rookie, undrafted? What’s the profile of the guy that you want to come in here along with Trey and Brock?

KS: “The best available that can fit into the structure of our team and the salary cap and all that, but the best one available.”

Quarterback injuries have been an issue the past few years. Jimmy had several, Trey has had a few, Brock has had a couple. This offseason, is this something that you feel you need to find a common denominator for or somewhat of a solution for? Or is it something that’s just bad luck that’s out of your hands?

JL: “Yeah, I really believe that’s a tough position to play in this league. I understand there’s some players who’ve had incredible durability. As Kyle said earlier, I think Brock’s been incredibly durable throughout his career. He ran into just an inopportune situation where he’s trying to throw the ball down field, and he’s got an NFL edge rusher pulling at your arm the other direction. It’s just not going to hold up, so that stinks. Trey had his issues and Trey’s had a rough go here the last couple years. He’s obviously going to have to prove that he can stay healthy, but I know there was periods of my career early on where I struggled to stay healthy, then I went eight years without missing a snap. So that happens sometimes. And yeah, I’m sure people wonder, Jimmy’s had his issues, but believe me, it’s nothing with the way we play our quarterbacks or anything. I think it’s just coincidence and we look into everything, but I don’t think we have any more of an issue than anybody else. I think that’s a tough position in this league.”

With all due respect to John’s answer about quarterbacks. When you go through a season and you have four quarterbacks get hurt, does it cause you as a coach any hesitation? They’re all different, but does it give you as the person who draws up the plays, any hesitation on how you’re protecting them? How they’re handled, what you do with them?

KS: “Yeah, I think when you ask that question that way, I understand, but I think if you looked at the injuries common sense would answer that question. How have they gotten hurt? I’m sorry, [QB] Josh [Johnson] got a concussion when he hit the ground, so that’s the fourth one you’re talking about. I’m sorry our quarterback got his elbow bent backwards on a normal drop back pass. I’m sorry, on a drop back pass someone rolled up on Jimmy’s ankle. And then we have a dual-threat quarterback who got hurt running the ball. To throw all those four in that category. No quarterbacks got hurt when we had to hand it off the whole second half, so we can look into that.”

This article has 72 Comments

  1. If I were Trey, I’d respond: “Okay….that’s fair. But how about no more running me up the middle like a fullback? Or how about not planning to block elite pass rushers with 2nd string tight ends?

    1. Can’t expect KS to own up to his mistakes. It’s funny how he expects a rookie QB to play like a ten year veteran, yet he won’t even question his own rookie coaching mistakes especially in big games. I doubt we’ll ever win the SB with him. He’s a very good coach, but he refuses to address his flaws.

      1. Those flaws you talk about are from fan’s perspective but not from professional football people. I liked the answer Kyle gave about common sense. Quarterbacks, get sacked and get hurt. That’s part of being a football player.

        1. Not throwing the red flag was a complete rookie mistake and it was pivotal. Could have kept the game closer and who knows, they might have won.

          1. So you’re better than Kyle at making that decision at that moment? Have you called him out in other mistakes he’s made that just happened to turn out well or only those in hindsight that didn’t turn well.

            1. It was obvious, Felix. Absolutely no downside to throwing the flag.

              Sirianni threw the red flag after Purdy was hit and the ball was almost intercepted. Everyone could see that the ball hit the ground which negated an interception, but he knew it was a playoff game and threw the flag. He was rewarded because a fumble was ruled after the review. You’ll defend Kyle come hell or high water. Did you defend Tomsula and Kelly with such enthusiasm?

              1. The downside as Kyle stated was loosing a time out when the playback appeared to show it was a catch. He was on the field in the middle of the game and you were on your couch making calls in hindsight.

              2. Cubus,

                You are correct. Siranni threw the challenge flag prior to a replay being shown on the video boards in the stadium.

            2. So Felix
              * Can you recall HOW MANY 9er QB’s have been on IR this season? Yes, every team has injuries, but how many teams have lost 3 QB’s in one season?
              * Would you care to offer your professional opinion as to WHY KS has lost 3 QB’s?
              * Does losing 3 QB to IR this season, raise any questions in your mind? And if NOT, would you care to define the term “HOMER?” Or as the old adage goes, “if the shoe fits!”
              And BTW, since you find it relevant to question Cubus’ expertise, perhaps you’d care to offer yours? I’m sure playing 2nd string in high school will impress everyone reading the blog?

