Atlanta Falcons

49ers made 'hard run' at Bruce Irvin before he signed with Falcons


49ers made 'hard run' at Bruce Irvin before he signed with Falcons

The 49ers were one of numerous NFL teams to show serious interest in pass rusher Bruce Irvin, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday morning.

Irvin, whom the Raiders released this week, signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday. The 49ers made a “hard run” at Irvin after he cleared waivers and was free to sign with any team, according to the source.

Irvin, 31, recorded three sacks through eight games with the Raiders this season. After he was waived Monday, approximately 10 mostly playoff-contending teams showed interest in signing Irvin, the source said.

Irvin has 40 sacks in his seven-year NFL career, which began with four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. Robert Saleh, the 49ers’ defensive coordinator, was on the Seahawks’ defensive coaching staff during the first two seasons of Irvin’s career.

The 49ers likely will have another chance to sign Irvin, who is scheduled for unrestricted free agency in March.

Any team could have claimed Irvin off waivers this week and picked up the terms of the contract he signed with the Raiders as a free agent in 2016. He was scheduled to earn $4 million for the rest of this season and $9.25 million in 2019.

Bruce Irvin signs with Falcons; ex-Raiders edge rusher cleared waivers


Bruce Irvin signs with Falcons; ex-Raiders edge rusher cleared waivers

Bruce Irvin had suitors once he hit the free-agent market. That happened Tuesday, after the Raiders cut him, and then he cleared waivers.

Seattle came calling, as expected, looking for a reunion with the franchise that drafted him and mentor/Seahawks defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. Others made a pitch, but the call to come home was strong.

Irvin, who grew up just outside Atlanta, agreed to terms with the Falcons early Wednesday morning.

Irvin chose the Falcons over the Seahawks, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported.

NBC Sports Bay Area 49ers insider Matt Maiocco also reported the 49ers went hard after Irvin, but he evidently wanted to play for a playoff contender this season.

Rapoport reported that Irvin will make $1.5 million over eight games with the Falcons, but that doesn’t lessen the Raiders’ financial burden. The Silver and Black are on the hook for the roughly $3.75 million left of his 2018 base salary. That means Irvin will double dip in what will be his biggest yearly haul as a professional. He’ll have a chance to play at home and play well enough to possibly cash in on the open market again next season.

The Raiders were phasing Irvin out of the defensive game plan, and agreed to waive the veteran edge rusher last weekend. Irvin led the Raiders with three of their NFL-worst seven sacks, meaning there’s just four sacks left from players on the roster.

The Raiders added some life to the defensive end spot Monday, signing Jacquies Smith and Kony Ealy to help a struggling pass rush.

Kyle Shanahan goes back to Super Bowl loss to prepare for Lions

Kyle Shanahan goes back to Super Bowl loss to prepare for Lions

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers have very little material from which to prepare for Sunday’s home opener against the Detroit Lions.

So coach Kyle Shanahan was forced to go back and relive the disappointment of Super Bowl 51, though he tried to remove all emotions and take a clinical approach to gain information that could be useful this weekend.

There was not much to be gleaned from the Detroit Lions’ season opener on Monday, a game that got out of hand midway through the third quarter. So Shanahan has spent a great deal of time looking back at the history of Detroit coach Matt Patricia, who previously served as the New England Patriots’ defensive coordinator.

That quest for more intelligence sent Shanahan back to Super Bowl 51, when his offense with the Atlanta Falcons went up against Patricia’s Patriots defense.

“You go back to everything,” Shanahan said on "49ers Game Plan," which airs on NBC Bay Area (Ch. 3) on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Lions and New York Jets were tied 17-17 in the third quarter before the Jets scored touchdowns on a pass play, an interception return and a punt return in less than three minutes to blow the game open and change the approaches of both teams for the remainder of the way.

“You cant just watch 2 ½ quarters of football for the whole week," Shanahan said. "This is stuff I do over the summer, also. Over the summer, we’re not watching Detroit. We’re watching all New England. We’re watching the 2017 year, the 2016 year, and I go back to the last time I played against them, which was in the Super Bowl.”

Shanahan’s offense was rolling in the Super Bowl, as the Falcons led 28-3 in the middle of the third quarter. In Atlanta’s first six possessions, the offense rolled up 14 first downs. But Atlanta did not score in their final four series, and managed just three first downs. Shanahan was roundly criticized for leaning too heavily on the passing game in his fourth-quarter play-calling.

The Patriots' defense stiffened, allowing Tom Brady to engineer a comeback for the ages. The Patriots won, 34-28, in overtime. Less than a month later, Shanahan spent considerable time at the NFL scouting combine with Belichick for advice on becoming a first-time head coach and to learn from what happened to him at the Super Bowl.

“Everyone is a product of their environment,” Shanahan said. “It’s a very good scheme. He knows it very well. Matt’s a very good coach. Matt is very bright, and he’s learned from the best.”

Shanahan said he assumes Patricia will use a similar approach with the Lions from his time with Patriots coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots use a variety of defensive fronts and coverages. They are rarely predictable.

“I really look at this game, schematically, it’s more about us, putting ourselves in good positions and doing what we do well,” Shanahan said. “We’ll see their plan as we go. We’ll see it early in the game. We’ll see it all the way through the first half. We’ll see their adjustments at halftime, and we have to be ready to adjust accordingly.”

This Sunday, be sure to watch 49ers Pregame Live at 12 p.m. and 49ers Postgame Live immediately after the game on NBC Sports Bay Area and live streaming on the NBC Sports app. Greg Papa, Donte Whitner, Jeff Garcia, Matt Maiocco and Laura Britt will have everything you need to know from the 49ers’ season opener.