49ers

49ers complete interview with head coach candidate Anthony Lynn

49ers complete interview with head coach candidate Anthony Lynn

Anthony Lynn on Wednesday became the first individual to interview for the 49ers’ head-coaching job for the second year in a row.

Lynn, 48, completed his interview with the 49ers on Wednesday afternoon, the club confirmed. Lynn finished the season as the Buffalo Bills' interim head coach after the firing of Rex Ryan.

CEO Jed York and Paraag Marathe, the 49ers’ chief strategy officer and executive vice president of football operations, are conducting the interviews as the process begins to find a head coach and general manager.

Lynn played for the 49ers in 1995 and ’96. He saw action in all 16 games in his final season with the 49ers, mostly on special teams. He gained 164 yards on 24 rushing attempts. He finished his playing career with the Denver Broncos from 1997 to ’99, and was on two Super Bowl-winning teams.

Lynn was hired to join Ryan’s staff with the Bills after spending his previous six years with the New York Jets as running backs coach. The title of assistant head coach was added in 2013.

He also spent time as running backs coach with Cleveland (2007-08), Dallas (2005-06) and Jacksonville (2003-04).

After the 49ers hired Chip Kelly last year, Kelly also interviewed Lynn for the position as offensive coordinator. Kelly hired Curtis Modkins for the position.

Lynn returned to Ryan’s staff as assistant head coach/running backs. He was promoted to offensive coordinator early in the season after Greg Roman was fired. Lynn finished the season as interim head coach after Ryan’s firing.

He is also believed to be a strong candidate to become the permanent head coach of the Bills. The Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars are reportedly interested in interviewing him for their openings, too. 

49ers interviews
Wednesday: Buffalo interim head coach Anthony Lynn (coach)
Thursday: Green Bay director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst (GM); Green Bay director of football operations Eliot Wolf (GM)
Friday: Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton (GM); Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (coach)
Saturday: New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (coach); New England director of player personnel Nick Caserio (GM)
Monday: Sean McVay (coach)
TBA: Miami defensive coordinator Vance Joseph (coach); ESPN analyst Louis Riddick (GM); Indianapolis vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye III (GM)
 

49ers, Rams injury reports: Ahkello Witherspoon in line to start, Richard Sherman questionable

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MATT MAIOCCO

49ers, Rams injury reports: Ahkello Witherspoon in line to start, Richard Sherman questionable

Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, who is on pace to be cleared through the NFL’s concussion protocol, is likely to start Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Friday.

Witherspoon is expected to start in place of Jimmie Ward, who re-aggravated a hamstring condition late in the 49ers’ Monday night loss to the Green Bay Packers. Ward is listed as doubtful to play against the Rams. Witherspoon did not play any snaps of defense in Green Bay, as the 49ers opted to play Greg Mabin when Ward was injured in the fourth quarter.

The 49ers have an issue on the cornerback spots, too. Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman is listed as questionable after not practicing Friday due to a calf condition, the team announced. Nickel back K'Waun Williams is questionable with a shoulder injury.

Witherspoon was diagnosed with a concussion after colliding with Mabin on the Packers’ game-winning field goal on the final play of regulation. Witherspoon was limited with no contact in practices Thursday and Friday, so he has to pass the contact requirement before Sunday’s game, Shanahan said.

Wide receivers Pierre Garçon and Trent Taylor are listed as questionable after taking part in limited drills on Friday.

The 49ers will not have the services of receiver Dante Pettis for the third consecutive game. Pettis sustained a left knee sprain on Sept. 23 while returning a first-quarter punt against the Los Angeles Chargers.

For the Rams, wide receiver Cooper Kupp has been ruled with a knee injury. Kupp is the Rams’ second-leading receiver with 30 catches for 438 yards and a team-leading five touchdowns.

49ers injury report

Out
WR Dante Pettis (knee)

Doubtful
CB Jimmie Ward (hamstring)

Questionable
WR Pierre Garcon (shoulder, knee)
CB Richard Sherman (calf)
WR Trent Taylor (back)
CB K'Waun Williams (shoulder)
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (concussion)

49ers practice report

FRIDAY
Did not practice
WR Dante Pettis (knee)
CB Richard Sherman (calf)
CB Jimmie Ward (hamstring)

Limited practice
WR Pierre Garcon (shoulder, knee)
WR Trent Taylor (back)
CB K'Waun Williams (shoulder)
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (concussion)

