49ers: Defensive review vs. Vikings

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49ers: Defensive review vs. Vikings

Here's the player-by-player breakdown of the 49ers' defense from their 17-6 exhibition victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Friday:Defensive line
40-Demarcus Dobbs: Entered at right defensive end with the second-team defense in the second quarter, and played very well. Got pressure on quarterback Joe Webb while working against left guard Chris DeGeare to force third-down incompletion in second quarter. Got good pressure on Webbs to force another incomplete pass on the next drive.
63-Tony Jerod-Eddie: Entered at left defensive end in the second half, playing 17 snaps. He had a difficult time getting off the line of scrimmage against Vikings right tackle Pat Brown, and recorded one tackle.
69-Patrick Butrym: He played five snaps at left end and 10 snaps at right end in the second half. While engaged with guard Grant Cook, he got his left hand up to bat down Bethel-Thompson pass at the line of scrimmage. He also was credited with a tackle.
71-Matthew Masifilo: He entered at right end late in the third quarter, then played nose tackle in the fourth quarter. Got good penetration and forced fumble of running back Derrick Coleman on a play that gained Vikings just 1 yard.
90-Isaac Sopoaga: Started at nose tackle and played the first three series of the game. He had a tackle.
91-Ray McDonald: Started at left end and played the first two possessions, 17 snaps in all. He was credited with a tackle.
92-Will Tukuafu: Did not play.
93-Ian Williams: Entered as the No. 2 nose tackle and played the second and third quarters. He recorded two tackles. Center Quentin Saulsberry opened up the middle against Williams for a 6-yard gain up the middle in third quarter. A few players later, Williams got good push against Saulsberry to force Webb out of the pocket for what became Kourtnei Brown's 1-yard sack.
94-Justin Smith: Did not play.
95-Ricky Jean Francois: Started at right defensive end in place of Justin Smith. Working against guard Austin Pasztor, he got to Vikings quarterback Joe Webb for a half-sack. He finished with two tackles while playing 17 snaps at right end and another 11 snaps at left end.Linebackers
44-Eric Bakhtiari: He played right outside linebacker for two series in the first half, then moved to the left side for another 21 snaps in the second half. He was the team's best defensive player. He beat the block of tight end Mickey Shuler to drop quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson for 4-yard loss in fourth quarter. He worked over right tackle Levi Horn to drop Bethel-Thompson for 9-yard sack. Got pressure on Bethel-Thompson to contribute to Perrish Cox's late interception. He was credited with four tackles and two sacks.
48-Kourtnei Brown: He entered for one play at right outside linebacker in the second quarter after Aldon Smith hobbled off with an injury. Then, he played the entire second half at that spot. He finished with one sack when he chased Webb out of bounds. He did good work on special teams with two tackles.
50-Cam Johnson: Did not play.
51-Joe Holland: Lined up on first kickoff coverage unit to open the game. He got into the game on defense at inside linebacker for only one play, as Bethel-Thompson opened the Vikings' last drive with an interception.
52-Patrick Willis: Started at inside linebacker and played the first 17 snaps. Willis had two tackles. On the first play of the game, Willis and NaVorro Bowman combined for a tackle on Toby Gerhart. Get used to it.
53-NaVorro Bowman: Started at inside linebacker and played the first 17 snaps of the game. He recorded three tackles.
54-Larry Grant: Lined up on first kickoff return unit. Then, he played parts of the second and third quarters at inside linebacker. He was credited with three tackles.
55-Ahmad Brooks: Started at left outside linebacker and played 17 snaps. He did not record any tackles. Jumped offside late in the first quarter. Missed tackle on Toby Gerhart near the line of scrimmage on final play of first quarter that resulted in 16-yard gain.
56-Tavares Gooden: Lined up on first kickoff return unit. He entered at inside linebacker and played six series spanning the second, third and fourth quarters. He was not credited with any tackes.
57-Michael Wilhoite: Lined up on first kickoff coverage unit to open the game. Fought through block of D'Aundre Reed to make tackle on kickoff. He entered at inside linebacker for the final three series of the game and was credited with one tackle.
58-Darius Fleming: Did not play; on football injury list.
