Alliance of American Football full of former 49ers players and coaches


Alliance of American Football full of former 49ers players and coaches

The Super Bowl closed out the NFL season, but a new professional league kicks off on Saturday.

The eight-team Alliance of American Football includes dozens of former 49ers coaches and players as part of its inaugural season.

The AAF has been referred to as a developmental league of sorts. It’s an organization where players could gain momentum to launch or re-launch an NFL career or maybe just make a decent living playing the game they love.

There are quite a few players who have spent time with the 49ers who are now members of AAF teams. Even more significantly are the coaches that have spent time on the 49ers staff that are now coaching for the AAF, including Mike Singletary and Dennis Erickson.

Singletary, Hall of Fame linebacker for the Chicago Bears, was on the 49ers coaching staff for six seasons beginning in 2005.

Singletary took over as interim head coach after Mike Nolan’s midseason firing in 2008. He made a memorable first impression when he sent tight end Vernon Davis to the locker room in his head-coaching debut.

After being hired as head coach shortly after the 2008 season, he lasted just one full season before getting fired with one game remaining in the 2010 season. Jim Tomsula took over and coached the final game of the 2010 season. Singletary’s record with the 49ers was 18-22.

Singletary’s time with the 49ers was tumultuous and memorable. Several press conference moments are still memes to this day. Tales about his time with the 49ers are still told like one would tell stories over a campfire.

Singletary has spent time on several coaching staffs including the Vikings from 2011-2013 and as a defensive assistant for the Rams in 2016. He is now head coach of the Memphis Express of the AAF.

Erickson did not have a successful run as head coach of the 49ers, either. He recorded only nine wins out of the 32 games he coached over two seasons. He took over as head coach after the team fired Steve Mariucci at the end of 2002.

Last month, Erickson was named to the College Football Hall of Fame. He has been out of coaching for two years after leaving Utah as the assistant head coach/running backs coach in 2016. He is now the head coach of the Salt Lake Stallions.

[RELATED: Jimmy Garoppolo commemorates anniversary of signing long-term deal]

Here are individuals in the new AAF with ties to the 49ers:

Arizona Hotshots

P Jeff Locke (49ers training camp, 2018)
QB Jack Heneghan (49ers training camp, 2018)
LB Carl Bradford (49ers, 2016)
OT Andrew Lauderdale (49ers practice squad/training camp, 2017-’18)
DT Will Sutton III (49ers training camp, 2018)

Atlanta Legends


Birmingham Iron

Head coach Tim Lewis (49ers DBs coach, 2015)
Offensive coordinator/QBs Steve Logan (49ers QBs coach, 2015)
TE Busta Anderson (49ers draft pick, 2015)
DT Lawrence Okoye (49ers training camp/practice squad, 2013-’15)
WR Quinton Patton (49ers draft pick, 2013-’16)
CB Trovon Reed (49ers practice squad, 2017)
P Colton Schmidt (49ers training camp, 2013)

Memphis Express

Head coach Mike Singletary (49ers assistant head coach/LBs 2005-’08; head coach 2008-’10)
CB Channing Stribling (49ers practice squad, 2017)

Orlando Apollos

Head coach Steve Spurrier (49ers QB, 1967-’75)
CB Keith Reaser (49ers draft pick, 2014-’17)
OG Andrew Tiller (49ers, 2014-‘16)

Salt Lake Stallions

Head coach Dennis Erickson (49ers head coach, 2003-’04)
Offensive coordinator Tim Lappano (49ers RBs coach, 2003-’04)
WR Dres Anderson (49ers practice squad, 2015-’16)
CB Will Davis (49ers training camp, 2017)
DB Chanceller James (49ers training camp, 2017-’18)
DT Mike Purcell (49ers, 2013-’16)
DL Sealver Siliga (49ers training camp, 2011)

San Antonio Commanders

K Nick Rose (49ers training camp, 2017)

San Diego Fleet

Head coach Mike Martz (49ers offensive coordinator, 2008)
Offensive line coach Pat Morris (49ers tight ends/offensive line coach, 1997-2003)
Linebackers/special teams coach Larry MacDuff (49ers ST coordinator, 2003-’06)
RB Ja’Quan Gardner (49ers training camp, 2018)
OG Chris Gonzalez (49ers training camp, 2018)

League office

Fitz Ollison, VP of Football Communication (49ers, 2003-‘07)

Matt Maiocco contributed to this report.

