Bobby Turner

49ers Rumors: Kap, Shanahan, Staff, Reid

Colin Kaepernick appears to be warming to the idea of staying in San Francisco. While it’s uncertain if that’s in John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan‘s plans at this juncture, the 29-year-old quarterback reached out to Lynch. Kaepernick and the new 49ers GM plan to meet soon, Lynch said Thursday (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle).

It will be a football decision,” Lynch said regarding Kaepernick’s status, “but I think part of that, there are different layers to that. I think everything will be included in the decision. I’m not talking specifically about his stance, though. When you have a quarterback, the great ones are leaders of men. All those things will be taken into account. Colin and I, when I did some 49ers games, I’d say we hit it off. I’d say there was a trust there. I think that trust extends, and I was thrilled when he reached out. I’m looking forward to talking with him.”

Shanahan said he will evaluate Kaepernick on film in the coming weeks. Many other signal-callers, like Kirk Cousins or Jimmy Garoppolo, have been linked to the 49ers in recent weeks, and the team can save $16.9MM by cutting Kaepernick. Previously believed to be opting out, Kaepernick is now in wait-and-see mode, joining the new-look 49ers in that regard. He’s the only quarterback under contract with the 49ers for 2017, even if that contract is not exactly binding.

Here’s more coming out of San Francisco.

  • The official delegation of autonomy came down, and Shanahan will indeed be one of the handful of coaches with 53-man roster control. Lynch will oversee the 90-man roster, free agency and the draft, Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com tweets. Shanahan elaborated on his decision not to ask more from the 49ers in terms of control after being in a position of leverage due to the team’s eventful head coaching search. “I didn’t want to demand all of it,” Shanahan said. “What’s important to you? I’ve always thought none of it matters if you’re working with the right guy. So it’s what do you want to put down on paper? And I don’t need all that down on paper. It was important to me to have the 53 on paper because I think it’s important that the players know that.”
  • Shanahan made a commitment to former Falcons running backs coach Bobby Turner to follow him to his first HC job “a long time ago,” but he wants previous RBs coach Tom Rathman to stay with the team in a different capacity, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com notes. The former fullback has spent the past eight seasons on the 49ers’ staff, dating back to the Mike Singletary regime. “I love Tom Rathman. He’s a hero of mine, and I know what kind of coach he is. I’m trying hard to get him to be here in whatever other role he wants,” Shanahan said. “But I know Tom. Tom is a running backs coach. I’m going to try my hardest to keep him here. It’s definitely going to be up to him.”
  • One of the many players placed on IR during the 49ers’ 2-14 season, Eric Reid looks to be on track to return by OTAs, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports. Reid tore a biceps tendon in late November but told Wagoner a doctor informed him if there was a game this week he would be able to practice. Entering his fifth season, the safety will make $5.676MM as part of the fifth-year option the team exercised.
  • Lynch does not have a known preference on what kind of defensive scheme he wants the team to utilize. He said (via Nick Wagoner, on Twitter) he’s talked with DC options with backgrounds in multiple fronts. Former Jaguars linebackers coach Robert Saleh, current Patriots ‘backers boss Brian Flores and Falcons passing game coordinator Jerome Henderson are known options thus far. The 49ers have long used a 3-4 alignment, but most of the players from their early-2010s defensively geared run are no longer on the team. That said, 5-technique ends Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner arrived as first-round investments the past two years.

49ers Won’t Hire Offensive Coordinator

New 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan will likely call the offensive plays in San Francisco, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Additionally, Shanahan is expected to hire former Falcons assistant Mike McDaniel as a run game coordinator and Wagner College offensive coordinator (and former Falcons staffer) Rich Scangarello as quarterbacks coach, per Rapoport. Ex-Atlanta running backs coach Bobby Turner is also headed to San Francisco, tweets Gil Brandt of NFL.com.Kyle Shanahan (Vertical)

[RELATED: 49ers Could Have Interest In Jay Cutler]

Given that the 49ers aren’t expected to hire a formal offensive coordinator, San Francisco will head into the 2017 campaign with inexperience infecting many areas of the club’s structure. New general manger John Lynch has never worked in an NFL front office, while Shanahan is not only a first-time head coach, but will act as his own OC and lean on a QBs coach in Scangarello whose most recent coaching experience comes at an FCS school. In addition, Shanahan will oversee some of the club’s personnel aspects, as he’ll exert control over the 49ers’ 53-man roster.

As for the rest of San Francisco’s coaching staff, Shanahan is reportedly interested in hiring co-defensive coordinators, with Atlanta passing game coordinator Jerome Henderson and former Jaguars linebackers coach Robert Saleh emerging as the most likely candidates for the positions. On offense, the 49ers still want to keep former RBs coach Tom Rathman on staff in some capacity even after adding Turner, tweets Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Notes: 49ers, Browns, Bills, Saints

New 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan could look to pilfer one of his Atlanta subordinates, as running backs coach Bobby Turner could be leaving the Falcons for San Francisco, reports D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Turner has long been associated with Shanahan and his father, Mike, having coached with the family in Denver and Washington before joining the Falcons in 2015. A previous report indicated Atlanta was unlikely to allow Turner to follow Shanahan to the West Coast.