              1. Felix is an unrelenting Shanahan apologist. Any comment made he replies that we think we know more than the Shanahan or Lynch. All his arguments are intellectually bankrupt. The man never met a critical argument that he didn’t think he could shoot down with “so you think you know more than them?”

    2. One year contract with Rogers? He is a Bay Area guy who wanted to play for the Niners from the start.l Poor draft choices continue to hurt us. We can not go into the 2023 season with Trey who does not look like more than a backup or a Brock who will miss most or all of the season. Jimmy G is staying? I hear not.

      1. Allie
        * 9ers can NOT afford to sign Rogers, even with the salary cap increasing to be a record $224.8 million p/club,
        from $208.2 Mil in 2022.
        NOTE: The 49ers picked up Bosas’ fifth-year option, which is set to pay him nearly $18 million for the 2023 season.
        * Per Spotrac: Aaron Rodgers signed a 3 year, $150,815,000 contract with the Green Bay Packers, including a $40,800,000 signing bonus, $150,815,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $50,271,667.

  2. Ugggh. Really don’t like those answers. Without seeing KS and JL actually speaking, I think you lose a little context but in the transcript both guys come across as smug and arrogant. What’s worse is they come across like they refuse to acknowledge they need to put more priority on protecting the QB. Purdy got hurt because you asked TE2 to block one of the best pass rushers in the league 1v1. Johnson got hurt because Spencer Burford is bad at his job. Garoppolo got hurt because the O-line screwed up blocking assignments and left Jerome Baker as a free rusher. Trey Lance got hurt because you designed a play where Lance ran the ball straight up the middle and you asked journeyman Center Jake Brendel to block a 350lb D Tackle who tossed Brendel aside like a used towel and landed on Trey’s leg. Every QB injury could have been avoided. Hopefully, the arrogance is just the media response and the 49ers realize they have a big problem trying to keep QBs healthy. Might be an interesting exercise for an industrious blogger to look at the number of QB starters and QB injuries on every NFL team over the past 5 years and see where the 49ers rank in getting QBs injured.

    1. I didn’t see any arrogance from them but sometimes stupid questions are hard to answer. I’d love to hear Harbaugh answer that QB injury question. I doubt he would have been as patient as Kyle was.

  3. Anyone have any ideas on how the 49ers should use their 4 3rd round picks to get better. Should they resign Brendel? Should they resign McGlinchey? If not should they sign a FA or draft one or both?

    1. The 49ers don’t have a ton of cap space. Brendel is a serviceable Center so I think they can resign him at an affordable price. And I don’t think the 49ers really have any better readily available options at Center. McGlinchey is probably going to cost more than what the 49ers will want to pay him. He’s a decent to above average tackle. But I’m guessing that on the open market, some team will pay him like a good tackle.

      I wouldn’t count on 3rd round picks as more than depth. I mean you hope they can become more but in the short term I’d count on them to be backups.

        1. The guy on the practice squad? I don’t think counting on a practice squad guy to be a starter is a good idea.

          1. Brock Purdy was a practice squad guy. Aziz al Shaiir was a practice squad guy. Tashaun Gipson was a practice squad guy.

            1. Seriously??? You’re going to debate this point with me????

              Gipson is a former Pro Bowler.
              Purdy was never on the practice squad.

              What percentage of practice squad guys become decent starters? Hey…someone won the lottery! Let’s plan to make lots of money by playing the lottery!

              1. Lighten up dude. No Im not going to debate you because it’s not debatable. I’m right and you are wrong. The NFL is littered with guys who started on the practice squad who then became “serviceable starters.” You know who one of those guys is? Jake Brendel – you know that same guy who you are saying needs to be the starter at Center. Soooo… like I said, I wonder if Poe will be in the mix at Center.

              2. This is why I sometimes question the value of democracy. This “patriot” guy’s inability to understand the odds in talent selection in the NFL draft and the fact that the draft is stacked the way it is because of the perceived ordering of talent……nope…this “patriot” guy believes in lottery tickets. This guy’s vote counts as much as mine….that’s scary. I mean I acknowledge that most football fans are simply fans that don’t understand football….but most at least understand simple odds and talent evaluation.