Full participation
RB Matt Breida (shoulder, ankle)
LB Reuben Foster (shoulder)
G Joshua Garnett (toe)
WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring, quadricep)
TE George Kittle (knee)
G Mike Person (knee)
C Weston Richburg (knee)
T Joe Staley (knee)
S Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder)

Rams injury report

Out
WR Cooper Kupp (knee)

Rams practice report

FRIDAY
Did not practice
WR Cooper Kupp (knee)

Limited practice
DE Michael Brockers (shoulder)

Full participation
DE Michael Brockers (shoulder)
LB Matt Longacre (back)
WR Josh Reynolds (hand)
G Rodger Saffold (knee)
C John Sullivan (not injury related)
T Andrew Whitworth (not injury related)
K Greg Zuerlein (right groin)

Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay still friends ... but with more secrets now

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USATSI

Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay still friends ... but with more secrets now

Growing up in an Atlanta suburb, a young Sean McVay was drawn to the 49ers for obvious reasons.

His grandfather, John McVay, was a longtime executive with the club. He served instrumental roles as a personnel man and voice of reason, often becoming a diplomat in conflicts between owner Eddie DeBartolo and coach Bill Walsh. McVay is enshrined in the 49ers Hall of Fame.

Sean McVay recalls sitting on the bus with offensive lineman Jesse Sapolu as the 49ers received a police escort to a Saturday walk-through to the Georgia Dome during a time when San Francisco and the Atlanta Falcons played twice a year as members of the NFC West.

The year was 1994, and McVay vividly recalls wearing a Deion Sanders jersey.

“This organization is something that’s very special to my family because of my grandfather’s history,” McVay said this week on a conference call with Bay Area reporters.

Kyle Shanahan, six years older than McVay, was a freshman at Saratoga High. His father, Mike Shanahan, was offensive coordinator of a dynamic, star-laden team that was on its way toward winning the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl.

The 49ers fashioned throwback jerseys for most of the season after coach George Seifert was quick to make a direct correlation between his team’s winning streak and the uniform style. Shanahan not only wore a Sanders jersey, he practically lived in his authentic red No. 21.

“I think I wore it for 60 straight days,” Shanahan said on “49ers Game Plan,” which airs Saturday at 7 p.m. on NBC Bay Area (Ch. 3). “I had a superstition with it. I never took it off. People at school started to make fun of me for it.”

Shanahan said he never washed the Sanders jersey, either.

“It was too nice to wash,” he said. “It was the real jersey. I wore undershirts. I was young. I didn’t smell that bad. I don’t think I’d matured, yet. I think they were jealous I had it. Then I always wore it, so I started to get made fun of. They won the Super Bowl, so I like to think it was because I wore the jersey every day. So I didn’t feel too bad about it.”

Only 16 years later, Shanahan and McVay began working together in the NFL on the Washington staff of Kyle’s father. Kyle was the offensive coordinator. McVay worked under him as an entry-level assistant tight ends coach.

Now, Shanahan, 38, and McVay, 32, are in their second seasons in their jobs as head coaches of the 49ers and Los Angeles Rams. Their teams meet Sunday afternoon for the third time, as McVay brings the league’s last unbeaten team into Levi’s Stadium to face the struggling 49ers, losers of four consecutive games.

It just so happens the 49ers will wear all-white 1994 throwback jerseys. The organization’s last Super Bowl-winning team will be featured as honored guests during the annual alumni weekend.

Shanahan and McVay still consider each other among their closest friends in the NFL, but there are now distinct lines drawn in the relationship.

“Our conversations have changed a little bit,” Shanahan said. “He’s always one of the first guys I’m going to call when I get to the combine to go out and have a beer and hang out.

“Most of my conversations with my friends involve a lot of football. Sean is one of the guys that we can talk football forever. I’d say in the last year that’s changed a little bit because we’re definitely not going to give each other secrets. We got to cut those conversations off a lot. It’s harder to talk, but we’re still close, and we always will be.”

The 49ers and Rams split their two meetings last season. McVay rested many of his starters in their Week 17 matchup before opening the playoffs as NFC West champions. The two young coaches figure to face each other many times in their careers, and that is part of the job McVay said he would rather avoid.

“I wish he wasn’t in our division and we didn’t have to play twice a year, so that we could be a little more open with our dialogue,” McVay said. “And I feel the same way I do with a lot of those coaches that I have close relationships with on (the 49ers) staff. We’re fortunate to even be in these roles, so we’ll take it. But I’d prefer to not have Kyle Shanahan in our division, if you ask me.”