Here’s more from the 2017 hiring cycle:

  • The Browns have agreed to hire former Bills quarterbacks coach David Lee for the same role, tweets Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Lee, 63, has coached offenses and QBs since the mid-1970s, and most recently had two separate stints with the Buffalo interrupted by a run with the Jets. In Cleveland, he’ll work with Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, and — if he’s retained — Robert Griffin III. Previously reported staff changes that included moving tight ends coach Greg Seamon to QBs coach were only in place for the Senior Bowl, adds Cabot (Twitter link).
  • The Bills have hired former NFL wide receiver Chad Hall as an offensive coaching assistant, according to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Hall, who played for the Eagles in 2010 while new Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott served as the club’s defensive coordinator, will work with the Bills’ wideouts, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. The Buffalo gig will mark the first coaching job for Hall, who last played in 2014 with Jacksonville.
  • Hall wasn’t the only coach hired by the Bills this week, as Buffalo also announced that its hired Bobby Babich as assistant defensive backs coach. Babich, the son of longtime NFL defensive coordinator Bob Babich, will serve under newly-installed DBs coach Gill Byrd. Babich, who spent the 2016 campaign with Florida International, has also spent NFL time with the Browns and Panthers.
  • The Chargers have hired D’Anton Lynn as a defensive assistant and Dan Shamash as an offensive quality control coach, per Caplan (Twitter link). Lynn, the son of new Los Angeles head coach Anthony Lynn, coached with the Bills last year, while Shamash spent the 2016 season with Jacksonville.
  • Former North Carolina State defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen has been hired in the same role by the Saints, reports Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports (Twitter link). New Orleans originally pursued former 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula for the position, but will instead roll with Nielsen, who’s coached with the Wolfpack since 2014.
  • The Bears could have interest in hiring Bob Bicknell as their new wide receivers coach, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Bicknell has coached wideouts at the NFL level since 2012, spending time with Buffalo, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, and isn’t expected to retained by the 49ers.
  • Cedric Smith is returning to the Broncos as an assistant strength and conditioning coach after seven years in Houston and Kansas City, per Mike Klis of 9NEWS (Twitter link). Smith previously worked for Denver from 2001-06.

Chip Kelly Legit OC Candidate For Falcons

Just over a week after the Falcons expressed interest in having Chip Kelly become their next offensive coordinator, the former Eagles and 49ers head coach has emerged as a “legitimate candidate” to land the role, reports Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Kelly would take over for Kyle Shanahan, who will replace Kelly as the 49ers’ head coach after the Falcons take on the Patriots in Super Bowl LI this Sunday.

Chip Kelly (vertical)

The fact that there aren’t any other proven offensive coordinator candidates on the market makes Kelly a viable option for Atlanta, Schultz notes. Long an offensive guru, the 53-year-old Kelly would inherit an enviable collection of talent in Atlanta, whose attack has laid waste to opposing defenses this season. The Matt Ryan-, Julio Jones– and Devonta Freeman-led unit topped the NFL in both scoring and DVOA during the regular season, and it has combined for 78 points in playoff wins over the Seahawks and Packers.

Kelly is known for running a fast-paced offense, which helped lead to his downfall in both Philadelphia and San Francisco, but the ex-Oregon head coach’s NFL failures have “humbled” him, according to Schultz. As a result, Kelly is willing to slow things down, which he’d have to do in order to accommodate the Falcons’ offensive weapons and make life easier on the team’s defense.

Shanahan, meanwhile, won’t be able to take any significant members of head coach Dan Quinn‘s staff with him to San Francisco. The Falcons will prevent him from pilfering the likes of assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Raheem Morris, running backs coach Bobby Turner and offensive line coach Chris Morgan, a source told Schultz. However, offensive assistants Mike McDaniel, Mike LaFleur and Matt LaFleur could end up with Shanahan’s 49ers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

South Notes: Falcons, Colts, Saints, Texans

In addition to announcing Dan Quinn as their new head coach today, the Falcons confirmed several other members of their coaching staff, via a team release. As previously reported, Kyle Shanahan will serve as the offensive coordinator in Atlanta, while Richard Smith will be the defensive coordinator and Raheem Morris will hold the title of assistant head coach and defensive passing game coordinator.

Other members of Quinn’s staff include Bobby Turner (RBs coach), Mike LaFleur (offensive assistant), Keith Armstrong (ST coordinator), Bryan Cox (DL coach), Wade Harman (TEs coach), Terry Robiskie (WRs coach), and Eric Sutulovich (assistant ST coach).

Here’s more on the Falcons and a few other teams from the NFC South and AFC South:

  • Perhaps more interesting than any of the Falcons‘ assistant coach announcements was the revelation that Quinn will indeed have control of the 53-man roster, as had been speculated (Twitter link via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution). As Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweets, GM Thomas Dimitroff still has final say over the draft and free agency, so it’s a setup similar to the one in Seattle.
  • Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will get paid, but Stephen Holder of the Indy Star doesn’t necessarily see it happening this offseason. When Luck does get that fat contract, likely worth $20-$25MM annually, it won’t leave the Colts completely thin across the board as the team has been anticipating this for quite some time. The Colts currently rank in the bottom half of the league in current spending, giving them significant flexibility both this year and in years to come.
  • Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune writes that the Saints will still have to do some serious financial maneuvering this offseason beyond turning roster bonuses into signing bonuses. That maneuvering, while keeping the Saints “legal” for the start of the new league year on March 10, would leave no room for signing new players or improving the roster. Many have said that the Saints will be impeded by their big spending, but Woodbery notes that they have found themselves in this spot before. Last offseason, they didn’t find themselves with a lot of breathing room, but they still found a way to sign safety Jairus Byrd to a large multi-year deal.
  • The Texans have hired Mike Devlin (OL coach), Pat O’Hara (offensive assistant), and Paul Pasqualoni (DL coach), and promoted Anthony Pleasant to a defensive assistant role, the team announced today in a press release.

Zach Links contributed to this post.