49ers Mailbag: Shanahan the overwhelming favorite, if he wants it

49ers Mailbag: Shanahan the overwhelming favorite, if he wants it

The 49ers have interviewed six head coach candidates and nine prospects for the general manager position.

During the search, 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe admitted to candidates that mistakes were made and the roster is in shambles. They have also promised all the resources necessary and plenty of patience in fixing the problem, according to multiple sources.

Three of the 49ers’ six original coach possibilities – Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams), Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills) and Anthony Lynn (Los Angeles Chargers) -- have already taken jobs elsewhere. Perhaps the top candidate, New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, decided against uprooting his four children from the East Coast and remain in the no-lose situation of working with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady for at least another season.

That leaves Kyle Shanahan and Tom Cable as the last known candidates for the job. And this is where we go to our 49ers Mailbag to answer questions submitted on our Facebook page:

Do you think Kyle Shanahan will be our next coach?‬ (Praize Rodriguez)
I’m not able to predict how strongly Shanahan, 37, wants to become a head coach at this stage in his career. But it appears to be his job if he wants it.

The 49ers decided to wait on McDaniels and Shanahan. McDaniels announced on Monday that he has removed himself from consideration. That leaves Shanahan as the overwhelming favorite for the job. Really, he is the only legitimate candidate for the job.

Cable is regarded around the league as a good coach. In the right circumstances, maybe he will again get the opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL. But the 49ers might be the worst fit, considering what occurred when he was in the Bay Area as the Raiders coach. Cable's time with the Raiders ended with allegations he punched an assistant coach, breaking his jaw, and had a history of domestic violence.

The 49ers will be able to speak again with Shanahan after the NFC Championship. If the Atlanta Falcons lose, they can get the deal done immediately. If the Falcons advance to the Super Bowl, they must wait until after the game to make things official.

The last team to wait for a Super Bowl coach was the Atlanta Falcons, who ended up with Dan Quinn, who signed a contract in the early morning after the Seattle Seahawks’ loss to New England in Super Bowl XLIX in February 2015.

That worked out pretty well.

Who would be the best GM fit if the 49ers hire Kyle Shanahan?‬ (Brad Peltier) ‬
The 49ers were the only team with a general manager opening this offseason after firing Trent Baalke. With no competition, the 49ers compiled a strong list of interviews for the job.

Assuming Shanahan wants the coach job, he will be able to meet with the finalists for the general manager position and see which of the remaining candidates he believes is the best fit for his philosophy on building a roster.

York and Marathe set out two weeks ago to find the best pairing of coach/general manager, so their input and direction during the final phase will be pivotal, too.

Arizona’s vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough looks like a strong fit. McDonough is believed to have Shanahan ranked at the top of his list of coaches even though the men have never worked together. McDonough has experience on the pro and college scouting sides, and he has helped build one of the top defenses in the NFL with the Cardinals.

Green Bay director of football operations Brian Gutekunst also has extensive history as a college scout, and he impressed the 49ers with a strong interview on Jan. 5. There is also some buzz about Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton and Seattle co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner.

Who do you think will be the defensive coordinator if Shanahan takes the job?‬ (Ryan Cruz)
The 49ers last year received permission from the Houston Texans to interview linebackers coach Mike Vrabel for the position. Vrabel’s stock has only risen after the Texans ranked first in the NFL in total defense under coordinator Romeo Crennel. Vrabel turned down Chip Kelly's job offer.

Vrabel’s name surfaced for the first time this offseason as a head-coaching candidate, though he did not receive a formal interview. This would be a good opportunity to Vrabel to, in essence, be the head coach of the defense while Shanahan’s focus is solely on the offense. This could be a tempting situation for Vrabel because Shanahan's offense does not present the same issues and concerns that defensive coaches had working on the other side of Kelly.

Another strong candidate to join Shanahan’s staff as defensive coordinator is Falcons’ secondary/senior defensive assistant Marquand Manuel. Manuel played eight NFL seasons as a defensive back and worked with Falcons coach Dan Quinn at the University of Florida, then Seattle before moving onto Atlanta.

If Shananahan is coach, is Kap pretty much done in SF?‬ (Juan Ito Heredia)
Of course, that decision on what happens with Colin Kaepernick and the remainder of the roster will be up to the new head coach and general manager.

But one of the 49ers’ main selling points is a fresh start and a clean break from how things have happened in the past. That means the head coach will be free to choose his own staff. That means the general manager can structure the scouting department as he chooses.

That also means, of course, that the coach and general manager will have all the power to assemble the roster.

