49ers

Adam Gase offers advice to presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan

Adam Gase offers advice to presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan

Coach Adam Gase, a finalist for the 49ers’ head-coaching position two years ago, learned in his first season with the Miami Dolphins it is essential to have a solid staff around him in order to remain focused on calling plays.

Presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has spent the past nine NFL seasons as an offensive coordinator, including the past two with the Atlanta Falcons. His teams have ranked within the top-10 in total offense in six of those seasons. The Falcons play Sunday in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers.

Shanahan’s knack for game-planning and play-calling are, perhaps, the biggest reasons the 49ers have tabbed him to become head coach. And he is not likely to delegate those duties when he becomes the man in charge on the sideline.

But Gase, speaking on “The 49ers Insider” podcast, noted the importance of being surrounded by a strong staff in order to continue to run his team’s offense.

“It really comes down to how good your coaching staff is around you and how good your support staff is and how you can manage the game during the game and still be able to call plays,” Gase said.

The Dolphins’ staff includes special-teams coordinator Darren Rizzi and his assistant, Marwan Maalouf, who have studied game management and are responsible for alerting Gase to impending in-game circumstances that require his attention. Rizzi is on the sideline during games, while Maalouf is located in the booth.

“They were staying one step ahead on things,” Gase said.

Gase and Shanahan have never worked together, but Gase said they have known each other for a long time because they are approximately the same age and came into the league around the same time.

“You see guys at the combine and the Senior Bowl," Gase said. "You’re at these functions and you see each other once or twice a year. And it’s always good catching up and getting a chance to talk football.

“We grew up in different styles of systems on offense, but at the end of the day, football is football, and there’s always great conversations to have. He’s really smart. . . (We’ve) crossed up a little bit, where he’s worked with certain guys I’ve worked with and vice versa. And I’ve heard nothing but great things about him, with what he knows football-wise and how he goes about his day-to-day activities and work ethic. All I’ve ever heard are great things about him.”

Shanahan is expected to be included in the 49ers' process of hiring a general manager. The 49ers this week informed four of the remaining eight candidates for the position they would not be included in a second round of interviews. That leaves Green Bay’s Brian Gutekunst and Eliot Wolf, Minnesota’s George Paton and Arizona’s Terry McDonough as those who are still under consideration.

When asked what advice he would give Shanahan, were he to officially become 49ers head coach, Gase said, “It’s all about communication.”

He added, “It’s all about that constant dialogue throughout the season. It’s really easy to get lost in doing your job as the head coach. But when you’re all invested in the same thing and you’re all striving to do the same thing and that communication is really rolling, that gives you your best chance to have success.

“It’s never guaranteed because there are so many factors that happen within the season with injuries and schedule and just all those little things you can’t predict, but when you have great communication and you’re all working toward the same thing, that’s going to give you your best chance.”

Fantasy football waiver wire: Giants' Wayne Gallman among Week 4 targets

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AP

Fantasy football waiver wire: Giants' Wayne Gallman among Week 4 targets

You don't want to rush to judgment in fantasy football, but now that nearly a quarter of the fantasy regular season has come and gone, the sample size is getting large enough to make better-informed decisions.

That tight end that still isn't getting any targets? Yeah, probably time to cut bait.

That running back you took in the early rounds that hasn't found paydirt yet? There's still plenty of season left.

How your first three weeks have gone likely will have a determining impact on how you approach the Week 4 waiver wire. If you're sitting pretty, build up that depth. If you're in dire straits, it might be time to make some riskier, higher-ceiling plays. Week 4 also marks the beginning of bye weeks, with both the 49ers and Jets off this coming week.

Only you can know what your specific team needs. With that in mind, here are four non-quarterbacks to keep in mind for waiver claims Tuesday morning, all of whom could reinvigorate your squad and are owned in fewer than 15 percent of Yahoo and ESPN fantasy leagues.

Wayne Gallman, New York Giants RB

1 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 1 percent owned in ESPN

Saquon Barkley was the consensus No. 1 pick in fantasy drafts this season, but after suffering a high ankle sprain against the Buccaneers in Week 3, the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year is expected to miss multiple weeks. That leaves a gaping hole in New York's offense, and someone has to take over the resulting void.

Enter Wayne Gallman.

