49ers

Richard Sherman explains what makes Kyle Shanahan, Pete Carroll different

Richard Sherman explains what makes Kyle Shanahan, Pete Carroll different

Richard Sherman has played for two of the most respected head coaches in the NFL through his first nine years in the league.

The veteran cornerback has spent time with both Pete Carroll in Seattle and Kyle Shanahan since signing with the 49ers ahead of the 2018 season. He certainly has been lucky in the regard, reaching three Super Bowls and winning one with the Seahawks. Both coaches have similarities, but what about their differences? 

In speaking with NFL Media's Jim Trotter, Sherman recently said the three biggest traits a great coach must have are philosophy/honesty, knowledge of the game and staff assembly. For example, Sherman called Shanahan "one of the best offensive minds we've ever had in this game," and highlighted how Carroll brought the Cover 3 defense to the NFL. 

The biggest difference between the two in Sherman's eyes is communication. Carroll is Mr. Positive, while Shanahan can be brutally honest. 

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"He's more of a straight shooter than Pete," Sherman said. "Pete has a way of making sure everybody feels good, making sure he pushes buttons with certain players and not pushing buttons on other players.

"Kyle is different. He's one size fits all. 'I'm going to cut it to you as straight as I can, as best as I can, and I'm going to explain every single detail of what I understand about the game that either makes this a good play or a bad play or makes us a good team or a bad team.'"

Sherman is known to be quite the straight shooter himself. The 32-year-old won't hold back. He's going to tell you exactly how feels. That seems to be something he really respects about Shanahan, too.

"That honesty is something that I think is valuable in a head coach because there's no gray area," Sherman explained. "You know where you stand at all times, almost to a point where you're like, 'Damn! That's how you really feel?' But you can respect that as a player because what he's saying is objective: Did we win or lose the down? Why did we win or lose the down?

"If you can give him a fair point back to him, he can take that. He's flexible in that way."

[RELATED: Lott believes Shanahan is 49ers' modern version of Walsh]

So far, so good when it comes to Sherman and Shanahan. While Sherman never was 100 percent healthy his first season with the 49ers, one in which they won only four games, he was back to full strength last year and both player and coach thrived. As Shanahan led the 49ers to 13 regular-season wins, an NFC West title and Super Bowl appearance, Sherman was a Second-Team All-Pro at 31 years old.

Sherman knows what makes a great coach. He has seen it in both Carroll and Shanahan. And it's clear he believes in his current coach to the highest degree.

How Jalen Hurd's physicality has stood out to 49ers' Raheem Mostert

How Jalen Hurd's physicality has stood out to 49ers' Raheem Mostert

Jalen Hurd only played in the preseason last year before a back injury ultimately cut short his rookie season, but the 49ers wide receiver nonetheless flashed intriguing potential with a two-touchdown performance against the Dallas Cowboys.

But Hurd's potential as a blocker is what most excites 49ers running back Raheem Mostert.

"[He's] gonna go out there and he's gonna put his all, especially with what I've seen these past couple years when he's been healthy," Mostert said of Hurd on Wednesday when he was asked about the 49ers' big receivers and their blocking ability. "Going out there, and trying to de-cleat somebody. That's inspiring in itself as a running back because you know that he's gonna do his job to the best of his ability, and he's gonna put his body out there on the line. Why not do the same as a runner?"

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Listed at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Hurd certainly has the measurables to be an effective run blocker. He also played running back at Tennessee before transitioning to wide receiver when he transferred to Baylor, checking the important "positional versatility" box for coach Kyle Shanahan.

The 49ers spoke openly of how much they value blocking contributions from skill-position players all along the way to Super Bowl LIV, and the role their wide receivers and tight ends played in San Francisco rushing for more yards (2,305) than any team but the Baltimore Ravens in the regular season. Shanahan said George Kittle set the tone in that regard.

“I mean, he had more yards in the pass game as a tight end in the history of the NFL [in 2018],” Shanahan said of the tight end in January. “So, any time you have a guy like that who's one of the best players on your team who's always just talking about running the ball and playing the physicality in the game and giving everything you can, it helps you hold everyone else a lot more accountable, and rarely do you have to."

[RELATED: Mostert knew he would remain with 49ers 'no matter what']

Can Hurd provide similar value during his first full NFL season in 2020? He has the size, and Mostert believes Hurd definitely has the skills.

"It's nice to see those guys out there coming back, especially Jalen, because he is a bigger receiver and he's more physical," Mostert continued. "He's one of -- probably the most physical receiver I've seen, tape-wise and even going out there practicing. It's nice to see him back."

Raheem Mostert knew he would remain with 49ers despite trade request

Raheem Mostert knew he would remain with 49ers despite trade request

After bursting onto the scene with a tremendous stretch during the latter portion of the 49ers' 2019 season, Raheem Mostert didn't have the offseason he expected coming off the field after San Francisco's loss in Super Bowl LIV.

The coronavirus pandemic put a wrench into everyone's plans, and Mostert had to think long and hard about whether he would play this coming season -- which, he will. But beyond that, he sought a salary increase commensurate with his level of production as compared to the other running backs on the roster. Mostert lacked leverage in contract negotiations with the team, though, and ultimately requested a trade.

That request wasn't received kindly by general manager John Lynch, but eventually was rescinded after the 49ers re-worked his contract with incentives that could significantly increase his 2020 salary. Mostert spoke with reporters Wednesday, and in addition to expressing his desire to prove last season was not a flash in the pan, he provided some additional context behind the contract negotiations (H/T 49ers Web Zone).

"It was long, and (there were) difficulties," Mostert explained. "But in the end, we were able to sit down and have communication, and it's a blessing to be here. It's one of those things where I knew it was going to be right regardless of how it played out. I knew that, in the end, it was going to be all right, and I was still going to be a Niner no matter what."

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From that, it would appear Mostert knew the reality of the situation. He never actually believed it would amount to him being moved, despite issuing a formal trade request. In relating the disagreement, Mostert compared the back-and-forth to brotherly love.

"This is a family, and we all understand that," he continued. "As you can see, what we've been through these past three, four years with the organization, going 6-10, then the following year, 4-12, and then the Super Bowl run last year, it just tells you that this is a family-based organization.

"We all really pride ourselves on being family. What family doesn't have those problems? I argue with my little brother. It's one of those things where I argue with him, but I also love him at the same time. That's what's going on here.

"We eventually got it fixed, and like I said, it's a blessing, and I'm glad to be here."

[RELATED: McKinnon gives Jimmy G another option in 49ers' offense]

Though the odds were always in favor of Mostert remaining with San Francisco, there's no question both he and the 49ers are better off having worked things out.

If all goes as they hope, both sides will be more than happy with the result.