98-Parys Haralson: Lined up on first kickoff return unit. He did not start but entered at right outside linebacker when Aldon Smith was injured. Then, he moved to left outside linebacker to replace Ahmad Brooks. He beat blitz pickup attempt of running back Jerome Felton to force Webb out of the pocket on a second-quarter scramble. Ran past right tackle Pat Brown and the reversed field to come back and get a half-sack of Webb late in first half.
99-Aldon Smith: Started at right outside linebacker. Pressured Ponder into a third-down incompletion to end first drive of the game after he blew past Vikings rookie left tackle Matt Kalil around the outside. Sustained right hip injury when he leaped over teammate Donte Whitner to try to tackle Toby Gerhart on first play of the Vikings' second drive. He landed hard on his right side. He remained on the field for one more play before his night was finished. Smith left the locker room with the assistance to two canes. He has a has a hip bruise, the team reported. It's possible he will not play again during the exhibition season to ensure he's 100-percent healthy for the Sept. 9 season opener at Green Bay.Defensive backs
20-Perrish Cox: Lined up on first kickoff coverage unit to open the game. He definitely helped his cause on defense and special teams. Made a good play to get off a block and take down return man Marcus Sherels on the second kickoff. Came up as nickel back to upend Lex Hilliard for 1-yard loss late in second quarter. Read route and broke on ball to intercept poorly thrown ball by Bethel-Thompson in fourth quarter. His versatility is key. He played right cornerback, left cornerback and slot, and ended the night with three tackles and an interception.
22-Carlos Rogers: Started at left cornerback and played the first 17 snaps. Receiver Stephen Burton got behind him on second snap of the game for a 52-yard gain on a deep post. Had great coverage on Jarius Wright early in second quarter, as he took away the corner route and forced Ponder to throw pass out of the end zone.
23-Cory Nelms: Lined up on first kickoff coverage unit to open the game. Showed his speed by hustling down the field ahead of his teammates. He did not see any action on defense.
25-Tarell Brown: Started at left cornerback and played the first 17 snaps of the game. He did not see any action come to his side.
26-Tramaine Brock: Lined up on first kickoff coverage unit to open the game. He entered at right cornerback and played most the final three quarters. He did not see much action come his way.
27-C.J. Spillman: Lined up on first kickoff return unit. Entered at safety with the second unit. Had tight coverage on tight end Rhett Ellison who still managed to catch 12-yard pass in the second quarter. He finished with three tackles.
29-Chris Culliver: Entered as nickel back and played left corner with the second team. He was called for an 11-yard pass interference penalty in second quarter, but otherwise had a quiet night.
30-Trenton Robinson: Lined up on first kickoff coverage unit to open the game. Also lined up on first kickoff return unit. Made big hit along right sideline to break up pass intended for Deven Aromashodu in fourth quarter. He played most of the final three quarters at safety but was not credited with any tackles.
31-Donte Whitner: Started at strong safety and played 17 snaps. Gave up 8-yard pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph on a third-and-4 situation. He was not credited with any tackles in the game.
32-Darcel McBath: Lined up on first kickoff coverage unit to open the game. He entered and played the final 12 snaps at safety. Let receiver Kerry Taylor get behind him in zone coverage for a 28-yard gain in the fourth quarter. He was credited with one tackle.
33-Anthony Mosley: He played special teams but did not get any action on defense.
35-Mark LeGree: He played special teams but did not get any action on defense. On Saturday, the 49ers waived him to make room for the signing of outside linebacker Kenny Rowe.
36-Michael Thomas: He played special teams and saw just four snaps as the team's No. 3 nickel back. He was no credited with any tackles.
38-Dashon Goldson: Started at free safety and played the first 17 snaps. There appeared to be miscommunication the second play of the game when Burton got behind Rogers for a 52-yard gain. Rogers immediately gestured to Goldson, who left the middle of the field exposed when he bit on an underneath route.
40-Deante' Purvis: He played special teams but did not see any action on defense.
43-Colin Jones: Lined up on first kickoff return unit. He did not see any action on defense.Specialists
2-David Akers: Did not play.
4-Andy Lee: He averaged 45.5 yards on four punts with a 35.5 net average. He had two punts inside the 20, and two touchbacks.
5-Giorgio Tavecchio: He handled all the kicking chores. The Vikings average starting point on his four kickoffs was the 20-yard line. Tavecchio also made both extra points, as well as a 29-yard field goal.
86-Brian Jennings: He handled the long-snapping chores.

