Shanahan clinical in explaining what set up deep pass

Shanahan clinical in explaining what set up deep pass

SANTA CLARA – In the meeting rooms at team headquarters, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has impressed players with his ability to dissect a play from the perspective of both the offense and defense.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer is accustomed to Shanahan’s clinical explanation of what makes a play succeed or fail from their time together with the Cleveland Browns in 2014. In those days, Shanahan spoke only to one side of the ball as the offensive coordinator.

Now, as head coach, Shanahan stands in front of the entire team. Veteran players – on both sides of the ball -- have expressed amazement with Shanahan’s level of detail.

“I remember I was sitting right there in that seat and (linebacker) Dekoda Watson was right next to me and we went over our running play for about 10 minutes and Kyle just talked about gap scheme and which players defended for that,” Hoyer said. “And Dekoda was like ‘Man, I never even knew that. I was just out there playing. I just do what my coaches told me to do.’ To see it explained that way, it was really cool for me to see him respond to him that way.”

On Saturday, Shanahan gave the media a glimpse of his ability to break down a play when NBC Sports Bay Area asked him the elements that enabled wide receiver Marquise Goodwin to get open down the field for a long touchdown pass from Hoyer.

“It was a zone coverage,” Shanahan said. “We motioned to it. You have a safety as a curl-flat player and you have a linebacker as a hook player and when you motion empty they have to switch, and so they change two quick responsibilities and we snap it and they communicate and if, when you talk to someone for half a second and you have a 4.3 (speed) guy in the slot and he’s gone, you can’t hesitate. He’s wide open.

“So it’s just about going, being fast and changing a little bit of your formation and watching two defensive guys talk. That’s why you’ve got to walk-through so much. That’s why you’ve got to rep. It happens fast and when you want to change something, if there’s any hesitation, they can make you pay.”

Shanahan said it was a great for experience for coordinator Robert Saleh’s defense to see that particular play and get a valuable practice rep so the adjustment can be made quicker in the future and the mistake avoided in an actual game.

“Great route,” Shanahan said. “It’s perfect, and if we wouldn’t have had that play called, they would have never saw that and then people are like, ‘No, you’ve got to communicate. Great.’ Yeah, we got it. You don’t really know until you can make them pay and now they know, ‘Yeah, Saleh’s right. We do have to communicate pretty fast.’ What if they had that called? So those are the things you hope for for both sides of the ball. Makes the offense feels good, but I guarantee the next time we do that formation of play, they’ll cover it.”

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine


49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

The NFL fined 49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon $24,309 for unnecessary roughness in last week’s game against Washington.

Garçon, who was not penalized on the play, lowered his helmet and struck Washington safety Montae Nicholson at the end of an 8-yard pass reception in the second quarter.

In 2013, the NFL passed a rule that bans the ball carrier from initiating contact with the crown of his helmet in the open field.

Nicholson’s helmet flew off and he remained on the ground for a couple of minutes. He was evaluated for a possible concussion and shoulder injury. However, Nicholson was cleared and he returned to action.

After the play, Garçon and Washington safety D.J. Swearinger exchanged words, and Swearinger took a swipe at Garçon’s facemask. Swearinger was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The NFL fined Swearinger $9,115 for unnecessary roughness.

Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care


Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care

SANTA CLARA – In less than a year since a group of former 49ers players came together to form the Golden Heart Fund, the non-profit organization has provided valuable assistance.

“We’ve made some progress with the idea of knowing there are some people in need, so we’ve been able to make some grants to some of the ex-Niners,” Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott told NBC Sports Bay Area.

“We’ve been able to respond. This is more about us being able to give guys the ability to know they can have, as (former 49ers linebacker and Golden Heart Fund board member) Ron Ferrari says, a hand up not a hand out.”

The organization is in the midst of a fund-raising drive this week in conjunction with "Dwight Clark Day" on Sunday. The 49ers face the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium, and Clark will be the guest of honor. More than 35 players from the 49ers' first Super Bowl championship team are expected to be in attendance.

Clark played nine seasons for the 49ers and provided the most memorable play in franchise history with “The Catch” against Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship game, which propelled the organization to its first Super Bowl. Clark served as a front-office executive for a decade after his playing days.

In March, Clark announced he was diagnosed with ALS. He is scheduled to attend Sunday’s game and make some remarks at halftime from a suite.

“It’s unbelievable we are having an opportunity to celebrate an incredible day for this gentleman,” Lott said. “We can all say there was a moment in time in which we stood on his shoulders after making that catch. Now, we get a chance to lift him up a little bit and let him know how much we all care.”

Lott said Clark has been a champion of the Golden Heart Fund from its inception. Past and current 49ers ownership has supported the organization, which provides financial support for former 49ers players in times of physical, emotional and financial need.

“It’s the spirit of Dwight,” Lott said. “It’s more about the funds going in through his efforts. He’s paying it forward.”

--The public can made a direct contribution to the fund at GoldenHeartFund.org.

--Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle at Sunday’s game will benefit the Golden Heart Fund.

--Twenty-five percent of proceeds from the sales of Dwight Clark apparel purchased on game day will go to the fund.

--Half of all proceeds from admission to the 49ers Museum at Levi’s Stadium throughout the year will go to the charity.

-- On Sunday, Nov. 19, Levi’s Stadium and race grand marshal Roger Craig will host the first Golden Heart 4.9K Run with all proceeds from the event going to the Golden Heart Fund. Runners can register GoldenHeartRun.com.