              3. AFFNP
                “Brendel is a serviceable Center”
                “McKivitz or Moore will have to step up to become serviceable starters.”
                “What percentage of practice squad guys become decent starters? Hey…someone won the lottery! Let’s plan to make lots of money by playing the lottery!”

                All from the same guy on the same post. Amazing. Brendel and McKivitz spent time on the practice squad. I understand you’re just a fan that doesn’t really understand football but maybe you should shoot for a little consistency. Would make you look a little less silly.

                But back to my main point. What do you think about Poe? Undersized but possesses great athleticism. For some reason, I get a Mark Stepnoski vibe from Poe. Undersized but can be good at some point. Any football thoughts that actually address my original question running with wild abandon thru that empty little noggin of yours??

              4. If the 49ers want a better goal line and 4th down success rate; then a fullback isn’t where I’d start. They need more power up front. As I’ve said before, Burford is under powered. And while Brunskill is better; he’s no powerhouse either. Brendall is an underpowered Center too.

                Traditionally, Kyle has undervalued the Guard position. It’s the Center position he’s valued that requires the most knowledge and ability to adjust. But that comes from the old Wide Zone scheme that he came from (and Alex Gibbs is talking about). Kyle runs far more inside zone and gap runs than ever before. To do that consistently and effectively, he needs more beef up front. Those quick undersized technicians can’t overcome their lack of power as easily in short yardage situations.

                As for Poe on Reddick? I don’t know what kind of pass blocker he is. I mean Kroft sucks. But more than anything it was a stupid play with Reddick lined up where he was. They should have audibled of it, made a blocking adjustment or called a time out.

            2. I never said that practice squad guys don’t make good starters. I said counting on them to become good starters isn’t a good plan. I like to play the lottery sometimes. Sometimes people win. I like the fun of the idea of potentially winning. But I don’t count on it as sound personal financial plan.

              I saw Poe as having a lot of potential coming out of the draft. I saw even more potential from Dhonovan West. Poe is quick and strong but lacks the size and drive to drive a NT out of his gap (which is necessary when running inside zone types of plays). Both were put on the practice squad….so I guess they weren’t as fully developed as I initially thought. In West’s case he was cut and signed with the XFL. So being down on the practice squad means you don’t get very many reps (because you spend your time on the scout team executing the upcoming opponent’s plays) in the offense or defense. A practice squad guy gets few opportunities and to become a starter they have to show that not only are they good enough to get off the practice squad, but then they have to beat out the backups/2nd stringers and look better than anyone else the team looks to bring in for the position. Can it be done? Sure. Guys get injured all the time and players have to step up and be ready…it sure would have been nice to still have Jacob Eason on the practice squad and have the ability to suit up as an emergency QB in the NFCC (this used to be the case before 2011).

              1. Ok, I can agree with this. Tons of research and data on this type of discussion. Starter rate of 1st rounders is > 90%, 2nd rounders 80%, 3rd rounders 60%, etc. When you get to late rounders and UDFA who might make a PS, only < 5% of those guys become NFL starters. I made those numbers up but you get my point. I really loved Poe's athleticism and thought he might have a chance. Obviously it's a longshot but curious if anyone else had the opinion Poe could be A diamond in the rough type of player. I liked him more than West. I'm also curious if the coaching staff agrees with you that Poe will never be able to play on an NFL O-line due to his uncontrollable physical limitations, would they have him trim down to be a FB or a special teams contributor. I could see Poe potentially becoming a Patrick Ricard type of bruising Fullback. He will never supplant Juice as the starter but lining Poe up on the goal line or short yardage to leverage his size and athleticism would be something I would like to see.

              2. To further clarify my point. It’s not that practice squad guys don’t or can’t become decent starters. Because obviously they can. It’s that they don’t jump from the practice squad to starter status and perform reasonably well. That’s not likely. Most practice squad guys that become starters get moved up to be 2nd stringers because of an injury. Then something else happens and they get some snaps with the starters. So now this player is no longer a practice squad player he’s a 2nd stringer making the jump to a starter.

                I mean it’s not inconceivable that Poe could eventually become a serviceable starter. He’s more likely to become a versatile backup. Poe is at his best pulling. He’s a mover. If he got on the roster as a 2nd stringer, I wonder if he could be mixed into some game plans because of his ability to block in space. Shanahan likes to mix up his game plans which also means mixing up his run game. So Poe wouldn’t be used if the 49ers are going to use a lot of inside zone or maybe not even outside zone reach blocks. But if they go with more gap blocking with pulling guards for power, toss sweeps and counters….maybe they could put him in for some plays. They would put Brunskill in for Buford from time to time. So it’s not unprecedented.

