49ers

Why Nick Bosa believes Javon Kinlaw is perfect fit for 49ers' defense

Why Nick Bosa believes Javon Kinlaw is perfect fit for 49ers' defense

Nick Bosa has yet to step on the same field as 49ers rookie defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, but he already knows what to expect.

“Oh, man, he just fits our scheme so perfectly,” Bosa said of the former South Carolina standout during the 49ers’ State of the Franchise virtual event on 49ers.com.

The 49ers selected Kinlaw with the No. 14 overall pick to replace DeForest Buckner, whom the club traded to the Indianapolis Colts in March.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Kinlaw on Friday officially signed a four-year contract worth approximately $15.5 million. Because of the league-wide cancellation of the offseason program, Kinlaw has yet to report to the team’s Santa Clara facility or step on the practice field with defensive line coach Kris Kocurek.

“I know Kris is champing at the bit to get him in the building and get him doing some get-offs,” Bosa said. “I’m just so excited to play with the caliber of player like that.

“it’s going to be interesting to see how he picks everything up, not being in the building. He looks like he’s going to be a great fit. He seems like a great kid.”

Bosa said the additional meeting time this offseason through video technology was important due to the intricacies of what Kocurek teaches his defensive linemen. He believes his familiarity with the system will enable him to build on what he did as a rookie. 

Bosa, the No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft, earned the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last season after registering nine sacks during the regular season and four more in the postseason.

“it’s really helpful to get a year under it because there’s a learning curve,” Bosa said. “But once you get it, it’s unbelievable. But it takes a little bit of time. Now we’re going to walk straight into knowing the technique and improve it.”

[RELATEDNick Bosa, 49ers enter 2020 with 'win-now' mentality after Super Bowl loss]

Kinlaw is expected to step in as an immediate starter in base situations for the 49ers to tighten up the team’s interior run defense.

General manager John Lynch said the 49ers felt fortunate to move back one spot and still select Kinlaw in the draft.

"Going in, I would say, with the 13th pick, we had probably three guys that we were going to stand pat," Lynch said. "If they were there, we were drafting them. When we arrived at 13, those three were still there. And so, at that point, we start saying, 'Wow, let's try to find a trade partner.' But we don't want to go back too far because Kinlaw was No. 1 on that list.’”

Kyle Shanahan glad John Lynch has to work out George Kittle's contract

Kyle Shanahan glad John Lynch has to work out George Kittle's contract

George Kittle's contract negotiation will continue to be the talk of 49ers training camp until the star tight end puts pen to paper.

The 49ers and Kittle reportedly still are far apart in negotiations as Kittle looks to secure a payday that sees him get paid as a top-pass catcher and not just a tight end.

As negotiations continue, coach Kyle Shanahan is happy to have Kittle at camp and is glad it's general manager John Lynch's job to work out the contract.

"That's why we're doing everything we can to make sure he's here for a long time," Shanahan said Thursday on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks." "Lots of stuff to talk through with that. Stuff that I am very glad I don't get paid to do. I'm very glad I can sit here and talk mainly football, and enjoy that stuff with George. That's been great with him because he's been great in the walk-throughs, great in the meetings.

"I know right now, as we speak, every day, I know John's upstairs working his butt off talking to Kittle's agent, and those two are trying to work it out."

Kittle is entering the final year of a four-year contract he signed as a fifth-round draft pick in 2017. Kittle is set to make $2.133 million this season.

Since 2017, Kittle has emerged as the top tight end in football. He's not only a dominant force in the passing game but also is a key piece of the 49ers' rushing attack as one of the best blockers in the NFL. Kittle is the only tight end in 49ers history to record a 1,000-yard season and he set the NFL's single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end in 2018 with 1,377. He followed that up with 1,053 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games last season.

[RELATED: Shanahan already seeing Jimmy G take next step]

While negotiations haven't yielded anything yet, Shanahan has a good feeling everything will get done.

“We don’t have to say how important George is to us,” Shanahan said. “Not only being the best tight end, to me, in the league but also the type of person he is. We’re doing everything we can to get that done. I do feel good about it. It was great to see George today for the first time.

“It was great to see George again today. No one’s changed, and I feel really good about this going forward and I’m optimistic about it. Hopefully, something will happen sooner than later. I’m not too concerned about it, though."

The 49ers will pay Kittle, of that there is little doubt.

The only question remaining is: How much will the best tight in football settle for?

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Kyle Shanahan already seeing 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo take next step

Kyle Shanahan already seeing 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo take next step

After coming six minutes short of a Super Bowl title, the 49ers spent all offseason defending quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Sure, they internally discussed bringing in Tom Brady, but Garoppolo was always going to be their guy. The 28-year-old is coming off a solid season that saw him complete 69.1 percent of his passes and finish in the top five in touchdowns (27), completion percentage (69.1) and yards per attempt (8.4) while leading the 49ers to a berth in Super Bowl LIV.

Both coach Kyle Shanahan and Garoppolo have been open and honest about the fact that the quarterback can make a big improvement during the 2020 season. Through the virtual offseason program and early on in training camp, Shanahan already is seeing Garoppolo take the next step and is confident his quarterback can make the necessary improvements in his second full season as a starter.

"Jimmy did some real good things, but he's just getting started," Shanahan said Thursday on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks." "And that's why Jimmy's not a finished product. He's almost a second-year quarterback with a lot more mental experience because he's been around the league. But I'm excited for him to go into his second year, especially, last year when he came back, coming back from the ACL, just in training camp and stuff, he worked hard on all the mental stuff. But you can tell what a guy's concern is. When you're coming off an ACL, your concern is, 'Man, can I do this?' That takes a guy a while to get into stuff.

"Me seeing him now, talking to him on Zooms, but really just seeing him throwing with the wideouts on air, and getting into these walk-throughs, you can tell that he wasn't working on his ACL all offseason. He's been working on everything that he learned through his experiences of last season. And when you can do that, I don't see how you won't get better."

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Garoppolo was a little rusty during the first half of the 2019 season. Shanahan has admitted he relied more on the run game to try and ease his quarterback back into the flow after Garoppolo missed almost the entire 2018 season with a torn ACL.

But Garoppolo started to find a flow during the second half of the season, leading the 49ers to come-from-behind wins against the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. The 49ers didn't ask a lot of Garoppolo in the NFC playoffs, as they used their running game to steamroll the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers.

Garoppolo had an up-and-down performance in Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs. He was efficient during the second and third quarters when the 49ers built their lead, but the later overthrow of Emmanuel Sanders is the play that will stick in everyone's mind.

[RELATED: Jimmy G makes positive first impression on Williams]

Garoppolo and the 49ers enter the 2020 NFL season with revenge on their mind.

Armed with a loaded roster that is ready to win now, the 49ers are primed to get back to the Super Bowl and finish the job this time around.

If Garoppolo can make the leap Shanahan expects out of him, that could be the final piece in a championship puzzle for the 49ers.