Kyle Shanahan: 'I'll have no regrets about this Super Bowl'

Kyle Shanahan: 'I'll have no regrets about this Super Bowl'

HOUSTON -- Kyle Shanahan has a lot on his plate this week in addition to preparing his top-ranked offense to face the No. 1 defense in the NFL.

The Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator will most likely have a new job on Monday – the day after Super Bowl 51 against the New England Patriots.

And while he still has a lot of urgent work in front of him, such as piecing together a coaching staff to join him with the 49ers, Shanahan said he knows from experience that there is nothing more important than getting his unit properly prepared for the Super Bowl.

After all, Shanahan has fond and not-so fond memories of past Super Bowls in which his father’s teams appeared.

“I remember going to all of those games,” Shanahan said on Wednesday. “I remember crying afterward when we lost and I remember crying after when they won. Those are memories that I had for my whole life. They were my biggest moments and I was just a kid there watching it.”

Kyle Shanahan was a ballboy for the 49ers while Mike Shanahan served as George Seifert’s offensive coordinator from 1992 to ’94. Mike Shanahan was hired as head coach of the Denver Broncos shortly after the 49ers’ victory in Super Bowl XXIX. The Broncos won two Super Bowls with Shanahan as head coach.

The younger Shanahan is in a similar position as his father in January 1995 as he prepared Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Ricky Watters and Co. to face the San Diego Chargers in the Super Bowl.

While his next job awaits a signature on a six-year contract, Kyle Shanahan said he needs no reminder of the importance of his final game with the Falcons.

“The one thing that I know is that I’ll have no regrets about this Super Bowl,” Shanahan said. “I’m 100-percent committed to thinking about this and I know from living my life and watching how it’s done from my dad that this game is something you remember forever and I would never do anything to jeopardize that.”

It worked well for his dad, who devised the game plan that produced 455 yards and Young's six touchdown passes for a 49-26 victory over the overmatched Chargers.

Frank Gore returns home for his 14th NFL season


Frank Gore returns home for his 14th NFL season

Frank Gore is returning home to, in all likelihood, finish his professional football career.

Gore, 34, signed a one-year contract to enter his 14th NFL season with his hometown Miami Dolphins, the team announced Friday.

Gore grew up in Coconut Grove, Florida, and attended Coral Gables High School before playing collegiately at the University of Miami.

He played the first 10 NFL seasons with the 49ers and is the franchise’s all-time leading rusher. Gore ranks fifth in NFL history with 14,026 rushing yards – just 75 yards behind No. 4 Curtis Martin.

After rushing for 11,073 yards and 64 touchdowns with the 49ers, the club declined to offer him a multi-year contract following the 2014 season. Gore played the past three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.

Gore remains one of the most popular players in 49ers history. When asked recently if he would be willing to “retire” as a member of the 49ers after his final game, Gore reacted enthusiastically about the possibility.

1, Emmitt Smith 18,355
2, Walter Payton 16,726
3, Barry Sanders 15,269
4, Curtis Martin 14,101
5, Frank Gore 14,026

49ers increase competition for starting guard positions


49ers increase competition for starting guard positions

The 49ers are the fifth team to give Jonathan Cooper a chance after he arrived in the NFL as the No. 7 overall pick of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 draft.

Cooper, 28, caught the attention of the 49ers with his career-high 13 starts last season with the Dallas Cowboys. The 49ers signed him to a one-year, $4.95 million contract this week.

“We signed him to compete for one of the guard spots as a starter,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said Thursday at Stanford's pro day. “He played very well in our minds for Dallas last year and kind of resurrected his career. He’s battled injuries, but we really like the way he played, and we think he’s a very good fit for what we do. So we were pleased to add him.”

The 49ers plan to take it slowly this offseason with Cooper, who underwent surgery after tearing the medial-collateral ligament in his left knee during the final game of the season. The 49ers report for the offseason program in mid-April.

The 49ers are certain to have at least two new starters on the offensive line. Former New York Giants center Weston Richburg was signed to replace Daniel Kilgore, who was subsequently traded to the Miami Dolphins. Brandon Fusco, who started 16 games at right guard, signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an unrestricted free agent.

Laken Tomlinson has a chance to hold onto a starting job. Acquired shortly before the start of the regular season in a trade from the Detroit Lions, Tomlinson quickly moved into the starting lineup at left guard and started the final 15 games. Tomlinson was a first-round draft pick of the Lions in 2015.

“Laken played very well the longer he was there,” Lynch said. “I think people forget with Laken, he came here in Week 1. He was kind of force-fed. We didn’t have many options. But we saw a guy get better throughout the season. He’ll get his opportunity.”

Joshua Garnett, a first-round pick of the 49ers in 2016, spent last season on injured reserve due to an a knee injury sustained in training camp. The 49ers challenged Garnett to get in better physical condition. He has been cleared for football activity.

“Joshua Garnett has been working extremely hard, so he’ll be in that mix,” Lynch said. “He did a great job embracing the time he has last year to improve as a player. He remade his body and we're looking forward to see him get after it in the offseason.

“I think he’s excited about it. He’s feeling sexy, as he says.”

Erik Magnuson, 24, won a spot on the 49ers’ roster after signing as an undrafted rookie from Michigan. Magnuson could enter into the competition at guard. He displayed unique versatility in his first season, starting two games at right tackle before sustaining a season-ending foot injury. He can also serve as a backup center.

And, perhaps, the 49ers are not finished adding to the competition. The team owns the No. 9 overall selection, and Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson could be on the radar in the unlikely event he is not selected within the top eight picks.

When asked if the 49ers could also add another player to the mix with a draft pick, Lynch answered, “We’ll see. We’re always looking to get better there.”