49ers O-line meeting room upgrades


49ers O-line meeting room upgrades

NOTE: It was originally reported that quarterback Alex Smith bought "plush leather chairs" for the offensive line. However, the "Alex" was actually backup tackle Alex Boone, not Smith.

UPDATE: Boone purchases furniture upgrades for O-line meeting room
SANTA CLARA -- They might be the most important group of individuals in the building.Just ask Alex Smith. The 49ers quarterback opened his wallet to accessorize the 49ers offensive line meeting room with plush leather chairs for each of the individuals assigned to protect him.After all, big guys with big responsibilities need big, cozy chairs from which to conduct their preparations.And Smith's gift to his linemen isn't the only thing different in that room. The 49ers have two offensive line coaches with identical titles.Mike Solari, 56, one of just three position-coach holdovers from Mike Singletary's staff, has been joined by Tim Drevno, 42, who worked under Jim Harbaugh at the University of San Diego and Stanford.So how are their responsibilities divided?"They work in tandem," Harbaugh said. "Not going to get into the percentages. We feel like it's just better to be working in a group and have two guys coaching the offensive line, to be able to see everything."Probably the greater share is Mike Solari, but both Tim Drevno and Mike Solari do a great job working together and coaching up our offensive line."Solari is in his 23rd season as an assistant coach in the NFL. He spent five seasons with the 49ers from 1992 to '96 as tight ends and assistant offensive line coach, working closely with legendary Bobb McKittrick.Drevno is in his first NFL season after spending 21 seasons in the college ranks, including the past seven on Harbaugh's staffs. Drevno and 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman also spent two years together at Stanford."We've got to work together to solve problems and find solutions, and that's what they do," Roman said. "They work well together. Everybody checks their ego at the door and we find what works best. I've worked with Tim before. We worked together at Stanford. So there was familiarity there, and that helps bridge the gap of system changes."The 49ers offensive line has made tremendous strides from early in the season after the lockout eliminated the entire offseason program.In the first three games, the 49ers averaged 2.46 yards rushing per attempt and Smith was sacked 11 times. In the next six games, the 49ers averaged 5.35 yards, and Smith was sacked 10 times."They're pretty similar, the way they coach," 49ers left tackle Joe Staley said. "They're very detailed, very high-energy kind of guys. There's no stone left unturned. We go through every situation. Every single look, we go over in practice."They prepare us for the games. So if we have to make an adjustment on the sideline, it's something we've already covered and we can make that adjustment. That's why we've been able to have success."We basically have two O-line coaches. Solari is the head guy. But Drevno has been a head line coach with Harbaugh at Stanford, and he understands the offense. They are two guys who work very well together." Coming up: Solari and Drevno sit down for a Q&A session.

Von Miller calls 49ers’ Trent Brown 'the best right tackle in the NFL’


Von Miller calls 49ers’ Trent Brown 'the best right tackle in the NFL’

Von Miller has 73.5 sacks to his name over six seasons in the NFL. He's a five-time Prow Bowl linebacker, three-time All-Pro, Super Bowl champion, and Super Bowl MVP. 

Trent Brown has played 21 games in two NFL seasons for the 49ers, 18 of them as starts. Despite his little time in the NFL and lack of honors, the Broncos' defensive star sees San Francisco's young offensive lineman as the best in the game at his position.

“He’s the best right tackle in the National Football League,” Miller said to the San Francisco Chronicle Wednesday after the first of two joint practices with the 49ers. “And he may even be a top-five tackle, period, in the National Football League. There’s not another tackle who’s that tall, that big and can move he way he moves.”

Brown, at 24 years old and standing 6-foot-8 while weighing 355 pounds, was the only offensive lineman invited to Miller's "Pass Rush Summit" at Stanford in June. Miller says he invited Brown so he could gain more knowledge, but also added, "from my point of view, we could get it (more knowledge) from a premier-offensive-tackle point of view.”

The two went up against each other in the trenches Wednesday in Santa Clara. After Brown held his own, Miller poured on the praise, but he made it clear how the young offensive lineman's future is all up to himself. Brown holds the keys to his potential. 

"He’ll be as good as he wants to be," Miller said. "When he’s on, there’s not another tackle in the National Football League that’s as good as him."

Miller also made a bold prediction. "He’s going to have one of the biggest (contracts) for an offensive lineman."

Brown's rookie deal ends after the 2018 season. 

Practice report: 49ers' offense closes the gap against Broncos


Practice report: 49ers' offense closes the gap against Broncos

SANTA CLARA – It was clear during the past two summers that the Denver Broncos’ defense was far ahead of the 49ers’ offense. That should not come as a big surprise.

On Wednesday, it was a much closer match when the units practiced against each other on the 49ers' practice field.

The Broncos’ pass rush still gave some problems to the 49ers’ offensive line, but the 49ers connected on a lot more plays than it has in the past in their head-to-head meetings.

The biggest issue with the 49ers continues to be the play at the guard positions. The 49ers are set at offensive tackle with Joe Staley and Trent Brown. Daniel Kilgore appears settled in at center. But the 49ers might not be completely sold on Zane Beadles and Brandon Fusco at the guard positions.

However, starting quarterback Brian Hoyer said he believes the entire unit is doing a good job.

“I think those guys are doing a great job,” Hoyer said. “I think the scheme helps out those guys, too. For me, to evaluate the guard, you evaluate the whole offensive line because they work as a unit. It’s five guys working as one. Throughout this training camp, I think they’ve all done a great job.”

Still, it’s no coincidence that the best the 49ers’ offense looked on Wednesday was during a 7-on-7 passing drill that does not include offensive linemen.

Matt Barkley hit consecutive touchdown passes of 15, 10 and 5 yards with Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor and Bourne, again, on the receiving ends. Then, Hoyer hit Tim Hightower and Pierre Garçon on touchdowns, giving the 49ers five touchdowns during a six-play stretch.


--Hoyer was especially sharp, completing better than 80 percent of his pass attempts during the 11-on-11 periods. Hoyer had five completions to Marquise Goodwin and four more to Garçon.

Goodwin, who has never caught more than 29 passes in a season, has put himself in position to have a breakout season as a starter.

“I really enjoy working with him,” Hoyer said. “You talk about a hard-worker. I was just out there with my family for 30 minutes and he’s still catching balls on the (machine), running up the hill. When you see guys who are really talented and willing to work that hard, they obviously have a chance to be something special.”

--Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard and receiver DeAndre Smelter teamed up for a picturesque 10-yard touchdown during a 7-on-7 drill with a well-thrown pass and leaping catch in the back left corner of the end zone.