Eric Reid embracing new role with 49ers: 'I was made for this position'

Eric Reid embracing new role with 49ers: 'I was made for this position'

SANTA CLARA – Despite recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons and being named to the Pro Bowl as a rookie, Eric Reid said he believes he is now in a role that best fits his skillset.

Whereas in the past, the 49ers’ safety positions were considered interchangeable, there is a clear delineation this season under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“Even dating back to college, this is the first time there’s a distinct strong (safety) and a distinct free (safety),” Reid said. “I’ve been used to the interchangeability type of role.

“(In) some situations, certain calls where there’s a motion, we might flip. There are a couple situations where I might be in the post in the free-safety role, but it’s not nearly as much as it has been in the past.”

Reid, who is listed at 6 foot 1, 213 pounds, said he is excited to be stationed closer to the line of scrimmage for run support while free safety Jimmie Ward patrols the deep middle of the field.

The 49ers offseason program concluded Wednesday, and Reid found himself in the middle of the action with an interception on a short Brian Hoyer pass over the middle. While he will still be counted upon for coverage, his biggest impact could come to assist a run defense that last season ranked among the worst in NFL history.

“I love it, being around the ball more,” Reid said. “I anticipate making more tackles, hopefully making more plays. I feel like I was made for this position with my body type, being a bigger safety. I’m excited about this year.

“I feel like I’m using what God has blessed me with, more, which is my size and being in the box in the run game. In the past, I felt like I could do more. And being in the post, I can’t use my size as much when it comes to the run game.”

After producing seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid recorded just one interception in 26 games over the past two seasons.

As a first-round pick in 2013, the 49ers picked up the fifth-year option this season for $5.676 million. He is scheduled for unrestricted free agency at the conclusion of the season. Reid said the 49ers have not spoken to his representation about a long-term extension. That will come, he believes, if he lives up to his end of the bargain in his new, streamlined role.

“I look at it from a business standpoint,” Reid said. “I majored in business. They have me under contract. They don’t have any reason to talk to right now. I imagine if I play well in the first half of the season, they’ll reach out to me. Maybe they’ll reach out to me before training camp, I don’t know. It’s whatever route they decide to take. It’s a business. I’ll treat it as a business. I have a job to do, so I’ll do it.”

 

Mike Shanahan's official role with 49ers: Father of head coach

Mike Shanahan's official role with 49ers: Father of head coach

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan always wanted to coach football with his father. But, first, he knew he had to prove himself without any boost from his well-known dad.

Once the son established himself as one of the NFL’s respected offensive minds, the Shanahans teamed up for four up-but-mostly-down seasons with Washington.

Mike, the two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach, hired his son to serve as his top offensive assistant in 2010.

“I thought we saw football similar, but we quickly realized after a few weeks that we saw it differently,” Kyle Shanahan told NBC Sports Bay Area in February. “We grew together. He gave me a lot of leeway while I was there. It was fun to try a bunch of different things, having to even incorporate the zone read when we got Robert (Griffin).

“We did our deal in Washington, and I wouldn’t take that back for the world, but that was pretty much the end of it.”

Kyle Shanahan broke into the coaching ranks under Karl Dorrell at UCLA. He moved onto the NFL to work with Jon Gruden on the staff of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Gary Kubiak with the Houston Texans. But nothing prepared him for the scrutiny he would face as offensive coordinator under his father.

Kyle Shanahan adjusted the Washington offense to take advantage of Griffin’s skills as a dual-threat quarterback as a rookie 2012. The club qualified for the playoffs with a 10-6 record.

But things blew up the following season as the Mike Shanahan-Griffin relationship soured. Shanahan and eight assistant coaches, including Kyle, were fired the morning after Washington’s 3-13 season concluded.

Mike Shanahan has remained out of coaching, though he was a finalist for the 49ers’ head-coaching job after the 2015 season. The 49ers hired Chip Kelly.

