Trent Williams might have publicly recruited Alex Mack to the 49ers in the wee hours of Wednesday morning but ultimately it was Kyle Shanahan that tipped the scales.
The 49ers coach used his familiarity with Mack to bring the veteran center back to California, knowing how it could positively affect his offense. The 35-year-old’s experience in identifying defensive fronts and communicating on the field will only help take pressure off of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
“It’s an advantage for the quarterback,” Mack said Thursday. “The quarterback doesn’t have to worry as much about some of the stuff, he can trust the center. The better the center can direct traffic, the better the offense can run.”
Like Williams, part of Mack’s criteria was to join a team that was a contender. Having played for Shanahan while with the Cleveland Browns and the Atlanta Falcons, the six-time Pro Bowl center saw the 49ers as a perfect fit.
Mack’s representation was in talks with a few teams but reuniting with the 49ers’ coach for the third time in his NFL career was the most enticing. The former California Golden Bear believes Shanahan’s outside zone scheme best suits his abilities while providing an easy transition to his new home.
“I know it’s a system I can be really good in,” Mack said. “It’s an offense I know I can excel at, so it was a very good fit between a good team, and a good spot with a good coaching staff and a place where I can be a good player.”
Mack expressed his excitement in not just joining Williams but his other run-game enthusiast teammates George Kittle and Kyle Juszczyk. Mack is confident that his body type and how he can move will make the offense even more potent and efficient.
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The newly signed 49ers center has not spoken to Williams or Garoppolo since agreeing to terms but looks forward to seeing what they will be capable of once they hit the field together. The only conflict that Mack and his left tackle might have is the waking hours they keep.
Williams tagged the center on social media right after his six-year blockbuster contract was agreed upon around 4 a.m. ET. Mack admitted he is not normally up at that time but outside of that difference, sees it all as a perfect fit.
“I’m fired up to be here,” Mack said.