49ers

49ers add Davis, Hansen to coaching staff

360965.jpg

49ers add Davis, Hansen to coaching staff

Feb. 4, 2011
49ERS NEWS 49ERSVIDEO

The San Francisco 49ers today announced they have namedReggie Davis tight ends coach and Peter Hansen defensive assistantquality control coach.Davis, 34, joins the 49ers after spending the last three years as the running backs coach at Oregon State University. Under his tutelage, RB Jacquizz Rodgers became the first freshman in the history of the Pac-10 Conference to earn its Offensive MVP award in 2008, after rushing for 1,253 yards and earning All-America honors for his efforts.Prior to joining the Beavers in 2008, Davis was the running backs coach at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas from 2005-07. In 2004, he served on Jim Harbaughs San Diego coaching staff, tutoring the tight ends and assisting with special teams. From 2000-04, he worked as a speed and strength coach for Play Fast Athletics in San Diego.A University of Washington standout, Davis went on to play two seasons alongside Harbaugh as a San Diego Charger (1999-2000), appearing in 26 games (three starts).Hansen spent the past two years as a defensive assistant on the Stanford Cardinal coaching staff, working closely with 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio in film breakdown, scouting reports and practice preparation. He had previously served as a strength and conditioning intern for the Cardinal, in 2008.An assistant coach at Palo Alto High School for four seasons (2004-07), Hansen worked primarily with the Vikings tight ends and defensive ends. He also served as the teams defensive coordinator during the 2006 and 2007 campaigns.A two-sport athlete at the University of Arizona, Hansen majored in economics and played both football and basketball. He blocked seven field goals and point after attempts during his career, and earned second team all-conference honors as a special teams performer, in 2000. Hansen was a member of the Wildcats basketball team during the 1999-2000 and 2001-02 seasons.Hansen played professional football for the Cannes Iron Mask in Cannes, France, in 2003, and later played professional basketball for Club Falcon in Copenhagen, Denmark, during the 2003-04 season.A Palo Alto native, Hansen attended Palo Alto High School where he played for his father, Earl, the long-time football coach at the school.
Courtesy San Francisco 49ers media services

What rookie CB Ahkello Witherspoon did to earn role in 49ers' defense

ahkello-witherspoon-knee-49ers-chargers-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

What rookie CB Ahkello Witherspoon did to earn role in 49ers' defense

SANTA CLARA – Rookie cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon did not win the right to suit up for the 49ers’ first four games. Behind the scenes, he made it his mission to earn a contributing role.

“He really started to get better with his coordination with his feet from the bump-and-run coverage and from playing ‘off.’ There’s always a light that goes on,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “And we felt that for a couple weeks from Ahkello. Once he did that, he definitely earned the right to be out there.”

The plan was for Witherspoon to rotate into the action and share time with starters Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson. But he played just six snaps on Oct. 8 against Indianapolis before sustaining a concussion. Witherspoon returned to action last week and played 34 of the 49ers’ 74 snaps last week at Washington. He showed enough to coninue getting significant playing time.

“He’s earned the right to play,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “He works his tail off in practice. He’s so deliberate in his approach. Whether it was scout team, whether it was team reps, whether it was walk-through, it didn’t matter.”

Witherspoon, the 49ers’ third-round draft pick at No. 66 overall, had a pedestrian training camp. Taking his lumps in August showed him what he needed to do to get into real games in October.

“I really turned up my focus, my intent every day in practice,” Witherspoon said. “What I did in camp wasn’t good enough to be a starting corner in this league, and that’s what I learned.

“I really focused on being aware of what it takes. That’s something I implemented these last four weeks -- that every day focus and competing on every single ball, and taking the mindset that no ball’s caught on me. I think that’s really helped my game, and helped these coaches trust me, as well.”

Witherspoon expected Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins to attack him. But of the 25 plays he was in coverage last week, Witherspoon saw only three passes come his way. He surrendered two receptions for 33 yards, according to Pro Football Focus.

“Just being a rookie, I thought it was going to come, where they were going to be taking that one shot,” Witherspoon said. “I kept waiting for it to happen, but it didn’t happen. Going up against a smart quarterback, I know he saw me out there.

“There were a few times he looked my way in coverage. I wasn’t perfect in coverage, but I think he was looking. And I thought I did a good job.”

Witherspoon (6 foot 3, 195 pounds) is comfortable lining up on either side of the field, which he did during his college career at Colorado. He said he has not put on much weight but he has added more muscle, which has allowed him a better chance to compete physically against bigger NFL receivers.

Witherspoon fully expects to be challenged on Sunday when he is expected to see considerable playing time against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium. Witherspoon figures Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will be paying particularly close attention any time Dez Bryant lines up on his side of the field.

“They’re going to be looking at the ‘rook,’ ” Witherspoon said.

Said Shanahan, “They’re going to try to do that with all our DBs, so I don’t think it even matters who’s out there. They’re going to attack when we’re in single safety, which we are the majority of the time. They’re going to go outside and keep going out there until you stop them.”

* * *

EDITOR'S NOTE: Watch Kyle Shanahan's full sit-down interview with Matt Maiocco on "49ers Game Plan," which is scheduled to air Saturday at 9 p.m. on NBC Bay Area (Ch. 3).

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

pierre-ap.jpg
AP

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

The NFL fined 49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon $24,309 for unnecessary roughness in last week’s game against Washington.

Garçon, who was not penalized on the play, lowered his helmet and struck Washington safety Montae Nicholson at the end of an 8-yard pass reception in the second quarter.

In 2013, the NFL passed a rule that bans the ball carrier from initiating contact with the crown of his helmet in the open field.

Nicholson’s helmet flew off and he remained on the ground for a couple of minutes. He was evaluated for a possible concussion and shoulder injury. However, Nicholson was cleared and he returned to action.

After the play, Garçon and Washington safety D.J. Swearinger exchanged words, and Swearinger took a swipe at Garçon’s facemask. Swearinger was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The NFL fined Swearinger $9,115 for unnecessary roughness.