Shanahan liked Trubisky but 49ers needed 'as many players as possible'


Shanahan liked Trubisky but 49ers needed 'as many players as possible'

In the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft, the 49ers considered one quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick.

Indeed, that quarterback was selected with the second pick – one slot behind No. 1 overall selection Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns. But a blockbuster draft-day trade enabled the 49ers to move back just one spot and secure additional young talent.

The 49ers still got the player, defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, they would have chosen with the second pick. And the Chicago Bears took no chances to get their quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky.

Trubisky will make his eighth consecutive start as a rookie Sunday when the 49ers face the Bears at Soldier Field.

“He was definitely on the radar,” 49ers coach Kyle Shahanan said of Trubisky on “49ers Game Plan,” which airs Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Bay Area. “I really liked Mitchell. He was really the only guy I flew out and saw. I spent some time with Mitchell and got to work him out. I spent a few hours watching tape with him.

“But that wasn’t something we were going to do with our pick. We felt like we had to go a lot of other different directions. Our goal was to add picks and get as many players as possible, and we are happy with what we did.”

The 49ers were able to use one of those picks from the Bears to trade up into the first round and select linebacker Reuben Foster with the No. 31 overall selection. The 49ers have an additional 2018 second-round pick as a result of the Bears trade, too.

The 49ers were going to select Thomas over Trubisky, if there were no trade between the organizations. Shanahan said he did not believe the 49ers – having already signed veterans Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley on the first day of free agency – were in a position to select a quarterback so high in the draft.

“I don’t look at it as taking him (Thomas) over Mitchell,” Shanahan said. “I didn’t think our answer was to just pick a quarterback right now. I thought we needed a number of picks. We wanted to get as much as possible.

“We added some other picks later that enabled us to maneuver around. We got us a second-round pick for next year, where I felt that it gave us a chance to really build our organization the right way and not only help us this year but give us some ammo for the future.”

The Bears are 2-5 in games in which Trubisky has started since taking over for Mike Glennon in Week 5. In Chicago’s two wins against Baltimore and Carolina, Trubisky was little more than a bystander. He completed a combined 12 of 23 pass attempts in those two games for 220 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

“He’s a talented guy and he’s going to be a very good quarterback. He’s shown signs of that throughout this year,” Shanahan said of Trubisky. “I think something that’s been valuable for him is all the time he’s been given to play.

“It didn’t surprise me at all that Chicago took him. I thought it was a smart pick for them. I think it’ll end up paying off for them in the future.”

Kilgore: All of 49ers on same page 'for the first time in a long time'


Kilgore: All of 49ers on same page 'for the first time in a long time'

The 49ers’ coaching staff made its feelings known to center Daniel Kilgore throughout the season.

But, in the past, that would not have necessarily meant everyone in the organization had the same thoughts about Kilgore, who was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

“The whole season, coaches and I had a good relationship,” Kilgore said Wednesday on conference call with Bay Area reporters. “Just talking and having one-on-ones with various coaches, I had a positive outlook for the future.

“But that’s just one thing. The coaches have an opinion of you, but then there’s also the front office. That’s two totally different things. And I think for the first time in a long time, our coaches and the front office are on the same page.”

Kilgore was working out back home in Tennessee on Wednesday when he signed a three-year contract to avoid hitting the free-agent market. Kilgore, 30, a seven-year NFL veteran, described the contract as a team-friendly deal.

The 49ers presented Kilgore with a contract offer during the season but negotiations did not get serious until just recently. While the 49ers expressed interest in retaining Kilgore, he said he did not know what the future held for him when he packed his belongings from the locker room on the day after the season ended.

“It kind of makes you nervous because in this profession, people like the younger guys,” Kilgore said. “You just never know what will happen at any time, any given day, in the NFL. So toward the end, that last day of clearing out the locker, I didn’t know if I’d be back. I didn’t know if the Niners would want me back.”

Kilgore was named the winner of the organization’s top honor for an offensive lineman. Kilgore won the Bobb McKittrick Award for best exemplifying the dedication, excellence and commitment of the long-time 49ers offensive line coach. Kilgore started all 29 games in which he appeared the past two seasons, including a career-high 16 games last season.

"I've been here seven years and I consider the Bay Area my second home,” Kilgore said. “To be able to extend my career wearing the 49ers jersey was special to me. This team is heading in the right direction, I wanted to be a part of it."

Why the 49ers did not hesitate to pay Garoppolo big money

Matt Maiocco

Why the 49ers did not hesitate to pay Garoppolo big money

When Jimmy Garoppolo signed a contract that could pay him up to $137.5 million over the next five years, he was asked what convinced him during his nine weeks with the organization that he wanted to be with the 49ers for the long term.

“I think it was a number of things,” Garoppolo said last week. “The team, the acceptance that they had of me when I first got here from the get-go, the coaching staff, Kyle and Rich. It was a very welcoming environment, and I really liked that. We had some success down the stretch, and you could see that pieces were falling into place. We've got a long way to go, but I think we're moving in the right direction.”

Kyle, of course, is head coach Kyle Shanahan. Rich Scagarello is the 49ers’ quarterbacks coach, and the person from whom Garoppolo spent the most time after arriving in Santa Clara on Oct. 31 after a trade with the New England Patriots.

Garoppolo earned $3.5 million in his first four NFL seasons. His new contract makes him the NFL’s highest-paid player, making an average of $27.5 million per season, with $48.7 million fully guaranteed.

Scangarello, appearing this week on The 49ers Insider Podcast, talked about what he learned about Garoppolo from working so closely with him to teach him Shanahan's offense. Scangarello said there is no question in his mind the money will not change Garoppolo’s approach to his work.

“That’s why it was easy for the organization and everyone to invest in somebody like Jimmy Garoppolo,” Scangarello said. “I just think that’s not the kind of person he is. If you met his family, you know where he comes from, what he’s about. His brothers, his parents, are just good, solid people people. He’s made of the right stuff and I just don’t see that affecting him in that way.

“It’s just not who he is. That’s the fun part of working with somebody like that every day. When they’re really talented and they appreciate everything and they work at it, you have a chance to be a successful organization and they can be a great player. And I don’t think those things will ever affect him.”