Nick Sorensen

49ers Rumors: Lance, McKivitz, Snead, Staff

There’s been a swirl of rumors recently amongst 49ers quarterback Trey Lance as San Francisco does its usual quarterback shuffle. Some reports have the former No. 3 overall pick getting traded, while others have him staying pat.

The team reportedly views last year’s Irrelevant rookie Brock Purdy as their optimal starter, but Purdy isn’t expected to be healthy until much closer to the start of the season. In the meantime, the 49ers’ back up plan lies with Lance and free agent addition Sam Darnold, who many are now pegging as the team’s Week 1 starter come September.

Part of that has to do with Lance’s own injury situation, but according to Nick Wagoner of ESPN, general manager John Lynch told the media last weekend that Lance has been fully cleared to participate. Wagoner also reported that the team, who has experienced an inordinate amount of quarterback injuries, is looking to add a fourth passer via undrafted free agency. As of yet, no such signing has been reported, but the team did bring on veteran backup Brandon Allen days ago.

Here are a few other rumors surrounding last year’s NFC West champions:

  • With starting tackle Mike McGlinchey departing in free agency for Denver, many thought San Francisco would address the departure through the draft. Seven rounds later, and no rookie offensive linemen were drafted by the 49ers. They did sign three undrafted rookies in Shepherd’s Joey Fisher, Washington’s Corey Luciano, and Hawai’i’s Ilm Manning, but they are expected to go with a currently rostered veteran, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. Branch saw San Francisco’s inaction in the draft as a vote of confidence in fourth-year tackle Colton McKivitz. McKivitz has been a reserve and spent some time on injured reserve in his first three years, only starting five games, but the Niners have faith in him, as evidenced by their re-signing him to a two-year deal in early-March.
  • The 49ers re-signed veteran wide receiver Willie Snead for another year, and it appears his new deal will be the league’s veteran minimum, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. He’ll have a base salary of $1.17MM, $275K of it guaranteed, to go along with a $25K signing bonus. He’ll also receive a Week 1 bonus of $127.5K if he’s still rostered by then.
  • It looks like the 49ers were able to prevent former safeties coach Daniel Bullocks from following his mentor, DeMeco Ryans, to Houston. According to Josh Alper of NBC Sports, Bullocks has been named San Francisco’s new defensive backs coach. Additionally, Nick Sorensen, a defensive assistant last year, has been promoted to defensive passing game specialist for 2023. Lastly, to round out the defensive staff, Andrew Hayes-Stoker, a defensive quality control coach last year, has been promoted to assistant defensive backs coach and Cameron Brown has been hired to fill the newly open quality control position.

NFC Coaching Notes: 49ers, Buccaneers, Falcons

After getting canned as Jaguars special teams coordinator, Nick Sorensen has found a new gig in San Francisco. The veteran coach will join the 49ers staff as a defensive assistant, reports Aaron Wilson of Prior to his one-year stint on the Jaguars coaching staff, Sorensen had a stint with the Seahawks as their special teams assistant and assistant secondary coach.

The 49ers are also hiring Stephen Adegoke as a defensive quality control coach (per Charean Williams of Adegoke last served as a graduate assistant on the University of Michigan’s staff.

Meanwhile, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that veteran running backs coach Bobby Turner is stepping away from his role with the 49ers, although the 72-year-old isn’t necessarily retiring. Turner has been a RBs coach in the NFL since 1995, and he’s been with the 49ers since 2017. Former Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, who joined the 49ers as assistant head coach, is expected to work closely with the running backs.

More coaching notes out of the NFC…

  • The Buccaneers announced that Larry Foote will move from outside linebackers coach to inside linebackers coach (via The Athletic’s Greg Auman on Twitter). Veteran assistant Bob Sanders, who worked with head coach Bruce Arians in Arizona, will be taking over as OLBs coach. Auman also tweets that the Buccaneers hired two new quality control coaches in Jeff Kastl (offense) and Joey Fitzgerald (defense).
  • The Commandeers announced today that they’ve promoted four coaches (via Williams): Todd Storm (offensive quality control coach to assistant tight ends coach), Luke Del Rio (offensive quality control coach to assistant quarterbacks coach/offensive quality control), Vincent Rivera (defensive quality control to assistant linebackers coach/defensive quality control), and Cristian Garcia (coaching intern to defensive quality control coach).
  • The Falcons are hiring Steven King as a special teams assistant, according to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein (via Twitter). King served as the Tar Heels special teams quality control coach in 2021. He’ll report to Falcons special teams coordinator Marquice Williams.
  • Mark DeLeone is out as the Lions inside linebackers coach, reports Tim Twentyman of the team’s website (on Twitter). Kelvin Sheppard, who spent last season as outside linebackers coach, will move to inside linebackers coach. Meanwhile, following the promotion of Ben Johnson to offensive coordinator, Tanner Engstrand will be the Lions new tight ends coach.
  • Ramsen Golpashin, who recently served as an offensive line and defensive line analyst with UCLA, will join the Packers staff as an offensive quality control coach, per Bruce Feldman of The Athletic (on Twitter). Golpashin has also become a hot name on the draft circuit, working with top linemen prospects like Ickey Ekwonu and Aidan Hutchinson.