                As a fullback? Love me some hammerhead, pile driving fullback lead blocks. But that’s not how Shanahan likes to use his fullback. He likes to use them in space as much as a lead blocker. He needs them to be versatile and nimble. Poe is quick and agile. But is he quick and agile enough to block in wide open space?

                We can’t afford a blunt player…we don’t want a 260 pound f**king slug…we want a receiver, and we want a guy who understands the same reads that RB is making. Maybe he’s a better pass protector -Alex Gibbs

              3. Yes, I tend to agree. Shanny prefers the mobile FBs. He’s not a smash mouth guy. But I also think Shanahan is a stats guy. I believe the 49ers were 29th in the NFL in 4th down conversion rate last year. In 2021, they were around 24th in 4th down conversion rate. Overall the 49ers were 6th best in the league on 3rd down conversions last year but they were one of the worst in the league in converting on 3rd and 1. Someone with access to some advanced stats can verify that for me if they like. I heard it on a 49er podcast but I haven’t verified. If those things are true, I do believe Shanahan is a guy who will make adjustments to improve on those stats. What better adjustment than putting a bulldozer at FB to lead block for Christian McCaffery?

                One other crazy thought I had… What if you lined up Poe as TE2 to block Haasan Reddick rather than Tyler Kroft? If you want a blocking TE then I wonder if Poe could fill that role.

      1. Allfor,
        I believe that with the 9ers cap issues they may need to have one or two of their picks compete or step into starting roles next year. They could also package two or three of their 3rd round picks giving them a 2nd and one or two 3rd round picks.

        1. I think it’s more likely McKivitz or Moore will have to step up to become serviceable starters.

          In general, I’m not a fan of trading up in the draft. There’s also Zakelj as an outside darkhorse.

      2. all4fun
        * There is also the fact that TW has said he’s considered retiring! If replacing McGlinchey presents a problem, think of the disaster TW retiring would create.
        * And as some have said, including myself, that the 9ers should replace McGlinchey with RG Spencer Burford
        and replace Buford with Brunskill, then does Poe become the backup center, or do they draft one?
        (open question to anyone on the blog with an opinion)! A bigger question in my mind is, who do the 9ers replace DC DeMeco Ryans with?

        1. the only benefit (and I’m not even close to suggesting it’s worth losing Trent Williams) is that I think something like $20M+ gets freed up from the salary cap if he retires. So they’d have some cap space to work with to sign guys to replace the Tackles. I think Burford would get run over and throw aside like a ragdoll if he were moved to RT. Burford is very under powered…..he’s scrappy and quick….but underpowered IMO. I think McKivitz and Moore are more likely contenders to replace McGlinchey.

          Like I said above top Patriot; Poe will get a look at as a back up Center. But I think the odds are stacked against him and the 49ers either draft or sign a guy to be Brendel’s back up.

          It looks like Wilks is the big name out there. I’d keep my eyes on current 49ers DB Coach Corey Undlin. He has some DC experience. Ryans is thinking of hiring him as DC too. Former 49ers DB Coach Ed Donatell is available. He knows how to run a defensive backfield similar to how the 49ers currently run it. He has mixed reviews as a DC. Fangio may snap him up to be his DB Coach in Miami.

    2. It will probably be difficult to sign him due to the salary cap. If they can’t there’ll be a downgrade at that position. A FA who’s as good as McGlinchy will cost the same amount and they don’t have a 1st round pick so either way it’ll be a downgrade.

  4. This is my third time trying to post this comment.

    How about Kris Richard as DC? He was just fired by the Saints but was a real up and comer a few years back. IIRC, he runs a 4-3 defense.

    “Kris Richard rose to prominence as the defensive backs coach of the Seattle Seahawks during their Legion of Boom era. He parlayed that into the role of defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys from 2018 to 2019 and was hired by the Saints in 2021.

    The Saints defense was actually rather stout in 2022 all things considered. Despite going 7-10 they had the No. 9 scoring defense and were fifth in yards allowed. Only one team allowed fewer passing yards.”


