49ers

Report: Patriots executive declines 49ers' interview request

Report: Patriots executive declines 49ers' interview request

The 49ers were hoping to interview New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and the team’s director of player personnel Nick Caserio on Saturday.

The interview with McDaniels took place. The team did not interview Caserio.

Caserio declined an opportunity to interview for the 49ers’ general manager position, reports Pro Football Talk, citing multiple sources. The 49ers have confirmed all interviews through the first four days of their searches for a coach and general manager. The club did not disclose a meeting Saturday with Caserio.

The 49ers also had submitted a request to the Patriots to interview director of player personnel Nick Caserio for the team’s vacant general manager position. The Patriots granted the request, a source told CSNBayArea.com, but Caserio apparently is content to remain as New England's top personnel executive under coach Bill Belichick.

Neither Caserio nor the Patriots responded to inquiries from CSNBayArea.com on Caserio’s status. He has reportedly turned down interviews and offers in the past. He declined to interview with Indianapolis in 2012 and declined Miami's job offer in 2014.

Caserio's reported decision to not consider the 49ers job is not expected to have an impact on McDaniels, who also interviewed Saturday with Jacksonville and Los Angeles. General manager candidate Louis Riddick, who is scheduled to interview with the 49ers on Tuesday, is believed to have McDaniels at the top of his coaching list.

Four 49ers players to watch Sunday vs. Rams

Four 49ers players to watch Sunday vs. Rams

Coming off a devastating loss to the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, the 49ers have a short turnaround to face the NFL’s only unbeaten team.

The Los Angeles Rams have the firepower on offense to make short work of the 49ers on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers are in the midst of a four-game losing streak and might be hard-pressed to remain competitive.

Here are four players who must come through with strong games in order for the 49ers to have a chance:

WR Marquise Goodwin

His presence on the field is one thing. But just being out there is not good enough. Goodwin must be able to provide the threat of a big play, which he accomplished against the Packers with touchdown receptions covering 67 and 30 yards.

Goodwin is a huge asset in the passing game for quarterback C.J. Beathard. His speed opens up the field for other targets to work underneath routes. But Goodwin also makes defenses play a little softer, which can be beneficial for the 49ers’ running game, too.

Goodwin sustained a deep thigh bruise early in the 49ers’ season opener at Minnesota. He is finally healthy, and that is a big boost to the offense.

FS Adrian Colbert

The 49ers rank last in the NFL with a minus-11 turnover margin. Most of the focus has been on the team’s offensive issues with holding onto the football. But the defense has not done its part, either. The 49ers must generate more takeaways.

Colbert has struggled this season, and this week coach Kyle Shanahan challenged him to step up his game.

“He has to get back to where he ended last year,” Shanahan said on “49ers Game Plan,” which airs Saturday at 7 p.m. on NBC Bay Area (Ch. 3). “I thought he ended last year at a high level.

“He’s had some good moments, but he’s had some bad moments, also. I put a lot of pressure on him this week. He’s had a good week of practice, and I hope it’ll pay off for him in the game.”

LG Laken Tomlinson

The 49ers’ offensive line has been one of the team’s bright spots -- both in pass protection and run-blocking. While each of the team’s offensive linemen has played well, the 49ers are especially pleased with Tomlinson.

“Laken has taken a huge step with his second year in the scheme,” Shanahan said.

Tomlinson faces a huge challenge on Sunday against one of the best interior defensive linemen in the league. Aaron Donald signed a six-year, $135 million extension with the Rams before the start of the regular season. He leads the team with four sacks.

Donald has recorded each of his sacks this season while lined up over the left guard. Tomlinson must find a way to neutralize Donald’s quickness off the snap of the ball to open lanes in the running game as well as protect Beathard.

CB Ahkello Witherspoon

After a promising rookie season, Witherspoon has taken a noticeable step backward this season. Failing to nail down the starting job, Witherspoon has been benched for two games this season.

But he is expected to be back in the starting lineup against the Rams despite missing some practice time this week with a concussion.

Jimmie Ward started against the Packers and mostly played well, except for a busted coverage on the Packers’ first play of the game. Greg Mabin entered late in the game – instead of Witherspoon – when Ward exited with a hamstring injury.

Ward is not likely to be available, and Mabin struggled badly in his limited role. Now, Witherspoon gets another chance to see if he can seize the opportunity to win the starting job opposite of Richard Sherman, who is also listed as questionable for the game with a calf injury. Teams have ignored Sherman’s side of the field, so Witherspoon has to step up and make some plays when he gets his opportunities.

Jimmy Garoppolo is back in the building, already at 49ers meetings

Jimmy Garoppolo is back in the building, already at 49ers meetings

SANTA CLARA -- 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo already is back at the facility attending meetings after his ACL surgery. 

In his final press conference before Sunday’s match-up with the Los Angeles Rams, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed that Garoppolo was back with his team. 

“He got back on Tuesday,” Shanahan said, “so Wednesday he’s been in all the team meetings and stuff, and it’s been good to have him around. He’s still on his crutches and everything, so he’s not going out to practice or anything.” 

Similar to practice, injured players typically are not allowed on the sidelines during games because of the risk of further injuries. As a result, Garoppolo could be at the stadium on game day but not out on the field. 

Shanahan seemed genuinely pleased to see his franchise quarterback back in the building when he gave an update on Garoppolo’s appearance. 

“It was good to see his face,” Shanahan said. “Definitely has grown his beard out a little bit. You can tell he’s been sitting in a hospital or in a bed most of his time. Good to have him back in the building.

"He needs to make a few more strides just healing from his surgery and things like that, and we will get him around a lot more.”

Going through a season-ending injury is traumatic, but Shanahan reported that Garoppolo seems to be in good spirits. 

“Seems good,” Shanahan said. “Seeing him in the meetings, just talking to him a little bit, you know, I think he’s happy to be back with the team and to get back in this with us.” 

The only silver lining of both running back Jerick McKinnon and Garoppolo both going through ACL rehabilitation is that they will be able to do it together.