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 camp report: Joshua Garnett begins to compete at RG

49ers camp report: Joshua Garnett begins to compete at RG

HOUSTON – Joshua Garnett worked primarily with the 49ers’ No. 1 offense during practice Thursday, as he has gotten healthy and inserted himself into the competition for the starting job at right guard.

”It feels great to be out there with the boys, and running around with them,” Garnett said after the 49ers’ second practice against the Houston Texans. “I was out here doing all the reps today. I’m feeling good.”

Garnett missed two weeks of practices and the 49ers’ first exhibition game after banging knees with a teammate in practice on July 28. It was the same knee that required surgery last August, knocking him out for the entire season.

He showed some rust on Wednesday with some missed assignments, but he otherwise looked good enough to move up to the first team on Thursday.

“He looked good on tape yesterday.” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “He definitely looked healthy yesterday. The test will be after fatigue sets in. Today was his second day in a row. We upped his reps, so I’m looking forward to watching the tape when I get in.”

Garnett, a first-round pick from Stanford in 2016, is competing against Mike Person and Jonathan Cooper for the starting job. Cooper has yet to spend much time working with the first team after slowing rounding into shape after sustaining a knee injury in the final game of last season while with the Dallas Cowboys.

Garnett is expected to see significant action Saturday night against the Texans and could even be in the starting lineup.

“Whatever coaches see on tape and whatever coach says, that’s what I’m going to roll with,” Garnett said. “Whether I’m going with the ones, twos or threes, I’ll go out there and go as hard as I can.

“Every day is important, not just the games -- every practice, every walkthrough, every install, every meeting. I’ve got to approach it with that mindset.”

Garoppolo’s Evaluation of Practices

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said the 49ers’ offense benefitted from the two days of work against the Texans’ defense. Houston’s defense appeared to have the upper hand during the practices, which serve as warmups for Saturday’s exhibition game.

“I think it was good,” Garoppolo said. “They gave us a lot of different looks that we’re not used to getting. They run a different defense than what we’re used to so it got our guys thinking and I think we handled it very well.”

Garoppolo and the first-team offense were stymied during a pair of two-minute drills at the end of practice. On the first play of the first series, Garoppolo’s arm was hit as he was throwing. The pass fluttered into the secondary for an easy interception by safety Kareem Jackson. When Garoppolo got another chance, the 49ers’ offense failed to record a first down on four plays.

“To me, it’s most important because you get different coverages,” Shanahan said. “You go against our defense, you’re going against cover three about 90 percent of the time. So it’s nice to get some different looks, some more two-shell defenses, some clouds, some quarters, things like that. So it’s good work.”

Running Back Rotation

Jeremy McNichols handled most of the first-team reps at running back with Jerick McKinnon (calf) and Matt Breida (shoulder) out for the remainder of the exhibition season. Joe Williams, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson and newly signed veteran Alfred Morris split the duties.

“We just try to get a look at everyone,” Shanahan said. “You try to give everyone their opportunity. We have had guys down and other guys like Joe [Williams] and Raheem, they have gotten more opportunities with the (No. 1) offensive line. So we wanted to give all of the running backs as well as you can, time with the one O-line. Also, you want to see them go against some NFL defenses. Sometimes those twos and threes aren’t quite NFL defenses, yet.”

Offensive Play of the Day

Garoppolo and rookie receiver Dante Pettis hooked up on a 30-yard corner route. Garoppolo lofted the pass to Pettis’ back shoulder, and Pettis tracked the ball and made an over-the-shoulder catch.

Defensive Plays of the Day

The No. 2 defense had an outstanding sequence during its two-minute drill. The series started against Houston with Jeremiah Attaochu breaking free for what would’ve been a quarterback sack of Brandon Weeden. (The ensuing pass was completed for a first down.) Then, on the next four plays, linebacker Fred Warner, safety Antone Exum and cornerback Tyvis Powell broke up passes. On fourth down, Greg Mabin recorded the interception.

Mental and Physical Test

At the suggestion of 49ers nose tackle Earl Mitchell, who played four seasons with the Houston Texans, left tackle Joe Staley was one of several players who took intravenous fluids before practices to combat possible dehydration from the heat.

“I had two IV bags yesterday and I went with one IV bag this morning,” Staley said. “I felt a little more sluggish today, so I think two is the go.”

In 12 NFL seasons, Staley has never experienced anything like the two days practicing in the Houston heat. The two-hour practices began at 9:15 a.m. Along with the suffocating humidity, the temperatures reached the mid-90s.

“It’s good to get work in an environment that we don’t usually get work in,” Staley said. “Training camp in California is probably some of the nicest weather you’re going to get in the NFL. So to come out here and work through the heat and test yourself mentally, it’s good for everybody.”

This ‘n’ That

There was a scary moment for rookie safety Terrell Williams, who fell hard on the concrete at the side of the field after a one-on-one coverage drill. Williams injured his knee. But afterward he was walking around fine, and said he felt fine. . . Rookie safety Marcell Harris sustained a hamstring injury in practice Wednesday and was not available. . . Mostert caught a deep pass against linebacker Zach Cunningham from Garoppolo on a wheel route. . . Exum recorded an interception at the sideline on a Joe Webb pass attempt intended for tight end MyCole Pruitt. . . . D.J. Reed broke up a well-thrown Deshaun Watson pass 35 yards down the field intended for rookie receiver Vincent Smith. . . Texans safety Kevin Drummond intercepted a C.J. Beathard pass that deflected off the hands of tight end Cole Hikutini. . . Watson hit tight end Jordan Akins on a 25-yard touchdown against the coverage of Reuben Foster. . . Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon had an eventful three-play sequence against DeAndre Hopkins in a two-minute drill. Hopkins caught a 20-yard pass on Witherspoon. On the next play, Hopkins was flagged for offensive pass interference. Then, Witherspoon broke up a pass intended for Hopkins. . . Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman did not practice during team drills and will not play in Saturday’s game. But Sherman and Hopkins spent some time helping each other on technique after practice.

Broncos GM Elway revisits idea of signing Kaepernick: 'He had his chance to be here'

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USATSI

Broncos GM Elway revisits idea of signing Kaepernick: 'He had his chance to be here'

Two years ago, Denver Broncos GM John Elway tried to acquire quarterback Colin Kaepernick from the 49ers.

The Broncos wanted Kaepernick to agree to a restructured contract. Kaepernick's deal with the 49ers was set to pay him $26.4 million in base salary in 2016 and 2017, but Denver wanted him to take a paycut that would have paid him $7 million each of those two seasons, costing him as much as $12.4 million. At the time, sources told NBC Sports Bay Area that Kaepernick was open to taking a pay cut, but just not the sizable one the Broncos wanted him to take.

No deal was ever completed and Kaepernick played out the 2016 season with San Francisco before being released.

Two years later, the idea of signing Kaepernick to be a backup was brought up to Elway after Broncos practice.

"I said this a while ago but Colin had his chance to be here. We offered him a contract. He didn’t take it. As I said in my deposition, and I don't know if I'm legally able to say this, but he had his chance to be here. He passed it," Elway told reporters on Thursday.

Kaepernick has remained unsigned after completing the 2016 season. He drew widespread attention for bringing awareness to social injustice by taking a knee during the national anthem prior to games.