49ers consulted Warriors before deciding to restructure training staff


49ers consulted Warriors before deciding to restructure training staff

MOBILE, Ala. -- In an effort to solve one of the issues the franchise determined could be vastly improved, 49ers general manager John Lynch reached out to the NBA’s most successful franchise.

Lynch said on Thursday that he spoke with Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers on the topic of how the NBA champions mesh their athletic trainers with the strength-and-conditioning department.

The Warriors in August added Rick Celebrini as director of sports medicine and performance to oversee the department that includes head athletic trainer Drew Yoder. The club also hired Carl Bergstrom as performance coach.

“We talked about them having similar motivations,” Lynch said. “They made a hire that they’re very excited about.”

The 49ers have been plagued by injuries the past two seasons with 37 players finishing the season on injured reserve. Shortly after the season, the 49ers fired head athletic trainer Jeff Ferguson and head strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright as part of a larger restructuring.

[RELATED: Two more 49ers join Garoppolo, McKinnon in injury rehab]

“You get all these talented people and practitioners, but how do you get everyone towing in the same direction, just like how you want every part of your football organization to be?” Lynch said.

“We consulted with some other teams, organizations in some other sports, looking for the right answers, and trying to put our own stamp on it. We’re not trying to re-invent the wheel. We’re just trying to get that deal right. We’ve been very impressed with the people that we’ve interviewed and we’re hoping to move on this fairly soon and get it going.”

Lynch said the 49ers interviewed eight candidates for the job and will likely conduct follow-up interviews with a couple of the individuals before making a hire after the Super Bowl. Coach Kyle Shanahan earlier this week described the position the 49ers are creating as a “head coach of training.”

“That idea, that head coach of training, that’s really what we’re looking for, someone who can pull everyone together and get everyone focused in the same direction,” Lynch said.

How 49ers' Trent Williams trade benefited from Washington jumping gun

How 49ers' Trent Williams trade benefited from Washington jumping gun

If Trent Williams is fully healthy and plays up to his ability, the 49ers got an absolute steal in only giving up a 2020 fifth-round pick and 2021 third-round selection in last month's trade with Washington. Had he played last season, it's highly unlikely San Francisco would have been able to acquire him for such a low cost.

And, thanks to Washington jumping the gun, he didn't.

Williams joined NFL Media's Ian Rapoport on the "RapSheet and Friends" podcast set to debut Friday and revealed that he was, in fact, prepared to suit up for Washington once he reported to the team after the trade deadline last season. But before his new helmet could arrive, Washington placed him on the reserve/non-football injury list, officially ending his season.

"The competitive juices started to flow, so I was really prepared to make my return last year," Williams told Rapoport. "I know all of the things that had went on and just being in that facility, being around teammates, being around the guys you fought with and bled with for some many years. It was almost impossible for me to fight the urge not to just want to get back on the field. I was literally waiting on my new helmet to come in. I was getting ready to kind of gear up and it was going to be somewhat of a surprise to some, but I think for the people who know me best, they know how competitive I am.

"... I was under the impression my new helmet was coming in that Tuesday, and then I was put on the NFI ... right before I could even get the helmet to get back out there. It was a bummer but figured it was just how it was supposed to work out."

[RELATED: 49ers help Williams by restructuring final year of contract]

It should be noted, Washington saved $6 million by placing Williams on the NFI. Of course, that likely was the final nail in the coffin for their relationship. 

Williams doesn't sound too upset about it. You can be sure the 49ers -- who now have arguably the NFL's best offensive tackle -- aren't either.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers post Jimmy Garoppolo throwback ahead of 2020 virtual graduation

49ers post Jimmy Garoppolo throwback ahead of 2020 virtual graduation

During this unprecedented time, it’s not only sports that have taken a hiatus. This time of year, graduates of various schools will not be able to participate in the usual ceremonies we’re used to. 

The 49ers wanted to take it into their own hands by hosting a virtual graduation ceremony to honor the Class of 2020. 

And in order to get in the spirit of things, the team tweeted out an old school photo of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. It didn’t disappoint.

Oh yeah, check out that puka shell necklace. Never leave home without it.

The team also gave out superlatives to various players. Jimmy G was the “Best Smile,” of course, with Mike McGlinchey voted “Most Likely to win American Idol.” That probably has to do with that one time he did carpool karaoke with recently retired tackle Joe Staley.

Speaking of, Staley will be one of the commencement speakers at the ceremony.

[RELATED: George Kittle deserves to get paid]

Country music star Tyler Rich will be performing as well.

The virtual ceremony for all levels of graduates will be streamed on 49ers.com, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter on Saturday at 5 p.m. PT.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]