Haggans eager to find way to fit into 49ers' picture


Haggans eager to find way to fit into 49ers' picture

SANTA CLARA -- Veteran outside linebackers Parys Haralson and Clark Haggans might not ever be on the same field together. But they both made it into the official 49ers team photo, which was shot Tuesday.As Haralson departs for the season -- he is on injured reserve after undergoing season-ending surgery for a torn triceps in his left arm -- Haggans is getting prepared to take his place.Haggans got in a workout around the lunch hour and still dripping with sweat, he put on his No. 51 jersey and went out to the practice field behind the 49ers' team complex for the team picture.REWIND: 49ers finalize deal with Clark Haggans
The Arizona Cardinals released Haggans, a 12-year pro, on Friday. The 49ers signed him to a contract on Sunday. The deal was announced Monday and he spoke with the media on Tuesday:"Did you know the 49ers had a need at outside linebacker?
Haggans: "No idea. Happy to be here. I had no clue. Just right now, getting into the playbook and getting to know my teammates and my coaches and all that, and workout and routine."What was your impression of the 49ers, seeing them this season with this new regime?
Haggans: "They're a physical team, blue collar, work hard. All the success they had last year, obviously earned. And happy to be a part of it.On whether the 49ers fit his style:
Haggans: "In and out of the weight room. Running after practice. Film study. And try to play football with effort."What kind of adjustment is it for you?
Haggans: "The terminology is different. A lot of the techniques are the same. Just been here since Sunday in the class room with my coaches and coach Vic. So just trying to absorb as much as I can and be as spongy as possible, and take it from there." Haggans faces a possible NFL suspension after serving jail time in June, stemming from an April 2011 DUI in Arizona. In a statement issued through his agent, Jeff Sperbeck, Haggans said he had been drinking at a concert when he received an urgent phone call from his babysitter, who said his 5-year-old daughter was having trouble breathing. Unable to quickly find his wife, Haggans drove him. He was pulled over after running a red light. Sperbeck is scheduled to speak on Haggans' behalf during a hearing Wednesday with the NFL.
How much does the uncertainty over a possible NFL suspension weigh on your mind?
Haggans: "Right now, I'm just leaving it up to my agent and staying ready. Obviously, I'm going to play some time. Just leaving it up to my agent and see what happens from there, see what happens with the NFL and take it from there."Do you expect to play Sunday?
Haggans: "I don't know. I got my cell phone. It's on. I made sure I paid my bill. It works. When I get the news, either way, I just got to be ready for it."Will you talk to commissioner Roger Goodell?
Haggans: "My agent is on it right now. Right now, I'd just say I'm on a need-to-know basis to see what's going to transpire for the next hours to days up to, I don't know, the end of the month or so. As soon as I hear, I'll let you all know."Are you optimistic that the circumstances surrounding your DUI will work in your favor?
Haggans: "The circumstances were the circumstances. I had to do what I had to do as a father. It's on them. I'm not the one making the call. I'm the one who's got to be ready either way and be prepared."How do you expect to be used in the 49ers' scheme?
Haggans: "I'll find out today when we start practice. Be ready. It's unfortunate what happened to Parys. Wherever they see me playing, if they need me to long snap or kick, fill up the water bottles. . . "What have you done in the past?
Haggans: "I was mostly on the left. Played the right. Earlier in career, play the right. You always. I've been back and forth. I've been in a 3-4 defense a long time. So a lot of the techniques are the same. Getting used to the terminology, my eyes and the footwork. I was fortunate to have had a training camp. So as far as being in game shape and all that, I'm still working toward that. I'm going to dive into the playbook as much as I can and take it from there."Does being a 12-year veteran help you adjust?
Haggans: "I hope so. There's a lot that's gone in, and I'm trying to take in as much as I can."

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.