49ers QB Matt Barkley: 'This is what I know and do best'

49ers QB Matt Barkley: 'This is what I know and do best'

SANTA CLARA – Quarterback Matt Barkley has lived a suspenseful NFL life since the conclusion of his storied USC career.

Considered a certain first-round pick a year earlier, Barkley had to wait until the fourth round to hear his name called in the 2013 NFL draft. After spending time with Philadelphia, Arizona and Chicago in his first four seasons, it could have been expected that Barkley would remain a free agent for a while this offseason.

Instead, he found a spot with the 49ers on the first day of free agency. New coach Kyle Shanahan targeted Brian Hoyer to be his quarterback. When Matt Schaub decided to remain as Atlanta’s backup, Barkley became Shanahan’s choice among all other free-agent options. Barkley signed a two-year, $4 million contract, including a $500,000 signing bonus.

“It was later in the night, so that day was still a little stressful, knowing everything that was going on,” Barkley said on the "The 49ers Insider Podcast" on NBC Sports Bay Area. “I actually texted Hoyer when he signed here, saying ‘Congrats. That’s a great fit for you. I hope you do well.’

“I didn’t even know at the time that I was a consideration because I thought Schaub was probably going to come with Kyle to be a quarterback here. So when he ended up signing back at Atlanta, things kind of opened up. And I found out later that night when Kyle and (49ers general manager) John Lynch called me. I was pretty happy about it.”

Barkley said he understands and feels comfortable in the offense he is learning with the 49ers during the offseason program. His offensive coordinator with the Bears last season was Dowell Loggains, who served as Shanahan’s quarterbacks coach in 2014 with the Cleveland Browns. Hoyer was on the Browns that season. Last year, Hoyer and Barkley were teammates in Chicago.

“This offense is best-suited for my style of play,” Barkley said. “It’s kind of what I ran in college -- even a lot of concepts that I ran in high school (Mater Dei of Santa Ana), as well.

“This pro-style system, along with the routes that we have, the responsibility the quarterback has to read everything out and get long play calls out and just really understanding what Kyle is seeing and how sees plays and defenses, I think it’s a great fit.”

Barkley ran a pro-style offense during his four-year career at USC. Then, in a bizarre twist, he entered the NFL in Chip Kelly’s spread offense with the Eagles. Barkley might be the only quarterback who has been asked to make an NFL conversion opposite of what has become common.

“I kind of did it backwards, if you look at it that way,” Barkley laughed. “I do think playing for Chip in that offense was definitely a unique experience – to gain experience in that type of offense, running those plays, the zone read and all the different options he ran.

“At the same time, being back in an offense like I am now with Kyle, this is what I’ve grown up playing in football and this is what I know best. Whatever way you get there, the fact that I’m here, this is what I know and do best. Hopefully I’m here for a while.”

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

Shanahan delegates offensive duties to 49ers staff

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan will retain the role he held the past nine seasons in his first year as head coach of the 49ers.

Shanahan eschewed the formality of naming an offensive coordinator because he will keep those duties for himself. Still, Shanahan made it clear that he alone will not be able to fix the 49ers’ offense.

Shanahan has assembled a supporting cast that he said makes him comfortable to delegate responsibilities whenever his attention has to be focused on something other than the team’s offense.

“I mix it up,” said Shanahan, who previously held offensive coordinator roles with Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta. “Different guys have different attributes.”

Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur joined Shanahan after time together on the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive staff. McDaniel is the run-game specialist, while LaFleur, the wide receivers coach, is the pass-game specialist.

Tight ends coach Jon Embree, formerly the head coach at Colorado, is Shanahan’s assistant head coach. Shanahan said Embree has a vocal role on his staff.

Moreover, long-time NFL running backs coach Bobby Turner is a trusted assistant after spending 14 seasons in Denver and four more in Washington with Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father. Turner coached under Kyle Shanahan the past two seasons with the Falcons.

”Bobby Turner’s been an assistant head coach for our teams we’ve had in the past and anytime that I need him to take over, he does,” Shanahan said. “So it depends what period it is, depends what we’re talking about.”

The 49ers opened organized team activities last week. It was the first time the 49ers’ rookies and veterans were together on the field for offense vs. defense practices. Shanahan said it takes some adjustment for him to figure out how to best budget his time during the workouts.

“I’m used to knowing exactly where to go and what to do and I always did that from an offensive coordinator standpoint which I still do a lot of those responsibilities,” Shanahan said. “So, at times, I feel most comfortable when I go to do that because that’s something to do. But, when I pass it over to some other guys and let them do it, I find myself walking around a lot and I’m not used to that.

“It feels awkward, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think I should walk around and watch everyone and see it. I always see it on the tape, but that’s later at night. You want players to know you’re there and paying attention to everything and I usually try to cover that in meetings the next day also.”

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Former NFL running back Brandon Jacobs spent one season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Jacobs only played in two games and gained seven yards on five carries. The results were nothing like his 5,087 yards and 60 touchdowns over eight years with the Giants. 

Apparently being pushed to the bench as a 31-year-old veteran running back didn't sit well with Jacobs. 

“Going somewhere where they don’t have route conversions into certain coverages was just absurd,” Jacobs said Thursday on the Tiki and Tierney Show. “They’re just running routes in the defense, getting people killed. Size and strength is what they had, and that’s why they won.

"Let’s be real. They had great assistant coaches, but Jim didn’t know what he was doing. Jim had no idea. Jim is throwing slants into Cover-2 safeties, getting people hurt. That guy knew nothing, man."

On Saturday morning, Harbaugh responded to Jacobs with a tweet to him. 

Harbaugh went 44-19-1 in four seasons as the 49ers' head coach. He also added five playoff wins and a trip to the Super Bowl in the 2012-13 season, the one that Jacobs played for him.