49ers

49ers' Richard Sherman rips Browns' decision to not hire Robert Saleh

49ers' Richard Sherman rips Browns' decision to not hire Robert Saleh

Can you smile and shake your head at the same time? It's a weird feeling. Try it. 

There's a good chance Richard Sherman is doing exactly that this morning. The 49ers' star cornerback had one word for the Cleveland Browns reportedly hiring Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as their next head coach instead of San Francisco's defensive coordinator Robert Saleh: "Wow."

Sherman has been outspoken about Saleh's job as the 49ers' defensive coordinator and why the coach deserves a head job. He did so after San Francisco's 27-10 playoff win over Minnesota on Saturday, too.

"He deserves a ton of credit, he deserves to be a head coach," Sherman said to reporters. "Who knows if it will play out that way. Obviously there haven't been a lot of hires of coaches of color or minority coaches. You never know, but I think he deserves a spot." 

The Browns' hire continues an uneasy trend in the NFL. Stefanski, another white coach, was hired over Saleh. If the Browns truly wanted an offensive-minded coach, they certainly could have gone with Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. 

And Sherman agrees. 

One thing is for certain, though. While Sherman wishes nothing but the best for his coach and believes the D-coordinator can be a viable head coach, he is happy Saleh will be coming back to the 49ers. 

[RELATED: Sherman aces toughest test vs. haters in 49ers' playoff win]

It's clear that one team's loss is yet another win for the Niners. 

How 49ers fans acted toward NFL analyst Adam Rank since 3-13 prediction

How 49ers fans acted toward NFL analyst Adam Rank since 3-13 prediction

It was an idiotic pick, according to himself.

Before the 2019 season began, NFL Network analyst Adam Rank predicted the 49ers would have a 3-13 record. That didn’t happen, of course, as they went 13-3 and found their way to Super Bowl LIV in Miami.

The 49ers fans who got wind of this let Rank have it on social media.

But how have 49ers fans been since then? Maybe not as bad as we thought.

“They’ve been great,” Rank said on the NBC Sports Bay Area’s Balk Talk podcast. “Right off the bat, they’ve been super cool.”

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

So why did Rank choose that ghastly record? Jimmy Garoppolo was coming off of an ACL injury, for starters, and the 49ers secondary was coming off a season where they couldn't force takeaways.

“The defensive secondary had no interceptions -- or, I think maybe it was two interceptions, but the cornerbacks had no interceptions for an entire season,” Rank said. “Richard Sherman, you know, had not been playing well, arriving from Seattle … “

Rank also wasn’t sure how 49ers newly-drafted defensive end Nick Bosa would do. He can’t predict the future. He couldn’t anticipate a Defensive Rookie of the Year honor or an 89.8 grade on Pro Football Focus after a nine sack, 47 tackle, 25 QB-hit season.

How was he to know that?

[RELATED: Rank admits he's an 'idiot' for 49ers prediction]

Don’t worry friends, Rank had his reasons. And he has more than made up for it, predicting the 49ers to finish with a 12-4 record in the 2020 season.

He talks about that, and more on the latest episode of Balk Talk. And wait until you hear about the time Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout asked him for fantasy football advice.

What 49ers' interest in Ziggy Ansah, Dion Jordan means for pass rush

What 49ers' interest in Ziggy Ansah, Dion Jordan means for pass rush

The 49ers’ defensive line might be the strength of the team. But they are looking for even more from their outside pass rush.

The 49ers reportedly have visits planned for veteran edge rushers Ezekiel Ansah and Dion Jordan. Both players entered the NFL as first-round draft picks in 2013 and are being considered to add depth along the 49ers' D-line.

General manager John Lynch wants to provide some insurance to the outside pass rush.

Nick Bosa and Dee Ford are the 49ers’ top edge rushers. While Arik Armstead plays defensive end in base situations, he is more effective working inside as a nickel pass-rusher.

Ronald Blair, who could be the team’s No. 3 defensive end in passing situations, is working back from a torn ACL. Blair currently is on the active/physically-unable-to-perform list. The 49ers likely were able to re-sign him because the knee injury greatly influenced his market as a free agent.

After Bosa, Ford and Blair, the 49ers do not have a lot of answers.

Kerry Hyder, whom the 49ers signed as a free agent in the offseason, is the only other veteran outside pass rusher on the team. Hyder had 8.0 sacks with the Detroit Lions in 2016 while working with current 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek. But in Hyder’s other 26 NFL games, he has just 2.0 sacks.

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

Kocurek also has a history with Ansah, 31, whom the Lions selected at No. 5 overall in 2013. Ansah had a career-best 14.5 sacks in 2015 and 12.0 sacks in 2017, but injuries have impacted his career. He registered 2.5 sacks with the Seattle Seahawks in 11 games last season.

Jordan was the No. 3 overall pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2013, but his career was derailed by off-field issues.

He did not play in 2015 and 2016 after a third violation of the NFL's performance-enhancing substance policy. The Dolphins released him in 2017, and he signed with the Seahawks. He was suspended for 10 weeks last season for using Adderall.

In 50 career games, Jordan has 10.5 sacks. He played seven games with the Raiders last season and posted 2.0 sacks.

The 49ers visited with Damontre Moore last week, who was among the team’s final cuts last year. San Francisco re-signed Moore after Blair’s injury, but Moore sustained a fractured forearm in his second game with the club.

[RELATED49ers GM Lynch explains statement of not being NFL 'lifer']

The 49ers owned the top pass defense in the league last season, and a lot of the team's success can be traced to their pass rush. They tied for fifth in the NFL with 48 sacks during the regular season.

The pass rush took a hit in the offseason with the decision to trade defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round draft pick. Buckners registered 19.5 sacks over the past two seasons. The 49ers used their first-round draft pick to select Buckner's replacement, South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw.

While Kinlaw is expected to step in and be an immediate force against the run, it might take a while to develop his pass-rush skills. He registered a total of 10.0 sacks during his final two seasons of college.