49ers scout free-agent market with mass audition


49ers scout free-agent market with mass audition

The 49ers last week signed two players, receiver Randy Moss and cornerback Perrish Cox, who did not play in the NFL last season.And the 49ers continue to mine that market.Today, the team is scheduled to meet with guard Geoff Schwartz, whom the Carolina Panthers did not tender as a restricted free agent after he spent last season on injured reserve with a hip injury.The 49ers also visited last week with veteran guard Leonard Davis, a three-time Pro Bowl player, who signed with the Detroit Lions in November but never stepped onto the field for any game action.On Monday, the 49ers held a mass workout for "street" free agents at the team's practice facility in Santa Clara. Most of the players did not play in 2010. Many were local, and others paid their own way to take part in the workout. There was no news of the 49ers signing any of the players after the audition.
Here are some of the known players who took part in the workout:QB Brian Brohm -- Second-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2008, Brohm last played for the Buffalo Bills in 2010, when he completed 10 of 23 passes for 106 yards and three interceptions. On a tryout with the New Orleans Saints a couple weeks ago, Brohm threw passes to Moss.QB Matt Gutierrez -- The former De La Salle High star spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons with the New England Patriots before playing in one game with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009. He went to camp with the Washington Redskins last year.RB James Davis -- He saw action in seven games in 2010 with Cleveland and Washington, carrying a combined 19 times for 60 yards. The former Clemson standout is 5-foot-11, 218 pounds.RB Albert Young -- Young (5-10, 209) played 10 games in two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, rushing 25 times for 82 yards. He was in camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars last summer.RB Chauncey Washington -- The USC product has been with Jacksonville, Dallas, the New York Jets, St. Louis and Dallas since 2008. Washington (5-11, 215) saw 17 snaps of action on offense with the Cowboys last season, carrying once for minus-1 yard.WR Johnnie Lee Higgins -- He played four seasons with the Raiders, totaling 57 receptions for 779 yards. Higgins also has return skills. In 2010, he averaged 7.2 yards on 17 punt returns with no fumbles.WR Keary Colbert -- He entered the league in 2004 with the Carolina Panthers and spent four seasons there before moving on to Denver, Seattle, Detroit and Kansas City. Colbert had nine catches for 89 yards last season in seven games with the Chiefs.OT Langston Walker -- He started 82 games in nine seasons with the Raiders and Bills. Walker started 15 games for the Raiders in 2010, but was out of the league last season.OT Alex Barron -- The first-round pick of the St. Louis Rams in 2005, Barron spent last season on injured reserve with the New Orleans Saints. DE Bobby McCray -- A seven-year veteran, McCray (6-6, 260) played with Jacksonville for four seasons and New Orleans for two years. His best season was with the Jaguars in 2006, when he recorded 10 sacks.LB Quentin Moses -- The Raiders selected the former Georgia star with the first pick of the third round. But he did not even make the opening-day roster. He played four seasons with the Miami Dolphins but was out of the league last season.LB Jerome Boyd -- He saw action in 14 games with the Raiders last season, recording 25 tackles.

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals


Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.

Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.

Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.

Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.

49ers Mailbag: Should Shanahan give up play-calling?


49ers Mailbag: Should Shanahan give up play-calling?

Believe it or not, the 49ers’ offense is improved from last season.

The 49ers ranked 31st in the NFL in 2016, averaging 308.1 yards per game. Although the offense is producing just a little better (325.9 yards per game), their ranking this season has shot up to 21st in the league.

The 49ers have had a different head coach and different person running the offense in each of the past four seasons, so their continuity has been severely lacking.

Next season, the 49ers should finally have carryover from one season to the next.

The direction of the offense is one of the topics addressed on this edition of 49ers Mailbag (questions were submitted via Facebook):

Now that we have Jimmy G do you see 49ers getting an offensive coordinator or will it still be Kyle calling the plays? (Julio Orozco)
I'm not sure why the arrival of Jimmy Garoppolo would have any impact on the 49ers’ offensive structure, but in any event, the answer is a resounding, “No.”

Kyle Shanahan has been hailed as one of the best offensive coordinators in the NFL. The reason he was hired as 49ers head coach was, in large part, because of the success he achieved while designing offenses and calling plays.

Why would he give that up? It makes no sense.

Rob Demovsky of ESPN this week identified the 32 primary play-callers. There are 18 NFL head coaches with offensive backgrounds. Twelve of those coaches call their own plays.

Shanahan has a staff of assistant coaches on whom he leans. Passing game specialist Mike LaFleur and quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello are closely involved in working with Shanahan on the passing game, while running game specialist Mike McDaniel, offensive line coach John Benton and running backs coach Bobby Turner spearhead the involvement in the ground game.

But, make no mistake, it is Shanahan who calls the shots. And that's the way it should be. If Shanahan stepped aside as his own offensive coordinator, he would be diminishing his biggest strength as a coach.

What do you see happing with the Hyde situation? We drafted Joe Williams and Breida seems to be a bright spot. There’s a lot of talk about Barkley from Penn State with that high 1st rounder. (Manny Hinojos)
There does not seem to be any movement toward a long-term extension for Hyde. It is getting to the point in the season where it makes a lot more sense for Hyde to play out his contract and hit the open market.

There is no question in my mind the 49ers like Hyde a lot. He has scored some major points with the organization for his performance on the field and how he has responded off the field.

GM John Lynch loved it when Hyde came to the defense of quarterback C.J. Beathard, tussled with Arizona lineman Frostee Rucker and got ejected from the game.

That said, the 49ers are not going to break the bank for Hyde. A multi-year agreement has to come at the right price. My personal feeling is that running backs are luxury pieces when the remainder of a team’s roster -- especially the offensive line -- is set.

Shanahan and his father, Mike Shanahan, and Turner (the assistant coach who served on both of their staffs) have achieved a lot of success without investing heavily in running backs. That’s why I think the 49ers would be best-served by investing elsewhere and using another mid-round draft pick on a running back.

With Joshua Garnett coming back next season how aggressive will Lynch and Shanahan be in trying to get guards this offseason? (David Hartless)
Garnett is not a particularly good fit for this offensive scheme. The presence of Garnett can help increase the competition next offseason, but I do not believe he is being penciled in as a starter.

The 49ers will certainly be aggressive in an attempt to upgrade the guard positions. Currently, Laken Tomlinson and Brandon Fusco are the starters. Neither will be assured a starting job when the offseason begins.

The 49ers did not see enough from Garnett to determine he has a future with the organization, but he will be given the opportunity to come back healthy and prove himself.

Is Eric Reid in long-term plans? (Grant Rasmussen)
I do not believe so. I think the 49ers would like their starting safeties next season to be Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt – with Adrian Colbert as the front-runner for the No. 3 job.

The 49ers can also be expected to add a player or two in free agency, as well as the draft, to provide a competitive environment in the offseason. The 49ers seemed to telegraph their intention with Reid when they moved him to linebacker with Ward and Tartt remaining as the starting safeties.

That position change lasted about a week, as Ward’s injury prompted the team to move Reid back to safety. Reid is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. It's entirely possible there will not be a big market for him, but I do not believe the 49ers are going to be ultra-competitive in retaining him on the open market.