    1. Cubus,
      He sounds like a solid candidate. So far the only names I have heard connected to the job are Wilks and Fangio. If they hired Fangio I wonder if he would keep them as a 4-3 D or would he change to a 3-4 coach. I think he would stay 4-3.

      1. Based on one of Kyle’s answers today it sounded to me like he’s happy with the current scheme and it would require Fangio to change. I highly doubt they’d allow Fangio to make Bosa a linebacker. I’m kind of ruling Fangio out.

        1. Felix,
          By putting Bosa at the hybrid LB/DE spot they could unleash his pass rushing skills. I believe his lack of sacks in the playoffs had more to do with scheme then a late season let down by Bosa. I think he could set the NFL record for sacks at that position. How often did you see Aldon Smith drop into coverage when he filled that spot. I believe a 3-4 alignment would unleash Warner and Greenlaw as blitzers. One or both of them could turn into the next Lawrence Taylor or Ray Lewis.

          1. On the other hand they’ve been very successful with this scheme and have players that are adapted to it. Bosa has been pretty clear on his preference. I highly doubt Kyle is going to want to change to a 3 -4 but we’ll see what’s going to happen pretty soon.

      2. Yeah, I was pushing for Richard when Saleh left, but I didn’t know anything about Ryans. Ryans did a better job in my opinion than Saleh. From what little I’ve seen Richard is a high energy, enthusiastic guy like Saleh and Ryans. I think he would fit in very well. Plus his expertise is in the defensive backfield, which is the weakest area of the defense.

        1. Could you imagine having a Legion of Boom type of secondary to pair with our front seven. Wow, that would be amazing.

        2. I’d argue that the weakness in the secondary is more of a personnel issue. I do not know if Richard is still married to the old Seattle Cover 3 like Saleh used to be. But Saleh and later Ryans moved to more man coverage and Match Quarters coverage.

          1. Allfor,
            I’m a little in the dark on the Match Quarters coverage. Can you please elaborate?

            1. 2 high coverage. It’s basically quarters zone coverage…at least it starts that way. So each DB (2 corners, 2 safeties have 1/4 of the field). BUT…the Safeties read the #2 receiver (counting from the outside in…so the furthest out receiver is #1). The safeties read the first 5 or so yards of the route stem (vertical part of the route) by #2 receiver and determine if the receiver is going challenge the coverage vertically (past 7 or so…maybe 12? yards) or go horizontal. If it’s vertical; then they run deep with the receiver. If it’s horizontal than Safety drops down to rob #1 receiver (jump the route). Corners read #1 receiver. If they go vertical then they match and go vertical. If #1 runs a shallow route then the corner drops down…sort of like in Cover 2 with the Safeties playing over the top.
              The middle linebacker plays a mid hook zone. The OLBs/Nickelback plays in a hook zone or drops into the flat.
              Since the Safeties are busy reading #2. If #2 doesn’t run a deep route the Safeties then look to drop down and rob #1 but on their way down they can read run and come down as secondary Force players against the run. So one benefit is that against the run (unless against play action where #2 goes vertical) the Safeties come down to fortify against the run almost like putting 9 in the box. So both the Wide Nine 4-3 and Fangio’s 3-4 defenses have containment off the edges with the Ends and OLBs. In both defenses the Safeties come up as Force players off the edge. However in the Wide 9 the Safeties will sometimes have to fill the C & D Gaps if the Ends have the containment.

              Anyway that’s a simplified explanation of match quarters or sometimes called “Palms” or Blue Coverage. There are calls that can be made between the Safeties and linebackers that can exchange roles. It’s a very flexible coverage and is good against RPOs and Read Option offenses.

              1. Allfor,
                I could actually visualize how this coverage works in your explanation.

                The question for me is do the 49ers have the personnel to succeed in this coverage?
                And who plays the wide-9 spot? Bosa would likely be the obvious choice, but if he’s responsible for covering a RB that flares out to his area, this could put him in a untenable situation.

                In this coverage, I think Drake Jackson can have success because of athleticism and speed – ala Aldon Smith.
                Thanks again for your explanation.

            2. The question for me is do the 49ers have the personnel to succeed in this coverage?

              That was kind of one of my points. They already often play this kind of hybrid zone/man coverage. I might argue that Hufanga plays better in the box. But so far the 49ers have mixed it up and used him up on the LoS and back at times. The 49ers have some questions at Safety going into next season. It doesn’t sound like Ward is coming back. Gipson is old and I’m not sure if he’s signed for another season….I guess he’ll be back?