It is difficult to believe any new coach and new general manager will not want to hit the reset button and start over at the quarterback position.

49ers vs. Rams live: Score, highlights, analysis on NFL Week 7 game

49ers vs. Rams live: Score, highlights, analysis on NFL Week 7 game

FINAL, Rams 39-10: A nightmare day for the 49ers, who fall to 1-6 with a flat performance against their juggernaut NFC West rivals. The Rams are unbeaten in seven games and have to be considered Super Bowl favorites out of the NFC. Come back to NBC Sports Bay Area for full reaction to the loss.

Fourth quarter, 3:24, Rams 39-10: C.J. Beathard and the 49ers’ offense go six-and-out, as his fourth-down pass sails out of the back corner of the end zone. L.A. ball at its own 18. Expect the Rams to run out the clock and end this thing.

Fourth quarter, 5:20, Rams 39-10: Mark Nzeocha partially blocks the Rams’ punt, giving the 49ers the ball at the L.A. 37. One of the few highlights in this game for San Francisco.

C.J. Beathard remains in the game at quarterback, with this interesting stat something to consider.

Fourth quarter, 9:12, Rams 39-10: Another Aaron Donald sack of C.J. Beathard ends another 49ers drive, if you can call it that.

The punt puts the Rams at their own 15, and Sean Mannion is in for mop-up duty at QB.

Fourth quarter, 11:35, Rams 39-10: The 49ers actually move backward, nearly give up another safety, then punt the ball away from their own 3.

JoJo Natson nearly takes the ball back there, returning the punt to the 49ers’ 13, where the Rams have first-and-10.

Two plays later, Jared Goff hits Todd Gurley -- he’s pretty good -- on a touchdown pass. An L.A. win is just academic at this point.

Meanwhile, the 49ers have more injury concerns.

Fourth quarter, 13:44, Rams 32-10: L.A. falls way short on third-and-19, thanks to Fred Warner’s in-pursuit tackle of Robert Woods.

The Rams punt, giving the 49ers the ball at their own 9.

End of the third quarter, Rams 32-10: Arik Armstead’s sack of Jared Goff ends the quarter, and the Rams will pick it up with third-and-19 at the 49ers' 40.

Third quarter, 2:37, Rams 32-10: Robbie Gould connects on a 51-yard field goal to salvage points on a drive that looked promising until C.J. Beathard was swarmed on a third-down sack.

Third quarter, 6:04, Rams 32-7: Todd Gurley rans into the end zone from 1 yard out, and the rout is on.

Just 18 minutes left for the 49ers to make it look respectable after they essentially handed the game to the Rams.

Third quarter, 6:59, Rams 25-7: C.J. Beathard throws a pass slightly behind George Kittle, who juggles the ball and nearly catches it, but it bounces to Rams safety John Johnson, who makes the interception.

San Francisco’s fourth turnover of the game puts L.A. at the 49ers’ 33.

Third quarter, 8:06, Rams 25-7: Greg Zuerlein hits a 32-yard field goal, and the Rams stretch their lead after an 11-play, 55-yard drive.

Third quarter, 11:00, Rams 22-7: 49ers safety Adrian Colbert suffers an apparent serious leg injury while trying for an interception, and he’s carted off the field.

Third quarter, 12:52, Rams 22-7: C.J. Beathard takes a first-down sack (by Aaron Donald -- who else?), and the 49ers can’t recover, so they go three-and-out.

A punt, plus two penalties, puts the Rams at their own 25.

Third quarter, 15:00, Rams 22-7: The Rams' second half-opening kickoff sails into the end zone for a touchback, and the 49ers will start at their own 25.

Halftime, Rams 22-7: The Rams return the kickoff, then take a knee, and they go into the locker room with the lead, albeit not a completely comfortable one.

Second quarter, :10, Rams 22-7: George Kittle grabs a 10-yard C.J. Beathard pass that’s ruled a touchdown upon review. Kittle’s momentum took his out of the end zone, but he possessed the ball across the goal line before coming out, hence the ruling.

The Beathard-to-Kittle connection worked well that entire drive for the 49ers, as the QB and tight end also hooked up on passes for 35 and 23 yards.

The 49ers amazingly are still in this game, as they'll receive the second-half kickoff.

Second quarter, 2:30, Rams 22-0: Brandin Cooks shakes Ahkello Witherspoon on a post-corner route and grabs Jared Goff’s pass for a 19-yard touchdown.

It's getting ugly fast at Levi's.

Second quarter, 6:17, Rams 15-0: C.J. Beathard does a good thing -- running for a first down on third-and-10 -- and follows its with a bad thing -- throwing an interception to Rams cornerback Troy Hill.

