49ers

Shanahan: 49ers will show patience at QB, 'don’t want to gamble'

Shanahan: 49ers will show patience at QB, 'don’t want to gamble'

Coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch arrived together with the 49ers under six-year contracts.

The length of those contracts suggests the two top football people atop the organization will be afforded plenty of time to turn the 49ers around.

And Shanahan said Friday morning he and Lynch plan to exercise patience in charting the future at the quarterback position.

“You’re not trying to commit everything to one year,” Shanahan said on KNBR’s “Murph and Mac Show.”

“Yes, you want to win right away. That’s the goal of everybody. But you don’t want to do that at the expense of hurting your future. You don’t want to gamble. You want to be aggressive in everything, but you got to do what’s right. You have to build your team the right way and that’s what I mean by being patient.”

Shanahan added, “If we can build this the right way, it could be right away. It could be in this first year. It could be in the second year. But that depends on what’s available. And what’s available is through trades, it’s through free agency and it’s through the draft. And we’ll explore all three of those.”

The 49ers own the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. But seven weeks before the 49ers have the opportunity to add players through the draft, the start of the new league year on March 9 marks the beginning of free-agent signings and trades.

Quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins are among the veteran starters who could become available early in the offseason. Regardless of which veterans the 49ers acquire before the draft, Shanahan said the team will not lock into selecting a quarterback early in the draft.

“If there is a quarterback there that we believe can match that criteria and we believe he can be a franchise quarterback for us, of course, you don’t hesitate on that,” Shanahan said. “But if you don’t see that and there are other good players – if there’s a pass-rusher, a linebacker, if there’s an O-lineman, whatever it is – you need to get the best player possible who can help your team for the next 10 years.

“The worst mistake you can make is you take a guy who isn’t that good of a player or not worthy of that and the expectations change. You put a guy in a position that is really unfair to him and you set your organization back and then you try to commit to a guy who really, it’s unfair to him because he shouldn’t have been put in that position. You have to study these guys hard. “

Shanahan said he and Lynch are continuing to study the players the 49ers already have under contract. That includes Colin Kaepernick, who can opt out of his contract in March and become an unrestricted free agent.

If Kaepernick does not opt out, the 49ers would be expected to release him – whether or not they ultimately wish to re-sign him – to avoid being on the hook for his scheduled $14.9 million pay for the 2017 season.

Shanahan said he has communicated with Kaepernick via text message and figures to meet with him at some point.

“The players are all off,” Shanahan said. “Some guys have randomly stopped by. We have time. It’s their vacation time, except for guys who’ve been rehabbing and stuff. Anybody who stops by, my office is always open and (I’m) available.”

'Extra credit' work helped Raheem Mostert meet Kyle Shanahan's challenge

mostertpackersap.jpg
AP

'Extra credit' work helped Raheem Mostert meet Kyle Shanahan's challenge

SANTA CLARA - One of the bright spots in the 49ers loss to the Green Bay Packers was the performance of running back Raheem Mostert. 

Mostert had a tough go the week before when he fumbled the ball on his first carry facing the Arizona Cardinals. Coach Kyle Shanahan challenged the running back after the mishap and Mostert said he took it to heart. 

“I need you to step up,” Mostert said Shanahan told him. “I need you to focus more on ball control. I know you don’t get many reps in practice but when you do, you have to make them count.” 

Mostert understood that as a physical challenge as well as a mental one. He took more reps in practice with the absence of Matt Breida, who was out due to an ankle injury. He asked defenders to go after the ball more aggressively while he was carrying the ball in practice.

He even stayed after practice for “extra credit” to work on ball security drills. Guess what? No one forced a fumble when he was carrying the ball in practice or in the game, even though they tried. 

Mostert closed out the night at Lambeau Field as the game’s top rusher with 12 carries for 87 yards, giving him an average of 7.3 yards per carry. He still isn’t satisfied. He is his own toughest critic, he said.

“I left a lot of yards out on the field especially with my speed,” Mostert said. ”I felt like I could have gotten to the edge a little bit faster. I watched the film and I was really hard on myself even though I had some good runs. I also had mental busts in the game too, which I’m not proud of. That’s something I have to continue to work on, being mentally sharp and for that transition to be more effective in the pass game.” 

Mostert has been known as a special-teams star for most of his NFL career and has just been waiting for his number to get called as a running back. He said he believes he and Breida complement each other well with their similar styles of play.

When asked who of the two would be lightning and who would be thunder, Mostert replied, “Matt is always lightning.”

49ers cornerback Greg Mabin reflects on tough ending in loss to Packers

mabinap.jpg
AP

49ers cornerback Greg Mabin reflects on tough ending in loss to Packers

SANTA CLARA — In the 49ers' heart-breaking loss to the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, Aaron Rodgers did what he is known for -- putting together an 81-yard, game-winning drive with 1:07 left on the clock and no timeouts left.

At that point in the game, 49ers cornerback Jimmie Ward had been playing well, but he was out of the action with a hamstring injury. Greg Mabin took his place, and Rodgers exploited the young defensive back instead of trying to target Richard Sherman’s side of the field.

In the end, the 49ers racked up their fifth loss of the season.

Mabin was in coverage against Davante Adams, who made a leaping 16-yard touchdown catch to tie the score. Then, Mabin surrendered three consecutive pass plays on the Packers’ game-winning drive. Each time, the man Mabin was covering got out of bounds to stop the clock.

“It was a tough position for Mabin,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday. “He’s done a lot of good things for us. I know he was disappointed in that last drive, obviously, but I’ve seen Aaron and Davante do that to a number of people, too.”

Sitting in 30-degree weather for the entire game except for special-team snaps could have been an excuse, but Mabin took 100 percent responsibility.

“I guess it could, but at the end of the day, if I’m out there I have a job that I have to do, and I wasn’t able to get the job done,” Mabin said. “You just have to go out there and do what you’ve been practicing all week. There’s not much thought to it.” 

Mabin, a second-year undrafted free agent, is taking the loss and his play very hard, and he even explained that one play didn't stand out more than another. 

“All of them,” he said. “... They all hurt pretty bad. I wish I could go back in time and change some things, but obviously I can’t. I have to live with how I played. We have to live with how we played and from now on just move forward and focus on L.A. this week.” 

Shanahan said the 49ers knew throughout the week that Mabin would be Ward’s backup and Ahkello Witherspoon would take a back seat. Mabin said he approached practice just like every other week, knowing his role. He watched film and felt like he had a good week of practice but added, “Ultimately things just didn’t go my way.” 

When Shanahan was asked if the issue of letting Packers players stop the clock by getting out of bounds was situational football or a lack of awareness on Mabin’s part, the coach responded: “I think it’s a little of both. He gets put in a tough situation.”

Sherman, who has been an advocate and on-the-field coach for the young 49ers secondary, did have a conversation with Mabin about moving forward especially when the focus of the public eye is on you. 

“He talked with me a little bit, and it definitely helped my mindset at the time, and right now, it still hurts,” Mabin said. “But I’m just happy that I have a chance to go out there and practice today, and have a chance to improve.”