Plans in the works for 49ers' Camp Hoyer

Plans in the works for 49ers' Camp Hoyer

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers were free to go their separate ways following activities Thursday to conclude the mandatory minicamp.

But quarterback Brian Hoyer said there are plans for the quarterbacks and receivers to work together before the club is set to report back to Santa Clara for the opening of training camp in late-July.

“Yeah, we're going to get together and do a little thing, I think,” said Hoyer, who appears to be the 49ers’ unchallenged starting quarterback for the upcoming season.

“We haven't determined the location, yet. It's still in the works, but we have a good commitment on the amount of guys that are going to be able to make it.”

Hoyer is uniquely positioned to lead workouts because of his previous experience in coach Kyle Shanahan’s system. Hoyer started 13 games in Shanahan’s offense with the Cleveland Browns in 2014.

Hoyer was the starter for seven Browns victories as the primary starter. Over the past two seasons without Hoyer and Shanahan, the Browns compiled a 4-28 record.

“He’s incredibly knowledgeable of the system,” 49ers left tackle Joe Staley said of Hoyer. “You kind of expect that, being with him (Shanahan) before. He’s taken control of the huddle from Day 1. . . He’s done a really good job of communicating.”

Hoyer’s previous experience with Shanahan has enabled him to build on what he already knew and begin to see the offense through the eyes of the head coach. Like many players on both sides of the ball, Hoyer said he continues to learn a great deal about the deeper meaning of every individual play from Shanahan.

"This time around, I'm trying to see it through Kyle's eyes whereas last time I was just trying to keep my head above water," Hoyer said. "I just tried to know the play and run the play, whereas now with a little bit of background, I want to see it how he sees it.

"One of the coolest things, I thought, is when we have our team meetings Kyle puts up plays and he explains them both from an offensive perspective and a defensive perspective. So, I sit next to (outside linebacker) Dekoda Watson and he's like, 'Man, I never even knew half of this stuff like who has got a certain gap and how we're trying to affect that gap.' I think that's one of the great things about Kyle as a coach, is that he is able to break it down to the simplest level, whereas I think a lot of times in this league that people bypass that and they just want to tell you, 'Just do this.' Kyle is always good about giving you the 'Why.' "

The workouts will be designed for the quarterbacks and receivers to work on chemistry, remain sharp and stay on top of the details the coaching staff will stress once the team reconvenes for high-intensity padded practices in training camp.

“It is such a long period of time that you want to get together at least for some period,” Hoyer said. “We're aiming for right in the middle of when we leave and when we come back. We'll get as many guys together as we can. You can't accommodate everybody because people are going all across the country. We're going to get together and get three days in and then come back ready to go on July 27th.”


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.”