49ers

Source: 49ers turn to NHL to fill position of head coach of training

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USATSI

Source: 49ers turn to NHL to fill position of head coach of training

The 49ers have filled the position coach Kyle Shanahan described as a head coach of training, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area.

Ben Peterson, who has served as director of sports science for the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League since August of 2016, will reportedly take on a similar role with the 49ers. The Athletic was first to report the news on Monday. Peterson's title with the 49ers has yet to be determined, a source said.

The 49ers are undergoing a restructuring of their strength and conditioning program and athletic training staff this offseason. The club fired strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright and head athletic trainer Jeff Ferguson after the season.

“It’s about where we want to go, how we can make the overall process of it better,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said last month. “Injuries happen, and we’ve looked into that, and we’re going to do everything we can to improve that. We have to, because that has hurt us a lot in the last two years.”

The 49ers had 37 players finish on injured reserve the past two seasons, including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon, both of whom sustained torn ACLs last season. McKinnon sustained his injury before the first regular-season game. Garoppolo was lost for the season in Week 3. Shanahan and general manager John Lynch said they want better coordination between the team's medical and strength and conditioning programs.

[RELATED: Jimmy G commemorates long-term deal from a year ago]

“(The new position will) mold those two places so you’re not dealing with separate parts of the building and we can make it a little more collaborative,” Shanahan said.

Peterson has experience in integrating strength and conditioning, sports medicine, physical therapy and nutrition. He previously worked at Catapult Sports and is co-author of Triphasic Training.

Peterson described his role in his bio: “I help teams identify and evaluate contextual analytics by measuring training volumes, (accelerations, decelerations, change of direction speeds, biomechanical and physiological load quantifications), in real time, to improve performance outcomes and reduce soft tissue injuries of athletes.”

49ers' Trent Taylor switches jersey number ahead of 2019 NFL season

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AP

49ers' Trent Taylor switches jersey number ahead of 2019 NFL season

Trent Taylor will sport a new look this season for the 49ers.

The wide receiver has switched his jersey to No. 15, he announced Thursday on his Instagram. 

Taylor had a strong rookie season in 2017 as the team's primarly slot receiver, catching 43 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns. But after undergoing offseason back surgery, Taylor struggled last season with just 26 catches for 215 yards and one touchdown. Taylor wore No. 5 during his college career at Louisiana Tech.

He takes over the uniform number Pierre Garçon wore the past two seasons. The 49ers declined the option on Garçon’s contract this month, and he remains unsigned as a free agent.

Taylor previously wore No. 81. That likely means new 49ers receiver Jordan Matthews will take over the jersey number he wore during his first three NFL seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

[RELATED: Why Bucs hiring two women means so much to 49ers' Sowers]

Matthews had his best three seasons with the Eagles, with 225 receptions for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns while wearing No. 81.

He wore No. 87 in his one season with the Buffalo Bills in 2017, and No. 80 upon his return to Philadelphia last season. The 49ers have retired those numbers, forever belonging to Dwight Clark and Jerry Rice, respectively.

Watch 49ers WR Richie James work out with NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes

Watch 49ers WR Richie James work out with NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes

With quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo playing in only three games in 2018,  Richie James Jr. didn't have a great opportunity to showcase his skills during his rookie campaign.

But the 23-year-old showed off his ability to catch the deep ball Thursday when he was spotted working out with reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.

James had a quiet rookie campaign, catching nine passes for 130 yards and a touchdown, while showcasing some promise as a return man.

[RELATED: John Lynch believes free agency work set 49ers up for 2019 NFL Draft]

The 49ers could use another weapon at wide receiver, so perhaps the Middle Tennessee State product could emerge as a deep threat for Jimmy G in 2019.

While we probably shouldn't read too much into a March workout video, it's hard to deny James looked good hauling in the effortless deep ball from Mahomes.