        3. There’s also Ed Donatell who was Fangio’s Secondary Coach with the 49ers. He runs a similar Match Quarters secondary the 49ers now more frequently run. Heck if Fangio goes the the 49ers then Dontell probably won’t be far behind.

      3. I don’t think the schemes are that widely different from each other. Both have similar run fits. They both run similar back ends (Match Quarters/Palms). I think the D-line play is a bit different; Fangio has his linemen engage their blockers and driving them back before penetrating a gap. I think the Wide 9 had more gap penetration by the Ends and at least one of the DTs. But both have containment on the Edges. The Ends play “boxed” and take wide arcs into the backfield to play containment similar to the how the OLBs play it. The inside linebackers have inside gap responsibilities before flowing over to support outside containment.

        Also, Fangio has run a 4-3 defensive scheme in the past. It’s not his preferred defensive scheme.

    2. Cubus
      Replacements for Ryans as 9er DC:
      * Ejiro Evero may land a job as a HC in this cycle. If he doesn’t, he’s a top available defensive coordinator after helping construct a very good Broncos defense.
      * The 49ers are requesting an interview with the Panthers Steve Wilks. He’s been in the NFL since 2006, and is, IMO, one of very few available coaches who’s capable of replacing Ryans.
      * Chris Harris is another person the 49ers have requested an interview with. He falls into the mold of a Robert Saleh or Ryans in that he’s yet to have any experience as a coordinator.
      * There’s no indication the 49ers are interested in making Kocurek their DC, nor is there any indication he’s interested in a promotion.! BUT, he’s been good as the 9ers defensive line coach though, and IMO, his ability to lead would make him a good candidate for the DC job.
      * Kris Richard would make a capable DC. But he is one of several candidates who I would consider 2nd tier
      candidates…Like dozens of NFL players who pressed the pause button in 2020, Kris Richard opted out of this pandemic-enveloped season of uncertainty. But the decision for the former Dallas Cowboys defensive play-caller had nothing to do with COVID-19. Richard, 41, took a pass because he bet on himself.
      Jettisoned by the Cowboys in the sweep that included the firing of coach Jason Garrett, Richard interviewed for several jobs early this year – including two head coaching positions – but was offered nothing with a rank higher than defensive backs coach.
      * “It’s kind of like knowing your worth, knowing your value,” Richard told USA TODAY Sports. “What’s the difference between the two? Do they coincide? Are they interchangeable? Cutting through all of that, I wasn’t willing to take anything less than I am. I know what I am and I know what I am capable of.”
      Apparently the NFL owners do NOT agree with his assessment of himself?

  5. What position groups do you think the 49ers will be paying special attention to at this weeks Senior Bowl? I’m thinking OT, edge and DT/nose tackle.

    1. OC
      With Jimmy Ward a FA and likely moving to another team, I would think Safety would be high on the list of
      players the 9ers would be very interested in.

  6. An interesting piece of news that came out of the news conference was about Drake Jackson. Kyle said he wasn’t conditioned for the long NFL season. At some point he ran out of gas so that’s why he didn’t play at the end of the season. They are expecting him to get in better conditioning this off season and be a real contributor opposite Bosa next year.

    1. FelixNot sure WHY you think that is “an interesting piece of news?”
      Rookies from a college season, to the 17 game NFL season, experience the same conditioning problem!
      I would agree however, that a year in the gym and a year of NFL coaching will help him.

      1. Sorry you didn’t find it interesting but the reason I posted it was because there has been quite a bit of speculation here on why he’s been inactive in recent weeks. Some rookies come prepared and get get advice on the long grueling season and some don’t. Some are just so naturally gifted that they’ve never had to really work at it and are shocked at the level required in the NFL.

  7. According to Niner columnists during training camp: The 9ers like Nick Zakelj because he’s big, smart and nasty. He practiced center at Fordham and also with the Niners, so possibly could play all interior positions.
    And since Moseley and Verrett are recovering from injury, they might be available for cheap one-year deals. So if Jimmy Ward leaves or is signed to play safety, then they or Womack or Lenoir — that is, someone, might be a fine slot corner replacement.

    Is there any hope for Alfredo Gutierrez?
    I’d love to read some anonymous NFL personnel guy’s opinion of everyone on the 9ers.

