49ers candidate Shanahan: Interviews not a distraction from playoffs

49ers candidate Shanahan: Interviews not a distraction from playoffs

Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan went through his round of head-coaching interviews over the weekend and went straight back to work.

He said he has not given those jobs any additional attention, as the Falcons prepare for their NFC divisional-round playoff game Saturday against the Seattle Seahawks.

The 49ers interviewed Shanahan on Friday in Atlanta. He also interviewed with Jacksonville and Denver – two teams that have subsequently filled their head-coaching vacancies. A scheduled interview with the Los Angeles Rams was postponed due to weather conditions that prevented Rams officials from traveling to meet Shanahan.

When asked Wednesday during his weekly press conference about juggling the interviews with the preparations for a playoff game, Shanahan said he was not at all distracted.

“That was easy,” Shanahan said. “The easiest part is when you get the bye week and you get that extra time off – we got Friday and Saturday off as a coaching staff.

“I just dedicated the two off days to the interviews. I got to do three of them and really haven’t done one thing in that area or talked to anybody in that area since Saturday afternoon.”

Shanahan, 37, said he was not clear on when he is again allowed to speak to teams about any jobs.

“I’m not even sure exactly what the rules are,” Shanahan said. “I haven’t been too worried about it because it’s not an option for my anyways. We’re totally locked into this game this weekend. There’s really zero else on our minds.”

The 49ers would not be allowed to speak with Shanahan again until the Falcons are eliminated from the playoffs. If Atlanta advances to the Super Bowl, the 49ers could meet with him any time after the NFC Championship through the Sunday preceding the Super Bowl.

Shanahan is considered a strong candidate for the 49ers’ job. He is the son of former NFL head coach Mike Shanahan, who won Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos after the 1997 and ’98 seasons. Mike Shanahan interviewed for the 49ers' opening last year when Chip Kelly was hired.

The Falcons, the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs, set the franchise record for points scored in a season in the first quarter of their Dec. 19 game against the 49ers. Under Shanahan’s direction. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan had the best season of his nine-year career with 38 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a league-best passer rating of 117.1.

49ers sign former first-round pick guard


49ers sign former first-round pick guard

The 49ers added some talent in the trenches on Tuesday.

Guard Jonathan Cooper inked a one-year deal, the team announced.

Cooper was originally drafted No. 7 overall by the Cardinals in 2013. After two seasons in Arizona, he spent time with the Patriots, Browns and Cowboys.

Last season, he appeared in 13 games for Dallas.

“Having started 27 games in four NFL seasons, Jonathan brings great experience to the interior of our offensive line. We look forward to him competing for a starting job at guard, while also bringing a veteran presence to our locker room. Jonathan is a welcome addition to our team,” GM John Lynch said in a statement.

Richard Sherman envisions making contributions to 49ers on and off the field

Richard Sherman envisions making contributions to 49ers on and off the field

SANTA CLARA – Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman believes he has a lot of good football ahead of him.

But he knows he is not coming to the 49ers after seven seasons with the rival Seattle Seahawks just for how he fits into defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s scheme. The 49ers signed Sherman to a three-year contract on March 10 -- one day after the Seahawks released him.

Sherman, who turns 30 on March 30, views his job description as being a major influence and contributor to the 49ers on and off the field.

“I think it’s probably 50-50,” Sherman said Tuesday in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “Obviously, I’m going to be asked to play at a high level, and that’s what I expect from myself and that’s what I expect to bring to this team. But outside of that, I think I bring an aspect of culture and a winning mentality.”

Sherman is a four-time Pro Bowl performer and three-time first-team All-Pro. He said the commitment to winning is all-consuming. It is a mindset he helps to share with his new teammates.

“It’s about waking up and doing things that will contribute to winning later, whether it’s your diet, your sleep habits, how you treat your teammates, how you converse,” Sherman said. “Do you go out tonight or do you stay in and get some extra studying? What are you doing to help us win the game on Sunday? Just that mentality will help a lot of these people.”

There might be no young player on the 49ers in need of a good role model more than Reuben Foster, who is set to enter his second NFL season. Foster was arrested this offseason for possession of marijuana in Alabama. A month later, he was arrested in Los Gatos for alleged domestic violence, threats and possession of an assault weapon.

On Tuesday, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said no decision has yet been reached whether to pursue criminal charges against Foster.

Sherman said he has not spoken to Foster but he will be willing to be a mentor to Foster and provide him with support. Sherman said he has heard a lot of great things about Foster.

“If I can help him, I’ll do my best,” Sherman said. “I look forward to meeting him and being a teammate of his, and helping him in any way I can. To think I can change everything he does, I’d be foolish to say I could. But am I going to try my best to help him and put him in positions to be more successful in the future? Yes, I am.”