Rathman will not return as assistant on 49ers staff

Rathman will not return as assistant on 49ers staff

Tom Rathman, who has spent 22 seasons with the 49ers as a player and coach, will not return to the team’s coaching staff for the 2017 season, he told CSNBayArea.com on Sunday.

“I’m not going to be back,” Rathman said. “I feel like it’s the best for everybody if I just parted and let those guys do their thing and take me out of the equation so that nobody’s uncomfortable.

“I’m looking to coach running backs and that’s what I want to do. I’m just going to wait for the next opportunity and go for it when it happens.”

Rathman’s spot as the 49ers’ running backs coach the past eight seasons was filled on Friday when the club announced the hiring of Bobby Turner to serve in that capacity on Kyle Shanahan’s staff.

Shanahan said he made a promise to Turner a long time ago to hire him to his coaching staff if he were to ever become an NFL head coach. Turner coached under Shanahan’s father, Mike, with Denver and Washington.

Shanahan and general manager John Lynch met with Rathman on Thursday morning and discussed ways to keep Rathman on the staff. Rathman said there was not a role on the staff that made sense for him or the 49ers.

“It was all positive,” said Rathman, 54. “I have no hard feelings. It’s just the nature of the business. Everybody just has to understand that. In pro football, coaches get fired and new guys come in and they bring their guys. I totally understand it. I don’t have a problem with it. Being in the business for 28 years, playing and coaching, you understand what it is. You can never take anything for granted.”

Rathman was a fullback with the 49ers from 1986 to ’93, during which time he was a starter on two Super Bowl-winning teams and seven NFC West champions. He finished his career in 1994 with the Los Angeles Raiders before transitioning into coaching.

He spent one season as the offensive coordinator at Menlo College. Rathman was then hired the following year to Steve Mariucci’s staff with the 49ers, where he coached from 1997 to 2002. Rathman followed Mariucci to the Detroit Lions for three seasons before serving as Lane Kiffin’s running backs coach with the Raiders in 2007 and ’08.

Rathman returned to the 49ers in 2009, where he has worked on coaching staffs with head coaches Mike Singletary, Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly.

“It’s been fantastic,” Rathman said of his time with the 49ers. “Just going back to the playing days in the DeBartolo era. Playing for the organization and coaching for Eddie and the York family and Jed. They’ve shown me nothing but respect. I have no hard feelings. I still feel like I’m part of the family. Even though I won’t be there, I’ll still feel part of the family.”

Rathman said he wanted to reach out to some people with whom he has worked to inform them before news of his exit from the 49ers became public. Among those with whom he spoke were Carlos Hyde and Frank Gore. Hyde posted a photo of Rathman on social media Saturday night with no caption.

“I did talk to Frank, too,” Rathman said.

Gore’s reaction, according to Rathman, “That sucks.”

“You try to explain it to everybody that it’s the way the business works,” Rathman said. “He understands that, because as a player, the 49ers had to let him go. Whether you’re playing or whether you’re coaching, it’s pretty much the same thing. It’s a very volatile industry. You have to go out and produce. That’s the bottom line in this industry, whether you’re coaching or playing. We just didn’t do enough producing.”

Rathman said he will look to resume coaching in the NFL.

“Because it’s so late, all the jobs are pretty much snagged,” Rathman said. “I’ll continue to hunt. If I have to be out this year, I’ll get back in next year and take my coaching show on the road for however long I have to.

“I’m looking to do another stint, one more push, in pro football and just try to get to that Super Bowl level and win another Super Bowl.”

49ers host two free-agent cornerbacks


49ers host two free-agent cornerbacks

The 49ers hosted two veteran cornerbacks on free-agent visits the past two days and could be signing either Jaylen Watkins or LaDarius Gunter as they wind down their activity on the free-agent market.

“We’re really pleased with what we’ve done,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said Thursday. “I’ll never say never. We’ve had a couple of guys visit in the last couple of days. Perhaps we’ll do something there. But for the most part, we’re wrapped up and pleased with what we’ve been able to do.”

The 49ers do not have much depth behind presumptive starting cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon. The team is also likely to add to its depth in the draft.

The 49ers met with Gunter (6-foot-2, 201 pounds) on Thursday. Gunter, 25, started 15 games for the Green Bay Packers in 2016. He recorded 54 tackles and broke up 12 passes. He signed with the Packers in 2015 as an undrafted rookie from Miami.

Gunter was waived at the beginning of last season and the Carolina Panthers claimed him. He appeared in just four games with Carolina, which did not tender him as a restricted free agent.

The 49ers on Wednesday met with Watkins, 26, a versatile defensive back who appeared in 36 games with five starts in four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Watkins (5-11, 195) played three snaps on defense and 17 plays on special teams in the Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52 on Feb. 4. He entered the NFL in 2014 as a fourth-round draft pick from Florida.

Eric Reid discusses free-agent status, 'going to consider different ways to be active'


Eric Reid discusses free-agent status, 'going to consider different ways to be active'

STANFORD – Free-agent safety Eric Reid chatted with 49ers general manager John Lynch on the sideline, then moved into position onto the field for an up-close view of his brother’s pro day workout Thursday at Stanford University.

Younger brother, Justin, is aiming to be a first-round draft pick like Eric, whom the 49ers selected with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2013 draft.

Both football futures of the Reid brothers remain uncertain. Justin's fate will be determined on draft day. Eric Reid remains in limbo as an NFL free agent. He has not gotten any action in the first week of free agency, and the 49ers have not made him a contract offer, he said.

But Lynch said the 49ers are closely monitoring Reid’s situation. However, the organization already has three safeties they like: Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert.

“Eric played and played well for us last year,” Lynch said. “I think he’s stuck in a safety market that’s been quiet. And I would anticipate things starting to shake for him and we’ll see.

“I’d never say never. I really do think opportunities will start to come his way. We’ve been monitoring it closely and we’ll see how that shakes out.”

Reid, 26, a six-year NFL veteran, said his agent has spoken recently to “a couple of teams,” but no contracts or visits have been proposed.

Reid’s market might be impacted by his up-front role in the protests of racial inequality of the past two seasons. Reid and Colin Kaepernick were the first players to take a knee during the national anthem at the beginning of the 2016 season.

Reid said he would probably not take part in any future protests during the national anthem.

“From the beginning, Colin has been flexible,” Reid said. “He started by sitting. He changed it up. We decided to kneel. And we understand that you got to change with the times. So I’m not saying I’m going to stop being active, because I won’t. I’m just going to consider different ways to be active, different ways to bring awareness to the issues of this country to improve on.

“I don’t think it’ll be in the form of protesting during the anthem. And I said ‘during’ because it’s crazy to me that the narrative got changed to we were protesting the anthem, because that wasn’t the case. But I think we’re going to take a different approach to how to be active.”

Reid said he has no regrets. He said he is willing to deal with the consequences of how NFL teams viewed his role in the protests.

“I stand by what I’ve done,” Reid said. “I know why I’ve done it. My faith in God is the reason. I can go to sleep at night confident I did what I was called to do. I’m just gong to stay positive and keep trying to stay in shape and wait and see what happens.

“I said at the end of last season I’m OK no matter what happens.”