Aug. 27, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE
49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEO
It has been a long road back for 49ers cornerback Phillip Adams, who sustained the Buster Posey injury five months before Buster Posey.A week ago, Adams fielded a Raiders punt, darted between would-be tacklers Jon Condo and Josh Bullocks and then veered toward the right sideline. Adams showed a bust of speed he had not shown since camp opened en route to a 32-yard return.The play signified a significant development in Adams' comeback from a gruesome broken left ankle he sustained Dec. 26 while blocking on a kickoff return against the St. Louis Rams. Adams spent most of the offseason unable to run while the bone healed.The mental barrier Adams said he had to overcome was lining up 45 yards down field, all alone, to field a punt with opposing players bearing down on him. It's much like a catcher awaiting a throw from the outfield with a baserunner coming down the third-base line.
Adams does not know much about the Giants' catcher who sustained a season-ending injury in May in a collision at home plate. But he said his trainer told him that Posey's injury was identical to the one Adams sustained. It's an injury from which Adams now feels fully recovered.
RELATED: Posey fractures fibula, surgery likely for ankle
"Coach put me out there to see what I can do -- to see if I'm healthy enough to do it," Adams said. "And I am. I feel like I'm back to where I was.""You're very vulnerable in that situation when you're returning a punt. It's a risky situation, and it's one of the hardest things to do on the football field. The confidence was there in practice. The game was icing on the cake. I work hard in practices to catch punts."I think I can do punt returns in this league and on this team, and I'm getting the opportunity."The 49ers selected Adams of South Carolina State in the seventh round of the 2010 draft. He earned a roster spot and saw action, mostly on special teams, in the first 15 games before sustaining the injury.Adams is not eligible for the practice squad, so it's all or nothing for him as a second-year pro. He remains in a battle to earn a roster spot on a team that also features cornerbacks Carlos Rogers, Shawntae Spencer, Tarell Brown, Tramaine Brock and rookie Chris Culliver."For me, it's climbing the mountain again," Adams said. "I'm used to dealing with adverse situations as a player. There are a bunch of great players at my position. I'll continue to work hard and earn the trust of my teammates and my coaches."The most important part is that Adams has regained the trust that he is healthy enough to give him a strong chance to succeed."My coaches believe my body is sound and they put me out there," Adams said. "I feel good. My body feels good. Practice has been good. Repetitions are going good. The team's going good, so I'm feeling good."
First-year coach Kyle Shanahan is close to completing his 49ers coaching staff.
Shanahan will handle the duties of the offensive coordinator, the position he held with Houston, Washington and Atlanta over the past nine NFL seasons.
Robert Saleh is the 49ers' new defensive coordinator, while Richard Hightower has been hired as the special-teams coordiator.
Here's a look at the 49ers' coaching staffs under Shanahan and last season under Chip Kelly:
2017 49ERS COACHING STAFF
Position: Coach (2016 job)
Head coach: Kyle Shanahan (Falcons, offensive coordinator)
Defensive coordinator: Robert Saleh (Jaguars, linebackers coach)
Special teams coordinator: Richard Hightower (Bears, assistant special teams)
Assistant head coach/tight ends: Jon Embree (Buccaneers, tight ends)
Run game specialist: Mike McDaniel (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Quarterbacks: Rich Scangarello (Wagner, offensive coordinator)
Running backs: Bobby Turner (Falcons, running backs)
Wide receivers: Mike LaFleur (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Offensive line: Vacant
Offensive assistant: T.C. McCartney (LSU, offensive assistant)
Senior defensive assistant: Jason Tarver (49ers, outside linebackers)
Defensive line: Jeff Zgonina (N.Y. Giants, assistant defensive line)
Linebackers: Johnny Holland (Browns, inside linebackers)
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Offensive quality control: Taylor Embree (Chiefs, defensive assistant)
Defensive quality control: Bobby Slowik
Head strength and conditioning: Ray Wright
* * *
2016 49ERS COACHING STAFF
Position: Coach (current status)
Head coach: Chip Kelly
Offensive coordinator: Curtis Modkins (Bears, running backs)
Defensive coordinator: Jim O’Neil
Special teams coordinator: Derius Swinton
Quarterbacks: Ryan Day (Ohio State, quarterbacks)
Running backs: Tom Rathman
Wide receivers: Bob Bicknell
Tight ends: Jeff Nixon (Baylor, co-offensive coordinator/running backs)
Offensive line: Pat Flaherty (Jaguars, offensive line)
Assistant offensive line: Eric Wolford (South Carolina, offensive line)
Defensive line: Jerry Azzinaro (Cal, defensive line)
Assistant defensive line: Vince Oghobaase
Outside linebackers: Jason Tarver (49ers, senior defensive assistant)
Inside linebacker: Joe Bowden
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Assistant defensive backs: Roy Anderson (Bears, assistant secondary)
Assistant special teams: Michael Clay
Offensive quality control: Mick Lombardi (Jets, offensive assistant/assistant QBs coach)
Defensive quality control: Tem Lukabu
Senior analyst: Dana Bible
Director of human performance: Mark Uyeyama
John Benton, who coached on the same staff during Kyle Shanahan’s four seasons with the Houston Texans, has reportedly received permission from the Denver Broncos to interview with the 49ers.
The Broncos hired Benton on Jan. 15 to work as the team’s assistant offensive line coach under line coach Jeff Davidson.
But Denver coach Vance Joseph and general manager John Elway provided Benton permission to interview with the 49ers, Denver’s 9News reported. The Sacramento Bee was first to report the 49ers were looking at Benton.
The offensive line coach is the last major position that remains vacant on Shanahan’s staff.
Benton worked last season as Jacksonville’s assistant offensive line coach. He worked the previous 13 seasons as offensive line coach with the St. Louis Rams (2003-05), Houston (2006-2013) and Miami (2014-15).
Shanahan’s first NFL coaching job was with Houston in 2006, when he coached wide receivers. Shanahan became the quarterbacks coach with the Texans in 2007 before spending the next two seasons as offensive coordinator under then-coach Gary Kubiak.
The 49ers announced nine additions to the coaching staff on Friday.
Also, the 49ers are expected to hire Daniel Bullocks as assistant defensive backs coach, according to The Sporting News. Bullocks worked in the same role with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. The Jaguars' linebackers coach last season, Robert Saleh, is the 49ers' new defensive coodinator. Bullocks appeared in 31 games in three NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions in 2006 and '08.