AFC Coaching Notes: Broncos, Jaguars, Chiefs

As Nathaniel Hackett continues to build his staff with the Broncos, the new head coach interviewed many of the team’s holdover position coaches this week, reports Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (via Twitter). The majority of these coaches are “pretty much on hold,” but a handful of coaches are starting to get clarity on their job security.

As Klis notes, defensive backs coach Christian Parker is one of the coaches who will return next season. The 30-year-old has had a rapid rise through the coaching ranks. Prior to getting hired as the Broncos DBs coach in 2021, he spent time as the defensive quality control coach with the Packers. Of course, Hackett was on that Green Bay staff, so there’s already familiarity between the two.

Meanwhile, long-time coach Reggie Herring won’t be retained (per Klis on Twitter). The linebackers coach had been with the organization since their Super Bowl-winning 2015 campaign. He previously spent time as the linebackers coach with the Bears, Texans (two stints), and Cowboys.

More coaching notes out of the AFC:

  • The Jaguars won’t be retaining special teams coordinator Nick Sorensen, reports Aaron Wilson (via Twitter). The former player was added to Urban Meyer’s staff last offseason. The 43-year-old previously spent time with the Seahawks, serving as assistant ST coach, assistant defensive backs coach, and secondary coach.
  • SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan tweets that Andrew Breiner could be a candidate for Doug Pederson’s new Jaguars staff, potentially as quarterbacks coach. Breiner was last in the NFL in 2020 when he was the passing game analyst for the Eagles, and he spent the 2021 campaign in the college ranks as the offensive coordinator at FIU.
  • The Chiefs have hired Joe Cullen as their new defensive line coach, with former DL coach Brendan Daly moving to linebackers coach (per a team announcement on Twitter). Cullen spent last season as the Jaguars defensive coordinator, and he had talks with the Ravens and Colts about their DC vacancies. He was a DL coach for more than a decade during stints with the Lions, Jaguars, Browns, Buccaneers, and Ravens. Daley had spent the past three seasons as the Chiefs DL coach.
  • The Bills are expected to hire Vikings offensive line coach Phil Rauscher in the same role, reports ESPN’s Courtney Cronin (via Twitter). Rauscher was one of several Vikings coaches who were given permission to seek other coaching opportunities. The 36-year-old had previous NFL coaching gigs with the Broncos and Washington.
  • Former Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly is in talks to join the Titans staff, reports ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (via Twitter). Only 35, Kelly had a quick rise through the Texans organization. After starting as an offensive quality control coach in 2014, Kelly was eventually promoted to assistant offensive line coach, tight ends coach, and (ultimately) OC. He was fired by the organization after the season. Kelly has ties to Titans coach Mike Vrabel stemming from their stints in Houston.

Jaguars To Hire Nick Sorensen As Special Teams Coordinator

The Jaguars’ special teams coordinator search is expected to end with a familiar name. Former Jags special-teamer Nick Sorensen is on track to take over in this role, Tom Pelissero of tweets.

A former 10-year NFL veteran, Sorensen played for the Jaguars for four seasons in the 2000s. Sorensen, 42, has spent the past eight seasons as a defensive and special teams assistant in Seattle, where he was on staff with previous Jags ST coordinator Brian Schneider.

Jacksonville needed to make this unusual mid-offseason coordinator hire after Schneider stepped down from his new post for personal reasons earlier last week. This marked the second straight year Schneider left a job; he vacated his 10-year post as Seahawks ST coordinator for personal reasons in 2020 but opted to join Urban Meyer‘s staff in Jacksonville. Now, one of Schneider’s former Seahawk coworkers will land the gig.

With the Jags from 2003-06, Sorensen served as a special teams captain before moving into coaching during the 2010s. Sorensen’s first Seahawks season doubled as the franchise’s Super Bowl-winning slate. The Jags, who have Carlos Polk in place as their assistant special teams coach, also interviewed former Lions ST coordinator Brayden Coombs for the job.