Gallman isn't special, nor is the Giants' offense, but given the volume he is expected to demand in Barkley's absence, he's definitely worth a waiver claim. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones is clearly far more dynamic than the statue that preceded him, which should make it tougher for opposing defenses to load up the box. Depending on the severity of Barkley's injury, Gallman probably should be the top overall waiver add this week.

Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs RB

1 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, <1 percent owned in ESPN

You want pieces of Kansas City's offense. I repeat: You want pieces of Kansas City's offense.

Okay, so that isn't all that groundbreaking. Such logic was prevalent back when fantasy drafts were being held, when the diminutive Darwin Thompson was commonly regarded as a top sleeper pick, someone who could eventually grab hold of all or part of the Chiefs' backfield and run with it.

Well, that was half-right.

With Damien Williams out and LeSean McCoy severely banged up, Darrel Williams -- not Thompson -- got the start at running back for Kansas City against the Ravens, and proceeded to rush nine times for 62 yards and catch five passes for another 47 receiving yards on Sunday.

McCoy aggravated his ankle injury in the second half and did not return. Damien Williams is still the starter, assuming he's healthy, but Darrel Williams appears to be the next man up for the job if it opens.

[RELATED: Grading Raiders' offense, defense in ugly loss vs. Vikings]

Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts WR

4 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 4 percent owned in ESPN

The Colts' offense was supposed to fall off after Andrew Luck retired, but that simply hasn't proven to be true. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett has done an admirable job stepping into Luck's former role, as he's now thrown for seven touchdowns through three weeks, compared to only one interception. Meanwhile, running back Marlon Mack ranks third in the league in rushing.

Having T.Y. Hilton on the outside has helped to open things up for the offense, but the receiver might not be there next week after aggravating a quad injury in the win over the Falcons. Hilton has scored at least one touchdown in every game this season, and if he were to miss any extended time, there would be an abundance of targets there for the taking.

Parris Campbell was Indianapolis' first-round draft pick last April, and the speed demon seems like the best bet to assume Hilton's role. With upcoming matchups against the Raiders and Chiefs, he could put up some big numbers if he gets the opportunity.

[RELATED: Grading 49ers' offense, defense in gritty win vs. Steelers]

Damien Harris, New England Patriots RB

11 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 5 percent owned in ESPN

This is a pure bench stash play ... for now.

Guessing which running back Bill Belichick will favor on any given week is traditionally next-to-impossible, but alas, some of us like to live dangerously.

If Sony Michel is on your squad, you have been living dangerously. New England's No. 1 back coming into the season rushed nine times for a grand total of 11 paltry yards on Sunday, five of which came on a performance-salvaging touchdown. Michel has now failed to eclipse 85 total yards in any game this season, all while averaging less than 2.5 yards per carry.

If Belichick were to lose patience with Michel, Damien Harris might become the primary back for one of the top offenses in the league. New England used a third-round draft pick on Harris this past April, and while he was inactive the first two weeks, he's been regarded as Michel's most likely handcuff. 

Yes, there's also James White and Rex Burkhead to deal with, but both of them are more in the pass-catching vein. If Harris ever gets a legitimate shot, he might prove to be a league-winner.

Watch Kyle Shanahan give victory speech after 49ers win vs. Steelers

Watch Kyle Shanahan give victory speech after 49ers win vs. Steelers

"That's as cool of a win as I've ever been a part of."

It wasn't pretty, but the 49ers got the job done Sunday, defeating the visiting Steelers 24-20 to improve to 3-0 on the young season. In the locker room following the win, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan greeted his boisterous team, and reminded the 49ers of what they had just accomplished.

"It was what we thought. We knew we would get their best," Shanahan shouted, "but we got different character this year, man."

He specifically credited the defense for holding Pittsburgh to just two field goals in the first half despite four turnovers by the offense.

"When you have five turnovers like that, it is hard to win in this league. You have to be good players, but you also have special people. You guys didn't waiver the whole game. Can't appreciate you guys enough for that."

Shanahan then issued his team a challenge: "How much better can we get, though?

"We can get better. We can get a lot better, men," he answered as the locker room reverberated in agreement.

[RELATED: Grading 49ers' offense, defense in gritty win vs. Steelers]

Shanahan proceeded to lay out the upcoming practice schedule, as the 49ers now enter their bye week. A perfect time to get better.