NFC Notes: 49ers, Breaux, Seahawks, Packers

Rookie 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula is at the helm of a 4-9 team and certainly not a lock to return for a second season, but two of the club’s respected veterans spoke out Friday in support of the 47-year-old, according to Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle.

“Yeah, I love Tomsula,” linebacker NaVorro Bowman said. “I’ve been with him for a long time. He knows me. I know him. It’s always been a good relationship.”

Tomsula has been with the 49ers since taking over as their defensive line coach in 2007, so he and Bowman – drafted in 2010 – are well-acquainted.

Receiver Torrey Smith, on the other hand, signed with the 49ers last offseason and obviously hasn’t spent nearly the amount of time with Tomsula that Bowman has. That didn’t stop Smith from endorsing Tomsula.

“He’s been one of my favorite coaches I’ve ever had,” Smith said. “I think he’s a great man. It sucks that we haven’t had the results that we need, but I think he’s a great guy. So I want the best for him.”

More on the Niners and a few of their NFC counterparts:

  • The Lions missed a golden opportunity last offseason to sign standout cornerback Delvin Breaux, who was unable to pass a team physical, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Breaux, formerly of the CFL, went on to sign with the Saints and has been a bright spot on a porous defense. The 26-year-old has 38 tackles and two interceptions in 13 games, and currently ranks as Pro Football Focus’ 13th-best corner (subscription required).
  • Running back Christine Michael‘s recently signed deal with the Seahawks expires at the end of the season, but he’ll be still be under team control as a restricted free agent, per Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link). With fellow RBs Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson potentially out of Seahawks uniforms in 2016, Michael could stick around as Thomas Rawls‘ backup. He’ll have a chance to impress the organization in the coming weeks with both Lynch and Rawls injured.
  • 49ers rookie Jarryd Hayne is encouraged by his progress and plans to return to the NFL next season, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee writes. “To come this far in seven months, give me 12, 14 (and) it’s going to be completely different. And I think anyone who’s seen my growth will tell you how much I’ve changed and developed,” the 27-year-old said. The native of Australia and former professional rugby player signed with the Niners as a running back/return specialist last offseason. He appeared in six games for the team this year before it cut him and brought him back as a member of its practice squad last month.
  • The Packers spent Friday looking at free agent special teamers, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reports. The Pack worked out two punters – Will Johnson and Kasey Redfern – a pair of long snappers in Rick Lovato and Sam Rodgers, and kicker Andy Wilder.
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