The Rams now have the ball at their 40. Also, it's time to go to the 49ers turnover board …

Second quarter, 10:05, Rams 15-0: Greg Zuerlein kicks a 37-yard field goal after the 49ers’ defense bows up in the red zone.

Amazingly, it’s just a two-score game.

Second quarter, 12:59, Rams 12-0: The Rams block Bradley Pinion’s punt, and the ball bounces out of the end zone for a safety.

Cory Littleton, who swatted the kick, has two blocked punts and one punt deflection this season. He also had two blocked punts last season.

Our Matt Maiocco says it all for 49ers fans with this tweet.

The blocked punt comes one play after Aaron Donald blasted -- and we mean blasted -- C.J. Beathard on a third-down pass play.

Beathard fumbled the first-down snap, too, nearly giving the 49ers their third turnover in just 16 minutes of play. It’s all going wrong for San Francisco.

Second quarter, 14:23, Rams 10-0: Todd Gurley cashes in the turnover for an L.A. touchdown, as he darts 8 yards up the middle.

Gurley now has 12 TDs on the season. The 49ers have 15 as a team.

End of the first quarter, Rams 3-0: Not much to say so far in this one. The 49ers’ three drives have gone fumble, punt, fumble.

Not ideal.

First quarter, 1:00, Rams 3-0: Annnnd Matt Brieda fumbles the ball on his first carry back from his injury. Aaron Donald recovers it for L.A. at the 49ers’ 21.

First quarter, 1:13, Rams 3-0: Jared Goff overthrows his receiver on third down, and the ball goes right to Jaquiski Tartt -- who drops it. Missed opportunity at a big play.

The Rams punt on the next play, and the 49ers take over at their own 12.

Better news: Matt Breida is back on the field.

First quarter, 2:39, Rams 3-0: No one picks up Rams linebacker Cory Littleton on a third-down blitz at the 27, and he sacks C.J. Beathard to take the 49ers out of field-goal range.

It also spoiled a great drive Raheem Mostert, who has been pressed into duty with Matt Breida hurt. Mostert ripped off a 15-yard run, a 23-yard catch-and-run, and an 11-yard run to get San Francisco into L.A. territory.

Bradley Pinion’s punt gives the Rams the ball at their own 12.

First quarter, 6:34, Rams 3-0: Greg Zuerlein drills a 35-yard field goal, and L.A. has the lead.

Todd Gurley dropped a third-down pass, and had he caught it, it appeared he had room to run for the first down.

If the 49ers are to stay in this game, they need to halt this turnover streak.

First quarter, 9:58, 0-0: C.J. Beathard is hit as he throws, and Rams linebacker Trevon Young lunges for the loose ball, giving L.A. possession at the 49ers’ 44.

Short field for Jared Goff and Co.

We also have an injury update on 49ers running back Matt Breida ...

First quarter, 12:32, 0-0: First play on offense, and there’s already bad news concerning 49ers running back Matt Brieda.

First quarter, 12:58, 0-0: The Rams receive the opening kickoff but can’t do much with their first possession, as Jared Goff fumbles the snap on third-and-1 from the 34 and recovers it.

After the Rams punt, it's 49ers ball at their own 30.

1:22 p.m.: You know what time is it? Game time …

1:09 p.m.: The 49ers take the field looking niiiiiiice …

12:55 p.m.: How’d you like to see this QB-receiver connection in a game?

12:50 p.m.: Well, you won't miss the Rams on the field with their all-gold get-ups.

12:35 p.m.: The 49ers are playing tribute to the 1994 Super Bowl-winning team with these slick threads.

Marquise Goodwin likes them so much that he just to dance.

12:30 p.m.: Time to join Greg Papa, Therese Vinal, Jeff Garcia and Donte Whitner for 49ers Pregame Live. Download the MyTeams by NBC Sports app using the link below to watch on your mobile device, or turn to NBC Sports Bay Area on your TV.

12:12 p.m.: 49ers punter Bradley Pinion evidently has a good arm …

If he really wanted to show off, though, he’d throw the ball toward Jerry Rice, who’s taking care of fans’ autograph requests on the field.

11:58 a.m.: Welp, Richard Sherman won't be on the field for the 49ers today because of his calf injury.

11:45 a.m.: If you're not already watching, check out "49ers First Look" with Matt Maiocco, Jennifer Lee Chan and Donte Whitner on our Facebook page. Link below.

9:54 a.m.: Coming off a big game against the Packers, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is someone you need to keep an eye  Sunday, according to Matt Maiocco. Here are his three other players to watch.

