Fangio isn't divulging differences between coaching Harbaughs

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Fangio isn't divulging differences between coaching Harbaughs

SANTA CLARA -- Vic Fangio is uniquely qualified to compare and contrast the NFL coaches who will make history Thursday night as the first brothers to face each other when the 49ers meet the Baltimore Ravens.Fangio, the longtime NFL assistant coach, had never met the Harbaughs before John Harbaugh retained him on the Ravens coaching staff in 2008. After two seasons with John Harbaugh, Fangio moved cross country to join Jim Harbaugh's Stanford staff as defensive coordinator.
"I'm probably the person that has the most perspective on that because I was with John his first two years in Baltimore and worked closely with him there in his first head-coaching job," said Fangio, who is currently the 49ers' defensive coordinator."And, obviously, I've been with Jim last year at Stanford and the transition coming over to here and everything that's involved with that."Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh were born 17 months apart and had a coach, Jack Harbaugh, as their father. But they are not exactly carbon copies, Fangio said.RELATED: The Har-Bowl page
"And I would say about 30 percent of them is similar, being that they're from the same family, same parents and all that," Fangio said. "But 70 percent of them are very different. They're two very different individuals, two very different, in most cases."And how, exactly, are they different?"That's top secret," Fangio said. "That's my information and I'm keeping it to myself."Fangio already had an extensive NFL resume when he joined the Ravens in 2006 as defensive special assistant to head coach Brian Billick. Fangio worked on both sides of the ball while with the Ravens. He was one of the lead voice in the booth to assist Billick with replay challenges."(I) basically did a lot of work with the coaches, both sides of the ball, and worked with the head coach in helping him do his duties particularly during the game," Fangio said."It was really a great experience for me. It really was, working both sides of the ball and getting a better, full perspective of everything. It's something that I would recommend for everybody to do if they could."It was that kind of perspective that helped Fangio formulate his philosophy last week as he devised a game play against Arizona Cardinals second-year quarterback John Skelton. The 49ers chose to play coverage the entire game against Skelton and Richard Bartel. Not once did he call for a defense that sent more than four pass-rushers at the Cardinals' quarterbacks.REWIND: 49ers never blitzed Cardinals
"A lot of people think when you play a young quarterback you should go after him, send the kitchen sink," Fangio said. "But many times that makes his job easier because if he sees pressure, he can throw somewhere to where he's got a one-on-one matchup."Sometimes against a young quarterback, it's good to make him be a quarterback, drop back there, read his coverage, find an open receiver, go through his progression. I think that's tougher on a young quarterback in some instances, and that's the approach I took that past game."The plan figures to be different Thanksgiving night against Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and his explosive surrounding cast that includes running back Ray Rice, and receivers Lee Evans, Anquan Boldin and rookie Torrey Smith."They have a really explosive and dynamic personnel group," Fangio said. "I think it's probably the best offensive skill position personnel that the Ravens have ever had since they moved to Baltimore."

49ers already spend more in free agency than a year ago

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49ers already spend more in free agency than a year ago

Under the 49ers’ new regime, the club has already invested more in the free-agent market than a year ago under then-general manager Trent Baalke.

Just a reminder: The free-agent signing period does not officially open until March 9.

The 49ers on Friday reached a contract agreement with veteran defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, who is penciled into be a starter in the team’s new 4-3 base scheme under defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

It was the first significant move under new general manager John Lynch, who also signed a player with NFL experience earlier in the week.

The 49ers also added cornerback K’Waun Williams to a one-year contract. Williams served as the Cleveland Browns’ nickel back for two seasons. The Browns released him before the start of last season and he was unable to play due to an ankle injury.

Mitchell was available to be signed before the start of the new league year because the Miami Dolphins released him last week in a move to save the team $4 million in cap space.

Mitchell took four free-agent visits and after wrapping up his tour with the Atlanta Falcons on Friday, he and the 49ers quickly agreed on a four-year, $16 million contract that includes $5.5 million of money in the first year, according to a source.

Last year, Baalke did little to improve the roster for coach Chip Kelly. The 49ers, who finished 5-11 in Jim Tomsula's one season, dropped to 2-14. Just hours after the season concluded, the 49ers announced the firings of Baalke and Kelly.

The only veteran free-agent addition who stepped on the field for the 49ers last season was offensive lineman Zane Beadles. The 49ers signed Beadles in late-March to a three-year, $9.75 million contract with a $1.75 million signing bonus. Beadles had a good season for the 49ers, starting 13 games at left guard and the final three games at left tackle.

The 49ers have already shown more willingness to be aggressive under Lynch’s leadership.

Mitchell, 29, is a seven-year veteran who began his NFL career from 2010 to ’13 with the Houston Texans. He was a rookie in Saleh’s final season as assistant linebackers coach in Houston.

Mitchell joins DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead and Quinton Dial on the 49ers defensive line. The 49ers view Mitchell as a high-energy player who bring good character to the locker room. The signing of Mitchell could be an indication the 49ers are moving on from Glenn Dorsey, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

With 5.5 sacks in seven seasons, the 49ers do not figure to use Mitchell in passing situations. The club must try to bolster its pass rush in free agency or the draft. Last season, Buckner and Ahmad Brooks shared the team-lead with six sacks apiece. In 2015, Brooks and Aaron Lynch both led the way with 6.5 sacks.

Source: 49ers agree to four-year deal with former Dolphins DT

Source: 49ers agree to four-year deal with former Dolphins DT

The San Francisco 49ers agreed to a four-year, $16 million deal with defensive tackle Earl Mitchell on Friday, CSNBayArea.com has learned

Mitchell, 29, will earn $5.5 million in his first year with the 49ers. 

The seven-year veteran played in nine games last season for the Dolphins. He recorded 17 total tackles. 

Since entering the league in 2010 as a third-round draft pick with the Texans, Mitchell has appeared in 100 games between Houston and Miami, totaling 206 tackles. He has also recorded 5.5 sacks.