49ers notes: Aldon Smith leads solid defensive effort


49ers notes: Aldon Smith leads solid defensive effort

Follow @MaioccoCSN
Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
NEW ORLEANS -- The offense sputtered and special teams were a disaster. But the 49ers' defense played relatively well in the exhibition opener Friday night against the New Orleans Saints.The 49ers allowed just one sustained drive in the 24-3 loss. Most impressive, the 49ers did not allow quarterback Drew Brees to record a first down in his three series leading the Saints' first-team offense."I think the whole front seven played extremely well," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "We were good in the secondary and the coverage was tight. I was pleased with the way our defense played."Rookie Aldon Smith saw significant action at right outside linebacker and recorded five tackles to tie with linebacker Larry Grant and safety C.J. Spillman for team-high honors. Smith was credited with the 49ers' only sack of the game.RECAP: 49ers bullied by Saints 24-3 in exhibition debut
"I think he flashed a few times and set the edge and use his long arms to make some tackles," Harbaugh said. Because of injuries, receivers Michael Crabtree, Dominique Zeigler and Chris Hogan, tight ends Colin Cloherty and Nate Byham, linebacker Scott McKillop, and defensive backs Tarell Brown, Reggie Smith and Shawntae Spencer did not make the trip to New Orleans.Safety Dashon Goldson and nose tackle Isaac Sopoga did not suit up for the game. Quarterbacks Jeremiah Masoli and McLeod Bethel-Thompson, receivers Tyler Beiler and Joe Hastings, and offensive linemen Nick Howell and Chase Beeler did not play. Running back Frank Gore had four carries for 20 yards before he was removed from the action in the first quarter. Gore was making his first appearance since ending last season on injured reserve with a fractured right hip."I think running the ball I did well," Gore said. "I missed one block on a cut block. I know my running back coach (Tom Rathman) is going to get me on that one. But, I still have camp legs. On some of the runs, I felt like I could have done more, but I'm going to watch the film, go back to practice and keep trying to get better." Kicker David Akers, whom the 49ers signed to a three-year, 9 million contract to take over for Joe Nedney, had a career-long 57-yard field goal in 2003.Although it does not count in the records because it was an exhibition game, Akers drilled a 59-yarder at the end of the first half to account for the 49ers' only points of the game. Akers provided the highlight on special teams. Joseph Morgan blazed through the 49ers for a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter. Rookie Colin Jones has the first and best chance to tackle Morgan.Later, 49ers undrafted rookie Kenny Rowe broke through to block a punt. However, the play was nullified because the 49ers were penalized for having 12 men on the field.

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.