Frank Gore spent the bye week in his hometown of Miami relaxing, spending time with his family and watching other NFL teams play. As soon as he returned to the team facility, one of the first things he did was find his offensive linemen.I told them today we gotta play catch up, a smiling Gore told a group of reporters by his locker after Tuesdays practice. It seemed like nobody wanted to play defense this last week. All these guys ran for over 100 yards. Gore dropped to eighth in the rankings among NFL running backs after Doug Martins 251 yard performance and Adrian Petersons 182 yard outing last weekend. But the eight-year veteran is feeling good. His bruised ribs are nearly back to normal after the time off, and he gets to go back to work with what he says Is the best offensive line hes ever run behind. Im just having fun, Gore said. Just having fun running through the big holes they give me.Even with the week off, the 49ers still put up more rushing yards per game than any other team in the league. They lead the league with 5.6 yards per rush as well. Gores teammates up front give him just as much credit for their runaway success.I love blocking for Frank. I think everybody does, said starting right guard Alex Boone. Hes one of those guys hes a power back. He can be a speed back. He sees a crease and he hits it. To play for a guy like that, unbelievable. Hes tough. He never gives up. Hes always going. His motors always turning. He always wants more. To play for a guy like that you gotta be ready.When Frank gets hit he doesnt always go down right away, adds center Jonathon Goodwin. You see him makes some pretty tough runs. And thats one thing I love about him is hes a physical type guy.The Arizona game showed how the 49ers' passing game benefits when Gore gets going early. Boone said it also served as an example as why their running game needs to get even stronger during the second half of the season. Opponents are stacking the box to stop Gore first. Three of the 49ers' next eight games feature run defenses ranked among the leagues top seven. But Gore is always ready to take on the challenge.Seeing him out there and hes like, 'Come on guys we gotta go we gotta go,' Boone said of Gore. "And the line responds 'Hey, Franks pumped up we gotta go. Lets roll. Gotta get more yards and keep on grinding.'
When the 49ers’ next general manager and coach settle into their offices in Santa Clara, among their first decisions will be to determine which of the team’s pending free agents are worth keeping around.
Team’s executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe have a window to speak with Super Bowl-bound Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan beginning Friday evening and concluding Saturday night.
During that time frame, the 49ers hope to determine which of the team’s general manager candidates is the best fit with Shanahan to collaborate all of the organization’s football decisions. Shanahan is not allowed to be hired officially until after Super Bowl 51 on Feb. 5.
The 49ers have exclusive negotiating rights with all of their scheduled free agents through March 6. The window for open negotiating for all teams with all free agents runs from March 7 at 9 a.m. until March 9 at 1 p.m. The free-agent signing period begins after that.
Here is a look at the 49ers’ scheduled free agents:
QB Colin Kaepernick: He is in a different situation. Kaepernick is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract. If he does not, it would seem likely the 49ers would release him to avoid being on the hook for his scheduled $14.9 million pay. Statistically, Kaepernick had his best season since his first full season as a starter. The question is whether a new coach and a new GM, who are given the power to tear down the roster, would want to stick with the same quarterback?
QB Blaine Gabbert: Gabbert got his opportunity to start the season, but his subpar play prompted Chip Kelly to bench him after five games. Toward the end of the season, Gabbert had sunk to No. 3 on the depth chart behind Kaepernick and Christian Ponder.
QB Christian Ponder: He turns 29 next month and has not played in an NFL regular-season game since 2014, when he attempted 44 passes for the Minnesota Vikings. There is not much evidence to support the argument for a contract offer.
QB Thad Lewis: He’s already 29. And he has not attempted a pass in an NFL regular-season game since 2013, when he appeared in six games with the Buffalo Bills. His season ended after the first exhibition game with a torn ACL.
RB Shaun Draughn: He is a good special-teams player and a solid pass-catcher out of the backfield, but Draughn averaged just 2.6 yards on 74 rushing attempts as Carlos Hyde’s primary backup. The 49ers will look to upgrade this position.
WR Quinton Patton: The 49ers need more playmakers on the outside. It’s doubtful a fresh set of eyes will come to the 49ers and place a high priority on retaining Patton, who caught 37 passes for 408 yards with no touchdowns while making 14 starts.