How Kyle Shanahan's 49ers offense impressed Packers' Aaron Rodgers in 2018


How Kyle Shanahan's 49ers offense impressed Packers' Aaron Rodgers in 2018

The 49ers lost to the Green Bay Packers in Week 6 of the 2018 NFL season, but they did win an admirer. 

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers told NBC Sports' Chris Simms at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe last week that he was very impressed by Kyle Shanahan's playcalling.

"The stuff they did against us this year ... was unbelievable," Rodgers told Simms on a recent episode of "Unbuttoned" released this week. "You watch on the sidelines going, 'that's pretty cool.'"

San Francisco was without starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo after he tore his ACL in Week 3, but nearly outlasted the Packers in a 33-30 shootout in a cold Monday night matchup on Oct. 15. The 49ers led 30-23 with 13:08 remaining, but Rodgers did Aaron Rodgers Things and marched the Packers 58 yards and 81 yards, respectively, on two scoring drives sandwiched by a costly C.J. Beathard interception. It was one of the team's most prolific games all season, as the 49ers combined for their fifth-highest total yards (401) and their third-most points of the season. 

[RELATED: NFL analyst predicts major improvements for 49ers next season]

The Packers will travel to Levi's Stadium in Week 12 on Nov. 24, and the rematch could contain more fireworks on offense. Rodgers mentioned Shanahan, Simms' former teammate at the University of Texas-Austin and his longtime friend, after discussing his excitement playing in new coach Matt LaFleur's offensive scheme. LaFleur, who is replacing Mike McCarthy, coached with Shanahan in Washington and with the Atlanta Falcons, and LaFleur's brother Mike is the 49ers' wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator. 

If Garoppolo's healthy and LaFleur and Rodgers click on the opposing sideline, another high-scoring classic could be in the cards. 

Kyle Shanahan is 'doppelganger' of Bill Belichick, Colin Cowherd says

Kyle Shanahan is 'doppelganger' of Bill Belichick, Colin Cowherd says

There are a litany of great head coaches in the NFL today, but few are both as universally beloved by colleagues and as overlooked by fans and media members as 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. The former Falcons offensive coordinator has fought an uphill battle since taking over prior to the 2017 season -- and has a 10-22 record to show for it. 

Colin Cowherd was recently discussing the NFL.com head coach rankings that were released yesterday, and he strongly disagreed with one particular selection.

"Shanahan, has a doppelganger in this league, it's called Belichick," Cowherd said. Bill Belichick is easily the most well-renowned head coach in the NFL and just came off of his sixth Super Bowl victory in February.

"Kyle Shanahan has an incredible career as a coordinator," the host of The Herd on FS1 explained. "Everywhere he's gone, He made Matt Schaub a pro bowler, he made Matt Ryan an MVP. Then he leaves, the teams aren't the same and the quarterbacks aren't the same. "

Cowherd pointed out some data on just how much better the 49ers have been with Jimmy Garoppolo on the field than when he's been off, but closed out his analysis with a strong take.

[RELATED: DeForest Buckner has big expectations for himself, 49ers in 2019 season]

"In two years, he will be a top-six coach."

With Shanahan and general manager John Lynch each having four years remaining on their contracts, 49ers fans can rest easy knowing they've got a very highly regarded head coach pacing the sidelines each week. The regular season opens Sept. 8 when San Francisco travels to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers.