49ers

Kyle Shanahan surprised 49ers assistants were raided after 4-12 season

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USATSI

Kyle Shanahan surprised 49ers assistants were raided after 4-12 season

ATLANTA – Coach Kyle Shanahan was not expecting to account for so many coaching departures after a season in which the 49ers fell far below expectations.

Shanahan said Friday at the Super Bowl that he expects to have his complete coaching staff finalized next week after a number of his assistants moved on for better positions on other staffs.

“It was a little unexpected,” Shanahan said during an appearance on KNBR. “I didn’t think our staff was going to get raided after a 4-12 year, so that caught me off a little bit

“A lot of guys tried to take a bunch of guys on the staff, and it was well-deserved. Some guys got to move on, and I had to keep some guys here. But I had to deal with that for a lot of January, but I think in the long run, we’re going to end up being better off.”

Shanahan confirmed an NBC Sports Bay Area report from this week that the club will hire Shane Day to replace Rich Scangarello as quarterbacks coach. New Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio hired Scangarello to be his offensive coordinator. The Broncos also hired T.C. McCartney, formerly a 49ers quality control coach, to be their quarterbacks coach.

Day, 44, has worked 10 NFL seasons, including his first three offensive quality control coach with the 49ers from 2007 to 2009 under Mike Nolan. He worked with quarterbacks, running backs and offensive line during his time seasons with the 49ers. Day has served under Mike Martz and, the past three seasons, as tight ends coach with the Miami Dolphins under Adam Gase.

Shanahan said he put Day through a long interview in Mobile, Alabama, during the week of the Senior Bowl. Day will spend a lot of time learning the 49ers' offense before the club reports back for the offseason program in mid-April.

“He has a lot of knowledge about the quarterback game,” Shanahan said. “I’m going to sit him down here over the next couple of months and I’m really going to teach him our system, what we like to do and the way we like to do it.

“He’s a very smart guy and he’s capable of soaking in a lot of information, and he’s going to have a lot of his own ideas to bring to the table. We’re going to put him in a crash course of learning here over the next couple of months. And when the players get in and we’re allowed to talk to them, he’ll be allowed to take over right where Rich left off.”

The 49ers this offseason also lost defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley (co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State) and assistant offensive line coach Adam Stenavich (Green Bay offensive line coach). The 49ers hired Joe Woods as passing game coordinator/defensive backs, and fired defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina to bring aboard well-respected line coach Kris Kocurek.

The 49ers denied permission for passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur (Green Bay and Minnesota) and run game coordinator Mike McDaniel (Arizona) to interview for offensive coordinator positions -- spots that Shanahan deemed as lateral moves.

[RELATED: Kittle ''one of luckiest guys in NFL' to play for Shanahan]

In another 49ers staff development, assistant strength and conditioning coach Shane Wallen this week accepted a position as a strength and conditioning coach with the Chicago Cubs. Wallen was instrumental in raising awareness and funds for victims of the Camp Fire in Paradise, where he grew up. Wallen’s father’s home was destroyed in the fire, which displaced thousands of people in the community.

In a message posted on social media, Wallen thanked the 49ers, general manager John Lynch and Shanahan “for affording me the opportunity to come back home and coach for the team I grew up watching, for supporting my hometown through such a devastating time.”

Jimmy Garoppolo ranked 19th-best QB by NFL coaches, execs due to health

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AP

Jimmy Garoppolo ranked 19th-best QB by NFL coaches, execs due to health

When it comes to criticisms of 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, they almost always seem to fall into one of two categories: his health, and his experience.

It makes sense. Garoppolo has made only 10 career NFL starts, with eight of those coming in a San Francisco uniform. Only three of those starts came last season, one that was cut short after he suffered a torn ACL in a loss to the Chiefs in Week 3.

So when The Athletic's Mike Sando released his quarterback tiers survey Monday -- which included input from 55 anonymous coaches and executives ranking the QBs into five tiers -- the discussion surrounding Garoppolo came as no surprise.

Garoppolo was ranked as the No. 19 overall quarterback in the NFL, firmly in tier three between Jacksonville's Nick Foles and Oakland's Derek Carr. He was ranked in the bottom of tier two a year ago, and the drop can be attributed to his latest injury. Still, though, voters remain optimistic Garoppolo will be able to fully realize his potential.

"He is really accurate, he is smart and he is athletic, but he hasn’t played a lot of football, and you see it at times,” one GM said. “I just think he’s got everything if he can stay healthy. It sounds like he will have a better cast this year, and he’s got the coach."

[RELATED: Harbaugh credits Shanahan's offensive creativity with 49ers]

The better cast being referred to includes running back Tevin Coleman, as well as two wide receivers selected within the first three rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. If Garoppolo can remain healthy enough to utilize it, voters believe he's destined to put together a great season.

"Injury does not mean he is worse,” a quarterbacks coach said. “His skills are the same. He needs to stay healthy and all those things will show."

Why 49ers will win NFC West this season, according to USA Today writer

Why 49ers will win NFC West this season, according to USA Today writer

The 49ers have won 10 games under head coach Kyle Shanahan in the past two seasons combined. Could they win that many games this season alone? 

USA Today's Nate Davis seems to think so

Davis not only has the 49ers winning 10 games and losing six, but also winning the NFC West. Here is his explanation:

"Recovered QB Jimmy Garoppolo may have just one premier weapon (TE George Kittle) but has plenty of capable options to leverage in Kyle Shanahan's scheme. Should be a joy to watch healthy group, which has consistently fought hard and remained highly capable despite dire circumstances of past two years."

With a healthy Garoppolo and the Rams suffering a Super Bowl hangover, Davis believes in the 49ers. Not that much, though. He has San Francisco (the No. 4 seed) losing to Chicago (the No. 5 seed) in the NFC Wild Card round. 

The 49ers haven't reached the playoffs since 2013 when they lost to the Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game. Since then, they've fired three head coaches -- Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly -- and amassed a 25-55 record in the regular season. 

But the 49ers have a revamped roster, even outside of Garoppolo's health.

They added weapons through free agency and the NFL draft. General manager John Lynch and Co. gave Jimmy G players like running back Tevin Coleman plus receivers Deebo Samuel, Jalen Hurd and Jordan Matthews. On defense, they brought in edge rusher Dee Ford, defensive end Nick Bosa and linebacker Kwon Alexander, among others. 

[RELATED: Five bold predictions for 49ers' upcoming season]

In the always competitive NFC West, 10 wins for the 49ers will feel like another Super Bowl victory in itself.