9:45 a.m.: Statues of Dwight Clark and Joe Montana commemorating "The Catch" were unveiled by the 49ers at the ceremony outside Levi's Stadium Gate A this morning.

As Ray Ratto writes, the statue of Clark comes at the right time.

9:28am: It's been a short week for the 49ers as they take on the Rams six days after losing a heartbreaker to the Packers.

Despite one less day to get ready, three players who were listed as questionable Friday reportedly will play Sunday at Levi's Stadium.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, wide receiver Pierre Garcon and cornerbacks K'Waun Williams and Ahkello Witherspoon all are expected to play against the Rams. Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman will be a game-time decision because of a calf injury.

Programming note: Greg Papa, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner and Therese Vinal get you set for the game with 49ers Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming live on the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. After the game, tune back in for 49ers Postgame Live!

49ers takeaways: What we learned in 39-10 loss to Rams


49ers takeaways: What we learned in 39-10 loss to Rams


SANTA CLARA -- Just six days after suffering a dramatic, agonizing defeat, there was very little drama as the 49ers lost their fifth consecutive game Sunday.

Jared Goff threw two touchdown passes, and Todd Gurley ran for two scores, as the Los Angeles Rams remained the NFL’s only unbeaten team with a 39-10 victory over the turnover-prone 49ers at Levi’s Stadium.

The Rams improved to 7-0, while the 49ers fall to 1-6.

The game was a stark contrast to the 49ers’ game Monday night in Green Bay, where they let a late lead slip away in a 33-30 loss to the Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. On Sunday, the 49ers simply were blown away.

Here are three takeaways from a game that again featured a disastrous number of 49ers’ giveaways:

Giving away any chance at victory

The Rams are one of the NFL's more talented teams, so the 49ers needed to play a near-perfect game to have any hope of an upset. Certainly, the 49ers would have given themselves a chance with a favorable turnover margin.

But the 49ers have been the worst team in the league when it comes to giving away the ball. And, on defense, they’ve been the worst at taking it away.

The team’s futility at taking care of the football was on full display against the Rams. The 49ers committed three turnovers in the first half, and Los Angeles cashed in on those miscues with 17 points.

C.J. Beathard and Matt Breida lost fumbles, and Beathard threw a second-quarter interception on a pass intended for Marquise Goodwin. On the flip side, 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt allowed a rare Jared Goff ill-advised pass to slip through his hands in the first quarter.

Beathard threw an interception in the second half, as the Rams cashed in another touchdown. The Rams scored 24 points off turnovers and added another five points with a safety and a field goal after the ensuring free kick.

Since Antone Exum opened the Sept. 30 game with an interception return for a touchdown against Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, the 49ers have committed 14 turnovers without a takeaway.

Coming off a solid showing Monday in Green Bay, Beathard completed 15 of 27 passes for 170 yards with one TD and two interceptions this time. He was sacked seven times -- four times by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald -- and lost a fumble.

Short-handed in the secondary

The 49ers’ starting cornerbacks in Week 6 were not available Sunday because of injuries. Richard Sherman was inactive with a calf injury, and Jimmie Ward was held out with a hamstring strain.

The injuries continued for 49ers defensive backs Sunday when Adrian Colbert sustained a lower right leg injury in the third quarter. He did not return, though the injury appeared it was not as serious as originally feared, as Colbert returned to the sideline.

Rookie D.J. Reed replaced Colbert. In the first half, Reed took over at nickel back for several plays when K’Waun Williams appeared to aggravate a shoulder injury. Williams was listed as questionable for the game on the 49ers’ official injury report.

The 49ers started Ahkello Witherspoon and Greg Mabin at cornerback in place of Sherman and Ward. Witherspoon was cleared through the league’s concussion protocol after sustaining a head injury upon colliding with Mabin on the Packers’ game-winning field goal on the final play of regulation last Monday.

Bringing 49ers of the past together

The 49ers' highlight of the day occurred four hours before kickoff when the team unveiled statues of Dwight Clark and Joe Montana outside Gate A at Levi’s Stadium to commemorate “The Catch.”

The ceremony was in conjunction with a reunion of the 49ers’ last Super Bowl-winning team, which came following the 1994 season. Former coach George Seifert spoke at halftime and was lifted into the air by some of the players after concluding his speech.

Many 49ers greats of all generations -- including Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice, Steve Young and Terrell Owens -- were in attendance.

On Saturday night, three former 49ers -- Brent Jones, John Taylor and Steve Wallace -- addressed the current team.