Jeff Hafley

West Notes: Broncos, 49ers, Raiders, Vegas

The Broncos could express interest in left tackle Branden Albert and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, each of whom played for the Dolphins in 2016, per Mike Klis of 9NEWS (Twitter links). Mitchell was released on Thursday and could be a fit with Denver thanks to his relationship with Broncos head coach Vance Joseph and defensive line coach Bill Kollar. Albert was also thought to have been released, but Miami is now close to trading the 32-year-old to Jacksonville. It’s unclear if Denver would still be interested in Albert if forced to sacrifice draft compensation.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • In addition to confirming several previously-reported hires, the 49ers announced another wave of coaching staff additions tonight. The list of new coaches includes Jeff Hafley (defensive backs), Johnny Holland (linebackers), Jason Tarver (senior defensive assistant) and Bobby Slowik (defensive quality control). Tarver, a former coordinator at the NFL level, is a holdover but is shifting away from LBs coach in order for San Francisco to add Holland, a former Cleveland coach.
  • The Broncos have granted the 49ers permission to interview John Benton for their vacant offensive line position, as Klis reports in a separate piece. Denver hired Benton as its assistant offensive line coach last month, but obviously he hasn’t actually worked with any Broncos players as of yet. Benton has worked with new San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan in the past, as the pair was employed by Houston from 2006-09.
  • Although previous reports have indicated the Raiders‘ plan to relocate to Las Vegas is “dead,” Oakland executive Mark Badain recently told the NFL the club has financial backing from two banks willing to loan the Raiders money for their move, tweets Jason Cole of Bleacher Report. The Raiders last month lost the support of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who was planning to put $650MM towards a Vegas stadium, but reportedly still had “high hopes” of moving to Nevada.

49ers To Hire Co-Defensive Coordinators?

Soon-to-be 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan‘s staff appears to be taking shape, as Sporting News’ Alex Marvez details (Twitter links here). Among the offensive-minded Shanahan’s most important calls will be deciding who will run the 49ers’ woeful defense, and he’s actually targeting two assistants – Falcons defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson and ex-Jaguars linebackers coach Robert Saleh – to work as co-coordinators in San Francisco.

Kyle Shanahan (vertical)

Saleh’s candidacy is no surprise, as FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reported Sunday that he could land with the 49ers, but Henderson’s emergence is a new development. Henderson is fresh off his first season in Atlanta – where he worked with Shanahan, of course – and is only a year removed from interviewing for the Browns’ then-vacant head coaching job.

Along with potentially taking Henderson from Atlanta, Shanahan is likely to tab Falcons offensive assistant Mike McDaniel as his wide receivers coach in San Francisco. Falcons offensive assistant Mike LaFleur will also go with Shanahan, reports Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (Twitter link).

Another NFC South assistant, Buccaneers tight ends coach Jon Embree, is poised to oversee the 49ers’ TEs and serve as an assistant head coach, per Marvez. And a pair of current 49ers assistants, linebackers coach Jason Tarver and defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley, are good bets to stay on under Shanahan. Tarver nearly headed elsewhere last month, when he met with the Redskins about becoming their defensive coordinator (a job that ultimately went to onetime 49ers DC Greg Manusky) and discussed a role with the Saints.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: 49ers, Pats, Cowboys, Jags

The latest from around the NFL as the countdown to a Super Bowl 50 matchup between the Panthers and Broncos begins:

  • After appearing in and starting in 71 games from 2010-14, 49ers offensive tackle Anthony Davis decided last June to take a hiatus from football, announcing that he’d “be back in a year or so.” Earlier this month, the 26-year-old added fuel to the fire when he tweeted an intention to return to the 49ers. However, Davis – who’s under 49ers control through 2019 – hasn’t yet set the wheels fully in motion on a comeback. “As of right now, I’ve got no notification from the league to say that he has [filed for reinstatement],” general manager Trent Baalke told 95.7 The Game, per CSNBayArea.com. “But that period is still open.”
  • In other 49ers news, they’ve hired Jeff Hafley to coach their defensive backs, Alex Marvez of Fox Sports reports (on Twitter). Hafley was in charge of Cleveland’s secondary the past two seasons.
  • The Patriots need to invest significant resources this offseason in the offensive line – whether through free agency, the draft or both – in order to keep Tom Brady playing at a high level, writes Christopher Price of WEEI.com. Given the beating Brady took Sunday in the Pats’ 20-18 AFC championship game loss in Denver, Price’s suggestion comes as no surprise. The Broncos hit Brady 20 times, four of which were sacks, and kept him under extreme duress throughout the game.
  • The Cowboys will need a new defensive backs coach to replace Jerome Henderson, who took a job in Atlanta. A successor to Henderson in Dallas is unlikely to come from within the organization, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer (via Twitter). That runs contrary to Ian Rapoport’s declaration (via Twitter) earlier Sunday that Cowboys safeties coach Jim Baker will take over for Henderson.
  • Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley has promoted three members of his staff, according to Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union: Tony Sorrentino has gone from offensive quality control coach to assistant receivers coach; Aaron Whitecotton, who was assistant to the defense, is now the assistant D-line coach; and Mike Rutenberg has shifted from assistant defensive backs coach to defensive assistant.