49ers

Smith: 'You think sometimes a change of scenery would be a good thing'

Smith: 'You think sometimes a change of scenery would be a good thing'

SANTA CLARA – Coincidentally, 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith visited Philadelphia during the bye week.

“I saw my in-laws, who happen to live in Philadelphia,” Smith said on Tuesday. “So everyone thought I was traded up there.”

Smith acknowledged, “There were negotiations going on” -- confirming reports of conversations between the Eagles and 49ers about the possibility of a trade that would send Smith to Philadelphia.

A league source told CSNBayArea.com last week that the 49ers were not shopping Smith and no trade was anticipated.

Still, Smith admitted a trade would not have been the worst thing for him.

The 49ers (1-6) are on a six-game losing streak after opening with a victory over the Los Angeles Rams. And the team’s passing offense is ranked last in the NFL. Smith had a career-low 33 catches last season after signing a five-year, $40 million contract. He is on pace for even lower numbers this season. Through seven games, Smith has 13 receptions for 199 yards.

“I think the selfish side of you, you think sometimes a change of scenery would be a good thing,” Smith said. “But I know I’m very committed to everybody in this locker room and playing well.

“I’m a 49er. I’m going to go out there and play my ass off for these guys. It’s not something where I’m going out there and crying, banging down the door, saying, ‘Get me out of here.’ I understand the business side of it, too. Things haven’t gone the way any of us expected. So you’re never surprised when these things come about.”

Smith said the 49ers have been transparent with him. He said he can talk with coach Chip Kelly or general manager Trent Baalke at any time.

He participated in practice Tuesday. Then, he was in the locker room as the trade deadline passed. Smith said the approach of his teammates is encouraging, as the 49ers returned from the bye week to prepare to face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.

“The energy. The execution,” Smith said. “It’s very easy to throw the towel in when you’re not playing well or you’re not winning. You don’t see that here. Everyone here, there’s still positive vibes. No one is complaining about the situation. Everyone is trying to fix it and be part of the solution. It’s a great locker room, and it’s all positive vibes around here.”

Smith said he signed with the 49ers, in part, because of the organization's winning tradition. He said he still feels that way, but now he hopes he can help turn things around.

"The tradition here is real," Smith said. "You got to get back to that. I take a lot of pride in playing for this organization and understand the history, and also taking a lot of pride in getting it back to where it belongs."

Jed York has full trust in John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan despite two losing seasons

Jed York has full trust in John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan despite two losing seasons

PHOENIX – Jed York “mutually parted ways” with Jim Harbaugh after the 2014 season to begin a string of three consecutive years in which the 49ers fired their head coach.

He canned Jim Tomsula after the 2015 season, during which the 49ers won five games.

York went back to work just 12 months later. He pulled the plug on Chip Kelly’s tenure with the 49ers after a 2-14 season as part of an organizational overhaul that included the firing of general manager Trent Baalke.

Yet, things are a lot different after two losing seasons with coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch in charge.

York is actually showing some patience.

Since York signed Shanahan and Lynch to six-year contracts in 2017, the 49ers have won just 10 games. But instead of being on the hot seat after two seasons, Shanahan and Lynch have earned even more confidence from York.

“And I wanted to send the message to them and send the message to our fans, send the message to our players on the roster and potential free agents going forward that these guys,” York said of the six-year contracts.

“We’re probably not going to get it all right in the first year, first two years, but this is something we’re going to try to build and I believe we have a very good foundation. I think the future is bright for us.”

Does York feel as good about Shanahan and Lynch now as he did the day he hired them?

“I feel even better,” York said Sunday at the NFL owners meeting.

York said he has confidence that his coach and GM will continue to work in unison to build the 49ers into a contender. He said his trust in them is borne from watching them work together to formulate their plans for free agency and the draft.

After the 2016 season, York set forth to put together a team in which there was cohesion between the head coach and general manager. The previous coach-GM tandems were often at odds.

Two rough seasons later, York is not disappointed with the Lynch-Shanahan union. He said he is pleased with the chemistry that has been formed.

“I see that in spades,” he said. “It’s just awesome to watch those guys work together.”

York said he was willing to show more patience with Shanahan and Lynch because of the decimated roster they inherited and the realization that there would be a learning period as neither man had previous experience in his respective role.

“You don’t know what you don’t know when you’re in those positions,” York said. “And I think it’s been interesting to watch these guys really come together and show they’re a stronger bond today than what they were two years ago and it’s only getting stronger.”

[RELATED: 49ers were aggressive in pursuit of Odell Beckham Jr.]

York has not exactly exhibited patience during his time calling the shots with the 49ers. But he said something is different with Lynch and Shanahan.

“I have a lot of patience with these guys,” York said. “I think there are reasons we’ve had the records we’ve had the last two years. And I feel very, very good about the team those guys are putting together.”

Jimmy Garoppolo's offseason plan has included rehab, recruiting free agents

Jimmy Garoppolo's offseason plan has included rehab, recruiting free agents

PHOENIX — Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is embracing his role as the leader of the franchise as he looks toward the start of the 2019 season.

49ers CEO Jed York spoke at the NFL owners meeting about Garoppolo like a proud parent.

He has been keeping an eye on his quarterback’s rehab and reports that he sees Garoppolo developing into a true leader. He said the two of them chat regularly.

“I’m not going over film with Jimmy,” York said, “so I don’t think we have to worry about anything from that standpoint. I see Jimmy, whether it’s in the lunch room or if I’m down in the training room or if we’re working out.”

Garoppolo has been working out with 20 to 25 teammates at the club's Santa Clara facility, York said. He is not allowed to throw passes to teammates at the team's training complex, a team spokesman said. Garoppolo has future workouts with his teammates scheduled for the Los Angeles area.

“It’s great to see that,” York said. “The team is really, really jelling and watching them come together as a unit, that’s what you need. It’s not a collection of individuals. It’s a team.”

Garoppolo’s involvement doesn't stop there, though. 

He was very active during free agency, playing the role of recruiter by calling some players the 49ers were interested in.

“I know he called the guys who we were interested in on the first day or so of free agency and expressed his interest in getting guys here,” York said. “I’m fairly certain that he called Kwon (Alexander) during that negotiating window when you can start talking to people.”

York explained that this is a new aspect of Garoppolo’s role as the face of the franchise.

“Those are things that he wants to do,” York said. “That’s where it’s different when you come in and you’ve been a backup, now being the guy. It’s hard when you’re the guy, you’re the highest-paid player, but you’re not playing for (the) team.”

Obviously, York would have preferred to have Garoppolo on the field for the entire season in 2018, but he sees the positives that came from Garoppolo's season-ending knee injury.

“I think he was able to learn a lot of the cerebral things,” York said, “and a lot of the things that come with that leadership position over the last year, which really excites me for him going forward.”

[RELATED: 49ers were aggressive in pursuing Odell Beckham Jr.]

York said Garoppolo is ahead of schedule on his path back to the football field after sustaining a torn ACL in Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Garoppolo looks as if he has added some muscle to his frame while going through his daily rehab, York said.

“He’s just grinding every single day to get better personally and to get better as a team and understanding how important it is to do those things as a team leader,” York said.