49ers key matchup No. 3: Aldon Smith vs. Chris Hairston


49ers key matchup No. 3: Aldon Smith vs. Chris Hairston

This is the first part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Bills matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m. (CBS-TV), at Candlestick Park.49ers OLB Aldon Smith vs. Bills LT Chris HairstonTale of the tape
Smith (99): 6-foot-4, 258 pounds, second season, Missouri
Hairston (75): 6-foot-6, 330 pounds, second season, ClemsonBuffalo Bills lineman Chris Hairston, who made seven starts last season at left tackle, began this season as a backup. With an ankle injury to rookie Cordy Glenn, Hairston is back as a starter.RELATED: Three out for Bills
And his first starting assignment of the season comes Sunday. His task is to take on 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith, who leads the 49ers with 4.5 sacks. Smith has recorded 18.5 sacks in his past 17 games.The Bills will start two backups on the offensive line after Glenn and right guard Kraig Urbik exited last week's loss to the New England Patriots with ankle injuries.The 49ers are coming off a 34-0 victory over the New York Jets, and their front seven figures to pose all kinds of problems for the Bills."(It's a) great defense," Hairston told BuffaloBills.com. "They've got great D-linemen, great linebackers and they've done a great job as a defense. It'll take a little film study and lot of work on the practice field to be ready for them."But the O-line takes pride in playing good teams and doing what we can to assert our dominance. I'm sure this week is going to be a tough task with the guys we've got to go up against."The Bills' offense features a spread attack with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick getting rid of the ball quickly. Fitzpatrick has been sacked only four times in four games.In this battle of second-year players, Smith has a chance to exploit Hairston. Smith can make it difficult for Fitzpatrick to get the ball into the hands of his explosive threats in the passing game, such as receivers Stevie Johnson and Donald Jones, tight end Scott Chandler and running back C.J. Spiller.As an every-down player, Smith has done a good job of continuing to pressure the quarterback while also setting the edge in run defense. The Bills will run the ball more than most teams that feature three-wideout formations.
"That's the hardest thing for a guy that's transitioning from a defensive lineman to a linebacker position, outside backer in this case, is figuring out if it's a run or pass No. 1," 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said of Smith.
"And No. 2, they're not always coming forward. If it's a pass they've got to go backwards. So that's always new and uncomfortable for those guys. And that's really the biggest sticking point for those guys is figuring out if it's a run or pass and going backwards when they have pass responsibility."Smith has made a smooth transition this season from being a pass-rush specialist as a rookie."He's athletic enough and he's smart enough to learn the position and understand the position," Fangio said. "That's a good starting point."

Comings and goings: 49ers coaching staff

Comings and goings: 49ers coaching staff

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:

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

* * *

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

Report: 49ers receive permission from Broncos to interview O-line coach

Report: 49ers receive permission from Broncos to interview O-line coach

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.