49ers

Mike McGlinchey explains what makes Dee Ford special to 49ers' defense

Mike McGlinchey explains what makes Dee Ford special to 49ers' defense

SANTA CLARA —Dee Ford’s first step off the line of scrimmage has been called one of the fastest in the NFL, and after only two days of practice across from him, 49ers tackle Mike McGlinchey has confirmed that to be true. 

"Dee is everything he's advertised as,” McGlinchey said. “He's in the elite class in his get-off and the ability to get into people and taking control of blocks. I felt that for the first time in the run game today -- how different he is in the timing and the fit on the edge there.”  

McGlinchey explained how much that makes a tackle have to stay on their toes. A split second too late and Ford will be making his way past the them. 

“He’s just quicker, and he’s strong as well,” McGlinchey said. “So if the timing is off, if normally I’m hitting on the second step, just a little bit later, I’m still in control of the block. With Dee, you got to be as fast as humanly possible because he’s that good at getting into you.” 

It will provide a challenge for McGlinchey and the other tackles on the offensive line to practice opposite of Ford. The challenge, however, will only make all of them that much more prepared. 

“Excited to get to work with him,” McGlinchey said. “It’s only going to make me better, the rest of our tackles better. He’s going to be special for us this year and we are certainly glad he’s on our side now.”  

McGlinchey sees how Ford will also open up things for the rest of the defensive line including DeForest Buckner, who had a career best season in 2018. When McGlinchey attended the 49ers Community’s Golden Getaway fundraiser, he had time to sit in on Robert Saleh’s coaching seminar where the defensive coordinator explained the impact that Ford would have. 

“One of his highlights was how Dee is just going to create space for people,” McGlinchey said. “I think a huge example of that was last year in Kansas City they had Chris Jones. He came away with 13 or 14 sacks last year and I think a lot of that has to do with who he was paired with on the outside.”  

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Jones actually finished 2018 with 15.5 sacks and has a similar build to Buckner who stands an inch taller at 6-foot-7 and 10 pounds lighter at 300.

“DeForest is as special as it gets when it comes to playing defensive line in the league,” McGlinchey said. “And now that he has someone that takes away double or triple teams, it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch those two work and rest of the D-line for sure.” 

49ers' Kyle Shanahan expects Tevin Coleman, Jalen Hurd back for Week 5

49ers' Kyle Shanahan expects Tevin Coleman, Jalen Hurd back for Week 5

When the 49ers play their next game in two weeks, they could have two more weapons on offense available to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Running back Tevin Coleman and rookie wide receiver Jalen Hurd are making progress in their rehabs, and coach Kyle Shanahan could see both playing in Week 5 against the Browns.

“I think he’s got a good chance to come back next week," Shanahan said of Coleman. "He was just jogging and moving pretty well last week, just watching him run on the side. So, he won’t be out there tomorrow, but hopefully we’ll get him practicing here next Monday.”

Coleman carried the ball six times for 23 yards and caught two passes for 33 yards in Week 1 against Tampa Bay before leaving the game with a sprained ankle.

As for Hurd, his injury is a little more serious. Shanahan revealed that the third-round draft pick has been dealing with a stress reaction in his back, which required rest.

But Shanahan believes Hurd is on track to make his NFL debut under the bright lights on Monday, Oct. 7.

"I do expect him back," Shanahan said. "This will be a big week for him with rehab and stuff while we’re gone. But yeah, I’m hoping he’ll be back next Monday and I’m expecting him to.”

The return of Coleman will give Shanahan and the 49ers a crowded backfield. In Coleman's absence, Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. have been given a chance to play and have thrived.

Mostert has 202 rushing yards on 34 carries, while Wilson has four touchdowns since being promoted from the practice squad.

Of course, Matt Breida is the leader in the clubhouse with 226 rushing yards on 41 carries.

"It’s always pretty tough to use four backs throughout a game," Shanahan said. "But, that’s a problem I’m looking forward to having to try to figure out.”

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The 49ers currently rank fourth in the NFL in total yards (1,263) and fifth in points scored (96), so adding Coleman and Hurd will just make the offense that much more dynamic.

Shanahan has to be itching to add them to the mix.

Ahkello Witherspoon injury could prompt 49ers to consider trade market

Ahkello Witherspoon injury could prompt 49ers to consider trade market

Even before 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon sprained his foot, there was no shortage of calls for San Francisco to make a play for one of the high-profile defensive backs around the league that had recently demanded a trade. 

Now that Witherspoon will miss at least the next month recovering from that injury, don't expect that noise to drown out anytime soon. 

Witherspoon's absence will be a major blow to the 49ers' defense, as the third-year cornerback has rebounded from a disappointing sophomore campaign and gotten off to a strong start this season. Through three games, he's tallied five passes defended and his first career interception returned for a touchdown. With the 49ers now entering their Week 4 bye, Witherspoon is expected to miss San Francisco's next three games at least. 

In the meantime, Emmanuel Moseley will get the first crack at filling Witherspoon's void, although he'll have to fend off competition from Jason Verrett and others on the depth chart. Verrett was the first to replace Witherspoon after his injury occurred, but he looked very rusty and was immediately exposed by the Steelers. 

Without an obvious internal solution on the roster, would San Francisco look to an external one? 

"We always look at the trade market, but it’s got to make sense,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said at his Monday press conference. “How much does it help the team right now? And how much does it help the organization going forward? You always think about right now, but you also have to think about years in advance, too. How it affects the salary cap and draft picks, things like that." 

Right now, the 49ers are 3-0 for the first time since 1998. Right now, they have a legitimate opportunity to compete for a playoff spot, and that should be factored in. 

Minkah Fitzpatrick is no longer a possibility after he was acquired by the Steelers last week, but Jalen Ramsey reportedly still wants out of Jacksonville, and he arguably is the ideal cornerback to employ in San Francisco's defensive system. That said, the Jaguars are asking for a massive haul in return -- as they should -- and the 49ers reportedly aren't interested in paying the price not just to acquire him, but to then re-sign him to a long-term contract as well. 

Of course, their disinterest was reported prior to seeing Witherspoon go down for at least the next month. 

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After the bye week, San Francisco will play its next two games against the Browns and Rams. That's a hefty dose of Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp before Witherspoon comes even close to making it back on the field. 

If the 49ers' pass defense struggles significantly coming out of the bye, perhaps their attitude towards a high-profile trade will change.