49ers

Solomon Thomas is excited to prove he's worthy of No. 3 overall pick

Solomon Thomas is excited to prove he's worthy of No. 3 overall pick

SANTA CLARA – Defensive tackle Solomon Thomas had a pedestrian rookie season after the 49ers chose him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 draft.

But that was nothing compared to Year 2, when he faced unimaginable tragedy with the suicide death of his older sister. Understandably, he was unproductive on the field as he struggled with his emotions and saw reduced playing time until a late-season surge.

Thomas’ name surfaced in trade rumors during the NFL draft.

Thomas said he is often guilty of over-thinking. But this time he did not give it much thought. He said he did not yearn for a fresh start elsewhere, because he wants to justify the faith general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan showed in him.

“In this business, whatever happens, happens. You don’t control it,” Thomas said on Tuesday. “But I love this organization. I love being here. And I want to finish what I started. I want to come here and want to show everyone why John and Kyle drafted me No. 3 and be who I am.”

After recording 41 tackles and three sacks in 14 games as a rookie, Thomas managed just 31 tackles and one sack in 16 games last season. The grief he felt off the field seemed to impact his performance at work.

“Last year I just wasn’t me,” Thomas said. “I’m not making excuses. I didn’t play well, and that’s on me. I should’ve played better. But I’m not making excuses for any of that. But what I’m saying that I wasn’t me last year. I put pressure on myself. But that’s over.”

Thomas said he sought therapy to better help him deal with the death of his sister, Ella. He continues to be an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness.

“That’s been a long process,” Thomas said. “It’s been hard to find. The first year was really hard for me, all the phases of anger, depression, sadness, guilt, grief, all that kind of stuff. So it’s hard for me to get healthy, and it took me a while. And once I was, I was a different person. I was light on my feet and could finally walk and move again.”

Shanahan said he sees an improvement in Thomas, who believes the team’s scheme adjustment under new defensive line coach Kris Kocurek fits his skills as an undersized defensive tackle. Thomas is expected to play defensive end in the 49ers' base defense, then move inside to rush the passer from defensive tackle.

“We all know what he went through and stuff, but you can see he’s got his aura back to him,” Shanahan said. “You can see it in his eyes. You can feel his energy a little bit better, and it definitely seems like he’s in a better place.

“We all know grieving can be as hard as it gets and takes people a long time, but you can see he’s doing better.”

After reports of the 49ers shopping Thomas in a trade, Lynch called Thomas into his office and denied the club was trying to get rid of him. Lynch talked to Thomas about how he should thrive in his new role.

“I can use my quickness and my explosion, being able to use that and just move, and having the green light,” Thomas said. “That’s what I need. I don’t need to be reading and sitting back. I need to be going and be able to press guards, get on the edge and crush tight ends. That’s how I play, and that’s the kind of scheme that can bring out my strengths.”

Thomas said he has always been a perfectionist. He admits that he often gets in his own head when he is dissatisfied with his own performance. He views this season as a fresh start without the change of scenary.

[RELATED: 49ers hopeful Kocurek can unleash Thomas]

“Everything in the past, is in the past,” he said. “I had probably my worst season ever in my life last year and I’m the most confident I’ve ever been in my career right now. That says a lot. I’m ready to move forward and show everyone who Solomon Thomas is and what I’m going to bring to the table.”

49ers' Super Bowl 54 injury report: Tevin Coleman goes to walkthrough

49ers' Super Bowl 54 injury report: Tevin Coleman goes to walkthrough

SANTA CLARA -- Running back Tevin Coleman took part in the 49ers' walkthrough Friday but did not practice.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said the results of Coleman's MRI examination earlier this week were "positive," and the 49ers appear confident Coleman will be available when the club takes the field for Super Bowl LIV on Feb.2.

However, Coleman still was unable to practice Friday, just five days after sustaining a dislocated right shoulder in the 49ers’ victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game.

Coleman started 11 of the 14 regular-season games in which he appeared. On the season, Coleman gained 544 yards and six touchdowns with a 4.0 average. He caught 21 passes for 180 yards and one touchdown.

He also played a huge role in the 49ers’ 27-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs, rushing for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 22 attempts.

Coleman played just eight snaps against the Packers on Sunday. He carried six times for 21 yards before injuring his shoulder when he reached out to brace his fall upon being tripped up on a second-quarter running play.

[RELATED: Montana defends 'dangerous' Jimmy G against criticism]

49ers practice report

Did not practice
RB Tevin Coleman (shoulder)

Limited
LB Kwon Alexander (pectoral)
DL Dee Ford (quadriceps, hamstring)
S Jaquiski Tartt (ribs)

Full participation
LB Dre Greenlaw (ankle)
WR Dante Pettis (illness)

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (5:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 6:00 p.m. Friday).

NFL rumors: 49ers' Super Bowl 54 parade will take place in San Francisco

NFL rumors: 49ers' Super Bowl 54 parade will take place in San Francisco

If the confetti falls on the 49ers in Miami, there will be a party shortly thereafter in the Bay Area.

Some have wondered where the 49ers would hold their championship parade should they defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. Would it be in San Francisco? What about Santa Clara where the 49ers currently play their home games?

Well, the answer apparently is San Francisco, The San Francisco Chronicle's Scott Ostler.

“Well, I’m not inside of the 49ers’ chambers, but the time that I was near the doorway, I heard positive discussions, in which I am proud to say that (a parade) will be right here in our town. The only question is, how in the hell do we pay for it?” former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, who has an unofficial role in the parade planning, told Ostler.

The championship parade would run down Market Street, a source told Ostler.

As for Santa Clara, Brown brushed that idea off.

“And besides that,” Brown said, “there’s no way you can have a parade in Santa Clara. What do they have, one shopping mall?”

[RELATED: 49ers vets giving advice to Super Bowl newbies: 'Just say no']

The 49ers have a tall task in front of them. Reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes has been nearly unstoppable when healthy this season and will present a unique challenge to a 49ers defense that has tormented a majority of the quarterbacks they have faced this season. The 49ers have the defensive personnel to give Mahomes fits, but the Chiefs' next-level speed will be something the Niners haven't faced this season.

It will be strength on strength in Miami, with a parade (perhaps) in The City awaiting the Niners should they take care of business.

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (5:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 6:00 p.m. Friday).