WR Jeremy Kerley: When slot receiver Bruce Ellington sustained a season-ending hamstring injury in the exhibition season, the 49ers responded with a trade to acquire Kerley. He turned out to be the team’s only consistent pass-catching threat with 64 receptions for 667 yards and three TDs. He was also a safe option on punt returns. Kerley is definitely worth considering for the next regime.
WR Rod Streater: The veteran receiver, who the 49ers acquired in a trade just before the start of the regular season, was underutilized. The 49ers will unquestionably consider all upgrade opportunities via free agency and the draft.
TE Jim Dray: A late-season pickup due to injuries, Dray does not figure to be a priority to re-sign.
G Andrew Gardner: Gardner came to the 49ers late in the season due to injuries because he was already familiar with Kelly’s system. When he saw significant playing time in the season finale, it was his first action since appearing in three games with the Eagles in 2015.
K Phil Dawson: He turned 42 on Monday, but he can still kick. With extra points moving back to 33 yards, accuracy is more important than ever. There should be a spot for Dawson in the NFL – if he chooses to continue his career.
NT Glenn Dorsey: He will turn 32 in August, and his body appears to be breaking down. He battled injuries throughout the season after returning from a severe knee injury in 2015. When healthy, he’s still a good player. But can he remain healthy for an extended period of time?
DL Tony Jerod-Eddie: He was near the bottom of the depth chart throughout the season, as the 49ers deactivated him for seven games. He does not figure to be a priority for a new personnel department.
DL Chris Jones: Claimed off waivers from Miami for the final six games of the season, Jones played very well in his brief stint with the team. He deserves a chance to show what he can do in training camp – with some team.
LB Michael Wilhoite: Through all the problems the 49ers had at inside linebacker, Wilhoite was unable to hold onto a starting job. This position will be one of the areas the organization must address with the uncertainty of NaVorro Bowman’s attempted return from a torn Achilles.
LB Gerald Hodges: The organization is trying to build a new culture. Hodges left the team short-handed for the game at Atlanta due to his violation of team rules.
LB Nick Bellore: He came to the 49ers because of his special-teams play. He ended up starting 10 games in place of Bowman, and things did not go well for the 49ers’ defense during that time.
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In addition, guard Andrew Tiller, running back DuJuan Harris, and defensive backs Marcus Cromartie and Chris Davis are scheduled to be restricted free agents. The 49ers can retain contract rights to those players with minimum tenders.
ASHBURN, Va. — Washington turned to internal candidates to fill two critical vacancies, promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator and Greg Manusky to defensive coordinator.
Cavanaugh was the team's quarterbacks coach and Manusky its outside linebackers coach last season. Washington announced the promotions Monday along with the hires of Kevin O'Connell as quarterbacks coach and Jim Tomsula as defensive line coach.
It has been an offseason of upheaval for the coaching staff after Washington fired defensive coordinator Joe Barry and a few assistants and offensive coordinator Sean McVay left to become head coach of the Los Angeles Rams.
In its efforts to replace Barry after ranking 28th defensively in consecutive seasons, Washington interviewed former Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley, former Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine and former Buffalo Bills assistant Rob Ryan before opting for Manusky. The 50-year-old Manusky has been defensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers and 49ers and worked with Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan in San Francisco.
Known for his fiery personality and booming voice on the practice fields, Manusky had only been on coach Jay Gruden's staff for one season as outside linebackers coach. Middle linebacker Will Compton tweeted: "Congrats to Coach Manusky!" when players were informed of his promotion.
Cavanaugh was Washington's quarterbacks coach for the past two years as Kirk Cousins twice set the franchise record for passing yards in a season. Cousins' status for 2017 remains in doubt after playing last season on the franchise tag, but with McVay gone he'll have a familiar face as his offensive coordinator.
After 13 NFL seasons as a backup quarterback, the 60-year-old Cavanaugh was offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears from 1997-98 and Baltimore Ravens from 1999-2004. O'Connell, Washington's new quarterbacks coach, was an assistant in San Francisco under Chip Kelly last season.
Tomsula, who replaces Robb Akey as defensive line coach, also most recently worked with the 49ers as their head coach in 2015.