49ers

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan will retain the role he held the past nine seasons in his first year as head coach of the 49ers.

Shanahan eschewed the formality of naming an offensive coordinator because he will keep those duties for himself. Still, Shanahan made it clear that he alone will not be able to fix the 49ers’ offense.

Shanahan has assembled a supporting cast that he said makes him comfortable to delegate responsibilities whenever his attention has to be focused on something other than the team’s offense.

“I mix it up,” said Shanahan, who previously held offensive coordinator roles with Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta. “Different guys have different attributes.”

Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur joined Shanahan after time together on the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive staff. McDaniel is the run-game specialist, while LaFleur, the wide receivers coach, is the pass-game specialist.

Tight ends coach Jon Embree, formerly the head coach at Colorado, is Shanahan’s assistant head coach. Shanahan said Embree has a vocal role on his staff.

Moreover, long-time NFL running backs coach Bobby Turner is a trusted assistant after spending 14 seasons in Denver and four more in Washington with Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father. Turner coached under Kyle Shanahan the past two seasons with the Falcons.

”Bobby Turner’s been an assistant head coach for our teams we’ve had in the past and anytime that I need him to take over, he does,” Shanahan said. “So it depends what period it is, depends what we’re talking about.”

The 49ers opened organized team activities last week. It was the first time the 49ers’ rookies and veterans were together on the field for offense vs. defense practices. Shanahan said it takes some adjustment for him to figure out how to best budget his time during the workouts.

“I’m used to knowing exactly where to go and what to do and I always did that from an offensive coordinator standpoint which I still do a lot of those responsibilities,” Shanahan said. “So, at times, I feel most comfortable when I go to do that because that’s something to do. But, when I pass it over to some other guys and let them do it, I find myself walking around a lot and I’m not used to that.

“It feels awkward, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think I should walk around and watch everyone and see it. I always see it on the tape, but that’s later at night. You want players to know you’re there and paying attention to everything and I usually try to cover that in meetings the next day also.”

49ers place Trent Taylor on IR, re-sign veteran tackle Sam Young

49ers place Trent Taylor on IR, re-sign veteran tackle Sam Young

The 49ers on Friday signed veteran offensive tackle Sam Young to a one-year contract and placed wide receiver Trent Taylor on injured reserve.

Taylor, who underwent surgery Aug. 10 to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot, must sit out for at least eight weeks before he is eligible to return to the 49ers’ 53-man roster and appear in a game.

Originally, the 49ers placed Taylor's timetable to return at four to six weeks. As recently as last week, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said he hoped Taylor would be able to return to action after the 49ers' Week 4 bye.

Taylor was expected to be one of the team’s leading pass-catchers this season before he sustained the fracture to the fifth metatarsal on his right foot. Since the 49ers selected him in the fifth round of the 2017 draft, Taylor has appeared in 29 games and caught 69 passes for 645 yards and three touchdowns.

The 49ers re-signed Young, who was among their final cuts before the start of the regular season. The 49ers require more depth at offensive tackle after Joe Staley broke his left fibula, an injury that is expected to keep him sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Rookie Justin Skule is scheduled to start Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at left tackle.

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In his nine-year NFL career, Young has appeared in 88 games with 21 starts with Dallas, Buffalo, Jacksonville and Miami. Young will wear No. 65 for the 49ers.

Why Richard Sherman believes it's good to have unhappy high-profile players leave their teams

Why Richard Sherman believes it's good to have unhappy high-profile players leave their teams

SANTA CLARA – Players in the NFL do not have the advantage of guaranteed contracts, such as those in the NBA. But more and more, NFL players are leveraging their star status to bounce from one team to another.

And cornerback Richard Sherman, the 49ers player representative and a vice president on the NFL Players Association’s executive committee, views that as a positive all the way around.

“I’m sure the owners don’t like that,” Sherman said. “They don’t want to give up any power or for players to flex their power, but I think it’s good for the game. It’s good for the game to have some differences.”

Wide receiver Antonio Brown forced a trade from Pittsburgh to the Raiders this spring. Then, he got his way out of Oakland in order to land with the New England Patriots. The Steelers this week acquired Miami defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick after the second-year safety demanded a trade from the Miami Dolphins.

Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey has requested a trade out of Jacksonville. Washington offensive tackle Trent Williams and Chargers running back Melvin Gordon are high-profile holdouts. Former Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell sat out all of 2018 in order to hit free agency, where he landed a lucrative contract with the New York Jets.

Sherman said he believes the player movement is good for the game because it is different than what the NFL has experienced in the past. Until recently, it was rare for high-profile players to switch teams at the heights of their careers.

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Now, marquee players -- such as Odell Beckham Jr. and Khalil Mack who were traded to Cleveland and Chicago, respectively – are moving with more frequency for ample draft-pick compensation.

“People are starting to realize the first-round picks aren’t as valuable as they used to be,” Sherman said. “It’s what can you do for me now? Rather than waiting and developing a player who may develop or may not develop, you’re getting players that you know who they’re going to be. You know what they are.”

Sherman said an added benefit of players exercising their rights to get out of bad situations is it should inspire NFL teams to treat their players better in order to foster loyalty.

“I think players are becoming more volatile and more frustrated and more angry, and (they are) doing their best to get out of those situations,” Sherman said. “So, hopefully, these organizations treat these players better and players move forward and it works out well for both sides.”