Kyle Shanahan rebuilt his career with one season as offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns and two successful seasons with the Atlanta Falcons to enable him to become CEO Jed York’s choice to replace Kelly.

There is no official role for Mike Shanahan, 64, on his son’s staff with the 49ers. But the father has attended several of the team’s practices this offseason, including both days of the 49ers’ mandatory minicamp this week. Mike has been issued his own iPad that gives him access to the 49ers playbook and coach's film. He will likely visit for an extended stay during training camp. But Kyle said he believes his dad will mostly remain home -- only a phone call away -- during the regular season.

“He’s enjoying life right now,” said Kyle, 37. “He’s got a pretty good deal in Denver, where he lives. He can help me out in other ways anyways without having to be here every day.”

Mike Shanahan does not need to be in the building every day to counsel and have influence on his son as he tries to navigate his first season as the head coach while also maintaining the responsibilities of running the team’s offense.

“You’re going 1,000 miles an hour,” Kyle Shanahan said. “Sometimes to see everything you’ve got to really slow things down and take your time to look at stuff and you don’t always have that time as a head coach.

“It’s nice when someone you know who thinks similar to you has a similar background and he just sits in a room all day and watches stuff. He doesn’t have any other responsibilities. He can see some things that I’m not always seeing and just to bring things to light that maybe I missed or other people have missed.”

Mike Shanahan was a successful NFL offensive coordinator for seven seasons. He won a Super Bowl on George Seifert’s staff with the 49ers in January 1995. His dad believes his time around the 49ers has a lasting impact.

“When I was with San Francisco, Kyle was at the 49ers training camps in Rocklin,” Mike Shanahan told Fangirl Sports Network. “He stayed with me at camp and we talked about football every night.

“He had the opportunity to experience an organization that had won four Super Bowls in nine years. He also had the opportunity to be around some great people and leaders. He still tells stories and talks about people like Steve Young, Joe Montana, Harris Barton, Tom Rathman, Jerry Rice, John Taylor, Deion Sanders, and many others. What a great experience to see how these men handled themselves on and off the field.”

The Denver Broncos hired him to become head coach shortly after the 49ers’ 49-26 victory over the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. Shanahan went on to win two Super Bowls in his 14 seasons with the Broncos.

Kyle Shanahan was a wide receiver at Duke before finishing college at Texas, where he caught 14 passes for 127 yards in two seasons. He figured he would have a career in football and it would not be as a player.

“I’ve wanted to coach my whole life,” Kyle Shanahan said. “This is all I’ve known, just growing up around football. It’s almost all I’ve been into, too. Since I was little, it’s distracted me from everything I’ve done, especially school. I always tried to tell my mom, ‘Just be patient, it’ll play out for us in the long run.’ Fortunately, it did.

“Once I realized my genes were a little bit better as a coach than as a player, I pretty much locked into that – and that was about halfway through college. I haven’t looked back.”

During his short time with the 49ers, players on both sides of the ball have expressed amazement at how knowledgeable Kyle Shanahan is about the game of football. His dad told Fangirl Sports Network to succeed as a head coach he must always be dedicated to stuyding, learning and teaching the sport.

“He loves the game and knows it inside and out,” Mike Shanahan said. “My advice to him is to never lose the drive to study the game as he’s done over the last 13 years. To stay in the NFL as a head coach and have success for any length of time, you must never lose your drive to teach and stay abreast of what the top teams are doing every year: offense, defense, special teams. You must be able to coach all positions to really understand the whole game.”

Former 49ers president Carmen Policy said he remembers young Kyle serving as a ball boy during 49ers training camp in the early 1990s. Policy, who remains close to Mike Shanahan, has followed Kyle’s rise in the coaching ranks while playfully questioning the sanity of the family business.

Said Policy: “I used to tease Mike, ‘What kind of father are you to let your kid go into coaching?’ I said, ‘You should be charged with dereliction of parental duty.’ And he’d laugh and say, ‘Yeah, I tried talking to him and then my wife tried talking to him, but that’s his passion, and that’s what he wants to do, so I’m not going to dissuade him from it.’

“And, then, look at what happened. Here he is. He’s the head coach of the 49ers, and that’s just incredible.”