    1. Nick Zakelj at Center? Hmmm…interesting. I didn’t know he was under consideration at the position. 6’6″ is tall for the position. The interior guys tend to be stockier to get good leverage. Also it can make it difficult to see over the middle. Purdy isn’t playing anytime soon. He’s only 6’1″.

      Hey Hammer! Remember the Crazy Chicken “El Pollo Loco” at Center. He was what 5’6 or 5’7″? He helped to create a window in the middle of the line.

    2. Nakamoto Yoko
      FYI, I have posed several time that I believe the 9ers will try Nick Zakelj at Center for the reasons you mentioned. After attending most of the 9ers 2022 pre season practices, Zakelj was a player I thought had a chance to play one of the IOL positions. (both C and RG).
      RE CB Varrett: After all his injuries and time spent on IR, I seriously doubt the 9ers will be interested in resigning him. Resources better allocated to a draft pick that is cheaper and can stay healthy.

  8. The more I think about it the more a Fangio hire intrigues me. I think the 9ers have the personnel right now to make the change DEs Jackson, Armstead and K. Davis NT Ridgeway (the way Fangio uses his NTs they only play 20% to 30% and Ridgeway’s one weakness is he tires if you use him too much) Edge/LB Bosa (no more control rush let him loose like A. Smith LBs Warner, Greenlaw and AlShaair. I can see Fangio using Warner and Greenlaw on multiple blitzes. DBs Moseley, C. Ward, Lenoir Womack, J Ward, Hufanga and Gipson.
    On another subject I think the 9ers should carry one less ST player and carry a KO specialist. I hate to lose Gould’s consistency on FGs and extra points just to find a K who can reach the end zone.

      1. I guess we stay 3-4. What positions do you think they will be looking for in the draft. I know you don’t think they will find immediate starters in the 3rd round but I think with their cap situation they may have to find at least 2 players who can step right in.

        1. I think you meant “we stay 4-3”. Eh, 3-4, 4-3 it doesn’t matter that much.

          As I said, I think the 2nd stringers are more likely to be the guys that have to step up like McKivitz , Moore and Zakelj….Ridgway, Hurst…. They need some Safeties too….starters and depth. Burford is going to have to improve too….maybe a whole offseason in the conditioning program will give him some more sand in his pants and power.

          1. Question for OC, all4fun, or anyone on the blog:
            Prior to Ryans signing with the Texans, My understanding was the 9ers would get four (4) 3rd Rd comp picks. After Ryans signed with the Texans and director of player personnel, Ran Carthon, signed with the Titans as GM, do the 9ers now get 6 3rd Rd comp picks?
            If the 9ers now get 6 3rd Rd picks, IMO, they need to trade up in the draft for a 2nd RD OT and or Safety….Maybe both. An OT to replace McGlinchey and a Safety to replace Jimmy Ward.

            1. That could definitely be a good way to garner a 2nd rd pick.
              But, on the flip side, the 49ers have shown an uncanny success in the draft with their mid to late rd picks.
              Having a boat load of 3rd rd picks could fill some future if not immediate needs if TW retires and McGlinchey finds greener pastures.

              Of course, the 49ers scouts need to make sure that it’s worth keeping their 3rd rd haul by determining that the players (if they go that route) they draft are capable of becoming starters more sooner than later.
              What the 49ers don’t need is quantity over quality.

            2. Geep,
              I think they now have 4. Many of us were counting Ryans early and some thought they would get a comp pick fot JG. Actually they will get the comp pick for JG in the 24 draft.

    1. I think there is a very good chance Kyle picks someone already on the staff. He wants as few changes as possible. Rumor has it that Fangio and Kyle talked and my guess is Fangio decided he’d prefer Miami after hearing Kyles requirements.
      As for a KO specialist, there’s no way. Gould does fine with it and there’s no way you use a spot on the 53 for that. Of course we can’t be sure Gould will resign but I expect him to.

  9. Felix,
    I’d much rather have the ball placed on the 25 yrd line than have a kick-returner being tackled 30 – 40 yrds down field.
    After watching our inept kick-off coverage this past season, it might be prudent to use a roster spot for someone who consistently kicks the ball into the endzone.
    Gould can’t.

    1. I haven’t seen any stats on this so I can’t comment further other than to say in general I doubt the Niners would do this unless they found a guy who could also play a position.

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